Written by JKIJ :: [Tuesday, 01 May 2012 07:05] Last updated by :: [Monday, 11 May 2015 12:15]
This story is intended to loosely fit the theme of Workshop 1.11, adding an SWM element to a series that normally wouldn't have it.
One morning I sat at my desk as normal, the day seeming much like any other. As I was going through the routine paperwork I had to deal with, the intercom went off. “Moneypenny, could you come in here please,” my boss said, her voice broking no argument. I instantly set my work down and walked the short distance to her office. I knocked on her door and was told to enter. M sat behind her desk, calm and in control as she always appeared to be. “Close the door please,” she said as soon as I came in. “I’m confident that we wouldn’t be overheard, but it doesn’t do to take any chances.”
A little bewildered, I did as I was told before moving to take the seat that M directed me to. “How can I help you?” I asked, getting straight down to business as I knew the other woman would want.
“You know of course that 007 is off on a mission right now,” M began. I knew that no response was needed, but I nodded anyway to show that I was paying attention. “Well it seems that Bond has got himself into trouble and has dropped off the radar. His last message said that he believed he was on to something and that he was going to consult Dr Patel, a leading scientist in the field of radiation, though the fact that she’s a good looking woman was probably of at least as much relevance to him. We haven’t heard from either her or Bond since.” I was now beginning to understand why M had wanted to speak with me and why she was being even more security conscious than usual. “We need agent S to go and find Bond and see if he needs her special brand of help.”
I straightened slightly as I heard her words, before replying “Yes ma’am, I’ll contact her at once and send her to see Q.”
M smiled a little at me. “Thank you, Moneypenny,” she said. “I knew I could count on you.”
I left M’s office in an excited state, though I tried my hardest to hide it. I directed my assistant to take over for me before heading off at a brisk walk to fulfil my instructions. I ran into a few people who asked me to bring something or other to M’s attention, though I fobbed them off on my assistant telling them that there was something M had asked me to take care of. I left the building and turned left into a small unprepossessing looking road. Once there, I looked around to be sure that I couldn’t be seen by anybody and that there had been no new cameras added. Sure now that I was safe from observation, I ran as quickly as I could to the secluded alcove on the side of MI6 HQ which contained a secret lift. As I stepped into the lift and activated it, I smiled to myself at the thought of how anybody who could have seen me run would now be scratching their head in complete bewilderment, especially if they knew me; one moment M’s efficient secretary is standing still in front of them, the next she’s vanished in a blur of motion leaving only a gust of wind behind her.
The lift took me to a hidden alcove in the workshop of Q branch. As I’d expected, I was met there by Q himself as activating the lift had set off a signal to let him know I was coming. “Hello, my dear,” he said, smiling warmly at me. “I understand that you need to rescue 007 again.”
“Well, I have been doing that ever since you accidentally created agent S,” I replied, taking both of our thoughts back to the day that one of Q’s experimental weapons had exploded, causing high voltage electricity to arc through my body. I immediately blacked out and was later told that my heart had stopped for several minutes. I was technically dead and if Q hadn’t acted quickly I wouldn’t be here now. I’m not sure exactly what he did since he has never been willing to tell me, but he definitely saved my life.
I came to in hospital with Q at my side, feeling surprisingly well for somebody whose heart hadn’t been working not that long before. In fact, I felt exactly the same as I had before the accident. I was kept under observation for a couple of days to make sure that I was fine before I was allowed to go home. When I did everything seemed normal at first and I was soon able to return to work. As the months passed, though, I began to notice that everything I did seemed to be getting easier; my work was being done quicker (though I could only tell this from looking at the clock since it felt to me that it was taking exactly the same amount of time) and whenever I exerted myself physically such as going for a run I could go harder for longer without feeling tired. Soon I was able to run an entire marathon while moving at the same speed as the 100 metres world record holder and I was able to memorise complex information or spot crucial details after a single glance at an object. To top it off, I could tell that my abilities were still increasing.
