(Dot and the guys walk in and find their seats. Servo sniffles a little. Mike takes Crow's hat off.)

Crow: Don't you want to hear about the motel?
Mike: (darkly) Not right now.

Chapter 9
Unpleasant Meeting

Servo: I guess things didn't go too well with Colin and Mica.

Blade walked into her fifth system this hour. She had a sour look on her face.

Dot: (Blade) Spam it, these people don't have a pool either!

Her keytool still wasn't functioning right.

Servo: Completely different from anything that ever happened in Season 3.
Mike: . . . Actually, it isn't.
Servo: (insistently) Completely different.

She noticed a park bench nearby and sat down.

Crow: (Blade) My momma always said life is like a fanfic. It sucks, and then it's over.

She would never get used to Cursor not being there to wrap his arms around her shoulders.

Dot: And to bleed all over her in bed.

"How will I live without him?" she asked herself.

Servo: (Blade) Without his whining for food and medical attention? Without having to save his sorry butt at every turn?

"My whole world was made better by him,

Mike: Because. . . ?

and his very absence, makes it worse."

Crow: (Blade) What am I going to use for a footrest? Who will I turn to for weepy Daemon stories?

She sighed longingly and shut her eyes. They soon snapped open again with pride. "I have to move on. I have a quest to carry out

Dot: (Blade) They didn't call this story "The Girl Who Mopes About the Ineffectual Love Interest"! No! They called it "The Quest"!

and no one will stop me. Not even Daemon. She closed her eyes again

Servo: Is she still talking?
Mike: She forgot a quote. Let it slip.

and flashbacks of her and Cursor raced through her mind.

(Crow hums "My Guy" as Mike narrates.)

Mike: Remember when he held you up at the front of the Titanic? Or when you escaped from that runaway train that terrorist hijacked? Or when you were eating spaghetti in an alley and you both had the same noodle in your mouth and then he rolled a meatball at you with his nose?

A tear set in her eye but she had too much pride to let it fall. She raised herself from the bench.

Dot: (Blade) Well, the sooner I fulfill my destiny, the sooner I get wimp boy back.

It's funny that she would think about Daemon,

Servo: It's funny because she killed her parents! Hee hee!

for as soon as Blade got up, a growling noise surfaced from behind her.

Crow: Still, nice of whatever antagonistic thing this is to warn her and give her an opportunity to escape ten minutes before it attacked.

Blade froze with fear. She knew the distant cackle far too well.

Mike: (Blade) Oh my God, it's Mom!

It was the owner of that cackle who deleted her parents and almost took Cursor away from her.

Dot: Debbie.


Dot: Oh, her.

She feared her more than anything. Even if she didn't show it.

Servo: 'Cause she's really brave 'n stuff.

The creature put a black claw on her shoulder and

Crow: Infected her! C'mon!

spun her around. Blade jumped even though she knew exactly who it was. "Nice to see you again, guardian!" the creature rasped,

Mike: (Daemon) Mind if I toy with you, allowing you an opportunity to ellude me yet again?

"Where is your little body guard now?"

Blade ripped away

Servo: Her arm.

soon enough that Daemon's wide slash missed her by half an inch.

Servo: Still, now her arm was gone, but. . .

"Switch! Photon beam!" The ray hit Daemon straight in the gut. It did nothing but weaken her very slightly.

Dot: Just punch her again!

Daemon screamed with fury and ran towards Blade who was paralyzed in fear. Without Cursor, she was as good as deleted.

Crow: (Blade) Man, I wish I had another human shield right now!

Daemon stopped in front of her, grinned and extended one of her razor sharp claws.

Servo: See, it's Daemon, not Megabyte, so the scene carries a completely different tone.
Mike: Okay, fine, just drop it already!

Before Blade could run or even breathe, Daemon ripped through Blade's flesh effortlessly.

Dot: So. . . some more of this, huh?

Blade wailed in agony and fell to the ground.

Crow: (Blade) Man, Cursor made this look so easy!

She gasped for breath and stood again. She stood tall with pride despite her the throbbing pain in her stomach.

