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 Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"

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groucho070
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:48 pm

Hi Hilly, got personal message from coco on the updates in this thread. My response, "Thanks for reminder. Been laid off at job, so I am more into job hunting for now. Shall inform Hilly. Thanks again."

Once things settle down, I shall follow up. Please continue with the great job.
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coco1997
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:56 pm

Never fail to impress with the naval writing, Hilly. :)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:08 am

groucho070 wrote:
Hi Hilly, got personal message from coco on the updates in this thread. My response, "Thanks for reminder. Been laid off at job, so I am more into job hunting for now. Shall inform Hilly. Thanks again."

Once things settle down, I shall follow up. Please continue with the great job.

No worries. I quite understand. Being out of work as long as I was until late 2011 I know how it can be (wrote far much back then than I do now that I do have work). These aren't going anywhere, there isn't as much activity to keep these from slipping.

coco1997 wrote:
Never fail to impress with the naval writing, Hilly. :)

Just the way it goes when you read Falkland War books and grow up with trips to Portsmouth Navy Base.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:48 am

Largo's Shark wrote:


Don't be scared of visiting other parts of the forum. As a tip, I suggest bookmarking "View posts since last visit."

--

CHAPTER SIX

“Escalation”


Bond was sat in his hotel bed unshaven, red faced as on the TV he watched the breaking news report. It was CNG with ‘EXCLUSIVE’ splashed across every screen.
“Reports are coming in from the North Pacific today of the sinking of HMS Amethyst early this morning. It is understood the British destroyer was acting as an advance guard for the fleet that is still sailing east. Around fifty crew are believed to have been killed as the ship went under. The US Navy denies sinking the Amethyst though counter-claims that she destroyed the two fighter jets accused of torpedoing the…”
Bond got out of bed, he hurriedly washed and shaved. Dressed in a casual suit he went downstairs just as Chivers and Lee-Yung were entering the hotel’s lobby.
“I know, James. We heard this morning.”
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
“We’re trying to get the facts together. This is not the place.”
The place was Station H in downtown Kowloon with a view of the harbour beyond and Hong Kong Island. Bond was given the facts as they knew them. The destroyer was overflown twice before a torpedo hit. The torpedo did not detonate but she was holed below the water and sank. The two jets were hit by a SAM not fired by the destroyer. The survivors were soon rescued by the submarine HMS Turbulent that had gone hell for leather once the distress call had been received.
“Absolute set-up,” Chivers concluded folding his arms. The fourth floor office that was part of Station H’s larger operations had various wall monitors. One was tuned to CNG and their correspondent on the USS John F. Kennedy. Behind the reporter the US flag hung a half-mast down the side of the control tower. “If Carver is somehow behind all this, he’s a clever bastard.”
“Setting up the war of the century,” Bond remarked puffing on his cigarette thoughtfully. “Pam Bouvier from CIA took a GPS encoder/decoder from Carver’s London building.”
“CIA had been after that for a few months. There was only ever one in development, by the CIA to use on the Russians, but it somehow got stolen. No one knows for sure. Carver could’ve used that on the two fleets though he’s gone one better by sinking our ship and hitting the jets. Makes it look like a skirmish…that the Yanks came in to retaliate for their destroyer.”
Bond expelled smoke slowly, it rolled like London fog into the room and was swept away by the fans. “For him to sink the Amethyst and hit the jets suggest something much more coherent than a decoder device. A ship.”
“A stealth ship at that. Neither the destroyer or the jets reported anything else. Do you know of any such ships?”
Bond gave it a thought and shook his head. “Nothing beyond experimental stuff by various navies. For Carver to have his hands on such a vessel is worrying.”
“He has great wealth,” Jonathan Lee-Yung’s simple remark made Bond smile a little.
“Indeed and with that comes failing,” Bond stubbed his cigarette out. He focused on the CNG24 channel now showing the flight-deck of the Hermes. The banner across the bottom read: “British Task Force Expects Prolonged Battle”.
He thought of the Falklands over a decade before. It was a fairly conventional type of war with the Exocet perhaps being the most advanced part of weaponry. Were it not with missiles and jet fighters it would have been like a naval battle from the Second World War.
“I need to get into his building.”
“No problem,” Chivers looked to Lee-Yung. “You can help Commander Bond on that score, LY.”
“Yes, boss.”

**

Carver watched Stamper as the German strolled into his expansive top floor office at the Carver News Group building in downtown Kowloon City. He had a good view of nearby Kowloon Park as well as out over Victoria Harbour. Neither was of great concern right now.
“What went wrong, Mr Stamper?”
“The survivors radioed for help just as our ship prepared to move in and finish them off. Their submarine was on the scene quickly. We couldn’t risk the sub seeing the stealth boat.”
Carver was not satisfied.
“You missed the golden opportunity to sit that submarine.”
“We got the footage though of your sinking.”
“Good enough I suppose,” Carver said. “We could’ve done with the machine gunning of the survivors. Make it look like the Yanks were taking revenge for the Wilkes’ survivors. Recall the boat.”
“Wouldn’t it be best to keep it where it is? It’s between the two fleets.”
“Herr Stamper, I gave an order.”
Stamper clicked his heels together nodding at Carver and left. Carver pressed a button after Stamper left. In walked his Hong Kong secretary who bowed curtly.
“Lee, when Stamper’s finished giving orders to the boat have him find Mr Bond and eliminate him.”
“Yes, sir.”
Lee undoubtedly wondered why Carver could not have just told the German that himself but wisely kept quiet. Carver laughed despite himself rubbing his hands together.

**

Chivers hung up his face etched with concern mixed with scepticism. “Just got off the blower from Melbourne. Says the American fleet is slowing down near Midway. We’re slowing as well.”
“You don’t look convinced.”
“James, I fully expect the two to come to blows all the same. If Carver is manipulating the event who’s to say he won’t sink another bloody ship.”
They looked at a map of the Pacific on the wall. It was a vast blue sheet of course showing only the edge of Asia and the Americas with Australia and surrounding area the biggest landmasses. Midway was well named, roughly the midpoint between Hawaii and Australia.
“The RAN has enough tankers to keep the fleet going but the Americans have nuclear powered vessels…”
“Has it occurred to you just how Carver might be doing all this?” Bond said glancing aside at Chivers. “How he got all the footage of both incidents?”
“A boat,” Chivers scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Stealth? But even we don’t have that.”
“Not yet,” Bond said. “The Amethyst survivors say that the torpedo hit and did not explode, that whatever hit kept on going. One survivor told the RNIB that as he came up from below decks he was sure he saw some kind of drill come up through the deck.”
“So, let’s recap,” Chivers sat down lighting a cigarette. “HMS Belligerent is fired on by USS Wilkes. The American has been sent away from its patrol zone by a GPS encoder and fires this missile perhaps thinking it’s under threat. We fire back, sink it and everyone is machine-gunned by someone –Carver’s boat which bugs out of there by the time we turn up.”
Bond said nothing through a sea of his own cigarette smoke. Eyes narrowed he watched Chivers’ at work. “Two fleets are dispatched. At the same time Carver has the perfect news story to launch his CN24. Then as the fleets near we lose a ship whilst the Americans lose two jets. Sabres are half-unsheathed and…”
“Carver gets the news story he so wants and our alliance with the USA goes down the tubes,” Bond said savagely. He stubbed his cigarette out after one last draw. “I need to get into the CNG building tonight.”
“No problems. Lee-Yung will help you out there.”
Bond smiled. “Good.”
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:38 am

The tension builds. Excellent work, Hilly. 8)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:03 am

Thanks. It's limping a little in part between here and the final few stages but it shouldn't hopefully come to a complete halt yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:09 am

Hilly wrote:
Thanks. It's limping a little in part between here and the final few stages but it shouldn't hopefully come to a complete halt yet.

