51 – Stalemate
in which continuing the war becomes difficult, The Blood Sacrifice to Literally Any Deity that’s Listening or In the Neighborhood is recapped, preparations are made for the Agriculture Festival and the Festival of Doom, we get filled in on recent events regarding Kiarawa, Soundman Steven gets harder, and Dudley Abednigo “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.
What you are about to hear is pan-galactic, motherfucker.
Hello, and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. My name is Corin Deeth III, and I am CEO of Kakos Industries. Shareholders, I regret to inform you that we are still holed up in Junior’s lair. Just kidding. We’re back above ground and everything is fine now. I admit that I am feeling a bit emotional about the whole thing, but that’s only because I’m so overwhelmed with joy to have things back as they were. We’re in the old studio, but most of the equipment is new. I still see Soundman Steven wince when he looks around sometimes. Time will heal this wound. Also, lots more stuff to play with. How are those knobs, Soundman? He does like knobs.
Today’s broadcast is coming to you from the Laugh Manufacturer’s new Canned Laughs. Yeah. It’s a can. And when you opened it, my voice began to ring out. The can appears to be empty, yes, but hidden within those thin walls are all of the necessary components for high quality canned laughter. And corporate announcements. I am told that this technology is mainly targeted at those who are desperate for approval, but it can also be used to fill in the background of standup shows of comedians no one likes but are still somehow incredibly famous. Joke didn’t land? No one watching at home will know. Just pull the tab. I am told that there are also models for sarcastic laughter, pity laughter, and maniacal laughter, which you can keep handy for whatever situation you see fit. Your significant other launched into another one of his famous I’m-not-really-sexist-but-it’s-funny-when-I-say-terrible-things-ironically stories? Open up that sarcastic laughter. It’s guaranteed to keep whoever from doing whatever it was that you hated so again. Coming soon are condescending laughs, for when you’re just too rich to laugh at the plights of the poor yourself. Each can of condescending laughter costs five-hundred dollars. Those are some premium laughs for sure. Our employees in the Division of Chucklery have been working for close to a year with the Laugh Manufacturer to perfect this design. I think we can all agree that this is Evil done much better. This broadcast, as always, is exclusively for shareholders. We’re still in the process of “cleaning up” after our leaks from using the emergency frequencies, and it’s really no trouble to swing by your place of residence, too. So if you’re not a shareholder in Kakos Industries, stop listening now.
I am told that work is underway to replace all of the emergency radios that I used during my time out of the office. If you think you see something or someone doing something, it’s probably best just to ignore it. That’ll keep you out of trouble.
In regards to the Darkest Universe, we were unable to have our Dark Friday celebration. After the pisspoor job you guys did of wishing Henrik dead, I didn’t see the point. I am told that Lady Kiarawa attempted a similar feat, but she just sort of eliminated a good person. There wasn’t much artistry. Just dunked him into a vat of hungry tar squids that like to live in the Evil Matmos in the moat. Where was the wishing? Where was the involvement of others? Where are the dirty hands besides hers? Well, I no longer need to compete with her, so I suppose I don’t have to put down her technique any more. At any rate, this will not be the Darkest Universe this year. However, I have great hopes for next year. Perhaps we can outcompete all of those horrible other Universes that like to show off how fucking dark they are. It’s all about perspective, you assholes.
The Blood Sacrifice to Literally Any Deity that’s Listening or In the Neighborhood took place only minutes after you last heard from me. There was a lot of blood. An uncomfortable amount of blood. Just big puddles of the stuff coming from the people down in Junior’s Lair. Desperate to bargain with anything they had. It was blood. They had blood to bargain with, apparently. Well, it seems that no deities were available, or they weren’t real, just like always, so we had to take our chances with the miners’ tunnels. I’ll get back to that later. Really, they ruined some good shoes with all of the blood.
The Agriculture Festival has to happen every year, and I am glad that Kiarawa did not have to deal with this herself. You see, it’s not an easy festival to manage. There are a lot of interests. And a lot of people. And if everything isn’t just right, then everyone on the whole fucking planet dies, and then who is left to do Evil? I don’t have too much to say on this. We’re all expecting Galacton imports and Giant Ass Food for your Face and the Thorgonites to do something thoroughly offensive. We have no idea what it is, and why ruin the surprise? You will be given instructions on how to watch the festivities from home, as always. You do not want to miss this, shareholders. It is going to deeply upset you.
After last year’s Festival of Doom, the Division of Dionysia has decided to really step up their game. I mean, we all enjoyed the festival for its loose feel, allowing each of us to celebrate how we wanted to, embracing doom and whatnot. But apparently the lack of structure did not sit well with them. I am told that the new Festival of Doom, which is still required by the additional rules we found, will involve roller coasters, theme park attractions, live performances, and visual arts, each existing right on the edge of mortal danger, each reminding us of our doom. The invitation I received says, and I’m quoting here, “Be prepared to have your boundaries pushed. A lot. You will not be the same. And you will like it.” I don’t know exactly what that means, but they do tend toward hyperbole, so we’ll have to just see what happens. Really, I feel like the Festival of Doom is probably just everyday here at Kakos Industries. Just this morning, I saw a guy squeezing his own heart to keep it beating. I’m not even sure how that works with what I know about physiology. It was grisly, though.
