JAMES BOND: COUNTDOWN MELTDOWN BOOK TWO

CHAPTER ONE: OCEANUS

MELTDOWN

OCEANUS

CASPIEN SEA

“Bastion, sir?”

“.…. Empty, isn’t it”

“.…. Yes- sir…..”

“And, the hold?”

“Checked, as per your request….. There is nobody on board the last submersible…..”

“.…. Seal the entrance! Release the sharks into the pond….. Somebody, is here….. I, can- feel them….. Initiate a search of all tube stations and levels…..”

“Yes- sir!”

Bastion, turned away from the pond, and caught an immediate security interest; out of the corner of his right eye.

“Check the vents too….. They may be using the duct- work, ventilation systems…..”


Armed with: Armalite, M-15 semi- automatic defensive rifles; black, full- body skin suits- with masks and goggles, as uniforms; for their recognition of service, the frog- divers guardsmen hurry through the entry corridor, the leader separating them into three groups of six as they reach the three way tube walkway system, that leads to different locations of the underwater sanctuary.

One patrol assigned to the west tube and one assigned to the east, the leader lead the final patrol into the central tube.

The frogman at the head of the patrol- marching men through the west spanning tube-way; paused fast before a security access hatchway. To the silent man’s visual inspections, the security systems for the door had been set up for eye scanning and for fingerprint identification.

“Well? What are you waiting for?”

One of the remaining six frogmen questioned the other; as he approached the sealed hatch.

“.…. I’ new here….. How does this door work again?”

The questioning frogman, shook his head- in irritation, and shoved the other- roughly out of his way. Removing his goggles and his right hand glove; the unidentified frogman allowed his eyes and fingerprints to be scanned.

"If this job, is too tough for you, maybe you should return to the barracks…..”

The frogman smarted, as he began to- move forward; to take the lead. The other, quickly- intercepting him by tripping him up, spinning him quickly about; and by slamming- hard his face, into the eye scanner scree. The screen sparked as the glass cracked from the impact.

“No really not all that difficult at all….” Bond commented.

Felix Leiter and Melony Fox, immediately engaged the other two frogman; as Bond- held the door. The experienced double- o’ agent leaning in the hatch- way; his arms crossed. Fox, was making- quite the impression on Bond, the frogman she was fighting- taken down; in a matter of- seconds. Felix, he drew on a few grimaces- from the double- o’ agent, as the lone enemy planted a couple of good blows to Felix’s face and ribs; before he was taken down.

“Getting old, Felix?”

“.…. No older than you…..”

“Right! Just, out of practice then…..”

“Yeah, well you know how it is James…..”

“No more desk assignments for you Felix…..”

“Tell that to my superiors…..”

Melony Fox, called on the two; from inside the hatch- way. Bond ,removed his mask and- goggles.

’Right, then….. Felix? You and Melony, find your way to the control room….. I am on my way to announce myself to Bastion….. Keep your covers…. No one needs to know of anybody but myself as being here…..”

“Right! You be careful James…..”

“You too, old man…..”


MI6 AWAY OPERATIONS

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

“Minister?”

“One minute, Q…. I am on the line with military affairs……”

Q, paced the office; the young technological genius of a man from Q- Branch, attempting to avoid the- unintentional listening in; on his superiors’ conversation.

“Quartermaster?”

“Yes, beg pardon Minister?”

“Speak freely, Q…..”

“Yes, Minister….. We- have the location, of the underwater sanctuary; that is now one of the base of Iranian operations for S.P.E.C.T.R.E…..”

“And?”

“Yes, Minister….. There is, a major complication…... The sanctuary, it is being powered- by a nuclear core; as its energy source…..”

“Nuclear reactor?”

“Yes, Minister…..”

“Bollocks! Any armed incursion, of military involvement; can trigger a nuclear explosion at sea…..”

“Yes, Minister…..”

I will contact our allies….. We will have to wait on Bond….. Before we can even act; the- reactor powering this underwater S.P.E.C.T.R.E sanctuary- will have to be shut down…..”

“Yes, Minister…..”

“Good work, Q….. Return to Q- Branch….. I, have sent you- the schematics, for a special request…..”

“Yes, Minister…..”


OCEANUS

CASPIEN SEA

Jasmine Lynx, caught on to the sounds of an intruder’s- lightened foot steps- immediately; as she- feigned her sleep, her right hand- cautiously reaching; for the handle of her knife, stowed in a belt sheath- beneath her sheets; as the assassin- concealed in black crept slowly upon her, his own knife raised; the blade drawn ready, to enact upon his- sinister intentions. Someone moving- quickly behind the assassin caught his attention.