Good to hear.

Looking forward to the next step.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:54 am

Anything on the docket, Hilly?
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:36 am

that awkward trying-to-re-find the story chapter

--

CHAPTER SEVEN

“Breaking News”


Clad entirely in black Bond perched on the rooftop of a banking building around forty floors up. The wind tugged at him as if urging him to jump. Lee-Yung crouched next to him helping him fasten his gear. “Remember what I told you. There are about twenty security personnel for all fifty floors.”
“I know. Carver has the top three.”
“Anything of note would be there,” Lee-Yung scrambled away like a crab. “Good luck, Commander.”
Bond said nothing. He raised what looked like a bulky gun and fired. With a muted hiss and crackle something shot out trailing a wire across the gulf between the banking building and the Carver Media building. He felt the line tighten and stood fastening the gun to the rooftop. Lee-Yung was long gone by now. Bond cupped his hands around the wire; the gloves he wore had metallic palms enabling him to hold on without burning up with friction. He leapt and sailed through the darkness. The lights of Hong Kong burned around him, brighter than Manhattan and Piccadilly Circus combined it seemed. He felt quite conspicuous as he zeroed in on the CNG building. He was soon upon the building itself pressed against a window like a proverbial bug on the windshield. Using his right glove he carved a hole around a certain part of the window letting the glass drop into the room before reaching inside and pulling on a handle. He followed the window in and left it. Taking off his hat he looked around –in his mind a plan of the building rotated and he set off heading for the stairs.
Carver was bound to have something in this building that would seal his involvement in this war-to-be. Even as Bond appeared on the top floor there were TV screens showing the preparations of both fleet. Quite interesting how CNG had reporters on both the carrier flagships.
Bond searched the penthouse office with great care but also great speed. There was no telling if like in London he had tripped some kind of sensor. He should have checked but time was against him. Finally he found a safe, hidden behind a portrait of Napoleon (of all people). Bond took out a credit card (to all appearances) which he stuck with its magnetic side to the safe and stood back as it worked the combination. It took a minute and when done Bond whipped the door open. Inside were a bundle of pound notes and some scraps of paper. He closed the safe after a quick search disappointed. He paused as he heard the creaking of a floorboard. Moving stealthily to a desk he hid underneath it reminding himself of days at Eton.
A shadow fell across the room silhouetted by eerie green light in the corridor. Bond crawled under the desk peering up then throwing caution to the wind he surged forward rugby tackling the figure by the door. There was a grunt then the other fought back. The two tumbled into a sofa then back into a coffee table knocking it aside and shattering its glass top. Bond was up first kicking a handgun out of a stretched hand then grabbing the arm and wrenching it back. There was a shout but then Bond was knocked around tripping over a chair he went down. All went completely black as a foot crashed down upon his face.

**

According to the clock on the wall it was only about forty minutes that Bond was out. When he came to he staggered to his feet. There was no sign of his attacker whoever it was and no sign of anyone else. It was perhaps a security guard who once Bond was out had gone to get help. Bond chose not to hang around. His PPK was gone though. As he went to the window where his wire remained affixed he was aware that the TV was on. It had been on of course beforehand but this time the audio was up. Bond was aware of a German accent:
“You work for the CIA.”
Bond walked up to the TV seeing to his inner horror it was Pam Bouvier standing between two beefy looking men who had handguns trained on her.
“No.”
“You broke into this building in a futile effort to stop a war.”
“Wouldn’t you? No, I guess you Germans had enough losing…”
She was cut off as an arm came from behind the camera punching her across the chin. The camera jerked, lost focus and eventually dropped onto the floor. Bond could make out blows landing on Pam before the camera whirled about and focused on a face topped with blond hair.
“Commander Bond, you will never see this American again. You cannot stop us nor will you find us.”
Bond arched an eyebrow. “Such dialogue isn’t going to win Oscars,” he muttered but his jaw clenched. The image went blank. Bond angrily left the room searching the floor before returning. Looking at the TV he saw there was a VCR underneath it. He was able to eject a cassette and pocketed it before he escaped.
“Any luck?” Lee-Yung asked a few minutes later helping Bond stow gear away.
“No,” Bond said firmly. As they headed off the roof of the bank he produced the VHS. “I need this looked at, see if we can find out where Carver has Pam Bouvier.”
Lee-Yung did not question Bond and took the cassette off him.
Bond was silent on the return to the bolthole.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:42 am

Hilly Back In Action... ;)

Good to see this one resurrected.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:53 am

I wouldn't hold your breath if I was you.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:28 pm

Hilly wrote:
I wouldn't hold your breath if I was you.

That's fine. I have my spare Bentley tire if I run out of air underwater. ;)
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:21 am

For reasons of continunity I'll finish this off here.

--

CHAPTER EIGHT

“Tenth Hour”


