Everyone Loves a Murder Mystery

by Alchemy

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about

This is a quite silly science-fiction concept album I wrote mainly as a present for a friend of mine. We both have a great love for concept albums, such as Genesis' "The Lamb," Gary Numan's "Replicas" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall," so I thought it appropriate to do an all-out 70's style concept album, complete with radio-theater-esque dialog-bits in between the actual songs.

It's a science-fiction story set in the future, where religious fundamentalist groups are opposing the government's plans to electronically tag every citizen in the world through what they call the Global Digitalization Initiative. So, in essense, we have two reprehensible antagonists at war with each other, and us, the citizens, caught in the middle - unable to choose sides, because both are equally defeating.

The Global Digitalization Initiative is being spearheaded by a small group of programmers, working over the distances of the internet (which, in the future, is accessed through terminals called Access Points, or just "The Access"). Three of them are already dead as we open the story, despite being under heavy guard, and the police are still at square one.

It is, of course, obviously the religious fundamentalist group, who call themselves the Human Preservation Society, who are responsible for the deaths of the Initiative programmers. And they make this perfectly clear to the authorities - but continue to elude them, by using our society's advanced technology against it.

The story opens at 5.15 am in the morning, when rogue programmer, Carl McIntyre, phones the police with a tip about having potentially seen one of the assassins, hacking into a public Access Point behind a seedy dive called the Server Café (yes, I know, very cheesy). Just as he is about to give a description of the assassin, an unknown force pins him to his seat. Unable to move, a disembodied voice admonishes him - and then, Carl's head spontaneously explodes.

And so begins our silly little tale. Later, we'll meet Detective Clements, who is the lead investigator of Carl's murder, and the last surviving programmer of the Initiative, Carla Regina Arigold, who is put into protective custody. (Of course, Carla doesn't actually SPEAK, since I can't impersonate a female voice at all convincingly.)

The ending is intentionally ambiguous: the final track of the album presents you with two different endings. In one, the Global Digitalization Initiative is completed, and every man, woman and child on the face of the Earth is digitally tagged and under constant surveillance by the government. In the other, the Human Preservation Society succeeds in stopping the Initiative, then goes into politics and tries to overthrow the world's government on a platform of rejecting all technological advancements; basically sending everyone back to the stone age. Both horrible outcomes; no happy endings; just the way we like it.

Again, don't take the whole thing too seriously. It was recorded in about a week, only a month after Complacency Kills. Despite having 11 tracks, the album is quite short, since most of the tracks are brief dialogue scenes.

This version of the album features a freshly remixed version of the final track, "Dealt an Unwinnable Hand."

credits

released July 1, 2007

Music, lyrics, script, production, engineering, mixing and mastering by Troels Pleimert (whew).

All voices, guitars, keyboards, sound effects and drum programming by Troels Pleimert, except: lead vocals on "Dealt an Unwinnable Hand" by David Warmind.

Cover artwork and photography by Troels Pleimert.

Dedicated to Thomas Arnt Jensen.

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about

Alchemy Roskilde

A disparate output of everything from industrial punk to 90's-inspired electronica defines Alchemy, the musical alter-ego of Troels Pleimert.

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Track Name: Carl Calls the Police (Dialog)
[The Access boots up; an automated 911 station answers]

Automat: 911. What is your emergency?

Carl: Yeah, hi ... I saw the newsfeed. I ... I think I know who you're looking for.

Automat: Please describe in detail the nature of your emergency.

Carl: I was in my apartment, and it was raining. And I saw him come out from behind the Server Café. He was tall--

Automat: Please describe in detail the appearance of the suspect.

Carl: Well, it was raining. I couldn't see his face. But he was definitely hacking into the Access Point. He was maybe six foot seven ... He was definitely tall. And I looked at the screen when he left, and I swear, it was logged on to her apartment. That's how I know. He must have programmed the anti-theft turrets to think she was a burglar or something. And he killed her. That's how I know.

