} Please. You call that a beginning? <crumple crumple> Let's try this:
} MOBY DORK
} Call me Fishmeal. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely --
} having little or no sense in my head, and nothing particular to
} interest me at work, I thought I would surf about a little and see the
} newsgroups of the world.
} There I met up with Og, a huge man of a primitive sort who took a
} liking to me and soon became so firmly attached to me that I could not
} shake him even when I wanted to. We signed aboard a promising little
} newsgroup known as The R.h.o.d. in search of adventure.
} And what a crew we had fallen in with! The chief mate was a lively man
} named Zadoc, who drank only overpriced coffee from Seattle. Og was
} delighted to find a pair of fellow spiky club carriers named Thag and
} Zog. Various shady characters busied themselves, bustling back and
} forth with askmes and tellmes. And a clan of dark, brooding men known
} only as the Priesthood kept watch over us all.
} After a good while of surfing together, with no purpose apparent, I
} asked of the good chief mate where we were bound. "We have a mission,"
} says he, sipping of his mocha latte, "to go where our captain decrees."
} "This lot has a captain?" says I, not a little surprised.
} "Aye," says Zadoc grimly. "Have ye not noticed the thing that
} interests us all more than anything else?"
} "You must be speaking of Siamese fighting fish," I says with a chuckle.
} His icy glare alerts me that it is no laughing matter.
} "Aye, and not just any Siamese fighting fish, lad," says Zadoc. "We
} surf for the bright red Siamese fighting fish!"
} "Bright red!" says I. "That fish is but a legend!"
} "Nay, not a legend! I have seen it, and it is, milligram for
} milligram, the fiercest creature on the planet. The captain wants --"
} But I was not to hear yet what the captain wanted, for at that moment,
} he made his presence known. He was a dark and incomprehensible man, a
} man feared and avoided, known only as The Oracle. With a slow and
} seething stride he approached the crew, but seemed to look through us
} and beyond to a far place where his unfathomable anger was focused.
} "Have ye seen the bright red Siamese fighting fish?" he called to
} "N-no, captain!" cried Zadoc, suddenly subservient, his latte spilling
} into his lap.
} The Oracle's face began to darken in fury, and the crew and Priesthood
} recoiled in terror. As The Oracle lifted his hand, every man of us
} cried out, and then, suddenly -- the cabin door burst open and a
} gorgeous blonde in a pink bikini bounced down the deck to stand beside
} "Oh, Orrie!" she squeals. "This is so romantic! What a wonderful
} idea!" She turns to Zadoc and tweaks his ear playfully. "Mr. Zadoc,
} what about that bright red Siamese fighting fish?"
} "Hmm?" says Zadoc.
} "The fish is not here!" thunders the Oracle. "The crew will continue
} to search night and day, with every muscle in their blasted bodies, as
} if their very lives depended on it! Now, Lisa, come with me, and we'll
} we'll visit the buffet and do a little sunbathing."
} "Cool!" coos Lisa, and accompanies the Oracle back up the deck.
} "Who was that?" says I, when the cruising couple passes out of sight.
} "Hmm?" says Zadoc. "Oh! Her! That was Lisa." He says her name as if
} waking from a dream. "She it was that inspired this voyage."
} "How so?"
} ... "One day, upon perusing the happenings aboard The R.h.o.d., she
} heard the sad request of a small child. It seems that Alex Kelly,
} whose father of course owns a very famous Siamese fighting fish, had
} herself obtained a similar fish, and, in the way of young girls,
} earnestly desired that hers might become even more famous than her
} father's. Lisa, hearing the dream of young Alex, took it upon herself
} to, er, persuade the Oracle to search for a bright red Siamese fighting
} fish whose photo they might take, thus scanning it into a merry JPEG
} file, which could then be posted on the Internet, whereby Alex's fish
} might have its own web page, and thus, satisfy her dream (Alex's, not
} the fish's) of becoming more famous than her father's fish."
} "I see!" says I, not completely certain that I did, but unwilling to
} hear the tale explained in greater depth. "And that is why we now hunt
} "The bright red Siamese fighting fish!" cried the lookout. "Off the
} port bow!" He waved wildly to indicate the fierce creature.
} At once the crew rushed to the gunwale to catch a glimpse. Then, as
} one, our attention was drawn to the rear deck as the Oracle, wiping
} suntan lotion from his hands, strode purposefully forward. As if by
} magic, a space cleared from before him as he approached. Without a
} word, he stood steadfast and drew slowly from its scabbard a camera
} with a telephoto lens.
} "Bearings, Mr. Zadoc!" the Oracle shouted.
} "Bright red Siamese fighting fish at 280 degrees, captain! It's in
} the, um, small fishbowl next to the lamp."
} Slowly, unerringly, the Oracle raised the camera, patiently focusing
} and re-focusing, aligning the sights with infinite care. Time and
} nature seemed to stand still as we all watched him, standing, waiting
} for the perfect moment. As if it were the heart of the universe at the
} very moment of creation, we watched his shutter finger close, down,
} down, down until with a resounding click, the photograph was taken, and
} the instant was over.
} "Get this developed," muttered the Oracle, tossing the camera to Zadoc
} and turning back up the deck. "Scan it, slap it on a web page, and
} make sure Lisa can find it for a couple of days. Let's get out of
} here." Then, with a slam of his door, he was gone.
} "Wait a minute!" says I. "What about the foreshadowing of death and
} evil? What about the heavy hand of fate? What about the final battle?
} What about the ultimate defeat of the Oracle?"
} With a gasp, the others drew back from me. Before I could comprehend
} what was at work, the door flew open again and I was zotted by a burst
} of energy until I was no more than a crisp black spot on the deck.
} Without a word, the Oracle once again closed his door, and the crew
} swept my ashes overboard. And now you know why they call me Fishmeal.
} You owe the Oracle the movie rights.