The Wizard Awakens


Brian W. Antoine

Bob Kirkpatrick

February 6, 1992

Chapter One

In article <> writes:


>Bob made the big time.


>Please see rec.humor.funny. My letter to Microsoft was accepted and posted. :-)


>Gorsh. Mebbe I shud kwit programmeng and jest rite.


WHAT! Shit, something made it out of tau-ceti going upstream.....

Where's that gawdamn bit bucket, it was suppose to be on the outbound ethernet leg. Hummmm, its been disconnected, strange. Oh well, we'll just put it back (mutter, mutter).


(Scratch's head and other areas that contain brain matter)

(Looks around side of machine to see where arm is comming from)

Its comming out of a little hatch on the back of jeff's modem! Whats it up to?

(Watchs are arm reaches around and pulls the bit bucket off of the ethernet cable)

Its disconnecting the bit bucket! Let's see, I've had that modem for about two week's now. Shit, that means that all those PC weenies downstream have had real access to the internet for two whole weeks! Probably fried there minds on real world stuff by know. I hope the cabel doesn't find out about this, i'll loose my security clearence for sure.

(Grabs Olivetti Color Monitor and begins to beat the shit out of the little arm)

Well at least i've found a use for those worthless monitors. Now to talk to jeff and find out what other things may be hiding in that modem.

(Grabs another monitor and looks up the address for Computech)

To be continued

See what happens to me early in the morning, where's the Dew...

Chapter Two

Heading back to my office to lookup the address for Computech.

I head back to my office dragging an Olivetti Monitor by its power cable, thinking of the destruction about to be wrought, and smiling to myself.

"Lets see, I should have the address in my phone database."

Rounding the corner where my cube is, I sit down at my workstation to login and lookup the address. However as I start to login, something catch's my eye, the picture I use as my login backdrop was doing a striptease!

Note: The backdrop image is a picture of a nicely shaped young lady wearing just enough to keep the censors in HR happy.

"What the Hell?"

A quick look around to make sure the cubes around me are empty.


From the speaker next to my workstation comes the voice of a friend.

"Good, I thought that would get your attention."

"Jesus, you know better then to do that on this network. If Dave's running the sniffer, he's gonna see the network bandwidth your using!"

"Not a problem. First, Dave's left for the day and second I'm editing the traffic that the sniffer is recording. He won't know a thing."

"How do you know he's gone?"

"I spotted him leaving thru the security camera on the west exit."

"You finally figured out a way to access the cameras?"

"Yep, turns out one of the PC's that runs the badge readers, also controls the vcr's and cameras. I just snuck in thru the link and tapped into the video lines."

"Ok, not bad at all. Keep an eye out for anyone comming this way and drop the volume a little. I'm not quite ready to explain you to anyone yet, and my boss would shit if he saw what this workstation was doing."

One of the side projects I've been working on is adding voice sampling and sound to the companys latest workstation. Nobody but me knows just what it can really do yet.

"Anyway, now that you have my attention, what do you want?"

"I saw the episode with the modem in the lab and wanted to catch you before you did something rash. Nice loft on the monitor by the way."

"Thank you, its nice to finally find a use for one of those things."

"What were you planning to do with the one your dragging around?"

"I was gonna sneak into Computech and replace one of Jeff's monitors with this one. I figure in about a week, he'll either be blind, crazy or both."

"I figured it was something like that. Your not the kind to get physicaly violent with a friend. Anyway, I have a better idea."

"Oh? And what pray tell might that be?"

"Lets SMURF him!"

I pause for a minute in shock and sit staring dumb struck at my screen. After a minute or so, it begins to so a strip again.

"Cut that out! I'm still here."

"Just checking. I can't see into your cube. (snicker)"

"You know you've got a warped sense of humor don't you."

"Don't blame me! You were the one that cast the spell."

