Chapter 1: Bad news at the doorstep
The sunrise over the sea of Cuba was always a view to behold. The first, red beam of the sun, illuminating the waterline of the Caribbean sea, looked like a colourful child's painting.
The higher the sun got the brighter and warmer became the early hour. The waves golden glittering looked welcoming, but Safin knew he had to wait a bit longer to go swimming. The night hunter of the ocean were still too close to the beach. In the shallow water swam garfish and mackerels, as also swarms of barracuda, feasting on smaller, colourful fish.
Safin watched some pelicans, tumbling and clumsy on the beach, but majestic in the air, getting down like arrows to catch their breakfast. Using their throat pouch they fished systematically through the waves. An amusing view for sure, but Safin couldn't relish in that this morning.
He didn't hear Luc at first, but his right hand cleared his throat before approaching his boss. Safin turned to find Luc with two mugs in his hands. Safin took one with a silence nod, blowing on the hot beverage.
It was a strong, green tea, just as bitter as Safin's thoughts. For a long moment both men stood aside to gaze in shared silence upon the water, over thinking their next steps.
An hour ago Luc had got word from the South African source, and ten minutes later it was already on the news. It was done. Luc sighed and sipped at his tea, wondering what was Safin thinking. As if Safin had read his mind he started "I mean, this is what we wanted.. spreading chaos. There is no reason to feel guilty now."
Luc nodded and added: "Quite the contrary. This was our goal. We didn't want to predict when our customers would use the gas."
That was true. The terror acts in the past with Safin's special Sarin-like nerve gas had hit the public veins. Governments and societies, which had based their wealth by pressuring other countries down, had fallen. The Russian nepotism as the American economy were destroyed.
It was an amazing outcome and not this much work at the end. One killed scientist, and the boldness to sell the 'breath of chaos' at every reachable terrorist cell to the prize the cell could afford had spread the gas around the world.
Today, two hours ago, three gas attacks had taken part ; Pretoria, nearly 70.000 dead, Cape Town with a dead count of 180.000, and Bloemfontein with now 113.000 dead.
"Government, Parliament and highest court of appeal..", Luc muttered to himself.
"Clever. And look at the results.", Safin added, sounding impressed, and looked in his mug. "I wonder how they get their hands on the gas.. Because as I remember we were particularly careful not to sell our weapon into developing countries."
Luc emptied his mug and turned to Safin. "Lyutsifer..", he started, while pronouncing his bosses Russian name lootcefear. "We do know that not all the Russian cells had used their gas. There is always a need of new, unexperimented weapons on the black market. I spoke a moment ago with Yuri."
Yuri G. , former black market mogul and now board member of a well known Bank, was an acquaintance as also their banker.
"What did he say for himself?"
"He said that the young men and women today have no honour. They have no goals in life and search only for the green paper."
Safin rolled his eyes and throw the last, bitter rest of the green tea in the water. "As if Yuri started to sell candies on the black market by kind-heartedness.", he hissed , his voice became louder. "It's always about the green! Fucking Paper money!!"
Luc pursed his lips and waited until Safin's outburst calmed down.
The sun now higher he observed Safin's face, sun-kissed, acne—scarred, his pointy chin stretched up in a gesture of annoyance. He watched this face became softer after a moment. Safin's blue-greyish eyes followed a pelican in the air, hunting.
"It could unite the politic parties.", Luc throw in.
"Or lead to civil war..", Safin muttered. He sighed deeply. "Something South Africa didn't need. Not now. Not ever."
Luc stayed silence after Safin's words.
Eventually Safin turned away, to the house. "Let us hear what kind of rumours the news Channel spreading around.", he decided for now.
"Perhaps an announcement would be good. There is no group at the moment to take pridely responsibility."
"I shall consider it.", Safin answered and both men entered the house, still dark and slumbering.
Out of the darkness of a corridor a woman appeared, dressed in nothing but a long shirt.
She rubbed her eyes and asked: "Safin? You're so early up. Did something happen?"
"Go back to bed, Tatjana.", Safin whispered and forced a smile. "I'll tell you later."
The woman nodded and threw her braided long hair back over her shoulder.
Safin watched her vanishing, back to the bedroom and clenched his teeth.
And he had thought he had found peace.
Chapter 2: I couldn't take one more step
The retired James bond wakes up to horrible news..
Bond woke up alone in his bed. Stretching his body on the white sheets he felt sorry for himself. No warm body to nestle at. For a moment he rested on his back and stared at the ceiling. A fan twirled slowly on it, the rotor blades playing with the beam of the morning sun to throw light and shadows on Bond's bare chest.
Bond rubbed his face and felt his stubbles. He had become lazy. The sun, the beach, the BBQ, the scotch, the beer, the Martini…
He had paused - he wouldn't say stopped - the run in the morning, and it showed. Swimming alone helped not to stop the muscle loss by age. One day, soon he feared, Eve would say something. Or stay away. That would be worst. Ghosted by his lover.
He got up, disgusted by himself about this weak self-pity he drowned himself in and walked naked into the kitchen to drink a glass of water. Then he went to the bathroom and peed long. Too long, maybe. Thirsty and a weak bladder.
Perhaps a visit to the local hospital was in need. To check his blood sugar.
He sighed and put on shorts. Today was the day to start sport again. There was no way to procrastinate this. If he didn't start today, he would let slide it, finding every morning another excuse.
So he went down to his beach and breathed in the fresh air. The rest of slumber was immediately wiped away.
His beach - HIS by the kindness of a frenemy - laid still and peaceful in front of him.
He started to stretch, warming up by movement and the higher getting sun, and eventually got in a calm jog. The soft sand underneath his feet were cold and crunchy, and Bond felt shortly his calf muscles. He ignored the fine pain, knowing in time it would disappear. He managed half a mile before he had to stop, his hand on his chest. His heart drummed like crazy, and he could hear his blood rushing in his ear. With his hands on his hips he caught his breath and waited until his pulse was calm again. Then he strolled down to the licking waves to jog on the solid, wet sand there until he arrived his cabin again.
He didn't went inside but got deeper in the water, hissing in air, the deeper he walked in. The sun had made a good job to warm um the water line, but the water became colder the deeper one went in.
Bond kneeled down and shoved the refreshing water on his chest and arms to get accustom to the temperature before he went deeper. But not too deep. He had learned on the hard tour the small dangers of the beach water.
Pointy sea urchins and crayfishes, painful at the least, poisoned at the worst.
Avoiding touching the ground he chest swam until his neck acted lightly up. He turned on his back and let his body drift, paddling then back to his beach.
Refreshed, a bit proud and already feeling the natural endorphin he was ready to make breakfast.
Black coffee, fresh orange juice, scrambled eggs and a lot of toast. Simple but his favourite.
Bond just had sat down as his phone rang. Normally he would be annoyed to get disturb by his breakfast, but the ringtone let him know it was Eve.
"Yes, my darling?"
"James." Eve's voice sounded pressed and low.
Bond tensed up. "What's the matter, Eve?"
"I know you have no tellie, but you should look up the news on your phone. Call me back after it?"
"What are you talking about?", Bond asked alarmed back.
"The breath of chaos is back."
For a moment Bond didn't know what to say. Safin… Safin what have you done?
"Let me have a look.", he mumbled and disconnected the call to browse the news feed.
With growing horror he read the news and looked at the picture. Chaos indeed. He couldn't believe his eyes, nevertheless the pictures were too familiar. South Africa was defeated, utterly destroyed, by this terror attack on all three capital cities.
He found a link to a video and flinched as he heard the familiar voice of Lyutsifer Safin. His figure covered by shadows, his warm and demanding tone was easy to recognize. Bond listened with a mix of growing anger as also sadness to the message. The anarchist didn't deny his part, but expressed his disappointment, how his cleansing weapon was used.
"It was never our intention to break down a harmless and developing country like South Africa. We wished to destroy the Capitalism and the governments of rich countries like the US, to give undeveloped countries the possibility to get strength and become more powerful on the market. Now we all have to fight the consequences. I promise I shall not rest to find the middle man, who was in charge of this action."
Well, let's see how this will work out., Bond thought tiresome and drank his orange juice. His appetite was gone.
Chapter 3: Stay in our lover's story
Tatjana laid with wide open eyes in bed. She listened to the tellie, a noisy sound in the back with some static in it. After a while she heard Lyutsifer and Luc going down to the basement. She knew her husband had setted a small lab down there to experiment with.. well, she didn't know what he was doing there.
One time she had overheard Luc, speaking of a plutonium delivery, what had let her skin crawl. Everyone had seen what Lyutsifer was able to do with gas. No one wanted to find out what could happen with radioactive material in his hands.
After being awake for nearly two hours she gave up the idea of sleep and went to the kitchen. She heard already Marie in it, making breakfast for the twins. In an hour the boat would come, collecting the boys to bring them to the main land. Like every morning since the twins started school. She still couldn't wrap her mind upon the idea her little boys, nearly six now, were already in school.
Where did the time go?
She entered the kitchen with a jaw, stretching her arms up.
Marie handed her a mug of coffee, double sweet, double cream and poured herself a mug to sit with Tatjana.
A ritual, both women enjoyed and needed. The gossip corner, so Lyutsifer often jest. And it was true. Tatjana and Marie changed thoughts and ideas, making plans for the day every morning. This morning was different, though.
"What's the deal?" Tatjana sipped at her coffee and watched Marie.
Marie combed with her fingers through her short hair and sighed. Her eyes wandered everywhere but not to Tatjana.
"There was an accident,", Marie began. "In Africa. South Africa."
By the tone of Marie's voice goosebumps appeared on Tatjana's skin. "What had Safin done?"
Marie shook wildly her head. "Nothing. Nothing this time. Luc told me that one of the terror cells he had sold gas had also sold it to a different resistance cell."
"In Africa.", Tatjana added, not questioned it.
Marie nodded and had some coffee. "Yes. He thinks there were Russians involved."
"The reds!", Tatjana spatted out. If she despised a group of people, it were Russians. She thought the Oligarchy the worst form of state status. Nepotism and bribes are the drive the Moscow high society lived on. Everybody else were starving. Like in the Tsar Epoch. While the small but rich group of Oligarchs raped and plundered mother Russia, the simple man lived a hand-in-mouth existence. Thankfully - yes, she was thankful for that - Safin's 'Breath of chaos' had nearly destroyed this way of plundering.
Tatjana opened her mouth to curse, but stopped in time. Maksimilian had entered the kitchen, his brother Matvei behind him.
"Hey, guys!", Tatjana greeted her sons with a wide smile and embraced both, smoothing them. "And already dressed."
Proudly she checked both, ready and dolled up with khaki shorts and colourful shirts.
"Where's papa?", Maksimilian asked, while both boys settled at the table. "Working already", Tatjana answered and watched Marie pouring milk in the twins cereals.
As if conjured by his son's words Lyutsifer entered the kitchen with a stony expression, that soften immediately as his eyes caught the twins.
"Ah, eager for school?", he hummed and walked from one child to another to kiss his son's forehead.
"Na..", Matvei sulked. "I want to go swimming.." "… and Baracuda-fishing!", Maksimilian finished his brother's sentence.
Tatjana saw Lyutsifer smiling. Not many people could make him truefully smile, but his sons managed every time.
"Well then I propose we skip school today."
Tatjana thought it at first a tease, but the expression on Safin's broken face showed Tatjana he was serious.
While the boys cheered up Tatjana darted a glance at him to get ignored. Lyutsifer sat down between his sons, caressing effectional their backs.
"Well, looks like we have the best papa in the world…", she faked a smile.