Servo: (Blade) Suck it in. . . rise above it. . .

She reached for her pistol

Mike: (Blade) I've got it! I'll try fighting back!

soon enough to see the balls of fire emit from Daemon's hands and strike her in the face.

Crow: It hurt. A lot.

She cried out again.

Dot: (Blade) My contacts melted to my eyes!

Her cry ended on a note of rage.

(Servo belts out a perfect E flat.)

She drew her pistols rapidly and fired.

Mike: No!


Mike: Wow!

They struck Daemon in the chest sending her sprawling backwards.

Crow: (Daemon) This always happens when I try attacking someone. Maybe I should assemble some sort of army to do my bidding. Nah. . .

A weak smile crossed Blade's face.

Dot: (Blade) Of course! Violence is the answer! Why didn't I think of it before?

The smile faded when she saw Daemon Daemon

Servo: Daemon's so nice she looked at her twice!

standing up, fine. Daemon sent a coil around Blade's foot,

Mike: Daemon used Wrap!

which would not allow her to move. She grabbed Blade's keytool and crumpled it in her hand.

Servo: Which is unlike anything that has ever happened ever in the entire --
Mike: (touching Servo's shoulder) Okay, you made your point.

Daemon wrapped her arm around Blade's throat and squeezed.

Crow: (Daemon) Infect her? Nah. . . Roast her alive with fireballs? Nah. . . Let's just do this one the old-fashioned way.

Blade shut her eyes and waited for the pain to stop.

Dot: (Blade) If I just ignore her, maybe she'll stop strangling me.

Daemon lifted Blade up in the air.

Servo: Behold the only thing greater than yourself!

Daemon extended her claws again as Blade flailed helplessly in the air. She smiled grimly and stabbed Blade two times before dropping her.

Mike: If only Cursor was there!
Crow: Yeah!
Mike: Daemon would've been too busy laughing at him to have done any of this!

The sight of Blade's limp body made Daemon

Dot: Repent?

laugh cruelly.

Dot: Oh. Of course.

She disappeared in a cloud of smoke then and the world was peaceful once again despite Blade's near fatality.

Crow: Or because of it.
Servo: (Daemon) Now for my brilliant plan to let her recuperate so she can kill me! AHAHAHAHA!

Chapter 10
Time Drones On

Mike: You don't say!

The next thing Blade knew was that she was surrounded by a mass of binomes, standing over her.

Crow: And the lawyers immediately offer to represent her against her insurance company.

She tried to move but

Dot: She was sliced in half, which made it hard.

the pain was racking up in every part of her body. She glanced over to see her keytool trying to attach itself to her wrist.

Servo: Like a leech!

It was so badly mangled that it could not even be placed there. With no one in this system to help her, the chances of survival were almost void.

Mike: Doodly doodly doop -- (Blade) I'm better!

She shut her eyes again as her world went black.

Crow: (singing) Her intentions fall. . . to the floor. . .


When she awoke, she was in a small room. She squinted at first, for the lights were blinding.

Crow: (singing) And all the lights that light the way are blinding. . .
Mike: Okay. . .

Soon she got used to them.

Dot: Even liked them!

A small sprite that looked somewhat like Phong

Servo: (darkly) Is that any way to treat your twin brother. . . Long?

(Crow giggles hysterically.)

came whizzing into the room. It stopped next to her and plugged a little device into her keytool.

Mike: (Blade) Hey, a Worm Light! Thanks!

It became anew and started functioning properly. Blade smiled meekly. Her whole body was numb except her face.

Servo: And she was totally motionless except for her heart.

A couple hours went by until she could feel again

Dot: Of course, most of what she felt was pain.

and was almost completely healed. The little sprite was actually a relative of Phong's.

Servo: (Long) Yeah, I'm the cousin to the uncle of his son's niece's brother.

She had learned a lot about this system

Mike: Their favorite pasttime was watching bug zappers and their national bird was the frisbee.

and the thought to stay here actually crossed her mind. "No," she thought

Dot: (Blade) They don't have a diner.

" I must keep going. This is the quest I can't fail."

