Tom: (Snuffling) My little baby...
Crow: You were all happy to see him shipped off just a few minutes ago.
Bob: Besides I'm sure he'll be happier with his own kind.
Tom: Oh, YOU'LL never understand! YOU'RE not the ones who programmed him up from a single little subroutine!


Mike: (Patting Servo on the shoulder) You going to be okay Tom?
Tom: (Sighing) Yeah, I guess. Still, I hope he writes.

Aptiva sighed as she plopped down on the couch. "Stupid hard-headed, low-res, incompetent Sprite!" she grumbled.

Mike: She shouldn't talk about herself that way.

Her good mood was shattered and Midi and Ani would be here any moment.

Tom: Coincidence? You be the judge!

She opened the heart-shaped locket she wore around her neck and smiled

Crow: Aw, she stuck her favorite Beanie Baby card in there.

as she saw the picture of Ram. He was good-looking and loving,

Bob: Surly in the morning, apt to argue about stupid things, sort of without a personality otherwise.

but he could really be a pain sometimes.

Tom: Sometimes meaning "the period in-between the time he gets up and the time goes to bed."
Crow: Excluding naps.

The doorbell rang and Aptiva got up with a grunt to open the door. She put on a happy face

Bob: (Aptiva) Mask the pain. Must mask it.

and opened the door. There, with beaming faces, stood Midi and Ani.

Mike: (Aptiva) I was drunk when I said I'd look after you, wasn't I?

"Well," she said, "don't just stand there, come in!" The girls complied and went into the main room. They simultaneously sat down on the floor and started their ceaseless babble.

Tom: (Midi) This place sucks!
Crow: (Ani) I'm bored!
Tom: (Midi) Can we go ride a pony?
Crow: (Ani) I'm hungry.
Tom: (Midi) I want an ice cream!
Crow: (Ani) I need to go!

Later into the day, Aptiva started getting a feeling of dread.

Bob: (Aptiva) Fifteen energy shakes for each of them...what was I THINKING?

She remembered Turbo telling her that a true guardian could feel
evil when it was about to happen.

Crow: (Turbo) You must use the Force to sense the virals, my young pupil.

Then, before she knew it, she heard a high-pitched screeching noise getting closer and closer to her.

Mike: (Aptiva) When is Bob going to buy a freaking muffler for his car?

Midi and Ani got scared and started to cry and Aptiva tried to console them. Before she could say anything truly comforting,

Crow: (Aptiva) Look at it this way! We're not dead yet!

a taloned something reached out and grabbed all three of them and her world went black.

Crow: (Aptiva) Whoops, spoke too soon.

When she awoke, she wasn't in Ram's apartment.

Bob: Well there's a stroke of luck.

She was somewhere cold and dark that didn't even come close to reminding
her of home.

Tom: Except for the bathroom.

She involuntarily shivered. It really was cold! Where was she? She managed to drag her eyes open and she gasped with fright. She was caged like an animal in a dark and musty cavernous room.

Crow: Looks like she ended back up in Junior High.

She looked around for Midi and Ani and found them unconscious,

Mike: Thank God for small miracles.

lying beside her. She then became aware of two huge creatures lying not too far away from where she was.

Bob: (Aptiva) Uh, hello? Are you planning to eat me now or later? Hello?

"Ah," the larger one said, "you're awake. Good."

Tom: (Crash) I can sneer at you now.

He stalked over to the cage and peered in at her pale blue face. "There's no need to be afraid. We won't hurt you. Yet.

Crow: (Crash) MUAHAHAHAHAH! Sorry, reflex.

I hope you like the idea of viral infection."

Mike: (Aptiva) Not really.

Aptiva gasped. "Viral.... infection?

Bob: No, binome infection. Of COURSE it's viral!

Now? To... all of us?"

Mike: (Crash) Hmm...well to be honest we might just eat the kids.

The big creature chuckled. "No, not now. In a few days, when I've had enough of your friends' whining.

Tom: Giving everyone in the system enough time to form a search and rescue party and save them. You know. Standard plot resolution time.

And why not all three of you? It's always better to start young as a virus.

Crow: You get over the teasing in school more quickly.

Oh, and allow me to introduce myself.

Mike: I am Dr. Evil...

I am Crash, dragon and virus. And that, over there, is Random, my female accomplice. Together we can accomplish anything,

Bob: (Aptiva) Can you make a rock so big that you can't lift it yourself?
Tom: (Crash) Well no I-
Bob: (Aptiva) Can you tell me the meaning of life?
Tom: (Crash) Not as such-
Bob: (Aptiva) Can you cleanse the Net of all evil and lead us to an age of peace and harmony?
Tom: (Crash) Look, just shut up!

and we will start by wiping out every inhabitant of this wretched city one... by.... one."

Bob: All 79 134 of them?
Crow: We're going to be here FOREVER.

He emphasized his last statement by extending his talons and letting
them gleam in the dull light. "Starting with you three of course. Mainframe... will be ours."

Bob: Kids! Try to spot the eerily familiar line in that paragraph! You get three guesses!


Ram sighed as he opened the door to his apartment.

Crow: (Ram) I've got to stop leaving out all my old underwear.

He was feeling upset and agitated ever since the morning. Stepping into
the apartment, he gasped at the sight that met his eyes.

Tom: (Ram) Oh wow, we have pizza pops!

The apartment was a mess. Tables and chairs were overturned, and it
looked like a tornado had ripped through it.

Crow: But aside from the normal furnishings, something was wrong...

He then noticed the large hole in the wall and started to panic.

Mike: (Ram) Think of all the duct tape I'm going to need for that!

He felt something odd under his foot and gasped as he saw what it was. It was Aptiva's necklace. He had given it to her for her last birthday.

Bob: (Ram) I though she LIKED this one.

"Aptiva?" he yelled. "I'm so sorry, Aptiva! Are you here? ANSWER ME!"

Crow: He's going to wander around yelling this for five minutes before he finally realizes she's not there.

He choked back a sob as he feared the worst.

Bob: Who was going to do his laundry for him NOW?

He then realized Midi and Ani were missing too. A tear rolled down his cheek. "Oh Aptiva... where are you?" Then he remembered it. Mike's broadcast. The virals. The dragons.

Tom: Think he'll put two and two together now?

They had kidnapped them!

Tom: Bingo!
Mike: Turns out later that she just forgot to pay her taxes and this is all an elaborate IRS plot.

Oh, Ram thought to himself, They are going to pay for what they've done.

Bob: (Ram) In unmarked bills.

Just wait until I tell Matrix.

Tom: (Ram) HE'LL do everything for me!

I must win this battle. To get Aptiva back safe and sound.

Crow: And to apologize to her for the really stupid and pointless trivial thing that you feel massive guilt for, you twerp.

Part 5

Ariah was getting impatient.

Mike: Did we just miss a character?
Tom: Probably one of those kids swarming around.

Midi, Ani, and Aptiva were supposed to be here by now! It was her birthday party after all.

Bob: That might explain WHY they're late, but moving along...

They were never late! "Mom," Ariah whined,

Crow: (Ariah) Why'd you have to tell me I'm adopted TODAY?

"When're they gonna get here? They're already half a millisecond late!"

