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Cult Times Back to culttimes MainPage Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site
Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site

Feature: Our Top Agents

Who are the people protecting us?

Jack Bauer
<Organization>
Counter Terrorist Unit.
<Position>
Senior agent and world saviour (on occasional days). <Responsibilities>
At time of writing Bauer has been tasked to prevent the deadliest virus ever known to Man spreading into the general population. Itís the sort of thing that might stretch most people, but given Bauerís exceptional talents the whole job is expected to be done and dusted by ó ooh, letís say this time tomorrow
<Experience>
Bauerís counter-terrorist credentials are more than proven by his work in the field, which Ė long before he came to our attention Ė included being instrumental in the capture of several terrorist leaders and drug lords. Inevitably, of course, such work has its consequences, and since then heís spent much of his time dealing with the ruthless allies of such terrorists and drug lords and their attempts to destabilize the government of the United States. Add to that the particularly unfortunate experience of an ex-girlfriend constantly trying to double-cross and kill him, and Bauer must wonder whether itís worth getting up in the mornings. (Of course, thatís assuming he ever goes to sleep.)

Napoleon Solo
<Organization>
United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.). No relation to UNIT, UNESCO, Unilever, or Uncle Benís Rice products.
<Position>
Super-spy.
<Special Skills>
Sheer bravery, gumption and a great deal of charm, which invariably make Solo prone to indulge in romantic encounters. Undoubtedly he was helped in this regard by the fact that Kuryakin, though by some accounts equally as alluring, was reticent and work-obsessed to the extent that women were inclined to ignore him. Honestly, it was like he was invisible or something.
<Psychological Profile>
The moderately implausible nature of many of the aforementioned adventures has led some commentators to label Solo as a fantasist, an impression not helped by numerous sightings of him dictating his reports into cigarette packets and fountain pens.

Sapphire and Steel
<Responsibilities>
If you imagine the fabric of Space-Time as like a literal fabric, say an item of clothing worn by the metaphorical universe, then youíll see that the tension and movement of the universe as it goes through life has an inevitable chafing effect, and that in places the fabric will be worn through. Medium atomic weights are all about ensuring that these potential gaps are avoided or patched up, and you can think of Sapphire and Steel as leather patches on the universeís jacket, if it helps Ė one for each elbow.
<Experience>Recruitment to the posts of chemical elements was bound to be controversial, as there were always going to be people who would claim that there were no positions available due to the universeís fundamental physical laws. Itís fortunate then that slots were found for two very experienced candidates, recruited from the ranks of the Avengers and U.N.C.L.E. respectively.

John Steed
<Position>
Senior Agent.
<Responsibilities>
Protecting the nation from various threats, including man-eating plants, cybernauts, lone fanatics with weapons of mass destruction and others whose behaviour simply isnít British.
<Experience>Curiously enough, the whole thing started when the murder of a young doctorís wife sparked off a two-man vigilante mission to do something about crime, which just goes to show how such well-meaning intentions can spiral out of control. Next time someone asks you to join their Neighbourhood Watch scheme, just tell them you donít want to take the risk that it could all end with you jetting off in a space rocket with Tara King, only to return years later in an international spin-off series with Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt. Theyíll soon leave you alone.

by John Binns

Other tope agents featured: Jake Foley, Tom Quinn, Sydney Bristow, Jonathan Archer and Wesley Wyndam-Price
Cult Times Special #29

Image © Visual Imagination
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times Special #29
Defence of the Realm 2004
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