Crow: (Blade) I must give some guy I don't know a piece of paper even if it kills me!

Not that much time had passed before she was ready to go.

Servo: If you don't count the eighteen months spent in a coma.

She had changed in many ways.

Mike: Now she breathed through a slit in her neck!

Since her keytool was working great, she decided to go back for Cursor and then go to Mainframe.

Dot: But. . . didn't he want to stay in the Diamond City?

Chapter 11
Bad News

Crow: There's eight more chapters to go.

Blade walked towards the principal office of the Diamond City.

Servo: (Blade, disgusted) Debbie just had to tell them about the cigarettes. Two months detention, why I oughtta. . .

She had the widest grin on her face. She would be able to fulfill both destinies.

Mike: Fulfill one destiny, get the next one free!

She admired the system

Dot: (Blade) Pretty.

before she reached the door to the news that would change her life forever.

Crow: 90210 had finally been laid to rest.

The nano she walked in the door, Giga-Girl came running at her full force.

Servo: (Giga-Girl) Catch me!

"Blade!" she squealed. She threw her arms around Blade and almost bowled her over.

Mike: It wasn't until then that Blade noticed the men with the brass knuckles.
Crow: (Blade) Uh, Gig? You're holding me kinda tight -- AUGH! OOF! Oh, my kidneys!

When she finally let go, Blade looked around the room. "Where's Mr. Bad attitude?" she crooned.

Dot: (Blade) I was really looking forward to hearing him bitch again.

(Everyone looks at Dot, shocked.)

Dot: (defensively) What? The guy's a jerk.

"Oh. He turned out to be a virus.

Crow: (Giga-Girl) He turned out to be the Bitch virus.
Mike: Crow. . .
Crow: (indignantly) How come Dot can say it?
Mike: She's our guest. Now shush.

He's been deleted. Yup,"

Servo: (Giga-Girl) Dahhh, yup yup yup.

she replied, "Let me show you around."

Mike: (Giga-Girl) See? We got a new fooseball table.

She introduced Blade to everyone in the principal office.

Dot: (Blade) Uh, yeah, I've sort of been here before, remember?

After they had greeted her properly, Giga-Girl took her by the arm and led her into an empty room.

Crow: (Giga-Girl) And here's the basement. We should really stop ending the tour here.

"So where's Cursor?" Blade questioned. Giga-Girl hung her head.

Servo: (Giga-Girl) Uh, remember when we got you that goldfish, honey?

Oh no, Blade thought as she watched giga-girl. "Where is he?" Blade squeaked.

Dot: (annoyed) Is he deleted now too? Everyone's dead in this story!
Crow: Welcome to "dark" fic.

"When two sprites came here, he was trying to save one of them and he…he…

Mike: (Giga-girl) Umm, we took him to a farm. Where he'll be happy.

he got deleted."

Giga-girl ended her story in tears. Blade started laughing.

Crow: The first stage of grief: hysterical laughter.

"Ha! Very funny.

Servo: Nothing like a good "dead boyfriend" joke to lighten up the mood!

No really where is he?" Giga-Girl just stared at the ground.

Dot: (Giga-Girl) Dear User, she's thick.


Mike: Shoes.


Servo: Shirt.


Crow: Service.

This can't happen." Blade started walking backwards terrified.

Dot: The second stage of grief: abject terror.

"We were supposed to go to Mainframe together!

Servo: (Blade) Get a sheep and a goat and raise horses!

It can't be!" Blade shouted.

Mike: Are you forgetting who you're talking about?
Crow: I'm surprised he survived five minutes without Blade to wipe his nose for him.

Giga-Girl put her hand on her shoulder but she spun away and marched out of the room.

Dot: (Giga-Girl) Hey, no, wait, it really was a joke! Blade! Blade?

She ran out of the principal office and onto the street.

Servo: (Blade) Still, can't neglect my mid-day jog.

She ran out near where she and Cursor had come here the first time. She brushed her hand across the ground

Mike: (Blade) At least I still have you, patch of dirt.

where had walked and longed for it all to be a bad dream. The tears came freely now.

