Metaverse Deathmatch!
Phase Two

Night #5: Tournaments, Tricks, and Trouble
Part Three
From: "Nada Aught & Pyra"
Date: Aug 12, 2000

[The fans are hockey-clapping as they wait for the match to begin. When they see the ring announcer get set to introduce the match, the fans start cheering.]

Ring Announcer: The semifinal match between Pyra and Dax Lockheart has been cancelled due to injury. [fans boo] Pyra is declared the winner by default. The following match [fans cheer] is the Light Heavyweight finals, and is scheduled for one fall, and is for the Light Heavyweight title!

[The Metatron lights up with a street scene of the Resonate, then a silhouette of a young woman with two braids poses (much like Y2J Chris Jericho's entrance video). "Popular" by Nada Surf plays while images of Nada flash on the Metatron, and the femme-sprite strides out. She walks down to the ring as the guys in the audience cheer and snap pictures. She steps into the ring, then climbs up on the turnbuckle. She smiles, points to her eye and winks, then stoops and stands up and poses like the silhouette on the Metatron. Cameras flash all over the Arena.]

Ring Announcer: Introducing first, from the Resonate System, she is one half of the Flip Side Felons -- NADA AUGHT!

[Nada hops down off the corner and moves her braids out of the way. "I Think I'm Paranoid" remix by Garbage plays, the lights over the ring go to brightest, and various shots of kittens, TIE scenes, and such. Pyra marches out, mews, and jumps up in the air, double-flipping before landing partway down the ramp. She enters the ring.]

Ring Announcer: And her opponent, representing Team Trinomial, she is part of the Fury Squad -- PYRA!

[Pyra and Nada look at each other. Nada smiles and offers a friendly handshake. Pyra accepts, shruging mildly, then steps back as Mills Lane comes forward.]

Mills Lane: All right, now, I'm a bit upset at being left out of this stuff recently, so I'm not in a good mood. Don't break my rules and I won't break your faces. Now let's get it on!

[The two immediately begin circling each other. They lunge and lockup, and Pyra gets the advantage, pushing Nada back with a short jab. Pyra follows up with a few more punches, then grabs Nada and whips her into the corner. Nada turns and stops her momentum with a reversal and Spears Pyra coming out of the corner. She sits astride Pyra's body and delivers a few blows to the head before getting off.

[Pyra gets to her feet and backs up as Nada advances, driving Pyra toward the corner. Abruptly, Pyra drops to the mat and snares Nada's ankle with her feet in a drop toe hold. Nada falls forward and strikes the turnbuckle. As the sprite staggers back, Pyra gets up and grabs Nada in a reverse DDT. With Nada flat on her back, Pyra ascends the ropes and leaps out in a claw drop. Nada, however, rolls aside, making Pyra land on her stomach painfully. As the Khatran winces, Nada grabs her by the tail and pulls. Yowling, Pyra tries to get at Nada, but she nimbly moves away. Finally, Pyra grabs Nada by one braid, and yanks, making Nada cry out in pain. Nada drops Pyra's tail, and Pyra releases Nada.

[Nada shoots out a punch, but Pyra sidesteps and turns Nada's lunge into a snapmare throw. Nada gets back up and Pyra kick-slashs her in the chest. Nada stumbles back and Pyra charges at her to claw slash her, but Nada ducks and reverses the charge into a back body drop. Pyra gets up and superkicks Nada in the jaw. As the sprite staggers, Pyra charges and Spears her.

[Pyra hooks up a leg.]

Ref: 1! ... 2! --

[But Nada kicks free. Pyra stands her up and goes for a claw slash, but Nada kicks her in the gut, doubling her over. Nada grabs Pyra's head between her legs and hooks up her arms for the Pedigree... But Pyra shakes her arms free and grabs Nada by the legs. With a yowl, Pyra Zaps Nada, then hurls Nada in the air with a back body drop. Stunned, the sprite lies on her back, leaving Pyra to get the pin.]

Ref: 1! ... 2! ... 3!

[The fight bell rings, and the crowd starts screaming. A good portion of the audience chants "PYRA! PYRA!" as she bows, and Mills Lane takes the title belt. He hands it to Pyra and raises her hand in the air.]

Mills Lane: Here is your winner -- and new Light Heavyweight Champion -- PYRA!

[Nada shakily gets to her feet, blinking hazy eyes as she recovers from that Zap, and sees Pyra holding the belt. Smiling, Nada stands upright and extends a hand. Pyra grasps it and gives it a good shake, and then Nada turns and hoists that hand in the air, pointing to Pyra. The fans (including the die-hard Winger fans who'd been upset by Nada's loss) cheer and snap photos. Nada exits the ring and heads back to Jay's Greenroom, and Pyra follows for Java's.] 

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 13, 2000

{Place: Java's green room.}

[Pyra enters the room, belt over her shoulder, as quietly as she can. She finds the room deserted.]



