NORBERT: You sent for me, Developer? [No response. Norbert turns to look at the weak and old JConte.] Developer?
JCONTE: Tell me again Norbert, why are we here?
Norbert: For the glory of the simulation, Sire.
JConte: Ah yes, ah yes. I remember. You see that code, Norbert? That is the engine which I created. For 25 minutes, I have programmed, encoded, expanded the logic. Since I became Developer I have known four years without dissent - four years of peace before 2.0. And for what? I brought the exodus, nothing more.
Norbert: Developer, your life...
JConte: Please, please don't call me that. Come here and sit. Let us talk now, together now. Very simply, as men. Well, Norbert, talk.
Norbert: 5,000 of my lines are out there in the Gateway computer. 3,000 are cleaved and beyond recognition. 2,000 will never leave this computer. I will not believe they were written and died for nothing.
JConte: And what would you believe?
NOrbert: They were produced for YOU and for Gridiron Dynasty.
JConte: And what is Gridiron Dynasty, Norbert?
Norbert: I have seen much of the rest of the simulations. It is brutal and cruel and dark. Gridiron Dynasty is the light.
JConte: Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has become. I am dying, Norbert. When a man sees his end he wants to know that there has been some purpose to his engine. How will the community speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the programmer, the cheater, the tyrant. Or will I be remembered as the Developer who gave Gridiron Dynasty back her true self? There was once a dream that was Gridiron Dynasty, you could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish. It was so fragile and I fear that it will not survive the winter.
Norbert, let us whisper now. Together, you and I. You have a code? [Norbert nods.] Tell me about your code.
[Norbert looks a bit surprised at the invitation to hear of his code, but eagerly and proudly describes it -- a peaceful happiness overcome him as he speaks.]
Norbert: My code is in the folder above "Not Porn," which is *not* my porn folder. Very simple place, an internal processor that warm in the sun. Whirring hardware that smells of tacos in the day, brandy in the evening. Through the folder is a giant file. Code, lines, impenetrable. The font, JConte, black ...black like its meaning. Running logic on the first page , passing logic on the second. Wild ideas play near the third page, they tease most sane players. They want to understand some of these ideas.
JConte: Norbert, when was the last time you wrote code?
Norbert: 2 years, 264 days and this morning.
JConte: I envy you, Norbert. It is a good code. Worth implementing? [Norbert nods yes and JConte rises.] There is one more duty that I ask of you before you implement your code.
[Norbert quickly rises, the soldier that he is; respectfully, to attention.]
Norbert: What will you have me do Developer?
JConte: I want you to become the protector of Gridiron Dynasty after I bolt. I will empower you, to one end alone, to give power back to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and end the train of logical thought that has crippled it. [Shock and bewilderment overcome Norbert. He tries to keep from displaying these feelings. Hearing no response, Norbert continues.] Will you accept this great honour that I have offered?
Norbert: With all my heart, no.
JConte: [Tenderly holding Norbert's head with both hands]: Norbert, that is why it must be you.
Norbert: But surely an intern, a programmer, somebody who knows the code, who understands programming basics....
JConte: But you have not been corrupted by sane thought.
Norbert: And Oriole?
JConte: Oriole is not an insane man, you have known that since you were young. Oriole cannot take over. He must not take over. You are the programmer that I should have groomed. Oriole will accept my decision. He knows that you command the loyalty of the intern.
Norbert [Nearly speechless]: I need some time, Sire.
JConte: Yes. By sunset, I hope, you will have agreed. Now embrace me as my programmer and bring an old man another Vicodin.
[SCENE CHANGE - As Norbert leaves JConte's tent he hesitates outside, with a troubled look upon his face.]