(The guys file into the theater.)

Ambush <))):=

Servo: Oh, so this chapter takes place in Ambush, New Mexico.
Bob: You just made that up, didn't you?
Servo: Who asked you?

Matrix helped carry a heavy pack of ammo to relieve two CPUs. They were a trigger happy group of binomes

Mike: And the life of any social function.

used to firing at the slightest movement and they demonstrated more then once

Crow: By shooting Matrix with every step he took.

as they ventured on to relocate the tear Bob and Matrix came through.

Matrix told the binomes, "Now I see why you need so much ammo.

Bob: (Matrix) I like to shoot things too.

You’re shooting at shadows."

"You can do better?" complained Dos.

Servo: (Matrix) Well, I am a main character, whereas all your men are expendable extras.

"I can see better. I have the eye for it.

(Servo does a rimshot)

Tell your men to take it easy.

Mike: Don't let the sound of their own wheels make them crazy.

I'll keep scanning."

"You're not a real guardian, are you?"

Crow: (Matrix) Okay, you got me; I never got my fire-building badge.

"I've had extensive game training.

Bob: So, no marketable skills?

That's good enough for Bob."

"In this situation games are nothing.

Servo: And thirst is everything.

We'll see how good you are when you have to deal with a Soldier Programming Bug."

"Maybe so, but I've fought in scenarios similar to this.

Mike: Umm, wait, that doesn't relate to what Dos just said.

With Bob's help your survivors will be brought to Mainframe."

Crow: (Matrix) And with my help, they'll all be blasted away.

"This is and was my home. We lost almost everybody!

Bob: Yeah, boo hoo.

You act as if this was just another day at the office to you!"

Servo: (Matrix) That's crazy. Now cover for me, I'm going on my coffee break.

"I've seen dozens of ruined systems including my own. I know exactly how you feel."

Mike: (Matrix) Kinda warm and squishy, right?

Dos was still unfriendly.

Crow: Since he was a one-dimensional character completely incapable of change.

"You had better be straight with us.

Bob: (Dos) We don't trust circles in these parts.

After what we all have been through here, I'm not ready to trust any guardian. Or any guardian wannabe!"

Servo: (mumbling) Characterization.

Bob made small talk with the two binomes

Bob: Wait a nano, there aren't any Two binomes! Just Ones and Zeroes!

Matrix aided by carrying their ammo. "What are your names?"

Mike: Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Daryl, and this is my other brother Daryl.

"I'm Nubus," said the one binome.

"I'm Epson," said the zero.

Crow: (Epson) We'll be your redshirts for the story.

"You and your friend don't look like guardians. You uniforms aren't normal."

Servo: (Epson) And we don't trust people with unusual clothes.

"We haven't had a normal couple of hours."

"You look tired."

Bob: (Epson) And you have hair and stuff. Did you know that?

"I missed lunch. I'm way below my energy output."

Nubus fumbled inside his flax jacket and found a candy bar. "Here. It's not much."

Mike: (Nubus) But the Boy Scouts were having a sale and I thought, "Why not?"

"Thank you."

"Can I ask you something personal?"

(Everyone clears their throats loudly)

Bob tore open the wrapper and bit the candy. "Sure."

Crow: (Bob) Seeing as how we've known each other so long, we really should start opening up to each other.

"What happened to you? I mean...you don't look exactly right."

Servo: (Nubus) I mean, are you some sort of freak, or what?

"Nubus!" hissed Epson. "You’re being rude!"

"It's all right Epson," Bob chewed the bar.

Bob: I love telling strangers the story of my hideous deformation.

"I had a little accident. I got trapped in the Web and-"

Mike: (Bob) I couldn't finish my sentence.

"THE WEB!?!" All the troops froze.

All: No, the Web.

Dos cleared his throat. "Everyone concentrate on what our objective is.

Crow: And that's what again, sir?

We don't have time for chit-chats and wild stories!"

Servo: (Dos) C'mon, the plot's not going to advance itself!

Dos must have thought Bob to be lying. Matrix didn't like it.

Bob: Watch out, someone's going to get blasted. . .

Bob gave Matrix a warning glance to let it go. They had a mission to finish.

Mike: Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.

Bob finished consuming the candy.

Crow: Wow, makes it sound like he's a snake swallowing a rat or something.

He didn't know what to do with the wrapper. His protocol was against littering despite the amount of garbage in the streets. He left in crumpled in his hand.

Servo: Somewhere, a Native American is smiling.

"There it is," pointed Bob.

Crow: (getting up) "I'm leaving," walked away Crow.
Mike: (grabbing Crow's shoulder) Sit down.

A good-sized tear, almost a class twelve, hovered in the center of the street on the next block.

Bob: (gasp) It's jay-walking!

A small army of Bugs, consisting of Workers, Scouts and a few Soldiers were scurrying about the tear like the metaphorical moths about a flame.

Servo: You know, if they just had a bug zapper, this whole dumb story would just go away.

"Dumb Bugs," growled Dos. "The things are attracted to the light of the tears."

Crow: (Dos) I learned that before I dropped out of first grade.

"No," corrected Bob, "it's more then that.

Mike: (Bob) It's also the heat.

They know the tears can become portals. When the Queen manages to output the right codes from the Principle Office they will stabilize.

Crow: And that's all the plot we can afford right now.

Mainframe may only be one system being linked to."

"I refuse to believe these things are that smart."

Servo: (Dos) Because my purpose in this story is to be completely thick-headed and unlikable.

"They are.

Bob: So there! Nyah!

Even Web Creatures look stupid but they are remarkably intelligent. We have to be careful. Matrix? Ready to do some clean up?"

Crow: (Bob) There's a spill on aisle seven.

"Thought you'd never ask," he grinned as he unholstered his Gun. "Gun! Command line! Multiple target acquisition!"

Bob: No, I said clean up, not blow up!

The red tracers scattered out of Gun's targeting array.

Servo: He named it "Gun"?
Crow: That probably came from the same flash of inspiration when Mouse called her ship "Ship".

The Bugs froze as they saw Red Cross hairs attach to each other's heads and torsos. A few of the Soldiers started to crawl towards the CPUs ready to attack.

Mike: What were the rest of them doing, playing Scrabble?

"Get ready to pick off any of the strays he misses," whispered Bob.

Epson commented. "He misses?"

All: He misses.

Matrix pulled the trigger.

Servo: Unfortunately, Bugs Bunny put the sight on the other end, so he blasted himself in the face.

Nearly every Bug began to explode from laser fire. The wounded ones were attacked by their own kind.

Bob: You'd think they'd wait until after the attack to do that.

