Super IT Friends
Created By: Mike Manor
"My printer is broken and my universe is being overthrown! Honey, call them I.T. Fellers!" –Priority Confused Man
Four friends' endless journey to save the internet.
"We got a kidnapped meme in the hacking sub-verse, a bot army headed toward the dating sector, and Old Lady Higgens can't change the input on her TV. What's our move?" –Felix, The Floaty Robot
If the internet were a physical place, what would it be like? Inside a small space station just outside of earth, online communities are turned into towns. Memes roam around as beloved celebrities and social media has changed to a bizarre visage of face-to-face communication. Every element of life is game-ified with skill levels and abilities. Hackers, bugs, and trolls run wild, attempting to break the procedurally generated universe; while others explore, make friends, and go on adventures. All are in denial of what was left behind, and why they have to be here.
"No, I don't miss having a real body. Could I do THIS before?" –Freshly Uploaded Dad
So, the earth is dying because of a heinous man-made catastrophe - sad times. In response, eligible members of humanity begin freezing their bodies and uploading their consciousness to the Virtual Reality. The VR universe is the physical manifestation of the internet combined with an online fantasy game. The Super IT Friends are a rag-tag group of chummy, tech freelancer pals who explore the universe, vanquish evil, and provide seriously top-notch technical assistance at a satisfactory expedience. Since the entire universe is technically “technology", every problem is an I.T. problem and those problems are often real weird.
Friends – Russell
"Big deal, he can float. So can my farts." –Rose
Russell is a closet anime, culinary, electronic music, board game nerd. Even though he tries to be all suave and cool, he can't quite stop himself from gushing when a real interest of his comes up. He doesn't have the world's greatest common sense, and can be an infamous flirt. BUT, he fights with honor and finesse. He believes that the old world had something right with long-term gratification and taking your time. He'd know, from recovering after loosing half his body to a terrible accident on earth. The half-robot thing is far from a disadvantage though, and his physicality mostly returned (despite the occasional inconveniently timed hick-up or two). Russell takes direction well and stands calmly next to danger. He also loves his Mom dearly. She's a big sweetie who never complains about a damn thing. Without her, Russell's mind would've never been uploaded to the VR, and though he doesn't have a body to see her in anymore, he knows one day he will get her to the VR.
Friends – Rose
"Cool off, bro. She just doesn't want you to unwind the fabric of the universe." –Russell
At 3am, you'll probably find Rose analyzing the universe's code, wrist deep in grease modifying her space fighter, or drinking her friends under the table. Rose needs to be the best at everything. She’s a competitive tomboy, always ready to take a dare or do the thing no one else wants to do. Rose was ten when her parents launched the VR and thereafter went missing. With her parents gone, she was uploaded alone and raised by the VR’s possessive Primary AI system until she escaped. Inside the universe, she is considered a run-away princess figure. She doesn't like talking about it, but she is the only one who can unlock and edit the universe's original code. The original code determines the laws of the universe and anyone who has access to it can change anything in the VR. She is sought after by heroes and villains alike, looking to protect or capitalize on her power. As a result of her upbringing, she is vastly skilled with much to learn about people. She’s obsessive, passionate, and well-read. Everything is done at 200% energy until she's totally burned out and over her head. Her friends mean the world to her, and she loves making new ones (though she is a notoriously bad judge of character). Despite her pride and willingness to admit mistakes, she's an excitable rebel who wants to fit in.
Friends – Felix
"Floaty box, floaty box, floaty box. Smoke, smoke! Drink, drink! Eat a whoooooole pizza alone." –Jay
Mature, intellectual, and savvy - or so he thinks. Felix loves the finer things, but has no class. He keeps the gang focused and sometimes feels like the only one who is looking at the big picture. Felix has the great power of charisma, which gets him in and out trouble at about the same rate. He's artful with his bad puns, and knows how to use them to smoke bomb out of situations. Felix is a failed AI experiment created by other AI beings, who were looking to find a way of adding human intuition into robots. Unfortunately, they ended up making an AI who's clever, but kind of selfish. He floats in the shadow of his famous, yet secretly evil brother who was deemed a successful experiment. Felix wants to make The Super IT Friends the greatest, most famous heroes in the universe. The other friends like the hero part of the idea, but don't care for the fame. Felix is fatherly first and always knows how to make his friends feel better, but doesn't shy away from a good time. He's a leader with a bit of a Napoleon complex for sure, but that's just because he knows he's an easy target in combat. The friends know they'd never make it without him, and the base wouldn't be stocked with nearly enough tasty snacks.
