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Murder is a billion dollar business.

The Agent G novels are a series by C.T. Phipps. It is a Cyberpunk story set in the near-future as the present day slowly moves to become a technology ravaged dystopia starring a cybernetically enhanced assassin named G.

In a world where virtually any death can be bought for the right price, follow the path of a high-tech assassin searching for answers to questions he shouldn't be asking along with his next target. Agent G is a Letter, one of the Society's 26 weapons for hire. Unfortunately for the Society, G is starting to think for himself. Unfortunately for G, he's in the middle of infiltrating a rival organization and is running out of people he can trust.

Books in the series:

  • Agent G: Infiltrator
  • Agent G: Saboteur


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     The series as a whole 

  • Action Girl: S, Lucita, and a number of other female assassins show the women of this series kick just as much ass as the men.
  • A.K.A.-47: Rather than use existing weapons, C.T. Phipps uses completely fictitious ones which he describes the effects of. Justified by the fact they're almost all science fiction weapons made by fictional companies.
  • Affably Evil: The protagonists and the majority of the Society are friendly, cheerful, and part of an international criminal conspiracy that sells murder for hire.
    • G, himself, is a combination of this and Hitman with a Heart. He is pleasant and mild-mannered with a bit of an Adorkable side when off-mission. However, he has murdered innocents before and is utterly ruthless in pursuing his goal of getting his memories back.
  • Anti-Hero: Agent G is this, being a Hitman with a Heart in a Pre-Cyberpunk Crapsack World. He is a Professional Killer who doesn't have any real objections to his job and enjoys the Man of Wealth and Taste benefits. While he feels bad about killing innocents, he shows no problem doing it to the even slightly corrupt.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Black Technology is super-advanced sci-fi technology like A.I., cybernetics, nanotechnology, and so on which the governments as well as megacorporations of the world keep for their own use.
  • Artificial Humans: The Letters turn out to be this. They were created by Karma Corp to be disposable assets for the United States military. It straddles the line with Ridiculously Human Robots as they're cybernetic as well as organic organisms that had their bodies grown before they had their new parts installed, including their cyberbrains.
  • Badass Abnormal: All of the Letters are cyborgs and so are the Shells. They have enhanced strength, speed, durability, and intelligence plus ability to interact with technology via Hollywood Hacking. Generally, this is treated as making them act like superheroes as they slaughter any regular human that they encounter but run into trouble with each other.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The conflict is between Agent G and his murderous associates versus a variety of nebulous criminal organizations as well as secret conspiracies. There's a lot of Black And Black Morality with Evil vs. Evil as Agent G plays the role of the Gray between them.
  • Bland-Name Product: Combined with Captain Ersatz for numerous real-life companies and organizations. There's Halifax International (Haliburton), Universiti (Academi/Blackwater), and Karma Corp (a still-functioning Enron).
  • Brain–Computer Interface: All of the Letters have this and it's a fairly common piece of cybernetic hardware.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Assistants are humans meant to be Morality Pet associates to the Letters. They are taken from enemies of the Society and turned into deeply devoted Happiness in Slavery types who soothe the Letters loneliness so they remain better tools for the organization.
  • Consummate Professional: The Letters are all this by reputation. With few exceptions, they seem to be it.
    • G, in particular, treats his job as a hitman as a profession which should be done with a minimum of collateral damage or hurt to the innocent but absolute fidelity to the parameters he's been given. He's killed innocents before but while this haunts him, he also thinks it was a trade off to get his memories back. The discovery he has no memories to get back and never did causes a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Corporate Samurai: The Letters in Agent G are Corporate Samurai in the sense they are assassins, spies, and thieves for the International Refugee Society. Somewhat off-kilter in the fact they are the service which the International Refugee Society provides to the rest of the world. They're mercenaries-for-hire kept on a leash with their past lives' memories kept from them as a restraint on their obedience.
  • Crapsack World: It's exactly like our world except the governments are all secretly controlled by Megacorps who keep advanced technology suppressed so they can maintain their monopoly on power. They employ a variety of cybernetically enhanced super-soldiers and A.I. to keep all dissent in line. It's also stated that if they didn't do this then the entire world would go to hell and the death toll would be in the millions.
  • Cyberpunk: The author describes it as "Pre-Cyberpunk" with Black Technology marking the breakdown of existing social orders as well as the transformation of what it means to be human. It also shows a world run by Corrupt Corporate Executive types, unethical scientific experimentation, and an apathetic populace controlled by the media. Scarily, the first book is set in the present day.
  • Cyborg: These are very common as soldiers in the setting, even if the public doesn't know about them. They come in a variety of types with "implants" giving you a computerized brain that can link to the internet or special abilities, "Shells" being whole body replacements containing your brain, and The Letters who are full on Ridiculously Human Robots or Artificial Humans. Cybernetics are a source of superpowers in this setting and they are exploited to the max by the characters. One example is a character who actually survives a bomb exploding in his face then a grenade shoved in his pants.