I tried to keep my enhanced capabilities a secret, but it’s hard to hide things from a spymaster as perceptive as M, whoever holds the position. My boss at the time quite quickly noticed that there was something different about me and, after a few days when I was able to elude the people he had directed to observe me, M summoned me into his office to directly confront me with his suspicions. At first he was worried that I was an imposter who had replaced the genuine version of me, but it didn’t take me long to allay his fears. He regularly sent me to work with Q in order to test my still developing abilities and over the next year we found that whatever had happened to me, I had become truly superhuman with powers undreamed of outside the realms of fiction, my favourite undoubtedly being the ability to fly. When I’d finally finished developing into the super-powered woman I am today, M suggested that I become MI6’s most secret agent, an asset of last resort who can get less capable agents (which of course means every other agent) out of any dire straits that they manage to get themselves into. Since I’d always dreamed of being able to go out into the field, I instantly accepted and I’ve secretly been going on missions to rescue my colleagues ever since though only each M, Q and I have ever known about what I’ve been doing. To everybody else, I am still just Miss Moneypenny, the secretary who you might notice when calling on her boss but otherwise will probably be ignored. Now it was time for me to get to work.
“Where is James now?” I asked Q, as I walked behind a screen so I could change my clothes in privacy.
“We don’t know exactly,” Q replied, his tone of voice all business. “He was in India looking into reports that somebody is looking to provoke a war between India and Pakistan.”
“But that’s insane,” I said as I removed my normal every day work clothing and picked up the tight black cat-suit I wear in my more secret role. The outfit had been specially designed by Q to be resilient enough that I could put it through almost any stress and it would remain intact. I had asked Q for the cat-suit after my first mission when my supersonic flight and a hail of bullets had conspired to leave me almost naked. While my body could take the exposure to the elements without any difficulty, my dignity found it far more difficult to accept. “Another war between those two countries would almost certainly involve nuclear weapons.” While I spoke, I stepped into the skin-tight outfit, pulling it over my body so that it clung to every inch below my neck before zipping up and stepping out from behind the screen to look at myself in the mirror. Looking good, Jane, I thought, my reflection looking spectacular if I do say so myself. If James could see me now I’m sure he’d pay attention.
“It is an insane idea,” Q agreed, bringing my focus instantly back to the matter in hand, “but how often have we had to remove people who have an insane plan?” Thinking over James’s missions, both with my secret help and on his own, I was forced to nod in agreement. He handed me a dossier containing everything that MI6 knew about James’s mission.
“So what have you got to help me this time?” I asked, getting down to business, scanning and memorising the dossier at super-speed.
“As usual the devices I’ve given 007 have a tracking device in them which will be activated as soon as they are used. The signal will be transmitted to this watch, allowing you to home in on him,” Q said, handing me the watch so I could fasten it around my wrist. “Also, since Bond seems to be interested in radiation, the watch contains a radiation detector. And while my toys pale into insignificance when compared to your own abilities, you might find this belt useful. It contains a high-powered miniature cutting torch, explosives, flashbangs, a few feet of coiled metal cable and a very sharp knife.” Q smiled as he handed over the belt which I instantly tied around my waist. It was a dull black so that a gleam of reflected light wouldn’t give my position away. “You’d better be on your way. Good luck my dear,” Q said, giving me a quick hug before standing back to let me get a move on.
With Q having backed away from me, I had sufficient space to take off. To anyone else watching me it would have looked as if I jumped into the sky and just kept going. That’s not how it feels to me, though. I don’t jump, I just flex most of the muscles in my body at once, somehow causing me to levitate off the ground. Slowly at first, I flew up through the skylight that Q had opened as soon as M told him that I was on my way, before accelerating through the sound barrier once I had flown above the height of the nearby buildings, though inexplicably there was no sonic boom when I hit Mach 1. I then turned and flew in a South-Easterly direction towards India, continuing to accelerate as I did so, before long reaching speeds that not even the fastest aircraft could achieve and unlike man-made objects I didn’t need fuel to keep going. I flew fast enough to be able to reach Delhi within one hour, and I wasn’t even pushing myself to the limit in order to do so.
