Shtarker, a true-blue KAOS agent, was Siegfried's assistant. However, their relationship went beyond boss-assistant. Shtarker worshipped Siegfried and everything he did. It is this worship of Siegfried that makes him keep Shtarker around, as he was an incredibly incompetent agent. Even though Siegfried belittles him as a "sissy" and "dummkopf," Shtarker remains ever loyal. Mike Dudnikov points out that in Yiddish, Shtarker means "a strong powerful person, most usually in the context of a thug or ruffian. The term was often used as regards those who were hired to intimidate either labor or management during a strike." I think that's clearly how they came up with the name.
In fact, Shtarker was KAOS' answer to Larabee. Despite constantly being warned by Siegfried that "ve don't do that here," he can never stop making unusual sounds and proclamations. He greats each assignment and task with great enthusiasm, no matter how evil it may be.
Little is ever revealed about Shtarker's background, although he must have been attached to Siegfried back in World War II. Shtarker was the all-time track star of the Third Reich, but still managed to finish behind Siegfried in escaping El Alamein. Perhaps he was afraid of what would happen if he finished ahead of Siegfried.
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Copyright 1995-2006 Carl Birkmeyer