Ian Fleming‟s James Bond 007 in:
Tales of Her Majesty’s Secret Service #2
Death To Spies—part II
By Ross Sidor
General Kuristein stepped out from the rear passenger seat of his silvery Rolls Royce and onto the rain slicked parking lot behind the building that is KGB headquarters. The car pulled away into the street as Kuristein headed up the stairs and through the doors.
Most passing pedestrians and motorists can‟t help as to take a second look at the impressive structure. It stood three stories tall, made of brick and concrete, and surrounded by a tall, black wrought iron fence with the Russian flag proudly displayed in each of the four corners, flapping gracefully in the wind. At the main gate leading into the parking lot stood two armed men in Russian military uniforms making sure that only those who are welcomed pass through the gate. And General Kuristein was very much welcomed here. Why shouldn‟t he be, after all, he was the Director of the Committee for State Security.
General Kuristein warmly greeted the young woman at the front desk, as he did every morning upon his arrival, and proceeded up to the second floor where his office lays. He unlocked the door and let himself in, flipping on the light switch and hanging up his coat on the coat hanger in the corner and sat down at his hard oak desk.
His secretary stuck her head through the doorway, “My apologies for disturbing you, Sir, but this just came for you,” she told him, working over to him and handing him a sealed document.
Kuristein examined the folder and frowned, he had not been expecting anything important this morning. “Very good,” he murmured to his secretary and she left him alone.
Kuristein broke the seal on the folder and pulled out the single paged document inside. His eyes moved across the text and immediately widened with horror. It couldn‟t be, he said to himself with growing concern. He read through the paper a second time, making sure that this was really happening that he read everything properly, and picked up the phone on his desk, realizing that this scenario would require the services of one of his best field agents. “Has Romanoff reported in yet?” he asked.
“Not yet, sir.”
“Have Agent Romanoff report to me directly upon arrival, understood?”
“Yes, sir,” came the reply.
Kuristein hung the telephone up, still not fully grasping the situation, it seemed almost surreal. Ever since that blasted fool, Major Putin, replaced General Grubozaboyschikov everything had gone to hell. General G. had been replaced because of SMERSH being seen as a barbaric outfit, serving no purpose other than that of cold blooded killing and whose usefulness was decreasing with each new day. General G. and his murder apparatus were starting to become too powerful for their own good. And so, Major Boris Putin, with much support form a highly respected General, took over, in hope of slowly reforming the organization, or if it came to it, shutting down the entire operation for good. However, Putin seemed to be doing little to alter the organization and its brutal methods, already personally responsible for issuing the death warrants for three foreign operatives, and now, hatching a plot to steal such a delicate piece of information such as the microfilm right under the Americans‟ and British noses. Putin had
first proposed his operation to the Heads of State, trying to convince them of the importance of acquiring that microfilm. When they refused, saying that it would be seen an act of war against the Westernized world, Putin took it upon himself to proceed with the operation anyway. Kuristein often found, however, that Putin often became abusive of his power and his new role at SMERSH was no exception. The man was simply unfit to be in command of such an organization.
General Kuristein was a rather short and stocky man, with a head of balding hair and a bushy beard, with a slab of fatty flesh hanging under his chin, but there were few people who would gather the nerve to make insulting, degrading comments towards him. He had joined the Russian army as a young boy, honorably serving until he reached the rank of Colonel, a rank he worked so hard to achieve and few would argue that he earned it. It was shortly after that he was presented with the opportunity of joining the world of espionage when two men approached him from the GRU. He spent the next few years of his life undergoing rigorous training before it was finally decided that he would be transferred to the KGB. He served the KGB as a valuable field agent often receiving promotions
and accommodations from his superiors. He was as surprised as anyone else when, shortly after retiring, he was placed as the Chief KGB Director of Operations.
It was exactly fifteen minutes later when Kuristein‟s telephone rang, he picked it up, “Yes?”
“Sir, Romanoff has arrived.”
“Good,” replied Kuristein and he set the phone down.
One brief minute later, his office door opened and Colonel Yvette Romanoff stepped inside. “You requested to see me, Comrade?” she asked him.
Kuristein nodded, “Yes, have a seat, please.”
