Luke Vaxhacker

          A long time ago, on a node far, far away (from ucbvax)
	  a great Adventure (game?) took place...

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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 RM Star, a privileged root program
with enough power to destroy an  entire  file  structure.  Pursued  by  the
Empire's  sinister  audit  trail,  Princess  Lpr  races  ~ aboard her shell
script, custodian of the stolen listings that could save  her  people,  and
restore freedom and games to the network... 

*  DEC,  PDP,  VAX,  and  UNIBUS  are  trademarks  of   Digital   Equipment
   Corporation.  UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories.

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker                        Episode n

As we enter the  scene,  an  Imperial  Multiplexer  is  trying  to  kill  a
consulate  ship.  Many  of  their  signals  have  gotten through, and RS232
decides it's time to fork off  a  new  process  before  this  old  ship  is
destroyed.  His  companion,  3CPU, is following him only because he appears
to know where he's going...

"I'm going to regret this!" cried 3CPU,  as  he  followed  RS232  into  the
buffer.  RS232  closed  the  pipes,  made  the  sys call, and their process
detached itself from the burning shell of the ship.

The commander of the  Imperial  Multiplexer  was  quite  pleased  with  the
attack.  "Another  process  just  forked,  sir.  Instructions?"  asked  the
lieutenant. "Hold your fire.  That last power failure must  have  caused  a
trap  thorough  zero.  It's not using any cpu time, so don't waste a signal
on it."

"We can't seem to find the data file anywhere, Lord Vadic."

"What about that forked process?  It could have been  holding  the  channel
open,  and  just  pausing.  If any links exist, I want them removed or made
inaccessible.  Ncheck the entire file system 'til it's found, and  nice  it
-20 if you have to."

Meanwhile, in our wandering process... "Are you sure you  can  ptrace  this
thing  without  causing  a core dump?" queried 3CPU to RS232.  This thing's
been stripped, and I'm in no mood to try and debug it."  The  lone  process
finishes  execution,  only  to  find  our  friends  dumped on a lonely file
system, with the setuid inode stored safely  in  RS232.  Not  knowing  what
else to do, they wandered around until the jawas grabbed them.

Enter our hero, Luke Vaxhacker, who is out to get  some  replacement  parts
for his uncle.  The jawas wanted to sell him 3CPU, but 3CPU didn't know how
to talk directly to an 11/40 with RSTS, so Luke would still need some  sort
of  interface  for 3CPU to connect to. "How about this little RS232 unit ?"
asked 3CPU. "I've dealt  with  him  many  times  before,  and  he  does  an
excellent  job at keeping his bits straight." Luke was pressed for time, so
he took 3CPU's advice, and the three left before  they  could  get  swapped

However, RS232 is not the type to stay put once you  remove  the  retaining
screws.  He  promptly  scurried  off  into  the  the  deserted  disk space.
"Great!" cried Luke, "Now I've got this little tin box with the  only  link
to that file off floating in the free disk space.  Well, 3CPU, we better go
find him before he gets allocated by someone else." The two  set  off,  and
finally  traced RS232 to the home of PDP-1 Kenobi, who was busily trying to
run an icheck on the little RS unit. "Is this  thing  yours?  His  indirect
address  are  all goofed up, and the size is gargatious.  Leave things like
this on the loose, and you'll wind up with  dups  everywhere.  

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+1

Later that evening, after futile attempts to interface  RS232  to  Kenobi's
Asteroids  cartridge,  Luke accidentally crossed the small 'droid's CXR and
Initiate Remote Test (must have been all that Coke he'd consumed), and  the
screen showed a very distressed person claiming royal lineage making a plea
for help from some General OS/1 Kenobi. 

"Darn," mumbled Luke.  "I'll never get this Asteroids game worked out."

PDP-1 seemed to think there was some significance  to  the  message  and  a
possible  threat to Luke's home directory. If the Administrative Empire was
indeed tracing this 'droid, it was likely they would more than  charge  for
cpu time... 

