That's right - James Bond #23 "SKYFALL" opened last week and it was GREAT! (I've already seen it twice!) I'm not sure if it was "the greatest James Bond film ever" like critics have been saying. It could be the greatest film as a film in the James Bond franchise, but for me "James Bond Film" is in a category of its own. That is to say, I think "Skyfall" was a better movie than "GoldenEye", but "GoldenEye" is still the best James Bond Film. Its simply more "Bond - James Bond".
Anyway - what did you all think?
So I am a big James Bond fan and I was very excited for this film. So excited, in fact, that I drew this pic and commissioned a short series. And I wrote a story that goes along with it. It is adult, so only the family-friendly parts will be posted here. To read the full story you will have to go to my soFurry at: https://etheras.sofurry.com .
James Carson, 007, was on a chartered Embraer 135 to Cairo via Turkey that was refinished for wealthy executives. The only occupants of the flight was himself, his handler, the staff, and a British diplomatic courier. This gave them time to brief Carson.
His handler was a nationalized Egyptian... a skinny mousey little thing named “Ali” with thick glasses and an even-thicker accent. Despite his size and stature, he spoke with authority and force, as does one who knows that he is an expert in his particular field.
“Have you been to Egypt before?” asked Ali casually, as he handed over the file. It was stamped boldly with the familiar words “For Your Eyes Only” in large authoritative red letters across the front. James raised his eyebrows in mock-astonishment, and always wondered what the MI thought this really accomplished. James felt that if it really did anything, it was to advertise to foreign spies “this is worth stealing”.
“I have been.” said Carson as he flipped the file open.
“Your cover is that you are a buyer for Lord Herren, and his representative. If he is contacted he has agreed to confirm this story. You are to purchase the armoire. The Ministry of Intelligence has fronted you Twenty Million pounds, or Thirty-Six Million United States Dollars, which is the currency the auction will be marked in. Of course if you need more you will have to make it at the tables. It should be easy enough, considering your skill-set. The location is the new Nubia casino in Cairo. Its a luxury hotel and casino catering to wealthy western tourists, politicians and businessmen. It opened last year... Belongs to a young fennec entrepreneur named ‘Etheras’; the son of a wealthy oil baron who started a tech company specializing in wireless communications. He’s a foppish little thing. A strange genetic abnormality gave him completely white fur. He likes to show off. He was schooled at Oxford and actually grew up in Finland, but moved back to his family’s estate in Dahkla after his parents died. He believes he’s descended from the pharaohs of old, but he’s harmless enough. He’ll be helping us in our investigation.”
Carson flipped through a few pictures... he raised an eyebrow at seeing Etheras. ‘Very effeminate for a boy...’ he thought.
“The other person-of-interest is Thunderhoof,” Ali continued. “Not much is known about him. Obviously its a false name, but we don’t know why he would want to hide his identity or what his real identity is. He has a scar down his cheek which looks like a war wound, or perhaps from torture. The theory is that he might be Muslim Brotherhood and that the scar is from Mubarak’s henchmen back during the days of the Spring Revolution, but that can’t be confirmed. Nor can we confirm where he got his money or why he wants the armoire. We can’t say for sure, but we estimate his liquid capital at around 22 million dollars. He’s a compulsive but effective gambler. Some have accused him of being a cheat, but no-one has been able to catch him at it. You may be able to break him at the tables and take the armoire for a song, if you can find out how he does it.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” said Carson, lighting a cigarette as he finished gazing at the photographs, “So what about this armoire? Any ideas? Also this ‘zabiv’? It sounds Russian.”
Ali looked up at the ceiling of the aircraft, then shrugged. “Not my area of expertise, but I will call the MI-6 translators to see what they make of the notion. It may be correct, after all the armoire is from Tsarist Russia. Dated 1855, if memory serves...”
They landed at Cairo and look a taxi to the Nubia. Carson had been here before, but it now felt like hostile territory. Westerners were not as welcome as they were under the Mubarak regime, such that Egypt’s tourist trade felt the need to build a new secure tourist city away from the population centers. Of this, the Nubia was the crowning jewel - a towering white obelisk in the ancient egyptian style rising from a sea of opulence - such gardens, fountains, and lights that the effort to keep this tourist trap running could likely power, water, and feed all of Cairo. But ultimately tourism paid for itself - and then some - which is why the government had allowed the development to be erected.
The feeling shifted from hostility to home as the cab stopped in front of the casino and Carson stepped out and strode into the lobby. The smell of cards and leather and tobacco and cocktails... of nervous sweat mixed with elegant perfumes, expensive clothes, and money... wafted in from the casino floor each time the door swung open.
