When you’re the daughter of two secret agents, you learn pretty early that spies walk a moral tightrope. We do bad things for good reasons, and for the most part we can live with that.
I’ve always heard that the hardest thing for a spy isn’t knowing things—it’s acting like you don’t know things you’re not supposed to know.
“Counter surveillance isn’t something you learn from a book—it’s not about theory,” Solomon continued. “It’s about the prickly feeling on the back of your neck, the little voice in your head that tells you when something isn’t quite right.”
Surveillance might help you do your job, but counter surveillance keeps you alive.
PROS AND CONS TO BEING A SPY WITH A BROKEN HEART:
PRO: Whenever you feel like punching someone, you can. As hard as you want. For credit.
CON: The person you punch may very well punch you back. Harder. (Especially if that person is Bex.)
PRO: High stone walls and state-of-the-art security greatly reduce the chance of seeing ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend in tremendously awkward social settings.
CON: Advanced training means that your photographic memory is now so reliable that you’ll never be able to forget the sight of the happy couple together.
PRO: You’re perfectly capable of putting all your old love letters and ticket stubs into a burn bag and hiding it really, really well.
CON: Realizing that, despite everything, you can’t set the bag on fire. Not yet.
PRO: Knowing that, no matter what the operation, you can always count on your friends.
“The most important thing any of you will ever do is make people trust you. You will become someone you aren’t in order to befriend someone you hate.”
Real life in the clandestine services isn’t cat and mouse—it’s cat and cat.
“Lies,” Mr. Solomon said the next morning as he walked into the classroom. “We tell them to our friends,” he said. “We tell them to our enemies. And eventually…we tell them to ourselves.”
But even the Gallagher Academy hadn’t figured out a way to help us protect our hearts.
Sometimes not liking someone is easier.
Once is a stranger; twice is a coincidence; three times is a tail.
Give me a code and I can crack it; tell me a joke in Swahili and I’ll know when to laugh. I know a million different facts in more than a dozen different languages…Just don’t ask me when or where my father died.
Trust. We stake our lives on it, but it’s a subject that not even the Gallagher Academy can teach. When do you let your guard down? Who do you let in? And I knew at that moment, as I sat beside my mother, bathing in the warm spring light, that those were the questions a good spy never stops asking.
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