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Feb 11, 2014

"What we therefore hath joined together, let Gnoman put asunder..."

chitoryu12 posted:


Somehow, the "discretion" here makes this a creepier phrasing than outright stating things would be.


Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 9: Speedline


Bond felt the gut-twist of impotent horror as he watched, peering through the goggles into the rising haze of snow. The crimson figure, twirling like a rag doll, disappeared into the fine white spray, while the few people near Tirpitz and Bond flattened themselves on the ground, as though under mortar fire. Brad Tirpitz, like Bond, remained upright. His only action was to grab back the binoculars and lift them to his eyes.

‘She’s there. Unconscious, I think.’ Tirpitz spoke like a spotter on the battlefield calling in an air strike, or ranging artillery. ‘Yes, face up, half buried in snow. About one hundred yards down from where it happened.’

Bond took back the glasses to look for himself. The snow was settling, and he could make out the figure quite clearly, spread-eagled in a drift.

Another voice came from behind them. ‘The hotel’s called the police and an ambulance. It’s not far, but no rescue team’s going to get up there quickly. The snow’s too soft. They’ll have to bring in a helicopter.’

Bond turned. Kolya Mosolov stood near them, also with raised binoculars.

In the few seconds following the explosion, Bond’s mind had gone into overdrive. Paula’s telephone call – if it was Paula – bore out most of what Rivke had said, hardening his earlier conclusions. Paula Vacker was certainly not what she had seemed. She had set up Bond at the apartment during the first visit to Helsinki. Somehow she knew about the night games with Rivke and had set her up as well. Even more, Paula had arranged this present ski slope incident with incredible timing. She knew where Bond had been; she knew where Rivke was; she knew what had been arranged. It could add up to one thing only: Paula had some kind of access to the four members of Icebreaker.

This is the second book in a row where Bond hosed the villain by accident.


Bond pulled himself from his thoughts. ‘What do you reckon?’ He turned to Kolya for a second, before looking back up the slope.

‘I said. A helicopter. The centre of the run out is hard, but Rivke’s bogged-down in the soft snow. If we want action fast, it has to be a helicopter.’

‘That’s not what I meant,’ Bond snapped. What do you reckon happened?’

Kolya shrugged, under the layers of winter clothing. ‘Land mine, I guess. They still get them around here. From the Russo-Finnish Winter War, or World War Two. Even after all this time. They move, too – in early winter with the first blizzards. Yes, I’d guess a land mine.’

‘What if I told you I was warned?’

‘That’s right,’ Brad said, his binoculars still glued to the flash of red that was Rivke. ‘Bond had some kind of message. A phone call.’

Kolya seemed uninterested. ‘Ah, we’ll have to talk about it. But where the hell are the police and the helicopter?’

Can you at least try to pretend not to be villainous here?


As if on cue, a police Saab Finlandia came skidding into the main hotel car park, pulling up a few paces short of where Kolya, Tirpitz, and Bond stood. Two officers got out. Kolya was immediately beside them, speaking Finnish like a native born. There was some uncharacteristic gesticulating, then Kolya turned back to Bond, muttering an obscene Russian oath. ‘They can’t get a chopper here for another half hour.’ He looked very angry. ‘And the rescue team’ll take as long.’

This is what you get when Saab loves your work and really wants to promote themselves! The Saab 900 Finlandia was built in Uusikaupunki with only 570 made between 1979 and 1986. It extends the body by almost 8 inches to stretch out the doors and rear seats, creating an "executive" version of the car for government officials and CEOs.


‘Then we have . . .’

Bond was cut short by Brad Tirpitz. ‘She’s moving. Conscious. Trying to get up. No, she’s down again. Legs, I think.’

Bond quickly asked Kolya if the police car carried such a thing as a loudhailer. There was another fast exchange. Then Kolya shouted back to Bond, ‘Yes, they’ve got one.’

Bond was off, running as best he could over the frozen ground, his gloved hand unclipping a jacket pocket to reach for his car keys. ‘Get it ready,’ he shouted back. ‘I’ll bring her down myself. Get the loud-hailer ready.’

The locks on the Saab were well-oiled and treated with antifreeze, so Bond had no difficulty in opening up. He switched off the alarm sensors, then went to the rear, pulling up the big hatchback, and removing a pair of toggle ropes and the large drum that was the Pains-Wessex Speedline. He locked up again, resetting the alarms, and hurried back to the foot of the ski run where one of the policemen – looking a little self-conscious – held a Graviner loud-hailer.

‘She’s sitting up. Waved once, and indicated she couldn’t move any more.’ Tirpitz passed on the information as Bond approached.

‘Right.’ Bond held out his hand and took the loud-hailer from the policeman, flicking the switch and raising it in Rivke’s direction. He was careful not to let the metal touch his lips.

Imagine getting your lips stuck to a megaphone during a rescue.


‘If you can hear me, Rivke, raise one arm. This is James.’ The voice, magnified by the amplifier to a volume ten times that of his normal speech, echoed around them.

He saw the movement, and Tirpitz, with the binoculars up, reported it: ‘She’s lifted an arm.’

Bond checked that the loud-hailer was aimed directly towards Rivke.

‘I’m going to fire a line to you, Rivke. Don’t be scared. It’s propelled by a rocket that should pass quite close to you. Signify if you understand.’

Again the arm was raised.

‘When the line reaches you, do you think you can secure it around your body, under the arms?’

Another affirmative.

‘Do you think we could then slowly pull you down?’


‘If this proves to be impossible, if you are in any pain as we drag you down, signify by raising both hands. Do you read me?’

Once more the affirmative sign.

‘All right.’ Bond turned back to the others, giving them directions.

The Pains-Wessex Speedline is a complete, self-contained, line-throwing unit which looks like a heavy cylinder with a carrying handle and trigger mechanism at the top. It is arguably the best line-throwing unit in the world. Bond removed the protective plastic covering at the front of the cylinder, exposing the rocket, well-shielded, in the centre, and the 275 metres of packed, ready-flaked line which took up the bulk of the space. He removed the free end of the line, instructing the others to make it fast around the Finlandia’s rear bumper, and placed himself almost directly below the crimson figure in the snow.

Good thing we have that video upthread to understand this already!


When the line was secure, Bond removed the safety pin at the rear of the carrying handle, then shifted his hand to the moulded grip behind the trigger guard. He dug the heels of his Mukluk boots into the snow and advanced four paces up the slope. The snow was soft and very deep to the right of the broad ski slope fall line – where it was packed rock hard and only negotiable with the aid of ice climbing equipment.

Four steps and Bond was sinking almost to his waist, but the position was reasonable for a good shot with the line – the far end of which trailed out behind him to the bumper of the Finlandia. Bracing himself, Bond held the cylinder away from his body, allowing it to find the correct point of balance. When he was certain the rocket would clear Rivke, he pressed the trigger.

There was a dull thud as the firing pin struck the igniter. Then, with spectacular speed and a plume of smoke, the rocket leaped into the clear air, its line threading out after it, seeming to gain speed as it went, a single-strand bow of rope curling high above the snow.

The rocket passed well clear of Rivke’s body, but right on course, taking the line directly above her, to land with a dull plop. For a second, the line appeared to hang in its arc, quivering in the still air. Then, with an almost controlled neatness, it began to fall – a long brown snake running from a point high above where Rivke lay.

Bond gets Rivke to painfully grab onto the line and tie it around herself as more and more hotel spectators come out to watch the rescue. Now they need to drag her back in.


Bond had been aware of the ambulance arriving but now registered its presence for the first time. There was a full medical team on board, complete with a young, bearded doctor. Bond asked where they would take her, and the doctor – whose name turned out to be Simonen – said they were from the small hospital at Salla. ‘After that,’ he raised his hands in an uncertain gesture, ‘it depends on her injuries.’

It took the best part of three-quarters of an hour to pull Rivke to within reaching distance. She was only half conscious when Bond, pushing through the snow, came near her. He guided those who pulled on the line to bring her gently right down to the edge of the run out.

She moaned, opening her eyes as the doctor got to her, immediately recognising Bond. ‘James, what happened?’ The voice was small and weak.

‘Don’t know, love. You had a fall.’ Under the goggles and scarf muffling his face, Bond felt the anxiety etched into his own features, just as the telltale white blotches of frostbite were visible on the exposed parts of Rivke’s face.

Just a fall! That's it!


After a few moments the doctor touched Bond’s shoulder, pulling him away. Tirpitz and Kolya Mosolov knelt by the girlas the doctor muttered, ‘Both legs fractured, by the look of it.’ He spoke excellent English, as Bond had discovered during their earlier exchange. ‘Frostbite, as you can see, and advanced hypothermia. We have to get her in fast.’

‘As quick as you can.’ Bond caught hold of the doctor’s sleeve. ‘Can I come to the hospital later?’

‘By all means.’

She was unconscious again, and Bond could do nothing but stand back and watch, his mind in confusion, as they gently strapped Rivke on to a stretcher and slid her into the ambulance. Pictures seemed to overlap in his head: the present cold, the ice and snow, and the ambulance, crunching off towards the main hotel car park exit, flashed between visions which came, unwanted, from his memory bank: another ambulance; a different road; heat; blood all over the car; and an Austrian policeman asking endless questions about Tracy’s death. That nightmare – the death of his only wife – always lurked in the far reaches of Bond’s mind.

Gardner keeps it ambiguous just how old Bond is supposed to be in his books or how far away the Fleming adventures took. Fleming set each book about 1 year apart from each other, give or take a few months to get the right season, while Gardner aged Bond up just enough to get him a little gray while shifting the timeline forward into the 1980s.


As though the two pictures had suddenly merged, he heard Kolya saying, ‘We have to talk, James Bond. I have to ask questions. We must also be ready for tonight. It’s all fixed, but now we’re one short. Arrangements will have to be made.’

Bond nodded, slowly trudging back towards the hotel. In the foyer, they agreed to meet in Kolya’s room at three.

In his own room, Bond unlocked his briefcase, and operated the internal security devices which released the false bottom and sides – all covered by Q’ute’s ingenious screening device. From one of the side compartments he took out an oblong unit, red in colour, and no larger than a packet of cigarettes – the VL34, so-called ‘Privacy Protector’, possibly one of the smallest and most advanced electronic ‘bug’ detecting devices. On his arrival the previous night, Bond had already swept the room and found it clean, but he was not going to take chances now.

Drawing out the retractable antennae, he switched on the small machine and began to sweep the room. In a matter of seconds, a series of lights began to glow along the front panel. Then, as the antennae pointed towards the telephone, a yellow light came on, verifying that a transmitter and microphone were somewhere in the telephone area.

Having located one listening bug, Bond carefully went over the entire room. There were a couple of small alarms, near the radio and television sets, but the failsafe yellow signal light did not lock on. Within a short time, he had established that the only bug in the room was the first one signalled – in the telephone. Examining the instrument, he soon discovered it contained an updated version of the old and familiar ‘infinity bug’, which turns a telephone into a transmitter, giving a twenty-four hour service. Even at the other end of the world, an operator can pick up not only telephone calls, but also anything said within the room in which the telephone is located.

Once again grounding this book in a more realistic setting (snowplow battles aside), the infinity transmitter (or "harmonica bug", as the original design was activated by playing a harmonica tone into it) is a design that's decades old. You place it within a target's telephone or on the line and activate it, usually by calling the target phone and dialing a touch-tone code. The bug then uses either the phone's audio receiver or its own microphone to pick up audio from not only the phone line, but within the rest of the room.


Bond removed the bug, carried it to the bathroom and ground it under the heel of his Mukluk before flushing it down the lavatory. ‘So perish all enemies of the state,’ he muttered with a wry smile.

The others would almost certainly be covered by this – or similar – bugs. The questions remained: how, and when, had the bug been planted, and how had they so neatly timed the attempt on Rivke’s life? Paula would have had to move with great speed to act against Rivke – or any of them. Unless, Bond thought, the Hotel Revontuli was so well-penetrated that things had been fixed up well in advance of their arrival.

But to do that, Paula, or whoever was organising these counter-moves, would have had to be in on the Madeira briefing. Since Rivke had become a victim, she was already in the clear. But what of Brad Tirpitz and Kolya? He would soon discover the truth about those two. If the operation connected with the Russian Ordnance Depot, Blue Hare, was really ‘on’ tonight, perhaps the whole deck of cards would be laid out.

He stripped, showered and changed into comfortable clothes, then stretched out on the bed, lighting one of his Simmons cigarettes. After two or three puffs Bond crushed the butt into the ashtray and closed his eyes, drifting into a doze.

Don't waste the drat things! They're made special for you!


Waking with a start, Bond glanced at his watch. It was almost three o’clock. He crossed to the window and looked out. The snowscape appeared to change as he stood there, the sudden sharp white altering as the sun went down. Then came the magic of what in the Arctic Circle they call ‘the blue moment’, when the glaring white of snow and ice on ground, rocks, buildings, and trees, turns a greenish-blue shade for a minute or two before the dusk sets in.

The "blue moment" is the brief period in the winter in far northern latitudes like Lapland where the sun just barely manages to come toward the horizon, creating an odd twilight for a few hours.


He would be late for the meeting with Kolya and Tirpitz, but that could not be helped. Bond quickly went to his now bug-free telephone, and asked the operator for the hospital number at Salla. She came back quite quickly. Bond got the dialling tone and picked out the number. His first thought on waking had been Rivke.

The hospital receptionist spoke an easy English. He enquired about Rivke and was asked to wait.

Finally the woman came back on the line. ‘We have no patient of that name, I’m afraid.’

‘She was admitted a short time ago,’ Bond said. ‘After an accident at the Hotel Revontuli. On the ski slopes. Hypothermia, frostbite, and both legs fractured. You sent an ambulance and doctor . . .’ he paused, trying to remember the name, ‘. . . Doctor Simonen.’

‘I’m sorry, sir. This is a small hospital and I know all the doctors. There are only five, and none is called Simonen . . .’

‘Bearded. Young. He told me I could call.’

‘I’m sorry, sir, but there must be some mistake. There have been no ambulance calls from the Revontuli today, I’ve just checked. No female admissions either; and we have no Doctor Simonen. In fact we have no young bearded doctors at all. I only wish we had.’

Uh oh.


Bond asked if there were any other hospitals near by. No. The nearest hospital was at Kemijärvi, and they would not operate an emergency service in this area any more than the hospital at Pelkosenniemi. Bond asked for the numbers of both those hospitals, and the local police, then thanked the girl and began to dial again.

Within five minutes he knew the bad news. Neither of the hospitals had attended an accident at the hotel. What was more, the local police did not have a Saab Finlandia operating on the roads that day. In fact, no police patrol had been sent to the hotel. It was not a mistake; the police knew the hotel very well. So well that they did their ski training there.

They were very sorry.

So was Bond. Sorry, and decidedly shaken.

Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

It's not the red form anymore.
Incidental bones can file under the greens.

I can't believe Bond handed his wounded comrade to Agent 47 without checking

Gats Akimbo
May 28, 2007

Ignoring this post

Icebreaker posted:

Kolya turned back to Bond, muttering an obscene Russian oath. ‘They can’t get a chopper here for another half hour.’ He looked very angry. ‘And the rescue team’ll take as long.’

Icebreaker posted:

It took the best part of three-quarters of an hour to pull Rivke to within reaching distance.

Um. Gee, thanks for the rescue, Bond.

Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.

Prediction time: it’s going to turn out the Brad is also a Nazi, and in a classic “the butler did it” twist, the Soviet guy will turn out to be on the level

Apr 23, 2014

I will say there is a twist in this book nobody will see coming.

Oct 20, 2010

Bond’s implanted personality from Golden Gun is the villain?

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 10: Kolya

And there we go!


James Bond was furious. ‘You mean we aren’t going to do anything about Rivke?’ He did not shout, but his voice was cold, brittle as the ice decorating the trees outside Kolya’s window.

‘We’ll inform her organisation.’ Kolya appeared unconcerned. ‘But later, after this is over. She could’ve turned up by then anyway. We haven’t got time to go snow-shoeing around the countryside after her now. If she doesn’t surface, Mossad will have to look for her. What does it say in the Bible? Let the dead bury the dead?’

This is from Luke 9:60. In that case, the first "dead" is referring to those who are "dead to Jesus", those who have no influence over him. It's a statement to a disciple who wanted to bury his father before following him to put Jesus over tradition and show that he could sacrifice for a higher cause than himself.


Bond’s temper was frayed. Already he had been within an ace of losing it a couple of times since joining the remnants of the Icebreaker team in Kolya’s room. Kolya had opened up at his knock, and Bond had pushed past him, a finger to his lips, the other hand holding up the VL34 detector like a talisman.

Brad Tirpitz gave a sarcastic grin, which changed to a withering look of displeasure as Bond unearthed another infinity device from Kolya’s phone, plus some additional electronics from under the carpet and in the toilet roll holder.

‘Thought you dealt with the sweeping,’ Bond snapped, looking suspiciously at Tirpitz.

‘I did all our rooms when we first got here. Checked yours out as well, buddy.’

‘You also claimed the rooms were clean in Madeira.’

‘So they were.’

‘Well, how come they – whoever they are – were able to pinpoint us here?’

Unruffled, Tirpitz repeated he had swept the rooms for electronics. ‘Everything was hygienic. In Madeira, and here.’

‘Then we’ve got a leak. One of us – and I know it’s not me,’ Bond said acidly.

‘One of us? Of us?’ Now Kolya’s voice turned nasty.

Silence, communist!


As yet Bond had not been able to give Kolya the full details of the warning telephone call that he supposed came from Paula. He did so now, watching the Russian’s face alter. Mosolov’s features were like the sea, he thought. This time the change was from anger to placidity, then concern, as Bond outlined how the trick could have been managed. Whoever was operating against them knew a great deal about their private lives.

‘That was no ageing land mine out there,’ he stated bleakly. ‘Rivke is good on skis. I’m not bad myself, and I should imagine you’re not exactly a novice, Kolya. Don’t know about Tirpitz . . .’

‘I can hold my own.’ Tirpitz had assumed the expression of a surly schoolboy.

The explosion on the slopes, Bond continued, could have been operated by a remote control system. ‘They could also have used a sniper, in the hotel. It’s been done before – a bullet activating an explosive charge. Personally, I go for the remote control because it ties in with everything else: the fact that Rivke was on the slopes, that I got a telephone call which must have coincided with her leaving the top of the run.’ He spread his hands. ‘They have us bottled up here; they’ve taken one of us out already, which makes it easier for them to close in on the rest . . .’

At this point, Bond and Brad finally confront Kolya about Count von Glöda. He admits to him being the prime suspect, but claims that he was waiting until they had positive confirmation before revealing anything to the rest of the group. Since they all know the full story now with Rivke and von Glöda being the Tudeers, Kolya figures they may as well continue on.


Very quietly Kolya turned his head, eyes clashing with Bond’s. ‘I suggest that Rivke will be okay. That we leave her in – what’s your expression – leave her in baulk? I predict that Rivke Ingber will reappear when she’s ready. In the meantime, if we are to collect the evidence that will eventually smash the National Socialist Action Army – which is our sole reason for being here – we must go into tonight’s operation with some care.’

‘So be it,’ Bond said, masking his anger.

The object of the exercise, Kolya Mosolov had already put forward, was that they should view, and possibly photograph, the theft of arms from ordnance depot Blue Hare, located near Alakurtii. Kolya spread a detailed survey map on the floor. It was covered in marks – crosses in red, various routings in black, blue and yellow.

Kolya’s forefinger rested on a red cross just south of Alakurtii, about sixty kilometres inside the Russian border and some seventy-five kilometres from where they now sat.

Alakurtti Air Base is still operational and serves as one of Russia's key strongholds in fortifying their presence in the Arctic Circle.


‘I understand’, he said, ‘that we’re all fairly expert on snow scooters.’ He looked first at Tirpitz, then at Bond. Both men nodded their assent. ‘I’m glad to hear it, because we’re all going to be under pressure. The weather forecast for tonight is not good. Sub-zero temperatures, rising a little after midnight when light snow is expected, then dropping to hard freezing conditions again.’

Kolya pointed out that they would be travelling through difficult country, by snow scooter, during much of the night.

‘As soon as I realised Rivke would be in the hospital . . .’ he began again.

‘Where she is not,’ interrupted Bond. Kolya ignored him.

"What was that I couldn't hear you over my evil plan CARRY ON"


‘. . . I made other arrangements. We need at least four bodies on the ground for what we have to do. We must cross the Russian border without help from my people, following a route which I suspect will also be used by NSAA vehicles. The intention was to leave two of us as markers along the route while Bond and I went all the way to Alakurtii. My information is that the NSAA convoy will be arriving, by arrangement with the officer in command of Blue Hare and his subordinates, at about three in the morning.’

The loading of whatever vehicles were to be used would take only an hour or so. Kolya guessed that they would employ amphibious tracked APCs, probably one of the many variants of the Russian BTRs. ‘They have everything ready, so my people tell me. Bond and I will take VTR and still pictures, using infra-red if necessary: though I presume there’ll be a lot of light. Blue Hare is in the back of beyond and nobody’s going to bother much during the loading. The care will be taken on the way in, and, more especially, during the transportation out. At Blue Hare itself, I expect all the floodlights to be on.’

‘And where does von Glöda come into all this?’ Bond had been examining the map and its pencilled hieroglyphics. He was not happy with it. The way across the border looked more than difficult – through heavily wooded areas, over frozen lakes and long stretches of open, snow-covered country which, in summer, would be flat tundra. Mainly, though, it was the heavily forested patches that worried him. He knew what it was like to navigate, and find a trail, with a snow scooter, through these great black blocks of fir and pine.

Remember when Bond was running around Tara dodging ants and trying to find out the secret behind mind control ice cream used to steal a particle beam satellite while being manipulated by Blofeld's one-breasted daughter?


Kolya gave a kind of secret smile. ‘Von Glöda’, he said very slowly, ‘will be here.’ His finger hovered over the map, then stabbed down at a section marked out in oblongs and squares. The map reference showed it to be just inside the Finnish border, a little to the north of where they would expect to cross and return.

Both Bond and Tirpitz craned forward, Bond quickly memorising the coordinates on the map. Kolya continued talking.

‘I am 99 per cent certain that the man your people, Brad, call Glow-worm, will be safely tucked away there tonight; just as I’m sure the convoy from Blue Hare will end up at the same point.’

‘Ninety-nine per cent certain?’ Bond raised an eyebrow quizzically, his hand lifting to brush the small comma of hair from his forehead. ‘Why? How?’

‘My country . . .’ Kolya Mosolov’s tone contained no jingoism, or especial pride, ‘my country has a slight advantage, from a geographical viewpoint.’ His finger circled the whole area around the red oblong marks on the map. ‘We’ve been able to mount considerable surveillance over the past weeks. It’s also to our advantage that agents on the ground have made exhaustive enquiries. There are of course still a large number of ruined old defensive points along this part of the frontier. You can see the remains of defences in many European countries – in France for instance, even in England. Most are intact but unusable, the bunker walls sound enough but the interiors crumbling. So you can imagine how many blockhouses and fortifications were constructed all along here during the Winter War, and, again, after the Nazi invasion of Russia.’

‘I can vouch for that.’ Bond smiled, as though trying to let Kolya know he was not entirely a stranger to this part of the world.

‘My people know about them too.’ Tirpitz was not to be outdone.

‘Ah.’ Kolya’s face lit up in what might haved passed for a benign smile.

Everyone tripping over themselves to show off how powerful their country is.


Silence, for a good half minute.

Then Kolya nodded, his strange trick of sudden facial change turning him sage-like. ‘Once we were alerted to what was going on at Blue Hare, our Special Operations Departments were given precise orders. High flying aircraft and satellites were set on new routes. Eventually they came up with these.’ He slid a small, clear plastic folder from under the map and began to pass around a series of photographs. There were a number of pictures, obviously taken from reconnaissance aircraft – probably the Russian Mandrake, Mangrove or Brewer-D, all ideal for the purpose. Even in black and white the photographs clearly showed large areas of disturbed ground. They had been taken during the late summer months or in early autumn before the snows, and on most of them some kind of large concrete bunker entrance was unmistakable.

NATO reporting designation assigns a letter for each category of weapon, which is then used to pick the reporting name for it. "M" is the "miscellaneous" category, which includes recon aircraft. The Mandrake is the Yakovlev Yak-25, which was known as the Flashlight-A in its original interceptor designation. The Mangrove is the Yakovlev Yak-27, which was the Flashight-C. A Brewer-D is the Yakovlev Yak-28, originally a tactical bomber. The training version was named the Maestro, so maybe that's why they didn't assign an "M" name to the recon version?


The other photographs were also of a type with which both Bond and Brad Tirpitz were familiar: military reconnaissance satellite pictures, taken from miles above the earth, with varied cameras and lenses. The most interesting were those which showed, in vivid colour, changes in geological structure.

‘We put one of our Cosmos military intelligence birds on the job. Good, eh?’

"Kosmos" was the Soviet designation for satellites. In 1977, the Kosmos 954 was launched for radar reconnaissance. Powered by an onboard liquid sodium–potassium thermionic converter driven by a nuclear reactor, it was intended to loiter for an incredibly long period. Unfortunately, the orbit grew increasingly erratic and Soviet controllers lost control of the satellite. In a series of secret meetings, the Soviets informed the United States of what happened....mainly because the system for detaching its nuclear reactor also stopped working.

On January 24, 1978, the Kosmos 954 reentered atmosphere and broke up, scattering radioactive debris along a 370-mile path in northern Canada from Nunavut to Alberta. The Canadian government billed the USSR for over C$6 million in damages, of which they only managed to get half. The episode of Saturday Night Live 4 days later included a skit involving the debris causing the rise of radioactive lobsters, which invaded the studio.

Yes, SNL is now part of this thread's history lessons.


Bond’s eyes flicked from the satellite pictures to the small drawings on the map. The pictures, mostly magnified and blown up, showed that considerable work had taken place under the earth’s surface. The textures and colours made it plain that the building was well-executed, with a great deal of steel and concrete used. It was a highly symmetrical structure with all the signs of a complete and active underground complex.

‘You see,’ Kolya continued, ‘I have more than just the photographs.’ He produced yet another folder, containing both plan and elevation drawings of what could only be a very large bunker. ‘We were alerted by the satellite findings. Then our field agents moved in. There were also one or two interesting maps of the area, used at the time of the Winter War, and later. Finnish military engineers built a large, underground arms dump on exactly this spot during the late 1930s. It was big enough to contain at least ten tracked tanks, as well as ammunition and facilities for repair. The main bunker entrance was large – here,’ he pointed directly to the photographs and the plan view drawing. ‘From our people on the ground, and existing records, we know the bunker was, in fact, never used. However, about two years ago during the summer, much activity was reported in the general area – builders, bulldozers, the usual paraphernalia. It is, without much doubt, von Glöda’s lair.’ His finger started to trace along the drawings. ‘There, you see, the original entrance has been rebuilt and sealed off – large enough to take vehicles, with plenty of room below for storage.’

It was a very clear, and convincing, batch of evidence. The complex seemed large, divided into two areas: one for vehicles and stores, the other a vast honeycomb of living quarters. At least three hundred people would be able to live underground in this place, year in and year out. The bigger entrance lay parallel to a smaller access and both sloped down similar gradients to a depth of some three hundred metres, which, as Tirpitz said, was ‘deep enough to bury a lot of bodies’.

Still got the giant villain's lair, but at least there's no 20-mile superspeed monorail of Victorian train cars to get to it.


‘We believe it is where all the bodies are buried.’ Kolya showed no sign of humour. ‘I personally think it constitutes the headquarters, and planning control command post, of the National Socialist Action Army. The place has also become a major staging point for the arms and munitions stolen from Red Army bases. That refurbished bunker, in my opinion, is the heart of the NSAA.’

‘So all we have to do’, Tirpitz glanced at Kolya, the sarcasm practically tangible, ‘is take some pretty pictures of your army people betraying their country, then follow the vehicles back to here,’ finger on the map, ‘to the bunker. Their cosy little Ice Palace.’


‘Just like that. Three of us – with me, I presume, acting as a backstop on the frontier, where any hairbrained rear end in a top hat could pick me off like a jackrabbit.’

Bad Brad is an expert in hairbrained assholes.


‘Not if you’re as good as they tell me,’ Kolya said, returning like for like. ‘For my part, I’ve taken the liberty of bringing in another of my people – simply because there are two crossing points.’ He indicated another line, slightly farther north than the route he and Bond would be taking, explaining that both border crossings should be covered. ‘Originally I wanted Rivke up there, just in case. We need a spare, so I’ve arranged it.’

There was a brief pause. Then Bond said, ‘Kolya, I want to know something.’

‘Go ahead.’ The face lifted towards him, open and frank.

‘If this runs to plan – if we get the evidence, and we follow the convoy back to the bunker you say is here,’ Bond pointed at the map, ‘when we’ve done all that, what’s the next move?’

Kolya did not even stop to think. ‘We make certain we have our proof. After that, we do one of two things. Either we report back to our respective agencies, or, if it looks feasible, we finish the job ourselves.’

