(We're in the theater. Mike and the bots are in their places as Dot walks in. The bots are whistling innocently. Servo edges away nervously as Dot sits down next to him.)

Dot: I'll deal with you later. . .

Chapter 14
Breaking point

Now everyone was in the principal office.

Mike: The aftermath of the student walk-out demonstration.

Dot rolled her eyes in disgust.

Servo: (Dot) Man, when am I going to be characterized correctly?

She walked over to Bob and put her hand on his chest. "Don't go Bob.

Dot: It'll make it harder for me to keep you under constant surveillance.

I can't lose you." Bob looked down at her and smiled.

Crow: (Bob) Duh. . . you're a lady.

Blade got off the computer and stood watching them with her arms folded over her chest. " Pathetic." She whispered under her breath.

Mike: (Blade) It's so sad watching a woman get so emotional over the life of a loved one. . . oh, wait. . .

Obviously Dot heard her and walked toward her. "You don't know what it's like to lose someone you love!" she shouted.

"Actually I do," Blade replied softly.

Servo: (Dot, second-grader) Do not!
Crow: (Blade, second-grader) Do so!

Dot kept glaring at her. "I doubt it!" she barked, "Have you ever had o deal with the fact that someone you love might be deleted?"

Dot: (Blade) Funny you should mention that. . .

"Nope." Blade replied.

"That's just what I figured!" Dot snarled. Before she could continue, Blade's eyes filled with rage and emotion. Everyone was watching them now.

Servo: Whoo! Chick fight!

"No!" she wailed, "I don't know what it would be like to think that a loved one is deleted.

Mike: (Dot) Well, then what are you --

I've known they were deleted.

Mike: (Dot) Oh.

I've never been so unhappy in my life! How about my entire family deleted!

Dot: I'll see your family and raise you a sister city!

There was just one little detail I left out in my story!"

Crow: (Blade) I got a hangnail about a week ago, but it's feeling much better now!

Her eyes welled up with tears, "I met someone named Cursor!

Servo: (Blade) I forgot his first name! It's not important!

We fell in love! He stayed back at one of the systems and when I came back he was DEAD! I NEED HIM!"

Servo: (Holly) Well, he's no good for you now. Not unless it snows and you need something to grit the path.

she cried. The tears were pouring freely from her eyes now.

Mike: The new Blade action figure, with new "super crying" action!

"Do you have any idea how I feel?

Dot: Well, yeah, now that you've actually told me what's bothering you!

I don't love Bob!

Servo: (Bob, shocked) What?

I'm not a threat to you! I will never love again!

Crow: And Bob runs from the room in tears.

Have you ever waken up and known that Bob was deleted? That you didn't have anything to live for anymore?"

Dot: (matter-of-factly) I've still got my "ships in a bottle" collection.

Blade turned to the door in tears as everyone around her watched in awe.

(Everyone makes "oooo" "ahhhhhh" sounds like at a fireworks show.)

Bob was the first to react. He walked over to her and put his hand her shoulder. "Could you possibly be any more cruel, Dot?" he glared.

Mike: (Bob) You're embarassing me in front of the prom queen!

Dot hung her head in shame and left for the diner.

Servo: She went to order a shake. . . in shame.


Blade finally regained control of her emotions.

Crow: Four months after the battle with Daemon.

The only sprites still in the room were her, Bob, Matrix, and AndrAIa.

Dot: The planning for Daemon's imminent attack was postponed so Blade could work out her emotions.

Matrix walked forward sorrowfully. "I was the sprite that he pushed out of the way so that I lived and… and…he didn't." Matrix hung his head.

Mike: (Matrix, sobbing) Dammit, I should've been wearing a red shirt! Why? WHY?

"He was a great guy, huh?" Blade commented. Both AndrAIa and Matrix nodded.

Servo: (AndrAIa) But his voice was really annoying for some reason.

Chapter 15

Everything was quiet in Mainframe.

