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 Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"

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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:29 am

Where needed research as ever has been undertaken and thereby any errors within are mine own.

--

PROLOGUE

“South by Southernmost”

HMS Belligerent, off the Ross Ice Shelf
Ross Sea/McMurdo Sound, Southern Antarctica


The sight of a Type-22 frigate was often a source of interest but none more so than when present in the frozen wastes of the icy continent, Antarctica. In this day and age of aircraft, modern communications and the like the continent had lost some of its mystique yet the frigates crew were in some quarters awestruck by the same vista that Shackleton, Amundsen et al first saw ninety years before.
Strictly speaking McMurdo Sound was American but beyond that this portion along the coast (the former Great Barrier, now Ross Ice Shelf) was New Zealand’s territory. The Belligerent was here acting on Admiralty orders.
BEWARE ARGENTINE AGGRESSION IN ANTARCTICA.
Admiralty orders were expansive: in recent weeks continuing tensions that started after the Second World War, Argentina had continued to disprove British claims in this region and had made the odd trouble. In recent weeks a frigate of their own had been sent to their Argentine Antarctic Territory prompting Belligerent’s dispatch from Hong Kong. She was a good ship, just over ten years old with some action in the Falklands. Amidst all the floating ice here, she looked unreal. Battleship grey did not compliment winter white.
“Faint contact on scopes, sir. Just round Scott Island.”
The captain of the frigate crossed the fire control room of the ship and stood behind the speaker –one of his radar and sonar men. Like the others he wore the blue overall and white coverings that had been in the navy for generations. “Pack ice?”
“Definitely man made, sir. Temperature reading is higher than the surroundings,” the younger officer indicated a monitor above their heads that showed temperature readings. The monitor showed deep red in the middle of a spikey graph display. “Contact is also moving at about ten knots.”
“Better than us,” muttered the skipper as he rocked back straightening. The frigate was being hindered by ice. This was the time of year that large bergs formed, particularly from the Ross Shelf. “Number one, this is the captain. Ready Sea Dart.”
“Aye, sir.”
Sea Dart’s had proved almost costly in the Falklands. Early on they had their teething trouble but now they were trusted. Besides Sea Dart (SAM) there was Sea Wolf (anti-air) and a host of other armaments.  
“We could launch the Lynx sir,” suggested the first officer.
“Too cold,” the captain went to his chair in the control room. It always made him feel as if he were sat upon a throne such was its lofty position. What would Nelson have made of this? Hidden under deck, dim lights, computers and a chair to look over all?
“Contact making fifteen knots now sir. Judging by its propellers it must be one of their Type 42’s.”
In one of those fantastic ironies of history, Britain had sold Argentina some Type 42 frigates in the late sixties. Not many and not well kept.  
“Inform the Admiralty and make a note of our location.”
“Missile!”
The captain left his chair. “What?”
The radar officer looked over his shoulder. “Missile inbound; speed four hundred miles per hour and increasing.”
“Evasive starboard. Deploy the chaff and put jammers to full.”
Belligerent came to life moving off to starboard nudging aside a small berg as she did so. Two puffs of red shot into the air blossoming above the frigate like lax fireworks. Monitors showed the missile coming in with a shallow arc behind it. It slammed into the bow of the Britisher exploding on contact. All hell broke loose. The frigate staggered then drunkenly listed to port. Her bow had been blunted, taking much of the explosion. Below decks fires raged with crews responding immediately.
“Have we a bearing on the contact?” the captain shouted above alarms.
“Aye, sir.”
“Then launch the ruddy missiles! Comms, inform Admiralty we have been fired upon and am responding. Requesting they send help. Take days I know but we might need it.”
The frigate launched two Sea Wolves that quickly took shape in the sky criss-crossing over McMurdo Sound they arced in past Mount Erebus and then Mount Terror before coming down somewhere off Oates Land.
Radar lifted his headphones off: “We got him! Explosion heard sir.”
“Calm down. Damage report number one?”
“Down five degrees at the head but we can move.”
“Casualties?”
“Five dead, two wounded.”
“Let’s get going then, check out the area.”
It took a few hours to get round out from McMurdo Sound all the while ignoring radio signals from the American base at Scott Point at McMurdo Sound. When they reached the sea around the coast they sighted large portions of debris. There were also dead bodies that floated amongst it all like guardians of the wreckage.
“Sir, those uniforms,” said a lookout clad in thick, heavy winter gear along with his skipper on the port bridge wing. “Those…”
“I know,” said the captain hollowly. “They’re American.”
Worst fears were confirmed when some of the debris was taken onboard. Part of the enemy ships stern had been found with a name – USS WILKES.
“Inform the Admiralty,” the captain said turning into the bridge. “It seems we’ve sunk an American destroyer.”

