(The guys file in. Mike's still got his bowl of noodles.)

"Okay," little Enzo said. Both kids turned their attention to Giles.
Giles gave them the basic instructions, and Andri showed quite a flair for it.
"Very good, Andri," AndrAIa smiled.

Crow: Throwing her a cookie.

"Yeah; she's quite the little Slayer!" Buffy smiled.

Mike: Just as long as she doesn't call her "Mini me".

"Do you get to use other kinds of weapons when vampire slaying?" Andri asked.

Crow: (Buffy) Rocket launchers, flame-throwers, Ninja stars-it makes people splatter, you name it!
Mike: It's such a healthy activity for a young child that they're teaching her here.

"Cross-bow!" Buffy smiled broadly.

Tom: (Buffy) I just like saying that. Cross-bow. Cross-bow, cross-bow, cross-bow!

"Would this work, too?" Andri showed Buffy her wrist-mounted crossbow.
"Or is it too small?"

Mike: Insert your "size doesn't matter" jokes here, if you will.

"Ooh!" Buffy smiled, "You'd need some small stakes,

Tom: Oh so they'll have mini-stakes for her to kill with. Now isn't that cute.

but by God, that'll work!!" Buffy hugged Andri.

Mike: (Buffy) You'll learn to kill, just like me!

"I wish I could really be a vampire Slayer, like you," Andri smiled.

Tom: (Andri) I want to spend my whole life in dangerous situations risking life and limb every day while never really holding a normal career or family, the way you do!

"You seem to have a talent, kiddo.." Buffy ruffled her hair, "but do you wanna know two major secrets about successful slaying?" Buffy confided.

Crow: Fresh breath and good dental hygiene.

"You gotta dress to kill;

Tom: (Buffy) I recommend something with a lot of pockets.

tank-tops and leather jackets are a must;

Mike: (Andri) Skin revealing tops and a jacket made of dead animals. Got it.

and you gotta quip brilliantly!" Buffy smiled.
"Can you teach me?" Andri smiled.

Crow: To dress like Buffy?
Tom: At twelve?
Mike: Try to spot the things inherently wrong with that ladies and gentlemen!

AndrAIa smiled as she watched her little sister and the slayer.

Crow: (AndrAIa) I bet they'd taste great with ketchup.

"Love to," Buffy smiled.
"Okay!" Andri grinned.

Tom: Anything makes these people happy, doesn't it?
Mike: It's like they whole system is gassed up on Nitrous oxide.

"Does that go for me, too?" little Enzo asked. He was imagining himself in a tank top.

Tom: Oh God no!
Crow: Did we need to see that? I mean, REALLY?

"No, Enzo; Slayers are traditionally female."

Tom: (Enzo) I can change!

"Oh..."little Enzo looked at bit disappointed.

Mike: (Enzo) I guess I'll have to be content with being a GUARDIAN then. Sheesh.

He wanted to be a Slayer, too.
"No reason he couldn't learn, though," Angel smiled. "Even a Slayer needs back-up."

Crow: Enzo becomes AndrAIa's sidekick?
Mike: Now THERE'S a switch.

"'Course: I have my Guardian Angel..." Buffy smiled.
"Bob's mine," Dot smiled into her husband's eyes.
Buffy smiled, "Yeah...so Enzo, hon, you can be Andri's."

Tom: (Andri) But I wanted Drak!

"Okay!" little Enzo grinned.
"I wonder why a Slayer is always female..." Matrix mused aloud.

Crow: Oh great, now HE'S getting ideas.

"Its, uh...always been that way...the prophecies state: "One girl in all the world", The 'Chosen One', the Slayer..." Giles looked up from cleaning his glasses.
"Interesting," Jo Ann smiled. "There was actually a role a woman could play in the Dark Ages

Tom: And get burnt at the stake for.

--other then the traditional women roles-- that a man couldn't play!"

Mike: But now, thanks to the miracles of technology. . .

Giles nodded, "Yes; for as long as there have been vampires there is the Slayer..."
"There's just nothing in the rule-book that says a Slayer can't have help --even male help!" Buffy teased the guys.
"Although, Buffy is the first Slayer with an 'inner circle' of friends to help her...

Tom: Well there was Faith for a while. You know, before she went nuts.

Hmm..." Giles trailed off thoughtfully... "I wonder...'whereever there are vampires, a Slayer will be born'...hmmm..." ?',"

Crow: I just had a horrible premonition. . .

Buffy smiled.
"What is it, Giles?" Jenny asked.
"A thought..." he bit his lip. "Phong; May I return to the library for a moment; I want to check something..."

Mike: (Giles) Maybe that third Harry Potter book ISN'T taken out after all.

"Of course, Giles," Phong bowed.
Giles strode out of the room and Buffy shrugged, "Must be a Brit thing..."

Tom: What, going back to libraries?

The others just shrugged back.
Giles returned, brandishing a book. "I knew it!" He crowed.

Mike: (Giles) The librarian had the last copy in her desk!

"What?!" Buffy asked. Everyone turned toward the Watcher to listen to his new discovery.
"A Slayer will be born unto Mainframe.." he told them calmly; "And I think it's little Andri, there..."


Tom: Amazing.
Mike: What is?
Tom: I actually thought it'd gotten to the point where it couldn't get worse, yet somehow it did.

"She is?" Bob gasped, looking at Andri.

Mike: (Buffy) YOU'RE my replacement? You go squish now!
Crow: (Giles) Now Buffy...Buffy, down!

"Watching her with Buffy, I spotted the natural ease with which a Slayer handles a stake."

Tom: (Giles) Either that or she's a psychopath but either way, she's more than qualified for the job.

"Perhaps, then, this is the real reason I am here," Jenny said.
"You're not a trained Watcher!"Giles protested.
"No, but I've been Watching a Watcher for a long time."

Tom: (Giles, sulkily) It's not the same thing.

"And Andri will need a Watcher," Buffy said.

Crow: (Phong) You know, I have quite a bit of free time now that Dot's command.com.

"Exactly; if she is Mainframe's Chosen one..."

Crow: (Phong) Vast stores of wisdom. . . it could come in useful with a Watcher. . . cough cough. . .

"How can she be? She's a child!" Jenny sighed.

Crow: (Phong) I really WOULD make a good Watcher! Please don't put me in Limbo with Oz!

"But a powerful one," AndrAIa said. "As a game sprite, she is programmed to fight the User in the game. For a child to do that, she must be very strong."

Tom: Or have a big gun.

"Hmm...its still risky; Slayers aren't called until adolescence...So although we know she's the Slayer; technically she isn't until she comes of age at fourteen, fifteen..." Giles sighed.

Tom: (Giles) Why couldn't you be older damnit?

"Time is accellerated in the game cubes," Matrix said. "AndrAIa and I look full grown, but we are really one-one --what you Users would call, eleven."

Mike: (Buffy) Yeah, a one and a one is eleven to us too.
Crow: So wait-they're really mentally eleven? And AndrAIa dresses like...eww...

"Hmmm..." Giles bit his lip.
"If only game-hopping could be controled, somehow," AndrAIa said.

Tom: (AndrAIa) Hint hint, wink wink...
Mike: (Dot, wearily) I'll go get Jo Ann.

"I wonder..." Andri smiled. "What if we could simulate the game-cube?"
"Simulate a game-cube?" Bob asked. "How?"

Crow: (AndrAIa) Well, we could switch her icon to gamesprite mode and pitch her into a game cube for a few User-months...

"In the science lab," Dot smiled. "I'm working on an experiment...
"What?" Bob asked.
"You've been babying me so much

Mike: (Dot) I decided to grow an army of mutants in my spare time.

I started a new project;

Mike: (Dot) I'm trying to breed a species of Sea-monkeys that WON'T die of a mysterious disease within three weeks of buying them.

I've isolated what elements make game-time faster."
"And what did you find?" Paul asked.

Crow: (Dot) Surprisingly enough, waffles.

"I'll show you;

Mike: Could it be...?

its kind of hard to explain."

Tom: Cross your fingers for us all Nelson. . .

"Okay," Paul followed his daughter.

All: YES!

(Loud, exuberant sounds of rejoicing)

Mike: (Pumping his fist in the air) YES, YES YES! They're out of the kitchen! They're out of the kitchen!
Tom: Ha HA!
Crow: They finally did it! They finally moved out of the God-damned kitchen!
Tom: Thank you Lord!
Mike: Who cares WHERE they're going as long as it's away from there!
Tom: I feel giddy!

Dot gestured for the group to follow;

(Jubilation continue)

and she showed her father her findings.

Crow: What? No description of the science lab?
Tom: Who cares? It's not the kitchen!

(Renewed celebrating)

"Fastenating..." Paul said.

"And you can simulate game-time with this?"

(The noises die down.)

"I think so; I uncovered it in my investigation into denullifing."

Tom: So what are we looking at here exactly, equipment? Vials full of bubbling goo? What?

"Jo denullified the nulls," Bob said. "I wonder if she could simulate game-time, too."
"I'm not sure; but this might work," Paul handed Bob Dot's findings.

Mike: Great! So let's stuff Andri into the lab, call Jo Ann, and strip away 4 or 5 years of her life!

"If Andri is going to grow older, I want to, too," little Enzo said.

Crow: Boy is HE going to regret saying that when he reaches middle age.

"Oh Enzo!" Andri exclaimed.
"You shouldn't age them too much, though," Giles said.

Tom: (Giles) It would be like the scene from "Raider of the Lost Ark" where they open up the covenant. Rather messy, really.

"Just to about fourteen or fifteen."
"Fifteen!" Andri exclaimed, "I wanna be ready to be Slayer!"

Crow: First she whines about Drak not turning into a biker, now this. Someone's really spoiled the little brat.

"Me, too!" little Enzo said.
"Enzo, you don't have to do this!" Andri exclaimed.
"I want to do this," he answered, determined.

Mike: (Andri) But I was looking forward to being able to beat up on you because I'm older!

"I'm not going to stand in your way," she told him.
I'm kind of worried about this...

Tom: And someone tries to inject a little sanity into the scene. Unfortunately, it passes.

He held his hand out to her.
She took it and smiled.

Crow: (Dot) Enzo? Remember the person who raised you? I have no say in this?

"Wait a nano," Matrix said. "Enzo, hand me your icon."
He obliged then asked, "Why?"

Tom: (Matrix) Look, do I have to have a reason for everything?

"If we are going to simulate a game-cube, you are going to need something extra." Matrix held his own icon above Enzo's.

Tom: (Matrix) Hey, mine's shinier. Neat.

"Icon: Command line. Copy and paste Game Sprite Mode!" Golden energy shone between the two icons as the information was copied from Matrix's icon to Enzo's.
"It won't have a game," Dot explained, "this will just accelerate their aging."

Crow: (Snickering) "It won't have a game?"
Mike: There should be some LAW about getting proofreaders.

"I know," Matrix grinned. "I just want Enzo to be prepared."

Tom: So just send him into Cub scouts or something! This is all just a bit drastic.

The reagade gave Enzo his icon back.
"Are you both sure you wanna do this?" Dot asked.

Mike: (Enzo) Is there anything good on TV?
Crow: (Dot) Not really.
Mike: (Enzo) Sure then.

"Yes!" little Enzo and Andri said together.
"I'm going to sedate you both, or the growing pains will be agonizing," Dot explained.
"Okay," they said.

Crow: If they were any more 'in synch' they could form their own pop singer band.

They each hopped on top of a table and laid down.
Dot sedated them and erected an isolation field around them.

Crow: (Dot) There. This should knock them out for about five years.

"I hope they'll be alright," Jo Ann said, holding Azura to her.
"They will.

Tom: (Dot) It's untested but hey, what could go wrong?

Beginning acceleration," Dot told them.
The group watched as little Enzo and Andri slowly grew from little kids to young teens.

Crow: (Bob) Does anyone else here get the feeling that we're tampering in God's domain?
Tom: (Dot) Nah.
Mike: (AndrAIa) Not really.
Crow: (Bob) Okay then.

"Computer: Approximate age?" Dot asked.

Mike: (Computer) Well I don't see that it's any business of YOURS!

"Fifteen...hours...of...age..." the computer replied.
"Abort acceleration." Dot ordered.

Tom: So they gave their computer a "Shatner" voice.

"Drop isolation field."
The isolation field disappered.
Dot injected a stimulant into Enzo, and one into Andri.

Crow: (Dot) Whoops. I should have mentioned the stimulant ALSO causes agonizing pain. Ah well, they'll find out soon enough.

When the two awoke and sat up, they were no longer the little kids that they had been.

Mike: (Enzo) Well, that went as well as could be expec-OH MY GOD! My acne!

"Woah; I feel woozy," Andri exclaimed. "And my clothes don't fit..."

Mike: Thank GOD for that seashell covering her. That couldn't have ripped.
Tom: What about Enzo's clothes?


Crow: Well. Thanks VERY much for pointing that out.
Tom: Sorry.

"Looks like we need to do some shopping, after all," Buffy smiled.
Andri grinned and moved her aqua hair out of her eyes.

Tom: So basically they're ten year olds in fifteen year old bodies. Great. Just great. Has no one thought of the emotional implications?! If they weren't messed up before they sure as hell are now!

"And we can't call him, 'little Enzo' anymore," Jo Ann smiled, pointing to Enzo.

Mike: (Enzo) Hey they're right. Good God, what've I DONE?!

Enzo chuckled.
"Can you call the clothing store for an emergincy purchace?" Cordy asked.

Crow: (Cordelia) It's just that I have this thing against nude people.

"Good idea!"

Tom: Well for Cordelia it's stunning.

Dot immediantly made the call.
She ordered, upon instruction; jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket; plus boots for Enzo and a tank-top, a mini-skirt, knee boots and a leather jacket for Andri. And a silver cross necklace apiece.

Tom: Waitasec...so they could have just ORDERED crosses? What the hell was with all the whittling before then?!
Mike: And yet another previous scene's logic fractures and breaks into irredeemable pieces.

As soon as the clothes arrived, Enzo and Andri went into seperate rooms to change.
They emerged, and they looked good.

Mike: You know, at this point I'm seriously considering quitting the human race so I can at least claim to be from a species that doesn't write like this.
Crow: It's about time.

"Classssy!" Cordy grinned.
"Looking good, kiddo!"
"Thanks," Andri smiled.
"C'mere!" the human Slayer pulled Andri's hair into a twist on top of her head and pinned it there with the little star-fish.

Mike: (Buffy) Thus I mold you into my own image.

Andri looked into a nearby mirror. She liked what she saw.

Tom: "You know what the difference between you and me is? I make this thing look good."

"You are looking sharp, yourself, Enzo," Angel smiled.
"Oh yeah!" Buffy smiled.
Andri smiled at Enzo.
He grinned back at her.

Tom: (Wistfully) Maybe Spike will come back and destroy them all.

Enzo had gotten rid of his baseball cap. His icon was pinned to his jacket, as was Andri's.

Mike: Thank GOD they told us where they pinned their icons! I don't think I could have gotten through the rest of the paragraph without finding out.

She hugged him, "Looking good, Enzo."
"Thanks, Andri," Enzo blushed.
She grazed her lips over his cheek, and coyly broke away.

Tom: They've only had those bodies for five minutes and they're already building sexual tension?
Crow: Now that's just wrong.

Buffy and the others smiled at the two teen sprites.
"Woah! This is weird!" Andri smiled.

Mike: Nah. We ruled out "weird" for this story after the third chapter. This is just cheesy.

"Being little kids one nano, and teens the next?" Matrix asked.

Crow: (Matrix) Wow. That sounds like some horrible dream gone wrong! Yet oddly familiar. . .

"At least you didn't age by game-hopping!" the renagade grinned at the new teenagers.

Mike: (Matrix) It's amazing how easily I can cope with personal tragedies when Jo and Buffy are writing!

Andri shrugged.

Crow: (Andri) Whatever. I'm old and that's what matters.

"Hey, ya'll!" Mouse whistled from the kitchen. "Dinner's ready!"

Tom: And we go back to Mouse of all people cooking.
Mike: This is officially the most out of character thing I have ever read her doing.

The group ran in, the teens jostling each other to be first.
"Slow down, youngin's!" Mouse grinned.

Crow: She called them "youngin's"? Damnit, she sounds like an old, grizzled prospector from the Yukon.

"Thar's plenty fer everybody!"

Mike: (Mouse) Make sure you get a helping with extra poison!

Buffy laughed, "You'd all lose anyway if ya fought me!"

Tom: (Turbo, softly) You know, maybe if we all jumped her at once. . .
Crow: (Matrix, softly) It's worth a try. On three. One, two. . .

Everyone enjoyed a good laugh as they sat down at the table.

Mike: Well, enough of the heady excitement of the description-less science lab. Back to the kitchen.
Crow: It was nice while it lasted.

"Scones?!" Buffy exclaimed, laughing loudly. "Oh Giles," she affected a terrible impersonation of a British accent, "doesn't it make you feel at home, old chap?"

Crow: (Giles) I hate you.

Everyone laughed harder as Giles gave Buffy a stern look.
Buffy chuckled, "Is there a problem, old bean?"

Crow: (Giles) Oh yes.

she laughed, still in her appalling accent.

Crow: (Giles) I swear, if I weren't afraid of ending up with someone like Faith if you died again, I'd. . .

"Please, Buffy, refrain from that horrible mockery of the King's Language," Giles said.

Crow: He took the words right out of my mouth.
Mike: Go British guy!

The Slayer just collapsed into helpless laughter.

Mike: Buffy's hyper/hysterical side ladies and gentlemen.

Giles sighed. He desided that the best course of action would be to ignore the young Slayer and consentrate on enjoying his meal.

Tom: I'm really starting to like him too.

Jenny hugged him. "She only does it 'cus you react so beautifully."

Crow: 'Cus'?
Mike: I think she meant 'cuz'.
Crow: Oh like THAT'S a big improvement.

"Well, hopefully she will not do it too much. I have the feeling that only one raised in England can effect the perfect British accent."

Crow: Then you've never heard Verna go at it.

"Is that a fact then?" Jenny's imitation of his accent was only marginally better than Buffy's.

Mike: Granted, that had to be pretty easy...

Matrix grinned and looked toward AndrAIa.
Andraia was chuckling quietly.

Tom: (AndrAIa) Ah, there's a new strip of "Penny Arcade". I swear, I live for this site.

Then, AndrAIa gave them her impersenation of a British accent.
Giles blinked.

Mike: (Giles) How did she do that without speaking?

Buffy looked at AndrAIa in surprise, a wide-mouth smile appearing on her face.
"That was amazing!!"

Tom: (AndrAIa) Thanks. I've been watching a lot of "Monty Python" lately.

"Indeed it was!" Giles said. "A flawless impersination of spoken British English!"

Crow: (Giles) Cockney English true, but still British English.

"Take your remark back, then?" Jenny asked.
"Yes. Of course,"

Mike: (Giles) Just get Matrix to put down his gun.

Giles blushed. "My most humble apologies, AndrAIa."
"No problem Giles," she smiled.

Tom: Vacantly into the air.

"Can you do that, too?" Buffy asked Andri.
"Naturally," she responded in Buffy's voice.

Crow: (Buffy) Voices! She's possessed! She's possessed! STAKE HER!
Mike: (Willow, wearily) That's your answer to everything.

Buffy and her friends were very much taken aback by this.

Tom: (Xander) You know they never really mentioned this on the show.
Mike: (Jo Ann) Are you questioning my plot device?
Tom: (Xander) No no! Of course not!

"Amazing!" Giles said. "This talent should prove very usefull to combat the virueses."

Crow: (Giles) We can distract them with a well-put together Shakespearean production with Andri and AndrAIa as the leads!
Mike: (Buffy) Couldn't we just throw the viral's own voices around to confuse them and give them contradicting orders?
Crow: (Giles) I suppose if you want to take the layman's way out.

"There he goes on his Mr. Tactics trip!"

Tom: He's just trying to HELP fight the viruses you stupid, STUPID people! While all that YOU'VE done is sit around and go on a mobius strip of meeting new family members, restating the plot, introducing new characters and so on. Just leave him be!

"I suppose it could be used like that," Andri admitted.
"Let him head off on his tactics tangent: I plan to relax and enjoy my meal!" Buffy smiled.
Jo Ann smiled. As she ate, she nursed Azura.

Crow: Uhm, is that really a good idea? Wouldn't that just be really awkward seeing as how you'd need one hand to eat leaving you with only one to hold the baby? Unless she-
Mike: Crow, I have no doubt that whatever you're going to say is going to disturb us. Just. . . we're sick as it is already.
Crow: Sorry.

Giles planned quietly as the others exchanged conversation.
Wild Card kept close watch on his wife and new daughter.

Tom: Tom, Mike and Crow wondered why this pointless scene was added.


Crow: That's one word to describe the pacing.

as the meal progressed so did the plans.
"I'll smear more garlic on the windows tonight," Xander said.

Mike: (Giles) Must you do that EVERYWHERE we go?

"Those of us that are effected by garlic, can sleep in another room." Xander eyed Angel meaningfully.

Crow: (Angel) Hey no fair! He just wants the top bunk!

Angel shrugged.
"And I have an idea for after we leave for something to protect the Principle Office, if Phong will agree to it," Willow said.
"What's that?"
"Well, I was thinking of painting, or otherwise decorating, all the doors and windows of the PO with crosses," the red-head said.

Mike: (Phong) We DO have this powerful energy shield that allows us to be protected from harm in times of crisis, but why not.

"Won't work, Will; the crosses have to be 3D." Buffy told her.
"Well, the crosses could be in 3D. Sculptures. Or real crosses attached to the doors and windows."

Mike: Hey, or you could just MAKE some crosses! Use a pair of drinking straws and some duct tape.

"That's certainly worth thinking about," Bob smiled at Willow.
"She's smart," Oz smiled.

Crow: (Buffy) Did we SAY you could come out of Limbo?
Mike: (Oz) Please, just a few lines! I'll be good I swear!
Crow: (Buffy) All right then.

"You just noticing that?" Buffy grinned.
"Nah; I've always known she's smart and beautiful."

Tom: You can tell this is fanfic. I don't think I've ever heard him say this much on the show.

Willow blushed with all the compliments.
"Y'know, you're face is almost as red as your hair, Will!"

Crow: (Buffy) Okay, this is just really lame dialogue. Back to Limbo with you.
Mike: (Oz) NO! Please, I- (screams)

Willow smiled, but said nothing, perfering to consentrate on her eating.

Tom: Unlike everyone else who was stuffing things into their faces at random.

Buffy looked over at Giles, "Plotting?"
"Yes, actually," the Watcher smiled.
"Whatcha come up with?"

Tom: (Giles) Seventy different ways to kill you all! I mean-this and that.

"Nothing, yet. I'm waiting to compare notes with the rest of you."
Buffy smiled at him, "Relax!"