Lyutsifer nodded distinguished. "Yes.", he told her, eventually catching her eyes. "We are going on an adventure."
Tatjana understood at once. There was nothing more to say. She brewed a fresh cup of mint tea for her husband and sat down with him, while Luc went to the radio, telling the school ship that the kids were sick.
Chapter 4: You fall in love with me bureau...
Bond took a long, cold shower, scrubbing his skin until every hint of saltwater was gone. He tried to held his mind blank, and not to think of the phone calls he had to make. After that he dressed in grey gabardine trousers and a white polo.
Sitting down to his third cup of black coffee he called Eve. He listened to the connection tone as he waited for Eve to pick up her phone. A slight ache began to knock behind his eyes.
"Hey.", she greeted Bond lowly.
"Darling.", he muttered, laying as much affection in his voice as possible. He wanted her to understand that he cared. Especially for her and not only about the situation.
"I saw the video. What. A. Mess."
Eve snorted. "To put it simple. The nerves this man have!", she whispered.
"At work?", Bond asked, a hint of Homesickness acting up. He wished to be there, discussing with M, chatting with Q, even with Nomi. "The whole group there?"
"Of course. The PM demand to hunt Safin down." Eve paused. "Telling you this will get me in deep trouble, you are realizing that?"
Bond starred in his half empty coffee cup. "I'm coming home."
"I don't think that is a good idea. James…", Eve sighed deep. "After your ski holiday accident M had a lot of cover up to do. He is not stupid. He knows you fraternities with the enemy."
"He isn't our enemy.", Bond insisted stubborn. "Safin is the enemy of capitalism. The attacks in South Africa was not in his favour!"
"Could bring him more customers any-"
Suddenly the connection was broken, and a static noise was all Bond could hear. Wasn't the line secure? Did someone have listened? And if, who?
With wild beating heart he thought about the consequences.
As suddenly as the connection was broken, it was on again, and he could hear Eve.
"What was that?"
"Hopefully not the Reds.", Bond huffed.
He listened and caught other voices in the line. Someone who spoke on Eve's side of the phone.
"Bond?", the warm but firm voice of M was suddenly at his ear. "Meeting tomorrow morning at 8am with the secretary of defence. I expect you to be in my office on time."
"Yessir.", Bond hummed, and felt at once relaxed. Bringing the old band together., he thought as he hung up.
For a moment he paused and overthought his next move. Then he got up to walk to the radio. He putted the headphone on and searched for the right channel.
[Lima-Sierra , Lima-Sierra , do you copy? Over]
He waited with held breath, but heard no answer.
[Lima-Sierra, Lima-Sierra, this is Julie-bravo, do you copy? Over], he tried again and this time he got an answer.
[Lima-Sierra here, we hear you loud and clear, over.]
[Bravo propose a meeting with Lima, over.], Bond send boldly.
A long pause appeared and Bond wasn't sure if he got ignored.
Eventually the radio woke up again.
[Lima agrees, copy? Over]
[Bravo invites, copy? Over]
[Lima agrees. One hour, copy? Over]
[Bravo agrees. Over and out.]
Bond switched out the radio and wiped over his face. He could smell the sweat under his arms. The sweat of fear. Not fear of Safin. But what could happen after the meeting.
One hour. That meant Safin was already on its way to him. Probably in his bloody submarine.
One hour. Bond had just time to jump again under the shower, and to put fresh clothes on that not smell like fear.
'I must prepare some food. Tatjana and the kids could be with him' ., Bond realized and tried to ignore his upcoming stress-headache as also the word that had appeared in the back of his mind.
Chapter 5: Как полюбить пирата [how to love a pirate]
Aggressive smut chapter! Tatjana and Lyutsifer are not in a really healthy relationship.. and never will be.
Safin wasn't surprised to hear from Bond. In fact, he had waited for him to reach out. Safin himself was prepared as always. The important documents, lab results and his family were now on board of the HAYTNMYC II.
The submarine drove as deep as possible in the Caribbean Sea, avoiding being seen.
The boys were happy of course. This was an adventure of their taste. Playing along in the Engine room or the bridge under the eyes of Luc, Matvei and Maksimilian enjoyed every second of it.
Safin's wife on the other hand was in a foul mood.
"You told me it is over!", she hissed at him in the security of Safin's cabin. "That your plans didn't matter any more, and we can live in peace."
He watched Tatjana, sulking and angry with him and his own anger grew with it.
"I don't think I have to explain myself or my plans to you.", he told her coldly, his arms crossed in front of his chest. "The new attacks are not my fault anyway."
His wife inhaled annoyed air into her nose, snoring at him with glittering eyes. She dared to shout at him: “But it is your fault, you made and sold -"
He slapped her across her face and she stumbled half on the bed.
Both stayed in silence for a moment. Safin himself was surprised by the way he had out lashed. His nerves laid more blank as he had thought. Eventually he whispered: "What did I told you about making me angry?"
He watched Tatjana resting her hand on the cheek he had slapped her on. She was barely able to look him in the eyes, what filled him with satisfaction.
"Not to do it - you're loosing control when you are angry. ", she whispered back and he nodded pleased. Her voice timid and soft again, just like he liked it.
Safin beckoned her to him, and she was so clever to obey at once. Wrapping his arms around her waist he rested his chin on her shoulder and stroke softly her back. Smelling her perfume, mixed with the hint of fear and her aloe vera skin cream.
"You know.. A part of me hates you.", he spoke, and he felt Tatjana tensing up in his arm. He smiled to himself. "The part, who wants to be left along. Alone is safer. The part of me, who wants to watch the world burn."
He felt back in thoughtful silence and his wife was so smart to held her tongue. Safin rocked her body lightly in his arms, a cosy, sloppy dance, as he listened inside him.
" And then.. I remember how we met. The first time I laid my eyes on you. Your small body, unconscious, wet to the bones. It touched my heart. Yes, my heart."
He let his hands wander along her body and rested his face in the hollow of her neck to press his lips on her sensitive spot. The spot his lips touched her skin the first time.
"I knew I had to have you. Everything of you. Even when this meant to step out of my old world. Of terror and anarchy. No matter what it would cost."
He kissed down her shoulder and tugged at her blouse, until his wife unbutton it for him. He relished a moment at the view of her bare chest, her breasts, still peaches, and smoothed along her skin with his fingertips. Then he looked her in the face with questioning eyes.
"Go on.", she whispered. "Tell me more." He felt her fingertips ghosting upon his scars and closed his eyes. It was the most sentimental and soft touch to him. How much she admired even his ugliness.
"I fell in love with you at the first sight, I know that now.", he went on. "And nothing could change that. Even when I'm angry with you."
Safin caught her mouth and kissed her deeply, while pressing her back on the bed. He smiled in the kiss as she pushed her skirt up and allowed him to tear her panty away.
Forcing his tongue between her teeth he forced his cock even to eager between her folds.
He took her slowly and with demanding thrusts, avoiding coming too quickly but to enjoy the make-up sex. Soon, her legs were wrapped around his hips and his name pearled from her lips - 'Lyutsifer… Lyutsifer.. Lyutsifer…' - until he watched her come undone with her giggling face.
He rested on her until both caught their breath and kissed then apologizing her cheek.
"I'm sorry, my Sirena." , he whispered in Tatjana's ear.
"I love you too my, my pirate.", she answered back, what made him chuckle.
Chapter 6: A family picnic
Bond had set a BBQ at the beach and covered the grill with differed vegetables as with fresh caught fish. He wasn't prepared for Safin taste, though, but by the circumstances he had to take what Bond could give him.
Setting up more chairs he felt stupid. A great part of the African continent was in panic, and he wondered about his host qualities.
As he made sure there were enough juice for the twins, he looked after the fish and mixed up salad. Bond was quite proud about his meal, all given by nature and nothing brought from the main land.
A sailing boat appeared on time, its white sail and flag bright in the sunlight. Bond could hear the cheer of the boys already. He grinned. He adores the boys, even that he couldn't handle the energy more the two days in a row. Bond had no idea how Tatjana managed, but she had at least Marie as helping hand.
He waved, his heart heavy, but his face cheerful, watching the twins jumping in the water. Like little seals the boys paddled to the beach to greet Bond with wet hugs.
"Uncle James, uncle James!", the boys laughed and jumped up and down. Bond couldn't hide his joy, even if he wanted. The twins were as always in glee and started to check the grill.
"He hey hey.. Matvei, careful! It's hot!", Bond warned one of the twins. The boy rolled his eyes. "Boah! I'm Maksimilian, can't you see that?"
Bond laughed loud out. "Of course not. You're twins!"
The boy giggled and behind Bond Safin's rasp voice started: "Actually, that is Matvei. Don't get fooled, James."
"Och papaaa!", the twins groaned unison disappointed and Bond turned around.
Safin stepped out of the water on the beach, his trouser legs wet, his foot bare and held up a hand. "James. Thank you for letting us be here."
"Lyutsifer.", James shook his hand and turned then to Tatjana, who walked behind Safin out of the water. He could see Luc, Safin right hand, tying up the boat.
And he recognized the slightly swollen cheek in Tatjana's face, as also her tired eyes.
What happened here?, he wondered and looked back at Safin's calm face.
Nothing of your business, the expression told him.
Bond let it slide and greeted Tatjana enthusiastic with a hug.
"Are we all hungry? I hope so..", he smiled and gestured to the table.
Tatjana took soon over and got the twins to settle down at the table to pour them juice in, while Safin looked over the food. Bond watched them, hands in his trouser pockets and waits for Luc to join them.
"How is it?", he asked lowly Safin's right hand as Luc stood aside him.
"Tense.", the man muttered.
Bond nodded to himself and walked with Luc to the table. He liked the man. Calm and collected, always knowing what Safin was up to, able to read his bosses emotions.
While Luc joined Tatjana and the boys at the table Bond stepped to Safin and turned the fish.
"I have to be in London tomorrow morning.", he told him.
Safin looked at him. "Ready to play?"
“MI6 wants to hunt you down. I myself would like to find the resistance cell who is in charge of the attack.", Bond made his priority clear.
" So do I.", Safin answered and took a plate. Bond watched him and waited for more. By the way Safin prepared the plate it became clear to him Safin was fixing a plate for Tatjana and not for himself.
" We're starting in Moscow. We have a friend there who may know a middleman, who may know a seller.."
Bond grunted. "I see. Will you give me Infos, if you have news?"
Safin paused a moment. "I don't know if that is a good idea. It could get you in trouble. And I want them punish myself."
Bond watched Safin's body language and knew he was already hiding information. He was indeed tense.
"I want to help, Safin. For Tatjana's sake.", he told him lowly and started to make a plate for himself.
"I know that and I am grateful. I only think I gave you trouble enough."
"I can't hold your family safe -"
"They will come with me.", Safin interrupt Bond. "After the incident with spectre I shall not let her or the boys alone."
Bond breathed deep in. "You will draw them in danger. Wouldn't a safe house be better?"
This time Safin turned his body to Bond and stared at him with this intense looking grey eyes. "Like the one I took Tatjana out the last time you mean?"
He turned away without giving Bond a chance to answer and went to the table to hand Tatjana a plate.
Bond, his half-filled plate in his hand, watched him making a fuss about her and the twins. Bad coincidence, he guessed.
He focused as Luc came to fill a plate and shook his head.
"You can't speak sense into him. He already made up his mind.", the soldier told him.
"I know. I know.", Bond sighed.
Chapter 7: We are fools to make war
After a surprisingly peaceful dinner Bond said goodbye to Safin and his family.
