Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by loyalist_historian, Jan 3, 2013.

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    Kyra Mercer scanned the perimeter of the embassy. One hand rested over her holstered Glock, while the pointer finger of her other hand pressed her earpiece after the damn thing fell out for the umpteenth time. The badge revealed at her hip read:
    Department of Justice
    Drug Enforcement Administration
    Special Agent
    And despite her focused and deliberate demeanor, Kyra was sure her annoyance could have been read through her eyes by anyone who knew her well.

    It seemed like every corner she turned, another Marine scouted. They had so much manpower surveying the outer perimeter of the Embassy, Kyra was sure they would soon experience diseconomies of scale. And then she told herself to shut the fuck up and apply economic theory to the drug trade where it belonged. Especially here in Afghanistan.

    Their RSO often broke the chain of command and ordered Kyra around, and, usually, she directed her aggravation to him. A man who never bothered to spell her name right--‘Kira’ certainly wasn’t a first--and sometimes overstepped his mandate with regards to his female DSS agents. But the man was damn good at his job, even if he felt entitled to order around agents who were completely out of his jurisdiction.

    In any other circumstance, Agent Mercer would have argued or disobeyed when told to scout the perimeter of the embassy like a DSS agent. And she felt just as distraught as the rest of them over the loss of Ambassador Cortlandt when the sacking had occurred, and she felt just as angry with herself for not being able to stop the onslaught, even though that anger was better directed at the fucking Station Chief for not getting his shit together and catching the intel they had had all along.

    Goddamn--Kyra shouted silently as she all but ran into another Marine, all but opening the snap on her holster in surprise.

    This was such bullshit.

    And it wasn’t what she did, and the Marines didn’t seem all too happy to run into her, either. Their sanctimonious superiority complex never stopped being annoying.

    Kyra would have been happy if good had come from it. But in the hour and a half she’d been scouting, she hadn’t seen any loner insurgents, and the issues she spotted with the building itself were already being taken care of. But she kept on scanning the perimeter.


    The grainy call came through her earpiece, and Kyra pushed it deeper into her ear as she acknowledged the RSO.

    “Yes, sir?”

    “Charge’ needs you in his office.”

    Pissed her off to get the request from him, but she wouldn’t voice that on the line, open as it was to the other embassy staffers.

    “Yes, boss,” she obliged herself in adding, the ironic twinge on the last word garnering a bit of a smirk she quickly erased as she headed inside to the DCM’s office, not quite ready to acknowledge the man’s technical current title of charge’. He would probably be their ambassador very soon, but Cortlandt’s absence was still an omnipresent fact of their embassy life. Kyra pulled on her suit jacket, straightening the black fabric and adjusting the collar of her white dress shirt before knocking on the DCM’s office door and waiting for his word to enter.

  2. Pirates have hijacked a privately owned ship in the Nigerian port of Lagos -- the third attack in just over two weeks in the Gulf of Guinea, the International Maritime Bureau said on Wednesday. The vessel, which had 23 on board including Daughter to the Ambassador of France: Stephanie Ricketts. The bureau's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting center said, adding that the pirates were sailing the ship into the open sea. It did not say how the pirates hijacked the vessel on Tuesday evening. "We have informed the authorities who are taking action," Noel Choong, head of the IMB's Malaysia-based piracy reporting center told AFP. "The crew members had locked themselves in a safe room," said Choong, who added: "We are concerned about their safety and the spate of hijackings. Demands have been released by the pirates and an Emissary has been dispatched to negotiate the terms of the ransom," he said.

    An official response from Sir Peter Ricketts has yet to be released at this time.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ***********

    Time moves strangely with a bag over your head.

    It had taken 28 hours to get to the coast in order to transport to the Yacht in question. From the time the order was received to the time the emissary reached neutral waters, travel had been relatively comfortable. While not first class, the trip at least allotted the courtesy of an open pair of eyes. Finding himself on the skiff which would complete the destination, the diplomat found that common entitlements such as wrists unbound by shackles and a nose free from the touch of burlap was rarer than imagined. What might have been a glorious sunrise was lost between brown stitching as the transport drifted sluggishly towards its target. Soon enough the humble skiff clunked against the brim of something solid and the cold barrel of an AK-47 could be felt as it pressed its way into the negotiator's back. 13 stairs, slick surface of treated wood, and the mild sting of salt water in the air passed along the man's senses as he was led onto the vessel. It's said that to put a sack over a man's head in the face of an armed company is to induce so much fear that the they remain silent. Perhaps that was the case, despite the barrel in his back and the unknown before his feet; he made no sound of protest.

