The Name is Bond, Ezra Bond

By Nadine

Crossover with 007 Universe

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The British Royal Air Force transport out of Canada landed on the small isolated airstrip between Denver and Bolder. The Colorado Air Force Reserve used it for training sessions and had a few old hangers on it for maintenance of their equipment. The airstrip had been cleared of snow prior to the R.A.F. arrival.

As soon as the R.A.F. transport had come to a complete stop, James, Ezra and Vin got out of the Jag and walked over. They waited as the plane’s crew disembarked. The cold mountain air picked up the light snow and blew it around the men as they worked. Wooden crates and a long sleek car made its way off the transport. A gray haired gentleman dressed in arctic snow gear followed with a clipboard in hand. Seeing Bond he halted.

"007, couldn’t you have picked a warmer place to engage in your usual mayhem. I would have preferred the Bahamas, water skiing to snow skiing any day." Q finished speaking and dismissed the agent as he would’ve dismissed an errant schoolboy. Q went to the closest building and made his way inside.

"Well gentlemen shall we?" James Bond said as he followed Q inside. Vin and Ezra looked at each other and wondered what the hell they’d gotten themselves into.

Inside, Q’s people had already set up shop. Crates were unpacked, computers were up and running, heaters going full blast. An aide gave Q a cup of tea and took the clipboard away. Everyone was busy except the three agents who stood in the middle of the activity trying to keep from being run over by Q’s staff.

"Q you’ve brought enough weapons to arm a commando raid. What’s going on?" asked Bond.

"I have to be prepared for anything this far from home. If M or even you had been kind enough to keep me informed of the full extent of this mission I could have left some of this at Headquarters." Q had walked over to Ezra and looked him up and down. "Hmmm, alright young man go with Willie here and change." A younger version of Q came over and tried to lead Ezra away, Ezra took an involuntary step back, unsure of what this Q person wanted him to change into.

Catching Ezra’s reluctance Q spoke to him, "Oh for Godsakes man you are going to be impersonating 007. That means dressing as he does from the skin out. Willie is going to show you the wardrobe. Go on like a good fellow," he said waving Ezra on with his hands as if dealing with a simple child. Vin hid his smile behind the cup of tea he had been given. That was until Q turned his attention to him.

"Mr. Tanner isn’t it, yes you’ll be impersonating the CIA chap." Walking around Vin as he sized him up, "Leaner them Leiter, but near the same height. There won’t be too many alterations to your wardrobe. Most of what I brought for the American will fit you as well."

"Why can’t I wear my own clothes?" asked Vin.

"Because young man, my clothes have a few surprises in them. Surprises that can not only keep you alive, but will help you bring down this madman. So stop fighting me on this and go back with your partner and change, go on."

Vin went to catch up with Ezra to try on his new wardrobe as well.

Q chuckled as soon as both ATF agents were out of hearing range. "They don’t trust easily do they, James?"

"A trait that will keep them alive." Bond looked around him at the wooden crates. "Q, why the extra equipment?"

Q sighed, "Just in case the virus mutates. Our research shows that Spectre’s weapon is unstable. Both governments want to be prepared. Since I was already on my way, I got the job of transporting the sterilizing equipment. Obtained most of this after a quick stop at a military base here in the states. Leiter’s men will pick up this stuff after you’re in position. They’re the clean up crew on this job. If you and the ATF team can’t destroy the virus, they will go in and sterilize everything in the area and the press be damned. They can write it up as another Waco disaster."

"Hopefully, it won’t come to that." Bond picked up an oblong silver object from the table and was fingering it as he talked, till Q took it away from him. Curious, Bond asked Q what it did, to which Q replayed:

"It keeps my reading glasses from getting crushed. Come along 007, I have a few things to show you."


Vin caught up with Ezra in the back where there was a section of the room screened off. Ezra was changing clothes, as if getting undressed in front of strangers was the most natural thing in the world. Vin just shook his head and was glad that most of Q’s people were men; at least the ones holding out clothes for him to try on were. Vin wasn’t used to people trying to dress him, and outside of one dress uniform in the Army, he never had anything fitted before. Wal-Mart had always been good enough for him.