As soon as I landed in Delhi I made my way to the university where a conference on nuclear power and radiation was on-going. It was at this conference where James had met Dr Patel before the two of them vanished off the map. It didn’t take me long to spot Professor Shaw, the white-haired old man who was MI6’s regular first contact on anything relating to atomic affairs. “Professor Shaw,” I said, loudly attracting his attention towards me and away from the other scientists he was mingling with. “Could I have a moment of your time please?”
The professor moved across the room towards me. “Yes,” he said, looking me up and down appreciatively. “How can I help you Miss?” he enquired, obviously wanting to know my name.
“The name’s Kent, Karen Kent,” I replied giving the alias I had chosen for my fieldwork, deliberately echoing James as I did so. “I work for MI6 and I was sent here to see what James Bond has been up to. I understand he was here.”
“He was here,” Professor Shaw said, nodding his head in agreement, “though not for long. He arrived just soon enough to hear Monsieur Millet’s outlandish claims then left along with the delectable Doctor Patel.”
“What did this Millet say?” I asked, fixing my attention on the part that might be of some relevance to my mission.
“He said that he had developed a process that could instantly nullify the harmful effects of any radioactivity. Nobody believed him, of course,” the professor snorted, derision clear in his voice, “especially since he refused to answer any questions about how it worked or demonstrate his ideas. I’m not even sure why he was invited to make a presentation at this conference when nobody knows what if any expertise he has in radiation or atomic physics, though if I had to guess it would be because he’s immensely rich. He did make a good show of himself, though, I’ll give the man that much at least.”
“Did Mr Bond leave immediately after Millet’s presentation?”
“Near enough. He talked for a while to Dr Patel then the two of them left. I have no idea where they’ve gone, though.”
I was going to ask the professor more questions when I felt a vibration from my left wrist and I could hear a high-pitched beeping coming from the watch Q had given me. The beeping was pitched high enough that a normal human ear would be unable to hear it. From past experience I knew exactly what the sound and vibration meant; James was using one of the devices Q had given him.
“I’m sorry Professor. I’d love to stay and chat but I’ve really got to get back to work. Thank you for your time.” Shaw looked disappointed, but his look quickly changed to one of stunned amazement when I kissed his cheek before turning and walking out of the door of the hall where the conference was taking place. Once outside I spent a few moments looking for a place out of the line of sight of any onlookers. As soon as I found an appropriate location I took off vertically, pausing to hover and look at my watch once I was above the clouds. The inbuilt compass was pointing in a south-westerly direction so I followed its lead, this time pushing myself to my maximum limit.
A few minutes later I was surprised to find myself flying over the coast and above the Arabian Sea with my watch still pointing in the same direction. After flying for another ten minutes, the beeping sound on my watch changed to show that I was very near to the spot where James had used Q’s device which, knowing the two of them, had probably led to a big bang. I paused to hover and look around but, despite my better than human eyesight, I couldn’t spot any sign of a ship or boat that any human could be aboard and the skies were utterly clear of aircraft. I continued to search the sea for anything out of the ordinary and I eventually spotted a human body floating on the surface. Flying down to get a closer look, I saw that the body had a hole in it that was plainly the result of a gunshot and there was blood in the water. I flew close enough to touch the body and could feel that it was still warm, though despite having not been dead for long I still couldn’t see where he could have come from.
I decided that since there were no clues on the sea or in the skies above it then perhaps I should search beneath the waves. I took a deep breath then flew through surface of the water and carried on going, looking around me all the way. It didn’t take me long to spot something out of the ordinary; a submarine was moving away from my location at high speed (for a boat; compared to me or even an ordinary aircraft it was moving laughably slowly), though it was much smaller and quieter than I would have expected, even with the boat I could see attached to the back of it. The submarine also didn’t look like any that I’d ever seen a hint of, which considering that I work for M and read most of the reports he reads meant that it probably wasn’t known about by MI6. Seeing nothing else to investigate in the vicinity I flew through the water after the submarine aiming for the aft torpedo tube. When I caught up with the sub I considered simply smashing my way in, but I quickly rejected the idea since it would probably create too much noise aboard, something that would be inadvisable if I wanted to keep my presence and abilities secret. Instead I dug into the belt Q had given me and removed the cutting torch, which was no larger than an ordinary pen. I pushed a button on the torch which immediately ignited with a blue flame which I applied to the torpedo tube. The torch did its work brilliantly, tearing through the metal as easily as if it was tissue paper.