The concealed killer swung at the moving target with- his knife. The unexpected visitor, easily blocking the assassins swing; with a raising of his- left arm. James Bond, wrestled the knife- from the assassin’s grip, nearly breaking the man’s arm. Jasmine Lynx, rose from her guest bed; the thief fully clothed in a tight black and red skin suit of her own. The molded suit, detailing to any onlooker- each and every contour of the young woman’s: voluptuous curves. The assassin, now in: a choke hold; Bond took one good look at the thief.

“Always, sleep in your tights?”

Bond- questioned the girl teasingly, as the assassin- passed out; from lack of oxygen, and- slumped unconscious to the tiles of the guest quarters’ floor. Jasmine Lynx returned Bond’s smile, with only a smirk of his hint coming to light of her senses.

“Only in enemy territory, Mister Bond…..”

“.…. Yes, you have- heard of me; haven’t you? Well, no matter….... No time, for us to be- properly introduced….. Where, can I find Bastion?”

The smile on Jasmine Lynx’s face widened.

“I’ll take you to him…..”


Felix Leighter and Melony Fox, found the control room easy enough. Staying in the guise of two- of the frogman guards. General Cho, of the Peoples Republic of China; he was under the impression that they were the guards assigned to watch over him. Although, the two unidentified guardsmen were a few minutes late to report to their assigned stations; they quickly took up their appropriate positions, the kept quiet, and most important to Cho; they stayed out of his way.

Felix Leighter tensed, as the doors to the control room slid open. The man named Bastion and his three body guards entered the room. These- body guards, by Felix’s recognition: expertly trained killers, regarded- by some as: the three twin brothers- of death’s grip. Bastion, glanced at- the two guards, and relieved them with a wave of his hand; the three brothers escorting Felix and Fox in their guises back out into the corridor. Maintaining their cover, Felix and Fox stood by the entry; the two listening the best they could.

“Progress report?”

“Terminus, will be ready for launch; as scheduled…..”

“Excellent….. And, the catalyst points?”

“All are fully operational….. Satellite catalyst sync is now commencing…..”

“Good work General….. S.P.E.C.T.R.E, rewards success…..”

General Cho, simply nodded on this comment; the man knowing full well how S.P.E.C.T.R.E rewards successes and failures.

“Oh, fear not General….. You still have, uses….. Launch Terminus, on schedule; and you will be safe here- with us, and only a select few; that we choose to allow entry….... Boris? Escort the General- back to his quarters, that he may prepare for dinner….. Mind me now, General….. I dislike tardiness….... Bram, Brice? Check on- our security sweeps…... I will be waiting inside my office…..”

The three brothers, bowed to the man named Bastion in silence. Bastion smiled.

“You see- their obedience General? The brothers, they know how to properly give all due respect their superiors…..”

General Cho, began to sweat; as he is escorted, by the older of the three twins; out of the- control room.


MI6 AWAY OPERATIONS

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Q- Branch

Q, puzzled over the new Quartermaster request; for automobile- reconstruction, in silence. The work of his many assistants now going on around him, seemingly committed; as being work unnoticed by their superior. The head of MI6Q- Branch, failing to notice someone of an honored presence; in an- unexpectedly timed, surprise visitation; that is now entering his work shop, as he regularly does. The quartermaster, being claimed as one of the busiest; of all MI6 agents, by- Q in his own recollections anyway.

M, shook his head as he passed the multiple activities in gadget research; that are ongoing inside Q- Branches: development laboratories. Though, this equipment is getting to be more of a practical type of gearing by many a consideration; the costs, they never seem to change.

No more stinging umbrellas, that clamp down on a person’s head; with razors that bite deep into the necks of those carrying them, with the press of a trigger. No more rocket launching pens, that have not- quite yet been perfected.

Yet, still; Q, he keeps coming up with many an outrageous idea for his Necessary Agent Protection Gadgetry Equipment (N.A.P.G.E). M, quietly rubs the temples of his forehead, as he passed by a dummy exploding as a cigarette is lit, the researcher stumbling as he- runs for cover.

“.…. Q?”

“.…. Ah, Minister…… Never yet, have you graced us with your presence…..”

“.….. The place, it gives me many a headache….. I don’t believe that exploding cigarettes apply under the regulations of what is N.A.P.G.E; and what is not…..”

“Yes Minister….. It was a special request from double- o’ nine….. He claims them to be a necessity, in flushing out- an assassin that incinerates his victims; with their own smokes- as they sleep….”

“Firebug- arsonist? It used to be, Q; back- in the day, when MI-6 first began their active- operations; that the only concerns, from- the bad guys; were to be: where they were hiding, what guns the carried, and what influences the had secured in their pockets…..”

“Yes, Minister…..”

“No matter….. I am here to aid you in your- project”

“Minister?!”

“Don’t sound so surprised, Q….. Every one gets their start from one branch of service or another….. I’ve spent time in Q- Branch many a day before receiving my status…..”

“Yes, Minister…..”

