Tagged: spy

Dramatis Personae

r-avatarFaithful blog readers have no doubt lost hours of their lives reading our chain story, cleverly titled Tune In Next Time. Since it’s been going on for more than a year and the cast has grown by leaps and bounds, we decided it was time to develop something of a cheat sheet. And here it is, without further ado.

Our Protagonist: Though we have yet to learn this man’s name, we have learned many interesting facts about him. His mother was a two-term US president before several scandals forced her to retire. Now his younger brother Thor holds that office. His father died in some sort of sex scandal that is related to both the president leaving office and a cataclysm that merged the Great Lakes into one and obliterated several states. Our hero is part-Indian, immune to jellyfish stings, and spent at least part of his childhood in a cult. He is a graduate of the Hopscotch Academy who wound up in a career involving both crime and espionage. He sometimes uses the codename Ludovico. He has the layout of at least one Hall of Mirrors memorized, and can imitate any kind of bird or beast. He has a twin brother, a wife, and many former lovers, all dangerous.

His family: Our protagonist has a large family, and luckily most of them have names.

  • Mother: But not his mother. Former US President, now pulls the strings and rules from the shadows. Was removed from office following the infamous White House Sex Scandal that resulted in her husband’s death, and a scheme to bomb Contraria’s enemies and make it look like an accident. She is the current Ambassador to South Dakota.
  • Aunt Züg: Mom’s twin sister. Last seen impersonating Mom and plotting to exploit the Pirate-Ninja alliance in naval action against North Dakota.
  • Thor: Our protagonist’s younger brother, and current president of the United States. Often utilizes his twin sister as a body double. He is married, but we don’t know to whom, and thinks he is the father of Svetlana’s child by the protagonist. Made enemies of the militant vegans through meat-based legislation. Was last seen in their clutches aboard the presidential zeppelin above the Contrarian city Pittsburghistan.
  • Freya: Thor’s twin, our protagonist’s younger sister. Despite being different genders, they are nearly impossible to tell apart when dressed. Seems to have played a part in the sex scandal that killed her father and got her mother thrown out of office. Last seen at the White House, acting as Thor’s body double.
  • Jason: Our protagonist’s identical twin brother, and America’s #1 wedding rapper. He has a lisp, which is a good way to tell the brothers apart. Last seen pretending to be a priest at a small church in Rhode Island.
  • Jinx Damocles: Great-Uncle to our hero, Jason, Thor, and Freya. Is missing his left arm and only has one good eye. Was thought dead following a plane crash in South America. Last seen in a church basement in Rhode Island, getting a hand job from Lyudmila.
  • Fleur: Our hero’s blue-eyed wife. It was an arranged marriage, designed to tighten bonds between the US and Contraria, and neither of them are particularly happy with the match. That didn’t stop Fleur from insisting that her husband take part in many elaborate fertility rituals, and she is now pregnant with twins. This pleases her warlord father immensely. Last seen in a leather goods shoppe in Pittsburghistan, Contraria, presumably unconscious.
  • Isolde: Fleur’s sister, our hero’s sister-in-law. He has a crush on her and tried to talk her into taking part in the fertility rites. But Isolde is infatuated with Harry, a Contrarian noble whom she expects to marry as soon as Fleur delivers. Also last seen in the Contrarian leather store.

His friends and enemies:

  • John: Our protagonist’s former partner in crime and/or espionage. He’s described as an intimidating guy who sucks at ciphers. Is possibly Russian. He spent his childhood in a Tibetan monastery, an experience that left him with a deathly fear of the Himalayan Snowcock. He seems to be passingly good at roller derby, and is mixed up somehow with the warlords of Contraria. Has at least two sisters and is engaged to Tessa. Last seen participating in a Contrarian pregnancy test ritual, playing the part of the rabbit.
  • Tessa: Tessa is very tricky. A former partner of John and our protagonist in several illegal schemes, she has double crossed them both several times. She has auburn hair, an impressive bosom, and gets hiccups when she’s horny. Her formidable ninja skills take our hero by surprise and suggest chapters of her backstory as yet unexplored. She was involved romantically with our protagonist in the past, and is currently engaged to John. She has at least one sister and at least one robot duplicate. It’s hard to say when she was last seen, or if she really exists at all. Perhaps she has always been someone else in disguise.
  • Lyudmila: John’s sister Lyudmila (not to be confused with his one-time date by the same name) is a former sushi chef and current contortionist and helicopter pilot. Owns miniature Pinschers named Trouble and Time. She is one of our hero’s many former lovers, and is, of late, aligned with Tessa in some unknown scheme. Last seen drugging our protagonist and delivering him into the hands of Aphrodite and Heinrich Hunter.
  • Svetlana: John’s other sister. Svetlana is also a contortionist. She and her sister Lyudmila once had a sideshow act, but now hate each other “with good reason.” Has narrow hips, a scratchy voice, and a predilection for blowguns. She is the subject of an international manhunt which she eluded for years by using her contortionist skills and a harness to secret herself under the clothing of Heinrich Hunter, masquerading as his rotund belly (Heinrich was in on it). This former lover of our hero claims to be pregnant with his child.
  • Tallulah: Tessa’s sister, the most dangerous person our hero has ever met. Has unusual blue-black eyes and a tendency to impersonate her sister. Or perhaps has always been her sister. Is married, but we don’t know to whom. Last seen underneath our protagonist’s jacket, disguised as his stomach, at a bistro in Pittsburghistan.
  • Michiko: The rebellious daughter of the leader of NinjaVision. She enjoys Harajuku clothing, and drives a Hello Kitty themed Lincoln. She owns a self storage place. Last seen behind the counter at her self storage operation.
  • Aphrodite Hunter: A pirate with surgically enhanced breasts, and a glass eye. She is married to Heinrich and sleeping with Captain Jorgensen. Is involved in the Pirate-Ninja Alliance. Knows that her husband carts Svetlana around under his clothes. Last seen in a warehouse in the hinterlands being treated for inhaling a jellyfish.
  • Heinrich Hunter: Another pirate, with possible ninja connections. Has a floppy red mustache and carries a katana and an uzi. Smuggled Svetlana under his clothes for many years, which made him appear fat. Last seen in a warehouse in the hinterlands, peeing in his wife’s mouth to neutralize the jellyfish toxin.
  • Captain Jorgensen: A pirate captain involved in the Pirate-Ninja Alliance. Sometime lover of Aphrodite Hunter. Last seen aboard his ship.
  • Mitzy: Has access to a helicopter, but does not pilot it. Kidnaps people for the president, or people pretending to be the president. Last seen at the White House.
  • Kelly: The love of Jason’s life. Unseen so far, possibly because she was convicted of a crime in place of our protagonist, a fact that Jason is unwilling to forgive and forget.
  • Oscar: Head of the Sanitation Workers Union. Last seen in Rhode Island being dragged into a barber shop.
  • Alonzo and Enzo: Milanese sanitation workers in the employ of Dr Minka Stiletto. Last seen dragging Oscar into a Rhode Island barber shop.
  • Dr Minka Stiletto: A hypnotist in Ipswitch, Massachusetts. Has control over both the town and the Sanitation Workers Union. Wears, but does not need, an eyepatch. Sometimes hypnotizes our protagonist and uses him as a sex toy. Last seen being decapitated by Tessa in her jungle-themed hypnotism office.
  • Ulrike: A dangerous German woman with at least one sister. She hunts by smell, but tells our hero apart from his twin by feeling his corneas. Is a former lover of both our hero and John. Last seen corrupting minors outside a hall of mirrors on the boardwalk.
  • Myxolemia: Our hero’s prom date, arranged by his mother of course. It didn’t go well. She is now the American Ambassador to Contraria, and has metal studs where her eyelashes should be. Last seen unconscious in a Pittburghistan leather goods shoppe.

If somehow you have not read the entire saga, this page will make it easy to catch up.

Helga Concealed Herself

  1. k-avatarcharacter –bigfoot
  2. setting — dry dock
  3. object –wooden shoes
  4. situation –wet t-shirt contest

Helga concealed herself below the experimental hydrofoil in the dry dock. Stowing away on it in Seattle had been the only way for her to reach Holland undetected, preserving the secrecy of her woodland race. But the next stage in her mission would require that she show herself, in fact the magic tulip bulbs would only be given to the winner of the wet t-shirt contest. And to be allowed into the waterfront dive where the Dutch National Wet Tee Convention would be held, she had to first obtain the traditional footwear. She hoped she could find them in her size.