In less than a minute I had managed to open a hole large enough for a woman of my size to squeeze through. I did exactly that, not worrying about the still hot edges of the hole. Dispensing with my flight power, I swam into the hole and through the fortunately empty tube until I reached the door at the other end which I was surprised to find open. I went through the door, shutting it behind me so that there wouldn’t be too much water getting in as a result of my destructive entrance.
Having entered the submarine, I looked around the torpedo room to see what I could see. The room contained two torpedoes and what looked like a cruise missile, all of which were being looked after by one technician who was at that moment busily working on the missile. I began trying to sneak behind him, but when I got close to him and his missile, something that I couldn’t avoid doing due to the confined space available, my watch began to click warning me that there was a radiation source nearby and causing the technician to turn around and face me. I didn’t yet know what the situation was here but I didn’t want to give the man a chance to raise the alarm so I moved at super-speed, grabbing his throat with my right hand and lifting him up. I held him off the floor until I had choked him into unconsciousness. I paused briefly to make sure that the man was still alive by checking that he was breathing, then I put him on the floor taking care to ensure that he wouldn’t die because his airway was blocked. I took out the metal cable Q had provided, trimmed it to the appropriate length using my knife and tied the unfortunate technician’s right arm and leg to a fixed spot on the floor so that if he did come round he still wouldn’t be able to report my presence.
Having disabled the man, I took a close look at the missile he had been working on. I looked at the still open panel, brining my watch closer to it. As I did, the clicking of my watch increased in both intensity and the speed of the clicks; clearly the missile contained something highly radioactive. Intrigued, I looked inside the panel where I could see a switch saying ‘safe’ on one setting and ‘armed’ on the other and right now it was set to ‘armed’. It seemed that the technician must have been arming the missile as I came in and was probably about to load it into the torpedo tube, which explained why the tube door had been open. Since the missile was emitting radiation I surmised that it was either a dirty bomb or worse a nuclear weapon, so I flicked the switch back to the ‘safe’ setting before using the rest of my metal cable to secure the missile. If anybody wanted to use it now they’d first have to undo my handiwork and I was confident that that would give me time to work out what was going on.
I cautiously made my way to the centre of the sub since that’s where I expected the control room to be, taking great care to avoid encountering any crew members as I did so. As I walked, I strained my hearing to its limits, both to better avoid other people and to pick up what information I could. As I got nearer to my destination, I heard a voice I could recognise. “You’re insane Millet,” James said.
“Insane am I?” a different male voice boomed in response. “I didn’t want to do this. If those fools at the conference had listened to me then the world would already know that my process works. The scourge of radioactivity would be at an end and so would humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels. But they were too short sighted, so I need to demonstrate the results. That is why I am going to use the nuclear missiles aboard this submarine, one to destroy Delhi and another to do the same to Islamabad. Those who doubted me will die and when the dust settles after the inevitable war I will clean up, literally and figuratively.” I almost expected him to laugh after that statement, especially given the tone of smug satisfaction, but disappointingly he went completely silent.
“But millions of people will die,” said an unfamiliar female voice who I guessed must be Dr Patel.
“Of course, Dr Patel,” Millet said, confirming my guess, “but the planet is already overpopulated. If a few million die in the course of a war that would inevitably happen anyway that’s a small price to pay for the benefits those who remain will get. And those of your countrymen who survive will be well looked after by the rest of the world, especially me.”