Carson had his bags sent up to the suite and went for a stroll through the casino to get a feel for it. James sighed with contentment. The bustle of activity... the shouts of glee and groans of frustration, the tatter of shuffling cards and the clinking of cocktails and the clatter of chips... it was electrifying to him. He played a few games of roulette and craps, to look inconspicuous as he made his rounds, noting cameras and emergency exits, tracing the floor until he knew the layout by heart, then he glanced into some of the adjoining rooms... A classy Aegean restaurant, a tastefully finished washroom... (no windows, he noticed...) a Gift shop.... And a tall arched door with thick burgundy drapes framing it. There was a small flock of rich tourist-types waiting outside. Curious, he passed through the tall arched door draped with tasteful burgundy velvet and found himself in the theater.
On stage was a beautiful creature... sleek and graceful, and unbelievably flexible to do some of those moves she was doing. She was dancing in a sort-of fusion ballet/bellydance-style that was simultaneously elegant and erotic. Perhaps the style was symbolic of this place: a melding of western and egyptian cultures... and very much like the dancer. She appeared to be an egyptian fennec, and yet her fur was white as arctic snow. Her every move was fluid and deliberate - a remarkable conservation of effort, and matched the heavy rhythm of the drums that reverberated through the crowded theater. Her clinging costume sparkled with silver sequins, her every movement trailed by fluffy white ostrich plumes swishing behind. He found his trousers were becoming tight in front, and was about to leave before he embarrassed himself, when then the music ended and the dancer bowed to whoops and applause.
James turned to the person standing next to him, an older cat spinster.... probably an American from the looks of her. “Wow. She was incredible..!” he remarked, and made a note to perhaps look this mysterious dancer up and see if her dancing stamina and flexibility could be used in other ways...
The old cat glanced up at him and chuckled, “No, no my dear. That’s a boy. That’s Etheras. He’s a bit of a show-off, isn’t he? But he does a great job...”
Carson raised his eyebrows and felt confused for a moment. ‘Well.... this is new’ he thought to himself and considered. He liked what he had seen. He wanted what he had seen. Just because he knew the boy’s gender now didn’t affect the fact that James’s body responded to the one he had seen moving so beautifully on stage, and so he waited. The theater cleared slowly as the crowd filtered out to enjoy the other fruits of the casino’s nightlife. Some stayed behind to meet the dancers, who came out after a time to mingle with the crowd, relax after their show, and rub elbows with wealthy patrons. The costumes were exquisite... vibrant blues and reds and greens, drawing the gaze against the sea of conservatively-dressed guests, letting eyes feast upon honed graceful bodies. But then like a candle in the darkness, a white and silver figure appeared, and it sucked all the other vibrancy from the room.
James’s eyes devoured the boi’s lithe figure in such a way that it was almost a caress. Despite immediately being surrounded by the throng of audience members who had wanted to meet him, Etheras felt it like a spanking, and he looked up, his glance meeting Carson’s. And Carson’s eyes said to him, ‘You are mine, my dear, and I don’t need to convince you; you already know it.’ By the way Etheras blushed slightly, the message was received, and Carson stepped outside of the Auditorium to wait for the pretty fox to finish with his fans and went to the restaurant. He was famished. He hadn’t eaten since the stopover in Istanbul and the quality and style of the restaurant had also peaked Carson’s interests. He ordered a secluded table for two from the maître d’hôtel, confident that the fennec would seek out and find his way into Carson’s trap. Such creatures always desired to be conquered, and the rich and powerful ones ever-moreso. They were in such control of their situation, so bored with power, that to find a worthy challenge and to surrender, was the greatest thrill of all.
While he was waiting James ordered a vodka martini, very dry, shaken but not stirred, with a slice of lemon peel, and considered his next move. Somehow he would have to find out what is inside that armoire. The path to that probably lie with this fennec boi, this ‘Etheras’. And like the thought summoned him, the blazing white figure stepped through the entrance, his golden eyes peering up into James’s.
“You must be the British agent they sent.” said Etheras’s softly musical voice. He offered a satin-gloved paw, which James took, and kissed the back of.
“But of course. Carson; James Carson, at your secret service. Now... shall we get down to business, or would you prefer we start with some... ‘recreation’..?” he asked.
Etheras got the message again and gave him an amused look. “Perhaps we can do a bit of both.”
Carson gestured to a seat, “Then please: join me.” he said.
The fennec didn’t hesitate, and sat softly on the padded seat. “Great... I’m half-starved. Have you ordered yet?”
Carson shook his head. Etheras looked up for the waiter, who came right over. They knew the casino owner on sight, and he wasn’t exactly subtle in the bright white and silver show costume with all those plumes. Carson began to wonder if such a subtle out-of-the-way table had really been the right move. Nothing draws notice like a failed attempt to hide.
The waiter, a ferret, caught his eye and came over. As a good waiter should, he seemed to read his charge and how to proceed, bowing to James as the stag of the pair. “Good evening sir. Is this your first time at the Ptolemaic?”