[The atmosphere changes]

Carl: There's someone in here with me. I can't log him off. I need help. I need help. I'm at 403 Deep Green Plaza. There's someone here on the line with me. I can't--

[Carl is pinned to his seat, unable to move]

The Crusader: Now now, Carl. Don't give too much away. Everyone loves a murder mystery.

[Carl's head explodes]
Track Name: Death By Proxy
In the realm of wires, the gun is obsolete
In the realm of the digital, the enemy is within you
My electrodes buried
My condition commands
Your cerebrum wired
Slave to my demands

You can meet your maker
And never see his eyes
I'll be done in a second
And no one will hear your cries

This disease started long ago
It perpetuates
My unease started long ago
But it alleviates
When I rain down on your wicked lies
I condemn you
I'm the savior of your filthy lives
I suspend you

You can meet your maker
And never see his eyes
There'll be no more of this
I'll put an end to all the lies

This is death by proxy
This is murder perfected
Track Name: Newscast I (Dialog)
[TV turns on]

Announcer: --warning citizens to monitor their incoming connections with state-of-the-art firewall software. In Tokyo today, the members of the Council for Ethical Digitalization convened for the fourth time in a meeting that was originally scheduled to take place next month. Security measures forced the delegates to assemble earlier than planned to counteract the growing threat of underground terrorist factions. Security measures were high when the council assembled to discuss the Global Digitalization program, which has raised highly controversial attention across the globe. For more news, log on to our State News Access Point for details and historical background. In other news--

[TV turns off]
Track Name: 5.15 am
5.15 when the call came through
It was just my luck
I'd been ground to a stand-still
Thought I'd had enough
Now a new point of interest
Photos on my table
I've been drinking sleep-depressants
Just to keep me awake

Focus
Rely on your senses
The answer is in here
Somewhere

4.15 last night when the call came through
The guns in her apartment put an end to her too
Such a mischevious irony when security kills
Now I need to put the pieces back together
And this one might do

Relax
Let it come to you
The answer is in here
Somewhere

Molly was a bright young thing in the system sprawl
Of the few that could travel the world, she knew it all
That call 5.15 tonight, before connection hung up
Told me where to look for her next
Told me practically all

Focus
Rely on your senses
The answer is in here
Somewhere
Track Name: The Crime Scene (Dialog)
Officer: Detective? In here, sir!

Clements: Oh, Jesus Christ.

Officer: Yeah, it's not a pretty sight.

Clements: How old was he?

Officer: His records list him as 37, but he looks much older, doesn't he? Says he was a systems analyst for CareTech. Carl McIntyre.

Clements: And the call traced back here?

Officer: That's right. Paramedics state time of death as 5.17, exactly when the call was terminated.

Clements: Fucking gruesome. Any signs of forced entry?

Officer: Nope, he was in here all by himself. He's got quite a security setup. You'd practically have to be the guy who installed it to get in. Took us 45 minutes to crack the security code at the scene.

Clements: Well, someone cracked the poor guy's skull open. Any leads off his Access?

Officer: Just the call to the 911 station. And a recording of that call. He kept one, apparently, just in case.

Clements: Any other recordings?

Officer: Nope, hard drive wiped clean. Apparently before he made the call. He probably had a ton of illegal software.

Clements: Yeah, it's always the same with these systems guys.

Officer: Forensics will be here soon to take him away. There's not much to go on.

Clements: Well, tell the clean-up crew to remember to bring sick bags. Don't want them tainting the scene.

Officer: Gotcha, sir.
Track Name: The Crusader
The first one was an animal, dead as night
The second was a deer, staring in the headlights
The third was the elegant recluse at the Heights
Untouchable in theory, but I turned off her lights

There's only one more left, and then our morals are safe
This is a secret that should be taken to the grave

I am the champion of the morals that be
I heal the blinded so that they can see
It's a crusade that only we can win
To tarnish God's image is the Devil's sin

I feel like a mirror of the truth that I bring
I heal like a physician, but you won't feel the sting
We trust our hearts with the psalms that we sing
We safeguard the world where only God is King