"Ez how come this doesn’t bother ya?’ asked Vin as he slowly pealed out of his jeans.

"Boarding schools, Vin, boarding schools, where having privacy is not an option. It also ma explanation to why Ah prize it so highly now." Taking a look at his shy friend he asked a question that he had always wondered about. "Vin how did you survive in the Army being so reserved about public nudity?"

"Hell Ez, at first everyone was either too tired or afraid to care much what was going on around them. After a while ya get so ya don’t notice, you just do what needs to be done. Don’t mean I liked having to get undressed with people around, but ya do what ya gotta do." Vin let one of Q’s people straighten the ski jacket he was wearing. "It feels kinda heavy between the shoulders and down the back." He told them, the man he spoke to just smiled and handed him another outfit to try on. Vin looked over at Ezra and said. "At least we’ll be well dressed on the slopes."

Ezra had been about to put on a pair of silk boxers, which matched the silk undershirt he was wearing, when he stopped and looked at the boxers as if he had just thought of something. Speaking to the man who had handed them to him he asked, "These do not perform any function other then the obvious do they?" The tactician shook his head and Ezra put them on. Vin was puzzled by Ezra’s question and asked him what he meant by it.

"Ez, what else would they do?"

Ezra answered him as he continued dressing. "Anything Q has a hand in may not be what it appears to be. He is the head of their research and weapons development departments; and who knows what is liable to explode?"
"Hell, Ez that only happens in the movies…" Vin noticed the men that had been helping them wouldn’t make eye contact and made no comments in defense of their boss. "…doesn’t it?"

"Ah believe that Q is a law unto himself and, optimistically, he’ll answer our inquiries without over explaining them."

Vin wasn’t looking forward to that. "Hell, he makes me feel like a little kid. Like he was talking down to a misbehaving kid at that."

"Ah observed he treated James the same way, so Ah wouldn’t take offence."

The two ATF agents finished dressing in the last suit of clothes they had been given and were told that their own clothing would be returned to them later. Making their way back to the front of the building, they found Bond reading the London Times and drinking from a mug of tea. Putting down the mug Bond looked them over.

"Well, you two cleaned up well."

Ezra was dressed in a suit from Bond’s own tailor. Everything is English made, except the shoes, Bond explained. "I prefer Italian footwear, a fact Blowfeld may or may not know."

Vin was attired in a casual but fitted suit, with a bolo instead of a tie. Vin would never admit it to his friends but he enjoyed the feel of the soft well-fitted garment. But he did make a comment on the cost:

"They must pay spooks pretty well if Felix can afford clothes like this."

"We are taking a few liberties with Mr. Leiter’s usual wardrobe", Q said as he joined them. In his hands he held a bolo similar to the one around Vin’s neck. "We want the pair of you to stand out. To be noticed by any of Spectre’s people that will be keeping an eye out for trouble from the authorities. The names Bond and Leiter should raise a few flags on their radar. Mr. Standish, this is Dr. Hammer, he will be dealing with the matter of your gold tooth."

"Ah usually place a cap over it when Ah’m undercover."

"Not this time, we don’t want to take a chance of it coming off. Dr. Hammer will place a temporary crown over it that can be easily removed after this is over."

Ezra reluctantly went with the dentist. Q now turned his attention to Vin and the bolo in his hands.

"Mr. Tanner please watch carefully." Taking the clasp of the bolo, that was in the shape of a Texas’ long-horned steer head. He twisted the clasp, the head was two identical pieces joined together. He twisted until he had the two halves 180 degrees from each other, which made the horns into a four-cornered hook. Taking one end of the rope, that made up the rest of the bolo, he placed the decorative tip between the clasp pieces where it clipped it into place. At the other end of the rope he pulled off the tip, the rope started to untwine.

"The rope is a repelling line that will make two hundred feet of cord, which can support up to two hundred and fifty pounds," Q told them. "It might come in handy."

