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THE SLY LIFE

WELCOME TO THE AGENCY


Your character works for a freelancing spy agency located on a private island in the Bahamas (part of the legendary Bermuda Triangle) where you character not only works but also lives.  The agency is not allied with any particular country or political view point.  They do the work that they're paid for.  Sometimes this is good, and other times this is bad.  This agency is highly sought out because of the well trained agents, as well as their unique abilities.  These abilities range from language and fighting skills to the obscure and supernatural.  Enter a world where nothing is as it seems.

Please note that when constructing your character that there are multiple different jobs that spies can do, and office jobs, town jobs, etc.  Your character does not have to be able to 'do it all'.  If you'd prefer a character who is called out on the field less often, that's completely okay.  If you want your character to get a lot of action, that's alright too.  If you'd like your character to get no action on the field, that's also okay.

The following are resources to help inspire and inform.


WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A SPY


When you think of working as an intelligence agent, the Mission Impossible movies come to mind and you may secretly dream about the action, investigations, unraveling huge conspiracy plots, but is it really that exciting? Perhaps not all the time, but you may have to hide your job title when you speak to friends and family in some cases. Several of the intelligence jobs are desk bound and entail more paper work than action, although some of the positions involve high risk work. 


These types of jobs include linguists who can translate foreign languages, communication officers, call center assistants, technicians, network specialists, computer technicians, security officers, investigators, administrative personnel jobs, propaganda officers, and personnel or recruitment officers.

An agent is normally a person who has the authority to act on behalf of an institution or person. The secret or special agent can also be called an intelligence officer or even an operative. In the secret services, a distinction can be made between the agent and the operative. The agent is hired from outside and reports to the operative who is a permanent employee of the agency. The terms can be very confusing, for instance, some operatives refer to themselves as agents, whilst others use the term operative. The secret or intelligence worker is one who works under cover or as part of a clandestine operation and thus keeps his or her relationship with the agency hidden.

The double agent is someone who acts as an undercover agent for one agency in another agency. An example would be where a person from one government infiltrates another country's agency and acts as if he is part of that countries agency. He is thus a spy. This type of work carries enormous risk and if the double agent is caught by the country where he is spying, he may be imprisoned or even killed.


Another type of intelligence agent is called the sleeper. The sleeper is an agent who may be inactive for a certain period and then called to act on instructions. There is thus a delay in the espionage activity for some time. The provoker on the other hand is an agent who is instructed to join a certain group and then instigate illegal action that would bring the group in conflict with the police of a country.


Working as an intelligence agent can involve espionage. You are then instructed to gather information about another countries activities, their military operations or the secret agents. The type of information can range from financial data to personal information about politicians and even new military equipment. Despite the severe consequences of being caught as a spy, the international intelligence community sees espionage as a normal activity that takes place everyday and it is accepted that countries will appoint spies. Almost every country in the world has an internal and external intelligence division.


A career in the secret services is one overflowing with variety and the hunt for information. The intelligence workers perform inquiries, carry out in-depth studies, evaluate data, and organize the data into precise and informative reports on issues connected to state protection.


The type of the work carried out by the intelligence workers fluctuate according to projects, demands, and issues at stake. The employees come from a wide range of disciplines such as humanities, politics, criminology, natural sciences, economic related fields, to medical and even technical backgrounds.


You need to have a thorough grasp of at least one foreign language, or if you stay in a country with several languages, you may be required to be able to speak at least two of the languages. A degree in any of the mentioned fields is normally a prerequisite. Thorough background checks are conducted and people with criminal records may find it hard to get in with the secret services. You have to be a citizen of the country where you apply to become a secret agent. A lot of traveling and relocation may form part of your job and you thus should be willing to relocate on short notice.


You are required to be working as an intelligence agent for a set period. The probation period in Canada, is for example, a minimum of five years. Training is done through a number of workshops, courses and on the job training methods. Apart from this, you may also be required to get a post graduate degree in the field you work in. Employees undergo training in many areas including management, IT, GIS, criminology, investigations etc.


Spies are usually selected  not elected. A spy is an agent employed by a state to obtain secret information, especially of a military nature, concerning its potential or actual enemies. A spy can also be a person employed by a company to obtain confidential information about its competitors.


Because of fictional characters in books and films, spies have been glamorized to the point where kids dream about becoming these heroic Hollywood characters when they grow up. Hate to burst your bubble kids, but the reality is that spies are paid very little and do a lot of dirty work that goes unrecognized.


Spies can get into trouble. Even official spies may find their existence denied by their government if caught.


Getting caught usually means torture and then death.



SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES USED BY SPIES


Gather intelligence; it's good to have satellite maps of the area. Take the weeks before your official "mission" to casually scout the area, learn the common routes, and get people used to seeing you. (This is where your good reason to be around comes in handy, and this will help you blend in further.)

Learn the habits of anyone you're spying upon. Don't be nervous or react if they see you. Don't let them notice that you are looking at them or following them.

It's good to have more than one spy to observe the area and watch your back.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Learn to think on your feet and be resourceful. Try to practice new, useful ways to use items you carry with you, or replace them with other ones that cover a broader range of useful functionality.

Wear dull, plain-colored clothing. Don't stand out!

Learn to sketch quickly; it will help draw certain areas you may need to revisit.

Develop codes that only you and your team can understand.

Don't expect to know what your work is going towards, spies are almost always pawns in a political game.

Learn to fight and flee stealthily in case you find yourself in a confrontation with the enemy.

Learn the language, lingo and industry spy jargon.



A GUIDE TO WRITING SUPER POWERS


Anything can be made into a super power.  From camouflaging, to climbing, to flying, to zapping yourself into a dust particle.  Even things that seem pathetic and lame can be amazing super abilities.  Did anyone see "Sky High"?

A good place to look for ideas is TV, Comic books, movies, and just the things that pop up into your imagination.

Balance is good.  Consider giving your character a strong ability but have a negative consequence to using it.  This not only stops ability abuse, but it also causes some good sources for drama and plot.

Head over to Wikipedia's entry for superpowers and see if there's one that you like.

Bounce ideas off of a friend and iron them out.

A super power is an extension of your character's personality and life.  They are tools, but the plot of your character does not need to revolve around them.

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