121 – Pursuit
in which we play with guns, we go on the hunt, we learn to laugh, and MRSG has “won” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.
This episode of Kakos Industries contains many references to gun violence.
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Intro: What you are about to hear is bang tighty.
Hello, and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help our clients to Do Evil Better. I am Corin Deeth III, CEO of Kakos Industries. Still. And for a long while. You see, shareholders, and as you probably already know, this broadcast is explicitly for shareholders and no one else, last time I had a bit of an encounter with a clone of mine we affectionately call Fourest. It’s not his only name, but it’s the only one that matters for the time being. Soundman Steven and I were wound up. You might not know this in your life but there’s a certain feeling you get when you’re getting ready to end a life. Unless it’s something you do every day, you get some butterflies in your stomach. It’s a deed that cannot be undone, and it requires careful consideration. Am I ready to accept the consequences? Am I certain this is the best way to achieve my goals? Am I confident that I’ll get what I need out of this? So many killers when you get right down to it have no idea what they’re doing. They kill out of passion rather than a desire to change the world in important ways. They kill and make a mess and they end up making everything worse for themselves and others. Often this is very Evil. Other times, it is only barely so. I do not recommend it. It is often too much to handle for the casually Evil. But as CEO of an Evil Megacorporation as I am, sometimes I do have to tie up loose ends. Fourest is such a loose end, he is dragging on the floor and collecting dust. It’s obvious that he would do incredible damage to this company, its workforce, and to me personally if only he were capable. Our purpose was clear. So we needed to get ready.
Safety was of little concern. You see, even if I am pursuing Fourest, he cannot defend himself. Only run. While I worry what a Fourest with no hopes of ever becoming CEO would look like, I have my doubts that he would even accidentally allow me to come to harm. I wouldn’t say it’s programming, but it’s definitely deep within his psyche. This allowed Soundman and myself to dress however we wished, without need for body armor. Due to certain insurance requirements, I did have to wear a slim bulletproof vest, and Soundman required bullet proof underwear to protect one of Kakos Industries’ most valuable features. But then we went to my tailor who fitted us with exquisite black suits, with black shirts and ties. We outfitted ourselves with the coolest sunglasses we could. We needed to make this look as cool as it was going to feel. We needed to feel like high end assassins. We needed to feel like badasses.
While we’re getting to the subject, I should mention that today’s broadcast is coming to you shareholders from a fucking gun. I understand that there are a number of different kinds from basic handguns, to rifles, to shit you can’t just buy like rocket launchers and machine guns. Obviously, the sound is clearest directly from the barrel, but I understand if you might feel a bit squeamish about pointing one of these devices at your ear, let alone any part of your head. You should be able to hear me clearly without needing to point the weapon directly at yourself or anyone else. I am told that this is firearm discipline. The movies made it look cooler, though. You might be wondering, are these real guns? The answer is that you won’t find out. That is, unless you’re not a Kakos Industries shareholder, in which case you’ve probably figured it out by now. This radio comes to us from a collaboration between our Division of Fucking Guns, not the Division of Fucking Guns, though there is some overlap, and Garrison’s Fine Shooting Implements for Self Defense and Fun. That feeling you might be having right now with a potentially deadly weapon in your vicinity might give you an idea how Soundman and I were feeling, knowing what we needed to do.
Speaking of, after we were outfitted, feeling like total badasses, and having just completed a hip hop montage, we needed our actual weaponry. We went down to the Kakos Industries armory. There, Yevgeny Alias-Smithison, the firearms expert here at Kakos Industries was ready to help us pick out the tools to do the job. We held a variety of weapons and posed with them in the mirror. We took some photos looking like cold-blooded killers. It was all very exciting. Yevgeny tried to get us down to the basement shooting range to give some of the weapons a try, but it was clear he didn’t understand what we were doing. It wasn’t so much about accomplishing the goal. That much was a given. It was about how cool we looked and how we felt about the whole thing that really mattered. I should mention that also for insurance reasons, we were accompanied at all times in the following story by two thoroughly trained Kakos security experts with hours of target practice and hand to hand combat training. I figured they were unnecessary, but it put Yevgeny at ease to know they would be accompanying us. Soundman and I found two incredibly long barrelled revolvers. They were so heavy your hand struggled to hold them up. Aiming was a pain. But the bullets in them were so large it would be difficult to miss your target. Or at least that’s what I imagined. Yevgeny once again encouraged us to try the guns to see if they suited our capabilities. I shrugged this off. I knew what I was doing. I’ve done firearms training. Usually, I use a lighter weight weapon, but this was personal. The security team picked much more sensible weapons. You know, some kind of high tech rifle with all kinds of boring stats about grouping and kickback and whatever. I should mention that Soundman really likes holding guns. I could see him swelling with excitement even through the rather bulky bulletproof underwear.