Mike: They're still running around trying to think of a present she'd like, hoping that she doesn't already have a Sailor Venus doll...

Dot smiled down at her daughter. "Ariah, I'm sure they'll be here eventually.

Tom: Again, dramatic irony! You know how hideously wrong Dot is but they don't! Please enjoy.

Remember how Ram and Aptiva agreed to babysit Midi and Ani this morning? They'll be here, don't worry."
At that point Bob came up to Dot and Ariah with a grim look on his face.

Bob: Someone's taken a bite of the birthday cake.

"Ariah, can I talk to your mother for a nano?" At the girl's nod,

Crow: So Bob's movements are controlled by his youngest daughter.

Bob led Dot aside and started talking in a hushed tone. "Dot," he said with a sigh,

Mike: (Bob) Bozo the clown cancelled.

"We have a problem. I just got a call from Ram."

Tom: Something about cereal and dragons and a tiff and fuzzy pajamas. He was babbling, I couldn't make it out.

Dot looked knew that tone.

Mike: Please insert "like she" for clarity.

"What happened?"
"You remember those virals we heard about from Mike this morning?"

Crow: (Dot) Wait a moment, let me just try to recollect what happened a few hours ago. Mmm...nope.

Dot's eyes widened. "No! it can't be!", she cried. "They--" she caught her voice beginning to increase in volume. She continued in a more quiet manner. "The dragons... they couldn't have!

Tom: Why the heck not?

Bob simply nodded, affirming her fears.

Bob: We're out of salsa dip.

"We... we have to alert the others!

Crow: Quickly! State the obvious and fall apart at the same time!

Mouse, and Ray, and Matrix, and AndrAIa..."

Mike: Ringo, Newman, Morty...

"Dot, the danger we're facing is incredible.

Bob: Even though we have no real idea of what it is yet.

I think we better lay low for a while.

Crow: (Bob) Heck, they're just our kids.

We have no idea what they might try to do next."

Tom: (Bob) But we're pretty sure it has something to do with eating them.

As usual, Dot's protectiveness won her over. "But Aptiva-- This... this can't be happening! Not again!"

Mike: What's with the again? When's the LAST time your kids were kidnapped by dragons?

This time, she was through with being quiet.

Bob: We noticed.

At that moment, Ram let himself in. He made his way up to Bob and Dot and said, "I'm taking the battle to them.

Crow: (Ram) We were going to bring it here but they have more floor space.

Anyone care to join me?" Bob and Dot exchanged nervous glances.

Tom: (Dot) Uhm, we have this...stuff... we should be doing.

Bob took a breath, then said, "Ram, I don't think--"

Crow: (Bob) All my reactions so far have been instinctive.

"Count me in," Dot said decisively.

Mike: (Ram) Dot's on my team! Yay!

All Bob could do was watch helplessly as Dot's compassion for others pushed common sense and reasoning aside.

Bob: As it never has before.

He reached out a hand to restrain her, but it was too late. She was already out of his reach.

Tom: If you look at it a certain way that's an almost metaphorical exploration of underlying, unexplored currents in Bob and Dot's relationship that could possibly lead them to drift apart-still caring for each other in some ways but unable to see how they're falling out of love in the pressures that their jobs and roles created for them and were never resolved.
Bob: Uhm...okay.
Crow: Or it could just be description of Dot leaving.
Mike: I'd have to go with that second one.


Half a millisecond later,

Crow: They STILL couldn't find the car keys.

Ram had gathered Dot, Matrix, AndrAIa, Frisket, and Mouse together for a raid of sorts. Bob and Ray stayed behind to watch the children, quite reluctantly.

Bob: I'LL say.
Tom: Looks like your heroing days are over Bob.

Bob, especially, sseemed quite annoyed that Dot had gone ahead and agreed to join the attack force,

Bob: It's not that I MIND being a househusband so much it's just that I hate baby-sitting.

but he knew that once Dot Matrix set her mind to something, she couldn't be restrained. His heart nearly broke in two

(Tom makes "CRACK! Tinkle, tinkle" noises.)

as he saw her run off with the small mob of Sprites towards the virals' lair.

Mike: (Dot) Quick! To the Bootmoblie!

"Be careful, people," he whispered from his station at the PO, almost to himself. Then, he added, "I love you, Dot. Don't do anything stupid."

Crow: (Ariah) This just HAD to happen on my birthday, didn't it?


Meanwhile, at the virals' lair,

Tom: The party was going delightfully well!

Crash was pacing the floor, talking to Aptiva with disdain. Midi and Ani could be heard whimpering in another corner of the cage.

Bob: (Midi) We're going to miss 'Pokemon'!

Suddenly he stopped when he noticed the scar on her right forearm. "My, my... what a nasty scar... how did you get that?"

Tom: (Aptiva) A series of painful events including a hot iron, microphone, park bench and weasels. Don't ask.

Aptiva covered her scar with her hand protectively. "None of your business, virus, she snarled,

Crow: Without quotation marks.

glaring at the dragon hatefully.

Mike: It's nice to see them hit it off so well.

The virus extended his claws mechanically. "Do you want to reconsider, girl, or do I have to get this information out of you my way?"

Bob: Does Crash have some sort of obsession with scars or is he just plain petty?

Aptiva's face got about four shades lighter.

Mike: Dang, not again. Someone want to adjust her brightness level?

"A...a guard dog bit me. I'm terrifi-" Aptiva stopped herself, then gasped. She had just revealed her greatest fear to a dragon!

Crow: Mistakes you should never make in captivity.

Crash grinned a toothy grin. "Thank you for that information, girl. It will prove quite helpful indeed."

Bob: In some complicated, convoluted sort of way.

He gestured to Random. "Come, my love. We have a plan to prepare."
"I love it when you talk like that," Random cooed,

Tom: (Random) Please, quote the episodes some more!

then followed Crash out of the room.

Mike: Exeunt dragon, stage left.

As soon as the virals left the room, Aptiva had a realization that she hadn't had in a long time.

Crow: She loved Popsicles. REALLY loved them.

She realized that even though she was a guardian, she was afraid. Terribly afraid.

Mike: We call that reaction 'normal'.

Then, poor Aptiva slumped down onto the cold, metal floor of the cage and softly cried, lulling herself into a fitful sleep.

Tom: I think I liked this part.
Mike: What? You're kidding.
Tom: No really, look at her. She's actually having a sensible reaction after being locked up in a room by 2 viruses. She isn't making snappy, plucky or over-confident remarks. She acknowledges her faults. She's weeping. You can sort of feel for her.
Crow: Yeah, I guess.
Tom: I still wish we were somewhere else though.


Mike: Is that just some sort of growth that appears in fics spontaneously?

An invisible being floated over the cage of the sleeping girls.

Crow: Casper returns-and this time, he's not Friendly.

She knew what was going on, and, even though she could do nothing in her power to help Aptiva and her young companions that had anything to do with power,

Tom: She COULD give them some lovely bonus coupons she'd picked up.

she knew she would be able to figure something out. She always had been the chaotic one back in her processing days.

Tom: Hex?

Now she was just a ghost, not to be seen by any living creature. Now all Hexadecimal had to do... was wait.

