steal that car

I just want to point out that if you steal a car from a gas station, don’t try to sell that car back to the same person you stole the car from. I’d also like to also point out you shouldn’t try to rob the gas station you stole the car from either, days before, because they won’t forget your face. Good lord, how in the world…? I’m just laughing at how stupid people are. Have you heard anything that stupid or funnier than that?

Alternate Titles For Every "Be More Chill" Song
  • Jeremy's Theme: Sp00ky
  • More Than Survive: Spoiler Alert: You Actually ARE The One Who The Story's About
  • I Love Play Rehearsal: That One Theatre Kid™ You Knew In High School
  • The Squip Song: iiIIIIIT'S FROM JAPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN
  • Two-Player Game: Gay but Not Quite As Gay As "Sincerely Me"
  • The Squip Enters: Hello Naughty Children It's Possession Time
  • Be More Chill Pt. 1: Local Teen Still Kinda On The Fence About Being Mind-Controlled
  • Do You Wanna Ride?: Girl Who Just Called Jeremy "Jerry" Five Seconds Ago Offers Him Both a Ride and Her Body
  • Be More Chill Pt. 2: Local Teen Now Fully On Board With Being Mind-Controlled
  • More Than Survive (Reprise): Please Just Let This Poor Boy Beat His Meat In Peace
  • A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into: So Say, Hypothetically, There's This Hot Guy, Who I Like, Who's Definitely Not You,,,
  • The Squip Lurks: S p 0 0 k y
  • Upgrade: Damn Jeremy Why'd You Have To Do My Mans Michael Like That
  • Halloween: Brooke, Honey, There's a Reason No One Ever Goes As a Sexy Dog
  • Do You Wanna Hang?: I'm Kinkshaming Joe Iconis
  • Michael in the Bathroom: You Think This Is A Funny Song At First And Then Suddenly You're Crying
  • The Smartphone Hour (Rich Set a Fire): Aggravated Arson Has Never Been More Catchy
  • The Pitiful Children: Beep Bop Boop Beep Bop Boop
  • The Pants Song: Recruit Your Son's Gay Best Friend To Get Him To Stop Stealing Your Car
  • The Play: Okay But Where's That Post-Apocalyptic Midsummer Night's Dream Bootleg
  • Voices In My Head: Everyone Inexplicably Forgives Jeremy For Almost Getting All Of Them Fucking Killed
10

In Honour of International Women’s Day:
10 Movies About Friendship Directed by Women

Breathe dir. Mélanie Laurent (2014)
Charlie is an average French suburban teenager, but when she becomes fast friends with Sarah, the rebellious new girl at school, she discovers there’s nothing average about how she feels.

Daisies dir. Vera Chytilová (1966)
Two girls try to understand the meaning of the world and their life.

The Edge of Seventeen dir. Kelly Fremon Craig (2016)
High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.

The Fits dir. Anna Rose Holmer (2015)
While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent fits.

The Forest for the Trees dir. Maren Ade (2003)
As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.

Divines dir. Houda Benyamina (2016)
In a housing estate on the outskirts of Paris, a teenager who is hungry for her share of power and success becomes a runner for a drug dealer.

Hush Little Baby dir. Hella Joof (2009)
Four dysfunctional teenage girls steal a car and elope from the institution where they live. They go on a road trip across Denmark, confronting ghosts of the past and settling old accounts as their dark secrets are revealed.

The Innocents dir. Anne Fontaine (2016)
In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent.

In Bloom dir. Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Groß (2013)
Set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 1992. Friends Eka and Natia look to leave childhood behind as they ignore societal customs and work to escape their turbulent family lives.

Thirteen dir. Catherine Hardwicke (2003)
A thirteen-year-old girl’s relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.

More friendship movies HERE and HERE

“The only time my mother spoke to us was when she was drunk. And she’d tell us we were unwanted. She convinced me to drink with her when I was ten. She told me that it would make me feel better. I started smoking crack when I was twelve. I never learned to read or write. I lost my entire childhood. My friends and I would break into cars, steal whatever we could, and use the money to buy more. It made me feel good and I wanted to feel good all the time. And nobody ever tried to stop me.”

(Santiago, Chile)

Thief tried to steal my car...

