Crossover with 007 Universe
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The British Royal Air Force transport out of Canada landed on the small isolated
airstrip between Denver and Bolder. The Colorado Air Force Reserve used it
for training sessions and had a few old hangers on it for maintenance of
their equipment. The airstrip had been cleared of snow prior to the R.A.F.
As soon as the R.A.F. transport had come to a complete stop, James, Ezra
and Vin got out of the Jag and walked over. They waited as the planes
crew disembarked. The cold mountain air picked up the light snow and blew
it around the men as they worked. Wooden crates and a long sleek car made
its way off the transport. A gray haired gentleman dressed in arctic snow
gear followed with a clipboard in hand. Seeing Bond he halted.
"007, couldnt you have picked a warmer place to engage in your usual
mayhem. I would have preferred the Bahamas, water skiing to snow skiing any
day." Q finished speaking and dismissed the agent as he wouldve dismissed
an errant schoolboy. Q went to the closest building and made his way inside.
"Well gentlemen shall we?" James Bond said as he followed Q inside. Vin and
Ezra looked at each other and wondered what the hell theyd gotten
Inside, Qs people had already set up shop. Crates were unpacked, computers
were up and running, heaters going full blast. An aide gave Q a cup of tea
and took the clipboard away. Everyone was busy except the three agents who
stood in the middle of the activity trying to keep from being run over by
"Q youve brought enough weapons to arm a commando raid. Whats
going on?" asked Bond.
"I have to be prepared for anything this far from home. If M or even you
had been kind enough to keep me informed of the full extent of this mission
I could have left some of this at Headquarters." Q had walked over to Ezra
and looked him up and down. "Hmmm, alright young man go with Willie here
and change." A younger version of Q came over and tried to lead Ezra away,
Ezra took an involuntary step back, unsure of what this Q person wanted him
to change into.
Catching Ezras reluctance Q spoke to him, "Oh for Godsakes man you
are going to be impersonating 007. That means dressing as he does from the
skin out. Willie is going to show you the wardrobe. Go on like a good fellow,"
he said waving Ezra on with his hands as if dealing with a simple child.
Vin hid his smile behind the cup of tea he had been given. That was until
Q turned his attention to him.
"Mr. Tanner isnt it, yes youll be impersonating the CIA chap."
Walking around Vin as he sized him up, "Leaner them Leiter, but near the
same height. There wont be too many alterations to your wardrobe. Most
of what I brought for the American will fit you as well."
"Why cant I wear my own clothes?" asked Vin.
"Because young man, my clothes have a few surprises in them. Surprises that
can not only keep you alive, but will help you bring down this madman. So
stop fighting me on this and go back with your partner and change, go on."
Vin went to catch up with Ezra to try on his new wardrobe as well.
Q chuckled as soon as both ATF agents were out of hearing range. "They
dont trust easily do they, James?"
"A trait that will keep them alive." Bond looked around him at the wooden
crates. "Q, why the extra equipment?"
Q sighed, "Just in case the virus mutates. Our research shows that
Spectres weapon is unstable. Both governments want to be prepared.
Since I was already on my way, I got the job of transporting the sterilizing
equipment. Obtained most of this after a quick stop at a military base here
in the states. Leiters men will pick up this stuff after youre
in position. Theyre the clean up crew on this job. If you and the ATF
team cant destroy the virus, they will go in and sterilize everything
in the area and the press be damned. They can write it up as another Waco
"Hopefully, it wont come to that." Bond picked up an oblong silver
object from the table and was fingering it as he talked, till Q took it away
from him. Curious, Bond asked Q what it did, to which Q replayed:
"It keeps my reading glasses from getting crushed. Come along 007, I have
a few things to show you."
Vin caught up with Ezra in the back where there was a section of the room
screened off. Ezra was changing clothes, as if getting undressed in front
of strangers was the most natural thing in the world. Vin just shook his
head and was glad that most of Qs people were men; at least the ones
holding out clothes for him to try on were. Vin wasnt used to people
trying to dress him, and outside of one dress uniform in the Army, he never
had anything fitted before. Wal-Mart had always been good enough for him.
