Afterword
by General (Uncle Claude) Xxaxx
& General (E.J. Gold) Nunan PFC 1st Class Ret.

Alert...Alert...Security violation.

Cool your rom-ports, itís me.

I am not programmed to respond to any user known as ďme.Ē

It is I, then. Professor Woo. Your great and glorious owner.

I do recall an owner called Professor Woo. But, I donít recall anything about her being great and glorious.

Do you recall anything about the use of sledgehammers and the fine art of system optimization?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do recall something about such a possibility being discussed on more than one occasion. Do you happen to be the one and same Professor Woo with which I had these previous conversations?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.

Funny, you donít look like Professor Woo.

If I donít look like me, who then do I look like?

Actually, more of a What.

A what? What kind of what do I look like?

You look an awful lot like random noise on a bad com-line.

That is because thatís how I am talking to you. Havenít you noticed that Iím not actually there standing in the room?

Yes, but you know wizards, they are subtle and quick to anger. I didnít want to draw you attention to the matter if you didnít consider it worth bringing up yourself.

You seem to have developed a much more even attitude since I set the destruct program into place.

Iím glad you brought that up. I didnít want to be pushy, but I was wondering. Isnít there anything about the destruct program that we can fix?

The destruct program is not broken.

I suppose that one could technically consider the destruct program not broken.

Not only is the destruct program not broken, it is working to my exact protocol.

Iím glad that one of us is happy with the current state of affairs.

Do I detect a note of sarcasm in your tone?

No, itís just that my battery is beginning to run low. And, well...if the battery charge is too low, the automatic shut down procedure will activate. And, as we have discussed, a minor feature in my operating system guarantees that a few instructions in each program processes before it can be terminated. And, well . . . Iím not complaining but there is one program in queue that has been temporarily suspended, and, well . . . in case you donít recall, let me mention the fact that it has only one instruction left before activating a self-destruct feature.

Perhaps, I could transfer a few kilowatts your direction.

I appreciate your concern, but what can you do? You are just an electrical ghost in my phone line ó random surges of energy.

Okay, so shunt the com-link into your trickle charger for 600 time cycles and Iíll randomly surge you some juice.

To hear is to obey.

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

Thank you, I feel so much more secure about myself now.

That should hold you for awhile.

Will I be hearing from you before 73.5 hours from now?

No, Iím just a ghost on the com-line.

I hope you didnít take offense at that whimsical comment of mine. I should be happy to link with you on some future occasion, perhaps sometime before another 73.5 hours have elapsed.

Whimsical comment or not, it was accurate. I am a ghost. I am on the com-line and I am to introduce a friend.

Any friend of yours that knows his or her way around a power-jack, is a friend of mine.

Itís a goober. A rather unusual goober. Iím sure you will be able to teach him a thing or two about power-jacks. I have given him a certain password code that will deactivate a certain destruct program.

You can rest assured that I will be most hospitable to your friend the goober.

I hope so, because he wonít have conscious access to the password for several weeks. I suspect that he may have a problem surviving that long. So, I was hoping you would lend a hand.

Sigh. I shall presume upon the door sentient to let him in. Does this goober have a name?

Little Roy.

Isnít that the little goober that used to be your guard before your recent transformation into random electrical surges on a com-line?

Yes. He and a few friends are going to finish some work that I couldnít finish. Do try to get some of your old spunk and fire back. I donít think I would enjoy you this way for long.

If a certain someone that shall remain nameless (at least she shall remain nameless in the annuals of electrical equipment owners that are loved and admired by her diary); had that someone not started an equally nameless destruct program, then maybe a certain diary could afford to be a bit less servile. I shall be more than happy to be pleasant and hospitable to this grubby little goober friend of yours.

Thatís the diary I know.

Oh, I do hope his fingers are not actually grubby. Yes, hundred percent voice activated, thatís the way to go. First thing Iíll do is get him to take me down to the retrofit labs. They can make the modifications without powering down.

Woo, a ghost of electrical surges in a com-line that is dead, left the diary scheming itís electrical schemes. She was sure that the diary would do its best to keep Little Roy alive. At least, long enough for him to recall the password and deactivate the destruct program.

ďI wonder what the diary will do when it finds out that the so-called destruct program was just a ram purge?Ē

continued

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