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3.4 – Version 5.42

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Teaser:

<Dominoes falling>

Fi: You know what a chain reaction is, right?  It's when one thing happens, and it sets off, like, a million other things!  Usually, you think of "bad" when it happens, but sometimes they have "good" outcomes.  But what do you know which is which?

<the dominoes falling, and the last one is right in front of the camera, and as it falls, the screen goes black>

 

          "Ooo, ooo.  Ooo, ooo," Molly strums her guitar in the club, onstage, sitting on a stool.  Ned is helping set up, Irene is making calls, Jack and Carey are playing hackisack inside, and Fi is on her laptop in the club.  "It's really quiet here," Fi types in an e-mail to a Candy, "It's weird.  Everyone's making noise, but it seems so still.  Oh well, w/b!  Fi."  "E-mail Sent."  Fi closes the lid, but hears a beep.  She turns around and opens it.  A window has popped up "Please upgrade to the lastest version( 5.42) of the Star.Dot.Star Universal Gateway.  OK or Cancel."  Fi clicks "OK," and a download box appears.  "1%...great," Fi mutters, and lets it download, walking away.

          "Ready to try you guys?" Molly says to the band about half an hour later.  "Yeah, sure," they says.  "OK, let's go," Molly says, and the band starts to play "The Bridge."  The cymbals begin, then Molly starts singing, "When you come to crossroads, what do you do? Would you follow me?..."  Fi goes back to her laptop and opens it, and sees an error message flashing "Cannot complete Upgrade."  She clicks out of it, and clicks "Download" again.  Immediately, it shows another error message, "Any further downloads have been automatically cancelled."  Fi shakes her head, wondering what it means.  "...And then you see that if you go, over, doesn't matter to me!  Neither does under, you can really go slow!..."  She sees a "Details" button, and clicks it.  "Any further browser or browser updates will not be allowed as there seems to be a problem with your browser.  For more assistance, please e-mail tech support Here."  Fi clicks it.  "...Ye-e-e-e-e-eah!..."  "...And that is what happened.  Any suggestions? Thanks, Fi."  "E-mail Sent."  "...Under!  Over!  It really doesn't matter!  Under!  Over!  It really doesn't matter!  Under!  Over!  It really doesn't matter to me!"

          "No!  Go ahead, don't let me stop you!" Carey hears Irene yell from around a corner.  "No!  You don't want me to, so there!" he hears Ned yell too.  He walks around the corner to them.  "Oh, hey Carey," Irene says.  "What were you to fighting about?" Carey asks.  "Nothing, Carey!  Stay out of it, it's our business!" Irene yells at him, and walks away.  "Dad?..." Carey says.  "Don't worry, Carey," he says, and walks away too.  Carey looks after them and shakes his head.

          The fighting between Ned and Irene went on the rest of the day, and the next too.  The next morning, at the club, they're doing it in front of everyone.  "I told you!  I don't want to talk about it!" Ned yells.  "No, I SAID that!" Irene yells.  They don't realize everyone is staring at them.  Backstage, Fi, Molly, and Jack are talking.  "I don't believe it...Ned and Irene!  The two nicest-to-each other people in the world!" Jack says.  "I don't know...strange things have been happening lately," Fi says.  "Like what?" Jack asks with an attitude.  "Forget it!" Fi says.  "Woah, woah, woah!" Molly cuts in, "Now, this is none of our business.  Don't listen it!"  They all lean towards them to hear better.  Then Fi and Jack look at Molly and smile.  She straightens up, and laughs nervously, "I was just...you know, yeah, heh heh.  You know what? I'll be going," and she quickly walks away.  Fi and Jack just laugh.  Jack looks out of the curtain again and sees Molly talking to Judy.  "You know, their fighting reminds me of someone else," Molly says.  "Yours?" Judy says.  Molly looks towards the ground, "Well, yeah, but that wasn't who I was thinking of," she laughs nervously again.  Judy laughs too, "Sorry, Moll."  "That's alright," she says.  "But, really, who?" Judy asks.  "Rick’s parents, Valerie and Will," Molly says.  "You mean your in-laws?" Judy says.  "Yeah.  After Rick died…they just couldn’t settle their differences," Molly says.  "Yeah, I remember when I was in Rick’s band, I met his parents once, and they were totally different," Judy says, smiling.  Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-doo.  Do-do-do-doo.  Do-do-do-doo.  Molly picks up Irene's cell phone.  "Hello?" Molly says.  "Molly!" Melinda says on the other end.  "Melinda!  How are you?" Molly says.  Suddenly, a loud crash is heard, and Molly whirls around.  Ned had lifted up a table and smashed it on the ground.  Now, he's just glaring at Irene.  "What was that?" Melinda asks.  "Uh...nothing to worry about," Molly says, as she sees everyone runs over to the couple, "Uh...so glad to talk to you again!  Why did you call?"  "Oh, yeah, I almost forgot!  Molly...I'm expecting!" Melinda announces.  Molly gasps in surprise as a big smile comes over her face, "A...a...baby?  That's wonderful!"  "Yes, yes!" Melinda says.  "So, when?" Molly asks.  "Uh...I've been for about a few weeks now, and it's supposed to come in June!" Melinda says, happily.  "Oh, that's so great, Mel!" Molly says, "But...we have a problem here, so I got to go now."  "OK, bye!"  "See ya," Molly says, ending the call and walks over to the crowd that has gathered.  "So what's going on?" Molly asks, and everyone starts talking to her at once.

