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A Secret To The Grave

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#1 volante


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Posted 08 September 2010 - 05:41 AM

Based on Ian Fleming’s

James Bond

A Secret to the Grave


Paul Taylor

Posted Image

Back Jacket Synopsis

A Korean oil tanker, hijacked by Somali pirates forces the closure of the Gulf of Aden. With only seven years of financially viable oil reserves remaining; the beguiled country of Yemen is fast becoming a troubled land.

Until the ransom is paid; a World starved of oil will continue to slide toward the brink of financial collapse.

Against this backdrop, James Bond and Government official Elizabeth Loverseed arrive in the claustrophobic environment of insecurity and fear; where foreign governments fight for investors and influence.

Their mission: to investigate the man responsible for the increased terrorist activities. Khaled Wazir, an arms dealer, reported to have amassed an imposing cache of weapons.

But the mission is compromised when an elderly man presents himself at the British Embassy in Sana’a, claiming to know a secret he will share only with the Ambassador.

The man, it would seem, holds the key to a sinister and ambitious plot destined to open the very gates of hell.

Will the secret be shared? Or will it be
a secret to the grave.

Can you keep a Secret?

If a teardrop held a secret
and it fell upon the ground
it would soak into the earth
and wait there to be found

and if you find that secret, you become it's lover.
You can never let it leave your heart
You can never tell another

But when a man knows a secret
and it burns upon his skin
he must tell it he must sell it
he must purge himself of sin

and if you keep that secret, you become it's slave.
You can never tell another soul
You must take it to the grave


The tiny light glowed green.

James Bond pulled the swipe card from the reader and opened the door.
In a single, violent movement he pushed the girl inside; following her through the entrance,
he slammed the door behind him.

She stood, rooted to the spot; un-moving, like a statue; her breath coming in noisy sobs;
Bond could see she was starting to shake. The shock was beginning to set in
“Can I get you a drink?” his voice was steady, reassuring.

From under her dark tousled hair an incredulous look spread across her face,
emanating from her deep brown eyes, and finishing on her full lips, which now drew back into an evil snarl
“No, no I don’t want a bloody drink. I…” she shook her head and began to back away, her delicate hands spread out in front of her body, forming a barrier between herself and Bond. Her retreat was only halted when she stumbled back into the bed.
She sat heavily, and dropped her head into her hands; Bond noticed her dark red nail varnish made her skin look even paler. Taking a deep composing breath she looked up sheepishly, from behind the curtain of hair which fell across her face
“Is it always like that?”
Bond wanted to say ‘why, how do you feel?’ but it was clear she was taking the experience badly
“Yes” he said quietly. She ran her fingers through her hair and looked at him; it began with a look of pity but quickly it turned to fear. Bond saw the revulsion in her eyes.
As a spy, she had yet to develop a poker face; this was; he decided probably the reason the mission had failed.
As he himself had been part of the decision to proceed he wanted to make the situation right; so he made a step toward her; as he did, she shrank away from him again and pressed her hands back onto the bed. Bond stopped;
their knees were touching “Listen to me; I know it’s hard to accept right now; but you need to know; if it’s a just cause, you can learn to live with what just happened”
Her mouth opened, but the words would not come to her; panic was just below the surface of her being.
“I had to do it…” Bond re-enforced his position, he was not looking for sympathy; he was just trying to snap her out of the shock. “….Or he would have killed you”

She pursed her lips, and looked at him. Silently the tears rolled down her cheeks; each one carrying a memory of the nightmare. Slowly she began to nod her head.
Bond moved away from her, and headed to the mini bar; he poured the brandy into a plastic glass, and handed it to her “Drink this” She accepted the brandy, and took a sip.
Bond made eye contact again “Now stay here; don’t open the door to anyone. I have to go back…”
She protested “…No. No James, please don’t go” She jumped up and melted into his arms.
The brandy spilt onto his jacket. She began to sob again. He held her shoulders and tenderly guided her back to the bed.
She looked at each of his hands in turn, their gentle power comforting her, guiding her; quickly she looked up into his blue eyes; searching for the answer to how those hands, that so recently had killed, could comfort in equal skillfulness.
“It’s okay now, stay here. I won’t be long”
In reply she shook her head; her bottom lip began to tremble
“I’ve got to find out about his target”
She sniffed back the tears, and used the back of her hand to dry her face; colour was beginning to return to her cheeks “Sorry James, I’m okay now, I know you have to go”
She sat on the bed, Bond let go, turned slowly and walked away. At the door he looked back at her one more time,
his smile was reassuring. He left.

Alone, she began to cry again. She closed her eyes tight shut but her mind instantly began reliving the episode in a lurid slow motion of emotions. She lay back on the bed and balled her fists into the eyes to cut out the scene.


Pulling a different key card from his pocket, Bond walked along the narrow corridor. At a different door, without pause he scanned the card, and entered. This room was, unsurprisingly the same as when he had left; it felt colder now but looked the same. The body of the man lay slumped against the wall. The pinewood chair was upturned, close to the dead man’s right shoulder; its right rear leg snapped and lying on the floor, the blood was still sticky all around the ragged break.
Bond scanned the room; the girl’s blouse was shredded, but remained draped on the bed next to the ‘wire’ she had been wearing; this symmetrically was coiled on the very corner of the bed, poised to drop but frozen in time.


James Bond had been sent to Esbjerg, Denmark to assist in the withdrawal of an MI6 agent, from a terrorist cell. He only knew the girl by her codename “Goodnight”; and they had met only once; and that very briefly, at a nightclub. As an agent she was inexperienced but the girl’s spirit had swayed him to allow her one more chance at extracting the target information from the leader of the terrorist cell; before pulling the plug on the mission, and handing it over to the Anti terrorist squad. It was a decision he was now beginning to regret.
“Kreskas is travelling by boat?” Bond inclined his head, offering his ear, as if he’d misheard the comment, he found the statement incredible. The music throbbed and the people danced around them; unaware of the importance of their conversation. Goodnight gently shrugged her shoulders, and replied without a trace of irony “Do you think this means he intends to bring the explosives with him”

Bond was not convinced “That’s your call”

Goodnight’s answer was defiant “It must be something substantial for him to risk being compromised for the night”
Bond waited for a partygoer to move away from them. Goodnight looked at her watch “I have to leave now, but don’t worry; I’ll get the target information from him”
She lent in close and kissed his cheek “Don’t worry I’ll wear the ‘wire’; you might even enjoy listing in” then with a twinkle in her eye she was gone; weaving through the dancers.


Bond boarded the m.s. DANA SIRENA as a foot passenger. As the evening closed in around him, he stood on the rear observation deck and watched the cars drive aboard. Kreskas’s car was un-mistakable, and once again Bond was perplexed at the strategy of the terrorist. If his plan were to keep a low profile, then driving a bright red Mercedes SLS AMG was not the way to achieve anonymity.


Bond dropped his chocolate brown leather overnight bag on the cabin floor; then settled down on the bed to listen in to Goodnight’s ‘wire’ transmissions; he hoped she was going to be entertaining; otherwise the 17 hour journey back to Harwich was going to be as dull as ditch water.

One tedious hour later Bond had read every piece of information he could get his hands on; even the specification of the boat from the official operator’s brochure.
Length: 199.4 metres Speed: 22.5 Knots
Engines: 2 x Wärtsila 9L46C, 9450 kW each
Cars: 435
Passengers: 623
Cabins: 196
Special Features: Private Lounge for the enjoyment of all Commodore De Luxe passengers
Minutes later Bond threw down the book, and decided to try out the Lounge. Attaching the earpiece he stood up and prepared to leave. He took one more look around his own Commodore cabin, and pictured where Goodnight and Kreskas were resting in theirs at that precise moment.


His cabin was identical to the one he was looking at now. Working with speed he checked the bedside drawers; nothing but the smell of new pine wood. Next was the wardrobe.
It’s interior revealed nothing but a solitary heavy black leather jacket, which hung from a wire hanger.
Bond searched the pockets, nothing. On the floor stood a dark brown Gladstone bag; Bond picked it up and laid it on the bed. It was locked. Bond went over to the body and searched through the pockets.
He withdrew two keys which were attached to the Mercedes Benz leather key fob. Back at the Gladstone bag, Bond opened the lock; and tipped the contents onto the bed
A change of clothes spilled out; Bond sifted through the small pile; then checked the bag; again nothing.
Bond gripped the car keys and decided to head down to the car deck, and check out the Mercedes.
There must be a reason why Kreskas had compromised himself with this mode of transport;
some reason why he needed to enter the country, where the customs would not be as thorough as at an airport.
He opened the cabin door and came face to face with one of the boat’s officers.

The young man’s hand was poised to knock; he dropped his hand and smiled at Bond
“Are you ready Dr Kreskas?”
Bond nodded and replied with a neutral “Yes”
The officer smiled; then made a move to go into the cabin “Can I fetch your bag Dr?”
Bond moved quickly and blocked his way “No, I’ll get it”
The officer coughed and suggested “You’ll need your coat as well, sir”
Bond closed the door behind him.

Moments later he was walking behind the officer wearing the black leather jacket and carrying the Gladstone bag.
The moon was up and illuminating the swell of the ocean. The wind whipped at him, and Bond was pleased that he had taken the officer’s advice to wear a coat. Three more of the crew had assembled on deck, waiting impartially as they congregated in the centre of the bow.

“Evening Doctor” one of the crew said, the other men all nodded, Bond returned their greeting. Off the starboard bow, lights twinkled from another ship. Bond looked around, and caught the eye of the young officer.
His question was answered before he spoke it.
“Not long now sir” The officer smiled reassuringly, rubbing his hands to promote the circulation.
From the right came a different type of light. This came low on the horizon; and it came in fast.
One crewman approached Bond, with a harness; the other man gently took the Gladstone bag, and dropped it into a net, attached to the webbing.
The source of the approaching light had a noise growing with it, and Bond soon recognized the silhouette of an approaching Sea King Air Sea rescue helicopter.
The crewman stepped away having completed attaching the harness to Bond. He gave the universal thumbs up sign.
The officer lent in close
“I’d just like to offer my appreciation of your actions sir. Well done” He stepped back and saluted him. It was a genuine gesture.
Bond shrugged his shoulders “It’s nothing”

The wind seemed to intensify its chill as it swirled around the small party. The noise rose to a crescendo as the Sea King hovered above them. The wire descended from the helicopter; all eyes were up turned toward it as it snaked down. Beyond the wire, Bond could see a man in a florescent uniform, leaning out of the body of the Sea King, and guiding the wire down, his other hand remained on the control of the winch.
The ferry pitched and fell away; as it rose the winch swung into view. The second crewman used a long pole to grab the wire, and pull it down. With swift well rehearsed efficiency they attached the winch to Bond’s harness.
The men stepped away and with a jolt Bond lifted up from the deck.
The wind assaulted Bond, instantly numbing his face; he ascended quickly away form the ferry, Bond looked down and watched the deck slip away beneath him, like a tumbling twirling leaf.
Moments later the helmsman pulled him into the body of the Sea King; here a second airman closed the door;
the noise dropped enough so that Bond could hear the pitch of the rotors change as the Sea King headed away.
“Welcome aboard Dr” The airman shouted, it was a Geordie accent
“We’ll have you at the target in less than ten minutes” The man un-clipped the harness
“Just sit back and enjoy the ride” he tapped Bond’s knee

“I will; thank-you” Bond sat back, although the vibration that coursed through his body made the reality of the comment very far fetched.
The helicopter’s radar pinged with a metronomic ring; as the pilot kept his focus on the pale halo of light, thrown out over a monotonous sea by the powerful light from the Sea King. He saw nothing more than the waves, with their frothy foaming crests above the black of the swells; then gradually he became aware of a darker shape on the horizon; he closed in at full speed. About a mile away the shape became a distinct silhouette of a large yacht. The pilot, pressed his microphone, and alerted the helmsman.
“Target in sight”


The decent was more delicate than the extraction; again the wind tore at Bond’s body, but he used the time to get his bearings; he identified the boat below as a well lit fifty foot motor yacht carrying a Mil Hermit helicopter on the rear deck. A circle of blue halogen lights beckoned him down. The Sea King made delicate movements above to position the decent in to the very centre of the lights, as he got closer he made out the shape of two crewmen, waiting to help him. The pitch of the boat became evident; and the winch stopped descending; the deck rose. Then with expert timing the winch began to play out as the boat began to drop. The two crewmen rushed forward and held Bond. One detached the harness and guided the winch away. The Sea King lifted.

The crewmen held Bond’s arms, but it was a pleasant assisting gesture; quickly they took him inside. The tinted glass doors slid closed and Bond suddenly felt very alone in this new quite environment. He watched the Sea King fade into the distance.

Both men took off their helmets.
“Welcome on board” the first crewman said; Bond thought the accent was Scottish.
He took the bag from the net and handed it to Bond; the other man, opened an internal door, and gestured for him to follow, Bond noticed his hands were covered in dark coarse hairs.
Bond followed the hairy man down the mahogany lined corridor, music was playing; he guessed it was coming from the cabin at the end. The crewman balled his hairy hand into a fist and knocked on the cabin door.

The door opened and the crewman extended his arm, gesturing for Bond to go in. The cabin was bedecked in an opulence usually associated with a palace; after the biting wind of the North Sea and the vibration in the Sea King, the warmth of the room seemed almost womb like. Sitting at a Louis 14th desk to the side of the cabin a grey haired man busied himself at a keyboard; with a smile he raised his head and turned to welcome his guest, the smile suddenly vanished
“Who the hell are…?”

Bond took two strides to reach him, his fist shot out and caught the man on the temple; he fell back, his arms outstretched, knocking into the desk; the chair was sent skidding across the floor; the man pushed down on the desk and sprang back at Bond; he brought up both fists in a typical martial arts guard, and yelled out the traditional Ki ai.
Bond kicked him hard in the solar plexus; the man doubled over and staggered back.
Bond followed him in and lifted his knee; connecting with the man’s chin. The music stopped.
Bond sensed movement behind him, he spun around as the hairy crewman entered the cabin; he took the scene in and began to draw his gun, Bond dived to the floor and rolling over drew his gun; his movement ended in a kneeling pose where he aimed and fired the Walther in a classic double tap; the noise was brutally loud in the cabin.
The hairy man fell back. At the door to his left another figure appeared; even in the heat of battle Bond recognized it as a female form.

“What a pleasant surprise” The woman known as Bee stood in the doorway; her voice was as silky smooth as the cream sheer silk dress she wore. She raised her arm, and rested her head against the door frame.
Bond began to get to his feet.
They had only met once before; in Finland, during operation Bombshell. Unfortunately the meeting had been curtailed when her then boss, Nathanial Skedar ordered his execution. Skedar was now dead; but Bond remembered her; remembered her beauty, he also remembered her boyfriend; an ex Foreign legionnaire come mercenary named Manic.
“Been busy?” Bond quipped, as he got to his feet, he checked beyond her alluring form, to see if she had been alone in the bedroom. Her perfume filled the air.
As they stood facing each other in the doorway, she looked at him
“I thought we’d seen the last of you at the lake”
Bond held her stare; her blue eyes sparkled like diamonds; and in that moment he understood who had been responsible for firing a rocket at his helicopter in Sweden. Slowly he nodded
“…and where is Mr. Manic?”
Before she could answer another crewman appeared at the door, shots rang out. Bee dived back into the bedroom shouting
“Be careful where you’re firing you crazy…” her words were cut off with the slamming of the door.

Bond returned fire; and the crewman dropped. He tried the bedroom door, but it was locked.
A siren began to wail.
Bond pocketed the Walther and left the cabin, picking up the Uzi automatic from the dead man at the door.
His plan was to make it up to the helicopter; but as more shots cannoned off the wall by his head, he thought that might be more difficult than first thought. He ducked down the next hatchway, and slid down the metal stairs.
Without a break, he ran along the companion way, his footsteps echoed, reminding him of a dinner gong.
The first door on the left was open; Bond entered and locked it behind him, he descended onto the lower deck.
Bond’s intention now was to make it to the stern of the yacht; he knew the rear most area would provide a launching spot for either a speed boat, or at very least a jet ski.
Escape plan established in mind he ran along the narrow corridor; one more compartment to go.
As Bond entered the compartment he was shocked to see a mini submarine nestling in the bay.

The mini sub was the size of a city car, and resembled a cycling helmet; with the lid lifted it revealing a packed cargo hold. In the body of the sub, lay a number of wax wrapped sealed bundles. His curiosity roused,
Bond laid the Uzi on the bench, and took a screwdriver from a shadow board and set about attacking the first bundle.
The distinctive smell of C4 explosives drifted from the box. “Manic” he said to himself.
Bond removed the middle row of six bundles, and placed them neatly on the deck.
The area he had created in the sub was now big enough for him to lie in.


Bee had split the crew into two search parties; as the first group followed Bond’s decent; the second team positioned themselves outside; overlooking the rear deck. One of the crew had been dropped over the stern and was inching his way down to the rear launch doorway; the sea churned a white frothy mix beneath him; for below the surface the propeller turned; forcing the boat through the water. From his precarious position he waited.
Currently the launch door was sealed shut; but he knew that for Bond to escape this way he would need to open it.
The man sat in the rope harness waiting for his chance, dangling from the rope above the turbulent swell.


In order to launch the sub Bond needed to open the rear door; but to activate it he must first seal the bulkhead from the rest of the yacht. Bond went to the control panel; he depressed the switch, the bulkhead slid slowly across.
With only a couple inches to go, Bond made his move, but in that instant a rope snaked in and looped itself around his neck; the rope was pulled back, and Bond crashed back against the closing door. The door stopped moving,
Bond was trapped against the bulkhead, the rope securely fastened around his neck. Across the bay, the rear door now began to swing open, the sound of the waves and the cool of the night seeped in.
Bond was choking, he tried to worm his fingers under the rope, but it would not move.
Then as the moonlight filtered into the bay through the open door Bond saw the crew member executing his decent.
In that moment the man looked into the launch bay, and saw Bond; His hands let go of the rope as he went for his gun, quickly his hand eased inside his jacket, but the motion of the yacht and the tightness of the harness stopped him pulling it clear. He gritted his teeth. Looking up, he shouted “Drop me down”

His colleagues up above inched down the rope. The man realized there was just another foot to go; then Bond would be at his mercy. Bond couldn’t get enough movement in his body to reach his own Walther; so he stretched out his hand, reaching for the Uzi on the bench; but it remained tantalizingly just out of reach.
Bond concentrated on the rope, he got his fingers inside the noose, and put his foot back against the bulkhead, and pulled; his body strained against the rope, the veins stood out on his head. The door gave a millimeter, and the rope slackened; keeping one eye on the descending crewman, Bond got a better grip on the noose and pulled again, the rope burned against his skin. The door opened a further millimeter,
and then Bond felt the muzzle of a gun touch his back, it pressed against his spine; in that instant he dodged to the side, but he still felt the intensity as the bullet ripped past him; it tore through his jacket.
The crewman in the harness had now landed on the deck; quickly he undid the clasp, and began to draw his gun.
The bullet struck the door frames just a foot from his head. “Hey, stop firing, I have him” he shouted.
From behind the bulkhead Bond heard the sweet honey tones of Bee shouting
“Hold your fire, hold your fire; there’s enough C4 in there to blow us all to hell”

The fear of setting off the explosives was obviously more important than killing Bond quickly.
But the hiatus had gained Bond another couple of precious seconds; the crewman swaggered up to him; with a lazy movement he aimed his gun, but heeding the warning from Bee; approached Bond with the gun extended; his smile was cruel and thin.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got him” He screamed above the noise of the waves.
The bulkhead opened another inch; and fingers appeared at the gap, the door opened another inch as the hands began pulling the metal shield open. Their efforts were winning the battle of opening the door; but the hands that held the noose were beginning to lose balance.
With one last effort Bond jerked on the rope with one hand, and reached for the Walther with the other, his hand brushed against the butt.
But it was too late.
The bulkhead began to slide open.

The crewman now stood face to face with Bond and pushed the gun into his open mouth.
“There, there now; be a good chap and put these on” he said, holding out a pair of handcuffs in his other large fist
“Do you want him alive?” he asked, Bond noticed his name tag showed his name as ‘Phillips’

Bee answered “Yes, don’t risk setting off the explosives” her voice came from only a couple of inches away.
He nodded his head in confirmation but his eyes never left Bond’s
“But I can’t miss from here” he sneered, pushing the gun against his teeth.
Bond thrust forward with the screwdriver and stabbed the man through the heart; the thin smile dropped from his face.
As the attacker dropped to the floor, Bond reached out and took hold of the gun; reversing it through the gap he fired three shots in quick succession. The rope went slack, and Bond released himself from the noose.
The fingers disappeared and the door slammed shut with a satisfying clunk.
Bond looked down at the man, with the screwdriver sticking out of him
“Neither could I” said Bond with a catch in his voice; he rotated his head to free up his breathing.


The submarine slid back out of the hold and began to float away from the motor yacht.
“He’s here, he’s here” another crewman shouted. At the rail, the first man aimed his gun, but Bee held out her hand
“Wait” she screamed. She clutched the mobile to her ear
“Manic” she barked
“Oui mon chere” His voice was rich with suggestion
“Not now. Bond is here. He has taken the sub and the explosives”
Manic took the news that Bond was alive with surprising calm. He immediately reasoned that if Bond were alive and had taken Kreskas’s place; then Kreskas was probably dead. The mission was terminally compromised.
“Detonate the sub”
Bee’s strength was that she always did as she was told. She raised the detonator and pressed the button.
Eight meters to the rear of the yacht, the sea exploded in a rush of foam and a plume of water.
A ball of flame extended like a finger toward the dawn
“Goodbye Mr. Bond” she mouthed; Bee turned and with her hips swinging, returned to her cabin.


The Gulf of Aden.

Waiting for an answer as to why Manic had accepted the phone call during this dangerous part of their mission; the eyes of all five mercenaries were fixed upon him as he carefully pushed his mobile phone back into the webbing of his battledress. He raised both eyebrows, and sank his head into his shoulders “Ma famme” he said as way of explanation; the men all nodded in a resigned fashion; grunting and tutting to confirm they all understood. In unison they turned away from their leader, and focused to the horizon. The twelve foot long, black, zodiac rigid speed boat, continued to drift into the path of the giant oil tanker.
When the bows of the supertanker stretched up to block out the light, and the sound of the bow wave crunched like an avalanche, sending spray into their faces; Manic gave the instruction to start. With a palpable relief the mercury outboard engine fired up and the zodiac darted out of the way of the tanker as it bore down upon them.
Hugging the side of the giant vessel the speed boat zipped down, surfing the waves;
under the ten foot high letters Samho Dream.

The metal ladder was molded into the side of the tanker; it was their focus and the zodiac edged in toward it.
The first mercenary took hold of the ladder, and lashed the zodiac to it.
In silence Manic led four of his men up the ladder; the last man, waited at the foot. It took a little more than four minutes for them to reach the deck; the equivalent of an eight story building. Splitting in to two groups, the men headed back toward the bridge. The superstructure rose from the deck; another eight story tower-block climb faced them.
Movement up ahead; the Korean crewman, was taking a crafty cigarette; his mind on his first night out in America. Something caught his attention; he looked down along the deck that was the size of three football pitches.
Manic braced his pistol arm with his free hand; he fired two suppressed shots in quick succession.
The Korean fell back; hitting the deck with a hollow metallic ring; the lit cigarette still in his mouth. As Manic walked past the man, he stamped his foot down hard on the man’s face; crushing the cigarette against his lips
“They say smoking kills” he murmured to the next mercenary; the ex-legionnaire nodded in agreement.
The second team arrived at the communications cabin. The radio operator awoke with an Uzi 9mm pressed against his cheek, and a look of terror in his eyes.
Simultaneously the two teams burst onto the bridge; after a quick burst of automatic gunfire the crew slumped to the floor. Manic strode on to the bridge and faced the Captain “Time to raise the Skull & Crossbones”


Back in the cabin Bee removed her waterproof coat; and gathered her hair, smoothing it back over her head, her skin was puckered into goose pimples, she opened the bedroom door, and Bond pulled her inside; before she could scream, he clamped his hand over her mouth.
He snapped the handcuff over her wrist, and then pulled her across the chair; looping the second cuff around the leg, and fastening the second cuff to her other wrist.
As she stood on tip toes she looked back at Bond, her eyes were wide open, like those of a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching car. Bond hoisted the Uzi, and went to the door.
“Surely you’re not going to leave now?” she implored.
Bond looked at the taught stretched outline of the curves of her body
“I’m afraid so; seats are going to be at a premium on that Hermit”
“What?” she sounded confused, Bond laughed
Bee frowned, and Bond continued “When this little tub sinks; the seats are going to be a premium on the Hermit helicopter”
“You’d leave me to die?” She screamed at him.
Bond shook his head “You’ll think of something”


Bond climbed into the Hermit. The high pitch whoosh of the engine, reached its climax and the helicopter lifted off the deck. At about one hundred meters, he lifted the detonator, and depressed the switch.


He had expected to see the yacht erupt in a ball of flame, but there was nothing of the sort, no explosion, no muffled crump from the explosives that he had removed from the sub. Unable to help it, Bond smiled to himself
“Clever girl, I knew you’d think of something”


MI6 agent Goodnight walked dream like through the Harwich customs hall.
Every eye seemed to be on her. Every guilty footstep echoed, like a hiss of hatred.
Her mind was in turmoil. Her lower lip trembled.
Bond had not returned to the cabin, and she had no doubt he was dead. The only doubt she did have now was the state of Kreskas, could he have survived Bond? Or were there other terrorists on board. Either way, she knew she had to get to London, and the quickest way from Harwich was by train; as soon as she got through here she would cross to the train platform. She looked up from beneath her eyelashes, the queue of foot passengers was moving quickly now. Almost there, just a little longer to keep her nerve.

“Just one minute Miss” the customs officer called, he held out his stubby hand for her passport.
Slowly, so that her hand did not shake, she handed it to him. The officer scanned the passport and waited for the boarding and history details to come up on his screen.
He glanced at the young frail looking girl in front of him. Goodnight smiled back, trying to flutter her eyelashes.
His brow furrowed “Can you confirm who you were travelling with, Miss?”
Goodnight felt her throat contract, in a little girl lost voice, thick with emotion she replied
“Dr Kreskas”
The customs officer raised his right eyebrow in an unwitting imitation of Elvis Presley
“And I understand you had a car?” Goodnight felt the panic rise, but she had rehearsed her lines
“I’m not feeling too well, I decided to take a little walk” she inclined her head back toward the ferry.
The officer looked back at her but did not smile
“Rough crossing?”
Then his attention went past her, and outside onto the road
“No matter Miss, looks like the Doctor’s here now. You can’t mistake your car”

Goodnight turned to see the scarlet red Mercedes Benz pull up outside the customs building; even at idle, the engine sounded aggressive.
From somewhere in the distance she heard the officer speak; dreamlike she turned back toward him; he held out her passport
“Thank you Miss, have a nice day”
Goodnight took the Passport, her mind was racing, her heartbeat pounded in her ears,
‘Kreskas wasn’t dead, that’s why Bond didn’t return” she left the customs post and began to walk toward the passenger door of the car; she was drawn toward it.

If this was going to be it; let her go out in style; she threw back her shoulders.
Six feet away from the car she lost her nerve and stood stone still, her legs frozen.
Then the adrenalin shot through her body as suddenly both gull wing doors began to rise; expecting a bullet from Kreskas’s gun at any second, Goodnight bent at the knee and peered into the dark interior of the Mercedes Benz.

Drawing a sharp intake of breath she gasped “You?” her hand flew to her heart

“You were expecting someone else?” asked James Bond

#2 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 06:49 PM

Chapter One

Operation Domino

The Gulf of Aden

The morning after the South Korean-owned supertanker Samho Dream had been hijacked by Somali pirates;
Intelligence agents, boarded Yemeni Naval Coastguard cutters; with the explicit instruction to hunt down and apprehend all vessels engaged in pirate activities.
“This must not happen again; the World is watching us” The Commander had told them.
“The CIA have supplied satellite photographs of suspicious and suspect boats” He handed out buff folders.

One of those folders was now gripped in the small hand of Yemini Intelligence agent, Wasim Ben Khalid.
“This must not happen again” the words echoed in his head.
Proudly he stood beside the Captain on the bridge of the Cutter; excited at the mission ahead.

The 300,000-tonne Samho Dream, had been en route from Iraq to the United States when it was hijacked 230 miles south-east of the Gulf of Aden.
Reports of this latest act of piracy had fast become the lead story for news channels around the World;
because, in retaliation The Korean government had dispatched the destroyer Cheong-hae to head for Haradheere,
on the horn of Africa; an area where many hi-jacked ships had been held during previous ransom negotiations.

The South Korean media reported that the destroyer was able to travel faster than the super tanker and it was hoped that the Cheong-hae would confront the Samho Dream before it could reach the pirate controlled safe haven.

Wasim Ben Khalid felt the deck vibrate beneath his feet. The cutter cast off and headed out into the gulf. Somewhere, out there a Korean Destroyer and a Supertanker were heading for a confrontation.


From his office in San Antonio Texas; Bill Day, CEO of the Taxargo Energy Corp, and owner of the £117 million cargo listened impatiently, phone in hand, as the TV reporter said the word “confrontation” again.
The voice on the phone brought him back to reality
“Put me through to Cliff Daniels” he demanded, and immediately was put in contact with his friendly White House senator.
"We've had reports that the Koreans are intending to disable the tanker; sink it if need be; if that strategy happens it would be an ecological and financial disaster; it is imperative that the Gulf remains open to shipping" he flexed his hand as he spoke.
After a moment’s silence Cliff Daniels, Senator for Texas replied in his slow Texan drawl
"Calm down now Bill; I’ll see to it; there’ll be no gook interference on my watch"


Integral to the world economy, the Gulf of Aden is a vital waterway for oil shipments. 12% of the world's seaborne petroleum passes through the Gulf on a variety of supertankers every year. But weaving around the tankers, like plovers about a hippopotamus are the dhows that fish the waters, and provide for the staple diet, destined for the main ports on both sides of the Gulf. Aden in Yemen, and Bosaso in Somalia.
One such dhow was the 11S2. It looked like many other dhows that were sailing in the Gulf that morning, a nameless boat identifiable only by its registration number. This dhow, however, was not carrying fish.
The crew of the11S2 were busy changing course to reduce the effect of the passage of the 150,000 tonne tanker NYK VLCC Takayama as it slid past her, a quarter of a mile to the north.
“That’s him” The Captain withdrew his binoculars
“Full speed ahead Mr. Kashoo”
The two V16 Alco diesel engines pushed the Yemeni coastguard cutter through the water toward the 11S2.
The cutter smashed through the wake of the Takayama, as it emerged from beyond her stern.
The cutter had been holding station behind her, and once the swell was negotiated the cutter accelerated
to its maximum 18 knots.
The Helmsman, Costguard Walider Kashoo forced the wheel to the left and the cutter bore down on the dhow.
Beside Kashoo on the bridge were the Captain, Abu Bakir and Yemeni intelligence agent, Wasim Ben Khalid, who had identified the 11S2 as a target vessel, as advised from his CIA list.
Khalid was small in stature, but big in heart and enthusiasm.
He ran his hand over his designer stubble; and felt a surge of pride in his rebellious stance about not having a traditional soup strainer moustache. Ever since his days studying to be an archeologist at Sana’a University he furiously defended his decision to drop the Wasim part of his name and be known as Ben Khalid, pronounced Kelly.
“Contact in three minutes Sir” Kashoo shouted over his shoulder
The Captain inclined his head and said to the agent at his side
“OK Mr. Khalid let’s get ready to board her”


The siren on the cutter was loud and piercing; frightening away a flock of seabirds that had chosen the 11S2 as their meal ticket for the day. Alerted by the sound, the local Yemini and Somalia crew of the 11S2 ran around the deck in disarray. The captain; a battle hardened Somalia seaman of some 30 years, rattled a six foot length of rusted chain in his hands;
as his prison hardened muscled arms wind milled above his shaven head, like some nightmare scarecrow,
he began herding the crew toward the far rail.
With a childlike mentality the crew began remonstrating with each other; they knew they were about to be stopped,
and that meant prison for all of them.
The cutter was bearing down on the dhow with the inevitability of an evening sunset.
From that distance the old captain knew they had no chance of out running the coastguard.
His crew had given up; he spat onto the aged wooden deck and cursed his luck. He knew what he had to do.
Without warning, he balled his hand into a fist and slammed a right hook into the face of one young Yemeni sailor.
The boy, no more than 16 slumped back against the rail. With a frighteningly fast action, the captain wrapped the chain around the waist of the boy; finishing the maneuver by snapping a padlock into the links.
Two other crew members then heaved the boy up and tossed him over the rail.
As he hit the water the boy gained full consciousness; the added weight of the chain accelerated his drop beneath the surface.

From the cutter, Captain Abu Bakir and a horrified Ben Khalid watched the scene unfold.
The boy plunged into the sea. Moments later the dhow began to move; plumes of diesel smoke erupted from the exhaust.
The cutter, ploughed on relentlessly; closing the gap.
“Hunt him down Mr.Kashoo” Abu Bakir, barked out the order, without taking his eyes from the dhow. As the helmsman confirmed the order Ben cut in
“No; we must stop, there is a man in the water”
Abu Bakir, turned and looked deep into the little man’s eyes “We can’t stop…” he paused “…in time to save him”
after a moments thought he shouted “Throw a life preserver, in”

On deck the coastguard crew threw a life belt over the rail; but as the bow of the cutter, forced water aside as it pursued the old dhow, the bright orange preserver was swept away. Ben, ran to the window, and looked into the fathomless depths of the sea, as it churned and frothed as the cutter passed the spot where the boy had gone in.
Abu Bakir’s voice was high pitched and full of stress as he spoke
“If we stop they will get away; this was a calculated sacrifice”
Ben looked back at him and nodded in resignation. This was not part of the confrontation he had imagined.
The chase continued in silence. Although the siren was blaring away and the waves were crashing at the bow, Ben heard nothing save the imagined cries of the drowning boy.

The Dhow’s Captain looked back at the Coastguard cutter as the distance between them closed.
He wrinkled up his nose as he realized they weren’t going to stop.
He rolled his eyes; and took hold of another length of chain.
He emerged from the wheel house, but as he did the crew ran about the deck in disarray.
Sensing the helplessness of the situation, he threw the chain down in disgust, spitting on the deck as he did.
The Cutter drew along side.


The lines were thrown and the dhow was pulled into the port side of the cutter.
As the vessels were secured the rank smell of fish drifted through the air.
The ship's captain and his remaining crew of 6 were rounded up and held on the rear deck; as the three coastguard troopers, the Captain and the slight figure of the Intelligence officer began their search of the dhow.
Within minutes the troopers indicated they had identified something of interest in the fish stinking hold.
Upon inspection however the hold was laden with a quite different cargo.
Khalid wrinkled his nose as the stench hit him; the heat brought him out in a sweat that he knew would stain his clothes; quickly he checked the packaging numbers on the boxes.
They matched the manifest, loaded in the Somali port of Hes Bes.
Khalid nodded his approval. “Okay, lets open the box”
The coastguard trooper took his crowbar and prized open the first box.
The wood split, and the lock fell to the floor; the trooper lifted the lid.
“It’s guns” came his incredulous response
Ben Khalid surged forward, placing his hands on the open sides of the crate; he looked up into the face of the trooper “They’re ferrying arms into a country already awash with weapons. It doesn’t make sense”


MI6 Headquarters Vauxhall Cross London

Three men sat in M’s office.
It was late afternoon two days after the supertanker Samho Dream had been taken.
“About 60 million handguns, at the last count, arming a population of just 21 million”
James Bond put down the folder and completed his report.

M let out a slow whistle of breath as he sat back in his chair; leaning back he clasped his hands behind his head,
and allowed the information to sink in “The arms traffic is hardly one-way”
The tense atmosphere in the room showed no signs of subsiding;
after all this was Bond’s first briefing with his new boss; the new M. Sir John Green.

Bond had yet to be introduced to M’s visitor; this lack of protocol also had a sobering affect on Bond’s responsibility to getting the message of the report over in an unbiased way.

Bond accepted Sir John as a man of strong character, proud of his Belfast upbringing.
Now in his late 50’s Sir John had had a long and distinguished career in the Foreign office.
He had studied law at Queens University; but had abandoned the bar for a consulate position in Budapest.
Bond had first noticed the steel behind his eyes in a late night television interview when his appointment as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen's New Years Honours List 2007 was criticized by the media. The reporter had suggested that certain honours had been given unfairly to supporters loyal to the government during the 2003 war in Iraq. Sir John’s reply had been too explicit to censor, and was only shown after the watershed.

Bond confirmed “That’s right sir, its Yemeni ships smuggling arms in the opposite direction, to fuel the conflict in Mogadishu and Somalia, that’s the normal course”
Both M and his visitor nodded in agreement. M un-clasped his hands and lent forward, pointing at the report on his desk with a well manicured index finger.
M expanded “The capture of the dhow and seizure of the arms is a small event compared to the hijacking of the Samho Dream, but an illustrative one. The Horn of Africa retains the potential to be one of the most explosive regions, having suffered some of Africa's longest and most bitter conflicts during the past century”

Bond watched and listened to the way M was putting the operation together; he had a secret admiration for the way Sir John had come into the position, and had liked the way he had made Bond responsible for the briefing.
One thing was for sure, the strategy had ensured that Bond had had to carefully read the information contained in the operations folder.
M’s visitor spoke for the first time “The problem with this region…”

M held up his hand “…Sorry Rolf; now may be a good time to introduce you to 007” M relished the power he had over the release of the information
The man lent forward and extended his hand; Bond took it
“Rolf Bowden, director of the Horn of Africa think tank”

“Pleased to meet you” Said Bond, the man’s position seemed at odds with the status of the brief; his appearance seemed at odds as well. The man looked like an undertaker.
Severe short back and sides haircut exposed a round face lending its expression from a sad puppy

“As I was saying. The problem with the region is that you can’t talk about Somalia without talking about Ethiopia”
M turned his attention to Bond
“Bowden here is convinced that a failure to understand the nature of the relationships between the various neighbours by other countries, not least ourselves, has contributed to the difficulties we now face. With Yemen, just across the Gulf, added to the mix, the area's multi-layered security, economic and political problems appear so interconnected at so many levels as to seem irresolvable with a single solution”

Bowden used his hands to emphasize his statement “This region has left its mark on the international consciousness over the past two decades for all the wrong reasons: war, famine and massive displacement of civilian populations. The public expect, no; demand that a solution be found”

M spoke with authority “My department is not here to find that solution. The most potent images that we all remember Rolf, inevitably, are of disasters that befell the westerners rather than the local population: the Battle of Mogadishu that saw dead servicemen dragged through the streets; the attack on the USS Cole by al-Qaeda in Aden, and the kidnapping of western ships and tourists by pirates off Somalia's coast. Then there are the obvious connections to the Christmas Day bomber. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is believed to have received his training from al-Qaeda in Yemen”

Bowden took an opposing view “We will soon be forced to see what is going on with the indigenous population within their borders. Last week, the Somali prime minister, Omar Sharmarke, told of the shortcomings of western policy towards his country”
“The US have made an offer of help” offered M quickly

Bowden shook his head, his jowls vibrated with the effort “That offer was to the Yemen in its fight against al-Qaeda. Sharmarke’s warning was that the sudden upsurge of interest would only displace Yemen's problem into Somalia and other parts of Africa” as if wanting to make a confession, Bowden used his hands to gesture to his black suit, and tie “After this briefing, I have to attend another repatriation at Heathrow. I feel its my duty to attend whenever a British worker dies; either by accident or terrorist activity. We are doing our damndest to get workers into Africa. But I’m still seeing one brought home in a box every couple of weeks”

M responded “Do you have proof that al-Qaeda are capitalizing on the fact that Yemen is receiving all the western attention whilst Somalia is just receiving gestures. Do you believe they’re busy seizing the opportunity to secure new supply corridors for a deeper move into Africa?" the question hung

Bond interjected “Yes, there are reports that fighters from Afghanistan have relocated to Somalia and Yemen. Yemen is also home to thousands of former mujahedeen who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets, they could easily use these countries as a gateway into Africa. Haradheere in Somalia has become a pirate safe-haven”

Bowden commented “These pirates have terrorized the shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, for months. The pirates have made millions of dollars from ransoms. Now the deployment of foreign warships in the area has resulted in driving the pirates further from shore, to look for bigger prizes”

Bond added “It’s not the pirates that are making the money. It’s a lucrative business that’s drawn financiers from criminal and terrorist organisations worldwide; now someone has arrived in Haradheere to manage their investments. A cooperative has been set up to fund the hijackings; a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate”

Rolf Bowden took up the cause “If these killers join forces with Yemeni rebels, we could be faced with an army with the ability to bring a jihad from Africa to the doorstep of Europe”

M tried to calm the conversation, he explained “The rebels are known as Houthis after their ancestral leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. But GCHQ intelligence don’t believe they could sustain an action bigger than fighting government troops in the north”

Bowden continued the affray “But does that intelligence confirm the Houthi are currently appointing a new leader?”
M was momentarily quiet, indicating that news had not reached him.

Bond nodded, and entered the conversation; his tone was even, and suggested that the news was common knowledge
“Khaled Wazir is the name touted by GCHQ”
Bowden brought out a hard copy e-mail, he slapped it down on M’s desk
“This is from al-Qaeda's wing in Yemen. It’s a statement that it will take revenge over raids targeting the Houthi.
Khaled Wazir would readily use their support; if he takes over the Yemeni time bomb will be ticking”

M was deep in thought

Bond broke the silence “Both the United States and Saudi Arabia fear al Qaeda will exploit instability in Yemen and stage attacks in the kingdom and beyond”
In response Bowden waved the sheet of paper again “It goes on to say that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said "We will not let Muslim blood soak into the ground without revenge"

M looked at Bowden “Then it could be a Jihad; right now the increased gathering of terrorist fighters in Yemen and Somalia is the inevitable focus of our concern”

Rolf Bowden continued to make his point; Bond likened the man to a dog with a bone.
Bowden struck the desk with his fist “Disintegration is taking place in Yemen of a government faced with insurgencies in the north and south, this has the potential to cause widespread violence.
If the Koreans sink the Samho Dream it will cause death to millions on the Horn”

M remained calm and impassive and his reply was without compassion
“Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, with 45% unemployment as of 2009, dwindling natural resources, and rapid population growth. Yemen has a weak economy compared to other Arab states, mainly due to Yemen having relatively little oil”

Bowden became more agitated, a vein stood out on his temple
“Thousands of Somali refugees have been arriving on Yemen's coastline, and your only concern is for oil” he fumed.
“These people, innocents or terrorists are going to die; the Yemen simply cannot support this influx.
The Americans are trying to stop the Korean destroyer; but I fear the action may escalate”
M spoke calmly, but with an unmistakable authority
“No one knows how many are associated with Khaled Wazir, but there is evidence that some are. We know too that fighters who were with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan have returned to the Yemen; with these people are itching for a fight on shore; any enemy action on the seas will spiral”

Bond noted that M had now begun to play his hand; but only after testing the water.
M tried to take the emotion out of the conversation
“If there are, links between al-Qaeda and the Yemeni tribesmen” he tapped the folder
“I don’t think we need look much further than Khaled Wazir. He is without doubt the most powerful figure in the arms trade in Yemen” M nodded to himself “The same weapons, it would now appear, that are flowing back into Yemen, predominately to fuel a conflict in the north and a second insurgency tied to tribal leaders in the south. If we also believe Wazir is responsible for the Haradheere stock exchange, then his area of influence is spreading too far for my liking. Someone is controlling the flow of arms into the country; but someone is also controlling a flow of people as well”

Bowden took a deep breath, relived that MI6 were actually taking the situation seriously
“That’s also the view endorsed by Raymond Mortimer” Bowden turned to Bond to explain
“Raymond co-ordinates the Horn of Africa think-tank, in Sana’a. His message is clear.
Pull the Navy out, and concentrate on the people; before this man Wazir corrupts the country”

Bond nodded his understanding (winning hearts and minds).
Bowden continued “Anyway Mortimer believes that a combination of ignoring endemic problems, have contributed to this dangerous cocktail. If you look at Somalia, for instance, the lesson to the international community is if you ignore this place you do not know what is going to happen. And a policy of intervention can be dangerous”

Bond spoke again “Then the Korean and US intervention with the tanker will only fuel the growth of terrorism”
Bowden confirmed “Yes, the problems of the Horn and Yemen are marked by similarities, but they are also distinguished by crucial differences”
M took up the thread “All the players have different public personas and agendas, although many of them feed each other; right now I’m uncertain which poses the biggest threat; the arms smuggling; or the people smuggling”

Bowden replied “One thing most analysts do agree on is the risk of a disaster in the form of genocide. Miss Elizabeth Loverseed, one of our most talented analysts at the Horn of Africa think tank, believes future instability in Yemen could expand to a lawless zone from Kenya, through Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to Saudi Arabia”

Bond tapped his report “I concur, GCHQ are worried about the transit of Islamist radicals. If we can destabilize a Khaled Wazir led regime, close down the Haradheere exchange; and find a way of tackling the arms trade you would improve governance in Yemen and reduce the potential for further conflict in Somalia. It also needs to be recognized that the Gulf of Aden is a vector for instability. The Yemeni coastguard who intercepted dhow 11S2, would doubtless agree”

M spoke bringing the briefing to a close “Genocide or revolution in the Gulf, is not within my remit to counter. Actions taken by the US and Korea against the pirates on board the Samho Dream, I leave up to the armed forces. I do believe however that this Khaled Wazir has the potential to destabilize the Yemeni government and allow al-Qaeda to use the country as a platform for control of Africa; once one country falls they could all topple like dominos. That’s why we want you out there Bond, link up with Yemeni intelligence, and find out what threat the Houthi tribesmen really pose with this man Khaled Wazir as their leader. The SAS will look into closing down the Haradheere operation. We’re currently setting up an Arms Deal in Aden. Yemeni Intelligence, confirm that should get you in front of our Mr. Wazir in double quick time”

Bowden inclined his head knowing there was more to come.
M let out a sigh and continued “And as a compromise, you will be accompanied by Miss Elizabeth Loverseed from the think tank; this partnership will analyze the humanitarian impact of any actions proposed. Do you understand Bond?”

