The Seraphic Council and James Bond

by GR "Maya" Cogman

Agenda : Meeting of the Seraphim Council to discuss Authorship of the new James Bond movie and Themes to be Inspired thereby. Marc to chair.

Scene : All the usual Superiors, sitting around a table. Marc : (rising) Thank you all very much for coming. It's been decided that since we've managed to take the script editors for the new Bond movie under our wings, so to speak (pauses for brief chuckle that doesn't come) we should discuss what themes we wish to promote in the presentation. Perhaps we should go round the table. David... oh, I'm sorry, you don't want to go first. Michael, then.

Michael : (uses spare knife to mark his place in the script he's reading) I've marked the obvious tactical errors. We can go through them later. And can we make M more of a retired army type? Show some muscle.

Novalis : Actually, I wanted to bring that up. I know that it's very empowering, but don't you think that if we just make her a man in drag, that's rather missing the point?

Michael : Sex has nothing to do with it.

Eli : (looking up from his script) I'm working on it!

Michael : I want her to show some drive. Some guts. I want the viewer to be able to look at her and say, yes, _that_ is a person who could have kicked her previous second-in-command out of the Service with her bare hands when he turned traitor...

Laurence, Dominic, David : (in unison) What?

Laurence : I thought we'd decided the villain was that drugs baron.

David : No, no, it's the scientist with the subliminal control thing.

Dominic : You are both in error. It was the consortium of ex-Nazi officers collaborating with the Yakuza.

Marc : (coughs) Yes, well, we need to discuss that a bit.

Eli : (scribbling) Okay, so it's Yakuza drugs barons collaborating with ex-Nazi officers, with the ex-second-in-command as their enforcer, and using a scientist who's developed subliminal control but is being controlled through threats to his beautiful daughter...

(A general pause, and looks of stunned admiration.)

Marc : (after a moment) Right. Which brings us to the next point. The love interest.

Laurence : (wistfully) He _did_ get married once before.

Novalis : Well, we could always imply a lasting relationship.

David : She has to be self-sufficient, of course.

Dominic : Uphold justice.

Blandine : Inspire hope.

Janus : Carry dynamite.

Jean : (not looking up from his writing) Not attempt scientific implausibilities.

Marc : Ah, well, um, Jean, there's something I have to mention here. We've had to cut that speech by Q.

Jean : (looking up) You _what_?

Marc : (waves a hand vaguely) It was running a bit long. We left the gadgets in, though.

Jean : (flipping ahead through the script) It would be too much to hope that you left the narration sections on irresponsible use of radiation... (his face falls as he reaches that part) Yes, it would.

Novalis : (encouragingly) We're keeping the ecology angle, though. The villains are trying to blast the local environment, you see.

Jordi : (throbs in agreement, as only a pulsing cloud of eyes can)

Marc : (eyeing the notes he has been taking) The heroine needs to have some flaws.

Laurence : Nonsense. She will be a shining example of honour.

Marc : Oh, well, that'll do nicely.

Novalis : (butting in quickly) So how do they meet?

Janus : She's blowing something up. Or he is. Or they both are. Or perhaps she's an incognito cat-burglar and he's after the same thing.

Dominic : Certainly not. She abides by the inner voice of justice.

Eli : Okay, okay, so she's stealing something from the bad guys to find out why they're persecuting her father, he trips over her, we have much cuteness...

David : (stonily) Cuteness.

Eli : ... punctuated by martial arts and self-defence as they fight their way out.

Michael : I want to see the tactics script for that.

Marc : I had Blandine do a survey of mortal dreams, actually, showing the sort of thing that people were dreaming about Bond doing...

Blandine : (silently reaches down beside her chair and begins piling stacks of paper from there up on the table. She reaches three feet high before Marc cracks)

Marc : ... which I'll put my Market researchers to analysing.

Blandine : And this is only the sex stuff.

Dominic : (triple-ripple-blinks) Orgies and corruption.

Eli : Hey, it's just one girl. Or there's another, but she's the bad girl, and we kill her, which shows justice in action. Right?

Gabriel : Is she cruel?

Eli : Bags of cruelty. It oozes out of her ears.

Gabriel : She must burn.

Eli : I'm working on it, I'm working on it.

Gabriel : And Bond must prophesy. (scribbles on her copy of the script)

Marc : Er, Gabriel .. Bond doesn't prophesy.

Gabriel : (clutching script to her protectively) He does _now_.

Eli : (snapping his fingers) Brilliant! It's the drugs angle. We work in some really exotic flashbacks - Jean, we'll need some help there - and then pre-images, warp it, because, um...

Laurence : (getting caught up despite himself) He's in the lair of the villains. They're interrogating him?

Michael : Or he fell into their stores of the raw drug. No, that's sloppy work.

Janus : He blew it all up and got caught in the fumes!

Eli : Subsidiary hideout, then. Okay, so he gets pulled out by the girl, or by the bad girl, or by the sidekick?

Marc : We may have a few too many sidekicks, my fellow Archangels. One, yes, two, perhaps, thirteen, not really. (He looks around the group. There's a long silence.) But we can discuss that later.

Novalis : (to Eli) By the bad girl? A glimmer of redemption, a sign that she might have turned away from her evil.

Michael : Then she does something treacherous and he shoots her.

Dominic : (nods approvingly)

Jean : And the villains are doing nothing all the way through this?

Eli : Um. Oh. Right! They grab the heroine. She's a hostage. We see some really neat shots of her in (glances at Laurence and hastily rethinks sentence) captivity and inspiring heroic thoughts from the audience and all that sort of thing.

Laurence : And Bond hastens to her rescue.

David : With friends.

Marc : (eyeing script) We haven't got any friends.

David : So he gets some friends.

Janus : A motorcycle gang. He beats their leader in a friendly contest earlier, we have a motorcycle chase...

Eli : (scribbling) Have to have a speed chase, oh yes.

Janus : ... and now they come through for him. They charge the villain's base!

Michael : They approach it with some tactical sense. You mean. Don't you.

Marc : Where is the base, anyhow?

Dominic : A disused courthouse.

Jean : A laboratory.

Gabriel : A volcano.

Novalis : Somewhere near a forest, unless we're planning to blow up too much of it.

Michael : With good troops.

David : And underground passages.

Eli : (holding up both hands for a pause) Okay, okay, so, um, it's a laboratory set above a dead volcano which you reach by going through a forest and which has an underground passage to the disused courthouse in the local town. And plenty of guards. And the volcano erupts at the end.

(Various nods around the table.)

Eli : And Bond and the girl sail off into the sunset on hang-gliders.

Novalis : Together?

Laurence : Of course.

Marc : Well, it sounds as if we have a movie here, people, once we've ironed out a few minor details. Mm... what do you think, Yves?

Yves : (looking up over spectacles from novel in his lap) Oh, I'm just reading the book.



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