By this time I’d managed to sneak close enough to the control room that I could peek inside to see what was happening. I immediately saw James and the attractive Indian woman who was next to him (Why does he never seem to encounter a man or a less than attractive woman who can help him? I thought) being held at gunpoint by four men, all of whom were taking care to stand far enough away from James that he couldn’t reach any of them before they could fire. In the very centre of the room in a rotating chair sat a tall, dark haired man who was seemed to be a little bit fat. This man had a nasty smirk on his face as he surveyed the proceedings.
“And I suppose the vast amount of money you will make is a minor consideration in your altruistic scheme,” James said sarcastically.
“Not at all, Mr Bond. If I wasn’t going to make billions, possibly even trillions out of this then I’d have abandoned the idea long ago rather than secretly building this submarine and all of its weapons,” the fat man said, explaining why the submarine hadn’t seemed familiar to me. “Now, it’s time to launch the first nuke.” Millet pushed a button on the arm of his chair then said “Claude, tirez.” After a few moments with no response, Millet repeated the order. With there still being no response, he turned to one of the armed men and directed him to “See what’s keeping Claude.” The man nodded before turning and walking directly towards me, obviously going towards the aft torpedo room. I moved to one side, hiding in the shadows while trusting to my dark clothes to help me blend in amidst the gloom. As I did, I heard James whisper (presumably to Dr Patel) “When I say run, run.”
Just as the man reached the door I was hiding near, there were two explosions in quick succession, one just behind the man near to me which sent him flying through the air and another more centrally. As soon as the first explosion went off I heard James yell “Run!” Acting quickly, I sped to the man who had just flown past me and snapped his neck, trying to make it seem that it was the explosion and his subsequent rough landing that had killed the man. I then turned back to look into the control room. Inside, everything was chaos with several pieces of equipment having been damaged while two of the armed men had been knocked off their feet, though by this time they were just getting back up. The remaining man was firing his weapon at James and Dr Patel as they raced away and the other two were probably going to do exactly the same as soon as they were on their feet. In order to give James a better chance of escape, I swiftly calculated the speed and direction of the bullets that were being fired at him, then I breathed in as much air as I could before breathing out again in short, controlled bursts. Each burst created a strong puff of wind that caused the bullets to narrowly miss their target, though I was careful not to let any of my breaths be felt by any of the people in the room since it might have raised questions that would lead to my discovery.
Once James and Dr Patel had managed to get out of the line of fire, I retreated to the torpedo room which I quickly sealed. This was easy as the door was designed to be watertight in the event of flooding, but I then smashed the electronic control pad and tore off the solid metal handle in order to make it much more difficult for anybody to get in and launch the nuclear weapon; indeed, without cutting gear or strength equal to my own there was no chance that somebody could get in.
While I was doing this, Millet sent an order over the sub’s intercom: “To everyone who isn’t directly involved in operating the boat or preparing for launch, I want you to arm yourselves and eliminate Bond.” I knew that this meant that almost the entire crew would be able to go after James, so I didn’t have a moment to lose.
I raced through the submarine, wrecking weapons and jamming weapons lockers wherever I could find them, always alert for the sound of gunfire. More than once I heard the distinctive noise and sprinted to where James had got himself involved in one of his usual gunfights. As I would have expected, he was able to hold his own, but I wasn’t going to take any chances with the health of Britain’s top secret agent (or at least, top secret agent whose existence would ever be acknowledged). I repeated my super-breath trick to make sure that every bullet fired in James’s direction missed, some of them by no more than a whisker, but now that the situation was devolving into chaos I felt more able to have a bit of fun with our adversaries.
During one fire-fight I sped behind one man who was spraying bullets all over the place. His inaccuracy was actually causing me more concern than those who were capable shots since I was finding it more difficult to predict where his shots would go. To forestall this problem, I coughed loudly behind him. The man whirled round in shock and, when he saw me, he pressed the trigger of his gun instinctively. At that short range not even he could miss, so he hosed my body with multiple bullets. Those that hit my clothing bounced off after tingling for a bit, fortunately not damaging my attire in the slightest, but I most enjoyed his reaction when, having deduced that I was wearing an unusual form of body armour, he aimed for the only vital areas not covered, my head and neck. As I knew they would, the bullets had no effect on my almost invulnerable skin, but I really liked seeing his slack jawed amazement as half a dozen bullets deflected off of me harmlessly. “What are you?” he asked, fear evident in his voice.
