Subject: HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA! - ADVENTURES IN SERVOLAND: CHAPTER 1; Down the Hole...family From: "Blackhawk" <email@example.com> Newsgroups: alt.fan.tom-servo Message-ID: <janosprohaska-11B722.firstname.lastname@example.org> *********************************************************************** BLACKHAWKS ADVENTURES IN SERVOLAND "Ah cruel Peeps! In such an hour, Beneath such dreamy weather, To beg a tale of hooks too weak To stir the tiniest feather! Yet what can one poor troll avail Against three tongues together? Imperious Lisa flashes forth Her edict "to begin it": In gentler tones WWS hopes 'There will be nonsense in it!' While Cronan interrupts the tale Not more than once a minute" *********************************************************************** CHAPTER I Down the Hole...family Blackhawk was beginning to get very tired of sitting by Captain Infinity in the Moderated group, and of having nothing to do: once or twice he had peeped into the post Captain Infinity was writing, but it had no Science Fiction or jokes in it, `and what is the use of a post,' thought Blackhawk `without Science Fiction or jokes?' So he was considering in his own mind (as well as he could, for the flames from the Claudia Christian controversy he was reading made him feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of writing up a troll would be worth the trouble of sneaking it past the mods, when suddenly a large telepathic yellow Peep with carnuba wax for eyes, wearing a waistcoat, ran close by him. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Blackhawk think it so very much out of the way to hear the Peep say to itself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I have arrived to close to the beginning of the story! I'm early!!' (when he thought it over afterwards, it occurred to him that he ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Peep actually took out a copy of the script for all 12 chapters of "Blackhawks' Adventures In Servoland" out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Blackhawk started to his feet, for it flashed across his mind that he had never before seen so large a Peep with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a script to take out of it, and since he'd missed all the rehearsals, he ran across the Internet after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large hole...family under the bridge. [Image] Large telepathic yellow Peep checking script .- -. .' _ \_ _ .| /9 )_\ *PEEP* I'm early!!I'm early!!*PEEP* _.-'' \ /_/ ____________ <`' ..._\ <' _|Blackhawks || `._ .-' `. /'"/_|adventures || ; `. .-'o\/'",_ | in || \ `~~' \_.'"' | Servoland || `"..."'% _ |___________|| \__ |`. BH \__________)) /`. In another moment down went Blackhawk after it, never once considering how in the world he was to get out again. The hole...family went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Blackhawk had not a moment to think about who he was stepping into before he found himself falling down the Usenet hierarchy. Either the hierarchy was very deep, or he fell very slowly, for he had plenty of time as he went down to look about him and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, he tried to look down and make out what he was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then he looked at the sides of the hierarchy, and noticed that they were filled with Usenet posts and .sig lines; here and there he saw binaries and ASCII pictures hung upon pegs. He began reading the names of hierarchies off a series of giant tabs that hung from the walls; 3b.* and 3com.* he 3dfx.* drifted 3do.* on 5col.* 5org.* down the Intel.* LocalAccess.* Usenet... a.* a21.* aaa.* ab.* abg.* abq.* He took down a post from one of the boards as he passed; it was labelled `***I LOVE MY FRIENDS AT ALT.TV.REAL-WORLD!!@!#****', but to his great disappointment it was empty: he did not like to drop the post for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the boards labeled 'DEV NUL' as he fell past it. `Well!' thought Blackhawk to himself,`after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of the trolls in alt.alien.vampires.flonk.flonk.flonk! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell for a troll by Herbert W**T!' (Which was very likely true.) Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! acs.* `I acsworld.* wonder adass.* how ads.* many adsp.* newsgroups af.* afj.* I've africa.* fallen ahn.* through ailab.* by air.* this airmail.* time?' * * he * * alt.* said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the 'alt' hierarchy. Let me see: that would be forty-thousand bytes down, I think--' (for, you see, Blackhawk had learnt several things of this sort in his lessons at the B-5.romper.room, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off his knowledge, as there was no one to listen to him, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what the philtrum on fucking epitomes of whimsy I'm up to?' (Blackhawk had no idea what a philtrum was, or a fucking epitome of whimsy either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently he began again. `I wonder if I shall fall right through into the WorldWideWeb! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The WebTv'ers, I think--' (he was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) `--but I shall have to ask them what the name of the ISP is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this WebTv or AOL?' (and he tried to bow as he spoke--fancy bowing as you're falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) `And what an ignorant little fellow they'll think me for asking! No, it'll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see a <title/>You are here</title> up somewhere.' Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Blackhawk soon began talking again. `Heck'll miss me very much to-night, I should think!' (Heck was the meme.) `I hope they'll remember his saucer of milk at tea-time. Heck my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There is no veracity in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a peep, and that's very like a psychiatrist (being psychic and all), you know. But do memes eat peeps, I wonder?' And here Blackhawk began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to himself, in a dreamy sort of way, `Do memes eat peeps? Do memes eat peeps?' and sometimes, `Do peeps eat memes?' for, you see, as he couldn't answer either question, it didn't much matter which way he put it. He felt that he was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that he was walking hand in hand with Heck, and saying to him very earnestly, `Now, Heck, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a peep?' when suddenly, thump! thump! down he came upon a heap of statistics and dry posts, and the fall was over. Blackhawk was not a bit hurt, and he jumped up on to his feet in a moment: he looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before him was another long passage, and the Large Peep was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Blackhawk like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, `Oh my wax eyes and marshmallow, I'm sooo bloody early!' He was close behind it when he turned the corner, but the Peep was no longer to be seen: he found himself in a long, low hierarchy, which was lit up by a row of post-mortems hanging from the roof. There were doors all round the hierarchy, but they were all locked; and when Blackhawk had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, he walked sadly down the middle, wondering how he was ever to post to JMS again. Suddenly he came upon a little three-legged table, all made of Lots42's diary entries; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden Kibo, and Blackhawk's first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the Kibo was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, he came upon a low curtain he had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: he tried the little golden Kibo in the lock, and to his great delight it fitted! [Image] Blackhawk finding tiny door behind curtain . . . . . . . . . . . / \/\/\________\/\/\/\ / / /.