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A Mainframe Summer’s Nightmare

Chapter 1 – A Summer in Mainframe

 

 

It was lovely summer day in the system of Mainframe. Binomes and Sprites scurried along to work or to summer activities. At Floating Point Park, a young green-skinned sprite about 1.7 hours old stood in a stance and was flipping a football in his hands. He wore black sneakers, white socks, and black jean shorts. He was topless on this day, only to show off the fact that he’d been working out lately. His icon was placed firmly on his belt buckle and it was the gold and black colors of a guardian.

“One more touchdown and the game’s tied,” the sprite said, grinning at another who stood in his way. Another green sprite stood his ground. He was muscular and wore black boots with black pants. He, too, was without a shirt.

“You gotta get past me first.” the large sprite replied, with a smirk on his face. The two got down and the hike was called. The younger sprite was instantly tackled to the ground by the larger and the two wrestled in the grass for a while, not aware of the lovely sprite who had walked over.

“I thought you two were playing football!” AndrAIa remarked, hoisting the small sprite higher in her arms.

The two green sprites stopped to look at the Game Sprite. AndrAIa Matrix was a lovely sight to see. She had tan skin, and long aqua marine hair, that was now tied in a ponytail. She was dressed in a cute blue sundress that matched her eyes.

The two green sprites smiled as they got up. “Hi AndrAIa,” said the larger one, walking over to plant a kiss on her cheek.

“Hi Dre,” said the smaller one, also standing and walking over.

“Daddy!” cried the little bundle in her arms.

“Hello, sweetie,” Matrix said, kissing his daughter on the forehead. She looked exactly like her mother, but had her father’s temper.

“Zo!” the girl cried, reaching out to the smaller sprite.

“There’s my princess!” he replied, taking the girl from her mother and swinging her around.

“Play! Play!” the girl giggled.

The young sprite put the girl down. “Okay, but you better run!”

This was the way Enzo Matrix loved to spend his summers. He always looked forward to coming home to Mainframe during his breaks from the Guardian Academy. And he had a very good reason to enjoy this summer. He was a junior now, about to start his last year at the Academy and his 1.8 birthday would be coming up soon as well. He couldn’t ask for a better summer. Here he was, running around Floating Point chasing after his 4 hour niece whom he loved dearly, on the verge of graduation from the Academy, his biggest dream, and spending time at the park with his older brother and his sister-in-law.

But of course, with any activities involving a small sprite, the two quickly tired and decided on a rest. Matrix had come back from throwing away their trash from the picnic AndrAIa had brought, only to find her resting comfortably against a tree and his brother’s head in his wife’s lap.

“Hey.” he said, staring down his younger brother.

“Hey to you too, bro,” Enzo replied, looking up.

“I guess it would be pointless for me to tell you to move,” Matrix said, taking a seat next to AndrAIa.

“Pretty much,” Enzo retorted, placing a black cabbie hat over his eyes.

AndrAIa took the moment to rest her head on Matrix’s shoulder, before he moved to put his arm around her.

This is perfect, he thought. Matrix had gone through so much, so fast. Sometimes he couldn’t believe things were actually going right this time. Bob had survived the Web, to come back to Enzo’s sister, Dot. Matrix, AndrAIa, and their dog Frisket had survived game-hopping to come back to Mainframe. He had come to grips with the fact that the sprite he called his brother was in fact his younger self, a back-up copy caused by Mainframe’s restart.

They had fought and ridden themselves of Megabyte. They had fought and destroyed the super virus Daemon. Oh, he knew there were still people who wanted vengeance on him and Bob and Enzo and everyone who helped in the virus’ destruction. But that was in the back of his mind. After everything he’d gone through, everything his family, his friends, his system went through, things were finally back to normal.

“You’re thinking again,” came a voice. Matrix knew what she going to say, about him thinking too much. “What’re you thinking about?”

“You.” he said, playing with her ponytail.

“I’m flattered.” AndrAIa replied, snuggling deeper against him.

“Just thinking about how nice it is to be home,” Matrix said, his eyes still closed.

“I agree,” AndrAIa said, smiling up him. “So instead of analyzing it, Lover, just enjoy it.”

He smiled. He had known she would say that.

 


 

He had done it. He couldn’t believe it, but he had done it. Bob had finally gotten Dot away from the Principal Office, away from her office, and had gotten her outside. He knew her job as Command.Com would keep her pretty busy, but even Phong had taken a day off at one point in his life. So here they were, at Floating Point Park, taking a stroll on one of the paths.

