Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
TITLE: Cyber Wars, Return of the Playwright
By Nancy Bucca
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Fluke Skystalker, you've got to be the craziest nut to ever sail a ship across the Milky Way! What makes you think you'll ever be a Playwright?
A flash lights up the screen. 247 new e-mail messages. Ah! Now that's more like it. Point, click. "On screen."
Blah! More cosmic junk mail. What do they think this is, a garbage craft?
It's time I made the jump to light speed.
Type, type, click. Type, type, click. Type, type, uh-oh.
What's this? A coded address. With fine print underneath.
"Bleep, bleep," goes my anti-spam alarm. "Warning. Approaching unprotected blog. Proceed with caution."
And I thought it was just a harmless asteroid. But the gravitational pull... is strong. Can't keep from... zooming in... No, Fluke! Don't do it! Resist the urge. Flee... to the Obscurity Nebula... before you get assimilated.
Oh, if only Playwright Master I-Have-Won were here! He'd know what to do.
"Check your text messages, Fluke."
Ah! Saved by the cell!
First memo. "Trust the Lord, Fluke." An old cliché, but it checks out. Punch, punch. "His joy is your strength." Okay. Punch, punch. "You must confront Dark Jader." What?
You can't be serious! Don't you know what he did to me last time? All those files, wiped out. All that time, wasted. My writing hand, nuked in one big power surge. No, Sir. No way I'm going through with this. Nothing you can do or say will convince me otherwise. Bye, bye, cell phone.
BRRRING! From the bowl my wireless gurgles, "It is your destiny!"
I don't believe it.
The phone leaps from the water straight into my hand.
Okay. I believe it. But why me?
"Because you are the only Playwright who has not been reprogrammed by the Dull Side. The rest have become robots. Witless clones. A garbled mix of numbers, burps, and bleeps. You are the one remaining fluke."
"Confront Jader on the big stage. Then a Playwright you will be."
"I always keep my word."
"Okay, I'll do it."
Point. Click. Back to the big screen.
Same dead site. Same dull ads. Same creepy snore-and-yawn breathing down my neck.
"'Ho... hum. Ho... hum.'"
Translation: My 'I space' has tons of hits, yours is nothing.
Oh yeah? We'll see about that. Type, type, oops. Type, type, glitch. Great! Another breakdown. Would someone please shut off that infernal eye noise?
"Trust the Lord, Fluke. Focus."
"Okay." I do so. Ah, there's the flow. Type, type, send.
Jader's swift response unnerves me. "It's nice to see you have embraced your ho-hum destiny."
Hah! He's just wants me to spill coffee on my keyboard. "No way, Blogger. You will not choke out my voice. There's still good software in you. Let go your hard drive!"
"Too late. The Dull Side has drained all my creativity. Come, join me for a cup of decaf in the chat room. There you will meet my Playwright master, Network."
Grr, I knew it. "Then the blogger in you is truly dead!!!" Pound, pound, send. Whoops! Nearly lost the cup that time.
"Your lack of originality has made you powerful," interrupts Network. "Every line borrowed from ancient film clips starring me, Dull Same-Old."
"Hah!" I type. "I'll never be like you, Same-Old. Your pride is your download - I mean, your downfall." Type, type, click.
"And your trust in your feedback is yours," replies the Virus. "Don't underestimate my power to hack your deepest secrets and draw you into my monotony. This weapon I am about to unleash will make you as ho-hum as Jader."
"No! Not the One Star! Anything but that!"
With warp speed Network takes aim at my nearly complete comedy page.
One zap and my ratings are kaput. As is the majority of my potential fan base. Now I'll never find a publisher! Unless... "Help me, Jader!"
"Remember, a Playwright's strength flows from the Lord," resounds the voice of I-Have-Won.
"But how, Lord? Network is killing me!"
"View the screen, Fluke."
"Okay." Point, click.
Ah! A new text. From Jader. "I can't believe it!" it says. "He ruined my site too! What a fool I was to put my faith in that awful Network!"
I smile. Perhaps there is hope for him after all.
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