Untitled (2015-03-10)

She is recruited into SPAN not long after being promoted from postulant to novice in the Biology Guild. She’s been at the artificer rank in both Cryptography-Coding and Security for the past few years, the former for three the latter for four. SPAN requires beings to be a part of two Guilds, they do prefer recruits to have an even wider array.

~

Approaching a target in order to achieve a desired objective is more of a science than an art. When you’re trying to get something you want, it’s best to make it a definitive transaction instead of something that can be held over your head in the future. Being desperate removes any leverage you might have had in negotiations. Instead, try making it seem like you’re doing them a favor with your desired objective being their payment.

~

This is not what you envisioned your life would be–a house-spouse to a man five years your junior, who you aren’t even technically married to, and surrogate parent to his adopted daughter who has a penchant for combining fashion and mechanics. What happened to you? What happened to that teenager who would run rampant all day long, pulling all-nighters for the hell of it, fighting with fists and words until you were free to do whatever you want?

But you realize, this is what you want. You love that goofball of a man and his eccentric daughter. You love cooking and keeping the small house in tip-top shape. You love not having every moment be full of drama and conflict, not having to carve out your place in the world with teeth and blood. You’re content, and it’s startling, but you like it.

~

A/N: None of these are related… but I couldn’t come up with a long enough cohesive drabble so… The first part is from my original fiction Triptych, the second is some lingering Burn Notice-inspired spycraft, the third is… I don’t even know.


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/112770673449/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_nkqbrpZY2R1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fa.tumblr.com%2Ftumblr_nkqbrpZY2R1u7ptebo1.mp3

Untitled (2015-03-04)

In the world of espionage and assassination, being tall is not all what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, with longer limbs come superior reach and leverage, but your center of gravity is further from the ground, making it easier to knock you down and keep you there.

Outside of fights, which don’t occur as often as fiction would have you believe, extra height is not necessarily a benefit. An implicit intimidation factor can help in some cases, but in others it can be a disadvantage. If you need to, for example, walk away unnoticed from an explosion you’ve caused? Being tall is a hindrance.

If you’re six feet five inches, you’re at least half a foot taller than the average person in a crowd. Meaning you can’t exactly disappear when you’re sticking out like a sore thumb. Moreover, if you are that tall and have the muscles of a professional athlete without the clout of being one, the authorities likely aren’t going to believe you’re some innocent bystander. Especially with all that soot and debris on you.

In contrast, if you’re, let’s say, five foot three, then getting away is easy. When the top of your head is below the eye level of the people searching for you, it makes hiding effortless. In the unlikely event that they do pull you aside for questioning, there’s a greater chance they’ll believe you when you stutter out that you don’t know what happened. Add in some trembling and crying, and they’ll apologize to you for the traumatic experience.

If you’re shooting at an enemy, don’t aim for their head. While usually that means an instant kill, no matter how sharp a shooter you are, it’s very easy for them to dodge. Ducking is as simple as letting gravity pull you down.

Instead, shoot at their core–stomach, waist, chest. Ducking isn’t going to help them, and unless you’re shooting at an Olympic high jumper going the opposite direction isn’t going to help them either. Stepping to either side relies on them being able to predict the trajectory of a bullet going two thousand feet per second. It’s just not going to happen. So shooting at your enemy’s torso is best: not only is it harder for you to miss, you have a wide variety of vital organs to hit.

Youth is a double-edged sword. Correction, assumed youth is a double-edged sword. If you’re blessed with youthful features or even excellent makeup abilities, it’s easy to appear as an indistinct teenager. Unless you present yourself as a surly delinquent, or you’re surrounded by irrational morons, a teenager isn’t going to be held culpable for crimes more serious than shoplifting, graffiti, or terrible driving.

Of course, by disavowing any responsibility, there’s the risk of being pulled under the wing of some well-meaning authority figure. You can’t exactly break your cover, because that will put you back on the suspect list, which means you’ll just have to stick to your lies and wait for the opportunity to ditch the mother hen.

~

When you’re going undercover, everything about you has to match your backstory. Your clothes, your hair, your movements. That being said, make sure you use a backstory that you can take on without much effort. Even the best actors have trouble staying in character when they’re surprised or in pain, and those tend to be the moments when you need it the most.

The most common mistake is having an accent one moment, then losing it the next as you cry out in pain. Accents also tend to be the easiest to bust as fake–not remembering a supposed common acquaintance can be chalked up to faulty memory, but if you fluctuate between a Bostonian accent and a Jersey accent then people will know something is up.

Instead, consider changing your speech patterns: if you’re normally a concise and eloquent speaker, then mumbling and sprinkling in a few ums, and you knows, and I guesses, reinforces a cover more than a fake Louisiana drawl. To a listener, accents come from specific locations that can be tested and those tests possibly failed. Speech patterns, on the other hand, reflect a thought process, which gives you some leeway in your actions. It also means any changes in how you speak when under duress is attributed to the situation instead of inconsistent acting abilities.

~

A/N: I’ve been marathoning Burn Notice on Netflix… and to be honest I’m kind of ambivalent to it. Obviously I like it, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten to season 5 (and counting), but it’s not really something that I’d make a fuss over. The writing is both good and inane–the overarching plot is almost as ludicrously complex as a soap opera’s and practically nothing is a surprise. But it’s well delivered inanity.

I wouldn’t say it’s Burn Notice fanfiction, but I liked the idea of a (somewhat condescending) badass trying to teach the ways of badassery to someone else, namely the reader. Maybe I’ll re-appropriate it into one of my already existing fanfic ideas (if I ever get around to actually writing a multi-chaptered story)–it’d work well in Naruto or Katekyo Hitman Reborn… or the Turk side of FFVII.

Also, I can’t guarantee the validity of my “advice” which is why I’m putting it in the original fiction tag. FICTION. Please don’t actually shoot anyone… or cause any explosions… thank you.