Your Unfinished Projects?

DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
in General Discussion Posts: 18,006
This thread is about Unfinished Projects. Those projects which are on the back burner, in the bottom drawer, filed away in the back of your mind. They can be literary projects, non-fiction articles, film projects, musical compositions, prop projects or anything else creative that you have had planned and started work on but that has sadly still not come to fruition.

I myself have quite a few unfinished James Bond blog articles that were started and sometimes a lot of which were written but then for whatever reason they were stopped in their tracks. The oldest of these pieces was started in 2007 but there are also a lot from 2012 too which were started but never finished. They and more recent unfinished articles now languish on my PC hard drive. I dearly hope they will see the light of day some time but one never knows with these things. I am something of a perfectionist and that combined with bouts of writer's block has made the completion of unfinished articles that bit harder. I have, however, added written notes to the drafts and hope to get some of them published in time as I think they are worthy of getting out into the world.

So can you sympathise? Do you also have unfinished projects in whatever form? Do you think they'll ever see the light of day or are they, like Coleridge's interrupted poem "Kubla Khan", existing only in your mind and thus will never live up to what you wanted them to be?

I'd love to hear from you in this thread about your Unfinished Projects!

Comments

  • TheSkyfallen06TheSkyfallen06 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    edited May 27 Posts: 1,033
    Unfinished projects! I've got tons of them, some of em' scrapped, some of em' still standing. This in particular is one of my most recent actually, i started it not so long ago, it's not one, but two draft pitch scripts for one of my favorite cartoon shows Ben 10 (which i actually currently have as my pfp). The reason as why i'm writing two is because the show has such an extensive lore that opens the door for new stories to unfold, and well, i just happen to be into that.
  • edited May 27 Posts: 14,927
    Well there's a few writing projects I have barely started. Some are quite advanced, but not finished.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    Posts: 24,265
    Mainly writing projects and a few concept art projects I have not been inspired to resume yet.
  • Posts: 1,707
    There's no easy answer here. There are projects that reside unformed in one's mind, those on paper that are incomplete, those that are complete and have been rejected, and those published that have gone nowhere.

    To date I have three published novels and twenty-nine plays. Half of my plays and my novels have gone nowhere. About half of my plays do pretty well. There were about 200 productions of my various plays last year. To be clear, these are in the school and community theatre market, not Broadway.

    While I take pride in what I've accomplished, what I consider my best work has been rejected and will not find a publisher. The play market, even the amateur market, is a tough market to crack. Having a track record with a publisher is no guarantee that one's next play will be accepted. I still get plenty of rejections from my favorite publisher.

    I have a couple of things that are not even on the stove yet, much less the back burner: a mystery novel racing quickly to nowhere, and a play that teases a few scenes without a plot that actually goes somewhere. Will these materialize? The novel most likely not. The play? Iffy. Sometimes a work takes a long time to discover itself.
  • LucknFateLucknFate 007 In New York
    Posts: 1,555
    Years ago, on this forum but under a different username, I published a few chapters of a 1960s-based Skyfall novelization I was personally working on. I never finished it and never will, but here's how far I got:

    Chapter 1: Deadly Daydream
    Bond's daydream was interrupted suddenly by the whine of a Muezzin. It was a startling ripple through the silence that was before. Bond had been thinking of Jamaica, how he had come to miss it. His multiple journeys there had made it a dream to him whenever he left. How he would like it now to be there, his skin browned, and his hair bleached. It did not compare to his current condition. The dry heat of Turkey and the piercing blaze of the sun was unrelenting. He wondered to himself if it was too much a risk to move for a glass of water. What noise would it make? Would the call to prayer of the Muezzin muffle the sound? Bond figured it was best to ignore his thirst. He let the calling distract him. He had always found Islam an interesting religion, with how prayer was five times a day. He had been riding in a taxi cab the previous day when all of the traffic ahead had stopped. The driver proceeded to get out and bow in prayer. It fascinated Bond how well the people of Istanbul managed to stop everything; how organized this system of prayer had become.

    Bond moved his mind to the room above. He wondered what was happening. He had heard the footsteps he expected about ten minutes ago. Surely by now the meeting was well underway. He scolded himself for getting so distracted, as his only job was security. His focus on the soft mumbling above him was back. The tone was calm and relaxed. The boards even creaked with repetition as one of the men slowly rocked his chair. The mission was a simple one. Bond and Ronson were to meet up with a few men from the Turkish NATO team, brief them on an upcoming operation, and pass over a few relative files. It shouldn't be but fifteen minutes more and the men would shake hands, crack a joke, laugh and part ways. This last mission in Turkey would be complete, and Bond would return to London with Ronson, complete his brief, and be home.

