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The Thirteenth Letter

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#1 Jim


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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:09 AM

The Thirteenth Letter

A James Bond fan fiction by D*n Br*wn.


Secret Agent James Bond liked secrets.
Because he was a secret agent.
Enough with the heavy characterisation, time to hurtle into


Ruth Ffolkes sighed as she put down her pen. She liked pens, even though they are incredibly old fashioned and she was working on their replacement, a laser interface self-aware artificially intelligent scribing stencil that does really exist in reality, it does really, look it just does and I’m now at the end of a paragraph, can I have my money now?

Whew! She thought, in a juvenile manner. Being an alluring early middle-aged major research scientist with raven-coloured shoulder length hair, an interest in stationery of the early nineteenth century, a drinker of tea without milk and utterly asexual and boring was hard on one. Sealing the envelope with her family’s crest - the symbolism of which will inevitably be significant and not at all telegraphed in about five hundred chapters’ time - she wondered what her brother, the Baron of Cumbriashire, would make of it all.

She smiled at the memory of a childhood I can’t be bothered to write about yet, until it becomes significant to plot twist eleven. Can I have my money now?

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Didn’t I say she was in a room? Ah well, whatever, she was in a room.

But that is impossible! She thought, with an exclamation mark to make the thought more ostensibly exciting. I am in a room…

At the bottom of the sea!


Bond stared into the face of the old man, a face that he loved. Not in that way. We don’t do sex. There won’t be time for that as everything will be done and dusted in about eight hours. No time at all for that.

Or eating.

Or stopping for a wee.

“I’ve asked you here, Bond,” said M, the head of the England Secret Service, a service that was secret, lots of secrets; Rotarians and homosexuals, mainly.

“Yes, Sir.” M was Bond’s boss. This is all you really need to know and all I am able to tell you. Bond had often wondered about the significance of the letter M as applied to this man. As the older man said exciting things that I will only drip feed to you in thirty chapters' time in an act of utter cheating and padding out, Bond reflected on why this man had been given that letter. M, the Roman thousand. M, the first letter of Master and Mother. M, an upside-down W in certain fonts. M, the holy symbol of the Cornish separatists, being the first letter in the words “money”, “malcontent” and “M5 junction 30 services last chance for food before forced in-breeding”.

With horror, Bond realised something for the first time!

It was also the first letter in the word Mason!


The knocking continued.

Who can that be? Wondered sub-aqua research scientist Ruth Ffolkes, heiress to Cumbriashire and possessor of technology convenient for escaping from mild peril in about three hundred pages’ time. I am eleven fathoms underwater in my virtual reality lab-o-cube and - new fact to legitimise the existence of this chapter - in Sydney harbour.



Bond looked his boss in the eye. “Surely you’re not serious, Sir?!” he asked, in all manner of inappropriate punctuation.

“I am. And you are to go to Australia immediately.”

“But that will take at least twenty hours and I will still be on the ‘plane when this book ends. That’s not how this works.”

“Ah!” M smiled, as all older men with a secret do. He walked to a panel in the wall behind him and Bond was amazed to see it was a secret panel! Well, not the panel as such - everyone could see it - but it was a panel covering something. As most panels do. He knew this from his study of the ancient runes of the Blue Oyster Cult. So you do too, now.

M. grinned, most un-M-like but sod it, he’s only got a few lines.

M pressed the back of his hand against the panel and it slid open using technology that I could describe at length because it is a lovely thing not a boring person. Bond noticed when the older man lowered his hand the magic glowing ring on the ring finger of one of his hands, can’t be bothered saying which.

It had the Masonic symbol on it!

Or one of them.

Not telling you which.



And then the knocking stopped.

Oh good, thought international scientist and Nobel-prize shortlistee Ruth Ffolkes, stupidly, they’ve gone away.


As Bond walked, amazed and slack-jawed through the mile-long steel-walled aircraft hangar that had opened up behind the panel opened by M with his Masonic ring, he wondered why he had never spotted this before when walking past the office.

