105 – Ransom
in which we hear some demands, the Festival of Darkness is recapped, Meredith Gorgoro improves the workers in Hell, Gray gets some help, the Tabitha’s keep doing something, Junior gets a strange feeling, and Kevin from IT “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing.
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Intro: What you are about to hear is very familiar, but somehow wholly strange and unusual.
Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help you, that other guy, people with money, people with no money, and people with suspicious assets to Do Evil Better. My name is Corin Deeth III and I am CEO. Shareholders, we’re getting back on our feet now after being so ill last month. The Trudge really took it out of all of us. But we were able to work up a treatment and get people back to normal in a hurry. Even Violet, the namesake of the Trudge, is back working. She slept for 96 hours, making us believe she might have been dead. Then she awoke, but we couldn’t get her out of bed. The fear at the time was that she was slipping into some sort of laziness or lethargy that would make her useless to study. If her work ethic was broken, how could we learn how to make others work just as hard? How could we extract every last ounce of effort out of our underpaid underlings, as our prime directive of Evil and capital dictates? But we brought her a little paperwork. Just set it beside her hospital bed, really. She picked it up and filled it out in record speed. Then she snuck out of the infirmary and back to work. We’re still not sure if she has a home. Or if there’s like a skeleton of a cat somewhere because the auto-feeder ran out six years ago. But she got back to work and that’s what’s important. The healthcare staff have mandated, however, that she takes a break every four hours of around fifteen minutes, and an hour after every eight. During those breaks, where she is forbidden from doing any work, she mostly just screams. Loud, whining screams. It seems that some people might bury themselves in work to keep their minds off of other things.
Today’s broadcast is coming to you from a broken audio cable you just plugged into some sort of auxiliary jack. If you hold it in just the right position, whatever you intended to play disappears, and it is instead replaced with my voice and these announcements. The downside of this design is that you will be required to hold the cable like that for the remainder of the announcements. Will that be ten minutes? Will that be an hour? WIll that be eighteen days straight? Who knows at this moment. All that we know is that you had better find a way to make yourself comfortable. Don’t try to prop the cable up. Don’t try to pin it in place. Any movement will just cause interruptions, and we can’t have those, can we? If you’re curious, the Division of Functional Malfunctions and Lo-Price Audio are responsible for this transmission device. I am also told that the cable has a lifetime warranty, but why would you want another cheap piece of shit like this again? Also, these announcements are strictly for Kakos Industries shareholders. If you’re not a shareholder, then that was a nasty shock you just got. Be careful. The next one could be fatal.
Shareholders, when I came into the studio today, there was this little printer on my desk. It’s reminiscent of a credit card receipt printer. I had no idea what it was here for, but now it has printed something out. Okay. It says “We’re holding Kakos Industries for ransom. You should take this very seriously. You should give us what we want.” There are no demands.
Aldous: Not to worry there, Mr. Deeth. I’m here to negotiate on behalf of Kakos Industries.
Corin: Who are you and how long have you been here?
Aldous: My name is Aldous Honkman and I am the official hostage negotiator for Kakos Industries. My past achievements include getting those teenagers that were disappointed about a lack of spicy Asian sauce out of that one fast food chain, paying off a child who did not make a bomb in science class just in case he was going to, and getting all of the sheep back from the shepherd dog on the extra grassy lawn. I am very well versed in bo-peep law.
Corin: Those are your top three?
Aldous: Those are just three. I save my top three for special occasions. Let’s stop beating around the bush here, Mr. Deeth. We’ve got some work to do.
Corin: How do we know that they’re even holding the building hostage?
Aldous: We have to take these matters extremely seriously. The first thing we’re going to need to do is give them everything they want.
Corin: That sounds like a terrible idea. And we have no idea what they want. It’s not on this note here.
Corin: Okay, they want “big glass orbs filled suggestively with vanilla yogurt, a jet ski named Maria, and Dark Evil Comics issues 1-69.”
Aldous: Nice. And agreed.
Corin: What? Why on Earth would we give them what they want. They say thanks, by the way.
Aldous: Trust me, Mr. Deeth. I know what I’m talking about here. We’re giving them all of those things.
Corin: What the Hell is going on? How are we going to find that stuff, and how are we going to pay for it?