    Almost as if a direct response to this thought, the sudden bang and thud of the door being kicked in above reverberated through the building. Before Bond's brain could send the nerves to the muscles, and the muscles the door, the crack of automatic gunfire burst through the room above. Bond rushed into the hall and up the stairs, his pistol drawn. The hallway at the top was dark except for a few rays of sun cutting through the dust from the blinds of a window. Bond, walking now with pistol raised, prepared himself for the room. He paused at the doorway, listening for any sign of movement. Except for a slight groan, the room seemed empty. Bond's muscles tightened as he spun and dropped to one knee in the doorway. The smoke of cigarettes and gunfire clouded the room, and the air was thick with smell of gunpowder. The three men of the peaceful meeting lay dead, their mouths and eyes wide with fear. Ronson sat slouched in his chair, his chest hardly lifting, his arm raised towards Bond, and the white floral design of his shirt slowly fading red.

    Bond cleared the room, noticing the window facing the street had been smashed. He went through the bodies looking for the briefcase containing the files. He knew their importance, and he knew the assailant's goal. It was not assassination; these men weren't worth the trouble. It was robbery. The enemy now had the names of hundreds of agents operating in Turkey. Their names, their covers, and their locations. In the intelligence field, this was the heist of the decade. This was bad for MI6, bad for NATO, bad for hundreds of agents throughout the country, and bad for Bond. The biggest mistake of Bond's career had been made. A mistake he couldn't afford.

    From the corner of the room, Ronson let out a pronounced groan for Bond's attention. Bond crouched by his side, taking the bathroom towel and pushing it onto Ronson's wound. "Who?" asked Bond. Ronson went to say something, but only a faint cough and dribble of blood came. Bond saw his eyes begin to dilate, his face run pale, and his hand slowly slump down over the arm of the chair. Bond wanted to stay, but knew he couldn't. That would be another mistake. The mission was more important than the man, and right now, the mission was failed. Bond's mind shifted from remorse to criticism; he was wasting time. He gave Ronson one last nod of support as he went to speak. No words came to him as he stood up, turned, and charged out of the room.

    Chapter 2: Unintended Intervention
    Bond's mind had cleared, his senses turned off, and his emotions dissolved into his motivation, fueling it. The mission wasn't failed, and wouldn't be. He had time; not much, but enough. Any time was enough. That was the mindset training told him to have. Not optimism; intent. Tell yourself how it will be, and make it so.

    Bond searched for an elusive third gear, found it, and pushed his little four cylinder tractor fifty miles per hour faster than it wanted to go. His nose ignored the smells of the stains on the seats, damp with the sweat of un-bathed, middle-aged men. The wobble of the steering column and the rust feasting through the frame provided little confidence, but it was fit to match the fleeing scrap of a taxi Bond had his sights set on.

    The occasional screech and flash of a pedestrian, and the horn of an angered fellow commuter wasn't enough to deter Bond's speed. An automobile chase was
    rare for Bond, and even rarer him being the pursuer. Getting away seemed simpler to manage when you weren't the one trying to get away. He kept his body loose, and his thumbs curled over the steering wheel with the rest of his fingers. This would keep him minimally injured in case of a crash. If he kept his thumbs wrapped around the wheel, as most drivers would, they would surely snap from the impact. He knew he needed his hands to stay alive. He kept his body nimble. A relaxed body kept his movements fluent, and his responsiveness crisp.

    With the explosion of a fruit stand, temporarily distracting the odor of his car, Bond decided careful but immediate action had to be taken. He had to stop this fleeting murderer before he could cause more collateral damage. The sooner an end to this public performance, the less explanation, pay-offs, and covering up would need to be done. How would he go about doing it? He decided the use of his handgun was out of the question at these speeds. His aim was good, but no aim was good enough to ignore the risks of firing among crowds. He wanted to avoid focusing on the mistakes he could make, and rather focus on not making them. With little more deliberation, he decided a simple pit maneuver when the street cleared would suffice. He ran the operation through his mind: at speed, position pursuer's bumper just ahead of the rear tire of the pursued; turn in with hard acceleration, and follow through until the pursued is at ninety degrees and in no control. What would follow? How would the man react? He remembered the automatic gunfire in the meeting room above him. He didn't recall a rifle when he chased the man to his car. Surely it wasn't an automatic pistol! Perhaps a Russian Steyr. He would simply have to get the first shot in, and make it connect to disconnect this man from the world before he could react.

    Now! Bond flattened the petal, tightened the gap of the vehicles, and braced himself. He measured the corner of his car until he was satisfied, and jerked the wheel, guiding the nose of his car into the rear quarter of the taxi. There was a crunch as Bond's bumper steered the taxi off it's alignment, and a cloud of smoke accompanied the squeal of rubber. The heavy chrome bumper of the assassin's car tore off it's bolts and smashed into and over Bond's windshield. The cars separated, and the taxi attempted to counter steer. In no control, the rusty yellow mass found a loading ramp and launched itself into the air, taking the back of a lorry truck with it. The car slid a few dozen meters, and crashed back on all four, the wheels sprawled out at each corner like the limbs of an exhausted mule. Bond applied the brakes hard, skidding into a shallow embankment and interrupting a crowded kiosk.

