Chapter 5- A New Find (8.20.07)
There was a knock on the door. Aelita called, “Who is it?”“Aelita, can I come in? I have something important to tell you.”
Aelita was surprised. “Sure, Ulrich, I’ll be there in a moment.” Aelita lifted her history paper off of her lap and walked over to open the door.
Ulrich looked surprisingly relaxed, considering he had almost died just a few hours ago. He walked in and sat down on Aelita’s bed. Aelita occupied her computer chair. “So, what’s up?” she asked.
Ulrich looked rather nervous. “Aelita, I have something to tell you. It’s a message from your father.”
Aelita was shocked. “You mean you saw my father? I thought you said that XANA had attacked you!”
Ulrich shifted uneasily. “I had to lie. Your father told me to give you the message first. It was up to you whether you wanted to tell everyone else. And when I heard the message, I had to agree with him.”
Meanwhile, Jeremie was in the computer lab, working on yet another program to bring William back. The new program would require William’s spiritual essence first of course, but once they had it, Jeremie would need to find a way to take XANA’s control out of William and fusion his mind with his body. It wouldn’t be easy, since XANA would surely be prepared for the day it happened.
Suddenly, the radar window refocused to something next to the Digital DNA the Skid’s last mission had located. Jeremie was surprised. “I didn’t expect to find another Replika that easily! I’d better call Aelita.”
Aelita was in shock. “But why didn’t I see any of this in my memories of Earth?”
“Franz chose to keep it a secret. He wasn’t sure of the way you’d take it.” Ulrich was relieved to get the secret out, but at the same time he was nervous of the way Aelita would comprehend it.
Before either of them could say anything else, Aelita’s phone started ringing. Still shaking, Aelita answered it. “Hello?”
“Aelita? It’s Jeremie,” Ulrich heard. “Guess what? I just found a new Replika!”
Aelita gave Ulrich a significant look. “Great. But what do you need me for? That last exploration of the first Replika wasn’t very successful. We didn’t get any new data. We only confirmed that it actually existed, and that wasn’t much.”
“I know, I know, but there’s something…more. I think we should explore it.”
Aelita looked puzzled. “Why? What’s the catch?”
“I’m not telling. You have to find out for yourself,” Jeremie replied teasingly.
Aelita sighed. “Okay, I’m coming. I’ll call the others. See you soon.” She hung up and glanced at Ulrich.
“I’ll call Odd, you call Yumi,” he replied to her questioning look.
Ten minutes later, everyone was in the factory.
“Einstein, I hope this is important. I’m missing my beauty sleep,” Odd huffed.
“Wow, you actually get beauty from your sleep? You must have been pretty ugly before I met you,” Ulrich chuckled.
“Hey, doesn’t the fact that I had long hair instead of a spike scare you enough?” Odd asked, grinning. “I can’t even imagine myself without a spike now.”
“Well, I do think we can actually get data on XANA this time,” Jeremie said. “Just trust me. It’s a surprise.”
“You didn’t create the Replika, did you?” asked Aelita.
“No, because for one thing, I would need another supercomputer. Lyoko takes up this supercomputer’s memory as it is.”
“Guys, can we hurry up? I have a History test tomorrow,” Yumi said impatiently.
“Sure thing, Yumi,” Jeremie replied. He turned back to the computer. “Get into the scanners, and I’ll transfer you.”
As the Skid came out of the Hub close to the new Replika, Ulrich wondered what it would be like. Sure, he had been there before in his dream, but he was still curious to see what it looked like from the outside.
The Skid approached the entrance gate. Aelita immediately activated the digital key, and she cast a white beam from the Skid to the entrance gate.
A window popped up on Jeremie’s screen. He shifted uneasily.
After about half a minute, Aelita asked, “Jeremie? Is there anything wrong?”
“Yeah,” came Jeremie’s voice. “The code for entering the Replika is generic. It’s a six-letter password, and I can’t crack it with the system.”
“Is there a limit to the number of attempts?” asked Yumi.
“Yeah,” came the reply, “three. And then we’re locked out for good.”
There was silence. Then Odd said, “So, can we think of any six-letter words that have to do with XANA? Let’s see…Aelita?”
“Very funny, Odd,” Aelita said.
“Hmm…it’s worth a shot,” Jeremie said. He typed in A-E-L-I-T-A. Immediately a pop-up with a red exclamation point appeared.
“Nope,” Jeremie’s voice came. “Any other guesses?”
