Part 6 – Phishing Lures
“Avatar?” Pandora said. “Time to wake up dear.”
The giant bug virus stirred from his downtime of sleep. He made a loud buzzing resembling the sound of a yawn before stretching his legs and wings. Avatar still felt the restrains holding him down. The virus was about to ask why he was tied up when he saw MegaBob standing next to Pandora. He instinctively made a lunge for the fake Guardian. MegaBob jumped back a few paces to make sure the bug virus couldn’t reach him.
Pandora whispered, “Now you know why I left those cables secured to him.”
“So I see,” MegaBob said coolly. He then heard a sound likened to a snicker. He glanced over at Warlock. The Webrider was enjoying the sight of Megabyte being reduced to a copy of the weaker guardian he despised so much. Also, as long as Megabyte remained a copy of Bob, he would be easier for Warlock to keep under watch and control. In spite of how he looked, Megabyte was still able to give Warlock a very nasty stare. He stepped up beside Pandora again and complained, “I’m not as gleeful about my present condition as you are.”
“Give it some time,” Pandora winked at MegaBob before she addressed the bug again, “Avatar. This is Megabyte. You two met a few cycles ago.”
“Megabyte?” The bug virus repeated the name with a suspicious tone. “That is not possible. That is the guardian.”
“The Web has turned him into a Trojan Horse virus. He has copied Guardian 452’s likeness.”
Avatar leaned his head forward and used his antenna to smell MegaBob. The beast snorted, “He smells like the stinking Guardian to me.”
“Trust me. You don’t smell much better,” MegaBob smirked. “When was the last time you took a bath? A minute ago?”
Avatar growled, “They say that sprites like to crush program bugs under their feet. Shall I try to find out if you make the same nice crunching sounds beneath my claws?”
MegaBob’s voice changed to Megabyte’s for a nano as he replied, “Program bug? You’re nothing but a little thrip.”
“Little?!” Avatar hissed.
Pandora interrupted, “Now boys. You must behave yourselves.”
MegaBob closed his eyes a moment and focused his programming to reformat his voice. He gazed at Pandora and spoke in Bob’s voice again, “I just wanted to have a little fun.”
“We all will have our chances, my dear. After all, we have similar goals in mind.”
Pandora signaled to her Webriders. Warlock and those with him cut away the remaining restraints holding Avatar. The virus stretched himself out to his full height and length. His size would have made it easy for him to attack and subdue Pandora’s forces. Instead, he bowed his head and said, “Forgive me, my Lady. My present circumstance has left me a bit agitated. I used to look a lot handsomer then my present state. Megabyte seems to have taken a step down in his looks as well.”
“I can at least change back,” MegaBob responded.
“Now boys,” Pandora scolded. “Stop sniping like school children.”
“I beg you pardon, my Lady. One must defend ones honor in front of one such as yourself,” Avatar added. He did his best to take Pandora’s hand in his insect claw and lightly kiss it with what remained of his lips. “You are quite lovely, my Queen, far more beautiful then the sprites from my former harem. You are a star among the ravaging Web.”
MegaBob rolled his eyes at the compliment and said to Pandora, “I see you repaired his charm circuit.”
She gushed. “You could learn something from this.”
“What does my Lady wish of me?” Avatar asked.
“I need your assistance, Avatar. I have enemies to deal with. In exchange, I will allow you to deal with some of your own.”
“Mouse.” Drool dripped off of Avatar’s pincers as he thought about revenge. “I am hungry to get even with the hacker.”
“Yes. She is our enemy as well as yours. You can do as you wish to her as long as we get the Guardian of Mainframe.”
Avatar thought hard about it. He said, “There are others I want. AndrAIa and Ray Tracer.”
“Ray Tracer?” MegaBob asked. “I have never heard of him. Who is he?”
“He is a search engine. Web based.”
“Web?” he glared at Pandora. “Do you know about this?”
She nodded her head, but added, “There have only been rumors. The black Web creature forces have seen someone who sneaks in and out between the Net and Web as if both were equally his home. I first thought he was only a myth. “
“We should capture him!” MegaBob declared. “With his power, getting in and out of the Web would be easier.”
“I can fulfill that task, my dear,” she reminded him.
“But catching such a sprite has an important strategic advantage,” he added.
“Very important. He is Mouse’s lover,” Avatar added. “If I catch either of the two, the other will be quick to come to the rescue. Ray Tracer would make good bait, before I gut him.”
“It will benefit all of us if we keep the Surfr alive,” MegaBob insisted.
“Would you spoil the fun I would have in deleting him? I like playing finders keepers with my prey.”
“So do we,” Pandora replied.
MegaBob added, “That is certainly true.”
Pandora gave him a look somewhere between a smirk and a scowl before she slithered over to her worktable to pick up a small bag made of Web creature skin and the holo sphere. She returned to Avatar and emptied the contents of the bag on the floor. Jewels and crystals of many different kinds slid across the floor. Pandora stated, “Consider this my payment to you for your services. In reality you owe me much more in return, but I want the Guardian alive. Is that clear?”
Avatar’s pincers curled upward as he smiled. He picked up the gemstones and placing them inside a sack attached his chest. He nodded, “It will do.”
“Remember, Daemon will not like you meddling,” she reminded him. “You must not tell her about Mainframe. Am I clear?”
“Mainframe? What is that?” Avatar asked in a forgetful tone. “My memory is still all scrambled from my horrible transformation, my Lady.”
“Very good acting. And so you don’t forget what you are looking for.” Pandora held out the holo sphere.
Avatar took it as well and asked, “I had something like this once. Very impressive.”
“It is a reminder of our deal. I want this returned to me Avatar. I’ll be very angry if you lose it. Do you understand?”
“Certainly, my Lady.”
“Good. I need one more favor from you before I send you back. There are groups of Webriders we must eliminate. Your particular powers can be useful in the assault. Will you assist me?” Pandora asked and smiled sweetly to him.
“Of course.” Avatar bowed again and tucked the holo sphere into his ammo sack.
MegaBob had said nothing while Pandora and Avatar were making their final plans, but when she slinked away from the bug virus’ hearing, he asked her, “Are you random?”
“Not in the least, my dearest,” she replied ignoring the insulting comment.
“I thought you needed that holo sphere for the data.”
“It only contains Guardian 452’s basic information parameters. Without the original sprite, the data is useless. You have the missing fragment of data needed for the final conversion. Once we retrieve Interface, I’ll have what I need to begin my own unity campaign.”
“I still think this is madness. What if Avatar betrays you to Daemon?”
Pandora pressed a finger to his lips. She whispered, “You worry too much.”
MegaBob hated how much more infatuated Pandora had become with him since his transformation. He gently nudged her finger away and said, “I understand this grand plan of yours, but what about myself? How do I factor in?”
“First, we do a little phishing, then we’ll see where it goes from there.”
MegaBob gritted his teeth. Somehow he knew that what would happen next was something he wasn’t going to like.