anonymous asked:

How realistic is it for the retired agent/spy/assassin to come back and kick just as much butt as they did years before? Does such training come back to you easily if you haven't used it in a long while or will you be rusty enough to get killed?

Parts of this are realistic, others not so much.

If you’ve spent enough time training techniques, this stuff gets baked into the way you move. It’s not, “oh, I’ll do this to someone;” it’s just there. Training can also affect how you look at the world; this is true as a general statement on life, but it also applies here. Again, as with muscle memory, this is always there, always affecting how you view your surroundings and the people in them.

So, in that sense, yes. A veteran character coming back after years away from the job will still have their skills and training. Some of that will be rusty, but this stuff sticks with you. Especially if you were maintaining your training for years. That said, they’ll still get their teeth kicked in.

Ironically, one of the more realistic takes I’ve seen on this was in the middle seasons of 24. In the early seasons, the protagonist, Jack Bauer, is a federal counterterrorist agent. After the third season he’s basically on his own, and no longer a part of the agency that trained him. By the fifth season (about 3 years later) he’s at a point where he’s getting his ass handed to him by a security guard.

The problem is something we’ve explained, repeatedly. Hand to hand combat is not static. The training I got 20 years ago doesn’t apply now. It will work against untrained opponents. Basic physiology doesn’t change. However, going up against opponents who’ve been keeping their training up to date, (or are some of the people responsible for updating the techniques in the first place), is not going to end well.

Something I know we haven’t discussed on this subject is how this updating happens. It requires contact with people who are actually using their training practically. Seeing what people are doing isn’t something that you can do sitting on a mountain top. You need to actually be immersed in the community. You look for how people are adapting to the techniques you’re training others in, and look for ways to get around those counters.

In the case of law enforcement, one major source if intelligence to guide updates is watching what criminals are teaching each other in prison. Career criminals will look for ways to counter police hand to hand, and once they have that, will (usually) share it with people they work and/or socialize with.

A veteran coming in after years away may be able to execute their training perfectly, and still get taken down by a rookie who received their training last year, because they were trained to counter the veteran’s approach.

Updating is about looking for the things that are most prevalent, and finding ways to defend against them. It’s very likely your veteran will understand this concept. Whether that affects their behavior is more of a characterization question.

Incidentally, this doesn’t just apply to hand to hand, it’s also a relevant concept when you’re talking about things like tradecraft.

Tradecraft is the shorthand for techniques used in intelligence gathering. It’s (somewhat) all encompassing. So, anything from social engineering to dead drops or even the way you set up surveillance could be lumped in under this header.

Just like hand to hand training, this stuff does go out of date. Usually once someone’s actually exploited a method and gotten caught doing it. Though, sometimes it’s preventative.

The irony is, when it comes to being a spy, the biggest problem is being a veteran, not being out of practice. It’s being a veteran. When a spy starts their career, no one knows who they are, they have no reputation, they’ve never turned up in strange places, they’re just someone walking around, taking in the sights, maybe doing a job for some NGO.

Even if a spy is never caught, as they work, their name will start ending up on desks, in lists of witnesses, employees, or whatever. Once is not a pattern, but as their name keeps coming up over the years, it becomes easier to identify them. Potential enemies start keeping files, and gradually filling them with what they know. This means it is much harder for a veteran spy to operate in the field undetected, than it is for a rookie.

There’s a similar issue for assassins. Either they’re a complete ghost, no one knows who they are, and may not even believe they ever existed, or (more likely), if they were working for a government (or any other large, overt organization, like a corporation), they’re in the same boat as a veteran spy. People may not know your character is an assassin, but they will know that they worked for someone. Which in turn, will put them on guard, and make your character’s life much harder.

There are concepts a veteran will have internalized, which someone without training won’t understand or grasp. Thing that just don’t go out of style. For example, bullets will blow through most residential walls and furniture. So, if someone’s taking cover behind a couch, kitchen wall, or car door, it’s far more expedient to simply shoot through whatever’s in your way. Another concept is one I’ve mentioned recently, you reload when you have the time, not when you’ve run your gun dry.

Similarly, experience they’ve learned from may still be relevant. Being able to read someone’s intentions, know when they’re about to resort to violence, or simply knowing the value of good intelligence aren’t going to go away because your character spent the last five years pretending to be a well-adjusted human being.

-Starke

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Culture Shock: An Introduction To James Bond

James Bond is a pop culture juggernaut, but even obsessive fans have trouble keeping track of the secret agent’s complicated history of over dozens of films. Here’s what you need to know about the iconic man of mystery.