There's only one more left, and then our morals are safe
This is a secret that should be taken to the grave
Track Name: Newscast II (Dialog)
Announcer: Three out of the four delegates of last week's Tokyo conference are now either deceased or have disappeared, prompting an extensive investigation into what is believed to be the work of a radical, right-wing terrorist organization. Detective Clements is the lead investigator of the Chicago division, where the third victim, lead programmer and vocal spokesperson for the Council for Ethical Digitalization, Molly DeMario, recided in her Security One tower of Heightland Hills. What initially appeared to be a grievous security malfunction is now suspected to be the work of foul play.
Track Name: Human Preservation
This isn't techno-fear
This is our survival
This is not insolence
We see no other option

They want to implant all mankind and take away our humanity
We do this for mankind
Preserve what we were made to
You can thank us later
We'll keep us where we belong

This isn't wrong, this is what we do
No one else seems to give a damn
The government plays into their hands
Ignores the calls of the righteous ones
We see the truth where the rest are blind
To save the truth we must kill mankind
We value those who give up control
And may God lay forgiveness on our wicked souls

We work for all mankind
We'll hit them right where it hurts
The greatest irony is using theirs against them
Track Name: Communique (Dialog)
The Crusader: This is a communique from the Human Preservation Society. We take full responsibility for the deaths of André Devanté, Uli Schwartzweld, Molly DeMario, and the traitor, Carl McIntyre. Know that the fourth Council member, Carla Regina Arigold, will be dead in 24 hours. Added security measures will be futile. We will not sit idly by while humanity is reduced to zeroes and ones in the name of blind progress. The Global Digitalization Initiative must be stopped at all costs. As God is our guidance, so shall his wrath be our sword. The digital age is an abomination. The unclean will pay for their transgressions.
Track Name: A Safehouse for Carla (Dialog)
[Heavy door closes]

Peon: The room is sealed, ma'am. We should be safe here for now.

[Carla turns on the Access Point]

Peon: Um, we advise you not to use the Access Point unless it is an extreme emergency. We have reason to believe that--

[A low pounding grows increasingly louder from the outside]

Peon: Stay here, ma'am.

[The peon punches in the code for the security door, and it opens again. What a dumbass.]
Track Name: Dealt An Unwinnable Hand
What do you do when no one is right?
When neither side is preferable?
Do you ignore it or leave it, or run and hide and try to forget it?
What do you do when you have to choose?
When we have painted ourselves so far in the corner that we can't take it or leave it?
That we can't break out and free it?

There used to be grass in our fields
There used to be a sky up above
There used to be something here
There used to be something else
We used to be kind to each other
We used to have trust
We used to feel for each other
But now those feelings are lost

What do we do when there's no answer?
There's no salvation; there is no grace
The sky is a blackened mess, and down here it's anyone's guess
Now we know we have to take a stand, but we know any stand will lose
We can't ignore it or leave it
Or run and hide and try to forget it

No more
The world is gone
It's all gone to shit
And the truth is, it's not their fault
'Cos we put up with it

No more
It's over now
I've lost all my hope
And my last thought, to all that's left:
I hope you've had enough


Announcer: Today, millions of citizens are lining up outside the medical facilities as the Mandatory Surveillance Implant Act of 2024 was passed by the three world legislative committees, requiring all citizens to have a surveillance node implanted. The measure is expected to combat global terrorism and greatly reduce law transgressions on a global scale. An outbreak of protests nationwide have attempted to resist the--

Alternate Announcer: The death of Carla Regina Arigold, the last member of the Council for Ethical Digitalization, sent shockwaves throughout the global network. The Human Preservation Organization took full responsibility, claiming ethical superiority to the plan of a global surveillance network monitored through microscopic implants in citizens. However, the Society, which has seen a surge of new members worldwide since their official communique two months ago, has already set their sights on a new threat: to what they call 'the preservation of humanity.' Two cloning facilities in downtown Las Vegas were shut down earlier this week, claiming lack of funds for their continued operation ...

Speaker: Let me put this straight. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not cave in to the demands of religious zealots. We do not recognize this so-called Human Preservation Society as a legitimate political party! To even think of these madmen in Congress is ludicrous, to the point of--

[Connection terminates]