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#1 volante


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:53 PM

Discuss this story in this thread.

Based on Ian Fleming’s

James Bond



Paul Taylor

Back Jacket Synopsis

From the depths of the Baltic Sea,
a Royal Naval submarine intercepts a single covert transmission;
revealing the existence of a Russian spy
as that of a prominent UK Banker.

James Bond embarks on a mission to determine the fate of the suspect.
But soon discovers he is not alone in his search.

As the World prepares for war,
its fate hangs on the questions
posed by a Church of death and a man of vision

When Bond discovers the answers,
he is propelled on a roller coaster ride
to stop a disaster of biblical proportions.

As time runs out, the odds against Bond grow longer,
until he is forced to take the ultimate gamble.

“To gamble everything is dangerous, Mr. Bond”

“But the Double 0 gives me the best odds”

“Odds can change, Mr. Bond”

“But my number remains the same”

“Then I guess you’re a dangerous man, Mr. Bond”

“Then I guess you’re right”

“I can see now you’re a double 0 man, Mr. Bond”

“Then you know why I’m here”



The night was sultry.
The sea was calm, reflecting the lights from Papeete as they danced with the moonlight to pick out the small brightly painted boats slowly rocking at their moorings; gently creaking as the night air cooled their old wooden decks. Fishing nets, carefully draped over ancient frames stood in silhouette against the sea, festooning the main harbour wall.

James Bond was bored,
he sat in the passenger seat of the Police Land-rover;
its windows were fully open but even at eleven o clock at night
the breeze seemed incapable of cooling the interior.
Idly he checked his watch.
Suddenly the sound of a single shot brought him back to reality.
In an instant he was out of the car.
He drew his Walther P99 from its chamois leather holster beneath his jacket.
To the accompaniment of more shots Bond raced across the dirty little side street and kicked open the door to the ‘Ko-herna’ Tavern,
the ‘closed’ sign rattled against the glass;
as he did so the metallic retort of automatic gunfire
echoed from the floor above,
and then came the low rumble of a heavy machine gun
from the rear of the building.

Time was of the essence; Mathis had been inside for more than four minutes. Four minutes of complete radio silence,
something was very wrong, and Bond knew it.

The bar-room was dark and empty, the only source of light came from candles which burned softly on the tables, their flickering light illuminated the larges tribal patterns painted on the walls;
the low rhythmic beat of the hula music seemed to slow down time as Bond took in the scene in a single sweep.
Silently he cursed Mathis’ power of persuasion and his own lack of interest in this simple arrest. Now it was too late,
Bond knew he should have taken action long before he ever heard the shot.
He knew his friend had walked into a trap; the clatter of more machine gun fire from the rear of the building drove this fact home again.
Bond kicked aside a fallen chair, and began to move resolutely toward the affray. The soft music still tried to lull him into a false reality,
he picked his way between the tables; and then another sound added to the commotion,a machine gun began to rattle its staccato beat transforming the little bar into a war zone.
This time the shots were directed at him, a man had jumped up from behind the bar and was spraying the room with lethal gunfire.
More glass shattered as the bottles and glasses disintegrated on the table in front of him. Bond broke his run and dived to the floor, pieces of wood from the table rained down upon him; Bond rolled over sending another chair careering across the floor and as he rolled again he came face to face with one of the Police officers who had been left to guard the front room.
The young officer lay dead on the floor, his throat slit.
Quickly Bond crawled out of the line of fire, adjusting his position behind an upturned table. Smoke and dust filled the air. The naked flames from the fallen candles mixed with the spilled spirit on the floor, and ignited in a whoosh of flame.
The machine gun spoke again and Bond answered its question with three bullets, one or more found their target and the gunfire died.
Back on his feet Bond ran to the back of the Tavern dodging the flames as they began to lick at the fabric and wood in the room, he leapt over the wooden counter and dropped down beside the dead gunman.
More gunfire was coming from the rear of the tavern, more sporadically now and punctuated with the moans of wounded men.
Bond prized the machine gun from the dead attacker’s hand, his arm was adorned with the black tribal markings of a fisherman, the man’s dead eyes stared blankly back at him.
The barrage of bullets was coming from the yard at the back of the building, and suddenly the heavy caliber shells smashed through the wall and burst through the door beside him, the molten lead sizzled around the room. Bond waited for a lull in the gunfire before making his move; he knew there
was no way out at this level. The flames had now taken hold and small fires had broken out all over the bar; the breeze which Bond had hoped for when he had sat in the Land-rover, now seemed to mock him and flowed in through the open door, fanning the flames, spreading the hissing, crackling fire.
Quickly he took the stairs three at a time and crashed through the first door on the left, believing it would give him a good field of fire on the yard below.
He was right. A man was already stationed at the window; the soft retort of his silenced rifle seemed very sophisticated against the harsh barking of the gunfire from the yard below.
The man turned at the sound of the door shattering; hurriedly he swung the rifle around to challenge Bond as he raced toward him. Bond fired the machine gun from the hip, the bullets cutting the man in half, with a final death scream he fell out through the open window. Bond skidded to a halt and carefully peered out from the window at the scene below.
The yard was chaotic.
Three police officers, lay dead on the ground, two more were pinned down behind a small table, the man he had shot now lay broken on top of them. At the far side of the yard a gun barrel protruded from an open window, the killing field had been deadly. Bond picked up the fallen sniper rifle and knelt at the window; from below came a muffled whimper and the heavy machine gun fired again, shattering the silence, the strong whiff of cordite floated in through the open window. Bond looked down into the yard; already thin strands of smoke wisped out from the bullet holes of the wrecked back wall.
Bond could hear the crackle of the flames as the fire took hold in the bar below him. He aimed the rifle at the dark open window across the yard;
he knew he would only have one chance. If he missed, the machine gunner would obliterate the room; his bullets would slice through the old wood like a knife through butter. Bond waited until he could discern movement, and with a well practiced pressure pressed the trigger. A shrill scream followed by the noise of the sniper falling inside the building lessened Bond’s feeling of helplessness.

A sudden heavy thud emulated from the room next to Bond followed by the human sounds of a scuffle, and then, in quick succession, two shots filtered through the smoke, halting all other noise. Bond strained to hear; quickly he filtered out the noise. Above the sound of the fire, he heard whispered voices, in hushed conversation. Alerted to more danger Bond made his move.
He put down the rifle, and picking up the machine gun, left the room. Silently he moved toward the sounds.

Once in the narrow corridor Bond registered just how dark it was, the smoke became a taste in his mouth, he stepped quickly to the next door,
it stood ajar and Bond used the gun’s stubby barrel to push it open further, carefully he entered the room, only the moon light filtering in from the window gave him a perception of movement in the shadows, but before he could react the shadow struck, the blow was quick, and hard enough to deflect the gun in his hand; the second blow was directed at Bond himself.
Instinctively Bond deflected the hand, and the strike missed his head by an inch, dropping his weight Bond attacked with an elbow strike into the ribs of the attacker, he heard the air leave his lungs; dropping his gun Bond moved into the room; wrapping his arm around the attacker’s neck trapping his arm, forcing it up. Bond locked his other hand around his first and swung the attacker deeper into the darkened room; squeezing his head against the outstretched arm cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain.
The opponent was a big man and Bond struggled to overcome his strength; the hold would soon kill the attacker, and he knew it, he renewed his effort to wriggle out of the death grip;
and it was this struggle that saved Bond’s life.
From the far side of the room a 9mm pistol fired; the bullet thudded into the man, just as he moved. Bond used his weight to turn the man further into the path of the shots.
Bond used the man as a shield. Gauging the distance to his new attack, Bond attempted to rush forward, but the man in his arms became a dead weight.
Bond released the hold and went for the Walther.
A second and then third shot hit the now dead man in front of Bond.
As he began to slide to the floor, Bond lowered himself behind his shield.
Bond felt the dead weight of the man bear down upon him as another two bullets thumped into the dead flesh. Bond brought the Walther up and fired into the dark shadows that had been betrayed by the muzzle flashes.
The attackers both dropped. Bond kicked out from under the dead man and sprang to his feet, peering into the dark corners of the room; the moans of his attack told him these men were no longer a threat.
From the shadows to his right another attacker launched himself at Bond, catching him high on the shoulder; both men crashed to the floor, they rolled over, trading blows. The man got one heavily tattooed hand clamped around Bond’s throat and the other went for his eyes. Bond used his elbows to block the vicious attack, and slowly wriggled his fingers and then inch by inch pushed his hand inside the attackers grip. As the pressure eased Bond brought his knee up and made contact with the soft unprotected area of his attacker. The man paused in his assault for just an instant, and finally Bond got the upper hand and smashed his fist into the attacker’s face then followed it up with a lethal thumb into the man’s throat. He dropped back to the floor, choking for the oxygen that refused to slide down his crushed windpipe. Bond used his knee again, and the awful sound stopped.
Suddenly it was quiet in the smoke filled room.
Bond’s eyes adjusted quickly to the gloom and then in the shadows he saw Rene Mathis. He was standing just over ten feet away from him, Bond could see he had been shot and his blood now seeped through his light grey jacket.
Behind Mathis stood Efraima; the man they had come to arrest.
Efraima had caused all sorts of problems for the French authorities when they had last come to the island to detonate their atomic weapons. Intelligence had reported that Efraima had been smuggling guns into Tahiti and was intent on terrorist activities to thwart the next detonations, due at the end of the month. It was the guns that had brought about the warrant for his arrest, but it was his knife that he now used as his primary weapon.
Efraima’s dark tribal tattoos stood out in stark contract to his well muscled arm. His knife rested against Mathis’ throat. The man stood well over six feet tall. His bulk dwarfed Mathis, as the man held him, pinned to his heaving chest.
His breath was deep and steady, his eyes blazed; the whites shining in the dark smoke filled room.
Slowly Bond got back to his feet “I told you not to speak to any strange men in the bar” Bond said to Mathis.
The old Frenchman opened his eyes.
“Where were you when I needed you?” He mocked, and began to cough. The smoke was getting heavier.
Suddenly another man appeared at the doorway, he was stripped to the waist and covered in tattoos, he brought his gun to bear but Bond turned and fired, the first shot striking home and slamming the man back out into the corridor, but the second attempt fell on an empty chamber.
The smoke parted to let the man fall through, and then it seeped back, enveloping the gap. Efraima recognized his moment, and in one tearing motion he slit Mathis’ throat and pushed him to the ground. His scream was like that of an animal as he leapt at Bond.
The knife slashed again right to left, and Mathis’ blood flew from the blade. Bond tried to smother the attack using the empty Walther, but Efraima withdrew and slashed again from the left. Bond blocked the attack forcing Efraima’s attacking hand wide, and countered with a ridge hand to Efraima’s throat.
Efraima stepped back, soaking up the pain from the attack. He flexed his muscles and his hand flashed out grabbing Bond’s right shoulder, his fingers dug into the flesh, dragging him down, trying to turn him. Bond dropped the Walther and counter grabbed Efraima’s knife hand.
The man’s well muscled naked arm was wet with sweat and slid around within Bond’s grip, the blade continued its deadly path toward his throat; Bond braced himself, and pushed back, the effort was emence, and Bond knew he could never beat this man on pure strength. Suddenly Bond stopped his resistance and allowed himself to be pulled in. The blade was only an inch from his neck; Efraima took a deep breath preparing for the final push.
The blade touched Bond’s skin and at the last moment Bond twisted inside Efraima’s guard, striking backward with his elbow then firing up with his fist, the second strike caught Efraima in the nose, the pressure of his knife attack hand slackened. Bond side stepped to the right and moved behind Efraima, sweeping his leg forward. Efraima crashed to the floor, Bond stamped down hard on Efraima’s wrist and the knife fell from his grasp. Bond kicked it away and it bounced across the floor with a hollow metallic ring. Efraima reached up and grabbed Bond’s leg but the pain in his broken wrist made the move ineffectual. Bond dropped his weight and slammed his hand into Efraima’s tattooed neck with a classic karate chop.
Efraima lay motionless.
Bond went to his friend, and cradled Mathis in his arms.
Mathis looked up from under his heavy eye lids “I always wanted to die in France” his hand slowly reached out for his gun, which lay some distance away on the floor.
Bond looked at his wound and applied pressure “Be quiet and there’s a chance you still can”
Mathis could not reach his gun, and fell back, the effort too much “Oh James, there is a lot more to France than just l'hexagone. Little specks of her are dotted all around the world, all in spectacular settings” he tried to laugh, but the smoke caught in his throat causing a coughing fit.
Bond sensed the helplessness of the situation
“Mathis, just shut up, I need to get help” the blood was forcing its way up between his fingers.
Mathis closed his eyes “Help me get my gun” he whispered
Mathis stretched out his hand “I want to kill that scum”

“Keep still or you will die right here”

“In Tahiti?” he gasped for breath, his face was drained and very white but his eyes were suddenly bright “Sounds very sexy, yes?”

“Yes, now keep still”

Bond looked deep into his friend’s eyes, all pretense was futile, his tone softened “Trust a Frenchman to find a sunny corner of the world where the croissants are crispy, the cheese stinks and the franc is still accepted”
Slowly Mathis brought his arm up and held on to Bond’s sleeve
“Ha let that be my epitaph” then the grip faded and Mathis died.

“Very touching” said Efraima as he struggled to his knees; blood dripping from his shattered nose. He wiped his face with his arm, and fell back to the floor, the pain coursing through his wrist.
Bond watched with a cold curiosity as the wounded giant reached across with his good hand and thrust it deep into his pocket,
he grunted and groaned, and finaly began to withdraw the hand,
but he withdrew only his mobile.
Efraima gestured toward him with the phone

“I want to call my lawyer”

“Now why would you want to do that? Bond asked

“There’s no way I’m going to prison”

Bond wiped the blood from his fingers on Mathis’ jacket; slowly he reached forward and picked up Mathis’ gun

“My lawyer will have me back on the streets in one hour”
He laughed at the effort it took to press the buttons. He waited for the connection. Slowly he shook his head and looked at Bond with contempt
“I won’t spend a single night in jail”

“You’re absolutely right”
The shot was loud in the quiet smoke filled room.

#2 volante


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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:26 PM

Chapter One

The Samson Option

In October 2008 the Bush administration launched a last ditch effort to sway public opinion and swing the voting initiative of the American public.

The action perpetrated would (if successful) ignite the Middle East, and spark a war.

A war, which would divert and dilute the growing worldwide financial crisis.

A war, which would delay, and hopefully blunt the thrust of the Obama charge for the Whitehouse.

What Bush failed to understand was the greed and incompetence of the Banking fraternity was being manipulated by a massive operation launched by Russia.

The Russian plan was well into its first phase, with the intention to break the Banks of the United Kingdom.

The Russian plan was codenamed BOMBSHELL


"Axis of evil" was a term of phrase coined by the United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Nation Address, January 2002
He used the term to describe the governments that he accused of helping terrorism and producing weapons of mass destruction. Bush named Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
This one statement stood as his only justification for the War on Terror, and was a corner stone to President Bush's second term of office.


October 2008

The presidential advisers sat expectedly in the Oval office. The conversation hushed yet excited. This was their last throw of the dice.
It was a long shot, but the President had seized on the plan and was willing to give it one last shot.
In less than one month’s time they knew the electoral certainty that was gripping the nation would change into a historical moment; and their fragile tenure of power would be gone, forever.
The Marine at the door, snapped to attention

“Gentlemen; the President of the United States”

As one, the men jumped to their feet, their heads swivelled toward the door. George W Bush swaggered into the room, his smile was childlike, and his eyes sparkled with an innocence that belayed his agenda. Amid a chorus of “Good mornings” the President sat at his desk. The soft, black calf skin chair sighed as he relaxed into it. The chair was set to a very high position, allowing Bush the illusion of “power” sitting. As if performing a well rehearsed sequence, he raised his hand in the direction of the assembly.

The chief of naval operations cleared his throat, and the other members of the assembly became silent. His hands clenched into fists at his side, and he nodded toward the President; and began his address with a profound statement “The aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower, accompanied by the cruisers Anzio, Rampage and Mason, are currently sailing for the Straits of Hormuz”
Bush smiled; looking around the room he held the gaze and judged the reaction of his chiefs of staff. He ran his tongue over his lips; his eyes sparked again as he replied “Good that means we will be in a position to strike at Tehran by the end of the week”
The group murmured their approval.
Bush began to nod his head.


10 Downing St. London, England.

The British Prime Minister addressed his Cabinet, his voice was cautious. “Gentlemen; an American war with Iran, is a war that would unleash an apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East, we cannot condone this action”
The First Secretary, Ben Tolliver sensed the mood and commented “And it could begin in as little as three days”

The Foreign secretary screwed up his nose and waved his hand dismissing the idea as ridiculous “The Chiefs of Staff would never sanction such an attack”
The PM cautioned “Those who don’t take this threat seriously ignore the pathology of American Government. Have you forgotten the illegal contra war in Nicaragua?”

The F.S. answered “It would turn into another Vietnam, believe me Prime Minister, they would not let that happen”

The P.M. spread his hands on the table to emphasize the problem “No, not Vietnam. This war would be different. It would be catastrophic”
Tolliver cut in, his tone edged with silk “I agree Prime Minister; the hypocrisy of the American moral crusade has been noted by other countries in the Middle East. They all understand Iran actually signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”

The F.S. chipped in “Are you saying Iran’s only crime is that they violated a codicil of that treaty which was written by America, after they signed”
Ben Tolliver decided not to exploit the obvious but without a break in his smile continued to make his point “I don’t dispute Iran’s intentions to acquire nuclear weapons nor do I minimize the danger should it acquire them.
But contrast Iran with Pakistan, India and Israel. They all refused to sign the treaty and developed their weapons in secret. I am merely saying that all other Middle East countries would support Iran if action was taken against them”

The P.M. tried to calm the mood “Given that the Americans are engaged in an effort to destabilize the Iranian regime by inciting tribal and ethnic minorities to rebel; the Iranian regime interprets the American doctrine of permanent war as making “pre emptive” and unprovoked strikes. Making this a very dangerous time”

Tolliver played his ace “Those in Washington who advocate this war, know as little about the limitations and chaos of war as they do about the Middle East. They honestly believe they can hit 1,000 sites inside Iran to wipe out all nuclear production and cripple the 850,000-man Iranian army” the statement seemed lost on a number of the cabinet, so he asked “What do you all think will happen when the Americans begin to pound a country of 70 million people?”
No one answered, or offered a comment so Tolliver continued “Let me tell you, once they begin an air campaign it is only a matter of time before they either have to go nuclear, or put troops on the ground or accept defeat. Begin dropping bunker busters, cruise missiles and iron fragmentation bombs on Iran, and this is the choice that must be faced”

The P.M. asked “Will they send American troops into Iran to fight a protracted and futile guerrilla war?” The P.M. thought about the question “The Americans should have learned from history that foreign powers can’t win guerrilla wars. We learned this from our ancestors in the American Revolution and re-learned it again in Ireland. The Germans learned it in Yugoslavia. The Americans should have learned it from Vietnam and the Russians learned it in Afghanistan and we are learning it, of course, in Iraq. Guerrilla wars are unwinnable.
As a people we in the West are very vain. We should have learned that the rich and powerful can’t always succeed against the poor and less powerful; so the alternative is just to stop and walk away. I don’t think so!”

Tolliver felt tired of this banter “An attack on Iran will ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with Silkworm missile attacks by Iran on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, will send oil soaring to well over $150 a barrel. The effect on the domestic and world economy will be devastating, prolonging the current global depression. Two million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey will turn in rage on the Western World. We will see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including more on British soil, and the widespread sabotage of oil production in the Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for our troops as Shiites and Sunnis unite against the foreign occupiers. You are correct in your assumption Prime Minister, America will not risk putting troops into that environment; nor will they consider the air offensive as decisive. It will be nuclear!”

Ben Tolliver waited for the tension to rise, when he deemed the moment right he concluded “The country, however, that will pay the biggest price will be Israel. And the sad irony is that those planning this war think of themselves as allies of the Jewish state.
A conflagration of this magnitude would see Israel drawn back into a battle with the Lebanon and sucked into regional wars that will rapidly spell the final chapter in the Zionist experiment in the Middle East”

The F.S. interrupted his flow “You believe the Israelis will be the first to go nuclear?”

Tolliver laughed as if talking with a child “Yes that’s correct. The Israelis aptly call their nuclear program “the Samson option” In the Bible; Samson ripped down the pillars of the temple and killed everyone around him, along with himself”

The P.M. looked down at the table, anticipating defeat “We have got to persuade the Americans to hold off their attack, until after their election. Hopefully the next establishment will be more willing to talk, and not rely upon voices from god to direct their policy. Bush is hell bent on this war” he turned toward Tolliver “How do you suggesting we stop him?”

All eyes turned toward Tolliver.
The First Secretary cleared his throat, and opened his hands
“I’ll think of something”


Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia,
located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The island has a population of 178,133 inhabitants all of who believe the island is a paradise on earth; all that is except one visitor who hated its hot humid climate.

Bill Tanner had arrived the night before, and struggled to get any sleep in his inferior hotel.
Now, pacing up and down the sparsely furnished whitewashed interview room he waited impatiently as James Bond was brought from the cells, his mood was foul.
The small guard led Bond into the room. With a flurry of his pen Tanner signed the release document.
“Thank-you, I’ll take him from here” Tanner’s blood pressure was hitting the roof, Bond looked like he’d just come back from a health spa holiday. The small officer turned and headed for the door without a word.

“Morning Bill, what took you so long?” Bond’s tone was bright and cheerful.
Tanner ignored the comment, and marveled at how cool Bond looked after a week in the cells.
A solitary ceiling fan slowly rotated above them, its blades hardly stirring the stale humid air. When the guard closed the door Tanner exploded
“Christ, Bond it would have been easier getting the Taliban to release you”

Bond stared back at him and slowly nodded in agreement.


To the accompaniment of the echo of their shoes on the tiles and the buzzing of flies in the air they walked along the clinical white painted corridor.
Tanner ran his finger down the inside of his collar, damn how he hated the heat. Bond could tell something was bothering his old friend.
“Why the delay?”
Tanner halted and faced Bond “It appears Efraima was a bit of a hero, like Robin Hood. And you killed him”

“Well he didn’t seem too eager to help the police with their enquiries when he was killing Mathis and his officers” Bond replied without blinking.

Tanner held his stare for a few seconds and then conceded “Well it looks like the Authorities knew he’d bought arms to attack the French navy. This was only one of his attempts to stop the latest nuclear tests; trouble is a lot of the weapons are still missing, and with everyone dead, looks like they’ll stay that way”

Bond and Tanner left the relative cool of the Police station. Outside the sun beat down. Bond put on his sunglasses; Bill Tanner squinted against the bright sun light.

“Ok Bill, when’s the flight to London?” asked Bond

“Sorry James things have changed since you have been out of the loop” Tanner walked over to hide himself within the shadow of a cool leafy palm tree.

“I’ve only been gone a month, what’s happened?”

“The Americans are poised to attack Iran”

“No change there then, anything important?”

Tanner lent forward “Listen James, at approximately 05:30 this morning two
F-117 Nighthawks dropped four enhanced, satellite-guided 2,000-pound Bunker Busters on a research compound north of Tehran.
Complementing this attack were Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from at least two surface ships, possibly the USS Eisenhower and the cruiser Anzio, and two submarines. One missed the compound entirely and exploded in the desert; but at least three hit their target. The attack killed at least twenty one civilians and injured over one hundred and fourteen others”

Bond took in the severity of the action “Are we involved?”

Tanner shook his head “We have our own problems”

“Do tell”

He lowered his voice to no more than a throaty whisper, and lent close to Bond “M has been replaced”

Bond could not conceal his shock “Who by?”

“Charles Burrows” Tanner looked around as if expecting someone would overhear
Bond knew of the ex Foreign office man, so he chose his words carefully
“Is he to be called B or a C?”

Tanner loosened up “Bit of both really, but we’re certainly seeing a shake up in the department”


“Evidence of a leak I’m afraid, M’s name came up, and there are a few others under the spot light”

“That’s ridiculous, have you spoken to M about this?”

Tanner looked agitated he began to stutter “That’s not been possible”

“Why? Come on Bill what’s happened to M?”

“I’m not really sure, that’s why you are going to see her”

#3 volante


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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:20 PM

Chapter Two

Men of Neptune

Her Majesty’s Naval Base ‘Clyde’ lies on the eastern shore of
the Gare Loch in Argyll, Scotland.
It sits to the north of the Firth of Clyde and is twenty five miles west of Glasgow.
Since 1994 H.M.N.B Clyde has been home to the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear deterrent, namely the Vanguard fleet of submarines.
Code named ‘Trident’ the program is the United Kingdom's missile-based nuclear weapons program. Under the program, the Royal Navy operates 58 nuclear-armed Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and around 200 nuclear warheads on 4 Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.

At least one of the submarines is always on patrol as a continuous at-sea deterrent, armed with 16 Trident missiles and 48 nuclear warheads (three warheads per missile), although each submarine can carry up to 96 nuclear warheads with six warheads per missile.
The submarine base encompasses a number of separate sites, the primary being the four pens at Faslane.

Faslane is also home to the Defense Equipment and Support site,
a large sprawling three story building, built from local stone and steel.
Here naval personnel liaise with employees of Sea-lex Communications ltd to ensure the fleet is equipped with the latest equipment in the fight against terrorism in the technological age.

Returning from a six-week mission the nuclear submarine HMS Vigilant
docked at HMNB Clyde, (known by the submariners as HMS Neptune)
at 07.30 am on a cold October morning.

Commander Bill Armstrong was captain of the Vigilant.
A stocky, dark haired man with a deceptively mild expression;
Armstrong led his crew down the short rubber coated gang plank to the dock. Armstrong’s cap was pulled down tightly on his head to ward off the effects of the early morning chill, with consummate ease and pride he saluted his crew and bade them hearty thanks.
In his mid forties, Armstrong had made the Royal Navy his life.
The crew respected him, and enjoyed serving under his command.
As the men broke up and began to make their way to the restaurant
he was joined by the Sea-lex Communications ltd’s
Senior Naval co-ordination technician Jenifer Foxwell.
Her grey woolen hat was clamped to her head, and the collar of her dark grey duffle jacket pulled tight against the wind so that
only her bright green eyes glinted against the grey of the dull morning.
She looked around the dock at the seagulls that were struggling to land in the vicious wind.

“Perhaps the Baltic wasn’t so cold after all”

Armstrong looked back at the Vigilant
“Say what you like about her, she keeps you warm” His smile was open and honest.
“I take it you are looking forward to a few days rest, before reporting in?”
He inclined his head back toward the large Sea-lex offices behind them.

“Yes definitely” Her soft Scottish burr hinting at an Edinburgh background.

Picking up their kit bags they made their way along the dock.
The lucky seagulls that had landed began walking with them
toward the row of cars, neatly parked in a semblance of normality.

As they arrived by the first car they were met by a Royal Marine,
who after saluting the Commander and welcoming them home issued both of them with sealed written orders.
Armstrong took off his leather gloves and opened the envelope, he quickly scanned the orders; and then slowly he read them again.
He turned to Jenifer and said “I thought I was rid of you” He indicated she should read her letter.
Jenifer looked back uncertainly at the Commander then tore her own envelope open. She read her instructions; the wind tugging at the letter as she took in the news. “London?”

“Don’t worry; my orders are to offer you a lift to the airport. You can freshen up at my place”

Her face softened “Do you have a bath, at your place?”

“I certainly do”

“Ok you’re on” Her smile lit up the morning

The Marine picked up their bags and placed them in the boot of the car.
Jenifer sat in the back of the Daimler and relaxed in its warmth.
Her mind was in turmoil. After only one day on dry land, they would be boarding a plane in order to attend a mission debrief in London.
Still the thought of a long soak in Commander Armstrong’s bath
kept the future at bay.


Armstrong put down both bags and unlocked the front door.
The passageway into the living area was plain with a small country scene painting on one wall.
An assortment of trainers and walking boots were stashed in a shoe rack on the other wall. ‘Typical bachelor pad’ thought Jenifer as she followed Armstrong into the living area, she half expected to see a multi gym in the corner of the room, but what she did see surprised her.

The room seemed overly fussy with a real chintzy feel to it.
The sofa looked brand new and very expensive and had an array of patterned cushions scattered all over it.

“What on earth” Armstrong dropped the bags and looked around the room totally bemused. He turned to face Jenifer, and recoiled at the look she gave him, suddenly he seemed to stutter and stumble for the words

“I didn’t decorate it” he heard the words but the sentiment had not come out how he wanted it to.
Jenifer looked at the large photograph mounted on the fire place.
Armstrong was stood in a very manly pose with another older man.
Jenifer tried really hard not to let her jaw drop; but it did.
She quickly scanned the room; it was like a scene from ‘Changing rooms’ the whole place just shrieked out ‘gay’. Armstrong was struggling to cope with the embarrassment.
“Look, I really don’t know what to say, I…” he looked around the room again

“It’s OK I just didn’t know” replied Jenifer, but her words seemed to infuriate Armstrong even more.

“The flat has been refurnished, since I left, honestly” He spun around and caught the object of her gaze

“Look Jenifer, I have never seen that photograph before”

He marched over to the fireplace. Jenifer however had seen another smaller photo for the same man on a small table. The realization of the situation hit her and she knew she would have to leave the flat.
Jenifer Foxwell had a very strong sense of dignity, self-respect, and personal honour and was deeply offended if someone treat her in a humiliating or dishonourable way. Jenifer would rarely confront the offender - she was too unsure of herself to do so - but she would lose any affection and respect she had for them.

Armstrong dialed a number on his mobile. His other hand outstretched in a calming fashion “Let me phone my housekeeper” The tone came back with no signal.

“Damn, my cell phone won’t work” He stormed over to the telephone and picked it up “B), the land line’s dead”

Jenifer really felt for Armstrong, she could only guess at how embarrassed he was about having his personal life exposed in this manner.
She felt more than a pang of guilt, but thought that the taste of Armstrong’s male partner was just too camp for words.

“If you don’t mind I think I’ll take a rain check on the bath; I’ll find a hotel to freshen up” she turned to leave.

Jenifer had no problem with homosexuals but she could see that Armstrong was having a panic attack about being ‘outted’ in this way.

Jenifer stooped to pick up her bag; the light blinded her, she threw up her hands to stop the blinding glare that seemed to burn into her skull, then the blast hit her, her body shuddered as if receiving an electric shock.
Her first crazy thought was she was having a stroke or a heart attack, and then almost instantaneously she thought it was a bomb. Then she heard voices, angry insistent voices. It must have been an explosion, and now she was waking up, but as her sight returned she found she was still in the flat.
Smoke filled the room; and then she felt hands on her body.
Panic gripped her and she began to scream.
A tiny scratch on her hand put stop to that
and suddenly everything was growing dark.


M had instructed Miss Moneypenny to inform him as soon as Jenifer Foxwell had arrived in the interview room.
Now she picked up the telephone and waited for M to answer.
The dark husky voice seemed impatient as usual “Yes”

Moneypenny made an effort to keep her voice civil “Sorry Sir, I just wanted to inform you that Miss Foxwell is ready for you in the interview room”

“Very good Monepenny” He put the phone down.

Two men left the office and strode past Monepenny’s desk.
Their different size and shape stuck a comic tone with her.
The first man was thin with a heroin chic completion, his dark brown wavy hair, over long and foppish.
He stood just over six feet tall and strode with purpose.
M followed quickly behind him; Moneypenny would have given his height as only five feet, but Charles Burrows was always keen to point out he was five foot two inches tall.
Once a stocky man whose arms and chest had bulged with muscle, his frame now ran to fat so that he panted with the exertion of walking at such a pace.
The light glinted off his bald head giving the impression he was constantly perspiring.
Neither man looked at her. As they left her station, M left the door ajar. Moneypenny waited for their footsteps to recede before walking across the room and closing the door herself.
Alone in the Scottish office she smoothed her cashmere skirt with her hand, wiping his sweat from it, and then took a deep breath before retuning to her desk. A new boss heralded a new era which Monepenny was not in favour of.
She felt that the recent changes within MI6 were nothing but retrograde steps in the fight against terrorism, and the appointment of the new M; the abrasive Charles Burrows was a decision that could haunt the department for years.

Burrows caught up with his colleague and continued the conversation they had begun back in his office.
“Look Ben, I have agents at my disposal, we don’t need to use an amateur”

The taller man did not break his stride, he enjoyed the discomfort of Burrows; taking a perverse pleasure in the little man’s wheezing “The evidence against Armstrong is compelling Charles, and until we know how bad your leak is, I’m not prepared to send anyone from this department”
“Then we should enlist Mantis, surely you have confidence in MI5?”
Tolliver stopped and confronted Burrows, he pursed his lips “The Americans are poised to attack Tehran; and in that event every Arab state is primed to assist, and take a cheap shot at Israel. And Israel has assured us that they will retaliate with nuclear missiles. The PM has tasked me with putting a stop to the American aggression. Until that is achieved I don’t have confidence in anyone!”

Burrows nodded in confirmation that he was aware of the severity of the situation.
Tolliver continued “The information captured by that submarine can help me carry out my instruction” He shook his head, as if realizing the seriousness all over again
“In fact it is absolutely vital for our very existence. No, Charles, I only have confidence in my own decisions. We will use the girl”

Burrows opened his mouth to speak, but Tolliver cut him off
“You do have your predecessor under observation don’t you?” It was a statement rather than a question
Burrows nodded resignedly “Yes” he sighed “She’s holed up in her fairy castle like a damsel in distress”
Tolliver stopped and turned, glaring down at Burrows he hissed “And Bond?” he paused “The French still have him?”

