Novelization of the First Scene in ‘Casino Royale’

This is a class assignment that I got to do. The class was a literature and film class, focusing mainly on how one platform is adapted to another. In this assignment we got to take a short scene from a movie and adapt it as a novelization, or short story. I chose to take my scene from the very beginning of Casino Royale the twenty-first James Bond film, and one of my favorite scenes in film. I hope you enjoy. I, of course, do not own the rights to any of these characters or situations. This is posted entirely as a showcase of a school project.

James Bond sat quietly in the dark, waiting for his second kill to arrive. It was dark, after midnight, but he knew the man would show up soon. He always appeared at this time of night to perform his dirty work. Bond had already met up with the man’s contact and there wasn’t much to fear from him now. He had later combed through Dryden’s office and set his trap. There was no way that the man could possibly escape him now.
James Bond always put the mission first. He had always done so. Yet, now, as he knew what he was about to do, he felt a sudden thrill of emotion. This would make him a double-O. He was finally going to go on missions that mattered.

Outside the dark office where Bond sat, he heard the elevator open. That would be Dryden on his way. The man was a MI-6 section chief, very high-ranking. And he was selling government secrets. Once M had found out she had contacted Bond immediately. He might not be a double-0, but M knew he would not be intimidated by Dryden’s reputation, nor his faked devotion to Queen and country. She was right.

Dryden walked in. Bond watched him cross from the door to his desk, still sitting in the far corner of the room. To his credit, Dryden paused, looking in the mirror, noticing that something was different in the room. Well, Bond couldn’t let Dryden see him without willingly showing himself. It was time to speak up.

“M doesn’t mind you earning a little money on the side, Dryden.” The man froze, but remained otherwise unresponsive. “She’d just prefer it if it wasn’t selling secrets.”

Dryden turned to look at him, half hidden in the dark of the room. He sat down without a sign of stress and began to take his black gloves off, “If the theatrics are supposed to scare me…” He was trying to set himself above Bond, make it seem like he anticipated his actions. Or maybe he just didn’t realize the gravity of his predicament. Theatrics indeed. As if realizing that he really was in danger, the man changed tactics. “You have the wrong man, Bond.” he said. “If M was so sure that I was bent, she’d have sent a double-0”

Bond smiled to himself. Not only was the man overconfident, but he was dead wrong. M had known this, which was exactly the reason why she hadn’t sent a double-0. She was very aware of what Dryden had been doing, and what he was capable of.

Dryden was still talking, “Benefits of being section chief, I’d know if anyone had been promoted to double-0 status, wouldn’t I.” Now he was trying to belittle Bond, playing to his sense of pride. Well, the man might know when someone was promoted to double-0 status, but he certainly did not know James Bond.

“Your file shows no kills.” Dryden continued, “and it takes…”

“Two” Bond interjected. He let his mind wander for a split second remembering Dryden’s contact and their…disagreement earlier. When he glanced at Dryden again the man was pointing a gun at him, the one from the second drawer of the desk that he had opened when he sat down. Stupid.

“Shame.” Dryden shook his head. “We barely got to know each other.” And he pulled the trigger. Well, now at least he was doubly incriminated. There was definitely no stopping Bond now. His double-0 status was practically his.

Dryden was looking confused for the first time, staring at his gun that had not fired. Still sitting calmly in the corner of the room, the hint of a smile on his face, James Bond held up the pistol’s ammunition. “I know where you keep your gun. I suppose that’s something.”

Now the man looked truly afraid for the first time. But there was also a hint of…what? Resignation? Courage? Whatever it was the man was able to continue the conversation. “True.”

Bond had to hand it to him, the man was good at holding himself together. There was obviously a reason why he had become section chief. A shame.

“How did he die?”

“Your contact?” all cards were on the table now, “Not well.”

That was a bit of an understatement. He had found the contact in a bathroom on the lower level. The man had put up a good fight. But after being kicked, punched, thrown through multiple bathroom stalls, smashed through a sink, and strangled, he had finally given up. Or that is to say, he died. Bond’s first kill.

“Made you feel it, did he?” Dryden seemed to be thinking hard. Perhaps he thought there was a slight possibility that he could get out if he kept Bond talking. He was right though. He had felt it. It. The thrill of a kill; knowing that someone would not wake up because of you. A terrible responsibility; an incredible power. Despite all the effort Bond made to keep his emotions quiet, he couldn’t fully ignore this.

He was not a killer. Not himself anyway. But he would do what was needed to get the job done, and if that meant taking a life, he would do it. He had grown up with a need to fill, an orphan from childhood. M had filled that need and given him a purpose, and even though he hated the woman sometimes, he had her to thank. Perhaps that was the reason he hated her. He indulged the thought for a split second longer before turning his attention back to Dryden.

The man was sweating now, making discreet glances around the room, measuring his options. No doubt he was looking for a way to escape. But there was no chance of that. Bond had been thorough and had set up the perfect ambush. There was nowhere to go.

“Well…” Dryden intoned softly, trying to keep up the conversation, but still distracted, “you needn’t worry. The second is…”

James Bond decided it was time. It was better to carry out his mission without pause, rather than let the man drabble on. He had made sure the man knew why he was being killed, and that was enough mercy at least. M had already been the judge and jury, while he… Bond shot the man directly through the heart. The moment was strangely ironic. The silenced bullet had passed with hardly a sound, but Dryden was knocked completely off his chair, which fell over backwards, and on the ground. James sat for a moment, acknowledging his triumph. It was not yet formalized, but he was now a double-0.

What was it the man had been saying just before he died? Something about the second. Did Dryden mean that he was the second kill? Or did he mean something else? Whatever the case, it did not matter now. Dryden was dead, the mission accomplished, and Bond had received his coveted status. He did not admit it openly, but he felt exultant, triumphant. Putting away his gun, he stood up and looked one last time at Dryden’s corpse.

“Yes…considerably.” With that, he turned to exit the door. This time he knew that the man would not get up. He had left nothing to chance. With Dryden’s contact, Bond had made the mistake of leaving him once he assumed the man had been strangled to death. But the man had still been alive, and had reached for his gun as Bond was leaving. But Bond had not given him the chance. With a spin, he had shot his first victim. The bullet had passed through the contact’s gun sight, and directly through his head. The man dropped.

And blood soon covered his eyes.

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