Crow: The User hadn't replaced the batteries in his speakers yet.

Dot and Blade hadn't seen each other for a while. Blade seemed to be sick.

Dot: What else is new?

She just stayed in her apartment and slept.

Mike: (Bob) You maybe wanna come out here and help us fight off Daemon? Umm, hello?
Servo: (male voice) This is your landlord. If I don't see some rent by tomorrow, I'm calling the cops!

She got sicker and paler every minute. She slept most of the time and not many people visited her.

Crow: Since not many people knew her, and those who did were kind of uncomfortable after that scene in the Principle Office.

The reality of Cursor's death had just settled in.

Dot: Oh, so that whole bit where she was caressing a patch of dirt was from before it sunk in?

She had nightmares over and over again

Crow: (Blade) Where is my lunch? . . . No! . . . Why is Gary sleeping with a Mewtwo? . . . Why won't those bicycles stop pulling out in front of me? . . .

about what she would do when Daemon came again. The only way to kill her would be to evaporate her and Switch could do that.

Servo: And. . . she didn't do this before because. . . ?

The only problem was that the odds of pulling it off were slim. Daemon was so quick that she wasn't even going to waste her time fighting.

Mike: Are you kidding? All Daemon's been doing is wasting time fighting!

She'd just let herself be deleted.

Dot: Uh. . . are we still talking about Daemon?

Maybe Daemon didn't want it that way though.

Dot: You know, I wouldn't expect that Daemon would want to let herself be deleted. . .

Blade eventually did get up and around. She never talked to anyone though.

Crow: Not that she didn't try.
Servo: (Someone) Oh geez, it's that insane girl! Don't look at her; just walk away fast!

She did everything there was to do in Mainframe.

Mike: Except talk to people.

She made herself scarce. She confronted Bob occasionally. Enzo was everywhere in Mainframe at once it seemed. Since Blade was the only other data sprite in Mainframe that had nothing to do

Dot: (Blade) I'm sure if they wanted my help against Daemon, they'd ask.

and nowhere to go, she often played jet bowling and a game of circuit racing with Enzo, who was the only one who wasn't in awe at her presence.

Crow: Man, who'd have thought Enzo would be the voice of reason?

She found herself doing nothing. She was useless. She was being carried by the wind.

Servo: Get a job or something! For crying out loud!

She spun through the system one night with a sorrowful look on her face.

Mike: For a hard-hearted, independant Guardian, she sure spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself.

A bolt of lightning ripped through the silent air. Silence.

Dot: Huh. Foley guys must be asleep at the switch there.

Sometimes silence was extremely bad. Blade shuddered and tried to make it to Kits Sector before the downpour came. Too late. The rain poured down then.

Crow: (Blade) Oh no, did I leave my cake out in the rain? I'll never have that recipe again!

A clap of thunder signaled another bolt of lightning to streak through the sky.

Servo: Uh, the lightning comes before the thunder, honey.

It caught her zip board

Dot: So her parents are killed, her boyfriend dies, she gets caught in the rain, lightning hits her, she's hit by a truck, her car gets towed, all her milk goes sour, there's a swarm of nulls living in her attic. . .

and she was sent spiraling through the air.

Mike: (singing) Your terrified screams are inaudible, drowned in the spiral ahead and consumed in the shape. . .

She couldn't hear her own scream. She fainted in mid-air. Just before impact, two arms reached out calmly and caught her.

Crow: And, to top off the evening, she falls right into Daemon's arms.

She fought to open her eyes, but failed.

Servo: Oh no, they're locked!

A few beads of water lighted on her face. She was confused though.

Dot: Really? Having water on my face usually sets everything straight.

She was outside, but the raining had slowed.

Mike: (Blade, confused) It usually rains faster when I'm outside!

It was very dark. It was still night.

Crow: (Blade, confused) But it was night five seconds ago! Why is it still night?

