BRIGHTSTAR PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS Ian Fleming’s James Bond, 007 In The Beginning Of The End. By Daniel Cooper 1. The Man In The Dark Linen Suit. Southern Spain. The Aston drove smoothly over the rough terrain whipping up a trail of frenzied dust in its wake. A car couldn‟t have looked more out of place. It stood out in unforgiving silver against the bleak mountainous landscape and the cars body sparkled inconspicuously in the harsh mid morning sun but James Bond didn‟t care. He loved this car. He loved everything about it. The engine purr, the finish, the way it said style in the most outcast of situations. The optional extras such as target seeking machine guns and an ejector seat were an added bonus. Bond still noticed how it handled corners with perfect ease. There had been a time back in the local town where Bond had stopped at a filling station and pressed the button for the fuel cap to swing open but instead pushed an equally similar button that brought up the two target seeking machine guns. The station owner fell off his chair and it took a little explaining to the local police to which Bond told them that it was for hunting only. After all it wasn‟t a lie. Since then the drive had been uneventful and now Bond weaved through the various mountains. This was a light assignment for James Bond who was used to more harsher conditions than the heat of southern Spain and it was a kind of relief from the normal „courier‟ assignments. The car tore along. A map of the area was displayed through a projector onto the windscreen using a GPS tracking system along with the cars display which according to Q optimised driving performance. Bond brought the car to a stop in a lay by on the side of a hill. He swung open the drivers door and stepped outside into the heat which reflected off the side of the Aston Martin Vanquish. Bond glanced out into the distance. The view was amazing and even though Bond didn‟t like to participate in this kind of tourist behaviour he stood for a moment to admire the scene. He looked at his watch. It was just after midday and the sun blazed furiously using all its strength to burn the earth. It was the time for siesta when all of Spain comes to standstill till two o‟clock to avoid the sun but Bond had a feeling not all were at rest and more to the point neither could he be. 007 remembered something Moneypenny had once told him, “ Mad dogs and Englishman only go out in the midday sun”. Bond was the Englishman but who were the mad dogs. It was the time of day when the predators hunt their prey. Bond just hoped he wasn‟t the prey and certainly hoped he wouldn‟t run into the mad dogs. The mission was simple for a double 0 and Bond had the briefing playing over in his head. A group of known terrorists had entered Spain through the „backdoor‟ and had been traced to this area and a strange compound. 007‟s job was to get in, kill the terrorists, blow the place to hell and escape. The blowing the place to hell part was an occupational must for anyone in the 00-section and a common event for 007 as he had become some what of an expert thus it had become part of his reputation among MI6 and criminals in the know. Bond went to the back of the car and swiped his finger along the finger print recognition scanner and the boot lifted up. He took out a rucksack and replaced his white linen suit and blue shirt for black special services attire. 007 then pulled out a pair of binoculars and began searching the area of foliage directly below the mountain side. There in the midst of it all was a small bleached, stone facility surrounded by a perimeter fence. At the back there was small clearing where a helicopter lay in waiting surrounded by several jeeps, cars and all protected by patrolling guards who paced the perimeter fence. Bond had seen the satellite images and knew this place like the bottom of his martini glass. Small, plenty of places to hide but heavily guarded. Bond would have to be on his guard. Bond opened the rucksack he had removed from the boot and pulled out a coil of rope and a safety harness. He took the key fob for the Aston Martin and pressed a small grey button. The Vanquish vanished into its surroundings, invisible to the naked eye. Amused, Bond tied the rope to his waist and went to the edge of the road. He peered down the sheer edge below and without any warning flung himself down the side. He flew by the jagged rock and within half a minute landed carefully on the ground below. Straightening his tie, Bond had his safety harness off in a flash. Immediately he rushed into the tree coverings and was welcomed with a pleasant coolness. He threw his rucksack down on the ground and knelt down beside it. Bond pulled open the top and started pulling out a variety of his „essential‟ field items. A pistol, silencer and magazines, a pair of Q branch sunglasses that could take pictures by pressing the sides, and sticks of C4 and detonators all were in the bag. Bond went over to the perimeter fence and pulled out a little hand held computer. He took the tiny computer and plugged it into a box that controlled the perimeter fence. A map of the compound flashed up on the screen. 