Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 4 Episode 3: The Tale of the Renegade Virus

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“Whoever’s got the game, just make sure the game doesn’t get *you*- The Gary circa 1992

Tonight we have The Gary telling us a story, it’s about a computer virus. To bad The Gary didn’t have an anti-virus on his computer, it would have saved him a big headache. Also The Gary and Tucker must come from a well off family to both have their own computer in 1994, since computer prices back than ranged from $1,100 to 1,500. So pop the popcorn and open a TAB as we watch our tale of terror brought to us from The Gary.

The night starts like any other meeting night, with Sam once again getting the logs for the fire. She walks in and notices that The Gary is missing and says “Uh, why is Gary late?”

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“Sure guys don’t help me I totally got it”- Sam’s inner thoughts

Tucker tells the gang “he had to rewrite a book report.” Kiki is confused, I guess she has never had to write a book report and says “Rewrite?” Tucker explains “His computer has a virus. Every time he tries to print something, it gets erased.” Kiki has the biggest grin on her face. Also I think Kiki is wearing one of Frank’s hand me down cutoff vest tops.

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I think Kiki has been working out, look at her biceps and more importantly why is she looking at Tucker’s junk? Is there a romance going on here?

Betty Ann says “Ooh, Scary.” Well she is sold on a story about viruses.

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Betty Ann “Hey guys, I decided I am going to become a professional break dancer.”

Frank whose family does not own a computer says “The only thing scary about computers are the people who use them.” I kind of think Frank might be a tad bit jealous of The Gary and Tucker. Sam sits next to Frank. The Gary walks in finally and says “Yeah, tell me about it. Sorry I’m late. A computer virus ate up my book report twice, so on the way here I had to borrow a virus doctor. (Hmm I use McAfee that is provided for me for free from the University). When I get home, I’m gonna destroy the rotten little virus, and find out who planted it in my computer. The Gary says this while looking at Tucker and Kiki is also looking at Tucker kind of sideways as if to say look out dude. Betty Ann offer some words of wisdom “Careful. A virus can do a lot of damage.”

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Betty Ann decided that at this moment, she would demonstrate her moves, but alas The Gary was ready for his tale.

The Gary says “I know. A virus is a disease. It gets inside and takes hold, and once it starts spreading, it’s impossible to shake.” Tucker speaks up and says “It’s just a computer virus.” The Gary says “Sure it is, and it’s just a computer. but viruses can jump around, and there’s one computer you never want one to get into.” Sam asks him “What computer is that?” The Gary says ” The human brain.” He goes on to mention about how a lot of information is stored in the brain before submitting his story to the Midnight Society as The Tale of the Renegade Virus.

We are taken to a school at night, where a kid is imputing something into a computer, we can assume from the skull and crossbones that it is a virus.

Next we taken to a bedroom, where Simon is just waking up from slumber. He grabs a foam ball and throws it into the basketball hoop hanging on his window. We are then taken to the hallway where his dad knocks on the bathroom and announces his sister Susan has been in the bathroom for 20 minutes. After she gets out, Simon sneaks in before dad can get into the bathroom.

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Simon

Next we see the family gathered around the kitchen table eating breakfast. It’s the usual talk around the breakfast table. Simon’s bike has a flat tire so he “borrows” Evan’s bike forcing Evan to run after him. Simon is kind of a dick to his friend.

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Evan

Evan is mad and tells Simon at least he never made him late. Also Simon changed the lock on Evan’s locker. He switched it with his, looks like Evan’s day is going from bad to worse.

Then Sonya comes by and Evan awkwardly asks her if she is going to the game on Saturday. She says “Yeah. Uh how abut you?” Evan says he is also going and wants to know if they could go together. He is then interrupted by Simon joining in next to Sonya.

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The apple of Evan’s eye

Sonya informs Evan that she is going with Simon and walks off with him. Evan than mockingly repeats what she says. I honestly am not sure why they are friends, since Simon doesn’t give any fucks about Evan or his feelings.

Evan  shows up late to math class and gets embarrassed by his teacher. Simon tries to apologizes, but I am not buying it and neither is Evan. Evan’s pencil then breaks. Later in the day Evan runs up to Simon and tells him Mr. Poe is finished with his computer game and is ready to try it out.

