LowComDom Performances Presents
Dec Wars - Chapter 8
A long time ago, on a node far, far away...
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE ADVENTURES OF LUKE VAXHACKER
It is a period of system war. User programs, striking from a hidden directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire. During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program with enough power to destroy an entire file structure. Pursued by the Empire's sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0: races aboard her shell script, custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people, and restore freedom and games to the network...
Ok, like, remember we left our heroes in the detention priority level? Well, they're still there...
Luke quickly located the interface card and followed the cables to a sound-proof enclosure. He lifted the lid and peered at the mechanism inside.
"Aren't you a little slow for ECL?" printed princess LPA0:.
"Wha? Oh, the Docksiders," stammered Luke. He took off his shoes (for industry) and explained, "I've come relocate you. I'm Luke Vaxhacker."
Suddenly, forms started bursting around them. "They've blocked the queue!" shouted Solo. "There's only one return from this stack!"
"OVER HERE!" printed LPA0: with over strikes. "THROUGH THIS LOOPHOLE!" Luke and the princess disappeared into a nearby feature.
"Gritch, gritch," mumbled Two Bacco, obviously reluctant to trust an Administrative oversight.
"I don't care how crufty it is!" shouted Con, pushing the Bookie toward the crock. "DPB yourself in there now!"
With one last blast that re-programmed two flunkies, Con joined them. The "feature" landed them right in the middle of the garbage collection data. Pieces of code that hadn't been used in weeks floated past in a pool of decaying bits.
"Bletch!" was Con's first comment. "Bletch, bletch," was his second. The Bookie looked as if he'd just paid a long shot, and the odds in this situation weren't much better.
Luke was polling the garbage when he stumbled upon a book with the words "Don't Panic" inscribed in large, friendly letters on the cover. "This can't possibly help us now," he said as he tossed the book away.
The Bookie was about to lay odds on it when Luke suddenly disappeared. He popped up across the pool, shouting, "This is no feature! It's a bug!" and promptly vanished again.
Con and the princess were about to panic() when Luke reappeared. "What happened?" they asked in parallel.
"I don't know," gasped Luke. "The bug just dissolved automagically. Maybe it hit a breakpoint..."
"I don't think so," said Con. "Look how the pool is shrinking. I've got a bad feeling about this..."
The princess was the first to realize what was going on. "They've implemented a new compaction algorithm!" she exclaimed. Luke remembered the pipe he had open to 3CPU. "Shut down garbage collection below recursion level 5!" he shouted. Back in the control room, RS232 searched the process table for the lisp interpreter. "Hurry," sent 3CPU. "Hurry, hurry," added his other two processors. RS232 found the interpreter, interrupted it, and altered the stack frame they'd fallen into to allow a normal return.