    The men found themselves in a busy market, surrounded by terrified spectators. Through the web of glass in front him, he saw the distant shape of a man crawling out of the taxi. The mass lifted something lazily in its hand, and suddenly a nest of hot led swarmed through the cabin around Bond like an aggravated hive. He ducked his head beneath the instrument panel somewhere it didn't fit, and judged the situation. His hands stung where his knuckles had met the dashboard, and he could feel his blood pulsing through the bulging veins on his forehead. 'Get out of the damn car!' The words escaped him as his awareness found its way back. He found his gun on the floorboard, kicked out the passenger door, and made his way to a predetermined, solid-enough looking shop stand for cover. He took four lazily aimed shots at the man across the market simply to buy him time to cross the void.

    The man, who Bond had chased across half of Istanbul, the man who had killed Ronson and his colleagues, was standing there, with no cover, calm and collected. This display of control and calmness sent a shiver of temporary fear down Bond's spine. The man wasn't deterred by the threat of death, but nor was he excited by it. It was a job to him, this was work, and his expression seemed as ordinary as that of a problem-solving banker when the numbers made a slight deviation from what was projected. The street surrounding them was now quiet, and the air was stale with the silence of the crowds of terrified tradesmen. The street was wide enough for one vehicle, but not two. The kiosks were bright, colorful, but worn from years of weathering. Yellow and red canvas streamed across the sky, and Istanbul stretched away beyond the short buildings along the horizon. The man wore a black button down shirt, highlighting the premature graying of his hair. Bond guessed he was around thirty. A fitted, almost bulging sand colored suit clung to his body with plenty of give for movement, but cut to accent his toned build. A familiar black leather case with a single sling strap hung from behind him. A round face was fixed towards Bond, lines stretching across the forehead in focus. Woven into his fingers was, as Bond had guessed, a Steyr machine pistol with a custom extended magazine growing from his palm. He stood patiently, waiting for Bond to move; to make a mistake.

    Somewhere from the left, behind Bond, the buzz of two motorcycles materialized into the street as the tailored assassin unleashed a fresh round of ammo into the officers riding them. Lead pounded into the first man, his chest absorbing what Bond assumed to be half of a magazine. One bullet fell stray and met the forehead of the second rider, causing him to fly violently backwards, his motorcycle conveniently skidding across the market right at the feet of the killer. He loaded a fresh round of ammo, and almost instantly mounted the motorcycle and wound his way through the crowds.

    Finding it pointless to try and fire at a moving target through multiple obstructions and around large crowds, Bond holstered his gun and pulled the second motorbike from under its rider, and gave chase. They were now in narrow side streets, littered with people and misguided motorists. Bond was unfamiliar with the mechanisms of a motorcycle, but knew enough to navigate the gears. The distant flutter of the black briefcase on the tan suit jacket teased Bond, as he found it troubling to weave around the busy streets. He leaned through a bend only to find a lorry attempting to turn around, blocking the street. Bond skidded the machine around and lifted himself to his toes above the truck, searching to see if the man had managed to pass the obstruction. The groan of a motor from somewhere above him answered his confusion; the man was on the rooftops. How absurd! Bond assumed the man had taken the staircase to his right, and he followed suit. At the top of the stairs Bond found the man, elegantly bouncing across the red clay rooftops of the bazaar, gliding with the machine like a seasoned rider. Bond balanced himself along the narrow peak, and pulled the throttle back as far as it would go. The speed was terrifying. One wrong move and a tire would be wedged between the clay shingles and Bond would be thrown off the motorbike to his death. Bond didn't focus on that, he just kept the throttle full and lessened the gap. The man had stopped, met with a tall wall at the end of the roof. There was no surprise in the face as it glanced over at Bond, and made up its mind. The man flew the bike down the slope and disappeared over and then beneath the roof line. Bond frowned, and took his machine down a flight of stairs.

    The staircase opened to a wide street littered with traffic. The street ran parallel with the waterway that cut through the city. The unmistakable tan jacket complimented with the black briefcase was flying through the cars at an alarming rate. Bond kept to the side walk and attempted to keep pace. The target veered right onto a bridge crossing the the train tracks that ran along the waterway. Bond followed, interrupting the intersection as he heard the crash of metal and screech of tires echo behind him. At the crest of the bridge, the traffic was stopped and in the center of the opening the man was frozen, standing straddled over his motorbike. Across from him a grey truck was sideways across the lanes, and in position over the hood stared the barrel of a gun and a pair of excited eyes. Behind the eyes stood a beautiful girl, mid-twenties in a loose yellow shirt and tight black pants. Her light chocolate colored skin glowed, and her short, wavy black hair parted to reveal a soft, excited face. What a lovely mystery to interrupt their chase. "Get off the bike! Drop your gun and hand over the case!" she shouted, accompanied with a familiar accent. Bond pulled up opposite the girl, locking the man to the center of the bridge. As patient and calm as he had been in the market, the man looked around and weighed his options. A smile, the first time Bond had seen a hint of emotion from this man, spread across his face with the loud groan of a train horn. "He wouldn't" thought Bond. He did. The man flew from his bike and moved with startling efficiency to the edge of the bridge, effortlessly propelling his body over the wooden railing. The girl shouted and fired three pointless shots, all splintering into the railing as the man flew down onto the train. She looked at Bond with confusion, just now noticing him. He gave her a wink, pulled on the throttle, and crashed through the railing, letting his body fall back from the machine, the two landing separately. His motorcycle landed two links ahead, crashing through the roof of the carriage. His body bounced off the roof of the bright rusting red metal train car as he stretched out his hand, desperate for grip. He pulled himself up, found his balance, and armed his hand with the Walther.

