A trio of old, hoary campaigners sat in overstuffed, leather chairs positioned in a loose semi-circle in front of a roaring fire. Waiters in white coats silently served them Baron Otard cognac from the club’s prestigious wine and spirits cellar. They sipped the amber digestifs from vintage tulip glasses while musing over their past exploits, the light of the fire reflecting in their brass buttons and gold medals.
Old Lions in every way, the veterans were stocky with wild manes of white hair, battle scars, and worn and tattered ears from years of brawling. If they weren’t buying another round of drinks, younger probationers didn’t have the temerity to approach the men, who were gruff and quick with a growl
They were the only surviving members of the Agency of Gentlemen Intelligencers, a crack military unit that would be dispatched on covert missions. Missions so deep undercover that should they be discovered, their government would disavow any knowledge of their actions.
On this evening they were arguing over which of them had unmasked The Purple Iris, a notorious and mysterious Romanian spy who was a mistress of disguise. She worked espionage during The War, beguiling generals and commandants on all fronts. A little pillow talk, a little female persuasion, and she could cajole information from even the most hardened soldier.
They settled their disagreement with a flip of a coin, which they later used to tip the club’s concierge.