Are you even one of the good guys anymore? Its tough to say. You love your country of England, but maybe she has done little to earn that love recently.
William Kingsley, the department director, steps out from his office and looks tersely around the small office. You know something is up. But what?
You, Kingsley says, pointing right at you. Id like a word in the Spy Lounge.
You notice that the other spies at their desks bristle ever so slightly. It is rare to be called into the Spy Lounge.
Take a seat, Kingsley says as he locks the door behind you and pulls down the little shade on the window in the door. He then draws a curtain over the door and puts up a piece of plywood that he nails over the curtain.
You know this must be serious.
You hear the faint voices of the other spies out in the office grumbling about how you got asked into the Spy Lounge, and you nod to yourself.
You wont be nodding after you hear what I have to tell you, says Kingsley.
There is a mole here at L.O.N.D.O.N. Spy B.A.S.E., Kingsley says while pouring an extra-malted, extra-old scotch into his gross throat.
Im too old to sniff out the mole, he continues. But I want you, my most trusted spy, to head up the secret investigation.
Its not L.O.N.D.O.N.S.P.Y.B.A.S.E., its L.O.N.D.O.N. Spy B.A.S.E., corrects Kingsley. We couldnt think of an acronym for Spy, so that part is just Spy.
You nod imperceptibly.
It stands for Lateral Operations Non-aligned Deep-cover Official Network, thats the L.O.N.D.O.N. part, Kingsley explains. Then just Spy as I already explained, and then But Always Secretive Endeavors is the B.A.S.E. part.
You nod imperceptibly.
And now, on to who the mole might be.
He freshens his glass of prehistoric scotch.
Because I once gave you my newborn son to raise, and you didnt get weirded out by that and just did what was asked of you. Now: Are you ready to hear the names of who the mole could be?
Here are the three agents the mole could be. Steel yourself, because this may be shocking.
Terrence Wellers, code name Smoky Barrister.
Veronica Linfield, code name Aces Medium.
And David Brewster, code name Chair.
And thats it. Certainly dont investigate me, as that would be a waste of your time. After all, Im the one who found out we have a leak, so it would be insane to think that I could be behind all of this.
Again, this is top secret. Your discretion is key. Ive prepared dossiers on all three agents. If you need further dossiers, let me know. We have plenty of dossiers. Most things in this office are also dossiers.
That is all, Kingsley continues. You have 27 hours, 11 minutes to fix the leak. You are dismissed from the Spy Lounge.
You leave the office, your head spinning like a top. Which agent do you wish to investigate?
Terrence Wellers. You fought with him during the Second War of Significant Consequence. He was a decorated soldier and fought bravely. Hes worked at L.O.N.D.O.N. Spy B.A.S.E. with you for 20 years. He took a bullet for you in Prague and another 16 bullets for you in Paris. That isnt even to mention the 39 bullets he took for you in Turin or the 18 he took for you in Copenhagen.
But Terrence, a double agent? If you could have emotions, you would feel some right now.
How do you wish to investigate Terrence?
Your footsteps echo in the foggy London streets, your jacket bulging with your massive typewriter that you take home with you every night. Terrence, dont let it be true, you think to yourself.
Suddenly, a car screeches to a halt right in front of you, and the passenger door flings open. A man you dont recognize speaks in slightly accented English.
I have important information on big boy. Get in. Now.
You get in the car and it peels off, heading due south toward Londons famed Queens Lap district.
If you knew what I know, youd not be able to contain yourself, the driver says to you, barely looking at the road.
There is no time to explain now, the driver says. Get in this car.
My car, my driving, my rules. Capiche?
The driver makes a point of not looking at the road to say this to youto further piss you off, you surmise.
Look, Im a high-level informant, not some limp-dicked teen learning how to drive, so drop it.
Genteel Londoners are genteely throwing themselves out of the way of the speeding car, which is now firmly on the sidewalk in downtown Queens Lap, right by Queens Microwave Pier.
People you know and trust are involved. I should not even be telling you this, the driver says.
You notice that hes sweating.
This is so big, I cant even let you see where we are going, says the driver, sweating profusely. Put on this blindfold.
