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 Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale

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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:14 am

In the middle of my Bondathon and trying to stir my non-Bond writing into life I kicked this out. Sooner my life returns to me the better.

=

Over the East China Sea

The British Airways Boeing 747-400 climbed steadily on its departure out from Seoul. The pilot’s departure warble had only just finished and the majority of the passengers were starting to fall asleep or make efforts to. The flight to London would take a while yet in spite of the 747 driving hard at over five hundred knots. The inflight movie was a dire action adventure with an over-reliance on stodgy CGI and even stodgier acting.
They moved as one from the Economy Class section –four men dressed in black of various types of clothing. Smart casual or suits, either way they had to be dressed in black as that was part of the disguise. Initially the four men moving in the main deck was nothing out of the ordinary. The BA cabin crew had experience of most types of passenger and sometimes they had people moving to get drink orders or use the bathrooms. Within a short time it was clear something was not right. Two men were moving forward and two aft, both sets moving in on cabin crew positions. The women were quickly overpowered and soundlessly, the men tying them up in the galleys and knocking them out. The two men aft then got down on their knees producing a can each from their trousers. Hidden in the hand luggage they had hurriedly stuffed the cans in their trousers before moving. Both cracked open the cans and hurried forward just as white smoke puffed out and into the cabin. Passengers not yet asleep or engrossed in the in-flight movie began to panic, screaming and shouting as the smoke filtered down the deck. It was hard not to think of the terrorist attacks in the United States a couple of years back and still fresh in the minds of some.
Not that these passengers had time to panic for the smoke was in fact stun gas and enough of it in the cans to knock them out in seconds. The four attackers had not stopped though, they moved forward and up onto the bubble deck of the 747. Cabin crew again were knocked out and the passengers too were dealt with.
In the nose where First Class was no one had been bothered. There had been four passengers occupying the plush bunks. One of them did however stir from what had been a light sleep. He wore a smartly tailored suit sans a tie and his shirt unbuttoned at the top. A copy of GQ lay on his chest opened but not read. He dropped the magazine by his side, eyes alert and searching. He was sure he heard a shout, maybe screams. His senses were coming alive and just like past times, his adrenalin flowed.
James Bond slowly stood moving around the cabin to stand by the door that looked down the rest of the plane past the spiral staircase up to the bubble deck. He could see the shadow of people moving upstairs. Just before he moved again the aircraft banked noticeably to starboard. Bond held onto the door until a few seconds later the plane levelled out. Now he stalked out to the staircase, crouching he moved behind it to the forward galley. Two women lay gagged and unconscious by the galley door. Bond checked their pulses and then reached for a knife on the countertop. He debated untying the women but straightened when he heard the faint chatter from upstairs. Backing up Bond glanced into Economy seeing the rows of unconscious people.
Either the movie was that boring or it was a hijacking, Bond mused. No 747 had ever been hijacked and this one would not be if he could do something about it. Bond went quietly back into First making sure the other passengers here were okay. Curious that the hijackers would leave them alone and not gas them. Bond reached into his British Airways holdall he was given at Seoul and rummaged in the inside pocket. Producing what seemed like an innocuous mobile phone he thumbed it on whilst shooting glances to the door. He mentally cursed as the phone made its start-up noise. Next time he borrowed a phone from Jinx Jordan he would check it over first. Searching the menu he activated its so-called stealth mode and smiled when he saw the option menu. “Q should sue for breach of copyright.”
He backed up hearing someone speak at the top of the stairs. Bond ducked into the galley as a black clad figure crept down the spiral staircase. The plane was still droning on so Bond assumed they had a pilot of their own at the controls. Hiding in the inner corner Bond waited then saw the face of a white man, European maybe French, poke around the corner.
“What…?”
“I was looking for peanuts, you wouldn’t believe how big a craving I get,” Bond said standing and smiling. The hijacker beckoned Bond forward with his hand whilst in his other hand he brandished a dagger. So much for airport security, Bond thought. Bond held the phone up. “Mind if I make a call?”
“Give the phone!”
“Manners,” Bond admonished him then threw the phone hard. This was the age of bigger mobiles and so it clunked the hijacker squarely on his forehead making him drop his dagger and fall back. Bond fell upon him smashing his fists together across the man’s face and catching him before he hit the ground. He frisked the hijacker checking pockets and the like but found nothing. He hefted the dagger putting it in his back-pocket. Collecting his phone Bond headed for the stairs.
“Jacques, Jacques what is going on?” a voice asked from the top deck.