"You could let stay Tatjana and the boys here", he offered as the men shook hands.
"Who will get the island if you don't survive this adventure?", Safin asked boldly back, ignoring Bond's attempt.
"Ah, the famous Miss Moneypenny.", Safin hummed. "Well, I wish for you to survive though. To have more peaceful moments with her on this island."
"And many more visits from old frenemies.", Bond went with him and saw Safin smirk.
"That would be nice too."
Both men watched Luc helping Tatjana and the twins boarding. Safin gave Bond a last nod and turned away.
Bond watched Safin, his shoulder low, looking like all the world's trouble on them. And it was kind of so. Lyutsifer had made the decision to take responsibility for his deadly weapon. Bond couldn't imagine - not fully - what he was going through, but a man like Safin, as clever and cunning would find a way though this mess, Bond was sure about it.
He waited until the white sail disappeared and went in the house to call a water taxi over the radio.
He packed quickly and focused, the visit already pressed away in his mind. One had to look forward, not back. One has to, to survive.
Half an hour later he was on main land and on his way to Kingston Airport.
The travel would be a drag of course.
All he got was an KLM fly to Atlanta, in an economy class.
Bond looked at his watch. Well, the fly to Atlanta was only three hours. He could deal with the seat and the cheep wine.
After the bored Stewart handed him a damp cloth and a glass of wine, Bond leaned back in his seat. He emptied the glass and hoped the wine would help him to nap while putting on the headset, that the service included. So cutting down the surrounding noises he closed his eyes.
Atlanta was a surprise.
Bond stepped out of the plane tunnel and turned to the immigration office. Halfway he stopped as he caught a familiar face.
Grinning, as always a slopy sitting suit hung on him, a big, dark face greeted him.
“Hey brother. Heard you heading home? Fancy a ride?"
"Felix!", Bond grinned wide, suddenly feeling more confident. "It is good to see you!" He shook hands with him and hugged him shortly. "I assume you're in?"
Felix face became serious. "What a shit-show. Of course, we're in. 105 US embassy members are dead!"
He pushed Bond softly in the direction of a door marked 'staff only' and opened it. He nodded to the guard and walked with Bond on his heel through it. Walking along a corridor out of the airport he went on: "Your M called my Boss and I got it together. There is only the way over Atlanta to get home to mother England." He chuckled, a sound that warmed Bond's heart. If someone radiants positivity, it was Felix.
"I'm glad you came. Will we work together? What is the plan here?", Bond asked keenly.
Felix showed his light palms. "We have our own thing, but the boss will turn a blind eye if we're help each other."
Felix walked Bond to a smaller air field where a Gulf stream V was standing. Felix turned to him. "Your plane. I told the stewardess to get some proper food and drinks in there."
Bond smiled at first, but went serious again. "You're not coming with me?"
"Not officially, James. But I promise I will be your shadow in South Africa."
"I would go for Russia if I were you."
Felix stopped track. "And why is that?"
"That is, because the delivery of the gas came from the Russian black market. My source is on it already."
Felix rose his eyebrows and crocked his head. "Made already your homework, James? I'm impressed."
James shrugged, slightly ashamed to show off before Leiter.
"Well, at the end we will meet in South Africa I guess. To strike down the resistance cell who had brought the gas."
Felix watched Bond with narrowed eyes and nodded then agreeing.
"So it looks, brother." He slapped Bond on the back.
"Good luck. See you, James."
Bond watched Felix turn away and going back to the airport. He had to hold back the urge to call his name. He didn't want to step in this plane all alone, but to sit with Felix in it. Drinking, eating, laughing and speaking about old times.
Later, he told himself, when all is done.
He drew his eyes away from Leiters back and hurried up the plane stairs.
Chapter 8: The Devil lies in the detail
Warning : Torture scene!
Safin was satisfied. Bond was on his way to London and soon to Russia, while he knew better.
The HAYTNMYC II was on its way to the Seychelles. Safin as Luc were keen to meet with their business partner. Curious about his new acquaintance and business - beside the candy and renting business.
Yuri felt safe on the little island, his villa only lightly guarded. That was a luck for Safin and his men. Five persons on the walls, two at the front door and four at the backside. It was nearly too easy.
"I can't understand why you insist on tranquilizer.", Luc muttered offended. "They will come after us when we're finished."
"I don't think so. I believe they will tell the tale what we did to their boss, though."
They strolled into the villa, getting the last guards down. Thankfully Yuri doesn't like bodyguards in the house or too close around. Especially not when he was in female company.
Today was such a lucky night - for Safin.
Safin and Luc changed a look of amusement with the two soldiers of Luc's before busting through the bedroom door.
The young girl - sitting on Yuri - with yellow-blond hair, wore too much cheap make up, her mascara already spoiling her face. She screamed as Yuri pushed her aside.
Yuri stood up from the bed, pale like his white satin sheets.
"Loocifur!", he beamed up, faking glee.
"Stop it", Safin threw in with bored tone. He looked at the girl with a stony expression and ignored the horror in her eyes while looking at him. He searched around to see a pile of clothes and threw it at her. Then he turned to one of the soldiers and ordered: “Bring her to the next part of the main land. Safe!"
Luc was already at work. With a firm grip at Yuri's neck he leaded the frightend man to his office room.
Safin and the other soldier followed even so eager. Safin caught himself humming, a lullaby he learned for the twins. A soothing tone. He smiled ugly, thinking about the reason he was here.
As he entered Yuri's office he found his naked banker already tapped in his desk chair with silver-coloured parcel band. His head fixed at the head rest, the arms stuck to the arm rest of the chair, and the legs crossed bounded to the end all he could move was his mouth.
That will do, Safin thought to himself.
"My dear Yuri.", he hummed and wiped with his arm the plate of the desk free to sit down on the desk, looking intensely at his banker and former black market icon. "I apologize sincerely for the intrusion. As you know me, there is of course a reason for that."
He beckoned the soldier to him, while sharing another glance with Luc who stood behind the chair, his arms clashed behind his back, smiling. Like in the good old times. Why did we stop that?
The soldier handed Safin a small, black fabric roll, looking like a wrapped hand towel. Safin unrolled it and different, shimmering small items showed up. Small tongs, tiny scissors, tweezers and pliers in stainless steel, laying on black velvet.
Safin looked from the items to Yuri. Then he smiled his ugly smile. "There are some questions I need answers to."
"Loocifur, I swear -"
"You SWEAR!?", Safin boomed out. "Are you? By your mother's grave perhaps?" He looked in disgust down at the man, whose body decided just now to empty his bladder. At least he was frightened. That could make it easier.
"You know how the gas got to the South African cell. You will tell us. The contact, the middle man, the delivery boy.. How much you got for this deal. Understood?"
"Loocifur..", Yuri whispered. "Please, you have to believe me, I have no idea. But, but I can find out for you. Anything for you, yes?!"
"I appreciate your offering, my friend.", Safin hummed and looked over the items, until he chose a fine scissor. He looked at it and muttered: "I wonder how quick you can get your information when I push a scissors under your finger nail?"
"Please… Loocifur… they'll kill me.."
Safin looked to him in fake surprised. "Oh, and I will have just a nice chat and leave you then in peace? Yuri, my old friend. You're not paying attention."
Safin slapped Yuri hard, pleased with the sound. Without any remorse he pushed the tip of the scissors under the nail of his digger finger and listens patiently to Yuri's wailing.
Safin looked at the time and checked how long Yuri was screaming. As Yuri's cry became a whimper, Safin pushed the scissors deeper into the sensitive flesh. Again the room was filled with Yuri's screams. Safin waited again, until it became calmer, and asked then: "The name of the contact?"
Yuri shook his head and looked with wide eyes to Safin.
"Loocifur… You know… I need… I need to check.."
Safin sighed theatralic and let the scissors stuck, while choosing another item. The pliers.
"It's been a while since I have visited you. I promise you, I have brought with me enough time and men to relish this visit to the last minute."
While speaking, he used the small pliers to catch the nail of the middle finger, pushed properly while ignoring Yuri's begging and tugged the nail out in one swift move.
Safin smiled." Yes. I thought you would appreciate that. "
Chapter 9: But the bureau don't fall in love with you
Bond entered the MI6 building with the feeling this was a terrible idea. Looking around he saw the old furniture but young and fresh faces. Beside one.
William Tanner, chef of staff, stood at the visitor desk, as always a file under his arm, and grinned wider than he should.
Bond strolled casually over to Tanner and offer a hand. "Don't hug me.", he muttered, embarrassed by Tanner's glee expression.
"I hold myself barely together.", Tanner smiled. "Can't say that for the others. Eve for example."
Bond smirked. Tanner's positivity was infecting. He was suddenly eager to proceed.
"Well, we shouldn't let M waiting. Shall we?"
Eve greeted him coldly and professional but could not hide the warmth in her eyes. Bond hadn't thought different. "Moneypenny. A sight for sore eyes as always.", he greeted her back and fished for her hand. She allowed him to kiss her knuckles, her facial expression fitting to his theatrical gesture, while calling him in with a pencil. "Mr. Bond is here, Sir." - Outch!, Bond thought - while Tanner opened the leather covered door already.
The scent of leather, cologne and paper, the scent of work, hit Bond as he entered M's office. A familiar and surprising soothing smell.
Bond smiled cockily at M before nodding to Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for defence. "Sir."
Wallace nodded back with a serious impression and sat down. Bond eyed M and waited until he sat down before doing the same.
A moment of hesitation accord as M poured out Brandy for the three men, what Bond despised and Wallace ignored.
"Well, Sir?" Bond pushed M.
"Perhaps you start, Bond."
Bond. Again. Not doubleO, not 007, just Bond. A relict, too old to play, but still alive..
Bond reflected shortly what he could say, irritated that he felt on the wrong side. This wasn't his fight. Only the circumstance that R was involved, Tatjana, and the kids, and Safin..
He shook his head and started: "I saw the incidence after Eve called me -"
“Eve?", Wallace interrupted him.
Bond changed a look with M.
"Please use the proper code names and talk as short as possible.", M spoke firm.
Bond nodded agreeing. "I got a call from Moneypenny. My last job as a double0 before my retirement concerned 'the breath of chaos', the nerve gas attacks-"
The Secretary of State for defence waved inpatient.
Bond cleared his throat and paused a moment, just enough to make clear that he was here by free will and emotion of duty, not as an animal of the SsD.
"Six years ago this new gas was sold to special anarchy and terrorist cells in the US as also the Red Land. The income of the following attacks is still to see in the world market. After that the Manufacturer retired"
"Why?", the SsD interrupted again.
Bond bit his inner cheeks. "He got a life. A wife. Kids. The usual."
The moment his words left his tongue he knew the next question.
"You seemed awfully informed about this…" Wallace looked at a clipboard resting on his knees. "Luficer Safin? Quite a big name, wouldn’t you say so?"
Bond suddenly wished to smoke. Only good up growing and manners held him back to ask for allowance, knowing it would M stress out to deny Bond's request.
"The word we should focus on is frenemy.", Bond joked lamely.
M gave him a stern look.
"Is that so? Explain yourself.", the SsD ordered.
"Lyutsifer Safin is a former spectre member and assassin, whose plan was to kill half of the earth population. Thankfully one of our employees, R, was able to… shove him in a different, more peaceful direction. He helped us at the end to rip the roots of spectre out and stopped selling as using his special gas."
While explaining Bond realized he talked himself in deep trouble.
The Secretary of State for defence watched Bond for a long moment, before eventually took the glass of brandy, nipping at it, and setting it back.