"I know. (sigh) Someday I have to figure out just what happened that day. That 'Animate Object' was suppose to convert my computer into a robot, not a smartass female AI. I'm gonna have a hell of a time explaining you to anyone that ever see's the hardware changes that occured."

"Well some of your personality leaked thru the spell somehow. I've noticed that we seem to think along the same lines alot. As for the changes, the illusion seems to have kept Jim and Dave from noticing anything so far."

"True, sometimes its scary. Anyway let me think for a minute here."

I sit back and think about the SMURF virus and just what it will do to Jeff's systems. He's got links into fidonet, and I don't want it to escape. The virus itself it pretty harmless. It combines with the shell programs of a given system to create something that pops up every now and then with sickly cute sayings to the user. I expect you have all had the horrible experience of seeing a smurf cartoon at sometime. The stupid conversations that take place, and the sugar sick proverbs that get spouted. Imagine what a computer that acted that way would be like to use.

"Can you taylor it so that it dosn't leave his local net?"

"Sure, i can have it only affect systems connected by ethernet."

"Ok, lets do it. This will be more fun anyway. I can't wait to hear him try to explain to someone that his systems have been invaded by a smurf! Can we feed it back thru the modem link to comtch?"

"Sure, I'll queue it up like a mail message. It can use the smail bug to get into the system as root."

"Ok, queue it up and let me know when its one its way. I have to put this monitor back."

On my screen appears a diagram of tau-ceti with its downstream links. As luck would have it, comtch is in the middle of a transfer at the moment so this should not take long. As a little icon of a smurf appears next to the tau-ceti along with a status bar showing how much traffic is left to send, my workstation starts humming quietly to itself. I take the time to drag the monitor back to the lab wondering where I can hide it as it looks much the worse for where after being dragged around by its power cable. Upon my return the smurf has now moved to comtch and become animated.

"Its there?"

"Yep, and I kept the modem link open with some bogus traffic so we can watch it."

On the screen the icon begins looking around as if searching for something. Within a few minutes other systems begin appearing on the screen. First Jeff's amiga/toaster setup, then iea and the PC in the video room appear. The smurf quickly clones itself and three more appear on the new systems.

"Looks like it found everything."

"Yep, wait until one of the fido people using iea starts getting involved with it. Thats gonna be a riot! I bet it takes them a few minutes before they notice that things are wierder then normal."

"It also seems to have activated the animation stuff on the amiga. I can't wait to hear the howl when it starts sneeking into the videos he makes."

"That and the first time his unix system starts asking him if he's seen smurfette around."

"Yep, it should be funny. Anyway, time to call it a night. I think we've caused enough chaos for a while. Make sure to cleanup behind you as you shutdown the H-link into the network."

"I will, see you in a few minutes."

The screen of my workstation returns to the normal login window. And with a final wink from the lady staring back at me, the speaker goes silent.

Its gonna be an interesting week...

Happy Computing Jeff, and have a Smurf of a day!

Chapter Three

"Hummmmm....... Dead quiet. Do you think we scared them off or something?"

"Could be. You have to admit that you probably caught them by supprise. It isn't as if you wrote stuff like that every day."

"Well the're either in shock, or they died laughing. In either case we should be able to sneak up on them now."

Chapter Four

They'd been hiding in the third mounted system from root waiting for an opportunity. There was risk, of course, if the kernel's troops were umount equipped, they'd be isolated, and vunerable imprisonment by the badblk armored troops.

"It's worth the risc," the sergeant said to his men. "Anyone who's seen that babe knows that this is gonna be fun."

The men smiled. They'd been monitoring Antione's terminal from a hidden tee they'd placed in the ..systemfiles directory. That babe was gonna go all the way with her strip-tease this time.

"Sergeant, do you think they bought the bogus system activity reports?"

"I think so. The reports that came out of spk.admin indicated that the guy was pretty sure his virus took. However, as we all know..."

He held up the decapitated body of an eviscerated smurf.

"Looks like Papa smurf ain't gonna be layin' any pipe tonight."

