E | ________________ | ____________ | _________ |I.
L | \______ ______\ | / ________ \ | / _____ \ | C.
E | | | | | / \_/ | | / \_/ | S.
C | | | | | | | | < |
T | | | | | | | \ \______ |
R | | | | | | | \______ \ | #4
O | | | | | | | \ \ |
Z | | | | | | _ | _ > | |
I | ______| |______ | | \________/ \ | / \_____/ | |
N | \________________\ | \_____________/ | \__________/ |
E | Information | Communication | Supply |
Information Communication Supply 04/20/93 Vol.1:Issue.4
Email To: ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU
E D I T O R S: Local Alias: Email: ICS Positions:
Daniel Frederick N/A N/A Corrections, Role Playing
Russell Hutchison -BurnouT STU524636420 Subscriptions, Editor
Benjamin Price -Beelzebub/B'bub STU406889075 Submissions, Final Opinion,
Luke Miller -Aminohead/DUB STU521532642 Subscriptions, Role Playing
Donald Sanders -Zorro ORG_ZINE Contributor
George Sibley -MACFAC FAC_SIBLEY Faculty Supervisor
Matthew Thyer -O O T L O STU523086351 Chief Editor
Deva Winblood -Metal Master ADP_DEVA Technical Director,WorldNet
Tour Guide, Tales of The
Unknown, Critical Editor
| ICS is an Electrozine distributed by students of Western State |
| College in Gunnison, Colorado. We are here to gather information about |
| topics that are important to us all as human beings. If you would like |
| to send in a submission please type it into an ASCII format and mail it |
| to us. We operate on the assumption that if you mail us something you |
| want it to be published. We will do our best to make sure it is |
| distributed and will always inform you when or if it is used. |
| See the end of this issue for submission information. |
REDISTRIBUTION: If any part of this issue is copied or used elsewhere
you must give credit to the author and indicate that the information
came from ICS Electrozine ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU.
BACK ISSUES: Back issues can be FTPed from UGLYMOUSE.CSS.ITD.UMICH.EDU
in the directory /pub/Zines/ICS. (check /pub/Politics/ICS also)
DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the
views of the editors of ICS. Contributors to ICS assume all
responsibilities for ensuring that articles/submissions are not violating
copyright laws and protections.
| \ / |
| \ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S / |
| / \ |
| /________________________________________________\ |
| Included in the table of contents you will see some|
| generic symbols to help you in making your |
| decisions on whether an article is something that |
| may use ideas, and/or language that could be |
| offensive to some. S = Sexual Content |
| AL = Adult Language V = Violence O = Opinions |
I. FIRST OPINION: SEASONS CHANGE: The Past and Future of ICS.
By Deva Winblood. This will answer some questions and also
inform our readers of some activities and plans for the future
II. CHALLENGE/INVITATION: For Creative And/Or Institutional Thinkers.
By George Sibley.
III. WORLDNET TOUR GUIDE: Obtaining Free Electronic Music.
By Deva Winblood. Talks about MODs, where they can be found,
what you need to play them, and who writes them.
IV. TALES OF THE UNKNOWN #4: By George Sibley.
No one ever thought a calendar could be so mystical.
V. MY GOD, WHY HATH THOU FORSAKEN ME?: Part I of a story to be
continued in Issue #5 by Ted Sanders. (AL,V)
VI. THE RIGHT DECISION: A story by Catherine Murray.
This story deals with... Well, you'll see. It is a very good
story. Ben Price says so.
VII. IMPURE MATH: Submitted by Rodrigo de Almeida Siqueira. This
humorous tale was submitted by a man of vast interests.
VIII.MARTIANS ARE COMING pt. 2: A story continuation of the first
part featured in ICS Issue #3. By Russell Hutchison.
IX. RUSH: A story by Daniel Frederick. This story is definitely not
intended for Arachnophobes. (V)
X. CHAOTICON II Announcement: A public service announcement.
XI. TOME OF VAST KNOWLEDGE Announcement: A public service announcement.
XII. FINAL OPINION: By Benjamin Price. In this episode Ben is complaining
about the weather and possibly saying farewell.
/ FIRST OPINION \
/ S E A S O N S C H A N G E: \
| The Past and Future of ICS |
| By |
| Deva Winblood |
(___)nformation, Communication, Supply now consists of four issues.
These issues were produced by staff members at Western State College in
Gunnison, Colorado, USA. The articles, stories, and announcements were
submitted by creative people around the world and ICS staff members.
The seasons have changed and so this college semester nears its
end leaving many of us wondering exactly what will happen with ICS. The
status of ICS is improving and many things are in the works.
ICS staff members Matt Thyer, Deva Winblood, Russell Hutchison,
and supervisor George Sibley met with the Arts and Humanities committee
of Western State College to discuss the future of ICS. The committee was
enthusiastic about our efforts and dreams. They asked us to draft up a
constitution so that we too may sit on the committee. This indicates that
ICS will be around even after the original staff members are gone.
Those that will be leaving our staff have stated that they will
continue to submit articles for future issues. They are dedicated to our
The summer (USA) issues of ICS will be created by staff members that
are available. Due to the decrease in size of the staff during this season
issues will only be released when enough material is gathered. This material
will take awhile to compile, so we may send out smaller sections of the issue
more often (as our survey indicates people prefer), and compile a larger issue
which will consist of these sections. The larger issue would then be stored
at the archive site at UGLYMOUSE as a complete issue.
To aid us in creating the summer issues we cannot stress how
important it is for people to send us submissions. If we do not receive
enough submissions it will take us longer to compile summer issues. So,
send us polished articles, poems, stories, et cetera that you feel other ICS
readers (worldwide) would like to read.
The survey indicates that there is a strong interest in the
WorldNet Tour Guide section. This section will be continued as accurate
research is completed. The summer WNTG sections will cover FREENETs,
GOPHER, popular ftp sites, and other informative topics. Any contributions
suitable for the WorldNet Tour Guide section are highly encouraged.
ICS was designed to be something useful for as wide a group of
people as we could encompass. The contents are generally creative in an
attempt to balance out the mass of technical journals available through
WorldNet. The Electrozine is the first step in a series of steps that
the ICS staff has planned.
ICS is considering creating MAC, MSDOS, AMIGA, et cetera versions of
ICS available in the future. These versions would be in platform specific
formats that allow professional quality page layout. This will probably
be tested in the fall. Anyone interested in this please contact us
so that we can determine whether the interest is actually there for such
a product. Again, this would be free of charge (unless shipped on a floppy
disk in which case it would be the price of the disk and shipping).
The summer is nearing at many campuses and some of our readers
may be isolated from email for the season. Feel free to contact us and
inform us to cancel your subscription. We are expecting this will be
necessary for some people. If you are one of these people then just
send us a message and we hope to get a letter from you in the fall asking
for subscription renewal.
Keep reading and send us something if you have the time.
- Deva Winblood, ICS Technical Director
/ CHALLENGE/INVITATION \
\ FOR CREATIVE AND/OR INSTITUTIONAL THINKERS /
\ By George Sibley /
"Cyberland" today is a lot like the Old West was 150 years ago.
