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                                               Race for the Border

Part I: Good Mornig 007

 

     James Bond awoke in his Chelsea flat srangely refreashed. He hadn't felt this good in years, he felt as if his whole body had been cleaned, as well as his mind.Bond opened his paper and rang for May, his Scottish treasure of a housekeeper. May came in carrying a tray with Bonds usual breakfeast of eggs, toast and marmalade, bacon, and a cup of very strong, very black coffee.

     Bond ate silently for a few minutes reflecting on how the boreing strain of endless paperwork would corode his good spirits away. When he had finished he shrugged his shoulders, who cares, he decided he would keep his happiness as long as he could. He rang for May and lit his first ciggarette of the day.

     He drew the smoke into his lungs slowly as May came in, then letting it out with a 'hiss' between his teeth. May cleared her throat as she gathered the things on the tray. Bond looked up, behavior like this usualy meant May had something to say.

     "Yes, May?" said Bond without looking at her.

     "Well Mister James," she began, "you know I'm not one to pry in other peoples bussiness, but..."

     Bond cut off with a curt "HA!" May glared at him and went on undetered.

     "but I can't let ye poison yerself like this." She gesturied toward the tray.

     "May," Bond looked her in the eye, "when I eat this you tell me I'm poisoning myself, yet when I try to eat healthier you tell me a man can't live on such ruffage. I t would seem, May, that you are more concerned about my health than I am." Bond cocked an eyebrow, he was pleased with himself, under normal circumstances Bond would have told May to shut up and leave him alone, but today it seemed he had infinite patience.

     May picked up his tray and walked to the door, "Well if I don't who will?" she said over her shoulder.

     Bond grinned and shook his head, where would he be without May? He didn't want to guess. Bond stood and stretched, then dropped to the floor and began pushing himself up, doing twenty slow push-ups, not giving his muscles a chance to rest. When had finished he rolled onto his back and began twenty slow leg-lifts until his stomach screeched with pain.

     Afterwards Bond bathed under a shower of ice water, gritting his teeth to help control his breathing. He then dressed and gave May a hearty farewell as he left. Outside Bond pressed the self-starter and took great pleasure in hearing his battleship-grey Bently roar to life, and as he drove down the Kings road to his Headquarters in Regence Park, something, he didn't know what, but something inside told him today held something new.

 

Part II: Number 259

 

     "'Morning Helena." Bond said as he walked to his office. Helena Marksbury looked up fromher work, suprised by the joyful outburst. "Good Morning James. In a good mood are we?" Bond leaned across her desk.

     "Ofcourse, I get to come to work and see you." Helena blushed.

     "Flattery will get you no where but don't stop try, James." Bond smiled and walked into his office.

     "Have I ever?" He said as he shut the door. Bond and Helena's flirtateous relationship seemed to be the only thing that kept him from loseing his mind durring the depressing drone of paperwork, but Helena often seemed more of a mother to him at times.

     Bond sat at his desk and picked up his pen, for once he was ready to start the day. A knock came at the door, "Come in." called Bond cheerfully. Helena's head came through the side.

     "Cheif of staff on line one, sir."

     "Thank you," said Bond picking up the phone. "Bill?"

     Bill Tanner's crisp voice came over the reciever.

     "'Morning James, M wants to see you, quick as a bullet."

     "Can you tell me anything?"

     "Sorry James not this time."

     "Thanks Bill."

     After the call Bond sat for a moment knowing this visit to M was nothing but an advice session. It would consist of M's " ' been reading over your physical 007 don't like it one bit." Then she would tell what was wrong with his life and what he should do about it. Bond couldn't claim to be friends with the new M, he couldn't even claim he liked her, but she had earned his respect, and he liked to think that he had earned hers.

     Bond prepared himself for the same old speech he would soon recieve as he made his way down the carpeted corridor to M's office. As Bond opened the door he recieved the brisk, "Hallo James." from MoneyPenny he had missed so much.

     " ' Morning Penney." Bond replied. "I....."

     Bond was cut off by a sharp voice from the intercom.

     "MoneyPenny, please send 007 in now."

     Bond and MoneyPenny exchanged glances. Bond leaned over and put his hand over the intercom speaker.

     "She's becomeing more like Sir. Miles everyday."

     MoneyPenny chuckeled as the light over M's door went on.

     "You'd better go, James."