**

Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, London
A few days later


“If the event itself that prompted this enquiry was not shocking in itself, so the speed of the enquiry has proved surprising. The Royal Navy have led the way in organising this Board of Inquest held here under full public scrutiny with a cross-party board of MP’s included in the panel…”
The reporter on the steps of the MoD gestured to the impressive entrance of the building. “In there, the future of the Royal Navy is being debated. The fate of the Belligerent that sank USS Wilkes, and possibly that of the Special Relationship itself. Rumours of an American fleet deployment from Hawaii have been denied by the US Embassy and US State Department…”
The double doors of the enquiry room flew open to a blaze of bulbs and shouts of questions. Everyone moved when Admiral Sir Joseph Roebuck stormed through the doors flanked by his staff. He was blissfully oblivious to the press that were tumbling over each other trying to get out of his way.
“How the bloody hell do they think we operate in the navy?” Roebuck snapped not breaking his stride as they headed down the marble corridor. “Civilians thinking the Royal Navy should bend to their will. Belligerent acted in self-defence against what she thought was a damned Argie frigate!”
“Sir, our intelligence showed no Argentine ship in the area after all,” said one of his aides almost jogging to keep up.
“We sent a frigate just for that reason! Are you suggesting our intelligence is faulty, commander?”
“It’s not just intelligence that’s faulty, sir. The ships computers show an irregular positioning report.”
“Who was out of position?” demanded Roebuck as they turned through the doors of the MoD onto the street still flanked by press.
“The American ship. She was fed false position to get her off George V Land.”
Roebuck opened the rear right side door of a jet black Bentley. He paused to look at his staff. “I want every single piece of data analysed and looked over. We are going to be open with this board but I need to know what exactly happened in the south.”
Climbing into the car alone he looked at the driver’s reflection in the rearview mirror. “SIS.”

**

Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Headquarters, Vauxhall, SE1

“Michael.”
“Joe, I wish this had been under better circumstances.”
“You can say that again,” Roebuck said sitting before the great wooden desk. “I don’t know what the PM has told you but the RN needs some backup.”
The man known as M sat behind his desk lighting his pipe. He offered a box of cigarettes; Roebuck took one accepting a light. Waving the match away M looked through the smoke at his old friend. “PM has told me that MI6 must find out what happened. This after our intelligence finding.”
“What’s that?”
“CINCPACFLT’s feed was interrupted from a satellite that orbits over the southern hemisphere,” M said dryly. “Long enough for the Wilkes to be directed over George V Land way. She received orders to take action against possible foreign intervention at McMurdo Sound. False information there.”
“Quite thin,” said Roebuck quietly. “The bodies of the men found…some were machine gunned. British calibre.”
“Curious, considering the Belligerent took four hours to get there by which time anyone that had gone into the water had been dead for hours.”
“Someone’s playing us for fools,” Roebuck growled. “On top of this the Americans are sending their Pacific Fleet on an ‘exercise’ towards Hong Kong.”
“Fortunate we have our fleet there,” M said. “PM is concerned that we might be fighting our first war since 1812 with the Americans sooner than later.”
“What about this signal that interrupted the feed? Do we know where it came from?”
“Damndest thing…it seems from inside London.”
“You’re going to get someone on this?”
M nodded. “Our best man of course.”
“Of course.”

Timothy Dalton’s JAMES BOND in THE CRIMSON HOUR

From Tomorrow Never Dies

MICHAEL KITCHEN, CAROLINE BLISS, GEOFFREY PALMER, GEOFFREY RUSH and ROBERT BROWN as M


Last edited by Hilly KCMG on Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:46 am; edited 12 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:25 am

Right on schedule. ;)

I look forward to reading this tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:31 am

coco1997 wrote:
Right on schedule. ;)

I look forward to reading this tonight.

It's not going anywhere fast.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:42 pm

Excellent work, Hilly. :study:
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:03 am

Thanks Coco. See where this one goes now.

--

CHAPTER ONE

“Assignment”


