Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Get Smart: The KAOS Communications Network

In honor of the release of the new Get Smart movie in theaters this Friday, I am posting a piece of fan fiction I wrote more than 15 years ago. I believe it was for my Junior year in high school, and I was given a project to interview 10 different people on what the 1960's were like. I was then to take all that information (and only that information. I was not allowed to cite any reference books or similar works!) and compile it in any way that I chose. When I'm given that kind of freedom, I like to run with it, and so I used those references and put together a Get Smart story where KAOS caused one of the most newsworthy events of that decade.

It should be noted that, because this story was originally written as part of this project, it contains a few elements that I'm sure I wouldn't have included if I were simply writing the story to be writing a story. You'll see some lists and opinions expressed that are there simply as a kind of "info dump" to relate what I'd gotten out of those interviews. I do not consider this something one should normally do when writing, and it should be kept in mind that I was still quite young when I wrote this particular piece so long ago. That said, I've made no attempt to edit it, except to clean up some typographical errors.

It should go without saying that I do not own the rights to any of these characters or concepts, and that this work is strictly a piece of "fan fiction," not intended to infringe on any copyrights. Should I get a message from the rightsholders, I will delete this post immediately. However, it is my understanding that most rightsholders are okay with such fan fiction if it is not used for monetary gain, and will turn a "blind eye" to the infringement (which still occurs despite the lack of intention). In that understanding, I'm going to go ahead and post this story. I should also note that Get Smart purists will probably see a couple of places whereby this story doesn't fit into the existing Get Smart canon especially well. I'm already aware of a couple of things, myself, but I expect that most, more casual, Get Smart fans won't notice....

It was just another day on the job for Agent 29. Agent 29 was one of Control's youngest agents, a mere 23 years old. Because of this fact, Control often had Agent 29 pose as a teenager to infiltrate KAOS encampments. After all, who would suspect a kid? Tonight, the chief had ordered Agent 29 to watch a program on the recently developed KAOS Television Network. There were suspicions that KAOS was using this network as a means of subjugating the youth of America. Control had to find out how. No sooner did Agent 29 turn on the TV set than he fell into a trance, proceeded to his car, and drove to a farm in southeastern New York state.

A few days later, Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86, reported to the chief's office. The chief had a mission for Max.

"Hi, Chief!" Max said.

"Hello, Max," the chief responded. "KAOS is up to it again."

"Up to what, Chief?"

"Agent 29 disappeared a few days ago. He was supposed to be looking into a new KAOS Communications Network."

"KAOS has an entire communications network?" Max asked, astounded. "How many forms of communication are we talking about?"

"Well, they've got..." the chief started, but Max interrupted.

"Wait a minute, Chief. Isn't this top security?"

"Yes," the chief said reluctantly.

"Then shouldn't we be using the cone of silence?"

"But Max, the cone of silence never works. Every time we use it, something terrible happens."

"But Control Procedure specifically states that in matters of top security, we should use the cone of silence."

"All right, Max. Sit down." The chief directed Max to a chair in front of his desk. After they both sat down, the chief hit a button, and a giant plastic double-domed encasement came down over Max's and the chief's heads.

"Well," the chief started, "KAOS is using graddio, ttellevvisssioonn, ddrrivve-inn mmovvie theeattors, andd olldd bbookks stoo subbblimminnally affecct thee mminnds of Amerriccca's yyouth."

"Eh?" Max said. "Wwhat kkind of realltors?"

"Nott realltors! Ttheattors!"

"Rreal ddoors!?!? Why woudd KAOZZ use ffakke ddoors?"

Growing impatient, the chief hit a button. "Larrabee! Razzze the conne off zilenzze!"

The intercom crackled. "What, Chief? Who plays the violins?"


The cone of silence rose above Max and the chief once again. "Not 'real doors,' Max!" The chief informed. "Theaters! Drive-in theaters!"

"Oh," Max replied. "Sorry about that, Chief."

"KAOS has somehow created an entire communications network involving radio, television, drive-in movie theaters, and old books to send subliminal messages directed at young people. However, I've even heard of a case where a 50-year old man turned into a hippie after reading Gone with the Wind."

"Excuse me, Chief. How do you turn an old man into a hippie?"

"KAOS is broadcasting subliminal messages at certain intervals over reruns of Ed Sullivan, Lost in Space, Bewitched, Andy Griffith, My Favorite Martian, The Beverly Hillbillies, and many other popular shows. Even radio's "Wolfman Jack" has been turning kids into drug-crazed hippies."

"So, what's my job, Chief?" Max asked eagerly.

"First, I'd better get Agent 99 in here." The chief pressed a button on his console. "Larabee, send Agent 99 in, please." A few moments later, Agent 99, Max's attractive female sidekick, walked into the room.

"You asked for me, Chief?" 99 asked.

"Yes. You've already been briefed on KAOS' new communications network, I understand?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good, I want you to work with Max on cracking this case. As you know, KAOS has been responsible for the major increase in rebellious youth in our society today. In fact, we believe that they were responsible for the enormous gathering in Woodstock, New York two days ago. If that is true, their headquarters may be located there."

"So," Max started, "we know 'who,' 'what,' 'where,' and 'how.' What we need to find out is 'why.'"

"What?" the chief asked.

"Not 'what,' Chief, 'why.' We already know what KAOS is up to."

