20th Century FAX presents

A Mucusfilm Ltd. Production

Soft Wares

Part IV

A New Hype


A long time ago on a network not far away...

It is a period of upgrading. Rebel programmers, striking from a hidden message base, have won their first victory against the evil Microsoft Empire. During the battle, Rebel hackers managed to steal secret code to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the NT STAR, a monstrous operating system with the power to corrupt entire hard disks. Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Sysop Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen code that can save her users and restore usability to the Galaxy's PCs.

Titles fade. We scroll down past a field of stars to: A Starship. It appears large at first. As it speeds into the distance we see it's pursued and dwarfed by an enormous Imperial File Destroyer. By comparison the first ship is puny, the laser blasts it fires at its pursuer are no more threatening than a water pistol at an NRA convention. As the File Destroyer loads the smaller ship into its cargo hold we cut to:

Interior: A gleaming white corridor. While humans dressed for battle scurry frantically through the starship setting up weapons, cowering in corners, wishing they were somewhere else and defecating in their underwear, two droids -- GOTO (a squat machine, a walking electronic cross between a bar stool and a Swiss army knife) and KERMIT, a tall golden protocol droid, wander aimlessly, totally oblivious to the danger they are in from the imminent battle.

KERMIT: Did you hear that? They've shut down the main power supply. If we don't have a battery backup we're doomed.

GOTO: Bloop bleeple bip!

KERMIT: I know. Strange beings humans. Sometimes I wonder who programmed them.

GOTO: Beep flooble ping!

KERMIT: And I wish I knew what you were saying. Sometimes I think I prefer the humans' running around and shooting to your endless beeping. You must try to get a proper sound card installed.

KERMIT continues to chatter as we fade to a corridor where many Rebel troops are pointing guns at a door.

REBEL LEADER: OK door. Hold it right there. We've got you surrounded...well, on this side at least, but don't think you can get away from us...

SECOND REBEL: Why is he talking to the door when he could be filling in some backstory for the viewers?

THIRD REBEL: Dunno, don't care really.

SECOND REBEL: Yeah. Hardly matters I 'spose. We all die in this scene anyway.

THIRD REBEL: Bummer, eh?

REBEL LEADER (Continuing from before): Now, why don't we all be reasonable? You don't really want to open. Most doors are content to stay closed all their lives. It doesn't matter to them that no one notices them. I mean, just because I never said I loved you doesn't mean you have to...Oh, crap!

Through the open doorway comes a swarm of business suited Microsoft Codepolice, guns in their right hands, briefcases in their left, firing on anyone and everyone in their rush to stomp out any competition. All competition. Even from people who aren't competing. Anyone in their way is slaughtered mercilessly. Through the middle of the firefight walk KERMIT and GOTO.

KERMIT: Isn't it nice of the humans to make all this fire? I was getting so tired of gleaming white.

GOTO: Ping! ping! ping! Thpppt!

The doorway again. The smoke of the gunbattle is clearing. Codepolice are looting the bodies of the Rebels, taking wallets, watches, laptops, glass eyes, false teeth, shoes. In the distance, two Codepolice Troopers are kicking an old lady in Rebel uniform who is not quite dead yet. Suddenly, all the Codepolice leap to attention and fall silent.

On the soundtrack, we hear heavy breathing accompanied by a march composed entirely of dramatic chords. The Codepolice are sweating in their expensive suits. The dramatic-chord-music reaches an ear-buggering crerdish. Short and twitching, this man in black is no mere hacker. This is Darth Gates, Dark Lord of the DOS, the most feared man in cyberspace!

The Codepolice drop to their knees and salute with hands moving up in the air and back down to the ground repeatedly.

CODEPOLICE: We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

In another part of the ship, a woman dressed all in white, SYSOP LEIA, bends over GOTO and inserts a disk. KERMIT enters through a nearby corridor. Leia looks embarrassed and leaves.

KERMIT: There you are GOTO, what were you doing with that strange woman? I hope you weren't letting her play with your dongle...

GOTO: Bobble.

KERMIT: Oh, dear. I do hope you used protection.

Back in the main corridor. The ship's captain's feet are hanging about six inches off the floor. As we pan up we see DARTH GATES' hand around his throat, choking him. The camera pulls back to show GATES is standing on a chair.

GATES: What have you done with the code?

CAPTAIN: We intercepted no transmissions. We're a consular ship on a diplomatic mission to Fortraan.

GATES: If this is a consular ship then where are the consoles? All we've seen are empty passages.

CAPTAIN: Akkkkkkk (he expires and is thrown to the floor by GATES)

GATES: I want this ship searched and any passengers captured alive. And someone help me get down from here.

In another corridor (does this ship have any actual rooms?), Sysop Leia is hiding with a gun. A group of Codepolice are approaching.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: There's one!

LEIA steps out from her hiding place and takes aim.

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: She's got a gun!

CODEPOLICEMAN 3: Crap! And she's a main character too!

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: What do you mean?

LEIA: (shouting from off screen) Hasta la vista, baby! (FX: rapid firing as the Codepolice dive for cover)

CODEPOLICEMAN 3: She's got a name. We're just Codepolicemen with numbers and she's got a two-word name (LEIA shoots him) Ow! (He dies)

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Sometimes, it's dramatically necessary for main characters to get shot. (Codepoliceman 2 dies in a hail of blaster fire). If we set our weapons for lightly bruise we might just survive!

CODEPOLICEMAN 1 pulls out the manual for his gun and tries to figure out how to reset it (this takes some time as it is a Microsoft product). Eventually, he gives up and throws the weapon at Leia. It hits her on the head, knocking her cold.


Leia, having regained consciousness, is escorted through yet another corridor to Darth Gates.

LEIA: Darth Gates! And I thought the foul stench was just the combined effect of last night's chili and the lavatory blockage.

GATES: Flattery will not get you anywhere, Rebel scum.

Aboard sysop Leia's ship. A corridor (naturally). KERMIT & GOTO are outside a door labelled ESCAPE POD. MAXIMUM CAPACITY 10 HUMAN LIFEFORMS. NO DROIDS. GOTO unfolds a crowbar from within himself and goes to work on the lock.

KERMIT: Where are you going? We're not permitted in there. We'll be reformatted if we're caught.

GOTO: F'tang! F'tang Whoooop!

KERMIT: Yeah, you too. And the Bantha you rode in on.

GOTO: Sproing!

KERMIT: I'm not getting in there. (THERE IS A LARGE EXPLOSION BEHIND HIM) Well, OK. But only for a minute.

EXTERIOR. Leia's ship in the hold of the Imperial File Destroyer. An escape pod does what it's best at. It plummets toward the planet below.

Back on Leia's ship...

LEIA: When the Imperial Board of Directors hears you've attacked a diplomatic ship they'll kick yer chunky rear real good.

GATES: And what do you think they'll do when they find out you've pirated the code to the NT Star?

LEIA: I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a member of the Microsoft Board of Directors and I'm on a diplomatic mission to Fortraan.

GATES:(Shouting) You are a member of the Rebel Users Group and a hacker. (To Codepolice) Take her away.

CODEPOLICEMAN: The NT Star plans are not aboard this ship. An escape pod and other bits fell off during the fighting but no lifeforms were aboard.

GATES: She must have hidden the plans in the escape pod. Send a detachment.

EXTERIOR: The pathetic, desolate surface of the planet Rattatooie, GOTO and KERMIT's escape pod lies beside a dusty road. Foot prints lead from the pod to the two droids who are walking along the road. Kermit has his thumb extended but there is no traffic in sight.

KERMIT: This is all your fault. If you hadn't told me to raise when I only had a pair of fives we wouldn't have been won by Sysop Leia and we wouldn't be in this mess. What sort of a planet is this anyway? All this sand and no sea.

GOTO: Takka Takka Takka Fwing!

KERMIT: What mission?

A battered station wagon appears on the horizon. Heading toward the droids. Its licence plate reads JAWA1.

KERMIT: Look! A transport! We're saved.

The station wagon pulls up beside the droids. There are two short men in the front seats. They are alike enough to be twins, dressed identically in jumpers with horizontal zig-zag stripes and wearing fezzes on their heads. They are JEFF and AKBAR

JEFF: You guys want a lift?

KERMIT: Oh, most certainly. We seem to be lost.

AKBAR: Hop right in.

The droids get in the back seat.

JEFF: Where you headed?

KERMIT: Hopefully to a spaceport so we can get off this desolate rock.

GOTO: fwibble beep beep beep.

KERMIT: Don't mind him, he has delusions of adequacy and fantasies about secret missions.

AKBAR: Well we were on our way to Dos Eisley. There's a spaceport there, though it is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

KERMIT: Sounds dangerous.

JEFF: It is. That's why we like it. We fit right in. (He turns and shoots the droids with a taser.)

While Akbar fits balls and chains to the two droids Jeff drives on.

Cut briefly to the outside of the car where we can see a sign that reads "JEFF & AKBAR'S WHOLESALE ANDROIDS" painted on the door.

Back at the escape pod. A group of Codepolice are searching.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Someone was in the pod. The tracks go this way.

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: (Picking up a business card) Look -- droid salesmen.

Interior, a living room. A young man, Fluke Codewriter, is sitting at a PC playing "Rebel Assault." There's a knock at the door. Fluke pauses the game with a sigh of annoyance and goes to the door. He opens it, looks around, sees no one and closes the door. It won't shut. He looks down and sees why. A small foot has been jammed in it. He opens the door again and looks down to see Akbar, a good three feet shorter than him.

FLUKE: Sorry, I'm an atheist.

AKBAR: We're not Mormons

FLUKE: Whatever you're selling we don't want any.

AKBAR: I represent Jeff & Akbar's Wholesale Androids, Importers of fine droids to the gentry. Are you sure you couldn't do with some mechanical help around the home?

FLUKE: (shouting back into the house) Unca Donald! There's someone here wants to sell us some droids.

Fluke's Uncle comes to the door.

DONALD: What kind of droids do ya got?

AKBAR: If you'd be so kind as to step outside I'll show you my full range.

A shout comes from another room off screen. It's Fluke's Aunt Daisy.

DAISY: If you get a translator make sure it speaks Dodgey!

Outside. Jeff has set up Kermit and GOTO beside the station wagon. Donald looks Kermit over.

DONALD: You're a protocol droid, ain't ya?

KERMIT: Why it is my primary function.

DONALD: Don't need no stinkin' protocol droids. What I need is a droid that can talk to my vapor moisturizers. They get lonely sometimes, need cheering up.

KERMIT: My second last job was programming binary toad lifters, very similar to your moisturizers. Except for the toads.

DONALD: Can you speak Dodgey?

KERMIT: It's like a second language to me. I am fluent in almost two modes of communication. Dodgey is one of them.

DONALD: I'll take this one. How much?

JEFF: How much would you only, exclusive offer is only going to cost you seven hundred and fifty rallods (plus postage, packing, processing charges, legal fees and lunch money.

DONALD: OK. Is American Excess all right?

