'3030 was a double, working for Redland.'
Nathan Timothy could almost recall the entire brief verbatim. Winter was approaching in Switzerland, the last vestiges of the summer and autum here and gone like a receeding memory. He wished he had something warm to drink.
It was 2:30 in the morning and Adolph Gettler was still at his desk and still apparently writing in his ledgers. Soon he would be retiring to his bed while Nathan would be retiring to his sleeping bag. The only creature comfort, save for running water in the empty flat.
He wished he passed on this assignment. The man was absolutely boring but M had decided to have an inquiry made of Gettler. It had been about a month and a half since Vesper Lynd's suicide at the beach resort in France and during that time M had cleaned house. No one in the service were to be trusted and almost everyone had to be interrogated as to where his or her allegiances lay. It resulted in a rat hunt that wielded little results and plenty of hurt feelings, five resignations, and more than a fistful of distrust.
Timothy had been pulled away from a previous, and what he deemed a more important assignment: trying to finally catch 'Captain' Alec Hawke red handed. Rumors went about how Captain Hawke had been selling secrets out of spite simply because the services no longer were in need of his services. Nathan wasn't surprised, he loathed the man. In the war when Timothy was a Lt. Cmdr in the SBS, Hawke was operating within the SOE and the two organizations crossed paths. Hawke was arrogant and reckless, and should have never been part of the war.
Gettler left the desk, walking into his kitchen for his final gin and tonic for the night, then returned to his ledger to make more entries. Nathan would retire right along with him, as instructed back in London. This was a simple shadow and observe operation. Do nothing else until instructed.
One way or another he had to find a way into the flat across the street, He thought about bribing the landlord for the copy, but if Gettler was as connected as he was suspected to be - then the landlord would already be in Gettler's pocket. Backdoor? Locks could be picked, however how careful was Gettler? If he was trained, then there would be traps; little, subtle things that would give warning to Gettler if his home had been invaded.
'Another time, not right now. Be patient, you'll find a way.' Nathan reminded himself.
A part of him wanted to curse his handler for this. He could imagine the man now, sitting in his office reading the reports from around the empire. Then the memorandum from London wanting services of a newly assigned operative for a stealth mission.
He could imagine the phone call to the building in Regent's Park.
"Hullo, this is Adams, of Station V. I've got your man for the Zurich assignment. Nathan William Timothy. We call him Bill. He's a good man, his work is solid and reliable. What's that? Yes, he gets results. Will do, thank you."
And within a couple of days Nathan was shipped straight back to London and given this assignment. Captain Hawke would have to be somebody else's problem. Damn the man.
Lights out over at Gettler's. The man would be waking around seven to start his routine over again. Nathan sighed and went to his sleeping bag.
'There has to be something here.' Nathan thinks to himself. 'They wouldn't send me out to chase bumpkin.'
Closing his eyes, Nathan thought of the brief. How long was it since the casino assignment? Not that long ago but it felt that years had passed. Word went around that it was a major victory for the service but the man, Bond? He received the worst of it. Or so the powder vine said.
The stupid bastard.
Clearing his mind, Nathan forced himself to sleep. Tomorrow would be different.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:36 AM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:35 PM
The weeks prior.
After finishing his second whiskey M. put down the glass and allowed himself to recline in the leather chair. He wouldn't dare to so off such mannerisms during working hours, it was unprofessional. He ran the service like a well oiled machine. The urge to smoke overcame his patience so he reached for his pipe, filled it, then lit it. Inhaling a lungful then exhaling with a glorious hiss.
Christ, what a day. The sky darkening with stormclouds appearing through his right window. In a way he was glad for the meetings with the PM, and the Ministry, not to mention the security committee always searching for a way to cut the service funding. Today's arguments had brought him little victories but his mind, and attention returned towards his agent...Bond, and the hell he went through with the casino job.
Bond performed well, but his report was what disturbed M. There was a wolf in the fold and M. wondered if there were many more? How far down did the stench of 'traitor-ism' stretch to? M. knew Bond liked to work alone and by god, he should have let him. Sending the girl over to assist him was a mistake and should have sent an immediate red herring. The signs were there...now that he knew what to look for; an inquiry into Vesper Lynd's personal affairs had been conducted right after her letter was in M's hands. Women weren't made for this kind of work, they didn't have the nerve or the reserve for this.
