Thursday, September 1, 2011

8/30-31/11 - Operation Bad Soju

Let me start this out by saying that I didn't intend to spend the last two days beating the !@#$ out of giant metal wasps on a tiny island in the Yellow Sea, just off Incheon.

The fight took in a lot of the nearby, larger island of Muui, as well as the Incheon international airport. Seeing as how giant metal wasps and passenger planes do not mix very well at all, the Korean authorities are not happy with us, right now.

But I'm pretty sure they'll get over it. Especially when I show them exactly what we've been doing, and why they really don't want to make too much of a fuss about it.

Because they really do not want this !@#$ to go public. Not now. Probably not !@#$ ever.

What are we doing here in the first place? Glad you asked that, son. As you know, we've been working on mining what data we could out of various computer drives we've salvaged from HONEYCOMB installations, so as to facilitate what we've come to call OPERATION BUGSTOMP: the total eradication of the entire science terrorist outfit, the horse it rode in on, and it's nazi eyeball thieving dog Gerte, too. 

If you've been paying attention, you know why this is absolutely necessary. But let me show you yet another reason why this must be done.

Let me take you back to South Korea, back in the late 60's and early 70's. This was back in the General Park, days, when a pro-business totalitarian dictator was running things south of the 38th parallel. The KCIA was running a tight ship, and making so many "dissidents" and "communist spies" disappear that it they were making Pinochet's death squads look like amateurs.

Believe me, that's saying something.

In January of 1968, North Korea sent a small detachment of men from Unit 124 into Seoul in an attempt to kill General Park. These were some scary and dedicated bastards, willing to dig up graves and sleep with !@#$ corpses to avoid being seen at night. They had excellent training, adequate equipment, and total commitment.

The only reason they failed was because Park, nasty monster that he was, was !@#$ lucky that day.

Needless to say, General Park wasn't in a mood to let it slide. So he had his military goons in the Air Force put together a revenge mission. They swooped down and gathered up their own "dirty dozen": 31 criminals, outcasts, misfits, and aimless youths who were promised money and rewards if they'd just do their country a little favor.

And after that horrible war, which !@#$ flattened everything between Pyongyang and Pusan, who wouldn't want to be well paid to go North and kill Kim Il-Sung? It must have been how it felt to be in the Dolittle raid after Pearl Harbor, only maybe a little less visceral (unless you lived in Hawaii).

But this was not the Dolittle raid, which is a time-tested textbook case of professionalism, planning, and daring-do. This was a cluster!@#$.

The 31 men who would be turned into Unit 684 were shipped off to Silmido, a tiny island, not far from the shores of Incheon. Over the next two years they were trained past the limits of their endurance and sanity, to the extent that seven of them died just from exhaustion. The instructors didn't give a !@#$, and just pushed the survivors harder.

Their training started in 1968. They were deemed ready to go by 1971. But by that time, Kim and Park had had something of a meeting of the minds. There was talk of reunification, which, as we well know, did not, has not, and will probably never !@#$ happen. But it sounded good after everything that had happened before, and Park, for whatever reason, wasn't of a mind to return the assassination favor, anymore.

So Park did the unthinkable. After spending two !@#$ years training these guys to go do the mother of all wetwork jobs, he canceled the !@#$ mission with extreme prejudice. 

(Which means, in civilian terms, he ordered the Unit to be assassinated, themselves, in order to keep the North Koreans from finding out what he'd been planning.)

What happened next, just a little over 40 years ago, is one of the blackest acknowledged chapters in South Korea's history. August 23rd of '71, the remaining members of Unit 684 rebelled, slaughtered their guards, left the compound, and fought their onto the mainland, towards Seoul. What they were going to do, or where they were going to go, is still largely uncertain. But they fought to the death, using every tactic they'd been trained with, and some they'd probably learned before all that.

They were magnificently terrifying, by all accounts. In the end the police just barely stopped the Unit, and most of what was left of them killed themselves with hand grenades. The remaining four were executed after a drumhead trial a year later, and the government sat on the whole !@#$ thing until they were more or less forced to fess up to it, thanks to a movie of all things.