Jeff takes the card, runs it through the printer and gets Donald's signature. Donald and Fluke escort the droids to the garage. Jeff and Akbar wait until they are out of earshot.

AKBAR: Nice work. I thought we'd never move that GOTO unit.

INTERIOR. Garage. KERMIT is in a bathtub filled with brightly coloured machine parts. GOTO is in the middle of an expanding puddle of oil. Fluke is working on him with a very large hammer, trying to get him to reboot.

FLUKE: Have you got any ideas for what we can do with this GOTO piece of trash?

KERMIT: Our last owner used to put a cushion on top of him and use him for a barstool. But she was a bit strange.

FLUKE: Well I could always strip him for spare parts for the landspeeder. I'll see what he's got in him. Fluke picks up a can opener and goes to work on the top panel of Goto. Goto beeps loudly and a hologram filled with static appears before him.

VOICE (from hologram): a high of 78 degrees after and overnight low of 74.5. Well, what do you expect on a desert world with thirteen suns, snow?

FLUKE: Damn, the picture's gone. (He fiddles with some controls)

VOICE: two all soy patties, salty sauce, broccoli, disgusting green stuff pretending to be pickles on a stale bun...The Monosodium McGlutamate...

FLUKE: Mmm...burgers.

He adjusts the controls further. A picture appears. An XModem fighter bearing down on a helpless transport ship.

PILOT: Eat hot photons, space baddie!

FLUKE: Cool! Hey, maybe I can get S&MTV on this thing. If I adjust this...

The hologram changes to Sysop Leia.

LEIA: Help me Fogey-One Baloney, your my only hope.

FLUKE: Wow! You got any GIFs of her naked?

GOTO: Shwing! Kranggggg!

KERMIT: He says he's not talking to you because you're crude and besides he doesn't even belong to you. (To GOTO) Don't be silly, Fluke is our new master.

GOTO: Thppppt!

KERMIT: He says he is the property of one Fogey-One Baloney, a resident of this area.

FLUKE: Fogey-One Baloney. I wonder if he means old "Bent" Baloney...

The entire crew -- director, sound people, gaffers, hairstylists, lighting people, etc. step into view, look straight at the camera.

ALL: Ooh err, that sounds a bit rude!

The crew return to their jobs.

KERMIT: Do you know what he's talking about?

FLUKE: I'm not sure. I don't know any Fogey-One but there's a "Bent" Baloney who's a reclusive programmer or something that lives a couple of blocks from here.

LEIA HOLOGRAM: Help me Fogey-One Baloney, you're my only hope.

FLUKE: Probably doesn't matter. Still, I'd better play back the whole tape. Maybe she gets naked later.

GOTO: Braaap!

KERMIT: He says the ball and chain is preventing him from accessing his X-rated files. He suggests that if you remove them he could show you something that will really get you hot and sweaty.

FLUKE: Wow! OK. I guess you're too stupid to run away on me... (he grabs a pair of bolt cutters and cuts the chain)

The hologram fades.

FLUKE: Hey, bring her back!

GOTO: Heh heh heh.

AUNT DAISY (off screen): Fluke! Dinner's ready!

FLUKE: I'll be right there! (he leaves)

KERMIT: Well if you're not going to show Master Fluke your X-rated GIFs...do you think that I could see them?

In the kitchen. Fluke is sitting down to dinner with his Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy.

FLUKE: I think that GOTO unit might have been stolen.

DONALD: What makes you think that?

FLUKE: It's just a feeling. The registration sticker has been scraped off, The serial numbers have been changed with magic marker and when it reboots the operating system says it's registered to a Fogey-One Baloney. I wonder if it means old "Bent" Baloney?

Donald and Daisy exchange a knowing glance.

DONALD: "Bent" Baloney is just a crazy old man who likes picking up impressionable young farm boys. Take that GOTO into town tomorrow and get its drives reformatted.

FLUKE: But what if this Fogey-One comes looking for it?

DONALD: He won't. He doesn't exist. He's a myth, like your father.

FLUKE: Are you sure I didn't have a father? All the other kids did.

DONALD: It's like I've told you before. We're special. We're Disneys. We don't have parents, only uncles and aunts.

FLUKE: But I'm a Codewriter, not a Disney...

DONALD: You'll understand when you're grown up.

FLUKE: Speaking of growing up, I was thinking about our agreement. If these new droids work out I'd like to go to the city this year, live in a cardboard box, smoke lots of cigarettes and bum around all day doing nothing.

DONALD: But this is when I need you the most. If we make enough this harvest you can go to university next year.

Fluke is pissed off. He stops eating and starts to leave the room.

DONALD: Where are you going?

FLUKE: Looks like I'm going nowhere.

DONALD: Don't you talk to me that way! You sit back down and eat your dinner. Your Aunt Daisy spent hours dying the milk blue so it wouldn't look like something that came out of a cow. Are you just going to let that effort go to waste.

FLUKE: Yeah, I guess so. I'm going to go work on the droids. Better not turn your back on them.

Fluke leaves.

Outside seven of Rattatooie's thirteen suns are setting. Fluke walks past the gratuitous special effects shot to the garage. There are no droids in sight. He looks down. A chain. At one end he can see a heavy iron ball, so at the other must be... Fluke pulls the chain.

KERMIT: Ow! Sorry! It wasn't my fault! It was this band of gypsy droid thieves! They came in here, bribed the guards, drugged me and stole Goto! Honest!

FLUKE: Why would they steal Goto and not you?

KERMIT: Oh dear. I never was any good at lying. He ran away. Please don't melt me down.

Fluke runs outside, closely followed by Kermit. He scans the horizon with his binoculars.

FLUKE: Damn! He's nowhere in sight.

KERMIT: Shouldn't we go after him?

FLUKE: I can't. Unca Donald won't let me out after dark.

KERMIT: But six suns are still up.

FLUKE: You want to explain that to Unca Donald? We'll have to wait until morning.

Morning. The desert. Fluke's beat up landspeeder speeds across the sand carrying Fluke and Kermit in search of Goto. The radar detector starts pinging.

FLUKE: I don't see any cops around. That must be Goto.

From Fluke's point of view through the windshield we see a small cylindrical object appear in front of the speeder as it goes over a hill. The speeder hits Goto, flinging him meters into the air. Fluke panics, trying to regain control of the vehicle, but it crashes into a large and conveniently-placed rock. Fluke and Kermit, shaken but unhurt, climb out of the landspeeder. While Fluke checks the damage to his vehicle, Kermit goes to Goto, who is just righting himself.

GOTO: Gurgle ptooie! Ping!

KERMIT: Oh do shut up about missions and this Fogey-One. None of us really want to know.

FLUKE: Do you really understand what he's saying?

KERMIT: Not really. I just make most of it up to pass the time. But it's not hard to guess what he means. He has such a linear mind.

In the landspeeder the radar detector starts pinging more than the soundtrack to The Abyss.

FLUKE: Uh oh...Blandpeople.

KERMIT: Blandpeople, Master Fluke?

FLUKE: Yeah. Desert nomads, cast out by civilization for their incredible dull ways. They hunt the wastes for someone to talk to about their tribe's obsession. I'd better take a look.

Fluke takes out his binoculars and scans the area. In the far distance he spies two silver-grey cars.

FLUKE: Oh, god no. These are the second worst kind. See. BMWs. These Blandpeople are of the Ah'coun-Tan tribe. They're vicious.

Suddenly, the view through the binoculars is obscured by something dark and pinstriped. It's an Ah'coun-Tan! It swings its briefcase at Fluke, hitting him on the head and knocking him cold. Kermit runs, trips over Goto and falls. The Blandperson sits on Fluke's chest.

BLANDPERSON: A deduction for bad debts is not allowable unless the debt which is bad has previously been included in assessable income, or is in respect of money lent in the ordinary course of business or the lending of money by an individual carrying on that business...

Fade to: A pair of Blandpeople ransacking Fluke's landspeeder, taking loose change from under the seats and searching for cellular phones or filofaxes. Suddenly there is an echoing shout.

VOICE: Hold it right there! IRS!

The Baldpeople run away in fear and over a nearby ridge comes a strange-looking man.

MAN: Come here, silly one.

GOTO: Blip?

MAN: Don't worry, he'll be OK.

Fluke stirs, regaining consciousness.

MAN: Easy. You nearly had your assets stripped.

Fluke, realizing who is talking to him, recoils in horror.

FLUKE: Argh! "Bent" Baloney! My Unca Donald warned me about you!

BALONEY: And what did he tell you?

FLUKE: That you were... (suddenly embarrassed...Baloney looks harmless) umm...a bit...eccentric...

GOTO: Bloop!

BALONEY: That's right, little one. People do tend to fear what they don't understand. Don't worry, young Fluke. You're far too old for my tastes.

FLUKE: Oh...sorry. Say, this droid says he belongs to a Fogey-One Baloney. Do you know him?

BALONEY: Fogey-One. It's a long time since I've heard that name...

FLUKE: Unca Donald says he doesn't exist.

BALONEY: Maybe in his mind he doesn't, but not in mine. He's me. I haven't used the name Fogey-One since before you were born.

In the distance, the sound of a cellular phone ringing.

BALONEY: We'd better get inside. Blandpeople scare easily but they quickly phone for reinforcements. (Fluke seems unsure) Don't worry. I'll keep my hands to myself. Later, in Fogey-One's living room.

FLUKE: You mentioned when I was born. Unca Donald said the stork brought me.

BALONEY: Told you you didn't have parents, did he? Of course you had parents. Your uncle was a draft dodger. He didn't hold with your father's ideals and wanted no part of the war.

FLUKE: My father fought in the Code Wars?

BALONEY: Yes. Your father and I were once Redeyed Nights.

FLUKE: Redeyed Nights?

BALONEY: Yes. A sort of user-group for very talented programmers. Named for their legendary marathon programming sessions -- 48 hours or more some times. Your father was the best programmer on the net and a cunning hacker. Which reminds me. I have something which your father wanted you to have when you were old enough. Your uncle wouldn't allow it. (He rummages around in a box, pulls out tangled lengths of wire, broken circuit boards, ribbon cable, floppy disks) Ah, here it is.

KERMIT: Master Fluke, I think the special effects are going to get a bit too intense for our budget. I'll just sit still for the rest of the scene.

FLUKE: What is it?

BALONEY: Your father's logic probe.

FLUKE (The old distrust sneaking back): But that's a hardware tool! I thought you said he was a programmer.

BALONEY: He was. To the Redeyed Night hardware and software are one. A Redeye looks beyond the compiler, beneath the operating system. He hacks the very microcode of the universe. The logic probe is the tool of the Redeye. Not so clumsy and random as a screwdriver.

Fluke switches on the probe and starts swinging it around. He bisects a desk lamp then turns it off, embarrassed.

BALONEY: For over a thousand generations the Redeyes were the maintainers and implementers of the systems of the old republic. Before the dark times, before the Windows opened. Before the Microsoft Empire.

FLUKE: How did my father die?