Ezra came back from his encounter with the dentist, his face none the worst for his new crown. As he rejoined them, Q handed each of them a wristwatch. Vin and Ezra examined theirs and put them on only after Bond had put his around his own wrist.

"Gentlemen, those are all-purpose tools. There is a laser for cutting through steel, up to an inch thick for ten minutes, a tracking device, compass, a communication device, a triggering device for exploding the buttons on your shirts and, oh yes, it tells time as well."

Both young men looked up from their examination of the watches, at the words "exploding buttons". Seeing their startled faces, Q smiled and said.

"It’s not the underwear that explodes, Mr. Standish, it’s the buttons on all your clothing. But only with the use of a detonator, yours and Mr. Tanner’s underwear are quite safe. In fact, it’s made of a new organic material from goat milk that has a spider’s DNA crossed with it. Very strong and very light weight. The latest material for making bullet proof vests, though I don’t see why it can’t have other uses. When this is all over I would like a report on how it worked in the field." Q didn’t give them time to ask questions, he walked over to two pairs of skis. "I think you will like these; a pair for each of you. Since you both ski, I don’t need to show you the standard features. These are a bit stronger then most, but just as reliable. The ski poles, on the other hand, are one-shot rifles. Take off the point and fire. The trigger is in the handle. Try not to shoot yourselves in the foot." Picking up a ski jacket like the one Vin had tried on earlier, he continued, "You were right Mr. Tanner, these are heavier then standard. My jackets come with build-in paragliders; the ripcord is in the front pocket. Your full wardrobes will be delivered to your office later this evening."


While Q and Bond had waited on the other two to get finished with their fitting, they had decided that the pair wouldn’t need all the features that came with the car for their part of the mission. Instead of disarming the car (which would have meant disassembling parts of it) they would simply deny access to them from the car’s computer system. Bond would show the pair how to operate the basic features and get them used to driving the Aston-Martin.

Bond sat in the back while Ezra and Vin put the car through it’s paces. Though the back roads had been plowed and the snow was piled high on each side, there was still enough snow and ice on them to demonstrate the features of the snow gear. Vin enjoyed driving the Aston Martin as he put it through it’s paces, even if the steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car. The vehicle responded to the lightness of his touch. Shifting gears, he noticed that the knob on the head of the gear stick felt odd. Rubbing his thumb under the edge, he flipped up the hidden cover. There was a red button:

"James what does this do?"

Before Bond could yell to Vin not to push it, Vin already had. The roof shot off and Ezra’s seat shot up, taking Ezra up with it.

"Damn, just like in the movies!" explained Vin, looking up at the sky through the new sunroof. Stopping the car, Bond and Vin backtracked until they came to a snowdrift with a hole in the top. Digging into the snow they soon found Ezra, white-faced and apparently unconscious. They started to check the southerner for damage, when Ezra’s arm shot-out and grabbed Vin by the throat, pulling him down level with Ezra’s face.

"Vincent Tanner, you will nevah evah do that again, do you understand me?" Shaking his arm to emphasize each word, Vin was starting to turn blue, but not from the cold. When Ezra let him lose, he flopped down beside him. After getting his breath back, he got to his feet and helped Ezra to his.

"Hell Ez, I didn’t know that would happen. Ya alright?"

"Barely, through no fault of yours, Ah might add. Ah could have been killed." Still upset he turned to Bond, "How often do you use that thing?"

"Not for a long time, sorry, I forgot to mention it." James Bond, 007 super spy was having a hard time not laughing at the pair. He’d have to ask Larabee if the two of them were always like this. He was glad that he and Q had decided to put safe guards on the computer. "Let’s get the seat back into the car and then head back to Denver. There’s still a lot to go over."

Ezra asked Bond something that had been worrying him since they left the airstrip, "Will ma Jag be safe with Q?"

"Of course, he’ll treat it as if it was his own." James reassured him.


Q ran his hand over the top of the Jaguar’s bonnet. He had the keys to the Jag in the other hand. A pretty car, now what could he do to improve it with what he had on hand, Q smiled and rubbed his hands together at the prospect.


