Chapter 6: The Glitch
Suddenly, everything started to shake, like in an earthquake.
“This is no good!” Trinity’s overwhelming voice yelled. “I forgot that the number 256 doesn’t exist in the leveling system! It’s in hex!”
“What does that have to do with anything?” I called.
“WHEN I MADE THE MAGIKARP GROW A LEVEL, I ACCIDENTALLY PUT A GLITCH IN THE PROGRAM!” Trinity roared. “YOU GUYS HAVE TO GET OUT BEFORE THE PROGRAM CRASHES!”
Morpheus already disappeared before my eyes. Golf balls, golf balls…
The ceiling was starting to crash into the floor. I disappeared just in time before it would have hit my head.
“It will be OK, won’t it?” I asked once I was safely out of Punchbagikarp, directing my question at Trinity.
“No,” Trinity said. “But I think I have a backup copy somewhere. Whatever, a Punchbagyarados wouldn’t have worked, anyway…”
“Where is the backup?” I asked.
“I don’t know!” Trinity snapped. “I need to search for it!”
“Whatever,” Morpheus said. “Come here, Neo, I’ll show you your future home.”
He picked up a pokéball.
“This,” he said, “is a Luxury ball.”
He recalled me into it and I found myself in the room of my dreams – a sofa, a big pile of pepperoni pizzas, and a perfect copy of my old computer on a table. Not the same, but still.
I threw myself on the sofa and somehow my computer just levitated into the air and stopped at the exact place where I wouldn’t have to move to see the screen perfectly. The keyboard and mouse were just where it would be most comfortable for my hands – if I had them. I pushed my shades off. My lovely fingers were back. I stretched them out, then grabbed the mouse and turned my computer on.
Way too soon, I was pulled out of the perfect world and into that whatever-it-was real world thingy.
“What is this place, anyway?” I asked.
“This is the C.A.T.C.H.,” Morpheus answered.
“What does that stand for?”
“Chief Anti-Type Chart Headquarters,” he replied. “There’s also the G.O.T.T.A., Grand Organization for a Timely Traitor Attack (traitors in this case meaning the humans, of course), T.H.E.M., The Human Encroachment Movement, and A.L.L., the Alliance of Life & Liberty.”
“G.O.T.T.A., C.A.T.C.H., T.H.E.M. and A.L.L. That sounds strangely familiar,” I said. “But I have no idea why.”
“Neither do I,” said Morpheus. “That is, I find it familiar too, but I don’t know why either.”
“Yeah. Why did you call me out of the ball? I was having such a great time!”
“It’s time to see the Glitch.”
He wouldn’t give anything out about what the hell the “Glitch” was supposed to be. We just went into The Type Chart, walked around the streets for what seemed like forever and I played at walking with my shades off (I finally got myself to remember that The Type Chart assumed I had fingers whether I had my shades on or not, so I wouldn’t be cutting into my head no matter what I did), finding a beautiful woman and then putting my shades back on to see what pokémon they were. One really sexy woman in a red dress turned out to be an Exploud. Eurgh! Well, I probably looked pretty crazy putting my shades on and off all the time, but not ugly, at least. After all, I happened to bear a striking resemblance to Keanu Reeves in human form. And that Scyther look was kind of cool too, after all.
Finally, he told me to go into some dusty street that looked like I was the first person to walk on it since it was made. I just noticed that everything there was kinda greenish. We walked along the street until we came to a small staircase and a door at the end. We went through the door, and suddenly we were inside the weirdest place I’ve ever been too. Stray halves of buildings were all around, and when I walked one step, everything changed and a wall suddenly separated me from Morpheus.
“Help!” I shouted. “What the hell is this place?”
“It’s Glitch City,” Morpheus replied.
“Whoa…” I muttered, until I realized I was trapped there. There were walls on every side.
Hesitating, I walked another step in a random direction. Now I could walk on.