[Java SQUEEs and POUNCES Pyra right into the couch.] Sweetie, you did it! Woo hoo! THE TRINOMIAL TEAM HAS GOLD! [She quickly gets up and pulls Py over to the table.] Anything special ye want? Pizza? Energy shake? Ice Cream?

Pyra: [smiling indulgently] Whatever, 'ress...Ice cream?

[Java jumps up in her Maineiac mode runs to the fridge. Erinys sits down next to Pyra.]

Erinys: That was a good fight, Py. You deserve that belt.

Pyra: Thanks, Er...[She nudges his shoulder affectionaty.] We have gold now, at least.

Erinys: Yeah, and three victories in a Night.

Pyra: Jav should stick *you* in a title match...

[Erinys blushes and swats the thought away. Java arrives with the ice cream.]

Pyra: Ohhh...

Java: Your favorite?

Pyra: Yeah, mine *and* See's, somehow...Where is the cynical one, anyway?

{Place: Mainframe Locker Room.}

[A short figure comes in, finds the room dark, and searches for the lights.]

[The door slamms shut.]

[Various frightened sounds are heard.]

"Click, filelock."

[Various frightened sounds end.]

[See exits with a large burlap bag over his shoulder.]

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 13, 2000

{Place - Jay's Greenroom}

[Nada returns, and her sibs surround her and congratulate her on doing so well, even if she didn't win. Naught appears reluctant to support her (he is kinda selfish), but Niente is there to strong-arm him into behaving. Quinn is standing off to the side, but he grins at Nada and flashes her a thumbs-up.]

Jay: Nice going, Nada. Too bad you didn't win, but we have plenty of gold. What with Justice, Dirk, Sil, and Elogin all holding titles and all.

Chaotis: Not to mention your Author Belt, Big Shot, sir.

Jay: [looks at him, over at the card table] Cha, kindly remove your lips from my ass.

Chaotis: [meekly] Yes, sir.

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 18, 2000

{Place: Arena}

[The lights dim, and the crowd begins to cheer, expecting the Triple Threat to begin. When no specific intro appears, confusion begins to get the better.]

Voice: And now...for your entertainment...

[The well-known magenta lights swirl. Java and Tri appear side-by-side, followed by Fury Squad. See hands a rope to Tri, who takes it and floats up, doing something in the air immediatly above the ring. The rest enter by foot, Java holding a mike. She speaks.]

Java: I hope you don't think I forgot you all, right? I mean, that was just the first Trick o' the evening. So, I have a game!

[She opens her Interdimensionaal Pocket and retrieves a pouch from it.]

Java: Now, I need someone from the audience, of course, so I have these. [She opens the pouch and picks up a few metallic marbles.] One of these is a portal command, the rest are just hematite. Whoever get hit with the right one arrives up here. Bonne Chance!

[She grabs all of them in a double handful and throws them all around the arena. Chaos ensues in the scramble, but not too much. As predicted, a portal opens and drops out a confused sprite, male, teenaged, with copper skin and glassy short hair.]

Java: Hi. Name?

Sprite: [two veeeeery loooong blinks later] Sam.

Java: Okay! Now, it's pretty simple. Tri?

[The virus looks down, then drops the rope as if it hung from an invisible bar. One side goes down all the way, and the other comes four feet higher than eye level, taut as if something was weighing it down. Tri then returns to the ring.]

Tri: S'all ready.

Sam: What happens now?

Java: Ever play Pinata?

[The crowd murmurs in confusion.]

Sam: Yeah...

Java: Great! That's all there is! You get blindfolded. you hit the "pinata", and you get to brag to all of your friends that you were in the Ring and on live Holo TV. Fair?

Sam: ...

Erinys: We'll throw in autographs too.

Sam: ... O-kay.

[Java squees and throws the blindfold to Erinys, who tries to explain slightly as he places it around the sprite.]

Erinys: Done.

Java: Can you see? How many fingers am I holding up?

Sam: I have no clue.

Java: Good. Here's the stick. [She places his hands around a "stick", which is actually her Mallet. She adds:] You break it, you die. Kay?

Sam: ...

Java: Okay!

[She giggles, walks over to the rope and pulls something off from the bottom of the rope...revealing a tied up, fairly annoyed/confused/terrifyed Mike the TV with enough duct tape over his mouth to fix the Titanic.] And here's the pinata!


Sam: Did I hear something?

Tri: Yeah.

See: Go on! Smack 'im!

[Sam waves the mallet a few times, then raises it th swinging position and get's it rip. Miss. Mike whimpers happily and tries to struggle as Pyra puts Sam back on track. Again...Miss.]

Java: [slightly worried] C'mon! You only get one more shot! PLEASE HIT HIM!

[Mike finally get free of the duct tape (don't ask how) and cheers:] Yay! Na na, you can't hi-

[Sam hits. And WHACK's the poor sap all the way into the nosebleed seats. Cheering.]

Java: [smirking] And that concludes out Second Trick of this evening. Thank you and see you soon!

[She pulls Sam over and begin walking out of the Ring, Tri quickly undoing the ropes.]

