* * *

TOM: Every time I see those, I become more convinced that the author is using this fic to send state secrets to the Commies via asterisks…

Dot was standing in the Principal Office. Phong stood by her.

BOB: Phong ran.
CROW: Run, Phong, run.

"The energy levels are fluctuating within the game! I believe he's trying to divert game energy into the firewall!"

TOM: "I just figured that out now!"

"What in the Net will *that* do?"

MIKE: [Phong] It will enable him to keep the hot side hot, and the cold side cold.

"Weaken it, or perhaps even destroy it."

TOM: [Phong] If we leave now, we can get good seats, though!

"Oh great."

MIKE: But I thought… Oh… sarcasm yet again…

Dot moved away, then wobbled slightly. Phong noticed this.

BOB: Who spiked the rations?!
CROW: [Phong] Dot, you're smashed. Stay away from my private stock.

"Are you alright Dot?" he said, worried. "Only, you haven't been getting that much sleep lately..."

MIKE: "Go to bed, the Mary Kay convention will go on without you…"

"Oh..." Dot replied, voice suddenly becoming light. "No, Phong, I'll be fine..."

CROW: "I just need some coffee… hah hah!"

she smiled at him and took a few more steps before crashing to the floor.

ALL: "I've fallen! And I can't get up!"

* * *

Hack and Slash were in the front lines, waiting for the gamecube to leave. They received looks of pity, and a few of contempt, from the binomes there.

TOM: Only because they were mistaken for The Righteous Brothers…

Hack and Slash were not happy. They might not want to do any of the things they were being forced to, but they certainly didn't want to be deleted either.

BOB: Oh yeah, we've got a real dramatic epic starting here…

"Great. So now what do we do?" Slash asked.
"*I* don't know!" replied Hack furiously.

MIKE: Incoming Hack and Slash dialogue…
(All put their heads between their legs, and wait for it to end)
MIKE: Sorry folks, you're on your own for a bit…

"Geez, don't be so grumpy."
"Then what am I *supposed* to be?! We-are-going-to-be-ERASED!!!"
"I like to look on the bright side."
"Bright side? *What* bright side?"
"Well, that game cube looks nice..."
"You *idiot*!!! When that game leaves, the boss is going to start the attack again!"
"Aww, I don't like war. Why can't we just all be friends..."
"Because the boss is a virus, and viruses and sprites DO NOT get along very well, because they want to do different things."
"Like what?"
"The boss wants to rule mainframe, and the mainframers want to be left alone. Since they don't *want* to be ruled over, they are trying to fight us off. That is why...", Hack concluded patiently, "we have to have a war. So the boss can rule over mainframe."
They stood in silence for a while.
"Yeah, Slash?"
"I don't want to be deleted."
"Me neither."
They stood in silence some more. A germ of an idea was starting to sprout in their brains.

BOB: (From between his legs) Anyone else catch the virus pun there?

"What if we..."
"What if we...DIDN'T attack Mainframe?"
"You mean the army?"
"No, I mean us."
"What? But that would mean disobeying orders! We'd be deleted!"
"Yeah, but Hack, I mean, if we're going to be deleted in the attack *anyhow*..."
The idea took root.
"Then we could run away, because that way..." said Hack slowly.
"We could still have a chance of surviving." replied Slash.
And spread.
"And...and..." said Slash, becoming excited. "If left, and the boss caught us, we could just say we survived the attack and came back!"
"Hey, yeah!"
"It could work!"
They looked at each other.
"Let's do it!" they chorused, and zoomed away as fast as their cruisers could carry them. They heard the angry voice of a superior shouting at them to come back, but it was too late. Hack and Slash disappeared into the gloom of the lower levels.
"Sir!" said a binome to the commanding officer. "Should I order someone to follow them?"
"No." the officer replied. "The cube could leave at any moment. Don't bother wasting any manpower on those two. We'll find and delete them after the attack."
"But what if Megabyte finds out they left?"
The binome's collectively shuttered.
"Let's just hope he doesn't." he replied. "Anyhow, I'm sure he had more important things to think about than those two."

* * *

MIKE: Hey, nice to see that's over.
CROW: Woo! We're back!

"Final level."

CROW: And aaaaaaaall's weeeeell!

"Groovy." Gil said, quoting her favorite line from "Malicious Corpses".

TOM: Well, now we know who did that User's voice.

