You are a spy who completes every mission with an old paperclip, some silly putty, and one of those shelf-grabber things. Retell your last sortie.
London – Expensive Hotel Suite Somewhere
I ran the paperclip tip under my nail, forcing gunk and dirt to fall carelessly to the ground as I waited for my subject to wake up. Sitting across from her in a comfortable chair, I eyed her over my upraised hands. The older woman’s diamond necklace moved slightly with each deep intake of breath. Her sedative would be wearing off at any point now, and I had to consider how I was going to handle my next move.
As the top extraction specialist in my organization, I’d been sent to this room for a very specific job. This woman had information that we needed, and I had limited time to get it from her. I eyed her designer dress and well primped hair, slightly messed from slumping over after I’d drugged her cup of tea. Looking past her carefully applied makeup, age spots emerged, wrinkles breaking the flow of porcelain illusion. I scoffed as I considered if the woman before me had ever had to work a day in her life, or if she’d clung to her husband’s overly expensive coattails and merely enjoyed the limelight.
The woman began to stir, her fingers twitched and her eyes fluttered open. Her brow furrowed in confusion as she noticed the restraints around her wrists and the arms of the chair. She reflexly tested her ankles, finding they were bound as well. Her eyes flickered to glare at me. I raised my eyebrows with mild admiration. I had expected a loud, panicked reaction from the old bird.
“Who are you?” she asked calmly.
I slipped the paperclip back into my pocket and straightened up in my chair, adjusting my sport coat. “Frond, Tom Frond.”
“Frond?” She spat the words as she pulled her arms against the restraints, “Is that some kind of joke?” Her eyes rolled then she set her death glare back onto me. “Untie me at once. Do you know who I am?”
My foxlike grin was answer enough.
“My husband is already looking for me, no doubt. It’s in your best interest to let me go at once. Perhaps you’ll have time to flee…” she returned her own sly grin.
I chuckled as I stood from my chair, shoving it backwards with my foot before stepping towards the woman. I stroked my chin in a thoughtful manner, eyeing her dauntless facial expression, “You have information I need. And you’re going to give it to me. Then I’m going to leave this hotel room without incident, and you’re going to forget this ever happened.”
Her head tilted back as she cackled maniacally. She dipped her chin back down and replied, “Oh really? And how do you think you’ll manage that magic act? Are you some sort of wizard?”
I didn’t like this woman. Her arrogance was pushing me to consider dark tactics in order to gain the information I sought. At least she was going to make my job easy. “Madam, I will implore you to cooperate one more time before I resort to other…means of persuasion. I urge you to reconsider your attitude.”
“Oh do your worst, Frond,” She narrowed her eyes and grinned, “I would just love to see you harm the rightful heir’s wife. Your organization would be ruined. I am impenetrable.”
I reached into my pocket and pulled out a yellow, plastic egg. Tossing it back and forth between my hands, I responded, “I have no plans to physically harm you, Madam. I am not that sort of monster.” I caught the egg in my right hand and paused, squeezing it gently in the center so that the object opened into two pieces. Using my free hand, I reached inside one half to pull out my best silly putty.
She watched me with an amused look, eyebrow raised, “So if you don’t plan to harm me, what are we doing here? Just let me go and be off with you. I’m sure we both have better things to do.”
Slipping the shell back into my pocket, I squeezed the putty in my hand, warming the gummy substance so that it would be more pliable. “Very well then, Madam. Just remember, you asked for it.” Gripping with my other hand, I molded my palms around the yielding object and pressed them together. A sound resembling a large man passing gas emitted from my grip.
Her nose wrinkled in disgust and she opened her mouth in a grimace. I pressed the putty again, making another loud, farting noise, grinning at her as I did so.
“Deplorable! You sir, are deplorable!” she looked away from me, her face reddening with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.
I moved into her sightline and forced another belch from the putty, “Tell me who else knows about the secret account!”
She whipped her head the opposite direction, trying to ignore my antics. I moved my hands next to her ear and pressed our more air, it was so forceful it moved her hair, “The Prime Minister? The Queen?”
