The Worlds Beyond: Part 2

TOM: To redundancy, and BEYOND!

Megabyte looked around the large stone chamber.

CROW: [Megabyte] Help! I fell down a well! Lassie! Timmy! Heeeeelp!

The game sprites couldn't enter it, and snarled, frustrated, from the entrances to the room.

TOM: They just want his autograph.
CROW: [Game Sprites] Look! It's Tony Jay in a Tin Man suit!

"You'd like to get in here, wouldn't you?" he muttered under his breath.

MIKE: I'm sorry, you're muttering under your breath, Megabyte, you'll have to speak up.

He turned to inspect the operation.

CROW: [Megabyte] Scalpel..

About fifteen binomes stood around the device, which was sucking up the portal's energy.

MIKE: Where IS he?
CROW: Your guess is as good as mine..

The portal didn't have a specified location-

MIKE: I dunno if that answers my question or not..
TOM: I dunno if that's POSSIBLE or not..

it was a swirling grey color, twisting and blending shades before their eyes.

CROW: Making them all very nauseous.
BOB: Couldn't agree more.

"Well?" the virus said impatiently.

CROW: [Megabyte] Where's my pie?

"All is going according to plan, your imensness.

TOM: "We'll have that silly accent fixed in no time!"
BOB: Geez, don't let HIM hear you say that…
TOM: What, are you nuts? Of course not.

The energy transferred to the game walls *should* be transferred to the parts of the Firewall touching it, and break through."

MIKE: Why does this remind me of that "Twister" problem we had earlier?
CROW: It makes almost as much sense?
BOB: Maybe we should just accept it on faith, and let it slide?
(All burst out laughing)
CROW: Good one, Bob!

"Let's just hope the User takes a while to get here, then." the virus replied. He frowned. "How long will it take?"

TOM: With those two doofs? I give 'em a couple days.

"I would guess...about a cycle, perhaps more."

(Tom whips out a calculator)

"Fine. Proceed."

MIKE: [Megabyte] And nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger.
(Tom frowns at the calculator)
TOM: Hmm…
BOB: Problem, Servo?

"Yes sir."

CROW: *muttering* "Whatever you SAY, sir. Drop DEAD, sir.."
TOM: Augh! Error! Error! Does not compute!
MIKE: Tom, I'm telling you, stop trying to figure out the timeline!
TOM: Oh.. it's not that, it's just… you know… buttons, fingers…
MIKE: Oh, sorry..

The virus walked towards one of the entrances a bit. The game sprites growled at him.

CROW: *growling* "Kibbles 'n bits, 'n bits, 'n bits."

"Really." he muttered again. "What pathetic creatures. They have no intelligence or thought at all. Just a mindless, permanent killing directive stuck in their memory."

TOM: The Zerg! The ZERG!

he paused, and said thoughtfully. "I wonder if they're infectible?"

ALL: *cough*One-track-mind*cough*

A dragon tried to bash its' head through the transparent wall.

MIKE: "Well, I COULD breath fire, but… naw, I'll just head-butt it."

"No that wouldn't work, they'd still be stuck in the game. And I hardly need another Hack and Slash.

TOM: Oh, come on! Who else can you always depend on to have that amusing fork/spoon debate?

Most of these can barely think for themselves."

BOB: Except the AI's.. and we can count them out if THOSE two like this game.

"Sir," one of the binomes said, from where he was working on a computer terminal.

CROW: "Where's the can in this place?"

"We have the game stats online. There are twenty-five levels.

TOM: *monotone* "twenty-five levels and nothing on.."

The User is halfway through level two so far. He's...wait a nanosecond... there's another User in the game!"

MIKE: [Megabyte] Mmm… double-decker User. Now that's gooooood eatin'!

"What?" said Megabyte, walking over, interested.

BOB: Oh, knock it off!
CROW: Don't tempt me.
BOB: Hey!

