This fanfic is an alternate ending to the third season.
"No Mouse. You can't stop me. I'm going to figure out a way to do this
whether you decide to help me or not." "Dot, this is a stupid idea.
You're going to get yourself killed in the Web."
The two sprites were sitting in Dot's apartment. Mouse was desperately trying to persuade Dot to stop. A nano ago Dot had vid-windowed Mouse over to her place and told her of her desicion to go into the Web to find Bob.
"What about Mainframe?" Are you just going to leave?" Mouse asked concerned. Dot frowned at her. "It's in fine condition. Megabyte and Hex are in the firewall, and Phong knows how to handle everything here." "How do you expect to get through to the Web. It's locked remember?" Mouse finally had Dot cornered. There was no way Dot could ever hack through by herself, and only Bob and her knew how. Dot grinned at her friend. "That's where you come in." Mouse shook her head "Oh no, Sugah. You can't bring me into this. I know you miss him, but I'm sorry." Mouse stated firmly. "Mouse, this is really unlike you. Don't you want to get Bob back at all! " Dot was surprised. When she first thought of telling Mouse, she thought her friend would support her entirely, but instead, Mouse was dead set against the idea. "Of course, but..." Mouse stopped. She really didn't have a good excuse. Besides, she knew how bad things had been for Dot recently. "Please? Dot pleaded. The only real friend she had in Mainframe was Mouse. Well, Phong too, but he was more like a father than a friend.
Mouse sighed, and chewed on her lip. "Phong's gunna kill us." She finally stated. "Thank you so much!" Dot cried, and jumped up enthusiastically to hug Mouse. In the process she almost knocked Mouse over. When Dot had finished, she started to tell Mouse her plans. Dot's plans consisted of Mouse hacking through the security, taking Mouse's ship through to the web, and using her scanners to pick up his PID signature. Then they could find him and leave as quickly as possible.
"That's not a very good plan. Anything could happen, Dot." Dot bit her lip."I know, but I don't know what else to suggest." She sighed, then tried to change the subject a little. "Phong doesn't even have to know. We'll just leave him a note. I know it's cruel to leave him in charge, but he's the only other one that can take care of things in Mainframe." Dot said confidently
For the rest of the night, they discussed the plans to go into the web. They would leave the following second.
It was the day they were going to leave. Dot was sitting in
her office trying to concentrate on the work in front of her, but couldn't. It
was difficult trying to act normal and hide her nervousnes in front of
everyone, and Phong had asked several times if she was all right. She had just
tried to cover up by saying she had a headache. The entire day Dot had been
anxious, and felt extremly guilty about leaving Phong with all of her responsibilities.
But then, they would only be gone a short time, right? She tried to convince
herself about the voyage, but knew at heart it was a stupid risk, and it was
selfish of her to put both Mainframe and Mouse at risk just because of her.
There were so many variables to consider.
Sighing, she picked up her organizer again. There were still seven more nanos until they were going to leave. She stretched her legs, and wondered how Mouse was doing.
All day Mouse had been preparing for the trip. How did she ever sucker me
into this she thought as she checked over ship for the third time that
morning. Then she smiled to herself, knowing Dot could persude anyone if she
wanted. Dot could probably persuade Frisket to play with Scuzzi if she wanted
him to. That was just how she was.
Mouse had loaded all the supplies and all the items they would need for the journey in her ship, and everything was ready. All they had to do was wait until night, when there would be a smaller chance of anyone discovering them. There were less staff on duty at the P.O. at night than in the day. Not that Mouse couldn't handle it. "I hate waiting." she mumbled to herself.
"What took you so long!" Mouse growled. The hacker
had been waiting at the ship, but Dot hadn't shown up until now. 'Now' was a
nano after they had been planning to leave.
"I'm sorry but I couldn't get out of the Principal Office. Phong wanted me to stay and talk to him." Dot tried to explain.
Mouse nodded. "Doesn't matter. Let's just get out of here before we're caught, and then you'd have to have another talk with Phong." They quickly got in the ship, and Mouse set to work hacking through the codes. It would be a few moments until Mouse get through, so Dot occupied herself by looking out the window. It was a clear night, and she could see almost the whole system. Staring out, she realized how much she would miss Mainframe. Everything she had ever known was here. She had never even been out of this system before. She started to have second thoughts. How can I be sure of what I'm doing if I don't have any idea of what's out there? she thought.
