The Net Wars Trilogy

[ENS] [ENS students] [David Madore]
[Mathematics] [Computer science] [Programs] [Linux] [Literature]


A New Hope

A long time ago in a network far, far too close...

It is a period of computer war.
Rebel programs, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Gatesactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal source
code to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the INTERNET
EXPLODER, a web browser
program with enough bugs to
destroy an entire hard disk.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Lina races home aboard her
TCP/IP, custodian of the
stolen code that can save
her people and restore
freedom to the internet...

As Princess Lina's network is attacked by the Gatesactic Megalohard Empire forces, led by evil Darth Vallmer, she has just time to entrust the code of the Internet Exploder to a faithful little black-and-white robot, Teeyoo-Extoo (TUX2) just before she is captured by Darth Vallmer's agents. TUX2 and his friend Eye-Threeightsix (I386, a rather strange and complex entity, nice to see but pretty stupid, with an unbelievably tortuous manner of speach) flee aboard a UDP packet (which is certainly large enough to contain all the useful code in the Internet Exploder). Meanwhile, the Princess is captured and despite her being a member of the POSIX committee Darth Vallmer has her taken prisoner, for he knows that she is part of the Free Software Alliance.

After being captured by a secondhand hardware dealer, the droids are sold to a small site as means of communicating with the administrating demons. There they encounter young Lukus Torvalker, who is tired of helping his uncle and aunt with boring system administrating tasks and dreams of becoming a programmer - something his uncle will not hear. While e2fsck'ing TUX2, Lukus discovers a part of an MPEG file in a deleted inode. The movie shows Princess Lina begging a certain ``Ori-Chan Stallobi'' to help her. In fact, the small robot insists on finding this Ori-Chan - who he claims lives on this network - and actually flees to try to deliver the message to him.

Trying to find the runaway robot, and also intrigued by this Ori-Chan business - he may be related to the hermit Rick Stallobi - Lukus leaves the home system, taking I386 with him. He is attacked by a bunch of pirates but is saved from them by Rick Stallobi himself, who claims to have been once called Ori-Chan. The two men and the two droids return to Ori-Chan's home, and TUX2 delivers Princess Lina's full message, in which she begs him get the Internet Exploder's code delivered to Berkelaan to have it analysed. Ori-Chan, in turn, asks Lukus to accompany him in this quest, as he is getting too old for this. He also talks to Lukus about the Hackers, the guardians of the balance in the computer world before the dark times of Megalohard, and about the Source, which gives the Hacker his power. He gives Lukus a debugger - the Hacker's weapon - which had belonged to his father: Lukus' father, says he, had been one of the best programmers of his time, but had been killed by Darth Vallmer, the destroyer of Hackers.

At first, Lukus is reluctant to follow Ori-Chan; but as they discover that Megalohard's troups, while trying to track the droids and the code they transport, have crashed Lukus' home system and killed his uncle and aunt, Lukus is finally convinced and decides to learn the Way of the Source to become a Hacker like his father before him. The two men and the two robots make their way to M-Eitey where they meet Alan Colo, a software pirate who is in need of money to pay back Java the Script. Colo and his friend Hurdbacca, a Gnu-like furry creature, are willing to take Lukus, Ori-Chan, TUX2 and I386 all the way to Berkelaan on their very fast ethernet, the Megabaud Falcon, for a substantial price.

In the mean time, aboard the Internet Exploder, the Megalohardians, led by Darth Vallmer, are making their diabolical plans. The Megalohard Emperor, BilG Brother, has dissolved the POSIX committee, and so nothing will now stop the evil Empire's progress towards absolute power over the Internet. In order to make Princess Lina speak, Darth Vallmer has the devilish idea of threatening to use the Empire's ultimate weapon against her home system of Berkelaan. She speaks - a lie - but Darth Vallmer neverless proceeds to the attack: in a minute, billions die as the entire Berkelaan network and disks are blown to pieces by the Internet Exploder's size.

