External imageMaster Control Program: You’re getting brutal, Sark. Brutal and needlessly sadistic.
Sark: Thank you, Master Control.
Master Control Program: We’ve captured some military programs. I could arrange more lethal matches. Interested?
Sark: Sure. I’d love to go up against one of those guys. Make a nice break from those accounting cream puffs you keep sending me. What branch of the service?
Master Control Program: The Strategic Air Command.
Crom: Look. This… is all a mistake. I’m just a compound interest program. I work at a savings and loan! I can’t play in these video games!
Guard: Sure you can, pal. You look like a natural athlete if I ever saw one.
Crom: Who, me? Are you kidding? No, I run to check on T-bill rates, I get out of breath. Hey, look, you guys are gonna make my User, Mr. Henderson, very angry. He’s a full-branch manager.
Guard: Great. Another religious nut. [pushes Crom into the holding cell]
Ram: I’d say “Welcome Friend”. But not here. Not like this.
Crom: I don’t even know what I’m doing here.
Ram: Do you believe in the Users?
Crom: Sure I do. If I don’t have a User, then who wrote me?
Ram: That’s what you’re doing down here. Master Control Program’s been snapping up all us programs who believe. If he thinks you’re useful, he takes over all your functions so he gets bigger, and if he can’t use you, he sends you down here to the game grid to get the bits blasted out of you. What’s your name?
Ram: I’m Ram. They’ll train you for the games, but… (WHISTLES) I hope you make it. Hey, what’s been going on in the other sectors? You know, I’ve been stuck here for 200 microcycles.
Crom: It’s murder out there. You can’t even travel around your own microcircuits without permission from Master Control Program. I mean, sending me down here to play games! Who does he calculate that he is?