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James Bond
25 March 2008 @ 09:21 pm
[Milliways] Trip to Hyde Park  
Weekends never meant much to him before he had a family. They were as routine as his hours at HQ, and he didn't look forward to them unless he had something special planned. Now it seems he always has something special planned, or at least can look forward with certainty that something special will be planned, if at the last minute. Such as this trip to Hyde Park.

Trips like these make him impatient for the days when Valerie will be old enough to remember time spent with her parents.

But then, as he spies the teenagers stalking about the park, he's rather glad she's not quite that old yet.
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James Bond
21 March 2008 @ 04:26 pm
[Out of Milliways] Tatiana Romanova  
All these years later and she still looked like Greta Garbo. Made her stick out like a sore thumb in that endless sea of typists, some of them homely, some of them not, none of them as beautiful as her. He was hiding behind a pair of thick glasses, stock to the brim full of Q's technologies (invisible to everyone else, of course), and trailing behind the man in charge. She would only need to look up to ruin this charade, but she kept her eyes fixated on the typewriter, on her work, as dedicated as she always was to the service of Mother Russia regardless how humiliating, how menial...

But he wondered if she still as loyal to her country as she had been when she met him. Or was this new job, and the thousand-yard stare she gave to the typewriter, a sign that she had sank into cynicism? She didn't work for the KGB anymore. That was a sign. Or maybe she couldn't take the intelligence business anymore. Or maybe, or maybe--

He smiled to himself. Good old 007, distracted by his thoughts again. It wouldn't happen again. He had a job to doHe looked ahead and Tatiana Romanova to the back of his mind, where the memories of his former lovers resided.
James Bond
23 February 2008 @ 08:03 pm
Creative Muses February 2008 Prompt #5: Legacy  
I can’t say I want to leave behind any sort of legacy. Outside the Service, I’m quite reluctant even to be known in any sort of congratulatory manner. I hate the attention. It’s deadly in my business; quite poisonous in my opinion. Many bad deeds and many bad men have been motivated by the need for immortality, to have one’s name inscribed into history—an eternal act of validation. I don’t want it. I don’t want the accolades. Never did. The only thing I was ever interested in was living my life and doing my job, damn the fanfare. So many men miss the simple pleasure of just living when they jostle for glory. Perhaps this is why I find myself gravitating towards men who enjoy life and, at best, merely admire the men who want their names inscribed in the history books. They make for interesting reads but probably weren’t all that wonderful to know in person. Too-single minded.

I’ll pass on all that. I’d much rather be remembered fondly by my friends, or hated by an enemy, or cherished by a lover. I don’t need immortality, a legacy, to prove that I lived. My life is proof enough for that. Whether it is remembered by the whole world and documented in the books of history is irrelevant.
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James Bond
07 February 2008 @ 03:32 pm
There’s something good to be said about solitude and silence. Neither are staples in Bond’s life, at least not before he came here, and neither were things he really looked forward to when in the midst of their adversaries. He took them as they came and moved on when they left. Here, even at the end of the universe, even in a bar that is never empty, Bond has silence and solitude in abundance. He’s surprised to note that he likes it.

He does not like the dearth of activities in this place. He could improvise, certainly, but the knowledge that such improvisation would inevitably become redundant made him reluctant to improvise at all. It was one think to strike the hot iron knowing it would cool the next moment, quite another strike when, for all you knew, it would remain hot for many moments more. Lethargy sets in when one has an abundance of time, and all Bond had, at the end of the universe, was time.

Predictably, boredom gnawed at him. He paced, smoked heavily, drank more and more, but he was relieved, in his agitation, that he had no one to share it with, that there was no May, no M, no colleague, no lover who had to endure the prowling animal he became in long stretches of boredom. He liked that no one could interrupt his thoughts as often as they could at home. Thinking was dangerous, he knew, especially in a civil servant. His job was to act, not to think, yet he found thinking a wholly invigorating experience. All the possibilities he had never considered, all the details he had never noticed—! It was not unlike that miserable spell after Tracy died, only he didn’t think or observe out of misery. More like out of a lack of options. Still, the invigoration arose from the sheer independence that came with thinking.

And that was what he liked about the solitude and the silence: the independence. Yes, on the one hand he didn’t have many options when he woke up in the morning, but on the other, he didn’t have a full schedule ahead of him, mandated by Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He could do whatever he wanted within the confines of the bar, even if that whatever would be, and so often was, nothing at all. He supposed sooner or later (preferably sooner) he’d have to make in roads with fellow patrons to see if one of them would take him out to his or her world, and from there see what sort of trouble he could get himself into. But right now he was getting used to this odd feeling of independence, of knowing that, in here, he was obligated to no one, no entity, other than himself.
James Bond
02 February 2008 @ 02:03 am
He's had this nightmare before.