“Uh, one of the women came to,” Bond said in a husky French accent. There was a pause.
“Come on up.”
Bond did so slowly; meanwhile he pressed an option on his phone. As he emerged onto the top deck he smiled again. “Gentlemen, I’m from the Acme Environmental Group and we’re concerned at the use of gas on a jetliner…”
The two hijackers here were stunned enough not to react immediately. Around lay unconscious passengers and two BA cabin crew at the bar. Through the open cockpit door Bond made out a white uniform at one set of controls and a black clad man at the other.
Bond tossed the phone forward where it landed before the hijackers. Hitting the deck the phone let out a blinding white flash accompanied by a high pitched whine that deafeaned the hijackers making them drop their knives. Bond had clapped his hands over his ears but now darted forward. Right kick into the crotch of one man, he pivoted to his left grabbing the other by the head and swinging him across the deck. The plane pitched to its left as the hijacker at the controls quickly punched in the auto-pilot. Bond punched down the other one still standing and backed up hands outstretched.
“Who are you?” the hijacker pilot snapped.
“Just someone who’s trying to get home. Who are you working for?”
“As if I would tell you that.”
“No manners, that’s the trouble nowadays,” Bond lunged for him driving his hands into the man’s face, pushing hard and twisting. The hijacker yelped, then kicked Bond in the chest knocking the agent down. Bond rolled away from the next attack grabbing at a stool which he wrenched off its meagre supports and held out in front of him. The hijacker had a knife of his own and kept charging Bond. At one such charge the knife embedded itself in Bond’s defence. The pilot roared with rage just before Bond gave a karate chop into his neck. The grip slackened but not enough. The hijacker broke loose and began to throw anything he could at Bond. Unfortunately for Bond one such thing was a small fire extinguisher. This sailed past Bond hitting one of the upper deck’s small lounge windows. It hit with enough force to make a small crack appear. Remembering an all too recent adventure on an Antonov, Bond hit the deck grabbing hold of the railing that ran along the base of the bar. The window behind him gave way quietly. Everything not bolted down began to suck out through the window, shortly the plane went into a dive as the auto-pilot went to adjust. Bond felt his ears pop, he also felt as if his throat was going to explode. He watched as everything came past including the hijackers. Somehow two of them got through the small window but the third, the pilot, was stuck. Bond did not hesitate, he ran forward across the deck past all manner of debris into the cockpit. The BA pilot was unconscious in his seat and a co-pilot on the floor behind him wedged tightly into the corner. Bond slipped into the vacant chair just as behind him the hijacker was finally ejected into outer space.
“Warning! Warning! Depressurisation in progress.”
Bond worked to override the autopilot. He could just make out people screaming. The plane groaned in its apparent death throes.
“Autopilot disengaged!” the onboard computer screeched.
“Going down,” Bond said through gritted teeth as he gripped the controls and pushed forward. The mighty 747 nosed forward until it was effectively dive-bombing. Bond kept his eyes on the display as they passed rapidly through the altitudes. The wings were starting to wobble, the airframe screaming in protest and hundreds of frightened passengers making last moment prayers. Come on, Bond willed his face a mask of intense concentration.
As the dials passed 10,000 feet the pressure in the plane equalised and so Bond fought to regain altitude and level out. It took some doing but Bond brought the 747 level at around seven thousand feet. He scanned his instruments and nodded to himself. A flight attendant hurried into the cockpit her hair a mess and face lacerated with small cuts.
“Sir, what’s happened?”
“Just a small hijacking but it’s under control, try to wake the pilot,” Bond ordered.
As the flight attendant did so she glanced over at Bond. “Who are you?”
“Bond, James Bond.”
She smiled. “Thank you, James.”
The pilot came to looking around in confusing then saw Bond. “What the Hell?”
“If we can save the observations for a moment, I find a 747 quite hard to fly.”
The pilot automatically reached for the controls. “I’ve got her. What happened? I remember the hijackers but that was it.”
“It certainly was. I took care of them but we have damage, one window has blown.”
The pilot checked his display. “We’ve flown right into Russia. I’ll aim for Moscow. They have a good emergency team there. I should thank you.”
“No need,” Bond slid from his seat and said to the flight attendant. “I realise it’s cheeky but a Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred, please.”
“I’ll try.”
In time Bond checked the rest of the plane over, there were no serious injuries other than rattled nerves and heart palpitations. Bond returned to First sliding onto his bunk seat. The others in First had been awake for a while now but were still befuddled.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. We will be landing at Moscow in half an hour. A replacement jet will fly you all onto London. On behalf of British Airways, I apologise…”
One of Bond’s fellow First Class passengers looked across at him. “What the hell happened here?”
Bond shrugged picking up his discarded GQ and flicked open the pages.
“Who knows? Someone too keen on getting their frequent flyer miles I expect.”