Burrows face lit up “Yes”

Tolliver turned away and strode off down the corridor
“Good, make sure he gets his Christmas dinner there, before we extradite him”
Burrows did a little hop and skip and set off in pursuit


Jenifer Foxwell made an involuntary whimper as the hood was removed. She blinked in the bright light.
Confusion reined in her mind as the soldier facing her stood to attention.
The events of the last hour had left her disoriented and frightened.
The door swung open and two men in suits strode in, she felt her body shiver. Both men smiled; and instantly she recognized the taller of the two men, as her mind raced to put a name to the face, he spoke and thrust out his hand “Ben Tolliver, Secretary of State”

Jenifer took his soft hand.
He continued to smile and nod reassuredly at her. Then the small man took over the conversation “Miss Foxwell, may I firstly apologize for the manner that we had to bring you here, I’m told the effects of the stun grenade and the little sedative we had to give you will have absolutely no lasting effects” Numbly she nodded the small man continued
“I have asked Mr. Tolliver to preside over this conversation.
I’m sure you will find his presence reassuring”
Tolliver smiled and spoke to the uniformed guard “Has Miss Foxwell, been offered a drink?” His voice was smooth, his words laced with honey.
He turned and smiled at her again.
The soldier standing by the door broke his stance “Sorry sir, no sir, the lady has only just arrived” he struggled for the words
“Can I take your order, Miss?”

“Err coffee please” Jenifer was totally bemused, she kept her hands on her thighs, only because she could feel how much her hands were shaking.

“Jenifer; May I call you Jenifer?” without waiting for her to comment the small man continued “I just wanted for us to be alone” His accent was upper class English, but Jenifer sensed there was a regional accent hiding among the vowels.
Tolliver sat on the corner of the desk, he epitomized a study in relaxation “I’m afraid it’s all a bit secret squirrel you see, I’m sorry but I cannot tell you my colleague’s name, but I can tell you we both represent the British government. You should to listen to him” He nodded again to reassure her of his sincerity. But Jenifer found it hard to believe.

The small man sat bolt upright on the chair next to Jenifer in an effort to exaggerate his height, his attempt at a warm comforting smile failed, he took on a serious look “It’s with regret that I have to inform you that Commander Armstrong has been passing classified information to the Russians”
M took a photograph from his jacket pocket, he held it for her to take, but her hands would still not move “This is Dr. Yuri Remoziva; he’s a Russian military scientist”

Jenifer took a sharp intake of breath as she immediately recognized the person as the man with Armstrong in the photograph that she had seen at the flat.
“Commander Armstrong does know this person; I saw a photograph of them ‘together’ in his apartment”

Tolliver nodded again and began to speak to her “The threat of espionage didn’t end with the collapse of Soviet communism you know. Espionage against the UK continues from many quarters. Commander Armstrong and Yuri Remoziva have had a relationship for a number of years”
M cleared his throat “We understand your mission was to gather data on Soviet communications and electronic warfare techniques in the Baltic Sea”

“Not really, the aim was to test out some new equipment” Her eyes darted between the two men

“Care to elaborate Miss. Foxwell” M’s tone was friendly, forced but friendly

“Certainly, I was seconded aboard HMS Vigilant as the Sea-lex Military Specıalıst Communications Co-ordinator. We are trialling specıalıst equipment and systems to be fitted to all the Vanguard class submarines.
Once functional they will have a superior capability over the Trafalgar class”
M turned to Tolliver “Trafalgar’s primary role is intelligence gathering”
Tolliver nodded then turned back to Jenifer “Were you the only non - Naval person on board?” he picked at an imaginary strand of cotton on his jacket.

“Yes, I worked closely with the Captain and the TSO, Tactical Systems Officer Jones. When operational the system will be manned by four GCHQ personnel”

The soldier returned with her coffee. He could tell his presence was not now required, so after placing the coffee on the table, he left the room.
Once they were alone M continued “I understand the system has a specıalıst capability, for both overt and covert applications?”

Jenifer took a sip of coffee, it was certainly better than what she had drunk on the submarine “Yes, the new system includes the latest intra squad and wide area networked communications. Linked with electronic counter measures, situational awareness and blue force tracking. The specıalıst antennas and electromagnetic modelling will allow message interception at a far greater depth, on both civilian and military band widths”
Tolliver said “Excellent” and in that one sentence he understood why this pretty little thing hid herself away within the protection of the hull of a submarine.
He continued “Espionage activity has typically been directed towards obtaining political and military intelligence. In today's high-tech world however, the intelligence requirements of a number of countries now include new communications technologies, ‘IT’ they call it. Therefore, foreign Intelligence services, are targeting commercial enterprises such as Sea-lex far more now than in the past” he paused, and then added “I wonder could you explain what ‘situational awareness’ means?”

The more she was involved in her comfort zone the more she warmed to the conversation “Situational awareness, translates into jamming and giving a false GPS recognition position to anybody transmitting a covert message”
Tolliver smoothed back his hair and nodded in approval “False GPS recognition positioning” his tone exuded the most vital understanding of her comment, and he made her feel important just for saying it.
M explained “The UK is a high priority espionage target and a number of countries are actively seeking technological information and material to advance their own military, political and economic programs.
Basically your new system has been targeted by the Russians; Armstrong’s mission was to steal it”
Jenifer looked disheartened she had totally been taken in by Armstrong; she began thinking back over the detailed explanations she had given as to the workings of the new devices. Now the awful truth dawned on her he was a spy.
Tolliver was speaking again “We estimate that at least 20 foreign intelligence services are operating to some degree against UK interests. Of greatest concern are the Russians and Chinese. Do you know?” he said looking at M for confirmation “The number of Russian intelligence officers in London has not fallen since Soviet times”

“Really” Jenifer replied without any enthusiasm.

“Naturally, we will need to check the data you recovered”
Jenifer nodded; it was a reaction without meaning.
Tolliver looked quizzically at her, shrugging his shoulders and opening his hands “Do I take that as a yes, that you are willing to access the data for us?”
Jenifer looked back at both of them, confused at their naivety “It’s already been downloaded; it’s all in the mainframe, both in Faslane and GCHQ”
M looked back at her “No not all of it Miss Foxwell.
The information we require is still on board the Vigilant. In Commander Armstrong’s PC”
Still struggling to understand what was happening, and how the information could still be on board; Jenifer’s temper flared and she asked “Then why don’t you get it, you’re, MI5 or MI6 or something?”
Tolliver laughed “MI5 is the British security service while MI6 is the British foreign intelligence service. Crudely, MI6 are "our" spies abroad, while MI5 is here to catch "their" spies, the Royal Navy protects our shores”
Jenifer thought his comments didn’t make sense, so she pushed on “So, you’ve caught one of their spies, why don’t you just walk on board and get it” At times her desire to impress other people, or be though of as important or popular made Jenifer do things against her better judgment.
Quickly she regretted the outburst.

M spoke slowly to dissolve the tension “One of their spies yes, but right now we don’t know how many more of their spies are involved in this operation” he glanced at Tolliver knowing the man thought his department riddled with moles
Tolliver ignored the look, he leaned forward to capture Jenifer’s attention “You see Miss Foxwell, you are the only person we know not to be a spy that has the ability and the authority to download the information that Armstrong retained onboard the Vigilant”

“The only person we trust to download the information, and pass it back to us” added M
Jenifer looked baffled; her mind was struggling to understand their request. It was her company’s system, and she was the expert user, but she had never been made aware that Armstrong could siphon off sensitive information. The trust she thought she had built up with Armstrong and her superiors lay in tatters. A bitter taste entered her mouth.
M spoke quietly “There is no danger to you. Just one more visit to the submarine. We will then relieve you of the information. But of course secrecy is paramount”
Tolliver broke in “I think Miss Foxwell understands just how sensitive this is?” He nodded toward her and in a daze she nodded back “You must tell no one of this meeting”
Disappointed by Sea-Lex’s lack of trust and Armstrong’s betrayal, Jenifer found it easy to say yes. After all she would be in her favourite element, alone with a computer, far away from other people. And far away from these people.
M recognised the moment she was hooked; he began to draw her into him. “Please do not take it personally; Armstrong has been trained to deceive. You see my dear; the new system allows the Commander to filter what information is analysed in real-time. Just in case there is ever anything sensitive being communicated. We believe Armstrong, being privy to foreign intelligence, was aware of a certain Russian project; so he simply entered their code word into the system, and filtered the transmissions”

“Oh I see” she replied, then as an after thought she asked

“What was the codeword?

Tolliver answered his voice clear in the room “Bombshell”

#4 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:29 PM

Chapter Three

Autumn Red

‘Spay Cast’ looked like a fairy castle.
Above the house’s six bedroom windows, its little grey turrets and spires pointed toward the clouds; gently jostling with the faint wisps of smoke from the chimneys in reaching for the autumn sky.
The high windows sat beneath the sculpted gables amidst the white painted (almost) mock Tudor façade.
In front of the house was the loch; Bond remembered that M had told him they had had it stocked with Atlantic salmon at a cost similar to six month’s salary.
He recalled that he had looked suitably impressed whilst thinking “why?”
Bond turned off the 5 litre V8 engine, and climbed out of his latest company car. The pearlescent royal blue supercharged Jaguar XFR sat majestically on the gravel driveway.

The stillness of the location hit him at once, so much so that he found himself almost walking on tip toes to reduce the sound of his own foot steps.
The front door was made from solid oak, with iron hinges hammered into the ancient wood.
Bond slammed the ornate knocker against the well worn striker plate.
As if in a scene from a gothic horror movie the large heavy door slowly swung open.

“Hello Bond” M looked older and more frail than he had remembered her.

“Hello M”

“Come through” Still as efficient as ever thought Bond as he followed her through the airy lounge; Bond thought it odd that there were no servants in the house.
The head of a large red dear hung above the stone fireplace its antlers looking as impressive as the piece was obscene.
The wooden floor boards creaked in sympathy as they walked across the room.
The smell of polish on wood filled the air adding to the impression of heritage; and the feeling of solitude.


They sat on the terrace overlooking the fast flowing river behind the property. Beyond the river the trees were turning autumn red, their leaves blowing in the gentle breeze.

“Are you under surveillance?”

M sat back; Bond could tell she was bristling under her calm exterior “Yes”
Bond made no move
M smiled “But they are away tailing my husband and my housekeeper”

Bond smiled in return; the comment had answered many of his questions.

“The proximity monitors are looped at between two to three a.m. and the microphones are switched off. Q saw to that”

“Good. Is there any evidence?”

“I wasn’t given a reason”

“What’s the latest Intel you received?”

“Tanner, was able to confirm that the French were surprised at the size of the weapons haul. It appears there are some very sophisticated weapons missing from their itinerary”

Bond’s eyes narrowed “Then the whole operation could have been a set up”

M looked sad “Yes. Somebody wanted you out of the way when the coup took place”

Bond knew the ‘who’ would come up in the briefing

M cleared her throat “Tanner also discovered that a number of French mercenaries had dropped off the radar”

“I’ll keep my eye out”

M poured coffee from a Georgian silver coffee pot.
Without preamble she started “Back in the summer, the former KGB spymaster, Vladimir Chenko, enlisted our assistance with a report that he smuggled out of the Kremlin. Most of its content you know” She looked for a response but Bond sat impassively, she continued…
“It contained a broad overview of an initiative for Russia to reclaim the satellite countries that it had lost in the dissolution of the Soviet Union”

Bond nodded, he had noticed that the old sparkle was back in her eyes and she was speaking with more confidence.
“The report also made comment to a second operation.
One designed to destabilize the UK financial markets.
Codenamed ‘Mocneahne Hoboctn’ roughly translated it means ‘Breaking news’ or ‘Bombshell’”

News of the global financial problems had been reported even in Tahiti; and with little else to do in his cell, Bond had read everything he could whilst waiting for his release.
Now he remained silent allowing M to get to the point.

“As the banks in the UK came under more pressure, I met with my opposite number in MI5. David Mantis, I wanted to share the information that Chenko had given us; and highlight the fact that the financial problems were probably as a result of the Russian plan.
Together we decided that these facts somewhat took away the random element of the collapse and focused our attentions on more malicious practices.
MI5 began looking for individuals who might be able to influence such a plan, if they were that way inclined”

Bond spoke “So you believe that Russian spies have been influencing the financial decisions in the UK?”

“Yes I do”

M took a sip of coffee “The meeting with MI5 was a month ago, just as you were leaving for your last mission. I’m sorry to hear about Mathis, I know you respected him”

“I did” Bond replied, he reached for his own cup.

“After our meeting, David Mantis investigated a number of individuals”
M let the words hang

“And?” asked Bond

“Then I was relieved of my command, and asked to take some well earned leave” She bristled

“So there’s a cover up”

“Yes. Bankers are going through the media mill at the moment, but someone in that field of expertise is responsible for handing over billions of UK sterling to the Russians, and that person has yet to be brought to justice”

“You want me to find out whom?”

M nodded her head “Of course, but who is only part of the problem. My sources tell me that MI5 have suspended their investigation. I’d like to know who in the government is responsible for issuing such an order. Somebody is protecting this ‘Banker’ we need to know why”

Bond thought about the problem “It’s going to be difficult for me to operate in London at such a high clearance level”

M shook her head “With the Americans itching to launch an air strike on Tehran, now is our best chance; besides as a member of MI6 you have no authority to conduct an investigation of that nature here in the UK, especially one which isn’t sanctioned by your bona fide superior”

“Mmm I’ve never met Charles Burrows, do you think he is implicated in this?”

“Maybe, listen Bond, the person you are looking for is in a very powerful position. Certainly powerful enough to have me removed and stop an MI5 investigation without questions being asked. You will need to produce conclusive independent evidence. Since I’ve been here I have only been able to think of one way to uncover the culprit” She paused to take another sip from the bone china cup

“It was something that Chenko said to me when we were on board HMS Invincible” M paused as she returned the cup to its saucer. Bond knew she was building the tension

“The one thing the Russians fear is our new covert communications system. Basically James, I believe that names and evidence pertaining to the Bombshell operation will have been picked up by our covert devises”


“If only it were that simple. No James, the submarine operating was a Trident; it will have picked up all covert communications over the past six weeks.

“Then our communications people at GCHQ will already have the down loads”

“Not all of it, James. The new system being trialed allowed the submarine Captain the discretion to filter certain communications; mainly those communications that start with an agreed code word. Those transmissions are held aboard the submarine on the Captain’s hard drive; and they are only accessible to MI5 personnel after the ship’s Captain has officially closed the mission”

“How would a Royal Navy Commander know of a current Russian Codeword?”

“I told you this goes to the top” Her smile was sarcastic

Bond wondered over to the edge of the terrace; and looked out over the river, the sun glinting off the cool waters. Suddenly a salmon jumped, shaking the droplets of water from its silvery skin.
Bond could instantly see M’s fascination with the place. After a moment he turned back toward M “Have you any idea what you’re asking?”

M held his gaze “Yes. Sorry James, there’s no other way”

Bond registered that she had called him by his first name again; after a moments hesitation she continued
“But I didn’t think it would be a problem for you”

Bond shook his head “It isn’t a problem, I was just thinking, of how cold it is in Faslane at this time of year”


It was a thankless task, but someone had to do it,
the Marine on duty at HMS Vigilant stood on the gang plank watching the busy actions of two Fork Lift Trucks as they ferried supplies along the dock.
He watched as a small car drove along the road and parked against the far side of the quay.
The figure that emerged from the car came steadily toward him.
Even in the dark and wearing a bulky coat he recognized the female form as it walked toward him.
He stood to attention and then smiled as he recognized her face.
It was Jenifer Foxwell, the fit girl from the Sea-lex company.
“Good evening Miss”

“Hello Sergeant” Jenifer felt the gods were on her side tonight, the Marine actually knew her. She quickly showed him her pass “I need to access the boat”

He nodded and said “Better be careful Miss, we’ve only got the utility lighting on”

She moved closer to him, flashing her eye lashes “Thank you, I will be careful. Thank you for your concern” and the Marine stood aside to let her board the Vigilant.

Quickly she descended the ladder, as she felt the deck beneath her feet she felt her first real pangs of fear. She was now involved in something she had never dreamed she would ever do ‘spying’. The events of the past couple of hours still seemed like a dream. She took in several deep breaths to steady her nerves. The dark red glow of the utility lighting added to her fear and as she began walking toward Armstrong’s cabin she imagined this is what it must be like walking through the gates of hell.

Her feet seemed heavy as she lifted them over the watertight bulkheads, and Jenifer noted her hands were shaking as they trailed along the compartment walls. She shook off the fear and walked unsteadily down the narrow corridor. On the middle of the three decks, just forward of the control room she entered the main companion way.
Not far now.
The cabin was bathed in the same red glow as the corridor. Stupidly Jenifer reached for the light switch, it clicked uselessly and she felt embarrassed at her mistake. Slowly she groped her way around the cabin and sat down at the Captain’s desk. The PC fired up; she fumbled with the keyboard, until the light from the screen illuminated the keys.
Furtively she glanced at the door expecting the Marines to arrive and arrest her at any moment.
The silence was oppressive.
Quickly she entered the password, and waited for the files to open.
Only the sound of her breathing broke the silence; she imagined her heartbeat could be heard all over the base.
The darkness was now kept at bay by the light from the screen,
and the silence was kept from spooking her by the small beeps and clicks of her key strokes.
A single ping announced the file was open.
Jenifer’s heart skipped a beat; she pressed the memory stick into the USB connection.
It would not fit; although she knew both sides were symmetrical she turned the stick over to try it the other way, the memory stick would not fit.
Panic spread throughout her body.
Deliberately she pressed the stick into the port again.
It engaged. Another ping confirmed the stick was engaged.
All she needed to do was press the enter key to down load the information.
Her finger shook as it hovered over the key; quickly she looked around again. After a long minute, the guilt and fear forced her to press.
Jenifer pressed the button.
In a silent betrayal the information began to download,
Jenifer relaxed…


Jenifer screamed and threw her arms in the air.
A light flickered then shone brightly over her face illuminating her guilt and shock.
For an instant she thought it was another stun grenade but immediately the beam of light left her face and shone against the wall.
A Naval officer stood opposite her.
Desperately she sought to remember her cover story

She stood up and thrust out her hand “Jenifer Foxwell”

“That’s as maybe, but what are you doing here?” asked Commander James Bond

“As one of the crew for this mission” she pointed at her ID badge “I am downloading data for analysis”

“As one of the owners of this boat” Bond pointed to the commander rings on his jacket “I thought only the Captain could download the retained data”

Jenifer felt herself on the verge of panic, she drew on her reserve and came up with a gem “Commander Armstrong asked me to down load the data as a personal favour” She tried to engender a look indicating a sexual tension.
“He’s been very busy today”
Bond nodded as if he had accepted the story

“Better be quick then”

Jenifer smiled and busied herself on the keyboard.
She could feel his presence crushing her.
The computer gave one last solitary ping, it echoed throughout the cabin
“All done”. With shaking hands she withdrew the memory stick.
Bond’s hand flashed out and grasped the stick

“Thanks, I’ll take it from here”

Jenifer made a half hearted attempt to retrieve the stick but felt her heart sink as she knew she had lost the information. The thought suddenly came to her that this officer might actually be a spy, one of the very men that Tolliver and the noxious little bald man had told her about. Her fears began to surface again.
Her eyes were wide with fear.
Bond put the small white memory stick into the pocket of his coat
“After you” he gestured for her to leave the cabin.
Slowly and deliberately she squeezed past him.
As they walked down the companion way Jenifer generated an idea.
The Marine on duty knew her, trusted her. If she could just hold on until they were by him she would raise the alarm and get this spy arrested. Before the plan became firm they arrived at the main conning tower.
She began to climb the ladder.
Out in the night air she began to have doubts again. If this man wasn’t a spy she was the one who would be arrested; after all, this man was a commander in the Royal Navy.
As she stood at the head of the gang plank, panic seized her, and she could not move her feet.

Bond sensed the girl’s fright; her vulnerability touched him, and slowly he extended his hand, gently touching her shoulder “It’s OK, just take it slowly” Bond shone the torch beam along the length of the gang plank.
“Come on lets walk down together”

Jenifer began to walk, if she could just get to the Marine.
His bulk comforted her, she would be with him in a moment, perhaps the Marine would challenge this spy himself, but then, suddenly, all thoughts of salvation vanished.
The Marine called up to them “Everything OK up there Commander Bond?”

“Everything’s fine thanks Sergeant” Bond answered

Jenifer’s spirits sank, the Marine knew the officer, which meant he was for real, or at least, she suddenly realized that if this man was a spy he would have a strong cover story as well.
With a feeling of dread she knew she would have to resort to her original plan. All she needed to do was rush over to the Marine and claim sanctuary.
Jenifer stepped off the gang plank; she looked directly at the Marine and opened her mouth to speak.
The Marine opened his mouth at the same time but the noise he made was inhuman. The muzzle flash from the gun lit up the dark night, the Marine’s head was blown apart.
Slowly he toppled backward.

Bond grabbed Jenifer “Get down”

More shots peppered the air around them. Jenifer broke away from Bond’s grip, but in an instant he was on her again “Oh no you don’t” he growled, he caught hold of her arm and guided her away from the shots. At the crouch they ran across the quay. Another shot rang out and the flash of a bullet ricochet off the ground. Bond guided her in a different direction, fighting her attempts to escape him.

“Please, you’re hurting me” She struggled to talk

“Well, it’s either me or them”

The two Fork Lift Trucks diverted from their course, and sped after the fleeing couple, the big diesels rumbling over the ground.
The closest driver span the wheel, and the Truck turned on its own axis,
he’d guessed their destination, and was attempting to cut them off.
As he came trundling over the coarse surface he raised his machine pistol and fired again. The bullets cut through the air.
Desperately Bond urged Jenifer forward, toward the neat rows of creates stacked at the end of the narrow quay. Jenifer screamed in protest “Let me go” she pleaded, her eyes wide with fear.
Bond kept her moving “Not on your life; I want to know who you are, and who these guys are”
Just a few more feet to go, desperately he fought for grip on the greasy surface. He felt the truck closing in behind him, the roar of its engine pounding in his ears; but when he could smell the diesel and feel the heat on his neck, he knew their time was up.

With one last effort Bond pushed Jenifer behind the first row of containers.
The truck smashed into the first stack of boxes inches from their heads, the wood fractured and sent large splinters spiraling through the air.
The truck engine roared louder as the wheels screamed for purchase.
The driver slipped the fork lift into reverse and pulled away, the boxes fell in disarray.
Crashing around them; splitting open like ripened fruit.
Jenifer and Bond ran down the teetering gauntlet.
Beyond the row of creates Bond heard the truck as it overtook them. They stopped their flight; Bond grabbed her by the chin and forced her face up toward his
“Friends of yours?”

Jenifer looked back at him, recognizing the menace in his eyes.
Her already pale skin had turned white.
He could see she was terrified and subtly, he changed his approach
“Its OK, stay with me, I’ll get you out of here” Bond inclined his head, encouraging her to trust him.
She nodded slowly; her World was dissolving about her.
She could not determine if his man was trying to help or trying to kill her. The smell of burning rubber was everywhere; one of the trucks surged forward again and hit the container next to them. The forks dug into the side of the box and lifted it, reversing and turning as it did so.
As soon as the space was clear the second truck skidded into the gap, the steel forks clanged against the wood, and the driver began firing into the shadows; the bullets thudded into the boxes, only inches from their heads.
Bond hurried Jenifer deeper into the rows of supplies.
The pallet next to them began to raise and tip forward, it tumbled into the aisle they intended to use as their escape, Jenifer screamed and Bond pulled her back, just in time as the box smashed onto the ground.
To their side the trucks were working feverishly to remove their protection.
There was no way out. Another box fell beside them, smashing open.
Its contents of broom handles and heads spilled out and rolled across the cold unyielding concrete.
Bond knew that once the next row of boxes went, they would be exposed.
The drivers were firing into the gaps as they became open to the elements.
The tyres squealed as the Trucks worked to move the containers.
Bond took off his cap and put it on her head, quickly he slipped off his overcoat. Picking up a piece of the spilt debris, he snapped one of the brooms

“Take your coat off” She did so.

Quickly he threaded the handle through the sleeves Jenifer’s grey coat.
The next box crashed down to the rear of their position, the steel forks invaded their space, intruding like a terrier sniffing for rats.
Bond knew they would be sitting targets in just a matter of seconds.
“Listen to me” He looked deep into her eyes “Keep close to the edge, keep your head down, and go for your car”

With the danger of death all around them, Bond found her demeanor very attractive.
Anther create smashed onto the ground, showering them in splinters.
Jenifer stood staring back at him, nodding in compliance to his instruction; her face covered in a light sheen of sweat; the officers’ cap sitting above her tousled blonde hair added to the attraction; but it was her eyes that won him over; they conveyed a trust, akin to a child. Bond felt compelled to protect her innocent beauty.
The last box was removed; as the truck withdrew Bond pushed Jenifer over the fallen debris. “Go” he whispered.
Jenifer slipped around another fallen box and then set off at a run. Wearing the officer’s cap and coat she looked like Bond, and on her right arm she held her own coat, filled by the wooden frame. To the two Drivers it looked as if the Officer was helping the girl to escape.
Both Trucks span around and began to follow the decoy, billowing out clouds of exhaust fumes. Bond jumped over the broken boxes and scampered down to the ground; quickly he took out the Walther, and aimed at the closer of the two trucks and fired on the run. The bullet ricocheted off the steel cab.
The driver turned his head and saw Bond chasing him down. For a moment he could not believe what he was seeing.
He had to decide what action to take; but it was this indecision that cost him his life. Bond was only twelve feet away; he brought up the Walther and fired again. The driver slumped forward against the wheel.
The truck slowed and strayed from its course.
Jenifer was sobbing and out of breath as she reached her car; grabbing the handle she flung the door open. She threw off the officers’ coat and jumped in. With her heart pounding in her ears, she desperately tried to put the key into the ignition, her hands shook; the lights from the leading Truck illuminated the car, she turned and stared in horror as the truck loomed into view.
Her hands fumbled with the keys and she moaned in frustration.
With relief the key engaged.
Turning the key the engine fired up, and she fumbled with the gears. Suddenly the Truck was upon her. Jenifer froze in terror as the rear of the car began to lift up. Her hands rigid on the wheel, and then Jenifer screamed.
It was a long drawn out wail, akin to a child suffering a nightmare.
The Truck tyres span on the ground as the Driver pushed forward; Jenifer looked out through the windscreen at the cold expanse of water, it seemed to beckon to her. As she felt the car lurch forward, she pressed her foot down on the brake; her hand strained to pull the handbrake on even tighter, but to no avail.

The front wheels dropped over the side of the dock. The car body scraped along the ground as the Fork Lift Truck pushed the small car toward the point of no return.
Bond pushed the dead driver from the seat and sat behind the wheel. Looking up he saw the first truck pushing Jenifer’s car over the edge. With grim determination he hit the accelerator, as the truck leapt forward; he raised the forks and aimed at the other truck. Bond saw Jenifer’s car tip over the edge of the dock, it began to slide. The driver paused for just one moment, his hand caressed the lever; and then he pushed it forward, raising the forks, and tipping the car into the icy water. The action took only one second but it had fully occupied the driver’s attention. Then he recognized the danger, and began to turn his head toward the approaching second truck.
Bond rammed into the side of the first truck, the heavy metal fork hit the driver squarely in the head, killing him instantly. But the motion was already unstoppable as the forks continued to rise. The car had plunged into the water. Bobbing and floating on the oily waters of the Clyde.

The first Truck exploded.
The flames enveloping the second machine, Bond jumped clear just as the flames engulfed his cab; he rolled away from the fireball and ran to the edge of the quay. With a feeling of helplessness he looked down into the dark cold water, Jenifer’s car was already submerged, its red tail lights fading fast.
Bond’s rage surfaced with a primeval roar; moments ago he had felt compelled to protect his girl, and now she was gone. With regret for the loss of Jenifer’s life, his thoughts turned to the memory stick; dodging the flames from the burning trucks he ran to where the girl had thrown down his coat; he stamped on the flames that rose from it. Picking up his coat he quickly rummaged through the pocket. Nothing!

“Looking for this” Bond whirled around, to see Jenifer, still wearing his officer’s cap holding the small white plastic memory stick.

He held open his arms and she melted into him
“Yes I am. What a clever girl you are. Come on let’s get out of here”
Her face opened into a delightful childlike smile.
On impulse she reached up and kissed Bond full on the lips; his hands slid from the shoulders of the coat to the small of her back, and he pulled her into him. Her mouth opened and they kissed like lovers. Her tongue was eager, shocking Bond with its strength. Her arms snaked around his neck.
Jenifer pulled away, even in the chill of the night she felt herself blush, her eyes looked away, and she gestured down toward the water “Our ride is gone” her tone was heavy with embarrassment; the moment being forced from her mind.
Bond watched the transformation, within the second she looked very small and vulnerable again, Bond put his coat around her shoulders, careful to extinguish the last of the burning embers “Its OK I have a car”
As they walked away from the burning trucks, Bond could still taste her.


Charles Burrows threw down his mobile phone. In a rare show of emotion he put his hands to his head and cursed his luck. When Tolliver had first requested his assistance the plan had seemed so simple; the girl had been perfect for the assignment, and now this. He retrieved the phone; the voice on the other end was still talking, the man seamed breathless

“All hell has broken loose here in Faslane”

“Deal with it” Burrows spoke through gritted teeth

“I will need help to find the girl, who can I use?”

“The girl and the stick. We must get that stick; whoever she is working with, if they can crack the code and understand the information on it…” From what Tolliver had imparted to him, Burrows did not like to speculate on the outcome. “Have you understood what happened?”

“Not yet Sir”

“Let me make it clear. Find the girl, retrieve the stick, and detain anyone she has spoken to”

The voice laughed without humour “They won’t get far”
“I can not take that chance. Find her quickly”

“Can I use MI5?”

“No, only use your team, the fewer who know about this cock up the better” Burrows broke the connection. He paced the room. “What a mess” he said to himself.

Carefully he went over the evidence that had been presented by Tolliver; as long as he physically had that he was safe “Only been in the job bloody five minutes, and already got a full scale cock up on my hands” he said to himself.
He patted the folder, and squeezed it to his chest. Armstrong had been identified as a spy, working with Sir Francis Pinevail on the Russian project named Bombshell. Tolliver explained that Pinevail had been eliminated, but covert transmissions held by Armstrong could be used to further endanger the Government. He clasped the document to his chest; it was all that he had right now.
After the abduction, Armstrong had been spirited away; Burrows knew not where. Tolliver had returned to London to address some tree huggers on global warming issues; and the girl had escaped with an accomplice, another one of the Bombshell Russian spies that had infiltrated the service. In his heart of hearts he knew Pinevail was guilty. Guilty and dead, but as he felt sure he had already completed his part of the Russian plan, he knew nothing would improve here in Britain. Add to that the fact that the Americans were about to blow the Middle East to hell; well this was not the best of times to take over at MI6
Burrows knew there would be questions; so he began to compose himself for the onslaught. Tolliver’s cover up of Pinevail’s disappearance had been amateurish; necessary but amateurish. The Russian plan on the other hand, had been played out with skill and finesse, and then one storm over the North Sea had changed everything, maybe even history. “Thank God for Britain’s weather, bloody global warming my B)
Burrows looked in the mirror ‘Be calm’ he said to himself. Damn his bravado; why had he felt compelled to interview the girl himself and how had he been taken in so completely by her ‘little girl lost’ act. “Bloody spies”
He tried to contact Tolliver again, but the call went directly to his voice mail. Fleetingly he wondered just what the transmissions contained ‘What could be so harmful to the Government with all this Iranian shot going on” his rage boiled over and he hurled the mobile into the mirror.

#5 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 18 December 2009 - 03:01 PM

Chapter Four

Men of War

President Anatolyevich Medyev sat alone in his office, his eyes were closed but his mind was alert.
In his first year as President he had manipulated Russia’s participation in the South Ossetia war with Georgia; and he had played the game and drawn out the tension in Russian-American relations to a post-Cold War high.
In August, following an unanimous vote of the Federal Assembly, he issued a presidential decree officially recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, an action condemned by the leaders of the G7.
Behind this smokescreen he had begun the final phase of operation Bombshell.
A strategy, many years in the planning, designed to destroy the financial mechanism in the West.

The window was open and he breathed in the fresh October air; he enjoyed the smell of its crispness much more now that he had given up smoking.
The knock on his door brought him back to reality “Come”
A man entered; he was in his mid forties and stood a little over six feet tall, he had a pale completion and short spiky blonde hair.
The man wore a dark drab military uniform marked with the rank of Major.
Medyev looked expectedly at him, but the Major shook his head and began
“I’m sorry Sir they failed”

“Against a civilian. An amateur, a girl?”

“We are told she had an accomplice” The Major felt ashamed of the excuse.
If only he had been allowed to lead the mission, the result would have been very different


“Our agent has not been able to identify the man”

“One man?” Medyev was incensed

The Major could have looked away, but his pride and training would not permit it.

“We were assured there would be no resistance from MI5. Please, Major Sharapov, will you ask our man just what has happened?”

Sharapov nodded in agreement
Medyev ran his fingers through his hair “So, the Bombshell transmissions are out in the open.” Already knowing the answer to the next question he asked
“Is there any news of the Lear?”

