Disclaimer: I do not own anything in the James Bond franchise. The only I own is the original characters in this fiction: Penelope Bridey and Eddie Pickerton.
The kettle was whistling. The steam spewed out of the neck of the metal pot. Two hands rushed to turn off the stove top. A tea bag was placed in the mug waiting for it. A spoon was used to stir the tea bag to allow the flavor to seep out into the steaming hot water that was quickly added. The mug was brought to a pair of perfectly painted red lips, which blew on the steam to cool down the water to a drinkable level.
Penelope Bridey took her cup of tea as well as her lunch back to her office desk, where her work station was set up. She sat down in the chair and opened her bag, pulling out a turkey sandwich from the shop down the street. Before starting on the sandwich, she quickly typed in her three passwords to unlock the computer. She pulled up her email to check if she had recieved any new emails intended for her boss. When she saw there was none, she closed the page, and took a bite of her sandwich.
"A bit hungry Penelope?" Eddie called at her from a few desks back. He was an average-looking man, with nothing distinguishable about his face. Mousy brown hair that laid flat on his head, plain grey eyes, just the slightest hint of stubble on his chin. A second-hand gray wool suit with no label, and boring brown shoes completed his look. He always made Penelope feel strange, like he was watching her when her back was turned. He sat at his own desk, eating a granola bar and sipping his own cup of tea. He smirked and nodded at her sandwich, which was on the larger side.
"Starving," Penelope said sarcastically after she had swallowed the bite. Eddie chuckled, but said no more. Penelope ate her sandwich in silence, listening and watching the people around her.
Penelope was the secretary for the Q Division of MI6. All she did was take calls, do filing, and take notes during meetings. For such a high-risk job, it was reletively simple, and dare she say it, almost boring. They hadn't had any incidents since the Silva chaos, and though Penelope was happy about that, she did wish something lively would happen more often than it did.
Penelope never wanted to be a receptionist. She never even intended to work for MI6. Her plans were to be a writer. A reporter. She was a brilliant student in school, but never went to university due to lack of funding and her parents dying. Instead, she got into the talent of hacking. Anything she could get into, she got into. Secrets and plans, affairs and robberies. They were all in her hands with the quick flash of her fingers across the keyboard. She would find out peoples secrets and then sell them for money to get by. Mostly to the newspapers or other businesses. She had gotten in too deep with one scheme and ended up trying to hack into the MI6's foreign affairs, but she never got past the first passcode. Agents were knocking on her door, and bringing her into questioning.
The head of Secret Services, an elderly woman called M questioned her brutally. When she saw that Penelope was not actually a threat and just a young woman using her talents to get by in the world, she hired her as a secretary. She was forced to sign a contract stating that as long as she was taken care of by MI6, she would not be hacking into anything, whether it be government related or not. Penelope often wondered how long they would "take care" of her, and what would happen to her when they decided to stop.
"Penelope? Could you come here please?" She heard her name called out from the back of the room. She stood up, not needing to look back to see who it was. She knew exactly who was calling for her. The head of her department, Q. A tall, gangly young man with extremely dishelved long black hair and a paled complexion. A pair of glasses always sitting on his nose, hiding his green eyes. He was definitly handsome, Penelope admitted to herself. But everyone knew Q was married to his work, and was the most awkward person to talk to if you were a female. So Penelope pushed her thoughts aside and always focused on her work.
"How can I help Q?" Penelope asked as she stepped into Q's workspace.
"Could you please deliver this to M?" Q asked, handing her a sliver flashdrive. "Do not let that get into the wrong hands. It's all the information on 007's new gun and if anyone knew what was on it, it would be most unfortunite for Bond."
"Of course," Penelope took the tiny drive. "Have I ever let you down before?"
"No, but one can never be to careful," Q mumbled, knowing she really had never failed him on any task she was ever given. He knew Penelope was reliable, and loyal. She would never betray her government, even if they practically forced her into employment.
"Anyone trying to get this information would have to pry it from my cold dead hands," Penelope smirked at the man. He gave her a small smile and a nod, and Penelope turned to walk out.
"Oh, and Penelope?" She heard him call again. She already knew what he wanted.
"I'll be sure to get your tea on the way back," she smiled. He grinned back at her. Q had begun working for MI6 two years after Penelope began working there. Before, the old Q was an elderly man with a cheeky sense of humor. Penelope had enjoyed working for him, and when he decided to retire, she was sad to see him go. But then the present Q began working, and Penelope soon found she liked him just as much as the old Q. He was a lot quieter, and could be very condescending to people below his intelligence, but he was a diligent worker, and once you got past the standoffish exterior, he was very polite. It was not long before he and Penelope were used to each other, and she could tell when he needed another cup of tea just by the look of how stressed he was.