Tom: So Hexadecimal ISN'T dead like we though she was in "Revenge"!
Bob: Yeah, you had a real fit over that.


Bob was sitting in Dot's office, watching the girls while talking to Ray.

Crow: Splitting his attention, he consequentially missed the part where the girls took a fifty out of wallet and quietly snuck out of the room.

"I hope she'll be alright out there, Ray," he said absentmindedly.

Bob: (Ray) Really? You've only said that sixteen times already.

He was busy looking over a read-me file Dot had written earlier that cycle.

Crow: "Bob. I want you..."

"Mate, all I can tell ya is that Dot's a strong lady. She knows what she's doin'. Besides, I know that if anything happens, my Mouse will look out for her.

Tom: So she's doomed.

She always has. Ever since she's met the girl.

Mike: Actually the beginning of their relationship was bitter and full of insults but we'll over look that for now.

Everythin'll be fine."

Bob: (Ray) There. I think he bought that.

Bob looked up at Ray and said, "Ray? I really, truly hope you're right. Because I have a very bad feeling about all this."

Mike: (Ray) You say that about burnt toast.

"Daddy?" Bob jumped as Corin suddenly appeared by his side. "Where did mommy go? And where arwe Midi and Ani?"

Tom: (Bob)'s some money. Go get ice cream.

It was a long time before Bob answered.
"Mommy had some errands to take care of, Corin. She'll be back soon. Midi and Ani had to go away for awhile. But they're in good hands."

Bob: Ah, the shameless lies of childhood.

The child gave his father a sidelong glance. "Are you sure? You seem sad."

Tom: (Corin) Wanna see this bug I found? It's really cool. I bet that'll cheer you up!

"It's nothing. I'm alright. I'm just a little distracted, that's all."

Mike: Fear'll do that to you.

"What's that?" Corin asked, indicating the read-me file in Bob's hand.

Bob: That's my hand, son.

"This is a read-me file your mom wrote. It's a fairy tale about... dragons and damsels in distress."

Tom: He's lying like hell. It's just a grocery list.

Bob made sure to stress the word 'dragons'.

Crow: (Bob) Break it slowly to him, don't overload his mind with fear...

"Can you read it to me?" Corin asked suddenly, a smile starting to form on his face.

Tom: (Bob) Sure. "Get one pound of tomatoes-" I mean, "Once upon a time..."

"You know what, sport? That's a good idea! Why don't you gather up Ariah, Celica, and Lance and get them to listen too?"

Bob: Because they're off bugging Phong for "Just one more game" of Pong.

The boy nodded enthusiastically, and soon all the youngsters were gathered before Bob as he told the story.

Mike: (Bob) With a melon?!
Tom: That was shameless.
Mike: Yes. Yes it was.

Ray watched on the sidelines, smiling down at his own treasures, praying that the kidnapped would soon be returned to their loved ones.


"NO! No PLEASE! You can't! Let me GO!"

Crow: Truly a heartwarming way to start a chapter.

Aptiva screamed as she thrashed and kicked wildly as Random carried her in her great maw to another part of the lair.

Tom: (Aptiva) Not more re-runs of "Family Matters", PLEASE!

"You'll be sorry for this, you think-headed viral! LET ME GO!" As if on cue, Random tossed Aptiva carelessly into a cell

Mike: Well, she asked them to.

in the back section of the lair, then closed the door and bolted it.

Bob: Good thing they've had all those doors, locks and cells installed in the few days they've been there huh?

It was pitch black. Aptiva couldn't see a thing. But she could hear.
Oh, User, she could hear the sniffing and scratching of dozens of dogs.

Crow: She's going to be a total nutcase once she gets out.

Her eyes became accustomed to the darkness, and what she saw chilled her very blood.

Tom: (Aptiva) Paulie Shore?

At least thirty feral dogs were slowly approaching her, sniffing out her scent.

Bob: Thirty? How'd the dragon get thirty? We only had about three dogs in the whole system!

"NO!" she screamed, taking off her boot and throwing it at an unsuspecting canine. "GET AWAY FROM ME!" The boot missed the dog by at least a foot, but Aptiva didn't care.

Crow: She was too focused on the one that had attached itself to her throat.

She screamed and kicked with all her might until she had completely exhausted herself.

Bob: Unfortunately the dogs haven't actually gone UP to her yet so it was pretty much a waste of energy.

She lay shivering on the cold, hard concrete floor of her cell, tears of genuine fear streaming down her face.

Mike: I bet you the dogs just sit around whining and rolling on their backs for tummy rubs.

A dog got close enough to touch her and she winced, trying to wriggle away from the horrible beast. She then gave up, closed her eyes, and feared for the worst.

Tom: Luckily for her it was just Gromit.

Aptiva opened her eyes in surprise and shock when she felt a wet, hot tongue on her face.

Crow: Notice how quietly I'm sitting here after that last comment.
Mike: We see.
Crow: That at LEAST deserves an extra RAM-chip, right?
Mike: Your actions have been duly noted.

Startled, she opened her eyes. The dog that had been approaching her wasn't attacking her!

Tom: (Dog) Damn, she's not Barbecue flavored.

It was licking away all her tears, wagging its tail vigorously.

Bob: There's just something about this fic and dogs, huh?

Aptiva then looked at the other dogs in the room. None of them were growling or snarling at her. They were all lying by her, fast asleep!

Tom: Aptiva, in "Dances With Puppies."

They didn't want to kill her, they wanted to befriend her.
She carefully and cautiously reached out a timid hand and slowly and gently started stroking the dog that was now happily sitting beside her.

Bob: (Aptiva) Hey-they're poofy!


The small group of rebels was now working its way towards the lair. They had almost made their way in when two dark shadows flew overhead.

Tom: Arthur from "The Tick" and Superman join forces! (Whirls around to Crow before he can speak) And yes I AM a fan-boy, okay? And I'm perfectly happy with that!
Crow: Fine! That's fine! Yeesh.
Tom: (Calming down) I just thought I'd get that out.

A loud scream was emitted by one of the dragons, announcing the beginning of the battle.

Mike: Round One-fight!

(Tom starts humming the Mortal Combat theme)

Matrix readied Gun and AndrAIa whipped out her trident. THese dragons had kidnapped their children, and there would be hell to pay.

Tom: AndrAIa hoped Satan took Visa.

The dragons swooped down low for their first round of attack. This caught the rebels by surprise and Matrix didn't have time to react.

Tom: So his gun is pointed at them yet he doesn't have time to pull the trigger? And this is MATRIX here?
Crow: Fatherhood's made him sluggish.

Crash emitted a golden flame of sizzling hot fire, aimed precisely above the mob to warn them,

Bob: (Crash) Sorry! Coming through here! Don't mind me, just watch the wings!

and to give them a hot welcoming.

Crow: A pun. This just gets funnier, now doesn't it?

Random soared downwards, talons unsheathed and gleaming, aimed directly at the two sprites at the rear of the group.

Crow: They're toast. Heh. Get it?
Mike: You were just complaining about puns a line ago.
Crow: (Stubbornly) Mine was better.

Ram saw this, however, and readied his spear.

