Nepal-China Border.
January 1976.

The four of them stepped out into the cold air. Whilst Agents Poe and Rai shivered a large fur coat was handed to the Man in the Shadows. The Covered Man stayed in his suit, as if he was not bothered by the temperature. "Nianzu," the Man in the Shadows started. "Fundamentally it is a concept for what I believe will better the world. The agencies of the world's major nations love the idea of a villain. From a disgruntled Soviet sat in his Red Square office, to an eccentric businessman in the western world, even to dictator like figures." He paused to catch his breath. "But the idea that these nations fail to promote is the idea that they themselves are the villains. That everything they do is good. Have you ever been lied to?" the Man in the Shadows turned to the SIS agents and asked.

"Maybe once or twice, but nothing major I imagine," Rupert answered. Rai remained silent.

"Something caught your tongue Mr. Rai?" the Man asked with a smirk. No answer. So the Man in the Shadows continued, walking across the courtyard towards another building. "Our mutual friend here understood that the SIS lie. That's why he left behind the alias of Bernard Ward, the DAEMON."

"Why couldn't he have just retired?" Poe asked slowly, his lips turning a pale blue.

The Man in the Shadows started to laugh: "Do you really believe that the SIS just would allow you to leave? To retire without proper reason? They'd hunt you down like a fox followed by gun dogs. They would make it seem as if you never existed. Her Majesty's secrets are just a little too valuable."

"That's bullshit!"

"Excuse me Mr. Poe? Why do you believe that's bullshit?" The Man scowled at Poe.

"They're good people, they wouldn't turn on one of their own. You're a fantasist!"

"Mr. Poe, need I remind you that there is an armed guard with a rifle pointed at your back? It would be wise to be quiet for the time being." The Man in the Shadows continued into the next building.

Inside was a dozen people of various ethnicities, all wearing the same pale grey vest and trousers combination. A rag made from world flags wrapped tightly around their eyes. "Initiates blinded by their patriotism," the Man smirked.

"Not very subtle with the imagery are we?" Rai murmured.

"Mr. Rai, the question of money arose earlier." The Man summoned over one of the initiates who handed him a sealed briefcase. The Man in the Shadows opened it before Rai, inside was a stacks of $100 dollar bills. "Fortune favours those who take risks."


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