….

……

Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in

CASINO ROYALE

With: Uma Thurman as Vesper Lynd
Gerard Depardieu as Mathis
Vincent Cassel as Le Chiffre
Michael Palin as Q
And Judi Dench as M


Last edited by Hilly KCMG on Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:42 pm

Oh, I'll definitely be following this!
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:18 am

Yes, well, clearly my life has boiled down to this.

I had an idea of who I could visualise as a 2004 Le Chiffre but clean forgotten it.

=-

CASINO ROYALE

With: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Vesper Lynd
Gerard Depardieu as Mathis
Vincent Cassel as Le Chiffre
Michael Palin as Q
Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny
And Judi Dench as M

Partly inspired by the Tarentino aspect and partly not.

CHAPTER ONE
“Assignment”


James Bond came downstairs in his Chelsea flat with a smile on his face in spite of the shrilling of his telephone. He saw that his housekeeper, his little Scottish treasure May, had left his breakfast on the table before doing her Tuesday shopping. He saw that the red light was flashing on his phone and pressed it before lifting the receiver.
“Security clearance please,” a snippy voice requested.
“Bond. Zero-Zero-Seven Alpha Foxtrot Golf Sierra.”
“Acknowledged.”
The line rustled with static before Bill Tanner’s wary but warm voice came on the line. “James, sorry to bother you but M wants you at the Bladings safe house.”
“Come again?” Bond murmured as he managed to snare a slice of French toast from the counter top. Thank God May was not in, she would have a fit. “Bladings?”
“Yes, she’s up there for something or other. Make it snappy. She’s not in a good mood.”
“Okay, I’m on my way. Black tie?”
Tanner grunted. “Just get there, James.”
Eyebrow up Bond put the receiver down and then quickly went upstairs to change. Ever since returning from Korea after the Icarus affair Bond had been treated roughly by M almost as penance for his capture by the North Koreans two years ago. Even finding out that Graves was actually Colonel Moon and destroying both had not raised his level in M’s eyes. Maybe absconding with those diamonds and Jinx Jordan did not help.
Within half an hour Bond was in his Aston Martin Vanquish and heading northwest out of London. The Vanquish was a fairly plain model; the so-called ‘Vanish’ aspect had been removed. Bond drove at a respectable speed on the motorway until reaching High Wycombe where he left to plough into country lanes near the town. Out in the sticks amidst sweeping green hills was the Bladings safe house. The last time Bond had been here, he had left prior to an attack to kidnap what everyone thought was a KGB defector. Since then security had been drastically overhauled so that even servicemen like milkmen and the like were strictly vetted before they could even set foot on the gravel driveway. Bond parked next to M’s official Bentley and stepped out to be met by a sandy haired, stern looking man.
“Morning, 007, sorry sir but I need your gun.”
“Of course, three-four, how are you today?” Bond asked handing over his PPK.
Three-four managed a smile. “Getting a little tired of this lark, sir. wouldn’t mind being a Double-O.”
“Just a number,” Bond said and went on in. M was sat at the head of a table in the same room where Bond once witnessed Koskov do his theatrics. Dryly Bond said: “Milk’s in.”
“That’s not funny, Bond,” M snapped. To M’s right was Tanner who gave Bond an eye-roll then a faint smile and to M’s left a balding man who seemed embarrassed to be here. “Take a seat.”
As Bond did so, M folded her arms. “What do you know about the stock market, 007?”
Bond shrugged, a man dressed as a butler deposited a cup of tea before him and departed. Bond would not touch it; tea was not his cup of… “Enough, ma’am. Stocks go up, come down, crash and…”
“Airline stocks?” M gestured to the bald man. “This is Ralph Edmonds from the Footsie in London, works for a major corporation…”
