Archard stooped in the dust of the attic, his head barely below the sloped ceiling of the room. His back aching with the tension of his tortuous position, he finally reached his goal, the only island in the sea of cardboard that surrounded him. Sinking into the space with relief, he rested his head against the smooth surface of the packing box behind him.

Craning his neck, his curiousity piqued, he searched for the contents of the box, labeled in broad sharpie in finely crafted letters, dining room table extensions. satisfied, he resumed his comfortable position, stretching his legs best he could, muttering,

"Figures, something useless, we never extended the table. Not even when Dad was still around."

Pulling a bright red bouncy ball from his pocket, he tried to bank a shot off the 'O' in a nearby Home Appliance label, only to miss wildly, sending the ball careening into the bowels of attic, knocking over a small box in the process. Cursing, he gathered the contents of the box, carelessly threw them back in, and was about to replace it, when something caught his eye. labeled System Recovery and Data for PET. Property of David Ritter, a bright blue information transfer drive lay on the bottom of the box.

Quickly stashing the drive into his pocket, Archard retreats down the ladder, uttering a violent curse as he fights his way through the cardboard horde again. As he entered his room, he shuffled a path through the pile of clothes hanging on the furniture and coating the floor. Sweeping a nearby biology assignment on the floor, he discovered his PET, beated, scratched and flung himself upon the bed. He discovered no problems in interfacing the generation old drive to the PET, and waited for a result.

So understandably, when his screen turned a brilliant blue, and distressed code flew around the interface, Archard's eagerness turned into a string of violent curses, as he began to run a diagnostic program. The screen went black, the code nowhere to be seen. Only a simple request.

- Zombieman.Exe

- Run>?

Y> N>

Figureing his PET had already taken irrepairable damage if the program was harmful, Archard issued the command to Run the Data. Code streamed onto the screen, forming the image of a humanoid figure. It looked around, confused as to its current location, as his data filtered into existance, he looked up, regarding Archard with a puzzled expression on what passed for his face.

"David? im not sure I understand, my time log indicates a massive leap in real-world time since my last activation. Explain."

Recovering, Archard regarded the Navi, taking in his form. The Navi appeared modeled after a human, but his skin was shallow, pale, and in some places didnt exist at all, his jaw was visible through the left side of his face, his hair thick and black in some places, falling out in others, and a trickle of blood slowly dripped down the side of his face, staining the leather jacket that ardorned his chest. The Navi leaned upon a long, twisted metal pipe, that was discolored with rust.

"Err... Zombieman, I presume? My name is Archard Ritter, David is my Dad's name. Were you operated by him?"

The Navi looked distressed, a stronger trail of blood streamed down his face, only to be quickly clotted by Zombieman with a thick yellow cloth. Slowly a look of realization dawned over the Navi's gruesome features.

"So this is what he meant, when he told me that he would leave me to shepard those that follow him. Very well Archard Ritter. I accept"

"Well, I have... wait, what? Accept what? I dont even know who you are or what your systems are!"

Zombieman grinned, popping his knuckles out of his hand and replacing them before replying,

"I am Zombieman.Exe, chistened such by your father, when he wasnt much younger than you appear now. Before that, I was a data recovery program. David converted me into a NetNavi and I worked with him for many years. Now, he bequethes me to you. I'll guide you, like I guided him."

"I'm not so sure I want something dad...", Archard's voice was cut off by his mother yelling for him from the kitchen. "...I'll take you to the Net to talk about this later. Good to meet you, Zombieman."

racing out of the room, Archard stumbled over his tennis shoes, a grin momentarily gracing his mouth as he turns the corner to the kitchen.