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 18, 2000

{Place - the Arena}

[Just as Java finishes her little Trick, the Y2Jay timer appears. The Jay/Java fans start cheering as it reaches zero. The lights go out, and then the pyros go off around the ring as "When Worlds Collide" plays. Jay does his blink-there-I-am entrance again and grins at the audience, glasses glinting. Suddenly, through the same blink-there-I-am trick, Java and Zilch are standing beside him, she looking a bit surprised to find herself back in the ring. Jay grins lopsidedly at her as he raises a microphone.]

Jay: [a la Christian] Greetings to all of our fans in Deathmatch! [he grins at Java, then at the audience] We understand that you are all awaiting the totally righteous butt-kicking that Java and I are going to serve up to His Blackclad Dumbness, but before that, we would like to do a little something for you.

[He tosses the microphone to Zilch and whispers to Java as the big sprite addresses the crowd.]

Zilch: [a la Edge] And so -- for the benefit of those with flash photography -- we would like to unveil a way cool pose for five...seconds...only, hey?

[He glances back at Jay & Java. He gives Zilch a thumbs-up. The big sprite nods and grins at the audience.]

Zilch: We like to call it: "Totally Triumphant!" I will play the part of Voodoo.

[Zilch tosses aside the microphone, then throws aside his goggles and coat. He looks at Jay and Java, who have both produced Thwapping Stick and Mallet. They clobber him, knocking him flat, and then the two Authors put one foot each up on Zilch's chest. They raise one hand in the air with bludgeoning instruments and raise each others' other hand together. Cameras flash all over the Arena. Five seconds later, Jay and Java lower their weapons (putting them away) and Zilch nods his thanks before running off.

[Jay retrieves the microphone and raises it to his lips.]

Jay: Now to get serious for a moment, I have an announcement to make. First, I would like to apologize on behalf of His Blackclad Dumbness for scaring you all with that explosion earlier. Voodoo assures me that it won't happen again, and I can tell you for certain that the only explosions you'll see toNight will be from the ass-whuppin' Vood'll be receiving at the hands of the Psychopath 'ress and the Big Shot Author.

[Cheers for this.]

Jay: The second announcement is going to be more of a disappointment. Due to injury, Jeff Freeman is unable to participate in a match toNight, so the Triple Threat Toughest Badass Match has been postponed for the next Night. [A few boos.] So the next match you will have the pleasure of witnessing will be the Magenta Maineiac against Voodoo!

[A few murmurs of surprise, and then the fans cheer. Jay lowers the mike and offers it to Java, in case she wants to say a few words.]

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 19, 2000

[Java stares a moment at the prefered mike, then accepts.]

Java: O-kee, I wasn't expecting that little preformance... [Chuckles from the audience.] But if the big ol' match is to be postponed, I have no problem! It just gets us closer to my match.

[She looks over her shoulder, notices Tri spying out of audience view, and grins.] Aht-serat. Toodles till then!

[She turns to leave, waiting for Jay, and whispers:] I need to talk to you? In your room, z'okay?

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 19, 2000

{Place - The Ring}

[Jay nods to Java after she finishes whispering.]

Jay: Z'okay by me. We'll take my shortcut. [to audience] We'll be back later. Until then, let's hear it for Big Shots!

[To which the Jay/Java part of the audience starts chanting either 'Big Shot!' or 'Java!' Whilst this happens, Jay beckons Tri into the ring with a finger. Once she's inside, Jay bows overdramatically to the fans, and then he does the now-I'm-here-now-I'm-not trick again, and all three disappear.]

{Place - Jay's Greenroom}

[Jay, Java, and Tri reappear here, and Jay seats himself comfortably at his desk. He pulls out a pair of elbow pads and starts tugging them on, in obvious prepartion for his match after Java's.]

Jay: So, Jav-Jav, what can I do you for? Something I can do to make your match against Vood easier?

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 20, 2000

Java: Uhm, stuff...Have to talk to the hacker god too...Erm.

[She looks to Tri, watching the both of them.] [Viral dialect] (Can you ditch?)

Tri: (Why?)

Java: (Because, that and you have to get ready?)

Tri: (Meanie.)

Java: (Baka split.)

Tri: (Twin.)

Java: (Same thing.)

[Tri shrugs, slight smile, and walks out. Java sighs, pulls a chair over, and sits. Her demeanor changes almost visibly, from normal to...serious, almost.]

Java: Look, about the match...[She takes a breath, then looks Jay square in the eyes.] I'm worried. No, acutally, I'm afraid. Polymorphs don't fight one-on-one, we hit and run. That's how it is. And now here I am, supposed to fight someone where I have no training, and certainly have no true advantages! I don't even know how he's going to act, or react. [She pauses, then stands and paces slightly.] I should have thought of this, I know, but then do I plan?! Those Tricks are the most planning I've done since ever. [Stops, looks back.] He could kill me. That's the real problem. He's not afraid to, and I doubt I could stop him. I don't want my first match to be my last. Even an Authoric tw-[Cuts off, blushes.] Even a co-author can't support the characters of another, not long. My characters don't know I'm like this, except maybe Tri-I don't know what she knows. I don't want to die, I don't want to play the coward and cancel, and...