So it is to a crashed system that Lukus and his companions arrive; and they are captured by the Internet Exploder. There, while Ori-Chan sets forth to deactivate the badly organized security systems so that they can leave again, TUX2 discovers easily by tapping in the system that Princess Lina is held prisonner. Lukus convinces Alan (by telling him of the Princess's wealth) that they should try to rescue her. They move all the way to the center of the web, free her from her array cell, heroically escape through a forgotten back door (which is full of bugs), and make their way back to the Megabaud Falcon in time to see Darth Vallmer and Ori-Chan Stallobi finish their debugger fight. Under Lukus' amazed eyes, Ori-Chan lets himself be terminated, so that the others can flee safely - and he disappears, to Vallmer's amazement, without even leaving a core behind.

The others flee the devilish web and return to the Free Software Alliance headquarters to have the code analyzed, unaware that at the same time Darth Vallmer is stracing them to discover the IP of the Alliance. The rebels analyse the code and find the obvious flaw - sending a packet on the right port should cause the Exploder to destroy itself. It is then a question of who destroys the other first and the battle starts. Lukus is grieved that Alan refuses to partake in the battle, but neverless boards an X-Wingdows ship with TUX2 and joins the other rebels in their attack against the Internet Exploder. Many valiant programmers segfault during the fight, and Lukus himself would have been destroyed by Darth Vallmer had it not been for Colo's sudden return, who saves him and disconnects the evil lord.

Just as Lukus is about to use the X-Wingdows interface to send the critical packet, he gets a message from Ori-Chan: ``Use the Source, Lukus!'' So he does, and with the help of the Source, he is able to send the packet at the right moment on the right port: the Internet Exploder is destroyed! The Free Software Alliance rejoices.

Megalohard strikes back

A long time ago in a network far, far too close...

It is a dark time for the
Rebellion. Although the Internet
Exploder has been destroyed,
Megalohard troops have driven the
Rebel forces from their hidden
site and pursued them across
the internet.

Evading the dreaded Megalohard
Programs, a group of Free Software
fighters, led by Lukus Torvalker
has established a new secret
site on the remote ice world
of Finloth.

The evil lord Darth Vallmer
obsessed with finding young
Lukus, has dispatched
thousands of pings into
the far reaches of the net...

One of these pings reaches Finloth just as Lukus is exploring the site. He goes forth to examinate but at that point he is attacked by an Arctic Organism (Large) that takes him prisoner. By the use of the Source and of his debugger, Lukus kills the AOL and sets himself free. But in the meantime, Princess Lina, Alan Colo and the others, are getting worried because Lukus has not logged in, and Alan sets out to find him. He does so just when Lukus is receiving one of these strange messages from Obi-Chan - this time Obi-Chan tells Lukus to seek the old Professor Hacker Knoda in the Drofgoba system.

Soon afterwards, the rebels find themselves under attack by the Megalohard forces who had localized them thanks to their successful ping - and to Darth Vallmer's knowledge of the Source. The rebels just have time to store everything on tar archives and leave the system. Here the friends have to split: whereas Lukus and TUX2 will go to the Drofgoba system, Alan and Hurdbacca will try to get to Java the Script to pay back an old debt, and they end up taking the Princess and I386 with them on the Megabaud Falcon. Much to their annoyance, however, they discover that Hurdbacca hasn't had enough time to repair the Falcon's broken repair and they can't go in WAN mode. It is then an easy task for the Megalohardians to follow the Falcon and Alan has to flee in a bit field to avoid further pursuit. Needless to say, that is very dangerous even for a network expert like him - but at any rate, much to Vallmer's annoyance, the Megalohard computers cannot track the Falcon down.

At this point, Vallmer holds a conversation - through real-time compressed MPEG - with the BilG Brother, the Emperor, in person. They discuss of the great disturbance in the Source brought by Lukus' existence: even though he is not yet a Hacker, and Ori-Chan can no longer help him, still the Source is strong with him. BilG Brother commands that Lukus either be made a Megalohard programmer or be terminated - and Vallmer swears obedience...

