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The Cake Pull Has Been Compromised

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Ready.  Ready. 
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Ramirez used the Save-The-Date cards as a dry run for this project back in April, since we are experimenting with a promising new encoding process that incorporates the angles in the jacquard pattern on the envelope flaps into the encryption key.  There have been only a few snags so far, the most worrisome being that a critical flourish on a capital P in the fourth line of the announcement is incorrectly kerned.  This is unattractive and might lead to the accidental death of the French finance minister, but the typesetting office has assured us that the final product has already been updated.

The black bag team was more successful.  I was told that during the initial field test, they invented a game called "STD Exchange" where they swapped out our targets' Save-The-Dates in increasingly risky situations in order to entertain themselves.  They were sanctioned for this waste of manpower several months ago, but at least we know that the invitation that is presented onsite will be the most recent version.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11b7
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

So this is my life now. Typing up classified memos about the little pictures of birds on glassine RSVP envelopes. Sorry for misusing this channel, Patrick, but it seemed like a good way to get around the restriction on diary-keeping for the sadsacks stranded at Ayin clearance. If you betray me, your name will forever be attached to my complaints about Honiton lace, which should serve as a suitable inducement to silence.


Ready.  Ready. 
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Osterhagen will process any guest who claims not to have an invitation.  In the case of at least three agents as of this writing, having the document on their person at any moment before their arrival at the venue, including transit to the venue itself, would cause complications in other operations, so we have made allowances.  Anyone not on Osterhagen's list will be expected to provide secondary proof of identity that satisfies the requirements of Regulation 9006.  If they cannot provide such, they will be executed immediately;  if they can, their execution will occur eight minutes after the exchange of vows.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11c2
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

The only reason I signed up for that fucking Paysandú mission was that Li flat-out promised me that I'd finally reach Tzaddi clearance if I agreed to spend a year babysitting the Laotian detachment there. Because cycling blood for Rawlings' uncle in '81 (don't try to deny it, I know who the blood was fucking for) is one of those life-altering, body-wrecking favors that he conveniently forgets, even though his memory's sharp enough to still bring up that one time I used an extinct honorific from Dongye province instead of an extinct honorific from Baekje province during the Operation Wetmouth talks. As if his Korean's good enough to keep his dynastic dialects straight after several bottles of 160-proof dragon piss dug out from the bottom of a fucking tomb.

Anyway, after four years in Paysandú I got a raise that lags a lap or two behind cost of living, and no new clearance. Fucker knows how to hold a grudge. If the agent who had first recruited me at the closing ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics had told me that one day I'd be underlining sentences in flower catalogs, I would have said, "I thought you said I was going to be a spy."


 
Ready.  Ready. 
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I trust that your visual recognition of the inks to be used on the invitations is up to snuff.  If I see any of you reaching for a UV scanner at the venue, you'd better get used to relying on it for sensory information for the rest of your life since I'll have your eyes and hands removed.  And Prideaux, if you confuse Type-G Wet with Type-R2a Tacky again I will have you flayed and your skin made into parchment, upon which I will write a curse on your family to the hundredth generation in Type-G.  Or is that Type-R2a?

All of you, be sure to remember not only to direct guests according to the protocols that their ink type calls for, but also to greet them with the appropriate passphrase.  Test your vowel lengths in TF32 before bothering me.  I'm not your fucking vocal coach.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11c4
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

I've been trying to save up batches of C-web searches to do all at once, because no human body should be subjected to the post-Google decontamination chamber more than once a day, or at all. But this mission has other plans for me. Half an hour ago I get a crimson-flagged submemo from Yemelyanov telling me that he thinks the cake pull has been compromised and that I must immediately mobilize forces to "rearrange charms". Luckily Akram was passing through the office, picking up some gear before her trip to Jakarta, so I was able to ask her what the fuck a cake pull is. She tried her level best to explain it, but I might need to submit to the Google punishment anyway because nothing she said made any sense.