Mike: (Buffy) It's not as if there are any vampires running around he -- oh wait. . .

"There's a few things you guys should know about vampires," Xander said to the Mainframers.

Crow: (Dot) Vampires?
Mike: (Bob) We have vampires?
Tom: (Matrix) Hey yeah! I remember them!

"Yeah: They're not good!"

Mike: Will the closest person standing next to who whoever said that please smack them? Thank you.

"Yes; that is why one slays them," Giles added.

Crow: (Giles) Notice the stiff wording I've been given that fails to make me sound British.

"I don't know how things work in your world,

Tom: (Giles) Quite frankly, how the hell you even HAVE vampires HERE in the first place is a ludicrous plot point in itself.

but in ours, once someone is a vampire, there is no turning back.

Mike: (Giles) It's rather like joining a book club! Ha ha!
Crow: (Enzo) A what club?
Mike: (Giles) Oh, I give up.

As Buffy told me once, when we went to rescue a friend and found out that he had been turned into a vampire,

Tom: (Buffy, helpfully) Legally it's okay to kill them now?
Mike: (Giles) Er, no no. The other thing.

'You aren't looking at them, you are looking at the thing that killed them'," Xander continued.

Crow: (Buffy) Ah, THAT.

"Its brutal and cruel; but that's the way vampires are."

Tom: No they're not! They run around snipping at you childishly through vid-windows! Regular people who just PLAY vampires in "Vampire: The Masquerade" would be more competent!

"So, if anyone in Mainframe becomes a vampire, that's it, then?" Bob asked in a whisper.

Mike: (Buffy) Well you COULD do that whole "soul curse" thing but the gypsies are really snooty about giving out the recipe to that spell.

"They're deleted, and there is nothing left to do but kill the body?"
"Bingo." Buffy told him.

Tom: Oh PLEEEEEEEEAAAASE let Jo Ann be turned into a vampire! Please oh please oh please!

"Oh, spam," Matrix whispered.

Mike: You know, this is still so much better than the cast of thousands parading around the kitchen oohing over a baby that I'm just going to bask in it for a while.
Crow: Me too.

"'Course, it may be different here in Mainframe.

(Contented silence)

Staking the body may free the victim from viral infection, for all we know. But I woundn't count on it," Willow said.

Tom: Mmm. They're discussing viral stuff and taking it seriously!

"Don't count on it."
"Always aim for the heart, unless you are going for a beheading," said Buffy.

Mike: (Buffy) I always make that mistake. It's kind of embarrassing.

"Anywhere else on the body won't work."
Dot sighed.
"This has been a very strange first day for you, hasn't it, Azura?" Jo Ann asked her baby.

Tom: Uhm, okay, we're at the baby again but I'm sure it's only temporary.

Azura just kept nursing.
Wild Card smiled and stroked Jo's hair.

Tom: (Desperately) Annnnytime now. They'll let the plot resurface. Real soon.

Jo Ann looked up at her husband and gave him a kiss on the lips.

Mike: (Sighing) Well it was nice while it lasted.
Tom: (Dully) Back to the baby?
Mike: (Dully) Guess so.

Then they both looked down, watching their daughter as she nursed,
completely unaware of the discussion that was going on around her.

Crow: Great. Now I envy it too.

Buffy sighed and showed the Mainframers some basic self-defense against vamps.

Mike: And they're BACK to the vampires.

(Sighs of relief)

As Azura


went off to sleep, Jo Ann handed her to Marie.

Crow: Is there going to be another pointless scene with her or not?! Make up your minds!

Then, she tapped her icon and said, "REBOOT!" In a wash of energy, her red and gold Guardian uniform appeared on her.

Tom: (Tremulously) Is the baby gone yet?
Mike: I think so.

She and Wild Card then turned their attention to Buffy.
"Okay; new recruits for the slaying scheme?"
"Yep," Matrix grinned.

Tom: Look, Matrix doesn't grin, he sulks and shoots things! He's not Jo Ann's new best friend, damnit!

"Looks like User Guardian One is back in action!"

Crow: Action? REAL action?

"Okay, wanna get started?"

All: YES!

"Okay," Jo Ann smiled.
Buffy smiled.
Wild Card and Jo Ann stood ready as the others joined them.

(Sounds of jubilation)

Buffy handed them both a stake.

Tom: Finally! FINALLY they're just going to go out there, kill the vampires and go home! Yes!

They each took the offered stakes and held them ready.
Buffy and Giles demonstrated various slaying techniques for the Mainframers.

Crow: Right, right! That's good, now go out there and slay!

The Mainframers --especially Andri and Enzo-- followed along with the instructions.

Mike: Anytime now, just. . . go out there and start slaying those vampires!

Andri showed the traditional flair for it, as Slayer.

Tom: Okay, we know. Now let's get down to some vampire slaying.

Jo Ann did not do too bad, herself, having had intensive weapons training with Matrix in her Guardian Cadet days.

Mike: Being the SI she had readily coaxed him into it.
Tom: (Voice trembling again) Mike? Are they EVER going to start killing vampires?

"That's the basics..."

Crow: (Verging on hysterical) They're not, are they? They're just going to stay here and train and discuss things some more!
Mike: Crow! Put your head between your knees and breath!

(Crow hastily does so.)

"Thanks, Buffy," Jo Ann panted.
Buffy smiled, "And no mercy; whoever it is that is vamped out..."

Mike: PleaseJoAnnpleaseJoAnnPleaseJoAnn...

"That is going to be the hard part," Bob sighed.
"You have to," Buffy sighed.

Tom: 'They're never finishing are they?' Tom sighed.

Bob nodded saddly. "It's worse then when Deamon had infected the Guardians. At least, with her deletion, the Guardians were freed from her infection."

Mike: But they all had headaches for weeks.

"Don't take it so hard, Bob. It's just the way it is."
"That doesn't make it any easier..." he sighed.

Mike: You holding up down there buddy?
Crow: (sitting up) I'm better now.

"I know.."
"Maybe my User Magic could 'unvamp' them," Jo Ann said.

All: NO!

"It would be worth a try."

Mike: I think we could stand to see a few good guys "vamped" as long as it means their destruction at this point.

"At least, there is some hope, small as it may be," AndrAIa said.

Crow: Or maybe Jo Ann's User magic will go horribly wrong and turn them into raving, mindless lunatics.
Tom: (Wistfully) You really think so?

Buffy sighed and let them hold onto their hope, even though she felt in her heart

Tom: (Darkly) She wanted to see them suffer.

they were deluding themselves.
"Hey, she restored and upgraded System Omega!" Matrix grinned. "She just might be able to do it!"

Mike: (Buffy) Yep. Delusions RIGHT there.

"Maybe..." Jo Ann sighed.

Crow: (Jo Ann) I mean, it's me against the forces of Hell. It might take more than a week this time.

Buffy shrugged.
There was a knock on the door.

Tom: Oh God, it's probably Bob's parent's cousins come to look at the babies.
Mike: You know, I've never resented the birth of a new life quite like this.

"Don't invite anyone in; a vampire can't come in unless invited!"

Crow: (Buffy) Wait, I invited Angel but how'd Drak get in?
Tom: (Drak) Why, as another one of my powers, I don't NEED to be invited in as a half-human half-vampire crossbreed that-
Mike: (Angel, wearily) Oh shut UP.

"Who is it?" Bob called to whoever was outside the door.
"Answer?!" Buffy demanded.

Crow: You might want to wait at least until they can draw a breath.

"Guardian Cadet Eudora and her unit, reporting for duty!" came the answer.
Bob opened the door and smiled.

All: NO!
Mike: You IDIOT! Your system is filled with vampire viruses, you've been spending hours talking about how dangerous they are, someone's just WARNED you about inviting them in and you blindly open a door to a total stranger without even checking through a vidwindow or a keyhole to see if they are who they say they are first?
Tom: You know, if they slaughter everyone grown-up in there, I'd say they really deserve it.

Coming through the door were several Guardians,

Crow: There goes your rant Mike.
Mike: (Slumping) Well there was nothing wrong with it in principle-

their eyes viral green and red and fangs dripping with fresh energy.

Mike: (perking up) Ha!
Crow: Then again, maybe not.
Mike: (Pumping his fist in the air) Yes! Did I call that or WHAT fic? Huh? Who's the man?

Bob jumped back, the stake ready.
Buffy pulled her cross-bow, "Flying fatality!"

Tom: I still bet Chun-Li could kick her scrawny little butt.

She grinned and took down the lead vamp.

Crow: (Vampire) Please, I'm only 178-AUUGH!

As the vampires stormed in, the Mainframers put their new skills to a unexpected test.

Tom: (Dot, thinking) I've got to hide like I've NEVER hidden before.

"Okay gang --NO MERCY!"
When two vampires came at her, both from different directions, Jo Ann

Crow: Screamed and hid under the couch like a frightened hamster.

effortlessly took out one, then whirled around to kill the other one. Both fell to the ground and turned into pixil dust.

Mike: Ah-choo!

"Nice going, Jo!" Buffy called, staking a vamp.
"Thanks!" Jo Ann grinned at Buffy.

Tom: And was grabbed from behind and bitten by a vampire. Then they killed her. The end.

Wild Card staked a vamp that was going to put the bite on Marie.

Mike: (Wild Card, nerdy voice) Hey guys, I got one!

"C'mon guys!" Buffy threw the cross-bow to Dot, who was not in a position to fight.

Tom: (Dot, angry) Why do I have to carry the baby?!
Crow: (Wildcard) Jo Ann's just too busy to take it right now. . .
Tom: (Dot, disturbed) I see.

Bob staked three vampires, remorse in his heart and on his face.

Crow: Bob reluctantly kills off his college fraternity.

Matrix staked a couple that was going for AndrAIa.

Mike: He's always so jealous.

Drak saw a vamp sneaking up on Jo Ann,

Tom: He tried to stifle his giggles.

and he impaled it on his sword, killing it as effectively as a wooden stake.

Mike: Plus it was more environmentally friendly. Metal can be reused more easily for vampire slayings kids!

A vampire had tried to snatch Azura out of Marie's hands, only to meet his end on a non-cross stake held by Angel.

Crow: (Marie) Oh wonderful, now you've got her crying!
Tom: (Angel) Sorry ma'am but-
Crow: (Marie, to Azura) There there. The bad man won't hurt you!
Tom: (Angel) But I-
Crow: (Marie) Shh!

Eventually, the gang took out the vampires, and, panting for breath, tried to savour the bitter-sweet victory.

Tom: (Singing) 'Cause it's a bittersweet. . . victory, all right. . .
Mike: Tom. . . that was. . .
Tom: Yes?
Mike: Horrible. Please don't try that again.
Tom: It just sounds bad because the background music is missing!

Jo Ann took up Azura in her arms and tried to comfort the crying baby.

Mike: (Jo Ann) There there honey, we've slaughtered all our enemies. You can go to sleep now.

Jason was checking on Marie, who was unhurt. Jo Ann looked at both Drak,

Tom: (Jo Ann) Hmm. I wonder if I should give him his own fic series.

who had saved her life, and Angel,

Tom: (Jo Ann) Hmm. I wonder if I should cross him over with my Sailormoon and ER fic.

who had saved Azura and Marie.

Crow: (Jo Ann) Well I suppose I should bestow my SI character's condescending thanks on them now.

"Thank you both," she smiled at them.
The two vampires smiled

Tom: (Angel) The Goddess has blessed us!
Mike: (Drak) Heaven be praised!

and nodded.
Drak reached over to stroke Azura's hair.
"It's okay, Azura. It's okay..." he whispered soothingly.

Mike: (Drak) We'll wipe the blood off the floor soon so just rest now. . .

Dot was sitting in the corner still, "I hid," She confessed to Bob.

Tom: "I have half a brain." Dot confessed to Bob.

"It's okay, love," Bob smiled. "You still protected yourself and our baby.
There is no shame in hiding."

Mike: (Bob) Now let's get Xander out from under the couch.

He held her to him.
She wept softly for each of the deaths.

Crow: Since when is Dot so publicly emotional?
Mike: Since this fic started.
Tom: How low the mighty have fallen.

Bob hugged her and stroked her hair, letting her moarn for the loss of the innocent victims of Chimera and Pixil.

Tom: (Bob) If only there were something we could do to avenge their deaths!
Crow: (Buffy) You mean like kill Chimera?
Tom: (Bob) Good idea! But first we have to plan out how we'll fit their deaths into-
Crow: (Buffy) AUUUGH!

"How...how could they?" She shuddered

Mike: (Buffy) Well, they were pretty hungry. . .

"They are vampires," said Angel, bitterly. "Creatures without souls. All they care about is how much they can take and how much they can make their enemies suffer."

Mike: (Angel) But let me remind you once more that I have a soul and would never consider harming any one of you.
Crow: (Wildcard) That sounds like vampire talk to me.
Mike: (Angel) What? But I-
Tom: (Bob) He's a vampire! GET HIM!
Mike: (Angel) Oh. . . damn. BUFFY!

Buffy sighed. "He's right; vampires tend to exhibit obsessive behavoir."

Crow: (Buffy) Like ten year olds after a Pokemon card.

Angel sighed, thinking of the sweet girl Drusilla once was, and the torment he put Buffy through.

Tom: Buffy sighed, thinking of how she was missing "the X-Files".

"Now, what do we do?" Matrix asked.
"Dust." The Slayer commented wryly.

Crow: (Bob) Actually, we have these AMAZING devices called vacuum cleaners that are much more efficient than brooms that we use to-
Tom: (Buffy) Look we're not THAT technologically backwards.

"No problem," Bob said. He pushed a button, summoning the PO clean-up detail.

Mike: (Janitor binome) Well this is. . . sweet User, not ANOTHER bunch of severed heads!

"I was making with the funny!" Buffy exclaimed.

Crow: (Buffy) Stop ruining my puns!

"Well, the room does need cleaning up," Ray said,looking around at the remains of the vampires all over the floor.

Tom: (Ray) Still, nothing a little Windex won't fix.

In nanos, a team of white-clad binomes came in and begain to clean the room.

Mike: (Binome, grumbling) This sort of thing happens to us EVERY week.
Crow: (Binome #2) At least it's not giant leeches this time.

Buffy shook her head and chuckled slightly.

Tom: (Buffy) Heh. Dusting cracks me up.

Just then, Old Man Pearson came in, dressed in his Code Master uniform and carrying his Gibson Coil staff.

Tom: Which he threw away in "The Codemaster".

"Where are tha beasties!" he demanded
Buffy blinked, "Huh?"

Tom: (Buffy) Wrong show.

"You're late, 'Talon'," Matrix teased.
"The Vamp Masscre, Part One is over..."

Crow: (Matrix) But hey, stick around for part two! We're planning on a barbecue afterwards!

"An' when will Part Two begin, lass?"

Mike: Well so much for his "I swore never to delete another living thing" speech.

"Soon, I'm sure!" Buffy told him.
"Should we e-mail Chimera and tell him that his attack failed?" Wild Card asked.

Crow: (Wild Card) I might as well get SOME use out of my hotmail account.

"He'll find out soon enough!"
"He will..."
"He's going to be furious, you know," Monitor said.
"Why?" Mouse asked.


"If he's mad, he'll be careless!" Buffy smiled.

Crow: Yeah that too.

"Maybe..." Bob frowned.
"It usually works."
"We'll have ta wait an' see," Turbo said.
Buffy smiled.

Tom: (Buffy) Fishes are pretty.

"Should Turbo put in a call for reenforcements from the Port Authority?" Wild Card asked.
"Good idea."

Crow: (Staring blankly ahead in horror) My God. . . they're going to import another batch of characters. . .

(Tom starts making fetal whimpering noises.)

Using Copeland, Turbo made the call.
Buffy continued the training session.
Turbo closed the connection.

Mike: Mike wished that someone in the fic would spontaneously combust.

"They'll be here any nano. Ah suggest that Bob provide tha portal fer 'em so that they can't be attacked enroute."

Crow: I. . . can't. . . take this. . . (Crow turns away from the screen and seems to be struggling with something.)

Bob nodded and obliged.
"And Ah think that fer Jo, tha special order should be given. Any objections from tha Guardians present?"

Mike: Crow?

"Its a big step," Bob advised. "Can I suggest we hold back for a little longer?"

Mike: Crow, what are you doing?

"For how long do ya suggest, Bob?" Turbo asked.
"See how Buffy does first?"
"Alright. But we can't hold off fer too much longer."

Mike: (Alarmed) Crow!
Crow: (Giggling) Hold on -- they're almost out. . .
Mike: What are you -- OH DEAR GOD! (Immediately leans over and begins to tussle with Crow over something) You put your eyes back in RIGHT now!
Tom: Oh sick! That's (pause) such a good idea. . .

"What's this 'special order' you guys are talking about?" Drak asked.
"Top secret."

Crow: (Struggling) Let me be Mike! I just want to end it without giving up my consciousness! Is that so wrong?
Mike: Yes! Look, this isn't the way we fight back at these things!

"Let's just say, it's the next step up for Guardians, and leave it at that," Bob smiled.
The Sunnydalers shrugged.

Mike: Crow! We don't have any replacement eyes for you right now! Do you REALLY want Jo Ann's ReBuffy to be the last thing you see for a week?
Crow: (Suddenly stops struggling) Good lord, no. (Sags) I'm. . . better now. Just got caught up in the grip of things. Thanks Mike.
Mike: (Sitting back down) It's okay buddy. I'm here for you.

"If you are still here when it happens, you'll get to see it," Bob smiled.
Buffy smiled,

Tom: (Buffy) Sharks are fast.

"Let's see..."
The Mainframers stood ready to continue the training session.
Buffy smiled and showed off some more moves.
The replacement Guardians had arrived, and was watching the training session with interest.

Mike: (Guardian) Do you think she knows her shirt is slipping like that?

Buffy explained what was happening.

Tom: (Buffy) Now see, we're in Hell. . .
Mike: (Guardian) Wait a second, I want to take notes.

Xander, Willow, and Cordy handed out stakes. The Guardians looked at the wooden weapons couriously.

Crow: Somewhat like "curiously" but with worse spelling.

"Its for the vampires," Buffy explained.
"Yeah," Xander said. "The two really sure ways to kill a vampire is to behead them or stake them.

Mike: Or burn them.
Crow: Or hack them up.
Tom: Throwing them into a car crusher, that'd work.
Mike: There's so many more options when you think about it.

And you gotta aim for the heart if you're staking the vamps." Xander also explained about the finility

Tom: "Finility". It sounds like a car brand.
Crow: Introducing the new Toyota finility. A sports utility vehicle with an affordable price.

of becoming a vampire, once again, using the tale of his friend, Jesse,

Tom: James!
Crow: Team rocket's blasting off at the speed of light!
Tom: Surrender NOW, or prepare to fight!

(Expectant pause)

Tom: Mike?
Mike: No.
Tom: Come on Mike, you're ruining the whole thing.
Crow: Give us SOME joy in this cesspool of hell.
Mike: (Sighing) Meowth! That's right.
Tom: THANK you.

as an example.
"Its sad, but true."
Bob then told them about the recent attack

Tom: (quietly) If this scene doesn't lead anywhere. . .

that had just occurred before the new group was called.
"It was traigc, but.."

Crow: (Bob) We had to interrupt the baby cuddling for a fight scene. We're so sorry.

"...it had to be done," Buffy finished for him.

Tom: (Bob) Hey! Butt in on your own friend's lines, okay?

"Yes; a vampire has no soul, no conscience..."

Mike: In other words, a candidate for a FOX network executive!
Crow: Now that was TOO easy.

"Except for these two," Buffy smiled, indicating Angel and Drak. "They're the good guys; 'cept I don't like Angel," Xander put in.

Tom: You know, he's usually more subtle than that.

"Jealousy," Buffy grinned at the Guardians.

Crow: What I wouldn't give to be reading that fic instead of this garbage right now. . .

Xander shot her a look.

Mike: BLAM!
Crow: (Buffy) OW! Hey where'd you get that AK-47?

"It's true!" Buffy grinned. The Guardians grinned back.
Chuckles were exchanged.

Tom: Eww, those have been USED!

Cordy went up to Xander and kissed his cheek.

Crow: (Cordelia) Here. This is for no reason at all.

Xander smiled.

Mike: (Xander) The crack's finally starting to kick in. Heh heh.

"By-the-way," Buffy continued. "Andri, here, is going to be Mainframe's Vampire Slayer."

Tom: (Buffy) We've forced her life into something even MORE unnatural! Isn't it great?

"She's the computer world's chosen one..."

Crow: (Buffy) Yes, she too will experience copious amounts of pain and suffering because of her Slayer duties!

At the confusion on the Guardians' faces, Giles explained further.

Mike: (Giles) Here, just take this "ReBuffy" file and read it.
Tom: (Guardian) All right.
Crow: Hours pass.
Mike: (Giles) Well?
Tom: (Guardian) You know, we could just SHOOT you all.
Mike: (Giles, gratefully) Would you?

Giles gave the "Chosen one" speech and Buffy mimicked him behind his back.

Tom: There goes any thin veneer of maturity she had left.

Only Turbo's commanding presence kept the Guardians from laughing at the two Users.

Mike: Oh go ahead and do it anyway. You'll feel better.

Buffy noticed the suppressed chuckles and frowned at the Prime Guardian.
Turbo just gave her a stern look.
"What?" She asked.

Crow: (Turbo) Fly's undone.

"Never mock one's teacher behind their back," Turbo smiled.
"Tattle-tale!" Buffy frowned.
Turbo only grinned and shrugged.
Buffy pouted.

Crow: I'm having a lot of trouble visualizing this.

Giles, meanwhile, continued with his explainations.

Mike: Blessedly oblivious to the other characters.

Slow understanding dawned. The Mainframers, by now, veteran vampire slayers, listened patiantly as Giles spoke to the assembled Guardians. They could not help but

Crow: Loose interest and start fidgeting and whispering.

smile at the various looks the Guardians showed as they listened.

Tom: (Mainframers) Look! They're bored too!

"Its cruel and gross, but c'est la vie," Buffy shrugged.
The Guardians looked at her with, "Huh?" on their faces.

Mike: (Guardian) You understood that?
Crow: (Guardian #2) I think it's French for "I am a sewer"?
Mike: (Guardian) Forget it.

"It's French."
"For what?" Enzo asked.
"That's life."
She shrugged.

Crow: (Buffy) What can I say? It's all I remember from French 30.

The Guardians pretended to understand that as Giles finished his speech.

Mike: They were used to humoring Mary Sues by then.

"You are allowed to go 'huh?', by-the-way," Buffy smiled.
This had the Mainframers and the Guardians laughing.

Tom: (Guardian) We're allowed to go 'huh'! Oh that's RICH!

No one could say anything, they were laughing so much.

Mike: (hands in his head) This scene is so very, terribly wrong.
Crow: It could almost be a parody.

