Forever Spam

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A crowded, busy night at the Raven. A small stage has been set up in the middle of the dance floor, and as Urs climbs onto it LaCroix speaks into a microphone.

LaCroix: And now . . . we give in to our foulest urges . . . we submit to our inner demons . . . yes, children, tonight is--karaoke night at the Raven!

LaCroix turns to a laptop computer which is hooked into the sound system. He presses buttons and music starts, while Urs begins to sing the song dreaded by all children of the night.

Urs: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine . . .

Her singing is interrupted by a sinister rumble from the computer. She and the other occupants of the bar look at the machine in mounting apprehension as an eerie blue glow comes from its screen. As apprehension turns to panic LaCroix works at the computer. His face contorts in anger as he realizes what is happening.

LaCroix: We are being spammed!

Quickly, expertly, LaCroix accesses the header on the spam and looks at the path line. The final entry tells him the source of the spam. Most people would forward the spam to the postmaster at that address, but not LaCroix. He shuts off the computer and takes off with a whoosh. A quick night-flight shot of Toronto, and we see him land on the fire escape of an old apartment building.

Inside the apartment, we see a spammer squatting in front of its computer. Being an imperfect moron (how can a spammer be perfect about anything?) it somehow fails to notice LaCroix as he smashes through the window. It drools and chuckles as it spams, while LaCroix walks up behind it. Fully vamped out, Uncle grabs it by the head and shoulders (something the spammer never uses, to judge by the dander that coats its matted, greasy hair) and prepares to bite into the spammer's throat.

LaCroix pauses, reaches into his coat pocket, produces a clothes pin, and uses it to clamp his nostrils shut. Protected against the spammer's vile stench, he sinks his fangs into its neck. The spammer has kept typing, but at last it notices something odd. It makes a brilliant comment upon the situation:

Spammer: Hey! Me think maybe me be dying!

As LaCroix hurls its dead body through the room's second window, we realize that even a spammer can be right--once. And as the spammer's corpse strikes the alley surface with a thud, LaCroix goes to the computer, gets on the Internet--and chuckles.

Familiar music as the sun rises, then sets over Toronto.

"He was brought across in 1228.
Preyed on humans for their blood.
Now he wants to be mortal again.
To repay society for his sins.
To emerge from his world of darkness.
From his endless forever night."


Act 1: An alleyway. Police and technicians are gathered around a body, which lies atop a heap of broken glass and twisted aluminum window framing. As we watch, Nick and Tracy drive up in the Caddy, get out and have a look. Nick speaks to a uniformed officer.

Nick: What happened?

Officer: Well, someone broke a window on apartment 3-G, climbed in, killed this spammer, then threw the corpse through another window.

Tracy: So we've got--what? *Two* counts of breaking a window, plus one count of littering?

Nick: You forgot disturbing the peace.

Officer: No, the neighbors say the spammer died quietly. Apparently it didn't feel a thing.

Nick: Pity.

Tracy: Maybe Natalie can tell us something different--Nick? Something wrong?

Nick has knelt down by the spammer's twisted, shattered corpse. While it is truly said that all spammers look alike, Nick seems to recognize this particular dollop of scum. He looks baffled and worried.


The coroner's building. Inside the lab, Nick talks with Nat while she carves on the spammer.

Nick: I recognize this spammer, Nat. It called itself

Nat: Well, you're wrong there, Nick. This spammer called itself

Nick: But it was posting the exact same spam as A "deal" that offered internet users access to 20,000 sites--which they already have. The exact same swindle, Nat. It can't be a coincidence.

Nat: What? What are you suggesting, Nick? You know you took care of a long time ago. Maybe some other dork picked up its spam and copied it. You know how unoriginal spammers are. Changing the misspellings in a chain letter is about as creative as they get.

Nick: But the face looks exactly like--

Natalie: Let me describe it.
{covers her eyes with a hand}
Greasy, messy hair, lots of zits and warts, brown buck teeth, beady eyes, ears like Mickey Mouse, no chin, fat, slovenly, has a skull the size and shape of a rotting gumdrop, with similar contents--

Nick: Okay, so all spammers look alike. And stink alike. But what if came back somehow?

Natalie: Reincarnation? Nick, sometimes I think you're a few bats short of a full belfry. Go for the simplest explanation, detective, and that explanation--

Nick: --is that spammers are so low they'll steal from anyone, even other spammers. I suppose you're right. It's just that coincidences always spook me.