[Trailing off, she sits back down, head lowered, scarf ends hiding her face. Waiting for an answer to her fear, however justifyed it is.]

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 20, 2000

{Place - Jay's Greenroom, Jay's Office}

[Jay only half pays attention to Java's discussion with Tri. He understands what they're saying of course, since being Puck W!ld he can understand things viral in nature.

[But as Java explains her worries/fears, Jay's indifferent smirk turns into a worried frown. He scratches his chin, then calls up his Washu-chanesque keyboard and taps a few things in. He looks up.]

Jay: Just a mo', Jav'. [taps comm] DaVinci, get in here.

[DaVinci steps into the office.]

Jay: Okay, D, here's the score -- Java's afraid of what might happen to her team should the unthinkable happen during her match with Voodoo. What we need is to come up with a way to sustain her characters' existence long enough for us to find some way to...I dunno, bring her back like we did to Lean.

DaVinci: I dunno, Big Shot, this isn't like resurrecting a character. This is a 'ress we're talking about. It's not easy to bring one of them back--

Jay: I didn't mean like how we brought Lean back for Deathmatch!, you idiot! I meant like how we brought him back in "Immoral."

DaVinci: Oh! Stupid me. [He looks at Java a moment.] Well, she's a sprite, if polymorphic. I might be able to whip up a little patch that could protect her consciousness in a secure dBase until we get the Construct Link set up.

Jay: Do that. I'll have the Felons and Cowboy get to work on the C-Link. [beat] I'll call in Hyena too.

[DaVinci nods and steps aside to pull out his computer and start typing. Jay gets up, tapping his fingerless gloves (more of his ring attire that he's getting ready to put on) into his palm. He sits on the edge of his desk in front of Java.]

Jay: [reassuringly] I apologize if that seems a bit pessimistic, but I was only planning for the worst case scenario there. I think I have another way to help you out with Voodoo.

[He sets down his gloves and pulls open a drawer on his desk and pulls out a little sack, not unlike the sack with Tri's energy balls. He weighs it in his hand.]

Jay: I can help you get a bit more ferocity for your tangle with Vood. It's something that could make you a bit more viral, and thus more inclined to one-on-one battle.

[He opens the sack and draws out what looks like a marble, black and blue in color. But it seems to glow, almost.]

Jay: This little thing contains a fraction of Puck W!ld's nature. We all know what Puck's capable of, and while this won't make you nearly as dangerous as he is, it will make you dangerous enough to stand a chance against Vood.

[He holds it out for Java to take.]

From: "Jay Winger & Puck W!ld"
Date: Aug 22, 2000

{Place - Jay's Greenroom, Jay's Office}

[Jay still holds out the marble containing a small piece of Puck W!ld's nature, waiting for Java to respond, but as he does so, part of his mind drifts off to ponder over things.]

{Place - Nowhere; Nearest Approximation - Jay's Mind}

[This place resembles the gray misty nothingness that Lean Il Lupe had seen in the mind of Elogin during "Separation Anxiety." Jay 'stands' in the mists, and like in reality, he holds a black-blue marble in his hand.]

Jay: I wonder if this is a good idea.

Voice: Ya coulda asked me first!

[Jay looks up and sees none other than his own version of 'Dark' -- Puck W!ld. Much like with Voodoo's multiple selves, Puck W!ld looks just like Jay -- with the exceptions that PW has red-on-black viral eyes and silver skin and a not-very-nice look on his face.]

Jay: What're you doing here?

Puck: Dumb question. I'm part of ya, remember?! And ya haven't been very nice to me lately, 'Jay-chan.'

Jay: Can I help it if you got a little out of control last time I let you loose?

Puck: That'd be less of a problem if ya'd let me loose more often.

Jay: Over my dead body. Have we forgotten what you did to that system I tried to set up for one of my fics?

Puck: A minor occurrence. That just annoyed me.

Jay: Everything annoys you.

Puck: I'm out of touch. It's 'cuz ya never let me out.

Jay: Well, you're going to stay out of touch. I'm only tapping into your little talents long enough to give the people their bread and circuses and put Voodoo back in his place.

Puck: Hah! With his fashion sense, Voodoo's place is in a casket!

Jay: Well, go away, will you? I was just thinking to myself before you came up here.

Puck: I'm here 'cuz ya took some of my Essence without askin' first.

Jay: You didn't complain when we last tangled with Voodoo.

Puck: That was 'cuz ya were doin' the sort of thing I like doin', and it didn't seem necessary. But now ya're talkin' about givin' part of me to a sprite, and a polymorph, at that. I don't approve of that.

Jay: I don't recall asking for your permission...

Puck: That's why I came up here--

Jay: In fact, come to think of it, I don't recall needing your permission either. Now beat it.

