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Relation Trouble
By Indy Westland

 



This is my first fanfic, and I think it isn't that good. I know I made Bob
awfully naive, but I couldn't do anything about that. I hope you like it,
although it's quite long. It sort of got out of hand. My stories tend to do
such things to me. *Sigh*
Stay Frosty! Indy, October 1999

Relation trouble


*At the Principal Office*
With a sigh, Dot fell down on her chair. Finally a moment of peace. She'd
been working all day, without a nanosecond of rest. But when she'd looked out
of the vidwindow just a moment ago, she'd seen AndrAIa and Matrix fly towards
the Principal Office on their zipboards. She hadn't seen Bob with then.
Immediately she'd felt suspicious, but the instant she'd thought it she had
felt guilty. She knew Bob wouldn't as much as look at anyone else. Dot grinned
a little. She'd taken care of that....
She looked at her organizer. Her work for the day wasn't finished by far. She
sighed again and leaned back a little. She wondered what AndrAIa and Matrix
were coming for. Maybe it was because of that new thing Hex had thought up.
Hex had called her that morning with the idea to sell her biscuits and tea at
the Diner. She'd been a little vague about if she'd go along with it or not,
because she didn't quite like the idea, but she'd bet Hex had already spread
it around Mainframe. Now that Phong had registered her she could be nice, but
Dot didn't like the way she had of looking at Bob. She frowned. She definitely
did NOT like that look....
She was roused from her thoughts by Matrix and AndrAIa entering the room. 'Hi
Sis.' Matrix walked toward the desk and sat down, on top of a pile of
important files. 'Oh you!' Dot shoved him of her desk and smiled at AndrAIa.
'Hi AndrAIa. How are you doing? Still putting up with my little brother?' Dot
largely ignored the fact that Matrix was a head bigger than she was. AndrAIa
smiled naughty. 'He has his good sides. He doesn't show them in public, but he
has his good sides.' Dot and AndrAIa looked at each other knowingly, and
started to laugh.
Matrix looked a little disappointed. 'I've got the feeling I miss something
here.' AndrAIa stepped towards him, put an arm around his waist and gently
stroked his hair out of his face. 'You certainly do, Sparky.' Then she turned
to Dot again. 'What is this thing about you going into business with
Hexadecimal?' Dot sighed again. 'Boy, news sure travels fast around here. But
I could have known, with Hex about.' Matrix squinted. 'What is it about?' Dot
gave a little laugh. 'She had this ridiculous idea about me selling her tea
and biscuits at the Diner. I don't like the idea, but I guess she's trying to
talk me into it. In her own unique way.' She paused. 'By the way, have you
seen Bob?' Matrix looked at AndrAIa. She gave him a little nod. 'We just saw
him. He was heading for Hex's island.' Dot turned pale. 'You don't mean that,
do you?' AndrAIa gave her a sad little smile. 'I'm afraid we do.'

*Somewhere on the way to Hex's*
Bob flew through the streets of Mainframe. Hexadecimal had invited him over
for tea, and he didn't want to turn that down. After all, he was the one that
saved her from being deleted when the User rebooted their system. All of a
sudden, a vidwindow appeared in front of him. It was Dot. 'Bob, you promised
me to tell me if you went to see Hex.' Her face was quite stern, but he could
hear from her voice she was desperate for an answer. 'Gee, Dot, I, er...' He
could see her eyes turn sad. 'She invited me to come over, and I haven't had
the time to tell you. I didn't want to disturb you, you're always that busy..'
His voice failed him. It was a lame excuse and he knew it. Dot looked away.
'It's all right.' She lied, and Bob knew that, too. 'If you'd come to the
Diner as soon as you're finished?' She didn't even say goodbye. She just
closed the window.