Then we had the task of finding Fourest. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. Every time I didn’t want him around, he was right there. When I actually wanted to find him, I realized I had no idea where he lived. I assumed somewhere in the building or one of our many satellite offices. There is no designated residence. I spoke to one of Fourest’s handlers who merely shrugged. I was not discouraged, however. I was ready to do violence. The hunt was on. It was exciting. One of the security team was tasked with carrying a boombox so Soundman and I could dance and really make an entrance wherever we went.
While we were searching the halls of Kakos Industries for Fourest, we ran into Kimmie. She was using one of the robotics labs to fix a mech arm. She saw us dressed as we were and raised an eyebrow. “Are you playing a game?” she asked. I said no, it was incredibly serious business. “What are you doing?” she asked more broadly. I explained the realizations I had had about Fourest and that we had decided not to fall into horror movie tropes by going on the offensive. We were ready to do some killing. “Oh, him,” she sighed. “He’s a real piece of shit, isn’t he? Barely met the guy,” she said in between shooting sparks from whatever repair she was doing. “Look, I know you’re not going to listen to me,” she started, not making eye contact, “but you can’t let people like that get into your head.” Well, thank you for that astute observation, Doctor Quinn. Wait a second. I just realized that’s kind of funny. Anyway, armchair psychotherapy aside, she wished us luck. I said we could get her a big gun and a nice black suit if she wanted to tag along. “Killing isn’t really my thing,” she said. It’s not for everyone, certainly. You can do plenty of Evil without ever crossing that line. We decided not to let her bring us down. We had the security team member turn the boombox back on and we sauntered out of the room in what definitely felt like slow motion.
We kicked in door after door in laboratory after office, before we finally found him. He was walking around the corner on one of the upper floors. One of the security team managed to hit him with a tracking dart before he took off around the corner. We rounded the corner, but were unable to find him. We searched every corner of the rooms he could have reasonably gotten to for hours before we found an escape hatch leading right out of the building. The tracking dart was later found just outside of the building, painfully extracted from his skin by hand. We followed the trail of blood as far as we could, but it eventually stopped, and Fourest was able to escape into, well, the forest lawn. One of the security experts recommended getting a Lachlan on the job of tracking him down, but I said no, we’re doing this my way. Look, it didn’t matter at that moment that I didn’t know what my way was, but that was how we were going to do it, okay?
Kakos Industries pays for a lot of Fourest’s expenses. These include traveling. I was able to find chartered flights going to several destinations at once. We couldn’t follow all of them obviously, so we had to wait for some other flags to emerge. The first groups of flights were to Brasilia, Paris, Mumbai, and Sydney. Then we noticed some odd purchases showing up in Paris. This was the way. Soundman and I (and the security detail) boarded a chartered flight to the city. We stepped off the flight in our murdered out suits ready to deliver some Lake City quiet pills. We found a cafe with a room for rent upstairs. A young woman working the counter regretted to inform us that Fourest had left that morning. She described him as a strange man, looking almost exactly like me, but completely different at the same time. He would order a latte and then just stare at it for an hour before paying and heading upstairs for the night. He never drank the coffee. And he tipped so poorly as to make you wonder why he did it in an European country. The room was still rented for another few nights, so we were permitted to check it out. On the floor was a busted prepaid cell phone and some scribbled drawings of me dying. We were relatively certain that there wouldn’t be any traps as they might kill me, rendering him ineligible for being CEO. The security team insisted on sweeping the room while I waited outside. Insurance, you understand. There’s only actually one of me and it’s hard to replace me using money, so the policy is pretty expensive. After they swept the room, they handed me a memory card. It had this recording on it:
FOUREST: Well, hi there, Corin. It’s Fourest. It looks like I slipped away one more time. I bet that just stings, doesn’t it? I’m always one step ahead of you. How embarrassing. I couldn’t live with myself if I was always this behind. Don’t worry, though. I’m sure you’ll get better. Just not as fast as I will.