Bond made no further comment. Kolya had signalled an interesting endgame. If he was, in fact, involved in any KGB-Red Army conspiracy, the action of ‘finishing the job ourselves’ would be as good a method as any to cover things up for ever. The more so, Bond calculated, if Kolya Mosolov saw to it that Bond and Tirpitz did not return. Meanwhile, if the conspiracy theory held any water, the NSAA command headquarters could already be set to move out to another hiding place; another bunker.

They talked on, going over the minutiae: where the snow scooters were hidden, the kind of cameras they would be using, the exact point at which Tirpitz would take up his post and the position of Kolya’s new agent, identified solely by the cryptonym Mujik, a little joke of Kolya’s, or so he maintained, a mujik being in old Russia a peasant, regarded by the law as a minor.

As we all learned in From Russia With Love!


After an hour or so of this close briefing, Kolya handed out maps to both Tirpitz and Bond. They covered the entire area, were as near to Ordnance Survey standard of cartography as you could get, and had the routes over the frontier marked in thin pencil, together with the position of Blue Hare, and the same series of oblongs denoting the underground complex of what they had taken to calling the Ice Palace. Blue Hare and the Ice Palace, Kolya maintained, were drawn in to exact scale.

They synchronised their watches, and were to meet at midnight at the RV point – which meant leaving the hotel, individually, between eleven-thirty and eleven-forty.

Bond re-entered his room silently, taking out the VL34 to check the entire suite again. Gone were the days, he thought in passing, when you could keep a watch on your room by leaving tiny slivers of matchstick in the door, or wedged into drawers. In the old days, a small piece of cotton would do wonders; but now, in the age of the micro-chip, life had become more sophisticated, and considerably more difficult.

I mean, it still tells you if someone came in.


They had been at it again during the briefing. Not just the automatic ‘infinity’ in the telephone this time, but a whole screen of listening devices as back-ups: one behind the mirror in the bathroom; another in the curtains, neatly sewn in place; a third disguised as a button in the small ‘housewife’ pack of needles and thread tucked into its pocket inside the hotel stationery folder, and another bug ingeniously fitted within a new lamp bulb by the bed.

Bond treble-swept the place. Whoever was doing the surveillance certainly knew the job. As he destroyed the various items, he even wondered if the new infinity bug in the telephone was merely a dummy, placed there in the hope he would not continue the search after finding it.

At this rate, I wouldn't even sleep here. They'd probably come in and have one up your nose.


Once he was assured that the room was clean, Bond spread out his map. From the briefcase he had already removed a military pocket compass which he intended to carry that night. Using a small pad of flimsies and a credit card as a ruler, Bond started to make calculations and trace the routes on to the map – noting the exact compass bearings they would have to follow to get across the border and locate Blue Hare, then the bearings out from Blue Hare, following both the route in and its alternative.

He also took care to check angles and bearings that would lead them to the Ice Palace. All the time he worked, Bond felt uneasy – a sense he had experienced more than once since the Madeira meeting. He was aware of the basic cause: from time to time he had worked in conjunction with another member of either his own, or a sister, service. But Icebreaker was different. Now he had been forced to act with a team and Bond was not a team man – especially not a team that blatantly contained grave elements of mistrust.

His eyes searched the map, as though looking for a clue and, quite suddenly, without his really trying to find it, an answer stared back at him.

Ripping off one of the flimsies from his small pad, Bond carefully placed it over the Ice Palace markings and traced in the pencil lines showing the extent of the underground bunker. Then he added in the local topography. When this tracing was completed, Bond slid the flimsy in a northeasterly direction on the map, covering the equivalent of around fifteen kilometres.

The diagonal move carried the Ice Palace across the frontier zone into Russia. What was more, the local topography fitted exactly, down to the surrounding ground levels, wooded areas, and summer river-lines. The topography in general was all very similar, but this was quite extraordinary. Either the maps had been specially printed, or there really were two locations – one on either side of the frontier – exact in every topographical detail.

As I mentioned, Gardner was an actual commando. Much like Fleming having Bond do detailed measurements and triangulation in Moonraker, this is work that the films simply ignore for action. The literary Bond doesn't need to show off his intelligence by rattling off encyclopedia entries when he can actually put in the work on paper.


With the same concentration, Bond copied the possible secondary position of the Ice Palace on to his map. He then made one or two further compass bearings. It was possible that von Glöda’s headquarters, and the first stage of the arms convoy, lay not in Finland, but still on the Russian side of the frontier. Even bearing in mind the similarity of the landscape at any point along this part of the border, it was a strange coincidence to find two exactly identical locations within fifteen kilometres of one another.

He now thought about the position of the main bunker entrances at the Ice Palace. Both faced towards the Russian side. If it was on the Russian side of the border, he had to remember that this section of the Soviet Union had once belonged to Finland – before the great clash of the Winter War of 1939–40. But either way, for the entrances of the original fortifications to face towards Russia was odd; particularly if the bunkers were built before the Russo-Finnish war of 1939; not so odd if they were erected after the peace, when large tracts of land, including much of this zone, were handed over to the Soviet Union, following the Finnish surrender of March 13th, 1940.

To Bond, it was a definite possibility that the Ice Palace was of Russian origin. If it truly was the headquarters of the Fascist National Socialist Action Army, then it showed two things: the leader of the NSAA was even more cunning than Bond had thought, and the coercion, and betrayal, within the Red Army, GRU and KGB, might be more widespread than anyone had first imagined.

Bond’s next job was to get some form of message out to M. Technically, he could simply dial London on his room telephone. Certainly it was now free of listening devices, but who knew if calls were also being monitored via the hotel exchange?

At this point, I wouldn't assume you could poo poo without the enemy hearing.


Quickly, Bond committed the compass bearings, and co-ordinates, to memory, using his well-tried form of mnemonics. He then tore up the flimsies from his pad – removing several of the back sheets at the same time – and flushed them down the lavatory, waiting for a few moments to make certain they had all been carried away.

Climbing into his outdoor gear, Bond left the room and went down to his car. Among the many pieces of secret equipment he now carried in the Saab, there was one only recently fitted by Q Branch. In front of the gear lever there nestled what seemed to be a perfectly normal radio telephone, an instrument which was useless unless it had a base unit somewhere within about twenty-five miles radius. But twenty-five miles was no good to Bond, any more than a normal telephone was any good to him, in the present circumstances. The Saab car phone had two great advantages. The first of these was a small black box, from which hung a pair of terminals. The box was not much larger than a pair of cassettes stacked one on top of the other, and Bond took it from its hiding place, in a panel behind the glove compartment.

Reactivating the sensor alarms, he trudged through the hard, iced snow, back to the hotel and his room. Taking no chances, Bond did a quick sweep with the VL34, and was relieved to find the room still clean after his short absence. Quickly he unscrewed the underside plate on the telephone. He then connected the terminals of the small box and removed the receiver from its rests, placing it close at hand. The advanced electronics contained in that small box ensured that he now had an easily available base unit from which to operate the car telephone. Access to the outside world, illegally using the Finnish telephone service, was assured.

There was, moreover, the car phone’s second advantage. On returning to the Saab, Bond pressed one of the unmarked square black buttons on the dashboard. A panel slid down behind the telephone housing, revealing a small computer keyboard and a minute screen – a telephone scrambler of infinite complexity, which could be used to shield the voice or send messages which would be printed out on a compatible screen in the building overlooking Regent’s Park.

Bond pressed the requisite keys to link the car phone with his base unit. Tapping the get-out code from Finland and the dial-in code for London, he followed on with the London code and the number for the Headquarters of his Service. He then fed in the required cipher of the day and began to tap out his message in clear language. It came up on his screen, as it would at the Headquarters building, in a jumble of grouped letters. It would be deciphered rapidly to read out on the HQ screen in clear language.

What the hell is this? Gardner actually writing plausible superspy gear? After the last loving book?

In real life, the commercial production of mobile phones dates all the way back to 1946. Even modern cell phones still use radio technology to transmit through cell towers, so we're not as far off from the original technology as we may think. The "cellular" part of cell phones comes from the implementation of a network of transceivers into a series of "cells", all operating on a slightly different frequency, to avoid interference and allow you to move between cells without losing the call. The car phones of the 60s and 70s were simply a more primitive implementation of the modern design; Tokyo had a cellular system for car phones by 1979. Bond's design is somewhat more advanced than what was commercially available, especially with the encryption, but completely grounded within real science of the time.


The whole transmission took around fifteen minutes, with Bond bent inside the dark car lit only by the glow from the tiny screen, very conscious of the ice build-up on the windows. Outside there was a light wind and the temperature continued to drop. When the whole message had been sent, Bond closed up, reactivated the sensors and returned to the hotel. Once more, playing it safe, he quickly swept the room, then removed the base unit from the hotel telephone.

He had only just packed away the base unit in his briefcase – intending to return it to the Saab before the real business of the night began – when there was a knock at the door. Now playing everything by the book, Bond picked up the P7 and went to the door, slipping the chain on before asking who was there.

‘Brad,’ the answer came back. ‘Brad Tirpitz.’

‘Bad’ Brad Tirpitz looked a shade shaken as he came into the room. Bond noticed a distinct pallor, and a wariness around the big American’s eyes.

Would you say he looks....bad?


‘Bastard Kolya,’ Tirpitz spat.

Bond gestured towards the armchair. ‘Sit down, get it off your chest. The room’s clean now. I had to delouse again after we had the meeting with Kolya.’

‘Me too.’ A slow smile spread over Tirpitz’s face, stopping short, as always, at the eyes. It was as though a sculptor had worked slowly at the rocky features and suddenly given up. ‘I caught Kolya in the act though. Did you figure out who’s working for whom yet?’

‘Not exactly. Why?’

‘I left a small memento in Kolya’s room after the briefing. Just stuffed it down behind the chair cushion. I’ve been listening in ever since.’

‘And heard no good of yourself, I’ll warrant.’ Bond opened the fridge, asking if Tirpitz wanted a drink.

‘Whatever you’re having. Yeah, you’re right. It’s true what they say – you never hear good of yourself.’

Bond quickly mixed a brace of martinis, handing one to Tirpitz.

I wish I could get a hotel room with a full bar.


‘Well.’ Tirpitz took a sip, raising his eyebrows in a complimentary movement. ‘Well, old buddy, Kolya made several telephone calls. Switched languages a lot and I couldn’t figure most of it – double-talk on the whole. The last one I did understand, though. He talked to someone without beating about the bush. Straight Russian. Tonight’s trip, friend, is taking us to the end of the line.’


‘Yep. Me they’re giving the Rivke treatment – right on the border, to make it look like a land mine. I even know the exact spot.’

‘The exact spot?’ Bond queried.

‘Not dead ground – if you’ll excuse the expression – but right in the open. I’ll show you.’ Tirpitz held out his hand for Bond’s map.

‘Just give me the co-ordinates.’ Nobody, trusted or not, was going to see Bond’s map, particularly now that he had put in the possible true location of the Ice Palace.

‘You’re a suspicious bastard, Bond.’ Tirpitz’s face changed back to the hard granite, chipped, sharp, and dangerous.

‘Just give me the co-ordinates.’

Bond is

What the hell is this book?


Tirpitz rattled off the figures, and, in his head, Bond worked out roughly where the point came in relation to the whole area of operations. It made sense – a remote-controlled land mine at a spot where they would be travelling a few metres away from real minefields anyway.

‘As for you,’ Tirpitz growled, ‘you ain’t heard nothing yet. They’ve got a spectacular exit organised for our Mr Bond.’

‘I wonder what’s in store for Kolya Mosolov?’ Bond said, with an almost innocent look.

‘Yeah, my own thoughts too. We think alike, friend. This is a dead-men-tell-no-tales job.’

Bond nodded, paused, took a sip of his martini and lit a cigarette. ‘Then you’d better tell me what’s in store for me. It looks as if it’s going to be a long, cold night.’

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 02:42 on Jan 27, 2021

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 11: Snow Safari


Every few minutes, James Bond had to reduce speed to wipe the rime of frost from his goggles. They could not have chosen a worse night. Even a blizzard, he thought, would have been preferable. ‘A snow safari,’ Kolya had laughingly called it.

The darkness seemed to cling to them, occasionally blowing free to give a glimmer of visibility, then descending again as though blindfolds had blown over their faces. It took every ounce of concentration to follow the man in front, and the only comfort was that Kolya, leading the column of three, had his small spotlight on, dipped low. Bond and Tirpitz followed without lights, chasing this rapid winter will o’ the wisp with difficulty. The three big Yamaha snow scooters roared on through the night making enough noise, Bond thought, to draw any patrols within a ten mile radius.

We finally confirm our snowmobile maker! This is a 1982 Yamaha Enticer 340, so probably representative of what Bond is riding.


After his lengthy talk with Brad Tirpitz, Bond had prepared himself with even greater care than usual. First there was the job of clearing up – packing away anything that would not be required and taking it out to the Saab, from which other items had to be collected. Having locked the briefcase and overnight bag in the boot, Bond slipped into the driving seat. Once there, he had reason to thank whatever saint watched over agents in the field.

He had just replaced the telephone base unit in its hiding place behind the glove compartment when the tiny pinprick of red light started to blink rapidly beside the car phone. Bond immediately pressed the chunky button which gave access to the scrambler computer and its screen. The winking pinhead light indicated that a message from London was stored within the system.

He ran quickly through all the activating procedures, then tapped out the incoming cipher code. Within seconds the small screen – no larger than the jacket of a paperback novel – was filled with groups of letters. Another few deft movements of Bond’s fingers on the keys brought the groups into a further jumble, then removed them completely. The instrument whirred and clicked as its electronic brain started to solve the problem. A running line of clear print ribboned out on the screen. The message read:


I'm sure Bond will be very judicious in immediately telling M that Tudeer was having dinner in the same room as him and will leave the mission immediately.


So, Bond thought, M was concerned enough to haul in the line if he went too close. The word ‘line’ brought other expressions to his mind – ‘the end of the line’; ‘line of fire’; being ‘sold down the line’. All these could well be applicable now.

Having secured the car, Bond returned to the hotel, where he rang down for food and a fresh supply of vodka. The agreement was that all three would stay in their rooms until it was time to RV at the snow scooters.

An elderly waiter brought in a small trolley-table with Bond’s dinner order – a simple meal of thick pea soup laced with lean chunks of meat, and excellent reindeer sausages.

I mentioned before how the Sámi are known as reindeer herders. Reindeer meat is very common up in Lapland and a popular "destination meat" for tourists. Industrial production of reindeer is in the millions of pounds per year, but is less than 1% of Finnish meat production.


As he ate, Bond slowly realised that his edginess over this assignment, Icebreaker, was not entirely due to the mental excuses he had made about his operational attitudes, working on his own, relying on his professionalism and intuition. There was another element – one that had appeared with the name Aarne Tudeer, and the linking of that name with the Count von Glöda.

Bond pondered on other powerful individuals with whom he had fought dangerous, often lonely, battles. At random he thought of people like Sir Hugo Drax, a liar and cheat, whom he had beaten, by exposing him as a card sharp, before taking the man on in another kind of battle. Auric Goldfinger was of the same breed, a Midas man, whom Bond had challenged on the field of sport as well as the deeper, dangerous zone of battle. Blofeld – well, there were many things about Blofeld which still chilled Bond’s blood: thoughts about Blofeld, and his relative, with whom Bond had only recently come face to face.

The "battle" you won against Drax was technically all Gala Brand! She just needed you to do the hard stuff like shoving your face into a blowtorch to get it done.


He inhaled sharply, mentally shaking himself. No, Konrad von Glöda was not going to beat him. What was more, if contact came with the phony Count, 007 would turn a blind eye to M’s instructions. James Bond could certainly not leave the field and run from von Glöda, or Tudeer, if he really was responsible for the terrorist activities of the NSAA. If there was any chance of wiping out that organisation, Bond would not let it slip through his fingers.

"I'm James Bond! I can do it all myself!"


He felt confidence leap back into his system – a loner again, with no one to trust out here in the crushing cold of the Arctic. Rivke had vanished, and he cursed the fact there had been no time to search for her. Kolya Mosolov was about as credible as a starved and injured tiger. Brad Tirpitz? Well, even though they were allies on paper, Bond could not bring himself to a state of complete faith in the American. Certainly, in the emergency they had worked on a contingency plan to cover the attempt which, according to Tirpitz, was to be made on his life. But that was all. The chains of trust between them were not yet welded.

At that moment, before the night even got under way, Bond made a vow. He would play it alone, by his rules. He would bend his will to nobody.

Within 5 minutes, Bond is going to bumble into a trap.


So now they proceeded, at somewhere between sixty and seventy kph, swerving and bucketing along a rough track between the trees, about a kilometre from the Russian border and parallel to it.

Snow scooters – known by tourists as ‘Skidoos’ – can rip across snow and ice at a terrifying speed. They are to be handled with care. Unique in design, with their wicked-looking, blunt bonnets and long strutting skis protruding forward, the scooters have revolving tracks studded with great pointed spikes which thrust the machine along, giving initial momentum which builds up very quickly as the skis glide across the surface below. There is little protection for the driver – or any passenger – apart from short deflector windshields. On their first ride, people tend to handle snow scooters wrongly, like motorcycles. A motorcycle can turn at acute angles, while a snow scooter has a much wider turning circle. There is also a tendency for a tyro rider to stick out a leg on the turn. He does it once only and probably ends up in hospital with a fracture, for the leg merely buries itself in the snow, dragged back by the speed of the scooter.

Ecologists curse the arrival of this particular machine, claiming that the spikes have already rutted and destroyed the texture of land under the snow; but it has certainly altered the pattern of life in the Arctic – particularly for the nomadic natives of Lapland.

The Sámi have a complex and often unpleasant relationship with the Scandinavians they live alongside. The Sámi are native to the northern part of the Fennoscandia region, while the Scandinavians are from the southern part. They had little contact for centuries, but the Scandinavians gradually colonized their entire region and began migrating north. Beginning in the 19th century, the Sámi were subject to forced assimilation; Norway went so far as to parcel out the best farmland in the Sámi's native lands to Norwegian settlers, forcing them to move or abandon their identity to become Norwegian. Sámi children were taken by missionaries or sent to state-run boarding schools to eliminate their culture and language.

To this day, the Sámi are increasingly pushed off their land by development and even the construction of NATO bombing ranges on their sacred sites. The modern concept of "land ownership" is completely alien to the nomadic Sámi, which has allowed governments to legally seize their traditional lands due to the Sámi having no way of proving ownership. While Finland ostensibly offers study and daycare in the student's native language, not all schools have been given the funding for Sámi languages. There have been pushes to provide the Sámi with greater legal recognition and aboriginal rights, with February 2020 seeing a nearly three-decade long policy restricting their hunting and fishing rights overturned in Sweden.


Bond kept his head down, and was quick in his reactions. A turn needed considerable energy, especially in deep, hard snow, as you had to pull the skis around with the handlebars, then hold them, juddering, as they tried to resume their normal forward direction. Following someone like Kolya presented other difficulties. You could easily get caught in the ruts made by the leader’s scooter, which gave problems of manoeuvrability, for it was like being trapped on tram lines. Then, if the leader made an error, you could almost certainly end up by screaming into him.

And, you know, the other problems with Kolya.


Bond tried to weave behind Kolya, slewing from side to side, glancing up continually, trying to glimpse the way ahead from the tiny glow of Kolya’s light. Occasionally he pulled out too far, sending the scooter rearing up like some fairground ride, producing a roll first to the right, then left, slipping upwards almost to the point of losing control, then sliding back again and up the other side until, wrestling with the handlebars, he recovered.

Even with face and head completely covered, the cold and wind sliced into Bond like razor cuts and he was constantly flexing his fingers in the fear that they would go numb on him.

In fact, Bond had done everything within his power to come prepared. The P7 automatic was in its holster across his chest, inside the quilted jacket. There was no chance of getting at it quickly, but at least it was there, with plenty of spare ammunition. The compass hung from a lanyard around his neck, the instrument tucked safely inside the jacket. Some of the smaller pieces of electronics were scattered about his person, and the maps were accessible in a thigh pocket of his quilted ski pants. One of the long Sykes Fairburn commando daggers lay strapped inside his left boot, and a shorter Lapp reindeer knife hung from his belt.

On his back, Bond carried a small pack containing other items – a white coverall, complete with hood, in case there should be need for snow camouflage, three of the stun grenades, and two L2A2 fragmentation bombs.

Bond follows Kolya, who moves with such ease that he clearly knows exactly where he's going. They suddenly break out of the trees into the dark open country, where they can put their throttles to max.


The cold became worse, either from lack of shelter or just because they were making more speed across open country. Maybe it was also because they had been on the trail for the best part of an hour, and the cold had begun to penetrate their bones, even through the layers of warm clothing. Ahead, Bond caught sight of the next belt of trees. If Kolya took them through that short line of forest at speed, they would be in the long open dip in a matter of ten minutes.

The valley of death, Bond thought; for it was down in the open valley floor, which made up the border protection zone, that the trap was to be sprung on Brad Tirpitz. They had worked out the theory in Bond’s hotel room. Now the moment drew closer as the three scooters sent snow flying around them. When it came, there could be no stopping or turning back for Bond to see if their planned counter-measures worked. He simply had to trust Tirpitz’s own timing, and ability to survive.

Into the trees again – like going from relative light into the instant darkness of a gloomy cathedral. Fir branches whipped around Bond’s body, stinging his face, as he hauled on the handlebars: left; then right; straight; left again. There was a moment when he almost misjudged the wide turn, feeling the forward ski touch the base of a tree hidden by snow; another when he thought he would be thrown off as the scooter crunched over thick roots covered with ice, slewing the machine into the start of a skid. But Bond held on, heaving at the controls, straightening the machine.


This time, when they broke cover, the landscape ahead seemed clearer, even through the frost-grimed goggles. The white valley stretched away on either side, the slope angling gently downwards to flatten, then climbing up the far side into a regiment of trees lined up in battle order.

In the open again, their speed increased. Bond felt his scooter nose down as the strain came off the engine. Now the struggle was to prevent the machine from going into a slide.

As they descended, the feeling of vulnerability became more intense. Kolya had told them this route was used constantly by border-crossers, for there were no frontier units within fifteen kilometres on either side, and they rarely made any night patrols. Bond hoped Kolya was right. Soon they would sweep into the bottom of the valley – half a kilometre of straight ice – before climbing up the far side and into the trees of Mother Russia.

Before then, Brad Tirpitz would be dead – at least that was what had been planned.

Bond’s mind flitted back to a drive he had made in winter, a fair time ago now, through the Eastern Zone to West Berlin. The ice and snow were not as raw or killing as this, but he recalled going through the checkpoint from the West at Helmstedt, where they cautioned him to follow the wide freeway through the Eastern Zone without deviation. For the first few kilometres the road had been flanked by woods, and he clearly saw the high wooden towers with their spotlights, and Red Army soldiers in white winter garb, crouching in the woods and by the side of the road. Was that what awaited them in the trees at the top of the slope?

Could be worse. You could be a teenager trying to hop the wall.


They flattened out, beginning the straight run. If Brad had got it right, the whole thing would happen in a matter of minutes – two, three minutes at the most.

Kolya increased his speed, as though racing ahead to get well up front. Bond followed, allowing himself to drop back slightly, praying that Tirpitz was ready. Moving himself in the tough saddle, Bond glanced behind. To his relief, Brad’s scooter had dropped far behind, just as they planned. He could not see if Tirpitz was still there: only the blur and black shape as the scooter slowed.

As Bond turned his head, it happened. It was as though he had been counting the seconds: working out the exact point. Maybe intuition?

The explosion came later. All he saw was the violent flash from where the dull black shape sped behind him – the crimson heart of flame and a great white phosphorescent outline, lighting the column of snow which soared into the night.

Then the noise, the heavy double clump, stunning the ear-drums. The shock waves struck Bond’s scooter, hammering him in the back, propelling him off course.

Apr 23, 2014

Way back in 2007-2008, a remaster of GoldenEye 007 was being done for Xbox Live Arcade, the same as Perfect Dark. It's the exact same game, but with updated models and textures. Unfortunately, the IP's rights are tangled up between multiple companies who would all have to approve everything and the virtually complete remaster would have to be abandoned when they couldn't agree to terms.

And then the entire master was suddenly found online, in a playable state on a 360 emulator.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 12: Blue Hare


At the moment of explosion, Bond’s reflexes came automatically into play. He hauled on the controls, throttling back so that his scooter slewed sideways into a long skid, then slowed towards its inevitable halt. Almost before he knew it, Bond came alongside Kolya’s scooter.

‘Tirpitz!’ Bond yelled, not really hearing his own voice, ears tingling from the cold and deadened by the passing shock waves. Strangely, he knew what Kolya was shouting back at him, though he was uncertain of Kolya’s actual words.

‘For God’s sake don’t come alongside!’ Kolya shrieked, his voice rising like the wind within a blizzard. ‘Tirpitz is finished. He must’ve strayed off course and hit a mine. We can’t stop. Death to stop. Keep directly behind me, Bond. It’s the only way.’ He repeated, ‘Directly behind me!’ and this time Bond knew he had heard the words clearly.

It was over. A glance back showed a faint glow as pieces of Tirpitz’s scooter burned out in the snow. Then came the whine of Kolya’s scooter, zipping away over the ice. Bond gunned his motor and followed, keeping close now and well in line behind the Russian.


If the plan had worked, Tirpitz would already be on the skis which he had smuggled out to the scooters a good hour before they were due to leave.

The idea had been to drop skis, sticks, and pack about three minutes from the point where Kolya had planned to have him taken out. A minute later, Tirpitz was to set and lock his handlebars; then make a slow roll-off, low into the snow, opening the throttle at the last moment. With good timing and luck, he could lie well clear of the explosion, then take to the skis almost at leisure. There was time enough for him to reach the point arranged with Bond.

Put him from your mind, Bond thought, in any event. Consider Tirpitz dead. It’s yourself and nobody else.

"He's no longer part of the story until he needs to be."


The far slope was not easy, and Kolya maintained a cracking pace, as though anxious to reach the relative cover of the trees. Half-way up the first flurries of fresh, falling snow started to eddy around them.

At last they reached the trees and their blackness. Kolya pulled up, beckoning Bond alongside him and leaning over to speak. But for the gentle throb of the idling engines, it was very still among the tall firs and pines. Kolya did not appear to shout, and this time his words were perfectly clear.

‘Sorry about Tirpitz,’ he said. ‘It could’ve been any of us. They may have rearranged the mine pattern. Now we’re still one short.’

Bond nodded, saying nothing.

‘Follow me like a leech.’ Kolya went on. ‘The first two kilometres are not easy, but after that we’re more or less on wide tracks. A road, in fact. Any sign of the convoy and I’ll switch off my light, then stop. So pull up if my light goes out. When we get near to Blue Hare we’ll hide the scooters and go in on foot with the cameras.’ He tapped the packs attached to the back of his machine. ‘It’ll be a short walk through trees. About five hundred metres.’

Around half a mile, Bond thought. That was going to be fun.

‘If we take it steadily – roughly an hour and a half’s ride from here,’ Kolya continued. ‘You fit?’

Bond nodded again.

After two kilometers at a very slow pace, the snowmobiles get onto a hard packed track that's clearly heavily used by vehicles.


Kolya began to pile on the speed, and as Bond followed easily on the flat surface, numbed as his mind was by the chill and marrow-freezing temperature, he started to ask questions. Kolya had shown almost incredible expertise on the way over the border – particularly going through the forests. It was impossible for him not to have followed the same route before: many times. For Bond it had been a time of unrelieved concentration, while Tirpitz had stayed well to the rear for most of the trip. Now the impression came back to Bond that Brad Tirpitz had not even been close during the zig-zagging journey through the trees.

Had both of them crossed the frontier by this route before? It was certainly a possibility. On reflection, Bond was even more puzzled, for Kolya had kept up a rapid pace even in the most difficult areas, and had done so without reference to bearings by compass or map. It was as though he was being navigated through by external means. Radio? Perhaps. Neither he nor Tirpitz had seen Kolya out of his gear, when they met at the scooters. Had the Russian brought them through on some kind of beam? Earphones would be easy to hide under the thermal hood. Bond made a note to look for leads plugged into Kolya’s scooter.

If not radio, was there a marked path? That was also a possibility, for Bond had been so busy keeping his own machine on Kolya’s tail that it was doubtful whether he would have noticed any pinpoint lights or reflectors along the way.

Another thought struck him. Cliff Dudley, his predecessor on Icebreaker, had not been forthcoming about what kind of work the team had been doing, in the Arctic Circle, before the row with Tirpitz and the briefing in Madeira. Had not M suggested, or said outright, that they had wanted Bond on the team from the outset?

Indeed, what had those representatives of four different intelligence agencies been up to? Was it possible they had been into the Soviet Union already? Had they already reconnoitred Blue Hare? Yet almost all the hard information had come from Kolya – from Russia; from the hi-fly photographs, and the satellite pictures, not to mention the sniffing out of information on the ground.

There had been talk of the search for von Glöda, of identifying him as the Commander-in-Chief of the NSAA, even as Aarne Tudeer. Yet von Glöda was there, at breakfast in the hotel, large as life, recognised by all. And nobody had appeared to be in the least concerned.