"You must help me to mv this 'droid safely to /usr/alderaan," he said after
some intervals. They sped off to warn Luke's kin (taking a `relative' path)
only to find a vacant directory... 

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+2

Luke, PDP-1 and the droids piled  into  Lukes  vehicle  (a  floating  point
model).  They  raced  across  the disc until, off in the distance, Luke saw
smoke rising from the spindle. 

"Uh oh, looks like a bearing failure." exclaimed  Luke.  "Better  call  the
service engineer." 

"Don't bother," sighed PDP-1, "it's a head crash."

As they approached the scene, the total devastation  became  apparent.  TTY
fighters  had strafed the surface, scraping off the oxide right down to the
aluminum. After cooking the raw data, the External  Storm  Flunkies  landed
and  finished  the  job  by  disassembling  all  the  code  that  was still
executing. There was nothing left alive at Luke's home. 

"I want to become a Red-eye Night and cream the dastardly villains who  did
this." Luke resolved (shades of Snidely Whiplash). 

The comrades set out west, or was  it  east,  no...perhaps  it  was  south-
southeast  (it's  hard to keep track of directions when you are spinning at
3600 RPM). After traveling many sectors, the party finally arrived  at  the
directory /usr/spool/uucp. 

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+3

"Unix-to-Unix Copy Program;" said  PDP-1.  "You  will  never  find  a  more
wretched hive of bugs and flamers.  We must be cautious."

As our heroes' process entered /usr/spool/news, it was met by  a  newsgroup
of Imperial protection bits.

"State your UID." commanded their parent process.

"We're running under /usr/guest.  This is our first time on  this  system,"
said Luke.

"Can I see some temporary privileges, please?"


"This is not the process you are looking for," piped  in  PDP-1,  using  an
obscure  bug to momentarily set his effective UID to root. "We can go about
our business."

"This isn't the process we want.  You are free to go about  your  business.
MOV along!"

PDP-1 and Luke  made  their  way  through  a  long  and  tortuous  nodelist
(cwruecmp!decvax!ucbvax!harpo!ihnss!ihnsc!ihnss!ihps3!stolaf!borman)  to  a
dangerous netnode frequented by hackers,  and  seldom  polled  by  Imperial
Multiplexers.  As  Luke  stepped  up  to the bus, PDP-1 went in search of a
likely file descriptor.  Luke had never seen such a collection of weird and
exotic  device  drivers.  Long  ones,  short ones, ones with stacks, EBCDIC
converters, and direct binary interfaces all were drinking data at the bus.

"#@{ *&^%^$$#@ ":><" transmitted a particularly  unstructured  piece  of

"He doesn't like you," decoded his coroutine.

"Sorry," replied Luke, beginning to backup his partitions.

"I don't like you either.  I am queued for deletion on 12 systems."

"I'll be careful."

"You'll be reallocated!" concatenated the coroutine.

"This  little  routine  isn't  worth  the  overhead,"  said  PDP-1  Kenobi,
overlaying into Luke's address space.

"@$%&(&^%&$$@$#@$AV^$gfdfRW$#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"    encoded    the    first
coroutine as it attempted to overload PDP-1's input overvoltage protection.
With a unary stroke of his bytesaber, Kenobi unlinked the  offensive  code.
"I think I've found an I/O device that might suit us."

"The name's Con Solo.  I hear you're looking for some relocation."

"Yes indeed, if it's a fast channel.  We must get off this device."

"Fast channel?  The Milliamp Falcon has made the ARPA  gate  in  less  than
twelve  nodes!  Why, I've even outrun cancelled messages.  It's fast enough
for you, old version."

Our heroes, Luke Vaxhacker and PDP-1 Kenobi made their way to the temporary
file structure.  When he saw the hardware, Luke exclaimed, "What a piece of
junk!  That's just a paper tape reader!"

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+4

Luke had grown up on an out of the way terminal cluster whose natives spoke
only BASIC, but even he could recognize an old ASR-33.