*At the Principal Office*
Dot put her organizer on the desk, and turned to the vidwindow that looked
out over Mainframe. She pretended to watch the city, but in fact, she didn't
see anything because her eyes were clouded with tears. Matrix and AndrAIa
looked at her back. Matrix's voice was soft when he spoke. 'Shall we meet you
at the Diner when you're finished?' Dot nodded. She didn't trust herself to
speak. Matrix turned to door and looked at AndrAIa. 'AndrAIa, you coming?'
AndrAIa shook her head. Matrix shrugged and walked out the door.
The moment he was gone Dot started to cry. AndrAIa walked to her side and put
her arms around Dot's shoulders. 'There, there.' 'Oh AndrAIa!' Dot flung her
arms around her brother's girlfriend. 'He didn't even try to think up a good
lie for me.' she hiccuped. 'No.' AndrAIa's voice was stern. 'He couldn't lie
to you because he cares to much for you. Dot, don't make yourself crazy with
these ideas. Bob loves you far to much to even think about other women.' 'I-I
thought that, too, but I'm nohot so sure anymore.' AndrAIa hugged her.
'Really, Dot. Just calm down. Why don't you take the afternoon off, you can
retrieve Enzo from school and spend some time with him, Matrix and me. We'll
have a some fun.' Dot sniffed and rubbed the tears from her eyes. 'I've I
leave now, I'll have to work deep into the night tomorrow.' 'Then I'll help
you. It'll be my fault if you leave, so the least thing I can do is help you
with the work. Besides, we can ask Phong to fill in for you for the rest of
the day.' Dot nodded. 'All right then. Would you call him for me? I'll go
ahead.'
She walked out of the room, where she bumped into Hack and Slash. 'Oh my,
Dot, what happened to you?' 'Yeah, what happened to you?' The two robots
looked worried at her. Dot sniffed. 'Nothing, boys. I'm all right.' Slash put
his hand on her shoulder. 'You shouldn't go anywhere on your own right now,
Dot.' 'No Dot, you shouldn't. We'll go with you. Phong has said we'd guard
you.' 'Yeah, that's what he said. So we'll guard you.' The robots posted
themselves at her side, with an warlike expression on their faces. Then
AndrAIa came into the corridor, and she smiled at Dot, who rolled her eyes.
'My, it looks to me as if you got yourself some excellent protection.' Dot
smiled, while Hack and Slash proudly saluted. 'We'll be going to the Diner
now. I'll be back tomorrow.' 'Okay Dot. In that case, we'll see you tomorrow.'
'Yeah, we'll see you tomorrow.' They turned and went out of sight, around the
corner.
When they were gone, AndrAIa and Dot started laughing. 'They're so comical
sometimes.' Dot's straitened her face. 'They do care about me. And that's what
it's all about.' AndrAIa nodded. 'You're right. Now come on. Let's go, or
we'll be late to pick up Enzo.'

*At Hex's*
Bob sat in the chair facing Hex. He still had a bad feeling about Dot and
didn't notice Hex's eyes on him. 'Is there something the matter, Bob?' He
shook his head. 'Nah. It's nothing.' But immediately his eyes returned to that
distracted look. Hex watched him thoughtfully. She was sure something was
wrong. She could sense it. She sipped her tea and watched the Guardian over
the rim of her cup. He'd been looking at the table for ten minutes already.
She shook her head lightly. There was definitely something wrong. 'Really,
Bob. I thought you'd be happy to be at my tea party, but you haven't taken one
sip of my delightful tea.' Bob looked troubled. 'I'm sorry Hex. I just haven't
got my mind set to it. I think I'll go now. Dot had something to do for me
back at the Diner. See ya!' He stepped on his zipboard and flew in the
direction of Dot's Diner.
Hex watched him go. Of course! It was Dot! She smiled an evil smile...

*At Dot's Diner*
'Hey, Cecil, have you seen Dot around?' Cecil gave Bob a deadly look. 'Non.
Miss Matrix 'asn't been 'ere today. I think she's still at the Principal
Office. But she said she'd come 'ere if she 'ad finished.' Bob gave him a nod.
'Can you bring me an energy shake?' Bob walked to a nearby booth and sat down.
He didn't see the dissatisfaction with which Cecil looked at him.

*A few hours later, at Dot's Diner*
Bob swallowed the last of his energy shake. It wasn't the first he'd
finished, nor the third nor the fourth. He sighed. It was way past the time
Dot usually came to the Diner. Maybe she still was at the Principal Office. He
got up and walked to the door. While he waved at some binomes sitting at the
bar, he walked out of the Diner. He stepped on his zipboard and flew to the
Principal Office.
It was strange Dot wasn't at the Diner. She had said she'd be there. He
sighed again. Maybe he should have told her that he was going to visit Hex. It
would have saved him the trouble he was going through now. Now what could he
do to make it up to her? Bob digged through his mind. Then he shook his head.
He couldn't think of anything. He'd ask AndrAIa or Matrix the next time he saw
them. He DID love Dot, after all, and he wanted to make it up to her. As far
as he was concerned, she was the most beautiful woman in the whole Net.