    The echo of a door chimed from behind him and the man found himself among the sounds of other bodies as they pooled around him like lions to a kill. "He had these on him." one man chimed as the hood from over the Emissary's head was pulled off from another direction.

    The man beneath the cloth sack squinted at the light of the room. Looking to his right, he found himself staring down the barrel of an old style pump shotgun he could only assume was loaded. The face behind the weapon was an older man just starting to grey that looked like his face would break if he smiled. To the emissary's front stood a man behind a coffee table, leaning over the small few items the outsider was allowed to bring aboard. A black ball point pen, the conditions of release for the hostages on board and a leather bound case filled to the brim with sterling. It was a bit of a compromising situation to say the least.

    "Mister Miner..." The man from behind the table chimed as he loomed over it ominously. A jagged scar began just above the left corner of his mouth and trailed across his nose and over his eye giving him a much worn appearance. When he spoke, the gash would shift along with the motions of his fact drawing all the more attention to it. "I trust your trip was uneventful?"

    "A few snags here and there but nothing worth raising an eyebrow over." The bound man replied as the remaining goon along the wall moved up behind him. "You'll forgive me if I don't shake your hand; I'm a bit tied up at the moment."

    A wry grin shifted below the speaker's scar as he spoke, mildly amused by the response. "It does seem the conditions of our meeting are not the most pleasant. A poor way to conduct business wouldn't you say?"

    "I don't suppose tea would be out of the question?" The emissary spoke once more with deadpan expression as he knelt before the table. A trial of sorts before execution.

    "I'm afraid that won't be possible Mr. Miner," the scarred man replied running a finger over the crisp outline of currency from within the case. "I'm not planning on this meeting taking long. However, we can afford some common courtesy..."

    The speaker lifted a finger towards the potential executioner and the teeth clenching chime of the shotgun action chambering a shell rang out in the room. The emissary turned towards the weapon as it sounded and his expression tightened slightly. The arc of the speaker's finger continued its trail coming to rest upon the henchman standing immediately behind the bound Miner. The scarred man nodded and the Emissary could feel hands unlocking the tight shackles at his wrists. "After all," The speaker exclaimed from behind a wide grin, "There's no reason why we can't be civil is there?"

    "You're quite the host." The Emissary replied rubbing his hands and reaching for the pen on the table. "May I stand?"

    "You look comfortable enough where you are Mr. Miner." No response came from the emissary outside of a simple raise of the eyebrows while the man's lips pressed. An expression of silent protest, but not enough of one to warrant action. "I suppose this document includes the conditions of release for the people under our influence?"

    "Yes, the ransom of 100 million has been delivered and we expect you to hold to your end of the deal. The lives of the hostages will remain unharmed and you and your crew can leave in the skiffs you arrived in. A vessel will meet us in open waters to tend to any wounded sustained in your raid." The statement was given as if it was rehearsed.

    "I'm afraid that won't be possible Mr. Miner." The scarred man exclaimed, "You see if I release my only trump card, that leaves very little insured protection for the lot of us to return home without potential complications. No no, I'm afraid I'll have to change the deal. We shall proceed into neutral waters and radio your authorities after we make a drop of the hostages in question. I suppose the only thing left to do is discuss the nature of your own capture."

    "I revoke my prior comment of you being a generous host." The emissary replied, dead pan expression still plastered to his face.

    "Oh Mr. Miner..." The scarred speaker chuckled, lowering his stance to be supported by his elbows. "Don't be raw about it, this is just business. The deal consisted of the release of the prisoners and I believe we can abide by that. However your own seems to be open field. How much would you say a person of your stature would warrant for a ransom?"

    "I would wager the lives of you and your crew."

    The scarred man cast his head back and barked out a loud laugh that filled the room. "Oh my... That was rich. I'm sorry Mr. Miner but I really don't believe you're in the position to be making threats." The speaker shifted his hand into the folds of his coat and removed a black outline of a revolver before setting the barrel at the Emissary's face. "You reek of lies and thinly veiled bluffs Mr. Miner, but I'll see to it your wit is compensated accordingly."

    "Fantastic," the emissary replied as he clenched the pen in hand into the ball of his fist, "I suppose the only thing left to do is to draft up the contract." The man's thumb shifted over the button of the pen and pressed it down with a resounding 'click'.