Buffy gave her Watcher an affectionate hug.
Giles hugged her back.

Crow: Thus started a chain reaction of hugging and kissing and exchanging of platitudes that took five hours to fully complete.

One of the Guardians raised her hand.
"Yes?" Giles asked.

Tom: (Guardian) So you people have basically sat around for days doing NOTHING?
Crow: (Jo Ann) We admired my baby!
Tom: (Guardian) Oh. Well then.

"What makes those two different from any other vampire?" the young woman asked.
"Angel and Drak have their souls!" Buffy told her, interupting Giles.

Mike: Oh like THAT'S a guarantee of purity.

"How?" the girl asked.
"Angel was cursed by Gypsies;

Mike: That's what happens when you try to palm them fake money.
Crow: (Angel) Look, it's a Canadian quarter. Of course it's real silver.

and Drak is half human."

Tom: (Buffy) Half pin-up boy.

"Oh. Okay."
Buffy smiled,

Crow: (Buffy) Toasters are shiny.

"And anyone coming within ten metres of Angel with a stake..."

Mike: That's going to make fighting vampires around him really awkward at some point.

"...you'd be in real trouble!" Drak grinned.

Tom: Fingering his stake wistfully.

"To put it mildly."
"Very, mildly," Angel smiled.
Buffy hugged him.

Crow: (Buffy) Oh I love it when you're this witty!

"Looks weird, right?" Xander said,

Mike: (Xander) A bunch of humans, vampires, sprites and even a werewolf all standing around in a group. . . it's almost like we're stuck in a bad fanfic or something.

jerking a thumb at the two. "Vampire and Vampire Slayer together like that?"
"Oh yeah..." someone muttered.

Tom: (Someone) Freaks!

"It can happen," Willow smiled.
"It did!"

Tom: Not in the SERIES. Didn't you ever SEE all those episodes which consisted of nothing but Angel and Buffy breaking up?
Crow: (Redshirt from Galaxy Quest) Did you guys ever even WATCH the show?

"Yeah...it did...didn't it?"
"Yeah..." Buffy smiled

Mike: (Buffy) Thanks to the magic of fanfiction, anything is possible!

"Any more questions?" Giles asked.

Tom: (Buffy) When are we going to actually FIGHT Chimera?
Crow: (Willow) Do you have any other relatives that need the entire plot explained to them around?
Mike: (Oz) Do I still exist?

Buffy smiled, "C'mon; I had loads: Don't be afraid to ask!"

Crow: (Wildcard) Is your hair NATURALLY blonde or do you dye it?
Mike: (Buffy) Question time's over now.

"How strong are vampires?" a male sprite asked.
"Twice as strong as the average

Mike: Bear!
Tom: Mike!
Mike: Sorry.

hum- sprite."
"And...how strong are you?" he asked Buffy.

Mike: (Buffy) Come here and see. . .

"About the same," She smiled.
"She fought Matrix to a draw, and they both got hurt; she lifted Matrix up off his feet; and, she fought Turbo...and won!" Bob smiled.

Crow: (Bob) It's good to see my friends humiliated.

"Does that give you any clues?"
The Guardians looked rather disbelivingly at the small girl.

Crow: (Buffy, defensively) I have superpowers! It's all plausible!

"Wanna demo?" Buffy asked. "Hey Matrix; come here a nano!"

Tom: (Matrix) Uhm-you heard her Enzo. Go on.
Mike: (Enzo) Hey! Oh so NOW you don't want your last name!

"No!" he called out, joking.
"'Kay; I'll lift Turbo, then!" Buffy smiled.

Crow: Yes, LIFTING! The definite test of one's strength and skill!

"Or yah could offer to go a round against one of the newbies!" Mouse smiled.

Tom: What, now they're starting their own "Fight Club"?
Mike: Think about how much blood they'd spill.

(They consider it.)

Tom: Go fight club idea!

"Okay. Any volenteers?" Buffy asked the Guardians.
A tall, well-built Guardian seemed to get nominated.

Mike: (Guardian) Okay Harv, it's your turn. YOU fight the crossover psychopath.
Crow: (Guardian) But I don't WANT to!
Mike: (Guardian) Look, I took on that insane WWF guy from last time.

Buffy sized him up. "Just so I'll know who I'm sparring with, what's your name?"
"You can call me Excel, little lady."

Tom: Ah. They're going to pull out all the stops with the stereotypes, I can tell.
Mike: Remember kids, if you don't make your character sympathetic, it's okay for them to get beaten!

Buffy shot him an "oh please" look and fell into a defensive posture.
Excel, all macho,

Tom: (Humming) Macho, macho man!

went for a direct attack.
Buffy dodged his charge and tripped him, kicking his ankle out from under him.

Crow: Well this whole thing should be over in about what, thirty seconds?

The Mainframers, Sunnydalers, and Guardians burst out laughing when Excel fell flat on his face.

Mike: "Silenced as the pool of blood started to trickle out from under him..."

"Shall I embarass you furhter

Tom: Please do!

or are you gonna put your heart into this?" Buffy asked.
Excel, enraged that a girl --never mind that she was a User-- embarressed him,

Mike: What IS he, in grade three?
Crow: (Excel) NO! Now I'll get her cooties!

charged at Buffy again.

Tom: Some people are just stupid aren't they?

Buffy put her foot in his chest and threw herself, and Excel to the floor; she landed graceflly, but she used the momentum to throw him hard and far. Right into a wall in fact.

Crow: And Buffy's body count rises higher.

"Ouch," Matrix grinned and winced.

Tom: (Matrix) So, is his spine going to be okay or not?

"Done yet?" Buffy asked.
Excel decided to try one more time.

Mike: So he just GETS up from being thrown into a wall?

He got up and --with as much steam that he could pump up-- charged at Buffy.

Tom: How'd this guy ever even make it into the Guardians?

She fell into a crouch just as he approached and grabbed his legs as he reached her and tossed him over her head.

Crow: (Buffy) Gymnast routine! Whee!

Excel landed flat on his face --again.

Tom: And the judges award him a 3.0 for that disappointing landing.

"You done yet?" the Slayer asked.
"No...more..." Excel gasped out. He limped back to his place in line.
"Wise choice," Bob grinned.

Crow: (Bob) I remember that guy. He used to beat me up in high school. Heh, look at that nosebleed.

"Anybody else?" the Slayer grinned.
The other Guardians declined. They had seen enough of Buffy's strength.
Buffy smiled,

Mike: (Buffy) How I love smacking people around!

Marie gave Azura, who was getting a bit fussy, to Jo Ann.

Crow: (Jo Ann) Aww. . . is the pummeling of people getting too much for you sweetie?

"Nearly sunrise..." Angel smiled.

Mike: Except for the fact that Mainframe doesn't HAVE a freaking sun.

"Already? And we haven't been to bed yet!" Xander said.
"Did I say sunrise; I meant sunset..."

Tom: (Singing softly) Sunrise sunset. . . sunrise sunset. . .

"Whew!" Buffy brushed a hand across her forehead. "I thought..."

Mike: Was. . . that supposed to be tension or something?
Crow: I'm not sure, it went by so lamely.

"Sorry," Angel smiled, "it's nearly time for you to go do your thing...may I suggest you grab a cat-nap?"

Tom: Wow! What stunningly accurate Angel dialogue!

"Right! Later," Buffy smiled and went to the room she shared with the other Sunnydale girls.

Crow: And of course that's the one scene they WON'T be showing us in detail. . . (sighs)

Angel sighed; he worried about her.
"She'll be okay," Willow said.
"Yeah; I know."
The Guardians stared at Jo Ann and Azura.

Mike: (Guardian) Hey, you're the SI character aren't you?
Crow: (Jo Ann) How can you tell?
Mike: (Guardian) The golden halo of light around you.
Crow: (Jo Ann) Oh, that. Nice touch isn't it?

"What?" Wild Card snapped protectively.

Mike: (Guardian) Uhm. . . I don't know, I thought you were staring at US.

"Wild Card!" Jo Ann gently admonished him. To the assembled Guardians, she smiled and said,

Crow: (Jo Ann) Peace be with you.

"Yes. This is Wild Card's and mine new daughter. Azura."

Mike: (Jo Ann) It means sky blue. . .
Tom: (Dot, freaking) Is she going to say that EVERYTIME she introduces her baby?
Crow: (Bob, grimly) I'm afraid so.

"She's beautiful,"

Tom: (Guardian) For a sprite/human half-breed that we've never seen before.

Zena slipped out of the crowd of Guardians.
"Zena!" Jo Ann smiled when she saw her former pupil.

Mike: ACK!
Crow: So Jo Ann's tutoring guardians now. . .
Mike: Okay. . . someone can say it. Go ahead.
Tom: Thank you. (Clears his throat and announces officially) We're in Hell.

Handing Azura to Wild Card, Jo Ann hugged the girl.
"She's gorgeous, and you look positively radiant, Jo Ann. Motherhood agrees with you!"

Tom: Of course Jo Ann couldn't feel bloated or cramped after motherhood.

"Thanks, Zena!" Jo Ann smiled. "And how are you getting along on your studies?"

Crow: (Zena) Pretty well now that you've stopped tutoring me.

"Slowly but surely." The girl smiled.
"You'll make it to Full Guardian. You are a great student."

Tom: (Jo Ann) The way you'd always get me coffee in the morning, and that great job you did of cleaning up my desk -- I just miss it so much.

"Thank-you, Jo Ann!"
"I was Zena's teacher, until I found out I was pregeant," Jo Ann told the Sunnydalers.

Mike: "Pregeant". Hey, try saying it out loud.
Tom: Pregeant. Huh. Weird sound.

"Neat," Willow smiled.
"Dot's about to have hers in a couple of seconds," Jo Ann told Zena.

Crow: (Zena) Really?
Tom: (Dot) Sometime around then. We weren't really counting.

"Oh, congratulations, Ms Matrix!"
"Thank you," Dot smiled.
At sunset, Angel slipped into the girl's room

Crow: (Angel) Tum te tum. . . just checking up on Buffy in a room full of young women with their necks invitingly stretched out on their pillows. . . hmm hmm-- oh GOD, I'm so hungry!

and with a gentle kiss, awakened Buffy.
"Angel...?" Buffy moaned,

Tom: (Buffy) He does this every night.

then smiled

Crow: (Buffy) I like horsies.

when she saw his face.
"Hey there, sleepyhead, its sunset."
"Already?" she yawned.
"Yeah," he told her.

Mike: (Buffy) You know that's funny, I could have SWORN this place was sunless when we arrived-
Crow: (Angel) Shh! Plot device! You know what happens to those who question the authors' wills!
Mike: (Buffy, sadly) Poor Oz.

Stretching, Buffy sat up.
Angel smiled and handed her the cup of tea he had brought her.
Buffy sipped the tea slowly.

Tom: (Buffy) This'd better not be Nestle.

"Is there sugar in this?" she asked.

Mike: (Angel) All the bins were labeled with zeros and ones so I dumped in the first white powdered stuff I could find.
Tom: (Buffy) Eww. . .

"Yes, there is," he smiled.
"Good," she grinned, "A girl can never get too much sugar!"

Tom: (Darkly) Oh I disagree. . .

Angel grinned back at her.
"Y'know, I like seeing you when I wake up," she smiled.
Angel smiled. Her words pleased him.

Crow: We kind of got that impression from the word "smile" there already.

"But then...I like seeing you any time..."
"I like seeing you, too," he smiled at her.
She set her tea down and and leaned forward to kiss him.
He met her kiss, pressing his lips to hers.

Mike: Crow?
Crow: Yeah Mike?
Mike: (Sighing) I think I just lost any interest whatsoever in the fic and I'd like to be able to feel again. Do you guys think you could say something mildly dirty until I'm irritated into caring?
Crow: You got it!

Her hands found his chest and she gentle started to carress his chest through his shirt.

Crow: (Angel) Okay, now it's MY turn to do that, right?

He held her closer, keeping far enough away that he did not come in contact with her cross.

Crow: (Angel) Buffy, it's almost like you're wearing that on purpose. . .
Tom: (Buffy) . . . weeeelll. . .
Crow: (Angel) Buffy!
Tom: (Buffy) Come on, you refuse to wear handcuffs!

"Oh Angel..." she whispered and deepened the kiss.
After a long moment (nano?) they parted.
Her breath was coming hard, "We...shouldn't..." She gasped.

Tom: But then again what's a little Hell between friends?

"Right," he smiled saddly. "Come on. Jo's about ready to go to bed. She want's to say good night to everyon before turning in."

Mike: GOD, now she has to tuck them IN?
Crow: (Jo Ann) I suppose I SHOULD check out what kind of lingerie everyone's wearing-
Mike: Thanks guys but I think the fic just annoyed me out of my apathy.
Tom: (ignoring Mike) And I bet Wildcard is SO lonely after fifteen minutes alone by himself!

Buffy started to get up, and then remembered

Crow: She was in a bed already!
Mike: Yuck. No really, I'm okay-

somethimg. She grabbed the skirt and tank-top she'd been wearing that lay at the bottom of the bed, and fumbling about,

Tom: Began to pull them o-
Mike: GUYS!
Tom: Oh. Right.
Crow: Sorry. Getting rid of some suppression there.

dressed. She shared the sad smile, "It would be all too easy, love..."
He smiled as she dressed.

Crow: (Angel) Phew. That was a close one.

She slipped out and stood up.

Tom: (Buffy) So. We've maintained the passionate yet unresolved sexual tension between us?
Crow: (Angel) Pretty much.

Together, they walked into the room where Jo Ann was, saying her good nights.

Mike: (Jo Ann) Good night festering blots on humanity that aren't me.
Crow: (Dot, dully) Good NIGHT Jo.

"G'night Jo, goodnight little Azura!"
"Good night, Buffy; Angel," Jo Ann smiled. Azura gurgled at Buffy. Angel let her tiny hand grip his finger.

Tom: (Azura) That's it. You and me punk, outside in the parking. Let's go!

"She likes you, Angel."

Crow: (Jo Ann) Mind you at this point she likes almost anything.

"I'm glad," he smiled.
"You'd make a great father," Wild Card smiled, not knowing he was putting his foot in it.

Tom: (Wildcard) I mean geeze, I'm surprised you and Buffy haven't gotten married yet!
Crow: (Angel, cold and brooding silence.)
Tom: (Wildcard) Oh wait-that curse. Heh. Sorry.
Crow: (Angel) Stop rubbing it in!

"Wild Card!!" Jo Ann hissed.
"What?" he asked.

Mike: (Wildcard, puzzled) Did I just mortally insult someone or something? WHAT?

"Later," Jo Ann sighed.
"Don't worry, Jo," Buffy smiled with a weary saddness in her hazel eyes.

Crow: (Buffy) I'm used to insensitivity by now.

Drak came over to say his goodnights.
Buffy slipped out of the room, her heart heavy.

Tom: I know what'd cheer her up.
Mike: (Delighted) You mean killing off the main villains?
Tom: Exactly!

"Hey, Azura," Drak grinned at the baby.
She gurgled back.

Tom: (Azura) Hey yourself.

"You have sweet dreams, now," Drak smiled.

Crow: (Drak) Or I'll haunt you in nightmares.

Angel and Drak left the mother and child to rest

Mike: (Drak, whispering) Are we going to suck their blood NOW?
Tom: (Angel, whispering) Shh! I TOLD you, wait till they're asleep!

"Good night, everyone!" Jo Ann smiled.
Wild Card and Jo Ann, after saying their goodnights to the others, took Azura and retired to their room.

Crow: Their ROOM?!
Tom: Horrors!
Mike: Not their ROOM!
Crow: We're really reaching some sort of limit, aren't we?

"Bob says that tomorrow he'll move us in an apartment in the PO," Jo Ann said.

Tom: Maybe if we bludgeoned ourselves it'd be more tolerable.

"Good," Wild Card smiled.

Crow: Whimpering softly inside.

"Yes. This one room is much too small for a family. He'll have Willow put a permenant lockout on the entire apartment, too."

Mike: (Wildcard) So what about all those other citizens who don't have their own personal witches?
Crow: (Jo Ann, dismissive) Oh I'm sure they've arranged something.

Jo Ann laid Azura down on the bed and lay down next to her. Wild Card laid down on the other side of his new daughter.

Tom: (Sounding disturbed) I just had this horrible image of what'll happen if one of them rolls over.

"She's so beautiful, Jo..."
"Yeah..." Jo Ann smiled at the little girl. Azura yawned, but showed no signs of going to sleep.

Crow: (Azura) That damned User-milk is too energy filled! I feel like I've been drinking Mountain Dew syrup straight!

Jo Ann tapped her icon and quietly said, "Reboot." Her nightgown appeared on her.
Outside, the rest of the group were trying to locate the viruses.

Mike: Ah, so these are the people actually doing WORK.

Hex had her magic mirror,

Crow: (Hex) Ooh, look everyone! "I Love Lucy" is on!

looking into it with Isis and Drak, while the others used other means to search for the viruses.

Tom: Besides looking for them in their HOMES.

Buffy gazed out one of the huge windows, her melacholy still on her face.
"What's wrong, love?" Angel asked.
"Just Wild Card's little slip-up..."
"He was only trying to pay me a compliement."

Crow: (Angel) The stupid, stupid man.

"I know; he was right...thats whats so desperatly poignant about it."

Mike: "Desperately poignant"?
Crow: Witness Buffy's pretentiousness jump fifteen points!

"If we did marry, we could always adopt," Angel smiled, attempting to cheer her up.

Tom: (Buffy) Yes but there'd still be no NOOKIE.

"Yeah; and there are other ways..."

Crow: No there aren't.

"True," he smiled.

Crow: No, there AREN'T.

She sighed, "And people live without sex; good people."

Tom: Why, just look at Mike here!
Mike: (Shaking his head wearily) The only unpredictable thing about that comment is that you said it instead of Crow.
Tom: We thought you'd appreciate the variety.

"See?" Angel smiled. "We can avoid the curse, and still be happy.

Tom: (Buffy) Oh speak for YOURSELF.

And maybe --just maybe-- we'll find a way to remove that one little condition from the curse."

Mike: (Angel) Maybe Jo Ann will write THAT in the fic too!
Tom: (Buffy, breathlessly) Do you really think so?

Buffy grinned broadly at that, "I hope so."

Crow: (Buffy) Maybe our fans will stop writing about our angst-filled relationship then. GOD that would be sweet.

"No one can really predict the future.

Tom: (Buffy) Well except for Ms. Cake.

You never know what will happen in the next second, week, year or ten years."
She hugged him, "You always know what to say."

Mike: (Buffy) Oh Angel, you and your wandering, uninspirational speeches! Hold me!

He smiled and hugged her back. They they joined the rest, scanning for the virues.

Crow: (Computer) *BEEP* Zero "virues" found.
Mike: (Angel) Do NONE of you people have some sort of spell checker?

"There; I think we've found one."
"Where?" asked Buffy.
"Level 31."
"Anywhere near Al's?" Bob asked.
"Fairly close..."

Crow: Poor Al.
Mike: First webcreatures trying to eat his staff, now this.

"We have to warn him and his customers!" Bob said. He pulled up a vid-window to Al's.
"Emergency alert! The virues are close to your position!" Bob cried.

Mike: (Al's Waiter) Look Al, just wear the damned hearing aid.

"What is it, Bob?" Al's waiter asked very slowly.
"Viruses are near the diner; DON'T invite them in!"

Crow: (Al's Waiter) Oops. So that's who's been eating the customers.

"Okay, Bob," the waiter replied.
"Use garlic to protect yourselves!" Buffy said.

Mike: Just try saying that randomly in a conversation with a friend and see how they react.

"Does Al ever say anything but, 'what'?" Xander asked Bob.

Tom: (Bob) He swears when he's really drunk.

"Not really."
"Great conversationist," Xander commented.
Bob smiled.

Mike: (Bob) Kittens have whiskers!

"Now what?" Willow asked.
"Now I go to Area 51 or wherever it is..." Buffy smiled.
"Ah'll go with ya, sugah," Mouse said.

Tom: (Mouse) I need some more attention before I'm written out entirely!

"I'll be okay, Mouse..."

Mike: (Looking at his watch) Don't these people ever shut UP?

"If you say so," Bob said. He created a portal for her.
She kissed Angel and headed through, "Watch my back!"
"Don't I always?" he grinned.

Crow: You know, the authors could learn a lot from that "Hush" episode.

She smiled and slipped through, Angel at her heels.
Bob closed the portal for safty. They watched as the events unfolded at Al's.

Tom: (Bob) You know, despite this being a battle to the death, I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge for popcorn.

It was Pixil, Buffy guessed, seeing the virus had a definitly female shape.

Mike: Not that she recognized her from meeting Pixil about, oh say, yesterday.

"Hi, Pix; nice hair," the Slayer said, holding her stake at the ready.

Tom: (Pixal) THAT was your opening insult? I've heard the Scooby-Doo gang come up with better stuff!

"Slayer...who's the hot guy?"
"Mine..." Buffy said, possessively.

Crow: (Buffy) MINE! Hisssss!

"Too bad..." the female virus's gaze was all over Angel like a rash.

Mike: An effective, yet. . . disturbing simile.

Now, Buffy was begining to wish she had come alone.
"Can we please fight?" she asked the virus

Tom: (Buffy) Pleeeeease? I've only gotten to beat up on Matrix and those wussy viral guards so far! I'm DYING to take out a main bad guy!
Crow: (Pixil) Well, all right. But you have to listen to me hitting on everything male in the room. I'm like Dash that way.
Tom: (Buffy) Deal!

Angel stood back to give Buffy room, and to usher Al and his patrons to safety, if need be.

Tom: If, for some reason, some sort of fight broke out.

She circled the virus. "Get them inside, Angel;

Mike: (Buffy) I get nervous doing back-flips in front of other people.

she can't go in unless invited."
"Right," he said. Swiftly, the vampire with a soul

Tom: Just reminding you again that he's not evil, folks.

rounded up Al and his customers and herded them

Mike: Moo!

into the diner.
"Can I come in?" he asked.

Crow: (Al's Waiter) Are you actually going to buy something?

"HE'S SAFE!" Buffy yelled.

Tom: (Buffy) I'm not in league with the vampires or anything!

"Yes," Al's waiter said.
Angel came inside, "Get some garlic over that door."

Mike: What's the point of that if she can't come in unless invited anyhow?
Tom: Maybe they're worried there's someone suicidal in the crowd.

The waiter hastened

Crow: There's a first.

to obey. Angel, himself, kept as far from the door as he could.

Mike: (Angel) Anyone have any antihistamine? NO? Oh God I'm going to break out all over again!

Outside, Buffy was having a hard time against Pixil.

Tom: (Buffy) Now, I'm GOING to kick her ass but how hard exactly?

She fented, trying to find an openning.