007 had hacked into the main system security controls. He used the computer to switch of the section of electric and alarmed fence in front of him and then activated a security alarm on the other side of the compound to act as a distraction. Bond heard the security guards shouting and running to where the alarm was sounding. This was his chance and he wasn‟t going to waste it. As swift as a lion he pulled back his cuffs to reveal his silver Omega watch and aimed it at the fence. He pushed a raised button on the side of the device and a red laser beam flashed out and hit the fence. Bond started cutting through the fence and made a circular hole. Bond pushed the cut out section to the floor, displacing the leaves. Carefully he stepped through the hole and into the inner compound. Quickly he made his way over to the side of the building. It was a large pillar box design, more reminiscent of the second world war than of twenty first century design. The harsh heat radiated off the bleached walls and beads of sweat began to run down James Bond‟s face. Bond looked up and saw a barred up vent in the wall. He again pulled out his watch and began to cut through the metal bars. Bond pulled himself through the whole and carefully hurled his body into a small room. It was dark except for several shafts of light that dispersed though the open hole. The room was empty although there was several crates in the far corner of the room. Bond went over to them and pulled up one of the lids. Inside there was dozens of sticks of explosives similar to the ones Bond was carrying. He took a detonator out of the pocket of his overalls and slipped it inside the crate. He then slid off his overalls revealing his normal cloths again. He slipped on the Q branch sunglasses, went over to the big iron door in the opposite corner of the room and slid out into the main corridor. Bond scanned the area. There was no one and he casually walked along the corridor. Around the corner guards were talking. Bond decided to chance it and walked around the corner and to his surprise the guards called over to him. „Hey you!‟ one of the men shouted to Bond. Bond froze .How could they know. Bond stopped and had his hand in his shirt pocket ready to pull out his Walther P99. Slowly Bond turned to the guards. This could be it. His cover was blown, surely. The mission was compromised. „Hey mister where do you think you‟re going‟ the guard questioned. „Me?‟ Bond answered edging his index finger around the trigger of his gun. „Sir, this way. The proceedings will start momentarily.‟ „Arr, sorry my mistake.‟ Bond replied removing his fingers off the trigger of the Walther. Bond went through the big metal doors the two men guarded and into the room it lead to. The room was large and filled with people. People of all nationalities. Koreans, Germans, French, American to name but a few, each huddled in their own group. Bond felt indiscrete standing by the door and heard a group of familiar English accents to his left. He headed over to the group who were busy discussing the best way to dispose of a what they called a non committer. Bond scanned the room. There must have been at least forty people there. Each man held a booklet in one hand and many, a cigar in the other. Some of the men were on portable phones, others carefully surveyed the booklets a small, quaint Spanish man was giving out. Confused was certainly what 007 was feeling. What had he walked into and would he be walking out? No one had seen him go in after all and MI6 weren‟t the best people to talk when an agent was captured, something he had learned in North Korea. 