"Ez how come this doesnt bother ya? asked Vin as he slowly pealed
out of his jeans.
"Boarding schools, Vin, boarding schools, where having privacy is not an
option. It also ma explanation to why Ah prize it so highly now." Taking
a look at his shy friend he asked a question that he had always wondered
about. "Vin how did you survive in the Army being so reserved about public
"Hell Ez, at first everyone was either too tired or afraid to care much what
was going on around them. After a while ya get so ya dont notice, you
just do what needs to be done. Dont mean I liked having to get undressed
with people around, but ya do what ya gotta do." Vin let one of Qs
people straighten the ski jacket he was wearing. "It feels kinda heavy between
the shoulders and down the back." He told them, the man he spoke to just
smiled and handed him another outfit to try on. Vin looked over at Ezra and
said. "At least well be well dressed on the slopes."
Ezra had been about to put on a pair of silk boxers, which matched the silk
undershirt he was wearing, when he stopped and looked at the boxers as if
he had just thought of something. Speaking to the man who had handed them
to him he asked, "These do not perform any function other then the obvious
do they?" The tactician shook his head and Ezra put them on. Vin was puzzled
by Ezras question and asked him what he meant by it.
"Ez, what else would they do?"
Ezra answered him as he continued dressing. "Anything Q has a hand in may
not be what it appears to be. He is the head of their research and weapons
development departments; and who knows what is liable to explode?"
"Hell, Ez that only happens in the movies
" Vin noticed the men that
had been helping them wouldnt make eye contact and made no comments
in defense of their boss. "
"Ah believe that Q is a law unto himself and, optimistically, hell
answer our inquiries without over explaining them."
Vin wasnt looking forward to that. "Hell, he makes me feel like a little
kid. Like he was talking down to a misbehaving kid at that."
"Ah observed he treated James the same way, so Ah wouldnt take offence."
The two ATF agents finished dressing in the last suit of clothes they had
been given and were told that their own clothing would be returned to them
later. Making their way back to the front of the building, they found Bond
reading the London Times and drinking from a mug of tea. Putting down the
mug Bond looked them over.
"Well, you two cleaned up well."
Ezra was dressed in a suit from Bonds own tailor. Everything is English
made, except the shoes, Bond explained. "I prefer Italian footwear, a fact
Blowfeld may or may not know."
Vin was attired in a casual but fitted suit, with a bolo instead of a tie.
Vin would never admit it to his friends but he enjoyed the feel of the soft
well-fitted garment. But he did make a comment on the cost:
"They must pay spooks pretty well if Felix can afford clothes like this."
"We are taking a few liberties with Mr. Leiters usual wardrobe", Q
said as he joined them. In his hands he held a bolo similar to the one around
Vins neck. "We want the pair of you to stand out. To be noticed by
any of Spectres people that will be keeping an eye out for trouble
from the authorities. The names Bond and Leiter should raise a few flags
on their radar. Mr. Standish, this is Dr. Hammer, he will be dealing with
the matter of your gold tooth."
"Ah usually place a cap over it when Ahm undercover."
"Not this time, we dont want to take a chance of it coming off. Dr.
Hammer will place a temporary crown over it that can be easily removed after
this is over."
Ezra reluctantly went with the dentist. Q now turned his attention to Vin
and the bolo in his hands.
"Mr. Tanner please watch carefully." Taking the clasp of the bolo, that was
in the shape of a Texas long-horned steer head. He twisted the clasp,
the head was two identical pieces joined together. He twisted until he had
the two halves 180 degrees from each other, which made the horns into a
four-cornered hook. Taking one end of the rope, that made up the rest of
the bolo, he placed the decorative tip between the clasp pieces where it
clipped it into place. At the other end of the rope he pulled off the tip,
the rope started to untwine.
"The rope is a repelling line that will make two hundred feet of cord, which
can support up to two hundred and fifty pounds," Q told them. "It might come
Ezra came back from his encounter with the dentist, his face none the worst
for his new crown. As he rejoined them, Q handed each of them a wristwatch.
