A SERENDIPITY Fractured Spy Tale, by Rich Paschall
It was a long hall with high, vaulted ceilings, elegantly appointed with gold-leaf trim. The walls were appropriately red on the upper two thirds, with an elegant dark cherry wood wainscoting below. Down the middle of the hall ran a long table made of the finest dark wood. It could seat 20 comrades along each side. The room was empty now, except for the big man seated at the head of the table.
He was patiently waiting in the Great Hall of the Central Committee. The room was quiet and serene, just like the meetings presided over by the big man. As he sat admiring a portrait of himself, Comrade Number Eight entered the room and walked to the front of the hall. Number Eight stood at attention and waited to be acknowledged.
“Report!” ordered the man at the head of the table.
“Comrade Leader,” Number Eight began. “I am pleased to report the success of our blog writers in foreign lands. Already today, six more articles have been posted. They are all well received, especially the ones we have designated as coming from ‘news’ sites.”
“What is the most popular story you have planted recently?” the Leader inquired.
“Comrade Leader, we have reported that the main opponent of our appointed foreign leader is running a scandalous sex ring from the back of a Taco truck.”
The Leader of the Federation looks a bit confused at this. “Taco Truck? What do you mean?”
“Comrade Leader…” said Number Eight hesitantly. All reports began by addressing “Comrade Leader” but from there he was not sure how to proceed on this one.
“This is a truck that travels around the streets selling food. Tacos, Tortas, Burritos.”
“And the political opponent runs a ‘sex ring’ from such a truck?”
“Yes, Comrade Leader.”
“And the people of that nation believe this story?”
“Oh yes, Comrade Leader. We placed the story on several blogs and it was picked up and distributed by other blog sites. It has even been run by some news stations. It has many ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ on social media. It is being spread all around the country.”
At that. the Big Man, Head Mister of all the Misters on the Central Committee, stared at Number Eight with the most incredulous look Comrade Leader had ever given anyone. After a brief moment, he roared with laughter. He was laughing so hard he nearly fell out of his high backed leather chair. Number Eight felt he could finally relax and laughed a little bit too.
“Have you designated a particular truck?” the important man wanted to know.
“No sir, Comrade Leader, sir. There are many of these trucks in the big cities and we wish to throw suspicion on all of them. With a little more prodding, we think the people will start attacking some of them.”
The leader laughed some more.
“Next week, Comrade Leader, we are going to have our asset speculate that these trucks are all run by illegal aliens and should be shut down. He will try to make a link between the illegals, his opponent and the sex ring. They are all selling prostitutes to fund the political campaign against our appointed one.”
“Stop, you’re killing me,” the boss man said as he was laughing so hard his sides began to hurt. “This is the funniest thing I have heard in years. Your team has done excellent work and brought me great joy. You will receive the People’s Medal for your achievement.”
“Thank You, Comrade Leader. I am very… (pause) pleased… that you are… (pause) pleased… sir” Number Eight puffed out his chest and stood in the Great Hall with a large smile on his face. It would not last long.
“Now, Number Eight, tell me how our special agents, Boris and Natasha, are doing on their secret mission.”
Number Eight looked down at the carpet that covered the floor beneath his feet. He did not know how to explain what was happening.
“I am sorry to say, Comrade Leader, that our operatives in the foreign land have not yet completed their assignment. We still have high hopes that they will succeed soon.”
“What has been the problem for them so far?” the leader of Covert Operations wanted to know.
“Sir, at every turn in the road they have been thwarted by two other agents who seem to be of superior intelligence.”
“I see, have you identified these other agents? We must deal with them severely.”
“No, Comrade Leader, but we have learned their code names, ‘Moose’ and ‘Squirrel.'”
The big man nodded his head knowingly as if he had encountered these crafty beasts before.