Spy Tips on Liquid Nitrogen, Parking Lots, Teaming Up, and more
Spies are in the law-breaking business. Call it espionage, covert ops, whatever you like. When you get right down to it, you’re a criminal working for a good cause. When your job involves daily law-breaking, Chances are you’re going to find yourself on the wrong end of a manhunt at some point.
It’s hard to get used to the idea that doing the right thing can mean being public enemy number one. The good news is you’re usually too busy trying to survive to get upset. Usually, the best thing is to get away, deal with the situation, and hope people are in a forgiving mood.
Commuter parking lots are great for fugitives. You can get some sleep while your pursuers lose momentum to exhaustion and shift changes. It’s also one-stop shopping for dry clothes or a new phone.
Spies love places people tend to avoid Sewage plants, toxic dumps, condemned motels, all places you can put emergency supplies and not worry about whether they’ll be there when you need them.
A good operative doesn’t believe in coincidences. It’s true, of course, that food stands catch fire from time to time. It’s even possible that one might catch fire at the same time you happen to be looking for a violent fugitive. But it’s sure not likely.
As a spy, you want to work with people with clear alliances. The biggest monster in the world becomes pretty predictable on a government payroll. Your worst nightmare is a lone crazy person.
When entering a possible combat situation, you want the element of surprise on your side. It’s why special forces like to rappel down from helicopters. Of course, if you don’t have a helicopter, you may have to improvise.
Work in intelligence long enough and you hang on to phone numbers. No matter who your enemy is, there’s a chance you’ll need him tomorrow. Churchill and Stalin weren’t chummy in 1941, but once the Nazis marched on Moscow, they got past their differences.
When a trained team is advancing on your position, Sneaking away is usually impossible. Your best bet is to give them something else to worry about.
Liquid nitrogen isn’t available at the corner store, but it is a standard part of a bomb-maker’s workshop. It’s also useful for diffusing explosives. On a well-made bomb, you can forget about cutting wires. Any decent bomb-maker will make sure that the important wires are impossible to reach. Freeze the detonator, though, and you can usually remove it safely. Of course, “usually” is not a word you want to hear when you’re working with explosives.
To be a spy, you need physical fitness, a facility with languages, a tolerance for exotic foods and the bugs that come with them. But, ultimately, there’s no greater qualification than the ability to look someone who ruined your life in the eye and say, “let’s work together”.
There’s no trick to getting down off a building quickly. Gravity will take care of that for you. The challenge is getting down without breaking your neck.