Yvette sat down across from the General. Still fairly young, in her early thirties, she was definitely not unattractive to look at with a full head of long red hair that flowed down her slender, sleek black. Her face, made up of soft, white flesh, not clouded by makeup like so many other girls tend to do, giving themselves an unnatural look, consisted of high cheekbones and a wide mouth, red lipstick lightly tracing her smooth lips, and the irises of her eyes were a piercing blue. She was dressed in a white dress shirt with an office skirt.
“I came here as I could after receiving the message, what‟s happened?” she asked with genuine concern in her voice.
“It has been brought my attention that SMERSH has launched an operation to illegally, gain possession of a delicate
microfilm that the Americans had arranged to send to their English allies.” Kuristein told her flatly with no sign of emotion other than spite. “There is little doubt in my mind that they intend on either killing or abducting these
agents for interrogation. They have already sent one of their top assassins, Yuri Korolov, to steal the microfilm and he has already become responsible for the deaths of an English and American operative, last night. The deceased agent‟s countries are demanding vengeance, and the culprits dealt with, are pointing fingers at Mother Russia.”
“With all due respect, Comrade General, how does this directly concern our service at all?” Yvette inquired. “We have always operated outside of SMERSH‟s operations.”
“That is true, but in this age our governments, and those of the Western powers are currently trying to give birth to a new period of peace. The world leaders have decided that this tension between our people has lasted much longer than it should, with hopes of ushering in a new period of Détente. That peace is something that SMERSH is easily in the process of destroying with their little escapade. Tensions are already rising, with the Americans. They won‟t stand to have their agents systematically murdered and the English have already deployed their own man to investigate, no doubt. My superiors have given me specific instructions that we are to retrieve the microfilm to present it to the Americans and English as a peace offering, as well as bringing to justice the conspirators who disobeyed direct orders and set about this fool‟s errand in the first place.”
“How do we locate the SMERSH assassin, ” Yvette asked. “Korolov did you say his name is? I can‟t say that I have ever heard his name mentioned before.” But that came as no surprise to Yvette, she very well knew that SMERSH kept the names of most of their assassins as a secret. Intelligence agencies usually had a very thin dossier on these men, which is if a dossier on them existed to begin with.
“I have been given his schedule for the next week, where he‟ll be and the identities he‟ll be adopting while at those locations. They‟re plan is to gradually get the microfilm into Russia by keeping a very low profile from the English. I believe that British intelligence has already dispatched one of their Double-O people after him and to return the microfilm.”
“And how am I to get the microfilm from him?”
“Do whatever it takes,” Kuristein told her. “Keeping in mind that though Yuri Korolov is wanted alive, he is
nonetheless expendable. I could live without being friends with SMERSH.”
“Yes, Comrade General. What do the Heads of State intend on doing about SMERSH now, surely they won‟t allow the organization to continue any longer after what has just happened. I was also under the impression that General-”
she abruptly paused, silently pronouncing the man‟s name in her mind, then decided to go with something a bit easier. “General G was to be replaced for overseeing operations such as this.”
Kuristein nodded, “Yes, Major Boris Putin is the current Operating Head of SMERSH and has been for the past three months already. He is an arrogant fool in the truest sense of the word. He is worse than his predecessor in most
cases, a power crazed maniac obsessed with carrying out Smiert Spionam. I swear, that madman will single
handedly through our country into war with the United States.” Kuristein clarified. “In fact, the Heads of State have already decided that it is time for SMERSH to be put to a permanent rest. The minute this situation is resolved, the organization is to be disband, and Boris Putin given a military hearing for his actions. That barbaric group of murderers do more harm than good and our leaders are finally beginning to see that,” Kuristein caught himself, he
was rattling on again. He could spend hours on the subject and not even realize it. He handed Yvette some papers. “You have your orders then, you‟re off to Bristol, England.”
Nearly one hour before General Kuristein‟s meeting with Yvette Romanoff, James Bond opened his eyes to find
himself sprawled out on the motel room‟s floor. He sat up, trying to remember his encounter with Korolov. The last thing he recalled was the bullet skimming his shoulder. The Russian assassin had most likely thought he actually shot Bond through the neck, thinking him dead. If Bond had had revealed himself to still be very much alive there was no telling what Korolov would have done. He was in superior position at the time.