Carson nodded. “Yes. Its quite grand.” he then he took charge of the situation... as he was used to. “I will have the artisan foire gras and cucumber salad, and the lovely one will have the salmon steak, seared, with the caremle pear sauce. But for starters, please bring us the white kaluga sturgeon caviar and please don’t be stingy with the toast. The Sashimi plate with the Octopus Soy dressing. And the Dom Parignon ‘75 on ice please with two flutes.”
The waiter looked impressed, but glanced to Etheras, who glanced back at him. And as if by osmosis something had been communicated and the waiter nodded and scurried away.
Etheras pressed his fingertips together and smiled. “Now... why exactly have you made the long trip from England to my humble palace?” he asked. Carson waited as someone approached the table. It was the cocktail waiter, who laid a large neat martini at Carson’s elbow, and a small glass of a suspiciously green liquid at Etheras’s.
“What is that?” Carson had to ask.
“Cami Toulouse Lautrec,” Etheras said casually, taking the glass and swirling it lightly, watching the light turn green the murky prism before tilting it towards Carson.
Carson grunted. “That stuff will kill you.”
“To long life, then. Cheers?”
Carson was a bit taken aback by this, but the spirit... the reckless seeking of life and its experiences was an aphrodisiac to him. He felt the stirring of his maleness in his pants again as the lovely black lips of the fennec kissed the rim of the glass and just as few drops spilled into that pretty little mouth.
Carson sipped his own cocktail. It was almost as beautiful. “One of our agents was killed - murdered - in or around your casino. His body was mutilated before he died - probably for information. We think he was killed for winning an old artifact that was at-auction on that night... an armoire, made in 1855 for the Tsars by a famous French furnisher.”
Etheras nodded after taking another elegant sip, “I know the piece. Please continue.”
Carson sipped his own drink in-kind, “Our agent bid far over the appraisal price, but he kept being met by a stallion who was here under an alias... a Mister Thrunderhoof... who, seeing that our agent wasn’t going to relent, gave up around twenty-million dollars and then, we think, killed him. That is the only motive we can place. We think Thunderhoof did it, but we don’t know what’s so special about this armoire that it would be worth killing over... or twenty million dollars, for that matter.” Carson intentionally left out the other clue... that single word - “zabiv” - which had mysteriously been texted to London.
“I see,” said Etheras. “... and you’re here to purchase the armoire in his place?”
Carson nodded, “Yes. And to find out more about it. And if-possible to discover our agent’s murderer. So I must ask you a favor... you have the armoire, correct?”
Etheras put up a slender paw, “I already know what you’re going to ask, but the answer is ‘no’. You want me to show you the armoire so you can discover its secrets. The armoire does not belong to me or my company, but to the government. Specifically: the Muslim Brotherhood, and they are scary folks you’d be well-advised not to cross. They are selling it to pay back some of the debt from the revolution. The whole collection is under guard, so if you think they’re going to let you touch and probe an item that they think they can get twenty million United States dollars for, you’re woefully mistaken.”
Carson lifted an eyebrow, “Your candor is appreciated. Is there nothing you can do?”
The food arrived just then and Carson unfolded his napkin and tucked it into his collar before noticing that Etheras had a lush green and red greek herb salad with white goat cheese and cranberries and walnuts and NOT the salmon that James had ordered for him. He couldn’t help but feel a twinge of resentment at this tiny defiance, and promised himself with savage glee that this little fop would be shown his place later that evening... whimpering with pleasure underneath Carson’s powerful masculine stallion body. Once more, Etheras seemed to pick up on Carson’s thoughts, and smiled a wicked challenge before popping a walnut between his slender jaws.
“There are several things I can do for you, Mister Carson. I can let you see the armoire from a distance. The items are on-display to selected guests, but a guard will be right there, since it was the highest-bid item at the auction and they’ll expect it to go even higher tomorrow. Even so, you will be able to see it from perhaps a meter and a half distant.”
Carson grunted. That wasn’t very much.
“But better still - I think I can arrange you to meet Mister Thunderhoof.” Carson detected the vitriolic tone in Etheras’s voice. “The smarmy ass rents out one of the smoking rooms for private Baccarat games each time he comes through. ‘Thunder’s Ball’ he calls it. Makes a mess of the place and his people are horrible to the staff. But..” he sighed, “.. the hotel is new and I am still paying off the debt to the contractors, and Thunder is not a poor man by any means.”
Carson smiled as he ate. He would be interested to meet this Thunderhoof... find out what kind of opponent he was up against. “Sounds like he needs a lesson in manners. Would you join me? I suspect you’re lucky... how could you not be, after all? The odds are always in the house’s favor.”
Etheras chuckled, a glint of interest in his golden eyes.