Back in Denver the bullpen was busy. Nathan was studying the files Bond had brought with him from England; familiarizing himself with the information they had on the virus, until he was sure he would recognize it when he saw it again. Felix had ordered satellite pictures of the area to be taken. By the time James, Ezra and Vin got back to the office, the others were studying the maps and the information JD had dug up on the lodge and on the small town called Moose Head, just down the road from it.

The lodge had been a high priced resort until a private group had bought it a few years ago. Build on top of a steep gorge that cut into the mountainside, the hotel had a panoramic view of the region around it. There was only one road leading up to it and that road was long, winding and steep, usually only used by the trucks bringing in supplies. Guests used the elaborate lift with its roomy cable car at the base of the mountain to get up to the lodge. The lift went up in stages until it reached the mountaintop. The lift itself was situated to one side of a parking area at the foot of the mountain, out of sight of the main state road.

Further down the valley was a small resort town whose main source of income was the tourist trade. The other hotels used some of the same ski trails in the area. These hotels were at the foot of the mountains, with their own lifts to the mountaintops for their guests to ski. The ski trails lay between the town and the Chosen headquarters. Felix had already obtained rooms for Ezra and Vin at one of the better hotels in town.

JD gave Chris the latest information he had dug up on the ownership of the lodge. The lodge had been build by a rich railroad tycoon in the twenty’s for his private use. Later his children made it into a paying venture by publicizing it as a private resort for the elite only. Five years ago, the resort was sold to a dummy corporation. After a hunt through the files and a lot of dead-ends, JD came up with a name, Dwight Hamit.

James heard the name as he, Vin and Ezra walked back into the bullpen. Going through the files he brought with him from England, he added to the discussion.

"I thought so… Dwight Hamit was at the chalet with Blowfeld at the time of the raid."

Buck had also been running through his own files and came up with information on Hamit as well.

"Seems Hamit is one of the Chosen front men, a fast talking, snake-oil salesman. A fancy one though, only deals with the wealthy who want to join up."

"Then gentlemen, there is no doubt the ski lodge is where we’re going to find the Chosen and most likely Specter as well.


Nathan had come in to join the others for a much-needed coffee break. "James, how did British intelligence learn of Spectra’s plans? I can’t see a world crime organization leaving this kind of information out where anyone could stumble over it."

Bond put down the aerial map he was studying, to answer Nathan’s question, "They didn’t. We got lucky when one of their researchers realized what he was working on. A British doctor had been employed by a West European firm working on designing viruses to fight diseases. He thought he was working on a designer virus to fight cancer. When he saw where the work was heading, he wanted out. The good doctor came to us with as much information as he could carry without getting caught. Much of what we have is thanks to one very brave man who stood up for what he believed in. Unfortunately, he was killed when he was on his way to a safe house."


The subject was changed when JD, Vin and Ezra came into the room.

"There’s nothing in the break room to eat." Complained Vin as he was getting hungry, grabbing JD he told the others.

"JD and I are going on a food run."

"Get food we all can eat," yelled Nathan before they disappeared into the elevator.

"In that case Ah best go with them, no telling what they will bring back unsupervised," said Ezra as he slipped into the elevator just before the doors closed.


Downstairs in the garage, JD whistled at the Aston-Martin as he walked around it.

"Do I get to drive it?" he asked the other two.

"You can drive it the long way to the deli and on the way back. But there is a little matter of the car’s computer. Q and James blocked some of the car’s features and we want you to gain access to them for us."

"Deal" JD got behind the wheel.


Ezra put on his sunglasses as he got out of the Aston-Martin. He had driven the last part of the trip up to the hotel. Vin had insisted on an early start this morning. Ezra had spent most of the trip studying the computer controls until it was his turn to drive. Both had taken the time to familiarize themselves with the more interesting features of the vehicle. There had been little traffic and they had felt safe in seeing what the car could do. She did just fine; they both would miss her when they had to give her back.

Ezra studied the Mountain High hotel and surrounding area, he could see the slopes behind and to the side of the hotel. Ezra wondered why there weren’t more people skiing down the mountain. Even the parking lot seemed empty. The small picturesque town at the base of the mountain had also lacked the activity that a ski town would have had when the snow was at its peak.