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It Was The Kind of Memory

  • k-avatarmadly dig at your ears with a Q-Tip
  • endless chain of consequences
  • the submersible’s robotic arm
  • aka the Maine lobster
  • a solitary llama was squeezed in

It was the kind of memory that makes you want to madly dig at your ears with a Q-Tip, or with a fork, some implement that can eradicate it from your head. One little lapse that led to an endless chain of consequences and ever deepening despair, depths both figurative and literal. Allowing the code book to be thrown overboard, which meant the message from HQ couldn’t be deciphered and the ambassador’s questions couldn’t be answered. Now, a mile below the stormy surface, using the submersible’s robotic arm to retrieve the errant codex from the muck. Hoping to complete the task quickly and avoid a run-in with the armored patrol sub of Jack Rabies, aka the Maine Lobster. The ambassador knows more than he’s telling you, has some disturbing personal stake in the outcome. At his insistence, a solitary llama was squeezed in with you on the tiny sub. Fortunately, it knows how to operate the sonar array.

 

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Oh God, Do You Think This Town Has a Taco Truck?

  • I helped him to do it!k-avatar
  • for a grander fate!
  • we knew we’d have a reasonable turnout
  • you suck!
  • Oh god, do you think this town has a taco truck?

Oh god, do you think this town has a taco truck?

I had to answer carefully, and so chose not to say anything at all. I had only just met Darlene so I didn’t know yet whether she was testing me. Was she relying on the secret meaning of “taco truck” or was she just hungry? I took the exit ramp, so our options would be open.

You suck!” Darlene spat. My knuckles turned white on the wheel, but then she laughed. Only then did I notice she was playing a game on her phone, and it was the game which had elicited her condemnation.

“Maybe, if there is a taco truck,” I said cagily, “we should pick up a few extras to take along.” We were almost to the meeting site. We knew we’d have a reasonable turnout and the catering was bound to be inadequate.

She shrugged. A clever counter-agent hoping I’d tip my hand? Or just the apathetic teenager she appeared to be? Maddening. When had my career degenerated into these pointless road trips? My training had certainly prepped me for a grander fate!

Darlene put away her phone and sighed. “If there is a taco truck,” she said, “you keep the driver occupied so I can sneak up on him with the chloroform. Then we’ll have to ditch this car and roll up to the meeting in the truck.” She stared at the trees and utility poles along the highway for a silent moment. “And if there’s not, well, I guess we’ll find a drive-through and get some lunch. Play things by ear later on.”

I looked at my smiling reflection in the rear-view mirror, watching all my worries recede with the trees and poles. I never should have doubted Darlene’s integrity, should have known Edgar wouldn’t let me down. He set up a perfect system for recruiting these operatives, which I knew only too well because I helped him do it!

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The Explosion Occurred at Noon Sharp

  • by jenmouth turned down
  • “See ya later.”
  • his fondness for her
  • nodding in admiration
  • all the gasoline on the island

The explosion occurred at noon sharp, and the fire still raged now at midnight. The sky was a smear of orange and black, like the aftermath of a halloween riot. Mason knew all the gasoline on the island had been stored at the airfield, the one still blazing nearly 12 hours after Cassandra lobbed the first incendiary grenade. Mason couldn’t help nodding in admiration of Cassandra’s efficiency, but his fondness for her professionalism did not bleed over into fondness for anything else about her. The woman was ruthless and now Mason and the very rich man he was paid to protect were stranded on the island with her.

He spoke into his walkie-talkie to his employer, safe in the estate’s panic room. “See ya later.” He hoped to be told to stand down, to take cover and wait Cassandra out, but no such order came.

Mouth turned down in a determined frown, Mason checked his weapon and strode into the jungle.

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Our Plans Worked to Perfection

  • k-avatarscreen door of his sleeping porch
  • impatiently explains to strangers
  • very sore and humiliated
  • save for spasmodic jumping
  • Our plans worked to perfection

Our plans worked to perfection, save for spasmodic jumping. We didn’t anticipate that side effect. The rats showed no such symptoms during our preliminary experiments, and we still haven’t pinned down the cause. Anyway, Fleming is very sore and humiliated, and I find it delightful to observe as he impatiently explains to strangers, through the screen door of his sleeping porch, that he’s a government agent working deep cover to expose illicit and unethical psychological research at the university. He evidently doesn’t know we carted him across the border, and these strangers don’t speak English.

