NEED TO KNOW - A collection of short stories.

124

Comments

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,579MI6 Agent
    stag wrote:
    Sorry guys but I have pulled my short story. There is obviously not enough interest in it here for me to continue &, more importantly, With a change of main protagonist, I hope to develop the idea further for publishing on amazon.

    Sorry to hear that too, but best of luck and keep us updated with how that goes.
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    I would suggest. Perhaps not keeping this as a stickie
    to see how much interest there is for it. ?
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,579MI6 Agent
    edited December 2014
    I would suggest. Perhaps not keeping this as a stickie
    to see how much interest there is for it. ?

    Yes, or turning it into a more general James Bond Fan Fiction thread now that the parameters have changed somewhat. :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,129Chief of Staff
    Perhaps people read it but dont feel a need to comment ?
    YNWA 96
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    Yes. I too made the same remark. Many may
    read, but few comment. :#
    Sadly I'm used to people not seeing my huge
    talent. :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    I was in two minds about posting this story in the first place as I believe my idea may have legs beyond the perimeters in which it was conceived, as it features two areas I have interested in & have knowledge of. As I continued to write I became more convinced that I could make something of my own from it. As already stated I am going to develop it into a novelette for publication on amazon & plan that it will be the first of a series featuring a character of my own making.

    This shouldn't stop others from posting short stories here, indeed I probably will continue to do so myself, though with the knowledge that the interest of the vast majority of members appears to be celluloid as opposed to literary based.
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I would suggest. Perhaps not keeping this as a stickie
    to see how much interest there is for it. ?

    Yes, or turning it into a more general James Bond Fan Fiction thread no that the parameters have changed somewhat. :) -{

    I agree -{
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    Someone mentioned elsewhere that it may be an idea to instigate a collaborative project with each person contributing a passage or even chapter & using their time to take the story where they wanted it to go. Whether or not the end result will be readable is anyones guess but I shall kick things off by giving a broad outline of a story which then can be followed up (I have posted my part before in another thread as it formed part of a full length work I wrote for private consumption).

    UNTITLED

    THE TIME: 1973

    THE PLACE: London

    THE BASIC STORYLINE: Bond is all washed up, considered a spent force by the powers that be & clinging onto his 00 designation by the skin of his teeth. In order to get him out 'from under everyones feet'. Bond was dispatched on what was expected to be little more than a routine assignment to Jamaica to investigate the activities of the mysterious international businessman, Solo Santaga. Little did SIS or Bond know but this very same routine assignment was to turn out to be perhaps the deadliest mission of his entire career...................................





    PART ONE:

    Bond slid his legs into the two tunnels of serge then fastened the slim black Italian leather belt, noting with dissatisfaction that once again he had to draw the buckle two holes beyond its normal position. The tie, of the finest black woven silk, was looped tightly round his neck. Almost subconsciously Bond ran his index finger along the inside of the once flush fitting collar before bending to push his feet into the pair of plain neatly polished black shoes. He slipped into the jacket & moved to the bedside table to gather up his watch, Ronson lighter & cigarette case. After clipping the bracelet of his Rolex oyster perpetual onto his left wrist & depositing the remainder of his haul into the inside pocket of his jacket, he turned & walked slowly to the door.

    Bond belched softly & briefly revived the memory of what had been a splendid breakfast before lighting his first cigarette of the day. The Morland with the triple gold bands tasted particularly good this morning. May, his faithful housekeeper, had entered the dining room. From the way she absent mindedly dithered in the collection of the breakfast things, Bond knew she was aching to release all the feelings which had been festering unsaid over the past weeks. Normally May, as forthright as her tough Scottish upbringing had conditioned her to be, would usually just have said whatever she felt was justified & to hell with the fact that she was speaking to her employer, indeed Bond had come to expect this & would parry any & all her matronly observations with a a counter barrage of well worn & well meaning witticisms. But not now, not since he had been released from hospital, a new & unfamiliar atmosphere had settled over their relationship during those past two months. Gone was the easy familiarity to be replaced by an almost oppressive air of non communication & clipped politeness which May, even though she detested it, had finally come to accept. "Excellent meal May. Thank you." Said Bond vaguely. He caught the hint of a shake of the head & a muffled 'tut tut' as the stiff backed May ferried the tray of spent crockery towards the door. Bond watched her retreat towards the kitchen & when she was gone brought the cigarette up to his tightly drawn lips & sucked gratefully on it as he once again immersed himself in his recent past.