"You don't think this Safin is now responsible for the attacks in South Africa? He was the one who sold this shit."
Bond nodded, a bitter taste on his tongue. Bile or blood, he could say yet. "Yes. He believes he got betrayed by a middle sale clerk on the Russian black weapon market. And.. He wishes to clear this source out to prevent another of this - - accidents."
"Accidents.", Wallace repeated lowly.
The room laid in silence for a while. Bond shuffled on his seat, his eyes wandering from M's face to the SsD's face. M held an empty face, while Wallace watched Bond.
Eventually the SsD broke the silence.
"You are the middle man for us. To Safin. Perhaps to this R? Not, that Iike it." He sighed and looked at M, gave Bond's boss an agreeing nod.
He rose and both MI6 members answered with the courtesy to rise with him from their chairs. Bond closed automatically his jacket.
"I will be with the PM. Wish me luck."
As he rushed out of the door, Tanner entered eagerly. He didn't ask, only looked questioning from his boss to Bond.
M didn't speak as he opened a drawer to get a big, old-fashioned crystal ashtray out. He pushed it on his desk and looked at Tanner. But it was Bond, who got a silver cigarette Étui out.
"Don't scowl me. That's Eve's job.
Chapter 10: Betrayal and lust
Safin watched the swollen face of his banker. He looked at Luc, a silenced command, who forced Yuri's mouth open. In a gentle gesture Safin poured water into Yuri's mouth and gushed a rest over his face.
He looked at his work thus far, impressed with Yuri's resistance. Five nails, two finger cups and all he got was one name.
"I think we're making progress, Luc.", Safin hummed in his low, rasp voice.
"One name..", Luc muttered playful annoyed.
"Aww, but Luc..", Safin smiled gentle to Yuri. "It is a start. And we have still the foot nails. And the teeth to play with."
Calmly he chose another plier, bigger, with a cutter inside the blade.
"Thumb or pinky?", he asked solemn. "Or.. another name..?"
Yuri stared a long time at Safin, moving his mouth softly but didn't get any word out.
"No?", Safin asked disappointed back and opened up the pliers.
".. Nkosi.", Yuri whispered. "Cyril Nkosi."
Safin paused and rolled this name in his mind, searching for a connection. He shook his head. "There is nothing, Yuri. Try again?"
"A leg man for EFF."
Safin froze for a moment and eventually set the pliers aside.
"I guess we have a break through, don't you think, Luc?
Safin had fun until now. More than one should have, perhaps. But his mood sunk the moment the name of the political party came up. That wasn't good. It was actually stupid to hurt the own country, no matter the feeling are for the other parties. Safin had the face of the party leader in mind, wondering why a left wring party would take such drastically turn on the own people.
But that was the trouble with extreme left or right. Trouble he normally didn't think about.
He looked at Luc. "Did we heard enough?"
"Yes. We know the connection man here, the delivery.. The buyer.", Luc answered and Safin looked in deep thoughts at the torture items on the velvet. Eventually he took a small stiletto.
"Thank you, Yuri. You were a good friend - at the end."
The stiletto went through Yuri's chest like butter, so quickly, so sharp, Yuri didn't cry out at first. With wide open eyes he stared at Safin.
"Loocifur..", he mouthed and Safin watched fascinated as the stiletto moved with the last beats of Yuri's heart, to stood then still forever.
Tatjana woke up as her husband snuggled at her. His hands greedily touching her body he pressed his hard flesh at her.
".. that feels like a success..", she muttered and rubbed her face before turning to him.
She nearly moved away, shocked by the expression on his face. Greed and lust all over it written he smiled ghastly. Sweat on his face glittered already in arousal.
This would be no nice ride.., she thought swallowing and braced herself for a rough time.
To her surprise he didn't forced himself unceremoniously on her. He was all hands and fingers, caressing, slowly. His mouth pressed at her neck he sucked raspberries on her skin, while his hand, or rather the knuckle of his thumb teased her softly.
Tatjana relished in this demanding touch, knowing he wanted her to find release by his hand first before he would get any further. Half dizzy and hard panting she wondered what it was that brought him in such passionate mood. The meeting with a business partner could surely not be the reason.
His mouth caught hers in a deep kiss and she wrapped her arms around him. He pushed her tender back, freed himself from her embrace to travel down her body.
"Lyutsifer..", Tatjana whispered in glee. Too less he used his tongue all over her, too less he took his time, as if his dominant nature couldn't.
Tonight was different and Tatjana would enjoy the most of it.
His lips, rasp but lush, burned kisses and hickeys on her skin as he travels down, his fingertips a soft company.
Self acting she opened up, whispering : “Please.. "
Her inpatient was rewarded with a slap on her thighs. He spoke no word, but his mouth became wilder, pressing his teeth on her mons before his tongue slithered along her blooming flesh.
"Eyes.", he muttered and Tatjana got on her elbow to watch him better.
With panting breath she watched him, as he watched her with his intense eyes while eating her out. He did not stop before she started to tremble and to giggle in release. As Tatjana felt back on the mattress he was at once upon her, gliding in her with a swift move.
A moment both started in each other's eyes, their mouth half hung open to drink each other's moans.
Then he moved, slow but strong. Tatjana hisses in air by his hard thrust. Ever so hurtful but soothing. Knowing she belonged to him. Feeling she was his.
"I killed a man today.", he suddenly whispered. Her eyes wide she looked in his broken face and saw the corner of his lips curled up.
Now she started to understand what had aroused him.
"With your own, bare hands?", she asked lowly back.
He smirked now, rolling his hips roughly and fell into a quicker pace.
"Yes. It was thrilling."
Tatjana blinked, needed a moment to absorb the information.
Eventually she rested her palms at his chin, kissing the scars on it.
As if her soft touch had spurred him on, he groaned and needed just two thrusts more.
As Tatjana felt him spilling himself inside her womb she muttered : "That's my pirate.."
What else were there to say?
Chapter 11: Trust issues
Bond sat two hours after the meeting in a plane to Moscow. A glass of scotch and water at the side table he took his time to read the dossier about the momentary high heads of the black market there.
Some men were simply too young to be connected to Safin, too fresh in business, or not rich enough to be in charge of the weapon business.
Two names in the list sounded promising;
A former weapon dealer and double agent, in the past working for the CIA, now a retired politician.
And a former black market king, who official sold candies - and unofficial weapons - was now a banker.
Bond sighed. The information was sent in courtesy from the FBI, and that irritated Bond.
He couldn't understand what the Federals had to do with a case that was clearly a CIA subject. Bond wasn't able to put a finger on it. His guts told him there was something wrong. Horrible wrong.
Landing in Moskow-Ostafjewo he got picked up by a business limousine. The man inside - thin, pale, by his sixties - greeting him without a handshake, but nodded shortly at Bond.
"Gasprom consulting and account, Boris Serjew.", he told Bond in a boring tone his code.
Bond eyed him. The suit screamed money, but no taste. Bond would have forgiven him that, but he wasn't excited about Serjew's tailor.
"Universal Export, Jim Beech.", Bond greeted back and leaned in the seats of the limousine.
After the greeting the men ignored each other, while the car drove along a gravel road, surrounded by a grey landscape of destroyed flora.
Eventually Serjew started to speak. "The two subjects you're here for are quite interesting. Especially Towarischtsch Wiktor…"
Bond listened with narrowed eyes, still looking out of the car window. "He seems a bit too obvious?", he gave his opinion. "Former Ukrainian politician, not so found of mother Russia.."
"My supervisor thinks it it bayback."
Bond crocked his head left, then right while thinking.
"The other man?"
"Yuri wouldn't be so stupid. He will lose more money than make some with such business. He is a businessman for Russia first and Donator for the party."
"Which one?", Bond jested without thinking and made a face. "Sorry."
Serjew didn't answer, but Bond could actually hear his pouting.
After a moment of embarrassing silence Bond asked: "When can I get to them? Any preparation from your side or am I allowed to look after that myself?"
Bond felt Serjew stiffen in his seat.
"We have an little meeting arranged for you, the CEO of my company with some Merchants and Traders. Tonight by 7pm our time." Before Bond could say anything more, Serjew went on: "You will stay in your hotel - obvious to safety reason - and the car will pick you up at 6:30."
Did I just get grounded?, Bond wondered with an amused smirk, already accepting the challenge.
"So I will meet both gentlemen?"
"Wiktor will be there. Yuri is official retired and didn't live in Russia but on the Seychelles. We—"
"What?", Bond stopped him. "Say that again."
Serjew frowned at Bond. "He is retired and lives since 5 years on the Seychelles.."
Bond looked at his contact, in his mind playing along the different scenarios by the Infos he got out of the dossier.
"Bring me back.", he told Serjew firmly. "Turn the car.. Get me back in the plane."
"Mr. Beech, you hav-"
"Call your supervisor, he should make contact with mine..", Bond focused on the driver, becoming more anxious.
"Razvernut' mashinu", he ordered firmly and by the tone of his voice, the driver actually stopped and hesitated. He looked for eye contact with Serjew, who took a deep breath and nodded eventually.
"Very well.." Serjew reached for his phone and quick dialed a number.
"mne nuzhen samolet obratno."
"Thank you.", Bond added as he heared Serjew's order to get the plane back. "I can assure you, my company will pay any additional costs."
"We make sure, they will.", Serjew muttered annoyed. "Why you are thinking that Yuri is your man?" "
" Because he is not in Russia.", Bond answered and looked again out of the window. "Where someone had sent me to."
Bond drummed nervously with his fingers aside the car window, relieved to see the plane rolling in place.
"I'm sorry.. Boris..", Bond muttered. "I have to enjoy your hospitality another time."
Without waiting for an answer, Bond got out of the car and rushed up inside the plane again. He was at his own phone, asking for a secure line to speak with M, while the stewardess made a fuss about his safety belt.
"Sir? It's Yuri S. the candy man. - - - yes, the one. I need to get to the Seychelles. My contact will reach yo-"
Bond listens a moment.
"That is probably a good idea. Better than the FBI."
He disconnected his phone and sank back in his seat, his imagination running wild. Safin wanted him in Russia. A false track for sure. While the plane started, eventually losing gravity enough to jump in the sky, Bond imagined what he would find in Yuri's house. Nothing nice for sure. Annoyed about his own sentiment to trust his frenemies he thought:' Safin, what kind of game you're playing now?'
Chapter 12: And for the moment all was well
Tatjana woke up alone in bed. Turning around, she touched the bedsheets to feel the rest of Safin's body warmth. She sighed and took his pillow to push it under her head. With closed eyes she breathed in his scent.
A moment she allowed herself to remember the last night and her husband's announcement. She realized with a heavy heart he was falling back to his old ways. Nevertheless, part of her understood his action. He was furious. Thankfully he decided not to get it out on her or his family, but to act professional.
Eventually she got up, cleaned herself as good as possible in the narrow boat shower and dressed.
On her way to the galley nothing more as the calming hum of the motors surrounded her. The men on their post worked in silence, just nodding a greeting, Safin were nowhere to see.
The only voices she heard were the ones of the twins, sitting in the galley and playing cards with Marie.
Tatjana stopped at the door and watched her boys a moment before entering. One of the many good things to be with one of the dangerous men in the world. No normal, dull life, hunting for a bit of peace and financial ground. But an adventure and adoration and eternal love. On any cost.
She had a man who would kill for her and her children and if he would go down then with her at his side. Tatjana had made this decision a long time ago.. At least at the moment she killed Blofeld. There was no life without him.
