ON HER MAJESTY’S SIMIAN SERVICE
P Branch, MI7 HQ, A Crisp January Morning.
Bubbles sauntered into the Professor’s domain, strolling past the rows of desks with the swagger of an ape who knows all eyes are on him.
To be fair though, it was as much the swish of the pleated material gracing his lower body drawing their attention as the Bonobo himself.
P raised an eyebrow above his frames while watching the agent approach.
“You appear to be wearing… a skirt, Agent Bubbles?”
“Just dressing for the part, P. These Highland affairs are rather particular about dress code after all,” came the measured response, as though there was nothing unusual about a Bonobo in a kilt.
Nope. Not a thing.
P turned back to the output on his screen, outlining Bubbles’ next mission.
“A Licence to Kill and a Licence to Kilt? There is no end to your talents, Agent.” P deadpanned. “Wrap up warm though. The Scottish climes are quite bracing this time of year.”
“I’ll try not to get caught with my metaphorical pants down, P,” Bubbles replied.
P didn’t take his eyes from the screen. “I’m sure your debrief will make for an entertaining read, Agent.”
“…. And then I said, well that’s all very well and I don’t want to be “FOSSEY” but there’s a Gorilla in our midst!”
The guests around him feigned polite laughter, well aware that as one of the guests of honour at the Balmoral gathering and a distant cousin of Prince Phillip, he would not suffer offence easily. Politicians had little sense of humour – unless of course it was their own jokes at which they were laughing.
A soft tapping on his shoulder brought him out of his self-indulgent reverie and he turned, a tad miffed at the interruption. Of course, he wasn’t expecting to be faced with a four foot tall, kilt-clad monkey. He was however, well aware of the revival of MI7, not that he approved of course. Tried to vote the damn thing down but bloody democracy and all that twaddle….
“Yes?” he enquired, the disdain barely hidden from his voice.
He didn’t notice the other three guests drift away, more likely relieved at being spared further exposure to the man’s impotent sense of humour than the sight of one Bubbles O’Seven.
Bubbles cleared his throat before speaking. He didn’t want to be misunderstood after all. “Lord Johnson? You’ve been called back to London. I’m here to ensure you have a safe return journey.”
The peer looked him up and down incredulously and bellowed a guffaw. “I don’t think so, my hairy little friend,” turning back to the now empty space behind him, looking for his rapt audience.
Bubbles took a step closer, occasional glances from corners of eyes all the two were spared. For now.
“I’m not the violent type, you understand, but Her Majesty has given me, shall we say, Carte Blanche, to cart you back across the border if you are less than amenable to the idea.”
Johnson was about to splutter his indignation all over the agent when he felt his phone vibrate. His shoulders slumped when he read the message there:
Do as he says, Boothe. EW.
“But.. But… the booze, the dancing… I was looking forward to a Highland Fling.”
“There, there,” said Bubbles sagely, taking him by the arm and guiding him to the door. “I’m sure the Scottish ladies will survive the loss long enough to die another day.”
QUEEN’S BURIED RULES
Bubbles stood by the entrance to the room. Fortunately, his face didn’t give much away, or at least much that a human could discern. Humans didn’t much go in for subtlety or body language, something that spoke volumes to him.
He watched in vague amusement while Lord Boothe Johnson got a thorough dressing down from HRH. Something about upsetting the Scots during his Balmoral trip.
“You’re as bad as my husband,” she huffed, doing her best to keep her composure as queenly as the circumstances would permit, but Lord knows was her patience frequently tested to the limit by the men in her life.
“Really Ma’am, do we have to do this with HIM present?” he huffed, tilting his head in the general direction of Bubbles.
“Agent Bubbles has more dignity and composure than half this family I’m almost ashamed to say!” She was standing tall and imposing in the centre of the greeting room. Even Bubbles was aware of the fact that she could look down on people while looking up at them, a talent he’d been fine-tuning himself for some months. “And he’s here to escort you back to Belgravia, in case you decide to stray to Wales and just add to my husband’s atrocious record in diplomatic relations there as well!”
“And if I were anyone else, I’d probably let the good agent deposit you in one of the more ethically diverse regions of London and leave you to your own devices!”
Bubbles noticed the small but visible shudder that thought sent down her cousin’s spine. The Queen of England does not make idle threats.
It was a little known fact that she knew full well where the bodies were kept.