She suddenly realized that the water wasn't rain, but tears.

Servo: Did she taste them or something?

"Bob?" she questioned weakly. The sprite didn't answer. She fought harder to open her eyes

Dot: Did she forget how or something? What is this?

and find who the sprite was that was hovering over her. She soon enough was able to get a fix on reality. The vision was blurry though.

Crow: Uh. . . Focus? . . . Focus, please. . .

She blinked a few times to see the smiling face of…Cursor.

All: Dun dun dun!

Blade jumped then grew full of rage.

Mike: Third stage of grief -- blind rage.

"Is this some sort of joke?" she growled. The sprite just smiled.

Servo: (Cursor) So you really fell for it when Gigs told you I was dead! Man, that is something!

"Really it's not funny!" she added, her eyes filling with tears.

"Maybe this will help you remember," he purred. With that, the sprite

Crow: Belched.
Dot: (Blade) Cursor, it's really you!

put his hands on her waist and pulled her onto his lips.

Mike: Ewww. . . is that some sort of weird acrobatic pose?

He pulled her into him

Servo: In one gulp!

in a strong embrace. Blade just followed him. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

Crow: Cry dry your eyes, sweet bette. . .

She knew it had to be Cursor.

Dot: Nope, Daemon in disguise. She's dead.

How, she didn't know. He was here though. That was all that mattered. Cursor remained kissing her softly.

(Mike makes slurping sounds.)

He stroked her cheek and eventually moved backwards.

"How did you--?"

"Shh. Cursor interrupted. He put his finger on her lips

Servo: (Cursor) Here, taste this. This taste like avocado to you?

and embraced her again. She cried onto his shoulder. The two sped off towards the diner where he promised to tell her everything.

Crow: (Cursor) So then the next day, I woke up, ate a piece of toast, brushed my teeth --

They walked into the diner where Bob and Dot were sitting.

Bob had a questionable look on his face.

Dot: Oh for crying -- is he going to get jealous now?

"Who? Why?"

Blade laughed, interrupting him "I'll tell you everything."

Mike: (Blade) You know that total eclipse of the sun the other day?
Servo: (singing) Da doop!

Cursor and Blade slid into the booth across from the two sprites. "Where should I start?" Blade mused "Okay. This is Cursor." They received slack jawed looks from ot and Bob.

Crow: Dahhhhhhhhhhh. . .

"I thought that he had been deleted," Bob said.

"That, I can't tell you." Blade laughed. "But he can."

Servo: (Cursor) I had been deleted.

Cursor smiled and pulled Blade closer to him.

Dot: (Cursor) Must keep her away from other man. . .

" Well, after I was gone," Cursor recalled, "I fell into a place with a lot of light.

Mike: (Cursor) I began to regret my request to be cremated.

I landed hard on my head.

Servo: (Cursor) So far, nothing seemed unusual.

When I came to stand up, I heard a voice telling me that someone needed me

Crow: Yeah, Microsoft set it up so Windows would crash if Robert Cursor was uninstalled.

and it wasn't my time." He cast his gaze in Blade's direction and kissed her once again.

Dot: (Blade) Umm, I was just going to say that I think we should just be friends and start seeing other people.

Chapter 16
Daemon Returns

Mike: At least it's not "Megabyte Returns".

Things in Mainframe were going smoothly.

Servo: Except, you know. Daemon was attacking.

Dot was happy for Blade,

Crow: (Dot) I'm happy she got her own Bob.

but still found herself at shame. The two didn't communicate very often, still.

Dot: Except for the letter bombs.

Blade was overflowing with joy. She didn't know exactly how Cursor had come back… all she knew was that he was here.

Mike: So she doesn't question it at all? Daemon's coming to get them, and it never occurs to her this might be a trick?

He was here with her. For the first time in her life, she felt whole. She felt right. Cursor didn't waste a breaking moment to wrap his arms around Blade's shoulders or just be close to her.

