You must be wondering what would lead a sane, responsible and above all extremely elegant and tactful noder like myself to write such a node as this. “What came over him?” you may ask yourselves. “Ommmm,” you may decide to rephrase your question, after considering the node's title. Well, let me tell you how it all happened:

It all began seven months ago, when I was working in a special intelligence unit in the army. Details about this unit will not be detailed, because of promises made, secrets that must be kept and the fact that they still know where my wife lives, but I can say as much as this: while soldiers in other units wear uniforms, we usually wear serviceable black. While the men serving in other units carry weapons of all kinds, the women and men of our unit usually carry pistols or no weapons at all, though we are trained to use many. While members of other units proudly present their badges and symbols, the folk in our unit mostly claim to be cooks, carpenters, or any other non-combatant profession. Yes – it’s one of those units.

Our story begins with me on a special mission in foreign parts. While I can’t go into any details of this mission, when the fifty years required by the secrecy act pass and you hear of a heroic mission involving illegal trade, drug trafficking and a secret border crossing by soldiers concealed inside an abnormally huge salmon, you’ll know what mission I’m talking about.

We were accosted by the drug lord’s mercenaries as we exited the salmon. Standing there with twelve men and women pointing their H&K sub-machine-guns at us, our prearranged excuse of being a group of evangelists trying to reenact Jonah’s story suddenly sounded less convincing than when given to us by the psych-warfare dudes back at the base. We all knew something had to be done, and I decided I’d be the one to do it. Luckily, Jack decided the same a split second before me, and so turned to me and said: “Geez, something has to be done, and I’ve decided that you’re the man to do it!”. “Nothing can be done,” said the beautiful woman I later learned was the leader of this tough gang, shooting Jack on the spot. That’s how we became enemy prisoners.

OK, you must be saying to yourselves at this point that this must be one of those stories where the hero gives the evil crime-lady an amazing sexual experience in return for his freedom, or at least manages an escape using sex as a weapon (please insert favorite back-ache joke here). Well, yes and no. You’ll just have to wait and see.

We found ourselves locked up in one of those jungle prison camps of the type you see in the cinema or on TV. The kind with wooden pens to keep the prisoners in and wooden huts all around the place to house the guards. Now, if we were the kind of A-team/Rambo unit, selected for superior strength and agility, we would have just broken our way out of this place at night. Perhaps, if we were chosen for our engineering skills and our inventiveness and ingenuity, we may have built a huge man-powered flying vehicle using only some chewing gum, toilet paper and what was left of the huge salmon. Sadly, due to a clerical error in typing up military-skill-set-id-numbers, we are a crack unit of PhD students of philosophy and political science. We would have to bullshit our way out of this one.

The amazing verbal tricks and logical riddles I used to get the guards to let me talk to the gang leader are irrelevant to the story. The astounding enquiries and entreating (whatever that means) philosophical mazes and paths through which I lead the leader to accept my challenge were fascinating, and may one day be the basis for my dissertation (so I shan’t be publishing them on the web just right now, shall I?). The only important thing is this – I got the leader to give me a nodeshell challenge, and if I get cooled more than 3 times and gain over 100 votes, she will let my people and I go. Please, fellow noders – my future, as well as the future of the free world are now in your hands. I haven’t seen my wife for seven months, but I know that she’s about to have Jack’s baby any day now. You wouldn’t want to let the poor bugger bastard of an orphan grow up without a dad, now would you?

A nodeshell challenge by Footprints

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