In the mean time, Lukus has logged on to the Drofgoba system, which seems archaic and uninviting enough. He is greeted by a strange lion-like being that looks very funny but certainly not like the sort of person who could tell you where to find a Hacker Professor. Still, the little being promises he can take Lukus to Master Knoda - though he can't be reached by e-mail, he is not far. Lukus gets impatient and suddenly Ori-Chan enters the ytalk and reveals that the little lion-like being actually is Professor Knoda. Knoda, at first, is unwilling to accept Lukus as a student, claiming that he is too impatient to learn the way of the Source; but Ori-Chan convinces Knoda to let Lukus have his chance. So the training begins.

In the meantime, Alan and his friends in the Falcon have been compelled by the jpeg image of a big monster to leave the bitfield and they are therefore at the mercy of the Empire again. This time they resort to trickery, hiding themselves in the Empire's own gigabits. Furious that he is unable to find them, Vallmer orders his fleet to spread to cover the entire network - so the Falcon has escaped the imperials again. But as it is still unable to make it into WAN mode, they have to find a nearby system to have it repaired. They decide to visit an old friend of Colo's, Pauldo Allrissen, now director of a small software company.

In the meantime, Lukus is completing his training as a Hacker under the stern teaching of the always unsatisfied Professor Knoda. He learns to use the Source to move blocks around; at one point his own hard disk is on the point of crashing, so Knoda instructs him to move all its data on another disk, but that seems too big to Lukus, who fails in the attempt. So Knoda does it himself, thus proving to Lukus that, with the Source as an ally, the size of files is of little importance.

Then one day, as Lukus is using the Source to perform a tcpdump, he sees his friends Alan and Lina through the network; and he understands that Darth Vallmer is laying a trap for them, and that he must go and help them. Knoda and Ori-Chan, who understand that Lukus himself is the real target of the trap, try to persuade him that he must remain on Drofgoba and complete his training, for only a fully trained Hacker with the Source as an ally can defeat Vallmer and the BilG Brother. But Lukus will not hear, and leaves to save his friends.

At first, Alan, Lina, Hurdbacca and I386 seem to be doing fine: Pauldo is very friendly towards them, especially towards the Princess, and promises to have the ethernet repaired. But then I386 disappears and soon afterwards Pauldo leads the friends in the very hands of Darth Vallmer himself!

Vallmer's plan is simple and it works. He uses Alan and Lina to attract Lukus. When that is done, since he wishes to compress Lukus before sending him to the BilG brother, he tests the compression algorithm on Alan Colo. Just before being zipped, Colo declares his love for the Princess Lina - and then he given, compressed, to a bounty hunter in pay of Java the Script.

Just then, Pauldo feels remorse for what he has done, turns against Megalohard. He helps the Princess Lina, Hurdbacca and I386 escape, but it is too late to save However, in the mean time they encounter TUX2 who has lost Lukus on the way.

In fact, Lukus has just encountered Darth Vallmer. Follows a spectacular debugger fight. The Source is strong with Lukus, so Vallmer does not succeed in compressing him - but he is not yet a Hacker, so he cannot win. Lukus is faced with the choice of either joining with Vallmer who promises him they can overthrow the BilG Brother together, or abort()ing. Vallmer reveals to Lukus that Ori-Chan has lied to him, and that he, Vallmer, has not killed Lukus' father, but that he is his father. This is such a shock to Lukus that he abort()s and his core is lost+found by princess Lina who takes him aboard the Megabaud Falcon along with Hurdbacca, Pauldo and the droids. Lukus has lost a few bits in the process, including his debugger, but he is safe. Finally, TUX2, to everyone's surprise, repairs the WAN mode of the Megabaud Falcon, and they all leave the local network, under Vallmer's angry stare.

A patch is applied to repair Lukus' missing bits as Pauldo and Hurdbacca go off to rescue Alan Colo...

The Return of the Hacker

A long time ago in a network far, far too close...