    The briefcase directly beneath the speaker erupted into the sound of an explosion as a concussive light filled the room. The Emissary rose to his feet as the groans and screams from the blast sounded in his ears and sent the tip of the pen in hand abruptly to his right. The sharp point pierced through the eye of the man holding the shotgun, who exclaimed with another cry as blood flowed down his face. Miner spared no time to place his hands around the frame of the shotgun and spin it overhand to face the stomach of its owner. The trigger clicked and the sound of buckshot striking flesh filled the room.

    The agent turned abruptly and cycled a round as he watched the scarred man make a break for the door, still holding his eyes as bits of shrapnel and blood peppered his body. As he moved, another henchman near the door reached into his coat and began to pull the frame of a pistol towards the emissary. While quick to recover from the sting of the flash bang’s effects, the agent's shotgun was quicker. The shell in the chamber exploded and the frame of the attacker was pitched against the wall in a bloodied heap.

    A quick scan of the room revealed it to be empty. The agent released his grasp on the shotgun and rushed over to the body of the bloodied man whose hand still sat firmly against the frame of a pistol. The emissary pulled the firearm from the dead man and glanced upon it, removing the safety and chambering a round. A Beretta, how convenient.

    The agent jumped to his feet and rushed towards the open door where the scarred speaker had stumbled through, pistol firmly in hand as he moved through the corridors of the vessel. A long hallway opened past the arch and looking down it revealed a door that slammed at its end. The agent rushed ahead and put his shoulder into the latch, snapping the cheap mechanism and filling the once dark room with light from the outside. The silhouette of bodies bound and gagged were scattered along the various corners of the floor, the smell of sweat heavy in the dark room. In the center of the cabin stood the frame of the still bleeding scarred man as he stood behind the body of a bound woman. The revolver sat firmly in his shaking mitt as its barrel was pressed beneath the lass's chin. Tears ran down her face as her eyes looked desperate. The Agent scowled as he set his crosshairs. "Back down Miner!" The speaker spat as he peered over the woman's shoulder, "You drop your piece or I swear I will drill this one."

    The agent took in a long breath and released it slowly, still staring down the line of the pistol's sights.

    The scarred man let out a pained laugh pressing the barrel of his revolver deeper against the woman's skin, "That's right..." He spat from behind a wry grin as blood from his brow dripped down his face. "Now you drop that gun before I kill ever last one of these pe-"

    While commanding, the man's demands were cut short as the crack of a bullet sped through the air and caught him just above his right eye.


    The agent reached to his watch and clicked one of several buttons from it's side. "This is Bond," The tall man spoke firmly into the device as he glanced around at the bound bodies in the room. "The terrorists have been apprehended and the Hostages have been rescued. Send a medical transport in provide for any wounded. Looks as if everyone's here."

    "Bond," the device sounded with a metallic sort of crackle, "This is Tanner. The medical transport is on it's way but you're not coming home quite yet."

    "Oh did I just net myself a spot of R&R?" James replied reached down to undo the gag on the woman's mouth.

    "Not quite," the watch chimed in response, "A transport will meet you within the hour. You're meeting an agent in the Embassy in Kabul."

    "Afghanistan? You send me to the nicest places." Bond replied removing the gag and moving to work on the rope bindings at the woman's wrists. "I'll finish up here and meet the transport, I'll need my equipment and a more appropriate set of clothes..."
  3. ((No worries =).

    Kyra's perception check was wow.))

    "Come in, Mercer," came a call from inside the office. The recognizable voice of their DCM, Jonathan Wheaten. Kyra obliged, closing the door behind her. She moved to take one of the seats in front of the DCM's desk, looking over Wheaten with an empty expression as she sat down. Kyra had not diverted her gaze as she had moved, but she had, nevertheless, spotted their Station Chief in the chair beside her, and the red blinking light on the DCM's desk phone that signified it in use. She clasped her hands in her lap, nodding once at the DCM.

    "How are you, sir," she asked the DCM, turning her head to the Station Chief and nodding to silently repeat the question for the other man. Wheaten's hair had grown a bit longer than normal, and the bags he usually held under his eyes had grown twice in size in the past few days. His pale, blue eyes, which normally glinted with hope and overconfidence and leadership had wilted to a nearly colorless grey.

    "I am fine," Wheaten replied, staring forward noncommittally. A moment of silence permeated the room before the Station Chief spoke. "Mercer, we fucked up. You know we did, I know we did, and Charge' Wheaten knows we did. I've spent the past three days trying to make sense of how we could have fucked up so royally. And the past two hours explaining it to the Director."

    Wheaten bristled as the agent spoke, and the other man paused, glancing over at the diplomat. And then he glanced at the phone, and back at Kyra, and continued. "We dropped the ball. And now we're working on picking it back up again."

