Chapter 5- A Spiritual Essence (10.25.07-10.28.07)
A window displaying the cameras of the Factory appeared on the screen.“Uh oh,” Jeremie said. “It looks like XANA finally realized that we must be alive.”
The camera showed a group of five Xanafied people landing on ground floor and walking toward the elevator.
A purple spark shot from Odd's paw. William dodged the attack by swinging his head to the left. "Rats, I missed!"
William ran forward and swung his Zanbato at Ulrich. Ulrich quickly dodged, and lashed back with both of his sabers. William blocked the attack with his blade, emitting a loud clang. The two of them dodged and attacked each other furiously.
"I guess that leaves me to you guys, you bugs!" Odd said gleefully. The five Hornets turned. At the nod of their leader, the Hornet in the middle, they simultaneously started firing their lasers at Odd.
Odd dodged the shots. "Laser arrow!" Odd aimed and fired, hitting one of the Hornets. It disappeared in a field of blue electrical sparks.
"Odd? Ulrich?" The voice came from above. "We've got a bit of a problem. XANA's finally sent some people to take us out, so we may not be able to keep in contact with you."
Ulrich stopped fighting for a second, and then slashed back at William. "Okay. Good luck."
"Yeah, good luck," Odd joined in. "You too, Franz."
"The elevator to the supercomputer room is on your left at eleven o'clock" was the last thing Jeremie said before leaving.
As Jeremie turned toward the elevator, Franz stood up and grabbed his shoulder. "Jeremie, where are you going?"
Jeremie partially turned. "To go and fight XANA to protect you."
"But Jeremie, that's sacrifice!"
"I know, but your life is more important than mine."
Franz sighed. "Jeremie, that's not true. And besides, why use force when we can use our brains?"
"I already thought of doing that. I couldn't think of anything."
Franz let go of Jeremie, and closed his eyes. "Did you ever think about asking me to create a couple of polymorphic specters to defend us?"
Jeremie stared. "Oh." He quickly ran over to the controls. "I'm locking down the Factory as a precaution. Shutting down elevator and locking corridor."
Franz opened his eyes and sat back down. "Ulrich and Aelita were the first forms to come to my mind."
Mrs. Hertz, Jim, Sissi, Herb, and Nicholas, now controlled by XANA, walked toward the elevator at their slow, normal, Xanafied pace.
Sissi reached over and pressed the button for the elevator. Nothing happened.
The XANA eye in Sissi's eyes reformed. She pressed the button a second time. A third time. Constantly.
Still nothing happened.
The group of XANA-Minions growled. But as they were about to head toward the corridor, two black specters formed in front of them.
XANA knew that he had not programmed those specters, especially when he saw them turn into Aelita and Ulrich and take fighting stances.
Yumi blocked laser shots from the two Krabes and two Tarantulas, and threw her fans at them. She missed. "Aelita, this is going to be almost impossible."
Aelita turned away from the Megatanks she was fighting for a split second to look at Yumi. "I know, but we need to prevent XANA from destroying the Skid. Which reminds me," she said, turning around to look at the Skid, "what happened to our friend with the tentacles?"
The Scyphozoa was just grabbing hold of the Skid with its tentacles.
"How's it coming, Aelita?"
Aelita was relieved to hear her father's voice once more. "It's getting kind of rough here. Do you think you could send Ulrich or Odd back to help us?"
"Unfortunately," Franz replied, "the boys are stuck in a battle of their own. They're still trying to find the supercomputer."
"How's it on your end, Franz?" Yumi asked as she ran sideways to dodge more shots.
"Not too great," Jeremie said. "XANA sent five people to try and get rid of us. Fortunately, Franz called two polymorphic specters to help us. They're up on ground floor fighting right now," he said, as another crash rang out.
Aelita used two of her Energy Fields to block one of the Megatank's shots. The other Megatank turned toward her and released an elliptical laser shot as well. Aelita was now blocking two elliptical shots. "Yumi!" she shouted, calling out for help.
"Aelita, be careful!" Jeremie said. "Even though we've been able to fix and restore your DNA sequence codes, we need everyone to stay virtualized so we can bring XANA down."
Yumi turned just as one of her fans hit a Tarantula. She quickly caught her fans, and then ran toward Aelita. The Tarantula and the Krabes followed her from the path onto the plateau. Yumi quickly threw her fans at the two Megatanks.
One of the fans hit one of the Megatanks. Aelita finally let go of her Energy Field shield and jumped out of the way as the shot extended to hit the tower. "Nice one, Yumi."
Yumi caught her fans just as Aelita shot another Energy Field. It came into contact with the Megatank's XANA eye, making it explode. "You too," Yumi said, grinning.
A sound made her turn around. The Tarantula sat looking at her, getting ready to fire. The Krabes also charged their lasers.
"I'll get the Krabes. You get that Tarantula," Yumi said as she and Aelita ran forward, dodging the shots the whole while.
Another window appeared on the screen. It was a Super Scan window.
Franz frowned. "It seems that there are two activated towers on the Replika. One apparently is being used to Translate William and the monsters to Earth. But what's the second one for?"
Jeremie frowned as well. "Could XANA be using two towers to keep them Translated?"
Franz shook his head. "I don't see why, considering that XANA has two supercomputers' power to work with. The only reason would that he's conducting separate attacks at once. Besides the take-over-the-world attack on Lyoko."
"Wait. Franz, can you please move?" Franz slid away from the controls. Jeremie immediately began typing. A window appeared, showing the activated tower on the left, as well as lines of codes and data on the right.