Now that we’ve got those mandatory segments done, I think it is finally appropriate to recap the events of the last two weeks. I do like keeping you in suspense, it’s true, but I think I may have run out of other things to say. Shortly after the employees began to bleed everywhere down there, it became pretty clear that things were not going our way. The doors were nearly broken down, and everyone was weak from the blood loss. Doing the only thing I could think of, I ordered everyone to go through the Division of Mining and Tunneling’s tunnels. I stayed by the entrance to the tunnels as long as I could, helping others to make their way through. Many of us held hands so that we would not be separated in what we just knew would be labyrinthian hallways. The Division of Mining and Tunneling had been missing for years, so this would undoubtedly be a maze. I helped the last person through the tunnel entrance, and then I caved it in using a small explosive I keep in my wallet. Then I caught up with the group in the now dark tunnels. The Division of Mining and Tunneling led the way, so we were fairly certain we would be heading in the right direction, at least partly. They seemed a bit uneasy. We were afraid they would get lost. Again. But then we saw light. Not daylight. Lamp light. What we emerged into was… a lounge. It was one of the best setup game rooms I had ever seen in my life. Modern technology, appliances, furniture. High ceilings. Ping pong tables. An actual wall ball court. Jacuzzis. I am confident there are few places on this planet that are as well equipped to chill as this location. Then we began to realize that this recreation space was not far from where the Division of Mining and Tunneling had began their tunneling operations. And also that Kiarawa’s forces were waiting for us inside of it.
I can’t say for certain what the Division of Mining and Tunneling had in mind when they began leading us down those tunnels. I am told that they were in this recreation space ignoring their responsibilities and the events of the world topside when Kiarawa’s forces broke through their defences. They began tunneling as quickly as possible, and as luck would have it, they found Junior’s lair. Perhaps they were hoping that Kiarawa’s forces would have left by the time we got there. Perhaps they were hoping all would be clear. Perhaps they were hoping for a cave-in to end things quickly. Whatever they were hoping for, they didn’t get it. We were all quickly subdued and marched off. Many of us were taken to infirmaries to get transfusions. But I was taken somewhere else entirely.
When my blindfold came off, I was in a gorgeously decorated, albeit monochromatic, office. At first, I thought it was my office, but then I realized it was just slightly larger. And the window overlooked the monochromatic section of the Kakos Lawn. It’s difficult to explain quickly, so I’ll just leave that to your imagination if you haven’t seen it. Kiarawa looked out the window thoughtfully as I was tied to a chair. She was dressed in a large, formless robe. Seated on her desk were Maggie and Hailey. Hailey greeted me brightly, and Kiarawa sent both of them out of the room. Maggie had this dark contentment on her face and dark circles under her eyes. She didn’t look at me as she left. Hailey… waved a lot, holding a finger to her lips like it was our secret. When the Sudodilatese guards finished with my bonds, Kiarawa turned to look at me. It was a look of disgust. Of disappointment. “You could have been so much,” she said through an ever weakening accent. “But you are nothing. Your forces could never hope to defeat mine. Your brand of Evil has no chance against the dark truths that I express with my every action.” She then hit me in the face with an open hand. Then she turned to look at the zebras playing below. “Now everything is up to me,” she said with just a hint of emotion coming through. “Your Evil was too weak. Now there is only mine. I am all the Evil there is.” The guards had not thoroughly searched me, shareholders. They mumbled something along the lines of “castrati” while they were ushering me into her office. What they didn’t realize is that I had a knife in my sleeve. I like to keep one there before important meetings, and I try to have it in place if I know I’m going to be captured. Kiarawa continued to insult me looking out the window. “You are the most useless man I have ever met. The nepotism at Kakos Industries weakens it.” I got the knife free and began to cut the bonds at my right wrist. Then the left wrist with my free hand. “You had responsibilities, Skeeyo. You had responsibilities, Corin.” She said my name with disgust. “And now they are my responsibilities,” she continued. I got my legs free as quietly as I could. I’m not used to escaping from situations like this, shareholders. Usually, it’s a lot harder, but the stakes are lower. I knew that I had one chance to make all of this right, so I moved as quietly as I could. Kiarawa pounded a fist against the glass of the window. “It’s too much!” she shrieked. I felt a sudden pang of pity for her. This job is definitely not easy, and it’s definitely not a kind one. I thought of all my employees, and all of you, shareholders, and I found my resolve once again. I took the blade I had hiding in my shirt, and I lodged it in her back. She was wearing a cloak, as I said, so my aim was less than true. She made no sound, but whipped around to look at me. Her expression was deadly serious. She slapped me again. Hard. Saying, “Where have YOU been?” Then she threw me to the ground and leapt on top of me.