“I know what you are thinking, 007,” said M, using Bond’s code-number, the significance of which I will make up in a few words’ time. “You’re wondering why - or perhaps more grammatically correct, how - you have never spotted this before when walking past the office.”

Bond was amazed! He had read, ish, all the lunatic theories about how Masonic mind-reading was taking over the world and that there was no other explanation - rational, irrational or childish - for brainwashing everyone into saying “Venti” rather than “medium”, but had laughed them off, usually whilst doing his regulation fifty laps of the service swimming pool every morning at three a.m., gosh that was a long paragraph and had some adverbs, I am getting better, aren’t I?

Or were they adjectives?

And yes, I know I used amazed twice, but how else do you convey amazement? Bet you don’t know. I am D*n Br*wn and I have sold more than you, so I know and you don’t, you… durr-brain.


As the glass in the lab walls started to crack, research scientist and rich person Ruth Ffolkes suddenly realised.

They hadn’t gone away at all!


“Well, it’s like this, “ said M as he stopped fifty yards short of a proper sentence the amazingly amazing Y-91.D12 rocket-jet that really does exist.

Bond stood there, amazed. The story was amazing!

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out what it is. You're in now, and I'm whacking the vein for you.


And now the water started coming in.

Crivens, thought Ruth Ffolkes, Englishly. I wonder if they’re after my new invention that will change the way the world thinks, literally.

And I wonder if I might die?

Not that I am as important or deserve as much explanation as the thing does, in about three chapters’ time.

The water continued to seep its way in.

Oh dear! Thought Ruth.


“Sir, even though this is setting the reader up for inevitable disappointment, that was the single most amazing thing I have ever heard. I never knew quite so much about the relationship between the Catholic Church, the Masons and West Bromwich Albion soccerball team and how they had secretly developed this amazing rocket-jet ‘plane and this dimension chamber portal to the secret world no-one is meant to know about via secret church bank accounts and looted Jewish artefacts, infiltration of the World Bank and consistent promotion and relegation and thereby getting shedloads in parachute payments and television money. Also, I never knew that you played as goalstop in De-Fence during the Bryan Talbot era but now I think of it Pope John Paul II was also a goalkeeper in his younger days - didn’t he play for Northwich Victoria? - so I see it all now!”, said Bond, breathlessly overexcited at the implausible nonsense, and completely unfull-stoply.

“Yes,” said M, largely because he hadn’t had anything to do for a bit, except expose the whole rotten core of Western European society and the secret symbol-based reasons explaining some stuff. “And that’s why you need to get to Sydney, the capital of Australia, right now!”

“But how?” asked Bond, repeating himself from an earlier “chapter”.

M patted the sleek, micron-smooth fuselage of the stealth-covered rocket-jet. “We have the technology. Get in. And good luck. With whatever it was.”

Bond was amazed at the inside of the jet; it was constructed entirely out of virtual reality, which is something that can be done, just don’t argue. With a massive thrust up his backside, the double-entendre in which I cannot understand, don’t do sex, Bond was shot off into the sky.

In seven words, he landed at Sydney.

That was exciting, lied Bond to himself and anyone else reading his thoughts i.e. you. But I must get to the harbour!

Or the world will be ripped apart!


Just plain goshdarn !

#2 Jim


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Posted 21 August 2010 - 10:22 PM


It was time to introduce the villain.

Watching the glass crack in front of him, he watched the woman become ever more panicked. He enjoyed that. His Master had told him he would enjoy that. His Master was always right.

Being underwater did not trouble him. Preparing for this moment over the years, he had learned the special Burmese breathing technique of M’Ay-Dup.

He could see her in the giant Godless cube. He knew her Earthly name - of which she would soon be liberated - to be Ruth Ffolkes.

She could not see him in the watery water outside the laboratory. His name was Jules Verre.

And he was made of glass.


Bond stepped down from the entirely accurate jet. The journey had been so quick he had not had time to appreciate its key features or look it up on Wikipedia like me.