James Bond turned his Aston Martin V8 Vantage right off London Wall into a side road away from the Museum of London. A dark foreboding shadow fell over his car blocking out the brilliant sunset lighting over London. The Barbican. A cement fortress of hideous design owing more to Hitler’s Luftwaffe than anything else. He parked in the car park that lay exposed in a wide sub-surface area, walking up in his tuxedo to the Barbican itself. Spotlights played across the front of the building between them was a banner that read ‘CARVER INTERNATIONAL LAUNCH’. Inside the lobby of the Barbican were various guests and large numbers of the press. Bond accepted a glass of wine from a passing waiter and stood against a pillar coolly watching the people.
As with most assignments it had started in M’s office before moving onto Tanner’s where the chief of staff –tie loosened and cigarette in mouth- handed Bond the instructions that were promptly burned.
“Seems the signal that took out CINCPACFLT’s satellite was coming from a building in the City. Some minor office block but one rented by Max Carver.”
Bond had looked up. “Maximillian Carver, the Australian media tycoon?”
“The very same cleverly named man, yes James.”
Moneypenny had handed over a photo of the man. Average height, receding dark hair and narrow almost snake like eyes. He had come from nothing in the 1960s to command the greatest media empire that ever had been. Even William Randolph Hearst had nothing on what Carver now had. His Carver News Group (CNG) was UK based with operations all over the world.
“He’s launching Carver International tonight, the new twenty-four hour channel,” said Moneypenny. She took off her glasses chewing on an end thoughtfully. “Twenty-four hour news, every single minute of the day…”
“The end of civilisation as we know it,” commented Bond handing the photo back. “The launch?”
“Barbican,” Tanner made a face. “Guest list reads like Who’s Who? of London and the world at large. Some members of Royalty, the government etc. We’ve got you in James. Marine troubleshooter.”
“Marine trouble-shooter? What the hell’s that?”
“You decide,” Tanner chuckled. “M is taking this seriously. When the honour of the Navy’s called into question…”
Bond nodded cutting Tanner off. “I know, Bill.”
“Find whatever put the American ship off and caused us to sink it. We don’t have long to sort this whole thing out. The Pacific Fleet is due to reach Hong Kong in a week. Not even that if our Hong Kong squadron reaches them first.”
“First?”
“First Sea Lord ordered them to dispatch immediately. One carrier, six frigates, destroyers, subs…the works.”
So Bond had taken his car out to Barbican that evening. He surveyed the crowd still sipping at his wine –impressive vintage- whilst pondering his course of action. He walked away from the pillar through the crowds drawing the looks of some of the women there. He left his empty wine glass on a tray and suddenly found himself in the periphery of a group being held by Carver like a king would his court.
“…I told the President that in France they’d find it good to have several mistresses. When he told me he was the American President I reminded him that I would have to release that tape after all. ‘When not in France’ as they might say…”
Bond did not join in the laughter.
“Ah, I seem to have attracted a new member to my club,” Carver’s eyes were on Bond. His accent was light, sounding more British aristocrat than someone from Melbourne. “You are?”
Bond squared his shoulders; he reached into his tuxedo pocket for his cigarette case.
“Bond, James Bond.”
Was there a hint of recognition at his name? Bond could not be sure. He lit a cigarette, regarding the media tycoon through the smoke.
“And what do you do…Mr Bond?”
“I work for Acme Marine Demolition and Troubleshooting. I parachute into areas around the world that need sorting out.”
There were chuckles, amazed looks from the audience. Carver did not bat an eyelid. “Anywhere in particular?”
“Oh…here and there, hot and cold…like the Antarctica.”
“I hear it’s nice this time of year.”
“Not good for swimming though.”
The two held each other’s gaze for a moment then Carver grinned sweeping his audience with his twinkling eyes. “Make the most of the food and drink, my friends. I will be starting the show in a short time.”
Bond left the crowd watching from a distance as Carver went across the lobby to the railing that overlooked what usually was the London Symphony Orchestra’s pit. Carver was speaking now on a blocky mobile phone and quite animatedly. As he talked his eyes once again found Bond’s.
“Time for a change of channel,” murmured Bond heading off into the back of the lobby. The building that the signal had come from was out the back of Barbican on Little Britain, a small road adjacent to Barbican and London Wall. If he could get in there quickly, he could be back for the launch and see Carver in action. Bond took the fire exit which led out onto Little Britain and took a moment. In the artificially lit darkness of the City Bond was virtually invisible. He reached for the folds of his tuxedo drawing it across the white shirt and holding it down by Velcro patches. Then he was across the road down a side alley and into the building. Putting away his skeleton keycard he looked about and heard nothing. Some buildings in the Square Mile remained woefully inadequate concerning security, as if the past few hundred years had never happened or had yet to happen.
“Fifth floor,” Bond read the building directory by the lift but took the stairs. Drawing his PPK he took time to fit the silencer whilst creeping upstairs. There was light filtering from the fifth floor onto the landing prompting Bond to crouch hiding himself from the fire exit door window. Pushing it open he tucked into a roll and came up on one knee sweeping the room. It was a small room with maybe six desks, banks of computers and the overwhelming smell of stale coffee and tobacco.
Bond felt a gunbarrel nuzzle into the back of his head.
“Nothing to see here, my friend.”
The voice was a woman’s, American. He held his hands up dropping the PPK.
“I’m looking for Finch and Brown.”
“Nice try,” the pressure on his head lightened as an arm stretched past to take his gun. Bond brought his elbow back catching the attacker in the midriff. He whirled around straightening about to deliver a punch when he recognised the person.
“Pam!”
“James…small world,” wheezed Pam Bouvier as she held her stomach. She handed his PPK over making a face. “Yours.”
“Mine,” grunted Bond anger suddenly filling him. “What the Hell are you doing here?”
“Trying to find out what happened to our ship…or should I say, stop you from sinking another one.”
“Accident.”
“Some accident,” she straightened taking out a slim cigar type box coloured red. “Looking for this?”
Bond looked at it then her. “What’s that?”
“GPS encoder. This is what sent our ship off course and coincidentally fed false orders.”
“Give it to me.”
“You? It’s our ship that was sent off course.”
“This is my territory, Pam.”
“Hell it is. You sink one of our ships, James; the whole damn world is ours to do with as we please.”
Bond was about to lunge at her when sirens sounded downstairs. This was followed by the whirring of the lift cables. Pam ran for the stairs. Bond shaking his head went for the fire exit.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:12 am

Pam! I love that you brought her back. :)

I assume Geoffrey Rush is in your head as the new Carver?
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:34 am

coco1997 wrote:
Pam! I love that you brought her back. :)

I assume Geoffrey Rush is in your head as the new Carver?

