LONG STORY, SHORT?
Martin seems to be a man with high ideals, lofty goals, and judgmental tendencies. He is willing to trade secrets about any organization he’s worked for. But to understand him by these points is to miss a contradiction of his very soul. The game is real for him, the trading of intel is highly limited even when juicy, it is superficial at best. Certain lines will not be crossed. He actually enjoys seeing just how much he can promise to deliver after which relinquishing the bare minimum.
He abhors children, but enjoys their youthful presence if they are bright.
He is sophisticated and calculating, and cannot deal with the opposite sex for long periods of time.
He plays his favorite game well, sometimes too well. He has no companions and few acquaintances that trust him any longer. Those that knew his dogged desire to protect them, haven’t spoken with him for seven years...
INTRIGUED? SO BE IT...
Reflection is never a good practice, so be cautious, for the man looking back might have a few things to say...
Youngest of four, when you can’t win ’em, you make sure to pin stuff on ’em. Parents? What, do you want, birth records, or a letter of intent?
Ravenclaw... not sure how. Martin remembered working his tail off to keep his grades high. He also remembered tricking other students into ‘helping’ him. At least he wasn’t a Gryffindor.
Higher studies took him into the political sphere after a time. Just before that, he took surprising marks in game theory, economics, and international business. His magical specialties took a backseat, but there had always been enough to keep him sharp and provide him with a means of navigating tricky scenarios. After some lengthy study abroad, he at last set his sights on the Ministry back home. He trained for several positions, but something in his combined skills flagged him as Auror material.
And then came the lap-dog years. Not an Auror, no, somehow he’d landed himself a job as an Assistant. Specifically, Michael Gray’s assistant. He was the best pick, but why? Because he wasn’t female... Okay, so maybe there was more. Martin was also a bulldog that wanted to please. He could manage people, put out fires, and yet he still understood the primary goals of the business. Soon he realized that he would be doing the job of his boss and whatever tasks a simple Aurors Assistant accomplished while maintaining that Assistant’s salary, of course. Fun.
A SCHOLASTIC ASSIGNMENT?
Head of Gryffindor during the 1939 term... what? Oh yeah, he’d been assigned a role at the Hogwarts School to report on staff accountability after the precious school’s Headmistress was questioned. Let’s make more friends that way.
The powers that be didn’t think he was ready for Head of the Auror office, eh? But they didn’t mind him taking on all of Gray’s work while juggling the Assistant role mess AND taking on an assignment at the School... Makes sense. Martin was instead assigned his shiny new role as Acting Head of Office during the years that Gray was either gallivanting around or on the front lines. Still all the work, with the added benefit of being replaceable. Job security is so important!
LATE 1944 / EARLY 1945
Finally, the title of Head of Office was his. Excellent. So great. So. Great.
Hexenreich oversight begins after a coordinated attack to Hogwarts and the Ministry. What a marvelous time to be the actual boss of a crew of hot-heads. So. Great! And so Martin’s skills were really put to the test. Peacekeeping, intel gathering, a little back-scratching, and the slow sullying of his reputation. All he had to do was work with the Hexenreich, make it seem as though he was desperate to keep his relatively shiny new title, and somehow keep his officers from getting into trouble. Easy...
Working with the burgeoning Resistance. Anyone want to try their hand at delivering messages without getting stunned senseless? Oh sure, Martin will work it into his well-oiled workaholic practice where his specialties include sporting a not so [i]routine[/i] ‘routine.’ Hm, and it was slowly working... just bring on the coffee.
The dance. It went on too long. There were too many potential moles embedded and too many secrets kept close. Things were beginning to normalize after the Borders fell on the first of September 1948, and rebuilding commenced. Normalization based on destruction was a good foundation... While magic was painstakingly studied and then woven back into the demolished borders between the Muggle and Wizarding communities, Martin juggled the usual, managing the moods of his Aurors and keeping them organized during the Hexenreich pursuit. Oh, and he'd lost a great deal of respect, having worked seemingly close to the enemy, so his job was that much more interesting. Still, Martin couldn’t admit to his role, not to anyone that had not already known of his dealings. These individuals were few and far between, and they had their own stories to keep to themselves. Too many eyes and ears, and still too soon to feel safe. And just because he so enjoyed guilt-by-association, Martin’s previous boss had been arrested in August of 1949 for assault and conspiracy with the Hexenreich. Martin felt so unscathed...
Five years spent playing two sides of the coin, on your home turf, left a person in a heightened state of exhaustion and paranoia. The Wizarding world was coming to a balance, but some people were definitely left behind in the void of their accumulated actions. The wizarding barriers had been fully repaired by December of 1949, and many felt safe once again. Martin, though, was isolated in his not quite public enough support for the 'cause.' He tried to repair his relationships with his staff, his acquaintances, but the task was made most difficult without the truth. Information was held close, and he knew that he was one of those lost individuals to the void.
A new organization rose out of the rebuilding of society. The Social Reconstruction Committee. Martin was off to a poor start with them, of course, and his job became increasingly difficult. Their goal, complete inclusion and support for those dislodged during Hexenreich oppression. Unfortunately, Martin did not fit well with the company of the oppressed, even if he’d felt like he was one of them.
