As I was putting this podcast together, I thought it would be the perfect soundtrack to some never made spy movie. The names of the songs will serve as part of the story (and no, the names just fit and the songs have NOTHING to do with the story I'm about to write) and hopefully this will make sense.
So, Jump to the Bottom if you only want to see who is on the show.
It all starts with a spy who is encamped with a village somewhere on the Arabian peninsula, where he has spent many days and Nights (Arabian Nights by The Wobblist) there to become a part of the community. He's worked hard, spent his fair share of time learning the local customs and wound up earning his stripes to become one of them. He has spent years to build up his social currency to be accepted in such a way.
He's even developed a Desire (by Code Zero and Corrosion) to help out in anyway he can. He's used his connections to bring in much needed supplies and parts in such an inconspicuous way as to not alarm anyone. He's brought in parts from Africa, Siberia, Tonga and even western China so not to arouse suspicion.
There is a village elder who has taken in this spy, and basically adopted him as a son. He's helped the spy to become integrated and accepted by the community at large. The spy showed up as a wanderer and was treated with suspicion for a while. People started noticing that things were being fixed around the area. It was while on one of the spy's late night fix-it jaunts, the elder discovered him and took interest in the man. Today, the two are out fixing a well (which the spy helped with) when a Dust Storm (by Cairo from the After Hours EP) pops up, basically trapping them until it lifts.
Night comes, and the elder falls asleep as the spy keeps awake. The elder has a beautiful daughter (Undine by Ishtar) whom the spy has developed a crush on. He's does everything humanly possible to keep his emotions from getting in the way, but that doesn't always keep the thoughts of her out of his head. The spy eventually falls asleep and soon the morning comes.
While they are fixing the well in the enclosure a few miles from the village, a loud snorting is heard outside the hut. They both look at each other and then peek outside. It's a man dressed in all black with only his piercing blue eyes showing sitting on top of a camel. His eyes narrow, in a wicked smiling posture, and he unwraps his face with a small tuft of blonde hair exposed. The spy knows who this is; someone from his past who has a disposition that changes with the weather of a southern US city. This visitor is Black Licorice (by Travis Morgan); a nickname hereceived this code name by the copious amounts of the candy he'd eat and never seemed to gain any weight.
"Argos, you devil", Licorice says in nearly flawless Arabic, "you've gone and made yourself at home."
The spy's cover is blown. Four years of hardwork and this goon has destroyed everything.
"What is this, my son? What is happening?", the elder implores.
"My past sins to be expiated, father", the spy replies.
"I've traveled across these burning sands to not be welcomed with open arms, where are your manners?", Licorice says sarcastically.
"What do you want, Licorice?"
"You! Drop Your Guns (by by Control Freak from the Desert Fox EP)"
As Licorice raises his arms, out of nowhere what seems fifty plus men come out of the sand dressed in military garb yelling languages you've haven't heard in a long time. Men from different nationalities surround you. A rather large man, with a thick Belarussian accent grabs you by the neck and says in broken English, "You come with us, many bad things done. Your turn for guinea pig". Two others grab your arms and put you in the dreaded "Jet Airplane" hold popularized during the Great Leap Forward. The Belarussian grabs your hair and forces your gaze to meet Licorice's.
"This time, you are mine!", Licorice growls.
"I guess when you've sold your soul, the only payment is to sell out your friends", you reply in wonderfully accented Tongan. This brings a look of fear on Licorice's face that can not be duplicated. He scowls and barks out a command and one of the Hostiles (by GeeVious) hits the spy in the back of the head so he blacks out.
Licorice brings his camel next to Argos' body and hisses, "It's time for your Judgment Day (by Platypus from "The Chronicles of Platypus").
The spy wakes up strapped to a gurney in a room filthy from the floor up. Just being in here would probably give you tetanus from just breathing. The spy sees two men guarding the door dressed in black fatigues holding AK-47s. Argos tries to lash out, yelling insults in different languages trying to get some sort of psychological advantage on the two. He even tries to pry out of them whom they work for.
Then the door opens. The two men salute as a short, curly white-haired man walks in dressed in grey trousers wearing a stereotypical white lab coat.
"So, you're my caretaker", Argos says as he is Laughing in Fear (by Never a Sir).
He smirks and brandishes a syringe.
Argos tested extremely high in resisting chemicals and beating interrogation.
"Just because you're good doesn't mean you'll always win" - a phrase Argos heard a lot in training keeps going through his head. He wonders what concoction of chemical the interrogator will use to get him to crack.