“Yes sir, I understand what you said” Bond stood “Thank-you for your insight Mr. Bowden” picking up the report, he locked eyes with M “Thank-you M”

As Bond left the office his opinion of ‘Operation Domino’ was dropping faster than a stone, he thought to himself
‘Not only am I going to a third world country, full of sand and flies, but now I have to nurse maid an old spinster. Yes thank-you M, thank-you very much’


James Bond sat in the First class lounge at Heathrow airport, he had succumbed to the pressure exerted by the barman to take a martini; and now as he read the GCHQ report on Khaled Wazir; he reveled in its smooth bitter taste.

Born in 1958 in Ibb, Yemen; Khaled Wazir was described by the CIA anti terrorist section as
"a man with a chameleon personality; blessed with the charm of a charismatic Yemeni academic and politician; and cursed with the ruthlessness of a professional killer"
Wazir studied at the Iman University; heading the al-Islah political movement in Yemen in the 80’s,
Wazir went on to sit on the Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunna,
with Majeed al-Zindani; whilst based in Saudi Arabia.
The US Treasury Department identified Khaled Wazir as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist"
citing his "long history of supplying arms to Bin Laden” as a reason for adding him to their most wanted list.

A figure paused in front of him; Bond cast his well experienced eye over her alluring female form, now this was more like it; as his eyes reached her face, she smiled and spoke
“Hello, you must be James Bond; I’m Beth Loverseed Horn of Africa think tank”
Bond would not have picked her from a line up of one; her business suit was cut to the latest fashion,
probably Channel or Farhi; her body looked lavish beneath the shimmering blue silk; her make up appeared to have been applied with the attention of a super model and her hair was...
(Bond thought of an apt description) wild.
Shiny jet black, with a kinky twist that said rock chick, rather than Government think tank analyst.
He was hooked.
“Good morning…” Bond stood up to take her hand
“…Beth, please call me Beth” Her lipstick was as dark as her complexion was pale; her appearance fascinated him instantly. Bond went on the prowl
“Can I get you a drink, Beth?” Bond was not prepared for the quick confident reply
“Sure, I’ll take a Tequila slammer” she sat down and crossed her long sensual legs


The flight passed quickly.

“Yemen's economy depends on the oil it produces, and its government receives the vast majority of its revenue from oil taxes. But Yemen's oil reserves are expected to be depleted by 2017, with fears of a resulting economic collapse. Yemen does have large proven reserves of natural gas; and the first liquefied natural gas plant began production in October 2009. We oversaw the deal” she concluded with a glint in her eye “Well my boss did”

Bond made as if to enquire his name, but Beth completed the question before he’d asked it
“Raymond Mortimer, that’s my boss; he outwitted the Russians; and then the Government just gave it away to the French and Americans. Still we have a mandate for the demographics”

“I’m sure you do” Bond knew he had no way to stop her, the words poured from her mouth like sweet water.
Beth tilted her head; knowing Bond was teasing her. “It’s not easy getting the right people to up sticks and come to Yemen; Raymond and I work damn hard getting just the right skill balance. If we don’t the country can become a wash with illegal’s”
“How bad is the Human trafficking?”
She shook her head; her perfume filled the air
“This is human smuggling; these people want to leave their own counties. It’s a skill to recognize them”
“I’m sure your interview technique is second to none”
With a wave of the hand she dismissed his flippancy;
“We assist the Yemeni government by ensuring a stream of companies visit the country each year, and invest in the resources at hand. It’s our job to ensure that what the world wants it gets from the Yemen whilst the world redresses the balance with technology and social advances” Beth made it sound like the most exciting and exotic adventure in the World. Bond wanted to hear more
“They must welcome you with open arms” Bond meant the comment to be serious; but Beth took it with the same pinch of salt as his previous comments
She laughed, it was an unreserved humorous giggle that infected Bond
“Rampant corruption is a prime obstacle to development in the country, limiting local reinvestments and driving away regional and international capital. The government has recently taken many measures to stamp out corruption, but efforts have been met with only partial success. Foreign investments remain largely concentrated around the nation's hydrocarbon industry, thank goodness that ENTYRE were brave enough to invest in the Taxargo liquefied natural gas fields”

“Are there any other natural resources?”

“Piracy. Hijacking Korean super tankers. Kidnapping foreign tourists. In many instances, the kidnappers attempt to use hostage taking to gain leverage in negotiations with the foreign governments more than we can leverage discounts” Bond could not help the look of bemusement on his face. Beth had stormed into his life and was making a real impact. She laughed again “No Mr. Bond we don’t oversee that activity”

“That’s reassuring”

The flight attendant took away their second empty champagne bottle, just as the ‘seat belt’ light illuminated
Beth checked her Tissot wrist watch, and with a flurry of movement, jumped up from her seat “I better go and strip” Her lips remained parted for just a second longer than was necessary to make the comment a joke; and although Bond knew it was just a harmless banter, he could not help himself imagining her performing in such a way.

She swayed ever so slightly as she rushed down the aisle. In the subsequent quiet, Bond thought anecdotally that he had never been exposed to a conversation; with a woman for so long in his life. Looking out of the window, at the dry arid landscape Bond thought this mission was suddenly looking better.

Beth emerged from the rest room, bag over her shoulder, a piece of blue silk protruded from it. Now she hurried back to her seat, the transformation whetted Bond’s appetite for the next onslaught of his senses. Beth now wore a cream linen suit; the trousers were a loose fitting Jodhpur style whist the jacket completed the look in a flowing blouson.
As she fastened her safety belt their eyes met.

“You’re going to be hot when we get off the plane”
Bond smiled openly “I’ll change when we get to the hotel”

“Oh, I’m not staying in Aden tonight; I’m transferring up to Sana’a, to the Embassy”
Bond took the news well, but inside he felt the night was going to be an anticlimax.
Beth continued “I’m afraid one of our ex pats died last week. I have to make the arrangements”
as if to herself she continued “Raymond usually does it but he’s so busy at the plant; he asked if I could do this one”

Bond became sombre “I’m sorry”

But Beth wasn’t finished yet she had moved on in her agenda. “In a couple of days I’m flying out to Balhaf, to oversee some recruitment at the ENTYRE plant. Why don’t you come with me? It’s a real wonder of the world. Americans from Taxargo working hand in glove with locals”

“I’ll have to review my agenda; but if it’s possible. I’d love to” Bond said, and to his surprise he actually meant it. Bond had researched the ENTYRE LNG Company project, and genuinely looked forward to seeing the plant and the construction of the gas pipeline, from the man made harbour to the liquid natural gas processing plant at Balhaf. But more than that he looked forward to spending more time with this whirlwind of a woman.

He looked back at her, and saw the stone set in her eye.
She began “I don’t know what you’re here to do James, but I’m here to help the Yemeni people. You’re not going to do anything to change that are you?”

“Certainly not, our modus operation might be different but I’m here to safeguard these people and those in the Horn as well”
Beth put her hand on his forearm “James, Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world; and it faces a humanitarian crisis, if the economy isn't rapidly stabilised. Yemen's development indicators consistently trail the Arab world by a wide margin; they are closer to the sub-Saharan Africa. More than a third of the population¬ are undernourished, the global hunger index rating is "alarming", and Yemen has one of the lowest water per-capita availability rates in the world”
Bond put his hand on top of hers, she felt vibrant
“Believe me Beth, I’m here to help the country”
“These are good people. The heads of the tribes have assured me they denounce any interference with the security of Yemen. It’s not in their interest to side with al-Qaeda. I believe they stand behind the Yemeni government in its efforts to foil this terrorist infiltration”

“I’m here to help with that”

“Last night, Shayef, head of the Bakeel tribe and former advisor to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, phoned to assure the think tank that he condemned any use of the Republic of Yemen as a “springhead for threatening the security of the Kingdom and the peace of its people.”

“That’s reassuring, but with respect Beth, he’s just one man, his power base is fading; the tribes of the Bakeel number around seven million. What can the Yemeni government offer him, to ensure they stand together against Khaled Wazir’s raise to power?”
Beth looked at Bond as a mother does with a child who refuses to accept the inevitable “Shayef said he was aware of al-Qaeda attempts to “lure young people” and “use them to attain its goals” He said he has been in conference with Wazir; and thinks he has convinced him to take a more peaceful approach”

Bond took a drink “If he can convince the Bakeel and Houthi tribes to assist the Yemeni government’s efforts to ensure peace for its people; the UK and the US would be happy to support” he said.
Beth believed Bond was serious, the smile spread across her face, lighting up her eyes “The Bakeel tribe, go back to the eternal depths of history, Shayef won’t be intimidated by any threats from Wazir”
Bond nodded to himself; the conversation with Beth had added much moral evidence that the country and its people were, in the main, thoroughly decent. Bond’s resolve was steeled even more to thwart any plans that Khaled Wazir had to change that perception

The plane banked over Aden's ancient, natural harbour.
Years ago the boats that now bobbed on the gently undulating sea would have been engulfed in a stream of lava, as the beautiful natural haven lies in the crater of an extinct volcano.
Flight 6218 followed the peninsula and crossed the mainland over the low isthmus. This harbour, Front Bay, was first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan between the 5th and 7th centuries BC. The airport, close to the modern harbour is on the other side of the peninsula.

The plane landed and Beth screamed with delight, clapping her hands and cheering; the innocent activity was infectious and other passengers joined in ‘Strange how perception is not always what it appears to be’ thought Bond as the plane touched down amidst a squeal of brakes and reverse thrust.
He looked out of the window onto a restless landscape, enjoying the prospect of entertaining his new partner in crime.

#3 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:39 PM

Chapter Two

Can you keep a secret ?

Without air-conditioning, the airport concourse was hotter than they had both imagined.
Beth lent forward and Kissed Bond lightly on the cheek
“I’ll see you, here in two days. Lunch?” and with that she was gone, making numerous enquiries from her aide,
who was struggling to answer her questions and carry her suitcase.

Bond walked through the arrivals hall. He was glad his arrival was low key;
it would give him some precious advantage in a turbulent country where he could not blend into the local scene.
Without Beth to share the evening with, Bond’s plan was simple; taxi, hotel, shower, sleep,
and in the morning make contact with Yemeni intelligence.

“Mr. Bond? Mr. Bond?”

Bond’s enthusiasm dropped; a short man dressed as Don Johnson from ‘Miami Vice’ began jogging over to him,
hand extended. His smile was very wide, his teeth very white.
“Yes; and you are?”
“Wasim Ben Khalid” the man looked furtively about them, then dropped his voice
“Yemeni Intelligence”

“That’s a surprise”
“Thank-you Mr. Bond, I’m sure you did not expect to see me here to meet you?”
“You’re very perceptive Wasim”

Wasim Ben Khalid, let out a raucous laugh
“Please Mr. Bond only my Mother and the very highest circles at the office call me Wasim. Please call me Ben, Ben Kelly. And I can assure you I am here, at your disposal. I can arrange everything for you whilst you are here in Yemen Mr. Bond”

Bond kept his voice low, forcing Kelly to lean closer to him
“Then you’ll know I’m here to meet Mr. Khaled Wazir, is that something you can arrange for me, Ben?”

The colour drained from his dark features, he rubbed his hand over his designer stubble
“That won’t be easy”
Bond reached down for his suitcase
“OK we better try an easier one first; let’s see if you can hail me a taxi”

Ben’s face lit up “No need Mr. Bond, I have a car. Next stop Movenpick hotel”
as Ben Kelly took hold of Bond’s case he continued talking
“It’s ideally located by the sea in the beautiful district of Khor Maksar”
He stopped and lent in toward Bond, lowering his voice to that of a whisper
“It is the only international five star hotel in Aden; surrounded by a beautiful garden,
only a few minutes from the airport. Come, come”

Bond followed the energetic little Intelligence officer outside, in the sure knowledge they would not be followed.
Aden has a population of about 800,000 people.
And all those in the airport knew where Bond was heading.

Once outside, things got worse; a crowd of young men had gathered around Ben’s car.
The bright bronze coloured Cadillac CTS stood at odds to its surroundings; and the men cheered and passed on their gratitude when Ben put Bond’s bag in the trunk; once inside Ben’s car Bond began a gentle interrogation,
to understand just how much this man would be able to help him, on the operation.

“What’s the latest news on the Samho Dream, has it reached Haradheere, or has the Cheong-hae caught her?”
“Big surprise Mr. Bond, the Samho Dream has changed course; she is currently sailing toward Balhaf”

The news changed everything; now he knew he would have to make the trip to the plant with Beth.
Bond forced the pace
“I understand Khaled Wazir has a contact here in Aden, name of Kered Rekaf”
“Yes Mr. Bond, he is a name known to us. A name connected to much death”
“Good, we’ll use the guns you acquired from the Dhow as bait. Set up a meeting for tomorrow”
Ben’s smile was hollow and empty as he nodded his agreement to the instruction.
As they purred along the road, young boys waved and ran along side the Cadillac.
Bond felt himself under a spotlight
“One more thing Ben”
“Yes Mr. Bond” his tone was one of defeat
“Use a car that will fit in with our surroundings”


Abdul al Shayef was almost sixty years old; his political journey through life had been punctuated with the highs and lows associated with a corrupt system and a volatile community; throughout his years in office he always felt hope and pride in his Country.
His journey had started with comparative ease, with many eyes and hearts from the Bakeel tribe willing him good luck. Recently he had fallen from favour with the President. New up coming leaders were emerging.
In a genuine effort to understand their motivation; he had sought conference with his rival.
Now as the train entered Sana’a railway station, he felt nothing but fear.
His celebrity had helped, when he left Wazir’s villa late last night; but here in the city he knew there would be many predatory eyes that would be looking for him. He had exchanged his white robes and jewelled dagger, for simple local clothes; but his face was well know in the city, so the danger of his exposure was real and constant.


The terracotta floor tile filled the man’ s vision; he kept his eyes transfixed on the small square of smooth ceramic. Khaled Wazir’s rage was always just contained beneath the surface of his personality
“When did he escape” now it threatened to burst from his chest
The wiry figure of his first lieutenant, Kanu knelt before him. He had not thought of Shayef as escaping, more that the old man had just left the camp. He kept this thought to himself He raised his head only enough to see the shiny black riding boots of his leader.
“During the night”

The room was decorated in turn of the century French Art Nouveau style, the pastel colours, extenuating a worn out warm look of understated elegance, bathed in a classic whiplash motifs. The large mahogany table that dominated the room however dated many years before that.
Wazir paced in front of the man; from the table he picked up a crystal champagne flute; he held it up to the light and detected that was stained with lipstick; he hurled it at the wall, it shattered with an expensive ring.
He continued to pace the floor; his boots clicking on the stone as every step seemed to fill with rage.
He knew now it had been foolish to boast of his aspirations; to reveal more of his plan than he should.
But he had; and now the old man had gone.
The information the old man now carried, could; in the wrong hands thwart his plan.

As he passed beside the kneeling figure of Kanu, he aimed a kick at him; Kanu muffled a groan;
but the pain that Wazir felt in his heart was much more.
Resting against the table he forced himself to think.
There was too much investment in this plan to allow the old Bakeel leader to ruin it.
Then in guilty afterthought he realized he would have to explain what had happened to his employer.
The prospect of that allowed his rage to spill over; and he savagely kicked the chair closest to him.
Anger slated he turned to the kneeling figure in the black robes.
“Find him”
“Yes boss”
“Find him and kill him” His dark eyes glowed.
“Yes boss” Kanu jumped up and ran toward the ornate French windows that looked out upon the ocean.
The day was just beginning.

Wazir stared through the open windows; his eyes remained clear and unblinking, like those of a snake.
All his life he had dreamed of power. His political career had stumbled amidst a regime of corruption;
so Wazir had made a life choice to embrace the dark side of politics. He embedded himself with the extremists;
supplying their needs in return for power. But in a country that is poor, power is limited.
Bin Laden had gone; but a new hope had arrived in his country; a new direction with money and investment.
His interests were duly noted, and without having to curtail his panache for trading arms; his influence grew.
Now he stood on the verge of greatness. His poisoned tongue had influenced the President to reject the advice of the soft line approach of Abdul al Shayef.
Wazir knew his time was now.

In a sudden outburst of anger he smashed his fists against the wall, ripping a large silk print that hung against the wall, he screwed and balled it up, kicking it around the room. Composed again, he considered his next move.
If Shayef could not go to the President; then who? Wazir walked like a drunken man from his room; the fierce morning sun hit his face; but he did not screw his eyes to compensate; he looked directly into the burning orb
“Yes my friend, I think I know where you will run to”

Behind him a small group of women dressed in pale blue robes, their faces covered by the Hijab began to hang a new silk print on the wall; another picked up the pieces of the broken glass. Within minutes the room was back to a pristine standard. The women had got the replacement down to a fine art; alarmingly in tune with Wazir’s rages,
they had had a lot of practice.


Bond had slept well; the atmosphere at the hotel was professional yet relaxed; and morning had come too quickly.
The morning, although meaning his next meeting with Beth was closer; began to disintegrate as soon as Ben Kelly began waving his arms across the reception area.
They shook hands and Ben led him outside to his car; a ten year old dull red Renault Megane.

The car horns sounded in a cacophony of noise
“Aden is Arabia’s undiscovered gem Mr. Bond. Here you can find the world’s oldest skyscrapers, spectacular mountaintop villages, pristine coral reefs, and stunningly gorgeous trees unseen anywhere else on earth”
Ben Kelly, gesticulated with his hand, unfortunately his head also moved with each superlative.
Bond gave the imagined scenery a cursory glance, and took in the city buildings with a single sweep;
all the time keeping his mind concentrated on the road ahead.
Ben’s description of the country was adequate, and Bond looked forward to his trip to the coast with Beth;
but right now the vista was a scene he had witnessed many times before in many other Arab cities, a human snake of traffic, hissing and hooting at each other; each moment punctuated with the buzzing whine of a motor bike and the ever present honking of the horn. The sun shone relentlessly, bouncing off the windows of the vehicles around them and making grotesque shadows on the grey slab sided buildings which absorbed the heat in an effort to cool the population.

Bond wanted to focus Ben’s attention to the mission
“Let’s go over the cover story again”
“OK Mr. Bond” Ben settled himself behind the steering wheel
“We are arms-dealers” Ben said nothing else; but kept stealing a sideways glance at Bond looking for approval.
Eventually realizing Ben was not going to elaborate Bond reluctantly nodded his head in agreement
“That’s right Ben; now where are those guns?”


They pulled into the police station; the ever present armed guards recognised Ben, and allowed the car to enter without a ‘stop’ or search. Across the yard stood a pale blue Nissan flatbed truck; the tarpaulin cover was pulled back to expose 12 wooden crates.
Ben raised his eyebrows, and inclined his head toward the truck
“Guns, here Mr. Bond; and two of the most trusted policemen”

The two officers were dressed in local garb, one wore a long brown tabard over a beige linen trousers.
The second officer wore a dark grey waistcoat over his blue robe.
Both men wore the traditional low turban, with the brim of the "kalansuwa" cap showing high on the forehead.
The officers approached,
“As sala'amu alaikum" (peace be upon you)
Ben replied "Walaikum as sala'am" (and unto you also, peace).
Bond added "wa rahmatullahi" (and mercy)
Both officers beamed and replied "Wa barakatuhu" (and blessings)
The commendable act of trust and welcome completed, the group got straight down to business.
The first officer began “We have arranged a meeting with Kered Rekaf; he is very keen to haggle for our guns”
He passed the address to Ben
The second officer gave a cautionary add on
“I hope you are both prepared?”

“Don’t worry about us. Isn’t that right Ben?”
Ben looked up from the note and nodded his head vigorously.
Ben and Bond headed back to the Renault, Ben tossed the keys into the air; and Bond quickly snatched them as they arced away from him
“I’ll drive; you can navigate”

“Yes” Ben said the smile spreading across his face “Thank you Mr. Bond”

The Nissan dropped in line behind them. Along the main carriage way they averaged just 20 MPH
Ben looked up sheepishly from the note containing the address
“Traffic less busy than normal, Mr. Bond”

Bond’s look of dismissal forced Ben to check the directions again.

“We can turn right here; down this road; yes here” Bond indicated and left the main carriage way,
the ‘road’ was peppered with pot holes, and vegetable stalls that spilled out into the road;
avoiding both obstacles slowed them down even further.
On every street corner groups of men congregated; busy in the daily practice of passing on the latest news; nearly every man seemed to be chewing the obligatory Qat.

Bond checked the mirror; the Nissan was a couple of car lengths behind.
The car jolted forward as the left front wheel hit another pot hole. They were now down to a walking pace.
Suddenly one of the men on the next corner became agitated and began to gesticulate wildly; he pushed a younger man into their path. The man turned and fell against the bonnet, his face swollen from the Qat, his eyes distant and unfocused.
Ben shouted at him to move, and his friends from the group grabbed and pulled him back.
Ben pointed at the man and spoke to Bond “The Qat is a stimulant. Everybody here and on the Horn takes it”
The momentary stop allowed a soft top van to pull out in front of them; its canvas sheet flapping across the rear opening. Bond paid it no attention. He studied the faces of all the men, he knew that the drug had been cultivated for thousands of years; and was used in the same manner that tobacco chewers in America used it; the main difference being that Qat users chew the leaves and keep a ball in their mouths, slowly allowing the chemicals to seep into their system.
Ben was still talking.

The van in front stopped.
The canvas was pulled back and a man wielding a Thomson sub machine gun knelt at the rear.
“Quick Mr. Bond reverse” Ben shouted; but Bond dropped the clutch and the car jumped forward slamming into the van; the man lost his balance, and fell back into the body of the truck.
Bond pulled Ben down over the gear stick, and opened the door and lent out,
taking cover behind the bodywork; the gunman regained his balance and began firing;
the bullets ripped into the bonnet of the car, and ricochet up splintering and shattering the windscreen;
Bond knew his next rake would be higher, and would find the targets; he pulled out his Walther P99 and sat upright firing through the smashed windscreen.

The man fell back into the body of the flat bed again, this time he was dead.
Then, behind them all hell broke loose. Machine gun fire raked the cab of the Nissan.
Masked gunmen appeared on both sides of the truck; the doors were pulled open and the two officers dragged out.
Bond reversed into one of the attackers; the thud of his body hitting the boot was a precursor to more automatic gunfire raining down on them, from a third group of gunmen positioned at a first floor open window.
Bond had to move; the Renault shot across the narrow street and hit one of the small stalls, fruit and vegetables spilled out into the road; all around them people were running in panic. The bullets flew about the interior of their car.

Bond engaged first and sped forward, the smell of rubber filled the air. The Nissan was engulfed with more masked attackers; as Bond checked the mirror he saw the truck being driven down the road.
Bond spun the wheel and set off down a parallel street in pursuit of the truck.
The old Renault hit another barrow full of fruit, pieces cannoned off the car and splattered over the fleeing crowd.
They turned down the next street which was even narrower; the car scraped down the street, losing its wing mirrors; then burst out into a wider thoroughfare.

In both directions this street was full of people walking, and browsing the stalls.
The truck had gone, swallowed by a sea of people.
Ben lifted his jacket and checked his body, blood had seeped out onto his jacket; carefully he extracted a piece of glass from his right shoulder. He looked about for somewhere to throw it, but then dropped it on the glass covered rear seat “OK, I think we go back to the police station now”
Bond pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and pressed it, and then Ben’s shaking hand on top of it, onto the wound. “Wrong again Ben, we’re still going to meet with Kered Rekaf nothing’s changed”


Shayef heard the commotion; instinctively he turned toward the noise.
The café owner was remonstrating with two young locals; one wore a dark brown patterned jumper,
the other a heavy beige linen waistcoat over a grey threadbare shirt. The owner raised his hand,
but armed only with a tea towel, the two men fell silent; digging in their well worn trouser pockets for the correct money, to pay for their meal. The owner picked up the money and walking past Shayef’s table glanced at him for some reformation that his actions had been correct.
Shayef nodded in agreement as the owner went past, but a momentary tensing of the shoulders and a break in his stride alerted the old man that he had been recognised.
Shayef put his own money on the table and stood up to leave.
The owner bid him good day. Shayef felt the man’s eyes burn into his back as he hurried down the street,
then came the challenge “Hey you stop; I have your change” the old man stopped and turned,
but it was the two young men to which the comment was addressed. Shayef watched and understood the danger as the two men, both looked directly at Shayef. He turned and hurried away, hoping the busy cinnamon smelling streets of Sana’a would hide his progress.

Five minutes of hard walking later, Shayef felt compelled to check his safety; it took him no more than a moment to see one of the men from the café shoulder his way between two pedestrians.
The old man checked his bearings and darted down the next narrow ally; his heart pounded in his chest.
The sound of traffic from the main road spurred him on. Sanctuary was just ahead.


This street, like many streets in the residential areas radiating from the main commercial centre of Aden,
was narrow and littered with rubbish and rotting vegetables.
An old moped lay abandoned with various pieces in various states of decomposition.
Feral cats feeding on the rotting scraps, bolted away as the old battered Renault pulled into the kerb.

Bond took the lead, Ben limped behind him; they paused momentarily at the filthy doorway.
Inside the apartment block, they climbed the stairs; in the shade, the heat of the day was soon cooled in the old building. They arrived on the third floor, where the corridor was sustainably cleaner than at the ground level; the noise of family life filtered through the apartment walls, and intruded on their business as they past by.
They arrived outside apartment number 312, the silence became oppressive.
Ben asked “Shall we knock?” the colour had drained from his face; it took all his discipline not to lean against the wall.

Bond brought his knee up and fired forward a kick, contacting the door with the ball of his foot,
the lock burst from the wall, and the door swung open.
“No need the door’s open” Bond drew his Walther P99 and entered the apartment.

The room was sparsely furnished, three old chairs were covered in brightly coloured woven rugs;
Bond quickly searched both bedrooms and then rejoined Ben in the main room.
In the background the air-conditioning unit buzzed, but that was the only sound; then they heard a diesel engine fire up; Bond went to the window, down in the street to the rear of the apartment block stood the bloodstained battered Nissan flat bed; a man in a light blue suit was lashing down the grey canvas cover. His head was bare, and he wore a gold earring.
“Describe Rekaf”
“He wears western clothes and a gold earring” Ben answered pointing to his ear.

Machine gun fire raked the room. The man in the blue suit looked up at the window, and Bond caught his eye. A look of murderous intent passed between them.
As he dived for cover Bond fired a single shot at the attacker in the doorway. The firing stopped abruptly.
“Go and see if the coast’s clear” Bond shouted as he jumped up.
As Ben moved toward the door Bond leapt through the open window and swung down the wall using the drain pipe; far below the truck accelerated away, Bond dropped to the street, and began chasing the truck, his arms pumping, forcing oxygen into his muscles.
The truck began to pull away, but Bond was undeterred,
he continued the chase; then as it slowed to negotiate a sharp corner;
Bond came up behind it, he reached out a hand and caught hold of the tailboard.
The truck began to accelerate; Bond jumped and swung his leg over the back, pulling himself inside.

Leaning out from the window Ben Kelly watched in amazement as Kered Rekaf made his way out of the rubbish laden street in a stolen truck full of stolen guns; with James Bond clamouring through the curtain.


The British Embassy in Sana'a facilitates British interests in the Yemen; looking after the 10,000 British citizens working within the country. Within a separate single story office building, the Department for International Development runs a small office which manages the UK's growing programme of development assistance.
It was Beth’s office.
Beth Loverseed stood on the veranda that stretched from the front of the office to a small fish pond; from here she looked out, over of the ornamental gardens, which were kept in the manner of an old English country cottage; a legacy from the first incumbent in the 1950’s. Her mind had wandered from her work, to the man she had met in London the day before; her thoughts ricocheted between embarrassment, for the way she had talked about her work, for the whole of their time together, to something akin to carnal desire to see the man again.
At one moment in the morning she had actually doodled his name on her jotter pad.
Idly she let her gaze drift over the gardens, she saw the bees hovering over the flowers;
she heard the birds squawking in the sky, and in the far distance she heard the traffic on the road;
but she took none of it in. She felt like a teenager again, maybe even a teenager in love?
She shook the idea from her mind. Slowly Beth became aware of raised voices; she peered through the trees and bushes to see what was happening. She left the veranda and followed the Cotswold stone path down to the front of the Embassy.
She could make out the back wall of the security post; here the colonial charm of the embassy was washed away in a brick and concrete block ten foot high wall. Topping the wall was the obligatory razor wire. Beth followed the voices; and was able to observe an old man in local traditional robes arguing with a couple of the guards.

His head was uncovered, and he held his turban in his hand; one of the uniformed guards was vigorously shaking his finger at the man. Absentmindedly Beth wandered closer.
Her Arabic wasn’t brilliant, but she could make out, a lot of the ranting.
The guard’s face was sweating, and made his high cheekbones look shiny.
His red beret looked too big for his head; he was repeating his words over and over.
“Not today; you must return tomorrow”
The old man tried to retain his dignity, by putting his turban back on his head; his hands shook, his eyes were wild, with rage, but his voice remained calm.
“Impossible, I must see the Ambassador today. Tomorrow too late”

The argument continued; the old man obviously had an appointment to see the Ambassador
(otherwise he would never have been allowed through the outer security fence);
but apparently it was for tomorrow. Beth got the gist of the argument, very quickly.
The second guard looked around and saw Beth; at a trot he came over to her.
“Excuse me Madame, you should not be here; please would you go back to the Embassy”
She nodded in agreement and slowly made her way back up the path; steeling a glance at the security post and the confrontation that continued.
Suddenly the old man made a break and attempted to push past the guards.
Both guards pounced on him and held the old man to the ground.
Helped by others from the security post, they lifted him on their shoulders and forcibly ejected him from the embassy grounds.

Beth decided to go back to her room; she entered the main building, and went up the ornate staircase;
the Axeminster carpet deadened the noise of her footsteps; on impulse she went to the front window,
and searched the area for the old man. She felt an empathy with his dignity and desire to make his point.
Beyond the razor wire she scanned the road; and there he was; Beth could only see his turban,
she watched him cross the first carriageway of the road; a car tooted its horn and swerved to avoid him.
Beth held her breath; not until he had reached the comparative safety of the double steel centre barrier did she release her breath in a slow whistle.
The old man was visible down to the waist now; Beth continued to watch his progress; she expanded her horizon,
and guessed he was he was heading for a park bench, at the far side of the road.
He began to cross the second carriageway; he seemed totally oblivious to his surroundings.
Half way to other side of the busy highway, he suddenly collapsed to his knees, his arms extended toward a young man on the opposite side of the road; it appeared as if he were searching for support.
The young man, wearing a brown patterned jumper, was pointing back at the old man.
The Mercedes Benz hit him a glancing blow, which threw him into the air. As with all scenes of trauma,
Beth saw it in slow motion; the car made no effort to slow; it’s headlight smashed and shards of glass cascaded through the air; she saw that the car had a long rusty scratch at the centre of a dent in the passenger door;
but she became confused when she looked inside the vehicle; the passenger in the front seat looked to be clad completely in black, whilst a young man in the rear seat was wearing a heavy beige linen waistcoat over a grey threadbare shirt.
Beth thought the old man must have suffered a seizure or maybe a heart attack; now he lay in the road.
She ran down the stairs, and sprinted down the gravel path; as she approached the guard house she shouted to the guards, demanding they open the exterior gates. The guards cautioned against her leaving the secure compound; but her determination made them open the small pedestrian gate.

Outside she vaulted over the yellow painted concrete bollards; before she could think she was on the road she dashed across the first carriageway; a car slammed his brakes on and then began hooting his horn,
the driver shouted some form of abuse as he passed; in a moment she was across,
bystanders had come into the road, and were slowing the traffic.
Pushing a man aside she was suddenly at the old man’s side
“Help” Beth was shocked to hear the man speak in English. He clasped his chest.
His eyes betrayed the pain he was feeling. An embassy guard arrived at her side.
Other guards were shouting at the gathering crowd on the roadside, urging them to disperse.
The traffic filed past.
“Leave him miss, you can’t help him; car accident”
“He’s having a heart attack”
The guard began to speak to her, his hand rough on her shoulder, but Beth shook him off and took charge of the conversation “Go back and get help, phone for an Ambulance” her eyes burned into him

One of the guards went back across the road, the car horns were beeping in one long synchronised chorus as their frustration for the hold up spilled over. The guard waited patiently having to wait for what seemed like an eternity for the electronically controlled black mesh gate to open.
Then the gate slid closed behind him and within the activity at the gate, Beth observed him as he dashed into the hut to contact the emergency service.
He propped his rifle against the wall. Beth turned her attention back to the old Arab; they were alone now.
The old man looked up into Beth’s eyes and gently he raised his hand and caught hold of her jacket, he pulled her head down close to his mouth.
She smiled “It’s alright; we’re getting help for you”
In a hushed but rasping tone he spoke.
“Thank-you” Beth was baffled as to why he was speaking English; but then she smiled, it was his perception of her nationality and therefore her language. She thought it might only be the odd word that he knew, but again she was surprised to hear the voice again, as he spoke perfect English
“Can you help me?”

“Yes of course, how can I help? She asked.

Through the pain he said “Can you keep a secret?”

Beth felt a tug on her heart “Let me help; how can I help?”

“Where is the soldier?” He asked

Beth looked back across the road to the security post; she was still expecting help to come instantaneously;
but with dismay she realised the guards were now closing the inner gates.
In disgust she realized they thought this whole affair was a trick, and could be a prelude to an attack.
She felt very vulnerable.

Undeterred by the crowd of local around her she said
“He’s getting an Ambulance for you. Don’t worry, relax. Do you have any medicine?” Her voice was reassuring

"Can you keep a secret?" He gasped, his eyes searched for the answer within her face.

"What secret?" she asked, trying to keep the conversation going, trying to buy time.

"It is a knowledge that is kept hidden" something passed across his face; something more than the pain he felt.

"Yes" she answered, keeping the sorrow out of her voice. She nodded, encouraging him.

He took hold of her blouse, gripping it in his hand. She shivered, at his touch.

"Come closer" he said, in no more than a whisper.

"Come closer, and I will explain"

#4 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:02 PM

Chapter Three

The deep blue sea

An hour passed, Bond’s back had locked in a spasm of pain, he moved to ease the ache;
the journey continued at speed along a somewhat bumpy road.
The noise of other traffic and long since died away and then the road became more uneven.
Another 15 minutes passed.
The truck came to a halt

Bond waited in silence, the oppressive heat became a heavy weight on his shoulders; no noise came from the exterior.
Suddenly the tarpaulin was hauled back and Rekaf came in fast.
His voice was high pitched as he let out a battle cry and attacked Bond.
Wielding a knife he thrust forward,
Bond had nowhere to retreat; he blocked the thrust and tried to counter.
The knife slashed again catching Bond just above the eyebrow.
Bond dropped his weight and pushed against Rekaf’s body.

They fell from the truck; landing on the hard ground Bond heard the wind exit his attacker;
Bond recovered first and kicked the knife from Rekaf’s hand; it lay glinting in the sunlight.
Bond stood over him; but the sound of a gun being cocked froze Bond to the spot,
the pistol was pushed up into his groin

“Raise your hands” The voice said between gasps of breath

Rekaf got up from the ground, his legs were unsteady but the .38 Smith and Wesson was rock steady.

“On your knees”

Rekaf circled behind and kicked Bond between the shoulder blades.
Bond fell forward and scrambled away on the stony ground.
“That’s right, crawl away; like the insect you are”
In one swift movement Bond turned and threw the knife; it buried itself deep into Kered Rekaf’s throat.

For a long time Bond stood in the shade of the truck; only the insignificant buzz of an insect kept the scene from silence. Bond always felt at home in the desert the loneliness and solitude it conjured up for the individual,
sat comfortably with Bond. The buzz grew in intensity

The Micro light swooped over the truck; its bright yellow silken wing caught the eye,
and Bond followed its progress as it turned in a lazy circle above him. The machine made another pass,
this time the pilot took in the scene around the truck. At the third pass the micro light landed.
The pilot, dressed in a bright orange flight suit approached, as he got closer he pulled out a Browning 9mm pistol,
with slow deliberation he cocked the gun, and held it at shoulder height

“You must be our new supplier?” His accent was flawless; another Oxford education.
Between his flying cap, mirrored aviators, and dark beard, his features were well hidden.
“That’s right” Bond had not moved since the aircraft had landed its engine now stood cooling in the heat.
Idly Bond wondered if he could overcome this man and fly out. But to where?
Bond needed information; so now was a time to let events dictate his actions.
The pilot walked passed Bond and studied the corpse on the ground.
He spat on Kered Rekaf’s body; then focused on Bond “I see you cut out the middle man”
“More of an aggressive take over” Bond dabbed at the cut above his eye.
The pilot looked into the back of the truck, and then gesticulated with the automatic
“Okay you follow me, I will circle, but I will always have you in sight, you will see where to make your turns.
We start by going this way” He stretched out his arm and pointed with the Browning.


Bond had to keep his foot pressed firmly to the floor in order to keep up with his guide.
The micro light dropped and the pilot signalled a right turn.
Soon the rock face broke up and Bond saw a rough track, he eased the Nissan through the gap,
and bumped down the steep gully. Bond put the truck into first gear and eased along the gully floor.
The banks started to flatten out; the micro light flashed right again and Bond steered the truck around a large rock following a rough road. The Nissan scrapped past an outcrop of rock then burst out into a lush grassy plain.

In the distance the brilliant white of a Bedouin tent, appeared like a mirage. As Bond got closer the size of the tent firmed itself as somewhere akin to a Billy Smart big top.
As the Micro light landed, Bond saw movement at the front of the big top; as he pulled up at the entrance he could see ten men all dressed in dark Bedouin robes; across their chests they held guns ranging from the ever faithful AK47 to the latest AN74 assaults rife currently in use with Russian Special Forces.


Beth watched as the guard spoke with the Ambulance driver.
Moments later the ambulance drove away, and the traffic was allowed to flow again.
As she walked back to the Embassy she thought about the things the old man had said before he died,
and the new obligation she now held. Deep in thought, she did not observe the old Mercedes Benz,
with a broken headlight and a long rusty scratch at the centre of a dent in the passenger door drive past.
At the agreed rendezvous point Kanu pulled over, and jumped out of the car; he handed over a wad of money to the young man in the brown patterned jumper.
“Burn the car, use the money to buy a new one” with his black robe blowing in the light breeze he crossed to the Land Rover that was waiting for him. Just before he climbed in he turned back to men,
mindful that their may be camera evidence he advised
“Buy new clothes as well”


Inside the tent, horses stood to attention, quietly eating from their nose bags.
More Arabs sat on the ground, sharing a hubble bubble pipe.
In the centre of the tent stood a large wooden structure, a large ancient looking spoke wheel was connected by ropes which held a suspended basket in place. The guard gestured for Bond to enter the old lift.
The guard opened the wooden barrier and Bond stepped in. The lift descended, through the rock shaft,
the ropes creaking with alarming regularity. At ground level another black robed guard, opened the barrier and watched as Bond climbed out. The Arab smiled revealing a gap toothed smile that conveyed the truth that he understood the ordeal of the lift. Bond walked through a narrow rock passage, which opened up into a shallow cave, the entrance was cloaked in canvas; here two more black robed Arabs stood to attention, deep in conversation with the man in the flying suit.
Bond could not understand their dialect; but as he approached all three men looked at him.
The pilot removed his sunglasses
“Kill him”

The cool darkness of the cave was smashed as the tent flap was pulled open; revealing a rich vista of wealth.
European women reclined around a large swimming pool, which meandered along side a large white brick built villa more likely to be seen on the cote d’Azure than here in Yemen. More black robed Arabs became alert to the presence of Bond; they watched with the intensity of a hungry pack of hyenas, as he walked toward the villa.
The two armed guards stopped him, and roughly searched him; taking the Walther; then satisfied he was unarmed they escorted Bond passed the girls to the villa; both men wore a double row of bullets within their bandoliers.
As they entered the villa, the trio were momentarily out of sight of all other guests and guards. Bond wasted no time, reaching out and snapping the neck of the first guard, Bond lowered the man to the floor, the second Arab charged.
Bond sprang up and smashed his elbow into the second guard’s face; the man fell to the floor; seizing his shoulders Bond pulled him into the room and shut the door behind him. He pulled the bandoliers from the body.
Opening the shell casings he carefully poured the gunpowder into a small heap on the floor.
Bond lit the cloth and allowed the flame to spread. He left the room and sprinted across the hallway, aiming a well placed kick to the head of the Arab on the floor. Immediately the room exploded, the guard still alive began to scream; he opened the door and tumbled out into the hallway, his black robes burning fiercely.
From the main room cries of alarm were raised. The occupants ran out, but before they could begin to tackle the blaze,
the room exploded again. The flames licked around the door frame and took hold of the walls,
igniting the linen coverings. Bond was unable to see the men as they ran to the door and exited the villa.
The shouting stopped; Bond ran from his place of hiding and entering the main room quickly shut the door behind him.
He knew he only had minutes to reconnoitre the room. The windows here in the main room were based upon the old French window principle; supporting the probably origin of the villa’s design;
they looked out upon the coastline where the waves beat against the golden shore, some 200 yards away.
In the middle of the room a large conference table was loaded with materials from the meeting he had interrupted.
Bond rummaged through the plans; he arranged the photographs and maps onto the table. Mainly they were large photographs of the Samho Dream oil tanker. Ariel shots of, what Bond recognised as the pipeline terminal at the man made harbour to the liquid natural gas processing plant at Balhaf. As he began to put the pieces of the plan together,
Bond saw the top of a photograph; he recognised the jet black hair. Smoke had seeped under the door now,
and the crackling of the flames became all consuming as the fire took hold, but Bond paid it no notice;
he pulled out the photograph, it was a shot taken at about a distance of 20 ft,
it was a colour photo of a woman crossing a road, behind her was a yellow concrete bollard; her head was turned slightly away, but even in profile Bond still recognised the woman as Beth Loverseed.

Bond looked out of the window again; and saw that the Arab guards were running toward the villa carrying buckets of water; if it weren’t so serious it would be comical, he had only moments left to escape.
As he stuffed the photographs into his pocket, Bond thought of Beth and her beauty; momentarily he was lost in thought at the reason for her photo being here.
The voice behind him seemed familiar
“Magnificent view isn’t it Mr. Bond. Today you have journeyed through mountains, and marvelled at greenery so lush I’m sure you questioned you were still in Arabia, and now the ocean; have you ever experienced such a day?” the Micro light pilot that Bond had met in the desert now stood before him, his white jabela flowed from his powerful body. The flames licked about the doorway behind him. His dark eyes glowed.