You put on the blindfold, noting that the smell of the Queens Lap districts boar-smelting plant puts you about three clicks west of Queens Prescription Pills Bridge.
If I tell any more, I will be in trouble. Deep trouble, the driver continues. You can hear the stress in his tone.
You hear the car turn off and the driver exit. Moments later, the driver is guiding you from the car into a building.
Your senses tell you that you must be halfway to Rotterdam by now.
Okay, Ill take the blindfold off, he says.
With the blindfold off, you see all of your friends and family assembled wearing party hats and holding presents.
My God, youre all the mole? How did I miss this? you say.
Happy birthday! they say in unison.
You turn to the driver and realize hes your Russian landlord, Ivan. How did you not recognize him? He wasnt even wearing a disguise. He gives you a big thumbs-up and says, Happy birthday.
All the important people in your life are here, including Kingsley, Terrence Wellers, Veronica Linfield, and David Brewster, plus several lesser spies.
In spite of your cold spy instincts, you are imperceptibly touched.
For fucks sake! the driver roars at you. Its like youve never been in a car before.
He stops the car and kicks you out.
I was trying to do a cool thing where I drive you while cryptically giving you hints, but you are a shit. The double agent is Kingsley.
And with that, he speeds off. You notice a piece of paper floating around in the air.
No mole at all! It was all a ruse to get you to this surprise birthday party! Kingsley exclaims. The Russians have been killing our informants all over Europe, but thats probably just a coincidence.
Hot dog! you say.
Did someone say hot dogs? Terrence asks as he brings out a bag from Chummers, Englands McDonalds equivalent. Everyone claps, and you think to yourself that its just like everyone says: Spies really do have all the fun.
You bend down to pick up the paper. Its a receipt for 10,000, made out to FOREIGN DRIVER for the reason of TELLING MY IDIOT COWORKER THAT KINGSLEY IS THE MOLE SO THAT I REMAIN ABOVE SUSPICION, FOR I, ME, AM THE TRUE MOLE. You also notice that the charge originated in East Berlin.
Your head is spinning like a top that is spinning on top of another also-spinning top.
You shake your head sadly. If David Brewster is the mole, you will truly be a sad individual. You and David both fought in the Second World War. Not only that, you even fought on the same side.
But you promised Kingsley that youd find the mole, so you will investigate Chair for queen and country.
You shout that everyone in the room but you is a traitor and that traitors deserve a traitorous dogs death as you wave your handgun around. As youre screaming, the room scatters, and soon you are alone.
You notice that there is a piece of paper on the table.
The slip of paper is a receipt for a party platter of chicken nuggets from Chummers, Englands McDonalds equivalent. You notice with some dismay that the platter appears picked over. But its who the platter was charged to that really catches your interest:
L.O.N.D.O.N. Spy B.A.S.E. Mole. You also notice that the charge originated in East Berlin.
David leaves the office at 18:54 QLT (Quaint London Time) and you follow discreetly behind him, keeping your vintage Rolls Royce at a safe distance to avoid detection.
David Brewster, my own biological, not-metaphoric brother, you think to yourself.
David arrives at his flat, takes a package out from the backseat of his car, and goes inside. You park across the street and wait.
You light a cigarette and settle in for a night of snoopery.
A light turns on upstairs, and you see David walk into his bedroom. He places the package on the nightstand and sits on the bed. He checks his watch several times, as if he is waiting for someone.
You light another cigarette.
A men enters the bedroom, obscured in shadow. As he steps closer to the light, you realize that its not a man at all.
Its a woman.
You light cigarettes three through seven and begin smoking them.
David takes off his jacket and then removes the fur coat of the woman, who you now realize is his wife, Jacqueline.
David and Jacqueline enter the throes of lovemaking. Passionate, sweaty lovemaking that tests the manners of your British decency.
The two bodies rhythmically slide upon one another in all sorts of positions. A real tasting menu of sexual congress.
You can barely bring yourself to spy on your coworker as he makes love to his wife of nine years, but you promised Kingsley that youd find the mole, so you continue to watch.
Jacqueline mounts her husband, dripping torrents of sweat. Several hours pass of nonstop lovemaking.