My first car was a 1984 Jeep CJ7, a pretty sweet ride for a dirt poor teenager in the 90s. I was working midnights at a gas station and loaned it to my brother who was taking a date to a party. I got a call around 1AM from my brother who told me he left the keys in the Jeep and it was stolen. I was devastated. I was still on the phone with my brother when the thieves pulled my Jeep into my gas station to fill up on gas. As luck would have it, the gas gauge on my Jeep was broken and always read “empty”, and I worked at the only 24 hour gas stations in the area. I pressed the silent alarm and… proceeded to fill up my Jeep (it was a full serve station). When the thieves were out of the jeep, I saw an opportunity to slip the key out of this ignition and into my pocket. They paid for the gas, and argued amongst each other who had the keys last. The delay was enough for the police to arrive. I had to explain the story to the officer half a dozen times before he understood. The thieves had this stunned look of disbelief on their faces I’ll never forget. The cops were belly-laughing telling the story to dispatch, all the while the thieves sat in cuffs in the back of the squad car. The story made most of the major newspapers the following day.

Imagine if Jily were alive during Harry’s second year

Harry and Ron: *crash the Weasley’s car into the Whomping Willow*

THE NEXT DAY

Ron: *gets a howler*

RONALD WEASLEY! HOW DARE YOU STEAL THAT CAR! I AM ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED! YOUR FATHER’S NOW FACING AN INQUIRY AT WORK AND IT’S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT! IF YOU PUT ANOTHER TOE OUT OF LINE WE’LL BRING YOU STRAIGHT HOME! — Oh, and Ginny dear, congratulations on making Gryffindor. Your father and I are so proud.

*awkward headshake by Ginny*

Harry: *gets a howler*

*Lily’s stern and angry voice* HARRY JAMES POTTER! HOW DARE YOU PULL SUCH AN IDIOTIC STUNT! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN- *cut off by James’ even more louder, albeit excited as fuck voice* A FLYING CAR! YOU RODE A BLOODY FLYING CAR! I AM SO GONNA TALK WITH YOU ABOUT THIS! I AM SO HAPPY- HECK I AM SO BLOODY PROUD! A FLYING CAR! HOW’S- *cut off by an even more excited Sirius’ voice* MERLIN’S SAGGY PANTS! YOU ARE JUST THE PERFECT MARAUDER OFFSPRING AREN’T YA?! I AM PROUD TO BE YOUR GODFATHER! JUST YOU COME HOME! I’LL TEACH YOU- *cut off by Moony’s frustrated voice* Padfoot! Prongs! NO!

* occasional clapping and sounds of party poppers bursting in the background, obviously done by Wormtail*

Ron during the Feast: How come do you not get scolded! ;_;

Harry (smirking): It’s a Marauder thing.

McGonagall (who obviously hears that comment while passing the timetable): Trust me, Mr. Weasley. It’s truly a Marauder thing.

Underrated Wolfgang and Sun moments in Season 2
  • “Where did a banker’s daughter learn how to steal a car?” “Other lives”
  • When he acknowledges she might do the right thing by killing her brother. 
  • The zoo scene.
  • The grimly walking into a trap scene.
  • “Wolfgang?” “Ask for help?” “Can’t picture it”
  • When Lila and Wolfgang are preparing to fight and the cluster’s forming behind Wolfgang and then Sun appears in front of him with that bloodthirsty smirk ready to fuck shit up
  • “One way or another… tonight we end it.” 
  • How after the gala speech they share a look and he knows exactly how bad she’s hurting and what she’s thinking. 
    • “I would.”
  • The way he keeps walking next to her while the cluster tries do disuade her
    • “Plans change”
  • “He’s a politician”
    • “Figures”
  • Listen listen listen when they are about to get to the interception and she’s scared and he puts a hand on her shoulder and gives her a look and reassures her: “You’re gonna be alright”
  • I just really wanna talk about how Wolfgang and Sun understand each other to such a deep level 
  • And how Wolfgang comes from a fucked up family that hurt him and abused him and so he’s not willing to let Sun take any of this peaceful shit
  • Talk about “ride or die”
  • Also their silent looks and the way they acknowledge the hardest and softest parts of each other in their own silent respectful way 
  • They are the protectors but this time around the cluster had their backs and they had each others backs and I need more of this friendship

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY SEEING THIS SMALL, SKINNY BOY STRUGGLING WITH HIS TRUNK ON THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS AND OFFERING TO HELP HIM BEFORE KNOWING WHO HE WAS 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY REALIZING THIS SMALL, SKINNY BOY IS NONE OTHER THAN HARRY POTTER AND THEY’RE SO IN AWE BECAUSE THEY GREW UP HEARING STORIES ABOUT THE BOY WHO LIVED 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY SEEING THAT THEIR BROTHER HAD QUICKLY BEFRIENDED HARRY AND DECIDED THAT THIS BOY WAS THEIR LITTLE BROTHER TOO