Friends – Jay
"Oh god, where is Jay?" –Everyone, always.
The wild card. Jay is talkative, easily distractible, and impulsive. He likes making up half-baked songs on the spot, and enjoys listening to the sounds of code passing through cheese. Plainly, Jay is a sweet dumb boy with no concept of danger. One moment he's excited, the next he is spooked. He's insightfully simple, and unknowingly well-connected to his intuition. Jay was born into the VR and has no concept of earth. He was abandoned and left with an enormous sum of money, which he promptly blew on a mysterious, infinitely expanding, one-of-a-kind pirate-spaceship-island, which the friends use as a base. Unbeknownst to him, Jay's father is the most malicious man in all humankind and intentionally caused the catastrophe that ended the earth. Inside Jay lies the most evil, uncontrollable, malevolent power. Fortunately, Jay isn't interested in villainy. Once in a while, he'll black out, and potentially eat entire worlds. BUT, most of the time, Jay gets scared if he hurts things, can't help being honest, and acts like a big derpy labrador.
"Silence, flesh bag! I am not Peaches! I am Fluffernaught! King of the internet cats!" –Peaches
The Super IT Friends defeat evil regularly. Sometimes, conflict comes from the conditions of the universe itself or egotism from within the friends. Often times, it's from a deliberate force. Some villains are misguided fools, while others are quite mustache-twistingly evil. Below are a few examples of reoccurring evil from least evil to greatest.
Documented List of Villainy
Officer Bootie - Bootie is a government worker, who dreams of being a heroic administrator. Alas, he is but a lowly internet traffic director. This is because he is aggressively incompetent. Bootie is angsty, and perpetually thinking about the perfect monologue for the bust that will sky rocket his career. He always makes things worse and is often competing with The Super IT Friends, who sometimes also function as bounty hunters. Other times, he's trying to find a reason to arrest The Friends. He is harmless, but his incompetence is tireless.
The Duper IT Friends – A group of four Super IT fans, who try to get the gangs attention by causing problems. They want to get as close to carnage as possible. In their minds, it would be super sweet to be amidst a fight with The Friends. They rarely think about who they are helping, constantly disassociated from the trouble they cause. Sometimes, they pretend to be The Super IT Friends - it's not nice. Their intentions are good, but cause a great deal of problems.
Fluffernaught, King of the Internet Cats – Fluffernaught is the viciously militant leader of the blindly devoted internet cats. The cats generally want to be left alone to their cat interests, but are approached often due to their cuteness. When provoked, they fight until death with no question. Their goals are often short-sighted, usually accomplished.
Lord Glitchbeard, The Pirate Baron – Glitchbeard is a pirate lord, who sails across the universe pirating media, commandeering ships, and hunting for treasure. Him and his crew are arrogant, showy, and enjoy causing problems. They will do anything for a dollar, but when employed, rarely follow through and frequently screw over their employer.
Administrator Pearl – Administrators function as peacekeepers and judges with powerful abilities. They uphold justice and fight evil. This is not Pearl. Being so close to the Primary AI (that controls the entire universe), Pearl would reshape the universe to her own design. Pearl is greedy and sneaky. She covertly uses government forces to try to capture Rose and harness the power of the original code.
Xilef (Zai-lif) – A successful experiment in the third wave of AI programing, Xilef is Felix's brother, and arch nemesis. He is an AI being perfectly combined with a mastery of human intuition. His scientific significance makes him a beloved celebrity, but deep down, Xilef believes the entire universe should only be inhabited by beings like himself. Basically, space Hitler. He is trying to destroy humanity and produce a massive army of third wave AI beings to take over the universe.
Lank, The Deleter – She is the silent hand of death. Lank was born with the VR. Anything she touches is sent to the recycling bin to await permanent deletion. She was created to remove old unused information and speed up the universe, but instead destroyed a large chunk of humanity. She's currently banish to the recycling bin by the VR's Primary AI. She's the trapped overseer of the recycling realm, a desolate land that holds the nearly deleted.
L.D. Murdersworth – Jay's father and owner of Murdercorp. He runs a board of the most dastardly, greedy, highbrow elitists, who control the world (like SEELE in Evangelion). He ruined the earth to funnel everyone into the VR universe. He wants to syphon all of humanity to transform himself into a singular immortal god. L.D. thinks Jay is an embarrassment, but needs his power when the time is right. L.D. is patient and untouchable, and tests The Friends at a great distance. He is one of the few humans still thriving on earth.
