1965. Three British experts in robotics create an Android controlled by enough artificial intelligence to rival human thinking. But a series of unexplained events take place that lead to the death of two of them. Confidential data is at risk and so is international peace. As diplomatic tensions rise, a lavish gala reception is organised to celebrate the achievement that may forever change the face of science. Celebrities, VIPs and high-profile guests are set to attend including the last surviving scientist, Doctor X. The stakes are high and security has been stepped up ahead of the event. The British Secret Services waste no time in playing their trump card and send John Steed and Emma Peel to mingle with the A-list crowd when the need arises for an investigation.
Emma Peel was asked to come for a fitting on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday it was finished. For once the assistant had spoken the truth: Madame looked exquisite in a classic black and white houndstooth Coco dress. But her calm exterior was deceiving. Tonight she and John were on a mission and inside she was in turmoil. She was facing an impossible dilemma. Should she go for a pair of matching white pearl earrings or be bold with a ruby and diamond ring? American movie star Warren Beatty would be attending. The diamond, she thought, may suggest she was not available. And she certainly didn’t want to give that impression…
John Steed had drunk three glasses of Gin & Tonic before he finally arrived at destination and manoeuvred his Triumph GT6 next to the parking lot. He betrayed no sign of nervousness as he casually got out of his car and handed the keys to the valet. Looking dapper in his two-piece black suit and bowler hat, he walked along the path with a spring and swagger suggestive of a millionaire on his way to the most exclusive party. And this event was certainly the hottest ticket in town tonight! But he had a part to play and the British government expected him and Emma to succeed. They could not fail them.
As he approached the entrance, the doorman saluted and held the door open for him before John handed out his evening invitation to the receptionist. The room inside was striking. It was richly panelled with exquisite carvings in early Georgian style. Its ornately decorated ceiling was unimaginably high. But John Steed was not supposed to be impressed by his surroundings as tonight he assumed the identity of a wealthy businessman with a penchant for drinking – a character he should have little trouble impersonating.
He spotted a few eminent diplomats and well-known celebrities. The Boss hadn’t lied; it turned out to be a star-studded affair with the likes of Dusty Springfield, Twiggy, The Moody Blues and oddly enough, Joan Baez. It never crossed his mind until now that someone as involved in social and political issues as Miss Baez was would bother turning up to an event like this – unless Android civil rights were now on her agenda. But he also knew that flying these celebrities over to London was paramount to the success of the evening and came at a cost that the Government was readily happy to pay. Even the Peace & Love philosophy had its price and he probably wasn’t the only one with a double agenda tonight.
He suddenly caught a whiff of a familiar scent behind him before feeling the brush of soft fabric on his hand. He turned around and saw Emma in her beautiful Coco dress holding two glasses of champagne.
-“Here you are!” she said, “I haven’t seen you since I arrived. So, what do you think of my new dress?”
-“Groovy! “John replied while grabbing one of the glasses. “You’re bringing this season’s fashion to a whole new level” he added before winking knowingly at her. “Got anything to report?”
-“Not really. I got busy staring at Warren Beatty until he took notice of me. That was the highlight of my evening so far.” Emma replied with a sharp gleam of interest in her keen black eyes. John Steed smiled at her indulgently before she went on adding “This aside, there’s not much happening. The main musical attraction this evening is apparently Jazz pianist Andrew Hill.”
-“Great! Guess we’re all in for a treat and a long night” John said dryly and somewhat distracted by the fact his champagne flute was already dangerously empty. As he looked around, he caught sight of a beautifully-dressed woman making her way towards him – but she was not a waitress and she was not bringing any champagne. She was bringing instead an important message that was about to dramatically change the course of a rather uneventful evening…
FOR PART 2, CLICK HERE!
The wacky story was written by myself and the amazing pictures were done by Marius Els who also used Photoshops brushes by Diana’s Creations.