Spy Games – Creative Essay Being an international spy is no walk in the park. Death can be waiting for you around the corner or around the world. However when you’re only 17 years old, death is the furthest thing from your mind. So here we were on a hot summers day playing international espionage. Of course to six of us playing, it was just another Saturday of playing spy. Myself, Tim Wolfe, David Sullivan, Peter Shore, Jennifer Strong (who was the only female to be amongst us) and Frank Robb made up the group.
At this age it was suppose to be above us to play in these spy games. We were going to be graduating in a year or so after all. Thus keeping the game secret was good practice for all of us. It also meant lying to a lot of people as to why we were always busy on Saturdays. Mind you, we never considered it lying.
We preferred to refer to it as clouding the truth. Many of us wanted to become employed in the intelligence area. So really, we though of it more as an act of deception. We took our game very seriously. In fact we never even referred to is as a game.
Mostly because we were working our maneuvers on real people who didn’t know we were just a group of teenagers pretending to be spies. Every week we’d have at least one meeting at my house to talk about how things were going. Sometimes depending on the case or goal we were pursuing, the meetings would run on into the late of night. I guess it could be said that I was leader of our group. The meetings were held at my house, and I was the one who brought together the present group of agents. In the theme of espionage, we referred to everyone as an agent. Never as a friend. However we preferred to think of our agency, which we had given the name of the Renegades, as a collective.
That is, everybody had a say in what we did. My bedroom was in the basement of our house, and I had the entire basement at my disposal. Against the far wall was a room with my bed, stereo, and the usual stuff you’d find a bedroom. Perhaps the one difference being I had posters of famous spies on my walls rather than sports heroes. Igor Grouzenko is a good example.
Outside my room was a large table where we held most, if not all, of our meetings. Thanks to a door located in the cellar, it made for easy access to the outside. In most cases my parents never knew we held meetings on into the dead of night. The door also made it easy to sneak out at night. Agents do their work best under the cover of darkness you know. Today our meeting was going to be a good one.
Last Thursday we had decided to draw up entire new names and careers for ourselves. Agents usually have more aliases than friends, so we decided to change ours every month. It was kind of hard juggling school work and memorizing new alias information each month. Yet when we were out in the `real world’ doing maneuvers it all seems worth it. The table was round, so there really was no one at the head of it. From left to right there was Tim, David, Peter, Frank, Jen, then myself.
“I trust everyone had no problem coming up with a new alias” I asked. Everyone nodded in agreement. From there we went about the table saying who we now were and what our profession was. My alias was John Inglis, and I went to one of the local high schools. As a part time job I supposedly worked for McDonald’s. Everybody’s main story was that they went to high school.
It helps give credibility to your story. Perhaps the only thing that varied from person to person was their name, and their part time job. After some more talking, we decided on our next target. We were going to find out how much money the local computer store takes in on a daily basis. Naturally they would not divulge such information to a bunch of teenagers. The way we go about gathering our information is the basis for our intelligence game. Finding out stuff about people and things which they’d rather have us not know.
Since many of us had a chemistry test next morning, we kept the meeting short. We all agreed to meet back at my house tomorrow – Friday – night to discuss our plan of action. As a parting word I suggested that a cleaning of our guns during study breaks would do us some good. Both to help us relax to study, and ensure the guns worked properly. With that we said our good-nights.
When I mention gun, I’m not talking about the kind that carry bullets and actually kill people. The guns we carry are of a much less harming sort. We carried CO2 powered paint guns which fired paint pellets. Although they could do some damage if they hit someone in the eye, we always ensured that the enemy was hit on the body. Preferable in the heart to ensure what would normally be death. We could carry the guns where-ever we wished, under one condition.
They must always be concealed. If your weapon could be seen, it was considered that you were as good as dead. Personally, I carried mine tucked into my pants behind my back. After a few hours of studying, I didn’t think any more chem would sink in. So, it was off to bed. Tomorrow I’d write the test, and then get to thinking about our weekend of intelligence work.
* * * * * The test went ok. It’s always hard to concentrate fully when you know that you’re doing spy techniques the following day. With that I went home around 3:30 and waited for my fellow agents to arrive. Eventually everyone showed up and we began to plan out what we’d be doing tomorrow. The plan was to have Jen and Frank head down to the store tomorrow with the front of wanting to buy a computer. The rest of us would wait out in the car and watch who went in and out of the store. Saturday rolled around and Tim came by around 10am.
Since Tim was the only one who owned his own car, he ended up doing most of the driving. It seems I was the last one to be picked up, as everyone else was present and accounted for. By the time 10:30 had rolled around, we were all down at Compu-Tech. Jen and Frank left the car, leaving the rest of us to sit and listen to the radio. Time drags slowly when you’re sitting and not physically partaking in a mission.