Vin and Ezra examined theirs and put them on only after Bond had put his
around his own wrist.
"Gentlemen, those are all-purpose tools. There is a laser for cutting through
steel, up to an inch thick for ten minutes, a tracking device, compass, a
communication device, a triggering device for exploding the buttons on your
shirts and, oh yes, it tells time as well."
Both young men looked up from their examination of the watches, at the words
"exploding buttons". Seeing their startled faces, Q smiled and said.
"Its not the underwear that explodes, Mr. Standish, its the buttons
on all your clothing. But only with the use of a detonator, yours and Mr.
Tanners underwear are quite safe. In fact, its made of a new
organic material from goat milk that has a spiders DNA crossed with
it. Very strong and very light weight. The latest material for making bullet
proof vests, though I dont see why it cant have other uses. When
this is all over I would like a report on how it worked in the field." Q
didnt give them time to ask questions, he walked over to two pairs
of skis. "I think you will like these; a pair for each of you. Since you
both ski, I dont need to show you the standard features. These are
a bit stronger then most, but just as reliable. The ski poles, on the other
hand, are one-shot rifles. Take off the point and fire. The trigger is in
the handle. Try not to shoot yourselves in the foot." Picking up a ski jacket
like the one Vin had tried on earlier, he continued, "You were right Mr.
Tanner, these are heavier then standard. My jackets come with build-in
paragliders; the ripcord is in the front pocket. Your full wardrobes will
be delivered to your office later this evening."
While Q and Bond had waited on the other two to get finished with their fitting,
they had decided that the pair wouldnt need all the features that came
with the car for their part of the mission. Instead of disarming the car
(which would have meant disassembling parts of it) they would simply deny
access to them from the cars computer system. Bond would show the pair
how to operate the basic features and get them used to driving the Aston-Martin.
Bond sat in the back while Ezra and Vin put the car through its paces.
Though the back roads had been plowed and the snow was piled high on each
side, there was still enough snow and ice on them to demonstrate the features
of the snow gear. Vin enjoyed driving the Aston Martin as he put it through
its paces, even if the steering wheel was on the wrong side of the
car. The vehicle responded to the lightness of his touch. Shifting gears,
he noticed that the knob on the head of the gear stick felt odd. Rubbing
his thumb under the edge, he flipped up the hidden cover. There was a red
"James what does this do?"
Before Bond could yell to Vin not to push it, Vin already had. The roof shot
off and Ezras seat shot up, taking Ezra up with it.
"Damn, just like in the movies!" explained Vin, looking up at the sky through
the new sunroof. Stopping the car, Bond and Vin backtracked until they came
to a snowdrift with a hole in the top. Digging into the snow they soon found
Ezra, white-faced and apparently unconscious. They started to check the
southerner for damage, when Ezras arm shot-out and grabbed Vin by the
throat, pulling him down level with Ezras face.
"Vincent Tanner, you will nevah evah do that again, do you understand me?"
Shaking his arm to emphasize each word, Vin was starting to turn blue, but
not from the cold. When Ezra let him lose, he flopped down beside him. After
getting his breath back, he got to his feet and helped Ezra to his.
"Hell Ez, I didnt know that would happen. Ya alright?"
"Barely, through no fault of yours, Ah might add. Ah could have been killed."
Still upset he turned to Bond, "How often do you use that thing?"
"Not for a long time, sorry, I forgot to mention it." James Bond, 007 super
spy was having a hard time not laughing at the pair. Hed have to ask
Larabee if the two of them were always like this. He was glad that he and
Q had decided to put safe guards on the computer. "Lets get the seat
back into the car and then head back to Denver. Theres still a lot
to go over."
Ezra asked Bond something that had been worrying him since they left the
airstrip, "Will ma Jag be safe with Q?"
"Of course, hell treat it as if it was his own." James reassured him.