"This User is in the third level and almost done. A multi-player game. This shouldn't have any effect on the energy conversion, but..." he frowned.

MIKE: "But the grease stains will NEVER come out.."

"I do hope that the program won't have to be *aborted."

TOM: Another one of them asterisks..

the virus said, the faintest hint of menace in his voice.

CROW: And then threatened to tear strips of skin off him, the faintest hint of menace in his voice.

"No Lord Megabyte! Really!" Babbled the binome, hastily.

MIKE: "I swear, I never touched your sister!"

He knew that subtlety like that would be an open threat from anyone else.

TOM: And Microsoft's grammar checker says… It's okie-dokie!

"It's just that the game now imposes a time limit with multiple players,

BOB: Um… why?
MIKE: Let it go for now, Bob.

so we might have to step up operations a bit.

CROW: "We also may need bodies that don't make us look like building materials."

Er, I'll get on it right away!" he scampered off.

TOM: "Gotta get to Leons! Gotta get to Leons!"

Megabyte rolled his eyes. Honestly, he wouldn't mind having someone with a backbone around for once. At the slightest pressure, most binomes tended to fold in to his slightest whim. Mainframe had very few sprites.

CROW: And they were all puss-heads.

When he broke out of here, perhaps a main priority of his would be infecting some.

MIKE: This never occurred to him before?

"Sir! We've fixed the problem!"

TOM: "But it's not oatmeal!"

"Good." Megabyte replied shortly. "Where are the User's now?"

MIKE: [Binome] What? I thought YOU were watching the… oh dear…

"The first appears to be in level three now,

TOM: "And boy, is it ever making a mess."

and the second hasn't proceeded any further than the beginning of level four.

CROW: "We're guessing it's lost."

Something appears to be holding it up..."

TOM: And they know this… how? CROW: They musta read ahead.

* * *

"How many stupid skeleton's *are* there?!" Jill screeched out loud.

MIKE: Six. The rest of them are way more intelligent than you, hon.

"This is *really* going to screw up my time."

CROW: Well, yeah, that and you could get decapitated.
BOB: Decapitated? Wasn't he that guy in that movie about the ship, and the iceberg?
TOM: Uhhh…

She smiled unpleasantly. "You want my blood?"

CROW: "Then just bite me!"

she unleashed an acidsnake aimed at the undead, a creature that lunged onto your opponent's throat and exploded,

MIKE: "Your" opponent's throat?
BOB: Hey, don't drag US into this!

showering them with the snake's corrosive insides.

MIKE: [Skeleton] Mmm… tastes like Soylent green…

It splattered all over the skeletons, dissolving them.

TOM: "Eww… Jill, did you release an acidsnake in here?"
CROW: "No, mother…"

"Come and get it!" she yelled triumphantly as she cleared off the rest of horde.

MIKE: She's still talking to her computer?
CROW: Not just talking. Insulting…
BOB: What kind of loser sits around all day trash-talking a screen?
TOM: Uh… Bob?

"That'll teach *you* to mess with...hey!"

ALL: "You sank my battleship!"

A small figure had just snatched something from her belt. It was gone in a flash.

MIKE: Is that the binome from "Episode With No Name"? BOB: You mean the one that kinda sounds like Enzo used to? Only older?

"Great..." she muttered. "Pesky thieves...that was my Nova spell. Now Jay can try to get it later..."

CROW: Uhh… thank you for thinking out loud so that the readers could understand…

Thieves were sprites designed to quickly snatch a few valuable weapons and/or potions before you could react, then vanish.

CROW: Bastards!

They were then transported to the final chamber. Inside the chambre, they hid, and occasionally popped out of the shadows.

TOM: Because they have a death-wish.

Once you were inside, you could try to kill one for the items it stole, and sometimes get a rare artifact your opponent had. It was a sort of final chance for a power-up.

MIKE: It was also a subtle way of telling you that you've been playing this game WAY too long.

Luckily, there were only a couple per game.

BOB: A very happy couple.

