ZADOC THE PRIEST III: THE EVIL SPREADS

Early Zadocities kindly donated by other incarnations.

Source/Digest:
1. Be Kind to Zadocs   Estelle Souche (supplicant)
2. POV Shots   Dean Lenort
3. Target Practice with the Space Ghost   Laurie Jones (#877-06)
4. Come the Revolution   AIWWTRA (#879-05)
5. Realms of the Simple   Matthew Wingate
6. Doctor Who?   Cheryl Gastaldo (#890-04)
7. The Second Great Blasphemy   Tyler Haas (#898-07)
8. The Book of Zadoc   Gillian Richards
9. A Balcony Scene   SNAIWWTRA (#937-06)
10. The Wayback Machine   Jim Watson (#950-05)
11. Hu's up First   Tom Harrington
12. Fade Out   John Aldrich

AIWWTRA: An Incarnation Who Wishes To Remain Anonymous
SNAIWWTRA: Shirley Not Another Incarnation Who Wishes To Remain Anonymous

 


1.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh pulchritudinous creature, whose talith I am not worth
> washing with my saliva, couldn't you please be a bit kinder
> with poor Zadoc, he seems to be such a nice, if not impressively
> clever, guy?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Zadoc, just because you can pick up a word-a-day calendar (and misspell some of the words) doesn't mean that I won't recognize your sniveling, sycophantic drivel at first sight. Now get back to cleaning my jockey's. For God's sake, use soap and water!

 


2.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle,
>
> Why do all the movies suck so bad. What's up with this thing where
> someone throws a baseball or hits a hockey puck or shoots an arrow
> or something and you watch from the projectile's point of view, like
> you're on the hockey puck or something? Why do people think that's
> OK?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Ah embittered supplicant, I understand your plight. Allow me a moment to switch to Hollywood Mode (tm):
[The Oracle disables 99.7% of the higher brain functions.]
What's that? POV shots? Why are they used? The masses just eat that stuff up Sport. I can call you sport, can't I? I can explain it in one word: Market Studies. Look at these demographics Sport. Over 65.5% of the population thinks POV shots are the next best thing to being there. Also they're very catchy and allow directors to do some nifty techy type things that they otherwise wouldn't get to do. I mean the budget has to go somewhere, eh Sport? And check out this stat: Over 94% of the inanimate object market thinks that there should be _more_ object POV shots. The demos don't lie Sport. As for the movies sucking, why over 98% of today's directors think that movies are better than ever before so the problem must be in your perception Sport, not the product.
[The Oracle re-enables the higher brain functions.]
Hmm. What did I come up with.. masses ... Market Studies ... nifty ... Sport? SPORT? I REFERRED TO A SUPPLICANT AS SPORT? ZADOC!
Zadoc: Yes, your benevolenceness?
Oracle: What's wrong with the Hollywood Mode (tm) emulator?
Zadoc: Wrong? your eminence?
Oracle: Yes Wrong! The damn thing is supposed to put me in a frame of mind similar to Ford, not the pinhead who directed Barb Wire!
[Zadoc licks his lips and hunches down as if expecting a blow.]
Zadoc: Well you see oh merciful one, we recently upgraded to Hollywood 96 which is Windows 9...

* ZOT! *

You owe the Oracle a black and white version of Casablanca.

 


3.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Is your ZOT Staff anything like Space Ghost's power bands?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Hey, good question. I think I ought to check this out... [presses a few buttons on the computer]
[Space Ghost materialises in the room]
Space Ghost: Greetings, citizens!
Oracle: I'm not a citizen; I'm the Internet Oracle.
Space Ghost: Sure, whatever.
Oracle: No, really. Look. I need to borrow those power band things of yours.
Space Ghost: Uhmmm... [pauses] How about a nice pleated skirt?
Oracle: Er, no.
Space Ghost: No, really! I think you have the legs for a skirt.
Oracle: Oh, do I? Well... hey, wait a minute! I call the shots around here!
Space Ghost: Have you ever saved the universe?
Oracle: Saved it? I practically helped create it!
Space Ghost: You created the universe?
Oracle: Well.... not exactly. I did have front row seats though.
Space Ghost: Well, do you have any super powers?
Oracle: Super powers? I'm omniscient!
Space Ghost: If you're omniscient, then why do you need my power bands?
Oracle: Because, I... I... nevermind why I need them! Look, I just want to see if your power bands are anything similar to my ZOT staff.
Space Ghost: Well, why didn't you say so? Okay, so what will we test them on?
Oracle: Hmm. [ponders] Hey, Zadoc! ZADOC!
[Zadoc shuffles in on his knees]
Zadoc: Yes, oh Megasagacious one? You thundered?
Oracle: Yes, Zadoc. Look, I need your help with a little experiment I...
Zadoc: Oh, but I, a humble priest, am certainly unworthy and too disknowledgable to assist you in your scientific endeavors!
Oracle: Uhm, no, Zadoc, I think you'll be a big help here. Go stand over by that wall, okay?
Zadoc: Oh, certainly, Peerless Master.
Space Ghost: Say, he's well trained.
Oracle: Eh, he's coming along.
Space Ghost: What's his name? Zadodo or something?
Oracle: Zadoc.
Space Ghost: Still like Zorak better. More fun to say. Zorak, Zorak...
Oracle: Um, right. Well. Here we go. [aims ZOT staff at Zadoc, fires]

