And now, finally, the end of Carrie L—‘s Reboot fanfic “Breaking The Barriers”. And my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfic treatment of it. You can find the whole of my MiSTing here, at last.
The story so far: young author Carrie L— had a portal open between her home and the world of pioneering computer-animated series Reboot. She’s met Bob, the guardian of Mainframe, and the various other important characters, hero and villain. The evil Megabyte’s come to Canada’s mall, turned into a vampire, and bitten Carrie. Then they all went back and got her fixed up again. And now she hopes to get safely home again.
The “indirect-addressing jump opcode bug” is a thing from assembly-language code on the 6502 chip, used in all the cheap home computers of the 80s. It’s about making references to something stored at the end of a page of memory. This annoyed programmers in like 1984 and I don’t think you need to worry about it now. Crow’s Price is Right dream is one that I actually had and thought noteworthy enough to save for some later use. The “times change, and newspapers evolve” is another thing from the undergraduate left-wing student newspaper I was on. I think it started as a sincere statement about how groups must continuously work on their self-improvement. But we also recognized it, and treated it, as the sort of earnest yet pompous reason everyone treated us like that. They ignored us.
> * * * * * * * *
> * *
TOM: Even the dumb mice can solve this maze.
> Part Twenty-Seven
CROW: Three to the third.
> Carrie sat up straight. *Where am I?* she thought.
JOEL: Halfway between H and J.
> Then her
> eyes adjusted to the light. *I’m back home!!* She looked around.
> She was in her room, on her bed.
TOM: It’s a good thing she didn’t get slurped up into a laptop and back.
> *How long have I been asleep?* she
> wondered. Then it clicked.
TOM: I’ve *never* been awake!
> "No!" she whispered, "It couldn’t have
> been a dream! It was so life-like!"
JOEL: Maybe it was just another holodeck episode?
> She flopped back down, upset and
> depressed at the thought that all her wonderful adventures were merely
> a figment of her overactive imagination.
TOM: What’re the odds?
> Suddenly, someone knocked on
> her door.
> "Come in." she moaned.
JOEL: It’s somebody looking for Captain Picard.
> Her mother opened the door. "Carrie,
> Robert’s at the door looking for you."
CROW: Please. Call him Ted.
> Sighing, Carrie got up and
> went upstairs to see her best friend.
TOM: This is going to make Robert feel good.
> "Hi!" he said. "Hi." Carrie
> sighed, staring at the floor. "What’s wrong with you?" he asked. "Oh,
> nothing." Carrie moaned.
JOEL: [ As Bob ] Hey, you’re never gonna believe this, but last night I was fiddling on the computer and I got pulled into the world of Automan!
> Then she looked up. Surprise registered on
> her face. Behind her best friend stood someone who bore a striking
> resemblance to Guardian Bob in his human form. Robert smiled.
CROW: Do you think Robert Guardien is a person in Carrie’s real life?
> "Carrie, I’d like you to meet Bob. He just moved into the apartment
> across from mine last night."
JOEL: And if the landlord ever finds out will *he* be in trouble.
> Carrie stood there, speechless. Bob
> smiled. "Uh…We’ve met already." He whispered. Finally, Carrie
> snapped out of it. She ran forward and hugged Bob warmly.
TOM: Robert begins to suspect they went to school together or something.
> "See," he
> breathed, "I told you I’d see you again." Carrie looked up into his
> eyes. "But why…." Bob silenced her with a quick kiss.
JOEL: I decided it’d be the cruelest thing I could do to Dot.
> "I’m just
> taking some time off." he said. "I got a friend to look after
> Mainframe for a bit."
TOM: Now, if a nanosecond is to them like one second is to us, then every minute Bob spends in our world is, like, nineteen hundred years in theirs.
> Carrie looked at him confused. "A friend?" she
> asked. Bob smiled.
CROW: I didn’t know you had friends!