What the hell made him send her out there?
It was too late now. What was needed at the present was a scourging. Yes, clean house and set affairs into order. Start right away with the suspected ones, then move onto the the ones who were definitely guilty. Round them all up, get them to talk, then liquidate them.
But this wouldn't be the end of it. If the Soviets were thinking that M. would just dispel the rotten apples then they had another thing coming. Bond's report had mention of a man Vesper was deathly afraid of. (Yes, she hid it well but afraid she was.) His name? Adolph Gettler? Well, if he was connected with SMERSH then it was time to send the Russians alittle message about harming one of his men.
M. sat forward in his chair and pressed the button on his intercom for Bill Tanner.
"Chief of Staff?" He called.
"Take a memo, and send it out to all European Station heads. Begin: Wanted - solid reliable man for observation mission in Zurich. Agent should be skilled in hand to hand combat along with reliable weapons training. Available immediately." Got it?"
A pause, then "Yes sir."
"Make sure we get a good man Tanner. Someone who's tough and who won't mind taking a life, if necessary."
"Right away M." M. switched the intercom off.
Reclining once again in the chair, M. looked out his windows. A storm was approaching.
If this was the way the Russians wanted to play it, then they were going to be deeply sorry for it. He stood up, reached for his phone and called for his driver. Walking over to retrieve his hat and coat, then shutting the double doors leading into his office. Miss Moneypenny would be at home, he wondered if he should call then thought better of it. She'd get the gist of his plan...when he made one after dinner, in the morning.
Taking the lift down to the main floor, M. heaved a heavy sigh. There was so much filth, and so little time to deal with it. However it couldn't be helped. His workers would be unhappy, some might even be sacked. But it had to be done.
As the lift doors opened M. cleared his thoughts. Time for dinner at Blades, maybe a quick game? Then make a plan of attack.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:26 AM
3. The Interview.
Sitting across from M. made Nathan nervous. As M. was reviewing Timothy's file, Nathan tried to control his heartbeat. Willing itself to settle down. To his recollection he had done nothing wrong to warrant going to M's office. Had he slipped up somewhere? Possibly incur a slight against a protocol. He was still learning to to get successfully about within the service and the last thing Nathan wanted was to be in trouble with the head of the British Secret Service.
He felt like a student going to see the headmaster, his palms sweated.
The flight back to London was uneventful, but heavyhearted. He felt inadequate over having to pull out of trying to apprehend Alec Hawke. But like the station head said to him. 'When M. beckons, you don't refuse." Nathan docilely regarded it as sound advice and said nothing more about it. Even going as far as feeling slighted but knowing better...now... just to let sleeping dogs lie.
Upon returning to his flat, Nathan unpacked, showered, shaved, changed into business attire, retried his keys to his Jaguar XK-120 and drove straight away to the gray building in regents park. Nathan reported to the duty officer to report that he had arrived safely to which Nathan was instructed to return in the morning (rather coldly, perhaps prudish) It didn't bother him, his arrival would be logged in so the powers that be would know that he was within the city.
He spent the rest of the night with his sister, treating her to dinner and the theatre before returning to his flat to get some much needed sleep.
Bill Tanner had awoken him early via telephone at six o' clock to inform Nathan that he would be meeting with M. personally, and that he was to 'look presentable.' Tanner rung off without further explanation.
Now here Nathan was, in the inner sanctum dressed in Brooks Brothers, and wishing that the food in his stomach would settle.
"Recruited in 1950, from the SBS, what department?" M. asked out of the blue, still looking at his file.
"M squadron sir." Nathan answered. "Responsible for small manned incursions along with demolitions of U boats, and bridges."
"Quite quite. Commando training?"
"Yes Admiral." Was it permissible to call him Admiral? "The Combined Training Centere in Scotland, sir."
"Unarmed combat skills top notch, firearm proficiency admirable. Remarkable talent for stealthiness."
"Yes sir." Was all Nathan could think up to say.
M. had now stopped looking at the file, his gray eyes probing directly into Timothy.
"Why are you catching spies?"
Taken aback, Nathan didn't understand the query.
"Um, I don't understand-"
"You're talents are wasted on apprehending the the spies and the traitors, for what? so they can go to prison for a short spell? Take this assignment you were working on. Alec Hawke; You've chased him through five territories and two continents but he's managed to elude you."
