So, what exactly happened out there? Keep in mind that we're not trying to ascertain blame, here. You are not in danger of incriminating yourself.
UNDERMAN: In a word? Cluster!@#$.
SECOND: I think the best way to describe what happened is a colossal failure of pre-battle intelligence, sir. We didn't know what we were getting into because various persons' information was totally faulty.
THE SOUND: SPYGOD's plan !@#$ sucked is what happened. I've seen better battle plans written on bathroom walls, right next to the !@#$ gloryhole.
UNDERMAN: Like I said. Cluster!@#$.
THE DRAGON: As best as can be ascertained, certain, previously-dependable sources of information within the Chinese government are no longer as dependable as they once were.
SECOND: I think you know which persons I am referring to, sir. We had everything checked out and legitimate on our side of things. Satellite telemetry, observations from Atlantean reconnaissance, you name it.
NEW MAN: Good taste and posterity prohibit me from using the words that would best describe what took place out there. The enemy got the better of us. That's all there is to say.
SECOND: Someone played us from within, sir. It is very clear to me now.
UNDERMAN: What, you want me to go for a hat trick? Fine? Cluster!@#$.
Can you be a little more specific? Go back to just before the moment SPYGOD called to abort the mission. What was going on in your immediate surroundings?
SECOND: I was on the Deck, trying to make sense of the readings we were getting. The immense energy signature we had aimed for was breaking up dramatically. I was about to report it when SPYGOD started shouting to abort.
THE DRAGON: I had just seen off the submarines and conducted a last minute tour of the retrieval facilities, to be certain the catch nets and scoops were ready in case we had to retreat. I entered the Deck and headed for SPYGOD's side. Then he became hysterical and started calling for manual fire control.
UNDERMAN: I was right there, slammed up against a ceramic metal structure facing the energy source and offloading my attack wave. I saw the source start to come apart and break up. And then I realized what the source had been, all along.
SECOND: I remember thinking that the readings reminded me of what happens when you're zooming along in a sports car and suddenly your engine decides it doesn't want to work, anymore. The tachometer goes up and down like a yo-yo and the noises under the hood go all wrong.
NEW MAN: I was in Underman's tunnelator, keeping an eye on things. The plan was for me to accompany the soldiers in, but The Sound told me I should let them take point, just in case. They'd call when they needed me.
THE SOUND: I was trying to save his !@#$. I liked him when I was a kid, before I kind of joined the other team. I knew what the other plan was and didn't want him getting iced. I think the others would have killed me if they'd known.
UNDERMAN: I froze. I !@#$ froze. I'd expected all kinds of countermeasures and whatever, but that? No !@#$ way. It was all I could do not to panic and run after the wave, myself.
THE DRAGON: We began to rise faster than our inertial dampeners could handle, and there was confusion. If only we had been a little faster, we may have saved more lives.
THE SOUND: I mean, that should get me some slack, here, right? I didn't want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to be free again.
So what you're saying is that no one knew that the large energy signature in that junction was actually-
UNDERMAN: Deros. A whole bunch of them swimming around each other in a precise, geometric pattern at speeds so outrageous they just blurred together and looked like a machine.
NEW MAN: I saw one in action, back in the Pacific, before any of this had happened to me. I'm not ashamed to say I soiled myself on the beach, once I reached it. I was lucky to be alive.
UNDERMAN: It took me a second. I mean, no one's actually seen one of those things for !@#$ decades. But now we know where they were all this time, don't we? Sleeping off World War II.
THE SOUND: I didn't even see the !@#$ thing. I just ran when I heard the noises they were making. You could feel the vibration through that structure we got into. Maybe me more than everyone else, though. You know what I do.
UNDERMAN: If I had to guess, GORGON must have been using the energy they were giving off a power source for the complex they built down there. It's a perfect setup, if you think about it. Step quietly, enjoy the free electricity, and don't !@#$ wake them up. And if they do, hopefully it's because someone else woke them up, and they'll go after them, instead.