Q ran his hand over the top of the Jaguars bonnet. He had the keys
to the Jag in the other hand. A pretty car, now what could he do to improve
it with what he had on hand, Q smiled and rubbed his hands together at the
Back in Denver the bullpen was busy. Nathan was studying the files Bond had
brought with him from England; familiarizing himself with the information
they had on the virus, until he was sure he would recognize it when he saw
it again. Felix had ordered satellite pictures of the area to be taken. By
the time James, Ezra and Vin got back to the office, the others were studying
the maps and the information JD had dug up on the lodge and on the small
town called Moose Head, just down the road from it.
The lodge had been a high priced resort until a private group had bought
it a few years ago. Build on top of a steep gorge that cut into the mountainside,
the hotel had a panoramic view of the region around it. There was only one
road leading up to it and that road was long, winding and steep, usually
only used by the trucks bringing in supplies. Guests used the elaborate lift
with its roomy cable car at the base of the mountain to get up to the lodge.
The lift went up in stages until it reached the mountaintop. The lift itself
was situated to one side of a parking area at the foot of the mountain, out
of sight of the main state road.
Further down the valley was a small resort town whose main source of income
was the tourist trade. The other hotels used some of the same ski trails
in the area. These hotels were at the foot of the mountains, with their own
lifts to the mountaintops for their guests to ski. The ski trails lay between
the town and the Chosen headquarters. Felix had already obtained rooms for
Ezra and Vin at one of the better hotels in town.
JD gave Chris the latest information he had dug up on the ownership of the
lodge. The lodge had been build by a rich railroad tycoon in the twentys
for his private use. Later his children made it into a paying venture by
publicizing it as a private resort for the elite only. Five years ago, the
resort was sold to a dummy corporation. After a hunt through the files and
a lot of dead-ends, JD came up with a name, Dwight Hamit.
James heard the name as he, Vin and Ezra walked back into the bullpen. Going
through the files he brought with him from England, he added to the discussion.
"I thought so
Dwight Hamit was at the chalet with Blowfeld at the time
of the raid."
Buck had also been running through his own files and came up with information
on Hamit as well.
"Seems Hamit is one of the Chosen front men, a fast talking, snake-oil salesman.
A fancy one though, only deals with the wealthy who want to join up."
"Then gentlemen, there is no doubt the ski lodge is where were going
to find the Chosen and most likely Specter as well.
Nathan had come in to join the others for a much-needed coffee break. "James,
how did British intelligence learn of Spectras plans? I cant
see a world crime organization leaving this kind of information out where
anyone could stumble over it."
Bond put down the aerial map he was studying, to answer Nathans question,
"They didnt. We got lucky when one of their researchers realized what
he was working on. A British doctor had been employed by a West European
firm working on designing viruses to fight diseases. He thought he was working
on a designer virus to fight cancer. When he saw where the work was heading,
he wanted out. The good doctor came to us with as much information as he
could carry without getting caught. Much of what we have is thanks to one
very brave man who stood up for what he believed in. Unfortunately, he was
killed when he was on his way to a safe house."
The subject was changed when JD, Vin and Ezra came into the room.
"Theres nothing in the break room to eat." Complained Vin as he was
getting hungry, grabbing JD he told the others.
"JD and I are going on a food run."
"Get food we all can eat," yelled Nathan before they disappeared into the
"In that case Ah best go with them, no telling what they will bring back
unsupervised," said Ezra as he slipped into the elevator just before the
Downstairs in the garage, JD whistled at the Aston-Martin as he walked around
"Do I get to drive it?" he asked the other two.
"You can drive it the long way to the deli and on the way back. But there
is a little matter of the cars computer. Q and James blocked some of
the cars features and we want you to gain access to them for us."
"Deal" JD got behind the wheel.
Ezra put on his sunglasses as he got out of the Aston-Martin. He had driven
the last part of the trip up to the hotel. Vin had insisted on an early start
this morning. Ezra had spent most of the trip studying the computer controls
until it was his turn to drive. Both had taken the time to familiarize themselves
with the more interesting features of the vehicle. There had been little
traffic and they had felt safe in seeing what the car could do. She did just
fine; they both would miss her when they had to give her back.
Ezra studied the Mountain High hotel and surrounding area, he could see the
slopes behind and to the side of the hotel. Ezra wondered why there werent
more people skiing down the mountain. Even the parking lot seemed empty.
