TEASER: A Toronto alleyway, just after dawn. Smoke billows from Nick as he runs down the cluttered alley, pursued by a vampire hunter.
The scene cuts to an apartment, where we see a blob of slime ooze out of a toilet to form a puddle on the floor.
Back in the alley, the hunter has cornered Nick. The man holds up a cross as he forces Nick into a corner. He's trying to force Nick out of the shadows and into the open.
Man: Into the rays of dawn, foul creature of the night!
In the apartment, the slime squishes its way to a computer, where it takes on a vaguely human form (apologies to all human readers for implying they have even the vaguest kinship with this thing).
Nick cringes in the alley's corner, then manages to look at the man. He makes a desperate, final bid to save himself:
Nick: Your fly is open.
The man instinctively looks and reaches to close his fly--dropping the cross in the process. Nick pounces on him. As they struggle the man produces a revolver and shoots. The round goes wild.
And we're back at the apartment. The slime snickers and drools as it turns on its computer. It does something really gross as it waits to get on the net.
Nick and the vampire hunter roll on the ground, the pistol caught between them. As always happens in such situations, the pistol goes off and wastes the bad guy. Nick, burned and smoking from the dawn's early light, climbs into a nearby trash can and pulls the lid over himself.
Nick: What a night.
It's gonna get worse, people. Back in the apartment, the slime spams.
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: The alley. Lotsa cops. It's daytime, but for some reason Natalie and Schanke are here, examining the body. Schanke is scarfing down some souvlaki take-out.
Natalie: Well, we can rule out suicide. See the cuts and bruises on his hands? Defense wounds. From that, plus the angle of entry and the powder burns on his chest, I'd say he was struggling with someone when he was shot. And the severity of the injuries suggest his opponent was a man of unusual strength.
Schanke: I'll buy that. He was holding the gun when they found him, so I'd say it was his gun and he was the aggressor. Just a stick-up man who ran into a victim that fought.
Natalie: He looks too well-dressed to be a robber, Schanke.
Schanke: Yeah, well, maybe business was good--until today. Or last night. You got a time-of-death estimate yet?
Natalie: I'd say six o'clock, right around sunrise.
A cop walks up to Nat and Schanke, and holds up an evidence bag which contains a cross.
Schanke: Hey, what's this?
Cop: I was going to ask you, detective.
Natalie is already clued in.
Natalie: I'd say it's evidence. Uh, Schanke--have you seen any ashes lying around here?
Schanke: Why? You think our stiff smoked? Or--I get it! You think his assailant was a heavy smoker!
Natalie: I hope not. Just look, Schanke.
Schanke looks. So does Natalie. As she looks around the alley she hears a hissing: Pssst--psst--psst. She follows it to a trash can. As she starts to raise the lid it slips from her fingers and slams down onto the can.
Natalie: Nick? What are you doing in there?
Nick: Working on my pale!
Schanke walks up, munching on his souvlaki.
Schanke: Hey, Nat, you always talk to trash cans?
Natalie: No, just wondering what Nick would make of this.
Schanke: My partner? That bum? The guy that's never around?
Natalie: Oh, come on, Schanke, Nick always shows up--
Schanke: --when it's time to hog the glory. But who is it that does all the work on this team? Yours truly! Team? Did I say team? It's more like hard-workin' Donald G. and showboat Nick!
Natalie: Really, Schanke, you know that Nick is the best--
Schanke: --the best hotdogger in the department! And he *never* buys the doughnuts!
Schanke looks at the remains of his lunch, and tosses them and their paper plate into the trash can. He walks away, and Natalie hears Nick's disgusted voice from inside the can:
Nick: Sheesh . . .
So the sun goes down. When next we see Nick, he's walking into the Raven, freshly-scrubbed but disgruntled (Nick, that is). He walks to the bar, where Janette is sharing a drink with LaCroix. Both vampires wrinkle their noses at Nick.
Janette: Is that a new aftershave, Nicolah?
Nick: It's been one of those days.
LaCroix: Enough to drive a vampire to drink?