It was the hallway of a very grand town-house, an embassy perhaps, and a wide staircase led up under a spangled chandelier to where the butler was standing at the door of the drawing-room, from which came the murmur of a large crowd of guests.

A silly one, not really a true nightmare, but a bachelor's nightmare. Moreover, a bachelor who does not enjoy gaudy scenes--

Tracy, in oyster satin, was on his arm... Bond was dressed in tails (where in the hell had he got those from?), and the wing collar stuck into his neck below the chin. He was wearing his medals, and his order as CMG, on its blue and scarlet ribbon, hung below his white tie.

--or attention. He dreamt it on the Swissair flight from Zürich to London--a subconscious reaction to a genuine marriage proposal. The actual wedding did not resemble the nightmare. It was a small civil ceremony with only Marc-Ange and the Head of Station M in attendance. Bond wore no tails, no medals, no ribbons, and Tracy, gratefully, did not look like a clipping from a bridal magazine. Save for a few excesses on the parts of the guests and the Consul General's wife, the wedding was everything a secretive bachelor like Bond could hope for.

But this nightmare did not reflect reality. Nor, as Bond and his bride stepped through the drawing-room door, did it even reflect its predecessor, for the drawing-room was a morgue.

Bond stopped in the doorway, his feet sticking to the floor like the hoofs of a reluctant horse, for there were so many he recognized, and all of them dead. He saw Quirrel, a smoldering body of scorched flesh; he saw Tilly, still haughty and authoritative, but with her head slung back at a limp, unnatural angle. He felt himself unwillingly dragged deeper inside the morgue and saw, laying stiffly on a stretcher, Vesper Lynd in an endless sleep. He leant over her, examining her face, and the lids that he never thought would open again did. The deep blue eyes stared lifelessly at him. Her straight torso moved up like the lever and her face turned robotically, watching him as he was pulled deeper and deeper, staring, horrified, at the woman he once thought he would marry. Bride and groom came to a stop. Bond pulled his eyes away from Vesper, turned his face towards the altar, towards the two people standing on the steps above them--

--his blue, frozen tongue protruding grotesquely out of his lips, caked with frost, and a rope hung round his neck; she tried to stand on broken, bloody legs, the one side of her face scratched clean of skin by the jagged edge of the mountain--

--his parents, Andrew and Monique Bond. James turned, ran down the aisle made for him by his dead. Tracy was not by his side; she stood at the doorway, waiting for him, patiently. He was going to take her out of here. They would marry someplace else. But he stopped in front of her, horror slowly overcoming his face. He reached for her veil, pulled it from her face. And there she was, his beautiful, young bride, red hair framing the exquisite, smiling face marred only by a single, draining bullet hole in the temple.

Bond wakes, groaning, in a sweat.

No. That was the past. He cannot change it. He must accept it. He must move on. But he's been moving on for years. He still hasn't found a way to stop his dead from haunting him.

Quotes in italic come from On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming.
James Bond
27 January 2008 @ 04:14 pm
La Meme  
Reply to this post with anything you'd like and I'll tell you why I friended you and two things I love about how you play your muse. The only catch? You have to repost this as well.
Current Music: Classical Guitar on Sky.fm
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James Bond
27 January 2008 @ 09:58 am
Realm of the Muse 1.91 Mun Response: Misconceptions  
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Current Music: Stereolab - Variation One
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James Bond
21 January 2008 @ 02:02 pm
Creative Muses January 2007 Prompt #5  
James Bond walked down the beach at dusk. He was biding his time until next morning’s flight back to London. He was smoking, barely conscious of the sunset. His mind was fixed on the memory of his parents. He remembered their voices, their warnings, their laughter, the obligatory wonder they shared with him as he brought something new out of the water: first a rock, then a shell, then a dead starfish. When he tried to pull a live fish out of the water, they would command that he put it back. They’d buy him a fish when they got back home. They did, in fact, do this, and James tended to the fish devotedly until it died. He did the same for the next one, and the one after that. He did this until his parents died. Then he no longer saw the need for a pet. They always died in the end, so what was the point of growing so devotedly attached?

