100 Rebellion (The End Trilogy, part 3) by 5CarthageRocks
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Chapter 15- The One Core (02.21.08-02.23.08)


Aelita, Yumi, Ulrich, Odd and William ran along the long bridge-like platform. They came to a stop, frowning.


"Something wrong?" asked Jeremie.


"Yeah," Yumi said, as everyone looked at the wall in confusion. "There isn't a door here. There's only a wall."


"You could try knocking," Odd said, grinning.


Aelita stepped forward and pressed her hand to the wall. The wall didn't react. "Jeremie, Franz, the wall’s solid. Are you sure there's a room in front of us?"


"Yes, it's on our screen," Franz said, straightening in the chair. He started typing. "I'll take a look at it."


Everyone was pressing at different spots in the wall, trying to find a key, a reacting spot of the wall, or something to open the wall. Nothing.


"How's it coming, Einsteins?" asked Ulrich. "Found anything?"


"We're working on it," Franz replied. "Nothing yet."


Suddenly, on the open radar window, red dots appeared in the secret room near the five green dots symbolizing the Lyoko Warriors. Franz and Jeremie frowned. "Uh oh," Jeremie called. "Guys, it looks like there are three Creepers on the other side of the wall. I would try and hide if I were you."


"But…where?" William said, looking around. "There isn't anywhere we can hide."


"Hmm…" Aelita said. She rushed over to the side of the platform and looked over the edge. The platform went down to the bright, whitish-red ground.


“Over here,” she called to the others, waving her hand for them to join her. Yumi, Odd, Ulrich and William quickly ran over to stand on either side of Aelita.


Aelita activated her wings and flew downward, in the air facing them. She moved one hand to the side of her head, and the other thrusting out in front of her, and closed her eyes. Aelita’s sound of creation echoed throughout the room.


A thin platform appeared about halfway up the side of the bridge, just wide enough to hold five people single file in a line. Yumi, Odd, Ulrich and William quickly jumped off the bridge and landed on the platform. Aelita created another identical platform just above their heads, about half a meter from the surface of the bridge. She quickly closed her wings and joined them on the second platform, pressing hard against the side of the bridge so as not to be seen.


No one said a word. There was only breathing as they waited for the Creepers to go past them.


There was a loud creak, as if something was opening. Then the creepy groans of the Creepers sounded, sounding a bit like a really deep, low roar of an elephant. The three Creepers slithered along the bridge to the other side, not bothering to even look down at the platform that had appeared only a few moments before. The creak sounded again. All was silent as the Creepers made their way to the Center of the Network.


“Phew,” Odd said, sighing with the rest of them. “We slipped past the guard dogs. Now we only need to find the way to get in.”


Franz was still typing. He finally stopped. “Aelita, I think I’ve found the way to do it. There’s a mechanism that reacted when Xana apparently opened the door. I’ve tracked its corresponding activation location to a spot on the wall in front of you opposite the bridge. It should be facing you, and it should be near the far right corner of the room near the ground. Can you see it?”


Everyone looked.


“This is too easy,” Ulrich said, shaking his head in amazement.


“We’ve found it,” Aelita said. There, in exactly the spot Franz had indicated, was a red Key, like the ones found in the Core Zone of Carthage that stopped the Countdown. In the far right corner of the room, sitting next to the white cubes that made up the bottom of the room, sat a small two-meter-by-two-meter platform, enough to stand on while activating the Key.


Aelita quickly spread her wings and flew to the corner. She landed on the platform and pressed her hand to the thin red cylinder that jutted out from the middle of the three-dimensional red Xana eye.


Immediately, the cylinder receded into the eye. It lit up with the first inner ring as it hit it, and then with the outer ring as it also reached it. The red Xana eye finally flashed a bright white as the Key was activated.


Immediately, there was a creak from the wall. Aelita quickly flew back onto the bridge and landed beside the other four Lyoko Warriors who had climbed back up. Light shone through as the wall opened up.


