"Wouldn't You Know It" is a radio show and podcast hosted by freelance reporter and admitted conspiracy theorist Rick Valassi. Described by Rick himself as "the tri-state area's favorite [and probably only] pirate radio podcast," the show features Rick's personal insights, observations, sourced reporting, rumors, and the occasional interview, mostly about the goings-on around New York City; it provides a semi-informed civilian's perspective on the events and entities of the game. Rick also plays some music on the side.
These podcasts can be heard from a boombox in any safe house (and certain civilian havens in the Underground), and the episode heard at anytime is somewhat randomized, although moving to another boombox in the same game session (e.g. moving from safe house to safe house) will typically play the next episode in sequence. During a Global Event, Rick typically hosts a live interview with a Joint Task Force liaison in the studio to get additional information; the interview is different with each event.
Episode Transcripts Edit
Episode 1 Edit
Welcome back. I'm Rick Valassi and you, you lucky bastards, are listening to "Wouldn't You Know It".
And if you're listening, you really are a lucky bastard. You apparently won the genetic lottery and can't catch the Green Poison like 95% of the rest of humanity. Oh no, you had it good. You got to sit around eating bonbons, watching people you love wither and die and get wrapped in hefty bags and dumped in a mass grave with no funeral or gravestone or nothing.
Yeah, we got a golden ticket, didn't we?
It's like the fucking 80s all over again.
But what I wanna know is this: The Green Poison. Where'd it come from? Some yuppie scum millennial helicopter mom refusing to give her kids a goddamn measles shot? I wish. I hate those morons.
But this ain't measles, and that ain't the way the world works. And it ain't Ebola or Marburg. It didn't evolve in bat shit some monkey ate before some idiot ate the monkey. No.
I'll tell you where it came from: It came from a lab.
This is some designer shit, people. Somebody cooked this up on purpose. And maybe it got out by accident, or maybe they let it out on purpose.
But either way, if you don't think the federal government is involved in some fucked up way or another, then a) you don't have my sources, and b) you've been comatose for the last 60 years. Because God knows there ain't no advantage for people who love power in a situation like this, right? Nah. Never happened.
Wake up, New York. Open your eyes! Think.
Episode 2 Edit
You're back with Uncle Rick and "Wouldn't You Know It" podcast and pirate radio.
Now everybody knows about the JTF, right? The Joint Task Force. That's like the cops and the firefighters, EMTs, National Guard, reservists, doing what they can to keep some semblance of civic order. Keeping things from totally falling to shit. Nothing but respect for those folks. And like the puppets say, those are the people in your neighborhood. They're us.
But. They ain't the only ones out there.
You ever hear of a little thing called National Security Presidential Directive 51? No? You wouldn't have. Not the sort of thing they put on the front page of the Post. No, Directive 51 is more o' your basic secret government takeover type deal to provide what the spooks refer to as "continuity of government."
Doesn't sound so scary, does it? Until you find out how it works, which is they got clandestine government agents embedded among us, and when Directive 51 goes out, those agents get activated.
Our government has sleeper cells in our own goddamn country. NSA types who look and sound like you and me, until their "On" switch gets flipped.
And then what? They start rounding people up? Putting them in camps? Executing us? I don't know, but the thing is, nobody knows.
I mean, martial law is undemocratic, but at least it's transparent. Who these people are, what they're up to, it's all so top secret that even the president probably doesn't know the details. Plausible deniability, folks, plausible fucking deniability.
Home of the free? My ass.
Episode 3 Edit
Rick Valassi, constant listener, coming at you once again with "Wouldn't You Know It."
Hope folks are holding up okay in your neighborhood, or containment zone, or whatever the hell they're calling it this week. Only chance we got is if we all come together on this. Help each other out. We're New Yorkers. That's what we do. Remember that, 'cause we're gonna be tested.
Bad enough some idiot thinks a time like this is nothing but a golden opportunity to steal shit. And I don't mean food or medicine, I'm talking about stuff they don't even use. I mean, who the fuck needs a goddamn flat screen right now?
But it's about to get worse.
Apparently, the screws of the jail on Rikers Island are either dead, or they gave up and went home. 'Cause word on the street is the doors are open. The inmates are loose. And they're pouring across the river into the city even as we speak.
Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying everybody in there is an axe murderer. Most of them are waiting on trial for possession. Hell, even I spent a night or two in there in my youth. But look, the harmless ones are gonna head for home. It's the hard time hardcore we gotta worry about. Those cats? Gonna take some serious advantage of things.
So stay safe out there, New York. Keep your doors locked. And if you see any of those Rikers people? Steer clear of them, you hear me?
Be smart. Be smart.
Episode 4 Edit
New York, New York, you are listening to Rick Valassi and "Wouldn't You Know It", the tristate area's favorite pirate radio podcast. Probably it's only pirate radio podcast.