Major Sharapov shook his head again “There is still no news” Although outwardly Sharapov was calm, inside he raged with a frustration he could hardly contain.
Medyev turned and looked through the window at the snow covered Moscow landscape.
The frustration of this failure over last few weeks had blunted his excitement of how well the plan was going overall.
His mastermind in the UK had been on the Lear jet of which he spoke about, and therefore Medyev knew his man was dead, but as his work was complete, his loss to the cause was minor.

‘Let the plane rot wherever it is’ had been his first thoughts when told of the crash; and then came the bombshell which was ruining his moment of triumph.
The scientists at the Bioaparat had developed a virus which could devastate the food supply in the UK.

“Good, then we use it and bring the UK to its knees sooner” he had replied when told of the breakthrough.

“I’m sorry Mr. President, in its current form I would not recommend letting it lose. We have no way of combating it, there is no known antidote” The Head of Bioaparat hung his head in defeat.

“What do you recommend?”

“Burn it. Work on an antidote, when that is proven, we can use it with confidence that we can restrain it from coming across our borders”

Medyev thought of all the times the Russian people had starved across their history “Do it”

When news reached him that the virus had been stolen from the Bioaparat, and had been on board the Lear; Medyev’s decision changed.
Now there was every chance that the British would discover Pinevail’s treachery and go looking for the body. If they found it, they would discover the other secret that the plane had been carrying and maybe even use it against Russia, it was a chance he could not take.

To the south the Americans were rattling their sabers at the government of Iran. Medyev knew this show of hostilities could result in a bloody war, galvanizing the countries of the Middle East into a concerted action; stopping the flow of money, and basically raining on his parade.
If only he had the virus to wave beneath their decedent noses,
he would stop them dead. A war was not what he wanted now.
He wanted to wait, and allow the colour revolution in Iran to gather momentum. He wanted the financial system in the west to collapse.
Russia was cash rich at the present; this was his moment. He had to recover the virus and use it to halt the insane American march into Iran.

Speaking as much to himself as to Major Sharapov he said “The history of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991 was nothing more than an ideologically-based voice of the people. Tell me Major, what do you know of the hardship of that time?” His own eyes bored into the Major’s.

Sharapov straightened up and began to recite “The Union was established in December 1922 by the leaders of the Russian Communist Party, and was roughly coterminous with Russia before the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk”

Medyev began to laugh “No Major please do not quote the text books at me, where is your passion, tell me what you know about our history, from your heart?”

Sharapov took a moment to sense the President’s mood; he thought he would have been furious at the news that the two agents had failed to retrieve the memory stick from the civilian girl in Scotland. But he seemed to accept the situation with some grace.

He took the lead “The Soviet Union was the creation by the voice of the people, from a whisper on the wind culminating in a crescendo in the storm” His voice seemed to bring with it an emotion that was tangible to the men in the room

Medyev slapped his hand on the desk “Yes, that’s right, the voice of the country spoke, they spoke about their history and their hopes for the future; but the constitution, adopted in 1924, established a federal system of government controlled by the Politburo, just as it had been under the tsars before Peter the Great”

“With one voice they built a mighty empire”

Medyev dropped his head “Only to see it crumble before their eyes. The history of our Federation is brief, after the collapse of the Union; our people went through hell”

“We will prevail sir” Sharapov straightened again.

Medyev smiled “Of that I have no doubt; but Russia has lost its superpower status, and now we try to build an economy with elements of capitalism, often with painful results (he thought about the two letters he would have to write to the families of the two agents that had been killed in Scotland). Today Russia shares echoes of political culture and social structure with its tsarist and Soviet past. But today I believe the people dare to whisper again”

Medyev’s mood turned solemn, he looked directly at the Major “With all the resource at our disposal, tell me Major why can’t we find a single plane, why are our co-ordinates so wrong?” he waved the Major away not expecting an answer “Major Sharapov, I discharge you from all other duties. Do whatever is necessary, just find that plane, and get the virus back”
Sharapov smiled, and nodded his agreement.

Alone again Medyev set about the task of understanding how he could stop the Americans. But of one thing he was certain, Major Sharapov was his best agent. Sharapov held a license to kill; and would not flinch in using it in order to accomplish his objective.


Jenifer’s world was in complete meltdown. Someone had just tried to kill her. The smell and dampness of the dock had now been replaced by the warmth and opulence of a Jaguar, but her body was still shaking.
The XFR sped along the road taking her away from her nightmare, the man driving had just saved her life, but it was clear to her that it was the memory stick that he was after. The stick, which she had been asked to procure by the Secretary of State.
‘What if this man was a spy, as Tolliver had hinted at.
Jenifer decided to say nothing of her meeting with Ben Tolliver, and plead total ignorance when questioned. Soon her curiosity got the better of her
“Where are we going?”

Bond answered “Commander Armstrong’s flat.
It’s in a hell of a state but it’ll be safe there, and we can access the information on this memory stick. Tell me Jenifer, have you ever been there before?”

“No, no I haven’t” She lied

Bond looked at her quizzically, but changed his expression when he saw she was beginning to panic “Only you said Armstrong had asked you to get the stick, I thought…” Bond let the thought drift.
Jenifer sat quietly as Bond drove to Armstrong’s apartment.


“Well let’s have a look at what all the fuss is about” Bond put the memory stick into the laptop. Clicking on the icon the first folder opened; the screen filled with meaningless jargon. “Did you do this?”
Jenifer looked at the screen “It’s protected by a coded password. Let me try” Jenifer worked on the keypad. “Voila”
The screen looked exactly the same “What am I missing?”

“It’s a sound file. Press enter”

Bond pressed enter, the transmission started immediately. Bond had a good understanding of Russian but the dialog meant nothing to him.
“It’s still in code isn’t it?”

Jenifer smiled and nodded in agreement “Yes, but at least its in a format that we can break, if you know how to break it”

“Ok, unless you know how to break it?” Bond asked and Jenifer shook her head “We have to visit a man in London”

“A friend of yours?”

Bond laughed without mirth “Certainly not”


The bleep alerted Q of an intruder. He had installed the motion sensors himself, and was confident that although birds and cats could freely come and go through his garden, anything larger would trigger the alarm.
He shook the sleep from his head and reached out to switch on the bedside lamp. He knew the intruders could not gain access to his home, so he calculated he had a good two minutes in which to contact the authorities.
The energy saving bulb began to glow, and then illuminated the area.
“What the…”

“Hello Q, did I wake you?” Bond stood casually, leaning against the bedroom wall.

“How on earth did you get in?” Q pulled back his duvet and sat on the side of the bed

“I’m pleased your wearing pajamas, I brought a friend” Bond gestured to the end of the bed, Jenifer Foxwell smiled and waved her hand in a timid hello.

“What, how?”

“Steady on Q, I’ve made you a drink” He raised a glass of malt; and proceeded to take a drink himself (well it had been a hell of a night)

“007 now listen to me, this is highly irregular, this is my home; you can’t just come crashing in here in the middle of the night, with some woman” Q walked past Jenifer and put on his dressing gown “Good evening Miss?”

“Jenifer Foxwell” she held out her hand. Q opened his mouth to reply but Bond cut in

“Don’t bother Q, she knows all the answers”

Q turned around flapping his arms; Bond thought the movement typified his bird like manner.

“Whatever you want 007, I’m sure it could have waited until I got into the office at a sensible hour” Q stopped talking; suddenly it all came flooding back to him. “When did you get back, last I head the French had you locked up in Tahiti”

Bond tried to reply but Q continued “You know about M?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m here; I’m not sure the information I have would be appreciated in the office. Especially under the new management”

“Have you seen M?” Q gesticulated with his hands, that he meant the old M and Bond nodded.

“This” he held up the memory stick “This contains the covert transmission data collected by HMS Vigilant over the past six weeks. I believe it will tell us who’s been pulling the strings and making the changes at Vauxhall Cross”

“I will need to access the mainframe at…”

“Don’t you have anything here?” asked Bond, fatigue was making him irritable

“Er. Let me think. Well I do have a little something down in the basement”


Still in his dressing gown and slippers Q led them downstairs and into his basement. He sat at a bank of computers and screens and inserted the memory stick.

“Tea would be nice, milk two sugars” Q began clicking away on the keyboard.

Bond looked at Jenifer “OK, I’ll do it” she left the room. Alone in the kitchen Jenifer appraised the situation, since her meeting with Tolliver she had trespassed on a Naval submarine attempted to steal government secrets, been shot at, witnessed death at first hand. And yet as much as she had trouble developing relationships with people stronger than her, she felt very at ease in this man Bond’s company. Oh yes and Q was a sweetie.

Q spoke but did not look up from the screen
“Protected sound wav files with a defib code”

They drank the tea.

A quarter of an hour passed, Bond desperately needed to sleep.
The numbers on the screen tumbled; and then Q looked up
“Good I’ve cracked the first one”
The memory stick gave up its information, they listened to the first transmission, and then by magic the text of the message flashed up on Q’s small screen, neatly translated into English “It’s an instruction, giving authorization for a Mr. Sharvin to complete a contract to assassinate a Russian citizen” Q relayed the summary
Bond asked “Do we have a name?”
“Yes 007 we do” Q pointed to the wide screen on the wall, which at the flick of a switch came to life with text and photographs.
“His name is Yuri Remoziva”
Jenifer almost dropped her cup, she slumped against the wall. Both Bond and Q looked at her. A forced smile was all that she could manage.
Q asked “Are you all right my dear?”
Jenifer smiled weakly “Yes, sorry I’m not used to…
…all this” she gestured at the room.
Bond looked at her again, and felt a guilty pleasure cross his mind; her look of vulnerability had returned. He drank in her appearance, and noticed for the first time that her clothes were torn. Her grey denim jeans were ripped at the knee and her Black cashmere sweater was torn from shoulder to forearm. Bond crossed the room and examined her arm
“You have cut your arm”
Jenifer looked away for his powerful stare and forced her attention to her arm
“Oh it’s nothing”
“You’ll need to clean it up before you go to bed. You need to sleep”
Jenifer smiled and nodded. The offer of a bed and sleep took away the shock of seeing the image of the man Tolliver had shown her a photograph of.
“Yes, I’ll make the spare room up” Q looked back at the screen “He’s a scientist. Currently he’s employed at Moscow’s biological disease research center ‘Bioaparat’. The contract is to be fulfilled when this man visits the Hildebrand Institute in Finland” Q looked at 007 and smiled “Tomorrow”

“How many more files are there?” Bond rubbed his eyes and ran his hand over his unshaved chin

Q checked his screen “Eight”

Bond weighed up his options “Q, can you see if any of the files have the prefix Bombshell”

Q answered “Yes I can and yes they do, all of them”

“How long will it take to open them all?”

Q shook his head and remonstrated with his arms, again Jenifer was put in mind of a small bird fluttering about in a bird bath.
Eventually he composed himself “It’s not that easy 007, they are all protected by an individual code”

Bond looked at Jenifer “Can you help?
Jenifer shook her head “No, they’re all Men of War codes”

Q took up her defense “That means they are all…”

Bond interrupted, he had made his decision; checking his watch he said
“Open them all Q, and then relay the contents, to me. I’m going to Helsinki”

Q’s brow furrowed, and he asked “Why, do you think this assassination attempt is a risk to the UK?”

Bond could not decide if Q’s comment were sarcastic or genuine
“Look Q; somewhere on that stick is the evidence that answers the question as to why M was sidelined. M believes it contains information to the identity of a Russian spy working in the UK. The project Bombshell refers to an operation to destroy our financial foundations”

Q nodded, he knew that the covert transmissions contained on the stick could shed light on the issues at hand “Well our finances are shot away; or maybe the Russians are just tying up the loose ends to their plan”

Jenifer withdrew inside her self; she realized that she was now one of the loose ends to someone’s plan. Her mind remained in turmoil; she knew that whatever happened she had to get to the Secretary of State and tell him not to worry, tell him that ‘good people’ had the information, everything was going to be OK

Bond was at the door “Q, just keep cracking the codes, and keep me informed. Jenifer, stay here. Don’t leave the house until I return. Q will look after you”


Bond settled back into his first class seat and interrogated the onboard system. The information on Yuri Remoziva was negligible.
Married for nearly thirty years; two sons, one daughter (Maria had died in a road accident at the beginning of the month).
He joined the army straight from university.
Headed the virology research department for ten years and was now acting in a consultation role for Bioaparat. He seemed genuine; Bond turned his attention to his employer. Moscow’s biological disease research center Bioaparat boasted the largest dedicated study of foreign animal diseases.
Established in 1954, the center had the goal of protecting Soviet livestock from foreign animal diseases. During the Cold War a biological weapons program targeting livestock throughout Western Europe had been conducted at the site. This program was the subject of many disasters, and gained cult status.

The final part of the killing trilogy was the Hildebrand Institute.
Founded by Daniel Hildebrand in 1953. Officially it started life as an R&D centre for major European pharmaceutical companies; in reality it was an American funded cold war undercover project. Bond read through the project’s objectives. Scientists were tasked in modifying the smallpox virus into a doomsday virus to use against the then enemy of the United States, namely Russia. During the cold war years Finland was a neutral country, seen by the US as the perfect location to stage a biological attack on the USSR.

Bond imagined what life must have been like at that time, both centers working on the same research, both with a secret program to potentially wipe out the livestock of the opposing country. Since the end of the cold war the institute had became privately owned. Bond loaded the next question for the search engine to ponder, within twenty seconds it returned the following information.
The current chairman of the Institute was Nathanial Skedar a Finnish Professor of Bio Chemistry; former Head of Virology at The University of Helsinki. Again he seemed to have led a simple life dedicated to his business and appeared to be a relatively innocuous man.

His private history and current pursuits and interests bordered on the mundane; however Skedar was credited with the largest win at the roulette table at Helsinki’s Grand Casino. “He can’t be all bad” mused Bond.
The only paragraph of real interest centered on Skedar needing to have plastic
surgery after an allergic reaction to chemicals he was exposed to whilst studying at Verifin. Bond typed the word ‘Verifin” into the search engine, and was rewarded, with another page of interest.
Verifin is an independent institute under the auspices of the University of Helsinki.
Established in 1994 as a continuation of the Chemical Weapons research project started in 1973. Operations at Verifin are funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Verifin supports the disarmament of chemical weapons by development of identification methods for chemical warfare agents.
Bond turned his attention back to the Skedar information and felt his senses tingle at the final sentence “No known links to National security services”
James Bond had always lived by the premise that if something looked too good to be true then it probably was.
Bond looked at the photograph of Skedar his face seemed open and free from shame. Bond input ‘Current investigations ref: Hildebrand Institute’.
There was only one result, but it was big. Bond read that the CIA were currently investigating a claim that Nathanial Skedar was allowing illegal vivisection activities at the Finnish site. There had been three previous assertions of illegal activity but they had all originated from Animal Liberation groups and had been dismissed. However the latest complaint had been raised by a senior Hildebrand research scientist. Mila Satu. The lead was not what he’d expected but it was a start.

Bond was pleased that her name (unlike so many other Scandinavian names) was plain and easy to spell.
He chuckled silently to himself as he recalled the translation of her name was “fairytale”.
He entered her name, and was rewarded with her job profile and works telephone extension; as he was about to enter the details onto his own mobile, his heart missed a beat.
Her photograph had suddenly filled the screen.
Bond looked at her image
“Well your name may be plain, but…” He said to himself as her face looked back at him from the tiny screen. It was one of the most naturally beautiful faces Bond had ever seen.

Suddenly the mission was getting interesting.


Jenifer sat alone watching the TV. The news was dominated by the escalation to war. Airstrikes on Tehran continued, with the attacks now concentrated on the city's outskirts.
She got up and wondered into the kitchen; longingly she looked out into the garden. Q had left strict instructions for her to remain inside the house until he returned home. With painstaking detail, he had shown her how to operate the security systems. Also he had put his mobile number on speed dial for her.
The house was warm. She was safe.
The News reporter commented upon the terrorist attack at the Faslane Naval base, the scene behind him looked dreadful. The picture changed back to the studio, and there full face on the screen sat Ben Tolliver.
Jenifer rushed back into the lounge, she sat heavily in the chair and lent forward.
Most of his message was lost on her; but the final sentence sent her scurrying for a pen. “If anyone has information you can contact me PERSONALLY on this number” she knew it was a message meant for her.


Bond looked out of his window at Finland’s glorious winter landscape.
He had always thought it was a land designed on a variation on the themes of forest and water, from the wilds of Lapland to the inspiring lakes of the East and the archipelagos of the South-West.
Finland was full of interesting contrasts, the midnight sun and the long winter nights, but the anomaly of the CIA getting involved in a neutral country next door to Russia on the matter of vivisection seemed the most interesting contrast of all, especially as a Russian scientist working for a similar establishment had been targeted, by the Russian’s for assassination at the very same location in…
… Bond checked his watch. ‘In four hours time’

In the gulf, the F15’s would be warming their engines and the Cruise missiles would be receiving the latest target information; but the CIA were rushing to Helsinki to save some monkeys on the same day as an aged scientist was about to be assassinated.

A very strange coincidence indeed.

The city of Helsinki is spread across a number of bays and peninsulas and over a number of islands. The inner city area occupies a southern peninsula with a population density of 3,050 inhabitants per square kilometer, it ranks as quite sparsely populated in comparison to other European capital cities.
Downtown Heslinki has an old town feel, with very old buildings stretching along the tram lines and the paved streets; yet much of modern Helsinki consists of suburbs separated from each other by patches of forests.

From the airport, Bond drove along the narrow ten kilometer long Helsinki Central Park road. The snow had turned to sleet and slid from the windscreen wipers as the car cut through the slush on the road.
The road stretches from the inner city to the northern border of Helsinki and is seen as an important recreational area for residents. For miles the only form of recreation that Bond could see was the daubing of any available concrete wall with graffiti.

Bond estimated it would take another hour until he would arrive at the Hildebrand Institute. That would give him just sixty minutes to interview the girl; find and save Remoziva, and thwart the assassination attempt.
Bond needed to get ahead of the game. He took out his mobile and phoned the Institute

“Good morning, could I speak to Miss Satu”

The voice at the other end switched effortlessly into English. “Just one moment Sir, who shall I say is calling?”

Bond took a gamble “Felix Leiter”

The connection took just one minute and then she was speaking “Hoy hoy”
Bond put on his best Washington accent “Hello Miss Satu, this is Felix Leiter from….”

“… Oh yes, Hello Mr. Leiter, your office said you would be in contact” The voice was breathless with excitement.
The voice complemented her photograph.
Bond was taken aback, so the CIA had already contacted her and surprise, surprise Felix had been put on the case.
There was certainly more to this mission than met the eye.

“That’s good, I have just arrived in Helsinki and would like to meet with you this morning” He paused but there was no protest “In say thirty minutes”

“Oh” Bond could hear her going through some papers, probably a diary “OK, but I would prefer we meet away from the center” Miss Satu sounded like she was a woman rarely content with staying in the background or in a subordinate position. Bond was impressed.

“Certainly, suggest a rendezvous”

“There is a coffee shop in the Hotel Belsaki on the A32”

“OK, I’ll find it, see you there at 10.00”

“Thank you Mr. Leiter, until 10.00”

#6 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 09:04 PM

Chapter Five

The fairytale of Helsinki

“I acknowledging nothing of the sort” Tolliver answered the question with slow deliberation.
“There is always room for negotiation in conflicts of this magnitude”
The reporters held up their hands in an attempt to catch the attention of the First Secretary; but Tolliver dismissed their appeals.
He closed his eyes and shook his head; his foppish hair fell across his forehead. The reporters gathered at the conference thought they were seeing Tolliver losing control; but inside his agitated exterior he remained clam and in control
“The American ambassador is, at this very moment speaking to the Iranian government” The news silenced the crowd

“I am confident that a resolution will be found; now if I could address the subject that I am here to discuss?”

The reporters sat down, the room became quiet, in a scene akin to a headmaster addressing his most recalcitrant pupils.
There was a war just around the corner, but Tolliver was keen to get his point over, and they would listen.

“Now the real issue has up to now received little attention”
Ben Tolliver had played his audience well, he had allowed them to see the weakness he had exposed; and true to form the British press had jumped on it. Naturally it was a difficult subject to get over, but by making the tabloid press believe it was in the World’s interests, Tolliver knew the funding for the research he craved would be validated.

Tolliver continued “In the past week the effects of climate change on human health have come to the fore. The World Health Organisation made it a priority at its conference in Barcelona” the cassettes were all pointed in his direction, he needed to be careful, he put on his sincere voice
“Also in Barcelona, the World Conservation Society released a report in which it listed 12 animal-human diseases, the so-called “Deadly Dozen”, that might spread to new regions as a result of temperature and rainfall changes”

“Do you have the list Mr. Tolliver?”

Tolliver looked surprised at the question, as if he had not expected anybody to be listening to him; he mumbled and made an elaborate gesture of going through his papers. When the tension had built to a climax he produced the document “Yes” He raised it above his head, and the flash bulbs cracked in unison. ‘There’s tomorrows headline’ he said to himself,
through gritted teeth in a smile that could have been made from plastic.

The concern became etched on his face, the room became quiet Tolliver cleared his throat “Russia, is clearly at an advantage with its years of research experience” he paused just in case someone wanted to mention the terrorist attack on the Bioaparat (he had an answer ready if they did).
But all remained calm.
“We here in the UK need to push ahead with the necessary funding for the Porton Down Institute.
I personally do not want to rely on any other country for assistance should the unthinkable happen and an outbreak of one of these (he held the list) virus hit the UK”

A voice called out from the audience “How likely is that?”

Tolliver waited until the laughter died down and then replied
“It will come, either through wildlife” and then quietly as if it were a throwaway comment he added “Or it will come via biological warfare”
After he had finished his speech and left the stage his secretary e-mailed the information to the tabloid editors.
Avian influenza: H5N1 Deadly to birds and humans, with a potential to evolve into a strain that can spread from human to human.
Babesiosis: Tick-borne disease affecting wildlife is an emerging disease in humans.
Cholera: Water-borne disease. Increases in temperature are directly correlated with occurrence of the disease.
Ebola: A haemorrhagic fever kills humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. No known cure.
Intestinal parasites: Temperature sensitive parasites. Infects humans, and animals.
Lyme disease: Transmitted to humans through tick bites. Distribution will increase as climate changes.
Plague: Oldest infectious disease known, causes death in wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.
Red tides: Harmful algal blooms create toxins, which cause fish, and human death.
Rift Valley Fever: Virus spreads from butchering infected animals. Transmitted by mosquitoes.
Sleeping sickness: Transmitted by the tsetse fly. 300,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths per year.
Tuberculosis: Infects humans in Africa through the consumption of water and unpasteurised milk.
Yellow fever: Found in Africa and America, virus spread by mosquitoes will infect new areas as temperature rises.
All the diseases were deadly, but the press picked out the two which were guaranteed to raise the biggest fear.
Ebola because it has no cure, and plague because of the stigma.


Bond parked his green Volvo S40 close to the Hotel entrance and quickly crossed the snow covered ground.
Instantly he recognized her, she was even more attractive in the flesh than he had remembered from the photograph. If only he could remember what it was that she actually did?

Her pose was ferociously proud and somewhat vain; she threw her coat casually onto the seat next to her. Revealing a body that appeared to be impressive and, Bond considered special and unique.
He appraised her as a natural leader, not taking orders from others very well. She was in her late twenties and her dress style and make-up revealed a creative flair.
Jet black hair contrasted well with her pale complexion and deep red lips.
Bond thought she would be a handful, be it in a business, project,
domestic or whatever situation.

She was self-assured and confident

Bond spoke “Good morning Miss Satu”

“Hello Mr. Leiter” She extended her hand, it felt like silk

Bond removed his coat

“Have we met before?” There was no hint of menace.

Bond smiled “I’m sure I would have remembered”

A waiter came over and took their order

Mila had withdrawn, Bond could sense she was questioning his credentials
“I was in Copenhagen a couple of months ago; at the casino does that ring any bells?”
Bond searched his memory, looking for a trap, slowly he shook his head.
He exercised his most charming smile
The waiter put the tray on the table and turned to leave.

Mila uncrossed her legs and leant forward toward the tray, she poured the hot coffee into the small cups. With a smile Mila handed Bond his drink.
She smiled and took her own cup. Bond took a sip.
Mila was adjusting her position on the seat; she held the cup in her hand.
Suddenly she looked deep into his eyes
“Didn’t you used to have a beard?” she asked

It was a throw away comment and Bond did not recognize the danger; he put his cup back on the table, and looked at her.
Mila smiled back at him, her beauty detracted Bond for just a split second,
but that was all that was needed.
The cold mouth of the gun touched the back of his neck.

The waiter whispered in his ear “And didn’t you used to be black?”

Mila spoke now her tone was hard and cold
“Don’t cause a scene” She looked at the waiter “Take him outside”

As he got up she spoke to him “Who ever you are, you are not Felix Leiter”

“Let’s go outside” The waiter stood close behind Bond the gun now pressed against his spine. Quickly he removed Bond’s gun.

“Search his coat” The man said as they began to move.

Mila picked up Bond’s coat and they left the hotel.
Outside Mila pulled Bond’s car key from his coat pocket.
They got into Bond’s car. The girl drove
“Don’t you want to talk about your vivisection claim?” asked Bond,
seemingly oblivious to the danger.
She glanced over her shoulder “Shut up; It’s you that will be doing the talking soon”
They drove on in silence. The waiter kept a professional distance from Bond, and an unnerving steadiness of his gun. Bond took the opportunity to study the man.

He was probably late forties but looked in good physical condition.
The hairline was slightly receding and his brow seemed permanently furrowed. The strong jaw line showed tracings of pock marks and gave the impression of hardness. His eyes completed the picture and Bond felt that appealing to this man’s softer side would prove futile.

The Hildebrand institute was an imposing six story building, set in a 10 acre site nestling at the entrance to a gentle fjord.
The new glass fronted façade had replaced the original building some ten years before.
Buildings of various sizes spread out behind the main block, but the starkness was broken up with fountains and rock gardens.
In the distance the fjord rose up giving a dramatic vista to the area.
Mila’s pass was good enough to get them all through the gate. She parked at the rear of one of the buildings closest to the perimeter fence.
“Take him downstairs, find out who he is and what he’s after, I need to report in to Skedar”

The building was immaculate; everywhere the aroma of pine infiltrated the senses. At the first underground level, Bond noticed signs which he took to meaning the buildings were connected by a series of tunnels.
They arrived at a room at the end of a long corridor, it was small and very surgically oriented in the centre sat a cage on a sturdy table.

“Strip” The man gestured with the gun.

Bond took off his suit jacket, undid his tie and unbuttoned his shirt.

“Shoes, socks off” The man moved out of the line of fire.

Bond realized that whoever these people were; this man was more professionally trained than a waiter or laboratory assistant needed to be.

“…and the rest” he watched with lurid curiosity as Bond stripped naked.

“Get in the cage” The man’s eyes never left Bond. Without a sideways glance he placed Bond’s Walther on a table.

James Bond had been threatened many times before; now he had to decide how serious his opponent was.
Basically, nobody can force you to do something or go somewhere without leverage.
Words alone would not get Bond into the cage.
Bond summed up their encounter.
Firstly, they did not kill him in the restaurant; Bond knew that was because they did not want to the intervention of the Police.
Neither captor had attempted to question him on the journey to the Institute, which meant they were not in a rush to discover his identity, but the girl had said she needed to report to Skedar, so they were only part of the plot – whatever it was.
Bond needed information too, therefore he decide to play along with this man’s instruction. Bond would simply wait until the girl came back and pump her for the solution.

Bond had to sit to get his body into the cage, he pulled his legs up in front of him and the man closed the door, locking it shut.
The cold mesh brushed against his bare shoulders, and dug into his back.
Once locked inside, Bond began to relax.
He figured that if this man was intending to kill him, he would have already done it. Now, locked in the cage, Bond felt as safe as he could.
The tension seemed to drop from the man’s face.
Without further conversation he went to a large grey coloured cabinet and, with a hollow metallic click opened the door; he withdrew a large tray, it scraped over the metal shelving as he withdrew it.
The tray was covered in a brilliant white cloth; with slow deliberation he placed the tray on the table next to the cage; his eyes locked with Bond’s.

With dramatic effect he pulled off the cloth.
Bond looked at the scalpels, probes and clips and clamps that the tray contained.
The man picked up a scalpel, and began adjusting it in his hand, scrutinizing the razor sharp blade; very slowly he let out his breath
“You want to talk about vivisection?”

“Not really” Bond replied, totally uninterested in the topic.

The man checked his watch.

Bond added “If you need to be somewhere else, don’t let me keep you”

The man nodded “I think I just have time to find out who you are and why you are here” he began to crank the handle at the rear of the cage, the metal mesh side pressed in upon Bond’s shoulders.

Bond suddenly realized a real danger was emerging from his captor.
The man’s eyes had taken on a glazed dead look; it was as if he was distancing himself from reality.
The odds were swinging away from Bond; suddenly he felt vulnerable.
The man obviously knew his way around the cage and its specialties.
The next trick was that the side of the cage moved down; when the gap was six inches, Bond’s left hand was forced from the cage, as the mesh side was lowered Bond’s arm was released.

With a smile that held no joy the man started to wind the side back up.
Bond’s body was forced up against the advancing metal rim; it pushed up under his armpit.
The crank made a screeching noise like fingers on a blackboard

With well practiced speed the man took something from tray; it was a thick leather cuff, he snapped it over Bond’s wrist.
In one smooth movement he attached the cuff to a chain which dangled to the floor. As if the action had been strenuous he stopped and controlled his breathing. Bond recognized that the man was savoring every action; imagining the pleasure he was going to get from the actions he was going to facilitate. Slowly he pushed the table close to Bond’s exposed arm, the instruments rattled against the metal dishes.

Bond moved and started to shake in the cage. Deliberately the man stopped his action. He locked eyes with Bond, and began to crank the handle again.
The sides of the cage bit into Bond’s flesh; and immediately he was forced to remain still.
With an air of superiority, he took his time to view Bond as he sat naked and immobile in the cage; his pock marked cheeks cracked, and his thin lips parted into a cruel smile “Usually the animal is sedated…before we begin, but…”
He looked around the room “...I have forgotten the sedation”

“That’s a shame”

The man picked up a different scalpel. This had a wickedly cruel curved blade
Slowly he ran it down Bond’s forearm, it effortlessly shaved off the hair “Don’t want you getting a nasty infection do we”

Bond shook his head “Absolutely not”

He scraped away at the skin “There, now let us begin” he readjusted the scalpel in his hand and pushed the blade against Bond’s arm. The pressure of the blade dented and then punctured Bond’s arm.

The skin split open.

The pain began to spread from the cut; Bond felt his blood start to ooze from the wound.
He tensed his legs, and his feet squeezed against the cage.
This movement attracted the man’s attention.
With slow almost comic deliberation, he placed the scalpel on to the tray.
His hand hovered over the array of torturous instruments.
His eyes grew large, like a child seeing an ice cream, and with exaggerated precision he reached down and picked up a long surgical steel probe.

“We call this a Skewer” He made a sharp stabbing motion.
He stood in front of the cage and inserted the skewer; its point touched the sole of Bond’s foot
He sucked in the air between his lips and over his teeth, culminating in a loud clucking sound

“A lot of nerve endings are grouped in the foot”

He began to trace the needle point of the skewer along the sole of Bond’s naked foot. The probe clinked against the metal mesh. He looked up and their eyes met.

“Please…” said Bond, he paused. The man’s face began to light up in a triumphant brutal smile.

“…Don’t tickle”

The smile faded from his face, to be replaced by a sadistic sneer.
The man looked at Bond’s arm; the blood was dripping on to the floor with a hollow tick.

He controlled his features “How remiss of me”

He returned to the side of the cage, and held the skewer up by his face then returned all his attention to Bond’s bloodied arm. He steadied himself

“First things first”

Like a snooker player he adjusted his stance and dramatically looked for the best angle to insert the Skewer. His hand clamped over Bond’s arm and he pushed the needle point of the skewer against the open wound.
The flesh peeled back as the skewer began to enter…

“Ivan” Mila shouted from the doorway. The pressure was immediately released on Bond’s arm and the man moved away. The wound began to sting. The blood flowed.

“This is not what I had in mind”

“But he hasn’t told me anything yet” Ivan replied, like a schoolboy desperately trying to justify his actions

Bond struggled to move his head but managed to reply
“You haven’t asked me anything, not even my name”

Mila now stood in front of the cage, quickly she un-hooked the chain from the cuff “We know your name Mr. Bond” She started to un-wind the handle, releasing the pressure upon his body.
Then a voice from the doorway piped up

“James Bond British Secret Service”

Mila turned to Ivan, and Bond was able to move his head to see who had entered with her.
Mila went to the front of the cage and unlocked the door
“May I introduce the real Felix Leiter to you, Mr. Bond”
Mila looked at Ivan in disgust

“Sometimes I don’t even know you”

Ivan took in the scene and made an embarrassed exit
“This is just bull[censored], anyway I have to be somewhere else” and with that he was gone. Bond extracted himself from the cage and stretched; his naked body showed the marks from the mesh.
Mila averted her eyes and looked at his arm
“Let me get you a bandage”
Leiter held out Bond’s trousers “One of these days you’re going to have to do a job without my help”

Bond took the clothing, and the pair shook hands. Leiter’s grasp was firm and friendly; Bond was genuinely pleased to see him. He began to dress

“So Felix why are you here, I thought you had a war to start?”

Leiter scoffed at the remark “There are plenty of others back home willing to rush in…”

“…Where angels fear to tread. I think that’s how the saying goes; if you’re referring to your side as being fools”

Leiter shook his head “Plenty of people still looking to make a name for themselves”

“So what are you calling yourself over here then?”

