Microscope. A Cold War history. Lots of serious drama that left us craving even more Cold War Microscope.
The British agents on operation “Mockingbird” are set up in a flat in a ghetto of emigrants who got out of the Eastern bloc and came to the West. The agents have been hunkered there for weeks, listening to and recording the bugs they have planted in the embassy down the street.
The operatives would stick out like sore thumbs in this neighborhood but the immigrant landlord is working with them.
“How can you trust him?”
“Don’t be daft. He got out from behind the Curtain. He knows why we’re doing this better than any of you lot.”
Dewer has been nabbed off the street. He’s in the kind of back room no one wants to find themselves in. They want to know the plans for the ambassador’s visit and Dewer is in charge of security. Or was until he got sacked for complaining too vocally to his superiors.
The Question of the scene is whether Dewer tells them what they want to know. The irony is that we already know that they know: it takes place during a period when the East cracked Western encryption and have been glibly picking off their spy networks one by one. They know the plans, but they don’t want the West to know they’ve cracked the codes so they have to go through the motions of finding out the old-fashioned way. Old-fashioned in a way that is likely to be very unpleasant for Dewer.
Dewer is trying to act glib but he’s not fooling anyone. He’s sweating. He knows what he’s in for but he’s a handler, not a field agent. But it’s worse than that: the interrogator is his old partner George, a traitor who went over to the other side.
George *is* enjoying this. He leans in close, tapping Dewer hard on the thigh to make his point. George’s young new partner, William, isn’t comfortable with George’s sadistic relish and watches the whole thing with distaste. Dewer tries to play on that wedge. “I never should have hauled you out of that canal in Amsterdam when you took that bullet in the leg, George. At least your new partner gets to see what he has to look forward to.” It’s a feeble attempt, but he hopes it will buy him a little more time.
George makes more threats, but he’s lost some of the fun. His old partner isn’t squirming enough for him. He makes more threats and taps him in the thigh again to emphasize his point, but then there’s a hollow -poot- as George shoots him through the thigh with the silenced gun he’s been holding unseen.
Pat’s playing George and this catches us all by surprise. We take a moment to admire the grim before resuming.
Dewer is rolling on the ground, bleeding, gasping, and clutching his ruined leg. George is trying to look smug but it’s not as pleasurable as he hoped. Dewer’s moans slowly turn to sobbing laughs.
“That’s just like you to think that’s how you pay back a debt…”
We close the game with some closure. And cold-blooded vengeance. After exploring the start of the Cold War, we jump forward again to see a grey-haired, limping Dewer track George down to where he’s been put out to pasture after losing favor.
An equally older and more disillusioned William is still haunted by what he’s let happen in the service. He has been putting the pieces of Dewer’s movements together and drives up just in time to see Dewer let himself out of George’s bungalow.
He doesn’t even get out of the car. He already knows what he’d find inside.