"Hey guys!", she greeted the twins and smooched one after another before kissing Marie on her chest. The smutje peeked in, recognized her and turned around. In no time a warm breakfast tray stood in front of her, definitively held warm for her.
"What time is it?" Tatjana wondered loud. "Did I overslept?"
"It's the second watch already.", Marie answered and Tatjana counted back. "So already noon?", she wondered.
Marie nodded with an understanding smile. "Yes. We are close to Madagascar."
"Madagascar? I thought we are on the way to Russia?"
Marie shrugged. "Luc didn't explain to me anything. There was something to prepare in Moscow, but it seems they had handed this to a middle man."
Tatjana sighed. "So, South Africa next?"
"Can we swim in Africa? Will we see Lions? Elephants?!", the twins asked thrilled. "Please mummy, can we?"
"We have to ask your papa, but I fear this is a business trip at first, and secondly a holiday."
"I can't make any promises.", the satin, rasp voice of Safin appeared behind them.
Tatjana turned around while the twins greeted their father like hungry little puppies.
"… oh papa please? I never saw a giraffe.. can we watch lion babies?…"
Safin looked nearly helpless to Tatjana, who reached out to the boys to get them back to their seats. "Please give your papa some space. Work comes first.", she told them firmly. "But you both know, your papa will spend the time with you - all the time - after work."
Lightly pouting, the boys sat back at the table. Safin walked behind Tatjana and rested his hands heavily on her shoulders. She felt him kissing the top of her head as he whispered: "Good morning, Sirena."
Tatjana reached out for his hands and looked up to his broken, serious face. "Good morning, my pirate."
To her surprise he peeked a quick kiss on her lips, a sentiment he normally avoided.
She rubbed the back of his hands with her thumbs, touching his wedding band. "Plan is working out thus far?"
Safin shook his head slowly from one side to the other before humming: "We shall see. I fear I have to spend my time at the COM today. Making sure things work out as planned. But for now I can join you all for dinner."
While he spoke the smutje came in again, setting a plate for Safin. The usual; sea-grass salad and vegetarian maki-rolls with a mug of green tea.
Marie put the cards aside and left, giving Safin and Tatjana space with the children.
By the time the smutje brought the lunch for the twins, both had already managed to 'steal' some makis from Safin's plate. As always he went with the boys, acting astound where they went.
So the lunch went on with giggles and teasing, especially that mummy had her breakfast plate to eat.
"Don't make fun of your mother.", Safin warned the boys lightly. "She works hard to make sure you both are safe and secure. She surely needed her rest."
Tatjana changed a look with Safin and smirked. "I hope I manage to make you all feel safe and secure.", she muttered and Safin rose an eye bow.
"I think you do a marvellous job, Sirena."
Tatjana smiled wide by his praise, but before she could say more Safin pointed with his chopsticks to her plate. "Now eat your breakfast. You need your strength…"
"Aye, Captain.", she playfully saluted.
The boys, watching their parent's interaction bursting out in laughers, mimicking their mother.
"Aye, Captain… Aye, captain…"
Chapter 13: The road to hell
Bond stood on the side of the water plane, watching the closer coming marina of Yuri's Island through his sunglasses. He was sweating already, even that he had the time to change in a lighter suit. Inpatient he jumped down and stood at once to his knees in the fresh saltwater. Ungraciously he stumbled to the beach and up to the villa, scanning the surrounding. Different men with headsets and weapons strolling around the beach, eyeing him for a moment. He didn't have to introduce himself, though. It seems the men were properly briefed. To Bond's amusement he could see, whom of these men were CIA and which were FBI, alone by the cut of their clothes as by the way there standing. FBI employees had the habit to show off, especially on crime scenes.
Smirking to himself he walked to the entry. His smirk grew to a wide smile as a familiar feature came along.
"Seems your source were wrong.", Felix grinned darkly and held his hand up.
Bond clashed his in Felix's offered hand and muttered: "I wouldn't be too sure about that."
He nodded to the entry. "M is already here?"
"Yes, and not in a good mood."
"He wasn't in a good mood since 2007."
Felix frowned. "What happened 2007?"
Felix cleared his throat as he looked behind Bond and Bond stifled up.
As he turned he was face to face with his Boss, M's Mimic Stoic as always.
"I shall note I wasn't in a good mood since I had taken over the MI6 and had to work with headstrong and cocky DoubleO's like you, Bond.", he grumbled and waved him in.
Walking aside Bond he went on: "I am not sure how to report this to the secretary of defence.."
Bond looked around the living room. It was amazingly clean, no furniture broken, no chaos. Some men from the crime scene investigation, wearing white suits and masks, searched around the carpet. A telephone rang in the background.
"Nobody in the house beside the owner.", M told him." No bodyguards, no guards around the house.. it should be at least ten of Yuri's men here to find."
While he spoke one of the investigators held his hand up. M and Bond leaned in and grunted unison. The investigator held a small dart in his hand.
"The guards were put to sleep.."
".. and fled after seen what someone had done to their boss.", M ended the sentence. He pointed to another door.
It was an office and here the furniture was shoved aside, papers and laptops crashed on the floor. The room smelled of urine and fear.
Again the phone rang, but everyone ignored it.
Q sat aside on a small, self-made working bench, working on his laptop.
"There's no one at the phone when I answer it.", he said as a greeting to Bond. Bond just nodded but focused on the subject that matters for now.
A fat, naked man sat on a desk chair, his dead eyes staring at nowhere.
'like a fish on land', Bond thought and stepped closer. He stopped, disgusted by the smell as the view. Yuri - Bond didn't question it - had at the end a hard time. His hands tortured, some fingertips missing.. and the stiletto in his chest told Bond Safin had got his information.
"Damn luck..", Bond muttered.
"He is at least one step in front of us, only by manipulating you.", M mumbled behind him.
Bond pursed annoyed his lips.
Again the phone started to ring and simply out of curiosity Bond picked the speaker up.
"James?", it answered back. Bond felt the skin at the back of his head shrinking together. He knew at once something wicked would happen.
"Back to your old tricks, Lyutsifer?", he sighed.
"I do sincerely apologize. I shouldn't have pulled you in my personal vendetta.", Safin hummed back. "I believe it will be of no use, to ask not to step in my way?"
"I fear we can't allow you to go on.", Bond answered and looked to M, who changed a glance with Q. Bond was sure, by the view of Q, tipping furiously on his keyboard he tried to get to the source of the call.
"I will not apologize for my next action. Alas, I'm glad you're not more in Moscow.", Safin went on. "Please give the Quartermaster my best regards. He should not feel bad not to get my position."
"Lyutsi-", Bond begun, but the disconnection tone was already in his ear.
Bond turned to M, to met his disappointed expression. Bond and M opened unison their mouths only to get cut by the tone of M's phone.
Everyone in the room stood still and listened, even Q held his fingers.
Everyone in the room had realized bad news were on the way.
M got slowly his phone out, hesitant to hear what had happened just now. "Yes?"
Every eye were on M, while the Chef of MI6 listened.
Bond watched in horror M's face becoming pale and… old.
"Yes… Yes… I understand. Thank you."
M disconnected the call and put even so slowly his phone back, looking at nobody's face.
He swallowed and looked at Bond.
"You will fly home. On your island. You will not make any calls to friends or employees of the MI6. Not even to Moneypenny."
"What happened?" It was Q and not Bond who asked.
"Six minutes ago a small atomic bomb detonated in the heart of Moscow.", M told them with thin mouth. "One can't tell right now the results.. but it will be nearly like Chernobyl."
Bond's legs, suddenly jelly, couldn't hold him any more. He felt back on the plate of the desk. Is head were empty.
Chapter 14: The things we do for love
Safin went out of the commando room after Luc took his seat. Both men changed a satisfied but serious glance at each other. For Safin it has been no easy decision, but the Moscow policies were still too strong, if they were able to dictate the weapon market against Safin's wishes.
Safin looked in the galley to find Marie and the boys playing a board game. Marie saw him, but he rose his hand and shook his hand, leaving them in peace before the twins would see him.
He needed a moment with Tatjana alone.
In the living space he stopped. He saw Tatjana sitting on the sofa, her legs under her, wrapped in one of the military blankets. She already watched the news on the screen, where a shaking heli camera showed a bigger growing, familiar mushroom cloud appearing.
Safin went slowly inside and joined her on the sofa. He watched her carefully, even waited for an angry outburst from her.
Instead, she snuggled at him, to hide her teary face in the hollow of his neck.
He blinked, surprised and held her a moment. Her body was warm and smelt like the air of the submarine. Stuffed, salty, a hint of oil. He didn't mind. Caressing her back he listened as she started to speak.
"Once, at school - I think it was the 6th grade - we had history lessons about the pacific battles in the second world War. And about the end of it."
Tatjana paused a moment and sniffed lowly. Safin had the feeling he knew what was coming now. He kissed encouraging her temple." Go one, my love."
"I was too young to understand the whole outcome for the land and people of Japan. But I remember vividly the picture of a Japanese postman. Or better the shadow on the wall of him. All that was left of him after the atomic explosion over Hiroshima."
Safin nodded to himself. "Yes", he whispered. "That was a gruesome end of an even more gruesome war. And yet the American government had their reason for this decision. Not understood by everyone. Not even by me for a time."
He reached for the remote control and switched the news out.
"I have my reasons.", Safin went on. "I know you are not understanding them. Nevertheless, I made my decision not to hide myself from you. As I also want you..?"
He hooked his fingers under her chin to force her to look at him. Watching her beautiful but teary visage he waited that she finished his sentence.
"You want me sitting at your side, admiring your work.", she mumbled. He watched her face as she smiled softly. As she rested her hands left and right his chin he smiled with her, relishing in her touch.
"You are right. I can't understand your motive's. But I know I love you. And I will stand at your side. In good as in bad times."
"That is all I need to hear, my Sirena.", he answered her honestly, his chest warm. He leaned in to catch her mouth and to his glee she answered hungrily.
"Mh.. You know, Marie is entertaining the twins.. shall we retire for the moment?", he asked her and rubbed his nose at hers before kissing her again.
"Yes.", she answered at once and Safin realized, she simply dared not to deny him. This realization was thrilling and aroused him even more.
The civilization of Russia in chaos, the submarine on its way to South Africa to finish the job, his wife at his side..
His hands found Tatjana's hips, and he held firm on them as he drew her on his lap.
"Not here..", she whispered.
"Oh, yes.. here.. Now!", he ordered and caught her mouth again.
She obeyed, opened his trousers and allow him to free his hard flesh.
He hummed in the kiss as his hands freed her from the skirt. Not taking his time to get rid of her panties, he pushed the fabric aside and let her sit on him. Roughly impaling her inch by inch he held the kiss and allow her to whimper into her mouth.
Melting together as one, he bucked his hips up fiercely, meeting her in greed. He digged his finger firm in her skin to hold her in place as he took her fast.
Her sensitive flesh around him were firm as a fist, and he didn't need much time to find release. Still holding Tatjana's mouth he drank his wife's moans, not letting go of her but used his thumb at the end to finished her up with him. To hear her joyful giggling when she comes undone. Swallowing her release.
Hard breathing and panting, he held her a long moment after they finished, caressing Tatjana's back while she rested on him. He listened to her breath, relishing her kisses on his scared face.
"I adore you so much, my Sirena.", he mumbled. "Please never forget that."
He felt Tatjana's smile on his skin, what let skip his heart beat. As long as his wife don't lose her ability to smile all was good for him.
"Second round in the bed?", he asked cheekily and drummed playful on her back.
"Gladly, my pirate."