    Why are you telling me about how you fucked up? Kyra kept her expression neutral, but blinked, nodding her head to the telephone. "Where do I come in," she asked, not unkindly. But louder, to the man or woman on the phone.

    And after a moment, a response came, in the form of a generically female voice. "Hello, Agent Mercer. It is wonderful to meet you."

    "We haven't really met if I don't know your name," Kyra tried, not missing a beat. "You're definitely in Washington. Agency?"

    "Neither one is really a concern of yours," the voice responded, casually. "Now. As Agent Frye explained in more than one way, we are all still trying to make sense of this week's events. Unfortunately, Agent Frye and his analysts have not been able to make sense of very much." The Station Chief blinked, shifting in his chair very slightly. "What we have been able to uncover is that this was definitely a planned attack. And I have it under authority that while the Country Team has not met to file your report for the ARB, you will conclude that this was definitely a planned assassination, and that the Afghani Taliban was the responsible party."

    "How do we know this," Mercer asked.

    "Frye," the voice on the phone prompted.

    "The drive stolen a month ago from MI-6, with all of our NATO under covers, had other information on it as well. Some related, some unrelated. All useful, and all highly classified. Those responsible for the attack could only have used the information on that server to perform the raid as successfully as they did. We suspected the Afghani Taliban possessed the drive nearly three weeks ago, but planned to watch closely for any transfers, or other leads. We ended up losing all traces."

    That doesn't really answer my question.

    "Ma'am, I work in law enforcement. I work drug crime."

    Why not get CIA?

    "Not entirely sure why. With your record, I'm sure Frye's supers could use you much more as an undercover. But you are here because we need you. You know the Afghani and Pakistani Talibans and you know al-Qaeda, and you know al-Shabaab. You know their patterns, and you know what they go for. And from what I’ve heard, you’re pretty observant and collected as well. So, you’re here.”

    Wheaten spoke up, his voice firmer than before. “You’ll be partnered with a British double-0--the man responsible for obtaining this drive for the United Kingdom. He is on his way to meet you here now. And you’ll get started immediately.”

    "What is his name?"

    ((Not the best. It's two AM. Sorry =P. And I gave that last line to you. You're welcome =P.))

  4. ((So all was going well, Was sitting pretty on four days since my last when I went to log on AND FOUND THAT SOME MANNER OF RODENT HAD CHEWED THROUGH MY CABLE. Just got it back up and running. Apologize for the delay.))

    "Bond... James Bond" the single phrase cut through the silence following the question with some bravado as if it had been practiced frequently, “Apologies if I'm late, just came through Kandahar and it seems that C-130s are as timely as I remember." The agent closed the door behind him with a resounding click, stepping into the room wearing the customary frame of a ballistics vest over the attire he arrived in. The trip across Asia wasn't exactly a gallivant and if the agent had managed any semblance of sleep in the last 24 hours it was likely had in the hull of a c130. Unceremoniously, stepped to the side of the door as he entered and pulled open the Velcro catches of his vest before setting it to one side.

    The lot glanced up from the meeting as the agent entered the room, each holding to their own manner of social ticks and expressions as they stood among the briefing material. "Not at all Mr. Bond, we were just discussing you." The station chief replied without as much as a shift in his stoic expression. "Bond, I'd like to introduce you to-"

    "Oh yes," The British agent interjected pointing the crisp metal outline of a pen in the woman's direction as she was being introduced. "Coffee if you would, Black, No sugar."

    The request was as informal as it could be, stated plainly before turning his attention back to the Chief still behind his desk. The left brow of the director peaked at the response as the tone of the man's expression continued to remain as if it was cast in plaster. Agent Mercer's response on the other hand was another story. "...As I was saying," the DCM began once more with a gesture directed to the redhead, "This is Ms. Mercer. She will be the field agent attached to you for the course of this mission. I trust you read the operations order on your way here."

    Bond's eyebrows perked at the correction, the irony of his mistake not at all being lost to him in the face of any embarrassment. His eyes shifted briefly to the lass's belt as she turned to him, catching a glimpse of the woman's glock as it sat snug in its holster. "I guess it would be odd practice to keep an armed secretary these days wouldn't it?" The agent's eyes lingered at the woman's hips only a moment too long to be entirely professional. A half smile pulled at the corner of his mouth as the agent extended a handshake to his partner.

    "Quite." Wheaten replied giving the almost awkward hue of silence a sharpened bayonet to rest upon as it lingered in the room.

