The Budapest Protocol
This is a story about love and death and fascists and lost fortunes and a ski chase - but this story has in fact no seductress, no death, and in fact no ski chase, and a loss of only £1,000 which is only one small fortune.
Hot on the trail of international Neo-Nazis who are planning to destroy the world with bomb inside a Rubik Cube, MI6 ½ Secret Agent Steve Pallett set off on his travels.
His cover story was a flight muddle, and he was due to land in Bucharest. Only the shadowy figure of his boss, codename “Black Rod”, knew the truth. Ostensibly the Minister for Education, “R” was the real chief of MI6 ½.
Deep in an secret underground cavern beneath the Leisure complex of Fort Regent lay a secret Ministry, with a cover as an Education and Sport department. It was believed to be a water overflow to prevent flooding, but in fact was a deep cover facility for MI 6 ½.
It was here that Steve received his ticket for his “flight into danger” and a copy of a codebook by Arthur Hailey called simply “Airport”.
People didn’t actually realise how many secret agents were based in Jersey. There was Jim Phelps and his Mission Impossible Team at the Economic Development Can’t Be Done Production Movie Company (which received a special operations grant of £200,00 under its former head “M”).
And there was a retired 007, the Reverend James Bond, who was Rector of St Brelade’s Church. Only his love of cigars betrayed someone who once was licenced to kill, and who was now licenced to perform marriages. His Walther PPK remains safely hidden in the church bell tower.
Quickly arriving at Budapest, clutching his tattered copy of “The Sarah Palin Guide to Europe”, Steve arrived. A courier working for a person code-named "Cobalt" took him to the hotel.
The airline ticket had overprinted in secret ink a message. “You are what appears to be at the wrong airport. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the explosive Rubik cube before your flight cock-up explodes on Twitter. This ticket will self-destruct in five seconds”.
This was his Mission: Impossible! He immediately put into operation his Ghost Protocol. He now had 60 minutes to find the Rubik cube before it self-destructed. He ran out of the airport, his GPS showing him how to get to the Grand Budapest Hotel. Thank goodness for all those runs along the Railway Walk in St Brelade, he thought, as his feet pounded the pavement.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
He saw the cube on the foyer of the Grand Budapest Hotel reception counter, grabbed it, and rapidly moved the squares of the cube until it emitted a loud raspberry noise and the Hungarian word “hoppá”. The cube was safely deactivated.
The following day, armed with a return ticket courtesy of Q, he joined the queue back to Jersey. No one would ever know how close the world had come to destruction. The spectre of war had been averted.
Instead the cover story was already in place: he had been booked on the wrong flight. He would be the subject of twitter ridicule for several days, but the world would be a safer place. Now all he had to do was face the music, and dance.
As he settled on his flight, he opened a copy of a book he had grabbed at the Airport shop. "The Bucharest Protocol" by Adam Lebor. The blurb on the back said: "A deadly web of intrigue and power play, a game played for the highest stakes: the very future of Europe."
And it had love and death and fascists and lost fortunes and a ski chase.