Author Notes: I came up with this idea when I first sketched a picture of Candybug embracing the twins in my sketchbook. I began to get really intrigued by the idea of them meeting Turbo again, in his Candybug form, and starting over from where they'd left off when he lost his head and game jumped away from them. So, this story is based around some rough sketches I posted on Tumblr a few weeks back. People really seemed to enjoy them, and I'm hoping they'll enjoy the story I fleshed out around them.


Prologue

He sat listening to the sound of engines. Just how near or far, he couldn't tell. The way the sound echoed and carried throughout the world could be disorienting, but he knew they must be some way off. After all, he was about as far out into the world as one could get before hitting the invisible walls that surrounded the Sugar Rush landscape. He wondered vaguely which track was being raced, and which characters were speeding down the raceways, hearts pounding, skin tingling, ears ringing with the thrill of the race.

He clenched one long, clawed hand until the nails pressed in against the armored skin of his palm, then he extended those claws again and shifted his weight, raising up the grotesque insectile body that he had come to recognize as his own. It was strange, he thought, how he'd adjusted to the body. How it had become more familiar to him than even King Candy's had. His code had been truly rewritten this time, he thought ruefully. No longer was he an outsider wearing a highly convincing mask, now he was truly a part of Sugar Rush, although not by his own volition. As far as he could figure, the cybug's virus had managed to fuse his own identity to King Candy's, using itself as the catalyst. Of course, this was only speculation. And without being able to get a look at the code himself, it was impossible to be sure. But, whatever the reason, everything about his new body seemed entirely natural. King Candy had required effort, but now actions and senses, both human and cybug, both seemed instinct. Everything was as natural as if he had always been that way. Sometimes, though not often, he even forgot that he had ever been any different. And then he stopped and thought and remembered, and the whole thing seemed so grotesque and deeply wrong that it made him sick to his stomach.

Turning away, he skittered along deeper into the cave, to the place where Sugar Rush's artificial sunlight did not reach, then he lay down and folded his long, segmented legs under him. He could still hear the sounds of the racers beyond this little hole in the side of one of the outlying candied mountains. They were driving him mad, those engines. Reminding him of the race he could never run again.

No, he couldn't give up. He couldn't think that way. He would race again. He had to. There had to be a way, but he could hardly even fathom where to begin. He wished he had died in that beacon. He had expected to.

No, no, he couldn't afford to think like that. He grimaced as the faint static of a glitch flickered through him. He couldn't leave Sugar Rush now, he knew that much. In the past it had always been a choice, somewhat. Leaving Sugar Rush would have been a great risk, so it was rarely an option, but he could have left if he had to. Now though, with his code made thoroughly ragged by the cybug and its fusion of the two unlike characters, he was nearly as much the glitch Vanellope had been. Which was ironic, considering the amount of effort he took to give her that glitch. The same damage had occurred to him without any effort from anyone. It had been a fluke. He should have figured coding himself into a game would come back to bite him in the long run. But then he was never much for thinking ahead. He huffed out a sigh as he rested his chin on his crossed arms, frowning.

He didn't know how. He didn't even know if it was possible, really. But the only chance he had was to get back to that code vault, to see what had become of his code, and see what could be done about it. And he had to do it before anyone else realized it was still there.