  • Do Androids Dream?: G and the rest of the Letters are all androids as compared to the Shells who are machines with human brains. They are notably indistinguishable from humans other than their special abilities. G has a full Tomato in the Mirror moment when he discovers he's not human.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Affably Evil Agent G and his allies versus the various people he's sent against.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The International Refugee Society, until you note it's initials are the same as the IRS. This is Justified by the fact the charity they run is actually just a cover for their Murder, Inc. business.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Agent G is a Downplayed Trope example of this. He's killed innocent people before and it haunts him. As such, he doesn't quit being an assassin (he can't anyway as Resignations Not Accepted) but is a Consummate Professional so to minimize innocent casualties as well as trauma by loved ones. At the end of Infiltrator after he has his Tomato in the Mirror moment, he makes a full break with the Society.
  • Just a Machine: This was the reasoning behind the Letter project. Regular soldiers have rights, needs, and free will while the Letters were designed to be dispoable Super Soldier assassins who could be used like drones. It was stated this was Loophole Abuse even then since they qualified as Ridiculously Human Robots. Also, subverted in the Letters are treated quite well in order to avoid a Robot Uprising.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: A specialty of the Letters, who prefer not to make waves. Agent G is implied to be particularly good at this as he prefers to have as few people caught up in the assassination as possible in order to minimize casualties.
  • Meaningful Name: All over the place.
    • Agent G is this for "G-man" which serves as a Federal government official. Which he becomes at the end of Infiltrator.
    • The International Refugee Society has the same initials as the IRS.
    • Delphi, of course, is named for the Oracle of Delphi.
  • Megacorp: Karma Corp is an example of this and it's implied to be just one of several. Karma Corp despite being loosely based on Enron is shown to be the world's largest manufacturer of technology of all stripes as well as having ties to arms manufacturers plus Private Military Contractors. It also controls the United States government from behind the scenes with its allies. It is the chief contractor of the IRS.
  • Mind Wipe: This happens to all Letters when they join the Society to make sure they don't have any reasons to object to killing people for money as well as to sever all ties to the outside world. There's actually no mind-wipe since the Letters are Artificial Human androids.
  • Morality Pet: Weaponized by the Society with Assistants. In addition to wiping their memories, Letters are given Brainwashed and Crazy associates who are designed to make them feel like they have friends as well as loved ones who they can support. Romances are very common despote the fact neither the Letters or Assistants can 100% consent.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Society is the world's most efficient assassination unit and it's run like a corporation with its chief clients being governments as well as megacorporations.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The International Refugee Society is powerful enough the future President of Italy is terrified of offending them and is implied to be owned by the people owned by it. The IRS is owned by a trio of Megacorps.
  • Overt Operative: Averted. The book takes careful pains to show the Letters are invisible. Played straight by some of their rivals.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Society survives through this. While they keep their agents on incredibly short leashes, they also provide them with extremely luxurious lives as well as Morality Pet Assistants to keep them psychologically healthy. They also indulge Agent G's aversion to killing the innocent as long as it doesn't interfere with his targets. This doesn't help when he discovers they've actually been planning to just Mind Wipe him at the end of his ten years to start again.
  • Private Military Contractors: The International Refugee Society is, technically, this but is closer to Murder, Inc.. Mercenaries also play a large role in the world as many companies and organizations employ them as security. This includes Bland-Name Product versions of Academi and G8.
  • Professional Killer: All of the Letters are this. They often fight against other contract killers.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Numerous. The International Refugee Society, the Carnivale, and the organization behind the Society. The latter just turns out to be Karma Corp and several allied companies.
  • Reality Ensues: A curious example of it as combat in the books is extremely brutal and fast paced with people tending to die quickly or being finished off soon after being injured. The exception of this is the Hollywood Cyborg characters who pretty much are superheroes compared to everyone else and thus terrifying.
  • Shout-Out: Shells are one to Ghost in the Shell. The series' premise of mind-wiped assassins seems to be one to Total Recall (1990) but is actually one to Blade Runner and Deus Ex.
  • Sniper Rifle: One of the common tools of the trade.
  • Spy Fiction: Fits closer here than to crime fiction.
  • Super Soldier: Letters were designed to be this. They're also Ridiculously Human Robots and Artificial Human hybrids from birth with electronic brains.
  • Twenty Minutes In The Future: According to Word of God, Infiltrator takes place in an Alternate Timeline of 2026 where a Hillary Clinton Expy won the Presidency and has been President for eight years.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Assistants have this role in the Society.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: What Agent G suspects happens to Letters who fulfill their 10 year contract despite some proof to the contrary. The truth is they never outlive their usefulness.

