Captain Thark: It says what, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant Crumbly: 'Help, there's a fr-'
Thark: I know what it says, Lieutenant! But why would they be transmitting such a message across thousands of light years of deep space?
Crumbly: Buggered if I know, Cap'n.
Thark: It baffles me also, Lieutenant.
Crumbly: Do you want me to do you a printout of it, sir?
Thark: A printout? We're not living in the Dark Ages, Lieutenant. And besides which, I think we used our last sheet of paper on that poster you did for the Karaoke Night.
Crumbly: Sorry about that, Cap'n.
Thark: That's okay, Lieutenant. Just remember, in future, to use the Tri-Lithium Exe-Berylic Supra-Reinforced Hyper-Organic Compound, like I told you before. Paper is such a scarce commodity these days.
Crumbly: Righty-ho, Cap'n.
Thark: So then, back to this message¦ Where did you say it was coming from, again?
Crumbly: There, by the star.
Thark: Where, by the star?
Crumbly: Right there. A little planet with-
Thark: It's a very small planet, Lieutenant.
Crumbly: That's because we're two thousand, six hundred and thirty seven light years away, sir.
Thark: I know that, Lieutenant, I'm not stupid!
Crumbly: Would you like me to do you a printout of the star map and highlight it with a marker pen?
Thark: No, just fiddle with your knob.
Crumbly: Beg your pardon, sir?
Thark: Make it go in and out.
Crumbly: I really have no idea what you're-
Thark: Zoom in on the image, Lieutenant Crumbly!
Crumbly: Zooming in, Cap'n¦ For a moment there, I thought you meant-
Thark: So what's the name of this innocuous little hunk of rock, then?
Crumbly: Hypersensico-Bigboyzikon-12, sir.
Thark: That rings a bell¦
Crumbly: I think you're thinking of the thing you put on your-
Thark: Never mind that, Lieutenant. So it's two thousand-odd light years away, you say?
Crumbly: Give or take a few parsecs.
Thark: I suppose, then, as we are required to answer any distress calls within a five thousand light year radius, we'd better get down there and offer our assistance.
Crumbly: In killing a frog, Cap'n?
Thark: One man's frog, Lieutenant, is another man's-
Crumbly: Armour-plated battle-tank, sir?
Thark: That's the one.
Crumbly: Shall I prepare the Warp Drive, sir?
Thark: If it's not too much trouble.
Thark: Bring 'er down slowly, Crumbly!
Crumbly: Bringing 'er down slowly, Cap'n!
Thark: Activate the hand brake, Crumbly!
Crumbly: Activating the hand brake, Cap'n!
Thark: Prepare the teleportation chamber, Crumbly!
Crumbly: Preparing the teleportation chamber, Cap'n!
Thark: On second thoughts¦ unprepare the teleportation chamber, Crumbly!
Crumbly: Unpreparing the teleportation chamber, Cap'n!
Thark: ¦and send down a probe, Crumbly!
Crumbly: A probe, Cap'n?
Thark: Have you never seen Star Trek?
Crumbly: Preparing to send down a probe, Cap'n!¦ Attaching Dual Shock 2 Controller to Probe Activation Console!¦
Thark: Why can't you just use Psychic Thought Transference to manoeuvre the probe, like normal people?
Crumbly: If it ain't broke, Cap'n¦
Thark: But it is broke! I've lost count of the number of times we've had to send that thing to the Sony Repair Centre.
Crumbly: The Playstation 5 is a miracle of ergonomic design, Cap'n.
Thark: Whatever you say, Lieutenant Crumbly.
Crumbly: Erm... Cap'n...
Thark: Yes, Lieutenant Crumbly?
Crumbly: You may want to see this...
Thark: What is it, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: It's the planet... It appears to be covered in...
Crumbly: Actually, Frawg-spawn, Cap'n.
Thark: What-spawn, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: Frawg-spawn, sir.
Thark: And what in the name of-
Crumbly: On account of the frawg, sir.
Thark: The 'frawg'? What in the Universe are you talking about?
Crumbly: I have just recalibrated the Translatatron, sir. It appears to have made a small mistake.
Thark: A small mistake, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: A small spelling mistake, Cap'n.
Thark: So what exactly are we talking about here, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: Well, Cap'n... it would appear that, where we initially thought the sender of the distress call was complaining of the existence of a small, green, Earth-based amphibian hopping about on his motherboard; we are actually, in fact, dealing with a creature which is as far removed from a frog as is the Groxnofflian Snaffleblaster from a halibut.
Thark: A halibut?
Crumbly: A halibut, sir.
Thark: So tell me about this... 'frawg'... Lieutenant.
Crumbly: It lives inside computers.
Thark: It doesn't sound so bad.
Crumbly: It lives inside computers... at first.
Thark: Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like this?
Crumbly: It lives inside computers and it feeds on their electrical impulses. In the first stage of its life, it is almost the same size, shape and colour of a... frog. Except without any discernible features. More like a giant, green amoeba, really.
Thark: It still doesn't sound so bad.
Crumbly: It grows. It gorges on the data-streams, feasts on the binary code. It's sort of like a computer virus, but with an actual physical presence. Kind of an electronic tapeworm, if you will.
Thark: Enough of the clever metaphors, Crumbly. Just tell me... what's with all the frogspawn - sorry, frawg-spawn - then?
Crumbly: I'm getting to that... The thing is, like I said, it grows. At an alarming rate. By the time you realise you've got an actual living thing inside your computer, it's too late.
Thark: In what sense is it - as you say - 'too late,' Lieutenant Crumbly?
Crumbly: In the sense that, when you start to see green slime oozing out from under your keyboard, there's no stopping the thing.
Thark: No stopping it from what, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: From consuming all that it comes into contact with, Cap'n.
Crumbly: Every buggery thing, Cap'n.
Thark: So it's a little more serious than a frog, then.
Crumbly: A little, sir.
Thark: And the frawg-spawn?
Crumbly: Waste products, sir.
Thark: So basically, what we're looking at here is a planetful of shit.
Crumbly: That would be a fairly accurate summation, Cap'n.
Thark: And do you think it would be safe to assume that whoever sent that distress call, like the frawg, now has no discernible features?
Crumbly: I feel that would be a fairly safe assumption to make, sir.
Thark: Bring up the probe, Lieutenant, we're going home.
Crumbly: Very good, sir.
Thark: That was a fine meal, Lieutenant Crumbly.
Crumbly: Why thank you, Captain Thark. It was my Great Aunt Milly's special recipe.
Thark: Could have done without the spinach, though.
Crumbly: There was no spinach, Cap'n.
Thark: No spinach, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: Not that I remember, Cap'n.
Thark: Then what's that green stuff all over your keyboard?
Crumbly: Oh... bugger... I think...
Thark: What is it, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: I fear I may have forgotten to clean the probe after retrieving it from Hypersensico-Bigboyzikon-12, sir.
Thark: You forgot to clean the probe...
Crumbly: Yes, Cap'n.
Crumbly: Yes, Cap'n?
Thark: When you've finished picking bits out of your teeth, would you mind send out a distress call?
Crumbly: Not a problem, sir. And what should be the wordage of such?
Thark: 'Help, there's a frawg in my-'
Crumbly: Actually, Cap'n...
Thark: Yes, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: I've just remembered something.
Thark: And what would that be, Lieutenant?
Crumbly: There was spinach.
Crumbly: Yes, Cap'n?
Thark: You're an idiot.
Crumbly: Thank you, Cap'n.