If Bond had started by trusting nobody, the feeling had now grown into deep suspicion towards anybody connected with Icebreaker. And that even included M, who had also been like a clam when it came to detail.

It wouldn't be the first time. In Fleming's canon (which this is following), Bond was first stripped of his Double-O designation and sent on an unwinnable diplomatic mission in Japan to shake him out of his depression, and then his very next mission was being sent on a nigh-unwinnable duel with the world's greatest assassin as a quasi-punishment for being brainwashed by the Soviets. This sort of tension is virtually absent from the films until GoldenEye.


Was it just possible, Bond wondered, that M had deliberately set him up in an untenable situation? As they racketed and slid through the snow, he saw the answer plainly enough. Yes: it was an old Service ploy. Send a very experienced officer into a situation almost blind, and let him discover the truth. The truth for 007, hammered home again, was that he was well and truly on his own. The conclusion to which he had privately come earlier was, in reality, the basis of M’s own reasoning. There had never been a ‘team’ in the strict sense of the word: merely representatives of four agencies, working together, yet apart. Four singletons.

The thought nagged away at Bond’s mind as he heaved and hauled the scooter at speed, following Kolya over the never-ending snow and jagged ice. He lost all track of time, conscious only of the cold, and the motor growl, and the endless ribbon of white behind Kolya’s machine.

Bond and Kolya stop and hide their snowmobiles. As they switch into their snowsuits, Bond surreptitiously hides a stun grenade and a frag grenade in the suit pockets and unclips his quilted jacket to allow a faster draw of his P7.


The Russian did not seem to have noticed. He carried a weapon of his own quite openly on his hip. The large night glasses were slung around his neck, and, in the gloom, Bond thought he could even detect a smile on that mobile face as Kolya handed over the automatic infra-red camera. The Russian was carrying a VTR pack clipped to his belt, the camera hanging by straps below the binoculars.

Kolya gestured towards the point where the light now seemed to blast straight up between the trees, behind a slope above them. He led the way, with Bond close on his heels – a pair of silent white ghosts passing into dead ground, moving from tree to tree.

Within a few paces they had reached the bottom of the uphill climb. The top of the rise was illuminated by the lights, which cast their beams up from the far side. There was no sign of guards or sentries, and Bond found the going difficult at first, his limbs still stiff with cold from the long scooter ride.

As they neared the crest, Kolya gave a ‘get down’ signal with the palm of his hand. Close together, the pair squirmed through the deep snow which buried the roots and trunk bases of the trees. Below them, in a blaze of light, lay the ordnance depot known as Blue Hare. Having strained to see through darkness and snow for over three hours, Bond was forced to close his eyes against the sudden shock of arc lights and big spots. It was not surprising, he thought fleetingly as he peered down, that the men and NCOs of Blue Hare had been so easily suborned into a treasonable act of selling military weapons, ammunition and equipment. To live the year round in this place – bleak and uninviting during the winter, mosquito-ridden through the short summer – would be enough to tempt any man, even just for the hell of it.

A Russia so miserable that you'd commit treason just to be indoors.


As his eyes adjusted, Bond thought about their dreary life. What was there to do in a camp like this? The nightly games of cards; drink? Yes, a perfect place to post alcoholics; crossing off the days to some short leave, which probably entailed a long journey; the occasional trip into Alakurtii which, by his reckoning, was six or seven kilometres away. And what would there be in Alakurtii? The odd café, the same food cooked by different hands; a bar where you could get drunk. Women? Possibly. Maybe some Russian-born Lapp girls, easy prey to disease and the brutal, licentious soldiery. All soldiers were, in the civilian mind, brutal and licentious, Bond thought. Syphilis and other venereal diseases would be rife. The occasional case of rape hushed up, paid off so that the soldiers of Blue Hare could remain untroubled.

Someone get HEY GUNS up in here!


Bond’s eyes had cleared now. He studied Blue Hare without discomfort: a long, wide oblong cleared of trees, some of which had begun to grow again, encroaching on the tall wire fences with their barbed tops and angled lights. A pair of high gates had been hauled open immediately below them, and the road, snaking in through the trees, had been cleared of snow and ice, either by burners or hard sweat. Within the compound, the layout was neat and orderly. A guard room with wooden towers and searchlights on either side stood near the gate, and the metalled roadway ran straight through the centre of the base, around a quarter of a kilometre long. The storage dumps were placed on either side of this interior road: large Nissen hut-like structures with corrugated curved roofs and high sides, each with a jutting loading ramp.

It all made sense. Vehicles could drive straight in, load, or unload at the ramps, then follow the road to the far end of the camp at which there was a hard-standing turning circle. Any delivery or collection could be made at speed – the lorries, or armoured vehicles, coming in, taking off their cargo, and going on, to turn, drive back and out, the same way as they had come.

Behind the storage huts were long log cabins, certainly the troops’ quarters, mess halls, and recreation centres. It was all very symmetrical. Take away the wire enclosure, and the long lines of ramps, add a wooden church and you had the makings of a village, built to support a small factory.

Bond’s circulation had been restored slightly by the walk up to the ridge. Now the cold began to build in him again. He felt as though melting snow flowed through his veins and arteries, while his bones were made of the same ice that hung, sharp and glistening, Damoclean, from the branches above.

He glanced to his left. Kolya was already recording the scene for posterity, the VTR camera buzzing as he pressed the trigger, adjusted the lens, and pressed again. Bond held the small infra-red camera loaded in front of him. Leaning on his elbows, he raised his goggles and pressed the rubber eyepiece to his right eye, bringing the lens into focus. In the next few minutes he took a full thirty-five still pictures of the armament transfer at Blue Hare.

While video tape recording has been around since the 1950s, these required separate heavy recording units connected by a cable and thus needed at least two people to operate. The camcorder is brand new technology at the time of this book, with Sony releasing the first Betacam commercially in August 1982. This contained a compact integrated recording unit using Betamax cassettes, allowing for the first time a video camera that could be carried and operated by an individual.


Kolya’s information was impeccable. The lights were on, heedless of any security. Drawn up beside the ramps were four big tracked armoured troop carriers. BTR-50s, just as Kolya had predicted. Give the man another crystal ball, Bond thought. Too good to be true.

The Russian BTRs came in various forms: the basic tracked amphibious troop carrier, for two crew and twenty men; the gun carrier; or the type now below them. These were strictly for transporting loads over difficult terrain. They had been stripped down to the bare essentials, with much of the support armour removed, and they sat on their well-chained tracks, each with a heavy bulldozer in front so that rubble, ice, deep snow, or fallen trees, could be swept from their paths. The BTRs were painted an identical grey, their flat tops unlocked and folded back down the sides, to reveal deep metal oblong holds into which crates and boxes were being stored quickly and efficiently.

The BTR-50 is an amphibious armored personnel carrier based on the PT-76 light tank, introduced in 1954. The vehicles are capable of entering the water and "swimming", but they'll get swamped and sink in any but the calmest waters. The light weight necessary for this also means the armor is incredibly thin, to the point where some .30 caliber rifle and machine gun rounds could penetrate the sides. They were pulled from service entirely by the late 1970s, but many are still in use in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.


The crews of the BTRs stood to one side, as if they were above the manual labour of dragging and lifting the heavy cargo, though one man from each BTR occasionally spoke to the chief loading NCO on the ramp, checking off items on a clip board.

The men doing the work were dressed in light grey fatigues, with rank badges and shoulder boards plainly visible. The fatigues were obviously worn over heavier winter gear, and their heads were encased in fur hats with enormous ear flaps which came almost to the chin. The caps were decorated in front with the familiar Red Army star.

The two-man crews, however, wore a different dress which brought a crease to Bond’s brow and a sudden churning of the stomach. Under short leather coats, thick navy blue trousers could be seen, while their feet and calves were encased in heavy, serviceable jackboots. They wore ear muffs, but, above those, simple navy berets with glinting cap badges. The rig reminded Bond all too vividly of another era, a different world.


Kolya jogged his arm and handed over the night glasses, pointing to the foremost part of the first ramp. ‘The Commanding Officer,’ he whispered. Bond took the glasses, adjusted them, and saw a pair of men in conversation. One was from the BTR crews, the other a stocky, sallow-faced figure, muffled in a greatcoat which bore the shoulder boards of a Warrant Officer, the thick red stripe plainly visible through the glasses.

‘Non-commissioned officers here,’ commented Kolya, still in a whisper. ‘Mainly disgruntled NCOs, or people other units want to get rid of. That’s why they were such a pushover.’

Does that mean they're a rag-tag band of misfits who will learn to work as a team and defeat the bad guys?


Bond nodded, handing back the glasses.

I see, yes.


The depot at Blue Hare appeared very close – a trick of the brilliant light, and the frost, which hung tendril-like in the air. Below, the working men seemed to be emitting steam from mouths and nostrils, like over-worked horses, while orders floated up, muffled by the atmosphere; sharp Russian growling, urging the labourers on. Bond even caught the sound of a voice saying, ‘Faster then, you dolts. Just think of the nice bonus at the end of this, and the girls coming over from Alakurtii tomorrow. Get the job done and then you’ll rest.’

One of the men turned towards the NCO, shouting, ‘I’ll need all the rest I can get if Fat Olga’s coming over . . .’ The sentence was lost on the air, but the raucous laughter suggested it ended with some lewd witticism.

Wait, Bond was right?


Bond edged his compass out on its lanyard, surreptitiously taking a bearing, and doing some quick mental calculations. Then there was a roar below. The first BTR’s motor had come to life. Men were swarming over the metal, folding up the thick flaps and locking them into place to form the flat top.

The other BTRs were almost fully loaded. Men worked in their holds, making final adjustments to straps and ropes. Then the second engine started.


‘Time to be getting down,’ Kolya whispered, and they saw the first carrier advance slowly towards the turning circle. It would take the whole convoy around fifteen minutes to lock up, turn, and form their line.

Slowly the pair edged back. Once below the skyline, they had to lie still for a few moments, allowing their eyes to readjust to darkness. Then the slippery descent – much quicker than the climb up – and, down among the trees, feeling their way through to where the snow scooters were hidden.

‘We’ll wait until they’ve passed.’ Kolya spoke like a commander. ‘Those BTRs have engines like angry lions. The crews won’t hear a thing when we start up.’ He put out a hand to retrieve the camera from Bond and stowed it with the VTR pack.

The lights still cut into the sky from Blue Hare, but now, in the stillness, the sound of the BTRs’ motors assumed a loud; raucous, aggressive tone. Bond did another quick calculation, hoping he was right. Then the noise rose towards them and began to echo from the trees.

‘They’re on the move,’ Kolya said, nudging him. Bond craned forward, trying to see the convoy up the road. The motor reverberations grew louder, and, even with the acoustics distorted by the ice and trees, they could be pinpointed, advancing from Bond’s and Kolya’s left.

The BTRs suddenly turn and head north, down an alternate route. This is unusual, but Kolya blows it off because his other agent will catch up and they begin following at a distance on their snowmobiles.


It seemed uphill all the way. Constant weaving, to stay clear of the BTRs’ now dangerous tracks. The engine of Bond’s scooter constantly protested at the strain, while Bond himself tried to get a fix on their direction.

If they really were heading back to the border, this was a cross-country run which should take them almost to the point at which they had entered the trees on the Russian side. For a long time that was where they appeared to be heading: south-west. Then, after an hour or so, the track forked. The BTRs moved right, taking them north-west.

There was a moment when Kolya considered they had got too close and motioned a halt. Bond just had time to haul out the compass and take a fix from the luminous dial. If the BTRs continued on their present course they would, without doubt, end up very near to the position Bond had pinpointed for the Ice Palace, if it was on the Russian side.

After another few kilometres Kolya stopped again, motioning Bond up to him. ‘We’ll be crossing in a few minutes.’ He spoke loudly. The wind was in their faces now, cutting through the protective clothing and dragging the heavy noise of the BTR convoy back towards them. ‘My replacement agent should be up ahead, so don’t be surprised if another scooter joins us.’

‘Shouldn’t we cross an open patch this way?’ Bond asked, with as much innocence as he could muster in the teeth of the biting wind.

‘Not this way. Remember the map?’

Bond remembered the map vividly. He also saw his own marks, and the way the Ice Palace could, in reality, lie well to this, the Russian, side of the border. For a second he contemplated shooting Kolya out of hand, dodging his other agent, making certain that the loaded BTRs went into the bunker, and then high-tailing it out of the Soviet Union as fast as the scooter would carry him.

Great idea!


The thought lasted only for a moment. See it through, a voice said from deep inside him.

Welp, he's dead.


It was a good fifteen minutes later before they saw the other scooter. A slim figure, heavily muffled against the cold, sat upright in the seat, waiting to move forward.

Kolya raised a hand and the new scooter pulled out, taking the lead. Ahead, the BTRs grumbled and cracked on along the forest road, which, at this point, was only just wide enough to take them.

Half an hour and no change of direction. A faint light spreading over the sky. Then, almost without warning, Bond felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck. Until that moment they had been able to hear the BTRs quite clearly, even above the three scooter engines. Now only their own noise came to his ears. Automatically he slowed, swerving to avoid a rut, and, as he swerved, he saw a clear silhouette of Kolya’s new agent in the saddle ahead. Even in the winter gear, Bond thought he recognised the shape of the head and shoulders. The thought jarred for an instant, and in that fraction of time everything happened.

Bond was immediately assassinated.


Ahead of them a sudden blaze of light cut through the trees. Bond caught sight of the last BTR and what looked like a vast cliff of snow rising above them. Then the lights grew brighter, shining from all sides – even, it seemed, from above. Great arc lights and spots made Bond feel naked, caught, out in the open. He slewed his scooter, trying for a tight turn in the available space, ready to make a run for it, one hand plunging inside his jacket for the pistol. But the trenches cut in the snow by the BTRs made the turn impossible.

Then they came from the trees – in front, from behind, and both sides: figures in uniform of a field grey with coal-scuttle helmets and long sheepskin-lined jackets, converging on the trio, rifles and machine pistols glinting in the searing lights.

Bond had the automatic out but allowed it to dangle from his hand. This was no time for a death duel. Even 007 knew when the odds were stacked against him.

As usual, Bond has stubbornly walked straight into an ambush.


He stared forward. Kolya sat, straight-backed, on his scooter, but the other agent had dismounted and was walking back, past Kolya, towards Bond. He knew the walk, just as he had thought he recognised the head and shoulders.

Lowering his head against the glare from a spotlight turned full on him, Bond saw the boots of the men now surrounding him. The crunch in the icy snow came nearer, as the boots of Kolya’s agent approached. A gloved hand moved out and took the P7 from his hand. Squinting, Bond looked up. The figure pulled off the scarf, lifted the goggles, then dragged away the knitted hat, allowing the blonde hair to tumble down to her shoulders. Laughing pleasantly, and speaking with a mock stage-German accent, Paula Vacker looked Bond straight in the eyes.

‘Herr James Bond,’ she said, ‘vor you der var iss over.’

Apr 23, 2014

Oct 11, 2012


chitoryu12 posted:

Someone get HEY GUNS up in here!
He's not wrong...

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 13: The Ice Palace

No, not the one in Die Another Day.


The uniformed men closed in. Hands frisked Bond, removed his grenades and his pack. As yet they had not got the commando knife in his Mukluk boot: a small bonus.

Paula still laughed as the men pulled Bond from his scooter and began to urge him forward through the snow. He was cold and tired. Why not? A feigned collapse might bring advantages. James Bond went limp, allowing two of the uniformed men to take his weight. He let his head loll, but followed their progress through half-closed lids.

At least he's not trying to beat them all up at once again.


They had come straight out of the trees into a semicircular clearing which ended in a large backward-raked flat slope, like a mini ski run. It was, of course, the bunker – the Ice Palace – for huge, white-camouflaged doors had opened in the side of the slope. Warmth seemed to pour out from the brightly lit interior.

Vaguely, Bond was also aware of a smaller entrance to the left. This fitted completely with the original drawings Kolya had provided of the place. Two areas: one for storage of arms and maintenance; the other for living quarters.

He heard a motor start up and saw one of the BTRs – the last one – crawl through the opening, then dip to disappear down the long internal ramp, which Bond knew led deep into the earth.

Paula laughed again near by, and a scooter engine revved. Bond’s own scooter went past, driven by a uniformed man. Then Kolya muttered something in Russian, and Paula replied.

Why does she keep doing evil laughs?


‘You feel better soon,’ one of the men dragging him said in heavily accented English. ‘We give you drink inside.’

They propped him against the wall, just inside the massive doors, and one of them produced a flask which he held to Bond’s lips. Flame seemed to hit his mouth, burning a line down to the stomach. Gagging, Bond gasped, 'What . . . ? What was . . . ?’

‘Reindeer milk and vodka. Good? Yes?’

The White Sámi!


‘Good. Yes,’ Bond blurted out. He fought for breath. There was no way he could feign unconsciousness after swallowing that firewater. He shook his head and looked around. The smell of diesel fumes floated up from the rear of the cavern, and the sloping wide-ramped entrance descended at a steady angle.

Outside, the uniformed men were being lined up in a column three abreast. All of them, Bond recognised now, wore the same grey uniforms: the short winter boots and baggy field trousers, the loose, fur-lined coats with their slanting pockets, insignia just showing through on the collars of their jackets underneath. The officers wore jackboots and – presumably – breeches under their heavy greatcoats.

Kolya stood by his scooter, still talking to Paula. Both looked intense, and Paula had donned her scarf and hat against the cold. At one point Kolya called out to an officer, his form of address commanding, as though he could, at will, lord it over anyone and everyone. The officer to whom Kolya had spoken nodded and gave a sharp order. Two men detached themselves from the group and began to remove the snow scooters. There appeared to be a small concrete pillbox, large enough to take several scooters, to the right of the main entrance.

The uniformed men were now marched into the bunker, past Bond and the two who guarded him with Russian AKMs: the only note of discord in this weird Teutonic scene. The troop of men disappeared down the ramp, their boots clipping in unison on the reinforced concrete until the order came to break step, as a precaution against constant rhythm causing any structural defects.

Kolya and Paula strolled towards the great opening as though they had all the time in the world. Beyond them, in the trees, Bond saw a couple of the wigwam-like Lapp kotas. Smoke came from a fire between them while a figure bent over a cooking pot, a woman in Lapp costume: heavily decorated black skirt over thick, legging-like, trousers, feet wrapped in fur boots, head covered with knitted hat and shawl, mittens on the hands. Before Paula and Kolya reached the entrance, she was joined by a man who also wore the colourful dress, the patterned jacket, and a vividly embroidered black cloak slung over his shoulders. Somewhere behind the kotas a reindeer snorted.

Did Gardner just run out of opportunities to use the Sámi earlier? He had to throw them into the bad guys' base?


From high up in the curved roof came a metallic click followed by a series of high-pitched warning whistles. Paula and Kolya began to move faster, and there was the hiss of hydraulics. The great metal doors slowly began to roll down: a safety curtain against the world.

‘Well, James, surprise,’ said Paula, pulling off the woollen cap again, and he could now see that she was wearing a leather jacket over some kind of uniform. Behind her, Kolya shifted, moving like a boxer. He certainly knew how to adapt, Bond thought.

‘Not really a surprise.’ Bond managed to smile. Bluff seemed the only way now. ‘My people know. They even have the location of this bunker.’ His eyes switched to Kolya. ‘Should’ve been more careful, Kolya. The maps were not really well done. It isn’t likely that you’d find two identical areas, with exactly the same topography, within fifteen to twenty kilometres of each other. You’re all blown.’

For a split second he thought Kolya’s face showed concern.

‘Bluff, James, will get you nowhere,’ said Paula.

"There's absolutely no way James Bond would have been smart enough to properly transmit all of this information to MI6 before purposefully rushing into a trap."


‘Does he want to see us?’ Kolya asked.

Paula nodded. ‘In due course. I think we can afford to take James via the scenic route. Show him the extent of the Führer-bunker . . .’

‘Oh my God,’ said Bond with a laugh. ‘Have they really got you at it, Paula? Come to that, why didn’t you let the goons finish me off at your place?’

She gave an acid little smile. ‘Because you were too good for them. Anyway, the deal is to get you alive, not dead.’


‘Shut up,’ Kolya snapped at Paula.

She waved an elegant, dismissive hand. ‘He’ll know soon enough. There’s not all that much time, Kolya. The Chief has got what you wanted, as promised. The current stocks have to be moved out in a day or two. No harm done.’

Kolya Mosolov made an impatient noise. ‘Everyone’s here, I presume?’

She smiled, nodding, stressing the word ‘Everyone’.


‘Good.’ Paula turned her attention back to Bond. ‘You’d like to look over the place? It’ll mean a lot of walking. Are you up to it?’

Bond sighed. ‘I think so, Paula. What a pity though, what a waste of such a pleasant girl.’

Amazingly, there's a reason this is happening.


‘Chauvinist.’ She did not say it unpleasantly. ‘Okay, we’ll go for a walk. But first,’ her eyes moving to the guards, ‘search him. Thoroughly. This one has more hiding places than a Greek smuggler. Look everywhere – and I mean everywhere.


They looked everywhere and found everything, and not very gently. Paula and Kolya then took station on either side of Bond. The two soldiers – AKMs at the ready – followed a few paces behind. After a few metres, the ramp started to plunge, angling sharply, and they all headed to the left side where a walkway had been built, incorporating a hand rail and steps.

The original Avtomat Kalashnikova ("AK-47" is actually a westernism) appeared in The Living Daylights in the hands of Trigger, the cellist/sniper at the Berlin Wall. It had always been intended for the AK to be a cheap assault rifle made of stamped steel, but the Soviet Union encountered production problems with the receiver manufacture. To avoid interrupting production, the design was switched to a heavier milled one; while stamping is faster and cheaper, it requires specialized equipment designed specifically for those parts, while it was easy to switch the machine tools for Mosin-Nagant production to the AK.

Once the production issues had been straightened out, the USSR updated the design in 1959. In addition to the lighter and cheaper stamped receiver, the gun was fitted with a distinctive slanted muzzle brake to control the tendency of the rifle to climb up and to the right under recoil. The hammer was also modified to eliminate the chance of an out-of-battery firing, which coincidentally slightly reduced the cyclic rate of fire.

Both milled and stamped receiver AKs were copied widely around the world, both with and without Soviet permission, making it one of the most common firearms to encounter. The USSR switched to a lighter, higher velocity 5.45x39mm round inspired by the American 5.56x45mm in 1974, with the new AK-74 seeing its first combat service in the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Despite this, the Soviets kept the AKM in inventory and some special forces units into modern day have expressed a preference for the 7.62x39mm round for its perceived greater stopping power at close range.


The bunker had clearly been built with great skill. Warm air surrounded them, and high up on the walls above them Bond was aware of the water and fuel pipes, air conditioning channels, and other underground life-support systems. There were also small metal boxes, set into the concrete at intervals, indicating some kind of internal communications system. The whole place was well-lit, with large strip lights set into the walls and the arched roof. As they descended, so the passage widened. Below, Bond saw that it opened up into a giant hangar.

Even he was shaken by the size of the place. The four BTRs they had seen picking up arms at Blue Hare were lined up with another four – eight altogether, the whole unit of vehicles dwarfed, like toys, by the height and area of the vault.

Crews of uniformed men unloaded the cargo recently brought in. Neat stacks of crates and boxes were being trundled away on fork-lift trucks, then restacked in carefully separated chambers equipped with fireproof doors and large wheel locks. Aarne Tudeer, alias Count von Glöda, was certainly taking no chances. The men worked in soft rubber shoes so there would be no possibility of sparks igniting ammunition. There must – Bond calculated – be enough arms in this place for a sizable war, certainly enough to sustain a carefully planned terrorist operation, or even guerrilla action for as long as a year.

‘You see, we have efficiency. We will show the world we mean business.’ Paula smiled as she spoke, evidently with great pride.

‘No nukes, or neutrons?’ said Bond.

Paula laughed again – a dismissive chuckle.

‘They’ll get nukes, chemicals, neutrons if they ever need them,’ from Kolya.

The neutron bomb is a low-yield thermonuclear explosive designed for maximum lethality with minimal property damage. While the explosive power itself is fairly low, it releases a massive burst of neutron radiation that fatally irradiates a wide swathe of land; a 1 kiloton bomb would blow apart unreinforced buildings out to 600 meters, immediately incapacitating and fatal radiation poisoning out to 900 meters, and fatal but lingering poisoning to 1400 meters. It was envisioned both as an anti-ballistic missile interceptor (the neutron burst would cause a warhead to undergo partial fission, preventing it from detonating) and a way of taking out the expected large formations of Soviet armor in World War III with minimal destruction to the surrounding NATO property.

The neutron bomb was met with a horrified reaction by anti-nuke protesters, to the point where European countries refused to allow the US to deploy it on their territory. As far as is known, they have never been deployed except by the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system that protects Moscow.


Bond kept his eyes well open, observing everything, from the number of fireproof arms and munitions shelters, to the wide catwalks set half-way up the wall around this area. He also counted off the exit doors making a mental note to try and discover where they led. In the far corner of his mind he thought too of Brad Tirpitz. If Tirpitz had escaped the blast, there was still a chance of his making some vantage point on skis, still a possibility that he would not be far behind, still a hope that he would raise some kind of alarm.

‘You’ve seen enough?’ The question – from Kolya – was sharp, sarcastic.

‘Martini time, is it?’ Bond relaxed – there was no other way. At least he might soon find out the whole truth about von Glöda and the operations of the National Socialist Action Army. Already he knew the bare minimum about Paula, that she was part of von Glöda’s quasi-military machine, and that Kolya had somehow become mixed up in the act. There had also been a reference to a deal. He did not like the sound of that. Stay relaxed, get as much information as possible, then try to find away out.

Bond thought he had spotted the main control booth, behind a catwalk looking down over the great underground store area. The large doors to the bunker would certainly be operated from there, maybe the heating and ventilation systems as well. He had to remind himself, though, that this was only a relatively small part of the entire bunker. The living quarters, which he already knew lay next to this section, would be more complex.

‘Martini time?’ Kolya answered. ‘Maybe. The Count is very big on hospitality. I should imagine there’ll be some kind of meal ready.’

Paula said she was sure food would be served. He’s really most understanding. Particularly with the doomed, James. Like the Roman emperors feeding up their gladiators.’

"He's well aware of your propensity to eat food provided by villains without question."


‘I had a feeling it was going to be something like that.’

She smiled prettily, gave him a tiny nod, and led the way across the expanse of concrete, the click of her boots sounding clearly. She took them to one of the metal doors set in the left-hand wall. Paula spoke into a small Entryphone; with a click, the door slid back. She turned, smiling again.

‘There’s good security between the various sections of the bunker. The interconnecting doors only open to predetermined voice patterns.’ The pretty smile once more, then they passed through, the metal door sliding shut behind them.

On this side, the passages seemed as bleak and unadorned as in the outer bunker. The walls were of the same rough concrete – doubtless strengthened with steel, Bond thought. Pipes for the various systems ran, uncovered, along the walls.

It seemed that the living quarters were about the same size as the storage, ordnance, and vehicle bunker. They were also laid out in a symmetrical fashion, with a criss-crossing of passages and tunnels.

The rough entrance corridor led to a larger, central passage, which it crossed at right angles. Glancing to his left, Bond saw metal fire doors, one of which stood open, giving a view back down the passage. From the general layout, he presumed other passages led from the arterial tunnel. On the left there appeared to be barracks for the men. Here be dragons, Bond thought – for to the left would lie the entrance to the living quarters. To get out, you would have to pass through the barracks section, and, most probably, some kind of control by the main door.

Good thing Bond has a plan to get out!



Kolya and Paula nudged him to the right. They went through two more sets of fire doors, passing other corridors leading off the main route, and doors on either side. Voices could be heard, and the occasional clatter of typewriters. The security appeared tight, and Bond spotted armed guards everywhere, some in doorways, others at points where the tributary passages joined the main walkway.

Once through the third pair of fire doors, however, the whole ambience changed. The walls were no longer cold, rough stone, but lined with hessian in pastel shades. The heating, water, air and electricity systems were hidden behind curved, decorative cornices, and the doors, on both sides, now had inset windows, through which men and women in uniform were plainly visible – working at desks, surrounded by electronic or radio equipment.

Most sinister of all, Bond thought, were the occasional photographs and framed posters which broke up the line of the walls. The faces were well-known to Bond, and would have been to any student of the Nazi era.

In front of them was another set of metal doors, but once through they trod on deep pile carpet. Paula put up a hand. The little party stopped.

They now stood in a kind of ante-room. A pair of polished heavy pine doors were set at the far end, flanked by Doric pillars, and two men in dark blue uniforms, peaked caps with skull badges – boots gleaming, the red, black and white arm bands displaying the swastika, a smooth gloss shone on their leather belts and holsters; and the Death’s Head silver skull prominent on their caps.

Just making it really obvious where they stand.


Paula spoke quickly, in German, and one of the uniformed men nodded, tapping on the high doors, then disappearing into the room beyond. The other man eyed Bond with a twisted smile, his hand moving constantly to the holster on his belt.

