Free Today!

Title: Evil Scumbags

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: None

Genre: Drama

Teaser: Luke goes onto the Intergalactic Web and runs into trouble. Can Vader help him out?

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to George Lucas. This is just for fun.

Luke Skywalker sat in his bedroom inside Vader's castle on Coruscant and eyed the shiny new personal computer his father had just given him. Although his Aunt and Uncle had owned a small computer, one he had used to do his daily homework, this one was much better. It was bigger, faster and he was sure it could do all sorts of fancy stuff. It even came with a free Intergalactic Web account, thanks to the Empire. He could surf as much as he wished to find all sorts of fascinating things. Wasting no time, Luke typed in the password that Vader had provided and then he was on the Web.

Seeing his email box at the top of the screen, he clicked on it. He had been sure it would be empty, as the account had just been created, but to his utter surprise he had mail already. Curious as to what the mail could be about, he scanned the first title.

Claim Your 500 FREE Burger Planet Credits – Today Only!

Luke's blue eyes widened in surprise and he raised a hand to wipe at them, sure his vision must be bad. After all, who in their right mind would give away five hundred credits? Luke looked again and the title still read the same. "Wow! Today must be my lucky day!"

Eagerly Luke clicked on the email, opening it. Reading through the short letter quickly, he saw that it was a special promotion and all he needed to do to claim the five hundred free credits was click on the link that was in the email. Griping the mouse tightly in his sweaty palm, he moved the cursor so it hovered just over the link. Should he click it? Burger Planet wasn't as good as Galactic Burger down the street, but it was still OK. The young Jedi Knight imagined the endless pile of burgers, fries, blue milk shakes and other goodies he could eat, all free! Such a deal sure could have helped out his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen back on the farm! Eagerly clicking the link, Luke watched as a new page started to load on his computer's monitor. After a short moment, words appeared in the middle of the screen.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION. YOUR CREDIT VOUCHER WILL BE MAILED TO YOU IMMEDIATELY.

A grin spread across Luke's face and he bounced in his chair, excited. "Five hundred credits, just with a mouse click!"

Closing the browser window with the words, Luke looked at the next message in his email box. To his surprise, he saw that he could win a second item.

Claim Your FREE 12-pack of Sleesh Wine!

Luke paused, unsure if he wanted a 12-pack of Sleesh Wine. Truthfully, he had never heard of it before. Besides, he preferred drinking blue milk or blue milk shakes, not alcohol. Still, it was free… "Maybe Han or Leia would like to drink it."

Opening the email, he saw that it was just like the first email and all he had to do was click on the link. Shrugging, he clicked on it and watched as a new browser window started to open. After it fully loaded on his screen, his face fell as he saw an error message. Luke tried clicking the link three more times but each time he received the same error message. "Oh well, I guess I really don't need that free wine anyway…"

Looking in his email box once again, Luke found a third email waiting for him, one that hadn't been there a moment ago.

FREE One Thousand Credits Punta Place Gift Card! Claim Yours Today!

Luke's blue eyes grew so wide they practically fell out of their sockets. "A thousand free credits? This really IS my lucky day!"

Punta Place was a department store just a few blocks away that mainly sold clothing. Although he wasn't crazy about clothes shopping, he supposed he ought to pick up a few things now that he was the son of a Sith Lord. His closet was almost empty except for one extra outfit and his Jedi Robe. Besides, who in their right mind would turn down a thousand free credits?

His nerves jumping as excitement flooded his body he clicked on the email. For unknown reasons, it seemed to take forever to open and the young Jedi grew impatient, clicking on the e-mail's title over and over. "Come on, come on, open! Why are you taking so long for? This is no time to stall out!"

Finally the message appeared on his screen and Luke's blue eyes read it quickly. It stated that they had sent out ten thousand emails and only the first ten who responded would actually receive the offered credits. Since the message had just appeared in his email box, Luke knew he had a very good chance of winning the credits but only if he were quick enough. Beads of sweat broke out on his brow as he swiped the mouse across the screen and clicked on the link. The new browser window started to open and the words 'page loading' appeared at the bottom of the window. Seconds ticked by and Luke tapped his boot on the floor as he waited for the page to load. A whole minute passed and it still wasn't finished loading. "Hurry up!"

He jittered his leg and his fingers drummed on the desk, his heart beating rapidly as he eyed the clock at the bottom of the screen. He noted to his dismay another two full minutes had passed and the page still wasn't fully loaded. "If you don't hurry up, I'll lose and someone else will get those free credits!"

Finally the page loaded and Luke sighed with relief.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE A WINNER!

There was a form that asked for his name and address, so Luke dutifully filled it out. A sappy grin on his face, Luke pressed the submit button and then had to wait another agonizing five minutes before the page successfully had submitted his information. Wiping the sweat off his brow, Luke leaped out of his chair and bounced around the room with excitement. His very first day on the Intergalactic Web and he had already claimed one thousand five hundred credits, completely free! Why didn't Han do this instead of risking his neck smuggling stuff? It was so easy!

Dashing to the kitchen for a snack, Luke quickly returned to his new computer with a bag of salty nuts and a can of Jawa juice. He had originally gone onto the Intergalactic Web to download a podracing game. The other day Vader had told him of his childhood and how he had won his freedom in the podrace. As podracing was popular once more, there were several exciting podracing video games on the market and Luke wanted to read reviews on them before choosing which one to download. Typing in the address of a game review site, Luke punched the button to go there.

Popping open his can of Jawa juice, Luke waited for the page to load. He was still very excited from winning the huge amount of credits and wanted to tell his father, but Vader wasn't home. Neither were Leia and Han, as the two had gone off somewhere together. Minutes ticked by and Luke entertained himself by imagining the foods he would order at Burger Planet once his free gift voucher arrived in the mail….

But wait! A dart of worry stabbed him as Luke realized they hadn't asked for his address!

Glancing at the computer's clock, Luke was shocked to see a full ten minutes had passed and the page still hadn't loaded!

"Stupid computer! What's wrong with you? You're brand new so you should work better than this!" Luke grumbled as he signed off the Intergalactic Web and then signed back on. As soon as he did so, an annoying pop-up appeared on his screen. It had an ugly laughing face on it, a high pitch cackling coming out of the computer's speakers. At the bottom of the pop-up was the word koochoo, which was Huttese for 'idiot'. No matter what Luke did, the pop-up wouldn't go away. The Jedi gritted his teeth together, his happy mood from earlier evaporating totally.

"What a piece of junk!" Luke cried in frustration as he got out of the chair and walked away from the computer. "It doesn't even work right."

000

"And you clicked on the links?" Darth Vader asked some time later, his black breath mask expressionless.

"Yes, how else could I claim the free credits I won?" Luke replied, his mood a tad brighter once again as he told his father of his great fortune. "Isn't it great? Just think, one thousand five hundred credits! It's amazing!"

"It's a scam, Luke." Darth Vader explained as he placed a black-gloved hand on his son's shoulder. "The will say anything in the email to get you to click on the link. Once you do so, it takes you to a page the scammer created. There it will put bad bugs onto your computer: viruses, key loggers, Trojans and things far worst. It's why your computer doesn't work now."

Luke's face fell. "You mean I wrecked my own computer and didn't even know it?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so, Son." Vader replied. "I will give you another new computer and send that one to the computer lab. The Empire has a team that goes after these criminals. But you must never click on strange links in emails, Luke."

"All right." Luke promised, reminding himself to tell Han and Leia later in case they didn't know.

THE END