    The man was crouched on his knee, four carriages ahead, with his back towards Bond. His jacket waved furiously behind him at the increasing speed of the train as it curved left away from the waterway and followed the tracks along a tributary. Bond slowly wavered across the train car, and leapt across the gap to the carriage ahead. His attempts to move quickly proved dangerous, so he took his time, guaranteeing every step confidently connected. The strain of balance on his legs was immense as he struggled with the rigid movement of the nearly-flat metal surface beneath him. He bound across another gap, and was now two cars behind his target, What seemed to be hours later, the wind was now tearing at Bond's clothes and furiously pushing against his body. The man ahead remained crouched, seemingly unaffected by the changing conditions. The squeal of metal seared through the air as the momentum of the train lurched forward, braking for a turn. The horn of the train sounded, this time eerily highlighting a subconscious fear in the back of Bond's mind: a tunnel. Focused on his movement, Bond hadn't noticed their journey had taken the men out of the city and into the hills, and the small tributary now cut into the Earth below. Bond's queasiness was interrupted by an immense pressure in his right shoulder, knocking the gun from his hand and into the abyss. He jerked his head forward, meeting the steady eyes of the assassin, now standing, arm raised, gun in hand. The movement of the man's trigger finger spurred an instinctive reaction in Bond as he pushed with his heels with all his strength, propelling himself down into the gap between the car in front of him. His body slammed through the hole in the carriage his motorcycle had crashed into, his right shoulder hitting first exploding into a fireball of pain. The clouds in the gaping hole above disappeared into a sudden blackness, as the roar of the tunnel walls bounced around the hollow metal box.

    He pulled himself up, did his best to block the pain from his mind, and moved toward the door. The men were now at a mutual advantage; neither knew where the other was. Had the man on the roof avoided being crushed by the confinement of the tunnel? Had Bond fallen through the gap and under the train, now a scavenger's sliced meal? He edged the door open and peered up into the blur of stone rushing above him. The glow of sunlight began to spread it's warmth across the walls of stone, and Bond crossed into and ran through the next carriage. Light burst back through the windows as Bond crawled out onto the access ladder. He waited for a sound or a sign, and was rewarded with the faint flapping of clothing just above him. He pictured the man maybe one or two meters away, and flung himself onto the roof with a furious shout. He collided powerfully into the body sitting where he predicted, pinned him under his thighs, and furiously pounded his fists into the man's ribs. The man's nerves jerked his body in reaction as he spun around under Bond and kicked him onto his back, sliding him dangerously close to the drop of what was now a deepening crevice carved by the stream of water below. Both men jumped to their feet and met each other with a fury of limbs. Bond's foot slipped from beneath him and his body instantly dropped him to his knees. Taking advantage, the man quickly squeezed his arms around Bond's neck into a choke-hold. Bond dropped his chin to try and ease the pressure. One hand flew to pull at the arm around his neck and the other tugged at the case strap, as Bond desperately tried to gain advantage. The pressure in his face grew, and his heart began to pound out of his chest. The pain of his shoulder returned, and it was all he could do not to give in and black out.

    The glint of something across the stream interrupted Bond's desperation. It came from the distant haze of a yellow figure standing in front of a grey truck. Bond eyes shut, his face now matching the rosiness of the train, the veins desperately trying to escape his bright face. The strength of the man was unbearable. He felt himself fading, his body straining to hold himself up, when a cracking echo surrounded him from the hills. The buzz of the bullet had come right at him and tore through the flesh of his right arm. The force knocked him from his captor's grip, his body suddenly becoming weightless. The racket of the train fell away into the distance. His muscles relaxed as oxygen flooded back into his veins. The coolness of the air rushing passed him was comforting, and he gave in, letting himself slip into a numbing unconsciousness just before his body crashed into water.

    Chapter 3: The Silence Of A Sunset
    Bond sat at the foam of the sea, the silence of the glowing sunset sinking into the horizon, ending his day. The seas that had brought him to life; the seas that had given him his reality. The seas that made him a sailor, a soldier, and then the spy. The seas that took him from a false home, and into a real war. The seas that taught him the threat of death, and the value of life. The seas that had seasoned him.

    Bond was nearly sick with his thoughts. This distracting way of thinking had come to haunt him over the past few months. He hadn't slept; first from the pain, later from the memories. He had fallen into this paradise around him, but his mind betrayed him from enjoying it. He had almost forgotten about the bed of tanned skin and dark hair laying beside him. How lucky he had been to be accompanied by this wonderful creature. He remembered the first time his eyes awoke to her. Her soft, caramel colored eyes examining his face, her long wavy black hair crawling across his cheek, and her velvet hands warming his chest. It had been a nice moment before she turned and called someone into the room, ending his distraction, and awaking his body to the pain. His fall had broken three of his ribs, burst multiple organs, dislocated his hip, and his lungs had filled with water as he drifted downstream. The girl had been swimming when his body washed up to her fright. Giving him a new breath of life, she had carried him to her home and called for the local doctor. She claimed he was a boyfriend she had met while traveling, and that they had been cliff diving and had an accident. The doctor hadn't questioned the bullet wound. It had taken him months to heal, the resting had made him lazy, and she had spoiled him. First with food and wine, and later with love.