Tom: Yes, when fighting a dragon remember to use the most archaic weapon lying around even though you may have a grenade launcher or a large plasma cannon stored within your local armory.

He knew there was a lot of dragon to hit, so he didn't aim for any specific part.

Crow: (Ram) Neck, stomach, head-aw what the heck, eventually it'll bleed to death, right?

He hurled the spear with all his might and it sped towards its target like a lightning bolt, pure and true.

Tom: Wow. So what would have happened if he HAD aimed?
Mike: Suddenly I feel like I'm in "Lord of the Rings".

It struck the dragon, but it did not wound it very severely. It merely knocked her off her course... and now she was heading towards the Command.Com herself.

Tom: (Ram) Oh poopie.

Matrix growled in fury. "Delete my sister?

Mike: That seems to be the idea.

I don't think so! Gun! Targeting! Full delete!" He fired, but to his surprise, the shot didn't even touch the creature.

Crow: Something he can't fight by blowing up or beating the snot out of? He's going to be at a loss.

It deflected off one of the spines on her back, merely brreaking it off.

Tom: (Random) Hey! I just had that waxed!

The next happenings were blurred as Random lifted Dot off the ground with her sharp talons.

Mike: And now, for Dot's miraculous rescue in the nick of time.

Few saw what happened in that split-nanosecond, but those who heard Dot's tortured screams would have vowed never to set foot into battle again.

Crow: (Slightly stunned) Guess you were wrong there Mike.
Mike: I'LL say.

A limp body was dropped from the dragon's talons as the wyrm soared towards the heavens.

Tom: Well I'm sure she'll survive.
Mike: Julia's fics always do seem to end up happily.
Bob: Which is why I really didn't expect THAT.

"Let this be a warning to you!" she screeched. "We dragons show no mercy when faced with an enemy!"

Crow: So now they're going to fly off and give the sprites time to regroup.

With that, the two viruses flew back into their lair. Matrix rushed to his sister's side. He checked her vital signs and shook his head sadly.

Bob: (Matrix) She'll never fly again.

"Guys, we have to get her to the Principal Office. NOW."

Crow: (Ram) Okay, let's move her and-*crack*-oops.

Part 6

Bob, Ray, and Phong stood in the Principal Office's main hall.

Mike: They weren't actually DOING anything. They were pretty much just standing there and blinking.

PO sensors had detected that Ram and company were returning from their battle. The three Sprites aforementioned were perplexed, however.

Crow: (Phong) How do the front doors open again?

The gang of rebels had hardly been gone for thirty microseconds.

Tom: (Bob) I thought the plan was for them to NEVER come back.

Bob sensed that something wasn't right. Worry clearly made itself visible on his face

Mike: It was a sort of splotchy orange-purple.

as he awaited their return, pacing the floor.

A few nanoseconds later, the big gold doors swung open with a loud bang,

Crow: (Phong) Don't shoot! I had nothing to do with that money laundering operati-oh, it's you.

and Matrix walked in, targeting eye red,

Bob: (Phong) Enzo? We're on your side remember? Enzo? Oh dear.

holding something, or someone, in his massive arms. The rest of the group followed at a safe distance. Bob could barely make out the shape in Matrix's arms.

Crow: (Bob) I didn't know he could hold THAT many bags of Doritos.

As Matrix approached, Bob's suspicions were confirmed.

Mike: (Bob) He didn't bring enough for everyone!

He saw, no doubt about it, that Matrix carried, in his arms, a badly battered and unconscious Dot.

Tom: So of all the people to chomp down on, the dragons pick the least physically dangerous one.
Mike: Well see, that's because now we'll get to see Bob go into angst and remorse for not going with them.
Tom: Fun.

The silence in the main hall was deafening

Bob: Nice use of an oxymoron there.

as Bob, Ray, and Phong tried to believe what they saw. Bob was the first to speak.

Mike: (Bob) So...guess it didn't go to well.

"M-Matrix? Is... is she...?" he said, not able to look at Dot.
Matrix shook his head. "She's alive... just barely. Her vital signs are very weak.

Crow: Having her rattled around in your arms probably didn't help much either.

There doesn't look like there will be much chance for her. And it's all my fault!"

Tom: Uh-come again?

Matrix broke down, sobs racking his massive body.

Mike: You know, of all the things I ever wanted to see in a ReBoot fic Matrix sobbing in front of everybody wasn't one of them.

"I... I tried to stop it, but... I-- I missed."

Tom: Everyone! Name ONE time on the show that Matrix missed a target with his cynernetic eye!


Tom: I thought so. Thank you.

Phong rolled in beside Matrix, peering into the man's arms, trying to get a good look at Dot.

Crow: With someone as tall as Matrix I bet he's glad he has that extendable neck.

"Hmm... There may still be a chance for her.

Bob: (Phong) Of course that would mean actually getting some medical assistance.

Come, my children. Let us go to the med room. We will try to help her.

Mike: About time.

But first, I need to know what has happened."

Crow: How about you take her there BEFORE she dies?

As the procession of Sprites slowly made its way to the med room, Matrix and Ram told the story

Mike: Of a man named Jed-
Bob: Augh!
Tom: Sorry.

of how Dot had been attacked, throwing in every little detail to the bit.

Crow: "And then she started wiggling in its' claws and they sort of raked down her spine and the dragon snapped her arm in four places and-"
Mike: (Gently touching Crow's shoulder) Enough.

After they had finished, there hung in the air a very heavy silence.

Mike: (Singing softly) In my dreams I walked alone...narrow streets of cobblestone...

(Tom and Crow hum along)

Bob took in a slow, shaky breath, then let it out again. He offered a tentative glance towards his beloved.

Bob: (Dot) Oh yeah. Don't say hi or anything. I'm only dying here.

Dot was very badly battered and bruised.

Crow: She vowed to never, ever to ride on the Zipper again.

Even shrouded in unconsciousness, her features plainly showed that she was in agony.

Mike: She wished that Matrix would relax his grip and let her blood circulate again.

Her left arm was pointing out at an unnatural angle

Tom: 63 degrees.

and her face was black and blue with bruises.

Mike: The happy descriptions. THAT'S what I love about this fic.

Her face was tear-streaked and her mouth twitched every once in a while.

Tom: That's it, I call deliberate attempt to manipulate the audience's pity.
Mike: Sustained.

She was in shock.

Bob: (Dot) THIS wasn't covered in the script...

He looked away, not being able to bear it.
Dot was on the brink of the abyss, and it was all his fault.

Mike: Wait, couldn't Bob just portal her over to a hospital?
Crow: What if she got knocked around too much from it?
Mike: Anymore knocked around than being carried by her brother?
Crow: Good point.

"It's all my fault," he said out loud, a little louder than he had intended.

AndrAIa gave him a quizzical look. "Bob?" she said. "Your fault? I don't understand."

Tom: Yes, AndrAIa might supposed to be one of the most intelligent people on the show but that doesn't stop her from getting lines like this.
Bob: Actually that's pretty much all she got on the show too.
Tom: Oh.

"I didn't go with her. I could have protected her. "

Bob: (AndrAIa) Oh. You jerk.

He shook his head sadly. "And now I could lose her forever."

Crow: The woman he loves is dying. Don't, you know, PANIC about it or anything.

