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Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?internet/hitch02

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==             {ucbvax, decwrl, allegro}!sun!dbercel!toto               ==
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                         Episode 2 - The Flamers

(The Infinity's scanners are showing the Flamer's ships approaching fast.
Arnold Lint and Rod Perfect are frantically scurrying about. Xaphod is
trying to figure out how to fly the node, and Gillian is fixing her
makeup. Martin the android is off on a corner moping about how he's too
young to die.)

            bit mercenary, mission. Hold your fire.

(The commander of the Flamer's fleet appears on the screen. He appears to
be a normal human, except for a small silver halo stapled to his head.)

Flamer:     I am Adolf Riteyus, commander of the Flaming Queen. You have
            violated Flaming space and must be blasted. You will be given
            a fair and drawn out hearing before you are found guilty.
Rod:        We didn't know this was Flaming space!

Adolf:      Ignorance is no excuse. Do you think that just because you
            don't know something you shouldn't be responsible for it? Why,
            if we didn't go around blasting people who thought they were
            innocent, there'd be no order. The whole power structure of
            the Net is based on the inalienable right to flame. He who
            flames the loudest and strongest will prevail, for he will
            have maintained purity of essence by not compromising his
            principles.  It doesn't matter what one flames about, as long
            as one comes out a winner. Winning the argument for mandatory
            retroactive birth control is one of our greatest victories.
            We Flamers always win because we never give up. No, things are
            either our way or they're WRONG.

[The "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Net" lists the Flamers as one of the most
argumentative races in the Net. History shows that the Flamers went to war
over the right to keep and bear tongue depressors. They also had a violent
and bloody discussion over the morality of Odor Eaters. The only time the
Flamers can be easily beaten in combat is on Sunday mornings when they all
(their symbol of worship).]

Gillian:    What should we do?


Marvin:     It won't help.

Rod:        Oh shut up! evasive action!

Adolf:      Where do you come from?


Adolf:      Where are you headed?

Rod:        Left.

Gillian:    That's telling him?

Adolf:      What is your favorite color?

Arnold Lint:My what?

Adolf:      Your favorite color!

Rod:        White!

Adolf:      What is the maximum warp speed of a ladened Swaldrel?


Adolf:      I don't know that . . . all right, enough evading, if you
            don't surrender in the next five seconds I'll blast you right
            out of existence.

Rod:        Well, now what.

Adolf:      Five!

Arnold Lint:What's this button do?

Adolf:      Four!

            hard drugs and acid rock. It's kind of dangerous though.

Adolf:      Three!

Arnold Lint:Should we try it?

Adolf:      Two!

Rod:        Well, lets not . . . Four!

Adolf:      Four!

Arnold Lint:So this is it, we're all going to die.

Adolf:      Three!

Martin:     I warned you about this trip.

Adolf:      Two!


Adolf:      One!

(Arnold Lint engages the Illogical drive. Images of the movie "Easy Rider"
float across the view port. "In-a-gadda-da-vida" starts coming across the
trip!". The scanners show that the Flamers couldn't handle the sudden
flood of sensory excitation and burst their brains. This only made their
The Infinity, charged up with Liquid Super Duetrillium, was able to make
Spiny Norman, the 45 foot blue hedgehog that had been following them.)

Gillian:    We made it.

Rod:        Yah, where are we Martin.

Martin:     We're way out man.

            down.

Arnold Lint:At least he isn't so gloomy.

Martin:     Nooo body knows, the trouble I've see . . . have any of you
            ever contemplated the death of a grain of salt?

[The "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Net" points out that the life and death of
a grain of salt can have amazing importance in the course of life on the
Net.  On particular grain of salt (named Nigel) was responsible for the
overthrow of an entire government. Nigel gave his

                                . <- Nigel

life by falling into the barrel of a shotgun that was aimed at the planets
Nigel was able to hit the dictator. The rest of the buck shot killed the
and eventually killed him 8 months later just before a firing squad cut
the dictator in two.]

Rod:        Shut Up!


Arnold Lint:What are those?

(The scanners now show a dozen ships shaped like the number one heading
toward the Infinity.)


Rod:        Oh yeah, they're worse than a visit from an insurance
            salesman.

Gillian:    They're normally mild mannered computer scientists. But
            when they get on the Net, they become endowed with a
            superhuman ability to talk about incredibly personal things,
            things they couldn't otherwise discuss.

Arnold Lint:Sounds awful.

Martin:     That's what I keep telling you.

Rod:        Shut up!

            debating which finger a divorced person should
            wear his or her ring on when going to homosexual
            orgies - or worse, have to go to a Pot Luck Dinner
            where all that the people do is talk.

         ******************** End Of Part 2 ********************

Will the crew of the infinity avoid the clutches of the Singularans? Or
these and several other amazingly unimportant questions . . . Tune in next
time . . .  same Net-time . . . same Net-channel.



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