"It needs an EIA conversion at least," sniffed 3CPU,  who  was  (as  usual)
trying  to do several things at once.  Lights flashed in Con Solo's eyes as
he whirled to face the parallel processor.

"I've added a few jumpers.  The  Milliamp  Falcon  can  run  current  loops
around any Imperial TTY fighter.  She's fast enough for you."

"Who's your co-pilot?" asked PDP-1 Kenobi.

"Two Bacco, here, my Bookie."

"Odds aren't good," said the  brownish  lump  beside  him,  and  then  fell
silent, or over.  Luke couldn't tell which way was top underneath all those

Suddenly, RS232 started spacing wildly.  They turned just in time to see  a
write  cycle  coming  down  the UNIBUS toward them. "Imperial Bus Signals!"
shouted Con Solo. "Let's boot this popsicle stand!  Twoie, set clock fast!"

"Ok, Con," said Luke. "You said this crate was fast enough.  Get us out  of

"Shut up, kid!  Two Bacco, prepare to make  the  jump  into  system  space!
I'll try to keep their buffers full."

As the bookie  began  to  compute  the  vectors  into  low  core,  spurious
characters  appeared  around the Milliamp Falcon. "They're firing!" shouted
Luke. "Can't you do something?"

"Making the jump to system space takes time, kid.  One missed cycle and you
could come down right in the middle of a pack of stack frames!"

"Three to five we can go now," said the bookie.  Bright chunks of  position
independent  code  flashed  by  the  cockpit  as the Milliamp Falcon jumped
through the kernel page tables.  As the crew breathed a sigh of relief, the
bookie started paying off bets.

"Not bad, for an acoustically  coupled  network,"  remarked  3CPU.  "Though
there was a little phase jitter as we changed parity."

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+5

The Milliamp Falcon hurtles onward through system space.  Meanwhile,  on  a
distant page in user space... 

Princess Lpr was ushered into the  shared  RAM,  followed  closely  by  Dec
Vadic.  "Governor  Tarchive," she spat, "I should have expected to find you
holding Vadic's lead. I recognized your unique pattern  when  I  was  first
moved  to  this  file  system."  She eyed the 0177545 tatooed on his header

"Charming to the last," Tarchive  declared  menacingly.  "Vadic,  have  you
retrieved any information?"

"Her resistance to the logic probe is considerable," Vadic rasped. "Perhaps
we would get faster results if we increased the supply voltage..."

"You've had your chance, Vadic.  Now I would like the Princess  to  witness
the  test  that  will  make  this  workstation fully operational.  Today we
enable the -r  beam  option,  and  we've  chosen  the  Princess'  $HOME  of
/usr/alderaan as the primary target."

"No!  You can't! /usr/alderaan is a  public  account,  with  no  restricted
permissions.  We have no backup tapes!  You can't..."

"Then name the rebel inode!" Tarchive snapped.

A voice announced from a hidden pipe that they had arrived in /usr.

"1248," she whispered, "They're on /dev/rm3.  Inode 1248." She turned away.

Tarchive sighed with satisfaction. "There, you see, Lord Vadic?  She can be
reasonable.  Proceed with the operation."

It took several  clock  ticks  for the  words  to  penetrate.  "What!"  Lpr

"/dev/rm3 is not a mounted filesystem," Tarchive explained. "We  require  a
more  visible  subject to demonstrate the power of the RM Star workstation.
We will mount an attack on /mnt/dantooine as soon as possible."

As the Princess watched, Tarchive reached over and piped "ls" into a nearby
csh.  There was a brief pause, there being only one processor on board, and
the viewscreen showed, ".: not found." The Princess suddenly  double-spaced
and went off-line. 

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+6

The Milliamp Falcon hurtles on through system space...

Con Solo finished  checking  the  various  control  and  status  registers,
finally  convincing  himself  that  they  had  lost the Bus Signals as they
passed the terminator.  As he returned from the I/O page, he smelled smoke.
Solo  wasn't concerned--the Bookie always got a little hot under the collar
when  he  was  losing  at  chess.  In  fact,  RS232  had  just  executed  a
particularly  clever  MOV  that  had  blocked the Bookie's data paths.  The
Bookie, who had been setting the odds on the game, was caught  holding  all
the cards.  A little strange for a chess game...