*At the Principal Office*
Bob braked in front of the door of the Principal Office and stepped of his
zipboard. He walked through the door, towards the room where Dot had her
office. In the corridor, he bumped into Hack and Slash. 'Hi guys. Have you
seen Dot over here?' The two robots looked at each other. 'No. She left a few
hours ago.' 'Yeah, that's what she did. She left a few hours ago.' 'Do you
know where she went?' 'Don't know.' 'No, we don't know. She was with Matrix.'
'Yeah. She was with Matrix. And with AndrAIa. 'Definitely. She was definitely
with AndrAIa.' They both nodded enthusiastically. Bob frowned. Where could she
have one?
'Thanks. I'll look around for her. See ya!' He tried to act cheerful, but
miserably failed. Hack and Slash looked worried at him. 'Are you all right,
Bob? You don't look very good.' 'No. You definitely don't look good.' Bob
sighed. 'Well, I'm going through a bit of trouble with Dot.' The robots nodded
with understanding. 'Oh yeah. You have that sometimes.' 'Yeah, sometimes. I
guess that's why Dot looked so miserable this morning.' 'I guess so. Well,
We'll see you around, Bob.' Bob smiled. 'Okay boys. See ya!' Hack and Slash
turned and left the corridor.
Bob stepped into Dot's office and looked around. It took him a while to
realize Phong was sitting behind Dot's desk. 'Sorry Phong, I didn't see you.'
'That doesn't matter, my son. I saw the distracted look on your face.' Bob
smiled sheepishly. 'Is it that obvious?' Phong smiled and made a little
gesture with his hand. 'Yes, my son.' He paused a moment. 'And, of course, I
have already heard from AndrAIa what is going on.' Bob shook his head,
smiling. 'You can't do anything around here without everyone knowing it. Life
in Mainframe's like a soapopera.' He paused. 'Do you happen to know where Dot
is?'
Exactly the moment Bob said that, a vidwindow appeared in front of Phong. 'Hi
Phong!' It was Dot. She sure sounded a lot more cheerful than she had that
morning. 'What is the matter, my child?' Bob couldn't see the side of the
window Dot was on, but he imagined her smiling. My, did he love that smile! 'I
wanted to thank you for filling in for me. I really needed this afternoon
off.' 'I did some of your work, but I wasn't able to finish everything.' 'Oh,
that's all right. I didn't really expect you to do my work.' 'I enjoyed it, my
child. Ah, it brings back some of the old 486-days' Phong smiled. 'Where are
you now, my child?' 'I'm at the Diner, with Enzo, AndrAIa and Matrix.' They
heard a growl at the background. 'Oh, and with Frisket. Sorry boy.' She
addressed Phong again. 'Well, I'll see you tomorrow. And thanks again.' 'I'm
glad you had fun, Dot. Sleep well.' 'Good night!' The window closed, and Phong
turned to Bob. 'Was that what you needed to know, my son?' Bob smiled, and
with a little wave he left the Principal Office and went in the direction of
Dot's Diner.

*At Dot's Diner*
'Bob!' The Diner doors flew open, and Enzo came running out. His enthusiasm
literally swept Bob of his feet. 'Bob, we had this way cool afternoon. Dot and
AndrAIa and Matrix and Frisket picked me up from school, and we spent the
whole afternoon with this alphanumeric game of Jet Ball! I even won from
Matrix! And then we...' 'Enzo!' AndrAIa had appeared in the doorway. 'What?'
'I think Bob gets the picture.' 'I sure do!' Enzo stepped of his Guardian
friend, and AndrAIa helped him up. 'So, you've been playing games the
afternoon?' AndrAIa smiled. 'Enzo, why don't you go inside and get Bob an
energy shake?' Enzo nodded and disappeared inside. 'Bob, I think we need to
talk.' 'I really didn't mean to upset Dot. I love her, and I should have know
better.' 'Come on, don't get worked up by it.' AndrAIa put an arm around his
shoulders. 'I'm sure she'll get over it. But it just might be a good idea to
tell her you love her. She's not TOO happy about this happening, you know.'
Bob nodded. 'I think your right.' 'Well, come on. Let's go inside.'
As Bob and AndrAIa approached the booth Dot, Enzo and Matrix were sitting in,
Matrix's expression grew more and more icy. Dot looked kind of dubious, as if
she wasn't sure what to think or feel. Bob sighed and stepped to the booth.
'Hi.' He sat down and watched the table, but from the corners of his eyes he
could see Matrix's deadly gaze on him. AndrAIa stepped near and coughed.
'Matrix, do you have a nano? I'd like a word with you.' Reluctant, Matrix rose
and followed AndrAIa to another part of the Diner. Bob watched them go, and
cleared his throat. 'So, you guys had a nice afternoon?' Dot nodded, while
Enzo started to relate everything that had happened. Bob didn't listen. He
watched Dot, en she watched him. He saw the pain in her eyes, pain because he
had hurt her.
Matrix and AndrAIa approached them again. Matrix's look showed apology as he
looked at Bob. 'Sorry, Bob.' Dot looked surprised. What was going on here?
AndrAIa smiled at her. 'Can I talk to you, too?' Dot nodded and followed
AndrAIa. Matrix looked at Bob. 'I'm sorry. But you'll understand that I care
about my sister, and I protect her.' Bob shuddered. 'I saw that. Tell me,
where in the Net did you learn to look so dangerous?' Matrix just laughed.