Puck: [eyes narrowing] All right, Boss, I'll go away fer now. But when ya let me go later for yer fight, don't expect it to be easy to put me away afterwards.

[Puck W!ld starts to turn away, but then he turns back, red part of his eyes glowing.]

Puck: And if ya take any more of my Essence without askin' me first, then limits be damned -- I'll crawl up here, knock ya down, and then slag everything ya've worked so hard for.

[Puck W!ld disappears back into the mists, and Jay lets his mind go back to reality.]

{Place - Jay's Greenroom, Jay's Office}

[Jay merely blinks as he comes back to focus. Scarcely more than a second has past, all told, but Jay is already worried. He makes a mental note to himself that he will have to do something about his own demon.]

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 23, 2000

[Java looks at the marble, startled, then *carefully* picks it up. The surface has a faint electrical charge, and she feels almost...pricking...]

Java: I honestly don't know about this, Jay...It's viral stuff, and essenses, and...

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 23, 2000

[Jay nods, still holding the small sack he'd held the marble in.]

Jay: It's all right, Java. If you don't wish to use it, that's fine. But let me just tell you that this will give you an edge in your match. As strong as you might be in whatever forms you take, Voodoo has that damn high technology of his.

[He blinks. Something has occurred to him.]

Jay: Say...why not add a new stipulation to the match? He's forbidden you to use your energy why not even the odds by forbidding him to use his high technology? [grins] After all, if we can catch him this, you still have your polymorph skillz. That'll give you an edge, for sure!

From: "Java Trinomial"
Date: Aug 24, 2000

[Java listens to this last, then blinks, then grins sheepishly, hand behind head in an unmistakable anime pose.]

Java: Well, first off they're Tri's energy and her's, she just lent them to me and I wasn't contemplating using them anyway. But...I mean, he can't do anything anyway now, can he, what with the rules? And I mean, could you even do that?- Well, yeah, you're an owner too, higher up on da food chain as it were...And bad feedback is noooot good for me, I haven't the faintest idea how you get through it..But it's alright, now, I guess.

[She stands up quickly and leaps to the door, then turns.] Well, thanks really, I mean really....[She bows, face tinged with a purple blush.] Anything else before I get ready?

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 24, 2000

{Place - Jay's Greenroom, Jay's Office}

Jay: Anything else? Well, let's see... if you remember anything you've watched from previous matches, keep those in mind. Hit Voodoo with everything you've got as hard as you can, and don't let up.

[He takes the marble and puts it back in the sack, which he sets on the desk. Oddly enough, the sack appears empty when he puts it down.]

Puck W!ld: [within Jay's mind] Good, ya gave me that Essence back. Now I won't have to kick yer ass.

Jay: [within his mind] Go away, Puck.

Puck: Ah...puck you.

Jay: [to Java] Now, if you can find out if Voodoo's back is still sore from that blast you gave him a few Nights ago, exploit it! Other than that, I'd work his legs over, so's he can't stand up or kick out. After that, knock him senseless.

[He stands up and nods to Java.]

Jay: Don't worry your magenta little head. We've got DaVinci, Hyena, and my other hackers at work protecting your team from dying off if their 'ress dies. But she won't, so dinna fash yourself.

From: "Java Trinomial & Fury Squad"
Date: Aug 26, 2000

{Java's Green Room}

[The Squad is standing in a circle, talking quietly amongst themselves. Tri is nowhere to dbe seen when Java enters.]

Java: Soooo...Did I miss anything?

[The three stop, quickly exchanging looks.]

Erinys: Nothing, really...

Java: Huh? [She sits down in her seat, then smirks, not believing a word.] And what's the "really" part s'posed to mean? And how are those two next to each other and not screaming?

[Pyra and See edge away from each other.]

Java: Alright, that's it. [Annoyed.] Erinys, what the hell happened and why are you acting like The Us-*ahem*-God has just arrived or something? Out with it!

Erinys: [sheepish] Yeah, well...I know it isn't much to get worried about, but ten minutes ago Tri...started giggling.

[Java blinks.]

Pyra: Hey, look, Tri doesn't just start giggling randomly! That's you gig. So is it unusual we're worried?

[Java slowly takes this in, then "ah"s in understanding.] Silly me. Attitude shifts, of course...She's off, then?

See: Yeah, wherever she went.

Java: Good. Now...[She stands, heads for her personal room, then stops and turns.] By the way...If anything "happens", Tri's in charge. [She nods and enters the room.]

See: [to the others] What?! She's letting Snakie rein over us?!

Pyra: Shut up. Look, she's the Author, we shouldn't argue...

See: Yeah, let the virus rule. Great idea, Py.

Erinys: Hey! [Quiet] No more arguing. That's that, got it? I'm not arguing, and neither should you two. Got it?


Erinys: Fine.

From: "Jay Winger"
Date: Aug 29, 2000

{Place - Jay's Greenroom}

[People are milling about, a bit bored as they await the next match to begin. Justice appears quite angry that his match with Jeff and Tomasi has been postponed, if the shattered beer bottles around his chair are any indication. Tomasi and Nails are still secluded in the Training Room, so they're not around -- which is good, because Justice is so fired up that he'd probably stomp a mudhole in Tomasi the moment he saw him.