“I think we can name it,” Edmonds said haughtily.
“No,” M was clearly not in a mood to mess around it today. Bond gave Tanner a look which was returned with a ‘don’t ask’ shrug. Bond was surprised that Moneypenny was not here. The ‘footsie’ was the Financial Times Stock Exchange or FTSE. “Mr Edmonds.”
Edmonds turned his attention to Bond taking a breath. “Shares in British Airways last week unexpectedly took a dive. The dive came around the time of your hijacking, Mr Bond. Before the hijacking someone put a massive amount of credit on the shares.”
Bond frowned. “Sounds like someone was expecting the hijacking to go wrong. Well, for the plane.”
“None of the hijackers have cracked since being captured,” Tanner reported idly gazing at a folder open before him then at Bond. “Even the Russians couldn’t get them to talk but they are all linked to a gun for hire organisation. Sort of a poor man’s updated SPECTRE.”
The mention of the old enemy standing for Special Executive Terrorism Revenge and Extortion did not thrill Bond. “Blofeld’s back?” Bond laughed.
“No,” Tanner said. “Look James, these men were hired to hijack the plane and force it down somewhere. Probably in the Himalayas. We don’t know who hired them but we do know who dumped the shares.”
Edmondson spoke up. “A company called Ellipsis operating out of France, Paris to be exact and headed by a man called Le Chiffre.”
“Le Chiffre?” Bond asked.
“The number, the cipher,” Edmondson began.
“He’s a known cardshark and sore loser,” Tanner remarked reaching into his folder he produced a photo which he slid across the table. “He also has dealings in all manner of terrorist activities, or did until September 11 and now dabbles in Africa, Chechnya and South America.”
“Sounds like a social chap,” Bond remarked and picked up the photo. What stared back made him narrow his eyes. A man of about forty with a worn face. Striking was his left eye, almost creased to a close with scarring above and below.
“We believe he’s been linked to planned attacks in France now for some time. Their DGSE are keen on getting him but we want him too. We sent Double O-Three after him last month.”
Bond had heard rumblings in the jungle drums at SIS that something had happened to a Double-Oh. Not one for gossip he had left it alone assuming it was about him. That and he had been focused on Graves. Tanner continued. “003 caught up with him in Gibraltar, Le Chiffre was conducting talks with Basque separatists…Well, 003 were found by the Royal Navy chained to a breakwater. He had been badly beaten and tortured.”
The photo in Bond’s right hand crumpled as he made a fist. 003 wasn’t the first (and he wouldn’t be the last) Double-Oh to die in the line of duty but it was always a hateful affair. Like 009 in East Germany or 004 (also in Gibraltar) or…
M took up the talk now. “Le Chiffre must be stopped. If he is removed then terrorist operations across the world will be disrupted long enough for us, the CIA, FSB and so on to act. Who knows what else he could do if he’s prepared to bring a 747 down to make money? But killing 003 has pushed him our way very firmly. Tanner.”
“James, Le Chiffre will be at the Casino Royale in Royale-les-Eaux in Norther….”
“I know it fairly well,” Bond remarked even as Tanner was pushing across his ferry ticket and hotel booking. He pocketed both.
“Right, well, he’ll be there for a few days as there is a big poker tournament going on. We’re getting you into the game, or rather our man in France will. He’s partly DGSE but he’s safe.”
“Good to know,” Bond said. He noticed M’s cold gaze.
“Bond, your mission is to eliminate Le Chiffre from the field of operations. Preferably alive but you have a licence to kill…”
“I know my job,” Bond stood looking stern. “Anything else?”
“Check in with Q Branch on your way to your car.”
As Bond walked to the door there was the inevitable ‘PS’ moment and so he paused to look back as M said with a stiff nod.
“Good luck, 007.”
“Ma’am.”
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:55 pm