Settlers coming into the West believed they were coming into an open
and empty land where they could "live free"--whatever that meant to
them. What they actually found, however, when they began to experiment
with their freedom, was that a lot of "larger-than-life" entities had
in fact gotten there first: networks of finance and transportation as
large and indifferent as Nature itself, webs of law and regulation
written far from the realities of the West--in essence, a lot of old
institutions that were reproducing themselves in the West--institutions
whose "bottom lines" had little to with individual freedom.
The seemingly new and unexplored realms opened up by computers
present the same kind of dilemma to the individual: one the one hand,
here are all these vast new creative possibilities; but on the other
hand, most of these "possibilities" (especially the most interesting
one, Cyberland's equivalent of the Old West's waterholes and
bottomlands) are owned by institutions--the entities most able to
afford them--and the institutions are harnessing most of that potential
to typical institutional tasks.
In Cyberland as in the Old West, this has resulted in a new outbreak
of one of the oldest and most endemic of cultural problems: the
tension between the creative individual and the institutions that keep
lit the lamps of tradition. The old story of Cain and Abel? Were we
telling it today in Cyberland, Cain would be a hacker and Abel an
honest and diligent career bureaucrat trying to keep a college or a
company or the Defense Department on orderly.
From the rational perspective that so seldom prevails in human
culture, this tension seems unfortunate. History and common sense both
show that survival--for institutions and individuals as well as
species--depends on ability to adapt, which means that institutions
always need some creative individuals who are thinking "outside the
envelope." And however much they may deny it, creative individuals
need institutions, if only to produce and assemble their creations.
That tidy rationality breaks down, however, in the mutual contempt
that each faction holds for the other: creative individuals consider
institutional managers to be stodgy, unimaginative, anal-retentive,
control-hungry dullards; while institutional managers consider
creative individuals to be undependable, untrustable, irresponsible,
undermining jokers and saboteurs. And in the atmosphere of mutual
tension, these gross generalizations too often become self-fulfilling
prophecies, as each side seems to go out of its way to fulfill the
worst expectations of "the enemy."
Does it have to be this way? We want to devote part of this summer's
issues of the Electrozine to an exploration of alternatives to this
too-old and too-tired pattern. It has been observed that the more
advanced a technology gets, the more vulnerable it becomes to the
alienated creative individual, so Cyberland may still be up for grabs
in ways that the Old West never was; accommodating (rather than trying
to control) the creative individual may be institutionally desirable
for the short-term as well as the long-term.
What we are looking for, then, is your creative and/or institutional
thinking for a dialogue on this issue. This thinking can be in the
form of essays, stories, allegories, professorial pedantry, poetry,
role games, whatever your medium. Let us all see if we can't do
something with this splendid mental space besides just recreating a
past grounded in mutual mistrust and antagonism. Mail your thoughts
to ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU--and let us know whether you want your name
left off to protect you from the guilty.
/ W o r l d N e t T o u r \
/ G u i d e #3 \
\ By /
\ Deva Winblood /
\ Obtaining Free Electronic /
\ Music /
(_)his edition of the WorldNet Tour Guide will describe the growing
collections of electronic music, where to obtain it, and what programs
can be used on various computer platforms to play the songs back.
Most people that have obtained information from sites on the
WorldNet have gathered programs, documents, or images. What most people
have not obtained are files containing Electronic Music.
Electronic Music is rapidly becoming more popular on WorldNet.
People upload music that has been written by themselves or friends. These
songs are usually written on Commodore Amigas, Atari STs, or MS-DOS
machines. Then other people download them to their computer to listen.
The most common form of musical interchange seems to be that
which is referred to as a MOD. This is a shortening of the original
Atari Sound Tracker MOD which is referred to as ST-MOD. This format has
spread to other platforms and many people are expressing their creativity
by writing their own music using their computer.
To write this music some people use Musical Instrument Digital
Interface(MIDI) systems while others just enter it using their computer
keyboard. This music often consists of many digitized instruments and
sounds. The price of sound digitizers has dropped to reasonable prices
and this has caused a mass creation of songs with totally unique
The field of electronic music on the WorldNet is especially
active with users of Commodore Business Machine's Amiga computer line,
and ATARI's ST and FALCON line. There are many people from each of
these platforms that contribute music.
At the FTP site WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU there are usually several
MODs per week uploaded into the Amiga section of the ARCHIVE. These
can be found in two directories at this site.
There are also a few composers that are extremely popular
MOD writers. One such composer goes by the name U4ia of MegaWatts
and is usually given a directory devoted totally to his MODs. There
is such a directory at WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU.
To FTP a MOD change into the directory of the MOD file before
using the GET command. Make sure the TYPE is set to I for binary
transmission. Then issue the GET command.
(for FTP instructions please refer to WNTG in ICS Issue #2)
NOTICE: There are some formats that are platform specific. One such
format is popular on the Amiga is called MED. Unless you own and
Amiga it is recommended that you stick with the MOD files. However,
if you have an Amiga then MED refers to a shareware program called
MED3.22. This format can also be played by various Amiga shareware
MOD PLAYERS FOR VARIOUS PLATFORMS
PLATFORM | Program Name | If known, Where can it be found.
AMIGA |EDPLAYER | WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU
|MED3.22 | WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU
|PROTRACKER | WUARCHIVE.WUSTL.EDU
|(many more) |
MS-DOS |SOUND TRACKER (?) |
MACINTOSH |SOUND TRACKER |
ATARI |SOUND TRACKER |
The above list is by no means complete. It is primarily Amiga
oriented because that is the platform that the author uses.
If you have not taken the time to download and listen to a MOD before,
then you should try at least a few of them. It is free music and it
allows people to have their creativity shared around the world.
%%%%%% / TALES OF THE UNKNOWN \
%%%%% | #4 |
%%%% | |
## | By George Sibley |
One day in late June of 1956, when I was fifteen or so,
growing up in a little industrial town in Western Pennsylvania,
my mother sent me down the hill to the dairy store--what we call
"convenience stores" today--for a loaf of bread or something.
One the way home, a little square of paper blew across the
street and stopped faceup on the pavement in front of me; it was
a calendar page--the kind from a single-day desk calendar. And I
realized, to my somewhat surprise, that it was the page from my
birthday, which had been more than a month before.
I looked around, assuming there must be a lot of calendar
pages blowing around, but there were no others in sight--just the
one from my birthday, which had blown out of nowhere to confront
me on the sidewalk. What a coincidence, I thought, and picked it
up and took it home, where I showed it to my mother.
She looked at it--then looked again, and her face went a
little white. "Look at the YEAR!" she said.
I looked: this was not the calendar page from May 9, 1956;
it was the calendar page from May 9, 1941--the actual day of my
birth in that town. Somewhere in that town, that day, a few
hours after my birth, someone had gotten up, or gone to work, and
torn that sheet off their calendar. Fifteen years later, it had
blown into my path out of--the unknown.
I've kept that calendar page in a special book, with the
information about the event written on the back of it. Sometimes
I just happen across it when looking for something else. But
other times--when life is seeming small, predictable, ordinary--
I seek it out on purpose, not sure those times that I will
actually find it: I continue to suspect that someday it will
disappear from my life as mysteriously as it came--my "letter
from the unknown," whose message I still don't understand.
Except as it says that life is perhaps larger, less predictable
and more interesting than it usually seems.