I mean aside from watching whose coming and going, there wasn’t much else to do. About half and hour later Jen and Frank emerged. Chit chatting about what they had seen and what the salesman had told them. As always we decided not to talk about anything concrete until we were back at my place. Arriving home, we descended into the basement and took our usual seating.
Jen started the meeting by telling everything and everything about the store. Frank sat beside her and interjected his opinion every now and then. By the time Jen had given us her report we felt fairly comfortable with the information we had heard. Yet we still didn’t know what their daily income was. “One more thing” Jen said. “One of the sales people was Tammy Contenda.
Maybe she can give us the information were after”. Tammy Contenda was a girl we all knew from high school. Although she was fairly popular, none of us could be considered her good friend. Acquaintances is perhaps a better word. None the less, we had our lead.
Now all we had to do was pump the information from her. If she could tell us about Compu-Tech without any of us entering the building ourselves, so much the better. It was decided that myself and Dave would approach her. After all, she may recognize Jen and Frank from the store if they decided to talk to her. We spent the rest of our day figuring out step by step what we would do in the following weeks.
Many of our missions took about a month to finish, sometimes even longer. So speed was not of the essence. * * * * * “On Monday” I began “Dave and I will approach Tammy to see what we can get find out about Compu-Tech. Chances are good that she won’t volunteer the information readily. So, it may take some time.” “What, instead of waiting a week for this project to come to a close we may end up waiting three or four?” This was Peter talking.
Pete always was in a rush to get our missions over and done with. Were it not for the fact that he was an incredible agent, and excellent at recruiting people, we might have let him go. These factors alone were enough to keep him in the Renegades. “Unfortunately it just might” I replied. “You know as well as anyone else that having Tammy tell us how much money the store brings in lessens the risk to us”.
“I know I know” said Pete. “I just wish it wouldn’t take so long”. Monday arrived before we knew what happened. Saturdays are always dedicated to Renegade work. That means Sundays are left to doing homework. At school, Dave approached Tammy under the guise of needing help in Algebra. As luck would have it, her and Dave were in the same class. Later on into the conversation, I happened by and Dave introduced me to her.
Bingo, contact had been made. The group of us don’t hang around together at school, so there was little chance of Tammy associating our intentions with Frank and Jen. Still we decided to play it safe, so they ate lunch on the other side of the cafeteria. By Wednesday, Dave and Tammy had made arrangements for algebra tutoring outside of class time. I had more or less fallen from the picture as Dave had become good friends with her. Aside from a guest appearance here and there, that was it for me.
At our regular Thursday meeting though, we found just how good a friends they really had become! “She what?” exclaimed Frank from across the table. “She asked me to go to prom with her” repeated Dave. A chorus of laughter could be heard coming from the rest of us. The prom wasn’t for another two months, and tickets had just gone on sale at the beginning of the week. Its a safe bet that none of us had even thought of getting a prom date.
Plus considering our original plan was too just involve Tammy and then end it, this was an interesting turn of events. “Have you decided what you’re going to tell her?” Frank continued to probe the issue. I couldn’t help but pick up a hint of jealousy in his voice. “Of course. I told her that I’d love to go with her”.
Silence echoed through my basement for what seemed like an eternity. At last I asked “Have you found out anything about Compu- Tech?” This seemed to throw everyone for a loop. We’d all been wrapped up in the gossip concerning Dave’s life that we forgot about Compu-Tech. “Yeah, I’ve been able to find out a bit about the place. Tammy’s told me about the establishment.
It’s owned by a husband and wife team Linda & Jason Proton. Business seems to run in spurts.” “How long has Tammy been working there?” asked Jen. In this shuffle of prom dates, everyone had forgotten to consider her matters on the situation. “She told me she’s been there for about a year and a half. Business seems to come and go in spurts according to her.
The summer months including September along with Christmas time are their peak times.” “Any complaints with regards to her treatment from them?” Jen continued. “None really. Just the usual you know. More pay, not to work on Friday nights..” “Yeah yeah” I interjected. “Any word on what we’re after?” “Nope, not yet. I plan on asking her Friday night.” “Friday night?” we all seemed to ask in unison.
“Yeah, when we go to the movies together.” Again, laugher could be hard all around the room. * * * * * Saturday’s meeting was relatively short one. Everyone was at my place by 1pm, and the meeting begun. “How was your date last night, stud man?” asked Frank. You could tell from the tone in his voice that he was mocking Dave.
“Fine thanks” Dave replied, not lowering himself to reply with any snide comments. “Incase you were wondering, I asked her about the information we’re after.” “Oh yeah, asked her between kisses I suppose eh?” quipped Frank. Now listen..” Dave began. “My love life is none of your, or for that matter anyones’ business, so if you don’t mind I’d..” Dave’s voice was tensing as we could sense his anger. “Ok, ok Dave.