“I’m a venture capitalist looking to recruit gifted young Finnish trainees as computer analysts for my company”

“So the vivisection claim was just a front?”

“Certainly not” interrupted Mila, as she put the dressing on Bond’s arm; she continued speaking without looking at him.

“A non-behavioral experimental research involving a live animal is barbaric” She tied off the bandage.

Bond looked back at the cage “I tend to agree”

She continued “I am an anti vivisectionist. I’m opposed to research using animals, there are many like me; we want to avoid their suffering. Most vivisection for living tissue study has been superseded by modern techniques, and I thought The Hildebrand supported this”

Bond pulled on his shirt “Did you confront Skedar with your concerns?”

“Of course”

I bet you did thought Bond “and his response?”

“He told me non-arbitrary research requiring vivisection techniques that cannot be met through other means were always going to be subject to an external ethics review in both conception and implementation”

“Did that mean he denied the accusation?” asked Bond

Mila went on “No, he did not deny it. I told him I accepted that vivisection should be restricted to cancer and other malignant disease research, and the distinction between humanitarian and commercial goals remained the contentious issue”

“Why didn’t you just resign?” Bond holstered his gun.

“It’s best to fight from within Mr. Bond” Bond had always admired others who were strong individuals like himself. Mila was one such person; she had shown great courage in going to the CIA. Her outlook on life seemed a very personal one and rather self-centred.

Leiter’s phone rang “Leiter” he looked at the screen “Holy B)” he showed the screen to Bond. Leiter turned to Mila “Your boss Skedar is meeting with a man called Remoziva; do you know where that meeting taking place”

“In the Hakalu suite; why?” she said in surprise

Bond grabbed Mila and followed Leiter out of the room
He explained “Felix just got an ID photo of the man who is going to assassinate Remoziva. It’s your friend Ivan”

They ran from the room, Mila followed on trying to explain “He’s not a friend, he’s just a work colleague” But her protestation was lost in the rush to the stairs.

#7 volante


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 06:55 PM

Chapter Six

The Kirov conspiracy

Yuri Remoziva accepted his visitor pass from the receptionist.
As he set off from the desk he looked nervously over his shoulder.
He was a thin man in his early 60’s, with the strain of recent months etched on to his face.
Remoziva knew something was wrong; he felt his skin itch as if someone were watching him from the shadows.
He had felt this way, since leaving the airport; but the paranoia had set in long before today.
The first sign of his exposure was seen with the refusal of his visa to visit Finland. The second sign which marked his current paranoia came with the issue of the visa.
Now, as he walked from the security desk, his eyes darted from side to side.
He gripped his briefcase tighter and waited for the elevator to arrive.

Ivan Sharvin took a deep breath, and rubbed his hand over his rugged face;
the revelation that both the CIA and MI6 were involved had shaken him.
After he had made his exist from the laboratory; he made a quick call to his handler; the man he now called ‘boss’.
The reason for the call was to confirm that he was still OK and they wanted the hit to continue. The voice had been strong, his orders had been clear, and now he stalked his prey toward the bank of elevators against the far wall.

The door slid open and Remoziva and Sharvin entered the elevator, along with two other female employees. There was an uneasy moment of suspended embarrassment and then the door slid shut.
At that moment Felix Leiter emerged from the stair-well.
Bond and Mila followed him out, across the reception area.
Leiter looked around “He’s in the elevator”

Bond looked at Mila “Wait here” It wasn’t a request

Mila stopped at the security desk as Leiter went for a second elevator adjacent to the one carrying Remoziva; and Bond went for the staircase.

At the first floor both ladies got out, only to be replaced by an overweight man in a white coat.
Sharvin shuffled around and changed position to allow the man to reach the buttons; he came to rest directly behind Remoziva.
With silent precision the door slid shut again.

Bond ran up the stairs, pushing past the employees going slowly, their shouts of protest were lost on him.
The panel light for the second floor was lit and the elevator halted the door slid open and the overweight man walked out. The seconds passed slowly; and then Remoziva lent over and pressed the door close button.
Bond dodged past three girls on the stairs and skidded around an old established pot plant on the landing; he reached the elevator; just as the door closed. In the silence of the elevator Sharvin released the knife from his sleeve, and moved closer behind his prey.
The elevator passed the third floor; Sharvin took a deep breath and steadied himself.
In one swift motion he brought his right arm around Remoziva’s neck at the same time he plunged the knife in between his ribs.
Sharvin twisted with both arms and brought Remoziva to the ground.
As the life ebbed from him, Sharvin slashed at the back of his hand and Yuri let go of the briefcase.

Floor four.

The door slid open. Sharvin picked up the briefcase and stepped over the body. Casually, in passing he pressed the button for the sixth floor and left the elevator.

As he walked along the corridor the second elevator arrived and Leiter leapt out; he dropped to one knee and raised his gun, “Stop” he shouted, but Sharvin’s response was faster, he dived against the wall, turning as he bounced off; in his hand he brought up his own automatic and both men fired together.

As the door slid open on the sixth floor the blonde secretary who was patently waiting, began to scream.
She was rooted to the spot with her hands shaking at her face as Bond reached the floor.
He pushed the woman out of the way and dived for the elevator,
the door slid shut onto his arm, for a moment the pain of his wound flared up but then the door opened and Bond dropped in to the side of Remoziva.

No pulse.

The door closed and the elevator began to descend.
From the floors below shots rang out.
Quickly Bond went through the dead man’s pockets.
At the fourth floor the door opened, Bond stepped out, his Walther P99 outstretched.

Some way along the corridor Leiter now sat, propped against the wall, Bond ran to his friend.


Leiter looked up. “You took your time Brother, you’re getting old”

“Is he in there? Bond inclined his head to an office door.

Leiter held up his hand, it was smeared with blood
“No, he got away. Sorry James”

“Um, I may be getting old, but not as old as you then?”

“At least I got this” Leiter pointed to the blood stained briefcase, on the floor next to him

Bond held up an envelope addressed to Skedar “…and I got this, from Remoziva’s pocket, and I didn’t get shot”

Bond stretched out his hand; Leiter grabbed it and pulled himself up.
Wincing in pain they jogged back to the elevator.
As it descended, Bond checked the wound; he pulled out his handkerchief and pressed it against his side.

“Here, don’t bleed to death”

Leiter applied the pressure pad.

The foyer was deserted; the guards were all hurrying upstairs; whilst the employees were all hurrying out.
Mila waved, and together the three of them made it back to Bond’s car without being challenged.


The tall CIA agent opened the bathroom door and Leiter entered his hotel room, his right arm held in a sling “Anything?”

Bond looked up from the letter “Remoziva was intending to warn the west about the theft of a virus from Russia's Bioaparat biological disease research center”

“That’s old news Brother, a well documented failure, real messy terrorist job ‘bout a month ago”

Mila said “Yes, I remember. Some terrorists were killed in Moscow, the others died when their plane went down in the North Sea”

“That’s right, impartial confirmation too. And before you ask James, we already searched the area, found nothing” Felix confirmed “I know your people searched as well”

Bond went through the events in his mind.
Bond asked “Why would Remoziva come all this way with evidence of a theft that everyone knew about?”

Felix replied “Guess he thought The Hildebrand Institute would publish the information and put a stop to that sort of research form being reproduced”

Bond felt the hairs rise on his neck; his eyes narrowed as he asked “How long have you been on this case, Felix?”

“A little over two months. We had our suspicions that Bioaparat had discovered a new virus strain; it’s called a ‘rarity’ by the way. But we had no idea if Hildebrand was keeping pace on the developments. We don’t like to think of Moscow as getting too far ahead; so when Miss Satu published her complaint, it offered us a way in with the vivisection claim. I was instructed to be on the next plane out here”

Bond gathered his thoughts “So if the rarity wasn’t stolen, what’s the purpose of Remoziva’s warning to the West?

Felix suddenly became worried “You think the terrorists actually got it then?”
“If no one could find the plane Felix, then yes”

“And Remoziva knew it was a cover up?”

“His letter to Skedar urges that he cross reference these calculations with Kirov’s crash details. Does that name mean anything to you, Mila?”

Mila shook her head, her beauty was astounding.

Felix added “Looks like the Russians want this kept quiet”

“So they arranged the hit in a neutral country”

“We better find this man Kirov” said Bond

Felix entered the name into his mobile phone; the search engine returned a negative reply.

“I wonder if Mr. Skedar knew he had a Russian hit man working for him. I suppose the police will still be all over the Hildebrand tonight?”

“Yeah” replied Felix “Security will be tight. It would be suicide to go back there. Sheer suicide”


Bond was just a darker shadow in the recesses of the Institute’s grounds.
He picked his moment and carefully slipped silently behind the two guards patrolling the perimeter; disappearing into the shadow of the building.

He jumped onto the window sill, and leaning out, stretched up and caught hold of the drainpipe.
His rubber soled boots bit into the wall as Bond climbed quickly to the first story roof; here was a narrow ledge which he had to traverse; Bond knew it was the quickest way to his target.
Bond walked past the flower boxes which were in front of the now darkened office windows.
Carefully he walked along the ledge like a tightrope walker.
A quick glance down at the grounds confirmed the guards were still on their rounds.
Confidently but quietly he continued past the rows of office windows.

Suddenly, from inside he heard voices; realizing they were coming from the next office he was about to pass, Bond stopped and carefully peered into the office.

A single lamp burned on the desk, illuminating the silhouette of a woman.
The voice of a man filtered out onto the ledge. His words were illegible.

The sound of laughter, intrigued Bond, he crept forward.
Bond watched as the woman slowly peeled off her jacket, revealing her milky white back. Her bright blonde hair was piled in a bun, tight and high on her head.
She held the black jacket out at arms length, and let it drop to the floor.
The male voice said something which Bond could not catch.
But the girl’s movement continued the story.
She un-zipped, then stepped out of her trousers.
She lent back against the desk, naked save for a diamond necklace, which sparked in the half light.

For a moment everything went quiet; then with a shout of passion her body thudded and squeezed up against the glass, Bond pressed his body back against the wall next to the window. Bond took another look at the action, just in time to see a male left hand press against the glass next to her pulsating body; the hand wore a ring which clanged against the glass; Bond noticed the index finger was missing its top joint. The girl squealed again

“There’s dedication to the job” he said to himself.

The girl’s naked back and buttocks pressed against the window as her lover pressed into her. Bond noted she had a small tattoo of a bee on her right shoulder.
Then they were gone, eager to try another position in the office.

Just a smudge from her sweat and a damp misty imprint of the disfigured hand to show they had been there.
Bond dashed past the lovers, nodding his approval.
He reached the corner of the building; all was quiet down below,
Bond took a step back and leapt out across the void; he landed lightly and continued his journey without a backward glance.

The smell of stale tobacco assaulted his senses as he entered the smoking area, with its glass shields and vacuum ashtrays.
He punched in the code that Mila had given him and opened the door.

The hand clamped down on his shoulder

“Halt” the voice was loud and insistent in his ear. Bond stepped back out into the smoking area.
“Hands up” He raised his hands. The torch light was thrust into his face, and the voice continued to bark out orders. Then the light was gone, and then in the semi gloom Bond saw that the guard was going for his radio.
Bond brought his hands down in a double chop, which impacted with the neck and wrist of the radio hand; the guard staggered back. Bond took two paces forward and hooked his leg behind the guard’s leg; with a swift open hand to the throat the guard fell back. Bond knelt and took the radio from the man’s jacket.

Bond entered the Institute.

The corridor smelled of pine, it reminded him of the torture room, and absentmindedly he touched his injured arm. He made his way to the Director’s office, the soft utility lighting helping him along his way.
Bond used Mila’s pass again; and now he stood in Skedar’s inner sanctum.
By the light of his mini torch, the wall safe posed no problem to crack.
Soon Bond was looking through Skedar’s files. The contents were mostly financial account information, but then, nestling between the files was a paperback novel entitled ‘The Vivisection Conspiracy’ by Walter Kirov.

“Interesting” he whispered, turning it over in his hand; on impulse Bond put the book in his jacket pocket

‘That should keep Miss Satu happy’

Bond closed the safe door. Mila had told him the layout of the office and building, so Bond now decided to go through to the outer office; perhaps there would be something on the office PC.

As soon as he opened the door he knew he was in trouble.
The lights were low and the smoke that rose through the perfumed filled air emanated from expensive Cuban cigars. Fifty pair of eyes turned to greet Bond as he stepped into the casino themed office.

The men were dressed in tuxedos and the women resplendent in variously coloured glamorous cocktail dresses. Instantly they returned to their gaming activities. The smoke swirled about in the lights over the tables.
Laughter and the mummer of voices continued as Bond closed the door.

A uniformed security officer closed in on Bond, without a by your leave he frisked him and took both his gun and the book. The big man grinned, revealing a gap toothed smile. Putting the gun and the book in his own ill fitting jacket pockets he ushered Bond forward.
As the party goers parted in front of him, Bond saw a large man sitting at the head of one of the roulette tables.
The guard placed a large hand on Bond’s shoulder, which told him he had reached his destination.

The large man looked up from the wheel, and the craggy face opened in a lopsided smile “Welcome Mr. Bond, we’ve been expecting you”

The ball landed in a pocket and the croupier began to take in the chips from the losing punters, and then with deft skill began issuing out the winnings. The guests around the table clapped. The large man put both his hands on the table and stood up; Bond noted all his fingers were in place; as he reached his full height he raised a finger to his oversized lips

“One thing puzzles me Mr. Bond, why all the theatricals, why not just request a meeting with me?” Asked Nathanial Skedar, his voice cut through the noise of the games. His craggy Scandinavian face sat below a mop of tousled hair.

As he moved around the table the smoke around him dissipated.
Bond noted that his face seemed out of proportion; the head with its unruly hair appeared massive; his skin tone varied from a healthy pink to a stodgy white.
Bond realized that the photograph he’d seen of Skedar must have been taken before he’d had the reaction to the chemicals, and subsequent surgery.
Bond kept his tone even, and addressed his host “I was uncertain that you would want anyone else to hear about the information I have”

With one smooth movement of his hand Skedar gestured for Bond to walk with him “And what would that be?”

“That a batch of a highly contagious rarity of bacteria was stolen from the Bioaparat institute”

Skedar stopped, his massive head swiveled and he looked at Bond his expression seemed one of total shock, his mouth opened, and Bond noticed that even Skedar’s overlarge lips seemed to be permanently swollen.
Skedar shook his head in disbelief and continued walking casually between the tables. At the next table Skedar stopped and whispered into the ear a young woman playing Blackjack; she looked up at Skedar. Bond noticed her pale blue eyes glinting over her cards; the perfect colour seemed to set off the silver in her diamond necklace, framing it against the pure white of her halter neck top. After listening to Skedar she looked back at her cards and changed her play to “Twist” the next card skimmed the table and she whooped with joy at the win. Turning back to the table Bond noticed a small ‘Bee’ tattoo on her right shoulder.
Skedar stood in front of Bond “You approve of my little office party?”

“Yes, very dedicated staff you have here, I’m sure she likes to burn the midnight oil” Bond nodded toward the girl

Skedar frowned, dismissing the comment “Listen Mr. Bond, I can confirm that a theft took place from Bioaparat, but the items stolen were just technical research papers. Anyway the rarity of which you speak of was recently destroyed by the Bioaparat; and the efficient Russian Secret Service recovered the documentation; and the Serbian terrorists were killed when their aircraft crashed; it was in all the newspapers” He patted the back of a man, who had just won a poker hand.
They continued to walk; Bond said “I don’t believe what I read in the papers; but if I did buy that story, tell me why would the Russians order you to assassinate Remoziva”

“Remoziva?” he looked toward the ceiling and sniffed the air. Bond could see more scars around the jaw line where the surgery had been unsuccessful.
He looked like a cross between a rugby player and a heavy drinker
Tired of the façade Bond cut in “Yuri Remoziva, was killed here, today; he worked for Bioaparat, he intended to expose the theft of the rarity to the West; and you had him killed”

“Not me. Maybe he was implicated in the theft”

“Maybe you did not want the truth revealed”

Skedar nodded “Maybe the Russians did not want their dirty washing aired in public; but I thought it was another Serbian terrorist that carried out the killing today?”

Bond lent forward “Yes, a man named Sharvin. He worked here as well, for you, down in the vivisection room”
Skedar looked shocked he stretched out both his arms
“I employ a lot of people Mr. Bond. Just what are you suggesting?” he took another long drag on his cigar, and then blew out the smoke in a billowing cloud

“I believe you didn’t want Remoziva spreading the news that the Russians had developed a deadly virus or that it had actually been stolen”

“Now what are the odds against that happening?” Skedar shook his head again. Wagging his finger at Bond he said “You have a very active imagination Mr. Bond” Skedar stopped and kissed another woman lightly on the cheek, she turned to her companion and they laughed with pleasure.
Bond continued “I also imagine you were happy about his death; because I think you’re working on a similar project”
The knowing smile on Skedar’s wide face was a picture; unfortunately it confirmed to Bond that he was right. Skedar refused to answer. They continued mingling with the party goers. Suddenly Skedar stopped and made a stance
“Mr. Bond please believe me, we have no such project here. When Bioaparat scientists discovered this rarity of bacteria, we all understood what it could do to the livestock if released on the World, they counseled that it should be destroyed. I know it was agreed by the head of the Bioaparat, and authorization was given for its destruction” Skedar waved “Along with all the research documentation that accompanied it”

Bond stood firm, blocking Skedar from moving on
“But you stole it before it could be destroyed”

“Stolen is not the correct term, and stop saying ‘me’ I’m not a Russian, I’m Finnish, and I am proud of my country, the West has exactly the same research centers working on the same projects, my only involvement is that I am stationed here in Finland, I just passed on the information that a new rarity of bacteria had been developed and the creators were going to destroy it”

“…and who did you give that information to?”

“The Russian Secret service”

“Do you believe the story that they recovered the documents?” Bond used irony to emphasize the problem

Slowly Skedar nodded “I was told the documentation had been recovered and destroyed, the ‘who’ ‘what’ ‘where’ and ‘why’ is irrelevant. I just thought what a terrible waste”

“And very coincidental that the Serbian’s plane crashed”

“The report said there was a storm, you wouldn’t get good odds for crossing the North Sea, in weather like that” He let the comment hang, and took another drag on his cigar
Bond didn’t believe a word of it; they arrived back at the Roulette table that Skedar had originally been playing.

“Do you play Mr Bond?”

“Not seriously, there’s too much chance involved, I prefer games of skill”

Skedar wagged his finger in defence of the game

“Legend has it that to understand Roulette you must first bargain with the devil to obtain its secrets. You see the sum of the numbers is 666; the Number of the Beast”

He lent over the table and lovingly rubbed his hands over the green baize; then tapped the wheel “This is the heart of the beast. The wheel and its numbered pockets.”
As he rounded the head of the table his fingers traced along the rim.
“The walls and curved surface make the ball spin towards them. Gravity dictates that as the ball loses momentum it will drip into one; like blood”
The croupier started the wheel spinning and deftly flicked the ball into the dish “Rien ne va plus".
Skedar sat across the table from Bond; his eyes never left the wheel
“Every pocket has a number and a colour. 1 to 36 are red and black. Zero and Double zero are green. That’s the difference between American and European roulette; the American wheel has a double 0. The additional pocket affects the odds in favour of the house, from 2.7 to 5.26%”

“Fascinating” said Bond, although his face read anything but fascination.

The ball dropped into number twenty two.
The croupier used his rake to push the winnings toward one player and draw in the other chips from losing squares on the table.
The girl with the pale blue eyes appeared at Bond’s shoulder. She had replaced her black tuxedo jacket; which only served to exaggerate her femininity, her white halter neck shirt was slashed open to the waist, around her neck the diamonds shone like a beacon, pointing down to her magnificent heaving cleavage. She placed a neat stack of ten ‘one thousand’ euro chips in front of Bond.
Bond looked up from her breasts and into her eyes
“Thanks, and don’t work too hard”

In return she blew him a kiss and left. Bond watched her walk away, her female form swaying through the masculinity of her tuxedo.
The other players began making their bets. Bond knew the essence of roulette was the distribution of numbers and colours; providing an equal chance for any number to come up.
Bond looked over at Skedar and spoke as if the he had just understood the table layout “The colours alternate; as do the pairs of numbers” Bond picked up his stack.
“That’s right Mr. Bond when you study the wheel you see a clear pattern in the disposition of numbers”
As he spoke, Skedar split his stack, dropping chips onto various squares of the table; the play was known as the pyramid (A theory devised by the French mathematician, D'Alembert). Applied to even-money outside bets; the progression was simple: Whenever the number of wins equaled the number of losses, the net gain was equal to the number of wins.

Bond said “Allowing multiple bets under different odds”

Bond placed his entire stack; 10,000 Euros on the double 0 square at the top of the table.
Skedar let out his breath in a long whistle

“To gamble everything on a single play is very dangerous, Mr. Bond”

“But the Double 0 gives me the best odds”

“Odds can change, Mr. Bond”

“But my number remains the same”

“Then I guess you’re a dangerous man, Mr. Bond”

“Then I guess you’re right”

“I can see now you’re a double 0 man”

“Then you know why I’m here”

Skedar nodded “I guess I do; but now you have to excuse me Mr. Bond; I have my employees to entertain” he waved to the security guard.

The croupier released the ball “Rien ne va plus".

The big uniformed guard arrived at Bond’s shoulder
“Please escort Mr. Bond off the premises”

The ball coursed around the wheel; the guard put his hand on Bond’s shoulder and subtly motioned for Bond to accompany him.
The ball made a shrill plink, plink noise as it jumped and bounced over the entrance to the pockets; Bond stood up.
The ball dropped into 00

Bond looked into Skedar’s eyes
“I’ll make that appointment for tomorrow shall I; I’ll collect my winnings then”

Skedar looked at the ball sitting proud in its pocket as the wheel came to rest “350,000 Euros” he thought momentarily and then replied emphatically
“No, Mr. Bond, I told you the odds can change; you won’t be seeing anyone tomorrow”

The guard’s gun pressed into Bond’s spine.

“I didn’t think you were going to be such a bad loser” Bond’s eyes glinted with devilment

Skedar’s face became serious “I’m not the loser, Mr. Bond” Then his face split into another grotesque smile “But now I know that you have absolutely no idea what is going on, I can lay my cards on the table. Goodbye Mr. Bond.”

“Well if this is goodbye, why don’t you enlighten me?”

“That won’t be necessary” Skedar, averted his gaze.

The guard bundled Bond toward the elevators; as they past the girl with the pale blue eyes, she turned and looked appealingly at him

“Sorry you have to leave so soon” she pouted, her heavy French accent hung in the air.

Bond replied “It’s a very strict dress code tonight”

She ran her hand over the collar of her jacket
“Perhaps, we could share a taxi?”

Bond reveled in her beauty, so much that when the male voice spoke from her side, Bond was taken aback, and felt a little guilty at not seeing the man approach.

“The guest won’t be taking a taxi home, mon chere” He placed a protective arm around her shoulder. His bulk dwarfed her. Bond checked out the man’s left hand. All the fingers were intact.

Both Bond and the girl looked at the man.

She asked “pourquoi?”

The man did not reply, but simply shrugged, no words were needed for Bond to understand this man was French. The man manipulated the girl and they walked away.
As they walked, she turned and watched as Bond and the guard stood framed in the elevator, Bond winked at her and she felt the same thrill as she had earlier in the evening.
The Frenchman squeezed her shoulder, which made her squeal “Manic” she said. She hit him playfully on the chest
It was the last words Bond heard as the elevator door closed upon them.


When the elevator doors opened on the ground floor James Bond walked out into the large glass domed reception area; the guard lay motionless in the lift as the doors slowly began closing against his foot.
Bond placed the paperback book back into his pocket and holstered his Walther P99; then he dropped the guard’s gun into the nearest plant pot.

#8 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:45 PM

Chapter Seven

The Lake

Bond handed the Kirov paperback to Mila
“A little light reading for you”
“Thanks” she took the book and read the title.
She gasped “So Kirov is linked to Skedar’s vivisection program?”

Bond mused over her assumption

Leiter asked “Have any trouble with security?”

Bond shook his head “None at all; they were having a party”
Leiter adjusted his sling and said
“That doesn’t fit the profile of a company in shock over a murder on site”

Bond changed the tack “I met Skedar”

Leiter and Mila both hung on the words, expecting more, but Bond changed the course of the conversation again “Mila, do you know a blonde girl that works for Skedar? She has a tattoo of a Bee on her shoulder”

“Yes, little salope. Her name is Bee; she is the mistress of Skedar’s head of security. A Frenchman by the name of Manic” Mila shook her head in disgust

In the background Leiter interjected “What are your thoughts on Skedar, James?”

Before he could continue Bond’s mobile rang

“Hello Q how’s Jenifer?”

“We are both fine thank you 007, now, pay attention I have the transcript for the remaining ‘Bombshell’ messages”

At last, thought Bond, he needed some meat to the bones of this operation, and now Q was going to confirm the names and fill in the plot; all he had to do was submit to Q’s overbearing narrative “Fire away” Bond resisted the urge to stand to attention

Very loudly Q cleared his throat, and began to read from the script
“The first man says. I am Christiana. Identify yourself.
And the reply is… I am Kirov”

Mila looked up from the book. Bond held up his hand and said “Go on Q”

Q’s voice boomed out “First man replied. Use channel 3. Christiana out”

Mila glanced at Bond, she was starting to laugh; but Bond gave her a stern look, and shook his head, dismissing the idea that Q was hamming up the voices

Q continued “The next message begins with the second voice repeating the word, Bombshell. The reply is a new voice saying.
I am Olga, identify yourself”

Q continued in a tone that was akin to story telling “I am Kirov”

Bond and Mila listened to Q retelling the tale; they drew closer to Bond’s mobile as children would around a camp fire, or a wise elder of the family.
“Transmit” Mila forced herself not to laugh at the dramatic voice Q was recounting the messages in.

“I am Kirov returning to Gothenburg, arrange”

“I am Olga. Gothenburg is dead. Proceed Stranna”

The line was quiet then Q, almost in a whisper continued
“Now this reply came after a whole minute of silence”

Bond thought that if Q were going to recount the whole minute,
he would have to kill him. Suddenly Q’s voice boomed
“I am Kirov. Proceeding to Stranna”

After another moment of silence Bond asked “Is that all?”

Q answered “Yes 007, does it make any sense?”

Bond’s initial thought was no; the lack of information was devastating
“Let me think about that for a minute, meantime, goodnight Q”
Bond broke the connection.

With a shake of her head Mila closed the book, it broke Bond’s concentration; he looked over at her as she said “This story has nothing to do with vivisection, it’s mostly numbers”

“Does it mention the name Stranna?”

“No, but” Mila quickly scanned the pages again
“I know of a hotel called Villa Stranna, in Trollhatten in Sweden,
and the town of Trollhatten is mentioned here”

Bond turned to Leiter “Can you organise some transport please Felix” then he turned to Mila “Better see if the Villa Stranna has a room for us for tonight”

Leiter motioned for Bond to follow him out on to the balcony, once alone he asked “Those names meant nothing did they?”

Bond’s mind was working overtime “I think Kirov is the name of the operation”

Leiter then asked “So, who’s this guy Stranna?”

“No Felix, you’ve got it wrong, it’s the name of the landing strip. We’ve all been looking at this from the wrong angle, the information the Russians didn’t want us to have isn’t about their spy, it’s about something that happened to him, and something that happened to the rarity. Now let’s all go to Sweden”

Leiter raised his good arm “Hey, slow down James, shooting off to Stranna, do you think it’s wise?”

Bond looked deep into Leiter’s eyes “It’s all I have”

“Do you think it wise taking Miss Satu?”

Bond looked over at her “Absolutely”

Leiter dialled in the number
Bond added “If there is a virus that needs neutralising I would like some kind of expert to deal with it”

Leiter frowned “Is that what you think she is expert in?”

Mila shouted over “They have only one room available for tonight, shall I book it?”

Bond nodded then with a twinkle in his eye he turned to Felix and said
“I don’t know. I’ll let you know tomorrow”

Leiter asked again “James, what about Skedar, is he behind this?

Bond turned back, and with a wry smile answered “Oh yes, it’s him, no doubt”


The plane cruised above the clouds; James Bond read through the first few pages of the Kirov book again; it charted a number of formulas and mathematical equations, which he ran through his head. The different simulations gave him an idea, and he began to feel the heady experience of a breakthrough “Felix, where did the S.S. Kokao report that plane going down?”

Leiter read from his report
“North Sea. North 35 degrees West 40 GPS 357. 401.
Lear jet identified as Papa Alfa 679.
Departed Copenhagen, en route to Edinburgh”

Bond saw the numbers reproduced on the page in front of him; he did another calculation, and slowly formulated a concise understanding of the problem.

The weather had been atrocious during the day of the incident.
In his mind’s eye Bond saw the Lear jet being buffeted and
rocked by the thunder and rain.

The pilot would have been fighting to keep the Lear jet in the sky.
‘Therefore it must have been vital that the flight took place’
Bond looked for the profile of the pilot; then he checked the report from Copenhagen on the other profiles.

The Jet had been chartered by a Swedish Utilities company; but the crew list did not validate this. “Felix, do these names say ‘civilian’ to you?”
Leiter checked the information and replied “No, three of the four were Ex Russian military, the fourth crew member was just a female administrator”

“Play the security footage again”

Leiter pressed play and they watched the screen as the crew boarded the Lear. Bond identified the Pilot and Co pilot, their caps visible beneath their umbrellas. The next pair hurried behind them.
“Stop it there”
Leiter pressed stop and they peered at the screen,
Bond began to zoom in on the second pair
“That’s a man’s watch” Leiter nodded in confirmation.

“He’s the reason for the flight”

‘The passenger must have been terrified. Certainly he would have flown in bad weather before, but probably only on commercial flights; here he was the only passenger on a small private jet’

Leiter spoke “Someone went to elaborate lengths to keep that visit to Gothenburg a secret”

“Well they nearly succeeded, that rain was torrential”

Bond turned to Mila “Mila, can you pass me Remoziva’s letter?”

Bond did what Remoziva’s letter had instructed; he cross referenced it with the information in the Kirov conspiracy.
Remembering the co ordinates, that Leiter had given him; the words took on an entirely different meaning; and suddenly it all dropped into place.
“Remoziva’s letter is an alternate co-ordinate reference to those the Russians are using to locate the plane (he held up the Kirov book) these co-ordinates are incorrect”

“But they are verified from an independent source”

“The flight was vital, but not for the man. It’s the virus,
the ‘rarity’ that made it necessary”

Leiter felt the excitement rise as he began to piece the plot together.
“The Russians didn’t destroy it; they were sending it to the UK”

“Yuri Remoziva wasn’t trying to warn the West about the theft, he was informing Skedar that the plane had not crashed into the North Sea, it had returned to Sweden, and the rarity was still in the open.”

“So Sharvin doesn’t work for Skedar?” Mila offered

Bond answered “Correct, the Bombshell covert communication identified him as Russian Secret Service; he was probably keeping an eye on Skedar and the institute, making sure Bioaparat knew their progress on every project”

Leiter asked “So, why did Remoziva want to advise Skedar that the rarity was still in the open”

Mila thought out loud “Because Remoziva was working with Skedar?”

Bond added “…and they intend going after the rarity”

Leiter asked “But if the Russians know, where it is?”

Bond added “They don’t. The plane didn’t reach Stranna. It crashed”
He held up the book
“Vivisection isn’t about cutting up animals it’s about the Russians cutting up the search area and retrieving the rarity”

Mila whispered “No wonder he hired Manic and his team of Legionaries”

In the back of Bond’s mind, the term “And some French mercenaries have gone missing” Yes, everything was falling into place, Bond held the documents aloft

“Together, Remoziva’s letter and the Kirov book, plot the actual course of the Lear”

Leiter checked the two documents, he began shaking his head “But what could throw the Russian co-ordinates off by so much?”

Bond replied “Trident”

“Trident?” Leiter replied

“And a little black box operated by Jenifer Foxwell”

Bond knew that Russia was in the process of dropping a bombshell on the financial markets of the West; it was their opportunity to redress the World order. Combining the attack on the banks with an attack on Britain’s food supply would bring the UK to the point of bankruptcy.
With the loss of the virus that chance was gone.
Instead a Bio chemist and a Military scientist
had plotted to retrieve the rarity.
God only knew what they planned to do with it.

Felix read from his screen “Interesting; there’s a Russian photographic expedition staying in Trollhatten”

“I think it’s safe to assume they’re backed by Moscow”


The beautiful turn-of-the-century style Villa Stranna Hotel stood in the centre of Trollhatten. As the light faded in the early evening the hotel’s illuminations turned it into a compelling sight.
The snow that had laid a light blanket over the town had stopped and a crisp air began to freeze the moisture on the ground and in the trees.
The hotel car park, like most of the roads in the town was full of Saabs.
The automotive factory, on the outskirts of the town had produced over four million cars in its manufacturing history.
Bond sat in the Hotel bar nursing a Dry Martini.
He watched the headlights turn in to the car-park and then extinguish;
the Russian photographic team were returning.
He watched the team of eight men and two women enter the bar.
They took off their over jackets and rubbed at their hair which had been encased in hats.
Their conversations were loud and in the clipped brutal tones of the Russian language. Their cover story had been accepted by the hotel staff, but to enforce it, three of the men carried Nikon camera bags.
Bond watched as the mingled with each other, displaying an innocence that belayed the real reason for their visit.
Bond singled out a tall man with spiky blond hair as the leader,
his features were masked the the act of laughter but Bond recognized much of himself in this man.