BALONEY: A young Redeye named Darth Gates, who was a pupil of mine before he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down the Redeyes. He narked on and murdered your father. Now, the Redeyes are all but extinct. Gates was seduced by the Dark Side of the Source.

FLUKE: The Source?

BALONEY: The Source is what gives a Redeye his power. It is the code which underlies the entire structure of the universe. It surrounds us and penetrates us and does even stranger things which I can't talk about in a PG-rated feature.

FLUKE: And the Dark Side?

BALONEY: It's to do with money. A real programmer does not think of profits. A few bucks for coke and pizza perhaps, but not wealth. To some the lure of great wads of cash is seductive, that is the Dark Side of the Source. Darth Gates was seduced by it.


BALONEY: He got a haircut and got a real job.

In Fogey-One Baloney's living room. Fluke and Fogey-One are trying to get GOTO to replay the message from Sysop Leia. It isn't easy.

FLUKE: Last time I threatened him with a can opener. Maybe this will work. He plugs the drive into GOTO.

BALONEY: Do you see this disk, little one? This is MSDOS. Oh, it's not the almost usable version you may have seen running toasters and vacuum cleaners. This is an earlier version. (Goto begins to shake) This is version 1.0. (If Goto had a bladder he would have emptied it by now) Yes, 1.0. Not 1.1. The very first version. Now you can either show us your message...or have this installed as you new operating system.


The hologram of Sysop Leia appears. This time the message begins at the beginning.

HOLOGRAM LEIA: General Baloney. Years ago, you served my father in the Code Wars. Now, he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Microsoft Empire. He'd offer you money if he thought you'd take it. I regret that he had to send me but he has no sons and I am the youngest of our family. Alas my ship has fallen under attack and my mission to bring you to Fortraan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this Goto unit. You're probably thinking "Well, there goes the information," but my father will know how to retrieve it. You must see that this droid is safely delivered to him on Fortraan. This is our most desperate hour.

FLUKE (Panting with barely-restrained lust): Mine too!

HOLO LEIA: Help me Fogey-One Baloney. You're my only hope.

The hologram freezes. The image grows brighter then melts and burns in the center. Baloney unplugs the 5 1/4-inch drive.

BALONEY: You've done well, little Goto. Maybe we won't be needing this. Fluke, you must learn the ways of the Source if you are to come with me to Fortraan.

FLUKE: Fortraan? I'm not going to Fortraan. I'm going home. I'm in enough trouble as it is.

BALONEY: I need your help. (Fluke is unimpressed) She needs your help. (Fluke is a little more interested)

FLUKE: But Unca Donald will kill me! I have work to do. It's not that I like Microsoft, I hate them, but there's nothing I can do about them now.

BALONEY: That's your no-good-lazy-son-of-a-bitch-draft-dodging uncle talking. It is precisely that attitude that made the Empire what they are now. Nobody stood up to them, now they are so big that few can. You can make a difference. Learn about the Source, Fluke.

FLUKE: Look, I can take you as far as the bus stop. You can get to Dos Eisley, or wherever, from there.

BALONEY: You must do what you feel is right.

Cut to: Space, the final frontier. This is the voyage of the File Destroyer "Program Manager." Its five-second mission -- to zoom across the screen, to vanish into the distance, to boldly demonstrate the size of the NT STAR. And there it is. The NT STAR. Vaster than anything ever programmed before. It utterly dwarfs the Imperial File Destroyer the way Dan Quayle's mouth dwarfs his mind.

On the NT STAR, the military leaders of the local office of the Microsoft Empire are in chat mode. Each is in his separate office, conferring by modem.

ADMIRAL MOE: Until this station is fully implemented, we are vulnerable. The Rebel User Group is too well equipped. They're more dangerous than you realize.

GENERAL CURLY: Dangerous to your starfleet perhaps, not to the NT STAR.

ADMIRAL MOE: The Rebellion will continue to gain support on the Board of Directors...


TARQUIN: The Board of Directors will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently.


ADMIRAL MOE: Oh, a wise guy!

TARQUIN: The last remnants of the old Republic have been swept away. The regional System Managers now have direct control over their users. We will keep local systems on line with the fear of this NT STAR.

ADMIRAL MOE: And what of the Rebels? If they have pirated the code to the NT STAR they may find a bug or a back door they can use against us.

GATES: The pirated code will soon be back in our hands.

GEN CURLY: Any attempt to hack the NT STAR by the rebels will be pointless. The NT Star is now the ultimate power in the universe!

GATES: Don't be too proud of this technological monstrosity you've created. The ability to crash a system is insignificant next to the power of the Source.

GEN CURLY: Wank on, Gates. If you're such a hacker how come you couldn't find the stolen code?

Gates takes his hands from his keyboard. He doesn't type, he raises one hand, makes a fist with it and slowly extends the middle finger.

Closeup, General Curly's terminal. NO CARRIER...

Pull back to reveal Curly slumped in his chair, blood flowing from his nose, mouth, ears and eyes.

GATES: You're terminated, fucker.

TARQUIN: Enough of this. Gates, reconnect him.

GATES: Err...sorry. It's a bit too late for that.

TARQUIN: This bickering is pointless. Gates will provide the location of the rebel's message base by the time the NT STAR is operational. We will then crush the rebellion with one swift stroke. Everyone exits chat mode.

ADMIRAL MOE: (to himself) "One swift stroke." Sounds like Darth Gates's sex life.

Meanwhile, back on Rattatooie Fluke is driving Fogey-One to the bus stop. The desert for miles around them has been scorched black. Fluke sniffs the air.

FLUKE: What's that smell?

BALONEY: That's napalm, son. (He looks a bit worried) It's a bit early for napalm, don't you think? I usually prefer to use it in the early afternoon. I love the smell of napalm around lunchtime. They drive into an unburned area. Near the middle is a station wagon. Two pathetic corpses lie nearby.

FLUKE: Hey! Those are the guys who sold us Kermit and Goto!

He stops the landspeeder. They all get out and look at the bodies.

FLUKE: Looks like the work of Blandpeople.

BALONEY: And the worst tribe too. Or so we are supposed to think. But look at these tracks. Sure they're in single file and they were obviously sneaking stealthily and checking for traps. But what Aidy'an'dee-er would drag his ten foot pole like that?

FLUKE: But who else would kill a pair of droid salesmen?

BALONEY: Look at the hundred or so square miles of napalmed desert we've just driven through. All that napalm and not a singe on the car. Only Microsoft Codepolice are so imprecise.

FLUKE: Apart from sheer senseless cruelty, why would Codepolice want to slaughter salesmen? (he looks at Kermit and Goto) Oops.

Fluke sprints to the landspeeder and drives away. Several dramatic shots of the landspeeder later, Fluke arrives where his home once was. Nothing is left but a crater and two pairs of smoking boots. Fluke leaps out of the landspeeder and picks up the boots. He pours the ashes out of them and looks inside. In one pair are name tags saying "Donald." The others say "Daisy."

Meanwhile on the NT STAR. Darth Gates and two guards march down a corridor in a prison block. They stop outside a cell. A sign on the door says "BEAUTIFUL SYSOP -- DO NOT RESCUE. BY ORDER, D. GATES." The first guard opens the door, the second follows Gates into the cell.

GATES: And now we will discuss the location of your hidden Rebel message base.

The guard hands Gates a huge stack of paper.

GATES: If you do not give me the location I will read you the entire contents of this file -- the whole of alt.tasteless from the very beginning. Cut to view from outside the cell. The door slams shut but, even through armour plating and soundproofing we can hear a scream.

LEIA: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Later, back at the JAWA wagon. Kermit and Fogey-One have stripped the car. The back seat is on the ground beside a small fire made from the two bodies. Fogey-One is toasting marshmallows and warming his bare feet by the flames.

BALONEY: There's nothing you could have done. Here. Have a marshmallow. It'll make you feel better.

Baloney hands Fluke a stick. On the end of it is a blackened burning glob.

FLUKE: I want to come with you to Fortraan. I want to learn the ways of the Source and become a Redeye, like my father.

A hill top. In the distance a spaceport can be seen. Fluke's landspeeder is parked beside a road sign pointing to DOS EISLEY. He and Fogey-One Baloney are sitting in the landspeeder poring over maps spread out across Goto and Kermit.

FLUKE: I know it's somewhere near this orange area here (points to map).

BALONEY: This is a desert planet. All areas are marked in orange.

FLUKE: Then maybe it's near here (points to a place on the other side of the map).

KERMIT: If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, perhaps we should follow that sign.

Baloney gazes into the town and past the sign to see a team of wormriding Fremen who have only just realized they're in the wrong film are backed up for several blocks behind a checkpoint manned by Codepolice. A Codepoliceman, sweating in his heavy business suit, approaches Fluke's speeder.

CODEPOLICEMAN: Would you please blow into this, sir? (He holds out a breathalizer)

BALONEY: He doesn't need to take a breath test.

CODEPOLICEMAN: (putting away breathalyser) You don't need to take a breath test. Can I please see your licence?

BALONEY: You don't need to see his licence.

CODEPOLICEMAN: I don't need to see your licence. Say...those are nice droids.

BALONEY: They're not for sale. He can go about his business.

CODEPOLICEMAN: Pity they're not for sale. You can go about your business.

They drive on.

FLUKE: That was neat! Was that the power of the Source?

BALONEY: No. Microsoft Codepolice are just very, very stupid and very, very good at following orders.

FLUKE: (a little disappointed) Oh.

The speeder pulls up outside of a run-down bar. Fluke looks at it and tries not to be reminded of the ruins of his home, it's difficult, this place even smokes like home.

FLUKE: Do you really think we'll find a pilot here that will take us to Fortraan?

BALONEY: All the best pilots drink here...alas so do many of the bad ones. We'd better be careful. This place can get a little rough. Fluke, Baloney and the droids walk inside. The bar is a teeming hive of patrons. Small blocky ones, tall gleaming ones, even levitating spherical ones. The barbot turns and glares at them.

BARBOT: We don't serve their kind in here!

FLUKE: Sorry?

BARBOT: Shutup! You, golden droid, take your humans elsewhere, we don't serve their kind here.

KERMIT: Terribly sorry, sir. Come along Master Fluke.

They leave.

BALONEY: Perhaps I was thinking of the bar next door.

They all enter the bar next door. A very large bouncer picks up Kermit in one hand and Goto in the other and flings them outside.

BOUNCER: You metal bastards wanted your own bar, now you've got one, so don't come hanging around here again!

Inside the door there is a sign: NO BRAINS, NO BUCKS, NO BEER. Here all the customers are organic. A band is standing behind banks of synthesisers, letting the instruments do the playing. Fogey-One and Fluke walk up to the bar. Baloney starts to mingle with the crowd in search of a pilot. Fluke decides to order his very first alcoholic drink. After tapping the bartender on the shoulder, waving his hands in the air, jumping up and down, tossing peanuts at his head and waving a 50 rallod note, Fluke finally manages to get served.


FLUKE: Umm...beer...on the rocks.