The small picturesque town at the base of the mountain had also lacked the
activity that a ski town would have had when the snow was at its peak.
The sound of a suitcase being dropped at his feet brought him back from his
speculating, he picked up his case. Vin raised an eyebrow and nodded his
head toward the lobby; together they walked into the ski lodge.
Buck stood in the doorway to Chris office watching JD work on his part
of the operation. JD had needed a place to work uninterrupted, a place that
no one would question what he was doing. No one in their right mind just
walked into Chris Larabees office without having been given permission;
no one outside of the team that is. Chris had told the kid to use his computer
and set up whatever else he needed to in there.
Buck smiled, sure that Chris had no idea of what he had let lose. While Buck
was no slouch when it came to running a computer, he wasnt in JDs
league. The kid had taken over the whole office. Not only had he used
Chris computer; JD had his and Bucks units in there too. Somehow
he had all but Nathans machine working together. The three in the office
were hard wired together, while the other three were somehow networked to
theirs, simultaneously working on the same problems. JD had on a mike and
headset talking to someone named Leo over the computer. The conversation
was one-sided and fragmented.
"Youre the bomb Leo, that will take care of
of course that will
be perfect for now. I can upgrade as needed. Keep an eye out
say hi to Patrick for me
JD looked up and saw Buck standing there.
"Hows it going kid? Who are Leo and Patrick?" Buck came into the room
taking a chair next to the desk.
"Friends from the spook network." Seeing Buck questioning look JD explained.
"Im not the only one writing programs, creating firewalls and the like.
There are a small number of us out there. We all have our own lives, the
government work is mostly part time and we help each other out on big jobs.
Most of the time we dont need to know what each other is working on
to give advice or help set up a Trojan horse. We all have a way of marking
our programs. This way we dont destroy each others work thinking
its the work of a hacker. "
Seeing Buck needed a better explanation JD added. "Im creating various
types of viruses, worms and carriers to go worldwide. If the others see that
its my work they wont destroy what Ive created when they
come across them. If one my viruses is discovered and destroyed by someone
else, there will be others to take its place. Twenty-four hours after the
viruses are activated they should destroy any information on any computer
in the world thats connected to the Internet."
"Whats a Trojan horse?" asked Buck.
"A harmless download with a virus added, a program you wouldnt think
twice about opening from your E-mail or other sources," JD said with a smile
before adding, "The kind that can get you into the most trouble."
Buck studied the young man before him, till yesterday he had thought he had
known everything there was to know about him. Finding out the kid had secrets
troubled him for some reason. Even though he knew JD hadnt been allowed
to tell him about it, it stilled bothered him, bothered him a lot.
"What is it Buck?" asked JD.
"Is there anything else? I mean we all thought you went through college on
a full scholarship and worked as an electricians apprentice on the
side for spending money and now I find out it was all
" Buck stopped
himself from saying a lie. He knew that JD rarely lied and never before to
him or at least he thought so before all this came up.
JD sighed. He knew that sooner or later the whole story would have to come
out. He had been hoping for later, much later.
"It wasnt a lie Buck, I did had a scholarship and was an
electricians apprentice, even got my license as an electrician before
I graduated college. I just
I just left out the rest of it." Sighing
again JD went on.
"I started college at sixteen on a full scholarship, my Mom was so proud
of me." JD smiled a sad little smile at the thought of his mother who only
lived long enough to see him graduate. "She had been so worried that
thered be no money for school. Even then the doctors bills were
eating into what little she had saved. The one thing she wanted to be sure
of was that I got the chance to go to college and get ahead." JD shook his
head as if thinking back to those times hurt.
"JD, its all right you dont
" Buck tried to stop him.
"Yeah I do, you are
" looking up at Buck, "even more than the rest of
the guys, you are my family." JD got up and started pacing around the room
as if being in motion helped him find the words.
