(Everyone walks in and sits down. Mike takes the knife out of Servo's head. Bob doesn't seem to notice that he's still wearing the chef's hat.)

Day of the Decimal

Servo: The metric system's back, and this time it's personal!

By: Emidecimal

Mike: (Janet Jackson) The name's Emi. . . Miss Decimal if you're nasty. . .

Chapter One

Web World War

Mike: The Microsoft Story.

Lost Angles rang with the panicked, high-pitched screams of a terrified child.

Servo: Mary Kate Olsen realizes that her career died with Full House.
Crow: Not taking it very well, is she?

Her eyes wide with fright, she dashed across the sector. She was closely followed by Hexadecimal,

Bob: Who?

the virus who lived in Lost Angles.

Bob: Oh.

Her claws were out and her mask showed sharp teeth.

Servo: (Tim the Enchanter) Death awaits you all with long, pointy teeth!

She chased the child around Lost Angles, hissing and snarling. The child was trying desperately to outrun the virus, but she knew she could not go much longer.

Crow: Oh boy, I've got a bad feeling about where this is going.
Mike: Oh, come on, no fanfic writer is so dark that they'd kill off a little girl.

Suddenly she stopped dead beside the big gray arch in the center of the sector.

Servo: Oh my god! She did kill her!
Mike: I guess I should have seen that one coming. . .

Her body pitched forward with the remainder of the speed she had been running at, colliding gently with the gray stone.

Crow: I am disturbed in so many ways!
Mike: This is not a good start, guys.
Servo: (to Bob, terrified) Umm, is the little girl dead, Bob?
Bob: No, honey, she's just sleeping.
Servo: Okay. . .

The child appeared to be giving herself up, allowing Hexadecimal to shred her.

Bob: And now she's shredding her?
Crow: What is she, parmesan cheese?
Servo: Turn me off! Turn me off now!

As the virus descended on her, a menacing glint in her eyes, the child screamed one word:

Bob: Acid!


Bob: Oh, that was my second guess.

"Oh, Emidecimal!"

Mike: (Hexadecimal) You little scamp!

In a split nano Hex had retracted her claws and was smirking.

Crow: (Hexadecimal) I sure shredded her good. Well, back to my gardening. . .

Giggling, Emi flew up to the top of the arch and sat there, leaning forward on her hands.

Mike: The delightfully whimsical murder!
Crow: Ah, Emidecimal -- the Marissa Picard of Cyberspace.
Servo: Well, it's not first-person this time -- at least there's that.

She gazed up at the dark sky, bathed in the pink glow of the new portal to the Web that was now in the center of the Mainframe sky.

Bob: So the entire "shredded little girl" episode is immediately forgotten.

Suddenly there came a message in Emi's mind,

Servo: (AOL voice) You have mail!

a message from Hex. *Come along, Emidecimal. Megabyte will not be happy if we are late.*

Crow: Mop up this little girl here and let's go.

*Aw man! But I like it up here!*

Mike: Besides, I'm the author! I can do whatever I want!

*Emidecimal....* There was a threatening edge to the voice. *Now.*

*Oh, all right, I'm coming.*

Bob: (Emidecimal) Just let me get my beanie babies.

Below Emi Hex disappeared in a white flash. Emi shoved herself off the arch,

Mike: Boy, first Hexadecimal gratuitously mangles a little girl, and now Emi's committing suicide.
Servo: I've got a very, very bad feeling about this one, guys.

letting herself fall, then soaring back upward in a glorious save. She flew off to Sector G Prime.

Bob: For spring break.
Servo: Visit beautiful G Prime! Acres and acres of bleak, viral desolation!

When she reached the Tor, she swooped down feet-first through the hole in the top and skidded across the floor.

Servo: Needs to have her brakes checked.

Megabyte appeared unfazed by the child's antics.

Mike: Emi used to stop a show, but now she can't even make it on America's Funniest Home Videos.

"Where's Hex?" Emi asked, knowing her friend should have reached the Tor long ago.

"I do not know."

Bob: (Megabyte) Where did you leave her last?

Pieces of the hardware hung in the grasp of huge mechanical arms hanging from the ceiling of the Tor.

Mike: Hey, Megabyte lives in my dad's garage!

Electric flashes riddled the air as the pieces were attached. Emi watched in wonder.

Servo: As the audience wondered what they were watching.

Megabyte had an incredible talent for building hardware.

Bob: And singing showtunes.

And this! The energy cannon that would close the portal was an admirable construction.

Crow: Voted "Best Doomsday Device of the Year" by Better Tyrants and Supervillains.

Hex had told Emi that she was going to power the hardware.

Mike: But then a last-minute meeting cropped up at work, and she just couldn't make it.

"How will you power the energy cannon without losing all your energy?" Emi had asked.

Servo: With the miracle of suspended disbelief!

Hex had murmured something about transfinite powers, but Emi still wasn't quite sure she understood.

Crow: It's never a good sign when even your author doesn't know what's going on.

The last of the bright light died away. "Ha ha! The hardware is complete!" Megabyte cried with an evil laugh.

Servo: (Megabyte) Let's go out for a cold one!

"Hey, wait a nano." Emi floated over to a corner of the platform the hardware stood on. "What's this?" she inquired, pointing to a trap door.

Bob: That's the glove compartment, you idiot.

"Ah! I'm glad you asked, Emidecimal.

Servo: (Megabyte) Otherwise we wouldn't have a chance to provide any exposition.

You'll enjoy this.

Crow: I'm sure we won't.

From that trap door comes a holding chamber into which the Guardian will be thrown.

Mike: I don't have the exact details down, but. . .

The chamber will then be launched into the portal before it is closed."

Bob: Why does this sound so familiar? Geez, I can't put my digit on it. . .

"And this buys us a little more time? Cool!"

"That's not the whole of it, Emidecimal. With the Guardian gone,

Crow: We can eat all the cookies we want!

the city will unquestionably be OURS!"

Emidecimal responded with a very unviral "Woohoo!"

Servo: What, is she channeling Homer Simpson all of a sudden?

"Now all we need is the software."

But when Megabyte called the Principal Office, Phong refused to download the necessary software from the Archives.

Mike: Geez, I wonder why. . .

In a desperate attempt to obtain the software, Bob was summoned. He finally persuaded Phong to download it.

Mike: (Bob) C'mon, Phong! Give them the software so that they can shoot me into the Web and take over the city!
Servo: (to Bob) Where'd you get your Guardian protocols, a box of Crackerjacks?
Bob: That never happened! I swear!

After Bob left, a familiar white mask floated down next to Megabyte's throne.

Crow: The Phantom of the Opera?

In a brilliant flash, Hex appeared.

All: Huzzah!

"I trust you were listening?" Megabyte asked.

"Yes, of course. I love the way you and Bob work together!"