The minutes ticked by, then the doors opened, and the first man reappeared, giving Paula a nod. Both men grasped the handles of the doors and swung them back. Paula touched Bond’s arm and they moved forward into the room, leaving their original guards behind them.

The only thing Bond saw on entering was Fritz Erler’s huge portrait of Adolf Hitler, towering over everything else in the room. It took up almost the entire rear wall and its impact was so forcefully shattering that Bond simply stood, staring for the best part of a minute. He was conscious of other people present, and that Paula had straightened herself to attention, raising an arm in the Fascist salute.

At this point in history, Erler's portrait of Hitler (based on a 1931 photograph of him with the SA) would have been in US military storage. As part of the Potsdam Agreement of 1945, the Allies confiscated all works of Nazi art and propaganda for destruction. Around 8722 items were kept in the US in storage until 1986, when all but the 450 worst examples of overt propaganda were returned to Germany. Those paintings remain held back.


‘You like it, Mr Bond?’

The voice came from the far side of a large desk, neatly laid out with papers on a blotter, a bank of different coloured telephones, and a small bust of Hitler.

Bond tore his eyes from the painting to look at the man behind the desk. The same weather-beaten countenance, severe military bearing – even when seated – and well-groomed, iron-grey hair. The face was not that of an old man; Count von Glöda was, as Bond had already noted at the hotel, a man blessed with ageless features – classic, still good looking, but with eyes which held no twinkle of pleasure. At the moment they were turned on Bond as though their owner were merely measuring the man for his coffin.

‘I’ve only seen photographs of it,’ Bond said calmly in return. ‘I didn’t like them, so it follows that, if this is the real thing, I don’t really care for it either.’

‘I see.’

‘You should address the Count as Führer.’ The advice came from Brad Tirpitz, who sprawled comfortably in an easy chair near the desk.

Bond had ceased to be surprised by anything. The fact that Tirpitz was also part of the conspiracy caused him merely to smile and give a little nod, as though suggesting he should have known the truth in the first place.

There's so many sudden twists going on that Bond is just going with it now.


‘You managed to avoid the land mine after all, then?’ Bond succeeded in making it sound matter-of-fact.

Tirpitz’s granite head made a slow negative movement. ‘You’ve got the wrong boy, I’m afraid, James old buddy.’

A humourless laugh came from von Glöda as Tirpitz continued, ‘I doubt you’ve ever seen a photograph of Brad Tirpitz. “Bad’’ Brad was always careful – like Kolya here – of photographs. I’m told, though, that in the dark with the light behind me, we were the same build. I fear Brad did not make it. Not ever. He got taken out, quietly, before Operation Icebreaker even got under way.’

The Tirpitz wasn't even a Tirpitz until he got shot!


There was a movement from the desk, a slapping of the hand, as though von Glöda decided he was being neglected.

‘I’m sorry, mein Führer.’ Tirpitz was genuinely deferential. ‘It was easier to explain directly to Bond.’

‘I shall do the explaining – if there is need for any.’

‘Führer.’ Paula spoke, her voice hardly recognisable to Bond. ‘The last consignment of arms is here. The whole batch will be ready for onward movement within forty-eight hours.’

The Count inclined his head, eyes resting on Bond for a second, then flicking over to Kolya Mosolov. ‘So. I have the means to keep my part of the bargain then, Comrade Mosolov. I have your price here at hand: Mr James Bond. All as I promised.’

‘Yes.’ Kolya sounded neither pleased nor disgruntled. The single word stated only that some bargain had been fulfilled.

‘Führer, perhaps . . .’ Paula began, but Bond cut across her.

"This is getting too ridiculous! I can't take it seriously! You stop it right now!"


‘Führer?’ he exploded. ‘You call this man Führer – Leader? You’re crazy, the lot of you. Particularly you.’ His finger stabbed out towards the man behind the desk. ‘Aarne Tudeer, wanted for crimes committed during the Second World War. A small time SS officer, granted that dubious honour by Nazis fighting with Finnish troops against the Russians – against Kolya’s people. Now you’ve managed to gather a tiny group of fanatics around you, dressed them up like Hollywood extras, put in all the trappings, and you expect to be called Führer! Aarne, what’s the game? Where’s it going to get you? A few terrorist operations, a relatively small number of Communists dead in the streets – a minuscule success. Aarne Tudeer, in the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king. You’re one-eyed and cock-eyed . . .’

Accurately one-balled?


His outburst, calculated to produce the maximum fury, was cut short. Brad Tirpitz, or whoever he was, sprang from his chair, arm rising to deliver a stinging backhander across Bond’s mouth.

‘Silence!’ The command came from von Glöda. ‘Silence! Sit down, Hans.’ He turned his attention to Bond, who could taste the salty blood on his tongue. If he wasn’t careful, thought Bond, Hans, or Tirpitz, or whoever, would get a slap himself before long.

‘James Bond,’ von Glöda’s eyes were glassier than ever, ‘you are here for one purpose only. I shall explain to you in due course. However,’ he took a moment, lingering over the last word, then repeating it, however, there are things I wish to share with you. There are also things I trust you will share with me.’

‘Who’s the cretin disguised as Brad Tirpitz?’ Bond wanted to throw as many curves as possible, but von Glöda appeared to be unshakable, used to absolute obedience.

‘Hans Buchtman is my SS-Reichführer.’

‘Your Himmler?’ Bond laughed.

‘Oh, Mr Bond, it is no laughing matter.’ He moved his head slightly. ‘Stay within call, Hans – outside.’

The only appropriate way to deal with unironic Nazis: laugh at them as lame losers.

And then kill them.


Tirpitz, or Buchtman, clicked his heels, gave the old, well-known Nazi salute and left the room. Von Glöda addressed himself to Kolya. ‘My dear Kolya, I’m sorry but our business will have to be delayed for a few hours – a day perhaps. Can you accommodate me in that respect?’

Kolya nodded. ‘I suppose so. We made a deal, and I led your part of the arrangement right into your hands. What have I to lose?’

‘Indeed. What, Kolya, have you to lose? Paula, look after him. Stay with Hans.’

She acknowledged this order with ‘Führer’, took Kolya’s arm, and led him from the room.

Bond studied the man carefully. If this really was Aarne Tudeer, he had kept his looks and physique exceptionally well. Could it be that . . . ? No, Bond knew he should not speculate any more.

He tears off Tudeer's mask and it's Q'ute underneath.


‘Good; I can now talk.’ Von Glöda stood, hands clasped behind his back, a tall straight figure, every inch a soldier. Well, Bond reflected, at least he was that – not the pipsqueak military amateur Hitler had proved himself to be. This man was tall, tough, and looked as shrewd as any seasoned army commander. Bond sank into a chair. He was not going to wait to be asked. Von Glöda towered over him, looking down.

‘To set the record straight, and get any hopes out of your mind,’ the self-styled Führer began, ‘your Service resident in Helsinki – through whom you are supposed to work . . .’

‘Yes?’ Bond smiled.

A telephone number – that was all he had as a contact with the resident in Helsinki. – Though the London briefing had been precise about his using their man in Finland, Bond had never even thought of it, experience having taught him, years ago, that one should avoid resident case officers like the plague.

‘Your resident was – to use the term in vogue – “taken out” as soon as you left for the Arctic.’

‘Ah.’ Bond sounded enigmatic.

‘A precaution.’ Von Glöda waved his hand. ‘Sad but necessary. There was a substitute for Brad Tirpitz. I had of course to be very careful about my errant daughter, but Kolya Mosolov acted under my orders. Your Service, the CIA, and Mossad all had their controllers removed, and the contact phones – or radio in Mossad’s case – manned by my own people. So, friend Bond, do not expect the cavalry to come to your aid.’

‘I never expect the cavalry. Don’t trust horses. Temperamental beasts at the best of times, and since that business at Balaclava – the Valley of Death – I’ve not had much time for the cavalry.’

Poor ol' Freckles, caught by the Nazis and died.


‘You’re quite a humorist, Mr Bond. Particularly for a man in your present situation.’

Bond shrugged. ‘I’m only one of many, Aarne Tudeer. Behind me there are a hundred, and behind them another thousand. The same applies to Tirpitz; and Rivke. I can’t speak for Kolya Mosolov because I don’t understand his motives.’ He paused for a second before continuing. ‘Your own delusions, Aarne Tudeer, could be explained by a junior psychiatrist. What do they amount to? A neo-Nazi terrorist group, with access to weapons and people. Worldwide organisation. In time the terrorism will become an ideal, something worth fighting for. The movement will grow; you will become a force to be really reckoned with, in the councils of the world. Then, bingo, you’ve managed what Hitler failed to do – a worldwide Fourth Reich. Easy.’ He gave a dry laugh. ‘Easy, but it won’t work. Not any more. How do you get someone like Mosolov – a dedicated Party member, a senior officer of the KGB – to go along with you even for some of the way?’

Von Glöda looked at Bond placidly. ‘You know Kolya’s Department in the First Directorate of the KGB, Mr Bond?’

‘Not offhand. No.’

The thin smile, eyes hard as diamonds, the facial muscles hardly moving. ‘He belongs to Department V. The Department that used, many years ago, to be called SMERSH.’

Bond saw a glimmer of light.

‘SMERSH has what I understand is called, in criminal parlance, a hit list. That list includes a number of names – people who are wanted, not dead, but alive. Can you imagine whose name is number one on the chart, James Bond?’

Bond did not have to guess. SMERSH had undergone many changes, but as a Department of the Russian Service, SMERSH had a very long memory.

One that has somehow survived all these decades of reorganizing!


‘Mmmm.’ Von Glöda nodded. ‘Wanted for subversion, and crimes against the state. Death to spies, Mr Bond. A little information before death. James Bond is top of SMERSH’S list and, as you well know, has been for a long time. I needed help of a particular kind. Something to get me . . . how would you say it? . . . off a hook, with certain gentlemen of the KGB. Even the KGB – like all men – have a price. Their price was you, James Bond. You, delivered in good condition, unharmed. You’ve bought me time, arms, a way to the future. When I’ve finished with you, Kolya takes you to Moscow and that charming little place they have off Dzerzhinsky Square.’ What passed for a smile vanished completely. ‘They’ve waited a long time. But come to that, so have we. Since 1945 we have waited.’ He dropped his long body into the chair opposite Bond. ‘Let me tell you the whole story. Then, possibly, you’ll understand that I shall have purchased the Fourth Reich, and the political future of the world, by fooling the Soviet Union and selling them an English spy: James Bond, for whom they lust. Foolish, foolish men, to stake the future of their ideology on one Englishman.’

Great, more exposition.


The man was unhinged. Bond knew that, but possibly so did many others. Listen, he thought. Listen to all von Glöda has to say. Listen to the music, and the words, then, perhaps, you will find the real answer, and the way out.

Apr 23, 2014

Karl Kasarda just did a deep dive into the practical shooting of the VP70 that I spent so much time insulting. Turns out in addition to its described flaws, the design actually reduces the velocity of the 9x19mm round to the point where it's only flying as fast as .380 ACP!

Bond was basically equipped with a more expensive, less powerful Hi-Point.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 14: A World for Heroes


‘When the war was over, and the Führer had died, gallantly, in Berlin,’ von Glöda began.

‘He took poison and shot himself,’ interpolated Bond. ‘Not a gallant death.’

Von Glöda did not seem to hear him. ‘. . . I thought of returning to Finland, perhaps even hiding there. The Allies had my name on their lists, but I would, possibly, have been safe. Safe, but a coward.’

Few dictators are mentally all there, and Adolf Hitler would not be the one to buck the trend. His health declined as Germany inched closer to defeat. He had been an amphetamine addict since 1942 and spent most of his days under a terrifying cocktail of drugs, from cocaine to opiates, which hardly helped his judgement while trying to win World War II. On January 16, 1945, Hitler brought his closest leadership and their families to the Führerbunker in Berlin to plan the last desperate defense of the capital. When Hitler learned that no help would be coming, he suffered a nervous breakdown (as depicted in the famous "Hitler Rants" meme from the above film) and began planning suicide. Fanatic to his own ego, he believed that the failure of Germany was a failure of the Aryan race as a whole and no longer deserved to exist.

After testing the cyanide pills on his beloved dog, Blondi, Hitler and his lover Eva Braun both took cyanide pills on April 30. For good measure, on the advice of SS physician Werner Haase for the most painless method of suicide, he followed up by shooting himself in the temple with his Walther PPK in .32 ACP. Hitler and Braun's bodies were brought outside and burned in a shell crater to disguise them from capture and defilement, but SMERSH agents (in the first historic action they've taken in these two threads!) found the bodies and brought them in for identification through dental records. Hitler and Braun would be followed by over 7000 mass suicides across Germany, including Joseph and Magda Goebbels (who also murdered their children). The bodies were secretly buried at a SMERSH facility in Magdeburg, but concerns about them becoming a Neo-Nazi shrine led to the KGB having the bodies exhumed, burned, crushed, and the ashes thrown in a nearby river in 1970.


As the story came out: the hiding in Germany, then contact with the organised escape groups, Spinne and Kameradenwerk, Bond saw clearly that he was not just dealing with some old Nazi, living with dreams of a past glory which had died in the Berlin Bunker.

‘The novelists call it Odessa,’ von Glöda almost mused to himself, ‘but that was really a rather romantic notion – a loose organisation for getting people out. The real work was done by dedicated members of the SS who had the wit to see what could go wrong.’

Like many others, he had shifted from place to place. ‘You know, of course, that Mengele – Auschwitz’s Angel of Death – stayed in his home town for almost five years, undetected. In time, though, we all left.’ First, von Glöda and his wife had gone to Argentina. Later, he had been in the vanguard of those to hide in the remote, well-protected camp in Paraguay. They were all there, the wanted Nazis. But Aarne Tudeer – as he still was then – became dissatisfied with the company he kept. ‘They all play-acted,’ he snarled. ‘When Peron was still in control, and later, they openly showed themselves. Even rallies and meetings: beauty contests – Miss Nazi 1959. The Führer’s dream would come true.’ He gave an outraged, disgusted snort. ‘But it was all talk; idle. They lived on dreams, and allowed the dreams to become their substance. They lost guts; threw away their heroism; became blind to the truth of the ideology Hitler had laid out for them. Hitler was right. If National Socialism was reduced to ashes, a phoenix had to rise from those ashes – otherwise, before the end of the century, Communism would overthrow Europe and, eventually, the world.’

Von Glöda had urged the few who still held on to the dream that the time to strike was at the moment of transition, when the world appeared to lose its bearings, and direction, when everyone cried out for somebody to lead them. ‘That would be the time. Inevitably’, he claimed, ‘the Communist régime would hesitate just before throwing all its might into the domination of the world.’

‘It hasn’t quite happened like that.’ Bond knew his only hope was to establish some kind of common ground with this man – as a hostage must woo his captors.

‘No?’ There was even a laugh now. ‘No, it’s better than we ever imagined it could be. See what’s happening in the world. The Soviets have penetrated trade unions and governments, right through Britain and America – and much good will it do them. The Eastern bloc is, you’ll agree, slowly collapsing in on itself. Last year, we showed the world, by a few well-planned operations – starting with the Tripoli Incident. This year it will be different. This year we are better armed and equipped. We have more followers. We shall gain access to governments. Next year the Party will emerge into the open and within two more years, we shall be a true political force again. Hitler will be vindicated. Order will be restored, and Communism – the common enemy – will be swept from the map of history. People are crying out for order – a new order; a world of heroes, not peasants and victims of a régime.’

Imagine if this guy lived to see The Night of the Wrong Wives.


‘No victims?’ Bond queried.

‘You know what I mean, Mr Bond. Of course the dross must go. But, once they’re gone, there will be a master race – not just a German master race, but a European master race.’

Somehow, the man had managed to convince some of the older Nazis in Paraguay that all this was possible. ‘Six years ago,’ he said proudly, ‘they allotted me a large sum of cash. Most of what had been left in the Swiss accounts. I had assumed a new name in the late 1960s – or, at least, reassumed it. There are true links between my old family and the now-defunct von Glödas. I returned from time to time, then began work in earnest four years ago. I travelled the world, Mr Bond, organised, plotted, sorted out the wheat from the chaff.

This is pretty much just what Blofeld did in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.


‘I planned to start the supposed terrorist acts last year.’ Von Glöda was truly in his stride now. ‘The problem, as always, was arms. Men I could train – there are plenty of troops, many experienced instructors. Arms are another matter. It would have been difficult for me to pose as PLO, Red Brigade, IRA even.’

By this time, he had moved back to Finland. His organisation was taking shape. Arms and a secret headquarters were his only problems. Then he’d had an idea. ‘I came up here. I knew the area well. I found I remembered it even better than I’d thought.’

Particularly he remembered the bunker, built initially by the Russians and improved by German troops. For six months von Glöda had lived in Salla and used the recognised ‘smuggling’ routes in and out of Russia. Amazingly he found a great deal of the bunker was intact, and he had openly gone to the Soviet authorities, with permission from the Finnish Board of Trade. ‘There was some haggling, but, finally, they allowed me to work here: prospecting for minerals. I was not over-specific, but it was a good investment. It cost the Soviets nothing.’

Another six months – with teams brought in from South America, Africa, even England – and the new bunker was built. And in that time von Glöda had made contact with two ordnance depots near by. ‘One was closed down last year. I got the vehicles from them. I got the BTRs,’ he punched himself in the chest, ‘just as I did all the deals with those treacherous imbeciles at Blue Hare. Sold themselves for nothing . . .’

‘Themselves and a lot of hardware – rocketry you haven’t used yet, I gather.’ Bond slipped the fact in, receiving a cutting stare in return.

‘Soon,’ said von Glöda, nodding. ‘The second year will see us using the heavy weapons – and more.’

Silence. Was von Glöda expecting congratulation? Possibly.

"You haven't praised me for telling you my entire plans? Guards! Take him away!"


‘You seem to have pulled off a coup of some magnitude,’ Bond said. He meant it to sound like a comic book bubble, but von Glöda took him seriously.

‘Yes. Yes, I think so: to go out and buy from Russian NCOs, who have no sense of their own ideology – let alone that of the NSAA. Dolts. Cretins.’

Silence once more.

‘Then the world catches up with them?’ Bond suggested.

Now this is just getting awkward.


‘The world? Yes. The authorities catch up with them, and they come running to me for cover. Yes, I really think I can boast of our successes so far. One thousand men and women here, in this bunker. Five thousand men out in the field – throughout the world. An army growing daily; attacks on main government centres all over Europe, and the United States, all planned down to the last detail; and the armaments ready for shipment. After the next assault, our diplomacy. If that does not work, then more action, and more diplomacy. In the end we shall have the largest army, and the largest following, in the Western world.’

‘The world fit for heroes?’ Bond coughed. ‘No, sir. You’re undermanned and outgunned.’

Outnumbered, outplanned!


‘Outgunned? I doubt it, Mr Bond. Already during this winter we’ve shipped very large quantities of munitions out of here – BTRs, Snowcats, piled high. Straight across Finland, over rough country. Now they’re waiting for onward shipment as machine tools and farming implements. My methods of getting supplies to my troops are highly sophisticated.’

‘We knew you were bringing them out through Finland.’

Von Glöda actually laughed. ‘Partly because I wanted you to know. There are other things, however, you should not know. Once this consignment is on its way, I am ready to move my forces nearer to the European bases. We have bunkers already prepared. That, as you may realise, is one of the problems which concerns you.’ Bond frowned, not understanding, but von Glöda was now caught up in the story of how he had dealt with the people at Blue Hare.

You...wanted them to know?

If Bond had actually reported the location of Blue Hare as soon as he found out about it, Tudeer would have been hosed.


A healthy trade with the NCOs at Blue Hare was established and worked well for some time. Then, suddenly, their CO – ‘a man of little imagination’ – came, in a panic, to the Ice Palace. A spot inspection had been called, and two Red Army Colonels were spinning around like Catherine wheels, accusing anyone and everyone – including the Warrant Officer CO Von Glöda suggested that the Warrant Officer stand on his dignity and ask the Colonels for an investigation by the KGB.

‘I knew they’d go for it. If there’s one thing I like about the Russians it is their ability to pass the buck. The Warrant Officer, and his men at Blue Hare, were caught. The Colonels were aghast at the amount of matériel missing. They were all trapped in a kind of crossfire. Everyone wanted to drop the problem into someone else’s lap. Who better than the KGB, I suggested?’

Count von Glöda, Bond admitted, had shown ideal common sense. An incident like this would be shunned by the Armed Forces (Third) Directorate. The disappearance of vast quantities of weapons and ammunition, in the wastes of the Arctic, would not appeal to the Third Directorate. Whatever else he was, the new-styled Führer understood strategy, and the Russian mind. After the GRU, the job would end up with Department V, and the thinking behind such a move was obvious. If Department V moved in, there would be no trace of anything when they were finished – no missing arms and nobody to question. A clean sweep: probably a terrible accident at an ammunition depot, such as an explosion claiming the lives of all personnel.

‘I told the idiot Warrant Officer to alert whoever came from the KGB. Tell him to talk to me. First some GRU people came to Blue Hare. They only stayed for a couple of days. Then Kolya came. We had a few drinks. He put no questions. I asked him what he needed most, in all the world, to enhance his career. We did the deal here, in this office. Blue Hare will cease to exist in a week or so. Nobody will make waves. No money changes hands. Kolya wanted one thing only. You, Mr James Bond. You, on a plate. I simply acted as puppet master, and told him how to get you; deliver you to me; give me a few hours with you. After that, Department V – with whom you have so often dealt as SMERSH – has you. For life. Or death, of course.’

You should give Bond a drink and a cigar if you're going to spend so long telling stories.


‘And you go on to form the Fourth Reich?’ James Bond said.’ And the world lives happily ever after?’

‘Something like that. But I have delayed matters. My people are waiting now, to talk with you . . .’

Bond raised a hand. ‘I have no right to ask, but did you set up the joint operation too? CIA, KGB, Mossad and my people?’

Seriously, this is like a casual chat!


Von Glöda nodded. ‘I told Kolya how to do it, and how to substitute people. I did not bargain for Mossad sending my own errant daughter after me.’

‘Rivke.’ Bond remembered the night at the hotel.

‘Yes, that’s what she calls herself nowadays, or so I understand. Rivke. Behave yourself, Mr Bond, and I may be tenderhearted and allow you to see her before you leave for Moscow.’

She was alive, then; here in the Ice Palace. Bond willed himself to show no emotion. Instead he shrugged. ‘You said people wanted to talk to me?’

Von Glöda returned to his desk. ‘Doubtless the authorities in Moscow want you badly, but my own intelligence people also wish to speak to you about certain matters.’


‘Yes, really, Mr Bond. We know your Service has one of our men – a soldier who failed in his duty.’

Bond shrugged, his face blank with feigned incomprehension.

'My troops are loyal, and know the Cause comes before anything else. That is why we have been successful so far. No prisoners. All members of the NSAA take an oath, pledging death before dishonour. In all operations last year, none of my men was taken prisoner – except . . .’ He let it hang in the air. ‘Well, would you like to tell me, James Bond?’

‘Nothing to tell.’ Bland and flat.

"You've pretty much sucked all the air out of the room at this point."


‘I think there is. The operation against three British civil servants, just as they left the Soviet Embassy. Think hard, Bond.’

Bond had been way ahead of him. He remembered M’s briefing, and the grave look on his chief’s face when he referred to the interrogation of the one NSAA man they had in custody at the Headquarters building – the one who tried to shoot himself. What was it M had said? ‘His aim was off.’ No details, though.

‘It is my guess,’ von Glöda’s voice dropped to almost a whisper, ‘my guess, that any information prised from that prisoner would have been given to you at your briefing, before you joined Kolya. I need to know – must know – how much the traitor has given away. You will tell me, Mr Bond.’

Bond managed to draw a laugh from the back of his dry throat. ‘I’m sorry, von Glöda . . .’

Führer!’ von Glöda shrieked. ‘You will be as everybody else, and call me Führer.’

‘A Finnish officer who defected to the Nazis? A Finnish-German who has delusions of grandeur? I cannot call you Führer.’ Bond spoke quietly, not expecting the tirade that was to come.

I wasn't expecting any of this!


I have renounced nationality. I am not Finnish, nor am I German! Wasn’t it Goebbels who proclaimed Hitler’s feelings? The German people had no right to survive because they had been found wanting; they could not live up to the ideals of the great Nazi movement. They would be wiped out so that a new Party could eventually rise and carry on the work . . .’

‘But they weren’t wiped out.’

‘It makes no difference. My allegiance is to the Party, and to Europe. To the world. Now is the dawn of the Fourth Reich. Even this small piece of information is necessary to me; and you will give it to me.’

‘I have no knowledge of any NSAA prisoner. No information about an interrogation.’

The man who stood erect before Bond suddenly appeared to be convulsed with rage. His eyes blazed. ‘You will tell all you know. Everything British Intelligence knows about the NSAA.’

‘I have nothing to tell you as I know nothing,’ Bond repeated. ‘In any case, what can you do? To carry on your own struggle you have to hand me over to Kolya – that’s your deal for silence.’

‘Oh, Mr Bond, don’t be naïve. I can get my men, and military materiel, out within twenty-four hours. Kolya has also sold his soul to ambition. He sees a power of his own if he walks into Dzerzhinsky Square with you – the man SMERSH has wanted for so long. Do you think his superiors know what he is doing? Of course not. Kolya has a sense of the dramatic – like all good agents and soldiers. As far as Department V of the First Directorate is concerned, Kolya Mosolov is on a mission to sniff out missing armaments in this area. Nobody’s going to come looking for a while if they don’t hear from him. Understand, James Bond? You have bought me time, that’s all. A chance to finish my little arms deal, and an opportunity to get out. Kolya Mosolov is expendable. You are expendable.’

Bond starts going through the logic in his head. If they have an NSAA prisoner, does that mean that all of the cooperating governments here knew where Blue Hare was the entire time?

If so, what's he here for?


‘So, I’m expendable because of one prisoner,’ Bond began. ‘One man who may or may not be held by my people. That’s rich, when you consider the millions your former Führer held in captivity, murdered in the gas chambers, killed off with slave labour. Now, one man holds the balance.’

‘Oh, a good try, Mr Bond,’ von Glöda replied drily. ‘Would that it were as simple. But this is a serious matter, and I must ask you to treat it as such. I can take no chances.’

He paused for a second, as though considering how best to convey the situation to Bond. Then: ‘You see, there is nobody here, not even on my General Staff, who knows the exact location of my next headquarters. Not Kolya, whose path to great power was handed to him by me, engineered by me, or Paula, or Buchtman – Tirpitz to you. None of them knows.

‘Unhappily, however, there are a few people who, however unwittingly, hold this information in their heads. The men and women who await me at the new headquarters, at this moment, of course they are well aware. But there are others. For instance, the unit which carried out the operation in Kensington Palace Gardens, outside the Soviet Embassy, went from here to be briefed – en route for London – at the new Command Post.

‘From that new and highly secret headquarters they went out to do their work. All are accounted for but one. My information is that he failed to commit suicide when he fell into the hands of your Service. He is a well-trained man, but even the cleverest officers can fall into traps. You know how two and two can be put together, Mr Bond. I need two things from you. First, if he gave you the location of my new headquarters, where I intend to be established shortly. Second, where he is being held prisoner.’

‘I know nothing about any NSAA prisoner.’

Von Glöda gave Bond a blank, completely unemotional look. ‘Possibly you are telling the truth. I doubt it, but it is possible. All I want is the truth. My personal feelings are that you do know where he is, and that you are aware of anything he has said. Only a fool would send you into the field without the full facts.’

Clever von Glöda might well be, thought Bond. He certainly had an eye for detail, and a sharp brain; but his last remark left no doubts about his complete ignorance concerning security matters. Bond also took extreme offence at the inference that M was a fool.

Yes, Bond is the only fool here!


‘Do you think I would be given access to all the facts?’ Bond allowed himself an indulgent smile.

‘I am certain of it.’

‘Then you are the fool, sir. Not my superiors.’

"I'm pretty infamous for knowing nothing about what's going on and making this up as I go."


Von Glöda gave a hard, short, one-syllable laugh. ‘Have it your own way, but I dare not take risks. I will know the truth. We can take a man to the limit here. If you have nothing to say, you will say nothing, and I shall know there is little danger. If you know only where my man is being held, that information can be flashed to London. He may be held in the most inaccessible place, but my team in London will still get him – with time to spare.’

Could one of von Glöda’s teams penetrate the Service’s Headquarters? As much as Bond doubted it, he was disinclined to put it to the test.

‘And what if I break down and lie to you? What if I say, yes, there is such a prisoner – though I do assure you I know of none – and he has given us all the information we need?’

‘Then you also will know the location of the new Command Post, Mr Bond. You see, there is no way you can win.’

Not in your book, Bond thought. The man could see nothing unless it was in clear black and white.

‘One other thing.’ Von Glöda rose to his feet. ‘Here we rely on the older techniques of interrogation. Painful, but very successful. I have yet to trust what friend Kolya would call a chemical interrogation. So know what you face, Mr Bond. Exceptional discomfort, to put it mildly. I plan to take you to the threshold of pain; and doctors tell me that no man has yet been born who will not crack under the method we shall use.’