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY BEING SO SUPPORTIVE OF HARRY DURING QUIDDITCH AND ALWAYS STANDING UP FOR HIM

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY NOTICING THAT RON WAS WORRIED ABOUT HARRY NOT ANSWERING HIS LETTERS SO THEY VOLUNTEER TO STEAL THE FLYING CAR TO RESCUE HARRY 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY MAKING JOKES ABOUT HARRY BECAUSE THEY DON’T LIKE SEEING HARRY UPSET SO THEY TRY HARD TO MAKE HIM LAUGH AND TO MAKE OTHERS REALIZE THE RUMORS THEY’RE SPREADING ARE STUPID 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY GIVING HARRY THE MAP HIS FATHER AND HIS FRIENDS MADE WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING THEY WERE PASSING DOWN A LEGACY

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY GIVING THE MAP TO HARRY NOT EVEN THEIR OWN BROTHER BECAUSE THEY KNEW HE NEEDED IT MOST 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY SUPPORTING HARRY THROUGH THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT, BECAUSE SURE THEY’RE JEALOUS, BUT HE’S HARRY AND HE’S THEIR BROTHER SO THEY’RE GOING TO BE THERE 

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY INITIALLY REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE MONEY HARRY HAD GIVEN THEM, BUT FINALLY TOOK IT BECAUSE HARRY WAS RIGHT, PEOPLE NEEDED A GOOD LAUGH

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY TEACHING HARRY HOW TO SHAVE AND DANCE PROPERLY BECAUSE “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU NEVER LEARNED? YOUR UNCLE NEVER TAUGHT YOU?” SO THEY BROUGHT IT UPON THEMSELVES TO TEACH HIM

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY GIVING HARRY GIRL ADVICE, HARRY HUNCHED OVER LAUGHING BECAUSE THEIR ADVICE RANGED FROM SUPER SERIOUS TO “SERIOUSLY, PETTING HER HAIR WHILE SAYING ‘PERFECT’ IS A SURE FIRE WAY TO GET HER TO DATE YOU”

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY OCCASIONALLY ASKING HARRY TO SIT WITH THEM WHEN RON AND HERMIONE AREN’T WITH HIM

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY SHOWING HARRY THEIR EXPERIMENTS AND CONSTANTLY THANKING HIM FOR THE MONEY BECAUSE HARRY HELPED THEM ACHIEVED THEIR DREAM, SOMETHING WHICH HARRY WAS PROUD TO DO

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH HARRY AND CONSTANTLY SUPPORTING HARRY THROUGH HIS DARKEST DAYS BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN HARRY SO MUCH

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY MAKING SURE HARRY IS SAFE AND REASSURING THE WIZARDING WORLD THAT HARRY WILL HELP

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY NOT ONLY WORRYING ABOUT RON, BUT OF HARRY, THEIR BROTHER, AND HERMIONE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THERE’S NO ONE TO CARE FOR THEM ANYMORE

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY FIGHTING IN THE BATTLE OF HOGWARTS NOT ONLY FOR THEIR FAMILY, BUT FOR HARRY, THE SMALL, SKINNY BOY THEY MET ON THE TRAIN SO LONG AGO WHO WAS NOW A MAN FIGHTING FOR WHAT HE BELIEVES IN. 

FRED WEASLEY DYING BECAUSE HE WAS FIGHTING FOR HARRY, SOMETHING HARRY WILL NEVER GET OVER.

GEORGE WEASLEY NEVER GETTING MAD AT HARRY, BECAUSE HE AND FRED FOUGHT FOR THEIR LITTLE BROTHER AND THEY WOULD NEVER LET THEIR BROTHER GO THROUGH THE WORLD ALONE

FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY BEING THE BEST DAMN OLDER BROTHERS TO HARRY POTTER.

Steal my car, I'll wreck your life.

Back story, i am apart of a small family-owned type used car dealership (cue used car salesman joke here) we have maybe 50 cars on the lot at any time and our main business is sub-prime or people with less than perfect credit. We truly want to help the people that can’t afford/have the credit to buy from a new car dealership. We’re actually very liked in our small community.