“The fleets have stopped,” Chivers was saying soon after Bond and Lee-Yung returned. He was speaking as Lee-Yung set up the TV and video. They were in a room at the front of Station H overlooking the busy Kowloon thoroughfares.
“Good news for now,” Bond said his attention on the Hong Kong man’s efforts.
“M got in touch whilst you were out,” Chivers said as if M was Bond’s father calling to know why Bond was out late. “He said that the mission must be concluded as soon as possible. The fleets won’t stay stopped for long.”
Bond pictured the two fleets out there. The Americans’ CVBG built around the conventionally powered John F. Kennedy as well as the nuclear powered Dwight D. Eisenhower with several destroyers, cruisers and probable submarines. The British around the smaller conventionally powered Invincible. The British relying on plucky skill and determination. The British also relying on the Australians.
“What flights left Hong Kong for Australia in the past twelve hours?”
Lee-Yung gave up on setting up the TV and went to a blocky computer in the corner of the Station H laboratory. In turn Chivers limped over to where the TV was and started plugging away on the video. Lee-Yung’s slender fingers skimmed over the keyboard which was in both English and Cantonese characters.
“There were five flights. Three were cargo.”
“Cargo first.”
Lee-Yung peered at the green characters on screen. “One was a 747 to Sydney carrying three Grand Prix teams’ vehicles and equipment.”
Bond nodded. The next Grand Prix was in Sydney though the current crisis in the Pacific was threatening to derail that. He imagined Carver might have some kind of stake in that even owing the GP or a team.
“Next was a Korean Air Line Airbus carrying a mixture of equipment for some company in New South Wales…”
“Next one.”
“TV and media equipment on a private 747,” Lee-Yung’s dark eyes flicked up to his boss then to Bond. “In the name of Elliot Carver.”
“Hiding in plain sight, destination?” asked Bond crisply. He reached inside his breast pocket producing his cigarette case.
“Melbourne.”
Bond pictured a map of Australia and lit his cigarette. “So he’s not going to see the cars. What’s in Melbourne I wonder?”
Bond turned his back on the computer wandering to a window. He peered through the blinds, hand on a slant watching the traffic below. A green taxi pulled up at the kerbside disgorging three men wearing cheap suits. One stopped to pay the driver. Bond glanced over at Chivers. “Anything?”
Chivers had a newspaper lying before him on the neighbouring table. “According to this there’s a film festival in his name being ran over the next few days.”
Bond joined him noting that the newspaper was a copy of the Melbourne Herald. Bond did not ask how Chivers had gotten a copy. A full page article covered ‘ELLIOT CARVER’S GRAND SPECTACLE’ with a picture of the man shaking hands with an actor. He skim read the article.
“Looks like he’s trying to do his bit for the community, how quaint. Disadvantaged kids.”
Bond’s sardonic tone was abruptly underscored by the sound of the office door crashing in. instinctively Bond reached for and drew his PPK aiming it at the door as it swung off its hinges emitting three Oriental men.
The three from the taxi.
Quite how they had managed to break the security of the office building was neither here nor there. The fact was it was happening. Not hesitating Bond fired a shot which took out the first man. Lee-Yung went flying with his feet into the second whilst Chivers overturned the desk to use as a shield. Bond went down behind the computer terminal aiming shots at the other man. Shots whizzed about the office as the two pairs exchanged fire. Poor Lee-Yung had been flung across the room and lay still. The two remaining gunmen advanced on Chivers’ position shooting away. Bond took a chance, standing he fired into the two men. They clattered to the deck amidst a sea of cartridges and spilled papers. Bond hurried to behind the desk which was peppered with gunshots. Chivers was laying on his side, his PPK nearby, with blood streaming from under him. As Bond lifted his head Chivers’ smiled grimly.
“Seems with you, 007, I’m jinxed.”
Bond felt for the wound. “It’s not too bad. I’ll get help.”
“Get…Carver,” said Chivers before passing out. Bond went to check on Lee-Yung. The Hong Kongman was out for the count. The three attackers were dead. Bond found the telephone and entered four digits.
“Kowloon Laundry,” a voice said crisply.
“007 here. Station H’s been shot up, I need medical assistance and a clean-up crew. Fast.”
The voice on the other end did not alter its tone. “Understood. We’re on our way.”
Bond paused a moment to get his gun and stood by Chivers. Then he left as quickly as he could. Help was on its way from SIS’ long standing, long hidden contacts.
Less than an hour later he was on a Cathay Airlines 737 bound for Melbourne down in economy. The two American businessmen he was crammed in next to kept looking at him as he downed three straight martinis and crushed each plastic cup in his hand.
Time to get even.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:23 pm

Did not expect to see this ever come back! Great surprise!
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:43 pm

The idea-thread was lost but after reading some Gardner's and rewatching LTK I managed somehow to keep on. I have an idea on how to get Bond and Pam out to the stealth bearing in mind in this version the enemy fleets are miles out near Midway as opposed to near Hong Kong like in TND.
Concern is that it'll end up like TND a death or glory gun battle. As it's meant to be Dalton's Bond it needs to be less so.
Hopefully it won't be so long for the next chapter.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:35 am

CHAPTER NINE

“St. Kilda’s Delight”


