Pendragon: The Reality Bug By:D.J. MacHale

The Reality Bug began by repeating the last chapter of the previous book, in which Bobby found out that he must go to Veelox as soon as possible. Bobby went and got Gunny from First Earth to go with him, and as they arrived on Veelox Saint Dane was there, leaving for Eelong. Gunny went after Saint Dane while Bobby went to find Aja, the Traveler from Veelox to find out what was wrong.

When he found her she said nothing was wrong, it was all under control and he could leave. He then asked her, well then why did you call me? And she said, because you’re the lead Traveler and if anything goes wrong we HAVE to call you. It surprised Bobby to find out he was the lead Traveler, apparently Uncle Press had told that to all the Travelers except Bobby.
Aja was acting really snotty to Bobby, but Bobby still wanted to know what was going on anyways. He noticed the city was deserted and he asked Aja about that. She said it was because everyone was jumping in Lifelight. Aja said that she’d give Bobby a demonstration of Lifelight. And so they went to the big pyramid stuck right in the middle of the city, where Aja worked as a Phader, and entered the building. All the while she was telling him about Lifelight, how Lifelight was this virtual reality designed to be perfect. Aja explained how there are Vetters who take care of the jumpers’ physical health, and Phaders who manage the jumps and make sure nothing goes wrong in the jumps.

As they walked in, a Vetter ran up to them and took a blood sample of Bobby, since he was a new jumper. Once that was over, Aja gave him a tour of the pyramid, the Phader’s cubicles and the actual jump rooms. Aja found an empty jump room and led Bobby into it. Aja told Bobby to lie down on this table-like thing that came out of the wall, that immediately memorized his body structure and molded to his form like a Tempurpedic mattress. She then began the jump. The table Bobby was on retracted into the wall.

Bobby then heard a sound, and he recognized it, it was his dog Marley, which woke him up at home. He then got up and realized he was back home! He was so happy and joyful, but then he thought, wait, this is Lifelight, the perfect virtual world. Later he was taken out of Lifelight by Aja because she had to explain what was wrong and what was happening. The city was being destroyed because everybody was in Lifelight, but she had a solution to that: the Reality Bug — a computer virus programmed to make Lifelight less than perfect.

When she gave Bobby an example of it, Quigs from Denduron started chasing Bobby all around his school gym with Aja, making him want to leave the jump as fast as he could. But the control bracelet he was given to get out, wasn’t working. Aja finally got them and Bobby realized how this would help Veelox. Then she unleashed the Reality Bug, but all of a sudden all the jumpers’ jumps started going to a red alert. There was a problem in EVERYBODY’S jump.

Aja and one other Phader then decided that they have to suspend Lifelight, so that they can figure out how to fix it. When they suspend it, everything will just stop. They won’t be able to get the people out, but nothing will be able to hurt the jumpers. As Aja is chasing the Reality Bug deeper and deeper into the system to stop it, as it is what she thinks is causing this problem, she then realizes that it has gone deep enough that she needs the Origin Code. The Code which only the inventor of Lifelight knows. And no one has seen him, since he has been in a jump for three years. But his jump is running out of the Alpha core, a different core of power, so that they would be able to unsuspend his jump, without unsuspending anybody else’s. So Bobby realizes that if goes in alone, it will be too dangerous and he might die.

So he goes and gets Loor from Zadaa to help him in the jump. Aja then sends them in with two codes that they can use to somehow alter the jump — two codes that every lead Phader is given. One of the codes starts time in his jump again, and the other turns barbican right side up. As Bobby and Loor enter the barbican they see that the first of eight floors is a jungle. As they start running through the paths in a jungle, these vines shoot out at them. The vines come from a plant, that if it catches you, eats you. They run as fast as they can, and make it across to the other side of the room, where they find stairs leading up to the next room.

They climb up the stairs to a room that has water floating above their heads, almost like a pool. Bobby then, knowing Loor can’t swim, takes a vine from the room below and ties them together, so that he can swim her up. Once they make it to the top, they find more stairs and a door leading to an ice room. In the ice room there are sport connoisseurs skating around without skates on their feet. They then won’t let Bobby and Loor pass, unless they beat them in a game of slickshot. Bobby is given a pair of things, he doesn’t know what they are, that latch on to your shoe and let you move around like you’re on skates, but with more control and a bit smoother. Bobby wins the game of slickshot, and is about to move on, when Dr. Zetlin, the inventor of Lifelight, takes off his helmet being one of the racers, and leads them to the eighth floor spot where lives and all of his cooks are.

When they get a distress call from Aja, saying that the Reality Bug is now feeding off of all the other jumps and becoming huge, and breaking through into their core, and they have to get out as soon as possible. But none of their buttons are working! Then a black dot appears in front of them that is the Reality Bug, and it changes form into one of the Quigs from Denduron and starts chasing them around. They get chased all the way to the bottom floor, and then back up to the engine room where the barbican changes position from horizontal to vertical, and through the emergency hatch through which the Reality Bug can’t get through.
Once they get out of the barbican, Aja is able to pull them out of the jump and using the Origin Code (0) is able to stop the Reality Bug. After about a month of all jumps being shut down, the Lifelight Council decides that they have to start jumps up again, and Bobby realizes that Veelox has been Saint Dane’s first victory. He heads to Eelong to figure out what happened to Gunny.

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