Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Bond. I do own all new characters and situations, so please don't use those without my permission.
Author's Notes: Having recently watched "Die Another Day" yet again, I had to put this down on paper. However, due to the nature of the content in later chapters, the rating will either go up to R or the chapters in question will be heavily edited. This one is a short chapter, just to set the scene evil grin
1. Precision Timing
The offices were empty, save for a few hardy souls working the night shift. Angela Moneypenny, MI6 agent and 'super secretary', closed down her computer and locked her desk drawers. Darkness had descended outside and, glancing at her watch, she smiled to herself, knowing she had just enough time. It had become somewhat of a ritual for her now; leave work by six and she could be at his house by seven. She waved goodbye to Agent Andrews as she headed for the lift, and smiled to Jenny on reception as she left the MI6 headquarters. She walked down the street a few meters and hailed a taxi, giving the driver the address to which she was headed. A shiver ran down her spine as she looked out of the taxi window; the streets of London were slightly blurred as the vehicle headed out of the city centre. She closed her eyes for a brief moment, trying to shake off the uneasy feeling that had been plaguing her all day. The scent of something sickly sweet tickled her senses for a second, but was gone before she could identify the substance, and she wondered whether she had imagined it. A wry smile tugged at her lips as the taxi drew up at the curb in a quiet street, and she paid the driver, missing the look he gave her as she slowly got out of the car. She waited for the taxi to pull away before she turned and walked back down the street, towards her real destination.
Street lamps dotted along the quiet street cast small pools of yellow light onto the stone pavement, small puddles of light in a lake of darkness. The uneasy feeling was growing as she walked slowly, gradually becoming a small, hard knot of fear in her stomach. Something was wrong, she just couldn't put her finger on what it was. Her head felt lighter than normal, as if she were disconnected from her body in some way. She stopped suddenly, her hand resting on the cold metal of a lamppost to steady herself, as a sudden wave of dizziness washed over her.
"I must be coming down with something," she murmured to herself, her voice sounding overly loud in the silence of the deserted street. Shaking her head to try and dispel the fog which was seeping into her mind, she straightened her shoulders and took an unsteady step forwards. The street around her began to blur, her vision swimming as her legs refused to co-operate. Wave upon wave of nausea washed over her and she clamped her jaws shut against the urge to throw up. The world around her seemed to be in slow motion for a moment, as her legs buckled and she fell towards the hard pavement. With a curious switch of pace, the world suddenly seemed to fast-forward, and the stone beneath her rushed up to meet her. She bit her lip against the urge to cry out as pain laced through her knees and hands, the result of bone impacting against stone. Slumping against the stone wall behind her, she tried to steady her senses and calm her frayed nerves. Her breathing was fast and shallow as she tried to get her scattered thoughts to form some sort of coherent string, but the fog had grown thicker in her mind and she couldn't focus properly.
She jumped as the silence was shattered by the ringing of a cell phone nearby. She wondered briefly if someone was on the street; maybe they'd see her and offer their assistance. It took a few moments for her to realise that the phone she could hear was her own, tucked away in her small black handbag. Struggling to make shaking hands respond, she finally managed to retrieve the phone from her bag and press the accept button. It took all of her will to force numb fingers to grasp the phone and lift it to her ear.
"Moneypenny, are you there?" The female voice was familiar to her, but Angela couldn't place it immediately.
"Yes, M, I'm here." Her voice sounded strange, even to her own ears.
"Angela, what's wrong? Where are you?" The concern in the voice of her boss was obvious, and Angela realised, with a brief second of clarity, that this would be her only chance at help.
"I'm on Bristol Crescent..." Her words were heavily slurred as her voice trailed off.
"M, something's wrong. I can't explain what, but I can't move..." Each word was an effort to force past nerveless lips, but she desperately hoped her boss would understand them and send help.
"Angela, I'm going to call an ambulance. Stay where you are and someone will be with you soon." M was doing a good job of hiding her own distress, but Angela's fog filled brain could still sense it.
"Hurry..." The word was barely more than a whisper, as her hand slipped away from her ear, taking the phone with it. Angela couldn't tell if the connection was still active; her attention had focused on the shadows around her. Darkness shifted, solidifying into a person who knelt down in front of her. The taxi driver, her mind identified him.
"Right on time," he laughed harshly, his voice sounding as if it were coming down a long tunnel. She stared at him in confusion, paralysed by whatever was happening to her. The world was playing tricks on her again, moving in that strange slow motion as a deafening sound erupted around her. An explosion, probably a bomb, she reasoned, trying to pinpoint the source. A part of her mind screamed at her to run, to fight, to get away from this person. Screams welled up in her throat but her body refused to do as she told it, and the screams died silently, unable to be released. Her nose caught that strange scent again, cloying and sickly sweet, but stronger now, invading her senses. Chloroform, she realised too late, as a damp cloth was pressed over her nose and mouth. She was dimly aware of the taxi driver smashing her cell phone under his boot heel, then the darkness rose up and claimed her, dragging her down into the blessed oblivion of unconsciousness.