“See?” Bob said, putting his arm around her shoulders. “This isn’t so bad, right?”

Dot smiled up at her husband. She knew she should probably be working on something, but even she had to admit it was a beautiful day out. She gave Bob a peck on the cheek and put her arms around his waist. “I gotta admit, Mr. Lan, it is a beautiful day out and I’m glad you stole me away.”

“Of course you are,” Bob quipped, stealing a quick kiss.

As they came up to a hill, they could see Matrix leaning against a tree. Upon closer inspection, they noticed AndrAIa leaning against him, Enzo’s head rested comfortably on her lap, his cap covering his eyes, and little Sabrina was fast asleep on top of him, her head resting on his chest.

“Expected to find you guys here,” Bob said, causing Martix to open his eyes.

“I can’t believe it.” he replied, rather sleepily.

“What?” Dot asked. “That we expected to see you guys here?”

“No,” Matrix said. “That Bob actually got you away from the Principal Office.” AndrAIa stifled a laugh as she opened her eyes.

“Ha, ha.” Dot replied, sarcastically. “Yes, that is very funny.”

AndrAIa placed her hand on top of Enzo’s cap. “Enzo.” she said, shaking his head slightly. She removed the cap, placed it on her own head, and resumed trying to wake the youth. “Enzo.” she said again, running her fingers through his hair.

“What?” he responded sleepily.

“Enzo.”

“What?” Enzo said, a little rougher and louder than before.

“Guess who’s here.”

“I don’t know,” Enzo replied, still trying to get back to sleep.

“C’mon, guess,” AndrAIa urged.

“I don’t know!” Enzo exclaimed, the sentence coming out more like a whine than anything else. “And I really don’t…” Enzo reached to pull his cap over his eyes, when he realized it wasn’t there. He turned to face AndrAIa, opening his eyes and seeing his cap on her head. “Can I have my cap back?”

“Well, he never was an early riser,” Dot remarked.

Enzo turned his head and finally noticed Bob and Dot. “I don’t believe it,” he said.

“What?” Dot asked. “That you’ve never been an early riser?”

“No. That Bob finally got you away from your office.” Bob and AndrAIa started to laugh, much to Dot’s
annoyance.

“Well, I’m glad I can give you all such enjoyment with my duties as Command.Com.” she retorted.

“I could go for an energy shake.” Bob spoke up. “Who’s with me?”

“Me.” Matrix replied, moving his arm and standing.

AndrAIa started to follow, but couldn’t because of Enzo. “Enzo, I can’t get up if you don’t get off me,” she said.

“Well, I can’t get up if Sabrina isn’t off of me.” the youth replied.

“I’ll take her.” Matrix went over to pick up the girl, who stirred slightly as she was moved.

“You can take her over to the P.O. you guys.” Dot said, getting her zip board ready. “Phong can watch her. He’s watching Mike as we speak.”

“Sure,” Enzo said jokingly. “Let’s give him more kids to play with.” He then realized something and turned back to AndrAIa. “Hey! When am I getting my cap back?”

“You’ll have to catch me first.” she said, sprinting off, with Enzo right behind her.

 


 

After getting Enzo’s cap back, Enzo, Dot, and Bob were seated in a booth at the diner. Dot and Bob had already had their energy shakes, but Enzo was impatiently waiting for his third.

“Enzo, you’re drinking those things like water!” Bob chuckled as Enzo’s third energy shake was finally brought to the table.

“A growing Guardian needs his strength, Bob.” the young sprite replied, before drinking the whole thing down in one gulp. “Hmm, think I’ll have another.”

Well, we certainly can’t call him Little Enzo anymore, Dot thought happily.

She was finally able to watch her younger brother grow up, or at least his copy, anyway. She’d missed her chance to see Matrix and AndrAIa grow, so she was glad when the restart had caused another Enzo. Now she had two brothers, whom she loved dearly. She still couldn’t believe Enzo would be a full fledged guardian in another year. He was getting bigger; he was only a few inches away from seeing Matrix eye to eye, and he was growing up. Dot thanked the User just about everyday for a second chance at things she had skipped before things went terribly wrong. Enzo was growing up and this time she’d been there to see it.

He was starting to look more and more like their father. Both he and Matrix did. Enzo was committed to wearing only summer clothes. He was still dressed in his black shorts, but was not sporting a white t-shirt with a black vest on top of it and of course, his black cabbie hat, which he always wore backwards.