Crow: These two need a hobby.

The Net wasn't safe though. Mainframe wasn't safe. As long as Daemon was processing, the Net and Mainframe were in peril.

Servo: (Mojo Jojo) Their peril came from Daemon, who was still processing, and causing much peril to Mainframe and the Net, which were still not safe, for Daemon was still processing.

Blade awoke early one morning. She headed for the diner alone.

Dot: (Blade) I'm going to kick down the door until they give me some coffee.

Since Cursor had just gotten back, she let him sleep for a while. Cecil was happy to see her step in the door.

Mike: (Cecil) Praise be to Allah! The restaurant is blessed today!

The diner seemed practically empty except for Dot, who was glued to her data pad. Blade avoided contact with her

Servo: (Blade) If she finds out I'm not really looking for a job, I'm so dead.

and sat down at a booth that was far away from Dot's. Bob, Enzo, Matrix, and AndrAIa walked in shortly after. Bob sat down next to Dot and slung an arm over her shoulder. Matrix and AndrAIa occupied a booth neighboring theirs,

Crow: And the mating began in earnest.

and that left Enzo. Since everyone else were couples, Enzo sat down across from Blade.

Servo: (Enzo) You buying or selling, stranger?

He was sure that Matrix wouldn't be overjoyed to sit next to him.

Enzo bugged Blade about the super computer and the web and everywhere else she had been.

Dot: She's been to the Web?
Crow: It's probably where she learned chest wounds are bad.

Luckily about, two seconds later Cursor walked in. He slid in next to her leaving Enzo wide eyed at the sight of him. "You look just like Bob!" he squealed.

Mike: Oink!

Cursor just laughed

Servo: It's funny 'cause they look alike!

and informed the little Sprite that there was no relation between them. "Alphanumeric!" Enzo shot out.

Crow: Cool! They aren't related!

Cursor laughed again.

Dot: It's funnier now!

Dot informed the gang that she had to leave to talk to Phong about something.

Mike: And not because she couldn't tolerate Blade's presence.
Servo: Of course not.

"Wa wa wa warning ning ning. In in in coming ga game," the announcer's voice chimed.

Crow: Hey, the System Voice is Porky Pig!

"This is bad." Bob whispered, "very bad."

Bob didn't know just how bad it was.

Dot: It was really very bad.

He told Enzo to stay in the diner, then the rest of them walked out. A twisted, black game cube emerged from the sky.

Servo: (Bob) Oh no! A Class 12 Game!

They knew not to go in this one.

Mike: Ah, that sector needed to be nullified anyway.

Blade had a look of terror on her face. Daemon was back.

Crow: She was back in black.

Back and ready to delete. Bob caught on soon enough.

Dot: (muttering) There's a first.

"Daemon," he remarked. The group echoed gasps.

Servo: (Bob) No, no, I just like saying "Daemon".

Far across from the diner was the shriveled, black body and glowing red eyes of Daemon. "She's got Dot!" Bob yelped.

Blade shook her head and signaled her zip board.

Mike: (Blade) Fine, I'll rescue her, you just do what you're doing over there.

She raced forth towards where Daemon held the lifeless form of Dot. Daemon dropped her from where she was standing. The body fell through the air and landed in Blade's arms.

Crow: (Daemon) Ha! My plan to let them recover the hostage is working perfectly!

She flew back to where Bob was standing, and put Dot in his arms. Dot's eyes fluttered open and shut again.

Servo: (Director) Cut! Dot, you're supposed to be dead! Keep your eyes closed!
Dot: Sorry, I thought the scene was over. . .

She spun back around to go after Daemon.

Dot: (Blade) Well, so far so good, no retaliation whatsoever from the evil menacing --

Daemon was already there.

Dot: (Blade) AAAAAUGH!

A black claw-like hand dug into her shoulder.

Crow: And infected her! Jeez!
Servo: How did Daemon manage to infect an entire Guardian collective if she plays with them so much?

