April 4th

Look, I'm not talking about On The Edge! I'm going to write about another been languishing for years project, instead.

I really like Ian Fleming's 007 stories. Poor ol' Bond doesn't work as a modern day character - as every film since Diamonds Are Forever has proven, imho - but put him in his element of the middle of the 20th century and up against godless commies and other meglomaniacs, and he's a hoot. Fleming wasn't out to explore the human condition or whatever, he just set out to tell an entertaining story and maybe make a few bucks and, by gum, he succeeded. Frankly, I think a lot of writers could learn from his terse use of prose, but that's a subject for another day. Anyways, my point is that I've always had a hankering to write a little homage/fanfic to my favorite secret agent and - here's the kicker - set it in the 1950s/60s, to boot. If I want to imitate John Gardner, I'll write Grendel, Part 8 - The Revenge, or something.

Last night, a combination of wishful thinking (I'm spinning the prayer wheel for Clive Owen being tipped as the next Bond because I'm nothing if not forgiving (of the movie franchise) and a squealing fangrrl for the guy), a recent viewing of Sin City (see: 'fangrrl') and a fistful of cough drops somehow managed to knock 3/4 of an outline out of my unconcious mind, so I want to write it down before I forget. Once again, this journal more exists for my note-taking/memory purposes, rather than entertaining you lot, so don't expect much in the way of coherence.

  • Heroin is flooding into London. More to the point, it's not just the Teddy boys and other undesirables who are turning up hooked on the stuff. Children of important people are having it pushed on them so now, of course, the government cares. Bond is dispatched to quietly follow-up the one lead the Brits have, which leads him to...
  • Hong Kong. The lead is an antiques business, which is smuggling heroin in a variety of Chinese artefacts which, in turn, have been sneaked out of China (or so the belief is).
  • Once in Hong Kong, Bond meets up with the only assistance he's going to get from the HKPD - a police captain, stand up guy, etc. HKPD guy provides the obligatory context about the city, shows Bond around some - usual exotic description of the town, blah blah blah.
  • Bond assumes the pose of a British antique retailer of flexible morals, and heads down to the main storefront-come-warehouse of Lucky Dragon Export, Inc. He's given the soft-soap treatment by some underling, shown around and sees nothing of much note except - briefly - a strong whiff of photographic chemicals.
    • When handed a copy of the company catalog, Bond asks if they produce it in house (possibly explaining the chemical smell) and he's told that's not the case. Bond resolves to return, at night.
  • Bond checks in with HKPD guy who has done digging of his own and has dtermined that Lucky Dragon is operated by a big-time crimelord, Little Wu. Supposedly 3% of everything that happens in Hong Kong and Kowloon goes into this guy's pocket. HKPD is visibly unnerved by this news. "Half of my men are probably on this guy's payroll and won't touch him. The other half, can't. Wu owns a lot of judges."
    • In the meantime, Bond's hotel room is tossed (maybe). Bond starts smelling a serious mouse, but nothing is articulated at this time.
  • Bond returns to LDE that night, sneaks around. Finds a hidden room (more like a cubbyhole) in which microfilm has been developed and hung up to dry, and some prints made. The prints show that the film is of some British government documents, detailing NATO matters.
  • Bond snips a single frame of microfilm (for proof) wraps it in paper, and is about to hie off with it, when...
  • ...enter Obligatory Gal (hereafter: OG). OG is the usual mixture of headstrong stubbornnes and stupid-at-the-key-moment-for-the-sake-of-plot that Fleming was so fond of. Not sure yet if OG is English expat, or bilingual Chinese. Fleming liked 'em exotic but not too exotic.
    • Hasty, snippish exchange follows, during which OG explains that she's a journalist for one of the smaller HK newspapers, working on a story about impropriety in the antique trade. She's certain (says she has proof) that LDE is buying goods smuggled from China, with the complicity of the Chinese government (they need the hard currency) and she snuck in to look for proof (taking advantage of the fact that Bond already took care of security, otherwise she would be dead already). Bond fobs her off with the usual story of "I'm a sort of policeman" and lets her think that he's working the smuggled-artefact angle, too.
    • Fearing discovery, they go their seperate ways v. soon after meeting. Bond and OG agree to meet at a popular, touristy tea-house, to talk further.
    • (Bond gives girl the film? "In case something happens to me"?)
  • Bond checks in with HKPD guy, gives him an update. HKPD is about to join him at tea-house, but is called away. Bond sees a pic of Little Wu, who is anything but small. HKPD re-emphasizes untouchability of Wu, Bond gets a bit disgusted.
  • Bond awaits OG at tea-house, sees her approaching, but she is accosted by a couple of gentleman (one of them very substantial, physically) and bundled into a sedan, clearly with a lack of cheer on her part. Oh dear (hence maybe giving her the film - Bond's chivalrous nature and that scrap of film provides impetus to rescue).
  • Bond pursues - and this is where the outline falls apart...
  • Bond and OG end up captive, of course.
  • HKPD guy is revealed to be one of those who won't touch Little Wu - as opposed to can't.
  • The unlikely-sounding deathtrap is followed by the equally courageous escape, rescue of OG, righteous killing of HKPD and Little Wu.
    • Little Wu was part of SPECTRE (would like to bring that out before Bond ends up captive, rather than the lame 'reveal everything before shooting the secret agent' device)
    • The Chinese government is knowingly selling the artefacts to LDE under the table, but is not involved in the drug trade.
      • Drugs were being deliberately pushed by SPECTRE on the children of important people, in order to obtain those photographed documents and other materials, besides. "You want your fix? Take a picture of everything you find in Daddy's briefcase." (this angle could have been hinted at in Bond's briefing, and a further reason why HMG is taking more of an interest)
    • LDE/SPECTRE were planning to let the Chinese Commies take the fall for driving the heroin trade and the espionage aspect. In the meantime, SPECTRE is selling the information to the highest bidder.
      • No Blofeld involvement!
  • Bond and OG are free, LDE is burned to the ground, Wu is dead, and all is right with the world, up to a point.