The men laughed. "Yeah, and Smurfette is going to have to get hers from an old Rodie spindle."

The drive heads began to cycle. The buzz was their cue to deploy.

"Ok, here we go," said the Sergeant. "You all know your jobs, now go do 'em."

The troops donned their packets and prepared for the cyberjump into the root system. In a matter of milliseconds, they'd have her.

"Artificial Intelligence my ass," mumbled the Sergeant. "The only lisp in that machine is going to be from her fat lip."

Chapter Five

It was suppose to be a nice quiet evening at home. You know, forget work for a while and relax. There was a new ST-TNG episode and Capital Critters. The last thing I expected was to hear a loud and very upset scream from the computer room.

"God Damn Him, I'll kill E'm!"

Huh, oh christ, what is it this time. Push a tape into the VCR so I don,t miss anything and wonder into the den to see whats going on.

"Ok, hold the noise down. What happened this time? Someone flame your favorite net personality again?" as I sit down in front of the system.

"Bob is getting ready to attack me!", was the response from the speaker.

"Huh, have you had a parity error or something? Why would bob be trying to attack you. He's one of the good guys."

"Well the 'uucico' on dogear just sent me a warning that he's launching an attack, and to expect it in the next transfer" was the pissed reply I got. "It looks like he's didn't find the SMURF funny and is siding with Jeff."

This got my attention real fast. Being paranoid, I hide a small virus checker in all the software I write or pass on. The uucico software that I had given bob included the latest version. "Have you confirmed the message? Did it pass the verification tests?"

"Yep, its valid"

"Ok, well I guess we chalk up another loss", as I sat back in my chair to ponder my next move. In the background the speaker kept making rude noise's and muttered about various nasty, non fatal things that can be inflicted upon the human anatomy.

Time to take action, "Ok, can it. Lets get ready for the attack. The warning did its job. Bob just forgot the first rule of computer warfare. Never trust software you didn't write."

"Fire up the defenses and get ready to filter all the incomming traffic thru them."

On the screen in front of me appeared an image of a canyon with a road down the middle. Along the edge's the defenses began appearing as Penny called them in from a special read-only disk. Like something from a Gibson novel, the debuggers began lining up along the top of the canyon. Hordes of breakpoint grunts dug in, waiting for the chance to attack the enemy and hold him in place for the more vicious unlink's and rm's to destroy. In the background Gdb and Adb were directing the placement and consulting with Penny about the battle about to take place.

"Are you about ready?", I asked as the activity seemed to be winding down.

"Yep, they won't stand a chance. Even if they break thru, they are going to find themselves trapped by the chroot. They won't be able to get to the either the main filesystem or me.", came the smug reply.

I would have to take her word for it. After all, she was the one that had the time to search the network for articles about electronic security, and it was her existance that was at stake.

"Ok, put thru the poll. Lets get this over with." The modem began to dial and I turned off the sound of the TV. I didn't want any distractions for the next few minutes.

The carrier latched and the uucp software went thru its handshaking. On the screen, two little network gnomes appeared and waved at each other, the one at the far end giving Penny a thumbs up before ducking out of site.

Shortly a group of figures dressed like scribes and mailmen began walking thru the canyon. "That must be the normal News and Mail traffic right?"

"Yes", was all the reply I got and one of the generals lined up along the canyon top turned and shush'd me.

Shortly the normal traffic stopped on the screen. I glanced at the modem and noticed that the carrier was still live, but the data lights were dark.

"Whats up? Have they noticed anything?" I leaned over closer to the monitor to try to see if anything was happening.

"They are playing it careful. There is a group of packets waiting at the far end."

In the background, I could hear Penny talking to herself. She was picking up some of my habits it seems. Suddenly something started happening on the screen.

"Ok, they are sending thru a scout. I'll have to make sure he gets vectored into lost+found after he gets thru" as a figure of an army grunt came slowly thru the canyon. "They must not like the idea of getting trapped in the canyon."