     "Cheo," said Bond as he walked to the double-doors. "If I don't come back, send a search party." Bond closed the door leaveing MoneyPenny chuckling to herself.

     "Sit down 007." M didn't look up, she kept writeing. "Be with you in just a moment."

     Bond took the seat oppisite M, some manners, calling Bond in here then makeing him wait to ge yelled at. M put the pen down and didn't waist a moment.

     "I've got an assignment for you,007"

     Bond blinked, had he heard right?

     "Ma'am" Bond began wondering if it was he who was loseing his mind our M.

     " I said I've got an assignment for you, in Russia, your to find this woman." She slid a photo across the glass desk.

     Bond picked it up, it showed a young woman in her early twenties dressed in a skirt and blouse sitting at an indoor cafe in Russia.  She obviously didn't know she was being photographed. She had shoulder length black hair and brown eyes, Bond had to admitt she was attractive.

     "One of ours?" Bond asked, again glanceing at the picture.

     "Yes, number 259, Melissa Templeton, information agent, works in a Russian Computer Intelligence Center, or did anyway. On Monday the Russians got wind that someone was leaking information. There conducting an investigation now. Thats why we have to get her out of there."

     "Then why do you need me?" Bond was begining to question M's reasoning. "Just put her on a plane, by the time anyone in Russia knows shes gone she'll be safely back in London."

     "That would be our plan of action, under normal circumstances, but theirs a complication. The girl has in her posesion, a Top Secret computer chip. Code named 'ISAC' it is the first techmology in the world to contain artifical intelligence." M's face turned grim. "I don't have to tell you the consequinces if it were to fall into the wrong hands."

     Bond shook his head, "The computer would never make the same mistake twice, makeing it, in a word, invincible."

     M nodded. "Thats why it is imperitive that you get the girl and the chip back undamaged. MoneyPenny has your plane tickets and background information on both the girl and the chip, leave tomorrow. Good luck 007."

 

Part III: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

 

     As Bond drove over the dimly lite route from to Murmansk his plan began to piece itself together in his head. Since everyone would be under scrutiny in the Russian's investgation the girl would most certainly be under servalleance, so she wasn't going to deviate from her usual routine.

     Bond would use the night to hunt the hunter, he would study the servallance team. When they changed teams, Bond would make his move, the girl was told to keep her door unlocked and expect him. From there he would have to make it up as he went along.

     Bond reached Murmansk around 11:00pm and found the Computer Intelligence Center quickly. It was a large but unobtrusive building just outside Murmansk. Next to the center a large tree covered snow bank hid the large block of apartments that housed the employees of the center. The girl was in apartment 3C.

     Bond drove past the center, around the sharp curve, and past the apartments. As he slowed behind the apartment the glint of a lens in his rear-view mirrior caught his eye. So that was it! The survallance men were stationed on the snow bank, giving them a cear view of all the apartments. For the first time Bond realised that this was going to be hard than he thought.

     Bond parked his Aston Martin just out of view of the survallance team. He then backed the car into the snow so that it faced the road, then covered it, as well as he could, with snow. It would be obvioue under scrutiny but it would suffice for Passer-byes. Bond grabbed his only bag, and made a spot for himself up against the building, so that he had a good view of the survallance man.

     At around Midnight a second man appeared behind the first. This was what Bond had been waiting for, the transition. The first man stood and turned. Now was his chance, Bond made a dash toward the building that housed 3C, he ran on his toes, so as not to be heard. He stopped and crouched at the foot of the stairs. The men carried on there conversation, they hadn't seen him, he was home free. On hands and knees, Bond slinked silently up the stairs.

     As he reached the top 3C was just ahead. Still keeping low he turned the knob and eased into the apartment, he was in. Bond stood, his tense muscles relaxing, taking a step foward all his senses were suddenly alert. Two people talked in Russian, they were close. Bond drew his Walther and eased along the wall to the open doorway. Bond held his breath and turned out into the apartment, his gun in the two handed fireing position. The empty room grinned at him.

     Bond smiled at his precaution and put the PPK away. He soon found the source of the voices, a tiny black and white television sat in the corner of the small apartment casting eriee shadows along the wall. Bond turned it off.

Melissa Templeton lay on the couch across from the television, she must have fallen asleep waiting for him. Bond thought it best to let her sleep. He picked her up as quietly as possible, took her to the bedroom, and lay her to sleep beneath the sheets.