She remembered when Matrix had bought that cap for his 1.6 birthday, after he and Matrix had been involved in an old gangster pool hall game and Enzo’s character had worn a hat that was similar. But Dot liked seeing Enzo without the hat; he had nice hair. It was black, with the sides slightly shaded and a thin braided ponytail hanging from behind. He was probably swamped by the girls at the Academy, though that secret was only shared between he, Matrix, and AndrAIa.

Enzo was now drinking a fifth energy shake, when he saw something out the Diner window. He instantly stopped drinking, put his shake down, and rushed to stand in front of the door. Bob and Dot exchanged quizzical glances before Dot spotted Matrix and AndrAIa heading for the Diner.

“Dinner says he doesn’t even knock the guy down,” Bob said, grinning at Dot.

“You’re on.” Dot replied, as they both turned to watch the scene.

Matrix and AndrAIa had been talking about something as they walked through the door. “So I think…”
Matrix had been saying before something plowed into him, knocking him to the floor.

“I did it!” Enzo exclaimed, hovering over his brother. “I did it! Did you see that?” Enzo leaped up and threw his hands in the air. “I knocked him right on his bitmap! After hours and hours of trying to do that, I finally did it. I can’t wait to see the big sprite’s face when he…” As Enzo turned around to face the door, Matrix plowed into him, knocking him to the floor. The two wrestled around on the floor while AndrAIa chuckled and went to join Bob and Dot in the booth.

Dot was smiling at Bob and said, “So, do I get to pick the place and time?”

Matrix finally got Enzo in a headlock and was applying pressure to the boy’s neck. “Say User.” he said, breathlessly.

“Never.” Enzo taunted, trying to wiggle out of the hold.

“Say it.” Matrix started to apply more pressure, causing Enzo to concede.

“Alright, alright! User! User!”

Matrix let the youth go, stepped over him, and headed for the booth the rest of the group sat. But Enzo wasn’t going to take this laying down on the floor of the Diner. He came up and jumped Matrix from behind, jumping on his back, causing Matrix to topple over and the two started to wrestle again.

“Alright, that’s enough of that!” Dot charged, stopping the two men rolling around on the floor.

“Your sister’s talking to you,” Enzo said, pushing Matrix away from him.

“What’ve I told you two about wrestling in the Diner?” Dot was now in big sister mode, which could spell trouble for the Matrix boys.

“Sorry, Dot,” replied the younger.

“Yeah, sorry Dot,” replied Matrix. “Why are you always getting me in trouble?” Matrix said, pushing Enzo slightly.

“You started it.” Enzo said, pushing back. “

You started it!”

“Stop!” Dot said, unable to stop herself from grinning. She was so happy with how the two of them had bonded over the last couple of hours.

“Will the two of you sit down and stop causing trouble?” AndrAIa said.

Matrix relented and sat down next to her. Enzo reached over and took a slurp of his shake. “You’re just mad cause I put the hurt on you.” he replied, speaking to his older self.

“I slammed you right on your…”

“Enzo!” Dot exclaimed. “Language.”

“Put the hurt on my ASCII,” Matrix muttered.

“Matrix!”

“What?” Matrix replied, innocently looking at his sister.

“Language,” Enzo grinned.

WARNING: INCOMING GAME! WARNING: INCOMING GAME!

“This day just gets better and better,” Enzo said, gulping down the last of his shake. He quickly tapped his icon and changed into his guardian uniform. “Who’s going with me?”

“Let the Destruction Crew handle this,” AndrAIa said, as she and Matrix followed Enzo out the door.

Bob watched them zip away towards the foreboding purple cube that was descending. He then turned to Dot, who was oddly quiet. “He looked nice, didn’t he?” he asked, as though reading her mind about Enzo.

“Oh, Bob, he’s growing up so fast.” Dot sighed. “But at least I was able to watch him grow this time around.”

“You’re a great sister to both of them,” Bob replied, kissing her gently on the lips.

A vidwindow popped in front of them, stopping any romantic thoughts they may have had at the moment. “Yes, Phong?” Dot asked, knowing the sprite on the other end.

“Dot,” answered the wise old sprite. “I must see you and Bob at the Principal Office at once.”

“Why, Phong?” Bob asked, exchanging a worried glance with his wife. “Is something wrong?”

“I think not, my child,” Phong said, pushing his glasses higher on his nose. “But I’d like you here to be sure.”

“We’re on our way, Phong.” Dot replied, closing the window and quickly rushing outside.

 

 

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