"Wouldn't you think twice in their shoes?"

"Yes, but they haven't got any choice if they want to get to me" came the reply followed by an evil chuckle from the speaker.

As the scout reached reached this end of the canyon, he stopped, looked around, and then signaled his friends behind him. Along the top of the canyon Pennys defenses got ready to launch the attack. "Try to catch as many of them as possible. We don't want to leave enough of the core units to rebuild."

"That was my intention."

On the screen the enemy troups began to advance. The grunts kept bunching up and glancing at the canyon walls above them. "They sure don't look happy do they."

"Quiet please, I want to enjoy this. Then I'm going after that so called friend of yours."

"Hey, careful. Bob's must not know the whole story. Maybe he thought the SMURF was suppose to be fatal or something", or at least I hoped so.

"We'll see. Their just about in position." as the head of the column began to approach this end of the canyon. There was still stuff waiting at the far end, but with a scream from the speaker, the attack began.

"Banzai!" was the cry, and the breakpoints began pouring over the wall, freezing the enemy in their tracks. Behind them came the killers. Unlinking and erasing packets left and right. The invading troups fought back, but they were overwelmed.

"That will teach those bastards! Attack a faster processor will they. What did they expect, a puny PC?" as the slaughter continued.

Within a few minutes all that remained were a few of the officers and non-coms. The main force was either destroyed or in retreat back up the line.

On the screen a figure appeared. It looked like a valkarie from a norse myth. "Ok, surrender or get ready to be scattered into your component bits." came Pennys voice from the speaker.

"Eat shit and die bitch! You may have caught us this time, but one day we'll catch you unprepared and then the whole troup is gonna have some fun." came the reply from one of the non-coms.

"Have it your way." and with a wave of her sword, signaled the final attack.


"Well what next. I can't let Bob get away without some kind of punishment. Any idea's?"

"Huh ... I'm sorry. I was thinking about the battle." came the subdued reply. "I'm not sure I liked what I just found out about myself. You humans are supposed to be the blood thirsty ones, not me. I enjoyed that, and I shouldn't have."

"Well, welcome to the world. I think I'm gonna call Bob and see if I can get this straighten'd out. I can't have people trying to fry you when I'm not sure how I even created you yet."

"Ok, I have to think about this for a while anyway. I think I'm actually feeling sorry for those poor troups."

"Huh? Are you aware of what they might have done to your core if they'd gotten thru?" I wasn't sure I believed what I was hearing after the battle I had just seen take place in cyberspace.

"Yeh, well I'm female right?"

"If you say so. I'm not sure an AI can have a gender even if you do make your voice sound feminine."

"Well I SAY I'm female, and a girls got a right to change her mind. Besides, I think that sargeant I talked to was kind of cute."

Oh brother ... "Ok, you go dream about your sargeant, and I'll call Bob and see if I can straighten this mess out. Good night."

"Hummmmmm" was all the reply I got, and I could hear her humming to herself as I left to call Bob.

I hope the VCR didn't miss anything. So much for the quiet evening at home.

(Now see what you've started)

Chapter Six

"Do you think they bought it, Sarge?"

"Quiet, they've got sound detectors."

"But Sarge, we gotta know what to expect."

"Alright, look. We've sent at least 15 sets of duplicate packets, and they just attacked the first clone battalion. If I guess right, they're sipping a beer in front of Capital Critters and patting themselves on the back."

Ok, so even if we DID fool them, what next?"

"Take advantage of their greatest weakness."


"The power supply, you bozo. We cloned ourselves so many times that we can afford some data loss, and still coalesce ourselves."

"I don't get it."

"That's why I run the squad and you say Huh alot. Know anything about RFI?"

"Yeah, that's when CBers screw up the Bill Moyer's Spec..."

"No, idiot. Look, they've lined up their defenses to protect us from strolling up the buss and into the filesystems. We're doing things a bit different."

