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Another of Tinman’s camera-free attempts at the WordPress Photo Challenge….

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The Ambassador’s Ball was in full swing.

Men in dress-suits looked like penguins, women in ball-gowns looked like wedding-cakes, Ferraro Rocher in pyramids looked like piles of golden sheep-poo.

And in her own dress, almost princess-like in its beauty, Secret Agent Barbie fitted in perfectly.

She always did. No matter where the mission was – an après-ski, a gymkhana, a Hells Angels rally, Barbie had an outfit for the occasion.

Double-Oh-Seven may have had his Walther PPK, but Agent Thirty-Four-Double-D was unrivalled as a mistress of disguise.

Now she slipped un-noticed from the ballroom and into the small billiard-room (another type of ball room, I suppose) where she was to met her contact.

She had hoped it wouldn’t be him, but it was.

“Hello, Curves,” said Action Man.

That was what all the other agents called him. He was the archetypal alpha-male agent – a tough, wise-cracking womaniser. Barbie was his total opposite (especially about the womanising, much to the disappointment of Secret Agent Sindy and a generation of boys who’d have played much more enthusiastically with their sister’s dolls).

She always called him by his real name, Ken, just to annoy him. She tried to hate him, but it was hard not to be drawn to his perfect hair and his piercing blue eyes. Even now, though she tried not to, she found herself gazing longingly at his six-pack.

He gave her one.

She took the beer that he had offered her (I can’t help what you were thinking), sat down on the sofa and casually crossed her legs, or at least tried to.

“Our mission, Curves -” he began.

“I wish you wouldn’t call me that, Ken,” she said.

“It’s just that you have such an amazing figure,” he said, leering openly at her. “Are those boobs real?”

“As real as the rest of me,” Barbie assured him.

“Wow,” he said. “Well, anyway, our mission is to go to Russia and steal the plans for Squirlsh.”

“What’s that? Some sort of poison?” asked Barbie.

“No, it’s some sort of fruit drink,” said Ken. “The Russians plan to flood the market with it, This would severely damage the sales of Robinson’s Barley Water, and since the end of the Cold War MI5 will take work from anyone.”

Two days later, having been shot at, car-chased and had raspberries blown at them (through a blow-pipe, the fruit-drink market is highly competitive), they were in the Squirlsh laboratory in Moscow. While Barbie, in her Lab-coat outfit, fought off her Russian counterpart, the evil Babushka (whose disguises weren’t in the same league as Barbie’s, since when she whipped off her mask she had exactly the same face underneath), Ken fiddled with the machines until they began to smoulder and spark, and a voice started intoning “T-minus twenty seconds, and counting.”

Barbie and Ken escaped just before the whole lab exploded, and an hour later sat in her hotel suite grinning at one another. The whole adventure had been a bonding experience for them, meaning that they both felt like James Bond.

“I suppose we have to get off with each other now,” said Barbie.

“Really?” said Ken.

“It’s obligatory at the end of a mission,” said Barbie. “It’s in the handbook.”

She started to walk towards the bedroom. “I’m just going to slip in something more comfortable,” she said. At the door she turned and looked at him.

“Come on, Action Man,” she said. “It’s time you met Catwoman Barbie.”