"Well, I'll get you later..." Jill said to herself.

TOM: Uh…
MIKE: Yeah, we see it, Servo.
CROW: Hehe, SHE'S got a death-wish.

* * *

Miyu panted in exhaustion, but triumph.

BOB: What are you laughing at, Crow?
CROW: Nothing…

He held up the sparkling spell globe in the dim light of the chamber. The pink game sprite with pale green eyes and mohawk put it in his pack and sighed.

CROW AND TOM: "I'm a klepto-sprite, and I'm o-kay!"

Well, time to wait for the User's.

BOB: The User's what?


MIKE: "Or the mohawk gets it!"

It was then he noticed the binomes with the filelockers.

TOM: A good four seconds AFTER they yelled "Freeze!".

* * *

"You found him in here?" Megabyte asked, curiously.

CROW: "No, we found him outside, and just didn't tell you."

"Correct, sir!" said the lead binome, snapping to attention.

MIKE: *snap* "Ow!"

"How interesting. An Artificial Intelligence sprite."

CROW: "Oh well, let's delete it."

The virus turned to the trembling sprite, and asked in a deceptively soothing voice, "What's your name?"

TOM: [Miyu] Uh… Me no get you… no speakey English.


MIKE: "Perhaps you've heard my song 'M-m-bop.'"

he got out, eyes wide with fear. "Are-are..." he swallowed and went on.

CROW: "Are you Tony Jay in a Tin Man suit?"

"Are you really" he said the word virus oddly, as if he hadn't really used it often.

MIKE: Don't be silly. Lots of kleptomaniacs say "Virus!" all the time.

Megabyte raised an eyebrow. "What does it look like?" he said, gesturing to the binomes with the same color coding and un-happy face symbol as him.

CROW: "Well, it looks like you're Tony Jay in a Tin Man suit."

"Bu-but...You don't exist!

MIKE: [Megabyte] Nuh-uh! Do so!

Viruses are only a the evil Users who made them..." the shocked sprite trailed off.

TOM: "Um… and whom I steal from! That's all in my head, right?"

"Made us? I suppose they did, and yes, we do exist. And now..."


he picked up the startled sprite by the shoulder, "I'd like to perform a little...test."

TOM: [Megabyte] You must name all the state capitols… Alphabetically!
MIKE: [Miyu] Nooo!

The viral binomes, aware of what was going to happen, stepped back quite a bit.

CROW: [Megabyte] Hey, no… watch out for the edge!
TOM: "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh…" *thud*

Miyu found himself alone with the virus, his shoulder gripped firmly to make sure he didn't bolt.

CROW: Or run.

"Test?!" the frightened boy squeaked. "What test?!"

MIKE: "I didn't study!"

"I want to see if you can be infected or not."

TOM: [Miyu] Oh, well, in that case- HEY!

"In-fected? What is in-fecte...wait, I've read about that.

BOB: They have a library in the dungeon?
CROW: What did YOU think the game sprites did between games?

That's when a virus takes over someone's PID and make them into their slave..." he stopped as cold horror washed over him.

MIKE: "Hey… wait, that's bad!"

"A rather simplistic way of putting it, but basically right..." the virus purred.

TOM: I've said it before and I'll say it again. Uhh…
BOB: "Purred" is one word I never thought I'd hear used to describe Megabyte's speech.

"Although, since you game sprites are different from regular sprites, I'm not sure how it will affect you, if at all..."

CROW: Keep talking, Megabyte. Yes, give him LOTS of time to think of an escape plan…

"No, wait! Please, stop!"

MIKE: This guy obviously doesn't know that, statistically, that works just as often as ordering a pizza in Yiddish.

Megabyte tightened his already strong grip on the sprite. A whine filled the air, and his eyes glowed as he tried to infect the sprite. A green glow spread up his arm to the terrified child's.