“Let’s get started…..”


OCEANUS

CASPIEN SEA

James Bond, and Jasmine Lynx were both cautiously silent; as the thief led the double o’ agent through the corridors, of the service access- way. The woman, for Bond’s assessing on her- character: all too familiar with her surroundings.

After several minutes- of quickly navigated guided turns, Jasmine Lynx whispered: “This access- way has corridors that lead to every room of the underwater sanctuary….. Bastion’s idea, on keeping quiet tabs on any visitors that may present a threat to his position…..”

“You seem to be: extraordinarily familiar with these corridors- Lynx…..” Bond remarked, in the same hushed tone. “But, no matter….. As long as you know the way to our destination…..”

Jasmine Lynx, smiled deviously as she proceeded onward.

“A lady, in so- hazardous a business; such as myself, Mister Bond; she- must take special care in the knowledge of her surroundings at all times…..”

“On this, I have very little doubt, Miss Lynx…..”

“.…. Call me Lynx?”

“As you wish….. Bastion’s office?”

“.…. Right this way…..”

Jasmine Lynx led Bond through a secret exit, from the access- way, positioned east of the forward access gate; leading to the servant’s quarter.

“It would- appear, Lynx; that- Bastion too; must take great care, in the knowledge of his- surroundings…..”

The secret exit opened- into the room beyond silently. Bond, grabbed hold- of Lynx’s left- hand, as the two crept into the reception room of Bastion’s office.

On sight of a man- sitting behind the desk, with his back turned- away from the reception room; Bond and Lynx- ducked low, the two- taking up positions; on each side- of the open entry- way; leading into Bastion’s office.

Bond pulled his revolver free from its holster; his Walther PPK, snug in the grip of his right hand. Jasmine Lynx, quietly unsheathed her knife; the two- taking great care, in not making any noise.

“My, my, my….. Such- civility, lacking- of professional trust; is not rightly necessary from two of my guests…..”

Bond, shook his head grudgingly; as he returned his weapon to its holster.

“Come now- Mister Bond, Miss Lynx; I have been expecting you…..”

Jasmine Lynx’s eyes opened wide, the thief of a girl; pointing to herself, shaking her head; whispering that she didn’t do it. Bond raised his hands in assurance to the other, and then nodded toward the office- of their host. Jasmine Lynx, quickly returned her knife- to its sheath.

Bond and Lynx entered Bastion’s office- at the same time. Bond quickly scanning his surroundings, with an intuitive minded experienced intelligence; while he maintained a strong hold of his position.

“If I had been privileged by your advance knowledge of my arrival; I would have dressed appropriately Proprietor Smyth…..”

Bastion, clapped his hands in rewarding of the others’ wisdom.

“.…. Yes, Mister Bond….. Proprietor of this sanctuary, and of many known international- museums located around the world…..”

The main entry door to Bastion’s office opened slowly, allowing three new- comers entry. Without looking, Bastion acknowledged their presence.

“If you two- would be so kind, as to lay your weapons down upon the reception table; we can prepare- for the evening’s activities…….. Mind me now, the Las Tres Murtes; they- do not take too kindly to guns and to knives…..”

James Bond calmly complied with- the expected request from his host, the- British Secret Service agent nodding to Jasmine Lynx; in a silent recommendation that she do the same.

“The three deaths? Intriguing….. All though, there are many ways for a man to die…..”

Bond commented, as the menacing looking trio took up multiple positions; blocking each exit from Bastion’s office.

“Do have a seat- Mister Bond, Miss Lynx….. We shall have one other joining us for dinner…..”

“.…. Chinese?” Bond Smarted.

Bastion, now turned to face his two guests.

“Very wise- of information, you are Mister Bond….... I assume, that is a reference of the- generals’ presence..... I believe, that we- are to be dining on: Cantonese- style beef, with oyster sauce….. “

“Almost like Chinese…..” Bond Joked.

“As, the two of you are to be in my company now for many days; I feel it may be time for- full disclosure…..”

The low beeping sounds from the Sanctuary’s interlinked communication system brought Bastion to a pause of his intentions.

“.…. By, your pardons? I, am a very busy man…..”

Bastion played the incoming communication live over the intercom.

“Bastion, sir?”

“Yes, guardsmen….. speak your business…..”

“We have captured an intruder attempting to access the Terminus Codex…..”

Bond, rolled his eyes; and crossed his arms in silence, the double- o’ agent sitting straight and tall.

“Escort this prisoner to my office, and mind me guardsmen- do not harm her…..”

“Yes, Bastion; by your orders sir!”

“.…... Such devotion, from ones so young…... It looks like, we shall have- one more guest this evening….. What a gathering it shall be…..”

Bond’s thoughts now dwell on C.I.A agent Felix Leiter. If Felix too has been captured, all may be lost.


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