On the O5's Secret Service
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Intelligence suggested the scip was holed up somewhere in this hotel. A challenge to find, for any but the best. Fortunately for me, there's none better. Still, no cause to rush. Anyone here might hold the secrets to its location or, perhaps, to a most delightful evening.

I sit at the bar and swirl my drink. Much as it pains me to admit it, no one's mastered the art of the martini quite as well as the Yanks. The crowd presses around me, each person a tangle of lies and secrets. There's no honesty in what I do, but there's no honesty in any of the shadows that move about. At least I recognize it. And I also recognize that my secrets must stay so till the day I die. How many among those drinking, smiling, laughing here have once been given that little blissful pill when they saw secrets not for their eyes alone? I lean back in my seat, waiting.

And right on time destiny drops me a line. She's tall, dark hair, in a stunning evening dress that leaves just enough to the imagination. Walks right up to the bar. Of course, I can't let a beauty like that pay for her drink. Wouldn't be chivalrous. No sign of my contact yet, so I figured it was only a matter of time.

I ask her what she's doing at the hotel, and she says that she's passing through the area, and needed a place to stay. She looks me dead in the eye as she says it, and I know she doesn't have a room of her own just yet. Of course a dame like that is no stranger to duplicity. She's hiding something else, I know. But then, aren't they all? I ask her, already certain of the answer, if she has a place to stay. She says she doesn't and asks if I would be so kind as to accommodate a poor traveler such as her for a night. Being a gentleman, I can hardly refuse.

No good deed goes unrewarded.

And no good deed goes unpunished, I discover, as I awaken to find myself rudely tied to the hotel bed. It's strong rope, and professionally tied. So, one of my nighttime companion's secrets comes to light. I'm really not surprised. My contact shouldn't have been late; he never is. And in my line of work, if someone doesn't show up, the only safe thing to do is to assume the worst. He's probably lying in a ditch somewhere, with his blood in the gutter. And if I didn't want to join him, I'd have to act fast.

I ask her what she means by this, but she doesn't seem to be in a conversational mood. I don't see any goons, but if she's half as good as I fear, she has some just outside. If she's as good I'm starting to think she may be, she won't even need them. Fortunately, an agent of the O5 is never unprepared. A sharpened nail goes to work on the rope binding my hands as she rummages through my bags. It's probably too much to hope that she'll stumble on one of the less… user friendly items I have in there. My love of women will kill me someday.

But today will not be that day. I snap through the rope, break out my false tooth, and, as she turns towards me with that oh so fetching look of shock on her exquisite features, I toss a pinch of niner-eighty-nine. It works fast, and soon she's down, hardly able to move save to claw futilely at the crusts over her face. Such a terrible waste.

I retrieve my gun. It's an MP5k, with apparently organic properties. Untracable, or so the boys in the Q Division assure me. I kiss her once on her sweetened forehead, and, though I know she can't hear me now, tell her she was beautiful. The gun twitches once, and so does she.

I'm not clear yet. The door bursts open and in come her backup. All five of them, each armed. Fortunately, I'm well prepared. Five against one? Well, I have the perfect distraction.

The disc sails cleanly into the doorway. It's always a wildcard, but this time it certainly delivers. A cloud of bees pours in from the hall, swarming the toughs. Even without them, it would probably be even. Untrained, inelegant, artless. I toss aside my gun. I won't be needing it. Four go down to shattered limbs and cracked skulls. They won't be moving again for a while. The last one, I take care not to hurt. I pick up 539, and the bees disperse. Time to get the information I need.

I packed the Combat Boots, so things go pretty easy for me. For him, too, if he considers the alternatives. The scip is in the penthouse suite, doesn't know we're after him. He's being taken care of by the Serpent's Hand, who certainly do, but I just managed to take out almost his entire escort. Amateurs, the lot of them.

I call in a clean-up squad and ride the elevator to the target's location. The door is locked, but like all modern hotels, opens on the first or second kick. The scip is sitting on the sofa, watching the news. He looks like a regular fellow, somewhat overweight, but I know better. I know him to be a rift in what reality should be, a living blasphemy against the natural order that England thrives on. He gets up, looks at me, and sees his fate. Three shots to the torso, and he falls. I walk over to him, remove his shirt. As I knew, where the stomach would be in any true human is instead a globe, dappled in blue and green. And molten red, where a bullet pierced it. Target confirmed. Target eliminated.

There's no point to containing that which can't be used. The only good scip is one that we control absolutely. There's no telling what anything less than a wholly contained one might do. The crown must be protected. So we Select. We Contain. We Prevent.

I am an agent of the Occidental 5. I have a license to kill.

The name is Bond. James Bond.

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