“There’s Hopper. Or Scipio,” Yumi said. “But those have to do with Franz Hopper.”
“Try Scipio, Jeremie,” Aelita said.
Jeremie typed in S-C-I-P-I-O. The error window came up again. “Nope. Sorry. And we only have one more shot.”
Ulrich was thinking with his head in his hands. Then a fragment of a scene came back to him.
Ulrich saw his name on an interface close by. “Franz, what’s my name doing here?”
“It’s actually a code,” Franz replied. “Remember it, for it may help you very, very soon.”
The flashback ended. Ulrich sat straight up, taking his head out of his hands. “Jeremie, wait. I know what the code is.”
Jeremie was surprised. “You do? What is it?”
“It’s…well…my name,” Ulrich replied. “You know…Ulrich. It’s a six-letter word.”
Jeremie was puzzled. “Ulrich, how do you know? Might I remind you that we only have one try left?”
“Jeremie, trust him,” Aelita intervened. “I know he’s right.”
Jeremie was even more confused. “Aelita, how do you know? Did something happen?”
Aelita replied, unblushingly. “No, it's nothing.”
Jeremie started to get suspicious. But before he could ask what was going on, Odd said, “Jeremie, just give it a shot. We’re wasting time.”
Jeremie typed in U-L-R-I-C-H. To his amazement, the Replika accepted the password. The Replika gate opened. Yumi and Odd just stared.
The Skid went through the gate, and up into the Replika. But instead of meeting water, interfaces with binary codes started appearing around them. Suddenly the interfaces opened up into a wide area. A huge blue sphere loomed above them.
“Hey!” Yumi exclaimed. “The Replika is of…Carthage?”
“Was this the surprise?” Odd asked. “What’s so great about a Replika of Carthage?”
“Odd,” Jeremie replied, “it’s because the Replika is of Carthage that I’m almost certain we can collect data.”
“Of course, the interface,” Aelita said. But she wasn’t all that surprised, as she had found all this out about half an hour ago. Aelita took hold of the joysticks. The Skid rose up and around the central sphere.
“There it is,” Aelita said. Sure enough, there was the platform jutting out of Carthage, just like in the Celestial Dome in Lyoko. Aelita stopped the Skid in front of the platform, and then pressed a few buttons. “Teleport.”
Aelita, Yumi, Ulrich and Odd disappeared from inside the Skid and moments later appeared on the platform. Aelita immediately accessed the interface and started gathering data. “Jeremie, I can’t find anything about XANA. I don’t think the Replika has been made by him.”
“What?” Jeremie exclaimed. “Then if it isn’t by XANA, then…who?”
Aelita knew the answer, and glanced at Ulrich over her shoulder. Ulrich gave a small shake of his head, indicating not to tell. Fortunately, Odd and Yumi didn’t notice, as they were still looking around the Replika as if they didn’t really believe it was there.
“I’m checking the log,” Aelita said. “Hmm…interesting.”
“What?” Yumi asked, turning toward Aelita.
“It seems that the Replika was created just five hours ago, and that’s probably why Jeremie was able to find it without the Skid. It must have alerted the radar program for about an hour, and that’s how he found it.” Aelita glanced at Ulrich again. Five hours ago, Ulrich had been in the hospital bed, supposedly dead by XANA, but (unknown to everyone except Aelita) instead in a realistic dream.
“Yeah, that sounds about right,” Jeremie said. “Hey!”
“What, Einstein?” Odd asked. “Did you break a nail?”
“Ha-ha, very funny Odd,” Jeremie said. “No, I just got the results back from a search I did on the Lyoko log program. And guess what? Franz created a temporary tower in each of the sectors five hours ago, and they just disappeared!”
“Huh?” Yumi said. “Five hours ago” – she turned to Ulrich – “Ulrich was out cold. Or so we thought.” Odd turned to Ulrich too.
“Hey!” Aelita quickly said, diverting the attention from Ulrich to her. “I just confirmed that my father created the Replika. He must have used those towers to gain access to another supercomputer, and to create the Replika with it.”
“But if Franz created it…” Ulrich said, trying to act like he knew nothing, when in fact he knew everything. Memories of the Replika and what had happened five hours ago flooded back into his mind, and it was all he could do not to blurt it all out. “Then is this really a Replika? I mean, Franz must have a purpose for creating it.”
“Well, it’s definitely not what XANA plans to do,” Jeremie said. “Hopefully.”