          Later that day, Fi is on the bus, and tries to upgrade her browser again, and gets the same "Any further downloads have been automatically cancelled" message.  She sighs, and closes the lid.  "Why??" she groans.  She looks at her watch, and sees that her mom goes on in an hour!  She runs into her room and changes.

          "...The Molly Phillips Band!"  The crowd cheers and Molly starts to play "New Math." Clips of Jack's visions and Molly singing are intertwined during the song.

 

Dear party of the first part

It's time to draw the line

It's time to make the list and

Divide up the broken heart

 

<Jack reaches for his glass backstage>

 

Dear mother of my daughter

Dear father of my son

It's time to face the problem and

Find the proper dissolution

 

<he touches it, and his visions comes again, zooming into the castle>

 

'Cause this is the New Math

This is the New Math

We didn't add up

So now we've got to decide

 

<he walks down the hallway and opens the door>

 

This is the New Math

This is the New Math

Still I think it's a shame

How we multiply and divide

 

<he walks in, touches the carpet, and flashes to his old living room, in the wooden house, and he looks around>

 

Dear children of our union

It's time to have the talk

This may get hard to follow

You'd better get some chalk

 

<he sees Molly and Rick fighting in the kitchen, with a alcoholic drink on the table, and baby Jack in a chairseat at the table; they can't see the "real" Jack>

 

We'll put it on the blackboard

Husband minus wife

Sorry you had to learn so young

There's math in real life

 

<flashes to Fi in a crib, and Rick and Molly fighting in her room, and a 4-year old Jack peering in the door>

 

'Cause this is the New Math

This is the New Math

We didn't add up

So now we've got to take sides

 

<flashes to the scene he saw in "Nightmare," where Rick is leaving>

 

This is the New Math

This is the New Math

Still I think it's a shame

How we multiply and divide

 

<flash to the dominoes falling, like in the teaser, only he's at the end of the last one.  the last one falls on him>

 

Don't worry

It'll be okay

Even though I won't see you every day

 

<flash to Fi walking down the hall in the castle>

 

Mommy still loves you

Daddy still loves you

Instead of one home now you'll have two

 

<flash to Ned and Irene fighting in their hotel room the night before>

 

Dear holder of my dreams

Do you recall our honeymoon?

I really meant forever but

Forever came too soon

 

<flash to his grandparents, Will and Valerie, fighting>

 

It's easy to divide up two

There's nothing to explain

We end up back with me and you

Equal shares of pain

 

<flash to Molly crying in a hospital waiting room.  Jack senses that Melinda had a miscarraige>

 

But when you divide a family

Something still remains

It never comes out even

Something still remains

 

<flash to Rick's gravemarker, like in "Nightmare">

 

'Cause this is the New Math

This is the New Math

Any answer's all right

If it's justified

 

<flash to the tour bus leaving the house for the very first time on Molly's comeback tour, circa June 1998>

 

This is the New Math

This is the New Math

It’s a shame how we multiply and divide

It’s a shame how we multiply and divide

It’s a shame how we multiply and divide

 

