Chapter 2- The Hideout (10.10.07-10.11.07)
Jeremie stepped off the ladder into the lab and dropped on his knees next to Franz. After panting a little, he turned around and helped Franz stand up. They had finally escaped.Jeremie walked over to the computer. “Franz, I think you’d better take the seat. You’ve lost a lot of energy.”
“I’ll…be fine…,” Franz said, before collapsing again. Jeremie rushed back and helped him into the seat. Franz sat panting. “I don’t think that run was easy on my nerves.”
“With a little luck, we won’t have to make another one,” Jeremie said. Franz pressed a button on the chair, and it slid a meter to the right of the computer. Jeremie stood at the keyboard and started typing. “I’m shutting the elevator down. I don’t see any reason why XANA would have to come down here. I doubt he would want to shut the supercomputer down now, while he’s using all the towers on Lyoko.”
A radar window appeared on the screen. Jeremie ran a scan in the Digital Sea. He stared, readjusting his glasses. “That can’t be right. There must be some mistake! I’m running another scan.”
Franz turned his head to Jeremie. “What is it?”
“The radar isn’t picking up the Skid,” Jeremie said, breaking into a sweat, “or Aelita, Odd, Ulrich or Yumi for that matter. Oh no! This can’t be happening!”“Relax, Jeremie,” Franz said, putting an arm on his shoulder. “Aelita may have deactivated the Skid’s sonar so that XANA wouldn’t be able to track them.”
Jeremie looked up. “It’s…possible,” he said, his voice still shaking. “I just hope you’re right.”
The Skid rose out of the tunnel of data interfaces.
Aelita relaxed on the controls and gave a huge sigh. “Phew. We made it.”
Suddenly, a shaky, thick voice said, “Aelita, is that you?”
“Jeremie?” Aelita’s exclamation turned to joy. “You made it! Is my…our,” Aelita said, thinking of Ulrich, “father there?”
“Still recovering,” came Franz’s voice. All four of them sighed with relief.
“Are you two okay?” asked Yumi.
Jeremie glanced at Franz. “It’s not that important right now, but yeah, we’re fine.” Jeremie took a deep breath. “XANA’s really taken over the world.”
The four teenagers in the Skid gasped. “He really did?” Ulrich asked. “How?”
“He’s possessed everyone on the planet,” Jeremie said. “And the sky has turned blackish red with XANA eyes.”
The four of them gaped. “But if everyone on Earth is being controlled by XANA,” Odd asked, his voice quivering, “then how did you escape?”
“Franz was the one that saved our lives,” Jeremie said. “While we hid behind a pillar from the oncoming XANA Army, Franz thought fast. He made two polymorphic specters take our place. Apparently, at the moment, XANA thinks we’re dead. What about you guys?”
They all grinned. “Funny story,” said Ulrich.
“So you created a hyperactive explosion from-”
“Jeremie, not now,” Odd said, cutting him off. “We really need a plan right now.”
Jeremie looked at Franz, raising an eyebrow. Franz shook his head, indicating they didn’t have one. “We don’t have one.”
“Well,” Yumi said, going into logical mode, “the first step would to be to recharge the Skid. I don’t think Aelita was able to charge the shields fully after XANA attacked us.”
“I didn’t,” Aelita said. “We’re heading up to the hangar right now.” The Skid rose up and circled upward. It finally lowered into the hangar. “We’re beginning the docking procedure.”
The Skid lowered into place. Instantly, the support beams leaned forward and lit up, activating. The Skid was soon in the middle of rising white rings, showing that it was recharging. Aelita, Odd, Ulrich and Yumi appeared on the Transporter Spots.
Jeremie gasped. “You were at five percent shield power?”
“Yeah, we were,” Aelita said as the four of them stepped off the transporter spots.
Jeremie shook his head in amazement. “It’s just amazing you’re still here.”
As the Skid’s power was reloading, Franz looked at Jeremie. “What should we do?”
Jeremie turned. “What?”
Franz sighed. “I don’t think we can stay here. It’s not safe. XANA could find out that we’re still alive.”
Jeremie stared. “What about Aelita, Odd, Ulrich and Yumi? If we leave, they’ll be lost. They won’t be able to do anything.”
“I know,” Franz said, thinking hard. “I’m not sure what to do. But I would prefer that we don’t stay here.”
Jeremie thought for a moment. “Can we travel to the other supercomputer? The one you used for your Replika?”
Franz pondered the thought, but then shook his head. “It’s dangerous, and it would take time. Even though there’s a scanner there, I would have to write a program to transfer people through scanners without going to Lyoko. It could take a while.”
“Out of curiosity,” Jeremie asked, “where’s ‘there’?”
“The supercomputer? It’s actually in the original Carthage city in North Africa. Today it’s part of Libya.”
Jeremie gasped. “Really?”
Franz nodded. “Really."
Jeremie was impressed. “There’s no other word for it, even though I sound like Odd and a complete idiot. That’s cool!”