The bartender gives him a very strange look but puts some pebbles into a glass, fills it with beer and takes Fluke's 50. Fluke starts to drink but spills his drink when a seven-foot-tall tentacled and slime-coated alien starts to fondle his buttocks. When Fluke backs away from the alien, he bumps into a very scarred human.

HUMAN (humans are very scarce in this bar so we'll just call him that): He likes you.

FLUKE: Sorry, I'm not into slime.

HUMAN: I like you. (He puts an arm around Fluke)

FLUKE: I'm still not into slime.

HUMAN: Watch your mouth, kid. I've been executed on twelve systems!

FLUKE: I'll be careful.

HUMAN: Don't worry, I'll use a condom.

BALONEY (suddenly appearing behind the pair of bad guys): Take your hands off him, he's mine!

HUMAN: Says who?

BALONEY: I saw him first! (he draws his logic probe and stabs the human and the alien both between the eyes)

HUMAN: Argh! Thirteen...

A Gookie -- an alien like a cross between a human and a very tall doormat -- walks up to Baloney and howls.

BALONEY: Truhacca here is first mate on a ship that might suit us.

Baloney and Fluke follow Truhacca to a table. A man joins them. He's dressed in worn khaki clothes with a holster on one hip, a bullwhip on the other and a hat permanently attached to his balding head. He's the owner and captain of the Moulting Falcon.

MAC LOGO: I'm Mac Logo, Captain of the Falcon. Truhacca tells me you're looking for passage to the Fortraan system.

BALONEY looks confused.

MAC LOGO: You've never heard of the Moulting Falcon?

BALONEY: Should we have?

LOGO: Hey, she's so fast she beats most ships standing still.

FLUKE: Oh yeah? Well I bet *I* could beat most ships when they're standing still.

LOGO: You know what I mean. She's fast enough for you. What's the cargo?

BALONEY: Only passengers. Myself, the boy. Two droids. Maybe a six pack and a pizza. And no questions.

LOGO: None?

BALONEY: Not even that one.

LOGO: OK. It'll cost you ten thousand.

FLUKE: Ten thousand?! We could get a taxi for less than that.

LOGO: I've never met a taxi driver didn't ask questions.

BALONEY: We'll give you two thousand.

LOGO: Two thousand! You're nuts. Just the fuel will cost four.


LOGO: Eight.

BALONEY: Six and a half. And we'll throw in half our pizza and two beers.

LOGO: Seven and we split the six pack even -- three each.


LOGO: We'll leave when you're ready. Docking bay 94. And make sure you get extra anchovies on the pizza.

There is some commotion at the bar. Two Codepolice have walked in and are talking to the bartender. He points to the table where Logo and Truhacca are sitting. But there's only Logo and Truhacca. Baloney and Fluke have left by the back door. The Codepolice walk on.

LOGO: Did you hear that. Seven and they get the beer! I think my luck is about to change. Go get the ship warmed up. I'll pay for the drinks.

Truhacca leaves. Logo gets up and walks toward the bar. He is stopped by a small, spiky, green alien with a big gun.

LOGO: Hi Guido. I was just going to see your boss right now.

GUIDO: Too late. Blubba the Fat has put a price on your head too big to refuse.

LOGO: But this time I actually have the money.

GUIDO: That's what you said last time. And all that was in the briefcase was a couple of mouldy sandwiches and a week old Financial Times. Blubba was very angry when he finished eating them.

LOGO: Sorry. This time, I'm not bullshitting. I do have the cash.

GUIDO: Oh, yeah? Let's see it.

LOGO: OK...hey, isn't that Elvis? (he points across the bar)

GUIDO: (turning to look) Elvis? But he's dead...

Logo shoots Guido several dozen times in the head.

LOGO: You too, pal.

The crowd in the bar break into thunderous applause. As Logo leaves the bar the bartender tosses him a coin.

BARTENDER: Thanks for the show...

On the NT Star. Darth Gates and Tarquin are discussing the ongoing torture of Sysop Leia.

GATES: Her resistance to alt.tasteless is considerable.

TARQUIN: I'm not really surprised. The things some of these rebel hackers do for recreation turns my stomach.

ADMIRAL LARRY: The final beta test is complete. Everything works. Well, the interface still sucks but we'll fix that in version two...or maybe three.

TARQUIN: Perhaps the Sysop Leia would respond to an alternative form of persuasion...

GATES: What? Do you mean pointing the really big gun at her. OH, JOY! Can I? OH, PLEEEEEEEEEASE!

TARQUIN: That's not quite what I had in mind. (To Larry) Set your course for Fortraan.

ADMIRAL LARRY: With pleasure.

At Dos Eisley. Kermit and Goto are attempting to hide. They duck into a landing bay.

KERMIT: In here, close the door.

As soon as they close the door a squad of Codepolice walk by.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Right. Search these landing bays. (He knocks on the door to the bay where the droids are hiding, then tries the doorknob. It doesn't open) OK. This one's locked. Move on to the next.

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: But sir, if the droids are hiding here then wouldn't it make sense for them to lock the door after them?

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: (looks at Codepoliceman 2 in shock and amazement while brandishing his weapon). Oh, so you think you're smarter than me now do you? You, a lowly private, smarter than me a (he looks at the stripes on the shoulder of his business suit, slowly counts on his fingers while mouthing the numbers one...two...ummm...three) captain!

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: Uh...Sergeant, sir.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: You utter bastard! How dare you contradict your superior officer. That's not the way we work here at Microsoft. If you're not stupid and obedient, you've got no business wearing that suit. (He shoots Codepoliceman 2) Now, this landing bay's locked. We search the others. Anyone got a problem with that?

The Codepolice march on, knocking on locked doors and ignoring them.

Elsewhere, Fluke is selling his landspeeder. Behind a nearby corner, Mr. Raymond Luxury-Yacht is watching them. A more obvious Imperial spy would have to wear a sign. He's dressed all in black, with dark glasses, a black cloak and is hiding behind a newspaper. His face is disguised by an enormous, fake looking polystyrene nose. As Fluke and Fogey-One leave the used landspeeder dealer he follows, dashing from doorway to doorway, hiding behind corners and peering out.

Our heroes reach landing bay 94.

BALONEY: If this ship is as fast as he's boasting, we should do well.

They step inside.

FLUKE: What a heap of junk!

BALONEY: Oh, dear.

KERMIT: My word. You haven't actually paid him yet, have you?

GOTO: Thpppt!

In the centre of the landing bay is a starship. It is roughly circular. At the front, a glass-enclosed cockpit protrudes, from the back, between the two engines is a long-barrelled gun. It is standing on four landing legs and looks remarkably like a turtle.

LOGO: It may not look like much, but she'll make point five past light speed. I've made some special modifications to her. See. (He points at the side of the ship.)

FLUKE: What?

LOGO: The stripe! It's red. Makes it go faster. Really. The Falcon will outrun anything the empire has.

There is a rattle and clunk from the back of the ship. Everyone turns to look just as a large piece falls off.

FLUKE: It's falling apart.

LOGO: Yeah. Great isn't it? You guys seemed to be in a hurry so I thought I'd lighten the ship.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Just get her started. Let me worry about that. (There is a knock at the door) Did you guys lock the door behind you?

Outside the landing bay, Raymond Luxury-Yacht is with a group of Codepolice.

LUXURY-YACHT: They're in here.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Sure? The door's locked. Luxury-Yacht turns the handle. The door opens.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Wow! How did you do that? Right men, load your weapons!

They rush inside. By this time, everyone in inside the Moulting Falcon except Mac Logo who is trying to reattach the bit that fell off with gaffa tape and blu-tack. He's just gotten it to stay put when...

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Stop right there, hacker scum! (Logo bolts and runs up the ramp into the ship.) Hey! That was an order! Right, shoot them!

The Codepolice open fire. They blast the walls. They blast each other. They blast the ground. They all miss the ship which blasts off in a huge cloud of stinking black smoke.

Inside the Moulting Falcon, everyone is strapping themselves in except for Goto who is on a luggage rack above the seats.

KERMIT: Oh, dear. I'd almost forgotten how much I hate travelling in clapped out old wrecks.

LOGO: (looking at the radar detector) Looks like an Imperial File Destroyer. Our passengers must be more dangerous than they look. I should have held out for the whole pizza and four beers. Try to dodge them while I make the calculations for the jump to lightspeed.

Fluke and Fogey-One join Logo and Truhacca in the cockpit.

FLUKE: I thought you said this thing was fast!

LOGO: I did. I didn't say what I was comparing it too.

FLUKE: Yes you did, you said "she's so fast she beats most ships standing still."

LOGO: Yeah, but we're not standing still. Now watch your mouth or you can get out and hitch to Fortraan. We'll be safe once we make the jump to Cyberspace.

FLUKE: When will that be? At the rate they're gaining we'll be dead before I finish Listen kid, flying through Cyberspace ain't a video game. Sure it looks like one but all you've got to navigate by are icons. You pick the wrong one, you'll be up to your ankles in black ice before you know it.

FLUKE: Only our ankles?

LOGO: Yeah, but head first. Strap yourselves in, I'm going to make the jump.

Logo flips a switch and the stars all vanish to be replaced by small, boxy icons. A small, arrow-shaped pointer appears on the head-up display. It moves to one of the stars, Logo presses a button twice and the icons all vanish and are replaced by a single word: JUMPING.

The NT Star. On the bridge, through the window, Tarquin is watching a small blue-green planet spin. Behind him a red ribbon stretches across the room. Admiral Larry approaches.

ADMIRAL LARRY: We've entered the Fortraan system, sir.

TARQUIN: Yes. I know. The biggest hint came from that planet there.

ADMIRAL LARRY: I'm sorry sir. The lifts were stuck and I had to bring the message by the stairs.

TARQUIN: Next time, use the phone.

Gates drags Sysop Leia in on a chain.

LEIA: Governor General Tarquin. I thought I smelled your cheap aftershave when I was brought on board.

TARQUIN: Insulting to the last. You can't believe how relieved I was to sign the order for your execution.

LEIA: I'm surprised you had the courage to take responsibility for it yourself.

TARQUIN: I didn't. I signed Gates' name.

GATES: You bastard!

TARQUIN: Be careful, Gates. I haven't yet decided if I'll let you keep the body after she's been terminated.

GATES: Sorry boss.

TARQUIN: Sysop Leia, before you're put to death I'd like you to witness a ceremony that will make this NT Star fully operational.

He takes out a pair of scissors and cuts the ribbon. A bottle of cheap sparkling white wine swings down and smashes on a control panel.

TARQUIN: There. No system will dare oppose the Emperor now.

LEIA: The more you tighten your grip, Tarquin, the more you look like the wanker you are.

TARQUIN: Not when we demonstrate the power of this battle station. In a way, you have chosen the planet that will be destroyed first. Since you won't tell us where your rebel friends are hiding we'll be testing the NT Star's destructive capabilities on your home planet of Fortraan.

LEIA: But Fortraan is a peaceful planet. We have no weapons!

TARQUIN: If you have another target in mind, a military one, then tell me.