"All of that nonsense about how this won't hurt much is just a platitude. We need to have a talk and you will tell me much," the little man says in a distinctly Northern European accent. He injects Argos with a serum.
As the chemical burns Argos' veins, he starts to try and figure out just where his tormentor is from. This is one of the tricks which he learned in order to keep fighting mentally. He could have been given anything from truth serum to something so toxic as to leave him a blubbering vegetable after he's spilled the beans.
The serum takes affect and Argos' body goes stiff. The straps are stretched to the limit as his back arches at an inhuman angle.
"NIGHTMARE X! YOU INJECTED ME WITH NIGHTMARE X (by Rampz)!"
"Ahh, very good - you do know your stuff as our file indicates. Now it's time for business, shall we?"
The little man grabs a digital recorder and pushes the button to a remote to start random Americana folk music playing.
Time passes and Argos finds himself in a dark, damp cell... he's Alone in the Dark (by DJ Firestrike). He's shaking and queasy and head achy and hot.
"I'm a freaking cough syrup commercial," Argos says to himself while chuckling. He looks to his left and right trying to get a bead on his surroundings to find the best form of escape. There's a small window across the very narrow hall where a ray of light makes a small circle just on the inside of his cell. He notices men in white jump suits up and down this corridor, with guards periodically making the rounds. He counts the men, tries to find patterns and place faces with voices and personalities. He looks around his cell to find any weapon or tool possible. The only thing there is a hole in the ground for business and some stone that has crumpled to the dirty cell floor. Argos does notice one thing to his advantage.
The cell lock is old and not very strong.
If he's to make any sort of escape, he will have to bust through that barrier.
Then all of a sudden, loud helicopter noises are heard which makes your guards frantic in the cacophony brought by these RoboTroupers (by Thunder Funk). Argos sees a guard bolt across the hallway coming towards his cell.
This is Argos' only chance.
He times his charge and shoulder blocks the cell door open pinning his captor to the wall. Argos grabs the machine gun, brings it around and takes out one guard on his right then uses his guard as a shield allows him to take a couple of rounds and dispatches the other guard.
Instincts kick into overdrive.
He goes towards the exit with his background noise of prisoners trying his same tactic. Chaos is his only shield.
Argos carefully, yet frantically, fights his way up a stairwell making his way into the large courtyard of the jail he is in. The guards are too busy fighting the oncoming swarm to notice Argos hiding in the shadows. He waits for his opening and gets it as the guards are falling back. He sees an opening in the flanks as camouflaged troops storm over the walls. Argos aims for three hapless enemies which helps his saviors break the line in two and eventually over take them.
Two soldiers take Argos by the arms, both speaking with North American English accents, leading Argos hurriedly through his captivity to an awaiting helicopter. His linguistics courses are coming back as he hears distinctive pronunciations of bag and coming.
One is from the prairies of Central Canada while the other is from somewhere in the intermountain west of the U.S. As they meet a superior, who talks to them in what he recalls as Twi, the superior then takes over the escort and leads Argos into the chopper.
There Argos meets a guy who goes by the Code Name X (by The TRON).
He smiles at Argos and asks, "So, how long can you get back into the game?".
Argos remembers back to reading reports about a young, African-American guy who successfully got members of an inner-city street gang and a white supremacist group to work together to get rid of a mob syndicate who was trying to destroy an already rundown neighborhood and turn the people there into their servants... and I'm not talking about waiters and chefs - thugs and members of an army to do their bidding.
"Give me two weeks and a place where I can have running water and we have a deal."
"Ten days and a warm spring."
"Alright, what do I need to do?"
X lets you in on a human trafficker nicknamed Glutton (by Dominion - if you remember the precursor to this conversation I am in NO WAY insinuating anything with this stream of consciousness). He's been shipping people; men, women, and sometimes children, across timezones and borders to do backbreaking, demoralizing, filth driven labor. Glutton has been getting greedy, going after the loved ones of diplomats and international businessmen. He's wanted on Human Rights violations and for violating treaties between countries. Argos is needed to head a team to get him: preferably alive.
"Okay, but you'll have to get me some well-trained men for my Alpha with decent fighters for a support squad."
"I have the right guys in mind," Argos replies. They both shake on it as Argos is taken to a remote hideaway to get some R&R.
X was counting on Argos being a man of his word.
Argos enters a makeshift barracks to begin his week long training. He notices the blank, soul searching stares from his teammates.