Her character was nearing the gates that lead to the last chamber. The time limit for this level was very short, to make sure that she wouldn't have to wait that long for Jay.

BOB: Or just for frustration's sake.

In fact, the time limits for *all* the levels were shortened now. Jay would also move it, to give Gil less time to prepare.

MIKE: Faaaa-scinating

Jill started to hack away at the monsters waiting at the gate.

TOM: Gil! Warrior Weenie!
ALL: (Xena battle-cry)

* * *

MIKE: We control the horizontal, and the vertical.
CROW: Send six easy payments of $49.99 so that we can secure everything in between!

The doctor binome paled.

BOB: "Oh no… then if I've got my banana in my EAR… what did I eat for LUNCH?!"

"S-sir! There's been an unexpected development! ALL the time limits have been shortened! One of the User's is in this level!"

TOM: "And she's selling VACUUMS!"

Megabyte's head snapped around.

MIKE: [Megabyte] OW! There's that crick again… I really must stop doing that.

"What? That's impossible! How could it have gotten here so quickly?!

CROW: Yeah! The transit system at this hour is slower than molasses!

It must be the new User.

BOB: With a surprising, new lemon-fresh scent!

Where's the other?" he snapped out quickly.

MIKE: All this snapping can NOT be healthy.

"Uh...two level's below us."

TOM: [Author] I'll just throw in an apostrophe to make that line a little longer…

There was a loud boom at one of the gates,

CROW: Not William, for the record.

and it was now apparent that the User was only a few nanoseconds away from bursting in.

MIKE: It was just waiting for the dialogue to finish.

"How much energy do we have stored up?"
"Not enough to breach the wall, but enough to do some damage."

BOB: [Megabyte] Oh… poopie.

"Then do it. Now!"

MIKE: Yes!! For God's sake, do SOMETHING during the course of this fic!

* * *

Phong looked over the screen. He wished Dot was here, but she had been totally exhausted, and needed to rest.

TOM: He didn't even want to THINK about the virtual hangover.

Mouse was *still* working on the game energy,

CROW: Crazy old bat.

saying she had found something important. He would have to be in charge, for now.

MIKE: [Phong] Now, I've always wondered what these red buttons do…

"Well..." he said, unhappily. "The game energy is being transferred. Luckily, there's enough to do some damage but not enough to break through."

CROW: Meaning that Phong owes Dot five bucks.
BOB: [Phong] C'mon, pay up…

A huge sigh of relief swept through the room.

TOM: Last time, it mopped through, and that just did not work…

"Well, at least *that's* O.K." a binome commented.
Suddenly, the sky above the city flickered once or twice, and a *second* line of energy attached itself to the game cube.

CROW: Wa, wa, waaaah…

"What?" exclaimed Phong, starring at the vid-window and then he charts. "Oh dear...oh no...a *third* User has illegally broken into the game!"

MIKE: Ah! The plot thickens!!… or at least has the brief hint of a pulse.

"Illegally?" gulped a small zero binome. "You mean it's a...bad User?"

TOM: Some of my best friends are hackers…
CROW: Sadly, I believe you.

"I'm afraid that might be the case."
"I thought all the ports to the net were closed!"

BOB: [Phong] Yeah, but what's another plot inconsistency at this point?

"They are, but this isn't exactly over the Net, it's over a modem."

MIKE: Oh, he's using the old "Modem Defense"…

"Well, what does it want with *us*?!" another binome asked, almost hysterical.

TOM: [Phong] It has come for the cocoa…
CROW: Bar the windows!
TOM: Better yet, BAN Windows.

Users were mostly held as powerful but unaware beings that generally didn't mean to do harm, and in fact sometimes protected cities from viruses and crashes. The games were just their way of relaxing, and they were totally unaware of the havoc the cube's caused. Most Users took care of their system's. But other Users were evil. They hacked into things illegally and tried to destroy innocent places. They were the ones who programmed bugs and viruses, for this purpose.

BOB: This is the crap parents feed their kids when they want them to become accountants.

"I do not know, my child. We must hope that our User detects *this* User before it's too late."

MIKE: "He might drop a VIRUS in out system, and we can't have that…"

They watched the game cube swirl and pulse on the screen.

CROW: If you weren't nauseous before… you are now!

* * *

"Yes! Contact!

MIKE: "I've finally found a movie worse than this!"