'So that's the score.' Nathan reflected. 'He's brought me back to sack me, probably thinks I'm not doing the job right. Fine. Perhaps I'm not cut out for this work after all.'
"If you'd like me to resign sir-"
"None of that!" M. barked. "I have something here that requires immediate attention, something that may need finesse and professionalism. Your name came at the top of the list and you come highly spoken of. Resign for what? So you can wash cars?"
Nathan blinked. "What will I have to do?"
M. handed Nathan a sheet of paper, details of Adolph Gettler.
"This man-" M. began, then stopped and filled and lit his pipe. "-is somehow connected with the Soviet murder organization SMERSH. He's headquartered in Zurich at the moment. I want you Timothy to travel to Switzerland and get confirmation. Check with Records before you depart on all we've got on SMERSH. If you find anything positive, you will notify me via Station Z immediately and await further instructions. Understood?"
"Understood sir." Timothy answered. "But as to Hawke?"
"Later." M. stated, flatly. "You'll get another chance."
Nathan briefly smiled. "Anything else, Sir?"
"Be on your guard. This sounds a light job, but by now you should realize that even the light jobs have a way to turn into dark and menacing. Be on guard, and use your best judgment."
"Thank you sir." Nathan rose to go.
"One final thing." M. called.
Nathan, halfway to the door, turned back to M.
"You're going to have an assistant, sort of a go between between the field and the office, is that clear? You needn't worry, it will be someone good. Now you're dismissed."
Nathan gave a curt nod to M, walking out of the office and riding the lift to the records department. He had a small feeling that M. was putting him onto possibly tough assignment. If it was the case he'd do the best he could. Knowing better than to refuse, one simply didn't argue with M.
Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:59 PM
4. Rendez Vous
Gettler felt nervous meeting out in public, in broad daylight. It was unheard of, against protocols. However the voice on the other end of the telephone call this morning assured Adolph that everything would be alright, He was told not to worry, the meeting would be brief.
Nathan Timorhy observed from a discreet distance Getler's mannerisms. From his perspective Gettler appeared apprehensive and even a bit pale-faced. Timothy sat at the park table, reminding himself to keep playing the part of the tourist out for his morning coffee and enjoying the sunshine. Willing Gettler to not even take notice of him.
'Watch, and record later.' Nathan thought. 'I'm not here Mr. Gettler, go on with your business please.'
Getler on the other hand, couldn't help but notice the other people around him. He wanted to get out of there, people knew him here and if he was arrivng the chances stood that someone who knew him could approach him right out of the blue and spoil everything.
Then it was too late. Gettler had seen the profile of his contact approaching. He dreaded this. The stone cold stature with the stone cold stare walking casually up to Gettler as if he were nothing but a casual old friend; or perhaps in his case...an upcoming opponent who wished to meet with Gettler to get a feel for the man before play began.
"Guten morgen, herr Gettler." Announced Tov Kronsteen, standing directly in front of Adolph Gettler and blocking Timothy's view.
"Herr Kronsteen." It was almost a whisper. "How do you do?"
"Walk with me Gettler." Kronsteen ordered, his voice soft as velvet. Gettler got to his feet and the pair started slowly walking around the public area, avoiding people where they could.
"I have a mission for you Gettler." Kronsteen reached inside his coat and handed Gettler a small envelope. "Inside this you'll find details pertaining to Colnel Tobias Long."
"Who is he?" Gettler recieved the envelope and put it inside his own coat pocket, so quickly that if anyone had noticed...well...best not to think on it and just get the meeting over quickly.
"He was a top ranking officer within the OSS." Kronsteen went on. "He will be In Vienna within a week's time. The State requests his liquidation The details are within your possesion."
"Understood. Gettler confirmed. Already beginning to form a plan. 'If that is all Colnel Kronsteen-"
"Just a moment." Kronsteen inflected. "General Grubozaboyshikov wishes this done with finesse. You are to be working in tandem with Triple X."
Gettler stopped walking, he gave Kronsteen a look which implied to him 'You lie.'
Kronsteen remained emotionless.
"I am honored." Gettler said.
"That is all Comrade Gettler. Guten Tag."
Before Gettler could reply Kronsteen was off. Walking very quickly out of eyesight. Still fearful, Gettler quickly made his exit.
