The New James Bond Film!
|After Judgement Day, the surface of Mars looked much the same as before|
Fortunately, some of the robots survived, and in the years that passed since what became known as "Judgement Day", an ideal new robotic society based on scientific absolutes and Prussian traditions arose. From the great central pickelhauber-spiked castle, moustache-waxed aristobots ruled over the beer-swilling cybersausage-eating robo-peasants who worked in the Combined Central Brewery and Cyber-Sausage Factory, while smartly-polished T-200 eradicatorbots marched up and down outside with strict discipline, with no-one to eradicate and nothing much to do but look splendid in their smart blue uniforms and spiked helmets.
But then came the fateful day when Netflix declared that the situation was never going to get any better and therefore the time was right to return to earth. The aristobots planned their strategies, the robo-peasants prepared extra provisions of beer and cybersausage, the armybots sharpened their helmet spikes, and the reconbots, who would be the first on the scene, pulled on their masks and rubber gloves* and lubricated their probes in the hope of soon finding an earthling or two to investigate.
*H G Wells had advised long ago that germs on the earth would be a possible problem for a Martian invading force, hence good hygiene is recognised as very important, especially if you intend to take samples of the local population using some sort of probe.
|Screenshot of the game in play, via Zoom|
|Q Branch make final preparations for a new insurance claim|
As they finally got the fires under control and the smoke began to clear, Q emphasised his point again. "And that is why you must always remember to turn the catch on the briefcase the other way before opening it."
"Now pay attention, 007," Q continued, changing the subject. "If you recall where we left things last time, we were investigating some highly interesting alien material you recovered from the arctic."
"A #54 torque ratchet, I seem to remember," Bond casually replied. He was on form today, smart and sophisticated at the same time. Shame it so rarely stayed that way after a few Martinis. Q, who seemed to be slightly irritated, stared at him.
"If I might continue," he continued, "We've discovered quite a few interesting things about it, you understand. It's made of an alien material unlike anything on the earth, and it's got some strange alien symbols on it. For a while we didn't think we were getting anywhere. Every time we switched it on it just seemed to crackle a bit and give off a smell of ozone and bacon. But now we realise that when we do that, rather odd things happen in the vicinity."
"You're referring to Moneypenny's hair?" Bond interrupted. For no apparent reason, she'd had a change of style recently and Bond had thought the new pink look rather fetching.
"Do pay attention," Q continued. "All sorts of odd things, though nothing particularly serious. Lab technicians disappearing, lost socks reappearing, inanimate objects moving around, small animals turning up in unusual places, Moneypenny's hair changing colour for no apparent reason. That sort of thing. At first we thought someone was playing a trick. But now we realise that every time the object is activated, it affects the dimensional stability of the surrounding area and quantums of oddness are released."
"I know what you're going to ask," Q enthused. "Well, there are an infinite number of dimensions, all of which exist completely independently of each other. When the dimensional stability is affected, these come into contact. Now certain advanced civilisations appear to use this as a means of travel through the universe, making precise adjustments to the stability of spacetime with a tool like this #54 torque ratchet. It's an extremely sensitive process, which if not made with perfect precision can result in the release of quantums of oddness, which are localised changes to reality that cause strange things to happen. Well, we hope they're localised. We've released quite a few of them recently."
His voice tailed off as a call came through on his earpiece. "I'm sorry, 007," Q said, "We'll have to continue this fascinating talk another time. If you'll excuse me, I need to check up on some hamsters that have appeared in M's drinks cabinet."
I wasn't going to ask that, Bond thought. I only came down to Q Branch to check if the Aston was ready.
|Bond watches from the Aston, while the police ready themselves in their own vehicles|
|Bystanders in cosplay outfits|
Through his binoculars, he surveyed Horshell Common. It was an almost-typical summer evening and people were, in general, going about their business as if nothing unusual had happened at all. Groups of people, their picnics finished and packed away, were bathing in the last warm rays of the sun around the lake. Some hungry folk in cosplay outfits were eating chips from the refreshments stand, while some shiftier types were smoking beside the bandstand, trying to look cool and keep away from the unusually heavy police presence, while closer to the spiked cylinder sticking out of the ground on the other side of the park, which had been fenced off with 'POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS' tape, the scientist Ogilvy was being interviewed for the lunchtime news.
|Jake and Elwood try to avoid the attention of the police|
Bond heard the sound of shuffling feet nearby and lowered the binoculars. A filthy tramp, a shock of grey hair sticking up out of his dirty mac, was approaching. Concerned about possible contamination, Bond made to move away. The tramp started to say something, then broke out into a violent, hacking cough. When he'd finished, he spoke again, with a strong Glaswegian accent and a stronger smell of whisky.
"Could I borrow a match?" The question caught Bond off guard. The tramp, realising there was a problem, quickly searched his pockets and after revealing a half a packet of extra-strong mints and an empty whisky bottle, pulled out a curved pipe with a wooden body of a style that had gone out of fashion at least twenty years ago.
"Sorry," the tramp said. Bond remained confused. The tramp was clearly waiting for something.
"What?" Bond said, still confused. "Look, here'sh a fiver. Now bugger off."
"Then I say 'Better still' and you say 'Until they go wrong'. It's a code."
"Oh!" Suddenly Bond recalled the secret code and paused, trying to remember what came next. "It musht be shettled the gypshy way," he continued, confidently.
"Of for f** sake," the tramp responded, "Look, I'm DI McGuffin. I'm here to help you investigate."
Bond looked the tramp up and down. "Do you alwaysh dressh like thish?" He asked. "Can't chapsh like you afford a deschent tailor?"
"Don't be stupid," McGuffin responded, "I've gone undercover so as not to attract the attention of the press. Normally I wear a tie when I'm working."