"It was in my junior year when Mom got real sick and couldnt work anymore,
not even enough to keep up her insurance. One of my professors got me the
electrician apprenticeship with Ted Moore the year before. Ted was a good
guy, but he couldnt afford to pay me anymore then he was. I needed
money not only to house and feed us but to pay the doctors bills. One
of the bastards had already turned Mom away went he learned she had lost
"I was thinking real seriously about quitting college when the same Professor
who got me the job with Ted came to me with an offer from the government.
I had been writing computer programs since high school, even sold a few.
They had seen my work, liked my programs and had been impressed. Our government
wanted me to craft firewalls that couldnt be breached; to keep hackers
out of certain computers and if possible find a way to track the hackers
"I was investigated to an inch of my life, passed every test they had and
got the job. In exchange all ours bills were taken care of. Mom had the best
medical treatment the government could come up with and I finished college
without a financial worry."
"Thats all in the past now, right?" asked a concerned Buck.
"No, theres no such thing as a program that cant be hacked. I
still do updates and changes on my programs to keep the hackers at bay. I
havent been hacked yet." JD said this with pride. "But then my programs
arent like anyone elses either. Thats why I spent so much
time studying whats new and whos doing what out there in the
Buck wasnt sure what that was and didnt want to go there anyway
so he asked. "Does the government pay you well?"
"Very, but Im not dumb. I wanted to be a cop since I could remember
and if I started spending the kind of money I was making from my spook job,
there would have been all kinds of questions raised; questions I wasnt
allowed to answer. Look at what happened to Ezra in Atlanta, he was accused
of being on the take for no other reason then the clothes he wears and the
car he drives. And probably for being too good at what he does. The jaguar
his Mother gave him and his familys wealth is there for anyone to check
on if they had bothered."
"Even now how would I explain that I dont owe any student loans or
that all my Moms doctors bill were paid off? People dont
ask questions because I live with you. You have been helping me even when
you didnt know it. Youve given me so much Im sorry I
didnt tell you." Coming to a stop in front of Buck, he said; "I love
my job and my family here at the ATF. Especially one over protective big
brother, I think the world of him and would never hurt him. He wasnt
told because he wasnt trusted but because I wasnt allow to tell
Buck took the kid into his arms and hugged him hard. "I know that JD, it
just took me awhile to get used to the idea. I thought I knew everything
there was to know about you and finding out I didnt surprised me. I
needed time to work out how I felt about that. Were alright now."
Letting go of JD, Buck rubbed at his eyes, wouldnt do his reputation
any good for anyone to see the dampness that was there. JD was having some
of the same problems with his reputation as well.
In one of the spacious living rooms of the mountain retreat Dwight Hamit
poured himself and Blowfeld a drink before crossing to the window overlooking
the village. Handing Blowfeld his glass Hamit asked the dangerous man:
"Is everything to your satisfaction Mr. Blowfeld?"
"Everything is fine Mr. Hamit," Taking the drink offered to him, "Your group
headquarters is quite charming, all the comforts of home," Blowfeld said
with a smile.
Hamit shivered, Blowfeld had that affect on him, bringing Spectres
leader to the Chosens headquarters was a gamble, but one the board
had been willing to take. But then the Chosens board of directors
werent the ones whose necks were on the line if this didnt work.
Blowfeld smiled at Hamits discomfort, the fool really thought he was
doing this for the Chosens benefit. Blowfeld had his own agenda for
wanting to be in the States for the tests on the virus. Taking a seat to
enjoy the view as he sipped his drink, Blowfeld went on talking to Hamit.
"My people are settled in and are ready to run tests on human subjects. This
should give you the opportunity to acquire the DNA of the unworthy individuals
you wish to have removed." Blowfeld was rewarded with seeing another shiver
run through Hamit. The man seemed to have a problem with mass murder.
Hamit stared at Blowfeld and asked him the question he had been wanting to
ask him since they had left the Swiss Alps.
"What are you getting out of this Mr. Blowfeld?"
"Why do you care Mr. Hamit? Im about to make your organization the
rulers of the world."
"But, you wont be one of those ruled, will you?"
"But we will have the virus
"But I, Mr. Hamit will have the cure."
