mendanddefend_archive: (OMGWTFBBQ)
He has to find somebody.

It's been seven full cycles since he's seen anyone. Seven full cycles since he talked to anyone but Glitch. Seven full cycles without any indication of a sprite presence whatsoever. Even in the Web, it only took him three cycles to be found by the Webriders. If he doesn't run into somebody soon, he's going to go completely random.

Assuming he hasn't already. )
mendanddefend_archive: (shiny keytool powers)
The more Bob sees of this system, the weirder it gets.

Today he decided to get a better look at one of the smaller processing towers. He flew up to the very peak and spiraled down, examining every pixel of its surface. What he found was interesting--there seem to be no seams or access doors anywhere on the structure. The only openings are the nearly-invisible vertical slots which allow data to enter and exit. There are no railings or walkways, either, which seems weird to Bob. Not everyone can fly like he can, after all.

What happens when something breaks down? How do they access it to fix it?

Then an idea occurs to him. )
mendanddefend_archive: (wary)
There's always something profoundly unsettling about a public place that's empty of people. Whether it's a public school on a Saturday, a stadium on a day when there's no game, or a department store after closing time, it's still the same. The crowds and noise which are usually present seem to haunt the empty space, making you flinch at shadows and jump at small noises. You may be at ease in isolation; you might even seek it out... but in an empty public space, you can't shake the feeling that someone else should be there.

That's how Bob's been feeling for the past three cycles. )


Nov. 16th, 2007 07:31 pm
mendanddefend_archive: (AUGH!)
...shouldn't those snowballs have hit him by now? Bob opens one eye, then the other.

The snowballs are gone. So is Tyler. So are the trees, and the lake, and everything connected to Milliways. He's... somewhere else. )
mendanddefend_archive: (concerned)
Bob and Dot haven't been talking much lately.

Not for lack of trying, mind you. But whenever they get a conversation going, the topic eventually turns to Lisa, and things get awkward. Lisa's been a part of his life since he was Enzo's age, she's saved his life more times than he could count, she was a part of his thesis for code's sake--and yet Dot doesn't seem to remember that she exists.

Something is very wrong, and Bob intends to find out what it is.

"Phong?" Bob pokes his head into the old sprite's office. "Can I ask you a favor?"
mendanddefend_archive: (home sweet home)
After getting a clean bill of health from Phong (and a few other things from Dot), Bob went back to his apartment to rest. Being comatose and/or decompiled, he's discovered, is not a substitute for actual sleep. (Which was something of a novel experience in itself, since keytools don't 'sleep' as such.)

Now he's they're up and about again, looking for a particular door. Which one was it? It seems like minutes since he's--ah, now he remembers. He reaches out, thinks 'Milliways' as hard as he can, and turns the doorknob.

And it opens onto... nothing.

Oh, it opens onto Milliways--Bob can see the familiar tables and chairs, and even a glimpse of the Window. But as far as Glitch's sensors are concerned, there's nothing there but empty space. We can't go in there, it says, a spike of fear running through their combined system.

Bob closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. It's fine. Milliways isn't cyberspace, it doesn't work the way cyberspace does. Your scanners can't see it, but it's still there. I've been going there almost every cycle for minutes now. It's FINE.

Slowly, reluctantly, Glitch agrees. Its nerves are still jangling with fear, but it's willing to brave the void it perceives in front of them.

Bob opens his eyes and, with a resolute nod, steps through the door.
mendanddefend_archive: (unscarred)
Phong and the medics have run Bob through an extensive battery of tests; as far as anyone can tell, he's the picture of health. Odd side effects aside, the recompilation was a success.

Now, everyone's gone except for Dot. They can finally have a private talk.

For a definition of 'private' that includes having a keytool in your head, that is.
mendanddefend_archive: (mostly dead)
Once inside, Bob is transferred from the stretcher to the scanner bed, and a long series of examinations begins. The Guardian's energy levels have stabilized, for now at least, but he's completely unresponsive. The deep scans reveal that his code is badly corrupted; it's a wonder he's still processing at all. Something will have to be done, and soon.

Throughout it all, Dot has not once let go of Bob's hand.
mendanddefend_archive: (home sweet home)
"Are you sure you'll be alright, sir?"

"Yeah," Bob mumbles as he staggers through the door to his apartment. "Just... need to access some energy. I'll be fine, thanks."

The CPU binome salutes, and the door closes, leaving Bob alone with his thoughts.

Something's wrong. Very wrong.

Bob knows this for a fact. He first noticed it during the Black Oil incident, when he and Matrix were fighting off the... whatever-it-was. He should have been able to keep up his attack longer--not much longer, but still. And since then, he's been running out of power more and more quickly, and it's been taking him longer and longer to recover. But it's never actually hurt, until now.

Whatever's wrong with him, it's getting worse by the cycle.

