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Author Topic: Miss Anastasia  (Read 1155 times)

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Offline ParlabaneTopic starter

Miss Anastasia
« on: October 19, 2010, 01:36:58 PM »
(This came from something in my introduction thread, and the seed has become something much more, so I present it to you as an amusing diversion)

There are many stories told of Miss Anastasia and her exploits. When the inhabitants of the demi-monde of espionage, infiltration and general international skullduggery gather in their haunts, conversation often turns to the exploits of the legendary figures of their trade, but when one ventures forth a tale of Miss Anastasia, an almost reverential silence will descend amongst them, so eager are they to hear the tale.

Most of the tales told about her are fabrications, of course, spun from the fevered imagination of one who has spent far too long pretending to be a Peruvian fish merchant or Macedonian actor in order to fulfill the most minor part of a grand operation conceived in marble halls well above their pay grade. So, I make you this promise - every single word of what I tell you here is true.

She spent her youth in Vladivostok. I was going to say she grew up there, but that would not be believable - she was grown up from the moment she was born, it is inconceivable to imagine this woman never being totally aware of her surroundings. When this happened is not clear - some tell tales of her leading the Red Army into the city after the Revolution reached the Pacific, others are adamant that she was the teenage girl who tore down the flag of the USSR when that fell. What is known is that it is from here that the NKVD, KGB or FSB recruited her, having spotted her potential to be a star agent. By the age of thirteen, she had already turned down recruitment offers from the leading ballet companies of Russia and the leading martial arts companies of Japan, as well as that bizarre institution in Bangladesh that combines them both.

They claim to have recruited her, though perhaps it is more true to say that she recruited them, the head of the local branch finding her waiting in his office one morning, requesting an assignment, her details already recorded in the system as though she'd been there forever, even though no one had any knowledge of her existence before then. From there, it's the usual tale of spent bullets, burnt passports, discarded disguises and broken hearts scattered around the globe that are the residue of all the finest agents, no matter their nationality. Stories from this period of her career are the most commonly told around the table of agents, perhaps because they are usually simple enough to be told and understood when several bottles of whiskey have been drunk. Soon, this attracted the attention of Moscow, who had an operation that needed an almost impossible array of skills to pull off. Naturally, she had them all.

The plan was very simple - a mission in London would appear to go wrong, she'd be captured by MI5 and agree to work for them as a double agent in exchange for her freedom, but would secretly owe her ultimate loyalty to Moscow, thus acting as a triple agent. While keeping the balance of this role in their head would trouble all but the most experienced of agents, this was child's play for her, and it's perhaps why she instead divulged the entire plan to her MI5 handlers and instead offered to become a quadruple agent. They agreed instantly, but I am told that there are sweepstakes running within MI5 about just when she will be revealed as a quintuple or sextuple agent.

The rest is the world that we now experience, and try to control in her wake - the way she skilfully handled her conflicting orders at the Chequers Summit to such an extent that I understand the Conservatives were very close to selecting Vladimir Putin as their candidate for the Axminster South by-election, her visit to Milan for Fashion Week which led to the diplomatic services of several countries spending hours unsuccessfully persuading an army of supermodels not to retire in favour of a teaching career and, of course, the recent incident in the harbour at Cannes with the arms dealer, the yacht, the bag full of stolen diamonds and the genetically engineered swan.

Then there are the other legends - the CIA invested millions to prove that her hair was of a shade of red impossible for a human to grow naturally, yet a two-year Mossad operation failed to generate any evidence of her walking past a hair salon, let alone entering one. There's also her habit of entering one house that may or may not be owned by her through a series of shell companies at night, then exiting from another on a separate continent the next morning, and the way every restaurant in every city in the world has the best table reserved for her, even though they claim never to have heard of her five minutes before she enters.

But these legends all miss the one fact that no one even dares to consider - that their oh-so-important world of espionage is just a game she plays to fill the time between her real work. Since long before the supposedly secret services of the world knew about her, the true secret powers have been aware of her. Indeed, it is rumoured that Faction Paradox, with their usual flair for impossible showmanship, attempted to recruit her to their cause before she was even born. The Reconstituted Others (Up Faction) saw their advances rebuffed as well, while the Charm Offensive Tendency found themselves permanently excluded from the whole of Asia after their recruitment attempt went awry. Not that the 'intelligence' factions of this world would ever have noticed this going on around them, so concerned are they with their realities.

She remains one of us, part of the Legion of Dynamic Discord, sworn and bound to do whatever the hell we feel like as long as we don't break the universe in the process. And if we do, we promise to put it back together afterwards.

And every single word of this is true, as I promised. It's just that the sentences they form themselves into are packed full of lies.

Offline rabbiteye

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 09:53:37 PM »
This was excellent. Highly amusing to me. Bravo!

Offline Imogen

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 02:05:04 PM »
Hurray!! More about the elusive Miss Anastasia!

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity about this enigma, Parlabane. And as i've come to expect of you, you are baiting me with more tantalizing riddles! Is it all true? Did the CIA ever get their money's worth in an answer? Does the Legion of Dynamic Discord really exist and who else are part of this mysterious organization? Who leads it and what are its goals. With every answer, there's so much more I'd love to know...

I enjoyed this!

Offline ParlabaneTopic starter

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 02:51:56 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it - my mind comes up with this sort of thing from time to time and it's nice to have a place to get it out and give it a chance to live.

