REMEMBER ULYSSES by Lyda Mae (RavenDove) Huff

Chapter Fourteen: Mission End

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The lone helicopter glided across the dark sky of the early morning hours. Bond had to do some smooth talking in order to get landing clearance. He guided the air-craft in a gentle curve; coming to rest atop the Ministry of Defense building.
M stood waiting with Moneypenny, and Dr. Ekles. He opened the door, and climbed out; only to find himself beseeched by the very angry physician. "I believe 015 is in more immediate need of your services Dr. Ekles. One of our friends from Pantheon decided to stab her in the back. Literally!" Dr. Ekles was already on the other side of the helicopter; opening the door, and releasing the seat-belt.
Bond pulled the case containing the ciphers from his vest; then strolling forward handed it to M. "This disk; plus the data tape should provide the means to round up the remaining Pantheon members. The control codes for the Prosepheney satellites should also be on the data tape."
Dr. Ekles had a stretcher brought to the roof for Ande. M stood saying nothing. Once Ande had been taken in; M led 007 and Moneypenny to the situation room. Silence was not a good thing; Bond knew this. After this the woman would probably have him cashiered from the service. (Oh well! It had been a good job while it lasted. After all his line of work rarely got to be boring.)

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Bond paced along one wall of the situation room. It was just past dawn Pantheon would have ruled the world now; if not for his intervention. Ande had been a great help, but if he hadn't gone off on his own she would not have been sent after him. Now her life hung in the balance, and he couldn't help but think it was all his fault.
M had all but out right ignored him these few hours since his return. The feel of the room made his skin want to crawl. Moneypenny had half tried to ask what all he had been doing, but M was keeping her to busy for conversation.
The satellites had been easy to bring down now that they had the codes. The Pantheon members still at large were now known to the authorities around the world. It was all wrapping up quite nicely. Still he worried about Ande.
At the sound of the doors opening Bond turned his head. Dr. Ekles had finely emerged from his section of the building, and the look on his face was good. He walked over to M; as did Bond and Moneypenny. All of them were eager to hear the news.
Ekles cleared his throat before speaking. "Dr. Lamont is going to be just fine." The whole room breathed a sigh; relieved at the news. "The wound was deep, and she lost a-lot of blood, but still she was lucky. If that knife had penetrated one centimeter in any direction other than it did; It would have hit any number of vital organs. The only thing it cut was the diaphragm muscle, and that was barely a nick." The look on his face made clear that he was truly astonished that it hadn't been any worse.
M finely spoke after a long silence. "Pantheon is essentially no more. Now that 015 is on the mend; that leaves only one lose end." Everyone looked at Bond; standing there innocently.
Bond looked around; attempting to play dumb. "Oh really! And what might that be?" He removed his vest, and shoulder holster with his trusty Walther PPK; setting them on a near by table.
M looked right at him; her eyes boring into his soul. "You are still officially a rouge agent."
He gave her a look that said; 'what gave you that idea "Is that all?" He raised his hand as if giving up. "Consider me officially surrendered then." He gestured Dr. Ekles to the door. "After you Dr. No doubt you have plans for revenge after my hasty departure." With a nod from M; the two men headed out the door.
M watched them go; her mind wandering. (What am I ever to do with 007. He's a good agent, but he's damn stubborn.)