Vincent Cassel as Le Chiffre? I can certainly see it.
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:05 pm

CHAPTER TWO
“Things that go bump in the night”


It did not surprise Bond that Bladings would have a small lab here for Q Branch. It occupied rooms and a subterranean garage at the rear of the property facing out into apparent stables and farmland. As he walked in he saw the ever faithful Smithers stand still as a dark haired man in a white lab coat scanned him with a mobile phone.
“Bad reception, Smithers?”
“Oh, yes, sir.”
Bond smiled and folded his arms as the dark haired man turned. “I don’t find these quips funny, 007.”
Bond said nothing. “S?”
The other stepped forward holding a hand out. “Q. My predecessor was relocated.”
“Sounds painful, nothing serious I hope?”
The new Q sighed as Bond shook his hand and took the phone. The screen showed nothing but fuzzy red and white. “It’s an X-ray feature, 007. We’ve upgraded the phone for this whilst keeping features such as fingerprint analysis, safe-cracking mode, electrical nodes and self-drive for your car…”
Bond nodded. “I remember when you used these things for talking.”
Q led him over to a table adjacent to a red telephone box whose windows had been shattered. Bond glanced over it for a moment. “Let me guess, I use this as a bazooka?”
“No! That’s just a leftover from the old days,” Q picked up a pen. “Your three-click and bang pen…”
“Novel,” Bond said even though he remembered using it in the past. He pocketed it and saw that some of the gadgets here were old. “Budget cuts, Q?”
“You could say that, 007,” Q said rather seriously. “It pays to keep some gadgets going. How else do you think Aston Martin remain in business?”
When Q picked up a pair of purple spectacles Bond put his hand on the man’s arm. “No, no x-ray specs. If I’m doing cards, I’m playing honestly.”
“Bond, it’s the country’s money you’ll be gambling with.”
“I know.”
“Very well.”
Q produced a pad from his pocket and pressed a button. The wall behind the telephone box lifted up to reveal a single jet black Aston Martin DB9. It positively shone in the lights of the underground lab. Bond walked around it admiring her lines as Q spoke. “The new DB9, it’ll be the replacement of the Vanquish in time but in the meantime you’ll get the first one. Treat it well, 007. You have all the usual party tricks including skis, laser, rocket exhaust and self-destruct not to mention a rather hefty V12 engine.”
Bond put a hand on the car. Just like the old 1987 Vantage he remembered. “You should be a car salesman, Q.”
Q cracked a smile. “I’ve been called worse. Please bring it back, 007.”
“I’ll try.”
“And best of luck. Break a leg, hmm?”
Bond looked up at Q. “I’m sure it won’t come to that, Q.”