Blade turned around slowly and the claw released as she found herself face to face with her worst nightmare.

Mike: (Blade) No! Not the cole slaw!

"You will die guardian!" Daemon hissed.

Dot: (Daemon) Just like you did the last twenty times we met! Hiss!

Blade glared menacingly at her. She wasn't going to be the one to advance first, though.

Crow: Etiquette dictates that superviruses get first strike.

"Switch-!" Daemon cut her off

Servo: (Daemon) Hey! You just said you wouldn't advance first!

and hurled a fireball in her direction. It was dodged barely. When the other sprites saw what they were up against, they moved far backwards.

Mike: (Bob) Here's the plan: Let Daemon wear herself out by killing Blade, then go in and finish her off.

Daemon snarled and sent two more fireballs her way. One, she dodged and the other struck her in the face. Blade gasped

Dot: (Blade) My lip gloss!

in pain and then shook it off and commanded Switch to evaporate.

Crow: (Blade) Duh, what was I forgetting? Oh yeah, fighting back.

Nothing. Daemon laughed cruelly.

Servo: Just punch her again!

"Poor guardian! Mommy's not going to save you this time!" Daemon rasped. She ran towards Blade at full force.

Mike: (Daemon) Why finish her off with projectiles when I can rush in and endanger myself?

Blade yanked out her pistols and fired continuously. The bullets struck her but she didn't budge.

Dot: (Blade, whining) C'mon, you're dead! Fall down!

Blade was going to plan B.

Crow: Evaporate her with the keytool?


Crow: Oh. Of course.

Before she could run, Daemon shot out something that looked like web tendrils from her hands. They were spiny and poison filled.

Servo: Daemon used Pin Missile!

They attached themselves to her legs and stomach and chest.

Mike: And ears and eyelashes and esophagus and bladder.

They pulled tighter, ripping into her flesh.

Dot: . . . Wow. . . She's being torn to shreds, but I just can't care about it. It's amazing.
Crow: Welcome to our hell.

"Switch, cutters!" she managed to choke out. The keytool had some difficulty cutting through the tendrils, but they were gone. Her whole body began to feel like rubber.

Servo: Except her tongue, which still felt like sandpaper.

The poison numbed her. She took a deep breath and commanded Switch to shoot out a photon beam. The spiraling yellow light

Mike: (singing) Will make you go insaaaaaaaaane. . .

struck Daemon and extremely slowly took her energy down. Daemon cut the beam with an angry roar. She struck her claws against Blade's face. Blade shouted out in fear and pain.

Dot: (fidgeting) Are we allowed to skip anything?
Crow: Nope. Sorry.
Dot: But it's so. . . dull. It's just two people hitting each other and screaming.
Mike: Well, some people get into that.
Dot: (skeptical) Really?
Mike: Yeah. Ever heard of the WWF?
Servo: (growling) Damn you, Mike.

Cursor started to run forward but Bob stopped him.

Crow: (Bob, laughing) Thanks, but we don't need your help.

He would have been deleted in an instant, without a keytool.

Servo: You know, for as heroic as Guardians are made out to be, you've got to admit, the keytools deserve most of the credit.

Daemon picked her up by the throat and hurled her, with all her strength to the ground. Blade yelped as she heard the sound of bones crunching.

Mike: Fortunately, Cursor broke her fall.

She cradled her leg

Dot: You know, that's pretty awkward. . . she really shouldn't do that with a broken bone. . .

and tried to stand up.

Crow: Which was difficult, since she was cradling one of her legs.

Daemon sent out a strange ball of green light, which alighted on Blade and slowly but surely drained her of almost all of her energy.

Servo: As everyone else stands there.

The ball exploded then. Blade felt like falling asleep right there but knew she couldn't. Daemon laughed cruelly again. " Switch… eva…po…rate." Blade whispered wearily. The beam worked this time.