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Nurse Delight was glad for the facade of peace that the medical unit had known the past three days. Ever since Commander Bond had returned he had been overly cooperative. With only him and Dr. Lamont as a patients; things had gone back to almost their usual hum-drum pace. Only the more immediate, and security sensitive cases ended up hear. Hence why the fairly new facility was so small; it made for light yet interesting work. Excitement was far between, but when it rained it poured. Lotta was glad too see this particular deluge come to an end. Nurse Delight looked up in time too see M and Dr. Ekles walk past the duty desk, and into 007's room.
M stood in the door a moment evaluating the man who sat in the room playing solitaire. His back was turned; yet he stopped looking up but not at the door. "Has there been a stay of execution, or am I just being moved?" he asked sardonically. Then in one fluid motion turned to face his visitors. Resting his left foot on his right knee; Bond began drumming his fingers on the monitoring device around his ankle.
M looked at him; half tempted too make him stew a day or so more. Then she admitted to herself that it would not do any good. Finally she spoke; "Your gallows humor is unnecessary 007, and perhaps unwise." She raised an eyebrow to make her point clear. "All things considered the entire incident with Pantheon is being called a victory. a victory that would not have been possible without actions taken by you. This does not erase the fact that you acted without authorization, or that you put others in danger by acting on your own." She paused a moment; trying to phrase what needed too be said. "Taking into account prior service it dose however excuse them. You will therefore be returned to service as soon as you have fully recovered."
Bond looked at her not really surprised at what had been said. "Am I still confined to this room?" He tapped on the monitoring anklet a little more blatantly; as if too say 'Is this really necessary?'
M had about enough of 007; he could be so.... infuriating. "You are too remain in the medical unit; until Dr. Ekles says you may leave. You're on your word."
Bond looked at the both of them then leaned back. "I honestly haven't anywhere to go."
At this remark Dr. Ekles stepped forward; taking a pair of scissors from the pocket of his lab coat. "If you leave before I release you; I will have you tied down like I suggested before." At this Dr. Ekles cut the anklet off, pocketed it along with the scissors and left.
Bond watched him go; then stood stretching. "I do believe I have a sick friend in the next room. No doubt she would enjoy a visit as much as I." He started for the door.
M stopped him "One more thing 007. You can't just run off on your own every time your orders don't suit you. Sooner or later it won't turn out how you plan, and it will be the end of you."
He could hear the conviction in her voice; and perhaps a little concern. Perhaps the Evil Queen of Numbers wasn't as cold as she let on. "Some things are too big to ignore, and some times they need to be stopped." He looked at her as she acknowledged his logic with a nod, and left.

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Ande lie in her bed; unable to sit up because of her stitches. Light drifted through the fifth-story window onto the page of her book. It was the one James had given her. She had sent it along with the message to M care of Q. She fidgeted; loosing the feeling in her left arm thanks too the IV. Comfort was only a memory at the moment; she hadn't felt such a thing in roughly a week. Not since before she had been called to M's office.
"To be, or not to be,-that is the question:- Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?" Bond so quoted the bard from the doorway.
Ande had not expected him, but was glad to hear his voice. Looking up from the story she had read so many times before; into his eyes as he strolled cross the room she smiled. "Now that was 'Hamlet'."
Bond smiled at Ande with mischief in his eyes. "Don't tell me; you minored in English lit."
Ande chuckled, and regretted it. "No; actually my mother read Shakespeare too me instead of the Brothers Grimm, or Louise Carol."
Bond took a seat in the bedside chair. "You have me at a disadvantage Dr. Lamont. You knew things about me I don't really know; before we even met. Here it is I know practically nothing about you."
She looked over at him; setting the book aside. "Not much too tell really. I grew up in a circus; dad was a knife thrower and mum was a tight- rope walker. They both died when I was rather young."
"An orphan." Bond thought aloud.
"Yes; common in our line of work. No family, few ties it's better that way." She looked at him longing.
He stood gazing down into her blue-green eyes. "I hope you'll still let me even things up with dinner once they let you out of here."
She looked away for a moment; as if thinking. Then turned back a grin from ear to ear; "Just you try and stop me."
Bond leaned over giving her a passionate, and rather urgent kiss. "Now why would I want to do that? The last guy I saw get in your way had rather sharp regrets."
Ande laughed deeply; cringing in pain. "If we're not careful I'll tare my stitches."
Bond stood there smirking. "I guess I'll just have to kiss it better then." This comment bringing on more laughter, and a lethal look from Ande.

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THE END?