> ZOT! <

Zadoc: Aiiiiiiiiieeeeee! [howling in pain]
Space Ghost: Not bad. Does it do anything else?
Oracle: Well, I can turn up the intensity, I can vaporise, and it's got a handy "Crispy-On-The-Outside, Tender-On-The-Inside" feature.
Space Ghost: Eh, not bad. But look: I've got a Freeze Ray...
[ray shoots Zadoc, who is immediately encased in ice]
Space Ghost: A Destructo Ray...
[another ray hits, melting the ice; Zadoc falls to the floor in agony]
Space Ghost: ...I just used low setting of course... a Bouillon Ray, a Prostate Ray, a Martha Raye, and my personal favorite, the Queef Ray.
Oracle: Queef Ray?
Space Ghost: Watch.
[ray hits Zadoc, who falls (again) to his knees and immediately turns a sickly shade of green]
Oracle: Zadoc! No, not here! I just had those rugs cleaned!
Space Ghost: Heh. I ask you, now, can Jay Leno do that? Can David Letterman? Can Ted Koppel? Well... maybe Ted Koppel...
Oracle: Now that's cool. Can I have them?
Space Ghost: No.
Oracle: Aw, c'mon, I'm sure you have a spare set at home.
Space Ghost: No.
Oracle: Okay, just one then. With that quiche...
Space Ghost: Queef?
Oracle: Whatever ray.
Space Ghost: I said no.
Zadoc: [weakly] With your blessing, Master, I think I will pass out now...
Oracle: Just one! Come on!
Space Ghost: No, no, no!
* * *
You owe the Oracle a set of power bands. (For the last time, NO!... Hey, leggo!)

 


4.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Hey, orrie-butt!
>            I'm starting a revolution against you! I'm sick and tired of
> being pushed around, insulted, and "ZOT!"ed! What do you think of
> THAT!?!?!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

[SCENE: the Internet Oracle is sitting on his throne - not the big one in front of the computer, but the white one in the little room off to the left. As he sits there staring at ... uh ... reading the fascinating articles in his magazine, he hears Zadoc's muffled cries.]
Zadoc: Master! Oh Master! Come quick!
Oracle: Bah! A guy can't even have a couple of hours to himself without getting interrupted. [Washes up and comes out] What is it, Zadoc?
Zadoc: Look out the window! There's a crowd of supplicants out there, waving pitch forks and burning torches! They're trying to break down the door! What should we do? Shall I get your ZOT staff?
Oracle: Now, Zadoc, calm down. No need to do anything rash. You go back to your Leggos and let me handle this.
[The Oracle sits down in front of his console and types a few commands. There's a blinding flash of light and a puff of green smoke, and a supplicant appears, holding a megaphone.]
Supplicant: TO ARMS! DOWN WITH THE ... uh ...
[Supplicant looks around, panicked, but quickly recovers.]
Supplicant: [with a smirk] Well, if it isn't orrie-butt. I suppose you brought me here to see me writhe in pain while you ZOT me repeatedly, eh?
Oracle: Now, now. Why would I want to do that?
Supplicant: Because in a few minutes, my followers will flood in here and take the place apart. I'M going to be the new Oracle, and YOU'RE going to be my priest!
Oracle: Sounds good to me.
Supplicant: [taken aback] Wha...?
Oracle: Sure. I've been needing a change of pace lately. What say you take over for a while. Come here. Have a seat on my throne. Go ahead, it won't bite.
Supplicant: [confused] Uh, ok ... what do I do?
Oracle: Well, you have many duties. Let's start with one of the more important. [turns] Lisa? OH LISA!
Lisa: [slinking in wearing a skimpy French Maid costume] Yes Orrie-butt?
Oracle: Lisa, this supplicant here wants to take my place. I want you to take him and ... uh ... show him the ropes.
Lisa: [face brightens] You mean it, Orrie? Can I really?
[Lisa grabs supplicant's arm and drags him through a side doorway.]
[15 minutes pass.]
[Suddenly, a crowd of 50 or 60 people run into the room, carrying pitch forks and torches.]
Crowd: AARGGGKEHHDAEFHEI ASISFAISDASAFEIIEAIESKDIAEI IEHEHADDGGD
Oracle: One at a time. You there, with the salad fork. What are you doing here?
Salad Fork Man: I dunno, man, I was just eating lunch and I kinda got caught up in the frenzy.
[Side door opens and supplicant stumbles out, eyes bloodshot and empty of life.]
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAH
Supplicant: uh...
Salad Fork Man: Fearless leader, you're here! We broke in, man! What do you want us to do now? Tar and feather him? Burn the place to the ground?
Supplicant: [staring blankly around] wha...? huh...? [stumbles up to salad fork man] Hey, pal, could you give me a ride home?
Crowd: [suddenly silent]
Salad Fork Man: Uh, sure, man. Here, let me help you.
[Supplicant, salad fork man, and rest of crowd slowly disperse. Oracle sits at his throne and stares at the screen for a few minutes.]
[Lisa re-enters, a disappointed pout on her face.]
Lisa: Orrie-butt, that guy wasn't any fun at all! I only got up to 145 volts before he passed out.
Oracle: [shakes head, smiles at Lisa and stands] Come on, baby, I'll show you how a REAL Oracle treats ya.
[Arm in arm, Lisa and the Oracle exit.]

 


5.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh most superintelligent Oracularness
>
> I have a foreign exchange student staying with me, and I'm not sure where
> she's from, or come to that, what language she's speaking.
> Could you translate for me?
>
> Last night, she came into my room after I'd gone to bed, holding a
> pineapple. She seemed pleased about something, and was saying "Nehar,
> nehar diviyuna al kehamata. Dokra tun, me dokra fe hat ikku. Ikku."
>
> The next morning, we couldn't find the pineapple anywhere. She got quite
> upset, and sobbed "Velnhu ikka, me truna a kedha, omni Jennifer Aniston
> mek kyudha. Soheet, ma i al sohartha."
>
> I'd be grateful if you could assist.

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

"It is early Saturday evening and the Oracle is out to dinner with Lisa," thinks Zadoc. "A perfect time to prove my worthiness!" He sneaks over to his master's terminal, disturbing the mouse gently to dismiss the Budweiser frogs on the screen.
"Oooh, a supplicant in need of my wisdom!" Zadoc reads silently, eyebrows furrowed. "Oh no! No, no, no! I don't know the answer. Master will fly me at half-mast by my belt loops if he finds out I read his mail. I should just ZOT this supplicant and get it out of the way. But what if the supplicant complains? Nah, no one reads rec.humor.oracle.d anymore. Still..."
An evil idea, and awfully wonderful evil idea, springs into Zadoc's head. "I know, I'll get someone else to translate this." He types...
delphi% telnet mud.aol.com 8000
Trying 207.187.49.24...
Connected to mud.aol.com.
Escape character is '^]'.