"Stop that, Max!" the chief shouted. "Anyway, here's the plan. I want you and 99 to go to Woodstock posing as hippies. Once there, you're to find out where KAOS Communications is located, and destroy the operation. Now, you got all that?"

"Not all of it, Chief," Max said.

"Why, what part didn't you get?" the chief asked.

"The part after 'here's the plan,'" Max said.

"99, help him, please," the chief pleaded. "Now, I've asked Carlson in the lab to devise equipment for you. I want you to see what he's come up with."

When Max, 99 and the chief arrived at the lab, Carlson was waiting for them.

"Ah! I see you've arrived," Carlson responded. "I've got some very interesting items for you." Carlson picked up a wig. "You'll need the long-haired wigs with the beads in them to fit in. They have special earphones in them that will allow you record whatever you hear, while eliminating any subliminal messages that might be present." He gave one wig each to Max and 99.

"Now, these are special sunglasses. With these you'll filter out any visual subliminal messages, such as those KAOS prints in books." Carlson gave out two pairs of sunglasses.

"And, finally, these beads." Carlson held two long strands of beads. "The bead necklaces are made up of many tiny grenades. To use one, simply take the bead off the string, and throw it." He handed out the beads.

"Excuse me, Carlson," Max asked. "But what happens if the string breaks and all the beads fall off?"

"Then you have two seconds to avoid being blown to kingdom come!"

"Oh!" was Max's reply.

Soon, Max got dressed up in hiphugger bell bottom pants, tie-dye shirt, peace symbols, beads, wig and sunglasses. 99 wore a miniskirt, a round collared blouse, a flower that could fire two bullets, and the beads, wig, and sunglasses. They were then transported to New York. When they got to the farm where the celebration had taken place, Max and 99 found a large number of people still there.

"There are still so many people here, Max," 99 commented. "Where do we start to look for KAOS."

"Quiet, 99, I'm thinking." While Max thought, 99 heard the sounds of Beatles tunes coming from behind them.

"Max, if we follow the music, we might find where it's being broadcast from."

"I've got it, 99!" Max exclaimed. "If we follow the music, we might find where it's being broadcast from!"

"Good thinking, Max." 99 sighed.

They proceeded towards two loudspeakers, which were now playing Mamas and the Papas music. As Max and 99 approached the speakers, they were stopped by a familiar voice.

"Schtop right there, Schmart!"

Max and 99 turned around to see Siegfried and Starker, two of KAOS' top agents.

"A clever dizguise, Schmart," Siegfried commented. "But you didn't actually expect us to fall for it, did you?"

"KAOS is going to be proud of us, huh, Siegfried?" Starker asked. "We've captured Control's top agents. They'll probably play trumpets for us when we get back home. 'Doo, Doodoo, doodoo, doodoo, doodoo!'" Starker imitated a trumpet.

"Schtarker! Schtarker! Nyecht!" Siegfried shouted. "This is KAOS! Ve don't 'doo, doo' here!" They took Max and 99 below ground to the secret headquarters.

As Siegfried and Starker led Max and 99 to their prison cells, Siegfried explained. "Of course, ve're behind all dis! Ve have acquired the rights to broadcast the most popular television shows of the decade. There doesn't exist a teenager in America who doesn't vatch Bonanza, Rawhide, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Hogan's Heroes, I Love Lucy, Dragnet, Laugh-in, Hawaii-Five-O, or Gilligan's Island! (I love dat Gilligan! He iz zo funny!) Ve even have National Geographic Schpecials! Unt, in case some nincompoop doesn't vatch TV, ve have a radio schtation unt drive-in movie theaters! (Imagine dat, Schtarker, a teenager who doesn't vatch TV! Hah!) Ve even put subliminal messages in books! Myztaries unt Romance novels verk particularly vell."

"But why, Siegfried?" 99 asked.

"Because chiltren are de future! If ve make de chiltren of America rebellious, unt deschtroy der minds vith LSD unt other drugs, de future of America is deschtroyed!"

By this time, Max and 99 had arrived at their prison cells. Siegfried and Starker locked their enemies up, and returned above ground. Only one KAOS guard remained to watch over Max and 99. 99 shot the guard with her flower gun. She then shot the lock open with her second shot. The noise brought the attention of other KAOS agents. Max fumbled with his bead necklace, trying to remove a bead grenade.

"Max, be careful!" 99 shouted.

"Don't worry, 99, I know what I'm doing," Max said. At that point, the necklace slipped off and hit the ground.

"Max!" 99 screamed and the two ran around the nearest corner and raced behind cover. The explosion was tremendous. Most of the underground broadcasting equipment was destroyed. Max and 99 were pretty scratched up, but okay. As they proceeded back above ground, they found that the party continued the same as before. They found that enough teenagers had brought their own music that the loss of the KAOS sound system had no effect.

"I don't understand, 99," Max said. "With KAOS' broadcasting equipment destroyed, these kids should be free from KAOS' subliminal commands."

"Most of the damage has already been done, Max," 99 replied. "These kids have taken so much acid that they have lost their grip on reality."

"It's a pity," Max agreed. "But at least KAOS won't be attracting any more kids to this place. By the way, were are Siegfried and Starker?"

"They were above ground when the explosion went off," 99 said. "They probably ran off when they realized their equipment had been destroyed. But it's awful what happened to those other agents. They must have been killed. I wonder if we're really and better than they are."

"Of course we are, 99. We have to shoot, kill, and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in this world." Then Max pauses, reflecting on the meaning of his words.

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