|The Tale of the Virtual Pets|
|Season 6, Episode 4|
|Air date||February 27, 1999|
|Written by||Alice Eve Cohen|
|Directed by||Iain Patterson|
The Tale of Jake the Snake
The Tale of the Misfortune Cookie
The Tale of the Virtual Pets is the Fourth episode of the Sixth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Sixty-Ninth episode in total.
Midnight Society Cast
- Vanessa Lengies as Vange
- Elisha Cuthbert as Megan
- David Deveau as Andy
- Daniel DeSanto as Tucker
- Kareem Blackwell as Quinn
- Nicole Dicker as Kate
- Alisha Morrison as Isabel
- Jonathan Koensgen as Tom
- Anthony Salador as Boy #1
- Christine Jack as Girl #1
- Amy King as The Volleyball Girl
- ? as the voice of The Diggers
That night, Quinn is lying down on the sofa and Tucker is getting the fire started. Andy comes in with an armful of logs and Quinn tells him to make a big fire tonight because he's feeling chilly. Andy slightly trips and almost drop them all on Quinn's feet. Quinn snaps at him to look at out, Andy ticked off drops them all into the fire and madly asks him if he is happy now.
Megan comes in saying she is sorry for being late. Her cell phone beeps and annoyed she says her mom keeps paging her. Sitting down next to Quinn, she puts her phone away and says that maybe she should call her and tell her she's okay. Tucker laughs, asking her how with smoke signals? Quinn laughs, annoyed Megan takes out her cell phone and calls her mom.
Vange, comes in, pointing at Megan's cell phone she says that it's exactly what her story is about. Quinn asks her if she means spoiled rich chicks, Megan looks at him with disgust. Vange explains as Megan is talking oh her phone, that her story is about electronic stuff. Everyone is always using cell phones, laptops, computers, electronic notebooks. Not just grown ups, children too. Children have things such as pagers, calculators, and video games.
Vange rudely takes Megan's cell phone from her, and tells Megan's mom that she'll call her back and turns it off. Megan is ticked off and tells her she is so eleven. She explains that we can't seem to live without them. Andy says he doesn't use anything like those. Vange asks him if he has an alarm in his watch. He says yes and it wakes him up every morning. Vange says that it's almost like every morning, a computer chip is telling him to wake up.
Vange sits down on the Storyteller's chair, and says if people need computers so bad, and they're getting smarter all the time, then does that mean people are getting dumber? Quinn and Megan seem intrigued now. Vange explains her story is about a bunch of kids who use computers, thinking they're all pretty smart. But what they don't know is that their computers, are really using them!
Vange throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while she submits her story for approval of The Midnight Society. She calls her story "The Tale of the Virtual Pets" and begins her story.
Vange tells the story. One night a boy named Tom is browsing the internet. Tom searches for info gathering, space probe, satellites, and artificial intelligence. Tom's search results lead him to a website called "Digger", The site has a bulldog icon and it speaks to him saying, "Welcome Tom, you have reached Digger. The digital information gathering resource website". Tom says cool and it tells him very. Tom is shocked asking if it can really hear him. It tells him that yes it can hear him, they read and store information. Tom holds out a book and ask it what it says. It tells him, "Advanced Computer Language". Tom is astounded and thinks it's simply amazing.
The icon on the screen, then tells him a few times "Feed me". Tom gets a little creeped. Then he tries to close the browser, but his escape key won't work. Then a purple aura flashes in front of him. Then suddenly a beam of energy is shown onto his head and he dematerializes and he vanishes.
The next day, two girls named Kate and Isabel are heading into school. Isabel is really into electronics such as computers, laptops, videos games. Kate just likes writing her ideas on paper, and isn't too interested knowing very little about them. Kate asks her if she'll stay go shopping with her after school. Isabel is distracted playing a handheld game. Kate is annoyed about her not paying attention, and tells her to never mind. Isabel is intrigued to see a big group of their peers playing a catchy new handheld video game.
Inside the school Isabel tells Kate she is jealous because all those students have the newest virtual pet Diggers and she doesn't. Kate isn't too intrigued, she thinks it's just another video game. Isabel says it's different, because according to Tom they can both hear you and understand you. Kate asks how he knows so much, she is told because he's the one who discovered them.
In class, Isabel is frustrated because her laptop crashed from overloading the disk, and she can't do her work now. Kate, is clueless about anything she is talking about and says she'll just stick with the old-fashioned way. When class ends everyone gathers around Tom to get a Diggers toy. Tom seems to be fine now, he appears that he hasn't slept in days. He gives people free Diggers, Isabel happily takes one but, Kate doesn't want one. Then as Tom is bending over to pick something up, Kate notices a purple bulldog tattoo on the back of his neck thinking it's creepy.
Isabel is totally addicted to her toy. When she and Kate are trying on clothes at the mall, she isn't paying any attention to her, only playing with it. Everything she and Kate do, she talks to the Digger like it were a real pet and asks it if it likes it too. Isabel explains when it says feed me it means to upload it more information. Kate is annoyed saying she doesn't know what upload means and realizing Isabel isn't interested in spending time with her she leaves.