Penelope squeezed her hand around the flashdrive and made her way out of the Q Division. She could feel a pair of eyes on her back, and she knew they were Eddie's, but she made no movement that indicated she cared. She only continued towards the elevators, which would take her M's office.
The elderly woman who had interviewed Penelope three years ago had passed away only a year ago. It was a tragidy to all the workers, as they had all developed deep respect and admiration for the woman. However, the man in his 50's with a receading hairline that had taken over was just as admirable and many of the workers had already taken a liking to him. His name was Gareth Mallory, but of course, in the workplace, he was only M.
Penelope found herself at the door leading to Eve Moneypenny's office, which in turn, lead to M's office. Moneypenny was M's personal secretary. She knocked on the door, waited a few seconds, and proceded in. She found Moneypenny sitting at her desk, and Mr. James Bond leaning against a table across from her.
"Hello Bridey," Moneypenny smiled at her. She and Penelope had become close due to their similar jobs and their need to be present at meetings. When meetings were particularly slow, they would flick tiny folded up notes at each other like schoolgirls, complaining about the stuffy old boardmembers and Bond's smart suits. Penelope loved to tease Moneypenny about Bond because she knew the woman and the agent were always chasing each other all over the building.
"Hello Moneypenny," Penelope said. "Hello Mr. Bond. I just need to give M this flashdrive. It's got all the information for your new toy." She looked at Bond.
"Oh, by all means, give it to him. The sooner he clears it all, the sooner I get it," Bond gave her a small smile.
"There's nobody in, so you go right ahead," Moneypenny gestured at the door that lead to M's office.
"Thank you," Penelope walked towards and and opened the leather-padded door.
M was standing by the window looking out, a teacup in his hand, ready to be dranken out of. When Penelope entered, he stopped and looked over at her.
"Ah, what has Q cooked up today?" He asked, moving towards his desk and sitting down. Penelope handed him the flashdrive.
"He didn't tell me, just wanted to make sure you got it and not someone else," she explained.
"Which is why he sent you to deliver it," M looked up at her. He knew just as much as Q that Penelope would not linger from the path. She was quick and prompt, and they both valued that. M knew it was hard to come by such faithful workers.
"Well, thank you Bridey, I'll be sure to look this over quickly and have it sent back to Q as quick as I can. We wouldn't want 007 to wait for the new gadgets too long, now do we?"
"Not at all sir," Penelope said. "Thank you." She turned and walked out.
"Have you gone to lunch yet Penelope?" Moneypenny asked her as she entered the smaller office.
"Yes, I have, but I need to go to the kitchen anyways, I can walk with you," Penelope offered.
"Why are you going to the kitchen?" Bond asked.
"To get a cup for Q," Penelope explained.
"Oh, he has you fetch his tea for you now? Or do you do it because you're so nice?" Bond asked suggestivly. Penelope rolled her eyes. She knew where this was going.
"I do it because I know when someone is stressed and tea is always a good destresser," she told him.
"I'm sure, and what is it that is stressing the boy so much? The long hours? Staring at a computer screen for days on end? Or maybe from his lack in companionship?"
"Probably from trying to delvelop new technology that will save your arse when the time is needed." Penelope snapped at him. He smirked, admiring her quick wit.
"I should be going," Penelope said. "I need to get back to work."
"Yes, let's let the girl fetch her boss's tea and we'll go out for lunch," Bond told Moneypenny. She quickly agreed, grabbing her purse.
"Bye Penelope," Moneypenny called as they parted ways.
Walking back, Penelope became uneased. She felt like something was not right. She looked around to see if someone was doing something they should not have been doing, but she saw no one out of place. Still feeling wrong, she hurried to the kitchen and prepared Q's tea. It was then that Eddie stepped into view.
"Hello Penelope," he greeted her.
"Hello Eddie," Penelope said back. She was not fond of Eddie and how he always leered at her. However, she put up with him for the sake of her job.
Eddie walked over to the counter she was standing at, and watched as she poured the hot water into Q's favorite mug.
"Do you need something?" She asked impatiently. She was feeling extremely uncomfortable by his closeness to her.
"No, no, nothing I can't do myself," he answered. He continued to stare at her, his eyes flickering all over her body. Penelope finished getting the cup ready, waved goodbye, and was on her way back to the Q Division. It wasn't until she reached the door when she realized Eddie was right behind her.
"Here, let me get that for you," he opened the door for her.
"Oh, thank you Eddie," Penelope nodded at him and entered the room.
She began walking towards the back of the room to Q, when suddenly a hand latched onto her wrist. Gasping, Penelope was forced around, and found herself face to face with Eddie. He seemed livid, much unlike his decently composed self he was a moment ago. His plain grey eyes were filled with sudden rage.