We understand your point” I stated. “Now, if you will continue your report on what Tammy told you, I’m sure we’d all be glad to hear it”. “Well, according to her, Compu-Tech pulls in around $500,000 a year. Mind you, keep in mind that these figures are just coming from the top of her head.” “Would it possible for her to find out the exact amount of money the store pulls in?” Jen inquired. “I suppose she has access to that kind of information. Yet how to propose I ask her? Wouldn’t you become a bit suspicious if someone asked you to find out the exact financial position of the business you worked for?” “Well, I suppose I would” Jen continued.
“What if you asked her to take a look at one of their accounting programs, under the guise that you wanted to buy a computer system. Then you could ask her to use the real numbers from Compu-Tech’s income.” “I suspect it might. Yet I don’t really don’t want to put myself in such a position. It could jeopardize my relationship with Tammy.” “Mind you, it could be done, right?” I asked. “Ok, ok.
I’ll see about doing it. If I lose my prom date over this though, you can count me out of the Renegades.” “We’ll take that chance..” Tim commented. After that comment, the meeting broke down. Jen and I stayed back to do a bit of target practice in my back yard. The targets we used were of cut-outs of people which we propped up.
Ideally we’d like to have them jump out at us; as in real target practice, yet such a feat was not possible. So, we stood about 40 feet back from the target and began to take aim. We aimed for the heart area and the head. In real life though, with a real gun, you’d aim for the person’s head. After all, leaving any witnesses around was sealing your fate.
However with only paint pistols, we didn’t want to take any chances on hitting someone in the eye. For that reason we concentrated our shots to the person’s heart region. Jen was a much better shot than me. Where 8 out of 10 shots of mine would hit the proper area on the target, all 10 of Jen’s would land perfectly. I was jealous yes, but there wasn’t much that could be done.
We worked on various techniques. Such as doing a forward summer salt, standing up and shooting at the target. Another one was to walk by the target unsuspiciously, the quickly remove your gun and shoot. The later was my strong area while Jen seemed to have mastered them all. In a while, both targets were covered in red paint. A quick hose down with water, and they looked as good as new. “Nothing like an afternoon of target practice to relieve a bit of stress eh?” I said.
“Yeah, now all we have to do is improve your aim.” Thinking to myself, I decided that this would be a good time and place. “Jen” I began. Already I could feel the sweat forming in my palms. I mean I could pull of this spy stuff with no problems. Yet when it came to asking a girl out, I was as weak as they come.
“Would you like to go the prom with me?” There, I’d said it. Now all that was required was the word -yes- and everything would be perfect. “Well its really sweat of you to ask” oh oh, here it comes I thought to myself. “Yet I’ve already said I’d go with Dan Scoff. I hope you’ll understand.” “Sure” I replied.
Inside my heart dove to the bottom of my stomach and began to be burned by its acid. Shot down again. Ah well, that’s life. Jen helped me put the targets away and I bid her good-bye. Looking at my watch, I noted the time was close to 4pm.
I decided to head inside and help Mom with dinner. For a guy whose suppose to feel great about his accomplishments, I sure never felt lower in my life. * * * * * Sunday evening I found myself staring at my Physics book. Nothing was sinking in. My mind seemed to race everywhere. School, girls, Jen, the prom, the Renegades, everything.
Suddenly the phone rang. “How soon can you get over to my place?” It was Dave. From the sound of his voice something was up. “If I can get the car, I’ll be over in about 5 minutes. Soon enough for ya?” “Perfect.” and with that Dave hung up. Usually Dave can go on and talk your ear off.
In fact the two of us usually sit around and chat on the phone from time to time. Out of everyone in the group I’d say I knew him the best. Putting on my Levis and grabbing a baseball cap I proceeded upstairs. A quick check with Dad that I could take the car, and I found myself headed towards Dave’s place. In my rush to get out the door, I didn’t bother phoning any of the other Renegades. No matter, if Dave had wanted them at his place, he would have called them himself.
Arriving at Dave’s I saw the familiar appearance of everyone’s car with the exception of Pete. Since Tim and Pete live on the same street, I assumed that Tim had brought Pete along with him. Parking my car I walked up to the door and rung the bell. Within a matter of seconds Dave was standing at the door. “Quickly, come in, come in” Dave said closing the door behind me.
In all my years of being friends with Dave I’d never seen him so pale. “Go on upstairs, everyone else has already arrived.” “What’s up Dave?” I asked. “Just get up stairs. I’ll tell you once we’re in my room.” I climbed the stairs to Dave’s room, passing family portraits of him and his brother growing up. The odd family portrait of the four of them.
Kind of makes me wonder why my parents stopped at one child. Anyway, before I knew it I was walking into Dave’s room. I walked past Jen and sat beside Tim. “What’s going on here?” I asked him? “Beats me. I just received a call telling me to get my butt down here.
