Loving that Beijing Gold, son?
I sure !@#$ing hope so. It'd be nice if you saved a case for me, there. I mean, it's my drunk you're infringing upon, after all...
Relax, son. Relax. I'm !@#$ing kidding. It's cool. It's not like the Imago are rationing beer in the cities, after all. We could !@#$ing drink Beijing dry as a jaded, 90 year old hooker's !@#$ and they'd just make more.
Beer's a simple thing, after all. Water, hops, and barley, maybe some flavorings. That and time. And before you know, you can drink the !@#$, and it'll !@#$ you up.
Now, people? That's a different !@#$ing story, son. We aren't chemical combinations or mathematical equations. There's no physics of the human heart or soul. What turns one young man into a go-getting role model might turn someone else into a !@#$ing thug on death row.
There's a great mystery going on between our ears, and it doesn't always lend itself to easy !@#$ing classification.
But we can make guesses, son. We can observe patterns and make observations. We can try things out and see how they work, or, if all else fails, just take a !@#$ing page out of history.
And that's all we really need to turn a group of ordinary people into !@#$ing faceless monsters -- the simple fact that, if you take someone who's in a bad place, and tell them that you love them, and that all they need to be happy is to accept and return that love, measure for measure, you can mold them like !@#$ing silly putty.
You can march them across minefields, make them slaughter their friends and coworkers, betray their countries, threaten the world.
You can make them shave their !@#$ing faces off to prove their love for you, and undergo radical cybernetic implantation that gives them a technical advantage when it comes to infiltration and impersonation.
You can make them willing to kill, and be killed, for an ideal that would sound like a bad horror novel if you read it in a newspaper.
Love, son. Love and hope. The two most dangerous weapons in the world.
Dark Star understood that. God only knows where or !@#$ing how she got the memo, but she proved it without a doubt in that separate area in Unit 731, where her and General Shiro Iishi watched group after group of Chinese prisoners carve their !@#$ faces off to show their love and loyalty to the woman who'd saved them from !@#$.
And then they gave them masks, called them False Faces, and set them to work around the camp, and then the war.
I never ran into one of those !@#$ers. I was in Europe, kicking Nazi !@#$, at the time. But some of the Strategic Talents who operated in Asia told me some really !@#$ing nasty stories about these faceless assassins the Japanese were using.
Most of the time they wore a plain, white mask with eyeholes. But they had portable devices that could take a dead person's face off at the skull, and then place it right on the assassin, like it had always been there. If they were caught, they fought like !@#$ to escape, and if that didn't work, they activated a suicide charge and blew themselves to !@#$ing pieces, rather than surrender.
Odd thing was that none of them were Japanese. They were Chinese, Russians, Jews, even captured Americans and Englishmen. Anyone that fell into Dark Star's clutches at Unit 731 might be turned into a !@#$ assassin and sent out into the field.
And Shiro !@#$ing loved this. He had visions of Japan ruling the world through the slow but steady absorption of all world leaders and high functionaries. He thought Dark Star and he would be the best servants of the Emperor, and help establish a beautiful new world in his name.
Oh, yeah, by this time the two of them were !@#$ing. He loved how she took his shame and dark memories away. Maybe that's how he could mentally handle doing the sort of things that should have made a good man cry for !@#$ing forgiveness and then put a bullet through his brains.
(Or maybe he was just too !@#$ed up to begin with. It's hard to tell.)
But then, just as he's mapped out the plans for his dream home, there to live with his sweet little memory-eating !@#$ of a wife, something happens that changes everything.
You remember how, before Dark Star created the False Faces, Shiro Iishi was convinced there was something she wasn't !@#$ing telling him? And you remember how he confided in her handler, and how he said he'd look into it? Well, that wasn't an empty promise, because by that point he was wishing he'd never !@#$ing seen her.
You see, being a handler for a strategic talent's a lot like being someone's talent agent in Hollywood. If you discovered someone, that's !@#$ing great, but you better !@#$ well hope that star keeps rising. Because the moment it cracks and falls the !@#$ down? So do you.
So yeah, this guy got some massive !@#$ brownie points by finding this !@#$ing powerful kid in that whorehouse for freaks. But then she came around and claimed that she had the !@#$ key to a door that unlock weapons and tech for Japan. Massively game-changing weapons and tech, in fact.
So now, every !@#$ time the war came a little closer to home, all his superiors would look at him and say "So why haven't we gotten these things, yet?" And they'd say it in such a way that it was clear that it was his !@#$ing responsibility, even if it wasn't.
After all, he found her. So what she did, or didn't do, after that was kind of his.
