Notice: I took down the rest of the story. Why? Well, it was becoming a novel and only an idiot gives that away for free. Plus, I do not own James Bond. And frankly? People started to notice it. To see themselves in it. Which is either brilliant or terrible or..somewhere in between? But here we go. An Easter treat coda.
JAMES BOND sat down in his Chelsea Garden and pondered life. The weather was calm, sunny, clement, fusing an exotic hint to domestic certainty of English climate.
Spring was here. Easter. Rebirth. Renewal. That sort of thing. He sipped a Martini and puffed on a legion of back to back cigarettes; knowing there was coffee to compensate and a #parkrun had justified the fun.
He noted the bird life. One rather inept magpie waddled and waded. A French girlfriend had once christened that bird ‘Constantin’, because her beloved kids did not want Bond talking about ‘that rubbish magpie’. The fact that there were several generations and iterations of said avian character was beside the point.
The motif, to James, was that one survives, no matter what. That one, lone, isolated magpie? Was somehow attracting attention, care and thereby, the means to mate, build nests and fly. Predators pervaded. Yet that bird survived and THRIVED.
It brought Bond back to himself. He had been on a journey, a new kind of adventure, throughout the last six months.
Confronting the past. Facing the future. And mapping both, via a more purposeful present, alone and yet supported by a renewed community of old allies.
Though the days of peak mission form were gone and all its trappings with that? There was no longer the temptation to drift or whinge or evade the passage of time.
A ticking clock did not need to be on a bomb for disposal or a target to take down. Nature. Time. Legacy. Those things could be owned and harnessed, much like any mission.
That was not to say that pipe and slippers were for him. No. Never. Fight to the last man, breath, etc. NEVER SURRENDER. And least of all, to domesticity and decline.
But equally? Time to stop NOT allowing those human moments to be part of existence. Those could BE a new adventure?
Work wise: James had brokered the perfect balance. Not an operational field agent but no longer bound to the graveyard of desk duties.
He now had a global operation, at his finger tips. And it had been built, the more that Bond had begun to accept that he had always designed things that way.
A cellular yet organised operational company. Readied to help HMG /MI6; But commercial, independent and plausibly deniable. Not so much taking down every villain as accommodating, cloning and deploying the skills that defined said threats. Bond could become the baddie, albeit, on the side of good.
A secret fightback, with occasional action, into which he could dip or not, as suited. The money, freedom and status would take care of themselves, regardless of whichever world crisis presented itself.
The name of said outfit? GALA. Because, though that was indeed, another acronym? It was also the name of the woman he loved. And like that love and its object, the organisation in her name would be both firm and flexible.
It could not be contained, fettered, defined or reduced to the certainties one might crave/carve in civilian life. Neither could ‘she’.
The work and the girl would always entail danger, but with certain control mechanisms in built. Just to the cusp of risk. But never beyond the cliff. Adapt to each scenario as and when, with total open mindedness, whilst always returning home to the organisation’s probity, decency and honour.
So it was, with James Bond and Gala Brand.
He’d had to see off at least two enemy combatant henchmen in the space of a fortnight. They had been driven to fight 007, through their obsession with him yes, and, by extension, ‘her’. Gala had perhaps shown them some momentary kindness; and Bond had paid the price.
That’s another story. But James used every skill in his arsenal to neutralise the threats. And the adrenaline had raced, afterward. He could not, of course, use a licence to kill, ‘under the queen’s peace’. But there are always grey areas. Section 6, paragraph 5. Need to Know basis, only. Sure you’ll understand. They got the message. 😉
He had damn near pulled the plug on the girl, in consequence, but for the fact that the enemies would thereby have won, and he could not conceive of anyone else in her perfect embrace.
There was also that cloying moment in which he promised to define his relationship with Gala, officially. Perhaps working toward that goal via mutual emptying of romantic chessboards, loaded with suitors? But then, Bond had an epiphany.
- He was attracted to Gala because of the beauty, the danger, the thrill, the glamour, the brain, the status.
- But the LOVE? Was all about her kindness; that almost childlike inability to see a threat coming as readily and immediately as he.
It was that soulful sweetness, in her, that meant there would ALWAYS be a threat to confront, be it personal or professional.
Bond, whether he liked it or not? Had indeed, decided to accept and embrace that, indefinitely. Provided that Gala was herself not an enemy or malicious. And she wasn’t. He, on the other hand. Could be?
So long as he was never emasculated or the target at some personal level for her to evade. On the understanding that only the worthiest of suitor would knock him from her chess board and she, likewise, from his?
Knowing there would be mutual and separate adventures, indefinitely. But agreeing that they would equally run back to each other’s fold, anytime.
On those implied terms and conditions, ANYTHING was possible. EVERYTHING. They had to love each other and yet promise to not do so. Somehow.
And anything in between their meetings/missions? Well. TOP SECRET. With option on definition/development/declaration, when time would be right.
Keep it FUN and INTERESTING. See the world. Take it on, together. Take the risks yet stay ‘safe’? And know when to advance and retreat and then repeat that cycle, forever.
And on that Eureka moment? Bond began making plans. Personal. Professional. Pastoral. Perfect. He now knew that he had, in fact, been perhaps his own worst enemy, in life.
And still could be, indeed. There would not be some frozen time happily ever after. His death was always a possibility.
But that was the beauty of this new beginning.
There would always be MOMENTS of an ending in love and safety and comfort. Those were to be relished. As were the adventures to come, whatever they entailed. And for that reversal and recognition alone? He knew would be forever in Gala’s debt, as he savoured the Easter sunlight.
JAMES BOND WAS THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD. For a split second. 😉
THE END OF THE BEGINNING.