So recently I had these customers, lets call her wife and him husband (They’re early 20’s). They come into my store and I like them, they seem like a nice young couple trying to start their lives out, they have two very sweet little girls, and could just use a break. They have made some mistakes in their early lives and have less than perfect credit. I coach them on how to improve their credit and they seem sincerely interested in fixing it so I bust my ass to get them a loan with the wifes mother cosigning on a nice third row SUV. Wife is literally crying hugging me because every other dealer turned them down. Now they are a little short on the down payment so i take a check for the balance and we agree i’ll cash it on his next payday (Mistake number one) but pretty common in this line of work.

I forget about them until the next week when I drop the check at the bank along with other deposits. The next thing i know i receive a notice that the check has bounced. Along with a couple NSF fees attached for me, and the check comes back. It’s a dollar amount that is considered a first degree misdemeanor in our state, just under a felony. I reach out to wife to see what happened and how we can make arrangements to get this taken care of. The last thing I want to do is go after a young couple with two small kids. At first wife is a little shocked and insists the funds were pulled from their account and I show them the picture of the NSF check. She understands and says they can pay half in 2 weeks when she’s paid again and in another 2 weeks pay the other half. I agree to this and just take them on their word (mistake 2).

A couple weeks rolls around and I don’t hear from wife or husband and am now thinking i’ve been taken for a ride Ignoring my calls/texts/etc you get the point. I get a call from the bank and come to find out they haven’t made their first payment either.

Now with this particular bank if the customer does not make their first payment we have to “Buy Back” the deal. Basically we have to give the bank the money they sent us for the loan. After blowing up their phones and facebook they finally call me back. I get the sob story he got let go from his job and he just started a new one and mom is going to help them get back on their feet. I go through hell and high water with the bank to make a deal that if they make their payment they’ll keep the loan but i’m still on the hook if they miss any of the next 3 payments. Wife also tells me they’ll make payments to me on the bounced check once he starts getting paychecks. So i agree, they make their payment to the bank and i go about my life….Until the next month comes around.

I get an email from the bank saying wife didn’t make the next months payment and won’t answer their calls. At this point i’m furious and ready to just go get their vehicle. They won’t answer any of my calls and call mom, mom scrounges everything in her social security paycheck to help try to make the payment for them and is short. Wife and husband tells her they’ll cover the balance and of course don’t pay. Bank says deal is a buyback we need our money back for the loan within 7 days. Now the only way I can payback their loan is if my floor plan (Basically giant credit card we buy cars on) gets pictures of the car in my possession.

I try to call/text/email/message on facebook to get ahold of both wife and husband and they block me on everything. They’re basically just stealing the vehicle without paying. They even blocked mom who has been trying to help them get this handled, yes they screwed over their own mother in this ordeal. I just want the vehicle back and move on with life. So this is where i go @prorevenge on them.

I begin by dropping the check off at the local prosecutor, and they’re delighted to file charges against them. I do some skip tracing calling family members, all of which are more than happy to help because come to find out husband has had 7 jobs in 4 months and has burned every single family member with money they’ve borrowed. I find wifes Father on Facebook, Father has been trying to take custody of deadbeat wife and husbands 2 kids because of how they treat them. He informs me they are staying in sisters house right over the border (we are on the state line of 2 states remember this) I call up a repo company and even myself drive the hour to go get the vehicle. They’ve been hiding it in the garage (according to neighbors and repo company). I do some searching and find out they’re both on probation for stealing a bunch of stuff from multiple stores. So I of course find and call up Mrs. Probation officer to see if she has a last known address. I then mention to her they’re staying above the state line and bounced a very large check to me, and they’re facing fresh charges in my town, she appreciates the knowledge.

Now while I was up at their house one evening I talk to one of the neighbors (Who also hate them they’re always yelling at their kids and eachother) and convince neighbor to call me if they see the vehicle outside. It took one day, I get the call, I send a very large friend who lives nearby them to go get the vehicle. After many expletives, berating my friend, they hand over the vehicle. But not before finally calling me while he was there and tell me how they’re going to sue and blah blah.

I’m out quite a bit of money from the ordeal, but here’s the best part. I just found out by living out of state they violated probation and just got sentenced to 30 days in jail from that, and they also just had their “video court date”(because they’re currently in jail with the probation violation) with the local judge on the new charges of the bounced check. I got my vehicle back and guess what? Deadbeat wife’s Father got custody of the 2 kids.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for writing characters undercover? Thanks!