     Infiltrator 
  • Agent Provocateur: G is dispatched to go undercover with the Carnivale and eliminate its leaders. In the process, he proceeds to undermine the organization from within and sick its agents on each other, both to make his job easier as well as destroy it irrevocably. He succeeds.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: The International Refugee Society is ostensibly this to the Carnivale. G, in particular, is a lot more of a Consummate Professional to the Ax-Crazy Carnivale. This includes minimizing collateral damage and only doing the job they're paid to do.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Smiling Killer is one of these as well as being a Badass Abnormal Hollywood Cyborg killer.
  • Big Bad: Lucio Biondi serves this role, though it turns out The Society is a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Society and Carnivale are both black. The NSA is gray.
  • Carnival of Killers: The Carnivale is a literal example of this. Albeit, the name just reflects they tend to be more colorful than other assasins, giving themselves badass names and being less careful about collateral damage than other groups.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: G ends up subjected to the Electric Torture variant of this by Lucio Biondi after he's revealed as a double-agent. Notable for giving a short speech on the historical use of it in real life.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: The Carnival versus the Society versus the NSA.
  • The Corrupter: G's strategy for dealing with the Carnivale is to play on Lucita's resentments and ambitions.
  • Double Agent: G is sent to infiltrate the Carnivale after killing a traitorous agent and assuming his identity.
    • Marissa Sanchez turns out to be one of these too.
  • Duel of Seduction: Lucita and G both try and seduce each other to the other side.
  • The Dragon: The Smiling Killer plays this role to his father, despite not being really qualified for the role.
  • Enemy Civil War: It's G's goal to initiate one of these in the Carnivale. He succeeds but Lucio Biondi quickly puts it down. The action still weakens the organization enough the Italian government and G, himself, finish it off.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Agent G causally talks to his trapped target about why he committed the crimes he did. Agent G reveals he's already poisoned the man and made sure he's planned out his death in meticulous detail so it's impossible for him to escape. After he finds out, he finishes the job and invokes Make It Look Like an Accident.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The International Refugee Society vs. The Carnivale is two Murder, Inc. agencies who are both equally bad. Subverted when it's revealed Marissa is working for the National Security Agency to take down both.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lucio Biondi is a pleasant, grandfatherly figure who welcomes G into the family. He's also had his transgender daughter raped, murdered his brother, and once blew up a schoolbus of children.
  • Foil: The Carnivale is this to the Society. They're much more theatrical with codenames, cybernetic bodies, and lack of care to collateral damage. The International Refugee Society, by contrast, are invisible ConsummateProfessional types. The Carnivale are also a family-run business while Letters are wiped of their memories. The differences are also stark in that Shells are robots with human brains while Letters are humans with robot brains.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Marcus Gordon, the inventor of the Letters, to G. Subverted by the revelation Marcus considers him just another product he's created. His actual son, who G was based on, died long ago. G was his mother's Replacement Goldfish.
  • Mega Corp.: Karma Corp is treated like this. In fact, it needs the help of numerous other companies to pull off the illusion of being one. Ironically, the International Refugee Society is more of one than Karma Corp as they have massive amounts of control over much larger companies thanks to their use of political ties, violence, Black Technology, and stolen money.
  • The Mole: G serves as this in the Carnivale. Marissa, it turns out, is this for the Society.
  • Overt Operative: The Carnivale thinks nothing of attacking Boston Airport in order to get their target.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: Subverted by the reveal of who is behind the International Refugee Society. It's just a collection of corporations using it to make an extremely large amount of money and keep Black Technology all to themselves.
  • Rape as Backstory: Lucita Biondi is revealed to have experienced this as part of her "training" at the hands of her father.
  • Psycho for Hire: The Smiling Killer is one of these. So is seemingly most of the Carnivale.
  • The Reveal: G isn't a human being but an Artificial Human and a Tomato in the Mirror who never had a human life and is destined to die early.
  • The Rival: The Carnivale serves as this for the Society. It doesn't last past the book.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: G's reaction to the discovery he was grown in a laboratory and has no memories to recover because he was never anything but a soldier of the Society.
  • Transgender: Lucita is revealed to have been this before getting a woman's body as a Shell. In an inversion of this, G finds it to be a humanizing element as he'd previously thought of her as a Daddy's Little Villain.
  • We Can Rule Together: The titular agent receives a job offer from The Mole to work for the U.S. Government against his employers, the chance to keep all of the money he's made from assassinations, as well as a pardon for his crimes. G takes it.

