(A/N: Welcome to my first Cyberchase fic! I love when I get ideas for long stories like this – it makes me feel like writing. And I love it when I feel like writing. :) But anyway, I've worked hard on this story, so I really hope you enjoy!)

Summary: It had been a long time. A long time for a certain cyborg to wait and execute his revenge. Three friends are reunited in the name of protecting Motherboard, but has Hacker really done it this time?

Disclaimer: The amazing "Cyberchase" is owned by people who would probably tell me that I'm too old to like this show.

The Power of Cyberspace

A Cyberchase Fanfic

by Jill Diamond

~Chapter One~

It was exactly 7:12. Inez kept glancing from her watch, to the door, and then back to what was in front of her on a timed schedule. He had no sense of punctuality, and at least wanted to get ready before he got there.

She carefully poured two glasses of ginger ale, and then set them on the coffee table.

The lights were turned down. It was their usual night in (if you can count "usual" as on no constant schedule at all; she often had to work double shifts at the library and he was almost never available). She'd already picked out an array of movies to lull them to sleep, and set a bowl of pretzels on the table for good measure. She turned one minute to make sure the blinds were shut when she heard an uncomfortable SMASH behind her. Turning around, she was not pleased with the sight.

Gatito, the little butterball that he was in his old age, sat pompously on the coffee table with his orange tail flicking lazily. A shattered glass sat on the floor, a puddle of ginger ale fizzing beneath it.

"Gatito! Bad boy! Shoo! Shoo!" Stepping carefully around the disaster area, Inez picked up the cat just under his front legs and dropped him to the floor, lightly swatting his rump with the side of her foot. "Bad boy!" she repeated.

The sponge and dustpan were out in a flash as Inez tried to clean up the mess before he got there. Not that he ever cared if her apartment wasn't picture perfect, but she at least wanted it to look presentable.

He was through the door as she was pouring herself a replacement glass in the kitchen.

"Inez?" he called. She heard the dull thud of his gym bag being set on the floor.

"In the kitchen," she threw over her shoulder, keeping one eye on her glass. "Just make yourself comfortable."

Jake always made himself comfortable. Even with her back turned, she could see him plop right in the center of the sofa cushion, lower to where he was almost on his back, and swing his legs up to rest with him before he realized that his shoes were still on. She heard the bu-dunk clunk of his sneakers hitting the hardwood floor of her living room.

Inez took a large gulp of her ginger ale before she made her entrance.

"Hi." She looked him in the eyes as she leaned against the armrest of the sofa.

"Hey, you," Jake replied brightly. He removed himself from his spot and stood to give her a light peck on the lips.

Jake was like something out of a movie. Rich, golden hair that the wind loved to tease and tug at. Deep brown eyes that literally made Inez think of chocolate every time she looked into them. And muscles that were beautifully visible, but didn't make him look like Superman. They had been dating about five months, and to Inez that was an accomplishment, since Jake's past two relationships had only lasted three weeks, tops.

He returned to his position on the couch, and Inez sat herself down (upright) at the other end, his sock feet barely nudging into her hip.

"So what's playing tonight?" he asked as he reached for his own glass of ginger ale, nodding towards the tower of DVDs about to topple right into the pretzel bowl.

Inez leaned over and started to pick through them, humming a flat note to herself that was more like a buzzing house fly.

"Well, I thought-"

BLEEP BLEEP

A desperate, high pitched sound rang quickly through the apartment. Inez reeled back a little and froze, listening for some hint to a location. She noticed Jake wasn't moving either.

BLEEP BLEEP

And again.

Jake crossed his legs under him as he sat up straight.

"What was that?" His blond locks bounced with every turn of his head.

Inez stayed silent, her mind going a million miles a minute trying to detect logically where the noise was coming from.

BLEEP BLEEP

"...Smoke alarm?" was the only answer she could arrive at. She didn't remember replacing its batteries in the distant past.

"Think there's a fire?"

"No." Inez quickly dismissed his theory and got up to investigate the noise for herself (not before taking another knock of ginger ale down her throat; honestly, he could be so simple minded at times).

She figured the whining would trace back to what she used as a spare bedroom. But as she approached the door, she found her search taking a wrong turn. So it wasn't the smoke alarm at all.

"Jake will be happy to know," she thought sarcastically, wriggling her glasses further up the bridge of her nose.

BLEEP BLEEP

Stepping very slowly, she now played "hot or cold" with the bleep bleeps.

Back. Back. No, forward? No, back. Left. Is it? Right. Nope, definitely left.

Her observant movements after a minute or two led her straight to the hall closet. As she pried the door open, a wafting cloud of dust escaped with it, teasing Inez's throat. A smoker's cough escaped her lips as she doubled over slightly, gripping onto the door knob with one hand for support.

BLEEP BLEEP

"You sure there's not a fire?" Jake, from the other room.

"Positive," Inez choked, righting herself once more. She hadn't rummaged through this closet in a long time. Avoiding the ominous rodent-shaped shadow, she began working on the top shelf. Nothing but wrapping paper and books. Some which she desperately needed to re-read, but now wasn't the time. Not bothering with the coats and umbrellas (the only things that weren't covered with dust bunnies), she squatted down and pulled out the only thing on the bottom shelf – an old, heavy cardboard box of things from her childhood that her mama had insisted she have when she moved out (for nostalgia's sake, apparently). Carefully, she lifted up each flap of the box with a single finger. One, two, three, four.

What sat on top of all the tangled Barbie dolls and jelly-stained stuffed animals and illegible construction paper collages was the source of the desperate noise.

BLEEP BLEEP