St. Kilda was still a rundown, rough in places neighbourhood of Melbourne. But like most places in this changing time of the early 90s it was on its way up. Part of its renaissance was down to the film festival. Elliot Carver’s festival was separate but no less prestigious for up and coming filmmakers.
Under blazing sunlight –the temperature was a crushing 39C- Bond in a white Armani suit, walked through the festival’s main centre close to the waterfront. He was surrounded by people carrying cameras of all sizes and types, of actors clutching resumes and all the rest. Dominating the scene was a large building covering poster of Carver. If Bond didn’t know better he’d say Carver quite fancied himself.
Pam had to be around here somewhere unless she was stowed away from Australia. To keep as a bargaining chip for Carver when the time came. Bond ended up on the esplanade not too far from the waterfront at the grand art deco theatre the Palais. It bestrode the block like a white colossus and for a brief moment Bond admired it. Brief for it was bestrewn with posters of Elliot Carver and in front of the building on a platform stood the man himself. Bond’s jaw clenched as he joined the crowd outside.
“…the festival aims to promote young filmmakers and with it a chance for those from impoverished backgrounds to succeed,” Carver was saying his voice booming over microphones. “I came from St. Kilda, my parents were dirt poor and I stole, begged and borrowed to get where I am now. Part of the festival sees a competition where the winner gets to work for me at the CNG and travel the world.”
There was applause. Bond scanned the stage noting the hulking figure of Stamper on the end. No Pam, but there wouldn’t be.
“As I speak two navies of the world are squaring off in the Pacific. History is being made. I intend to capture the pictures of that war.”
Bond could not believe the guile of the man. Bond edged to the left of the crowd not seeing Stamper speak into his cuff-radio. As he reached the edge Bond felt a muzzle press into the small of his back and a German accent whisper close to his ear.
“No sudden moves, Herr Bond, or I’ll paralyse you.”
“Of course not,” Bond slowly removed his hands from his sides holding them a fraction up. “My place or yours.”
The gun was jabbed harder. “Slowly to the stage and wait at the steps.”
Bond did so not glimpsing his attacker. However, he did see Stamper come down as applause rang out. Stamper towered over Bond. “So, you survived.”
“If you mean the attack on Station HK, yes, I did,” Bond said icily. “Where’s Pam?”
“Your dedication to that American bitch is touching,” Stamper frisked Bond pulling out a cigarette case and Bond’s PPK. He handed the former back which Bond took.
“Ah, Mr Bond,” said Carver descending the steps. The black suit he wore was Chairman Mao-esque but the smile was not. “You have this knack of staying alive.”
“Fools prosper, Carver. So, you have the decoder. You have Bouvier and soon…pictures? I like that, nice touch. How do you intend on getting them?”
Carver’s shark-like smile did not waver. “I have my secrets, as you have yours, Commander. I even have your obituary written up along with Ms Bouvier’s. I imagine mine will be better than the one drafted for you after your mission in Japan.”
Bond’s eyes narrowed as he remembered that. A long time ago. “Really.”
Carver nodded. “Parents so tragically lost, Commander James Bond CMG RNVR fell as tragically in Australia following…well, we’ll decide. Wife predeceased him after…”
“Why Carver, what is in it for you?”
“The war? A chance for glory of my own, Commander. I get the photos and the footage, I get 100% copyright for years in any country I choose.”
“That’s it?” Bond’s scepticism made itself known. Yet it made sense. Start a war just for glory. The war would benefit someone though. The resurgent Russian Federation and the Chinese for starters. America would be pinned down, maybe even seriously damaged through a short war, enough for China to flex muscle particularly over Taiwan. Russia could intimidate her neighbours without NATO interference threatened.
Damn, damn, Bond thought.
“Get him to Ms Bouvier, a lover’s reunion but not for long. Stamper, you know what to do.”
“Yes, sir,” Stamper said tightly and grabbed Bond by the elbow. “After you, Mr Bond, I insist.”
Bond let himself get marched away. No one paid attention to the group of five men as they came through the filmmakers and filmgoers. Stamper though was asked for autographs for people mistaking him for someone else. Bond carefully felt his right trouser pocket and smiled. Stamper might regret giving him his cigarette case back. After a while of walking the seafront they came upon St. Kilda Pier which stretched by a few hundred metres out into the harbour into an inverted L-shape. Beyond the top of the L lay the St. Kilda Pier breakwater but it was the pier they were bound for. Just out past the pier’s main structure Bond was led down some rickety, seaweed strewn steps to under the pier’s main body. Here he found Pam Bouvier hanging by her cuffed wrists to a hook. Her feet were only about two feet above the water.
“James. Glad you could make it.”
“Hang in there, Pam,” Bond said stone-faced. He held his wrists up. “Do I get the same pleasure?”
“No,” Stamper punched Bond in the chest driving the air from Bond’s lungs. As Bond doubled up he was grabbed by two of the henchmen and swung upside down. As he dangled feeling somewhat stupid Bond’s ankles were bound together by Stamper and then he was hung onto a hook adjacent to Pam. The smell of sea-water was unbearable to Bond’s sensitive stomach. “Soon, Commander, you will feel the tide and I only wish I was there to see it.”
“Piss off,” Bond gasped earning him one more punch. He watched, upside down, as the five henchmen walked off. Pam’s voice floated down.
“I see you still have that touch.”
“The encoder?”
Bouvier sighed. “They got it back. Though I doubt they’ll need it now. We have at least two days before the fleets move on.”
Bond suspected this was true. The Royal Navy would want to strike carefully much like the Falklands. And like the Falklands, the Americans would go all out to sink the carriers. Below him the coming tide lifted the water up a fraction. As ways to go went, this was not the worst Bond had faced. He began to wiggle his hips and in turn wiggled like a prize fish. Pam watched him with a wry expression.
“What are you doing?”
“Presenting a solution,” Bond grunted wiggling harder and then stopping as he felt his cigarette case start to slide out of his pocket. It then fell with a suddenness that made Bond swear. As it sailed past Bond Pam lashed her feet out and caught it between her shoes. The gun-metal grey glistened in a flash of sunlight that came through the cracks in the pier.
“Nice catch.”
“I have my uses, can you get to it?”
“Let’s see.”
Bond reached with his cuffed hands but couldn’t get his arms up. He wiggled bending at the waist and tried again this time he managed to flick the lid on the case by flapping his outstretched fingers at it. Bond got a hold onto one cigarette with his fingertips just as Pam lost her grip which had been dicey at best. The case dropped into the water with a soft plop. Bond doubled up rolling his fingers up the cigarette to get a better purchase on it. With some dexterity of skill he flicked it into his mouth.
“James, the water. We haven’t much time.”
“Patience,” he murmured around the cigarette. He bit down on the end feeling more than hearing the steady crunch. Extending himself he felt his hair touch the water and swore he saw something swim past. With effort he wiggled back and forth then swung forward hard jerking his chin to fling the cigarette up. His aim was off but it worked. As the cigarette flew up towards the pier it exploded with a small yet definite bang. Blowing out a few planks in the pier including the ones that the hooks were tethered onto. The small explosion had severed Bond’s bind and so he was able to kick his feet in the water and push towards Bouvier who gasped and spluttered. He managed to hook his bound hands under her head and hold her up.
Already people had come running to where there was now a hole in the pier decking. A voice rang out: “Blimey, you guys alright?”
“We need help!” Bond called up. “Fast!”
Bond’s parade-ground yell had the desired effect. Three men in shorts with bronzed skin dropped through the hole and helped the pair swim towards the nearby steps that Stamper and his goons had led them down via.
“You guys having some fun?” asked one man holding up Bond’s bind.
“Party trick,” Pam replied rubbing her wrists and then her ankles. She helped Bond up. “Thanks.”
“Wonder what caused the bang,” the man said.
“Gas,” Bond said simply and led Bouvier off. “Thanks again gentlemen.”
Up on the pier they hurried down it through a curious crowd. On the beach no one had paid much attention to it. “What now?”
“We need to get out to the Pacific,” Bond said not breaking his stride. “We theorised that Carver has a stealth boat. The only way he could have gotten the pictures of the Amethyst sinking.”
“We wondered that. That’s how he likely shot down the fighter jet AND sunk your ship.”
“Should’ve pooled our resources from the start.”
“I don’t make policy,” she stopped him on the esplanade near where a camera crew were interviewing someone in slacks and an eccentric look. “I can’t work officially with you James. SIS/CIA co-operation is not on.”
“Then work undercover,” Bond smiled and kissed her. His smile faded. “Come on, we don’t have much time.”
“But how do we get out there?”
“Details, Pam, details.”
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:15 am

Finally caught up with this. It'd been nearly a year since you last posted so I'd forgotten some plot details!
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:20 am

I had the same problem myself. Totally lost where I was with it. But this and other stories are going ahead at the moment. The next chapter is a work in progress so I should get somewhere with it soon. Sunday, hopefully.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:00 am

It was instilled in me to give my ships fictional names as not to muddy real ships' legend and so forth. However, Turbulent is such a name for me that I must use it (HMS Turbulent was stood down a couple of years ago but here she is in her prime).
Belligerent, Wilkes and Amethyst were not real.

---

CHAPTER TEN

“Midway”


