I have a bunch of these little illustrations of people in life rings. I've sold them as part of a larger series, so I don't believe I have the permission to show who these people really are. So, instead, I'm making the faces anonymous and I am giving each of them a name and background story suitable for a pulp spy novel:
NAME: Unknown (Alias: Mr. Kill)
OCCUPATION: N.A.S.T.I.E. Assassin
"You will discover that these handcuffs are quite unique. Naturally they are constructed of drop-forged steel, making them most highly resistant to damage. However, these manacles have a distinctive feature: there is no hole for a key. You see, my dear Grant, these cuffs are designed for one use only. Once they are applied, as they are now on to you, they can never be removed. Unless, of course, your hands were to come off. I expect that will happen as your body decomposes."
Mr. Kill emitted a brief, oily laugh that Grant did not share. Mr. Kill nodded towards the big man in the tan suit, who in turn flexed his powerful muscles and hauled on the chain connected to Grant's cuffs. The chain ran to a large metal pulley in the ceiling; Grant's hands were pulled harshly above his head. The tan-suited man pulled harder, and Grant was heaved painfully upwards until his feet no longer touched the floor. He looked up. Indeed, there was no keyhole to manipulate the lock.
"I am fully aware that your Gadget Branch has equipped you with a trick belt buckle that can open two thousand different locks," said Mr. Kill, "However, you cannot pick a lock that has no keyhole. In a few minutes, your arm muscles will become too tired to support your weight. After that, your chest muscles will fatigue from trying to keep your arms from coming out of their sockets. In time, your lungs will become too tired for you to breathe, and you will asphyxiate - a most unpleasant way to meet your end, I should think."
"Go _____ yourself," said Grant.
"Very well," replied Mr. Kill, "If that is what you wish, I shall leave you to your eventual demise. Come, Krator." Thus bidden, the big man in the tan suit obediently left the room with Mr. Kill.
Grant hung alone and in silence. Obviously, the belt buckle key was of no use. But he did have the option of retracting his thumbs, since his abductor pollicus longus tendons had been ruptured some years ago on assingment during the infamous KLOPT Crisis. By manipulating the tendons, Grant could effectively dislocate both of his thumbs, causing their muscle masses to withdraw into his hands. Then, it would just be a simple matter of sliding out of the cuffs.
- excerpt from the novel "A Spy Too Far"