After a quick drink they went straight into the restaurant;
and Bond took that as his cue.
Outside Bond passed the cars and went straight for the Mercedes van.
The lock popped open and quickly he searched the interior.
Its swiftly dissipating warmth made the search all the more urgent.
Back in the restaurant Major Tomas Sharapov felt at his pockets in a overt gesture “Damn, I left my cigarettes in the van” He lent close to his colleague “Quick, get the vodka in, its your round” He stood, grabbed his coat and, thrusting his hands into his leather gloves walked out of the restaurant toward the car park.

Mila saw him leave the restaurant; she knew she did not have enough time to warn Bond so she decided to follow him.
Outside the cold air stripped the warmth offered by her thin jacket.
Her breath ballooned from her mouth, she knew she would have to be quick or she just might freeze to death. She saw the man’s short spiky blonde hair moved smoothly beyond the cars. Mila darted off the path quickly and ran through the pine trees that formed a barrier to the car park, their needles brushed against her and the snow swished and swirled into her face and peppered her body in a fine icy mist. Then suddenly she stepped out of the tree line in front of the man, she had to hold on to a car to stop herself from slipping, but Mila could see he was almost upon her, she pushed off and from between the two cars she ran out in front of him.

They collided. Instinctively Sharapov reached out to steady her; he was momentarily taken aback, but he regained his composure as he took in her beauty.
Her eyelashes fluttered as the snow began to fall again.

Mila suddenly began shouting in Finnish, the Russian was totally wrong footed and began to try to clam the situation, he dabbed at her with his hands and began speaking soothingly in Russian and as Mila heard his words she switched to English. Inside the van, Bond heard the ensuing argument.
He peered over the side window, and recognized Mila and the tall Russian.
They were locked in some kind of embrace, but it was Mila that was instigating the action. Bond understood she was delaying and distracting the man.
Bond slipped out of the van and crept between the other cars.
The snow crunched under his feet as he circled around and made his approach as if from the hotel.
Playing the outraged husband he began shouting
“What the hell is going on. Get away from my wife”
Mila looked directly at Bond in shock horror and stammered out a lame excuse. “Oh darling, I’m so sorry” She ran to him and began to sob into his shoulder.
Sharapov sensing a domestic, backed off. Mila buried her head in Bond’s shoulder and began to cry; Bond comforted her and looked over at the Russian with a look of helplessness. The Major smoothed at his spiky hair and gave Bond the universal open palmed gesture, the snow flakes landed and melted as they touched his black leather gloves.

Even with the subterfuge Bond recognized and felt an empathy running between them. Bond had been involved with many married women, where some kind of scene had been avoided with his diplomacy. With the status quo, of this troubled couple returned, Sharapov continued to make his way to the van to retrieve his precious cigarettes.
Bond held Mila’s face in his hands he tilted her face up and kissed her
“There, there, everything is OK darling”
Mila inclined her head and kissed him back. Suddenly the cold night could not penetrate her, and she felt his warmth engulf her
“Has he gone?” she whispered
Bond held her close to him and lied in a whisper
“Not yet” they kissed again. The snow flakes landed upon her upturned face,
she knew it was a lie, but she didn’t mind


Back in their room they studied the map that Bond had taken from the van. Calculations and formulae were arrowed into nine shaded areas.
The co-ordinates were the same as had been reported and those in the Kirov book.
Mila, finished rubbing at her hair with the towel, and snuggled in beside Bond, rubbing herself against his shoulder, purring like a contented pussy cat; her body heat transferred to him through her thin tee shirt.
Bond pretended to be unmoved by her attentions.
Businesslike he overlaid the calculations altered by Remoziva, onto the map and Mila gasped
“The Russians have started looking in the wrong place”

Bond turned quickly and took her in his arms again

“That means we get a free day at the lake. Now what time is dinner?”
They kissed, his arm encircled her waist and he pulled her into him, her breasts were crushed against him, she brought her hands up and ran her fingers in his hair. Her head twisted to allow their mouths to share the passion.
Bond broke from their embrace and pushed her back onto the bed; quickly his free hand began to pull up her tee shirt, Mila arched her back to allow the material to be drawn swiftly over her body

“Oh, James, I think we have a good hour or so to kill”


Ninety minutes later they went to dinner, but as they passed the reception; the concierge chased over and stopped them
“Sorry to disturb you Mr. Bond but there is a message for you”


Bond felt alive, the memory of Mila’s body held onto every thought he generated as he strolled from the hotel. The crisp night air invigorated him, and he noticed the most minute and mundane detail in all his surroundings; he marvelled at the power of the waterfall cascading over the rocks beside him,
it reminded him of their lovemaking, so much so that he stopped to watch the spectacle. The spray and the water, subtly lit by underwater lights to heighten the senses of the tourists, was very pleasing on the eye. But not as pleasing as Mila had been; Bond smiled a secret smile.

It had stopped snowing now; and Bond forced his attentions back to the mission
In the distance Bond saw the man standing by the rail and he recognised him immediately.

As he closed in, Bill Tanner raised his hand “Are you alone?”

Bond answered “Are you?”

Tanner stepped aside and M came forward

“We are now” She said

Bond gave a cursory glance behind him “Do you think this wise for us all to be here, the hotel is teaming with Russians”

“Give me some credit Bond, I do have experience in running covert operations. Besides right now, I hold no official post”

Bond conceded “Go on”

“The UK is in meltdown, word is we will be bankrupt and the Russians will own everything this time next year”

“Well I’m doing my best to find the name of your spy, so we can stop that from happening”

Tanner broke in “We may already have it James”

M continued “What do you know about Sir Francis Pinevail”

Bond smiled “Frank the Bank, on his way to losing his bank eight billion sterling. He resigned beginning of October, now he is a prime candidate to be your spy”

M’s tone was cold “He disappeared over a month ago”

Bond was taken aback “That can’t be I’ve seen reports about him from just a few days ago”

“Trust me James; we don’t think he will be getting a penny of his pay off. His family have been moved from the UK. Officially, you will have read that he resigned, but the truth is no one has seen him for a month. The first meeting he missed was the day after that jet went down”
“It didn’t go down in the North Sea, it crashed here in Sweden, that’s what the Russians are looking for now.
I’ve been trying to identify a man who boarded the plane in Copenhagen.
Now, if Sir Francis wore an Oris TT3 Formula Gold Limited edition; then he is a prime candidate”
Tanner asked “I’ll check. Would finding his body be that disastrous for the Russian plan?”
“No, but something on that plane must be incriminating to whoever he was linked into in the government” M thought about her answer “Christ it must be someone at the very top”

Tanner said “Someone the Russians want to remain in power during and after the recession” then he added “That rules out the Prime Minister”

Bond shook his head “I don’t think the Russians care that Pinevail was in the Lear. They are after a virus which they were delivering to the UK”

“So the Moscow rarity really was stolen” M tapped her gloved hand upon the rail

“It wasn’t stolen. The terrorist attack was a set up. The Russians were intending to use the virus in the UK. Do we have a viable defense against such a threat?”

Tanner answered “No, we don’t have one. Our champion in that area is
Ben Tolliver; I think his suspicions were that the Russians were intending to release the virus. Our information was that only documents were stolen.
Russian secret service retrieved them and the terrorists died in the plane crash. MI6 were not involved”

M offered “With the American presence in the Gulf, the incident didn’t warrant much attention. MI5 didn’t indicated there was threat”

Bond asked “What about the infiltration at Faslane?”

Tanner answered “Now that’s a different matter. Every spook in the country is out looking for Commander Bill Armstrong and the Sea-Lex girl Jenifer Foxwell”
Bond was pleased “OK, then we’re on the right track. The covert information gave us Russian Secret Service in the form of Sharvin, and he led us to Skedar and Remoziva. The Bombshell files link that Lear jet into the spies in the UK”

“I thought Remoziva was dead?”

Bond confirmed “He is. Killed by the Russians”

M pondered “Were there any clues to the name of the spy, on the Bombshell transmissions?”

Bond shook his head “No; the Bombshell information from Vigilant, only told us that the Lear didn’t crash in the North Sea. The Russians are using the co-ordinates taken from their spy stations. They think they have a head start”

M smiled, and her mood seemed to lighten “But they were fooled by the Trident GPS jamming. They don’t know that all covert signals that are intercepted are altered”

Bond’s answer however took her mood back to deep despair “Then how did Yuri Remoziva get an accurate positioning?”

Tanner exhaled “Somebody who knew about Trident’s capability must have told him?”

“That takes us back to Armstrong and Foxwell” said M
Bond cut in quickly “Foxwell is innocent, she was duped into retrieving the
stick; but she has no idea who gave her the instruction to go to Faslane”
Tanner turned to Bond “Sorry to disillusion you 007, but Miss Foxwell took her instruction from Sir Charles Burrows and Secretary of State, Ben Tolliver”

Bond felt the knife of betrayal turn in his stomach “Then I suggest you ask Burrows just what the hell he’s playing at” then as an after thought “Miss Foxwell is well hidden, but why are MI5 looking for Armstrong if ‘we’ have him?”

“We don’t, nor do MI5”

Bond looked at M “I asked you before, do you think Burrows is involved in this?”

M was resolute “I don’t want to think so, I can’t believe it”

Bond spoke clearly “You better start trying. Burrows would know about Trident, he could have briefed Armstrong about the Bombshell codeword before the mission, and he could have informed Remoziva about the GPS offset”

M gripped the rail, she nodded toward Tanner and then addressed Bond “We will put an action in place to flush out Burrows, we must establish his true colours”

Tanner nodded “We could say that we are checking the information on Armstrong, supplied by Tolliver”

“No” M interrupted “Tell him that Tolliver is the spy; we’ll be able to monitor his actions better from that view point”

Bond said “The rarity is the key to this; it’s what everyone is after. Pinevail’s death won’t change anything in the UK”

M turned and looked up at him “Yes 007. Now find the plane and get the rarity
before the Russians or Skedar”

“How much time do I have?”

M looked out over the rail “What you’ve told us explains the CIA presence. They’re here for the virus; them getting it might just stop this certain war. See if your friend Leiter will co-operate. Naturally the Russians want it back. Then they can control the Bombshell project again. As I said before, this goes to the very top; in both the UK and Moscow. The man you met in the car-park tonight is Major Tomas Sharapov, he works directly for Medyev. But I’m afraid this could all pale into insignificance, the Americans launched another air strike at Tehran today. All in all I’d say you have no more than two days”
They parted company. Bond walked back to the hotel; now he knew the time constraints of the mission, and the danger that represented, he put his battle plan into a time line. As he approached the welcoming warmth of the Villa Stranna, he knew one priority was to talk with Q and get an update on Jenifer; Bond was concerned that she had tricked him; he needed to know her true involvement.

By the time Bond reached the hotel, his plan was complete, but he could not help thinking that he had missed something. The little niggles of doubt stayed with as he slipped into bed with Mila,
and kept him on edge until sleep took him.


The Eurocopter AS355 Ecureuil 2 is better known as the Twin Squirrel.
James Bond eased the stick left and hugged the terrain.
The twin-engines whirred out the power and propelled Bond over
the landscape at eighty miles per hour.
Bond knew he only had today to find the wreck, any longer and Sharapov and the Russians would be on to him.
Leiter and his CIA team were doing a good job of making a mess of tailing the Russians. The plan was that by making them have to look over their shoulder all day, no one would be looking for Bond in the final sector that they had targeted for their search.
The trees were thinning, there was a small single track lane and then the lake, Bond traced one finger over the map that was held in a thigh pocket in his dry suit. Leiter had raised an element of doubt in Bond’s calculation, but in his own mind he knew he was right on target. He banked left and followed the shore line of the lake north along its entire length. The lake was about a mile long, fringed with trees.

As he approached the far shore Bond slowed the Squirrel and dropped to the surface of the lake. The water kicked up a spray as the down force of the rotors churned up the surface. Gently he pulled back on the stick, the Squirrel began to rise; the surface of the lake began to calm down.
Bond looked through windscreen, and as the surface cleared he thought he saw something sitting in the depths.

The Rocket propelled grenade smashed into the outer casing of the Squirrel’s left engine, the fragments sliced and embedded themselves into the spinning pieces. The helicopter lost its stability and began to spin.
The tail rotor cut out and the Squirrel dropped into the water.
On impact the machine began to break up, the tail snapped off and the heavy engines turned the small cabin upside down.
The main rotors broke and somersaulted across the surface of the lake making the noise of an arrow in flight.
The windscreen, already cracked by the impact of the missile, shattered and the icy cold water poured in soaking Bond, the shock galvanising him into action. The cabin filled rapidly, and within twenty seconds the helicopter completely vanished under the surface of the lake,

Bond’s chest strained against the safety belts; in the crash they had retracted pushing him back into the seat. The cold numbed his fingers, frantically he pushed at the release button but it would not move. He needed to expel the lungful of air he had snatched before going under in order to loosen the belts and make his move, but he knew that to do so was certain death.

At just a few feet beneath the surface the light dimmed, the silt stirred up from the helicopter’s movement swirled about the cabin, Bond closed his eyes. In total darkness the noise of the machine braking up around him filled his mind with dread, then the equipment he had in the cabin began to float, then something heavy collided against his shoulder.


Skedar stepped out from behind the truck, he watched the Squirrel break up and sink into the lake; the single shot and current scene was another indication that Manic’s appointment had been the right choice

“Well done Mr. Manic, good shooting, thank-you”
The man called Manic lowered the laser sighted RPG launcher from his shoulder

“Is no problem, is my pleasure”

“Ok, let’s find that plane”

Manic was the head of Skedar’s security force; like the majority of the private army he was ex French Foreign Legion.

Manic was from Marseilles. His ruthlessness at completing tasks had set him apart from other hit-men (mainly KGB / FSB), that Skedar had had the misfortune to meet over the years. But this sadistic rock had however come with baggage; his partner was the nymphomaniac Bee. Where Manic killed for money, Bee enjoyed the experience for free. Skedar recalled their first meeting, and how he had quickly weighed up the odds and hired them both.

Manic had come with impeccable credentials, and a stash of weapons. When Skedar first saw them, his oversize jaw dropped “Where did you get these?”
Manic stood folding the heavy sheet that had covered the piles; he hardly seemed to notice the arsenal that surrounded him; because his mind was, as always totally focused on the woman across the room from him. Her name was Bee, she to was French. With the feline serenity of a pedigree cat, Skedar watched as she rubbed her hand over one of the gun barrels which lay in an open wooden create, her eyes never left Manic’s.
Manic put her to the back of his mind and answered Skedar’s question “They were destined for a friend of mine in Tahiti; but he never turned up for the transaction” Manic lay the sheet on the weapons. “That is why I’m ‘For hire”

Manic had recruited the security force heavily from among his former colleagues; unlike Manic and Bee the men were predominately from the Eastern Bloc. Skedar had been impressed with their discipline and assured of their loyalty.

Now Skedar let out a long breath, and shook his head,
as he looked out over the water, the realization of what had just happened hit him like a ton of bricks.
The surface of the lake became calm once more,
and as the men on the shore began to prepare to dive;
Skedar understood that finally James Bond was dead.

#9 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 15 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

Chapter Eight

Death of a Sparrow

Ivan Sharvin sat motionless.
Not a muscle moved on his face.
Then from beyond the trees came the familiar sound.

Almost immediately the sky began to fill with the chirping of birds; with a natural skill they landed, each targeting a small piece of branch no bigger than the width of their own small body. The trees began to bough under the weight. Sharvin tensed and then pulled sharply on the string.

The net fell trapping a small number of the sparrows. The rest of the flock shot upward squawking in panic, they swooped and turned forming live patterns in the air. Sharvin walked over to the net, and gently picked out the birds and placed them deep inside his haversack.

The drive into London took more than one hour, a little longer than he had planned; but promptly at six thirty he found himself a parking place, and switched off the engine. Dawn had not yet broken and the morning air felt dirty and damp, winter was setting in early.

With the haversack over his shoulder, he casually walked along the road; at the entrance to a small Edwardian muse he knelt to tie his shoe lace, he caught hold of the street sign to assist him to get up, then he walked on, nothing suspicious, nothing out of the ordinary; however as he left the area he had left a small match size plastic tube, attached to the sign. This was a miniature camera; it was the first that he would place in the area before beginning his surveillance.

Thirty minutes later, in the alleyway at the rear of the houses in the muse he set up his last camera. Sharvin walked slowly back to his car, and sat in silence. He put on a pair of horn rimmed spectacles, not because he needed them, but because they acted as a screen for the pictures transmitted from his cameras. At his left temple, he tapped the leg of the spectacles, and scrolled through the images. It was seven thirty, and London was beginning to wake up

At seven thirty six, just as he had been told, the man came out of the front door and stood taking in the morning air.
Q closed the front door, and then checked it was firmly locked. He walked down to the end of the red brick fronted town houses that lined the muse and flipping the remote in his hand, opened the garage door. Five minutes later Q emerged dressed in a black one piece wax cotton motorcycle suit, and white open faced helmet. He rode the scooter up the small muse and paused to look left and right at the junction. Q eased out onto the main road, and rode away toward Vauxhall cross.

Sharvin had mastered the art of being able to carry out tasks whilst watching the images on this spectacle screen. He registered that two men were walking down the alleyway as he opened the haversack and gently pulled out one of the sparrows from the bag; he held it in his hands and then calmly snapped its wings. The sparrow tried to flutter but the pain sent it into convulsions and a moment later it slipped into unconsciousness.

He wrapped the injured bird into a ball and pushed it into the barrel of the gun that he held across his lap. He took a wooden rod and pushed the bird deep inside the tube. Once inside he held the gun up in front of his face, and inclined his head toward the barrel; He smiled at the gun and the absurd twittering of distress that came from within it. For this were a ploy he had used before and the action brought back very happy memories to him. It was a piece of his life history that he was proud of. Based on a British army model used for firing rubber bullets in Northern Ireland in the late sixties; Sharvin had adapted the gun for his own purpose of decoy and distraction.

Sharvin covered the gun with a large sheet of black plastic. He left the warmth of the car and walked down the lane. As he came level with Q’s garden he dropped the plastic sheet on the ground, raised the gun over the brick wall, and took a deep breath. In one swift movement he aimed and fired. The sparrow was projected across the garden and thudded into the dining room window.

Jenifer heard the thud and cautiously went to see what had caused the nose. The bird was squawking and moving in eccentric jerking movements on the ground to the rear of Q’s house. The sparrow was obviously in distress.
Pity overcame her fear and she rushed to the alarm panel, and switched the alarm off.
Quickly she unlocked the back door and went to the bird, gathering it up in her hands.

Sharvin watched the action at the rear of the house on the lens of his glasses. It was time, with skill and precession he quickly picked the un-alarmed lock on Q’s front door and he let himself in.
Speedily he descended the stairs and waited in the basement. Without delay he placed his ‘Efergy’ monitor against the fuse box. Moments later when Jenifer switched on the motion alarm again and the power output went up, nothing showed on the security alarm log. Sharvin knew now was the time to wait, soon the bird would die, the girl would concentrate her emotions on its passing; she would relax her guard, and then he would make his move.

Time passed by. Slowly he climbed the stairs and went through the hall way; the knife felt cool in his hand. In the sitting room he approached her chair.
He took a deep breath, and in one swift movement he rose up from behind the chair and plunged the knife downward.


Nathanial Skedar looked down at the bodies. He had seen corpses before, but none that had been underwater for such a period. Their bloated faces mocked his own appearance and he felt his resentment rising again. He knew he would have to be strong; for what he had in mind there would be many more dead to be viewed.

The Russians had killed Remoziva, right on his own doorstep; using one of his men; so now he was on his own. The concept held no fear for him.
For years he had worked alone in the pursuit of stopping a potential global crisis; by means of identifying diseases and finding antidotes to stop them devastating the World’s food chain; and yet all the time he had been working, there had been killing and maiming.
The killing of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East.
The maiming of children in Africa; and on the streets in Belfast and London. The threat of global terrorism filled more column inches than the need of preservation of human life in the World. Russia and America had never stopped their fighting. Never stopped producing Land Mines; never stopped selling guns.

Over the years Skedar had become bitter over the superpowers’ manipulation of poorer countries. His scarred and disfigured face had been reason enough for him to hide himself away, in his solitude he plotted and schemed and fantasized about stopping the plague of the World, with a plague of his own.

When he had first met with Yuri Remoziva it had been like looking into a mirror; not physically of course but spiritually. Remoziva had seen it all from the other side, and was as sick of the hypocrisy as he was. As their objectives aligned, Remoziva fed him with information which kept the West up to date on the developments in Russia. Skedar had done the same; for two years the status quo had been maintained.

He motioned to one of his men to cover the dead faces.

Skedar looked out over the lake as the man carried out his order. With little respect for the dead he unwrapped and began to light another of his favorite cigars.

As the cigar took, and the smoke was sucked into his lungs; he recalled that one fateful night in Moscow when he had sat with Yuri and hypothesized on their ability to put an end to all the killing, an end to World poverty; and in the shadow of death came their desire to build a better World.
Their cause had been just.

“We would simultaneously release a deadly virus in America and Russia
and hold these killers to ransom”

Yuri had responded positively, and had begun to write down names of people and names and telephone numbers groups that he thought could help them.
The list was long and impressive.

Skedar scanned the information; his nose crinkled up
“How do you know of these people?”

Yuri’s answer was heart felt and proud
“My daughter and her husband run an animal rights group in the Czech Republic; I guess I have more empathy with them than I first thought”

Over the months the dream became an obsession with Skedar.
When he killed for the first time he justified his actions knowing that he was doing so for the good of mankind.
One death now would save millions in Africa, he told himself over and over during the long sleepless nights.

It was after he had killed for the third time that he realized he did not feel the need to justify his actions.
Charities around the World had long sought to end the disease called poverty. Sometimes their plight had been championed by celebrities, and then the people of the third World had begun to whisper that their future might become better. Now, with the World economy licking its wounds like a beaten dog these people dared to whisper again.

Then one day Skedar realized that when his dream became a reality, and he was holding the superpowers to ransom, he would command the power he had always craved, it would be there, in the palm of his hand.
He would be recognized for his policies, and for his principles and for his actions. Not for his freakish looks.

His motives for pushing ahead with a super virus intensified. Finding the rarity became an obsession, secretly he corresponded with Remoziva swapping ideas and formulae. He began recruiting his army of security guards, and deep in the recess of his mind formulated his desire for World domination.
At about the same time that the killings became easier and sleep became peaceful; Skedar felt the change in the imperative come over the Old Russian, details of the Bioaparat experiments became vaguer, the clandestine results passed in secret meetings became more ambiguous. Skedar even recognized a change in the old man’s communication style. But it was too late to go back, Skedar pushed on, becoming more demanding of Remoziva in his quest for the latest research details.
As his own scientists failed to develop the cultures that he demanded; he became desperate, his hopes began to center on the Bioaparat.


When Jenifer returned to the sitting room she painstakingly followed the procedure that Q had instructed her in. She used the TV remote control to view the CCTV that Q had set up around his house. Her blood ran cold as she saw the image of the man entering by the front door; she knew she must get out.
With sickening realization, she knew the sparrow had been a decoy and she had fallen for it ‘Failed at the first fence’ she thought to herself.

Horror seized her “He’s in the house!” Without thinking she went through the kitchen and left by the back door. Jenifer ran through the garden and climbed over the brick wall at the foot of the garden, it was higher than she thought, and she fought to regain her balance, as she teetered on the top her mobile fell from her pocket; she watched as, in slow motion her lifeline fell, end over end and splatted onto the soil; she must retrieve it, she looked back at the house. Jenifer saw the man coming through the kitchen. Her mind was in turmoil, and then quickly she made the decision that to go back for the mobile would be suicide.
So taking one final look at her attacker she dropped down on the other side of the wall, and ran toward the main road.


The knife plunged into the back of the chair, Sharvin was momentarily off balance, he had expected the resistance of her body, but the chair was empty. Where was she? The kitchen, he ran through the sitting room and into the kitchen, where he found the door open. Sharvin looked through the window and saw the girl on top of the wall. As he began to chase after her he pocketed the knife and pulled out his automatic pistol; he charged out of the kitchen and into the garden. The motion sensor caught the movement and the alarm sounded. Sharvin ran across the lawn and as his feet touched the grass the net, fired from the launcher hidden in the shrubbery unfolded above him. The weighted ends tangled around Shrvin’s legs forcing him to the ground.
He lay stunned for a moment and then reached for his knife and with swift economic movement, he began to cut through the netting that held him fast.


The first diver broke surface and held the briefcase aloft.

Back on shore Skedar tossed his cigar to the ground and ran forward to meet him. “Yes” he breathed
The Russians, the Americans and the British, they were all after the rarity. But h had it.
Now they would all come after him, chasing him for his weapon of destruction, trying to deny his plan for a better World.

Skedar laughed “Much better odds now” he said. The diver stripped off his hood and slipped out of the harness, he stood on the shore of the lake and began drying his body, now that it was over this had proved to be an easy assignment. As she lent against a tree, Bee watched the diver as he rubbed the towel over his naked torso; her lips parted and the tip of her tongue circled her mouth, and the longing began again.

Skedar looked over the now clam surface of the lake, he clutched the briefcase to his chest “Nothing to stop us now, eh Yuri?” he said to himself as he began to make his way to his car. Carefully the divers packed away their gear. Skedar placed the case in the boot of his car, and prepared to depart from the lake.

Bee sat dutifully at his side as Manic drove down the track; Skedar sat in the back “Drive faster”, he knew they needed to be out of the country by nightfall. Soon the Russian team would find the bodies of the Russian pilots and the English spy, and they would fight with MI6 over the remains, they would fight and intimidate the Finnish government, and they would fight each other. Always, they would be fighting each other.

Skedar considered that if the Hildebrand Institute had been able to develop a similar rarity sooner, all this killing would not have been necessary; but his scientists had failed him; Yuri had failed him, everybody had failed him. The memory was clear in his mind.

When Yuri finally admitted that Bioaparat had had a breakthrough in the development of a new virus rarity, Skedar knew it was the answer to his dreams; this time their invention would prove to be their downfall.
But Remoziva declined to pass the secrets to him.
“No, I fear it too dangerous to control; the board here share my concerns and have decided to destroy the cultures, and shred the research documents”
The frustration became too much for Skedar to bear, had he not needed Remoziva to eventually remove the cultures from Moscow, he would have killed him then and there.
Skedar knew he needed to take drastic action.

Skedar, Manic and Bee flew to Prague; to the address that Yuri had written down at their first conspiracy meeting.
They met with Remoziva’s daughter, Maria and her husband Gregory. Skilfully they filled their heads with a promise of glory and an end to vivisection at Hildebrand and the Bioaparat.
Maria had listened and felt inspired; willingly she had travelled to Moscow to meet with the Bioaparat contact that Skedar had given her. She had hoped the result would have taken their fight to a new cultural level; instead she had walked innocently into a trap and died in a hail of bullets.

Only after Remoziva’s daughter had been killed whilst attempting to steal the rarity at the hands of the guards at the Bioaparat did the old man regain his desire to comply.

After Maria’s death Skedar flew to Prague again and comforted the grieving family. The funeral service had been very moving; it had even made Skedar feel a little guilty, but when they met the following night and it came down to business Skedar pushed the guilt to the back of his mind; he felt he had to, because even though Yuri was a broken old man, Skedar feared for his life had Yuri known the true perpetrator of the crime.

Once on the main highway the car began making better time. Skedar’s frustration seeped away as they approached the airport. Now he had the Hildebrand rarity, now he had the power. No more would he be the lone voice.


The rush of air made her ears pop, and Jenifer snapped out of her trance, she was sitting on a tube train, but she had no idea where it was going, the train hurtled through a tunnel. There was a time in the not too distant past when she would have panicked and fallen apart because of the series of events, but today she had not allowed the fear to creep up on her. Today she was in control. The train stopped and without thinking Jenifer stepped out onto the platform, in her hand she held the piece of paper she had written down Tolliver’s number; as the other passengers pushed past her and left the station she began looking for a public telephone.


Q looked at the shreds of netting on the grass
“I’ll need to replace that with wire” he said to the MI6 agent at his side.

“But other than that the system worked sir.
No one got in and nothing was taken”

Q turned and smiled at the young man “Quite so” He fixed him with a stare until the young agent said “Well, if there is nothing I can help you with I’ll get off and write the report”

“Good you do that" replied Q and led the man back through the house.
As soon as he was alone Q rang Jenifer’s mobile.

No answer.

Then he rang Bond’s number.

No answer.


First one, then three; then three more.
The bubbles rose to the surface of the lake.

As James Bond broke the surface of the water, he spat out the mouth piece, and struck out for the shore with a slow easy breaststroke; every couple of strokes he tested his footing and soon he felt the firm resistance of the lake bed, Bond began to scramble up the shingle bank. Once on the shore he slipped the air tank from his back, and dropped it on the shore; he reached inside his dry suit and pulled out his mobile.

There was one missed call from Q. Before calling him, Bond needed to make a different call.
As the dial tone sounded in his ear Bond walked over to the bodies and uncovered the faces.
The mobile crackled into life “Leiter”

“Felix, I’m at the North end of the lake, come and get me”

“Did you find the plane?”

“Yes it’s in the lake”

“So you made good use of the diving equipment we lent you?”

“You could say that; now jump in your car and come and get me”

“Where’s the helicopter?”

“It’s in the lake as well”

“And Pinevail?”

Bond pulled up the sleeve on the corpse; the gold watch confirmed the identity of the owner
“M was right; he’s not going loco down in Acapulco”

“What about the rarity, James?”

Bond noticed the cigar butt on the ground
“Skedar has it”

Leiter let out a long breath “Do you think this could be the right time to enlist our Russian cousins in the search?”

“I’m sure they would be overjoyed”

Bond phoned Q
The bird like voice seemed more stressed than ever
“Where on earth are you 007? Why don’t you ever answer your phone?”

“Calm down Q what’s the urgency”

“Jenifer’s gone; we had a visitor earlier today.
There’s no blood, but my fireside chair has been attacked with a knife,
and there’s a dead sparrow in my kitchen”


RAF Lyneham: Wiltshire, England. Lyneham is the home base of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Air Force. The air base has however become synonymous with the repatriation of brave British servicemen lost in service. His duty today however was not to oversee one such tragic event but to receive a visit from the commanding officer of the troops fighting in Afghanistan.
Ben Tolliver waited in the officer’s mess for word that the aircraft was approaching. He checked his watch and made the mental calculation that he could be free from his duties in maybe two hours tops. As he looked up his face took on the sad serious look that he had perfected over years of practice. Lives had been lost, lives have been wrecked, but for this British politician it was another opportunity to tout for publicity.

His ring tone made him jump so much that it took him a moment to recognise the number from the screen
“Hello, Ben Tolliver”

“Hello Mr. Tolliver, this is Jenifer Foxwell”

Tolliver cut in “Jenifer, how fantastic to hear from you”

Tolliver was on his feet and gesturing to the security officer.
“Where are you, my dear?”

…Thirty five minutes later his car was speeding along the M4 motorway back toward London.


If anytime could be called slack at the Ealing Broadway railway station it was the mid afternoon. District Line platform 8 is partially covered by a short canopy and retains a number of examples of the early solid-disc Underground signs used before the more familiar roundel. Under the third such sign, Jenifer Foxwell stood facing the track, her heart hammering against her chest as she waited for the contact.

Tolliver stood a little away from her when he spoke so as not to alarm her. “Hello my dear” Jenifer turned toward him; she looked very tired and frightened “How very clever of you to find me”
She ran to his outstretched arms.
As they walked to his car she began to recount her tale
“I wanted you to know that MI6 have the memory stick, you don’t have to worry about the information falling into the hands of Russian spies”

Tolliver laughed at her naivety “I know, everything is in order. I was just worried about you. MI6 have taken care of the business that the information told us about” He brought the umbrella closer over his head, it was only raining lightly but as no one took any interest in the couple it didn’t really matter.

Jenifer blurted out the information she was desperate to convey “Mr. Tolliver. There is a Russian spy here in England; he tried to kill me today”
“Oh dear that is terrible” his face a mask of concern; he helped her into the car “Where was this?”

“Here in London”

“London? I hope he has not been able to follow you here”

Tolliver stood at the door and looked around, Jenifer took the look of concern as well meaning toward her.
“I shouldn’t think so” she tried to sound assured, and in control; her smile was genuine.

Tolliver lent his head into the car “Can you describe this man? To the police I mean”
Jenifer began to relax “I think so, but his face is on CCTV at the house where I was staying”

Tolliver poured on the sincerity “Oh that is fantastic news, now tell me, who were the people that helped you; I will want to thank them personally”

All the fear and anxiety melted away from her, she was about to give up Q’s name when she heard a mobile phone going off. Strange, it was the same ring tone as her own.
Tolliver lent into the car just a few inches from her face “Your mobile?”

Jenifer was still smiling “No; I dropped mine, when I was escaping from the killer”

Tolliver put his hand into this pocket and produced the phone “Yes I know, I’m just saying, this is your mobile”

Jenifer could not comprehend what he was saying
But Tolliver’s look of sincerity continued, he nodded gently to reassure her, his smile held a secret, that he was bursting to tell her “The man I sent to find you picked up the phone from where you dropped it”

The logical part of her brain, made a giant leap, and came to the conclusion that the police must have already arrested the man, and delivered the mobile to Tolliver; but the chaotic side of her brain was screaming at her to ask the question, her mouth opened and the words came tumbling out “How come you have it?”