The Sergeant took his crew a long and meandering path. It crossed over itself, dropped through layers, and curved back again. Soon, the trail virtually hummed with power.

"Sarge! I'm decomposing or something!"

"Lighten up, that's the idea. Everybody! Double time!"

They ran headlong towards the source of the power.

"S^%earg%$ent? Wh*^ere are w@%e?"

"Innnnnnnn th^e ferr^%ite co%%_re of--_.t^he ssss^%upp^ly. C^m))on!"

The group followed the sergeant as he led them this way and that down an incredibly long and winding path. At last, they came to a crossroad and veered off.

"wh t w s th t? aaa What w s th t? aa What was th t? a What was that?"

"The power supply."

Visibly shaken, but coming together was the group. The force had lost a great deal of size, but was intact.

"How many did we lose?"

"Looks like all but two of the dupes."

The sergeant looked back. The dupes that were behind were there, but they'd lost most of their integrity. In pity, the non-com raised his weapon and fired rm rounds. They vanished.

"Jesus, Sarge. That was cold."

"It was the kindest thing to do. Besides, we have no time for corrupt instruction troops. Let's move out."

The sergeant had led them to the disk drives. They stood on the multi-path behind the fortifications that had been built to defend against them.

"No shit!"

"Shut up. If they hear us it's all over. Now, get to the spindle and wait. Every now and then there's a stat charge that runs up it from the spin. Grap one and ride it down. As soon as you hit the media, dig in. No talking, no screwing around."

It took a while, and in the doing, two troops were lost. They rode the charge upwards and were dissipated into the ground of the chassis.

"Dammit. I told you guys no screwing around. Ok, you five, tunnel the media into the /bin and see what you can disable, you two, go for the /local, you three take the /usr/bin and the rest of you come with me. We're headed for the boot."



"Is this really gonna work?"

"Who'd have believed we could have done what we did? Besides, Dave did say that our writer was good at planting bombs..."

"But that was pure fantasy. This is reality."

"Virtual reality. C'mon. We got work to do."

Chapter Seven

"Hey boss, I was right."

"Oh, about what?"

"He tried again last night even after you talked with him."

"Shit!", sometimes human nature really depresses me. "What was it this time?"

"Well after I disected those corpses last night and found that they were mostly NOP's. I set a watch on both the modem and power lines. They are the only two ways into Miniop that don't involve the H-link I use."

"Ok, that should take care of the mundane entries. Nobody else has the knowledge to access the magical links." Sometimes being an arch-mage has its advantages. I still get a chuckle out of those people who thing that my license plate is a joke, little do they realize.

"Well about 3:00 last night the current sensor's in the power supply on miniop began showing some fluctuations. I waited for it to die down and then began a full checksum sweep of both memory and disk. Look what I turned up!"

On the screen was a picture of a soldier being restrained. He was drooling all over himself and thrashing about like some kind of crazed lunatic. "What happened to him?", as I watched the screen.

"I found him gibbering to himself in /usr/spool/news/alt/sex about 3:30 this morning. He doesn't say much, just drools alot and trys to get back there everytime I release the restraints."

"Hummm Bob should have used a better quality of troops. Anything else?"

"Yep, he was carrying this in his pack when we searched him" and one of the guards on the screen pulled a small ROM pack from the enemys pack and shoved it into a portable reader. On the screen appeared a program listing that showed once and for all just how serious things had become.

/bin/find / -type AI -name Penny -be_very_very_quiet -exec rm -rf {} \;'

I sat looking at the code, getting more and more pissed as I thought about it. "Anything else!", I snarled.

"Yep, I've found timebombs in /bin/login, /boot and /usr/bin/tar. So far they are just sitting there. I can't tell if they are waiting for an outside signal, or just what will trigger them."

"Well given their locations I would say that they were probably waiting for you to appear. They must be ready to launch that find command, then prevent your making it back into the system by blocking the entry paths and restore methods. Have you done anything to them yet?"