She turned to Mouse, who was busy concentrating on the controls, her fingers flying. I guess I'm going to find out.
Her thoughts were then interupted by Mouse. "Got it!" she called out joyfully. A short distance away over the energy sea a large tear formed. "That should get their attention." Dot stated, unhappy that they might soon be dicovered. She then took control of ship and steered it for the tear while Mouse stabilized it. Suddenly it emitted a blinding light. Dot closed her eyes but it still hurt. When it subsided, there was a smooth, metallic portal where the tear had only recently been. "Here we go." Dot said simply, and gunning the engine, forced the ship through.
Dot watched fascinated as the silver bubble melted around Ship. Then they
were through. Neither Mouse or Dot said anything to each other. In front of
them was the Web, a huge mass of dark nothingness, and all around them swirled
orange and red energy storms. It was huge, and Dot was almost overwhelmed. The
portal suddenly closed behind the ship, startling Dot out of her gaze. She let
out a breath she didn't know she had been holding in.
Mouse looked over. "Are you sure you want to do this? There's still time to go back."
Part of her was thinking Go back before you screw everything up and get yourself killed, while another was saying Do you really want to go back there? All it has is bad memories.
"Yes, I'm sure." Dot gulped. The web was much more vast than she had ever imagined. Mouse set the scanners to search for Bob's PID. After a few nervous moments, the scanners emitted a negative buzz. Nothing.
"Dot." Mouse said quietly. "He might not have made it. This all might be usless." "I'm not leaving yet." Dot snapped, but instantly felt bad for doing it. She pressed some buttons on her console, hoping to find anything that might lead to his signature, but found nothing. She slumped back in her chair, not knowing what to do, and knowing it might be hopeless anyway. Suddenly she thought of something. "Mouse, maybe we're looking for the wrong thing." Mouse looked at her with pity. She can't accept it. Mouse thought sadly to herself, shaking her head.
Dot instantly began to search again, this time for the signature of the viral container that Bob had been shot into the web in. The consol beeped an afirmative answer. Before Mouse could even ask what she was searching for, Dot sped the ship after the viral signal. The start had been so fast Mouse's head slammed against the back of her chair. "What are you doing? What did you find?!" she exclaimed, rubbing her head. "I found one of Megabyte's signals. The pod he sent Bob up in." Dot explained grinning. "That's great Sugah! I never would have thought of that!" she cried happily, settling herself in the chair in a more confortable position. Dot set the ship on auto pilot after the signature. The signature was very weak, but it got stronger as the ship progressed.
Nanos passed, and Dot was beginning to wonder how far the pod actually was. She got up and stretched, and leaned against a wall for support. The two began talking, but were suddenly interrupted when something blasted into the side of the ship. Dot was knocked off her feet and slammed into the ground. Mouse instantly reacted by turning the ship around to face their attackers.
Outside the window were a very unlikly group of attackers. About a dozen figures were seated on web creatures, pointing guns at the ship. Dot struggled to her feet, and looked out the window, her head spinning. "Hold on!" Mouse commanded. The figures started firing again, at a very close range. They were only small guns, but they were doing alot of damage to Ship. "Take control Sugah, I'm going to get rid of a few of these guys!" Mouse shouted. Dot gripped the controls and steered away from the attackers, but they kept comming.
Meanwhile, at the guns, Mouse wasn't doing too well. They were fast and she wasn't that great at aiming. Mouse preferred her kitana to guns anyday. "Stay still so I can get ya!" she cried, frustrated. Suddenly, they were hit by a direct shot to the front, and fire exploded in the controls of the ship. Dot gave a small cry and put her arms up to sheild her face. "Cursors!" Mouse swore. They had destroyed Ship's weapons. Another blast rocked the ship, and rendered them completly helpless. There was a long silence that made Dot nervous. Just as she opened her mouth to say something, there was a loud grating noise, and the back door of the ship was ripped violently off. Dot barely had enough time to grab something before a vacuum was created, and all the objects in the ship that wern't attached began to get sucked out. Mouse grabbed for the controls, but was almost sucked out anyway. Dot's gritted her teeth and held on tighter. When the pressure evened out, Dot and Mouse both collapsed on the floor panting of exhaustion.