    "About this drive then." Bond transitioned, shifting into the topic in hand. "The op order made mention to it but it wasn't exactly clear as to its contents."

    The chief shook his head, face still as stoic as ever. "The drive's contents are classified."

    "Of course they are."

    "The few things I can tell you about its contents include a roster of the men and women who have done business through this site as well as sensitive information regarding the recent attack on your own Embassy some months ago. We have reason to believe the attacks are connected and have been directly involved with the same group of extremists. As for the former, that includes names, IDs, pseudonyms, base locations, next of kin, and the like for several high profile members of the American government as well as several profiles of individuals who have come through this Embassy in the last six years. I don't have to tell you that handing a pre-established hit list to a stew pot of radicals is the best recipe for success."

    Bond tapped his pen against the edge of the Chief's desk as he took in the information. "I understand, but this is a computer drive correct? What's keeping the group from just copying the drive and disposing evidence?"

    "Ah," Wheaten nodded, rasping his fingers against his desk in the face of the question. "The short answer for that would be they normally wouldn't be able to but that's not entirely the case. There are locks in place that keep it as a read only device however the only thing stopping someone from hard copying that would be a print screen and copy of Photoshop."

    "You're not exactly renewing my faith in your embassy's security practices." Bond replied pressing a thumb to the bridge of his nose.

    "Well at the moment, I'm not entirely pleased with them myself." The director's plastered expression finally gave way to a sign as his response left his lips. "The good news is every piece of digital in this building runs a description source of which is extremely well protected. It's not full proof, nothing is, but it would take some serious hardware to run that code."

    "I don't suppose we could just look up a phone book for the names of companies in the area who happen to use respectable super computers?" Bond's question dripped with sarcasm.

    "In Kabul? A man with a decade old laptop is well to do in this country. No, that drive's shifted hands and is out of the country by now. Otherwise we wouldn't need you two." The chief's fingers shuffled over a keyboard beneath his desk before a pair of pictures expanded across a projected screen behind Wheaten's desk. The first appeared to be the ID of a man in his early 30s while the second seemed to be a shaven version of the same man snapped from the sidelines of an airport. "The good news however is we're not just releasing you to find a needle in the Atlantic Ocean, This is Zamin Behrukh. He's local to the Ghazni region and was spotted off one of the few cameras in that section of the building that weren't torn from the wall. Two hours ago he was spotted landing in Cairo and meeting with a delegate from the Russian Embassy. We believe he's in possession of the drive and he's being kept in the Embassy until a transfer can be made."

    "Out of the frying pan." the agent replied setting his chin against his fist.
  5. ((No worries! Happens to the best of us. Or something <3.))

    Kyra turned her head to the door at the polished one-liner, the corners of her mouth upturning into a grin despite the somber tone of the office. She took the opportunity to examine her temporary partner, trying to do so stealthily for no particular reason--the man was a career spy, and, in addition to the fact that he was probably doing the same thing to her, he would probably have no trouble spotting the surveillance.

    The man was clearly attractive, but a certain sense of arrogance diffused through every movement and, Kyra thought, was quite the turn off. He looked just a little bit older than her. She was sure he was damn good at his job, or their best friends the British would never have been given him jurisdiction over the reacquisition of that drive to start.

    Kyra had to hold in a laugh when he confused her for an intern or secretary, although she did fume a little bit the more she thought about it. “No need to apologize,” she commented, speaking up and looking him in the eye, smirking as she spotted his gaze move from her lower body. How had this man survived so long in the 21st century? “It’s not like you asked for ‘candy coffee’, right? She tilted her head to the side, maintaining eye contact as she took his own hand, shaking firmly. “Special Agent Mercer, DEA,” she told him.

    The few times Mercer had been undercover with cartels or trafficking rings, she’d quickly learned to not respond to unwanted sexual attention, and she tried to apply that here. It was harassment, to be sure, but calling attention to it would only provide Bond with more proverbial ammunition. It was unprofessional in the work place, and that was really her issue--she could put up with overzealous men. But she liked sex! And she could deal with it. What she did find amusing was that the Deputy Chief of Mission was the one bristling at it. Wheaton never ceased to entertain her.

    As they started talking about their security failures, Mercer felt her own mind return to thoughts of Wheaton’s late immediate superior, and Frye bristled, reminding Mercer and Wheaton and the now silent woman on the phone, and perhaps informing Bond that the failure had really been the Station Chief’s.

    She continued to listen intently as Frye went more into detail about their mission, and turning to Bond as he mused. “What? The Russian’s don’t like you much? Then I guess walking through the front door isn’t an option.”