Mike: Bob and Megabyte -- like Burns and Allen.
Servo: (Megabyte) Say goodnight, Bob.
Bob: Goodnight, Bob.

She smiled, then her mask turned sad.

Servo: Neat. Mike, can I get one of those magic changing faces?
Mike: We'll see. . . for your birthday maybe. . .

"It'll be a shame to split up such a winning team."

"Hexadecimal..." Megabyte said in a warning tone.

Crow: (Megabyte) Don't make me get out the handcuffs. . .

"You know the plan."

Mike: Now get into your cowboy suit.

"Which one?

Mike: The one with the blue overalls.

There seem to be several."

Mike: Well, just pick one then!
Servo: Mike. . .

Hex cast a glance in the direction of the hardware and was surprised to see it completed.

Bob: Considering she'd been watching and listening and all.

"Ooh, it's finished!" she cried, flying up to get a better look. "What a lovely toy. Where do I sit?"

(Crow opens his mouth)
Mike: (hastily) I think that's better left unsaid, friend.
(Crow closes his mouth and seems put off)


"What-cha do-in'?"

Crow: It's a Mindy and Buttons crossover!

Mouse rolled her eyes,

Bob: (Mouse) Oh geez, not the author again. . .

then glanced up at Emidecimal. "Ah'm hackin' into the Web and erasin' Mainframe's location."

Mike: (Mouse) And these nude pictures of me that the fans keep circulating.

"You're erasing us?" Emi was shocked and confused. "But why?"

Bob: (Mouse) Ah'm underpaid and unappreciated.

"Sugah, ah'm not erasin' the system. Ah'm erasin' the location."

Servo: (Mouse) Did ah mention ah have a south'en accent, sugah?

"What does that do?"

Bob: It erases the system.

"Ya won't be able to locate Mainframe from the Web after ah'm through."

"You mean..."

Bob: I won't be able to visit Mainframe's homepage and learn about all of their exciting new shows?
Crow: Kiss-up!
Bob: Am not!
Crow: Are too!
Mike: Guys, guys. . .
Bob: (under his breath) Am not.


(All start "singing" Mission: Impossible theme)

"Cool!" Emi left Mouse and then came over to Megabyte. "Psst!"

Mike: So one of Emi's super powers is the ability to annoy people without retaliation.

He turned a slightly irritated gaze to her. "Yes?"

"Check this out.

Servo: My Tamagotchi's pooping.

Mouse told me that she's erasing Mainframe's location from the Web! No one there will ever be able to locate Mainframe again!"

An evil smile crept across Megabyte's face.

Bob: (Megabyte) I have a wonderful Grinchy idea.

Emi smiled also and nodded vigorously.

Crow: For no immediately apparant reason.

"Hex!" she called. "Fire up the hardware!"

Mike: So Megabyte had a mid-sentence sex change?
Bob: No, I think Emidecimal gave the order; that's why it's a she.
Mike: When did a five-year-old get clearance to order Hexadecimal around?
Crow: Well, she is the author. . .

Hex did so.

Servo: Wow, that sentence just brought everything alive for me.

Her hands glowed orange as they grasped the handles, energy flowing into the hardware.

Servo: You know, she seems to enjoy that just a bit too much. . .

Bob flew in on his zipboard.

Bob: Hey, I am in this one!
Crow: Not for long. . .
Bob: What do you mean by that?
Servo: Haven't you figured it out yet? Emidecimal stole this entire chapter from "Web World War"! You know, the episode where you were shot into the Web?
Bob: Huh. . . Hey! (standing up and shouting at his on-screen self) You idiot! Get out of there! He's going to shoot you into the Web!
Mike: Bob, honey, he can't hear you.

"Is it time yet?" Emi whispered to Megabyte.

"Not yet. Be patient."

Servo: (Megabyte) Go lie down.

"That's it!" Mouse cried suddenly. "I've broken their code!"

Mike: Well, that's great, but weren't you supposed to be deleting the system or something?

"The hardware," Hex announced triumphantly, "is fully charged!"

Servo: Geez, keep her away from that thing!

"Excellent," Megabyte murmured. "Now it's my turn."

Bob: (Megabyte) I'll attack Japan from Kamchatka.

Only Emidecimal saw Megabyte flick out his claws.

Servo: You mean no one heard that trademark *SHING* sound?

"Okay, everyone!" Bob shouted. "Get ready! We're going to shut the portal!"

Crow: No one has to do anything but sit there and watch, but get ready!

Suddenly Megabyte leapt at Dot.

Servo: Hikeeba!

She screamed as her big gun was chopped in half.

Mike: By what, a low-flying jet plane?

"Not just yet, Guardian,"

Mike: Not until you finish your peas.

Megabyte said as Emidecimal pinned Dot to the platform, growling.

Bob: Was Emidecimal growling, or was Dot growling?
Crow: I think it was the platform.

"Gli--" Bob was cut off

Mike: By another low-flying jet plane.

as Megabyte's metal hand clamped over his mouth. "Mmmph!" he protested

Servo: What do we want?
All: Mmmph!
Servo: When do we want it?
All: Now!

as Megabyte removed Glitch and crumpled it effortlessly.

Crow: (Megabyte) Oops, sorry. . . don't know my own strength sometimes. . . listen, I'll get you a new one. . .


Bob: Close the door so the bugs don't get in!

With the tap of a button

Mike: The garage door opened.

the holding chamber came up from its trap door. Bob was flung into it.

Crow: By hurricane Rachael.

"Megabyte!" he yelled through the glass. "You won't get away with this!"

Bob: (head in his hands, muttering) I can't believe my last line in the series was an empty cliché.
Servo: Look on the bright side. At least you'll be out of this rotten fic pretty soon.

Megabyte dismissed this easily with a smug "No time to talk now, Bob," then commanded to a viral binome, "Launch!"

(The 'bots start making vomitting noises)

The binome gleefully attempted to push the button

Servo: But Frank beat him to it.
Mike: Hey! What did I tell you about that?

but his wrist was caught by Mouse, who casually flung him aside.

Crow: At least she didn't formally fling him aside.

Megabyte advanced on Mouse,

Crow: (Megabyte) Hey Hot Coco. . . hows about we cut and paste over to the Tor for a while?

one arm raised and ready to strike, but Mouse held up her sword and threatened "One more step and I'll sub-divide you."

Servo: Who's talking? Accents! We need accents!

She didn't notice the floating mask behind her, but Emi did.

Mike: I'd hope that the author would catch these little things.

She got up, freeing Dot, and ran toward Mouse, distracting her.

Bob: Boy, it's the amazing attention to detail that really makes these action sequences come alive for me.

By the time the flash came

Mike: Everyone had already started moving around, thinking the time-delay camera was malfunctioning.
Crow: Hey, Mike. Long way to go for a lame joke.
Mike: Thank you.