Several figures stepped through the door. Mouse insatantly got up and drew her sword, intent on taking a few out before she went down. Dot took her small energy pistol and got up to stand beside Mouse. The web riders attacked, rushing them at an amazing speed. Dot was intimidated, but stood her ground and fired her gun point-blank at a fighter that was rushing at her; he dropped to the ground. She glanced over at Mouse. My User. She's actually having fun. she thought amazed as she watched her friend. Mouse was swinging her blade at them, and had already taken two out. The rest then retreated back outside. The room was empty, for now. Dot tried to conceal her shaking, but Mouse was grinning. "That was great." she stated. Dot just shook her head. Same old Mouse.
Just when they thought the Web riders had left and began to do repairs, they heard yells from outside Ship. They were using a language Dot couln't understand, but she got the general idea. She and Mouse were in trouble. She was right.
Twice as many web riders poured through the door. Dot didn't have enough time to grab her gun, and felt something rip through her side. She had been shot. Dot grabbed her side with her hands to stop the blood from flowing out. She had never felt anything so painful in her entire life. Looking to her side, she saw that Mouse was strugling, stockfiled in a stasis field on the ground. Dot felt incredibly disorientated, and dropped to her knees. She glanced down and saw her blood flowing everywhere. The last thing she saw before she went unconcious and fell to the floor was a single rider standing in the middle of the group looking at her.
I hate doing this. Bob thought tiredly as he stood in
a group with the other riders and degraded sprites. The group was hidden behind
a large swirling data storm waiting to ambush a small craft that had recently
entered their space. The web riders always either destroyed, or captured
vessels that came into their space. Bob had never liked doing it, but had
always put up with it. Something seemed strange to him this time. Something's
familliar about it. He shook his head, trying to remember.
"All right." said the commander in the strange language that Bob had adopted as his own. "Attack!" The sprites cried out, and drove their web creatures or other means of transport towards the ship, but Bob stayed behind. "Where do I know that ship from?" he said discouraged. He stared at it, watching them attack it and feeling extremly guilty. The ship was moving fast to get away, but soon his fellow riders had ripped open the back hatch and entered. After a short time, he saw them retreat, regroup, and then try again. Who ever was inside must be damn good at fighting to make them have to try again. Then something in his head clicked. "MOUSE'S SHIP!" he cried. Getting on his web-altered zip board he raced towards it, hopping he could stop the attack before Mouse did something stupid, like getting killed.
As he got closer he saw the damage that had been done on the exterior and cringed. Jumping off his board and through the door, he ran to the front of the once very familliar craft. The web riders were standing around a figure on the floor. Moving closer, he saw it was who he had expected, Mouse. She was locked in a stasis field and swearing like only Mouse could, but she wasn't hurt. He would have yelled out happily, but his web mask prevented him. What's she doing here? he thought overjoyed. Turning around he saw the interior was almost as badly damaged as the interior, and there was evidence of a fire on the controls.
Then something he hadn't seen before caught his eye. Standing in one of the corners was a figure he had mistaken for another injured Web Rider. Looking directly at it, he now saw something even more surprising than Mouse. Amazingly, Dot Matrix was standing near the controls. His jawed dropped. Dot? he thought, suprisingly calm under the circumstances. Then he looked down. She was gripping her side, and blood was flowing from a huge scorch wound. "Oh..." he muttered, not even aware he had said it. Suddenly, Dot lost her balance and fell to her knees. She looked directly at him, then fell over unconcious or dead. Bob didn't know what. He stood there stupidly for a moment, then realized what he had to do.
He turned to his commander, a tall heavily built sprite. "These are my friends, let me take care of them." Bob ordered him. Luckily the leader trusted him, being aware of his Guardian background and agreed, leading the other men out and back to the main base.
He ran to Dot and bent over. Blood was all over her hands. He couldn't tell if she was breathing. Peering closer her noticed she was, but very shallowly.
Suddenly from behind him a loud voice with a southern accent yelled, " If you hurt her, I'll rip your lungs out 'an feed em to a Web creature!" Her turned around. Mouse was struggeling to get out. Getting up, he went over and released the field. She looked at him strangly. Why was this one helping while all the others had tried to kill them? She wondered. She shook her head and went to help Dot.