The Workers ran with the pieces to use as food for the Queen and the eggs she laid.

Crow: Heh heh. Hey Mike. Why do Queens lay eggs?
Mike: Because if they dropped them, they'd break, right?
Crow: (confused) Umm, no. It's in order to reproduce. Where'd you go to school?
Mike: I thought you were telling a joke!
Crow: I mean, how dumb are you, Mike?

The CPUs shot the stragglers as fast as they could. In a matter of moments the block was visibly clear of live Bugs. The CPUs cheered.

Servo: And there was much rejoicing.
All: Yaaaay.

Matrix blew off the business end of Gun.

Bob: He ran out of things to blow up, so he blew up his own gun.

"I'll check the perimeter Bob. Have the CPUs get the equipment set up to lock up the tear."

Mike: (Matrix) I'm starving!

As Matrix walked up the block Dos said to Bob. "You let him give you orders?"

Crow: (Bob) I want to live to see tomorrow, don't I?

"We respect each other. I trust him. So can you."

"I don't even trust you yet. How do I trust a semi-guardian?"

Servo: Very carefully.

"Dos. I'm sorry about what the other guardians have done. But we are going to help you.

Bob: Or, failing that, let your system crash.

Come on."

Bob began to lead the CPUs forward

Mike: So Dos lets the guy he doesn't trust lead his troops around?

when he noticed the ground asphalt had been chewed all up around the tear area exposing layers of soft dirt underneath.

Crow: (Bob) Hey, I could put a garden there!

Much of it looked as if something had tunneled into the ground.

"Uh oh," Bob mumbled.

Servo: (Bob) I don't think I turned off the stove before I left.

Dos heard him. "What's wrong?"

"Move back! It's a trap! Matrix! The ground!"

Matrix looked down. His eye saw through the dirt. "Cursors!"

Crow: Foiled again!

A Soldier burst out of the ground. Then another. And another.

Bob: Hey, the Soldiers are coming up pretty good this year.

They had burrowed into the ground laying in wait for the right time to ambush.

"Open fire!" ordered Dos.

Mike: What a brilliant strategy. You can really see why Dos is in charge around here.

The CPUs shot at the Bugs. Bob began picking them off as they came up. He blew them into cyberbits using narrow field energy beams.

Servo: Such powerful technobabble!

His beams were more affective then the CPUs firearms. Many of the troops were distracted by it. They had never seen a guardian do anything like this!

Crow: Yeah, most of the guardians they'd seen were better shots.
Bob: Hey!

Nubus had a Soldier jump on him. He screamed as the Bug closed its pincers on his helmet and started to pry it off.

Bob: Tension. . .

Bob shot the Bug point blank in the head.

Bob: . . . and Resolution.

He then helped get Nubus to his feet only to see another CPU get dragged away. Two Soldiers bit him to eraser before Bob could help.

Mike: Don't feel too bad; there's lots more extras where that came from.

"Backspace! Backspace!"

Servo: Said Mark Twain.

"Run!" he told Nubus.

Crow: Bob's military strategy: blast and get away.

Bob felt dizzy. He had expended a large amount of energy in a short period of time. Still as the CPUs moved away,

Bob: The bugs have been on their system how long, and it only occurs to them to move somewhere else now?

Bob stood his ground waiting for Matrix. Matrix was delayed by the Bugs coming across his path. He had to shoot each one.

Mike: Because, quite frankly, he was a maniac.

As he did Scouts attacked and tore up the injured or dead Soldiers for food.

Crow: Soylent Green is made from Bugs!

The Workers carried off the remains.

This is worse then those zombie sprites in Malicious Corpses, Matrix thought.

Servo: Matrix has a thought? Poor thing'll die of loneliness.

After another few nanoseconds it all stopped. Matrix waited thinking the onslaught to be over.

Bob: Seeing as how it all stopped and everything.

"Come on Matrix!" called Bob.

Matrix saw Dos and his men falling back. Matrix ran up to Bob.

Mike: And slammed right into his ribs. See, 'cause he's Enzo and everything.
Crow: We get it, Mike. . .

"We have to try again," Matrix told Bob.

Servo: Why?

"Dos isn't about to risk his men. We have to regroup," Bob panted.

Bob: Yeah, the bugs are making portals to take over other systems, they've only got about 40 binomes left; all they need is a little reorganization.

Matrix knew Bob was fatigued but he remained insistent. "We can do it Bob! Practically all the Bugs are dead."

Mike: (Matrix) And my bloodlust isn't sated yet!

"So is at least one of the CPUs.

Crow: Well, someone got hurt. Better call off the war.

We need to put a new plan together. We'll go back to the bunker. Dot will-"

Servo: (Bob) - Finish my sentence for me.

Matrix interrupted. "We're too close to back off!"

"This isn't our system!

Bob: What the heck do you want to save it for, anyway?

We can't make Dos to do it! We regroup first then try again."

Mike: Meanwhile the bugs are just standing around. . .
Servo: (Bug) Umm, are we still fighting? What's going on?

"But Bob-"

"That's an order!"

Angry, Matrix turned and walked away.

Crow: (Matrix) I'm taking my ball and going home! You guys are a bunch of jerks!

"Matrix!" Bob yelled after him.

Bob: The bugs are that way! You're going to the junkyard!

Matrix chose to ignore him. He kept going.


Mike: (Bob) Don't make me take off my belt, young man!

This time there was terror in Bob's voice. Matrix whirred around. A winged Soldier had descended on top of Bob, clamping its pincer jaws on the guardian's shoulder.

Servo: What, and he just stands there?

Winged Soldiers severed two purposes,

Crow: They chop those purposes clean off.

to swiftly invade a system and to attack the unsuspecting from above.

Bob: And to give the larvae piggy-back rides.

In such close quarters Bob's energy shield couldn't have helped protect him

Mike: It only protects from things far away? What good is that?

if he even had the strength to produce one.

Bob cried out as the creature tore through his armor

Bob: No! I just bought that!

and gashed his flesh beneath. Bob throttled the creature's neck, starting to burn it with golden energy.

Servo: (Bob) Taste the power of Wheaties Honey Gold, vile demon!

In retaliation the Soldier jabbed its stinger in Bob's right side.

Crow: (Bob) No! My allergies!

As first it had only glanced off the body armor but after several more hits it broke through, plunging and twisting deep in his flesh.

Mike: Oh yeah. The kids should love this. . .

Bob fell to the ground, bellowing in agony.

"BOB!" Matrix screamed.

Bob: (Matrix) There's a bug on you! Look out!

Matrix ran to him knowing trying to shoot the Bug might wound Bob further. A small group of Scouts and Workers were gathering nearby ready to help feast on Bob.