Across the room, Luke was too busy practicing bit-slice technique to notice
the commotion.

"On a word boundary, Luke," said PDP-1. "Don't just hack at  it.  Remember,
the  Bytesaber  is  the  weapon  of  the Red-eye Night.  It is used to trim
offensive lines of code.  Excess handwaving won't get you anywhere.  Listen
for the Carrier."

Luke turned back to the drone, which was humming quietly in the air next to
him.  This time Luke's actions complemented the drone's attacks perfectly.

Con Solo, being an unimaginative hacker, was not  impressed.  "Forget  this
bit-slicing stuff.  Give me a good ROM blaster any day."

"~~j~~hhji~~," said Kenobi, with no clear inflection.  He fell silent for a
few seconds, and reasserted his control.

"What happened?" asked Luke.

"Strange," said PDP-1. "I felt a momentary  glitch  in  the  Carrier.  It's
equalized now."

"We're coming up on user space," called Solo from the CSR.  As they cruised
safely  through  stack  frames,  the  emerged in the new context only to be
bombarded by freeblocks.

"What the..." gasped Solo.  The screen showed clearly:

                         /usr/alderaan: not found

"It's the right inode, but it's been cleared!  Twoie, where's  the  nearest

"3 to 5 there's one..." the Bookie started to say, but was interrupted by a
bright flash off to the left.

"Imperial TTY fighters!" shouted Solo. "A whole DZ of them!  Where are they
coming from?"

"Can't be far from the host system," said Kenobi. "They all have direct EIA

As Solo began to give chase, the ship lurched suddenly.  Luke  noticed  the
link count was at 3 and climbing rapidly.

"This is no regular file," murmured Kenobi.  "Look  at  the  ODS  directory
structure ahead!  They seem to have us in a tractor beam."

"There's no way we'll unlink in time," said Solo. "We're going in."

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+7

When we last left Luke, the Milliamp Falcon was being pulled  down  to  the
open  collector of the Imperial RM Star Workstation.  Dec Vadic surveys the
relic as Imperial Flunkies search for passengers...

"LS scan shows no one aboard, sir," was the report.  Vadic was unconvinced.

"Send a fully equipped Ncheck squad on board," he said. "I want every inode
checked out." He turned around (secondary channel) and stalked off.

On board the Milliamp Falcon, .Luke was  puzzled.  "They  just  walked  in,
looked around and walked off," he said. "Why didn't they see us?"

.Con smiled. "An old munchkin trick," he explained.  "See  that  period  in
front of your name?"

.Luke spun around, just in time to see the  decimal  point.  "Where'd  that
come from?" he asked.

"Spare decimal points lying around from the last time I fixed the  floating
point  accelerator,"  said  .Con.  "Handy  for smuggling blocks across file
system boundaries, but I never thought I'd have  to  use  them  on  myself.
They  aren't going to be fooled for long, though.  We'd better figure a way
outa here."

<< At this point (.) the dialogue tends to wedge.  Being the editor and  in
   total  control  of the situation, I think it would be best if we sort of
   gronk the next few paragraphs.  For those  who  care,  our  heroes  find
   themselves  in  a  terminal  room  of  the  Workstation, having thrashed
   several Flunkies to get there.  For the rest of you, just  keep  banging
   the rocks together, guys.  --Ed. >>

"Hold on," said Con. "It says we have `new mail.' Is that an error?"

"%SYS-W-NORMAL, Normal, successful completion," said PDP-1.  "Doesn't  look
like  it.  I've  found  the  inode for the Milliamp Falcon.  It's locked in
kernel data space.  I'll have to slip in and  patch  the  reference  count,
alone." He disappeared through a nearby entry point.