*Next day, at the Principal Office*
'Dot, where can I put these files?' Dot hardly even looked up from her
organizer and gestured vaguely in the direction of a file locker. 'There.' 'If
you keep giving me these pity instructions, I'll quit and then you'll have to
do everything on your own.' AndrAIa warned, with strictness in her voice. Dot
looked up and laughed. 'Okay, AndrAIa, I'm sorry. You've helped me wonderful
already.' She pointed at her friend. 'Not to mention how you helped me
yesterday.' 'We did have fun, didn't we?' 'You know that's not what I mean.'
AndrAIa smiled. 'I know. Say, where did you and Bob go yesterday?' Dot
blushed. 'We spend some time in his apartment before I went home.' 'Ah. No
open display of affection?' Dot blushed even harder, but smiled. 'No "open"
display of affection.' She looked at the ceiling for a moment. 'Not "open"'
she said with a thoughtful expression. 'But I'm not exactly sure how you are
supposed to call it. Well, give me those files, and I'll put them away.' Dot
rose from behind her desk and took the files from AndrAIa. She left the room,
and walked into the corridor. AndrAIa stuck her head out of the room. 'Hey,
Dot, where do you want me to...' Her voice failed her as she saw Dot being
transported by a bright ray of light.

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot stood in a huge room, with high ceilings. She looked around, and laid the
files she had in her hands on the floor.
'Dot?' 'Hexadecimal. I could have known it was you.'

*At the Principal Office*
'So you say she was transported by some sort of ray of light?' AndrAIa
nodded, with tears in her eyes. 'There was nothing I could do. She was
just,.... Well, gone.' Matrix put and hand on her shoulder. 'Doesn't matter.
We'll find her. As you tell it, it sounds a lot like the way Bob was
transported when we had just arrived in Mainframe, when we came from the Web.
He was abducted by Hex.' AndrAIa narrowed her eyes. 'Hex. That would make
sense. Dot had trouble with Hex.' 'Then I think that's where we'll have to
start looking.' Matrix and AndrAIa looked at each other and nodded in
agreement.

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot was steamed. 'Hexadecimal, what is this?! Let me go this instant!' Then
she saw Hex. 'I'm afraid I can't do that, Dot. Besides, I've got to go now,
and you'll have to stay here.' With a gesture of her hand, she put Dot in a
chair, with her hands firmly fixed behind her back. 'I'll get you for this.'
Dot almost spit fire. 'Just let me go, and I'll get you, you..... ex-virus!'
Hex just smiled, and transported herself out of the room.

*At Hex's*
'Open up, ex-virus!' Matrix banged on the door with two fists at the same
time.' Open up, or we'll break your door open!' At that, they heard a click,
and the door slid open. Matrix looked at AndrAIa. She nodded.

*At Enzo's school*
'Enzo!' 'Hey, Bob!' Enzo smiled. Bob braked at Enzo's side and got of his
zipboard. 'I almost missed you there!' Frisket looked at the Guardian and
softly growled. Enzo put a hand on his head, and immediately the dog hushed.
'I've come to pick you up.' 'Coolness. Can we go and play Jet Ball again?' 'Do
you ever grow tired of that game?' Enzo shook his head, with a huge grin on
his face. 'So, what are we going to do?' We'll go to the Diner, and I'll tell
you about the Super Computer while we wait for your sister.'