    He had long ignored any thought of his mission. He had failed, but not by his hand. Destiny had knocked him off the train and nearly killed him. He had come to decide that this third party, the beautiful girl in the grey four-by-four by the bridge, had to be one of him. Likely a contingency plan sent by M., in the event that something would happen. What fools M. had made them out to be; how embarrassing a show to such an adversary. Bond had planned his trip back and the argument with M. down to every sentence, even practicing to himself. He first planned a good lecture, but it only drove him to shouting. Less would be more with M. The man would scold Bond's failure fully aware, as any mother would be, it would only motivate him. Bond had healed and worked himself into routine, trying to get back to who he had been. He was ready to be back, but wasn't. M. already knew some version of events. Assuredly he had assumed Bond was dead and had already sent another double-o to succeed where Bond had failed. Bond told himself he didn't have to return, but he couldn't rest with where he was at. He told himself he could get used to the beautiful scenery, the lovely girl, and the easy life, but it wasn't translating. He remembered dreaming of Jamaica back in Istanbul, possibly returning to the lovely Honeychile as he had promised, and now life had placed the opportunity right in his lap and it disturbed him.

    The sky draped a velvet mood across the world around him as he lifted to his feet. The girl comfortably moaned awake and looked up to him, into him. He saw her love, but felt nothing. He forced a smile, and lazily bounced his eyelids, reassuring her of his fabricated interest. Acting came naturally to him. He had loved before and knew how to convince her, and for now it had worked. A beautiful smile believed him, and her bit lip teased him. He had long decided he wouldn't love her. Something in him, a natural sense he knew not to question, told him it would not last long, and later logic had come to meet a similar conclusion.

    Tonight, like most nights, Bond went for a drink. Planted along the vast blue beast was a rather simple seaside bar he had come to admire. It was a sublte interruption along the flat shoreline, with no walls, a straw roof, and loose planks dug into the sand for a floor. The dimmed lights and proximity to the sea were romantically inviting, but Bond admired it for its honesty and obscurity. It was worked by a man named Tuna, who had proved to be a good man. Bond never questioned whether Tuna was a nickname given to him, or something a parent would actually name a child. He lived by and for the sea, and he smelled of a man who did just so. Natively, his name was symbolic of abundance, and to Bond, his hospitality had been just that. His generosity and greatness towards Bond reminded him of a great man from his past; another Turkish friend from long ago.

    Steadily Bond's glass grew busier. Translucent thought turned opaque, the worries waned, and he immersed himself among the crowd. The band was decent enough to get the drunk tourists off their feet. Occasionally a girl would be sure to make herself known, but they didn't take long to decipher Bond's disinterest.

    Like something from a nightmare Bond eventually drifted into the eye of the storm, the sweaty sunburned field of flesh shouting and chanting around him. Tuna announced to them something Bond didn't bother paying attention to. In the next moment he understood perfectly. Tuna had brought out the crowd-pleaser. Staring at Bond across the weathered wood was the white lobster looking arachnid, all eight legs bent and it's body arched, it's tail slightly humming from the flow of poison, and it's pincers poised to kill; it simply waited only for it's glass cage to be lifted and it would be ready to strike. Tuna filled Bond's glass, and slid it across with a smile and a wink. Bond shrugged, picked it up and arched his hand to make a steady platform for the creature. He knew this game; a simple gamble him and Tuna used for the amusement of the crowd. A silent hum flowed around the bar, queuing Tuna to the lift the glass. He carefully grabbed just under the tip of the tail, the beast's legs struggling in the absence of structure. Carefully Tuna lowered it down onto Bond's hand, peeling the tail back and calmly spreading the leucistic bug onto flesh. It sat their, still in battle position, staring; waiting for stimuli to meet instinct and react, it's white body shining in the moonlight. Bond took on character for the crowd and straitened his back, staring into eyes that seemed to only see him. The crowd's gasps magnified as his hand slowly crept towards his mouth, his cheeks and temples firm with tension. A drop of condensation or sweat slid across Bond's fingers, and the creature shifted. His hand stopped and the crowd held their breath as if there was suddenly an absence of oxygen. A moment passed as Bond secretly enjoyed the risk of the moment. Finally, with a smooth swipe Bond gulped down the spirit and flipped his hand, slamming the glass down over the scorpion and pinning it's tail under the ring to the cheers of the crowd.

    The morning awoke him slowly, dreadfully. His mind dragged itself to awareness with a heavy weight and took its time. His eyes remained closed behind the red glow of luminescent flesh as he prepared himself for the piercing burn of the sun's first greeting. He fought his own resistance and opened his eyes. He could feel the light bouncing through his head, spreading an indescribable pain centered everywhere from his neck to his forehead. He felt the iris' of his eyes pinch and let his mind rediscover his vision as he glanced around. He was alone, except for Tuna who was sweeping sand that would only be carried back by the wind moments later. Bond reached over the bar and dropped his usual payment with a courteous tip, and tested his balance before quietly limping away.

