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Jeopardy Lane was a fictional American field agent and financial crime investigator employed by the United States Secret Service (USSS); attached to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The character assisted James Bond during his investigation into the activities of multi-millionaire businessman, Jason Sin, and appeared in Anthony Horowitz's 2015 James Bond continuation novel Trigger Mortis.

Biography

Upbringing

Jeopardy Lane was born into poor home adjacent to the railway depot in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. The infant's name was derived from a warning sign hanging on depot property; a single word in red ink reading "JEOPARDY".[1] The product of a neglectful upbringing, her father drank himself to death when she was six years old and, devoid of parental supervision, she spent her time on the streets. At thirteen she joined a traveling carnival and spent three months working in a sideshow as "Olga the headless girl" for 10c an hour.[1] Afterwards she gained a proficiency with motor cycles, participating in the "Wall of Death" on an old Indian Scout Motorbike.[1] After her mother died of liver cancer, Jeopardy was taken into the care of her, hitherto unknown, kindly uncle and aunt, Ralph and Gracie. She moved to Washington DC, had her manners and appearance reformed, and was put into school and then college; catching up with her lost education. Her uncle, an employee of the Department of the Treasury, subsequently got her a job as a secretary in research. By the time of the novel, she had risen to investigator, and lived on her own in an apartment in Washington DC.[1]

Trigger Mortis

During 1957,[2] multi-millionaire Sin Jai-Seong, orchestrated an plot to destroy the U.S. space program for the Soviets by staging a fake rocket debris crash (using a subterranean bomb and replica rocket) in the middle of Manhattan, New York. To this end, he bribed a Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) supervisor into sabotaging their new Vanguard space rocket in exchange for $250,000. However, a series of accidents lead to the scheme unraveling. The supervisor is murdered by his wife and the recovered Soviet bribe money turns out to be counterfeit; attracting the attention of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The money is determined to have been the product of Operation Bernhard, a scheme by Nazi Germany to forge Allied bank notes during the Second World War for the purpose of economic warfare. Attention is drawn directly to Sin when he inadvertently uses Bernhard notes to place a deposit on a car. Posing as a motor journalist, Jeopardy attends one of Sin's lavish post-Grand Prix parties at the Schloss Bronsart in Nürburg, West Germany. She attracts the attention of James Bond, who suspects Sin of being involved with SMERSH. Serious in temperament, she is compared with actress Jean Seberg; unconventionally attractive, with close-cropped blonde hair, off-blue eyes, pale gamine cheeks, small lips, and a somewhat short and shapely figure.[3] After 007 causes a distraction, she follows in his wake and investigates Sin's upstairs office - unwittingly triggering a silent alarm. Bond takes her to the roof of the castle and the pair jump into the encircling, freezing lake. With her belongings at the Schloss Bronsart, she spends the night in Bond's hotel suite; taking the bed while the spy is relegated to the couch. The next morning she sends Bond on a wild goose chase for clothing, while she pockets photographs 007 had taken from the Castle, and leaves for the U.S.

She sends the photographs to the NRL, and frustrated by their indifference, travels to their rocket base at Wallops Island, Virginia, to investigate. There, she notices Bond leaving the facility and decides to follow him - noticing that he has led one of Sin's assassins to his motel. Around 2 A.M., she rescues 007 from an assassination attempt, running over one of his assailants in the motel's parking lot. Two hours later, over breakfast, they become better acquainted and exchange information. The pair head back to her motel, in Salisbury, where they discover Sin has returned to the U.S. in preparation for the rocket launch. Bond teams up with Jeopardy and they investigate a Blue Diamond construction depot in New York State. Lane attempts to distract Sin's guards by posing as a stranded motorist, but is recognized by Sin on the CCTV system and is subsequently manhandled and imprisoned along with 007. While dining with Sin, knowing that everyone's attention would be on Bond, Jeopardy subtly pockets a knife from the table and later gives it to the spy as they lead him away to be executed. Bond evades death by burial, and liberates Jeopardy from her cell. The pair travel to the Coney Island train depot in New York City, where Sin is planning on departing for Manhattan in his explosives-laden R-11 subway train.

With an extensive knowledge of the site from playing there as a child, Jeopardy assists 007 in gaining access to the train depot. Bond instructs her to find a phone and call for assistance, while he tries to stop Sin's train. Due to the intervention of one of Sin's men, he narrowly misses the train, but is collected by Jeopardy on a stolen Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle. Using her knowledge of the city, she intercepts the train at the Fourth Avenue subway station, and assists Bond in boarding the speeding vehicle by pulling the bike alongside the train as it careers past the station platform. Bond subsequently manages to defuse the bomb, derail the train, and kills Sin in self-defense. Following the debacle, Jeopardy was out of town for two days, going through various debriefings. She had already been given her next assignment - a tidying-up operation tracking all the cash payments Sin had made in the past year.[4] Bond arranged to meet her for dinner on her return to Manhattan, at the Plaza Hotel in Fifth Avenue.[4] She arrives late, dressed in a black silk velvet evening dress. After dining, and despite Jeopardy's later confession to be romantically involved with a "sweet and ... reliable" colleague at the Treasury[4], the pair retire to Bond's hotel suite. Harking back to the novel's prior discussion of Bond's failure to commit during his relationship with Pussy Galore, Lane explains that they will likely never see each-other again, and given Bond's evident inability to commit, it would be better if they just parted. The following morning they part company much as they had met - with her leaving for Washington, without either saying a word.

"You're running out on me again?"
"Yes. That's exactly what I'm going to do." She turned and hooked her hands behind his neck. She was smiling at him, her eyes bright. "You can remember me as the girl who ran away."
― Jeopardy and Bond's last words, before parting ways.[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 16: The Lion's Den", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, pp.194-196. ISBN 9781409159155. 
  2. Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 15: Follow the Money", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, p.185. ISBN 9781409159155. “[this counterfeit note is] at least seven years old ... Back in 1950 they made a few changes to the design.” 
  3. Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 8: Castle Sin", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, p.107. ISBN 9781409159155. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 24: Travelling Time", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, pp.295-299. ISBN 9781409159155. 
  5. Horowitz, Anthony (2015). "Chapter 24: Travelling Time", Trigger Mortis (in English). Hachette UK, p.299. ISBN 9781409159155.