So, we’ve covered this topic a lot in the past. Undercover operatives, intelligence agents, black ops, assassins, and spies I’d start with a spies search on our website, as that’ll get you started. The really good references will be there. My big advice for writing any kind of spy fiction is to have a clear idea of what you want and which genre you’re chasing. Do want James Bond or George Smiley? You can blend these genres, but it’s a good idea to have a clear idea as that’ll define your narrative.

The first thing to understand about spies and any sort of shadow operative is the Burn Notice quote: “A spy is just a criminal with a government paycheck.”

Take a look at this passage. This is a character (Thirteen) trained as an undercover operative exiting a bad situation. What do you see?

Limping down the hall, I forced one foot before the other. Slowly, my stride lengthened. The silver door at the end didn’t open, so I pushed it, and stumbled out onto the launch pad. My gaze fell on a string of oval automatic airstreams parked all in a row. No, I frowned, eyes sweeping to street and the vehicles winging by in the air overhead. No self-respecting AI would let me drive in this condition. Robots always insisted on hospital, and I had no time to hack. To get out fast, I needed a human. A cabbie. Older, preferably female. Fingers to my neck, I tapped twice. Up came the ODS, my thoughts linking to: call a cab. Human.

A string of numbers and faces appeared before my eyes, the oldworld men and women working a dying industry. Better for No Questions Asked rides in our digital world, no one else called when they could pay a corporate run robot for half the cost.

I picked the first female face that flashed across my dash.

Time to pick up… thirty seconds.

I gripped my injured arm, and ran an analysis. Tucked out of sight, Sixteen’s pistol rested against my ribs. Ammunition at less than half a magazine, so seven rounds. Eight, if I counted the one in the chamber. The Uplink already registered the irreparable damage and severed the blood flow to the damaged limb. So, no more bleeding out. My upper lip curled. A bad trade off for no more arm. Damn, Sixteen.

Fifteen seconds.

I couldn’t hide in the shadows. Needed to seem desperate, distraught. Call up tears.

Ten seconds.

My blurred gaze flicked to the skyline, watching for black. The Ghosts wouldn’t appear in the datastream. Still, NIS hadn’t cut my access. Not yet.

Five.

A beat up airstream in ruby red dropped out of the sky to the left, pulling up to the curb. They were early. From the shabby state of their car, probably desperate. Good.

I limped over quickly. Even if they weren’t my ride, they were human and sitting in the driver’s seat. A car enthusiast who needed no AI systems to handle the steering. Likely to have built in cameras. More likely to possess a slow Uplink. Slow data received poor police service. My fingers seized the handle, flung open the door, and threw myself inside.

“Need a ride?” the voice was sympathetic, unfamiliar.

I slid across the bench into the seat behind the driver. My free hand tight on my damaged limb, couldn’t do much about my nose. So, instead, I tilted my head and caught her reflection in the mirror. Younger. Mid-thirties. Red hair worn short with one gray streak, tied back in a severe bun. Clear hazel eyes. Talk like you’re in pain, scared, but putting on a brave face. Tears. I wiped the blood from underneath my nose, sniffling. “Y-y-yeah.” I cleared my throat. “Yeah. Thanks.” I tried for a half-smile, half-grimace, and leaned on the window. “Just looking to get away. The address should be—”

“You don’t need to worry, I have it,” the driver said. “Came in with your order. Grace, right? You want to go downbelow, the Rep Shop.”

“Yeah.” Resting my cheek against the glass, I closed my eyes; Uplink sizing up her car’s systems. Automatic turned off, but easy enough to hijack. My free hand drifted off my injury, and moved near the pistol hilt jabbing my ribs.

“I’m Marla, I’ll be your driver today.” A pause followed. “You sure a pretty girl like you wants the Rep Shop? Not a hospital? You look pretty banged up.”

“No,” I replied. I got what she suggested, this was a nice neighborhood. “I just need… need to go…”

“Boyfriend trouble?”

I grimaced, eyes squeezing shut, and wished I felt a twinge of guilt. It’s like the Overseer always says, love is just a cover.

“Don’t worry, no need to say it,” Marla said as the engine revved, the floorplates shook, and the airstream lifted skyward. “Shipped enough victims out of here to know.”

Notice, she pays attention to her surroundings and makes choices based on her condition in service of her needs. She needs to get out quickly, but would run into more trouble stealing a car so she calls up a cab driven by a human. Human’s are easier to manipulate in short order than code cracking. She specifically aims for a female cab driver, one preferably older than she is.