At 2:02 QST, David rips open the package, and several graphic sexual toys spill out onto the bed.
They spend the next five hours exploring each others bodies with these plastic contrivances.
Finally, at the wee hour of 4:09 QLT, the two lovers mercifully go to bed, and the bedroom light is switched off.
A professional spy, you keep yourself awake by recounting all of the war crimes youve committed. If David is the mole, you will not be asleep when he reveals himself as a traitor.
Your stomach rumbles, and you fight the urge to go to Chummers, Englands McDonalds equivalent.
At 6:45 QST, the light turns on in the bedroom window, and you see David get up and tiptoe to the phone. Jacqueline remains asleep.
David speaks in a low voice, so as not to wake his wife. Who is he talking to?
A phone on Jacquelines side of the bed starts ringing. She picks it up, smiles, and the two begin making love.
At 10:55 QST, David and Jacqueline are still making love.
But then, a car pulls up outside Davids flat, and two men in trench coats emerge, looking suspiciously to either side before entering the building.
Russians? you think to yourself. You write Russians? down in a notebook.
You see the two men enter the bedroom, causing David and Jacqueline to stop their lovemaking. The naked couple stand up and walk over to the two men and take off their jackets and begin kissing them. Before long, all four people are having risky sex.
At 14:02 QST, the two men put their clothes back on and leave.
At 14:43 QST, David puts his clothes on and leaves. He gets in his car and drives away.
You follow in pursuit.
You follow David through the winding streets of Londons Queens Lap district. Where could he be going?
He pulls up to Queens Prescription Pills Bridge and gets out of his car. You park in an inconspicuous alley. With a glance over his shoulder, David steps onto a small boat moored next to the bridge.
The boat is not flying the Union Jack.
David stands on the bow of the boat, and then a figure emerges from the hold of the ship.
The figure comes up from behind David and begins kissing the nape of his neck. You immediately recognize this figure as Jacqueline, because after surveilling nine hours of lovemaking, you know her go-to moves.
The two begin making love on the boat.
Okay, fine, the driver says. But pay me for the blindfold at least.
You fish out your wallet and hand it over to the driver. You have no need for money or identification anymore, now that you are enveloped in darkness. You hear his footsteps recede into the inky beyond.
For so long, your thoughts have been racked by darkness, by the unspeakable war crimes you committed. You may not know who the mole is, but youre content remaining on this cool street, blind as a newborn, finally at peace.
Veronica Linfield. Aces Medium. It cant be. In the Second World War, she was a fighter pilot who firebombed cities she wasnt even asked to. Such was her dedication to England.
There is scarcely a town on these shores that does not have a statue of Veronica standing proudly on top of a pile of smoldering corpses.
But maybe in these past 20 years shes been turned by the Russians. And now its your job to figure out if that previous sentence is true.
How do you wish to investigate Veronica?
You pull your vintage Rolls Royce up to a charming flat in the heart of Londons Queens Lap district. Thousands of people walk by here every day, never guessing that this is a safe house for Veronica Linfields top-secret informants.
But you are a spy, so you know everything.
You discreetly knock the secret pattern on the door, and seconds later, it opens.
God, that took forever, you think to yourself.
You are not Veronica, the nervous-eyed Russian man says in heavily accented English.
He is about to let you in, but then the Russian pauses and narrows his eyes.
The bird washes eggs, but it does not blink in sunlight, he says.
Ah, spy poems! I love this stuff! you exclaim.
What spy poem do you want to say back?
The Russian cocks his head slightly.
The death of cousin perfect time to open supermarket? he asks.
The Russian touches his right ear, then raises two fingers on his left hand, then turns to the side and puts his arms straight out.
The Russian rolls up his sleeve and shows you his tattoo of a phoenix on his forearm. He stares at you.
Okay, the Russian says. So you belong here.
He welcomes you into the parlor.
Nice shag carpeting, you say. Very era-appropriate.
Thank you. Now, what is it you wanted? the Russian asks nervously.
Shes in Bucharest, pictured above, on a mission, the Russian responds.
Are you sure you dont mean Budapest? you inquire. They sound similar, and I often mix them up myself.
No, the Russian says. I am certain it is Bucharest.