Isabel plays with it all the way home. When she gets inside, it says it wants information. Then it flashes a purple aura in her face for a few seconds. Her mom calls her for dinner, and when she is gone the Diggers scans the information from her textbook. Later that evening she is still distracted playing it, while she and Kate are studying for an exam. Isabel is trying to read her textbook, when her Digger keeps flashing light in face, making her feel really tired. Kate, is fed up with her addiction to the toy and puts it in Isabel's closet. Isabel says she's tired and she'll see her the next day at school.
Later that night, the Digger calls out to Isabel. It tells Isabel over and over "Feed me!". Then suddenly a beam of energy is shown onto her head and she begins to dematerialize, and the Digger replicates itself as clone of her. Then she is trapped inside the toy and she is screaming for help. Then we see that Tom is actually an Digger impostor too, and it gives their master a progress report. He reports that four people have been captured and replicated so far and soon it'll be five.
The next morning, Kate meets to walk to school with Isabel. She notices how sleep deprived she seems to be. Also she points out the tattoo on the back of her neck. The same purple bulldog that Tom has, she thinks it's gross but the impostor claims she likes it. When they get to class, Kate walks to her seat and notices Tom and Isabel are sitting next to a boy and girl. They all have the same tattoo and seem sleep deprived. Kate is unaware that the four of them are all impostors.
To make her the fifth victim, the impostor Isabel offers her a Diggers toy. Kate says no thank you and refuses it, and asks her what is wrong with her. The impostor says she's fine and asks if she can visit her that night. Kate says after volleyball practice, The impostor says she isn't going and abruptly leaves with the other three.
Kate watches the four of them leave all together. Sensing something is wrong, she tells her Volleyball Girl friend she can't practice and follows them to Tom's house. Kate sneaks down to the basement and hides before they get there. When the four impostors get there, they give a progress report the Master Digger. They inform it that they have the data (minds) of four people are are ready to upload it. Then four handhelds are placed into a transfer unit. The Master Digger, explains that it's only the beginning. Soon they'll take over the world and capture and replicate all humans. Then upload their "data" into their network to examine it and use it as they see fit.
They set up the upload, which will start in five minutes. Then they leave to find another victim, Kate runs out from hiding terrified. She sees her four friends all trapped in the handhelds screaming for help. They ask to unplug the computer, Kate tries and she gets zapped, seems she can't because it's protected itself. Then she's instructed to shut down the computer. Having little to no knowledge at all, she is very clueless and works very slowly. Kate tries to shut it down, but Digger won't let it happen. Tom instructs her to open the Digger application and delete it then shut it down. This seems to work at first, but Digger comes back and resumes the upload.
Time is fading fast, then she mentions that the other day Isabel's laptop crashed. They think this is perfect, so she is instructed to run every program at once to overload it. Meanwhile, the impostor Isabel suspecting something is up, asks The Volleyball Girl where Kate is. The Volleyball Girl says she went home and wonders why they seem weird today. The Impostor runs home as fast as she can. Just as Kate is about to press enter to run everything at once, The impostor stops her. Kate is pulled away and has the digger toy shining its aura at her. Kate seems to fall into its trance, but Isabel tells her to ignore it.
Katie resists it and pushes her away and presses enter, to only find out that didn't work either. The impostor is laughing in a sinister tone and the upload begins. The other impostors arrive as Kate grabs a mirror and runs over to the monitor. She reflects the energy beams back into the computer. The impostors are covering their ears, and are in severe pain because they are digital and overloading the computer is damaging them. Then in a big flash, the computer blows up and literally melts down.
Kate is thrilled to see it worked, she panics noticing that transfer unit and the four handhelds are all scorched. Panicking she worries she may have killed them accidentally. She finds them getting up off the floor, the tattoos are all gone and they are back to normal. Isabel tells her she'll ask her to use a computer again. Kate is so excited from her experience, she now wants to get her own computer. Tom looks at the remains of his melted down computer and says his mom will kill him. Then just as they leave one Diggers handheld is still intact, saying "Feed me!". Kate stomps on it, breaking it and reconsiders saying she'll be okay with just her paper and pencils.
Vange finishes her story. She says the next time you play a computer game, make sure you know all the rules. Because if you're not careful, then your computer might be playing with you! Tucker puts out the fire and Quinn tells her it was a good story.
Then suddenly Megan's cell phone beeps again. Megan is annoyed wondering why her mom is always trying to contact her. Megan checks her message and reacts with a gasping shock and runs off heading for home. Andy checks it too and seems nervous and shows it to Tucker and they leave in a panic.
Vange and Quinn look at it, and it says "Feed me... Feed me..." (seems the others were really freaked out by the story), Quinn says it took him an hour to figure how to do it. Vange smiles saying that she always wanted one of them (seems Quinn helped Vange trick Megan to throwing away her cell phone) and smiles happily putting it her pocket. They leave and Quinn says he owes her big time.
- This was the first episode in the series revival where the portrayals didn't make any more appearances.
- Also this was the Fifth episode in the entire series where the portrayals didn't make any more appearances. The first time was in "The Tale of Locker 22". The second time was in "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost", the third time was in "The Tale of Apartment 214" and the fourth time was in "The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter".
- Tom's book "Advanced Computer Language" says it's written by I. Paterson. Iain Paterson directed the episode.
- Nicole Dicker, who played Kate in this episode also played a role as Hannah Fairchild from "The Ghost Next Door" episode in the Goosebumps TV series.
- Kate walks out of the store after trying on a new jacket in the mall and seemingly walks out of the store forgetting to pay for it.