LEIA: Ummm...how about Microsoft?

TARQUIN: The Emperor's home? Don't be stupid. I meant wherever it is that the Rebels are hiding.

LEIA: Oh, all right. It's Downtime.

TARQUIN: There. Don't you feel better now. (To Admiral Larry) Fire when ready.

LEIA: What?!

TARQUIN: Downtime is far too remote to make an effective target. Besides which, who would believe us if they heard that the Microsoft Empire had eliminated Downtime?

LEIA: You bastard!

TARQUIN: I know. You don't get to be a Governor-General in the Microsoft Empire without being one.

Cut to the main fire-control centre. Lots of people are milling around, gaping at whole walls of blinking lights. A group of camera-waving tourists approaches someone who looks like he's in charge.

TOURIST: What are all the lights and switches for?

JANITOR: They're just for show. All you need is this button. (He points to a large red button labelled FIRE.) When you push it, whatever the main gun is pointing at goes boom.

TOURIST: Like this? (He presses the button.) Outside the NT Star the planet Fortraan explodes.

On board the Moulting Falcon. Fluke is sitting in front of a cheap, ancient Teleray terminal, jabbing his logic probe at the monitor. (Fogey against the wall and foaming at the mouth). Bleah.

FLUKE: Are you all right?

BALONEY: Of course. WAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGH! Well, almost. I felt a great disturbance in the Source. Like millions of users were happily reading mail then suddenly lost their carriers. I fear something terrible has happened.

Mac Logo enters, looking amazingly pleased and pleasantly amazed at himself.

LOGO: Am I terrific or what? I told you I'd outrun those File Destroyers. Well, don't everyone thank me at once. Hello? Anyone home? Hey! What's wrong with you guys?

FLUKE: He felt a disturbance in the source.

LOGO: Yeah, right. And the Microsoft Empire's hiring real programmers.

On the other side of the room Goto is playing tic-tac-toe with Truhacca. Truhacca is easily winning every game.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

KERMIT: What are you complaining for, you won. Again. That's 217 to zero.

LOGO: Hey, Gookies have feelings too you know. Sure, he's a two-meter-tall mass of muscle with a mean attitude and the strength of ten men but that doesn't mean you should patronize him. How would you feel if everyone was so scared of you that you got everything you wanted before you even asked?

KERMIT: A good point. Goto, make it a bit challenging. Let the Gookie lose.

GOTO: Brapppp ping!

KERMIT: Well, perhaps try a little harder.

GOTO: Blurggg.

KERMIT: Then perhaps you should just give up playing all together.

Back at Fluke's terminal. Fluke has finally managed to figure out how to dial out. Alas, he keeps getting his password wrong.

BALONEY: Remember, a Redeye can feel the Source flowing through him.

FLUKE: You mean it controls your access?

BALONEY: Yes, but it also obeys your commands.

FLUKE: So it's like an operating system?

BALONEY: In a way.

LOGO: Ha! Mythical code and ancient diagnostic tools are no match for a good GUI and mouse beside your keyboard.

BALONEY: Don't listen to him, Fluke. Mac Logo is about as far removed from the Source as one can get.

FLUKE: Yeah! Thhppppt!

BALONEY: Now I suggest we try it again only this time without any distractions.

Baloney covers Fluke's eyes.

FLUKE: But with this paper bag over my head I can't see the monitor!

BALONEY: IO devices can deceive you. Do not trust them. (Fluke reaches for the keyboard and misses) Stretch out with your fingers. (Fluke tries again. This time he reaches the keyboard, types the password correctly. The terminal pings and says CONNECTING...) You see, you can do it.

LOGO: Well, I call it pure fluke.

BALONEY: I also call him Fluke. What is your point?

LOGO: Forget it. We're coming up on Fortraan soon. I can't wait to get rid of you lot and start spending my cash and eating my pizza.

FLUKE: I could almost feel something. I could sense what the system wanted.

BALONEY: Congratulations. You've just made your first connection to a larger network.

A conference room on the NT Star. Gates and Tarquin are receiving a report.

GENERAL CURLY-JOE: Our scoutships have reached Downtime. They found the remains of a rebel base but it has been deserted for some time.

TARQUIN: The bitch! She lied to me!

GATES: I told you so. Can I have her now?

TARQUIN: No. Terminate her immediately.

GATES: Yes boss. (He gives Tarquin's back a one-fingered salute.)

Back on the Moulting Falcon. The ship comes out of cyberspace. The windshield is hit by a number of small rocks.

LOGO: What the...! Oh, no! My paintwork!

FLUKE: What's the problem?

LOGO: We've come out of cyberspace into some kind of meteor shower. It's not supposed to be here, Fortraan is. But look: lotsa rocks, no Fortraan.

FLUKE: Where is it?

LOGO: I dunno...maybe it popped out to buy a paper or something. Oh, use you brain, kid. No planet, lots of rocks. It's been blown away.

FLUKE: What!?

BALONEY: Destroyed by the Empire. That would explain the disturbance in the Source.

LOGO: There's nothing with that much firepower. Even if the Empire could shoot straight it'd take more than a thousand file destroyers to destroy a planet.

Sirens start sounding, red lights flash. Another special guest star.

LOGO: There's a ship coming.

BALONEY: It's an Imperial vi Fighter.

FLUKE: vi Fighter?

BALONEY: A bit like the EDLN series, a little better but not by much.

LOGO: How did one get out here? There aren't any bases in the Fortraan system.

FLUKE: Perhaps it followed us.

LOGO: No, it's a short-range ship. Doesn't matter anyway. It won't be around long enough to tell anyone about us.

FLUKE: It's heading for that humongous moon.

BALONEY: That's no moon! It's a space station!

LOGO: A space station that size!? What for? It's bigger than most planets!

FLUKE: I have a very bad feeling about this.

LOGO: I think you're right. Go and change your underwear. Truhacca, full reverse!

FLUKE: Why are we still moving toward it?

LOGO: We're caught in a tractor beam.

FLUKE: Can't you do something?

LOGO: Yeah. But you change yours first.

Outside the NT Star. The Moulting Falcon is slowly pulled toward a landing bay.

TRAFFIC CONTROLLER (Voice over): Open the landing bay doors HAL.

NT STAR MAIN COMPUTER: I don't think I can do that, Dave.

TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: What's the problem HAL?

NT STAR: I seem to have misplaced the manual, Dave.

The Moulting Falcon crashes into, then through, the closed doors. Pieces are scattered for miles.

TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Oh, crap! Now we're going to have to clean all that up.

NT STAR: I have the greatest confidence in your mission, Dave.


Inside the landing bay swarms of Codepolice are assembling in ranks beside the Falcon.

In the conference room Tarquin and Gates are paged on the intercom.

TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: We've captured a freighter entering the Fortraan system. The racing stripe down the side looks just like the markings described on the one that blasted its way out of Dos Eisley.

GATES: They must have been trying to return the stolen code to Sysop Leia. She may be of some use to me...err us yet.

Minutes later, in the landing bay outside the Falcon. Gates approaches the leader of the group of Codepolice surrounding the ship.

CODEPOLICEMAN: There's nobody on board. According to the ship's log, the crew abandoned ship shortly after takeoff. Several of the escape pods have been jettisoned.

GATES: Are you certain you searched the ship thoroughly?


GATES: Perhaps not thoroughly enough. Go back and search it again...and this time use this. (He hands the Codepoliceman a small metal object.) It's called a key. It unlocks doors.

In the NT Star landing bay. The Codepolice search team are figuring out which end of the key goes in the lock before reboarding the Moulting Falcon. Darth Gates turns to leave, then pauses, turns, sniffs.

GATES: Strange. I smell an odour I haven't smelled since...just after breakfast. It seems strangely familiar...perhaps...(he leaves quickly)

On the Falcon, in the passenger's quarters. The door to the closet opens. In the small cupboard are Fluke, Fogey-One, Mac Logo, Truhacca, Kermit and Goto. They all look a little displeased.

LOGO: Was that you?

FLUKE: Hey, don't look at me, it was him!

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Yeah, who ever heard of a droid farting?

GOTO: Thpppt!

BALONEY: It must have been the beans I had for breakfast. Sorry.

LOGO: You'd better be. Then again, if we had some more beans we might just have a way of getting out of here.

FLUKE: Yeah, that's a good point. How are we going to get off this station?

LOGO: Even if we could take off we'd never get past that tractor beam.

BALONEY: Leave that to me.

LOGO: I knew you were going to say that.

KERMIT: Well we have been rehearsing this scene for a few days now...

BALONEY: Who is more foolish -- the fool who follows the script or the fool who writes it?

FLUKE: What about the fool who follows the fool who follows the script?

BALONEY: But that would be you, Fluke.

FLUKE: Oh, yeah...

BALONEY: Don't worry, I have a plan.

Outside the Falcon, the Codepolice have agreed on the standards for the use of keys before writing any manuals. Two of them walk up the ramp into the ship. The camera does not move from the view of the entrance while there is a pair of BONK sound effects followed by a pair of OIFs and the sound of two Codepolice falling down.

Elsewhere, at a help desk.

DUTY PROGRAMMER: (into intercom) THX1138, come in. THX1138, do you copy?

There is no answer. The DP looks out the window into the landing bay. Fluke, dressed in a Codepoliceman's black business suit, walks down the ramp holds up a cellular phone and mimes shooting it.

DUTY PROGRAMMER: Damn, his batteries must be dead. I'll take him a fresh one. You watch the door in case any armed Rebels disguised as Codepolice try to shoot their way in.


The Duty Programmer opens the door. Outside are Fluke and Logo dressed in their Codepolice suits, Truhacca, Fogey-One and the two droids. Logo switches his blaster to auto and sprays the room with fire. The DPs fall down. Fluke closes the door.

FLUKE: Are you sure you made enough noise? The rest of the Empire might not have heard we're here yet. One of the DPs stirs and moans. Logo throws a grenade at him. BOOM!

LOGO: That should do it.

GOTO: Aroooogah!

KERMIT: We've found an ethernet connector.

BALONEY: Good. From here we should be able to connect to the entire Microsoft network.

GOTO: Eurrrgh! (He plugs in anyway) Bloop...bloop...bloop...PING!

KERMIT: He's found the main controls for the tractor beam. Goto, put it on the monitor.

The monitor lights up with a test pattern followed by a beer advertisement, a preview of tonight's movie, the lottery results, a Monosodium MacGlutamate ad, and, finally, a plan of the NT Star with YOU ARE HERE flashing in one corner and TRACTOR BEAM CONTROLS in the other.

BALONEY: This is something I must do alone.

LOGO: What is this, National Hero's Cliche Week?

FLUKE: Do I have to stay here with him?

BALONEY: Yes, guard the droids. They must be delivered to the Rebels or other planets will suffer the same fate as Fortraan. Your destiny lies along a different path to mine. Don't worry, the Source will be with you, always.

Baloney leaves.

LOGO: What a load of baloney!