    It was a Sunday morning, and the sea breeze hung a cool fishy aroma through the clay brick streets. Bond always enjoyed the quietness of the first sun-lit hour of the day. The early sunshine seemed to add a higher definition to the world around him, and even though the streets lay bare of people, they seemed more alive. His destination was a small trade station that seemed to hang off the platform of the local train depot. On Sunday mornings the first train brought in the international newspapers, and Bond entertained himself with the knowledge of world events. He was never really looking for anything in particular, but he had first made it a habit when preparing his return to his other life. The shop also sold cigars, cigarettes, and local hand-crafted tourist gifts. Bond took advantage of the variety of the cigars, testing a new one each week with his morning paper. He walked in and greeted the store owner, who never seemed to recognize him though he had to of by now. He responding with his usual ignorance and Bond shrugged as he made his way to the news shelf. He scanned the top row paper to paper, taking the time to read every headline. Halfway down the row his eyes instantly froze. His crossed arms slowly untangled as he felt a nothingness tingle down his spine. Bond read and re-read the headline article, shouting back at him in bold:

    THE TOMORROW

    Questions Linger After London Tower Explosion Weakens Western Foundations

    London,
    Shreds of burning paper fluttered down onto emergency crews late Saturday afternoon after a large explosion tore through a recently completed tower block in London. The explosion was reportedly heard as far down the Thames as Poplar. Emergency crews responded to the scene minutes after the explosion, aiding those evacuating the now smoldering structure. The blast tore through the lobby of the building, as well as damaging offices as high as the seventh floor. The glass of shattered windows littered the streets a few hundred meters in each direction. So far six people can be confirmed dead as crews continue to sift through debris. No officials have come forward with information as to the cause of the explosion, but witnesses claim to have seen a large lorry parked by the entrance only minutes before disintegrating in the blast, likely the source.

    The recently constructed building's purpose is in question after shreds of paper blown into the streets were reportedly watermarked with government seals including The London Police Department and the Secret Intelligence Service. Not long after the emergency crews arrived the police barricade was pushed farther out as teams of unmarked workers swept up the litter in the streets. The building was initially licensed by a private company under the name of Universal Exports as evidenced by public construction records, but there have been no public records made available since the completion of its construction. Government officials, including the Prime Minister, refused to comment on the situation when approached, simply stating an official statement would be made at a later time.

    The streets of London and most other towns across England remained hauntingly quiet throughout the night and into the morning as people continue to fear the possibility of more attacks. One local shop owner told a Tomorrow reporter 'It seems The Cold War has run a fever.' Who is responsible for the explosion will likely remain unclear for weeks to come as investigators continue to sift through what remains of the bottom floors of the building and have ample time to go through collected evidence and eye witness accounts. Expect updates as The Tomorrow will continue writing with the latest news as well as carry out its own investigation. EC.

    Bond blinked, his body now rigid with a tingling lightness, the shock of the adrenaline buzzing through him. He grabbed the paper and, almost running, ignored the grunt of the salesman shouting at him to pay as he broke through the door. He walked as fast as his legs would carry him to the station clerk and purchased a ticket for the 12:00pm to Paris.

    Chapter 4: The Questionable Tomorrow
    M.'s day had started with lowering the lives of six of his men to their graves. He had taken a moment alone with the coffins in the viewing hall, draped in the Queen's colors, silently apologizing. He wished he knew who to blame; who he could direct his anger; who he could use his full resources towards and all of his ability to bring to justice. His people were working hard. He knew they were putting forward their best effort, but his patience chasing shadows was dwindling. He needed results.

    As did Gareth Mallory. M. hated politics, hated agendas, and hated questions. He had gone a lifetime without anyone questioning his patriotism; it was unquestionable. A lifetime until now. Now he had this politician, a 'man for the people' as it had been put, in his business, influencing his decisions, distracting his work. Never before had the prime minister raised an inquiry into his work. Never before had these politicians dared to stick their large fat noses in the dirty work of espionage. Before they had been scared of him, scared of his work; scared of what he had to do to keep England strong and safe. Now they feared their people. They had been threatened with death, the end of life, yet they would rather fear the people they had been elected to protect. At any moment they could turn their ignition key and disintegrate into an inferno of steel and leather and skin. Any letter could open to a toxic agent and suffocate them. Any day a shooter on the fifth floor across the way could focus his sights and hit the heart and they would be dead. But no, they were scared of the election. Scared of their voters rather than for their voters. Rather than fear this murderous shadow lurking, undoubtedly, beyond the Iron Curtain, they feared statistics and lowered approval ratings. It angered him to the verge of madness.

    His meeting with Mallory hadn't gone well. He had been summoned to Trinity Square, pulled from his work, distracted from finding those responsible for an attack that killed six Londoners, to talk and have tea. He didn't hide his annoyance as he drowned Mallory in a deep glare.