    The wound which had resulted in his premature return to London had healed well. Fortunately the bullet had passed cleanly through his leg, just above the kneecap, neither tumbling or striking bone, yet tearing horribly at the muscle & piercing the Femoral artery during its passage. Now all that served to remind him of the gunfight was yet another scar & the all too occasional twinge of discomfort as the freshly knitted muscle grumbled at any untoward movement. Though the physical injury had healed, the same could not quite be said of the emotional trauma & right on cue, as if forcing him to watch, the incident played out again in glorious technicolor in his minds eye, serving only to cement the conclusion Bond himself had long since reached. He had made the most serious mistake of all (though he had denied the fact during his debriefing) by allowing Gusenko to take the advantage. What should have been for Bond a quick, technically easy, kill had turned into a shambling running firefight with his intended target eventually fleeing the scene unscathed while leaving him, Bond, to almost die through loss of blood. The tiny stiletto dagger which kept pricking his subconscious repeated on a loop what he already knew, by all the laws of heaven & earth he should have died that day. Had it not been for the intervention of the bemused farm workers, drawn to the scene by the sound of gunfire, who found Bond semi conscious in the undergrowth just in time to render crude but life saving first aid, he would not have survived. He had considered every possible permutation for his appalling performance yet, whichever avenue he explored, he was always brought back to the same conclusion. Bonds shooting that day, in the hinterland betwixt the coast & the main Rome to Naples auto route, had mirrored his overall performance & was inexcusably, almost fatally, poor. He had fired no less than thirteen rounds at ranges never in excess of forty yards, which was within the parameters of his PPKs performance envelope & Bonds own shooting abilitiy. The ground between him & Gusenko had been rough but nonetheless mostly devoid of cover from both fire & view, affording the KGB agent little shelter, yet Bond had still failed to hit him. Gousenko had managed to capitalise on Bonds lack of marksmanship & quickly turned the tables, one of his own opening shots catching Bond in the leg thus leaving the hunter to become the hunted. Upon realising he had sustained a wound which had ruptured the artery, Bond had then been forced onto the defensive, expending his remaining ammunition in a desperate attempt to stave off Gousenkos counter attack. Luckily for Bond the Russian had failed to capitalise on his sudden advantage by evidently deciding that, after the ensuing but brief exchange of fire which came after bond was hit, that enough was enough. Perhaps Gousenko had his hand forced at the sight of the farm workers or perhaps he considered that he had used up his own daily ration of luck but, had he pressed home, Bond was confident that it would have been he to die, not fitfully though blood loss but by way of a better aimed bullet fired on that occasion by a better & cooler marksman than he had shown himself to be. All the internal inquiries which Bond had subjected himself to since the incident gave him one answer, an explanation which was as simple as it was blunt. He, Bond, had finally been pushed too far. He had at long last lost the only thing which had kept him alive for so long - his nerve.

    For a man, any man, but especially one in Bonds line of work, the sudden realisation of ones own inability to to continue to perform the duties which had been so long part of his life, always comes as a heavy blow yet Bond had taken the diagnosis far worse than he could ever reveal. He had tried in vain to reason what he secretly knew to be the truth but his errors of judgement were too grave, too frequent, to be ignored. The Gousenko fiasco had simply been the straw which had broken the camels back. His private life & subsequently his work had nosedived in a steady downward spiral long before his last mission from which & despite punitive efforts he could not recover. He had lain the blame for his decline at many doors but after mush soul searching he conceded that he showed all the classic symptoms of what the SIS psychiatrist termed 'accumulative stress disorder' colloquially known otherwise as 'Double 0 fever'.

    All officers - there were three of them - who held the 00 prefix, the licence to kill for the British Secret Service, were well aware of the nature of the duties which they & they alone were expected to undertake. In essence they were employed to provide the application of extreme violence against any individual or organisation who presented themselves as a threat to the security of the United Kingdom, her dependents &, on occasion, her allies. With such a brief all Double 0 officers could expect to find themselves exposed to varying degrees of stress, physical hardship & serious injury which no amount of preconditioning could ever prepare them for. Indeed it was an established fact that however hard an agent tried to shrug off the unsavoury memories which were sure to accrue during his service, those same memories would fester & nag until they eventually resurfaced, manifesting themselves in the form of physical ailments which were as acute as they were noticeable. Sporadic shaking, weight loss, insomnia, even stammering Bond had fallen prey to them all.

