Tales of Brave Ulysses

Dreams of Atlantis

Chapter 8

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It was green.

There was nothing but green polystyrene as far as the eye could see. Miles looked around and sighed. He looked at Thom.

"Not again."

"Afraid so. I don't know where we are; I think it's un-allocated space."

"Uh, Thom, take a look at your shirt."

Thom looked. It wasn't the black Fender t-shirt he'd had on, this one was white and read "THOM.EXE;1". St. Teri looked at it and then at him, and then at everybody. They were all wearing shirts like these.

"Are we in DOS?" she asked, whilst carefully jumping up and down. "No," said Miles, "worse."

"We're in VMS!" Thom said, choking on the last three syllables.

"Aaauuugh!" said DAVE.EXE;42.

"I don't get it," said T_Rev, "who'd do a thing like this?"

"I don't know," said Thom, "but I've a feeling we're about to find out."

Meanwhile, Leo Fender was climbing a cliff, using only his lips, all the while dodging falling coyotes. He could see the opening to the cave overhead. He had to get in, but there was a dangerous outcrop of rock in the way, just under the cave entrance. He decided to use special effects. Wings popped out of his ankles, and, flapping like crazy, lifted him up to, around, and over the outcrop. He went into the cave, and the wings dissappeared. He knew this cave well, for the Roadkills-R-Us board meetings were held here. He walked down the tunnel, dodging primordial black holes, and thanked Ghod he was wearing his Cherenkov-radiation-proof Froot-O-The-Looms. He found the Master Console, and also saw a portal, built into the wall. This was new. The doorway was glowing a mad macabre of special fx colors, a few VGA shades, and a monochrome dot here or there. He looked at the screen. It was running csh, which meant he should be able to recall the commands. He did so, and found that everyone had been mvpersoned to /dev/null. He feared the worst, but he decided to try anyway. He sat down and started typing.

/etc/mount /dev/portal /mnt
ln /dev/null /dev/portal

The portal changed spectra several times, and he could hear voices. He walked over to the portal.

Thom and Miles, meanwhile, had tied a rope around Rodger's neck, the other end around DAVE.EXE;28's ankles, and were playing a game of Tetherdave, when they heard a voice.

"Thom? Steve? Can you hear me?"

"LEO! Where are you?"

"At the master console!"

"Where are we?"


Miles smiled. "Cool, I always wondered how you pronounced slashes."

"Something's wrong, Leo! We're in VMS!"

"That almost makes sense. Everybody puts their garbage in /dev/null."

"How do we get out of here?"

"Follow my voice."

Outside the cave, a man wearing a mask and spurs listened intently. The bait was set. The trap was ready. The story was dull.

It was dark.

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Last updated: 29 Jun 1994

Copyright 1989, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514