i-think Twenty-Two

Now with more coherency.

Your travel survival plan - Part 1

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Recently a close friend travelled to China for many weeks. Whilst I can’t think of a good reason to go to China for pleasure, he certainly has (I have heard something about some little sports competition they have going at the moment).

So, having now “hooked up” with someone he has has to turn back to his friends in Australia to perform a very important duty: “Keeping track of his kidneys”. Unfortunately this plan was enacted too late and didn’t have enough detail to properly react to this scenario. Fortunately he still claimed to have his Kidneys less than 24 hours ago, but I can’t be certain he has them at the time of writing.

Don’t think this is purely limited to the stealing of Kidneys. Other problems you need to keep aware of include:

  • Stealing other organs. Sure, kidneys are the main ones, but you’ve already crossed a line, so why not harvest some other organs while you are at it, such as your liver or corneas.
  • Kidnapping. Even if you don’t have anyone back home willing to fork out for your ransom, you may still be worth something to kidnappers who can send your bodyparts in the place of genuine kidnap victims in order to encourage the ransomee (is that even the right word? If not, it is now) to fork out the dough.
  • Slavery. Don’t underestimate your worth on the slave market.
  • Being accidentally married and thus being financially responsible for your new bride/groom’s entire family

So with all these things that can possibly go wrong who in their right mind would want to even travel overseas? I’ve heard culture and life experience are a couple of reasons.

So that you can continue having life experiences that don’t involve getting you addicted to drugs and becoming someone’s sex slave in their dungeon, you can arrange a plan to communicate your whereabouts and status to the outside world. Depending on the level of the problem, a quick call to the local embassy or a crack team of mercenaries will be ready to assist and extract you from any situation lickety split.

Unfortunately my friend consulted someone else to make these arrangements, who despite their many years of watching violent television and films has not been left as paranoid about how to prevent or deal with these situations as I. It’s important to take life lessons from movies.

The first and most important step is regular communication. How regular will be dependent on where you are going and what sort of access you have to communication equipment. Communication can be either one-way or two-way. If the communication is one-way you need to establish a protocol for verifying the validity of the communique and a plan if the communique is malformed. Most importantly is the need for a duress word. This word needs to be arranged in advance when their is a high degree of certainty that the person is not under duress. Duress words

The best part about duress words is their ability to add extra meaning to your message. For this reason it is important to have more than one. Using these words you can communicate important information to give an approximate location, description of the problem and even a rough count of how large the team of mercenaries should be.

It is important that the duress words be able to be slotted in with your normal messages without arising suspicion. Poor choices of duress words include “help”, “I’m being kidnapped” and “get me the f@# out of here”.

Because the duress words are supposed to be so normal it is possible that a duress word may accidentally be used in a communique. That’s why it is important to have a procedure to follow when a duress word is received, a communique is late or malformed. Usually this procedure would have varying degrees of action as you increase your state of readiness. You can either use numbers or colours ((That’s right, colour is spelt with a “u”)) (or a combination of the two) to help make it easy to determine where in the process you might be.

In my next post I’ll describe what steps to take as you move from one alert level to another.