Torture? Like never seen before? Groundbreaking.


‘But I know nothing.’

‘Then you will not crack, and I shall know. Now, why not avoid the worst? Tell me about the prisoner – where he is held; what he has revealed.’

Seconds ticked away, almost audible in Bond’s head, and then the outer door opened, and the man Bond had known as Brad Tirpitz came in, followed by the two uniformed men who had been in the ante-room. They raised their arms in salute.

‘You know, Hans, what information I require from this man,’ said von Glöda. ‘Use all your powers of persuasion. Now.’

"Be the Bad Brad I know you can be."


‘Jawohl, mein Führer.’ The arms raised in unison, heels clicking, then the two men converged on Bond, and took him by the arms. He felt handcuffs encircle his wrists, and the grip of strong fingers as they caught hold, bundling him from the room.

They took him no farther than the ante-room. Tirpitz/Buchtman went over and pressed the hessian-covered wall, revealing a section which swung back with a click.

Buchtman disappeared through the door, followed by one of the officers, his hand grasping Bond’s jacket. The other man kept a tight hold on 007’s handcuffed wrists. One in front and the other behind. Bond soon found out the reason. Once past the door, they were crammed into a narrow passage, just wide and high enough to take a man.

After half a dozen paces it was clear they were descending; then, quite quickly, they came to a bare stone staircase, lit by dim blue lights set into the walls at intervals, a rope running through metal eyes down one side as a guide rail.

Their progress was very slow, for the staircase went a long way down. Bond tried to work out the depth but gave up quickly. The steps appeared to steepen. At one point there was a small platform, leading to an open chamber. Here Buchtman and the two guards put on heavy greatcoats and gloves. None were offered to Bond who, even in the outdoor winter gear he still wore, began to feel the dreadful uprush of intense cold from the depths below them.

The steps became increasingly slippery and Bond sensed ice-growths on the sides of the walls as they continued down. At last they emerged into a brightly lit cave – circular, the walls of natural rock, the flooring beneath them seemingly pure thick ice.

Heavy wooden crossbeams spanned the cave, passing over its centre. Attached to the beams was a block and tackle mechanism, with a long solid metal chain dangling down and ending in what looked like an anchor hook.

One of the uniformed men took out his pistol, staying close to Bond. The other opened a large, ice-encrusted metal box, from which he took a small, motor-driven chain saw.

Chainsaws are the old school method?


The breath of all four men, in this freezing dungeon, thickened the air in clouds. Bond smelled the gasoline from the chain saw motor as it fired. ‘We keep it well-protected.’ Buchtman had not lost his American accent. ‘Okay.’ He nodded to the man with the gun. ‘Strip the bastard.’

As Bond felt hands starting to undo his clothing, he saw the chain saw biting into the floor of the cell, sending chips of ice flying. Even with his clothes on, the cold had become crippling. Now, as the layers were roughly removed, his body seemed to be enveloped in an invisible coat of sharp needles.

Buchtman nodded towards the man with the chain saw. ‘He’s cutting a nice bath tub for you, James old buddy.’ He laughed. ‘We’re well below the main line of the bunker here. In summer the water rises quite high. Small natural lake. You’re gonna get to know that lake very well indeed, James Bond.’

As he spoke, the chain saw broke through the ice, showing it to be at least half a metre thick. Then the operator began to chew out a rough circle, the centre of which lay directly under the chain dangling from the block and tackle.

Apr 23, 2014

Add to the list of things I just heard of!

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 15: Dead Cold


They unlocked the handcuffs. By that time, James Bond was too cold to resist. The removal of the top half of his clothing, which followed, did not seem to make any appreciable difference. He could hardly move, and it seemed that even his desire to shiver was denied him.

One of the uniformed men pulled Bond’s arms in front of his stark naked body, then clasped the handcuffs into place again. The metal on his wrists felt as though it burned.

Bond began to concentrate. Try to remember something . . . Forget the cold . . . Close your eyes . . . See just one spot in the universe, let the spot swell.

The rattle of chains, and Bond heard rather than felt that his handcuffed wrists were being clipped over the hook. Then, disorientation for a moment, as they hoisted the block and tackle. His feet left the ground and he spun and swung as the chain lifted. Acute pain, now, as the handcuffed wrists took the strain. Arms stretched, pulled from their sockets. Then numbness again. It did not matter about the weight on his arms, shoulders, and wrists, for the freezing temperature acted almost as an anaesthetic.

I think Gardner is trying to one-up his torture sequences with each book.


Strangely, the thing that did matter was the swinging and spinning. Bond did not normally react to disorientation, while flying, doing high-speed aerobatics, or the many other stress tests included in his yearly checkout. Now, however, he felt the bile rise in his throat as the swinging became more regular – pendulum-like – and the spinning slowed, first one way, then the next.

Opening his eyes was as painful as anything else. A struggle against light frost forming on the lids. Necessary though, for he desperately needed some fixed point on which to focus. The ice-streaked sides of the cave turned in front of him, the hard light from above throwing off colour – yellows, reds and blues. It was impossible to keep his head up, with arms stretched above him, taking all the body weight.

Bond’s head slumped forward. Below him a wide, dark eye, figures moving on the periphery, the eye turning lazily, squinting, slanting. It was a moment before his numbed brain took in the fact that the eye was not moving. The illusion came from his own swinging motion, at the end of the chain. The needles continued to assault his body. They seemed to be everywhere at once, then localised – clawing at his scalp, moving to a thigh, or rasping against his genitals.

Trying to turn "his balls were numb" into gruesome torture.


Concentrate: he fought to get a proper perspective, but the cold was like a barrier, a chill wall preventing his brain from working. Harder; concentrate harder.

Finally Bond took in the eye, as the swaying and spinning motion settled. The eye was a circle cut in the ice. Its darkness was the frozen water below. Slowly they were letting out the chain, so that his feet seemed poised directly over the water.

Now a voice. Tirpitz – Buchtman: ‘James, buddy, this is going to be dirty. You should tell us now before we go on. You know what we want? Just answer yes or no.’

What did they want? Why was this happening? Bond’s very brain felt as though it were freezing. What? ‘No,’ he heard his voice croak.

‘Your people have one of our men. Two questions: where is he being held in London? What has he told your interrogators?’

A man? Held in London? Who? When? What had he told? For a few seconds Bond’s mind cleared. The NSAA soldier, being held at the Regent’s Park HQ. What had he told? No idea, but hadn’t he worked it out? Yes, the man must have said a great deal. Tell nothing.

Aloud he said, ‘I know nothing about anyone being held prisoner. Nothing about any interrogations.’ His voice was unrecognisable, echoing against the walls of the natural cavern.

The other voice floated up to him, each word a struggle for Bond to recognise or comprehend. ‘Okay, Jim, have it your way. I’ll ask you again in a minute.’

"Say hello to your rasping genitals for me."


From above, the rattle of something. The chain. His body moving down towards the black eye. For no reason, Bond suddenly thought he had lost all sense of smell. Odd; why no sense of smell? Concentrate on something else. He struggled, setting his mind on a new course. A summer day. The countryside. Trees in full leaf. A bee hovered above his face, and he could smell – the sense of smell was back: a mixture of grass and hay. Far in the distance the sound of some farm machinery peacefully purring. Don’t say anything. You know nothing except this – the hay and grass. Nothing. You know nothing.

"Finland has never experienced such pastoral wonders! It's a wasteland of ice and saunas!"


Bond heard the final rattle of the chain just as he hit the middle of the black eye. His brain even registered that a scum of ice had already reformed over the water. Then the slack of the chain dropped him into the centre. He must have cried out, for his mouth filled with water. Sunlight. The oak tree. Arms being dragged down by the chain. He could not breathe.

The sensation was not one of biting cold, simply an extreme change. It could have been boiling water just as easily as freezing. Bond’s only conscious feeling, after the first shock, was of his body enveloped by a blinding pain, as though his eyes – windows to the brain – had been scorched by white light.

He still lived, though he was aware of it only because of the pain. His heart pumped in his chest and head like tympani.

There was no way of telling how long they had held him under the ice. He gulped and spluttered for air, the whole of his body jerking in spasms, like a puppet controlled by a convulsive master.

Opening his eyes, Bond saw that he was, once more, suspended over the eye cut in the ice. Then the real cold set in – the shaking as he swung to and fro, while the needle-points turned into barbs, excoriating his skin.

No. His brain broke through the pain of cold. No, this was not happening. The grass; smells of summer; sounds of summer; the tractor drawing near, and the soughing of a breeze in the oak tree’s branches.

On the whole, this is actually a pretty good torture scene. The extreme dissociation happening is realistic and interesting.

What I'm more torn about is the seeming necessity of spy novels to have a torture scene like this. Even when written in an exciting and unique way, it already feels old hat by the 80s. It's such a trope that Gardner's Bond manages to repeatedly fall into horrible torture sequences until a lucky break gets him out.


‘Okay, Bond. That was just a taste. You hear me?’

He was breathing normally, but his vocal chords did not seem to be working properly. At last: ‘Yes, I hear you.’

‘We know just how far to go, but don’t kid yourself, we’ll go further. The limit. Where is our man being held in England?’

Bond heard his own voice, again as though it did not belong to him: ‘I don’t know of any man being held.’

‘What has he told your people? How much?’

‘I know of no man being held.’

‘Have it your own way.’ The chain sounded its death rattle.

They let him stay under, weighted down by the chain, for a long time – or else he remained conscious for longer than before. He fought for breath, the red mist mingling with a white light which seemed to fuse every muscle, each vein and organ. Then the blessed relief of darkness, soon to be blasted apart by the pain as his naked body swung gently, pulled clear again of the ice pool.

The cold air of the dungeon made the second time worse. Not just needles, but tiny animals, gnawing and biting into the numbed flesh; the more sensitive organs alive with agony, so that Bond wrestled with the handcuffs and hook, wanting to get his hands down to cover his loins.

Please stop. You'll summon Wood.


‘There is a National Socialist Action Army man being held prisoner in England. Where is he?’

The summer. Try . . . Try for the summer. But this was not summer, only the terrible teeth, small and sharp, biting through the skin into the muscle and flesh.

The NSAA man was at the Regent’s Park HQ. Was there harm in telling them? Summer. The green leaves of summer.

‘You hear me, Bond? Tell us and things will get easier.’

Sumer is icumen in,
Sing, cuckoo . . .


‘Don’t know. Don’t know about prisoner . . . Nobody . . .’ This time the voice came from right inside his head, the sentence cut short as the chain clattered down, plunging him into the gelid mass.

He struggled, not reasoning what he would, or could, do if the handcuffs became unhooked. This was pure reflex: the body automatically fighting for life, trapped by an element in which it could not possibly survive for long. He was conscious of the muscles not responding, the brain ceasing to operate rationally. Streaking pain. Darkness.

Alive and swinging once more. Bond wondered how near he hovered between life and the unknowing, for the white pain was now centred in his head – a blinding, searing, flashing explosion within the skull.

The voice was shouting, as if trying to get through to him from a distance. ‘The prisoner, Bond. Where are they keeping him? Don’t be a fool; we know he’s somewhere in England. Just give us the place. The name. Where is he?’

My Service Headquarters. Building near Regent’s Park. Transworld Export. Had he said it? No, there had been nothing, even though the words were clearly formed in his brain, waiting to leap out.

The green leaves of summer, Sumer is icumen in; Summertime; The last rose of summer, Indian summer . . .

Vipers lashed at his brain. Then the words: Bond’s voice aloud, ‘No prisoner. I don’t know about a prison . . .’

The crash of ice around him, the red-hot, blinding liquid, then agony, as the body became aware again. Out, swinging and dripping, gasping, every centimetre of him torn to shreds. The brain which, so far, had computed extremes of temperature, pain like nibbling animals, snakes and needles, had, finally, hit on the real source of pain. Cold. Dead cold. A death by slow freezing.

The sun was dazzling. So hot that the perspiration dripped from Bond’s forehead and into his eyes. He could not even open his eyes, and he knew he’d had too much to drink. Drunk as a lord. Why drunk as a lord? Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence.

Balance gone. Laughter: Bond’s laughter. He did not usually get drunk, but this was something else. High as a . . . high as something . . . When? On the Fourth of July? At least it made you feel good. Let the world go by. Lightheaded . . . light-hearted . . . darkness. Lord, he was going to pass out. Be sick. No, he felt too good for that. Happiness . . . very happy . . . The darkness coming in, closing around him. Just a hint of what it really was as the night swallowed him. Dead cold.

James Bond is dead! Goodnight!


‘James . . . James . . .’ The voice familiar. Far, far away, from another planet. ‘James . . .’ A woman. A woman’s voice. Then he recognised it. Warmth. He was lying down and warm. A bed? Was it a bed?

Bond tried to move, and the voice repeated his name. Yes, he was wrapped in blankets, lying on a bed, and the room was warm.

‘James . . .’

Oh, James


With care, Bond opened his eyes – with a stinging of the lids. Then he stirred, slowly because each movement was painful. Finally he turned his head towards the voice. His eyes took a few seconds to focus.

‘Oh, James, you’re all right. They gave you artificial respiration. I’ve pressed the bell. They said to get someone in quickly when you came to.’ The room was like any other hospital room, but there were no windows. In the other bed, her legs raised in traction and encased in plaster, lay Rivke Ingber, her face alive and happy.

Then the nightmare returned, and Bond realised what he had come through. He closed his eyes, but saw only the dark, cold, circular eye of freezing water. He moved his wrists, and the pain returned where the steel handcuffs had bitten into his flesh.

‘Rivke,’ was all he could manage, for his mind was assaulted by other demons. Had he told them? What had he told them? He could remember the questions, but not his answers. A summer scene flitted through his mind – grass, hay, an oak tree, a buzzing in the distance.

‘Drink this, Mr Bond.’ He had not seen the girl before, but she was correctly dressed in a nurse’s uniform and held a cup of steaming hot liquid to his lips. ‘Beef tea. Hot, but you’ve got to have hot drinks. You’re going to be fine. Don’t worry about anything now.’

Could things get any weirder?


Bond, propped on pillows, had neither the strength nor inclination to resist. The first sip of the beef tea rolled back the years. The taste reminded him of a far distant past – just as a piece of music will recall a long-forgotten memory. Bond recalled a long-lost childhood: the hygienic smell of school sanatoria, the bouts of winter ‘flu at home. He swallowed more, feeling the warmth creeping into his belly. With the inner heat, the horrors also returned: the ice dungeon, and the terrible, terrible cold as he was dunked into the freezing water.

Had he talked? As hard as Bond cudgelled his brains, he could not tell. In the midst of the sharp, satanic pictures of torture, there was no memory of what else had passed between him and his interrogators.

Depressed, he looked at Rivke. She was staring at him, her eyes soft and gentle, just as they had been in that hotel in the early morning. Her lips moved, soundlessly, but Bond could easily read what she was mouthing: ‘James, I love you.’

He smiled, and gave her a little nod as the nurse tipped the cup of beef tea so that he could swallow more.

He was alive. Rivke was there. While he lived there was still a chance that the National Socialist Action Army could be stopped and their Führer wiped from the new world map he wanted so badly to draw.

Yes. Yes they will.

Lord Zedd-Repulsa
Jul 21, 2007

Devour a good book.

There are/were a variety of blogs on Tumblr where people offer expert to near-expert advice on topics writers of all media may want to include in their project. One that has left a heavy impression on me is Script Torture. When I actively followed it, I frequently had to read the blogger say to person after person that torture doesn't work the way they think it does. What I learned from even a shallow swim into their sources has been enough to make me now try to discourage all fellow writers from including it without Intense Research.

Even movies kids watch contain torture scenes or references. It's no shock to see Bond in danger often, but reading torture multiple books in a row makes me consider Gardner's imagination to be a bit lacking

I feel bad for not chiming in since November and will try to work on replying more often.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 16: Partners in Crime


After the beef tea, Bond was given an injection, and the nurse said something about frostbite. ‘Nothing to worry about,’ she said. ‘You’ll be all right in a few hours.’

Bond looked across at Rivke and started to say something, but drifted off into a cloud of sleep. Later he could not tell if it had been a dream or not, but there had seemed to be a waking period during which von Glöda stood at the foot of the bed. The tall man was smiling – unctuous and evil. ‘There, Mr Bond. I told you we would get all we needed from you. Better than the drugs and chemicals. I trust we haven’t ruined your sex life. I think not. Anyway, thank you for the information. A great help to us.’

What is it with this weird obsession with Bond's genitals?


On finally waking, Bond was more or less convinced that this had been no dream, so vivid was the picture of von Glöda. There were dreams, however, dreams about the same man: dreams in which von Glöda stood decked out in Nazi uniform, surrounded by the trappings of power at a kind of Nuremberg rally.

A wave of terror washed through him as the memory of the ordeal under the icy water returned, then passed quickly. He felt better now, if lulled and dopily disorientated. He was anxious to get going. Indeed, he had little choice. Either find a way out of von Glöda’s labyrinth, or take the inevitable trip to Moscow, with its final showdown between himself and what used to be SMERSH.

‘Are you awake, James?’

In the few seconds of returning to the world, Bond had forgotten Rivke’s presence in the room. He turned his head, smiling, ‘Mixed sanatoria. What will they think of next?’

She laughed, inclining her head towards the two great lumps of plaster, strung up on pulleys, that were her legs. ‘Not much we can do about it, though. More’s the pity. My stinking father was in here a little while ago.’

That clinched it. Von Glöda’s speech had not been a dream. Bond swore silently. How much had he given away to them, under the pain and disorientation of the ice dunking? There was no way to tell. Quickly he calculated the chances of a determined NSAA team getting into the Regent’s Park building. The odds would be about eighty to one against. But they would only need to penetrate one man. That would shorten the odds and, if he had given them the information, the NSAA would certainly already have their team briefed. Too late for him even to warn M.

If only you had contacted M before leaving for the ambush!


‘You look worried. What terrible things did they do to you, James?’

‘They took me for a swim in a winter wonderland, my darling. Nothing so dreadful. But what about you? I saw the accident. We thought you were taken away by a genuine ambulance and the police. Obviously we were wrong.’

‘I was just coming down the final slope, looking forward to seeing you again. Then, poof – nothing. I woke up with a lot of pain in my legs and my father standing over me. He had that woman with him. I don’t think she’s here though. But they did have some kind of a hospital organised. Both legs broken, and a couple of ribs. They plastered me up, took me for a long ride, and I finally woke up here. The Count calls it his Command Post, but I’ve no idea where we are. The nurses are friendly enough but won’t tell me anything.’

‘If my calculations are correct . . .’ Bond eased himself on to his side so that he could more easily talk to Rivke and look at her simultaneously. There were signs of strain around her eyes, and she was in obvious discomfort caused by the casts on her legs and the traction. ‘If I’m right, we’re in a large bunker, situated around ten to twelve kilometres east of the Finnish border. On the Russian side.’

‘Russian?’ Rivke opened her mouth, eyes wide with amazement.

"I thought the Russians were just a myth!"


Bond nodded. ‘Your beloved Papa has pulled a very fast one.’ He made a grimace, conveying a certain admiration. ‘You have to admit he’s been exceptionally clever. We have searched everywhere for clues, and all the time he’s been operating from the most unlikely place – within Soviet territory.’

Rivke laughed quietly, the sound tinged with bitterness. ‘He always was clever. Who’d have looked in Russia for the headquarters of a Fascist group?’

Yeah, about that...


‘Quite.’ Bond stayed silent for a moment. ‘How bad are the legs?’

She lifted a hand – a gesture of helplessness. ‘You can see for yourself.’

‘They haven’t given you any therapy yet? Let you try and walk – even with crutches or a Zimmer?’

‘You’re joking. I can’t feel much pain. It’s just very uncomfortable. Why?’

‘There’s got to be a way out of this place, and I’m not going alone or leaving you behind.’ He paused, as if making up his mind. ‘Not now that I’ve found you, Rivke.’

When he next looked, Bond thought he could detect a moistness in the large eyes. ‘James, that’s wonderful of you, but if there is a way out, you’ll have to try it yourself, by yourself.’

Bond’s brow creased. If there was a way, could he get back in time? Bring help? He put the answers into words. ‘I don’t think the clock’s on our side, Rivke. Not if I’ve told them what I think . . .’

‘Told them . . . ?’

So you might be thinking to yourself "If they've already got all the info they need from Bond, why do they have him convalescing instead of just shooting him?"


‘Being ducked in almost frozen water, without your clothes on, is slightly disorientating. I passed out a couple of times. They wanted the answers to two questions.’ He went on to say that he knew one answer, but could only guess the other.

‘What kind of questions?’

In a few words Bond told her about the NSAA man being captured in London before he could commit suicide. ‘Your father’s got a new Command Post. This fellow has enough information to tip off our people. The devil of it is that the London prisoner probably doesn’t realise he knows. Your maniac father had a group sent to his new Command Post for briefing, before leaving for London. Our interrogators, like yours with Mossad, are not fools. The right questions’ll yield the answers.’

‘So you think your Service already knows where this new place – this second Command Post – is located?’

‘I wouldn’t put money on it. But if I’ve told von Glöda’s inquisitors we have the man, and that he’s been interrogated, they can add up the answers as well as our people. I should think your father’s moving everyone out of here pretty damned fast.

‘You said there were two questions?’

‘Oh, they wanted to know where our people were keeping him. That’s no problem, really. There’s a chance one man could get at him; but any full-scale assault’s out of the question.’

‘Why, James?’

‘We keep a special interrogation centre in the basement of our Headquarters building in London. He’s holed up there.’

Rivke bit her lip. ‘And you really think you told them?’

Did he?


‘There’s a possibility. You said your father was in here earlier. I can vaguely remember that. He gave the impression they knew about it. You were awake . . .’

‘Yes.’ She looked away for a second, not meeting his eyes.

Agents of Mossad, thought Bond, tend to opt for a suicide pill rather than face an interrogation which might compromise them. ‘Do you think I’ve failed my own Service’, he asked Rivke, ‘and this unholy alliance we were supposed to be involved in?’

For a second, Rivke was silent. Then: ‘No, James. No. You had no alternative, obviously. No, I was thinking about what my father said – God knows why I call him a father. He’s really no father of mine. When he came in, he said something about you having provided information. I was dozing, but he sounded sarcastic. He thanked you for the information.’

Bond felt the lead of despair deep in his guts. M had sent him blind into a compromising situation, though he could not blame his chief for that. M’s reasoning would have been the less knowledge the better, as far as Bond was concerned. Like himself, M had almost certainly been duped by what had transpired: the real Brad Tirpitz’s elimination, Kolya Mosolov’s double-dealing with von Glöda. And then there was the duplicity of Paula Vacker. The despair came from the knowledge that he had let his country down, and failed his Service. In Bond’s book these were the cardinal sins.

If only he would have done really basic things instead of the same mistakes he always makes!


By now, von Glöda would almost certainly be going through all the standard routines of moving shop: packing, organising transport, loading up the BTRs with all the arms and munitions they could carry, shredding documents. Bond wondered if von Glöda had some temporary base – apart from the major new Command Post – from which he could operate. Now he would want to get out as quickly as possible, but it might take up to twenty-four hours.

Bond looked around to see if any of his clothes had been left with him. There was a locker opposite the bed, though not large enough to contain clothing. The rest of the room was bare, just the formal trappings of a small private hospital ward: another small locker opposite Rivke’s bed; a table, with glasses, a bottle and medical equipment standing in the corner. Nothing useful that he could see.

There were curtain-bearing rails around each bed, two lamps – above the bedheads – a strip light set in the ceiling, and the usual small ventilation grilles.

The idea came to him that he might overpower the nurse, strip her, and try to get out disguised as a woman. But the notion was self-evidently ludicrous, for Bond scarcely had the build which lent itself to female impersonation. In addition, just thinking it made him feel dopy again. He wondered what drugs they’d shot him with after the torture.

No no, I want to see where this idea leads.


If von Glöda were to keep his bargain with Kolya – which seemed highly unlikely – Bond’s only chance would be an escape from Kolya Mosolov’s custody.

There was a sound in the passage outside. The door opened and the nurse came in, bright, starched and hygienic. ‘Well,’ she started briskly, ‘I have news. You’ll both be leaving here soon. The Führer has decided to take you out with him. I’m here to warn you that you’ll be moving in a few hours.’

‘Hostage time,’ said Bond, sighing.

The nurse smiled brightly, saying she expected that was it.

‘And how do we go?’ Bond had some notion it might help to keep her talking, if only to gain a little information. ‘Snowcat? BTR? What?’

The nurse’s smile did not leave her mouth. ‘I shall be travelling with you. You’re perfectly fit, Mr Bond, but we’re concerned about Miss Ingber’s legs. She prefers being called Miss Ingber, I gather. I must be with her. We’ll all be going in the Führer’s personal aircraft.’

‘Aircraft?’ Bond did not even realise they had flying facilities.

‘Oh yes, there’s a runway among the trees. It’s kept clear even in the worst weather. We have a couple of light aircraft here – ski-fitted in winter, of course – and the Führer’s executive jet, a converted Mystère-Falcon. Very fast but lands on anything . . .’

This is a garbled way of referring to the Dassault Falcon 20, which was originally named the Dassault-Breguet Mystère 20. It's an early example of the business jet, entering mass production in 1965. It was developed on French government contract requirements to make it suitable as a military liaison transport as well, and its easy flight characteristics and reliability means it's still in military use worldwide despite being out of production for 30 years. FedEx got its start using Falcon 20s to pioneer the air cargo transport that now forms a major part of modern commercial shipping.


‘Can it take off on anything?’ Bond thought of the bleak ice and snow among the trees.

"I need this information for my escape plan, hurry up!"


‘When the runway’s clear.’ The nurse seemed unconcerned. ‘Don’t worry about a thing. We always have ice burners out along the metal runway just before he leaves.’ She paused in the doorway. ‘Now, is there anything you need?’

‘Parachutes?’ Bond suggested.

For the first time, the nurse lost her brightness. ‘You will both be given a meal before we leave. Until then, I have other work to do.’ The door shut, and they heard the click of a key turning in the lock from the outside.

‘That’s it, then,’ said Rivke. ‘If you’d ever thought about it, dear James, there’ll be no cottage for us, with roses around the door.’

‘I had thought about it, Rivke. I never give up hope.’

‘Knowing my father, he’ll like as not drop us off at 20,000 feet.’

Bond grunted. ‘Hence the nurse’s reaction when I mentioned parachutes.’

I think it was just because the prisoner is obviously grilling her for hints.


‘Shhhh.’ Rivke made a sharp noise. ‘There’s someone in the passage. Outside the door.’

Bond looked towards her. He had heard nothing, but Rivke suddenly appeared alert, if not edgy. Bond moved – surprised that his limbs worked with such ease and speed. Indeed, the action seemed to produce a new and sudden alertness in him. The dopy feeling left him and now Bond cursed himself again, for he realised he’d broken another elementary rule by blabbing his head off to Rivke without making even a rudimentary surveillance check.

You don't loving say


Bond sprinted, unembarrassed by his nudity, to the table in the corner, grabbed a glass and returned as quickly to the bed. Whispering, he told Rivke, ‘I can always smash it. Surprising how effective broken glass can be on flesh.’

She nodded, her head cocked, listening. Still Bond heard nothing. Then, with a speed and suddenness that took even Bond unawares, the door shot open and Paula Vacker was in the room.

She moved silently – as Bond’s housekeeper May would have said, ‘like greased lightning’. Before either Rivke or Bond could react, Paula had snaked between the two beds. Bond caught a glimpse of his own P7 automatic raised twice and heard the tinkle of glass as Paula put the bedhead lights out of action with two quick butt strokes from the gun.

I have never imagined May saying "like greased lightning."


‘What . . . ?’ Bond began, realising that this made little difference to the lighting, as most of the illumination came from the ceiling strip light.

‘Just keep quiet,’ Paula advised him, the P7 circling the two beds as she moved back towards the door, crouched, pulled a bundle into the room, then closed the door again, locking it behind her. ‘The electronics, James, were inside the bedhead light bulbs. Every word – all your conversation with sweet little Rivke here – has now been relayed to Count von Glöda.’

Bond, you idiot.


‘But . . . ?’

‘Enough.’ The P7 was pointed at Rivke not Bond. With her foot, Paula pushed the bundle towards Bond’s bed. Get into those. You’re going to become an officer in the Führer’s army for a while.’

Bond got up and undid the bundle. There was thermal underwear, stockings, a heavy rollneck and a field grey winter uniform, smock and trousers; boots, gloves, and a uniform fur hat. Quickly he started to dress. ‘What’s all this about, Paula?’

‘I’ll explain when there’s time,’ she snapped back. ‘Just get on with what you’re doing. We’re going to cut it fine in any case. Kolya’s taken a run for it, so there’s only the two of us now. Partners in crime, James. At least we’re going to get out.’

Okay, there's the next twist: Paula was secretly a good guy this entire time!


Bond was already nearly dressed. He moved to the door side of his bed. ‘What about Rivke?’

‘What about her?’

‘We can’t get her out. Whose side are you on anyway?’

‘Surprisingly enough, yours, James. More than can be said for the Führer’s daughter.’