More or less, he seemed to fit in my mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:56 am

Agreed. I always felt he was one of those great English actors who should have appeared in the series at some point.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:04 am

coco1997 wrote:
Agreed. I always felt he was one of those great English actors who should have appeared in the series at some point.

Indeed. The only problem is that he's Australian. :)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:35 am

Hilly wrote:

Indeed. The only problem is that he's Australian. :)

Whoops! :oops:
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:38 am

coco1997 wrote:
Hilly wrote:

Indeed. The only problem is that he's Australian. :)

Whoops! :oops:

The two are easily confused. Fret none. In seriousness I like Rush, and early 90s might've been good for him to be in a Bond. You want whoops...I 'credited' Caroline Bliss for Whisper of Hate and as far as I know, Moneypenny never featured.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:59 am

CHAPTER TWO

“Stamped Out”


Bond clattered through the fire exit doors onto a metal landing that rattled and vibrated dangerously under his feet. Jumping he pulled down on a ladder and began to climb. As he reached the top the ladder gave way smashing noisily across the landing then rolling into the darkness of the alleyway below. Bond reached for his gun but he had left it behind. Cursing he swung in through a fifth floor window running for the stairs. His plan was to come down behind the intruders who likely were Carver’s men.
As he raced down the stairs he was aware of someone he could not put his finger on. Some kind of presence…
…running straight into a wall of flesh. As he landed on his backside he looked up at a tall, muscular man with vaguely Teutonic features.
Bond stood but was knocked down by a right hook. Vision swaying Bond tried to attack again but this time he simply collapsed.

**

Pam Bouvier climbed into the Barbican’s ladies with a groan and quickly went into a cubicle. Shutting the door she shed her black jumpsuit revealing blue jeans and a fashionable blue blouse unbuttoned at the top. She loosened her ponytail pulling the hair out over her shoulders. Lastly she took the GPS encoder out of its box and slipped it down her jeans into an inside pocket fitted. She walked out tossing the red box into a bin and adjusted her hair once more. Then out into the party.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Carver is about to make his presentation. Please head down into the auditorium.”
Pam followed remaining standing like everyone else looking at a stage with Carver’s face on a huge floor to ceiling picture behind it.
She looked round for Bond but could not see him.

**

Bond came to in a small room with posters of past Barbican concerts on the walls. Off to one side was a mirror. Bond was pulled to a kneeling position arms behind his back. The muscular man from before stood at the door in a black suit with three other fine examples of thug around Bond.
“I shall leave you to it; Herr Carver is making his speech.”
“You can trust us, Herr Stamper,” said one of the heavyset men landing a roundhouse punch on Bond who bit down on his lip. As the door closed he leant in close to Bond. “Herr Carver doesn’t like smart mouths, Herr Bond.”
Bond spat onto the carpet looking at the thug. “He seems to rile easily doesn’t he? He doesn’t know me from Adam.”
Bond was kicked from behind rolling onto his back; he was swiftly pulled back up into a kneeling position. His head bowed Bond began to calculate.
“He doesn’t want to see you again.”
“Why don’t you kiss my arse?” Bond growled earning him another punch.

**

“…they said he’s a fool but I say to you my friends that I can show the world the news it wants and needs!” Carver paused for light applause. He stood at a rostrum whilst behind him a lowered screen showed images from around the world. “Twenty-Four hour news enables people to catch up whenever they want with solid, professional journalism. The inside story, the inside scoop or whatever you prefer to think will be on this channel!”
More applause, Pam lightly clapped looking around again. She was reminded of all the dystopian fiction there had ever been and felt a shiver. Then again she was working for people who were part of that.
“I show you now footage obtained exclusively by Carver News Group. Lights please.”
After the lights dimmed the screen changed to show white wasteland, cool dark blue waters.
Antarctica, Pam realised. Then the camera shifted to the right showing the broken bow of a ship sliding beneath the waters. Jerkily it panned to the water showing men in blue uniforms splashing around calling for help. In the bottom right corner of the image was the CNG logo over a faintly showing Royal Navy logo.
As they watched, the American sailors were machine gunned. There were cries in the audience, shocked whispers and when it was over the lights came up. In the stunned silence Carver spoke.
“British aggression against its most valued ally. We will bring you the real inside story of this incident. The world deserves to know why the valiant crew of Her Majesty’s Ship Belligerent killed the crew of the USS Wilkes and to know why now the US Fleet has sailed from Hawaii. We will show you close hand the first war between Britain and America in over a hundred years.”
At first there were startled outpourings of voices then loud applause. Carver raised his arms smiling then his voice muted by the applause: “Start the programme!”
Pam started to move her way through the crowd. She knew the Belligerent had not killed the men in the water. She knew she had to get out and start finding out what really happened.