Why?

She’s female. Another woman is more likely to assume her injuries are because of a man, and a cab driver will have encountered this scenario often enough to not pry too deeply into it. An older woman is likelier to be maternal and protective, but not so protective that she’ll stay beyond when Thirteen needs her too. However, pay attention to the fact that Thirteen never verbally confirms it was a man who caused her injuries. She lets Marla assume, and fill in the blanks herself. This gives her an out later if she needs to change her story and place the blame on Marla’s shoulders for misunderstanding.

This is an example of what’s called social engineering. Deliberately manipulating the people in your environment to divulge confidential information or getting them to do what you want.

Notice also: After getting into the vehicle, Thirteen’s hand goes to the gun she stole. As she is playing to Marla’s sympathies, she is also assessing the possibility of killing this woman and taking control of the car if things don’t go the way she’s planned. Thirteen would prefer to exit by the easiest means possible, but a good spy always has a contingency. She won’t compromise her safety, and civilian lives mean next to nothing. A dead body is one more problem to deal with, one more attention getter that she doesn’t want, but she’ll go there. Violence is messy, and sometimes necessary.

There’s no real difference between a spy and a conman. Still, if you want to trick people there’s a few rules to follow.

What a spy isn’t:

A compulsive liar, an overseller, or lies all the time. An undercover operative needs to maintain their identity, that is one identity, singular. While a spy can create many false personalities, they should only be using one at a time with the goal of giving away as little information in trade as possible.

Notice: Thirteen does not tell Marla a story, she lets Marla create the story and then plays along. It is easier to convince someone of a lie when they’ll craft it themselves. Why say something when you can get just as much by saying nothing at all?

“You’ve told her three lies. Suppose she’s an asset, now you have to make all three lies true.” - Spy Game

Your character can’t just lie, a liar will be caught after a prolonged period of time. They need to manipulate the truth by creating a fiction. A cover is a fictional person with a fictional job who people think really exists when they check the character’s identity. Assume their identity will be checked, re-checked, and checked again. They are not maintaining a cover to a singular individual, but multiple ones. Their assets are the locals they are manipulating in order gain access to information, and who often run the jobs for them. These assets will, most of the time, not know the truth or not know the whole truth about who the spy really is.

Assets can be friends, business associates, girlfriends/boyfriends, wives/husbands, disgruntled employees, janitors, etc.

Your character can’t enter a business or government agency as a pretend janitor if they’re also going there everyday as a reporter or contractor or some other job. They must maintain the fiction of their identity.

This is the biggest problem most authors will get into when writing spy fiction. The concept of telling lies is something that comes easily to most of us, the problem comes in with keeping up a fiction over a prolonged period of time. The next step is to be able to lie without guilt and throw over people who help you without remorse. Crafting that dual identity of a person who genuinely cares about their friends and allies versus the real one who… really doesn’t.

You need a solid grasp of social functions, mores, and conventions in order to write a spy because a spy is manipulating all those points to gain access. You also need to understand these rules change based on what society your character is entering. Social rules change based on social groups, be it economic or cultural. The expectations for a man or woman in Mexico City versus Seattle are vast, and your character needs to be versed in the world they’re walking into. They need a cover identity to suit their work. Someone who has the freedom to go many places without being questioned, but unimportant enough to be neither needed nor remembered.

A spy is always looking for a way in, to slide into your confidences or sympathies however they can. They are going to use you to get where they need to go. They are very convincing actors and they are changing, modifying themselves slightly for each person they encounter. Not so much though that their falseness becomes obvious to the other people who know them.

When we’re working with a female spy, for example, all the “bad woman” societal traits you’re inclined to throw away are exactly what she needs to succeed. She will flirt, and flatter, and seduce, and manipulate the men (and women) around her to gain entry. She may rotate between being a gorgeous woman and an unremarkable one by the use of fashion and makeup. She is exactly what so many men are afraid of, a social climber who is manipulating their feelings and her attractiveness in order to get what she wants because it is the most expedient method to get what she needs. The one who is manipulating society’s view of women as nonentities, nonthreatening/replaceable objects in order to do her job.

Don’t be afraid of these characters. Don’t be afraid of “unlikeable” characters.

Spies are bad people who do bad things. They are often cold, calculating, impersonal manipulators looking for the most expedient method to get what they need. Your spy’s cover is just a cover. Never forget the real person underneath, especially when they’re lying to themselves.

-Michi

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