"I thought I'd find you here, Bond"
The figure propped up at the bar, straightened slightly but didn't turn around to face her addresser.
"Mmmm" Bond slurred, slugging down the dregs of a Jameson's.
"N, actually. Now, come on, I've got a mission for you. We're going back to headquarters."
Bond sighed and slouched out of the Irish bar after N, adjusting her character turban on the way.
"Hurry up, Bond. I borrowed Cookie's Chrysler New Yorker as my car's in the 'shop, and he'll be livid if I don't get it back in time for the Concours d'Elegance."
~ ~ ~
The Chrysler pulled in at MJ6 headquarters, slowing down but not stopping, to disgorge Bond, who staggered from the moving automobile.
"I would say I'm sorry about that, Bond, but I'd be lying" N shouted from the open rear window as the car pulled away. "Go in and see my secretary for the mission details and to get kitted out." And with that, the chauffeur driven car roared off.
Inside, Bond walked into a suite of offices, and was confronted with N's secretary.
"Mish Moneyprinny" Bond slurred, the Jameson's still evident.
Moneyprinny looked up from her sewing machine, her mouth full of pins. She turned her head to the left slightly and blew the pins out with a helping flick from her tongue. Bond flinched as they shot past and embedded themselves with deadly accuracy into a picture of some garden gnomes that was stuck to the door she'd just walked through.
"Ah, hello Jane" Moneyprinny smiled. "N found you, then."
"It would appear so, eh" Bond replied, turning back from the be-pinned gnomes. "That's quite a tongue you have there, Moneyprinny."
"Well, it may have been a few years since I was out in the field, but one never forgets how to blow a mouthful of pricks!"
"Quite" Bond said. "So, you have my mission?"
"Oh, yes. Just a minute." Moneyprinny rifled through some drawers under her desk, pulling out all manner of sewing implements and, bizarrely, several jars of apricots. Eventually, she handed over a buff-coloured file, the front of which was marked 'Top Secret'. Or it would have been had the rings of apricot syrup from the jar bases not obliterated it. "Here you are."
Just then the phone rang. Moneyprinny took one look at the caller ID display and rolled her eyes. "It's mother" she explained and gestured for Bond to go through the double doors on the right. "He's expecting you. I'll meet you outside in a bit."
~ ~ ~
The chair swung around revealing a man stroking two scarily intelligent-looking cats that were sitting contentedly in his lap.
"Who are you?" Bond demanded suddenly sobering up. "And where's Q?"
"Um... Well... I'm X" the man said peering at Bond over the top of his wire-framed glasses. "Q popped out for lunch, so I'm just filling in until he gets back."
Bond narrowed her eyes at the unexpected interloper as he stroked his pussies.
"When did he leave?" she asked, reasoning that as everyone in MJ6 got an hour for lunch, Q may not be much longer as it was nearly 2pm now.
"Three months ago" sighed X.
"Oh. So he probably won't be back by two, then?"
"I doubt it."
"Look" Bond said, "This all seems very suspicious. You're not the villain, are you?"
"Me?" X looked aghast. "Certainly not!" Then the penny dropped. "Oh... The swivel chair, the cat-stroking, the little glasses... Heh! Yes, I can see why you'd think that."
X rose from his chair, the cats leaping from his lap to disappear amongst the various inventions and contraptions scattered about the cavernous room. "Follow me, Bond. I'll show you your latest accoutrements."
~ ~ ~
|Paradise in an AM DB5|
A noise like deflating bagpipes suddenly got everyone's attention.
This was followed by a commotion amongst various pedestrians across the road. Several had fainted and at least two of them weren't even stuck-up old snobs! The rest of the civilians had their hands clamped to their faces, covering their bleeding eyes.
|The results of messing around with a Plaid-|
Gun without checking that the safety is on...
"It just went off in my hand! I barely touched it!"
"And look what it's done to their hair."
"I'm pretty sure it didn't do that. Their hair must have been that bad beforehand" said X.
Ignoring the unfolding drama, Bond pulled her red character turban more snugly against her head and got in the drivers seat of the MistressMobile. X and Moneyprinny squabbled over the front passenger seat, with X losing out and having to sit in the back. Moneyprinny looked smug as Bond started the engine and pulled away.
"Wait! Wait!" came a voice from outside the car.
Bond pulled over and lowered the window. "Yes?" she said to the approaching figures, both of whom looked a little over made-up for normal daytime business. "What do you want?"
"My Mistress wants to go with you." The almost out of breath 'woman' nearest the car dropped the various travel cases she had carried pell-mell up the street. "She- She knows things."
"Quiet Anitia!" the second 'woman' snapped as she approached. Unlike Anitia, she had declined to run and wasn't carrying anything except for a small, rather exquisite clutch.
"She's in one of those moods" Anitia whispered to Bond with a roll of her eyes before being shoved aside by her companion.
"I have information that can help you."
Bond narrowed her eyes. "What kind of information, and why would you want to help us?"
"Because 'Mr Swings' was my brother! I am Maddie Mastercard."
"I see. So, what about this information?"
"Well, that's a little more complicated, but I know certain things about where you're going..."
"Oh, get in, then. But you'll have to sit in the back with X."
Anitia opened the back door and Maddie barged her aside, grimacing at the close confines within. "There's no room for you, Anitia. You'll have to stay behind. Now, just put my things in the trunk and go and find a cheap motel to stay in."
To be continued in... Glitter is Forever