Featured Challenge #27 – Ghosts – Text #1


by Garry Vakarian

Department of Public Security, Homeland Surveillance Bureau.

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Erased agents, a.ka Ghosts

A ghost is somebody or something that can move around and interact without being seen. However it can also be someone so insignificant to others that his/her actions go unnoticed. Both types are useful in our line of work, since they accomplish their task without public or media attention. In the bureau we call them Shadows rather than the official Erased Agent designation. The first kind uses it [the ability of being a ghost] to its advantage while the other is literally one, leaving nothing but an impression of déjà vu in people’s minds.

Ghosts don’t rely on stealth but more in misdirection. Keeping others attention directed elsewhere is their art, either by creating a subterfuge or making themselves so bland nobody would remember them.

We tend to think they would specialize in espionage, but their true function is intelligence gathering, especially the HUMINT kind. Want something? Get a thief. Act behind enemy lines? Use a spy. In those cases, a ghost would be easily seen like a Halloween ghost in a haunted house. They are transparent and mysterious but obvious and strange at the same time.

You most likely met one during your time at the embassy, or in the research labs. Think of one as an average employee, seen both everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Not a talkative fellow, but boring to listen and look at. All in all, a person not worth of your time.

However he/she is doing the opposite, sucking every bit of information like a sponge absorbing water in a sink. You wouldn’t trust him/her with classified material, but he/she could have access to it simply by listening to your conversion with your boss at the coffee machine, or by looking at your computer’s screen while sitting next to you at the cafeteria. You would even know his/her name, but forget it the minute he/she goes away.

If a ghost had a color, it would not be black or grey like a shadow, but rather beige. He/she would be called B.B. as in Boring Boris or Beige Betty.

Just keep in mind that Mikuni Shimokawa, famous for the Section3 Leaks and the Kabuto administration’s fall, was indeed an erased agent. The bureau is still trying to recover from the political fallout that followed, even though it was three years ago. From what we gathered, she was from the G-directorate [Political subversion and destabilization] of SMERSH.


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