Bob watched intently as Mouse tried to help her friend. She turned to him, still not aware of who he was. "She needs real help or she's going to be deleted." Bob felt his stoamch drop. He couldn't talk because his mask was still on. The ship was badly damaged, but not so badly it couldn't fly. He motioned for Mouse to start Ship. He entered a destination in the controls and it automatically started to head for the Web rider base. He had to take Dot where someone could help her. She was not going be deleted when he had just got her back.
Soon the large ominous structure loomed in front of them. It floated right near a large data storm. The building was a large floating mass of dead web creature skin and armour, and along with the rest of the riders, Bob had called it home ever since he left Mainframe. It wasn't very attractive, but it suited their needs.
Taking the controls from Mouse he piloted the ship into the port. Mouse narrowed her eyes at him. Usually nobody except for herself, and maybe Dot, was allowed to fly her ship. 'I guess this is a different occassion.' she thought grimly.
Once the ship was docked in the hanger, Bob carefully picked up Dot and moved to the door, again motioning for Mouse to follow. They entered a large dark room, which Mouse guessed was the dock or the hanger. Going to a far wall, they went through a wide door and headed down several halls.
The whole time Mouse was on edge, keeping her blade tight in her fist, and ready if anything should happen. The Web rider holding Dot stopped at a door that looked the same as the scores of others they had passed. He headed through, so the nervous hacker followed reluctantly.
Inside the room were many beds, and a single figure. He was wearing similar armour, but he had red skin, black hair, and Mouse noted, not very attractive. The two communicated in the strange language, and then the one holding Dot laid her down on on of the beds, while the other bent over and inspected the wound. He then set to work trying to stop the bleeding.
The first rider turned to her, then nodded towards the door. Mouse walked out, and the rider followed. "Listen Sugah, you've got explaining to do, ahn don't say it in that random Web language of yours." The man shook his head, as if laughing. Then he bent forwards a little and gripped the back of the mask. He moved to pull it off. Mouse backspaced a step, and gripped her sword so hard her knuckles turned a light purple colour. He pulled the mask off. Mouse was, for once in her life, totally shocked. The face wasn't some random Web freak at all.
"Bob?! When in the Net- uh web...?" Bob grinned happily. Mouse was exactly as he remembered her. Then Mouse did something that caught Bob totally off guard. She grabbed him around the waist and kissed him. When she finished, Bob was so shocked he stepped backwards and fell, landing fairly hard. Mouse burst out laughing, which made him smile shyly.
Getting up, he asked Mouse "What are you two doing here? What about Phong? Where's Enzo -didn't you bring him?" Mouse's grinned faded. She had alot of bad new for him.
Where is she? She's never late. the concerned Phong wondered. He had been waiting for Dot for a nano. Her shook his head. This was very unlike her. That's it, I'm going to find her. he thought frustrated. He picked up his mug of coco and went to her office. On her desk was a small vidwindow. He picked it up and looked at it. On the window was the following note.
I'm so sorry about this, but I couldn't stand it anymore. Mouse and I have gone into the Web to find Bob. We'll try not to be too long.
Phong was speachless. His gripped on the mug relaxed, and it fell to the floor, shattering into pieces. He knew she was as good as dead.
"So, Enzo is..." Bob paused, not wanting to say it. Mouse nodded
grimly. Bob felt terrible. "If I had been there this never would have
happened." he started to say, but Mouse shook her head. Once Dot had
gotten over the initial shock, she had said almost the exact same thing. Mouse
had tried to tell her friend that it wasn't her fault, that it couldn't have
been helped, but Dot had refused to believe it. That was probably one of the
reasons Dot had wanted to leave Mainframe so badly, to get away from the bad
memories Mouse realized. Bob sighed, and slumped against the wall heavily
with his head in his hands.
To try and cheer him up a bit, Mouse said " Let's go see if Dot is awake now, Sugah. The wound wasn't that bad." Bob lifted his head and looked at her. He looked incredibly pained. Slowly he got up.