\ MY GOD, WHY HATH THOU FORSAKEN ME? /
\ BY /
\ Ted Sanders /
Stuart Terrill's suit fit like a glove. The helmet had a firm
seal, to not let any of the vacuum in. The dull grey of the gloves
and the boots aided in the atmosphere of Delta-9. The chest
plate was also a dull grey, but with a small red patch that said, I.S.A.R.A.
(Interplanetary Society of Atmospheric Research Association.) Stuart's
company. The company that supported poor little Capt. Stuart Terrill
through two wives (going on three), many affairs, several drunken
sprees, and always helped him keep his good standing among the
International Pentecostal Church of Linear Saints.
"Captain, you are now crossing the 44th parallel; advice is that
you return to base company," said the small black microphone in
Terrill's helmet. It was the sound of Sergeant Bradkin's raspy
little Jewish voice. Bradkin was overweight, rarely promoted in the
I.S.A.R.A. and had no desire to be in the International Pentecostal
Church. He was a nothing! Probably not even good enough to respond to.
"Bradkins! I will go where I want, when I want, and how I want!
Is that clear!" shrieked Terrill.
"Yes sir, but I was just thinking you might be cautious ..."
"Shut up! You stupid little kike!" screamed Terrill.
Silence filled the helmet as Terrill trotted along at
Terrill's belligerence brought him to the furthest end of
Delta-9's super crater. Uncharted, and hostile territory. Terrill had
heard the stories of raiders that would hold mining explorers as
hostages for weeks, but the abductees weren't anything. Dreggs pulled off
of the Central or Southern United States on Earth, whose only thoughts
were of drinking alcohol and screwing dregg-like women. Those types never
amounted to much, and neither would their children.
The terrain suddenly began to get harder to travel in. Even at
Zero-G travel was not easy. Terrill began to hurdle rock after rock,
some 5 feet tall. Then the big ones, almost 15 feet tall. No way around,
Memories flooded Terrill's mind of Julie. The time spent
on New Bermuda, sipping marguerites at lunch, a shot of tequila for
mid-afternoon pick-me-ups, And double Vodkas for the dancing at night.
Oh God was Julie beautiful! That tight silver lace she wore for
dancing made the entire male population of the bar drool. The only
problem was that Stuart owned her. She was his, and he was Julie's. Until
Julie and Stuart had a fight, and Julie ran off with the
guy that looked exactly like the Marlboro man. Damn, did he have things
going for him! Good looks, a big bank account, and he was ordained by
the Pentecostal church.
While Julie and Stuart were in New Bermuda experimenting with
new ways to get tans, Stuart remembered that he was responsible, and
ditching his wife and children did not show it. Tara, Stuart's current wife,
struggled to make payments on bills. She had no way of paying
a huge rent, and feeding two children. Stuart thought for a second...
"What if I didn't go to Bermuda with Julie? What if I would
have stayed and helped my family survive? God forgives me, doesn't he?
I'm sure he does; I belong to the church!"
God had to forgive Stuart, because as soon as he won big at the
black jack table, he donated it all to Reverend Racino and his band of
needy people. Damn, who are the needy people?
Stuart returned from his daze, as the records on the
Environmental Aptitude Act ran across the screen. It was simple enough,
but Stuart wanted to make sure that he was right. The bright yellowish haze of
the letters made Stuart feel comfortable. Although it took approximately
120 footpounds of pressure to move, Stuart felt comfortable.
"...in accordance with all spatial and planetary settings, any
single explorer who encounters new mineral formations, atmospheric
aptitude readings, or other precious commodities is entitled to full
rights under the Interspacial Aptitude Act of 2036."
The climate was clear and comfortable. It made Stuart's trip that
much easier. Anything and Anyone he found belonged to him. Yes, anyone!
The Interspatial Aptitude Act had only been out for 20 years and many
people had owned their own species! The drugged-out Interplanetary
Board of Entrepreneurial endeavors, had said that a species can be owned by an
explorer. The planets of the Delta sector and everywhere in the universe were
up for grabs.
Stuart never thought of it as a sin. Stuart just thought that if
he found a new species, first he would expose them to the light, the
International Pentecostal Church; then all born agains would remember Stuart
forever. Next, he would probably teach them how to do tricks, something
interesting that people or animals on earth could not do. Then he would
enjoy the money as it came pouring in. I mean if you have an investment
in a species, it's only fair that you use it!
The only problem was that Delta-9 was quite hostile, and raiders
were not nice, but Terrill had God on his side! Every day about this
time, Terrill would say a prayer for the almighty:
"Dear Lord, Please grant me serenity in my path. Justice in my
ways, and patience in my mind. A-men."
Sometimes Terrill would whisper at the end...
"And more money on my VISTA account!"
The journey had now become tedious because of the terrain.
Giant boulders piled one on top of the other made travel difficult.
Terrill was now on the 45th parallel and in theory, Stuart's theory, the
best site for observation was the 46th parallel.
"Terrill, please come back! You're in very hostile territory and..."
"Listen asshole! I'm going to the 46th and you or your mama..."
A hideous shriek stretched across the airwaves, and Bradkins
knew there was trouble, but no help was available. Maybe Terrill was
pulling another one of his incredibly juvenile pranks.
"Terrill come in! Your fading, Terrill! Terrill! I'm about to
loose contact with you! If this is another one of your stupid jokes!"
[TO BE CONTINUED]
/ THE RIGHT DECISION \
/ By \
\ Catherine Murray /
She was a living legend at Calderburn High. I was once asked,
"What would Stella Hunter score in a math test out of thirty?"
"Thirty," I replied.
"Wrong," the kid who'd asked me smirked, "Thirty-five!"
There were fifteen hundred pupils in our school and so it was not
surprising that I managed to be there two years before
encountering Stella in person, although she was often pointed out
to me. Tall, slim and very, very pretty, she was reputedly
brilliant at every subject except art, but that hardly mattered
considering her achievements elsewhere. If this hadn't been
enough to ensure that she was universally detested, the arrogant
tilt of her head and her aloof manner would have given us
I suppose that I'd never have got to know Stella if I hadn't
opted to take a physics class and I certainly wouldn't have
chosen to study physics were it not that I desperately wanted to
become a doctor. I was told that I couldn't study medicine
unless I first subjected myself to three years of Newton's laws
of motion and similar mental gymnastics. This was rather hard
since biology seemed a much more sensible and interesting topic
of study for would-be doctors. All of my friends had chosen
biology as their science option, hoping that they would find
themselves being taught by Mr. Collison who was indisputably
Calderburn's best-looking male teacher. On the first day of term
I paused outside Room 325 on the physics corridor and reflected
that their hour of class was probably going to be a lot more
interesting than mine.
I was early - I like to have time to take in a new situation -
and there were only four other people in the classroom. At the
back bench, three weedy boys were huddled over a computing
magazine arguing about the relative merits of digital and
analogue technology. I hoped that they weren't typical examples
of the type of boy who chooses physics. By the front bench, sat
Stella Hunter, legs crossed, arms clasped and glazed eyes gazing
into the future.
I had always been curious about this enigmatic beauty and,
scarcely pausing to consider the social stigma attached to being
friendly to Stella or the high risk I ran of rejection by her, I
headed for the front bench.