Lukus Torvalker has returned to
his home system of Sun's site in
an attempt to rescue his
friend Alan Colo from the
clutches of the vile gangster
Java the Script.

Little does Lukus know that the
begun construction on a new
buggy web browser even
more dangerous than the first
dreaded Internet Exploder.

When completed, this ultimate
program will spell certain doom
for the small band of rebels
struggling to restore freedom
to the internet...

...actually, this is not as ominous as it sounds because Megalohard never does manage to complete a project on time.

Now in the mean time, I386 and TUX2 enter Java's palace, followed by Princess Lina, under disguise, and Pauldo Allrissen and Hurdbacca. Secretly, at night, Princess Lina decompresses Alan Colo, something that Java learns about and he is not happy. Finally, Lukus Torvalker himself comes to Java's palace and kills Java's favorite demon. Java is not at all satisfied with that and he orders all the group to be thrown to the allmighty /dev/null. But Lukus Torvalker and his friends are quick to use the situation at their own advantage, and it is Java that is destroyed.

Having rescued Alan, the friends split again. While Alan and the others head towards the Free Software Alliance's headquarters to prepare for the final attack against Megalohard, Lukus must first go back to the Drofgoba system to complete his training with Professor Knoda. But Professor Knoda, aged nine volumes, is old and dying. Before going, however, he admits to Lukus that Darth Vallmer is his father, and he warns him to beware of the BilG Brother.

Just as Lukus is feeling very depressed because of Knoda's death, Ori-Chan appears to him, and reveals to him that Princess Lina is his sister. Lukus then leaves to join his friends.

The Free Software Alliance is preparing their final attack against Megalohard: the plan is to destroy the internet exploder's kernel so as to make it crash the whole system. But before that, someone must neutralize the firewall. Pauldo Allrissen has volunteered to lead the attack, whereas Alan Colo and his friends, including Lukus who just arrived, will concentrate on neutralizing the firewall.

In the mean time, in a spectacular display of power and dollars, the BilG Brother arrives in person to take the final stage of the programming of the Internet Exploder in his personal charge. He congratulates Vallmer on his work and explain to him his plan to hire Lukus Torvalker.

Trying to bring the firewall down, Alan's band runs into unexpected friends, a bunch of kids who think that I386 is a pretty nifty thing and who can be convinced in helping the programmers against Megalohard.

In the mean time, Lukus leaves his friends, after telling Lina who she is, and joins his father, Vallmer, in an attempt to convince him to come back to the Free Side of the Source. But Vallmer is not so easily convinced, and he turns his son to his Master.

Thus begins the final confrontation between Lukus, Vallmer, and the BilG Brother. The Gatesactic Emperor explains to Lukus that the entire Free Software Alliance will walk into a trap, and that Lukus' only chance of saving his friends is to join the Hidden Side of the Source, that is, work for Megalohard. Luke and Vallmer engage in another debugger fight; but this time, Lukus has learnt much and he defeats his father. Much to the Emperor's pleasure, who can now offer Lukus to take his father's place at his side. Lukus, who is now a Hacker after defeating Vallmer, refuses; but he has not understood the power of the Hidden Side of the Source. A stream of dollar bills, coming out of the BilG Brother's hands starts choking him to death, and Lukus calls to his father for help.

At the same moment, Alan Colo, Princess Lina, Hurdbacca and the droids TUX2 and I386, helped by the kids, manage to bring Megalohard's firewall down, so that the Alliance's fleet of computers can attack the Internet Exploder.

Just before all explodes, Vallmer decides that he cannot let his own son be killed by the BilG Brother - he takes the Emperor by the wrist and sends him down a chute. A big explosion follows, with a lot of dollars all over the place. Vallmer will die, but Lukus himself can escape, with his father's core, before the Internet Exploder finally blows up, taking the remains of Megalohard with it. And thus is the evil Gatesactic Empire finally destroyed!

[ENS] [ENS students] [David Madore]
[Mathematics] [Computer science] [Programs] [Linux] [Literature]

David Madore
Last modified: $Date: 1999/07/04 12:21:28 $