Smoke soon followed. As though Satan had spoken.
You are becoming such a good fiction writer that you are starting to rival those guys that wrote the Bible!
Well done, Terry!
Thank you for the encouragement. I had planned to do one chapter a day but was having too much
fun to stop yesterday.
I don't know why I made it serious. But I read all Ian Flemming's Bond books when I was a teen back in the '60s.
I guess that ethos is inside me someplace.
There have been so many parodies--they've been done to death. So--serious is the road for this one.
We'll see how far I can get before it stops being fun.
of my James' Bond novel
Guts for Garters
Bond, summoned upon his return from Zurich, dreaded yet another briefing--especially in light of his failures there.
Moneypenny had warned him in a whisper, ”Batten the hatches” which was their private signal that his Superior-M-the former Vice Admiral, was about to have his guts for garters.
M was duly appointed to head of MI6 after his predecessor had been assassinated at his desk. With that sword of Damocles above his head at all times, he took his job dead seriously.
On his best days, M was testy or gruff. On so-so days, stern and cold. However, on days such as this one, M was certain to be brutal, angry, and possibly threatening.
Bond had snooped and called in favors-strictly out of curiosity to discover M’s salary,£2,056,819 annual. That would be added to his naval retirement, of course. This certainly indicated M could not afford the annual membership at Blades, the upscale private club for gentlemen it was rumored he frequented weekly for gambling and dining.
Bond knew for a fact Blades was restricted in membership to 200 gentlemen able to demonstrate a minimum of £100,000 annual income.
Bond had a private hypothesis--call it a hunch.
The club’s owner was probably careered Navy who owed this retired Admiral a debt of some sort. Bond had bribed the wine steward and discovered a fact which made him chuckle gleefully.
As a personal favor to M, the staff at Blades keeps a supply of cheap red wine from-(God help him)-Algeria on hand but does not include it on the wine list. M refers to it as "Infuriator" and tends only to drink it in moderate quantities unless he is in a very bad mood.
James Bond swallowed hard and prayed to himself, “Please Lord--let him not have had Algerian wine for lunch.”
He stepped through the door from the outside hall into Moneypenny’s office space.
Evelyn Jane Moneypenny sat bolt upright at her desk.
Bond knew she held the rank of second officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, but not until now--seeing her gloomy expression--did he salute her.
Moneypenny was noted for giving a warm and friendly reception to senior officers who visited her office to view confidential papers. There was none of that to be had this day.
Her official job description was the private secretary of M the head of MI6.
Moneypenny, Bond knew, was cleared for Top Secret, Eyes Only, and Cabinet-Level intelligence reports, the last of which she was often required to prepare, and in some cases present.
So, if the old girl had warned him he was heading into the abyss--Bond would take it with utmost seriousness.
He snapped a smart salute which caused Moneypenny to pull her head back and scowl. Bond forced a grim smile.
Her eyes squinted back at him like a schoolmaster about to expel an unruly layabout.
The red light above the green baize door had switched green. Bond sniffed and squared his shoulders pushing his way through, reciting quietly to himself a line from The Charge of the Light Brigade.
“So nice of you to join me, 007.”
M was working his pipe-lighting routine with grim determination.
He looked pale and worn. Above his stiff white collar and fumbled bow-tie, the lined sailor’s face shown black stubble, adding to the all-night look of his skin and clothes.
Bond squinted hard as he stood awkwardly in front of M’s desk--awaiting the customary invitation to sit.
“Quiet night, Bond?”
M had his pipe working and he sucked three puffs from the stem with a measure of satisfaction. The man’s hard face turned toward his quarry as he stared silently for one long minute.
James Bond tossed off an expression of indifference.
“Comme ci comme ça…”
He’d barely begun his sentence when M let go a fusillade at him.
After calling him every name in the book, M stopped himself and calmed momentarily with, “Sit down, 007”
Bond sat and waited--not daring to speak until he determined what he’d done to deserve this dressing down.