“I’m the last woman you will see in this world,” I said before bringing picking up one of the spent bullets lying at my feet and flicking it at him. My aim was perfect, sending the lump of metal through his skull with a velocity at least equal to when it had left the barrel of his gun.
After I had dealt with Mr Inaccurate, I moved on to the rest of his colleagues. The first of them I dealt with by throwing my knife at him. The knife hurtled through the air until the blade ended up embedded deep in his throat. Before the other men could react, I had sprinted in amongst them, throwing blows with such force and rapidity that they couldn’t hope to resist. Soon enough, they were all lying on the floor as a bloodied mess and, although all of them were still alive, not one of them would be a threat to anybody for the foreseeable future.
Naturally enough, James was also whittling down the number of men who were trying to kill him, more often than not without needing my help, though I gave him a little help whenever I could. Before long, we had left a trail of dead and dying bodies leading directly to the area of the submarine where a ballistic missile stood, waiting for its order to launch. I assumed that the missile was another nuclear weapon, an assumption that Dr Patel confirmed. “Can you disarm it?” James asked her.
“I don’t know, but I’ll definitely try,” she replied, climbing up the convenient gantry until she was able to hang just over the top of the missile. She unscrewed the pointed cap then carefully reached down, trying to take the warhead out so she could have a close look at it. At this exact moment, the a large portion of the remaining crew burst into the chamber, most of them firing at Dr Patel as they did so. “Keep them off me!” she yelled to James, her voice a little higher pitched than normal, but otherwise impressively composed for a woman who was being fired at while she was hanging upside down over a launch-ready nuclear missile. James naturally did as she asked, firing at anybody who popped out of cover to try and shoot the doctor, fatally wounding the man he aimed at almost every time. I have to admit that I was tempted to let the bullets hit James’s latest girl then swoop in to save the day before carrying him off in my arms, but I couldn’t do it; I don’t think I could live with myself if I just allowed an innocent woman to die and if I could, I’m confident that it wouldn’t help my standing with James, not to mention what M would have to say when she found out. Instead of giving into temptation, I carried on with blowing bullets off course to make sure that Dr Patel wasn’t hit.
Dr Patel worked frantically while James and I kept her safe and after several minutes she pulled herself up so that she wasn’t dangling over the missile any more. “I’ve done what I can,” she said. “I think I’ve made it so there won’t be a nuclear reaction, but I can’t remove the nuclear material from the missile. If it launches, the missile would still be able to spread radiation for a considerable distance over its target.”
“In that case,” James said, “I’ll just have to make sure that the missile doesn’t launch. Head for the upper deck where the boat we used to get here is berthed. I’ll join you if I can, but if I’m not with you in 30 minutes you’ll need to leave without me.”
“But James,” Dr Patel protested, her tone of voice providing ample evidence that James had made another conquest and the look on her face confirmed that she was worried about him out of more than mere courtesy . “I can’t just leave you here. If I do you’ll die.”
James smiled at her, almost causing Dr Patel to melt. “Don’t worry, you won’t have to.” I saw James stoop to attach something to one of the missile’s support struts before moving in my direction, obviously heading back towards the control room stepping over the bodies of Millet’s henchmen as he did so. I ducked into cover, allowing James to walk past me and I listened to both his and Dr Patel’s footsteps recede before I made my next move. I knew that James was right and that we couldn’t afford to let the missile launch, but I could prevent it quite easily before racing to help James. Once I was certain I couldn’t be seen, I flew out of cover, eventually pausing to hover directly underneath the missile’s exhaust nozzle. Reasoning that if the nozzle wasn’t correctly aligned the missile couldn’t launch, I reached up to grip it between both hands before tugging it hard. The nozzle resisted initially, but I just kept exerting more and more pressure until the protesting metal finally gave way. The nozzle began to move and I continued to pull it until it was finally pointing away from the missile at a 90 degree angle. Let’s see that missile launch now, I thought with satisfaction before following James at super-speed.