CORIN: We’ll come back to that “one more time” part later. There was also a single page with some handwritten words on it. It was mostly just “Do Evil Even Better” over and over again. It really seems like Fourest writes things with a pen sort of just clenched in his fist, not between his fingers. The lines are jagged, run over several times, and they look like they are just as much carved into the page as they are written in ink, or more likely charcoal or a grease pencil. That was it for the room. We went downstairs to order a couple of lattes and plan our next moves. Soundman indicated that he loved the sounds of Paris. The bustle, the chaos, and the French language. A nearby restaurant was baking fresh bread which smelled heavenly. A cyclist flipped us off and spat in the street. It was a beautiful moment.
A number of flights were chartered out of Paris. One to Gibraltar. One to Cairo. One to Tunis. One more to Tokyo. Tokyo seemed to stand out too obviously, so we figured it would have to be one of the other three. One of our remote Tunisian employees reported seeing me walking through the streets, so we were off. There was an apartment rented as a sort of safehouse in the city of Tunis. It’s available in emergency situations to a lot of different Kakos Industries employees, but this time Fourest was using it. There was another smashed cell phone. The SIM card revealed only one contact. Me. There were also seemingly dozens of handwritten notes. They were all what I assumed to be sarcastic love letters. More like valentines, really, they were so short. “We love you, Corin!” I don’t know who the “we” is. “You’re doing so great, Corin!” “Glad to have you in my life!” “You’re just the best!” Gross. There was also a book of crossword puzzles, but none of them were finished, and almost all of the answers were wrong. Like sometimes it was a plausible answer, but it didn’t use all the spaces allotted. You can’t just leave blank spaces. I’m not sure he knows how to do crosswords. He did get “MASH’s Alan” right, though. I couldn’t find any sense of the incorrect words. We’re having the cryptography team look it over now. I don’t expect that they’ll find anything. There was also this recording on a memory card.
FOUREST: Hey, Corin. Missed me again. I bet you really do miss me. I miss you, you know. Just so thrilled to have you spending your immeasurable talent searching for me. It’s truly an amazing challenge and not at all an embarrassing display of incompetence. Well, best of luck to you.
CORIN: Soundman and I sat down to work on a couple of the crosswords while we waited to hear about chartered flights. We flew through them. They weren’t hard. This is what I’m talking about. You can max out Evil, but what happens when you lose creativity? What happens when you lose nuance. What happens when you just miss the point entirely?
A man who sat in the park across the way from the apartment building seemed to recognize me and said that the animals avoided me. He would feed the birds, but they would fly off when they saw Fourest coming. The stray cats would run also. Small children would cry. And then Fourest would just sit, stiffly. The man seemed to realize that we were not the same person. He described Fourest as seeming to be possessed by a demon. I told the man it was worse than that.
There were two flights chartered, with two connecting flights each. One was back to Paris, which we found unlikely. The other went through Warsaw before either flying to Argentina or the former DarkMega USSR. I had a hunch, so we flew to St. Petersburg. The one just in the shadow of the other one. There is an old bunker we used to spy on the DarkMega USSR that I had visited once before. It was nearby so we headed there. When we opened the hatch, there was an explosion. Before we knew it, Soundman, the two security team members, and I were covered in glitter. I was pretty sure that it had ruined my suit.
Inside there was another destroyed cell phone. He was probably leaving me messages but I stopped listening to them. There was also a laptop that was still connected. He was in a private session with a camgirl and she had apparently been waiting there for hours. He had paid well in advance. One of the security staff was able to speak to the woman in Russian. She told us that Fourest never asked her to do anything particularly risque. He just had questions about things she had done, especially the things she had done on stream. He had a fascination, but apparently lacked understanding of the motivations. Sometimes he would just stare at her and not say a word for hours. There were more drawings of me dead. There was an empty can of tuna fish. I think he might have eaten it dry. And of course, there was a memory card.
FOUREST: The brightest of mornings to you, Corin. I bet you’re just shimmering with energy this morning. Positively radiant as always. The shower in the bunker is not working so you might have to wait until you get somewhere else to clean up, assuming you got a little bit messy on your way in. A warm shower can be nice after a rough or particularly disappointing day. Buh bye.
We got a hotel nearby and cleaned up.