As she said it, Rivke moved. Paula stepped back and Bond saw a kind of blur as, with alarming ease, Rivke slid her legs from the plaster casts, swivelled sideways, and swung off the bed, one hand clasped around the butt of a small pistol. There was not a single mark on her body, and the supposed broken legs worked like those of an athlete. Paula swore, shouting at Rivke to drop the gun.

Okay so Paula was secretly a good guy pretending to be a bad guy, and Rivke was secretly a bad guy pretending to be a good guy.

Got that? There's still more to go!


Bond, still getting into the last pieces of clothing, saw the whole thing in a kind of slow motion: Rivke, dressed only in a pair of briefs, with the gun arm rising as her feet hit the floor; Paula’s arms extending into the full-length firing position; Rivke still moving forward, then the one loud echoing blast from the P7; a cloud of gunsmoke making swirling patterns; Rivke’s face disintegrating in a fine mist of blood and bone, as her body, looped backwards by the blast, arced away from them over the bed.

Then the smell of the burned powder.

Paula swore again. ‘Last thing I wanted. The noise.’

Jesus Christ, Gardner!


For one of the few times in his life, James Bond felt out of control. He had already recognised the beginning of emotional feelings towards Rivke. He knew of Paula’s treachery. Now balanced on the balls of his feet, Bond prepared to make a last, desperate attempt: a leap towards Paula’s gun arm. But she merely tossed the P7 towards him, making a grab for Rivke’s small pistol.

‘You’d better take that, James. May need it. We could be lucky. I stole the nurse’s key, and sent her off on some fool’s job. There’s nobody in this wing, so the shot may not have been heard. But we’re going to need wings on our heels.’

‘What are you talking about?’ Bond said, suspecting the truth even as he spoke.

"Seriously, what the gently caress just happened in the last few pages?"


‘I’ll tell you the whole thing later, but can’t you understand? You didn’t give them anything under torture, so they rigged you up with Rivke. You spilled it all to his daughter because you trusted her. She’s Daddy’s little helper, always has been. From what I understand she hoped to be the first woman Führer, in due course. Now, will you come on? I’ve got to try and get you out of here. Partners in crime – like I said.’

Dec 24, 2007


Gats Akimbo
May 28, 2007

Ignoring this post

GOD Bond is a loving idiot.

High Warlord Zog
Dec 12, 2012

chitoryu12 posted:

What I'm more torn about is the seeming necessity of spy novels to have a torture scene like this. Even when written in an exciting and unique way, it already feels old hat by the 80s. It's such a trope that Gardner's Bond manages to repeatedly fall into horrible torture sequences until a lucky break gets him out.

It's preferable to the post 9/11 Vince Flynn era of spy fiction where this kind of OTT torture sequence is carried out by the heroes, and carried out unfeelingly, to show how badass they are. The inversion within the genre from “look how much pain and suffering the superspy can endure” to “look how much pain and suffering the superspy can inflict” is creepy as hell.

High Warlord Zog fucked around with this message at 10:01 on Feb 26, 2021

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 17: A Deal is a Deal


Paula wore a heavy, well-cut officer’s greatcoat over the uniform Bond had last seen her in. The boots were visible under the coat, and to crown the effect she had added a military fur hat.

Bond glanced towards the bed that had lately contained Rivke. The plaster leg casts were obviously hollow frauds, bearing out Paula’s accusations. He was nauseated by the sight of the wall behind, spattered, like some surrealist painting, with blood and tissue. You could still smell Rivke in the room.

Her evacuated bowels, or...


He turned away, picking up the officer’s fur hat, which Paula had provided for him. Throughout Operation Icebreaker, allegiances seemed to have swerved to and fro in a series of knife-edge uncertainties. He still couldn’t be sure of Paula’s true intentions, but at least she seemed serious about getting him away from the bunker. This meant putting distance between himself and von Glöda, which was a most appealing prospect.

‘As far as the guards are concerned, I’m acting on the Führer’s orders,’ Paula said. ‘There’s a standard pass for each of us.’ She handed over a small square of white plastic, like a credit card. ‘We don’t go anywhere near the main workshops or the arms stores. Just keep your head well down in case we run into anyone who’s seen you before, and stay close to me. Let me do the talking as well, James. The exit is through the small bunker, and the chances are well above average. They’re running around in one hell of a flap since von Glöda gave the movement orders – after you spilled the beans to Rivke . . .’

‘About that; I . . .’ Bond began.

What are you going to do, apologize?


‘About nothing.’ Paula spoke sharply. ‘All in good time. Just trust me, for once. Like you, I’m not in this for fun.’ Her gloved hand rested on his arm for a second. ‘Believe me, James, they caught you by using that girl, and I had no way to warn you. The oldest trick in the book as well. Shove a prisoner in with someone he trusts, then listen to the conversation.’ She laughed again. ‘I was with von Glöda when they brought the tapes. He leaped about ten metres into the air. Idiot – he was so sure that, because you’d survived his torture without saying anything, there was nothing for him to worry about. Now, James, stay close to me.’

I'm imagining she's calling Bond the idiot here.


Paula unlocked the door, and they stepped out into the passageway, pausing for a second while she relocked the door from the outside. The passage was empty, lined with white tiles – sterile with a hint of disinfectant in the air. Other small hospital wards led off to the left and right, and at the end of the passage – which lay to their left – was a metal door. If nothing else, von Glöda was well-organised.

Paula led the way forward towards the metal door. ‘Keep the gun out of sight, but ready for Custer’s last stand,’ she warned him. ‘If we get into a shootout, the chances are not so brilliant.’ Her own hand was thrust deep into her right pocket, where she had placed Rivke’s pistol.

The corridor, on the far side of the hospital wing, was well-decorated – the hessian covering, with some framed posters and pictures similar to those Bond had seen near von Glöda’s personal suite. From this alone, he guessed that they were deep within the bunker, probably parallel to the passages which ran down to the new Führer’s offices.

Paula insisted on walking slightly ahead; and Bond, his gloved fingers around the pocketed P7, remained in place, about two steps to the rear and slightly to Paula’s left, hugging the wall. Almost the standard position for a bodyguard.

Imagine if it turned out to be a triple-agent situation and Paula really was the Nazi.


After a couple of minutes, the passage divided. Paula turned right and climbed up carpeted steps. The stairs were steep and led to a very short stretch of passage, at the end of which a pair of double doors, complete with small mesh-covered windows, took them into what must have been an arterial tunnel. Now they were back to the rough walls, with the utility pipes and channels visible. Paula glanced back every few seconds to make sure Bond was with her. Then a left turn, and the simple act of walking told Bond they were on a slight upward slope.

As the slope became steeper, they reached a walkway on the right similar to the one by which they had first entered the bunker, complete with boards, to give a better grip, and a handrail. Here, as at the larger entrance, doors and passages led off on either side. For the first time since leaving the hospital section, Bond was aware of noise – voices, the click of boots, an occasional shout or the sound of running feet.

As he glanced into the tributary passages, Bond glimpsed all the signs of hurried, though controlled, activity. Men were carrying personal belongings, metal cabinets, boxes and document files; others appeared to be stripping offices; some even lugged weapons. Most appeared to be heading away towards the left, bearing out Bond’s sense of direction. He was now certain they were in the main tunnel, which would take them to the smaller bunker entrance.

A section of six soldiers came down the slope at the double, well-drilled, their faces to the front, the NCO in charge ordering a salute to Paula and Bond.

"Your incompetence has been invaluable to our efforts, 007."


Now, ahead, a small detachment stood guard on what seemed to be the final hurdle. The tunnel came to an abrupt end, closed off by a massive steel shutter. Near the roof, Bond could see hydraulic equipment for lifting the shutter, but there was also a small, heavily bolted door set low on the righthand side.

‘Now for it,’ Paula muttered. ‘Look the part. Don’t hesitate, and for God’s sake let me do the talking. Once we’re out, move left.’

As they came nearer to the entrance, he saw that the detachment consisted of an officer and four men, all armed. Near the door stood a small machine – like a ticket-vending machine in an underground rail network.

Four paces from the exit, Paula called out in German, ‘Prepare to let us out. We’re under personal orders from the Führer himself.’

One of the private soldiers moved to the door, and the officer took a step forward, standing by the machine. ‘Do you have your pass, madam? And you, sir?’

They were close now.

‘Of course,’ Paula said. She produced the piece of plastic in her left hand. Bond followed suit.

‘Good.’ The officer had the sour and humourless face of an old army hand who did everything by numbers. ‘Do you know anything about this sudden movement order? We’ve only heard rumours.’

‘I know a great deal.’ Paula’s voice hardened. ‘You’ll all be told in time.’

They were right up to the officer now. ‘They say we have to be out within twenty-four hours. Some sweat.’

‘We’ve all been through sweat before.’ There was no emotion in Paula’s voice as she offered her card to be checked by the machine.

The officer took both cards, fed them, one at a time, into a small slot near the top, then waited until a series of lights ran their course, sounding a soft buzzer for each pass.

‘Good luck, whatever your mission.’ He returned their cards. Bond nodded. The private soldier by the door was already opening up the bolts.

Their passes checked, Bond and Paula exit the base into the black arctic night. Paula leads Bond to a small concrete structure where the snowmobiles are being stored and uses her keys to let them in.


Paula made for the first one that suited her purpose – a big, long black Yamaha, much larger than those on which Kolya had led them over the border.

‘You don’t mind if I drive,’ Paula was already checking the fuel. In the poor light, Bond could only sense, not see, the cheeky smile on her lips.

‘And where’re we going, Paula?’

She glanced up, peering at Bond through the gloom. ‘My people have an observation post about ten kilometres away.’ Her hand waved towards the south. ‘It’s partly wooded, but on high ground. You can see the whole of the Ice Palace, and the runway, from there.’ She heaved at the scooter, pulling it into position so they could run it straight out of the door.

Bond’s hand closed around the butt of his P7. ‘You’ll forgive me, Paula. We’ve known each other a long time, but my impression is that you’re somehow tied up with von Glöda, or Kolya. This operation hasn’t been straightforward from the word go. Hardly anybody has been what they seemed. I’d just like to know whose side you’re on, and who your “people”, as you call them, really are.’

‘Oh come on, James. All our files on you say that 007 is one of Britain’s best field men. Sorry, you’re not officially 007 any more, are you?’

"Your behavior has not proven the files correct."


Bond slowly produced the P7. ‘Paula? My instincts tell me that you’re KGB.’

Her head tilted back and she laughed. ‘KGB? Wrong, James. Come on, we haven’t much time as it is.’

‘I’ll come once you’ve told me. I expect the proof afterwards – even if you are KGB.’

‘Idiot.’ A friendly laugh this time. ‘James, I’m SUPO, and have been since long before we first met. In fact, my dear James, our meeting wasn’t a complete accident. Your own Service has now been informed.’

SUPO? Maybe she was at that. SUPO was the abbreviation for Suojelupoliisi – the Protection Police Force. The Finnish Intelligence and Security Agency.

"The most unpronounceable of intelligence forces..."


‘But . . .’

‘I’ll prove it within the next couple of hours,’ she said. ‘Now, for God’s sake, James, let’s get going. There’s a lot to be done.’

Bond nodded. He climbed on to the back of the scooter behind Paula as she started the motor, put the machine in gear, and gently eased it from the shelter. Once outside, she dismounted and went back to close the door behind them. Then, within seconds, they were away into the trees.

For a good minute, Paula did not even bother to turn on the large, broad-beamed headlight. After that, Bond simply clung on for dear life. She rode the Yamaha as though it were part of her body, zig-zagging with an accuracy that took Bond’s breath away. She had slipped goggles over her eyes and was well-muffled, but Bond’s only protection was Paula’s body as the wind ripped around them.

His arms were wound tightly around her waist. Then at one point – with another of her wonderful laughs drifting back on the wind – Paula took her hands off the controls and lifted Bond’s arms, so that his hands cupped her breasts through the heavy padding of the greatcoat.

What the gently caress? Now is not the time Paula!


Their route was far from easy. They skirted the bottom of a long rise through tightly packed trees, then made a lengthy run up the slope, swerving among the trees all the way. Yet Paula hardly slowed for anything. Holding the throttle open wide, she took the scooter side on through gaps in the trees, allowing it to ride dangerously, near a forty-five-degree angle on some banks, yet retaining control all the time.

At last she slowed, slewing from left to right at the crest, following what was certainly a natural trail. Then, quite suddenly, two figures rose from the side of the track. His eyes now well adjusted to the night, Bond caught the shapes of machine pistols against the snow.

Paula slowed and stopped, then raised an arm, and Bond found his hand searching for the P7. There was a short, muttered conversation between Paula and the larger of the men, who was dressed in Lapp costume and wore a huge moustache which made him look even more like a brigand. The other was tall and thin, with one of the most evil faces Bond had ever seen – sharp and weasel-like, with small eyes that darted everywhere. For his own sake, Bond hoped Paula had, at last, told him the truth. He wouldn’t have enjoyed finding himself at the mercy of either of these people.

Ah, now it's a Fleming character.


‘They’ve been keeping clear of the two kotas we’ve got up here,’ Paula said, turning her head towards Bond. I’ve got four men in all. Two have gone in at regular intervals, to check the radio equipment and keep the fires going. It seems that all’s safe. The other pair are in the camp now. I’ve said we’ll go straight to the kotas – you’ll want food, and I’ve got to get a message off to Helsinki on the short wave. They’ll relay it to London. Anything you want to tell your boss – M?’

‘Only details of what’s been going on, and where I am. Do we know where von Glöda will head for?’

‘I’ll tell you after I’ve talked to Helsinki,’ she said, gunning the engine.

Bond nodded vigorously. ‘Okay.’ They advanced at a walking pace, the two Lapps taking station ahead and behind them. Bond leaned forward and whispered loudly, ‘Paula, I’ll shoot you where you stand if you’re taking me for a ride.’

...but you just were.


‘Shut up and trust me. I’m the only one you can trust out here. Right?’



A few steps out of the woods, perched on the ridge, were two kotas. The reindeer skin which covered their wigwam-like structures loomed dark against the snow. Smoke drifted up from the criss-cross of forked poles at the top. From below, Bond thought, they would be difficult to spot against the tall firs and pines. Paula stopped the Yamaha, and they both dismounted.

‘I’m going to use the radio straight away.’ Paula pointed to the right-hand kota, and Bond could just make out the aerials among the poles at the top.

‘My other two boys are in there. I’ve told Aslu to stay on guard outside.’ She indicated the evil-looking Lapp. ‘Niiles will go with you to the other kota, where there’s food cooking.’

The Lapp with the large moustache – Niiles – grinned, nodding encouragement. His machine pistol pointed towards the ground.

‘Okay, Paula,’ Bond said. The smell of woodsmoke reached him before they got to within six paces of the kota, and Niiles went forward, lifted the hide flap, and peered inside. When he was sure everything was safe, the Lapp waved Bond towards him. Together they entered the kota, and immediately Bond felt his eyes sting as the smoke hit him. He coughed, wiped his eyes and looked around. The thin fog of smoke gradually made its way towards the outlet at the top of the tent. Mingled with it was a strong, pleasant cooking smell, and quickly Bond’s eyes adjusted enough to make out mounds of sleeping bags, blankets and plates carefully stored within the tent.

Niiles put down his weapon and motioned for Bond to sit. He pointed at the pot bubbling over the fire, burning in a square trench cut into the earth. Niiles then touched his mouth. ‘Food.’ He gave a pleased nod. ‘Food. Good. Eat.’

Bond nodded back.

Niiles took a plate and spoon, went to the fire, bent over it and began to fill the plate with what looked like some kind of stew.

Reindeer, obviously.


The next moment, the Lapp was sprawled, yelling, in the fire. His feet had been kicked from under him. One of the blankets seemed to take on a human shape, but before Bond could retrieve his pistol, Kolya’s voice came quietly from the other side of the fire.

‘Don’t even think of it, James. You’ll be dead before your hand touches the butt.’ He then said something in Finnish to Niiles, who had rolled clear of the fire, and now sat nursing his hand.

‘I should’ve known.’ Bond spoke as quietly as Kolya. ‘It was all too easy. Paula’s certainly led me a dance.’

‘Paula?’ Kolya’s face was clear for a moment in the glare from the fire. ‘I’ve just told this bandit here to pass me his machine pistol. I will kill him if he tries anything. Personally, I’d like to be better armed when Paula comes in here. You see, James, I’m on my own. Outnumbered. But I have friends waiting, and I don’t intend to go back to Moscow empty-handed.’

Half of Bond’s mind began to work on the immediate problem – should he try to warn Paula? How could he deal with Kolya Mosolov, here and now? His eyes moved carefully around the gloomy interior of the kota as Niiles – in a state of some agony – gently pushed the automatic weapon towards Kolya with his foot.

Yes, Kolya got to the Sámi camp and has been hiding under the blankets this whole time, waiting for Bond to show up.


‘From that, I presume you’re taking me with you.’ Bond peered through the haze.

‘That was the deal I had with that Fascist pig, von Glöda.’ Kolya’s laugh was genuine enough. ‘He really thought he could get away with running a Nazi operation from inside the Soviet Union.’

‘Well, he has run it. All his terrorist operations have been successful. He’s used Russian weapons, and now he’s getting out.’

Slowly Kolya shook his head. ‘There is no possible way that von Glöda can get out.’

‘He was taking me. By air. May even have left already.’

‘No. I’ve been watching and listening. His beloved little private jet hasn’t left the runway, and won’t even try to get off before dawn. We have a couple of hours left.’

So, it was now only two hours before dawn. At least Bond now had some idea of time. ‘How can you stop him?’ he asked blandly.

"I've already had one villain painstakingly explain the entire plot to me because I asked, so..."


‘It’s already in motion. Von Glöda has a military force on Soviet soil. They will be blasted at dawn. The Red Air Force will turn that bunker into a boiling kettle.’ Kolya’s face changed in the fire glow. ‘Unhappily our base at Blue Hare will also be taken out. An unfortunate error, but it solves all problems.’

Bond thought for a moment. ‘So, you’re going to decimate von Glöda and his whole little army. Breaking your part of the deal, but keeping his?’

‘My dear James – a deal is a deal. Tough, sometimes it doesn’t work out for one of the participants. How could I let you go, my friend? Especially as my department – which you used to know as SMERSH – has tried to catch you off balance for so long. No, my deal with von Glöda has always been slightly one-sided.’

Apr 23, 2014

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 18: The Fencers


There was silence for several seconds, then Mosolov spoke a few words to the groaning Niiles.

‘No need to let good food go to waste,’ Kolya Mosolov said softly. ‘I’ve told him to straighten that pot and stir up the fire. I don’t think he’ll try anything stupid. You should know that I have some of my men here, and they’ll already have taken Paula. So, I think the best thing . . .’ He stopped, in mid-sentence, with a sudden intake of breath.

The smoke thickened for a second, then quickly cleared as Niiles urged the fire into flame. Bond saw that Mosolov’s head was being forced back. A hand grasped his hair, while another fist held a glinting reindeer knife across his throat. The fire leaped into life again, and the evil face of Aslu became plainly visible behind Kolya’s shoulder.

‘Sorry, James.’ Paula was just inside the leather flap entrance to the kota, a heavy automatic pistol in her hand. ‘I didn’t want to tell you, but my boys spotted Kolya digging his way in here a couple of hours ago. You were my bait.’

‘It wouldn’t have mattered if you’d told me.’ Bond sounded acid. ‘I’m quite used to being a tethered goat.’

How much of this book is Bond just getting yanked around by the rest of the cast?


‘Again, sorry.’ Paula came right into the kota. ‘We had other problems as well. Comrade Mosolov brought some playmates. Six of them. Aslu and Niiles dealt with that little group once they saw Kolya safely tucked away in here. That’s why I’m a free woman and not a KGB prisoner . . .’

‘There are plenty more . . .’ Mosolov began, then thought better of it.

‘Do be careful, Kolya,’ Paula said brightly. ‘That knife Aslu’s holding to your throat’s as sharp as a guillotine. He could sever your head with one well-placed stroke.’ She turned to Niiles and spoke a few rapid words.

A grin crossed the big Lapp’s face, the expression appearing sinister in the flickering firelight. Holding his burned hand with great care, he moved over to Mosolov, took back his own machine pistol, removed the automatic and began to search the Russian.

‘They’re like a couple of kids,’ Paula said. ‘I’ve told them to strip him, take him into the woods and tie him to a tree.’

Pray tell, why are the natives "like kids" when told to do violence?


‘Shouldn’t we keep him with us until the last minute?’ Bond suggested. ‘You say he had men with him . . .’

‘We’ve dealt with them . . .’

‘There could be more. He has an airstrike coming in at dawn. Having already experienced Kolya in action, I don’t fancy letting him out of our sight.’

Paula thought for a moment, then relented, giving new orders to the Lapps. Kolya was silent, almost sullen, as they tied his hands and feet, placed a gag around his mouth and pushed him into the corner of the kota.

Paula gave Bond a nod, directing him towards the exit. Outside, she lowered her voice. ‘You’re right, of course, James. More of his men could still be around; it’s best to keep him here. We’ll only be really safe back in Finland. But . . .’

‘But, like me, you want to see what happens to the Ice Palace.’ Bond smiled.

Explosions are cool.


‘Right,’ she admitted. ‘Once that’s over I think we can turn him loose and let his friends find him – unless you want to take his head back to London.’

Bond said taking Kolya Mosolov all the way with them could prove to be an encumbrance. ‘Better to get rid of him just before we leave’, was his final verdict. In the meantime they had work to do – Paula’s message to Helsinki and Bond’s to M.

In the radio kota Bond began to tap his pockets.

‘Are these what you’re looking for?’ Paula came close to him, holding out the gunmetal cigarette case and his gold lighter.

‘You think of everything.’

‘Maybe I’ll get to prove it later on.’ In spite of the presence of the Lapps in the radio kota, Paula Vacker reached up and kissed Bond gently; then again, with some urgency.

Stop making out with people during a mission!


The radio kota contained a powerful short-wave transmitter, with facilities for morse and clear speech. There was also a fast-sending device, allowing a transmission to be taped, and then run through in a fraction of a second, ready for slowing, and decoding, at the other end. These messages often appear as a bleep of static in the earphones of the many listeners who monitor signal traffic.

Bond watched for a few minutes, while Paula organised her own message to Helsinki. There was no doubt in his mind that hers was a thoroughly professional set-up. Paula definitely worked for SUPO – something he should really have known about years ago, considering how far their relationship went back. Already he had asked for her field cryptonym, and was delighted to learn that – for this operation against von Glöda – she was known as Vuobma, the old Lapp word for stockade, or corral, in which reindeer are trapped and herded for breeding.

I'm surprised Bond doesn't get fooled by more secret agents at this rate.


With all his equipment – except for the Heckler & Koch P7 – either gone, or still in the Saab at the Hotel Revontuli, Bond was without any method of ciphering his signal. While Paula worked at the transmitter, one of the two Lapps who had been in the radio kota for most of the time, stood close to her. The other was sent off to keep a watch on the bunker and its airstrip.

Finally, after a few dud tries, Bond composed a suitable clear-language message, which read:


The 007 would raise some eyebrows, but it could not be helped. His instructions to move the prisoner were fairly obvious. Not the best, but if any NSAA listening post picked up the signal, they presumably already knew where M’s prisoner was being held anyway. This message, if intercepted, would only alert them to the fact that he would be moved. At short notice, and without the facilities, it was the best Bond could do.

Bond's going to come back and find that lovely Algerian wine waiting for him in M's office.


When Paula had completed her signal, she took Bond’s piece of paper, added a coding of her own to make certain that it would go on to GCHQ, Cheltenham, via her own Service’s Communications Department, and rattled it off on to tape, before zipping it through the small fast-sending machine.

When all this was done, they held a conference, Bond suggesting how best a continuous watch could be kept on the bunker. The dawn airstrike was uppermost in his mind; after that it would be necessary to get away as quickly as possible, dump Kolya Mosolov, and clear the frontier without undue hazard.

‘Can you find the way back?’ he asked Paula.

‘Blindfold. I’ll give you all the information later, but there’s no problem as far as that’s concerned. Except we’ll have to move from here, then wait to make the crossing as soon as it’s dark enough.’

Through Paula, Bond gave orders for the radio kota to be dismantled and packed away – the four Lapps had their large snow scooters hidden near at hand – and organised periods of rest, with one of the Lapps briefed to rouse them in plenty of time to strike the other kota before dawn.

‘Mosolov’s a liability, whatever,’ he declared. ‘But we’ll have to hang on to him for as long as possible.’

"He's vital for continuing drama!"


Paula shrugged. ‘Leave it to my Lapps and they’ll take care of Kolya,’ she murmured. But Bond did not want the Russian killed except as a last resort; so the arrangements were made, and the orders given.

While the radio kota was being dismantled, they trudged back to the remaining shelter. A blood-chilling howl was carried on the wind through the trees, long and drawn out, followed by another, similar sound.

‘Wolves,’ Paula said. ‘On the Finnish side, our border patrols have had a bumper year: at least a couple of wolves a week for most of them, and three bears since Christmas. It’s been a particularly hard winter and you mustn’t believe all you hear about wolves not being dangerous. During a bad winter, when food’s scarce, they’ll attack anything: man, woman or child.’

Actually, there have been no fatal wolf attacks in Finland since a spate in 1881-1882 when a pair of rogue wolves killed 35 children. This resulted in a mass culling of wolves that nearly drove the species extinct in Finland, and a continuing fear that leads to the culling of dozens of wolves a year despite attacks on humans being virtually unknown.


Niiles, his hand bandaged, had already fed Kolya, whom he’d propped in the corner of the kota. Previously, Bond had cautioned Paula that they should not, under any circumstances, discuss plans in front of him. They ignored the Russian, though there was always one armed Lapp near by making certain he was well-guarded.

Niiles’s reindeer stew proved to be delicious, and they ate with enjoyment – the Lapp nodding and smiling at their pleasure. In the short time spent at Paula’s observation post, Bond had acquired a great admiration for her tough resilient Lapp assistants. As they ate, Paula produced a bottle of vodka, and they drank a toast to final success, knocking the little paper cups together and chanting ‘Kippos’, the Finnish equivalent of ‘Cheers’.

I'm sure nothing will go wrong now! We still have 36 pages!


After the meal, Paula settled down with Bond in one of the larger sleeping bags. Mosolov seemed to have dozed off, and soon the couple, after several tender embraces, also slept. Eventually, they were wakened by Aslu urgently shaking Bond’s shoulder. Paula was already awake and had been told by Aslu that there was some activity at the bunker. ‘And a good half hour to go before dawn,’ she announced.

‘Right.’ Bond then took charge. The kota would be dismantled here and now, after which one of the Lapps would stay – in the cover of the trees – to guard Mosolov, while the rest could gather at the observation point.

Within five minutes, Paula and Bond had, themselves, joined Niiles who lay among rocks and snow on the rise, scanning the view below through a pair of night glasses. Behind them, Paula’s other Lapps went quietly about the business of striking camp, and Bond glimpsed Kolya being hustled away into the trees – Aslu prodding him along with a submachine gun.

Bond was amazed at the sight, even in the gloom of half-light, which now heralded a dawn that would come in twenty minutes or so. From Paula’s observation post the view down to the small clearing among the trees, and the huge rocky area of the bunker’s roof, was unimpeded. It was plain now that the entrance to the Ice Palace itself was built into a rising wall of rock, like a giant stepping stone forming a rough crescent in the centre of a thick forest. The trees had been expertly cleared to allow only minimal open space in front of the main entrances, while other paths were cut – through trees, rock, and ice – as routes around the bunker to the higher, more open, ground above.

To the south, and above the huge spur of rock, the thick forest was broken by carefully prepared clear tracks, through which a wide runway pointed a long grey-white finger, disappearing into the heart of the surrounding forest. There was no sign of an aircraft. Bond presumed the Mystère-Falcon Executive Jet and the two light aeroplanes were tucked away in concrete pens, built into the rock which helped form the roof of the bunker itself.

The floodlights are on down at the base, but no vehicles have left yet. Assuming Kolya was telling the truth and accurate in his timing, the airstrike will hit before they leave. Paula suggests they dig in to deal with how they're stupidly positioning themselves right where they're in danger of getting bombed.


She had hardly said the words before the sound of a jet-whine became audible, a fair distance away – like a wail carried on the wind. Just then the sun glowed blood-red in the east. They looked at each other, and Bond lifted his hands, showing gloved fingers crossed for good luck. Shifting slightly, all three watchers tried to dig themselves deeper into the snow. Bond shivered. He had not realised how cold he was – the elements forgotten as he concentrated on the bunker far below, and about a kilometre away. Then, even that brief moment of discomfort was gone as a great double crump seemed to blast the air around them. Far off to the north-east there was a series of brilliant orange flashes, and a plume of smoke rose from the close-knit trees.

‘Blue Hare,’ Paula said loudly, as though she had to shout against the noise. ‘They’ve . . .’ Her next words were truly drowned. The supersonic shockwaves from the aircraft travelled ahead of the machines. A consuming, growling roar surrounded Paula, Bond and Niiles – a terrifying harbinger of what was to follow, in the new, clear dawn.

