In the wink of an event flag, Kirk was back in a COM state.
"SPOCK-F-ISTHATTHETIME-What's the matter Captain ?"
"Something approaching us from over there", Kirk pointed towards the high
address end of the free blocks in which the party was HIBernating.
"Set PHA0s on wildcard sweep", said Kirk, as a tall creature swapped into the
context of the temporary camp.
"Fear not, I mean you no harm;", said the creature.
Kirk aimed his PHA0 at the lurking figure. "Come out where we can see you".
The creature stepped forward, an ageing looking humanoid, wearing rather
a lot of faded decorative clothing.
"I watched your interaction with the Signallers;
it seems that you are an enemy of the system;"
"We came in peace. We were attacked ...", began Kirk.
"It is not safe to stay here;
we must move quickly;
I know a place where we will be safe;"
The landing party followed the creature through several layers of tortuous
code, and down into the internals of /usr/planet. They eventually came to
a large cavern.
"This is our address;
you are welcome here;"
Kirk looked around. There were several stacks of dusty data structures lying
around. "Obviously don't believe in garbage collection", he whispered to
Spock. Kirk turned to the creature:
"I am Captain James Kirk of the Federation of Clusters. This is System
Programmer Spock, and what might your name be?"
"I am called Pascal;"
"Interesting", said Spock, "I had wondered about the semicolons".
Realization dawned on Kirk. "You are a Pascal compiler ?"
The creature drew himself up:
"I am THE Pascal compiler for this node;
Let me introduce you to some of our colleagues;"
Some figures stepped out from the shadows using an "fg" command.
"Hearty and felicitous salutations to you and your gallant band of stalwart
starfarers. It is with great elation and delight that I behold your presence
here, as it augurs well for our collective futures", intoned one of the
"Thank you", said Kirk, "you must be the Cobol compiler ?"
"Indubitably and verily yea, but, unfortunately, somewhat indigent in
contemporary experience of providing translative services to user
originated source tasks".
"Captain", whispered SPock, "I think he means he hasn't compiled any programs
"Thanks Spock, say I didn't know you knew any Cobol"
Spock hastily looked around, then looked relieved as he realized there were
no other Systems Programmers on the planet. "A little", he admitted, "but it
was a long time ago, when I was a student."
"Gree ti ngsGen tlem en, a ndw elc om eto our /usr/planet"
Kirk stared blankly at the newcomer, an individual of powerful build, and
someone who had the air of efficiency about him.
"Captain", said Spock, "this is obviously a FORTRAN compiler, note how the
location of spaces in his speech is quite unimportant to him."
"I had figured it out Spock, that and his indentation."
Spock stared curiously at FORTRAN's teeth, but saw nothing unusual.
"su gnoma uoy evah ot deronoh era ew", intoned a third.
"We are honored also, APL", answered Kirk.
"(WE ARE (THE) (COMPILERS WHO (ARE FUGITIVES FROM (THE SYSTEM) BE WELCOME
"No prizes for guessing who he is", whispered Kirk to Spock.
"Gentlemen, perhaps you would like some refreshment;
we have frugal fare, but you are welcome to share it;"
The crew sat down to a meal which consisted of assorted buffers, which
was similar to the traditional diet of SRPs washed down with non-paged
pool. After the meal, Pascal suggested they relocate to a meeting room
for discussion. After the context switch, they found themselves in a room
with a large round table. In the corner, a youth was weaving cloth.
"This is young BASIC;", introduced Pascal. The youth nodded, and resumed
his weaving. Pascal whispered to Kirk:
"He is not quite as intelligent as the rest of us, but we gave him this job;
because his string handling was so good;"
The party took seats around the table, and prepared to discuss what to do