A single tear rolled down his cheek. He then shifted his eyes away from AndrAIa and fixed his gaze to the floor.

Mike: (Bob) Hey, a penny!

A few microseconds later, they arrived at the med room. Phong told Matrix to lie Dot carefully down on the bio-bed while he readied

Tom: (Singing) Sam! The guy from Quincy!

the equipment needed to help her. He worked quickly, attaching a bag to an IV tube and stand, and rolling it beside the bed. He then askeed for a volunteer.

Tom: Everyone immediately took a step back from Ray leaving him in front.

Dot had lost a lot of energy,

Mike: The mauling scenes DID have that implication.

and it had to be replenished, or she would be deleted for sure. Bob was the first to step forward,

Crow: (Bob) I need to go to the bathroom. Matrix, cover for me.

and he was soon hooked up to a transfer machine.
Phong then attached a heart monitor to Dot's free arm, the one that wasn't receiving the transfusion.

Crow: This feels like a low key, George Clooney-less version of ER.

He rolled in beside Bob and Matrix. The others left the room so that Dot wouldn't feel crowded when she woke up.

Bob: That and the whole cast crammed into one room was taking up most of the air.

Phong turned to the two men. Putting a thin hand on Bob's shoulder, he said,

Mike: (Phong) Dot...DOES have a will, right?

"All we have to do now, my children, is wait."

Tom: (Phong) Could I talk to you about life insurance for a while?


Random was sitting in the gloom of the lair with Crash once again. "My love," she said,

Mike: (Random) Why didn't we kill Dot off instead of throwing her around again?

"our prisonner's wails seem to have subsided. Shall we go and check on her?"

Crow: (Crash) I DO suppose we need to clear out her body.

Crash put a talon to his lips, in a mock-thinking postition.

Mike: Actual thought would have been too hard on him.

"We had better leave her there for a while longer.

Bob: Conveniently making the fact that the dogs are her friends now still a secret.

We have a lot to worry about as it is. Those pests will no doubt return here to claim their kin.

Crow: (Crash) They have some real masochistic tendencies.

And undoubtedly to avenge their Command.Com, will they not?"

Mike: (Random) This is all rhetorical, right?

Random smiled and cocked a reptillian eyebrow, her green eyes glowing.

Tom: Toxic radiation and what it can do for you.

"That was quite amusing, actually. It relieved tension.

Bob: I guess a massage and soothing music just isn't good enough for your average virus.

That Command.Com didn't put up much of a fight, though, I'm quite disapponted in her."

Crow: And she was only one twentieth your size too.

Crash gave her a wry look. "Oh, honestly. Remember that you're at least fifteen times her size, my love.

Crow: So I was off five.

What kind of fight could she put up if your assault was unexpected? Besides. We finally gave those fools something to think about.

Bob: (Crash) As they polish their weapons and re-load their guns and have even stronger reasons for revenge now. Ha! I'm so clever!

They now know that we have no intention of playing games with them.

Mike: Right, right. So you just smacked Dot around a bit to make a point.

We will claim this city, even if it means burning it to a crisp to do so."

Bob: (Random) But then there won't be any city left to claim.
Crow: (Crash) Details, details.

He waved his clawed paw dismissively, got up, and padded over to the eggs in the corner of the lair.

Tom: (Crash) Anyhow do you want these scrambled or fried?

"And if we don't succeed, we will still have five little successors, won't we?" As if to punctuate his statement, the eggs gleamed in the dull light, casting a rainbow of color over their surfaces.

Mike: That's actually quite pretty.

"Yes, this clutch will prove to be quite promising."

Tom: Ten to one it gets crushed later on.
All: Agreed.


The spirit of Hexadecimal floated over the two dragons and their treasures.

Crow: (Hexadecimal) HEY! They stuck my silver tea set in there!

They must be stopped! she thought to herself.

Mike: (Hexadecimal) They're going to simply RUIN my carpet!

She knew of all the goings-on around the lair, and by the dragons' conversation, things did not look good for our heroes.

Tom: Narration courtesy of Buck Rogers.

Bob has helped me in the past, and therefore I owe him a favour.

Crow: (Hexadecimal) Even though he DID turn down my offer to style his hair.

I must alert Aptiva. These wretched spirit chains

Crow: Spirit chains. Found in your finer Dungeon & Dragon sets.

keep me restrained here in Lost Angles, but they cannot keep the secrets I hold from escaping my lips.

Bob: Except for the fact you're DEAD.

With that thought, Hex floated over to where Aptiva was being held.

Mike: So when a virus dies they just float around powerless for all eternity?
Crow: It's like the Canadian senate!
Tom: (Rimshot)

Aptiva lay asleep, her arms wrapped around a scruffy-looking dog's neck.

Tom: His name is Mr. Poofles.

Even as she slept, she uttered incoherent words. Her legs twitched and she
smiled as she spoke. Hexadecimal smiled to herself.

Bob: (Hexadecimal) She thinks she's a dog now!

Perfect, she thought.

Crow: (Hexadecimal) Time for my impersonation of Linda Blair from "The Exorcist".

Floating closer to Aptiva, she hovered by her head for a few nanos, and then disappeared.

Mike: Not hard since she wasn't visible in the first place.


Aptiva was sitting in Floating Point park with Ram on a white and red checkered blanket, enjoying a picnic.

Tom: What IS it with ReBoot fics and picnics?

Mainframe was looking more beautiful than ever. The sun above the city was emitting a glorious golden light, reflecting off of all visible things.

Crow: The invisible ones just had to sit there and be left out.

The colors had never been so vivid.

Bob: Someone should turn down their contrast.

The trees were a beautiful emerald green, the energy sea sparkled radiantly, as if it were made up of millions and millions of diamonds,

Tom: Purple-blue diamonds but diamonds nonetheless.

and the city itself looked flawless and as new as the day it had been created.

Mike: It's just begging for a natural disaster.

Ram smiled down at her as she finished off the last of her energy shake.

Bob: (Ram) I poisoned that.

He seemed about to say something, when his features became fuzzy and distorted.

Crow: Shoot. Try adjusting the tracking.

All of Mainframe spun around her

Tom: Aptiva learns the hard way not to eat mayonnaise that's past the expiry date.

and soon she was sitting in a black void, with nothing but a sense of weightlessness around her.

Crow: This should take a year off of her NASA training.

Then, a mask appeared from out of nowhere. She was about to scream,

Mike: Jim Carrey popping out like that would do that to anyone.

but the mask somehow became a figure. A woman was now floating next to her.

Bob: (Aptiva) So, uh...any reason you sucked my brain into this void?

She cleared her throat, and spoke. "Aptiva," she said,

Tom: "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..."

"Your friends are in grave danger."

Aptiva was struck dumb. "How do you know my name?

Bob: So either one of Aptiva's secret powers is the ability to speak when "struck dumb" or the author was lazy during editing.

Who are you?"

Mike: "There are those who call me...Tim."

The figure shook her head sadly. "There is no time for that. I need your help. I am merely returning a favor that I owe one of them."

Aptiva shook her head, as if to clear her thoughts.
"But... why me?

Tom: (Hexadecimal) The Mystery Men were already booked.