His cell phone rings; he answers.

Nick: Knight . . . yeah, Tracy . . . Really? . . . you're kidding . . . you aren't? Weird. I'll be right over.
{disconnects and looks to Natalie}
The Internet just crashed.

Natalie: You're kidding. How could that happen?

Nick: Tracy said something about a sinister force.

Natalie looks thoughtful as Nick leaves.


Outside the Raven, we see an apelike thing shamble along the sidewalk. It clutches a laptop computer in one of its upper paws. Beneath the zits, goobers and clumps of rank hair, we can see an unhappy look on its face, as though it is all too aware of what it would see if it looked in a mirror. However, it is distressed for a more immediate reason. It sits down atop a nearby garbage can (and looks quite comfy in this seat). It opens the laptop, taps the keys, and sobs.

Spammer: Me no be able make get on net! Me no be happy!

Eventually it realizes that when you can't get on the net, you can't get on the net--a stunning intellectual achievement for a spammer. It gets off the garbage can and slouches away. For no reason at all (you expect spammers to have reasons?) it enters the nearest doorway, which is that of the Raven. As the club's patrons and staff look at it in revulsion, the spammer drifts up to the bar. It doesn't want a drink; it is merely there to take up space, which is one of the few things spammers do with any flair. As it exercises this skill, its eyes happen to notice a mirror. It sobs as it sees its reflection (can you blame it?), but in time it realizes that it sees no one else in the mirror. Anyone else could see the implication, but you know how dumb spammers are. It looks at the crowd and speaks.

Spammer: Hey! How come none of you hosers show up in mirror? What are you, vampires or something?

They're something, all right, and it's vampires. And it's feeding time.


ACT 2: Yonge Street. The pavement has been torn up and heavy construction equipment is everywhere. A large group of cops are gathered around a steam roller. Nick and Tracy appear, and force their way through the crowd. They stop and stare down at the flattened imprint of the spammer on the pavement in front of the steam roller.

Tracy: Oh, wow.

Nick: He sure looks surprised.

Nearby Cop: It, not he, detective. It's a spammer.

Second Cop: Witnesses say somebody dragged it here, knocked it out, dropped it in front of the steam roller, and had fun. They say the guy even sold tickets. People paid ten bucks a head to watch him turn the spammer into road pizza.

Nick: Was the steam roller damaged?
[cops shake their heads]
No? Then what's the problem?

Third Cop: There's no problem, detective. It's just a nice sight.

Second Cop: Actually, we're trying to figure out what a spammer was doing away from its computer.

Tracy: Not annoying decent people, that's what it's doing.

Nick: No, he's got a point, Trace. The internet is down, but that doesn't explain why a spammer would leave its computer.

Tracy: Right, spammers are too stupid to notice the net-crash. Do you think the guy who flattened the spammer would know something?

Nick: Could be. Did anyone see the man?

Nearby Cop: Yeah, the witnesses said he was tall, pale, ironic, and had hair like a giant Q-tip.

Nick: We'll never catch anyone with a description that vague.

Nick turns and leads Tracy away from the scene. She looks unhappy to go; she's basically a decent person, so she wanted to savor the sight of a spammer getting squished.

Tracy: What do we do now, partner?

Nick: May as well call it a night.

They say good-bye. Tracy goes back to look at the spammer; several cops are scraping it off the ground to send to Natalie. As they slide it into a giant envelope Nick gets into the Caddy and drives to the Raven. He parks and goes inside, where karaoke night remains in progress. Vachon stands on the stage and does Stevie Wonder:

Vachon: You are the sunshine of my life . . .

Nick spots LaCroix at the bar and sidles up to him.

Nick: How many people have sung "Peg O' My Heart" so far?

LaCroix: Five or six, I should imagine.

Nick: But you weren't one of them. You went out and steamrolled a spammer, didn't you?

LaCroix: It was a laugh.

Nick: What was it doing away from its computer?

LaCroix: Annoying people . . . much like this one.

Nick turns his head and looks as a spammer schlepps into the Raven. It goes to the bar next to Nick and looks at Miklos the bartender. It speaks in a rude, arrogant, patently offensive voice:

Spammer: Drink!

So Miklos grabs it, bites its throat and drinks. Nick and LaCroix watch in approval as Miklos tidily places its body in a trash can. As soon as he's done this another spammer walks into the Raven and goes to the bar.