Servo: (Bug, Minnewegian) Oh, the Guardian buffet is just so lovely, I don't know where to start. . .

Matrix kicked the Soldier off of Bob.

"Eat this!" snarled Matrix.

Crow: (Matrix) It's made with O'Lean!

He shot it to only injure it. The Bugs attacked it.

Mike: What's this "it" thing? His shoe? A lamppost? A nearby cow? What?

More Workers were coming toward them, smelling Bob's energy.

"Matrix," Bob called softly. "Help me."

Bob: (softly) I still owe you twenty credits, remember?

Matrix pulled Bob, trying to get him to stand. Bob couldn't do it, the pain and damage were overwhelming him.

Mike: I know how he feels.

Desperate, Matrix pulled Bob over his shoulder and began to retreat, shooting more Bugs to deletion.

"Run Matrix!" Bob told him.

Servo: (Matrix) What a good idea! I wish I'd thought of that!

Epson yelled to Matrix, "This way! This way!"

Matrix followed him leaving the Bugs to clean up the mess.

Crow: Geez, you jerk, clean up after yourself!

The Bunker <))):=

Hack and Slash were on guard duty outside of the bunker entrance. A one binome dressed in worn overalls

Servo: Hey, it's the Torgo binome!

and aiding the CPUs in protecting the remains of the population of Quadra talked to them.

"I'm Miles. Former assistant to the Command.com of Quadra."

Crow: (Torgo) I tAkE cArE oF tHe PlAcE wHiLe ThE cOmMaNd.CoM iS aWaY. . .

"I'm Hack."

"I'm Slash. He's red. I'm blue."

Bob: You mean, all these days I've been getting them wrong?
Mike: It happens to the best of us.

"You came here?

Servo: (Hack) No, actually we're still in Mainframe, what do you think?

By a portal?" he sounded hopeful.

"Yes. But it closed behind us," complained Hack.

Crow: (Hack) It just ruined my day.

"Now we're stuck here too," added Slash.

"Our system has been infested by Program Bugs.

Bob: So the story consists of restating the plot over and over?

Our Command.com was deleted during the take over of the Principle Office. The Queen Bug is breeding in the Core."

Mike: Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

"This is bad. Very bad," Slash said.

"Yes. Our system is shutting down sector blocks at a time.

Servo: (Miles) And the downtown traffic is just awful.

I fear what is left of us are doomed."

Crow: (Miles) But I don't let it get to me. So, how about some Monopoly?

"Dot's plan will work. She's good with plans. Right Hack?"

"Yeah right."

Bob: (Hack) Like her stupid plans ever work.

"Uh Hack?"


Mike: (Slash) You wanna maybe have a funny dialogue here?

"Uh...don't move."


Servo: (Slash) I just played my paralysis spell card on you.

"There's a Bug on you head."

"AAAAAAAAAUGH!" He began flailing them in a panic.

Crow: "Them" refering to Slash and Miles.
Mike: I think those ZIP interpreters take things a little too literally.

"Get it off! Get it off! Get it off!"

"Hack stop it! It's not on your head anymore."

Bob: (Slash) It's on your back.

"I hate Bugs!"

"Well don't worry. It's not on your head anymore."

Servo: Prepare for punchline. . .


"It's on your back."

Servo: Punchline away!


Mike: "Awg"?

"Hold still!"

Hack was in such a panic Slash had to tackle him.

Bob: Ah, for fun.

He removed a Worker nymph from his back.

"It's only a baby," Slash told him.

Crow: Oh, look how cute he is! Hey Mike, can we get a bug for the satellite?
Mike: Uh. . . no.

Hack got up shaking. Slash crushed the Bug and dropped it to the ground.

Crow: Hey! Booooooo!

Dot came out of the entrance.

"What happened?" she asked him.

"What happened?! WHAT HAPPENED?!

Servo: Yes, that would be the question.

I nearly got deleted by a Bug!" Hack screamed.

Miles looked at Dot and shrugged.

Bob: (Miles) I just work here.

The nymph was only the size of an adult sprite's hand.

Mike: But most of that was teeth, so. . .

Slash yelled at him. "Hack! Don't talk to Dot that way!

Crow: (Slash) She's a lady! Save that locker room talk for your guy friends!

Bob won't like it!"

"Bob's not here!

Servo: (Hack) That makes me the law!

All we got are Bugs!"

Dot sensed it. "You’re afraid of Bugs Hack. That's obvious.

Bob: (Dot) Now, how can I take advantage of this weakness?

We never had Bugs in Mainframe."

Mike: Since they were created solely for the purpose of this fanfic.

"Not exactly," Slash started.

"Slash! Don't tell her!"

Crow: (Hack) Those bugs are for her birthday!

"Tell me. I want to know," she demanded. "I can order you

Servo: (Dot) In fact, I just did.

to but I'd prefer you tell me."

Slash willingly explained. "Megabyte kept a couple of Bugs in the Tor.

Bob: He had an ant farm?

He used them to punish anyone who messed up. Hack got punished once and Megabyte file locked him in a dark room with them for a whole cycle.

Mike: So Megabyte would feed his cronies to bugs when they screwed up?
Bob: Hey, it saved on severance pay.

Now he gets scared."

Dot comprehended.

Crow: Wow, a vocabulary word!

Hack possessed a bully attitude to hide his deepest fear.

Servo: And he babbled like an idiot because his mother never hugged him! It all makes sense!

And now she knew the source.

"Oh Hack. This is terrible. You should have told me."

Mike: (Dot) So that I could exploit your weakness.

"I hate Bugs!" was his only reply. "I hate ‘em! I...I want to go home!"

"So do I Hack. Come inside and calm down."

Bob: Okay, I'm calling this one: by the end of the story, Hack has to confront and overcome his fear of the bugs.
Crow: Hey, good call! You've been paying attention to these, haven't you?

Hack slowly rolled through the entrance.

Miles said to Dot, "We are all afraid."

Servo: So now that the Command.com is gone, Miles just stands around stating the obvious?

"So am I," she sighed remembering her dream. "Bob? Where are you?"

Serious Damage <))):=

Mike: Yeah, none of that light-hearted, whimsical damage here.

The troops seemed to run on for seconds before stopping. Dos wanted to take a head count and find out how much equipment had been lost.

Bob: Unfortunately, Matrix had taken the reigns of control and held Dos under his thumb.

Breathing hard from running, Matrix sank to his knees and carefully laid Bob down.

Crow: Hey, Mike. Why does Matrix lay Bob?
Mike: No, Crow.
Crow: 'Cause if he dropped. . . oh.

