THE BOND IDENTITY
The name is Bond. Holly Bond.
And I am a spy.
Which generally means, I get to spend a lot of time undercover, which in itself, largely entails having to bring down your average sociopathic megalomaniac aka 'bad guy'.
Now, the great contradiction with this particular type of criminal, is that they all want to rule the world but are forever hellbent on destroying it. Like, seriously guys, could you make up your minds?
One such walking oxymoron, is Dorian Grey. Yep, just like the famous oil painting, but after the man himself looked at it! All old, grey and sagging, held together with various bits of social tape, although that's never stopped him from being constantly surrounded by a bevy of beauties like some underworld version of Hugh Hefner.
But big Hugh's not my assignment. Not today, anyway.
Emerging from the sea, I make my way across the sandy shores of Puerto Rico and proceed to peel my wetsuit off like an over ripe banana skin, before stretching out the thinly veiled black lycra top underneath to produce a nifty black all-in-one number. Slicking my wet hair back, I take a pair of titanium stilettos and matching airings out of my small water-resistant satchel, before turning the satchel inside out, transforming it into the perfect minimalist handbag, completing my new ready to wear look.
I ditch the wetsuit in a nearby bush and proceed onwards towards the target location. Perfection.
|"HOW'S THE OUTFIT, HOLLY?"| screams the high-pitch feedback-riddled voice into my ear drum, courtesy of a state-of-the-art two-way voice receiver built into the airings.
"Dammit, Q! You could've at least tested the damn noise levels before bleeding my eardrums dry?"
|"My bad!"| comes the usual less than genuine reply. |"Testing, testing, 1,2,3!"|
"The only thing your testing right now, nerd, is my patience!" I tell him. "The dress fits just fine. The shoes, on the other hand, are a little on the tightside."
|"New shoes always take a little while to wear in."| he informs me. |"But you will not believe the amount of cool stuff I've crammed into them!"|
"Yeah, and I'm sure you had a ball, test-driving them back at the lab, too!" I quip, always one to seize an opening.
|"Ahh...!"| he replies. |"I... well... a lot could have gone wrong... you know? So... err...! Okay look, I was just... that is..."|
Well, gee, that backfired in the most awkward of ways.
"Save it, nerd. My only concern is that it all works! But I guess I know what the 'Q' stands for now, huh?"
|"Yes, 'Quite'. As in 'please be'."| he tells me. |"I need to run your mission specs and we're already behind time."|
"Okay, shoot." I tell him.
|"Dorian Estavez Grey. Corporate mogul and owner of Greystoke Energy Enterprises: 'Power to the People... blah, blah, blah'. Says here, he's a regular contributor to over a dozen charities. A three-time winner of the 'Humanitarian of The Year' award, annual local beauty pageant sponsor... etc, etc. But flip the coin and we're talking links to the Columbian Cartel, money laundering, sex trafficking... basically 'Jekyll and Hyde on crack'!|
"Aren't they all?" I reply. "What's the security like?"
|"Minimal, surprisingly. In this house anyway. These days he likes to keep low profile, with everything from the CIA to the local authorities shadowing his every move, choosing to operate each criminal business venture under a different alias via a different location. So in short, the securities nothing you wont be able to handle."|
"That was the short version?" I ask in bewilderment.
|"Pay attention, Holly. Now, your cover will be; Miss Indie Pendant... see what I did there?"|
"I'm in awe of your greatness...!"
|"Ah, whatever! Anyway, you're attending a private function, posing as an exotic wannabe model. Bit of a stretch, I know, but I think you can pull it off. Adding you to the guest list... now, so should be live on their PDA systems. Remember, once you're in, you will need to make your way to the 4th room, on the 4th floor, which is room number 4-4..."|
"Then I crack the safe, bag the goods, and make like a leaf! Got it."
|"'Tree', Holly. It's 'make like a tree... and leaf'!"|
"You still there, Q? I'm sorry, I thought I requested radio silence!"
|"What? Now hang on there, you can't just-"|
Oh, but I can, nerd. And I just did. Best thing about the two-way radio is I have complete control of the on/off switch.
