Royale Change [11/?]
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the Bond franchise.
Summary: M accompanies Bond to Casino Royale in Montenegro, in order to keep her wayward agent in line. But will her presence help, or become a distraction for Bond? One thing is for certain, the mission will change both their lives. For better or worse, it remains to be seen.
White's state home – Villa Gaeta, Lombardia, Italy"
White hung up the call with Vesper, silently cursing her foolishness. She wasn't turning out to as useful as he first thought. Now he would have to change their plans. The account number he had was useless. He needed that number and he needed Bond's boss to do it for him. If he had fallen for Vesper they would have had him and the money, if anyone could keep MI6 of their tail was him, he knew the in and outs of the of SIS, he would also make a valuable hit man.
He walked over to the computer monitor, and looked at the picture of Bond's boss staring back at him. His source had sent him everything about Olivia Mansfield, and he had to admit she was a formidable woman, smart and still had a certain beauty about her. But she was also represented a threat to their plans. No doubt she was looking to find every bit of detail she could about them. They had come too far for one woman to ruin it all, but it would be a shame to kill her should Bond not cooperate. She had potential, but she was too loyal to Queen and country.
He should have seen it at first, she was the key to everything. If he still wouldn't cooperate he would kill them both. With Olivia out the way, he could appoint his own man as head of MI6. Giving the screen a calculating look, a new plan forming in his mind. Looking through his contacts, he found the number he was looking for and pressed call. After a few rings, the voice on the other end answered.
"I think I've found a way that could solve all our problems. "
"What about Bond and the money?" The receiver gruffly replied.
"We're working on it, but as of this moment Bond is no longer our main concern, but we will let them believe he is."
He gave a smirk and continued to stare at the monitor. There could only be one winner at the end of this, and right now he was the one holding the winning hand.
Villa Balbianello, Lombardia, Italy
Bond's ears perked up, wondering what it was she had heard from Vesper.
"Do you know what this latest plan involves?"
"No, I only heard one side of the conversation, there was something about a contract and that 'he would never fall for that', I'm assuming she was referring to you."
"At least she is right about one thing."
"Quite, we need to detain her. She knows where White is."
James sat there lost in thought. "It also means that someone here gave her a mobile. I wonder who could have done that?"
M gave him a reproachful look, and turned back on the laptop.
"They may have done, which is the reason why I need Tanner out here, with a few agents to question her. She won't answer to me or you, so Tanner is the next best thing."
There was a knock on the door and M looked to James giving him a nod.
James went on guard upon seeing Mitchell enter the room.
"I've done a thorough search of the premises ma'am no sign of Mathis."
"I didn't expect there to be. Was there anything else Mitchell?"
Mitchell stepped forward slightly, causing Bond to sit up straighter.
"I was wondering if you managed to get any information from Villiers Ma'am."
"None yet, he is not willing to give us a name, but he has told Tanner enough to help us gain some information on White's whereabouts. He is also having Q check the CCTV footage of where you were stationed to see if we can get any leads from that front."
M saw his posture change, and narrowed her eyes seeing the worry that was there.
"Hopefully, there will be something to help us progress in this enquiry Ma'am."
"Here's hoping Mitchell. If that's everything, I want you to guard Miss Lynd until Tanner arrives."
"Of course Ma'am, Bond."
Mitchell left them alone and M counted to three under her breath waiting for James to say something. She only got to two before his voice filled the room.
"Still think he has nothing to do with it?"
"Oh, shut up and let me contact Tanner."
She waited for him to answer with no luck and let out a sigh of frustration.
"Well, you did tell him to keep sweating Villiers and to do a search on White and Greene." He told her amused.
"Yes, thank you for that reminder James."
Her gentle tapping of the keyboard filled the room, causing James, to wonder what she was doing.
He watched in slight awe as she hacked into the facilities CCTV cameras, and found the ones situated inside and outside of Miss Lynd's room as well as the on around the perimeter and brought them up on the screen.
"I'll say it again M, you're full of surprises."
Her lip turned up slightly in amusement. "The only problem is there is no sound, so we will need to make do with this for the time being."
M watched as Vesper paced her room, biting her nails as she did so, knowing she was on borrowed time. An organisation like Quantum and people like White don't let their associates walk away. They would kill her eventually.
She came out of her thoughts when she noticed an incoming call from Tanner, clicking accept, she wasted no time in asking what he had found out.
"Ma'am, I have some good news and bad news."
"I thought there might be. What have you found?"
Tanner looked tired more than he normally did, and she knew this was having just as much as an effect on him as it was them.
