Title: Quest of Human Frailty
Author: ALC Punk!Challenge: Crossover. Reboot and new Battlestar Galactica Characters: Bob, Mouse, Starbuck Rating: PG/PG13. vague sexual innuendo.
Spoiler warnings: I'm going to go with season 2 for Reboot, and Kobol's Last Gleaming for BSG. (I've only seen the first half, so some of this is complete speculation.Exactly 1000 words (according to WordPerfect, which isn't so perfect)
Notes: as this is more of a Reboot fic, it's getting posted on my LJ. If I come up with something that's more BSG-centric, it'll go up on bsg1000.
Dedication: Alryssa, who suggested it in the first place. Although I'm not sure this is what she quite had in mind. (and you thought you were being evil, darling. ;)

It was a typical day in Mainframe. The skies were sunny, the data ran like wine, and Bob, Guardian and protector of the system, was walking down the street. Arguing.

"Look, Mouse, I don't think--"

"Oh, come on, Bob," Mouse interrupted, "I'm bored. And besides, games can't be that hard." She waved the small stick she held in one hand, "And AndrAia even loaned me her trident. So it won't be as if I'll be unprotected."

"But, Mouse, you haven't been in--"

"I have, too, been in games, Bob." She stopped and put her hands on her hips. "Are you sayin' I can't cut it?"

"No, I'm--"

The sky darkened, and the System Voice rang out, "Warning. Incoming game."

"Mouse, we'll discuss this later." Bob noted with relief that the gamecube was close.

"Darn tootin'."

Bob didn't realize she'd followed him until the gamecube had closed over them. "Mouse!"

"You said later, honey." She smirked and gestured with her borrowed weaponry. "Now, what is the objective of this game?"

"Uh." He accessed Glitch. "We are the Guardians of Kobol, and we're to keep the User from discovering the arrow that points the way to Earth."

"Guardians, huh?" She smirked, then tapped her icon. "Reboot!"

Bob's eyes bugged slightly at the change. "Ah, Mouse?"

"What, sugah?" One blonde eyebrow went up, and she inspected her arms and the dress she now wore, "Well, this's interestin'. Remind me to suggest Dot wear somethin' like this, soon." The trident was reduced to a small wand which she hooked onto her belt.

For a moment, Bob's mind shut down to process the concept of Dot Matrix wearing so very little.

"Reboot, Bob." Mouse tossed her curly blonde hair over her shoulder and smirked seductively. "Now, what armaments do I have?"

"Ah. You're... designation is Six, and you have the ability to cloud men's minds."

"That all?"

Bob tapped his own icon. "Reboot!"

Mouse tilted her head, eyebrow raising, "That's interesting."

Shrugging his vest-clad shoulders, Bob said, "I am... Leoben, and my ability is to cloud people's minds with a combination of truth and lies, making them doubt themselves."

"Good luck, sugah." Mouse winked, "Although I do admit you're quite amusin' when you're scruffy."


"Ah know." She smirked, "The game. Where's the User?"

"She's already landed in a raider."

"Lead the way, sugah."

Bob was silent for several microts as they traversed the landscape, picking their way among the ruins. Mouse stopped at one point and swooped (causing her barely-there dress to do interesting things), coming up with a large gun of some sort. She tested it and was rocked back on her heels.

"Gotta remember to brace, next time."

"Yeah." Bob rolled his eyes. Women and their toys.

"There's the User, c'mon!"

A small, athletic shape was limping into view, carrying a small weapon. Blonde hair gleamed in the low light, and the figure suddenly spun as they got closer.


Bob eyed the gun and raised his hands, "You won't succeed."

The young woman shook her head, "You're not real. I've seen you die."

Bob tried an ironic smile. "And yet, here I am."

"No." The gun raised, pointing steadily at him. "Adama--" the woman stopped talking, her voice choking. "He lied. They all lie, in the end. Don't they."

"Isn't that human nature?"

"The old man told me about you, last time. And I didn't believe him."

Bob wasn't prepared for the gun-butt which slammed into his jaw. He'd been too fascinated with his newfound ironic powers to note her slightly limping approach until he was lying on the ground, staring up at her. "You should have believed me."

"He said you mix lies with the truth." There was a world of bitterness in her voice. "And to think, I prayed for your soul."

"Are you alive?" Mouse had finally decided to appear, her gun steady on the User's back.

The User turned, her own gun coming up to point at the advancing sprite. "More alive than a toaster."

"Prove it." Mouse lowered her weapon and stepped close enough for the User to touch.

Mouse, in her current guise (and three-inch heels) was the taller of the two, and she almost towered over the other woman as she bent, closer, closer until the User jerked back. "I'm frakking Starbuck, bitch. And I don't have to prove anything to a toaster."

The weapon's discharge was loud, and Bob swore, jerking himself out of his complacency and jumping to his feet to grab the User. "One man's death--"

"Is a woman's prerogative." She snapped, head-butting him and twisting to send him falling backwards.


"No worries, Bob." Mouse was suddenly just there, one slim, pale arm wrapped around Starbuck's throat. "She's only human, after all. So... gentle, fragile," her free hand caressed the User's face, "breakable."

The sound was loud in the barren stillness of the ruins. And Bob wondered whether Mouse had always known how to snap a neck, or if it were something the game had down-loaded into her brain.

Starbuck fell, her eyes glassy. And Mouse staggered, falling to her knees, clutching the hole in her chest where red red blood slithered out, staining the blue of her dress dark and purple.

"Game over. User loses." The System Voice intoned.

The landscape coalesced into pixels, then dissipated upwards as Mainframe re-formed around them. Bob reached over and tapped Mouse's icon, rebooting her into her natural form and healing her from the mortal wound, then did the same for his own.

She reached out and tousled his silver hair. "Definitely prefer this look on ya, sugah."


Perhaps she heard the warning tone, she stopped, and looked away before standing and picking up AndrAIa's trident. "I still think I could be of help, Bob."

"I know. And, look, if I need your help--"

"You'll ask." A twisted smile touched Mouse's lips. "That's the problem, Bob."

"What is, Mouse?"

She shook her head and started walking away, then stopped and looked back. "You never ask."