Bond exhaled a plume of smoke. He didn’t like thinking about his parents. It always lead him down a spiral to the bitter truth of his life: everything dies. That starfish, when he pulled it out of the water, was already dead. He was too young to know it, too young to care. To him it was a precious treasure. Bond pulled the cigarette butt from his lips and flicked it into the sand. He started to trail his way to the boardwalk, to one of the various restaurants or pubs where he could sit, eat, drink, and forget. It was time to throw himself back into life so he could ignore that it was quickly coming to an end.
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James Bond
19 January 2008 @ 09:30 pm
Creative Muses January 2008 Prompt #6: Martini Time  
The knowledge of the mind and the desires of the body can combine to form a phenomenon called a craving. The body, demanding sustenance, relays this message to the mind, which interprets this message through the individual’s specific dietary preferences. These dietary preferences can rage from a very specific flavor of ice cream to, in the case of James Bond, the subject of this brief study, a very specific drink: a vodka martini. Thus, a craving is born, and it is up to the individual to combat or surrender to it.

Cravings tend to be very strong, difficult to combat, and may occur during unexpected and inappropriate times. James Bond experienced a such a strong, unexpected, and inappropriate craving as he was escaping the police, using a cello case as transport. He took the craving as a sign of weakness. He preferred, in the midst of danger, to focus strictly on getting out of it. He did not want to focus on frivolous matters of appetite and thirst. He would tend to those later in Vienna. Yet, as always, he could not talk himself out of the craving. He did not think it was addiction, so he could not call it a damnable vice. He once tried to reason that one reaches for liquor when things got rough and reached for the familiar when things got unusual, but that did not make much sense in light of his life and career. A cello case certainly was an odd transport, but this was not the first time he had to improvise his means of mobility. He had been in this situation dozens of times before. This was not a rough situation at all. He was confident they would escape alive. So why the need to hydrate with liquor? His inability to explain it away made it more frustrating.

As annoying as the craving was, Bond found, as he finally took a sip of that much desired nectar, that the irritation and longing inherent in a craving made the drink taste better and feel like a soothing exhale. He wondered if pleasure should always have that preceding agony of waiting. Then the liquid was gone, the glass empty, and Bond, completely satisfied, rose to tackle the next leg of his mission.

Of course, when he found himself craving another vodka martini in another unexpected and inappropriate time, Bond went through the same bout of futile combat and eventually, inevitably, surrendered. It was just a shame that Kara made bad vodka martinis.

[ Contains references to the film The Living Daylights.]
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James Bond
18 January 2008 @ 04:31 pm
Realm of the Muse 1.90.2D: You don't know what you have, until it's gone.  
Bond paused on the sidewalk outside his Chelsea flat and wondered if he should move out of it. He was its only resident ever since May died two weeks ago. He rarely invited anyone over and rarely stayed there himself except to sleep. Hands in his pockets, he bent his head down and regarded the sidewalk. As if in response to an urgent thought, Bond dashed up the stairs towards the door.

The inside of his flat was, expectedly, quiet. All the furnishings and decorations meant to make the flat cozy did not make it feel less empty. Not even his own presence alleviated the emptiness; it was as if he were a phantom moving amidst the shadows of an abandoned home. He supposed this was why he kept May: to save the flat from feeling neglected. He paced, then sat on a chair, feeling like the sole attendee to a lifeless party.

Abruptly, Bond rose to his feet and crossed over to the cupboard where he stored his liquor. He had to remind himself that he wasn’t stealing. It was his own liquor, bought with his own money. Why did he feel like a stranger in his home?

He felt so alone. May had died during a year that was already bad. Felix had been maimed and his wife murdered, and no amount of revenge changed a damn thing in the end. It just meant Sanchez was dead. What did that give Felix? Peace of mind? What good was peace of mind when you had to live life maimed and widowed?

(Another unfortunate thing shared by Bond and Felix. Bond had hoped that Felix’s life would never mirror his own, that Felix would know lasting happiness with his wife and never feel the pain of her death and the guilt of believing he caused it. And now Bond had to advise Felix how to get through it.

But Bond didn’t know how to get through it. He never did. Grief was something that always bothered him beneath the calm, collected veneer, something that always caught up with him when he stopped running, something that always slid through when he gave it an opening. He wished Felix would never feel that, but not even Bond’s revenge could save Felix from that fate. Felix had felt grief and always would feel grief, just like Bond: brothers in sorrow.)

Bond poured himself a glass of whisky and sat back down. He swirled the glass and stared at nothing. The quiet bothered him. To stay sane, he would have to leave soon. To where? He didn’t know. A nightclub, a pub, a friend’s house—or perhaps he could visit Blades. He scoffed, sipped the whisky and craned his neck so that he stared at the ceiling. Too damned quiet. Too damned empty. He ought to move out.

(But there was no place to go that would make him feel less alone.)

[Contains references to the film Licence to Kill.]
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