Universe (Part 2) & Episode Examples
"I had a feeling it was going to be sentient cat overlords." –Russell
The VR itself was designed to hold humanity until they could return to earth. Some want to stay in the VR forever, while others can't wait to leave. Many use it to forget their pasts, others re-invent themselves literally with new bodies. Some AI ponder on the fact that they can only exist in the VR and lament the potential end of its universe. Other AI push aside their reality, and continue to love and make friends. Some bugs hide and cheerfully cause insignificant problems, while others struggle accepting that their sole existence causes problems for everyone.
Every episode personifies how we experience technology, but in a physical space. The Super IT Friends go on missions in a Futurama style. Like Cowboy Bebop, they get into trouble innocently enough, and get out of it somewhere else in the universe with a villain vanquished, a heart broken, or a friend gained. It's always just another day surviving in the VR. Also like Cowboy Bebop, there are occasional character development episodes which reveal more information about the characters pasts and push the overall ark of the show forward. Other than the rare plot development, all episodes are one off shorts and don't always need to be watched in order.
One off EPisodes
EXAMPLE 1: PATCHED
After a fake universe update, Rose and Russell get infected with a terrible bug that randomly transfigures their body parts to animal parts / household objects. Felix's bug keeps switching his language settings to various accents and other languages. Jay doesn't catch the bug. He refused the update since it nerfed his favorite hobby: Cheese Listening. The Friends are summoned by the lead developer, and are tasked to destroy the bug with ordinary bug spray. The Friends agree, and travel to the bugs lair. The Friends bust down the front door only to learn the colossal bug, Henry is super friendly. Henry stops his knitting and immediately offers them a series of bougie appetizers and thoughtful compliments. Jay excited by the tasty snacks, rips his pants. Henry sympathizes with Jay because he rips his pants all the time, and offers to fix them. The Friends begin having a nice time eating with Henry, but are reminded of their mission when Rose head shape-shifts into a dolphin's head. A connection storm starts up outside. Henry gives Jay a giant patch that he folds into a new pair of funky jeans. Noticing the storm, Henry offers The Friends a place to stay. The Friends agree, and guiltily come up with a plan for Felix to distract Henry by having a macho conversation while Russell sprays him. Felix asks Henry if he has any cigars. Henry and Felix sit by a dimly lit fireplace with strong drinks. Henry talks to Felix about being divorced but, still being a good father to 5 other bugs while having some sewer juice on the rocks. He tells him how a father has to be able to cry in front of his kids, especially boys. Russell is about to spray Henry when Felix empathy gets the best of him and yells for Russell to stop. After Henry figures out what's going on, he understands and offers to spray himself to not traumatize the friends. Just before Russell goes through with spraying, he notices Henry's aluminum can of sewer juice and remembers seeing the same can on the lead developers desk. The friends wise up, travel through the storm, and confront the developer. The developer reveals his true form which is just an unimpressive lanky-lookin' bug. The Friends laugh at the bug, but eat their words when he starts transfiguring them over and over again. The Friends are nearly defeated when Henry intervenes by ripping off Jays pants and squashing the bug with the patch. The Friends return to normal, and the real lead developer emerges. He lectures The Friends on insecure updates siting how no one would make an update that nerfs cheese listening. Jay, Henry, and the real lead developer listen to some New Wisconsin Cheddar.
EXAMPLE 2: MIDAS INTELLIGENCE
A glove capable of giving any inanimate object artificial intelligence by touch is stolen from rare item collector, Hans Niz Tings. The Friends are requested to get it back from washed up meme, Nick Ghastly who has only been using it to try and get a mirror to tell him he is beautiful. After a lackluster confrontation, Nick surrenders because he's judging a dancing reality show later and can't ruin his hair. He gives the glove to The Friends. The friends take the glove back to their ship overnight to store it for safety. Jay in the middle of the night takes it and makes their refrigerator come alive. The fridge wants to go on a picnic adventure so Jay slings it on his back and they both escape into the night. When The Friends notice the glove and Jay are missing, they begin following the trail of accidentally touched animate objects. Now friends with a fridge, porta-potty, and picnic basket, Jay touches a parked rocket-pick-up truck who agrees to transport them to neighboring planet for a nice picnic. The Friends find out where Jay is having a picnic on a neighboring planet from an animate telephone booth, and travel there. With all his new friends, Jay is having difficulty enjoying the picnic because he keeps making the food come back to life, and it keeps getting scared. The friends arrive and tell Jay he has to give back the glove. Jay agrees, puts his hands on the ground to stand up and causes the planet to come alive. The planet decrees its hate for people being on it and decides if people are going to try kill it. It's going to try to kill people. The Friends barely escape, as the animate planet travels out of orbit deep into the void with the glove.