The trail took us to a remote part of Colorado next. Somewhere in the Rocky mountains. There was such an obvious trail, and only one this time, that we figured it might be a trap. We hiked for hours to get to a cabin owned by the company. It turns out it’s barely a facade. It has two walls and that’s it. There was a tent nearby, though. Inside the usual. Broken cell phone, wrong crossword puzzles, a memory card. There was also a handwritten notebook titled “Manifesto.” I’m not going to bother reading it to you right now, but you can probably catch a little bit in the usual place. It had a lot of repetitious sections. Some things that didn’t quite make sense. Dark and violent imagery without any real purpose. It was bizarre. And kind of sad if I’m being honest. Here’s the recording.
FOUREST: Looks like you missed me again. Darn. I could have made you some hot cocoa to warm you up. I hope you’ve got a good place to camp. If not, there’s a couple of nice sleeping bags in the tent and some rations. Can’t have you freezing or starving to death out here, as much as it might be a boon to Evil. Take care of yourself. I’ve given you all of the tools for survival, so if anything happens it’s not my fault. Talk to you soon!
CORIN: So we camped for a night. I’m not that outdoorsy. Kimmie would have liked to go camping a few times, but it’s not really my thing. I’d be perfectly happy renting a place with running water there in nature, but she didn’t feel the same way. She wanted rugged and isolated and quiet and peaceful. I like a nice fireplace and a hot shower, you know? Anyway, we camped out there. I needed to get some work done, and we’d been on the road for weeks, just annihilating our circadian rhythms. It was time for a break. I hadn’t even gotten a chance to fire my gun. Soundman fired his once in the woods there in Colorado. I think he shot a tree.
Back in my apartment here in the building, I fell asleep about as quickly as I could shower and fall into my bed. I woke up with Kimmie wrapped around me. She asked me how the hunt went. I told her that we were not successful. “Probably for the best,” she said. I shrugged. I told her about all of the weird shit we found. All of the handwriting. All of the drawings. The crosswords. “Can you imagine the hateful shits he must take?” she asked. The thought caught me by complete surprise and I just started laughing. “He must push so hard,” she said. I was crying. “Can you just imagine the grunting?” It was just the perfect kind of catharsis. I think on some level I knew how unhappy Fourest must be, but it was never stated so plainly. Then Kimmie started to grunt. She made just awful horrible sounds. I was dying. I had to bury my face in a pillow to keep the sound down. She let out this low, rasping, awful scream. I had to cover her mouth. I couldn’t breathe. She stopped, and gradually I caught my breath again. There was a quiet moment.
“I still probably have to kill him,” I said.
“Yeah, no shit,” she said.”Might be more cruel to rehabilitate him somehow.”
I thought for a moment.
“Let’s talk about something else,” she said.
And so we did.
I spoke with one of Fourest’s handlers and he showed me a storage bin just full of memory cards like the ones I had been finding. It seems Fourest has believe me to be after him like this for years.
We recently had the Festival of Mud. All of you were given a small succulent plant to keep alive for the duration of the festival. Most of you failed, but that can happen. I was so caught up in the hunt for Fourest that I actually forgot to check on Kakolantis-slash-Prosperiana. That’s probably for the best.
The Festival of Innovation is coming up again. I have encouraged the participants to go a bit bigger this time. We can have some smaller crowds, so we might as well have some big machines show off their skills, fight, and then probably do some sex stuff if we’re being honest. We’ll see.
The Division of Figuring Out What All of These Keys Go To recently found the lock belonging to a really, really, really long and skinny key. There was just a hole in a wall in Hallway 94-48-e. They stuck it in there on a dare and it opened a small compartment. It was filled with dust. An analysis showed that the dust may have once been a donut.
The Division of Kaiju Battle Reenactment is preparing a four-way battle between Gorgolon the Eater, Mecha Tank-Tank, Mega-Buttleby, and Tod with one D. This is going to be epic.
There was a sudden dip in computing power for the Fucking@Home app designed by the Division of Erotic Experiences, so they didn’t get as much work done as they had hoped. I witnessed a few moments of the Lingamberry, and let me say that the instructions were difficult to follow and there were some pieces left over.
Meredith Gorgoro sent me another picture from Hell. There’s another new monster that is nothing but knees. We are keeping an eye on the situation.
