The three provinces of the fictional country of Lalande, Geroux, Lapege and Marcheyne, have been warring silently with each other for decades, attempting to secure their position as the most powerful, but little progress was made by any party.
Until Gaspard Oui came along.
Gaspard Oui is perhaps the world's greatest spy (and most courageous Frenchman - never once has he surrendered); his work for the Geroux province has been indispensable. Gaspard is a master of his trade, seemingly infall
"Just an empty glass if you please, madame."
The waitress gave the man, wearing a nondescript beige longcoat, a dirty look, but conceded before long and turned instead to the person in the other seat. He, also, appeared to have just finished shooting metaphorical daggers at the man across the table from him, and was now switching gears, smiling politely at the blonde server.
"Sorry about him. I'll have a BLT, please. Extra lettuce. And the soup du jour, soda crackers on the side... And perhaps a milkshake, banana if you have it, strawberry if you don't. Err... a small order of poutine as well. My thanks to you."
For his trouble, he received a look akin to the one given to his friend a moment ago. It seemed the waitress was as fond of large and complicated orders as she was of simplistic and insipid ones (though truly, she gave this look to nearly all customers, and didn't harbour kind feelings toward any order).
Once the woman had finished throwing cantankerous looks around willy-nilly, like so many untied balloons, and vacated the area, number two turned to his apparently not altogether very hungry tablemate.
"Gaspard, I have absolutely horrid news for you!" The announcement came in the form of a panicked whisper, excreted from a pinched mouth, located on a plump body, as of then hunched halfway over the table.
"What is the problem, my friend?" Gaspard didn't sound like he particularly believed the other man, or at least thought that the other man must have been misinformed, for he exuded confidence that few problems would dare face, and professionalism that kept news of the terrible variety awake at night.
"It's about your wife. She's... she's..."
"With the Marcheyne?" Gaspard suggested. Upon seeing the reaction this garnered, he smiled and went on. "Watch those eyes, Roger, or they may run screaming from their sockets."
Roger struggled to get a hold of himself. "But... how did you...?"
He was interrupted in his amazement by the return of the waitress, empty glass in tow, along with Roger's soup. She gave Gaspard his glass first, and Roger was forced to wait for his own food while she gave Gaspard the staredown; the fact that the man had pulled out a handkerchief and was proceeding to wipe down the glass seemed to have opened new doors in her glaring career.
"It has been coated with poison," he offered by way of explanation. Amazingly, this did not seem to placate her; her eyes even staying on Gaspard while she handed Roger his food.
"She doesn't much like you," Roger noted when she'd gone again, previous confusion displaced for the time being. "Half expected her to walk away backwards, just so she could keep you in the beams."
"Well then, perhaps she was the one they hired to poison the glass in the first place."
"An assassin? A Lapege spy?"
"More likely she is simply a waitress happy to be offered more money. Server's wages are tout simplement mauvais."
"I'll be sure to tip her well, then," Roger stated with a nod before lapsing into thoughtful silence. Hadn't he been saying something? "Wait a tick! Gaspard, how the bleeding hell did you know about your wife?"
"I know all things, Roger. It is my duty as a spy to know that my wife is working for the Marcheyne, just as it is my duty to know that you are a double agent working for the Lapege, which is why you are not bothering to check your own food for traces of poison."
"I... but... how...?" Roger spluttered, and then he frowned; he was a world-class spy, he shouldn't be spluttering. He took a moment to get himself together. "Why are you telling me this?"
"Because," said Gaspard, taking a flask from inside his jacket and pouring it into a thoroughly wiped-down glass, "it is also my duty to know that you are in fact a triple agent, and are truly on the side of good. Which is fortunate, because I would hate to have to kill an old friend." He smiled with warmth that Roger's cooling soup could only reminisce fondly of.
"Well you've just done me in anyway, chum." Roger suddenly looked a mess, depressed. "The Lapege are monitoring this conversation; they'll have my head the moment I leave your sight."
"Do not be so blue, Roger. I am not so stupide as to put you in such danger." His eyes flicked downward, at Roger's briefcase, and his lips curled upward — a knowing smile.
Roger followed Gaspard's gaze, and brought his briefcase onto the table, sweeping his food out of the way. He flicked open the locks and was immediately accosted by a cloud of acrid smoke, through which he could only just make out the remains of his recording device and transmitter. Roger was well past amazement by this point; he'd simply forgotten until now how Gaspard could be. They had been apart for too long.
"Well," said Roger, closing the briefcase with haste and turning, at long last, to his food. "Now I know why you got us "Smoking" seats."