Mike: Perhaps feinting would work better.

"Come on, Slayer..."

Crow: (Pixil, whiny) "Friends" is on soon! I don't have TIME for this!

Buffy slashed with the stake.
Pixil stepped back from the blow, "Nice try."

Tom: (Buffy) Why thank you!
Mike: (Pixil) That was SARCASM you fool!
Tom: (Buffy) Yeah, well, it's not like my intelligence has been respected in any part of this fic anyhow.

Buffy flipped over Pixil, landing behind the virus.

Crow: This scene doesn't resemble an actual fight so much as a circus act.

She jabbed quickly with the stake,

Mike: (Buffy) Come on, die!

aiming for the heart.
Pixil knocked the blow to the side and disappeared into the shadows.

Crow: You know what would make this better?
Mike: What?
Crow: If KMFDM's "Ultra" were playing in the background.
Mike: That song could make ANY fight scene cool.

"Come back here, virus!" Buffy shouted, searching the shadows for Pixil.

Tom: Surprisingly she declines to answer.

She was nowhere to be found. Buffy walked into Al's, "She disappeared."

Tom: (Buffy) Either that or she's hiding somewhere in the alley waiting to kill again. Oh well. What's for supper tonight?

"To where?" Angel wondered aloud.
"She simply turned into shadows..." She hugged him.

Mike: Er, no, she went INTO the shadows, not -- oh why am I arguing logic with this?

"Was it to draw you out into the open, maybe?"
"Maybe, love. I'd better report in."

Crow: (Bob) Oh don't worry, it's probably nothing.

"Right. Um...how? We don't have any communications device to call the Principle Office."

Tom: Try shouting real loud!

"Uh...good point. Bob? If you're watching can you, uh, do that portal thingie? Beam me up,Scotty?" Buffy smiled, talking to the air.

Mike: Several bystanders silently yet quickly backed away.

As if in answer, a silver portal appeared inside the diner.

Crow: Seeing as how they were at Al's it wasn't much help, but still.

"You guys stay inside and keep plenty of garlic handy. Find some crosses, too. And above all, don't let anyone in. Check with us at the PO, first," Buffy told them.

Tom: (Binome) What about the rest of Mainframe?
Mike: (Buffy) I'm sure the author's plot devices won't let anything happen to them.

The group nodded and Buffy and Angel slipped through the portal.

Crow: (Binome) Well, at least it wasn't Gonterman.

"We're back!" Buffy said as they emerged from the portal.
"I noticed!"
"Ha, ha," Buffy said, unhumoriously.

Mike: Finally someone recognizes a bad joke.

"She disappeared, Bob!" Buffy sighed, "What the hell was that all about?"

Tom: Lady, we've been asking ourselves that the last four FRIGGIN chapters.

"It's like, she was teasing us, or something," Angel added.

Crow: Next thing you know she'll be leaving them anonymous notes in their lockers.

He shuddered, remembering the look Pixil had given him. Simular to the one Dash had given him the previous night.

Tom: Pretty much indistinguishable considering that so far Pixil and Dash are almost EXACTLY the same.

"She liked you..." Buffy commented.
"The feeling wasn't mutural," he said.

Mike: (Angel) Am I to be forever cursed with this sexual magnetism?

"She looked like she was baiting you --two different ways," Matrix said.
"Oh yeah..."
"But for what purpose?" Giles asked. "That is the puzzle."

Tom: You know, in a Laurell K. Hamilton novel by now there'd have been two crimes scenes, eight fights, and at least one genuinely sinister vampire.

"What indeed..."
"Was she...testing you?" AndrAIa asked.

Crow: (AndrAIa) Did she hand out any papers?

"Testing for what?" Drak asked.

Crow: Sexual preference?

"A short fuse?" Buffy suggested.
"Possibly," Bob said. "Or other weaknesses."

Tom: (Pixil) Let's see, what if she's allergic to cats?

"Yeah.. baiting me..."
"I could be one of those weaknesses," Angel said.
"You are, honey..."

Mike: (Buffy) So we're going to have to tie you up and leave you in the basement until this is all over.
Crow: (Angel, gratefully) Could you?

"I mean, both Dash and Pixil make...suggestive...moves and comments about me, and it makes you possisive. Not that I mind the possiveness, but..." Angel blushed.

Tom: He's never really mentally grown out of his sixteenth century values.

Buffy nodded, "I get what you're saying..."
"Now what?" Drak sighed.
"Now we wait for more viral readings."


"Okay," he sighed. He went back to watching the mirror with Isis and Hex.

Mike: THRILL as they wait in front of a screen some more!
Tom: GASP as they sit around telling half-hearted jokes!
Crow: AWE as they refrain from being the slightest bit interesting for hours on end!

Buffy got a cup of tea. "Giles, you're a bad influence."
"Why?" he asked.
"I never drank tea 'til I got an English Watcher!"

Crow: (Buffy) And everyone knows tea is a drink from Hell.

Giles gave her a half-smile.

Mike: He's starting to run out.

Buffy slipped over and hugged him.
He hugged her back.

Tom: (Giles) Don't you ever get TIRED of doing this?
Crow: (Buffy) No! More hug!

"What?" Xander asked.
"Now what?" Buffy asked.

Mike: (Dot) I dunno. Where'd Jo Ann go?

"Shouldn't we warn everybody, and give them some instructions?" Willow asked.

Crow: Where were you BEFORE with this idea? Why didn't you say it yesterday? Does the idea of civilians in danger AMUSE you?

"Good idea Will!"

Crow: Or it WOULD have been A DAY EARLIER!

"I'll need your help with the instructions, Buffy," Dot said as she turned on the Pinnticle Windows switch.

Mike: (Dot) Allow me to become second to your knowledge and skill that you've so aptly shown by beating up my brother and sitting around.

"Sure!" Buffy smiled and headed over to Dot.
"Attention, citizens of Mainframe," Dot said into the intercom.

Crow: (Dot) Witness the dawning of a new order -- oops, sorry. These are Megabyte's old speech notes.

"As you are aware, two of our virues --Chimera and Pixil-- are vampires.

Tom: (Binome) We have viruses?
Crow: (Binome #2) We have VAMPIRE viruses?
Mike: (Binome #3) You'd think they'd have mentioned this in the news or something.

We are fortunenate enough to have a User that is experienced in fighting vampires. I now turn the Pinnticle Windows over to Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

Tom: (Binome) Hey, I LOVE that show!

She will give you instructions on how to protect yourselves.

Crow: (Dot) We COULD have given you this information earlier but we were busy with Jo Ann's new baby and all. You know how it is.

As your COMMAND.COM, I urge you to follow these instructions to the letter."

Mike: (Dot) On pain of DEATH!
Crow: (Bob, whispering) Dot will you put those speech notes AWAY?
Mike: (Dot) But Megabyte gets all these great lines in this one...

"Uh, hi --is this thing on?"

Mike: Ahh. Now THAT'S going to give them confidence in Buffy.

"Yes," Dot giggled.

Crow: (Dot) It's funny because you're being publicly humiliated and mangled out of character!

"Um...okay...I'm Buffy; err...GILES, help!"

Crow: Thousands of binomes immediately try to evacuate the city.
Tom: Just streaming out like rats from a sinking ship. . .

Giles smiled and went up to stand with Buffy.
"I'm the Slayer; he's the Watcher; I do the physical stuff;

Mike: (Buffy) Lift pianos, carry wardrobes downstairs. . .

he's the brains..."

Tom: You know, for some reason I keep hoping they'll leave the characters with just a shred of dignity. Silly me.

Giles sighed. Buffy was one of the most couragous girls he knew of, but when it came to public speaking...He took the microphone from her.
"Thank-you." She ran out of range and covered her blush with her hands.

Mike: (Buffy) I've shamed my family once again! Damn me and my lack of honor!

Angel put his arms around her as Giles made the announcement.

Crow: (Angel) There there. We'll get someone competent at publicly speaking next time. I mean, someone better than you at -- I mean -- let's snuggle some more!

"I made such an idiot out of myself!"

Tom: Yes. Yes you did.

"It's okay," Angel consoled her.

Crow: (Angel) We'll edit that part out.
Tom: (Buffy, upset) But Jo Ann doesn't edit her fics!
Crow: (Angel) Wait. . . you mean then all the times when Pixil and Dash were hitting on me are going to be in the final -- ew!

She sighed.
He brushed a kiss to her cheek.

Mike: (Buffy) What are you DOING with that paintbrush?

She smiled up at him. "God, I'm a moron at times..."

Crow: Anything we can say that wouldn't be redundant?
Tom: Not really.
Crow: Forget it then.

"No, you're not."
"You're sweet..."
He smiled and gave her another kiss.

Mike: You know, if this were a drinking game and I took a sip for every time they showed public affection. . .
Tom: If this were a drinking game you'd be unconscious by the first chapter.
Crow: Even with watered down beer.
Tom: Even with nonalcoholic beer.

"Buffy:" Bob called, "We have another Viral reading!"
"Where?" she asked, coming up to where Bob was sitting. Angel and the others followed her.

"Leaving G-Prime..."

Mike: (Bob) It's almost like the virals are. . . taking action.
Crow: (Buffy, stunned) They can't do that can they?
Mike: (Bob) Well apparently they can.
Tom: (Angel) Will our hours of planning be enough?
Mike: (Bob, grimly) Only time will tell.

"In which direction?"
"Heading to Kits."
"Kit's? Where your apartment is?" Xander asked.

Crow: (Bob) Look how much of the show did you watch?

"Yeah..." Bob smiled.

Mike: (Bob) It warms my heart when I think of the virals approaching my apartment.

"Can you identify the virus?" Buffy asked.

Tom: Oh just pick one. They're all pretty much the same except for what gender they hit on.

"I think its Chimera..."
"Time to go, then," Buffy said. She hefted her stake.

Crow: (Buffy) Too bad you guys couldn't spare one of those rocket launchers from the armory.
Mike: (Bob) Well, you know how Jo Ann is about people upstaging her.
Crow: (Buffy, sadly) Yeah.

"If you'll make the portal..."
Bob obliged. "I wanna go up against this one."

Crow: Conveniently enough, Dot's not there and we can skip a "No Bob! Don't go and fight the vampires!" scene.
Mike: Now THAT I approve.

"Okay," Buffy smiled.

Tom: (Buffy, thinking) I'm going to kill someone soon!

"Should I come, too?" Angel asked.

Mike: (Buffy) You might actually use your fighting skills well enough to kill them off and we still have a chapter to go.
Crow: (Angel) Oh. Right.

Stay here and be prepared to pull my cute li'l butt out of the fire, should I need it; but let me try this on my own!"

Tom: Angel is so. . . so. . .
Mike: Subservient?
Tom: Well I was going to use complacent but that works too. He's so subservient in here.

"Love ya!"
"You, too," he smiled.

Crow: You know, I bet if you got rid of the names you wouldn't be able to tell Wildcard and Angel's dialogue apart.
Tom: I can barely tell them apart NOW.

She slipped throught he portal, "Come out, come out wherever you are!"
Bob followed, closing the portal behind them.

Mike: (Bob) Gosh, should I have left Matrix and AndrAIa back there when they're trained warriors who've taken out viruses before? Well, too late now!

"Hello?" Buffy called.
"Chimera! We know you're here! Show yourself!" Bob shouted.

Crow: (Bob) Come on, hide and go seek ended HOURS ago!

"C'mon Chimera; aren't you itching

Crow: Eww. . .

for a piece of me?" Buffy taunted.

Crow: Oh.

"Or are you afraid of one, little User girl!"

Tom: (Singing) From a User woooorld!
Mike: Stop.

Bob shouted, winking at Buffy.

Crow: He always chooses the most inappropriate times to come onto people.

"He's not gonna be AARGH!"

Mike: And suddenly, Buffy turns into a pirate!
Tom: (Buffy) Arrrgh! Avast Chimera ye' scurvy dog! Come out and fight like a virus!

Buffy screamed

Tom: (Buffy) I'm missing "Malcolm in the Middle" for this crap! What am I DOING here?!

as two hands appeared from the shadows and fastened themselves around her throat.
Instantly, Bob grabbed one of the hands, burning it with solar energy.

Crow: (Incredulously) Solar?
Mike: Maybe he has a sunlamp and just stood there absorbing it for a few hours.

He was very carefull not to burn Buffy.

Tom: Whose throat had already been badly mangled by the hands anyhow so it was really a moot point.

Gasping, Buffy staggered forward a step and kicked out.
There was a howl of pain

Mike: (Bob) OW!
Crow: (Buffy) Sorry.

as Chimera materialized before them. He gripped his injured hand with the other.
Buffy kicked him in the stomach.
Chimera staggered back. He locked eyes with Buffy, attempting to hypnotize her.

Crow: (Chimera) You are getting sleeeeeeeppy. . .
Mike: (Buffy) Stop that.
Crow: (Chimera) Veeeeery sleeeeeepy...
Mike: (Buffy) Put away that watch on a chain!

Buffy found herself falling into his eyes; she snapped her head away,

Tom: (Buffy) Wait, ANGEL'S watching this. Oops. Must get a grip.

"Nice try!"
Chimera cursed.

Crow: (Chimera) Stupid ratzin' fratzin', frigging little. . . (mumbles)
Mike: (Buffy) Lord, can't you even CURSE properly?

Bob called up more solar power into his hands.

Crow: Again with the solar power.
Mike: Somehow I doubt he has the ability to gain energy from photosynthesis.
Tom: (Bob) I am PLANT man!

Chimera grabbed Buffy

Tom: Yoink!

and pulled her in front of him.

Mike: (Chimera) Ha ha! Human shield! You can't hurt me! Nyah!
Crow: (Bob) Just you wait! I'll find my own!

"You dare not attack while I have her, Guardian!" Chimera sneered.

Tom: (Bob) . . .
Crow: (Buffy) Now while everyone's watching in the Principle Office too!
Tom: (Bob) What? Oh, yes. Right.

Buffy twisted. His grip was damn good!

Mike: (Buffy) You've done this before, I can tell.

From behind Chimera, Angel threw a punch that caused the virus to let go of Buffy.

Crow: There goes Chimera's finely crafted plan.

"Angel!" Buffy gasped.
"Are you okay, Buffy?" the handsome vampire asked.

Mike: "Yes," the beautiful Slayer replied.
Crow: "That's good." Said the attractive guardian.
Tom: "This sucks!" the dashing robot cracked.

"Better now," She panted, getting to her feet.

Mike: (Buffy) Come on, let's go beat someone.

"Good," Angel smiled. He joined Bob and Buffy in facing Chimera.
"Oh, hello there; you're the chap Pix has her eye on," Chimera smiled.

Tom: (Buffy) Hello.

"I'm already taken," Angel said evenly.

Mike: (Chimera) You know, I don't think that's ever mattered to a single evil seductress in the entire history of fanfiction. Why start now?
Crow: (Bob) He has a point.
Tom & Mike: (Buffy & Angel) Shut UP.

"So it seems."
Buffy handed Angel the crossbow, to give him a weapon. She had the stake,

Crow: (Tycho) I've got some road flares in the trunk.

and Bob had the solar energy channeled through his hands.

Tom: If he looks down at them he's probably going to burn out his retinas.

"You wanna just give up now?"

Mike: (Chimera) Excuse me, while I break into hysterical laughter.
Crow: (Buffy) Look it's a standard pre-emptive hero question, just ANSWER it!

"I would advise that, Chimera," Bob smiled.
"Maybe not, Guardian...What's wrong child?

Tom: Are these people blind? Sarah Michelle Gellar isn't THAT young.

Not the warrior you're made out to be? Why do you need these body-guards?"

Crow: (Buffy) They make me look cool.

Back at the Principle Office, Dot and the others were watching the drama unfold.

Tom: (Dot, disappointed) This isn't nearly as good as "A Streetcar Named Desire".

"Do not do it, Buffy!" Giles whispered urgently.

Mike: Use the DNA stabilizer, Sam! Give it the old college try!

"He is trying to goad you into an attack.

Crow: (Dot) Isn't she going to attack him anyhow?
Mike: (Giles) Well. . . she's. . . oh all right, I just wanted to feel I was still alive. Happy?

Do not let him get you angry enough that you make a mistake."
"You challenging me?" she asked.

Tom: Now back to our scene already in progress.

"Buffy!" Willow gasped.
"I am, girl!" Chimera responded.
"You really wanna go one-on-one with the Slayer?"

Crow: I. . . I feel no urge to say anything dirty. What's this fic done to me? What has it DONE?!
Mike: You'll be fine.

"Aww...Buffy!" Xander moaned. "Don't!"

Crow: I can't think of anything to say! Help me Mike! HELP ME!
Mike: Just. . . try thinking of sheep or something.
Tom: That's for insomnia.
Mike: Oh. . .well. . . we'll let you look at some magical girl anime later on.
Crow: You mean the kind where they flutter around with no clothes during their transformations?
Mike: Uh huh.
Crow: All RIGHT!
Tom: What about me?
Mike: Ummm. . . I'll set up your Spirograph.
Tom: Hey, that's no fair!

"Are you sure this is wise?" Angel whispered.
Bob, Dot sent telepathically.

Mike: (Jo Ann) Whatcha thinking?
Crow & Tom: (Bob & Dot) AHHHHHH!
Mike: (Jo Ann) Oh. . . sorry. I forgot people get nervous when they find out I can listen into their most private thoughts. Don't worry, just continue thinking about your deepest secrets as if I weren't here!
Tom: (Dot) We were thinking about our grocery list.
Mike: (Jo Ann, disappointed) Oh.

If Buffy insists on doing this,

Crow: (Dot) And since our authority seems to have mysteriously melted away. . .

you and Angel be prepared to pull her out the nano her life is seriously threatened.

Tom: Why doesn't he just go WITH her?
Mike: Dramatic rescue scene tension.
Tom: Ah.

I will, love; even if she threatens my life if I interfere!

Crow: (Dot) Good. Now go kill Chimera.
Mike: (Bob) But isn't Buffy-
Crow: (Dot) I SAID, kill him.
Mike: (Bob) Don't you think that-
Crow: (Dot, threateningly) I WILL maintain control over SOME people in here! Now am I your command.com or not?
Mike: (Bob, resigned) Yes.
Crow: (Dot) Yes WHAT?
Mike: (Bob) Yes ma'am.
Crow: (Dot, satisfied) Good. Now go kill him.

"Do you accept the challenge, girl? You and me;

Tom: (Chimera) And the Olive Garden at 7:30. You wanna come?

a fair fight?"
"Yes!" Buffy said.

Mike: (Buffy) Although I DID bring along this nailgun.

She held her stake at the ready.
Chimera smiled at her, "Tell the boys to behave."
"Bob; Angel;

Mike: (Buffy) Sit!

don't interfere. No matter how badly its going!"

Crow: (Buffy) I mean it! Even should my intestines be hanging out of my stomach don't help!
Tom: (Bob) Why are we HERE again?

her jaw was set, her eyes determined.
Neither said nothing to Buffy,

Tom: (Bob, thinking) I hope this ends before dinner. Mmm, it's taco night tonight.

but Bob whispered Dot's mental instructions to Angel.

Mike: (Bob) Okay Angel, this may feel a little weird but -
Crow: (Angel, freaking out) Someone's in my head? I thought I got RID of Angelus! AIIE!
Mike: (Bob) Maybe I should have warned him about this telepathic thing.

Angel nodded, almost imperceptably.

Crow: (Angel) Soon I'll be safe and away in my own series.

Buffy watched the way Chimera moved, sinuously, and planned strategy; but waited for him to make the first move.
Suddenly, Chimera stuck with his clawed hands.

Tom: (Chimera) Might as well get my ass kicking over with.

Buffy sharply dodged backwards, feeling her back twinge.

Mike: (Buffy) Ow! Did I just twist my spine again?

She shifted the move to a cart-wheel.

Crow: Finally, Kindergarten gym class comes in handy.

Chimera charged at her, his claws ready.

Tom: Wait, wasn't he already doing that?
Crow: I don't remember. We could check but that would mean reading some the story again.
Tom: Never mind.

She moved, but certainly felt the wind of him; taking a scratch on her right arm.
She hissed in pain, but otherwise ignored it. Chimera charged again.

Mike: (Chimera) Maybe it'll work THIS time.

Buffy kicked out a long leg and tried to trip him.
Chimera fell. He raised himself on one elbow to glare at her.
He twisted his own legs around hers and Buffy fell hard.

Tom: And the fight degenerates into a slapstick scene. Oh thank you story.

She crawled away, the wind knocked out of her.
Chimera charged at her again.

Mike: Such a versatile fighter isn't he?

She felt him connect with her still-grounded body and winced in pain, "Kicking a gal while she's down is bad form, y'know," she managed to quip.

Tom: (Chimera) Oh ha ha. Shut UP! (Kick)

She snapped the hand that held the stake up, cutting him deeply on the leg with it.

Mike: You know it's a good thing villains toy around with their enemies like cats instead of just killing them. We'd be out of heroes by now.

Chimera growled in pain and kicked her viciously in the stomach.
She screamed and clutched her stomach.

Crow: (Buffy) Auuugh! Stop that! You're going to poke a hole in it!

Chimera continued to kick at the fallen slayer.

Tom: And Bob and Angel are doing. . . nothing?
Mike: They probably went over to the 7-11 for some coffee.

Back at the PO, Giles winced at every blow.
Now, the adrillian

Mike: Which isn't half as effective as adrenaline.

that had almost caused Buffy to stake Mouse the night before came into play.

Tom: Unfortunately it was still keyed up on the whole "stake Mouse" idea so it wasn't very much use.

Buffy lashed out at Chimera,

Crow: (Buffy) Bite me!

plunging the stake into his stomach.

Mike: And she DIDN'T hit his heart because. . . ?

He growled loudly as she staggered to her feet.

Crow: Remember kids: Sometimes too many pronouns makes it appear that your character's just changed sexes.

"Down but not out," she gasped.
Chimera staggered back, his hands clutching his stomach.

Mike: Looks like his flawlessly planned "try to beat up Buffy with no back-up while she brings along two friends" scheme isn't going too well.

Buffy staggered forward, throwing a punch to his wounded gut.
Chimera fell to the ground.

Crow: You know, for someone they complained about for five chapters he's really not a very impressive villain.
Mike: God, like ANY of them are.

Buffy scrambled over and kicked him;

Tom: (Buffy) Ha! Now it's YOUR turn, mister let's-kick-Buffy-when-she's-vulnerable! How do you like THAT! Hey. . . this IS kind of fun. . .

he grabbed her ankle and pulled her down beside him.

Crow: What, right there in the middle of alley?
Tom: In front of Bob and Angel?
Crow: I don't care. It's still not going to make the fic worth it.

Buffy struck him again with the stake, plunging it into his shoulder, this time.
"Your aim is off, b---h!"