My clothes came off quickly through our combined efforts. She put my hands on her body. And then she moved one of them to the knife that she insisted remain between her ribs. I twisted it gently. She spat blood on my face… um… encouragingly? The moment was quick for both of us, but we found ourselves close in the Devil’s laughter. She held onto me, the knife still in her rib cage. She coughed blood on my chest as we began to talk. Our conversation seemed to last for hours, going over the things we both hate about my job, the pressures that others can place on us, even more mundane things. She has become quite the observer of our culture outside of the time chamber. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met another person that I had so much in common with. Shareholders, I think I began to have real feelings for her. She dressed herself in the cloak once again. I asked where she was going. “The infirmary,” she responded. I said that that was probably a good idea. I watched her walk out of her office and close the door behind her. I lay back on her carpet, with a stupid grin on my face. I dozed off. She didn’t go to the infirmary, and no one has seen her since. I am… heartbroken. We think that she took the dragon with her.
Having no one from her ranks to take over her side of this battle, the war dissolved. I have taken my place back as CEO, and the only CEO at that. The Exectopode have been addressing me properly again. My employees have mostly taken to pretending that there was never a conflict of any sort. The Sudodilatese have assimilated into our ranks mostly painlessly. The Division of Mining and Tunneling have been fired, but I’ve kept their recreation room for myself. Soundman Steven, Junior, Brosephus and myself meet there for our gaming. We had to widen the entrance by a lot so Junior can fit.
When Soundman and I visited the studio here, it was barren, much as expected. That is, with two exceptions. The first: a brand new mystery contraption, complete with a monitor and keyboard. The body is a more angular. A post-it note on the device said, “This one isn’t a dragon. Good luck!” We’ve put it in a room far from my office. So far away it would be too difficult to visit frequently. The second thing we found was a Mojo Scienta Mojo Box III. It’s a piece of sound hardware. I don’t know what it does, and Soundman hasn’t been able to explain it very well, but it made him really happy. His erection grew three sizes that day. He says that it’s the third edition, before they were sold to some other company that changed the direction. It’s incredibly rare and valuable. We’re using it right now. I honestly can’t tell the difference, but he can. It has almost soothed the wounds of losing the last studio. We’re rebuilding bit by bit.
In terms of other things she damaged to hurt me, I have collected almost all of the butt plugs made from my favorite tree. I have been told that they are really comfortable, and that would explain why so many of them needed to be… extracted by hand. I will give this tree the viking funeral it deserves.
Sometimes Evil is like an allergy to foods that you love. This is things we’re taking credit for now. Today we’re taking credit for being uncomfortably warm, the talent of your competitors, and being an ass man. We can never be completely sure that we did anything, but we did those things, and if you disagree, you’ll get stabbed in the neck. Wouldn’t that be awful. I’m shuddering thinking about it.
Dudley Abednigo has won this week’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of his nemesis will be ruined. Dudley has selected Alistair Whitley Smith as his target. We spun the Wheel of Misery with enough force to feel like we tried, and it landed on the space for “Climaxes too quickly”. I’m not sure I even have to explain how this will cause problems and ruin the life of Alistair Whitley Smith. For good measure, Dudley Abednigo will always climax a little too late. We’re not sure what that means yet, but we are sure it will be a problem. Congratulations on the win and best of luck.
This brings us to the end of this broadcast, shareholders. I feel much better leaving off here than at any point in the last few months. Things are back as they should be. Or at least they will be soon. So much is happening to restore everything that I’m sure I’ve missed some things. All of the people who were down in Junior’s lair with us have been avoiding eye contact as much as possible. It was a different time and a different standard. We thought we were going to die, you know? I don’t know if Kimmie and Maggie have seen each other, or if they intend to now that their separating force has gone, if indeed she was their separating force. The Damnation and Ruination Squad have begun paying attention to me again, especially since I had them all flogged with frozen fish, you know, the standard. So I think that is where we will leave off for now. Please recycle your radio responsibly. Or crush it against your head if you’re like really manly and stuff. The numbers are next. Please, please, please do not listen too closely. I am told that these numbers are way too much to handle at this time in your life.
Kakos Industries is written and produced by Conrad Miszuk, who is also the voice of Corin Deeth. The music is also composed by Conrad Miszuk. The introduction is read by Kim Aiello, and the credits are read by Hanna Jones, who is currently casting a spell for better jellybeans. Check out KakosIndustries.com for more episodes. There’s also transcriptions if you’d rather read the Kakos Industries announcements. That’s K-A-K-O-S-I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-E-S dot com. Please check out store.KakosIndustries.com for merchandise and special offers. 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 Facebook (facebook.com/kakosindustries), Tumblr (kakosindustries.tumblr.com), and Twitter (@KakosIndustries).
Special thanks to Patreon patrons Ian Kroall, Dan Shumway, Patrick Green, Renee Stein, and Courtney Campbell. Our Patreon patrons are the best. If you want a thank you in the credits 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.
If you’re feeling down after this broadcast, have you considered a nice cozy place in the suburbs?