“I’ve had my moments”
Khaled Wazir began to laugh. “I’m sure you have Mr. Bond, I’m sure you have”

“Mr. Wazir, I’m sorry I didn’t recognise you on the road”

More guards now appeared in the hallway, beating at the flames with their cloaks, dousing them with water.
Wazir continued as if this were a normal everyday event
“This is a country that breathes history through every pore, through its ancient ruins, through its traditions and culture, because they remain a part of our everyday life”
Bond was impressed with the way Wazir held his position with the distractions and danger about him. Bond pointed toward the plans on the table
“…and how will this help your country?” Bond noticed the names Jadkarin Moalim-Nur and Haradheere written on various sheets of paper.
The smile spread across his face
“So little is known about the real Yemen, that when visitors travel across my country,
they are amazed by a beautiful voyage of discovery. But all the beauty is lost on them;
because they only see the poverty of the people and the darkness of our future”
Guards burst in through the windows at the front of the room, but Bond held his stance,
showing his own level of discipline
“I’m not here for a history lesson”
Wazir waved his hand in dismissal of Bond’s attempt to force the conversation;
carefully he moved to the opposite side of the table,
a cursory glance confirmed that Bond would have drawn a conclusion from the evidence on the table;
but had he drawn the right one? he looked to distract his foe
“No, you are here to sell me guns; and that makes me smile”
“Good, let’s discuss a price” Bond made one more scan of the table trying to remember every item it contained
“There can’t be many places left in the world that would make God smile, but my home is one of them.
It is rude of you to want to discuss business, before I bring up the subject”

“I have a long journey back to my hotel; wouldn’t want to be late for dinner”

Wazir frowned. “I am offering you my hospitality, and all you can do is ask about leaving”

“A moment ago you wanted me dead”

His finger dabbed at the map
“The island of Suqutra is reputed to hold the secret of eternal life”
The guards had snuffed out the fire; and were bundling up the smouldering remnants of the covers.
The women in their pale blue robes brought in new covers and fixed them to the wall; in only a couple of moments the room was restored to its former glory
“And now my home is reborn”
“But from what you’re planning here it seems you are only interested in bringing death to anyone who wants to visit”
‘Ah’ thought Wazir ‘he has taken the bait, the secret is safe’ he dropped the friendly smile and the true madness behind his grandeur spilled over
“People have been visiting us for hundred’s of years; watching us slip into oblivion”
His face beamed into an evil smile
“But no more”

“So you get yourself elected as leader of the Houthi; then what? Kidnap some honest seamen; blackmail the owners into bailing out the country. Or take the money and build another palace like this”
Wazir snapped his fingers
“I will bring the western economy to its knees in no more than two weeks. Once they pay the ransom on that Korean tanker; the Americans can have her. But the gulf will be mine forever. My country will start its return to its former glory; and I will be its ruler”

“I thought the days of a dreamer and his dream of world domination were over”

“No, Mr. Bond it’s just beginning”

The guards formed a double line out toward the beach; where Bond could see an old dhow lay at anchor.
Wazir spoke to his aide
“Tell my guests they may return”, he took up his position at the head of the table; the whole act was to demonstrate to Bond just how insignificant his attempt at disruption had been.

“You were eager to leave Mr. Bond; don’t let me stop you”

One of the black robed guards came forward and after removing his Omega, snapped a pair of handcuffs around Bond’s wrists.
The Arabs surrounded him and pushed him out of the villa; hurrying him down along the beach toward the Dhow, Bond had no opportunity to talk or bargain for his life. Ahead and on board the Dhow,
Bond could see the black sea-weathered faces of the pirates waiting for him, their smiles held no joy.
Bond knew and understood these tough little Somali pirates were there for one reason and one reason only.
To kill Bond; Wazir had probably hired their services as Bond was making his way to the villa.
At they reached the modern wooden jetty, Bond noticed another craft anchored a few yards beyond the dhow.
The boat was a stunning looking aqua marine blue Hunton XRS 48. With its carbon fiber racing hull,
and state of the art aerodynamic body, this machine was one of the world’s most ferocious power boats.
If only Bond could break away from their grip.
Suddenly a blow to the back of his head, blurred his vision; and Bond felt himself being lifted.


Taxargo Energy Corp CEO Bill Day had spent most of the last hour on the phone to his team of negotiators, in the gulf. Their ability to engage the pirate negotiators seemed to be in question; and Day also questioned their parentage and their ability to reproduce; he slammed down the phone in disgust.
The Korean destroyer Cheong-hae had been shadowing the Samho Dream, for the last twelve hours; the pirates’ decision not to anchor in the waters of Haradheere had thrown the negotiation team into chaos; and an assurance that
“All will be well” from Washington, had a real hollow sound at the moment.
Day knew he had to do something, he was playing for some very high stakes; the Western World was about to be held to ransom; and nobody else was taking charge. He took a deep breath to clam himself and then entered the number for his man at the ENTYRE liquid natural gas processing plant at Balhaf.

“Hello Bill; I was expecting a call from you”

The voice was calm and neutral, but Day felt his skin crawl.
He cleared his throat “I didn’t want to involve you; but I have no choice; you’re going to have to make sure no one intercepts the Samho Dream”
There was a slow outpouring of breath on the line “But development is at a key stage, here in Balhaf; the tanker will be with us tomorrow” the tone bordered on sarcasm, the pause seemed like an eternity, and Bill Day felt all his childhood nightmares intruding on his adult life.
“The pirates have demanded that I take charge of the negotiations; I fear for the safety of the tanker; for the oil”

“Of course you do” the voice was rich and sincere

“I need someone with me in Ghawar, someone I can trust; someone with your…” he searched for the right phrase
The tone of the reply betrayed the simple spoken words
“I’ll leave straight away”
“Thank you”
Another pause “By the way, whom have the CIA appointed to the project?”

“A guy named Leiter…”

A single bark of laughter “I know him. No problem”

The line went dead. Bill Day put down the phone and lent back in his chair.
“Jesus, that guy gives me the creeps” he suddenly realized his palm was sweating.
He wiped it dry on his thigh; then studied his palm, it was dry.
But he had the urge to rub it clean again, wishing he could wipe LeCoyte Chelan from his life with such a similar action. Life, and business had been less stressful since Chelan, effectively Day’s deputy at Taxargo had accepted the Balhaf position. His methods did not justify the results.


Roughly Bond was brought aboard; the pirates were jostling him and, it seemed everyone was speaking at once.
A chain was slipped between his wrists and he was thrown down into the hold.
The chain snapped tight and the hold cover was slid back in place; Bond was left hanging in the darkness;
the fall had jolted his shoulders; and now he hung, swaying in the gloom, as the sounds of the boat preparing to cast off filtered through to him, his instinct for survival kicked in.

Bond knew his only chance was to escape quickly.
Without a pause, he began to extenuate the swing; building up momentum; but the pain in his wrists stopped any hope of him reaching the dizzy heights of reaching a bulkhead.
Bond tried to take hold of the chain, in order to relive the pressure on his arms;
but the links were coated in grease; and purchase was impossible.
Escape from here was highly unlikely; Bond tried to relax.


Khaled Wazir answered his mobile. Kanu’s voice was thin and quiet; Wazir knew the little Nomad was holding the phone away from his mouth; although he accepted the devise as a way to communicate over great distance, had had not mastered the technique of using it. With restraint Wazir asked
“Is it done?”
“Yes boss”
“Shayef is dead?”
“Yes boss”
“Did he speak to anyone?”
The silence betrayed the next answer
“Yes boss; our man at the embassy said he spoke his dying words to Mortimer’s woman”
Wazir knew of the woman; he also knew the name Raymond Mortimer.
The Englishman was known throughout the Yemen; he was responsible for selling what little natural resource they had to the foreign businesses. His heart was in the right place; but Wazir knew in his own heart that Mortimer would be dead within three days.
Wazir had to accept that Shayef had passed on the secret to the woman;
but with Bond dead, she was the only one who could derail the plan.
‘What will she do’ Wazir mused; he guessed that if she knew anything she would tell Mortimer.
Wazir made his decision
“When she leaves the embassy; kill her”
“Yes boss” the line went dead


The cover to the hold was lifted and the chain began to rise. Bond squinted against the sunlight.
The pirates hoisted him onto the deck. Bond took in his surroundings;
the Dhow had made good progress they were at least one mile from the shore.
A small wiry Somali dressed in just pale blue Adidas shorts and a Manchester United shirt,
fixed a length of chain around Bond’s waist. He was about to leave when he noticed Bond’s powerful physique;
carefully he attached another length of chain around his waist.
Pleased that he had achieved the right weight to strength ratio, he smiled and walked away.
The pirates were working with deadly efficiency; two strong looking Somali’s hoisted the chain again and Bond was lifted above the deck; they began to swing the hoist out over the side of the Dhow.
The extra weight of the chains around his waist almost dislocated Bond’s shoulders;
as the handcuffs bit into his wrists.
Bond knew the danger was real; these men were killers; they were not talking to him; not giving him any means to negotiate; they were just following Wazir’s instruction to dispose of Bond quickly and without fuss.

The Dhow rose with the swell, and Bond swung around facing the deck.
The pirates formed two lines against the rail; their eyes betraying the eagerness to fulfill their orders;
then a new figure emerged on the deck. He was Caucasian; and towered above the Somali’s; he wore a white singlet vest, which showed off a well muscled physique. The man known as Manic lifted a wooden stick,
Bond realized it was a baseball bat; and in a two handed grip he brought it down onto the wood peg that held the chain.
The Chain slipped through the wheel and Bond dropped into the sea.
From the deck, Manic watched as Bond went under.
He lent on the baseball bat and thought about how ironic this killing had been; the last time he thought he had killed James Bond; it had been with a high tech missile, whilst Bond had been in a helicopter; but today it had been with a stick; and he knew Bond had no breathing equipment.

Manic’s smile was of pure satisfaction.
They were over one mile from the shore and here the gulf was two hundred feet deep.
“Down at the bottom of the deep blue sea; Adieu Mr. Bond” said Manic as he gave the signal to return to the shore.
In the wheel house, picked up the ship to shore radio
“Yes?” Wazir’s voice was rich with anticipation
“Bond is dead” Manic felt nothing as he passed the information
“Hurry back Manic; we’ve got a World to rule”


The cold water brought Bond alive; no more did the wrists hurt, no more did his shoulders scream in pain;
he kicked hard and started to fight against the weight of the chains that were killing him.
But the direction was still downward. The pressure began to push against his eyes;
Bond kicked again, and began to arch his body in a vain attempt to stop his plummet to the bottom of the deep blue sea.


The light began to fade, in the gloom Bond saw a large dark shape approaching,
then another from a lower depth, even in a near death moment, Bond’s mind eliminated certain shark types,
and looked for a name to put to the shapes; both approached with speed and without deviation; one diving at the same rate as Bond, the other waiting for him to sink it its level; there was no doubt he was the target;
the oxygen in his brain was fast evaporating, he put out his arms in a desperate form of defense,
but the shapes simply knocked them out of the way and then one went for his face.
The Scuba diver placed the breather pipe into Bond’s mouth; confusion and fear slipped away as Bond took in the air.
The second diver supported him under his arms. The first diver began cutting the padlocks on the chains.
The two divers escorted Bond through the murky water; here real fish parted in the passage.
Bond felt the throb of an engine, and although it pained him to do so he opened his eyes,
and through the gloom made out the name Jimmy Carter.

The USS Jimmy Carter is a Seawolf class attack submarine.
At one time, an intended fleet of 29 was to be built over a ten-year period,
but at the end of the Cold War and with budget constraints prevalent, further additions to the fleet were shelved,
leaving the Seawolf class limited to just three boats.
Seawolf subs are larger, faster, and significantly quieter than the previous Los Angeles class; they also carry more weapons and have twice as many torpedo tubes, a total of 8. They were intended to combat the then-threat of large numbers of advanced Soviet ballistic-missile submarines such as the Typhoon and attack submarines such as Akula classes,
in a deep ocean environment.

Bond touched the hull, and felt for the ladder.
The Seawolf class were constructed from HY-100 steel, to better withstand water pressure at greater depths;
as was their intended mission, but the boats also have extensive equipment for shallow-water operations,
including a floodable silo capable of simultaneously deploying eight combat swimmers and their equipment.
Once inside, the water quickly drained away. Bond exited the chamber, and was handed a towel,
it smelt of lavender.

“Hello Felix” Bond held out his hand

Leiter folded his arms “This is becoming a habit”

“No need to build your part up Felix, I’d have thought of something”

Leiter smirked, he thrust out his hand, and pumped Bond’s vigorously
“You’ve not been in the country 24hrs, and you’ve already screwed up our surveillance operation”
Bond lent forward. “The main purpose of Counter Intelligence is enemy penetration”
“…and what do you think we’re doing here; things were progressing nicely ‘till you arrived”
“The best security system in the world can’t provide an adequate defense if the system involves people, Felix”
Leiter quoted from the same warfare manual
“The only way to be sure that an enemy has been contained is to know his plans in advance and in detail”
Bond played his trump card
“But then again I’ve made more progress in the last few hours than the whole US Navy in the past month;
if I’d had some more hardware, I could have put an end to Khaled Wazir there and then”
Leiter scoffed at the comment
“Well this baby carries 50 UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles for attacking land and sea surface targets.
You should have called me”
Bond finished toweling himself dry
“The projected cost for this class of submarine went $30 million dollars over budget, that’s a lot of air time”

Bond pulled on a tee shirt; offered to him by a crew member; and picked up his wet jacket.
“I guess you Brit’s don’t have anything to compare to ‘The President’
(Referring to Jimmy Carter) Do you want me to give you the tour before or after you phone home?”

Bond glanced around the confines of the submarine; but he guessed Leiter wanted more time to maneuver,
than he wanted to reveal, he was intrigued
“Lead on”
Leiter took Bond through to the main communications room
“This baby uses the more advanced ARCI Modified AN/BSY-2 combat system, which includes a new, larger spherical sonar array, a wide aperture array, and a new towed-array sonar”

“Impressive does it pick up Sky?”

“Each boat is powered by a single S6W nuclear reactor, delivering 52,000 hp to a low-noise screw”

“Mm, low screw noise that could be useful”

“The USS Jimmy Carter is roughly 100 feet longer than the other two boats of her class due to the insertion of a section known as the Multi-Mission Platform, which allows launch and recovery of ROVs and Navy SEAL forces”

“Now that is useful”

“I’m beginning to wonder, however the MMP is also be used as an underwater splicing chamber for tapping of undersea fiber optic cables”

“So you’re up to speed with events concerning Mr. Wazir”

“Not exactly, but having shown you around my boat, perhaps you’d like to spill the beans James; what did you find out about Khaled Wazir?”

Bond, felt it only fair to co-operate; after all they had saved his life; he pulled out the photographs from his wet jacket pocket
“He’s behind the Samho Dream hi jacking; my guess is the ransom will go up when the stakes rise”

“That’s a 300,000 tonne tanker; what else can they do to…?”

Bond smoothed out the photograph on the small table
“…Threaten to sink it at the Balhaf terminal” he pointed to the picture of the terminal.

Leiter nodded his head “Kill two birds with one stone”

“If they sink the tanker and put missiles in the terminal they can cover the gulf; send a message to the oil companies and stop the movement of oil; and you can’t do a thing about it”

Felix nodded “The gulf is as good as closed now. No one will risk coming through. In the good old days we would have just wiped them out, now we just watch the Dollar plummet”

Bond was already ahead of his friend
“But they will be surrounded by hostages; workers of all nationalities are employed by Entyre”

“And some pretty expensive real estate”

“You can get a lot of hostages on one of those super tankers. This could be one of the worst PR exercises the world has ever seen, not to mention the environmental disaster”

“That’s right brother and we’ve been instructed not do a thing about it; main reason I’m here is to make sure the Korean’s don’t sink the tanker first”

Bond gave him a quizzical look; Felix continued
“We all expected the ransom to be paid quickly, then with the tanker intact; trade would return to normal.
As the negotiations are dragging on we don’t want anyone to get trigger happy before the deal is complete”
he said as way of an explanation as to the presence of the submarine.
“But I guess you’re intelligence blows that theory out of the water; if Wazir is intending to hold the tanker, and attack the gas terminal” Leiter shook his head at the prospect
“Well at least we can get close to the plant; we can protect it against any terrorist activity”
He laughed “Do you know brother, if it weren’t so ironic I’d say it looks to me like the Korean destroyer is protecting the tanker against us; instead of the other way around. Christ I feel so useless”

“There’s something else”

“Enlighten me” Leiter said his tone defeated

“Wazir is preparing a massive arms deal”

“With who, and where?”

“Do you know the name Jadkarin Moalim-Nur?” Leiter shook his head Bond continued “Haradheere?”

“Pirate city” he recognized the name

“They’re linked. Moalim-Nur could be a financier from a criminal or terrorist organisation”

“Well there’s plenty that are backing the stock exchange”
Leiter inclined his head begging for a further revelation
“He’s planning a summit meeting in Haradheere”

“When?” Bond shook his head
“After they have the tanker in position and after the raid on the terminal”
Leiter reached out and took hold of the photographs
“I’d sure like to see who has membership at that little country club” Leiter shook his head, knowing the CIA would not allow him to leave station.
“I intend to find out. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out to save your [censored] on this one Felix”
Leiter laughed, he had become aware of Bond’s unshakeable confidence even in the face of overwhelming odds
“This might be too tough for you to take on your own. Negotiations are stuttering in Saudi; President Ali Abdullah Saleh himself has taken over the proceedings…”
“Oh dear”
“… it’s not going well. I understand the CEO of Taxargo is going to intervene; along with his pet psychopath, they hope to pay the money, get their oil back before the President comes back from lunch. Until that deal is signed no one from Washington is going to sign off expenses for a trip into Somalia”
Bond’s face broke into an impish grin
“Pet psychopath? Must be a friend of yours Felix”

“LeCoyte Chelan is not a friend of anyone. He used to work for the CIA; a long time ago”
Leiter dismissed the comment
Bond could tell there was a history of hostilities
“Don’t worry Felix, I won’t be on my own; I have a friend to help me. I’m told she’s a real asset in Somalia”

Leiter’s face grew serious “You’re talking about Miss Loverseed, I take it”
Bond recognized the danger signs
“What’s happened Felix?”
“There was a terrorist attack at the Embassy…”
Bond cut him off “…What’s happened?”
Leiter held up his hands “No detail, just…”
“…I need to be there”
“Not that easy brother, we’re not due to rendezvous for another 48 hours”

#5 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:50 PM

Chapter Four

Ghawar Field

Five hours later James Bond sat in the back of the British Ambassadors’ Tulip black coloured Lexus 400.
He wore the same grey tee shirt and jeans, which he had borrowed from one of the crew members on the submarine.
Next to him sat a stunned and silent Ben Kelly. The conversation had died naturally after Ben had admitted he had no information on Beth’s wellbeing.
Kelly looked out of the window; trying to hide his disappointment;
he had imagined Bond would have been pleased that he had been able to replace the Omega Planet Ocean that Bond had lost on the mission; but he shuddered at the thought of invoking another intense stare.
He summoned up the courage to speak again

“What happened with Rekaf?”

Bond answered very matter of factly as he fastened the watch over his bruised wrist
“I killed Rekaf at the rendezvous point; infiltrated Khaled Wazir’s camp; accessed his plan but was captured and taken out to sea by some Somali pirates and thrown into the Gulf”

Ben’s mouth dropped open “Oh; and how did you…?”

“I was picked up by a passing U.S submarine” Bond looked at Kelly and felt he was being unfair on the little agent;
his tone softened
“I exited by the escape hatch and was extracted by a Saudi Helicopter; we transferred to shore and I was brought here by a Saudi Air Force Harrier jump jet. How’s your shoulder?”

Ben shrugged “It’s nothing” his pride was restored


Bond went into her room; he steeled himself for what he might find;
whatever he was expecting, the reception he got came as a shock
Her face was a mask of thunder; it was obvious she had been crying.
She rounded the bed and approached with menace, lips pulled back over her teeth.

Bond put out his arms “What happened?”
Her finger raised, she jabbed at him using it like a knife
“You” she spat the word out like poison.
Bond was taken aback; she stood toe to toe with him
“They told me there was a Terrorist attack…”
Her face screwed up, her hands flipped down dismissing the claim
“…No, it was just an old man who had a heart attack in the road, and then he got knocked down.
Car never even stopped. I went outside to help him, something which the guards seemed unable to do.
Since then I have been held prisoner here, on your instructions” Beth held her stance, her anger was palatable

“Mine?” Bond looked at her incredulously

She opened her mouth to speak, but as she did so the door opened and a well dressed man entered,
he looked at the squabbling couple
Beth shrank away; she put the bed between them; but her folded arms created an even bigger barrier.
“And you are?” Bond guessed he was ex SAS; thick set, bull neck, short grey hair;
rust iron coloured eyes that sat beneath hooded lids.

“I’m Boyce; head of security here at the Embassy. If you’d like to come with me” he held the door open

“We’d love to” Bond took hold of Beth’s hand, she gripped it tightly, and carefully he guided her toward the door

Boyce held out a large calloused hand, halting their progress
“I want to see you on your own”
Bond countered “Miss Loverseed would like to take a walk in the garden; is that a problem for you Boyce? He squared up to him like a prize fighter.
Boyce backed down, recognizing the threat, the smile came easily to his face, “No, not at all”
Bond nodded and guided Beth out; beneath his watchful eye. They all went downstairs and out into the garden,
Bond held her shoulders “It’s okay, I’ll be watching”
As she wondered away Boyce began to speak, his tone was that of an old school master, lecturing to boys he thought would never make the grade; he used large words to impress
“In Today's counterintelligence; missions have broadened from the time when the threat was restricted to just the foreign intelligence services under the control of other nations. Threats have now broadened to include coercion from internal insurgents, organized crime, and transnational based groups”


Boyce nodded in reluctant agreement
“The man Miss Loverseed saw in the grounds was Abdul al Shayef, head of the Bakeel tribe and advisor to President Ali Abdullah Saleh”
“I thought he’d lost that role?” Bond continued to watch her
Boyce paused, building up to his point
“You can understand why; he was strapped up with enough explosives to take out the whole embassy; and she wanted to let him in to meet the Ambassador”
Bond didn’t believe a word of it “What’s her story?”
With a humph he began “She’ll tell you she had no idea who he was; and that she was just trying to help him. She denies even talking to him. But our surveillance cameras tell a different story”
Bond inclined his head, as if he had misheard something
“…remind me again, what is her crime?”

“Aiding and abetting a terrorist”

“Then why hasn’t she been arrested”

“Your boss spoke with her boss, Raymond Mortimer; and he thought it better if you had a chat with her”

“That’s what I was trying to do, when you interrupted us”

“Sorry” he said sarcastically; with a flourish he extended his hand and gestured for Bond to go back into the Embassy “Time for you to understand who’s in charge around here”

“I think I have a pretty good idea” Bond quipped

The main reception room was bedecked in antique furniture but a large flat screen TV hanging on the wall,
showed that even here technology was alive and well. The caption in the bottom right hand corner confirmed
‘live feed from London’ A very attentive M sat behind his desk; upon seeing Bond arrive he lent forward,
and looked into the camera
“M” Bond replied, sitting down and making himself comfortable
M sat back in his chair “The CIA have passed on the intelligence you gathered from Wazir’s camp”

“Good, I thought it the fastest way to get the communication to you”

“Thank-you 007; I wondered what your motivation was”

“Just following orders sir; you know, find Wazir assess the danger he poses.
In my opinion he represents a clear and present danger to the stability of Yemen”

“He’s not at his camp anymore; the CIA paid a little house call; do you believe he will be going to Balhaf”

“No; I think he’s heading for Haradheere;
don’t think he’ll get involved in the Balhaf attack himself”

“You have proof of his involvement with the pirates?”

“Yes. Do you want me in Somalia, take out Wazir and expose his financiers?”

“No 007. We have an SAS unit based in Haradheere ready to observe and act accordingly”

Bond took that to mean that MI6 were concerned with who might show up at such a meeting.
Plausible deniability was a wonderful tool.

M realized he had spoken hastily; this could be taken as a sign of nerves, he decided to lighten up
“We have had confirmation that a Mafia boss arrived from Moscow; we think the IRA may be looking to launder some money there as well. So your orders are to stay with Miss Loverseed and find out what she and Shayef discussed”

“I know she intended to visit the Entyre plant in Balhaf today; with what we think will happen there perhaps I should persuade her to stay here until I find the information you require?”

M shook his head; he leaned forward putting his arms on the desk. His face came close to the camera; distorting himself like the reflection in a spoon.
“Not at all, Mortimer suggests giving her her head; let’s see where she takes you”


Many restaurants in Yemen are not recognizable as such to a western tourist.
Usually it is just one small room with only a couple of tables. Beth led Bond into the El-Deewan on Hadda St.
As she removed her wrap she recognised his reaction
“Don’t worry, I come here all the time” She gestured at her body with both her hands,
innocently she meant the gesture to show she was ok after eating here;
but Bond followed the movement of her hands, and marvelled at her body again;
she was dressed simply in a linen shirt, which was sheer enough to offer a hint of what lay within;
yet open at the neck revealing her considerable décolletage.
The shirt was tucked tightly into her thick leather belt, which showed off her extremely narrow waist;
the skirt flared out, but did no more than frame her hips. Bond spoke to break the spell she had cast
“You don’t have to convince me, I don’t expect haute cuisine for every meal”

Beth smiled, but was instantly distracted as the owner began speaking to her. Soon they were sat at the best table
“The food is usually tasty and delicious and very cheap”
Beth passed him the single sheet laminated menu
He glanced at he choices
“Basic dishes that you can eat all over Sana’a; what makes this place special?”
he put himself in the hands of Deewan

The owner plumped out his chest “Fuul medammis, is cooked in original stone pot;
marinated with Fava beans with best olive oil, coriander, cumin, lemon juice,
garlic, eggs, and fresh cilantro” He raised his eyebrows to emphasize to expected taste.
His mime was infectious.

Bond glanced at Beth and she nodded in agreement; Bond put the menu down and spoke to Deewan
“That will do to start, then for the main dish we will have Saltah”
Deewan beamed “An excellent choice my friend”

Beth put down her menu “Speak for yourself Mr. Bond. Deewan I would like the Mohkbazat Sayd”
Bond looked toward the kitchen “Clay oven kiln cooked fish served with spicy sauce; you don’t look the type”

Beth narrowed her eyes “What type to I look like then?” her voice heavy with suggestion

“Shawarma” Bond answered. Beth laughed.

Deewan cut in and clapped his hands. He worked at the table, while two young boys prepared the fire.
Beth marvelled at their skill, and Bond’s knowledge of the local cuisine; after all she was supposed to be the expert in this country. They drank chilled beer; and talked about life.
“So, tell me, what do you do when you’re not at the think tank?”

The boys (under the glaring eye of Deewan) carefully threaded the best thin strips of meat onto skewers and slowly turned the meat over the small charcoal fire at the side of their table.
Beth steeled herself for the expected response
“Don’t laugh; but I’m a member of the Saddlers Wells amateur dramatic society”

“A thespian?”

“I’ll try anything once” She laughed at her own joke, joined by Bond’s joyful banter

As the fat at the top began to melt and flavour the meat, the aroma became tantalising;
as their appetites whetted by the beer became insatiable. Bond fought to keep a straight face
“I’d love to watch you perform” Beth accepted the remark as another gambit to a flirtatious night,
she was eager to comply
“I’ll see what I can do. Do you like Shakespeare?”

“Don’t know, I’ve never met him” they both laughed

“We’re doing Othello this season; I’m playing Desdemona”

Bond stretched out his hands
“Shakespeare walks into a pub; the landlord says ‘Get out your Bard”
Beth reached out for him, giggling with the pure enjoyment; as her laughter abated she said
“Half the enjoyment of the meal is watching the cooks work the rotisserie. What a show!”

The night had been a success. The promise of Beth’s company had not disappointed; now as they walked back to the hotel along the city street, Bond brought up the dreaded subject
“You spoke to the man”
Beth stiffened, but did not pull away
“Yes” she knew it would come
Bond’s tone was easy “What did he say?”
Beth tried to shrug it off, and buried her hair into his shoulder
“Nothing important”
Bond stopped and looked down at her, pretending to be stern
“I’ll be the judge of that”
The humour left her voice
“James, he was an old man having a heart attack; he’d just been hit by a car; god knows what injuries he’d sustained. He was speaking in riddles”
“What exactly did he say?” Bond said the words slowly

Eyes closed, she sighed “He asked could I keep a secret”

Bond held her hand, and continued to walk, lightening the mood
“You said yes of course”
“Of course” she held on to his arm; the relationship restored; she was tired and happy from the night, now all she wanted to do was forget the affair with the old Arab; telling Bond what happened would put an end to the tale.
She wrapped her arm around one of the lap posts, and swung around it

“He told me about a knowledge that was kept hidden”
Bond grunted, acknowledging and encouraging her to continue, he held her and eased against her, pushing her back against the lamp post.
Beth broke away and began to laugh
“He said ‘The gates of hell must never open. A brother’s wealth will kill my people”
Bond laughed and they continued to walk
“So what was the secret?” Bond asked matter of factly
“His secret was that he knew where the key to the gates could be found”
she said in a mock spooky voice that one would use when telling a child a ghost story

“Did he say where?” Their foreheads touched; the mood was light; they had arrived at the next lamp post

“Yes” she ran her hand up his arm their eyes met
“The secret of eternal life is a secret to the grave. The key lays there; in the teardrops of those that fail to see”

Bond kissed her; his passion rose
“Mmm that’s cryptic; maybe we should ponder on it some more” the words meant nothing to him; but her honesty meant everything.
Beth kissed him back; their eager hot lips melted together
“Maybe in your room?”
His arm encircled her waist, and he pulled her into him; their mouths were hungry for love.
She brought her hand up and held the back of his head, her fingers running through his hair.
He felt her body respond and yield against him.
He touched her cheek, and it was as if a spark of electricity joined them, pulsing suddenly,
then it subsided, and they were only aware of each other;
a feeling that intensified until they could hear nothing but the beating of a moths' wings against the lamp-glass.


When Bill Day and LeCoyte Chelan entered the board room at the Ghawar International conference centre.
The stakes on the table were far higher than any poker table; the game was on, and simple;
negotiate the release for the tanker.
Ghawar oil field is located 100 km from the city of Dhahran in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Measuring 280 by 30 km, it is the largest conventional oil field in the world.
The field is entirely owned and operated by Saudi Aramco, the nationalized Saudi oil company.
Relatively little is known about Ghawar because the company and government closely guard field performance information and per-field production details. Ghawar is estimated to produce over 5 million barrels of oil a day (6.25% of global production). Putting the Conference centre in the middle of the field was, under normal circumstances the right place for it to be. But the circumstances surrounding today’s meeting set it apart as the biggest piece of blue touch paper the World had ever seen


The faces of the men around the table all looked toward the two most powerful men in the American oil business.
The Korean diplomats, the Pirate lawyers and security guards, and even President Ali Abdullah Saleh knew the odds had just changed.
Day and Chelan took their seats.
“What language would you like to continue in?” asked the main pirate lawyer; his contempt for the fat American and his aloof bullyboy barely hidden.
Bill Day held the stick microphone “Mr. Chelan is fluent in German, French, Arabic and English; he will translate for me. You people just carry on”

The demands from the pirate lawyers were read out; but within moments Chelan lent forward and tapped the table
“I would just like to ask just one question”

Now that Chelan was sitting at his side, Bill Day felt invincible; the uncontrollable rabid dog was now his.
Chelan used his words like a knife, cutting through the arguments put forward. Bill Day felt it hard not to smile, he thought to himself ‘What is so remarkable about this sadistic animal I have at my side, besides his demented pride in achievement and his precision and restraint; is his unnerving ability to understand his opponents weakness’


The metallic grigio titanium silver Aston Martin DBS Volante, had been brought in from neighboring Saudi that morning. Bond flicked the trunk open and the porter put the bags inside. Beth jumped in and breathed in the smell of the leather.
“I want the top down” she gave him a knowing look
Any misapprehension Bond had had about driving a super car with Beth’s high moral code disappeared as the burgundy mohair hood retracted. Bond pressed the start button and the powerful engine began to growl.
Out on the road Bond was in his element; the traffic was light,
and he was able to overtake the ubiquitous Toyota Hiace Commercial’s mostly in camper van configuration at every opportunity.
The Hiace is a rare model these days because of European weather wear and rust; but the vans originally sold on the European market were largely been exported to Africa and Yemen where they are used as public transport vehicles;
those considered too old for public use are then sold on into the private market; and it is these such examples of
‘people carriers’ and old trucks that were plodding along the road at a third world country pace.

The Gulf appeared on their right as they headed east toward Balhaf, its deep blue providing a cool breeze for the journey. Bond’s mobile rang. He took it from his pocket and answered the call…
…but before he could speak Beth cut in
“Hey, there’s a law against that” she took the phone from him and answered
“Hello, James Bond’s personal secretary. Mr. Bond is currently unavailable; how may I help?”
Bond shook his head, he replied
“There’s a law against what we did last night, but that didn’t deter you” her hand reached out to stop him talking and her eyes forbade him to mention their activities whilst the phone needed answering
“Okay, just one moment, I’ll ask him” she held the mobile to her breast
“He say’s he’s a friend. Felix”
Bond nodded, but as he did so he noticed an aqua marine blue Hunton XRS 48 out in the gulf, holding station with them.
The speedboat had a top speed of 80MPH, which made the ride very bumpy but got you to your destination in the quickest time.
Beth held the phone to bond’s ear, he spoke quickly, but his eyes never left the road
“Felix where are you?”

Beth could hear nothing of the reply above the wind noise in the car; so she inclined her head indicating that Bond should tell her the details. Bond shook his head and she pouted her lips in a mock sulk.
“I’ve just seen Wazir’s boat heading for the Gas plant” Beth’s head swiveled and followed the progress of the boat.
Bond overtook a truck, which was dangerously over loaded with furniture.
Once on the other side of the road he could see there was no oncoming traffic;
so he accelerated (the urgency of getting to the plant had just intensified; now that Wazir’s boat was heading in the same direction) The Volante purred along the road; 100, 120, 130MPH

Bond answered “Yes that would explain it”

“What?” mouthed Beth, her face screwed up in an intense smile.

Bond spoke to her “Chelan, left the plant this morning; he is attending the negotiations with President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Ghawar”
Beth understood it would be the perfect time to attack the plant.
An oncoming car, forced Bond to lift his foot, and fall in to a small line of traffic; as soon as the car passed,
Bond shot out, as he accelerated past the line of cars a Toyota Revo weaved in front of him, forcing him to brake.
Bond continued to talk to Leiter whilst making the avoidance maneuvers.
Finally he overtook the Revo, as they pulled along side the next vehicle, a ‘third generation Toyota people carrier’ the side door slid open and a masked gunman appeared. Bond, aware of the impending danger calmly continued his conversation “It’s a perfect opportunity for Wazir to attack the terminal” as Beth screamed and pointed at the machine pistol, being waved in their direction.
Bond slammed on the brakes and in response the Toyota began weaving from side to side, a rake of bullets hitting the road surface only feet in front of them. Bond accelerated up the inside of the Toyota; its driver tried to squeeze him off the road, but the Aston Martin shot through the gap and slewed up the road.
Bond caught the skid, and eased the pedal; darting to the left, to overtake another car.
Beth’s scream was loud and piercing.
Felix asked “Why”
“And we’re under attack too” The horn sounded from an oncoming truck; and Bond needed to apply maximum lock to avoid the collision. Gunfire was all around them. Beth needed to take in more oxygen before emitting another powerful scream.
The Aston Martin scrapped past an oncoming truck. Beth sat in total silence
“Felix, where did you say you were?” The Aston Martin’s nose dipped as they avoided the back of another people carrier, Bond went to pass; but cars were blocking his escape route.
Gunfire filled the air. Chipping the windscreen.
“Where is he?” Beth asked, her voice distant, like a zombie
Bond answered her “He’s about 50 miles away”
Beth assimilated the information “At the plant?”
Bond shook his head, as he jinked the car to the right, avoiding more fire “No” Bond pointed toward the gulf
“That way”

“Felix, we have a little problem here, you might be able to help with” Bullets slammed into the rear of the Volante.
Bond floored the accelerator and the car shot forward, scrapping down the side of the car it was overtaking.
The Toyota was right behind them; the man at the door had changed his weapon from a machine gun to a laser sighted Rocket propelled launcher.
Bond knew he could outrun the Toyota, but not the rocket.
Beth was screaming in his ear “How can he help?”
Bond ignored the comment and continued to speak to Leiter.
Slowing the car to eliminate the threat of the rocket launcher he said “Do you have my position?”

Bond overtook a Mazda estate car. The Toyota followed.
Bond knew he had to keep the distance, to avoid gunfire but reduce the potential for a rocket launch.
Beth looked back and saw the gunman lean out of the Toyota; and aim the RPG “James”
Bond swung the wheel again and danced around another car.
The road ahead was clear “Track me, and fix on ninety meters; and to be safe take ninety percent sting out of your tomahawk”
The two vehicles sped along the road, Beth looked at Bond
“What are you talking about…”
More gunfire raked the rear of the car; Bond eased the accelerator and extended the gap another six feet
“…and just what help do you think he can be from fifty…”

The explosion was complete.
From a silent gut wrenching push in the back to an all consuming noise that numbed the senses.
The Aston Martin bottomed out and bounced up from the road as the compression wave hit it;
Bond fought with the wheel; and then shaking the ringing from his ears floored the accelerator and zoomed off into the distance.
The ball of flame evaporated into a thick heavy cloud of smoke; billowing and rising into the clear blue sky.
Beth took the opportunity to look behind; but there was nothing to be seen at ground level, the Toyota had simply vanished.

Bond spoke but the words were lost on her. Her head was still spinning from the Tomahawk impact.
He nodded and mouthed for her to put the mobile down. In a daze she put it into her own pocket.


The Yemen liquid natural gas (YLNG) project in Balhaf, is on the coast of Shabwah, about 400km east of Aden.The signage proclaims to the world that this is an ENTYRE property; and now it stood before then like a castle from a fantasy computer game. Massive towers and huge domed buildings were spread as far as the eye could see. Opened in August 2005, the project is still being developed by a consortium led by France’s Entyre Co (39.62% shareholding) with the US Oil giant Taxargo Energy Corp (17.22%), South Korea’s SK Corp (9.55%), Yemen Gas Company (6.73%), Kogas (6%), Hyundai Corporation (5.88%), and the General Authority for Social Security & Pensions of Yemen (5%).


Raymond Mortimer was waiting to meet them at the plant. His craggy face set in a look of dismay when he saw the Aston Martin peppered with bullet holes.
Beth jumped out of the car and ran to him. His concern seemed genuine, and Bond relaxed as the possibility that Mortimer may have been a rival for Beth’s attentions vanished.
Bond waited for the embrace to end; Mortimer looked up
“You must be Bond”
“I am” They shook hands “Now where’s your security chief?” Bond was heading past him
Mortimer looked affronted that Bond did not want to talk with him
“…well I can see you’ve had some trouble, but…”
Bond turned “…Listen, this plant is about to be attacked by terrorists; now where is the security chief?”
Beth added “Its true Raymond, I’ve seen them” she motioned to the sea “They’ll be here in less than 5 minutes”
Mortimer followed her gaze; the white foam thrown up from the Hunton arced out in perfect symmetry; looking back at Bond and Beth he recognized he would have to do as they asked “Follow me”

The three rushed down the corridor. Mortimer was dialing as he ran, he lifted the mobile to his ear, and the sound of gunfire filled the air; pieces of plaster erupted from the wall by his head,
Bond shielded Beth and pulled Mortimer to the ground.
Three Arab guards emerged from the corner and began their pursuit.
“How can we get to the dock?” Bond asked
As a reflex reaction Mortimer pointed to an exit. Under another hail of bullets they crashed through the door.
The sunlight was strong and it was a second before they realized that a number of Arabs wearing black robes were surrounding them. As they moved in on Mortimer, Beth screamed, Bond used the distraction to launch an attack.
In a blur of motion Bond kicked out at the first Arab; as the man fell Bond took his weapon, and turned it upon the next two men in the semi circle, the shots merged into one; the retort was loud, and the smell of cordite filled the air.
Bond moved in front of Beth, and swung the gun at the next opponent; the butt crashed into the man’s head, the force knocked him into the last man, and before he could recover Bond was on him, raining down blows with fists and elbows.
“Come on” Bond pulled Beth forward, and Mortimer followed on in utter bewilderment.
The Arabs lay in a tangle of broken limbs.

“We’ll use Wazir’s speed boat to get you out of here”

A small explosion from one of the offices in the building above took their attention. More black robed Arabs were approaching from the dock, the three guards in pursuit burst through the door behind them; Bond held Beth close to him, and Mortimer followed behind a tangle of pipelines. They ducked down below the pipes.
Silently, stealthily they eluded the henchmen and made it to the dock.
The Hunton speedboat gently rubbed against the hemp mooring. Gunfire was sporadic throughout the plant; workers were running in disarray in a desperate attempt to escape, their tormented cries carried all the way down to the dock.
Beth and Mortimer jumped on to the boat.
Morimer entered the cabin “Jesus its like a spaceship”
“Don’t worry you’ll be able to drive it” Bond released the mooring rope.
An explosion rocked the jetty; the black robed Arabs had fired an RPG.

“Beth, you have my mobile; phone Felix, tell him what’s happened; get him to pick you up”
Bond turned to leave; the gunfire was sporadic.
“No James you must come with us” Beth pleaded

Mortimer started the engines. The water churned
“No, I need to stay here” Bond turned and ran back along the shattered jetty.
The boat powered away, in a flurry of foam and spray. Another RPG ploughed into the ground near to Bond’s position; knocking him from his feet.
Bond looked up at the plant; it’s imposing towers and building interlocked with spaghetti of pipes looked further away than when he had first seen the complex from the highway. Everywhere he looked the black robes were firing and charging about ‘how on earth did they all get in so quickly’ he dismissed the thought, and concentrated on survival.
Two Arabs came upon him without warning; one wrestled him to the ground the second rushed past and began firing at the boat. Bond sprang up, smashing a fist into the man’s face; he took the rifle from him and turned on the second Arab, firing from the hip the man went down. The shots had focused the attention of anther group close by.
The gunfire was heavy; he was outnumbered, and about to be overrun.
About one hundred yards in front of him was a small store house, Bond knew he must reach the shelter it offered.
He gathered himself up, and sprinted toward the door. Another explosion rocked him, but he kept running, his whole life depended upon him reaching the door.
The group of men in black robes were darting through the pipelines in a desperate attempt to cut him off.
The dull thud of the bullets hitting the earth flung up pieces of rock in all direction.
From the centre of the attack, Bond saw the Arab with the RPG; he knelt and steadied himself.
Only a few yards to safety; this would be close. Bond heard the whoosh of the rocket as it sped toward him; he reached out his hand, and pushed the door open; it swung away from him and as the rocket exploded into the side of the building,
Bond tumbled into the safety of the shelter.

He knew a few inches of brick; would soon succumb to the onslaught of the RPG; even the 7.65mm travelling at 800m per second would punch a hole with I concentrated burst; but time was precious; and Bond had gained a couple of minutes.
“There, don’t know what all the fuss was about” Bond said as he got back to his feet, and dusted down his jacket.
The blow came quickly, he had no chance to defend himself; as a dead weight Bond dropped to the floor,
standing behind him in the shadows of the darkened room, was the man called Manic.