“I don’t happen to speak French, thank you. But that’s as close as I could manage to a proper reply.”
M glared and turned sideways in his swivel chair, gazing nonchalantly out the window.
James Bond’s mind raced back over the details of his assignment in Zurich. Everything had been routine the first day.
On the second day, he’d set up an interview with Mr. Goldfinger II by passing himself off as Universal Export’s ‘fixer’--the man who could make a deal to suit any client.
It was afterward, the third day when he’d discovered it had been a balls up-screw the pooch-disaster. It wasn’t Mister Goldfinger II he’d chatted with for two hours; it was a Russian agent pretending to be him.
Then, home office contacted him with the news his liaison in Zurich was himself an Iranian imposter working with the Russians.
What the bloody hell had gone wrong?
Bond had been furious and demanded answers.
A British secret agent made to look the fool--especially a man of his experience--was the sort of amateur blunder only an idiot could make.
Before Bond could sort anything out--the summons to return nipped his answers in the bud. The flight back to London was booked second class seating--a strong message which rankled him no end.
M turned back from the window and raised his hand an inch or two as if to point--then stopped.
“Nevermind, I’ll read all about it in the report.”
“Report, Sir? I haven’t written one as yet--I though I’d--”
“Why would I want your report, 007? I’ve got a meticulously detailed log of your every move, every word spoken in Zurich, all provided to me by the C.I.A. right here!”
“The C.I.A.--what do they have to do with--?”
“Exactly the words I screamed in this office when the damned thing came down to my desk from...UPSTAIRS!”
M’s eyes burned. His lips were pulled back, taut and grim. His nostrils were working as a quarter horse after a race.
James Bond swallowed hard and let out a long, slow lungful of air.
“Obviously we are the last of the Intelligence agencies to hear any of this Goldfinger story. No doubt, on purpose. They are jealous and have their knickers in a twist because of our previous success. I suppose we made them look pretty bad--and I…”
“You think? You think? Let me tell you something, 007.
It’s a black and white, gold plated guarantee we’ve been targeted by all the Intelligence services. None of that should surprise us in the least. What should, however, cause us to tuck our collective tails in utter humiliation is that WE LET THEM SUCCEED.”
“You mean ‘me’. I let them get one over on me.”
“Did you say, ‘One’? How about three?”
Bond’s mouth hung open for a second. He counted in his head.
“You mean the Russian, the Iranian, and--um…”
M shook his head slowly side to side with disgust.
“When you received an emergency call from the about-to-be-murdered Veronica, requesting your help...what did you do?”
Bond’s face paled. He swallowed again.
“I contacted my--I called Melina Havelock in Paris to rush over and get the girl to safety...Sir.”
“Havelock has been dead for three months. She has been replaced by an imposter. Oh, and she is the daughter of an old friend of yours, Hugo Drax.”
Bond’s eyes widened. He shook his head as if to shake all the contradictions and failures out of his hair.
“Yes, red-haired Hugo Drax. Red-hair not unlike Auric Goldfinger’s red hair. Perhaps you were unaware they were fathered by the same man?”
“That’s preposterous! Sir.”
“As preposterous as you having your cock and balls handed to you? As preposterous as your country’s Intelligence service roasted on a spit?”
James Bond heaved a sigh and leaned back in the stiff chair. The sweet, acrid pipe smoke nauseated him. Or was it the bollixed nightmare he found himself living at the moment?
M’s voice softened.
“Here’s how it is. We begin again. This time, fresh. We start from scratch. All available agents on deck. You pull yourself together and infiltrate this Goldfinger II's conference in France. This is a tangled skein and we need to find the loose tie that binds. Understand? Now get out of my office and deal only with me--understood?”
“Aye-aye, Sir.” Bond snapped a salute and instantly regretted it.
M’s face flushed full as he pointed at the exit. Vesuvius was about to erupt and James Bond had no intention of being anywhere near when it did.
He passed through M’s portal as Moneypenny looked up to speak, but Bond shook his head at her and pulled back.