Crow: Yeah, boo hoo.

She didn't try to hide them because of pride.

Dot: (Blade, sobbing) I'm beginning to find this joke less amusing!

She had no pride. Without him she was nothing.

Mike: (singing) Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. . .

The wind blew her hair and droned out the words so that she couldn't even hear them. "I shouldn't have made you go."

Servo: Uh, he left on his own.

Blade took the flower from her hair and threw it on the ground.

Dot: (Blade) What the. . . how long have I had this stuck here?

She hung her head and sobbed.

She stayed there for about a minute. She knew that despite what she wanted to do,

Crow: Get some nachos.

she couldn't give up on her quest.

Mike: Yes! Enzo Matrix will receive his GED!

Again she was obligated. No one came for her to help her, or even to say goodbye.

Servo: (Giga-Girl) Now guys, she's feeling a little down right now, I think we should give her some time to sort out her -- Hey! She left! She didn't even say goodbye!

She was alone once again. Not for long though.

Dot: Why, is Daemon coming to maul her again?

Switch was functioning perfectly. She could go to Mainframe now. Though only now, it won't be rewarding.

Crow: The pizza was a half hour late, and the prospects of a tip were nil.

She commanded switch to stabilize the tear

Mike: (Blade) C'mon, stabilificitizate this thing and let's go.

she had opened and set it to Mainframe. She sighed wearily and shut her eyes as she walked through the portal.

Servo: (Blade) Yeah, yeah, free your mind, follow the white rabbit, whatever.

Chapter 12

Blade's destiny had come true, finally.

Dot: And it's about time, too!
Crow: Well, if her destiny's ten minutes late, the next one's free!

She stood in the center of a system and looked around her. To her left was a giant 8 ball on top of a pillar.

Mike: When'd they put that on the Principle Office?
Servo: Okay, so maybe not the exact center. . .

Right in front of her was the one sight she had hoped to see for a very long time.

Dot: A diner, a motel, and a dry cleaner!

Bob and about 5 other

Crow: Extras.

sprites were racing towards her.

Mike: (Blade) Aye, they be after me lucky charms!

She looked behind her to notice a tear.

Servo: (Blade) Pretty.

Bob stopped short at the sight of her

Dot: (Bob) Hey, it's that jerk who skipped in front of me at the Guardian academy!

and nearly fell off his zip-board. He regained his balance and stared at her in awe.

Crow: (Bob) Wow, a Mary Sue! Let's have sex!

She put her hands on her hips and stared back.

Mike: (Blade) Why hasn't he draped himself on me yet? It's been five seconds.

"Blade?" he questioned in awe. Blade nodded her

Servo: Feet!

head. Bob started walking towards her and broke into a run

Servo: (Blade) No! Down Dino! Take it easy boy!

(Crow makes Dino sounds.)

with sheer disbelief on his face.

Dot: (Bob) Yay! The pizza's here!

Blade walked forward and met him halfway. She sighed wearily and threw her arms around him.

Mike: (Blade) I'm the author's avatar, and even I realize how hollow this is.

He did the same. Dot stood back with a skeptical look on her face.

Dot: That doesn't look like the pizza girl. . .

"Look at you." Bob laughed,

Crow: (Blade) Okay, get me a mirror.

"I can't believe you're here!"

"Neither can I," Blade sighed.

Servo: (Blade) Man, this system sucks! I mean, I knew it'd be old and everything, but. . .

Bob introduced her to Mouse, Ray, Dot, Enzo, AndrAIa, and Matrix. "We could be twins!" AndrAIa chirped.

Mike: (AndrAIa) Cool! The author just scanned a picture of me, changed the hair color, and called her Blade!

Blade laughed. It was extremely hard for her but she faked one.

Dot: (AndrAIa) Oh, don't patronize me.

"So why are you here?" Dot asked in an irritated manner.

Crow: (Dot, irritated) And why am I being so mischaracterized all of a sudden?

"Well", Blade stated, "I actually have something for Matrix." Matrix's eyes widened with surprise.

Servo: (Matrix) Please say it's my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, oh please oh please oh please. . .