Mike: They don't even the guts to spell out a swear with all this fighting going on?
Tom: That's just pathetic by now.

He growled and bit her at the point where shoulder and neck met.
"Nooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!" Angel screamed.

Tom: Busting a lung on the exclamation points.

Then, Chimera came in contact with Buffy's silver cross.

Mike: Kids! To re-enact THIS scene at home, you'll need a beaker full of battery acid and a willing sibling!

It burnt his flesh and he fell back, his mouth and her shoulder dripping in bright red blood.

Tom: (Chimera) What the -- RED?! Eww, I thought it was supposed to be blue!

Bob! Dot screamed mentaly. You and Angel get her out of there: NOW!

Mike: (Bob) Look she told us to stay out of it! I couldn't just go in and try to rescue her like my guardian programming's been screaming at me to do!

Bob gave Angel the nod

Mike: (Bob) The Don says we move.

and he grabbed Buffy.
"GET OFF ME!" She screamed, "I have to finish this!"

Tom: (Buffy) Let me bleed to death here by myself damn you!

"Not right now!" Bob hissed in her ear. He created a portal, and he and Angel dragged her through, closing the portal behind them.

Mike: So Chimera's just standing there while all this is going on.
Tom: (Chimera) Huh. So they're getting away with my wounded prey. Oh well.

Buffy was livid, "HOW DARE YOU?!" she screamed

Tom: This. . . is not Buffy. Buffy on CRACK, maybe. But not the normal Buffy.
Crow: (Appalled) Do they have ANY respect for her at all?

"Sudate her, quickly!" Dot ordered.

Crow: (Doctor) Don't you mean SEDATE her?
Mike: (Dot, annoyed) No, I mean sudate her. Sudate her for User's sake!
Crow: (Doctor) Uh. . . okay. . .

A doctor injected a tranquilizer into Buffy.

Mike: Apparently not.

Buffy lashed out at the binome, sending him flying,

Crow: (Binome) Whee!


Tom: (Buffy) You don't know where I've been!

Buffy then fainted from her wounds and the injection.

Mike: A horrified silence follows.
Crow: (Bob) Why hasn't she been locked up in prison somewhere again?

"Get her to the infirmery!" Dot ordered. Angel allowed Bob to carry Buffy, as he was fighting the blood-lust that threatened to overcome him.

Tom: You might want to get those babies out of the room there.

"What's wrong with her?" Andri asked Giles.

Crow: (Giles) Well, where to BEGIN?

"Chimera bit her," Giles said.
"And what? Is she going to turn into a vampire?"

Tom: No, but from all the hysterical screaming you'd think she were.

"No," Angel said. "To make a vampire, not only must the vampire drink the victim's blood, but the victim then must drink the vampire's blood.

Crow: (Angel) It's one of those touchy-feely mystical transformations.

She didn't drink Chimera's blood."
"Okay; right!" Andri smiled.

Tom: (Andri) I'm disturbingly cheerful!

"The doctors will be able to save her," Dot smiled.

Mike: Not for any reason really. She just felt like smiling.

"Course; she's Buffy!"
"Right!" Xander grinned.

Mike: (Xander) I still get a line every few pages! I'm still safe!

Bob returned to check on Angel, to be sure the vampire had not vamped out.

Tom: (Bob) So, started slaughtering my family and friends yet?
Mike: (Angel) No.
Tom: (Bob) Good!

Angel was sitting in a corner, trying hard to remain in control.

Mike: But then Jo Ann walked by and, well. . .

"You okay?" Bob asked. "Uh...vamp-wise, at least?"
"I think so; do you know how much sweeter Slayer's blood is?"

Crow: (Angel) It's like adding sugar to Orange Crush! I get tingly just thinking about it!

"No. But don't tell me," Bob said.
Angel smiled.

Tom: (Angel) I bet Bob's a delicious blood type.

"Now, will ya let me give tha special order ta Jo?!" Turbo asked Bob.

Mike: We'd like to sincerely apologize to any Turbo fans out there, by the way.

Bob sighed, "Wait and see what Buffy says when she wakes."

Crow: A long string of swear words?
Tom: In THIS fic, possibly.

"We'll need ta do it soon, Bob," Turbo told him.
Bob sighed, "I know; its just a major step;

Mike: What's this now?

and a big sacrifice for the keytools."

Crow: I have no idea.

"Ah know, but these attacks are gettin' worse. Pretty soon, she'll need tha extra power."
Bob nodded, "See what she says."

(Horrified silence as realization dawns)

"An' we need ta ask Jo an' Pixal about it, too," Turbo said.
"They are both willing," Matrix said.


"They told me so when I explained to JoJo about the special order."

Tom: (Almost hysterical) They're going to merge Jo Ann and her keytool! She's going to get MORE powers!
Crow: There is no God, there is no GOD. . .

Bob sighed.

Crow: (Bob) My unique identity was nice while it lasted.

The doctor reported in.
"She's lost some blood,

Tom: (Doctor) That Angel fellow came over and asked for it in a bag. Odd, that.

but not enough to be fatal.

Crow: Thank God. Then we'd have to sit through another "resurrection" scene.

She sould be fine in a second or two."
Angel heaved sigh of relief, "Can I see her?"

Mike: (Doctor) Only if you don't try to peel off the bandages this time.

"She should rest, but you can see her for a few microseconds," the doctor answered.

Tom: (Doctor) And there'd better not be any puncture marks on her when I get back!

"Sure," Angel smiled. "How long is a microsecond ,Jo?"
"Jo's asleep with Wild Card and Azura," Drak reminded him.

Mike: (Bob) Huh. I THOUGHT it was less oppressive in here.

"A microsecond is a minute."
"Thanks, cousin."
"No problem, Angel," Drak smiled.
"So now what?"

Crow: Order out for pizza. You all KNOW you want to.

"We wait," Bob sighed.

Mike: Wow, and I was worried that they'd let the whole "waiting" motif drop for a moment there!
Tom: Yeah, but just when you think the action's getting somewhere -- WHAM! They come out of nowhere with more waiting! Ha ha!
Crow: Kill us, Mike.

"Chimera was injured, too. I doubt if there'll be another attack this soon," Drak pointed out.

Tom: Now here we go and start the whole waiting cycle ALL OVER AGAIN! Whee! (Starts softly sniffling)
Mike: You know I've always thought maybe Joel should have made you a bit less sensitive if he was planning to take you into stories like this.
Crow: Even he couldn't have foreseen this.

"True; but Pixil and Dash are out and about."

Crow: (Bob) But they're pretty much ineffectual and useless anyway so we can let them slide.

"And they'll both want revenge for what happened to Chimera," Giles said.
"What?" Xander said. "And no one stay home to nurse the injured vamp back to health?

All: Aww. . .

Some sister and girlfriend those two are!"

Mike: He's morally outraged. Over vampires.
Tom: How long has he lived in Sunnydale again?

"Vampires regenerate," Angel explained.
"That fast?!" asked Enzo.

Crow: (Angel) Yep. Watch, I'll poke myself with these scissors! (Splut!) Look, good as new!
Mike: (Bob) Ew. . .
Crow: (Angel) God I love doing this! (Splut!)
Mike: (Drak) You can. . . stop now.
Crow: (Angel) Whee!

"Swiftly; and he got a good mouthful of Slayer blood; that helps."

Mike: Slayers are naturally rich in iron and protein.

"We've warned the people," Willow sighed.

Crow: (Willow) Too bad those twenty-five binomes got themselves killed before we thought of it.

"There isn't much more we can do."

Tom: Except, well YOU know. Fight them.

"Not really: this is my fight," Buffy entered the room, pale and shaky, but nonetheless alright.

Mike: (Buffy) I'm okay! I've lost half my body mass in blood, but I'm okay!

"Buffy!" Angel said. "You shouldn't be out of bed!"

Crow: (Buffy) Don't worry honey! I'll be fi- (whump)

"I'm okay..." she smiled, leaning against the wall. Truth be told, she could barely stand, but she hated hospitals.

Mike: It had something to do with that eyeball sucking demon that fed on children in the last one she visited.

"This is Jo's fight, more then anybody else's," Matrix said quietly.

Mike: Even though it's Buffy who's been doing most of the fighting, Buffy who actually bothered to go out and hunt for them, and BUFFY who's been doing anything at all to combat the vampires. Oh yeah, it's really JO'S fight here!
Tom: And you were calling ME the sensitive one.

"She's the one they are really after. I say, let's give the special order for her."

Crow: (Bitterly) Oh yes. We can't forget about giving JO more powers when Buffy's blood has been drained.

"What is this special order?" Buffy gestured and nearly lost her balance.

Mike: Will someone please just. . . force her to sit down or something?
Crow: I'm getting dizzy just looking at her.

"Think we should tell them?" Bob asked Turbo.
Turbo shrugged, "Ah really don't know..."

Tom: (Turbo) It HAS been pretty tiresome pretentiously keeping this "secret" which most of our readers that are conscious have figured out by now.

"Well," Dot said. "We have two votes for giving her the special order.

Mike: (Dot) Twenty against.

How do you vote, Bob?"
"I'll go with the majority."

Mike: (Dot) So we strip away her powers and cast her into a pit of fire? Sounds good.

Turbo put the question to the other twenty Guardians and took a quick count.
Bob bit his lip.

Tom: (Bob, thinking) Did I remember to tape "Family Guy" today?

The final count was fifteen for giving the order, five against.

Crow: She didn't make an unanimous vote?
Mike: It says a lot for this fic that that honestly shocked me.

Add Turbo's and Matrix's votes, that made seventeen for the order.
"I guess Jo gets the order."

Tom: We salute the brave five who attempted to save us.
Crow: God bless you all.

"Go git her," Turbo told Bob.
Bob nodded, "Aye, sir."

Mike: (Turbo) And stop the pirate talk. You sound like Buffy.
Crow: (Bob) Arrrrgh! I mean - yes, sir.

Bob went to the door of their room and knocked. Wild Card openned the door.
"What is it, bro?" he asked when he saw the look of concern on Bob's face.

Tom: (Bob, disturbed) Do uh. . . do you want me to take that off?
Mike: (Wildcard) No, it's okay, the tethers aren't as uncomfortable as they look.

"Turbo is giving Jo Ann the order."
Wild Card caught his breath.

Crow: (Wildcard) But you CAN'T kick us out of the Net!
Mike: (Bob) Sorry. Majority rules. Better start stocking up on canned food.

"I'll get her up. We'll be out in a nano."
Bob nodded.
A few nanos later, Wild Card, Jo Ann and Azura came out.

Tom: You know, I can't help but keep comparing this "vampire" story to "Carpe Jugulum".
Crow: You're trying to compare an unedited ReBoot fanfic to Terry Pratchett?
Tom: (Hanging his head) I know. I'm sorry.

Wild Card and Jo Ann were dressed

Mike: In bathrobes.
Crow: (Jo Ann) 3 o'clock in the morning? What do you people WANT?

for action.
Jo Ann gave Azura to Marie to hold. Then she went to stand before Turbo.

Tom: (Turbo, solemnly) Kneel, Sir Montgomery.

"Jo Ann; after due consideration and a vote; Ah've decided to give you the order."
"Yes Turbo," Jo Ann answered. She brought her arm up and asked Pixal, "Are you ready, Pix?"
{Affirmative Jo Ann, it has been a pleasure working with you.}

Crow: (Pixal) Please just let me have one last moment of solitude before my mind is forced into yours. . .
Tom: (Jo Ann) Nope! We're doing this right away! Sorry!
Crow: (Pixal, sobbing)

"And I, with you," Jo Ann smiled. Taking a deep breath and standing straight, Jo Ann commanded, "Pixal! Download!"

Crow: (Pixal) No! Please! I want to keep my own identity! I -- AUUUGH!

Pixal glowed gold, then flew in circles around Jo Ann, trailing light and encasing her in a light cacoon.

Mike: Witness Jo Ann's mystical transformation into a butterfly!

Then, there was a burst of blinding light,

Tom: (Dot) OW! My EYES!
Mike: Jo Ann continues to shower the world with pain where ever she goes.

and it was over. Jo Ann now glowed with white light, her armor matching Bob's, except that it was red, instead of silver.

Mike: (Jo Ann) Well? How do I look?
Tom: (Dot) We can't SEE!
Mike: (Jo Ann) Oh-did I forget to warn you about that flash of light?
Tom: (Dot) I think you fried my contacts onto my retinas!
Mike: (Jo Ann) Whoops.

Buffy had lost her balance and was watching from her knees, "What just happened?"

Crow: A big ol' plot device just landed right in your face.

"Jo's merged with Pixal!" Xander grinned. "The way Bob did with Glitch!"

Mike: That's his only function in the story isn't it? To spew out the back story at opportune moments.

"Become one!" Xander was breathless. He had seen the episode where Bob had merged with Glitch. To see it happen for real, to Jo Ann...

Tom: Was actually pretty disgusting.

"Weird," the Slayer shrugged. "Can someone give me a hand here?"

Crow: (Angel) Oh what, the floor's too GOOD for you?

Angel smiled and lifted Buffy to her feet.
"Thanks," she smiled.
Jo Ann's eyes were closed and she was smiling. "Bob! I...I...I can...feel...Pixal inside of me!" she gasped.

(Uncomfortable silence)

Crow: I. . . am not touching that.
Mike: Bless you.

Bob nodded, "Yeah."
"It's a strange feeling, but...

Tom: (Jo Ann) Creepy at the same time.

reassuring, somehow." She turned to him.

Mike: It's like an internal night-light!

"Does it feel that way with Glitch?"

Crow: (Bob) Glitch is actually kind of ticklish.

"Yes, it does; he's always with me."
"There's new things to learn," she whispered. "Will you teach me?"

Tom: (Dot) A-HEM.

He nodded, "Always."
Jo Ann hugged her brother-in-law. Wild Card came up to his wife, afraid of
the changes that had been made in her.

Crow: (Wildcard) Honey? Are you radioactive now?

"Jo Ann?"
"What, love?" Jo Ann turned to him and smiled.
"You alright?"
"Never better!"

Mike: She said before collapsing.

"You sure?"
"Yes," she smiled into his eyes.

Tom: How can she be this perky after giving birth? That's just not right.

Then she saw the look on his face. "What is it, Wild Card?" she asked.

Mike: (Wildcard) First Bob, then you. . . how come it's all MY relatives merging with their keytools?

"You're lieing, love," Jo Ann smiled.

Crow: (Wildcard, freaking out) STOP READING MY MIND! PLEASE! JUST STOP IT!

"You are afraid of the changes in me. But I'm still your wife. I still love you. That will never change."
"I just can't get away with anything anymore..." he smiled, and jokingly added, "Sorry AndrAIa, its over."

Tom: (AndrAIa, shrieking) NO!

"He's teasing, Matrix!" Jo Ann laughed.

Mike: (Jo Ann) Right?
Crow: (Wildcard) Of. . . course.
Tom: Meanwhile AndrAIa is off weeping in the corner, damning Wildcard to Hell between sobs.

Matrix's eye had turned red, though AndrAIa was laughing. She threw her arms around Matrix and hugged him close.
"Don't react so extremely, Sparky!"

Tom: That's like asking water not to flow downhill.

For a nano, it looked like Matrix was going to draw Gun on Wild Card,


but he calmed down and smiled,


enjoying the joke.

Tom: (Matrix) Adultery! That's rich!

"Woah," Buffy muttered. "Someone needs to chill."

Crow: Oh yeah, like YOU should talk.

"I gotta know, Jo: Will...will you still be able to have babies?" Wild Card asked.

Mike: (Jo) Look I just HAD Azura, isn't one enough? Yeesh.

"Dot's about to have Bob's baby, and he was already merged with Glitch.

Crow: Yes but have you seen the kid yet?

I'd say, 'Yes'?" She looked to Bob for conformation.
"I think so," Bob smiled. "So much is yet to be discovered."

Tom: (Bob) But I THINK it's my kid.
Crow: (Dot) HEY!

"Will I still need to go to the bathroom?" Jo Ann asked.

Mike: First sensible question she's asked.

Bob laughed, "Yes..."

Tom: (Jo Ann) What?! Well. . . damnit, what was the point of all this then?!

"I can change out of the armor, right?" she seemed a little worried.
Bob nodded.

Crow: (Bob) Of course your skin's going to come off with it.

"Good," Jo Ann smiled.
Bob grinned.
Marie came up to Jo Ann, Azura in her arms.

Mike: (Marie) Yours I presume?

"Say hello to Mommy, Azura," Marie smiled.
Azura gurgled when she saw Jo Ann. Jo Ann took her baby in her arms and held her close.
"See, she still knows you."

Crow: (Jo Ann) Good. You need to rope them in when they're still young.

"What do you think of Mommy's new armor, Azura?" Jo Ann smiled at her daughter.

Mike: Who screamed in fear.

Azura gurgled and smiled.
"You're a hit in the new outfit, darlin'" Wild Card grinned.
"I'll still be able to nurse, right?" Jo Ann asked Bob.

Tom: (Bob) God, I wouldn't know.

"I think so. I never tried," he smiled wryly.
"Oh, Bob!" Jo Ann laughed, hugging him to her carefully.
He smiled.
Bob's comment made everyone else laugh. It was a welcome sound


after all the tense nanos they had recently.
Dot smiled to herself.

Crow: (Dot) I'll get them all in their sleep.

"What's the first thing I need to know?" Jo Ann asked Bob.
"Don't argue with yourself!"

Tom: (Dreamily) Wouldn't that be great?
Mike: Schitzo Jo Ann!

Jo Ann smiled. She had been present at some of the times when Bob and Glitch argued.

Crow: That would be incredibly weird.

It made a strange sight. "Anything else I need to know?" she asked.
"Learn to bluff real well!"
"Why is that so important?"

Mike: (Dot) The poker tournament's tomorrow.

"You gotta be able to lie to yourself..."
"Lie to myself? Is that possible?"

Crow: (Bob) See, it's just like writing Self Insertion fic except instead of an Internet audience you have to concentrate on yourself.
Tom: (Jo Ann) Oh, THAT.

"You have to be able to bluff the key-tool sometimes."

Mike: (Glitch) Bob! You - you've been LYING to me about things all this time?!
Crow: (Bob) Uhm. . .
Mike: (Glitch, icily) You're sleeping on the couch tonight.

"Does he do that to you, Glitch?" Jo Ann asked the keytool inside Bob.
Glitch beeped the affirmative.

Mike: (Glitch) The cold hearted WRETCH!

"When was the last time that he did?"
"How recently?"
[During the battle; Chimera is telepathic. He can sense our internal conversations.]

Crow: (Bob) He actually tried to give us some advice on patching up our relationship but then Buffy punched him and, well. . . it went downhill from there.

"And Bob didn't tell us?" Jo Ann looked in shock at her brother-in-law.

Mike: Someone actually keeping a secret from Jo Ann. Finally.
Tom: (Bob, weeping) No, I didn't! Forgive me! FORGIVE ME!

"Sorry; I meant to mention it."

Crow: After you were safely dead.

"I wish you had," Jo Ann said.

Tom: (Jo Ann) How can you expect me to micromanage your life otherwise?

Then she smiled. "Glitch has been keeping something from Bob, too."
"Oh?" Bob asked.

Mike: (Bob) It's not his crush on Buffy is it? 'Cause I know that already.

Jo Ann giggled. "Glitch was in on the Cupid Conspiricy, and none of us knew it!"

Crow: Cupid. . . conspiracy.
Tom: I feel horrified, yet I can't turn away.

"What?" Bob was genuinely surprised.
"Glitch was in on the plan to get you and Dot married," Jo Ann smiled.

Mike: (Bob, horrified) Plan? PLAN?
Tom: (Jo Ann) Whoops.

"What was your part in the plot, Glitch?"

Crow: (Glitch) Hostage.

[To make sure you cooperated, Bob!]
"How?" Bob asked.

Tom: (Glitch) High voltage.

[Simple kicks of bravery when you may have chickened out...]
"What?" Bob asked, not sure he was hearing right.

Mike: Here let us explain: Glitch has secretly been manipulating your life!

[I gave you a good kick in the pants when you needed it.]
"At what times?"
"I want to know," Bob said quietly.

Crow: (Bob) Before I gut you, I mean.

[Nothing major; I didn't make this decision for you, old friend.

Tom: (Glitch) I just got you really drunk.

I haven't the right.]
"What decision? I'm not angry.

Mike: (Glitch) Bob, I can tell when you're lying remember?
Crow: (Bob) Fine. Then read my thoughts RIGHT now.
Mike: (Glitch) . . . oh my -- Jo Ann put me up to it! It was her, I swear!

I just want to know."
[You know when you were agonizing about how she'd react?]

Tom: (Glitch) It was about then that I took over you central nervous system.

"And Jo and the others kept telling me to go for it," Bob said.

Mike: (Bob) They had this huge betting pool over when I'd do it, too.

[Well, I gave you the final kick in the pants to get up and do it!]
"You did?" Bob asked.

Crow: (Bob) I swear, if I could only get a restraining order. . .

[Yeah; you mad?]
"No," Bob smiled. "And, Glitch? Thanks."

Mike: (Bob) . . .How much money did Dot give you to do it?
Tom: (Glitch) Bob! I would NEVER-
Mike: (Bob) You can't lie anymore, remember?
Tom: (Glitch) 500 credits.

The Guardians laughed when they heard that.

Crow: So. . . pretty much EVERYONE can read Bob's mind now.
Mike: Poor guy.

They had followed the conversation close enough to know that Bob and Dot had gotten married because of some sneaky planning of their friends and a little silent help from Bob's own keytool.

Tom: That's some eavesdropping.

AndrAIa and Matrix explained everything to the others.
"How cute!" Buffy exclaimed.

Crow: (Buffy) It's so "1984"-ish!

"They weren't all that sneaky, though!" Bob grinned.
The conspirators blushed.
"Glitch proved to be the really sneaky one!" Jo Ann smiled.

Mike: (Squee) I'm sneeeeeaky.

"Nice going, Glitch!" Xander laughed.
"You're welcome!" Xander grinned, when Matrix had translated for him.
Bob smiled.

Tom: Silently weeping at the loss of his personal freedom.

"I just thought of somethin'..." Matrix said.

Crow: Hmm. Should we give into the longstanding yet slightly inaccurate temptation of making Matrix sound like a moron even though his actual intelligence, when he USES it instead of blowing things up, isn't all that bad?
Tom: Sure, why not.
Crow: (Matrix) Ow!

"JoJo now has keytool powers, as well as her User Magic. That makes her more powerful then even you, doesn't it?" Matrix looked at Jo Ann.

Mike: Bob silently started a litany of curses under his breath.

Bob nodded, "I'd say."

Tom: (Bob) Not that this alarms me, considering how blandly peaceful she is to her friends.

"Yes," Jo Ann said. "But there is something missing...AMAZON!" she cried in alarm.