And they haven't noticed!" Kevin grinned. Hacking his way into the game had been relatively easy, since Jill and Jake were both concentrating on playing. He wasn't sure what he would do from inside the game, yet. Several possibilities flitted across his mind.

TOM: None of which can be repeated in a G-Rated fic, such as this.

His character was on the first level. Kevin stared up the hack program that allowed him to become invisible and be teleported instantly to the final level.

MIKE: Well, now we know what game this is…
ALL: Diablo!

After all, he wasn't going to be killed by a silly time limit.

CROW: He was going to be killed by an acidsnake!

* * *

"There! Done sir! The damage percent we've done to the firewall is about-"

CROW: "Zero… zero point one, I dunno, I could be off a smidge…"

the binome was cut off quickly as the User dressed in colorful sorcerer robes strode into the chamber.

TOM: Immobilizing Megabyte's troops, by causing them to fall into convulsions of laughter at how STUPID it looked.

"It's here." Megabyte said, taking a step back and unsheathing his claws.

BOB: [Megabyte] And it looks ridiculous!

* * *

Jill strode into the chamber-
And stopped.

BOB: Just to make this fic a LITTLE longer!

What was there was completely amazing.

MIKE: If repetitive, and uneventful!

A tall, metallic blue figure, a bunch of smaller, round and cube shaped metallic blue figures, a thief suspended in what looked like a pale green transparent cube, a complicated looking machine, and a swirling grey ball in the center of the room.
"What the-" Jill said as she blinked a few times.

ALL: "It's Tony Jay in a Tin Man suit!!"

She simply leaned back a bit then said, "O.K, who's been screwing around with my computer?"

TOM: Smack it! That's what I do when I see that guy.
CROW: Uhh…

A small *bleep* noise caught her attention, and she looked at the bottom of the screen. She cursed. It had the number of players there, and what she saw didn't add up.

BOB: Well, at least SHE couldn't add that high…

"A *three* player game?! Who's the third player?!" she growled. "Kevin! It's got to be! He has a copy of this game..."

TOM: "And he's the only other person besides me who's got that kind of time to kill!"

A high pitched whine filled the air, and the ball convulsed a few times, then started to grow. The blue figures scattered.
Jill wasn't sure what to do about them. If they were something of Kevin's, they could kill you if you touched one, for all she knew.

MIKE: Welcome to another episode of "Pointless Surrealism To Fill Space"

The ball cleared and showed a picture of a strange looking city. It suddenly grew enormous and swallowed up her character in a flash of light.
"What the-" Jill said, as the light grew so bright it was painful to look at. A huge surge of electricity from her computer shocked her. Jill shouted as she was jolted into unconsciousness.

MIKE: And, as always, we've managed to land ourselves in a dime-a-dozen User-insertion fics! Didn't see THAT coming! No sir-ry!
CROW: Last one out's a rotten-

* * *

CROW: Dammit!
TOM: Let it end, GOD let it end!

A similar scene happened at the other two Users homes. A surge of energy, a flash of light, then unconsciousness.

MIKE: It was the 60s all over again!

They would never guess what they would find when they would wake up.

BOB: And let us all pray to User we never have to find out.

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


MIKE: Well, what did we all learn today?

CROW: I learned that if I see one more "Human gets sucked into Mainframe" fic, I'm going to puke.

TOM: I learned that computer games create braindead people… or vice-versa.

BOB: And I learned that I would've been better off in the Web.

MIKE: That's the spirit! And I guess you guys have learned you can't stop the ol' Satellite of Love crew, haven't you, sirs?


(The MADs all look smug)

OBSERVER: Well, I don't know about that. We've got at least two more parts of "Worlds Beyond" laying around for a rainy day.

MEGABYTE: (seeing the facefaults) Yes, I thought you'd like that. (laughs)

PEARL: And on top of that… did you guys know that there's a ReBoot Hentai fic site on the net?


(Everyone but Bob drops their jaw to the ground)

TOM: No… NO!

MIKE: You wouldn't DARE!!

BOB: (confused) What? What? Hentai?

CROW: If I had a nickel for every Sailor Moon lemon I've sat though, I could bribe God himself to get us home!!

BOB: (still confused) Hentai? What's that?


PEARL: Hah HAH! Just something for you to think on, movie-boys! Have a nice day!


TOM: (with dramatic music, and spinning camera effect, a la Star Trek II) PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLL!!!


Credits Roll...