**

“He seems to enjoy his punishment!”
The other two bald thugs laughed as Bond took another punch. He was on his feet now held by one whilst the other two took turns. As one punch came sailing in Bond ducked, the punch knocked out the thug holding him. Straightening Bond lashed the attacker with two blows to the head before right kicking him in the groin. The other thug came over from the door shouting in German. Bond grappled with him trying to get a foot up but failed. Crashing into a desk Bond felt hands close around his throat. Looking to his left he scrabbled for something to use and closed in on a stapler. He slammed the stapler into the man’s throat slapping it down hard. The man cried out as blood spurted in short sharp bursts. Bond kicked him away, as the thug fell to his knees Bond punched him down. This left one who was speaker into a wrist radio.
“Herr Stamper…Herr Stamper…”
Bond picked up the waste bin turned it over and brought it down over the man’s head. As the thug flailed his arms about Bond kicked at the bin hard. The thug keeled over and lay still. Breathing hard Bond frisked the three and came up with one Glock handgun.
“Have to do,” Bond grunted. Nothing else on their persons but for ID cards and cigarettes. He left the makeshift interrogation cell hearing Carver’s speech which was being shown on TV screens throughout the Barbican. As Bond walked he passed a door marked ‘HIGH VOLTAGE’ and paused. Smiling a little Bond opened the door and emptied the Glock’s cartridge into the cupboard. Wires broke, popped and fizzed under the assault. The end result was the darkening of the Barbican.
Bond left the gun and hurried off.

**

Carver was beside himself with rage as he raced across the darkened stage. He ran straight into Stamper who held him by the arm. “Are we off the air?”
“Off the air, off the map,” Stamper said crisply. “It’s Bond.”
“How…what? That idiot I asked you to take care off?”
“Yes, Herr Carver.”
Carver spat at Stamper. “You idiot. I’d fire you if I knew you weren’t capable of your job! Finish him!”
“We’re trying,” Stamper said wiping the spit off his suit.
Carver shrugged off Stamper’s protective grasp and went to find his way out. He could hear the laughter already.

**

Bond’s Aston Martin joined the general exodus of cars filing out of the Barbican Car Park. None of the Carver men seemed to notice as they signalled for the cars to go. Bond’s headlights swept over St Martins-Le-Grand as ahead St. Paul’s towered lit in a lunar glow. As he drove he saw a woman walk quickly hugging her arms. He pulled alongside.
He leant over flinging the door open and said sharply: “Get in!”
Pam Bouvier climbed into the car without protest.
Bond floored the accelerator.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:32 am

Top marks, Hilly. Nice, brisk pace so far. 8)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:44 am

For now, I need to find my direction for this soon. There's a vague outline but it needs firming up.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:51 am

For what it's worth, I already prefer it to Brozzer's version. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:47 am

coco1997 wrote:
For what it's worth, I already prefer it to Brozzer's version. laugh

Well, bless your heart. See what happens after this latest instalment. It's trying to buff up Carver, so to speak.

--

CHAPTER THREE

“Common Cause, Different Purpose”


Pam landed on the park bench with some degree of velocity, her eyes wide with fury.
“What the Hell do you think you’re playing at?”
Bond put a foot on the bench next to her. Behind them the Thames curved from here on the Chelsea Embankment down towards Battersea and Wandsworth. The sheer width of the river could be felt here, feeling completely different than its touristy heart at Westminster and Tower Bridge. Behind Pam the home of the Chelsea Pensioner’s, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, was lit white set back across the park. Bond’s Aston ticked away close by.
“My question exactly. What’s going on?”
“I can’t answer that.”
“You’re CIA again, I take it. The last time I saw you was in America…after Sanchez.”
She avoided his gaze, her eyes bright with fury. After the Sanchez affair the two had spent a few months just enjoying each other’s company neither really considering that they would one day return to their previous employment.
“Yeah, I’m CIA. I’m here to find out what happened to our ship.”
“You think our ship machine gunned your crew?”
“No,” Pam looked at him her lower lip quivered in the cold. On the river a tug sounded its horn mournfully as it chugged upriver. “Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see your ship wasn’t there when ours went under. Carver.”
Bond nodded. “Amazingly quick deduction, Pam.”
“Don’t you think that?”
“I think we’re dealing with something quite unusual,” Bond glanced away towards the river. Traffic was still filing over the Prince Albert Bridge despite the late hour. “We’re not dealing with the Soviets anymore.” he looked back. “What do you think?”
“Carver sent the Wilkes off course; something prompted the Wilkes to fire on the Belligerent and thereby prompting your ship to fire in self-defence. He had the survivors machine-gunned to make it look like the Royal Navy are murdering savages and then he just happens to have footage to launch his new network. He gets first dibs on the new war.”
Bond felt his jaw tighten. “You think we’re going to war?”
“Why not? No one ever said the world had to make sense.”
It was unthinkable but it could happen. Carver manipulating world events just to fulfil a news story. He was said to have some governments in his pocket already.
“Where do we go from here?”
“We?” Pam stood. “I go Hong Kong.”
Bond frowned. “Why there?”
“Don’t you read your intelligence files?” Pam smiled. “Hong Kong is where Carver just opened his hub for this twenty-four hour network. He wants to cover the handover when it happens in a few years. Something tells me answers might be found there.”
Bond heard a beeping from within his car and went to it. Opening the door he leant in pressing a button on his dashboard. “Bond.”
Moneypenny’s clipped voice sounded mutely. “James, message from M. Message reads: Royal Navy Hong Kong Squadron left Kowloon this evening at 2200 GMT. Head Hong Kong promptly and investigate Carver.”
Bond smiled despite himself. “Moneypenny…”
“There’s tickets waiting for you at the BA desk at Heathrow. Midnight flight.”
“You’re a dear,” Bond straightened about to speak to Pam but she had vanished. He climbed back into his Aston. “Penny, I’m going to need some information on Carver’s HK operations…”
“Someone will be waiting for you when you get there. M suggests you try not to cause any further international incident.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

