I'm pulling up a comment here to talk about.
Could you please tell why all the spy in SL are considered by each other to be "deadly" if they are so concerned about taking human life. Annique obviously considers it a huge deal, but the others? Your earlier comment about Doyle made it sound like everyone understood the Game and were gentlemen/gentlewomen intelligence gatherers. Thanks.
I was thinking about this sort of thing all morning.
Quaker Meeting does a lot of soul-searching on Memorial Day, as you'd imagine. I spent time considering violence and where my characters stand.
TSL presents four views of violence.
Annique -- youthful idealist -- is willing to risk her life to avoid killing an enemy. For her, each life and death is significant and personal. She's a 'small-picture' person. For her it's always this square on the chessboard.
You see this when she's trying to decide what to do with the Albion plans. She translates the impact of an invasion into 'this farm wife', 'this house burned', or 'this French soldier drowned on the beach'. It's never -- 'what will this do to the geopolitical position of France?'
She casts her decision in terms of philosophy, but it is, at heart, a bone-deep distaste for dealing death. I'd guess that dates from her father's hanging. It is no accident that, of all the parts to play among foreign armies, she chose to work in the medical tents.
Grey -- professional soldier -- has the nineteenth-century career soldier's view that killing has rules. Grey would, and did, kill without hesitation, qualm or remorse under the conventions that allow him to do so. He's an honorable man, and death fits within his code of honor. Following this code, his conscience doesn't trouble him.
Like any good officer, he's chary of using deadly tactics when lesser force achieves the goal. And there are 'rules' of spying, different from the rules of engagement in war. More of that below.
Adrian -- trained killer, damaged soul -- doesn't hate death, the way Annique does. He doesn't believe in the rules of armed combat, the way Grey does. At nineteen or twenty, he's still groping his way toward a useable morality. He takes cues from his fellow professionals as to what's 'right' and 'wrong' in these, for him, puzzling ethical situations.
Doyle. I'm in the middle of working on Doyle right now. He's humane and cynical. I can see that much. He's more detached than any of the others. We don't get beneath his surface in TSL.
Anyway -- work in progress on Doyle.
Now ... wandering back to the question.
The first inquiry is 'why are all the spies in TSL considered to be 'deadly?'
Well ... 'Dangerous' is probably a better rendering. The capacity for violence exists in all four major characters, but it remains largely latent.
Annique has been drilled for years in the arts of self-defense and escape. Doyle, Grey and Adrian are considerably more lethal than Anneka, and their skill at dealing death, much more finely honed. Those three have all killed in the line of duty.
But it is not this potential lethality that gives them value as spies. The traits they all share, what they admire in each other, what marks them as master spies, is not a knack for death.
Adrian sums it up when he says of Annique --
"We get reputations in the Game – you, me, Doyle, all of us. I recognize her work when I see it. Annique Villiers is playful and wise and stealthy. Slip in, slip out, and you never know she's been there. If she killed anybody at all, I never heard about it."
Doyle stands in front of the inn, watching Annique do nothing whatsoever but eat breakfast, playing a part. It impresses the hell out of him.
If I may venture a modern analogy ...?
A systems analyst might occasionally move a 40-pound desktop unit from one office to another. But that's not what he's hired for. It's not what his colleagues mean
when they say -- 'He's a hell of a programmer.'
If you managed a brilliant analyst with a bad back, or one in the fourth month of pregnancy, you'd barely notice that they couldn't move equipment. You'd just call in some jackass from the mailroom to do the heavy lifting.
In Annique's case ... her handlers wouldn't put her in a position where she needed to kill, any more than a camper would pick up his Nikon to pound in tent stakes.
Second half of the O.P. question is:
Your earlier comment about Doyle made it sound like everyone understood the Game and were gentlemen/gentlewomen intelligence gatherers.
Not 'gentlemen'. No.
But professionals who understand the 'rules'.
"In the Game, we do not kill one another in this bloodthirsty manner that would leave us all dead. "
Even today, in a nastier world, intelligence agencies don't target each other's professional personnel. It's pure practicality. Nobody wants to be targeted back.