Aldous: Don’t worry. We’re going to find every bit of it. And we’ll fill in the shortfall through crowdfunding. It’s a plan I trademarked, copyrighted, and reserved, called passing the buck. Through this process, you can make it so that the hostage takers are actually holding someone else hostage.
Corin: You’ve got to be kidding.
Aldous: If the shareholders of Kakos Industries go to KakosIndustries.com/Ransom, they can make up the difference. Then everything will be just fine.
Corin: You want to offload the responsibility to the shareholders? That’s ridiculous.
Aldous: It’s the only way to save the company, Mr. Deeth.
Corin: What are you talking about?
Aldous: Look at the numbers. We’ve been noticing all day. Productivity is down and Evil is down. We can’t allow this to keep happening.
Corin: It’s still probably cheaper than whatever you just agreed to give them.
Aldous: I told you already. If your shareholders care about Kakos Industries, they’ll go to KakosIndustries.com/ransom. If they like the sounds of your voice reading these announcements, they’ll do it Mr. Deeth. If this ransom bankrupts Kakos Industries, then they can’t hear from you anymore. If they like doing evil better, they’ll do it.
Corin: What is even happening. It sounds like you’re putting the ransom off onto the shareholders and they didn’t ask for any of this. Wait, are WE ransoming Kakos Industries?
Aldous: No, we’re just passing the buck. Trademark. Copyright. Reserved.
Corin: They say they’ll be in touch.
Aldous: Right where we want them.
Corin: I have other things I need to talk about.
The Festival of Darkness was a great success as always. In past years, we have let the darkness just sort of wash over us. We’ve lain on cots and makeshift beds and just appreciated how dark a space can truly be. This year, we felt that might be too passive, so we decided to add a little movement to the mix. We did some Tai Chi. Some Yoga. Even some mindful walking in the dark with a hand on a fellow shareholder’s shoulder. Some Simon Says. And I just want to get out ahead of this rumor. There were absolutely not DarkMegaBears moving about the room. Anyone who might be missing from the festival probably just found enlightenment and either apotheosed on the spot or ran away. There were no bears, not even eight foot carnivorous monstrosities. It was just a chance to clear our heads. Anything else was your imagination playing tricks on you.
The Festival of Genes was less exciting than previous years. We definitely had to dial things back. Whatever we did to Dana Govern resulted in a handful of monstrous infants and we really can’t do that twice. We let people sign up for several genetic gambles, though. Some people will find themselves with wings. Others will be magenta. One lucky person will be “too hot.” We decided to throw all of the hotness genes into one syringe and dose someone big time. It’s better than giving someone all of the gene constructs we have, but somehow less exciting. Hot people are kind of boring, you know? Anyway, if Junior follows this person around, it will be for completely different reasons.
Coming up we have The Shareholders’ Ball, the best celebration of the year. And I must tell you that this ball will be black tie. In fact, the blackest tie. White gloves, though. The ball will feature bright, glittering chandeliers, sparkling DarkMega wines, and formal dancing. If you are afraid that you won’t have the correct attire or skills to attend, then do not worry. You will attend the dancing classes, and you will be fitted for jaw-dropping formal wear. You will drink punch from the Awango fruit from the critically endangered Awango tree, which is the only known source of nutrition for the even more endangered Awango Ape. Every sip of this spiked beverage will bring that Awango Ape closer to nonexistence, making the ordinarily bitter nectar all the sweeter. All guests will be required to wear terrifying masquerade masks as we begin to dance. And After that, we all know what happens. You might be thinking to yourselves, where is the entertainment? You see, the entertainment will be all of us. Once we have been instructed in the most elegant dancing techniques, we will also be taught a number of routines that will take the place of all other entertainment. Unlike the Festival of the Dance, you will all be perfect. And none of you will be sent to the Mega Thrillz theme park in Christhole, Texas. Accompanying our elegant movements will be the resident Kakos Industries Horrorchestra, using the brightest sounding, but darkest in origin, instruments known to man.
We ordinarily have a chili cookoff coming up, but we just had a Zestival, so it seems a little soon. Instead, we’ll be having the Festival of Restraint. It sounds just like it is. Some of you will enjoy this more than others. Some of you will struggle to hold back.
Junior is in the process of composing some epic lullabies for the Dana Govern Babies. I have read some early drafts and it is clear that he knows very little about music, babies, and poetry. There are lines about the virtues of solitude and building up rage to let it out. I just don’t think it’s right for them. But maybe it is. I don’t know.