     After he had laid Melissa to bed Bond wrote her a note detailing his plan on a legal pad and left it on a card table that sat just outside of the kitchen, he hoped she would find it in time. With everything done Bond lie on the couch and surrendered to sleep.

 

Part IIII: The Race for the Border.

 

     "Good Morning." A cheerful voice broke Bond from from the grasp of slumber.

     " ' Morning," said Bond sitting up on the couch. "What time is it?" He looked out the window, it was still dark.

     "Around Five-thirty." Melissa Templeton set the card table with two glasses of orange juice and two plates. The legal pad was gone. "I read your note. It sounds like a good plan, if we can pull it off." She walked into the kitchen.

     Bond walked to the table and sat down, "We'll pull it off, we have to."

     Melissa came back and placed three small suasages on each plate and sat oppisite Bond. "Well then, I have every faith in you, Mister?"

     "Name's Bond. James Bond."

     "Well Mr. Bond, I'm sorry I don't have more to eat but things are rather tight." She flashed an apoligetic smile.

     "We shouldn't eat much anyways, hard to run on a full stomach," Melissa nodded, Bond could tell she was nervous.

     "What time do you leave for work?"

     "About six, it's a five minute walk." Bond grunted non-comentaly. Now HE was begining to get nervous.

     They ate in silence for about ten minutes, Bond played out the plan in his head like a movie. It would have to happen fast. About five till six Bond broke the silence.

     "What do you wear to work?" Bond had been eyeing her coat rack.

     "What do you mean?"

     "Do you where that coat and hat?" Bond pointed to a large purple hat and overcoat hunt on the coat rack.

     "Yes." Melissa began to see the light.

     At Six 'o clock a lone figure, dressed in Melissa's coat and hat, left her apartment and began to walk to the center. One minute later another figure started a climb out of the back window of the apartment on a rope made from tied together bed sheets. Once on the grond it rushed to the snow and began digging for the Aston Martin.

     Out of sight of the survallance man James Bond removed coat, hat and removed the Walther from his waistband. Silenced PPK in hand Bond began to make his way up the snow bank. On the other side of the building  Melissa Templeton found the Aston Martin DB5 and climbed in.

     As Bond reached the top a clear view of the Russian was revealed, quietly Bond tucked the Walther into his waistband, took two steps back, and crouched down, prepareing to run. Out of the corner of his eye the Russian saw something move. He turned to see the figure of Bond running at him. As the Russian stood Bond lashed out with bothe feet, catching him squarely in the chest and knocking him unconcius.

     Bond looked at his watch, 6:07am, it would not be long before the second man came to take his watch, Bond couldn't delay any longer. Bond dashed back down the bank, praying that the body wouldn't be discovered until they were well on there way. He found the DB5 quickly and climbed into the driver seat. Melissa grabbed his arm.

     "We've got a problem." She pointed to a small box attached to the underside of Bond's dashboard, it crackeled loudly and a mans voice came through, it spoke rapidly in Russian, Melissa translated.

     "He says 'ISAC' is missing . . . . . There blocking the border!" Her eyes grew wide. "James, what'll we do?"

     "We'll have to race 'em to the border." The Aston Martin roared to life as Bond floored the accelerator and prayed he won the race.

     Within five minutes came into view, all Bond could see were two guards, but there were probably more. The two guards stepped up to the window as Bond slowed to a stop. The first guard signaled for Bond to roll down his window, he did as he was told. As he did Bond found a gun stuck to the side of his head.

     "I'm sorry but we can allow no one to cross border." The guard moved his gun back so it wasn't in the window. "Step out of the car, NOW!"

     Bond's mind raced, there was only one chance. Bond pulled the door handle, then, putting all his weight behind it, drove his shoulder into the door. The door swung open hard catching the guard in the knees, knocking him to the ground. Bond kicked the downed guard in the face knocking him out cold. Bond drew his Walther and fired across the top of the DB5, catching the second guard in the face.

     A burst of gun fire ricoched across the hood. Bond turned to see a third guard in the guardhouse Bond fired a three round burst, knocking the guard off his feet. Bond stuck his back through the driver side window. Melissa sat low in the seat, her eyes wide.

     "I'll go open the gate you pull the car through." Melissa nodded franticly and shifted to the driver seat. Bond put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, then ran to the guardhouse. As the gate slide back Melissa drove the Aston Martin to freedom. Bond stood in the guardhouse, for the first time he realised he was could, but for some reason it didn't matter, they had won the race.

 

 

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