[Jay is sitting on a small table in the corner, reviewing things on his holo comp (that whole Washu-chanesque thing again). DaVinci is near Jay, likewise busy on a computer. The other hackers are all busy at work, setting up a little thing to take care of Team Trinomial in the worst-case scenario of what might happen in Java's match with Voodoo.

[A portal opens and out steps the Khatran, Hyena. She grins and waves to Justice, who growls in her general direction as he smashes another beer bottle. Hyena blinks and looks at Jay.]

Hyena: What's wrong with him?

Jay: His match got postponed.

Hyena: Oh. [to Justice] Stay sparky, frosty; you'll get your match eventually.

Justice: [mutters indistinctly]

Jay: Don't worry about him, Hy, just help the others out.

[She shrugs and seats herself next to Cowboy and pulls out her comp to start with the hacking stuff. Jay taps DaVinci and shows him the screen in front of him.]

Jay: Looks good. Z'okay?

DaVinci: 'Z'okay'? You've been hanging around Java too much.

Jay: [looks at him] Say that again. [eyes flicker viral]

DaVinci: ...Nevermind. Yeah, those match-ups look good.

Jay: Right. I'll keep a copy of these in the secondary database. Think you can find them there?

DaVinci: You kidding? Yeah, I'll find them, and they're behind so many security firewalls that not even EVA could get through them.

Jay: Good. I'm going to go rest up for my match later with Vood. You keep things in line here.

DaVinci: No sweat.

[Jay leaves to his office and closes the door.]

From: "Team Voodoo"
Date: Aug 30, 2000

[Voodoo sits at his dest, this time on a folding chair since all but Minke's chair remain in peices. He is busy typing on the LCARS type keyboard, trying to gather all the information from the semi-down E.V.A.]

Voodoo: Come on E.V.A., wake up and tell me what I want to know.

[A text message appears on the screen] State request. [Voodoo types in response] Project: Next Step. [The screen remains black for a moment] Enter ID. [tap tap tap of the fingers on the plastic] Alpha 400062 Gamma 1.[The screen remains still, then] Please state information needed.[Tap tap tap] Results on Prject, based on current data.[Blink blink blink] Project completion time, 15 hours MST. Full DNA intergration in 14 hours MST.[Tap tap,a pause then a tap] New form?[ Blink blink blink] Incuficent Data.[ tap tap tap] Humaniod?[blink] Incuficent Data.

{Place: Voodoo's Green room- Kitchen Section}

Jeff: How can you eat that?

Jenny: Because it's good.

Jeff: It's fat.

Jenny: Still good.

[Jenny muches on her hamburger, sure it was replacted, but it was still good. Jeff on the other had was only half-way through his salad, things didn't seem right here. And Even Minke noticed this.]

Minke: *You two fight alot*

Jenny: You think this is fighting? Guess she hasn't seen some of our real fights huh?

Jeff: Guess not.

Minke: *Don't understand*

Jenny: This is just part of love Minke....

Jeff: This is love? Man I thought I was in it for the..

Jenny: JEFF!...[cough and a stern look to her husband, then back to Minke].. this is just part of our life style, we aren't really fighting in the sense of the word, just playful bickering.

Minke: *What is the differnce?*

Dax: They come to blows when they fight, Mom always wins.

[They all look up at Dax as she walks into the kitchen, the fact that she could hear Minke means something was up. Jenny settles on the fact that something must have remianed when Minke was scared off when Dax was in the chamber, and hoped it was only temporay thing.]

Minke: *You hit one another?*

Jeff: Not like abuse. Sometimes old ways are the best. For us that means a match, whoever wins, wins whatever the fight was about. Although the slight fact that I lose any way you slice it is just not the point.

[Minke shakes her head, not understanding how he could never win]

Dax: He means that if he fails in the match, he loses the argument, if he wins the match, he still sleeps on the couch.

Jenny: And that couch has gotten use quite a bit since he came back.

{Place: Voodoo's Green Room- E.V.A. core}

E.V.A.: I would really like to see sometime soon Crix.

Crix: E.V.A. your not like a computer one can go to the store and buy parts for.

E.V.A.: I hope not.

Ki'eva: Your not, but you are very complex, and the fact that you are healing and being brought online as fast as you can means that parts of you have been put off. Sight is one of them.

E.V.A.: How do I protect the room when I can't even sense whats around me?

Crix: E.V.A. You are one the most powerful and smartest computer system in the 'Verse, aside from the Terra, you can adapt.

E.V.A.: Shall I assimulate your Biological and Technological disticiveness to my own while I'm at it?

Crix: Cute E.V.A., real cute.