He saw Bob was sweating profusely and gasping for air.

Bob: Wow, all that riding on Matrix's back must have worn me out.

His eyes were shut.

"Bob? Bob!" Matrix sat him up and touched his friend's face.

Servo: Bad touch.

Bob flinched. Bob's skin turned translucent for a nanosecond. When the spasm of pain passed he opened his eyes.

Mike: (singing) The world was moving he was. . . right there -- oh, forget it.

He seemed to stare through Matrix.

"Ma...Matrix..." Bob started. "Where...are we?"

Crow: (Matrix) Sorry. Still in this cruddy fanfic.

"Don't talk. Save your strength," Matrix examined the rips in Bob's shoulder.

Bob: I visited Quadra and all I got was this lousy flesh wound.

"The gashes look bad Bob but it's not something that can't be patched up. You'll be okay."

Servo: (Matrix) C'mon, walk it off, you big baby.

"That's...not the...problem."

Bob put his hands to his right side.

Mike: This is no time for the Macarena!

Matrix saw the stinger, a large poison sack pumped rapidly as a heart, forcing its serum in Bob's body.

Crow: (Matrix) So what's the problem?

"Oh no!" Matrix groaned.

Bob: (Matrix, annoyed) Great, this is all I need! If it's not one thing, it's another.

"Pull...it out," Bob commanded in between gasping for air.

Servo: (Bob) Put. . . it under. . . your pillow. . . for the. . . Tooth Fairy. . .

"Bob! It will rip your side open!"

"It's filling me...with toxin. You have...no choice."

Mike: (Bob) Well, realistically, you could let me die, but barring that. . .

Epson handed the renegade a piece of cloth.

Bob: (Epson) Here, you've got something on your face. You wanna wipe it off?

"Cover your hand up," he warned Matrix. "You don't want it to cut you."

Crow: (Matrix) Really? Wow, all these years I've been doing this wrong!

Matrix understood. After he quickly wrapped it on his hand he told Bob. "Brace yourself."

Servo: Dentist, brace thyself. Heh heh.

Bob moved his hands,

Mike: This is no time for shadow puppets!

planting one on Matrix's shoulder and the other against the ground. Matrix placed his hand carefully around the stringer to get a firm grip.

Bob: How come something like this always happens to me in these stories?
Crow: I guess your fans just have a deep, seething hatred for you.
Bob: Huh. That must be why your fans always write stories where you're being driven mad by terrible stories.
Crow: Yeah, that must be why. . . hey!
Mike: Wow! Nice one!
Bob: Thanks.

Certain he had a good hold Matrix took a deep breath and yanked. As the stringer came free Matrix's ears rang with the enormous bellow of pain from Bob.

Servo: (Bob) That was my arm, you idiot!

Bob's head slumped back. His eyes were wide from the burning pain in his side. He tried to catch a breath and swallowed hard.

Mike: Wow, he must be starving if he's catching and swallowing his own breaths.

"Thank...thank...you," he stammered.

Matrix held the stringer for a moment.

Bob: (Matrix) Hmm. Wonder if I can kill something with this.

The sack had only a small amount of venom left inside it. Matrix threw it aside in disgust.

Crow: (Matrix) Bob hogged all the venom! I'm still thirsty!

If only he could have removed it sooner.

Servo: Yeah, Monday morning stinger-yanker.

Worse, he heard Dos complain about Bob's screaming. "Check the perimeter! Every Bug is going to be heading this way after all that noise!"

Mike: Geez, what a jerk, taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of his men and all.

Matrix watched as Bob placed his hand to the injury. The fingertips glowed as Bob's heat sealed the wound as best as he could.

Bob: So my hands can weld things together now?

Finally he gave up, too weak to continue. Bob's head slipped to one side.

"Bob," Matrix tipped Bob's head forward with his hand.

Crow: (Bob) Ow! My neck! Stop!

"I'm sorry."

Servo: (Matrix) For breaking your neck.

"It's not...your...fault."

Mike: (Bob) We needed. . . some sort. . . of plot device. . .

"But if I hadn't argued with you-"

"Matrix...this is...an order!

Bob: Two whoppers. . . with cheese. . . to go!

Don't...blame...yourself...I...was all...used up...

(Everyone clears their throats loudly.)

I...used so... much energy...

Servo: (Bob) I should've. . . switched to. . . fluorescent lighting. . .

I...guess...I...have to...get Dot...to...eat...lunch...earlier..." he joked.

Bob: Enhance your dramatic scenes with stupid, pointless jokes.

Bob's skin and body faded again.

Mike: 'Cause good sprites don't die. They just fade away.

He fought to keep from crying out. Matrix looked at the troops. They were sad.

Crow: Yeah, having your world devoured by monster insects'll do that to you.

Some had removed their helmets in respect. Respect for his death?

Servo: Or Memorex?

Matrix asked. "Can someone spare some data?"

Bob: (Matrix) 'Cause I am clueless.

Nubus handed him his canteen.

"He saved my bitmap," the CPU told Matrix. "It should have been me."

Mike: (Nubus) Seeing as how I'm the extra and he's the main character.

Matrix flushed Bob's wounds with the data. Then he put the canteen to Bob's lips,

Crow: (Bob) Oh yuck! You just washed my wounds in that!

urging him to drink. The guardian took a few swallows.

Dos watched the scene in a lack of compassion.

Servo: (mumbling) Characterization.

"You'll be wasting your time. He's toast."

Bob: (Monty Python) I'm not dead yet. I'm getting better.
Mike: No wonder Dos goes through so many men; whenever they get injured he gives them up as dead.
Bob: I think that "act of stupidity" he was talking about earlier might have been his own.

"What?!" Matrix glared at him in disbelief. "He's the only chance you have to escape this system!"

"He was our only chance! Thanks to you we've lost it!

Crow: Hold on. How is this Matrix's fault?
Servo: Umm, well, Matrix was walking away from Bob, so that's why Bob was attacked by the bug.
Crow: Oh, I get it now.

You want to carry that breathing corpse just remember we'll need the ammo too!

Servo: You're telling Matrix that you'll need to bring ammo?

We're full up as it is!

Bob: (Dos) And we're not going to take it anymore!

I lost two men and part of the containment equipment and have nothing to show for it!"

Mike: Well, you knew going in that this was a high-risk investment.

"As soon as Bob's well enough we can try again!" Matrix was so shocked at Dos and his viral attitude. He wanted to believe what he said.

Crow: So Matrix wanted to believe that Bob was dead?
Servo: No, Dos wanted to believe that Bob would get better.

Dos shook his head. "Let's move out! Return to the bunker! Everyone keep a look out for Bugs.

