Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Moneypenny didn’t know what to do. Her hands and feet were tied to a soft chair. It reclined enough for her to sleep with some comfort. It was better than the trunk of the car she slept in the first night. What a horrible end, she thought. She couldn’t remember much after the popcorn popper ride in the trunk. They grabbed her from behind, blinding her with a black hood. Her screams for help muffled by the grim reality she was alone. The room was kept dark, empty except for the chair. The only light came from a lamp in the corner, but she didn’t have any indication of what day it was or whether it was nighttime or daytime.
The men, she thought they were men, tied her to the chair. When they brought her food, they turned out the light, entering with a flashlight to shine in her eyes. They let her use the bathroom but didn’t give her any privacy nor carried on a conversation. Their heads were covered by black balaclavas, wearing heavy coats to hide their identity, no one talked. They motioned her to move once they entered. Moneypenny didn’t try to resist. One lesson she learned from years of hearing stories was to keep calm and not resist.
A couple of meals established a nervous routine. Every minute nothing happened was another minute for 007 to find her. She knew he was looking for her, she could feel it.
The door opened, right on schedule, but the light didn’t go off. A woman Moneypenny never saw before entered alone. She stood in front of Moneypenny. “Well Miss Moneypenny we finally meet. I wasn’t sure it would happen.”
Moneypenny followed the woman’s movement, waiting for the moment of pain.
“I’m not here to hurt you,” the woman said.
“What do you want?” Moneypenny asked.
“A lot of things,” she said laughing. “Don’t you?”
Moneypenny’s eyes narrowed, “yes and one of them is to leave this bloody place. The other is to know your name.”
“I’m so rude. I guess it’s a family trait. My name is Giniva Morehead. You might not know this, but my mother was Maria Stavro Michaelopoulos – her maiden name. Your department killed my father, the head of Spectre.”
Words didn’t form right away. It was Bond they wanted. She was the bait to draw the shark to. Moneypenny closed her eyes, she didn’t want it to happen this way. 007 had to survive.
“What’s wrong. You were so smug the last time we were together.”
Moneypenny scrunched her face thinking of when she met this woman. “I don’t remember seeing you.”
“Of course. Why would you. On your way home every night. Does that ring a bell?”
She thought for a few beats, “I don’t remember seeing you.”
“Miss Penny, you’re disappointing.” Giniva turned to walk out of the room. Without saying a word, she slammed the door.
“Oh James,” she mumbled to herself. The room went dark. In the quiet, she could hear herself breath. She never had an experience like this in her life. She walked to and from her apartment a few blocks from the offices of MI6, racking her memory for the moment they met. The restaurants and shops along the way, Giniva’s face wasn’t as familiar. Where did they meet?
Time ticked away. The dark room didn’t help piece the puzzle together. She thought of every stop she ever made on her way home. Nothing. Why would she lie? The door opened with the lights out. She couldn’t see anyone, smelling fish and Stetson cologne. The black hood slid over her head. Being scared wasn’t a normal feeling for the assistant to a prestigious government official. Scared didn’t describe her state. Her mouth wouldn’t open, the words didn’t come out.
The next thing she remembered was excruciating pain. The fist struck her seconds after the smell. Was the person still there? Her head hurt. Moneypenny closed her eyes and fell asleep.
She smelled food. Moneypenny opened her eyes to find the room bright enough to see the food sitting in the usual place. The dull pain thumped like John Bonham hitting the drums. She picked through the food, drinking the water they left for her.
“Eat, Moneypenny. You need to keep your strength,” Giniva said standing behind the hooded Moneypenny.
“I’m not hungry,” she lied. “My head hurts for some reason.”
“It’s just a little payback for the pain you inflicted on me. Did you figure it out? You know, where we met?”
Moneypenny didn’t know the answer. Who was she? The throbbing in her head increased. She shook her head. “I don’t know. Tell me.”
Giniva walked in front of Moneypenny, staring into her eyes. “Do you ever remember seeing a woman sitting on the ground in front of the pub on the corner? You know the one, where the newspaper cart stopped everyday to catch people on their way home?”
Moneypenny shook her head in embarrassment.
“No. Why would you.” The terseness of the voice revealed the hate.
“I’m…I’m sor…ry Giniva. I didn’t see you. I would have helped had I known.”
Giniva’s face contorted, swinging her arm, hitting Moneypenny with the open hand. Blood trickled from her lip.
“Don’t hurt me,” Moneypenny pleaded.
Giniva crossed her arms standing in front of the semi lucid Moneypenny. She took a deep breath. “We won’t hurt you. But you need to give us what we want.”
Moneypenny huffed, breathing deep to gather the strength and resolve to confront the evil woman intent on killing her. “If I even know what you want, what’s to keep you from killing me after I give it to you?”
Giniva stepped closer to Moneypenny, “that’s - a good question. Let me think. If you give me what I want. Hmmm…I don’t think I would care what happened to you. The birds can pick at your corpse for all I care.”
“Nice? What do you know about nice, Miss Moneypenny? You’re a high level assistant to the head of the Secret Intelligence Service. You’ve been around the best of the best for years. You might not think this you wanker, but you’re an arrogant bitch.”
Moneypenny bit on her lower lip. It wasn’t pleasant to hear no matter the reason. It never occurred to her doing charity work and volunteering at the food pantry would bring this kind of resentment. “I never hurt you like this.”
Giniva shook her head, “you helped the man destroy my family. If he pays, maybe you go free. Maybe not.”
“What do you want to know?” Moneypenny asked straining to keep her focus.
“It’s all about you isn’t it. Doing the dirty work for Queen and country. Such self-righteous piousness. I can’t believe you can sit there strapped in like a lion and bellow a bunch of lies.” She stepped away, turning her back to grab something from a box sitting against the wall. “Bond is on his way here. You know that. But what I really want is the location of the War Book.”
Moneypenny tried to soldier on. She knew the day might come. M told her often to watch her back. To stay in touch with the security detail. But she didn’t follow the advice, now it was time to pay the piper. The question meant certain death. “I don’t know anything about that.”
“Are you kidding? You’re not a born liar, Miss Moneypenny. Why are you trying? Listen…I heard. You know how the spy business goes. I know what’s in the War Book, or at least 003 told me about it before he died. Do you think he lied?”
Moneypenny gave her a broken look, putting on the bravest front. The pain from the strikes to her face numbed her skin. “You won’t get anything from me,” she said with finality.
Giniva looked at her, turned to the door, leaving her sitting with the light on, brighter than usual.
Moneypenny was startled by the door opening. She opened her eyes, trying to adjust to the sudden invasion. “Who’s there,” she asked.
“It’s only me,” Giniva said.
“How long was I out?” Moneypenny asked regretting it the moment she uttered the words.
“I want to know where the War Book is?”
“He didn’t tell you?”
“Noooo…he died. It happened too fast. But…that’s okay. I have you to finish the story, right?” Giniva walked toward Moneypenny. She bent down to look eye to eye with her. “What would it take for you to give me the information? Oh, I know. What if James was laying at your feet dead, would you tell me?”
Moneypenny couldn’t hold it back, she started to cry, sniffling to hold it back. But the tears found their way to her cheeks. It didn’t help her feeling of sadness, the loneliness of the room and the terror inflicted on her.
“When I come back, you decide how it’s going to be.” The door opened, a man walked in putting a tray of food next to her. He loosened her restraints and left her sitting in the recliner.