From: "Minke"
Date: Sept 4, 2000

[Minke leaves the family to themselves, glancing at Dax once, and goes into her former quarters to tend to a matter. Focusing, she concentrates on an image of two beings]

[Sai and Zaria suddenly appear in the room looking very confused. Sai's bowl of noodles fall from her hands]

Sai: Wha... Huh??

Zaria: Hey, we're in our old place at Voodoo's! How'd we-

Minke *Hello, Zaria...*

Zaria: Minke! are you?

[Before Minke can answer, Sai comes storming over] So. You finally decided to come crawling back, huh? Where's the red carpet? You've got a lot of nerve giving me the cold shoulder! And what's this trashy outfit you're wearing!?

Zaria: It has Voodoo's logo on it...

Sai: Well?? You'd better start explaining, CReaTuRe! And you've got a LOT of that to do.

[Minke would have cringed and hid in a corner from Sai's tone before, but now she just stands there with a somewhat understanding look on her face. She has the mess of noodles clean itself up, and the bowl levitates into her hands. Sai is staring, but Minke just hands this to her.] *To be honest, Sai, I didn't feel wanted any longer. I see that was a misconception... You do love me very much, but you didn't nurture me.*

Sai: Hey, before you give me that "You were a bad mother" speech-

Minke *No, I wouldn't... Besides the fact that you're not truly my mother, you did protect me as a mother would...and you did create me... But when did you ever cuddle me as a child, or invite me to learn about the outside world, or how often did you give me praise besides when I was doing something to get you closer to a medal...?*

Sai: CRe, every character serves a purpose to me, and your purpose was to win matches-

Minke *But you merely -used- me for that. My entire childhood was spent in a tank!*

[Sai clutches her skull in an attempt to dull the pain somewhat, shrieking. Zaria comes to her aide, but she just shoves her away, leaving the virus with a very confused look on her face]

Sai: I knew you'd turn into WeB if I showed you the truth...

Minke *No, I didn't... And I didn't mean to hurt you... I'm just upset, and so are you. I'll try to hold my tone down... But I need to explain things to you, Sai...and I won't be controlled by you anymore. That's not what I want.*

Sai: What you -want-?? I didn't write you like this! You're supposed to respect me! You're supposed to be dedicated to only me! Now you're off with Voodoo's crew, and you don't even want to be around me! I -created- you, damnit!

Minke *But I -do- want you around... You just make it so difficult for me, you have no idea... Please, try to talk rationally with me for once. And see me as a person too... You said you did once, but I stopped believing that a while ago. In fact...I'm wondering if I ever fell for it at all really...*

[Sai's eyes glow red, but she takes a deep breath, and upon exhaling, the glow fades back to her blue eyes. She finds a pillow cushion on the floor and seats herself, placing the bowl to one side, trying to listen and gain something from what Minke's saying. She sighs and looks up at her creations standing side by side and smirks, then grows serious] K... Sit down. I'll listen.

[Zaria looks up at Minke and whispers to her] It's okay you know. I'm here if you need help again.

[Minke looks down and smiles at her] *I'm alright. For once, Zaria, I think I'm alright.* [She rubs Zaria's bristly silverish hair] *Don't worry about me...* [She goes to sit in front of Sai, pulling a cushion beneath her and wrapping her tail in front of her] *I think...I think the best way to let you know how I feel is not through words...*

Sai: Yeah, words get in the way. But then what?

[Minke puts both her hands upon either side of Sai's head and then takes them away] *Close your eyes for about one second.*

[Sai furrows her brow but listens nonetheless. Despite Minke's changes, she still trusts her. When she reopens her eyes, Minke and Zaria are is the greenroom. She is now in a meadow with a small pond to her right with small lilypads floating in it. There's a sweet scent in the air, but she can't quite place it. Marigolds?]

Minke: They're phoenix blossoms, Sai.

[Sai quickly stands and whirls around to see Minke standing there, but she's the same height as Sai] You got short! And...

[Minke smiles, her mouth exposing sharp teeth]

Sai: That just looks too odd.

Minke: Of course. You're not used to it. Did you know I actually have a mouth and teeth? It's just that there's no opening to be called a mouth.

Sai: Of course I know that! I've got X-rays dating back to when you were just a day old.

Minke: The point is that you never asked me about it or my feelings towards it. It...feels just as odd as it looks.

Sai: Oh. Well- um...where are we anyway?

Minke: My mind.

Sai: Heh...pretty. [She watches a butterfly land upon a daisy]

Minke: It's merely an image I chose to present to you. Your mind seemed to like this image most of all.

[Sai smirks] The phoenix blossoms are a thick touch. As is you making yourself the same height as me.

Minke: Your not as much a fool as you make yourself out to be.

Sai: Hey! CReaTuRe-

Minke: I preffer to be called Minke now. Zaria recognizes that, and yet you do not. I see this as a communication problem.

Sai: You're awfully talky nowadays. And your voice doesn't come in all whispery and echoey here.

Minke: This is a place of sanctuary for me. No harm may come to me here. Or you.

Sai: So afraid that you'd get hurt out there?