*At Hex's*
'She's not here.' Matrix slammed his fist on a table. 'Where could she be?'
AndrAIa shrugged. 'Don't know. So, we're sure she's not here. I've already
checked the Principal Office, she isn't anywhere around there. Hex doesn't as
much as show her face on Baudway, so I figure she won't be there, and at
Floating Point Park isn't enough cover to hide some one. So, she must be
somewhere else.' Matrix nodded. 'We better start looking in the other sectors
then.' 'But Hex mustn't know that. Do you know of anything we can hide
ourselves with?' Matrix grinned. 'Of course.'

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot still sat in the chair where Hex had left her. Despite her uncomfortable
position, she had fallen asleep. With her eyes closed, her legs curled up
beneath her, and her head leaning against the back of the chair, her chest
gently rose and fell with her breathing. Her expression was near hopelessness,
as Hex entered the room again.
The former virus stood watching Mainframe's Command.com for a while. With a
small gesture of her hand, she released Dot's hands. Dot moved in her sleep,
and put her hands in her lap. Hex got another chair and sat down, facing Dot.
Dot murmured in her sleep, and moved again, but did not wake.

*At Dot's Diner*
Enzo and Bob sat at the bar in Dot's Diner, with Frisket at their feet.
They'd been talking about the Super Computer all afternoon, and had lost track
of time. Bob instantly stepped of his stool when he saw what time it was.
'Come on, we'll go to the Principal Office and pick up your sister.'
'Coolness. Can we go in your car?'
Bob thought about that for a moment. That might not be a bad idea. 'Okay with
me. How about you and me go and get my car, then come back here to pick up
Frisket, and then go to the Principal Office to get Dot.' Enzo nodded and
followed Bob outside. They stepped on their zipboards and went to pick up
Bob's car, while Frisket stood outside the Diner and watched them go.

*At All's Eat and Wait cafe, sector 31*
'Two energy shakes, please.' The waiter shook his head. 'I don't see ya, so
if ya just wave a hand or anything so I can see where to put 'em when I get
back.' He turned and disappeared towards another part of the cafe.
Matrix's eyes moved from the waiter to AndrAIa. 'I wouldn't know where to
look now.' AndrAIa shook her head in desperation. 'I think we had almost all
of Mainframe, didn't we?' Matrix shrugged. 'Maybe we should try Floating Point
Park.' AndrAIa sighed as she took her energy shake from the waiter, who was
offering it into empty space. 'Right. But right now I just want to sit here
for a little while. We'll get going in a nano.'
Matrix gave her a little affirmative nod.

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot woke, but kept her eyes shut. She didn't want to lose that pleasant
in-between feeling. She wasn't fully awake yet, but she didn't sleep anymore.
She yawned, and then stretched the muscles in her back and shoulders. Only
then she opened her eyes, and was instantly brought back to the cruel reality.
The first thing she saw was Hex, sitting on the chair opposite of her.
Hex was watching her, and a little smile appeared on her face when she saw
Dot had waked.
'Have you slept well, Dot?' Dot looked at her, with a rejection in her eyes.
'Why did you do this to me?' Hex smiled. 'You'll understand I am not going to
tell you that. But I mean you no harm, Dot. I've got to leave now.' Dot turned
her eyes to the heavens. 'I don't understand. But I'll get back to it. Some
time.'

*At the Principal Office*
Bob parked his car in front of the Principal Office, and he, Enzo and Frisket
got out. They walked through the door, towards Dot's office. When they got
there, they found it empty. 'What's going on here?' Bob looked slightly
impatient. 'She's supposed to be here.' Enzo tapped on Bob's arm. 'Maybe we
should go ask Phong?' Bob nodded. 'That's not a bad idea. Thank you, Enzo.'
Enzo flushed with pride.
They walked through the Principal Office towards Phong's office. Just before
they knocked on the door, it opened, and Phong came out. 'What is it, my
children?' Bob made a face. 'We can't find Dot. Do you know where she is?'
Phong frowned. 'Well, as everyone knows, she was negotiating with Hex. Maybe
she is with her.'
'Thanks, Phong. We'll check Hex's place.'

*At Floating Point Park*
AndrAIa sat down at a bench in Floating Point Park. 'We'll never find her.'
Matrix sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulder. 'Don't give up
hope.' He paused, while watching a group of trees. Suddenly a hopeful
expression came to his face. 'I know! We can use the scanner in the Principal
Office!' AndrAIa leaped up. 'Let's get to it.'