    Frye shook his head, reaching for the desk to grab two sleek folders. He opened one, nodding curtly before handing it to Bond, and passed the other to Mercer. “Your covers,” he commented. She opened the folder to find a fake passport, and a faculty ID for the American University in Cairo, as well as Egyptian pounds. The other pocket of the folder held a single sheet of paper elaborating on her cover, although Frye talking while she tried to read relieved her of the need. “You’re newlyweds, and you’ve recently switched from American University in DC to Cairo. Mercer, you teach forensic anthropology. Bond, you teach Russian history. You two can laugh about the irony on the flight over.”

    “I believe I’ve already started,” Mercer commented. “When do we leave?”
  6. ((The annoying part of knowing basic Arabic is that I can read that the name on that ID is clearly Muhammed <3.))
  7. ((In every Arabic country I’ve ever been in, you have about an 80% chance of being right if you guess that anyone you happen to speak with is named Mohammed. It’s an incredibly popular name))

    “What? The Russian’s don’t like you much? Then I guess walking through the front door isn’t an option.”

    Bond glanced over at agent Mercer as the slightest curve of a grin crossed his jawline. “Can’t imagine why, you’d think after a dozen years or so of doing business at their expense they’d ease up the warm welcome.”

    The tall agent took in hand his cover and chuckled beneath his breath at the irony of being granted the roll of a Russian History Professor. Truth be told with the credentials under his belt, his knowledge of the language and his years of working in and out of the country, it’s very likely he’d actually be eligible for the job. Cairo wasn’t exactly at the top of his list of desirable locations to retire, inexpensive as the cost of living might be. Nonchalantly the man flipped through the documentation, eying through the handful of paperwork in a bemused sort of manner. “Apparently, we got married along the Sea of Galilee. We’re a regular pair of tourists it seems.”

    “Quite.” Frye replied raising a brow at the mention. Truth be told there was humor to be had in a pair of international intelligence operatives referring to themselves as tourists in light of the present occasion. “I don’t much think you’ll have time to take in sights this time around. There’s a contact at the university that is working without organization. He’s an American by the name of David Barnes. He’ll be your contact inside the university. Due to the nature of the Riots, out of country connections aren’t exactly secure. If you’ll need to get ahold of us once you have entered the country, you’ll be able to do it through him. He’s tenured so he has a little bit more freedom in the things he can and can’t do. For the sake of the assignment, he referred the both of you for the positions.”

    “Rather decent of him.” Bond replied flipping to the section referring to the professor in question.

    “There’s a transport that will take you to the airfield here within the hour, from there you will be placed on a C17 that will drop you in Qatar briefly. From that you’ll board a more appropriate 747 through their international airport that will fly you into the Cairo airport. We’d get you a more direct flight, but Iran isn’t exactly keen on letting the United States use their Airspace.”

    “Considering your drone incident that happened earlier this year, I wasn’t aware you lot had adopted the practice of asking permission.” Bond’s quip seemed to catch the director on a bit of a sour note. You wouldn’t have noticed it unless you were paying close enough attention, but the man behind the desk narrowed his eyes ever so slightly at the mention. Apparently the reference wasn’t the keenest topic of conversation.

    “We’d like to not have another headache of that nature.” Wheaten cut in before reaching behind his desk and placing a small case in front of the surface. “And speaking of, MI6 managed to deliver this to our office prior to your arrival. We were instructed to give it to you before you left Bond. Good luck getting it through customs.”

    Bond took a glance at the case with some interest eying the object with some curiosity. It was an old style brown leather case which at first glance looked to be about 30 years old. The leather had worn and a few places along the surface looked to be almost frayed through. A small note had been tied to the handle of the object bearing a single ominous letter marked in felt pen.


    Bond smiled and took the case in hand.

    Wheaton nodded at the pair as the delivery was completed. “That covers everything you need for the operations. The both of you are dismissed. Believe you have a plane to catch."
  8. ((My Arabic professor's name was Hana. Spelled really pretty, too. هانة. She was Syrian.))

    Kyra grinned, shaking her head slightly at Bond's extension of her joke. It seemed to her that Bond had been in this line of work for quite a bit longer than around twelve years. But if he wanted to sell himself short, she wouldn't be the one to stop him.

    She flipped through the rest of the paperwork along with her temporary partner, working on committing the information to memory and staring at the picture of Professor Barnes for several moments so as to memorize his features too. David Barnes, Department of History. The 'referral' of Bond made perhaps some more sense than Barnes' 'referral' of her to the anthropology department, but who was she to question that? Frye was the one one who did this for a living. However quickly that would stop being true.