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My Left Lung Contains Compressed Natural Gas

  • k-avatarMy left lung
  • “Doc! Moose!”
  • and her pet Arthur
  • unfamiliar with “flipping the bird”
  • Puerto Rico meant nothing to her
  • “Survival of the fittest,” she hissed
  • “Far worse, Uncle Kent,”

My left lung contains compressed natural gas, which gives me a formidable weapon but impairs my stamina. My partner’s toenails can generate an electromagnetic pulse, making her a threat to sensitive electronics and augmenting her tap dancing.

“Doc! Moose!” That had to be Biff, counteragent and general numbskull, calling for his associates. We were in danger.

My partner rounded a corner in the warehouse and stopped short, confronted by all three of our enemies. I peered past her to see the men’s disappointed faces as they discovered she was unfamiliar with “flipping the bird.” Suddenly she leapt aside, and the bullets struck me instead. Moments later she returned fire, dispatching her clueless adversaries.

“Wait,” I groaned as she started to leave.

“Survival of the fittest,” she hissed. Puerto Rico meant nothing to her.

The gunshots had embedded harmlessly in the kevlar envelope surrounding my left lung, but I was woozy. I just needed a hand up, but she was abandoning me for dead. So I flicked my lighter and exhaled forcefully, roasting her where she stood.

Her, and her pet Arthur the Mouse who always rode in her pocket.

“Can this day get any worse?” I muttered.

“Far worse, Uncle Kent,” came my evil nephew’s chilling retort.

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Traveling with Diplomats

  • k-avatarnot always the cleverest
  • pretend to hold the wheel
  • staying at the Austrian embassy
  • I wished to shake her sang-froid
  • the long-legged Englishman
  • the length of his mustache
  • A good scent?

Traveling with diplomats is not always the cleverest way to see the world. The accommodations are usually posh, but infested with spies.

Once, while staying at the Austrian embassy in Australia (or was it the other way around?), I found myself ensnared in unseemly entertainments which led to a course of antibiotics. I’d tailed a sultry espionage agent to the private club in the basement, and although I wished to shake her sang-froid she only wanted to shake her money-maker. Then she’d pretend to hold the wheel of a ship and cry out, “Thar she blows!” each time the long-legged Englishman recrossed his ankles. I think she was impressed by the length of his mustache, and its scent. But was it a good scent?

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Dear Mum

  • k-avatarwoe to all unlabeled invaders!
  • I have posed a little puzzle
  • a momentary feeling of satisfaction
  • I’ll skip the boring details
  • The thrill has remained dormant
  • that is a weird notion

Dear Mum,

Stationed now in the produce department. I’ll skip the boring details. Central Command wants stickers on all the fresh fruit, and woe to all unlabeled invaders! So I have posed a little puzzle for the stockboys. But it only brought a momentary feeling of satisfaction, until the customers started throwing tomatoes. My manager expects morale to improve now that we’re using the new aprons. The thrill has remained dormant. Hoping for reassignment to frozen foods. Need to make contact with the turncoat liaison, and I’ve heard he’s a cool cat. Insurrection is predicted in the toothpaste aisle. That is a weird notion.

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Francine’s Toes Hurt

  1. by jenCharacter – South American cannibal
  2. Setting – submarine
  3. Object – lucky rabbit’s foot
  4. Situation – new shoes today

Francine’s toes hurt. The new “sensible” shoes were worse than her old heels.

Stopping her pacing, Francine leaned against the wall of the submarine passageway and felt the faint vibration. They would be in Caracas soon.

Francine rubbed her lucky rabbit’s foot and thought about what it would be like to be reunited with Stanley after all this time.

The mix-up, last time, had been unbelievable but understandable. Stanley and Ngegue looked exactly the same. Still it was embarrassing to explain to both the Bridge Club and Stanley’s mother that she had mistaken a South American cannibal for her own husband.

No matter. Everything was about to be put right. Ngegue would go back to his tribe, Stanley and Francine would return to the State Department.

Francine wondered, though, whether Stanley would ever live up to Ngegue’s performance in the sack.

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