*At Hex's*
Hex opened her door; She'd already seen that is were Bob and Enzo who had
knocked on it. 'Bob. Enzo. What are you doing here?' 'Hi Hex. I'll get right
to the point. Have you seen Dot?' Hex looked as if she thought about that
question. 'Now you say it, I do. She was here this morning, and said she'd go
to some neighboring systems to see if there was a market for my biscuits
there.' She looked quite innocent. Bob frowned. 'Strange. I'd thought she'd
said it if she'd left.' Then his face brightened. 'Did she say which system
she was going to visit?'

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot was walking around the room, but not to try to find an exit. She'd
already tried that, and there wasn't one. When she reached the chair, she sat
down. She sighed deep and put her head in her hands. 'I'm never going to get
out of here.' Her thoughts went much farther. She knew AndrAIa must have seen
her when Hex transported her. Maybe she warned Bob, and would he come and
rescue her. He would blow up the wall, walk strait to her and he would take
her in his arms. Then he would say......
Snap out of it, girl! Dot warned herself. She shook her head, granting
herself a little smile. Then she got up again, and walked to the wall. Maybe
there was a way out of here.

*Between Hex's island and the Net Portal*
'Have you tried contacting Matrix and AndrAIa?' Enzo nodded. 'I tried, but I
can't find them. Their PID's don't show at your scanner.' Bob shrugged. 'We'll
just go then. No, call Phong. Tell him we're going to visit the Lycos system.'
Enzo nodded and dialed Phong's number.

* At the Principal Office*
AndrAIa looked around before entering the Principal Office. She saw a red car
leave Hexadecimal's island. She put a hand on Matrix's arm. 'Hey, Matrix,
aren't that Bob and Enzo in Bob's car?' 'Could be.' Matrix didn't look and
walked to the door. AndrAIa gave the car one last look and quickly followed
Matrix inside the building.
Without being noticed, they walked past the guards, some secretary binomes
and Hack and Slash. AndrAIa grinned. 'These hidden-file commands sure work,
lover.' They walked on, until they met Phong, who was walking down the
corridor. 'Say, Phong, can we use the scanner to get a fix on Dot? We can't
find her.' Phong looked up, startled. 'Who said that?' 'It's us Phong. Matrix
and AndrAIa.' Phong looked suspicious. 'Why can't I see you?' Matrix laughed.
'That would be the hidden-file commands we've used to hide ourselves from Hex.
We're sure she abducted Dot, and we didn't want her to know we were searching
for her.'
Phong nodded, still looking a bit puzzled. 'And you want to get a fix on her
with the scanner?' 'Yes.' 'Well, you can have a go. By the way, Bob and Enzo
were also looking for her. They've gone to Lycos to find her.' 'Thanks,
Phong.' Phong looked through the seemingly empty corridor. 'You are gone now,
then?' He got no answer.

*Near the Net portal*
Bob braked, and kept his car hovering in front of the Net portal. 'Well,
Enzo. You're first trip outside Mainframe!' Enzo grinned, but looked just a
bit tense. 'I do find it a little exiting, Bob.' Bob smiled. 'Don't worry.
Everything will be just alphanumeric.'
He changed gear and they entered the Net portal.

*At the Principal Office*
Matrix sighed. 'We've scanned Mainframe three times already, and we still
haven't found Dot. Maybe she isn't even in this system.' AndrAIa rolled with
her eyes. 'Let's try again.'

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
Dot lay on the ground on her belly, moving her legs in the air, while working
on the files that were accidentally transported with her. She felt like a
school girl again, lying like this. She grinned while she tapped on the floor
with her toes. Her teachers hadn't been happy to see how she made her
homework, if she made any. A bright blaze indicated Hex entering the room
again. She looked around, searching, and only discovered Dot when she giggled.
'Couldn't see me, eh?' Hex looked shocked. 'Dot, really, I thought you'd
be..., well, trying to find a way out or something.' Dot giggled again and
made a bored gesture with her hand. 'Done that already. Now I've decided to
work on these files. You could help me with them.'
Hex looked suspicious. 'You're trying to pull something of.' she stated. Dot
shook her head. 'No, really. I'm not. I just thought it might be useful to
created some kind of, well, relationship, since you don't plan on letting me
go. Now, come on. Sit down and help me with this.' And Hex did.

