Back when I was still working for New Horizons I used to regularly teach night classes. Normally this meant hanging out around the house most of the day, studying up for whatever class I was teaching that night. My classes ranged from SQL and .NET programming through Windows Network administration and network security design to various and sundry other certification classes. I forget what I was supposed to be teaching that night, but this nearly ten years ago, so it’s completely excusable.
Anyway, one day I decided, rather than spend my time prepping, I’d go see a movie. In this case, the movie was Hellboy and I caught it at the dollar theater in Albuquerque. The movie was fun. By now, I’m sure you’ve either seen it or decided you have no interest in seeing it, so there’s no real point in giving you a review at this late date, so I’ll just leave it at “the movie was fun.”
When it ended, I still had some time before I need to be at work so I went wandering around the area, as I am wont to do. I like to look around, see what’s out there, and poke my nose into places it’s probably best to keep it out of. Around back of the movie theatre, there’s a tiny industrial park with lots of nondescript buildings. Coming off Hellboy, this immediately piqued my already fertile imagination and I wondered what all these companies did. One, in particular, was a nondescript building surrounded with barbed wire with signs on the fences that read “Use of deadly force is authorized to protect this facility against intruders.”
Smack dab in the middle of Albuquerque is a place with a sign like that. It’s still there, you can it view on Google Earth. The picture isn’t fantastic, but you can make out the “Use of deadly force line” on the sign in the picture.
This got me wondering what was going on in there and my mind made up all kinds of crazy stories ranging from weapons testing to reverse engineering crashed UFOs. It turns out the real company does networking and, if I’d been smart, I would have walked up and asked for a job.
In Henchmen, Radula is a contractor company working on figuring out how to weaponize a sleeping god. As with all times when someone tries to weaponize a sleeping god, things go terribly wrong and that, ultimately, kicks off a lot of the events in the book. I should also point out that I like the word weaponize, even if Chrome thinks it’s not a real word. In case you’re wondering, it means turning something into a weapon.
So, Radula, as a real place, doesn’t actually exist anywhere but in my head, but it is based on an actual physical place. The truth of the matter is there are all sorts of random places doing actual classified work, but they’re usually smart enough to not advertise it with signs authorizing the use of deadly force. I seriously doubt any of them are weaponizing gods or protecting their buildings with multiple pounds of C4.
The name, Radula, came from a less likely place. I like to weave paracord and one of the books I used (Lanzen’s “Paracord Fusion Ties”) to learn how to do it named one of the bracelets “The Radula.” Radula, in real life, are feeding structures for some mollusks.
So, there you have it. A little bit of background.