The first pair of strike aircraft came in level with the trees, crossing to the hiding trio’s right, neither firing nor dropping anything. They streaked through the cold air, little eddies of steam surrounding the wings, as the sub-zero temperatures produced contrails even at this low level. They looked like silver darts, precision-built arrows, with large box-like air intakes, high tails, and wings folded back into a delta configuration, joining the elevators to make one long, slim, lifting surface. As if controlled by one man, the two aircraft tipped noses towards the sky and screamed upwards in a terrifyingly fast climb until they were only tiny silver dots, banking away to the north.

If these planes were less precise, they'd be loving dead.


‘Fencers,’ Bond breathed.

‘What? Fencers?’ Paula scowled.

‘Fencers. It’s the NATO code name for them.’ Bond’s eyes moved constantly, watching the sky for the next wave which, he knew, would bring in the first attack. ‘They’re Su-19s. Very dangerous. Ground attack fighter-bombers. They pack a nasty punch, Paula.’ In the back of his head Bond could almost hear the details of the Fencer clicking through, like a computer read-out. Power: two afterburning turbofans, or jets, of the 9,525 kg thrust class. Speed: Mach 1.25 at sea level; Mach 2.5 at altitude. Service ceiling: 60,000 feet; initial climb 40,000 feet per minute. Armament: one 23 mm GSh-23 twin-barrel cannon fitted on lower centreline, and a minimum of six pylons for a variety of air-to-air, and air-to-ground, guided, and unguided, missiles. Combat radius: 500 miles with full weapons. That all added up to a most efficient, and lethal, piece of warplane. Not even the most optimistic of NATO airmen could deny it.

You'll notice I'm using a drawing. That's because the Su-19 Fencer never existed!

The Su-19, under the prototype designation T-58PS, was a proposal for an improved version of the Su-15TM Flagon interceptor. It would have new ogival wings and new engines for improved range, improved avionics, and more underwing pylons for missiles or drop tanks. The new plane never ended up being built.

So how did everyone get confused? US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer made a statement in 1974 claiming that a new plane was under construction by the Soviets, which their experts named the Su-19 and gave the NATO reporting name "Fencer." It turned out they had actually gotten incomplete information on the Su-24 project, which had variable-sweep wings inspired by the F-111. Some inaccurate drawings were put out, which led to Gardner's mistaken identification here. Once it was clarified what the Su-24 was, the name "Fencer" was given to it.

The Su-24M Fencer-D remains in Russian service, as well as countries like Libya and Ukraine, and will eventually be replaced in Russia by the Su-34 Fullback once they actually have money to spend. The real stats for the Fencer are less impressive than what Bond gives.


Having spotted their target, the two leaders would call up the rest of their squadron – or even wing – and pass on the coordinates and instructions, probably tapping them out on a small keyboard. Already the pilots would have been briefed on the order of attack, and the fast reconnaissance assured it would come in a series of angled dives, around forty-five degrees – maybe from different directions, the pairs of aircraft vectored, and controlled, to come in with split-second timing, one after the other. Bond thought of the Soviet pilots – top men to be flying the Fencers – concentrating on their electronics, speed, height, timing, and angle of dive; priming their weapons; glancing constantly at the sky, sweating under their G-suits and helmets.

The first approach growl came from their left, followed, almost immediately, by a second from what seemed to be directly above. ‘Here we go!’ Bond saw Paula’s head turn as he looked up, and the twin streaks came tearing out of the now clear bluish sky to their left. He had been right. The Fencers came in pairs and with noses down in a classic ground-attack dive. Quite clearly they saw the first missiles flash away from the wings – long white flames shooting back, then the orange trails as the deadly darts ripped through the air. Two from each aircraft, all four catching the front of the bunker, boring in and exploding with wide orange blossoms of fire reaching their eyes before the heavy zoom and thud hit their ears.

As the first two aircraft whipped to the left, flick-turning away, so the second pair came down from Bond’s and Paula’s right. Identical plumes of flames shot out, then fire bloomed from within the target area. The missiles were digging well into the rock, steel and concrete before exploding. Bond watched, fascinated, trying to identify the weaponry. As the third pair came in, from the far right, he was able to follow the missiles through their complete trajectory – AS-7s, he thought, Kerries to NATO, and the Kerry came in several specifications, both guided and unguided. They also had changeable warheads – straight HE, or armour- and rock-penetrating delayed charges.

The official Russian name for those missiles are the Kh-23 and Kh-66 Grom. The Kh-66 is based on the older K-8 missile (NATO reporting name AA-3 Anab) infrared air-to-air missile, modified with a beam riding seeker and larger warhead to turn it into a ground attack missile. Because this required the plane to keep its nose pointed at the target until the missile hit and for the pilot to have clear sight of the target, the Kh-23 project was soon finished to both improve its propellant and switch to a line-of-sight radio guidance system, allowing the plane to avoid this issue. The missiles aren't unguided unless they lose guidance from the plane.


Below, after just three attacks – using twelve Kerry missiles – the Ice Palace looked ready to be broken in two. The thunder of the explosions still echoed, and through the inevitable pall of smoke, they could see the terrible crimson glow of fire begin to sweep out of the open main doors, up from the arms stores and vehicle parks.

Then a fourth and fifth wave of Fencers hurtled out of the cold sky, their rockets seeming to hang in the air for a moment as the aircraft turned away and lifted in a whining climb, before shooting forward – straight as ruled lines of fire until they disappeared into the smoke and flame, to explode, a few seconds later, with twin roars which seemed to grow louder with each rocket.

From their grandstand view, the Lapp, Paula, and Bond could not draw their eyes from this sight of deliberate destruction. The sky now seemed full of aircraft – one pair following another, with the accuracy of some crack air display team. Their ears were pounded with supersonic shock waves and their eyes with lightning strikes as the rockets found their marks again and again.

The bunker became almost invisible, its presence marked by the tower of black smoke and the constant crimson fists punching within the dark cloud. The attack, which could have taken only seven or eight minutes, seemed to go on for hours. Finally a pair of Fencers came in, from the left, at an unusually low angle of attack. The aircraft had exhausted their missiles and began to rake the smoke and flame with cannon fire.

The gun listed on the "Su-19" is the same one as the Su-15: a GSh-23 twin-barreled 23mm autocannon. It uses the recoil of each barrel firing to cycle the other, allowing it to operate without an electrical power source (unlike the M61 Vulcan and similar guns). It's believed to fire between 3400 and 3600 RPM, a bit more than half that of the Vulcan.


Both aircraft pulled up short, their track taking them low and directly through the rising smoke. Just as they disappeared into the black cloud there was a great rumble, followed by an almost volcanic roar. At first, Bond thought the Fencers had touched wings and collided over the target; then the black smoke turned into a huge fireball, spreading outwards, growing in size, first orange, turning to white and, last, to a bloody crimson. The ground shook, and they could feel the snow and earth moving under them, as though an earthquake had, against all the laws of nature, suddenly been activated.

Heat scorched their faces as the fireball rose past them. Tongues of flame reached out for them or wound themselves around the trees. Then the updraught came like a twisting tornado, the whole engulfed by a colossal noise as the sound of the explosion hit them. Bond’s hand shot out, banging Paula’s head into the snow as he buried his face, holding his breath.

The heat receded at last. The two aircraft had gone. Disappeared. Above, they could see other planes gaining height and circling. It was when Bond looked down that the picture became clear.

Where the bunker had been there was now only a huge crater, surrounded by burning or bent trees. Fires spouted from deep down in the ground, and you could see the uncanny sight of odd pieces of masonry, steps and steel girders hanging free above a maze of open walls and broken passages. The wreckage looked like a bombed building that had been dropped into a chasm.

The explosions and fires, caused by the constant penetration of the Kerry missiles, had, eventually, detonated all the loaded ammunition, bombs, gasoline and other war matériel in one comprehensive explosion. The result was the total destruction of von Glöda’s Ice Palace.

Welp, mission's over!


Smoke billowed up and then drifted away; there was the occasional spurt of flame, mixed with fires already burning well. Apart from the odd crackling noise, though, there was no other sound. Only the terrible smell of devastation wafted up towards their perch, above what had once been a deep and seemingly impregnable fortress.

‘Kristos,’ breathed Paula. ‘Whatever else happens to Kolya, he’s had his vengeance.’ It was only when she spoke that they realised their own sense of hearing had returned.

Still slightly dazed by what they had witnessed, they made their way back to the site of Paula’s encampment, and Bond headed towards the point where Aslu was guarding Mosolov within the woods.

He spotted it before anyone else, reacting sharply with a quick order to the Lapps to fan out and get down. Dropping to the ground himself, he pushed Paula with him.

‘You stay here.’ Bond spoke quietly, all his senses now alert, and the P7 heavy in his hand. ‘Tell your people to cover me if anything happens.’ Paula nodded, her face pale even against the snow, as though she also knew something very terrible had happened.

Bond ran forward through the trees, crouching and ready for anything. The evil-faced Aslu appeared even more bizarre in death. By the marks in the snow, Bond reckoned that four of them had taken him, using knives for silence. The Lapp’s throat was slit, but there were other wounds, signifying this was only the final act in a struggle. Aslu had fought, even though taken by surprise.

I see Bond's plan of keeping Kolya alive turned out very well for them!


Of Kolya Mosolov there was no sign, and even the most dim-witted person would quickly realise this was not the most healthy place to linger. As he made his way back to Paula, Bond wondered if the scooters had been left intact, and whether Kolya would launch his counter-attack straight away.

Later Paula was to tell Bond that Aslu had worked with her for many years, and had been one of her most loyal operators on the Russian side of the border. But now she passed the news to the others without even a shake in her voice. Only by looking closely could you see how badly Aslu’s death had hit her.

Bond issued the orders – quiet, fast, and clear. One of the Lapps was to check out the snow scooters. If they were still hidden and working, Bond decided the party would have to go for a fast getaway. The main, and obvious, fear was that the men who had rescued Kolya were still near by, and ready to pounce.

‘Make sure your boys are prepared to fight now – and I mean fight their way out if necessary,’ he told Paula.

Niiles went forward, returning in a matter of minutes with the news that the scooters were untouched, with no tracks to indicate they had been found.

Bond understood now why the Lapps had been such a formidable enemy against the might of the Russian army in 1939. They moved through the trees with speed and cunning, leapfrogging, covering each other as they went and becoming at times almost invisible even to Bond.

In real life, the Sámi were devastated by World War II. Because they were divided between Scandinavia and Russia, they were forced to fight for both sides depending on where they happened to live. Norwegian Sámi fought for the local resistance against Nazi occupation, but many were enslaved (and the women raped, obviously) and their labor was used to supply Finland during the Continuation War. Vidkun Quisling, the infamous Norwegian Defense Minister who collaborated with the Nazis, wanted to take advantage of the invasion to commit genocide against them. The Germans even placed Sámi who were evacuated from Soviet territory in concentration camps, causing a rift with the Finnish government.


Paula stayed close, for she was to lead the party out. As Bond reached the scooters with her, the three Lapps were just starting the engines. The roar of four scooters seemed to shake the trees, and Bond expected bullets to rain in on them at any moment.

Paula was in the saddle of the big Yamaha – with Bond behind her – in a matter of seconds, and they were away, gathering speed, and zig-zagging through the trees, heading south. No trouble so far.

The ride took the best part of two hours, and Bond – even in the cold and uncomfortable position behind Paula – was aware of the three Lapps circling them, spreading out, moving forward, covering against ambush all the way. There was a moment, as they slowed through some particularly rough ground, when Bond imagined he could hear the sound of other engines – other scooters. Of one thing he was certain, Kolya Mosolov would not let them get away scot-free to Finland. He had to be following, near by, or already waiting for them, calculating at which point Paula intended to make the last long dash to freedom. There was, Bond presumed, even the remote possibility that Kolya would call up another air strike. much evidence was left behind by them bombing a hidden base that covers two countries?


Finally they stopped, taking up station among trees above the great open valley which separates Russia from Finland, running like a dry artificial river from north to south.

Bond decided they should immediately take up defensive positions. He stayed, with Paula, beside the big Yamaha while the three Lapps disappeared further into the trees, forming a triangle around Paula and Bond. There they would wait until it was dark enough to make the run back into Finland.

‘You’re confident about making it?’ Bond asked Paula, smiling, testing her own nerve and will. ‘I mean, I’d rather not end up by going over a mine.’

Paula was silent for a few seconds. ‘If you want to walk it by yourself . . .’ she began, with an edge to her voice.

‘I’ve every confidence in you, Paula.’ Bond leaned over and kissed her. She was trembling, but not from the cold, and James Bond knew well enough how she felt. If Kolya was going to act while they were still on the Russian side, it would be soon.

Slowly the light began to go, and Bond felt the tension starting to build within him. Niiles had settled himself into a high point among the branches of a pine tree. Bond could not see him – indeed had not even spotted him making the ascent – but knew only because the Lapp had told Paula exactly where he was going. Try as he would, straining his eyes, Bond could not see the man, and the fast-fading light made it constantly more difficult. Suddenly, the ‘blue moment’ was on them – that blue-green haze reflected off the snow, changing perspective.

‘Ready?’ Bond turned to Paula and saw her nod.

In the second his eyes left the pine in which he knew Niiles was hidden, they heard the first shot. It came directly from the pine tree, so the Lapp had got in before Kolya’s men. The sound still echoed in the air when the next shots followed. They seemed to be coming from a semi-circle to the front, within the trees: single rounds followed by the lethal rip of machine-gun fire.

Is Kolya just superhuman? He's got everything covered perfectly!


It was impossible to gauge the enemy strength, or even if they were making progress. All Bond knew was that a fire fight of some vigour appeared to be developing to their front.

Though the ‘blue moment’ had not entirely dropped them into darkness, there was no point in waiting. Paula had already said that the Lapps were prepared to hold off anything Kolya sent in, while they tried to make their escape. Now was the time to put the promise to the test.

‘Go,’ Bond shouted at Paula.

Like the professional she was, Paula did not hesitate. The Yamaha’s engine fired, and Bond was up behind Paula as she slewed the machine diagonally into the open, and down the bare icy slope towards the valley, naked of trees, that would lead to safety.

The gunfire was louder, and the last thing Bond saw, through a fine spray of snow, was a figure falling, toppling from the branches of the pine. It was not the right moment to tell Paula that Niiles had joined his friend Aslu.

"When's Niiles coming up?"

"About that..."


By the time they had covered half a kilometre, darkness surrounded them, and the noise of firing still came from behind. The last two Lapps were putting up a strong fight, but Bond knew it would only be a matter of time, and a great deal depended on Kolya Mosolov’s strength. Would he try to follow on high-powered scooters? Or, as a tactician, would the Russian prefer to spray the valley with fire?

The answer came as they neared the valley floor, with three or four kilometres of hard riding to go before they reached the far slope and the safety of the trees. Above the engine noise Bond detected a sound high above them. Then the terrain was lit by a parachute flare, throwing an eerie, dazzling light across the packed snow and ice.

‘Is it safe to zig-zag?’ he yelled in Paula’s ear, thinking of the minefields.

She turned her head back, shouting, ‘We’ll soon find out,’ hauling on the handlebars so that they slewed violently sideways, just as Bond heard the ominous crack of bullets breaking the air to their left. Again Paula heaved the handlebars, working with a strength drawn from those hidden reserves people find in desperate moments. The scooter skidded and swerved, sometimes zig-zagging, then moving broadside on, then straight, with throttle wide open.

This would be a great time to find out you're in the minefield!


The first flare was dying, but the bullets still cracked around them, and twice Bond watched the long, almost lazy lines of tracer falling in front of them – reds and greens – first left, and then to their right.

They both automatically crouched low on the scooter, and Bond felt an odd sense of mingled anger and frustration. It took him a moment to detect the cause, then he realised his instincts had been to stay on the Russian side of the ridge and fight Kolya Mosolov instead of running. His head buzzed with the old jingle, ‘He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day’. But it was not natural to Bond’s character to run from a fight. Deep inside him, though, he was aware that it was necessary. Both Paula and he had a job to complete – to return safely – and this was their only chance.

That's because you're an idiot, Bond.


The tracer still kept coming, even though the flare had gone out. Then another small explosion heralded a second flare, and this time the guns ceased firing. Instead came the terrifying noise of a fast-approaching express train: at least that was what it sounded like until the mortar bomb landed, well behind and to their left. It made a solid, ear-ringing crump, followed by a second and third: all behind them.

Paula was taking the Yamaha to its limit, still using avoiding action, but relying on the straight runs for speed. There were moments, as Bond clung to her, when he thought they would leave the ground completely.

The screech of mortar bombs came again; this time to their right and ahead – three violent orange flashes played havoc with the eyesight in the dark, the dazzling after-flash lingering on the retina.

The thing that worried Bond most, was the placing of the mortar bombs. First they had fallen behind; now they were in front. It meant only one thing: that Kolya’s men were bracketing their target. Chances were that the next bombs would fall at least level with them, unless Paula could outrun the range: she was certainly doing her best: throttle wide open, the Yamaha skimming ice and snow, flat out.

Through the white gloom, the far rise – into the trees and Finland – was already becoming visible.

There was one more nasty moment as they heard the distant thump, and the hiss of falling bombs for the last time. But Paula’s burst of speed had given them the lead. There were half a dozen explosions this time, but all were behind, and well off line. Unless the scooter hit a mine – and there had already been plenty of opportunity to do that – they would make it.

While this overly long chase continues, we move on to the ruins of the Ice Palace.


Since the horrors of that morning’s attack, the men had worked frantically in the only tiny fragment of the bunker that had remained, miraculously, intact – one steel and concrete pen housing a small, grey Cessna 150 Commuter, with ski attachments on its tricycle undercarriage. As the light failed, so they finally managed to swing the buckled doors free.

The Cessna 150 is the fifth most produced aircraft in the world, at 23,839. It's a far more low-key plane to be seen taking off from the middle of nowhere than a business jet.


The aircraft seemed undamaged, though the runway ahead had been gutted and strewn with débris. The taller of the men gave a few friendly instructions to his companion, who had worked so hard. Willingly, the man trudged out on to the runway, shifting what he could, clearing a few hundred yards of makeshift pathway in front of the Cessna.

The plane’s engine started with a sporadic cough, then settled down to warm into its comfortable hum.

The other figure returned, climbed in beside the taller man, and the little aircraft gingerly moved forward, as though its pilot were testing the strength of the runway beneath him. Then the pilot turned to his companion, giving him the thumbs-up sign, and pushed down the flap control to give maximum lift. A second later, he gently opened the throttle. The engine rose to maximum revolutions, and the Cessna bumped forward, gathering speed, the pilot craning, slewing the aircraft from side to side to avoid the worst sections of the runway. With a bump, the Cessna hit a short, straight patch of ice, seemed to snatch at an extra few kph of ground speed, and began to skim the rough surface.

Trees loomed ahead of them, growing taller by the second. The pilot felt that moment of response from his craft as the weight transferred safely to the wings. Gently he eased back on the yoke. The Cessna’s nose came up. She seemed to hesitate for a second, then thrust forward, balanced only a short distance from the ground but gaining airspeed with every second. The pilot eased back a little more, his right hand pushing the throttle fully open, then winding back on the trim to give the aircraft a shade more weight in the tail. The propeller grabbed at the sky. The nose fell slightly, then the propeller grabbed again, clawed at the air and sent it barrelling back over the flying surfaces until the small plane was stable, nose up and climbing. They cleared the top of the fir trees by a matter of inches.

Count Konrad von Glöda smiled, set a course, and headed the Cessna towards his next goal. This day might have been a defeat, even a crushing one, but he was not through yet. There were men, legions of men, waiting to come under his command. But first, there was one score to be settled. Gratefully, he nodded at the craggy face of Hans Buchtman, whom Bond had known as ‘Bad’ Brad Tirpitz.

Of course he just hid until they stopped blowing him up.


Paula and Bond reached the Hotel Revontuli at two o’clock in the morning, and Bond went straight to the Saab to send a carefully worded cipher back to M. When he got to Reception there was a note waiting for him. It read:

We are in suite No. 5, my darling James. Can we sleep in please, and not leave for Helsinki until the afternoon? All love, Paula.

P.S. I’m not really all that tired at the moment, and have ordered champagne and some of this hotel’s rather excellent smoked salmon.

With a certain amount of satisfaction, Bond remembered Paula’s hidden delights and particular expertise. Spryly he walked to the lift.

Apr 23, 2014

This article sounds way too much like the events of a Gardner book.


Retired to a tiny island in an archipelago between Finland and Sweden, Leo Gastgivar awoke early one morning to visit the outhouse in his bathrobe, only to notice two black speedboats packed with Finnish commandos in camouflage fatigues waiting in the bay near his front door.

After an exchange of awkward greetings, Mr. Gastgivar went inside, collected a pair of binoculars and watched aghast as the commandos raced off toward the island of his nearest neighbor, a mysterious Russian businessman he had never met or even seen.

“I thought: ‘Wow! That is certainly unusual,’” Mr. Gastgivar recalled of the encounter. “Nobody ever visits that place.”

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 19: Loose Ends


They talked almost the whole way back to Helsinki in the Saab.

‘There are a lot of things I still need to know,’ Bond, now fresh, showered and changed into clean clothing, had begun soon after they left Salla.

"For starters, what the gently caress?"


‘Such as?’ Paula was in one of those cat-who’s-licked-the-cream moods. Dressed in furs, looking more like a woman than what she had called ‘a bundle of thermal underwear’, she shook out her lovely blonde hair and snuggled her head against Bond’s shoulder.

‘When did your Service – SUPO – first suspect Aarne Tudeer, or Count von Glöda, as he likes to call himself?’

She smiled, looking very pleased with herself. ‘That was my doing. You know, James, I’ve never worked out why you didn’t cotton on to me years ago. I know my cover was good, but you didn’t even suspect?’

‘I was foolish enough to accept you at face value,’ Bond said, taking a deep breath. ‘I did have you checked out once. Nothing came back. It’s easy to say it now, but there were times when I wondered how we managed to bump into each other so often in far away places.’


You moron


‘And you haven’t answered my question,’ Bond persisted.

‘Well, we knew he was up to something. I mean, all that business about me being a schoolfriend of Anni Tudeer is absolutely true. Her mother did bring her back home, and I did meet her. But when I heard, officially, long after SUPO had recruited me, that Anni had joined Mossad I just couldn’t believe it.’


For a second Bond’s mind drifted away from the road. Any mention of Anni Tudeer was bound to bring back unpleasant memories.

Of managing two missions in a row where he accidentally has sex with the villain.


‘Why didn’t I believe she was a genuine Mossad agent?’ Paula did not hesitate. ‘I knew her too well. She was the apple of Aarne Tudeer’s eye. She also loved him dearly. I knew only as a woman can know. Partly it was some of the things she said; partly intuition. Everyone knew about her father – of course they did – there was never any secret. Anni’s secret was that she had been brainwashed by him. I think that, even as a child, he had mapped out what part she would play. Almost certainly he was in constant touch with her, advising and instructing her. He was the one person who could teach Anni how to penetrate Mossad.’

‘Which she did very well.’ Bond glanced at the pretty face next to him. ‘Why did you mention her name to me? That first time – when I questioned you, following the knife fight at your place?’

She sighed. ‘Why do you think, James? I was in a very difficult situation. It was the only way I could pass on some kind of clue.’

And he did so well in figuring it out!


‘All right. Now, tell me the whole story.’

Paula Vacker had been in on the entire NSAA affair from the start – even before the first incident at Tripoli. SUPO, through informers and observation, knew that Tudeer had returned to Finland, taken the name of von Glöda, and appeared to be up to something just over the border, in Russia. ‘After every possible intelligence agency had been called in on the National Socialist Action Army, I suggested it could be the work of Tudeer,’ she told him. ‘For my pains, my masters ordered that I infiltrate. So I put myself in the right places and said the right things. It got back, I was a good healthy Aryan Nazi.’ Eventually, von Glöda had made contact. ‘I was finally appointed to his staff as resident in Helsinki. In other words, I was doubling with the full knowledge of my superiors.’

‘Who refrained from passing information to my Service?’ There were many things that still puzzled Bond.

‘No. SUPO was, in fact, preparing a dossier. Then the storm broke at the Ice Palace – over Blue Hare – and there was no need to make any reports. Kolya’s superiors set up Icebreaker and I was supposed to be there for your protection. I gather your Service was put in the picture – late on – after you’d left for the Ice Palace.’

Bond pondered on this for a few kilometres. Eventually he said, ‘I find it hard to swallow – the whole business about Icebreaker and the deal with Kolya.’

‘It would be difficult to believe unless you were actually there, unless you really got to know von Glöda’s deviousness, and Kolya Mosolov’s cunning mind.’ She gave her delightful laugh. ‘They were both egomaniacs, and power mad – though each in his own way, you understand. I did the journey from Helsinki to the Arctic and across to the bunker a dozen times, you know. I was also there, and trusted, when the balloon went up.’

‘What? Blue Hare?’

‘Yes. That was all absolutely genuine. You have to take your hat off to von Glöda. He had nerve. Incredible nerve. Mind you, I think the Soviets were keeping more of an eye on him than he imagined.’

I love it. "I promise, this plot would make total sense if you were there!"


‘I wonder.’ Bond took an icy bend a little fast, swore, left-footed the brake, came out of the skid with power, and had the car under control all in a matter of seconds. ‘You know a British General has said that the Russians should be awarded the wooden spoon for ineptitude? They can do the most stupid things. Tell me what happened with Blue Hare.’

You're one to talk!


‘I was completely accepted within the, so-called, Führer’s inner circle. He seldom let us forget how clever he was in bribing those stupid NCOs at Blue Hare. He really did pay them a pittance for the equipment; and they didn’t seem to think about being caught.’

‘But they were.’

‘Indeed they were. I was there when it all happened. The fat little Warrant Officer came dashing up to the bunker. Like the rest of them, he was really only a peasant in uniform. Stank to high heaven, but von Glöda was terrific with him. I have to admit the man could be exceptionally cool in moments of crisis. But of course he believed in his destiny as the new Führer. Nothing could go wrong, and every man had his price. I heard him tell the Blue Hare CO to get the army people to call in the GRU. He knew they would pass it on to the KGB. Oddly, it worked. Quicker than a wink, Kolya Mosolov was there.’

‘And asked for my head on a charger.’

Paula gave a secretive smile. ‘It wasn’t quite like that. Kolya had no intention of ever letting von Glöda get away with it. He simply played along, gave him some rope. You know the Russians; Kolya’s one chink was that he wanted to bury the problem of Blue Hare. On the other hand, I think von Glöda saw himself as the Devil tempting Christ. He actually offered Kolya his heart’s desire.’

‘And Kolya said: J. Bond, Esquire?’

‘Von Glöda’s mad dream was of power to control the world. Kolya did not think that big. All he wanted was to bury Blue Hare – which meant doing away with von Glöda’s set-up. He could have dealt with it all in a couple of days, on his own. But von Glöda, being the kind of man he was, set his own delusions of grandeur to work. In turn they fired Kolya’s imagination.’

Bond nodded. ‘Kolya, what do you want in all the world? Kolya thinks: You swept out of the way, Comrade von Glöda; and the Blue Hare business hushed up. Fame and promotion for me. Then, aloud, he says Bond – James Bond.’

‘That’s it. The old SMERSH – Department V as they now are – wanted you. So he asked for you.’ She began to laugh. ‘Then von Glöda had the gall to do a deal which meant that Kolya had to work very hard. After all, it was through Kolya that the CIA, Mossad and your Service were brought in; it was through Kolya that you, James, were asked for personally; it was Kolya who set everything up.’

So the crazed wannabe fuhrer wasn't even the main villain! It was some random SMERSH dude!


‘Under the instructions of von Glöda? It somehow doesn’t ring true.’

‘No. No, James, it doesn’t, until you take into account the personalities involved, and their motivations. I told you, Kolya had no intention of letting von Glöda get away with it. But his own private thirst for power and advancement allowed him to use the whole of von Glöda’s organisation for the one purpose of luring you into Russia. It took a lot of doing – the specially printed maps, the replacement of Tirpitz . . .’

‘Getting Rivke appointed to the team?’ Bond suggested.

‘Von Glöda suggested that Kolya should ask for her, just as he suggested Tirpitz from the Americans. Kolya, of course, wanted you – he spent hours using von Glöda’s telephone, talking to Moscow Centre. They were sticky about it to begin with, but Kolya concocted some kind of tale. His superiors agreed, and put in their formal requests to America, Israel and Britain. Everyone was furious when you couldn’t be brought in straight away. The fellow Buchtman arrived first. He was some contact of von Glöda’s, and they sent him off to meet the real Tirpitz and dispose of him. Then Rivke arrived in Finland. That was very worrying. I had to keep clear most of the time. Von Glöda appointed me as liaison officer for Kolya, which was handy, and by this time Moscow Centre had given Kolya a free hand. They thought he was simply clearing up some nest of dissidents on the Finnish border and wiping the slate clean of Blue Hare, using the Americans, British and Israelis as fall guys if anything went wrong. I suppose they imagined that the NSAA was only a small cell of fanatics.’