"Hi, I'm Anne Harper," I said.
Her eyes jerked back to the present and she turned them on me.
A long time passed before she finally said, favouring me with
the ghost of a smile, "Hi, I'm Stella Hunter."
The room was filling up with more greasy-haired boys. "It
looks like we might be the only girls in this class," I said as I
sat down, "Why are you doing physics?"
"I want to become an astronomer."
I tried to think of an intelligent comment. "Is it astronomers
who make up the horoscopes?"
"No, they're astrologers. What they do is totally
unscientific and has nothing to do with modern astronomy," she
said contemptuously. "Everybody should know that."
Obviously I was not included in everybody but I pursued the
subject, "So why do you want to become an astronomer?"
"My father's an astronomer. He used to tell me bedtime
stories about the lives of stars. He's the head of the Lowell
radio observatory," she added proudly.
"You must have seen the big, white dishes that you pass as you
head out towards the coast."
"I've always wondered what they were for. My parents argue
about whether they're part of an early warning system or
something to do with satellite T.V. But I thought that
astronomers used telescopes."
"It's a telescope for radio waves instead of light. Look, the
teacher's here. If you want to see around the observatory, I'm
going up there by bus straight after school. My father will be
there. He's brilliant at explaining things."
I was stunned. Stella had made what could only be classified
as a friendly gesture. Despite her intimidating stare, I began
to wonder if our automatic rejection of her was a little
presumptuous. All the same, I knew that I would probably
decline, cringing at the thought of the comments which would be
directed at me if I walked out of school with Stella.
"Do you want to come?" she asked after our hour of physics was
over and there was something wistful about her invitation as if
she expected me to refuse. Perhaps it was this which persuaded
me to accept and she looked pleasantly surprised as if someone
had just handed her flowers. It occurred to me for the first
time that even someone as brilliant as Stella might not be
We joined the crowds heading towards the school gates and
Stella seemed to attract comments as a magnet attracts iron
"Hey Stella, tell me how far it is to Pluto."
"Where did you get these shoes, Stella? Did they belong to
A boy, pushed by his mates, hurtled into Stella's side.
"Sorry, Stella," he shouted, "It was an accident."
Girls whispered and giggled, shooting malicious glances in our
direction. I saw my group of friends and sincerely hoped that no
one realized I was with Stella. Through all this, she never
slowed in her decisive progress towards the gate, her face
We sat down in the bus and she seemed to relax. Smiling
rather half-heartedly, she said, "My mother thinks I shouldn't
ignore them but I really can't be bothered talking to people like
"Is your mother an astronomer?"
"No, she's a science correspondent. Or at least she was. She
left us last year and is wandering round the world writing travel
articles for different magazines. She writes lovely letters but
it's not the same."
"I can't imagine my parents ever splitting up."
"That's what I thought about my parents before it happened but
I think I'm beginning to see why."
I widened my eyes in curious sympathy but Stella simply said,
"The next stop is ours."
There was a rather long walk from the bus stop to a flat field
of white dishes all pointed heavenwards.
"Don't worry. My father will give us a lift back," Stella
said leading the way towards a long, white building. "We're
going to the control room," she explained. "That's where he's
most likely to be."
We entered a windowless room and my eyes quickly took in a
console of switches and electronic displays. A printer was
screeching in one corner and a man was bending over the length of
the paper which it spat out. He straightened and turned glazed
eyes towards the door. His face was set in rigid, well-formed
lines and as his distant eyes focused on us, the lines bent
together. I noticed that his reddish-brown hair, receding and a
little grizzled, was exactly the same shade as Stella's.
"Stella, how many times have I told you to knock?"
"But you've never told me to knock."
"What are you doing here anyway?"
"I told you this morning that I was coming straight from
school to borrow that book from Boris. A friend's come with me.
This is Anne." she said pathetically.
"What right have you to bring your friends down here?" he
began in a loud voice and then, as abruptly as they had hardened,
the stern lines softened and his body slumped. There was no
harshness, perhaps there was even a huskiness in his voice as he
said, "I'm sorry, Stella. I'm glad your friend's here but next
We left the room and the door closed over on the screeching
"I don't understand. He's not usually like that but he's been
getting into weird moods since mother left. Even before then."
Stella's voice was high and thin as if she was on the verge of
I was out of my depth. The girl who reputedly had everything
and needed no one, the girl whom I and almost every other girl in
Calderburn envied for her brains and beauty, was revealing
herself as a hurting human being.
"What is the matter, Stella?" A tall young man had appeared.
He had curly blonde hair and small spectacles of the kind that
you look through when you're reading and look over when you're
talking to someone.
"It's just my father, Boris. He's in one of his strange
"Did you not see this sign?" Boris asked, pointing to a 'Do
not disturb' sign which dangled from the door handle, "At
certain times your father points the telescope towards Hercules
and becomes very annoyed if anyone disturbs him or competes for
his observing spot. We do not know what it is that he observes.
He keeps it very secret as if he does not trust his colleagues
not to talk about his research. But he is head of the
observatory. Who am I to tell him what to do? Come up for a
coffee and I will give you the book on superstring theories."
"Anne, this is Boris," Stella said as we climbed the stairs,
"He's from Germany and he came here a few months ago to do some
research for his Phd. Boris, this is Anne. I met her in my
physics class and she wants to see round the observatory."
"Ah, you are interested in astronomy, then."
"Well, I don't know much about it," I answered diplomatically.
"Never mind. You will after we have finished with you. But
the coffee first, I think."
Boris showed us into a tiny office on the first floor. As
well as a computer and shelves of books, it contained two desks.
The surface and floorspace around one was littered with
magazines, papers, an unwashed mug and a plate of crumbs. The
other contained a few neat piles of paper and a pen pot.
"I am the messy one," Boris said apologetically.
"You need a window open in here," Stella said, walking over
"Look. My father's leaving."
I joined her at the window in time to see Dr. Hunter lay down
a pile of papers in order to unlock his car door. We watched him
get in and go through the motions of starting the car. Stella
banged on the window. "Dad...Dad," she yelled but, wearing the
same glazed expression, he drove away.
"He's completely forgotten about me."
"It's not just you, Stella. I think he is preoccupied. He
has left his work behind," Boris said pointing to the pile of
papers which Dr. Hunter had left lying in the car park. The wind
was ruffling them and I could see that they were part of one long
computer printout, doubtless the one which he had been working on
when we disturbed him.
"We'll run down for them, Boris. Come on, Anne," Stella said
and I followed her downstairs. By the time we reached the
car-park, the wind had pulled apart a few metres of printout.
"At least it's one long piece of paper," I said. "If it was in
separate sheets, they'd have been everywhere by now."
Stella made no reply. She was examining the end of the
printout. I bent over her and saw that a graph ran the length of
the paper. Bumps of about the same height occurred at irregular
intervals. Fitting it in to what I knew, I thought that it
looked most like a cardiogram except that the 'heartbeats' were
not all the same length nor were they evenly spaced. Stella
seemed to understand them. "It's not a pulsar," she said.
"What's that," I asked.
"It's a small, dead star which regularly emits pulses of radio
signals. If this trace was from a pulsar, the spaces between the
bumps would all be about the same length."