Crow: (Xena) Damn! How did you spot me?

"Amazon's gone!"

Crow: Oh God, don't tell me she's bringing in the totems again.

"What?" Bob was worried.
"Amazon's spirit that I absorbed into me.

Tom: (Jo Ann) Against her will.

She's not there, anymore," Jo Ann said.
"Try deep inside."

Mike: (Jo Ann) All I see is a big waffle for some reason. Oooh. . . now I'm hungry.

Jo Ann concentrated very hard for several microseconds. After a while, she stopped, tears rolling down her eyes.

Crow: (Jo Ann) She somehow escaped my elaborate web of treachery and darkness! I mean -- oh no, she's disappeared.

"No...she's not there..."
"I wonder what happened?"

Tom: Mike, I think I'm just going to give up on this plot tangent and try to see how much of "Iron man" I can remember.
Mike: Sure.
Tom: (Singing) "Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk and talk, or if he moves will he fall?"

"Try scanning Azura," Isis said.

Mike: (Isis) Quick! It's the weirdest thing I could think of so it MUST be the plot point!

"How would that have happened?" Dot asked.

Tom: "Is he 'live or dead? I see thoughts within his head!"

Jo Ann scanned Azura carefully. Her face lit up in surprise.
She could hardly believe what she was feeling.

Crow: (Jo Ann) My child's the reincarnation of Smurfette?

"Bob," she said. "Scan Azura. Tell me if what I have found inside her, really is there."

Tom: "We'll just pass him there. Why should we even care?"

Bob did so and nodded. "Yes."

Mike: (Bob) Blood, guts, heart pumping away -- it's all there, right in place.

"Azura is Amazon reborn!" Jo Ann smiled at him.

Crow: (Jo Ann) She'll grow up to be a Self Insert too!

Wild Card frowned. "How is that possible?"

Mike: I swear, if she says "User Magic" again. . .

"Amazon was inside me.

Crow: What, did you EAT her?

She must have been in my womb, waiting for the day


she would reenter this world. As Azura: My daughter."

Mike: This isn't going to put out a good name for reincarnation.
Crow: Die and come back as a gurgling half-sprite baby with a souped-up guardian for a mom!

"Does that mean, you'll be able to go back to the User's world, Jo?" Enzo asked.

Mike: Hope shining in his tired little eyes.

"Will you leave us?" Andri asked, worried.

Crow: (Andri) What if she says no?


Crow: (Andri) Oh poop.

I might have been able to after I had Azura.

Crow: I'm going to do what Servo's doing only with a different song.
Mike: Go ahead.
Crow: Ahem. "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. . . we don't need no water let the-"
Mike: (Clamping quickly down on Crow's beak) I just changed my mind.

But I am now merged with Pixal.

Crow: Mmmph!

That has bonded me with this world even closer then absorbing Amazon did.

(Mike lets go of Crow.)

Crow: What? It's a good song!
Mike: Yes but Cambot's recording us live, remember?
Crow: How about "The Bad Touch"?
Mike: NO.

I can never leave, now."

Tom: Insert maniacal laughter here, if you will.

"Good," Andri smiled.

Crow: She was always much happier after Jo Ann'd given her that compulsory lobotomy.

Jo Ann smiled. She hugged the game sprite to her.

Tom: "Now the time is near, for Ironman to spread fear!"
Mike: Wrong line.
Tom: What?
Mike: It's "He once turned to steel, in the grey magnetic field!"
Tom: Oh. (Sighs) Well, back to riffing.
Crow: About time you slacker.

Andri had enjoyed a special relationship with the User Guardian that had brought her to Mainframe for young Enzo.

Crow: She did that TOO?
Tom: You know, it occurs to me that if in Jo Ann's world every human transported into the Net has mystic, fantastic powers it's a good thing that no one evil's shown up yet.
Crow: Hey wait, shouldn't Buffy and her little Scooby Gang have powers too?
Tom: Hmm. . .

"I mean, you don't want to leave, do you?"
"No," Jo Ann smiled.

Tom: I mean we don't know her origins or anything but if she has "User Magic" available to her then theoretically everyone else from Earth should too.
Mike: Maybe she has her own User profile that lets her do that?
Crow: Well you'd think she'd share the secret with them if she's so concerned about the vampires getting her kid.

She looked at Wild Card, Azura, and all the rest.

Mike: Maybe Jo Ann has a complex, sinister plot, so for reasons unknown she can't reveal the true origin of her magic until it's too late for them to stop her plan.
Crow: Nah, I bet she just forgot.

"I have family here. A husband, a daughter, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and more.

Mike: (Jo Ann) I wish I felt this close to my real family back on Earth.

Mainframe is my home, now and forever."
Jo Ann giggled. Azura began to fuss.

Tom: See, that's another problem. Isn't Jo Ann concerned or curious at all about those she's left behind?
Crow: Maybe all her relatives are dead?
Tom: Oh don't even get me started on that.

Andri slipped out of Jo's hug to let her see to the baby.
"I think this little Mainframer is very, very sleepy," Jo Ann smiled, after she had scanned her.

Mike: (Andri) I am NOT!

"Let her sleep..."
"Where? If I'm needed here..."

Crow: Because God forbid they should be without two keytool merged guardians about at all times.

"I'll take her, love," Wild Card smiled.
"Yes," Jo Ann smiled. She handed Azura to the baby's father, then brushed a kiss to Azura's forehead and one to Wild Card's lips.

Tom: So Wildcard's going to be the one stuck raising and educating Azura as she grows up while Mommy goes off to fight Crusades and such?
Crow: I guess.
Tom: I have to admit, not a lot of men would take being a house husband so gracefully.
Mike: I'll give him credit for that.

"Goodnight, love."
"Night, beloved. Guard our baby well."
"I will..."
Jo Ann smiled at him. Then, she turned and faced Turbo.
"The new, improved User Guardian One, ready for duty!" she saluted.

(Tom starts humming "The Star Spangled Banner")

He smiled, "Welcome aboard."
"Thank you," she smiled. "As a certain green-skinned renagade would say:

Crow: Gun?
Mike: I did it for AndrAIa?
Tom: Be seeing you?

Let's DO it!"
Matrix chuckled.

Tom: (Matrix) Stealing all my lines! What an imp!

"What's the plan?" Jo Ann asked.

Mike: Completely forgetting the past forty eight hours they'd spent discussing what to do about the virals.

Buffy walked over. "I want another shot at Chimera."
"Buffy, he almost killed you!" Angel protested.
"Bingo: its called revenge, love."

Crow: (Buffy) My copious amount of blood loss will surely help me through it.

"And if he does it, next time? Or turns you into a vampire?"

Mike: Buffy as a vampire. Walking into the Principle office, devouring all of their blood, destroying their lives. . . I think I can live with that plot twist.

"Then I trust you to put a stake through my heart!"
"I'm the one Chimera wants," Jo Ann said.

Tom: (Jo Ann) A-HEM. Let's not forget who the self insert is around here, hmm?

(Mike and Crow make a few mumbles of assent.)

"Yeah; well I want his hide!" Buffy told Jo Ann.

Crow: Can't you just BUY leather jackets like everyone else?

"No!" Angel cried. "We need a new plan!

All: NO!

One that won't endanger anyone!"

Tom: Suddenly Angel's my least favorite character.

"Either you guys support me or I'm going after him on my own," Buffy stated.

Mike: (Grimly) He's not getting any fan votes from me either.

"If you think that for one moment --nano-- that I'm going to lose you again..." Angel said urgently.
"You won't."

Tom: Oh. Well then. Have fun battling the virus that bit your shoulder off!

"Buffy," Willow said quietly. "If you go out there and face Chimera and get yourself turned into a vampire,

Mike: (Willow) I CAN have your CDs, right?

I'll lay the same curse on you that Angel has on him." Willow looked over to Jenny for back-up.

Crow: (Jenny) Oh. I'm still in the story? Yeah sure, I'll curse Goldilocks here.

Buffy hugged her. "Thanks; but I'd rather be staked."
"I meant that as a threat!" Willow said.

Mike: Funny. Buffy wasn't that dense on the SHOW.

Buffy smiled at Willow. "Did you now?"
"Yes," Willow frowned. "I guess I'm not very good at making threats..."

Crow: Being threatened by Willow would be. . . odd.

Buffy smiled at her, "I'd stake myself..."
"And we'd be all broken-hearted and crying and...and..."

Mike: (Willow) And we'd have to sit through Jo Ann bringing someone back to life AGAIN!
Tom: (Buffy) You poor things. . .

"It would be better than being a vampire."

Crow: (Angel) Hey!

"Oh, Buffy!" Willow burst out crying. "You can't do it! You just can't!!!"
"I have no intention of dying, Will."

Tom: And if your intentions were tangible, that would mean something.

"I'll take him on!" Drak said.
"No you won't; the b-----d's mine!"

Mike: Bed? Body? Bard? Come on, don't keep us wondering!

"I'm the only logical choise, Buffy!" Drak said. "He can't kill me, and he
can't make me into a something I already am!

Crow: And he didn't fight Chimera originally because. . . oh forget it.

This sword," he held up his katana, "will ensure victory!"

Tom: Ten to one it has 'made in Taiwan' stamped on the hilt.

"I want him!"
"I'm the only one who can face him without fear of death or turning evil!"
"I have a score to settle!"
"Get in line!" Jo Ann said.

Crow: That's it everyone, queue up for pointless arguments!

"We all have scores to settle with those three!" Matrix said. "They've ruined more lifes then I care to recall.

Mike: Like whose?

And not just those vampire Guardians that was here earlier!"

Tom: Oh yeah! Them! They were great!
Crow: (Sighing) The way they came in and just DID stuff, like attacking everyone in sight. . .
Tom: I miss them already.

"Spill," The Slayer demended.
"You got time to hear the long version?" Matrix asked.

Crow: (Guybrush Threepwood) In the name of all that's holy, NO!

"It'll give me a few more nanos to recuperate before I rush off on my demented quest for revenge."

Mike: At least she's not under any delusions.

"Sit down, then," Matrix smiled, inviting her to sit on the sofa. "This is going to be a long, long, LONG story!"

(Groans of pain)

Buffy walked over slowly, trying to hide the pain each step was to her. She smiled and sat down.

Mike: Well look at it this way guys: it'll give us a chance to actually get some background on the virals.
Tom: Yeah, who knows? Maybe we'll dislike them less once we hear about the actual atrocities they've committed.

For a long millisecond --an hour-- Matrix told the story of the three virues that now caused so much pain and suffering in Mainframe.
Buffy seemed even more determined to get him at the end of the story.

Mike: That's IT?
Tom: So much for character development.
Crow: Well on the bright side he DID skip a potentially dragging and in the end useless tangent.
Mike: True.

What no one had noticed was that, as Matrix was begining his story, Drak had slipped out of the Principle Office.

Tom: (Drak) I'll just slip over to 7-11 for some nachos for a while.

Buffy stood up, "Okay;

Crow: (Buffy) Who's up for fudge?

I feel like a million dollars; its still night; I'm going Chimera hunting."

Mike: Yes, why try to hunt him down during the day when light gives you an advantage when you can do it in the dark with a bandaged arm?
Crow: Why, no reason at all!

"Not until we have a pla..."


Angel began. He looked around the room. "Where's Drak?" he asked.
"Drak?!" Buffy called.
"Scanning..." Bob said

Crow: I suppose washroom breaks are unheard of in this city.
Tom: I'm just surprised they noticed that one of the characters was missing.
Mike: (Angel) Wait a minute. . . there's only fifty-two of us here now. . . who's missing?

as he punched the buttons that would help locate the impetous, young vampire.
"He's gone after the virus; hasn't he?!" Buffy demanded.

Mike: (Dismissive) Oh I bet he's just renting dirty videos from Blockbuster and was to embarrassed to admit it.

"I'm afraid so..." Bob sighed.
"Gimme a portal to Chimera, Bob. I was too cocky before; I promice I'll be

Tom: (Buffy) I've mended my ways since my argument with you and Jo Ann only an hour ago! You can trust me!

Reluctantly, Bob formed the portal.
"That boy!" Giles shook his head. "That foolish, impetous, brave


"He truely believes he's the one that can battle the virues and save the day --uh-- second," Angel said.
"A hero is the last thing we need!"

Tom: "We need PLANS, people! Lots and lots of plans! How much more effective do we have to BE before you all realize that?"

"He has been raised to be a hero," Giles said.
"Whatever," Buffy grabbed her stake. "Payback time!"
"Just bring back Drak --and yourself-- in one piece," Isis told her.

Tom: "I yield."
Crow: Hoping for some "Poison Elves" fans in the audience?
Tom: Hey, you never know.

ma'am... I swear he'll get back in one piece."

Mike: (Isis) An unbloodied piece?
Tom: (Buffy) Uhm. . . I don't think we covered that.

They watched as the Slayer left throught the portal.

Tom: (Dot) Well, that's that I guess. Who's up for some Monopoly?

Angel looked worried, "Did she say what I think she said?"
"What?" asked Matrix.
"Did she say she promises he will get back in one piece?"

Crow: (Matrix) Huh? Sorry, I wasn't really paying attention. There was this dust mote that caught my eye. . .

"That's what I heard her say," Bob smiled.
"What about her?!"

Tom: You die just once and people never trust you afterwards.

"I don't think I heard her say anything about herself," Oz said.
"But she promiced that she would be carefull..." Andri said.

Mike: And we all know that promises themselves can shield you against vampire attacks.

"Yes, but with Buffy that is no guarantee. She was killed once."
"So what do we do now?" Teen Enzo asked.

Crow: Why was he turned into a teenager again? They made such a big fuss over that and now him and AndrAIa are both just sitting there, staring at the walls.

"Worry," the Watcher sighed.
Meanwhile, Drak stood outside of the ruined Tor.

Tom: (Drak) I know -- I'll wear my Girlscout uniform and tell them I'm selling cookies!

His armor gleamed and a night breeze blew his hair across his dead-white face.

Mike: Drak's Anime Pose. (tm)

What served as moonlight in Mainframe glinted off the deadly katana blade he held in his right hand.

Tom: (Dark) I hope Mouse doesn't realize this is missing.

"Come on out, virues!" he called. "Time to face a warrior!"
Two hands slipped over his eyes.

Crow: Hey, it's Hex from "Sticks and Stones"!

"Who's there?" he demanded.

Mike: Moments before he was separated from his spleen.

The hands simply stayed there. No reply was made.
Drak broke free and whirled to face the owner of the hands.

Tom: Only to find there were none.
Crow: We're starting to get really gruesome, aren't we?

"And what the Hell do you think you're doing?" Buffy folded her arms and glared at him.
"Challenging the virues! What does it look like I'm doing?!" he shot back.

Mike: Ah, here we go. After someone finally goes out to get them, we have more arguments over who exactly DOES get to kill the viruses.
Tom: Let's watch!

"Doing my job."
"It's my job, too!"
"You're not the 'Chosen One'; why endanger yoursefl?!"
"I've fought evil longer then you have!" he countered.
"You're older than I am!"
"And more expeienced!"
"But not necessarily more skilled."
"It was my destiny to battle evil --especially the evil undead!"
"Ditto; just don't get between Chimera and I!"
"Fine! Just stay outa my way!" Drak retorted.

Mike: Mmm. Just as annoying as I thought it would be.
Tom: Delightfully time consuming!

"If you weren't here: I guarantee I would be."
"It's my turn, Buffy!"
"God, this was sooo much easier before I died!"

Crow: Oh that's what everyone says.

As the two glared at each other, another voice cut the air.
"Children, children, children...

Mike: (Buffy) Santa?

Cease this argueing. Your tiff is giving me a headache."
"Chimera," Buffy smiled,

Tom: (Buffy) Bite me! No wait, hold on. . . scratch that.

"we never got to finish; I apologize for my companions' bad manners. I wasn't done kicking your ass!"
"How about fighting me!?" Drak challenged.

Crow: With this many people throwing themselves at him to be crushed, it must be hard to choose.

"Back off, Drak; this is my fight!"
"Not a chance, Buffy!" Drak cried.

Mike: Not noticing Chimera had snuck up behind both of them. The End.

"This stake is for you if you don't!"
"Don't even try it!"
"Or what?!"
"Hey, I'm the one with the sword!" Drak grinned.

Tom: (Buffy) You have some. . . issues, don't you?

"So, Chimera: We gonna fight, or what?"
The virus looked at both of them and laughed.
"What's so funny?" Drak asked.

Mike: Maybe he went back into "biker" mode.

"You two children..."
"Why?" Buffy asked, still angry at Drak.
"Your bickering is pathetic."

Crow: THEIR bickering?

"You've already fought a Slayer. Why not face a dhampher?" Drak asked.

Mike: A what now?
Tom: Shh. Another possible sub-plot. Leave it alone.

"She was such sweet blood;

Crow: (Chimera) That can't be healthy. Does she drink five slurpees a day or something?

it is thoughtful for you to come and offer me second helpings, Buffy..."
"Not this time!" Drak said.
"I'm not a blood-bank!" Buffy growled.
Drak held his sword up, ready for battle.

Tom: (Frightened) Mike-what if they DO kill him and the next chapter's all about Jo Ann bringing in new relatives and Buffy sparring with people and admiring the baby some more?

Buffy raised her stake, "C'mon, Chimera; you want me --come and get me!"

Mike: Oh come on, she wouldn't. . . the authors couldn't. . .

"Buffy, no! Let me handle it this time!" Drak cried.
"He wants my blood --let him come get i--"

Crow: They would Mike. They would.

"And you're mine, cutie..." A voice came from behind Drak.

Mike: No. No there's a sixth chapter. I have to hope to God this fight just fizzles out like the others did.

Drak whirled around to face the newcomer.
Dash stood there, hands on her hips, "Come on; show me what you're made off, half-breed..."

Crow: Guts?
Tom: Blood?
Mike: I bet she'd like to see THAT.

Drak rasied his sword and concentrated on his opponent's location. Without warning, he swung the sword, creating a slit in Dash's top and taking off a small piece of her icon.

Crow: (Drak) If I could only reach three inches further that would have been fatal. Damn my stubby little arms!

"Undressing me already?!" She smiled,

Tom: Shouldn't she be more worried about him hitting an artery right now?
Mike: Ah, NOW I remember how annoying this character was.

rolling past him.

Crow: (Drak) Stop doing cartwheels, damnit!

"In your dreams, virual!" Drak snarled. He swung the sword again, cuting a gash in her arm.
She snarled in pain and elongated her claws...

Tom: Lot of snarling going on.
Mike: It's like watching a bunch of alley cats.

Meanwhile, Buffy and Chimera faced off.
Her eyes narrowed as she watched him

Tom: Snarl.

She planned her moves more carefully; perhaps to

Tom: Snarl.

draw him off guard would be a good idea? Let him think she was still injured? she

Tom: Snarled.

lashed out with her stake hand, but he dodged it...
Dash had

Tom: Snarled.
Mike: I think you can stop now.
Crow: Why don't you pick on something the author's are even more obsessive about, like smiling?
Tom: Because I want to retain my sanity.

scored a hit and nearly damaged Drak's armour.
"Nice try," Drak smiled. He swung his sword again, connecting with her other arm. This hit was deep enough to cause the arm to become useless.

Crow: Seeing as he'd severed it and all.

She kicked up viciously, knocking his head back with enough force to cause whiplash.
But Drak's vampire blood

Mike: Yes, vampiric blood. A plot device that solves everything from aging to feverish tropical diseases to serious spinal injury.
Crow: It's like vampires were MADE for fanfiction.

saved him from injury. Now, he cut the other arm, causing the same amount of damage as he did the other one.
Dash disappeared into the shadows to lick her wounds.

Mike: Literally.
Crow: (Dash) Well, no sense in letting this go to waste. . .(Makes little slurp-slurp noises.)
Tom: I wonder if we're going to suffer any permanent mental damage from this fic.

Drak turned to face Chimera.
The shadows seemed to form a wall between Chim and Buffy and Drak;

Tom: The dungeon master put it in on purpose to make things harder.
Mike: "Let's see, Wall of Shadows-causes partial blindness and -1 THAC0 to any non thief PCs."

Buffy appeared to be weakening.
"Bob! Portal us outta here!" Drak cried. Portals formed around Buffy and Drak. They disappeared, reappearing in the PO.

Tom: Huh. Sort of like a bubble effect in the fabric of reality.
Crow: You just know they're going to get burned for screwing with the laws of physics like that one day.

"YOU IDIOT!" Buffy hissed, "That was an act!!"
"Who are you calling an idiot?!" Drak cried.

Crow: (Buffy) Bob.
Mike: (Drak) Oh, sorry. Thought you meant me. Go on.

"You; you interfering --Bob, get me back there before I do someone an injury!"
"No," Bob said calmly.
Buffy was getting more and more frustrated. "Why not?!"

Mike: (Bob) Because I'm going to hit you with this wrench until you're still then testing you for rabies.

"Because, that makes twice you almost got yourself deleted. You constantly underestimate the viruses, especially Chimera.

Crow: (Bob) Are you SURE you fight vampires for a living?

And you," Bob turned to Drak. "You should have known better than to run off like that. Chimera would have had your head. Or given you to those girls of his for a plaything."

Tom: Drak takes a long pause then slaps himself in head.
Mike: (Drak) That's RIGHT! I totally forgot! Stupid me.

"UNDERESTIMATE HIM?! I was trying to lure him into a false sense of security!"

Crow: (Bob) Suuuuuuure you were.
Mike: (Buffy) No really! It was part of my wily and cunning plan!
Crow: (Bob) Uh-huh.

"That's one thing you'll never do," Bob said.
Buffy was angry and trying very hard to control herself.

Mike: I think the authors got "Buffy" and "Matrix" mixed up somewhere along the line here.

Drak, on the other hand, felt very ashamed of his actions.

Tom: Because his human half made him more morally sound.
Mike: But. . . Buffy's completely human. Shouldn't she be even more morally sound?
Tom: Maybe it was his vampire half. How the hell should I know?

He had wanted to confront Chimera, see what his sword could do against the virus.

Crow: Another sword comment with reference to Chimera.
Tom: I think Drak's suppressing something here.
Mike: I think we're beginning to read too deeply into this.

"I'm sorry," he said simply, bowing his head.

Mike: (Drak) I submit myself to you for beheading.

Bob smiled at him, "Don't do it again."

Crow: (Bob) Now, into the Pit of South American Spiders as punishment.

"I won't," Drak sighed. Isis came up to him and put a hand on his shoulder. He turned to look at her

Tom: (Drak) Oh hey, love of my life. I didn't get killed this time in battle!

and recieved a kiss on his lips.
"I am happy that you are safe, my love," she whispered softly to him. He smiled weakly at her. His foolish act had not cost him her love.

Crow: However, it was going to be a couch-sleeping week for him.