*At the Principal Office*
'I don't know WHY we are trying. This is the fifth time and we still didn't
get a response on Dot's signal. If it stays like this we'll never find out
where Hex hid her.'
AndrAIa smacked her hand on the scanner. 'That's it! We've tried scanning for
Dot all this time, but it makes sense we can't find her, because Hex hid her.
Why don't we try scanning Hex?' Matrix nodded thoughtfully. 'That could work.
Let's try it. Computer, scan for Hexadecimal.' A beam of light swept the map
of Mainframe, and instantly a little light began to blink.
AndrAIa shook her head in disbelieve. Matrix's jaw dropped and he
dramatically rubbed his eyes. 'I don't believe this.' AndrAIa put a hand on
his arm. 'I think we better should.'

*Somewhere in Mainframe*
'You know, I am really starting to enjoy this.' Dot made a face. 'You don't
when you have to do it every day.' Hex smiled. 'And you know what?' Dot looked
at Hex, who was still sitting next to her. 'What?' 'I'm starting to feel sorry
I made things so difficult for you all this time.' Dot's face hardened for
just a nano. Then she smiled again 'Don't. I'll forget it. I just want to know
something.' Hex watched her with a curious expression, awaiting what came.
'I'd like to know why.' Hex thought a moment. 'I.....' Her voice failed her.
'I was jealous.' She bowed her head in shame.
Dot looked at her, with incomprehension. 'At what then?' Hex looked up. 'At
you. You and Bob. And Matrix and AndrAIa. Even Enzo.' She paused. 'You all got
someone, if you need someone, or want to talk so someone, they'll all be there
for you. You're secure, never alone, just what I said, if you need someone,
they'll be there.' Dot's look was sympathetic. 'Oh, Hex.' Hex flung her arms
around Dot and started to weep.
Dot held her, until she'd calmed down a little. 'I might be able to do
something for you, Hex. But there's one thing.' Hex looked at her, with the
tears still in her eyes. 'What?' 'You'd have to let me go.'
Hex face showed a mixture of feelings. Then she focused on Dot again. 'All
right.'

*At the Principal Office*
'I really don't believe it.' Matrix shook his head again. AndrAIa looked at
the heavens and rolled with her eyes. 'You better do. And hurry up now, we got
to get there.' She sighed. 'Who would have thought she had the nerve to hide
Dot beneath her own Diner?' Matrix put a hand on her shoulder and gave it a
little squeeze. 'I'm ready. Let's go.'

*Near the Net Portal*
'Okay Hex. This is it.' Dot hovered in front of the Net Portal on her
zipboard, with Hex flying beside her. Dot entered the last details about their
trip into her organizer, and then stuck out her hand to Hex. Hex smiled
nervous. 'Let's go.' She took Dot's hand, and together they entered the Net
Portal.

*Beneath Dot's Diner*
*******KABLASH!!!********
Huge blocks of the wall flew through the room. Matrix put his gun back and
tried to clear his vision of dust and smoke. When the air cleared, Matrix's
shoulders dropped in disbelief. 'They should be here!' He banged his fist on
the wall in frustration. AndrAIa put a hand o Matrix's shoulder for support,
as she closed her eyes, completely discouraged. 'They aren't. I don't get why,
but they aren't. We better go. We can have an energyshake at the Diner and
then talk to Phong again.' Matrix gulped and nodded. He put his arm around
AndrAIa's shoulders, and with their heads bowed, they turned to walk to the
surface, and into Dot's Diner.