Bob: That's what they were doing wrong! All this time they weren't keeping a look out for bugs!

They'll smell the guardian's energy and try to follow us!"

The CPUs started to gather up the equipment.

Mike: You know, like their beach towels, boom boxes, picnic baskets. . .

"Matrix..." Bob spoke again.

"Bob," Matrix choked. "You’re going to be all right."

Crow: (Matrix) Unless, of course, you die or something.

"Matrix...listen...to me.

Servo: (Bob) Give. . . my hair. . . to the Smithsonian. . .

I have...Soldier...poison...in...my system. My...chances...are... bad..."

Bob: They're worse. . . than the Wisconsin. . . state lottery. . .

"No! You’re a guardian!

Mike: Wow, he figured that out all by himself! Let's give Matrix a hand.

I've seen you survive worse things then this!

Crow: And worse than being almost dead would be actually being dead.

You can't erase Bob!"

"Maybe...it will...save...me...with a...little...help...

Servo: What will save him?

but I...can't be...sure...Matrix...I...I...need...Dot I have... to...see her."

Bob: I'm. . . starving. . .

"Hang on. I'll bring you to her."

Matrix slung Bob onto his shoulders.

Mike: (Bob) Oww! My spine again!

He then took the ammo backpack in his hand to drag it after him.

Bob groaned.

Crow: (Bob) Is this story over yet?


Silence now. Only heavy labored breathing.

"Please hang on Bob. Please."

Servo: (Matrix) Pretty please with sugar on top? I'll be your best friend.

File Search <))):=

AndrAIa walked down the Main Hall of the Principle Office with Phong, Ray Tracer and Mouse. "I'm glad you two ported in so quickly," she thanked them. "We are in quite a jam."

Bob: (Phong) No, that's okay. I'm not here.

"How long have Bob, Dot and Matrix been gone?" Mouse asked her.

"Almost a half a second.

Mike: Well, you can't file a "Missing Persons" report yet.

System scans picked up portals opening in Mainframe but they happened so fast we couldn't fix a location."

Crow: So all the locations are still broken.

"Someone pulled ‘em out of here?"

Servo: Alan Hale asked.

"We're afraid it might be Daemon. She may have kidnapped Dot to bring Bob to her."

Bob: Although she wouldn't be clever enough to just directly kidnap me.

"Sounds like a virus' style," Ray thought,

Mike: Viruses always pick the most complicated method to perform a simple task?

"but there might be another reason this happened.

Crow: (Ray) I suspect Dr. Pepper.

It sounds like someone has the hiccups."

"Hiccups?" AndrAIa repeated perplexed.

Servo: (AndrAIa) I thought you said "dog food".

"Hexadecimal said that to me."

"Portals that blink in and out like that are created by Port Systems with serious problems."

Bob: And by nulls with bad indigestion.

"What kind of problems?"

"Viral for one. Bugs is another."

"Bugs?" said Phong thought out loud.

Mike: "Hey, we were just reading a story about bugs!" said Mike thought out loud.

"We maybe in serious trouble."

"So are Bob, Dot and Matrix," Mouse stated.

Crow: As was determined earlier.

At the end of the hallway they saw Hexadecimal crouched on the floor.

Servo: (AndrAIa) Uh, Hex? The ladies' room is down the hall.

Little Enzo and Frisket were watching her closely. Frisket snared at something,

Bob: With his snare drum.

the same thing Hexadecimal was trying to coax towards her. A Worker Bug, confused by its unknown new territory, twitched its feelers up and down as is crept closer to Hex.

Mike: Yeah, took the bug five hours to think to ask for directions.

"Come here little one. Don't be scared," she cooed.

"It's a BUG!" Phong exclaimed.

Crow: (Phong) I'm starving!

AndrAIa drew her trident. Mouse pulled one of her swords.

Servo: Ray hid behind Enzo.

"Hush!" Hex ordered. "You'll scare him away."

The Bug looked ready to run.

Bob: (Bug) Look, I don't want any trouble, I'm just looking for a log to crawl under.

Frisket barked.

"Quiet!" Hex hissed. "Ignore them little one. Come here. I won't harm you."

Mike: Quick! Get a can with holes poked in the lid!

The Bug approached her confused. Virus?

Crow: Or decaf?

This was a virus? Something didn't smell right.

Servo: Hex had too much garlic for lunch.

It had a clean scent, as if it were disinfected.

Mike: Hex has been dipping into the Lysol.

It rested its antenna on Hex's hand. "Are you lost? Poor thing. Don't worry. I'll help put you out of you misery."

Bob: (Bug) Well, that's a trustworthy, unambiguous thing to say. Thanks a lot.

Hex gestured to AndrAIa by bringing up one finger and elongating the nail.

Crow: (AndrAIa) Hey, back at you!

Understanding Hex's request, AndrAIa activated her hand spines.

Servo: And rammed them into Hex.
Mike: (Hex) Not me, you idiot, the bug! *Ack* *Urk*

She crept up and jabbed the Bug. The Bug jumped before it fell over paralyzed.

"Got you!" Hex picked up the Bug. "Now we can use it."

Bob: (Hex) It'll make a beautiful hood ornament.

"For what?" Little Enzo wanted to know.

"It will have information imprinted in its last memory.

Crow: Of course, it'll be about AndrAIa killing it, so. . .

We'll have an idea of where it came from."

AndrAIa added, "I get it!

Servo: (AndrAIa) We just ask it nicely to stop infecting us! Of course!

And if we have some readable portal codes, we can narrow down the search even further."

Mike: Maybe even to twenty thousand!

Mouse offered. "Ray and I can take my ship and lasso a tear.

Bob: (Mouse) Not that you'd want to, but I just thought I'd offer.

We can use it tah flip through the port systems with the closest match tah both the codes and this Bug's memory."

Crow: So tears double as card catalogues?

Ray said. "We're on the receiving end of a possible Bug overrun.

Servo: Yeah, this is the kind of guy who calls the exterminator when he sees one fly in his house.

Our best bet is ta start puttin' down traps and fumigatin' the system immediately

Servo: See?

ta head off the little beasties before they get here. And they will try ta get here."

Mike: Unless they don't.

"The surfer boy is right about that," Hexadecimal remarked. "And this also would explain why the others haven't returned.

Bob: Unless the bugs came from a completely different system.

They maybe in serious trouble."

AndrAIa remained optimistic. "We are talking about Bob, Matrix and Dot Hex.

Crow: (AndrAIa) Of course they're in serious trouble. What other kind of trouble to they ever get in?

I'm sure they're fine. We have to worry about Mainframe getting Bugged."