    It was perhaps predictable, if not inevitable, that he should find himself more susceptible to this most crippling of conditions for Bonds career within the service had been one epitomised by very hard knocks...........................................



    Who's going to pick up the baton?
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    Might help if someone wants to add, puts their name forward as it might save
    Someone else working on a second part, only to be beaten to the finish line. :))
    and have to start again. ;)
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    Yes -{

    I'll contribute my Chapter a bit later on :)
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    edited December 2014
    Might help if someone wants to add, puts their name forward as it might save
    Someone else working on a second part, only to be beaten to the finish line. :))
    and have to start again. ;)

    Good idea, I hadn't thought of that. So who's going to do part two? I'll contribute again but later on in the story. With several people on it a fair sized work should develop.

    To start off with then put your names forward for parts two & three? The person writing part three will have to wait for the second part to be published so he/she knows where to pick up from.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,579MI6 Agent
    This seems a good idea though I think perhaps stag should change the thread title through the Edit function in the OP to make it a James Bond Fan Fiction Thread hub as it were. Just a suggestion... :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,129Chief of Staff
    For a collaborative fan novel, there used to be two threads running concurrently...one for the actual story and one for the ideas/everything else...
    YNWA 96
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    I've looked at changing the thread title to 'THE MEN WITH THE GOLDEN KEYBOARDS - FAN FICTION' but as far as I can see it is not possible with my permissions.
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    Sir Miles wrote:
    For a collaborative fan novel, there used to be two threads running concurrently...one for the actual story and one for the ideas/everything else...
    There is much the same thing now with this & the the following:

    http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/44215/how-would-you-write-a-new-bond-novel/
  • Gala BrandGala Brand Posts: 1,147MI6 Agent
    edited December 2014
    In response to absolutely no popular demand whatsoever here's the second chapter of Hour of the Wolf. I'm reposting the first chapter because I made minor edits.

    Hour of the Wolf

    Bond checked his Rolex. Four a.m. The hour of the wolf. The time when the body is at its lowest ebb. The time when most people die, when nightmares are at their worst, and demons roam the land. Bond’s current demon was named Stanislav.

    Bond took a silver flask from his regulation-issue pea coat and swallowed another swig of the Albanian brandy. He felt the burn in his throat and in his belly. He offered the flask to Milos, his driver.

    “Albanian!” Milos made a retching noise. “Like dishwater.”

    “Really? I hadn’t noticed any difference between this and your Serbian brandy.”

    “James, what you want with Stanislav?” Milos said, asking the question that had obviously been on his mind all night. Bond shifted his position in his seat, trying to get comfortable, although after sitting for three hours he knew there was no comfortable position for a man of his height in this pre-war Renault Monosix.

    “My people have some questions for Stanislav,” he said.

    “Your people, James? You used to be SBS. Who are your people now?”

    “People who want to know why Stanislav sold out to the communists.”

    Milos waved his hand in a gesture of indifference.

    “The communists,” he said. “We fought with the communists in the war. Against the Nazis.”

    “It’s not 1944, Milos. We’re not allies with the Russians anymore. Or Marshall Tito.”

    Not for the first time that night Bond wondered whose side Milos would be on when push came to shove. He had once saved Milos’s life. Did that count for anything anymore? He wasn’t sure he would ever get used to the shifting loyalties of this new war—this Cold War, as people were calling it.

    “What you going to do with Stanislav?”

    Bond held up the syringe of sodium pentothal.

    “Inject him with this. It’s a sedative. Then load him in the back seat and drive to the Italian border. We’ll be in Venice by breakfast.”

    “You’ll never get across.”

    “We’ve bribed the border guards.”

    “Why not just shoot him with that little gun of yours?”

    “My people want to know what he told the communists.”

    “That gun of yours is too small, anyway. Too small for a man like Stanislav.”

    There was fear in Milos’s voice.

    “It’s big enough.”

    “What happened to the grips on that gun?”

    “It came that way.”

    “Did you pay less for it because it had no grips?”

    “I paid nothing for it. I took it from a man who intended to shoot me with it.”

    Milos sat up, listened.

    “Did you hear that?” he said. “It sounded like a low flying plane.”

    Bond shook his head and said he heard nothing.

    “Your nerves are getting the better of you, Milos.”

    “So tell me. What happened to the man whose gun –“

    Milos stopped talking as the hulking shape of Stanislav Bulgarin emerged from the mist. He had two other men with him.