Walking into the room, they saw Dot lying on one of the beds, still out cold. The doctor walked up to Bob. The expression on his face told Bob he had bad news. "She's stable now, but she's lost a lot of blood, and we need a doner." Mouse elbowed him hard. "Wha'd he say?" He had forgotton Mouse didn't speak their language. "She needs an energy doner, or she'll be deleted." As soon as the words were out of his mouth Mouse said "I'll do it." Bob hadn't expected that, the last time he checked, Dot and Mouse weren't that close. Besides, he had intended on doing it.
The doctor tested Mouse's energy and found that they were compatible.
Soon she was hooked up, and energy flowed through the tubes. She sat patienly watching the liquid, with Bob standing beside her, watching Dot. Mouse began to feel dizzy, so the medic disconected them. He then checked on Dot's condition. "She has stabilized a bit, but there's still a risk. To fully recover she needs energy from an immediate family member." A wave of realization swept over Bob as it occured to him that she had no living family left.
For the rest of the day, Mouse and Bob stayed in the dark room waiting for something, anything, to happen with Dot. The medic had left to take care of another wounded Web rider, and the three were left alone. To try and pass the time, Bob told Mouse everything that had happened to him since he left Mainframe, and about the web riders. In return, Mouse told her friend about the firewall and all the occurrences that had been going on in Mainframe.
During the time that Dot was unconcious, she experienced many strange dreams. She was in the middle of one where she was running from a very vivid Hexidecimal. The sky in Mainframe was a dark red, and all the buildings were either broken, or totally destroyed. Hex was firing energy shots at her, and Dot tripped. Just when one of the shots was going to hit her, she was suddenly jolted back to being concious. Her head throbed painfully. Trying not to move her body, she carefully opened her eyes. Instead of seeind the ceiling of Mouse's ship, she saw a something much different.
The room she was in was a large, dark room that resembled a hospital. She sighed. 'Another dream.' she thought, dissapointed. But it seemed too real, too life like. She heard some voices to her left side, and slowly turned her head. Mouse was sitting with a sprite dressed in web armour. He had blue skin, and metallic hair. Hey, he kinda looks like Bob. Dot passed it off as a halucination, and leaned slowly up on her elbows.
Bob turned and saw she was awake. He jumped up and ran to the bed. Mouse, who had been in the middle of a sentance when he got up, looked at him, confused. Them she realized why, and quickly went to see her friend. He stood beside the bed, looking at her. Bob opened his mouth to say something, but he couldn't talk. He had praticed what to say to her a million times when he was in the Web, and now he couldn't get it out.
Mouse saved him from looking basic. "How are you feeling?" she said when she reached the bed.
Dot looked up at the two figures. If this was a dream, it was incredibly real. Maybe, she realized this isn't a dream. She shook her head, and looked again. Everything about them was exactly the same, with the exception of Bob's hair, and the marks on his face. My User. It's real. she thought amazed.
Mouse looked at her confused friend and said grinning, "Yup, sugah. We found him." Dot suddenly didn't know what to say. "Um..." Say something you basic sprite! a voice in her head commanded. "Hi-Bob." she managed to get out. The little voice responded by saying, Couldn't you think of something a little more intelligent?
"Hi Dot." he said shyly. "Maybe I should leave you two to talk. I have to work on ship any way." Mouse said slyly, and left the room.
Dot looked helplessly at Bob and said "What's going on? Where are we?" Where to start? Thought Bob happily. He explained all that had happened to him, and what Mouse had told him about their trip, and over the next few moments, Dot became aware of what had happened. She struggled into a sitting position. The bandages made it difficult. She looked at her old friend. He had changed a lot, both physially and mentaly. He didn't appear to be the reckless sprite that he had been. He was now more serious. Then it occcured to Dot she was staring at him, and looked away quickly. There was an uncomfortable silence in the room. Both of them then tried to say something. "You first" they said together. Bob grinned, and motioned for her to go first. Now or never Dot. She breathed deeply and said, " I always wanted to tell you that I think I-" They were suddenly cut off by a noise of the door sliding open, and the doctor comming through. Bob looked back at her. "Do you want to go somewhere else?" She nodded. She carefully slid of the side of the bed. Her side stung fircely, but she bit her lip and stood up. She followed Bob out the door, and down several dim halls. They were both thinking to themselves.
Was she going to say what I think she was? Bob wondered as he watched her. She looked the same, but there was something much different about her. He smiled to himself "Well, she's still as beautiful as I remember."