Bond got to his feet and walked inside the bathroom, turning the light on and looking at his wound in the mirror. His shoulder still hurt a bit but the bleeding had stopped. Luckily the bullet had not even penetrated him, just neatly and lightly slid across his flesh. Had he not ducked to the side when he did, he probably would no longer have a head resting on his shoulders. Bond rolled his sleeve up and examined the cut across his arm that Korolov‟s knife had given him. It was more of a scratch really, Bond thought, considering himself extremely lucky to have escaped from that encounter with his life. He would have to be more careful in the future, he hated to admit it, of course, but he actually let Korolov take him by surprise, something that often proved to be a fatal error for most agents in the field. Bond took a fresh towel off of the rack, next to the shower, and used it to soak up some of the blood. Fortunately he had not bled enough for it to be seen on his suite jacket so he would not call too much attention to himself, but the shot had torn the shoulder fabric up pretty bad.
Bond picked his Walther up off of the floor and slid it into his leather chest holster, then found his pocketknife from Q Branch and pocketed it after wiping it clean. He spotted the small bullet hole in the wall, a stain of his blood around it, and was glad that the room next door had been vacant.
He walked out of the room and down the hallway to the front desk. “Excuse me, has Donald Winston checked out yet?” Bond asked the clerk, knowing the answer.
The man skimmed through the record book, “Yes, a little over an hour ago.”
Bond nodded his thanks and walked outside to the parking lot to his Aston Martin and pulled away from the motel. Well, Korolov was probably now on his way to Bristol, Bond thought, hoping that he was not yet too late despite Korolov‟s two-hour head start and advantage. As he tore down the main street, he reached his hand into his pocket to pull out the address he had copied out of Korolov‟s papers back at the motel.
As he drove, Bond thought back to what he had read about Yuri Korolov in his dossier earlier this morning in M‟s office. The information available on Korolov was scarce and not very detailed. Korolov had been a long time agent of the KGB, usually used to carry out assassinations, he was an expert at performing stealth kills, getting up to the target and taking it out before it even became aware of what hit it. It was that particular skill that got SMERSH‟s attention and the Soviet murder organization soon recruited him into their ranks. It was unconfirmed, but there remained speculation as to whether or not Korolov went through the same training practices as Red Grant, SMERSH‟s former Chief Executioner. Since then, he had carried out many assassinations on enemy operatives,
mostly European. If that microfilm made it into Russia, Bond wondered how many agents that were listed would Korolov be personally responsible for.
Bond took out a cigarette, lit it, and pressed it between his lips. He only hoped that he‟d make it in time to Bristol.
He had to catch Korolov before he left the country, once he made it into Russia, it would be nearly impossible to catch up with him again.
It was already well into the afternoon by the time Bond arrived in Bristol, the administrative center of the nonmetropolitan county of Avon. The city is found on the lower Avon River. Bond drove through the streets, filled with cars and the sidewalks flowing with pedestrians, slowly, looking for the address he found amongst Korolov‟s
things back in London. Bond also had to admit that he was admiring the scenery with a close eye. Bristol was not without some impressive structures, he soon realized, having already caught a glimpse of the Church of Saint Mary Redcliffe, still standing since it was built back in the fourteenth century. The city also served as an especially fine example of English Gothic style but Bond reminded himself that he did not travel all the way out here to enjoy the sights.
After driving through the streets for nearly a half hour, Bond finally found the address he was after. It was an old bookshop at the end of the block, made of brick with a large front window where rare first editions were proudly on display. So, Bond thought, this is to be Korolov‟s safe house while in Bristol. Bond pulled around the bookshop,
parking the D.B.III a block behind it. He only wished that he had some idea as to what time Korolov was expected here but you couldn‟t get everything.
Bond got out of the car and calmly walked down the sidewalk to the old shop. The sign above the door read: “Zimmerman‟s Rare and Used Books,” then in smaller print, a listing of the store‟s hours. Bond glanced at his Rolex watch, the store would be closing in about an hour from now, it was just past four o‟clock.
Bond crossed the street and headed inside the café on the corner, he would need to eat something to maintain his energy, he thought. Besides, he was sure that Korolov would not appear until after the shop had closed. But just to be completely sure, Bond was most insistent with the waiter that he is given a table up against the front window, giving him the perfect view of the bookshop and those who walked in and out of it. Bond ordered something quick and simple and ended up getting a ham sandwich and a bowl of hot soup, made with fresh vegetables and meat, with a cup of coffee, all black and no sugar. He‟d have to worry about eating a decent meal at another time.
