Q was the youngest to pass the evals for an elite agent at Six. Contrary to rumors he was neither a criminal mastermind being offered a chance at redemption nor a genius who completed PhDs in his teens. He was a hacker, dabbled in cryptocurrency at its height and got himself quite a tidy sum post-university, and decided to apply to Six on a whim. It took a few tries, but Q was a damn stubborn bastard who didn’t know what it meant to quit. He got recruited as an agent at age 25 and made double-oh a year later, narrowly beating out 004 as the youngest one to date.
Technically his call sign was 0010, but no one, not even M, referred to him as such. His birth name had long been redacted from history, and now the letter ‘Q’ appeared on his decoy and official documents alike. He preferred patterned suits, neon shirts, and glasses during missions even though he had perfect vision. It made the hipster/nerd look more convincing, not to mention the various surveillance capabilities from a pair modded with cameras. On his downtime he liked to hack Six’s servers for fun, which lead to M assigning him more and more long-term undercover stints. These were right up his alley so it worked out. There was just something about playing with people’s minds that really got Q going, and nothing was more satisfying than a quick, clean assassination to wrap up loose ends.
He kept a custom butterfly knife on his person at all times, save when he was sleeping. Then it either went under the pillow or behind the bed-frame, depending on where and who he was with at the time.
James Bond was not the first choice to succeed Six’s Quartermaster. He wasn’t even the second or third choice, according to insiders, so when Major Boothroyd stepped down and left him the reigns there were some not-so-flattering speculations. Bond handled it the way he usually did when no explosives were involved, and that was to ignore it all. He and Boothroyd shared the same initial, so he kept the moniker of Quartermaster B, and took the job on the week he turned the ripe old age of 41.
Q-branch expected Bond to be effective but unremarkable. He was comfortably middle-aged, wore slacks and sweaters in muted colors, and kept meticulous notes in a neat schooled print. He knew his way around a computer but couldn’t keep up with social media. Newspapers were delivered to his office every morning, and the only mess on his desk was a smattering of pens. Rumor had it some of those were rigged with explosives, which Bond had neither confirmed nor denied on any occasion.
Therefore, it was to everyone’s (except possibly Boothroyd’s) surprise when ingenious weaponry began to appear regularly in the agents’ hands. Untraceable trackers, palm-print-coded guns, a deadly virus and a bomb combined in a tiny keychain USB. Double-ohs flocked to Q-branch after missions, hoping to catch a glimpse of the next big thing in the works. Q-branch, on the other hand, took on an earnest interest in Bond himself. His personal life was as elusive as some of the agents, except Bond never hinted at or humble-bragged about his exploits. He came in at 8 in the morning and left at 8 in the evening like clockwork, barring a mission gone awry (often) or emergent international crisis (depressingly just as often). Then he stayed as long as he was needed, the only difference was the splash of whiskey added to his cup of coffee, and the appearance of a shaving kit and a straight razor in his personal locker.