007 began to get confused. Why were some of the worlds most notorious terrorists gathered and having a social meeting in the no where‟s of Southern Spain. One thing remained prominent in his mind however, they wouldn‟t be walking out alive. This was a dream for any agent of the West. People have spent years trying to hunt down these terrorists and now Bond was being handed it all on a platter. There was one thing Bond was un-easy at. It was too easy. The photography device on Bond‟s sun glasses was busy processing the photos Bond had taken of the terrorists when the big metal doors swung open again. Two men, minders Bond thought held open the door as a smartly dressed man entered followed by a smaller flustered looking man desperately trying to keep up with the first mans stride. The men strode into the corner in the opposite side of the room. Bond turned on the magnifying mode on his glasses and zoomed in on the men taking photos as he did. He focused in on the centre man. He wore a dark linen suit. His face was gaunt, aged and bony with short cropped hair with peering eyes. Tall and dark the man was familiar to Bond although he had no idea how but Bond didn‟t like the man. It was a feeling he got about many people in the business and unfortunately he was often right. Somehow Bond thought he would be seeing this man again. Just then the big metal doors swung open again and a small man in a dark old fashioned suit walked in. His thinning grey hair was lost in the midst of the crowd and then he suddenly appeared on a small podium in the centre of the room. The quaint looking man pulled a pocket watch out of his jacket, observed the time and cleared his throat to get the crowds attention. The room fell silent and turned towards the man in the centre. He spoke in true English, his British accent biting off his tongue. „Good evening gentlemen.‟ The small man addressed the waiting crowd. „Our first specimen this afternoon is this fine young fellow.‟ He prompted towards the door and again the doors pulled back again. In walked a tall, extremely thin man who walked into a slightly taller podium next to the old man. The man who reminded Bond of an old British scientist began again. „His enemies call him Stinger, height six, two. Korean, speaks some English…‟ „So is my aunt!‟ a small Japanese man remarked from the crowd, meeting amused chuckles from the men. „Arr, such a joker but can your aunt do this?‟ he replied motioning at the huge man on the podium. Stinger jumped off the podium automatically and approached the Japanese man, his smirk now slowly receding into a worried frown. Stinger lifelessly picked up the man under his arms and with one effortless heave swung the squirming man into a pile of broken wood in the far corner off the room. The man slumped down against the wall, unconscious. The crowd was in awe. Bond watched tensely. „Maybe we can now continue without interruptions men. A little order…now, lets start the bidding.‟ Immediately it hit Bond what was going on. A human auction. A gathering of the worlds biggest criminals to buy henchmen and assassins. Bond had heard of theses occurring during the Cold War days in Russia but there hadn‟t been an MI6 case in years. It was a secret agents dream. All of the worlds most wanted men under one roof and he had the opportunity to kill them all. On the other hand he was surrounded by the most dangerous people known. „Men, you have had a demonstration of this fine specimen of a man. Lets start the bidding at…lets say one hundred thousand dollars.‟ Hands went up all around the room. One-fifty, two hundred, three, four- fifty. The one man sold for five hundred thousand dollars. Stinger, emotionless stood off the podium and went over to the winning bidder, an Italian group who systematically probed and prodded him, checking his resistance like a piece of meat. The Italian wrote a check and handed it to the Englishman on the podium and he continued. „Lot number two gentlemen will commence momentarily.‟ the small man announced. The crowd began whispering excitedly. Bond still noticed the man in the dark linen suit and his group who were in the opposite corner to Bond. There was something about him that 007 felt. He seemed familiar. Just at that moment the metal doors opened yet again. A young women came through them. Late twenties, early thirties Bond thought. She had long black hair that ran down her purple dress. English Bond thought. She hurried towards the man in the corner, turning the heads of the men in the room. Bond slotted in a ear piece that allowed him to pick up sounds. „I‟m sorry I am late but the guards insisted on frisking me.‟ she said to the man and giving the guards at the door the „evil‟ eye who replied by smirking back.. „I‟m sure they didn‟t find anything Miss Rose.‟ „Is our man up next?‟ „Yes, make sure we get him.‟ „Don‟t worry, he‟ll be ours soon enough.‟ she said with an air of confidence. Bond was suddenly very interested in Miss Rose and the man in the dark linen suit. The small English auctioneer signalled that he was ready to continue and the room fell silent again as he took again to his box. „Right Gentlemen… and women,‟ he said peering down at Miss Rose, „Lets continue with lot two, names Harmer.