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Mr. Poe the wacky science teacher

The boys race to his office or laboratory to test it out as they got the first crack at the game. The game is a virtual reality game, which is programmed to simulation everyday life. Since Simon goes first it starts off as a typical day for him.

But it is odd and whimsical. He can’t see his family, but he can hear them and they cannot see him. This makes Simon frustrated and he runs up stairs to find this guy:

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Let’s call him Mercury Man

He explains that he is a computer virus and he wants inside Simon’s brain. The virus tells Simon he will give him 10 minutes to stop him and starts the clock.

The virus makes the game start over. He is transported back to the school where he tells Mr. Poe that their is a virus inside the game. Mr. Poe goes ballistic on him and tells Simon to get out. Simon gets out but soon finds out he is still in the game, went he looks at his hand and sees this:

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It’s a female end of a computer plug connector

Simon than goes into the hallway and sees Evan with Sonya. He tells Simon “what’s wrong forgot the combo?” and then leaves with Sonya. Simon is in the hallway and everyone is walking backwards. Simon than runs into math class, where he is suddenly in only his boxer shorts.

Simon runs back into the hallway and is suddenly fully clothed. He also runs into the virus. Simon runs home and up to the computer room, where he is able to somehow connect with Evan. Evan says “Somebody planted a virus.” Simon says “it was you, wasn’t it?” Then the virus interferes with the communication and tells Simon it is his two minute warning. Simon pleas with Evan to get him out. Evan finally with the upper hand says “Not until you apologize for all the things you did to me.”

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blackmail

Simon than shows Evan his hand, and Evan says  he can’t put in the abort code because the program has frozen. He tells Simon he can enter it from inside the game, but before he is able to tell it to Simon, his message fades away. Simon correctly guesses its the combo to Evan’s locker. But the virus still tries to connect to Simon:

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It’s like intercourse with computer parts

Simon presses the enter key just in the nick of time and is finally brought back to his reality. Poe asks him if he is okay and Simon says he is. As they leave this happens:

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I’m back!

Then we are brought back to the campfire and The Gary says “the end.” Kiki was impressed and says “All right, great story.”

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She has a nice smile

Tucker says “You know what I liked about the story?” To which Betty Ann says “What?”

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Betty Ann “Guys I have a break dancing competition coming up next week, you should come watch me!”

Tucker replies “No matter how bad a thing Evan did, Simon always forgave him. He says this looking at The Gary, it is implied that Tucker is the one who planted the virus in his computer. The Gary says “You know what I liked about the story?” Tucker says “What?” The Gary says “That the virus is still alive, and if you’re not careful, it’ll jump into your computer.” Tucker jumps up and leaves in a hurry.

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I challenge you to a dance off Betty Ann- Tucker

The Gary puts out the fire and they all leave, with Betty Ann putting her arm around Kiki, which is kind of a sweet moment when you think about it. It shows how close they are as friends. But yet again, The Gary fails to declare the meeting over.

Moira’s Thoughts:

This episode is O.K. it is not The Gary’s best story, but for what it is about, it is fine. I think it is important to remember that this was made at a time when computers were not as common as they are today. If a person got a virus it could do a lot of damage.

  1. I did not care for the villain in this story.
  2. Simon was not a likable character as he was a dick to Evan.
  3. Betty Ann seems to know a lot about computers or viruses, which is kind of foreshadowing since she wants to be a doctor.
  4. Also not really sure where the whole break dancing thing came from, but maybe it will continue to be a story within a story (story inception!)

Thank you for joining me on this thrilling adventure about a rouge computer virus in The Gary’s story: The Tale of the Renegade Virus. Join me next time for a Kiki story, The Tale of the Quiet Librarian.

Also I am thinking of doing another observational blog, this time it will be about the fashion styles of the Midnight Society members starting with Betty Ann.

Until next time…Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The Tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) Blog number 3 of season 4.

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Photo credits: Title card  Simon Evan Sonya virus  Hand plug Evan 2 Virus 2 Mr. Poe what?

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