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I was writing for school recently and came across the need for an object that is being spied on. The word's usage would be like this:

As the spy lurked in the shadows he saw the _____ banging a wrench on the newly made machine.

I believe it will most likely be similar to mentor–mentee or the likes. Anyone got any ideas?

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Generally the object of surveillance is called the target, as in this web article: http://betanews.com/2015/11/10/the-next-target-for-surveillance-the-dark-web/.

I appreciate it's probably not as specific as you were looking for, but I couldn't find anything more suitable. I think it works perfectly well in your example sentence.

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In addition to JonLarby's more usual target, wouldn't suspect or subject fit the bill, particularly if it was important that you asked about the object being spied on, rather than the person, henchman or who have you.

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