Nor had he had time to turn over M’s instructions in his mind, which was just as well as otherwise he would have realised they were absolute nonsense.

What he did know was that he only had ten chapters to make it to the harbour, and the way the police cars were hurrying towards him across the runway to perform the obligatory deathly paragraphs of senseless authoritarian mistrust, meant that he was going to run out of time.

Or get there just in the nick of time.

Yet a-fricking-gain.


And yes, even though he is made of glass, he can move and swim about if you really must know.

Glass is actually a liquid, yeah? You see it in the way stained glass windows warp. Admittedly that’s over several decades but His Master had invented this convenient way of making it even more liquidy so he had arms and legs and everything, so there. Look, just accept it and move on.

The only thing that was not transparent was his brain, but in the seethrough wetness of the water, all that looked like was a giant jellyfish. And there were plenty of those in the harbour.

It was, face it, a brilliant, if slightly limited and fundamentally unlikely, disguise.

He also loved Jesus, or something. Jesus would have loved the look of horror on the woman’s face, probably. Dunno.


Inside the rapidly cracking cube, Ruth Ffolkes realised that she was in very bad trouble. The water pressure would probably crush her, or the glass scythe through her, or she would drown, or the jellyfish would get her.

A shadow passed overhead. A pulsating pink mass, oddly brain-like in form, swept over the glass ceiling. What a big jellyfish, she thought.

The water was still rising and was now nearly up to her knees.

Did I say she was in a wheelchair? Yeah, well, there y’go.


The police cars hurtled along the asphalt towards him. Hurtle hurtle hurtle.

Apparently this is a justifiable chapter.


Jules Verre - do you see what I did there? Well, given my target audience, probably not - swam around a bit more in the wet water of Sydney harbour, watching the tide rise in the heathen glass cube of the underwater laboratory, and the woman in the wheelchair scuttling around in it like a [insert appropriately uncomplicated metaphor here].

He wondered whether he should feel sorry for her, but then remembered that His Master had said that removing the woman’s central nervous system with one of her own pens would be a blessed release for her.

After all, it had been for him.

Gently, he stepped onto the cube, and watched the glass crack more rapidly under his weight. The woman was looking up at him.

As if he were God.


Ruth looked up. The glass was cracking in a weird way as if something heavy was pressed against it. But all she could see was the giant jellyfish hovering about a man’s height above the ceiling. The water dripped then gushed and splashed around her. Salt water was a real bitch for her brakes.

“Oh God”, she screamed.


He could see her mouthing the words “Oh God”.

Yes, he thought.

Pretty much.

Well done you.

And now, you die.


The police cars were really getting quite close now.


Ruth strapped on the aqualung I hadn’t told you about and started to breathe deeply, to stop herself from hyperventilating. She knew that panic was a greater killer than drowning. And sharks. And jellyfish.


After all, she had seen the panic on her youngest brother’s face when he had died in that fire in the glass factory thirteen years previously. That calamitous day trip run by that insanely strict psychopathic priest, not that they all aren’t.

I wonder what he felt like at the time, she wondered, completely out of nowhere and exceptionally pointlessly, as he could have been nowhere nearby even if he were alive.

Or could he?

Da Da Daaaah.


Jules Verre felt angry. He had not expected the underwater laboratory to hold breathing equipment. That wasn’t fair. But then life for a glass man wasn’t all that fair, for reasons that will swiftly demonstrate that I haven’t thought this through very well. I expect I will think of something of half-assed plausibility in a bit. Let’s say he couldn’t get a girl and had to walk around wearing a wig and false nostrils, or the like.

Anyway, on with it, he smashed his liquidy glass fist through the ceiling of the lab and dived inside.


Bond could hear the sirens pretty clearly now.


I’m not sure the word “dived” looks right.