‟ As the man spoke a huge man burst through the doors without prompt. Tall, young with the biggest muscles Bond had ever seen bulging out of his skin. His tainted expression and peering, pointed eyes focused directly ahead. He wore combat trousers and a tight green vest drowned in sweat. The room gasped as he walked past at the sheer hulk of him, his tight cut hair adding to his fearsome image. Bond was taken back by his size as he walked up to the podium. The auctioneer read out the huge mans vital statistics but no person in the room listened anymore, their eyes fixed on the man. There was a hurried rush of whispers. This is what the people had been waiting for all afternoon and people were eager to start the bidding. „Gentlemen, gentlemen, please serious bidders only. Lets start at one million dollars.‟ The room erupted at the enormous amount. „Five million.‟ a new bidder shouted. Everybody turned amazed at this immediate high figure. It was the man in the dark linen suit. He stood deadly still and focused surrounded by peering eyes. „Five fifty.‟ an unsure Russian answered. „Six million.‟ the man answered back with no hesitation. The room went quiet as the bids were becoming so high. It seemed the man with Miss Rose was going to win the bid. Men all around the room were astounded at the extortionate amount of money, more than five times its estimate price. Just then a new bidder called out a bid. „Severn million.‟ The whole room turned frantically to face James Bond who stood set upon his bid and waiting for the man in the corners response. The man in the dark linen suit looked annoyed and glanced over at Bond. The man simply sighed and replied, „eight million.‟ „Nine.‟ Bond fired back. „Ten.‟ „Eleven.‟ „Twelve.‟ „Thirteen.‟ The bid rested with Bond. Bond could see the man grating his teeth. Miss Rose looked horrified and was frantically trying to stop him but the man was enraged and merely glanced at Bond and sneered. The crowd were widely excited and poised for the next bid. „Fourteen.‟ the man replied as Bond fell silent. „Anymore advances on fourteen million dollars men?.‟ the auctioneer called. „Fifteen.‟ Bond replied gazing over at the man who was now consumed with anger. „Sixteen.‟ the man shouted back enraged, now seething. „Anymore, sir?‟ the auctioneer asked turning to Bond. Bond hesitated for a moment. He looked over at the man who was now clenching his fists and had heavy beads of sweat amounting on his fore head. Bond had done enough. He had got the mans attention. He turned to the auctioneer and shook his head. „Right, if you are sure…sold to you sir.‟ The man in the dark linen suit regained his composure and stood again with an air of confidence. Harmer got down off the podium effortlessly and walked over to the man who he now dwarfed. The man surveyed him up and down as Miss Rose scribbled down notes in a black file and got the man in the suit to sign a check for the auctioneer. There was not the next lot for a while and the room descended into a relaxed gathering with drinks and light snacks served from a table almost disguising why all theses people were actually there. Bond glanced over to Miss Rose and the men. She was making her way over to the drinks table. Bond followed. „That was a high bid,‟ Bond said to her. She turned around to see him. „The names Bond…James Bond.‟ He held out his hand to her but she ignored it bluntly refusing his gesture. „And you are?‟ „Rose, Miss Summer Rose,‟ she replied coldly. „Tell me mister Bond, do you value your life?‟ „Now that depends on the price to pay Miss Rose.‟ Bond returned. „It is extremely foolish to play with Mr Millner, especially with money Mr Bond, you‟ll soon find that out.‟ „We purely share a mutual interest.‟ „Not any more Mr Bond, you lost. Mr Millner never loses.‟ „And he pays sixteen million dollars for that pleasure, does he?‟ „You have paid a higher price Mr Bond.‟ The man in the dark linen suit came beside Bond and Miss Rose and turned to speak to them, eyeing up Bond, his guards in the background watching from a distance. „Miss Rose, who‟s your new friend?‟ Millner interrupted. „Augustus this is…‟ 007 finished the sentence. „Bond…James Bond.‟ „Arr the man who tried to out bid me, how interesting.‟ Millner acted like he hadn‟t noticed but he had seen Bond approach Miss Rose and was on the offensive. „Please, let me introduce myself, Augustus Millner, head of the Millner Corporation. What job do you do Mr. Bond?‟ „Oh I travel a lot, stock broking.‟ „Stock broking?‟ Millner sounded surprised, almost mocking Bond in his light tone. „Yes amongst other things.‟ „And you needed Mr. Harmer for what, clearing the floor?‟ „Something like that.‟ Bond replied un-easily. „That‟s a lovely watch Mr. Bond, mind if I take a look?