Computer Virus
(part III)

Anthony, like his bandmates, remembered falling in darkness. He positioned his feet so they were underneath him.
Despite best efforts, he was unprepared for what happened. He splashed into frigid Arctic cold that engulfed his body.
He swam to the surface with steady strokes, but by the time he reached the surface, the cold was setting in. When his
head broke the surface of the water, he gasped for breaths of oxygen, each time he took it in, the air stung his windpipe
terribly. He splashed around, looking for some signs of life, some lifeline.

He turned around and seen a little boy, no more than 7 years old, splashing about, screaming for help. How come I
didn't hear him before? That question was meaningless to Anthony. Forcing back the urge to shake, he swam in sure,
steady strokes towards the helpless boy.

"HANG ON KID!"

His voice was almost lost over the waves, now becomming louder and more violent. He seen the little boy's head duck
under for about three seconds, than come up again.

"HELP ME!"

The little boy wasn't struggling as much as he was whenever he seen Anthony, who was no more than seven feet away
and gaining fast. As soon as Anthony's hand brushed against the boy's shirt, a huge wave, about 15 feet in height
crashed over them. Anthony blindingly clawed the waters, but it was all in vain. The little boy was lost, had fallen victim
to the icy maw. As soon as Anthony came to the surface, tears poured and he sobbed.

Why, he thought, why didn't I swim faster? I was his only hope, and I let him down. Now he paid for Anthony's mistake
with his life. He brought his hands to his face, holding his head, forgetting the water, the cold, the darkness. He kept
kicking though. He didn't surrender, wouldn't surrender to the cold, wet darkness. He felt the tips of his blonde hair. Ice
had already began to crystalize. He felt his jaw begin to tremble even more. He tried to say something, but his blue lips
held the words, the syllables, the sounds in. Anthony was falling prisoner to the darkness.

He thrashed around again, trying desperately to swim as he did whenever he was in Malibu, but the shivering was
uncontrollable, and his strokes were incredibly awkward and barely got him anywhere. His hands were numb, his feet
were numb, he was numb. He finally stopped. He seen blurry visions dance before him. He squinted. Were those people,
dancing on the water? To be more specific, women dancing on the water, clad in summertime clothing that was of white?
He shuddered more. He seen them, twisting in a wierd, eerie dance that he had never seen before, perhaps in his
dreams? If so, they were long dead and could only be reconstructed now.

His eyelids began to droop, and the evil thruth came to him. Hypothermia was setting in. Hypothermia, the death that
his black T-shirt or blue jeans couldn't keep out. He looked up to the stars. There was only a moon, placid and full,
making its way across the midnight sky, accented by the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. His eyes turned to the
dancers, still dancing. I must be hallucinating, he thought, or they are spirits come to take me to the next life.

He looked around, and saw that there was nothing but ocean as far as his eyes could see, and no boat comming for his
aide. I'm done for, he thought helplessly and wearily. His head leaned back, straight into the night sky. His jaw trembled
less and less as sleep began to overtake him. His eyes, circled black and sunken into his skull, closed with frozen
eyebrows and lashes. He flet his body shift backwards, and he was floating.

My only regret, he thought, is not being able to have any children of my own, and then all consciousness drained from
him.

***************************************************************

Chad didn't even remember falling, perhaps his brain snuffed it out for his sake. But when he woke up, he wished we
was still asleep. He found himself in a ghetto, much like the ones in either New Orleans, L.A, or New York. He was laying
behind a massive dumpster, and he heard someone taking a beating.

"LEMMIE ALONE!"

He stood up, and seen the female who screamed. She had skin like cocoa, her hair was like coffee, and she was in
trouble. She was struggling under the hold of a man who had her at his mercy by the wrists. Chad's face twisted. He
knew, ever scince he was young, if a man does this to a woman, than he is no real man.

"Shuddup or I'll kill you."

Releasing his grip on one of her wrists, he pulled out a stilleto, its metallic glimmer shining in her face as he brought the
knife towards her throat.

Without thinking about his own welfare, Chad jumped towards the man and grabbed the handle of the stiletto. For
about two minutes, each man was locked in battle for the posession of the weapon, the girl cast aside, had fallen down
and was now up against the brick wall. Chad kicked the man in his stomach and he fell backwards against the other
brick wall. Grabbing the wrist of the girl, they high-tailed it out of the alley.

"Hey Mister, slow down!"

Chad finally stopped when he heard her talk. He turned around to make sure that the brute wasn't following them. He
took a breath at the same time as the girl.

"You O.K?"

"I think so," she said, rubbing her reddened wrists, "Thanks a bunch Mister, I owe you big time."

"Think nothing of it," he said, cocking his head back casually, trying to act cool, "Wanna grab a coffee?"

"I don't drink coffee," she said, pulling him into another alley. She smiled a sinister smile, revealling a pair of canines that
were double the normal size. Chad was stunned as her pink tongue licked their sharp edges.

"Oh God," he muttered in fear under his breath and he was off in a flash, with the vampire at his heels.

"Come back, I want to thank you!"

"I'M THANKED, I'M THANKED!"

He ran faster and faster until he thought his legs would drop off. Unfortunately, his foot got caught in a stray garbage
can and he fell headlong into the street, right into the way of a truck.

Oh God, I wish I could have spent more time with the guys, he thought as his face came within three inches of the hot
truck grate.

***************************************************************

"I've found the problem," the doctor exclaimed as he pulled his face from the screen, the doctors taking their eyes from
the Peppers, who were twitching.

"The virus is a mental manipulant, mixing their fears and their loves into dangerous scenarios, as shown here."

The doctor brought up a screen divided into four parts, each showing the scenarios that they were going through.

"And to make matters worse, they all go through it at the same time, each seperated from one another. At their mental
point, I wouldn't be surprized if they either went into cardiac arrest or a coma."

"We have to get them out of there, right away," said the nurse who called them pepperonis instead of peppers.

"If we pull the plug on them now," said the young nurse, "They would die. Their mental state would shock and they
would go under cardiac arrest or go into a coma. Even if they do survive, they could be paralized totaly like Stephen
Hawking. They could undergo severe changes like loss of hearing or voice. They could even go crazy. There's too much
to risk."

The doctors were all silent. There was too much to risk. They knew that the Peppers' chance of survival was about one
in a thousand.

 part 2
 part 4 1