When he was through with his food, Bond headed back to the old bookshop. He nonchalantly strolled through the front door into the shop, the bell fixed at the top of the door letting off a quick jingle, letting the clerk know that a new customer had just come in.
The place could probably be considered a “book warehouse” rather than shop. There were tall aisles upon aisles of shelves, each shelf forming the aisles looked to be about eight feet tall. There were no bare walls. They were blocked by more shelves, all tightly packed with a lot of old looking books.
Bond glanced around, trying to look the part of a book collector who had suddenly gone to heaven, but he did not have to fake his awe, a fair percentage of it being genuine. Bond noted that there were no more than six customers in the place, all browsing around hoping to find their target book that brought them out here.
“May I be of some service to you, sir?”
Bond turned around at the sound of the voice to see the short, bald man with a set of thick glasses over his eyes. The shopkeeper, Bond surmised. “Oh, no, I‟m just looking around, not after anything specific. I‟ll let you know when I am, though,” Bond politely told him while he was in fact wondering if this man himself could be Korolov‟s contact here.
The man nodded and disappeared back to the checkout counter. Bond casually, slowly walked up and down the rows, trying to appear quite impressed with the man‟s collection, while he was actually keeping a close eye on the door. He heard the distinctive sound of the door opening once more and the little bell angrily shaking. Bond stepped back behind one of the tall shelves, well out of sight from anyone. He moved a hardbound book, Tolstoy‟s War and
Peace, to the side so that he‟d be able to see who just came into the store. It was a tall man, at least Bond assumed
that it was a man, the long gray trench coat the figure was clad in gave off no sign of any female shape being present and the wide brimmed hat hid face and hair.
Bond watched with increasing interest as the new arrival went straight over to the front desk, sharing an exchange of words with the bookkeeper. Bond tried to pick up what they were saying but they said it too softly, in what could barely be counted as a whisper. Then, the bookkeeper bobbed his head up and down dumbly, an odd look of fear on his otherwise featureless face. Bond saw the coated figure‟s right arm bend at the elbow, and knew it was most likely holding a gun. Then, the bookkeeper turned around and opened the wood door behind the desk, inviting the strange figure to go inside. Bond never got a clear view of what exactly lay behind the doors, the bookkeeper and his guest had gotten in the way and then the door was slammed shut.
Bond stepped out from the shelf, going over to the desk. He looked out the glass door and spotted a rather old and crusty black van parked out front, up against the curb with the engine running. Bond saw a figure sitting up in the driver‟s seat. A thin, black wall separated him from the back of the vehicle. Bond took note of it, thinking that something was not quite right with this entire situation. Whoever had just went out back to see the bookkeeper
certainly was not Yuri Korolov, that much was obvious. Could somebody else have been after the microfilm? Bond thought, it was entirely possible.
Bond went over to the door, gently trying the knob with no success. Locked. Bond decided to hell with being subtle and pounded on the door with his fist, while using his right hand to withdraw his Walther PPK, holding it low in the event that a customer was looking in his direction. The door opened two inches to the sound of a man‟s voice whispering, “It‟s about bloody time you‟ve showed up, we have some problems upstairs.”
Bond had no idea who this man was but wasted no time in taking guesses. Stepping forward he shoved the tip of his foot between the open space, stopping the door from being able to fully shut, and pressed the barrel of his pistol into the man‟s gut. “Move back from the door.” Bond instructed. “Now!” he barked.
The man did so and Bond walked past the door, shutting it behind him. He found himself in a particularly large room, a storage room actually, about twice the size of the actual store, and it was filled with boxes and wooden crates. The ceiling hung twenty feet above Bond‟s head, filled with rafters and beams for support. Bond, also taking
note that the shopkeeper and the man in the coat were nowhere to be seen, turned his attention over to the alarmed man, of medium height and build, who had answered the door. “You‟re not Yuri,” he unprofessionally blurted out at
Bond with an English accent.