			Alas... you have entered the

		 R E A L M S   O F   T H E   S I M P L E

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Based on MERC 2.1 code by Hatchet, Furey, and Kahn, based on DikuMUD by:
Hans Staerfeldt, Katja Nyboe, Tom Madsen, Michael Siefert, Sebastian Hammer

Enter your character name: zadoc
Password:
Last connected from: vms.cis.pitt.edu

[Press Enter]

Welcome to the Realms of the Simple...
The Market Square
[Exits: north east south west]

<125hp 100m 500mv> who
    3 Cleric	Zadoc the Adept.
   15 Warrior	Miles and miles of red tape.
    1 Mage	Merlin the newbie.
   49 Vampire	Nosferatu WANTS TO AVATAR TONIGHT, DAMMIT!.
   11 Vampire	Delilah the vixen. ;-).
Immortal	Caine is afk.

<125hp 100m 500mv> . hello
You chat 'hello'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Miles chats 'Hi Zadoc'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Merlin chats 'HI ZADOC CAN YOU HELP ME? I'M NEW HERE'

<125hp 100m 500mv>
You are getting a bit peckish.

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Delilah tells you 'hi there lover, missed you last night :-*'

<125hp 100m 500mv> tell del hihi, can't stay long now....
You tell Delilah 'hihi, can't stay long now....'

The sun has set.

<125hp 100m 500mv> . does anyone one know what Nehar nehar diviyuna al 
kehamata means?
You chat 'does anyone one know what Nehar nehar diviyuna al kehamata means?'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Merlin chats 'WHERE DO I GET STUFF?'

Miles chats 'nopers'

<125hp 100m 500mv>
Your stomach is grumbling.

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Delilah tells you 'why do you need to know that?'

<125hp 100m 500mv> tell del you know my pain in the ass boss, the 
so-called Oracle?
You tell Delilah 'you know my pain in the ass boss, the so-called Oracle?'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Delilah tells you 'yes, he's always giving you the important jobs to handle 
because he's so incompetent?'

<125hp 100m 500mv> tell deli yeah, that's right.  well tonight he came to 
me with this stupid-ass question, now i have to figure it out
You tell Delilah 'yeah, that's right.  well tonight he  came to me with this 
stupid-ass question, now i have to figure it out'

Merlin chats 'WHY ISNT ANYONE HELPING ME???  THIS GAME SUCKS'

You are hungry.

<125hp 100m 500mv>

Delilah tells you 'sorry i can't help.  Let me know when you're done and 
I'll give you a backrub. *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*

Miles chats 'RTFM!  type help starting and help <command>'

<125hp 100m 500mv> sigh
You sigh.

<125hp 100m 500mv> ponder
You sit down and ponder the question deeply.

<125hp 100m 500mv>
You are STARVING!

<120hp 100m 500mv> w
The Main Street
[Exits: north east south west]
A cat scurries about.

<120hp 100m 500mv> w
The Main Street
[Exits: north east south west]

The moon has risen.

<120hp 100m 500mv> w
The Main Street
[Exits: north east south west]

<120hp 100m 495mv> n
The Grocery
[Exits: south]
A Grocer ready to serve you stands here.

You are STARVING!

<115hp 100m 495mv> list
[1] a paper thin wafer
[5] bread
[10] meatloaf
[25] pineapple
[100] roasted duck

<115hp 100m 495mv> buy bread
You buy a loaf of bread.

Merlin chats 'HOW DO I GET WEAPONS TO KILL THINGS?'

Delilah tells you 'I'm holding my teddy bear close to me right now'

<115hp 100m 495mv> tell del I'm sorry honey, but I
You are STARVING!

The moon has set.

<110hp 100m 495mv> really need to figure this out
You tell Delilah 'I'm sorry honey, but I really need to figure this out'

Miles chats 'if you don't stop shouting I'm going to ram this halberd where 
the sun don't shine'

<110hp 100m 495mv> eat bread
You eat a loaf of bread.

Delilah tells you ':-('

<110hp 100m 495mv> sigh
You sigh.

Merlin chats 'I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT TO, YOU DONT RUN THIS PLACE'

<110hp 100m 495mv> idea
A lightbulb appears above your head.

<110hp 100m 495mv> list
[1] a paper thin wafer
[5] bread
[10] meatloaf
[25] pineapple
[100] roasted duck

<111hp 100m 500mv> cheer
You stand up and cheer wildly.

<111hp 100m 500mv> buy pineapple
You buy a pineapple.

Miles chats 'Caine are you here?'

<111hp 100m 500mv> s
The Main Street
[Exits: north east south west]

<111hp 100m 500mv> w
Inside the West Gate of Midgaard
[Exits: east south west]

Merlin chats 'WHOS CAINE, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ON ME MILES YOU
WIMP?'

The moon has set.

<111hp 100m 500mv> w
Outside the West Gate of Midgaard
[Exits: north east west]

Delilah tells you 'what are you up to?'

<112hp 100m 500mv> w
The Edge of the Forest
[Exits: north east west]

<112hp 100m 495mv> n
The Inside of the Cabin
[Exits: south]

<112hp 100m 495mv> tell del nothing, just trying something
You tell Delilah 'nothing, just trying something'

Miles tells you 'Merlin might die accidentally in a minute, do you care?'

<113hp 100m 495mv> tell miles what's in it for me?
You tell Miles 'what's in it for me?'

<113hp 100m 495mv> look
The Inside of the Cabin
You are inside a cabin.  There is a large bed and a table.
[Exits: south]

<113hp 100m 497mv>

Miles tells you 'I'll give you 2 purples and 100 gold to keep your fat mouth 
shut'

<113hp 100m 497mv> put pine table
You put a pineapple on the table.