Mouse sighed to herself, looking at the wreck of a ship in front of her. The bodies of the dead Web Riders that she had cut down were being removed by some live ones. "I have a lot of work to do." she said frowning, but she wasn't really unhappy. She was thrilled to have found Bob, and was happy Dot finally had another friend again. She shook her head to clear it. Standin' around ain't guna get the job done. she thought, and set to work.
"This is your place?" Dot commented looking around the
small, dark room Bob had brought her to. There were various objects scattered
everywhere, the bed was unmade,and the energy covers were hanging onto the
floor. "Um, yeah." he said, only now noticing how messed up it was.
If he had remembered, he wouldn't have brought her here. Dot turned and gave
him a strange look, to which Bob responded with a grin and "I'm a
Dot tried to stay serious, but couldn't, and burst out laughing. She quickly stopped, because it made her side burn. Bob sat on the bed. "So, what were you going to say back there?" he asked trying to act casual. Dot looked at him, then quickly at the floor. "Uh, nothing-I forget." she stuttered. She glanced at Bob. He didn't look convinced. Maybe she would have told him before, but suddenly she felt scared again. "I-I think I should go help Mouse. She really needs it." She tried to think of a good excuse, but that was the best she could do. Bob looked hurt. He sighed and got up. "Follow me, I'll take you there." He didn't seem as happy as he had a moment ago. Dot felt guilty, but followed him out the door anyway.
They walked down the long halls silently. I have to say something. she thought. "Bob," she started, then paused. "I'm really sorry if I said anything that-" She was cut off by Bob."Nevermind. It doesn't matter." They continued on in silence for a while. Bob felt bad for cutting her off, but didn't know what to say about it. He wasn't mad at all, just disapointed.
They arrived in the hanger where Mouse was fixing Ship; still not talking. Dot went over to Mouse, bent over beneath a wing. "Hi. What can I do?" Mouse, (who had been repairing the underside) was startled, and slammed her head against the bottom. "Oww, cursors Dot!" Then she paused and looked at her friend. "That was short. You sure didn't have much to talk about." Then the hacker noticed Dot looked uncomfortable, and dismissed it. "You can start on the interior, Sugah. Just watch out for the overhead wires." Dot turned and disapeared behind the ship.
Mouse stood, wondering what could have upset her friend so much. Mouse felt a presence behind her. Spinning around, she almost bumped into Bob. "Would you two stop that! You're guna drive me random!" she cried, exasperated. "Stop what?" Bob asked innocently."Sneakin' up on me! Now are you helpin' or not?" she asked. "I'll go help Dot." he said quickly, and, without waiting for a response from Mouse, started for the door.
Inside, Dot was sitting on the ground sorting through piles of wires and debris that had come lose during the attack. She had decided to sit because standing made her feel weak. Bob poked his head in. "Are you sure you shouldn't be lying down or something? That was a pretty bad injury." Dot looked up. "I'm fine." she lied, and continued to work. Bob frowned and tried again. "Need help?" This time without looking up, Dot said calmly, "Nah, Mouse probably needs more help than me." "Too bad." he said, and sat down beside her. "We should probably talk." he started, trying to start a conversation. "Yup." She agreed, still not looking up. Bob sighed, though not meaning to out loud. Dot looked up, then, to Bob's relief, started grinning. " This is basic. Why in the Net are we acting like this? We should be happy,” she said. Bob looked at her, surprised. "I have no idea." he said happily. Suddenly Mouse's voice asked from out side the ship, "I'm starved. What do you boys eat around here, anyway?" He looked at Dot, and said mischievously, "I'll be right back." Then he got up and left.
"Have you gone totally random!?" Mouse
cried, staring at the mass of coloured wiggiling nulls in Bob's hand. She
looked pale. "Nope." he said, grinning at his friend's reaction. He
turned to Dot. It wasn't possible for her to get any greener, but she still
looked a little unnerved. She was hungry, but not that hungry.
"More for me." Bob said, and stuck a red one in his mouth. He hated the way they squirmed, but he wanted to see Mouse's face. Swallowing, he looked at the women, grinning. Mouse frowned and said simply, "I am never kissing you again." Dot turned instantly at the comment, but Mouse wasn't paying attention. Bob glanced at Dot with a guilty look on his face. She didn't look happy. Cursors. He thought.