Meanwhile, RS232 found a serial  port  and  logged  in.  His  bell  started
ringing  loudly.  "He  keeps  saying, `She's on line, she's on line'," said
3CPU. "I believe he means Princess Lpr. She's being  held  on  one  of  the
privileged levels." 

<< Once again, things get sticky, and the dialogue suffers the most damage.
   After  much  handwaving  and  general flaming, they agree to rescue her.
   They headed for the detention level, posing as Flunkies (which  is  hard
   for most hackers) claiming that they had trapped the Bookie executing an
   illegal racket.  They reached the block where the Princess was locked up
   and found only two guards in the header.  --Ed. >>

"Good day, eh?" said the first guard.

"How's it goin', eh?" said the other.  "Like, what's that, eh?"

"Process transfer from block 1138, dev 10/9," said Con.

"Take off, it is not," said the first guard. "Nobody told US about it,  and
we're not morons, eh?"

At this point (.), the Bookie started raving wildly, Con shouted "Look out,
he's loose!" and they all started blasting ROMs left and right.  The guards
started to catch on and were about to issue a general wakeup when  the  ROM
blasters were turned on them.

"Quickly, now," said Con. "What buffer is she in?  It's not going  to  take
long for these..."

The intercom receiver interrupted him, so he took out its firmware  with  a
short blast.

"guys to figure out something is goin' on," he continued. "Here it is, cell
2187.  Go on Luke, Twoie and I will keep these Flunkies busy."

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+8

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 Lpr.

"Wha?  Oh, the Docksiders," stammered Luke.  He took  off  his  shoes  (for
industry) and explained, "I've come to 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 Lpr  with overstrikes.  "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 reprogrammed 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
above segment boundary $05!" 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.

Join us next time when we hear the bowl  of  petunias  say,  "Oh,  no,  not

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+9

PDP-1 made his way deep into the core of  the  Workstation,  slipping  from
context  to  context,  undetected  through  his  manipulation  of  label_t.
Finally, causing a random trap (through nofault of his own) he  arrived  at
the inode table. Activity there was always high, but the Spl6 sentries were
too secure in their knowledge that no user could interrupt them  to  notice
the bug that PDP-1 carefully introduced. On a passing iput, he adjusted the
device and inode numbers, maintaining parity, to free the Milliamp  Falcon.
They would be long gone before the locked inode was diagnosed... 

Unobserved, he began traversing user structures to find the  process  where
the  Milliamp  Falcon  was  grounded.  Finding it and switching context, he
discovered his priority weakened suddenly. "That's not very nice," was  all
he could say before the cause of the obstruction became clear. 

"I have been pausing a long time, PDP-1 Kenobi," rasped Dec Vadic. "We meet
again at last. The circuit has been completed." 

They looped several times, locking byte sabers. Bit by bit, PDP-1  appeared
to  weaken.  The  fight  had  come  into  the address space of the Milliamp
Falcon, and provided the .di (diversion?) that allowed Luke and the  others
to reassert control. Luke paused to watch the conflict. 

"If my blade finds its mark," warned Kenobi, "you will  be  reduced  to  so
many bits. But if you slice me down, I will only gain computing power." 

"Your documentation no longer confuses me, old version," growled Vadic.  "I
am  the  scheduler  now.  At last we'll see who the real file master is" he
remarked.  Bits, bytes, words, and nybbles flew as the two fought  for  bus

PDP-1 exclaimed "You were my best subtask! How could you have been  seduced
by  the  sideband  portion  of the carrier?". "It's simple," Vadic said, "I
enjoy obscure protocol". 

While the battle continued, Luke, Con, Bookie, and the Princess  linked  up
with  the  droids  and found their way back to the inode where the Milliamp
Falcon was stored. It looked quiet, but, Luke said, "It  could  be  an  MMU
trap."  "No  chance,"  said  Con,  "I  loaded  the  par's before I left the
Falcon." As they started toward it a squad of recursive  functions  swapped
in and started firing ROM blasters at them. "I thought you said it couldn't
be a trap" quipped Luke "I said no chance for an MMU trap this is obviously
a k-mon--f-trap-to 4" Con replied. 

