Headcrash

By Bruce Bethke

It takes place in the year 2005. The world has become a world controlled by
computers and large multi-billion dollar companies. Our lead character, Jack

Burroughs, has an adventure in Cyberspace (on the Internet). In order to
understand the plot, one must understand the technology of the time. While most
people today have a dial up TCP/IP connection to the Internet running at speeds
up to 56Kbs, the Internet connections at that time where immensely greater then
what we have today. In the year 2005, one is able to strap on a Virtual Reality
suite and actually browse the Internet in real time, meaning a super fast
connection to the Internet Now, where does Jack Burroughs fit into all of this?

Well, quite frankly, he doesn’t really have much to do with it, except that

Jack is an employee of MIS, a branch of an immensely large company. His branch
of the company provides hardware, software, data, and network support to all the
other subsidiaries. The way that the internet and Virtual Reality relates is the
fact that Jack spends a lot time in his mothers basement playing around with his

VR headset, and other various accessories, in a virtual, multi user dimensional

VirtualBar called Heaven. He masquerades around under the alias, MAX_KOOL with
his friend, Gunner, or Joe LeMat. The plot of the story really starts to develop
when MAX_KOOL is offered a hacking job by an amorous woman named Amber. He is
offered 1 million dollars for the job. Having lost his job with MIS just
recently, (oh ya, I forgot to mention that. Oh well, now you know) he accepts
it. Jack and Joe decide to work together on this one. They take the $10,000 in
money to rent a room in an office. Being a very complicated job, Amber sends

Jack some new experimental interface to help him. With all the new interface
plugged in (and with the ProctoProd sung in its place), Jack and Joe realize
that the new interface makes them "Super Users". Super Users can do thing in

Cyberspace that defies the laws of the Internet. They are infinitely fast,
strong, and see and do things that no one else can do. After setting up their
equipment, Jack gets ready to hack into MIS’s computer system with his new
equipment (Oh ya, he’s first assigned to steal files from his old employer,

MIS, which he doesn’t mind doing.) Being a natural Cybergeek, Jack has no
problems. He gets the files and returns them to Amber. It turns out that this
last run was just a test set up to test MAX_KOOL’s skills. Satisfied with his
performance, they get ready to do the real heist, to acquire evidence that this
author stole the only copy of another author’s book and published it as his
own. With the help of some other folk, Jack and Joe brake into the "Castle

Frankistilen". In the castle, nothing goes as planned. They go though many
different virtual scenarios, and in the end, the alarms goes off as they get the
info and the Nazi guards start pouring in. When Jack gets the info, Amber
double-crosses him and takes it. After all this confusion, they are all captured
and are taken to a mock trial, (with a teddy bear as a judge and a bird as a
defense attorney, etc.). The reason for the trial was that the computers in

Cyberspace got mad at all the Super Users and decided that either they are going
to control everyone or go to a dessert island. This comes to that and Jack is
sent off to the island. It turns out that the "Island" is not and island.

Jack walks to the other side and gets a job as a towel boy at some hotel, which
concludes our story. In this book, I believe that there weren’t many major
conflicts. The major conflicts are as follows: Person vs. Person and person vs.
self. Person vs. person is shown throughout the book. Jack is always in conflict
with something, if it’s his mother, all the way to Jack vs. Eliza. The more
obvious person vs. person was with Jack and Eliza, or with Jack and Melinda.

Since Melinda was Jack’s boss, they were always arguing and threatening each
other. Eliza actually attacked Jack many times in cyberspace in the book,
showing a very obvious person vs. person conflict. Person vs. self is shown
through jack’s alter ego "MAX_KOOL". Jack secretly longs to be like

MAX_KOOL, with his leather jacket and black jeans, his glasses and