By this point, the submarine’s intercom was blaring with instructions from Millet for every surviving crew member to make their way to the control room, his voice beginning to show traces of panic. I ran across more than one group of them while I was making my own way back, killing each man before he had the opportunity to report my presence, while the sound of gunshots quickly followed by bodies hitting the deck proved that James had encountered a few too, but they were proving no more an obstacle to him than they were to me.
The sound of gunfire soon trailed off, causing me to worry a little about James. I sped up in order to try to reach him while there was still a chance of helping him. I was reassured when I heard James say “It’s over, Millet. Your plan is in ruins. Now, why don’t you surrender and put that process of yours to good use?”
Millet laughed coldly before replying “Over, Mr Bond? Not in the slightest. I can still start the next Indo-Pakistani war and I can still make the money I wanted to. You have been an annoyance, I admit, but my missile can still follow its flight plan. It will look as if India has attacked Pakistan, and then my agents will make sure Pakistan responds with their deadliest weapons. No, it is far from over.”
When I reached the control room I paused, glancing inside to see what was happening before I decided what action to take. I could see that this time there seemed to be a stand-off taking place, since James had his gun aimed directly at Millet, though I thought he might have been standing a bit too close to the other man, while those of the crew who could be spared were pointing weapons at James, some of them manoeuvring to get closer to him, perhaps planning to rush him before he could make a move. The fat Frenchman, meanwhile, was furiously typing away at a computer terminal. At first glance I couldn’t think of a way to resolve this without revealing to James my abilities and the fact that I was helping him.
While I was trying to come up with a plan, James caused his gun to make a click, seeming to indicate that he was seconds away from shooting Millet. “I won’t offer you another chance. Give up now,” he said.
Millet stopped typing then turned to face James, an evil smile on his face. “I’m afraid you’re too late. I just ordered the rocket motors to fire. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a boat to catch. I’ll be sure to give your regards to Dr Patel. Kill him.” Millet quickly jerked his elbow back into James’s stomach, causing James to double over, before the Frenchman flung himself to the deck, crawling away from my disorientated colleague. His men instantly opened fire, at that range it would have been almost impossible for them to miss and there were too many of them for me to try my breath trick again. I could see no other option than to risk discovery.
Before the bullets could reach James, I sped in between him and the gunmen, moving fast enough that I was merely a blur. Each bullet either slammed harmlessly into my body or was plucked out of the air by my whirling arms and hands. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Millet get to his feet and start to run, leaving his men to deal with James and, even if they succeeded in killing him, probably leaving them to die. Ignoring the Frenchman for the moment, I concentrated on keeping James alive for the moment it would take him to recover and, when I thought it was safe to do so, I moved to give him a clear shot. I’m sure that James and the other men were a bit confused about what had happened, but I wasn’t concerned about that.
As I expected, James recovered quickly and with precise bursts of fire, he quickly thinned out the ranks of his adversaries, even while racing after Millet, who had displayed a surprising turn of speed in making his escape from the control room. Just as James reached the door that Millet had gone through, the submarine was shaken by a large explosion coming from the missile bay. I knew that I wasn’t responsible, so it must have been the result of whatever James had applied to the missile’s support strut. Warning sirens blared out from every direction, while one of Millet’s men, a technician, screamed in terror “The hull’s breeched! Abandon ship!” With the exception of James, every man began to panic, knocking each other out of the way in their efforts to escape. James calmly continued to follow Millet, while I smiled grimly. I was confident that James could deal with Millet, which allowed me to mop up everybody else. These men had nearly killed the man I loved, and they nearly caused me to fail my mission. I couldn’t allow them to get away with that.