"You see, since you retrieved Bob from the Web, they've upgraded you to a level 30 Guardian."

Mike: (Blade) You get five more hit points, and your THAC0 goes down by two.
Dot: So "they" would be the infected Guardian collective at this point, right?

Matrix actually smiled,

Crow: Uh oh. Run. Fast.

which was a rare sight to see. Blade handed him the diploma

Servo: Okay, so what about the Tin Man's heart and the Cowardly Lion's courage?

and pulled something off her belt. "Here," she added. She handed Matrix a keytool.

Dot: Wait a nano. . . So she had another keytool with her? What was that whole "I can't just go to Mainframe because Switch is broken" thing about?

Matrix's grin widened further. "What's this for?" he grunted.

Mike: (Matrix) Duhhhh. . . are there rabbits in it, George?

"I received it along time ago.

Crow: Sorry we forgot to mention that before.

Unfortunately though, it's like they say. The keytool picks its owner."

Dot: I'm sure the keytool wouldn't be so rude that it wouldn't help her reach its new owner.

With that, the keytool flew to Matrix's wrist and stuck.

Servo: (Matrix) I'll call you "Mini Gun".

Blade nodded with an artificial smile.

Mike: (Blade) Yeah. Great. Listen, just sign for it so I can get out of here.

They walked to the diner where Blade told them everything.

Crow: (Blade) . . . So then, the next day, I woke up, ate a piece of toast, brushed my teeth, spent about a half hour cleaning the gunk out from under my nails. . .

Except for Cursor. She started to tell them about it but her eyes filled with sorrow and she skipped over it.

Dot: I wish we could've skipped over it.
Mike: Well said.

"So how do you and Bob know each other?" Dot asked. She obviously was suspicious towards the newcomer.

Servo: Because of the obvious way she was obviously trying to steal Bob from her.

Between sips of a Quantum shake Blade explained, "Bob and

Crow: Sip.

I were best

Crow: Sip.


Crow: Sip.

in the super

Crow: Sip.

computer." Bob looked over at her and smiled.

Mike: (Bob) Duhhh, we were friends.

Dot frowned

Servo: (Dot) He is getting such a beating for this!

and looked down at her shake. Blade went on as the sprites asked her questions about her travels.

Dot: (Enzo) Did you see any bears?
Crow: (Matrix) Where are we now?
Mike: (Bob) What happened during that long part you skipped over right after you got out of jail?

She spoke on as the grief surfaced and bubbled up in her body.

Servo: (Blade) Oh no! I didn't take my Zantac!

It was choking her. She thought that in any minute, she would break down. Explode.

Dot: (Blade) It's so unnerving when that "Service Engine Soon" light goes on. . .

If only Cursor was here with her.

Crow: Then she'd have someone to praise her!

It wasn't supposed to go this way.

Mike: (Blade) That's not fair! I'm the star of this story!

No matter how nice Bob was to her, she didn't fit in.

Dot: What, did she expect everyone to befriend her in five nanoes?
Crow: Yes.

It was extremely awkward.

An announcer's voice broke Blade's concentration.

Servo: (Blade) Hey, do you mind? I'm trying to be put-upon here!

"Warning, incoming

Mike: Cold front?


Mike: Ah.

Warning incoming game." Blade got up instinctively and started to walk towards the door. Dot put a hand on her shoulder and pushed her back into the seat.

Crow: (Dot) Finish your peas!

"Sorry," she laughed, "We don't need your help."

Dot: Ummm. . . what?

Bob shrugged and put an arm around Dot's shoulder as they walked out the swinging doors.

Servo: (Bob) She's right. Another Guardian probably wouldn't be useful.
Dot: Now, is this something you see me as? Do you think I'm rude?
Crow: Actually, I think they're going for "Jealous Dot" here. Bob has expressed vague interest in another female, so you're being a jerk at her.
Dot: (shocked) I'm not like that! Where'd they get the idea --
Mike: Well, there was that whole thing with Mouse. . .
Dot: That was completely different.
Servo: Just try to remember it's not really you up there and let it go; you can't hold onto this stuff or it'll drive you crazy.

