Common Room Advocates for Procrastination: The CRAP Chronicles: Episode 2

Tedminal Velocity

by Ryan and Kaye; story by Kaye

Late one Friday night, long after the pizza was eaten, well after the end of the movies, so late that the pop machine was back to 75 cents, Ted Man sat in front of the Tedminal. In the past, he had crashed Fraser, Kits, Malibu, and too many CSIL computers to mention. He had sent more Novell networks down than Windows. But now he was trying for his magnum opus: a veritable .44 Penguin of computer crashing. Peter would be at the Usenix conference all next week, and Ted Man was going after Darth.

Vader, Darth's shadowy companion computer, sensed a disturbance in the force. It quietly sent a message to Darth. Darth read the message, looked down a certain port, and saw an intruder. It responded.

                    *                    *                    *

The CSSS Common Room, SFU's last bastion of family values, was once again inhabited by the usual EUSS cast-offs, assorted liberal arts hangers-on, and one or two computer science students.

Magic: The Gathering The newest member of team CRAP, Expensive Portable Color Computer Man (hereafter known as Tom), was using his Expensive Portable Color Computer to keep track of CSSS finances, the exact location of each and every member of CRAP, and his vast collection of expensive pieces of cardboard.

Just then, the start of a new CRAPy adventure was heralded by the sudden arrival of Ken, the Math major (previously Ken the Kinesiology major).

"Computer! Down! No email! No Easyunix! Heeellllllpppp!!!"

In gratuitous cameo appearances, Aquaman and Naranman, in civvies, looked up. Aquaman went back to metaphorically destroying Tom's collection of expensive pieces of cardboard, while Naranman asked, "What's wrong?"

"Fraser! Dead! No email! No Easyunix! Heelllllpppp!!!"

"Is that all? Use Kits or Malibu."

"Kits? I don't want to go to the beach. I want to read my email."

Rather than try to explain the concept of 'Kits the computer' to Ken, Naranman activated his focused depression field, and sent Ken wandering away in a blue funk.

Naranman mused. "Fraser down? That won't be very good for the load averages. Let's take a look."

"Auuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" came a sudden cry from the Tedminal.

All eyes turned.

"I was just about to get level 31415928 and suddenly...."

Naranman gently shoved Mud Thing aside and commandeered the Tedminal. Surprisingly, there was no load problem on Kits. Naranman deftly made the mental connection between this phenomenon and the fact that Kits was down. Malibu, on the other hand, was not down, only very slow.

"832 fork jobs? This could only be Ted Man's work. But why?"

Naranman pursued the thought no further, as his lunch break had ended and he had to get back to Environment Canada, where he had a Co-op job creating random dot stereograms from satellite photos. It was an extremely profitable sideline to Environment Canada's usual job of changing the weather.

[Environment Canada]

[excerpt from 383-a-team mailing list, Monday morning]

Return-Path: tedman@[redacted]
From: tedman@[redacted]
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Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 23:31:42 -0800 (PST)
Subject: HELP! HELP ME!!
To: 383-a-team
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Help! I've been trapped in Peter's office by Darth! Somebody get me out of 
here! There's no Coke!!!
 --                                          Tedman Leung   tedman@[redacted]
   --         aka : ted{man,d{ee{,be{a,e}r},y},{mei,}ster,mina{l,tor},}^Js!:0
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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 1995 01:14:18 -0800 (PST)
From: Charles Howes 
To: 383-a-team@[redacted]
Subject: Re: HELP! HELP ME!!
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> Help! I've been trapped in Peter's office by Darth! Somebody get me out of 
> here! There's no Coke!!!

Yeah, I've had moments where I felt like that. You know, my vanepp number is 
up to, ohhh, .00001 now?

Charles Howes -- chowes@[redacted]
  'One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready then go man go!'

                    *                    *                    *

[Singapore] Ted Man worked feverishly. He couldn't penetrate the usual fogginess on 383-a-team, the alt.timewasters crew thought he was doing a parody of the Juan Bootsie stories, and sfu.test was filled with the usual flamewars. And the one person who might have understood him, Coiffeur Ranger Keith, was desperately trying to find a chewing gum and spray paint supplier in Singapore. With abnormal methods of communication cut off, he had to resort to more extreme measures. With a teary farewell, he crashed Malibu, and started in on the WCAT.

                    *                    *                    *

Ken was inconsolable. He couldn't read email, and after he left the Patcave (which he knew only by the more mundane title of Computer Science Common Room), he felt even more depressed. He wandered over to the WCAT, the math lab that had been a key part of his decision to change majors. That, and he heard that Michael Jordan was a math major.

Just as he sat down at the computer, every screen in the room went black. Ken ran away screaming.

                    *                    *                    *

Erick sat at the terminal, watching computers crash left and right, but in a very strange way. There seemed to be a pattern there...

Tom monitored the ACS, CSIL, and research networks from his EPCC, frowning. If it were only happening on cardboard, he could just counterspell the whole thing, but this was something much uglier.

