I will not bore you with the numerous classes, exercises, and other events I went through over the next several months or the routine reports I sent in over the next several years. Suffice it to say I met my objectives and got paid. Yes we got paid and not what you think either.
We were required to find our own way most of the time. We received some small stipend for our work and travel expenses when we had to travel, but most of the time we were on our own. There were benefits of course, the travel was often to places I would never have gone otherwise and I met a lot of interesting people. Part of being an ordinary spy was to blend in. That meant we had to have ordinary jobs and we suffered all the setbacks everyone else did. If we got paid and did not have to worry about those types of things we would have given ourselves away.
Why did we do it? I suspect everyone had their own reasons and mine are hard to put into words. I guess because I could and the thrill of doing the job was like drinking whiskey on a cold winter’s day sitting around the campfire.
Most of the time I reported on small happenings around town such as a new company starting up or some new technology being discussed. Sometimes there was a special need to investigate so I was conveniently laid off and had to find new employment that just happened to place me in a convenient spot to continue my work.
Once in awhile I was assigned a special project that took my special cold heartiness. These were tougher on me and I had to find excuses to be away for awhile. These were often covered by special work assignments or trips due to work. We even had our families visit once in awhile just to throw them off. I received extra pay for those times.
You may ask the questions how hard was it to live this lie?
Not that bad really, it was so deeply ingrained and we spent such a long time working on it - it became second nature. 99% of the spies did nothing that put them in a spotlight or that would draw undue attention to them. Those of use with special jobs just took extra risks and had to work a little harder at our cover. It is not the same as a sleeper agent you get to see in the movies – no special event to draw us out or break our cover. We were what we were.
Did we tell anyone?
It is always a temptation to tell that special someone close to you. You can trust them right?
Sorry, no. You can never unsay something or erase it from someone’s mind and while you may trust them for most things - there are some lines you should never step over. It would not be practical and placing them in that position would be cruel to say the least.
Try putting all the water back in the glass. Can’t happen.
Did anyone ever get suspicious? Not very often but one in awhile yes. It would take some work to cover it up. Most likely the person was fired for industrial espionage or some other minor discretion and the public never knew the root of the spy. They lost their government job since they were now “known” but it was not the ending a real spy would take. Most of the time they just faded off the books and were replace as needed.
Why am I writing about it?
The secret left in the closet will often be found by the maid. Once suspected it will be discovered and it loses its usefulness.
The secret put on the mantel left to collect dust out in the open is a perfect hiding spot. It may be noticed but it is quickly discarded and ignored, it just can’t be true can it?
We often have to hide in plain sight, hitting someone on the head just doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes a little misdirection will work.
It doesn’t matter – It’s a purely fictional story.
This story was inspired by Uncle James.