Still Hex felt uneasy.

Servo: The possibility of Mainframe getting bugged didn't comfort her?

She wished not to disclose her intuitions but every time during the recent portal phasing she sensed something. A terrible pain, as if someone were in torment,

Bob: Hey, cool! She can feel us!

and she knew only one person she retained the power to sense very clearly.

Mike: Rick Moranis.


A Sad Time <))):=

Mike: (Cheesehead, crying) The Packers lost the Superbowl!
Crow: (sobbing) Packers!

Dos and his CPUs led the way to a darkened alley being guarded by heavily armed CPUs.

Servo: Uh oh. They were set up.
Bob: Hey, this doesn't look like the Dairy Queen. Wait, those guys are wearing brass knuckles! *ack* *oof* *glrp*

Matrix saw Slash.

"Enzo! Am I glad to see you!

Mike: (Matrix) How should I know?

What happened to Bob?"

"Soldier Bugs jumped him."

Crow: They stole his sneakers.

"Oh no," Slash saddened. "This is bad. Very bad."

Servo: (Slash) I'll keep his catch phrases alive. I know he would have wanted it that way.

Miles ran up to Matrix frantic at the sight of Bob.

"Can I help you?"

Bob: No, I'm fine, I've just got a hole in my side, I'm slowly being poisoned to death, of course you can help me!

"I need a place to put him."

Mike: He'd look nice next to the coffee table.

"Follow me. There is a bed all the way in the rear you can use. The former occupant doesn't need it anymore."

Crow: 'Cause he woke up.

Matrix winced. He was putting Bob on a deathbed. No choice. There were few options in a dying system.

Servo: You couldn't get onion rings with your value meal.

Matrix followed Miles while observing the rows of cots holding injured binomes. Most were suffering from Bug bites, less dangerous and deadly the sting of a Soldier.

Bob: Others had stubbed their toes.

Many other were healthy

Mike: They were faking it.

but suffered the scars of seeing their city being destroyed and the people deleted or eaten by the invaders.

Crow: And from reading this story.

Matrix felt the same gloom as when he saw Mainframe dying and had no way to stop it.

"Over here!" Miles pointed.

Servo: (Miles) There's some more dead people to look at over here!

Matrix gently rolled Bob onto the cot.

Nubus told him. "I'll find your sister for you."

Bob: Wow, the action just doesn't let up!
Mike: It feels like I'm right there!

"Thanks," he said.

Matrix thought he heard Slash crying.

Crow: (taunting) Oh, what's the matter? You gonna cry, baby?

Matrix clasped down on the gashes on Bob's shoulder using the small piece of cloth and bare hands. Bob gasped in pain.

Servo: (Matrix) Not so tough now, are you Bob? You gonna give me the money, or am I gonna do that again?

"Bob?" Matrix whispered.

Bob's eyes opened a little, trying to focus.

Bob: Unfortunately, the story lost its focus long ago.

"Matrix?" Bob's voice came out so faint.

Mike: It was so faint that it sounded soft.

He tried to speak some more but started to succumb to the trauma of his body. He closed his eyes.

Crow: (singing) The confusion sets in. . . before the doctor. . . can even close the door. . .

"Bob! Stay with me!"

Servo: (Bob, softly) What, you think I'm going somewhere?

Dos walked over to Matrix indifferent to Bob's torment.

"Where's the ammo?"

Bob: (Matrix) Well, I saw some rabbits on the way here, and. . .

Matrix cursed himself before answering. "In the street."

Mike: And the prologue comes back to haunt him.

"I told you not to lose that ammo!"

"I was carrying something more important!" Matrix stood up so he might look down at the binome.

Crow: (Matrix) That matching luggage is very expensive!

"To you maybe! But this is a war!"

Servo: This doesn't seem like an appropriate time for a card game.

"Yes it's a war! I'm very experienced in them! Against the Web and viruses!"

Bob: (Matrix) And anything that moves!

"If this mission had worked we wouldn't have to be facing this war anymore! But thanks to you

Mike: (Dos) You and your recklessly walking away from Bob. . .

we're stuck in a dying system with a dying guardian and a Bug infestation!"

Crow: And you may ask yourself. . . How did I get here? (singing) Letting the days go by. . .

"Bob's not going to die!"

Servo: (Dos) Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

"Face it Matrix! By bringing him here you're just delaying the inevitable."

Matrix had had enough.

Bob: Okay, here we go. . .

He unholstered his gun.

Mike: Yep, time to blast the unlikable character.

The CPUs pulled their weapons in defense of the lieutenant. Slash moved to the side of Matrix ready to help defend him.

Crow: The talks have sort of broken down at this point. . .

"You're going to give us an excuse to shoot you? Good. You’re no thing but a fake guardian anyway."

Servo: Said Bob.

"Matrix! Stop!" Nubus ran up to him to stand between the angry sides. "I found your sister."

Bob: (Matrix) Oh, okay. Mutiny's over.

Dot ran up to Matrix, Hack following behind her.

"What's going on here? Enzo! Put the gun down."

Mike: (Matrix, whining) Yeah, well, he started it!

After agonizing over what he was doing, Matrix lowered the weapon.

Crow: (Matrix) I'm a baaaaad little boy.

Dot addressed Slash. "You too. Lower your arm."

Servo: (Dot) And start using some deodorant, for crying out loud!

"Yes ma am," the robot obeyed.

"I should arrest you!" snorted Dos.

Bob: (Dos) But minor characters don't get that kind of authority.

"Leave him Dos!" Nubus said. "He's upset! He has every right to be."

Mike: (Nubus) The way you were yelling at him for leaving behind our last backpack of ammo and rendering us totally defenseless, you hurt his feelings!

Dot hugged Matrix. "I knew you'd find me! I knew it! Is Bob with you?"

Crow: (Dot) I'm starving!

Nubus had told Dot nothing about Bob's condition.

Matrix said sadly. "Yes."

Servo: (Matrix) Stupid jerk always follows me everywhere.

Dot frowned. "What's wrong?"

Bob: The system's being overrun by bugs; haven't you been paying attention?

Hack and Slash were blocking Dot's view of Bob. They rolled aside. Dot saw Bob and gasped.

Mike: (Dot) Every time I meet a man, he's either married or he's barely alive!

She shook her head. "No."

She rushed to kneel next to him. She saw the terrible wounds on the shoulder and side of his silver and black body-armor and started to cry.

Crow: (Dot) He was savaged by a giant insect and I missed it!

She touched his face with her hands,

Servo: I would have touched it with my feet, personally.

feeling the sweat and fever. The caress of Dot's hands made Bob wince as if her touch caused pain.

