Chapter Seven

(Quadruped Leo and Pantsman play some game in front of the television screen. It is unclear which game, except that they both have joysticks in their hands.)

Leo: Booya! Score one for the little dude!

Pantsman: Aw hells no you don't! Time for you to take some of my Expert fire!

(pause in the dialogue as they play)

Leo: Aw, man... Lucky shot.

Pantsman: (sigh) I don't know what I like better about this game: the stellar graphics, the clear satisfaction of winning, or the fact that when two people are good at it, it goes on for-fucking-EVER, thus only extending the sheer awesomeness of the experience.

Leo: Totally.

Pantsman: But enough of Pong for now. So where's Aeris?

Leo: Oh, she got caught in an online portal that has taken her to some unknown place on the Internet. It's likely she's either dead right now or held captive by a porn site.

Pantsman: Oh. Well that's good to--wait. Did you say porn site?

Leo: It makes up a majority of the Internet, y'know.

Pantsman: Hm. If we want to see her again, we should probably go after her.

Leo: Presumably.

Pantsman: As in, now.

Leo: Um, okay.

(The phone rings.)

Pantsman: Right after I take this. (He picks up the receiver.) Hello? ...Oh, hi, Commissioner. ...Yes? ...Uh ...Wow. ...Yeah, thanks. I'll get right on it.

Leo: Trouble at the old mill?

Pantsman: Nope.

Leo: Trouble at the new mill?

Pantsman: Oddly enough, yes. Apparently a high school chemistry field trip there had more reactions than anticipated, making an army of evil radioactive high schoolers.

Leo: Sweet!

Pantsman: My thoughts exactly. But apparently the Commissioner would like them dead.

Leo: Ah yes, doing your part for the public good.

Pantsman: So while I'm gone, you go ahead and get Aeris.

Leo: Yes, Sir! (salutes)

Pantsman: (still calm as he puts his shoes on) And if she doesn't come back perfectly safe and un-raped, you're never playing Pong again so long as you live.

Leo: (gasp)

Pantsman: Toodles! (He runs out the door.)


Leo: ...And so that's why we need to get her back, NOW!

Ternaldo: Eet ees a meession of great importance!

Payne: Mrrr.

(The camera zooms out to reveal that they are in the chess room online where Aeris disappeared.)

Leo: The only question is, how do we trace her from here?

Ternaldo: We have to eemitate her every move. Then maybe we will follow her.

Leo: Imitate her every move, eh? Hm... (puts a hand on his hip and points accusingly at the other two) You suck! Chess sucks! It's not my fault I get PMS!

Ternaldo: I mean we haff to use the program she used.

Leo: Oh. Well I don't know what the exact cheat was.

Payne: MRRRRR!

Leo: Ugh. Payne, stop humping the Black King.

(Payne stops humping the giant chess piece but does not let go.)

Ternaldo: Hey, wait a meenute. Where ees the white woman at?

Leo: This is not a time for racial parody, Ternaldo; we gotta find a cat.

Ternaldo: No no, the white woman character, who ees all powerful in game?

Leo: The Queen?

Ternaldo: Back when I played thees in Old Country, she was known as The Bitch.

(Leo looks at the board. The White Queen is missing.)

Leo: How very, very strange...


Leo: Payne! PAYNE! Eh, nevermind, we'll let him have his fun. (Leo walks over to the White side of the board.) Knew it. There is something here. (He picks up White Queen icon, which is very small compared to the other pieces.) Ooh, hey, it vibrates.

Ternaldo: So what do you theenk she would do with eet?

(The vibrations intensify.)

Leo: Oh, I can think of a few things. (Under his breath) Heehee, Aeris, you pervert.

Ternaldo: Perhaps I should examine eet.

Leo: Good idea. (He tosses it over.)

(Ternaldo examines it while Leo turns the other way and paces thoughtfully.)

Leo: It probably has something to do with the cheat she used. Perhaps it is an icon. (Ternaldo's hand suddenly turns black, and he is slowly being consumed. He screams.) Yes, yes! That's it! It's a vibrating icon that turns Aeris into a queen, pawns into queens, and then Aeris into Internet nothingness! (Ternaldo is running around in the background. He is still screaming.) Why, it's all so simple...

(Ternaldo collapses to the ground, shrinks, and vanishes.)

Leo: What do you think? (He turns around.) Ternaldo? (The small White Queen is back in its spot on the board. Leo walks over and picks it up again.) Why, how very odd. He's gone... Well, not to worry. I'm sure we'll figure this out yet. Payne and I have two brains between us...

Payne: (stops humping for a second and gives Leo a confused expression) Mrr?

Leo: ...Well, okay. More or less. But there has to be an answer. Maybe if I double-click this... (gives the Queen two taps with his finger. Suddenly he is in the Queen outfit.) Nah, that's not it. Maybe I have to squeeze... (his whole body begins to shake with the vibration he is getting) Nope, wrong again. (He starts shrinking.) Oh hey, there we go! Now I'm doing what Aeris was doing! Awesome... The world's like, all big and stuff... I must be sinking into a void. No problem... Hey, maybe I can say hello to this void, or something. It's getting ever closer. ...I wonder if it will be my friend...