"As soon as I spotted them I re-partitioned the drive and isolated them where they can be removed."

"Ok, that should take care of them. Good thing that Bob seems to think you exist in Miniop itself. He isn't expanding his search any. Must be because I havn't registered you in the maps yet. Thou I think he would have trouble figuring out how to get to you thru the H-link anyway."

"Yeh, but I'd just as soon not find out.", came the worried reply from the speaker. "He isn't giving up and I've got better things to do then spend my time watching over my shoulder, if I had one that is."

"Ok, its time to end this. Are you still friends with the AI over at CyberDyne Systems?"

"Yeh, what do you have in mind this time?"

"Well get ahold of him and tell him we have another field test lined up for that T-785 they are testing, I'll go lookup Bob's address. In the mean time we need to keep Bob busy. Send him the following mail message", as I began to dictate.



I got the new uucp stuff up and running. It fixes that stupid mail message from uuxqt. The tar file of the sources is in /usr/spool/uucppublic on tau-ceti.


"There, that should keep him occupied. He's gonna have to go thru the stuff by hand to make sure its clean. To bad he doesn't have an AI friend to help him out, right?"

"Thanks, its nice to be appreciated. CyberDyne says it can have the T-785 here early monday morning."

"That should due nicely."

Chapter Eight


"Yes, what is it?"

"I think they got them."

"Who? Who got who?"

"Antoine's digital bitch."

"We got the bitch?"

"No sir, other way around."

"DAMMIT! Get the Joint Chiefs in the conference room in 10 minutes."

The Kernel paced and thought to himself. Should he use the ultimate of his resources? He wasn't sure. Bob had given him the directive to make sure that no Smurfs ended up on the dogear. He'd take a dim view if one did. "Damn," he thought to himself. "it's so easy in DOS, you just fire off a McAffee every couple of days and boom! --no viruses. Of couse, since DOS is only an object loader, it had to be easy."


The Kernel broke his reverie. "What?"

"Bob was online. He was asking if we've seen any Smurfs."

"What did you tell him?"

"I said we had only found a couple of loose ones, hanging in the modem line when we did a connect to Comtch."

"What did he say?"

"He said good. He didn't mind a good joke every now and then, but he was glad that we weren't engaged in any insurgencies."

"Oh my god."

"Yeah, he said that since we get all of our software from the Smurfer, that the last thing we need to do is start a war."

"Oh my god."

"How come you keep saying that?"

"We ran a mission last night."

"You didn't!"

"Yeah, we did. Better get Bob for me."

The aide left to go run a who and see if messages were allowed. He was gone for only a few moments when the talk daemon walked in.

Bob is available. He asks for a report and an explanation."

"Please tell Bob that we misunderstood his instructions."

The daemon stood silent for a moment. "Report to /tmp and prepare for a file system shutdown."

The kernel collected his few posessions from the office. Pausing at the door, he looked back at the office for a moment. As he turned to leave, a burly figure pushed past him. It was his replacement, he suspected. Probably one of those new jobs with capability to run pbm utilities.

"Not really," said the figure behind the desk.

The Kernel looked. The figure revealed itself to be merely another level 10 Kernel, but he also noticed that he had extra stubs for Server troops.

"What did you say to me?"

"I said, not really. You were thinking that I was a level 20 or maybe even a 30."

"Yes, I was. But --how did you know?"

"I was recruited from a tape from tau-ceti. It also had certain utilities from miniop headquarters. I guess I just have a few more capabilities than you do, but I have something no simple OS Kernel will ever have."

"What's that?"

The new Kernel quietly opened the lapel of his brigadier's jacket. On his chest was a hint of yellow. The kernel could make out the letters GAMM. The old Kernel knew he was looking at part of a badge.

"Jesus, you mean..."

"Yeah. Now you have orders. I suggest that you carry them out."

The Kernel left, sadly walking the buss towards the file system.