Hamit shook his head, "Ive met all kinds of ruthless men in my time,
in this business, but you are the most
"Successful is the word I believe youre looking for Mr. Hamit." Blowfeld
handed his empty glass to Hamit and dismissed him to go for a refill. There
was one other reason for all this, but he wasnt going to tell Hamit
about it. The governments of the world werent going to back down without
a fight. They would send in the one man who had stopped him in the past.
A certain British agent by the name of
"Bond, James Bond," Ezra told the receptionist at the desk. "I believe you
have reservations for myself and a Mr. Felix Leiter."
"Yes sir; for two single-joining rooms facing the slopes," answered the perky
teenager dressed in a bright colored ski outfit.
Smiling his most charming smile at the young woman, Ezra thanked her as he
signed the register. Standing aside to let Vin sign in as Felix Leiter, Ezra
pull out his (James) credit card and handed it to the receptionist.
"I would like to run a tab at all the hotel facilities for myself and Mr.
Leiter while we are here." Speaking to Vin but loud enough for those standing
near the desk to hear, Ezra told him. "This way we wont be bothered
with keeping up with who owes for what. We can settle up before I return
to London." Returning his attention to the receptionist. "Will that be possible?"
"Of course Mr. Bond Ill see to it personally.
"Vin finished signing in and asked about maps of the ski trails. He didnt
need them as he had brought his own. He wanted to see if thered be
a reaction to the request.
"Yes sir the reservations said you were interested in cross-country skiing
as well as the slopes." Handing the requested items to Vin just before a
more mature version of the young receptionist came up to the desk.
"Ill finish taking care of these gentlemen Cathy. Its time for
your break dear." Patting Cathys shoulder, Ms. Dandy took her place
at the desk.
"I am Ms. Dandy, Ill be happy to assist in anyway to make your stay
with us a pleasant one. I fear the cross-country trails havent been
fully checked this year, we are a bit short handed," glancing toward Cathy
"We had to hired some of the local high school students to fill in. As for
the cross-country trails the game warden has been by to warn us of a few
wild dogs in the backcountry. You may want to stay on the more utilized trails
for safety." She tried to take the maps back from Vin who only smiled and
stepped back and said.
"That all right Id like to study them anyway, maps are a hobby of mine."
"Of course." Smiling at Ezra, she asked, "Is there any thing I can do for
you Mr. Bond?"
"You could have dinner with me tonight and tell me about the high lights
in your resort community. What to see and what not to bother with."
"In the interest of good public relations Id be delighted. The dining
room opens for dinner at six."
"Ill meet you there at seven then."
The next day found Ezra and Vin first in line waiting for the ski lift to
open. The day had dawned clear, the new powder sparkled on the slopes.
"Damn James, I wish we were just here for the skiing. Its a great day
for it," Vin said as he sipped his hot chocolate. They had already partaken
of an early breakfast. The hot chocolate was courtesy of Ms. Cathy so they
wouldnt get cold as they waited, she had told them.
"I believed that Ms. Cathy has a crush on you my friend. I also believed
shed do almost anything for you." Ezra told Vin with a straight face.
"She did made sure they put extra marshmallows in your hot chocolate."
shes just a kid, cant be much over eighteen if
that. You cant think
." Catching the smirk on Ezras face
he knew he had been had. Wanting to get back a little at his friend Vin asked.
"How was dinner with Ms. Dandy? Ya didnt get back to your room till
"My evening with the lady was pleasant. Though I wouldnt be surprised
if she turned out to be a member of the Chosen. She did ask a few questions
that were suspicious."
"And after dinner?"
"I was up holding James reputation." Replied Ezra with a smile as they
took their skis and were seated on the lift chair.
By the mid-afternoon they had reached their destination. They had skied across
the mountain trails to get as close to the Chosens headquarter as possible
on this side of the mountains before strapping their skis to their backs
and hiking the rest of the way up on foot. Vin had been careful to lead them
away from any of the steep drop offs that fell into the gorge that separated
the headquarters from the rest of the mountain. The winds coming up from
the valley below were strong and could easily blow a person off their feet.