Junior: I detected a change in the air that led me to believe one of the dumbest things ever said had been uttered. I could think of no one else who could be capable of such a thing. So I called you.
Corin: But you didn’t hear anything?
Junior: I am busy with the little ones. I can’t play your broadcasts in the same room. The abrupt sounds of your endless imbecility could disturb them.
Junior: Whatever you said, it was stupid.
Corin: Talk to you later.
Junior: Yes. Ta-ta.
This might not surprise you shareholders, but I get calls like that from him all the time. I was bound to get one when I was talking about him eventually.
Aldous: More demands. It looks like they want a pool full of jelly beans, and 22 artisanal sex dolls.
Corin: Wait. Before you say anything else, how do we know anything is actually happening? There’s no people with guns. The nanobots would have done something with them. There’s no army outside. There are no bombs. How are they holding us hostage?
Aldous: We have to take these matters very seriously. Look at these numbers. Efficiency is below fifty percent. Evil is down forty points. Butt stuff is up slightly, but it’s been trending up for years. Lethargy is at the highest point we’ve seen in decades.
Corin: Even with everyone being sick last month? That doesn’t make sense.
Aldous: You can double check if you want.
Corin: I may have to. Soundman? He’s saying you’re right.
Corin: And Grace Rule just texted me confirmation. This makes no sense. How are they holding us hostage? We shouldn’t give them anything.
Aldous: We agree to your demands. Xxxxxxxx
Corin: Getting that many jelly beans is going to be expensive. We’ve going to have to have them flown in. The sex dolls we’ve probably got hanging around somewhere, though.
Aldous: Like I said, don’t worry. We’ll find the money. KakosIndustries.com/ransom.
Corin: It’s not really their problem, though, is it?
Aldous: You’re worrying. I told you not to worry. All they need to do is go to KakosIndustries.com/ransom and everything will be fine.
Corin: It says “Thank you, we’ll be in touch.” I’m so confused.
Aldous: These things happen. But I’ve got it under control. We’re going to get you your company back.
Corin: I really want to ask you to leave.
Aldous: I am the official hostage situation negotiator for Kakos Industries. I know what I’m talking about. Now, let me organize a delivery of jelly beans.
Corin: I’m going to get back to my announcements.
Aldous: Great. It’s better not to let them see any weakness. Excellent. We’ve secured the sex dolls.
There have been some strange developments in Hell. The human workers have started to develop certain monster traits. You can see it in the skin, and in the eyes, and in the giant bitchin monster arms. The monster workers have become slightly more human also. Meredith Gorgoro has always been a proponent of physical fitness, but now it appears that she might be taking that to another level. We are concerned that she might be amassing too much power if she is adding monster bits to her subjects. This is a situation to keep an eye on. I still want one of those monster arms.
I have an update from The Division of Concision. It says “great”. I assume that is how they are doing. The Division of Gleep Glorp has reported “Wattanooey lallabalooey. Yoyo nashasha. Ishnu WAAAAAAAAAAH.” They are always ahead of the pack. The Division of Incredibly Boring Things has “nothing to report”. Oh yeah, that’s the shit right there. The Division of Pools says “I bet I can touch the bottom first.” You probably can. I don’t deny that. They also write, “And I bet I can get all the rings first, too.” I have no doubt.
I encountered the Tabithas again recently. They handed me a tape cassette with the word “cough” written on it. At first I thought they might still be recovering from the Trudge, but the tape was another message from my grandfather.
Corin I: (coughing) I’m still sick. It’s been weeks. This body doesn’t keep up the way it used to. I don’t heal quickly enough. People need me. They need me to be perfect. They need me to be executive. But I’m in bed. I hate it. I was using whatever I could get my hands on to perk me up. But it wasn’t enough. And the doctors seem to think that I made it worse through all of that. They just want me to heal. Well, I hope my plans are moving forward. Grace, I need some more hot water.
The Division of Figuring Out What All of These Keys Go To has not opened the chest in the middle of Lake Zyzerzil. But they have done some tests and they are confident that the chest has a golden fist inside of it. Like a figurine or something. I am told that the chest is made of wood, and I told them that they should just break it open. One member of the Division then told me, “That’s not what we do here.” Well, excuse me, princess.
