NB: Shortly after this bootleg translation appeared, ghostwriter G. Xavier Robillard disappeared in Japan, and is thought to have been kidnapped and taken to North Korea. Pending sales of this book, the publisher may or may not lobby for his release. Translated from the Korean.
I did not achieve my seasoned brilliance and celestial harmony until I met with the Supreme Leader, who bestowed upon me all of my gifts: the ability to fly as a crane, the strength of a tiger (but nowhere near that of the Excellent Leader), the skill to divine the location of water in the most arid of deserts, and the ability to commune with the ancestors, learning their ancient wisdom and accepting it with the serenity of five thousand lotus blossoms. My happy world is often filled with ghost visions of Supreme Leader’s father, Kim Il Sung, the warrior poet king whose path I often hope to follow gladly.
During my normal days I am just a captain in our wondrous nation’s infantry. But when duty calls, I become not just any captain, not just any soldier, but Captain Worker.
Captain Worker distributes rice to those in need, especially those who serve the Party. On this day you will learn how Captain Worker battled and nearly destroyed the great monster Pulgasari. Pulgasari once was a champion of the comrades, and his fire-breathing helped repel the invasion of the Americans during the 1950 War of Supremacy, in which we defeated the Imperialists for ever. The beast became a movie star, but had received ill film reviews and his greed had him purged from the party.
Let me set the scene of Our Battle.
This tale is not for the weak, or the bourgeoisie farmers who drink tea all day, exploiting the work of others. It is a cautionary tale for anyone who considers fighting with a fire-breathing lizard who is more powerful and better looking than Godzilla, the cheap Japanese knockoff.
Mine is a simple life. I wake up, I attend courses on class consciousness, and sometimes I fight our Capitalist enemies. If our enemies are too afraid to show their faces, I work in the fields, and lead my comrades in song written by the Blessed Leader’s father, and I train other workers on how to fight with the wisdom of the ancestors blowing at their backs.
For my hard work, I am often rewarded with a second bowl of rice. But that is not the way of our commune, and I divide that bowl grain by grain to everyone, because it is the skills of one Worker that should benefit all. Such an ample meal would befit a General, but not a captain such as myself. As I sleep each night I dream that one day our fine nation will conquer China and Japan, and Korea will be united under the guidance of our blessed Father, and that I might one day again enjoy the taste of fish or beef.
I enjoy the work that is my destiny. I have defended us from terrorist America on three separate occasions, and it has been my honor to kidnap Japanese virgins for the pleasure and spiritual health of our General.
It is a beautiful day, with limited air pollution and cottonball skies overhead, and I work the fields in my cooperative.Several herons fly nearby, but they are dwarfed by the display of the great and mighty MiGs that shoot overhead, inspiring all who see them.
After these jets disappear over the horizon, a military helicopter lands, and a massive crowd surrounds it. “Is it Peerless Leader?” our people tremble in anticipation. But it is not. A military envoy appears with a message for me!
It is time to don my simple green uniform, and my best boots that only have a few holes, and battle that great scourge of imperialism: Pulgasari.
Before Pulgasari was banished, he bowed deeply to Our National Savior. But after greatness came by his house, Pulgasari was only too happy to drink foreign whiskey and chase blond movie stars from abroad. Since he no longer protected the land, blessed Kim Jong Il placed the monster into the deepest sleep, and kept him on a deserted island. Then American spies attempted a failed nuclear test on this island – an embarrassment for all their technical prowess. But the side effect of the low-grade explosion was that Pulgasari was freed from his tomb, and he built a giant life raft made out of ripped tank treads to float back to our shore. He has since eaten peasants and spoiled the rice crop, and destroyed a reactor where in no way were our scientists enriching uranium.
It is too much joy to fly over our beautiful countryside. The fields are emerald green and filled with rice, and there are pig and poultry farms for our highest ranking officials.
“Pulgasari,” I cry, “how you’ve changed.” And it is true. He was a simple, fire-breathing, fifty foot tall dragon, who used to defend our great State. Now he is fat, and has a limousine with driver, and he smokes unfiltered cigarettes and eats beluga by the barrel full.
Full of revolutionary disgust, I attack him with all of the assets given to me by our Nation, including those weapons that we usually reserve for sale to Pakistan.