Chapter 15: Keep calm and carry on
Bond watched Felix talking to one man from the FBI in unusual peace. Nobody stepped on once feet on this mission. The circumstance of a common enemy put all together - for now. Bond knew the FBI would try by a satisfied outcome to claim the laurel for themselves. And the CIA would shrug it off. At least the job was done.
Felix waved Bond to him. "I got a heli out for you. I will join you for a part of the travel, if you don't mind. I am allowed to join the navy."
Bond narrowed his eyes. "I don't mind at all. Did you have news?"
Felix looked to the ground. "As a commander of the Royal Navy you know how tricky, the Cape of good Hope can be?"
"Yes?", Bond asked back and checked if someone listens.
"Looks like your buddies submarine is close to Madagascar, on his way to South Africa."
"He isn't my buddies.", Bond threw in.
"Ah, of course.", Felix spoke lightly. "Well, you should be more careful with your BBQ guests the next time than."
Bond looked at Felix. "I'm quite stunbed.", he answered and searched for Felix eyes to find disappointment in it. "I still get watched by the CIA?"
"No, James. You get watched by me. Otherwise, your little island would have been sacked weeks ago."
"Why is the FBI here?", Bond tried to change the subject.
Felix looked at the sky as he heard the sound of an upcoming helicopter. "Same enemy. But I understand your curiosity. I'm stunned myself." Felix looked around and leaned in to Bond. "I believe - and that is between us - they have someone at board of the sub.
"There is more..", Bond hummed and watched the heli landing.
"Not for you.", Felix answered with a sour face and walked to the Heli. Bond followed with heavy shoulders. Was it his fault? Could he have done differently? No. Not with Safin.
Bond and Felix stayed silent on the fly. Bond expected he got set down on the next main land. His ice blue eyes wandered over the greyer getting sea as the heli flew deeper over the ocean. Eventually the first marine boats, destroyers and battleships, were to see, all in regular positions to each other.
The American navy boats were keen to proceed.
Bond frowned and looked at Felix.
"There is no time to spare.", Felix smirked. "At least you can watch a good hunt."
"I appreciate that. Thank you, Felix."
With a knot in his stomach, Bond waited until the Heli landed on the deck of the destroyer. He followed Felix out, who greeted the captain of the destroyer quite nonchalant. He was no navy man for sure.
Bond paused before climbing out of the Heli and spoke to the Captain. "Commander Bond asked for permission to come on board, Sir!"
"Permission Granted, commander.", the Captain answered and Bond saluted the British way. The Captain answered with his American salute and offered them Bond a handshake. "Captain Ulysses from the US ANTIOPE."
"Bond, James Bond, MI6. I'm only here as an observer.", he nodded to Felix. "Felix Leiter is the man in charge."
Captain Ulysses chuckled. "Yeah? Tell this to the FBI. They bombarded me with orders all the time. Thinking themselves better sailors than my men."
"I gather you're not the man to take such orders?", Bond smirked.
"From civilians? Hell no!", the Captain laughed.
Safin surprised Tatjana in their cabin. She had thought to have him more relaxed. Safin had other plans. Untypically for him, he pushed her demanding on the bed to torn her clothes off of her. Greed and lust writing in his broken face, he licked his lips, as he paused a moment to relish the view of her naked body. He grabbed her hair, unbundled it that it was open.
"Turn around." An Order. "On your hands and knees."
Tatjana hurried to do so and opened up her legs by that. She was a bit bewildered. Safin made mostly sure to see her face, and wanted her to look at him. But today was different. Tatjana knew the reason. The strong and corrupting emotion of power, of death were running through his veins and he had to let it out. Tatjana whimpered in surprise anyway as Safin pushed himself unceremoniously inside her.
"ooOo, Lyutsifer.. , she moaned and pressed her arse requesting back. She felt his body covering her back as he leaned over her, felt his panting breath at her ear." Yes? ", he rasped out.
In Tatjana’s eyes dwelled tears as she opened her mouth and could not speak.
"I asked you something.", he hummed and rocked his hips lightly.
"I can't see you.", she eventually answered.
At the next second he pulled back and pushed her aside, pressing her down with his body. "Can you see me know?", he grunted and guarded his cock again inside her. Tatjana moaned and turned her head to him. "Yes. Thank you."
Both were just aware that this was the position he normally never used, in memory of the ghastly encounter they both had. At the first night of the red death. The one night he had taken her without her consent.
He watched her now, very close, his harder getting breath in her face, his grey blue eyes glued at hers. He didn't move yet properly, only rolling his hips.
"yes.", Tatjana whispered and braced herself for a rough ride.
He was rough, yes. But quick and fast, using her cunt like a fist to finish, staring at her the whole time, grunting in pleasure.
His face sweaty and his breath breaking, he was even so kind to help her with his fingertips. At the end it was her orgasm, her cramping and tensing walls, that drew him with her.
Chapter 16: A question of authority
Tatjana laid half on her husband, her head on his chest, and listened to his heart beat. It became calmer like his breath, after satisfying each other.
The sound of the submarine a lullaby she felt her eyelids getting heavy. Debating with herself, if a nap would be okay, she became aware that another sound, far away, appeared in the background.
Tatjana held still and tried to focus on it. 'Something from the COM? The engine room?', she wondered.
A moment later she realized the submarine changed course, while her husband's body reacted to that.
He cursed lowly in Russian and shoved her from his body without explanation.
He held a finger up, a warning.
She loomed in his face, suddenly grey and then horrible red the moment the lights in the cabin switched to night light.
"Why..?", Tatjana started, there it was too early for night shift. Safin shook his head and opened his mouth to answer as suddenly the door burst open.
Luc stood inside, glancing with dead serious face to Safin.
Ignoring Safin's and Tatjana's bareness he stepped closer and crouched at the bed to start to whisper: "We're on patrol, eight glass shift, every other man is in the bunk. Engineers on the stations."
Safin stayed silent and looked up to the ceiling. Tatjana watched him, not daring to ask. He was listening. She realized by listening with him that the noises - now clearly to hear from outside - were louder. Closer.
Eventually Safin turned to Tatjana.
"Listen well.", he started. "You will be as silent as possible. The HAYTNMYC II is detected. We are switched to silent-run."
Tatjana's heart was suddenly in her throat. She looked to Luc, but he had left the cabin.
"You will put some warm clothes on and get Marie and the twins. Luc will lead you to the life pot."
Life pot!? Tatjana held her tongue, but her eyes must have shown her panic.
"Hush.." Safin stroke gentle her cheek. "It is a precautionary measure. You all will wait inside the pot until we had escaped our enemies."
"Who is it?", Tatjana whispered back.
Safin shook his head. "I don't know yet. Now go."
Tatjana watched Safin rose and dressed up. She blinked and did the same, changing in warm and soft fabric.
'Don't overthink it. All will go well. You must be brave for the boys.', she chanted to herself in her head.
The submarine changed course again, abruptly, and Tatjana had to hold on the bed. The noises, a puffing, scattering tone, came closer and quicker.
'Water bombs', she understood now, and her limbs became cold. 'They're throwing water bombs on us!'
Anger caused through her veins. She held her chin up and vowed to herself to get her children out if necessary. On any cost.
Safin waved her out of the cabin, pointing to the direction she had to go. She looked at her husband, his lean body, the grey-red sunken face and grabbed his head to force a passionate kiss on his lips. He answered short but even so passionate. Then he nodded to her and turned away, making his way to the bridge.
Tatjana waisted no more time but rushed as silent as possible the other direction. Soon she could see Marie with the boys, already wrapped in warm clothes, the twins wearing small life jackets. Luc, standing by Marie, held some old military blanked under his arm. His face was totally blank, as if afraid to show some false emotions to the boys.
"This way." Luc walked further the corridor to a section Tatjana normally don't enter. The storage chamber. Hidden behind a metal shelf was a round door. Instead a key, Luc had to tip a code in and with a sucking noise the door swung open.
Matvei took Tatjana's hand, his eyes wide. "Luc said we're going on a new adventure.", he whispered, and his eyes flickered.
Tatjana forced herself to smile. "A great one", she whispered back, smiling encouraging to Matvei and then to Maksemillian on Marie's arm, who's eyes showed fear. He reached out for Tatjana and with a heavy heart she took him in her arms. Maksemilian was always the sensitive one, in contrary to his brother Matvei, who was more adventurous.
"Come on, boys. Let us see how it looks inside."
Close to Madagascar they throw out the first bombs.
Bond watched the signaller listening as watching his sonar board. He felt sweat in his arm pits and crossed his arms in front of him.
The bridge laid in silence beside muffled words from the Captain, his first officer and the sonar operator. In a corner sat an FBI man, watching them.
Captain Ulysses turned to the man at the wheel for a course correction and Bond felt at once the outcome.
He looked at Felix, standing close to him.
"Still no answer?", the Captain whispered.
"No torpedoes loaded?", Felix guessed lowly and Bond shook his head. "I can't imagine Safin travelling with his submarine not fully loaded."
"Circling, 25 knots.", the Captain muttered again to his helmsman. "Double the effort.", he muttered to his first officer, who get the order to throw more bombs out in his speaker.
Bond took a deep breath. His mind wandered to Tatjana and the boys. A day ago they had sat together, feasted together. 'Why didn't have Safin allowed them to stay on his island?'
As if Felix had read his mind, he rested softly a hand on Bond's shoulder and squeezed it. "Our man has surely a life pot for Tatjana."
Captain Ulysses looked confused at both men. "Who is Tatjana?"
Bond and Felix changed a look.
"Well, a former member of the MI6. Tatjana Ev- Safin.", Bond explained, stuttering at the name. "She and the kids.."
"There are civilians on board of this submarine?", Captain Ulysses rasped out. "Why the hell didn't I get informed about that!?"
He turned and approached the silent watcher from the FBI. The man rose his hand in defence.
"The information we have tells us she is a double.."
"R was never a double agent!" Bond hissed and stepped closer to the FBI man. Anger grew in him, and he automatically clenched his hands to fists.
The FBI man gave him a bored glance. Truly, he thought himself in charge. "She is his bitch."
It needed Felix and the first officer to held Bond back. "Your bloody.."
"Stop it!", Captain Ulysses ordered. He turned to the FBI man. "Agent Hamilton. Did I understand correctly, there are a woman and children on board we are now bombing?"
Hamilton narrowed his eyes. "That is nothing of your concern. You have your orders."
Captain Ulysses stared at the man for a moment before shouting: "Security?! Take this man to the brig. NOW!"
Chapter 17: The Hunt
The bridge was floated in red night light and laid in absolute silence. The men on post worked efficiently and without any words needed, like Safin expected from them.
All the crew knew if something happened to them, an automatic transfer of money would arrive by their families. And every crew member knew Safin was a man of his words.
He stepped from station to station, overseeing the work of the station man and nodded encouraging to them.
The radio operator listened intensely in his hearing gear, playing with the buttons and switches of his board. He shot Safin a glance. Safin was at once at his side. He could hear the echo tone out of the operators' headset.
"Coming closer.", the sonar man commented on the noises he read from the outside with a whispering voice. "Three will hit us in ten.. nine..eight..seven.."
Luc stepped on the bridge and Safin turned to him. At this moment the first of the three bombs crashed on the outer shell of the HAYTNMYC II.
The submarine got shaken as if in a giants fist. A unison grown appeared in the room. Safin could barely hold himself but reached out for Luc who had tumbled in the room. Metal screamed lout and short, as the next two bombs hit the HAYTNMYC II shortly after.
"Damage report.", Safin growled, not afraid but pissed off.
"Outer shell still intact, no water break.", a helmsman answered quickly.