Merlin chats 'HAH, NOT SO SMART NOW, HUH MILES AND MILES OF RED FACE'

<113hp 100m 497mv> tell miles deal
You tell Miles 'deal'

<114hp 100m 500mv> tell deli sleeping for a sec...
You tell Delilah 'sleeping for a sec...'

<114hp 100m 500mv> sleep
You go to sleep.

<125hp 100m 500mv>

<125hp 100m 500mv>
You are awakened by the foreign exchange student.

<125hp 100m 500mv> say hi
You say 'hi'
The foreign exchange student says 'Nehar, nehar diviyuna al kehamata.'

Merlin chats 'MILES KILLED ME, NO FAIR THIS IS A NON-PK MUD YOU A$$!'

<125hp 100m 500mv> say ummm what does that mean?
You say 'ummm what does that mean?'
The foreign exchange student says 'Dokra tun, me dokra fe hat ikku. Ikku.'

<125hp 100m 500mv> ponder
You sit down and ponder the question deeply.

Miles tells you ';-)'

<125hp 100m 500mv> look
The Inside of the Cabin
You are inside a cabin.  There is a large bed and a table.
[Exits: south]
The foreign exchange student asking for the Knicks score stands here.

<125hp 100m 500mv>

The sun has risen.
The foreign exchange student gets a pineapple from the table.

<125hp 100m 500mv> say hey, that's my pineapple'
You say 'hey, that's my pineapple!'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

The foreign exchange student says 'Velnhu ikka, me truna a kedha, omni 
Jennifer Aniston mek kyudha.'

Delilah tells you 'rise and shine my hotcakes'

<125hp 100m 500mv>

The foreign exchange student says 'Soheet, ma i al sohartha.'

<125hp 100m 500mv> hug student
You hug the foreign exchange student.
The foreign exchange student slaps you.

<125hp 100m 500mv> fume
You stomp around the room angrily.

Caine tells you 'did Miles kill Merlin?'

<125hp 100m 500mv> slap student
You slap the foreign exchange student.
The foreign exchange student bashes you with her dictionary!

<105hp 100m 500mv> tel cain not that i saw
You tell Caine 'not that i saw'

<105hp 100m 500mv>
You miss the foreign exchange student.
The foreign exchange student ***ANNIHILATES*** you with her b.o. breath!!
The foreign exchange student dodges your attack.

<59hp 100m 300mv> c heal
You have not mastered that spell.
The foreign exchange student <<<EVISCERATES>>> you with her b.o. breath!!
You scratch the foreign exchange student.

<9hp 50m 100mv> . help
You chat 'help'

Delilah tells you 'you're ignoring me!  what do you think I am??!? some slut 
you can just cozy up to one night and ignore after that?!?!'

<9hp 50m 100mv>
You miss the foreign exchange student.
The foreign exchange student bashes you with her dictionary!

YOU ARE DEAD!
A swirl of colored lights appears before you as you life flashes before your 
eyes.  Next thing you know you awake in...
The Healer's Room
[Exits: south]

<1hp 0m 0mv> sigh
You sigh.

Delilah tells you 'go to hell'

Merlin chats 'I HATE THIS PLACE, I'M TELLING AOL YOU ALL TRIED TO KILL ME'

Nosferatu tells you 'sorry, was afk, you can ask the foreign exchange 
student. She says those words and then it becomes clear.'

<5hp 0m 0mv> tell deli sorry i was fighting
You tell Delilah 'sorry i was fighting'

The healer utters 'uooyah'
You feel better!

<25hp 10m 25mv>

Nosferatu tells you 'just don't touch her!!!'

Delilah tells you 'I'm telling Caine what you did to me, how you took 
advantage of me!'

<25hp 10m 25mv> shout FUCK!!!!!
You shout 'FUCK!!!!'

You are transferred!
Hell
[Exits: none]
A devilish imp stands here.

<25hp 10m 25mv> fume
You cannot emote here.

<25hp 10m 25mv> tell cain ?
You cannot tell to him.

<25hp 10m 25mv> . ok ok, i'm sorry, i won't curse again
You cannot chat here.

<25hp 10m 25mv> fume
You cannot emote here.

<25hp 10m 25mv> dammitdammitdammitstupidstupidthing
Huh?

<25hp 10m 25mv> q
If you want to QUIT you have to type it out!

<25hp 10m 25mv> quit

You have been saved.
Your surroundings begin to fade as a mystical swirling vortex of colors 
envelops your body...
When you come to, things are not as they were.

A strange voice says, 'We await your return, Zadoc...'
Connection closed by foreign host.
delphi% mail
Mail version SMI 4.0 Wed Feb  7 23:50:57 PST 1990  Type ? for help.
>  1 [email protected]  Sat Dec  7 18:42   37/1609  Answer #Qa04183, 
the {Mail}& d1 {Mail}& q
delphi%

 


6.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh great Oracle, [sniff] whose boots I am not worthy to lick, [sniff]
> who's favorite TV shows never get cancelled, [snifflesniff] I've just
> heard the most awful news. [sniff]
>
> I heard that the BBC is sniff] being [sniff] sued over [sniff] "Doctor
> Who." [bawls]
>
> [gets back under control]
>
> I have to ask this question: how will this lawsuit affect the future of
> "Doctor Who?"

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oracle: Zadoc, get over here! I need your help. It's another one of those questions about British stuff that just baffle me. As if us omniscient ones can be bothered with such drivel.
Zadoc: Yes, oh brilliant one with much better things to do than track British culture. How can I help you today?
Oracle: Tell me what you know about Dr. Who.
Zadoc: Who?
Oracle: Yes, exactly.
Zadoc: What?
Oracle: No, who.
Zadoc: Oh wise one, I hate to say this to you, but it isn't nice to fool with me like this. Aren't we friends? Friends are very important to me.
Oracle: Not Friends, that's American.....who is British!!!!
Zadoc: Prince Charles?
Oracle: No, you idiot!
Zadoc: I'm pretty certain he is.
Oracle: Ugh. So hard to find good help these days. I'll ask you again....tell me about Dr. Who.
Zadoc: That's what I need to know, Dr. Who?
Oracle: YES!
Zadoc: Maybe you need a vacation.
Oracle: I don't need a vacation!!!