We made our way back to Boris's office, and raised voices
greeted us as we approached the door. Opposite Boris was
standing a short, well-built man with receding black hair and
"It's Dr. Belson - Boris's supervisor," Stella hissed. "They
don't get on and he hates the fact that Boris has to share an
office with him while the other wing is being re-wired."
"Let them starve," Dr. Belson snarled, flinging a newspaper at
Boris. "In my book, life's a rat-race. The ends justify the
means and those who're too weak to compete deserve to be left
He whirled round, "Oh, hello, Stella," he said quietly, "could
I see these papers?" His mouth was twisted into a smile but his
eyes were like shuttered windows.
"No, they're my father's," Stella said.
"I think I have a right to see them," Belson replied.
"You'll have to ask my father's permission. I can't give it."
"Since when did the head of a scientific establishment have
the right to pursue a policy of keeping his research from his
colleagues? Give them to me."
"I don't think he wants anyone to see them."
"You looked at them Stella. Don't pretend that you wouldn't
understand a radio trace."
Stella said nothing. Calderburn High had taught her well and
she turned on Dr. Belson the same contemptuous stare which she
usually reserved for its pupils. That same gaze had been turned
on me until she made the decision to trust that my friendly
manner wasn't entirely a farce to catch her off guard. For a
long moment their eyes met in a battle of wills until he turned
away and crashed through the door, slamming it behind him.
I looked over at Boris. The front page of the newspaper in
his hand showed a picture of the African famine. "He is behaving
disgracefully," Boris said. "He is angry that he does not get
promotion and he thinks that he could run the observatory better
than your father. But he has a point. I am not asking to see
the papers, Stella, but it is bad policy for your father to take
prime observing times and not explain why he needs them. Lately,
too, he has been forgetting quite important things and people
lose confidence in him as a leader. If he has made a discovery,
we must know. Tell him that, Stella."
"I will. My father may be behaving as if he's a candidate for
a place in a mental home but he's not going off his head.
There's a reason for this behaviour and I'm going to find out."
Stella's voice was thin and high again.
"It will help if you cry," Boris said, putting his arm around
"I never cry," she said, shaking him off.
"I'll run you home. I don't think a tour around the
observatory is the best thing right now," Boris said, "and your
father will be worried about these papers. I'm sorry, Anne, that
you should come here to learn about astronomy and see all our
"That's alright. I've had an interesting afternoon," I
answered, not adding my thoughts, "More interesting than an
uneventful tour of the telescope." It was a revelation to me
that beneath her flawless image, Stella's life should be on
turmoil. I was determined that I would be one person in
Calderburn whom she could trust although I dreaded the thought of
swimming against the current of popular opinion.
We drove back to town in silence and Boris stopped the car
outside a large old, house in the most genteel part of the
"Okay," Boris said, "I'll run Anne home and maybe see you
tomorrow. You forgot the book. And good luck with your father,
"Boris, I want you to come with me."
I felt invisible. Had they both forgotten that I was miles
from home and involved in this too?
Stella gave me a scrutinising stare, "Can I trust you?"
I hesitated. To agree meant associating myself with the most
unpopular girl in the school, albeit the most interesting person
I had ever encountered. "You can trust me," I said meeting her
gaze and in that moment I knew that I had turned out of the safe
highway through life and plunged blindly into far more dangerous
country. As we crunched up the gravel path, every step seemed to
confirm the irrevocability of my decision.
We entered the house and picked our way through a long hallway
obstructed with piles of scientific magazines and books. There
was a general air of dustiness and neglect. As I passed the
kitchen doorway, I saw dirty dishes stacked beside the sink and
contrasted it with our neat, little kitchen at home. Stella
knocked at a closed door, "Dad, it's me."
"Go away , Stella. I'm busy."
"I need to talk, Dad. Please."
"Okay. What is it ?" She pushed the door open into a room
lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. A long window
stood slightly open and green curtains fluttered in the breeze.
It was a room which ought to have been peaceful, a tranquil
retreat for clear thinking but it was more cluttered and chaotic
than the area around Boris's desk. A solid, wooden desk faced
the door and its owner was slumped behind it in an attitude of
despair. He straightened and turned blank eyes upon us as we
edged into the room.
"Dad," Stella said, holding out the printout. Dr. Hunter
leapt up like a man who has seen a vision and stretched out a
Stella took a few steps back out of his reach, "I couldn't
help seeing it as I picked it up. It's not a pulsar. What is
"I can't tell anyone, Stella. I wish I could. Give me my
work," he held out his hand again but Stella kept the printout
behind her back.
"You must tell someone. People don't trust you anymore
because you don't trust them. Dr. Belson wanted to see the
"No," Dr. Hunter's face was pale, his eyes wide, "that man
"But I didn't let him see them." His face relaxed a little.
Stella went on in a voice that was breaking, "Dad, it's like
you're going crazy. You can't go on not telling anyone. You can
trust all of us. Please, I can't bear to see you like this."
Dr. Hunter dropped his head on the desk. Long moments passed
between the measured tick of a wall clock. When he lifted his
head, he wore a determined expression.
"Alright. If I must. If you won't trust me otherwise. But
you can't tell anybody. Maybe your friends had better go."
"No, let them stay. You can trust them, too. Unless," she
looked at Boris and I, "you'd rather not get involved."
Boris was quick to say, "I'm staying," and Stella flashed him
a quick smile.
"I'm not going either," I said, curious but a little
"Open up the printout," Dr. Hunter said quite solemnly. "The
radio pulses which you see are coded messages from an
The clock marked off seconds during which no-one spoke. I
looked at Stella to see if she was thinking what I was thinking -
that her father really had gone off his head.
It was Boris who broke the silence, "How can you be so sure,
"I am absolutely certain. You will, of course, know of the
message sent out by the Arecibo radio telescope in 1974."
"Yes,"Boris said,"it was directed towards M13 and aimed at any
extra-terrestrial civilization which might be listening in."
"What's M13?" I asked, determined to follow this explanation.
"It sounds like a motorway."
"It's a group of stars so far away that the message will take
ten thousand years to reach it. But there are plenty of other
stars which it will have already passed along the way," Dr.
Hunter explained and went on. "This message was made up of one
thousand, six hundred and seventy-nine digital characters." He
looked at me. "When a radio pulse is transmitted, that
represents a one and when there is no pulse, that represents a
zero. Each of these is a character. It's a bit like Morse code
with ones and zeros instead of dots and dashes. Over a year ago,
I picked up a strange message coming from the direction of M13.
I knew immediately that it was not from a pulsar and wondered if
I was on the verge of some astronomical discovery. I never
considered that it might come from an alien civilization until I
realized that it contained one thousand,six hundred and
seventy-nine characters and that it had been transmitted on the
same radio wavelength as the one the Arecibo telescope used to
send its message. After that it was a simple matter to crack the
"What did it say?"
"They sent information about themselves and their planet. I
began looking for another transmission and by luck or chance came
across a second, identical message thirty-five days, six hours
and five minutes after the first. After exactly the same time
period had again elapsed, I picked up a third message. It had
been encoded in the same way but it was different. They sent me
a crude diagram of what appears to be a spaceship. From that
message and those which followed at regular intervals, I know
that they have set out on a journey to Earth. They are presently
approaching us at speeds far greater than any we can produce in
our spacecraft. If my calculations are correct, they will arrive
in thirty years time."