Mike: Just don't ask why.

It wasn't powerful enough though. Bob and Matrix saw what she was doing and soon sent out their beams as well. It truly was evaporating Daemon slowly.

Dot: (Bob) Oh yuck. . . She smells like old socks!

She screamed in rage and hurled fireballs at the three guardians. Bob and Matrix ducked, but Blade was unable to move and it burned her arm. She winced in pain, but continued to fire the beam. Daemon was almost gone.

Crow: Too bad none of the four hundred other Guardians ever thought to do this.

She screamed ferociously. Actually her scream sounded that of a chaotic Hexadecimal.

Servo: Hey, where is she, anyway? Wouldn't she want a piece of the super virus?
Dot: She's actually been pretty occupied with her stencils since the restart.

Her wail echoed through the air as the Net saw the last of Daemon.

Mike: Well, until the movies come out, I guess.

Chapter 17
Let the Healing Begin

The sprites around Blade cheered uproariously.

Crow: (dully) Yay.

Cursor was the first one to remember Blade,

Servo: (Bob) Hey, who was that one girl who was fighting with Daemon before?
Crow: (Matrix) Who?

unmoving on the ground. He ran over to her and cradled her in his arms.

Dot: (Cursor, baby-talk) Oh, that's such a cute half-dead Guardian! Who's the cute half-dead Guardian.

Her eyes were unblinking and her breaths weak.Cursor hoisted himself up and motioned for Bob and the rest of the sprites to meet him in the principal office.

Mike: (Cursor) Leave me alone in a motel with a massive chest wound, will you?

He hopped onto his zipboard and sped off.

Dot, who was feeling somewhat better, fixed Blade a quiet room in the principal office so she could rest.

Servo: The morgue.

Everyone else but Bob and Dot, Cursor and Blade left the principal office.

Crow: Oh sure, just leave the system defenseless so she can recuperate, that's probably all right.

Dot mentioned, "If the two other guardians here sacrifice their codes, Blade will be back on her feet in no time."

Dot: (Bob) Oh, so she's doomed.

Dot then left to find Phong. Bob went with her, leaving Cursor alone to watch over Blade.

Servo: (Mike) I bet I could watch two Blades. . .

He bent down and kissed her forehead gently. Her arm and face were singed, she had tendril cuts all over her body, and several large gashes all over as well. Her right leg was fractured.

Mike: All in all, a 100% successful fight.

Cursor held her hand and waited for the two guardians and the Command.Com's return.

Dot did eventually come back with Matrix and Bob behind her.

Dot: Where's Phong?
Servo: I don't really want to see him in this story, do you?
Dot: No, I guess not.

Dot motioned for Bob to download his code to Blade's first. Bob walked over and put his icon over Blade's.

Crow: (Bob) Well, it was nice being a Guardian while it lasted. There you go.

A bluish beam of light erupted between the icons and her wounds were halfway gone. Matrix came forth and did the same.

Mike: C'mon, give her your essence. That's a good boy.

Blade was almost completely restored. Her eyes opened slowly but surely.

Servo: (Dorothy) But I did go away! Far far away!

She looked from Cursor,

Servo: (Dorothy) And you were there. . .

to Bob,

Servo: (Dorothy) And you. . .

then Dot and Matrix,

Servo: (Dorothy) And you and you. . . all of you!

back to Cursor. She breathed in deeply and smiled. She shut her eyes again and logged off. Everyone in the Principal office had a smile on their face

Dot: Except Dot, who was too hateful and evil to care about Blade's health.
Mike: A little bitter?
Dot: Maybe. . .

before they left. Cursor was the only one to stay. He held Blade's hand and waited for her to awaken.

Crow: He really really needs a hobby.

Bob came in eventually and told Cursor,

Servo: (Bob) Don't you have a job or anything?

"Everyone is having a party at the diner.

Dot: What, all 34,000 people in the system? Cecil's going to have a fit.