“mon dieu; you are a hard man to kill”
Manic shook his head in something close to awe

#6 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:59 PM

Chapter Five


#7 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 12 October 2010 - 04:58 PM

Chapter Five


The team of Korean lawyers from the SK Corp worked feverishly on their calculators.
Their fingers moving with a life of their own. Chelan sat back and relaxed; at last a figure had been agreed on;
soon the small men with jet black waxed hair would want to know, how much Taxargo would contribute toward the ransom.
With a suave command of linguistics, the impeccably dressed Chelan answered the question in Korean.
“Please remain calm; if we pay today, we will hand over our profits forever”
Chelan had taken part in many encounters with adversaries, from terrorists and kidnapers to the Somali Pirates;
he was not to be rushed.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh sat impassively at the head of the table,
his interpreter translated Chelan’s comment; he could not understand why the negotiations were going so slowly;
now the American seemed to be provoking the Koreans; soon he would step in.
Chelan’s negotiating style was to easily observe, and almost empathize with his adversaries; at least,
that is how it would appear to all involved; he would lull his advisory into a false sense of security until the moment of attack.
Chelan’s trigger to attack was always tinged with the disappointment that again his adversaries had underestimated him. But this very thought gave him the upper hand in all his dealings.
He understood the Pirates wanted a speedy resolution; the Koreans wanted financial support;
and the Yemeni President wanted political kudos. Chelan whispered to Day, an act which infuriated the men from SK Corp “The Oriental has never and will never consider us as a fully formed opponent.
It is possibly this aspect that separates us as species”
Day had no idea what Chelan meant but nodded his agreement.
Chelan pointed to the Somali lawyers, and again in a low voice which seemed to mock the recipients even more
“The fiery, if not tragic, personality of the African, is no match for our intellectual prowess”

Bill Day was not naive in the art of negotiation; but he recognized a master at work. He looked across the table and for once in his life actually felt sorry for these murdering animals. He returned the conversation in an equally infuriating whisper “My dear LeCoyte, you have my permission to bury these bastards”

Chelan stretched his fingers; he spoke from the very corner of his mouth, as a bad ventriloquist might do on a difficult word “I wasn’t asking. Although it is this aspect that largely and ironically defines their fate”

President Ali Abdullah Saleh took a breath and tensed his body he was about to speak when Chelan silenced him with a look of pure contempt.
Chelan’s words cut through the stillness, now his voice was loud and clear
“I have the aptitude to move the boundary inside what is normally perceived as negative actions and still keep a good relationship” His eyes drew in the Somalian “When we try to evaluate a situation I employ my own system of values. You want money; I want the tanker. You want to walk out of here alive, with a political positive for your country; I have to negotiate a deal; however, I’m dealing with you people and you seem to have another system of values”
he shook his head as if it were all the fault of the Pirates.

The Korean lawyers shifted uncomfortably in their seats; the Americans were ignoring them;
and speaking directly to the Somali’s. The words were not what they expected and they could see the anger in their eyes,
Chelan lent forward
“It is not important what we consider fairness, or an ethic and moral code”

The lead Somali lawyer began collecting his papers; he knew the negotiation was not going well;
he knew many people were waiting for the ransom money; he knew he had to push for a resolution, quickly.
This show of strength would force a climax; he was confident in that.

Chelan sat back and poured a glass of water; The Korean implored him to apologise and get the talks back on track
“I believe you need to explain that remark; in order to resolve the situation Mr. Chelan”.
Chelan slowly shook his head
“It is my judgment that counts” Chelan knew he must be effective in the way he influenced the actions over the next couple of minutes, He was expected to say sorry and offer hundreds of millions of dollars to make the problem go away.
Chelan knew instinctively that he must evaluate his actions as closely as their view.
The Somalia stood up; President Ali Abdullah Saleh began to wave his arms and remonstrate with everyone;
the Koreans wagged their fingers.
Chelan opened his arms wide
“Please my friend sit down” His hand went to his pocket; he withdrew his cheque book “How much?”

The Somali lawyer knew he could not walk out of the negotiations now; here was a man asking how much he wanted.
It was almost over. He sat down again; the smile remained inside, as his poker face continued to rule.


Bond felt the whoosh in his stomach, as his surroundings moved; his eyes flickered open; around him the white noise of interference turned into jet engine whine. In front of him the dark shape turned into the female form.
Bond opened his eyes. In front of him stood Bee; Bond began to get up, but his hands were held by a handcuff, securing him to the arm of a grey leather plane seat.
Bond sat back, “I do hope you got off that boat before it sank; or I am most certainly dead”

“You’re right we’re both dead…” Her tone was solemn

“…and on our way to heaven?”

“I don’t know where we’re heading” Bee sounded very serious; the lines of concern were etched on her pale elfin face.
She handed Bond a martini “Here, it may be your last”

He took a long drink “Yes, died and gone to heaven”

Bee sat heavily on the seat across the aisle opposite
“You shouldn’t joke; this is serious. They ordered us to bring you with us”
Bee shook her head, clearly she was close to breaking
“Us?” Bond continued to probe
“Manic is trying to get control of the plane. It’s a private Entyre jet, we thought we were getting away from them; but they tricked us. We’re all trapped here”
she wasn’t exactly hysterical but her control was wavering

Bond adopted a soothing tone “Who are they?”

“Kalhid Wazir; he’s running the show; we were paid to deliver missiles to the plant; now he intends to kill us all”

“Tell me about it”

“Wazir; has closed the gulf; he has 30 ground to air missiles back at the plant; and a similar amount in Haradeere”

“I can see how that’s bad for the World, but why is it troubling you so much, you’re not exactly model citizens?”

“Because Manic says this is all just a diversion. Wazir has enough weapons to arm a veritable army of guerilla fighters in Yemen and Somalia”

“And does he know what he’s intending to do with them?”

Bee nodded in compliance “Yes. He’s going to sell them to the terrorists; and let them start a Holy Jihad in Africa”

“They might try” Bond tried to reassure her

“No; no one will stop them; with the flow of oil halted the Western World won’t be able to move. Yemen will be in turmoil. This will be the end of everything as we know it”

“I intend to stop Wazir, before he makes his next move”

“How can I help? If we don’t do something, we’re all going to die up here?”

“Well you could start by getting these off” He held up the handcuff. Bee stood, but went to the front of the jet; she returned moments later with Manic

The big Frenchman stood in the aisle, resting his fists on the seat backs
“You’re a hard man to kill Mr. Bond”

Bond stiffened “Want to try again?”

Manic raised his hands and gave the famous Gallic shrug
“No; we want you alive”

“That’s reassuring”

“Bee has told you what Wazir is intending to do?”

“With the help of your missiles, yes”

Manic’s face wrinkled up “Nothing personal, just doing a job. Unfortunately the tanker and the rockets are just a diversion for his plans today?”

“I didn’t think you would spook so easy”

“I thought my role was pure extortion; and I have no problem with that. But when I understood what this man Wazir was intending to do; I wanted no part of it. We thought we were well out of it. I actually thought I was doing you a favour, by getting you away from them; but soon after take off I lost control of the plane. Wazir came over the radio, and told me what he has in mind for all of us”

“So are you going to tell me what he plans to do?”

“Oh yes” The alarm was loud and piercing; unable to finish his sentence, Manic rushed back to the cockpit
Bee looked forlorn
“I’ve never seen Manic like this. He’s really worried”
She knelt close to him, producing the key to the handcuffs
Her face was close to his, “Wazir is intending to kill President Ali Abdullah Saleh at Ghawar”
The magnitude of the comment took a moment to sink in; then Bond’s mind began to see the problem
“The negotiations for the tanker release”

Bee nodded “Yes Wazir believes that when Yemen lose their rational link to the world they will be ready for revolution. Corruption in the country will ensure he is elected President”
Bond empathised “And if the Americans or Koreans interfere he will sink the tanker and there will be an environmental catastrophe”
“The real worry for the Americans would be the loss of the revenue from the liquid gas terminal facility that will spell the end for the Yemen”

“The country would become nothing more than a terrorist playground” Bond offered

Bee shook her head “No, the terrorists will move in to Africa”

“…and Wazir’s Yemen will live off the prophet of war”

Bee nodded “Wazir will take a percentage. Africa will fall to the terrorists. That will throw the western economy into a death spin of recession” Bee ran her fingers through her hair
“al Qaeda understands where to hurt the west the most; in its pocket; there will be meltdown. We don’t want to be associated with any of this”

Bond nodded “A moral conscience, Bee?”
Bee came forward and unlocked the handcuffs
“A holy war between Muslim and Christian; it will be Armageddon. Manic is for hire; he takes the money, and he does his job; but we are in way over our heads. Wazir wants to rule Yemen; and this terrorist monster Moalim-Nur wants to kill everyone”

“Wazir’s come a long way since I knew him as an arms dealer” Bond mocked “But I don’t know the other name Moalim-Nur”
Bond recognized the name from Wazir’s camp. Bee touched his arm
“They fears no one; but they still have to answer to one man; the man who’s vision and money made this possible for them. Now they have the terminal, all Wazir needs to do is kill the President, and his preparations are complete; now he goes to meet him in Haradheere. Then the war will start”

Bond went into the cockpit; Manic was heaving on the control stick.
The warning lights were flashing everywhere like a gaudy neon Christmas sign.
A Saudi jet buzzed past the window, the impact shook the plane.
The sky seemed full of jet fighters, criss-crossing
“The Saudi’s want us to change course” said Manic through gritted teeth; he ducked as anther jet swept past

“It might be wise to comply” Bond familiarised himself with the controls, and eased himself into the co pilot seat

“Easier said than done, the jet is on auto pilot”

Bond went for the radio and flicked the transmit button; but all he could here was a maniacal voice, chanting a death threat to the President.
Manic looked over at him “I tried that, the radio is fixed too”

Bond flicked it off, as the Saudi jet screamed by; buffeting the jet in its wake
“You can see how this looks”

Manic nodded; his face taking the strain, as he tried to turn the jet.
“[censuré]; we are locked on to this course”
As another Saudi jet fell in line beside them, and the pilot gestured for them to change course; Bond tried to break open the control panel. The first Saudi jet strafed past; forcing the Entyre jet to wobble, instantly it corrected its position.
“Next time they will fire” Manic continued to try to break the auto pilot; the jet continued with robotic precision.
Bond pulled on the panel “Here I need your help”
Manic eased his fingers into the gap and began to pull. He hooked his finger around the wire and slowly began to ease it through the gap. The Saudi jet screamed past, wobbling the Lear, the panel snapped back, Manic’s fingers became trapped, but the loop of wire was still visible Manic took a knife from his belt and cut the wire. Bond took hold of the control stick and pulled it to the right, the jet stubbornly remained on its course.
“Oh well, we’ll have to think of something else”

Manic grimaced through the pain “Not that simple Bond; Wazir is intending to get to the President whilst we provide this distraction up here; there is a bomb at the conference centre it will detonate” he checked his watch
“In twenty minutes”
“You’re right, if we don’t change course they’ll shoot us down; we have to communicate our intent”

The Saudi jet opened fire, the bullets crashed into the wing, tearing pieces from the sleek body.
Manic shouted above the sound of the alarms
“We can’t communicate from here; you have to get to that conference centre before the bomb goes off”

Bond checked his watch “We’ll never get to the negotiations in time”

Manic remained calm “Yes you will; Bee, check the locker”

She always did as she was told; and now she held two bundles “Two parachutes”

Manic forced the knife inside the panel and tried to withdraw his hand
“You two use them; get out of here as we fly over the centre, It’s your only chance”

Bee held on to him, her breasts crushing against his back
“No, I’m not leaving you; we can all jump together”
Manic looked deep into her eyes;
“They won’t let me get anywhere near them; but you…” He looked at Bond; his eyes darted back toward Bee.
The message was conveyed without words

“Take care of her Mr. Bond” he twisted the knife, and pulled his hand out.

Bee sobbed against his shoulder. The plane started to drop, Manic pulled back the stick but the course was set;
he flipped all the switches but the plane did not respond.
“I think this course has only one end target. Now go. Take the rucksack.
The evidence that the President needs to halt this madman is in there”
Bee rushed to him and kissed his right cheek.

Manic looked deep into her eyes “Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from getting that evidence to the President”

“I won't, I promise, I will take it right up yo him”

Bond and Bee put on the parachutes; at the front of the cabin he released the door, and the wind filled the cabin, anything that was not bolted down flew about the cabin. He steadied her at the doorway; then they leapt from the jet.
Bond gently pushed Bee from him as they tumbled through the air.
Bee pulled the handle and the chute deployed.
Bond pulled the handle, and the force of the chute stopped him falling, he began to glide.

In the distance the Lear jet continued it decent; with three Saudi jets firing on it.
The baked earth rushed up to meet them.

Bond landed, knees bent, role come up; pull in the chute. Bee, made a good landing too, but was dragged a couple of feet before deflating the chute.
Both looked at each other as they took off the harnesses, and stowed the chutes.
In the distance a Police siren began to wail; their transport was arriving


The cheque book had been on the table for more than one hour; Chelan had led them through a series of emotions which were designed to take the sting out of the result that the amount of money that was being demanded was not gong to be paid.
The Koreans had agreed to pay an increased percentage; but how that deal had been struck they could not recall;
now Chelan placed his hands on the desk and stood up; gently he whispered into Bill Day’s ear
“Please excuse me I need to take a comfort break”

Quickly he signed the cheque; the faces around the table watched in anticipation. The tension was unbearable.
Chelan smiled, left the room and walked quickly to the bathroom; as the door closed, Bond and Bee came out of the elevator; and ran along the long corridor; she had the rucksack on her back.

Two guards blocked their way. From nowhere Felix Leiter stepped forward and stopped them at the entrance.
Bee was shouting, but it was Bond’s words that cut through the melee
“Felix, there’s a bomb in the negotiations room. They’re going after the President”
Bee took the opportunity to slip under the guard’s outstretched arm.

“Can’t be brother, we checked the room; it’s clean”

As the big guard moved to capture her Bond broke out of the grip, and set off in pursuit; the guard changed his mind and put the pressure back on to Bond’s shoulder; more guards rushed forward and overpowered him.

Bee made it to the conference table and opened the rucksack
The explosion ripped through the room. The shock wave ballooned outward from the bag; the force displaced the air,
and then flesh and bone to such an extent that they shattered and detached at their joints.
The table fractured instantly, expelling razor sharp splinters that rocketed through the air and penetrated anything that they came in contact with. The reinforced windows shattered, allowing the force to explode outward,
tearing at the metal frames, dislodging the bricks and cement blocks, destroying the very fabric of the building.
The ceiling cracked with a groan, and the floor gave way, the tumble of body parts mixed with chairs and wooden pieces combined with a tangle of carpet fibres ceramic tiles and concrete. As the chaos of destruction fell, it broke and distorted again on the reinforced steel bars supporting the building. The dust generated and forced through the air consumed the space and filled the air with a choking mass.

Leiter felt the force of the explosion in the middle of his back it lifted him and pushed him into the gaggle of guards holding Bond in the corridor. Their body mass formed a cushion, dissipating the shock wave.
The force passed over them and through them like an express train.

In an instant Bond knew Bee was dead; for all her faults, it was her innocent naivety that had killed her.
Manic knew she would do anything he asked of her. Manic had killed her as surely as if he had strangled the life out of her himself. Bond knew everyone in the room had been killed. The President had been the target; Manic had used his own woman to achieve his murderous goal. Wrecking the negotiations must also have been an objective; and any hope of a quick resolution to the hijacking had disappeared.

The one thought Bond took with him into unconsciousness was the certainty that when he and Manic met again, it would be the last time.

One final time. He promised.


David Edison checked his appearance in the ornate mirror on his office wall. There was more grey in his hair than he wanted to see and he was maybe ten pounds overweight, but this was compensated for in his well tailored suit.
He was CIA section head; stationed in London for two years now, he hated the stuffiness of the old city; the phony atmosphere of forced friendship. The truth was he thought London was a mish mash of ethnic diversity; that represented all that was bad in Britain. Illegal immigrants roamed free in the city, contributing to the crime figures from a little pick pocketing gang in Regent St, to an “A” class drug smuggling syndicate in Hackney. The Politian’s had recently been exposed as money grabbing vagabonds; revelling in their greed at the expense of the tax payers. But that was nothing to the greed of the city; where the bankers told the politicians which policies they wanted to go through.
Even after the scandal of Sir Francis Pinevail; their power and influence over government was unabated. Yes,
he thought this country is out of control. Edison looked at his Rolex wrist watch as if it were almost time for him to leave this godforsaken third world little country; but he wasn’t that lucky.

Today he was expecting the new head of MI6. He put his prejudice and opinions to one side and put on his best political smile. After all this meeting wasn’t just about saying ‘hello’
Edison had received his instructions; he needed something from Sir John; something he knew he would have to negotiate. His secretary buzzed him
“They’ve just signed in I’ll send them up”

Bill Tanner and M shook hands with Edison and his executive team. The meeting could not have come at a worse time; the movement of oil was putting a strain on relationships all over Europe. Soaring prices at the forecourts resulted in protests at the refineries; and the radical elements began to be heard in their own communities more than ever before. But it was getting worse; reports had just come in of the bombing at the Ghawar conference centre; killing the Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The deaths of Bill Day CEO of Taxargo and the legal teams representing the SK Corp and the Pirates had also been announced. The repercussions in Yemen were beginning to surface; and al Qaeda was flexing its muscles again.

M knew that the CIA had held a heavy presence at the conference centre and that 007 had been in the close vicinity when the bomb had gone off; hopefully this would just be a saying “Hello” meeting; and would enable Sir John and Tanner to get back to Vauxhall Cross and assess the remedial actions necessary in Yemen.

“Hi; welcome; and I know on behalf of my team here in London; and back at Langley we would all like to congratulate you on your appointment” Edison pumped M’s hand in a firm grip; his voice was warm and sincere.

M’s smile was open “Thank-you; I believe I’ve met most of you in my previous role; but today I’d like to reacquaint myself with the CIA team; and understand how I personally and my team at Vauxhall Cross can assist you in any operations; or indeed anyway at all; I would like to make your stay here in this wonderful City as pleasant and as uneventful as possible”

They all laughed politely.
Drinks and social small talk completed; the CIA team left the office. Edison gestured for M and Tanner to sit.
They sat down
Edison let out a long puff of breath; ending in a smile as false as a car salesman.

“You will have heard about the assassination of President Ali Abdullah Saleh”

M nodded “Of course; I understand you lost some men as well”

“That’s correct; the final total isn’t understood yet”

Both men let the disaster sink in; this was always more than a political game of chess; for these men the lives of real people were always at stake when they made a play.

M shrugged “This will impede the release of the tanker”

Edison smiled in understanding “Of course the longer the tanker is held the quicker the financial crisis comes home for all of us; it’s a situation we want to stop; and quickly”

M knew that Edison was skirting around a subject he wanted to bring up, the real reason for the meeting.
The silence hung in the air
Edison shifted in his seat “The tanker yes…” he let the sentence drift “I understand you have an agent in the area?” the tone was harsh; his eyes began to search M’s face, looking for a reaction.
M’s face remained impassive “In the Yemen; yes”

“Also some Special Services in Haradheere?”

M shook his head “The SAS are not under my control; if we have troops there; it’s not under my orders. Why, what’s the issue David?”

Edison sat back and raised his palms skyward “No problem”
Then his eyes made contact “It’s just that we believe your agent was involved in delivering the bomb to the conference centre”

“Unwittingly; but yes it appears that way”

“He was travelling with two wanted terrorists; one of which actually detonated the bomb. The other got away”

“I concur; and I can assure you we will be pursuing the terrorist in question; with extreme prejudice”

Edison smiled again, his teeth white against his tanned skin “That’s what we need to talk about”

“Go on”

“We would prefer it if your agent, 007 didn’t interfere in our investigations”

“What investigations?” M asked quietly

“Bond was at the Entyre plant at Balhaf when Wazir’s men attacked”

“That’s true, but surely you are not suggesting…”
Edison held up his hand “He was there with a woman, wanted in connection to another terrorist attack in Sana’a”

“There was an incident at the British Embassy; but there is nothing to suggest Miss Loverseed had anything to do with the attack”

“Well there’s a Korean tanker sitting about a mile away full of American crude; we have a submarine in the area, which was penetrated by your agent…”

“I’m sorry David; that’s not quite how the events played out”

“CIA man on board, says that Wazir dropped your man off right above our boat…coincidence?”

M had a twinkle in his eye “If that’s the way you want to spin this; nothing I can say will influence you to understand the truth”

Edison smiled, this time it was with genuine relief “The CIA have agents and special forces in the area; we don’t need any help to clear this up”

“So, just what are you intending to do to clear this up?”

“We will make a raid and take back the plant. We will ensure that Wazir stays in exile in Africa. Support for him to go home will start to wane, within the hour. Just make sure your people stay well away” The indication was that if M complied, there would be no British implication in the bombing.

“Well thank you for being so clear” M understood that the Americans wanted to exercise more influence in Yemen; was that such a bad thing?

M and Tanner got up to leave

Edison stood up with them “Please forgive me for being so direct; only it’s just that I was informed that an old friend of mine, Bill Day CEO of Taxargo was killed in the bombing”

M looked at Edison, was this man now asking to be taken seriously, that the death of a friend was justification for his threat to implicate MI6 in a terrorist attack; he thought of the implications to the current slide toward financial meltdown “That will take some time to replace him; adding further pressure on the release of the tanker”

“On the contrary Cliff Daniels, Senator for Texas, just advised me that LeCoyte Chelan has been appointed CEO of Taxargo”

M had trained himself to restrict his emotions to a very narrow band of expression; but Bill Tanner noted that the slight tension around the mouth and a semi focused glazed stare should be viewed as an early warning sign.
He noted the look.

As their car began the journey back to Vauxhall Cross, M instructed Tanner to contact the head of section UAE
“Ask him to make contact with 007; and offer him any assistance he deems necessary to uncover just who is actually behind this assassination; and why the American’s don’t want us poking our nose in to this so called hijacking”

“Certainly M; I’ll see to it straight away” replied Tanner

#8 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:13 PM

Chapter Six

The Widow of Haradheere

After the Paramedics had extracted Bond and Felix from the tangle of dead guards;
they were given a quick check up and ordered to hospital.
Along with Chelan and two nurses they now prepared to board a Royal Saudi ‘Agusta Grand’ helicopter from the roof top heli pad at the conference centre.
The compact design of the machine enabled it to land and take off easily from this small urban site.
Their destination was the city hospital which, although none of them had requested it, was destined to be their residence for the night.
The spacious cabin layout allowed Leiter, and Chelan to sit at opposite ends of the compartment.
The atmosphere could be cut with the proverbial knife, and Bond was eager to learn where this animosity stemmed from.
The almost total lack of noise allowed them to speak at a normal level.

Chelan flexed his neck “We’re lucky to be alive Mr. Bond; do you think we could pool our recourses and take this opportunity to stop Wazir from advancing his plan any further. Now that I am CEO of Taxargo, I want my oil back and quickly. I will supply whatever you need in order to achieve that objective”

Leiter interrupted, his forehead swathed in a bandage
“It’s your company that stopped the CIA from being able to take action when we could. You’re not pooling any resource. This is a matter for the CIA”
Chelan raised his eyebrow
“You’re not suggesting Taxargo had anything to do with the President’s assassination?”
the inflection in his voice gave the simple line, layers of meaning, all, pitch-perfect, each syllable barbed with poison
“Of course not” Leiter had responded in a way which made his statement seem to reflect the accusation, he felt foolish at being sucked in so easily
“Good then let’s work out how this man can be stopped”

Leiter could not help himself “Those decisions are for the governments to make, not you”
Chelan appeared to be genuinely aggrieved at the comment,
his reply had just the right amount of waiver in the honest tone
“I have just lost a friend in that fiasco; one that you were supposed to be guarding”
Wincing at the pain, Leiter, tried to stand up, the nurse at his side restrained him.
Bond lent in between them
“Wazir’s plan has already started, the gulf is closed”

Leiter sat back, and let the pain in his shoulder course through his body in an attempt to cut out the insults from Chelan
Bond continued “The non supply of oil will wreck the western World’s economy.
With the President dead, Yemen will fall to revolution; Jadkarin Moalim-Nur will begin his campaign in Somalia, and run rampant through Africa”
“Are we defeated then?” Chelan looked hurt
“Certainly not” He turned toward Leiter “Where’s Beth?”

Leiter was confused, the anger still raged hot within him
“Why what’s she got to do with this?”

“There were the three main subjects in Wazir’s photos. The Samho Dream, the terminal, and Beth. I know he has control two of them; I need to know if he has all three?”

“You suspect her?” Chelan offered; the thought had not crossed Bond’s mind until then; quickly he dismissed the thought, this man was pure poison.
Leiter looked at Bond “We don’t have her”
“She left on Wazir’s boat with Raymond Mortimer; I told her to contact you; get you to pick her up”
“I didn’t know James, I didn’t receive a call”

Bond went into the cockpit and spoke to the pilot. Minutes later the helicopter landed
Bond made to get out
“She was at the embassy when Shayef tried to contact the British Ambassador”

“The terrorist attack, you mean” Chelan offered, effortlessly steering the thought process; Bond thought he made an excellent interrogator.
Bond made his answer, neutral, more like a statement
“That was no terrorist attack; Shayef had information for the Ambassador; Whatever Shayef said, or whatever Wazir thinks he said, has a bearing on his actions now. The attempt on Beth’s life on the road to Balhaf proves that in the right hands, that information could prove to be Wazir’s downfall.

The Agusta landed and the pilot opened the door automatically from his seat.
Bond jumped out, he motioned that Leiter and Chelan should stay in their seats
“Have a good night in the hospital; I’ll bring grapes in the morning”
Chelan said “I’d be interested to know what was said to make this woman so important to a man who wants to destroy our civilization”
“I’ll let you know” Bond closed the door and stood alone with his thoughts. As the Helicopter lifted off; he began the process of analyzing the problem. Bond waited patiently for his ride; glad to be free of the distraction of Leiter and Chelan fighting. In the distance a car approached.

Reassured that M’s actions back in London signified that he was fully apprised of the situation here, he began listing the items he would need to assist his mission. The silver grey Range Rover Sport sighed to a halt in front of him.
Bond pulled open the door.

“Hello James”
“Goodnight! what a pleasant surprise”
“I’ve been instructed to offer you anything you need”
“Well that could be helpful” Bond closed the door; Goodnight gunned the accelerator and headed to the conference centre.


In, what was left of the conference centre, Bond sat at a desk; Goodnight was busy on the phone organizing dinner. He began to wonder why Beth had not contacted Leiter
‘Whatever secret Shayef told her, keeping it from everyone else was evidently vital to its success’
Goodnight had updated him with the reports from Sana’a indicating unrest; with a number of protests requiring military intervention. “Wazir’s plan for revolution is gathering momentum” she offered
“Al-Qaeda will certainly be active in the country now; probably the Presidency for Wazir and freedom for al-Qaeda to use the northern territories will be the un-holy coalition” The information Bond had gleamed from Wazir’s beach front headquarters had suggested that he was close to finalizing his plan.
Now whilst the tension mounted in the gulf, Wazir was heading to Haradheere to meet with the mysteroius Jadkarin Moalim-Nur his financial backers and, as Bee had put it, his mentor. This was the man who had put up the money to bring the army and weapons together, that was some financial clout.

As Bond began thinking about the wealth that would be needed to provide such funds; the name Manic began to muddy the waters; he had sacrificed his own woman to get to the President; he must be very highly committed to this project; and he was a mercenary, Bond decided to look closer at the financial angle; and with that the important question of what was the potential outcome of this uprising in Africa. When Bond understood where the money was coming from and what the gain would be, he would understand his actions. Bond’s mind went back to a conversation he had on the submarine with Leiter.
“It looks as if the Koreans are protecting that tanker against us”

Bond sat at the computer, the sun had dropped and the sky held its red glow, as night descended over the oil fields. Carefully he began to check the figures Goodnight had provided from the Taxargo Energy Corp oil reserve information.
He punched the ‘start’ button on his search.
As they waited, for the processor to crunch the numbers Bond opened the home page on the Entyre Balhaf website.
“Goodnight” Bond called to her; then thought “I’m sorry, I only know you from your operation code name; what should I be calling you?”

She came around the desk, and lent back against the top; her hair was pulled back into a short pony tail; and her skin showed a redness that indicated she had not been out in this climate for too long
“You might want to call me Scarlett”

Bond smiled “Why because of the sunburn?”

She frowned “No silly, because that’s my name”

Bond stood and held her by the shoulders; she certainly seemed more confident since the last time he held her in this way; she tilted her head and moved her body closer to him, her almond eyes began to close with the anticipation of a kiss.
“I’m glad I have this opportunity to say Thank-you, for saving my life on the boat”

“My pleasure” The computer pinged. His search was finished. Bond released her, sat down and perused the figures; then, with a bemused smile on his face he checked the dates.

“Well, well” Bond picked up the desk phone. Scarlett, eased his chair out from behind the desk, and lowered herself onto his knee. Her arm snaked around his shoulders.
“Thank-you” As he waited for the phone to be answered he wondered what response he would get.
The closeness of the girl made the wait worthwhile.
“Hello, who the hell is this,”

“Hello Q; I have a question for you” Bond felt he had chosen an accurate state of temperament for the Boffin back at MI6 HQ in London.

“What on earth, 007 do you know I’m just about to have my lunch?”

“Actually no” Bond offered no resistance as Scarlett’s lips touched his cheek; the kiss lingered

A long pause ended with Q in a rather resigned voice asking “What is it now 007?”
“Erm, something’s come up. Is it possible to off load anything but oil from an oil Tanker into an oil terminal?”
Bond used his free hand to check the other commodities available at the Iraq terminal. Quickly he scrolled through the information at his disposal; as he listened to Q exploring a thousand pieces of information, in search for an answer; when it came its simplicity surprised Bond

“What about into a liquid gas terminal?” Bond squeezed her waist pulling her into him “That’s better”

“007 what are you taking about?”

Bond focused on the screen, as his fingers played along Scarlett’s thigh
“The figures at the Taxargo refinery in Iraq suggest the Samho Dream wasn’t carrying oil”

“Don’t be ridicules 007 it’s an oil tanker; the whole World knows the amount of oil and the value of what’s in the hold”
In Bond’s peripheral vision he checked the other commodity reserves at the Velero terminal in Iraq.
And there it was a set of figures that added up to a conspiracy.

Scarlett put both her arms around his neck, nestling into him; Bond’s free hand danced on the keyboard
“Q, the Samho Dream was carrying Liquid oxygen” Bond quickly checked the co-ordinates on the tanker’s GPS. The destination was the oil terminal in Texas.

“Can you offload Liquid oxygen at an oil terminal?”

“Absolutely not” Q’s reply was emphatic

Bond thought to himself ‘The tanker was carrying a cargo to an oil terminal that could not receive Liquid oxygen’

“Can you offload Liquid oxygen into a Liquid gas plant?”

“Well yes it’s possible but the pressures would have to be regulated; but it could be done; but why on earth would you want to?”

With the professional side of his brain Bond thought about the question; he remembered reading about the construction and commissioning of the plant at Balhaf. He merged the information with his mind’s eye view of the plant from the highway. The immense construction of the gas pipeline, from the man made harbour to the liquid natural gas processing plant; but the pipeline went further than the plant; the pipeline continued into the gas fields.

“Here’s my question Q, What would happen if you pumped Liquid oxygen directly into a Gas field”

Q’s answer was quick in coming
“The Liquid oxygen would act as an oxidizer; mixing the two commodities is a common procedure used in demolition work; for the preparation of road building mainly”

“Oh, that’s put a damper on things” Scarlett sighed

A knock on the door; Scarlett untangled herself to go and answer it “This should be dinner”
“Thank-you Q; next can you still track my mobile?”

“Of course” the pause continued

“Well go on then; where am I?

“Sometimes 007 you really test my patience”

“Here’s one to send you over the edge then. I’m looking for a speedboat, a Hunton XRS 48; use a silhouette,
and feed it into the next satellite going over Yemen. When you get an answer contact me on this number”
He put down the phone

Bond began to fit the pieces together.
The Samho Dream was loaded up to deliver, in the right circumstances a powerful explosive into a terminal that could not off load it. That meant it was never anticipated that the Samho Dream would reach the United States.
Balhaf was always its intended destination. But could Wazir, with all his influences control the loading of the Liquid oxygen at the Iraq terminal?

Bond went back the Entyre Balhaf website.
The three largest shareholders in the plant were Entyre Co 39.62% Taxargo Energy Corp 17.22% South Korea’s SK Corp 9.55%
These were the very three names that could control such a deception.
Through the manipulation of the negotiations and the use of Korean, and America naval muscle,
Taxargo Energy Corp and SK Korea Co had ensured the elongation of the hi-jack and during that time no one else had gone near the hi-jacked tanker. The World was being held to ransom; and the eyes of the World were focused on Ghawar, as a Yemeni revolution intensified the eyes were also being focused on Sana’a, and as the pirates became more of a threat, the eyes were focused on Somalia; no one was watching Balhaf.
No one was watching a super tanker now at anchor one mile from a liquid gas pipeline; no one was watching a tanker that held enough explosive that when mixed with gas, could blow a hole in the Earth’s crust.

Bond’s mission; was to discover the threat posed by Khalid Wazir had developed from the premise that he was stockpiling a huge cache of weapons to supply a terrorist army.
MI6 and the CIA had believed it was to support al-Qaeda; but in truth, it was something much bigger.
Bond had been thrown together with Beth; to ensure that his actions did not spark a human tragedy.
But it seemed the very people at risk were now about to take charge of their own destiny.

Beth had said that only Shayef, head of the Bakeel tribe and advisor to the President stood in Wazir’s way, now he was dead. He died in Beth’s arms. He died revealing a secret to her.
Until that secret could be interpreted, Beth was in danger.


“Yes James, has something come up again?” she replied holding the tray of food; her lips slightly apart

“Yes. Dinner’s going to have to wait”


Haradheere, 250 miles northeast of Mogadishu, used to be a small fishing village.

Now it is a bustling town where luxury 4x4 cars, stolen to order on the streets of Europe, now owned by pirates and those who bankroll them create honking traffic jams along its dusty streets.

Wazir and Manic accompanied by five young pirates, dressed in military fatigues, were hosting a tour.
The party of ten financiers from the criminal fraternity, were strolling around the African town as if it were a Hollywood set
“Here these young men uphold the law” Manic gestured to the men accompanying them
Wazir gestured with his hand “Proves to be an important way for the pirates to win support from the local community for their operations” the financiers nodded in admiration
“despite the dangers involved” they all laughed in polite consideration

"Fourteen months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 5 maritime companies and now we are hosting 72. Sixty of them have so far been successful at hijacking" Wazir said.
Manic added "The shares are open to all; and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials; we've made piracy a community activity"

One man who looked like a banker asked
“The Somali administration has no influence here?” His was a Northern Irish accent
Manic laughed “In Haradheere, no. Piracy pays for everything”
The man nodded in agreement, he suddenly felt a purpose to his life again; too long had his regime in Northern Ireland been hogtied by the calibre of people able to raise money for the cause.

Wazir walked on "Piracy-related business has become the main profitable economic activity in our area and the locals have come to depend on their output"
"The people get a percentage of every ransom from ships that have been released, and that goes on public infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. The idealistic communist community" The comment was directed at the two men from a Moscow Mafia gang. One of which acknowledged the remark by removing his Panama hat and bowing his head slightly as he fanned his brow, with the wide brim.

Manic took up the script “In a drought-ravaged country that provides no employment opportunities for young men, many have been drawn to the allure of the riches they see being earned at sea”

Wazir singled out one of the young pirates at his side
“Ali was a secondary school student in Mogadishu until three months ago when his family fled the fighting there.
Given the choice of moving with his parents to their ancestral home in Shabelle where strict Islamist rebels have banned most entertainment including watching sport, or joining the pirates here, he opted to head for Haradheere”
The oldest of the men within the group smiled at the boy
Wazir continued “Tonight he will guard a Thai fishing boat held just offshore”
The group made encouraging noises

Manic started the hard sell “Haradheere's "stock exchange" is open 24 hours a day and serves as a focal point for the town. As well as investors like you; sobbing wives and mothers often turn up here seeking news of male relatives missing in action”
“Every week” Wazir said, “gang members and equipment are lost to the sea. But the pirates are not deterred”
Manic continued "Ransoms have even increased in recent months from between $2 million to $4 million because of the increased number of shareholders"
They entered a colonial style building; its low hung ceiling fans revolved at a pace which only served to stir up the stale humid air.

Manic asked one of the pirates to bring a young woman who was waiting by an ornate bank desk, over to meet them.
The woman was smartly dressed western style, but with a large African comb in her hair; she spoke to the pirate without fear and intimidation. The pirate translated to the group
“This is Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, she is 22-year-old widow, she is waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs held a Spanish tuna fishing vessel”
Her black skin shone and her white teeth gleamed as she spoke
"I am waiting for my share; after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation," she said, adding
“I got the weapon in my husband’s will”
"I am really happy and lucky. I have made US$7,500 in only 38 days since I joined the company"
The group entered the board room, and took up their places around the old dusty table.
Wazir stood at the head of the group “Gentlemen; you can see why, any investment made here; will bring you a massive return; very quickly”
Manic instructed “Make your donations now please”

The men phoned or entered text on their blackberry’s
Soon over 20 million pounds sterling had been transferred.
Wazir stood by the doors “Gentlemen you have made a wise decision, now, I have something for you”

The young pirate boys and the widow came back into the room, and sprayed the men with automatic gunfire.
As the smoke differed away and the last of the bodies stopped twitching Wazir looked at the carnage.
One of the young men chewing Qat, took out a small video camera; and began filming the scene.
Wazir stood beside the girl “Greed is such a terrible thing Sahra Ibrahim”

“How will you justify your actions?” She asked

“Firstly, they were all criminals, very nasty examples in their own countries. The authorities would have loved to have captured them, and put them behind bars. But the locals are all terrified of them. No need for a trial now”

The young widow smiled, her breathing was heavy and full of emotion; her gaze followed the camera around the room.
“Secondly; Jadkarin Moalim-Nur will claim responsibility for the executions; claiming the actions as reason for Jihad”
“Moalim-Nur’s message, will be conveyed adequately to their respective organisations” She touched her comb.
“20 million pounds richer, mayhem in their ranks, and now there’s no one to stand in our way; who said crime doesn’t pay” He squeezed her shoulder; her hand came away from the comb, and her fingers reached for his arm.
Manic entered the room “Bond is still alive”

A flicker of doubt crossed Wazir’s face, grabbing the girl
“But the President is dead; the reports are accurate” he confirmed.
“Good; let the revolution begin” he laughed at his own statement
“We got Day, and the Koreans?”
“Yes; it all went to plan”
Wazir put his hand on Manic’s shoulder
“But you lost Bee; for that I’m sorry. She was unique, n’est pas?”
“Unique, and perfect; but there are plenty more like her” Manic eyed Sahra, pondering on the advantage of having a local girl on his side.
Wazir interrupted his thoughts “…and what of the woman?”
Manic drew himself away from Sahra “She believes she is safe”
“But guarded?”
“Yes, we can bring her here whenever, as you wish”
Manic looked around the room; already flies were buzzing over the dead.
“No, not yet; we will use her to trap Bond; a fly into the spider’s web”
Manic nodded “I will inform the guard dog”
Wazir nodded his approval “As a bonus, perhaps you would like to finish off Mr. Bond”
“Yes, that would be most satisfactory”

Manic approached Sahra; with a show of strength, he took the Heckler & Kosh machine pistol from her; and without taking his eyes from hers began to strip down the gun. He laid the components on the table. They smiled at each other.
Sahra brushed past him; and again without taking her pretty dark eyes from his; began to re assemble the gun.
She cocked the MP5 and fired a single shot into the air; the bullet lodged in the ceiling. In reaction the pirates, turned and went for their own guns. Wazir walked past them, gently patting them on the shoulders
“It’s Ok, I think it is love”
The pirates laughed; as they began dragging the bodies from the table, they watched Manic and Sahra leave the scene of carnage.


The telephone rang. Bond left the comfort of the couch to answer it.
Scarlett pouted, feeling all alone without him.
Q’s bird like twittering came through “I’ve found two Hunton XRS 48’s. But don’t worry; they’re close to each other”
“That’s a surprise” Bond knew there was only a handful of these super boats in the World today.

Q’s tone became more skeptical “What is a surprise 007 is that you can’t see them for yourself. Your mobile GPS signal, indicates you’re only 100 yards away from both of them”

“Time to let you in on a tiny secret Q; I’ve lost my mobile. Now be a good fellow and tell me where it is”
Q let out a sigh of frustration “Really 007. This lack of regard for Government equipment is just not good enough”
Bond could picture the man slapping his thigh and running his hands through his hair, as the news hit home the mobile was lost. Bond inclined his head and tried to sound very sincere
“I promise I’ll try harder next time. Now where is it?”
The sigh was audible all the way from London
“Yas hotel, Yas marina, Abu Dhabi”

“Thank-you Q. Enjoy your lunch”

“Too late 007; my lunch time is over; now if I could only…”
Bond hung up, he glanced over to Scarlett as she reclined on the couch “I always thought he needed to lose a few pounds”


The Yas Marina Hotel consists of two twelve storey towers, one set within a motor racing circuit and the second in the Marina itself, linked together by a monocoque steel and glass bridge.
The hotel features an iconic curvilinear geometric grid shell of 5,000 glass panels that drape the two towers.
The glass panels of the grid shell structure feature a carefully selected coating and pattern that works to balance the visual transparency with light responsive properties to the different day and night time lighting conditions.
The hotel shone a pale violet in the early morning sun, as James Bond paid off his taxi.
The lobby of the hotel took every opportunity to express the modernity of creation; the white marble pillars were up lit in white, and down lit in the same violet hue, as was covering the hotel’s shell. The sculptures were easy on the eye of the weary traveller and complemented the music to complete the sea of tranquillity. The porters moved with serene elegance, following metal lines, inlaid in the floor, which acted as a reference to the speed trajectories of the cars on the track outside and this design feature was carried through onto custom designed carpets.
The effect reminiscent of the streaked lights you see in long exposure night traffic photography.

James Bond placed Scarlett’s Sony Ericsson C902 on the reception desk, as he signed the register, and handed over his black American Express Centurion card, for recognition.

The pretty girl with deep brown eyes carefully took his details “Thank-you sir, please enjoy your stay”

“I will; thank-you” Bond took his time replacing the card in his Dunhill wallet.
He smiled cheerfully at the girl, and was about to ask about the dinning options, when his mobile beeped.
“Excuse me” he said and picking up the phone turned away from the desk; looking at the screen he added
“I need to take this” He offered, walking toward the elevator.
The doors opened to reveal two European men dressed in garish golf attire.

The pink polo shirt was too tight on the shorter of the two men, whilst the clothes on the yellow clad man looked new and uncomfortable; but the men appeared totally unaware of their look; their eyes made brief contact with Bond, then they were past, talking eagerly about the bunker on the second hole.

Once in his room, Bond took out his Vaio laptop and waited for it to fire up. As soon as the opening menu appeared he keyed in the code, which the mobile had acquired from the hotel computer at the reception desk.
The code enabled him to hack into the hotel computer. Of the 499 rooms 300 were occupied.
Bond filtered the results by arrival date, 125 rooms. He sorted the entrees by title, 47 rooms were under Mr.
Each page contained 10 details; on the second page the name Mortimer sprang out from the screen. Room 504.

An executive Room located in the Marina Tower of the hotel. Four floors below Bond’s suite.
He pressed the ‘next’ button. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The final page took his attention; not because of a name, but because of the company name. Bond re-checked the Mortimer name; the company name was Investec. Bond took out the filter; and began again.

Sorting by ‘company’ name. The words on the screen appeared to flash at him.
Entyre had a Presidential suite. No name associated with it, just a contact number.
Bond rang the number.
“I’m sorry, I think I’ve been put through to the wrong department; is this Entyre Petrochemical Marketing department Sana’a?”
“No I’m sorry sir; this is the Liquid Gas processing plant in Balhaf; but if you hold I can put you through”
“That won’t be necessary, thank-you” Bond put the phone down.