TOM: The terrified child's what?
BOB: Oh, that's it. Cut it off just as the sentence starts to get interesting
TOM: Mike, if this turns into a TMNT fic, Bob and I are gonna rush the door

Miyu's eyes widened as he felt a wave of *something* flow through his body, trying to force it's way into his code.

TOM: [Miyu] And I swear to GOD, it smells like Cherry Coke!

He screamed. It wasn't exactly painful,

CROW: More like gooky.

but felt horrible, like his whole will was being stripped away, and something else, something *alien*, was replacing it.

MIKE: Isn't that what Tom said when he tried to install IE4.0?

Miyu could only stare in horror at Megabyte.

ALL: [Miyu] NOOOO! Not IE4.0!!

He felt, though, that the virus couldn't break through. Something was blocking him.

TOM: Some kind of "block", perhaps?…
BOB: Hehe, must be a copyright.
ALL: *groan*

Miyu's colors flickered to match Megabyte's viral's a couple of times, then went back to normal. The small sprite collapsed. The virus simply sighed and dropped him on the ground.

CROW: [Megabyte] Dammit, I wanted a virgin sacrifice! Can't anyone get it right?!

"No good. The game's copyright is protecting him.

(All are silent for a moment)
BOB: Dear User… I was joking!
TOM: Suddenly, it's no longer funny. Instead, oddly disturbing…

Perhaps if he was in the Tor, we would have the equipment to break through his code, but only that other game sprite knew how to escape games."

CROW: All the others were goober-heads.

Another game sprite? Outside the games? He had heard of a few that escaped, but didn't care to try it himself. He had a home, friends,

MIKE: Cable,
CROW: a dog,
TOM: A nice picket fence,
BOB: Space for a garden some day…

and family in the maze, few that they were. What would convince a sprite to leave the games?

BOB: The misery of existing for the sole porpoise of some Godly being's amusement? I dunno…

They had multiple lives here, and they were always resurrected when the User left.

TOM: Oh yeah, I'd love to die countless times for no good reason.

"Filelock him for now."

MIKE: [Megabyte] We can send him to Pearl, as a hood-ornament.

Miyu coughed pitifully. How could the virus be so calm about what happened?!

TOM: Because he was on the other side of the infection, Einstein.

This had been perhaps the strangest event in the sprite's life, and the virus acted as if it were nothing! It proboably was to him, the boy thought bitterly.

CROW: [Miyu] Megabyte infected me last night, and I don't think it meant anything to him!!
MIKE: Alright Crow, that's enough.
BOB: Don't bother. He'll "proboably" do it again.

Things like this must happen every second wherever *he* came from.

BOB: In Megabyte's dreams!

That was his last thought as the binomes closed in.

MIKE: How sad is that?
BOB: We'll have plenty of time to think on that. Let's get outta here.

@.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6..


BOBO: Hey, fellas. Thought I'd see how the fic was going.


MIKE: Oh, hey Bobo. Oh yeah, we're uh… just loving this.

BOB: Say, Bobo, you a betting monkey?

MIKE: Yeah, because Crow and I had a little wager on earlier, and it sorta gave us an idea. (Widowmaker)

BOBO: Idea? What kind of idea?


CROW: Well, we figured we'd try something like… Oh… say… Mike could stick out his tongue and try to touch his nose.

TOM: If he can't, we'll worship you as a demigod, and the greatest primate ever born.

MIKE: Yeah, and if I can do it, you could… Oh… I dunno, try to make sure Pearl doesn't send us these stories anymore? Ever?

(Bobo is getting excited at this thought, unaware that the SOL crew is trying to pull the oldest trick in the book on him, until Megabyte shoves him out of the way)

MEGABYTE: Oh, for User's sake, you can be so incompetent sometimes! And the rest of this time, you're a complete ignoramus! Enough of this, Bob! Back to the theater, and don't ever try to pull this kind of thing again!



(Lights flash)

MIKE: We've got movie siiign!!

6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. @..
Click Here To Enter the Theater...