    “Considering your drone incident that happened earlier this year, I wasn’t aware you lot had adopted the practice of asking permission.”

    Kyra couldn't help a slight laugh frame escaping. She tilted her head in Bond's direction. "We've got some fans of the Dulles brothers in the Big Five," she commented.

    She looked at the paperwork again, and, once sure she had it memorized, closed the file, and placed it on Wheaton's desk. Her name now--Alysson Hagan. The DCM slid the file over to Frye, who left it in place until Bond's joined Kyra's. Then he swiped both files off of the desk and into his own briefcase. He'd take them down to the furnaces after the meeting ended. Frye reached into his briefcase again, pulling out two small boxes. Kyra rolled her eyes, knowing what these would be. He nodded at Kyra, eyes on her badge, while opening one of the boxes and revealing a diamond ring. "Trade ya," he said. "Wouldn't want to forget those," she commented. Kyra took off her badge, sliding it along with her government IDs along the table to the CIA Station Chief. She replaced everything with the IDs given to her in the file, and placed the ring on her left ring finger. Frye passed Bond his own wedding band, and then put the boxes back into his briefcase. He passed Kyra what she was sure he considered a more feminine looking brief case, befitting of a forensic anthropology professor, or whatever the fuck. It looked like it had been used on a few missions before. He tapped his fingers on the table and looking over at Wheaton to signify that he was done.

    Kyra nodded as Wheaton dismissed them. "Good luck, sir," she told her DCM, one last time before he would become Ambassador. She said nothing to Frye. She had nothing to say to him. Kyra left with Bond for the transport.

    Once inside, Kyra took the time to reorganize. Opening the briefcase, she found a forest's worth of paper, albeit organized in binders and books and class schedules. But atop the collection sat a plastic knife and a bandage, which she used to secure the knife around her midriff, like she was used to doing with wires. The last time she'd had to use a knife offensively was in Colombia. She took off her gun and her holster, relocating them for the time being to hidden compartments in the bottom of the briefcase, after she managed to piece through the rainforest so as to sufficiently open the hatch. The lock was not difficult for her to pick, and she thought it obvious, then, that the hatch was designed only to hide things from lay people or the average police detective, not from other intelligence agents. Good enough.

    She performed all of these switches within a minute and a half, and closed the briefcase, holding it on her lap, minutes before the transport arrived at its destination. She slung it over her shoulder, boarding the C17.
  9. ((Technically, that guy's full name--on the ID--is Muhammad Eb'dulsaalam Bak'kar.))

  10. Bond had never quite understood why, but he'd always found the side seats of a C17 to be one of the few comfortable spots available in any active service military vehicle. It never failed that despite billions pooled in the research and development of equipment, the end product always seemed like it was designed for double amputees. Seats might as well have been discarded premises for torture devices and there never was any semblance of leg room to be found. Considering the reoccurring theme here and accepted hazard levels of combat environments aside, it wasn't terribly surprising that spine and joint injuries were as common as they were in the service. The C17 was simple. They gave you your leg room, they designed the product to be conducive to a user wearing a bulky level three protective vest. More importantly, you could sleep in it with some practice and you wouldn't wake up hating every moving part in your body. Leave it to the air force one would suppose.

    Tempting as it was, sleeping wasn't on the agenda on this particular trip. Bond set the agency provided briefcase onto his lap and tried the latch, unceremoniously discovering the case was locked. A conventional three digit case lock sat on the face of the polished metal as three 0s seemed to glance back at the field agent. There wasn't a note left with the product or any Intel sent prior about any means of combination. Three digits meant a 1 in 1000 chance of guessing the code. So long as Q hadn't rigged the case with some manner of anti-theft device, a regimented sequence of configurations would yield a functioning result. Then again, considering the sender...

    Cute... He'd have expected this sort of thing from Robinson, but his predecessor would be rolling in his grave if witnessed that. Sure enough, the oiled latch gave way with a reassuring click and Bond opened the case. The briefcase had been designed to look like an older model left over from the early 90s and would be better fitting on an aging banker. A thought of curiosity crossed the agent's mind if the choice of style was specifically picked out by the quartermaster for an underhanded joke. Coincidence was likely but considering the low brow humor had in the lock design, it was possible.