He walked across the bridge connecting the two towers, glancing down at the race track below.
As the elevator doors began to close. Bond saw a flash of pink and yellow at the far end of the bridge.
Bond pressed No 12

The doors opened, Bond walked out into an area of opulence rarely seen in a hotel; the exotic flowers and plants complemented the steal and glass décor. The man opposing him looked an inch or two taller, and perhaps five pounds heavier, but Bond instinctively knew it was all muscle, his build was athletic and his manner was business like.
His hair was very black, and neatly cut. He held up a huge hand which contained a security card
“Can I help you sir?” The accent was pure southern England
“A friend of mine is staying in the suite”
“I think you are mistaken sir. I need you to return to the lift” He moved slightly to the left to block Bond’s progress.
“And if I don’t want to go?” Bond rigidly stood his ground.
“The alternative is a cozy chat in my room”
“Just the two of us?” Bond quipped. The man put the security card into his back pocket.
The elevator arrived and pink shirt and yellow sweater spilled out into the corridor.
Bond twisted his head to monitor their progress
“Green fees too high?” The sound of the pistol being cocked brought Bond’s head back around to his first adversary. “Numbers a little more to your liking?” The powerful arm of pink shirt wrapped around Bond’s neck; with the force of a rugby tackle Bond was pressed against the wall. With ruthless efficiency the three men bundled him into the suite.
They wrestled Bond to the pure wool carpet. Pink shirt’s face was close to Bond’s neck; he sniffed
“Nice aftershave” as his hand found a way to relieve Bond of the Walther P99; Yellow sweater went for Bond’s wallet.
The first man now spoke, his tone was calm and business like
“OK on your knees” Pink shirt and Yellow sweater let go their hold. Bond got to his knees, and settled into the position.
“Hands in pockets” The man held his gun rock steady Bond noted coldly that the gun was a Glock 17, and understanding the devastation it could cause to his head at this range decided to do as instructed.
“Now let’s see who we’re dealing with” Pink and Yellow stood at each side, a safe distance from their captive.
The man looking through Bond’s wallet pulled out the Black American Express card
“Robert Sterling eh?” Pink shirt spoke from his position
“Black card, says a lot a bout a man” He withdrew his mobile, and began to punch in a number
“Let’s see if our boss knows you, and what he wants to do with you Mr. Sterling”
Yellow sweater spoke from the other side
“But if your name isn’t on our list, mate…” he drew a breath, as if making a decision
“Seems a shame to make a mess on such a nice carpet. I’ll go get the hypodermic”
Pink shirt shouted after him “…and I get first dibs on his aftershave”

#9 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:00 PM

Chapter Seven

Tom, Dick and Harry

Pink shirt handed the mobile to the tall man; he listened intently.
Then handed the phone back.
“Commander Bond?”

Bond looked up at the man and recognized the steel melt from his eyes; as he returned the Glock to the holster at his hip he extended his other hand
“We buy our aftershave in Hereford”

“Of course you do. Enjoying your stay?” There was no animosity in Bond’s tone, just a respect for their efficiency
“Not really; there’s a lot of tourist’s keep interfering in my work” The smile conveyed a mutual respect; given he now understood who was standing in front of him

“Sorry about that, but I didn’t think you were here for the golf”

“This is Tom…” Pink shirt gave a mock salute; he had the physique of a rugby player, spoiled only by a dated haircut of tight curls, and a bent nose above a straggly moustache

“…and this is Dick” Yellow jumper nodded; trying to hide the medical kit he had just brought from his room.
His smile made him look like something from a boy band.
Bond looked back at his new ally “So, do I call you Harry?”
“If you like” the voice was confident.
“So, what’s your mission?”
“We’re babysitting for the couple next door”
“Let me guess, Raymond Mortimer and Beth Loverseed”
“Give that man a coconut” Tom commented from behind him.
“Can I see her?” Bond’s mood was light, but a glance from Tom to Harry made him stop.
Harry frowned “I need to run that past the boss”
Bond answered “Let’s do it then”
Harry glanced at his watch “He’ll be here in five minutes”

“Can I get you a drink, Commander?” Dick headed for the bar.
The door opened; Tom, Dick and Harry all acknowledged the man that approached.
He stood in front of Bond. Rust iron coloured eyes that sat beneath hooded lids, looked down at Bond.
Boyce sniffed the air “What is it Bond; are you on a promise or something.
Every time we meet, you appear to have crossed heaven and earth to get to her”

“She owes me money”

“She wanted to call in the Marines; fortunately Mortimer persuaded her not to. He contacted me”
He stood with his hands open

“Is that seen as a good thing?”

Boyce ignored the attempt at provocation
“I got the boys over from Haradheere. Rather we kept an eye on her than the CIA; after all they did rather make a mess of guarding President Ali Abdullah Saleh”

“I thought you’d be busy in Sana’a; death of the president and all that”

“You’re really behind the times Bond; Sana’a is doing very well thank-you. Hundreds of weapons were handed out, courtesy of Wazir to both Houthi and Bakeel, let’s not forget Shayef is also dead; looks like some kind of loyalty program designed to drive al-Qaeda from their borders. There’s a lot of support pouring in from the States as well”

“Where’s Wazir now?”

Boyce gave a short sharp laugh “That’s where it starts to smell. Wazir’s in exile apparently, has been for nearly one year, not set foot in Yemen all that time. It’s a rumour put about by the “Wazir for president” party”

“Let me guess, he’s in Somalia”

“Well done; but you’d never guess what he’s been doing there; what’s more he’s becoming a real celebrity. He’s single handedly negotiated the release of the Samho Dream”

“Good for him; any news on Moalim-Nur?”

“Yes. He’s been busy too; he executed terrorist leaders from as far afield as the IRA and the Basques in Europe to the Tongs and Yakuza in Asia. Have a look at this” Boyce flicked on the TV; aiming the remote he stepped through the channels.
“Here, look live pictures of the supertanker leaving Balhaf”

Bond studied the live feed
“Do you have my photos from Wazir’s camp” Bond, took the remote from Boyce and ‘paused’ the TV channel
Boyce sensed the urgency in Bond’s comment “It’ll take a minute but I’ll get them sent through”
Boyce opened the lap top; a photo of the Samho Dream filled the screen

Bond turned the screen toward Boyce
“Wazir is still using diversionary tactics Look, this photograph was taken the day the pirates bordered her”
Bond pointed toward the screen, then up to the TV
“Look at the Plimpsol line. She’s been unloaded”


Bond’s distorted reflection stood apart from Beth’s as they walked beside the courtyard pools, each one laden with floral marble and mosaic pave. At this time of night the pools reflected the Mosque’s spectacular image.
The majestic Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque features 82 domes of Moroccan design, decorated with white marble; taking the visitors ever closer to the majestic sight of the main dome.
Its shell was 32.8 metres in diameter and stands 85 metres high; the largest of its kind.
It is the most imposing religious landmark in Abu Dhabi. It is also one of the most beautiful places of worship in the World, locally called the Grand Mosque, it is seen as a construction to ‘unite the world’, using materials from Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and the UAE.
The 22,412 square metre site is equivalent to five football fields, and can accommodate 40,960 worshipers
Surrounding the Mosque, columns adorned with marble panels, inlaid with semi-precious stones, stood guarding the building. Once inside Beth marvelled at the columns in the main prayer hall, all inlaid with mother of pearl.
Italian white marble floral designs adorned the prayer halls.
Silently they continued to the Mosque’s interior; where the walls have decorative gold-glass mosaic features.
In the main prayer hall, kneeling beneath the world’s largest chandelier a solitary figure was at prayer.
As they approached him, he stood and waited. Ben Kelly bowed but did not attempt to touch his guests.

“How’s the shoulder?” Asked Bond

“Fortunately healed; this carpet consists of 2,268,000 knots, and has an estimated value of US$8.2 million; I certainly would not want to bleed upon it”

“Certinly not. Thank-you for coming”

“How can I help”

“This is Beth; she was with Shayef when he died. He spoke to her; but we don’t understand what his words meant. We hope you can enlighten us”

Kelly pursed his lips “It is a troubled time for my country” He looked at Beth “I know you’ve helped many people. Thanks”
Beth inclined her head and smiled; her beauty touched him

Kelly instructed “Please, relax; let your mind go back to the day Shayef spoke with you; tell me everything”

“He told me about a knowledge that was kept hidden”

Ben shook his head “Please; use his words”
Beth closed her eyes; she imagined the scene; she took in the smell and the noise; she tried to recall the feel of the old man’s robes as she touched him; the feel of his hand on her

"Can you keep a secret?" She asked, she opened her eyes to explain, but Bond nodded reassuring her that they knew what she was doing.
"He asked ‘Can you keep a secret?"
"I replied ‘What secret?"
"He said ‘It is a knowledge that is kept hidden"
"I said ‘Yes"
"He said ‘Come closer"
“He said ‘The gates of hell must never open. A brother’s wealth will kill my people”
“He said ‘I know the secret to where the key to the gates can be found”
“He said ‘The secret of eternal life is a secret to the grave. The key lays there; in the teardrops of those that fail to see”
Beth opened her eyes; she had feared there would be ridicule or at least a blank look; but what she saw frightened her more than anything she had seen this last few days.

In the pale light of the evening Ben’s face had gone ashen. Instinctively Beth went to support him.
To touch a woman in such a holy venue was considered taboo; but in that moment Ben was glad of her support; he ran his tongue over his lips in order to moisten them; clearing his throat he began to speak
“The teardrops of those that fail to see. As a boy, the tribal teachers told us of the legend of the secret to eternal life. The secret of eternal life shouldn’t be something that’s easy to stumble across and by cleverly hiding it on the island of Suqutra the gods certainly took that thought to heart. The origin of the island's name is in itself obscure. Arab writers have translated it from the Sanskrit dvipa sakhadara, the Island of Teardrops”

Beth whispered “Go on” her eyes sparkled

Bond remembered Wazir; speaking about the island, at his camp, it was something he had overlooked
Ben continued “For much of the year, mists shroud the peaks of the Haghier Mountains. But when you can see them; if you are lucky you will see the limestone peel away from the granite. It’s as if the mountain is crying”
Beth nodded, Bond waited for him to continue
Ben’s finger formed little circles as he explained “Because the mist surrounds the mountains you cannot see the mountains cry” He pulled a face as if the legend suddenly seemed childish.

“I understand” Beth clasped her hand around her knee.
Ben continued “The Island has developed in near total isolation from the rest of the World. As a child the teachings told us the island was a refuge for dragons” Ben suddenly felt very small in the great hall, he felt intimidated.
Ben asked “Can we go outside” A bright moon shone down on the trio, as Ben and Beth sat on a marble bench; Bond stood close to them; fascinated as to why his scepticism had not kicked in on this children’s story
Ben continued “The dragons were always fighting; they needed to be kept in order. An old blind monk was placed in charge. When the dragons fought each other he would swipe at them with his stick”
Ben’s head wobbled from side to side; he wanted to bring relevance to the story “When I was young; I climbed the mountains. Near the summit the limestone gave way to naked granite. Above us there appeared to be a line of funnels, narrow at the bottom; wide at the top; as I climbed it became obvious they were trees; topped with spiky leaves and bursting out of the central trunk was like a thick spider web”

Beth took up the tale “The Dragon’s blood tree”

“Yes” replied Ben “The secret of life”

They both looked at Bond
“Is it a drink; or does it have fruit” he heard himself say the words, not really believing the tale.

Ben put him out of his misery “No; the trees grow and live in rock; how they survive is a mystery; that’s where the legend comes from, they grow from drinking dragon’s blood”
“But how does this legend reflect on a secret that Shayef wanted to tell the Ambassador”
Ben Kelly sighed; his whole life he had wanted to believe the legend, but now it seemed the University professors were closer to the truth “The tribal teachers say we were wrong to punish the dragons; that is why the Yemen is so poor in natural resource. When the teardrop of the dragon touched the ground; it soaked into the earth; and sucked up the oil”

Beth began to speak, but Ben cut her off
“That’s only part of the legend; when oil was discovered in Saudi; Iraq, and Sinai; the tribal teachers told that one day we would release the dragons from the earth; and in their place oil would be found. The legend says that the key to the gates that keep the dragons can be found on Suqutra”
Ben laughed out loud “That’s the legend; however at University we learned that the phenomena of the limestone and granite structure of the mountains of Suqutra isn’t as unique as first thought; the fault line travels under the gulf and splits the Yemen from Saudi Arabia” Beth looked blankly at them
Ben continued “The Haadikn hills. When they blasted through the hills to make the highway between our countries in the 1960’s it triggered earthquakes. Geologists believed that the Limestone and Granite could split; disrupting the fault line. It was decided to go over the hills not through them. The word Haghier, the Mountains on Suqutra means Gateway. Haadikn means Hell”

Bond spoke “The oil tanker Samho Dream was carrying liquid oxygen; that’s now been pumped into the Yemeni gas fields”
“Oh my God, they’re going to blow the World up” Beth said cringing at the enormity of the statement.
Ben shook his head “Maybe not that bad; but an explosion would cause a shift in the plates; it could physically close the gulf for ever”

“Christ that’s some secret” Beth said

The sound of the guns cocking was obscenely loud
Laughter echoed in the darkness
“The secret is that there isn’t enough gas in Yemen to light your Grannies fire for next winter”
Raymond Mortimer came forward from the shadow of a column
“The intention is to dislodge the plates and simply allow the oil to flow from Saudi Arabia into Yemen territory”

Beth looked at Mortimer in utter disbelief “Raymond?”

Mortimer continued “Pumping the Liquid oxygen in to the Gas fields, and igniting it will cause a subterranean explosion, it will simply melt the rocks; you see the oil bearing strata in the area is interconnected by a surprisingly delicate structure, if the rock bed was disrupted along the fault line” Mortimer traced his finger downward in the air
“Then the oil would simply drain away into the more porous bedrock under the Yemen”
Bond began to move toward him “It won’t work Mortimer. The Saudi’s will simply march across the border and kill everyone and claim the land for their own”
Mortimer was heady with his victory “No Mr. Bond; not if the Yemen has an army of terrorist killers; and I have spent the last year over here ensuring the right men came to work at the Entyre plant”
“Well that certainly explains how you got so many men inside the plant; I must confess you seem to have trained them very well”
Mortimer shook his head “I can’t take the glory for that job”
“No that was down to me” The accent was French; Bond turned to see Mr. Manic. Beside him stood a young black girl, dressed in a dark one piece jump suit, an elaborate wood comb in her hair; they both carried semi automatic guns
“I must thank-you Mr. Bond; for delivering Bee to the President; that was the one piece of the plan that was proving difficult”
“Well at least she spent the last minutes of her life with a real man” Bond turned to the girl
“If you’re expecting something from him, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed” Bond surreptitiously moved to the side
Manic, saw the move and changed his stance to counter the attack; with disdain he addressed Sahra
“Mr. Bond is British; and the British like to pretend. They prize few things higher than a good performance.
Stiff upper lip” Manic wobbled his head in mock British style
“Their love of pomp and ritual covers their insecurity”
Manic stepped forward and thrust the gun into Bond’s stomach, Bond doubled over from the blow, and fell back a pace; leaving the path open to Ben and Beth “And yet so naturally and unconsciously secretive about anything which is of real importance to them” He looked at the black girl; and with a nod of his head toward Ben and Beth he announced
“This man and the girl are yours”
With Manic acting as a guard Sahra Ibrahim stepped forward and slapped Beth cross the face, the force of the blow knocked her back off her seat; Ben Kelly stooped to help her; as he did so Sahra, turned the gun on him, and shot him; he dropped to the marble floor.
Beth took in a lungful of air, and screamed. Bond rushed to her side. Sahra levelled her gun at them
“Spare us all the embarrassment Manic, and get it over with; this girl’s got more balls than you will ever have”

The goad worked Manic put up his hand to stop Sahra “Stop” the girl put the gun across her chest
“He is mine” He held out his gun toward Mortimer, who flapped his arms in disgust
“Manic, we don’t have time for this macho [censored]
Manic’s face was dark and brooding, he turned it toward Mortimer “Don’t think you can’t be replaced”
Mortimer’s look of shock was momentary
“Me? Look at your own fragility. Without me the economy of this country will fail; I’m the cement that holds this plan together; the likes of you are ten a penny”
With that, the garden was filled with black robed Arabs, their guns aimed at everyone.

Manic laughed “Let’s see you call these animals off”

Mortimer looked into the eyes of the men
“Even Boyce could train these men to kill; and he’s only just learnt how to walk upright”

Manic gave an order, and the Arabs overpowered Bond and Beth. The butt of an AN47 crashed into Bond’s skull, and he fell to the ground instinctively protecting his head, the black robes appeared to move with a mind of their own as they jostled for a good place to strike a blow at the prone figure of Bond, they fell upon him kicking at his ribs and stamping on his legs; satisfied he was no longer a threat, they turned their attention to Beth; two of them held her arms apart as a third man delivered a karate chop to her neck; as she was dragged away Sahra let her hand trail over the vivid red welt on her face. The Arabs picked up Bond’s body, draping his arms over their shoulders, they hurried through the columns; leaving Manic, Sahra and Mortimer alone in the garden. The noise of the insects grew in volume.

“You have issues” Mortimer pointed at Manic.

The big Frenchman furrowed his brow, and placed a protective arm around Sahra.
“Perhaps Bond was right; this show of aggression is a compensation for a deficiency in another department”
Manic scoffed. Sahra ran her hand over his bicep and shoulder

Mortimer looked at the body of Ben Kelly “Better get a couple of your trained monkeys’ back, to dispose of that; and lick up the blood” with that he turned on his heel and left for the convoy
Manic looked down at Sahra, her eyes had the quality of a star struck girl, as she gazed longingly back up at his strong jaw-line

“One day, when this is over I will let you have that pretentious prig”
The words meant nothing to the young Somali girl; but she recognised the strength in his body; and the power in his position. The killing had come easy to her; the brutality of her actions was like a physical stimulation; now living like a lady in the real World was her dream


The heat had arrived just in advance of the rising sun; as the light spread over the Haadikn hills on the border between Saudi and Yemen. The light reflected off the tiny dust particles in the air that float just above the ground; the heat wave scatters the light of the reddish sun, which gives the hills an overall orange appearance.
Mortimer pulled back the tarpaulin from the truck “Welcome to the gates of hell”
The blood had dried on Bond’s face and that which had soaked into his shirt had turned a muddy brown colour.
“Oh James” cried Beth as she saw him. The knife cut inflicted by Rekaf had opened again; and a livid bruise extended from his right eye to his ear. The Arab guards wrapped a rope around their necks and began to drag them along the rough stone path up into the hills. The journey up into the hinterland took a little over fifteen minutes; then the path started to flatten out. Another five minutes of arduous trekking brought them to their destination.

Four stone built dwellings stood in a rough square around a circular white-washed stone well.
Chickens and goats ran unattended in the area. As the convoy arrived pale mutant eyes gazed out upon their visitors.
The monks that had made these hills their home for hundreds of years had seen the black robed nomads many times before during the past months.
Every time they had passed they brought trouble to their peaceful simple lives, stealing a chicken on the way through, breaking pottery when they returned and a sense of foreboding told them today was going to be worse.
At the front of the column, stood a European man, even though he was wearing the robes of a Nomad, they could tell he was a European, from his bulk. Now his arms gesticulated wildly as he began talking to the Arab next to him.
After giving an order, the Arabs pulled their scarves across their faces and began calling to the monks, beckoning them to come from their workshop. Knowing there was no point in disobeying, the monks came out into the early morning sun.
Raymond Mortimer felt their eyes upon him; he wondered if they knew that today their world would change forever.
Now all five wizened old men stood in front of him. Mortimer’s lieutenant, Kanu removed his scarf, revealing a sharp wizened little sunburnt face which was drawn across his prominent cheekbones; his teeth were very white, and he spoke to the monks in a clear simple tongue that was known only to the men of these mountains. Their eyes darted from face to face, as this small black robed man told them not to worry;
“This party will pass through” he said “You will not be harmed; but you should not follow us” The Monks nodded, eager to return to their worship

The party passed through. At the sight of Beth and Bond; one monk returned to the building, and returned with a small jug of water. The Arab holding the rope around Bond’s neck, allowed the old man to raise the jug to his lips, before jerking the rope, Bond fell forward and the jug smashed onto the ground. Within a minute the party had gone; and the monks returned to their work.

The terrain became more difficult; rocks had fallen from the hills festooned the narrow pathway.
The men descended in silence into a split in the rocks.
A small sandy coloured lizard stood at the entrance to the cave; as the men approached it scurried away, leaving the entrance unguarded, yet uninviting to any but the most enthusiastic pot-holler.

Kanu led the men inside, the gap was around thirty feet across; the height rapidly reduced from twenty feet to little more than ten. Rocks the size of footballs lay in a rag tag of heaps on the cave floor.
There was a right dogleg at forty yards, after this the floor dropped away; the rocks here were sharp and rough caused by rapid heat and cooling of the rock, rather than erosion with water, as is found in many European caves.
As the light faded, the floor dropped again. Mortimer sat on the edge and eased himself down the three foot drop; the Arabs jumped down, then waited for Beth to be man handled over the edge. Bond was held at the edge; his guardians kept a professional distance. Bond watched as they went through a split in the wall.
Beth felt the walls close in as she was forced down a narrow passage which led them all into a cavern of approximately forty feet square, and twenty feet high. In the centre of the cavern the floor gradually shelved toward a pit ten feet in diameter, although the edges were anything but circular. The cavern was lit with halogen lights.

Over the hole to the full height of the cavern was a steel structure, which looked like a frame for a pyramid, at the apex stood a wheel, and hanging in the centre was a small wicker basket. Raymond Mortimer caught hold of Beth’s arm and pulled her toward the pit. At the edge he kicked stones over into the void.
“This is where everything changes”

Beth looked at him, his skin glistening from the exertion.

“Raymond, what are you doing here?”

Slowly he turned; her face was streaked with dirt; but she was still beautiful
“I’m changing the World”

Her head shook from side to side
“Why? Our work here is something to be proud of we have changed…”
“…We have changed nothing. This country that has no future; we brought in the foreign companies, hoping to spread some wealth and help the people. All we did was line their pockets”

Beth realized there would be no reasoning with him; this was not the man she respected
“we gave them hope”

Mortimer turned and held her shoulders
“No hope for these people without any oil. When Taxargo found out their was no profit from the gas, they were going to pull out”
“But the plant, cost millions; the investment was authorized by the governments…”

Beth stopped speaking because Raymond Mortimer had begun to laugh
“That’s when they first thought about doing it”
“Doing what?”
“Stealing the oil” his laughter echoed through the cavern. The Arabs around them continued to work
“You can’t steal the oil, its madness”
“I told you back at the Mosque; the rock strata here is very delicate; the French have known about it for fifty years; but it took the Americans and their greed for oil to make them see how to work it to their advantage”
Kanu approached them “Its time boss”

Mortimer shook the cobwebs from his brain
“Yes, of course; get Bond; and take her back to the village”
The two guards arrived at the edge, Bond in between them. Kanu took out a large knife from his dust stained black robe. With deliberation he tossed it into the basket.

He looked at Bond “Get in”

The smirk spread across his face; sweat had broken up the dried blood; giving him a camouflaged look.
Kanu, understood what Bond was intending to do; he barked an instruction to the men with Beth; and her scream of pain was shrill in the enclosed cavern. “Get in or we will hurt the girl”
Bond got into the small wicker basket, the Arabs hoisted him over the hole and began to play out the rope; as Bond descended into the darkness of the pit he heard Beth scream again; it was a low pitiful sound followed by a harsh mirthless laugh from her Arab captors
Bond shouted “Mortimer, are you going to stand by and allow them to kill Beth”
Mortimer watched the basket descend into the pit “You shouldn’t allow emotion to be an influence; this is business”
In the darkness the basket reached the bottom of the shaft. Immediately Bond bent down to find the knife; he began to cut through the ropes that bound him; suddenly the shaft lit up.

Bond looked about for danger but he was quite alone.
“I can’t hear you Mr. Bond” Mortimer’s voice had an echo to it, as one does at a swimming pool.
“I’m not saying anything Mr. Mortimer” Bond did a quick reconnoiter of the area; three passages spread out from the main area supporting the basket. The first was a dead end, after just six or seven feet. The second was much narrower, Bond had to stoop to enter it; then crawl on his hands and knees. He heard Mortimer’s voice talking, the words floated down, dreamlike; Bond backed out of the tunnel.
“You should be thanking me Mr. Bond. Manic wanted to kill you and dump your body in the sewer; I am going to make you famous”
“That’s nice to know”

More lights went on; like those on a landing strip; revealing a passable route down the third tunnel;
Bond explored
“Your destiny awaits you Mr. Bond; at the end of that little passageway you can see your destiny”
“It looks like a bilge pump”

“You’re right. It’s a transformer, all you have to do is switch it on, and fuel will then be fired down the hoses.
There are about a hundred of them, some more than a mile long. Once the fuel reaches the gas infused with liquid oxygen…”

Bond cut him off “…Wouldn’t that be dangerous if you dropped a match the whole field would ignite?”
“Yes, you’re right; but think about Beth; if you do as you’re told she is going to get a great view; she will be above ground, and will be a real eye witness to the earthquakes”

“One thing bothers me Mortimer; if Manic got his way and killed me; who would you put down here to do the job?”

“I would have done it Mr. Bond; I fully understand the importance of this action”

“Any time you want to change places just let me know”

“You’re fate, like mine is sealed Mr. Bond we will remain underground; actually under the Haadikn hills. In the gateway to our greatness”

“I want your assurance Beth will be well away from this”


“And unharmed”

“You have my guarantee” He looked at his hand in mock concern, and uncrossed his fingers
“OK when do we do this?”
“Good man” Mortimer turned to the guards, and indicated they should leave. The Arabs took Beth away
“James help” Beth’s cry was cut off
Bond shouted back “Trust me; I’ll get us out of this”
Mortimer giggled as the Arabs left; suddenly they were alone
“We probably have about forty five minutes; would you like to chat”
“No, perhaps you’d like to go to hell”
Mortimer laughed
“For those with secrets. We’re already here”

#10 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:49 PM

Chapter Eight

This is business.

The stale air made the going tough, so Bond used the time to examine the transformer.
There were signs of work on the rock around the bolted down stainless steel device.
He could well imagine; the amount of time spent down here, threading length after length of tube down through the cracks in the bedrock. “The fuel” he said to himself, Mortimer had said the device would send fuel into the gas field.
Without oxygen or pressure, the fuel would not ignite. Bond studied the mechanism. It was probable that the tubing contained an electrical wire; the tool was simply a transformer; which would send an electrical impulse down the tube.
All he needed to do was pull it out.
It wasn’t the best light to work with, but it was all he had. Bond used the tip of the knife to unscrew the main plate on the transformer.
Time ticked away.

Bond shouted up “This work must have taken months; how did you do it?” hoping to distract the man whilst he worked
“I control, who comes to work in Yemen. I hired a number of road construction workers from South America; they used this process before” Mortimer, continued speaking, but the words were lost on Bond.
The main panel was now exposed. Bond had hoped there would be a jumble of wires branching off to a number of tubes; but the technology was way ahead of that.
A circuit board was pressed against a thin metal holder. Bond thought ‘this is what a woman must see when she opens the bonnet of her car’ Bond dismissed the idea. He began to prise the board away from the holder.
Suddenly Mortimer’s voice was urgent “I asked what your opinion is?”

Bond had no idea what had been said so he replied “When you’re going through hell, keep going”
Mortimer chuckled “Very apt Mr. Bond”

Disarming the transformer seemed to be out of the question, so how about switching off the power; Bond scanned the transformer, looking for the power source. No deal; it must be self generating.
‘The lights’ Bond knelt next to the line of lights that illuminated the passage way; each one was hammered into the rock. Back at the pit entrance Bond had better luck, the lights were connected by a thin cord; a ‘u’ nail kept the cord in place, but it was lose against the rough stone wall.

Bond began to pull the cable away; first one nail came out, then another.
When he had a good twelve foot of cable exposed he put the knife against the wire, and using a rock the size of a tennis ball, hammered it against the back of the blade. The lights went out; it wasn’t complete darkness, because the strip lights still burned in the passage way; but it was dark enough to provide cover; Bond eased the cable out and then placing the knife against the wall, struck it again; now he had a knife and a twelve foot length of cord; now he could revert to plan B. When asked to switch the transformer on, he would refuse, and wait for Mortimer to come down into the pit.
The weapons now gave him the opportunity to kill him; and use the escape route, created by Mortimer’s decent.

“What have you done Bond?”

“Is that stress in your voice Mortimer. Months of planning; millions of dollars in investment; one fuse blows and you go over the edge. No wonder Khalid Wazir agreed to let you commit suicide to further his career; he found a real sucker in you. You found the method to make him President. You found this crack in the earth; but its you that’s going to die down here, buried by a thousand tons of rock”

Mortimer peered down into the semi darkness “That wannabe terrorist couldn’t find his own [censored] with a sniffer dog”

“So who’s the real money behind this business venture?”

“Nice try Bond; but you don’t need to know where the money is coming from; all you need to know is that from today, the Saudi’s will have nothing; all the oil will flow from the gas fields of Yemen; through the terminal at Balhaf”
Mortimer was standing on the edge of the pit, his foot dislodged more little stones which tumbled in a cascade of dust down into the pit; making a musical pitter patter sound, like rain on a window pane.

Bond gauged where Mortimer was standing, he needed him to move more to the left
“I’m not going to turn it on; you’ll have to come down here and do it yourself”
Mortimer laughed “Did you really think I trusted you to switch it on for me? I don’t trust you as far as I could throw you” the stones cascaded down, at just the right spot; Bond wanted to hold him in that position

“Trust between true friends is like a mirror; you can’t fix it once its broken” Bond shouted

The stones stopped falling; Mortimer was taken off guard “Well we never really got to know each other that well did we?

“But you can still see who’s responsible”

The nervous chuckle echoed through the cavern

“Nice try Bond, but I have anticipated your every thought”

Mortimer switched on a flashlight; it illuminated him against the dark background, from Bond’s position in the first tunnel, he could make out most of his profile, Bond drew back his arm; but it was what he was holding in his other hand that halted Bond’s throw.
“I can switch the transformer on from here” He began to laugh again, using the humour to hide his fear
“There’s nothing you can do that can stop me”

Bond saw the flex in the knee, the slight raise of the arm; instinctively Bond knew Mortimer was about to press the detonator.
The rock caught him on the chin; Bond’s aim had been spot on, Mortimer staggered back, but over compensated his balance and toppled into the pit. His scream was high and shrill, cut off in an instant as he landed, in a heap

The plan had not gone exactly as Bond wanted it, now both of them were at the bottom of the pit with no way of escape. From behind him the transformer started to whir into life; Bond looked at Mortimer’s hand, it still held the detonator and the fall and triggered it.

Bond swore, he kicked the detonator from Mortimer’s hand; then sprinted to the transformer.
From inside the machine the motor was rotating; pressure was building up.
The panel that Bond had levered off was now beginning to light up. He held it in his hands.
The brightness of the LED made it simple to read. Five lights. The one on the left and the legend ‘Fan’ the one on the right had the legend ‘Ignition’.

The first two lights were now glowing; the eerie blue shine became all consuming to Bond who knew that when all five lights were on the electrical impulse would charge down the miles of cables and ignite the oxygen rich gas.
Whether the plan would work, and cause earthquakes to shift the rock and drain the oil from under Arabia; or whether it would just cause a rift along the fault line didn’t really matter, it would be the most powerful explosion the World had ever seen; it would be the end of Western society, and force the emergence of the third World countries as a superpower.

The third light lit up. Bond dropped the panel and attacked the circuit board. He jammed the knife into the gap, and prised the board out. The sound was deafening, the high pitch whir of the motor rose in pitch, like a helicopter taking off. Bond recognised it was reaching critical mass.
Whatever he was going to do, it needed to be now; if he got it wrong, no one would ever know.
It was now or never. Bond could severe the wires holding the circuit board to the body, or jam the knife into the whirling blades that moved in a blur in front of his eyes.
One of the other. Life or death.
Which ever it was going to be it had to be now.

The fourth light lit up. Time had run out.
Bond held the circuit board in his hand and slashed downward with the knife.
A shower of sparks emitted from the transformer; but there was no change in the motor pitch.
Bond swore again and stabbed the knife into the spinning blade of the motor. A flash of light preceded a loud bang; Bond was thrown backward as the electrical charge coursed through his body.


Three Arabs entered the first dwelling and fired their AN74’s into the ceiling bringing mud, plaster and rock chips down on the monks that cowered in the corner; as the terrified old men rushed out the black robed Nomads kicked at them. Outside Kanu held one end of the rope which tethered Beth to him; as the monks filed past he drew and fired his Browning 9mm and the first man fell to the floor, the second monk, bowed his head and ran past his fallen brother.
The Arabs were laughing and firing indiscriminately into the buildings.
After they had cleared all four buildings Kanu addressed the monks
“Leave now; take your dead brother and don’t come back” he sneered.
After a moment of uncertainty the monks began to file out of the courtyard; as they left their home, the black robed nomads began laughing and firing their guns again.

Kanu pointed to a black shaggy goat and instructed one of his men to slaughter it “Tonight we will dine, on everything a man could ask for” his gaze turned from the animal to Beth, he ran his tongue over his lips as he appraised her body which was now tied to a rail in the courtyard
“Everything a man could ask for”
The Arab captured the goat and tied it next to Beth; he looked longingly at both of them, rubbing his belly with his hand


Bond became aware of a low moaning. Dust filled the air in the narrow passage; the strip lights had faded, but still gave off enough light to allow Bond to crawl back in the right direction.
As he moved forward the moaning got louder; the bulk of Mortimer remained unmoved in the centre of the pit, the sound emitted from him.
Bond ignored him.
Bond made it back to his feet. He checked the walls of the pit, and tried a few hand holds; even as expert a climber as he was he soon understood there was no way to scale this surface. Bond began to search Mortimer; every probe and prod resulted in another wail of pain from the semi conscious form.

“Help me, you’ve got to help me” He whimpered, his mouth drawn tight over his teeth, blood seeped over his lips.

“’Fraid I’ve got more pressing matters to attend to” Bond took Mortimer’s mobile from his hip pocket, it was smashed, but the SIM card would still be usable at a later time.

“You bastard, you’re going to leave me to die” he began to cry; his body racked as the sobbing began

“You shouldn’t allow emotion to be an influence; this is business” Bond smiled at him

Bond took the torch, and began to make his way along tunnel two; back in the pit, the pathetic whimpering from Mortimer grew weaker.
Within a few yards Bond was forced to wriggle on his stomach through a tight gap.
The tunnel soon turned into a split, and Bond was forced to brace his arms against the narrow sides, as the centre of the floor dropped away.
There was no room to turn around, and Bond knew he could never back up the passage; there was only one way.

Bond crawled on in the semi darkness; the torch, he noted with dismay had already lost its brilliance.
The split and depth of the drop in the tunnel floor expanded. Bond shone the torch, and estimated he could see twenty feet; he turned off the beam, and the darkness was complete.
It was a technique he had experienced before; Bond counted his footsteps; he made it to eighteen, before flicking on the torch again. The proximity of the walls was the same; only now the right hand wall had a ledge of about three inches, the drop was now about three feet, angling down to a very narrow split.

Beyond twenty feet he could see nothing. Bond turned off the torch, and was plunged into utter darkness.
The sound of his ragged breath mixed with the scrape of the torch against the smooth wall of the split, Bond put his right foot forward feeling for the ledge; then leaning his weight against the right wall; he threw his left foot forward bracing it against the left face of the split.
He counted to eighteen, then willed himself to take another step; his right foot felt for the ledge, he forced his body forward, leaning against the cold rock, then he threw his left foot forward, seeking the momentum to take him back into balance, in the second before his foot should have felt the steep rock angle he knew something was wrong, but it was too late, he was already in motion, the moment after his foot continued to travel, Bond extended his left arm, in an attempt to regain his balance, but there was no wall to brace against, he felt himself slipping, he wind-milled his arm backward, searching for the rock face, his wrist collided with the solid form, pain shot through his arm, but the fall continued,

Bond twisted in the air and tried to brace his back against the opposite wall, his right foot slipped, his body doubled at the waist and wedged itself in the split, his right foot scraped down the wall and lodged in the crack; his right hand snaked back along the rock face, fingers seeking a grip, at the very end of his extension, his fingers grasped a shallow finger hold.
Bond breathed again; he flicked on the torch.

No wall, no split, nothing, he shone the torch down into the abyss.

Nothing. That meant it was over a twenty foot drop, with nothing in front for another twenty feet; he shone the torch upward, and picked out a huge chunk of rock.
Click, the darkness kicked in again, this time the knowledge of the abyss only inches away brought with it a feeling of total isolation, inch by inch he backed along the split. Holding both sides he dropped down the crack; then as his body began to lay flat, then he crawled forward until wedged into the fissure.
Bond shone the torch down into the gap; he strained to see into the murk at the very end of the range of the beam.
He made out a ledge, maybe two feet deep, no more than six feet down, but at least six feet over the void.
Above the ledge was a hole, Bond brought the torch up, tracing the wall of the hole, it opened out into nothing.

Bond knew there was no way back, he knew he would have to make the jump, and he knew he would have to make it in complete darkness. Was the hole a continuation of the split? He could not tell until he was there.

“Oh well, nothing ventured…” His voice was loud in the darkness.
He got up and braced himself at the edge of the abyss.
The jump would need to take him six feet out, and a drop of six feet, before hitting a two foot square piece of stone. Bond relaxed his breathing.


Kanu knew something had gone wrong; he was expecting to feel the earth moving, and the rocks clashing around him, but nothing had happened. The sun was advancing high into the sky; it occupied a position that should have witnessed an earthquake; but not even the goats were reacting to any ground vibrations.
His men had all been paid, but money was worthless out in the desert.
He decided to bring forward the celebrations and then they would melt back into the desert and forget the dream of power and riches. He looked over at Beth; she was still tied to wooden rail along with the goat.
He called to two of his men
“Bring her to me” and with that he turned and entered the building which was the old monk’s sleeping quarters.


Bond memorised the jump, and visualised his trajectory, then he turned off the torch; stuffed it down the back of his trousers.

In the total darkness Bond leapt out into the void, one second two seconds three, impact, his feet, hit the ledge, Bond put out his hands and bent his legs, his hands felt for the rock face, his arm brushed the side wall, the momentum stopped with Bond on his hands and knees, he fell forward.
Clinging to the rock. He pulled the torch out, and switched it on; the beam was fading fast, but he was able to see the hole was a good sized tunnel stretching straight, and pretty much level.
Bond began crawling through hole. He continued like this for at least four minutes, using the torch to flash every thirty seconds or so. Bond stopped, and flipped over onto his back in order to rest his palms, and knees.

During the recuperation, he became aware it was getting colder. Bond sniffed the air; was he imagining it or did the air seem fresher.
Bond flipped over and began crawling again. Another minute passed by; and then he heard the noise.

James Bond came out of the tunnel, the air was fresh and cool, the sound of flowing water was music to his ears, he flicked on the torch, a pool of water filled a cave about sixteen feet square, the roof of the cave was pitted and high, but there was no way out.
Bond went to the pool, the water was moving.

The water was flowing slowly through the gap. Without hesitation Bond slipped into the icy cold water, submerged and felt the flow on his body, below the surface it was flowing faster, he swam to the far side of the pool, took a deep breath and dived to the bed, he felt for the rock face and then felt the rush of water as it flowed through a crack in the rock.
Bond surfaced; he shone the torch one last time, making sure there was no other way.
He had no idea how far the tunnel extended, or whether it constricted; this was going to be a last throw of the dice, one in the pipeline, he was committed.
Bond took three deep breaths and dived for the tunnel; at its entrance he pushed his arms forward to give some feeble attempt at protection; then with a quick flick of his legs he entered the tunnel.
The water rushed past him, then he was carried along with the flow of the water, the cold assaulted his body.
His chest collided with a rock, which he squeezed over; the water took him again, pushing him forward.
How long had he been under; thirty seconds. His hand brushed past anther rock, his body flexed to pass it; the flow was strong and carried him along, the pressure was immense on his ears, but the cold was numbing his senses cutting out the pain; another minute passed. His lungs were empty, and the pain began to become a problem, still there was no sign of an end to the tunnel of water; his back toughed the roof, it was getting narrower, his chest scrapped along the floor, the pressure was pushing him faster, the rock above him shredded his shirt, the sting of blood shocked his body, his chin collided with another rock, it rubbed down his body, as he scrapped over it; the pain in his lungs grew.
He knew it was only a matter of seconds until his mind instructed him to take a breath.
His hands clawed at the rocks on either side of the tunnel, pulling his battered body through.

His throat convulsed, his mouth opened and the icy water entered. Bond knew he was drowning.
His hands clawed at the rocks, then he was swimming, the water was clearer; clearer, light, Bond could see, his arms reached up to force himself toward the surface, his mouth opened and he took in another mouthful of water, this time it went down his throat, and into his lungs, he began to gag, his legs kicked and his arms pumped, the oxygen had gone.

He closed his eyes, and forced his body to obey; one more kick. One more push of the arms, one feeble grasp at water, one more inch to the surface.
His hand broke clear, his head broke the surface, and he breathed in the air; as it mingled with the water in his lungs he gagged and vomited the water out.

He sank beneath the surface; his muscles cried out in pain, but he kicked, kicked for his life.
He broke surface again; in a weary dog paddle he began to swim; he could see, there was light.
Bond took a moment to get his bearings; he saw the edge of the pool, and he swam for it.
Three feeble strokes later, the bank was just as far away as when he started; his legs were so cold they refused to move, and the fuzziness of a feint came over him; again he commanded his body to work, the arms opened and the water flowed past him; another stroke, and then another; Bond reached out and touched the bank, he gripped the rock with his numb fingers; the breath started to come back, and adjusted his grip; he shook his head and drew himself closer to the rock, his foot touched the floor; with dogged determination he began to climb out of the water; there was precious little room; but it was enough.

James Bond took long deep breaths, slowly the circulation came back to his body; he started to perform some cardiovascular upper body exercises. Bond sighed, he was alive.

He took stock of his position. The cave was quite circular, the ceiling six feet above his head; the light was coming down a circular shaft, about forty feet high. No doubt, he was in a well; it had to be the one he’d seen at the small monastery they had passed through that morning. Bond began to climb.
Hand over hand, Bond climbed the wall; a small lizard darted out of a crack, Bond hesitated for only a second, then thrust his hand into the finger hold; he raised his leg and found another hold and pushed himself up.
Ten feet, the movement was easy, and with a well practiced style Bond hoisted himself higher.

At twenty feet, he paused, the sound of revelry drifted down the shaft. His memory of the monks, led him to believe they were not at home. A gunshot was a prelude to another bout of shouting and laughing.
With caution Bond climbed again; the heat of the sun now penetrated the shaft.
Bond was about five feet below the lip of the well when he heard the scream; it was definitely female, and probably Beth.

Bond searched for another hand hold. Two more gunshots rang out, Bond lifted himself again, now was the most dangerous part of the climb, Bond leant back trying to see over the lip.
With one final effort Bond pulled himself over the lip, the sunlight was strong; he threw his leg over the rim, and tumbled out on the hard baked gravel ground.

The Arab on guard could not believe what he’d just seen; from nowhere a man had appeared on the ground next to the well; the Nomad un-slung his AN 47 and advanced on Bond’s position; had he been thinking clearer, maybe he would have shouted for assistance, but he didn’t the shock kept him quiet.
His gun was now pointing directly at Bond; his body blocked out the sun, so that Bond could only see the Arab in silhouette; slowly the man leant his head from one side to another, the way a dog does when confused at a command.
He looked at the rim of the well, and then as he realised the only solution possible, began to aim his gun.
Suddenly more shadows obliterated the sun; and the Arab made a sharp intake of breath, his body slid to its knees; the next movement happened in a blur, and the Arab’s body pitched headlong down into the well.

A man appeared at Bond’s side “Thought you might want some assistance”


The SAS man helped Bond to his feet, and quickly they covered the ground to the nearest building.
Once inside, Harry offered Bond some water
“Thanks” His eyes held the questions his mouth could not deliver, so Harry offered the explanation as Bond drank

“Boyce had his doubts about Mortimer. When we discovered he’d left the hotel; we put a trace on his mobile”

Harry broke a vile of smelling salts under Bond’s nose; and he breathed in the fumes.
With his head clearing he sensed movement and observed Tom and Dick maintaining cover at the windows of the building.
They were kitted out in desert camouflage fatigues
“You look more comfortable in that gear than you did on the golf course”

Dick gave him a curt nod “Can’t say the same for you”

Tom added “He don’t smell to good either”

Bond stood “You don’t happen to have a spare gun do you?”