The sound of a suitcase being dropped at his feet brought him back from his speculating, he picked up his case. Vin raised an eyebrow and nodded his head toward the lobby; together they walked into the ski lodge.


Buck stood in the doorway to Chris’ office watching JD work on his part of the operation. JD had needed a place to work uninterrupted, a place that no one would question what he was doing. No one in their right mind just walked into Chris Larabee’s office without having been given permission; no one outside of the team that is. Chris had told the kid to use his computer and set up whatever else he needed to in there.

Buck smiled, sure that Chris had no idea of what he had let lose. While Buck was no slouch when it came to running a computer, he wasn’t in JD’s league. The kid had taken over the whole office. Not only had he used Chris’ computer; JD had his and Buck’s units in there too. Somehow he had all but Nathan’s machine working together. The three in the office were hard wired together, while the other three were somehow networked to theirs, simultaneously working on the same problems. JD had on a mike and headset talking to someone named Leo over the computer. The conversation was one-sided and fragmented.

"You’re the bomb Leo, that will take care of… of course that will be perfect for now. I can upgrade as needed. Keep an eye out for…yeah…say hi to Patrick for me…bye."

JD looked up and saw Buck standing there.


"How’s it going kid? Who are Leo and Patrick?" Buck came into the room taking a chair next to the desk.

"Friends from the spook network." Seeing Buck questioning look JD explained.

"I’m not the only one writing programs, creating firewalls and the like. There are a small number of us out there. We all have our own lives, the government work is mostly part time and we help each other out on big jobs. Most of the time we don’t need to know what each other is working on to give advice or help set up a Trojan horse. We all have a way of marking our programs. This way we don’t destroy each other’s work thinking it’s the work of a hacker. "

Seeing Buck needed a better explanation JD added. "I’m creating various types of viruses, worms and carriers to go worldwide. If the others see that it’s my work they won’t destroy what I’ve created when they come across them. If one my viruses is discovered and destroyed by someone else, there will be others to take its place. Twenty-four hours after the viruses are activated they should destroy any information on any computer in the world that’s connected to the Internet."

"What’s a Trojan horse?" asked Buck.

"A harmless download with a virus added, a program you wouldn’t think twice about opening from your E-mail or other sources," JD said with a smile before adding, "The kind that can get you into the most trouble."

Buck studied the young man before him, till yesterday he had thought he had known everything there was to know about him. Finding out the kid had secrets troubled him for some reason. Even though he knew JD hadn’t been allowed to tell him about it, it stilled bothered him, bothered him a lot.

"What is it Buck?" asked JD.

"Is there anything else? I mean we all thought you went through college on a full scholarship and worked as an electrician’s apprentice on the side for spending money and now I find out it was all…" Buck stopped himself from saying a lie. He knew that JD rarely lied and never before to him or at least he thought so before all this came up.

JD sighed. He knew that sooner or later the whole story would have to come out. He had been hoping for later, much later.

"It wasn’t a lie Buck, I did had a scholarship and was an electrician’s apprentice, even got my license as an electrician before I graduated college. I just…I just left out the rest of it." Sighing again JD went on.

"I started college at sixteen on a full scholarship, my Mom was so proud of me." JD smiled a sad little smile at the thought of his mother who only lived long enough to see him graduate. "She had been so worried that there’d be no money for school. Even then the doctor’s bills were eating into what little she had saved. The one thing she wanted to be sure of was that I got the chance to go to college and get ahead." JD shook his head as if thinking back to those times hurt.

"JD, it’s all right you don’t…" Buck tried to stop him.

"Yeah I do, you are…" looking up at Buck, "even more than the rest of the guys, you are my family." JD got up and started pacing around the room as if being in motion helped him find the words.

"It was in my junior year when Mom got real sick and couldn’t work anymore, not even enough to keep up her insurance. One of my professors got me the electrician apprenticeship with Ted Moore the year before. Ted was a good guy, but he couldn’t afford to pay me anymore then he was. I needed money not only to house and feed us but to pay the doctor’s bills. One of the bastards had already turned Mom away went he learned she had lost her insurance."