Mouse could get out only a startled "What--?" before Hex knocked her sword out of her hand and threw a powerful punch

Servo: Fifty yards down the field to the receiver.

straight into her face, causing her to fall onto the platform.

Servo: Wasn't she already on the platform?

Hex stepped aside, clearing the way for Megabyte as he stepped up to the controls.

Crow: (sportscaster) He's stepping up to the controls now. Bases are loaded, and it's the bottom of the ninth. . .

He stared at Bob and suddenly got the most malevolent grin on his face.

Mike: C'mon, what's taking so long? Just push the thing!

Bob's eyes went wide.

Then he pushed the button,

Servo: How did Bob manage to push the button from inside the capsule?

and anyone could see he had been waiting for this moment all his life.

Bob: And that he could feel it coming in the air tonight, oh no.

The elimination of an enemy was a proud moment for any virus.

Crow: As was winning a tri-county spelling bee.

"NNNNNOOOOOO!" Bob screamed as the holding chamber shot from the platform and straight into the center of the portal,

Servo: Bullseye!

the impact sending ripples across the pink surface.

"BOBBB!" Dot cried in despair.

Crow: (Dot) Come back! You still owe me 40 credits!
Servo: How do you hold a "B" sound like that?

Megabyte slammed an iron fist onto the button that would shut the portal.

Mike: Destroying the circuitry and rendering the hardware inoperable.

An electric beam shot from the hardware and engulfed the portal in painfully bright light,

Crow: Look straight into it. Maybe we'll get lucky and go blind.

from which everyone shielded their eyes.

Emidecimal stared up into the sky in awe and disbelief.

Bob: Apparantly not everyone was shielding their eyes.

It was over. And Bob was gone.

Crow: The end. Okay, let's go.
Servo: No, there's nine more chapters.
Crow: . . . I'm just going to cry now.

Glancing back at Dot, Emi saw her pick up the crumpled Glitch and hold it in her hands, gazing sadly at it.

Mike: (Dot, sobbing) Glitch! Oh, you poor little Glitch, I'm so crestfallen about your demise!
Servo: What about Bob?
Mike: (Dot, still sobbing) Oh Glitch, I'll miss you so much!

Off to the side Hex noticed this new target for destroying. Switching to her most evil, frightening mask,

Crow: The one of Howard Stern.

she slowly advanced on Dot.

Bob: I didn't know she buttered her bread that way. . .

Dot looked up with a sad, indifferent gaze which clearly said she wouldn't mind if Hex ripped her to shreds.

Crow: (Fran Dreshier) Oh sure, you can shred me, I don't moind.
Mike: Anyone else get the feeling Emidecimal should probably get out more?
Servo: Mmm hmm.

That would have been exactly what happened

Bob: If BS'n'P hadn't interfered.

had Mouse not stepped in and blasted Hex with a stream of purple light from her ring.

Hex screamed in pain and put her hands to her face.

Crow: (Hexadecimal) Don't look at me without makeup on!

Emi ran to her, concerned. This gave Mouse and Dot the time they needed to jump into Mouse's ship and zoom off toward the Principal Office.

"They're escaping!" Hex cried.

Mike: Carrots are a vegetable!
Crow: Cars have wheels!
Bob: The world is round!
Servo: Americans eat too much beef!

"Let them run," Megabyte replied. "They'll soon discover there's nowhere left to hide."

Servo: (Megabyte) I've taken all the good spots.

He turned to a VidWindow upon which a viral binome stood at attention. "Commander!" he ordered.

Crow: How ironic. The commander is being commanded.

"Destroy the remaining spores. Then blow the CPUs out of the sky."

Servo: And get me a cup of decaf!

As the VidWindow closed he turned back to Hex and Emi, whispering cruelly to no one at all, "I want total air supremacy!"

Mike: That's a very important thing to tell no one.

"Ooh, my turn!" Hex declared.

Bob: (Hexadecimal) Queen to king's bishop four. Checkmate!

"I'm going to recharge this thing." There was an electric hum as her hands, grasping the handles, began to glow orange.

Servo: Whoa, easy girl! Save some for tonight!
Mike: (touching Servo's shoulder) All right, Tom, that's enough.

"What do you think, Emidecimal? Let's turn it around and point it at the Principal Office!"

Mike: (singing) Schoooool's. . . out. . . for. . .ever!

Her voice rose to a shriek and was followed by maniacal laughter.

Bob: If nothing else, she loves her work.

Emi grinned widely, clapping her hands in a burst of excitement.

Crow: (Emidecimal) Evil is fun!

She watched delightedly as an ABC blew up a Web spore, then caught sight of a CPU and gave chase.

Servo: So after she saw the ABC blow up the Web spore, she saw a CPU and started chasing it.
Crow: Sounds right.

"So what do we do now?" Emi asked.

Mike: (The Brain) The same thing we do every night, Pinky. . .

"Well, we...hmm." Hex was at a loss for words.

Servo: Weren't you going to blast the Principle Office or something?
Bob: She has the attention span of a high school freshman.

"I know! Why don't we check in on some friends?" Emi suggested.

"Whatever do you mean?"

Servo: (Emidecimal) You know, like Scooter and Chopper.

"The Principal Office! We can force Phong to lower the defenses and take the city for our own!"

Mike: (Hexadecimal) What a good idea! I wish I'd thought of that!

"Precisely!" Megabyte cut in. He opened a VidWindow to the Principal Office. Hex and Emi stood behind him.

Bob: And gave him bunny-ears.

The frightened and sad faces of the sprites and binomes who had lost their Guardian gazed up at the window with wide eyes. Hex was right, their efforts in fighting the Web had been valiant,

Crow: When did Hex say anything about their efforts in fighting the Web?

but they all knew it couldn't have been truer when Megabyte triumphantly stated, "It was all for nothing!"

Bob: Unless he stated "Emidecimal stole this entire chapter from the last episode of season 2 of ReBoot."

Chapter Two

Too Far, Too Fast

Servo: Actually, I feel the story's "Too Long, Too Slow", personally.

The VidWindow closed. Hex flew up to the gun as if drawn by a magnet,

Bob: Which erased her.

and Emidecimal followed.

Silence, then Megabyte spoke.

Mike: Are you sure it wasn't silence after Megabyte spoke, or silence as Megabyte spoke, or. . . ?

"Fire when ready."

Bob: Who's Ready?. . . oh wait, that doesn't work.

"Ready!" Hex cried with a fiendish delight and sent a powerful blast of energy towards the Principal Office.

Crow: (Megabyte) No, I said fire, not energy! Geez, what do I pay you people for?

After several rounds of this the shield began to deplete. It was fading fast, and Emi could see the Principal Office through it. "Yeah!" she cheered, throwing her arms in the air.

Servo: Which hit her on the way back down.

"Power down, Hexadecimal," Megabyte called. "They're defenseless. The city is ours!"