I'll give this to Mei Ling, though, she's definitely found the "traditions" that serve our needs best (why didn't we think of encoding messages for our Swabian allies in the rims of tiny plastic wishing wells?). But she's in so deep now that she's in serious danger of falling for her own con. And for Paladiev, but don't get me started.


  
Ready.  Ready. 
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Do not let the Tunisian delegate touch the bomboniere under any circumstances.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11c9
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

Why the fuck did Rawlings pick me for this mission? Does he think that I have some sort of natural flair for pricing cheesecake shooters and coral wine stoppers just because I'm gay? Did something in the 8QN2 placement test signal that I have a hidden talent for arranging driftwood on tables in all the places that normal people would put fucking flowers? It can't JUST be punishment for Wetmouth because, as much as I hate to admit it, this is a critical mission for obvious reasons, as well as less obvious ones that I can't tell you yet but which you'll hear all about at the next meeting. Not just the Bureau but the nation will suffer beyond your most harrowing nightmares if the mission fails (and I do not say this lightly, now that our nightmares include the residue from Operation Mica City). So clearly he thinks I'm capable of pulling it off. The fact that I hate it is just a bonus for him.


  
Ready.  Ready.
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Thanks to you incompetent sacks of shit, I now understand why Rawlings turned out the way he did.  Did you know he used to laugh?  I've seen it with my own eyes.  I'm already forgetting what it's like to take satisfaction in a job well done, but unlike some of you, I at least have experienced it in the past.

M.L.W. payload is in 282 hours and I've got three fires to put out, one of which is a literal fire.  Which of you was responsible for weaving the monofilament razor wire into the organza bunting?  I want someone's head on a plate.  I don't care if it's the dumbfuck who screwed the pooch on this or some scapegoat that the rest of you sell out, I'll eat whichever fucking head is served to me, because I got word from Akram's woman in Technics that the paper is fucking magenta.  Magenta.  God as my witness, if the Australian PM is assassinated by a magenta triangle at a cornflower-and-cream-themed wedding I will have every last one of you shot.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11d0
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

That motherfucker! "Mei Ling is probably picking out china patterns", he says, maintaining steady eye contact with me like some kind of dickweed. I picked out the goddamn china patterns. I picked them out because he made me do it. I'm the guy who earned the Black Iris medal for personally overseeing the switch between a president-elect and her body double during her own swearing-in ceremony, and now I'm researching Limoges porcelain. (La Seynie is least sensitive to contact poison, it turns out.)

As we all know, because Rawlings is much worse at keeping a secret than he thinks he is, Mei Ling isn't the pawn that the minutes of the meeting made her out to be. That said, Mei Ling is doing fuck-all for this mission right now and I'm starting to wish that we could somehow go through with the wedding without her. She seems to have come to believe that it really is Her Special Day. And Paladiev, I can't even think about that guy right now. Being a mole is the least of what's wrong with him.


  
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I have been informed that we have to be on top of a "social media strategy", whatever the fuck that means, so I'm assigning Sutter to Twitter, Kaczmarek to Facebook, and Pham to Instagram for no reason other than that your names almost rhyme with the thing.  Don't even start with your bellyaching, it's better logic than whatever got me on this detail.  I didn't know what the fuck a Chiavari chair was until a week ago and now I've got nine Pakistani engineers figuring out how to incorporate them into a new martial art.  Apropos of that, if your Urdu is rusty then you'd better get some WD-40 before I find out.  Too late for you, Ramirez.

Rawlings doesn't like having to depend on the civilian Internet and neither do I, but we have our best psychofactoral on the case and he's mapping out all the possible viral outbreak meme paths.  This is probably the weakest link in our strategy right now, so quadruple-check every goddamn detail and bring even your vaguest hunch about a possible hairline fracture directly to me.  Don't make me call the Homunculus.  DO NOT MAKE ME CALL THE HOMUNCULUS.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11d6
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

I can shoot out the digits of the emergency phone number printed on a fire extinguisher tag at 200m, leaving the hyphen and parentheses intact, but my destiny at this stage in my career is to argue with a civilian about cake-cutting fees. One day I hope she gets to meet Goldman, a legend from just before your time. Organic adamantium was her pet project, and I once saw her cut a black forest cake into flawless eighths with one of her own hairs, cherries and all. Goldman's "cake-cutting fee" was 16.2 million euros so I guess that Patty at Whimsical Layers in Falls Church is giving me a bargain at $4.50 per slice. But she's still getting on my nerves.