**

Carver tried to relax as his own personal Boeing 747 left British airspace, heading out over the frozen north of Europe. The jet was one of his main luxuries, piloted and crewed by ex-British Airways personnel who were paid handsomely. The 747 was painted in Carver’s personal livery –black with red trim.
“Go on, Stamper.”
Stamper repeated what he had just told Maximilian Carver. “James Bond is known to be a secret agent. He works for MI6.”
Carver looked at Stamper, his German bodyguard regarded him impassively. “You’re sure of this?”
“Absolutely.”
“How long until we reach Hong Kong?”
“Sixteen hours.”
Carver sat down in his lounge seat and clicked his fingers. “Show me the TV.”
Stamper turned on the large screen TV that dominated this section which soon glowed with the Carver24 channel. The image showed an aerial shot of a large aircraft carrier flanked by several smaller ships.
“This is the USS John F. Kennedy flanked by her battle group,” a voice said, “the first official confirmation by the United States of her deployment. The Royal Navy made no comment that ships of her own have left Hong Kong to intercept the US Seventh Navy…”
Carver flicked the channel over to a rival. “No word still from Max Carver on his blip tonight at his press launch. Can only assume it was something he ate…”
Carver flung the remote at Stamper. “We’ll have the last word, Stamper. Have Hong Kong get ready and inform our friends at sea…inform them that Phase II will start within the next twenty-four hours.”
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:41 pm

Very nice. Continuing with the animated pace. Keep it up.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:55 am

We'll see. I'm back to work and writing dries up for a few days traditionally. Though Crimson Hour is a tad different so we might break the duck.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:32 pm

Things seem to be moving faster in this one, i.e. a lot has happened over just a few chapters. I'm wondering if this one will have a much bigger scope than the original film.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:51 am

coco1997 wrote:
Things seem to be moving faster in this one, i.e. a lot has happened over just a few chapters. I'm wondering if this one will have a much bigger scope than the original film.

to a point it should have scope. One story that had the shortest confinement but spanned a few more pages was Death is So Permanent whereas Shatterhand was immense. I practically rewrote the Falklands War (well I did. It was an engineered war in that case. It was TND writ large).

In my mind we have two fleets sailing together and there's other locations I'd hope to work in. If all else fails things will be wrapped up.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:58 am

CHAPTER FOUR

“Our Man in Hong Kong”


Bond enjoyed coming to this far-flung corner of a former Empire. There was something about Hong Kong that he found comforting. Past adventures had not always been so enjoyable but the place always left a favourable impression. As he left customs behind he tucked his passport away and wearily left the terminal. A low fog clung to the highlands over Hong Kong.
He stood outside watching an advert for Carver News Group on the side of a skyscraper when a pleasant, British voice startled him.
“I think you’ll find Carver is around, everywhere you go.”
Bond turned a smile on his face. “Chivers.”
Julian Chivers or 463 as he used to be, leant on his cane heavily as he shook Bond’s hand. The last time Bond had seen him was lying close to death in Dresden during the Goldeneye affair. Clearly injuries had been serious enough. Xenia Onatopp had left Chivers in a less than desirable condition. It was a genuinely pleasing moment for Bond to see Chivers.
“I have a car waiting.”
Bond followed Chivers to a station wagon waiting at a layby near the terminal building. A short Oriental jumped out with a ready smile. Chivers gestured with his cane.
“This is Jonathan Lee-Yung, one of Station H’s top dogs.”
Lee-Yung held a hand out. “Commander Bond, it’s an honour.”
“We’ll see about that,” said Bond. He put his bag in the back and climbed in after it. Soon they were driving off towards Kowloon City. Bond leant forward to hear Chivers as the latter spoke crisply. “Carver hasn’t landed yet. His 747 will land at an old RAF field that he owns in Wan Chai and will likely go to his mansion in the New Territories or CNG’s building nearby.”
“Have I missed anything since leaving London?”
“Only some rhetoric. The President has said that he hopes no action will be needed but the British Embassy has pulled out of Washington. Not as if we’re going to nuke DC, what?”
Bond’s silence made Chivers’ ready smile falter. “Look, old man, we have a few days don’t we?”
“As far as I know. Both task forces will have submarines ahead of them as well as aircraft. So we could have contact as soon as tomorrow. Does Carver have any other interests out this way?”
“Not really. He’s been trying for something in Beijing for a while now. Outside of Hong Kong he has a major base in his home city, Melbourne. Other than that, he has nothing in the Far East bar Hong Kong.”
Chivers went on to add that the mansion in the New Territories was a sprawling affair quite close to the current border with the Chinese. Bond knew that the lease on the New Territories was almost up and with it, Hong Kong’s future under British hands. Such was New Territories’ importance to the running of Hong Kong the British would have no choice but to give it all of the island back as well as the New Territories.
Passing through Tsim Sha Tsui down towards Victoria Harbour Bond asked: “Where is this mansion?”
“Up in New Territories’ northern part around Sheung Shui. A fairly rundown area but he’s made friends by building factories and the like.”
“I need a complete rundown on all that he owns or has an interest in. Think you can do that?”
“Sure.”