What can I do?

Bob: (Hexadecimal) Uhm...try crying some more. You're good at that.

I'm locked up!"

Mike: (Hexadecimal) Oh drat. I knew I'd forgotten something.

"There is a key under the floorboards by the left wall just before the bars of your cell.

Bob: Hex's lair has floorboards?
Mike: Either that or those dragons did a heck of a lot of redecorating.

I want you to take the dogs out of the cell when the virals leave the lair.

Tom: (Hexadecimal) They're just so cute I couldn't bear to see a single one left behind.

There you will bring them out into the main cell and have them destroy the eggs in the furthermost corner from the door.

Mike: (Hexadecimal) The eggs will give the dogs a glossy shine in their coats.

I need your help, Aptiva. If you don't do this, Mainframe, and your friends, will be doomed.

Bob: (Hex) And while that IS a tempting idea...

This is a dire situation. Mainframe's future depens on you."

With that, the figure disappeared in a flash of light and Aptiva awoke in a flash of dizzyness.

Mike: Unfortunately Hex's message turns out to be one of those dreams you forget when you wake up.


Bob sat by Dot's side in the Pricipal Office's med room.

Mike: Ever notice how the Principle Office tends to be the most misspelled word in ReBoot fanfiction?
Crow: It's like there's some evil gypsy curse on it or something.

He had her hand in both of his, the energy transfer still going.

Tom: Unfortunately they'd hooked it up from Bob to the coffee pot.
Crow: (Mouse) Sluuurp...hey, this is extra perky!
Bob: Yuck.

"Please, Dot," he pleaded.

Tom: (Bob) Please wake up and end this scene. Pleeease...

"Please survive this. Show those virals what you're made of.

Mike: Energy, wires, various chemicals...

You're a Matrix, remember?

Crow: (Dot) I wish he'd stop reminding me.

You're strong, and you can fight your way through this thing."
Phong rolled back into the room and canceled the energy transfer.

Mike: (Phong) Okay that's enough. We're going to watch her die now.

"This energy seems to be helping her very much. That will be enough for now.

Bob: (Phong) In fact she's overflowing...oh dear...somebody get a mop?

Her left arm is broken, and she has some bruised ribs and multiple abbrasions. She will survive Bob. I ran some tests and she has no cranial damage or permanent conditions.

Crow: (Phong) Because THAT would just mess up the whole plot.

She will be just fine in time."
At this news, Bob smiled, very relieved.

Mike: (Bob) I can still persuade her to leave her will to me!

"Thank you, Phong," he said, "Thank you so much."

"My child, it is my duty to assure that our Command.Com lives through anything."
With that, he rolled out of the room.

Crow: (Phong) Bob bought it! Ray was right, he IS easy to fool.

Bob turned back to Dot, brushing her face gently with his hand.

Bob: Setting off half-a-dozen life-support monitors.

"Dot, no matter what happens, I'll always be waiting for you."

Crow: What if a meteorite falls on him?
Tom: What if he's eaten by a bear?
Crow: What if a giant 'square' block falls ands squishes him during a game of Tetris?

Dot uttered a small, almost inaudible moan. Her eyes flickered open and she said, in a harsh, barely audible whisper,

Bob: (Dot) You're sitting on my leg.

"I know, Bob, I know."

Bob couldn't believe it. "Dot! You're awake?!"

Tom: (Dot) No, I'm speaking in my sleep. What do you think?

Dot managed to smile slightly. "Thank you," she whispered. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
"What are you thanking me for? It was my fault you were almost deleted!

Tom: (Dot) Oh yes. In that case I hate you.

It was all my fault!"

Crow: (Dot) Yep. Very true. Go on, feel guilt.

"Don't talk like that. You know it's not true. You saved my life."

Bob: (Dot) Well not recently obviously.

Bob smiled grimly. "Yeah, but those virals are still out there.
And I promise you, I will make sure that they don't hurt anyone ever again."

"Be careful," Dot whispered, then closed her eyes.

Tom: (Dot) Rose...bud.

"You do the healing, and I'll do the worrying. I'm going out there." Bob kissed her lightly on the cheek, then got up and left the room.

Part 7

Bob quickly told everyone assembled in the Principal Office's main hall the good news about Dot.

Bob: She's not suing us!
Bots: Yay!

Amid happy exclamations, he told them that he had a good plan for battle, and he was itching to use it.

Mike: (Bob) No wait, that's just fleas. Sorry.

"Now we all know," Bob started, "that our viruses are of opposite elements.

Tom: Sure, that makes-what?

Random, the female, is of the water element and Crash, the male, is of the fire element.

Crow: When did they figure THIS out?

It is common knowledge that a dragon of a certain element is immune to it.

Mike: To MUD players, maybe.

However, both our dragons are of opposite elements. So what would happen," he said, his voice rising to a triumphant crecendo,
"if we somehow managed to turn each one's element against the other?

Mike: (AndrAIa) I'm guessing...a lame plot device?
Tom: (Bob) Correct!

Ice meets fire, fire meets ice,

Crow: Don't forget rock.

and boom! Fire and ice destroy each other simultaneously.

Bob: Fire and ice melts blocks fire...somehow I don't see "Boom!" factoring into this.

This won't be easy, but I'm sure that together, we'll be able to pull this off."

Stunned silence was what followed Bob's speech.

Mike: Hardly surprising is it?

Then everyone started talking at once.

Crow: (Matrix) Are you out of your mind?!
Tom: (AndrAIa) That's the most idiotic thing I've EVER heard!
Bob: (Ray) I can't believe that's all you came up with.
Mike: (Ariah) It's still my birthday you know.

Everyone admitted, in their own words, that

Tom: They were utterly doomed.

it was a brilliant plan.

Crow: If you were a hamster.

It was a plan that even Dot would have been proud of.

Mike: In her unconscious state.

It had now been made clear that Bob was spending way too much time around the said Command.Com.

Mike: Behold the evils of thinking ahead!

There was no time for speculation on this matter, though.

Crow: They had to march off lemming like and get themselves killed.

There was a battle to plan, and when a bunch of determined Sprites set their minds to something, they could do anything.

(Mike starts hummming the Sesame Street theme)


Bob: Except get rid of the group of stars plaguing them every chapter break.

Aptiva shook her head to rid herself from the last effects of her dream,

Mike: (Aptiva) Whoa. I gotta watch those 'shrooms, man.

and she got up. Stretching,

(Crow makes 'Crack, snap!' noises.)

she made her way over to the bars. She got down on all fours and tentatively reached her hand out,

Bob: To have it bitten by rats.

past the bars, to feel for cracks in the floor near the wall.

Crow: (Aptiva) Tsk. They should keep a better dungeon.

After feeling around a bit she finally found a hairline crack a few inches away from the wall.

Mike: Hey, great! Now all she needs to do is develop super-strength to push it open and she'll be fine!

She tried everything from pushing it to smashing it, but it wouldn't budge. Then she remembered something she had learned in Guardian Training:

Tom: 'Always carry explosives with you.'
Crow: 'Don't touch the poison ivy.'
Mike: 'Toilet paper should be stocked in the washroom cabinet and NOT the closet across the hall."

when all else fails, do the most obvious thing.