Spammer: Me be want a drink!

Miklos: We only serve ice water to spammers.

Spammer: Me drink. Give!

Miklos: That's ten bucks.

The spammer gives Miklos a twenty dollar bill. Miklos gives him a pair of ones as change, and then hands him a drink of water. LaCroix, who has vamped out, looks at the spammer in amused contempt.

LaCroix: We don't get many spammers in here.

The spammer looks surprised; so surprised, in fact, that it doesn't give the reply required by this hoary old joke. [Okay: "I'm not surprised, when you charge ten bucks for a glass of water."]

Spammer: How you know me be one what do spam?

LaCroix: You have an honest face. You look like an idiot.

Spammer: You be think me smart enough be idiot? No one ever say nice stuff like that to me before!
{peers blurrily at LaCroix, sees his fangs and laughs}
Boy, you have butt-ugly teeth! You be need dentist!

So LaCroix kills it--and what better way is there to end the act than by killing a spammer?


ACT 3: The loft. It's almost sundown as Natalie walks in, while Nick sits in front of the TV, watching the news.

Natalie: You said there's a problem?

Nick: Did you know that fifty-seven spammers have died since the net crashed?

Natalie: And you have a problem with that?

Nick: No, but I'm beginning to think there might be a problem. Nat, what motivates spammers?

Natalie: Well--nobody really cares that much about what happens inside those tiny, warped bits of pus-soaked tissue they call brains, but there's a theory that they like to make as much trouble as they can. Why?

Nick: Last night several spammers came into the Raven and insulted people. Things like that have been happening all over Toronto. And people have been killing the spammers as nastily and brutally as possible.

Natalie: That's odd. It isn't like Canadians to do anything nasty or brutal.

Nick: Canadians are generous to a fault, and they're only giving the  spammers what they deserve. The odd thing is that the spammers left their computers. I always thought they were too lazy for that.

Natalie: They *are* lazy. Spamming is the easiest way to annoy lots of people. But once the numbskulls realized that the net was down, some instinct must have told them they needed a new way to bug people.

Nick: Spammers have instincts?

Natalie: They seem to have enough of a central nervous system to possess a few rudimentary instincts. And since spammers obviously can't think for themselves--

Nick: They have to rely on instinct. But it's odd that an instinct would drive them to suicidal actions.

Natalie: Tell that to the lemmings.

The phone rings; Nick answers it.

Nick: Knight . . . yeah, Tracy? . . . again? At the Raven? Okay, I'll meet you there.

Natalie watches as he hangs up.

Natalie: Another dead spammer at the Raven?

Nick: It might be a spammer. From what Tracy said, someone has saved you the trouble of opening it up for the autopsy.

Natalie: Sounds interesting. The sun's down; let's go.

They leave the loft and take the freight elevator down to the garage. As they approach the Caddy they see that it is rocking back and forth, while remarkable noises come from its interior.

Nick: Hey!

A young man and woman scramble out of the Caddy's back seat.

Loengaard: Oops, wrong classic Cadillac convertible!

Sayers: Honest mistake.

They hurry away, and Nick and Natalie get into the car.

Natalie: That's not the worst thing that could happen in this car.

Nick: Huh?

Natalie rolls her eyes at The Brick.

Natalie: Just drive.


Nick drives to the Raven. They arrive to find lots of cops already there, and bits and pieces of a body scattered all over the street and sidewalk. Natalie gets out of the car and picks up a hairy green wart.

Natalie: Yep, this was only a spammer.
{glances around}
Rest in peace . . . a piece here and a piece there.

She starts to pick up the pieces. While Natalie collects the entire set, Nick goes into the Raven and seeks out LaCroix, who is being questioned by Captain Reese. LaCroix answers in a vehement tone.

Reese: An awful lot of spammers have died recently.

LaCroix: So they have.

Reese: And a lot of them have done it here. That's strange.

LaCroix: Isn't it?

Reese: Are you going to tell me it's just a coincidence?

LaCroix: Yes.

Reese: Too bad. We want to give a good-citizen commendation to whoever killed these spammers.

Reese shakes his head as he walks away. Nick takes his place.

Nick: It *is* strange how so many spammers have come here to die.

LaCroix: They could hardly come here to live.

Nick: Is there a connection?

