Villainy, Inc.
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· Villainy, Inc. Briefing
· Anti-Villainy Unit (AVU) Briefing

About the Story » AVU » Field Agents

  Inside information:

» When Undercover Agents select their Field Agents, they can read a shorter biography for each of them. You may want to use the longer versions included here to introduce your class to these characters.

» Each Helper has a special set of mathematics skills — a lens through which they look at all problems presented in the missions. Students may want to look at these skills in relation to their own. They could select Field Agents that either have the same skills they do (so that they can confirm what the Helper is thinking) or chose Field Agents that have skills that they don't (so that they can see the problem from a different perspective.)

AVU Field Agents

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What's an Undercover Agent to do? So much evil and so little time. Well, a first line of defense is the seven other AVU field agents that stand ready to help. Undercover Agents can pick any two Field Agents to accompany them on a mission. But Agents have to choose carefully. Each Field Agent has a different set of mathematical skills and a unique way of looking at the problem, which is a good thing. But they also have a busy life and a list of pet peeves that might cause them not to help at all!

This chart and the biographies below can help you select a Field Agent who can support their skills. Remember: the characters here are just like real people — each has certain things they can do very well, and certain things they don't know how to help with!

Field Agent Strengths/Specialties Weaknesses
Coach Chalkboard Illustration, sports metaphors Loses track of thoughts
Dr. Winifred Patterson Algebra, formulaic thinking Too busy, explains using technical terms
Garbanzo Al Dente Estimation, food examples Doesn't give specific formulas
Kotori Hoshi Drawing examples, graphical representation, geometry Problems involving only numbers
Mathbot Recall of facts and formulas Short circuits occasionally, loading only Shakespeare quotes
Molly Wick Familiar with her brother's (Dr. Wick) plans, identifying key part of the problem Gets lost in her own world, forgetting the actual problem
Pascal the Koala Debate and discussion of problem elements Answers can be vague, tends to fall asleep

Coach   Name: CLASSIFIED
Code Name: Coach
Serial Number: 2551212-ER
Birthplace: Hickory, Indiana
Primary Specialty: Chalkboard illustration
Secondary Specialty: Motivational speeches, zone defenses

Coach claims to be a veteran of the Swedish-American War, the Battle of Hastings' Pudding, and a bunch of other conflicts nobody else seems to remember. After retiring, he says he found the same sense of purpose coaching high school boys' basketball and girls' soccer. According to his players, Coach's "sense of purpose" involves a lot of chalkboard diagrams and made-up war stories. "A little teamwork never hurt anybody," says Coach with a grin. "Of course, neither did a few extra wind sprints…"

Despite his tendency to shout about supply lines during state championships, Coach has proven himself to be an impressive leader. Coach is better than anyone else in the AVU at coming up with a plan of attack. Need to get a bridge built over a volcano before noon? All you've got to work with are some moist towelettes, a termite colony, and a toothbrush? Want the problem explained in sports terms? Coach is your man. As long as he doesn't get too excited…

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Dr. Winifred Patterson   Name: Dr. Winifred Patterson
Code Name: Doc
Serial Number: 3122122914-RX
Birthplace: Duluth, MN
Primary Specialty: Algebra, calculus, discrete mathematics
Secondary Specialty: Time management

Quite simply, Winnie is a genius. She has a quadruple doctorate in Particle Physics, Set Theory, Genetic Engineering, and Waffle Design. Winnie's only rival for smarts in the Anti-Villainy Unit (AVU) is Deep Thought. But unlike Deep Thought's laid-back lifestyle, Winnie has a lot going on.

When she's not out hang-gliding across the Grand Canyon, Winnie works on two major research projects, DJs the late-night shift at a local radio station, and volunteers at a soup kitchen. And that's just on Monday. To relax on weekends, Winnie hits the clubs and dances till 6 in the morning. "Sleep isn't really my thing," she says. "Triple latte, on the other hand…"

When you've got her attention, Winnie's advice is guaranteed to help. But quite a lot of people are ringing her cell phone…

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Garbanzo Al Dente   Name: Garbanzo Al Dente
Code Name: Stir-Fry
Serial Number: 6189311919-EE
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Primary Specialty: Estimation
Secondary Specialty: Caviar nachos

Garbanzo competed in the World's Strongest Dude contest for fourteen years. Then he realized that he liked buffets more than pulling tractor trailers. He finished his training at the CIA* in a record six months. The restaurant Garbanzo opened — Haute Cuisine by the Hogshead — offers a buffet of everything from frog legs to cheese fries. A New York Times food critic described it as "The Queen of England meets the bleacher creatures of Yankee Stadium." The restaurant was an instant success.