“Go and find the Glitch,” Morpheus just said. “Don’t worry about me.”
I walked one more step, but since everything changed, I banged right into a door. I quickly opened it, making sure not to take a step, and to my great relief, the room inside seemed normal. I jumped through the door as quickly as I could to avoid the door turning into a wall or something mid-way through.
To my disappointment, the room was apparently not at all normal. In the middle of it, there was some kind of a block of glitchyness.
“I’m the Glitch,” it said. “Did you wish to speak with me?”
“You’re the Glitch?” I questioned. “Wow, your name truly fits you.”
He, she or it said disappointedly: “Stop making fun of me! I’m a Missingno., OK?”
“I know more than you ever will! I’m a glitch in the program, not a harmful one like ‘Mblock, just one that messes up the Hall of Fame, which is actually the future meaning that I can make prophecies. Anyway, what was it you wanted to ask?”
“Ask? I was never told what I was supposed to do with you.”
A Kadabra suddenly jumped between us and interrupted our conversation. He pointed a silvery spoon at my face.
“You shall fight or die in shame otherwise, ready to rot in hell to the end of eternity!” he bellowed.
“Die?” I asked and raised my eyebrows. “How are you going to kill me? Stab me with that spoon?”
“THERE IS NO SPOON!” the Kadabra screeched. “There is only power, and those too weak to seek it!”
“Excuse me?” I replied hotly. “Are you saying I’m too weak to seek the power? And I’ve been beating up a level 255 Magikarp all day! And one level 256 Gyarados that glitched the program!”
“FOOLISH MORTAL!” the Kadabra snapped and poked me in the eye with his spoon. And there sure as hell was a spoon, judging by how much that hurt.
“You’re satanic!” I yelled. “You’re a satanic magic word that corrupts the minds of innocent kids…”
I didn’t get any farther because the Kadabra stuffed the spoon down my throat, roaring “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE SPOON!”
I managed to spit it out before suffocating. “Are you mad?” I coughed. “You could’ve killed me with that thing!”
“Am I mad?”
The Kadabra broke into fits of laughter.
“Right,” I said awkwardly.
“I SHALL DOMINATE OVER THE EARTH! MWAHAHAHAHAH!”
“Oh, forget about him,” said the Glitch and somehow, even without having arms, held out two water guns and squirted at the Kadabra, so he rolled out of the room and through a door.
“So. I know what your question is,” the Glitch said when the evil laugh faded away.
“Why don’t you tell me the answer, then?” I said, still a bit snappy after that stupid Kadabra.
“You must find out the question first.”
“OK…” I thought a bit. “What the heck was that Kadabra?”
“He is nuts,” the Glitch said quietly. “Totally and utterly insane. There’s no hope for him.”
“How sad,” I said without feeling sad at all.
“It’s not long since he poured ketchup all over himself and tried to take over the world at a birthday party.”
Thank God I got rid of him.
“Anyway, there is another question.”
“What am I doing here?” was the first thing I could think of.
“You’re asking me questions! Ask the OTHER question, damn it!” the Glitch said impatiently.
“Am I that One person Morpheus goes on about?”
“Yes. Want proof? Look at your name. Neo is an anagram of One. But you look like a pretty lousy one. Usually he at least picks strong pokémon…”
My face went a bit less green.
“So, I’m lousy, am I?” I asked loudly.
“Yes,” said the Glitch simply. “Usually he doesn’t bring bugs, at least.”
“You have some nerve,” I said angrily.
“What do you think you can do versus me?” the Glitch laughed. “I’m a Missingno. I’m capable of flipping you!”
Suddenly I felt a weird sensation as my left arm turned into my right one. She changed it back to my great relief.
“Anyway, you should leave now, because Smith is attacking Morpheus at this very moment.”
“What?” I shouted and quickly looked at the door.
“Go now and save him. Or you can be a very lousy One. You have to make that choice.”
I gritted my teeth and then darted towards the door.