In the next couple of days the two fleets began to slowly move on again with some hundreds of miles still separating them. Whilst this was ongoing Bond and Pam were flying in an Australian Navy helicopter at full speed heading east.
“Commander, we’re almost on our reserve tank. Ten minutes and we have to turn back or the Darwin won’t be able to pick us up.”
Bond nodded at the winch operator who had come aft to where Bond and Pam were near the open hatch. Both agents wore Royal Australian Navy overalls and helmets. Whereas Bond had his commander braids and stripes, Pam wore the rank of a lieutenant-commander. Back on the Darwin seeing Bond’s dumbstruck look she had said ‘Some of us had a life before CIA’.
“Ten minutes! She’s down there!”
Bond reached for binoculars and peered down into the blue Pacific. It looked relatively calm yet also deep. The ocean stretched for hundreds of miles in all directions with nothing visible. It had been a punt, managing to get onto the logistics ship HMAS Darwin –an offshoot to the class of ships that had included the ill-fated Sir Galahad sunk at Bluff Cove during the Falklands War. The reasonably new ship had pounded east from Sydney at full speed before Bond and Pam boarded a Seahawk helicopter.
He looked at Pam speaking via the microphone on his helmet. “The signal was sent. Unless the Admiralty have intervened.”
Bond had had only time to send a cursory message back to SIS HQ in London once Pam and he had gotten to the SIS contact in Melbourne –a man who operated as a sailing vessel operator. Pam had not been able to contact CIA. It was possible the Admiralty had welched on SIS’ request. Even M had his limits.
“Look!” she cried pointing and holding onto Bond’s arm. “Periscope!”
Below by about sixty feet the serene ocean was being disturbed by the dark shape of a submarine breaking through. Even as water cascaded off the black hull men were on the conning tower. Forward two men in scuba gear were being prepared at a hatch.
“Okay, thanks for the ride gentlemen,” Bond was saying as he and Pam stood. The pilot and co-pilot in the front held a hand in salute. The winch operator took a moment to attach Bond and Pam then nodded. “Take a leap, sir.”
Bond smiled and did so with Pam. The two dangled out over the ocean and the submarine below. The winch operator began to wind them down. Bond stared into her eyes. “Working cheek to cheek.”
“Just you keep abreast of the situation, Commander.”
They continued down for a minute before they both felt hands grab at their ankles and guide them down onto the conning tower. The clips were detached and hands waved to signal up to the chopper. The RAN helicopter banked to the left and took off at full speed. Bond was saluted by a man wearing a RN sweater.
“Welcome aboard HMS Turbulent, Commander. Er…ma’am.”
The Royal Navy men stared as Pam had taken her helmet off and shook out her hair. A junior rating murmured: “Christ, now we’ve had it. A bird on a sub!
“The captain,” Bond said firmly.
They were led below into a well-lit command room. The captain was in shirt-sleeves and was ordering the sub to dive. He turned and raised his eyebrows. “Hello James.”
“Charles.”
Commander Charles Collingwood shook Bond’s hand. The two had worked together years ago when nuclear submarines were being stolen for a madman’s purpose. Collingwood smiled at Pam. “You must be Lieutenant-Commander Bouvier.”
“I am.”
“James, this is way off the chart. The fleet is a day away, we’ll never make it.”
“The stealth boat will be ahead of us I imagine. Have you had chance to look for any anchorages?”
Collingwood led them to the plot table. He pulled up a map which had red circles drawn on it near the east coast of Australia. “As you can see we highlighted some archipelagos.”
Bond peered closely at the map hands spread on it nodding as if finding something there. “Where would you hide a stealth boat?”
“Depends on the size of it,” said the first lieutenant. “The McNeill series would do me sir.”
The McNeill Islands were arranged in a rough crescent out from Australia by a hundred or so miles. Bond traced a finger up towards where the fleet would be. “How long do you think it’d take at about thirty knots? A day?”
“About that to reach the fleet. The Admiralty message said that the bastard might just get his boat between the fleets so maybe two days. But surely they’d SEE it.”
Bond smiled grimly, mostly at the fact his message had not been contravened by the Admiralty. The old service could be counted upon it seemed. “Carver’s boat was unseen by the crew of the Amethyst which is a theory as to why the rescuing submarine never was sunk.”
“That was us,” Collingwood said just as grimly. Bond could see the look on the man’s face. “If it’s not bad enough we were almost sunk this man Carver has sunk a destroyer and dragged the name of a thoroughly good frigate captain into the mud. He’s also got us squared off against the Yanks. Officer of the deck! Make your depth one triple-zero, once at that depth steer zero-three-zero speed fifteen knots.”
“We’ll cavitate even at that depth, sir,” the first lieutenant reminding the captain of the noise that the submarine could make and thus alerting sharp listeners.
“Hell with it, we’ll be fine.”

**

Bond sat in the captain’s cabin head back against the wall as in the adjacent shower cubicle Pam took a well-earned wash. For once his mind was not on her or the female form but the man who likely now sat in his stealth boat ready to start World War III. It always was the case that James Bond rode into town to save the villagers. He thought of the past which so often dominated his thoughts at times like this. The time he had been on a submarine with Major Anya Amasova or fighting Zorin atop the Golden Gate Bridge or sliding into Piz Gloria.
He thought mostly of Franz Sanchez. The most ordinary of villains and yet the most deadly. Without thinking Bond fingered the cigarette lighter in his tunic pocket.
“What’s the matter, you never seen a woman shower?”
He started and looked to where Pam stood grinning in the shower doorway not hiding her modesty. He liked her with the shoulder length hair and the slightly toned skin.
“Depends on the woman,” he said as she walked out and straddled him on the chair. He ignored the wetness on his thighs. “No towels?”
“I don’t think so,” she kissed him then stopped. “What is it?”
“My minds on the mission.”
“We have time.”
“Sorry Pam.”
She stood sighing. “I guess you’re right,” she went to get changed behind a curtain hiding half the cabin. “What do we do when we find Carver?”
“We board the boat and get him. Turbulent will track us but then the fleet will open fire after a set time or when they consider the ship within a dangerous range.”
Pam re-emerged in her requisitioned uniform. “Kill Carver?”
“And his bastard Stamper,” Bond said with no emotion. He stood. “I’m heading for the conn.”
They both went. The submarine was still powering its way northeast up towards Midway. It was possible that even by the naked eye the stealth wouldn’t be seen. Collingwood was in his shirt-sleeves standing by the periscope mast.
“Commander.”
In theory, Bond actually outranked Collingwood but he was no sub driver and anyway, was technically still Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. “Charles.”
“We’re fifteen miles northeast of Midway. I’m slowing the sub. We’ll start a passive sweep soon. The RN fleet is hundred miles northwest.”
“Surprised we let you guys get past Midway,” Pam said and saw Bond’s look. “It’s kinda historic this place you know.”
“Hawaii was ours once, we could have it back,” Collingwood said and chuckled.
“Do we have other subs in the area?” Bond asked.
“As far as I know we have the Trafalgar operating but we wouldn’t be told for operational reasons.”
The Royal Navy even in the days of Empire suffered from having no base in North or South America to operate from. There was always British Columbia but the Canadians liked their relative independence and so it remained strictly for the RCN. If Trafalgar had come west from Plymouth she would’ve had to stop somewhere in South America. Strictly hush-hush. Either way Bond figured the boat would not be out here. Turbulent might very well be on her own.
“Captain, FLASH traffic incoming,” called out the signal officer from down the conn. Both Bond and Collingwood headed there. They watched as a sheet of paper was jerkily printed from a slot on the wall above a monitor then was torn and handed to Collingwood. “Number one!”
The first lieutenant hurried over.
“Your code please.”
The first lieutenant produced a card wallet from his breast pocket flipping it over. “Zero-four-zero-one-four-Adam.”
The captain nodded and checked his own. He scanned down the sheet. “For you, Bond.”
Bond took it.