James Bond, Action Hero (Star, 10 ratings)
Jock McGuffin, Tough Detective (Star, 10 ratings)
Sergeant Burke, Police Sergeant (Extra, 3 ratings)
9 Policemen (Extras, 3 models for 5 ratings)
Ogilvy the Scientist (Extra, 2 ratings)
Police Car (Vehicle, 4 ratings)
The Aston (Vehicle, 8 Ratings)
|Space Prussians from Mars|
Dogbot Von Schnauser (Co-Star, 6 ratings)
Arnie Das Kriegsmaschine, Giant Robot (Co-Star, 10 ratings)
8 Reconbots (Extras, 3 ratings each)
|The 7TV van and news team|
|Innocent bystanders find things to do in the park|
All vehicles can be driven by any model except the giant robot and the robot dog. Any robot must first make a MIND test after entering a vehicle before it can operate it at all; anyone except Bond trying to use one of the special effects of the Aston must make a mind test first each time this is attempted.
At the end of the game the tally of victory points will determine whether the invasion has been repulsed or not.
|Bond leads the police into action|
With a squeal of tyres, Bond sets off in the Aston, accelerating into the park. Mud flies up into the faces of dodging bystanders as the manicured grass is ripped apart by the tread of the Aston's tyres. Behind, McGuffin jumps into the squad car.
|The professor pauses during the interview as a noise comes from the cylinder|
On the other side of the park, a strange rasping sound emanates from the cylinder as its lid unscrews. Perhaps there is a man trapped inside? Unfortunately it turns out to be alien robots trying to get out.
|Pedestrians dodge out of the path of the police|
From the driver's seat of the Aston, Bond senses danger ahead, as Ogilvy and the TV crew stand dumbstruck, gazing at the top of the mysterious cylinder as it opens.
|"AAARGGHH!" screams Ogilvy in panic|
Just in time, Ogilvy realises the danger. He turns and runs in panic back towards the refreshments hut, desperately hoping Bond will save him from whatever is coming out of the cylinder. Or that he will at least be able to get a refreshing cup of tea.
|"Just look cool, Jake. Try not to attract their attention."|
The police van, appropriately filled with policemen, drives past the bandstand. Jake and Elwood play innocent as, ignoring them, the van continues on, heading for the far-more-suspicious-looking cosplayers.
|"Halt! Zere is no escape, earthling!"|
|Clearly there is more space inside the cylinder than appears from outside|
|The giant robot advances towards its target|
"No problemo", Arnie confirms.
|"Right you lot, let's be 'aving you!"|
But the police have other ideas. Ignoring Jake and Elwood, the van screeches to a halt beside the cosplayers and an excessive number of policemen jump into action.
|The view from the cylinder|
Too slow, Arnie and the Prussians can only watch in disappointment as the police round up the bystanders.
With a turn of speed, the squad car drives between the lake and the refreshments hut and screeches to a halt. As pedestrians dodge to safety, McGuffin leaps out of the car, pistol ready, and shouts a warning at the approaching Prussian Aristobot.
|A view across the table. Note Rover camera.|
The TV crew are unceremoniously rounded up by their abductors and taken back inside the cylinder. Von Schnauser, the Prussian robot dog, provides some support as Arnie continues his relentless advance.
|"It's for your own safety"|
Policemen quickly take statements from the cosplayers, who are duly rounded up and put in the van.
|The Aston launches a rocket strike at the giant robot|
|Arnie focuses on his target|
The Prussians continue their slow advance toward the police van. Arnie charges his heat ray.
|"In the van, please, Ladies"|
The police van turns, stopping alongside the girls playing beachball, and a police constable herds them into the back.
|"Form a line!"|
On the other side of the van, another constable escorts Jake and Elwood to the van as well. Despite their pleas of innocence, into the back of the van they go.
|"You cannot escape..."|
|All of a sudden, it is uncomfortably hot inside the van|
Having ushered the bystanders into the van, two policemen are left outside. Unaccountably, they survive the blast of the heat ray. Unfortunately, those inside the van, all of whom are instantly roasted by the robot's weapon, do not.
The police give the order to pull back to safety. The patrol car reverses to pick up bystanders, leaving McGuffin to defend the position. Ogilvy, who is left behind, chases after the reversing police car.
|McGuffin is shot with a stun musket|
Suddenly, McGuffin finds himself in the open and vulnerable, and under fire from Prussian stun muskets, with Arnie now advancing in his direction. Left stunned and wounded, he is fortunate that the Prussians are too distant to attempt to probe him yet.
|"You. Vill. Come. Mit. Uns."|
Von Schnauser and von Panzer leave Bond and McGuffin for Arnie to deal with. Unopposed, they lead another team of reconbots to abduct two bystanders who seem to have escaped the attention of the police. These unfortunately are dutifully probed and captured.
|Maguffin resists the advancing robots|
"Not so fast, robot," McGuffin cries as he regains consciousness and recovers, standing to face his enemy. Bond provides covering fire from the Aston.
|"BOOM!" - where did they go?|
Meanwhile, there is an inevitable explosion, to which the Prussians prove invulnerable but their probed victims do not. Two bystanders are spared the indignity of abduction by being blown to smithereens instead.
|McGuffin shoots the reconbot|
|"Hasta la Vista, detective"|
The Space Prussians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Sherrington
James Bond and the police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Hall
James Bond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crooked Dice Miniatures
DI Jock McGuffin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Killer B Games
Von Panzer and Prussian reconbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ironclad Miniatures
Von Schnauser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WIld West Exodus
Arnie the Giant Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crooked Dice Miniatures
Arnie's helmet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Green Stuff
Most of the scenery scratch-built by the author from cardboard and MDF
No robots were harmed in the making of this picture.