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He looked like a student, Q knew that.  Speccy, scruffy messenger bag, untidy hair and misshapen cardigan.  He’d not shaved for a couple of days and dark stubble shadowed his jaw.  He donned scuffed Converse and jeans with ripped knees. A faux leather biker jacket with worn elbows and torn lining finished the look.

“What do you think?” he asked his second in command.  

R looked at him critically, head to toe.  “You look like a posh kid trying to fit in at Polytechnic.”

“What’s Polytechnic?” Q asked, and R shook her head, remembering how young her boss actually was.

“You’ll do fine,” she smiled.  “Now then, Bond is at Passage House.  We got him in there to keep an eye on Blue Castle, so he’s fine.  But Trevelyan is dossing in whichever hostel will take him along the Thames.  He hasn’t reported in for two days so we need to make contact to ensure he’s still operational.  The last report came from the area around Whitechapel. He’s posing as homeless, with complex needs and an alcohol problem, so try the hostels around there that take the drunks with mental health issues.  If you find him, toss him some cash…” R handed him a rolled £5 note. “There’s intel in that. Or take him for coffee at a greasy spoon and bring him up to date.”

Q grimaced at his second “I appreciate you taking over on this operation.  I won’t admit to being too close but…”

“You have a vested interest in ensuring the well-being of our double-oh agents working undercover on the streets of London. I get it.  Professional interest in an operation that is unexpectedly on home soil. Makes sense to cover our arses as far as Five are concerned.”  She laughed, blue hair flopping over her eyes. “Off with you. Quartermaster. You’re not going to get any more convincing hanging around here, and I bet Alec is desperate for a decent brew.”