“ . . . and you must tell my wife and Ms. Jarrett about this,” the President was saying as the two women entered the room. “Darling, Commander Bond was just telling us how he escaped from the Maldives H.Q. of SPECTRE by swimming under water for two miles armed only with high-heeled shoes and a pair of fishnet stockings.” He spoke eagerly, like a schoolboy: “Do start again, Commander, it’s thrilling.”
Bond shrugged a modest smile. “All in a day’s work, Mr. President,” he said. “You see, Romney made a mistake in mentioning that his piranha pool exited to the sea. I dived into it, used the stiletto heels to impale some of the piranha, and caught the rest in a fish net made from the stockings so that when I reached an uninhabited island, I had enough fresh fish to survive on until Q’s Boson-Higgs Tweeter detected my whereabouts and the Navy rescued me.”
“It’s an old trick I picked up from the SAS,” he concluded. “Comes in damn useful on occasion.”
“Yes, very interesting, Commander Bond,” said the President’s wife briskly. “You must tell us more of your adventures some time. Just for the moment, however, we have a crisis to solve. Where is Romney now? For I believe that he escaped too. Is that not so?”
Bond flushed. The President came to his rescue.
“That’s not fair, darling,” he said. “Commander Bond has been in Washington for one week. A short time, but he has now solved the crisis that worries you. Maybe you would like to continue, Commander.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Bond. “I’ll keep it short. We’ve known for some time that under cover of her political career, the Homeland Security Secretary, codename Octopussy, was the leader of an all-girl team of whitewater-rafters smuggling drugs and illegal aliens into the U.S. — and a close associate and, er, inamorata of Romney. That’s why he angled so hard to get her appointed to the Cabinet. He wants a monopoly of the drugs and alien trade.”
“So how did you penetrate the gang?” asked Ms. Jarrett.
“It wasn’t easy,” replied Bond. “But I had heard from a group of curious foreigners, intellectuals probably, in a dive called the Cosmos Club that the Octopussy gang was driving honest patriots out of the Department by devilish techniques of sexual harassment of males, including the vile tactic of offering intercourse in a sarcastic and demeaning tone. I resolved then and there that if I was ever offered sex in such a contemptuous way, I would overlook the implied insult and take up the offer at once. That is what I did, and, well, suffice to say that I infiltrated the whole gang, including Octopussy herself.”
“Really?” said Ms. Jarrett skeptically. The President’s wife raised an eyebrow.
“My reputation got around,” Bond explained, looking.
“Commander Bond is telling the exact truth,” said a man in military uniform who had entered quietly during the discussion. “Colonel Hawkeye Jones, Mr. President, U.S. Special Forces. I have here a video of the Commander and Octopussy actually in flagrante delicto. I’m afraid it’s a little blurry.”
They screwed up their eyes to decipher the writhing figures on the small screen, the President placing his face sideways parallel to the desk but even so looking puzzled, until his wife rapped sharply on it, and the meeting was called to order.
“Hell’s belles, you people are good,” said Bond with reluctant admiration. “How on earth did you get cameras in the Situation Room? And so close too? I’m tempted to ask for a copy.”
“Don’t ask us,” replied the Colonel impassively. “We got it off the Internet. It’s gone viral. We think it’s an operation by SPECTRE. The rumor is that Romney has plans to entrap another British big-wig in Las Vegas. We’d warn the target if we knew who he is. He’s got a very odd codename: Red-Top for the Red-Tops. But I’m afraid that all this is old news. And I have something new and disturbing to report.”
Everyone in the room froze and looked at the Colonel.
“Octopussy has returned to Romney. He arrived at the Department last night, and they are now barricaded against any attack. I’m sorry to say, Commander, that there is no doubt they spent the night together. She went from Romney to you and back to Romney.”
For a moment there was silence and then Valerie Jarrett said: “Well, I’ve heard of the zeal of the convert, but this is ridiculous.” There seemed little else to say. So Colonel Jones produced a set of military maps of the capital. And the President said sadly: “I’m afraid there may be no alternative to . . . ”