**

Carver’s helicopter touched down on the expansive helipad behind his mansion overlooking the town of Sheung Shui. From Hong Kong it had been a fairly short hop by helicopter which pleased him. As he stepped from the vehicle and strode towards his house he waved off his head servant’s attentions. “Not now. Run me a bath, then make dinner.”
After all this and he had at least recovered from some of his jet lag Carver sat down in his large living room. On the TV jets were seen refuelling aboard the British carrier HMS Hermes –brought from retirement once again and her brief service in India.
“Herr Carver…”
“Ah, Stamper. Come,” Carver gestured to an adjacent armchair which Stamper awkwardly perched. Carver laughed to himself. He had been a junior reporter in East Germany when he found Stamper, an orphan child, leading a life of crime. The theory was that he had been the disastrous end product of KGB experiments at the end of the war. Both his parents had long since died in a gulag. Carver had adopted him, given him a life and in the end had given himself the perfect bodyguard.
“Phase II is ready. The commander says he can start whenever you say though it has to be in the next twelve hours before the fleets get nearer.”
Carver nodded. “Alright, send the buggers in. Anything else?”
“Bond is here.”
Carver sat up drawing close the folds of his dressing gown. “You what?”
“He was seen at the secondary airport,” Stamper stood going to the TV he pressed a few buttons and soon the image of the Hermes was replaced by slightly grainy footage of the airport. Bond could be seen shaking hands with a man with a cane before disappearing. “The other man we believe is from their Station H.”
“Your men at the Barbican said they thought there was someone else when they chased Bond. Is that him?”
“No. This man has been in Hong Kong a while we think. The other person was not British…that is for sure.”
“I admire your confidence,” Carver smiled standing he went to his bay windows. “I worked for a newspaper here in the 60s. A right rag it was but it was my first taste of journalism since I left home. The editor was a sleaze ball, a right tosser but he taught me one thing: know your stuff before anyone else.”
Carver turned smiling. “We’ll move on soon for the final phase but for now…for now, keep an eye on Bond.”
“How close an eye?”
“You decide, Mr Stamper, you decide.”
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:33 am

Good work. Liked the back story you gave Stamper; he's already less one-dimensional than he was in TND.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:36 am

coco1997 wrote:
Good work. Liked the back story you gave Stamper; he's already less one-dimensional than he was in TND.

I read the TND novelisation years ago and I can't remember anything about Stamper. Only bits I recall is some backstory on Carver and Bond and Wai Lin's journey out to Kowloon Bay.

The next chapter is well underway. In the meantime Coco, mix around the forum, spread the word or advance it in some way. Place has cobwebs that need dusting.

Otherwise, we're back in 5.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:06 am

[quote="Hilly"]
coco1997 wrote:
The next chapter is well underway. In the meantime Coco, mix around the forum, spread the word or advance it in some way. Place has cobwebs that need dusting.

Otherwise, we're back in 5.

Will do. :)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:22 am

coco1997 wrote:
Hilly wrote:
The next chapter is well underway. In the meantime Coco, mix around the forum, spread the word or advance it in some way. Place has cobwebs that need dusting.

Otherwise, we're back in 5.

Will do. :)

let's hope so.