Bob: (Megabyte) Well, mine anyway.

"But dear brother," Hex protested, "the Principal Office is...SCREAMING OUT TO BE DESTROYED!"

Crow: No, those are just the voices in your head again.

"If you destroy the core," Megabyte said with strained calm,

Mike: . . .And strained peas. . .
Crow: Yech.

"you will bring about the destruction of the entire system and us along with it."

"Oh dear..." Hex said mockingly in a baby voice. "Never mind...it will be glorious!"

Bob: That is one spooky chick.

She charged the energy cannon and fired it.

Mike: Hey. She's good at what she does.

But just as the energy beam was about to strike a portion of the shield wall flew up and deflected the beam.

Servo: And destroyed the commas.

"Oh, noooo!" Emi whined.

Mike: It's Mr. Bill!

"No matter, Emidecimal. We will just have try it again!"

"Yes! Go for it!"

Servo: Wasn't she appalled just a moment ago when she thought Mouse was going to destroy the system?

"Now for Mainframe's final curtain call..." Hex laughed diabolically and Emi's eyes got a glint in them of evil delight.

Bob: You know, I really hope this is all just a personna and that our author isn't really like this.
Servo: Oh yeah, I can see her as a rather low-key middle-to-high school student who gets straight A's and writes horribly demented stories about mangling small children in order to cope with the stress associated with academic success.
Bob: . . . Were you being sarcastic just now?
Servo: No.

At that moment a desperate Megabyte,

Crow: And several suicidal kilobytes. . .

claws out, leapt for his sister, determined to stop her at all costs. "You will not destroy my city!" he bellowed.

Mike: He must have had some serious hangtime to say all that before he landed.

"Go away!" Hex cried,

Bob: Go to bed, old man!

blasting Megabyte with fiery energy from her hands. "It's my turn to play!"

Servo: C'mon, you've been playing on the computer all morning! Give me a turn!



Emi glanced up at the darkening purple sky.

Servo: Oh, it's starting to rain. It's the end of the system and the picnic's cancelled. Darn.

She flew away from the energy cannon to pinpoint the location of the Game's landing. Right on the Principal Office. Strange....

Bob: Games had never fallen on Mainframe before. . .

Emi's eyes drifted back to Hex,

Crow: Leaving her behind.

who was bringing the gun in closer. All of a sudden her eyes were drawn back to the rapidly descending Game wall, swirling with purple energy.

Mike: And Flower Power.

Just then Emi realized the Game wall was going to land on the hardware!

Emi gasped.

Servo: A shot rang out. The woman screamed!

She shouted a warning but it was too late--

Crow: Another Jim Carrey movie was unleashed upon the masses.

The energy cannon became enveloped in a bright glow.

Bob: And shipped overnight by UPS.

Energy burst into the handles, and Emi froze in shock at the sound of Hex's terrified, tortured shrieking. Emi saw her friend writhing in agony,

Crow: And realized the Joy-Buzzer-On-The-Hardware-Handles gag had gotten a bit out of hand.

blasted back and thrown forward repeatedly,

Mike: It's a typical ride at the state fair.
Crow: Are you kidding? State fair rides aren't that safe. . .

and saw her hands splay,

All: Ewwww!

from the force of the blow and in pain. She saw her mask change to terror and her head snap back as bolts of white light gushed from her eyes and her mouth,

Mike: Never microwave a virus!

singing the mask around it a deadly black.

Servo: I sing the mask electric!

And she could only stare as the blue and white electricity ran up Hex's arms and her shrieks silenced as she was enveloped in that infamous pain beyond screaming that came only with severe electrocution.

Mike: And reading bad fan-fiction.

It was too much for Emi.

Bob: When Emidecimal says you've gone too far, you've gone too far.

She began screaming, screaming and screaming

Crow: Not nesseccarily in that order.

as she flew to her friend, afraid to touch her as the electricity surged through her body, scared nearly to fainting as the searing light continued to pour from the holes in her mask.

Servo: If my best friend turned into a flashlight, I'd be pretty scared myself.
Mike: What about Gypsy?
Servo: Well, I -- the -- huh?

She knew she had to get help, but before she could even think

Servo: So basically this could have happened anywhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 7 weeks.
Mike: Hey now! Be nice!

the hardware exploded in a torrent of green sparks and she was catapulted head-over-heels backwards.

Crow: Why did she feel it nessecary to point out that she was right-side-up?

She caught herself and resumed her normal position,

Crow: With her head firmly under her heels.

but when she looked up both Hex and the hardware were gone.

Bob: Gee, normally when things explode they stay in the same place.

No more light, no more sizzling blue and white electricity,

Crow: No more pencils, no more books. . .

only empty space. "No!" she cried, rocketing down to the ground.

When she hit the ground she was only confused.

Mike: And not at all hurt from hitting the ground at about thirty or forty miles an hour.

She felt as if she had never been in this sector before, even though she had many times.

Servo: Oh, she has Altzheimer's.

Where was Hex?

Mike: I don't suppose she could have been blown up or anything?

She had to find her now, before it was too late....but where to begin? And was it already too late?

Megabyte came up to her, and Emi didn't even ask how he had gotten down there.

Bob: She's a fanfic writer, so she doesn't bother with those little details.

She knew she'd been standing there too long. It was only for a few moments she had been there, but it felt like hours.

Mike: Just like reading this story.

Her boots felt cemented to the sector terrain but she broke them free and ran off. Her mind raced faster than her feet could ever carry her,

Servo: A full two feet per hour!
Mike: Hey, c'mon. Be nice.
Servo: Yeah, but Bob's not in this one. I have to use my material on someone.

and she felt disoriented and lost.

Then she saw it!

Crow: The sign. It opened up her mind.

"Megabyte! Over here!" she called frantically.

Servo: She just doesn't get "Hide and Seek", does she?

He stood beside her but said nothing. She pointed to the piece of burnt metal, then followed the trail of wreckage and broken glass until finally

Mike: She stopped following it.

she came to the charred remains of the energy cannon. Lying between a large chunk of metal

Crow: And a hard place.

and the wall of a building was a figure barely recognizable.

Bob: One of the early ReBoot action figures.

Her body was charred, twisted, and much thinner than it originally was.

Servo: Richard Simmons claims another victim.

Two white columns of smoke poured from the eyeholes of her mask, a face contorted in eternal terror. The wire framework on the bodice of her red suit was bent and burned.

Crow: Her make-up was slightly smudged.

Her crown was partially melted and some spikes were snapped in two.

Bob: Oh no! Hex!
Crow: No more shredding little children in the street! No more threatening to destroy hundreds of innocent people! No more strange voices in my head!
Servo: (sobbing, leaning against Mike) Oh, Hex!
(Mike pats Servo's head sympathetically)

One arm draped uselessly over a sizeable energy cannon fragment that had landed in a strange position.