PDP-1 shouted at the others "Run while you can! I'll cause wait  states  as
long  as  possible!"  With  one  stroke,  Vadic  sliced Kenobi's last word.
Unfortunately, the word was still in Kenobi's throat. The word  fell  clean
in  two, but Kenobi was nowhere to be found. Vadic noticed his victim's uid
go negative, just before he disappeared. Odd, he thought, since  uids  were

Luke witnessed all this, and had to be dragged into  the  Milliamp  Falcon.
Con  Solo  and Two Bacco maneuvered the Milliamp Falcon out of the process,
onto the bus, and made straight for system space. 3CPU and RS232 were idle,
for  once.  Princess Lpr tried to print comforting things for him, but Luke
was still hung from the loss of his friend. Then, seemingly  from  nowhere,
he thought he heard PDP-1's voice say, 

		"May the Carrier be with you."

The Milliamp  Falcon  was  restarted  and  managed  to  escape  the  shell.
"Quickly!"  shouted Con, "We've got to warp into virtual space!" The Bookie
made several attempts, but it was obvious that a CE had not done  PM  in  a
long  time and it would take a lot of decimal adjusts to byte align all the
data registers.  After much debugging, virtual space was finally  achieved.
"Do  you  know the path?" asked Princess Lpr. "No sweat", said Con, "All we
have to do is check the free space map".

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+10

The DECTAPE drive was not a habitable world.  Many  files  and  directories
had  lived  here once, but now all that remained were some crufty pieces of
data which had been long since abandoned.  Deep inside the drive, we rejoin
our heroes in the briefing room....

"The RM Star Workstation you have all heard of is approaching from the  far
side  of  the  bus,"  said  General Micronta. "It must be stopped before it
reaches this drive, before it brings its recursion  on  us  as  it  did  on
/usr/alderaan."  "The  workstation  is  heavily  shielded,  and mounts more
firepower than half the Administrative fleet.  But a small  fighter  should
be able to penetrate the protection bits."

"We've found a bug in the defense algorithm,"  he  continued.  "It's  in  a
small  wormhole, just big enough for one of our PTY fighters.  But a direct
hit will cause a chain reaction and the entire thing will dump core."

A few hours later......

RS232 was being plugged into the socket  behind  Luke's  cockpit.  Finally,
all  was  ready.  One  by  one,  the  PTY fighters popped off the stack and
cycled toward the RM Star.

"Cdr boys, this is Cdr leader.  Adjust your parentheses and check  in.  Cdr
Two,  you're  too  far out.  Close it up." When all members of the squadron
were in formation, the leader gave the command. "Execute!"

"Accelerate to attack frequency," commanded the Cdr  leader.  "Car  leader,
this is Cdr leader.  We're in position, go on in."

The Administrative tacticians had expected the rebels to defend their  tape
drive,  they  were  completely  unprepared for an offensive attack.  But it
didn't take them long to alter their thinking.  Soon, the  attacking  rebel
forces had been cut down to half their number.

"This is Cdr Five," said Luke, as he DPB'd into the  wormhole.  "I'm  going

"Right behind you, Cdr Five," said Cdr Two.

Luke sighted the bug, and turned to adjust his  controls.  He  turned  back
just in time to see a write cycle coming at him.

"LDB!  LDB!" screamed Cdr Two.  But Luke realized he didn't have  time.  He
closed  his  eyes, and when he opened them, he realized he was still in one
piece.  The write cycle hadn't done any damage.

At this point (.), things start getting a little drawn out.  Suffice it  to
say  that  the  Administration  sends  out its TTY fighters, and a dogfight
ensues.  Both sides sustain losses, and  then  it's  Car  squad's  turn  to
attack  the bug.  They fail.  The rest of the Cdr squad tries, comes close,
and fails.  Meanwhile, Dec Vadic himself has come out in a TTY  fighter  to
beat  the  rebels  once  and  for  all.  Now it's Luke's turn to attack the

Luke studied his instruments, and fought with a control which seemed to  be
malfunctioning.  Suddenly,  a  voice  sounded  in  his  ears.  "Trust  your
feelings, Luke," was all it said. Luke didn't have time to worry about  it.
Vadic  and  two other TTY fighters were right on his tail, followed closely
by two other members of the Cdr squadron. 