From: Admiralty OO(M)
TO: Predator 007

ORDERS ARE TO ELIMINATE CARVER STOP AMERICAN FLEET APPRISED OF STEALTH BOAT STOP THEY DO NOT BELIEVE INTELLIGENCE STOP YOU HAVE TWELVE HOURS STOP AMERICAN SHIPS TAKING UP DEFENSIVE LINES STOP GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY HUNTING

Bond showed the message to Pam who nodded. “Our own intelligence might not believe it either. Twelve hours isn’t long.”
Finding a stealth boat was difficult even for one of Her Majesty’s state of the art nuclear submarines. Radar and sonar were not mystical devices bound to find a ship that was impervious to them. Just after dark with ten hours to go before the war started (or its first shots) the submarine broke the calm waters of the Pacific. She lay on minus-ten elevation meaning only her sail was above water. Atop the sail four lookouts as well as Bond, Pam and the first lieutenant scanned the horizon with their binoculars. The sky was for the most part a blood orange. Bond found it difficult to imagine that beyond the horizon in two directions were two perspective enemy fleets squaring up.
An hour in they sighed contrails against the now jet-blue sky denoting the presence of fighter jets of either side.
“The range of this boat is phenomenal,” Bond commented resting his elbows on the edge of the sail. “To get from Australia to here. Unless Carver has a way of refuelling en route.”
“There are a few islands you could leave supplies on. Like the German raiders of both world wars.”
“True. Still up for this?”
“A little late to get out of it don’t you think?”
“Sometimes I miss being in the service,” Bond remarked. “I wonder if I had stayed…”
“Ship sighted red one-oh!” a lookout shouted making Bond wince and Pam start. A young rating had his binoculars to his eyes still but his right arm up finger pointing. “There, sir!”
Bond lifted his binoculars training to his left slightly and saw it. Only just. It was a catamaran similar to the latest passenger ‘seacat’ ferries coming into service in places like the Channel Islands. It was black as night with no visible running light. It was a large craft, certainly big enough for some sort of drilling device. Bond dropped his binoculars to his chest.
“Now we have him.”
A few moments later the Turbulent dived and closed in on Carver’s ship.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:17 am

Great work! Already looking forward to the next chapter.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:57 am

I'm inching along with it but taking my time. Some of my stories used to suffer with rushing.

This being said, I'm already sketching the third story. I figured I'd round it out as a trilogy.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:47 am

Hilly KCMG wrote:
I'm inching along with it but taking my time. Some of my stories used to suffer with rushing.

This being said, I'm already sketching the third story. I figured I'd round it out as a trilogy.

Oooh…Another re-imagining of a Brosnan flick, perchance?
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:49 am

Sort of, we'll see.
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:38 am

Here we go. The penultimate chapter. It hasn't gone as I hoped but not writing on it for so long probably didn't help.

Listening to TND tracks had its help, A Tricky Spot for 007 but importantly for the climax, "All in a Day's Work"...

---

CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Channel Break”


Elliot Carver paced the spacious command centre of the seacat. It had been days since he had left Australia and now the moment he had been waiting for was near. Moving from where the sea-drill was hanging he stood by the helmsman of the mighty craft. A red light came on next to a microphone which he picked up.
“Melissa, I am currently observing the American fleet as they move into position from my personal yacht. There appears to be some tension in the air. No word from the Royal Navy or what they are doing…”
As he spoke the monitors across from him showed CMG images –mostly stock images of the US Navy- as well as a woman at a desk in the Hong Kong studio.
“Do you think we are witnessing the first movements of a war, sir?”
Carver smiled holding a hand out graciously. “Who knows, Melissa, all I know is that on behalf of the Carver Media Group and the world, I shall report on it.”
“Until then, that was CMG owner and journalist Elliot Carver somewhere in the Pacific…”
The screens were muted, Carver felt Stamper approach rather than hear him. “Yes, Stamper?”
“Missiles are ready for launch. We have locked co-ordinates for both the US and British flagships.”
“Impressive, Mr Stamper as always,” Carver folded his arms across his black-tunic. “You have been a loyal…”
He had trailed off as his gaze settled on a monitor to his right above the security chief’s head. Stamper followed his gaze and stiffened, a Teutonic growl rising from his thick throat. On the screen showing the port-side pontoon was James Bond. White with rage, finger quivering, Carver pointed up at the screen. “He’s alive…and if he is, SHE is! Get them Stamper! And for God’s sake kill them!”
Stamper rushed off shouting for men and weapons.

**

HMS Turbulent had surfaced up to halfway upon her conning tower between the pontoons of the seacat about fifteen minutes before. It had been a tricky if excellent piece of helm on both the part of the steering rating and the captain using his periscope. Kitted in black fatigues and backpacks Bond and Bouvier crawled onto the sail of the submarine and made the jumps onto the respective pontoons. The submarine then submerged to assume her tracking position. Bond took out from his bag a limpet mine and began to work its mechanisms. Submarines had been used for espionage for decades and thus Turbulent had a small armoury to aid any such work. Both Bond and Pam had some small limpets as well as a handgun and ammunition. Bond had the added perk of some Q Branch gadgets. He fixed the limpet to an alcove above a door. As he glanced over to Pam on the starboard pontoon he felt a punch across his face knocking him down. Stamper howled with rage as he ran at Bond from the open doorway. Bond raised his right leg and kicked out managing to slow Stamper down but like an avalanche the German landed on him. They wrestled with Bond’s head hanging over the edge of the pontoon. Bond punched down on Stamper yet nothing could shift the man-mountain that was trying to push Bond over the edge.
Bond was then rather unceremoniously hauled over like rubbish where he splashed down into the dark waters of the Pacific.
Stamper dusted his hands off as he stood casting his blue eyes over. Pam Bouvier was in the grip of two of his men, shouting and screaming. Stamper called over: “Bring her to Carver!”
Stamper waited a moment checking the pontoon then went inside.

**

“Ah Miss Bouvier. It seems you missed Mr Bond becoming my first deep-sea anchor,” Carver chuckled at his little joke as Pam was brought to a halt before him. He now was in the command area with its banks of consoles and monitors backing upon the sea-drill holding area itself above a slight space of open water. “I knew my plan at Melbourne was too simple but then it won’t matter soon.”
“Yeah, our fleets will smash this tin-can into bits and you with it.”
Carver nodded. “Hmm, nice bravado my little bitch but let’s consider your logic. They kill me, they kill you.”
“I’ve died before,” she said off-hand. She felt like she had before. Some of her work with the Army and most of it with CIA had run things close. The business with Sanchez had been beyond dangerous. She invited danger wherever she went. Thinking of James she mentally groaned. What a way to go.
“Still, we’ll be firing soon and you have front row seats. I can’t for the life of me wait so standby. Are the cameras rolling, Stamper?”
“They are. Satellite feed is coming online so CMG in Hong Kong and Los Angeles will have the images a few seconds later through delay.”
Pam could see a radar screen that showed a field of dots up the left and also the right. The British would stay on course until they came under fire out of stubbornness and the Americans would do the same. Then, if a suitable time passed without success Turbulent would torpedo the ship.
“Launch,” Carver ordered.
Two missiles carved out of the sea-cats hull on both sides into the night sky. After a few seconds they levelled out.

**

In spite of having HMS Hermes Admiral Richard Kendal had chosen the Type-23 frigate HMS Winchester as his flagship. There was something old fashioned and preferable about having a frigate as his flag than a bulky if reliable carrier. Winchester was out on her own, acting as a point but also picket ship. The fleet was spread out with no more than a mile or two separating them. Kendal wore a blue overall and white smock as did everyone else in the command room behind the bridge. Kendal had a headset on through which he heard the sigh of his number one –the ship’s captain.
“Admiralty order doesn’t make sense. Stealth boat, my ar…I mean, really, sir.”
Kendal chortled. “Captain, one has learnt never to underestimate the Admiralty. Roebuck wouldn’t be the kind to send off fanciful messages like that for no reason.”
“This is the PWO, sir,” came a frightfully squeaky voice.  The Principal Warfare Officer nicknamed the Pee-Wo (and this in officer’s case ‘Helium’) was down the room from the admiral. “Incoming missiles at green five-oh!”
“Evasive manoeuvres activate the chaff,” Kendal commanded. An external monitor showed a white streak of light move in at speed. The missile impacted in the water astern of the frigate throwing up a small wave that slapped against the ship. Kendal cursed. “I think that was a warning shot. Signal the Admiralty. ‘Have been fired upon by missile. Am preparing countermeasures’.”
“American fleet also took a missile, sir,” said the Pee-Wo.
“None of us fired,” added the second Weapons Officer in front of Kendal helping to monitor the radar and sonar.
“But the Yanks won’t know better,” Kendal toggled his microphone. “Bridge, get ready for maximum speed.”
As he ended the line he rubbed his nose. “I think this idea of a stealth boat isn’t…”
“Incoming!” Pee-Wo shouted.
“Starboard ten!”