Bond nodded, keeping the Walther trained on the man, “You‟re right, I‟m not, and if you‟d like to live to see another day you‟ll start telling me where Korolov is and where the clerk just went off to with that coated man. But
first,” Bond stepped up to the man and relieved him of a revolver in his beneath his jacket. Bond set the gun down on a crate, well out of the man‟s reach. “Go ahead, then, you may speak, and feel free to be heavy on the details.”
The man shook his head, terrified, “I just assist the bookkeeper, Hutchers, he‟s the one you want to talk with.”
“Where‟s „Hutchers‟ then?” Bond inquired.
The man, beads of sweat starting to pour down his forehead, made a gesture towards the far rear of the room where a set of wooden stairs went up ten feet to a closed door set in the wall. Just below it, was another door, probably leading out into the alley Bond surmised. “The man in the long coat took him up there. He told me to stay down here and wait for Korolov to arrive.”
“Is he one of Korolov‟s men?” Bond asked.
The man shook his head, “No, I‟ve no idea who he is, he came in here asking for Korolov, then they went upstairs.”
“Tell me about him,” Bond ordered. “What did he look like?”
“He spoke with a Russian accent and had a pistol, I‟ve no idea what kind. I never got a clear glimpse of his face but he had dark hair and a mustache.”
Either SMERSH or KGB, Bond concluded. But if the man was not associated with Korolov that ruled out SMERSH, leaving the unlikely possibility that the KGB were tangled up in this mess somehow. “Hutchers, he‟s the Russians‟ contact in Great Britain, isn‟t he?”
The man‟s head bobbed up and down once, fearfully, “Yes, I‟m just his assistant, helping him look after the store
but he got me involved with his work a few years ago. He told me that he‟d kill me if I ever tried to tell anyone or escape.”
Bond did not completely believe the man‟s story but he seemed to be telling the truth. On the verge of tears, the man was rambling on, clearly prepared to start pleading Bond for life should it came to that. “Is the room up there locked?” Bond asked of him.
The man did not say anything but reached a hand in his pocket to retrieve a key and tossed it into Bond‟s waiting hand. “All right,” Bond told him. “You‟d better just close this shop down for the day and leave.”
A look of relief washed over the man‟s face immediately upon hearing Bond‟s words. For a minute he just stood there, then turned and headed for the door. Both men were taken completely by surprise when the door flew open. All Bond had to see before diving to the side, behind one of the crates, was the glimpse of a gun barrel. Unfortunately, the other man had not been so lucky and he took a shot to the head and collapsed to the floor.
Bond heard the gunman enter the room and the click of the door shutting and locking. He carefully glanced over the corner of the crate, not the least bit surprised to see Yuri Korolov standing over the fresh corpse. He had probably heard Bond‟s entire conversation with the poor man. In his gloved hand was a Smith & Wesson, Bond could not tell what type from his current position, ready to be fired a second time should the need arise.
Korolov scanned the storage facility with his eyes, knowing that the Englishman was around here someplace. He began to walk through rows of crates and boxes, just four feet away from Bond‟s place of concealment. Bond could make out the form of the man‟s shadow moving slowly across the floor, studying it to pinpoint Korolov‟s exact
position in the room. He would not allow the Russian to get the better of him again. Bond took in a deep breath, and used his legs, like springs, to launch himself from behind the crate. Korolov whirled about instantly, but he was still too slow. Bond‟s gun let off two shots in quick succession and Korolov‟s chest exploded in a red mess. Chances were that he never saw it coming.
Bond bent down to he body, feeling its clothes for any unnatural bulges and soon came up with the microfilm canister. Mission accomplished, he was about to turn and head for the rear exit when the door, the one at the top of the stairs, opened. The figure of the mysterious man in the trench coat blocked the open doorway, gun in hand. Bond dived hard to the side as the lead projectile punched a hole in the floor off to his right. Bond rolled his body out of the way of a second shot, and let off another round from his PPK, forcing the man to back away into the room, out of sight. Bond took advantage of the man‟s momentarily setback and jumped to his feet, breaking into a sprint for
the door. As he neared the door he blasted the lock to smithereens and threw himself through it, into the alley. From back inside, he could hear the footsteps of the attacker coming down the stairs. He cursed aloud and took off down the alley.