**

By nightfall Bond was coming ashore at Calais via car ferry. Part of him missed the huge hovercraft that did the journey in thirty minutes. He was first off and the roaring engine of the DB9 filled the still air around the French port. He drove out of the town then westwards going through the country along back roads that the Germans probably once used to come up this way. Alone with his thoughts Bond went over the card game ahead. Baccarat was a tough game and when in the hands of skilful gamblers, almost impossible. He would have to be on the top of his game. Le Chiffre did not seem the type to play fairly so he would have to be on guard as well.
Almost four hours later he drove into the small coastal town of Royale-les-Eaux that sat on the Brittany coast close to St. Malo. Bond had been here a few times to play cards and enjoy himself. Coming down the promenade he crossed a small humpback bridge that spanned the River Eaux as it entered the English Channel and then turned left into the luxurious forecourt of the Hotel Splendide. Gathering his luggage, Bond left the car with a valet and made a point of checking the milometer which left the valet red faced. Going inside Bond was met by a beaming moustachioed man.
“Ah, Commander Bond, welcome back!”
“Manuel, it’s good to see you. I have my usual suite?”
Manuel’s face clouded and he lowered his voice, leaning over the desk. “I fear Monsieur Bond that a Monsieur Le Chiffre took it before your booking. I have the wedding suite…”
Bond nodded sharply. “All right, that’ll do,” as Bond signed he gave the lobby a scan. No one of note. Except a burly man with a toothbrush moustache pretending to read a copy of Velo News. Getting his keys Bond walked up to the man. “You know, I thought the DGSE were meant to be good at being inconspicuous.”
The man threw his newspaper into the neighbouring potted plant. “We are, but I thought it best to make myself known to you. Mathis, Rene Mathis.”
“Bond, James Bond,” the British agent winced at the handshake that followed. Flexing his free hand he grimaced. “Do you work out?”
“Sometimes,” the Frenchman grinned. His hair was unkempt, dark blond, his eyes green but wishy-washy and his demeanour stooped a little. They say never judge a book by its cover but Bond was skipping to the index with Mathis. “Your room has been checked over. No bugs.”
“Nice to know. Do you make my bed as well?”
Mathis laughed loudly. “Non, come. To the bar.”
Bond gave his bag to the front desk with a sizeable tip to ensure it got there in one piece and joined Mathis in the Splendide’s bar. It was early morning but that did not stop it humming with excitement. Lights cast a golden glow all over and in the corner a man with necktie loosened played on the piano.
“My friend, what will you have?”
“Something light.”
“Two rum and cokes,” Mathis barked and slapped Bond on the back. Bond adjusted his tie. “Welcome to France!”
“You can tone the Allo Allo act, Mathis,” Bond said his head faintly pounding. He took a sip of his drink. From what he had been told about Mathis by Tanner before he left Bladings, he had expected someone on the top of their game. The DGSE were the French equivalent of MI6 with the Americans believing that the French were second only to the Chinese in intelligence work in the modern world. They did not employ mugs. “Le Chiffre.”
Mathis’ expression sobered, he drew his chair closer. “He arrived yesterday evening. He has an entourage of about ten I would say, one girlfriend with him –some Swedish bint- and hired guns.”
“Have you dealt with him before?”
“Once. Many years ago. Tried fixing the tables in a casino in Nice. He got away with his life. They do not take kindly to interference in the south,” Mathis drained his drink, the ice cubes knocking noisily against the glass. “I believe he works for someone but it is unknown who.”
“Someone else?”
“Oui. Someone like Le Chiffre does not lead or work on his own. Like a sheepdog he follows a greater power,” Mathis sighed his bristly moustache flecked with drink. “He is a gambler and like all gamblers, he never knows when he is truly beaten.”
Bond smiled to himself. How many times had he done the same thing? Sanchez, Carver, Graves, Zao…
“You must be tired from your trip. We can talk more in the day.”
“Thanks.”
Bond made it upstairs, his bag had been left by the door and he carefully went through it. His PPK was untouched. Cautiously he fitted the silencer and peered down its length. Could he trust Mathis? Tanner believed Mathis fairly trustworthy.
It’s so hard to know who to trust nowadays, James.
The words of Alec Trevelyan made Bond scowl. He put his PPK in the bedside cabinet and eventually, he slept.