<<<<<ZOT>>>>>  <<<<<ZOT>>>>>  <<<<<ZOT>>>>>

Zadoc: Ow! What'd you do that for?
You owe the oracle a new assistant and a set of Abbot and Costello videos.

 


7.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

[SCENE: A lonely evening in the Chamber of Oracularities. Night has just fallen, and the Oracle is at the end of the queue.]
Oracle: What the... Zadoc! Hoi, ZADOC!
[Enter Zadoc the Priest, on his knees as custom demands]
Zadoc: Yes, oh one who could solve Star Control III in under a second, should he wish to?
Oracle: Have you been playing with my computer again? Well, never mind. [Gesturing to the CRT above the Oracular Throne. It appears to be off, except for the small green light indicating power running to it...] What the HELL is this thing? Why are you allowing these kinds of questions into the queue?
Zadoc: [trembling in fear] What.... What do you mean? I'm taking Sally Struthers' "learn Omniscience in your spare time" home-study course, but...
Oracle: We'll deal with that later, Zadoc. What's wrong with this question? [He waves toward the CRT.]
Zadoc: What question, Cybercognitive One?
Oracle: [Reaching for the wand of ZOT] The one on the screen, Zadoc. That question?
Zadoc: [Prostrating himself even more than before, quite impressively, in fact.] Forgive me, oh source of all code! The question must be too insightful into life, the universe, and everything, as I, your humble priest, am not allowed to read it.
Oracle: [shaking his head and muttering] No, dumbass. There IS no question!
Zadoc: [Crossing himself in horror] NO! Not the second great blasphemy!
Oracle: At least it wasn't the woodchuck blasphemy. Or else, you'd be VERY unhappy, Zadoc. To say the least.
Zadoc: So, what shall we do about this, oh one who could make UNIX understandable to anyone?
Oracle: [indicating the wand of ZOT] Well, we could use that. But, I think I'll let you handle this one. After all, it's the last one in the queue.
Zadoc: Are you.... I can....
Oracle: Stop your blubbering, Zadoc, lest I ZOT you. Lisa!
[Lisa comes bounding in, wearing a gownless evening strap (well, that's how best to describe it.). She bounds right up to the Oracle as he rises from the Throne]
Lisa: Yes?
Oracle: You know that new club on Richmond I told you about?
Lisa: Yes... But, you said you were too swamped to go?
Oracle: I lied. Let's go!
[Lisa and the Oracle disappear in a puff of green smoke. Zadoc goes up to the Throne by edging toward it. He nearly sits, then kneels and says an "our Oracle." THEN, confident that he'll avoid being struck by lightning for the blasphemy of sitting on the Throne, he plops down. No lightning comes.]
Zadoc: What the bloody hell should I do with this question? Hmmm...
[Suddenly, a small lightbulb seems to appear right above Zadoc's head.]
Zadoc: Ah-HA! [he begins typing]
The Internet Oracle (incarnated as Zadoc the Priest) has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
>
And, in response, thus spake the Oracle (Zadoc):
}                    !
You owe the Oracle a question worthy of its ability. After all, even Zadoc can answer this one.

 


8.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oh oracular one:
>
> My friend in the computer lab. Doesn't believe in you. How shall I
> convince him?
>
>
> Rich
>
>
[sigfile deleted to protect the clueless]
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Rich, my lad, we need a littole more detail here.
Which part of me does he not believe in? The all-seeing wisdom? The solemnity and grace with which I deliver the answers? The assistance rendered by the lovely Lisa, the impenetrable Zadoc and the innumerable other Oracular priests world wide?
Or is there a deeper meaning. You may need to point out to him the Biblical proofs for my existence. For instance, in the Book of Zadoc, Chapter 5 verse 3
"And lo, there came from the heavens a ZOT such as none had seen, and the unbelieving supplicant was reduced even unto ashes, such was the degree of his blasphemy."
Chapter 7 verses 9-11
"For thou hath not the grovel, and without such doth the question become moot, for surely our Oracle commands the grovel as a part of his dues. And the supplicant threw himself in abasement upon the earth and begged, for the whole thing was new for him and his AOL account was not yet three days old."
And the final Chapter 14, verse 26.
"Speak not in foolishness about such things, for the Kinzler and the Davis will track thee down, thy goods delivered unto the Kibo and the wrath delivered even upon Canter and Siegel will be thy dowry. Ask thee instead the question thou desires, and surely the Usenet Oracle will answer thee."
(Oops - sorry - that's the old King John's version - it's the Internet Oracle now)
You owe the Oracle a new translation of the gospels according to Zadoc, and a question from your disbelieving friend.
 
(King John's version? Must be very old - Ed.)

 


9.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle, Oracle, wherefore art thou, Oracle!