"I did those checks like you asked me too, and it seems Dominic Greene runs an organisation called Greene Planet, which is supposedly devoted to buying up large sums of land for ecological preservation. He is currently working on a Tierra project in Bolivia and it seems our friends from the CIA have been tracking his movements for some time."
"How long has he been on their priority list?" M asked him urgently.
"Two years by the looks of it, but I'm assuming they don't have enough evidence on him, hence why they are tracking his movements."
"Could it be possible that there are some Quantum members working for the CIA?"
Tanner let out a sigh. "It's possible Bond, but we can't know for certain."
"And what about White? Were you able to find anything on him?" M jumped to the chase, trying not to think about more Quantum members running amok.
"That's the bad news, it seems he is on our system, but I can't access his information."
"What the hell do you mean you can't access his information?"
"Exactly that Ma'am, it requires high clearance level, even you don't have permission to gain access to it. Which means..."
"It's someone who higher up in the government hierarchy. Shit."
"Precisely Ma'am and whoever it is doesn't want anyone to find out White's information which makes tracking his whereabouts all that more difficult. We have nothing concrete to go on."
"What about Villiers?"
"Still no luck, but it proves your theory that whoever he passed on the information to works for our government."
"And without a name, or evidence we have no way of stopping them."
"I'm afraid so ma'am."
The sound of Tanner's phone ringing halted their conversation. M waited with bated breath wondering what had happened now. It wasn't long before he ended the call, and turned his attention back to them.
"It seems Q has almost checked through the CCTV footage, but from what he told me it seems Mitchell's story checks out."
"He has to be lying Tanner, get Q to check it again." Bond being annoyed was an understatement. He knew the bastard had something to do with all of this.
"Bond, Q knows what he is doing. Do you believe that he would mess this up?"
Tanner knew it was getting to him, but it was getting to all of them, and putting the blame on one man was getting them nowhere.
Bond didn't answer him, knowing Q was excellent at what he did, but even geniuses can make mistakes.
"Tanner, I need you and a few agents out here. We need to take Vesper in for questioning she is now a high security risk and right now you're the one I trust to get the job done."
"Very well Ma'am, what about Villiers?"
"He had his chance Tanner, lock him up for now. Maybe he will be more cooperative knowing the longer he withholds information, the longer he will stay that way."
"Ma'am. Oh, there was one more thing. I should probably say congratulations. "
"On what?" She was looking at him in confusion.
"It's about time, you and Bond got together." If there wasn't a screen separating them she would wipe that smile off his face.
"What gave you that idea?"
"Considering the first time you contacted me I had obviously interrupted what was no doubt going to be an intimate moment, if Bond's sulking attitude was anything to go by."
"I'll crack the jokes Tanner." James told him put out at being caught sulking, even though he had a valid reason for doing so.
M groaned in annoyance. "I would rather you didn't Bond. And for god sake Tanner wipe that stupid grin off your face."
"Yes, ma'am. I'll try to be there as soon as I can."
The monitor once again showed the cameras and M noticed not much had changed, but then again she hadn't expected it to.
"That was a complete waste of bloody time. We've got no further forward. Villiers is shit scared to talk, and there may be quantum members in the CIA. Oh, and let's not forget our own government seems to want to prevent us from finding what we have on White."
"That's about the just of it James. If Tanner can get Vesper to disclose the information on White, we may be able to pin point a location for him and bring him in."
"There's always Mathis? "
M let out a sigh. "He doesn't know anymore than we do, he told me all he knows."
"So we what just sit back and wait for White to make his move and carry out whatever plan he has in mind?" James grumbled not liking the idea one bit.
"For the time being. The quicker this money is transferred it will give us one less thing to be concerned about."
James lay lost in thought, there must be something they were missing, but he couldn't think for the life of him what it was. He heard M mumbling about the CIA, then his eyes widened.
"Wait, Tanner said the CIA was tracking Greene's movements?"
"Yes, but they are hardly going to reveal anything they have on him are they?"
"The CIA won't, but there may be someone who can."
M turned and looked straight at him waiting for him to elaborate.
"Think about it M? Who bought me back into the game?"
M's eyes, widened realisation dawning over her, "Felix."
"They wanted us to hand Le Chiffre over to the CIA for questioning, so they probably knew if they questioned him…"
"They would find Greene which would lead them to White."
"Exactly." James smiling that they were on the same wavelength.
"Do you trust him?"
"I've no reason not to."
M gave her own smile. "Very well, do you know how to contact him?"
"Hand me the laptop."
M did what he asked, and watched as he typed away, not wanting to know the means he had in contacting him.