He didn’t know who to share his struggles with any longer. He wasn't going to bear his soul to some saint at the SRC. Worst of all, he didn’t know how to explain something that had bubbled to the surface of his mind... he’d found a wicked peace in all of that chaos, a sort of calling in the excitement.
Maybe peace was the wrong word... thrill, comfort... Yeah a comforting warmth was found in commiting to the task of playing two sides. The threat of losing his grip on either, making the feeling that much more embracing. The only downside came when the world was fixed back up again and he felt the effects of being shunned. Apparently Martin had actually become attached to certain people during the mess, and disappointing them was painful.
When everything was being fixed and shined up as bright as ever, Martin was slipping into a dark place. He'd lost an outlet, something that he’d realized he was good at. He had an objective taken from him. He was without a goal, and Martin had no one that he could voice these complicated feelings to.
Martin left the Ministry.
He didn't exactly mean to time it with anything that happened with the SRC. But Martin was sure some rumors bounced around. People loved rumors.
Initially, Martin would begin leveraging intelligence gathering opportunities that offered him the latitude of travel, while still being loosely connected with the Ministry. Eventually, however, these opportunities devolve into his cutting ties with Wizarding Britain.
Using his less than perfect political record, he worked to collect information on several countries - but it was America and Russia that took center stage. Muggle advancements had drawn Martin’s attention. The Wizarding worlds were included in his focus, when the need arose, but often it was to share insights regarding their Muggle neighbors. His Hexenreich connections were used to their fullest; might as well find some way to put a positive spin on his involvement, right? Various pieces of seemingly disconnected intel that he collected had concerned him. There was too much backstabbing and sabotage in all corners of the world. Governments were becoming greedy, information-hungry, offering gains, and promising asylum for betrayals of the smallest form. The muggle world was locked in some nihilistic race to create world-ending weaponry, and Martin settled upon one recurring truth from all of it.
No one ever learned.
Martin played his games, and usually without fault, but 1955 saw an end to his streak of luck. He spent time in Russian prisons for a year, funny enough because of his dealings with the Hexenreich. Some bitter Hexenreich member had spotted him during a party, and recognized him from the Ministry. The man flip-flopped between calling Martin out as a liar, and blaming him for specific minor Hexen successes - for their control of the Ministry. And then the man accused him of selling secrets to the British Wizarding government... Desperation, Martin supposed. For a time, the punishment was minimal - the crime listed as a minor infraction. What the foolish Hexenreich did not account for was that Martin had already divulged his connections to the Hexenreich to nearly any group that would see it as a boon. A tasty version of it anyway - just to gain information from the organizations he was in talks with. One doesn’t hide that kind of information from organizations if you wished to exploit them. In fact, if done correctly, he would never be pinned for anything he shared between groups. Still, the stink the man kicked up was public enough that Martin was expected to pay a public penance. It could have been much, much worse, so he was happy to play the role he’d been dealt. A couple months spent in some low security prison, tops.
And then a new muggle Premier came on board in 1955. There was a shift in focus and a change with inclusion requirements between the Muggle Soviets and the Wizarding powers. Information became muddy and current projects were set aside, and Martin was misplaced...
At least there had been a punishment applied to that ray-of-sunshine-Hexenreich informant before government relations stagnated. From what Martin had heard, it wasn’t nearly as pleasant as his own first few months in prison.
So, Russia, 1956, the muggle government gains a new leader... in name... while another holds the true influence. Russia’s wizarding government seemed to be working with the idea of maintaining adequate ties to the muggle world... possibly because muggles were playing with science that could end civilization for everyone. This attempt was made difficult by the changing leadership, and Martin couldn’t imagine the nightmare involved in potentially reading-in two separate individuals.
Hi, magic exists, yup it's everywhere, we are everywhere. Please stop trying to destroy the world? We like it the way it is.
Actually, he could.
Martin was still imprisoned, the change of leadership equating to a few more hardships experienced. Apparently, his little deals with the government organizations on both sides of reality meant less and less as time went on.
Those little comforts Martin had, in the beginning, had slowly faded. He’d been transferred once or twice between establishments, and then communications ceased. He was lost in the system, it seemed. So, he did the only thing he could do... nope, Martin didn’t use magic, why would he? Most of the guards definitely had a better handle on combat magic than him. He preferred keeping his limbs.
No, he wheeled and dealed enough to encourage his release, from literally anyone who would give him the time of day. At some point, he was reasonably confident that he promised to marry a guard's homely sister, and he had promised to convince some friend of a friend's wife to leave her husband and care for a guard's children. Apparently, when you open up the helpline, everyone asks for favors.
Some debts still remain in the air to this day. Besides the odd promise thrown around, Martin had plenty of nuggets to offer to greedy hands. So much was in flux during the fifties that Martin hardly had to do his best sleuthing to pay off the easy debts. But he was getting tired. The inconveniences of life on the move were becoming cumbersome. For a time at least, he needed a place to come home to. He needed to catch his breath.
Home again. With as little time spent alone in front of a mirror as possible, for what he saw wasn’t always pleasing, and what he heard rambling around in his head was annoying. The next few months would find him reacquainting with old friends and establishing new connections with long forgotten people. He had things to make up for, but he would have to admit to them before fixing anything...
..... So stare in the mirror, This part is key, Tell yourself truly, What do you see? .....