“Not the Glock” Harry opened a pouch in his jacket, producing a .38 calibre Marakov
“Apparently there’s over 60 million here in Yemen; this one’s untraceable”

A cheer went up in the building opposite, followed by another scream from Beth. Bond went to the door
“Sounds like the neighbours are having a party”

Harry continued “We’d just arrived, heard the commotion; thought we were going mad when that signal was coming from the centre of the square”

Bond smiled “Glad you didn’t shoot first”

Harry stood at the opposite side of the door “As if we would. Now let’s go and get your girl”

The chickens scattered as the four men pounded over the square; Harry took command, indicating that he and Bond would go left; Tom and Dick would go right. They hit the walls of the building. The front wall had two window openings and a wooden door; the side where Bond and Harry were stationed was devoid of an opening, but half the length was angled down in a set of stone steps leading to a lower level with an old wooden door.

Time ticked by in slow motion. The team steeled themselves for the attack; the first phase of the attack would be defined and critical; surprise, followed by the most dangerous part, when the enemy knew they were under attack; this action would need to be quick and decisive.
Tom used a tiny mirror on the end of a telescopic stick to look over the window sill, the black robed Arabs were sitting around a small fire; they were wielding thin canes, swishing and slashing at the girl; to avoid the blows she was having to jump over the fire. Tom watched as the flames caught her dress, and she had to hit the flame with her hand to put it out, as she did so, an Arab slashed at her with the cane, Beth cried out.

Bond edged forward, his finger tensed on the trigger, any second now.
Dick and Harry fixed their explosive strips to the wall, in large arch shapes, on the front and side walls.
All was ready.

Tom had deployed the stun grenade through the open window; it went off in the building with the expected loud shattering crash. Harry and Dick detonated the explosives and immediately crashed into the building, rolling on the floor, taking out the Arabs closest to them. Inside the building the first reaction of the men was to look in the direction of the explosion; the grenade had made them disorientated, but as the effects dissipated they began to focus on the area where the firing was coming from.
The dust was thick in the room; the firing was sporadic, there was a hostage in the room, so blanket firing was not recommended.
The Arabs went for their guns, but were shot as they moved.

Kanu was shielded from the grenade by Beth. The explosion forced her into his arms; he took up the rope attached to her neck and dragged her to the old stone staircase; they half jumped half fell down the stairs, above them the screams of the men were harsh and punctuated the shots which sounded deadly.

A black robed Nomad rushed out of the building; Tom identified him as hostile and fired twice dropping him.
Inside another four shots rang out in quick succession. He waited, focused on the door ready to kill anything with a beard that came through it.
A Shot rang out smacking into the wall by his head.
“Take cover, sniper” He hurled himself onto the ground and wiggled himself into the cover of the well; his aim still remained on the door, and the gash in the wall caused by the explosion.

Bond took in the event; it suddenly seemed sensible that they would have placed a sentry at some distance form the village. It was in that moment that the door below him moved.

From inside the building Harry shouted “Room clear” the cry was echoed by Dick
“Room clear, hostile downstairs” Dick, took the stairs two at a time, and scanned the room with his Uzi from the crouched position.
The room looked like a stable, with half height wooden partitions, forming little cells.
Dick looked into the first space; in the corner piled in a small heap were skulls, about thirty of them; sudden movement caught his eye; thrust in front of him Beth stood naked, she stooped slightly covering herself; then the rope around her neck went taught and she was dragged back toward the wooden stall.

Kanu stood and fired, the shots caught Dick high in the chest and on his shoulder; he pitched forward. Kanu grabbed Beth and dragged her to the door.

Outside, Bond had descended the steps; he now waited Marakov in hand.
The door slowly began to open, Bond aimed. Beth suddenly came into view, her hair covering her face, her body very white against the dirty grey stone of the building. Kanu stood behind her, his pistol at her head; his black robe, open to the waist.
Harry jumped down the last of the steps and charged to the doorway “Drop it” he shouted.
Kanu looked back into the room, and Bond shot him through the temple, as his body slumped back, Harry put two more bullets into him.
Beth felt the rope go slack; she swept the hair from her face and dived into Bond’s arms.
Harry, came through the doorway, and observed the girl’s naked back and buttocks, taut from her position on her toes as she draped her arms around Bond’s neck

“Oops, you don’t waste much time do you”

“Animal magnetism” Bond replied

Beth half turned, and scolded Harry “Do you mind?”

“No” he replied

Beth turned back to Bond, the words of frustration, embarrassment and relief would not come out so she just grunted, shaking her fists “Will you please get me some clothes”

Bond looked down at her vulnerability “Eventually”

Another shot cracked out from above; Harry brushed past them
“I better go and get the sniper; otherwise that will be wrong” Carefully he went up the stone steps.

Bond and Beth went back into the room. Dick had made it to a sitting position; he was applying a field dressing to his wound whilst retrieving a medi-pack with his other hand.
Beth stood in front of him “Can I do anything?”
Dick looked up at the naked beauty in front of him “Not right now love, I’m a bit busy”

Beth shouted “Ooh” and stomped off up to retrieve her clothes

“You just can’t please some people can you”

Gunfire sounded from afar. Within seconds Tom appeared at the door “Boss got the sniper. I’ll get us a taxi” he produced the radio set and made a call.

Beth returned with her dress strategically wrapped around her body, with the protection of clothes her confidence returned “See if they’ll deliver Pizza, I’m starving”

Tom replied “I’m on tacsat” holding up his radio

Beth looked blank

Bond added “Tactical satellite communications; they use low orbiting communications satellites to relay radio signals between operators”

Dick took up the conversation “Gives us the ability to communicate in remote areas out of reach of normal terrestrial transmitters”

Beth replied “Oh, I see” totally bemused

Tom, shut down the communication “Chopper will be here in ten minutes. No pizza I’m afraid” he smiled.

Dick looked up, his face full of inspiration “Hey, there’s a dead goat upstairs, I can do you a kebab”


Manic and Sahra sat relaxing in the hot tub. The music playing was to neither of their taste but the soothing melody eased away the tensions. Dressed in only a white towelling robe, Wazir sat on the side and offered them a glass of champagne; on the table in the centre of the room sat a lap top; the latest communication was as expected
“The men have left the plant, as was the plan; and the Americans are checking to see if they left any presents”

Manic took the ice cold glass “You should have let me set some explosives; they would have appreciated it”

Wazir shook his head “They have no idea just how crucial it is to have the terminal in good working order”

The e-mail sound resonated in the room. Wazir sauntered over to the lap top and opened the email. The report told Wazir that the gas field had not exploded. The rage built up inside him.
“Something has gone wrong; the field has not exploded”

Manic stood up and climbed out of the tub, the water flowing off his body
“I knew we should not have left it to Mortimer; what does Kanu say has happened”

Wazir turned on him screaming “They say Kanu is dead. Get out there Manic. Find out what happened and sort it. Do I make myself clear?”

Manic nodded. Sahra climbed out of the tub, her body glistened as if covered in oil.
The phone rang Wazir answered it, his face began to distort. Manic wrapped a towel around his waist
The fight seemed go from Wazir; it seemed to just drift from his body
“Wait, I know what happened”

“Well?” Manic gripped the back of the chair

“Bond” he spat the word from his mouth; turning he marched over to Sahra and slapped her hard across the face she fell to the floor; her tribal comb slipping from her hair.
Manic totally ignored the scene, and retrieved his mobile
“Get me transport” turning to Wazir he said “I’m going to kill him”
Looking back at Sahra he pointed toward her clothing
“Get dressed I want you with me”

“Wait” Wazir related the conversation
“A British Special forces helicopter has just requested to fly through Yemeni air space. Bond is coming to us. He’s going to Balhaf”

As Manic pulled his shirt on he asked
“Are you coming with us. I’ll give you a piece of him for a trophy”

Wazir’s mouth was tight shut, the bristles of his beard stood out, he shook his head violently
“I cannot leave Africa” His arms rose then fell to his sides
“I am trapped here; but soon I will be President” the revelation calmed him

Manic asked a question which threatened to set Wazir off again
“Are you sure the money will still be available; now that we don’t have the oil?”

Still sitting on the floor, gently massaging her face, Sahra winced and covered her naked body as Wazir walked past her heading for his mobile

“I don't know; I’ll have to ask Chelan”

#11 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:42 PM

Chapter Nine

Their Eyes Are Green

The three SAS soldiers accompanied Beth and Bond to Balhaf; where Bond was to meet Leiter at the plant;
the Americans had set up an elaborate communications system in one of the many upper level meeting rooms,
Employees of Entyre worked shoulder to shoulder with Taxargo staff; whilst CIA agents mingled with US Naval intelligence officers in the busy environment, all seemed to be moving with purposeful intent. Leiter called to Bond,
beckoning him over

“They left it in very good condition”
Bond joined him at the full length windows, carrying two bottles of mineral water
“Only to be expected, Wazir planned for this to be the World’s biggest Oil terminal”
Leiter took the proffered bottle and held up the report
“How long do you think that little arms dealer was planning to become President?”

Bond weighed up the question “Certainly as long as Mortimer was doing the recruitment here”
Leiter shook his head “That’s right, and there lays the problem. Neither man would have had any influence at the construction stage. The planning of this venture goes back to the drawing board to build this place with enough capacity to distribute 80% of the World’s oil”

“Or back to the board room. You suspect Chelan”

“I have a personal reason to want to bring him down, but yes I suspect him. Do you?”

“Yes I do”

Leiter nodded his approval; he seemed on the brink of revealing something, Bond was eager to exploit it.
“You checked the tanker?”

“All the evidence points toward Chelan; Felix”

Leiter was suddenly resolute
“He’s the CEO of the most powerful Oil corporation in America. I wonder how far I will be allowed to go. I’m worried that Chelan and the Whitehouse will concoct a story to justify what’s happened here. The Agency may have to back off”

“You seem to have his CV, what’s the real story Felix”
Leiter opened the patio window and strode across the patio, Bond followed him, putting his sunglasses on; the heat reflected up from the paving slabs. Standing by the steel rail he explained
“My rivalry with Chelan goes way back”
“Did he used to bully you at school?” Bond lent against he rail
Leiter let a thin smile play across his lips
“Harvard educated, trained as a lawyer”
“Yes he looks the type; so what did he do?”

Leiter turned and lent over the rail, looking out across the gulf
“Check out the history books. Following the Cold War, Russia cut military spending, the military and industrial sector had previously employed one of every five Soviet adults; suddenly millions became unemployed. Russia embarked on capitalist economic reforms from 1992, but it still suffered a financial crisis more severe than the US had experienced during the Great Depression. Chelan was CIA section head in Moscow, so he knew his way around the system; he sensed the time was right for a change in career, resigned from the agency and started an Import / Export business. He began buying up all the construction equipment he could get his hands on; the people were desperate. Russian living standards worsened, but when the economy resumed growth early 1999; Chelan made a fortune”

“So why didn’t he just retire?” Bond asked, trying to get Leiter to open up on the cause of the rivalry
“His is a legacy of the Cold War that continues to influence world affairs. After the dissolution, the post-Cold War world widely considered the United States as the sole remaining superpower. The US held military alliances with 50 countries, and had 1.5 million troops posted abroad in 117 countries. The Cold War also institutionalized a global commitment to huge, permanent peacetime industrial complexes; a lot involving the search for and extraction of natural resources. The legacy of Cold War conflict is not easily erased, as many of the economic and social tensions that were exploited to fuel Cold War competition in parts of the Third World remain acute. The breakdown of state control in a number of areas formerly ruled by Communist governments produced new civil and ethnic conflicts, especially with the knowledge that there was oil under their feet”

“Go on Felix; this sounds like Chelan has some support” Bond could see his friend was struggling to keep the hatred out of his voice

“Wherever Chelan went; US business followed; he and the companies that profited seemed to lead a charmed life. Chelan and I were on opposite sides of the negotiating table in Nicaragua. He influenced, or should I say bribed the local government officials and won drilling rights; and over five hundred people lost their homes”
Leiter paused to take a sip from his bottle
“There was a protest; on the day the bulldozers moved in, families barricaded themselves in the local church. Chelan gave the order to level it” he scratched at his beard, and heaved a weary sigh “There was a trial of course, but more money changed hands…”

“…I followed his progress with Taxargo; followed his conquests in South America. The headlines mirrored those of when he was active within the CIA. Missing evidence mysterious deaths; etc. It’s always been obvious to me that the likeable Bill Day, was just the figurehead, and that Chelan was the power behind the thrown; whenever there is dirty work, Chelan likes to get his hands dirty”
“A businessman needs to be ruthless”
“He has a lot of blood on his hands, and he has some very powerful friends. A lot of what he has done he’s done it with their blessing”

“If he is behind this, then he’s guilty of inciting war. If this plan had come off; what percentage of oil would have been within the Taxargo Control?”
“If you dismiss, what’s currently up for grabs under the North Pole; then I’d say 80%”
“Well Felix; I think we need to speak to Mr. Chelan”

“I agree James; and I think we need to do it before he gets back to the States and starts spinning his alibi. I’d like to see him incarcerated before he can do anymore damage; he’s guilty of multiple homicide”
“Yes, but we need to be careful not to alert his allies”
“He wears a cross, around his neck. It’s made from three bullets” Leiter had a far away look in his eyes
“Is that a fashion tip Felix?” Bond asked

“He has microfilm or something; but I know what it contains is what keeps him at the top of the tree”
“OK let’s find him”
“Well brother you’ll be pleased to know that my friends have been tracking Chelan since he left Ghawar hospital; right now he’s in Aswan”

Leiter’s phone began to ring “It’s Edison, my boss what do I tell him?”
“Tell him to sell his Taxargo stock”
Leiter was about to speak, but the voice cut him off, he listened to the command; then held the phone out to Bond

“It’s for you”
M’s voice was loud and clear “Well done Bond, mission complete, time to return to the UK”

“There’s still a couple of lose ends…”

“Not for you 007. Our political machine in Sana’a is discrediting Wazir’s claim for Presidency. The scandals are ensuring he stays in Africa”

“Then isn’t that where I should be going?”

M laughed, it was a genuine chortle “Wazir’s activities in Africa will have limited effect”

“What about Moalim-Nur?”

“His career is destined to require a military response; your new pal Major Fawkes and his crew will be heading to Haradheere soon enough”


“Yes, that’s right; that’s what they get paid for”
Bond remained calm “Manic is with Wazir; he’s responsible for killing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ben Kelly; along with an undisclosed number of British citizens”

“You mean the alleged execution of the IRA banker. Not our problem 007; the result of the deaths represents no threat to the UK. At a later date we may want to expedite a change of government; but right now there is no government to change, and as I said the propaganda machine is influencing the population”

“I have a lead on Chelan” Bond hoped the revelation would prompt a positive response; but the reply took the wind from Bond’s sails

“Leave Chelan to the CIA; I’m sure Mr. Leiter will enjoy making the arrest. I’m with his superior right now; and have been assured that he can have all the back up he needs”

Without a good argument Bond felt his fight to stay with Felix was lost; however the revelation that Chelan was to be arrested was good news. M seemed to have thought of everything, he continued “Now 007, I have a couple of cases I’d like you to take a look at”
“Ok, I’ll get a flight arranged…”
“No need 007; Moneypenny has made the arrangements; you fly home tonight with Miss Loverseed, so make your way to Aden, there’s a good chap” The sing along Irish brogue was quite discernable.

M handed the phone back to Edison “Happy?”
The CIA section head took it without looking up “Thanks; well handled; we all know your agent can be a bit of a handful; your predecessors struggled to control him”
M didn’t rise to the challenge
“Well he’s my man now; he’ll do as he’s told”

“Good; I’m sure your superiors made you understand that Taxargo is an American company; I need to assure my superiors that the arrest and subsequent investigation will be conducted in private”
“Well you have my assurance, that 007 will not interfere any further” M left the office; the tell tale tightness around the mouth progressing as he walked away.


Built in 1899 on a granite bluff overlooking the Nile, the Old Cataract hotel got its name from the effects of the river colliding with the land. For the last century the illustrious hotel has always attracted an eclectic mix of famous and infamous figures making dining at the gourmet restaurant a once in a lifetime experience. Beside the clientele, the food is reason enough to visit. World class chefs serve exquisite French and international cuisine in an elegant setting.
In a private room annexed from the restaurant; Khalid Wazir and Mr. Manic sat across a well stocked table from LeCoyte Chelan and Jadkarin Moalim-Nur. Vivaldi played in the background, quietly enough to soothe the clientele but not so much as to disrupt any conversation or business transaction

A slight sneer touched Chelan’s mouth, his brow arched, the unblinking gaze of ice-cold eyes stared blankly at Wazir. He dabbed a crisp white linen napkin at the corner of his mouth
“My dear friends, without the oil flowing through Yemen I have no reason to support a war in Africa”
Wazir rounded on him like a wounded animal
“We have the troops, and we have the arms; I have supported your plan for years; don’t abandon us now. We have made great personal sacrifice”
He gestured toward Manic
Jadkarin Moalim-Nur sat forward his hands rested upon his bulbous stomach, he addressed Chelan
“All we need is the hint of American money and the cooperation of the governments will be ours, and we can threaten South Africa and even Europe. My borders are safe; I must break Africa with my Jihad, and show my teeth to the World”
Chelan rubbed a hand over his face
“Try to remember; we only use the word Jihad to the peasants we are recruiting and the countries we are invading”
Wazir spoke, his tone was harsh, as if complaining
“Ha, you use the word ‘we’ like you mean it. Prove your commitment; My campaign is failing in Yemen; even without the oil I know you want the gas”
Moalim-Nur kept his temper in check “I know you are not committed to the cause; but the Chinese are now paying in Euros; I need some proof that your company; indeed your country is still in support of our cause”
Chelan steeped his fingers “I always intended to keep out of the action, maybe even Taxargo could influence a government or two to repel Mr. Moalim-Nur’s terrorist army; maybe for some cut price resource in exchange for security or arms” suddenly Chelan looked thoughtful
“You do have enough spare guns to sell to the oppressed governments?”
Wazir understood the question; he looked at Manic
“You think I could supply both sides with their arms?”
Manic began to relax “Oui”
Chelan nodded; Wazir’s rough face broke into a smile
Chelan extended his hands toward them “Yes I think so; I need to keep a low profile especially as the CIA and FBI are investigating Taxargo and asking the question why the Balhaf plant was designed to export more tonnes of oil than exist in Yemen”

“Will that be a problem?” Wazir asked

“No no no no no” Chelan rebuked the idea, the very thought was alien to him
“Just make sure that you continue to savour your mission of murder and mayhem.
Let me handle the FBI and the CIA. I have friends in high places. It’s just that I don’t want millions of dollars transferring from the Taxargo bank” as he looked away he thought ‘especially’ when that tanker docks without any oil
Chelan was so erudite in these matters that he held a simmering disdain for the intelligence and inferiority of those around him. He began calculating the impact The Samho Dream would have on the bank balance.

Still predatory yet polite, Chelan asked Moalim-Nur
“When do you begin mobilizing the army?”
Moalim-Nur smiled; quite suddenly he seemed relaxed, his shoulders sagged
“It’s already begun. The last of the ex Russian military vehicles arrived yesterday”
Wazir continued “We have already spoken to an Ethiopian general in Mogadishu; he has pledged his support. With the promise of power, he jumped at the proposition”
Chelan began to draw them in
“The politicians only think of problems like deforestation, and poor infrastructural facilities, the Generals see the future”

Wazir felt at ease “Yes, they speak of their outdated legislation, fragmented administration, lack of participation of stakeholders in the management of the resources, and outdated management plans for efficient resource use”
Chelan began to fill their head’s with visions of power
“Consider Rwanda’s mineral industry. Gold and concentrates of columbite, and tungsten. Why that one small country alone has kept the Women of Europe draped in sapphires for years” He lent forward; “All this will be yours”

Wazir lent forward “Power. Looks like we all want the same things in life”

Chelan’s mobile announced a text; he read it and returned the phone to his pocket “Yes; surprising what you have to do to get it” He made to leave.

Wazir asked “You’re going to the airport tonight?”
Chelan weaved his head from side to side “I have one tiny task to perform” he tapped his pocket, indicating the text message “Then I’ll be on my way home”

Wazir spread his arms wide “Is there anything I can do?”
Chelan looked deep in thought; but the idea was already firmly in his mind “Yes; could I trouble you for the services of Mr. Manic”
Wazir’s eyes narrowed
Chelan smiled and relieved the anxiety
“Only for an hour or so; don’t worry he’ll be back here in time for the morning train”
Wazir; felt the tension firmly on his shoulders “Are you advising me to take the morning train?”
Chelan’s head nodded in confirmation, although he did not utter a word, his manner said everything.

By the time Chelan had left; Wazir no longer worried about the campaign back in Yemen to stop him returning as President; he was concerned only for his life. Using a ‘clean’ mobile phone he booked passage to Cairo.

Moalim-Nur settled into his first class carriage; he no longer worried about the lack of funds; he felt confident the American was good for the support. He knew his place was now leading his army; spreading the wealth and gathering support through Africa. Besides if Chelan didn’t come up with the support there was always the Chinese. With a clunk and shove the train eased out of the station. He had booked the entire carriage; and with ten body guards strategically placed he felt relaxed; sleep soon found him waiting.


Chelan’s three car convoy drove over the Aswan High Dam; his mobile pinged once to announce loss of signal; it was nothing unexpected because Chelan knew this was a no signal area.
As the convoy reached the 4,000 metre mark it began to slow.
One more check point to negotiate; he looked out of the window at the midnight blue of Lake Nasser.
The road was 100 metres high; and beneath him he knew that 11,000 cubic metres of water were passing through the dam every second, generating the power for the country. It is believed that if the Dam were to be destroyed, then the whole of the Nile Valley would be flooded in less than a day. Reason enough for an electronic signal black out zone.
The first car accelerated away beyond the security post. Chelan’s Mercedes drew to a halt.
The driver handed his papers to the soldier. Chelan rested his hands on his thighs. Suddenly his door opened; a Smith & Wesson .38 eased itself into the warm cabin, followed by Felix Leiter.
“Good evening LeCoyte, mind if I join you”

“Please; take a seat Felix”

Chelan could hear a commotion from the car behind; two shots then silence.
His driver had now been removed from his seat, to be replaced by a sandy coloured crew cut head.
The engine purred to life.
The Mercedes executed a three point turn; and began back along the Dam. Chelan looked overly bemused.
Felix began to feel a little smug “Change of plan LeCoyte. This time tomorrow you’ll be in Langley”
“Well I’ve not been there for many years; tell me has the old place changed?”

“Not so you’d notice”

“Are you still working out of that little…”

Leiter cut him off “…This isn’t about me. It’s about retribution for all the blood you have on your hands”
Chelan looked at his hands; then showed them palm out to Leiter
“No blood here; none that you would be able to see”
Leiter kept his feelings under control “There are a lot of bodies out there; and I know where they’re buried”

“You seem overly concerned about all the people that have died. What’s the matter Felix, can’t afford the flowers?”
Both Leiter’s and Chelan’s mobile pinged; the signal was coming through again

Leiter motioned to Chelan phone “Check your accounts; it’s your money that’s frozen”
Chelan took the mobile from his pocket “May I?” Leiter nodded in agreement. Chelan pressed one of the keys on his phone. The Mercedes juddered to a halt. The doors locked and a hiss of gas filled the interior.
Chelan produced a small mask from his other pocket; once in place it just covered his mouth and nose; the gas seeped into the car; Leiter fell forward. Chelan took the gun from his out flung hand and shot the CIA agent that had been driving. Chelan punched another button on his mobile and the door locks released.
He unbuckled his safety belt and stepped out of the car.

Chelan removed the mask “That went well”

Pulling Leiter’s inert body from the car Mr. Manic replied “Like a dream”

Leiter struggled on the ground
“Better kill me now Chelan; cause there isn’t nowhere you’ll be able to hide now”
“Oh I’m not going to kill you” he drew out the words like he was singing them

Felix pressed his hands down onto the road, and tried to get up
“Then we’ll come after you” he said in a whisper.
“But Felix, don’t you realize there is no ‘we’ only you”

“That don’t change a thing I’ll come for you”

“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t”


Bond and Beth arrived at the airport; amidst the hustle and bustle they approached the check in desk; above the noise of the human traffic the public address system announced

“Last call for passenger Fawkes”

At the call of the name Bond looked up instinctively; after a quarter turn Bond saw Harry coming through the crowd.
His face was stern.
“You’re cutting it fine” Bond remarked

“You need to know; bit of a mess at the Dam tonight”

“What happened?”

“The CIA guy Leiter; got himself kidnapped”

“That was careless of him” Bond checked the information board to [censored] the feasibility to get him to Aswan
Fawkes caught his attention “Don’t worry about that; the boys had a whip round, and chartered you a plane” He gave him the tickets “Its just a shame we can’t come with you; but we’d be missed”

“I understand, you’ve done enough already”

“We put a kit bag on board for you; I know you liked my Glock, and we figured we could get away with losing some other stuff as well”

“Thanks Harry, if there’s anything I can do for you in the future?”

“Tom did mention something about aftershave”

“Tell him not to worry I’ve got your address”


From way down in the sub conscience the instinct to survive is strong. Felix Leiter was sure he could hear his name being called. As his five senses returned, touch was the first to register; he felt the oppressive weight on his chest; then came the gut wrenching reaction to the stink that assaulted his sense of smell.
The taste of blood in his mouth added to his need to wretch, and he tried to move to accommodate the bodily function.
As he pushed and eased his body he distinguished the sound that was annoying him.
Flies thousands of them crawling on his skin, buzzing around him. The heat of the sun on his body prepared him for the last sense to kick in; he opened his eyes. The sun was already high in the sky making him squint to squeeze out the powerful rays. But he was not prepared for his surroundings.
Inches from his face, staring back in stark solitude, was the dead eye of the CIA agent that had been driving the Mercedes. Leiter’s memory caught up on the events. The Dam, the car, the gas; and Chelan.
Leiter used all his strength to push the dead man from him; but as the body tumbled, Leiter’s arm followed it; he realized he was handcuffed to the body. Both arms were restrained thus; in a morbid dance routine. Leiter pushed himself up into a kneeling position; he took stock of his surroundings.

He was out in the open, the ground was soft gritty sand, which pricked his knees; tiny needles of pain; he backed away, and became aware he was naked. The sand stuck to his body via the blood spilled from the dead man chained to him.
Nausea filled his body and he vomited into the sand. After the convulsions stopped Leiter looked about his new surroundings. He was on a sand bar, in the middle of water; the water was flowing, it must be a river.
His memory gave him total recall; and he realized he was in the middle of the Nile.
The water gurgled and hissed as it flowed past the sand island; the sun baked sand was hot to the touch, making it painful to move; but moving was difficult, as it meant dragging the blood soaked broken carcass of the dead CIA man.
The flies landed on his body, drinking the sweat, eating the blood. All the sounds of nature mingled into a bizarre orchestration of life; but there was something else.

“Hello Felix” the noise was pronounced; it seemed a long way off, but there was no distortion from shouting. Impossible; Leiter looked about.

“Hello Felix; wakey wakey” It was a real voice; Leiter tried to lift his arm to shield his eyes from the sun.
There in the river; the shape distorted by the heat haze; sat a boat. Leiter screwed his eyes up against the glare. He focused. It was a jet boat. Sitting in the bow, under a large white marquee was LeCyote Chelan.

“Glad you’re with us Felix; I wouldn’t want you to miss the show” His arm extended to the river.

Thousands of tourists have seen and taken photographs of Nile Crocodiles; on land they conform to a shape which is known throughout the world; four short legs; long, powerful tails; a scaly row of scutes running down their back and tail; and powerful jaws. Dark bronze in colour, with black spots on the back and purple on the belly. Their flanks are yellowish green and have dark oblique stripes.

Almost as recognizable are the four humps that consist of the nostrils, and eyes.
These along with the ears are situated on the top of their head, so the rest of the body can remain concealed underwater.
Leiter began to distinguish the four hump shapes in the river. As the humps drifted closer to him, they became shadow and then shape in the shallow water. The first crocodile broke the surface and began to inch its way toward him; then a second, bigger example emerged from the river. Its front feet dug into the soft sand, gripping and pulling its grotesque body out of the water; both beasts were close. Leiter felt a fear clutch at his heart; even in the heat of the Egyptian sun he felt cold. He could see their body shapes and colours as they advanced nightmarishly slowly toward him.
They were close; and with a morbid realization he made a mental note of a new piece of knowledge.
Their eyes are green.

Leiter backed away from the encroaching terror; the sand burned his feet; he began to drag the body attached to him, the weight and awkwardness of the inert form made movement difficult, his muscles cried out.
The splash and suck of water alerted him to a new danger. Normally a crocodile crawls on its belly, but they can also "high walk" with their trunks above ground; a third monster had erupted from the calm river, and at a run it approached from the rear. Capable of surprising bursts of speeds, the monster attacked, Leiter flung himself to the side.

It’s jaws clamped down on the dead arm close to the wrist; Leiter tried to pull his own arm out of the way; but the power exerted stopped him dead. The crocodile twisted its head. With a mouth filled with 68 cone-shaped teeth; and a bite force in excess of 5,000 lb force the arm severed. Leiter’s arm flew upward, propelling the detached hand of the dead man, in a high arc; it landed on the sand in front of the two slow moving beasts.
In a blur of movement they attacked, the first devoured the severed hand and twisted its scaly body; loping back into the water, with a crash of sand and spray. The second crocodile became enraged and lunged forward; its head swiveled, with its jaw opening wide; snapping down onto the dead man’s leg. Like a terrier with a tug toy; it retreated; shaking its head from side to side.

From the safety of his boat Chelan whooped and cheered as the battle unfolded; the Egyptian fisherman sat at the helm of the jet boat, and watched in abject silence.
The Nile crocodile possesses a unique behavior of preying within and outside its natural habitat, which results in unpredicted attacks on almost any other animal. Totally fearless; the crocodile dropped the severed arm and lunged for the body. Sand splattered in a chaotic spray as the two monsters ripped the body apart.
Leiter was thrown off balance, and crashed onto the sand. The bigger of the two beasts turned and flexed its tail; the scaly appendage swung through the air and slammed into Leiter’s body. His arm was stretched over head; another flick of the tail and the big monster changed direction; tearing the body in two. Its powerful legs propelled it down the shallow bank and back into the water; Leiter’s body trailed along in its wake.
As the crocodile plunged into the water, the cold spray drenched Leiter, momentarily reviving him; and then covered him. One of its legs, with its cruel sharp claws caught Leiter’s ribs; flinging his body out like a water skier caught by a wave. The wrench on his shoulder focused his mind, as he went under.
They can swim much faster than they can walk; by moving their body and tail in a sinuous fashion, and they can sustain a speed of 20 mph.

On the surface, Chelan commanded the skipper of the jet boat to follow the fast moving silhouette.
The huge fan began to spin; allowing the boat to flip on its axis, and high tail it off in pursuit.
Although impressive the speed is not what is used to kill its prey; the crocodile, once under water will spin; disorientating its prey; then burying it in the river bed; and returning at its leisure to eat
The Nile crocodile has an exothermic metabolism, allowing it to survive a long time between meals; though when they do eat, they can eat half their own body weight at a time.

As the crocodile began to spin the arm detached from the torso and Leiter was thrown clear; he took the opportunity and kicked toward the surface. He broke clear about 12 feet from the bank; the reeds were thick and Leiter propelled himself forward; looking for cover. The pain coursed through his body. The bite took him on the right leg just above the ankle. His hands groped for the reeds in a pathetic attempt to claw himself out of the jaws of the crocodile; but with an agonizing slow inevitability the crocodile began to pull him back out into the river.
As Leiter heard the sound of an approaching jet boat; he prayed for a swift death, out of the view of the gloating Chelan.
“Felix” the voice sounded urgent and desperate; at total odds to Chelan’s mocking laughter. Just before he went under, he glanced at the boat and saw the outstretched arm of James Bond. He stretched his hand upward; willing himself to hang in the water. Closer; Bond grasped the frame of the jet boat, and lent out, reaching out fingers stretching, searching.

Leiter felt the animal bite down on his leg; all the instincts told him to curl into a ball to relieve the pain, but he held his arm out; he felt the cool of the water envelop his arm knowing only his hand was above the surface. The dark shape of the boat was almost upon him; if only he could hang on.
Leiter felt his hand sink below the surface.

Bond’s hand missed Leiter by an inch; the silhouette of the hunter and its prey drifted into deeper water toward the rear of the jet boat.

“Hold her steady” Bond shouted to Beth as he retrieved the Barrett M107 from the green canvas kit bag. Bond followed the dark shape. Compensating for the depth Bond fired a shot into he water. The 12.7mm bullet, as long as a man’s hand rocketed into the water at 2,700 feet per second; the force slammed back into Bond’s shoulder, but he held his aim.
The shape altered form; then detached; one part remained stationary the other moving obliquely to the direction of a moment ago. Bond steadied the gun and fired a second shot

The Barrett M107 is a .50 caliber shoulder fired semi-automatic sniper rifle. For a weapon of its size the muzzle brake and barrel assembly absorbs most of the force, making the recoil manageable.
As the crash of the shot subsided in his ears; the crocodile floated to the surface, the water became discoloured with its gore and blood. Bond searched the river for any other tell tale shadows of other lurking predators; then without hesitation, jumped over the side of the boat into the cool flow of the Nile.

Beth heard the jet boat approaching;

Bond kicked off and dived down to the body of Leiter; he made a grab for the shoulder, and grasped him beneath the arm pit; with strong powerful kicks Bond began to pull Leiter back to the surface.
The jet boat arrived. Bond caught hold of the jet boat frame; he took in a lung full of air
“Beth, pull Felix up on deck” Bond held Leiter beneath his armpits. From the river bank, the reeds parted and another crocodile slipped into the river. Bond sensed the urgency and adjusted his grip “Beth?”
“She’s otherwise engaged” Chelan’s voice was very clear.

Bond looked up and saw the terror in Beth’s eyes; she was holding the kit bag, but was frozen to the spot.
The Fisherman and stepped onto the boat; and gestured for her to throw the bag overboard.
He inched to the side of the boat, and looked down at Bond and the unconscious form of Leiter.
Beth remained rooted to the spot, and the Egyptian shouted, thrusting forward with his knife.
“It’s OK Beth; throw it in” Bond encouraged her.

#12 volante


    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
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  • 1926 posts
  • Location:GCHQ

Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:19 PM

Chapter Ten

Need to Know

The bag hit the water with a resounding splash; it bobbed for a moment and then as the water began to soak into the material, darkening the canvas; the gun heavy bag began to sink.
Satisfied the girl was now unarmed the Fisherman, looked down at Bond’s battered face, he quickly dismissed his potential to be a danger and began to focus his attention on the dark shape of the crocodile as it homed in on the boat.

“He’s coming boss” he shouted back to Chelan.
With a deft control of the fan, Chelan manoeuvred his boat to better see the final spectacle; like an Emperor viewing a gladiatorial battle.
The surface remained un-ruffled as the beast approached.
The Egyptian, decided it was time to cause some commotion to focus the blood lust of the crocodile.

He chose his moment carefully and suddenly darted forward, bringing the knife down he slashed at Bond’s arm.

The pain forced Bond to let go of the boat, and the current began to take him under; Leiter began to splash to keep himself afloat.

Chelan shouted “That’s right Felix, make him mad, take him on. Go on you can do it”
Bond made a split second decision; he kicked hard and went down after the bag.

In the murky depth of the river the crocodile projected itself like a rocket, coming up from the river bed it brushed past the bag and past Bond as if they did not exist; its prey was Leiter and he was just a couple of seconds away, his body floated like a red rag to a bull. Bond reached for the bag, plunging his hand inside, he tightened his grip on the handle of the Glock; he jack knifed his body and brought up the gun. The water slowed down the velocity of the bullet, but the projectile sped through the water and penetrated the hide of the crocodile just at the joint of the rear leg. The animal rotated its body and angled away, reacting to the pain, its jaws clamped shut inches from Leiter’s dangling leg.
The Egyptian peered into the murky water ‘surely the beast should have attacked by now’ he thought.
The water erupted in a fountain of spray, as James Bond's hand reached up, pulling him off the boat.

Beth’s scream alerted Chelan to the new danger; he stood in his boat and watched the commotion in the river.
The Egyptian’s body went under with a force allowing Bond to steady himself. As the two men sank lower into the river he thrust out his arm and grabbed Bond.

Bond thrust his hand into the bag, and pulled out the pistol; he fired the Glock directly into the Egyptian’s chest; at the same moment Chelan fired up the jet boat and began to make a 180 degree turn; the boats crashed together.
Beth teetered on the edge; she flapped her arms in a desperate attempt to keep her balance.
The wounded crocodile erupted in a splash and a snarl, snapping its jaws in anger; it’s unblinking eye appeared to take in the danger; it turned with deadly intention, leaving Beth to angle in on Bond.
As he broke through the surface, at the side of the boat, he thrust the bag into Beth’s midriff
“Here, take this” the force pushed her back and she sat heavily.

She looked blankly down at Bond, helpless to move as the beast approached him.
As he hung on the side of the boat; the crocodile began homing in behind him.
“Shoot it” He shouted.
Beth shook her self together and pulled the Glock out of the bag.
She stood, and with a two handed grip aimed; but no shot came.
“What are you waiting for?”
Beth steadied herself. The crocodile gave another powerful flick of it’s tail and shot forward
“I’m waiting for him to come closer, so I have a better shot”

The crocodile was almost upon him when the shot rang out. The beast felt the impact and twisted in the water.

As Bond pulled himself up onto the deck; the crocodile smashed into the boat, at the spot he had just vacated.
Bond watched as Chelan’s boat continued to speed away down river. The thought running through his mind ‘Even the powerful Barrett would only just reach him now’.

The crocodile broke surface again; it’s front leg hooked over the side of the jet boat; it’s mouth frothed with blood, it’s head only inches away from Leiter. The boat tilted at an imposible angle.
Bond took the pistol from Beth’s shaking hand; turned and aimed the Glock and shot the animal directly in the eye.
With the crocodile twisting in its own death throw, Bond calmly pulled Leiter over the side and laid him on the deck.
His leg was a bloody mess; a mangled stump hung from his knee.

In a cold rage Bond took the M107 from the bag and fired off two shots; but Chelan’s boat was out of range.


Senator Cliff Daniels pressed the button; and waited until the glass partition rose to segregate himself from his driver. As the city life passed by in silent splendour Daniels sat in the luxurious isolation of his Cadillac and took the call that flashed in stubborn defiance.
His face dropped as he heard Chelan’s voice explain his current predicament; at the end of the sentence he asked
“Are the senate still asking questions?”

“Of course the senate are still asking questions; Christ the FBI are crawling all over Taxargo’s accounts”
Daniels felt an outrage that Chelan thought it would have blown over by now.
The reply came in the same calm condescending tone that Chelan always used when addressing him
“You have plausible deniability; don’t worry; the bean counters will tie them up in knots”

Daniels quivered at the thought of what else might be uncovered during the investigation
“Jesus, I need to know what they might uncover”
Thin laugher filtered down the line
“I’m afraid that’s on a need to know basis”

Daniels was squirming in his seat
“Listen to me LeCoyte, if we’re gonna stick with this plan, I need to know”
Chelan’s laughter stopped abruptly
“Then you should know that things have not gone according to plan here”

Daniels felt his world begin to crumble, he imagined the worse scenario
“You better be more specific than that old buddy; now tell me you got rid of Leiter”

“No he’s still alive”
Daniels adopted a patronising tone
“How do you expect me to cover this up now”

Chelan’s answer was obviously well rehearsed; it eased down the phone line with the consistence of syrup
“Leiter has always held a grudge; tell them he’s turned Bond, and together they attempted to kill me”
“The British know about this too?” he cast his eyes toward heaven, and shook his head in silent prayer.
Chelan ignored the question and cut straight to the solution “Edison will have to put more pressure on them”

“Edison won’t buy that, let alone the British”

Chelan thought it time to put this little upstart in his place
“I got you on Capitol Hill, I can knock you off, whenever I want to”

Daniels remained strong; the years of doing Chelan’s bidding were over; in a heartbeat he took the information as an opportunity to rid himself of this man “I can save Taxargo; but I think your time at the top is over” the smile spread across his face.

Chelan answered “You think so; I’ll just sell the gas to the French; you’ll get nothing”
The threat slipped by without stopping his momentum “I’m sorry LeCoyte its over”

Daniels felt a moment’s satisfaction, then Chelan answered, but it was slightly out of his style, because the threat was unguarded “You’ll be the one that’s sorry” Chelan fingered the metal cross that hung at his neck.

Daniels watched the Dallas landscape slide by; for once after speaking with Chelan he felt elated


“I tell you it is” Corporal Thomas Parker had been serving with the Regiment for seven months now; but had only seen action with his current saber team once before this operation began; that was in the Helmand province of Afghanistan; where his skill as a sniper halted all jibes about his old fashioned tight curled haircut.
Known simply as ‘Tom’ his large rugby player physique now lay nestled between two rocks; his eye fixed to the rubber cap of the telescopic sight of his .338 Lapua Magnum, meant his other eye was screwed tight shut, wrinkling his bent nose even more; and exaggerating the gaps in his straggly moustache
“Rubbish, you’re talking out of your [censored]” replied Corporal Craig Dixon; his smile made him look like something from a boy band. The easy talking baby of the team was known as ‘Dick’ and although he broadcast it as a reference to his sexual prowess; the nickname had stuck because it fitted in with the balance of the team.
Both his eyes were glued to the 10x25 Eagle Eye stealth binoculars.
Without taking his eye from the scope Tom answered the allegation
“The longest recorded sniper kill is 2,475 m and was achieved by a sniper from the Household Cavalry, name of Harrison”
Dick made another disparaging remark
“Two consecutive shots using a L115A3 Long Range”
Dick panned across the horizon “The L115A3 has a maximum sub-sonic range of 1,375 m”
“That’s as maybe mate but with high pressure Magnum cartridges you get a 329 meter per second muzzle velocity…”
Dick cut him off “Heads up, its coming” Dick focused the binoculars
Tom began to regulate his breathing, he began to relax, ticking off the boxes that would ensure a perfect shot “Environmental conditions perfect for long range shooting, no wind, mild weather, clear visibility”
The ‘Museum piece’ diesel slowed; in a crescendo of squealing brakes the train came to a halt on rails untouched by investment for 50 years. Through the enhanced glass, Tom saw the obese figure of Jadkarin Moalim-Nur step down from his carriage. The bodyguards scanned the station and the immediate area beyond.
They formed a funnel keeping other commuters away. Gently Tom squeezed the trigger.
The recoil kicked his shoulder, as the bullet punched through the air, with a bang.
Two seconds later Moalim-Nur’s head exploded; his body collapsed to the earth.
As if in a scene from a silent movie, the bodyguards looked around to see where the fatal shot had come from.
From their position 1,200 meters away in an outcrop of rocks Tom and Dick began packing up their kit.
Almost under his breath Dick said “lucky shot”
Tom knew his expertise had just been complemented upon and that the remark was as close as it would come to a “Well done” from his team mate
Tom put the .338 Lapua Magnum in its carry case and remarked “It’s fairly accurate up to 1,500 m, but at that distance” He inclined his head toward the station “Luck plays as much of a part as anything”
“Whatever; shall I tell Harry that there won’t be a revolution in Africa after all then?”
Tom stowed the case in the back of the Land-rover “Yeah, go on then; and tell him it’s his round”


M reached for the phone; it was his first call of the day “Good morning Sir John” M felt the dread of the unknown descend on him. He scanned his ‘inbox’ looking for clues. Having a call from a CIA director usually meant trouble.

“Good morning David; and to what do I owe the pleasure of your call today”
“I just wanted to enquire as to whether your 007 arrived back in the UK yet?”