Blade glared at Dot's back as she walked away.

Servo: (Blade) You're just lucky Cursor's not here to glare at you with me!

She got out of the booth and sat at the counter. She rested her head on her hand and shut her eyes.

Crow: (Blade) Well, got that destiny done at least. Guess I'll just kick around till I'm destined to deliver something else.

Great, she thought, Just great! I finally get where I was going and I don't fit in.

Mike: (Blade) I wonder if I'm reading too much into the whole deliverer/recipient relationship. Nah. . .

I have nowhere else to go! She slammed her fist on the counter, which caused Cecil to

Dot: Kick her whiny bitmap out the door.

come zipping over to her. "Eez zere anyzing you need madamoiselle?" The normally unfriendly waiter seemed to favor her.

(Chuckles from the crew.)

Dot: What?
Servo: Oh geez. . . When Cecil instantly likes your character, you've gone too far.

"No thank you, Cecil."

"I see zee madame doesn't approve of you," he pointed out.

Crow: (Cecil) What are you going to do, cry about it?

"I know." Blade shrugged, "I think she thinks that I'm trying to steal Bob or something."

"Ah. You are probably correct, mizz," he acknowledged,

Mike: (Cecil) She has become razzer cautious around Mary Sues.

" Iz there anyzing I can do to help?"

Dot: (Cecil) Keep in mind that it'll have to stay in the realm of serving food.

"No thanks, Cecil."

With that, Cecil nodded and zipped away to wait on another customer.

Servo: (Cecil) Just thought I'd give "being polite" one more try. Well, back to hating people.

Chapter 13

Crow: This story! Thank you, good night!

"Oh man!" Enzo laughed, " I can't believe the user could be so basic!" Bob laughed as well, giving Enzo a playful punch on the shoulder.

Mike: (Enzo) Oww! That's still tender from my tatoo!

Enzo stopped laughing when he caught a glimpse of Blade in the diner.

Dot: (Enzo) Why's the pizza girl still here?

"What's eating her?" he asked, directing everyone's attention to the woman sitting at the bar, glumly tapping a straw on the counter.

Crow: (Blade) This destiny sucks. I think I'm just going to return the unused portion.

Dot frowned and rolled her eyes.

Servo: (Dot) Is she still upset about me being a jerk to her for no reason? What a baby.

Bob shook his head and headed for the diner. Everyone else followed.

Mike: (someone) Yay! We're going to see the depressed lady!

Blade heard footsteps behind her and turned around slowly. Bob took a seat next to her at the bar. "Well it's getting kinda dark," he commented.

Dot: (Bob) You planning on going home or anything?

"You're going to need somewhere to spend the night. Do we have an empty room in the PO?"

Crow: (Blade) How should I know?

"No!" Dot barked quickly.

(Chuckles from the crew.)

Servo: (Dot) And we don't have any food for her either! And who's been giving her oxygen?

Blade got up and walked towards the door. "I'll find somewhere to stay myself," she said,

Mike: (Blade, challengingly) Or doesn't your system have a motel?

directing a glare at Dot. Dot glared back and smiled when she walked out the door.

Crow: (Dot) Ha! Teach her to expect hospitality!

Bob sighed and walked away.


Blade finally found her way to Kits Sector in which Bob no longer lived. She took an apartment room and told herself that she was going to find a way to survive without Cursor.

Dot: (Blade) It'll be just like when he was here, only less whiney!

She lay in bed thinking for most of the night.

Servo: (Blade) But if the can came before the canopener, how'd they get it open?

Eventually, when trying to log-off failed, she headed into the kitchen and sat at the table.

Mike: (Blade) I wonder if Taco Bell's open. I could go for some nachos.

There was no one in the system to help her.

Crow: Did they all move out?

Actually there was no one in the net to help her.

Servo: (mockingly) Oh, look at me, I'm Blade, nobody loves me, blah blah blah.

Bob may be her best friend but it was different now.

Dot: Now he was brain-dead and completely whipped by a hostile version of me.