Captain Ringo Mallakka had had a bad morning. He had woken up feeling rough as a dog. Scratching himself, he had wondered what the day would bring. He had eaten his breakfast. He had got dressed. He had done some breathing. He had had a poo. He had come to work. Is that enough, surely you’re satisfied, can I get on with the plot now?

The pommie bastard who opened his car door as it screeched to a halt beside him didn’t improve matters. Look at the bastard’s black polo neck and tweed jacket. He looks like a symbologist, not some bloody super spy like the file had said. Everyone wanting to dress up as implausible academics.

And Ringo Mallakka had had more than enough of them.

He’d been at Yale.

Not Harvard.

Yale’s crap.

I may have mentioned that before.


Bond wrenched open the police car door and was surprised that - as it was still moving at some speed - this didn’t take his shoulder out from the childhood injury when he had fallen into a vat of martini or something.

He watched the police officer jump out. “Thank God and all sorts of other subjugating abstract mythological deities that you’re here, officer!” he shouted, in a dialoguey way. “There’s no time to lose! The clock is really ticking and things are happening so quickly there wasn’t even time for a chapter 4!”

Bet you didn’t notice that. But you will when you come to re-read this. You will re-read it, won’t you, not just throw it in the charity shop bag? It’s full of layers and hidden things and stuff.

Please re-read it.

Oh, go on.



Ruth could feel herself rising in the water, floating upwards towards the light in a heavy-handed metaphor. Her legs, useless since the incident with the steamroller and the - well - legs, were light and free and remembering that she was five times Paralympic swimming champion, I’m sure I’ve told you that, she stretched her arms out and propelled herself upwards.

The mask restricting her vision, it was only when she was clear of the chair that she realised that the giant jellyfishbrainthing was right behind her!

Floating there.

As if waiting for something to happen.


At all.


“We’ve got to move really quickly!” said Bond, as one of Mallakka’s officers pushed him onto the back seat of the Holden and the car shot forwards like a really quick car.

Mallakka stared at him, his eyes unblinking. He yawned.

“But the fate of the world is at stake!” exclaimed Bond, worried that he was not going to make it to the harbour on time, and equally worried that he was about to run out of exclamation marks. “There’s a really big secret going to be exposed and it’ll shock everyone with its relentlessness even if it’s largely bollocks!”

Mallakka looked at the driver, who raised his eyebrows and cracked open a tube o‘lager. Over his shoulder, the driver said “I’m going as fast as this crate will go, you galah. Fair do’s, it took three chapters to drive across a bit of runway. Now rack off, you Pom.”

Bond sighed and sat back and watched out of the window as the sights of Sydney rushed past; the Opera house, the big bridge thing, Big Ben (Note to self: check). He wondered if he would get some time to absorb the unique Australian culture; after all, he had seen Mission Impossible: II and enjoyed its depiction of everyday life “Down Under”.

Down Under, he thought. Down Under…

And then he saw it all!

He knew why he had been chosen for this mission! It was all so clear to him now!

But I’m not going to tell you. Not for a bit. Let’s just ride along with him and see what exciting things he does whilst I have a cup of milkless tea and make something up.


Jules Verre looked at her. She looked at him.

Both of them looked at each other.

And then the walls of the lab shattered and everything went a bit mental.


The police car screeched to a halt on the steps of Utzon’s Opera House. Bond was only one of two men in the world who knew that it was actually built on an ancient Saxon sacrifice chamber full of diluted Lucasfilm knock-offs and he wondered if he would be seeing that other man - his ancient professor of number and counting and shapes and stuff - anytime soon. Recalling that Professor Yaffle lived in Sydney, it seemed pretty sodding likely. That’ll happen in a bit. He also wondered if he would have to break into the ancient Saxon sacrifice chamber and retrieve a thingy or look at an ancient riddle of Christmas cracker profundity and realised that he wouldn’t have bothered even thinking about it if he wasn’t going to have to.

But instead of going straight there, he now had to perform a needless action sequence.

He ran to the water’s edge, Mallakka chasing him. Removing his shoes, and his cheap and nasty Mickey Mouse Omega watch, James Bond dived dove dave in.