(!@#$ing sucks, huh?)
So he took a photo of her, drove up the East coast of the main island, went into administrative offices and police stations, and asked if anyone !@#$ing knew who she was. Of course, no one did, but he kept !@#$ing looking. And finally, just about at his wits' end, he gets all the way up to Kitakami-Cho, and shows the photo to the chief of police there.
The old guy looks at it, takes his glasses off, and starts weeping.
Turns out that this girl is his !@#$ing granddaughter. She went out on the fishing boat with her father older brothers, maybe ten years back, and they got caught in a terrible eastward-heading storm. The best they could figure was they either capsized and drowned, or got pushed so !@#$ far that they wound up stranded in the middle of the Pacific. !@#$, they could have wrecked in !@#$ing Alaska, or something for all they knew.
Did she ever act strangely, as a child? No, the old man says she was normal. Maybe a little boyish, which is why she was on the !@#$ing boat in the first place. But normal.
Did she ever exhibit strange powers? No, the old man says she was normal. And what kind of a !@#$ing question is that? When can he see her?
I don't know what happened to the old man, or what they told him. For all I know they said they'd get in touch and never !@#$ing did. But Shiro Iishi gets word from the mainland that the girl's a !@#$ing liar, and is no more alien than he is.
Now, given how !@#$ing powerful she is, they aren't going to punish her, at least not yet. But, obviously, her status as "hand behind the scalpel" at Unit 731 is !@#$ing over, and everything she was doing has to be stopped. They want him to concentrate on plagues, like he was before, instead, and remove all evidence of what she'd been up to.
"It must be as though she had never been there" ... I think that's what this !@#$ing translates to.
General Shiro Iishi is sad, of course, but, as we've seen, his job is to obey. He shoots the latest crop of False Faces, himself, and has their bodies burned. And he tells the high command that there may be other ones, operating out there, but of course they know where they are.
Then the penny !@#$ing drops. The High Command asks him what the !@#$ he's talking about.
They never ordered these "False Faces" into combat or espionage missions. Not once.
Which means that everything she ever did with them was something she wanted done for her own !@#$ reasons. And God and the Emperor alone know what the !@#$ those might have been.
So Shiro Iishi is broken, sad, and borderline disgraced at this point. It's all he can do to make sure that everything she did is trashed, and if she comes back, she's to be arrested at the gates for treason. And that's an end to his dream home and her sorry, nasty !@#$ in his kitchen, making death baby soup, or whatever.
But, of course, she doesn't get back. This is late June of 1945, and she's off in New Guinea, supposedly looking for the Australians' secret supers base with Thunder and Lightning. They go in and never come out, and two months and two A-bombs later Japan's !@#$ing surrendered.
Shiro closes and scorches Unit 731 well ahead of the Soviets. They even ram suicide trucks full of explosives at the building, just to be sure it's a !@#$ing hole in the ground. But they don't burn everything, and some things get taken with, or left behind.
And this diary was one of those lost things, son. It's burned at the edges and some of the pages have been torn out, most of them from between the time she made her False Faces and when he found out what was really !@#$ing going on. God only !@#$ing knows what all went on, there.
You see, we got hold of General Shiro Iichi, after the war. General MacArthur okayed a deal where we got their cooperation and research, and they avoided prosecution for war crimes. It's sick and !@#$ing disgusting, and contrary to all notions of decency and justice, but it happens, anyway, and that's that.
(Maybe another reason you never !@#$ing read about this !@#$ in school, son. We're too disgusted to admit that we prosecuted men for experimenting on Jews in Europe, but let the Japanese have a pass for doing the same !@#$ing thing to the Chinese.)
But the important thing is that, no matter what we ask him, and no matter what he says, he never !@#$ing talks to us about her, or anything they did. Ever. It seems he took that !@#$ order about her never having been there very seriously.
Likewise, we take our side of the agreement seriously. We protect him from official reprisal, harm, and the Soviets, who want to grill his !@#$ on a !@#$ing hibachi along with the other ones they captured. He lives fairly well, after the war, and finally !@#$ing dies in 1959 from throat cancer. All that smoking and drinking, I guess.
Some say he was never in Japan after the war, though. They claim that he'd been replaced with a body double, and was actually in the states, working on biowarfare projects. But that's complete and happy horse!@#$, and you know well enough to know how I know that, so let's not go down that !@#$ing road.
But a couple years later, GORGON shows up, and then the real fun begins.
Yeah, son. Have another beer. Because this is where it gets really weird.
(SPYGOD is listening to Cold (The Cure, live version) and having more Beijing Gold)