“Good luck--you’ll need it.” She shouted as the door slammed.
What had M done to him, she wondered. What had he done to cause it?
She whispered out loud, “The usual, I suppose.”
Then, turned back to her crossword puzzle.
Next Stop Chapter Six
By the way...this won't be an ACTUAL book book. I just finished the (above) additional chapter and more to come
only because I need a daily impetus to make me write.
My biography needs finishing and for some peculiar psychological reason, I can't make myself do it.
James Bond is fun to write and the "other" is work.
THE MAN IN THE EAMES LOUNGE CHAIR
“Genghis Khan ruled his Mongol empire with the help of his primary military strategist, Subatai--one of the most successful commanders in history. This was possible because of scouting and spying in advance of any invasion. He spent a decade sending spies into Europe, slowing gathering intelligence. Who was in charge? What were their weaknesses? Who were their enemies and friends? In short, he knew ahead of time exactly how each operative responded to pressure and was able to infiltrate and compromise their effectiveness in advance.”
Auric Goldfinger II, paced back and forth, hands folded behind his back. His dark eyes turned now and again toward the very large man seated in front of him, expressionless but keenly alert.
“You are my Subatai,” the red-haired figure whirled and pointed--giving a hearty laugh of genuine pleasure--”You work for me because you’re effective, brilliant, and dependable.”
The man in the Eames lounge chair never blinked. He opened his thick lips to speak but stopped himself. Better to listen, he thought.
“To state the obvious,” Goldfinger II continued pacing, ”foreknowledge is the knowledge of future events. To forecast the behavior of one’s opponents is to win before the battle has begun.”
Auric Goldfinger II had widened his pacing into a circular pattern. He now stood behind the Eames chair and spoke toward the back of the neck of his audience of one.
“A man who is loyal need not fear his master. Is this not true--in your experience, my Subatai?”
The seated man sat silent and at ease for several seconds as the red-haired fellow behind him watched for signs of perspiration or restive movements.
The ugly mouth formed the word and a deep rumble from inside his barrel chest released the word into the world like a single bat from the opening of a cavern.
Goldfinger chuckled delightedly.
“Not a word wasted!”
He ran his pudgy, freckled fingers through his red-hair smoothing it gently, the way one pets a purring cat. Then, he nimbly strode across the gleaming golden floor tiles toward a black box on his desk in the middle of the room. Pausing with a smug grin, he lifted his eyebrows and the lid of the box simultaneously.
“This is a special gift for you, my Subatai.”
Auric Goldfinger gingerly lifted the gold-plated antique 2 mm Kolibri pistol from its mooring.
“I've got a special place in my heart for this little darling.”
Goldfinger gazed longingly at the gun as though it were a naked woman. He hefted it in his hand and dandled his head to the left and right awkwardly, unselfconsciously.
“You enjoy--as I do--knowing things, hmm? Let me tell you about my Kolibri--shall I?
Goldfinger began his circular pacing once more--all the while twirling the shiny pistol around his forefinger as though he were in a Wild West exhibition.
“First off, the German word “Kolibri” means ‘hummingbird’. Mmm?”
He circled behind the seated man and laughed at himself merrily humming.
“It was designed by an Austrian watchmaker to be the smallest center-fire handgun which he duly patented way back in 1910.
It has a muzzle velocity of 200 meters per second, and capable of penetrating 40mm of pine board.”
The bulky man in the chair began to perspire.
“The problem with this little darling is, of course, it is wildly inaccurate. It fits nicely in a ladies handbag for reassurance but it would hardly stop a mugger even at close range.”
Goldfinger circled wide and made his way slowly back toward the chair...from behind again.
“Now I’m rather fond of it as you can plainly see, but you might wonder why. But you see, I’m a bit of an expert on several things unusual and extraordinary, as you’ve no doubt gathered working with me these last four months. You might well be curious what possible value--other than collector’s fetish--this silly pistol might hold for a businessman with an outsized criminal brain-. Hmm?”