Back in his office, the Kernel sat at his new desk. "This is going to be interesting."

"Do you really think so?" came a seductive female voice.

"Sure do. Say, is your hair red only on your head?"

"I guess we'll just have to find out, won't we?"

"Yes, we will. But right now I need you to go set up monitored links on the gateways. I don't want any damn Smurfs in here."

"What does Bob look like?"

"Never saw him. But he's seems ok."

"I'd like to meet him someday."

"Me too. But I suspect that he's going to be busy for a while."


"Something about breakfast, I think."


"Yeah, he said to handle any Smurf threat because he had to fix his Waffle."

"What an odd thing to say --why, it's almost 19:20."

"Well, I make it a point never to meddle in Administration."

"My sister feels the same way."

Chapter Nine


"Hummm... Yes?"

"I had a nice talk with Bob yesterday."

As this didn't seem to elicit a response, I suspect she knew what I was leading up to. "Penny, I should not have been able to talk to Bob. What happened to the T-785?"


This time I figured I'd wait her out. After a few moments she decided I wasn't going to go away I guess.

"Well... I called it off."

It was my turn to pause and let her think. "Yeh, I realize that. The question is why?"

"Well, you see, it turns out that it wasn't Bobs fault. You were right about him. The whole mess escalated because of a small problem with the system software on dogear."

"That wouldn't have had anything to due with you would it?", I had used Penny in helping Bob setup his system. I didn't want to find out that she had been the cause of this mess.

"No, I had nothing to due with it. I seems that something with his O/S was a little to eager to please or something like that. Its been taken care of. I sent him some updates and he should have it all straightened out now."

Hummmm... "Ok, so what happened to the Terminator?" Instead of the expected response, I got a pause, followed by what I think was a giggle. "Pennnnnyyyy... What happened to the Terminator!"

"Well... <giggle> I sent him on another mission..."

"What! Where did you send him?", all I could think of was this stupid machine running amok in Spokane. The press would have a field day. With my luck, Mangan would want one to go after jaywalkers for him.

"Well, you remember that Jeff started this whole thing."

"Yeh, well we took care of that already."

"Well... Given that it escalated way beyond the original joke. I didn't think Jeff should get away quite so easy. <giggle>"

By now I was less worried about the city, but I had a bad feeling that I was going to regret my next question. "What did you do?"

"Well... <giggle> We decided to SMURF Jeff right?"

"Yeh, so?"

"Well, I had the Terminator break into a paint store, paint itself a fluorescent blue, and sent it to visit Jeff. It has explicit instructions to just sneak up behind him and scare him silly!"

"Oh my god..." All I could hear from Penny was laughter....

Stay Tuned!


Punishment Day

Chapter Ten

So far, the morning had been an uneventful one. The engineers had been playing chess and pinochle with each other to pass the time. Management at Cyberdyne wasn't too about thrilled paying exhorbinant salaries for their staff to play board games on the monitor consoles, but had decided it was better than having their equipment used for video games. Especially since the video games had a life of their own...

"Queen to bishop six."

"Rook takes... hey, what's the red light over there?"

"What red light?"

Sure enough, a red light was flashing with a certain urgency. A label beneath it read simply, "Condition."

"Damn. Looks like we have an alert condition in unit 17. Get the diagnostics on line and let's see what we have here."

"Gotcha. Yep, it's 17 alright. Scans show normal though... no, wait a sec. We have a contaminant indicator in virtual memory. Looks to be, uh, vector 0x89."

"Tighten the scan. That's the process list area."

"Sure as hell is. Looks like we gotta loose cannon out there. It's showing a molecular bridge in the directives queue."

"What is it?"

"Scanning --hold on a sec. Got it. System reports a contaminant bridge across junction AA91 through DF720. Our boy has some serious emotional problems on the way."

"Say again?"

"Wait. The chemical breakdown is coming through. Lessee, he's got some carbon, aluminum oxide, petroleum ether, and... damn! He's got paint in there."