    M. was direct. 'If you don't mind me being blunt, why am I here?'

    'As you are aware, it has been requested by the Prime Minister that I meet with you to discuss a response to the recent attack. He wants to ensure any and every operation goes flawlessly, and hopes you understand his keen involvement in this specific case.'

    'Do not speak to me as if I am naive, Mallory. I have worked my entire career in espionage; I know an informant when I see one. He is spying on me.'

    'It is hardly spying if we are open with our intentions, M.'

    'This sort of thing is unprecedented. It has never been necessary in the past; it won't be necessary now. If the Prime Minister wants an update of my work, you can tell him he has my direct line. Anything further is bordering on a breach of security. I can not endorse any such thing.'

    'Breach of security? You lost the information outlining plans of operation in Rhodesia! You let a bomb go off at your front door in the center of London! You may excuse the PM if he loses a little faith in MI6's security in light of recent events. It is no longer your decision.'

    M.'s face dropped farther than Mallory imagined the baggy layers of skin would allow.

    He continued in a calmer voice, 'I will be following you throughout the headquarters transition, and you will be providing access to any and all information necessary to the Prime Minister's inquiry. There will be no further discussion of the matter.'

    M. stood, his face motionless and his body rigid. He was angry, but intelligent enough to know when and where to silence himself. It became clear that silence would be his best strategy to keep Mallory and the Prime Minister tame.

    'There is a second topic you have been brought here to discuss, so please have a seat.'

    'Not necessary.'

    Mallory paused, then shrugged. 'So be it. My second responsibility over the next few months will be finding a suitable replacement for you-' Mallory lingered for a moment to look up at M. '-following your retirement.'

    M. remained surprising calm. Surprising to both him and Mallory.

    'I have no such intentions.'

    'There will be no disputing it. I have convinced the Prime Minister to allow you an opportunity to finish strong. If it had gone his way, you would not have moved to Station L. You would have never met me. But as of now he is willing to allow you to bring whoever attacked us to justice. He knows what it means to you, and he is confident you will not disappoint. You've had a long run M., and England is forever indebted to you. Let us finish with this one last victory, shall we? Finish with some dignity.'

    'To hell with dignity, and to hell with you both.'

    M hardly remembered the trip home, his body instinctively returning him while his mind lingered on more important issues. It was a late Thursday night with a light rain that chilled everything it draped. His evening at Blades had proven uneventful. It was suitable relief to the morning before. He hadn't gambled much, knowing he'd be too distracted to concentrate given the weight of recent events, but it was preferable to his usual business of gambling the lives of those he worked with. He only went to relax. He needed a place where he could discuss other matters that didn't matter. Topics that didn't determine the future of political landscapes or influence the balance of life across continents. He could smoke and drink and be convinced by the people around him it wasn't killing him. But now he was home, the day finally done. He walked up to the large, flat faced white house across a small cobbled parking court. He stepped through the door, hung his heavy coat on the very last hook in the row along the hall as he always did, and casually entered the smoking room.

    He had noticed the lamp on from the street. He had noticed smudges along the windows behind the bog myrtle bushes in his front garden. He had noticed the needles of the western hemlock trees from his yard, still soaked with rainfall, littered across the covered walkway smashed into footprints. He had noticed the bar cabinet door slightly ajar from the hall, and a short glass missing from the top right cabinet; the only glasses he used. He couldn't be bothered to worry who it was. Perhaps it would be his killer. Perhaps he was welcoming to the idea of such an abrupt ending. But no, he had guessed it was someone that he had known, and the missing glass told him the intruder had shared a drink with him at least once. The evidence proved right as he rounded the only corner of his smoking room to find James Bond leaning against his dull cream curtains, enjoying M's personal best bourbon, the shadow of a lamp shade dramatically covering his face.

    'Where the hell have you been?' Scolded M. as he made his way to the open bottle of bourbon.

    'Enjoying death.' Bond spat with an uncontrolled defensive hostility.

    'How poetic.'

    M. patiently stared at him, waiting for something to be said to break the foggy tension building inside the cramped room.

    'I'm not here to apologize. I'm not here because of guilt or regret. I'm here to work.'

    'Sounds like the words of a guilty man full of regret.'

    'You would know.' Bond mumbled as he slapped The Tomorrow in front of M. on the coffee table between them, the bold title meeting M.'s eyes.

    M.'s faced changed from an unreadable openness to a piercing angry stare. His cheeks dropped with his frown, his brow curved down to a point between his eyes, his nostrils flared, and his voice trembled.

    'You've got some bloody nerve breaking into my home, drunk and hungover, smelling of indescribable waste, raiding my drinks cabinet, and attempting to lecture me. Months of purposeless absence and you assume you can just show up and return to business as usual! Nonetheless in the midst of one of the worst terror attacks in the heart of the country you abandoned! You seem to have forgotten you are, or were, only the seventh of many in the Double-O section. You seem to forget the army of intelligence officers who have done more work for this country than you could ever accomplish. And how foolish of you to show up now and in such a manner! If you weren't in such an ungainly state it wouldn't be a stretch to question you responsible for recent events!'

