Based on Ian Fleming’s
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.