NEW MAN: I think the enemy must have had them primed and ready to go at the flick of a switch. You know the sort of people we're dealing with, here. The same sick mind that would put a dead man's switch on a volcano, or have cause a meltdown in their reactor if the base was compromised. You just flip that switch and let these things go and attack the invaders. Meanwhile, you slip out the back like the cowardly dogs you are.
THE SOUND: The GORGON troops we ran into didn't seem scared or panicky, and they sure as !@#$ weren't retreating. They were too busy shooting at us with those big flechette guns of theirs. And I got to tell you, it's hard to read anything on a skull face, but I don't think they were counting on an escape. I think they were resigned to die, there and then.
What happened then? And, again, let me stress that you are not being blamed for anything. We simply want to know what happened.
UNDERMAN: You mean after I !@#$ froze? After I saw one of those things coming right !@#$ for me and all I could see was teeth and I froze up? I got !@#$ lucky is what happened.
NEW MAN: It wasn't my proudest moment. I was screaming at Myron to pull away from the wall and take us out of there, and he wasn't moving. His eyes were so far out of his head you could have tied them in a knot. So were mine.
UNDERMAN: Toyboss was what brought me out of it. The dumb !@#$ comes on the comm and tells me he loves me. If I'd been thinking I would have told him to !@#$ off and run. But I wasn't thinking, and if I had been thinking, I mean really thinking, I would have realized why he told me that.
THE SOUND: I went vibrational and walked from wall to wall, avoiding the gunfight altogether. I'd like to say I was going to come up from behind the False Faces and surprise them, but if I did that my own people would probably shoot me. Plus, at that point, I was interested in saving my own !@#$. So it was a !@#$ good thing I was in the walls, or I'd have been killed when the flood hit.
UNDERMAN: Toyboss was supposed to be behind me, putting his wave of soldiers into the base. The moment he realized a Deros was heading right for me, he extracted his machine, flooding the base and killing any of the wave that wasn't prepared for crush depth. And then he put his machine right between me and the Deros.
NEW MAN: The creature bit down on the thing Toyboss was driving, and it exploded. Then the Deros veered away from us. Somehow we held onto the base wall in its wake. And thankfully someone had shut the airlock on their way out, or we'd have been flooded, too.
UNDERMAN: Next thing I know my people are screaming at me to open up and save them. I was going to, but New Man pointed out that if I did, we'd be flooded, too. There was nothing we could do for them. They were dead.
SECOND: I didn't have time to check up on what was going on down below. As far as I knew they were all dead, down there. My first responsibility was to the Flier, so I started giving orders to make sure we had our !@#$ covered. Not fast enough, though.
NEW MAN: The one that rushed past us wasn't alone. There were at least a dozen of them. They went up the way we came in, faster than we could see. And all I could think to do was stand perfectly still and pray they didn't come back.
SECOND: Next thing I know we're lurching to starboard because something as long as a battleship and faster than Yeager's jumped out of the ocean and slammed into us.
THE DRAGON: The shields were useless. The reflex weapons did not engage because the creatures have no weapons systems to speak of. They are a weapons system, awake and alive. And very, very hungry.
SECOND: We lost everything on the back port side. The thing got up and into us, and snaked around, doing obscene amounts of damage. And when it came back out the others tried to repeat the performance.
THE DRAGON: I was the one who ordered the firing of depth charges and torpedoes. SPYGOD was trying to shoot them down, and having some success, but not nearly enough. The depth charges saved us, I feel.
UNDERMAN: We could feel the compression waves, even all the way down there. I can only imagine what the guys in the subs must have gone through. Those that survived, anyway.
SECOND: It was an incredibly bad decision. Reckless and stupid and completely contrary to any notion of preserving our men and our mission. We lost 75% of the Agents in those subs because of that !@#$ and his itchy fingers.
THE DRAGON: I am aware it was not the most popular decision. But the Flier survived the battle because of it. Our leadership was seen to be intact by the enemy. I think this hastened their retreat.