    M paused for good effect before continuing.

    'If you've come to argue I will have none of it. I have not the time for it. I have the murder of six lives to investigate. Six of my hardest working people. Six of my friends. If you want to linger on the past, if you want to take things personally, I have not the patience nor a place for you. If you want me to feel bad for you, you've forgotten your line of work. You've forgotten your purpose, and you can return to whatever corner of the world you've been wasting away in, I won't be needing you.'

    His eyes focused in on Bond, and his words were final. The ultimatum hit Bond as if the man had thrown a powerful punch into his chest. Suddenly Bond was put in his place. Suddenly he remembered the respect he had for this man. Suddenly he saw how out of line he was. Suddenly, the argument was over.

    M. slid back in his chair and calmed himself with a gulp of drink. Bond made his way to the faded leather seat across from him, and quietly leaned forward into his hands.

    A few minutes passed in tune to the ticking of the grandfather clock somewhere in the background of the house, and the quiet sipping of M.'s drink.

    'So then-' M. paused, 'Why are you here?'

    Bond looked up from his palms, his eyes strained and pink from held back tears. M. answered for him.

    'You're here because we are under attack. You know we could use you, and you want a way back in. Well-' M. picked up the newspaper from the table and unfolded it. 'Well, here you have it.'

    Bond quietly stared an appreciative look back at M.

    'How in the bloody hell did they run this so quickly? How do they know these things?' M. asked to himself as he had all day, re-reading the article for what must have been the hundredth time. He put on glasses Bond had never seen him use. 'Who is EC?'

    'Elliot Carver.' replied Bond. 'Editor in chief of The Tomorrow, and owner. He's been steadily building a media empire since the end of the war. He's given Murdoch one hell of a run for his money. He quite suspiciously came from nowhere. Had some legal troubles early on. He was first to break the news back in '63 of the Profumo sex scandal, and he's continuously had the break on the biggest stories since. He seems to know things before they happen. MI6 inquiries have been unable to find anything malicious. Well, beyond the occasional government smear.'

    'Suspicious indeed. Never mind him for now. What do you know of the attack?'

    'Only what the article reads, sir.' It was as if the two men had time-traveled back to M's desk, business as usual. As if the previous argument hadn't taken place. Bond enjoyed it.

    M. took off his glasses, looked down at his watch, then angrily put his glasses back on to read the time. 'Yes, well, it's getting late. I'll have Tanner bring you in to brief in the morning. I'll have to arrange things with the doctor.'

    'The doctor?'

    'Yes, you remember Doctor Hall? Your absence will raise questions, and you'll have to be deemed fit to return to active duty. I can make no exceptions. Things will be different, Bond. I'll tell you more tomorrow. Obviously we won't be meeting at my office for some time. Report to Station L at sunrise. You do remember?'

    'Yes.'

    'Good.' M. said as he stood and walked towards the hall. Bond stood as well. M. suddenly stopped and turned, looking down at Bond over his glasses.

    'Oh, yes. Almost forgot. Your flat has been sold and most of your belongings have been moved to storage.' Bond frowned back at him with a vigorous expression of surprise. 'Standard procedure following the death of an operative with no next of kin, I'm afraid.' M. responded, almost seeming to enjoy the words.

    'Yes, I suppose I'll just find a hotel for the night.'

    'You bloody hell won't be staying here!' M. laughed the words as he left the room and cut the light in the hall.

    Please enjoy and feel free to let me know your honest thoughts. Thanks to anyone who read.
  • edited May 27 Posts: 9,822
    I started developing a bond novel until i hit the issue of what is the secret organization name and what is their grand plot

    Everything i could think of sounded lame and had been done to death i plan on uodating my thread with rhe chapter ideas and the discussion between M and Bond

    I also had a Jaws 5 idea that i got oh 5% through i know the theme of the film i know the characters i know the first death i know i want richard dreyfuss to some up the event on the orca in a way similar to shaw’s Indianapolis speech

    As for music since i am a guitarist/composer i have about 9-10 albums on the back burner including one about my 9 day vacation with my wife

    Luckily my first single will be released next month but yeah

    Although a blessing/curse thing when it comes to music i am always able yo come up with a new song when i sit down to play guitar or even piano

    Its annoying but meh at least if shadowraiser does go big i will have songs for then for albums to come including a cool concept album about bands replacing members called Mr Walrus
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 14,263
    Where do I start? Maybe in high school art class, with a few half-finished paintings that may've still got me good grades.

    Bond prop-wise, it begins with the light-up LED watch from TWINE, which I started around 2013 and throughout the decade have made quite a bit of progress, but still far from finished. The TWINE watch gadgets are my favourite of the Brosnan Seamasters and the torch watch in particular seemed like a good place to start as there would be minimal moving parts and basic circuitry. I have all the internals and the next step is to finish the case. The goal is to have it light up a small room (my WC) that may be double the space of the inflatable jacket sphere escape pod (thingy). If it can illuminate the room enough for me to see what I'm cutting with a knife, then I'll consider the project a success.
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