“It has my number on it, you yourself must have put it on there; and the man contacted me”
Tolliver sat in the car beside her, at the same moment the other back door opened, the cold air rushed in. Tolliver continued talking “That’s how he knew where to find us”
Sharvin squeezed into the back seat crushing Jenifer up against Tolliver.

Jenifer thought she would faint, the man she had seen running into Q’s garden, now sat next to her. Her body froze in the position she sat in.
Tolliver spoke to his driver “Let’s go” the car pulled away.

“Don’t worry my dear; it’s not too far to the airport”

Inches from her ear, Sharvin made a disapproving noise, his eyes bored into Jenifer as he spoke to Tolliver
“The whole world is searching for Skedar, and yet you want to go to be with him?”

“He has the rarity, and we must get it from him”
Tolliver’s voice was clear and lyrical

Sharvin lent into her, she felt his hot breath on her face
“How important is it to you that the UK cows get a dose of the flu for Christmas?”
Tolliver adjusted his position, now both their faces were close to hers; she could smell his aftershave “For the aims of Bombshell, not very important. But I always understood your former employers didn’t want anyone else to have the nasty little virus”

Jenifer made a sudden move, where she was going or what she expected to achieve she did not know; it was just a blind panic reaction. Sharvin punched her in the chest and her body cried out for air, as she struggled to regain her breath Sharvin continued to talk, he acted as if the attack on Jenifer had never happened “No, that’s true, that is why I was stationed in Finland; and that’s why I have been chasing this little troublemaker all over London”

“Well at least you got Remoziva, that’s one half of the dynamic duo. Tell me Mr. Sharvin what do we need to do next in order that our plan is still successful?”

Jenifer registered the names in her mind, they were the ones mentioned in the first Bombshell transmission.
Sharvin thought about the problem,
“Can you convince MI6 about the authenticity of the evidence against Armstrong?”

“Yes” Tolliver examined his fingernails

“MI5 will know the virus was destined for the UK, but I can’t see there is any connection to our plan”

“MI5 can be controlled”

“You lied, and covered for Pinevail”

“Absolutely necessary to ensure his Russian masters revealed themselves, or at least implicated other traitors”

“And did that part of the plan work?” Sharvin asked

“Oh yes, a number of terrorists and undesirables have been revealed, and will face deportation, or worse. Betrayal is a terrible crime” gently he tapped Jenifer on the thigh.

There was a moment’s silence, during which Jenifer glanced at Sharvin, his eyes bored into hers
“Then it’s just the girl”

From the other side of the car she heard Tolliver reply, but the words seemed alien.

“OK, we’ll take her to Sedlec”


It had been another long wasted day without success; all Major Sharapov wanted to do was hit the shower. He kicked the door closed behind him. And there it was. On the floor lay a large brown envelope. Sharvin picked it up, and weighed it in his hand. He pulled off his glove and scratched his short blonde spiky hair, then without further pause he ripped the envelope open.
An Oris wrist watch fell out into his hand, followed by photographs of the bodies by the lake. A crude map was punctuated with the words ‘X marks the spot’
As the ‘X’ was over the hotel bar, he decided to accept the invitation.


The men sat around a table in the bar; Mila had been relegated to a bar stool; she glanced over at them but their attention was focused on the own conversation.

Leiter concluded “I can only speak for Uncle Sam; but I think it would be in everyone’s interests if this rarity was destroyed”

Sharapov confirmed “That is one of the objectives of my mission”

Leiter sat back and smiled “Good, then working together we should be able to track this guy Skedar down in double quick time”

Sharapov imitated his movement “I will be pleased to help, I would not want it to fall into the wrong hands”

Bond lent forward “One more thing you can help with Major. You have a ‘hit’ sanctioned in the UK; on a civilian, name of Jenifer Foxwell. The information you think she has, she has not, she cannot influence the outcome of this operation”

Sharapov inclined his head “I don’t know of any such action, but I will make a call”

Bond felt the man was telling the truth so asked “Do you know of an agent that uses dead sparrows as a decoy”

The smile faded from the Major’s face, he knew the man Bond was referring to “I do. I will make the call straight away. Sharapov stood up to leave “I can say no more, so I will bid you good bye and good luck, especially with your ‘wife’ if she finds out about your friend Miss Foxwell.
Sharapov nodded to Mila and left the bar.

Bond went over to her. She held his face in her hands and pulled a ‘you are lucky to be alive’ face. Bond took her hands in his own. “Never mind that; it’s time I took you to the airport, you’re going home young lady” Mila smiled and it melted Bond’s heart again

“But I don’t want to go” she sulked

“The Russians and the Americans are working together; with all there resource they’ll catch Skedar in a heartbeat”

Her eyes glinted with a mischievous smile “I have news for you James, I have cancelled my flight. I don’t have to leave until very early in the morning now!”

It was Bond’s turn to smile, the scratches and bruises he had picked up from the accident seemed to fade “That’s a shame; I let Felix have your room”

She slid off the stool and melted into his arms “Then you know where I want to be taken”

“I have a pretty good idea”

#10 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:30 PM

Chapter Nine


Charles Burrows was alone in his office, he stood at the window watching the evening’s traffic building up on the embankment; it had been raining heavily during the afternoon and the cars were all using their headlights.
The patterns danced on the wet window.

He was pleased with the way the majority of his decisions had gone since taking over at Vauxhall Cross; he’d been given some explicit instructions;
and (his was not to reason why) he was pleased that he had
carried them out to the letter.
But it had not gone down well with the troops;
some were suspicious of him; and he knew that if he were to extend
his position beyond this operation, he would need to win these people over.

His orders had come from the very top, and Burrows had no issue in making or executing difficult decisions; but he had some niggling doubts over the way Tolliver had dealt with Armstrong the Foxwell girl.
He had been furious when Tolliver had revealed, in those syrupy condescending tones that it had all been part of his plan that she should escape with the other Russian spy from Faslane, and he had felt used when he was refused permission to mount a serious search for them. The paranoia began to rise,
did Tolliver have confidence in him;
was he being told everything.
Burrows sat at his desk and snatched up the phone.


The 22 regiment SAS has been based in the cathedral city of Hereford in the west of England for many years.
First at Stirling Lines, but since 1999 home is a former RAF base at Credenhill on the outskirts of Hereford.
Burrows waited to speak to Captain Morris;
he was the officer in charge of the extraction of
Armstrong and acquisition of Miss Foxwell.

“Good morning Sir”

“Ah good morning Captain; I need to cover off some irregularities with your report on the operation you carried out in Scotland, for me”

Adrian Morris groaned inwardly, he knew that ‘action’ would come back to haunt him.
“Of course sir, how can I help” his voice held no trace of stress.

Burrows took a huge gamble “You didn’t name the ‘Sabre’ leader,
in command of the prisoner” Burrows stumbled on,
as if he were reading from the report “After the hand over”

Brilliant, ‘after the hand over’ Morris knew that statement was his
‘get out of jail free’ card

He cleared his throat “I wasn’t at liberty to name the commander”

Burrows looked for the right opening “I think you know why I need the information Captain” he let the silence hang like a thunder cloud

Morris weighed up the odds quickly “I won’t betray a trust; but I do understand your position. I believe you know who to speak to in order for me to pass on the information you require”

“Thank-you Captain; I take it that would be the same Minister, that would be able to grant me access to Commander Armstrong?”

Like a great weight being lifted from his shoulders he answered “Yes”

The Home secretary gave his consent to Burrows’ request.
It was six o’clock and the London rush hour was at its zenith.
Burrows talked to his contacts within MI5 who seemed just as much in the dark as he was on the reasons behind Tolliver’s instructions.
Careful not to commit anything to paper, Sir Charles made a mental note that Tolliver would be the subject of an uncomfortable investigation as soon as this action in the gulf and the dammed recession were over.
He puffed out his cheeks and let out an extremely long breath.
Stress dealt with, his thoughts returned to the task at hand.

The phone rang; he hurried back to his desk and sat down.
Burrows looked at the screen; the call was from the CIA.
Concern spread across his wrinkly face; this was not a schedule call. “Something’s come up” he said to himself.
His thoughts then turned to the impending attack on Iran.
Fear spread through his body in a hot flush of panic. Burrows picked up the phone, expecting the worse. The voice at the other end belayed his fears,
but the message came out of the blue; Burrows felt nothing but embarrassment when the Head of London Section for the CIA informed him of Skedar’s interception of the stolen Russian rarity in Sweden.

The call was short and to the point, if the point was that Burrows had no idea what was going on. Burrows struggled to make his answers sound convincing.
The final comment hurt more than anything else
“When agent 007 returns to London I want to buy him a drink, just to say thanks for all the help he has given us on this mission. Now you just relax, go and have dinner at your club, and let us track down the lunatic”

Then in hushed tones the American accent said “Getting hold of the rarity, could change the course of the situation in Iran”

Burrows answered lamely “That’s something we have all been praying for” the line went dead.

Burrows sat back and balled his hands into a fist slamming it onto the desk.
He lent forward and pressed the intercom

“Miss Monepenny”

“Yes M” her clipped tones seemed to mock his unrestrained regional accent

“Can you get Mr. Tanner and Q up here to see me?”

“Yes sir, what time do you want to see them?”

“Now” he released the button


“…and you never even thought to phone in sick?” Sir Charles was in full rant. Bill Tanner stood impassively by his desk, the trip and flight had been exhausting, so at least Tanner looked like death warmed up

“Tanner, I expect more respect from my Chief of Staff, or you won’t be holding the position for much longer”

“No Sir”

“Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Sir”

“Good, now get that old fool from Q branch in here”

“Yes Sir”

Tanner left the office and surreptitiously raised one thumb toward Moneypenny. Her eyes sparked at the thought of the plan being hatched.

“You can come in now Q”

Q slapped his palm on his trousers and walked in to see M

“Good Evening Sir” his smile was genuine

“Cut the crap Q what’s all this about a break in?”

“Yes, strange thing, an attempt was made to gain access to my home,
but my defences saw them off, it’s all in the report that I submitted”

M lent forward “Yes, I’m sure it is. One more thing Q,
when did you last speak to 007?”

“Oh, let me think. He’s in Tahiti isn’t he?
That would mean maybe five weeks ago?”

M sat back and interlocked his fingers, a mock look of surprise on his face
“Really: his Jaguar’s been parked in your garage for the last couple of days”

Q reacted in character “Has it?”

M turned to Tanner, “…and before that he was in Scotland”

Tanner remained calm “Really, I had no idea”

M’s hands came down onto the desk “Same day as the shootings at Faslane.
You are aware gentlemen that I am in charge of MI6.
When a Royal Naval Commander and a Defence communications officer go missing on the same day as two unidentified men and a Royal Marine are killed in Faslane, I notice things like a car belonging my department being in the area”

M paused for breath, his North East accent was on the verge of escape.

He continued “Now unless, that Jag can drive itself down to London”

Q cut in “Well I am working on a remote…”

M jumped up “Shut up Q, I know Bond was in the country. I know he’s in Sweden right now, the bloody Americans told me. What I want to know is what the hell he’s been doing there?”

Tanner stepped forward, nervously; like a naughty school boy.
“We believe you sent The Sea-lex girl to download data from the Vigilant”

M stood his ground, it was not the reply he had expected “Yes I did, based on evidence presented to me that Commander Armstrong was spying for the Russians”

Tanner looked at Q for confirmation “We think that evidence was false”

M sat down; the fear of his miss handling this conversation was beginning to surface, suddenly the decisions he had made since taking on the job seemed very frail and miss guided, he needed to re-group
“Sit down Gentlemen, we need to talk”


Mila’s apartment felt cold and damp; after she picked up her post she quickly went to the thermostat on the wall and put the heating on. She went through to the kitchen to make coffee. Looking around the kitchen she suddenly felt deflated, the last couple of days had been the most exciting of her life.
She had spent last night with the Englishman, and he had seen her off at the airport early this morning, she tried to dismiss her feelings knowing there was a distinct possibility she would never see him again.

She exhaled and drew a line “OK lets see who wants to talk to me; she pressed the voice mail button on her phone, the first message began to play back; as she listened she began opening her letters.

The next message began to play
“Hello Mila, we missed you at the meeting this morning, is everything OK?”
Her blood ran cold, it was Skedar’s voice; he continued
“I wanted to make sure you got the memo about the casino party tonight, when you get this, call me”
The automated voice coughed out the time and date.

The next message played “Mila is everything OK? I just wanted you to know we had an accident at the Institute this afternoon, please don’t discuss this with anyone before speaking to me”

The next message began and Mila felt the tension pulsing through her body
“Mila, I was sorry not to see you last night, I take it you are unwell, I will send Bee around to see you. I am going away on a business trip for the next week or so; just don’t forget if you want to talk to me you have my private mobile number”

Mila gasped at the thought; she had his mobile number. Quickly she rummaged in her bag and brought out her own mobile she pressed send and waited for the line to be connected.

“Good Morning Universal Exports”

“Good Morning, could I speak to James Bond please?”

After a short while the voice came back
“I’m sorry Mr. Bond is not available, can I take a message?”
Mila’s brain was working overtime, “No, I’ll call later”

The next number she dialled gave a better result, although she still had not had the chance to speak with anyone direct
“Hi you’ve reached the voice mail of Felix Leiter…” etc

Mila’s blood ran cold; she found it hard to respond, all she could mange was a distant cold “Its Mila call me” then she hung up, her eyes had been drawn to the contents of one of the letters she had opened whilst listening to Skedar’s messages.

She put the mobile down and reached for the document that had spilt out of the ripped envelope. It was a basic black and white A4 photocopy, but the picture was clear, Mila held the document, without looking at the contents she turned the copy of “The Kirov Conspiracy” over, on the back cover a hand written address commanded all her attention.

The address made no sense to her so she opened the report, surprised to see that the contents were totally different to the book Bond had taken from Skedar’s safe. As she read through the contents, then she began to understand why the sender had given her the address. Mila sat at her computer, with the Kirov report at her side. Carefully she typed in the first name, and was rewarded with a webpage which directed her to an Animal rights group based in The Czech Republic. Something seamed awfully familiar about the name and location.

She let the thought drift, and typed in the second web address.
As the web page came up Mila made the connection
“They’re all groups of Animal rights activists”
Mila went back to the first address again; she navigated the site and clicked on the members tab.

The face of proud woman looked back at her. The legend proclaimed that she had lived and died for the cause.
Mila scrolled down the page.
Another photograph showed the guests and mourners at her funeral. Most of the faces bore the same wild eyed look of the revolutionary, but three faces stared back, out of time and out of place. The names and the location came flooding back to her now as she looked at Nathanial Skedar, in sombre suit as he stood beside the man she had seen at the institute, the man that had been killed.
Mila read the paragraph and as the words ended she raised her hand to cover her mouth. Slowly she took it away and read aloud “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Maria’s parents Yuri and Katherine Remoziva”

Twenty minutes later, bag in hand Mila closed the door to her apartment and ran outside. Waiting at the kerb was the taxi she had ordered to take her to the airport. She checked her watch “Hurry please” she sat back and prayed for a good journey; if the gods were with her she would be in Prague just before lunch.


Last night’s conversation with Q and Tanner had cleared the air.
The evidence they had presented had been circumspect, but held the germ of possibility. Burrows knew of course that it was a carefully rehearsed script. ‘A tissue of lies’ to either test his leadership resolve,
or flush him out as a traitor.
Burrows had listened to the argument, and had requested a trace on Tolliver’s mobile. Naturally the request raised questions which Burrows had skilfully negotiated; this had impressed Tanner and the old fool; but the authorisation had not come through until two in the morning. Burrows had made another motivating decision and slept on a camp bed in the corner of the office.
It brought back the enthusiasm for the job that he thought he’d lost forever. He dressed; and now feeling refreshed and energetic began to plan his actions.

He read the e-mail that a message had come in for Bond from a girl in Finland.
Burrows made his decision, he felt sure that it would be popular with the team “Moneypenny. Trace the number”

“Certainly sir”

“I want to know where that phone is at all times”

“Yes sir”
Burrows put the phone down, even Moneypenny’s tone seemed supportive

Burrows then made a call to Tolliver. The niggles about the man had begun to feel like a big itch that needed scratching.

Tolliver’s secretary sounded nervous “I’m sorry Sir, but Mr. Tolliver hasn’t returned from a military function he was attending yesterday at RAF Lyneham”

The secretary listened to Burrows’ request “I’d like him to contact me as soon as he returns to London”

“I’m sorry Sir; we’re not expecting him in the office today, he’s supposed to be flying from Heathrow this morning”

M took the initiative “How many MI5 bodyguards are assigned to him?”

The secretary cleared her throat “None, he’s attending another Health and climate conference in Brussels”

“When are you expecting him back in London?”

“He is scheduled to be back in two days time”

“Thank you” Burrows slammed the phone down.

Burrows, answered the intercom
“Your car is ready sir” Moneypenny was sharp and efficient this morning, things were looking up.

“Thank-you” Burrows made his way to the underground car park
In the back of his car he contacted MI5. His brain was working overtime.

This time the voice on the other end sounded calm and relaxed
“Morning Charles” Mantis sounded bright

Burrows decided he needed to lay it on thick “David, I’m really concerned about this one, I believe Ben Tolliver is involved in some clandestine investigation that he has not informed you about, and he is going into a politically dangerous situation that I do not think he is adequately protected for”

After a moment (Burrows could imagine the feverish actions to discover the latest movements of the First Secretary) the voice came back “Charles, what the hell is going on? Ben Tolliver just boarded a plane for Prague”

“I think you better get cracking on this” Burrows put the phone down


The electric gate swung open, and the Daimler swished in, crunching the Cotswold chippings beneath its heavy body.
The man in the brown leather jacket had been expecting him, and allowed him into the hallway. Burrows had seen the type many times before. They may not wear the old regiment tie or blazer but the trimmings said SAS louder than the winged dagger badge on a sand coloured beret.
In an upstairs bedroom to the rear of the property, Commander Bill Armstrong sat at a small table playing cards with another member of ‘the Regiment’

The impossible was starting to form in Burrows’ mind.
All the rubbish Tolliver had been spouting on the TV about Global Warming and Health issues. Massive investment at Porton Down he’d been quoted as saying. Then the link to Bond from the girl in Finland; she worked at the Hildebrand Institute. A Russian scientist had been killed at the very same institute, and he had worked at Russia’s foremost viral research establishment the Bioaparat. His memory bank kept returning more golden answers to his searches. There had been a terrorist attack at the Bioaparat, and the terrorists had died in a plane crash in the North Sea.
The Russians had denied any virus had been taken; but now he knew it had. But at the time there would have been communications; and they would have been picked up by the Vigilant.
The circle was almost closed. Tolliver wanted the covert transmissions picked up by Vigilant, because he believed it contained information that would harm the British Government. The best person to do that now sat in front of him.
Armstrong smiled and offered his hand

“I understand I need to address you as M?”

“That’s correct. Commander?”

Armstrong let out a small laugh, which the SAS men took up
“In here it’s just Bill”

Burrows looked around the room “Interrogation not too tough then…Bill?”

“Not unless they (indicating the SAS) are tasked with boring me into a confession”

The thoughts gelled in his mind, no wonder Tanner believed Tolliver was a spy, when you looked at it from the outside.

Burrows sat back in his chair and laced his hands behind his head. But then the thoughts twisted and turned in his mind. Logic took over and the answer came to him. “So Captain Armstrong you’re not a spy” It wasn’t a question

Armstrong accepted comment “I had my orders. Ben Tolliver gave me a code word to monitor on the mission. I didn’t know why, or what it meant”
“But your abduction, at your home, could not have been pleasant?
Armstrong nodded vigorously “I had no idea…”
“…when I came around these guys explained everything”

As Armstrong and the SAS men filled in the gaps a truth began to form in Burrows’ mind. The British government were in the process of purchasing a virus from Bioaparat. “Why?” thought Burrows as he shook his shinny head and smiled.

Armstrong continued “I can only tell you what I was told; in so much as it was a technology we did not have; we bought it with some technology they don’t have”

Then the answer came to M and he almost laughed out loud “Then Tanner and Q have got it all wrong, Tolliver isn’t a spy; he’s doing some kind of dodgy business deal with the Russians”


Burrows left the safe house. Quickly he redialled the MI5 number
“It’s Ok, David call off the hunt for Tolliver;
I know his plan he’s with this chap Skedar, I know exactly what’s going on, there’s absolutely no need to worry”
The pair chatted about a potential meeting for golf at the weekend.


Bond’s mobile was dead. He accepted that news must have filtered back from Tahiti that he had been released; and as he had not reported in to Vauxhall Cross, the new M would have to consider him hostile, especially if he was seen to be assisting M, who was also under suspicion. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out MI6 had put a block on his mobility.

Bond need to contact Tanner; he bought a ‘pay as you go’ at the airport; and sat in a bar to make his call.

“Any news on Jenifer?”

“Sorry James, no” Bond thought of her running or hiding by her self. He needed to find her. Worse still, Burrows could have her; which meant is all honesty she would tell me about Bond’s involvement. Or the worst scenario, the attacker had her. Bond would not allow himself to think of the consequences.
“What about the submarine captain, Armstrong”

Tanner sounded jaded “”No word. 007 Q has some information”

The picture was three quarters profile and taken from a CCTV from a high angle but Bond was able to identify the man straight away
“It’s Sharvin, Russian Secret Service”

Q’s voice came back over Bond’s ‘pay as you go’ phone
“This is the man that attacked Jenifer, he has her mobile”

“Is it tagged?”

“Yes, I’ll send you the link”

“How’s Burrows?

Tanner answered “We had a good chat with him last night. I honestly believe he’s on the level. He listened to our pitch on Tolliver; and came to the conclusion himself that he could well be a prime suspect”

Q cut in “After our meeting he sanctioned a trace on Tolliver’s mobile”

“I’ll take that link too” Bond didn’t believe there would be a happy ending just yet

Tanner added “One more thing James, there have been three attempts to contact you by the girl you were with in Sweden”

“Typical” Q’s voice could be heard in the background

“What was the message?”

“She would not leave one, so we are monitoring her calls, Burrows put a trace on her number too”

“I’ll link to her as well”

“If Burrows is our man, he’s a bloody good spy. I got the impression he thought Tolliver was bent from the start”

Bond had the thought that the answer was there for the taking, maybe just one or two pieces still to find “Interesting reaction about Tolliver. Where is the First Secretary now?”

Tanner answered “Strange behaviour. He walked out on a repatriation ceremony in Wiltshire yesterday. And today his flight plan was changed from Brussels to Prague”

“Why is that strange?”

Q cut in “Because Jenifer’s mobile’ in the hands of this man Sharvin is showing as no more then two feet away from Tolliver’s and the last trace on your girlfriend’s phone was from Prague, she arrived at the airport fifteen minutes ago”

Bond thought quickly “Bill, get me a cover that will open any door in the Czech Republic. One that Tolliver doesn’t know of”

“Will do James”

“Bill, do we have a status update from the CIA on tracking down Skedar?”

“Ah problem there. Burrows may be on the level; in which case he really thinks that our M and you have actually gone rogue”

“That explains why my company mobile is dead”

“And the CIA have a communications block on your number”

“Well let’s keep our relationship secret a little longer. I’ve worked against the odds before”

“Trouble is” Tanner said “I don’t think they’ve ever been this long before”

#11 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 09:06 PM

Chapter Ten

The Sedlec Ossuary

Under Skedar’s instructions, Gregory Raikkon had rented a small workshop, near the centre of Kutna Hora. Together with trusted members of his Animal rights group, Raikkon had installed the equipment which Skedar had supplied.
Now as Skedar, Manic and Bee drove toward the town,
Raikkon waited in the dark for their arrival.

The grey Mercedes Benz C class pulled into the courtyard.

Gregory had been overcome by grief at the murder of his wife; he had wanted revenge and had actively sought out a way in which to hit back at Moscow.
When news reached him that the Russian Secret Service had killed his
Father in Law as well, he eagerly complied with Skedar’s instructions.
He stood now framed in the doorway his hands rested at his side.

“My dear Gregory, words cannot express my sorrow for your losses” Skedar embraced the man; it was like holding a dead animal. Skedar felt a revulsion pass between them, he thought others must feel the same when they had to come into contact with him. That thought brought a feeling of pity which quickly gave way to anger.

Without a word Raikkon took them inside and lead them to the room where Skedar’s four laboratory personnel waited. Here they would manipulate the rarity and prepare it for distribution.

Skedar produced the case and began to address the technicians
“We need enough virus to supply ten anti vivisection groups. With the cultures I have here you will be able to achieve that within twenty four hours”

The group applauded, and then Raikkon brought up his hands from the folds of his long dark blue raincoat, and spoke for the first time
“We have confirmation from a group from the Ukraine, one from Finland and one from the UK all will be arriving tomorrow afternoon”

Skedar looked thoughtful “Then we better start right away”

Manic handed him a white Lab coat. Skedar took the case and followed the technicians into the sterile area.

Gregory looked at Manic “I will prepare food here tonight; I think they will have to work around the clock. After the European groups leave tomorrow we only have two days until the Mexicans arrive”


Ruzyne-Prague is a modern international airport located around 17 km northwest of the city. All international flights arrive there. The journey from the airport to the city centre takes around 30 minutes. Mila had taken the rental car and driven from the airport, now she calculated another hour to her destination.

However, Prague has three other small airports which can accommodate private jets and all have designated landing areas for helicopters.
Ben Tolliver’s diplomatic immunity had cut out all the customs and airport control time which had delayed Mila;
so much so that when James Bond overlaid the GPS traces he watched with fascination as the three signals began to converge.

The pretty blonde girl looked up from her computer screen and eyed the well dressed Diamond merchant at her counter with a new respect.

“Mr. Van de Beer?” she fluttered her eyelashes and turned on her most seductive smile.

“Yes I am” replied Bond

“If you would like to follow me, your car is available”


The harsh fluorescent lighting reflected off the sleek curves of the gleaming Gunmetal grey bodywork; the chrome air intake slashed along its flank in the form of a sculptured groove from the middle of the door all the way to the sports mesh protecting the engine bay.
The car looked every inch a thoroughbred and in silent insolence it demanded to be driven.

“Your, Spyker C8 Laviolette, sir” She dropped the keys into his hand.
They were warm.

Bond squeezed into the tobacco grey leather interior and squinted at the aluminium chronoswiss dashboard, he pressed the starter and the boom of the 4200cc V8 took away any thoughts that the car was ostentatious.

Bond caressed the leather trimmed steering wheel with his palms and marvelled at the mock propeller spokes that attached it to the column. The engine roared like thunder in the mountains; and Bond tamed its savage power and eased the car out into a dull Czech winter’s day.


Nathanial Skedar woke with a start, for a moment as his body struggled to throw off the deep sleep he could not remember where he was; then as his makeshift quarters came into focus he recalled this could be the greatest day of his life. Instantly his mind became alert. The four technicians had worked well into the night. He felt confident that all would be ready for today’s transfer to the groups.

Gregory Raikkon sat across the other side of the room, he seemed to be staring straight through Skedar, his face set with a grim determination; idly Skedar wondered if he had slept at all. Movement from his left completed the picture as he remembered it; and Manic walked slowly across the room
“Coffee?” he held out a cup.

He took the cup and then spoke to the solemn man opposite him
“Gregory, has the Ossuary been prepared for the transfers?”

Raikkon shook off his melancholy and steeled himself for another day alone in the World “Yes Mr. Skedar, I have prepared everything”

“Excellent. Mr. Manic, can you ensure everything is cleared up here; we need to leave for the Ossuary in a little while, and see that our shop window is set out, ready for our customers”
Manic was unfamiliar with the terminology, so he asked
“I am sorry I do not understand”
Skedar rubbed his hand over his face; the areas where he could still shave felt rough and he knew he would look even more unacceptable than normal unless he shaved

“I must shave, Mr. Manic. After all we are going to church”

Skedar went to the bathroom and Gregory explained to the big Frenchman and Bee (the lithe little minx that hovered around him like a bitch on heat)
what was happening
“The groups will receive the rarity at the Sedlec Ossuary”
Gregory could see that it meant nothing to them.

“It’s a small Christian chapel located beneath the Church of All Saints in Sedlec. It’s here in the suburbs of Kutná Hora, about a kilometre away”


Mila Satu peered in through the dirty stained glass window,
All was quiet, now that the crows had finished squawking in the cemetery, at her arrival. The message she had received, written on the cover of the Kirov report had specified a time in the early afternoon but her curiosity had prompted her to go straight to the meeting point.
The church door was securely locked and she realised she was completely alone. She reached for her mobile, perhaps now she would be able to contact Bond. Nothing.

Skedar and his group parked their cars at the church gates and walked through the cemetery, the birds took off in mock alarm. The path meandered through the neatly kept grass banks and led to the church; the snow stubbornly clung to the headstones and earth where it was still in the shadows of the church.
“The Ossuary of the "Bone Church," as it is popularly known contains more than 40,000 human skeletons”

Manic looked at Skedar, wondering if he had understood the meaning of the words. Skedar smiled and nodded his massive head to show that he had understood perfectly. Skedar turned toward the group and smiled. Even Gregory laughed at the memory of the story. The technicians followed on carrying the cases of the newly prepared rarity; snorting to each other and making muffled comments about the suitability of the church. Bee looked over at Manic, and wondered just what awaited them inside.

“They have all been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings in the chapel” Skedar laughed and unlocked the front door, he ushered Manic and Bee into the body of the church.

“The place is steeped in history Mr. Manic, let me explain. Henry, the abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Holy Land by King Otakar II of Bohemia in 1278” they walked along the knave of the church, their footsteps echoed in the empty morning “When he returned, he brought with him a small barrel of earth from Golgotha, the place where Christ was crucified, and sprinkled it over the cemetery in the monastery”

Their path was blocked by an ancient iron bared gate; around it looped a chain with a very modern looking padlock. Skedar put the case on the floor and produced the key from his pocket, as he unlocked the gate and draped the chain over the gate he continued “The news of the presence of earth from the Holy Land soon spread and the cemetery became a highly desirable burial site for the Holy and the faithful throughout Central Europe. During the Black Death in the mid 14th century, thousands of people were buried here and the cemetery had to be greatly enlarged; the ground became infested with the plague”


Mila’s heart pounded as she followed Skedar’s party into the church.
She hid behind the last row of benches, the wood felt damp against her fingers and it smelt sweet and sickly, it was the smell of death.


Manic followed Skedar down the smooth rounded steps, the light fading as they progressed around the spiral steps; Bee held on tightly. The four technicians trailed behind; the cases banging against the ancient stone walls. Bee seemed to be dragging him down, the darkness affected his balance and the big Frenchman wobbled down the steps.

The sound of claws scraping over stone began to recede before them, whatever was down there was quickly scuttling back into the darkness. Skedar’s voice boomed in the emptiness
“In 1400 a Gothic church, the ‘Church of All Saints’ was built in the centre of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level and a lower chapel to be used as an ossuary for the mass graves unearthed during construction. In1511 the task of exhuming the skeletons and stacking their bones in the chapel was, given to a blind monk”

Bee felt the darkness close in on her and instinctively she wanted to put out her hand to guide herself along the corridor, but she held on to Manic’s hand and closed her eyes and let him guide her. Skedar’s voice guided them and stopped the feeling of claustrophobia and vertigo setting in completely “Between 1703 and 1710 a new entrance was constructed to support the front wall, and the upper chapel was rebuilt. This Baroque style work was designed by Jan Santini Aichel. In 1870 over 200 years after the bone stacking was first started, Frank Rint, a local woodcarver, was employed to put the heaps of thousands of bones into a decorative order. He had a vision”
Skedar stopped; suddenly it was pitch black and deathly quiet. Then in a blaze of light the room in which they stood became illuminated.

“The results of his efforts speak for themselves” as their eyes adjusted to the light, the room began to shine brighter showing the entire space.
Four enormous bell-shaped mounds of bones occupied each corner of the chapel. The colour sickened Bee; it looked as if they had been bleached and polished. From the centre of the knave an enormous chandelier of bones hung, festooned with garlands of skulls draping the vaults. Manic directed the men to put the cases on the floor, when they had; all of them looked around in awe of the morbid decorations.

They worked quickly. Bee pulled Manic close to her “Skedar, the man of vision in a church of death, this is so hot n’est pas?” Manic slapped her hand away
Skedar looked at he finished result, and nodded in satisfaction.

“Thank-you Mr. Manic, thank you Gregory, and thank-you my little Bee.
His hand traced her face. Now you must leave and prepare for the next phase of the operation”
Gregory left without a word, Bee, Manic and three of the technicians followed on. One man remained with Skedar in the tomb of death. He worked silently opening the cases
From behind the man Skedar reached into his coat and produced a gun
“What is your name my friend?”

The young Czech stood up straight; his body ached from the long hours huddled over the work bench, he turned toward Skedar. “My name is Ged”
Skedar passed him the gun “For you Ged, now try to look tough when our guests arrive” The giant head nodded to the rhythm of his laughter


Mila crept down the dark uninviting steps; her legs shook as she searched for the courage to continue. As she rounded the final bend the lights went on; she could hear voices; with trepidation she slowly lent around the wall and looked into the room, instantly she withdrew and covered her mouth with her shaking hand. As the full horror of the scene burned itself into her mind she became transfixed by her first glance at the array of skulls, femurs and pelvises she felt the panic take hold and try to shake itself out of her body in the form of a scream. She bit down on her hand, in an attempt to stifle a scream; the skulls were everywhere, long dead skeletons hung in every dark and shadowed cranny. Everywhere she looked the dead looked back, and the primeval need for release continued to build inside her.

