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Fanfic / Where on Earth, Spies

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Yes, Waldo, her fingernails do count as weapons.note 

"She had such a tiny frame it was hard to believe she could kill a man seven ways without the use of a weapon. Eight if her fingernails didn't count as weapons."

Waldo, a Tall, Dark, and Handsome Frenchman spy, works for the World Spy Organization, combatting the dastardly designs of an evil entity called VILE. Carmen, the sultry Russian adopted daughter of the original Carmen Sandiego, is the VILE agent Waldo has sworn to stop. She traverses the world in pursuit of artifacts to steal and has been eluding Waldo for a while by the time the story begins, their first meeting face-to-face.

Where on Earth, Spies is a Fan Fic written in Web Serial Novel format by Pentharis, published on DeviantArt. It's essentially a Mega Crossover Alternate Universe Spy Versus Spy Fic centered around the sexually charged antics of Carmen and Waldo. Their respective spy teams are comprised of a number of Darker and Edgier iconic advertizing mascots including Erin Esurance, her partner Erik, the GEICO Gecko (Martin), Progressive's Flo, the Taco Bell Dog (Carlos), and Allstate's Mayhem. All of them are interpreted by the author from their perspectives as spies, but they're kept in some line with their source material to fun effect. Maybe that Waldo wears a fedora.


It can be read starting here, continuing backwards through that gallery folder.note 