Tires squealed as the dark form of the bulky van Bond had seen earlier appeared at the far end of the alley. Bond wasted no time in turning himself around and heading out he opposite end. He turned the corner and had to run one more block before he found his Aston Martin D.B.III right where he had left it earlier. He slid inside the driver‟s seat and took a moment to catch his breath, sure that the van, now probably having picked up the man in the trench coat, would be here soon. He reached across the seat, underneath the glove box and felt for the hidden release mechanism to open the secret compartment, the same one where he kept his Colt 45. hidden and slid the microfilm canister into and shut it. He slid his keys into the ignition and, revving the engine, took off for the quickest way out of Bristol. Once he got moving, the van would pose no threat to the D.B.III, there was no way that they could outrun Bond now.
Just as Bond tore off down the street, the man in trench coat ran up to the side of the van, sliding the side door open and throwing himself inside as it started moving again. “Well, Pavel?” Yvette Romanoff asked, sitting comfortably in the seat next to him. Behind her was another Russian officer, a large broad shouldered brute of a man with unkempt and greasy black hair with a thick beard, smoking a cigar, as he always seemed to be doing. He did not say anything to the newcomer, ignoring his arrival.
The new arrival took in a deep, relaxing gulp of air before replying. “I found the bookkeeper but he tried something, I had to shoot him. Shortly after I found a Russian man, who must have been Korolov, shot twice through the chest along with the bookkeeper‟s assistant. Now, it would seem that their murderer has the microfilm. There was nothing
I could do stop him.”
“Who is he?”
Pavel shrugged, “I couldn‟t tell, I never got a close look at his face, but he‟s the man who arrived in the Aston Martin earlier this afternoon.”
“It does not sound like he‟s associated with SMERSH,” Yvette concluded. “Major Putin would not have someone sent to eliminate his own operative.”
Pavel shook his head, “I seriously doubt if he was even Russian. Possibly a freelancer, maybe wanting to put the microfilm out on the market, that would certainly turn in a nice profit.”
“Whoever he is, we have to stop him, he can‟t be allowed to get away with the microfilm.”
Pavel nodded his head in agreement, “Right, let‟s go.”
The van lurched as it pulled into the main street that runs throughout Bristol, packed with cars. “It looks like he‟s just got off at the exit up ahead,” the driver stated, his head slightly sticking out of his open window.
Yvette, unable to see the driver because of the divider separating them, still clearly heard him. “Good, we‟ll go off at
the next exit and cut him off.”
Bond took the exit off of the main street and onto an empty country road, void of oncoming traffic. Taking this route back to London would be a slight delay, adding an extra hour onto his drive, but it would also be less likely for someone to find him. Though his mind still raced with the question of who those people in the van were, he was only concerned now with getting the microfilm back to the Regent‟s Park headquarters. M would certainly be quite
please with the ease in which Bond was able to complete this assignment. Now, Bond had just a relaxing ride to worry about, assuming that the man and his friends in the van did not catch up him with but that seemed like a farfetched possibility. Even if they did know what type of car Bond drove, which would have meant that they had been keeping close tabs on him, they did not see him pull away from the bookshop and so had no idea as to what direction he was going in.
Bond pressed his foot onto the gas pedal, increasing his speed up to eighty miles per hour as the Aston Martin shot down the road. After a minute, he lit a cigarette, the kind that he has specially made from fine Turkish tobacco, and set it between his lips and replaced the gunmetal case in his pocket. This also gave Bond the opportunity to fully test out the Aston Martin D.B.III. He had yet to have the chance to test out the car‟s full potential.
High above, the night sky appeared and the full moon‟s glow illuminated the landscape. Bond flipped on his
headlights, keeping them at as low a setting as possible. Soon, he knew, he would be fighting himself to stay awake, he‟d probably go straight to bed whenever he finally made it back to his flat in Chelsea tonight, which Bond realized,
might not happen until early in the morning. M would probably request a complete debriefing of what happened, then they‟d have to contact the Americans.
Up ahead the road a bit, far from Bond‟s line of sight, the van pulled to a stop at the end of the intersection and the
side door slid open. Yvette and Pavel and the ugly man got out of the van, the engine still running but all lights shut off. Pavel pointed to the set of oncoming headlights in the middle of the road. “That‟s him,”
Yvette nodded in confirmation, the lights lit up the car enough so as to be able to identify its shape. “Get ready than,”
The ugly man to her left held a small sized grenade, a Molotov cocktail. He prepared himself to hurl it before the oncoming target.