We battle in the streets of our great city Pyongyang, destroying buildings which will later spring up as quickly as bamboo due to the beneficence of our Fearless Leader.
“Enemy of the State,” I begin the impressive speech of defeat that was written for me by our beloved country’s most Excellent Scribe and Wordsmith, “capitalism has made you soft and lazy. You do not understand the value of a single grain of rice, much less of human life. Surrender and bliss will be yours.”
“You cannot fight me,” he claims, and steam hisses from his nostrils. “You are low rank, only a captain. I was promoted to colonel after defeating America during the Cold War.”
So this is what Master Kim has given me: a loyalty test. Is my loyalty to a higher officer, to my army, or to my country? A stream of fire comes toward me, but I evade it with my agility and finesse. And I punch him with a blow full of communist doctrine. The enemy totters, but does not fall.
Pulgasari aims his dreaded spicy fire at me once more, and I use my storied agility to reach a place where not even this fierce lizard can scorch. But it is a close shave, and I am almost a toasted almond and shrimp treat.
Exhausted, I dive toward the ground like the speeding trains that our government has promised to deliver very soon. Now under the beast’s belly, I continue until I can grab his tail. The scales cut me like daggers, but I hold on, and wave the monster to and fro, very slowly, so this undertaking may be copied faithfully in movie form, even with our country’s intrepid but limited access to special effects.
Pulgasari is truly angry with me now, which is understandable because he is being waved to and fro, and he uses his enormous claws to punish me off of his tail. Then we wrestle, man and beast at such close range he cannot use his spicy fire breath for fear of exploding in his own face. Although he is an imperialist, he is not stupid. Perhaps Captain Worker has gained the upper hand, and he thinks that victory is within his grasp, and he may eurn the very rare privilege of meeting the Korean Ladies Soccer team.
But it is not to be. As soon as I experience this individualistic and free market-driven thought, the Leviathan strikes me with his tail, and I am near blackness on the ground. Now our special city, where the most elite and Party faithful dwell, will be in grave danger of turning as swampy love nest of the enemy beast. My vision blurs, and before I sleep the deep sleep of the wounded soldier who has failed his country one time too many, I notice our Leader, the President of our Nation, ready to fight, but wearing no armor. Kim Jong Il stands in dress uniform, looking very trim indeed, the only weapon at his side a decorative sward that remains sheathed.
It brings great shame to our nation that the amazing, wonderful Kim Jong Il has to alight, and fight such a pedestrian foe. He floats on a beautifully weaved carpet, a gift from our friends in Iran, and touches the nose of the dreaded beast with a single jasmine blossom.
Pulgasari swoons. He recalls his former love and devotion for Special Kim, a leader so glorious he tolerates monsters of diverse nature within the very bedroom of his nation, and the monster capitulates, crushing buses packed full of hapless workers as he falls.
The most exaulted Kim Jong Il takes me to his special hospital in the clouds, far superior to any facility in the west, and he lays his special healing powers on me. No longer am I a slain soldier, fallen in the line of duty. As I sleep I dream. I am as a boy, running in the fields, turning my parents in to the secret police for seditious acts, and then I awake, in a hospital bed, my forehead still warm from a kiss planted on it by our Doctor and General and President.
I call out to the nearest secret service operative, who is dressed as an orderly, and I confess. I weep, and I call out that I too have been acting as a subversive, an agent of the enemy West, and that I am neither fit to battle the gathering masses of the Chinese Army, but I could not vanquish Pulgasari because I am he – an imperious, capitalist bully-clown who thinks of his own full belly rather than the safety of our people. I use the back of my medical record, which uses recycled newspaper in a most efficient manner, to type my confession. And to show my good faith, I allow them to torture me.
The army strips me of my rank, but our gracious commander-in-chief once again intervenes. He acknowledges that I am a poor communist, and only barely a socialist, perhaps just a fellow traveler. I look down at his pristine, black patent leather boots. Our Leader kisses me. Then he slaps me.
He rends my signed confession in two, and releases me to the border of South Korea, our dread enemy. Before I am banished he uninvites my superpowers. Uninvites my superpowers! Without my powers, I am resigned to my fate of subverting capitalism by selling cheap, pirated DVD’s in Seoul.
I am no longer Captain Worker. I am lost.