Xander Cage had an advantage over many secret agents. He could blend in with the seedy, immoral people who dealt in terrorist weapons. That was not to say that Xander, or XXX as some people call him, was immoral, but he could act like he was. It was for that reason that the NSA had chosen him to try to retrieve the sample of the Silent Night toxin. It was thought that all of it had been destroyed on XXX’s first mission, in which he helped to destroy the terrorist organization Anarchy 99. However, it was discovered that a small vial of it still remained, and the hope was to obtain it at the so-called terrorist auction XXX was at.
James Bond did not have the advantage of blending in with the crowd. However, due to his extensive training Bond could hide completely, being seen by no one yet seeing everything. Unlike XXX, Bond already knew which man had the vial. His trained eyes spotted the man moments after Bond had arrived. Also unlike XXX, he already had his planned formed.
XXX was walking around, making discreet enquiries about the whereabouts of the vial, posing as a perspective buyer. He discovered who had it and was approaching the man when the lights in the warehouse turned off. The meeting of the swapping and buying terrorists took place at night, and the warehouse had no windows. Everyone pulled out weapons, holding them ready but not firing in the pitch black. Bond’s only concern had been that people might have started firing, but dismissed the idea. Terrorists were bad people, but most of them were smart. The dumb ones, at any rate, were all in jail.
Bond dropped silently to his feet from the catwalk twenty feet above that he had been on. He had quickly memorized people’s positions and the path to the exit before turning off the lights by cutting the main electricity line.
XXX pulled out the small, sophisticated night-vision glasses the NSA had given to him. He saw Bond running while everyone else was looking confused in the total darkness. XXX ran after him, determined to get the Silent Night sample. Bond quickly but quietly opened the inner door, making sure it was closed before opening the other door. The two door system was installed in the warehouse to prevent heat or air conditioning from escaping. Now, however, it allowed Bond and XXX to leave the warehouse undetected, since no light filtered in from outside to give away their positions. Once he was out of the warehouse, XXX threw his glasses off, since he was able to see Bond clearly in the light of the full moon.
Bond had already wired one of the terrorist’s motorcycles so that it would easily start without a key. He got on it now and sped down the road that winded down the mountain the warehouse was located on. The auction was held there for secrecy.
XXX got on his own motorcycle, which he had driven to the auction. Bond had driven a car, but decided that a motorcycle was better for a quick getaway on the narrow and bumpy road. His car was waiting for him at the foot of the mountain. XXX started the bike and headed after Bond.
It wasn’t long before Bond knew he was being followed. At first Bond did nothing. He hoped to simply outrun his pursuer. However, as Bond pushed the bike to its limit, the man still gained on him. His follower obviously had a faster motorcycle. Both men rushed along the uneven road, dodging rocks and holes. Bond’s focus shifted between the road and his pursuer. Bond saw XXX raise a gun to fire. Bond fired first, unable to take as close aim as he would have liked to. He had to keep his bike under control. His bullet flew by close enough to make XXX have to weave, and his shot also missed its mark. Bond felt the thump as the projectile hit his rear tire. The tire didn’t explode. Whatever had hit it wasn’t a bullet.
Bond knew that the tire was losing air, and that he didn’t have much driving time left with that particular motorcycle. Bond slowed, turned, and slid to change directions 180 degrees. He then poured on as much speed as he could. XXX was only fifty yards behind him, and it would be no more than a few seconds before they collided.
XXX only had a second to think. He decided he wouldn’t blink. If the guy wanted to play a game of chicken, he was ready to play for…Bond jumped of his motorcycle and grabbed a low hanging tree branch. The motorcycle was still barreling toward XXX, who slowed his speed as much as he could before jumping off his bike. XXX hit the ground hard. The bikes collided ten yards away from him, exploding.
XXX regained his bearings quickly as he could. He saw his gun on the ground in front of him. He dove for it just as it was picked up by Bond.
“This is an American design.” Bond held up the gun. “As far as I was told there weren’t any Americans at this little party. Who are you?”
“I’m the guy who’s gonna beat the shit out of some British terrorist if he doesn’t give me the vial he has.”
“I’m not…” XXX jumped at Bond, who sidestepped and hit him in the back. Bond didn’t think the man was a terrorist, and even though he also didn’t look like an agent, Bond didn’t want to hurt a potential ally. XXX swung at Bond. Bond ducked and used his shoulder to push XXX away.
“I’m not a terrorist. I’m with…” Bond couldn’t finish before XXX attacked again. Bond fought well. XXX had a marginal edge in strength, but his training was nothing like Bond’s. Bond controlled the fight, using a minimum of effort. He quickly had XXX in an arm hold.
“I work for MI6. I give you credit for persistency, but I’d hate to have to knock you out and carry you down this mountain. My car is at the bottom. We have to get out of here. Then your boss can talk to my boss about what is to be done with the sample.”
“What do you know about my boss?”
“I assumed you work with the CIA.”
“Actually I’m just a temporary agent for the NSA. Call me XXX”
“Sure. This way, XXX.” Bond led the way down to the car, wondering if it was Augustus Gibbons who had ‘recruited’ XXX and whether he was still using knock-out darts.
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