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Though the super-secret contract talks that WGA and AMPTP officials are currently conducting in a hidden, maximum-security bunker inside a hollowed-out section of hillside behind the Hollywood sign seems to have temporarily inspired feelings of "cautious optimism" in members of the warring factions who've been starved for hope entering this fourth week of the strike, we fear a major setback is in the offing.

After luring unsuspecting writers back to the bargaining table with the tantalizing promise the dispute might be resolved before Christmas, evil studio mastermind Nick Counter will unveil the Striketron 5000 to stunned Guild negotiators, a Final Draft-proficient automaton that will immediately render their creative services unnecessary, and which is programmed to accept across-the-board residual rollbacks without any resistance whatsoever.