whispers into screen

everything about your blog & writing! Leaving this prompt for consideration: James’s observations about how Q Branch is an eerily calm & quiet place. Even when there is an emergency - hackers accessing data they shouldn’t or an agent in crisis - no one panics/shouts. R will calmly approach Q, heels clicking gently, whisper something, a few screens will change, typing will increase, the situation is dealt with. Ambient noises are rolling chairs, keyboards, hissing coffee pot. James likes it. – anon

I love this! Jen.

“An Earl Grey would be splendid,” Q nodded, voice calm and conversational; Q branch always had the slightest of murmurs, an undercurrent of friendship and understanding that passed between them all. The occupants would tap at computers, or work on inventions of some description, screwdriver between their teeth and entirely invested in the world they’d created for themselves.

Bond came down frequently, just to sit and watch. It was an almost meditative area.

R’s heels clicked as she journeyed to Q’s desk; they spoke in low voices, Q nodding his understand.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I please draw your attention to code 189, which ought to be on your screens,” he said, his voice carrying lightly across the almost silent room. “Queries to myself, please. Workstations continue as normal.”

That was all they needed; Bond watched the screens alter to something new, almost identical on each, CCTV playing. They spoke into headsets in calm tones, spoke to one another in a way that seemed somehow impossible.

It was like music. They ran and in and over each other, nothing sharp or unpleasant, just the wave-like sound lulling Bond into safety while the worst of situations could be unravelling feet away from him.

“Agent down.”

Q branch seemed to suspend for a moment.

Bond’s face whitened; he hadn’t imagined it was something that serious. “Who…”

“… we have lost agent Holder,” Q intercut, voice still, even though Bond could feel his own heart beating at double speed and couldn’t imagine how somebody could be so heartless that there was no effect. “For now, we continue handling. Dispatch and medevac have been deployed. Please return to your previous projects, barring R and those directly associated with this mission. Thank you.”

Q turned back to his computer, and the silence reigned once again. Chairs moved, people walked, words were passed in gentle tones while the computer fans whirled. “Q…”

Bond was greeted by a sharp look, one that told him to stop speaking, to respect the silence; Bond understood in that moment, realised that Q was hurting. The difference was that Q did not have time to indulge in hurt, in grief. Q had to keep going. Panic or raised voices would not achieve anything.

And so, he fell completely silent, barring his footsteps as he approached Q with an Earl Grey and a packet of digestive biscuits.

“Thank you,” Q smiled, voice curving around Bond’s ears, in that moment, all for him.