This is the third part of a four-part story: "The Viral Wars"
Although portions of the damaged Principal Office are falling apart, most of the central area is in relatively good shape. Dot has a plan. She has all the inhabitants of Mainframe evacuate to the Principal Office. Mouse and the Surfer spread the word. As the two visitors to Mainframe are flying around, it is clear that Mouse is flirting with the Surfer. He usually travels alone since he hasn't found anyone willing to take the risks that he does and this amuses her. They pick up two very polite punkers and drop them off just as Al's waiter gets the usual response from Al ("What?!").
Back in the War Room, Phong is still in the bell jar, and is very glad to hear that Hack and Slash have found the rest of his body. He tells the others to shutdown power to the other sectors, so that they will go off-line quietly, instead of being torn apart. The Core Control panel was destroyed; someone is going to have to go into the core and perform the shutdown manually.
Herr Doktor and the frankenbinome are trying to remain unobserved, but Hexadecimal finds them. (They were the ones that put the nasty pain collar around her neck.) It's not clear what she's planning to do to them, but she's holding a rolling pin.
One last binome is holding out - Old Man Pierson down at the Data Dump. When Matrix tries to argue with him, the big guy has to explain that he really is Enzo (and switches his icon to game-sprite mode as he is explaining.) This conversation via VidWindow is really a diversion so that AndrAIa can get close to the curmudgeon.
Everything seems to be under control when all hell breaks loose. Three tears open up near Matrix, Mouse and the Surfer. Out comes Zaytan (the form of the User that defeated Enzo in an earlier game.)
Bob enters the Core as Hack, Specky and Slash notice a bunch of tears opening up. Dot convinces him to continue the task, stating that she has things covered. But the instabilities in the system have released the User's game sprites from undeleted RAM. The characters are:
Bob elevates to the center of the Core. With communications down, he's on his own. That is, until a familiar apparition shows up. Megabyte! Actually, a simulation. One designed to be able to mock Bob one last time. This does not prevent Bob from turning off the subsectors. He taps hexagons with red lights, the extend to where he can turn the handle, then push them back in, turning them blue. Each sector is not safe until all of its subsectors are done.
Dot is doing her darnedest to fight off the guy (white streak in hair, chain-saw in place of his right hand) from the Graveyard game. Ash defeats Hack and Slash, but not Frisket. On the other side of the room, the prisoner from Starship Alcatraz has the best of Specky, despite Phong's efforts. Then Princess Bula steps in and gets rid of the bugger with one hand.
Mike the TV bursts in, asking if there is room in this crowded show for a cameo appearance by the loud-mouth announcer, and the answer is a resounding "No!"
In the Core, the simulation has created multiple images of Megabyte, all telling Bob that the situation is hopeless. The Guardian does not believe in the "no-win scenario". One particular subsector is very difficult, and not just because the MB simulation tries to get in the way. Its completion is quite dramatic; MB dissolves. But still the edge of destruction approaches. Bob is able to do the last one just before passing out.
Status lights turn green; the central parts of Mainframe have been spared. Matrix and AndrAIa retrieve the weakened Guardian. "System, out of danger?", he asks. Dot tries to revive him with a kiss, but the osculation is intercepted by Rocky, the Rabid Raccoon.
Phong has bad news. They have survived Megabyte's bane, but Mainframe is still doomed.