"You should be more careful," Giles smiled at him.
"I know. I just wanted to use my powers and skills agaisnt them," Drak said softly.
"Yes, I quite understand."

Tom: (Giles) You're a rash idiot and can't plan ahead into the future despite the hours we've spent thinking up strategies. Well done.

"As impatiant for action as both Enzos," Paul Matrix smiled at the young vampire.
"And as fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants as Bob," Jason agreed.

Crow: As one-dimensional as the cast of "Full House"!

"As tempremental as Buffy," Giles added and the Slayer shot him a vicious glare.
"Ya would make a great Guardian!" Turbo grinned.

Mike: Turbo says that to parking meters. It doesn't mean a thing anymore.

Dot smiled, "You would, Drak."
"Thanks," Drak smiled. He blushed. Andri giggled.

Crow: Dot yawned.
Tom: Bob frowned.
Mike: Phong levitated.

"What?" AndrAIa asked her sister.
"Drak looks like a china-doll when he blushes!" Andri continued to giggle.

Tom: (Drak) Shut up!

AndrAIa joined in the laughter, "You're right --he does..."

Tom: (Drak, sniffing) Just shut up! It's not funny!

Isis smiled.

Tom: (Drak, sobbing) Why won't you leave me ALONE?

Drak did look a lot like he was made of porcalian.

Mike: Pale, shiny and breakable?

Buffy sat down by the window, her adrenaline slowly wearing off, she had done what she'd promised: Got Drak out of there in one piece.
Drak went to her. "Buffy, I'm sorry," he said.

Tom: Moments before Buffy grabbed and throttled him.
Mike: (Buffy) Damnit, I was WINNING! I SWEAR!

"Me, too, Drak -I lost my temper."
"Forgive me?" he asked, holding out his hand.

Tom: Buffy, after pondering the idea of squeezing it into pulp, took it.

"If you'll forgive this territorial Slayer."
"You got it!" Drak grinned.

Crow: (Drak) Our momentary conflict is over with no repercussions! Joy!

She hugged him, "I get kinda cranky about the whole Slaying gig...I figure its my domain; I know I'm not Wonder Woman; I'm too blonde...

Tom: (Buffy) Maybe I can be Samus Aran.

but I just don't want anyone else getting hurt."
"If you saw what I had to fight when I was a teenager, you wouldn't worry!" Drak laughed, hugging her back.

Mike: Ah, nothing like the emotional trauma of childhood to patch things up.

"Well, it's a female thing too," she smiled,

Crow: (Buffy) Because males are incapable of duty or compassion, of course.

nursing one arm.
"Are you okay?" he asked, noticing the injured arm.
"Yeah, fine; just a scratch." She clamped her fingers tightly around it, hiding the blood.

Crow: Yes! She's been scratched! Now she'll start morphing into a demon that they'll be forced to kill!
Mike: You're thinking of the vampires in "From Dusk 'Till Dawn".
Crow: Oh. Darn.

"Here," Bob smiled. "Let me see to it."
"It's only a nip..."
"No, let me see it," he smiled.

Mike: Bob's a bit. . . TOO happy about seeing her blood.

Putting his hand over the wound, Bob concentrated. Warm, gentle energy flowed through his hand and into Buffy's arm.

Tom: So he's shooting her up with Novocaine?

When he finally removed his hand, the injury was completly healed. Not even a scar was left.
She smiled and hugged him.

Crow: I'd be grateful for a buzz by this point too.

"You're welcome, Buffy," he smiled.
"I'm sorry, Bob," Buffy told him.
"As I told Drak, don't do it again," Bob smiled.
"I'm not gonna promise; I have a habit of doing'impetous things'; right, Giles?"

Crow: (Giles) God, don't REMIND me.

"Indeed she does!" Giles smiled.
Drak reguarded his katana sword silently.

Mike: (Drak) It's alright my precious. We'll soon feed on the blood of the living!
Tom: (Isis) Drak honey? You okay?
Mike: (Drak) Why. . . yes. (Sinister laughter.)

"But I do apologize for going psycho."
"Apology accepted," Bob smiled.

Tom: Kids! Here's a fun game for you to try! Every time someone smiles, smile along with them! See how far you can get before your cheeks start to hurt!
Mike: Kind of a cruel game.

"Drak: Friends again?"
"Sure," the young vampire smiled. He offered his hand to her.
She took it, and slipped in for a hug.

Tom: Do you people need to constantly exchange body warmth that badly?
Crow: Someone should turn up the heating.

Drak smiled and hugged her.
"I'm not guaranteeing I won't flip out ever again," she smiled.

Mike: (Buffy) I make no excuses for my psychosis!

"I know," Drak smiled.
"Its just a thing...a Slayer thing, I think," she smiled.

Crow: (Buffy) Not that I've met many other Slayers. Ones that stay sane or alive for long anyhow.

I hope you don't get this way when my family comes to visit," Drak smiled.

Tom: (Drak) I'd like to introduce you to my mother-
Mike: (Buffy) DIE HELL SPAWN!
Tom: (Drak) Ha-ha! Here we go again! That wacky Slayer!

"Oh? Do tell?"
"Well, besides my uncle, Count Dracula, there is also my Aunt Beth..." Drak told her.
Giles' ears pricked up, "There's no mention of an Elizabeth in the Dracula legends..."

Crow: (Drak) She changed her name. It used to be Griselda.

"I think you may know her as Elizabeth Bathory," Drak told him.
Giles' eyes widened.

Tom: (Giles) You're not going to invite her here TOO are you? Bob and Jo Ann's family is ENOUGH!

"The.. the blood countess?!" he gasped.
"Yeah. But she's good, now.
She...um...married Uncle Dracula," Drak said.

Mike: Elizabeth Bathory? The woman famed for bathing in the virgin blood of peasants she tortured and slaughtered because she thought it kept her young? And now, because it's romantic to add literary and historical figures but they don't want her to fight the heroes, the authors have stuck her in and called her GOOD?
Tom: Virgin blood?
Mike: She really did.
Tom: I'm going to keep that in mind when we read about her.

He wondered what his friends would think of that.

Crow: Half an hour later, when Drak woke up chained in the basement, he figured it out.

Giles looked extreamly sceptical, "She was responsible for the deaths of over 900 young women.."

Mike: I thought it was six hundred.
Tom: I guess the body count WAS getting hard to keep track of at the end.

"I know," Drak sighed.

Tom: (Drak) Look, she said she was really sorry!

"But if Uncle Dracula could change to good, and raise Frankie, Howler, and me to be good guys, he could definately change her."


"Hmm..." Giles made a mental note to track this woman down. "She was sentenced to die for her crimes."
"I think she did..." Drak bit his lip. "At least, she's a vampire now.

Tom: I assume that implies SOME sort of death considering vampires are walking corpses.

But believe me: She is good!"

Crow: (Drak) I'm sure the weird lack of people in the villages near her castle must have some explanation.
Mike: I get the impression that Drak's trust in people isn't terribly hard to get.
Tom: (Bathory) Well Drak, I've decided to seek the light and renounce my evil ways. Now, go and tell everyone I'm good and it's safe to visit.
Crow: (Drak) Yay! Okay auntie!

"Giles, the Drak Pack --Frankie, Howler, and I-- were raised to fight evil and atone for all the bad things the monsters of the past did.

Tom: (Drak) Except Godzilla. He's been a real snob lately.

And it was Uncle Dracula who did that."
"Yes, I am aware of your Uncle's reformation;

Mike: Dracula. Vlad the Impaler Dracula. They reformed him just like his wife?
Tom: Centuries of murder, bloodshed and pain but it's okay -- all's forgiven by Jo Ann and Buffy!
Crow: Our sincere apologies to Mr. Stoker's relatives.

its just Countess Bathory is still on the Watcher society's 'most vicious killers' list; she killed two slayers..."

Mike: Killing Slayers is a lot like potato chips. One's never enough.

"Well, she won't be killing anyone else. Uncle Dracula will see to that."

Tom: (Giles) You mean your Uncle's killing her for us?
Mike: (Drak) No, he'll just make sure she won't do anything evil anymore. You'll have to trust him as a sort of goodwill gesture.
Tom: (Giles) Of. . . course. Just let me know where they're staying. We'll be sure to send out a. . .delegation to greet them.

Giles just sighed.
"Just trust Uncle Dracula, Giles," Drak smiled.

Crow: (Giles) Oh, sod off.

Drak had said all he could. It would be up to Giles to trust his uncle and aunt. He looked at his sword thoughfully,

Tom: (Drak) If I cut off the head of one of those Highlander guys would it electrocute me?

thinking about the legends he had been told about it.
"Penny for them?" Buffy smiled.
"What?" Drak asked her.

Mike: (Drak) I don't GET thoughts.

"Penny for your thoughts," she smiled.
"I was thinking about the legends behind this sword," he smiled.

Tom: (Buffy) What's with the revolver inside the handle?

He brought the blade up so that the flat part was facing him, and the hilt was just under his eyes.
"Do tell," the Slayer smiled.

Tom: Hey, she's channeling Megabyte.

"Well, first,

Mike: "Its name is Grayswandir."

there's the story that it was forged in the fires of Mount Fuji in Japan by the Japenese gods, themselves.

Crow: (Drak) It's total BS, of course.

The legend also says that a samuri had won the sword for some heroic deed --just what he did has been forgotten--

Tom: (Drak) This is my story, not his.

and he used it to battle evil wherever he went.

Mike: Hey, it's Paul the Samuri.

Eventually he came to Transylvania and met up with Uncle Dracula. He gave my family the sword, told them what it would do, then left."

Tom: (Samuri) A family of vampires? Guess I can trust you. Here, take this highly mystical sword that can easily slay all your undead enemies.

"Woah..." Buffy smiled, impressied.

Crow: Toast impresses this Buffy.

"When I entered a race in Transylvania,

Tom: Hey! He's actually Speedracer!

I met up with my mother. She gave me this armor and the sword.

Mike: It was lying around all rusted and worn in the basement so she figured what the heck, she might as well dump it on someone.

My first battle in which I actually slew a vampire was the battle to free my birth villiage from a vampire warlord who had stolen it from the people.

Crow: (Drak) Of course the villagers immediately warmly embraced me after learning I was a half-breed monster resembling the one ruling over the town.

I gotta tell you, killing a vampire for the first time scared me. It was the other half of my people, after all. But I was raised for the fight against evil, so I just did what I had to do."

Mike: And now, back to our story.

Buffy hugged him, "The first kill is hard."
"Especially if the vamp involved is your mother's brother!"

Crow: (Drak) We tried to reform him but for some reason the brainwashing didn't take.

"I've never the family connection problem."
"None of your family was a vampire?" Drak teased.
"No, not that I know of."
"Lucky you. You don't have to kill your kin."

Tom: (Drak) You get all the fun!

Buffy hugged him, "I had to send my soulmate to Hell..."
"My cousin..." Drak smiled.

Tom: Wouldn't a frown be a bit more appropriate when thinking about a close relative's descent into suffering and madness?
Crow: I think that they've used the word "smiled" so many times it's become an automatic reaction to write it down after every fifth sentence or so.

"Yeah...that was the hardest thing."
"He lived through it, though."
"Yeah...I nearly didn't..."
"You're back...that's all I care about, Angel," Drak smiled.
Buffy smiled at Angel, "I nearly didn't live through it, either, love."
Angel smiled and hugged her. The Mainframers watched as they held on to each other.

Mike: (Dot, wistfully) You know, if Megabyte had won in season three we'd all be indifferent drones right now.
Crow: (Bob, sighing) That WOULD be good.

"I thought you'd hate me...and I wanted to die, Angel," Buffy told him.
"But you had to do it, love, to save the Earth."
"I know...I just wanted to die for hurting you."
"I never blamed you for doing what you did."

Tom: Yes. We get the strength of their devotion to each other. Move on, please.

"You didn't? Never?!"
"No. Never," he smiled.
Tears of joy threatened to spill onto her face.

Crow: (Falsetto) Oh honeymuffin! I'm so glad!
Mike: (Deep voiced) I would NEVER blame you for anything my precious love goddess!

Angel smiled, then kissed her.
She kissed him, letting the tears fall.
The Mainframers looked on at the couple,

Tom: (Phong) They must have to come up for air SOME time.

smiles on their own faces.
Dot hugged Bob.
Wild Card gave Jo Ann one of their neck nuzzles that she loved so much. She giggled as his beard tickled her. They ended in a kiss.

Mike: (Author) Yes! Let the public displays affection run wild and free!

AndrAIa and Matrix smiled.
Isis went up to Drak and hugged him close. He kissed her.

Tom: (Author) Ride forth saccharine sweetness! Go, and sicken the audience with your syrupy nature once more!

Andri and Enzo sat quietly,

Crow: (Enzo) So, uh. . .
Tom: (Andri) Well. I. . .
Crow: (Enzo) I guess we could -- nah.
Tom: (Andri) Yeah, let's forget it.
Mike: From this day on awkwardness taints their relationship for the rest of their lives.

not quite embarrassed.
Bob, concerned thoughts running through his head,

Crow: Scampering freely among the fields.

scanned Dot.
Dot could feel him scanning her, "Whats wrong, love."

Tom: What's with tacking on "love" at random to their sentences? It's like the authors have this big insecurity about us not figuring out the couples care for each other.
Mike: That would explain all those hugging and kissing scenes apparently triggered by, say, a random gust of wind or a remark about the weather.

"Just checking, dear. You are very close to your time," he said.
"I know," Anticipation lit her eyes

Crow: (Dot) I can't WAIT to finally get rid of this brat.

"How close is she?" Darla asked.
"Very," Bob smiled.
"How very?" she asked again.
"Tomorrow, probably."
"I hope it's soon," Darla sighed.

Tom: (Darla) Once there's another baby I'll get a bigger part by crooning over it.

"Not as much as I do!" Dot smiled.
Jo Ann remembered something. "Dash said something about Dot's unborn children. Could it be that Dot will have more then one baby?"

Crow: So one of Dash's only powers that she's used so far is determining the number of children someone's pregnant with?
Mike: With ultrasounds so available that's not really a very useful skill.

Bob smiled and started to scan her.
"I don't wanna know!!" Dot smiled.
"Okay," Bob laughed. "We'll just see when it happens!"

Tom: So they'll just risk damage in childbirth by not looking ahead for any possible problems.

"Exactly!! You've already told me when, I want at least some surprise!!"
Bob laughed,

Mike: What would happen if someone said something that was actually funny here?
Crow: They'd giggle to death.

then kissed Dot.
Dot returned the kiss, smiling.
Don't you say a word about it, either, Glitch! Dot mentally told the keytool.
Glitch chuckled, Moi, dear Dot?
Just don't, please, Dot thought back, a laugh in her thoughts.

Crow: She's happy about being a mother. We get it.

I wouldn't dream of it, 'mom'...

Tom: Mom? But Glitch is merged with Bob and -
Mike: I think we discussed the disturbing incestuous overtones at the beginning, didn't we?
Tom: (Sighing) That long ago?

Dot smiled, and continued to kiss Bob.
Andri sighed.

Crow: (Andri) If I'm any more bored, I'm going to go into a coma.

Enzo, feeling his teenaged emotions, leaned over and kissed Andri on the cheek.

Tom: Great, now six years worth of hormones starts to kick in.

Andri felt her cheeks burn bright red, but she smiled.
"Love is in the air, darlin'," Wild Card smiled.

Crow: Couldn't they think up a better accent than just copying Mouse's and leaving out the word "sugar"?
Tom: What kind would you prefer?
Crow: How about NONE?

Jo Ann leaned against his chest, holding Azura to her.
"Yes," she smiled back.
Andri turned to Enzo and smiled, "What was that for?"

Mike: Enzo just stands there and blinks.

Enzo just blushed. "I felt like I needed to do it," he smiled.
She grinned, "Good...'cos I liked it..."

Crow: Please keep in mind they were only around ten a few hours ago.
Tom: Oh. . . yuck.

"I did too," he grinned back.
"Oh, Enzo..." she smiled.
Enzo just blushed some more.

She wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder.
Drak thought about his friends --Frankie and Howler-- and his family. What would they think about his new friends?

Crow: Food?

Especially Buffy?

Crow: Scary food?

"I'm tired," Dot confessed, "I'm going to get some sleep."
"Okay. We should all get some sleep," Bob said.

Tom: Wait, weren't they just sleeping?
Mike: No it was still dark out, when they were fighting the vampires but -- hmm.
Crow: I think we're lost.

"I'll stay on guard in case the vamps strike again ."
"Okay. But no going off by yourself," Bob told her.
Buffy pouted, "Spoil my fun..."
"Just keeping you from getting deleted," Bob smiled.
"Deleted? What am I...a computer pro- forget I said that..." Buffy smiled

Crow: (Buffy) Ignore me slandering your self-worth and individualism.

"Don't worry, Bob," Angel smiled. "I'll make sure she stays put."
"Try it, lover.." Buffy winked.

Mike: (Bob) So THAT'S how you two like it, huh?
Tom: (Angel) I'm so embarrassed.

"I will," he smiled back.
"Remember who won last time we fought..." she teased.

Crow: They're so. . . flippant about this "Angel to Hell" thing. Is the Pit of Torment a midway ride or something?

"You had a sword," he reminded her.
"So did you!! Straight from Acathla's heart!"
"Let's not talk about him!"
"Good idea..."
Angel smiled. "Good night, guys!" he said to the retreating group.

Tom: (Dot, muttering to herself) Just a few more months until the movies are produced and you can stop working in fanfic. Just a few more months. . .

"Can we stay up, too?" Andri and Enzo chorused.
"No," Paul said. "You two need to go to bed, too."
"But Dad, I'm not a kid anymore!!"

Mike: (Enzo) Well, physically.

"Enzo!" Paul looked at his son stearnly.
"Do what Dad says, kid," Matrix growled.

Crow: (Paul) And you too mister!
Tom: (Matrix) What? But -
Crow: (Paul) Don't make me take off my belt!

Enzo pulled a face, and Andri gently smiled, "C'mon; we can get into the authority-defying thing later; I'm tired."

Mike: (Andri) We'll be sullen and ungrateful tomorrow.

"Not together," Darla reminded them.

Tom: Oh God!
Crow: You have a sick mind, lady!

"What do you take us for?!"
"Teenagers," Paul answered.
The group laughed.
Paul and Darla herded teen Enzo and Andri

Mike: Moo.

to their rooms. The rest went to bed, as well.
"I feel utterly repressed," Andri smiled.
"Live with it, dear," Darla smiled.
Andri muttered something under her breath.

Tom: (Andri) Up yours, 'mom'.

Enzo frowned at her.

Mike: (Enzo) What was that about my mom?
Crow: (Andri) Ah -- nothing.

"Off to bed for you, too, Enzo," Paul said.
Soon, everyone was in their rooms, asleep.
Andri turned on her personal midi player as soon as she was sure everyone else was asleep.

Tom: I though everyone was asleep.
Mike: They were too cheap to get her a decent MP3 player I see.

"And turn off that player," Darla said, peeking into the room.
Andri frowned at her.

Crow: (Andri) Lick me.

"Get to sleep," Darla smiled.
"I'm not tired, Mrs. Matrix."
"Well, try, anyway."
Andri sighed and lay down, her player headphones still in.

Tom: She woke up the next day with her ears bleeding.
Crow: (Andri) I shouldn't have been listening to Billy Corgan that long.

Darla shook her head and left, closing to door behind her.
Andri smiled and sat back up.
The night went quickly.

Mike: Wait! What were their exact words before sleeping?
Crow: Did Xander say "good night" or just "see you in the morning?"
Tom: For the love of God, what brand of toothpaste did they use?
Mike: I can't believe they're denying us information like this.

The next morning, everyone was up and eating breakfast.
Buffy was allowed to sleep late, due to her "nightwatchman" bit from the previous night.

Crow: Everyone else was woken up with buckets of icy water.

Bob took another scan of his wife, to check her progress.
Dot smiled, "Soon?"
"Yes. Very soon," he smiled.
"Good," She smiled back.

Mike: (Bob) Wait, did you mean the pancakes or the baby?

"How soon, Bob?" Darla asked.
"Just asking," Darla pouted.

Crow: Now why does that sound familiar?
Tom: Simple Crow. That's because the authors have a single personality template for female protagonists. This makes dialogue, actions and even characterization interchangeable, leading to the aforementioned repetitiousness. Essentially, we already saw and heard everything that's happened so far in the first two chapters.
Mike: Nice analysis.
Tom: Oh I've had LOTS of time to think about it.

"Bob said today."
"When, today?" Darla asked.
Dot got up, "Tell her when I'm outta earshot!"

Mike: (Dot) I want to make sure I'm totally unprepared for this now! Even if it means giving birth in an elevator or a taxi!

Bob pulled her close to him. "Now, Dot..."
"No. Just calm down," he hugged her gently.

Crow: (Bob) There there, don't be so hysterical. It's only giving birth after all.

"Don't do that..."
"Don't do what?" he asked.
"Startle me like that."
"Just take it easy today, please?" he said.

Mike: (Bob) I'll tell you when your water breaks, okay?

"I will."
"Good. Sit down," he smiled, guiding her to her chair.
She groaned , "I have a meeting..."

Mike: Somehow, in a sea of mischaracterization, that statement from Dot rings true.
Tom: Enjoy it while it lasts.

"Cancel," he said.
"Sure you can."
She shook her head, "Bob; its not a long one...but its important."
"How important?"

Tom: (Bob) Honey. . . is this a good time to mention that you're going into labor in fifteen minutes?

"Who with?"
"Bob; there are things that are on a need-to-know basis."
"And I need to know: Who with?"

Crow: Now, cut those three lines, stick them by themselves on a blank page and you have the beginnings of a much more interesting sounding fic.

"You don't need to know."
"You aren't leaving this table," he said firmly.

Tom: (Bob) Matrix! Bring the ropes!

"My darling, I have to...I'm COMMAND.COM; and I have a meeting."
"And you are going to have a baby today! You don't need to go to any meetings!"

Crow: (Bob) Oh let the system crash on its own for once!

"I know...This won't take long."

Mike: Three hours later. . .

"No," he said. He motioned for AndrAIa to use her nails on Dot. She did so.

Tom: What? On his own WIFE? While she's PREGNANT?
Crow: That can't be good for the baby.
Mike: Dot. . . is going to be very angry.

Dot slumped, she was gonna be soooo mad when she awoke.

Crow: All right! It's ASS whopping time!

"Phong, cancel all of Dot's meetings for this second and the next few seconds," Bob said.
"Very well,"

Tom: (Phong) So, when exactly did you decide to commit suicide like this?

Phong smiled.
Bob continued to scan Dot.
Slowly, Dot woke up;

Mike: Quickly, she grabbed Bob's collar and held on.
Crow: (Bob) Uh oh.

and she woke up mad.
"Sorry, Dot," Bob smiled.
Dot glared. She was just too angry to speak in case she said something she'd regret.