Aelita, Yumi, Odd, Ulrich and William stepped into the room. The room looked very much like the Core Chamber back in the Core Zone of Sector 5, except for two things. One was that the room had a red color scheme. The other was the object in the middle of the room, where the Core of Lyoko would be. The Lyoko Warriors kept their eyes focused on the object with curiosity in their eyes.


At first, it looked like another Core-of-Lyoko-type object. It was the same size, and still had two cubical shield layers protecting it. But they looked further. The sphere had a red theme, with no trace of the color or even a tinge of blue in it. Instead of having a scaled model of Lyoko in the middle of it, a red sphere rotated inside, with the two, small white rings rotating around it, like on the Holomap of Lyoko. The red sphere took up about a third of the inner sphere, bigger than a scaled-to-size-Carthage would. But it wasn’t just a random red sphere.


Four black Xana eyes were marked on the red sphere as it rotated and turned in the middle of the red sphere. It looked rather like a slightly larger and red model of Carthage. Red light shone brightly from it.


“I don’t think I have to ask, Einsteins,” Ulrich said, still looking at the sphere with curiosity, “but what is that?”


Franz was already typing, gathering information on the mysterious sphere. He suddenly stopped, looking at the screen in awe.


“Franz, what is it?” asked Jeremie. He looked to where Franz was staring at. Jeremie squinted, checking to be sure that he was seeing what he thought he was seeing. His eyes suddenly became as round as saucers.


“Franz, Jeremie, you there?” Yumi asked tentatively. “What is the sphere?”


Franz and Jeremie shook their heads, clearing their minds. “Sorry,” Jeremie said. “To put it the easy way…it uses energy from all of Xana’s Replikas as a power source.”


“That’s it?” Odd asked. “Wow. I can find something better than that in the trash bin.”


“That’s not it, Odd,” Jeremie continued. “It’s…well, it’s…” Jeremie exhaled. “It’s Xana’s Core.”


There was silence.


“Wh…what do you mean, ‘Xana’s Core’?” asked Ulrich, stuttering. “I thought that Xana only existed throughout his infinite Replikas.”


“Yes, but he has to have a core,” Jeremie replied. “But the Replikas do feed the core as a power source. You’re looking at the very heart of Xana, of what he became after he escaped from the supercomputer and went into the Internet.”


“So…” William got into a fighting position, facing the core. “So if we destroy it, then that means Xana will die?”


“No,” Franz said. “Unfortunately not. Even if you destroy Xana’s Core, Xana will still exist throughout his hundreds of Replikas. We can’t change that. So even if the core is destroyed, Xana will be able to regenerate from one of his Replikas. It’ll be useless even attempting to destroy the core.”


“So how do we defeat Xana?” Aelita asked. “I hope we haven’t come all this way for nothing.”


“The way to destroy Xana,” Franz said, “is to use the multi-agent system. If you collaborate it to the Network, and make it compatible with the expanse of the Network, we may be able to defeat Xana. But the core will have to be destroyed at the same time that the multi-agent system is activated, to ensure that Xana will truly be defeated.”


“Okay,” Aelita replied. “I’ll go back right now. Anyone want to volunteer to come with me?”


“I’ll go,” Ulrich said. Personally, he didn’t want to stay around Yumi and William any longer.


“Good,” Franz said. “The rest of you should stay here in the Core room to destroy it once the system’s been activated.”


Suddenly, there was a loud creak from behind them. Everyone turned to see the door closing shut.


“Hey!” Odd called. “Einsteins, did you hit a key by mistake or something?”


“No,” Jeremie replied. “It closed of its own accord.”

“More like Xana’s accord,” Yumi corrected, drawing her fans. “This isn’t a decoy, but it was definitely a trap.”

Suddenly, bright, reddish black lightning cracked downward. Everyone screamed and shielded their eyes as the lightning focused to hit five different platforms around the room. The light finally cleared, but the lightning had left some things in its place.


Standing and drawing their weapons were copies of Ulrich, Aelita, Yumi, Odd and William. But the copies were discernable from the originals. Each of the copies had a red-and-black outfit. A blue Xana eye was emblazed on the chest of each. Another thin, slightly distorted white Xana eye pulsed in the middle of their foreheads.