I did something perhaps a bit strange the other day. I agreed to a date with both Jasmine Aashna and Dr. Dunkelwissen. I didn’t tell them the other one would be there. I’m not sure if Dunk thought this get-together would be romantic, or just some guy time, but when they both arrived, I made certain to tell them that this date would be ending in romance. I was tired of the will-they-won’t-they. They were timid at first, avoiding each other’s glances, but they both agreed, first passively, then more confidently as the other also agreed. We went off to the executive suite. To cut a long story short, I pushed them both on the bed, and I told them to kiss. What happened next was one of the most awkward kisses I had ever seen. I was expecting fireworks. I was expecting the thing that is most sex. I was expecting resolution. I feel like all of us have seen this coming. But no. They pulled away from one another. It wasn’t right. Jasmine loves Dunk’s intellect and wit, but she can’t see a life with him. It’s too close to what she’s done in the past and she can’t do it again. Dunk loves Jasmine’s insight and work ethic, but she’s too young for him. They have experienced the world in completely different ways. They watched different cartoons growing up. They embraced warmly and cried a little bit together. I tried to explain that they didn’t have to be a couple. They could just have sex. They didn’t seem to hear me. Then they lay down on the bed holding one another fully clothed. A cynical part of me thinks that what I witnessed in that moment might have been most sex. But I don’t think that’s a very satisfying answer. And just when it was getting too tender for me to bear, Jasmine said “My mom’s single.” Dunk let out a hmm, and nodded his head slightly. I really don’t know what to think about that. It could be that, in that moment, Jasmine did the biggest bro move of all time.
There have been some recent sightings of Gray, the former member of the Damnation and Ruination Squad that was cast out for being so exceptionally beautiful as to never blend in with their chaotic identity-lessness. There’s apparently a support group for those cast out from the Damnation and Ruination Squad and Gray attended a meeting. I was unaware of this. It’s not always obvious when the Squad gains or loses a member, but apparently it happens often. Perhaps Gray will find comfort there. Kimzzzzzzzzzz has still been watching from a distance.
The Damnation and Ruination Squad have been wearing what I can only describe as an elegant and tasteful necklace and nothing else. When I say necklace, singular, I mean it. They seem to have a long golden chain of approximately 16 meters that they have looped around each of them in some way. They have to move as a group, obviously. The pendant on the end of the necklace falls between two of the Squad members, but it appears to be a white stallion.
Corin: Okay, now they want an airplane full of gas with a pilot, and all of the Evil Platinum we have in our vaults.
Aldous: I think we can get away with giving them only half.
Corin: Wait. Are they trying to escape? I don’t think we know where they are. We’ve been searching. I’ve got teams just trying to figure out what the hell is going on right now. Who the hell are they even? All of the ransoms you’ve paid are just sitting in front of the building. No one has picked them up.
Aldous: I’m going to radio down to the vaults.
Corin: You stop that. There is no way the shareholders are going to cover that loss.
Aldous: Don’t worry about it. I’m on this.
Corin: No. We’re not giving them anything this time.
Aldous: We can try giving them just a quarter of all the Evil Platinum. Can’t really split the plane, though.
Corin: No. We’re not giving them anything at all.
Aldous: I know what I’m doing.
Corin: I refuse.
Aldous: You’re making a mistake, but I can see that some lessons need to be learned the hard way.
Corin: This one’s one me. We’re going to figure this out.
Aldous: Very well. We’ll see.
Evil once did a sick backflip off of a tall building. It was the coolest thing anyone nearby had ever seen or would see again. This is Things We’re Taking Credit for Now. Today, we’re taking credit for extortion, bribery, and whining until you get what you want. Of course, we can’t know for certain that these things don’t predate Kakos Industries in some way, and that we might thus not be responsible for them. But thinking that way is dangerous. You might find yourself whining and whining and never getting what you want.
Kevin from IT has won the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, Kevin from IT’s nemesis will experience a life-ruining turn of events. Kevin’s nemesis is BoJo Abobo, the orangutan and legal person. Yes, sometimes orangutans can become legal persons. They do great work if you let them and they don’t complain much. Of course, they insist on keeping their hair messy no matter what. We gave the Wheel of Misery a strong spin and it landed on the space for Impossible. From this day forward, Bojo Abobo will be impossible in many senses of the word. The primary meaning is of course, difficult to work with. That could have some unfortunate effects on Bojo’s personhood. I don’t make the rules. For Evil measure, Kevin from IT will be slightly more possible. We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds interesting at least. Congratulations on the win, and best of luck.