> "Yeah. His name is Symble,
TOM: Actually, over half his names are Symble…
> and he’s a great
> THE END?
JOEL: Uh … yes?
TOM: No! No, it’s not.
CROW: I’m going to write in "Beethoven."
JOEL: I could watch the ocean all day.
> Ok! So it isn’t a really great ending,
TOM: It’s an ending, dear, and that’s all we ever want from experiments.
CROW: And we only get one about half the time.
> but it’s the only way I
> could come up with to get poor Carrie out of the mess I had her in and
> still let her be happy. If anybody has a better ending, I’d love to
> hear it.
CROW: How about simply accepting not every pleasant fling is meant to be a lifetime relationship?
JOEL: But they shared so much with Mainframe and Canada and all.
> I know that in the end the characters ended up probably
> being out of character, but, Hey!
TOM: It was the only way they could beat the Kobayashi Maru.
> I was really tapped on how to solve
> Carrie’s problem!!
JOEL: Just peek in the back of the book and work it out from there.
> [Without just having her sit up in bed and have it
> all be a dream, ’cause that ending really rots!! : ) ]
CROW: What if it turned out there was no monster?
> If anyone has
> a real major problem with it, just tell Max and she’ll tell me.
TOM: I have never known anybody named Max.
> worry, I don’t get mad about things like that. Critisim does more
> good than harm most of the time anyway.
JOEL: That’s what they all say …
ALL: At first.
> Hope you did like it, even
> though it is kinda weird.
> This story was taken from a recurring dream I always seem to
> have after going through my collection of fan fics.
CROW: Please. Don’t commit acts of fan fiction. And if you must commit fan fiction, don’t sleep.
> I never dream the
> ending though. Which makes me mad, but, can’t do anything about it.
TOM: Didn’t A.E. Van Vogt have the same technique?
JOEL: And he’s Canadian too! We’re on to something here.
> I had to make up my own ending ’cause my dreams end even before Carrie
> goes to see Hex!!
CROW: She should set her alarm for about ten minutes later.
> The last part of that dream is when Carrie passes
> out after she attempts to stop the delete command heading for
JOEL: Except this one time where they stumbled into Square One Television.
> Everything after that is all my daytime thoughts on how to
> get her out of that mess!!
TOM: That didn’t play like most of the daytime television I’ve seen.
JOEL: Not enough chair-throwing.
> [And besides! Who out there didn’t want
> to see her get together with Bob anyway!?! I know I wanted her to get
> the guy!!
CROW: Or Bob. Whoever.
> ; ) ]
JOEL: Hey, check it out, a double-chinned smiley.
TOM: A happy Marlon Brando winks.
> Hope you liked it!!!
> Later, sugah!!
CROW: Uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh … now, honey honey!
> ‘Mouse’ ; )
> (A.K.A. Carrie)
JOEL: Mouse, the sprite named Carrie.
TOM: Versus Carrie, the mouse named Sprite.
CROW: And Sprite, the carry named Mouse.
JOEL: [ Picking up TOM ] Thank you, Carrie, for making us laugh about the indirect-addressing jump opcode bug …. again.
[ They leave. ]
[ 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. ]
[ SATELLITE OF LOVE DESK. JOEL is counting up cash totals. GYPSY, CROW, and TOM are anxiously waiting for the winner. ]
CROW: Before today, I really hadn’t thought about ReBoot much. I’d never thought people would dream themselves into it.
TOM: It’s understandable. Many’s the time I woke up to realize I had just imagined myself the dashing leader of the Autobots.
CROW: Yeah, right. I betcha he really dreams of being Leader One.
TOM: [ As JOEL giggles ] Hey!
JOEL: And Gypsy I bet —
GYPSY, JOEL: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
CROW: What about you, Joel?
JOEL: [ Looking up ] Now and then I picture myself as host of "Saturday Night Live" … I’m standing there on stage, giving the monologue … one of the cast members just stood up as an audience member and asked a question and I’m staring out into the cameras and wading through the dead silence and I start walking out and feeling despair over what’s become of the show.