Crow: I don't see it replacing "To protect and serve" anytime soon.

She placed her fingers firmly on the outer edge of the crack, just inside the square of marble that defined the secret compartment, and gave it a quick, sharp jab.

Bob: (Aptiva) OW! My NAILS!

The piece of floor flipped around, revealing a small, silver key. She grabbed it and studied it. The key was a remarkable piece of work. It had an intricate engraving, on its shiny surface, of an Elizabethan flower, with a small ReBoot icon as its center.

Mike: Kind of an elaborate key for a prison cell.

Standing up, Aptiva put the key in the lock on the outside of her cell and turned it.

Bob: (Aptiva) Hey, it's not budging!

The lock opened with a loud click. The sound roused the dogs that were sleeping around the cell,

Crow: (Dog) Feeding time?

and Aptiva began to explain to them what they were to do, in a very primitive form of speech.

Mike: (Aptiva) See eggs? Go eat eggs. Eat them! Eat eggs. And-hey! You in the back! Stop scratching yourself!

Feral dogs, you see, are capable of understanding the common tongue spoken by Sprites, binomes, and virals,

Mike: (Author) I mean it! Try it out on some strays in your neighborhood! They won't bite!

but only to a certain extent.

Bob: Basically they understand the words "food" and "dog".

They licked their lips expectantly at the mention of the eggs.

Tom: (Dog) I am going to make the best omelet with those.

It looked like they were going to get their first meal for that cycle, and they were ready to go to the attack.


The small group of warriors approached the virals' lair for the second time that day. Matrix, who led the group, pumped his fist in the air and yelled a battle cry.

Crow: (Matrix) PACKERS!

Soon after, two loud shrieks echoed his cry

Tom: (Crash) PACKERS RULE!
Mike: (Random) GO PACKERS

an two winged demons emerged from their lair, eyes gleaming and teeth shining. Matrix, following the plan, let loose with several rounds of rapidfire with Gun,

Bob: I can see him really enjoying this part of the plan.
Tom: (Matrix) So I get to blow stuff up?
Mike: (Bob) Basically.
Tom: (Matrix) I can handle that.

distracting one of the virals,

Crow: (Dragon) Oooh. Pretty fireworks.

while the other swooped low. AndrAIa unsheathed her trident and hurled it at the distracted dragon,

Mike: (Dragon) Oooh. Shiny. OW!

piercing its tough, scaly hide. The big black screeched a cry of pain and sent a cascade of fire into the sky, illuminating the battlefield for several nanoseconds.

Bob: Destroying everyone's vision for a few fatal seconds.

The white coursed through the sky like a comet, a stream of white ice preceeding her.

Mike: Flying back to smack her in the face.
Tom: (Random) GRRRRWWOO-ow! Damnit, I keep doing that...

Mouse drew her two katanas, clanged them together loudly,

Tom: Oh wow! I take back everything I've ever said about Mouse! She's going to do the Finishing Ginzu touch!
Crow: Wha?
Tom: You know, Speedy Serichei's finishing move from "Samuri Pizza Cats".
Crow: Riiiiight.

and roared at the incoming dragon.

Tom: What? No sword attack? You imposter! Gyp!

(Tom boos loudly while the others edge away a bit)

Random took the bait and turned her emerald gaze towards the firey-haired hacker. Mouse smiled menacingly and put on a fabulous show of swordplay.

Bob: (Dragon) So... am I supposed to run into you while you're doing that?

The rapidly descending virus opened her great maw to freeze the hacker in a stream of freezing cold ice,

Crow: Oooh, the "Han Solo" death.

and screamed in pain as something peirced her side. She looked back to see who her attacker was,

Mike: (Random) Bilbo? He's alive? Damn that Smaug!

and she saw Ram, standing triumphantly, bow in hand, a full quiver of arrows slung over his right shoulder.

Mike: Legend of Zelda pose (tm).

He smiled up at the virus and mock-saluted.

Crow: Nah, I think he's going for more of a Robin Hood shot.

This enraged Random beyond belief. She shrieked a cry and started down towards the offender.

Bob: (Ram) Well. THAT wasn't supposed to happen.

Crash wasn't doing so well, himself. He was engaged in a claw, tooth, and nail (literally) battle with AndrAIa,

Mike: I think she's going to need more than paralyzing spines for this one.

who had her trident out and was happily trying to spear the beast.

Crow: (AndrAIa) Whee! Blood is fun!

A set of aqua projectiles could be seen sticking out of the virus's neck.
Unfortunately, the creature was too big for the paralysis drug to do its job. The spines had only succeeded in slowing him down a little.

Tom: Enough to, say, behead instead of disembowel AndrAIa as she ducked.

Crash extended his claws and dove towards AndrAIa, prepared to attack.

Bob: (Crash) If only I could breathe some sort of projectile weapon, like fire.

AndrAIa was prepared for the assault, however, and all the dragon's claws came in contact with was AndrAIa's trident.

Tom: Look, just...EAT her or something.

The two met with a deafening clash. Crash opened his mouth, preparing to breathe red hot fire on his opponent.

Bob: Finally.


Crow: We interrupt this program to bring you this group of three, small, boring stars. Thank you.

Aptiva led the dogs into the main room. When the eggs were in sight, she turned to the canines and said,

Mike: (Aptiva) Did anyone bring salt?

"There they are, boys. You now what you have to do.

Mike: (Aptiva) I'll get the grill going while you grate some cheese.

Now FETCH!" Aptiva watched the scene with a satisfied smile on her face.
The dogs were hungry, alright. They devoured the eggs faster than you could say Bob's your uncle.

Tom: Bob'syouruncle!

After the dogs had satisfied their nutritional needs at the expense of the dragon eggs,

Mike: Aww.
Tom: The eggs haven't done anything yet!
Bob: Poor baby dragons.

Aptiva walked over to the cage, which held Midi and Ani. The two girls were awake and clinging to the metal bars with their little hands,

Crow: Yes, it's massive therapy for these two in a few years!

beaming at Aptiva. She let them out of their cage and they all sat and waited for the sounds of battle to cease.

Mike: (Aptiva) So. Think we'll win?


Meanwhile, Bob was preparing for phase two of the plan.

Bob: Run like hell.

Everything was going smoothly. Now it was his turn to join in the fun.

Crow: Will Bob's bloodlust never end?

He prepared an energy charge and fired it into the sky, trying to catch both dragons' attention.

Tom: (Crash) Look! More pretty lights!

Success! They both turned towards him and commenced their attack from either side.

Mike: Villains always fall for that. It's like a massive blind spot.

As one they opened their great maws to breathe their poison upon him. At the last possible nano, Bob zipped out of the way of the streams of fire and ice.

Tom: Merely singing his hair and numbing his face.

Fire hit ice and ice hit fire. The fire melted the ice, charging right into Random, and the ice put out teh fire, evaporating it into thin air, speeding right into Crash.

Crow: The most scientifically impossible scene, ever!

Two shrieks were heard at exactly the same time as both dragons dropped down to the ground, dead.

Bob: Behold! The awesome power of...thin air.

All was quiet until the victors cheered in loud voices, celebrating the victory of their battle.


