Chapter 2- The Last Mission (09.06.07)
It had been a week since they had destroyed the last Replika. Jeremie entered the factory, rode the elevator down and stepped into the computer lab. As he got into his chair, he immediately knew something was wrong.On the screen, a Super Scan window was activated, indicating an activated tower, but not on Lyoko. Another window displayed the results of a program Jeremie had activated a few days ago.
“Ugh,” Jeremie said. “So, XANA, your last attack is creating another Replika? It won’t be anything we can’t handle, and you know it.”
In the cafeteria, Odd was getting third helpings again.
“Will he ever stop eating?” asked Aelita.
“I highly doubt it,” Yumi replied. “And he’s still as scrawny as a beanpole, apparently to his metabolism. Even Yolanda calls him ‘scrawny’.”
“With reason,” Ulrich said. “But since you’re not his roommate, you don’t know what exits his body every night.”
“Hey guys,” Odd said, sitting down, and emitting a loud fart. He quickly turned red.
“See what I mean?” Ulrich said, cracking up with Aelita and Yumi.
Odd, still red-faced, stood up and held up the whoopee cushion he had sat on. “Ulrich, you’re low, but I never expected it to come down to this.”
Suddenly, something started beeping. Aelita quickly reached into her bag and pulled out her cell phone. “Jeremie?”
“Activated tower,” came the voice. “And guess what? It’s in another Replika!”
“XANA created another Replika?” Aelita asked. “But why?”
“I don’t know, but he’s got to have a reason for it,” Jeremie replied. “In any case, come down to the factory ASAP. The sooner we stop XANA, the better.”
“Okay,” Aelita responded. She turned to the others. “Activated tower, in a new Replika.”
“I know I’ve said this more than once,” Ulrich said, “but it’ll be our final mission! Again.”
Yumi raised an eyebrow. “But why would XANA bother doing something over?”
“It’s definitely not to save the world,” Odd answered. “Far from it.”
“We’ve left Lyoko, Jeremie. Where’s this new Replika?” Aelita drummed her fingers on the joysticks, waiting for Jeremie’s reply.
“Let’s see…” Jeremie traced the coordinates from the Super Scan. “Sixty degrees north/northwest. The Hub you have to take is at 2 o’clock.”
“Okay,” Aelita said, seeing the Hub and steering toward it. “Activating turbo crop.”
“Do you think this is really our last mission?” Odd asked.
“Well, there are other things we have to do,” Ulrich said. “Like rematerialize William.”
“Yeah,” Yumi said, surprised that Ulrich had been the one to bring it up, “but ignoring XANA over William would be taking a major risk.”
“How so?” Aelita asked.
“Well, giving XANA time to function could lead to something very bad.” Yumi was trying to figure out if she wanted William back, with all his arrogance and self-centeredness that she had been blind to for so long.
“That’s true,” Jeremie said, “but remember that we can’t just leave William under control of the AI that’s about to go down. I mean, we promised.”
“We promised to bring him back ‘someday’,” Ulrich argued. “Maybe that someday has come. This might be the last chance we’ll get.”
“We’ll bring him back right after we destroy the Replika,” Aelita said. “I promise.”
The Replika entrance gate loomed a few meters in front of them. Aelita took a deep breathe, thinking of the possibility that this could be their last mission.
“Jeremie, wait, don’t type in the code,” Ulrich said. Jeremie paused, confused.
“What if…you know, it’s a trap?” Ulrich asked. “What if XANA is trying to trap us or something?”
“Even if it is a trap, Ulrich,” Jeremie said patiently, “I can rematerialize you in a second. I’ve really boosted the materialization program from the time when it took a few minutes to rematerialize you.”
“Even if it is a trap,” Odd said, “there hasn’t been one we haven’t been able to crack!”
The others were doubtful. Sure, they had wormed out of just about every attack XANA had thrown at them, but XANA learned from his mistakes. He had never repeated an attack yet.
In the sky, unknown to everyone, a huge black specter was forming.