They say that Evil once crashed a high school prom, played an amazing set with the band, and got all of the adult seniors pregnant. Yes, all of them. This is Thing We’re Taking Credit for Now. Today, we’re taking credit for wires, wireless connections, and the feeling like you can’t make a connection no matter how you try. Of course, we can’t know for certain that we did these things, but remember where this sound is coming from and consider carefully the costs of doubt.
MrsG has won today’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of MrsG’s nemesis will be ruined somehow. That nemesis is Zoee. We gave the Wheel of Misery a wack-ass spin and it landed on the space for Choral. Not like the organism in the ocean. Like singing. From this day forward, Zoee will be 30% more likely to sing instead of speaking. This, as you can understand, can be a bit charming, but it can get really annoying. For Evil measure MrsG will be 8% less likely to sing, which is just a little bit less joy, right? Congratulations on the win and best of luck.
Before these announcements, I just saw the Damnation and Ruination Squad. They are just strutting around with nothing but Derby hats on. Sometimes they use it to cover their junk out of respect for someone walking by, but usually it is on the head.
Shareholders, this brings us to the end of our broadcast today. You might find that you quite suddenly know how to completely disarm a firearm, and you will use those instincts to render this radio incapable of violence. Then you’ll need to throw it in the river. While I am disappointed to admit that we were unable to capture and kill Fourest, the search continues. But there’s also a part of me that knows deep down that he’s suffering, and that makes things a little bit better, doesn’t it? Well, maybe just for me. Still definitely going to kill him. 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 bottle of bitter potion. 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 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. Join our community at kakosindustries/discord. 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, Lex, Jack Attack, Valerie Koop, Dwight Spencer, Damien Scott-Viker, and A. Rupert. Also thanks to honored employees Calico, who picked all the fruit from the mysterious fruit tree. It was starting to go bad. And thanks also to our division heads. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn, directed by Bellamy Cornet, has knit a section of their large canal system. Yarn is just flowing through it. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology, directed by Craig Czyz, has developed a new vintage-style turntable that just destroys records. I am told that during their last possible play, the records sound magnificent. The Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases, directed by Danniel R Smith, has started waking every employee up with a sappy message on their phone. It is unpleasant, but it gets employees out of bed that much faster. The Division of Saying It the Long Way, directed by Dino Schroeder, has been workshopping “So, like, you know how we’ve known each other for a while and we’ve been spending a lot of time together, and we live together, and we have a couple of really cute pets together, and we make a lot of time for each other, and we sleep in the same bed and sometimes share each others’ clothes, well, I guess I was just wondering if you wanted to date.” The Division of Kakos Kafeteria Reviews, directed by Seth and Josh, has reviewed the Unusual Popsicle Stand. “Intense flavor despite the cold. Try the cucumber. 7/15”. The Division of Improbable Cookbooks, directed by Hayden Neff has been working on food you can kill yourself. It works you up gradually from basil leaves. The Division of Lesser Known Napping Locations, directed by Sass Master J, has found a warm spot over the large laundry dryer used by some of the labs. The rocking can be soothing if you’re of the right mind. The Division of Uneven Surfaces, Directed by The Doctor, has been examining the stairs to the side-side entrance of Kakos Industries. They do in fact differ by about a millimeter in places.The Division of Hallway Wandering, directed by Jack, has been strolling down Hallway 37. In the middle, you have the distinct feeling that you might be upside down, despite your feet touching the floor. The Division of Animal Stacking, directed by The One True Dave, stacked around fifty large snails. They kind of stick together if you do it right. The Division of Suspiciously Specific Charitable Donations, directed by Hemlock Yew, has made a donation to a charity for golden retrievers in the amount of “fetch”. Their bookkeepers and bankers will likely have to sort that one out. The Division of More Monday Mondays, directed by Odie, has discovered a way to make Mondays that much more Monday. It is only the wrong flavor of coffee left. We hate that flavor. The Division of Algorithmical Excellence, led by O’Malley, has developed an algorithm that can, with around 80% accuracy, determine the way you’ll die from simply the velocity of your body and its distance from the ground. Amazing stuff. The Division of Villainous Introspection, directed by Sarah, has sipped intensely from a goblet of the reddest wine, taking the time to swish the liquid from left to right and back again. Maybe we were just born to do Evil, the division thinks to itself. The Division of Creative Upcycling, directed by Trash Baphomet, has turned a stack of old cans into a fun thing to knock over. You might be thinking that’s not so interesting, but boy is it fun. 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 getting lit.