Corin: They say “message received. One bar of Evil Platinum. And a lock of Corin Deeth’s hair. And some feet pics.”
Corin: I’m not giving them my hair. Or picture of my feet.
Aldous: They renegotiated. Just like I warned you.
Corin: This is far better than all of our Evil Platinum. But I’m still not doing it.
Aldous: The fate of your company depends on it, Mr. Deeth.
(Scissor sounds. Camera shutter)
Corin: get out of my face or I’m going to cut you with those damn scissors. And delete those photos. I’m going to have to start wearing shoes while I broadcast. No, that’s nonsense.
Aldous: I’ve got what I need. Goodbye, Mr. Deeth. Kakos Industries.com/ransom, shareholders. It’s vitally important that you help us out. I don’t want to have to take any more pictures of Mr. Deeth’s feet.
Corin: It just says, “We’ll be in touch.” Based on my analytics, Evil is back up to around 70%. Efficiency is back to around 80%. This isn’t great, but it’s better.
Well that wraps up our broadcast, shareholders. You can stop holding that wire now. The numbers are next.
Kakos Industries is written and produced by Conrad Miszuk, who is also the voice of Corin Deeth, and the composer of the music. The introductions are read by Kitty McCauley, and the credits are read by Briauna Kittle, a half-owl thundermonk. Special guest appearance in this episode by Matt Braman. You can hear more from him by going to neverrad.com or the open mic closest to his house. Please visit KakosIndustries.com for news, extras, and more episodes. There are also transcriptions on the website if you’d like to read along with the Kakos Industries announcements. That’s K-A-K-O-S-I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-E-S dot com. Please visit store.KakosIndustries.com (store.neverrad.com) for merchandise and special offers and get wonderful benefits by becoming a subscription donor at kakosindustries.com/patreon. You can submit one time donations at paypal.me/kakosindustries. You can also purchase gear and other items for the production at kakosindustries.com/wishlist. Questions, comments, or a strong desire to collaborate? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like Kakos Industries, be sure to rate and review us on your favorite podcasting service, and connect with us on YouTube (YouTube.com/KakosIndustries), Facebook (facebook.com/kakosindustries), Tumblr (kakosindustries.tumblr.com), Instagram (@kakosindustries), and Twitter (@KakosIndustries). We encourage fan art and listener participation on all our social media platforms.
Special thanks to our esteemed shareholders Iain Croall, Dan Shumway, William Brandon, Jack Attack, Kristina Kirkland, and A. Rupert. Also thanks to honored employees Dorkpool Dorkuss, who cleaned the fish tank, Chax Richter, who finished the crossword, Tia Reece, who broke the thing we were fighting over, and Luci Grimm, who fixed the drain finally. And thanks to our division heads Britney Garcia, head of The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn, Craig Czyz, director of the Division of Obscure Vintage Technology, Danniel R Smith, head of the Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases, Lillian Bit, Director of the Division of Fishticism, and Matthew Oparin, Director of the Division of New Cowboy Slang. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn has shut down their rollercoaster after everyone who was foolish enough to ride on it ended up injured. They have since started knitting clowns to hide everywhere. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology has restored the old pain-ometer. It is remarkably accurate, thought the testing and calibration has made some uncomfortable. The Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases has set a hard limit on how long sex should last. If you can’t get it done in the time allotted, you’re wasting your time, and you’re just going to have to try again tomorrow. The Division of Fishticism has noticed that the Mola Mola in the Orange-3 tank has been kind of sad recently. This does not bode well for the collectibles market. The Division of New Cowboy Slang has created “Gulferdangit”. We asked them to use it in a sentence. They responded with “our horse got away again, gulferdangit.” Our esteemed shareholders, honored employees, division heads, and other Patreon patrons are the best. If you want a thank you in the credits, your own division, or other great rewards that help to keep this show running, please head to Kakosindustries.com/patreon. That’s Patreon: p-a-t-r-e-o-n.
Kakos Industries can be dark. Try watching unboxing videos to chill out.