Every intelligence mission has a monarch with the overall responsibility for planning and execution. Here the monarch gazes into her crystal ball, hoping for insight into the coming operation. She will appraise her resources and develop a strategy. As head of the operation, she will select a cover identity first. Each member of the team will then select a cover story to fit with hers. Her cover is known as the monarch cover and will set the tone for the entire operation. The painting on the wall is Rembrandt’s famous portrait of Jan Six. With apologies to the master, Ostrovsky has discreetly tilted the hat downward.