CHAPTER THREE
“Seascapes and Danger”


After breakfast Bond was told that the game would start that evening. There were to be five other players besides Le Chiffre. One was late currently and would arrive just in time. Bond dressed in a grey suit wandered down to the beach. He sat in a small shelter gazing at the ships on the Channel. Just in danger of being swallowed by childhood memories, Bond was interrupted by a woman’s voice.
“Commander Bond?”
He looked to his left to see a tall woman with long black hair whipping over her shoulders in the breeze; she wore a red dress that ended at her knees. She carried a briefcase in one hand and shoes in the other. Bond stood. “James,” held his hand out.
She awkwardly juggled her shoes and shook his hand. She sounded English though there was an accent there someplace. “Vesper Lynd, I’m from Station F. Actually, I work in the Foreign Office but I’ve had to work out of your Station F.”
“Indeed,” Bond invited her to sit in the shelter with him. “Vesper?”
“Dad was religious,” she simply said opening her briefcase on her lap. “You’ve been sanctioned by HMG to handle upwards of ten million pounds. More can be made available if needed…”
“Nice to know I have money on tap,” Bond said eyeing her paperwork. “You’re not seriously expecting me to sign for it are you?”
“Mr Bond, we need a signature so that we know you have it.”
“Oh, you’ll know,” Bond smiled. Vesper gave him a frosty stare and the smile vanished. “Not a morning person then?”
“I’m from the Government…”
“So I see.”
She handed him a pen and he signed the paperwork pressing firm enough to feel the pressure in her legs. He looked up. “Initials?”
“That’ll do,” she took the pen back. “I don’t much care for agents. Double-O’s I hear have cockiness but I find it distasteful.”
Bond frowned. “I gather you have been told stories about me.”
“I was warned about you by my boss, yes. You went against orders two years ago…”
Bond looked back to the sea his lips pursed tightly. “I was betrayed by someone in MI6 and I went after them…in the end, I stopped someone from carving Korea and eliminated the leak. I was a prisoner for fourteen months. By rights I should be dead,” he now looked at her. “So I did what I had to do. Agents do that, Ms Lynd. So may I suggest you eliminate what chip that you have on your shoulder and focus on the mission at hand.”
Vesper nodded. “Okay.”
It was a mere whisper but Bond heard. “Get ready for tonight, you can masquerade as my good luck charm.”
“Must I?”
“You must.”
Bond left her there. As he crossed up the beach he saw Mathis on the other side of the promenade road. Just as Bond reached the curb a banged up Citroen taxi raced in front. From the rear came a burst of machine gun fire at Bond. He hit the deck as quickly as the car had appeared with screams filling his head from the beach. As the taxi veered away, Bond got to his feet and began to run into the road. Mathis was running after Bond. Arms pumping, Bond cut across the forecourt of the Splendide with the taxi turning before the bridge to follow the riverside road into the old town. Traffic slowed the taxi down enough so that Bond reaching the riverside road could leap. He landed on the bonnet arms and legs splayed. The beaten face of the driver scowled out at Bond, behind him appeared the muzzle of an Uzi aimed at Bond. Bond reached into his jacket as the car careened down the road from side to side. Bringing out his pen, teeth gritted, Bond pressed three times then reaching out he managed to toss the pen into the open window of the driver’s side. Bond then threw himself off the car hitting the embankment of the river and grunting with pain. Rolling onto his side he watched as the taxi proceeded to come to a ragged halt. Just as the reverse lights flicked on the car exploded violently. Bond slowly walked over smoothing his suit over. People were already starting to mill, cars behind were honking. Watching the flames Bond heard Mathis catch up his breath ragged.
“I’d say the fares in this town are red hot,” Bond remarked. “Friends of yours?”
“They were after you…I will check my sources.”
“Take your time,” Bond muttered and walked off.