"While you do that, I'm going to go for a shower. I feel like death warmed over."
"Still very beautiful though." James looked up from the screen and gave her wink.
"Reign in the charm James and make sure you keep an eye on the CCTV."
She saw his face light up, and shook her head.
"I meant for Vesper, but know this James. If I come back and find you have been watching me in the shower you're going to have more injuries on top of the ones you already have. Do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal. I'll tell you M, you sure know how to kill the mood."
"I have been known for it."
She made her way towards the a joining bathroom only to stop in her tracks.
"I've just realised our clothes are still at the bloody reception."
"I'll call for the nurse."
"No you bloody well won't!"
He halted his finger over the button, in amusement.
"We aren't in a hotel, I'll go and get them myself."
"I'm starting to think you want far away from me as possible."
"Oh for Christ sake." She marched from the room, ignoring his protests for her to come back.
James couldn't help but grin. He did love riling her up. Looking back at the monitor he scrolled through SIS database finding the one file Tanner couldn't access. He only had three attempts to try this before he would be locked out. After two tries, he let out a frustrated sigh, it had to be something related to White. They wouldn't use 'Quantum' it was too obvious. But then again... Taking a gamble he quickly tried again and pressed enter.
He let out a triumphant grin and quickly scrolled through White's information. He looked at the picture of an older man who appeared to be the same age as M. Ignoring the picture he continued to scroll through the file noticing they had been keeping tabs on him for a few years. Looking through the list of destinations where he was last sighted, he noticed that he had been to more than twelve countries in the space of a month. He was on the verge of scrolling down more, when he stopped seeing the same place listed more than once. Saving all the data to the laptop, he brought up a satellite image and quickly typed in the address he saw on White's file, and cursed under his breath at what he saw.
"What have you gone and done now James?" M walked in the room two bags in hand.
"How long did Tanner say he was going to be?" He asked her urgently.
"He said he would get here as soon as he could? Are you going to tell me what this is about?"
M dumped the bags and walked over to his bed.
"I've got a location on White."
"How the hell did you manage that?"
"That's not important, what is important is sending agents to this location." He turned the laptop to face her seeing her face pale.
"Shit. He's been close by this whole time."
"It would seem so. I downloaded everything we have on him, it's just a matter of going through it with a fine tooth comb."
M knew they would have to play this carefully. She didn't trust nay of the agents here, and waiting for Tanner could give White time to slip under the radar once again.
"What are you thinking M?"
"I think, we should wait before we send agents to White's location. I don't trust any of the agents here, and quite frankly I can't risk for them to tell him we know where he is. If he's even still there. The more we know about him, the more aware we will be to make the next move."
James wasn't satisfied with her answer, the more they delayed this the less chance they had of apprehending him., but he could see where she was coming from.
"Now tell me how you got this information? When you were supposed to be contacting Felix."
"I'm not going to get a bollocking on how it was against conduct am I?"
"You might if you don't tell me." She crossed her arms over her chest wincing slightly as she felt the skin pull under her bandage.
"Well, as you know all government agencies love password protecting all their files, yours included. My first two tries were unsuccessful as you probably guessed, but whoever locked his file couldn't have been more obvious if they tried."
"Wait, you're trying to tell me they used 'Quantum' as the password?" Disbelief clouding her voice.
"In a manner of speaking. They may be obvious, but they aren't that thick."
"Would you get to the point James."
" I thought about it, then I remembered the whole scenario with Skyfleet. They had a code word 'ELLIPSIS' which was essentially a pass code for the security room at the airport. Basically one letter is substituted as a number. So, I did the same with the word 'QUANTUM' which gave me the code '7826886' and voila. As I say they are obvious, but not thick."
"I'm impressed James. I think those blows to the head actually did you some good this time around."
"Does that mean I get a reward?" He asked eagerly.
"Perhaps later. I want you to make yourself even more useful and go through that file. Any information you find stays between us for the time being. While you do that, I'm going for that shower, make sure you don't leave that bed and try to get a hold of Felix since you seemed so eager earlier."
He watched as she grabbed her bag from where she had left it and entered the bathroom, and closed the door behind her. He couldn't help but give a smirk at the simple action. If all went according to plan they would be able to capture White in a few days, and with any luck he may get to spend some time with M without having to worry about White, Quantum or bloody Mitchell. It was a soundproof plan in his head, but when did anything go right for them, maybe this time would be different, but he wouldn't hold his breath. He would mention a vacation to M later. For now he would focus on White's file and try to get in contact with Felix, hoping he could shed some light on what exactly the CIA was up too in regards to Greene.