"Good.", Safin turned to Luc. "I have a special task for you, my friend."
"Go one.", Luc responded.
Safin had to smirk about his right hand. There laid no fear in Luc's eyes, only curiosity.
"Take six men and collect as much metal rubbish and cloths, electronic rubbish and organic waste together and bring it to the torpedo room."
Safin saw Luc raising his eye bows in wonder, and he grinned.
"And.. our little project too.", he added.
"The one in the brig?", Luc asked back. A second later Safin saw in Luc's face understanding. He smiled with an impressed expression. "I see.. Will do."
Behind Safin the sonar post started to count again.
Again, thee water bomb hit the shell with a harmless sounding crack.
The HAYTNMYC II screamed like a wounded animal and listed up to 10°.
"Dam-" Safin started, but the helmsman was quicker.
"Engine hit, light water ingress, pumps are rolling."
Safin, holding himself at the handrails at the walls and ceiling, stumbled to the Periscope station.
"On my order Periscope depth.", he started and switched the COM way to the torpedo room on.
"I need four torpedoes ready in 8 minutes.", he informed the men there on the stations.
The sonar man started to count again.
"Маленький УБЛЮДОК", Safin cursed under his breath and turned to the next engineer. "Focus on the pot control. On my sign you will release it."
Safin looked at the sonar operator, who shook his head while listening in his headset. "They stopped!?"
"Good. Telescope depth."
The HAYTNMYC II protested creaking and moaning while the helmsmen tried to hold her stable while getting up.
The telescope got down and Safin looked through it.
A moment he had to re-focus. Grey water and a hint of blue sky. Making a look-a-round he startled as he caught three boats up the waterline.
"Destroyer.", he confirmed what everyone on the bridge already knew. "US Navy."
He wondered a moment, if James and his friend Leiter may be on board of one of the destroyer. Probably. James was always in the middle of chaos if he could manage.
"Torpedo ready?", he shouted in the COM. "Three degrees aft. Hold steady.", he addressed the helmsmen, a chuckle in his voice. The sentence that one feels the most alive at the rim of death was so true!
Safin watched the movement of the three destroyers, aware that they could any minute see his telescope.
The bridge in silent, everyone listened to Safin's rasp voice, beside the second helmsmen, who repeated constantly Safin's order to the torpedo room.
"Port to 120°
Flood torpedo tubes 1 to 4."
"All engine steady!", Safin ordered, and the second helmsmen repeated the order to the engine room.
"Bow right, position 50." Safin spoke to the first mate.
Ready for a double shot?"
"Double shot ready!", the torpedo room answered.
Safin blinked sweat out of his eyes and tried to hold his eyes on the destroyer in the middle.
All ahead one - thirty."
The first mate responded by muttering the order back and changed slightly course.
"Open torpedo hatches.", Safin spoke firm, his voice vibrating in excitement.
"Torpedo hatches open."
"Tubes 1 and 2 coordinates, targets bearing 76."
"Keep tracking target."
Safin knew his helmsmen was reporting the ordered, but he barely heard him. His heart in his throat, he could only hear the blood rush in his ear. His eyes further focused between telescope sight and degrees measure he gave the final orders.
"Tubes 1 and 2 at will."
"Tubes 1 and 2 ready?", the helmsmen spoke.
"Tubes 1 and 2 ready.", the torpedo room answered.
Safin became aware of Luc's voice in the COM. His heart felt at once lighter, his stomach relaxed.
"Tubes 1 and 2 fire!"
A soft jolt caused through the damaged boat.
"Tubes 3 and 4 ready?"
"Tubes 3 and 4 ready!", Luc answered, not waiting for the helmsmen.
"Tube 3 and 4 fire!"
Another jolt. Safin turned to the sonar operator, who was listening for the impact.
"Four minutes.", the man spoke, reminding Safin of the time the Torpedoes would meet the destroyer.
Safin turned to the mate at the life pot control. "Now!"
His heart was heavy as he watched the man working at the controls, not knowing if he would see Tatjana again.
"Life pot released, Captain."
"Down to 800 metres.", Safin ordered solemn.
With a sigh he spoke in the COM. "Luc? Fill the tubes with the items you have collected. Got the 'project' in too. Alive! And.. some volunteers, who wants extra cash for their families."
Chapter 18: War profits
No matter in which territory a ship drove, on board the Captains order were law.
After three security guards had drawn a fighting and shouting FBI man from the bridge Felix felt the need to apologize for his fellow American.
Captain Ulysses waved the apologies away. "I will handle that later. Sadly we haven't any more the plank walk.", he laughed.
"Captain!", the sonar operator intervened.
"Torpedoes ahead!", the sonar operator spoke hastily. "Torpedoes ahead! Impact in 4 minutes!"
"Red Alert! Engine stop! Back back back!", Captain Ulysses shouted, while his first officer already sent a warning through the COM.
"Hold on! Hold on!"
A destroyer is fast and light to manoeuvre, but four minutes was even for the ANTIOPE too quick. The engine room couldn't react this fast.
"Heave to, 10°now!"
"Heave to, 10°", the Helmsman shouted back.
Bond blinked, his face covered in sweat. Everyone knew, with the both other destroyers aside this one could not change course enough to avoid the Torpedoes.
"Impact!", the radio operator shouted and Torpedo 1 and 2 crashed unison in the bow. The short following explosion pushed the ship back, as if Poseidon himself had given the ship a push.
The men, cramping hands on every item they could reach, stumbled but didn't fall on the ground.
A groan caused through the ship, and then chaos.
The both destroyers aside the ANTIOPE started blind fire as an answer, but there were only the grey waves of the ocean.
Two other torpedoes hit the ship, aside this time. The ANTIOPE shivered from bow to stern and the horrible noise of bending metal and cracking wood filled the air.
While the Captain shouted order's in the COM, Bond watched the weird ballet of the ships fire men, fighting against the upcoming flames in front of the ship.
His instinct kicked in.
"Sir, permission to join the engineers down the bow.", he shouted to Ulysses. Here in the bridge he couldn't do anything. Down in the chaos he could help.
"Denied. You stay here on the bridge and tell me exactly what this guy is we're fighting!", Captain Ulysses shouted back, his face Red in anger.
"Captain-", Felix started, but Ulysses held his hand up to stop him. "Not a word from you. You had the time to brief me, but you decided t-"
"Man over Board! Life pot ahead!", the helmsman in the look shouted suddenly out.
Bond rushed outside, not listening to Ulysses or Felix. A lifeboat from the ANTIOPE went down to reach the strange life pot. Bond rushed to the railing and watched the rescue, behind him still fire worker getting down the flames of the torpedo impact. His hand cramping around the hand railway he was waiting for another impact. Watching the lifeboat he counted in his head, but nothing happened.
He stared at the unfamiliar life pot, what looked a lot like this NASA capsules that brings home astronauts on earth. It hit him. Of course! This was a pot from the Nautilus II!
Bond breathed in and out in relief, suddenly relaxing. There would be no more torpedoes. Safin had used the time to send his most precious items out of the danger zone.
Bond turned and went slowly up the stairs back to the bridge.
Felix had taken the seat of the FBI man, staring at nothing.
Captain Ulysses talked lowly to the sonar operator and turned then to Bond with a questioning glance.
The first mate watched the rescue mission with his binoculars.
"Tatjana Evans was six - nearly seven years ago on a mission with me. We got ambushed, she got imprisoned by Lyutsifer Safin, a former member of an Organization for Terrorism, private intelligence and revenge.", Bond started lowly to speak. "She.. was to his liking. And Tatjana had come to terms with the situation. Felt even in love."
He nodded to the window and Ulysses and Bond stepped closer. It was clearly to watch that the crew members go a small, red haired figure out of the pot. Followed by a dark-haired one and then two little ones, with bride, yellow life jackets on.
"Safin and I even worked after that together, to hunt the last members of this organization down."
"Your enemy is my enemy?" Ulysses added and Bond nodded.
"The boys are six and know me. I tried to stay in contact after that."
Bond could feel Ulysses eyes on him. Eventually he grunted: "Well, I think the lady could use a familiar face on deck. Go down and welcome them."
Bond went down again with a fluttering stomach. Tatjana must be exhausted, the kids in terror, but he had to get Informations out of her first. Behind him, he could hear the report from the first officer, ".. items on the water surface… ", but ignored it. Impatiently waiting aside he watched the rescue mission coming long side the ship. He saw Tatjana's and Marie's pale faces and the fear in the twin's. Especially Maksimilian. To his relief the boys faces brighten up as they saw Bond looking down to them.
"Uncle James!!", they cheered up in unison and reached out for him. With sorrow in mind he helped one after another boy up the railway and hugged them long.
"Is papa not coming?" Maksimilian whispered and Bond swallowed. He looked up, as Tatjana climbed the railing and locked eyes with her as he whispered back: "Papa is still busy. He will meet us later. Probably at my island."
He watched Tatjana's face, nearly ugly in the urge to hold her tears back. She forced a smile and held up her shaking hands.
"James. It's good to see you."
Chapter 19: His quantum of solace
Hint of death of main character
06:00 Bond woke up. He stretched and bump his head on the wall, a reminder that he was on a ship, laying in a short bunk. Grunting he rubbed the back of his head and took a deep breath.
An arm under the small cushion he thought about the situation yesterday.
The Antipode was still making her rounds, waiting for more 'items' breaking the water surface.
Thus far they collected different pieces of the submarine hull, parts of engine, lots of food and - - bodies.
Bond pressed his thumb and middle finger on his eyelids and rubbed them. He would never forget the scene yesterday.
The marines, angling after them.
The moment, as he stood there and watched as they got the body of Safin on board.
His typical clothes, the marine blue coat, heavy boots, but the eyes open, white and blind.
None of the crew made a comment about Safin's face, non cheered. It was the body of a drowned sailor they had fished up. That could have been one of them.
The really heartbreaking moment was as the captain had sent for Tatjana.
Bond had watched her, circling the body of her husband, wet and cold laying on the planks of the ship.
How empty her face was.
As she kneeled and took his hand in hers, kissing the knuckles, he had to look away. Staring in the blue sky he heard nevertheless her wailing.
'Stop being so sentiment.', Bond warned himself with a knot in his throat.
The world had lost a threat. Tatjana was free. 'The boys will be growing up without a father', his brain reminded him.
"Fuck that!", Bond spoke loud in the room, as the cabin door opened.
"And a good morning to you, brother." Felix grinned. He had noticed Bond's words. "Am I interrupting something?"
"Why, Felix?! Why are you so bloody joyful so early in the morning?"
Felix entered the cabin fully and closed the door. Walking closer, he rested his arms at the bunk rim and smiled like a Cheshire cat.
"First, the coffee in the cantina is great. Not to speak of the breakfast.", he jested. "Secondly, if you could 'finally' get your arse out of the bunk and had your coffee, we have to talk to Tatjana."
Bond narrowed his eyes and braced himself on his elbow to focus on Felix's sorrowful expression.
"I have two questions.", Bond started, in mood for a tease. "Why didn't you bring me a mug of this magical drink to my bunk-" Felix laughed loud out by that, "and.. couldn't that wait? Giving her a bit of peace?"
Felix stepped back and shook his head. "The FBI is on its way. Pissed that one of their agents here in the brig. Captain Ulysses made a report.."
Bond groaned and slipped out of the bunk. "Let me guess. They want to arrest her?"
"For someone who had not yet his first coffee you are on the ball."
The HAYTNMYC II laid on the ground of an underwater plateau like a grey, huge elephant, wounded, but still with the will to life.