Crow: I didn't know Hex was into that kinda. . .
Mike: Stop right there unless you want your legs in a strange position.

The other lay on the ground, bent at the elbow, the hand hanging. From where Emi stood, one leg appeared to be missing, but Emi did not want to get closer and find out.

Bob: She wanted to go out for ice cream.

She wanted to deny she knew this person,

Mike: She wanted to plead the fifth.

for truthfully she had never before seen the mangled figure that lay before her, but she knew who it was in its normal form.

Servo: So had she seen the mangled figure before or not?

Her throat tightened as she stepped closer

Bob: And Hexadecimal started strangling her, thinking she was a little girl.

and she choked down the sob she knew was there. "Hex..." she whispered. "Hexi?"

She knew full well there would be no answer,

Crow: Oh, she also has the superpower to notice the obvious.

yet there still was a stinging shock when no answer came.

Servo: Wow. Must be easy to organize a surprise birthday party for this girl. I mean, you could tell her about it, and she'd still be shocked.

She knelt beside her friend and placed her hand on her charred shoulder. It was warm to the touch and Emi winced. She gently shook Hex's shoulder. "Hex? Please say something...."

Crow: (Hexadecimal) Look, this isn't a good time for me to talk, I'm a little dead right now. . .

No answer still.

Mike: So, at this point, Emidecimal catches on and realizes. . .

"Hex? Hex, why won't you answer me? It's me, Emidecimal!

Mike: Nope, guess not.

Please! Speak!!!

(Servo starts barking)

Please!" Emi begged,

(Servo starts panting like a dog)
Mike: Good boy. (Pats Servo on the head.)

but no answer came from the mouth frozen open in surprise for what Emi knew would be forever.

Bob: I told her that if she made that face, it would freeze like that. Did she listen? Noooooo. . .

Emi tried in vain to get an answer from Hex. Though she was persistent,

Crow: Hex still didn't jump up and come back to life.

nothing would work and she knew nothing would. She felt a compression in her chest

Mike: Oh, her torso's being ZIPped.

and a dull, empty ache in the pit of her stomach.

Servo: So she's heart-broken and slightly peckish.

No viral energy could fight this feeling,

All: Oogah-shaka, oogah oogah ooga-shaka, oogah oogah. . .
Servo: (singing) I can't fight this feeling. . . deep inside of me. . .

and a sob broke free from her closed lips. It was followed by more

Bob: And soon a stampede of sobs were tearing up the countryside.

as she folded her arms on the metal fragment and laid her head on them. Her head was in just the right position so that Hex's hand rested against it.

Servo: You know, I think I'm beginning to see why ABC cancelled this show. . .

Emi cried harder than she had ever cried before, so hard it made her shoulders shake violently.

Mike: My girlfriend did this once. On our first date.

It was a heartrending scene, the little virus crying beside the burned and twisted corpse of the older virus.

Crow: I didn't know heartrending was a synonym for disturbingly morbid.

Meanwhile Megabyte had summoned viral binomes

Bob: Out of thin air.
Servo: What manner of virus are you who can summon binomes without flint or tinder?

to take Hex to the Tor for treatment. The leader of them, the German scientist binome, stepped up to Megabyte. "How can ve take Hexadecimal avay?

Mike: Oh joy. Another overdone accent to deal with.

Shouldn't ve do somezing about ze girl?"

Servo: (singing) What about the girl? She saw it a-a-all!

Megabyte shook his head. "No. Let her cry for now."

Mike: It's her party. She can cry if she wants to.

Chapter Three

Crow: (getting up) Well, come on guys, let's take a break.
Servo: It's not time yet.
Crow: (incredulous) We have to see three chapters back-to-back?
Bob: 'Fraid so. It's a long story; we've got to take big bites.
(Crow starts sobbing into Mike's shoulder. Mike pats Crow on the back comfortingly.)

Be Brave, Little One

Crow: Easy for you to say!

Emidecimal had never felt so empty and alone in her entire life. She couldn't believe that the destroyed corpse in front of her had been Hexadecimal.

Mike: Anyone get the feeling a good 50-60% of this story is mourning?

Her only friend, deleted in a freak accident right before her very eyes, and there was nothing she could have done.

Servo: She could have played Monopoly.

Emi blinked and a tear ran down her cheek, crossing the paths of countless others that had come before.

Crow: Oh, come on! It's not like she was your sister or anything!

The one person whom to her had been a friend, protector, confidante, almost an older sister, was gone.

Crow: Oops.

She became sick of seeing the same mask,

Bob: So she changed the channel.

and she wished it would change, partly so she could see Hex was still alive and partly because

Servo: It looks really cool when Hexadecimal changes masks.
Mike: Oh yeah. Tell me about it.

it scared her to see her friend like this. She nearly burned a hole in the mask with her eyes as she stared at it,

Servo: Wow!

willing it in vain to change. Loneliness, grief, and fear flooded her heart

Crow: Forcing out all the blood.

and she let out a tortured scream, then fell back onto the chunk of destroyed hardware. Her anguished sobs rent the air once again.

Mike: Yeah, you can only rent air! Ha ha!
Servo: No, Mike.

Megabyte knelt beside Emi and placed his hand on her shoulder.

Bob: And infected her.

Emidecimal was silent as her mind calmed, but her heart nearly burst

Servo: As about fifty cheeseburgers tried ramming their way through her clogged ventricles.

with what she forced herself to hold inside.

Mike: Get this woman a bucket! She's gonna blow!

She glanced up at Hex and saw Herr Doctor,

Crow: Standing right next to Hiss Doctor.

the German scientist binome, click his fingers together and say insensitively, "Put her in ze back of ze van."

Servo: Just scrunch her in next to the groceries.

"No!" Emi cried despairingly. "No! What are you doing?

Mike: (Emidecimal) No! Stop playing on her!

Leave her alone!" She lunged toward the binomes, trying to free herself of Megabyte's grasp.

Servo: What, is there a manual override on her shoulder?
Bob: (Emidecimal) Can't. . . move. . . his hand. . . is on. . . my. . . shoulder. . .

The binomes looked confusedly up, but Megabyte motioned for them to continue. They loaded Hex onto a stretcher and wheeled it into an ABC.

Mike: Action! Suspense! Drama!
Crow: Yeah, that's what this story could use a little more of.

Megabyte put his hand under Emidecimal's chin and lifted her head.

Crow: Right off her neck.


"What?" she answered in a soft, quiet voice.

"You must come now."

Servo: (Megabyte) We're at Grandma's.

Emi had no intention of obeying. "Why?"

Bob: Again with the Mindy and Buttons bit.

"You must come to Silicon Tor now," he said gently. "Do you want to leave Hex all alone?"