**

“Freelance hitmen. From what we recovered from the taxi, they were known to the police.”
Bond took a gulp of his scotch pushing the glass across the table. Mathis eyed him from the other side his green eyes narrowed. “They’re working for Le Chiffre.”
Mathis shrugged. “It is more than likely, James. Or at least they worked for him. You were lucky."
“I don’t have luck, it’s called skill,” Bond waved over a waitress. “One more,” he said holding his glass up.
“You’ll not be in condition for the game,” Mathis warned. Bond’s remark was short and blunt making Mathis laughed. “Ah, you have a Frenchman’s humour.”
There was a disturbance at the door to the hotel’s bar. Looking Bond saw a tall if slightly stooped figure come into the bar with an attractive blonde on his arm and short-necked goons behind him. “I am here for a card game, not a press soiree!”
“Le Chiffre,” Bond said without tone. What few people with cameras vanished, ushered away by Manuel. Bond kept his gaze on Le Chiffre who walked up to the bar, made an order then swung his head towards Bond and held the gaze in return. Mathis watched and knew this exchange from many encounters in his career. The rival hunters getting the measure of each other. Bond glanced at Mathis. “The goons?”
“Hired help. Mathis rarely travels without them. There will be more somewhere.”
Bond stood as Vesper walked into the bar and up to them. She had changed into a figure hugging blue dress and carried a small purse. “You look magnificent,” Bond said kissing her on the cheek. Mathis kissed her on both cheeks murmuring to her: “Enchanting, simply enchanting!”
Vesper blushed, Le Chiffre was watching Bond noted. Good. “The game starts soon, James.”
“James is it?” Bond smiled then took her by the elbow. The gaming room was across the lobby adjacent to the main casino. From here, through the door, he glimpsed a table on a raised platform surrounded by comfortable high-backed chairs. The platform was roped off, there was a bar just behind it and seats for spectators. Bond turned to face her. “It might just be a game but I’ll need you to play the role of my girlfriend to perfection.”
Vesper’s lips curled down. “If this is a trick to get me into bed, Bond…”
“No!” he all but snapped. “As far as Le Chiffre’s concerned I’m a rich man in Royale for a high stakes game. The longer he thinks that, the longer and better chance I have of beating him. He’ll see you as the girlfriend and Mathis a good friend.”
“Smoke and mirrors,” said Mathis walking up. He produced a cigarette and was about to light it when the receptionist cleared her throat and pointed to a sign declaring ‘no smoking!’ Mathis sighed. “Welcome to the 21st Century.”
Before Bond could say anything there was a call by Manuel for the players of the game to enter the room. Four others took shape at the edge of the platform besides Bond and a slow walking Le Chiffre. An elegant older woman, a large American black man, a pale German from Berlin and an American from New York. Bond sized them up and found them wanting. Still, looks were nothing to go by. Bond adjusted his tuxedo’s collar then his cufflinks. The Master of Ceremonies –who reminded Bond of a French Don Knotts with a small moustache- cleared his throat.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we shall commence soon. Players will be searched before signing in. Once the game is in progress, there will be two breaks and no more unless it is an emergency. Please, let us commence.”
Bond was first; walking up to the platform he signed the ledger-like book open on the edge and was then checked over by the humourless man standing by. Bond took him to be either an ex-policeman or a moonlighting one. Bond took his seat watching Le Chiffre being frisked. What was he? French? Eastern European?
The Cipher. The Number. Blank. Blanco. Le Chiffre.
Lost in his thoughts Bond did not notice the newcomer, and the last game-player, turning up. A large-ish man with short black hair, his husky Russian accent sounded cheerful as the Royale staff tried to take his coat and cane. “No, no, I need my cane you perfumed buffoons!”
As he clambered up, he was the last to sign. “Gentlemen, good evening,” he then said aloud as he scrawled, “Valentin Zhukovsky.”
Bond started as if from a deep slumber and met the smiling eyes of the Russian. Bond hoped he had not let on but maybe he had. Zhukovsky winked at him then took his seat down the far end from Bond.
The MC beamed. “Gentlemen, my lady, if we are ready. We shall start.”
Off to the side, at the bar, Mathis took his freshly poured martini and murmured to Vesper.
“Now, the fun and games shall really begin!”
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coco1997
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:01 am

Love your writing on the last few chapters. Nice to see you jump right into the card game.
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Hilly KCMG
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PostSubject: Re: Pierce Brosnan- Casino Royale   Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:15 am

I figured we don't need to hang about. No messing about on cranes or free-loading/jumping whatever it is. The book had all the action in Royale with bits happening along the way. If Skyfall could locate the action mostly in London and Scotland than no reason a Brosnan CR could've kept it in France.

Still, we'll see how it goes. I'm doing this November writing month thing (NaNoWriMo) and that tends to draw my focus. Also, I need to brush up on Baccrat as card games are beyond me and I want to make the action as authentic as possible.
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