So what does that have to do with anything? Well, son, I'm glad you asked.

While we were decrypting the files we got off those HONEYCOMB servers, we uncovered notes about a PROJECT DANCERS DRESS. Something about taking 31 men and turning them into Supers through a low-impact regimen of training and chemicals. The project wasn't a success, but they didn't go into much detail as to why, or what happened.

And then SPYGOD got to thinking, as SPYGOD is likely to do after a few really strong drinks and a ladyboy or two. Why does 31 sound so familiar? And "Dancers Dress"?

It took me a little scouring, but we eventually figured it out. I'm sure you realize, by now, why 31 is important. But it turns out that the larger, populated island of Muui is right next to Silmido. Muuido means "Dancers Dress Island."

Oh those sneaky HONEYCOMB people. So of course we suit up and zip over there, letting the South Koreans know we're on our way but exactly telling them why. Some bull!@#$ about a rogue strategic talent they really don't want drunk and on the rampage in Seoul, which is good enough for them.

We do some digging on Silmido, and we find a treasure trove of old HONEYCOMB materials, including the aforementioned giant metal wasps. Cue a massive battle that rages across both islands and their precious !@#$ airport for two days, thankfully won by the good guys once the new tech we've been trying out pays off and we trip their kill switch.

So here's the real story about Unit 684, son.

For some weird reason, the Korean peninsula is just not super central. Maybe being the hermit kingdom for so long denied them some essential strands of DNA, and maybe they're just not lucky that way, but you can count the number of known supers in North and South Korea on both hands and have room for a few fingers and a thumb.

So maybe General Park, who got to see some Strategic Talents in action (sort of) during the Korean War wanted some of his own. Maybe having a group of mere men almost cap his sorry butt in 68 brought it home to him that he really needed some special talents guarding him. Maybe he was worried that Kim Il-Sung already had more than he was letting on, and there might be a god hovering outside the Blue House any day now.

Some discrete inquiries are made, and some friends are introduced. Promises are made and plans are cooked up. But tests and trials are required, so raw material is needed.

Hence Unit 684.

Which means that, for two years, while we were fighting them across the planet along with ABWEHR and SQUASH, one of our more rabidly anti-communist allies, and a country in which we actually had a major !@#$ military presence, was clandestinely linked up with HONEYCOMB in a bid to make them their own rabidly loyal, mind-controlled supers.

And then it all went to !@#$. 

What happened on that August day, 40 years ago? Did Park finally realize what he'd made a deal with and try to get the !@#$ out of it? Did HONEYCOMB get angry that their plan was botched and decide to punish their former allies? Did the men of Unit 684 just rise up to save their own lives?

We may never know. The answer may be in these drives we've painstakingly excavated. It may remain a mystery forever.

But the scary thing is this: from what little we've been able to determine, PROJECT DANCERS DRESS was just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since 1971, HONEYCOMB has created numerous "Unit 684s" all over the world. They've taken normal people, altered them, and then let them loose amongst the populations.

This means that, much like GORGON, there could be any number of sleeper agents waiting to rise up when they get the signal. They may not even know what they are, or what they can do. And when it happens they may not be in total control of their own actions, which will make what has to happen next very heartbreaking.

But, unlike GORGON, who are fanatical but still mostly baseline, these sleepers will be very hard to deal with.

You see, the men of Unit 684 didn't kill themselves with hand grenades just to make a statement. They used hand grenades because, by that point, that was probably the only thing that would kill them.


General Park is dead, shot by the director of his own KCIA in 1979. So I can't force him to tell me what the !@#$ he was thinking. I can't berate him for having been so !@#$ short-sighted, envious, and dumb.

I can, however, go find his grave and !@#$ on it for a full hour. And after I have another few bottles of this nasty soju I've been drinking since they told me about this new problem we have, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

And I'll toast the men of Unit 684 when I do it. Magnificent doomed bastards, one and all.

(SPYGOD is listening to Tell Yourself (Clazziquai Project) and drinking some very awful Soju)

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