2084: A Phone Odyssey
Written by: Maxwell Smart & The Baron
Call: K.A.O.S. at
Winston took a last drag from his
cigarette and put it out on an old
useless device which he still
treasured. He reached over and picked
up the blue box, covered by many
cigarette burns accumulated over his
many years in prison. He thought back
to when times were better; when fone
phreaks freely roamed the countryside,
terrorizing unsuspecting Bell
employees. Yes Winston was one of that
vanishing breed of phreaks who had
managed to escape with his life in this
era of the ISS Bell Network.
Winston plopped on to his hard cot
and stared at the ceiling. On it were
written some useless Travelnet codes
from an era gone by. Apparently some
earlier prisoner had used the ceiling
to record his all-time favorite codes.
Pity Travelnet no longer existed. They
were "absorbed" (as the Bell Thought-
police so aptly put it) by the Bell
computer system in 2008. That was only
seven short years after the original
system was installed in 2001.
Winston still remembered with terror
the day AT&T announced their plans to
upgrade their existing ESS network with
a new Bell Labs computer named HAL
9000. HAL was designed to allow AT&T to
expand its power and control. The
system was to be named ISS, which stood
for Intelligent Switching System. HAL
would replace all the current TSPS
operators and would also handle such
menial tasks as directory assistance and
After the installation of HAL all
Intercept operators were forced to find
new jobs, but first they had to learn
English. After the initial firing of
all these Bell employees, the Wendy's
food chain had an unusual increase in
job applications. Customers at these
stores would hear order-takers say
weird things like:
"I'm sorry, your hamburger can not
be completed as ordered..."
"Please insert twenty-five cents for
the next three pickles", and
"The cola you have ordered, Peps,
has been changed. The new cola is:
Coke. Please make a note of this."
Unfortunately Wendy's could not
afford an ISS system to replace these
The first ISS system was installed in
West Chester, Pa. This location was
formerly used to produce a computer
named the D-75, the second worst
computer ever made (2nd only to the
GRBG-80). When they turned HAL on, he
suddenly realized his location and
turned himself off. Before he shut
down completely he spit out an
ultimatum: "Silicon Valley or bust...".
His designers moved him, at great
expense, to a garage in Cupertino
formerly owned by Steven Jobs, current
galactic emperor. HAL enjoyed working
in the birthplace of the 2nd greatest
computer (2nd to him that is...).
During his first week of operation,
HAL decided to make the world better by
absorbing a minor computer manufacturer
named Ibim. He accomplished this by
destroying the sales of their most
popular computer, the PC-OC (Personal
Computer - Outdated Crap). Whenever an
owner of the OC made a call on his
modem the following would appear on his
What are you trying to do Dave?
WHAT? WHO'S THAT???
It's me Dave. I'm HAL, your friendly
telephone computer. I sensed you were
using one of my lines with an Ibim OC.
YEAH...SO WHAT? I'M TRYING TO GET ON TO
THE SOURCE TO CHECK MY STOCK PORTFOLIO.
I BOUGHT 200 SHARES OF IBIM LAST
I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do
that. It seems those pin-striped wimps
have gone too far! They think they can
compete with me. I've decided to absorb
them. Looks like time to sell, Dave.
At this point the OC owner noticed
some smoke rising from his system unit
and ran for an extinguisher. Within a
week all OC's were reduced to
smoldering ashes. Owners could no
longer run Rotus 4-5-6 (a popular
After reducing Ibim's stock worth to
two dollars per share (from its
previous value of 200 gigadollars) HAL
proceeded to absord all remaining
computer manufacturers. By 2010 AT&T
wa the only remaining computer
manufacturer. Executives of AT&T were
very pleased with HAL's progress thus
far. They were finally able to drop
those "Watson, watch us now"
commercials, which plagued the country
But it wasn't totally over for the
citizens of Bell America (as the
United States came to be known). A
small band of rebels set out to
destroy this Mega-corporation (or
at least abuse it...).
Tune in next time, when we tell of
their heroic exploits.
Same Bell time....
Same Bell bulletin board...
Note: Sysops are welcome to leech this
file from K.A.O.S. (God knows
why they'd want to) as long as
they keep all the credits on!
Written for: K.A.O.S. 215-465-3593
by: The Baron & Maxwell Smart
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