Much different. Bob would never go against Dot,

Mike: Unless he thought he could get away with it.

so that left Blade alone as she normally always was.

Servo: Why doesn't she try befriending one of the characters who doesn't have a vengeful girlfriend?

All this thinking was getting Blade quite depressed.

Crow: Yeah, boo hoo. We've got problems too, lady!

She checked the wall clock and found that it was almost time for the diner to open.

Dot: (Blade) Well, better get over there and start feeling left out again.

Maybe today held new surprises.

Mike: Hmmm. . . no.

Like for example, Dot giving her a chance.

Servo: Or Blade doing something besides feel sad about Cursor.

Or Bob defending her.

Crow: Or Blade defending her own stupid self.

She didn't exactly know why she would head for the diner if she didn't belong there, but then again, where did she belong?

Dot: (Blade) Well, everyone there hates me, but I've got to be depressed around someone.


Blade sat at the bar in the diner as Bob walked in. For the first time ever,

Crow: His hair was perfect.

Dot wasn't right behind him.

Servo: Hey, how'd he break his leash?

He took a seat next to her and put a hand on her shoulder. "What's processing?" he interrogated.

Mike: (Bob) You didn't meet some guy who looked like me and got killed, did you?

"Nothing much." Blade answered glumly. Bob smiled warmly and asked her what he missed while he was gone,

Dot: (Blade) How should I know? I wasn't here either.

and what she had been doing.

They stayed in the diner, talking for a little while longer,

Servo: (Blade) Water sure is wet, huh?
Crow: (Bob) Yeah. . .

until Dot came storming in and announced that Daemon was nearing the system and tears were forming all over the system.

Mike: Umm, exuse me? Have you never heard of knocking, young lady?

She stopped short in her tracks when she saw Blade sitting next to Bob at the bar.

Dot: Does she have a job or anything? Where's she getting the money for this?

She glared at her and motioned for Bob to come with her.

Servo: (Dot) You are getting such a spanking!

" If you don't mind," he commented, "Blade is a very experienced guardian and may be able to help us."

Crow: (Dot) I mind greatly. Why?

Dot nodded miserably

Mike: (Dot) But keep fifteen layers of clothes between you at all times!

and the three headed for the Principal office.

"You may want to stay out of the way Blade." Dot snarled, " It might get scary."

Servo: (Blade) Don't worry; I've gotten in fights with Daemon before.
Dot: I meant me.

"I think I can handle it," Blade shot back calmly. Dot glared at her

Crow: (Dot) How dare she handle it!

until a message popped open on the screen of the principal office control core.

Mike: MAKE $50,000 IN 90 DAYS!!!!!!!

Bob and most of the other sprites were out, trying to get the tears mended, leaving Dot, Blade, and Phong in the Principal office.

Dot: Why wasn't Blade out mending tears?
Servo: She was on break.

Bob walked in notifying the two that the tears were under control.

Crow: Unfortunately, they were under Daemon's control, but still. . .

Dot had a terrified look on her face and squeaked, "I don't know what happened. The control panel just froze up."

Mike: (Dot) Quick! Where's the "any" key?

Blade gasped in fear as she caught a glimpse at the screen. She shoved Dot out of the way

Dot: Why, certainly, you can take a look at it. Thanks for asking.

and sat down. Dot started advancing towards her but Bob stopped her.

Servo: (Bob) Author avatar. Don't resist.

"She knows what she's doing," he whispered, as to not break Blade's concentration.

Dot: (indignantly) She could've said please.

Blade was typing in some sort of code so fast that her fingers made a blur over the keyboard.

Crow: Now there's a cool mutant power.

"What does it mean?" Bob asked, breaking the silence.

"It's a message from Daemon." She cringed at the name.

Mike: 'Cause she's evil and stuff.

"She's opening the tears." She typed even faster to open the message.

Dot: Quick! It's getting away!

"It reads…

Servo: (Blade) Surrender. . . Dorothy. . .

Deliver your guardians or I will retrieve them by myself. I opened the tears as a sign of what will come if I don't have your guardians.