LaCroix: Perhaps they sense that I was the one who disabled the internet. Don't look so shocked, Nicolas. It was an effective way to keep them from spamming.

Nick: And now they're out prowling the streets--

LaCroix: Where their stupidity gets them killed almost at once. Reality is not a proper ecological niche for a spammer, Nicolas. Take them from their protected habitat and they die.

Nick: But there are so many spammers--the world could be overrun with them. LaCroix, how can we stop this plague you've unleashed?


Perhaps it's not a question of how they can stop it. In a nearby park a spammer in a trenchcoat flashes a beautiful woman. Well, it's a statue of a woman, but the spammer has so little contact with women that it can't tell the difference. The statue giggles at what the spammer exposed. This is unusual behavior in a statue, but if you'd seen what the statue saw you wouldn't feel surprised. The statue laughs so hard, in fact, that it loses its balance and falls atop the spammer, squishing it.


ACT 4: The park. The cops are at the park in force, along with a lot of appreciative onlookers. Natalie kneels beside the crushed spammer and studies its remains while Nick watches her. Meanwhile, Tracy peers at the statue's face.

Tracy: Guys? What was the name of this statue? "Died Laughing"?

Nick: The sign on the pedestal says "Greek Tragedy."

Tracy: Weird. The only tragedy here is the dead spammer.

Natalie: Where's the tragedy?

Tracy: That the spammer didn't die at birth--or however spammers enter this world.

Natalie: Just as long as it left--but something else is entering this world.

Nick: What?

Natalie: Maggots. The spammer has been dead long enough for flies to lay their eggs in its body and the eggs to hatch into maggots. Hey, here's a surprise!

Nick: At the risk of repeating myself, what?

Natalie: There's a maggot inside this spammer's skull! I didn't think I'd ever see a spammer with a brain so big it had enough room for a whole maggot.

Tracy joins them to marvel at the sight. And, as they watch, the maggot wiggles out of the spammer's head. Oddly, it goes straight to the nearest computer, a laptop which Natalie has set up nearby. Everyone watches as the bug crawls onto the keyboard and hops from key to key. Nick notices something at once:

Nick: It's typing out a message!

Tracy: What does it say?

Nick: Give it a moment.

He gets out his notepad and, one by one, writes down the letters which the maggot touches on. The message soon takes this shape:

220 12539 <534l6j$> article
From: (ray)
Subject: EASY! WORK AT HOME! Business!
Date: Sat, 05 Oct 96 03:28:56 GMT
Organization: SSNet -- Public Internet Access in Delaware!
Message-ID: <534l6j$>

Nick lets out a sigh as he recognizes the message.

Nick: Now we're being spammed by maggots.

Tracy: At least a maggot is a step up from a spammer.

Natalie: Wait, this is too weird. (ray)?

Nick: That's a fake address. You can tell by looking at the path line; this spam comes from, not There's nothing weird about a spammer using a fake address.

Natalie: I know. The weird thing is that we were spammed the other day with this same message, from (ray)

Nick: I know. I reported it to its postmaster.

Tracy: And now a maggot repeats his message? Do you suppose this spammer was so vicious he even spammed vermin, and drove an innocent maggot insane?

Natalie: I think it's something else.
{goes to the body, searches its pockets, finds a wallet}
Nick--this spammer--it was (ray)!

Nick: It died--and was reincarnated as a maggot.

Tracy: And it's still spamming.

Tracy takes off her shoe and swats the maggot as it spams.


Back at the morgue, Natalie conducts a double autopsy, one on the dead spammer, one on the dead maggot. She examines their heads with a microscope while Nick and Tracy watch.

Natalie: No question about it, the maggot has a bigger, more sophisticated brain than the spammer.

Nick: And this is a surprise?

Natalie: No, but it does help to confirm a theory, that spammers occupy a really low rung on the evolutionary ladder.

Nick: The real question is about reincarnation. How could a spammer come back to life this way?

Tracy: I'm just sorry I swatted the maggot.

Nick and Natalie look astonished at her misplaced sympathy, but she has a good explanation:

Tracy: We could have caught it, locked it in a bottle, and kept it from spamming again. Now it's just going to get reincarnated and spam again.

Nick: You'll know better next time.

The lab phone rings. Natalie answers and puts it on speaker:

Reese: Knight, Vetter? Get down to a place called the Raven.

Nick: There's trouble?