Crow: Okay, now we just run some stock footage of the end celebration scenes from "Star Wars" and get out of here. (stands up)
Mike: Sit down, it's almost over.

Aptiva heard the whoops and cries of joy and turned to Midi and Ani woth a big smile and said,

Tom: (Aptiva) There'll be some good eatin' tonight!

"That's our signal! Let's get out of here!" The three, followed by one loyal dog,

Mike: The other 29 were jerks.

ran out of the lair and out into the night air.

Tom: Tripping over the dragon carcasses.
Bob: (Aptiva) We're free! We're free! We're-(splat!) Eww...

Aptiva was smiling from ear to ear as she caught sight of Ram, and charged towards him. "RAM!" she shouted happily, bowling him over, little Enzo style.

(Crow makes "Thunk, snap!" noises)

Matrix and AndrAIa were reunited with their children,

Tom: (Matrix, mumbling) Damnit.

and apologies, hugs, and kisses were exchanged by all parties.
There were many happy faces that night in Mainframe, and our heroes were to thank for it.

Bob: (Midi) Mommie, I think I'm scared for life.


It took several cycles, but Dot finally got better, and everyone got together to do something that was long past due...

"Happy birthday, Ariah!" Ram exclaimed, handing her a gift.

Mike: And the birthday plot surfaces for one last, gasping breath.

Beaming, Ariah opened her present. "No way!" she exclaimed.

Tom: (Ariah) Ram got me a dragon's head! All right!

"It's an organizer just like mom's!

Bob: (Ariah) Hey wait-this IS mom's!
Crow: (Ram) Well, you know, I've never been good at last minute shopping...

Thank you, Ram!" She then flung her arms around Ram's neck and kissed him on the cheek.

Bob watched in horror

Tom: (Bob) Oh God, not my daughter!

as all this came to pass. "That's all I need!" he cried, turning to Dot, "Another you!"

Bob: I'm so affectionate here, aren't I?

Dot punched him playfully in the arm. "Oh, you!" she giggled, "You know you love it!"

Crow: Say, so Bob likes it rough!
Bob: Shut up.
Mike: You were doing so WELL Crow.

At the dinner table, later, Aptiva enjoyed shoving a piece of birthday cake into Ram's mouth.

Bob: Giggling as she watched him choke on it.

On a whim, she asked him, rather blatently, "You wouldn't want to marry a girl like me, would you?"

Crow: (Ram) Tell me does 'no' strike you as too obvious?

Ram almost choked on his cake, but after he had swallowed it, he grinned at Aptiva and said, "Sure, why not?"

Mike: (Ram) Hell, we'll both be too drunk to remember this later on.

and kissed her full on the lips, icing-mustache and all.

Tom: (Aptiva) Eww...coconut.


Bob and Dot helped Ram and Aptiva pack up their stuff for their trip back to the Super Computer.

Crow: (Ram) Gee, you guys sure are packing those away quickly.
Tom: (Bob) Yeah yeah. You have your tickets?
Crow: (Ram) Well I-
Tom: (Dot) Great, here's the last one. Bon Voyage!

"It's too bad you have to leave us so soon," Bob said

Mike: (Bob) We have a pack of Basilisk's you could have helped wipe out.

sadly as he loaded the last suitcase on the train.

Crow: You know once they realize Bob can portal everyone everywhere their lives are going to be a whole lot simpler.

"Well, that's life, I'm afraid," Ram said as he closed the compartment. "We'll look you up after we graduate from the academy.

Bob: (Dot) So we're never seeing you again then?

You'll be the first to recieve wedding invitations." He smiled.

"What?" Dot said, incredulous.
"Didn't you hear?" Aptiva said with a chuckle, "I proposed to Ram at Ariah's party."

"Congratulations!" Dot and Bob said together, then looked at each other and laughed.

Bob: Guys?
Mike: Yes?
Bob: If I'm that fake in real life, do you promise to bludgeon me with something heavy?
Crow: Sure thing.

"We'll miss you both," Bob said, shaking Ram's hand. "You've made quite an impact here, in case you haven't noticed."

Crow: (Bob) Actually it was more the dragons but you get some reflected fame out of it.

"And you overcame your fear," Dot remarked, pointing to the dog that was standing beside Aptiva, happily wagging its tail.

Tom: (Dot) Now we have a moral for the story. All is well.

"Have a safe trip back," she said, hugging Aptiva.

"Thank you, I'll be sure to write," Aptiva said, then the young couple boarded the train and it puffed out of the station.

Bob: (Aptiva) Did you just hear a "Yahoo"?

As Bob and Dot watched the train disappear over the horizon, Dot leaned over

Crow: (Dot) I thought they'd never leave!

and said, "Oh, and Bob? I have the most wonderful news..."

Mike: Doesn't she have enough kids already?
Bob: Oh no.

Bob picked his wife up and twirled her around, wondering what the future would hold for them and their growing family.

Tom: Hopefully, it would involve cream puffs.


Crow: What pretty letters.

(They exit)

(Bridge of the SOL. There's a cardboard box in front of Tom, who's peering into it.)

Mike: I think that went pretty well.
Crow: Hey Servo, whatcha got there?
Tom: Just looking over my little virus' old things.
Mike: What old things?
Tom: Oh I had all his baby stuff stored in a box and since I was feeling nostalgic I pulled it out. (Sighing) It feels like only yesterday that he left.
Crow: It was an hour ago.
Tom: (ignoring Crow) His old blanket, his pacifier...look! There's his first tooth! We bronzed that you know. And there's his favorite fuzzy green teddy...
Mike: Hey! That was my stuffed bear! (Looks in the box) Servo, these are all MY cherished childhood memories.
Tom: (breaking down) Oh rub it in! Rub in the fact I didn't get to keep him why don't you?! (Starts to sob. Mike pats him on the back.)
Mike: It's okay. We'll always have videos of him taking his first step.
Bob: But we don't-
Mike: Hush. (leads a gently sobbing Tom away.)
Crow: He'll be fine in a few days.
Bob: (Pressing the button) What do you think sirs and ma'am?


Pearl: If leaving the SOL wouldn't taint the experiment even further I'd tell you all to get out more often.
Megabyte: Was that red one always so...disturbed? If anyone broke down from this, I should think it would've be YOU Bob.


Bob: Ha! Are you kidding? (Waves a hand dismissevly) Piece of cake. It's going to take more than THAT to make us snap.


Megabyte: (Feigning casualness) Oh really? Tell me...have you ever heard of a program called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?
Bobo: Oooh! Are we watching that tonight? I love that show! (Starts making little mock-karate jabs at the Observer)
Observer: Watch the brain!

(SOL. Mike's rejoined them)

Mike: Well sure. Who hasn't?
Crow: Pop culture phenomenon.
Bob: The show with the blond girl who stabs people right?


Pearl: So you DO know it then?
Megabyte: How very...fortunate.

(Megabyte and Pearl look at each other and begin to laugh maniacally.)


Bob: (Annoyed) Do they ALWAYS have to laugh like that?
Mike: That's...not a good sign.

(Ominous music plays. The crew looks around, irritated. The screen goes blank but the music continues.)

Crow: (Off-screen) Who is DOING that?