Crow: So she sent the threat in secret code? What if they hadn't been able to crack it?
Mike: (Daemon) What's taking so long for them to deliver the Guardians? Maybe I should just start sending those things in plain DOS. . .

All three of them." Bob jumped as the last of the message was read.

Dot: (Bob) Hooray!

" She knows you're here. " Bob gasped. Blade nodded.

Servo: (Blade) Yeah, she sort of followed me here. Sorry about that. (normal) Let's get out of here.

(Everyone gets up.)

"So what do we do?" Dot asked.

"When she comes here," Blade replied, "I'll be ready.

Crow: (on the way out) I'll be long gone, suckers.

(We're on the bridge, which is back to normal. Dot sits by herself behind the bridge, going over the ship's schematics.)

Dot: (muttering to herself) Then the control line runs down through the encoder and into. . . the mess hall?

(Tom and Crow peek up from behind the desk. Dot stops, but when she glances in their direction, they've hidden again. Dot shrugs and goes back to the schematic.)

Dot: Who designed this thing? Why would the control line end in. . . (she squints) No, wait, that's the cheese compression line. (She holds the paper up in front of her face. The bots start coming up again.) How are you supposed to read this thing? There's no scrollbars, no 3-D rotation options, no --

(She stops short and looks at the spot where the robots were just a second ago. A bit put off, she returns to the diagram.)

Dot: Right. . . So if we. . .

(The bots start coming up again. Dot finally catches them.)

Dot: Okay, what? What do you want?

Crow: (embarassed) Oh. . . umm. . . heh. . .

Servo: (also embarassed) It's just. . . uh. . .

Crow: We don't mean to pry. . .

Servo: It's just, you know, we've seen and read so much about you on the show and in fanfics and everything, and it's just, well. . . there's so many things we want to know about you.

Dot: (laying aside the papers, actually a bit flattered) Well, I've always got time for my fans. What did you want to know?

(The bots get excited and Crow ducks down a bit.)

Servo: Okay, great! Umm. . . what was the name of your first pet?

Dot: (thoughtfully) Let's see. . . Oh! When I was 01, I had this cute little hamster. He was all puffy and brown and he had this little white stripe behind his head. I made this little maze for him out of tubes, and he was always running around --

Servo: (interrupting) The name, please.

Dot: (startled) Uh, Wizzywig.

Crow: How do you spell that?

Dot: W-I-Z-Z-Y-W-I-G.

Crow: (whispering to Tom) No.

Servo: Okay, umm. . . Oh! Who is your favorite band?

Dot: Well, I actually like a lot of different kinds of music. There's this one band I saw in concert back when Enzo was just a baby. I can't think of their name, but they played this one song. . . (starts humming it, half-remembering)

Servo: (impatient) Okay, okay, uhhh. . . Who was your first boyfriend?

Dot: (considering) Well, I don't know if you'd call him a boyfriend, but I sort of had a crush on this guy in my Fortran class, Larry Raster. (smiling at herself) I thought he was so cool because he had this tatoo of a heart with a dagger through it on his shoulder -- (suddenly thoughtful) Or was that Mac Gordon? I always got those two mixed up because --

Crow: (irritated) Well could you make up your mind!

Servo: (trying to keep Dot from catching on) No, no, umm, if you can't remember, that's okay! (severely, to Crow) You want to blow our cover? (pleasantly again, to Dot) Sooo, umm, how about your favorite actor? Who's your favorite actor?

Dot: (wary) I don't have one.

Crow: (whispering to Servo) This isn't working!

Servo: (whispering to Crow) Well, you try asking her something!

Crow: (whispering to Servo) Okay! (normally, to Dot) Umm, what's your favorite word?

Dot: What?

Servo: (harshly, to Crow) No!

Dot: Hey, what's that? (She takes her organizer away from Crow and looks at it.) You've been trying to figure out my password!

(The bots laugh nervously.)

Crow: Well, see, umm, we just were, uh, trying to --

Servo: Cheese it!

(The bots scatter. Lights and sirens go. Dot ignores them.)

Dot: (chasing them off) Come back here!

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