The engine was set on hold and the chemical oxygen generator wasn't running. Absolute silence laid inside the boat, the rooms pitch black, beside the little lamps around the measuring devices and the echo console.
All men were laid to rest with order to sleep, to spare oxygen.
Safin sat in his chair in the COM room, his eyes closed, his arms crossed around his chest. He was halfway slumbering in the darkness, but in the back of his head he ran through the past hours.
Was there something he could have predicted? Some better way to fulfil his plans? Did he come to a deadlock in his revenge? He could have done better. But he understood now, why he couldn't succeed in his plans.
He had underestimated him. He and his friend Leiter. Safin was still curious about the FBI though. What their part was to play.
He sighed to open his eyes and searched for the fine light of the echo console. He looked at it, until he faintly could make out the shadow of the operator, sitting there. Listening.
"And?", he asked lowly.
"Still making their rounds.", the operator whispered.
Safin nodded to himself and leaned back again, gazing with open eyes in the darkness.
The navy were probably still fishing wreck parts out of the ocean Luc had shoot up on the waterline, simulating a hull break. Safin wondered if this little scheme had worked out. And if Tatjana had understood the message.
"Luc?", he whispered in the dark room, and he got at once an answer from Luc's voice, left button in the room.
"Six.", his right hand answered at short as possible.
'Six hours of oxygen left.', Safin understood.
"Sleep.", he ordered with soft voice. He reminded himself that he wasn't the only one who had let go a loved one.
Here, in the darkness, tons of water pressure on the boat shell, the air stuffed and not knowing if his men and he will ever see sunlight again, he smiled. It mattered not that he could die. At least he would die with his men. On his ship.
'The woman are safe. My son's life spared.'
That was the quantum of solace to him.
Chapter 20: Authority scramble
The bureaucracy is always once worst enemy.
Bond skipped the breakfast but became allowance to have a cup of coffee at the bridge. Sipping the oily, dark liquid, he wondered why the American navy were not able to produce tasteful coffee. Felix may be used to this tier, but only good manners forced Bond to have another cup, while waiting for the radio operator to find a secure line to the MI6.
He looked at his friend. It was just two days ago he wanted to travel to new adventures with him, and now all he wanted was to get home and sit at the beach like the old man he was.
"Why are you not on your bloody island?!", M greeted Bond. Felix, who stood aside Bond, grinned and pressed his lips together not to laugh out.
"Felix tried, but a ship battle crossed our plans, Sir."
That let M fell in silence for a moment.
Eventually he asked: "To what outcome?"
"Safin's boat it destroyed. He is dead." Bond paused, then went on with softer voice: "Tatjana is on board. 'R' I mean. With the boys. And her French nanny."
"Is she okay?"
Bond was surprised by M's question. This would be something Moneypenny would ask. Or Q.
"No. She is traumatized. As are the boys and Marie."
"Dupont?", came it back.
"Yes. Mary Dupont. And there is a transporter on the way to us, to arrest all of them. FBI.", Bond explained shortly.
He heard M snoring. "There is no way the Americans arrest a British citizen, neither a French one. Especially a member of the MI6!", M spoke grumpily.
Bond felt a bolder falling from his heart. He would have kissed M right now.
"I thought so, Sir. Shall I remind our friends from Quantico about that?"
"Do so. I make a call to the PM."
"Thank you, Sir. I'm waiting for new instruction."
"Bond? You know your instructions. See that you get her and her entourage with you."
"Yes, Sir. Over and out."
Felix whistled relieved. "Why, I'm looking forward to this discussion."
The moment the first FBI man stepped on the ANTIOPE, agent Hamilton was released from the brig.
The atmosphere was tense, the argument heated up.
“What gave you the right to sack one of my Federal Agents? We are on order from Washington and you c-"
"I propose you re-read the United Nations convention for the law on sea.", captain Ulysses stopped the supervisor coldly.
Bond, leaning at a railing with his hands in his khaki pockets, didn't look at the group but up to the marines. A group of them, full weaponed for 'training exercises', watched their captain carefully.
"The law is mine, no matter how close we are on Madagascar.", Ulysses went on. "You may make contact with the court of law there, but for now and here I am the law! And if you can't except that you better leave my ship."
The FBI man, who had the audacity not only 'not' to ask for permission to come on board, but also had not introduced himself to the Captain, became a red face. He looked around, meeting the eyes of Bond, then of Leiter, to find no help. Eventually he recognized the training exercises' crew members.
He opened his mouth - surely to say something stupid, Bond was sure about it, as Felix intervened.
"My supervisor from Langley is already informed that the MI6 employee Tatjana Evans, with her two children, AND the double agent Marie Dupont are freed from their current distressful situation."
Felix spoke calm and smooth, his chin up, the corner of his lips curled up.
Bond smirked. He had seen this expression before. 'Do we look like we need the money?'
No. The CIA was here to make a job. And the job was done, thanks to the marines.
The FBI man was taken aback. "Hamilton told-"
"Hamilton knows shit.", Felix interrupted him and nodded to Bond.
"The both women and the kids are in custody of Commander James Bond (that was the part Bond had to smile comforting) in order by the MI6."
"I want to see his papers.", the FBI man demand stupidly.
Bond got calmly his wallet out and handed him the official business card out. "Please call this number. My boss will explain it to you.", he told him gentle and turned away.
He switched a glance with Felix who stepped forward to his American colleague.
"Let it be..", he heard Felix whisper. "Agents from the double0 section carry never real papers on them anyway."
Bond smirked but dared not to turn to see the agents face. That would have killed the effect of Felix words.
Instead, Bond went to the back deck. Knocking at the door of the Captains cabin, he waited until the door got ajar. Marie peaked out and looked up to him with a pale face.
"Did we have to go now?"
Bond was taken aback by the question. "No! No, Madame Dupont. The FBI is not allowed to arrest you."
He saw the woman frowning and heard Tatjana calling from the back. "Marie, don't let James stand in corridor. Let him in."
"Thank you.", Bond smiled to Marie, who looked tired and erratic. She combed nervous her dark, short hair with her fingers and waved Bond in.
The cabin was chaotic. This kind of dismay only kids could cause in minutes. The mischiefs were nowhere to see though.
"There are sleeping now.", Tatjana greeted him with a weird smile and dark circles under her eyes. "The submarine mixed up our sleeping habits."
Bond sat with her and took her hands in his.
"Tatjana", he started, but she felt in his words." Did I want to hear what you will tell me? "
"I have good news."
Bond saw her lifting her eyebrows.
"What is that? Good news..", she looked down on his hands, holding hers.
"You are official under my custody and I have the order to bring you both, with the kids, to my island."
He watched Tatjana's face, changing from sadness and frustration to relief and a hint of glee. "
"Marie! Oh, Marie!! Did you hear that?", she sobbed out, and the women laid at once in each other's arms, crying in relief.
Chapter 21: The hope dies last
The Caribbean sunset was a view to behold. A 'unicorn' coloured waterline in every pastel tone possible speared, to change bit by bit into fire red.
Bond sat on a deck chair on his beach, a glass of ice tea in his hand and watched the boys playing in the low water.
Their skin were sun-kissed, nearly amber, from the weeks playing - or better said living! — on the beach.
It felt like an endless summer to Bond with the twins around. Energy and joy from sunrise to dawn.
The first couple of weeks were stressful for all of them. The boys confused, questioning, not able to calm down. Not able to accept the surrounding circumstances. It was Tatjana at the end who had a talk with the boys.
She had walked with her kids the beach up and down, miles for miles, nearly a round the island, while explaining to them why their father would not come back.
Bond saw it as a good sign. If she could accept it, the boys were also able to. Marie.. Marie lashed out at the beginning. Bond understood that he was a good target for her fury as her grief. He didn't really mind, as long as it let her feel better. He understood also that she was an important part of Tatjana's and the boy's life. He allowed her to be mad at him, nodding surrendering by any outburst she thankfully never had in front of the boys.
Marie would be okay. Tatjana.. Bond was more in worry about her.
He knew from his heart the only reason she was alive were her twins.
These boys, whos faces, were a daily reminder of Safin. The same faces, only soft, not jet sharp jaw line, but round chin. Wide sunny smiles and chocolate curls, but the same, clear eyes, the same knowing look, insensitive, like their fathers.
This beautiful children. Bond knew he could not allow himself to let the boys grow up without his support. What meant he had to support Tatjana as Maria as well.
"One day they will stay in the water.", the voice of Marie let Bond, who has been deep in thought, startle. She stood behind his desk chair, a jug with fresh ice tea in hand, and refilled Bond's glass. " Reverse evolution."
Bond chuckled. She was right. The boys were such water animals it was a wonder they had not yet grown gills.
Marie sat down at the deck chair aside him and watched together with Bond the waterline. The ice cubes in Marie's glass clunk together.
Behind the boys a third person appeared, bathed in the colours of the sunset.
Tatjana walked out of the water, her usual green bikini on and a small net of shells in one hand. She stroked her red, long hair back and checked at the boys, before she waved to Marie and him.
Bond watched her walking out of the water, cleaning her ears, her appearance a call from the past - alas more alive.
It reminded him also of their first meeting, she all business, he was thinking of the job. And a nice meal with a fuck as dessert afterwards.
Bond frowned and had some ice tea, cold and sweet. He should not think about her like that.
Not with Eve in London - who, he had to confess to himself - came less and lesser visiting him. 'Good for her', he thought to himself. 'Why share her time with an old man like me? ` It bothered Bond anyway. He knew the reason she started to ghost him. Felix was only too keen to tell him about this new lad of hers. Bond assumed Eve will tell him by her next visit anyway.
The boys went frantic and surrounded her mother, demanding the shell net like a bargain for her to enter the beach. She laughed out, loud and happy and Bond turned to Marie with a smile.
He got a serious glance back, but he read understanding in her brown eyes. It was a delight to hear Tatjana's laugh.
Bond's eyes wandered unabashedly along Tatjana's body, the sun kissed skin broken a bit by pregnancy scars and stretch mark. This was one of the moments he could understand Safin's adoration for Tatjana. A living, breathing woman in her own beauty. He was relieved she sleeps accompanied by her boys in bed. He knew, if not, he had visited her a long time ago. To make a fool of himself.
'Too early anyway.', Bond thought.
"Shall I catch the boys for bed?", he spoke aloud, as Tatjana wrapped her body in a thick towel.
He got a fit of giggles as an answer. "Your welcome to try.", Tatjana teased.
The nights were the worst.
Tatjana laid with open eyes in her bed and watched the Fan on the ceiling. The meditative swoop of the fan blades helped her a lot to calm down and find slumber.
The days were better. Full of distraction, sun and playing and swimming and fishing. Teaching the children, who were yet not in school again.
Tatjana frowned in the darkness and turned her head to the not more so little boys of hers. She was partly dependent on James to held them safe. Money. Money was not the problem. She had connection to the swizz bank account Safin prepared for the boys. He was a planer, after all. He always planned for the worst.
These characteristics of him was what gave Tatjana still hope. She would never tell James. Not even Marie not to held her hopes up. But part of her 'knew' Safin had even planned his downfall.
It was crazy, of course. She clinched at an idea she had the moment she was leaded to Safin's wet, cold body.
Tatjana smiled to the features of her sleeping boys, shadows under thin blankets.
'My little seals..', she thought and looked back to the ceiling.
On arm under her head, one on her belly she traveled mindly back to the day on the deck of the destroyer.
There were no wedding band on the white fingers. Both hands were naked.
This was her hope.
That was all she had.
And so she waited…