"You're the best there is to offer, huh? You don't look like much, but I've got no choice here, do I?"
Three of the eleven chuckle. The others aren't amused. Argos doesn't have time for buttkissers and political ladder climbers, so he goes hard on those three first.
Two of them he sends home, one of them he finds to have thought the statement quite hilarious, and speaking in poetic Russian states, "because every other boss he's had either takes themselves too serious or tries to lead without giving direction."
"Good," Argos thinks, "someone who is either socially unacceptable or genuinely psychotic. It's about time I've run across someone like this." Argos finds out he's from the Ural mountains and takes a quick liking to the lad.
They don't waste time and get down to business. Models, replicas, make-shift simulation courses were designed before they got there so every possible scenario could be reenacted. Chemistry was being made and Argos made quick headway into working with them.
It's time to roll.
0400 rolls around in the mountain getaway of this trafficking fat cat. Glutton has thought of most every bell and whistle you can imagine. Argos' team scales the wall with much success. They make their way around barracks styled metal buildings when he notices something through the windows.
Children. Huddled by the masses. Some of these children are either bought, given or kidnapped. Argos' sympathy turns to black rage as he knows what he's got to fight for.
He thinks back on all the horrible things he has seen, and a couple he's done to make sure dirty deals were not made. This cannot go on.
His laughing companion catches his eye and they make it up to the big house. They snake through the perimeter into the mansion, taking care of issues as they got in the way.
As they get to Glutton's bedroom, they notice something the hadn't expected.
A harem of women surrounding him and his bed.
This is NOT going as planned.
Argos puts his men into place to do as little damage as possible.
He places three near the bed to take the girls off, two right behind to snag the prey, two for the windows, two for the door and himself as the panic button.
Argos presses the button which sent a transmission to his backup soldiers to man the distraction.
Alarms blaze, searchlights go up, sheer chaos is brewing. It's time the FM Monsters Attack (by NTNS).
"It's time for him to Get Crushed (by Trip Addict)."
The three girls on the bed are whisked away, while the two snag Glutton. One of the window guys is shot between the eyes while the doormen are fighting the girls from rushing out the door. Argos focused on the big man while he feels his shoulder turn warm. He looks over and fires with his less pained hand.
He looks and sees whom he has hit.
A fourteen-year old girl holding an automatic weapon.
"Let's Blow Up The Moon (by sattva ananda)", Argos hears as the group rushes to the window to repel out. Two men are injured and one dead. A guy nicknamed Lounge has the dead comrade over his shoulder. They find their escape route going away from the fighting and serpentine their way out of the compound.
The group makes their way into the forests and move their way to the Extraction Zone to make a Rendezvous with the extraction team.
"It looks like Stormy Weather (by Mojo featuring Gizella)," Argos tells his men as they get word they are to go to plan B and get to their second XZ. Watches are set up as they find a safe place to hide out.
Throughout the night, Argos can't help but think of the little girl he had shot and the look on her face. His pain is forgotten as he figured that the flood of women out of the door was planned as a distraction so Glutton could get away. He knew that some of them had to be trained to shoot weapons to make this easier. He also knew they were all expendable.
This makes him hate Glutton all the more. He sees the fat slob tied up and gagged and he wants to do him in now.
This isn't what he's supposed to do.
0500 the next day comes and just over the trees comes a quick strike 'copter. The team all enters the vehicle and it takes off in a direction none of them expected.
They land in another country on the property of what seems to be a big shot.
X greets them and takes them to a room set off to the side for a debriefing. He lets them know the people captured were all released, or returned, or are being taken care of. They are all given commendations and the team is released.
Argos goes to leave with his teammates, but X grabs his arm.
He's to meet someone important.
They make their way through a rather large mansion to the office of the one in charge. There are large, floor-to-ceiling windows on either side of the room. Or rather plane hangar. Argos notices its security glass. A door was placed in one of them near the desk which opens up. Two men dragging in a pajamas strewn body enter in. They flop the man to the floor.
Argos doesn't feel much remorse right now. He feels Glutton gets what is coming to him.
The chair wheels around to reveal its occupant.
A tall, black haired man stands up and walks over to the body. X informs Argos that this is his benefactor for the day.
A man who goes by Source (by Sneaky from the Malevolence album).
He bends over and says something to Glutton then immediately straightens up.
Glutton screams and cries for mercy and forgiveness. Source nods to his aides who take him away.
"He took my wife and my two daughters who were in college in Germany. I don't have time to deal with the likes of him. But where were we. Ahh, Argos! X has told me so much about you."