Hector sat in a corner, trying to decipher the very strange message that kept coming into his Pager: 83798332846968776578. He'd tried calling the number, and only managed to wake up a thoroughly disgusted Korean.

Ryan prepared to yell loudly, before noticing that Kaye looked like she was about to be angry.

Kara merely sat disconcertingly, musing about the movie 'Mermaids', as Richard, bereft of his usual diet of MUD, lay convulsing on the floor.

Pat was so distraught by the loss of the computer facilities that he failed to notice as Ken ran off 200 copies of a black sheet with the lid up.

Terrance wandered in, oblivious to the chaos. He had just finished rewiring the Geo-Ling lab, and for once, all of the Quadras were working.

[Bolo!] The hordes of CSIL exiles hanging about the Patcave shouted in unison, "I vote we use Terrance's Lab!" In a wave, they moved out of the Patcave, accosting the oblivious El Presidente, and disappearing around the corner. By the time they got to the Geo-Ling lab, they found, to their horror, that the few computers that weren't occupied by Bolo-playing graduate students, had already crashed. They all voted El Presidente to re-re-wire the lab, while they went for pizza.

Meanwhile, in a suddenly emptier Patcave on the other side of the Quadrangle, Noggin and Tom consulted. They had just seen the carnage in Terrance's lab. Noggin turned back to the Tedminal, "I can see the's right here, I tell you..." His eyes went unfocused, and he pulled the Vest tighter around him.

The phone rang. An angry voice screamed in Korean (which Patman understood, due to his immense grasp of Asiology), "Call me one more time, and I'll turn you into kimchee!"

Noggin looked up, "Wasn't that Korean?" He turned to the Pagemaster. "What number did you call?" Before the Pagemaster could respond, he grabbed the Pager, looked up and said, "It all fits!"

The rest of the CRAP followed him out of the Patcave, trying to keep up. Ken stayed behind, watching as the photocopier produced page 143, musing that it was an interesting prime number.

The CRAP squad rushed to Strand Hall, down the stairs, and into the very heart of the Evil Empire, ACS Ops. They rushed past the services window, flashing their official CRAP badges and muttering "It's okay ma'am, we're professionals."

They arrived at the locked door of Peter's office, only to find Tom already there. In his hand, he held a small expensive piece of cardboard. The Avengers crowded around him, peering at it.

'Summon Tom'

"That's it. I'm leaving this cheesy episode." Noggin stomped off. Sonic and Friendly chased after him, "But was academic use of Magic ...that's legitimate!"

Patman searched through his FutilityBelt. "I don't have a lock pick, but I have an ice pick!"

While Patman tried to fit his ice pick into the lock, Tom flicked on his EPCC, and searched through his database. "Ahah!" he said, as the EPCC ejected a small piece of expensive cardboard, "'Flight'."

"But wait!" cried Kaz. "There's nothing to fly over!"

Tom was nonchalant, "It doesn't matter. This is CRAP."

Dr. Science, following the scientific method, reached for the doorknob, turning it. "It's open."

"D'oh," cried the avengers, piling into the room and closing the door behind them.

Patman looked around. "Ah, Tedman! You're here. No time to talk, we're looking for Ted Man, and we think he's somewhere in this room. Noggin figured it out."

Tedman sighed, and resumed his alter ego.

Patman looked around. "Ah, Ted Man! You're here! Just as Noggin predicted! Um, wasn't Tedman here a moment ago?"

Ted Man stared at Patman. He realized this might go on all day if he didn't explain, and then decided that it would probably go on all day even if he did explain it.

"I was trapped in here when I tried to crash Darth. I don't know how it happened, especially since I was in the Patcave at the time."

Meanwhile, Kaz, his brain slightly vacuous, was having the entire situation explained to him by Dr. Science. "...and that's how Ted Man got trapped in here..."

Kaz turned to look at Darth. "That really sucks."

Everyone turned, with shock and horror on their grim visages. "No!!!" yelled Patman...but it was futile.

Darth's screen turned black. Blacker even than the evil Next's case itself. The Black Hole icon in the corner expanded, filling the screen, and spilling beyond its confines. It opened up, and for a brief moment, Kaz, Aquaman, Dr. Science, Patman, Tom and Ted Man were the only people on the planet who understood what a three-dimensional singularity with enough gravity to suck light actually looked like.

At the last moment, Patman reached into his FutilityBelt. "What, another ice pick?!"

WILL Patman, Tom, Ted Man, Kaz, Aquaman, and Dr. Science survive their voyage into the dark heart of Darth in the dark heart of vanepp's office in the dark heart of ACS Ops in the dark heart of *thump* (The narrator has suffered a fatal heart attack. One moment while we find someone with less hyperbole).

WILL Noggin be tempted into the next episode by a fat contract?

WILL vanepp try to dial up to Darth from

WILL these episodes get any sillier? Of course they will!

Tune in next time when you'll hear Kaz say, "That black hole really sucked!"

Remember kids, same CRAP time, same CRAP channel!

Episode 2: Tedminal Velocity
© Copyright 1995 Genuine CRAP productions. All rights reversed.