Mike: Meanwhile, the Principle Office's forces are all off having a rum and coke somewhere. . .
Bob: "Ah, just let the viruses regroup and repair themselves."
Servo: "Bob's gone! Party! Whoo!"

"But isn't she...isn't she..." Emi swallowed hard, swallowing

Bob: So she swallowed then?
Servo: Mmm Hmm.

the word she would right now rather delete herself than say.

Mike: What, Gorditas?
Crow: Mike! I'd almost forgotten about that stupid commerical, and now you reminded me! Thanks a lot!
Mike: Sorry. . .

She pressed her lips tightly together,

Servo: And swallowed.

then asked in a voice so low it was barely audible, "She is, isn't she?"

Servo: (Emidecimal) She's my mom, isn't she?

"I do not know, Emidecimal.

Bob: Who's talking, Lieutenent Commander Data? Why isn't there a contraction?
Mike: Take it easy, Bob.
Bob: It's just so unnatural!
Servo: Just let it go, Bob.
Bob: Does Emidecimal think Megabyte never uses contractions or something?
Crow: Shut up, Bob.
Bob: I'm sorry. It just makes me mad.
Mike: I know, honey.

This is why you must come. We must take her to the Tor to find out."

"I don't want to find out."

Servo: (Emidecimal) Let's just go to Chuck E. Cheese's.

"Come, Emidecimal. You can not leave everything behind and deny the world.

Crow: Yeah, Mike!
Mike: He wasn't talking to me!

Sometimes you will have to face the truth, and this is one of those times."

Bob: Wow, he dispenses homespun wisdom and still finds time to crush entire systems beneath his thumb!

Emi knew she had no other choice. She bowed her head and rose. Reluctantly she followed Megabyte but refused to ride in the limo with him.

Servo: Yeah, she just doesn't want to tell him about his B.O.

She wanted to stay with Hex.

Crow: She wanted to squeeze out another chapter describing how blown up she was.

Though inwardly questioning Emidecimal's decision, Megabyte allowed Emi to stay by her friend, no matter what he thought of it.

Crow: Anything they did from the privacy of their home was. . .
Mike: Crow. . .

Emi didn't seem to mind sitting beside a body burnt and mangled almost beyond recognition.

Servo: Shredding small children in the streets kinda desensitized her toward things like that.

It had been Hex, at least at one time, and it went without saying that at the moment Emi's mind was on Hex and Hex only.

Crow: And nothing but the Hex.

Was she going to lose her best friend, her one and only companion?

Servo: Tune in next week for a very special Day of the Decimal.

This couldn't be happening to her.

Mike: It was Picture Day, and she had a zit!

It just couldn't...

Her stomach turned anxiously

Mike: My stomach's turning, but it's not anxiously, I'll tell you that much.

as she stared out the window, watching the Tor nearing outside. In less than a microsecond her fate would be forever sealed.

Bob: Or at least until the end of the story.


Emidecimal had stayed close during all the scans,

Servo: And soaked up enough X-Ray radiation to glow in the dark.

refusing to leave Hex's side, whether she was alive or dead. Herr Doctor, though his little binome heart was cold,

Mike: And was two sizes too small. . .

was touched by the girl's devotion to the strange lady she had known only a little over a year,

Bob: Only a little over a year? That's forever!

and was beginning to hope Hex would be all right, for Emidecimal's sake. Emi held the mangled hand, patted the charred shoulder,

Crow: Changed the ragged clothes, combed the knotted hair, played tea party. . .

whispered comforting words she wasn't sure Hex could hear.

Herr Doctor glanced at the monitor to see the results of the scans. Upon seeing them, he closed his eyes

Bob: I hate to be picky, but Ones only have one eye.
Servo: Who are you kidding? You love to be picky.
Bob: . . . Well, yeah, I guess. . .

and lowered his head. Emidecimal was not aware of the results of the scans, nor did she want to be, but someone was going to have to tell her one way or another.

Servo: (to Bob) I think you should tell her.
Bob: Tell Miss Destroyer-of-Systems that her best friend is toast? No thank you!

When the binome approached her, Emi did not look up, but her face fell.

Mike: Whoops. It fell off again. Should have used a high-grade superglue instead of the cheap stuff.
Crow: Or some duct tape.

She took in her own the hand that was reduced nearly to ash and held it against her face.

Servo: Eww, look, she's smudging ash all over her face!
Mike: My goodness. . .

"Emidecimal," he said gravely.

She looked up and her eyes held an eerie emptiness. "No...."

Bob: (Emidecimal) Those were other kids!

"Emidecimal, Hex has not been deleted."

(General celebratory commotion)
Servo: Oh, thank the heavens above!
Crow: The genocide can continue as scheduled!

These words brought on a complete transformation.

Servo: She's Sailor Moon all of a sudden.

Emi's face lit up as if someone had placed a light bulb inside it.

Mike: Oww!

She burst into

Mike: Flames?

smiles and her eyes glowed with the pure joy radiating from her heart.

Servo: And the X-Rays.

She was in a state of absolute ecstasy. Her only friend would not leave her after all! "Hex...is alive?!"

Bob: Whoops, two end punctuation marks. That's a ten yard penalty and a loss of down.

she cried happily.

"Yes, but--"

Crow: We had to replace her body with robotic parts. Now she's the Bionic Virus!

Herr Doctor held up a hand and cut Emi off "--it is only barely zat she is. She vill have to be placed in a healing tank, and I do not know how long she vill have to stay zere."

Mike: (Herr Doktor) At least until I figure out vere my accent is from.

"I will stay for however long she has to," Emi replied.

"Emidecimal, Megabyte vill not allow you to stay!"

Servo: Wait, didn't he insist that she come to the Tor with them?

"I don't care what he does to me. I'm not leaving Hex."

Herr Doctor sighed. "As you vish, zen."

Emi looked on as the alive but comatose

Servo: (Singing) Drinkin' fresh. . . mango juice. . .
Mike: (touching Tom's shoulder) No honey.
Servo: Sorry. . .

Hex was put into a stasis chamber.

Servo: For bringing a cat on board.
Mike: No, and again, no Tom.
Servo: Well, I'm sorry! She's setting me up!
Bob: What's he talking about?
Mike: Never mind. You're much happier not knowing.

Whether the electrocution had deleted her or not,

Crow: She still had to go to school.

Hex was close to ending file and Emi knew it.

Servo: I wish we were close to ending this file.
Bob: Well said.

She could only hope that Hex would hold on long enough for the healing tank to save her.

Megabyte, meanwhile, had come in.

Mike: (Megabyte) Hey, what's all this doing in my living room?

He stared up at Hex and said, "I just thought I'd pop in and see if the doctors were taking good care of you."

Bob: (Megabyte) So, how's it going? Oh, that's right, you're comatose. Ha ha. . .

He then turned to Herr Doctor and inquired, "How is the patient?"