CHAPTER FIVE

“By dawn’s early light…”

HMS Amethyst, Task Force Point
A few hundred miles northwest of the Northern Mariana Islands


She was one of the few Type 42 destroyers not named for a city. If anything she was named for the famed Amethyst that had proved her name moreover in action against the Red Chinese in 1949 on the Yangtze River. Soon this Amethyst would make her name for all the wrong reasons.
The destroyer was steaming well ahead of the Task Force acting as point. having the typical speed and manoeuvrability of a destroyer she would soon be out of harm’s way once she had taken recon on the American Task Force currently headed by the JFK.
The commander of the destroyer was watching his radar officer. “Well?”
“Definitely American, sir.”
“Lookout, captain.”
The captain reached over to flick his intercom. “Go ahead, lookout.”
“Jets, two, confirmed as American F-14 Tomcats. Coming in low and fast.”
“Very well. Captain, gunnery…paint them.”
As the two F-14’s screamed in over the Amethyst’s fo’csle the gunnery officer lit his targeting scope up ‘painting’ the two jets as if he were locking onto them. The jets banked and blazed away to the north.
“Getting some radio chatter,” another officer informed the CO. “Looks like we rattled their cages.”
“Pass word onto the flagship and Admiralty.”
“Aye, aye.”
There was a thick air of tension settling over the bridge of the destroyer as it continued on its course. Outside the sky was still a dark blue as the dawn started to creep upon the Pacific out here in the vast open spaces. Part of her reason for being out here was to see if any of the American submarines (SSN’s, three LA Class boats) were in the area. Type 42’s were quite good at Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) procedures and so, thus, one powered ahead on a roving position.
“Jets are coming back. That or they’re new ones,” said the watch officer having been told the information via phone from the battle room. “Speed of about 700mph.”
“Too fast for attack,” a moment later as the F-14’s roared across the bows the captain nodded. “Trying to rattle us.”
The watch officer took his phone pressing a button: “Attention all hands. We have just been overflown by two American fighter jets. Repeat, two American fighter jets. All hands will muster to battle readiness. Repeat, battle readiness.”
“They’re coming back, sir,” the watch officer added after his announcement. “Circled about fifty miles out. Speed slackening back to 400mph.”
“Beat to quarters,” the captain ordered. The phrasing of the order went back to the days of Nelson even if by now warfare at sea was vastly different. “Take the safeties off the guns. Ready Sea Wolf for action.”
“No word from the Admiralty, sir.”
The jets screamed in then banked right away from the bridge. The wash from their afterburners shook the bridge windows hard, even made the Type 22 wobble in their wake.
“Bastards…trying to…”
“Torpedo, torpedo, green four-oh!” came the cry from the battle room. The captain hurried back shouting for countermeasures and to steer zero-four-zero. He was soon peering in over the shoulder of his radar officer. A single blip was moving steadily towards the Amethyst.
“Helm answering hard starboard,” the watch officer said.
“Must have dropped it on the pass sir,” said the radar officer face green with the effects of his screen. Worry was etched across his face.
“Yes,” the captain murmured. The torpedo drew in closer. “Brace for impact.”
The watch officer piped through: “Brace! Brace! Brace!”
A few seconds later came a loud grinding noise followed by an incredible shaking as if the ship was trying to tear itself apart. The captain was flung back against his battle chair. There were shouts in the corridor outside. Alarms shrieked, the deck tilted to port then to starboard settling on this side. The captain scrabbled to the radar officer.
“Shouldn’t it have blown up?”
The radar officer looked up at him blankly. “I guess.”
An intercom crackled: “Sir, this is the chief engineer. We’re been punctured below the waterline…,” the channel descended into static obliterated by the screams of grown men, “something’s tearing up through…”
Then the channel went dead.
“We’re down twenty degrees at the stern,” said the watch officer coming in his face ashen. “Sir, I’ve sent a message to the Admiralty and a general distress call.”
The captain nodded. “Alright. Pipe to all hands, abandon ship. Got to get clear of her when she goes.” He saw the radar crew still sitting. “Come on, bloody move!”
They started to leave unhooking their equipment and filing out, calm, professional and some with jokes. The captain grabbed his lifejacket on the way out, last of course. In the growing dawn light he saw his command at an odd angle then he slid down the port side that had more or less become the dorsal side now and into the water. He swam to a liferaft which had about twenty men already on it. Seeing their skipper hands scrabbled for him.
“Alright, sir. It’s alright.”
“She’s going, boys!” a voice went up echoing many before it. Mountbatten’s at Crete as the Kelly rolled under, Shackleton in the South Atlantic as Endurance was crushed to bits and went under. Union flag hanging limply at her bow mast HMS Amethyst capsized in a frothy display of water vanishing from sight.
In the silence that followed the survivors started to gather together.

**

“Do you see that, Jimmy!”
The lead pilot of the F-14 pair looked down as his jet hurtled back the way it had come. The British destroyer was disappearing under the water. “What the Hell?”
“That wasn’t us!”
“They’ll think it was,” Jimmy Murphy said as he banked his jet. “Kennedy, this is Blackjack Lead…”
Seconds later a surface to air missile slammed Murphy’s F-14 destroying it, the second fighter was hit by debris and spun out into the water.

**

The destruction of the two jets was seen by the survivors of the British ship from a slight distance. Two flashes of light.
“That was the jets, sir,” said the watch officer who had tumbled over the side just before the captain. The captain nodded. “Seems so.”
“That was no torpedo,” the watch officer added looking at his skipper. “There’s something out there that just sunk us and blew the jets to bits.”
“Do we have a radio?” said the captain.
Amongst the life-rafts there was one emergency wireless kit which was immediately in action. By this quirk of fate this saved the survivors’ lives.
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