Two years ago, the Anti-Villainy Unit held its New Year's Eve party at Garbanzo's restaurant. The next day, Garbanzo was a member of the AVU. The quality of snack food around the AVU skyrocketed.

Still in peak physical condition, Garbanzo's also an expert estimator. Measuring cups are forbidden in his kitchen. "You don't need to get it exactly right," he tells his fellow chefs in his New York accent. "You just got to use your noodle."

* Culinary Institute of America

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Kotori Hoshi   Name: Kotori Hoshi
Code Name: Kotori Hoshi (artist’s brush)
Serial Number: 31415926535-PI
Birthplace: Sapporo, Japan
Primary Specialty: Geometry, cartoons
Secondary Specialty: Paper airplanes

Kotori is the director of the popular Japanese anime series Slowpoke Samba. Though she's deaf, Kotori's communication skills are amazing. She can read lips, and she speaks using her amazing drawings. The public knows very little about her personal life. She lives in a small town in the countryside of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.

The reason for her secrecy is that she spends three months a year working as an agent for the Anti-Villainy Unit. How she joined the AVU is classified, but she's been on the team for over five years. Behind her innocent eyes is a quick, imaginative mind. Her drawings often cause as much laughter as understanding.

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Mathbot   Designation: Mathbot 001
Code Name: Typo
Serial Number: 0110111010-RM
Birthplace: Fort Meade, MD
Primary Specialty: Rapid recall of random facts and formulas
Secondary Specialties: Shakespeare, old instructional videos

During the Great Mathematician Strike of 1984, scientists at the National Security Agency began work on a project named Mathbot. Its goal was to build an army of math problem-solving robots to replace the unpredictable human mathematicians. But the project ended as fast as it began. A settlement was reached with the Math Union. Mathbot 001 was the first and only prototype ever created.

Because the project was never finished, Mathbot can only handle basic calculations and formulas. For kicks, the scientists scanned into his memory a rhyming dictionary, tons of cheesy instructional videos from the 1950s, and the complete works of Shakespeare. So help from Mathbot will always be by the book. The problem is you can't be sure exactly which book…

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Molly Wick   Name: Molly Wick
Code Name: La sorella
Serial Number: 4161271147-ER
Birthplace: Boring, Maryland
Primary Specialty: Understanding the problem
Secondary Specialty: FWRA member (Future World Rulers of America club)

Yes, Molly really is Dr. Wick's little sister. But her brother doesn't actually know she's still around. "And I'd like to keep it that way," says Molly with a sly smile. As far as Dr. Wick knows, Molly went on a trip when she was 16 to Walla Walla and was eaten by crazed wombats. In reality, the trip was a cover story made up by the Anti-Villainy Unit. She'd wanted to join the AVU since she read about its creation in Good Deeds Monthly.

As it turns out, Molly and her brother are about as opposite as can be. "I don't even see the resemblance," she says. "I think his nose is huge, and we have different color eyes." Unlike Dr. Wick, Molly has a good head on her shoulders and a keen eye for details. She often has a good grasp of a problem, and can recommend an easy way to think about how to solve it. At times, you might wonder if she is helping you or trying to imagine how to fix her brother's silly plans so they'd actually work. And then, there is Molly's favorite stuffed duck, Stewie, who she is never without. Maybe some things do run in families…

But deep down, Molly does seem to have a little of the Wick family deviousness.

As unusual as Molly's methods are, they work. She's risen up the ranks at the AVU faster than anyone else. And as long as you can keep her mind on foiling her brother's plans rather than trying to fix them, she's a great asset for your team.

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Pascal   Name: Pascal
Code Name: Koala
Serial Number: 5223112251620-US
Birthplace: Blue Mountains, Australia
Primary Specialty: Debate and discussion
Secondary Specialty: Eucalyptus leaves

Pascal is the world's most talkative koala. He originally was part of a performance art exhibit sponsored by France, where he was equipped with an experimental Koala-to-French translator machine. Pascal ran away before the exhibit closed. "They would have taken away my translator," he said, angrily He spent the next two years as a wandering insurance salesman. But his career was ruined by American competition. "The duck on your American TV, he stole my bit!" Pascal recently revealed. "I had no choice but to turn to a life of evil-fighting." Pascal was recruited by the European branch of the Anti-Villainy Unit. They programmed his translator to speak English, though it still has a strong French accent.

Pascal's well-known in the AVU for two things: how much he loves to hear himself speak, and his hat collection. He's got one for every situation. "It puts me in the mood," he explained in an interview with Koala Fancier. "Though my thinking cap is starting to get a little... how do you say? … worn-out. These humans, always thinking and never figuring a thing out. It's a good thing the koalas are really in charge." But remember: like most Koalas, Pascal is a night-owl. So he might tend to doze off during any daytime missions.

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