Bob: Of course, that always happened when she touched me, so. . .

His entire body faded then reset itself. Bob opened his eyes once more.

Mike: (singing) The world was moving he was. . . right there with it and he was. . .

"Dot..." Bob's voice almost didn't register.

Crow: It almost didn't get scheduled for second quarter.

"Bob?! Oh Bob! You’re burning up! Miles? Can you spare some medical supplies?

Bob: (Dot) I'm starving!

And some fresh data?"

"Every bit is rationed," the binome reminded her.

Servo: (singing) Every bit. . . is sacred. . . every bit. . . is good. . . if a bit is wasted. . . God gets quite uncouth. . .

"But I can get some data from my share. I'll tell the disk doctor what you need."

Mike: And I'll tell the disk jockey to play some more Talking Heads.

"Thank you."

"But we are out of toxin.

Crow: Darn. I was thirsty.

We have no way to treat the Soldier's poison."

Bob: So they treat poison by giving them more poison? No wonder they're running out of binomes.
Servo: There's that act of stupidity again.
Bob: Yeah.

Miles jogged off to get the supplies. Matrix stood at the foot of the cot glaring at Dos who talked with his troops indifferent about Bob's plight.

Mike: Dos doesn't care about Bob's plight? Where did this come from?

"Mega-jerk," murmured Nubus.

"What?" Matrix looked at him.

Crow: (making a gun-cocking noise) (Matrix) What did you call me?

"Dos is a big jerk. A mega jerk."

"Yeah. He is."

Bob: He's a mega-jerk, mega-jerk, he's mega-jerky.

Matrix sighed deeply before he turning to watch Dot brush Bob's face.

Servo: What, is he the wolfman all of a sudden?

"Dot...?" Bob said again.

She had to lean close to his face as he spoke. His eyes were almost lifeless;

Mike: The zit on his nose had hit critical mass.

the spark of them now only flickered as a dying flame.

"Bob. I'm here baby."

Crow: (Dot) You still have to go to school.


Dot thought she saw a smile.

Bob: Anywhere near this story? Unlikely.

"You... hate...me...calling...you...that..."

Servo: (Dot) Well, you're crippled and I'm not taking any more of your guff!

Dot's bit her lip and sniffed. "Sorry."

Mike: (Dot) Sorry for calling you the thing that I don't want you to call me.


"I'm fine."

Crow: (Dot) Traffic was kind of bad getting in here, but you gotta expect that on Mondays.

"I was...so...worried..." Bob took the daisywheel petal from inside his wrist-band.

Bob: Boy, it's a good thing I remembered to bring the motiff.

"I...found this in…the PO...I...almost...thought..."

Servo: (Bob) I'd miss. . . that new. . . Zelda game. . .

"I threw the flower at the Bugs.

Mike: (Dot) It brought down at least half of them.

I'm sorry I lost it."

"Don't be...You're...more...important...then a...field...full of...daisywheels..."

Crow: (Bob) Besides. . . it was. . . self-defense. . .

Bob trembled and dropped the petal on the floor. "Gosh ...

Bob: (Bob) What was I. . . thinking? . . . Give me that. . . petal back. . .

I...dropped...the...candy...wrapper in….the street...Now... I'm a...litter...bug..."

Dot believed Bob was getting delirious or picking a bad time to be making puns.

Servo: He's all of that and more!

She stroked his face.

"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of you."

Mike: Florence Dot-ingale.

Bob winced again and groaned. She pulled her hand away.

"You're in a lot of pain."

Crow: Said Attila.

"Every...pain nerve...is...lit up...inside...me...

Bob: It's like. . . there's a party. . . and. . . everyone's. . . invited. . .


"If I didn't get pulled here by that portal this wouldn't have happened."

Servo: (Dot) My irresponsibly getting abducted got you into this mess!

"No…" he wheezed. "Don't ...blame...yourself...It's...better...this...way..."

Mike: (Bob) This way I get to be dead and you get to be eaten by bugs.

"No! It's not!

Crow: (Bob) Oh that's right, it's not! Next time I get script approval.

It's not fair that you’re hurt! I'd rather it have been me."

He found the strength to lift his hand to her face.

Bob: It was in my sock drawer the whole time!

He cuffed it to her cheek and wiped away a tear as he said. "Then...

Servo: (Bob) We'll do that. . . in the next story. . .

I...I'd be...suffering...more..."

"I know."

Mike: (Dot) I want you to suffer.


She touched his lips gently with one of her figures. "Shh. Don't talk.

Crow: (Dot) I've had enough of your lip.

You'll be all right. We're together now. Everything is going to be fine."

Bob: Doodly doodly doop. . . (Dot) Everything's not fine!

"At...least...I...got...to...see...you..." Bob gasped.

Servo: (Dot) You got to talk to me too.
Mike: (Bob) At least I got to see you.

A convulsion from the poison in his system seized him, almost lifting him off the cot.

Crow: Oh, I know how they did that. I saw Magic's Greatest Secrets 3.
Bob: Don't spoil it for the rest of us!

His eyes widened in agony and his body faded.

Servo: (Bob) I'm dyin' in a rush!

Matrix knelt by the cot on the opposite side.

Mike: (Matrix) When's it my turn to pity him?

Bob's hand grabbed his in a grip equal to Megabyte's steel cold hands.

Crow: Oh no! Bob was Megabyte the whole time! It was a double-cross!

Dot cuffed her hands on the sides of his face. "Bob! Please don't quit on me!"

Bob saw the panic in her face. He had no way to assure her. His eyes glazed over.

Bob: Oh, why did I eat all those hot dogs? Urg. . .

Tears fell from the corners. By some will power he restored his body's state to normal.

"I'll...be trying Dot...the...way...has been...prepared for."

Servo: Mmm hmm. The way has been prepared for. Right. Why don't you just get some rest, honey?

Matrix watched as Dot took hold of Bob's hand and continued to hold it to her face.

"Don't...cry..." Bob whispered.

Mike: (Bob) Don't shade. . . your eyes. . . It's. . . only. . . teenage. . . wasteland. . .

Matrix wanted to run away.

Crow: Bob's dying! Run!

Instead he reapplied pressure to the wound on Bob's shoulder. Bob clinched his teeth.

Bob: Could you stop doing that!

Dot stared at her brother feeling so helpless. So little could be done to help him.

(The phone rings)
Mike: Huh. Wonder who that could be. (picking up the phone) Hello?
Pearl: (voice-over) Hi, one of your guests is early. Howsabout coming out here and making with the interview?
Mike: Um, okay. (hangs up) Well, come on guys. Duty calls.
(They get up and leave.)