LaCroix flourishes his goblet of the forbidden vintage, then frowns as Nick shakes his head. Janette reaches out and caresses Nick's cheek (no, not *that* one) as she speaks prophetic words.
Janette: I'm certain things could be worse.
We see proof of this statement at once as we now look to Miklos the bartender. He's on-line with his laptop, and he makes a noise of utter revulsion as he looks at the screen.
Nick gets behind the bar and gapes in astonishment at the spam:
220 13374 <email@example.com>
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Johnson)
Subject: Hot Male
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 96 07:37:16 GMT
X-NETCOM-Date: Mon Dec 02 1:40:00 AM CST 1996
X-Newsreader: News Xpress 2.0 Beta #2
Xref: ix.netcom.com alt.tv.forever-knight:13374
I am a male in heat. I am looking for a gay/bi young boy to fuck. S/M is A.O.K
Nick, the manic of action, immediately reports this spammer to its server, and gets its account cancelled. Nick looks pleased.
Nick: So much for that.
LaCroix shakes his head.
LaCroix: You know this isn't enough, Nicolas. Not nearly enough.
ACT 2: We're in the longest, filthiest, darkest alley known to man. Guinness Book of World Records stuff, people. And what do we see running down the alley but our spammer, email@example.com? It wears nothing but a trenchcoat and a look of abject terror on its face as it looks over its shoulder.
It sees Don Schanke, who charges after it like Patton invading Germany. He carries the biggest, meanest shotgun ever seen, a device that would make even the NRA rethink its position on gun control. As firstname.lastname@example.org begins to outdistance him, Schanke stops, raises the weapon and gives our child-molester wanna-be all twelve barrels. Each blast contains, not buckshot, but rock salt, and the spammer howls in agony as each volley flays open his skin and burns it with salt. Schanke stops and pumps a fist in the air.
Schanke: Oooh, that's gotta hurt!
As the spammer staggers down the alley, Schanke stops to reload, catch his breath, and complain.
Schanke: And where is my partner? The guy who's never around? This would be a lot easier if Nick would give me a little help once in a while!
He finishes reloading, and smiles as he hefts his weapon.
Schanke: But then, I'd have to share the fun of bagging this dip!
Meanwhile the spammer has ducked into a side alley, where he catches his breath and smiles in triumph.
Spammer: Me get away from cop! Me be safe!
A voice speaks from behind him:
Nick: Very safe.
The spammer looks at the vamped-out Nick, screams and runs back into the main alley. He runs right into the arms of Don Schanke, who beats him over the head with the butt of his shotgun, until he sees that email@example.com is enjoying the abuse. Schanke cuffs him and gives him his rights.
Schanke: You are under arrest. You have the right to keep your mouth shut around decent people. You have the right to six feet of dirt in a pauper's grave. You have the right to burn in Hell forever.
Nick shows up.
Nick: Don't forget the last rites. Ready to haul it in for a fair trial and a quick hanging?
Schanke is ready. The spammer screams and weeps as they drag it to court, and plop it down between the judge and a sleazy defense shyster. The judge looks revolted.
Judge: This is the guiltiest-looking beast I've ever seen. What did it do?
Nick: Something that makes spamming look trivial. It was out looking for a young boy to molest and torture. And it posted this message to half the groups on the internet. alt.binaries.pictures.celebrities, alt.support.ibs--we'll never find them all. But even Netcom agrees this slacker did it. That's why they suspended its account.
Judge: Guilty as charged! I'm sentencing you to life--maybe longer! I'm throwing the book at you!
And he does so, hurling a huge legal book at the spammer, clobbering it over the head. Schanke picks up the book, slams the spammer with it, then returns the book to the judge, who nails the spammer with it again--and again. Meanwhile the spammer is pleading and begging:
Spammer: Me only make post to annoy people! Me not really be one who want stick his eenie-weenie thingie in little boys! Me be sorry me be make trouble! Me promise me be never make naughty talk again! Me never be want hurt young boy!
And the shyster steps forward.
Shyster: Technicality, yerawnner! You gotta let my client go!
Shyster: When he posted his message, he said, and I quote, "I am a male in heat." It is well-known that only animals enter heat. This means that my client is an animal, not a man. The law can only apply to human beings, so you cannot try my client. In fact, you have to release him, or I'll have to charge *you* with cruelty to animals.
The judge looks sickened, but the law is the law. He bangs his gavel--first on the spammer's thick head, then on the bench.
Judge: Case dismissed--and dissed.
Spammer: This be great! Me be happy! Me be go out and nail me a Cub Scout! And you cops not be able stop me!
Nick approaches the bench and goes into hypnotic overdrive.
Nick: *Your honor--you have convicted this creep.*
Judge: I have convicted this creep.
Nick: *And his scuzzball lawyer.*
Judge: And his scuzzball lawyer.
Nick: *Lock them up!*
Judge: Lock them up!
ACT 3: Prison. We see the spammer locked in a bleak, tiny cell with two mean guys who stand six-foot-thirteen in their stocking feet, and are so ugly not even Madonna could work up an interest in them. The spammer lies on a cot, face down and sobbing, while the two cons talk. The first con stops and growls at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Spike: Something wrong, short-eyes?
[to second convict]
Whose turn is it?
Psycho: Mine, and mine.
At these words the spammer makes his escape. He reverts to his "natural" form and oozes out of the cell, passing between the window bars. He slithers over the prison wall, ignored by guards who are now busy choking and retching from his stink. The spammer takes on its psuedo-human form as it reaches a roadside. It cackles.
Spammer: Where be schoolkids? Me be want little boy!
LaCroix: All good little boys are in bed at this time of night. And because *you* are not in bed, you must not be a good little boy.
Uncle has vamped out. Seeing this, the spammer raises his hands and uses two fingers to make a cross. LaCroix smiles, and makes a different gesture with one finger. email@example.com turns and flees, and LaCroix pursues it, chasing it for endless miles. LaCroix could catch it, of course, but he toys with the slime, maneuvering it this way and that, herding it at last into a slaughterhouse outside Toronto. LaCroix at last attacks it, drinks its blood and brings it across. The spammer looks strangely pleased as it displays its new fangs.
Spammer: Now me be able have even more fun with boys!
LaCroix: I have brought you across for another purpose: justice.
Outside the slaughterhouse, we watch as the Caddy drives up. Nick parks in an alley, furtively looks around, and removes a couple of empty jerry-cans from the trunk. He enters the building and goes to a vat filled with blood, where he fills the cans. Done with his grocery shopping, he's about to leave when he hears a machine start somewhere nearby, followed by an incredibly prolonged howl of agony. Alarmed, he goes to investigate.
Nick finds LaCroix standing at the controls of a humongous metal funnel, in which long, vicious blades rotate as they grind a disgusting mass into hamburger . . . a hamburger with a sick, slimy quality. It oozes onto the floor where it forms a nauseating heap. Nick stares at it while LaCroix shuts off the meat-grinder.
Nick: What are you doing here, LaCroix?
LaCroix: You shall see, my son. Observe.
LaCroix takes one of the cans from Nick, opens it and pours cow's blood over the heap of quivering, shredded meat on the filthy floor. As the blood soaks into the hamburger, the festering mound rises and takes on a two-legged, two-armed, pin-headed form. We recognize it as firstname.lastname@example.org, and as soon as its throat and mouth take shape it begins to scream in pain. It slowly heals from the damage inflicted on it, and at last it seems no longer in pain. LaCroix now points to a ladder which leads to the open top of the grinder.
LaCroix: Get back in there.
Spammer: No! It be make me hurt! Me no like be hurt!
LaCroix: But you like to hurt others. Now obey me.
The spammer succumbs to his master's will and climbs back into the top of the meat-grinder. LaCroix turns it on again, and the spammer once again cuts loose with some remarkable noises as the blades cut it into microscopic chunks. Once again the spammer squeezes out through the grinder's lower orifice.
Nick: How many times have you done this to the spammer?