EXAMPLE 3: 99%
#3) 99% – After busting a hacker with a bunch of treasure, The Friends are heading home via loading screen when their connection severs and they fall into the dangerous wasteland of unconnected VR users. In the crash Rose body gets half-glitched through the ground. Jay stays back at the crash site with her, while Felix and Russell go on foot to find help. After not too long, Jay annoys Rose by making dial-up tone noises with his mouth. Rose snaps, and Jay runs away upset into the wastes. While looking for help, Felix and Russell are deceived by a cable salesman riding a giant fax machine who kidnaps them. A bunch of cute, dumb, merchants halt their loading to try and help Rose out of the ground, but get stuck too. Felix and Russell are taken to a corporate sky scraper by the salesman. He being torturing them with an eternal sales pitch. Rose remains frozen in the ground with an ever growing group of cute dumb merchants trying to save her. After another merchant refuses to head her warning, a gang of toxic gamers show up and start taking the treasure. Jay traveling weary, discovers a crowd of old technologies (VCRs, PDAs, MP3 Players) battling it out. Jay confronts them and gives passionate speech in dial tone. The technologies stop fighting and unify by mimicking the dial up sounds. Their connection speeds unite to create a literal moving wave of dial-up internet speed. Jays blacks out and harnesses the power of the dail-up wave and begins surfing towards the corporate skyscraper. Jay busts through the wall of Felix and Russell's meeting. He sweeps Felix and Russell with ease onto the wave, and continue heading to Rose. The toxic gamers have nearly all the treasure in their caravan when the wave arrives. Felix and Russell battle with the toxic gamers while Jay floats above with floating technology swarming around him. In a blind frenzy of dial-up synchronicity, Jay deletes all the gang members items leaving them naked. Jay sweeps the rest of The Friends back onto the wave. They head up toward regular speed and abandon the treasure. Jay awakens mid-ride, and gets really excited by the prospect of being on a wave of technology. The Friends are concerned, but all is safe for now.
EXAMPLE 4: I Don't know, It won't TURN ON.
The Friends jump into action when they receive an unknown, high alert emergency signal. When they arrive on the scene they learn its only widowed, cat obsessed, Old Lady Higgens. She hit the wrong button while trying to get her computer to work. Since they are already there, The Friends agree to fix her computer. Jay uninterested in the mission, begins following the Higgens' cats all around their massive cat condo. The Friends quickly fix Old Lady Higgens computer by plugging it back in when Higgens' missing husband stealthily reveals himself. He informs the friends that he's not dead, and has been blackmailed by Old Lady Higgens' secretly genius cats after going on a "bad website" many years ago. He warns The Friends to get out while they can. Hopelessly lost inside the cat condo, Jay accidentally falls into the cats control room and gets captured. Recognizing the IT friends are here, the cat sleeping on Old Lady Higgens' head reveals himself to be Fluffernaught, King of the Internet Cats. Fluffernaught, reveals his great plan of escaping with his cats to the "dirty" website Old Man Higgens visited. Fluffernaught professes how the website based on its title alone it must be a safe haven for cats. The cats steal the Higgens computer to power their nearly finished rocket ship, and start the launch sequence. The rocket emerges with Jay strapped to it. The cats launch, and make their exit. The Friends get back to their ships and deploy into space for battle. They fight with the cats in an attempt to save Jay, but after the cats begin hurling themselves at their crafts to slow them down, The Friends loose them. Later that night, The Friends are sitting around the ship exhausted. Jay returns later covered in soot professing he had a great day, but thinks the cats were disappointed by their destination.