"I was thinking real seriously about quitting college when the same Professor who got me the job with Ted came to me with an offer from the government. I had been writing computer programs since high school, even sold a few. They had seen my work, liked my programs and had been impressed. Our government wanted me to craft firewalls that couldn’t be breached; to keep hackers out of certain computers and if possible find a way to track the hackers down."

"I was investigated to an inch of my life, passed every test they had and got the job. In exchange all ours bills were taken care of. Mom had the best medical treatment the government could come up with and I finished college without a financial worry."

"That’s all in the past now, right?" asked a concerned Buck.

"No, there’s no such thing as a program that can’t be hacked. I still do updates and changes on my programs to keep the hackers at bay. I haven’t been hacked yet." JD said this with pride. "But then my programs aren’t like anyone else’s either. That’s why I spent so much time studying what’s new and who’s doing what out there in the tech world."

Buck wasn’t sure what that was and didn’t want to go there anyway so he asked. "Does the government pay you well?"

"Very, but I’m not dumb. I wanted to be a cop since I could remember and if I started spending the kind of money I was making from my spook job, there would have been all kinds of questions raised; questions I wasn’t allowed to answer. Look at what happened to Ezra in Atlanta, he was accused of being on the take for no other reason then the clothes he wears and the car he drives. And probably for being too good at what he does. The jaguar his Mother gave him and his family’s wealth is there for anyone to check on if they had bothered."

"Even now how would I explain that I don’t owe any student loans or that all my Mom’s doctor’s bill were paid off? People don’t ask questions because I live with you. You have been helping me even when you didn’t know it. You’ve given me so much I’m sorry I didn’t tell you." Coming to a stop in front of Buck, he said; "I love my job and my family here at the ATF. Especially one over protective big brother, I think the world of him and would never hurt him. He wasn’t told because he wasn’t trusted but because I wasn’t allow to tell anyone. "

Buck took the kid into his arms and hugged him hard. "I know that JD, it just took me awhile to get used to the idea. I thought I knew everything there was to know about you and finding out I didn’t surprised me. I needed time to work out how I felt about that. We’re alright now."

Letting go of JD, Buck rubbed at his eyes, wouldn’t do his reputation any good for anyone to see the dampness that was there. JD was having some of the same problems with his reputation as well.


In one of the spacious living rooms of the mountain retreat Dwight Hamit poured himself and Blowfeld a drink before crossing to the window overlooking the village. Handing Blowfeld his glass Hamit asked the dangerous man:

"Is everything to your satisfaction Mr. Blowfeld?"

"Everything is fine Mr. Hamit," Taking the drink offered to him, "Your group headquarters is quite charming, all the comforts of home," Blowfeld said with a smile.

Hamit shivered, Blowfeld had that affect on him, bringing Spectre’s leader to the Chosen’s headquarters was a gamble, but one the board had been willing to take. But then the Chosen’s board of directors weren’t the ones whose necks were on the line if this didn’t work.

Blowfeld smiled at Hamit’s discomfort, the fool really thought he was doing this for the Chosen’s benefit. Blowfeld had his own agenda for wanting to be in the States for the tests on the virus. Taking a seat to enjoy the view as he sipped his drink, Blowfeld went on talking to Hamit.

"My people are settled in and are ready to run tests on human subjects. This should give you the opportunity to acquire the DNA of the unworthy individuals you wish to have removed." Blowfeld was rewarded with seeing another shiver run through Hamit. The man seemed to have a problem with mass murder.

Hamit stared at Blowfeld and asked him the question he had been wanting to ask him since they had left the Swiss Alps.

"What are you getting out of this Mr. Blowfeld?"

"Why do you care Mr. Hamit? I’m about to make your organization the rulers of the world."

"But, you won’t be one of those ruled, will you?"


"But we will have the virus…"

"But I, Mr. Hamit will have the cure."