LaCroix: Not as many times as it deserves. This is one of the many boons granted us by vampirism, Nicolas: we can confer eternal agony upon the deserving. email@example.com (Alan Johnson) can receive a punishment which begins to fit his crimes, an act which no mortal justice system could deliver.
The machinery finishes its job, and the spammer once again lies in a finely-ground heap on the floor. Before LaCroix can pour more blood over it to begin another painful cycle, we see a frightened rat run out of the shadows. It is chased by Screed, who hums a cheery tune as he chases his dinner. He stops as he sees the spamburger.
Screed: Hoy, mites, isn't that the lowest of the low?
The rat, which has stopped to sniff the chewed-up spammer, nods in agreement. Screed is about to pounce on the rat, but he pauses as the rodent raises a forepaw in supplication. As Screed, Nick and LaCroix watch, the rat raises a hind leg and evacuates its bladder on the spammer. As might be expected of something like a vampirized spammer, rat-urine accelerates the healing process more efficiently than blood.
Nick now notes something of overwhelming importance.
Nick: The sun is about to rise. We have to leave.
LaCroix: Yes. One wonders if the spammer will survive the day.
He laughs as he and the others depart the slaughterhouse.
ACT 4: The next night, at the morgue, with the Caddy parked out front. Inside, Nick confers with Natalie.
Nick: What LaCroix is doing to this spammer is wrong. Last night was bad enough, but now he's forcing the spammer to watch back-to-back episodes of Voyager. With *Neelix.*
Natalie shudders, but steels herself.
Natalie: No, Nick, it isn't wrong. If firstname.lastname@example.org is what it claims to be, it deserves to be punished. And if it's a liar, if this spam is just a sick joke, it still deserves to be punished.
Nick: Why would this spammer claim to be a child molester if it isn't one?
Natalie: It could be trying to get people worked up into a witch-hunt against child molestation. It's a real problem, but hysteria doesn't help stop it. Panic guarantees that innocent people will get falsely accused--and when the hysteria dies down, people will ignore *real* molestation incidents, because the backlash from the hysteria convinces them that *no* incidents are real.
Nick: But LaCroix's punishment seems so excessive.
Natalie: Does it? Nick, when was the last time you saw anything half as evil as this spammer?
A dangerous question to ask around Nick, who slips into flashback mode . . .
. . . and nothing happens. No flashback. Nick looks astonished.
Nick: I can't remember anything nearly this bad.
Natalie: So maybe this spammer is getting what it deserves. I only wish *I* could get a shot at it.
Be careful what you wish for; you might get it. The fulfillment of this particular wish involves the appearance of the spammer. It falls to its knees at Natalie's feet and begs.
Spammer: You be make help me! Me be chase by cops! Me promise me be not bad no more!
Natalie: Okay. Get in the booth over there.
Natalie leads the spammer to a metal box the size and shape of an old telephone booth. It's wired up to all sorts of electronic gizmos, and as Natalie types commands into a keyboard she talks to her two guests.
Natalie: This is my latest experiment in curing you, Nick. This Wayback machine is meant to teleport your soul back into the past, where it will occupy a body and let you change events so that you don't become a vampire.
Nick: Will it work?
Natalie: This experiment should tell us if it will. If it flops, we'll only lose a spammer.
Spammer: What it be do to me?
Natalie: Don't worry. I'll put you in the past with a little boy, and you can play with him all you want.
The spammer cackles happily, and Natalie sends it into the past. Nick thinks of something.
Nick: Nat, will that thing's quote-soul-unquote end up in a *human* body?
Natalie's smile is a wonder to behold.
Natalie: It could--but I had something else in mind.
Schanke bursts into the morgue.
Schanke: Nick! Did you see that spammer? Where is it?
Ahhh . . .
Austria, 1895. The spammer is in a bedroom, playing with a six-year old boy. Okay, the boy--an ugly little punk, black hair, blue eyes, dull-witted face--is playing with the spammer. The spammer's soul has been incarnated into the body of a fly, and the little boy is pulling off its wings and legs. Then, from the kitchen, the boy's mommy calls:
Frau Hitler: Adolph! Adolph Hitler! Commen sie here und eaten sie dinner, dummkopf!