I'm sure there are more tales of the Legion of Dynamic Discord, especially their battles against the Charm Offensive Tendency, lurking somewhere in the depths of my mind. I just need to find the right metaphorical fishing hook to pull them out...

Offline ParlabaneTopic starter

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 02:04:28 AM »
What is The Hum's real name? It cannot be known. That's not to say he doesn't have one, it's just that because he's a master of distraction, anyone learning it will find that they're suddenly thinking of something else and have neglected to remember the name that seemed oh-so-important to them just a few moments before. In fact, they might even wonder whether they had met someone at all, and anyway, have you heard how much they're increasing the fares for rail travel in the south east? It's scandalous, I can't believe the Government allows them to...

Ah, sorry. But you see, this is one of the powers of The Hum - it will take your most extreme skills in mental focus, the ones you should all have learned from the Zen Masters, to maintain focus and not drift off into idle speculation about something else when considering him.

Specifics of his life are hard to discover. We assigned a team of researchers to discover what they could, but soon found that even the best of them could do no more than 5 minutes work on the project before realising there were some important facts about 17th century Spanish poetry that they had to discover right then. Sure, we did create Wikipedia as a result of this distraction activity, but details of The Hum were still scarce afterwards.

At a best guess, we think he was born in the 50s, principally because the level of distraction, confusion and absent-mindedness in our field of operation began increasing dramatically from the mid-70s. However, there is a counter-theory that this was just the metaphysical damage done to reality by the Presidency of Gerald Ford. (It's worth noting at this point that, when questioned, many people fail to remember that a President Ford ever existed)

Evidence - including his identity as The Hum - suggests he first became aware of his powers of distraction while at school in whichever country he grew up in. We believe that students there used to hum during lessons or addresses by boring teachers to distract and confuse them, but it was only when he joined in with them that the tactic reached a devastating effectiveness. There are sketchy reports from various global locations of schools being abandoned for no good reason throughout the 1960s, which may be connected to him or maybe entirely unrelated - indeed, the inability of researchers to probe anything that may be connected to him makes it hard to know more.

It's possible that he joined the Legion in the 1970s, though none of us have any knowledge of that happening, obviously. Evidence places him in high-ranking positions in both the Reagan and Yeltsin administrations which could explain just why the most apocalyptic forecasts of the scryers never came close to fruition during those periods. He's also believed to have taken lengthy vacations in Ibiza and Ayia Napa in the same period that may explain a lot about the attention span of Britons under the age of 35.

Current location unknown, but analysis suggests he works somewhere in internet content production. In fact, have you seen this new website? Pictures of cats with amusing captions...god, you could spend hours looking at them.

Sorry, were we having a meeting? Can't have been anything important, can it, if we can't remember what it was about. In fact, why not take the afternoon off?

Offline Xandria

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Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 08:22:17 AM »
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and love stories with elements of espionage and mystery. Thank you for posting it!!

Offline ParlabaneTopic starter

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 11:56:47 AM »
France, 1958, somewhere between the Fourth and Fifth Republics. Using the absence of a Government of any form as cover, a cabal of intelligence officers launched their most ambitious plan yet. Having previously been thwarted in their attempts to infiltrate British intelligence thanks to a lack of knowledge of the finer points of English society and culture, they decided to create the perfect infiltrator.

Using a prototype isolation tank and early computer technology, they compressed every scrap of information they could gather about England into a data stream. (Ironically, their inability to classify this information securely, allowed the Dutch to steal it in the 70s to form the basis of Compact Disc technology) Agents scoured the globe for everything imaginable, from the lost works of Shakespeare to the legandary Black Diaries of Queen Victoria, and all was streamed into a volunteer, who chose to step into the isolation tank for the procedure.

Three years later, he emerged as the living and breathing embodiment of all things English and, of course, immediately decided he wanted nothing to with any Frenchmen. Quickly escaping from the secret facility, he crossed the Channel to England and immediately slipped into society as though he was born to it.

His first public sighting after that was at Cliveden House in 1961, introducing John Profumo to Christine Keeler, and thus bringing down the MacMillan Government. Since then, the Englishman (as he has become known to all) has effortlessly moved through the upper echelons of British society while never seeming to age - though whether this is connected to the fact that the legendary Laboratoires Garnier now stand upon the site of the secret intelligence facility where he was created is a matter for discussion in another venue.

He can be seen, in the background, at every major event in British history for the last fifty years, and some of the key points in French history too. (He was the instigator of the 'I had her first, Nicolas' operation) Indeed, it's said that his only failure was not preventing the cancellation of Doctor Who in 1989 by the Illuminati agent known only as The Grade.

Naturally, he was an eager recruit to the Legion, pledging himself to 'wiping out that Bavarian bounder Weishaupt and his chums' with great gusto. Many ill-prepared agents of the Illuminati have found their plans scuppered by the Englishman, though all have reported that no matter what he did to them, his manners were always exemplary and the tea and cake provided was of a most excellent quality.

Offline exitmusic

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 01:40:30 PM »
Bravo! With much hope for an encore!

I love them. All of them. There needs to be a coy leaflet for each of them!

Offline ParlabaneTopic starter

Re: Miss Anastasia
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 06:02:52 PM »
Just to say that I do have some further characters gestating in my head (no, it's not that painful) but in the true spirit of the League of Dynamic Discord, please feel free to contribute your own ideas to this thread, whoever you may be.