"You mean to tell me we were hired to do your dirty work? How do I know you aren't trying to get rid of a rival?"
A tension fills the air, one like the calm before a killer typhoon hits the shore.
Source smiles. "I'm guilty or accused of a multitude of sins classified so by religions in the West, East, what have you. One thing I do not do is traffick people... especially children."
Source steps closer to Argos. He leans in and says, "You can be of great use to me. You can accept my offer or go - no strings attached. I believe in repaying my debts."
He then stands straight up and adds, "Think about it."
Source winks at X who then leads Argos out of the mansion.
"I've read about you doing things like that, but I'd never think I'd see the day when I would actually see it happen. Either you're a brave man, or you've made a pact with the devil."
"Have you given yourself over to this man? I pay back those who help me, but there has to be a limit."
X gives a smirking smile and replies, "You know, better than anybody, that you sometimes have to make friends with bad men in order to get what it is to get the job done. Don't think I haven't read what you've done. You have a reputation for some dark things. I don't know if any of it is true or not, but these are strong words coming from you. I've helped Source and I've fought Source. What we did right here helped free a lot of people. In return for help and his connections in other lands, we got Source what he wanted."
"So you're saying you're on his pay?"
"No, nothing of the sort. This time it was a mutual benefit."
"Who's the suit who's relative Glutton kidnapped?"
"We can get into specifics later. Just think about what he is offering."
X pats you on the back and lets you have some time to think. Argos rubs his wounded shoulder and ponders the situation. If this guy is as big as Argos thinks, the offer to join him is very lucrative. Argos' resolve tells him to forget it, but his human side tells him to take it.
A black suited man comes up to Argos soon after X leaves and takes him up a path. Argos' guard is way up at this point. The man brings him to a hill overlooking giant smoke stacks with the ocean just beyond. It is here in front of the Blackened Sun (by ReKon) Argos thinks.
After a few hours, he returns to the mansion house and is led into the office once again.
Source walks up and asks, "So? What will it be?"
"No. I cannot take the offer."
"How about this. I will send you anywhere in the world, as a payment for you bringing me back my family. No is not going to be acceptable."
Argos thinks for a second and replies, "Some place "Far Far From Here (by Y3DDYON3)."
Source does a single, closed mouth chuckle and replies, "It can be arranged. Good day."
Argos is whisked to an awaiting chopper and taken to a jet.
After several hours by plane, and a couple of days by bus, Argos arrived at his destination - a place called Little Lhasa.
He meets a friend there who is the son of a previously prominent man from Tibet. Argos and this friend do what they call the Tibetan Step (by Krood). They embrace. His friend inquires of the injury and Argos replies it came from a mountain biking accident.
As they release a Buddhist nun comes up to them and insists they follow her. They enter into a monastery where a single woman, dressed in red with a shawl over her head is standing. Her head is slightly bowed. The nun reaches for her hand, and as she turns around Argos is taken back.
It's the elder's daughter! Here. In Dharamsala!
She looks at Argos, and with tears in her eyes grabs him around the neck.
"They killed everyone in the village except for me and a few others."
"Father is dead?!?!"
"He was first. When that evil man sent you away he sent in his troops and leveled the whole village. They took me across water and over mountains. I was so scared. Then, a man found me and fed me and brought me here. His boss told him to give this to me."
Argos took the note and read it.
"My debt is paid in full."
"What is it Stranger?", the young woman asks. Stranger is how Argos was known in her village.
"A debt is paid. That is all I can say."
Argos took her in his arms and held her for a while.
Just outside the doors, walking with a group of monks, a familiar pair of eyes stare inside at the pair.
Those blue eyes really are piercing.
Quick Tracklisting if you don't want to wade through the story:
The Wobblist - Arabian Nights
Code Zero and Corrosion - Desire
Cairo - Dust Storm
Ishtar - Undine
Travis Morgan - Black Licorice
Control Freak - Drop Your Guns
Geevious - Hostiles
Platypus - Judgment Day
Never a Sir - Laughing in Fear
Rampz - Nightmare X
DJ Firestrike - Alone in the Dark
ThunderFunk - RoboTrouper
The TRON - code name X
Dominion - Glutton
NTNS - FM Monsters Attack
Trip Addict - Get Crushed
sattva ananda - lets blow up the moon
Mojo - Stormy Weather feat. Gizella
Sneaky - Source
ReKon - Blackened Sun
Y3DDYON3 - Far Far From Here
Krood - Tibetan Step