"Where is it?" He hissed, only loud enough for her to hear.
"What are you talking about? Let me go." Penelope tried to pull her wrist out of his grip, but he wouldn't let go.
"I need it, where is it?" He demanded.
"Eddie, stop, I really don't know what you're talking about!" Penelope didn't want to cause a scene, but she was starting to panic. She had no idea what was going on and she didn't know how far Eddie would go.
Q was standing at his workstation, typing away, when he noticed a commotion at the front of the expansive room. He looked up, and saw Penelope standing by her front desk, his tea mug in hand, but also Eddie, one of the more suspcious workers, gripping onto her wrist and looking like he was about to do damage to her face. He could see the sheer panic in Penelope's face and was suddenly very worried.
"Hey! What's going on?" Q hollered at them. He abandonded his work and started towards them. Eddie dropped Penelope's wrist as soon as he heard Q's voice, and straightened up, clearing out his throat.
"Nothing, nothing's going on," he said calmly. "We were just chatting. Weren't we Penny."
"I don't believe anyone here is allowed to call her 'Penny'," Q remarked. "A nickname is used by friends or family, neither of which are you. So please stick to calling her Penelope or Bridey, which I would prefer. Now, I do not believe that you were just chatting. It looked like something much more, and I demand to know what was happening."
"You sound like a child that's been left out of the conversation," Eddie chuckled. "Go back to your work Q. There's nothing to see here."
Q stepped foreward and toward over Eddie. "I am your boss Mr. Pickerton. And you will do as I say. Now tell me, what was going on here? Why were you attacking Penelope?"
Penelope was shaking by that point. She had no idea what to do or say. She was at a complete loss of words. Eddie smirked at Q, when they heard a low beep. Looking down, Q saw a small radio in Eddie's hand. He had just pressed a button on it, causing a light to flash red. This could only be something terrible. Just as Q was coming to this realization, Eddie pulled out a gun. Q's reflects were good, but not excellent, and he only just managed to shove Eddie's arm out of the way before he fired the first bullet. Eddie was thrown back, giving enough time for Q and Penelope to dive behind the front desk. Everyone in the division paniced, running for safety. Eddie had quickly recovered and was now firing bullets at anyone he saw. It was then that they realized that the building was in complete uproar. They could hear screaming coming from the rooms outside, as well as more gunshots.
"Come out little Penny," Eddie called out. He sounded like a lunatic, chuckling and sighing. "Come out and give me what I want."
"What does he want?" Q whispered to her.
"I don't know!" Penelope whispered back. "I really don't know!"
"I know you know what I want," Eddie taunted. "It's somewhere hidden and only you know where to find it. And I really want. So you're going to come out, and come with me, and show me where you've hidden it. And then you're going to be let go. You're going to be let go right into the middle of the ocean. Where you belong."
He fired off a few shots to emphasize his point.
"I wonder if I need to pursuede you to give it to me," Eddie wondered aloud. He moved quicker than they could realize, and before they knew it, he had one of the smaller female coders locked under his arm. She cried out in pain and fright, and struggled against his grip, but he held tight. "Come out right now and I won't plant a bullet in little Idra's puney brain."
Penelope knew he was not bluffing That was not something you bluffed about. Before Q could stop her, Penelope had stood up with her hands in the air.
"Stop!" She yelled. Eddie and Idra both froze. A smirk grew on Eddie's lips and he knew he had won. Q grabbed at Penelope, hissing at her to get down, but she merely swatted him away and stepped foreward out of his reach. "Let her go," she instructed the madman. He let Idra go and she scrambled away to hide under a desk.
"Come closer dear," Eddie told her. She did as he said, walking into reaching distance. He grabbed her by the throat and brought her close. "You're going to give it to me and then I'm going to kill you. And if you don't do as you're told, I'll kill everyone in this building, including your precious Q. Do you understand?"
Penelope nodded. Eddie held onto the back of her neck and yanked her out of the room. It was then that Penelope realized just how much of an uproar Eddie had caused. There were men dressed in black shooting up the place, trying to get rid of as many agents and other workers as they could. Eddie dragged Penelope through the battlefield and through a door that lead to a deserted hallway. At the end of it was an elevator. Penelope did not recogonize this way and she wondered if anyone had known about it.
"Get your ass in there," Eddie growled at her, as he pushed her into the waiting elevator. He quickly pressed the down button and the doors closed. Just as they were closing, the door at the end of the hallway burst open and there was Bond and Q rushing after them. But they did not make it to them in time and Penelope and Eddie were going down to an unknown destination. Penelope wanted to break down. Just before the doors had closed, she had seen Q's face and it was of pure terror. He was scared for her. Just as she was scared for herself.