M struggled to keep his calm “I cannot see that is any of your business”
Edison hummed down the phone; it was similar to a fly buzzing at a picnic “Normally I would agree; but I have just read a report that implicates your agent 007, James Bond as attacking one of my CIA agents in Egypt”

M allowed his breath to escape slowly “I’ll need some time to confirm the facts; why don’t we discuss it over lunch say 1.00 at Le Cercle”

“If you’re paying; I would love to”

“Good I’ll see you at 1.00” M balled his hand into a fist

Just as M was about to put the phone down Edison chipped in “Oh you should know that LeCoyte Chelan witnessed the attack; fortunately he is now under CIA protection”

“Well he is certainly a reliable witness”

M punched the intercom “Moneypenny; ask Mr. Tanner to step in for a moment”

“I’m not sure he’s available sir”

“I didn’t think he would be”

M cut off the connection; his finger jabbed at another button “Tanner; where is 007?”
The silence spoke volumes; Tanner’s voice seemed distant and preoccupied “Doesn’t look like he boarded the flight from Aswan”
“What about the girl?” M already knew the answer and now sensed he would soon be receiving a call from Rolf Bowden, asking for his analyst back.

“Good news sir”

“Where is she?” M was surprised
“Er not about Miss Loverseed. It’s a communication from Major Fawkes; the regiment confirm that Jadkarin Moalim-Nur was met at the railway station as planned”

M took a moment to assimilate the information “That’s good. How does that affect Wazir?”

Tanner continued in the coded language that indicated Wazir was not on the train “Seems he changed his plans at the last minute; decided to take a trip to Cairo”

“Damn. What about Chelan?”
It was Tanner’s turn to show surprise “Chelan; why is he a target now?”

“Don’t question me Tanner; we’re supposed to be Military intelligence; now will you please confirm where Chelan spent the night, and where he’s heading now. Then cross reference that with 007’s movements; I’ll bet you a pound to a pinch of snuff that the two won’t be too far apart”

Tanner’s reply was quick “007 and Miss Loverseed are at the Aswan Military hospital; the CIA agent Felix Leiter was admitted there an hour ago”

“Get word to Bond; to leave immediately”

“Can I ask why sir” This order seemed to countermand the instruction Tanner was currently following.

“Yes you can; but I won’t tell you anymore than I think he’s being set up. Just get him as far away from Leiter and Chelan as possible; belay that; get him back here; oh and find out what really happened to Leiter”

“Yes sir, I’ll deal with that personally”

“I know you will…and Tanner, I need the information before lunch”

As the connection broke the ‘Fasten Seat-belt’ sign illuminated. Bill Tanner complied with the request; checking his watch he realized the task M had given him was going to be difficult to achieve; given his current location. The aeroplane began its decent.


In a small sterile room off the main corridor the CIA agent found Bond receiving treatment to his various cuts. With the curtain pulled back in his hand he lamely asked “Commander Bond?”

The nurse, a petite Nubian in her mid twenties began to remonstrate with the big man, but; believing he had come with news about Leiter; Bond cut her off with a smile and a barely lifted arm “It’s OK; yes I’m Bond; what is it, agent…?”

“Agent Gallagher, sir” It was a strong New York accent which complimented his large clean cut features. “Just wanted to inform you that we have a lead on Chelan; we know where he’s headed; but officially we’ve been stood down on the matter of his arrest. Mr. Leiter thought; if only you could get to him before the Taxargo team take him in…”

Bond took in the information; the words that were spoken, and their meaning “You’re not going to arrest him?

Gallagher shook his head.
“Mr. Leiter wanted you to have this sir” He made one step into the diminutive room and handed over a small torn piece of bloodstained paper “He wrote it himself”

Bond read the address; he looked up at the agent.
In response to the look he offered “It’s where Chelan is holding out, until a deal is struck with the government, and then he can go home a hero”
Bond looked back at the scrap of paper, the agent coughed and added “Mr. Leiter thought you might like to keep him company”
Bond’s head didn’t move only his eyes left the paper “Please tell Mr. Leiter I’d be delighted” he held out the paper “Give me a contact number; I’ll let you know when Mr. Chelan is available”
Gallagher jotted down his number on the reverse of the scrap, nodded and left the room. The curtain swished down. The nurse tutted with an audible click of the tongue, and continued dressing his wounds.


Bond and Beth reclined in the rear of the felucca as it completed its journey across the Nile to the botanical gardens that adorns Kitchener Island. The peace and tranquillity with nothing but the sound of the wind; had relaxed them. Her hair, blown by the breeze looked even more ‘wild’ than ever. They spent the next five minutes strolling through the magnificent serene gardens; home to many exotic species of plants and trees imported from all around the world.

Convinced they were not being followed or observed; Bond led Beth to the large Victorian green house at the end of the curving path.

Toward the centre of the green house Bill Tanner stood, fanning himself with a wide brimmed Panama hat; he looked hot, and the surroundings weren’t helping.

“Hello Bill, warm enough for you?”

“Very funny James; tell me why do I always have to always meet you in a hot humid environment. Their must be a law against this cruelty”

Bond laughed; Beth stayed close to his side.
“Thanks for coming out Bill; with you on the ground here; I can complete the job without any undue attention”

“James, I came here to take you back; thought I could do it under the radar as well; but M out smarted me; he knows you’re here, and what your intending to do”
Bond began to shake his head

Tanner continued “You need to come back to London”

“Look Bill I have a good lead on Chelan”

“James, we think it’s a trap; Edison has hinted that he has plenty of evidence to link you and Miss Loverseed…” he nodded to Beth “To terrorist activity. He’s claiming you are responsible for Leiter’s condition; he also wants to link you in to the assassination”

Bond looked at Beth “Don’t worry, go and have a look at the rhododendrons, I’ll sort this out”

As she went out of ear shot Bond continued “Most probably he has, its all fake, but that never stopped them before; but Chelan is responsible for the attempt to blow up the gas field; he’s behind the assassination. I believe the roots go deeper, than just Chelan; but he’s the lynch pin to all this”

“But not on his own; this is big; the American’s want to keep it very hush hush, and it goes to the very top; its something the CIA want to keep secret; and the men designated to protect this secret; will do anything to discredit us; to stop us raking up what really happened”

Bond asked “You know what he did to Leiter?”
Tanner nodded; his own contact within the CIA had told him the gruesome details

“You know he’s the money behind the Haradheere exchange”

Tanner nodded again; video footage of Moalim-Nur’s mock trial and assassination of European terrorists highlighted just how extreme the pirates had become; and what a potential threat to war they represented.

“You know he’s funding Jadkarin Moalim-Nur’s war in Africa; all designed to get the Chinese off the continent?”
Tanner nodded again; the financial crisis in the west as a result of the prolonged tanker hijacking had raised tensions over the prospect of war in Africa.

“My mission was to find out what Wazir was doing with the arms he had procured. We have a very clear understanding of what he plans. He’s been doing Chelan’s bidding all along”

“James I know you’re right; but you’ve got to understand the bigger picture. Moalim-Nur is dead; so the terrorists are back to square one. Wazir’s hopes of becoming the Yemeni President are almost over, so al Qaeda are deserting the country in droves; and Chelan’s plan of stealing the oil has been thwarted”

“Are you saying this is over?”
“I’m saying, that the American’s will deal with Chelan”

“Rubbish; whoever’s sponsoring this type of operation; will simply manipulate the truth and set Chelan up with another idea of World domination. The American’s don’t want the Chinese digging up Africa”

Tanner’s brow furrowed “Do you think he’s part of the Quantum organization?”

Bond shrugged “Quantum or whoever; there’s an agenda behind what Chelan is doing. His protection from the top now confirms that”

“That’s something we’ll need to monitor, understand the benefits of the Governments”

“This has nothing to do with Governments; it’s the people who the control the countries, and control the money. I think Chelan is so far up the chain that the biggest benefit is that I kill him, he won’t be easy to replace; that’s why they have to protect him”

“Honour amongst thieves?”

“No, Chelan has been killing for years; he has something very incriminating hidden away that he knows will assure his protection” subconsciously Bond’s fingers went to his throat, remembering Leiter’s description of Chelan’s cross.

“All you have to do is find it”

“And kill him”

“MI6 will not authorize that” He looked at a plant its green tendril looping like a treble clef, he lowered his voice to a whisper “Not that we know where is”

Bond took the hook “When do I have to be back in London”

“Shall we say two days?”

Bond nodded “Will you take Beth with you?”

“Of course” Tanner understood that Bond intended to go after Chelan; even though he knew he was walking into a trap. “How are you going to play this James?”

“Chelan is holed up, waiting for a deal to be struck; I’ll take him there before he gets chance to wriggle out of this”

“The CIA will be watching for you”

Bond shook his head “Leiter gave me the address; no one else knows where he is”

Tanner felt something was wrong; the information that Bond had wanted had seemed to fall into this hands all to readily “Do you trust Leiter?”

“Yes I do”

“Well as long as he gave it to you personally and you know one else saw it; I suppose you have a chance of getting to him before the cavalry”

Bond glanced into the distance and observed Beth; he spoke softly to Tanner “I think its best if I leave now, before she realizes she’s not coming with me” Bond also thought it best not to tell Tanner that the address had come from a third party CIA agent. Perhaps Leiter had had no input to the information. If Chelan’s political minders were looking to tie up all the loose ends; luring Bond into a trap would certainly help. Still he had to try.
As he made to leave Tanner handed him a small box “It’s a present from Q branch”


Behind the highly polished black front door; and not a stones throw from Sloan Square lays the haven of temptation and glamour that is Le Cercle.
M and Edison sat at a private table on the mezzanine over looking the dining area. A bottle of Margaux stood proudly between them. As they waited for their Bayris (Thierry Byris Head chef Le Cercle) prepared, gourmet lunch.

Edison took a large brown envelope from his briefcase, and laid it on the table. M raised his eyebrows and Edison nodded slightly, indicating that he could open it. M took out four glossy 10 x 8 photographs depicting Bond fighting with Felix Leiter and the American guards at the Ghawar conference centre.

“What’s this David; Blackmail?”

“Of course not; Chelan has made some mistakes; that we don’t want aired in public; if you try to implicate him in the Yemeni fiasco; we’ll bring it all to your doorstep”

“That does sound like blackmail”
“Not at all; Raymond Mortimer, brought in the brains and the manpower to the Balhaf plant, along with The Loverseed woman, who almost got your ambassador killed; the press would have a field day”

M replaced his wine glass on the sliver coaster “I’m sure they would also be interested to know who funded the construction of a liquid gas plant, with the oversight of building it to pump oil”

Edison tapped the photos again “You would never guess who was behind that shocking error; but you won’t find Chelan there, that’s for sure”

“…and what happens if we come up with some irrefutable evidence that links Chelan to this plot”

“Plot?” Edison’s face was a mask of innocence

“Destabilise the Yemeni government by killing the President. Cause a shift in the tectonic plates in Saudi Arabia; allowing oil reserves to build in an area controlled by American interests. Fund an uprising with a view to revolution in Somalia”

Edison lent forward “There’s over 24 Trillion US dollars worth of mineral wealth in that area of Africa. Years of neglect and decay have left the people craving a new leadership. We won’t stand by and let the Chinese steal that away from us. We have to find a way of discouraging foreign investment”

M listened to the confirmation of his assumption; Edison took a drink then continued

“But to answer your question; British business would be hit in the States. We only just escaped an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Aden; it would be a pity to experience something similar linked to a British company liability. Think of the media coverage, the environmental scarring; the political embarrassment; think of all the pensions that might go up in smoke”

“Do you know Edison, that if we didn’t have such a good special relationship; I’d see to it that you were returned to the States in disgrace”

“I’m sure you could try”


Moneypenny was just about to close down her PC for well deserved, but very late lunch when the email pinged to announce its arrival.
On impulse she opened it; as she scanned through the content her hand reached for the phone.
Lunch was laying heavy; M’s car was returning to Vauxhall Cross; he knew he would have to speak to the Minister; he began piecing the story together; the phone beeped “Yes”

“M, I’m sending you an email; apparently it contains the headline in tomorrows Le Figaro”
Le Figaro is one of the four largest French newspapers, along with Le Monde, Liberation and Ouest-France. The newspaper is owned by Dassault, the leading French manufacturer of aircraft and defence systems.

M opened the screen located in the armrest of the seat; quickly he read through the headline; and thought ‘This means Bond has taken their bait’ His mouth began to tighten. He’d allowed Tanner to go to Aswan to reason with him, he’d given him enough rope, to pull himself back in, but it looked like he’d chosen too hang himself. Chelan was now using the CIA as a weapon against his capture.

“Thank-you Moneypenny. When does Mr. Tanner arrive back” M knew the answer would indicate his actions
“Tonight 20.15 into Heathrow”

“Well let’s hope he slept on the plane; organise a meeting 22.00”

#13 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 05:41 PM

Chapter Eleven

To Catch a Spy

At the exact same time that M sat down with Bill Tanner to plan their next move; James Bond arrived in Paris.
He had flown from Egypt to Geneva; and then taken the express TGV to the Gare de Lyon.

Without any undue hurry he headed for the ‘Le Train Bleu’ restaurant.
To the casual observer he was just one of many weary travelers, collar turned up against the sudden chill;
trudging toward the restaurant which has served drinks and meals to travelers and guests since 1901 in the ornately decorated setting.
Once inside, everyone always looked about them; Bond too took in the magnificent surroundings; but it was not the architecture that amazed him; it was that he was mostly interested in anyone showing an interest in him.
He sat at a small table for two against the far wall. The caffeine began to course through his system.
Satisfied he was not under observation he left the restaurant and joined a group of German tourists leaving the station; with ease he secreted himself amongst their midst; exclaiming pleasure at finally arriving in the City of love.
Even at midnight the city was as vibrant as ever.
Bond blended into his surroundings and waited in line for a taxi.
Five minutes later, with his bag stowed in the trunk he sat in warm seclusion;
heading for his very own version of a safe house.
The timing of Bond’s arrival was something he had not left to chance.
Because right now at Charles DeGaulle airport a red faced CIA agent named Gallagher,
was in the process of contacting Edison in London to confirm the non arrival of Bond
on the flight they believed he had booked.


Edison addressed his weary team; some had been on duty now for over fifteen hours.
“We have a situation. One extremely dangerous professional individual is hunting down an American citizen in Paris”
He pointed toward his PA, and nodded.
Deftly she punched the button, and the details came up on all their screens.
The team sat at their stations like greyhounds in traps, eager to begin the chase.
Edison raised his hands. In a sad tone he continued
“Our communication channel with Langley has been compromised. So I’m afraid we’re on our own”
a little bit of pathos never went amiss.
The team accepted the news as nothing more than a minor irritation; now was their chance to pull together; the equipment they had at their disposal meant they could operate autonomously from the States.
Edison continued without a pause; there was no reason to go into any more detail; there was no need for him to go anywhere near the truth.
Entering all the known passport names that James Bond used during his time in the Secret Service; Edison,
stood sentinel like over his London team as the process of checking all the car rentals,
and all public transport methods that the MI6 man could be using to get into Paris began, in hushed tones.
Because, until they located him; there was always the chance that Bond could get to Chelan.
As he thought of the man; he briefly considered calling him; but soon dismissed the idea; deciding the news or lack of it could wait until the morning. Edison spoke slowly into the phone, so that the effects of sleep deprivation made no error in his judgment.
“Gallagher, please confirm, all the MI6 safe houses in Paris are under observation?”
“That is confirmed sir”
“And the CIA properties?”
Gallagher was prepared for the question “Yes sir”
“Good, then get some sleep; once the newspapers hit the streets, tomorrow is going to be a busy day”
Edison, had considered just turning a blind eye; and letting Bond go for Chelan; but orders were orders;
he had chosen his side in this battle, and picked his team.


Gallagher was in charge of a select team of three agents that knew enough to ‘influence’ the right outcome;
in any given circumstances.
The rest of the CIA agents, based in Paris, were busy doing their duty, convinced that they were upholding the American flag in stopping a terrorist from attacking an innocent American citizen.
Gallagher thought it best to leave them to their duty.


Bond waited at the road side as the taxi drove off.
Content that no other vehicle had been following him; he pulled his collar up against the chill from the river,
and set off on the last part of his journey. He passed only one couple as he crossed the Pont de la Tournelle;
they were young and in love; just as it was supposed to be in the city of romance.
Once on the island he stopped; and began a final check. Bond had stayed alive through many an operation, because he was careful and through with his safety; this was not the time to become careless.
One last sweep of his surroundings, just to assure himself he was not being followed.
Finally satisfied, he ducked into the narrow coble street of the Rue Regrettre; blending quickly with the shadows. Inserting the key, he entered the building; it was dark and smelt damp.
Quickly and quietly he ascended the staircase; but each step creaked and groaned with the weight of history;
something he thought of as ‘good’ to ensure he would receive a clear warning if anyone else tried this route.
The Venetian blinds (following his instructions), and been left open; allowing him a clear view of the river side street; the ornate city lamppost threw its light downward, pooling a pale yellow light, cutting into the shadows on the narrow footpath bordering the Ile St Louis.
Lights twinkled on the black river surface and in the distance a light smattering of traffic zipped along the left bank. Bond checked the kitchen; finding an adequate bottle of red wine, a hessian sack of coffee beans, a carton of milk,
some local honey and a fresh stick of bread, all neatly piled on an old wooden table.
The simple fare would make a good breakfast.
Bond continued to familiarise himself with the main living quarters of the apartment. Above an ornate fire place stood an equally ornate clock which ticked off the seconds in a loud interruption to the silence of the room.
Finally he went to the bedroom; the heavy door whined in protest as he pushed it open;
once in the bedroom he realized it was only marginally warmer than the night outside;
but the sound of the clock and the aroma of a light perfume made it feel homely.
Bond arrived at an old iron bedstead; in the semi darkness he made out that the duvet was elaborately patterned, he ran his hand over the cover and noted it was silk; then his hand hit something hard,
he rubbed his hand over the shape nestling beneath. The form stirred, and a silhouette sat up;
inhaling softly.
“What kept you?” Beth embraced him; her arms were warm; her skin soft; her hair ever more tousled.
“It’s such a lovely city I thought I’d take the scenic route”
“Well now that you’re here; what do you think of my little place?”
Bond pushed his hand beneath the sheets and languished in her warmth.


Back in London, a member of the CIA team shouted out “Sir, I’ve found a transaction; for a train ticket”
Edison felt a surge of adrenalin. He rounded on the man “Trace it; look for further evidence along the trail”
Then from the opposite side of the bak of PC’s a young analyst from West Virginia tentatively put up his hand
“I got him in Paris”
Edison stood at the shoulder of the man and clapped him on his back
“That’s very good; patch that address through to Gallagher”
The man’s fringe hung limply across his ever bright eyes, as he made the connection.
On the wall the Paris street map began to light up with the locations that were trailing Bond’s route into the city. Naturally they would continue to home in on the address that Gallagher had given to Bond in Egypt.
But Edison wanted to know where he was now. Once he was en route to the final destination, the French police would become involved; and once at the actual address the trap would be sprung.


Iron grey clouds rolled over the city, holding back the best attempts of the Sun to warm the Parisian morning.
Dressed in a dark grey business suit, crisp white Turnbull and Asser shirt and a bronze woven silk tie James Bond slipped into the back seat of the Taxi.
The driver, of Algerian descent glanced into the rear-view mirror; Bond’s face was captured in a perfect head and shoulders portrait.
“Monsieur?” The driver asked for the desired destination.
“La Defence” Bond answered. The driver noticed the chill in his blue eyes; then in a life changing moment the dawn of recognition came over him and he glanced down at his folded copy of the morning’s Le Figaro newspaper.

Staring back at him were the same eyes; accompanied by the uncompromising headline
“Killer on the Streets”
The driver scanned the next line
“Wanted in connection to the assassination of Yemeni President”
The driver, made a move toward his radio, but then thought better of it;
he engaged first gear and eased out into the morning traffic of the Rue de Rivoli.
With the facade of the Louvre for company, Bond sat back and observed the multi cultural carnival of shoppers flitting in and out of the tourist shops that adorned the road. Something was wrong; Bond picked at the problem that floated before his eyes. Like a scene from a long lost dream. It was a grey day; but the Parisian architecture seemed to be enhanced by the moisture, that would make London look dull. But the problem was not at that level; it was something closer, something right in front of his eyes.
Just after the experience that is the roundabout of the Arc de Triumph;
Bond spoke to the driver “Here please”
The driver began to remonstrate but Bond told the driver to stop.
To the accompaniment of honking horns the black Citroen C5 eased to a stop. Bond paid the driver and slipped from the rear of the saloon. As soon as the door was closed the driver reached for the radio.
He gave his call sign; then waited to be connected.
It was at that moment that his door swung open and the fist hit him squarely on the jaw. Bond pulled him from the car; jumped in and drove off.
As he drove, he scanned the headline of the newspaper on the seat, which he guessed had been there. Alerted to the driver’s careful reaction, Bond had assumed he had been identified; the problem he had toyed with was what form that could have taken. The headline ‘Killer’ which he had seen in passing at the many Tabac’s along the roadside, accompanied by a photograph had given him the answer.
From the dashboard the radio operator was screaming for an answer from the driver; Bond flicked the switch; silencing the man with the gravel voice.
The newspaper headlines certainly indicated that Bond was on the right track; the CIA (or at least a certain faction) were doing their damndest to halt Bond’s progress. For certain, Chelan was in the open; the CIA were desperate to keep the two men apart; Bond felt more secure in Leiter’s address.
Avoiding the madness that is the Peripherique; Bond headed resolutely toward the fantastic square of steel that is the great arch. La Grande Arche.


The connection with the taxi had been severed.
The man with the gravel voice took off the headphones, and pointing to the red blip on the screen map told the CIA agent “Your target is heading toward La Defence”
“Merci Monsieur” Gallagher was already on the move, the net was tightening; he spoke quickly into his mobile
“Convey that news back to London”

#14 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:17 PM

Chapter Twelve

Fashion week

La Grande Arche completes the line of monuments that forms the Axe historique running through Paris.
The Arche is turned at an angle of 6.33° for a specific reason.
With a métro station, RER station, and a motorway situated directly underneath the Arche,
the angle was the only way to accommodate the structure's giant foundations.
From an architectural point of view, the turn emphasizes the depth of the monument,
it has been suggested that the structure looks like a four-dimensional hypercube projected onto the three-dimensional world. It has a pre-stressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy.

Bond waited for the call to be answered
“Hello Bill Tanner”
“Hello Bill is M available?”
Before Tanner was able to reply M shouted his harsh reply.
“Bond, you’re being set up, now get out of there”
“I can give you Chelan and his involvement in Oil scandal”
“So what, his influence is over”
“I’m sure we could use some leverage in the future”
“007 I’m ordering you to stand down. Do you understand?”
Bond replied “Absolutely” the line went dead


LeCoyte Chelan had taken the news that the CIA team assigned to his protection, had lost Bond; very badly.
“Jesus they should’ve taken him at the airport”
“He’s out there, he’s hiding; let’s flush him out”
Manic paced the room; the widows had been blacked out;
so that the only light came from powerful halogen lamps in the four corners.
“What’s his weakness?” Wazir asked
“Women” Answered Manic.
Sahra Ibrahim looked at him with a rye smile; her teeth shone white in the artificial light
Chelan’s face broke into a cheeky smile, the blood pounded through a vein on his temple;
carefully he stood up from behind the simple business desk; his fingers traced the edge
“The woman who saw me on the boat” he clicked his fingers trying to recall her name
Wazir answered “Elizabeth”
With a look of triumph, he replied “Yes Mortimer’s woman from the Embassy”
Manic checked his messages “She flew back to Heathrow last night with the MI6 man. The one who met with Bond at Aswan”
Chelan nodded in smug confirmation that he knew the man; with deliberation,
as if he was choosing a chocolate from a box, he picked up the phone
“I’ll get hold of Edison; tell him to pull her in”


The phone rang a soft melodious tone that hardly distinguished it as a ring tone.
CIA section head David Edison picked it up with a swift movement “Hello”
“Edison?” came the reply, in a neutral tone.
“Yes, who’s this?” his voice was cautious.
The caller’s voice was anything but “LeCoyte Chelan here; I need to ask a favour of you”
Edison groaned inwardly, he was putting his career on the line for this man
“Another one?”
Chelan ignored the jibe “The woman with Bond in Egypt; I want to know where she is”
‘At last, a break’ he thought. Edison was already tracking her,
the information requested was already to hand, because her lights were also showing up on the street map of Paris that adored the CIA operations centre
“You’re in luck, she flew in from Egypt under MI6 protection; but she was very naughty;
she jumped on the next plane to Orly”
“She’s here in Paris?” Chelan made the statement loud enough to alert Manic.
This was even better, no need for Edison to compromise himself any further.
“Yes, calm down I’ll give you her address”
Edison took obscene pleasure in holding back the information he had on Bond;
it would be just too delicious a moment not to let Chelan sweat it out.

Chelan’s voice came back over the phone line, like a chill wind
“Looks like you got your men looking in the wrong places”
the sudden ice in his voice took the pleasure from the moment; but only for a moment.
Edison wanted to turn the knife; he began to sound conceited
“My men are looking the other way on purpose where you’re concerned; there’s a fine line between protecting you and covering your mistakes and letting Bond kill you”
Chelan adopted his most patronizing tone
“You’ve not read the papers then; Bond is wanted in connection with the assassination of President Ali Abdullah Saleh”
Un-intimidated Edison answered “Oh I don’t believe what I read in the papers; it could be a mistake”

“Big mistake for you if you’re thinking of selling me out; I have a big insurance policy,
that makes me the darling of Capitol Hill”

“Really; Daniels, says you’re hanging on by a thread”
The laughter seemed genuine, and a little disconcerting
“I’m afraid he will have to fall on his sword long before me; what I have is sacred”
“Well keep it close to you, because if you lose it, my men won’t be looking the other way for very long; we’ll take you down quicker than Bond”

Chelan chuckled “Ah, it’s nice to dream. Until you’re told differently; you are under orders to ensure Bond is captured by the French authorities; I am then able to come out of hiding; and get back to my day job”
“You’re putting a lot of faith in the French police”
“Well if he gets past them; I can deal with him” He looked at the bulk that was Manic
“Once that’s done make sure your team is available to pick me up”
“Enjoy it while you can Chelan”
“I will, now if you’ll excuse me I have to look up an old friend; and you have to find Bond and protect me”
The line went dead.

Chelan held out Beth’s address; he called to Manic “Fetch”
Manic took the piece of paper and headed for the door,
Sahra replaced the comb in her hair as she ran to keep up with him;
as her arms were above her head, her hips began swinging suggestively.

Chelan waited until they had left; then he approached Wazir.
“Good, we are alone; my dear Khaled; I need to ask you to do me a favour”
Wazir raised his eyebrow, his head slightly inclined he listed intently.
“There is a package” Chelan built up the tension.
Wazir knew not to interrupt
“It contains certain things, which ensure the American Government cannot denounce me”
Wazir, intrigued nodded slowly. He ran his tongue over his lips, allowing the bristles of his moustache tickle his tongue.
Chelan stood in front of Wazir, his hand reached forward and touched his shoulder
“You are the only man I can trust to bring it here” the sincerity was overwhelming.
Wazir looked down at the hand, touching him; it was the first show of emotion Wazir had ever seen Chelan perform.
Chelan continued “With a man like you. A man that knows that loyalty is everything…”
he let the sentence fade, as if emotion had got the better of him.
“I will wait here; until the CIA come for me; but I need to know that my secrets are safe”
For Wazir, this meant he had at last been accepted; working along side Chelan, involved in his secrets,
opened up a new corridor of power.
He felt in this one moment that every gun he had sold was now paying him back a thousand times over.
He knew that the plans Chelan had for removing the Chinese in Africa,
had not been abandoned with the failure of Moalim-Nur.
This was just the first steps.
Wazir looked into Chelan’s eyes; they were clear and held only hope for the future.
“How can I be of service?”
Chelan took a small notebook from his pocket
“Please go to the address shown here...” He held the book up; rubbing his finger and thumb over the leather cover

“...and retrieve my property” Chelan opened the book; air tickets spilt out.
Wazir took hold of them as they tumbled onto his lap
“Then go to Haradheere; and wait for my instructions”

Wazir took the notebook; suddenly his face became serious
“What about Bond; what if the CIA doesn’t believe you?”
Chelan laughed, it was innocent like a mountain stream pouring over rocks
“Manic will get the girl, Bond will be eliminated; the CIA have no option but to believe me.
Please Khaled; trust me.
In just a couple of weeks, maybe a month at the most; we will be looking to take up where we left off”
Wazir put the notebook in his pocket and made to leave...
Chelan gripped his arm again; he breathed in through his nose
“Ahh Africa; can’t you just smell all that money”
Wazir began to laugh, infected by the enthusiasm
Chelan’s face became animated “Cobalt”
He began to nod quickly
“Six billion dollars worth of Cobalt is just laying on the ground in the Congo. We’re not going to let the Chinese get it”
Wazir found he was shaking his head “No, no we are not”
As Wazir reached the door Chelan shouted to him “Keep my secret close to you Khaled; Africa will be ours”


Cheering and applause met Bond as he entered the RER station. Banks of high powered lights,
accompanied by flash bulbs heralded the arrival of another super model.
The cat walk extended from a Pullman carriage which formed part of the famous Orient Express train;
which stood in pristine glory at the platform.
The excited audience watched as the leggy blonde made her way from the carriage door
along the raised platform in front of them; the cat walk bedecked to imitate the era of the forties;
lending itself to the magical romance that saw the famous train travel to Istanbul.
A plume of dry ice, added to the effect imitating a bellow of steam from the magnificent steam engine.
Bond headed past the fashion show; his objective was to make it to the maintenance lift,
which stood in mundane isolation against the splendour of the station. All eyes were on the spectacle of the show.

Alone Bond ascended. In the quiet of his surroundings he took out his Walther P99, and checked its action;
the gun made a satisfying metallic click as the mechanism slid effortlessly back and forth.

Bond was ready.

On the twentieth floor Bond walked along the corridor, gun in one hand, mobile in the other.
Tanner had given him the new phone during their meeting on Kitchener Island
“A present from Q. He told me you’d lost your old one. Said you might appreciate a new ‘Dog ‘n’ Bone.
Apparently it does a lot more than make calls”
During the train journey Bond had gone through the various menus, and felt himself compelled to laugh “Dog and Bone” he said out loud; perhaps there was hope for old Q after all.
Keeping the screen in view, Bond waved the mobile at each door as he passed. He was using the device in ‘sniffer dog’ mode; the phone, thus armed was able to pick up not only heat sources from behind the doors but also indicate if there were any explosives in the vicinity. At the sixth door, the screen went red.

Bond looked at the small room identification number by the lock;
the number matched that which Felix had told him; Chelan was hiding.
“Well done Felix”
His hand went to the door knob.


Another blast of dry ice wafted from beneath the engine as ‘Bad Romance’ began to thump out on the PA system.
The audience began to clap as the next model balanced precariously on her 5” heels; with well rehearsed precision she pranced down the catwalk, dressed in fake fur and 1940’s style make-up.

She had just past the half way mark of the catwalk when the explosion rumbled like thunder from above,
vibrating down the walls reverberating through the core of the building.
The electricity failed, silencing the beat and plunging the improvised fashion show into darkness;
flashbulbs continued to crack, turning the scene into a morbid impersonation of a disco.
The station was large enough to allow light to filter through, but the panic spread as the noise of the blast continued. People began to scream.

As the guests began to run out, their faces streaked with tears;
Gallagher stood like a sentinel; casually he brought out his mobile and contacted Edison
“We have detonation” he could hardly keep the triumph from his voice.
“Excellent” now at least he had something to tell Chelan.
“OK, go and pick up Chelan; bring him home”

Guests, journalists, models and crew began filing out of the station in an unruly mess;
pushing and jostling each other to escape the mayhem.
The Police, Para medics and fire-fighters were pushing just as hard to get into the station.
Everywhere was pandemonium. Out on the streets people were pointing to the billowing clouds of smoke erupting from the twentieth floor.

Gallagher and one of his team made the short journey to the two black Chrysler People carriers parked at the road side. His colleague jumped into the second car; Gallagher jumped into the first one.
His driver, engaged first gear, and the big car pulled out, the second Chrysler followed; their blue lights pulsating from behind the grill; the sirens, making them instantly official ensured they were given a clear right of way.
More Police cars approached and passed them on their way to La Grande Arche.
After three more intersections they cut the sirens and lights and blended in with the traffic.


When the police entered the burnt out room on the twentieth floor, they found two bodies.
The first was very badly burned, and was only later to be identified as the Yemeni arms dealer, Khaled Wazir.
The body, so the pathologist revealed, had been dead before the explosion.
A 7.65mm bullet had punctured the front skull, and was the cause of death.
The second victim was a Caucasian male; discovered just inside the door; in his charred hand was a burnt and melted Walther P99


Bill Tanner burst into M’s office. Showing great restraint he put down his Mont Blanc fountain pen and was about to remonstrate but the look in Tanner’s eye told him to wait for the news he was obviously desperate to divulge.
“Sir, we’ve lost the signal from 007”

M took in the information to mean that the GPS signal pulsing from the mobile phone Tanner had given him in Egypt had stopped; he knew it could be nothing, but something in the way Tanner was reacting said this could be serious.
M smiled and tried to calm his chief of staff.
“I’m told that’s a regular occurrence when Bond is on a mission. He often goes AWOL”

Tanner shook his head, thrusting an A4 sheet of paper into his hand
“This is a report that a bomb has just detonated at a fashion show in the Grand Arch at La Defence, Paris”
M glanced at the report, his smile was reassuring, but Tanner’s voice was insistent
“The time is exactly the same time as 007’s signal stopped”
M knew there was no such thing as coincidence
“Get hold of the section head; tell him to investigate”
Tanner was nodding in agreement and turning to leave when M quietly said
“Discreetly Bill, tell him to do the investigate discreetly”
Tanner stopped by the door “Yes sir” he composed himself before leaving.
But M continued “What about Miss Loverseed; I understand she travelled to Paris…”
Tanner had already thought about the repercussions of M finding that little snippet out,
he decided not to feign ignorance.
“I’ll see to that as well”
…and with that he was gone.

The insistent buzz of the telephone brought M back into to a world of consequences.
He picked up the receiver.
Edison’s voice was flat and without candour.
“I’ve just had it confirmed that your rogue agent has been eliminated in Paris”
M did not answer.
Edison cleared his throat and continued
“I assume we can all use the term rogue agent now. I’m sure no one suggests MI6 had a hand in all this…”
“You’re mistaken David; we have no agents in Paris”
“Best get your best denial speech out; or your resignation speech. I told you to keep your man away from this one”
M had always used a strong attack as a good form of defence
“I understand you released a story to the French newspapers; that was a mistake”
“Not me” His tone was condescending.
M’s reply was quick and to the point “Good because we will be suing for libel”
Edison took a controlled breath; then replied innocently “So it was true then”
M had anticipated the remark, so now went for the killing
“No; I understood LeCoyte Chelan was behind the plot to defraud Saudi Arabia of it’s oil”
“Listen to me; Chelan is being extracted by a CIA team right now; the [censored] has hit the fan and the fingers are firmly pointed at you; don’t escalate this, or your department is going to be the one that suffers”
M laughed “Just what has Chelan got on you?”
“LeCoyte Chelan is a true American; he is forging a path through third world counties; bringing organic growth and prosperity to the local communities”

M groaned at the statement
“If that’s what you believe Edison, then we may as well pack up and go home”
“Going home; I’d sure like to; and that’s where Chelan is headed; so just don’t rain on his parade”
M’s voice took on a hard edge
“David if any of my men were killed in an attempt to divert the blame from Chelan and Taxargo;
I will rain on your parade so hard…”
“Hey” Edison interrupted
“Come now Sir John; please calm down don’t go giving yourself a coronary. Now if you’ll excuse me”
the line went dead.
M seethed; the colour had drained from his face


Manic felt the vibration from his mobile.
“Bond just triggered the bomb; I trust Wazir had already been taken care off?”
Manic smiled, his big shoulders shrugged as he answered
“But of course, and with a single bullet from Bond’s gun”
Chelan felt the waves of success flowing over him; he was feeling quite light headed when he said
“Gallagher’s team are on their way to collect me; I suggest you bring the girl here to dispose of her; you’ll have the place to yourself”
Manic gripped Sahra’s hand as he answered “I will”
Sahra stretched up and kissed him.
Manic noted she held something in her hand; with a fast outpouring of menace he pushed her away and seized her wrist. Sahra was holding Beth’s handbag; she felt it was her first trophy,
and the first step to her becoming a real European lady.
Manic looked into her eyes and spoke slowly and clearly into her face
“You don’t have to steel anymore”
Sahra answered, her voice defiant “I want this, from her”
Manic released her wrist, and began to laugh
“You will soon be able to take anything from her”

#15 volante


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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:27 PM

Chapter Thirteen

Pere Lachaise

The Père Lachaise cemetery is located on Boulevard de Ménilmontant.
Today there are over 300,000 bodies buried within its 116 acres,
and many more in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who had requested cremation.
Gallagher’s two car convoy pulled up in front of the Philippe Auguste Métro station, next to the grand entrance.

He had been instructed to make contact alone; and now walked along the arrow straight main entrance through the giant square gate. Once he was within the walls of this city of the dead, the paved roadways meandered through an array of monuments; ranging from lavish family tombs to simple headstones.

Gallagher glanced at the extravagant sculptures placed by the city’s wealthy families, as he continued along the straight main thoroughfare. The road was wide enough to allow to two large vehicles to pass each other;
to each side of the road, a neatly trimmed grass bank rose to border a cobbled tree lined pavement.
Through the many spectacular works of art (that are equally as interesting to view as the various gravesites of famous individuals), Gallagher observed a number of tourists, strolling along the leafy avenues, guide books in hand.

What makes a cemetery such a popular site? He asked himself.
Well, the people buried there, of course! Père Lachaise is the final resting place of many individuals of world renown. The sun had finally broken through the grey clouds, and Gallagher was feeling uncomfortably hot; so forcing himself to slow his pace, he removed his jacket as he strolled along the main pathway in search of one particular monument.

To his left, he saw it. With a feeling of awe he stopped in front of Rossini’s tomb.
An imposing grey stone structure, similar in appearance (like many others) to the ‘Dr Who Tardis’ with a stone step leading up to two dark reddish brown latticed doors.
Three bouquets of flowers had been lodged into the lattice work, above the round door handles.
The monument was no more than twelve feet square, but over eighteen feet tall, with an imposing façade declaring this to be the resting place of the famous musician, Rossini.
Through the open lattice work a large round open aperture allowed the light to pass through.
Gallagher grasped the door handle and opened the doors.
He experienced a pain like never before, and felt himself falling to the floor, which he noticed was covered in brass; with a smattering of leaves which had blown in through the window.

James Bond helped him to the floor; then closed the doors behind them.
In the rear left corner of the brass platform a brass pad stood proud.
Bond pressed it with his foot. The floor began to descend.

As the platform dropped Bond searched and relieved Gallagher of his Browning 9mm hand gun, his mobile phone,
and a carbon fiber cigarette case.
“Filthy habit” He quipped; not because of the damage smoking can do to a human but because he knew the case was actually a hand-grenade.
The case could be opened and used to dispense cigarettes;
but if opened beyond 180 degrees would prime an explosive; that when the two outside faces of the case were touched together would detonate in 5 seconds. Bond put the case into his own pocket.
The platform continued to drop through the stone shaft; coming to rest a good twenty feet below ground; as it locked the round pad lifted into its raise position. For the next few seconds the sound of running water cascaded through the only passageway leading from the platform; built in a classic arch with bricks made before the French revolution, the passageway reminded Bond of a classic Metro tunnel; he estimated it would take him back under the main roadway,
which, given the number of corpses there must be in the surrounding area was very welcoming;
his footsteps echoed, the fact he was alone.

The passageway opened up into a room almost fifty feet in length, and almost half the width; it was crammed full of luxury and modern accoutrements.
A 40inch flat screen HD TV hung on one wall; but the technology was tempered with a Monet original which hung on the opposite wall.
All around the room modern equipment was interlaced between examples of Art nouveau, in the classic French style.
Bond stopped looking at the works of art when felt the cold mouth of a gun kiss the back of his neck.
“Drop the gun Mr. Bond”

Bond dropped the gun. Chelan cleared his throat
“Hands; on top of your head, fingers interlaced, please”
The gun urged Bond to move forward; Chelan followed.
The sound of the running water began to stabilize; as air replaced the water gurgling through the ancient pipe
“The method of entry, is water driven; very 19th century; a by product of the water pumping station of Etampe; but the surveillance system in operation is very 21st century”
Bond looked at the banks of monitors, showing the approach views from many cameras above ground.
“Yes, considerably”

“Given the reports from the French news reporter, I must confess I was not expecting you Mr. Bond”
Bond glanced at the screen to see a re run of the smoke bellowing from the Grand Arch.
“I find it pays not to be too predictable”
“Yes; I’m impressed; how did you overcome my little trap?”
Bond inclined his head toward the prone figure of Gallagher
“Your man tried too hard to sell me the address. Told me Leiter himself had written it down”
Chelan narrowed his eyes “Mmm; and you knew that was impossible”
“I also know Leiter’s handwriting; even if he could have written it; I knew he hadn’t; the handwriting of the contact numbers did however match Gallagher’s”
Chelan’s mouth screwed up in a mock ouch sound
“Very good Mr. Bond”, then his face opened up as if he’d just opened a gift
“You knew it was a trap; and you still came? I’m impressed; but intrigued. Why?”
Bond just smiled as in reply.

Chelan shrugged his shoulders “Why?”
with his free hand he wagged his finger, urging Bond to allow him time to figure out the conundrum
“MI6 would have told you that the CIA had fabricated a story which implicated you with the arms trade in Yemen;
and the assassination of President Ali Abdullah Saleh” He stepped back a pace and rubbed his hand over his face
“You know I will survive this scandal; you know that Leiter will be held responsible for the conspiracy to implicate me, and Taxargo” Chelan felt need to elaborate
“Felix and I go way back” he smirked.

He held his pointed index finger along side his nose, then extended it, as if reprimanding a child
“So you went to La Defence to remove the evidence that would incriminate you; and you put something there to implicate me” he was puzzled to understand what that could be, but Bond cut the thought process…

“On the contrary; you will hear that the second body is in possession of all my documents; and my trademark gun”

Chelan’s eyes sparked as the realization dawned on him.
“So, to the World, and to your employers everyone believes you are dead Mr. Bond”
He let the thoughts run through his mind.
It took a moment only but the silence seemed oppressive
“You’re not intending to go back, are you?”
Bond slowly shook his head “No”

Chelan clapped his hands “That is simply delicious” suddenly the smile dropped from his face
“Why are you here; if you intended to disappear, why not just go; why risk exposure with Gallagher;
why tell me your plans?”
“Because you’re the last person that would expose me, your defence hinges on the World believing I was culpable in the Yemeni affair; you can help me disappear; and of course your plan includes me being dead in a room at La Defence with Wazir”
“Ah yes, Wazir” Chelan spread his arms, indicating the hide away had once belonged to him
“Wazir was obsessed with France; as I’m sure you noticed, form his impressive art collection at his villa in Yemen”
Bond looked around the room again and saw the same style. In the background even the same music was playing.
“In 1887, the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini's remains were moved back to Florence, but the crypt, now dedicated to his memory, remained empty; perfect for the storage of arms”
“The rest is history” Bond quipped
Chelan laughed “Very good Mr. Bond. Alas poor Khaled, his demise was always part of my plan. His involvement with you draws a line in the sand on the Yemen operation”
“It was an inspired attempt”
Chelan felt flattered, he waved his hand to indicate it was nothing
“It was just part of the operation to destabilize the Chinese investments in Africa”
“Of course; America have neglected the natural resource that Africa has to offer for too long”

Chelan spat his answer with venom and true hatred
“America is a decedent waste of resource; hooked on fossil fuels like a kid on heroine”

Bond took in the information, and decided to show his hand, as to whom he thought Chelan’s allegiance really belonged to “Quantum?”
Chelan smiled, it stared with his eyes, as he accepted that Bond wanted to join him
“Everybody wants to rule the world Mr. Bond; but only certain people have the requisite ability. Quantum is like a Gentleman’s club; too many rules and funny handshakes. I represent a cartel, with a very simple objective. Make money; and we don’t care how we achieve that end. You’re a man with special skills and talents; surely you must appreciate the grand logistics behind such an operation as I am embracing”
the gun began to lower; Chelan relaxed against a desk.
“I do; and I also recognise the gulf between the rewards offered by our respective employers. There’s not much reward for someone like me, even though I’m required to kill and die for Queen and country”

Chelan nodded in agreement, he recognised the smell of greed; it was something he could feed upon
“Hero of the moment then gone in the blink of an eye”

Bond’s face softened his body relaxed, he nodded slowly
“I intend to enjoy my life for a little longer than that”

Chelan inclined his head as if trying to hear what Bond’s mind was saying to him
“Fine wines, good food; and of course women; I can see you would enjoy the company of those with the Midas touch”
Bond un-clasped his hands and brought them slowly down to his sides
“So where do I sign up?”