Goldfinger watched as a bead of sweat accumulated on his man’s brow. He grinned broadly at himself and nodded with satisfaction.
“I’m guessing the suspense is killing you--ha ha--isn’t that a silly phrase? How could that happen in real life? Anyway...I love my darling pistol because it does not kill--right away. No--it inflicts damage, pain, and gives the person who has been shot several minutes to consider what he might have done to deserve such non-lethal punishment. Clear?”
Goldfinger had inched around the man in the Eames lounge chair quietly and now stood directly to his left side. His blazing eyes bore in just within the peripheral vision of the large fellow whose eyelashes had begun fluttering. The man swallowed once and the muscles in his jaw tensed.
Goldfinger searched the man’s face as though it were a treasure map. He grunted. Then he gave out an explosive laugh and returned the pistol to its box and closed the lid.
He turned to face the audience of one.
“This pistol will be our parting gift one day.”
They each regarded the other quietly.
“Now, tell me, what word do we have from our Chinese technocrats in Shenzhen?”
The measured breathing of the Asian man subsided gradually. He had passed yet another of this strange gangster’s loyalty speeches.
He knew what Goldfinger was capable of and the cruelty was a thing to be avoided at all costs.
“This.” He removed a USB storage device from his inside breast pocket.
Goldfinger retrieved and pocketed the offering, all the while staring into his man’s eyes to unsettle him further.
“Very well. I have one more task for you today. James Bond. My father had dealings with him and I owe him a debt of gratitude. If this Bond fella hadn’t destroyed the old monster, I’d still be locked in that sanitarium in Basil. So, shadow him. Make it obvious. Preserve him from harm. He is essential to the great fortune to make ahead.
The man in the Eames lounge chair nodded once and rose.
He nodded again and took his leave. The back of his broad shoulders was soaked with sweat and as the door closed behind him he shook his head like a condemned prisoner who had been granted a reprieve.
The giant Asian’s name was Oddjob, or rather his nickname-also the name of Goldfinger’s father’s bodyguard back in the day. Goldfinger was insane but it was the kind of insanity which made the right men filthy rich and the wrong men dead.
“This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die.”
-Ernest Becker-The Denial of Death
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Dr.Schönenberger’s voice sounded coarse, worn out, and excitable all at the same time. Edmund Schönenberger had been resident psychiatrist practicing professionally in Leysin, Switzerland for forty years. He spoke to Bond on the promise of anonymity. After assurances were proffered and accepted, the conversation had continued for nearly an hour. Bond held a list of questions he intended to cover but it proved mostly unnecessary. The man was on a crusade and not a shy bone in his body held anything back.
“Over the 40 years that I have worked as a therapist, the majority of the clients I have known have been people subjected to forced psychiatric treatment. I can, therefore, claim to know the fields of psychiatry, justice and their ‘judgements’ inside out. The conclusion I have come to is that the strongholds of psychiatry have absolutely nothing to do with ‘care’, the law or justice – instead, they are nothing other than instruments of domination.”
Bond steered the man around to specifics, namely the man presently calling himself Auric Goldfinger II. M had sent Bond Goldfinger’s file earlier that day.
The doctor had begun by affirming the man’s presence and treatment against his will.
“I have listened personally to the stories of well over 10,000 such people committed to mental institutions, and have taken hundreds through administrative and judicial habeas corpus proceedings – including almost precisely a dozen victims who were locked up for between 10 and 40 years. In the course of all these proceedings, I had access to both the clients’ testimonies and all files and --” Bond interrupted.
“I’m on a tight schedule, Doctor. Could you confine your commentary to exactly one patient, Auric Goldfinger II?”
“Yes, yes--I know. Sorry. That one is a special case. Special and --how shall I say it? Tragic. I know better than to sympathize, of course. As a young man, Auric Goldfinger the second had been committed against his will by his father--some kind of crime figure…”
“I’m aware, Doctor, I ended his career as a smuggler.”
“Pity you didn’t get to him earlier in view of collateral damage visited upon his son.”