Ah Q, annoying as heck, but still the smartest guy in the room. Even when he's not actually in the room. Makes the task of living up to his father's legacy a simple stroll in the park. I, on the other hand, am having no such frigging luck!
I get my head back in the game and clock Grey's supremely lit mansion over in the distance. The warm air and gentle breeze that accompanies it is as soothing as the sight of sun settling down for the night is hypnotic. Damn, I wish I could call in sick.
Eventually, I arrive at the mansion. Looking up at the magnificent architecture on display, I cant help but wonder, for the briefest of moments, wether I'm in the right paying job. This guy obviously has more money than blood cells, and probably a fraction of the bureaucratic crap i have to deal with on a day to day basis, to boot. The car park alone is half the size of a football field, and plays host to some the best cars money can't buy. Haven't seen a selection like this since I last ran a circuit on Forza 5.
Creative credit's gotta go to whoever chose the two slabs of hired muscle guarding the main entrance up ahead. They bring a whole new meaning to the word 'intimidation'. Guessing ex-military, Colombian special forces? Either way, even they should have no problem succumbing to the classic 'damsel in this dress' approach.
Ha! See what I did there? I'm wasted.
Discretely, I attach a small transmitter to the undercarriage of the first vehicle I come across, a back-up plan, in case 'Plan A' goes south on me, then calmly make my way over to the main entrance.
Up close, the two cuban human roadblocks are no less intimidating. Just the kind of blokes I love to slam through a brick wall on an ordinary sunny day. But this mission's a simple snatch and run low profile affair, so the aim will be to maintain cover and not draw unwanted attention.
I arrive and make small talk with the marginarily smaller of the two in my best 'southern ditzy blonde' impersonation.
"Evening y'all, hope ah haven't missed the entertainment?"
"Honey, from where I'm standing, you are the entertainment." he replies. I'm sure there's a compliment in there somewhere. "To who do I owe the pleasure, Miss...?"
"Pendant." I reply. "Indie Pendant."
Sounds worse coming out of my mouth, than it did going into my ears.
"That's a pretty little name for a pretty little girl, in an even prettier little dress, but I'm afraid 'pretty' won't be getting you through these doors."
"Oh, ya'll mean like an invitation? Well why don't cha go 'head, check that list'a yours for that pretty lil name of mine?"
And so he does, whipping out from behind his back... a clipboard. Yep, a frigging clipboard! Like, who uses a clipboard in 2015? Well, this guy, Holly, it would seem.
"My my..." I say rather nervously, without trying to actually sound nervous. "Would you look at that! Good ole fashion pen and paper for a guest list! Folks still roll like that?"
"Had some weird electrical surge trigger off earlier. Killed everything on the premises with an electric pulse, including the PDA." he tells me."Yeah, E.M.P." grunts the bigger guy, as the smaller rifles through the guest list with his index finger as he continues.
"Temporarily shut down most of our internal systems, electronic devices, surveillance... say, you wouldn't happen to know anything about that, now, would you?"
What's he talking about. They're suspicious. Sounds like something else has happened here. Possibly someoneelse. Regardless, I'm losing precious time. Need to wrap this up.
"Honey, I don't even know what an 'EMP' is!" I laugh. "Sounds to me like a... tropical disease!"
He narrows his eyes at me for half a second before glancing over to his friend. "Nope. No 'Miss Pendant' anywhere on the list. Seems to me, the only place your name is written, is in my heart."
Any other day, I'd happily pull out a knife and relish making that line of his a brutal reality. But this isnt that day. Meanwhile, the bigger guy, sensing some action might kick off, begins shifting the weight in his stance, unfolding his arms as he tilts his head to one side. Standard 'bouncer 101', I'm guessing. And 'kick off' it most certainly will!
To be continued...
A/N... So, first chapter out the way, really hope you enjoyed it!