“Remember me?” the Dark William called over to them, grinning. He looked exactly like William when he had been Xanafied to that greater degree, which had taken a lot to free him from Xana. He summoned his huge cleaver in a line of dark black smoke, slightly edged in purple.


The Lyoko Warriors looked at each other grimly.


“Everyone, fight…yourself,” Ulrich finished, rather lamely. He drew his sabers, as all the other Lyoko Warriors drew their own weapons.


“This’ll be interesting,” William said, smiling challengingly at their opponents.


Odd stopped and looked at his clone. “Is that what I really look like?” he asked. “Okay…maybe I am scrawny. Or at least he is.”


The Xana Clones gave battle cries and ran toward their opponents. The Lyoko Warriors dodged the initial blows and ran to five different spots around the room to give themselves room to fight the clones.


The Dark William jumped up. As he came down, he slashed his Zanbato at William. William grunted as he stumbled sideways, momentarily loosing his balance. He quickly turned around and swung a slash himself. The Dark William blocked the blow and ran toward him again.


Odd was fighting his Dark self, firing laser arrows and shielding himself from black ones being shot by his clone, all the time flipping through a frenzy of acrobatics. “Hey, you!” Odd called. “There’s only one Odd good enough to exist, and that’s the original, you hear?”


The Dark Odd smiled a dark smile, and shot an arrow. Odd dodged it, and fired three more. The Dark Odd cast his red shield in front of him, blocking the arrows. They ran towards each other and dodged, kicked and fought the other, cat-like the whole while.


Aelita was fighting her own clone vigorously. Both of them were firing and dodging Energy Fields. The Dark Aelita threw a red Energy Field at Aelita. Aelita sidestepped it and threw a pink one of her own. The Dark Aelita activated her wings to avoid it. She spread her red wings and flew straight at Aelita. Aelita opened her own wings and flew after her clone, still throwing Energy Fields at her.


Yumi was fighting well off against her clone. She dodged the Dark Yumi’s fans like an acrobat and threw her own fans at her. The Dark Yumi responded by hand-springing into the air and landing a meter in front of Yumi. Yumi quickly did a sweep-kick and knocked her opponent’s legs from out under her. As the Dark Yumi fell, Yumi drew a fan and threw it at her clone. The clone tumbled backwards and disappeared in reddish black smoke.


Ulrich and the Dark Ulrich were truly fighting it off. Both were slashing sabers, dodging blows and using gazette-like bursts of speeds to try and beat their opponent. Furious dins echoed around the room as the two sets of sabers blazed red and blue upon making contact with the other set. Ulrich threw a kick at his clone. The clone groaned and fell sideways. Ulrich took his opponent’s temporary weakness as strength to himself, and drove a saber into the clone’s chest. The clone groaned as he disappeared in red-and-black smoke.


“That’s how you deal with posers,” Ulrich said, looking up and sheathing his sabers, victorious. He looked around the room to see Yumi going to help William and Odd firing at the Dark Aelita, while Aelita charged up Energy Fields and fought her clone as well.


The Dark Aelita finally dropped out of the air and devirtualized from an Energy Field shot by Aelita. The Dark William stumbled as William slashed through his stomach. The Lyoko Warriors ran to the front of the room, panting and exhausted.


“Great job, guys!” congratulated Jeremie.


“Well done, all of you,” Franz said. “Aelita, Ulrich, get to the Center of the Network and please start making the multi-agent system compatible with the Network. I’m opening the door.”


But as the door was raised open, red dots appeared around the Skid on the radar window on the screen of the supercomputer. Jeremie groaned. “Guys, there are monsters attacking the Skid. It looks like one of you will have to go back to defend it. It’s your only safe way home for now, even with the materialization codes from the Network set.”


“I’ll go,” William called. He left a glance at Yumi, his eyes piercing hers with a casual, innocent glance. He turned and ran out of the room. Ulrich and Aelita followed him. Once they arrived at the T-intersection, Aelita and Ulrich continued on while William turned left to go and defend the Skid.
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