Her body visibly shuddered at the noise, I could see sweat beading on her forehead. I grabbed her chin with one hand, forcing her to look at me. I squeezed the putty with the other, it warningly oozed between my fingers. “Who?”
I put my hands back together and let one go right in her face, causing her to close her eyes as the air hit her head on.
“FINE!” she shook her head back and forth, “The butler!”
Banks. That sly devil. I would have never suspected him. But of course, that made him the perfect subject. I had to be sure she was telling the truth.
I reached back into my pocket to retrieve the egg case and carefully repacked the putty, sliding it back out of sight once more. The woman let out a relieved sigh.
“So just the butler, eh?” I stepped away, my back to her as I reached towards my unsuspecting secret weapon I had left on the table. I paused to glance over my shoulder at her.
“Yes, Banks.” She huffed as she tried to blow a strand of hair out of her face. “Now kindly let me free. I’ve done as you asked. I’ve had quite enough humiliation for one day.”
I turned away from her to retrieve the device. “But how do I know you’re being honest with me? That was a forced confession, after all. Studies show that forced confessions often turn out to be false…” I turned around, my t-rex shelf grabber in hand. I rested the bar in my free hand as I pulled the trigger with the other, the t-rex opened and closed his tiny mouth.
Her eyes widened at the sight of me. There was true fear on her now white-as-a-sheet face, “B-but it’s the truth, truly! Banks is the one you want! I don’t know anything else!”
I pointed the shelf grabber towards her, tiny jaws opened as I moved close enough to her for contact, “What is in the account?”
She glanced from the t-rex head back to me, “I wouldn’t know! Bruce wouldn’t entrust that information to me! You should talk to Banks!”
I made the t-rex jaws open and close as I asked my next question, “Tell me the truth.” I nodded towards the t-rex head as I shrugged at her, “Don’t make me unleash this tiny fury on you.”
Her tongue tentatively licked her lips, then her lip curled into a snarl, “How dare you threaten me! Free me at once. I’m finished with your absurd antics!”
I sighed and reached forward with the shelf grabber. I started at her neck, using the t-rex mouth to bite lightly at her. She began to giggle and shake her head, “S-stop!”
I moved down her shoulder and then dipped towards her armpit, raising an eyebrow at her.
Going for the kill, I forced the tiny dinosaur to bite at the inside of her arm, knowing it was slightly underhanded to use such an obvious tickle node. She began to pull at her restraints and laugh uncontrollably. Tears formed in her eyes and she squeezed them shut as she laughed, the droplets slid down her cheeks to land on her neck next to her diamond necklace.
She snorted as she tried to speak, “I’m go-gonna peeeeeee!” Her body was convulsing erratically, I eased up with my shelf grabber and allowed her to gain what little composure she could.
Sobs replaced her laughing. I grinned triumphantly.
“The missing funds from the charity…” she sniffled as she bowed her head and continued to cry between words. “All the money is there, and we paid Banks to pose as an investor. He set it all up.” She sobbed heavily, her head bobbing back and forth.
I pulled the shelf-grabber back towards myself and stared at her. My gut said she was telling the truth, but even if this wasn’t the whole story, I had still gained more information than we had before. This was going to be great news for my organization. It was time for me to make my getaway.
As she blubbered in the chair, I deftly used my t-rex shelf grabber to untie one of her wrists without her noticing. Making my way to the balcony, I exited the sliding glass door and looked down at the pool six stories below. Pulling the paperclip and silly putty from my pocket, I molded the putty around the clip and dropped it. I watched as the yellow substance landed in the water, about two feet from the edge. I hoped my aim would be as true, I wasn’t eager to eat cement. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw the woman reaching to her ankles to gain freedom. Taking a deep breath, I jumped off the balcony.
My perfect swan dive form ensured a flawless landing in the pool. I grabbed my sinking putty as I swam towards the edge of the pool, and crawled out, ignoring the stares of the other guests. Hopping over a shrub fence, I dashed down the road and blended into the crowded downtown streets, eager to report the latest revelation to my bosses. As I walked I stowed my putty back in the rightful pocket, bent my paperclip back to the normal position, and ignored the shelf-grabber in my pants rubbing against my leg. I grinned, yet another successful mission for the extraction specialist and his ultimate tools of torture.