Training was cold. The kind of cold where soup doesn't warm you. Sheets of broken glass become the blood frozen in your bones, cold. One standard issue plaid scarf and one pair of ridiculous red fluff earmuffs, these were the scraps of humanity offered. The rest black and white austerity.
He was trained in 15 weapons, strategic small team ops, hostage negotiation and procurement, and what is known as fork and knife school. Charming at the table and top in class in idle chatter pleasing to bourgeois sensibilities. His father was a jeweler, and by this we mean thief. Such ostentation was inborn.
Most of his missions are declassified though heavily redacted. A thousand pages of sharpie, a lousy time to stop sniffing markers. He did a four-month stint in corporate security in Abu Dabi, but his ice seeking ways left him melting. Rumors circulated about him and a certain artic royalty. She did disappear to the Beagle resort of vitality and natural living for a year, but this was not uncommon of women of her status.
Often he disappears on missions only to return covered in dust and smelling of Bond no. 9. He is entirely after, and sometimes his scarf is in need of mending.
Excellent service is hard to find, and so such dalliances should be forgiven. Plus his years of loyalty and devotion have proved worth any indiscretion.
Such is the life of Max, the little-stuffed penguin, who found himself unable to leave my cart all those years ago.