    Commander Bond, I Presume

    Bond stepped from the Renault and stretched. Stanislav and the other two men were twenty feet from the front of the car. The men were easily discernible in the full moonlight. Stanislav wore an ill-fitting black suit -- too short in the arms and legs and too narrow in the chest -- that made him look like Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein. Of course, it would be difficult for a man Stanislav’s size to find a suit that fit. The other two men had the greasy, dishonest look that Bond associated with SMERSH agents.

    “James, my old friend,” Stanislav said, his voice booming. “What brings you to the Balkans?”

    Bond removed his cigarette case from his coat pocket. As he did, one of the men reached inside his coat. Bond extracted a Balkan Sobranie cigarette with three gold bands, stuck it in his mouth, and lit it with his black-oxidized Ronson Whirlwind lighter. He paused for a moment to remove a piece of tobacco from his lip and then inhaled deeply.

    “You not talking to me, James? You come all this way to see Stanislav and have nothing to say?”

    “I’ve come all this way to take you into custody.”

    There was a moment of silence, then all the men laughed. Including Milos.

    “Did I do something to offend the British Empire?” Stanislav said, still laughing. “Perhaps I forget to drink tea with my finger out.”

    He made an effeminate gesture of drinking tea with an extended little finger, which invoked more laughter.

    In Russian, Bond asked the two men where they were from. They both answered, “Moscow.”

    “I’m surprised, Stanislav,” Bond said. “A man like you consorting with SMERSH.”

    Stanislav shrugged, a look of faint embarrassment flitting across his face.

    “You risked your life fighting one monster. Now you’re throwing your lot in with another. What’s the point in that?”

    “A man does what he must. That’s the way of the world.”

    “Still, I have orders to take you into custody, Stanislav. I’ll use force if I have to.”

    “James be sensible. You are outnumbered.”

    “It’s only three to two. And I’m not impressed by your two friends.”

    Out of his peripheral vision, Bond saw Milos edging toward the other three men. At the same time the SMERSH agent who had his hand inside his coat brought out a 9 millimeter Steyr machine pistol with an extended grip. The weapon was horribly inaccurate but only a complete fool would miss from this distance.

    “We have our orders, Commander Bond," he said in Russian. "We are to escort you to a torture cell. In the basement of the Kremlin.”

    Stanislav shook his head, almost in sadness.

    “It’s four against one, James. As your American friends like to say, you brought a knife to a gun fight. You--”

    There was a crackling in the underbrush all around as a half-dozen men in khaki uniforms with RAF insignia emerged from the trees, each carrying a silenced Sten gun. The oldest, who had sergeants’ stripes on his sleeve, said, “Commander Bond, I presume.”

    The man with the Steyr backed up until he felt the barrel of a Sten gun jammed into the back of his head, at which point he threw away his weapon.

    Bond dropped his cigarette and rubbed it out.

    “It seems you brought a knife to a gun fight, Stanislav,” he said.
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    Gala Brand wrote: "In response to absolutely no popular demand whatsoever"

    I know how you feel! 8-)

    That said I have enjoyed reading this story & am personally looking forward to more. Just for my information, in what year is the story set? I'm seeing Sten guns so know it's not contemporary (even the rock apes have given those up!).
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    Some folks think I pulled my last short story because of that fact, in part it is true, yet the main reason is the more I did with it the more I wanted to develop the idea in general with a new character of my own making. I intend to create a novella - the first in a series - which will be published on amazon at some point. While I wouldn't expect it to fly I just like the idea of getting something I am interested in out there.

    Keep up the good work with HOTW!
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    {[] Nice story Gala, I'm always impressed with the research on guns etc.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Gala BrandGala Brand Posts: 1,147MI6 Agent
    stag wrote:
    Gala Brand wrote: "In response to absolutely no popular demand whatsoever"

    I know how you feel! 8-)

    That said I have enjoyed reading this story & am personally looking forward to more. Just for my information, in what year is the story set? I'm seeing Sten guns so know it's not contemporary (even the rock apes have given those up!).


    1949.
  • Gala BrandGala Brand Posts: 1,147MI6 Agent
    {[] Nice story Gala, I'm always impressed with the research on guns etc.


    Thanks.
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    Gala Brand wrote:
    stag wrote:
    Gala Brand wrote: "In response to absolutely no popular demand whatsoever"

    I know how you feel! 8-)

    That said I have enjoyed reading this story & am personally looking forward to more. Just for my information, in what year is the story set? I'm seeing Sten guns so know it's not contemporary (even the rock apes have given those up!).