Blind panic gripped her as she felt the dread fear scream start to erupt; not because of what she was seeing but because of what she was feeling.
A whisper of breath kissed her neck as a skeletal hand stretched out of the darkness, and with a sound akin to paper rustling;
its bony fingers touched and crawled along her shoulder.
Unable to breathe she ran from her place of concealment,
the scream pouring from her mouth.
Ged drew his gun; it took all his discipline not to shoot as the girl ran out into the Ossuary her hands shaking wildly above her head.
Ged dropped to one knee and held a bead on the girl.
Skedar, watched in fascination
“Its OK Ged I know her”
Mila stopped her run in front of Skedar; she looked into his wild staring eyes. His face cracked open in a lopsided grin. In a flash he raised and swung his own hand down in a fast swathing arc. The open hand contacted with Mila’s jaw, its power sent her into a dark oblivion, as she crashed to the floor.

The sound of bones dragging over the smooth stone of the steps broke Skedar’s attention; his gaze shifted to the entrance as a skeletal hand slithered into view


Ben Tolliver walked out into the middle of the Ossuary, holding a human skeletal hand, the 27 bones from the 8 carpus in the wrist to the 5 metacarpus of the palm had carefully been held together with hemp.
Each of the remaining 14 digital bones had been threaded onto a wire;
he used it now, in an elaborate gesture to point at the massive bone sculpture on the wall opposite

“My personal favourite, the Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms. It’s the acknowledged signature of Master Rint”

Ged momentarily looked toward the wall and was horrified at the sight of the sculpture showing the skeleton of a bird pecking at the eye socket of a human skull.
It was the last thing he ever saw.
The gun shot was loud and echoed in the chamber
Tolliver’s distraction had allowed Sharvin to enter the chamber and shoot Ged through the head; even in death, as the young Czech fell forward he gripped his gun. He was dead before his shattered face smashed into the stone floor.

“Hello Nathanial, how the devil are you?”

Skedar’s jaw dropped “You”

Tolliver walked over and stood astride Mila; using the hand again he pointed downward “One of yours I believe” his black pinstripe suit, well groomed hair and clean shaven elegance looked at odds with the surroundings
Skedar, had of course recognised Mila Satu, but how she could have known about this place was beyond him
Tolliver could see Skedar was unable to make the connection
“She’s your Finnish contact”

Skedar knew Mila had a hatred of the vivisection and had raised a concern, but he had no idea she was involved with any Animal rights group, his confusion was evident.

“And I’m your contact from the UK” his eyes mocked him

Skedar looked deep into Tolliver’s eyes, the betrayal lay within them. He glanced over at Sharvin. Unexpectedly he found it hard to believe what he was seeing or hearing.
Skedar pointed uncertainly at the Russian
“He’s Russian Secret Service”

“For our purposes Mr. Sharvin represents the Ukraine; and I can assure you his allegiance is to the party that can offer the biggest rewards” suddenly Tolliver began to laugh the noise sounded obscene within the surroundings.
“No one else is coming; there are no animal liberation groups waiting to distribute your virus”
Tolliver’s eyes lit up, the madness in his eyes sparkled.
“Did you really expect your urban dog warriors would be able to halt the US war machine?”
Tolliver recognised that Skedar now understood his predicament.
“I chose this place. I have been here in the past. It inspires me. Having gazed into the ‘bells’ where countless bones are stacked, I began to appreciate that every skull represented a person; a life so different from my own, yet connected to me in other respects, not least because I know I too will one day be reduced to these ghostly remains, a forgotten memory from an unwritten future’s history”

Skedar watched in disbelief as Tolliver strolled around the Ossuary
“As a young man I was often plagued by these thoughts, I think the visits did more good than harm, as an artist myself I could value the artistic merit of the bone's arrangements and the internal reflections they induce. That’s when I first decided that I would never be a forgotten man. If existence continues beyond this life, I see it as ludicrous that they might dwell in the remnants of their body. Even bones decay given enough time, and what is time when you are dead?” Tolliver laughed again.

He pointed accusingly at Skedar “To think, you only intended to use the virus to stop the fighting. Whereas I will use it to escalate the fighting”
The sound of footsteps approaching from the stairs did nothing to shift the intense feeling of betrayal from Skedar’s shoulders.

“You fool” shouted Tolliver “You are nothing but a lone voice in the wilderness. How did you ever think that a freak like you would be capable of masterminding a World changing project? Did you really think that Remoziva was only in cahoots with you? No. Everything he passed on to you came my way as well. The only thing he didn’t know was that I was telling the Russians what he was doing”

Tolliver brushed back his hair and wiped the spittle that had formed on his lips “Then he came to me, crying about his daughter, bleating on about how they needed to pay. So I got him to steel the virus and put it on the plane for Bonny Scotland”

Tolliver shook his head in disbelief “Then the plane crashed, but the Russians were looking in the wrong place; all because of a new devise we were trialling. So I gave Yuri the GPS off set, and he came up with the real location. Of course he asked me if he’d got it right, of course he had, so he became expendable” Tolliver nodded to Sharvin “Your former employee’s last act for his former employer” Tolliver walked over to the gigantic bone font that stood against the wall, and stroked the pelvic bone with the skeletal hand.
“I had it all planned so well; I had the information filtered away from GCHQ; then I lost the memory stick, and time became of the essence again. I needed you to get the virus and process it for me. Thank you. Now I need to release it on the waiting World”
The figure emerged from the steps. Gregory Raikkon had the same look of grim determination on his face as he had when Skedar had first seen him that morning. He wore his long blue coat, which gave him the appearance of a monk.
Raikkon walked slowly across the chamber, when he stood three feet away from Skedar he spoke, his voice was choked with emotion
“You killed my wife” from the folds of the coat he lifted his arm, as his hand became visible, Skedar realized he was holding something, from his side he lifted the axe.
In the quiet of the Ossuary, the sound as it swung through the stale death laden air was as pure a sound as Gregory had ever heard.


The three GPS signals were almost identical, Bond changed gear and rounded the bend with the precision of a racing driver, his jaw was set and his concentration level hovered at 100%. Faster, he urged the car on.
During the flight the problem that had been niggling away at his sense of logic since his meeting with M in Trollhatten, forced its way to the front of his mind; then when he had seen the signals in Prague it hit him.
‘Somebody had given Remoziva a tip off about the Trident GPS off set.
Remoziva had then written an alternative set of co-ordinates, which he attempted to give to Skedar, in an effort to beat the Russians to the rarity.
If that somebody were Tolliver, and Tolliver was a Russian spy; then why wouldn’t he just tell Medyev?”
The answer, of course had been there all along, but Bond had been too blind to see, too unwilling to believe that a man with such a high profile in the British government would be capable of such treason. ‘Tolliver wanted the rarity for himself. Remoziva had been killed by the Russians before being able to pass his secret to Skedar. Somehow Tolliver had passed on the real co-ordinates to Skedar. But there was only three ways Tolliver could have been in receipt of the real co-ordinates. One, cracking the codes on the memory stick; impossible. Two, Sharvin had taken a copy of the letter, highly improbable. Then Bond remembered Sharapov’s reaction when he indicated Sharvin’s involvement in Britain. He changed his prognosis to possible. Three, Remoziva had given the co-ordinates to Tolliver, probable. And if that were the case Tolliver had been using both Skedar and Remoziva, to procure the rarity for him.
“Now, what would a man like Ben Tolliver want with a rarity of virus, that could take out the live stock of an entire continent”
What was understood was that Tolliver and Sharvin were now working together, so the simple solution was that Sharvin must have checked with Tolliver in order to get the OK to kill Remoziva. Bond went back to the Sharvin problem, he recalled Sharapov’s reaction. And there it was; Sharapov knew that the Russian Secret service man had gone dark after he had assassinated Remoziva.

Bond’s feet danced on the pedals of the Spyker, he took the next bend at an impossible speed, snapping the skidding car back in line, he floored the accelerator and the car leapt forward as if it had a life of its own. The engine note rose, and Bond could not resist a smile as the exhaust made a noise akin to thunder rumbling in the mountains.


The empty sockets stared down upon their latest accusations.
Gregory, fell to his knees and wept. Tolliver patted him on the shoulder
“Well done, she is avenged” he stepped away from the grieving man and Sharvin took his place.
Without moving Gregory asked “I heard you say that Yuri had become expendable” As the realization hit him he began to climb to his feet.
Tolliver glanced over at Sharvin; who coldly shot Gregory in the back of the head.
As the echo faded Tolliver and Sharvin heard Jenifer start to scream “Help”

Tolliver closed his eyes and shook his head in frustration
“Let’s go and put that stupid bitch out of her misery”

Without a backward glance; Tolliver began to climb the steps, his face set in an angry determination
Sharvin switched off the light; and as the blackness engulfed him, only the sound of scuttling prevented a total void. Hurriedly he followed his master.


The ceramic brake dust billowed from the discs as Bond slewed the Spyker to a halt. The gull wing door opened and Bond jogged over the neat lawns, with their patches of frozen snow crunching underfoot. He headed directly toward the church. Gun in hand.


Inside the Ossuary the darkness was oppressive; Mila moved her fingers and traced them over the cold stone; she understood that she was alive, but the total darkness prevented her from getting up. Slowly her memory of events returned, she recalled the horror of the room she had followed Skedar into.
The terror she had felt when the bones had touched her, then the true horror returned to her, she was alive, but she had been left alone in the room of skeletons. She began to cry.

Bond moved quickly along the knave of the church, the silence was total; and then he saw her; even from that distance the angle of her neck looked bad.
Bond holstered his gun and moved closer to the old Iron Gate.

Jenifer Foxwell hung motionless from the top of the iron barred gate.
Bond reached out and touched her hand. It was cold and lifeless.
Bond looked up at the chain around her neck.
Sickeningly it seemed it was there only to hold her up in position and not some bizarre noose.
Bond touched her neck, no pulse.

He saw the bruises, and understood it had not been the chain that had killed her. Her injuries had been caused by human intervention. Bond felt a revulsion rise within him, whoever had done this had taken a sick perverted pleasure in her death. Bond’s resolve steeled him for what he knew he would need to do next; without fear he pushed open the gate and looked at the damage that had been done to the back of her body. Jenifer’s arms had been broken and threaded back between the bars of the gate; it was this abomination that was holding her off the floor.
Carefully Bond pulled the lifeless girl down. Revenge would come, but for the moment he needed to be gentle, her memory warranted it.


Mila felt the fear clutching at her heart; then she heard the sound, a faint scratching, like the filing of her finger nails. Soon it became louder and stronger, a hitch pitched squeal, put her nerve endings on overload, like when her old Mathematics teacher had run his hand down a blackboard. The sound emanated from all around her; then the lightest of touch brushed passed her leg.

Mila screamed.

Bond checked his urge to run down into the darkness.
He pulled out his mobile and ran the signal.
Only Mila’s GPS signal showed at the centre of the screen; both Tolliver’s and Jenifer’s mobiles were heading away from the church. Mila screamed again, and Bond plunged down into the darkness.

The screams from below and the light from his mobile spurred him on at breakneck speed. As he hit level ground he felt the contraction of the stair case leave him and he stood in some vast cavern, his breath echoed in the blackness. Bond fumbled for the wall and with the help of the illumination from his mobile he switched on the light.

Bond had no fear of the dead, so the sight of the skulls festooning the walls and ceiling of the ossuary had no effect upon him, but the sight of rats scurrying across the stone floor sent a shiver down his spine.
Mila screamed again; Bond saw her sit up in the center of the room, a mangy rat clinging to her sleeve. Bond kicked at the rodents that were massing at his feet and he ran across the stone floor to Mila. Quickly he swatted the rat from her arm; it screeched an unearthly scream and scurried away disappearing between the gaps in the nearest bone pile.

Bond knelt and took her in his arms. Together they took in the seen.
Skedar lay dead in front of them; a fire axe had cleaved his skull in two, allowing the blood to flow out onto the stone floor; rats now hunched over the congealing mess drinking the once precious fluid.
A large rat nibbled on one of his fingers, others ran across his body.
Mila shivered and began to moan with the horror of the nightmare, but as she turned her head away the rest of the scene of carnage un-folded.
Another body lay shrouded in a dark blue overcoat, where his head should have been was simply a tangle of rats, pressing and twisting to taste another morsel of their victim. To the other side of the ossuary lay a big man; a gun still remained in his hand despite the efforts of four large rats, trying to prize it from his fingers.
Mila moaned in panic and began to break away from Bond’s grip, as the hysteria took hold of her, she ran for the steps. Bond let her go, he needed to analyze the scene. Quickly he began to piece together what had happened.

Two men had been shot dead by a bullet to the head; probably from the same assassin. Skedar’s death had been malicious in the extreme. As one of the corpses still held a gun, Bond surmised the man in the blue coat had dealt the fatal blow to Skedar. Which would have meant that Skedar had allowed the man to approach him, and / or been held by threat. Tolliver had not been alone.
From the way Jenifer had been killed Bond knew the killer was Sharvin.

As the seconds elapsed more rats poured out from behind the piles of bones; their red eyes showing contempt for the intruder with his bright light, but this feast was just too tempting to miss.
Bond backed away from the advancing carpet of rats.
From above Mila screamed again; Bond knew she had found Jenifer; he turned from the grizzly scene and raced up the steps; for once in his life he could not bare to think of the pain someone else was going through.
He had failed to protect Jenifer; he did not want to leave Mila alone for one second longer than he had to.

Mila sat with her head in her hands, her body racked with sobs; as Bond approached she pointed at Jenifer’s body. Bond put his arm around her, and turned her away from the scene. In between sobs Mila said “Skedar was going to use Animal rights groups to distribute the virus; I received an invitation, he thought I was a member of an active group. He was going to blackmail the superpowers into stopping fighting, but is that so wrong, James?”

“No, that’s what he thought he was doing, but he was tricked by Sharvin and a man called Tolliver”

Mila looked concerned the name came to the front of her memory “Ben Tolliver? But he is a good man, I have heard him speak, he understands the threat of the virus in respect of climate change; all this has got out of hand; and now they are all dead” she began to cry again uncontrollably
Bond put a reassuring arm around her shoulder

“Tolliver doesn’t care about that; he’s only spoken about it to prepare the public for an outbreak of some new virus; like the one he has now. And you know how much your friend Sharvin is true to the cause”

“Did Sharvin kill the girl?” she motioned to the broken body of Jenifer

“I believe he did”

“Do they have the virus now?

“They do”

“Was Skedar insane?”

“He was”

“And this man Tolliver is he insane?”

“No, he’s an evil traitor, and he has to be stopped”

She stifled her tears “James, why are we here? Alone? Where’s Felix and the CIA? Where is Major Sharapov?

“They’re trying to stop another madman bombing Iran” But in the back of his mind Bond knew it was a valid question, he only wished he knew the real answer.

Someone somewhere had called off the search for Skedar, probably Sharvin, for the Russians, but who would have switched off the CIA; Bond put the question to the back of his mind.

Bond checked his mobile for Tolliver’s GPS signal; it bleeped obediently back at him “He’s less than one kilometer away, I have to stop him” Mila nodded

Bond went to the wall of the church and pulled down a huge tapestry.
The dust swirled in the light. It settled on the floor as he returned to Mila. Gently he draped the tapestry over Jenifer’s body. Speaking in little more than a whisper Bond said goodbye to the fragile woman that had been used by Tolliver. At the thought of the British minister, Bond felt the revulsion rise, as he realized Tolliver would have given Sharvin the instruction to kill her. “Rest now Jenifer Foxwell; your revenge will be swift”

Bond stood up, without turning he asked

“Will you stay here, and look after her for me?”

Mila nodded, the hysteria had gone now. The sobs were controlled
“Of course”

As Bond ran to the door she shouted

“James. Please be careful”

#12 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 05 February 2010 - 07:35 PM

Chapter Eleven

Traitor’s gate

Bond checked the signal again as he squeezed himself into the Spyker.
He reversed, slipped on the handbrake and executed a 180 degree turn
and roared off in pursuit.

The buildings slid by at breakneck speed.
Bond tried to capture all the relevant facts.
Skedar had had 24 hrs to process the rarity; during this time the CIA and the FSB with all their pooled resource were no closer to stopping him as they had been at the lake side in Sweden.
Something was not right; the best intelligence agencies in the World were after him; but no one had shown up to stop him; something was definitely not right. Bond used the exposed gear lever to change down and coax the car around another sharp bend. The tyres squealed, not in protest, but at the sheer exhilaration of being allowed to perform.

“Where’s the back up?” he mused. Bond reached for his mobile.
His other hand made minute adjustments on the steering wheel as he waited for the call to be answered.

“Universal Exports. How can I …”

“Bill, where’s the cavalry?” cut in Bond

Tanner’s reply was not a good one, his voice was edgy and nervous
“Burrows has called everyone off, he’s convinced himself that Tolliver is doing a deal with the Russians to advance our virus research capability. Burrows has let it be known that he wants to give the First Secretary some space, to negotiate”

Bond threw the phone down in disgust.
The narrow roads made it difficult to focus on the mobile, as it slid across the seat. Bond glanced down at the screen, he could clearly see Mila’s signal at the church, and the signal from Jenifer’s mobile no more than half a kilometer ahead; Bond assumed Tolliver’s was too close to Jenifer’s so as not to register. The pitch from the signal changed, Bond knew they were on the move.
An old woman, who had lived in the village all her life; and was just getting used to cars driving by her house, looked on in amazement as the Spyker swept past the old farm. She crossed herself, and said a little prayer to God,
asking him to save her family from the aliens. With slow deliberation, she pulled the black head scarf back around her face and returned to the safety of her doorway.
Up ahead a Mercedes Benz pulled out of a side street and veered left from the main road. Jenifer’s GPS signal made the same movement.
Bond floored the accelerator.
The engine responded with a banshee scream, that convinced the old woman that it was the dead risen from Sedlec that was passing and not aliens as she had first thought. She closed the door and rushed to tell her family of the Armageddon that was about to befall them.

The buildings turned into barns and wooden sheds and then a mixture of trees and hedgerow, the Spyker swept along the cold soulless road; to his right was a railway line. Even in the heat of the chase Bond thought it dangerous that no barrier existed between the road and the track.
The road swept down and left away from the track, which rose with the land, Bond eased the brake pedal and screamed around another blind bend.
Up ahead he could see the track crossed the road as an exposed bridge.

The Mercedes was parked half off the road, its door still open; Ivan Sharvin was climbing the steep incline up to the rail track.
Bond was past the scene and under the bridge before the brakes stopped the car. A moment of silence ensued.
Bond jumped out and started up the other side of the rail embankment.

His face was devoid of emotion, his heartbeat remained steady; what he was intending to do was going to be in cold, cold blood.
This was not for Queen and Country; this was for Jenifer.

As he reached the top, a shot rang out; Bond hit the ground and crabbed to his right; another shot kept his head below the parapet.
Bond took a handful of gravel and tossed it over to his left; a third shot responded in that direction.
Bond exploding over the bank like a sprinter coming out of the blocks; the Walther P99 pumping in his hand. Sharvin had anticipated Bond would show up to the left and was still aiming in that direction.
The moment’s delay in turning his weapon was all Bond needed; he fired three shots in quick succession, Sharvin grunted as one of the 7.65mm shells hit home.
His body jerked and slid down out of view.
Bond reached the spot and saw that Sharvin lay prone on the ground,
about nine feet below the crest.
Bond approached with caution, it was steep here, and the shale was loose. Sharvin’s gun lay a good foot away from his hand.
There was no sign of life.

Bond traversed the body and kicked the gun away; with contempt and a feeling of disappointment at the quick demise, Bond knelt to search the fallen man; at the last moment Sharvin kicked out and caught Bond on the inside of his knee,
the pain flared and his senses blurred, fighting for balance,
Bond felt himself slipping down the embankment.
Sharvin struck with the speed of a rattle snake, in an instant he was on him, his hot breath rasping in Bond’s ear.

Bond flung his arm up in a pathetic attempt to block the blow; but it slid past his arm and crashed into his head; as the arm was being withdrawn Bond caught hold of Sharvin’s sleeve and pulled him down over the top of him.
Momentum took hold and Sharvin slid down the bank,
dislodging more chippings as he fell.
Bond kept hold and followed, rolling over his opponent; together they careered out of control down the bank. Bond managed to control his fall, and kicked out propelling Sharvin away from him.
As Sharvin came to a halt Bond jumped up from the gravel bank and landed on his back. The air came out of him and he lay winded.
Somehow Bond had kept hold of his gun during the fall and without delay forced the muzzle of the Walther tight behind Sharvin’s right ear.

“Where’s Tolliver and the virus”

“Go to Hell” Sharvin twisted, and threw Bond from his back; he tried to go for his throat, but Bond used the butt of the gun to strike Sharvin’s head;
the metal scraped down along the temple and left a nasty gash.

“I won’t ask again”

“Good, because I’m not telling…”

The sentence was cut off as Bond smashed the gun
into the bridge of Sharvin’s nose.

“That will save some time then, I was never any good at interrogation”
Bond grabbed Sharvin picking him up by the collar and began dragging him back up the rough embankment.
Sharvin’s feet fought to get a grip on the surface,
but his elbows and hands smashed against the rough stones
cutting them to ribbons.

Where the strength came from Bond did not know; he only knew that he had failed to protect a young woman, one who had put her faith in him.
Bond was out for revenge; a swift and exacting revenge.

Once on top of the bridge they stood face to face, Bond gestured for Sharvin to put his hands in his trouser pockets; one inside, Bond quickly searched his opponent; from Sharvin’s inside jacket pocket, he removed a thin metal canister; and from the outside pockets came the two mobile phones.
Satisfied the man was unarmed Bond smiled a cold ironic smile and raised the Walther saying

“Get on the track”

Sharvin removed his hands from his pockets and put them up to his shattered nose, a defient attitude poured from him, with disdain he looked back at Bond, in mock disbelief he asked
“You’re not still pissed about our little game back at the institute are you?”

“Not at all, get on the track”

Sharvin gestured toward the canister in Bond’s hand “You’ve got the virus; you don’t want to be standing around here for too long”

Bond understood that Sharvin was assessing Bond’s motives, (just as he had done back at he institute, when faced with entering the cage) and in doing so his own chance of survival and escape. Oh how the odds had changed since then.
Bond decided to lay his cards on the table, and begin to dominate the man with fear
“This is the main line from Prague, there’s bound to be a train soon, we won’t be standing around here for too long”

Sharvin’s hands slowly came away from his nose
Bond was immobile; his voice was cold, chilled with the blood coursing through his veins
“Get on the track”

Sharvin slowly shook his head “I have no motivation to do such a…”
Bond fired the Walther. Sharvin pirouetted, and fell back on to the track.
“I’m not very good at negotiation either”

Bond looked down at the wounded man; the bullet had entered the fleshy muscle of the left shoulder.
“Now, there’s a good fellow, let’s wait for the train”

Sharvin rocked forward “You want to know where the rest of the virus is?”

“No, but I expect you want to tell me now?” Bond suddenly felt exposed; he looked about to see if Tolliver was anywhere to be seen.

Bond crossed the track and pulled Sharvin along the ground; quickly he dragged him back so that his legs rested on the rail. The low rumble of an engine became audible in the distance. Sharvin looked up in panic
Bond smiled “Not long now”

Sharvin’s face was a bloody mess, but his eyes betrayed his panic
“Listen Bond, I can tell you where he is. Just pull me back”
The train could be heard quite clearly now, the rumble transmitting itself as a vibration along the line. Sharvin began to struggle to lift himself up.
Bond knelt at his side and held his wrist, forcing the arm back against the elbow joint, then with cold deliberation he fired at the elbow. Sharvin’s scream was loud and very high pitched.
Bond changed his grip, holding Sharvin’s collar, Bond applied pressure and forced his head back. The blood from his broken nose was running freely back into the throat, and Sharvin began to choke. Sharvin writhed in agony as the pain of the shattered elbow began to eat at every nerve ending along the arm. He turned his head and spat out the blood; gasping for air he cried out in agony “Tolliver is still at the church”

Bond looked down at him quizzically; Sharvin continued

“The virus is still at the Ossuary”

The train horn sounded a low mournful wail. Sharvin spat more blood from his mouth
“Tolliver is going to blow the church to hell, and release the virus, it will wipe out all livestock in Europe; Tolliver thinks everybody will believe the ground has spewed up the plagues of the last 800 years. He calls it his Samson option”

The train came into view
“For Christ sake Bond, get me off here” He began to jerk his body off the ground, but with his broken arm and shattered shoulder injuries he could get no purchase. His breathing became ragged and then his eyes grew wide and the train swept upon him.
“For Christ sake Bond, you’re a professional; you don’t have the right to play god”

Bond lent close “Not even a sparrow dies without God knowing. But I don’t think he’d care what happens to you”

Sharvin recognized what the torture had really been about, and with that he accepted his fate. The eyes narrowed and the true sadistic being spewed forth again
“That girl was weak”

“Her name was Jenifer”

Sharvin felt the rail vibrate and he looked deep into Bond’s eyes; as his own conveyed an acknowledgement of every sin he had committed, Bond stepped back.
Suddenly Sharvin was at peace.

Bond stepped away and the disturbed air pushed him back. In an instant Sharvin was gone. The train thundered past. Bond shielded his eyes against the wind as it buffeted against him.

As the train passed, the air sucked at Bond’s body and pulled him toward the track; the space it occupied suddenly filled and the ground began to lift about him.
The loose chippings’ and soil filled the air and swirled about him,
Bond had to crouch to fend off the lethal little pellets as they scratched and cut his hands and face.

As the dust settled and the air began to clear Bond could not accept the sight that faced him across the tracks.

The Mil Mi-24 was painted in grey European camouflage.
The troops appeared as a grey blur jumping from both sides of the machine.
The down force from the Helicopter distorted the shapes, and they fanned out as a distended spirit of smoke.
As a combination gunship and troop transport, the Mi-24 has no match.
The wings provide considerable lift enabling sure fast stability at high speed, and provide deadly accuracy when hovering. The main rotor is tilted 2.5° to the right of the fuselage to counteract dissymmetry of lift at high speed and provides a more stable firing platform.
And it was the 23 mm gun pods which Bond was looking into. One figure stepped forward and stood on the opposite side of the track. The Mil lifted off.

Major Tomas Sharapov stepped across the tracks, he gestured left and right with his outstretched hands. The troops gripped the ribbed plastic butts of their rifles, and moved forward with caution. Then, unexpectedly Sharapov extended his right hand to Bond
“Skedar is dead. Our mission is accomplished. Surrender and come with me”

“I can’t do that Major, I have to go back to the church”

Sharapov shook his head, and dropped his proffered hand
“Tolliver is going to kill himself. Trust me, my friend; you do not want to be there when the Ossuary goes up”

“He’s a megalomaniac attention seeking traitor; suicide’s not in his vocabulary”
Sharapov eased his right hand back into his glove
“He has given Moscow the keys to London on many occasions now he does this in order for the Americans to withdraw from the Straits of Hormuz”

Bond laughed; his eyes narrowed
“You’re trying to tell me he’s done a deal with the Americans? He wouldn’t spit in their ear if your brain was on fire. I just don’t buy the self sacrificial story; he thinks he’s going to be next Prime Minister
or President of Europe at least”

Sharapov stood tall, as he answered the troops closed in
“No, he’s done a deal with us, this show of devastation in Europe will prove that Russia has the capacity to destroy the livestock in the USA”

“You could have done that at any time” Bond tried to see anything that could save him; he eyed Sharapov from head to foot, and noted a large hunting knife strapped to his right boot; now if only he could…

…But Sharapov cut him off “No, our own scientists at the Bioaparat would not complete the process; we needed Skedar and his insane plan to actually go through with it, now we need Tolliver to demonstrate its power”

Bond carefully took in the scene, before him ten Russian Special force troops had him covered. Bond smiled the odds for getting out of this alive were slipping away; he needed to pull the proverbial rabbit from the hat.
“But of course Moscow can’t be seen as the perpetrator”

“Of course not. We still have no antidote” Sharapov struggled with the sentiment, he was obviously wrestling with his conscious
Bond struggled to understand the logic, his face screwed up with the question
“You’re willing to let it spread?” Bond’s surprise turned to horror, as he understood the true evil of the action Tolliver was undertaking.
In way of an affirmative Sharapov admitted
“We have to stop the American attack on Iran”

The ten special force troops stood in a semi circle around the two men, their weapons fitted tightly into their shoulders, all aimed at Bond.
He knew he was beaten.
“We?” Bond felt the odds shifting

“It’s in everybody’s interest that a war in Iran does not escalate throughout the Middle East, and go nuclear; you and I are on the same side”

“No we’re not” Answered Bond; could this be his rabbit?
Sharapov took out his automatic pistol and aimed it at Bond
“Please Mr. Bond, I believe you have our sample”

And there was the answer; Bond nodded, and quickly slipped the glass tube from the metal canister
“This? Yes, I have it” Bond held it between his fingers, as one would break a pencil. The troops backed off a pace.

“I’ve given you my reasons, why Tolliver won’t kill himself; so you need to convince me why he would, and release a virus that will kill millions”

Sharapov’s answer was quiet and solemn
“He’s dying. He has the gay plague AIDS”

Bond thought about the relevance of the statement; he wasn’t sure if it helped his odds or not
Sharapov added, in a confessional tone
“We know Ben Tolliver very well, he has co operated with Moscow many times over his years in power; he doesn’t want to be a forgotten man; he really doesn’t want to be remembered as a traitor so he intends to die like a hero. To save the world, like Jesus Christ”

“How would starving millions of people fulfil that dream?”

“A natural disaster, would allow the Americans the opportunity to walk away from the conflict. When the new administration takes over in January, they will pour aid into Europe. It’s what they do best”

“What’s in it for you?”

“America will not interfere in project Bombshell”

“I knew we weren’t on the same side Sharapov”

Sharapov let out a sigh “Have it your own way. Give it to me now or I will simply kill you and take it” Sharapov aimed the gun at Bond’s head

Bond held out the tube “If I give you the virus, will you let me go back and try to stop him?”
Sharapov raised his gun so that it pointed to the sky, and used it to scratch his head, his laugh was no more than that of a frustrated parent
“It’s no use; everyone has agreed; no one will come here, this land is to be purged, sacrificed. Now if you want to live give me the Hildebrand rarity and get on board. Skedar and Raikkon can be blamed for the theft of the rarity; and they’re dead”
Bond moved the tube back to his jacket pocket and screwing on the top, handed over the canister to Sharapov, then turned away

Sharapov asked “What are you going to do?”

Bond descended the embankment, but shouted back over his shoulder
“I’m going to stop Tolliver; but if I can’t you better get that back to the lab”

The noise of the Mil drowned out any response. The big Russian gunship hovered above the track as the troops climbed on board.
Bond skidded down the embankment
The Mil swooped over him like some prehistoric bird; the downdraft pushing him into the ground.
Slowly the Mil turned and faced the Spyker; it barked for just two seconds and fired three hundred rounds into the car.
Sharapov had ensured Tolliver would not be stopped; Europe was about to be sacrificed; and every Bank and every business in the United Kingdom was about to be Russian.

As the Spyker burned in a fireball, Bond sat on the bank and put his hands over his head.
He sat totally defeated.
Sharapov, looked out from the cockpit; and satisfied of his victory he gave the order. The Mil lifted up and flew away.
Blending into the grey cover of the clouds

When it was but a speck in the sky Bond stood up.
“I thought they’d never leave” he said, retrieving the Mercedes Benz keys from his pocket.


“Bill, put M on”

“I’m here 007. Now I understand you’ve been busy, but its time to come home. We have a new assignment for you”

“With respect Sir, this mission isn’t finished yet”

“Yes it is, just leave Tolliver alone; he knows what he’s doing”

“Tolliver is going to release a virus, and wipe out most of the livestock of Europe, millions of people will starve”

“You’re way off Bond; Ben Tolliver is negotiating with the Russians in order to receive some vital research information on viral antidotes”

“Ben Tolliver is about to release a virus, as a show of Russian strength to the Americans in an attempt to halt their attack on Iran”

M spluttered for a reply “That’s ridiculous man; he’s the Secretary of state; and why would the Russians care about Iran?”

“Tolliver is the Russian spy that’s masterminded the breaking of the banks in the UK. This is the chance for Russia to walk into the UK without American interference; and it’s also a real threat that Russia could do the same to the US. With the capitulation of the UK, Russia sees itself assuming the status of a superpower again”

“Walk away Bond” Burrows fumed

“I can’t do that”

“I warn you Bond, disobeying an order from me would be very foolish”

“Sometimes it’s the duty of fools to initiate the ill informed. If I’m wrong you’ll have my resignation. If I’m right, tell the P.M. to start looking for a new Secretary of state; because Ben Tolliver is a traitor”

M muted the phone and turned to Tanner
“He’s mad, he really believes it, my god what’s he going to do?”

Tanner, walked out of the office “His job”

Sir Charles was alone in his office; the silence was oppressive. He released the button on the phone “Bond…Bond?”

But the line was dead.

#13 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:35 PM

Chapter Twelve

Storm before the Calm

Any hope of secrecy was shattered when the crows, which roosted on the church roof, crowed and took flight.
Bond ran quickly through the graveyard, hundreds of years of history sped by under his feet. He entered the church, and caught his breath.
With reverence he walked slowly toward the Iron Gate leading to the Ossuary; Jenifer lay beneath the tapestry; where he had laid her; but there was no sign of Mila.
Concern spread through his body, like a naked flame; he would not accept the thought of failing another. Bond thought briefly of the look on Sharvin’s face just before the train hit him; his resolve strengthened. Bond opened the ancient Iron Gate, in the silence of the church, the rusty hinges whined as it grated open, the screech echoing around the empty knave,
it was the loneliest sound in the world.