Hamit shook his head, "I’ve met all kinds of ruthless men in my time, in this business, but you are the most…"

"Successful is the word I believe you’re looking for Mr. Hamit." Blowfeld handed his empty glass to Hamit and dismissed him to go for a refill. There was one other reason for all this, but he wasn’t going to tell Hamit about it. The governments of the world weren’t going to back down without a fight. They would send in the one man who had stopped him in the past. A certain British agent by the name of …


"Bond, James Bond," Ezra told the receptionist at the desk. "I believe you have reservations for myself and a Mr. Felix Leiter."

"Yes sir; for two single-joining rooms facing the slopes," answered the perky teenager dressed in a bright colored ski outfit.

Smiling his most charming smile at the young woman, Ezra thanked her as he signed the register. Standing aside to let Vin sign in as Felix Leiter, Ezra pull out his (James) credit card and handed it to the receptionist.

"I would like to run a tab at all the hotel facilities for myself and Mr. Leiter while we are here." Speaking to Vin but loud enough for those standing near the desk to hear, Ezra told him. "This way we won’t be bothered with keeping up with who owes for what. We can settle up before I return to London." Returning his attention to the receptionist. "Will that be possible?"

"Of course Mr. Bond I’ll see to it personally.

"Vin finished signing in and asked about maps of the ski trails. He didn’t need them as he had brought his own. He wanted to see if there’d be a reaction to the request.

"Yes sir the reservations said you were interested in cross-country skiing as well as the slopes." Handing the requested items to Vin just before a more mature version of the young receptionist came up to the desk.

"I’ll finish taking care of these gentlemen Cathy. It’s time for your break dear." Patting Cathy’s shoulder, Ms. Dandy took her place at the desk.

"I am Ms. Dandy, I’ll be happy to assist in anyway to make your stay with us a pleasant one. I fear the cross-country trails haven’t been fully checked this year, we are a bit short handed," glancing toward Cathy retreating back.

"We had to hired some of the local high school students to fill in. As for the cross-country trails the game warden has been by to warn us of a few wild dogs in the backcountry. You may want to stay on the more utilized trails for safety." She tried to take the maps back from Vin who only smiled and stepped back and said.

"That all right I’d like to study them anyway, maps are a hobby of mine."

"Of course." Smiling at Ezra, she asked, "Is there any thing I can do for you Mr. Bond?"

"You could have dinner with me tonight and tell me about the high lights in your resort community. What to see and what not to bother with."

"In the interest of good public relations I’d be delighted. The dining room opens for dinner at six."

"I’ll meet you there at seven then."


The next day found Ezra and Vin first in line waiting for the ski lift to open. The day had dawned clear, the new powder sparkled on the slopes.

"Damn James, I wish we were just here for the skiing. It’s a great day for it," Vin said as he sipped his hot chocolate. They had already partaken of an early breakfast. The hot chocolate was courtesy of Ms. Cathy so they wouldn’t get cold as they waited, she had told them.

"I believed that Ms. Cathy has a crush on you my friend. I also believed she’d do almost anything for you." Ezra told Vin with a straight face. "She did made sure they put extra marshmallows in your hot chocolate."

"Aw hell… she’s just a kid, can’t be much over eighteen if that. You can’t think…." Catching the smirk on Ezra’s face he knew he had been had. Wanting to get back a little at his friend Vin asked.

"How was dinner with Ms. Dandy? Ya didn’t get back to your room till near dawn."

"My evening with the lady was pleasant. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if she turned out to be a member of the Chosen. She did ask a few questions that were suspicious."

"And after dinner?"

"I was up holding James’ reputation." Replied Ezra with a smile as they took their skis and were seated on the lift chair.


By the mid-afternoon they had reached their destination. They had skied across the mountain trails to get as close to the Chosen’s headquarter as possible on this side of the mountains before strapping their skis to their backs and hiking the rest of the way up on foot. Vin had been careful to lead them away from any of the steep drop offs that fell into the gorge that separated the headquarters from the rest of the mountain. The winds coming up from the valley below were strong and could easily blow a person off their feet. The chasm had been cut into the mountain during the last ice age. It was way too far down to the bottom and if they fell they wouldn’t even bounce when they reached it.