"Why have you been so secretive?" Boris asked.
"This decision was not an easy one to make and I've suffered
all sorts of torments since then, wondering if I've done the
right thing. I thought of the mass hysteria which would result
if mankind knew that its cosmic isolation was to be broken by a
visit from aliens. People would feel threatened and I can
imagine that those with the mentality of Frank Belson would want
to exploit the aliens and their advanced technology in order to
further their own political ends. Others would find the
situation so threatening that they would blast them out of the
sky with a nuclear missile before they even got here. Who could
I trust? No, it is better that the aliens are allowed to arrive
in peace, unannounced. Otherwise I fear that they will not be
allowed to arrive at all."
"Couldn't you even trust, Mum?" Stella asked.
Dr. Hunter sighed. "I was on the point of telling her many
times but I was afraid that she would want everyone to know and
so I always stopped myself."
"How do you know that the aliens are not coming to harm us?"
"I have no way of knowing. They may be peaceful beings who do
not even understand the concept of war. On the other hand ... I
am prepared to take that risk but others may not be."
"You are right," Boris said sadly, "We cannot risk what people
might do to them."
"It doesn't seem right," Stella said, "but I can't think of a
good reason to tell people."
Up until now, I had been silent and reluctant to speak but it
seemed to me that what these people had gained in astronomical
knowledge, had been compensated by a loss of common sense. I
took a deep breath and spoke, "I think you're all wrong and you
talk as if you're the only ones affected by this decision.
People will feel more threatened and will be more likely to act
stupidly if the aliens arrive suddenly. If we spot a UFO
hurtling towards Earth, we'll be more likely to destroy it than a
spaceship which we've been expecting for thirty years. If you
give people a chance to act responsibly, Dr. Hunter, I think that
they might decide to work together to prepare for this visit."
Stella looked at me with what was unmistakably admiration.
Boris said, "She's right. Apart from anything else, we must
reply to these messages. You can't do that, Dr. Hunter. You'll
have to contact the scientists at Arecibo."
"But I wouldn't know the right people to contact," Dr Hunter
protested. "It would be foolish to tell the wrong type of
"Mum would know who to contact; she knows somebody in almost
every scientific field. She'll understand if you tell her what's
going on, Dad. I know she'll come back."
"Where is she now? Do you have the number of her hotel,
Stella?" Dr. Hunter asked, picking up the 'phone with trembling
"I think it's time for us to go, Anne," Boris said leading the
"Good-bye," Dr. Hunter said. "Tell no-one, yet. Stella's
mother will make sure that everyone knows soon enough."
"Bye," Stella yelled, "I'll see you both tomorrow."
I arrived home to face a row from my mother who was naturally
upset that I had disappeared without telling her. I might have
saved myself some verbal abuse had I been able to explain that my
few words of common sense had persuaded the head of the Lowell
Observatory to trust his fellow human beings with an important
decision, a decision which he couldn't make alone.
/ IMPURE MATHEMATICS \
\ Submitted By /
\ Rodrigo de Almeida /
\ Siqueira /
\ ________ /
\ / \ /
Wherein it is related how that polygon of womanly virtue, young Polly Nomial
(our heroine) is accosted by that notorious villain Curly Pi, and factored
Once upon a time (1/t) pretty Polly Nomial was strolling across a field of
vectors when she came to the boundary of a singularly large matrix. Now,
Polly was convergent and her mother had made it an absolute condition that
she never enter such an array without her brackets on. Polly, however,
who had changed her variables that morning and was feeling particularly
badly behaved, ignored this condition on the basis that it was insufficient,
and made her way amongst the complex elements. Rows and columns closed in
from all sides. Tangents approached her surface. She became tensor and
tensor. Quite suddenly, two branches of a hyperbola touched her at a
singular point. She oscillated violently, lost all sense of directrix,
and went completely divergent. As she reached a turning point, she tripped
over a square root that was protruding from the ERF and plunged headlong
down a steep gradient. When she rounded off once more, she found herself
inverted, apparently alone, in a non-euclidean space.
She was being watched, however. That smooth operator, Curly Pi, was lurking
innerproduct. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear coordinates, a singular
expression crossed his face. He wondered, was she still convergent? He
decided to integrate improperly at once.
Hearing a common fraction behind her, Polly rotated and saw Curly Pi
approaching with his power series extrapolated. She could see at once by
his degenerate conic and dissipative terms that he was bent on no good.
"Arcsinh," she gasped.
"Ho, ho," he said. "What a symmetric little asymptote you have. I can see
your angles have a lot of secs."
"Oh sir," she protested, "keep away from me. I haven't got my brackets on."
"Calm yourself, my dear," said our suave operator. "Your fears are purely
"i,i," she thought,"perhaps he's not normal but homologous."
"What order are you?" the brute demanded.
"Seventeen," replied Polly.
Curly leered. " I suppose you've never been operated on."
"Of course not," Polly replied quite properly; "I'm absolutely convergent."
"Come, come," said Curly. "Let's off to a decimal place I know and I'll take
you to the limit."
"Never," gasped Polly.
"Abscissa," he swore, using the vilest oath he knew. His patience was gone.
Coshing her over the coefficient with a log until she was powerless, Curly
removed her discontinuities. He stared at her significant places and began
smoothing out her points of inflection. Poor Polly. The Algorithmic Method
was now her only hope. She felt his hand tending to her asymptotic limit.
Her convergence would soon be gone forever.
There was no mercy, for Curly was a heavyside operator. Curly's radius
squared itself; Polly's loci quivered. He integrated by parts. He integrated
by partial fractions. After he cofactored, he performed Runge-Cutta on her.
The complex beast even went all the way around and did a contour integration.
Curly went on operating until he had satisfied her hypothesis, then he
exponentiated and became completely orthogonal.
When Polly got home that night, her mother noticed that she was no longer
piecewise continuous, but had been truncated in several places. But it was
to late to differentiate now. As the months went by, Polly's denominator
increased monotonically. Finally she went to l'Hopital and generated a small
but pathological function which left surds all over the place and drove
Polly to deviation.
The moral of our sad story is this:
"If you want to keep your expressions convergent,
never allow them a single degree of freedom ..."
______________/ \__/ \_____________
/ ___________( The Martians Are Coming! )__________ \
/__/ \ / \__\
\ By Russell Hutchison /
\ __ /
(Continued from issue #3)
Frank altered his course and brought his crosshairs to bear on one of
the rapidly closing BAT fighters. He fired his particle cannon at the
range of five miles. His target disappeared in a golden flash, its
hydrogen/oxygen fuel detonated by the particle beam. Then, as if a
signal had been given, both swarms of fighters opened fire with
everything they had. The space around Frank filled with orange and gold
explosions, as hundreds of fighter-to-fighter missiles traced glowing
paths between the two forces. It looked like a thousand glowing
spiderwebs had sprung to life amidst a sea of colored flash bulbs.