(We're on the SOL. Bob takes his place behind the desk.)

Bob: And welcome back! Our next guest is the author of "Worlds Beyond" and "The Parody Saga", and enough poetry to start his own coffee shop. Please welcome Silver Tiger!

Crow: (muttering) I'm beginning to sense a pattern here. . .

Mike: Wait a minute, I thought Silver Tiger was a girl.

Bob: What?

Mike: Every reference I've seen to Silver Tiger's gender is that she's a female.

Bob: Oh what do you know? Cambot, get me Silver Tiger.

(Hexfield Viewscreen irises open to the tune of "Leaving on a Jetplane". Silver Tiger is on the screen in a background of static.)

Silver: (starting, leaning back in her chair.) What the-(she leans back a bit TOO far and falls to the ground with a crash. We hear muffled thumping and cursing as she rights herself.)

Crow: Mike?

Mike: Yes?

Crow: When do we get to interview someone dignified?

Mike: Well Ratliff canceled so...sorry. Not yet honey.

Silver: (Finally righting herself.) Uhm...hello?

Bob: Hi Silv. Say, you wanna settle a bet here? See, Mike's under the delusion that, well, ha ha, you're a girl. Isn't that silly?

(Silver stares and blinks. She is (we're fairly sure) of the female persuassion.)

Silver: Oh not *again.* Yes, I'm a girl.

Bob: Oh...

Mike: See?

Bob: (Suspiciously) So you're not just a guy in drag?

Silver: No!

Crow: You'll have to excuse Bob. He's been in space much too long.

Bob: (glares at Crow for a moment, then turns back to Silver) Okay, let's get this ball rolling, shall we?

Silver: Sure. Go ahead.

Bob: So, Ms. Tiger, is this your first time in outer space? Is your stasis pod comfortable?

Silver: Well, on the whole it's quite nice. Except someone spilt cheez-its all over the floor.

Mike: I told you not to eat those in there.

Crow: Sorry.

Bob: Well we're glad the accomidations are almost satisfactory. Next question: When you were aware your material was to be MSTed...what went through your mind? Anger? Shock? Indifference?

Silver: Actually I suggested my material.

(The SOL crew stops for a moment and stares at her in shock.)

Bob: You did what?

Silver: Well, the MADs were running low on material and looking back at Worlds Beyond what the heck, I thought. So when they came around looking for fic I vollenteered mine.

Servo: You gave "Worlds Beyond" to the MADs?

Silver: They were quite charming actually. (Dreamily) And I actually got to talk to Megabyte...(stares ahead in a brainless worship stupor)

Servo: See? SEE? I told you! They write those things to hurt people! We must destroy them! DESTROY THEM!

Bob: (wearily) Oh, that's your answer to everything.

Crow: So, two authors in a row who idolize Megabyte. . . yep, we know who made this guest list. . .

Mike: Move it along Bob, we're running out of time.

Bob: Okay. (eyes Silver Tiger suspiciously) So Silver Tiger. . . if that's your real name. . . exactly how long have you been in league with the forces of evil?

Silver: Uhm...about...two or three years now. And they're not evil; they're just-misunderstood.

Crow: Uh huh. Sure. Sure. Right. Well why don't you try living here for years and years watching bad movies and being forced to keep a chipper and witty front up while you're being torn apart from the inside by the horrors of B-grade films? Huh? HUH?!

Silver: My parents wouldn't let me.

Crow: Okay. Fair enough.

Silver: (sulking a bit) Really, Bob, I don't see why you'd call Megabyte evil; I mean-he left you ALIVE didn't he? And you got to go up to the SOL! Do you know how many MSTies dream of doing that? Plus this way you get to miss all the-uhm-aftermath of the Web Wars.

Bob: (sarcastic) Oh sure. It's just a fantasy cruise, flying around in a tin can, stupid robots putting who-knows-what in my underwear, my arch-nemesis deciding every second whether I should live or die. . . yeah, it's a dream come true!

Silver: But you get to talk to Megabyte.

Bob: She just doesn't get it, does she?

Servo: You forgot about the Junior Mints.

Bob: (surprised) What Junior Mints? I didn't know we had Junior Mints.

Servo: We don't. That's another thing you forgot to complain about.

(Bob gives Tom a dark look, then turns back to Silver Tiger)

Bob: So, do you have any super powers?

Silver: Does whining incessantly for people to finish what they're writting count? No wait, everyone on #ReBoot can do that. Nope.

Bob: Well how about a super-powered tool?

Silver: No.

Servo: A 50 foot mechanical robot?

Silver: Not that I'm aware of.

Crow: A ferocious yet loyal sidekick-animal with magic abilities?

Silver: I used to have fish.

Bob: I had fish once too! It was batter-fried and served with tartar sauce! (Bob laughs a little too hard at his own joke.)

Mike: Bob, we're going to have a movie sign any minute. Could you please get to at least one of those questions?

Bob: Oh fine! (turns to Silver) So, do you think you could favor us with a little poetry?

(Silver goes a bit pale)

Silver: What you mean...now...?

Bob: If you would. You know. Anything that comes to mind.

Silver: (in a tiny voice) You mean...in...front...of...people...?

Bob: (dismissively) No, just Mike, Crow, and Tom here.

Servo: Hey!

Mike: C'mon, Bob. Ask her something else.

Bob: But I want to hear some poetry.

Silver: I feel quite honored but uhm..I'd have to think and...(squeaks off into that tiny voice again)

Crow: Hey, she's obviously not prepared. (aside to Silver) No offense.

Silver: None...taken...

Crow: (to Bob) Just leave her alone.

Bob: (low, controlled voice) I'm not going anywhere until --

(Lights and sirens)

Mike: Movie sign!

(Mike, Crow, and Servo leave. When Bob doesn't follow, Mike ducks back in.)

Mike: Bob, movie sign! The oxygen's going out any second!

Bob: (adamantly) I'm waiting for her.

(Mike rolls his eyes and runs off.)

Silver: (Alarmed) Oh-geez, I really don't want your death on my hands. Well..since there's only you-okay how about a quick little verse then?

(Bob slowly turns darker blue and starts hitting his hand against the desk. He nods between thumps.)

Silver: Gosh this is kind of flattering...here we go.

Although this is quick,
and you're in much pain,
I hope you enjoy the little refrain.

You're all pros at this,
but there's no b-grade movie lack,
so I wish you best of luck on keeping your brains semi- intact.

Bob: (hurriedly) Well, Silver, it's been nice having you. Bye.

(Bob rushes off)

Silver: (hollering) Pleasure was all mine! And like I said, good luck!

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