Reese: Trouble?!? All hell is breaking loose!

And what better place for it?


ACT 5: Outside the Raven. As Nick, Natalie and Tracy arrive they see the street outside the club is packed with spammers. For some reason they're dying to get into the Raven. Literally dying, to judge by the bodies that litter the ground under their feet. They've been annoying the daylights out of passers-by, who have taken to killing them--but there are so many spammers that nothing can get all of them. Downtown Toronto is slowly being abandoned to their vile presence.

As Nick goes inside he finds more dead spammers on the floor of the Raven, surrounded by overfed vampires. Nick goes to LaCroix, who is drinking something.

Nick: What's this?

LaCroix: Alka-Seltzer. One of the wonders of this age.
{drinks; sighs in relief}
I should never have had that tenth spammer. Nature always punishes those who become too greedy.

Nick: Why are they here?

LaCroix: I baited them in with a rumor that they could access the Internet at the Raven. I thought to bring in a supply of blood, and I succeeded beyond my wildest nightmares. Now I and the others are so bloated we cannot hope to kill another spammer.

Tracy and Natalie enter, aghast at what they saw outside.

Tracy: Those spammers are going wild! The only reason they haven't broken in here already is that they're too stupid to open the door.

Nick: We need to stop them.

Natalie: I have a plan. Get me a bunch of laptop computers with modems and cables. Fast!

Nick tosses his keys to Tracy.

Nick: Drive to the nearest computer shop and get what you can. I'll see what I can find on the premises.

Tracy leaves. Once she's gone Nick takes to the air and flies around Toronto, gathering up the equipment Natalie requested. He returns to the Raven, and Natalie begins to wire the computers together in a crude network in the Raven's basement. Once it is set up Natalie begins to lead spammers into the basement. They go on-line and begin to spam one another. It's a hideous spectacle. Tracy comes in, sees it, shudders and runs out to become violently ill. Natalie is horrified beyond words. Nick is aghast. LaCroix finds it all rather droll.

The spammers are baffled and angered to find themselves being spammed. In their sick experience, spam is a brutality they never experience themselves. Enraged at being spammed, each spammer incites itself to retaliate with ever more loathsome spam. The basement becomes a pesthole of spam--and their rage grows. Being a bunch of emotional degenerates, they do not know how to handle their rage, and they fight among themselves, killing one another. As they die Natalie wades among them, and places a pine seedling on each newly-dead spammer.

Nick: What's that for?

Natalie: Reincarnation. If I'm right, the soul of each newly-dead spammer will transfer itself to the nearest newborn form of life.

Nick: Why not use maggots?

Natalie gives him the Smile.

Natalie: It's too cruel to maggots--and I have a plan.
Hey! This one is still alive!

LaCroix enters the basement.

LaCroix: That condition is temporary, and easily cured.

Nick goes to the spammer and checks its wallet.

Nick: It's Michael Sorrells <>--and, look, even though it's half-dead it's still spamming!

Indeed, a message eerily appears on a computer, even though the bizarre and unnatural creature which uses the alias Jim Bexley Speed (a name dipwad stole from "Red Dwarf") is in a stupor even deeper than the usual brainless state of spammers. The message reads in part:

220 12563 <> article
From: Michael Sorrells
Subject: CASH!! FAST!! DON'T Miss this opportunity!

Nick reads the ensuing chain letter, then vamps out to feed. LaCroix stops him.

LaCroix: Let *me* punish this thing.


TAG: The loft. Nick and Natalie sit before the fireplace.

Natalie: It's simple, Nick. The dead spammers have been re-incarnated as pine trees--long-lived sequoyas.

Nick: You mean they'll be trapped in that form for centuries? Unable to spam?

Natalie: Unless they're cut down for firewood. But they'll make great trees. Vegetating comes naturally to spammers. But, Nick--what did LaCroix want with that one spammer?

Nick shakes his head; it's too cruel to describe.


Back at the Raven, it's once again karaoke night. We see Michael Sorrells <> locked in a tiny hanging cage, a look of utter pain on his yucky face as Screed leaves the stage. Then LaCroix steps into the spotlight and gives voice to one of John Denver's greatest hits, forcing the spammer to listen:

LaCroix: Sunshine . . . on my shoulders . . . makes me . . . *happeeee . . . *


Fade to end theme and credits.

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Last modified: April 10, 2006