When 007 regained consciousness, he was hanging upside down over a large container of liquid. Whoever designed the large room seemed to have an affinity for stainless steel. Shifting his weight slightly, Bond was able to survey the room: five hired thugs and a familiar face. Actually, the bald man peering at the data displayed on of the many large machines had his back to Bond. So it was more of a familiar head.
Blofeld was apparently aware of his prisoner’s consciousness. “Mister Bond, whatever brings you to my secret lair this evening?”
“Just hanging around” replied Bond.
Blofeld ignored Bond’s droll humor. “I don’t recall inviting you. With all the resources at MI-5’s disposal, I would think they could equip you with better manners.”
“I’ll just show myself out then, shall I” smiled Bond
“I’m afraid I can’t allow that either.” Blofeld turned to face Bond.
“Such poor hospitality.” Bond said, scanning the room once more.
“Yes, and you’ll find that the vat of acid into which you’re being lowered slowly is one of the more unpleasant amenities here.” Replied Blofeld without emotion.
“You’ll never get away with it.”
“Won’t get away with what?”
“Mass mind control, tampering with the world’s food supply.” Bond grasped at what little information he knew.
“I suppose some kind of marketing strategy may be employed at some point, but really Mister Bond, slaves make bad customers and the dead make even worse ones. I suppose there’s no other way but to show you.” Blofeld slid a knife calmly from his pocket and sliced through the rope where it was secured to the wall in one simple movement.
Bond fell into the vat with a surprisingly poised splash considering his hands and feet were bound. He sputtered as he struggled to shake the dripping liquid from his face. “Vinegar?”
“Vinegar is an acid Mister Bond, albeit a rather weak one.” Blofeld neared the tank.
“I suppose it’s a good thing this tux is a rental.” Bond’s toes occasionally reached down to touch the bottom of the tank, allowing him to balance himself.
“As surprised as I am that any sensible businessman would rent you a tuxedo, it is actually necessary that you wear it.” Blofeld leaned on the tank.
“Really?” said Bond. A slight look of confusion clouded his prevailing confidence.
“Global extortion is really more trouble than it’s worth.” Blofeld admitted crossing his arms, “The overhead is extraordinarily high. And thanks to your invervention, the gross profits are nonexistent. We can’t even reclaim much of our capital, as you have a habit of causing it to explode. Not to mention our employee turnover rate.”
“Yes,” Bond resumed his smile, ” your business is usually booming.”
Blofeld sighed, “The only stable resource we seem to have is you. So I tried to think of a way to use you to my advantage. I knew you would come to put a halt to our plans. And I knew you would easily allow yourself to be captured in the process of unearthing the details. Then you would escape as soon as we turned our attention back to completing these plans. So I came up with a plan where you are the final step.”
“You mean this was all just a trap so you could kill me?” asked Bond, “I’m flattered”
“Not at all,” replied Blofeld, ” Besides being a thorn in the side of any threat to the established world order, you have the uncanny ability to charm most women.”
“I can hardly teach you that, if that’s what you’re suggesting” Bonds brow furrowed slightly.
“No, no, nothing like that,” Blofeld walked to a nearby stack of crates, “Did you know that 77% of all salad dressing is purchased by women?”
“So out of the cold war, into the refrigerated war. Is that it?” mused Bond.
“By all means continue the pithy statements Mister Bond. The tuxedo, the wit, that’s all part of your irresistible nature. An attractive element we’re trying to capture and use as the secret ingredient of SPECTRE’s new “Double “O” Sevinegrette. ” Blofeld took a prototype bottle from the top crate and held it up for inspection, “Although no matter how it tastes, at least I have the satisfaction of seeing you marinated in a vat of high quality balsamic vinegar over and over again.” He said moving closer. His mouth clenched tightly as he clubbed Bond over the head with the bottle.
Blofeld motioned to a guard, “The vinegar is ready for processing now. Get Mister Bond a shave and a new tuxedo. Blofeld smiled slightly, looking back at Bond’s limp body floating in the tank. “Ah yes, and a vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.”