FLUKE: (with more than just a hint of admiration in his voice) Yeah, what a guy!

GOTO: PING! PING! PING! Whoooop! whooooop! Baaaaaarrrrrrrrrpppppp! Wheeeeoooooweeeeeooooooo! Ecky ecky ecky f'tang neeeeewom! Ni!

FLUKE: Damn, now we're going to have to reset Goto...

KERMIT: No, wait. He keeps saying "I've found her" and "She's here."

LOGO: Who? Mrs. Goto?

FLUKE: He must mean the Sysop.

LOGO: That shouldn't be too hard. Inside the biggest installation ever built by the Microsoft Empire I don't imagine it would be too hard to find a sysop.

FLUKE: No, the Sysop Leia. Where is she?

KERMIT: Level 5 Detention block #8501881. Oh, dear. She's scheduled to be terminated.

LOGO: Hang on a minute...Sysop Leia. Miss April in PlayRebel? She's here?

FLUKE: Yeah, and they're going to kill her.

LOGO: Damn! ...oh, well. Better her than me.

FLUKE: What? But we've got to rescue her!

LOGO: Are you mad? Do you have any idea how many Codepolice this place could hold? Sure she's good looking but she's not worth dying for.

FLUKE: She's rich, rolling in money.

LOGO: Money.

FLUKE: Yeah, rich. She's a Sysop, she's royalty, she's the only heir to the entire fortune of Fortraan.

LOGO: Money.

FLUKE: And she owns the droids. The reward from the rebels could be...well...lots.

LOGO: Money.

FLUKE: Yeah, money.

LOGO: Money.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh! (he slaps Logo on the back of the head)

LOGO: Money. OW! What? Oh, rescue. Right. Yeah. Sure, let's go!

FLUKE: Hang on. We need some way of getting into the detention area without getting arrested. (He looks in closets and drawers) Ah, this should do. Here, Truhacca. Put this dress on. (It is pink with white polka dots and lace.)

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Hey, don't worry. I think I know what he has in mind.

KERMIT: What should we do?

LOGO: Dunno...what can you do?

KERMIT: Not much really. I can speak Dodgey?

LOGO: Well, try that. And if anyone comes hope they understand you when you beg for mercy.

They leave. They walk through lots of corridors. Long, wide corridors. Enough of them that you can get the idea this NT Star thing is pretty damn huge on the inside too. They wait for three hours for an elevator to show up.

Elsewhere, Fogey-One Baloney is sneaking from doorway to doorway, corner to corner, making his way toward the tractor beam controls. In another corridor, Darth Gates is wandering. He stops, sniffs the air, then continues on.

Back to Fluke and co. The lift door opens to Level 5, detention area #8501881. Fluke and Logo drag the mortally-embarrassed Truhacca out of the elevator.

GUARD: Where are you taking that thing?

FLUKE: It's a visitor for the Sysop Leia. Her mother.

GUARD: That's her mother? I'll have to check this.

Logo shoots the guard. More guards run in and start looking for their guns. Logo shoots them too.

LOGO: Here it is -- cell 1138.

Fluke runs off with a lustful gleam in his eye. The intercom beeps.

INTERCOM: What's going on there? We heard shots.

LOGO: The number you have dialled is no longer connected. Please consult your directory before dialling again. Thank you for choosing telecom. This has not been a recording. Please do not dial this number again. Have a nice day...oh, crap. (He blasts the phone.) FLUKE! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE COMPANY!

Down the corridor Fluke is looking for the right cell. 1136...1137...1138. He opens the door. Sysop Leia is sprawled on the bed. Fluke stops dead in his tracks and stares, drooling, unable to speak. He's never been this close to a woman before.

LEIA: Aren't you a little smart for a Codepoliceman?


LEIA: Well, maybe not...

FLUKE: Oh, the suit. Sorry. I'm Fluke Codewriter. I'm here to rescue you.

LEIA: Yeah, right. That's just what Darth Gates wants me to think.


LEIA: He obviously thinks I'll spill the information to the first hacker-like geek that comes along. Well, it won't work.

FLUKE: No, really. I'm here to rescue you. I got your Gotogram. I'm here with Fogey-One Baloney.

LEIA: Fogey-One Baloney! Why didn't you say?

Leia rushes out of the cell past the dumbfounded Fluke.

FLUKE: I tried...

Meanwhile, in Tarquin's Office...

GATES: He is here.

TARQUIN: The pizza delivery man? But it's only been five minutes. I am impressed.

GATES: No, Fogey-One Baloney.

TARQUIN: Here? Are you sure? How can you tell?

GATES: A tremor in the Source.

TARQUIN: Oh, yes...

GATES: Really. Well and the smell. I whiffed a stench I have not smelled in many years; not since I breakfasted with my former teacher.

TARQUIN: Surely he must be dead by now.

GATES: Do not underestimate the power of the Source.

TARQUIN: Don't be silly. The Redeyes are extinct. Their drive active light has gone out permanently. Their boot disk has been formatted. Their power supplies interrupted forever. They are stiffs. Bereft of life. They rest in peace. If not for your persistent belief in the Source they'd be pushing up the daisies.

GATES: Nevertheless I did smell him.

INTERCOM: Attention! Attention! Intruders in detention block 8501881!

GATES: I told you so.

TARQUIN: We'll see. If he is here, he must not be allowed to escape.

GATES: Escape is not his plan. I must face him alone.

TARQUIN: You're sick. I've heard about him.

In a corridor elsewhere, Fogey-One pauses and looks around meaningfully.

Back in the detention block.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: What? Timmy's in trouble!

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Oh! Codepolice!

The door explodes. A Codepoliceman sticks his head through the hole. Mac Logo shoots him. The Codepoliceman falls and a second Codepoliceman trips over him. A third Codepoliceman trips over the first two and Logo shoots all of them. Suddenly, silence. Three dead Codepolicemen lie blocking the door but no more seem to be trying to get in. Then the lights go out. In the dim red glow of some control panels Logo and Truhacca look scared. So does Fluke as he and Leia join them.

FLUKE: What happened?

LOGO: They've cut the lights.

FLUKE: But they're Codepolice. They couldn't work switches if they tried!

LOGO: They'll be waiting for us out there. We have to go this way. (He points back toward the cells.)

FLUKE: OK. (They run toward the cells. All around them is the sound of footsteps. Lots of them.) Where is that noise coming from? It's inside. How do we get out of here? They're coming through the door, too.

LOGO: Hey, don't ask me, he's the brains.

LEIA: So what does that make you?

LOGO: I'll show you later. Fluke, you got any ideas?

FLUKE (Into cellular phone): Kermit, can you get us out of here?

At the help desk.

KERMIT: I'm afraid not. I'm at the other end of the station. (There is a knock at the door.) Oh, dear.

Back at the cell block.

LEIA: I've got an idea. (She blasts a panel on the wall before we have a chance to read the label.) Get in there! Fluke dives in. Truhacca hesitates until Logo kicks his butt. Logo does a triple somersault with a half twist into the hole. Leia fires one last clip of ammo into the advancing swarm of Codepolice before following them.

At the bottom of the chute, Leia falls into the sludge beside the others.

LOGO: Hey, Sysop. Neat idea. Let's leap into the cesspit. I like it in here. It's got atmosphere. Lots of atmosphere. And turds the size of starships.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Yeah, and used condoms and plastic baggies full of urine-soaked weed...

There is a low roaring sound.

LOGO: Oh, crap.

FLUKE: What?

LEIA: What?

LOGO: And probably alligators.

LEIA: Don't be silly.

The roaring sound happens again. This time it sounds closer.

LOGO: And what was that, your excellency? Your stomach rumbling?

LEIA: I've got a bad feeling about this.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: What? A door? Why didn't you say? Out of the way. He wipes the gunge off the sign on the door.) We're in luck. See. (He points. The sign on the door says FIRE ESCAPE) I told you I'd find a way out of here. (He opens the door) The instant the door opens the fire escapes. Then the wall opposite starts moving, pushing the filth and sewage into the furnace. Our heroes back away from the flames.

In a cesspit on the NT Star, Fluke Codewriter, Mac Logo, Truhacca and the Sysop Leia are being pushed toward the trash incinerator. Fluke is in the corner dialling his cellular phone frantically.

FLUKE: Kermit! Help! Hello? Crap!

Cut to the help desk. Extreme close up on an answering machine connected to a cellular phone. In the background is the sound of someone knocking on a door and calling "Hello" (sampled from The Wall).

ANSWERING MACHINE (With Kermit's voice): Hello. You have called Kermit the Droid on 5551138. I'm afraid I can't get to the phone because I'm hiding in a closet. If you leave a message after the tone I'll get back to you as soon as the Codepolice have gone away.

Pan to the door. The knocking stops, the doorknob turns. The door opens and a group of Codepolice walk in. They look around, see nothing. They are about to leave again when a crashing sound comes from a closet.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: What was that?

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: A crashing sound?

CODEPOLICEMAN 3: Should we check it out?

CODEPOLICEMAN 2: Yeah, why not?

They open the closet. Kermit and Goto are standing among a huge pile of loose disks they've accidentally knocked off the shelves.

KERMIT: They went that way. (He points to the door)


The Codepolice run out the door, weapons ready. Kermit notices the message light flashing on the answering machine.

Meanwhile, back in the cesspit.

FLUKE: So this is it, we're all going to die.

LOGO: I've got a very bad feeling about this.

LEIA: Will you stop saying that?

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Good idea. Maybe we can put the fire out by whizzing on it. You go first.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: OK! Sorry!

Fluke's phone rings.

FLUKE: Yeah?

KERMIT (on other end of phone): Master Fluke, someone has been phoning my answering machine and screaming. They've done it several times in the last few minutes. What do you suppose it means? Could the Codepolice be on to us?


KERMIT: It was you! Master Fluke, it's not polite to use the telephone to...


KERMIT: What's wrong?

FLUKE: We're in a giant furnace and we're about to get burned. Try to shut down the detention level.

KERMIT: Just a moment, I'll see what I can do. Fluke's phone begins to play a very tinny rendition of "Girl From Ipanema." Fluke throws the phone away from him in disgust.

LEIA: What happened?

FLUKE: Damn droids! He put me on hold!

Back at the help desk. Kermit is poring over manuals while Goto is ramming himself repeatedly into a bank of controls.

KERMIT: If only we had several hundred dollars we could call the user support line...

Goto continues to bash himself against the same control panel. Suddenly, there is a shower of sparks and the controls bursts into flame.

KERMIT: Oh dear, I hope that was something important. Back in the cesspit the wall stops moving, the flames from the incinerator die down. Fluke's phone rings, everyone is cheering, laughing, popping champagne corks, drinking, and generally partying hard as he answers.

FLUKE: Hello?

KERMIT: Master Fluke, we seem to have had an accident, I'm afraid you're going to die. (he hears the partying noises in the background) Oh no, you were playing a joke on us! You're a very cruel person Master Fluke. (He hangs up)

In another part of the NT Star, Fogey-One Baloney is skulking through the corridors. He comes to a vast chasm crossed by a single narrow bridge. In the middle two Codepolicemen are guarding a terminal. A closeup on the monitor shows it's the tractor beam controls.