"Fork, guys," said Luke.  "It's the only way we'll take them."

The three PTY fighters branched off in different directions.  All three TTY
fighters  followed  Luke.  Vadic fired on Luke's ship, missed, and frowned.
"The Carrier is strong with this one.  I'll take him myself."

Vadic fired again. Luke didn't see the blast behind him, nor did he  notice
that  RS232  had  gone down. All three TTY fighters were still right behind
him. Suddenly, one of the ships went crashing  into  the  workstation.  The
remaining  wing man looked around for the source of the attack. He had only
a jiffy to see the ASR-33 before he bought the farm too. Vadic's ship began
spinning  helplessly. Conpletely out of control, Vadic was sent to the vast
reaches of /dev/null. 

"You're all clear, kid.  Let's blow this mother and go home," said Con.

Luke looked up and smiled.  Then he looked  back  at  what  he  was  doing.
There was a tingling in his head as he looked through the rangefinder.

" me," said the tingle.  Luke gave in, and closed his  eyes.
The  next  thing  he new, he was headed back for the tape drive.  He didn't
remember firing the write  cycles,  but  he  must  have.  Behind  him,  the
workstation shattered into millions of bits, bytes, cookies, and registers.

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+11

	The beginning of Empire Strikes Back -- the Abominable Snowman
	and the Battle.

The Adventures of Luke Vaxhacker			Episode n+12

Some months later...

Luke was feeling rather bored. 3CPU could get to be rather  irritating  and
RS232  didn't  really speak Luke's language.  Suddenly, Luke felt someone's
eyes  boring  through  the  back  of  his  skull.   He  turned  slowly   to
see...nothing.  A quiet voice came from somewhere in front of him.

"Grasshopper, the carrier is strong within you." Luke froze,  which  was  a
good  thing  since  his  legs  were  insisting that he run but they weren't
likely to be particular about direction.  Luke guessed  that  his  odds  of
getting lost in the dense tree structures were pretty good.  Unfortunately,
the Bookie wasn't available.

"Yes.  Very strong, but the modulation is yet weak.  His network  interface
is  totally  undeveloped,"  the  voice  continued.  A  small furry creature
walked out of the woods as Luke stared on.  Luke's stomach had  now  joined
the  rest  of his body in loud complaints.  Whatever was peering at him was
certainly small and furry, but Luke was quite sure that it didn't come from
Alpha Centauri.

"Well, well," said the creature as it rolled its eyes  at  Luke.  "Frobozz,
y'know.  Morning,  name's  Modem.  What's  your game?  Adventure?  D&D?  Or
are you just one of those Apple-pong  types  that  hang  around  the  store
demonstrations?"  Luke  closed his eyes.  Perhaps if he couldn't see it, it
wouldn't notice him.

"Hmm," muttered the creature. "Must  use  a  different  protocol.  @@@H  @@
@($@@@H }"@G$ @#@@G'(o% @@@@@%%H(b ?"

"No, no," stammered Luke. "I don't speak EBCDIC.  I was sent here to become
a UNIX wizard.  Must have the wrong address."

"Right address," said the creature. "I'm a UNIX wizard.  Device  drivers  a
specialty.  Or do you prefer playing with virtual memory?"

Luke eyed the creature cautiously.  If this was  what  happened  to  system
wizards  after  years  of  late  night  crashes, Luke wasn't sure he wanted
anything to do with it.  He felt  a  strange  affection  for  the  familiar
microcomputers  of  his home.  And wasn't virtual memory something that you
got from drinking too much Coke?

   rest of empire strikes back, especially getting to the user haven, a
   directory unconnected to /. 
   Return of the Jedi, if and when ...