PLOT Based EPisode
EXAMPLE 5: Live in 1975
#5) Live in 1975 – A strange letter arrives in the mail for Rose. Russell delivers it to her, and makes fun of how her last name "Bottomfield" is like buttfield. The letter is an anonymous invitation in the mail telling her to go to an address in sub-verse town "Snapshot 1975". On the back of the invitation is the phrase: "Let there be light". Snapshot in the VR is like google earth if you could go fully visit an area snapshotted in a certain time. People live there for purely aesthetic reasons even though much of the old technology is lost on them. The Friends excited about touring and making fun of hipsters, decide to go with her. They arrive and all agree to meet back at the ship that night. Rose breaks away from The Friends while they make plans to go mess around downtown. Rose gets to the address on the card which turns out to be an pristine 1975 family house. Rose knocks on the door and meets Cassidy, a young, polite woman taking care of her Grandfather who can hardly speak. Rose shows Cassidy the letter, but she doesn't know anything about it. Cassidy explains that her family had owned this land back on earth and that they came here in the VR because the familiar environment keep her Grandfather at ease. Cassidy recognizes Rose distress, and encourages her to poke around the house. Felix, Russell, and Jay come out of a clothing store decked out in 70s garb, they think its the silliest thing ever and can't stop laughing. They begin heading downtown, making fun of 70s slang.
While searching the house, Rose stops in the office. Cassidy tells her she is free to go through whatever she wants. Rose reads through the office's papers all day until completely exhausted. Cassidy offers dinner and a place to stay overnight so she can keep looking in the morning. Rose calls The Friends and updates them. The Friends tell her about how they're going to visit a roller disco, and how stupid they think its going to be. Rose, Cassidy and her Grandfather all have dinner. Cassidy asks about Rose life before the VR. Rose lies and says she can hardly remember. She changes the subject and asks about her Grandfather's life. Cassidy tells Rose he was carpenter who had a great love for science fiction, and space. She talks about how they are the only surviving members of their family who made it to the VR. Rose sympathizes and catches her Grandfather's eye. He can't stop staring at her. Rose excuses herself and heads to bed. Meanwhile the rest of the friends head into the 70s roller disco and can't stop laughing at peoples dancing. They get into trouble with some hipsters for not fitting in aesthetically and start brawling. The Friends kick the hipsters asses. The hipsters retreat, claiming they'll be sorry for crossing them.
Rose wakes at 3am after a nightmare. She gets up and looks around the house's office again. She finds a well worn book titled "The Future is Now". She flips through it, and goes to put it back when she notices a switch inside the bookcase. She presses it, and it reveals a trap door. Rose goes downstairs and sees a massive old supercomputer. She goes to use it, but it's locked. She enters in the phrase: "Let there be light" and it unlocks. The computer's wallpaper is a photo of Rose's parents smiling in front of the house with a friend Rose doesn't recognize. In the middle of studying it the computer has a loud meltdown and breaks. Cassidy panicked, rushes down and asks Rose what's going on. She can't answer, and Cassidy asks her to leave. On Rose way out she exchanges a glance with the Grandfather. He looks at her and says "Bottomfield" as clear as day. Rose confused, runs out of the house upset. The Friends are hanging outside of the ship a little tipsy doing impressions of the club's dancing when the hipsters come back with some classic 70's sifi weapons. The Friends get pinned in a shoot out when Rose arrives. She makes quick work of all the hipsters and gets everyone into the ship. When The Friends try high five her she passes by them and heads to her room. She lies on her bed and looks at the ceiling. She knows her parents are still alive.
EXAMPLE 5 – The Friends answer a Nigerian Prince's email, and are sent on quest to help him get home.
EXAMPLE 6 – After Jay opens a mysterious chain letter, The Friends ship gets haunted by a space ghost.
EXAMPLE 7 – The universe glitches, and Russell is the only person able to move, he gih
Conclusion & About Me
"Thought you were smart using quotations to give bitesized information about your show? You're dumb and you're not smart!" – Me to Me
When you're online where are you really? Super IT Friends should entertain light and heavy internet users alike. From actually going a quest to help a long lost rich nigerian prince, to defeating a lag-switching hacker, Super IT Friends covers levels of familiarity with the internet. It pulls life from all the familiar minuscule moments we individually experience with technology and lets them visually breathe. The internet is the beginning of a global culture. I want to paint that picture.
Mike Manor is an ambitious coffeeshop manager creative who has worked extensively online for like a while now (10 years, no one cares). He has produced animated video game parodies, strange viral videos in his teens, strange videos in his early 20s, and can be seen here screaming about Plymouth Rock. Mike, is interested in playwriting, being scared of a turkey's ability to fly into trees, and being a good person.