This work provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Carmen pats Mayhem's head to remind him of his place as her servant.
    • Flo also pets Mayhem's head.
    • Martin pets Erin's head in Chapter 30.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Waldo tries this when Carmen calls him to China. It doesn't work.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: How Carlos leaves the VILE base. He's a small dog, so it works.
  • The Alcoholic: Waldo can be a heavy drinker, though he doesn't let it interfere with work. His failures to capture Carmen exacerbated the problem, as did his attempts to quit smoking.
  • All Just a Dream: A light example. In Chapter 21, Waldo wakes up shirtless in bed and realizes he's with Carmen. It's not presented as a dream, so it's not just a Dream Sequence.
  • Advertisement:
  • And This Is for...: Carmen stabs Waldo for strip searching her, but not fatally.
  • Animorphism: The Doctor collected spies and swapped their minds with animals
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Things amiss in Erin's life include Carmen, a criminal on the loose; her mentor being confined to a wheelchair; and waiting for her hair to grow out so she'll know what shade to die her hair next time.
    • Carmen listing Waldo's positive attributes: "Determination, inner strength, intelligence, patience, cleverness, and maybe I just like your accent."
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    Waldo: A bruise is temporary, but a scar is forever. You know what else is temporary?
    Carmen: Pregnancy?
    Waldo: Quoi?!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Every chapter begins with something said in either French or Russian. Various exclamations are given in these languages throughout the text. The author uses Google for these and has asked for an interpreter. She found one for her Russian characters and the person receives a credit in every postscript.
  • Blackmail: In jest, Carmen claims she has a cameraman observing Waldo and her in China that will transfer pictures of them flirting in a park to ACME, because of their Dating Catwoman relationship, to secure the WSO's help in healing Alik's legs
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In the literal sense, not as a symbol of womanhood. Zack is the blonde, Waldo the brunette, and Ivy is the redhead.
  • Deconstruction:
    "Unlike spy movies that would have one believe that everything exciting is last-resort and complex, the truth of the matter was that spying was built on redundancies, boredom, and 'close enough for government work' mentality. Well, depending on the organization, and how serious the matter was."
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Carmen incapacitates and steals a security guard's uniform while in the spy boat.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Waldo when he fails to capture Carmen. Also to keep himself from smoking. Yes, he knows that's bad.
  • Fiery Redhead: Inverted with Ivy, who's calm and in control.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Martin tells people his real first name, rather than his code name.
    • Carlos takes pride in his first spy name basis with Flo. All the VILE agents call her by "Flo" as well.
  • Flat "What":
    Carmen: Birds of a feather, my sweet. Birds of a feather.
    Waldo: I hate birds.
    Carmen: So do I, I prefer cats. You?
    Waldo: Dogs.
    Carmen: Pity. We could have gotten a pet. I guess we'll have to have children instead.
    Waldo: ...What.
  • Forced Transformation: Spies were captured and turned into animals by the Doctor. Mayhem, Martin, and Carlos were among those affected.
  • Forceful Kiss: Carmen to Waldo. Then Waldo to Carmen, to put her in her place.
  • Foreshadowing: Invoked by the narrator, saying Mayhem and Mischief's names were "almost prophetic" before they encountered Waldo.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: Waldo indulges in a glass of vodka early on as a toast to Carmen's ability. He speculates that she enjoys French wines in the same way and because she's classy.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • "CARMEN" is actually Carmen's job title: "Careful Acquiring, Ranged Monitor, Espionage, Negation."
    • VILE stands for Vitally Improved Liberation Economics. "They mostly just wanted the acronym to sound evil."
    • Waldo suspects that the ATK was named that as a shortening of "attack" rather than a meaningful acronym.
  • Get It Over With: Martin's attitude towards dying at Carmen's hands. He's dying anyway.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Waldo's glasses take pictures.
  • Going Native: Waldo, Ivy, and Zach lived among the locals in Russia and became part of the community.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Martin compares his treatment by Carmen (Bad) and Alik (Good) to this. He later asks his WSO friends to not be too hard on Alik because he was kind to him.
  • Good News, Bad News: The narrator on the WSO's boat base. Good News: Avoiding detection is easy. Bad News: Spies get seasick.
  • Handicapped Badass: Alik is a certified spy for VILE, an organization whose training does not accommodate any handicaps. He passed their tests in his wheelchair.
  • Hand Wave: Martin is in a gecko body and his long life for a gecko doesn't necessarily make sense, but he's just very long lived.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: In the opening chapters, Alik's reaction to Carmen's flirting is like this. As it progresses, this is tweaked to there existing an implicit trust between them, but he still thinks she'll never notice him as more than a coworker or sidekick.
  • Ill-Timed Sneeze: Martin sneezes while in Carmen's headquarters. He's caught because of it.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Waldo will turn to cigarettes when things go wrong, but he's trying to quit. He also goes on drinking binges when he fails to catch Carmen.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Alik, as a Non-Action Guy of sorts, doesn't think he's good enough for Carmen and just wants her to be happy, even if it means Waldo gets her.
  • Insecurity Camera: Mayhem gives Carmen a code that will disable the WSO's camera system, putting them on a loop.
    • Also subverted because VILE already knew about and had used the code, before she ever became a spy, so it had already been fixed.
  • Interspecies Romance: They were together before he was turned into a chihuahua and Flo's sparing Carlos's life hints at this.
  • In Love with the Mark: Waldo, a completely professional spy, is accused of this by his coworkers. He wonders about it himself.
  • I Owe You My Life: Mayhem is indebted to Carmen this way, so he pulls a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Alik leaves his microphone running and Carmen hears him sing.
  • It's All My Fault: Waldo blames himself for Martin's injuries.
  • It's Personal: Between Erin and Carmen there exists bad blood. First for Holland, then for Martin. Also some with Waldo's fixation on catching Carmen, because of so many failures.
  • It Amused Me: Carmen flirts with Alik far more than he's comfortable with because she liked to see him squirm a bit.
    • Alik wears a suit to amuse himself and Carmen.
    • Alik hacks into social networking sites when he's feeling puckish.
    • Carmen muses hypothetically about leaving a card on Waldo's grave that says "At least now you're not cremating your lungs" if he died of lung cancer before catching her. This was her reason.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Alik for Carmen.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Averted. All the characters speak their native tongues, but the author doesn't type their accents into their English.
  • Land Downunder: Subverted and played straight with Waldo's perception. He doesn't like going there because of the ATK, but he also hates snakes and once saw a spider kill a bird.
  • Legacy Character: Carmen is actually Carmen Sandiego II. The original was her mother.
  • Lemony Narrator: Pentharis makes parenthetical asides at times, more in some parts than others.
  • Like a Son to Me: Like A Daughter To Me: Martin's relationship with Erin.
  • Like Brotherand Sister: How Mayhem and Alik interpret Carmen's feelings towards the latter. That doesn't mean he doesn't secretly pine for a Relationship Upgrade.