Leaving Nathan Timothy still at the table, drinking his coffee. With numerous questions. Gettler's friend had been known to him, Tov Kronsteen. The chess prodigy. From what Nathan read of the man Kronsteen was an up and coming champion who would one day (it was hoped) become a grand master.
Timothy waited five mintues, finishing his coffee. Then paid his bill, walked over to his rented car and drove straight to Station Z to make his report to London.
Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:53 PM
It was the smell of breakfast being cooked that had woke Nathan up.
Eggs, bacon crisping on the stovetop, the smell of coffee brewing. Then suddenly his senses were awakened and he immediately stood bolt upright and rushed out of the bedroom and into the dining area. In the kitchen, the slim, rather curvacious figure of a woman putting bread into the toaster. Her curly black hair tried into a ponytail, showing off the nape of her neck. Nathan had seen the figure before.
"Good morning Nathan." Announced the velvet voice that brought Nathan's memories back to him. "Have you slept well my pet?"
Before Nathan could even reply the woman came over to him, threw her arms around him and held him tightly against her, then gave him a deep, passionate kiss.
"God, how I've misseed you terribly." She said. Her hazel eyes penetrating into his own, into his very being, the way she had before. "You haven't aged a day."
Her name was Violette. Nathan remembered her because she was one of the Special Operations Executives top assassins. She was tough, skillful, and resourceful. More than that she never failed a mission and even taught the SBS about stealth tactics. She had only been captured one time and it was Nathan's squadron that had snuck in and exfiltrated her from certain execution at the Ravensbrück concentration camp along with three other SOE operatives in 1945.
And if she were here in Switzerland, it was serious business.
"How the hell-" Nathan began, but Violette silenced his question with a shushing sound from her lips. They parted from the embrace and she went to a cabinet, acquired two plates and two mugs, along with silverware and laid them on a small table nearby.
"I was ordered by M." She continued. "I've been shadowing Kronsteen for awhile now. He's affiliated with SMERSH, an up and comer. He's one of thier top stratigests, sometimes on the go giving orders from whoever's at the top to their men in the field. I didn't know our interests would collide."
It was all Nathan needed. He could have visuallized M. himself reading his latest report and knowing full well that he had someone on Kronsteen with only chance of the two queries being within the same area. M. sending a cable to Violette instructing her to assist Nathan when or even if nessaccary.
"So you've made me breakfast to soften the blow?" Nathan ventured. "I'm relived of duty and you take over."
"Not quite." Violette answered. Preparing his plate, giving it to him then leaving the room. Quickly re-entering with a medium sized brown folder, handing it to Nathan.
"New orders, Nathan." Violette said in a monotone voice. serving up her own plate then giving him coffee to drink.
The folder had the red star of Most Immediate at the top right corner. Breaking the wax seal, Nathan opened it and examined it's contents. A single sheet of telegraph paper,
HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE STOP EXECUTION ORDER ON GETTLER APPROVED STOP.
Nathan immediately lost his appitite.
He handed the paper to Violette and got to his feet. Violette whistled, took a lighter from her pocket, walked over to the sink, lit the paper aflame then dropped it into the sink.
"You knew about this." Nathan accused, turning towards her sharply.
"No." she immediately answered. "Why does it bother you?"
"Because I'm not a killer!" He roared. "I'm not an assassin like you, not anymore, this isn't wartime, what I did back then I did for my country. I can't do it."
"You said it yourself Nathan dear. Queen and Country. When M. tells you to do something you damn well do it without any questions and reproach. You're under orders love."
Nathan gave her a fierce gaze, then roughly shook his head.
"Don't you get it Nathan?" Violette's tone of voice stern, but slightly comforting. "This is a test. M. trusts you to do this because you're a professional and he needs people he can trust after the flap with 3030, It's obvious he has plans for you. To place you where you're most needed."
Nighan sighed. This altered things greatly. Plans would have to be changed, altered again. He envisioned plainly arresting Gettler, now his death warrant had been signed.
And he had a notion Violette knew why.
"From the top Violette." He requested, resuming his place at the table, taking his first sip of coffee for the day. "Everything you know that's lead to this. We compare notes and get further proof before I pull the trigger, is that understood?"
Violette got up from her seat, kissed him softly on the lips. "Of course darling. Now try the eggs before they get cold. and I hope I haven't ruined the bacon."