James Bond makes men sit down by using a gun: Everyone knows that the superspy travels around the world to make men sit down, but how does he make them sit down? James Bond’s secret weapon is the gun, a kind of gentleman’s sword. He often uses his gun after uttering the classic catchphrase, “Please seat yourself anywhere.”

All the incarnations of James Bond are brothers and live together in a studio apartment: Here’s one of the more obscure bits of Bond mythology. All the James Bonds—from the Sean Connery James Bond to the Daniel Craig James Bond—are brothers who were given the same first name by their parents. To save money after moving to London and joining MI6, they rented a studio apartment where they all sleep together in a single king-sized bed, except for the Roger Moore James Bond, who sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag because there isn’t room for him.

Bond’s code number 007 is a reference to 7: Author Ian Fleming didn’t pick 007 at random. Most viewers don’t realize that it’s intended as a clever nod to the number 7.

James Bond doesn’t understand that humanity is weak and corrupt and that the Earth must be purged so a better world can be built on society’s ashes: The fool, Bond can’t see that, like a forest fire allowing fresh saplings to grow, civilization must be swept away to make room for a utopia. Disgusting sheep, that’s what most people are, living their tedious lives, mindlessly destroying their environment in pursuit of the almighty dollar. It would be a favor to burn them all away, like the ants they are, and allow a select group of genetically superior humans to repopulate the planet, but Bond doesn’t have the vision to embrace what needs to be done.

Jason Bourne is pretty much the same thing: One of the best thing about James Bond is that he’s basically Jason Bourne. You can nitpick ways that they’re slightly different, but they’re essentially identical. James Bond being more or less Jason Bourne is what theatergoers have loved about Bond for over 50 years!

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Confused by all those Wikileaks hacking terms? Here’s a glossary

The hacking documents posted by WikiLeaks offer a glimpse into a world unfamiliar to most Americans.

The files claim to detail how the CIA’s high-tech spies can use carefully crafted pieces of software and equipment to break into phones, computers, web servers and even smart TVs.

That world comes with its own jargon, much of which reflects the specialized vocabulary used to describe the techniques and systems used.

make my messes matter, make this chaos count

*click through to read on ao3

written by: Nai | @hiddenpolkadots

prompt: ‘I’m a robber and you’re an assassin and by pure coincidence we broke into the poor guy’s house on the same night, and I mean apart from the murder thing you seem pretty chill so you wanna get coffee later? After you’re done melting the body in the bathtub, of course’ for anonymous

word count: 2666

Bellamy has never really gone out with anyone who’s held a knife to his throat when they first meet, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.


The first time Bellamy meets Clarke Griffin, she’s pinning him to the floor with a knife to his neck, which isn’t exactly the most promising of first impressions.

Of course, he doesn’t know it’s Clarke Griffin, just like she doesn’t know he’s Bellamy Blake. That was the point of the terribly uncomfortable masks after all. If he was found out, he’d be put in jail, and Bellamy rather not find out if he can break out of Ark City prison.

All he knows is that when he tried to override Cage’s security system, he found it already shut off, and by the time he hauled himself up to the third floor study to get what he came for, he spotted a figure clad in an all black getup, just like his, peeking through a crack in the door. It’s about as suspicious as one can be, especially when the moonlight glints off the handle of what seems to be a gun for half a second.

Most people would wait until it’s clear before slipping in, or maybe even use the element of surprise to get one over on the other person. Instead, Bellamy silently slips in through the window, the sound of his feet hitting the floor muffled by the carpet, and he leans against the wall.

“Nice night, isn’t it?” he says airily, and the figure jumps, spinning around, just as he expected.

What he doesn’t expect are actual throwing knives being flung his way a second later because really. Who the fuck expects that?

Keep reading

Sidequest by bleep0bleep

Rating: Teen and Up

Word Count: 11449

Agent Derek Hale has been working up the courage to ask his partner Stiles out on a date (finally!) when he heads out on a solo mission—without Derek. Eager to provide support, Derek arrives in Beacon Hills, only there is no mission, and Stiles’ dad thinks Derek is Stiles’ boyfriend.
Well. It could be worse.

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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.

Typical spy story. Person A and B are co-workers, the best of the best; agents who can get anything done. They’re also incredibly in love and in a relationship. Yet one day, A returns from a mission to find the headquarters in turmoil, because Person B was captured. It’s several sleepless nights without their significant other before Person B is rescued - by a team Person A was allowed no where near, having been emotionally compromised and all.

Person B is not okay. They won’t talk about what happened - likely a weak attempt to spare A’s feelings - but their numerous injuries speak for themselves. They’re not up for going on any more missions.

And so now A has to choose whether to give up their entire lifestyle, or continue on, despite their significant other’s terror at the prospect of A going through what B already did.