Chapter 6- The Key to Our Problems (8.22.07)
“Okay,” Aelita said, relieved. “I’ve collected all the data we could on the Replika. I’m transmitting it back to you, Jeremie.”
“It’s really strange that there hasn’t been a single monster to greet us,” Odd said. “They must be scared of us or something.”
“So, Aelita, what kind of data did you collect?” Yumi asked. “I probably won’t understand it, but try me.”
Aelita looked like she was in deep thought, and wasn’t paying attention. Yumi’s voice jolted her out of her thoughts. “Huh?”
Ulrich glanced at Aelita. “Something on your mind?”
Aelita looked down at her feet. “I was just wondering what it’s going to be like to have my father back,” she mumbled.
“What?” Yumi exclaimed, flabbergasted. “You found out how to rematerialize your father?”
Odd looked at Aelita with shock.
“I thought we were going to keep it a surprise, Aelita,” Jeremie said.
Aelita blushed. “Sorry, Jeremie, but I can’t keep something that good a secret for long.”
Odd shifted his position in his NavSkid. “So, Jeremie, all we have to do is find Franz’s form on the Network, and we can bring him back?”
“Yeah,” Jeremie’s voice said. “I would have had to find other programs that are really difficult to create to bring William and Franz back after we found their Digital DNA, but all that data was stored in the Replika’s database.”
“What sort of programs?” Ulrich asked.
“Well, for one, there would have to be a program that turned the DNA back into a form, and also-” Jeremie broke off. Had Ulrich asked that? “Ulrich, since when are you interested in computers?”
Ulrich blushed. "I thought you might want to, y’know, like rant and rave and brag about the great thing that’s about to happen.”
It was Jeremie’s turn to blush. He had acted superior on few occasions, and he had also bragged about the programs he had created. “Oh.”
“So where exactly is Franz’s Digital DNA?” Yumi asked quickly, attempting to change the subject.
Aelita responded, “The only way we can tell is if we get close enough to it with the sonar. But we did find that other Digital DNA right before XANA activated a tower and cast a meteor shower on Earth. It’s probably worth a try to go back there.” Aelita steered the Skid away from her father’s Replika, and activated the engines. “Jeremie, do you happen to have the coordinates from that Digital DNA sample we found? The one I was just talking about?”
Jeremie snapped out of his daydream. “Uh…hang on, let me find it,” he replied, searching through the databank of the supercomputer. He went through the Skid’s mission logs, complete with coordinates to mark where the Skid had traveled. “Got it. I’m entering the coordinates into the Skid.”
“Okay, I’ve got the coordinates,” Aelita said a few seconds later. “It’s all the way on the other side of the Network. Looks like we’re going to have to take a Hub to it.”
“Aelita, the right Hub is at ten o’clock,” Jeremie said.
“Okay, I’ve got them,” Aelita replied. “Hub in sight. Thirty seconds till dive.” As they neared the Hub, Aelita pulled a lever. The lower shaft of the Skid holding the NavSkids rotated so it was vertical. “Broadband acceleration in three…two…one…zero.” The Skid dove into the Hub.
Bright orange lights flashed by them as they flew at hyper speed to the other end of the Network through the Hub. Finally, they shot out of the Hub back into the main part of the Network. Aelita slammed a button. “Retro brakes!” The Skid slowed to a crawl.
“The sonar is picking up the Digital DNA,” Aelita said to Jeremie. “But besides my father, the Digital DNA could belong to…William.”
“If it is, should we bring William back now?” Yumi asked Jeremie. “Is it really necessary? I would love having the old William back instead of that polymorphic loon, but it depends on if we’re…”
“Ready?” offered Odd, grinning mischievously. “It’ll be just like the old days if William comes back. Both Ulrich and William fighting over-”
“Odd!” Yumi cut Odd off, blushing.
Ulrich was lost in thought and didn’t hear Odd. He was thinking about what would happen when his true father came back.