What can he do about it? Is there anything he can do about it? Bob wishes, not for the first time, that he could ask Glitch. The keytool never spoke much, but when it did, its advice was always reliable. It had been around a lot longer than Bob, after all.

But Bob can't consult Glitch now. He is Glitch... and at the same time, somehow he isn't. His body may have changed with the merge, but his mind hasn't, as far as he can tell. Aside from his new protocols and the occasional barely-glimpsed memory, Glitch seems to be completely gone.

Bob has a feeling that he knows why that is...

Before he can contemplate it any further, a fresh wave of pain washes over him, and he collapses on the floor.

On his left wrist, his synchronizer starts to blink.
mendanddefend_archive: (determined)
"The first firewall is online."

Bob, Mouse, and Phong study the map of the 'Net carefully. One system--the one in which Matrix and AndrAIa have just set up a firewall around the damaged port--glows red. The pathways branching off from it start to turn from viral green to their usual blue.

"It is working, Bob!" says Phong.

Bob nods. "Close a major port, and all the pathways beyond are protected. One down, three to go."
mendanddefend_archive: (shiny keytool powers 2)
[after this]

Bob's halfway to Dot's Diner when his synchronizer goes off. He thought he'd have time to grab a shake before things got started; apparently, he was mistaken. With an exaggerated sigh, he wheels around and heads back toward the Principal Office.

The subsphere atop the P.O. splits open as he approaches and lands. A VidWindow pwinngs into existence next to him, showing Phong's face. "Diverting core energy," says Phong. "Releasing Tear... now!"

With a muffled boom and a blast of heat, the newly created Tear rises out of its enclosure. It's a Class 6, almost as large as the subsphere itself. For the moment, it's stable, hanging stationary in space and pulsing at an even rate.

Left to itself, the energy output of this Tear could destroy half the system. If it's utilized properly, however...

Frowning in concentration, Bob summons the proper algorithms from his code and projects them at the ball of energy before him. When they make contact, the Tear blossoms into a spherical portal, leading to somewhere in the depths of the 'Net.

Bob turns back to the VidWindow. "Portal stable. I've time-locked it to collapse in two nanos."

"Let us hope that is enough time," Phong murmurs.
mendanddefend_archive: (locations: Mainframe)
The door from Milliways opens onto a high, vaulted room of polished marble. At least, it appears to be marble at first glance. Closer examination will show that the walls and floor are a little too smooth and the patterns in the stone are a little too regular to have come from any real mineral source.

At the other end of the room are a set of ridiculously tall double doors, standing half-open. Through those doors, one can see a glimpse of strange, high-tech-looking buildings, backed by a circuit-patterned sky.

"Welcome to Mainframe, guys."
mendanddefend_archive: (flashback: Academy days)
Principal Office
Viral Breakdown Chamber
approx. 4000 cycles ago

Read more... )
mendanddefend_archive: (don't speak Linux)
Ask me five questions! Any five questions and I'll do my best to answer them. Be as crazy as you want.
mendanddefend_archive: (tired)
Six weeks of waiting culminated in three hours of complete chaos. Bob only witnessed a small portion of those events, but that was more than enough.

One thoroughly exhausted Guardian drags himself through the door from Milliways into the Principal Office. Protecting the innocent may be his function, but Bob is more than happy to be done with it for a while.
mendanddefend_archive: (Bob and Dot: nekkid puppets!)
If you woke up and I was in bed with you, what would be your first thought?
mendanddefend_archive: (Bob and Dot: in bed)
When the morning sunlight peeks through the blinds into Room 503, it lands on a number of things. It glints off of pieces of silver armor scattered across the floor. It lands on the clothing meshes distributed between them: a white shirt, a black skirt, a red brassiere. It picks out the words on the pages of a certain book lying open on a bedside table.

Finally, it illuminates a set of rumpled bedsheets, as well as the two sprites cuddled together beneath them.

They're both still sound asleep. They had a long night, after all.
mendanddefend_archive: (over shoulder)
Given Dot's initial reaction to the place (and the AMIGArita she just polished off), Bob thinks it might be best for both of them to stay the night. That way, Dot can sleep it off and have time to adjust to the general weirdness.

"I'll be fine sleeping on the floor, don't worry about it," he's saying as he opens the door to room 503.
mendanddefend_archive: (home sweet home)
He's returned his room key. His clothes and other sundries are all stored with Bar. He's said goodbyes to whoever he can, and written notes for everyone else. It's time to go.

Sixteen days. Sixteen cycles, in cyberspace terms, since he left Mainframe. And they won't even know he was gone.

He opens the door and steps out into the living room of his apartment in Kits Sector.

It's good to be home.
mendanddefend_archive: (human - profile)
Bob waited at the office for two hours before clueing in that Whistler and Suzi just plain aren't coming in to work today. Apparently he's going to have to go to them.

It started to rain on the way back, so Bob is rather soggy by the time he gets to the front door of the apartment.

"Whistler? Suzi? Anybody home?"
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