**

“Both fleets are manoeuvring to avoid the missiles,” Stamper reported.
“Good, Mr Stamper. Prepare more missiles and then move the boat away from the fleets.”
James Bond heard it all as he moved through the bowels of the sea-cat as it was relayed via speakers. Soaking wet and strongly smelling of sea-water he had only just managed after being thrown over to grab hold of something at the stern and then haul himself up. Climbing up a works ladder he effected an entrance via an open hatch in the rear. There he took stock. He had lost his little bag of tricks and he assumed Stamper had taken his mines and thrown them.
But he still had his cigarette case. Bond had reached inside and took out around five cigarettes that were stuck together. Placing them on the inside of the hatch he then twisted each end of each cigarette prompting little green lights to start blinking. He then made off slinking down a corridor before surprising a man in what looked like riot gear. After disposing of the body and now armed with an MP5K he headed off.
Hearing Carver’s order and knowing that two missiles had already been launched Bond headed for the engine room. Ships had changed since Bond’s days in the Royal Navy but the premise remained the same. Slipping inside the engine room entrance he crouched looking around. The sea-cat was powered by two Rolls-Royce engines similar to the type that powered much of the Royal Navy now including the Invincible-class carriers. Just as he stood a man in black trousers and t-shirt appeared on the gangway ahead of Bond. The two stared at each other before Bond fired tearing down the engineer. Bond hurried forward and took the mans Desert Eagle. There were no alarms sounding, perhaps the sound of the engines had deafened the bullets.
“Time for a stop,” Bond said as he fired his machine gun into the luminous dials on a central console. As he stopped there came a loud whining and low moaning followed by thunderous silence. A monitor above Bond’s carnage showed digits decreasing signifying that the boat had indeed come to a stop.
“Find out what’s happened!” Carver was demanding.
Bond ran across the room just as men in black Kevlar appeared at the opposite end. They did not see Bond as the door closed on him in time but they saw his damage.
“Mr Carver, the engine room controls have been destroyed,” reported one with a thick accent. “It’ll take time to repair.”
“Do what you can, or you’ll die,” Carver snarled up on the bridge. He began to pace, suddenly unsure. The reassuring vibration through the deckplates had gone and with it his way of getting out. Seeing Pam’s smirk he went to hit her but stopped himself. “You can’t win, Miss Bouvier. I’ll have the last word.”
“Go to hell.”
“Newsflash, Carver!”
Carver’s eyes went wide, he pushed past Bouvier who managed to turn round still held by her guards who turned with her. Carver stood on the edge of the cavernous interior gripping the railing. Standing in the middle of the interior below and to the right of the sea-drill was James Bond. Bond had in his hand a cigarette case.
“Why won’t you just die, Mr Bond? You really are tiresome.”
“You know what they say, Carver, you only live twice. Once before you’re born and once before you die,” at that Bond pressed the side of his cigarette case. Astern the cigarette-explosives went off with a loud thawump. Flame shot into the air but importantly there was damage done to the interior. Carver looked on dumbstruck as Bond drew a Desert Eagle at him. Carver shrieked and took cover as did the guards holding Bouvier. She took a run at the railing and leapt over it. Bond caught her but still went down in a heap.
“Fancy meeting you here,” he said before going to untie her binds.
“You think the fleets saw the explosion?”
“Time will tell. We need to get Carver and make sure the Navy does see this piece of steel.”
Together they ran.

**

“This is the Sonar Officer, sir; we just detected something on our scope. It wasn’t there a minute ago, sir.”
Admiral Kendal had been stood behind the Pee-Wo who brought up a new radar plot on the monitor above one showing the American fleet. As the dial swept round it first showed the rest of the Royal Navy task force then showed a faint dot ahead of them by a few miles.
“Are you sure, Sonar?”
“Positive, sir. I’ll stake my pension on it.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, alright number one…Weps, this is the Admiral. You have a new target.”
The Weapons Officer was shown the target. “Sir, it’s too faint to get a positive lock. I could be sending missiles into the US Navy.”
“Do it the old fashioned way then!”
The captain joined Kendal. “Sir, you think it’s that stealth boat that the Admiralty were on about?”
“Possible. Comms, have the Americans said anything?”
There was a pause; the communications officer had been contacting his opposite number more in hope than anything else. “Aye sir, they say ‘We have the contact too, Winchester. All yours. Good hunting.”
Kendal grunted. “Then we go for it. Captain.”
The captain of the frigate considered his order. He also considered the captain of the Belligerent who had accidentally started all this mess by sinking the Wilkes. If this had all been arranged by someone and that someone was on the stealth boat…
“Standby to fire, we’ll get our range, hit it and then go full tilt.”
Seconds later the Winchester’s 4.5 inch forward turret began firing shells into the night sky.