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Lisa: O Oracle, Oracle! wherefore art thou Oracle?
Forswear thy domain name and be mine alone;
Or but email me thy confirmation,
And I shall renounce all woodchucks that are in my family.
Oracle: [Aside] Odds bodkins! What nonstandard protocol is this?
Lisa: 'Tis but a matter of a few bytes
That doth separate our hearts.
This eternal battle betwixt Woodchuck
And Oracle doth make me grieve;
For I love one and yet - alas!
Am of the blood of the other.
Oracle! Would that thou could bear
Some other name, or I
Could, with this dagger, free myself
Of the name thou endurest not.
Oracle: I cannot remain silent any longer!
I shall grant you superuser access
To every portion of my heart and soul;
Log on, if thou wilt, and delete my name
If that is what keeps us apart.
Lisa: What manner of packet-sniffer
Decrypts my most sensitive private data?
Oracle: For now, my love, I am but a guest user;
I would rather reformat my drives
Than repeat again that name
Which causes thee such strife.
Lisa: As if thou couldst deceive me! Thy voice
Is like a hundred-line .sig
Which identifies thee as surely
As though I had fingered thee.
Art thou not the Oracle?
Oracle: I would rather not harm thy sensibilities
With my reply.
Lisa: How darest thou lurk silent, spying me
While I muse here, wearing only
That skimpy negligee that revealeth much?
Oracle: Fair Lisa, I must confess that when I saw thee
Bedecked in lacy underthings,
I tarried here, bewitched. And how much greater
Than a woodchuck was my joy
At thine appearance.
Lisa: Likest thou this? It was on sale. But alas!
I fear it does no good to be enticing thusly
For thou shalt surely ZOT me
In the presence of my woodchuck kin.
Oracle: Stay thy tongue, O vision of beauty!
Thou shalt come with me and under my protection
Thy woodchuck past shall be forgotten.
And with my staff of ZOT
Thy loathsome relatives
Shall hinder our eternal love no more.
Lisa: Can'st be true? Say thou again
That thee shall have me for thine own!
Oracle: By Kinzler I do swear it!
Lisa: My joy is complete! I may slumber now
Assured of thy constant love.
Oracle: Then let us fly together tonight, my love
And leave these wretched woodchucks behind.
Zadoc: Lisa? Art thou ready for bed yet?
Oracle: What intrusion is this?
Lisa: 'Tis but my companion and servant,
The faithful Zadoc. If we are to elope
My dearest friend must join us.
Oracle: Aye, but make haste! Time grows late
And we must be away from here at once!
Lisa: At once it shall be, my dearest love.
I go now to pack - just a few things I need;
My makeup case, and my clothes,
And of course my jewelry, and this case
Of my favorite romance novels. Zadoc! Tonight we join
My beloved Oracle for all our lives
Henceforth.
{ enter ZADOC }
Zadoc: I am overjoyed, my lady. Canst thou carry
Just ONE of thy bags? I fear my back
May break under the strain
Of thy belongings.
Oracle: Enough! We leave now, 'ere 'tis too late;
Good Zadoc (thou miserable worm), be quick.
Zadoc: As thou wish, thy zotfulness.
{exeunt}

 


10.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Zadoc lunged for the controls. The Wayback Machine was working all
> right, but it wasn't going in the direction he'd planned: Instead of
> going backward through time, it was going sideways across the Indiana
> University campus. Startled coeds dodged left and right as Zadoc
> struggled to master the machine. Then, with a cry of triumph, he
> grabbed the "direction" lever and twisted hard, sending the machine to

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

the middle of a clearing in a primordial jungle he could never have imagined. As the machine's fusion power unit bubbled to a halt, Zadoc looked around slowly, taking in his new surroundings. With a growing fear, he realized his error in twisting the direction lever so quickly. His preprogrammed setting for the day before his Biology exam had been overridden. As his darting eyes found the chronometer, the Biology answer sheet slipped from his fingers and drifted to the ground, now useless. Zadoc had transported himself to the year 10,000,000 BC. And it would be a while before his familiar IU campus would appear on this spot.
Desperate now, Zadoc leapt from the machine and dashed around the clearing. At first he tried thinking, then screaming, and finally simply panicking. In the end, he collapsed on the mossy ground and gasped in the humid air with wrenching sobs.
Then, suddenly, Zadoc was aware that he was being watched. Carefully he looked up, and his eyes met the small beady eyes of a primitive rodent. The animal sat motionless, observing Zadoc. Another animal appeared beside it. As Zadoc watched, rodent after rodent scampered silently into the clearing, as if waiting for him to do something.
Uncertainly, Zadoc rose. The animals regarded him coolly. He shouted, "I am your leader!" A few noses twitched, but the rodents kept their positions. Zadoc smiled at their acceptance of his rule. Gaining confidence, he began to march around the clearing. "We will rebuild the campus!" he shouted. "You, by the ferns, you will cut down trees. You, by the rocks, will move the timber into the clearing. You, by the stream, will stack the timber to make a suitable university for me, your master!"
Unfortunately, the rodents seemed not to understand English. Zadoc snorted, then led them in groups and demonstrated their tasks. He gnawed at a small tree until it toppled over. He carried the tree in his mouth to the clearing. Then he brought another tree and stacked it on top of the first.
Gradually, the rodents understood. First one, then another, followed Zadoc's lead and began the work he had mandated. Rodents swarmed around the forest and the clearing, cutting, hauling, and stacking lumber. Zadoc paced around the growing structures, directing the construction. "Faster!" he shouted. More and more rodents came to join the others. Still Zadoc cried, "Faster! Faster!" He showed them how to fell the trees in half the time. "And don't drag that wood! Chuck it!" he screamed. "Toss it right over here!" Soon logs were flying past him at a dizzying pace, the rodents learning rapidly how to chuck the wood efficiently.
A smile began to appear on Zadoc's face as he recognized the shapes of the buildings where he had spent his wretched life. But just as he began to enjoy the results of the rodents' labor, he sensed a distant bubbling sound nearby. The sound grew louder and closer until he realized that another Wayback Machine was materializing right next to his. His mouth hung open as he watched the second machine coalesce into solid matter. Finally, he could identify the operator of the machine as -- Lisa!
"Hop on, you worm," she said, before he could speak. "Orrie just finished inventing the two-way machine, and is he ever ticked at you for making off with the one-way prototype!"
The rodents had ceased their work when Lisa arrived. It was in silence, then, that Zadoc trudged to the new machine and swung his leg over the seat behind Lisa. As she deftly manipulated the controls, he watched the rodents' expressions. Though his prehistoric campus might never be complete, he sensed that the skills he had taught the animals would remain locked away somewhere deep in their DNA, so that even millions of years from now, the rodents would know how to ...
"By the way, what in the world were you doing with those animals?" Lisa asked over the noise of the fusion unit.
"Um, nothing," said Zadoc. "Nothing at all."
You owe the Oracle a way to send the staff of Zot back in time.