‟ Bond was suspicious. Surely Millner hadn‟t taken Bond‟s stock broker story. It was something Miss Rose had said about Bond paying a higher price that made him aware of Millner. Uneasy Bond slid the Omega Seamaster off his wrist and handed it across to Millner who took it, intrigued. „Marvellous, had one of these myself once…hmm what‟s this light for?‟ Bond gasped. The watch was the control for the detonator Bond had placed in the crate of explosives. Before Bond could react and grab the watch from him, Millner pressed the side button, almost knowing its function and detonated the bomb. The blast rocked the building tremendously and blew in one of the side walls automatically revealing glimpses outside through the thick smoke and dust. Almost everyone had been knocked to the floor and there was a huge uproar of yells and shouts. The dust was everywhere and coated everyone. Bond was dazed on the floor. He opened his eyes and could see Millner in front of him also on the floor. Millner, dazed, too opened his eyes and immediately shouted for Bond to be killed. The guards began running into the room and fired their machine guns into the dust. The crowd went wild and started running out of the room which was now crumbling away. Millner grabbed Miss Rose and ran out of the room. Bond pulled his Walther P99 out of its holster and followed them. Outside the breeze was welcome and the thick dust poured out of the building. People ran from every entrance from the building and ran to their cars in fear of the authorities arriving to investigate. Millner, two of his guards, Miss Rose and Harmer ran towards a helicopter on the far side of the building, Bond followed picking off guards on his way. Bond heard other explosions from behind where other explosives were being set off by the rapidly spreading fire now raging fearing what would happen if the fire reached the room of explosives. Millner and his group reached the helicopter with Bond in hot pursuit and began clambering in. Miss Rose was last to get in but Millner stopped her. “Augustus there isn‟t enough room!” Summer shouted. Millner still blocked the door. Bond was fast approaching and the rotor blades were near full power. “I know!” Millner shouted back. He slammed the door shut, smirked and motioned for the pilot to take off. Bond fired up at the helicopter now rising but failed to bring it down and it took off over the building. All around there was still chaos with people running around aimlessly and a group off guards spotted Bond and began chase. Bond grabbed Miss Rose who was slumped in shock, sobbing on the floor and ran to a line off bushes near by. Millner‟s helicopter roared off overhead. Bond frantically pulled Miss Rose into the bushes and pulled out the key fob for the Aston Martin Vanquish. He pushed the one of the buttons that were on the key fob and above him Bond could hear the Vanquish‟s engines fire up. He pushed another button and the car became visible again. Bond pressed the accelerator button and the car roared off. The speed now racing 007 guided the car around the precarious corners, gaining speed all the time. Faster and faster the car ripped down the steep slopes and towards Bond and Summer. The guards were now rapidly approaching the bushes and Bond began picking them off with his Walther. Explosions were going off in the building as more of the fire reached packs of explosives. A huge explosion ripped through one side of the building sending people flying everywhere. A huge cloud of dust hung in the air, choking everything. Suddenly the silver Aston Martin ripped through the dust and screamed to a finish right in front of Bond and Summer. The two rushed to the car and Bond jumped in avoiding the flying bullets. Immediately Bond brought up two target seeking shot guns on the front of the car and they began shooting off at the screaming guards now running for cover. The car engine roared and screeched off gaining incredible speed. Up ahead two daring guards began to pull across a wire mesh gate, sealing off Bonds escape. 007 quickly pushed a button and two rockets appeared from the front grill. Bond fired both of them and they had a perfect hit on the metal gate clearing an exit. The car shot out of the complex and onto the open road leaving guards firing pointlessly behind them. The car now tore across the baron landscape whipping up a long tail of dust. Bond glanced into the wing mirror of the Vanquish. The huge complex behind them erupted into a huge ball of flames reaching high into the air engulfing the landscape. Bond smirked and pushed down harder on the accelerator. The silver Aston Martin disappeared over the horizon.