Chelan looked sad
“If only it were that simple. If only I could believe that you want to join my organization. It could be seen by others that this is an attempt by MI6 to infiltrate Quantum”
He inclined his head; inviting a confession.
“That’s who you thought I worked for, isn’t it” his head was nodding now, encouraging a ‘yes’ answer; he clenched his jaw in a show of excitement
“Oh how to decide if I am right. A test; that’s what we need; a test of your intentions; so who should I get you to kill to prove you want to join me. Should I ask you to kill Gallagher?”
he looked beyond Bond to the recovering CIA man as he entered the room, rubbing at his neck
“No. you know he’s already with us. Kill Leiter? That would be a poetic justice worthy of some of the inhabitants that rest here; but might take too long to organize”
He tapped his temple “I have it”

The loud gargle of water bubbled from the platform behind him.
From the darkness, Bond saw his potential un-doing. Beth arrived at his side.
She wore a beige Thomas Burberry trench coat, her wet hair cascaded over the collar; she looked freighted and confused, her natural reaction was to cling to Bond, which she did;
but her eyes moved away and focused on Chelan as she heard him say
“Mr. Bond; I’ve decided on your initiation. Please kill Miss Loverseed”

#16 volante


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Posted 15 January 2011 - 07:18 AM

Chapter Fourteen


Beth pulled away from Bond, just as Manic and Sahra emerged from the passageway.
Bond looked at Beth, his eyes were cold, his jaw set.
She knew he was an assassin; it was probably going to be the last thing she would ever know.
Bond held out his hand toward Chelan “Gun”

Chelan was on the verge of handing it to him, when Manic asked
“Do you think that’s wise?”
Chelan dropped his hand
“Good thinking Mr. Manic. Do it with your bare hands”

Beth looked up at him “James?”

Bond wrapped his hands around her throat; her hands shot up and grabbed his wrists; but his strength was well beyond her. He began to squeeze

As James Bond looked into the eyes of the woman he was about to kill; he asked
“Tell me Chelan; what will this prove, I thought your organization applauded loyalty?”

Sahra changed position to get a better look at the act, her eyes eager to take in the pain.
Manic shuffled around behind her, and began to gently massage her shoulders, encouraging her curiosity.
She leaned forwrd and surreptitiously hid Beth’s handbag behind her back.

Beth began to choke, her fists beat ineffectually at his chest, which, as her strength deminished, turned into nothing more than slaps on his shoulders.
Chelen was fasinated “It will prove you can take orders Mr. Bond”
Chelan was convinced that Bond was attempting to infiltrate his organisation, still probably believing it was Quantum.
But this show of sadistic strength was swaying him into thinking it might just be the money that he was after.

A fully recovered Gallagher closed in on the group to complete the macabre scene.

Bond broke the silence “You know I’m the best MI6 has; the best in the 00 section”
Bond’s lip began to curl as he applied more pressure.
Chelan put the gun on the table, utterly enthralled.
“Well 007" he said as he wetted his lips "Your number has been called”
The group chuckled at the comment.

Beth’s knees began to buckle,the pressure was constant; she was going under.
Bond’s eyes never left Beth’s.
Chelan looked down at her he could see her clouding over.
Bond’s voice brought him back to reality “…and what of her; surely she’s proved her loyalty to you over and over”
Chelan took his time to answer; then slowly a look of amazement came over his face.
His gaze darted from Beth to Bond and back again “You think she works for me?"
A look of doubt crossed Bond’s face “Of course, that’s why killing her is easy”
He twisted her, and she turned like a rag doll; forcing her back flat on the table.
Chelan began to shake his head “She’s not mine; why would you think such a thing?”

Bond pushed his thigh in-between her legs, he was angled directly above her, and was going in for the kill.
“She was loyal to Mortimer. Killed Shayef, after your men had failed. Led me to Manic at the plant”
His head twisted; all colour had drained from her face “…and ultimately to Ali Abdullah Saleh”
Chelan laughed a cold maniacal cackle, it echoed through the room
“You really believe she betrayed you; my god, it really is the money you want; good god Bond I'm impressed”

Bond released Beth; he pressed down hard on her sternum “Yes”
“Money” Chelan rotated his fingers as if he had notes in his hand “It regulates our dreams and desires”
Bond looked about the room “It dictates the size of our prison cell; and I want more”
“They say that as soon as you get something you want; you don’t want it anymore”
Bond looked him directly in the eye, holding his attention; everyone in the room held their breath...
...hanging on his next words
Bond's words were cold “That depends on what you get”

Suddenly James Bond lent forward, his left hand seized hold of Chelan’s gun barrel; simultaneously his right hand snatched the comb from Sahra’s hair. Straightening up quickly, he caught Chelan with the pistol on the bridge of his nose; crossing his arms across his chest he shot Gallagher; three shots in rapid succession, the noise loud in the quiet room.
The comb jabbed into Chelan’s wrist as the man raised his hands to his injured face.
Bond twisted, unwinding his arms, firing twice at Manic; but the Frechman's reaction was just as fast as Bond’s attack. Squeezing Sahra’s shoulders he thrust her in front of him, and her delicate body took the bullets aimed for him; the force threw her back forcing Manic into the flailing body of Gallagher.

Bond jabbed the sharpened wooden prongs of the comb into Chelan’s face; his skin split open.
Bond stepped back with his left leg, swapping the gun into his right hand, covering the struggling Manic as he hid behind Sahra’s fallen corpse.
Bond’s left hand flashed out and grabbed Chelan by the throat. Chelan flailed ineffectually at the hold, but broke it when he stepped back. Bond swept his left arm around the recovering Beth; her breathing was ragged.
At the same moment Chelan pulled open a drawer, retrieving his Browning 9mm.
Bond moved his aim away from Manic, turning and firing a single shot into Chelan’s head.
The velocity of the single shot at such close range exploded in his brain, and forced Chelan back and down onto the floor.

Beth, hands massaging her throat, began to run toward the passageway; Bond followed; but in that one fateful moment as his attention was taken by Chelan’s death, Manic slipped out from beneath Sahra's corpse.
The Glock was already in his hand; the first shot whistled past Bond’s left leg.
Bond returned fire but both shots missed, hitting the corpses of Sahra and Gallagher.
Bond chased Beth into the tunnel. Manic was on his feet now; he fired another volley of shots into the passageway; Bond ducked and returned fire again; then the gun fell on an empty chamber; he threw the gun into the room and chased after Beth “Press the button; get out of here”
Bond pulled the Cigarette case from his pocket, he opened it and slammed the two faces together.

1 second. He jammed the case into a cleft in the brickwork.
2; 3; the platform began to raise “Hurry James” Beth screamed at him.
4; Bond jumped; he slid on the brass covering, scrabbling for a hand hold; but as the platform rose he began to slide off. The stone shaft stood two feet above him, waiting to crush his body.
Beth grabbed him; he twisted his leg onto the platform just as it entered the shaft.
5; the grenade exploded against the wall, the force of the water erupted through the cracks, pushing the ancient bricks aside the weight of the water crashed through the cracks.
A torrent of water blew the passageway apart, swirling and flooding into the room.

The platform reached the top, and with a sigh it stopped, Bond stepped off, as he began to reach for the door the platform suddenly dropped.
Beth screamed, Bond held out his hand and she leapt for it, clasping hold of his outstretched hand.
The platform fell into the raising torrent of water, as it hissed and squeezed its way through the space between platform and shaft.
Beth hung in the air; Bond braced himself against the door frame and began to pull her up, she brought her other arm up, and held on as he brought her over the lip of the shaft.
She kissed him “Thanks for that; I thought the rule was – No happy endings”
“I reject those rules”
“I’m very pleased about that” she began to laugh, but the bruising on her throat stopped her; her hand went to her neck “You were very convincing”
“So were you; best Desdemona I’ve ever seen”

They walked out into the pale sunshine.

The bullets ripped through the wood of the door; splintering the delicate lattice work.
Bond ducked and pulled Beth down"Quick, ths way"
They began running through the monuments, shadows within shadows.
Automatic gunfire followed them as they weaved between the statues and head stones.
Bond guessed it was the rest of Gallagher’s team.
That ment just two men. The driver and the man Bond had overpowered in the second vehicle.
The last member of the rogue cell, Bond had already killed and left his body to be burned at La Defence.

#17 volante


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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

Chapter Fifteen

Best served in cold blood

Unarmed and facing two rogue CIA agents, they really had only one option; runaway.
Their exit through the cemetery saw them vault graves, in a fluid motion and hide behind monuments still as statues.
But each chance they took to catch their breath was cut short by the arrival of the two pursuing agents.
The oh so personal deadly game of cat and mouse was punctuated with screams of protest from the terrified tourists visiting the cemetery.
As more shots rang out they too took refuge by the sacred tombs; looking for divine intervention to assist their frantic getaway from the two armed men; that seemed hell bent on shooting all the graves.
Bond and Beth exited the cemetery through a small side entrance, spilling out onto a suddenly noisy road.
Without thought for safety they ran across the road, avoiding a number of cars and a taxi, which screeched to a halt, in a bow wave of road rage.
An irate, shaven headed taxi driver jumped out to remonstrate; but his vehicle was hit from behind, his anger was now split between the fast disappearing couple and the Asian driver that had hit his cab.
As Bond and Beth made it to the main entrance of the Metro station, the CIA agents exited by the same gate, as they careered across the road the taxi driver tried to halt them by gesticulating for the nearest man to write down his name, in a hope he could act as a witness to the traffic accident. A short burst from his MP5 hastened the drivers’ to return to their vehicles. The men raced across; and entered the metro.
Bond urged Beth through the ticket hall and down the steps toward the platforms.
Their footsteps echoed in the tublar tunnel, the echo deepening in tone as they ran deeper underground.
Their passing caused a draft which began tearing at the corners of the advertising posters which had come adrift from the frames.
They reached the end of the tunnel and were suddenly faced with a choice, two platforms; Bond pointed to the right and Beth rounded the corner; it was darker here, some of the lights were broken; Bond saw his chance, pushing Beth into a small recess he whispered “Wait here; don't move!”
He doubled back; and waited by the corner. But not for long, soon the fast approaching footsteps alerted him to the arrival of the CIA agents; and then it all went quiet.
The air whistled through the tunnel.
Bond familiarised himself with all the little squeaks and bumps; then came a new one. They were close.
A gun barrel poked around the corner; Bond reached out and caught the barrel of the machine gun; as he pulled the agent around the corner the gun went off, but Bond used his weight to push the man off balance; the gun flew from his hands, and skidded across the platform. Bond hit the agent once then dived for the gun; but momentum carried it across the smooth platform and in lurid slow motion it slid off the edge and dropped to the ground besides the line.
In panic the other commuters deserted the platform at the sight of the ferocious fight.
A sexy female automated voice announced the imminent arrival of the next metro.
Bond glanced at the electronic notice board; next train due one minute. Too late to try to retrieve the weapon; but then the option was taken from him. The second agent came through the entrance, Heckler & Koch in hand; he levelled the gun at Bond.
The noise of the gunfire was all consuming as James Bond slipped off the platform and reached for the gun.
The agent approached, bobbing up and down, looking for his target, firing short bursts.
The bullets zinged off the lines and erupted in the cinder base of the track.
The line began to buzz; then the wind began to grow stronger; something was pushing the air along the tunnel.
It was the train. The noise of the approach was unmistakeable. Bond stretched out and took hold of the gun.
The automated announcement system announced the arrival of the train; in the next instance Bond saw the lights loom out of the darkness, the beat of the motor, the hum of the line intensifying; Bond jumped to his feet and sprayed the platform with gunfire. The bullets ripped into the CIA man, who danced in reaction to being hit. The other agent squeezed off an uncoordinated burst of gunfire, which shattered the lights above the platform, showering glass onto the ground, bullets ricocheting with deadly abandon along the back wall of the platform. With a resigned look of melancholy the first CIA man sat; then fell sideways, dead. The second agent dropped his gun and slipped quietly to the ground.
Bond threw the gun onto the platform, and began to haul himself up from the line just as the train swept into the station. Its aerodynamic shape, round and streamlined announced the front of the metro train, but to Bond it looked as sharp as a guillotine as he tried to race the train; to the spot he was occupiying.
Too late; Bond recognised he would not be able to get out of the way in time; he dropped back down to the ground, squeezing himself against the dirty concrete edge of the platform. The train passed over him, slowing, squealing; hissing to a halt. The car wheel stopped inches from his head; the smell of grease and oil was everywhere filling his senses with trepiation; if he moved even an inch the wheels would snatch at him and drag him under. Then came the hiss of the doors as they opened above him; then the hurried noise the people getting off the train.
Then came the screams, as the passengers saw the two dead men on the platform.
The hum of electricity increased, and the train began to move; Bond pressed himself into the platform.
With a sucking bang it passed over him; he waited a moment and then very carefully he got to his feet and eased himself onto the platform.
Time was of the essence; he needed to get to Beth, and get her out of the station before the police arrived; after all he supposed he was still awanted man.
The sexy female automated voice broke the silence, announcing the imminent arrival of the next metro. Bond glanced up at the electronic notice board; 'next train due one minute'. He's expected Beth to come from her hiding place; but there was no movement; Bond began to walk toward her; suddenly he was filled with a fear for her life.
Only the sound of footsteps crunching through the broken glass made him turn back.
Manic took him by surprise in a classic cross arm choke, the smile was wide on his big unshaven face, his hair and clothes were soaking wet; he looked like he'd been through hell back in the tomb; but somehow he had survived.
He switched his body weight, and fell back bringing his right leg up into Bond’s stomach; with the momentum in full swing Manic let go, extending his powerful leg, Bond somersaulted through the air; the landing took the wind out of him, but he knew he had to move, or this would be over very quickly; he scrambled to his feet.
Manic ploughed in to him firing heavy punches, which Bond blocked left and right, but then a right cross got through his defence and caught Bond on the face, he fell back from the impact, Manic pursued him like a dog playing with a rag doll. He howled with laughter “How strange; I though you were a hard man to kill Mr. Bond”
Assured of the outcome he actually waited for Bond to get up; he could see he was still dazed and well in range for the next onslaught. This was going to be fun.
Striking quickly with the instep Manic aimed a vicious kick toward Bond’s thigh; it was a classic Savatte kick.
Manic was going for a crippling blow; Manic’s confidence was sky high; his assurance of victory un-questionable.
“I should have used my hands from the start; instead of all those fancy methods and weapons”
Bond managed to twist at the last moment sending the foot passed his thigh. Bond reached out and grabbed Manic’s arm.
As the Frenchman tried to evade the hold, Bond changed his grip; then reversed the momentum, forcing the arm back against the joint; Manic crashed back, losing his balance he fell on to the platform; as he hit the ground he brought both his legs up thrashing wildly, like a terrier, under a bigger dog.
Bond used his shoulder to push past the defence; he dropped his weight, and focused it all into his elbow; the full force crashed into Manic’s sternum.
The blow winded the big man, but he still had the presence to wrap both his arms around Bond’s body.
At that moment the next train swept into the station in a rush of wind and squeals.
Bond used the distraction; and twisted his body; then struck back with a flick of his head; it caught Manic on the nose; interrupting his breathing.
The metro doors sighed open, but reluctant passengers stayed where they were; huddeled togehter. Some began franticly pushing the door button hoping to close out the scene which met them.
Bond broke out of Manic's grip and tried a palm heel to the jaw, but Manic brought his head down into his chest; the solid force of the blow caught him on the cheek; and the stars twinkled in front of his eyes as his teeth rattled in his clenched jaw. The impact monetarily deadened Bond’s arm. Manic seized the opportunity; grabbing him in a bear hug and, with the power of a bulldozer began to push him toward the open car door of the train.
They crashed onto the grimy coffee stained, gum ridden wooden slated floor of the metro car. The passengers now fell over themselves to get out of the car; running and screaming onto the platform.
The doors hissed closed behind them; leaving only Bond and Manic fighting for their lives. The train began to move away from the station; the electric hum instensified.
Manic fired in another body blow which Bond blocked with an open handed deflection. Suddenly the pressure in the car intensified as the train entered the tunnel; each window instantly turning into a mirror; making their fight multi dimensional.
Bond countered with a right cross to the left side of Manic’s face; Manic stepped back, and Bond attacked with a double open handed percussion blow to both the big man’s ears. The car tipped as the train rounded a bend.
The blow sent Manic sprawling backward, Bond knew his ears would be ringing like a telephone; he needed to press home the advantage.
The train rocked from side to side as it picked up speed. Bond’s breathing was back under control now; his memory allowed him time to fit the picture in his mind. With total recall, Bond recalled all the times he and Manic had met before; all the times Manic had tried to kill Bond, and of course the cold calculating way he had sent Bee to her death.
The anger built inside him; and he saw the movements of the big man in slow motion; he seemingly appeared to have all the time in the world to raise his elbow and block the next blow, which was just an oafish right swing.
Bond kept his arm relaxed and the impact of the blow served to give momentum to a right motion, Bond used that momentum to fire a right into Manic’s ribs; as an uncontrolled reaction the Frenchman covered up his left side; the wide confident smile no longer on Manic’s face.
The man was wounded, but still dangerous; in true fighter style he fired a quick left from the cramped stance; but it was more of a distraction than a hard blow; Bond deflected the punch with an open handed pressure block; twisting his right shoulder back he used the momentum to bring his left arm up; his elbow struck into Manic’s right cheek.
It was the one that Bee had kissed just before they jumped from the plane; just before he sent her to her death.
One final time, he had promised, one final time.
That time was now.
Bond wanted revenge; and revenge is a dish best served in cold blood.
Bond calculated the optimum moment to strike the final blows. He brought his hand down in a classic ridge hand.
The last blow had stopped Manic in his tracks; his brain could not cope with the pain he was enduring; especially after he had psyched himself up for the quick victory.
In every encounter they had had, Bond had always come off second best. Manic knew himself to be bigger and physically stronger than Bond, so he could not understand why he was getting beat.
Bond steadied himself; then whipped another left punch into Manic’s right cheek, the bone shattered; the force bounced through his skull, sending a shrill scream through his brain.
Bond held his fist rigid in place for a moment; then withdrew; using the motion to push his right shoulder forward; dropping his weight Bond’s right fist was heading for the solar plexus; but at the last moment, Manic twisted and the blow missed its target, but the resulting blow cracked a rib; which both men heard.
Manic’s body crumpled to the left, instantly Bond fired another left punch into the solar plexus.
This one hit home, the blow cut off the ability of the lungs to supply air; and the body began to shutdown.
Their eyes met; and a thousand questions were posed in a micro second; but only one answer was muted.
Manic’s mouth hung loosely from a shattered jaw. Bond executed a right cross, to the temple; the pain was unbearable and Manic’s brain began to close down; lights twirling like stars before him; his knee joints began to buckle.
The train slowed to a halt as the lights of the station made the windows ‘see through’again. With a sigh the train stopped. All was silent.
Bond snapped a right heel kick into Manic’s diaphragm, rupturing his internal organs. The doors sighed open.
Manic's thigh muscles relaxed and the knees continued to buckle; with the momentum of the kick. As the power of the kick spread through his body, Manic was lifted and propelled backward, out of the car and onto the platform.
“Mind the gap” Bond quipped
The doors hissed closed and the train set off from the platform as Manic exhaled; one final time.
Gathering speed the train entered the tunnel.
Alone in the car, James Bond opened his hand and looked down at what lay in his palm.
It was a small cross, made from three bullets.


Three men sat in M’s office. It was late afternoon two weeks after the supertanker Samho Dream had been taken.
M let out a slow whistle of breath as he sat back in his chair; leaning back he clasped his hands behind his head, and allowed the information to sink in
“I’m so sorry Rolf”
The tense atmosphere in the room showed no signs of subsiding; after all this was the first ‘closure’ meeting that Sir John Green had presided over as M at MI6.
M un-clasped his hands and lent forward, pointing at the report on his desk with a well manicured index finger.
M summarized “The police confirmed Miss Loverseed was dead when they found her; she’d been killed in the gun-battle; she’d been shot; she died instantly”
Rolf Bowden looked as if he was fighting a losing battle to hold back the tears; the director of the Horn of Africa think tank asked “Was the operation deemed a success?”
M answered quietly “Yes”
Bill Tanner turned his face away, unable to justify the losses in terms of success.
M continued “Khaled Wazir died in the explosion at La Defence; his cache of weapons seized and destroyed. The threat of an uprising in Africa, quelled; but yes he’s dead”
Tanner cut in “Along with 007”
The silence hung, M turned to him “Yes, that’s correct”
Bowden remembered the MI6 agent from their first briefing on the mission.
On his advice, they had sent one man to investigate claims that an army was being raised and armed.
They had hampered the MI6 man by insisting that Beth tagged along to ensure that all actions he wanted to take that could affect the people were ratified by her.
Beth was of course nothing but an eager amateur in this world of evil.
All the while, their progress was being watched by Mortimer.
How 007 had ever progressed to the level he did was amazing.
Bowden asked “But your agent discovered the man responsible for all the trouble” the words seemed so innocent, so naive.
M nodded “A rogue cell within the CIA had been responsible for enforcing the plans of the man you suspected. One man arrested here in London; the four field agents all dead in Paris. One, a man named Gallagher was found at the cemetery; the other three died in the gun battle in the metro”
“And this man Chelan?” There was an eagerness in his voice; as if he wanted to put closure to the ordeal.
M shrugged “Although it will not be able to be proved conclusively; I’d like to tell you, off the record that you are correct; Chelan’s body was found at Père Lachaise; apparently he had recruited both Mortimer and Wazir. This came about because he had been able to blackmail a number of US Senators to acquiesce with his plan”
Bowden shook his head in disbelief “What could he have had to be able to exert that much pressure on these people?”
M shook his head; with a hint of sadness he answered
“We will never know; he took those secrets to the grave” he thought about the bloated corpse, battered from the torrent of water, extracted from the watery tomb. “Literally”
As Bill Tanner escorted Bowden to the door; M took a rubber stamp and ink pad from his drawer and stamped the front of the ‘Operation Domino’ folder with a clear ‘CLOSED’
M looked up to find Tanner standing in front of him.
“Isn’t that a little previous, Sir?”
“We’ve yet to have 007’s dental records confirmed”
“They’ll match Bill; trust me they’ll match”
Tanner lent on the desk and prodded the report “Do you really accept that as the truth?”
“Of course”
“I just don’t buy the story that 007 was killed at La Defence. The explanation that the CIA cell fought amongst themselves is highly unlikely. I mean why would the corpses be spread between two metro stations?”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t there”
“The Mercenary; Manic, and the African girl. Where did they disappear to?
“There’s no proof they were ever at the cemetery”
Tanner beat his fist on the desk in frustration.
M looked to bring the voice of reason in closing the debate
“If 007 isn’t dead Bill, why isn’t he here; why hasn’t he contacted us. Contacted Moneypenny. Contacted you?”
Tanner seemed to crumble at the reasoning behind the words. His resolve was finally breaking down, forced to accept the inevitable, he made one final statement.
“He just enjoyed his life too much to be dead” With bowed head he left the office; how Moneypenny was going to take the news, god only knew.
M watched him go; every human emotion screamed at him to say something; but this was after all the secret service.
M was more than aware that James Bond certainly had lived…
…but then again it has been said “You only live twice”

#18 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 05:38 PM

Chapter Sixteen

Never trust a corpse

The sun was taking a long time to set; it appeared to be resting behind a bank of thunderhead clouds before calling it a day; and a miserable day at that.
Cliff Daniels eased himself into his chair. His body physically ached; his shirt stuck to his skin as if he’d been wearing it to the gym. He scooped out some ice from the bucket; and dropped two large cubes into his Edinburgh crystal tumbler. The malt was a blended 10 year old; for which the ice actually distracted the taste, but hell he was worth it.
What a meeting; it had been more like five rounds with Mike Tyson; and now, as he relaxed he felt all the corporate punches; all the legal low blows; and all the federal abuse; even his demeanor was exhausted.

The CIA had initiated the get together at the state attorney’s office.
Four ‘vice President’s from Taxargo; accompanied by a team of lawyers; who looked like they’d just stepped out of a magazine shoot; had sat in a cramped office all day. Although their expensive suits and messy hair styles didn’t distract from their ability to coax meaningful responses from their wards; many questions had gone un-answered.
Hours of intricate questions were answered without saying anything.
Daniels thought Chelan himself would have been proud.
Minute by minute the evidence was traded like punches. Details of Chelan’s treachery were linked with an inevitability which never seemed in question. Chelan’s deceitful actions were explained.
His autonomy enabled the vice presidents to form a useful plausible deniability.
The lawyers had an uncanny knack of twisting the facts and indicating that the CIA rogue cell were at the centre of the conspiracy; the intimate knowledge of Edison’s activities eventually put the CIA on the back foot.
Daniels swilled the malt around the tumbler and took a long drink. The spirit burned his throat; then formed satisfying warmth that seemed to calm him.

He pressed two buttons on a remote. The blinds swiveled shut and the lights began to glow. His desk top flipped back to allow his monitor to rise. His fingers tapped slowly over the keyboard. With a heavenly fanfare the screen came alive.
He began to type…
…in response bright yellow flowers, in the centre of the screen opened its petals, announcing return messages. It was an application his grand-daughter had put on to his messaging account, when she last came to the office; that was Christmas; and although Daniels was considered to be a leader of one of the most powerful countries on earth; he had no idea how to take it off.
These were the responses he had hoped for. Chelan was dead; purged from the face of the earth. But here were the shoots of re-growth.

A message from Kinshasa; another from a politician in Nigeria, reminding Daniels that this mineral rich country shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. “A ready made supply route” he mused.
Another confirmation that Chelan’s network still wanted to play.

Clicking the mouse another message opened.
“Tough Day?”
Daniels looked to see the identity of the sender; his mind did a double take.
This was impossible.
The sender’s name was ‘Placebo’
Taking another drink from the glass; he looked at the ID. The sender was on line now.
Daniels’s fingers shook as they danced over the keyboard to return the message
“Where are you?” he wanted to write ‘who are you’; but felt the sender would be able to lie; and cause more issues.
After all this could be anybody. The Police; the CIA; anybody except the person who used the ID

The seconds ticked by. The flower appeared centre screen; and grew, blossoming, opening.
Daniels read the message

Daniels still wasn’t spooked; just curious to know who was sending him messages from Paris,
under the ID used by LeCoyte Chelan.
“He’s dead; I know he’s dead” he muttered to himself
Daniels tried to think of a question that would indicate to the sender that he was fully aware of the impossibility of the truth behind the ID. A rye smile crossed his face.
“Why do you think I don’t believe you are who you say you are?”
The flower opened “Because Placebo is dead”

Daniels took a sharp intake of breath; well that was a relief; the message was coming from Paris, and not from beyond the grave. Daniels ran his hand over his face “Think; who could this be”
Even if this were the authorities; Daniels’s name on a Chelan messengers list would prove nothing; they had been in business together, their knowledge of each other wasn’t a secret.
If this were a sting; nothing could be proved; nobody would be able to guess the significance of these user ID’s.
Daniels needed proof of the identity of the caller; he needed to know who was using the ID of the leader of the African operation
“Who are you?”
“Someone that needs the codes to hold the Haradheere project together”
Daniels absorbed the word ‘code’ it was their secret word for commodities used to fund the operations; hard currency, usually diamonds.
“Where would I send the codes?”
If he got this right; it was a very good indication that the sender was part of Chelan’s inner circle.
“There’s only one man unaccounted for that could know that route” Daniels said aloud; quickly he looked around the office, ensuring he was alone.
He smiled and shook off the paranoia.
But there was one vital piece of evidence that he needed to convince him this was the man he though it was.
“Give me the London contact name”
The petals opened, and the message appeared on the screen; just one word was printed.
One word that made Daniels smile. It was as much proof as he needed. His fingers tapped out a reply.
“Give me your contact number”
The mobile number appeared on the screen; Daniels copied it into his own mobile.
Soon he knew it would ring; and the ousting of the Chinese from Africa would be back in play.
Another message appeared
“When and where do I pick up the 5 codes”
‘Christ’ thought Daniels ‘He wants £5 million in diamonds’ but from this question, Daniels found a new calm, and a better consolidation for the operation.
Instinctively he knew how he would transfer the diamonds into the UK.
“The transfer and pick up will be completed in the normal manner. London contact will then inform you of the location”
It was as if he’d done five rounds with Mike Tyson…and won.


Leiter woke.
It was night; and his hospital room was filled with shadows. The monitor lights glowed in the darkness; coupled to the regular beeps and squeals from the machines, gave him a feeling of security.
The memory of his ordeal flooded back with cruel abruptness.
The surgeon had explained that his leg had been amputated below the knee.
It was a statement that dominated his thoughts; he could not think of a life; of a future past this moment.
His hands gripped the sheets, as he fought back a wave of remorse.
Something moved on the bed.
Leiter focused on a small white envelope that slid effortlessly down the slope formed by his body.
His hand flashed out and trapped the envelope against the sheet.
Something moved in the shadows.
Was it a trick of the light? Leiter tightened his grip on the envelope.
He tried to speak, but his mouth was too dry; he coughed to clear his throat.
As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he was able to answer his own question; this was no trick.
A figure sat in the chair against the far side of his room.

“Hello Felix”
Leiter felt an aura of calm
“Hello Brother. I heard you were dead”
“I am”
“So what’s this; a visit from Marley?”
“Hardly. I never did like reggae. But I think you’ll like your ‘get well’ present”
Leiter shook the envelope; it jingled with a metallic scrape
“Your car keys?”
“Open it”
Leiter ripped it open and slid the contents into his hand; the chain poured into his palm.
Chelan’s cross lay in the palm of his hand
Bond broke the silence “When you get better; there’s some interesting information inside…”
“…Was he Quantum?” Leiter asked expectedly
“No, nothing so grand; but credit where credit’s due; Chelan had built up quite a neat little people smuggling operation”
Leiter held up the bullet cross necklace; it glinted in the light from the machines
“I’m expecting to see a nice list of ‘snakeheads’ then”
“I’ve taken pieces out of the jigsaw. So it might take you a little longer to decipher some of the trail”
“Okay; I’m sure you have your reasons; but I’m sure the list will give me a lot of places to go and people to see?”
The expectancy in his voice suggested Leiter could now see a future, beyond the hospital bed.
“Of course; but be careful; I believe some of the names are the victims in Chelan’s various blackmail scams.
So I suggest you don’t shoot first on all the visits”
“So, Chelan was the head”
“So it seems”
“Now we’ve cut the head off; who takes over?”
Bond’s reply was swift and without hesitation
“In the US it’s Senator Cliff Daniels”
Leiter nodded slowly “Yes, he always did like his oil” there was no surprise in his voice
“I can pay him a visit if you like; whilst I’m officially dead it’s amazing what I can get away with”
Leiter nodded “…and M is okay with that?”
“M is yes; as long as he thinks the action has an attachment to Quantum”
Leiter laughed, the experience was pleasant, his mood lightened
“So MI6 are actually starting to be pro active”
“Not exactly; no one else knows what I’m doing. M thought it best that I work deep undercover to achieve the best results”
“He still doesn’t know who to trust then?”
“No, we’re still trying to draw some names out back in London; once we have those; Chelan’s legacy will be over”
“The British version of Cliff Daniels”
“You might think that”
As if from nowhere the thought hit him “Edison?”
Bond chuckled at the concern
“Don’t worry he’s under lock and key. But there are a few ‘door plaques’ that will need new names in Langley”
“All so very close to home”
Bond shook his head “Not exclusively. Chelan was running a global black market in people.
The practice of people smuggling has been on the rise over the past decade; and right now it accounts for a significant portion of illegal immigration in countries around the world”
“Chelan used his business ventures as a cover for importing illegal immigrants”
Bond nodded “That’s right; allowing cheap labour to flood into a specific area”
“Poor bastards”
“Careful where you place your concern Felix; it seems Chelan’s customers consented to being smuggled”
“A chance of employment, personal betterment, and an escape from poverty”
“A ready made fifth column which would advocate insurgency; coupled to a regime of blackmail; the minority would soon become the majority”
“I guess Chelan was able to use his contacts back at the CIA to assess who would be a good target”
Bond answered “He picked up on the crisis in Yemen; and the opportunity in Africa; and set about putting his people in place”
Leiter shook his head; he confided about the hopelessness of the situation
“Thing is the CIA are looking at destabilizing the Chinese presence in Africa. Jesus; there’s just no black and white anymore”
“No, half the politicians are only asking for action to be taken against Quantum; arms dealers, and drug barons; in an attempt to see how close we are to discovering their involvement”
“How close are you?”
“That really depends on who crawls out from under the next stone”
“Just another shade of grey brother”
“Felix; it’s time for me to go. Especially if I have to see Senator Daniels before I head back to London”
“Maybe that’s not such a good idea”
“Developing a conscience?”
“No; just a healthy desire to go arrest the bastard myself”
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be dead for Felix; so if you change your mind…”
Bond let the invitation hang

Bond stood up from the chair, but made no move to leave.
“…thanks for pulling me out of the water”
“Well I know you don’t swim to good”
Leiter tipped his head, like a dog waiting for a command
“…and thank that girl of yours too…Beth”
“Didn’t you hear; she died in Paris as well”
Leiter felt the shock trickle through his body; deflating his good mood.


Senator Cliff Daniels pressed the button; and waited until the glass partition rose to segregate himself from his driver. It was late; but the city was still alive. Large neon signs; thousands of LED lights spelled out the message that this was a city of fun. Life hustled by in purposeful splendour. Daniels sat in the luxurious isolation of his Cadillac and took the call that flashed with a promise as rich as a young girl’s smile. The number was the one that he had been given as a contact. All was not lost
He cleared his throat “Senator Daniels speaking” the excitement was barely kept under the surface.

“I am Manic; you have heard of me?”
The accent was thick; but Daniels got the drift
“Only by reputation”
The line was quiet for a moment

“Chelan is dead. Do I have a new employer?”
Daniels decided to play it cool “I hear they took all the guns you got for Mr. Wazir” it was a question that actually meant; what use will you be to me Mr. Manic?
“Only the guns in Yemen were taken. We still have enough to start a war in Somalia”
“Well that’s good; ‘cause that’s what we’re gonna do”
“Moalim-Nur is dead”
Daniels tapped his fingers against the window “He can be replaced. How long do you need to get back to where we were”
The Texan drawl was getting faster
“Three months”
Daniels thought about the logistics of getting the infrastructure back on course.
“Mr. Manic; you have a new employer; welcome on board”

“I still need ‘liquid’; you will send the codes?”
“To the London address; yes”
“Then I won’t be able to move until I receive a call from the London contact”
“Does that address represent a problem?” Daniels knew that even though Manic knew the name of the London link; he wouldn’t know the route into the UK
The reply came without stress “No; just as long as the diamonds arrive quickly”
Daniels resisted a laugh but did indulge in a broad smile as he said “It’s okay we have a very reliable courier”


James Bond held the mobile away from his ear; as he listened to the artificially sad music.
He checked his wrist watch; he’d been waiting for the Mortuary attendant to return for more than two minutes.
The voice cleared his throat; then speaking in French, the attendant confirmed
“Yes sir, the personal affects for Miss Loverseed were collected this morning”
“Does that include her passport?” Bond asked knowing that it didn’t
“No sir; the police still have that; just her handbag was taken”
“Thank-you” Bond put the phone down. Only when the police released the passport could the body be returned to the UK.


Rolf Bowden wore a thick black Burberry overcoat.
His reflection distorted his outline as he observed his appearance in the window.
The room at the airport where he was waiting was not frequently used; the carpet looked new.
He watched the aircraft taking off; the tail lights disappearing into the distance, mingled with the reflection of his own sullen face. Somewhere in the arrival zone off to the right of the building, he knew the plane had already landed.
He was suddenly filled with an emotion that would have remained hidden if he’d been alone.
He imagined the coffin sliding silently down the conveyer belt from the rear of the airplane.
Because this repatriation had been authorized by the government; a police officer accompanied the two men in overalls as they waited for the coffin to arrive. As Bowden imagined the scene, the reality mirrored the two baggage attendants as they put it on a gurney; all three men then accompanied the sad load into the customs hanger.
The girl joined Bowden at the window
“If you’d like to come with me sir” her BA uniform looked as distorted as his own.

They left the window and went down into the large customs hanger.
Bowden’s heart was beating faster.
The room smelled of polish. The lighting was subtle.
It felt cozy and safe, but in reality it was just a small room tacked onto the vast emptiness of the customs hanger.
The sight of the coffin sitting alone on the gurney filled him with a genuine sadness.
The BA attendant spoke in suitably hushed tones
“The undertakers, will be here in thirty minutes”
Bowden nodded “Its ok I’ll be alright waiting by myself”
The girl smiled reservedly and left.

Alone, Bowden walked over to the coffin; he let his fingers play on the cold wooden lid.
“Oh Beth” he shuddered.
His fingers played with the brass locking handle
The knock on the door startled him; the question from outside was gentle; but needed a reply
“Mr. Bowden”
Bowden turned in panic; his voice high pitched with nervous tension
“Yes, who is it?”
“Undertakers” was all he heard.
The door handle began to turn; Bowden rushed to the door; the rage he was about to impart on these impertinent people was not false.
He reached the door just as it swung open; and Bowden came face to face with James Bond.

Bowden brought his shock under control
“Jesus Christ. What the hell’s going on here; I thought you were dead”
“That was the idea; but now I’m here to expose you as part of the conspiracy to murder…”
“…Have you gone mad? What are you talking about?”
“You’re Chelan’s contact in England”

Bowden raised his open hands and shrugged his shoulders
“Never heard of him”
“Daniels told you he’d arranged to send diamonds in order to fund his war in Africa”
“Diamonds? Really Bond you’ve gone mad”

“Spare me the theatrics Bowden; I know that Cliff Daniels contacted you”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about”
“Chelan’s bodyguard, Manic asked Daniels for funds; you call them ‘codes’ I believe.
You were told to collect them tonight; but only you knew the diamonds would be in Beth’s coffin”
“Prove it. I’m here to receive the body of one of my most valued employees.
It was Mortimer that was the one under the control of this man Chelan I believe”
“Maybe; but Daniels identified you as his English contact”
“Well, when I was pretending to be Manic. To prove I was part of his organization, I gave him your name; as the man in charge of the African project”

Bowden knew the situation was hopeless.
Slowly he pulled out his Glock.
“You think you’re so clever don’t you Bond” he gestured with the gun for Bond to go to the coffin.
“Open it”
Bond twisted the brass locking handles.
They popped with a sound like a jam jar opening
He raised his head, indicating Bond should lift the lid.
Carefully Bond lifted the lid.
With the gun he gestured for him to put it against the wall; Bond complied.

Bowden lent against the coffin, and inserted his hand; in a desperate attempt to locate the diamonds.
The gun waved wildly in his other hand. His breath was ragged as he grasped the white silk sheet; with one swift movement he pulled it free of the coffin.
Beth’s wax like face looked back at him from beneath a Chantilly lace veil.

His hands slipped inside the silky material that covered Beth’s corpse.
“Not so clever now eh? Bond. Everyone thinks you’re dead; after I’ve taken the diamonds, I’ll just shove you in here”
He thrust the gun against Bond’s forehead.
“But there’s one thing I need to know before I kill you. Just how did you know this was the route”
“Obvious; you were always present at the repatriation of the death of a British worker; playing the concerned employer”
“Good job you had a corpse then…” the words were out before he realized the implications; he looked into the coffin.

Beth opened her eyes and asked
“What are you looking for Rolf?”

Bowden jumped back. Beth’s corpse rose from the coffin.
Bowden’s scream was shrill; his hands shook in a feeble attempt to ward away the apparition.
He was in such a state of shock he didn’t see Bond approach.
For a moment he saw stars; then his world turned black.

#19 volante


    Lt. Commander

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 10:29 AM


James Bond was dead.
Within MI6 all those that had known him had mourned and accepted that fact;
all that was except M.
It was a cold night when M met Bond in the crypt of St Andrew’s church in Holborn, London.
Their conversation was brief and to the point.
“Are you ready to be re born?”
Bond shook his head “Not yet”
M looked on expectedly “But you gave the list to Leiter?”
Bond nodded; but M sensed there was more “All of it?”
“I erased one name from Chelan’s ‘little black book’ certain evidence could prove to be very embarrassing if it came to light. One name; I believe should meet with a career limiting experience before I come back from the dead.
Don’t worry I’ll make it look…”
M held up his hand “Who is it?”
Bond smiled “You really don’t want to know”
“You’re probably right” they stood in silence; the low level lighting put Bond’s face into the shadows
“I’ll get started then” Bond made a move; but M spoke
“…Be careful” M stood, hands clasped in front of him.
“Absolutely” They shook hands; Bond was walking away when M asked
“One thing puzzles me Bond. Tell me was Miss Loverseed in the coffin all the way from Paris?”
Bond smiled, although the gesture was unseen by M “No; it was the African girl; I only substituted Beth at Heathrow.
I borrowed the coffin from ‘Vinestock’s, a local undertaker. The name on the plaque was ‘Mrs. Goodbody’ I thought it rather apt”
“Where is Miss Loverseed now?” M closed in.
Bond waited un-moving “Beth went back to Africa to assist at a missionary station in the Hiran region”
Again the hand came up; halting Bond’s progress “Just to appease me 007; tell me, what happened to the diamonds?”
They now stood face to face
“A few questions have been asked”
“I have them; thought I’d use Daniels’ own money to fund our little operation”
M nodded “That will keep the treasury happy”
“I help out where I can”
“You realize you’ll be on your own; if you get caught I’ll deny everything”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way”
“Good, we understand each other then” M searched Bond’s face for a hint of emotion; he found nothing
“And finally Bond, I must know, what happened to Rolf Bowden?” Bond’s face remained passive and un-moving but his eyes darted toward M
“Wish I could help”


On the morning that police across Europe confirmed they had broken up a people smuggling gang which was reported to have brought 4,000 illegal immigrants into Britain over the past five years; a single bell tolled at the Sipson village church.

It was just a small congregation; six members from the nearby home stood in bowed silence; their ages ranged from 70 to 82. They had listened to the vicar give a wonderful eulogy; and now they waited in line to throw a handful of soil onto the coffin of their friend.
At their age, the faculties begin to go; the sight becomes dimmed and the hearing becomes dulled.
So much so that only the vicar heard the noise; it was a muffled thump, that seemed to came from the coffin; anyway he simply put it down to the soil landing on the brass name plate of Eileen Goodbody.


The train punched a hole through the air at 120MPH; in cosseted luxury James Bond read with interest that the French police had yesterday, arrested 22 people in France, 18 in Italy, 7 in Britain and 3 each in Turkey and Greece.
"The organizers ended up having the monopoly on smuggling illegal immigrants of all nationalities into Britain," said Denis Pajaud, head of the French police squad investigating the illicit migration. The Paris public prosecutor's office said the five-nation police investigation, was acting upon information supplied by the CIA, and was the largest in Europe.
Within his mind’s eye he traced the immigrants through Turkey, Greece and Italy. They were brought to Paris or Calais and smuggled aboard British-bound Lorries, sometimes with the knowledge of the drivers, sometimes without.
French investigators said British police seized hundreds of fake Iraqi and Iranian passports and identity papers. France expects three people held in the UK to be extradited in the coming weeks.

Bond folded the newspaper “Bully for you Felix” bolstered by the fact he was not quiet alone in his quest; he decided to go to the bar for a drink. With a whoosh; the Eurostar entered the channel tunnel; the windows turned to mirrors, and he caught sight of his own reflection; the curved surfaces, made him look even more haunted than ever.
But it didn’t deflate his demeanor.
Bond knew there was to be no back-up; with this mission; he knew he was to be on his own.
Just one man with one goal. The mission:- To eliminate just one name.
The one name Bond had removed from Chelan’s list.

Until that man was eliminated James Bond would remain dead.

[size="7"]The End

James Bond will return[/size)