From the tips of his toes to the tips of mustache, all of Allister seemed to whisper, "Shh." And this was, of course, before the second of the great wars. But, after the first of the great wars. One could almost feel the tension rising. And, if one could not feel it, well, all one had to do was open a newspaper to read about it. Anarchists and communists. Fascists and socialists. All seemed to be decked head to toe in uniforms of the deepest darkest black. And all seemed to be hurling home-made bombs.
And it was somehow and somewhere (though, the dates, times, location, and transcripts of said somehow and somewhere were in some way lost forever) in all this mess of hurled bombs and assumed hurled bombs that Allister caught the eye of a bureau of secrets-as he would refer to them in the most hushed of whispers.
The beginning was simple and brief. The eye blinked the signal to dark hunched shoulders that followed Allister as he, one evening, stepped into the night. The shoulders' sentences were precise. About a selection, about a mission, about notes left for him in classified ads and plates of ravioli.
And so, Allister found himself guided by coded job offers and doughy pasta filled with ricotta cheese that tasted of clarification.
His missions were simple in a sense and complicated in another (as much in espionage tends to be). He would read the classifieds to see the name and eat the ravioli to taste the address. Then, it was only a matter of slipping unnoticed into the home of an assumed threat-be they assumedly anarchist, assumedly communist, assumedly fascist, or assumedly socialist. There was no poisoning. No strangling. No smuggling of documents. Allister's mission was one of simple confusion.
He would, say in the case of an assumed fascist, search through their literature for Mein Kampf. He would then (assuming that they possessed Mein Kampf) simply and carefully, with specialized tools-pens, scissors, paints, pastes, and erasers-perform a clinical surgery in titles.
For Mein Kampf, he would replace each and every Mein with a Kampf so that the title would read Kampf Kampf. This was to confuse, to arouse suspicion (and perhaps a most subtle fear), to prevent the sharing of clear propaganda, and to prevent the assumed fascist from reading his fascist book in peace.*
And so it was that an assumed communist of this era could come to read The Manifesto Manifesto and The Transitional Transitional. This is also how an assumed socialist of this era could come to read The Soul of Man Under the Soul of Man and The Accumulation of Accumulation and an assumed anarchist of this era could come to read The Its Own and Its Own and God and the God.
It is not known how many assumed fascists, communists, socialists, and anarchists were dissuaded from assumedly being so and it can certainly be assumed in two directions-that they all were changed or that it affected no one. There are many other directions one can assume towards, of course. But, it is of a special importance to know the poles on either side.
One should be careful not to fault Allister too much. Perhaps there was a taste of right in what he did-or the idea of doing some right. But, eventually, Allister would see the wrong in his slice of espionage. Allister eventually saw very much, in fact. But, one can not-as the paraphrasing of the old maxim goes-become enlightened over night. And one can assume, for the most part even, that one can never truly be enlightened. One can only get enlighteneder.
*It should be duly noted that the choice to eradicate Mein from the title was to take away the idea of sole possession of Kampf. This turned the title from My Battle to Battle Battle, the likes of which certainly still carried some negative energy.