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ReBoot Episode 18 (2_18) (code 9504)

PAINTED WINDOWS

Synopsis

Hexadecimal paints the town red, blue, yellow, and all sorts of colors. All of Mainframe becomes a gallery of her works, and the surreal images make life difficult for others.

Story

The opening shot from above Lost Angles shows just how twisted the Gilded Gate Bridge really is. The point of view flies over Mainframe and down to the vault under the Principal Office. One of the guards says "I've heard that the Web is out of control; invading other systems." The rookie asks, "What's the Web?". Just then, Hexadecimal shows up.

Dot, in lilac colored running shorts, leads several Ones and an Eight on a jog around Floating Point park. (The big guy declares "I 'ate exersize".) Bob and the biker chick are checking out a V3 Data Cycle. Then a crudely drawn sun is drawn onto Mainframe's sky. Phong explains that Hexadecimal has tampered with the system Paint command. And broken through the defenses of the Archives.

The guards have been kidnapped (into "The Scream"). Hex does a Rod Sterling imitation; "Picture if you will, an artist". [Woman with blond hair, colored with big dots, going "Sob!"] Paint can flooding sides of Baudway skyscrapers with pink. Red ribbon on other buildings. Then a large blob of multicolored paint swallowing up construction truck and binomes. Polka dots on round towers. The Zero guard as Mona Lisa. Megabyte's Tor painted like a yellow vase, with Hexadecimal's name as grafitti and holding giant sunflowers. Megabyte yells at Hex for destroying his Tor, and she tells him to not have such a long face, then makes his face short and wide. She paints him as a harlequin wearing a tutu, then lasso's his outline and does a cut and paste, leaving him stuck to the sky.

Phong warns that the damage from Hex's painting will become permanent at the next system backup. Bob has to get to the linked program in Hex's Lair and perform an Undo operation before Phong can break the link. But before he can give more details, Phong's head is erased and replaced with a green apple. "Now you really are the 'Keeper of the Core'" cackles Hex.

Phong gets pasted to the sky opposite MB. Bob tries to contact Dot, but Glitch melts and falls off his wrist. Vid Windows are covered with black ink; it's a communications blackout. The buildings and even the zip-boards are melting. Dot's organizer is kapoot. [Painting of aqueduct or bridge.] [Skull, melting watches, goofy fish swimming in air, barren trees cut but standing, Salvador Dali.]

Mike the TV is in Floating Point Park being a pretentious art critic. [White cube with red dog, green and blue men, eye in diamond.] [Trees looking like balloons.] [Rodin's "The Thinker" statue and door to the sky.] [Towers with orthogonal black lines, red, blue and yellow rectangles.] [Silo with orange ball, blue dumbells, black bow ties.] [Pastel orange wall covered with posters of Dot's head.] [Simple drawing of a man in a hat carrying an ice cream cone (Peter Max?).] [Rotating heart outline with yellow rays.] [Big lips in Traffic Window.] [Leaning Tower of Pisa.] [Polka dotted wrapping paper.] [Shiny metallic taffy.]

The top dome of the Principle Office has the hand of God touching Man from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. HD has reproduced the Arc de Triumph at the end of the Bridge. [Man with 3 eyes and upraised arm or giant ear.] [Bull with nose ring, changing colors.] There are several large slugs (giant nulls) each with a cardboard cutout of Bob's face. (It's the artist's "blue period".) Bob's path has life size cardboard images of himself. Except for the final one with Bob holding a movie camera, they all fall down like dominoes.

Dot is sliding down a wildly looping gold ribbon. When she passes Enzo and Frisket, the dog shrinks to about 3 inches in height. Enzo puts him on his cap and jumps onto the slide. When they get inside the Archive, the tunnel ends as the mouth of a giant Hex face, and instead of stairs, several Vid Windows are arranged in a double helix of DNA. Enzo tries to walk on them, but falls, and his image ends up being split among several Vid Windows.

Lost Angles has been turned into a cheerful riot of color. Mike and Bob think it's funny that Scuzzy is guarding Hexadecimal's Lair, until the little guy gets close, and is revealed to be 10 feet tall. With teeth, too. Bob yells to Mike to "split up", but Scuzzy takes the command to heart, and splits into Scuzzy-1 and Scuzzy-2. Before Bob and Mike get crushed between the two, Hexadecimal shows up. Bob claims that he represents Mainframe's local art's program.

Meanwhile, Enzo has figured out how to control the Vid Windows. He replicates them like stairs for Dot, as they go looking for the system Paint program. They find it, and sure enough, it has a link.

Bob and Mike interview the reclusive artist. She has several self portraits. [Blue and white face with sharp angles.] [Blurry one with light purple background.] [Head only painting.] "The huge impact of her work." [Painting with red vertical stripe, surrounded by two dark blue stripes.] [Green painting of girl with black hair.] [Hex face covered by moving swirls.] [Several overlapping masks.] (Note that Bob has something rolled up and stuffed into his belt.) "I'm ready for my close up now, Mr. Guardian." But the cameraman does not move. It is Bob's cardboard image.

As Hex goes berzerk looking for the real guardian, Bob has snuck around to the link to the Paint command. Clicking on the "help" icon, Bob navigates through several layers of menus, until he gets to the "Undo All" operation. This causes the DNA ladder in the Archives to collapse, giving the signal to Dot and Enzo. Hexadecimal starts coming after Bob, who does a cut-and-paste job on her face. A Hex without a mask is a dreadful sight to see. Bright beams of light shine out from the empty spot in her head. The facemasks talk to Bob: "Guardian, you have removed the only thing that keeps her power in check. Without the nasks, Hexadecimal will overload and be destroyed." The faceless Hex curses, "Damn you fool!", and a mask with a tear in its eye echoes the sentiment, "You silly fool."

Dot has to hurry, as everything is going back to normal. Enzo's ability to hold her up fails before she gets to the Paint command, but Frisket is back to normal size, and carries her the rest of the way. Dot clicks on the "L", breaking the link to the virtual copy on Hex's Lair.

This upsets Bob, who hasn't put Hex back together yet. He calls for Glitch, and it flys to his arm. Bob commands the multitalented tool to "close file", then do a "copy and paste". The masks thank him as they return to her body. Hexadecimal is alive but in shock, curled up in a fetal position, quivering. Bob tells the others that Hex is in a bad way, but is getting the best help he could get for her. Mike the TV will be blathering at her until she pulls out of her comatose state.

References

The code number for this episode is 9504. Did anyone spot it? The paintings and artistic styles:

Did You Notice


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