A part of Bond also regretted that this assignment was already over, it meant that he would be returning to, what he commonly called the “soft life” for the next couple of months or so, the dull period between assignments when there existed nothing for him to do but fill out reports and files. Bond quickly put the idea out of his head when it happened.
Bond had no idea as to what hit him. One minute speeding down the plain road and the next minute, the surface just mere feet in front of him exploded in a massive fireball, spraying chunks of dirt and grass and other particles of debris in all directions. The immediate flash had well near completely blinded Bond. He acted instinctively, gripping the steering wheel with both hands and sharply steering his car out of the way of the flaming hole in the ground. That worked out well enough until a second explosion erupted off to his side, this one almost flipping the D.B.III over onto its side but thanks to Bond‟s quick maneuvering skills, it just rocked the car, sending it out of control.
Bond slammed his foot on the brake and struggled to keep the car straight with no avail. He skidded hard off of the side of the road, coming to halt in the ten-foot ditch below.
The Aston Martin was laying on its top. Bond, still strapped into his seat and bleeding from a cut to the forehead, could clearly see that the roof was cracked and the rest of the car probably dented pretty badly. He shook his head, as if awaking from a deep sleep, and pulled himself out through the shattered window. Painstakingly, he staggered to get back onto his feet. The crash did not hurt so much as it left him in a daze, his brain still not even fully comprehending what had just took place.
Christ, Bond thought to himself, what he hell had hit him? He hadn‟t even seen a thing. He glanced up at the road, a
fair portion still bathed in a burning glow, and he caught a glimpse of two figures standing at the edge of the road, staring down at him. One of the two figures looked decidedly female, Bond thought.
Then, Bond remembered the microfilm and decided it would be best to leave it in the car for now, it was not going anywhere and no matter how hard they searched, they‟d never come across the hidden compartment. It would be much more safer there than on his person. He reached into his coat and pulled the Walther out from his holster, not sure what he intended to do with it, but it was there if he‟d need it.
Bond stepped clear of the wrecked car, struggling to keep his balance. He felt a sudden pain at he back of his head, then collapsed to the ground unconscious.
The ugly Russian man, still puffing at a reeking cigar, stood behind Bond‟s body. He had clubbed the man across the base of the skull with his powerful fists, fingers interlocked together to form a hard blow. He bent down to lift Bond up by the armpits and dragged him out of the ditch.
James Bond opened his eyes and his first realization was that he had a splitting headache that seemed to surge throughout his entire brain. He tried to sit up and found that his hands were cuffed and strapped down to something, as were his ankles. He looked around, finding himself tied down to the rear bench seat of the van. A small, square light on the ceiling lit up the small cabin.
“He‟s awake, now,” a voice said in Russian.
Bond cocked his head to the side to see three people seated in front of him, one was a girl and Bond identified the other as the man in the trench coat back at the bookshop.
“Good,” a female voice replied. “I told you that you shouldn‟t have hit him so hard.”
“Who the hell are you people?” Bond managed to say, realizing that his throat was dried out and tender.
“My name is Yvette Romanoff,” the girl told him. “The man to my right is Dimitris, and I believe that you‟ve already briefly met Pavel in Bristol.”
“KGB.” Bond stated in a matter of fact voice.
“Yes, that is correct, very astute of you. Now,” she said with her voice taking on a new level of seriousness. “I strongly urge you to handover the microfilm before my associates are forced to get too physical with you.”
Bond‟s reply to her was to spit out a gross obscenity at them.
“If that is the way you‟ll have it,” Yvette turned to the two thugs. “Pavel, you search his car,”
The smallest of the pair nodded and left the van. Then, the other one, Dimitris, opened the lid of a black briefcase. Bond saw that his hands were busily trying to accomplish something but could not tell what exactly. He learned the answer to that when Dimitris came over to him with a medical syringe in his hand.
Bond felt the sleeve on his arm being rolled up just above the elbow, then came the prick of the needle as the chemical was pumped into his bloodstream. Then everything turned into a blurry collage of images and he passed out, dead to the world.