SECOND: It nearly came to blows, but SPYGOD intervened. He said we had to go forward with the mission. So we got higher up and got ready to blow the !@#$ out of the juncture.
How did this mission end for you?
UNDERMAN: New Man and I got out of the hole we dug and sped towards the Flier, hoping not to get the !@#$ bends. The Ocean was littered with pieces of subs and dead Agents, all being chowed down on by those weird, prehistoric fish GORGON brought out to deal with the dolphins.
NEW MAN: We didn't see a single Deros, though. I don't think we even hurt them.
UNDERMAN: I think we got !@#$ lucky and they just left.
SECOND: I made sure Underman and the few subs we had remaining were at a safe distance and then helped SPYGOD blow the holy !@#$ out of what was left of that juncture, just to make sure. Or tried to, anyway.
THE DRAGON: Unfortunately, that gesture proved less than useless. No sooner were all main weapons powered up than whatever solution Dr. Yesterday had provided, earlier that day, fell apart.
SECOND: The shields failed. The guns jammed. All we had left was the laser discs and I don't think they did nearly as much damage as we would have liked. It was all we could do to limp to the nearest dry ground and put down for repairs.
THE DRAGON: SPYGOD took the matter rather... poorly. I think he did more damage to the Deck with his guns and bare hands than the cascade failures did.
SECOND: It was not his best moment, no. But under the circumstances, I couldn't blame him. I still don't.
THE SOUND: Well, I got picked up at sea by a sub full of unamused Agents. They used a power dampener on me and played hacky-sack with my testicles. I think they were letting off steam.
There is some concern that this mission was not a crippling blow to GORGON. Would you agree?
UNDERMAN: A crippling blow? Are you !@#$ kidding me? They were waiting for us.
NEW MAN: I have the distinct feeling they left on their own terms. The forces our men attacked were there to die. I have no sense that their leadership was inconvenienced in any way, shape, or form.
THE SOUND: Well, when I realized I wasn't going to get back on board Underman's ship, I went for the escape pods. I mean, they had to have some. And when I got there, most of them were already gone. The ones that weren't were being loaded up by False Faces who seemed to be in no real !@#$ hurry. That and this really creepy looking old woman, but I didn't want to see what the !@#$ was up with her. I jumped into a pod and left.
UNDERMAN: Put it another way? The moment I unlatched and pushed off, and started heading for the surface, I got pinged by active sonar. Their automated defenses came back on, but for some weird reason I'm sitting here, alive. I should be dead right now. Tell me that isn't GORGON's way of saying "!@#$ you."
THE DRAGON: Again, I must stress that our previously-reliable sources are no longer so reliable. I do not believe, as some do, that we were sent into a trap. If we had received better information, we could have been more effective.
SECOND: We were totally set up. Start to finish. Everything about this stinks like rotten fish.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
UNDERMAN: Yes. This totally sucked !@#$. And I hate to say it, but... oh, !@#$ it. SPYGOD blew it.
NEW MAN: This wasn't exactly the proudest moment of my life. I am very sad that we lost so many good men and women.
SECOND: We made some mistakes, but I think the worst mistakes were made for us, if you take my meaning. We need to see about re-examining our security. Now.
THE DRAGON: SPYGOD did an admirable job executing a daring plan against a deadly enemy. It is simply unfortunate that several factors we did not take into account brought the plan down. There will be another battle, greater than this one. And this time we shall be victorious.
THE SOUND: Yeah, just so we're all !@#$ square, the plan was to ditch out, steal a GORGON sub, and make a break for it. When we had our hypnotic programing removed, maybe two days before the operation, that was the plan we were given. I swear we don't know who fixed us any more than we know who gave us the plan. It just !@#$ happened, and we were too grateful to ask questions.
Thank you for your time.
THE SOUND: Yeah, now... about that immunity? I do get it, right?
(SPYGOD is listening to Five to One (The Doors) and drinking nothing worth talking about)