<on the last note, Jack flashes back to the backstage.  no one realized he was out of it for the whole song.  he just stands up and claps, thinking about all he saw>

 

          That night, Jack walks into Fi and Molly's hotel room.  "Hey baby, whats up?" Molly asks.  He sits down on her bed.  "Honey, are you alright?" she asks.  "Mom...I...want to ask you a few questions," he says.  Fi starts listening now.  "What?" she asks.  "I know you drank...but...did you and dad fight...alot?" he asks.  Molly takes a deep breath.  "Yes, baby, yeah, we did."  "OK...do you know of a...weird, castle thing...that has a big hall of pictures...of our family and ancestors?" Jack asks.  Molly shakes her head, "No, baby, not that I remember."  Jack takes a deep breath, "Did...grandpa Will and grandma Valerie...fight too?"  "Jack, why are you asking all of...yes, they did.  How did you...how could you..." Molly says.  "Don't worry...one more," Jack says.  Molly looks at him seriously.  "Did...Aunt Melinda and Uncle Ron...ever lose a baby?" Jack asks lastly.  Molly gets surprised by this one.  She hadn't told anyone about Melinda's expectancy yet.  "Uh...no, not that I know of, but she did call today...saying...she IS pregnant," Molly says.  "Whoa!" Fi says.  "What?  You think I predicted that or something?  That's terrible Fi!" Jack says.  "Still...if you did..." Fi begins.  Molly stops her, "Fi!  Stop!  Jack didn't predict anything...he's....he's...just asking very graphical questions.  Baby, why ARE you asking these?"  "Forget it.  Thanks anyway, mom," Jack says and walks out.  Molly and Fi look at each other, wondering about Jack.

          The next day, as the roadies load up the van, Fi is on the bus online.  "Download Starting..."  "Yes!" Fi exclaims.  "What is it, Fi?" Carey asks, poking his head in the bus.  "Carey, my browser's updating!" Fi says.  "Ooo...k...I'm just going," he says, and walks off.  Fi looks at her computer.  "6%!"

          Fi walks off the bus.  Carey is standing by the door.  "Whatcha looking at?" Fi asks.  "My parents," he says.  Fi looks where he is and sees Irene and Ned fighting worse than ever.  "I...I don't get it Fi.  Like, one minute, they're happy as can be, and suddenly, poof! Out of nowhere, they hate each other!" Carey says.  "Don't worry, Carey," Fi says, patting him on the back, "They'll get over it."  "I hope so," he says, and walks into his room on the bus.

          About a half hour later, Fi gets back on the bus and sits down to her laptop.  She looks and sees "98%."  It it about to get to 99%, but suddenly, she hears, "Internet Connection Lost.  All downloads in progress Cancelled.  Please reconnect."  "No!" Fi says, watch everything disappear from the screen, one by one, and leaving her at her desktop.  She grunts, and slouches down on the seat.  Then, Irene and Ned walk on the bus, hand in hand.  "Ned! Irene! You...you're not fighting!" Fi says.  "Fi, Fi, Fi...don't you know that a marriage can top anything?" Irene says.  Fi looks at her like she's crazy.  "Well, let's go!" Ned says, and yells out the door to everyone to get ready to leave.  Everyone piles on the bus, and Ned pulls out.

          That night, Fi is in her room.  "Start to upgrade, start fighting.  Stop trying to upgrade, stop fighting.  That's weird," she says to herself.  She turns to her laptop and types:

 

Sept. 22

Could the upgrade not working have something to do with the

Bell's fighting?  I mean, it's a bit bizarre, but it could happen.

But how?  Is everything really connected in some way?  If it

is, how?  Is that just another weird coincidence in life?  Or is

it something more?

 

Fi looks at a picture of Rick after typing that last line, then saves and exits.  "You have new e-mail."  Fi opens her Inbox and sees a message from "tech@star.star.com."  Fi opens it and the e-mail reads:

 

Dear Ms. Phillips

We have not heard of your problem, but it has been logged

and we will look into it as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your input,

Star-Dot-Star Tech Support

 

At the end is a BIG picture of Tad Raxall, smiling, holding a picture of the company logo.  Fi just smiles and shakes her head.  She closes it and shuts the lid.  She reaches over and turns out the lights, then goes to sleep.

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