  • MacGyvering: How Carmen protected Martin's file from the water.
  • Manchild: Sometimes Alik thinks Carmen sees him as one of these.
  • Master of Disguise: Carlos, before he became a chihuahua. He doesn't mind much, because people tend to underestimate chihuahuas.
  • Mind Screw: Zack is given one by the engineer. In Chapter 37, the engineer relates that the time travel mission took place in ten seconds for him, as he was not a field agent. He wondered if the Chronoskimmer crew was alive or dead for those ten seconds, from his perspective.
  • Non-Action Guy: Erik E., more before he became a spy, but he's an information gatherer so he's less active than other agents. Also, after being maimed, Martin expects all he'll be good for is a desk job of some kind.
    • Also Alik, but he has techie skills.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Zack and Ivy, as established in Chapter 33. Let the Shipping commence.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    Carmen: "You and I are a lot alike, Wally."
  • Oh, Crap!: Martin, after his Ill-Timed Sneeze.
  • Omniglot: Justified as it being necessary for international spies, but also averted because they do not have native fluency and references to imperfect translating ability are made. For example, Carmen tries to translate Martin's file from German, but she can only get the gist of the document. Waldo knows several languages: French, German, Chinese, English, and Russian. He pales in comparison to Zack, who knows twenty.
  • Only One You Allowed Right Now: Alik doesn't want Carmen to screw up the past and make him have to talk to two of her through the timestream.
  • Original Character: Alik, Mischief, and the Doctor.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Waldo knocks Carmen out this way.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Erik notices something's wrong with Waldo, but he won't press him about it for two reasons: first, because he's a man and men don't ask other men about their feelings and, second, because Waldo's a man and he likely won't talk about it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Waldo to Carlos.
    Waldo: Merry-friggin'-Christmas to you too, rat-ears.
  • Protectorate: Several, at different times. Notably, Waldo considers Ivy and Zack something of a Protectorate, but also his entire team.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Carmen the First to Waldo in Chapter 35.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Martin is in a gecko body. He gives out his real first name as an alias because who could track down his family based upon "Martin" and a UK accent?
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zack is passionate about his desire to be a spy and is outgoing while Ivy is quiet and focused. Played with a bit as Zack is better at standard medical care while Ivy considers herself a "Macguyver Medic."
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Waldo doesn't like Australia's snakes. He still has the scar to show why.
  • Retcon: Originally, Erik was named "David Doe" because Pentharis couldn't find out his name was. Soon after he debuted, a fan found out for her and she corrected it retroactively.
  • Retirony: Martin only agreed to shadow Carmen because it was one last mission and Erin asked him to.
  • Riddle Me This: How Carmen gets Waldo to return to France in the first chapter.
  • Running Gag: Referring to Mayhem as a dog in varied contexts.
    • "My name is not Wally."
  • Security Cling: Erik and Erin hold each other when they find out Martin is in grave peril and later spend the night in each others' arms to support each other while he is recovering.
    • Ivy holds Zack's arm when they travel to Russia, where she's intimidated by not knowing the native tongue.
  • Seen It All: Mayhem, then a dog, could talk, but Carmen didn't think that was so weird considering everything else going on.
    • Her mother demonstrated this as well.
  • Stable Time Loop: During Carmen's time traveling, she set a fire in the Doctor's lab, killing many agents trapped in animal bodies. Carlos, turned into an animal and present there, references this event in the present.
    • The engineer constructing the time machine brings it to Waldo while his younger self is still working on it.
    • In Chapter 36, Waldo suggests to Carmen I that she adopt.
  • Stealth Pun: Just before she boards the Chronoskimmer, Carmen tells Alik that she'll see him "in time."
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Mayhem's joining VILE after Carmen saved his life. She plans to indoctrinate him so he'll want to work for them.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V..: Half the story is from VILE's perspective and they aren't made out to look like bad people. Rather, they aren't so different from the WSO and merely have different aims.
  • Tagalong Kids: The ACME kids to Waldo, but they pull their own weight.
  • Take That!: "It sounded horrifying, 'teaching' someone to like something. But honestly, how what that any different from public school in the States?"
  • Tempting Fate:
    They had no building plans, no plans of action, no idea how to find out where she was, and indeed: No idea if Carmen was still there. Surely there was no possible way this could go horrendously wrong and he was going to have to explain to two children's families why they wouldn't be coming home from work that day.
  • Terrible Trio: Carmen with Alik and Mayhem. Flo doesn't count because she's just another member of VILE, not part of their team.
  • Theme Naming: Mayhem and Mischief.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Mayhem seems to have picked up a few traits from his time as a dog.
  • This Is No Time to Panic: When Erin starts panicking, Waldo buys her a drink so she'll calm down.
  • Time and Relative Dimensions in Space: Carmen considers for a moment that the chronoskimmer might not teleport over space, but it does indeed.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Carmen time travels to the Doctor's lab where he's turning spies into animals. There was intended to be a somewhat lengthy gap between that point and the present, but Geckos don't live long enough for that. The author noticed and she decided to play through without more exposition than that Martin thinks he's near death because of his gecko body's age.
    • Neither is she certain about how Carmen Sandiego I's Heel–Face Turn fits on the timeline because the given date of March 1973 may not be far enough in the past.
      • Word of God places the present of the story at about 2030, to somewhat address this.
  • Token Minority: While the story is international, the main characters originate from Caucasian countries. One of the WSO higher-ups, Dennis, is a black man, however. He's Allstate's primary spokesman.
  • Torture Always Works: Subverted when Martin did not give Carmen information because of her torture, but she didn't ask for spying information, only what Waldo thought of her.
    • Also Averted, as The Doctor's torture of Mayhem was unsuccessful.
  • To the Pain: "If you ever call me 'Moi krolik' again I will harvest your organs while you sleep and sell them on the black market." - Alik to Mayhem.
  • Trash Talk: Between spies, naturally. Lots of snark.
  • Tracking Device: First Carmen plants one on Waldo, then Waldo plants one on her car later in the series. Every WSO agent has one either on their person or under their skin. It stops broadcasting when they die.
    • Alik put one in the fur of Mayhem's coat.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: An Invoked Trope. Upon seeing the ACME base, Waldo can only compare it to Modern Art, which he appreciates in general. However, thinks it looks rather weird and can't quite understand why the secret base is so blatantly garish.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Much. Mostly between Waldo and Carmen, but also present in some scenes from Alik's perspective. Also towards Carmen.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: VILE conducts its activities to distract governments and give them something to rally against. They give the news something to report on and provide a "bad guy" for the counties to focus on.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Carmen upon waking up in a cot with Alik, though it was benign. Also Waldo, during his dream.