Care to join us?" Cursor shook his head. Bob shrugged his shoulders and left. Suddenly a beeping noise emitted from an unknown area.

Crow: Oh yuck! Which of them is doing that?

He looked down at Blade who was awakened by the beeping noise. She looked down at Switch who was beeping madly.

Mike: (Switch) You're laying on me! Get up!

Cursor gazed at it blankly as well.

Servo: There's a surprise.

"Upgrade." Blade squeaked out.

Cursor nodded as a beam of light surrounded Blade. He put a hand over his eyes and stepped back.

Mike: No! The Ark of the Covenant!

The beam was extremely bright. Blade was lifted off her bed and her energy was restored. When she drifted back on, her eyes were wide open. Her uniform had changed and she now was at a level 105 for deleting Daemon.

(Chuckles from the crew)

Dot: (disbelief) What?
Crow: MARISU evolved into MARIGOD!
Servo: Blade is trying to learn OMNIPOTENCE!

She had long silver gloves from her arms down. Switch was more powerful,

Mike: Now it could handle even the toughest grass stains!

and her clothing looked somewhat metallic. She smiled up at Cursor and sat up.

Dot: (Blade) Well, that was fun.

She was fine now. The upgrade gave her the rest of the energy she needed to be restored. She took Cursor's hand and said, "Let's go down to the diner."

All: (singing) Let's go down to the diner. . . let's go down to the diner. . . let's go down to the diner. . . and get ourselves a treat. . .

Cursor agreed and the two headed off.

Chapter 18

Crow: I hope it starts with stay_frosty.

and More Miracles

Blade and Cursor walked in the diner, and everyone gasped. " Blade, I thought you…" Dot trailed on.

Servo: (Dot) Damn that Phong! He said that was the best poison he had!

Blade shrugged her shoulders and laughed, "Upgrade!"

Dot laughed as well

Mike: (Dot) Wow! That's even stupider than that "five sectors instantly reappeared" thing before!

and led Blade and Cursor to the booth. The diner was packed with sprites that were partying. Dot sat next to Blade and whispered in her ear,

Dot: (whispering) Your fly is open. . .

"I'm sorry I said those things about you and, well I was being a total jerk. Will you ever forgive me?"

Blade laughed and added, "I've already done that!"

Servo: (Blade) Too bad I never told you before!

Dot smiled and the now regulars in Mainframe jabbered on about everything there was to jabber about.

Crow: Like shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.

Eventually most of the sprites left and Frisket acted as the disposal system.

Mike: Cake, party favors, dishes -- the dog wastes nothing.

They were getting somewhat tired as well. Everyone else left, leaving Cursor and Blade the only ones in the diner. They had a lot of catching up still to do.

Dot: (Blade) So then Daemon shredded my insides for a while, and I'm like, "Hell-o?" and she's like, "Oh, you're going to die". . .

They talked for a while, and then felt they should

Servo: End the story.

be getting back to Kits Sector.

Blade had the top apartment and they had access to the roof. They sat up and watched the stars in the Mainframe sky.

Crow: (Cursor) I was just thinking, you know. . . Space. . . the final frontier. . .
Mike: (Blade) Stop that.

Cursor put his hand under Blade's chin and directed her lips to his.

Dot: (Cursor) Okay, you go about three kilobytes that way, hang a left at the second stoplight. . .

He kissed her gently. She put her arms around his neck and held him close. The two kissed for a while until Cursor

Servo: Belched.

released. He threw his arms around her. Blade nuzzled her head against his shoulder. She felt secure in his arms. It was a feeling that she would never forget.

Crow: And then he died again. The End.

Cursor smiled broadly and whispered into her ear, "Will you marry me, Blade?"

Mike: (Cursor) I'm kinda stuck for an ending.
Servo: Let's roll guys.

(Everyone gets up.)

She didn't even have to answer, for he already knew what she would say.

