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MI6 (Alex Rider)

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Start at once.
~ MI6's motto.

Although not everyone's number one main antagonist, MI6 are the main antagonists of the novel series Alex Rider, as confirmed by author Anthony Horowitz.

Background

MI6 was formed during the Second World War and has been born from a history of genocide and espionage. It was active during the Second World War, Vietnam War, Cold War, the fall of communist Russia, and, more recently, the Iraq War in 2003.

Before the beginning of the series, MI6 became aware of Scorpia, an evil organization being formed by out-of-work spies and assassins. MI6 sought to close Scorpia and they had dealings with them before. John Crawley, an MI6 agent, got involved in fights with Scorpia but he was eventually badly injured and had to retire from the field.

MI6 manipulated and damaged their agents' lives several times: they had destroyed Ash's life by repeatedly lying to him and criticizing him and had ruined John Rider's by lying and mistreating him. MI6 didn't like risking their "honour" - they would sit back and wait til their agents got out of dire situations and then come into help.

When Ash was knived by Yassen Gregorovich on Malta, he was summoned to Alan Blunt and told that it was all his fault the operation went awry and Ash would never work for MI6 again. Both Ash and Alex Rider believed this to be cold-blooded and insane. Alex took an immediate dislike to MI6 because of their secrecy and manipulation.

MI6 were willing to take things at face value, they believed Damian Cray was a good-natured celebrity, but when Alex told them the truth they were unable to take it.

To join MI6, one had to be invited, or be a relative or heir of an agent. Then the iniate had to sign the Official Secrets Act and they went through a gruelling training process of abuse and bullying. They were usually trained by the SAS. The soldiers in the SAS did not like new recruits and often bullied them mercilessly.

The training lasts usually a week and deals with such matters as gun training, hostage saving, terrorism fighting and bomb disarming, as well as rural hiking and outdoor survival, and concludes with a parachute training jump. Alex missed the parachute jumping because of his first mission.

In the series

MI6 play a general hostile role in the Alex Rider series  because of their refusal to come to Alex's aid when he is in dire peril and also their manipulative role.

MI6 first appear at Ian Rider's funeral where Alex meets Alan Blunt and John Crawley. He sees the men have guns which alarms him. Then, Alex finds MI6 again at a car disposal yard. He escapes being killed by them and meets them at the Royal and General bank later, where he meet John Crawley. Alan Blunt the chairman has made a test for Alex so he calls John Crawley out and lets Alex jump out of a window. Mrs Jones, the deputy, is shocked that Blunt would callously let Alex jump out of a thirteen floor high building but Alex manages to survive and jump to his uncle's room.

Alex finds a file about terrorism and another file named STORMBREAKER. He is unnerved and more unnerved when Crawley and other men come into the room with guns. Crawley tells him he is unathorized to give Alex the answers and he knocks him out. Alex wakes up in a safehouse and meets Blunt and Mrs Jones and is told about MI6 and his future. He begins the training.

His first mission is successful, though MI6 threaten to pull him out if Yassen is there because Yassen killed his uncle. Mrs Jones knows Yassen killed Ian Rider but she holds it from Alex until a few days later.

MI6 are shown to be at their most evil here because they force Alex to be their agent in a remote private school. Alex Rider is arrested by police after dumping a drug dealers' houseboat in a police station yard by using a crane to hoist it there, but the police see he is an agent and contact John Crawley. Alex is transformed into a skinhead despite his protests. MI6 give him a device to signal them and when Dr. Hugo Grief is about to slice him up, Alex contacts them but they deliberately ignore his signal. All they do is put some agents on standby.

At the end of the mission, Alex tells Blunt and Jones "In your own way, both of you are as bad as Grief."

MI6 boast about Alex to the CIA, to Alex's disbelief. They only appear at the end when Mrs Jones tells Blunt they should stop using him because of the psychological damage they are inflicting on him. But Blunt says "he'll be back." When Sabina Pleasure's father is burned in a terrorist incident involving Yassen, MI6 are contacted and Alex tries to show Sabina the truth and show her the MI6 building, but they deny their existence to her and Alex and rudely throw them out onto the street. Mrs Jones cold-bloodedly watches Sabina dump Alex and brings Alex inside. Alex protests about Damian Cray and how MI6 are too stupid to listen but MI6 disbelieve him and show him how Cray is a hero. Alex goes after Cray and proves his evil and MI6 are forced to listen, but too late. Alan Blunt is called to the prime minister who says he may have to resign.

Under new leadership

Julia Rothman trains Alex to hate MI6 because Mrs Jones was there when his father "died" and she "ordered" his death. Rothman sends Alex to kill Mrs Jones but he realizes too late she is protected by a glass screen. He is arrested by MI6 and coldly thrown in a cell overnight. But Blunt sees him in the morning and tells him of the danger that Scorpia pose. They take Alex to Cobra, the government meeting, and he sees the truth. But he is still angry at MI6 for killing his father. But he learns, after his successful mission, that his father never died. He learns his father faked his death but died later on. He is still angry at MI6 for lying. Alex gets shot leaving their headquarters.

In hospital Alex learns about the Ark Angel space station made by Nikolei Drevin whom MI6 call "absolutely wonderful" which they said about Damian Cray. Crawley also says "I'm sure we'll meet again." This shocks Alex.

MI6 don't really get involved in this Asian mission but Mrs Jones does reveal herself in a Thai temple in Bangkok which is MI6's new office. She assigns Alex an incredibly dangerous assignment of hunting down Winston Yu with no concerns of his safety.

Alex reminds them that they are to blame for Ash's treachery and he hopes they treat future agents better. A journalist has got word of MI6's blackmailing of Alex Rider and he threatens to post it online. MI6 do a really evil thing and erase his money, his cards, and his bank account. They capture the man, Harry Bulman, and threaten to him that next time he approaches Alex, they will kill him. Then they release him but not before saying they will watch him forever til he breaks his word.

MI6 also arm Alex Rider against Desmond McCain, a charity boss, and although they make it clear they believe everything he says after the Cray incident, they don't really care whether he lives or dies. The prime minister sends in bomber jets to burn McCain's poisoned cornfield, but he doesn't care whether Alex lives or dies. Blunt is shown to have feelings about Alex for the first time in six months. In the last book, Alan Blunt cold-bloodedly crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he arranges a shooting in an English school and does this to scare Alex back into action. Blunt cold-bloodedly sends Alex to Egypt in the heart of terrorism and sends his housekeeper Jack Starbright along with him regardless of whether she lives or dies. Although the operation is successful and Scorpia are finally defeated, Jack does die. Blunt doesn't care a jot about her murder, saying "It was a loss."

Mrs Jones succeeds Alan Blunt and she reminds him how evil he has been through his term and how he ought to pay, but she lets him off. Alan Blunt tells her that he who fights monsters often becomes one, and that Julius Grief, Alex's evil clone, is part of Alex that MI6 were responsible for.

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