    1949.

    Ah, that makes sense. I will re-read with that period in mind.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,579MI6 Agent
    Glad to see this thread is continuing nicely - don't give up folks! :) -{
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • James SuzukiJames Suzuki New ZealandPosts: 2,383MI6 Agent
    Encouraged by Stag, I am planning and organizing my own Fan Fiction. Which should hopefully grace this thread, and give it some more life, pretty soon. Never done anything like this before so it might be
    a) Written poorly
    b) Really Fanboyish and far-fetched.
    None the less. I'm going to endeavor and I would love some encouragement. -{
    As a Little Teaser. The Piece will be called...
    Son of My Right-Hand
    And Will be in the Same Universe as Fleming's Bond. Set in the Year 2004 and 2014. It is partly inspired by similiar themes seen in the chapter Sparrow's Tears of YOLT.
    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
    -Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
  • AlphaOmegaSinAlphaOmegaSin EnglandPosts: 10,924MI6 Agent
    I could give you a Hand with that if you want :)
    1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger
  • James SuzukiJames Suzuki New ZealandPosts: 2,383MI6 Agent
    I could give you a Hand with that if you want :)
    Thanks -{
    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
    -Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
  • James SuzukiJames Suzuki New ZealandPosts: 2,383MI6 Agent
    Keeping this thread still alive. I have written a little bit of a Fan Fic. More to come I promise.
    Its turn out differently to what I've planned initially.Its set in present day but its still the James Bond we all know and love. Consider it a brdige between the Craig films and Fleming's Bond. I have also tried not be bogged down by all the governemnt lingo, and weapons that I felt was Deaver's main problem. Never done this before as well guys, so please excuse me if its written terribly. Would love feedback. Or just to know if anyone's reading it.
    Cheers for Stag for inspiring me -{
    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
    -Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
  • James SuzukiJames Suzuki New ZealandPosts: 2,383MI6 Agent
    edited January 2015
    No Stone left Unturned
    James Bond had finally reached the conclusion that he was bored. It was a sad destination to be at on his holiday. His bacon and egg pie from the corner shop was truly demolished in after a few stabs from his fork. It lacked Tomato sauce.
    ‘First world problems,’ he muttered to himself after placing the plastic dish in the nearest bin. The beach seemed to hold more fun for him when he was younger. He remembered his mother and father taking him for the day. His father would sit with a thriller novel in his hands, digging his feet into the hot sand. His Mother, after much lathering of sunscreen, would sunbathe. James would spend half the time in the water. His father would eventually join him. Teaching his son how to body board a wave or hold your breath for ages underwater. When he got tired; there was always the fun activity of sandcastles. It would be an effort by his parents to eventually drag him away from the beach when the day was over and the sun was hiding behind a cloud. Those young memories of his parents, Andrew and Monique Bond seemed so distant in his mind. Now, James had gown sick of the beach after swimming for over two hours. It reminded him of lost friends and lovers. Tracy and Honey.
    He’d lost his appetite for eating and the thriller he was reading was going nowhere. Desperate times meant desperate measures. James had spent the last half an hour watching the crowds of people. It did not take him long to ignore the young bimbos and Hasselhoff wannabes who pranced across the sand hunting for admirers. A ten minute conversation with a man about fishing became fruitless after James’s realisation that the man did not know a word of English. James spent a lot of his time dreaming about holidays. He brought out his Cliff Richard Album as he drove off, all packed. Yet when the time came, they consisted of doing nothing but wasting money. The holiday was not over yet however, he would endeavour to make it exciting and worthwhile. Stealing someone’s newspaper, James held his finger by the Odeon’s listings for films in the evening. He found a suitable trashy action movie on, the latest serving from Hollywood. It would have to do. He knew he would find some enjoyment and there was a pub not far from his hotel he could always hide away in. His feet burned with the hot sand. He was about to jump to his feet when he spotted a peculiar looking man head towards him. Instead of the togs and bare-chest that all the other middle-aged men wore; this man felt it necessary to wear a suit to the beach. His black Italian Golf shoes looked out of place against the jandles and five-toed shoes that donned the beach. He clearly was not there for swimming. It was not until the man became closer did James realise that he actually knew the man. A past life sometimes he wished never happened. He could hardly run away from it and it always promised adventure and a true holiday in every sense of the word. Instead of rushing up to him, he had made the decision that he would let the suited man approach him. James did not need this man, yet he needed him. Sure enough, the suited man smiled at him and dropped down against the sand next to him.
