During WWII, England sent thousands of
Nazi POWs to stately homes where they
could eat, drink, play pool, and even keep
servants. They had no idea that all of the
rooms were bugged and many of their
fellow ‘prisoners’ were actually Germans
of Jewish origin who became spies for
the British after being forced out of their
homeland. The information gained was
so important that the government gave
them an unlimited budget. Source
Classic secret agent tropes with a bit of a twist- 4 women and one male team member. I’ve been wanting to do something like this since seeing U.N.C.L.E. a few days ago, but I have to credit this text post for making me actually sit down and draw it! I might’ve taken it a bit far with Rocco’s former modelling career… but then I remember those unnecessary Black Widow lingerie photos in Iron Man 2 and I don’t feel so bad
A couple tips to writing spies/spying into fanfiction:
What I wanted to share with you – after reading a lot of cop and spy novels – was some notes and observations I did about the spy life which is completely unlike how James Bond and the like depict it as. This is a post about spying when depicted as a meticulously planned, psychologically straining ordeal because stealing secrets is hard work.
i. spies =/= action and explosions; ii. spies have different personas; iii. when spies meet other spies!!1! or people in general; iv. how spies do most of their spying; v. notes on a spy life’s privacy, family, and income; vi. a spy’s personal security measures; vii. parting notes
ENFP: They’re the type you least expect. This makes them particularly lethal. Their use of Ne-Fi gives them a multi-angle perspective on any situation and Fi will help them resist emotional manipulation. However since they are a feeling type, they would probably use poison since it’s more indirect.
INFP: A little quiet, a little offbeat, and very charming. Rely on manipulation to infiltrate the system before deploying a knockout gas and stealing the information. Only kills the witnesses.
ENFJ: Probably a leader in their organization, they get in with the powerhouses of the organizations they need to take over and call in someone else to do the dirty work.
INFJ: Unique and mysterious, they would probably take the job for the fascinating opportunity. They might want someone with them at first to show them the ropes and impress them later with a silently brilliant plan.
ESTP: Go big or go home. ESTPs are the most likely to go with a 007 approach. Fancy suits, gorgeous dresses. Sensual, stealthy, with just a touch of cliché. Would probably use simple double pistols or something that makes a statement like a flame thrower.
ISTP: More likely to be a hit man than an assassin, purely because they work alone. Just because they don’t have a fancy headquarters doesn’t mean that they don’t take their job seriously. As long as they don’t let their temper get the best of them, their mission is almost guaranteed to be a success.
ESTJ: Their team will be like puppets dangling from their fingers. They take their job seriously, as well as their role in it. It’s all business to them, but it’s a successful one.
ISTJ: They don’t mess around. They may have the tact of a squirrel that was hit by a car, but who needs words when you’re skillfully avoiding all contact with the people you’re about to annihilate? Would most likely use something detached and quick like a turret.
ESFP: They would be on the front end of the cool technology you see, but only if it matches their outfit. ESFPs make up the femme fatales and tall-dark-handsomes of plenty of spy movies.
ISFP: A bit more quiet than the ESFP, but that gives them a mysterious touch that they use to their advantage. They probably use a weapon you’ve never seen and never will (and live to tell about it.)
ESFJ: It’s hard not to trust them, and they can be much more intelligent than they show off. Once you underestimate them they’ll show their potential as your worst nightmare. M-16s are a likely choice of weapon.
ISFJ: Similar to the ESFJ, ISFJs aren’t really the assassin “type.” That means when they do choose that path, they’re determined to prove themselves. Look. Out. Probably use a semi-automatic weapon of sorts.
ENTP: Simultaneously the operations and technology specialist, ENTPs are a great option for getting rid of who you need gone. Their creativity can get them out of sticky situations they may find themselves in and their charm can get them into the deepest secrets of their victims. Would use something fun like katana blades or throwing knives.
INTP: They make quick work of their missions, but they explore the possibilities to get something out of it. Quick to get inside their victim’s mind, they may leave with more than just a success sticker. Would probably use a machine gun or sword.
ENTJ: Definitely the organization type, they probably lead their headquarters. They pick the juiciest missions for themselves and are quite secretive about how they always get off without a scratch. Poison and daggers are their weapons of choice.
INTJ: They’re strategic masterminds when it comes to getting in and getting out with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Probably use a revolver.
“Intelligence work has one moral law—it is justified by results.”
-John Le Carre, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. (10)
Spying is a difficult business. Writing about spies with any accuracy is also an incredibly difficult business; this is why the foundational giants of the genre from Ian Fleming to John Le Carre have been ex-intelligence. Without that background, it can be easy to misunderstand that the ability to be a spy comes from the tradecraft and the training. It’s common among writers to build the character first, then give them their skill set. While this will work for a vast number of different character archetypes, functional spies require a fairly specific outlook and it is developed by a specific type of background though that comes from a generic set of circumstances.
Spies can’t be good people and that’s okay, because good people can’t be spies.
During World War II British intelligence and Secret Services were probably the best at spying and clandestine warfare in all of history. Almost every major Allied operation had a good amount of deception and trickery which made the Germans chase their own tails on a number of occasions. Often, their operations depended on advanced technology, a complicated network of spies and double agents, and a great amount of luck. However, some British spy operations seemed less like James Bond missions and more like childhood mischief.