A cluster of missiles drove towards Frank. He uttered a quick curse,
pushed his control stick forward and to the right and launched a flare
to distract as many heat seekers as possible. Three streaks of light
burned paths after the flare, six wove an irradecent pattern around
Franks ANGEL, the last struck home. The ANGEL rocked violently, the
sound of the explosion deafened him. The breath was forced from his
lungs as Frank was thrown wildly into the restraining straps, snapping
his head forward. He could taste bitter bile mixed with blood. His
vision blurred momentarily and when it cleared he was in a fast, spinning
dive towards Earth through a chaotic melee of twisting dogfights and
flashing missiles. Frank gasped for breath and pulled his fighter out
of its plummeting dive and redirected it towards the heavy cruisers.
scanning the scene he found himself twenty miles from the nearest fighter
combat. His H.U.D. labeled both left wing lasers as destroyed, he had
taken no critical damage.
Frank could here his name being called through the ringing in his
ears. The voice was Ricks.
"...Frank! Are you still conscious? Come on, the H.U.D. says your
not atoms yet. Where are you?"
"Stop bitching, my head hurts enough already. I lost some
elevation and lasers, though. Hold on a sec'. My tracking beacon is
out, too. I'll find you. Highlight wingman," Frank spoke to the H.U.D.
then looked around until he saw the laser enhanced dot on the inside of
his canopy that was his wingman. Rich was halfway between the fighter
combat and the heavy cruisers. Behind Rick, Frank could see the huge
delta-winged shape of a fighter carrier cutting its way through
the BAT fighters.
"I see you. Be there in fifteen seconds."
Frank directed his fighter onto a course that would link him up
with his wingman, three miles from the heavy cruisers.
Five seconds later the left side if the fighter carrier exploded in
a withering attack of coilgun rounds from two of the EDF destroyers.
The Vengeance and a Martian frigate fired at the destroyers to draw their
fire away from the crippled carrier. The hail of missiles and coilgun
rounds blasted one of the destroyers into a shattered metal frame
that exploded into a thousand fragments, the other escaped major damage.
The carrier was turning to make a withdrawal from the fight when a single
coilgun round from one of the heavy cruisers obliterated the wounded
vessel before it completed the turn.
Frank rejoined Rick and began heading for the furthest heavy
cruiser. The closer one, the one that had destroyed the fighter
carrier, was being cut to pieces by all five Martian heavy cruisers.
No return shots had been fired in ten seconds, but the onslaught
continued. Finally it split in two and the fission reactor consumed it
in a miniature sun.
Frank and Rick fell in behind another pair of ANGELs that had also
broken away from the massive fighter melee. The quartet of fighters
drove head on at the last the last Earth heavy cruiser to strafe it from
one end to the other. Before the fighters had fired a shot two huge
missiles launched from the heavy cruiser and smashed into the first pair
of ANGELs. Their explosion showered Frank, who was directly behind them,
with huge pieces of debris. It sounded to Frank like he was flying
through a hail storm and he had to fight for control. When he had
steadied his ship Frank was already flying past the engines of the
heavy cruiser. He banked his fighter down and to the left to come around
for another pass, Rick right on his tail. As he did so Frank found
himself flying straight towards the thrusters of the three remaining
destroyers. The destroyers were making mince meat out of one of the
Martian heavy cruisers and Frank noticed that the Earth Defense Fleet
was missing another one of its frigates. Given the perfection of the
shot at the closest destroyer Frank didn't hesitate. From two miles
away he fired the hyper-velocity missile attached to the bottom of his
ANGEL. The fighter sized missile flared to life, leaping away from the
ship it had been attached to. Frank banked steeply down and slightly to
the left to get a good view of the missiles flight. Like an arrow of
light the missile closed on its target. Lancing right down the center
of one of the destroyers drive engines, the missile exploded with deadly
force. The protective metal skirt of the engine ripped apart, light
blazing through the cracks. Then the back half of the destroyer blew apart
followed rapidly by the rest of the vessel.
"Yeah, Frank! Beauty shot!" Rick yelled.
"And the crowd goes wild," Frank added, a massive grin splitting his
"Frank Smith, you just won the Martian lottery, what are you going
to do now?" Rick said in a nasal voice.
Frank looked around the battlespace and spied a wounded corvette
falling back from the oncoming Martian fleet. "Kill that corvette.
Follow me, Rick."
"Right behind you Bawanna."
Diving down at the corvette from above the pair closed the distance
to their target. At the range of one mile Frank triggered his two
right-wing lasers, particle cannon, fighter-to-fighter missiles, and
then rocketed past the corvette. Rick followed right behind him and
fired all of his weapons, too. Every shot fired by the ANGELs hit the
armor above the bridge of the corvette, slowly coring through until the
bridge was laid open to space. Everyone on the bridge was sucked into
space and the vessel went out of control. At breakneck speed it fell
into Earths atmosphere, burning like a torch as it fell towards the
"Alright Frank! We are going to be considered gods when this fight
is over, man."
The smile that was spreading across Franks face died when ten
fighter-to-fighter missiles wove paths around his ship, but none hit.
A BAT fighter whipped by, above him and his wingman, from left to right.
Following its missiles back out in the direction of the moon.
"Damn, that was close." Frank whispered. His heart still racing
from the close brush with death.
"Let's go nail that bastard," Rick said, unaware of the shaken
state of his friend.
"Yeah, nail him," Frank said, turning his shock into anger. "Nail
Frank jerked his controls hard to the left and accelerated after
the BAT. Ten seconds later the two ANGELs had closed the distance to
3,000 feet. Frank started maneuvering to get a lock on to the BAT.
Almost have him, Frank thought.
"Nail him, Frank"
Just a little to the left, Frank thought.
"Come on! Our fighters can't keep up with him much longer! Kill
him now!...Frank?...Frank!...He's breaking away!"
With a sudden jerk the BAT broke hard to the right and up. Rick
tried his best to keep up with it, yelling at Frank all the way. But
Frank didn't even notice. His eyes were trained on the space station,
30 miles away. Both destroyers guarding it had been blown away. The
Martian battleship, two heavy cruisers, and one frigate were firing on
the station relentlessly. The other Martian frigate was drifting
towards the moon, its engines were dark and it looked gutted. But what
had caught Franks attention was the space station itself. It was
rotating off its axis. The three mile diameter 'cap' of the mushroom
shaped station was turning to face the oncoming Martian fleet.
Then, without warning the lights of the station dimmed. Suddenly,
two blurs leapt from the center of the 'cap.' One struck the last
frigate and the other hit a heavy cruiser. Both ships ripped apart in
massive explosions, pieces of shattered metal flying in all directions.
The stations lights came back on.
Franks mind went reeling. Coilguns! The station must have a pair
of coilguns running the entire length of the 'stem.' That would give
them a two mile launch tube. The size shell that you could launch could
punch through the thickest part of earths crust! This fight is far from
over, Frank thought.
(Too be continued)
/ (*) (*) \
/ \ / \ / \
< \/ R U S H \/ >
\ By /
\ /\ Daniel Frederick /\ /
It was getting closer. With every second that slowly passed it was
getting closer. This was nothing like I had wanted. All I could do was scream.
My legs wouldn't even move anymore. They were solid lead and my body was still
attached to each leg, my own fleshy ones gone.