    The case had several items fitted into the various sections. A simple looking belt with a square black finished buckle, A Rolex watch, a polished steel pen, A pair of reading glasses and an impossible to miss Walther P99 with his suppressor and several magazines of ammunition. Considering the nature of the cargo and the fact it was hard enough getting a safety razor through airport security without an acceptable story, the agent had hopped there was a brief that went along with the equipment. Sure enough after a moment of digging, a touch phone was found in the corner of the case. Stuck to the surface of the device was a sticky note that said "Play Me". Apparently Q had been reading Alice and Wonderland as of late. Bond held the power button and watched the handheld spark to life. It wasn't terribly surprising when Q's fresh from puberty face flashed across the screen.

    "Hello 007. I hope Afghanistan's been treating you well." An edge to the young quartermaster's tone rustled in a matter that could have possibly been sarcasm. With Q it was difficult to tell. "Seeing as how this is a business call and isn't a live broadcast; I'll cut to the chase. I'm sure you're wondering how you're going to manage to get a pistol through customs. The case in front of you has a number of features that are sure to provide some use to you while on your trip to Cairo. The one you'll likely use the most is the false bottom underneath the leather interior. I know it's a touch old fashion, but you can't beat the classics. Besides, I figured it might throw you for a touch of nostalgia if we did a throwback to the fall of the USSR."

    It wasn't a minute into the conversation and Bond already had considered what color the man's face might turn with a ringed neck.

    "However, considering that would be a horrible waste of government taxes to have only that feature on the device, there's more. A series of sensors have been placed around the case to detect incoming radiation given off of common X-ray devices and feedback only the images found in the unconcealed compartment. This should make it a bit easier to move high visibility items in and out of sensitive areas. Keep in mind, while Egypt does allow private ownership of Pistols and revolvers among licensed citizens, I'd not recommend getting spotted with one. On that note, I'm sure you've also discovered your standard issue P99 along with an Armatech weapon's suppressor. You're familiar with these and I don't have to remind you on their capabilities. Something I should mention however is you'll find three bullets in your case that seem to have a clear blue finish rather than a jacketed hallow point. These are different and should be kept apart from the rest of your ammunition. When fired, the heat from the muzzle will melt the casing of the round and propel a gel projectile that should stick to most surfaces. Cased within the gel is a homing device that will respond with this phone upon activation."

    Bond took a moment to locate the three blue tipped bullets and moved them to the hidden compartment of the case.

    "Moving on and taking a page from my predecessor, the Steel pen you should be familiar with. Standard ball point pen with fully functional ink cartridge, looks fairly basic. However, click the pen three times in sequence and the device activates as a class 3 grenade. You've used these before. Remember, when the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not your friend.

    Another throwback to my predecessor is the belt enclosed. It'll hold your pants up. You'll also note there's a 60 foot repelling cable that can be deployed from the top of the device. The cable has been tested at upwards of 600 pounds and will be able to support you and anything you might be carrying at any given time.

    The glasses enclosed are an item I'm rather proud of. Now I understand your vision listed in your medical report as still 20/15 and you don't need a prescription. These however are more than just my subtle way of telling you that you should familiarize yourself with bifocals. You might have heard that Google has been working with a product called "Glass" that serves as a fully functional computer display. In reality that product, while their design is archaic, is loosely based on the schematics of what's in front of you. A fully functional HD camera is located in the right rim and the display is activated through tracking the motion in your eyes. It takes a while to get used to so I suggest taking some time to get to know the device. The glasses also are linked wirelessly to this phone, and can be used either remotely or in unison.

    Finally, the most expensive piece of gear that's on your person now is that Rolex. Don't lose it, I expect it to be brought back in tip top condition. In Afghanistan and other conventional warfighter locations around the world, Improvised explosive devices are the leading killer of soldiers in the field. In order to solve that problem, a variety of portable jamming devices have been created to halt all incoming and outgoing frequencies in a set area. That watch takes a page out of that book and makes it quite a bit more portable. Any frequency coming into your general area will be stopped entirely unless it's been preregistered on this phone. Both devices have already been synced and like the glasses you can operate the Warlock jamming system remotely if need be.

    As for your vehicle, it's already been delivered to your hotel with all the usual modifications. It's worth more than your salary so please bring it back in one piece. Until then, that's about as much as I can do for you from here. Good luck and enjoy Cairo."

    The screen flashed once more and shifted back to a more basic touch interface. Bond pocketed the device and moved his pistol and ammunition into the hidden section of the briefcase. Q was getting bolder with his indirect insults it seemed. Bond made a mental note that he'd have to pay him a visit when he got back.

    Slowly the agent removed the reading lenses from the case and set them on the bridge of his nose. It was going to be a long flight; he figured he might as well use the time to become familiar with the interface.