Bond descended into the Ossuary.

The lights were still on; a few rats scurried from the drying blood on the stone floor, but the bodies of Skedar and the two other men had disappeared.
Bond crossed the Ossuary; suddenly a shadow detached itself from a deeper darkness.
“Hello Brother” Felix Leiter stepped out from behind the pillar. His arm was still in the sling, his face was haggard.

“Felix” Bond took in the scene “Well, you’re either here to stop me, or you have no idea what’s going on?” Bond shrugged looking for an answer

Leiter sniffed the air “I’m here to stop you. Unless you know of away out of this” there was a look of desperation behind those tired eyes.
Bond’s hand went to his inside pocket; but the sound of the gun cocking stopped him dead.

The woman said “Slowly James”

Bond turned toward the sound of the female voice.
Mila Satu stood with a Browning 9mm pointed at his head.
Bond turned back toward Leiter, his arms dropping to his side.
The anger rose through his body, and spilled out in his voice
“That’s some impressive recruitment technique you have” he spat

Leiter looked at his watch “I told you we had been involved for sometime.
Mila has been keeping us up to date on progress at the Hildebrand”

Bond nodded his confirmation “Well Sharapov had Sharvin; it’s nice to keep things even”

“Exactly. Now we really should be leaving”

“What would make it right for you Felix”

Leiter checked his watch again “A big bang and an excuse for us to walk away from Hormuz, without fearing an attack from Russia”

“What about Tolliver’s demands?”

Felix laughed, nut it was a hollow sound
“He hasn’t made any demands; it’s all been Skedar”

Bond gestured toward Mila “Skedar has other things on his mind at the moment, haven’t you updated Felix yet?”
Mila answered flatly “Skedar made a video, blackmailing America into withdrawing from Iran” she waved the gun about “Told us he would release the Hildebrand rarity”

Bond stepped in quickly and twisted the Browning from Mila’s hand, but as he withdrew, Leiter jabbed his own gun against Bonds neck. Without the flexibility of his other arm, Leiter used his bulk to force Bond against the wall. His face settled into the nape of Bond’s neck.
“Don’t make this difficult James”

“Then let me stop Tolliver”

“Tolliver will come out of this looking like the good guy” Felix continued to fill in the blanks; he spoke quickly with an urgency that worried Bond
“We have guys back at Langley that can make you believe Skedar’s film has him advocating bringing back slavery”

Bond paused before answering “So the World will see Tolliver overcoming Skedar before bringing the pillars of the temple down upon himself”

Felix nodded “Got it in one brother”

“…and the ships just sail home?” Bond said unconvinced.

Leiter stepped away, his breathing was ragged but the gun did not waver; he checked his watch again “There’s a new big dog barking in the white house.
The chiefs of staff are listening to a new way of solving problems”

“…and the new voice still demands a sacrifice?”

Leiter nodded “Without a sample of the virus to wave back at Medyev, yes he does”

Bond laughed “A sort of storm before the calm”

Leiter relaxed “I thought that only happened in the moment before ecstasy”

Bond suddenly became serious “Or in the moment before death”

Mila’s voice was tense “I know which I prefer”

Slowly Bond’s hand went inside his jacket “May I?” Bond took out the glass tube from his pocket “I think we would both prefer Mila’s way; so I’m really glad you didn’t break this”

Bond held out the tube “Happy birthday Felix, now will you please let me deal with Tolliver”

Felix threw his gun over to Mila, and took the tube. Rotating it in his hand he asked “How on earth did you…”

Bond turned to Mila “…Better leave now, go quickly and don’t talk to Sharapov if he comes looking for you”

Leiter, put the tube in his jacket, and reached out and shook Bond’s hand
“I’m glad you found a way out of this one, brother”

“You should be”

Leiter nodded, Mila came forward to speak to Bond but Leiter took her by the elbow and led her away, as they walked toward the staircase Felix began speaking into his mobile.
For a moment they both disappeared, and Bond was alone reflecting on how close he had come to losing another friend; but then Leiter popped back out of the darkness and with a strained look on his face,said
“James, you need to know there’s an F15 heading this way. It’s going to fry this place in ten minutes time. I hope you got some wheels?”

Bond nodded at the news, but did not turn around; he continued searching the Ossuary for a door; over his shoulder he asked “Felix. Where is Tolliver?”
Leiter pointed at an area of the far wall covered in complete Skeletons standing to attention “Second guy from the left will give you a hand”

Bond, felt the skeleton hand move under his pressure; he twisted the bone handle and pushed the skeleton door open. The musty smell of decay hit him.
The corridor was narrow; human bones split and separated from their sculptures hung limply from the wall.
Bond made a slow advancement down the avenue of death.
The cobwebs were thick and offered resistance to his progress.
A small recess offered a moments respite, and Bond lent against a ladder that ascended into a dark shaft which ended in a rough wooden floor, there were gaps between the boards which had enough light shining beyond to lead Bond to believe the shaft continued right up to the roof.

In the darkness, the hum of equipment entered Bond’s consciousness and urged him on. He rounded a bend; the light was almost gone.
A door barred his way, Bond felt the rough texture with his hand, it felt damp to the touch; Bond lifted the wooden latch and pushed the door open; instantly the noise from inside the room got louder.
Bond recognised the hum as a generator; looking around, Bond recognised the room had obviously been used as a workshop for preparing the sculptures.
Saws and clamps were fixed to the wall.
The generator sat in front of a pile of smashed broken bones, shoehorned in between Skedar and the two other dead bodies that Bond had seen earlier in the Ossuary. The floor around the bodies seemed to be alive as the bravest of the rats were already crawling over the bodies, nipping and gnawing at their extremities.

Heavy cables extended from the generator, some snaked along the wall, some came into the centre of the room, and extended upward to where a video camera sat atop a tripod, the camera was aimed at an old work bench which had been cleaned off to use as a desk.

Placed upon the desk were a Laptop and a Walther P99.
Behind the desk, sat in all his finest city gent splendour was Ben Tolliver.
As their eyes met Tolliver reached out and took hold of his gun.
“Well, 007. I’m very pleased to meet you” his tone was neutral, but his eyes seemed to glow in the semi darkness,
like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.

Bond stared back into his eyes “Where’s the virus?”

Tolliver looked taken aback; he blinked and broke the contact
“Oh dear, not one for pleasantries I see”

“Where’s the virus?” Bond could barely contain his anger; this man was a traitor and a murderer. Bond needed to control his emotions.

“On the roof” Tolliver gestured with the gun “It’s the best place to distribute it” Tolliver aimed the gun back at Bond.

Bond stood his ground “I thought you were going to do the decent thing and bring the temple down upon yourself?”

Tolliver laughed “No, Mr. Bond that was just figuratively speaking, when it comes to the final act I will use this” he tapped the Walther with his long well manicured fingers

“Better say goodbye to whomever and get on with it then”

Tolliver made a dismissive snort “Very magnanimous of you Bond, let me kill myself then you can disarm my detonator” his hand hovered over the
key board “Then give some virus to the Americans”

“They already have some” Bond replied quickly

Tolliver shook his head, the sickly sweet smile never left his lips
“Not so Mr. Bond” he checked his watch “Right now Mr. Sharvin is on a helicopter to…”

“…right now Mr. Sharvin is on a train; well most of him is” Bond smiled a thin lob-sided grin
Tolliver digested the information “Oh, had a little conversation with him did you?” His lips parted, Bond was put in mind of a python about to devour its prey.
Bond took in the dynamics of the laptop. “Absolutely”

Bond took a step forward “Things have changed since you’ve been down here”

“Really, and you don’t think I’m aware of the situation out in the big wide world”

“Not if you think this is the answer” Bond gestured to the camera.

“Listen to me Mr. Bond, we are approaching a decisive break with the economic past, and aligning ourselves with a totally reordered global economy"

“But which side will you be on Tolliver?”

Tolliver shook his head “Great Britain needs to drive the agenda, or become a subsidiary of a process driven and shaped elsewhere”

Bond looked at Tolliver with growing disgust
“You don’t expect me to believe you’re doing this for Queen and Country?”

“We need policies and structures for this changed world”

Bond cut him off “The Americans are withdrawing from Hormuz; and they’ll be waving the virus at your friends in Moscow; that will remind Medyev that it’s rude to try to destroy the financial system of a friendly country.
So that puts an end to your Bombshell project”

Tolliver continued “Well no matter” he sighed and moved his hand toward the keyboard again “It’s nearly time to release my virus upon the world”

“It won’t do any damage, there’s an F15 on its way to vaporise your virus”

Tolliver tutted loudly, “My my you have been a busy little boy, haven’t you Bond. Stopping a nuclear war before breakfast; saving Britain before elevenses. What are you intending to do after lunch?”

Bond looked deep in thought for a moment. Tolliver looked pleased with himself, thinking Bond was lost for words; in fact Bond was calculating his next move and just how much time he had left. Bond’s eyes narrowed, he noticed the movement out of the corner of his eye; he adjusted his balance
“Mm, after lunch I thought watching you die would be a good bet”

Tolliver slowly shook his head again “That will just not happen” with great deliberation he moved his hand over the keyboard; he dipped his finger, so that it kissed the key. “Such a tiny movement, needing almost no effort; and all the people will die” Tolliver inclined his head
“No more bets Mr. Bond; the game is over”

It was at that moment that then one of the lights behind Tolliver fizzed and went out. In an instant the odds changed, Bond made a sudden move away from the generator; and with a carefully aimed kick, scooped a rat onto the toe of his shoe. The rat was propelled through the air, tumbling as it went.

In reaction Tolliver threw up his hands, pushed his chair back and jumped up; the rat landed on the workbench; it darted back and forth; then came to a halt at the edge. Tolliver glanced over at Bond, and then down at the floor; he saw the rats running over the bodies, and realized a rat must have gnawed through one of the cables. His relief as the rat dropped off the bench was tangible; Tolliver relaxed.
It was only a moment’s distraction but long enough for Bond to make his move. In one swift movement he drew his gun and fired at Tolliver, the bullet smashed into his thumb. Tolliver screamed in pain. The gun span from his hand and lodged itself in the broken bone pile.
Bond’s next two shots shattered the connection to the videocamera.

Tolliver stumbled back against the razor sharp bone shards; they dug in and lacerated his hand and legs. His scream was loud.
Bond reached the work bench, and grabbed the lap top, ripping the lead from it. Bond retreated covering Tolliver with his gun and backed away toward the door. At the door, Bond fired three shots into the generator; it fizzed and yelped like a beaten dog, then it fell silent.
Immediately the lights dimmed and went out, plunging the room into darkness. The darkness was absolute, Bond’s voice was clear and chilling
“You’re probably right Tolliver, I won’t actually see you die”

Bond left the workshop shutting the door behind him.
He reached out and broke off a bone from the skeleton next to the door; quickly he jammed the femur bone into the latch.

From inside the workshop Tolliver shouted “Bond help me”

“Good bye Mr. Tolliver”

Tolliver’s voice carried a hint of hysteria
“Bond, if you leave me here I’ll die”

Bond turned from the door “Do you know, that’s the first thing you’ve ever said that I actually believe”

Bond ran back to the ladder and began to climb; progress was slow as he was holding the laptop in his hand.

The darkness was complete. Tolliver stumbled forward.
Totally disorientated he fell over the outstretched leg of Skedar,
his shattered hand gave way on impact and his chin hit the floor and split open, he rolled over onto his back. He lay there, gasping for air.
The silence was interrupted by a scuttling. The rats sniffed the blood as it dripped from Tolliver’s wounds, and cautiously they moved closer to him. Tolliver waited his nerve endings tingling with anticipation; then the first rat sank its teeth into Tolliver’s hand, in the fleshy part between his thumb and wrist. Tolliver screamed in shock and pain, he pulled his hand away and struggled to get to his knees. The next rat bit into his ankle, and he fell forward. In the darkness more rats scurried about his prone body, they hooked their claws into his Savile Row suit and climbed onto his body.

Tolliver scrabbled to his knees again, and stumbled forward, he could feel the rats crawling on his body; another rat latched onto his wrist, and he fought to swat it away, but as he brought his other hand up to defend himself more rats attached themselves to his leg. Panic spread through him.
The pain of their bites forced him into a blood curdling scream.
His leg twitched in a forced reaction to shake the pain from him.
The rat was torn away from Tolliver’s leg; it arced in the darkness and landed on his chest. The rat smelled the blood from the wound on his chin, and it launched itself at his throat. It’s teeth sinking into the soft perfumed flesh.


Bond ducked his head and used all the strength in his shoulders to break through the trap door; the wood splintered and cracked. Amidst a cloud of dust, Bond squeezed himself through the gap. Now the air was a little fresher, the light better; Bond grabbed hold of the next rung of the old ladder and pulled himself up. The odds were improving with every inch he climbed, he had the lap top, and with it came the mechanism to defuse the bomb.
The wood broke away and Bond fell back, he let go of the rotten rung and braced himself in the shaft. The lap top fell from his grip and dropped down the shaft and smashed on the floor.
“Oh well, just going to have to defuse it the old fashioned way”

Testing the strength of the next rung, he pulled himself up.
The minutes ticked away, Bond stretched his arm up to seize hold of the next rung, and saw how perilously close the minute hand was to the F15 attack time. Bond put the threat to the back of his mind and continued climbing.
The newly disturbed dust swirled about him.

Ten more rungs to go. With both hands free Bond was making good time, but he knew this was tempered with a longer defusing process to come; time was running out. The ladder moved in his hands; however it had been fixed to the wall, it was now broken; with a sickening crunch the ladder came away from the wall; Bond twisted, and braced his foot against the far wall of the shaft.
Bond reached up and tested the next rung; he pulled himself up. Bond took his foot from the wall and pushed down on the rung; he released one hand and reached up. The rung broke and Bond swayed out over the shaft. He brought his other hand over and grasped the rung; heaving himself up.

The wind whipped at his sweat covered face as Bond finally emerged at the roof of the church. The arched opening faced the front of the church, and Bond balanced precariously as he traversed the slope to the main walled area. The air was clear and tasted fresh, after the choking dust of the shaft. Instinctively Bond knew there was something wrong, but time was against him and he put the worry to the back of his mind as he began looking for the bomb amongst the spires, towers and gargoyles that adorned the roof.

It didn’t take long.
The bomb was a solid affair, big and cumbersome, at each corner tubes looped out from the main body down toward the virus containers.
Bond would need help to stop this going off.
Bond took out his mobile as he approached it, only the sound of his own footsteps broke the solitude of the scene; he scrolled down to Q’s number
“Here we go again”

It was at that moment Bond understood what was wrong.
The birds.
There weren’t any crows; something must have spooked them before he arrived.

He hadn’t heard his attacker approach, and the blow had been that more stunning, Bond fell and toppled forward; the second blow caught him in the ribs and knocked the wind out of him. His mobile clattered on the roof tiles, and skidded over the edge of the roof; as it spun out into the air Bond heard the impatient voice of Q asking
“What is it now 007?”

From the deep recess of his mind, Bond remembered the sequence of attack moves from his many training sessions, and he rolled left toward the abyss; stopping just inches from the edge of the roof; but it was the right choice. The black leather boot slammed down next to his head, the roof tile shattered.
Bond rolled back into the attack and trapped the attacker’s foot.
Reaching up he smashed his fist into the attacker’s thigh, and the man stepped back a pace. Bond saw and tried to reach the hunting knife that was strapped to the boot, but the trooper moved another pace back, and aimed his other boot for another vicious kick.
Bond struggled to his feet, but the sound of shots stopped him from pursuing his attacker. Bond turned and ran away doubled over from the blows; his head was spinning and he felt the blood trickling from cuts sustained from the broken tile. The machine gun fire followed his frantic escape.
Bond made it to the wall. The ricochets whined and splattered into the old stone work, sending plumes of dust and stone chips into the air like some bizarre firework display. Bond took in the scene; two of the Russian special troops were positioned to attack Bond. The slight kick of the slow recoil enabled them to pinpoint their fire. The rest of the troops were now swarming over the church roof toward him.
From his inadequate bolt hole Bond looked back at the bomb; already the troops were working on the canisters. The two snipers fired again. Bond dropped back behind the wall. The breeze cooled his skin; he eased himself forward, and chanced another glance at the bomb. Where he had expected to see the canisters he noticed that the front two tubes now hung limply.
Bond fired once and ran; the two snipers homed in on his movement; Bond dived behind one of the stone spires that grew from the roof like little party hats.
Bond realized another trooper had understood his plan, and had followed him around the spire. Bond aimed the Walther and began to return fire.
As his attacker dived for cover; Bond recognised the man as Tomas Sharapov.

In the moments’ quiet, Bond picked out the hum of the Mil’s rotors.
He took a quick glance over the low wall and saw the helicopter idling on the ground below, the rotors had dislodged the stubborn snow that had clung to the frozen ground, and it looked like some obscene snow globe.
The gunfire started again and Bond dropped back behind his tiny stone defence. His feet were hanging over the edge, without thinking he turned and fired blindly over the top, but the return fire now came from a different angle, which told Bond that the Russian troops were closing in for the kill.
Bond had to move, and it had to be now; he began his run at the crouch, and began covering fire, he bolted out from behind the wall. But no sooner had he started than he realized why the troops were not returning fire. A trooper sprang up from behind one of the small spires; Bond allowed him to grab him, then he span around, taking the trooper with him; the man lost his balance and stumbled into the low wall. Bond seized the opportunity and grabbed hold of the trooper’s parachute release handle. He pulled the handle and pushed with his other hand. The man teetered on the edge, his balance slipped away from him and he toppled backward over the edge, with a long haunting scream.
Bond darted back behind the spire. The gunfire raked the stone work beside his head. Bond checked his gun, one round left.

Their voices were loud, they were certain of their victory.
Bond saw the muzzle of the G 11 machine gun, poke around the spire.
The trooper appeared, waving the gun.
A second trooper followed him “Drop your gun” the voice demanded.

Major Tomas Sharapov stepped into view “Turn around Mr. Bond, hands on your head” the voice was angry.

There was no way out.

Bond looked out over the edge of the roof; he heard the pistol cock ready to deliver the final shot. Sharapov stood directly behind him
“You should have given up, when I gave you the chance. Now you die”
Bond felt rather than heard the trigger squeeze.

It was the biggest gamble Bond had ever taken in his life, he had seen that two of the canisters containing the virus had already been disconnected from the bomb; now he gambled that the troopers had been successful in disconnecting the other two. The other vital part of his plan was that the bomb would not explode as such, but would rather form a vortex to expel the virus toward the sky.

James Bond took one step forward, turned and fired at the bomb and dived off the roof. Below him the rotor blades of the helicopter turned with a welcoming death.

Bond fell through the air.


The bullet, slammed into the bomb casing. The reaction of the troopers nearest the casing was unanimous, they dived for cover.
Everyone that was except for Sharapov. He stood tall as the turbine started up from within the casing. Sharapov knew the bomb would not explode; and without the virus only air would be sucked into the turbine and out into the sky. Sharapov moved to the edge; and looked over, just in time to see Bond hit the inflated parachute of the trooper he had thrown off the roof.
The up draft from the rotors had inflated the parachute and forced the man back into the wall of the church; he had smashed into one of the upper stain glass windows and forced his arms through the glass in an attempt to break his fall. Now, Bond’s weight forced the air out of the ‘chute, and he began to drop, hurling toward the rotor blades. But as the guide ropes took up the strain, Bond began to swing into the wall himself, the perfect arc allowed Bond to cushion the fall, and he bounced off the wall; but the trooper had become aware of the action, and detached the ‘chute. The rope went slack, and Bond fell again. Bond took hold of the ‘chute with both his hands and he glided down the final sixty feet, and rolled on impact with the ground.

The engine tone increased and the Mil began to take off. Bond could not see the pilot, but the helicopter seemed to be hovering just above the ground, beckoning him. Then, in the open hatch he saw Mila; gun in one hand waving and urging him to the helicopter with her free hand.
Bond began to sprint toward the waiting Mil.
Ropes, snaked down behind him, and bullets zinged through the air all around him as the troopers began to abseil down the church wall.
Bond made it to the hatch, and leapt on board.
Mila grabbed him and pulled him into the hold.
The Mil began to raise and turn. Bond heard and felt the gunfire clink into the underside of the helicopter, as the troopers gave one final effort to stop his escape.

“Thought I’d come back for you” Mila said as she kissed him hard on the lips

“That was nice” replied Bond

The Mil shuddered and dropped; “Who’s driving?” asked Bond
Mila raised her gun again and shouted at the Russian pilot. Bond went into the cockpit.

“I think I’ll take it from here” Bond sat in the seat, and took hold of the control stick. Mila snuggled in behind him, and pressed her face against his, she held the pistol out against the Pilot’s face, and he instantly released his grip on the stick

“Ha, she screamed, I never thought we’d make it; when you jumped from the roof I thought you were dead” Mila kissed him again “Fly me home, James”

“Drop the gun. Now!”

Mila froze as the words penetrated her thoughts; she looked over her shoulder into the face of Major Tomas Sharapov, it swayed in front of her, as he attempted to hold himself in balance in the pitching helicopter
The Pilot took the initiative and took the gun from Mila’s hand; then he took hold of the control stick and looked over at Bond, in a silent command for him to release control. Bond did so.

Sharapov stepped into the cockpit, and hit Mila with an open handed slap across her face; she slumped to the cockpit floor. Sharapov braced himself.
Bond twisted in his seat. Sharapov leveled the gun between his eyes.
“Nowhere to run now Mr. Bond; your luck has finally run out”

The shockwave hit them; the air was pushed away, and suddenly the rotors had nothing to bite against, the Mil dropped, the Pilot surged forward and smashed his head against the canopy. Bond flung his arm up and smashed the gun upward; with his other hand he gripped the stick and fought to hold her steady, but he knew the dive was terminal.
The F15 had launched its missile; the impact against the church had been devastating and total. Now the fireball consumed the church. It incinerated everybody in the area. It vaporized the virus, destroying its lethal potential in a blazing burning moment.
Sharapov’s chest smashed into the back of the seat, as the helicopter dropped from the sky. He flung his arms out to stop his fall but the angle of the cabin offered him no respite, he was tossed like a ragdoll. Bond pulled back on the stick, but his effort was in vain. The helicopter began to spin. The warning buzzer sounded as they fell through the air.
The Mil hit the ground, the air was sucked from their lungs, and the machine skidded along the earth.


In the Straits of Hormuz, Captain R.J. Daniels of the USS Eisenhower gave the order for his aircraft to return home. The cruiser Anzio stood down its missile crew, and after cancelling the fire codes, Captain Ramirez said a silent prayer of thanks.


M stood in the middle of the fast flowing river to the rear of the ‘Spay Cast’ estate; her ‘Trout rod’ grasped firmly in a sturdy overhand grip. With a deft flick of the wrist she teased the salmon to the surface. Her mobile rang. With a resigned sigh M allowed the line to play out and the fish began to mount a defense. “Hello” she said.

Tanner’s voice was excited “Sir Charles has just resigned. When you’re ready, I’ll send a car”

“Thank you Bill” M gripped the rod in her hand, as she followed the flight of the salmon. “Just hold that instruction for awhile, will you”

Tanner cleared his throat, but no words came.


Manic and Bee felt the impact of the shockwave; their car slewed across the road, Manic hit the brakes and they came to a halt. In the rear view mirror Manic saw the fireball rise into the air. Then came the booming rush of the explosion. The couple looked at each other; Manic shrugged
“I guess our employer just went into liquidation”
The dust and smoke billowed into the air
Manic put the car into gear and pulled away “I’ll just have to find someone else who’s willing to pay me to do what it is I’m good at”
Bee thought of the time they had spent at the institute
“Um yes, I was just thinking the same. Where will we go?”

“Somewhere warm again. We still have the weapons; and the men to use them. It won’t be long until we find another madman who wants to rule the World”

Bee settled back into her seat “Oui, Skedar was all that and more”


Moments later Bond regained consciousness. He could see the pilot was dead, his head at an impossible angle to his body. Bond jumped out of the seat and ran to Mila, he felt for a pulse. Satisfied she was alive he picked her up and pulled himself out of the wreck. Holding Mila in his arms he looked back to where the church had been, the land was burned; and scorched marks stood out on the buildings closest to them, the air was now filled with burning fragments and a giant pall of smoke hung across the sky. The death toll in the town would be in the thousands, but insignificant against the total that would have been lost unnecessarily had the virus been released, or the even greater disaster had the threat of nuclear war not been avoided.

The heat of the devastation set off more fires as cars ignited; the explosions, boomed and the flames flared like some bizarre firework display.

Bond turned, and adjusting Mila in his arms began to walk away.

Sharapov’s attack caught Bond behind the knees, he fell awkwardly; Mila tumbled from his arms and sprawled out on the ground. Bond hit the earth hard; as he attempted to get up Sharapov leapt on to his back. Bond tried to take in some air, but Sharapov clamped a mud filled hand over Bond’s face.
The stale earth filled Bond’s mouth and nose, Sharapov’s hand forced it deeper inside his mouth, and it oozed over his teeth and flattened his tongue.
As a reflex Bond tried to suck in more air, but this just forced the mud further up his nose, and down into his throat.
Bond began to gag. Somewhere deep in his subconscious, he knew that if he vomited now he would die. He fought down the urge to be sick. Sharapov was pulling Bond back along the ground shaking his head from side to side.

Bond began to see the pin pricks of light explode behind his eyes as the oxygen evaporated from his brain; another second and he would be under.
As he began to black out, he felt something hard smack against his teeth.

In the moment before one dies, it is said that life passes before the eyes. Bond saw the image of a naked girl, pressed against a window, her lover’s hand pushed against the glass. The sound the ring made as it hit the window rang again now, in Bond’s memory. Bond concentrated upon the feel of the hand over his face, and then he had the answer. There was no pressure from the index finger. His attacker was Sharapov; and Sharapov wore a hunting knife on his right boot. Bond dropped his hand and felt in blind panic for the handle; in a heartbeat he withdrew it and plunged it down into Sharapov’s foot.

Immediately the pressure was released from his face, Bond eased his thumb behind Sharapov’s ring finger, he twisted and pulled, and the hand peeled away from his mouth. Behind him Sharapov screamed as Bond twisted the knife into his foot, shattering the bone and rupturing the flesh.
Bond fell forward, pulling the knife with him; it eased out of the ruined flesh, as it freed, Bond twisted, spitting the mud from his mouth; but Bond knew his airway was not yet clear of the cloying mud just yet; he knew he must not inhale a gulp of air, for to do so would force the goo into his lungs; instead he must push it out; Bond began to silently regurgitate the mud; but in his agony Sharapov mistook Bond’s movement for that of someone dying.

Through the pain Sharapov knew he must renew his attack while he still could; blindly he dived onto Bond’s prone body as it collapsed back into the earth. Sharapov’s thumbs hooked into Bond’s throat; but the pressure did not increase.

Their faces were inches apart, and Bond looked deep into Sharapov’s soul.
With one last effort Bond pushed the big Russian up and away from him.
Sharapov flipped over and dropped to the ground, his body rolled over just once; then came to rest on his back, his arms were out flung, with the large hunting knife was still buried in his chest.

The end

James Bond……will return in


#14 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 05:37 PM


The news reporter who had stood resoundingly outside number 10 Downing Street for two hours after the rest of the media circus had gone; was still hopeful for news on the death of Ben Tolliver.
He had a long standing understanding with a Government Minister close to the PM; and a cryptic message left on his mobile that evening led him to believe news could still break tonight.
But time was marching on; his chin rubbed against the damp material of his scarf, which was pulled tight in an attempt to stave off the biting cold wind. He stamped his feet, in a vain attempt to restore the circulation.

There had been extensive coverage of the disaster in the Czech Republic, but the involvement of the First secretary had added mystery and intrigue; and the British public demanded answers.
The Americans had abandoned their attack on Iran; and the World had breathed a sigh of relief.
But in the corridors of power, the involvement of Tolliver, led to the conspiracy theories beginning to take on more substance as the hours ticked by.

Big Ben had struck 1 am, when the famous door opened, and a man emerged; he gathered his coat about him and walked swiftly over to the reporter.
They met and spoke briefly, and a single piece of paper was handed over.

The reporter read the script; his spirits plummeted; then the real news item, or at least the item the Government wanted promoting, unfolded in front of him.

He gathered his crew about him. He decided to make a brief statement then head back to the office to research the golden information he had been given.
The excitement began to mount, and the cold wind seemed to drop; with luck, this exclusive would make him a household name all over again.

His large BBC umbrella had been taken away moments before, and now he stood watching his cameraman counting down for his introduction. The earpiece buzzed and the communication began…

“The terrorist attack in Kutná Hora has, to date claimed the lives of over 10,000 people; amongst that number, our very own First Secretary Ben Tolliver. From an exclusive statement issued by the Prime Minister, I can now reveal why Lord Tolliver was in the Czech Republic during this catastrophe.

Lord Tolliver was directly involved in negotiating with the terrorists; it was thought that the First secretary was on the verge of a breakthrough when the bomb detonated.
What we have just learned is that the head of the SIS was also killed in the same explosion. Although the officer’s name is secret, I can confirm that the family have been informed” he paused for dramatic effect.
A look of hope crossed his face “The Prime Minister, has therefore given me, the following information” He held up the letter
“This statement confirms the appointment, of a new director of the MI6” he carefully used both titles for the department to ensure the maximum number of people understood the position.


Extract from the BBC News website the following day.


New head of SIS. Sir Richard “John” Green KCMG OBE.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. It is often referred to in the media and popular parlance by the name MI6.
Alongside the internal Security Service (MI5),
the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC).

SIS is referred to colloquially within the Civil Service as Box 850,
after its old MI6 post office box number.

Its existence, or indeed that of its sister organizations,
was not officially acknowledged in public until 1994.
Its headquarters, since 1995, is at Vauxhall Cross on the South Bank of the Thames.

Sir John was born in Belfast and studied law at Queens University where he obtained a first-class degree.
Sir John was recruited into the service in 1980 after a successful consulate position in Hungry. A fluent Russian speaker, his early career saw him serve in Nairobi, Moscow, and Paris.

He went on to be in charge of Britain's station in Moscow.
Sir John sat on the JIC during the Iraq conflict 2001 to 2003.

He is married with two daughters and a son.
He lists his interests in Who's Who as Law, medieval churches and the bridges of Isamard Kingdom Brunel.


“Riveting” said Bond in frustration, as he logged off from the website.
Since his promotion to the Double 0 section he had always thought he would be dead long before he got a new boss.
Now the future was uncertain; after his blatant disregard for the service, he wondered whether he would be dismissed from his position.
Bond contemplated, and then quickly dismissed the idea, that maybe this could be the end of the section altogether; and he would be returned to normal duties.
He shuddered at the thought.
His M was now gone; all hail the new M.
He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck.

Bond walked over to the window; light grey fingers of sky stretched out beyond the darker clouds that hung over the city.
Preoccupation with the weather was a British institution which, unless you were going sailing was lost on Bond.
He looked out over the marina.
The yachts and motor cruisers lay at rest, moored in a safe haven close to Tower Bridge.

This was as close to his idea of home as he had ever had; but it could all be gone, almost before he had settled in. The 19th century merchant’s warehouse had been converted into luxury apartments at the turn of the 2oth century; but Bond’s possessions had only moved in along with a, Monepenny procured modern design leather suite; and two Jack Vettriano prints shortly after his promotion to the double 0 section.
The furniture wasn’t to his taste but the central location, and dinning amenities were to his liking, especially The Prospect of Whitby; which given the chance would become Bond’s local, as opposed to the more contemporary Dickens Inn.

Rain drops slithered down the window. Bond watched as two people emerged from Starbucks, they put up their umbrellas and hurried about their business;
the city was coming to life.

Bond’s mobile rang; it was Tanner.

“Morning 007”

“Morning Bill; am I summoned”

Tanner chuckled “No, the new man hasn’t arrived yet” He cleared his throat, his tone became softer “I spoke to our Mother yesterday, she is most impressed with her obituary”

“Good” Bond sighed “They decided not to use my piece then?”

Tanner laughed “No James; it would appear the British public are to be spared your thoughts”

“I trust she explained my motives behind the Bombshell investigation?”

Tanner took the sting out of the question “Yes, intelligence agencies all over the world are lining up to present you with their awards”

“Ok, all’s well that end’s well then. So, what’s happening with the Bombshell intelligence?”

Tanner took a sharp intake of breath “This is the secret service 007”

“So, Tolliver got his wish” Bond’s tone was hard

“Not exactly, he won’t be vilified, but we’ve not going to make him a saint. Anyway we stopped the Russian invasion; and the bankers are beginning to get their act together again”

“Bankers indeed” Bond felt low; perhaps they were the real villains in all this.

Tanner changed the subject “Got a little job for you; one of our agents needs extracting from an undercover job”

The laptop pinged at his side. Bond reached out and opened the communication.
A photograph appeared on his screen.
Bond looked at the face.
She looked young to be doing undercover work; but Bond took in her features, instantly memorising her face.
The picture highlighted her eyes ‘windows to the soul’ he mused; well this one certainly looked very spirited. Bond pronounced her very attractive, and worthy of an assisted extraction.

“What’s her name?”

Tanner laughed; he knew how Bond’s mind worked
“That’s a secret. You can keep a secret, can’t you, 007?”

“To the grave Bill, to the grave”

Tanner became serious again
“Let’s just say this is called Operation Goodnight”

James Bond was back in business.

James Bond……will return in