After several unsuccessful days M called 007 back into her office. "James," she began as she paced the floor behind her desk, "we have been absolutely unable to find even one woman from your list. It's like they've all disappeared from the planet. We are at a loss."
James was intensely studying his fingernails with a dark frown. "I'm sorry M," he finally replied. "Were you speaking to me?" M pursed her lips as she planted her hands on her desk.
"It troubles me that you seem so uninterested in this mission," M scolded. "I do wish you would show more concern. These women are being targeted and you are to blame!" James placed his hands on his knees and shot M a petulant look.
"What would you like me to do?" he sniffed. "I never bothered to get half of their names."
"Yes," M nodded. "I can see that." She took the guide from her desk and flipped to a random page. "Stewardess on flight from England," she read. "The woman from the theater...Really James," she snapped as she dropped the book on her desk. "Must Q create a lock for your trouser's zipper?" James chuckled lightly and M shook her head as she took a file from the credenza behind her desk.
"They call themselves C.O.B," she read as she sat lightly in her chair. James frowned.
"That is a terrible name," he quipped. "What does it mean?" M shook her head.
"We have not, as yet been able to learn the meaning behind the acronym," she admitted, "but they've already burned down the Astin Martin dealership where Q purchases your replacement automobiles, and every case of gin and vermouth in the country has been found to be contaminated." James face was suddenly ashen and he leaped from his chair.
"Those monsters!" he roared. "I will bring them down!"
"These attacks seem to have been personalized for you James," M continued ignoring his outburst. "but the rest of the country is being affected. C.O.B. must be stopped!" A childish giggle escaped James' lips. "How very unseemly," M scolded as he gathered his composure and straitened his suit.
"I apologize for my lapse in behavior," Jame declared as he straightened his jacket. "I will see Q directly to pick up the tools he has prepared."
"James," M snapped. "There are no gadgets! Q has been kidnapped and the lab destroyed. I'm afraid your wits are all that are available to you now." James squared his shoulders and resolutely walked to the door.
"No worries M," he declared as he pulled the door open. "I haven't used even half of my wit."
"Yes, I know," M muttered under her breath as he closed the door behind him.
To Be Continued...