During the war, the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) began a program to smuggle itching powder into the Third Reich. The itching powder developed by SOE was no common joke shop itching powder, but a powder so potent that exposure could be excruciating, with some needing hospitalization if exposed. The itching powder was smuggled into Germany from Switzerland in foot powder tins, where resistance groups working as laundresses and clothiers sprinkled the powder on military uniforms. The hardest hit was the German Kriegsmarine (navy), when in October of 1943 25,000 U-Boat crew uniforms were contaminated with the itching powder. What resulted was a massive epidemic of severe dermatitis that swept through the U-Boat fleet. The epidemic was so bad that one U-Boat crew had to turn around and return to port for medical treatment.
German uniforms were not the only target for itching powder attacks. Other targets included bedding, underwear, and toilet paper. When a sizable amount of itching powder was smuggled into Norway, the Norwegian resistance made especially effective use of it by sprinkling the powder in condoms. As a result in Trondheim throughout the war numerous cases of German soldiers being hospitalized for extreme pain from their private parts were reported.
My lovely American and Russian spies (◡‿◡✿). Bascially my otp cannot be complete until i have the biggest spy trope aka ‘the undercover married couple on a mission to kick some baddies as the ultimate super soviet couple’ AU.
There are three main types of spies. There are ones that spy on a country’s enemies, ones that spy on a country’s allies, and ones that spy on a country’s own people. These spies would act differently, have different organization, and be positioned as different types of people. Spy craft isn’t always hiding in shadows and sneaking around on roofs. It’s a lot of knowing how to talk to people and convincing people on their side to work on your side.
Spying on an enemy country generally involves a lot of convincing people to spy for you within key positions in the government. Especially with relatively homogenous countries with people that look significantly different from each other, it’s too difficult to get into any sort of key position in the government. Virtually any civil service position or governmental office—or, really, anything that takes a security clearance—would be impossible to access if you look like the enemy. Instead, you need to get people on the inside to work for you. There are a lot of tools to use to get them to do that—money, love, a promise of protection. This is done both during a time of war and prior to a time of war. During a time of war, you want to see what they’re doing, what their plans are, what their troop movements will be, how much they know. Before a time of war, you want to see what their plans are in regards to potentially starting a war, how they’re talking to to ally with, how you might be able to negotiate, how you might be able to turn their people against them or overthrow their government.
Spying on an allied country can involve what was just described, but it can also involve getting your own people on the inside. Ambassadors or even businessmen can get into relatively high places, because they are trusted. They will sometimes be included in major discussions. There are a few reasons to spy on an ally. The first is to make sure that they really are an ally. The second is to make sure that they are not working with anyone who isn’t an ally, and if they are, what they’re doing with them. The third is to figure out what to do if they ever become not an ally. Another is just that, the more information you have, the better. There are more reasons, but those are some of the main ones.
Spying on your own people can be done in a number of ways. Depending on the level of technology, it can be done a la NSA by tracking what people look at and who they talk to. It can be done by physically watching people, either with cameras or with people in the streets. How much you need to spy on your people depends on how afraid you are of them and how likely they are to rise up against you.
How people spy changes as technology does. The Enigma code was all well and good during World War II, when it takes months or years of manpower to break codes. Supercomputers make brute forcing codes a lot easier. Cameras and planes can see a lot farther than people on foot, and they can record much more accurate information. But they record different information. If you’re on foot, in the middle, you can see emotion, you can see rebellion brewing. If you’re in the air, taking pictures, you can see weapons caches and oil refineries. If everyone is on horses, they can’t travel as quickly as they can in cars or planes. Like with everything, as technology, so does how people spy.
Spies aren’t always assassins, which is being used in this case to generally refer to some who performs assassinations rather than to Nizari Ismailis. People like this idea of the dark spy running around killing people in the middle of the night. That’s not always practical. The same thing that makes a person a good spy—the fact that they’re a woman, or a businessman, or innocuous-looking—might also make him or her a bad assassin. One of the only cases where it would be practical would be if it was impossible to get people in and out, and this was the only person on the inside, and there wasn’t a sufficient level of technology to kill them remotely (such as drones).
Prostitutes can make great spies. People talk in bed. They will talk to someone who they think has no power, who can never talk, because they’re just some common prostitute. The prostitute won’t be recognized, she (or he) can hide in plain sight. They can be a trophy on someone’s arm or someone wandering on the streets.
There are three main roles that a spy plays. According to a lecture from a spy who couldn’t give us his name, the roles are as follows: to prevent surprise attacks, to provide information for national security, and to provide longtime expertise. If the spy that you’ve created in your head isn’t doing any of those things, think about what they are doing. Is it that important that their country would risk their life and send them into another country? If not, why are they there?
Another number station broadcast called “The Swedish Rhapsody.” Number stations send out encrypted messages to what most consider to be spies, usually involving white noise interrupted by an unknown person reciting numbers. These cannot be tracked. The presumed spy simply needs a radio and they’re set.
This is one of the first I’ve ever heard with music. How about that lovely melody.