    ‘007, I presume.’
    ‘Please, just James’ Shocked by the sense of informality, the man shook his hand strongly.
    ‘We’ve met before,’ James announced, ‘You left for me dead in Baghdad.’ The man laughed, attempting to brush off the past event.
    ‘You can call me Mr. Red.’ The Black-tie brigade loved their fancy shoes and their code names. This was not a Cold War thriller he reminded himself.
    ‘Or I could call you Greg?’ The man’s eyes raised in surprise. He did not expect his real name to be known.
    ‘I do my homework. If anyone leaves me to rot beside a backpack full of explosives. I usually get their name.’ The man again tried to laugh off the comment. He was desperate not to discuss Iraq. James didn’t blame him. He pointed to the sand the man had decided to sit on.
    ‘Doesn’t that ruin your suit?’
    ‘I have plenty of others.’ They sat in silence. They must have been an odd couple for anyone walking past. A man in his togs, a towel wrapped around him talking casually to a suited man at a beach.
    ‘So, what do you want?’ It was a fair enough question. He hoped it would break the ice and give Greg permission to ramble on about any mission he wanted him for. M would send serious people like Greg to overseas agents. He wouldn’t complain if it was Mary Goodnight coming over across to New Zealand. He nodded his head.
    ‘Not here. Somewhere quiet.’ It was James’s turn to laugh.
    ‘This ain’t Le Carre, Brother. We are in New Zealand. Whatever you want to tell me. Hurry up before I get bored.’ Greg stood up awkwardly, brushing off the sand from his pants.
    ‘Well, We will have it your way Mr Bond. At least allow us to walk and talk.’ James obliged and after finding his sunglasses and his footwear, led the man across the beach.
    ‘Your’re not use to such a setting? Do you prefer offices and files, Greg?’ The man winced at hearing his first name being mentioned.
    ‘I assure you. I can adapt.’ James walked towards the water, allowing the waves to lightly pass over his sandals.
    ‘I’m not making any promises. So give it to me in a few sentences.’ They walked in silence for a few extra steps.
    ‘There’s been another coup in Fiji.’
    ‘They have more coups then I have hot dinners. What’s your point?’
    ‘Britain and America actually like this guy. White, born in Fiji; Eton and Oxford though. He seems to have great plans for the country.’
    ‘Where do I come in?’
    ‘He’s a dead man. Chatter from the US says he’s going to be assassinated as soon as he is inaugurated.’
    ‘What do you want me to do? You’re being awfully vague, old chap.’ Greg pulled out his phone and scrolled through memos.
    ‘I have here you’re a trained actor.’
    ‘That’s right,’ James answered, ‘I act the goat constantly.’
    ‘Good under pressure?’
    ‘Well, I’m not blowing my horn here but…’
    ‘Then you’re suitable for the job. M has chosen you. No arguments,’ Greg said, placing a friendly hand on his shoulder.
    ‘Hired for what. This Fijian dude’s personal bodyguard? Come, on. I’m not a babysitter.’
    ‘You don’t quite understand, Mr Bond. I want you to be him. At least for a few weeks.’
    ‘Sorry?’ James shrugged the hand off the man’s gentle hand.
    ‘We will of course, lead you through the procedure. You will get to know this man, Melis Reben is his name. Say a few speeches under heavy make-up. Then when the chatter has died down you will swap places. So you in?’
    ‘No,’ James shook his head and walked away from the man,’ you crazy that sounds worse than sitting on this beach. Dangerous but boring.’ Greg did not move at all but stood rigid where he was on the beach.
    ‘You will be paid the average fee plus two million dollars by Melis himself.’ Having a sudden change of heart, James turned around again.
    ‘You win. Where do I start?’
    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
    -Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
  • stagstag Posts: 2,083MI6 Agent
    You asked for honesty - well here goes.

    I've read it twice & must say I enjoyed it. You've given the story a different contemporary twist. I wasn't expecting the setting or the opening & that is a good thing. I also had Craig in mind when reading. You've set the scene well for what is to come.

    My only 'criticism' is that it was over too soon, I wanted to read more there & then!

    I'm looking forward to the next chapter.


    BTW I also like the title.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    {[] Very nice set up, for an adventure.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
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