Servo: Hey, you know, I performed surgery on someone last week.
Mike: (snickers) For what?
Servo: (matter-of-factly) Nine hundred dollars.
Mike: No, I mean what did he have?
Servo: Nine hundred dollars.
Mike: No, I mean what did you remove?
Servo: The nine hundred dollars.
Mike: (exasperated) No, I mean what was his complaint?
Servo: The. . . nine hundred dollars.
Mike: D'oh!
Bob: The "Surgeon Bit", ladies and gentlemen.

Herr Doctor clicked his fingers together and smiled evilly. "Promise is vizin acceptable parameters. Ze implants have taken

Crow: Insert comment here.

and ze limiters are functioning."

Servo: But she still has a bad case of boogie woogie fever.

"Excellent!" Megabyte cast a glance at Emidecimal to make sure she hadn't heard.

Mike: Yeah, good luck trying to keep anything from the author.

Emi was standing faithfully by the healing tank, peering into the endless depths of energy that filled it,

Mike: Man, now I've got to pee!

unaware of anything else but Hex's condition.

Bob: You know, this is starting to point to an unhealthy obsession.
Crow: Starting to?

She slowly lifted her head to gaze up at the energy cage above her, blinking a few times as if trying to clear her head. But it did not work,

Servo: It was too full of garbage.

nor did it make Hex any better.

Bob: But it did kill a few lines.

"Now remember, I want her to have the best treatment possible. Understand? The best." Megabyte's evil laughter flooded the room.

Crow: (Megabyte) Get her the best room in the hotel! And put all her room service on my bill! First class all the way, you hear me? AHAHAHAHAHA!
Mike: (Herr Doktor) You're mad, sir! Mad!

The girl watched in a mix of worry and awe as Hex was lowered face down into the energy.

Crow: What's she so worried about?

Then all of a sudden she rushed up to the tank's edge, falling to her knees beside it, seeming to be trying to stop the entire operation,

Crow: Why? Doesn't she want them to save her? What the hell's going on?

but as her friend's face disappeared into the swirling energy

Servo: Isn't this the trick that killed Houdini?

she gave an anguished, defeated wail and collapsed beside the tank.

Mike: (Emidecimal) Oh no, they're going to save her, I just know it! Everything's going to be all right and I'm powerless to stop it!

Her tears had refueled over her time of silence

Servo: Oh boy, here we go again. . .

and they flowed once more, her body wracked with sobs at the utter despair of having to be without the one person who meant more to her than anyone else in the Net.

Bob: Yeah, well we got problems too, lady!

She was so lonely she felt as if Hex had really been deleted.

Crow: (yelling) Well she wasn't! Lighten up already!

And yet her sobs,

Bob: What?

her cries

Bob: Oh.

all sounded against the terrifying background of Megabyte's laughter.

Mike: He was in the other room watching The Simpsons.

Megabyte made no move to comfort Emidecimal. Instead he turned and left the medical facility, leaving the child sobbing alone beside the healing tank, sprawled on the cold floor.

Servo: 20/20 takes you undercover to your child care centers to find the truth about what goes on. . . Behind Closed Doors.

Nanoseconds later, she stopped crying, and she didn't need to look up to know she was alone.

Crow: (sighing and getting up) End part three. Wow, finally. . .


Crow: (quivering violently) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Mike: Whoa! Hey! Take it easy!

User-days passed,

Bob: Civilizations rose and fell.

and Emidecimal never once left Hex's side. She would eat nothing, she would drink nothing.

Servo: She became a Breatharian and absorbed all of her energy from the ether.

Every night bouts of insomnia plagued her,

Servo: Maybe she should try reading her stories.
Mike: Servo. . .
Servo: What? It's just some friendly advice. . .

reducing her sleep to only a few User-hours a night, if she was lucky, and no sleep at all during the day.

Servo: (looking around) Does anyone else smell something burning?
Bob: Hey, yeah. . . smells like, uh. . . my car when it's running. . .

Emi refused to eat anything offered her to try and coax her to eat or drink, mostly because all of it was as unappetizing as raw Null.

Bob: Actually, that's pretty good. I had raw Null at this one exotic restaurant in Silver Crossings. Sort of a light, gamey. . .
Crow: Guys, I don't feel so good.
Mike: Umm, Crow? Are you okay, buddy?

Not even a hot cup of energy, which was the Net equivalent of chicken soup, would rouse her appetite.

(Suddenly, Crow bursts into flames.)
Mike: Oh, geez!

All this weakened her considerably. It was good that the healing tank was built into the floor, for she was so weak that she could only lie or kneel beside it.

Mike: Guys, help! Crow's on fire!

If she stood at all, her legs would tremble and soon give out beneath her. She even became delusional.

Servo: She thought she was a character in a kid's TV show! Kooky, huh?
Mike: Servo! Bob! We have to help. . . oh, forget it.

More than once Megabyte had caught her sitting at the tank's edge, talking to Hex as if she were out of the energy and out of her coma.

Mike: Here, Crow, I'll save you!
(Mike gets up and starts fiddling with the belt on his jumpsuit.)
Servo: What the. . . Mike!

Whenever the door opened Emi would look up eagerly as if Hex herself was going to walk into the room, and if Megabyte tried to talk to her she usually would not answer at all.

(Mike hurriedly takes his jumpsuit off)
Servo: AAAUGH! (Servo turns away) Mike, would you warn me the next time you try that?

Sometimes she did, though, but if she did her voice had a faraway sound,

Bob: Oh, you gotta adjust the reverb on that.
(Mike starts beating Crow with his jumpsuit to put the fire out.)
Servo: (to Bob) Is he done? Can I look now?

her eyes saw beyond him, and her speech was distracted. Once in a while she would forget and absentmindedly call him Hex.

(Mike's managed to put Crow out. He slings his jumpsuit over his shoulder.)
Mike: Listen, you guys, I'm just going to get Crow out of here and see what's wrong with him. I'll see you out front.
Bob: (glancing over) I didn't know you wore boxers.
Servo: I wish I didn't know.
(Mike picks Crow up and leaves.)

The young halfling's condition began to worry the binomes who worked in the infirmary. When Megabyte came to the infirmary one evening Herr Doctor suggested something be done about Emidecimal.

Bob: They're only just realizing that now?

Megabyte glanced at the child, who was sleeping next to the healing tank, murmuring something in her sleep. "Delusional.

Bob: (Megabyte) She thinks she's a fanfic author or something.

The child has gone insane with worry and grief."

"Don't mention insanity, it frightens ze vorkforce!"

Servo: You don't have to be insane to work here, but it. . . oh, who am I kidding? Of course you do.

Megabyte gave a dismissive "Hmm" and continued watching Emi. "I believe it is time for the next phase of the operation to start tonight. When the child is asleep we will begin."