As Fogey-One approaches, the Codepolicemen point their blasters at him.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Where do you think you're going?

BALONEY: I was just going to the...look! Over there!

Baloney points over their shoulders, they turn to look. He marches forward, pushing the distracted Codepolice aside as he walks by. The two Codepolice fall off the bridge. Baloney goes to the terminal, raises three fingers above the keyboard, pauses dramatically, then brings them down hard. The screen goes blank, Baloney walks away.

In a corridor outside the cesspit's maintenance hatch, our heroes are wiping the crap off themselves.

LEIA: So this is what passes for a rescue these days, is it? I felt safer alone with Darth Gates.

LOGO: Yeah, but now you can be alone with us.

LEIA: Can I go back to my cell now?

LOGO: No way your godliness, we're after the reward.

LEIA: Damn. Well, OK. But you do what I say from now on.

LOGO: Who's being rescued here? You or me?

LEIA: Well I know who needs more help...

LOGO: No reward is worth this.

TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh!

LOGO: Yeah, right. Even a bantha would be more pleasant.

LEIA: What? What did he say? That was about me wasn't it? Logo whistles tunelessly as they walk down the corridor. They reach a window that look down on the landing bay where the Moulting Falcon sits.

LOGO: There she is.

LEIA: You came in that thing?

LOGO (with pride): Yep, sure did.

LEIA: And you expect me to leave in it?

LOGO: Certainly do.

LEIA: Can I PLEASE go back to my cell now?

She doesn't get the chance. At that moment a squad of business-suited CODEPOLICE march around the corner.

CODEPOLICEMAN 1: Aaaaarrrrggghhh! Hackers!


CODEPOLICEMAN 1: We're doomed! Run!

The Codepolicemen flee, running in all directions, colliding with each other and bouncing off walls on the way.

LEIA: On second thoughts maybe I'll stay with you.

LOGO: OK. Let's split up. Fluke, you take the Sysop that way. As far as you can go. And Truhacca and I'll go this way.

FLUKE: What? Why split up the party when we've only got one level to go? Won't that make it easier for the Codepolice to pick us off one at a time?

LOGO: Maybe. But I'm heading this way. Come on!

Logo and Truhacca leave.

LEIA: Is he always like that? I don't think I want to be rescued by him. So what if he owns that ship? That doesn't mean he can treat his passengers like this...

FLUKE: Don't worry. Next time, I'll make sure he takes you and leaves me with the Gookie.

More CODEPOLICE enter.

CODEPOLICEMAN: There they are! Shoot them!

Fluke and Leia run. All the corridors here look exactly the same. Either the sets were built really cheaply and they're running down the same corridor many times but shot from different angles or the NT Star's architects ran out of corridor ideas about day two of planning. Either way... Fluke and Leia skid to a halt at the edge of a huge chasm. Beside them on the wall is a sign that reads SUCKING PIT OF DESPAIR.

FLUKE: I think we're lost.

LEIA: I know where we are.

FLUKE: Where?

LEIA: This is the Microsoft Empire's main production center. This is where they cast programmers to slave for them for all eternity.

Shots fly past them. The Codepolice have found them again. Fluke returns their fire until Leia slams the door shut.

LEIA: That ought to hold them.

FLUKE: Yes but how do we get out of here? We can't get across this pit...wait a minute (he searches his pockets) I've got this piece of string...two paperclips, a rubber band...

FLUKE bends the paperclips into a hook, ties it to the piece of string, wraps the rubber band around his fingers and launches the paperclips across the chasm. They drag the string behind them as they plummet out of sight.

FLUKE: Maybe if I'd aimed for something... We'll have to jump.

LEIA: Jump!? Are you crazy?

FLUKE: Nope, I'm the hero.

LEIA: Wow! OK. (She kisses him) That's for luck. Don't think it means anything more.

Fluke doesn't hear a word of what she says. His knees have turned to jelly, he has a silly smile on his face and he is drooling slightly. A small damp patch in his trousers is rapidly getting bigger. To date this has been his entire sex life.


LEIA: Men!

Leia hoists Fluke into a fireman's carry, backs up until she is right against the door and takes a running leap. She clears the chasm. Almost. She comes down inches short of the other side and barely manages to catch the ledge with one hand. A lone Codepoliceman walks up to the edge, peers over at Leia and the still dazed Fluke. He takes off his helmet to reveal unruly blonde hair and a trickle of blood running down the side of his face from a shaving cut.

CODEPOLICEMAN: Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to work for Microsoft.

LEIA: I wish Mac Logo was here.

She loses her grip...she's falling...almost. With lightning reflexes, the Codepoliceman reaches out, catches her, and pulls her and Fluke to safety.

LEIA: Uh...thanks. That was...impressive.

CODEPOLICEMAN: That was nothing. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. But that's not important now. You're coming with me to see Lord Gates.

LEIA: Oh yeah? I think not.

Leia bumps the Codepoliceman who loses his balance and falls off the ledge. Elsewhere on the NT Star Fogey-One Baloney is skulking back in the direction of the Moulting Falcon when suddenly a dramatic chord rings out. Baloney freezes. Darth Gates steps out of the shadows, his logic probe drawn.

GATES: Ahhhh, Fogey-One. We meet again. I've been waiting for this moment.

BALONEY: Fogey who? I think you've got me mixed up with someone else I'm...errr...Henry Krinkle.

GATES: You are Fogey-One Baloney. I'd recognize that smell anywhere. The circle is now complete. Last time we met, I was but a child and you the teacher. Now, you are in your second childhood and I'm going to teach you how to die.

BALONEY: You'll only teach me by your example! (He draws his logic probe and lunges at Gates)

They fight. Gates swings his logic probe at Baloney who parries and then pushes Gates away. Gates recovers quickly, picks up a chair and hurls it at Baloney's head. Baloney knocks the chair aside but has to step back to avoid Gates' next trike a heroic pose beside the fireplace.

BALONEY: Ha! You cannot win, Gates!

GATES: Your powers are weak old fool. Your moves are cliche and tiresome.

Cut to the landing bay. Fluke and Leia enter. Across the bay they see Mac Logo and Truhacca entering through another door. They look around to see what happened to the guards. Then they spot them. All the Codepolice are gathered around a TV watching the fight. Fluke quietly walks over and peers over a shoulder.

FLUKE: Bent?

Meanwhile Gates crosses the room at a run and thrusts his probe at Baloney. Baloney neatly sidesteps and Gates' weapon becomes lodged in the wall. He tries to dislodge it but Baloney pulls the rug from under him. Gates sprawls on the floor. Baloney holds his logic probe to the evil one's throat and chuckles quietly.

GATES: You wouldn't kill an unarmed and helpless man would you? That would be...unsportsmanlike.

BALONEY: You're right. I'm the good guy here. I have to fight fair. (He turns to pull Gates logic probe from the wall). Besides, if you strike me down I'll only become more powerful.

GATES: Are you sure?

BALONEY: Not really but (he turns and is about to return Gates' his when he sees that Gates has pulled a gun on him) ...oops.

GATES: Well now you can find out. Hasta la vista, Baloney. (He fires. Baloney falls to the floor dead.)

Back at the TV in the landing bay a huge cheer erupts. Money changes hands but no-one seems displeased with the result. No one except Fluke.

FLUKE: You bastards! He fires wildly into the crowd of Codepolice. Some fall immediately, the braver ones form a cordon around the TV and prepare to die defending it.

LOGO: Fluke! Come on! We are leaving!

Fluke backs toward the Moulting Falcon, blasting away at anything that moves and most things that don't. Eventually he makes his way up the ramp into the ship, still firing. Leia struggles with him and prizes the gun from his grasp before he does too much damage to the ship. LEIA: Fluke, he's gone. There's nothing you could have done. LOGO: Yeah. And if he did his bit with the tractor beam right we should be gone too. TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh! LOGO: I don't even want to think about that. Soft Wares: A New Hype - Chapter 12 The Moulting Falcon is speeding away from the NT Star. Our heroes are alive except for Fogey-One Baloney. On the bridge Mac Logo is preparing for the jump to Cyberspace. In the passenger lounge Fluke is quietly sobbing into his beer. Sysop Leia hands him a box of tissues.

FLUKE: I can't believe he's gone.

LEIA: Neither can I. It is a relief though.

FLUKE: What!?

LEIA: Oh, sorry...did you like him?

Logo rushes in.

LOGO: It's not over yet kid. They're not going to let us go without a fight. Come on.

He gestures toward a pair of video consoles. Fluke breaks out of his sobbing fit, looks at the consoles and his spirits are visibly lifted. A chance for revenge.

Fluke and Logo sit beside each other at the consoles. Logo hands Fluke a small pile of coins.

FLUKE: Thanks. (He takes one coin, inserts it into the slot under the console and hands the others back.) LOGO: Don't get cocky, kid. FLUKE: Trust me. LOGO: Look out, here they come.

On Fluke's monitor a formation of vi fighters appears. They're coming in waves, ten wide, five deep, moving slowly from side to side across the screen. Fluke and Logo both start pounding heavily on the fire buttons and wrenching their joysticks from side to side. At the tops of their monitors numbers mount as they blast away row after row of fighters. Leia wanders over to peer over their shoulders. Goto and Kermit follow and, after a few minutes, so does Truhacca. Logo notices the walking carpet. LOGO: If you're here, who's flying the ship? TRUHACCA: Waaaarrrgh! LOGO: Oh, OK. Eventually Fluke and Logo clear their screens of vi fighters. Fluke's announces that he has the top score. On board the NT Star. GATES: They got away sir. Sorry TARQUIN: Of course they got away. We let them. GATES: But you said I could have the Sysop. And the little boy was cute too. TARQUIN: Stop your whinwe put a homing transmitter on their ship. Now they'll lead us straight to the Rebel base. GATES: Good plan, sir!

TARQUIN: Of course it's a good plan!

Back on the Falcon our heroes are having a celebratory drink or three.

LOGO: So, your Holiness, how was that for rescuing?

LEIA: Not bad, if I do say so myself. But next time you need rescuing call someone else.

LOGO: You bitch!

LEIA: Damn right. And if they hadn't let us go even I couldn't have saved you.

LOGO: What do you mean?

LEIA: That escape was too easy. They only sent one wave of fighters after us. If they'd been serious they'd have kept sending them until we ran out of change.

LOGO: Speaking of change...I do hope you can pay the bill for the trip to wherever it is we're going.

LEIA: You expect to be paid for this? What about the principle of the thing? We're fighting the Microsoft Empire, struggling against imperialist oppression of users everywhere, battling to free systems from crippling code. We're revolting. Won't you join us?

LOGO: What's it pay?

LEIA: You disgust me. (She storms out)

LOGO: So, Fluke, what do you reckon? The Sysop...not bad, eh?

FLUKE: Buh... (he's got that faraway look on his face again. He's remembering that kiss)

LOGO: Oh, for god's sake, kid, you're drooling into your beer.