A demonic dark shape only some forty feet away was approaching me in
slow motion. What ever had happened to my legs was nothing compared to lying
on top of all these spiders. Thousands of them crawling on me, even into my
mouth. I could feel each of their millions of legs as they danced over my
Now that shape was in my vision, and I could see that it too was a
large hideous spider. It was almost upon me. I tried to crawl with my arms,
but they wouldn't move either because of the amount of poison the spiders had
stung me with. It seemed all I could do now was lay frozen by poison and fear
in this spider hell.
My eyes were unable to close from the sight of tiny legs on my
eyelids. My vision was slowly darkening and I thanked the supposed gods
that my family had always praised. Take me away from here. Life was closing
in on me, and I no longer cared that I was dying or that thousands of legs
crawled over me looking for anywhere to bite or walk.
It was a feeding frenzy from hell. It was almost over and I sat
back content to die. My will was gone and my mind wandering.
I had forgotten the looming shape.
I was almost gone when I suddenly became all too aware of it
again. Why couldn't I have died now that I was so close to peace. I was
in its grip, my body slowly swaying and dead. Seeing it clearly now, I
saw its thousands of eyes staring hungrily at me. Its hairy long legs
held me up to its mouth pincers. Death awaited me.
WAIT, MY GUN. If I could reach it. My arms--I needed to move
them. I had to. Scared out of my mind in this insane hell, I became
horribly mad. It couldn't do this to me. It was going to kill me. I
pulled for the .48, jabbed its muzzle under those staring eyes, and
pulled the trigger.
It hurt. My fingers could hardly move, but even with impaired
vision I knew I had not missed. I could see and hear its horrible cry
through my eye lids and the tiny legs as it threw me back violently.
As I fell the .48 fell from my limp fingers. The blast of the gun and
howl of the spider rang in my ears like a grenade going off in an empty
room. The queasy sensation of spiders in my stomach and mouth gagged
me. I could no longer breathe and my eyes were bugging painfully out of
my head. Agony! Somehow I was screaming. How? Screaming and gagging
Then . . . God I'm sorry I had nothing left.
--- --- ---
Immediately after their partner was shot, Officers Jonson and
Rean made it to him. They had been only fifteen feet away from him.
Only fifteen feet away from helping him. Now Driscoll was dead. Another
good cop dead from another drug using scum.
The damn high was more important to them then even life. Their
life or anyone else's life killed by drug scum.
"Ahhh, the ultimate rush to death. I hope he enjoyed it, the damn scum.
Well there is nothing left to do now but dispose of them both. God I
hate the smell of dead spider, but I suppose we all smell this way when
dead," Jonson remarked as he kicked the scum with five of his six legs.
/ CHAOTICON II \
\ Announcement /
The Gamer's Club at UW Green Bay is sponsoring CHAOTICON II, a gaming convention
on April 17-18 from 9 am to 10 pm. There will be many roleplaying and wargames,
as well as several local vendors. Admission is $7 for the weekend and $5 per
day. For more info, please email me at:
Half-Orc Chancellor to the High
Council of the Gamer's Club
/ TOME OF VAST KNOWLEDGE \
\ Announcement /
ANNOUNCING - The 2nd Public Release of a Program to Assist Dungeon
Masters find that obscure but important piece of information that
will make your campaign a hit.
The TOME of VAST KNOWLEDGE is a program written for IBM
compatible micro-computers, it requires 512K of RAM and a hard disk
is recommended for optimal performance.
This program is several things, but primarily it is a
database for the many little pieces of information which make AD&D
the game it is. There are several ways of searching for info. of
interest: 1) sequential, manual, 2) keyword search. Additionally,
this program has an NPC generator (but then again who doesn't), an
automatic spell list generator, and a few other goodies. More
importantly this program was built with the realization that no
program can do it all. The TOME should work with other AD&D
utilities if they don't require too much memory.
I have put copies at:
greyhawk.stanford.edu : /D_D/incoming/vast_101.tar.Z
sandman.caltech.edu : /pub/adnd/inbound/vast_101.zip
Enjoy, and give me feedback so the TOME can get better. Thank you to
those who have given feedback, I'm working on improvements as we
I'd like to thank the many individuals who made suggestions, and
those who contributed material for this 2nd release. Particularly
those who answered my call for NET.MAGIC.ITEMS. If you have any
material you feel would fit in the TOME, send it along.
PS. Watch for an announcement of the Database BUILDER for the TOME
of VAST KNOWLEDGE (YES! Make/customize your own databases) coming
Douglas P. Webb a.k.a. Magus the Black
/ F I N A L \
/ O P I N I O N \
/ By \
/ Benjamin Price \
Like a blade, the wind cuts through my feeble flesh and chills me to
the very marrow of my bones. Stubbornly I stagger onward; I can see the
door only a few meters away, warm light streaming from the windows. I
think to myself that I must be a pitiful sight: snow has encrusted my
hair, my skin is a color that would closely match concrete, and not a
shred of my clothing can be seen underneath a centimeter-thick layer of
After what seems an eternity, the door looms close. Desperately I
grasp the handle and hurl the thing open. As I lurch through the portal,
I cannot help but grin, and I pause for a moment and let warmth return
feeling to my nose and fingers. Then, purposefully, I stride around a
corner, down a hall, and with a flourish I burst into the room for which
I endured the elements.
"Ben, you idiot... why in the Hell are you wearing a tank-top and
shorts in a blizzard?" a stray voice laughs.
I do not deign to answer. I thought it was Spring. It WAS Spring,
fifteen minutes ago. There is a saying here: "If you don't like the
weather in Colorado, wait five minutes." If that isn't written on a
stone tablet somewhere, it should be.
Shaking off coat, snow, and the occasional icicle, I make my way to a
(gosh, surprise, surprise) computer terminal. The lab holds its usual
compliment of intellectuals, zombies, and frustrated students working on
due assignments, but looking around I am unable to draw any inspiration
from them. I ponder, wondering what my potentially last contribution to
ICS should be. I thoroughly annoy my nearest neighbors by experimenting
with most of the possible rhythms that can be generated by combining
keyclicks and beeps. And then I am struck with a wonderful idea.
I'll write a program to write my assignments for me!
I'm going to go do that now.
ICS would like to hear from you. We accept flames, comments,
submissions, editorials, corrections, and just about anything else you
wish to send us. For your safety use these guidelines when sending us
anything. We will use things sent to us when we think the would be
appropriate for the goal of the issue coming out. So, if you send us
something that you DO NOT want us to use in the electrozine, then put
the words NOT FOR PUBLICATION in the subject of the mail you send us.
You can protect your material by sending a copy to yourself
through the mail and leaving the envelope unopened.
BACK ISSUES: Back Issues of ICS can be FTPed from UGLYMOUSE.CSS.ITD.UMICH.EDU
They are in the directory /pub/Zines/ICS. (NOTE: the administrator may have
them in /pub/Politics/ICS still.)
ICSICSICSICSICSIC/ I C S \ICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSIC
ICSICSICSICSICS/ Electro- \ICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICS
CSICSICSICSICS/ Zine \CSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICSICS
\ / An Electronic Magazine from
\ / Western State College
\ / Gunnison, Colorado.
\ / ORG_ZINE@WSC.COLORADO.EDU