**

On the sea-cat Bond and Pam were under the bridge when they stopped. A high pitched whine could be heard. Bond grabbed her and shoved her down covering her body just as shells tore into the sea-cat’s side. A loud explosion blazed into the hold knocking the sea-drill about on its cradle. Looking at the fire Bond shouted: “I think it’s safe to say we’ve been spotted.”
Getting to their feet they came under fire from Carver’s men down by the stairs leading up into the bridge. Bond fired back and shoved Pam through a doorway.
“Still think we’ll get out of this?” Pam shouted above the noise.
“By hook or by crook,” Bond shouted back checking his Desert Eagle. “I’m almost out.”
“Full clip,” Pam showed him and smiled. “Must be lucky.”
“You go down here, I’ll go around. Try to surprise Carver. I want him.”
They parted; Bond scurried away down a separate corridor when he was attacked. He was knocked by one of Carver’s Kevlar wearing goons. Bond leapt back upon the man twisting the helmet until he heard a snapping sound. Dropping the body, Bond bent to check for weapons and found a knife and Uzi. It seemed the menagerie of weapons was a varied one on this ship. Bond checked the clip and slammed it home grimly. He poked his head round a corner at the end of the corridor looking at a set of stairs that led up in a spiral. He headed for it, grabbing hold of the banister with one hand he raced up it. Tucking into a roll he came up on one knee and sighted Carver. The news baron was stood against the railing watching the chaos and destruction with grim realisation. Bond straightened slowly advancing on Carver.
Carver for some reason chose that moment to turn round his eyes dull. “Mr Bond, my plans will be realised. We have missiles still in case you forget.”
“In case you don’t realise, Elliot, those shells landing are from a British frigate. You’ll be dust soon. Destroying any of our ships won’t provoke the Americans.”
“I have the pictures,” Carver said with a sweep of his hands. “I also have a helicopter that will get me away. Do you?”
Bond was about to reply when a shell came screaming down above them. A huge section of the ceiling gave way in a furious display of molten steel and flame. Carver was thrown to the ground by the force of impact, most of which landed behind him and made some of the bridge level give way. Bond was also thrown down but was able to get back up unlike Carver who began to slide down the level towards a scene from Dante’s Inferno. Bond slowly walked up to him. Below Carver the deck was a mess of flame and metallic rubble. Carver looked up at Bond with wild eyes.
“Help me! You have to help me!”
“What about the crews of the ships you killed? Those who were going to die just so you could get your story?”
“I mustn’t die!” the news baron’s fingers slipped on the metal and he inched down feet dangling uselessly over the edge. Bond crouched reaching out to grasp Carver’s fingers of his right hand.
“As a newsman you’ll appreciate that the public should always be given what they want. Happy sailings, Elliot.”
At that Bond twisted the fingers making Elliot Carver release his grip on the metal involuntarily. With a scream the Australian flew backwards into the pit below. Bond looked down for a moment and then away. Job done. He looked about for Pam wondering why she wasn’t up here yet. Then he saw her down below under the sea-drill. She was hanging by a chain from the sea-drill’s belly with the chain wrapped around her midriff. Next to her holding a length of chain in one hand was Stamper with a look of pure hatred in his blue eyes.
“You killed Carver!”
“It was his time to go!” Bond shouted back putting away his gun and holding his hands up. “Let her go, Stamper!”
Another shell landed close by. Winchester had the range by now as well as a fully lit contact. Coming in from the opposite direction was the older frigate Portsmouth. Both guns ranging and firing. The Royal Navy was striking back.
“Wrong choice of words, Bond!” the German cried and let his length go. With a silent scream Pam shot down past the decking into the water below. The chain kept running until it suddenly jerked stop prompting the sea-drill to rock above. Bond stared at the water then nodded as if something had been confirmed. Wordlessly he took a step back then ran at the railing, landing both feet on it he launched himself up and managed to grab the chain above the sea-drill. Stamper roared with rage as Bond balanced himself atop the sea-drill which bobbed on the chains violently. Bond tore at a panel atop the drill which exposed some wires. He took a punt and ripped some of the wires out. There was a spurt of electricity and some loud bangs before the three diagonal blades of the drill began to whir into action. Stamper began to haul himself up the chain from below with titanic thrusts of his thighs. Bond glanced down.
“Time to wash away the spider, Stamper.”
Bond leapt off the drill landing in the water with a splash. He gasped at the coldness of the water but was able to draw his Uzi. Hoping for the best he fired a burst up at the drill. His bullets clanged off the chain some of which had been weakened in the attack. It was enough for the chain above snapped. With a metallic groan the sea-drill tilted downwards then dropped. As it plummeted so too did Stamper –the chain above broken. Yet he survived the fall for a few seconds before the drill went into the deck mangling him as it carried on through to the surface underneath. Bond smiled grimly then looked up as shells screamed in en masse. He dove under the water with a kick and began to swim downwards following the long chain that swam in the artificially lit water. He reached Pam who was losing consciousness her cheeks losing the puffiness of a swiftly held breath. As he reached her and slapped his lips to hers to breathe air in the sky above was lit brilliantly as HMS Winchester’s shells finally hit home and destroyed the sea-cat. The stealth boat crumpled under the assault its twin hull splitting down the middle and imploding. Huge bits of the ship were thrown for miles around before it completely was finished off.
Bond backed off seeing the chain drop away from Pam. Pam opened her eyes wincing as she did. He stroked hair from her brow and jerked a thumb up.
Nodding Pam Bouvier kicked her feet and followed Bond up to the surface.

On the Winchester there were some cheers as Weps confirmed that the target was destroyed. Admiral Kendal took his headphones off calling out: “Comms, signal the fleet to turn around and then inform the Americans we will not be engaging nor even considering engaging them.”
After a moment the Comms officer reported to the Admiral. “Sir, Admiralty order us to search the water for survivors. We’re to look for a man and a woman.”
Kendal was somehow not too surprised. “Oh?”
“Something to do with the MoD, sir.”
That definitely was not surprising. Kendal smiled and turned. “Captain, you heard the order. Organise a search.”
“Aye, aye, sir,” the captain grinned and headed for the bridge.

---

epilogue soon...
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PostSubject: Re: Timothy Dalton- "The Crimson Hour"   Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:46 am

EPILOGUE

“Someone Usually Dies”


“Moneypenny, inform the relevant sources that “Elliot Carver died in a tragic accident on his luxury yacht in the mid-Pacific.” Add that he was last seen enjoying his publicity.”
“Yes, sir,” Moneypenny wrote the notes and adjusted her glasses. “What about James and Miss Bouvier?”
M gestured to his telephone. “Admiralty have the Winchester looking. Won’t be long now.”
Moneypenny went back to her office to type up her notes. Bill Tanner swung into the office with a grin. “Another job done, hey, Penny?”
“You’re far too happy, Bill.”
“I never did care for Carver or his news group,” the chief of staff gestured to the red door. “Can I go in?”
Moneypenny pressed a button and Tanner went in. She shook her head and smiled.

**

Pure luck had Bond and Bouvier picked up by the Winchester. Found as they were amongst the debris of the stealth boat. They were briefly talked to by the admiral and captain before being allowed to rest in the spare day cabins usually reserved for flag officers.
“The American fleet has started its own withdrawal; they have the luxury of having Pearl Harbour to head to. We’re crawling back to Hong Kong,” said Admiral Kendal during what passed as a debrief.
“Looks like Carver will become a footnote in history,” Pam said to Bond as they stood outside the day cabins behind the bridge. “What about us?”
“In our line of work we’re not even a footnote,” Bond stood back to let a rating pass by. Beneath their feet the engines of the frigate were at full pitch now leaving the last resting place of Elliot Carver behind. Two ships would remain behind to thoroughly scour the debris field and ensure there was nothing left of note that would-be scavengers would make use of. To the world at large Elliot Carver died in a yachting accident as well as the two fleets nearly coming to blows but saved by some kind of divine last minute intervention akin to Kennedy in the Missile Crisis. Tensions between the two nations would cool. America would continue to rise and Britain continue to search for her place in the world.
After the rating past Bond saw that Pam had opened her door and was grinning mischievously. “Fancy a nightcap, Commander?”
“In the service we called this going on manoeuvres,” Bond grinned back and followed her into her cabin.
A rating tasked by the captain on keeping an eye on their guests arrived a moment or two later and rapped his knuckles on the door. “Commander Bond? Anything I can get you?”
There was no response save for a muffled giggle that sounded decidedly feminine. The rating swallowed then saw one of his counterparts arriving to see to Miss Bouvier.
“Er, not so fast Taffy, the commander and colonel are…shall we say, occupied…”
Taffy chuckled and went to turn away. “Best leave them to it, right?”
“Right.”
The ratings went in opposite directions whilst over the masts of the ship the morning sun started to rise.

END

Timothy Dalton’s James Bond will return in the concluding part of the trilogy: “The Mirage of Fate”

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