Later, the Moulting Falcon drops out of cyberspace near the gas giant Exxon, zipping dramatically close to the planet on the way to its twenty-third moon.

On the moon, a jungle. In the jungle, a temple. A temple in the shape of a giant human head wearing a spiked crown. Nearby, a lookout tower in the shape of a giant flaming torch. Atop the tower a rebel guard watches as the Falcon zips overhead. A second guard comes to relieve the first.

GUARD 2: Who's there?

GUARD 1: Nay, answer me: stand and unfold yourself.

GUARD 2: Long live the king!

GUARD 1: Bernardo?

GUARD 2: No, tis Fred.

GUARD 1: Fred? I know thee not. What be thy business in Elsinore?

GUARD 2: Elsinore? Surely you jest. This place is indeed the moon Exxon 23, the secret Rebel base thereon. Hamlet is shooting on soundstage seven.

GUARD 1: Oh, bugger (exeunt) Inside the temple the rebels are hiding a vast hangar complex filled with warships. In the foreground a golf cart pulls up beside an Xmodem fighter. On the cart are Leia, Fluke and Goto. Sysop Leia is greeted by Commander Groucho, a Rebel leader.

GROUCHO: Ahh, Sysop! You're here at last. When we heard about Fortraan we thought we'd have to look for someone else to pose for the Playrebel calendar for next year. (He sits on Goto)

LEIA: I'm OK but the Empire is tracking us. This Goto droid contains the entire code for the NT Star...

GROUCHO (leaping to his feet): Eurrgh!

LEIA: Yes, but if we're to survive we have to find a bug or a back door in the code before they get here.

GROUCHO: And the code's in this Goto droid?

LEIA: Yes. Sorry.

GROUCHO: So this is it, we're all going to die.

In a briefing room in the rebel base. Fighter pilots have gathered to be sent to their deaths. At the front of the room General Chico explains the strategy with the aid of a slide projector.

CHICO: Dis a NT Star isa real huge station. Itsa so powerful it could blow your head clean off.

A slide of the NT Star.

CHICO: Its a defences are also pretty good. She's a got shields and a armour and a more guns than East Los Angeles High School.

A slide with a closeup of a turretted gun.

CHICO: That'sa the bad news. The good news is the software. She's a piece of crap.

Slide of a piece of crap.

CHICO: The Sysop Leia hasa got the code for the NT Star for us...

Slide of Sysop Leia centrefold from Playrebel. Fluke falls off his chair.

FLUKE: Buh...

CHICO: ...and we've a found a backa door that we think we can use to crash it. But it's a gonna be tough.

PILOT: Oh yeah? How tough?

CHICO: I'm a glad you ask. It's a gonna be so tough mosta you not gonna come back. Inna dis trench is a coms port that's used only for maintenance and it's a no got any protection. Only connected ta the NT Star's cellular phone network. We've a gotta get a cl log on through that a port and download a virus into the reactor control system. So we gonna need small X-modem fighters and attack diallers.

ANOTHER PILOT: But that's suicide.

CHICO: That's a why you're going and I'm a stayin here.

FLUKE: I've got a bad feeling about this.

On the NT Star, in the officer's lounge. Tarquin and Gates are watching the view out the window.

INTERCOM: This is your captain speaking. The no smoking light has been lit so please extinguish whatever you're smoking. It will remain lit until someone is polite enough to pass the bong to the flight deck. If you look out the forward viewports you will see the planet Exxon. Our destination is the twenty-third moon and we should be arriving in about fifteen minutes. The weather on Exxon 23 is a balmy 48 degrees but that's probably not going to last much more than...about fifteen minutes.

Back at the Rebel base, in the hangar, pilots are scurrying around, manning their ships. In the foreground Mac Logo is counting cash. Fluke approaches.

LOGO: One million, three hundred and twenty-one thousand, one hundred and thirty eight...one million three hundred...

FLUKE: So you're just going to take the money and run?

LOGO: DOH! You made me lose count.

FLUKE: Sorry.

LOGO: That's okay. So, kid, how about joining us? We've got a fast ship, plenty of cash. We can be out of here before Microsoft pulp these guys and cruise the galaxy for babes.

FLUKE: Can't you see what's happening here?

LOGO: I see a whole bunch of crazies who are bent on killing themselves.

FLUKE: Well...yeah. But what about the principle?

LOGO: The only principles I'm interested in are ones they pay interest on. And I've got a very large one right here.

FLUKE: Well I hope you're happy.

LOGO: I'd rather be rich than dead any day.

Fluke continues on to his ship. On top of it a pair of techs are lowering Goto into place behind the cockpit.

TECH: Are you sure you want this thing in your ship? The mission's suicidal enough without taking this heap of trash as a co-pilot.

FLUKE: Well...

KERMIT: Master Fluke, perhaps you could have an "accident" along the way. You know...lose Goto, and get a better droid with the insurance.

FLUKE: Hmm...maybe...

GOTO: Beep! Beep flooble ping!

FLUKE, KERMIT & TECHS: Oh, shut up!

The techs finish installing Goto and leave. Fluke gets into the ship. All around him other pilots are saying good bye to loved ones, confessing their sins, having a last cigarette, being given the last rites, writing wills, setting pets free, wishing they were somewhere else. Slowly they climb into their fighters. One by one, the ships lift off and fly out to meet their fates.

Space. The fighters are gathering into attack formations. Over the radios, we hear the pilots talking as they get closer to the NT Star.

SQUADRON LEADER: All pilots report.

FLUKE: Plaid five standing by.

VIRGIL: Thunderbird two standing by.

ROBERT PATRICK: T1000 standing by.

GEORGE LUCAS: THX 1138 standing by.

BORG: Three of Five standing by.

BONO: U2 standing by.

KING ARTHUR: Pink five standing by.

LANCELOT: Three, sir.

KING ARTHUR: Sorry, Pink three standing by.

RICK DECKARD: Replicant Six standing by.

The fighters are getting really close to the NT Star now.

SQUADRON LEADER: Look at the size of that thing!

PLAID 3: Look at the price!

PLAID 2: And yet it still has bugs...

SQUADRON LEADER: Oh, god! It's worse than we thought!

Through the leader's front window we can see the markings on the NT Star. Beside the Microsoft logo is another just as ominous: INTEL INSIDE.


Pink 3 & Pink 4 turn and flee.

SQUADRON LEADER: Thunderbird wing start your attack run, Plaid cover them.

Thunderbirds 1 and 2 dive into the trench, Fluke in Plaid 5 and several other plaid ships follow.

Inside the NT Star.

ADMIRAL MOE: Lord Gates, our Laser Manager program has crashed.

GATES: Then we'll have to fight them ship to ship.

Meanwhile, back at the battle.

SQUADRON LEADER: I'm picking up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters.

From out of the sun comes a group of vi Fighters. They fiat?

ADMIRAL MOE: Well, do you really need us here? I mean, the battle seems to be going OK so I thought I'd just...go home...

TARQUIN: What? You're not afraid of those Rebel scum are you?

ADMIRAL MOE: Errr...yes?

TARQUIN: Hah! Run away in our moment of triumph? I think not.

Back at the battle.

SQUADRON LEADER: Thunderbirds are gone. Plaid group will make their attack now.

FLUKE: I've got a bad feeling about this.

BALONEY (Voice over): Don't trust your feelings, Fluke.

FLUKE: Fogey-One?

Fluke and several other ships dive into the trench. They are followed by three vi Fighters. The middle one of the three has vanity plates that read GATES.

GATES: Leave them to me.

On Fluke's control panel, two colored dots are getting closer together. The range to target figure is getting smaller.

PLAID 3: We've got company.

FLUKE: Not now, I'm busy.

PLAID 3: There's vi fighters on your tail.

FLUKE: So draw their fire. That's what wingmen are for.

In Gates' ship the cross hairs of the sight are centred on a Rebel ship. Gates types FIRE. Plaid 3 explodes.

In Fluke's ship. Fluke is watching the fire control window.

BALONEY (voice over): Use the source, Fluke.

Fluke remembers his first lesson. He reaches under his seat and pulls out his airsickness bag then puts it over his head.

In the NT Star officer's lounge.

ADMIRAL MOE: We are in range, sir.

TARQUIN: Fire at will.

ADMIRAL MOE (into intercom): Commander Riker, report to the officers' lounge.

TARQUIN: You idiot! Shoot the moon!

In Gates ship.

GATES: The source is strong in this one.

Gates sights are lined up with Fluke's ship. Gates types FIRE. Nothing happens. He types FIRE again.

GATES: Damn!

Insert mode. He switches to command mode. Too late. From behind his ship comes the Moulting Falcon, gaining on him and firing wildly at everything in sight. Gates' wingmen explode. Gates has no time to react before the Falcon rams the back of his fighter, flinging it out of the trench. The Falcon zips over Fluke's ship, clipping Goto and smashing him.

LOGO (At Space Invaders machine): YES! Top score! Now, let's destroy this battle station at the end of the level.

In Fluke's ship. Fluke still has a bag over his head. He presses the autodial button. The phone rings once...twice. A carrier! On the monitor, the word CONNECTING. Then WELCOME TO MICROSOFT. PLEASE ENTER USER ID: Fluke types GUEST. USER VERIFIED. Fluke keys the download macro. DOWNLOADING ...........................

Deep in the bowels of the NT Star, a fat balding technician is dozing at the reactor controls, dreaming of beer-flavored donuts. Suddenly alarms ring.

COMPUTER: Warning, fusion core containment shut down. You have five seconds to reach minimum safe distance.


Outside. Fighters and the Moulting Falcon are fleeing the NT Star.

The NT Star's officers' lounge.

TARQUIN: There, see we scared them away...where's everybody gone?

The NT Star explodes.

Later, back on Exxon 23, in the hangar. Fluke is trying to climb out of his ship. As he still has the bag over his head, he misses the ladder and falls. Above him, the two techs are hoisting the broken Goto from its mounting. Kermit rushes up to look.

KERMIT: Oh dear, he's broken. I guess we'll have to throw him away.

TECH 1: Oh no, it's not as bad as it looks. A bit of putty and a fresh paint job and he'll be as good as new.

KERMIT: Oh. Hey, look! Over there! It's Elvis!

The techs turn to look where Kermit is pointing. Kermit picks up a crowbar and smashes Goto.

Later that day. The surviving pilots have cleaned themselves up and everyone has gathered for the award ceremony.

Sysop Leia presents them each with medals for their sincere acts of bravery.

Except, of course, for poor Truhacca.

TRUHACCA: Arooogaroooo (screaming).

SUBTITLE: "Where's my friggin' medal?"

Soft Wares is a work of fiction and satire. Any similarity between characters in this script and actual people living or dead is obviously intentional but, as satire, is not to be taken seriously. If you think you're one of the characters here and you can't take a joke then maybe you shouldn't have read this far. Any complaints about the humorous content of this material should be emailed to billg@microsoft.com ... not!

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