TOM: We all feel that. Now I remember one particularly vivid night I dreamed I was standing on a beach with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as the tide was rolling in … I wanted to climb up the rocks and get away from the water, but none of us could move as the water rose ever-higher … and I kinda liked it that way.
GYPSY: Sometimes I dream I’m Popeye. But Crow is Olive Oyl.
TOM: Hah hah!
[ JOEL grins. ]
MAGIC VOICE: My favorite dreams are when I’m narrating Bullwinkle.
JOEL: Fess up, Crow, what’s yours?
CROW: I’m alone in this open curved cement walkway. Suddenly I turn around and there’s a studio audience and a refrigerator. Bob Barker is standing there and he opens the fridge. It’s almost all full of men’s shirts inside plastic boxes, but there are a couple misshapen oranges and limes that look like bananas there. He explains he’s giving me a target price and I have to pick out something in there that’s under that price. The target price is 14 dollars, 95 cents … and I look hard at the shirts and the oranges and the limes and I see there’s a label pasted on the fruits, 35 cents each.
So I ask, I just pick out any single thing that’s less than 14.95, and he says yes, and I look again and the price tags are still on and it makes no sense. I start to ask again but the audience is booing me and I pick the lemon. Bob asks me to repeat it and I do and the audience boos louder. He asks if I really want it and I nod and the audience boos and he tells them they should let me make my pick whatever it is, and he asks one last time if I want to change my mind.But I don’t, and he reveals the price card, and the lime is 35 cents and the music starts up like I’ve won and the audience is mad and Bob waves for it all to stop and says now we play the super round if I want, and I start to say yes but the audience boos so loud I say no, and that just makes them boo *louder*. Bob gives me another chance but I just want to get out as soon as I possibly can.
TOM: I like Carrie L—‘s TV show dreams better.
JOEL: Me too.
CROW: Yeah. But in the Showcase Showdown my bid’s only four dollars low and I win both showcases, so mine’s cool too.
GYPSY: So who wins the game?
JOEL: [ Tapping the pad ] By forty dollars and the Atlantic City edition of Monopoly —
ALL: [ Quickly, facing the camera for just the word ] Huh?
JOEL: … Cambot!
TOM: [ As CAMBOT nods ] Fix!
[ MADS SIGN flashes. ]
JOEL: Can’t please everybody. What do you think, sirs?
[ JOEL taps MADS SIGN. ]
[ DEEP 13. DR. FORRESTER and TV’s FRANK are still stuck back-to-back. ]
FRANK: What if we just took off our shirts?
DR. F: One of my life’s goals is to never see you shirtless.
FRANK: What if you took yours off?
DR. F: Another is that you never see me shirtless.
FRANK: This is just like a dream I had about The Odd Couple.
DR. F: I’ve never dreamed myself into anything besides 60 Minutes.
FRANK: If we get a little cereal residue in a water pistol, I bet we could make a tractor beam out of Cheerios!
DR. F: It’s time, Frank.
[ DR. FORRESTER and TV’s FRANK shuffle around backwards. Then DR. FORRESTER starts jumping backwards, not making TV’s FRANK move in the least. ]
DR. F: [ As he jumps back ] Come … on! Push … the … button!
[ TV’s FRANK leans forward, as DR. FORRESTER jumps back and rolls off, towards the camera and into another table and … ]
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its characters and situations are the creation of Best Brains, Inc. "Breaking the Barriers" is by Carrie L— and used with permission. Reboot and its characters and situations are the property of Mainframe Entertainment, if I don’t miss my guess. The MiSTing as a whole is the creation of Joseph Nebus. Despite Gypsy’s claim they would follow the standard rules, the Monopoly game represented herein followed the time-limited rule variation. The management apologizes for any confusion. Times change, and newspapers evolve.