Chapter 6. To the Lion’s Den

The Limousine drove me back to the hotel, and there I went to sleep, after barely taking off my clothes. I slept a lot that night. When I woke up in the morning it was already Ten O’clock, and I decided to order a small breakfast to my room. The flight back home was only due in the evening, so I had plenty of time; usually I would have used the opportunity to continue my tour of the metropolis, but the interview and the preparations for it exhausted me physically and mentally.

Therefore I decided to stay in my room and watch television. I was happy for the chance to see so many series at once, something that was not usually possible in the village. When I saw sitcoms I decided that I’ll keep trying to guess what the next punch‐line would be. All in all, I was successful 23.3 percent of the times. Not bad for a beginner.

Eventually I got tired of watching television, and I went down to the hotel’s lobby. While I sat there, I thought about the book I was going to write about everything that happened to me. I started planning the style in which I would write it, how I’ll negotiate with the publisher, how much money I should demand as an initial offer, and what circulation it would have. But then I realised something: despite the fact that I am one of the men who had the most enormous effect on worldwide politics in the last few years, if not in the last few decades, it wouldn’t be probable that my book would be very successful. First, I wouldn’t be able to describe many events in it, because the majority of the readers would not want me to describe the period in which I served in the Organisation. Moreover, I came to a realisation that there is another aspect of the affair which I did not cover yet.

Therefore I reached the conclusion that in order for the book to succeed, I must visit the Enemy’s country. I realised that I also have a patriotic motive to do this, because I could integrate the collection of important intelligence information about the Enemy, into the visit. So, I rose from my seat, went out of the hotel, ordered a cab and went to the Enemy’s embassy.

I entered the embassy, and the way embassies are I had to stand in line in order to talk with the clerk. After I waited in line for about half an hour, I managed to speak with her at last, and declared my desire to visit the Enemy’s country. She gave me a form and asked me to fill in my details. I carried the from to a table, took out a pen from the pocket of my shirt and started to fill the form. In my opinion, it was a very inefficient form, and a practically unnecessary one. Judge for yourself:

“Private Name:”, in this field I wrote: “The ex‐Member of the Organisation”.

“Family Name:”, in this field I wrote: “The family of the ex‐Member of the Organisation”.

“Address: Home of the family of the ex‐Member of the Organisation; The Village; The Country”.

“Sex [also species]: Human (Homo sapiens).” It was hard for me to believe that there is, at present, another species of organisms that can fill the form, but I let it slide.

“Citizenship: The Country.” I assumed that it existed for diplomatic purposes.

“Marital Status [= Familiar Status] : son, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, brother‐in‐law.” I assumed they were not interested in more distant relations.

“Purpose of the visit:”, I decided to be honest with them, so they won’t cause me trouble so I filled in “hostile espionage” in this field.

“Criminal record:”, since all my activity as a member of the Organisation had been performed on a national background I wrote: “None” in this field.

“Duration of stay:”, it was hard for me to estimate it so I wrote: “Undefined, unknown, inaccessible, and/or cannot be approximated or extrapolated.”

After I finished filling the form, I waited in line for another clerk. When my turn arrived, I gave her my form along with my passport and told her I wish to visit her country. The clerk looked at the form and then distorted her face from perplexity. “Sir, I’m afraid this form is not filled properly.”, she told me.

“Really?”, I answered, “Why not?”

“For instance under ‘Sex’ you were supposed to write if you’re a male or a female.”

“And I thought it meant a biological species. The name of this field mislead me. In my opinion, you should change it to ‘sexual status’ or ‘sexual tendency’.”

“Ah hah. I’m afraid some people will interpret those terms in a completely different way.”

“In that case, what do you think of ‘gender’?”

“A correct but infrequent term. I’ll forward your suggestion to the higher levels.”

“I thank you in advance, on my behalf and on the behalf of the future patrons of this embassy.”

“Yes, and, aside from that, in ‘Marital Status’ you were supposed to fill in if you’re single or married, with or without children, and so on.”

“Oh! If I had been married, I would have also written there that I’m a husband, son‐in‐law, brother‐in‐law and so forth, while if I had had children I would have also put ‘father’.”

“O.K., but it seems to me that there is a more serious problem. You are the citizen of the Country, which is in a state of war with the Enemy; you were a member of the Organisation and took a part in terrorist activity that was aimed against the Enemy, and if that’s not enough you write that the purpose of your visit is ‘hostile espionage’. I don’t think we can let you in our country that way.”

“In my opinion, you should have an interest to let me in and now. After all, I am the ex‐Member of the Organisation, a person with a central role and a long‐term effect on politics. If I stood in charge of your security institutions, I be very happy if I had been able to interview myself, and I can’t see a better chance to do that than if I visit your country, where you’ll have a legal privilege to do so. Aside from all that, I must note that my espionage methods are too sophisticated for me to have to take illegal espionage actions, such as obtaining secret documents, or listening to conferences behind closed doors.”

“Oh. Do you mean that you only intend to do things that a regular tourist is freely allowed to do?”


“Ah, hah.” The clerk said and thought for a moment. “Know what? I am going to pass on your request to the higher levels. In case you get an approval to enter the Enemy’s country, I’ll let you know about it by phone, as long you stay in this country.”

“I would very much like to visit your country and therefore I’m willing to wait here, at this city, even a few days.”

“All right. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye to you too and thanks for your help.”

I went back to the hotel, and extended my stay (out of my own packet this time) — it was hard to know how long they will consider if to let me in the Enemy’s country. I decided to continue my tour of the city, and returned to the hotel only in the evening. Afterwards, I was informed at the reception that I got a message from the Enemy’s embassy, which informed me that I was allowed to enter the Enemy’s country.

So, next day’s morning, I went to the Embassy and filled all the other necessary forms. After the visit to the Embassy, I managed to order one of the last tickets to a flight that left that very evening. I went after a few hours to the airport, where after some arrangements that were longer than usual (due to the special permit I was given), I boarded an aeroplane that flew directly to the Enemy’s country.