You could have just made the plot work first instead of dedicating an entire chapter to an infodump.


She paused, took one of Bond’s cigarettes, then continued. ‘For me, Rivke was the most difficult part. I did not dare see her, and Kolya wanted messages passed to her in Helsinki. I had to do it through a third party. Then everyone was really waiting for a chance to have you brought out. Rivke came into play, when von Glöda hatched his little scheme, as a standby . . .’

‘Which particular scheme?’

She sighed. ‘The one that made me very jealous. That Rivke should worm her way into your heart, then disappear in case von Glöda needed to use her to trap you. The business on the ski slope took one hell of a lot of organisation – and not a little nerve on Anni’s part. But, then, she was always a good gymnast . . . As you certainly discovered,’ she added pointedly.

Bond grunted. ‘You think von Glöda had any idea that he wasn’t going to be allowed to get away with it?’

‘Oh, he suspected Kolya enough. He didn’t trust him. That was why I liaised with the Russians. Von Glöda had to know everything. Then, of course, we got to the point where our noble Führer needed to know about the man your people captured in England. You were already under sentence of death. So was Kolya. Von Glöda’s plan was to get all his people out to Norway.’

‘Norway? That was where his new Command Post had been built?’

‘So my chiefs tell me. But they also knew of another hiding place he had in Finland. I should imagine that was where everyone was going when Kolya’s airstrike was called in.’

They travelled in silence for a long way, Bond going over the facts in his mind. ‘Well,’ he said finally, ‘my trouble is that von Glöda’s the first real enemy against whom I’ve had to pit my wits at long range. Most of my assignments allow me to get close; to know the man I’m dealing with. Von Glöda never let me really come near him.’

Oh yes, you really pit your wits against him. You walked into a trap on purpose, got captured and tortured, and got fooled into revealing everything before someone else saved you and told you to quit it.


‘It was his strength. He didn’t let anyone gain his complete confidence – even that woman he took around with him. I think Anni – Rivke – was the only one who really knew him.’

‘And you didn’t?’ Bond’s voice was laced with suspicion.

‘What do you mean?’ Paula’s tone turned cold, as though offended.

‘I mean there are times I’m not completely certain of you, Paula.’

Paula gave a sharp intake of breath. ‘After all I’ve done?’

‘Even after all you’ve done. For instance, what about the pair of thugs at your place? The knife merchants?’

She nodded, quietly. ‘I wondered when you’d get back to them.’ She edged away, turning her body towards him. ‘You think I set you up?’

‘It crossed my mind.’

"It hasn't fit with the reveals at all."


Paula bit her lip. ‘No, dear James.’ She sighed. ‘No, I didn’t set you up. I let you down. How can I explain it? As I said, neither von Glöda nor Kolya were playing it straight. Everyone was in a no-win situation, as they say. I worked under SUPO’s instructions, and also von Glöda’s orders. The situation became impossible once I was put in charge of liaison with Kolya. He was always in and out of Helsinki. You turned up out of the blue, and my chiefs had to be told. I let you down, James. I shouldn’t have said anything.’

‘What you’re trying to say is SUPO ordered you to inform Kolya? Right?’

She nodded. ‘He saw a way to get you in Helsinki, then whip you up to the Arctic and into Russia all on his own. Sorry.’

I somehow know less.


‘And what about the snow ploughs?’

‘What snow ploughs?’ Her mood changed. A few moments before, Paula had been on the defensive, then contrite. Now she was plain surprised. Bond told her about the trouble on the way from Helsinki to Salla.

She thought for a minute. ‘My guess would be Kolya again. I know he had the airport and hotels watched by his own people – in Helsinki, I mean. They would know where you were heading. I think Kolya would have gone to a lot of trouble to tuck you under his arm and get you into Russia without using any of von Glöda’s formulas.’

By the end of the journey Bond was virtually convinced by Paula’s explanations. As he said, there had never been time for him to get really close to the autocratic, iron-haired von Glöda; and he understood from past experience the strange power clash between two determined men, like von Glöda and Kolya.

How did this book start out better than the last two and end up making less sense?


‘Your place or mine?’ Bond asked as they reached the outskirts of Helsinki. He was almost satisfied with Paula’s answers, true, but a niggling doubt remained in a corner of his mind, for nothing in Operation Icebreaker had been what it seemed. Time now to play his trump card.

‘We can’t go to my place.’ Paula gave a small cough. ‘It’s in a hell of a mess and roughed up – it got burgled, James, for real. I didn’t even have time to report it to the police.’

Bond pulled the car over to the side of the road and stopped. ‘I know.’ He reached across to the glove compartment, taking out von Glöda’s Knight’s Cross and the Campaign Shield and dropping them on Paula’s lap. ‘I found these on your dressing table when I called there and discovered the place wrecked, on my way to the party in the Arctic.’

For a second, Paula was angry. ‘Then why the hell didn’t you use them? You could’ve shown them to Anni.’

Bond patted her hand. ‘I did. She identified them. Which made me concerned, also very suspicious. Of you. Where did you get them?’

‘From von Glöda, of course. He wanted them cleaned up. The man was obsessively proud of them, just as he was obsessive about his destiny.’ She made a disgusted noise in the back of her throat. ‘Oh hell, I might have known that bitch would turn them on to me.’

So he....gave them to Paula to just stuff in a drawer?


Bond took the medals and threw them into the glove compartment. ‘Okay,’ he said, relieved. ‘You pass. Let’s give ourselves a treat. We’ll take the honeymoon suite at the Inter-Continental. How about that?’

How does that pass?


‘How about that?’ She squeezed his hand, running a finger across the palm.

They had no difficulty checking in, and the Inter-Continental’s twenty-four hour room service provided food and drink with the minimum delay. The drive, the explanations, and their long relationship together seemed to have removed all the barriers.

‘I’m going to shower,’ Paula announced. ‘Then we can enjoy ourselves to our hearts’ content. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s no need for either of our Services to hear we’re back in Helsinki for at least another twenty-four hours.’

‘You don’t think we should call in? We can always say we’re still on the
road,’ Bond suggested.

Paula thought it over. ‘Oh, maybe I’ll dial my answering service later. If my controller has anything urgent he leaves a number for me. What about you?’

‘Have your shower, then I’ll follow you. I don’t honestly think M would appreciate anything from me until the morning.’

"There's clearly nothing left to take care of!"


She gave a dazzling smile and headed for the bathroom, lugging her one small overnight case.

Jan 21, 2007

The content is much more standard issue than the Great Ice-cream Hypnotism Caper, like any old airport thriller your dad would have read, but this plot is next-level convoluted.

When Bond was working with not one but three enemy agents, I don't understand why they couldn't just take him out instead of putting on a bunch of murder mystery dinner theatre for him. I'm sure it's explained somewhere in there and my brain just turned off.

Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.

chitoryu12 posted:

Chapter 19: Loose Ends

How did this book start out better than the last two and end up making less sense?

Agreed. This is just collapsing around basic plot reality now. Awful, just awful. It’s like reading a spy thriller written by an AI, where everyone just starts being triple crossing jezebels

Lord Zedd-Repulsa
Jul 21, 2007

Devour a good book.

This didn't even have anything silly like mind control ice cream to make it a fun sort of bad. Here's hoping the next is more interesting in any way.

Oct 9, 2012

RIP Yaphet Kotto. I hope he flew up into the air and exploded.

Apr 23, 2014

May flights of compressed gas sing thee to thy rest.

Apr 23, 2014

Chapter 20: Destiny


James Bond dreamed. It was a dream he often experienced: sun, and a beach, which he recognised only too well as the seafront at Royale-les- Eaux. It was the five-mile promenade as it used to be, of course, not the garish package-tour resort it had since become. In Bond’s dream, life and time stood still, and this was the place he remembered from both childhood and his younger years. A band played. The tricolour beds of salvia, alyssum and lobelia bloomed in a riot of colour. And it was warm, and he was happy.

The dream often came when he was happy; and that night had certainly brought happiness. Together Bond and Paula had escaped from the clutches of Kolya Mosolov, made their way to Helsinki, and there – well, things had gone even better than they themselves expected.

Paula returned from the bathroom dressed only in a see-through nightdress, her body glowing and her scent as seductive as Bond had ever known it.

And then she pulls out a gun and reveals she was a KGB triple-agent the whole time?


Before showering, Bond tapped out a call to London – a number reserved especially for taped messages from M. If there was anything new – in answer to the cipher sent from the Saab at Salla – he would hear it now. Sure enough, M’s voice was on the line: a brief double-talk message which came quite near to congratulating Bond, and also confirmed that Paula was known to be working for SUPO. There could, Bond thought, be no more surprises.

Not like that would help, since even Tudeer was a legit Mossad agent and that whole shebang was compromised from the start.


Paula had taken the initiative, making love to him as a kind of hors d’oeuvre; then, after a short rest, during which Paula talked and laughed about their brush with disaster, Bond started where she had left off.

Check, please.


Now there was peace, safety and warmth. Warmth, except for a cold spot developing on his neck, behind the ear. Still half asleep, Bond brushed at the cold spot. His hand came into contact with something hard, and vaguely unpleasant. His eyes snapped open and he felt the cold object pressed against his neck. Gone was Royale-les-Eaux, replaced with uncompromising reality.

‘Just sit up quietly, Mr Bond.’

Bond turned his head to see Kolya Mosolov stepping away from him. A heavy Stetchkin – made even more bulky by a silencer fitted around the barrel – pointed, out of reach, at Bond’s throat.

This was a real variant of the Stechkin, the APB. It also came with a wire stock, as the heavy holster-stock of the standard APS was way too bulky for special forces use. According to Maxim Popenker of, the heavy silencer reduces the otherwise substantial recoil of the gun and it would be much better if you could wrap some cloth around the silencer to use as a foregrip, which would make it handle much like a normal submachine gun.


‘How . . . ?’ Bond began. Then, thinking of Paula, he turned to see her sound asleep beside him.

Mosolov laughed – a chuckle, almost out of character; but Kolya was a man of so many voices. ‘Don’t worry about Paula,’ he said, soft and confident. ‘You must have both been very tired. I managed to deal with the lock, administer a small injection, and move around without disturbing either of you.’

Bond cursed silently. This was so unlike him, to drop his guard and allow sleep to take over completely. He had done everything else. He even recalled sweeping the room for electronics the moment they arrived.

That's not unlike you! You slept in Blofeld's loving murder castle for two nights! You told Gala Brand and Vivienne Michel to take sedatives to help them sleep while under threat!


‘What kind of an injection?’ Trying not to sound concerned.

‘She’ll sleep peacefully for six or seven hours. Enough time for us to do what has to be done.’

‘Which is?’

"Take me," Mosolov said as he undid his coat.


Mosolov made a motion with the Stetchkin. ‘Get dressed. There’s a job I have to see completed. After that we’re going on a little journey. I even have a brand new passport for you – just to be certain. We leave Helsinki by car, then helicopter, and later there’ll be a jet waiting. By the time Paula can alert anyone, we’ll be well on our way.’

Bond shrugged. There was little he could do, though his hand moved unobtrusively to the pillow, under which he had placed the P7 before finally going to sleep. Kolya Mosolov reached inside his padded jacket, which he wore open, to show Bond the P7 tucked into his waistband. ‘I thought it safer – for me, that is.’

Bond put his feet on the floor. He looked up at the Russian. ‘You don’t give up easily, do you, Mosolov?’

‘My future rests on taking you in.’

"And adding another few pages to this book."


‘Dead or alive, it would seem.’ Bond got to his feet.

‘Preferably alive. The business at the frontier was exceptionally worrying in that respect. But now I can finish what was started.’

‘I don’t understand it.’ Bond began to move towards the chair on which his clothes were folded. ‘Your people could have had me at any time in the past few years. Why now?’

‘Just get dressed.’

Bond began to do as he was told, but continued to talk. ‘Tell me why, Kolya. Tell me why now?’

‘Because the time is right. Moscow’s wanted you for years. There was a period when they wanted you dead. Now, things have changed. I’m glad you survived. I admit to using bad judgment in letting our troops fire on you – the heat of the moment, you understand.’

This plot is so bad that the villain is now having to explain the rest of it to Bond while they get dressed.


Bond grunted.



‘Now, as I said, things have changed.’ Mosolov continued. ‘We wish simply to verify certain information. First we’ll do a chemical interrogation, to clean you out. Then we’ll have a nice little asset to exchange. You’ve got a couple of our people who’ve done sterling work at General Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham. In due course an exchange will be arranged, I’m sure.’

‘Is that why Moscow went along with all this in the first place? The games played with von Glöda and his crazies?’

‘Oh, partly.’ Kolya Mosolov jerked his pistol. ‘Look, just get on with it. There’s another job to be done before we leave Helsinki.’

Bond climbed into his ski pants. ‘Partly, Kolya? Partly? Bit of an expensive operation, wasn’t it? Just to get me – and you damned near killed me doing it.’

Now even Bond can't believe this poo poo.


‘Playing along with von Glöda’s wild schemes helped get rid of other small embarrassments.’

‘Like Blue Hare?’

‘Blue Hare, and other things. Von Glöda’s death is a foregone conclusion.’

Is?’ Bond looked up sharply.

Kolya Mosolov nodded. ‘Amazing, really. Wasn’t that some display our ground attack boys gave? You wouldn’t have thought anybody could survive. Yet von Glöda managed to get out.’

Bond found it difficult to believe. Certainly M had not known. He asked where the would-be leader of the Fourth Reich was now hiding.

‘He’s here.’ Mosolov spoke as though the information were obvious. ‘In Helsinki. Regrouping, as he would say. Reorganising. Ready to start all over again, unless he is stopped. I have to do the stopping. It would be embarrassing, to say the least, if von Glöda were allowed to continue his operations.’

Bond was now almost dressed. ‘You’re taking me out – back to Russia. You also intend to deal with von Glöda?’ He adjusted the collar of his rollneck.

‘Oh yes. You’re part of my plan, Mr Bond. I also have to get rid of friend von Glöda, or Aarne Tudeer, or whatever he wishes to call himself on his tombstone. The timing is good . . .’

But...why are you doing it in this order?


‘What is the time?’ Bond asked.

Kolya, always the professional, did not even glance at his watch. ‘About seven forty-five in the morning. As I was saying, the timing is good. You see, von Glöda has some of his own people here, in Helsinki. He leaves for London, via Paris, this morning. I gather the madman imagines he can stage some kind of rally in London. There’s also the question of an NSAA agent being held by your Service, I think. Naturally, he wants to take his revenge on you, Bond. So, I consider it best to offer you as a target. He cannot resist that.’

‘Hardly,’ Bond answered crisply. Already he had felt a tidal wave of depression sluice over him at the thought of von Glöda being still alive. Now he was to be used as bait – not for the first time since all this began. Bond’s whole spirit revolted against the idea. There had to be a way. If anyone was going to get von Glöda, it would be Bond.

Mosolov was still speaking. ‘Von Glöda’s flight leaves at nine. It would be a nice touch if James Bond were to be seated in his own car, outside Vantaa Airport. That very fact should lure Comrade von Glöda from the departure building. He will not know that I have my own ways – old-fashioned perhaps – of making certain that you will sit quietly in the car: handcuffs, another small injection, a little different to the one I gave Paula.’ He nodded towards the bed where Paula still slept soundly.

Did Kolya just loving forget what his job is?


‘You’re mad.’ Though he said it, Bond knew he was the one person whose presence could lure von Glöda. ‘How would you do it?’

Mosolov’s smile was sly now. ‘Your motor car, Mr Bond. It’s fitted with a rather special telephone, I believe?’

‘Not many people know about that.’ Bond was genuinely annoyed that Mosolov had found out about the telephone. He wondered what else the Russian knew.

‘Well, I do, and I have the details. The base unit for your car telephone needs to go through an ordinary phone, linking the system to that of the country in which you operate. For instance, the base unit can be fitted to the phone in this room. All we do is wire in your base unit here, and drive out to the airport. By the time we get there you will be handcuffed, and unable to move. But, just before we arrive, I use the car phone, call the information desk, and ask them to page von Glöda. He will receive a message – that Mr James Bond is outside, in the car park, alone and incapacitated. I think I could even leave the message in Paula’s name; she wouldn’t mind. When von Glöda comes out, I shall be near him.’ He patted the silenced Stetchkin. ‘With a weapon like this, people will think it’s a heart attack – at least to begin with. By the time they get to the truth we shall be well away. I already have another car standing by. It will all be very quick.’

This has just become a book where every character explains the plot to Bond until it ends.


‘No chance. You’ll never get away with it,’ Bond said aloud, though he knew there was every possibility of Mosolov getting away with it. This was the cool, audacious act which so often works. But Bond grasped at a straw. Mosolov had made one error – that of believing the Saab’s telephone required a base unit fitted to the main phone system. This would be a local call, and the electronics in the car had an operating range of around twenty-five miles. An error like this one was just what Bond needed.

Note that no reason is given for Kolya believing this. Especially since the early 80s is a time when car phones are well established, to the point where the From Russia With Love movie 20 years before had one in Bond's Bentley. Scandinavia specifically had the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) system operating at the time of writing, the first fully automated cellular phone system and a major step in the success of companies like Nokia.


‘So,’ Kolya hefted the Stetchkin in his hand, ‘just give me the car keys. We’ll go together. You can tell me how to get at the base unit.’

Bond pretended to think for a full minute. Mosolov repeated.

‘You have no alternative.’

A full minute?


‘You’re right,’ Bond said at last, ‘I have no alternative. I resent coming to Moscow with you, Mosolov, but I am also anxious to see von Glöda out of the way. Getting the base unit’s a tricky business. There are various routines I have to go through with the locks to the hiding place, but you can have me covered all the time. I’m ready. Why don’t we do it now, straight away?’

Kolya nodded, glanced at the prostrate Paula, then thrust the Stetchkin inside his jacket. He gestured for Bond to take out the car keys and the key to the room, then to go on ahead of him.

This is only working because Kolya is as stupid as Bond.


All the way down the corridor, Mosolov stayed a good three paces behind Bond. In the lift, he remained in one corner – as far away as possible. The Russian was well-trained, no doubt about that. One move from Bond and the Stetchkin would make its muffled pop, leaving 007 with a gaping hole in his guts. They went down to the car park, heading for the Saab. About three paces from the car Bond turned.

‘I have to take the keys from my pocket. Okay?’

Kolya said nothing, just nodded, moving the big pistol inside his coat to remind Bond it was there. Bond took the keys, his eyes darting around. Nobody else was in the car park, not a soul in sight. Ice crunched under his feet, and he felt the sweat trickle down from his armpits inside the warm clothing. It was fully light.

They reached the car. Bond unlocked the driver’s door, then turned back to Kolya. ‘I have to switch the ignition on – not fire the engine, just put on the electrics to operate the lock,’ he said.

Again Kolya nodded and Bond leaned across the driver’s seat, inserted the key into the ignition, and told Kolya he would have to sit in the driver’s seat to open the telephone compartment. Once more Kolya nodded. Bond felt the eye of the automatic pistol boring through the Russian’s jacket, and knew that surprise and speed were his only allies now.

At this point I'm pretty sure if Bond tried anything Kolya would just spend a few minutes explaining why he needs to shoot Bond for doing that.


Almost casually, Bond pressed the square black button on the dashboard, while his left hand dropped into position. There was a tiny hiss of gas, as the hydraulics opened the hidden compartment. A second later the big Ruger Redhawk dropped into his left hand.

Trained to use weapons with both hands, urged on by speed, Bond’s body turned only slightly, the flash of the Magnum cartridge burning his trousers and jacket as he fired almost before the big revolver was clear of its hiding place.

Kolya Mosolov knew nothing. One minute he was ready to squeeze the trigger of the silenced Stetchkin, hidden under his coat; the next moment a blinding flash, a fractional pain, then darkness and the long oblivion.

The bullet lifted the Russian from his feet, catching him just below the throat, almost ripping head from body. His heels scraped the ice as he slid back, turning as he hit the ground, and sliding a good one and a half metres after he had fallen.

I see the gore will never let up with Gardner.


But Bond saw none of that. The moment he fired, so his right hand slammed the door closed. The Redhawk went back into its compartment, and the key was fully twisted in the ignition. The Saab burst into life, and Bond’s hand moved with calm, expert confidence – pushing the button to close the compartment housing the Redhawk. He slid the gear lever into first, clipped on his inertia reel seatbelt, released the brake, and smoothly moved away as his fingers adjusted the hot air controls and the rear window heater. As he pulled away, Bond got the merest glimpse of what remained of the Russian: a small huddle on the ice, and a swelling pool of crimson. He swerved the car on to the Mannerheimintie, joining the sparse traffic heading for the Vantaa Airport road.

Once settled into the road pattern, Bond reached down and activated the radio telephone – which had proved to be Kolya Mosolov’s fatal mistake. This was a simple local call, needing no base unit, for the resident agent, under whose control Bond officially worked, should be at a number situated less than ten miles from where the Saab sped towards the airport.

Bond punched out the number, by feel rather than looking down, for his eyes had to be everywhere now. In the handset he heard the number buzz at the far end. The buzzing continued, unanswered. In some ways Bond was pleased. The resident was away from his phone, but at least Bond had gone through the official motions.

He drove with care, watching his speed, for the Finnish police are extremely vigilant when it comes to the breaking of the speed limit. The clock on Bond’s dashboard, which had been adjusted to Helsinki time, said five minutes past eight. He would be at Vantaa by eight-thirty all right – possibly just in time to catch up with von Glöda.

And we'll hopefully be about done with this poo poo.


The airport was crowded, like any other international terminal, when Bond entered. He had parked the Saab in an easily accessible place, and now carried the awkward Ruger Redhawk inside his jacket, the long barrel pushed into the waistband of his trousers and twisted sideways. Never, the training schools taught, imitate the movies and shove a gun barrel straight down inside your trouser leg; always turn it to one side. If there should be an accident, straight down would mean losing part of your foot, if you were lucky. An unlucky man would lose what one instructor insisted on calling his ‘wedding tackle’ – a term Bond thought oddly vulgar. Twist the weapon sideways, by the butt, and you would get a burn, though the unfortunate person beside you would catch the bullet.

Don't carry your revolver cocked then?


The big clock in International Departures stood at two minutes to eight-thirty.

Moving very fast, elbowing through the throng, Bond made the information desk and asked about the nine o’clock flight to Paris. The girl hardly looked up. The nine o’clock was Flight AY 873 via Brussels. They would not be calling it for another fifteen minutes as there was a catering delay.

As yet there was no need to put out a call for von Glöda, Bond decided. If the man’s colleagues were around to see him off, there would still be a chance to corner him on this side of the terminal. If not, then Bond would simply have to bluff to get him back from the air-side.

You're going to just call him to come to the desk and shoot him?!


Keeping behind as much cover as possible, Bond edged his way past the kiosks, trying to position himself near the passage on the extreme left of the complex which led to passport control and the air-side lounges.

At the far end of this section of the departure area, set in front of high windows, was a coffee shop – separated from the main complex by a low, flimsy trellis barrier covered with imitation flowers. To the left of it, very close to where Bond now stood, was the passport control section, each of its little booths occupied by an official.

Bond started to look at faces, searching through the crowds for von Glöda. Departing passengers were constantly moving through passport control, while the coffee shop was crowded with travellers, mainly seated at low, round tables.

Then quite unexpectedly – almost out of the corner of his eye – Bond saw his quarry: von Glöda rising from one of the coffee shop tables.

The would-be heir to Adolf Hitler’s ruined empire appeared to be just as well-organised in Helsinki as he had been at the Ice Palace. His clothes were immaculate, and even in the grey civilian greatcoat, the man had a military look about him – a straightness of back and a bearing that singled him out from the ordinary. No wonder, Bond thought momentarily, that Tudeer imagined the world was his destiny.

Like those terrorists in the last book who all entered a plane ramrod-straight and thus instantly looked suspicious?


He was surrounded by six men, all smartly dressed – each one of them looking like an ex-soldier. Mercenaries, perhaps? Von Glöda spoke to them in a low voice, punctuating his words with quick movements of the hands. It took Bond a second or two to realise the movements were similar to those of the late Adolf Hitler himself.


The radio announcement system clicked and played its little warning jingle. They were about to announce the Paris flight, Bond was certain. Von Glöda cocked his head to listen, but he’d also apparently decided, before the jingle finished, that it was his flight. Solemnly he shook hands with each of his men in turn and looked around for his hand baggage.

Bond moved closer to the trelliswork. There were too many people in the coffee shop to risk taking von Glöda there, he decided. The best place would be as the man walked clear of the coffee shop towards passport control.

Still maintaining cover among the constantly changing throng, Bond edged to the left. Von Glöda appeared to be looking around him, as if alerted to some danger.

The jingle died away, and the voice of the announcer came from the myriad speakers – unusually loud and clear, almost unbearably so. Bond felt his stomach churn. He stopped in his tracks, eyes never leaving von Glöda, who also stiffened, his face changing at the words:

‘Would Mr James Bond please come to the Information Desk on the second floor?’

They were on the second floor. Bond quickly looked around, eyes searching for the Information Desk, aware that von Glöda was also turning.

The voice repeated, ‘Mr James Bond, please go to the Information Desk.’

How does he have this luck?


Von Glöda turned fully. Both he and Bond must have spotted the figure, standing by the Information Desk, at roughly the same moment – Hans Buchtman, whom Bond had first known as Brad Tirpitz. As their eyes met, so Buchtman moved towards Bond, his mouth opening, words floating, lost in the general noise and bustle.

For an instant, von Glöda stared at Buchtman, scowling, incredulous. Then, at last, he saw Bond.

You are not going to loving believe why this is happening.


The whole scene appeared to be frozen for a split second. Then von Glöda said something to his companions. They began to scatter as von Glöda grabbed for his cabin baggage and started to move quickly from the coffee shop.

Bond stepped into the open in an attempt to cut him off, aware of Buchtman elbowing his way through the crowd. Bond’s hand touched the Redhawk’s butt as Buchtman’s words finally reached his ears: ‘No! No, Bond! No, we want him alive!’



I’ll bet you do, Bond thought, as he hauled on the Redhawk, closing towards von Glöda who was crossing in front of him, moving rapidly. There was no stopping Bond now. ‘Halt, Tudeer!’ he shouted. ‘You’ll never make the flight. Stop now!’

People began to scream, and Bond – only a few paces from von Glöda – realised that the leader of the National Socialist Action Army held a Luger pistol low in his right hand, half screened by the small case in his left.

The lovely 80s airport security.


Bond still hauled on the Redhawk, which would not come free from his waistband. Again he shouted, glancing back to see that Buchtman was bearing down on him from behind, thrusting people out of his path. In the midst of the panic erupting around him, Bond heard von Glöda shouting hysterically as he turned full on towards Bond.

‘They didn’t get me yesterday,’ von Glöda yelled. ‘This is proof of my mission. Proof of my destiny.’

As though in answer, the barrel of the Redhawk came free. Von Glöda’s hand rose, the Luger pointing towards Bond, who dropped to one knee, extending his arm and the Redhawk. Von Glöda’s hand and the Luger filled Bond’s vision as he called again, ‘It’s over, von Glöda. Don’t be a fool.’

Then the spurt of flame from the Luger’s barrel, and Bond’s own finger squeezing twice on the Redhawk’s trigger.

The explosions were simultaneous, and a great hand seemed to fling Bond sideways. The passport control booths spun in front of him and he sprawled across the floor while von Glöda twisted and reared like a wounded stag, still screaming, ‘Destiny . . . Destiny . . . Destiny . . .’

Bond couldn’t understand why he was on the ground. Vaguely he caught sight of a passport control officer diving for shelter behind his booth. Then, still sprawling, he had the Redhawk zeroed in on von Glöda, who seemed to be trying to aim again with his Luger. Bond squeezed off another shot, and von Glöda dropped the Luger, then took one step back as his head disappeared in a thick red mist.

Jesus, Gardner!


It was only now that pain began to overtake Bond. He felt very tired. Someone held his shoulders. There was a lot of noise. Then a voice: ‘Couldn’t be helped, Jimmy. You got the bastard. All over now. They’ve sent for an ambulance. You’ll be okay.’

The voice was saying more than that, but the light ebbed away from Bond’s eyes, and all sound disappeared, as though someone had deliberately turned down the volume.

Dec 24, 2007

I assume this will be Good Bad Brad instead of Bad Bad Brad. This is farcical even by 007 standards.

Dr. Sneer Gory
Sep 7, 2005

This book delivers more "Huh?"s per minute...

It had a decently promising start, too.

Gats Akimbo
May 28, 2007

Ignoring this post

Midjack posted:

I assume this will be Good Bad Brad instead of Bad Bad Brad. This is farcical even by 007 standards.

It's going to turn out that every single one of von Gloda's lieutenants was a spy from some agency or other, isn't it? The Man Who Was Donnerstag.

Apr 23, 2014

It’s dumber than your guesses.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005

It was George Smiley in the conservatory with the rope


Gats Akimbo
May 28, 2007

Ignoring this post

chitoryu12 posted:

It’s dumber than your guesses.

He accidentally got mixed up with a location shoot for a James Bond movie?

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