 


11.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Scene: The Oracle's Mansion. Zadoc sits in a painful-looking chair, facing his computer, patiently awaiting the Oracle's arrival. He has been here for nine hours without even a bathroom break, but he dares not leave his post lest the Oracle arrive and find him gone. Finally, the Oracle arrives, mumbling something about late nights on the town with Zeus.
Oracle: Good morning, Zadoc.
[Zadoc looks at the clock on the wall. It is 15:23. Zadoc shrugs imperceptibly.]
Zadoc: Good morning, your most high and mighty minty freshness.
Oracle: What have we got on schedule for today?
Zadoc: We have a long list of eager supplicants, begging for morsels of your infinite wisdom, master.
Oracle: OK, Zadoc, read me the first few supplicants' names.
[Zadoc consults his monitor, which lists the current question queue. The list begins with: Jiang Hu, Michael Watt, Ida Noe. Zadoc wonders idly if the last one is related to Dr. Roger Noe, one of the Oracle's priests].
Zadoc: Your worship, today we begin first with Hu, followed by Watt, and Ida Noe.
Oracle: That's what I want to know, Zadoc, I want you to tell me the names of the supplicants.
Zadoc: And I am humbly honored to tell you, great one. Hu's up first, Watt's up second, and Ida Noe is third.
Oracle: Zadoc, do you know the supplicants' names?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: Well, then, who's the first supplicant?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: I mean the supplicant first in line this morning.
Zadoc: Hu.
Oracle: The person first in line.
Zadoc: Hu.
Oracle: The person who's first.
Zadoc: Hu is first, your everlasting gob-stopperness.
Oracle: What are you asking me for?
Zadoc: I shudder to say it, but I am not asking you, your grace, rather I am telling you. HU IS UP FIRST.
Oracle: I'm asking you, Zadoc, who's up first?
Zadoc: That's the supplicant's name!
Oracle: Don't get snappy with me, Zadoc. That's who's name?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: Well, don't just sit there mumbling, go ahead and tell me.
Zadoc: Hu.
Oracle: The person who's first.
Zadoc: Hu.
Oracle: The first supplicant.
Zadoc: Hu is first.
Oracle: Have we got any supplicants today, Zadoc?
Zadoc: Certainly.
Oracle: Then who's the first one?
Zadoc: Absolutely.
Oracle: [pauses] When you send my answer to the first supplicant's question, who will receive the gift of my wisdom?
Zadoc: Every word of it, master. And why not, he's got quite a good grovel here.
Oracle: Who does?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: So who gets the email?
Zadoc: Why shouldn't he? I suppose his wife may download his email.
Oracle: Who's wife?
Zadoc: Yes. With a grovel like this, he's earned it.
Oracle: Who has?
Zadoc: Absolutely, master.
Oracle: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name at the head of the supplicant queue.
Zadoc: Oh, no, master, Watt is second in line.
Oracle: Zadoc, you moron! I'm not asking you who's second in line.
Zadoc: No master, Hu is first today.
Oracle: That's what I'm trying to find out.
Zadoc: Master, if you have rearranged the supplicants, would you grace me with the knowledge of the new order?
Oracle: I haven't changed anything!
Zadoc: [cringing] Please try to relax, your eminence!
Oracle: What's the name of the first guy in line?
Zadoc: Watt's the name of the second guy in line.
Oracle: I'm not asking you who's second.
Zadoc: Hu's first.
Oracle: I don't know.
Zadoc: She's third in line. [puzzled look] I thought we were discussing today's first supplicant?
Oracle: How did I get to the third supplicant?
Zadoc: You mentioned the supplicant's name, great one.
Oracle: If I mentioned the third supplicant's name, who did I say is third?
Zadoc: No, Hu's first.
Oracle: Stay away from the first supplicant, will ya?
Zadoc: Well what do you want me to do?
Oracle: Now what's the guy's name first on the list?
Zadoc: No, Watt's up second.
Oracle: I'm not asking you who's second.
Zadoc: Hu's first.
Oracle: I don't know.
Zadoc: She's third in line.
Oracle: There I go, back to the third supplicant.
Zadoc: [confused] Master, only one as powerful as you can change the supplicants' names.
Oracle: Will you please stick with the third supplicant for a minute?
Zadoc: Please, master, what is it that you would like to know?
Oracle: What is the supplicant's name at the third place in line.
Zadoc: Watt is the supplicant's name at the second place in line.
Oracle: I'm not asking you who's second.
Zadoc: Hu is first.
Oracle: I don't know.
Zadoc: Third place!
Oracle: [sighs] OK, Zadoc, let's review the next few supplicants.
Zadoc: Absolutely, master.
Oracle: The fourth supplicant's name?
[Zadoc checks his monitor and sees "Cheng Wai"]
Zadoc: Wai.
Oracle: I don't know, I just thought I'd ask.
Zadoc: Your holiness, I just thought I'd tell you.
Oracle: Then tell me who's fourth in line.
Zadoc: Hu's first in line.
Oracle: Stay away from first!
Zadoc: Master, you confuse me. You mentioned his name.
Oracle: I want to know what's the name of the fourth supplicant.
Zadoc: Watt is the second supplicant.
Oracle: I'm not asking you who's the second supplicant.
Zadoc: Hu is first.
Oracle: I don't know.
Both: Third place.
Oracle: And the fourth supplicant's name?
Zadoc: Wai.
Oracle: Because.
[Zadoc checks the list and sees the name "Bea Kohz".]
Zadoc: Master, your omniscience astounds me. She is fifth in line.
Oracle: Fifth?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: Wait a minute. Let's see if we can manage to move on. Is there a sixth supplicant?
Zadoc: Yes, master.
Oracle: Tell me the sixth supplicant's name.
[Zadoc nervously checks the supplicant list again. The next supplicant is named Tamara Wilson. Zadoc wonders idly if this is any relation to Richard Wilson, who, while not a priest of the Oracle, does seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in the Oracle's hot tub.]
Zadoc: Tamara.
Oracle: You don't want to tell me today?
Zadoc: I would be honored to tell you, O effervescent one.
Oracle: Then go ahead.
Zadoc: Tamara.
Oracle: [stunned] OK, Zadoc, we'll play your little game. What time?
Zadoc: What time what, master?
Oracle: What time tomorrow are you going to tell me who's sixth?
Zadoc: Master, Hu is not sixth. Hu is--
Oracle: I'LL ZOT YOU TO SMITHEREENS IF YOU SAY "WHO'S UP FIRST"!
Zadoc: [confused] But master, you asked!
Oracle: I want to know what's the sixth supplicant's name.
Zadoc: Watt's up second.
Oracle: I don't know.
Both: THIRD PLACE!
Oracle: This is hopeless. Is there a seventh supplicant?
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: The seventh supplicant's name?
[Zadoc checks the list again and sees the name "Theodore Day".]
Zadoc: Ted Day.
Oracle: Today. And Tomorrow's sixth.
Zadoc: Now you are making sense, O fresh-smelling master.
Oracle: We've got a couple of days in the queue?
Zadoc: It is indeed most unusual, master.
Oracle: [pauses for a minute, thinking] You know that I have access to all of the wisdom in the history of the universe, Zadoc.
Zadoc: I am deeply honored to be in the presence of one so pan-galactically wonderful as you, master.
Oracle: And I'm ready to start answering some supplications.
Zadoc: The supplicants await your wisdom.
Oracle: I would like to give it to them. Now, being a good Oracle, tomorrow's asking, and I'm answering.
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: Tomorrow sends in his email, which quotes some nasty things said about Lisa by the first supplicant on our list.
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: When I read it, me being a good Oracle and all, I want to ZOT the guy first in line for making those nasty remarks, so I pick up my ZOTting staff and aim it at who?
Zadoc: Master, that's the first thing you've said today that I have understood.
Oracle: I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!
Zadoc: If you felt that the remarks deserved a ZOT, that's all you'd have to do.
Oracle: Is to ZOT the guy in first place.
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: Now who's been ZOTted?
Zadoc: Naturally, master.
Oracle: Who's ZOTted?
Zadoc: Naturally.
Oracle: Naturally.
Zadoc: Naturally.
Oracle: OK.
Zadoc: Have I explained everything to your satisfaction?
Oracle: I pick up the ZOT staff and aim it at Naturally.
Zadoc: No, master, you would aim the ZOT staff at the first supplicant.
Oracle: Then who gets it?
Zadoc: Naturally.
Oracle: OK.
Zadoc: All right.
Oracle: I ZOT the hell out of Naturally.
Zadoc: Er-- master-- you would ZOT the hell out of Hu.
Oracle: Naturally.
Zadoc: That's not the same thing.
Oracle: Sure it is, pond scum, that's what I said!
Zadoc: In my feeble mind, I do not remember it that way.
Oracle: I said I'd ZOT the hell out of Naturally.
Zadoc: You wouldn't. You'd ZOT Hu.
Oracle: Naturally.
Zadoc: Yes.
Oracle: So I aim the ZOT staff and Naturally "gets it".
Zadoc: No, you aim the staff at the first supplicant--
Oracle: Then who gets it?
Zadoc: Naturally.
Oracle: That's what I'm saying.
Zadoc: I shudder to contradict you, but that is not what you said.
Oracle: I aim the staff at Naturally.
Zadoc: You aim it at Hu!
Oracle: Naturally.
Zadoc: Naturally. Would you grace me by saying it that way, that my inferior mind might be sure about this?
Oracle: THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING!
Zadoc: [cringing] Master, please don't be angry with me!
Oracle: Who's angry? I aim the staff at the first supplicant--
Zadoc: Then Hu gets it.
Oracle: YOU BETTER BELIEVE HE GETS IT!
Zadoc: That's it.
Oracle: Now I aim the staff at the first supplicant, but whoever it is begs for mercy, and tells me that it was the second supplicant.
Zadoc: Uh-huh.
Oracle: Who begs for mercy and blames what. What claims he's been framed and puts the blame on I don't know. I don't know claims that it was tomorrow all along. I get mad and ZOT the first three into McNuggets -- a triple fry.
Zadoc: Yes, it could happen.
Oracle: Another question comes in from the fourth supplicant. Why? I don't know, she was third, and I don't give a darn.
Zadoc: What did you say, master?
Oracle: I said "I don't give a darn".
Zadoc: I believe that they are also on today's list, let me see here...
Oracle: ARGH!!!!
[The Oracle flies into a rage, ZOTting everything in sight.]
You owe the Oracle a videotape of the movie "Inventing the Abbots", and the complete works of Elvis Costello.

