James Bond, Deputy Assistant Manager of Big Bang Investment, the Limited Liability Company subsidiary of the Information Sources Agency of the External Department of the British Government; that is 50/50 owned with private capital, and to which functional data gathering is outsourced on a contract basis, is finding it difficult to accept the new meaning of the word "contract".
He gathered this when he found a message from Virginia, the Executive Director of the Agency asking him for an actual person to person meeting instead of an encrypted Skype. At first he assumed happily that this was a chance to make a big impression, one way or another. But then the suggestion that his legal adviser should be there made him wonder.
They were sat there in the large space in the Penthouse with the many screens and it was not looking good. Virginia had her little friends with her as he liked to say. Only they were neither little nor friendly. Worse was when he was handed an actual document that all had before them.
He was out, busted, broke, unloved, unwanted and it was all over. But why? He made the mistake of asking the question. Yes he had not been sticking strictly to the online code of operations. He tried to claim his human rights and privacy even although his legal man was telling him to shut up, because it proved he was in the wrong.
But it wasn't really these breaches it was what they told his bosses. His gambling pattern told them he was an innumerate liability in a place where the numbers were all. He had tried every dating agency and the like without once make a successful contact. Worse, far worse were the nocturnal visits to web sites about church architecture, heritage steam railways, medieval genealogy and home brewing. He was a man of the past.
His shoulders slumped and his face ashen he made for the door. But another man was entering. It was his replacement who they welcomed with beaming smiles and a politeness they had never given him. He was clearly a man James Bond could never be or match. As he went through the door he heard his first words.
"The names Crouchback, Guy Crouchback, Halberdier and Man At Arms. I'm from Duchy Originals."