They sat behind a snowed over outcropping, trying to get a look into the lodge below them. The goggles Q had supplied them came with built in binoculars. All they could see were the grounds around the building and a few guards. But they weren’t here to gather information but to be seen.

"Ya know this would be a great run for a bit of free style skiing," said Vin as he studied the mountains around and below them.

Ezra turned to his friend with a grin, "Only if we don’t tell Chris about it. The man doesn’t seem to understand it’s not as dangerous as it looks if you know what you’re doing and we of course know what we’re doing. "

Vin grinned in return. "Maybe we can come back some time." Looking over at the lodge he added. "We are supposed to be getting their attention, think they can see us from the lodge?"

A shot kicked up the snow at their feet.

"I think we got their attention." Ezra told him.

Vin looked around and spotted the shooter taking shots at them. Aiming his ski pole he shot the man with the one shot rifle.

"Got him, let’s go in case he’s got friends."

The sniper did indeed have friends and they were shooting at the pair while they strapped on their skis. Bursting out of their hiding place they started what appeared to be a frantic dash down the mountain.

Both men were athletes and experienced skiers. They flew down the rocky snow covered incline. Neither gave the snipers a clear shot at them as they leapt, flipped and crisscrossed the boulder-strewn slope, stopping just before they left the cover of the boulders and the few trees that grew that high up. They realized that they had to cross a large clear area before they came to the next tree line. That would give the men trying to kill them a clear shot. Or they could head toward the cliffs. The two turned without a word and hoped the snipers wouldn’t realize what they were up to until it was too late.

Ezra fell back just enough to make the hunters believe they had a chance of catching him, keeping them close but not so close that they could get a clear shot. Just before Vin made it to the cliff edge, Ezra put on a burst of speed catching up with him and together they flew off into the air.

The hunters must of thought they where jumping another outcropping of rock when they made the decision to follow. As Ezra and Vin sailed out into the blue sky, they took up sky diving positions and opened their paragliders. The two snipers hadn’t come so equipped and screamed as they started on their one way trip to the valley floor below. Ezra and Vin caught an updraft coming from off the valley, carrying them up and away from the mountainsides and out into the open sky over the valley.


Under the cover of the trees the actions of the two ATF agents were being observed. Buck, Chris and the British agent James Bond were just above the ski lodge on the other side of the gorge when the shooting started. Turning their attention toward the sounds of shooting, they looked up in time to see Vin and Ezra start their run. Following their progress through binoculars they watched.

"Damn you think they could fly by the way they dance on those skis. Jumping and twisting in the air like that." whispered Buck in admiration suddenly he explained "SHIT…What the hell are those two up to?" Vin and Ezra had come to the edge of the large clearing and stopped. Buck watched as they turned and started moving in the other direction. "What are they up to….no, no they can’t, they couldn’t….Aw hell they are…."

Chris had watched the pair through binoculars as well. His grip on the binoculars had turned his knuckles white as the pair danced down the slope. When Ezra and Vin leapt off the cliff he made a strangling noise in his throat. Only James tackling him kept Chris from breaking their cover, therefore he didn’t see the paragliders open. He didn’t open his eyes again till he heard Buck explain.

"They’ve got paragliders pard, they’re alright. Those two are riding the winds back into the valley." Buck sounded like he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry from relief.

James picked himself up and brushed the snow off. "I’ll have to tell Q to send them new jackets."

Chris, his face pale, was barely in control when he looked over at James, "You knew?" He accused.

James raised an eyebrow before answering. "I take it they didn’t tell you about the paragliders in the jackets?"

"No." Chris said through gritted teeth.

After checking the mountainside for other shooters and finding none. Buck turned his attention back to following the paragliders flight as they rode the air currents down to the valley’s floor.

"Damn that looks like fun."

"Buck, are they down yet?" Chris asked without looking up.

"Almost, looks like they’re all in one piece too."

"Good, 'cause I’m going to kill them."


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