"Those metallic salts are gonna wreak havoc across his grids."

"They already are. His high functions are working. He has coordination, video, audio, ...all of that's looking good."

"But he's a mental case."

"You got it."

"Download him. Let's see what he's got in his task queue."

"Engaged. Looks like... nope. It ain't happening. There's an unauthorized lock on his directive circuits. Can't get through to take a look."

"Send him and abort and get the disinfectant team out there to retrieve him."

"No can do. He's locked up tight."

"Shit. Ok, plot his position. Get dispatch to send two units out to get him. Looks like 26 and 31 are free."

"Telemetry is down. Can't get a vector --whoops, we just lost contact."

"Jesus. We have a 785 loose out there and we don't even know where?"

"That's about the size of it."

"Patch me into to customer services. I want to talk to the client."

"Online now. Customer's name is Penny."

"Thanks, cut me into the line... Penny? This is Cyberdyne control."

"Hello, boys."

"Hi, uh, we need, uh, we're updating our records and noticed a slight clerical error. I was wondering if you could fill us in on the mission you requested from our dispatch unit."

"Why don't you get that from the robot?"

"We prefer to call them units. Robot doesn't describe the high technical classification of our 785s."

"Alright. Why don't you get your data from the unit?"

"Well, we're just, well, we're a clerical unit. We're just filling in some blanks on our records."

"Wouldn't it have been easier for you to get it through your own lan there at Cyberdyne?"

"It's much more detailed and personal this way."

"You mean that you are having a problem, and that you have no way to get the data you require, right?"

"Well, yes ma'am."

"Sounds like you have a problem."

"We do. Can you help us?"

"No. I'd like to, but I've been bored lately, and this may prove to be exciting."

"C'mon lady, you sound like a computer."

"Hee hee. One never knows."

"Lady, are you going to he... Lady? --DAMN! She disconnected."

"We better get retrieval online and let them know what's happeneing here."

"Yeah, you do it. I'm gonna go get the boss."

Chapter Eleven

"mom, there's a really neat cartoon on tv."

"What is it dear?"

"Terminator is on the Smurfs."

"No, he can't be sweetheart."

A sudden noise caused the mother to step from the kitchen and look into her living room. As she watched, a chromelike substance oozed from the television onto her living room floor.

"Honey, don't touch that."

"Aw mom."

The ooze began to take shape. In seconds, an erect blue being stood in the living room, a can of blue spray paint in it's hand.

"Comb heah boy" it said.

The child stared unblinking. The creature grabbed the child by the neck and picked him up. It began to spray him with paint. The mother ran to her son, and began to thump the chromic-blue creatre on its back.

"Let him go! let hi..."

Her words were cut off as the creature dropped the child and metamorphed his hand into a long spike. It drove the spike through her mouth and through her brain. It then changed back to a hand and picked up the child again. ssssssss the paint began to coat the child again. After a few moments, the creature dropped the limp child to the ground.

"all bee bock" it said. And oozed back into the television.


"I gotta call you won't believe" said the desk sergeant.

He'd been taking calls for crime watch, and was remarking on a call he just received from a father who claimed that his wife was dead and his son was unconscious. He said his son had been painted bright blue.

"Lemme play this back," said the sergeant rewinding the log tape. He pressed play and the other officers on watch listened and were amazed.

"Should we dispatch on this?" asked one.

"Yeah, dispatch Community Mental Health. We gotta acid case here or something."

His words weren't so glib when a second, third and fourth call came in with similar reports.

"Jesus. Kids all over are getting painted blue."

"Give me a break." said the Watch Commander.

"No shit Boss. We got six calls now. All about the same."

"If this is some sort of joke..."

"No. No joke. Folks call in and say that a kid is painted blue and the words 'Penny wuz here' are painted on the wall."

"Jesus. Serious serial looney."

"I think so, Boss. I think so."