All: (Chanting) Say it! Say it!
Crow: You KNOW the fic's gone bad when you start turning on the original characters.

"You gotta learn to take better care of yourself, Dot," Bob said. "All this running around for meetings and things aren't good for you."

Mike: (Bob) You should stay at home and learn to cook for me or something.

"Don't lecture me," she told him, getting up.
"Down, Dot," Bob smiled.
"What; am I Frisket, now?"

Tom: (Bob) Of COURSE not! Now heel.

"No. Just a woman about to have a baby," he smiled.
"Stop it!"
"Stop what?"
"Babying me in that 'oh-so-reasonable' tone of voice!"
"Me? Babying you? What makes you think that?" Bob grinned.

Mike: Now, in a FAIR world, she'd hit him as hard as she could on the side of his face with her Organizer.

She sighed loudly and walked away.

Crow: (Sighing) Life is rarely fair.

"Dot, I love you," Bob said. He put his arms around her and hugged her.
"I love you too, now let me go."

Tom: (Dot) You're squishing the baby! OW! Stop kicking!
Mike: (Bob) But I -
Tom: (Dot) Not you.

"You don't have anywhere to go, Dot. I had Phong to cancel all your meetings for today and the next few seconds."
Dot's eyes narrowed,

Crow: (Dot, low voice) You have five nanoseconds to live.

"You had no right!"
"You are going to take it easy today, Dot," he said.
"Bob..." She sighed.
Then, Dot felt a twinge of pain in her abdomon. Bob quickly scanned her.
"Is it--?" she asked.
"I think so," Bob said, continuing to scan.

Tom: (Dot) Uhm, Bob? Not that I don't trust you but shouldn't we get a doctor to do this?
Mike: (Bob) Nah, I took a three credit first aid course in the Academy. You'll be fine!

"Oh, Bob..." she gasped.
"Yes," he said. "This is it!"
"Oh, sweet User..."

Crow: (Jo Ann) You called?
Mike: (Dot) I've got to learn some different exclamations.

Bob guided her to where she could lay down.

Tom: (Bob) Here's a handy floor.

Wild Card and Matrix took their positions on either side of her, as they promiced. Montitor stood by to assist.

Crow: (Dot, panicking) Where's a doctor? Don't we have any in this system? Where's a DOCTOR?!

I'm frightened, Bob, she admitted.
It'll be alright, Dot, he assured her.

Crow: (Dot) Really? Then YOU give birth to it! Oh God, my kingdom for a painkiller!

She bit her lip as the next wave of pain shot through her.

Mike: Xander heroically saves the day by offering Dot the rest of his stash.
Crow: (Dot) Morphine? You have morphine? I LOVE you!

"Darla, could you come over here. I'm going to need an extra pair of hands."
"What?! What's wrong?!" Dot gasped.
"Nothing's wrong, Dot!" Bob smiled.

Crow: (Bob, thinking) That's it. . . keep smiling. . . don't show the fear.

"I'm just going to need an extra person."
"Okay..." she breathed.
Bob worked steadily, encouraging Dot along the way.

Mike: (Bob) Okay! Now push! That's some real good pushing there! Now push some more. . . that's it, push that sucker!
Tom: (Dot) Somebody please get him out of here.

Dot was incredibly nervous; she kept worrying that Dash or someome would appear and steal her baby.

Crow: Don't worry about that. You have to give BIRTH to it first. THEN you can be paranoid!
Tom: I bet they attach an infrared tracking system to the baby's crib.

Don't worry, love, Bob mentally sent to her. Willow's lock-out will keep the virals away.
Promice, he smiled.

Mike: (Bob) Notice I didn't promise though. Heh heh.

I love you, 452...
And I love you, Dot.

Mike: And a year later they're finishing a divorce settlement.

Another contraction, "Will this never stop?"

Tom: (Bitterly) We've been asking that for the last five chapters. . . welcome to our world.

"Once you've given birth, it will," Jo Ann assured her.

Mike: There. Right there. The most obvious thing I've ever heard in a ReBoot fic ever. Please note that.
Crow: Noted.

Dot smiled grimly.

Mike: (In disbelief) While giving BIRTH?
Tom: That must be some medication.

"Come on, Dot: Push!" Bob said.

Crow: (Dot, sarcastically) No! Really? And I've been pulling all this time!
Mike: (Bob) You're not in a good mood today, are you?

Dot pushed with all her might; and broke off, panting.
"Again!" Bob said. Monitor stood nearby.

Crow: You know guys, we can only be thankful that this scene isn't in any more descriptive detail.

(Mutters of assent)

"It hurts!" she protested.
"Only until you are done giving birth," Jo Ann told her

Tom: (Almost shrieking) You already said that! And it's WRONG! You think that after pushing something that big through her birth canal a woman's just going to get up smiling without a cramp or ache in the world?
Mike: I bet she will here.
Tom: God help us.

"Well, I hope its soon!" Dot pushed again.
Monitor wiped the sweat off Dot's face.

Crow: (Dot) But you didn't have to use your sleeve.

Dot smiled.

Mike: Then grabbed the nearest person and forced them to administer her painkillers.

Montior smiled.
"Push, Dot!" Bob encouraged.

Tom: Why are we watching this? What purpose does it serve?!

Dot did as she was told, biting her lip againgst the urge to cry out.

Mike: I don't know Tom. I just. . . don't. . . know.

"I can see a head, Dot!" Bob told her. "Push!"
"You can?!"
"Yes! Now, Push!"

Crow: (Bob) Damnit, do I HAVE to do all the work here? Come on, push!

Dot gathered her strength and pushed again.
"The head's out! One more time!"
"Okay, okay," Dot gasped for breath and them pushed for the last time.

Tom: (Relieved) It's almost over. . .
Crow: Yeah but now we get to do a gushy baby scene all over again.
Tom: AUGH!

"That's got it!" Bob said, giving the baby to Darla.

Mike: (Bob) Here you go. Our firstborn, as promised!

"It's a girl," Darla said. She showed Dot the green-skinned baby.
"She's beautiful," Dot smiled, tears in her eyes.
"Uh...Dot?" Bob smiled.
"Yes..." She smiled, catching her breath.
"It's not over, yet."
"What do you mean?" she smiled, confused.
"There were two babies in there," he smiled. "Twins."



Mike: I'd like to direct you all to Hanako's opinion of twins in "ReBoot" fics over at home.golden.net/~antidote/youve.html. It says pretty much everything we feel about the issue right now. Thanks.
Crow: If the link's dead when you read this, trust us, it was hilarious.

"You're Al, now?" Matrix teased his sister.
Dot shot him a glare, then looked back at Bob. "Its not over? There's another baby?"

Tom: Shouldn't she know? Isn't Dot able to FEEL this?
Crow: Maybe she's gone numb.
Tom: Lucky her.

"Yes," he smiled.
"Please tell me your kidding..."

Mike: (Dot) And WHY didn't you tell me this?
Crow: (Bob) I thought it would make a nice surprise?
Tom: (Wildcard) Dot! Put down the scalpel! Please!

"I hate you," she sighed. She didn't mean it;

Crow: The drugs hadn't worn off yet.

and the tone of voice was affectionate, if tired.
"Love ya. Now, Push!"

Tom: (Dot) Stop SAYING that! I freaking KNOW what to do!

Dot groaned and pushed again, wincing as she did so. "Y'know, Bob," she panted, "you are never touching me again after this,"

Mike: I've never heard sweeter words.

she teased.
"We'll see about that, dear," Bob grinned.

Mike: (Bob) Husbandly rights and all!
Crow: (Dot, frostily) Shut up. I meant it.

"Aye sir!"

Mike: (Pirate voice) Heave ho ye landlubbers!

"Here comes the head! Push!"
Dot gasped and pushed hard; sweat trailing down her forehead.

Crow: (Dot) Someone sponge me off already!

"Head's out!" Bob told her. "One more push!"

Tom: So judging by how long the scenes were the first baby took about 15 minutes to give birth to but the SECOND one only took two.
Crow: (Annoyed) Are you STILL looking for realism in this?

"Let me catch my breath first..." she begged.

Mike: (Wildcard) Well okay, I GUESS we don't want you to die off in childbirth.
Tom: Aww. . . remember West Sector Story 5?
Crow: (Dreamily) That was a thousand times better than this.
Tom: Sad though.
Crow: Yeah.
Mike: A moment of silence please, for Melissa. Beloved by fans of three-dimensional, realistic, sympathetic characters everywhere.

(They bow their heads.)

"Okay. But push as soon as you can. It's almost out!"
Dot sighed, panting. "Lets get this over with!"

Tom: You can do it Dot! As long as you don't actually have triplets too!


Tom: Stop looking at me like that. I was joking.
Crow: (muttering) You can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

she pushed hard.
"And, it's here!" Bob cried. "This one's a boy!"

Mike: You know, there's been a LOT of twins in ReBoot fanfic but I can't remember a single set being the same gender.
Crow: (Sighing) Well this fic isn't going to break any barriers.

Bob wrapped the baby in a towel and showed it to Dot.

Mike: (Dot) Two kids and I'm still conscious. All right, I ROCK!

The baby was blue-skinned and chrome-haired.

Crow: So the girl's green like Dot and the boy's blue with silver hair like Bob. Yes, REAL original.
Tom: They're not children so much as miniature versions of their parents.

"He looks just like you!" Dot exclaimed happily. Then she frowned, "No more in there?"

Crow: (Bob) Well actually -
Crow: (Bob) For the love of God, where did she get that KNIFE?!

"No. Just two," Bob smiled.
"Whew!" Dot laughed.
Bob smiled.
"Hug me?" Dot asked, smiling tiredly

Tom: (Bob) Sure! (Splat) Eww. . . uhm. . . you want to change first?

He did so, and kissed her, as well.
I love you, she told him telepathically, still kissing him.
And I love you, he replied in the same way.

Mike: (Darkly) Never has a birthing scene aroused such feelings of hostility in me.

Hey, I thought I said you weren't to touch me?! she teased.
Bob chuckled. He pulled away. "Don't you want to see your babies?" he asked.

Crow: (Dot) Yeah, whenever. Not like I'm not going to have time to see them the rest of my life.

I thought the grandmothers were still fussing...

Tom: (Darla) You mean NOBODY brought a camera?!
Crow: (Dot) Mom, please. . .
Tom: (Darla) Well at least we recorded it on video!
Crow: (Dot) Oh dear God.

"What about names?" Bob asked.
Dot smiled thoughtfully, "I have a couple of ideas. What about you?"
"I was thinking,

Mike: Gabe and Tycho!
Crow: Radiskull and Devil Doll!
Tom: Bob and Dot junior!

Rob for the boy, and Jade for the girl," he said.

Tom: Aren't those two characters from "Player VS Player"?
Mike: By a VERY freakish coincidence, yes.
Tom: If Jo Ann or Buffy actually HAVE read that strip I'm gong to be frightened.

"I love Jade...I used to wish I'd been called Jade instead of Dot," Dot grinned.

Crow: I sense some minor author wish fulfillment here.
Mike: Minor?
Crow: Well compared to the REST of the fic.

"Well, let's give the name to our daughter," Bob smiled.
"I'd like that...and Rob if you're sure that won't get confusing."
"It won't," Bob smiled.

Tom: Rob Bob, Bob Rob-they barely sound alike!

"I like Rob, too," Matrix smiled. "It reminds me of Captain Robert Curser -

Crow: (Matrix) Before he died I mean.

may he rest in peace."

Mike: Well that's a rather grim touch. "Let's name him after the guy who was killed off in a single episode!"

Dot smiled, "Rob it is then."
Jo Ann came up to see the new babies.

Crow: Maybe she'll do the baptizing.

"They're beautiful," she smiled. She held her own daughter close.

Tom: (Jo Ann) But not as beautiful as MINE.

Dot smiled, "Say hello to your cousins, Azura."

Mike: The baby let an earsplitting whine.
Tom: (Dot) There we go!

Azura gurgled happily.
Dot smiled.
Now, Paul, Marie, and Jason joined Dot and Bob. Jo Ann stepped back to let them through.
"Daddy?" Dot called out.
"I'm here, Dot," Paul smiled.
"Are they gorgeous?"

Crow: (Dot) Please. . . don't spare my feelings. . . give me the honest truth. . .
Tom: (Paul) Yes, they're both lovely, but Bob's saying that all that strenuous work you were doing may have caused severe --
Crow: (Dot) Oh, thank God they're beautiful. . .

"Yes, they are!"
Dot passed Jade to Jason and Rob to her own Daddy --the grandmothers had already hugged the new-borns.

Mike: And they were instantly bored.
Tom: (Darla) C'mon, Marie, let's get some Yahtzee going.

"This is so wonderful!" Jo Ann smiled, hugging her own baby to her. Wild Card hugged them both.
"Lots of babies..."
"Yes," she smiled.

Mike: Funny. I never resented babies before, but NOW. . .
Crow: (Shuddering) I know what you mean.

Andri and Enzo returned to the room; neither of them had much desire to stick around when Dot had gone into labor.
"Boy or girl?" Andri asked.

Crow: (Andri) Oh my GOD...

Bob grinned.

Mike: Bob...has some parental issues here.

"Both?!" Enzo exclaimed.
"Yep! Twins!"

Crow: (Enzo, incredulously) Twins? In a ReBoot fic?
Tom: (Bob) Shocking, isn't it?

Andri zoned in on the group of grandparents.
"Enzo; Andri; Come and say hello to Jade and Rob," Darla said.
Andri smiled at them, "C'mon Enzo!"
Enzo followed Andri to the babies.
"Ohmi!" Andri exclaimed,

Mike: There's an interesting word.
Tom: "Ohmi"! Try it out on your friends!

"Rob looks sooooooo much like Bob!"

Crow: (Andri) It's actually freaky. Please hide the baby from me now.

"Doesn't he, though!" Marie smiled.
Andri nodded.
Now, Angel, Drak and the Sunnydale group went up to see the babies.

Mike: (Buffy, whining) But Giiiiles. . . I don't WANNA look at any more babies!
Crow: (Giles) Neither do I but we should try to be polite to out hosts.
Mike: (Buffy) But there's two of them and I haven't gotten to stake ANYTHING yet!
Crow: (Giles) Buffy, since when does your opinion of Slaying seem to coincide with Faith's?
Mike: (Buffy) Ever since the fic started.
Crow: (Giles, sighing) That explains so much doesn't it?

Angel smiled at them.

Mike: (Angel) Mmm. Tiny blood banks.

"Jade looks like you, Dot." Drak smiled.
"She does," Willow agreed

Tom: (Cordeila) Why am I even IN this fic? I don't have any lines anymore!
Mike: (Buffy) You hear something?
Crow: (Dot) Must be the wind.

Both babies gurgled at the newcomers.
"They're just beautiful..."
Jade started to cry.

Mike: We know, we know. . . they're repeating themselves. We see it too.
Crow: Poor, defenseless baby.

Dot took her daughter and cradled her gently, "Shh..."
Bob gently scanned her. "She's hungry," he said.
Dot smiled.
"Will you nurse her, like Jo does Azura?" Bob asked.
"Of course..."
"Here," Monitor said, handing Dot a towel. "You may to do what Jo Ann did."

Mike: (Monitor) You many emulate our new leader in all her glory.

"Good idea," Dot grinned.

Crow: (Dot, bitterly) Especially since Jo Ann's banned bottle feeding in the System.

"When you are done nursing the babies, we should do the protection ritual," Jenny said.

Mike: (Jenny) You know. Now that we've already been attacked by viral guardians.

"Thank you, Jenny."
"I am happy to be of service, Dot," Jenny smiled.
Dot grinned, "I'd hug you but..."

Crow: (Dot) You know. Cooties.

"I know. That's alright.

Tom: (Jenny) The lice IS a bit unsettling.

Feed your children."
Andri and Enzo sat down on the window seat
"This is so wonderful!" Andri said to Enzo.

Crow: (Enzo, bored) I guess. Hey, wanna go jetballing?

"Yeah..." he smiled.
Jo Ann sat in a corner, nursing Azura. Wild Card stood nearby.

Mike: With him around, Jo Ann's REALLY going to need a butler.
Crow: (Wildcard) You rang, my buttercup of deliciously perfect sunny delight?
Mike: (Jo Ann) Yeah. Get me another hot dog.
Crow: (Wildcard) Anything my sweet, honey coated center of my existence.
Mike: (Jo Ann) Get me a beer too. Pilsner, not Molson this time you idiot.

"Everyone is so happy," Andri smiled.


"You happy?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I think I am..."

Tom: (Jo Ann) Let me get a few Bloody Maries in me, I'll get back to ya.

"Me, too!" Enzo smiled. He hugged her.
She hugged back.
Enzo gently stroked her hair

Mike: (Enzo) Preeeeety.
Crow: (Shuddering) Please stop that.

"Willow, could I talk to you for a nano?" Bob asked.
"Sure!" the red-head headed over to him.

Tom: (Bob) We need to pretend we're actually making progress on fighting the viruses. Got any projects we should have done a long time ago ready?
Mike: (Willow) Do I!

"I need you to set a file-lock on a couple of apartments here in the PO.

Crow: (Willow) Isn't the whole place already locked up though?
Tom: (Bob) Shh! Pad the fic! We need to pad the fic!

We are going to have move into larger quarters because of the babies."
"Sure thing!"
He motioned her over to the computer and brought up a blueprint of the PO.

Tom: (Bob) Hey wait- we have a swimming pool in here?
Mike: (Dot) Well, geez, what did we spend half the story in the kitchen for?

He showed her the location of the two apartments that needed the file-locks.
"All righty..." she smiled.
Bob smiled back at her.

Crow: (Bob, thinking) As soon as I get my new room I'm stealing Dot's leftover medication, locking the door, and listening to "The Bloodhound Gang" MP3's until I forget where I am.

"Could I have a computer interface?"
"Sure," Bob smiled.

Mike: Computer interface? What are they using NOW?
Crow: Filing cabinets?

He led her to the interface and she sat down and hacked away, forming a new file-lock.

Tom: Mouse looks on, bitter and forgotten.

Bob watched as Willow did her computer wizardry.

Crow: (Bob) Oooh. Sparkly lights.

"Bingo," she smiled.
"Thanks!" Bob smiled.
"No problem," Willow smiled.

Mike: And will you just look at that annoyingly parallel sentence structure!

"I also went ahead and put file-locks on all the living quarters, just to be safe," she added.
"Wonderful!" Bob smiled.

Tom: They must have "smiled" in their clipboard for easy access.
Mike: (Author) I need to show emotion? No problem! Just Ctrl-V another grin in there!

"Vid-windows are gonna be harder to keep out though.."
"We'll just have to deal with them," Bob sighed.
"They're harmless, though. Aren't they?"
"Yes. But having them pop-up is annoying."

Crow: The geocities reference, ladies and gentlemen.

"Can you put a mute button on the vid-windows or something?" he asked.
Willow laughed,

Tom: Why the HELL was that humorous?

"I'm not sure."

Tom: Then why did you laugh?!

"Could you please try, anyway?"
"I will..."
"Thanks," Bob smiled.
Willow laughed.

Tom: AUGH!
Crow: (Panting) We finished! Just. . . one more part.
Tom: Carry me. . .
Mike: (Picking Servo up) I always do.
Tom: (Whining) My tummy feels funny.
Mike: Shh. It's all right. We'll get you some Pepto bismol once we're out of here.

(We're back on the SOL bridge. Mike's pouring a nice big mug of pink stuff for Servo.)

Mike: There you go buddy.  (light starts flashing.)  Huh. Looks like the Mads are calling. Say, what ever happened to Bob?

Servo: I don't know.

(Cut to Hex's lair, where Pearl, Observer, and Hexadecimal are enjoying a nice cup of tea. Bobo runs past, chasing Scuzzy.)

Pearl: Hey Mike, listen. We're going to be staying with Hexadecimal for a while.

Hexadecimal: We just have so much in common, and besides, how can I turn away an old friend?

Pearl: Long and short of it is, you're on your own.

(Cut back to the SOL. The guys are shocked.)

Mike: On our own? You mean. . . you're releasing us?

Crow: Wow!

(Back to Hex's lair. Bobo runs past again, this time being chased by Scuzzy.)

Pearl: I'm gettin' tired of this running around the universe crap. I mean, this experiment has been going on ten years now, and it's not doing jack for me. Yeah, it's been fun watching you squirm in pain and everything, but it's time I started re-evaluating my whole world domination campaign. Now that I'm hookin' up with Hex here, I'm finally going to be cookin' with gas.

Hexadecimal: Well, actually, I'm not as interested in overthrowing Mainframe as I used to be. Ever since Bob cleansed me of my --

Pearl: (ignoring her) Anyway, I know we've been through a lot together, so to make this occasion a little more momentuous, we've prepared a little song. Brain Guy?

(Music begins to fill the room. It's "Touching Ballad" time.)

The time has come to say goodbye
The curtain falls, but don't you cry

We'll always have those little things
That spending time together brings

(She lets the note trill impossibly long, until it's obvious that she's lip-synching it. Observer comes in to do back-up)

The way you screamed (The way you screamed)
When we first met (When we first met)
The awful times I put you through, oh how could I forget?
(Oh whoa oh whoooo. . .)
I'm going to miss you.

(Doo. . . doo. . . whop. . . whop. . .)

Your foolish charm (Your foolish charm)
Your dopey face (Your dopey face)
The way you'd squirm when I sent you bad movies up in space
(Oh whoa oh whoooo. . .)
I'm going to miss you.

(Oh, oh, oh, ahhhhhh. . .)

On hot summer nights, I remember
You'd sweat with fear just thinking of my wrath

In the dark and coldness of December
I'll think about your endless pain and laugh

(Music slows.)

The curtains fall. . .
The show is through. . .
The ushers come and kick us out, and what are we to do?
(Ohhh. . . ohhhh. . . whoaaaaaa. . . whoooooo. . . )

(Long, silent pause.)

I'm going to miss you.

(Back on the SOL. Mike and the 'bots are sobbing.)

Mike: Pearl! No! Don't leave us!

Servo: We can change! Just tell us what we have to do!

Crow: What are we going to do now that we don't have Pearl to send us bad stories?

(It suddenly occurs to them. They stop crying.)

Servo: Huh.

Crow: Well. So, uh, goodbye then. See ya.

Mike: Hey, does this mean we don't have to finish today's story?

(Hex's lair. Pearl smiles and sighs wistfully.)

Pearl: I think I'll miss your stupid optimism most of all.

(Back on the SOL, where the lights and sirens are already going.)

Servo: D'oh!

Mike: You are going to hell for this.  You know that, right?

Crow: C'mon Mike!  Movie sign!

Click here to enter the theater