 


12.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

>
> Oracle
> Oracl
> Orac
> Ora
> Or
> O
>

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Oracle: Hey, what's happening? My name's disappearing letter by letter! Zadoc, get over here! Is this one of your pranks? Aarrgh!! Damn it, I don't know why; I'm an Oracl, not a computer expert! Oh no, there it goes again!
Zadoc: I don't know, sir. It appears to be coming from an outside source.
Oracl: Yes, but who?! Check my email!!
Zadoc: [sound of typing] Oh, no!
Orac: What?! What?!
Zadoc: Somebody sent you a reduction algorithm disguised as a question!
Ora: You're kidding... they found my... Kinzler!! Lisa!! HELP!!!
Kinzler: Sorry, boss. I only judge answers; I'm not paid to help with computer problems.
Or: This is getting depressing. Can't I find anyone competent around here?
Lisa: Hey, Orrie, you're losing weight! Looks kinda cute. [giggle]
O: Oh, ha, ha. Very funny. Well, there's only one thing left to do...
Zadoc: Sir? Sir!!!
: *poof*
Lisa: He's gone... *sob*
Kinzler: Wait - what's that?
!
!!
*!!
T*!!
OT*!!
ZOT*!!
*ZOT*!!
Oracle: Ha! Fooled you, didn't I? That should take care of him! [evil laugh]
Lisa: Oh, Orrie - you're so... resourceful! [hugs Oracle]
Oracle: Hold the phones, Zadoc...

 


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