Ringo Mallakka watched as the bubbles disappeared. He did not follow Bond. He could not swim strongly, doggy paddle at best.

He sat at the water’s edge; then, feeling an itch, he brought up his leg to scratch himself behind the ear then tucked his head under his chest and started licking his penis.

Did I mention that he was a Labrador?

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

#3 Jim


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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:23 PM


Jules Verre was very angry.

Not enough attention was being paid to him and he hadn’t done anything for at least eighteen chapters. That's nearly seven pages!

Frankly, he thought, grr.

He was incapable of being given anything more expressive to…um…express.

Still, he quite liked the way she struggled under his grip. How he had thought about how she would struggle. He used to think a lot about her struggling under his grip. When he was lying in his bedroom next to hers in their father’s castle in Cumbriashire.

And now he had her, and she was scared, and it was good. And probably holy.

Do you see what I’m suggesting her, so very subtly?

Isn’t that a shocking twist?


James Bond wondered what type of shark it was, as if he had time to do this and it would make anything like a difference.

He knew, from his study of fish and things, that some were maneaters and some others were not. He hoped that he was encountering one of the some others that were not. Otherwise this was going to smart real badly.

The big slippery wet grey missile, armed not with a warhead though but with really, really sharp teeth, did you like that metaphor, shot past him and turned, ready for the kill strike. It was a missile with fins. And eyes. And a fishy smell. And really sharp teeth. Really sharp.

Or is that a similie?


Ruth felt the strong hands digging into her airline. She struggled for breath.

Suddenly, in her naughty bits, not too sure where they are, she felt a sudden rush of excitement, and even at this moment of imminent asphyxiation, she was equally suddenly reminded of how she had used to lie awake in her teenage bed in her father’s castle, longing for the younger brother next door, the younger brother lost in a GLASS FACTORY ACCIDENT, to come and do exactly the same thing to her with his strong arms developed throwing sheep and working on the farm and murdering peasant girls each cock-crow, a scandalous habit that was meant to be broken out of him by sending him on the quiet to St. Fritzl’s Academy for the Terminally Exploitable and Buggerable.

What another shocking twist!

Coming up with some good ones today; well done D*n! I am good at riting, aren’t I?

Please say yes.



The missile made of fish eyes and skin and bones - i.e. a fish - shot towards Bond who realised, from the markings along its flank, that it was a Tiger Shark and therefore Not A Chum.

I’m really in trouble now, he concluded, as if being still underwater after about half an hour wasn’t troublesome enough.

He parried to the left, as his old boxing master at Harvard Fettes had taught him, albeit this had been advice in dealing with underdeveloped, malnourished thirteen year-olds, not giant fishy missiles of kill, and therefore he had to acknowledge that the curriculum may have been a bit limited, on reflection. When he got out of this, he would write the School Governors a really stiff letter.

However, it worked!

It had to work because I am now bored of this incident and this chapter.

The shark… oh I dunno, it swam off.

Bond gathered himself, checked that his swimming tweeds were still in place, and pushed downwards to the remains of the lab, where the woman still appeared to be struggling, although not with much resistance, oddly.


Captain Ringo Mallakka was becoming increasingly irritated.

That damned flea.

He started chewing his own back, hoping that would sort it. If not, what he would need would be a really long and satisfying roll in some poo.

I may have written this character into a bit of a corner and be unable to develop him further.

Which is great! Can tick that box off.


Right, whose turn is it? Probably Jules Verre. Haven’t ritted about him for a bit. Right, so…

He did some more gripping and thing and he could see Ruth’s eyes beginning to bulge a bit.

But not as much as his did when Bond’s legs crashed into his back and knocked him flying, or at least, um, swimming, He instantly released his grip on Ruth’s air supply and whirled around to face his nemesis.

Yes - it was just as His Master had said - it was Bond!

James Bond!

And now - it was time for His Master’s underexplained revenge!