Editor’s Note: I am pleased to present this original short story, authored by Perpetuelle’s James Bond. This story, first published on GP’s Mechanics of Style Blog, is the first in a series of adventures featuring “The Spy.”
The Spy knew his life was to change drastically once he began his profession. Seldom would he visit establishments that are hosts to nightlife. He would dine at his favorite restaurant only on occasion rather than weekly because hotels recommended the food to their international guests and he could not risk possible exposure. Travel was another dilemma. Before he became a spy he could travel as he please and not be concerned with transportation security because he had nothing to hide. But now, he had everything to hide. His organization was unique because it held no allegiance to any one country, just to mankind. Its mission was simply to maintain the balance of power among nations.
Standing next to the red velvet rope while waiting for the valet to fetch his car, the Spy reminisced about his 14 years of ultra-clandestine service. He had used so many aliases during his time, and like so many people in his profession he nearly forgot what his real name was. ‘Oh yes’ he thought to himself when he finally remembered.
It was raining this day and the Spy had an appointment to pick up a valuable piece of equipment. He had never gone on a mission without it. It was his Most Trusted Friend. It had sustained as many bruises and scratches as the Spy had. And it had as many close-calls, also. The valet pulled up and the Spy got in and sped away.
The roads in the French Riviera wind around cliffs over-looking the Mediterranean. The Spy glanced at the sea as he drove. He loved the water and was an avid SCUBA diver. He had nearly died during his last mission because in a reflex action to escape the danger he faced, he dove deep into the ocean off a yacht off the coast of Madagascar. He had no clue how deep he had gone, but he knew his oxygen tank was low. He had to stay down as long as he could to avoid certain death from the surface. To make the situation worse, it had been half past midnight and moonless; so it was dark. He regretted the equipment, the one he considers his Most Trusted Friend, was not there with him. His Most Trusted Friend was more at home in the watery depths than he was. In fact, it could stay under water for an indeterminate amount of time.
After a pleasant drive the Spy pulled up to the location where he would collect his Most Trusted Friend. The meeting was scheduled for 1:17pm precisely. As a spy, he never resorted to quarterly meetings because it is too obvious. He had to remain as unpredictable as possible. As trivial as it might seem, this precaution had one time helped to spot an assassin who was waiting to neutralize an asset the Spy had acquired. The Spy successfully neutralized the assassin before the meeting. There was no reason to think he was being watched, but old habits die hard.
The Spy walked up to the door of the building and yanked the pull cord to alert the man inside to let him in. Precisely at 1:17pm the door opened and the Spy walked in.
Expressionless, the Spy spoke first. “Is it ready?” he asked. The man answered “Yes sir. Because of its age I had to call Switzerland for a few parts because you instructed me to keep everything original as much as possible.”
The man walked behind a curtain and came out a split-second later with a small box. He handed it to the Spy. The Spy opened the box and smiled a sly smile. He whispered “Hello, my Most Trusted Friend.”
The Spy’s Most Trusted Friend was a vintage Girard-Perregaux Deep Diver Gyromatic wristwatch in stainless steel. The perpetual movement of the second hand made the Spy smile again because by it he knew his Most Trusted Friend was alive and ticking. The Spy had worn the watch on every mission and it never once failed him. He felt naked without his Most Trusted Friend on his wrist. He paid the man who had cared for his Most Trusted Friend and left.
He walked outside to his car and got in. Precisely at 1:26pm his next mission had just begun. His flight was scheduled to depart Nice Côte d’Azur Airport in 1 hour and 34 minutes. Looking at his wrist he asked his Most Trusted Friend “Are you ready?”