"A great American who was secretly investigated by the FBI as a Communist--the same FBI who now turns a blind eye to Russia's financial and degenerate blackmail against Donald Trump."
"Oh, my!" said Buffy Cordelia's father, Charles Wu, entering the room. "Perhaps we can pull up a documentary or something."
"Well, you don't want me to shield her from the truth, do you?"
"She's only four, Mrs. Higgety-Cheshire!"
"I will not raise a child in ignorance!"
"Why are you fighting?" asked Delia, her lips quivering.
"We're not fighting, sweetheart," said the triple agent, picking her up. "We just need to have a talk about what our pre-kindergarten educational goals are this year."
"We need to start stocking canned goods," retorted Mrs. H-C.
Several miles away on Capitol Hill, Texas Congressman Zeke "Slick" Hicks was holding the second meeting of the secret Russia Caucus, which was already in tumult.
"I thought this was about dividing up oil drilling rights in the Arctic," said a Representative from Alaska. "I'm not comfortable with Russia Today hacking into C-Span!"
"That was an unfortunately overexcited teenage intern," said Rep. Hicks. "He has been dealt with."
"Dealt with?" said a Representative from Louisiana. "You promised this would not get Putinesque!"
"That's not what I meant!" said Slick Hicks. "Here are your new Exxon pre-paid gasoline debit cards. They each have $3,000 on them."
"Gas is not that expensive right now," muttered the Representative from Ohio.
"Well, you can buy other things at those stations: milk, bread, magazines, cigarettes, lottery tickets--"
"Lottery tickets!" scoffed the Representative from Alaska. "I want some cold hard--" He abruptly stopped himself, then said in a whisper, "How do we know the Russians aren't taping us right now?"
"This is my house," exclaimed Slick Hicks, "not some sleazy Moscow hotel full of hookers!"
Then the others started wondering how he had afforded this house, anyway.
Nearby, the Dog Whisperer was in Lincoln Park, asking his colleague Becky Hartley to take all the dog leashes.
"Sebastian, what is going on?! I can hardly hold these three--they're all going crazy!"
Sebastian L'Arche did not answer her as he shoved additional leashes into her hands and told the dogs to calm down. Then he trotted over to the bushes where The Gopper Ghost was wagging his tail at his old friend. Anatoly needs to talk you, said TGG. The Whisperer squatted down to his level and then saw the dead Samoyed harboring the ghost of the former Russian diplomat, Anatoly Malenkov.
You need to move on!, whispered L'Arche, who had never come to grips with the idea of canine ghosts--something living dogs found even more disturbing than human ghosts.
Nyet! barked Anatoly.
And you're human! You have no right to even be in that Samoyed!
He's in doggy heaven, no problem! barked Anatoly. I'm still in danger! I know too much!
Danger!? L'Arche was gripping his own head with both heads, feeling he was losing his mind. Get out of this world! Go to the light!
No light! barked Anatoly. I am needed in this world, to warn everybody about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin!
Anatoly, whispered L'Arche, the world already knows, and nobody can stop it!
Up in Cleveland Park, Charles Wu was arriving for his meeting with two British agents. "Nobody can stop it, mate," said Nigel ("Prickly") Blackthorne before Wu had even sat down at the Comet Ping Pong table.
"Don't call me 'mate,'" said the Hong Kong-born occasional agent for the British, unzipping his coat with a frown.
"Look, we came all the way up here to this death-threat restaurant in Cleveland Park because it's convenient to you," retorted Prickly, "so piss off!"
"Calm down, the lot of you!" said the other British agent, Richard ("The Third") Mollington. "Have a slice, Charles."
"I need to support this place--it's my daughter's favorite," said Wu. "And if I were in any danger here, I would know." He nodded to the server who recognized Wu and was already going back to get the order Wu had phoned in.
"You would know, hmm?" asked Prickly, sarcastically.
"Yes," said Wu, "I have the best bodyguard in D.C." (He was referring to his supernaturally prescient employee, Angela de la Paz.)
"Well, she's not here, mate," said Prickly.
"I said not to call me--"
"Alright," said The Third. "Why did you invite us here? You ready to kiss and make up or not?"
"Is the Steele dossier accurate?" asked Wu.
"Do you really need to ask?" replied The Third. "We've got a bloody Prime Minister who thinks Brussels is a bigger threat than a man who had a Russian dissident poisoned in London!"
"I have an idea," said Wu, who was working closely with Chinese hackers but was also interested in trying a more old-fashioned approach--and this is what he needed the British for. "My surveillance of Trump International Hotel revealed a suite of Eastern European prostitutes."
"Everybody knows that," said Prickly.
"Not everybody knows that a Prince and Prowling staff attorney was also invited to, shall we say, mingle with guests there."
"What are you saying?" asked The Third.
"I'm saying she's a high-priced American call girl. I can't directly approach her because of my other dealings with the law firm, but you could show her the surveillance on her and then request her services in spying on hotel guests."
"You want us to blackmail an attorney for being a hooker?" asked Prickly.
"I want you to persuade her to gather intelligence," said Wu, "with your charm."
"The thing about hookers is that they take their shirts off," said Prickly. "How's she supposed to wear a wire?"
"I've already got wires and cameras in there," said Wu, "but these Russians and their cronies never get taped saying anything--they talk over music or television, or talk outside. I need you to train her how to get them to spill their secrets in a quiet moment, close to my devices. She's a complete newbie who's never even been out of the U.S.--there's not a single guest in that hotel that would ever recognize her from being overseas anywhere and suspect her of being a spy."
"You don't think they'd be on the lookout for FBI informants?" asked The Third.
"Maybe, but I think she's willing to go further than an undercover FBI agent would."
Prickly and The Third exchanged glances. "We'll have to get Paul to agree," said The Third.
"Of course," nodded Wu.
"And we can't pay her," said Prickly, "not for that."
"Of course not," Wu said with a smile. "I think she will do it just because you ask, given the circumstances. You might even tell her that some of the other women are undoubtedly there against their will and she could help free them. And it might even turn out she's a patriot, but, in any case, I will take care of her without your ever having to promise anything. After all, espionage is dangerous work, and should be compensated." He gave them a sharp look, which they rightly interpreted as his lingering anger that Delia's mother had been killed by the British in a botched spy operation.
"You're actually hopeful we can turn the tide here?" asked The Third.
"Well, we can certainly play our part," said Wu.
A disheveled man came running into the restaurant, and the two British agents jumped up ready to draw their concealed guns on another nutjob convinced there was a Clinton child pedophile ring in the non-existent basement. "He works at the movie theater," said Wu, motioning for them to sit down. "Probably picking up an order on his break."
Prickly and The Third sat back down, a little embarrassed. The threat assessments for Washington now qualified it as a "moderately dangerous" posting for British nationals. If they knew about Ardua of the Potomac, they would ask for a transfer.
COMING UP: Resistance!