Bob: Oh no! The story's just beginning! It hasn't even started yet!
Servo: Hey! Where'd Mike and Crow go?
Bob: I don't know. Let's go check it out.
(Bob and Servo leave the theater)

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

(We're back in the main area. Mike's putting on a fresh jumpsuit. A charred-looking Crow is laying across the table, coughing and still smoking. Bob and Servo walk in.)

Servo: Hey Mike. What's with Crow?

Mike: Oh, hey guys. It seems the sheer length of today's story has really gotten to Crow. His patience sequencer overheated and he blew. I was just going to have the nanites look at him, so if you two want to do something until the story starts up again. . .

(Mike picks Crow up and walks off. Servo and Bob sit in uncomfortable silence for several moments.)

Servo: (looking over at Bob) So. . .

Bob: (uncomfortably) Yeah?

Servo: Bob. . .

Bob: Tom. . .

(More silence)

Servo: So, you have any hobbies?

Bob: Oh. No.


Bob: You?

Servo: No. . . oh, well yeah.

Bob: What?

Servo: I'm a fanfic writer.

Bob: (surprised) You? What do you do it on?

Servo: Well, you see, me and a couple of guys on the internet, we circulate little stories about the events before, between, and after Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park books and the movies by the same names.

Bob: (interested) Really?

Servo: Oh yeah. There's some pretty neat stuff out there, like what happened to the can of shaving cream that Nedry was trying to smuggle out or Levine's experiences on Isla Sorna before Ian Malcolm caught up with him. Stuff like that. You know, there's a bunch of crossovers too, like ones with The X-Files, South Park, Star Trek. . . There was this one really funny one with Gilligan's Island. (chuckles) They pretty much all got eaten.

Bob: You know, that actually sounds interesting. Can I read something you wrote?

Servo: Well, sure! Always happy to show off my handiwork! (To Cambot) Hey, Cambot, you wanna shoot him that file, "SERVO15.DOC"?

(The Hexfield Viewscreen irises open. Servo's story is being displayed.)

Bob: Okay, so what's this?

Servo: This is part 15 of my unfinished epic, Day of the Servo. It's about my own character, Ian Servo, who's a mathematician and a computer expert, and he hunts raptors and stuff. It takes place during the first Jurassic Park book.

Bob: (having a sinking feeling) Umm, okay. Let's check this out. Cambot, could you put this up on still-store here?

Part Fifteen

Dances with Death

Dizzy with tension, Ian Servo threw open the door to the maintenance shed and stepped into the darkness inside. He groped like a blind man into the shed. If he wanted to save the park, he'd have to brave the inky darkness of the catacombs of the barely-used utility shed.

The catwalk.

As he approached the corrugated metal, he realized that his hoverskirt wouldn't have enough power to get him across.

Bob: Umm. . .

Servo: What? Why did you stop reading?

Bob: This "Ian Servo" guy. . . he's a robot too, huh?

Servo: (annoyed) Of course he is! Keep reading!

As he looked back to the door, he noticed it was blocked by the body of a velociraptor, which was a carnivorous dinosaur.

Bob: You know, this is a lot like the part where John Arnold is going into the utility shed, and he. . .

Servo: No it isn't! Keep reading!

Servo saw that his only option was to kick some butt.

"Come on, dino-cheeks!" Servo hissed. "You want a piece of me?" With that, Servo hurled himself toward the hideous beast and pinned it to the catwalk, growling. As he effortlessly crushed its tiny, pea-sized skull, it regretted every moment of its evil, soulless existance. Its blood ran freely through the corrugated bridge, splashing gently against the

Bob: Ick! How much longer does it go on like this?

Servo: Oh. . . a few pages.

Bob: Uh, mind if I skip ahead?

Servo: Not at all! Cambot, give us "SERVO97.DOC". It's a tender, heart-warming scene with me and Ian Malcolm.

Bob: With you and Ian Malcolm?

Servo: (panicked, defensive) Well, no, I mean with my character and Ian Malcolm, I mean, it's not me, it's my character. It's not like it's some sort of fantasy of mine to be. . . umm. . .

Bob: Cambot? Could you put it up?

Chapter Ninety-Seven

Almost Paradigm

In the lodge, Ian Servo paced back and forth in Malcolm's room. Servo's heart was filled with sorrow and discomfort. Since marshaling the effort for his last outburst, Malcolm had slipped into a coma, and now it appeared to Servo that he might actually die. He'd gone without food and drink for nearly forty-five minutes, so overcome with grief he was. He hadn't left Malcolm's side for the entire four days they'd been on the island, for they were inseparable. It was a good thing that he didn't go to the bathroom, or his pants would certainly be soiled by now.

Bob: Umm. . .

Servo would suffer many strange and wonderful hallucinations, possibly because he was going insane from dehydration, but more likely because he couldn't bear the thought of living without his friend, his constant companion, his soulmate, his secret lover. . .

Bob: I don't know if I should be reading this. . .

Servo: Go on! You're getting to the good part!

Servo covered the dying mathematician's hands and arms with soft, sweet kisses, and moaned softly to him. He would speak to the comatose man for hours. He knew Malcolm would never answer, but that didn't matter, because they had a bond that defied death and spanned the entire universe three times over. He gently cradled Malcolm's hand in his, licked clean the blood from his gnarled, savaged legs, pressed his

Bob: Okay, I think I've read enough. This is getting too weird.

Servo: What's the matter? Don't you like my fanfic?

Bob: That's not a fanfic! That's a plagurism disguised as your sick, twisted fantasy! You just took the book, changed some names around, tweaked an event here and there to involve yourself in the story, and you're trying to pass it off as your own work!

Servo: I guess I don't understand what your point is.

(Bob opens his mouth to say something, but just then Mike walks in with Crow. The poor dope's still all charred and mangled.)

Mike: Hey guys. Hope you kept busy.

Servo: Yep. How's Crow?

Mike: Well, the nanites are so busy trying to fix the ship, they can't take care of Crow right now. Still, he's had some time to cool off here, so I'm just going to turn him back on.

(Mike flips a switch on Crow's back. Crow comes to life and starts screaming.)

Crow: NOOOOOOOOO! I don't want to hear any more about that stupid girl crying about that stupid witch virus, and. . .

Mike: (patting his back) There there, honey, it's all right; we're back outside.

Crow: (hopefully) You mean. . . the story's over?

Mike: No, we've still got seven more chapters to go.

Crow: NOOOOOOOOOOO! Turn me off! I can't take any more! You know I'd do the same for you, man!

(An odd look crosses Bob's face)

Bob: Hey, anyone else feel that just now?

Mike: What?

Bob: An uneasy premonition. . . like this story's going to slowly destroy us one by one. . .

Servo: Umm, no. That was all you.

Bob: Oh, okay.

(Lights and sirens go off)

Mike: We've got movie sign!


(Everyone scatters)

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