Officials Surround AOL Compound

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APA Newswire -- March 18, 1996


Federal market-influencing authorities surrounded the compound of
AOL cult-leader Stephen "Online" Case today in an early morning siege
geared at ridding the marketing master of his stronghold, and freeing
what authorities call "hostages of knowledge".


"We figure he's got 5 maybe 5 and a half million of 'em in there..."
said one official at the scene who spoke on the condition of
anonymity.


The task force, composed of authorities at Compuserve, AT&T,
Netscape, Microsoft, and a handful of national internet providers;
surprised the compound while henchmen were blissfully backing up

system tapes. Officials who arrived at the scene were first told by
brazen system messages to "Return after 7:00 a.m.".


But officials did not retreat.


Just after 10:35 a.m., the following transcript of the hostage
negotiations with cult leader Case were released to the clamoring media:


(Transcript Begins)


Task Force Commander (TFC): Steve Case! Come out with the flat rate!
Do it NOW!


Steve Case (SC) (From an isolated window): Up yer ass copper! Make
yer move and I'll fry'em all! Ya hear me!


TFC: Don't be stupid Case! Your number's up here! The Internet is
too big for you to take on! Come on out now and we'll go easy on ya!


SC: Not a chance, flat foot! We're goin' on wid' "inte-grattion".
Ya hear me!? In-ter-graaation! Fuck you all!


(spray of gunfire erupts from the window where Steve Case is shouting
from. Heads duck all around.)


TFC: There's no chance in the world, Case! Think of your innocent
members. They have FAMILIES, LOVED ones....


SC: And I've gott'em ALL by the balls, Hoover-Boy! I've gotte'm ALL!
So come take yer' best shot and woe this glorious day! My members are
prepared to DIE! Woe unto us this glorious daaay!


TFC: Just lower your rates Case! The days of $2.95 an hour are OVER.
You can't win this one, just do it and play nice! Don't make us play
hard ball!


SC: It is NOT over. Never!


(more spraying of gunfire)


COMPUSERVE: Listen to him Steve! It's inevitable! Look--WE did it.
We are your friend, Case. We only want what's best for you!


SC: You were weak! You're ALL weak! Bastards!


COMPUSERVE: No, Case. NO! We were not weak. But it's the future.
The Internet is here to stay, and it's bigger and better than ANY of
us! Now come out of there before you kill someone with those bytes!


NETSCAPE: It's true Steve! C'mon, -we're- pals aren't we!? GNN and
Netscape (crosses fingers to demonstrate a tight bond). GNN and
Netscape all the way! Waddya say old boy!?


(there is a long silence between anxious members of the task force and
the madman held up inside. Suddenly, there is the faint sound of
sobbing, and then a small voice which is that of a blubbering Steve
Case)


SC (still sobbing): Netscape?


NETSCAPE: Yeah, Steve. What...what is it?


SC: I--I'm sorry I let Microsoft in.


NETSCAPE (taking deep breath and lowering head): I know you are
Steve.


SC: I know Explorer sucks.


NETSCAPE (nodding): I know, Steve. We all know. We'll...we'll make
it with GNN, okay?


SC: But, but...but I can't let go of $2.95 an hour. I just CAN'T!


(suddenly an ominous chanting comes from within the walls of AOL. It
is described by witnesses as an eerie chant of death)


CHANTING AOL CROWD APPEARING ON ROOFTOP IN HUNDREDS: We want to pay
$2.95 an hour...We want to pay $2.95 an hour...We want to pay $2.95 an
hour...We want to pay $2.95 an hour...We want to pay $2.95 an hour....


AT&T: You've got'em brainwashed, Steve. You know it and I know it!
Set them free Steve! Set them FREE!


(End of transcript)


At that point Case pulled out the holy "TOS", official scripture of
AOL, and began reading it to the swelling mass of support from behind
him. Authorities readied for an imminent attack upon the defiant
leader.


Microsoft officials were later quoted as saying, "Our browser
definitely does not suck. Hey, did Windows suck?"


More details will be released as they develop.


Dave


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