00000001

"Everybody stand back."

Matrix, AndrAIa, Ray Tracer and the crew of the Saucy Mare took a preemptive step unsure of what was about to occur. Bob looked down to his wrist, a final moment of doubt in his heart.

"Are you sure?"

I was sure.

The guardian smiled. "Thank you old friend." Then, bracing himself, he gave the command. "Glitch! Download!"

It was a moment no keytool had ever experienced, and a function that many feared, yet I embraced the duty as if it was my greatest honor. Bob was my friend, partner, and responsibility; someone I would be erased for. I wondered if that was what I was doing. Flying from his arm I reformatted to pure energy and wound about him finding open patches and integrating into his code. My own consciousness began to loose alias and blur, yielding to his. I dove deeper into his data until there was nothing left that was uniquely myself.

Bob's transformation was visible, he now wore silicon armor, edged in gold and barely resembling the guardian uniform he'd been compiled in. I wasn't getting signal anymore. For a moment I thought I'd been deleted, the absolute silence, darkness, and senselessness was frightening. I couldn't remember a time when I'd been so scared, which was in itself unnerving. I became aware of new sensory inputs, strange new sensations I had a hard time parsing. That was when I heard Bob call me.

Now, understand, my guardian had given me commands before, and I'd do anything he said, but there was something very different about this time. I heard him. Heard. And all he said was "Let's go home".

I couldn't agree more. I flooded his veins with my energy, he willed it into his hands, the two of us cooperating more perfectly than we ever had. I could feel Bob's excitement as he took command of our strange new powers, I thrilled with him as we levitated off the ground, through the ship and out into the web. I became awakened to the world in new ways, as sights, as sounds, I took part in his perceptions, seeing through his eyes. Before us was the tear. He tried to will up energy for a portal.

Right, Bob, I'm on it.

Let's go home.