Knowing that there was only the one life boat that could be used to escape, I followed Millet’s men while they ran to the breathing equipment that would give them a chance, being careful to stay just behind them and out of sight, though in the event that wouldn’t have mattered since they were too busy panicking to look behind them. Just before the first man reached the equipment, I sprinted through the men, sending several of them flying like pins struck by a bowling ball. I stopped just in front of the man nearest the equipment, causing him to stare at me gormlessly. “Where’d you come from?” he asked.
“Behind you, of course,” I replied, smiling sweetly. “And where do you think you’re going?”
Puzzled, the man looked back at one of his colleagues before replying “To leave this boat, of course.”
“Now, now boys, haven’t you ever heard of ladies first?” I asked, reaching for the underwater breathing apparatus. “I think I should have it first. Let me just hook up the oxygen then I’ll be out of your hair.” I fitted action to words, overloading the air bottle I was holding with pure oxygen. I dug my finger into the tank causing a leak. I let the pressure build before tossing the tank in amongst the confused men then, quicker than their eyes could follow, I picked one of the explosive canisters off my belt and tossed it towards the tank. As usual, my aim was exquisite, the canister landing next to the tank causing the explosives to go off. The explosion ignited the oxygen causing the tank to explode with an even bigger bang, shattering it like a huge grenade. The men nearest to the explosion went down in a bloody heap.
While the other men were still reeling from the explosion, I wrecked the remaining escape gear before wading into the midst of the surviving men. I went through the men like death incarnate, punching some hard enough to instantly cave in their skulls while others I chose to cripple, leaving them to the slow death that drowning would cause if the submarine didn’t break up under the pressure which it would soon be feeling as it sank to the bottom of the sea. I’m ashamed to say that I killed them all with a wicked smile on my face, covering myself in their gore before leaving the few survivors to their fate, but I would probably do it again the next time I nearly fail to save James’s life.
Having left the crew in ruins, I ran back to the other end of the submarine to check on James and Millet. As I had expected, I found that James hadn’t had any real difficulty dealing with the Frenchman. I caught sight of him walking away from Millet, having left him tied up next to some more of the substance that he had fixed to the missile, presumably one of Q’s gadgets. Millet was screaming incoherently in French, though James completely ignored him. When James was out of sight, I walked slowly in front of Millet, deliberately letting him see me. “I don’t know who you are or how you got here, but help me, please!” he shouted.
I pretended to consider his request before replying. “No, I’m afraid I won’t help you,” I said. “In fact, I think I’ll make sure that you don’t go anywhere.” I walked up to him and put one finger of each hand on each of his legs then I pushed with enough force to crush steel. Millet screamed in pain, but I didn’t stop until his feet were hanging at completely the wrong angle. “MI6 sends its regards,” I said coldly, calmly walking away after James.
Soon enough I was able to hear footsteps running in our direction, only for them to halt before there was the thud of one body colliding with another. “James, you’re alright,” I heard Dr Patel say, her relief obvious.
“I promised you I would be,” he responded calmly.
“You are five minutes late, though,” Dr Patel said, trying to inject humour into her voice, but there was still a little bit of worry evident. “What kept you?”
“I ran into Millet a couple of times and he didn’t want to let me go. Not a very considerate host, I’m afraid. He won’t be joining us since he’s a little tied up right now.” I could almost hear the smile in James’s voice as he spoke. “Now, let’s get out of here, shall we?”
“Oh James,” Dr Patel said, soon afterwards followed by the distinctive sound of kissing and then the noise of the escape boat launching away from the rapidly sinking submarine. I delayed my departure from the submarine until I was sure I could fly away without James seeing me, though I knew it wouldn’t take too long; he and Dr Patel would soon be otherwise engaged than looking at the sky. When I judged it had been long enough, I flew out through the side of the submarine, adding yet another hole to the doomed craft, before rocketing out of the water and back to London.
As I flew home, I thought about James and his latest girl. Will that ever be me? I wondered. Perhaps it will one day, when I can at last show him what I am capable of. Then I’m sure James won’t look at another woman. That day can’t come soon enough for me, but until it arrives I’ll just have to be satisfied with being Britain’s (and as far as I know the world’s) only Super Secret Agent.