| |" . \ \ / . . |Kibology| . . \ / . |Wannbees| . \ / / / |Abandon | \ \ \ .' / / / |Hope O| '.'. '. _.-' / / |Ye Who .| ' '-. '-._ _.-' / | | |Enter | '-. '-. '-. (____(______\_\ |________| )___)____) BH Blackhawk opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than an Odeus follow-up. He knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest newsgroup you ever saw. How he longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright wackylaces and those cool parodies, but he could not even get his head though the doorway; `and even if my head would go through,' thought poor Blackhawk, `it would be of very little use without my brane. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a killfile! I think I could, if I only know how to get flamed.' For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Blackhawk had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible. There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so he went back to the table, half hoping he might find another Kibo on it, or at any rate a FAQ for shutting people up like killfiles: this time he found a little bottle on it, (`which certainly was not here before,' said Blackhawk,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `SUCK MW' beautifully printed on it in large letters. [Image] Blackhawk taking the "SUCK MW" bottle ______ \____/_ .. 33 (. || 3" > .-||-. \__ o |____| / \\ |SUCK| /\ \| | MW | | \ '--._/|____| | \______ ==._| |____| `''_______________________ |___(| ( 6.21.2001 ) | __ | I'm writing this update |/ \| through a haze of pain and dizziness. The last It was all very well to say `SUCK MW,' but the wise little Blackhawk was not going to do that in a hurry. `No, I'll look first,' he said, `and see whether it's marked "YHBT" or not'; for he had read several nice little histories about newbies who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild trolls and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules that news.groups had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poster will burn you if you troll them too long; and that if you cut your ego very deeply with a typo, it usually bleeds; and he had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `YHBT,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later. However, this bottle was not marked `YHBT,' so Blackhawk ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of butter-tart, mustard, kiwi, roast Krab, coffee, and hot buttered tofu,) he very soon finished it off. _____________ _____________ `-._ ..::| `-._ ..::| . `. ..::| `. ..::| /| | ..::| | ..::| /.| | ..::| _____ | ..::| / :| .--------.| ..::|.-' ..::-.--. .------| ..::| / .:| | /\ .::. ..:.' ..::`. ' | ..::| / .::| /\ |/ \ .::\../ ..::\ | ..::| / ..::|/ \ .---' '---..::bd _ ..::b.._ | ..::|/ ..---' '---. `-. .-' .::PI .:(_) ..::m ) | ..::`-. .-' / \ ..:/.q ..::w / .| .:' / \ /_.-``-._\..:' ..\ ..::/ / .:| ''---/_.-``-._\ ' | ..:.` | ..:`. ..::,' / .::| ..:. ` | ..:| | ..::|`-.__..::-':| / .::' | ..:::|`. ..:\ | ..:J ,' ..:::. ,' ..::/ ..:' ,' ..::::. ) .::b | ..:/ /____..::::\ /____...:/ .:' /____..:::::/ ..::P |.:,' /.:' / ..:::' |,' /.' / ..:-' ' ' /,-' ' BW `What a curious feeling!' said Blackhawk; `I must be shutting up like a killfile.' And so it was indeed: he was now only ten inches high, and his face brightened up at the thought that he was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely newsgroup. First, however, he waited for a few minutes to see if he was going to shrink any further: he felt a little nervous about this; `for my ego might never recover and could result, you know,' said Blackhawk to himself, `in my coming out altogether, like Franklin. I wonder what I should be like then?' And he tried to fancy what the flame of a poster is like after the poster has come out, for he could not remember ever having seen such a thing. After a while, finding that nothing more happened, he decided on going into the newsgroup at once; but, alas for poor Blackhawk! When he got to the door, he found he had forgotten the little golden Kibo, and when he went back to the table for it, he found he could not possibly reach it: he could see it quite plainly through Lots42's blather, and he tried his best to climb up one of the legs of the diary, but it was too slippery; and when he had tired himself out with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried. `Come, there's no use in crying like that!' said Blackhawk to himself, rather sharply; `I advise you to leave off this minute!' He generally gave himself very good advice, (though he very seldom followed it with medication), and sometimes he scolded himself so severely as to bring tears into his eyes; and once he remembered trying to box his own ears for having cheated himself in a game of "troll the Stinson" he was playing against himself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two or more people. `But it's no use now,' thought poor Blackhawk, `to pretend to be two people! Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one respectable post!' Soon his eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the diarys: he opened it, and found in it a very small Krabcake, on which the words `BITE MW' were beautifully marked in marshmallows. `Well, I'll bite it,' said Blackhawk, `and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the Kibo; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the Mode^r^a^door; so either way I'll get into the newsgroup, and I don't care which happens!' He ate a little bit, and said anxiously to himself, `doidy, doidy!', holding his hand on the top of his head to feel which way it was growing, and he was quite surprised to find that he remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats Krabcake, but Blackhawk had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way. So he set to work, and very soon finished off the Krabcake. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Next chapter: The Pool of Trolls *** Blackhawk
Author's Notes for this chapter
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