Minke: I'm trying to build up strength against that fear... This is good. We're communicating now. But not as much as I'd like us to. It would be easier if you'd let me share.

Sai: Let you share?

Minke: In order for me to show you how I feel, you must let our minds join. This takes trust on both our parts. You do not fully trust me, Sai.

Sai: I... You trust me?

Minke: Unconditionally. I left not because of lack of trust but because I'd not understood. This not understanding is a gap in our relationship from character to author. We need to bridge it.

Sai: You trust me unconditionally...

[Minke smiles] And now you trust me. My trust of you was all it took?

Sai: You shouldn't be so surprised, CR- er...Minerva.

Minke: Minke... Now, open your mind, and let's bridge this gap.


[Jenny and Jeff suddenly come storming into Sai's section of the greenroom and stop upon seeing the trio there]

Jenny: EVA was right. Only it wasn't just intruders.

Jeff: You'd better have a good explaination, Zaria.

[Zaria stares at them then back at Sai and Minke] Explanation? They're vegging out. I don't know what's going on. I'm just the virus bistander in all this.

[Jeff comes walking over and past her, shaking Sai] Hey, what's the matter with you? [snaps his fingers in front of her eyes]

[Jenny walks up to Jeff, Zaria finally rushing over, and pushes him back a little] She's not responding, genious, and I don't think you should be doing that.

Zaria: He shouldn't. Minke's doing a mind probe or...something on Sai. We just appeared here suddenly honestly. I know it sounds weird but-

Jenny: Trust me, after what we've seen, nothing could sound weird to us at this point. [looks at the author and Minke] Judging from the fact that Minke's chatted with everyone before and that these two are totally unresponsive, I doubt there's a casual conversation going on here that we can't just not hear.

[Zaria looks at Jeff uncertainly] Look, I don't want to cause any trouble. I just wanted to find Minke and talk to her, but Sai's always a problem. I didn't even want to leave in the first place.

Jenny: Relax. We trust you. We've got bigger things to worry about right now, like EVA being down and Java and Winger plotting against our author.

Zaria: Two authors against one. Double teaming someone is just- What was that about EVA?

Jeff: You mean you didn't hear about the explosion?

From: "Voodoo"
Date: Sept 4, 2000

Zaria: What explosion?

Jenny: Something in the reactor blew, E.V.A. got hit pretty hard, she's been pretty much offline for most of the night. To top it off, from what Crix said, She can't see anything, only now and then does she get a scan of the area.

Zaria: Thought the whole Green Room was surported by her?

Jeff: It is, we have basic systems up and running, but everything else, hardly. Weapony, Shildes, scaners, hot water, almost everything isn't working.

Zaria: What is working?

Jenny: Medical bay, replacators, life support, power. Just basic systems aside from the Medical Bay.

Zaria: And what about Voodoo, whats going on about this two on one match?

Jenny: Voodoo's slotted for a match with Java and Jay, tonight.

Jeff: Seperate matches, but still, they are one after another.

Zaria: He's going to get himself killed.

Jeff/Jenny: It happens.

???: Death is only afraid of one thing, and thats people who don't fear it.

[The trio turn to see Voodoo standing just inside the door. Arms folded he walks slowly to Zaria, she has to look up at him this time, he seems, just a tad taller.]

Voodoo: Nice to see you again Zaria.. We were woundering when you gals would show up.

Zaria: Minke thought it time to talk to Sai, don't know what about, I can't hear anything.

Voodoo: Nor can I, she has deemed this conversation private, and we best not worry about it.

Zaria: I don't want to see her hurt Voodoo.

Voodoo: In the short time she has come into Minke has grown, she is no longer the scared child Sai wanted, but a bold adult, with her own choices.

Zaria: So she is..

Voodoo: An Individual, who's choices are her own and no one orders her around.

[Zaria thinks for a moment, looking over to her friend and her author, then back to Voodoo] She wears a uniform with your symbol.

Voodoo: And her's also. She is merly welcomed and accepted into this team and family. She is basicly, her own fraction within this one. She has no master, she has no controler, but she resides as a member of both team and family.

Zaria: Her role in this team?

Voodoo: You saw what she did to that werehouse correct?

[Zaria nods]

Voodoo: And you see her uniform right? Not much armor in it is there?

[Zaria shakes her head]

Voodoo: We all know Minke is not the attacker, so what does she do?

Zaria: Helps people..

Voodoo: And?

Zaria: Defends.

Voodoo: Who on this team would she defend the most.

[It becomes crystal clear,and she scans over her friend once more before looking at Voodoo]

Zaria: You need not the bodyguard Voodoo.

Voodoo: She wanted to be that, and I allowed her to. What makes her happy is what I will do, anything she has asked of me she has gotten and always will.

[Voodoo nods his head towards Jenny and Jeff and they leave, As the door closes, Voodoo seats himself in one of the few chairs in the room. Zaria scans around for Minke's futon only to see it is not here, she sits on one of the pillows that lays about]

Zaria: Where'd the futon go?

Voodoo: I'll let her tell you.

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