Carson smiled back. But the smile faded immediately as he realized that the sound of other customers in the restaurant had disappeared. Only the low murmur of gamblers outside persisted. The contrast made the silence even-more striking. Something was wrong. In his peripheral vision he saw a black shape move, just under the profile of a thick wooden divider that separates the bar area from the dining floor. Then he heard a soft click of metal.
Carson stood quickly and grasped Etheras’s wrist, who rose with an indignant yelp, which was silenced by Carson pulling him close and kissing him hard. “For luck” James whispered to a shocked and somewhat dazed fennec as he drew his Walther PPK/s 9mm. He kissed the fennec quickly once more before pushing him out of the way and overturning the table just as the loud ripping sound of machine guns tore through the tension of the moment. The corner where they had been sitting erupted in splinters from the fancy wood paneling and from the nice finished-wood table. It held. Carson panted behind the makeshift barrier until he heard reloading, and a second burst taking up the silence. ‘So there are at least two of them’, Carson thought and analyzed his options. He was vastly outgunned, but he had one thing going in his favor: the hitmen would have expected to kill him in the first volley. They probably hadn’t thought this out past the opening shots, and now wouldn’t be sure what to do. They didn’t have Carson’s training to think under extreme pressure - and so he did. He glanced to one side, checking on Etheras, who was hunched behind a far booth, watching in shock. Clearly he wasn’t the target, and should be in no danger if Caron’s plan worked. He grabbed a dinner plate that had fallen from the table when he had up-ended it and tossed it blind at the bar. It smashed into one of the mirrors behind the bar, which then came loose and crashed down, knocking over several liquor bottles and smashing them to the floor. He used the brief distraction to peek around the corner - just enough that he wouldn’t expose himself to the second gunman, and unloaded all 8 slugs into the bar’s liquor rack, smashing more bottles and keeping the assailant’s head down, before twisting the cover off his lighter, lighting it, and tossing it at the bar.
The tiny gadget soared and smacked against the countertop, cartwheeling, almost in slow-motion it seemed, to the alcohol-flooded floor of the bar. Immediately the the floor was engulfed in flames, and the lapping flames followed their way up the cascade flowing from the broken bottles above. The fire followed the stream of accelerant to the row-upon-row of intact liquor bottles behind the counter. These would mostly be safe from the fire if they were all-glass, which would have tolerated the heat, but some of the cheaper liquors were bottled in plastic which began to melt. As the plastic melted away, liquor touched the fire and the bottles exploded in a blast of heat and fire, throwing the glass bottles aside, smashing them and giving the fire more fuel. One of the assailants was doused and immediately went-up in flame. He screamed, but nothing could be done for it. He would be dead in a matter of seconds. The other swore and shielded his face from the intense flames. It is hard to appreciate how hot alcohol burns until one sees an alcohol fire. The reason why pure alcohol can’t be used in ordinary car engines is because it burns so much hotter than gasoline it will begin to melt the metal. But stranger still is that it burns with no smoke. By now the large bar was completely engulfed, and it was cooking the second assailant alive in his cover behind the railing. Carson knew what would come next and quickly reloaded, then waited as the enemy whimpered and cried out... and finally stood, darting for the emergency exit. He never made it. “Your goose is cooked.” Carson murmured at the smoldering body, placing his Walther back in its holster.
Carson got up slowly, looking around, making sure that there were no more enemies... then strode to Etheras, taking him by the paw and leading him out the emergency exit, which buzzed angrily. Carson stepped out onto the landing before reaching back and pulling the fire alarm. Sprinklers went on and more alarmed buzzed and then with a click the sound died behind them as the emergency door swung shut. They were alone... out in the cool Cairo night with the ambiance of red fire truck lights coming ever-closer in the distance. Etheras seemed to be in shock. He just stared at the horizon. Carson came up behind him and hugged him, and made sure that the little fennec could feel the bulge he had between his legs. Violence, and the thrill of still being alive after it all, always excited Carson. It was a normal reaction... to want to have sex after a crisis. Carson kissed the back of the fennec’s large ears. “Are you okay?”
“Kill the bastard.” Etheras said.
“In due time.” said Carson.
CRASHDOWN ACT IV
Despite the cleanness of the alcohol fire, Carson was sweaty from the intense heat, and there was a musty burned smell about him from all the debris on the bar which had gone up when the alcohol was burning. He and Etheras had lead Etheras down to the outdoor pool, which was closed at this late hour... it was going on nine. He turned the boy softly to face him and looked down at the simple unlined face and golden eyes. Carson’s fingertips stroked the soft white cheek. The Fennec’s delicate paws reached up and untied his tie, which was wilted and ruined, and tossed it aside, then unbuttoned the shirt down the broad stallion’s chest.
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Enjoying the story so far? Read the whole spicy tale over HERE!
Artwork is by the amazing NateDay Carson the Horse is (c) Canon/Moke (his player) Etheras the Fox is (c) me! :)