In the High Court of the Educational Overlords a trial was coming to its end. The accused, a renegade Deviant Artist known as DevilsAdvocate92, had already been found guilty. Now it was time for the sentence.
DevilsAdvocate92 looked very out of place standing amongst the dignified Overlords in their neat grey suits. He wore an ancient black bomber-jacket and a pair of black jeans. He had a continental, rather pointy face hidden behind a cheap yellow and green Halloween mask and a shock of untidy black hair. But there was strength behind that mask, too, and keen intelligence in the red eyes.
A hush fell as the President of the Court rose, and began to speak. "DevilsAdvocate92, you have been found guilty of two serious offences against our laws. First, you have spent all summer lounging around watching cartoons on your laptop."
"Nonsense," said DevilsAdvocate92 indignantly. "I've done a lot of stuff... Admittedly a lot of it involved clubbing, but I've done plenty constructive besides that."
The President ignored the interruption. "More important, you have repeatedly broken our most important law the segregation of work and entertainment by expressing a desire to go into a career of film criticism rather than getting a useful job... as a Graphic Designer, for example."
Again DevilsAdvocate92 interrupted: "I not only admit my ambition, I am proud of it! You just observe movies at the cinema and programmes on TV. I want to write about them."
"We have accepted your plea, DevilsAdvocate92, that there are evils in the cinema that must be criticised and columns in newspapers which must be filled. You may yet have a part to play in that occupation."
At once DevilsAdvocate92 began to look hopeful. "You mean you're going to let me go?"
"Not entirely. We have noted your interest in the city of Leicester. You have visited it many times."
"I suppose so... But only to visit family and for the odd wedding," pondered DevilsAdvocate92.
"You will be sent to Leicester in the Twenty-First Century Time Zone. You will remain there for as long as we think proper. And for that time the secret television will be taken from you."
DevilsAdvocate92 was indignant. "You can't condemn me to exile in one little city, in one particular time without access to the TV."
The President's voice was cold. "We can, and we do. That is the verdict of this Court."
A new thought struck DevilsAdvocate92. "Besides, I'm known in Leicester already... well, sort of... a bit... not really... But never-the-less, it could be very embarrassing for me."
"Your appearance has changed before. It will change again. That is part of the sentence."
"You can't just change what I look like without asking me!" DevilsAdvocate92 protested, clutching his beloved yellow and green mask to his face.
"You will have the opportunity to choose your new appearance," said the President patiently. "Look!"
As if by magic, a huge screen appeared on one wall of the Court. Upon it DevilsAdvocate92 saw a wide variety of new face-masks and forms. At once he started to make trouble, rejecting each one with the utmost scorn. "Too scary. Too childish. Not scary enough. Not funny enough. No way, that one looks exactly like Ionstreak! I definitely don't want to look like him!"
The President of the Educational Overlords sighed. They were letting the fellow off lightly. He ought to be humble and grateful, not kick up a fuss about bloody Halloween masks and hairstyles. "You are wasting time, DevilsAdvocate92," said the President. "Since you refuse to take the decision, we shall take it for you."
DevilsAdvocate92 made no secret of his indignation.
"Well I've got a right to decide what I look like," he snapped. "They attach a great deal of importance to these things in Leicester. I mean, it's not my fault if this is the best you can do, is it? I've never seen such a terrible looking bunch."
Ignoring DevilsAdvocate92's protests and complaints, the President sent an email to a fellow Educational Overlord who sat at a nearby computer. The Overlord's fingers moved swiftly over keyboard.
Immediately DevilsAdvocate92 was held in the grip of the humourless gaze of the Overlords. Unable to move, he felt the entire scene around him dissolve into a sort of spinning blackness.
... and that's how I ended up enrolled at the University of Leicester... And not a dismal attempt to spice up a dull story about UCAS by ripping off the prologue (based on the closing scenes of The War Games) to Terrance Dicks' novelisation of Spearhead from Space; Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion.