Daughter of the Bear (Blog Four) by Dan Watt, author of Brackish, and Queen of Caelum, References at bottom of page.
Klaus Fuchs, a German theoretical physicist, worked on the American, Canadian, and British Manhattan Project. He sold top secret information to the Soviet Union. Karl Plagge was a German engineer, who issued work permits to non-essential Jews during the Holocaust in Lithuania to save as many lives as he could.
There are a number of agreements he and later Marina had to agree to after they were asked to join INTERPOL’s Intrepid department. One was that they had to agree to have two homing devices injected into their bodies while they were anesthetized. It didn’t take long for him to understand that you can never really leave the bureau.
Even retired he still works as a consultant though it’s through his own business as a private investigator. Originally he called his new business by his last name, Fuchs Investigating Agency, but too many English speaking customers found the pronunciation humorous or embarrassing to say. So he changed it to Plagge Investigating Agency after his mother’s maiden name.
He puts two more cell phones into his luggage bag. One he used when he first rented the room at the chalet. Its electrical workings have nothing to do with making calls. There’s a frequency detector that lets him know if the room is bugged and a hidden camera detector that detects any RF broadcasting or reflective light from a camera’s lens.
The other cellphone is for conversations but it also has an 8K camera with thermal imaging capability for night vision. The cellphone has a thin wire and clip to attach to his glasses. His glasses are Kestrel camera glasses especially adapted for INTERPOL agents. The most important aspect to the camera is its homing beacon. He knows if he uses the beacon he needs to stay away from it because of the potential radioactivity caused by the pulse.
He adds a telescoping cane and a leather baseball cap to his carry-on. Along with dark brown shoe polish and a small tube of toothpaste that has something else inside. His jacket is reversible and tweed inside. It won’t be the most comfortable drive he realizes as he pulls blue jeans over his think slacks. Even the glasses he wears are reversible. Black rims and handles on the outside and silver on the inside.
As the cab drives him to the airport he goes back to the first time Anna sketched Marina. Later that night, while Marina slept in the spare room Anna asked him in Arabic as they lay under the covers, “When did you start sketching her?”
He smiles at the memory. “Marina understands Arabic,” he said as he traced his finger along her shoulder and down her arm.
“Are you drawing me?” she asked in French.
“I am,” he replied in Spanish, his finger now running along her outer thigh.
“What if I told you I don’t want her around anymore?” This was said in German.
His finger halted. “Don’t ask,” he replied in German.
“You would pick her?” They only spoke in German now.
“Yes,” he replied.
“I can feel your heart pounding. I didn’t mean to cause you so much angst Erwin. I knew your answer already but why would she trust you to sketch her yet the two of you are not together?”
All the departments in INTERPOL that he had worked on before Intrepid were made up of singularly minded highly professional individuals. They cared about their mother country and even more about their World. They are social but closer to the introvert range. Telling others about their personal affairs wasn’t common. But he loved this woman and though he fought against it, trusted her.
“After my parents divorced,” he had told her, “my mother would take me to Russia with Babushka during the summer. Often my mother would go off with her friend Sofia while I stayed at a cottage in Kanzanavolok with my Babushka. I never did meet Sofia at the cottage.
“When I was four my mother brought me to the Yasny Launch Base at Dombarovsky Air Base. ‘This is where we will be living now’ she told me with a gleam in her eyes. At the base we met up with her friend Sofia who was seven or eight months pregnant. I saw this tall, beautiful woman with silky brunette hair tied back in a bun. She wore a pilot’s outfit with an epaulette that had four gold stars. ‘I am so glad you are here!’ Sofia said with clear baby blue eyes with a voice that would soften hard butter.”
“The same as eyes and voice Marina’s has?” Anna had asked.
“The same. But Marina’s hair is darker like her father. When Sofia leaned over and hugged me I was pressed against her belly. She took my hands and placed them on the top of her belly. ‘You will be her protector, da.’ To this day I don’t know if she was telling me or asking me. Perhaps she was giving me a prophecy.”
“You are Marina’s protector?”
“Yes.” He remembered not being able to talk for a moment as the realization struck him dumbfounded. “Our mothers would take us to an isolated hot spring in Dombarovsky where we soaked in the nude with our clothes always in easy reach. Sofia also taught, or perhaps cajoled me into changing Marina’s diapers with her. I stopped going to the hot spring when I was twelve.”
“Worried about your manhood showing?” Anna had teased.
“Ja,” he replied.
“And the sketching?”
“She bloomed early, around eleven. When she was fourteen, and I came home for the summer from college, she brought me to the same hot spring. She didn’t seem to care but I felt very self-conscious. I climbed out first and dried off quickly so I could get my clothes on. She climbed out and leisurely started drying off. She caught me staring and smiled mischievously.”
“And you took her?”
“Nein. As she put her clothes on she said, ‘I want you to draw me, every year so I can see how I change.’ I agreed. ‘In the nude’ she said. ‘Nein’ I replied. ‘Ja’ she said back.”
“And got her way?”
“And got her way.”
“What does she do with the drawings?”
“Hide them I suppose. With cameras attached to everything nowadays we could all be nude on the Internet.”
“Not me,” she had said.
“Nor me,” he replied lifting the sheet off their bodies and staring down.
“There are benefits to being unnoticed and ignored,” Anna said with a sad laugh.
“Ja,” he had replied.
“So Marina is yours but not yours.” She was making a statement.
“She is mine but not mine,” he had agreed.