Adolph Hitler: Jawohl, Herr Hausfrau!
Adolph pops the fly into his mouth, bites, gulps, and leaves.
ACT 5: The morgue. The Wayback Machine smokes and sparks, while Schanke paces the floor anxiously while Natalie fusses with the controls and Nick looks on.
Schanke: Of all the idiotic times to try an experiment! And on a heap of walking crud like this spammer! What's the point in studying this thing?
Nick: If this ultrascan of its brain works, we might learn something about why it does what it does.
Schanke: And you just happened to make this ultrascanner out of odds and ends in your spare time?
Natalie: Everyone needs a hobby. Okay, I'm done.
The door of the Wayback Machine swings open and Nick pulls the spammer out into the open. Schanke cuffs it--first with a fist, then with handcuffs. The spammer sobs.
Spammer: Me no do nothing bad!
Schanke: Stuff it, short-eyes. You hurt kids.
Spammer: They like! They be want do it with me!
Schanke: They're kids. They're too young and you know it.
Spammer: Me be not know! Me be have problem in head!
Schanke: Mentally ill? Bull. If you're that crazy, how
can you get along in everyday life?
[grabs the spammer by the lapels]
I don't care what your problem is, scum. You should know better than to abuse kids--and if you're so nuts that you don't know better, you shouldn't be allowed to run free, you yo-yo.
Janette enters to the morgue with a thin rope in her hands and murder in her eyes. Nick realizes it's her turn, and covers for her.
Nick: Schanke, I'll take care of this thing. Go get some doughnuts, or something.
Schanke leaves, and Janette ties one end of the rope around the spammer's waist. Then she coils the line around the spammer.
Janette: So, funny-boy, you like to play games with children? You like to use people who are weaker than you are to get your jollies? You like it when they cannot protect themselves? Let us see how *you* like it.
She takes the free end of the line, ties a small loop in it and slips the loop over her middle finger. Then she picks up the spammer in one arm and carries it out of the morgue.
Nick and Natalie follow Janette up to the roof, and watch her fly into the night sky. She reaches a great altitude as she circles over Toronto, and then she drops the spammer. He screams as he falls, and then he jerks to a halt scant inches above the ground. The line has stopped him--and now it wraps itself around him again as he shoots back up into the sky. Screaming, he goes up and down, up and down, while Nick's vampiric hearing picks up Janette's voice:
Janette: Around the world! Walk the dog! Loop the loop!
Natalie has already figured it out.
Natalie: Well, Schanke *did* call him a yo-yo . . .
TAG: The morgue. Nick, Tracy and Natalie stand at the side of a gurney. The spammer lies on it, wearing a set of those virtual-reality goggles from "Games Vampires Play." The spammer lives and is conscious, but is drugged up so that it can't move. Natalie is busy filling out its death certificate as she speaks to Tracy.
Natalie: So after Nick turned in this spammer, he found there was no legal way to prosecute it. Fortunately it just happened to make a trip to Toronto, where it just happened to have a bad accident, and here it is, getting its just desserts.
Nick: An inescapable, incomprehensible nightmare.
Natalie: That's the sort of life it wished on its victims. It seems fitting that it dies the same way.
Tracy: It's a good thing there were *two* sets of those VR goggles involved in that case. But what happened to the first set?
Nick: They burned out. I'm glad you found the second set lying around in the evidence room. You sure they won't be missed?
Tracy: Hey, I know how to account for things in the records.
Nick: You're learning, partner.
Tracy: And so is this spammer. I hope it enjoys being buried alive in those goggles. Which do you think will last longer--the goggles and their batteries, or the air in its coffin?
Natalie: It doesn't matter. I programmed those goggles to tap into email@example.com's icky subconscious, find its deepest desires and twist them into its worst nightmares.
Nick: It's good to know some of us find justice after all.
Fade to end theme and credits
Send mail to web master with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: April 10, 2006