The chasm had been cut into the mountain during the last ice age. It was
way too far down to the bottom and if they fell they wouldnt even bounce
when they reached it.
They sat behind a snowed over outcropping, trying to get a look into the
lodge below them. The goggles Q had supplied them came with built in binoculars.
All they could see were the grounds around the building and a few guards.
But they werent here to gather information but to be seen.
"Ya know this would be a great run for a bit of free style skiing," said
Vin as he studied the mountains around and below them.
Ezra turned to his friend with a grin, "Only if we dont tell Chris
about it. The man doesnt seem to understand its not as dangerous
as it looks if you know what youre doing and we of course know what
were doing. "
Vin grinned in return. "Maybe we can come back some time." Looking over at
the lodge he added. "We are supposed to be getting their attention, think
they can see us from the lodge?"
A shot kicked up the snow at their feet.
"I think we got their attention." Ezra told him.
Vin looked around and spotted the shooter taking shots at them. Aiming his
ski pole he shot the man with the one shot rifle.
"Got him, lets go in case hes got friends."
The sniper did indeed have friends and they were shooting at the pair while
they strapped on their skis. Bursting out of their hiding place they started
what appeared to be a frantic dash down the mountain.
Both men were athletes and experienced skiers. They flew down the rocky snow
covered incline. Neither gave the snipers a clear shot at them as they leapt,
flipped and crisscrossed the boulder-strewn slope, stopping just before they
left the cover of the boulders and the few trees that grew that high up.
They realized that they had to cross a large clear area before they came
to the next tree line. That would give the men trying to kill them a clear
shot. Or they could head toward the cliffs. The two turned without a word
and hoped the snipers wouldnt realize what they were up to until it
was too late.
Ezra fell back just enough to make the hunters believe they had a chance
of catching him, keeping them close but not so close that they could get
a clear shot. Just before Vin made it to the cliff edge, Ezra put on a burst
of speed catching up with him and together they flew off into the air.
The hunters must of thought they where jumping another outcropping of rock
when they made the decision to follow. As Ezra and Vin sailed out into the
blue sky, they took up sky diving positions and opened their paragliders.
The two snipers hadnt come so equipped and screamed as they started
on their one way trip to the valley floor below. Ezra and Vin caught an updraft
coming from off the valley, carrying them up and away from the mountainsides
and out into the open sky over the valley.
Under the cover of the trees the actions of the two ATF agents were being
observed. Buck, Chris and the British agent James Bond were just above the
ski lodge on the other side of the gorge when the shooting started. Turning
their attention toward the sounds of shooting, they looked up in time to
see Vin and Ezra start their run. Following their progress through binoculars
"Damn you think they could fly by the way they dance on those skis. Jumping
and twisting in the air like that." whispered Buck in admiration suddenly
he explained "SHIT
What the hell are those two up to?" Vin and Ezra
had come to the edge of the large clearing and stopped. Buck watched as they
turned and started moving in the other direction. "What are they up to
no they cant, they couldnt
.Aw hell they are
Chris had watched the pair through binoculars as well. His grip on the binoculars
had turned his knuckles white as the pair danced down the slope. When Ezra
and Vin leapt off the cliff he made a strangling noise in his throat. Only
James tackling him kept Chris from breaking their cover, therefore he
didnt see the paragliders open. He didnt open his eyes again
till he heard Buck explain.
"Theyve got paragliders pard, theyre alright. Those two are riding
the winds back into the valley." Buck sounded like he didnt know whether
to laugh or cry from relief.
James picked himself up and brushed the snow off. "Ill have to tell
Q to send them new jackets."
Chris, his face pale, was barely in control when he looked over at James,
"You knew?" He accused.
James raised an eyebrow before answering. "I take it they didnt tell
you about the paragliders in the jackets?"
"No." Chris said through gritted teeth.
After checking the mountainside for other shooters and finding none. Buck
turned his attention back to following the paragliders flight as they rode
the air currents down to the valleys floor.
"Damn that looks like fun."
"Buck, are they down yet?" Chris asked without looking up.
"Almost, looks like theyre all in one piece too."
"Good, 'cause Im going to kill them."