     Saboteur 
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Played with regarding E as he does know them and has a very samurai-like code but is fully aware he's not Asian but a clone raised in a lab.
  • Ambiguously Evil: President Douglas opposes the Invisible Hand and Society but wants to build her own cyborg murder squad. In the end, G decides she's A Lighter Shade of Black at best and burns her too.
  • Badass Gay: E and his lover are both incredibly tough Straight Gay killers.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Actually, a Big Bad Triumvirate as the Triumvirate are the leaders of the Society's remnant. They get Hijacked by Ganon with Daniel Gordon proving a much bigger threat.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Daniel Gordon is killed, the Triumvirate brought to justice, and G manages to strike at the world's corruption by uploading all of the world's Black Technology onto the internet. Marissa and G are finished, however, and G has found out he was cloned from a madman.
  • Brain Uploading: Apparently, the genesis of the Letters program. Reality Ensues when the people looking for immortality were disappointed, though. They wanted to survive forever and only were able to make very good copies.
  • The Bus Came Back: No one expected Lucita to make a return so soon.
  • Cloning Blues: G gets a minor case of these when he finds out the man he was cloned from is a complete psychopath.
  • The Dragon: Daniel Gordon serves the Invisible Hand as this. He's also a Psycho for Hire.
    • E serves as this for Persephone.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: America has a cyborg Special Forces unit called Strike Force-22.
  • Elite Mooks: The Reapers are a group of cybernetically enhanced mercenaries that exist as a kill squad for the Invisible Hand.
  • Evil Counterpart: Daniel Gordon is a Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire who is, of course, the man who G was based on.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The hunt for the International Refugee Society's leadership by the U.S. Government by Strike Force-22 turns out to be one of these.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: G forgives Marissa for her betrayal but ends their relationship.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Invisible Hand that is secretly controlling a huge chunk of the United States' economy.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Agent G gets billions of dollars in resources and property from Persephone's A.I. after he buries the Society and weakens the corrupt US government.
  • Killed Off for Real: Persephone dies in the middle of the book, though she leaves behind a A.I. will that gives G all of the IRS' hidden resources and bank accounts.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Agent G completes his by choosing to side with Delphi and upload the Black Technology of the world onto the internet, weakening the Invisible Hand and US government while also providing the public with massive amounts of new technology.
  • I Have Your Wife: How Daniel Gordon manages to compel Marissa's obedience.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Marissa turns out to be this, having turned against G and Strike Force-22 to save her sister.
  • Meaningful Name: The Invisible Hand is actually a reference to the Invisible Hand of the Free Market.
  • President Evil: G certainly seems to think so by the end. But see Ambiguously Evil.
  • Real After All: The Invisible Hand, basically The Illuminati, have been teased several times but turn out to actually exist.
  • The Remnant: The International Refugee Society has been hunted to oblivion by the United States with its leaders in hiding.
  • Take Up My Sword: Persephone has arranged this for G as while she would have preferred to survive, she is happy to let him use the Society's resources post-mortem for something good.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Persephone has one of these which she uses to get her revenge against the people who killed her. She gives all of her resources and the Society's remaining holdings to G along with a massive amount of blackmail. Essentially, giving him the resources to take them down or at least denying them to her enemy.
  • Video Will: Persephone effectively leaves one of these by giving G all of the Society's former assets via her A.I.
  • Yakuza: Persephone takes refuge with this group in order to hide from the government.

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