I never wanted to be the kind of spy who put on suits and talked to people. I don't want to see people at all unless they've got crosshairs superimposed on their foreheads.


 
Ready.  Ready. 
99 Bravo 4. 99 Bravo 4. 99 Bravo 4. 99 Bravo 4. 99 Bravo 4. 99 Bravo 4.
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T minus 81 hours and  you can expect that every communication you receive between now and the minute Mei Ling and that shitheel have been pronounced wife and man will be bad news.  Today's is this.  Abdullah has been relocated to La Paz to address an urgent issue with the supplier for the bridesmaids' mascara.  If she survives, she will be able to coast on the I Told You So for the rest of our natural lives, since she was agitating for falsies all the way back in May.  I'll let you have that gloat, Yasmeen.  Stay safe.

The rest of you are going to be covering her portfolio while she's indisposed.  Stevens is on jewelry, minus the rings themselves which I am overseeing personally.  Von Asch is on shoes.  All of you need to keep an eye on mani-pedi, though we have a good man on the inside at the studio so that might be the one place we're not pathetically underserviced.  It's going to be a long four days, ladies and gentlemen, and the nation needs you awake for all of them.

Final

PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11e1
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

fuck im turning into him
I keep reareading hte communioations and I can see I"m turning into RAswligns
ralwings
Rawlings fuck
FUCk
i used to be fun nie;r than this
I used to be able tosee things in peop;e besides their fuckups
inclugnifg me
Pactrick im so draunkl
pleasle tell me Im not him\
please tell m e I'm not RAwlgins
please tellm e I still have a soul
pealse tel lm e there can bwe somethnign in a wedding bsdies plitics oplitics POLITICS
there has tgo be somethingn to a marrage besidse politics and asasassinations
do youj love me PATRick


 
Ready.  Ready.
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Everyone is in position except Abdullah, who is still maintaining radio silence, and Ungar, who is en route from Port-au-Prince with the chip to be installed in the neck of the cello.  I'm coming around to this string quartet plan.  I still think managing this tech would have been easier with a DJ mixing board like I had originally proposed, but I now see analog is the safer path, or at least it will be if that fucking chopper ever arrives.

I have been assured that the problems with the paper cone rice tossers have been seen to, and Prideaux is working on the placemats.

If you could even imagine the headache I have this morning you will know that you do not want to fuck with me.  But maybe that doesn't matter now.  None of us will have heads left to ache in a few hours if we don't get this right.  Godspeed.

Final


PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.11f3
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

What was that all about? I guess I love you too, Patrick. But why are you telling me this now?

Thanks for saying all those nice things, but I don't know what you're worried about. We're going to be OK. The mission is going to succeed. And we're going to be OK.


 
Ready.  Ready.

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Good job, agents.  And welcome home, Yasmeen.

Final



PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
Log 221925.12a1
Via Agent 00000000177D088
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

Not that I'll ever be allowed to write a memoir, but if I did, the highlight would be the time I got to see Rawlings weeping openly as the happy couple exchanged vows. Up until a few hours ago I would have only used the phrase "happy couple" ironically, but I think they really are in love. And I know I rag on Mei Ling a lot but she is a hell of a fucking spy. Watching her casually run her perfectly-manicured fingernails through the pearls in her veil so the camera in each one moved to frame its intended target (620 in all) was more moving for me than any of the speeches. Which is not to denigrate the shade that her sister managed to throw on Paladiev in her subvocalizations. That woman needs a promotion stat, by the way. Even though she's 15 years younger than M.L. I think she has the potential to be even more of a powerhouse.

Anyway, we're done. Should we get a drink? I think we deserve it. We definitely deserve it. Let's go out for a drink. Just you and me.

LOG 221925 CLOSED