Now, we've talked about the JTF, the Joint Task Force that's made up of city cops and first responders. They've made a pretty big difference in a lot of neighborhoods since this whole crazy mess got started. But just like food, water, sanity, and clean underwear, the JTF are a handy resource we just don't got enough of.
And you know what they say: nature abhors a vacuum.
And my sources tell me somebody's trying to step into that breach. Somebody military. I'm talking PMC, people, Private Military Company types who got sent into Manhattan to protect the rich folks' stuff and found themselves trapped here with the rest of us.
So, did they pitch in and play nice? Hell no! These Last Man Battalion oobatzes and their CO, some knucklehead named Bliss, decided Manhattan died and made them king. And since they got guns and the tanks and their shiny uniforms, they're taking their nickel-and-dime fascist bullshit to the streets—our streets. And if you're in their territory and don't play by their rules, you're screwed.
And by the by, you listen to those loudspeaker trucks that loudmouth Bliss keeps running up and down the streets? It's pretty clear he's thinking bigger than just Manhattan.
So, if you see anybody in fatigues and Ninja Turtle gear, you let me know! We got a fire in the line, New York. You stay safe.
Episode 5 Edit
Hey, New York, it's your Uncle Ricky.
We need to talk, 'cause I'm afraid I'm starting to lose it.
This shit I'm hearing? Well, let's just say it sounds more like something out of an airport paperback than real life, and no, I cannot believe I just referred to our present state of post-biological-terrorism apocalypse as "real life."
Okay. So, I have not been able to confirm this firsthand, but I have reports of groups of people in containment suits roaming the city with flamethrowers burning any and all evidence of virus contamination. Properties, bodies… Green Poison's been there, they're lighting it up.
Yeah, I hear all sorts of theories on who's responsible. Some say city workers, like, I dunno, Sanitation or something. I also heard government scientists, like the DCD cleaning up its mess.
These nutjobs are apparently covered head to toe in HAZMAT gear with homemade flamethrowers. Nuh-uh, maybe it's fucking aliens. At this point, I'd believe anything.
Yeah, I know how it sounds. Like I've been saying, paranoia is the only sane response to the last few weeks. I'm trying to chase down something concrete, and when I do, you'll be the first to know about it.
Just keep your eyes open, NYC. And remember: just because you're paranoid don't mean they ain't out to get you.
Episode 6 Edit
Good morning, New York. Or evening. I can't tell, and to be honest, I don't care. It could be 4:00 AM, for all I know.
What I do have is a little more info on that Directive 51 stuff.
So, remember I was talking about the sleeper agents embedded across America, all thanks to the ultra-classified Directive 51 signed by the president? Turns out some of them have already been activated, and were secretly supervising the initial treatment operations.
You remember that lovely cattle pen they sent sick people to? And nobody ever came out? Well, when the shit hit the fan in there, all the agencies bugged out: JTF, National Guard, everybody. And the sleeper agents? Your guess is as good as mine.
Now these people are what the directive refers to as the "first wave." Why'd they call them the first wave? Because they got a second wave embedded right behind them! That's right, New York! You thought the fun was over, but no! You get a whole new bunch of faceless government overloads to deal with.
And the best part is, you don't even know who they are. They could be your neighbor, your coworker, your cousin, your brother-in-law, your fucking grandmother, for all I know! Hell, you could be one yourself and not even know it. That's how deep they're buried.
Sleep with one eye open, New York.
Episode 7 Edit
Good evening Mr. and Mrs. New York City, from East Hudson and Bronx to Queens, and all the garbage scows at sea. Except Staten Island. You're not a real borough.
Rick Valassi here again with "Wouldn't You Know It."
I keep trying to convince myself this is all just paranoid delusions. I'm not succeeding, New York. I am not succeeding.
Some of you out there have been asking me to find out the name of this sleeper agency activated by Directive 51. From what I been able to find out, it's so secret they just call it the Division.
Which, I have to say, seems appropriate. I mean, I don't know what good it's supposed to do. It certainly didn't save us when the Green Poison hit. The only thing it's good at is making us wonder who among us is secretly a sleeper agent, turning us all against each other, dividing us. That's the beauty of this super-classified bullshit. We all start suspecting each other while the East Village burns.
Yeah, the Division seems pretty damn good at that, America. Fuck yeah.
Episode 8 Edit
Calling all cars, calling all cars. You're listening to with "Wouldn't You Know It," the pirate radio podcast for paranoid insomniacs.
I'll tell you what, New York. Let's get dark.
Now, I know what you're saying. "Get dark? Jesus, Ricky, you're usually such a glass-half-full kinda guy." I know it's hard to believe, but some of you know what I'm talking about. The Dark Zone.
The Dark Zone. It reminds me of those 19th-century maps of the British Empire. The ones where the interior of the second-biggest continent on the planet just said "Here be dragons." Nobody knows exactly what's there. Nobody sane would go in to find out.