“Doctor Schönenberger, my sources inform me this patient, Goldfinger, is merely assuming the role of a disenfranchised son in order to inherit the father’s estate. Are you able to clarify?”
The vocal sound on the other end of the line puzzled Bond for a moment. It then became clear. The doctor was arguing with somebody on his end.
“Excuse me, Mr. Bond. Sorry about that. I’m retired now and my wife is very much against me violating my oath to protect confidentiality.She too is a psychiatric professional and --” Bond interrupted.
“Doctor Schönenberger--two people and maybe others have been murdered by this former patient of yours. Anything you can tell me might prevent future loss of life--if you could see your way clear to--”
“I shall do it! I can’t live with myself if I don’t speak. Ethics in Psychiatry is a very cynical boilerplate, I assure you.”
“Thank you--please continue. You were saying?”
“I dispute your sources who’ve misinformed you about Auric. He is the bastard child of the smuggler you arrested. Perhaps his given name at birth has misled investigators. His commitment papers say he is Jonathan Smyth. Obviously a fiction--and a poor one at that! At any rate, he wasted no time setting the record straight with the entire population of Leysin Sanitarium. He claims his heritage with a typical megalomaniac pride.”
As the psychiatrist spoke, James Bond stood in a Red telephone booth a few blocks from Regent’s Park staring out at a large Asian fellow in a weird outfit who happened to be standing about a dozen feet from him--staring back.
Bond muttered to himself, “Oddjob?”
“Sorry doctor, I thought I saw somebody I know and his name came to mind. Please continue.”
“Auric Goldfinger the second, as he refers to himself is a classic sociopath. Full-blown symptoms of grandiosity. About one in 150 people will meet the stringent clinical criteria for the disorder. That means hundreds of thousands of them are out and about in the population. The majority of them don't commit violent crimes, but they lead a sort of disorganized, nomadic life, and they tend eventually to end up in some sort of trouble.
Auric is off the scale on malevolence, paranoia, no empathy, and violent fantasies that would curdle your blood if you were his doctor. Am I disturbing you, Bond?”
James Bond was torn between continuing his phone interview and bursting out of the red booth and confronting the Oddjob impersonator scowling at him. He calmed himself and determined to acquire as much intelligence on this nutjob, Goldfinger Junior, as he could--and then take on the doppelganger of his old foe.
“Um-no, not at all. I deal with this sort daily in my line of work. Please go on with what you were saying.”
“I’d say you are mistaken if you think you know anything about this man--but, I could be wrong. You’re some sort of government policeman, right?”
“Yes, something like that. Did he mention at any time what his ultimate goals are and how he’d go about achieving them?”
“ That’s all he spoke of for years! He drafted an outline of Mein Kampf. Adolf Hitler’s roadmap of the maniacal takeover. Auric Goldfinger read Hitler, studied Genghis Khan, Stalin, all the dangerous men of history. He kept extensive journals, maps--it’s all there in his writings.”
“Whew-I don’t suppose I could get my hands on them?”
“When he was released under court order we were compelled to turn all his possession over to his attorney.”
“I need that man’s name and location--can you help me?”
“Well, I don’t know. I’ll see what I can do. Leave your number with me and I’ll get back.”
Bond couldn’t believe what he’d just been told. Too good to be true.
Then, a prickling sensation stopped him short. His intuition whispered in his ear: ‘You’ve been misdirected three times previous--why trust this man who claims to be a psychiatrist sworn to confidentiality who blurts out everything and puts you on to a road map of Goldfinger’s detailed planning?’
James Bond heaved a heavy sigh. “Discipline double oh seven.”
Remembering the faux Oddjob suddenly, Bond burst out of the red booth and headed toward ---? Gone.
Sorry, not a Bond fan. Will this one be book 4 for you Terry?
BTW Thanks to the info you gave me weeks back, I just published my first book on Amazon as you suggested. It's on Kindle already and under review for the paperback edition.
Good luck with this one.