*At Dot's Diner*
AndrAIa and Matrix sat depressed in a booth in Dot's Diner. AndrAIa out of
the window, and Matrix watched the table. He sighed. 'I can't believe it.' He
played with his energy shake, and watched it swirl inside the beaker. AndrAIa
extended her hand over the table, and Matrix took it. 'Don't worry, Sparky,
we'll find her, even if it takes us the rest of our lives.' Matrix nodded, but
not with much faith. At the same moment, the doors of the Diner flew open.
'Matrix! AndrAIa!' Little Enzo launched himself onto AndrAIa's lap, and flung
his arms around her neck. 'We had an alphanumeric time in the neighboring
system, and Bob and I, we found this way cool guy, with a really nice
daughter, she's my friend now, and we....' AndrAIa put her arms around him.
'Enzo...' Enzo stopped talking and looked at her. 'Yes?' 'I don't know how to
tell you this, but, well, we can't find your sister anymore.' Enzo's eyes grew
large. 'So you've been looking for her as well?' AndrAIa nodded silently, her
eyes cast down. 'Coolness.'
Enzo smiled broadly. 'We've been looking for her in that other system, but
she wasn't there. Instead we found this other guy, and we took him with us.'
AndrAIa looked surprised. 'You took him with you?' Enzo nodded. 'Yes, and his
daughter. She's called Lotus, and she's really nice.' Bob walked into the
diner, and sat down next to Matrix. 'What have you done with this guy?' Matrix
demanded. Bob shrugged. 'We left them at my apartment for a while. We wanted
to speak to you guys first.' Matrix raised an eyebrow. 'Now that's smart. Why
didn't you tell us you were going to this other system?' Bob looked hurt. 'We
tried, but we couldn't get a fix on your PID's, so we told Phong and left.'
'And? Have you found her?' Bob shook his head. 'You haven't either?' Matrix
shook his head. Bob sighed. 'Loosing the girl I love in such a stupid way.'
While they spoke, the Diner door had opened again. 'Well, it's nice to hear
that from you.' Dot walked up behind Bob and put an arm around his waist. She
smiled. 'It's kind of nice to know how much you care about me.' Everyone at
the table looked at her with surprise, not able to say anything. 'Hello! Dot
to family!' Enzo was the first to act again. 'Dot!' He launched himself from
AndrAIa's lap unto his sister. Dot flung her arms around his neck, and
laughing, she kissed him on his cheek. 'I'm glad to be back. I love you,
little brother!' Enzo stepped of her, and Dot got up again. She sat down next
to AndrAIa. 'So, you've been having fun without me?'

*Next day, at the Principal Office*
Dot stacked the files on neat piles, while she looked at AndrAIa. 'So, what's
the name of this guy Bob and Enzo took with them from Lycos?' AndrAIa typed
something on Dot's organizer. 'His name's Michael. You already heard his
daughter's named Lotus?' When there was no answer, she looked at Dot. Dot was
looking at her, with disbelieve in her eyes. 'You don't mean that, do you?'
AndrAIa nodded. 'I do.' Dot smacked her hand on her desk. 'No wonder we
couldn't find him! He was here all along! I've got to tell Hex!' Without more
explanation, she ran out the room, and when AndrAIa looked out of the
vidwindow, she saw her flying on her zipboard towards Hex's island.

*That evening, at Dot's Diner*
'I still don't get it. You were captured by Hex, but you went to the Lycos
system to find her a mate?' Bob had an arm around Dot's shoulders, and she sat
comfortably leaning to him. 'Yes. That would fairly well sum it up. But "mate"
does sound sort of dumb, doesn't it?' Bob smiled, while he looked down on her.
'You know what?' 'Mm?' 'I love you, Dot.' Dot looked at him, and smiled. 'I
love you too, Bob.' Bob bend his head hand kissed Dot softly on her forehead.
The Diner doors opened, and Hex came in, followed by the sprite who must be
Michael. 'Hello Dot.' Dot looked up and smiled. 'Hello Hex. How are you
doing?' Hex smiled knowingly. 'I'm fine. Have you already met Michael?' Dot
rose and offered the sprite her hand. 'Hi. I'm Dot, the system's Command.com.'
The sprite smiled. 'I'm Michael. I was in the tea business in Lycos.' Hex
reached for his hand when Dot released it. 'We're starting a teahouse here, in
Mainframe.' Dot smiled again. 'Looks like our plan worked after all, didn't
it?' Hex beamed. 'It did, didn't it? Tell you what, before we start our
teahouse, I'll take over you work for a day. What do you say?' Dot laughed.
'Sounds good to me. Tomorrow?' 'Why not? If you get someone to instruct me
into the things we haven't done already?' 'Sure. I'll get Phong or AndrAIa to
help you.'
Hex smiled as she took Michael's hand. 'I'll be there. By the way, can Lotus
stay with Enzo tonight? They really take to each other, and Lotus was begging
us to ask you if she could stay over.' Dot waved with her hand. 'That's all
right. I'll see her if I get home.' 'Okay then. I'll be in the Principal
Office tomorrow if you need me. Bye!' 'See you around. And thanks.' Hex raised
her hand as she and Michael left the Diner.
Bob put his arm around Dot's shoulders again. He hugged her lightly and
brushed some hair out of her face. 'So, you've the day of tomorrow?' Dot
nodded. 'So it seems.' Bob smiled. 'What are you going to do with all that
free time?' Dot put her arms around his neck. 'Oh, I'm sure we'll find
something to do.'
And, of course, they did.

THE END

Well, that's it. I hope you liked it!
Indy


 

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