Dot: (on the way out) He'd read this story before.

The End

(We're back on the bridge. Mike and the Bots are present. Mike's got a big bowl of RAM chips, and he's shaking them up enticingly.)

Mike: Okay, you all know the rules; if you want a RAM chip, just tell me a good thing and a bad thing about the story.

(Dot walks in.)

Dot: Oooo, RAM chips. May I?

Mike: Sure. (He holds out the bowl and she grabs a handful.)

Servo: Hey!

Crow: How come she doesn't have to play?

Mike: She's our guest. Now c'mon, who can tell me a good thing about the story?

Servo: Oh, I know! There weren't any vampires in it!

Crow: Yeah! And, uh, and no one had any twins!

Servo: And everyone's family was dead, so we didn't have to get introduced to them.

Crow: And the author wasn't afraid to kill the villain off without some lame-ass premonition about them returning.

Servo: And things were actually accomplished by the time the story was done.

Crow: It wasn't a crossover.

Servo: It didn't spend half the story in the same stupid room with the characters going over the back story.

Crow: It didn't look like it was pieced together from some series of God-forsaken ICQ chats.

Servo: The author didn't describe Blade's every waking moment in painstaking, excrutiating detail.

Crow: The fight scenes were longer than the scenes of people eating.

Servo: There were actual attempts at tension, romance, and conflict.

Crow: The characters didn't worry about working every freaking character into the plot.

Servo: The characters didn't go around smiling all the time like idiots.

Crow: The characters didn't repeat everything over and over.

Mike: (interrupting them) Okay, I think I see where this is going. So who can tell me something bad about the story?

Servo: Oh, that's easy! Uhhhh. . . .

Crow: There was that one part where. . . ummmm. . . (suddenly scared) Oh my God. I don't know.

Servo: (also scared) Me either!

Crow: (panicking) It's an ill-conceived story with a blatant Mary Sue, numerous continuity problems, and ridiculous mischaracterization, but I just can't see anything wrong with it!

Servo: You know what this means, don't you? We're desensitized! ReBuffy was too strong!

Crow: No! I can't believe that! I have to go on thinking that I can be critical of omnipotent heroes and contrived storylines!

Servo: (screaming at Cambot) Damn you Megabyte! You've stolen my will to hate!

(The bots run off sobbing. Dot gives Mike an odd look.)

Dot: Are they going to be okay?

Mike: Ah, they'll snap out of it. What do you think, sirs?

(The Tor. Megabyte is in his throne, frowning. Several boxes are stacked up behind him.)

Megabyte: I think you've become too confident. You know, now that Pearl isn't here to enforce her standards, perhaps I should add a few. . . elements of my own to the experiment.

(The SOL. Mike and Dot seem worried.)

Mike: Uh. . . I don't really see any need for that, sir.

Dot: The stories hurt enough. Really.

Mike: Oooo, yeah, really painful. (To Dot) Wow, weren't we just talking about how much that one today hurt?

Dot: Oh, definately.

(The throne room. Megabyte chuckles.)

Megabyte: Yes, well, run along and play now. I'll have something for you to consider soon enough.

(Infected Bob comes in a moment later with a cardboard box.)

Bob: Well, this is the last of the stuff from the Widowmaker.

Megabyte: Ah, excellent.

Bob: (setting down the box with the rest of the stuff) Man. How'd we fit all this stuff in there to begin with?

Megabyte: I prefer not to worry about it.

Bob: Well, in here's all the tupperware, and be careful 'cause there's some ceramics in here; I wrapped 'em up in newspaper, but, you know, just be careful with them. Oh, and I found this.

(Bob produces a small rectangular object from the box which has a large red button on its surface.)

Bob: Any idea what this thing is?

Megabyte: (curious) Not really.

Bob: I wonder what it does. . .

Megabyte: Well, push the button.

\   /
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Bob: (voice-over) Huh.