Here's what we do know about the Dark Zone: We know they locked up a bunch of sick people in there. We know the folks trying to keep the peace, trying to treat the sick, trying to maintain at least some vestige of order were forced to run for their lives. Because order could not be maintained. The center would not hold.
We know they left those who couldn't leave. Left them to fend for themselves.
Who remained? Who swarmed in to take advantage? Who, if anyone, controls this unmapped terra incognita, the deepest, darkest island within our city?
All of this is shrouded from our vision. For now, we see through a glass, darkly. Now, we know nothing. And what keeps me awake at night is: What if the glass is a mirror?
If anyone listening out there has any information or first-hand knowledge of what the fuck is going on in the Dark Zone, you let me know. As for the rest of you: welcome to the jungle.
Episode 9 Edit
New York, this is Rick.
Sorry, I'm not feeling real glib at the moment.
So, I went uptown. Decided to have a look for myself at this Dark Zone. What I have to report ain't hearsay. I saw it with my own eyes.
First off, the wall is still there. It's gotten bigger. There's now concertina wire up on top. In December, they were saying it was to keep the sick folks separated from everybody else. Now? Now I think they just don't want anybody to know what's going on inside.
So. Over the wall, I could see bodies. Not many live people. Place feels almost deserted from the outside. But there's bodies everywhere: on the streets, hanging off the walls. Signs of struggle. Bullet holes. Blast shadows. Burned out windows and doors.
I think when the authorities pulled out, the sick people tried to, uh… I don't know. I'm sure they were desperate.
Now it's… quiet. I don't mean peaceful. It's anything but that. It's a ghost town, but not empty. Just… haunted. It feels like a place that's dead and fucking angry about it.
It was some scary shit.
New York, what's happened to us?
Episode 10 Edit
NYC, NYC! I'm Rick Valassi, and this is "Wouldn't You Know It." And if you're listening to me, you're not just a survivor, you're a masochist.
You know, I put my faith in my fellow New Yorkers, because if there's one thing we know how to do at this point, it's help each other get through a crisis. But apparently, some folks missed the memo.
Yeah, I was down at Chelsea today, and what did I see? People breaking into places, sure, people looting, but worse than that: People beating people up. People beating people unconscious. People shooting people and then taking their stuff. And not even stuff they need.
I saw a guy in a ski mask with a hunting rifle follow a mom lugging her kid and a suitcase like he was tracking a goddamn deer. And when he got close enough, he didn't say a word, he just raised his fucking rifle and shot her point-blank in the back of the head. Kid is screaming and crying. Ski Mask ignores him and starts going through the case right there in the street. Pulls out a couple of things, some jewelry, crap like that, then turns around and walks off. Leaves the kid bawling his eyes out over his mom's dead body. Yeah, I guess I ought to be glad he didn't shoot the kid, too.
Look, I know it's been a fucked up last couple of months, but is this what we are now? After 9/11, we pulled together, helped each other out. Now we're hunting down unarmed mothers in the street, just on the off chance they might have something we want?
New York, what's happening to us?
Episode 11 Edit
Heard about Houston, New York? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
And not that we haven't had our hands full here – we are the epicenter, after all – but it's probably fair to say we've been so preoccupied with making it through the grindhouse flick we're in, we just assumed the rest of the world would be there waiting for us at the end.
Not. So. Fast.
New numbers released today on the DCD website look shitty. Boston. Philly. Chicago. Atlanta, San Francisco, and LA. Infection numbers are through the roof.
You got martial law being enforced by state and national guards in every city in America. Interstate trucking disrupted, food's not getting delivered, food riots daily across the country. Hospitals are overloading. No emergency services, 'cause the first responders have left to go help in bigger cities, like ours. Power grids up and down, just like that.
So, what's my point? My point is, you're like me. You've been telling yourself the world you know is waiting for you on the other side of this mess.
But here's the thing. What if it's not?
Episode 12 Edit
You are listening to Rick Valassi and "Wouldn't You Know It," the best, if not only, paranoid pirate radio podcast in the tri-state area. So you got that going for you, which is nice.
So, folks have been asking me about the federal government, what the state of things is, et cetera. Basically wanting me to reassure them somebody is still in charge. But I can't.
I mean, are there provisions for "continuity of government" in a crisis? Sure. Realms of classified documentation? Yes. Top-secret mountain fortresses impregnable to any attack with a conventional nuclear biological? You bet!
The question is, is it working? Is it functional? Are there still people running the federal government, and if so, who, and where, and are they answerable in any way to the people in the republic for which they stand?
I mean, we all know what they're telling us. We see the video footage. We download the official statements. But let's be clear. Their top priority is to keep us calm while they try to figure out what the motherfuck to do about all this, 'cause in case you ain't been outside since Turkey Day, the one thing we can be pretty goddamn sure of is they really haven't nailed it down so far.
Not that I blame them. It's such a fucking mess out there, I'm amazed we haven't all turned into cannibals yet. Yet.
Just give it time.