Yourself?” replied Tim. “Same.” “Now, you’re probably asking yourselves why I called you here at this time of night.” began Dave. “Well, its about Tammy. She..” Pete cut in “She what? Found out you have frog lips?” “No you monkey head.” howled Dave. “She’s been kidnapped!” * * * * * “Kidnapped!” I exclaimed. “Are you sure? Who told you this? When did you find out?” The questions just seemed to roll off my tongue. “All I know is that when I called her tonight her Mom told me that Tammy hadn’t come home from work on Saturday.
She figured that Tammy had gone out with me or was spending the night at a friends house. Yet when I called at six tonight she still hadn’t come home.” replied Dave. We all sat silent for a few moments. Everyone seemed taken back by this information. I was letting it sink in. Trying to find some hole or something that I could say to indicate it may not have been a kidnapping.
Then Jen spoke up. “Have you tried to contact the owners of Compu-Tech? Perhaps they know what happened to her.” “Mr & Mrs Contenda tried to contact them. Yet she doesn’t have their home number written down. Besides, its an unlisted number so information is out of the question. We have to do something!!” exclaimed Dave. “This is what we’ve been training for all these years. To actually get out and use our talents.
Well, now’s the time!” “Hang on a sec here Dave” I began. “We’re not even sure that some foul play has happened here. Why don’t we wait until Monday and find out what the police have to say. Then we can take it from there. Agreed?” “Agreed” everyone said in unison, although Dave’s may have been a bit less then enthusiastic.
Slowly we stumbled out of Dave’s house. On way out we mumbled our “don’t worry, everything will work out” speech and what have you. We had decided to hold a meeting tomorrow after school and get organized. The original plan of finding out the income of Compu- Tech seemed to be of minor concern in the recent news. I was home and in bed in no time.
Sleep though didn’t smile upon me tonight. My mind was racing through the potential kidnapping that Dave had dropped on our laps. Although I issued my words of encouragement to Dave along with the others, I couldn’t help but think Dave was on to something here. * * * * * School came and went. By 4:00pm everyone was assembled in my basement, ready to figure out our next step.
“Tammy wasn’t in algebra today” Dave began. “I called her place when I arrived home from school and still no luck. None of her friends have seen her either.” “Have the police been contacted yet?” asked Frank? “Yeah, Mr. Contenda said he went down to the station this morning and filled out a missing person report. The officer on duty told him they’d be in touch if anything turned up.” “Well, calculus was not the most exciting class today.
So, rather than pay attention I came up with a game plan of sorts. Do you folks have any objection to hearing me out?” I said. Everyone seemed to nod in agreement, so I proceeded. “Now from the way I look at things Tammy was a good kid. The only reason someone would want to have her kidnapped would be if she found out something she shouldn’t have.
As I understand it, the Contenda’s are not the richest people in the world. So a possible ransom reason may be hard to swallow. For that reason this is what I propose. Jen and Dave head down to the hall of records. Photocopy or write down everything you can find on the owners of Compu-Tech Mr.
& Mrs. Proton. Maybe they’ve had some bad dealings or what ever. I’ll head down to the police station and see if I can get a look at the missing person report. I doubt they’ll just show it to me, so I may have to push a few buttons if you will. Pete, I’d like you to head down to Compu-Tech and see what you can find out.
Just kind of browse around and look and/or listen for anything. If you’re approached talk like you want to purchase a computer. In the small talk that ensues, ask about Tammy. You know, as any nosey customer would. Anyone have any questions?” “Yeah, what am I suppose to do?” asked Frank. “You and Tim are in charge of coordinating all the information we gather.
Go over everything with, as the saying goes, a fine tooth comb. Maybe you’ll be able to tie things together and make some sense out of it.” “Ah bummer man” said Tim. “How come we stuck with the loser job while the rest of you get to rock and roll?” If we lived near a beach, Tim would have been on the waves 24 hours a day. I honestly think he should have been born in California rather than Ontario. From the way he talks you’d think surfing was all he lived for. “Come on Tim, give it a break.
Not everyone can have the glamorous jobs you know?” I replied. “Yeah yeah, I know dude. It’s just I’d rather be out rocken and rollen with you cats” We sat around for a while and talked about the specifics of our assigned missions. Everyone seemed happy with their assignments. Even Tim and Frank seemed pleased with what I had assigned them, albeit they did grumble a bit. “Dinner will be ready in 15 minutes” my Mom yelled down the stairs.
“Will your friends be staying with us tonight?” I glanced around the room and everyone shook their heads. “No, they have to be heading home.” I replied. With that we decided to call the meeting to an end. We’d have our usual meeting on Thursday when everyone could tell us what they’d managed to find. I saw everyone out the door in the base …