Odd shot another Hornet. "Woo-hoo!" he shouted, dodging fire from the remaining three Hornets. Then he remembered Franz and Jeremie. "Franz, how's it coming?"
"I managed to create two specters to defend us here," came the response. "Aelita and Yumi seem to be doing okay. But Jeremie and I just found another activated tower on the Replika."
William slammed Ulrich to the ground. "Ouch!" Just as William was about to plunge his blade into Ulrich, Ulrich rolled out of the way at the last second. As William tried to pull his blade out of the floor, Ulrich stood up, and in one movement, slashed William. William groaned as he was Detranslated.
Ulrich ran over to help Odd. "You mean there's another tower besides the one keeping our friends materialized here?"
"Apparently," Jeremie said. "We're trying to figure out what it's being used for."
Odd stopped and raised an eyebrow. "How do you plan to do that?"
"I developed a program to determine an activated tower's attack right after we destroyed that Ice Replika," Jeremie replied. "I didn't think I would ever use it, but I developed it because I was having problems with the program to free William, and I wanted to take my mind off of it for a while."
Ulrich couldn't help but grin. "So, Jeremie, your idea of 'taking a break' from work is working on something else?"
Jeremie blushed. "Well, yeah."
Suddenly, the computer emitted a Beep! Jeremie quickly began typing again. Two new windows appeared, displaying the two towers and their attacks.
Jeremie squinted at the window on the left. "It looks like one tower is being used to Translate those Hornets. But the other..." Jeremie looked at the window on the right again. "I can't tell what it is. I don't understand it."
Franz looked at the window. "Intellect implant broadcasted over data range of 1000 km through digital key and status range of 10 quantum watts." Franz frowned. "It sounds like the tower is being used to control someone." Franz glanced at the date at the bottom of the window. "And it seems the attack has been kept in place for at least half a year."
Jeremie froze. "Wait!" Jeremie began typing. A full status report of the tower opened in a new window. At the left of the window, a boy in a white-and-blue jumpsuit rotated in a partially transparent sphere.
Jeremie breathed out. His heart skipped a beat and started beating faster. "Ulrich. Odd. The second tower is being used to…" Jeremie's voice started shaking.
"What?" Ulrich asked, dodging a laser and jumping up and slashing at the Hornet. "Spit it out, Jeremie!"
Jeremie slowly regained his composure. "The tower is being used to control William."
Odd and Ulrich froze for a second, but the laser shots brought them out of their shock quickly.
Aelita quickly took out the last Krabe and ran to help Yumi get rid of the Scyphozoa.
"Jeremie!" Yumi called, throwing her fans, "can you regenerate the Skid's shields with a few activated towers?"
The fans missed, and flew back to Yumi. "Sorry, Yumi, we've got a lot of other things on our minds right now," came the reply as Yumi caught her fans.
"Like what?" Aelita said, shooting an Energy Field. It hit the Scyphozoa right on the eye. "Never mind, we've gotten rid of it," Aelita said as the Scyphozoa exploded. "But what's on your mind?"
"We've located two activated towers," Franz said. "One in the Mountain Sector, where you are, and one in the Core Zone of the Replika's Sector 5. And we've just determined the attacks with a program Jeremie developed in his spare time. The one in the Mountain Sector is Translating Hornets to Ulrich and Odd. But the other in Sector 5 is…"
"Is…what?" asked Yumi, running to stand beside Aelita. "What's XANA using it for?"
Jeremie took a deep breath. "It's being used to control William."
There was a pause, and a gasp from Yumi. But Aelita wasn’t completely convinced. "Are you two sure that that's the attack?"
"Of course we are," Jeremie replied, rather disbelieving. "Don't you believe us?"
Aelita thought hard. "The two of you aren't being controlled by XANA by any chance, are you?"
"Of course not," Franz replied. "Aelita, I know you must be paranoid about traps laid by XANA, and it's the right thing to do. But we really aren't being controlled by XANA. I know that you still sleep with Mr. Puck at night."
Aelita blushed, if that was possible on Lyoko. "But couldn't XANA have known that too?"
"Aelita, that's not important right now," Jeremie said. "Going back on topic, should we Detranslate Ulrich and Odd back to you?"
"I don't see why not," Aelita said. "We might need all the help we can get at this point."
"Okay," Franz said, as Aelita and Yumi disappeared in light wisps of blue. "I'm teleporting you back into the Skid. Wait for Ulrich and Odd before you go to Sector 5."
Ulrich blocked another shot. He sighed. There were only two Hornets left, but he had to admit that they were pulling off a good fight.
Odd jumped into a handstand for a split second, and fired at his Hornet. "Rats, missed again! Ulrich, do you think these Hornets are on steroids or something?"
"Ulrich? Odd?" Franz's voice made them jump again. "We need you back in the Replika. We've decided to go and try to deactivate the tower controlling William, and we need all the help we can get."
Ulrich and Odd stopped fighting. "Okay Franz, we're ready," called Odd.
Just as the Hornets fired at them, Ulrich and Odd disappeared. The shots hit the place they had been a split second ago.
Ulrich and Odd appeared in their NavSkids. "So, ladies, how was your battle against those monsters?"
"We pulled it off in the end," Yumi said, grinning. "And you?"
"We sent William back to where he came from!" Odd said. His voice had the certain tone that said he was smiling ear to ear.
"All set, Aelita?" asked Franz?
"We're ready," said Aelita. "Deanchoring."
The Skid's purple connection to the tower disappeared, and the tower promptly turned from green to red. "Let's go, Aelita," called Ulrich.
The Skid shot up into the sky, and then slowly hovered through the gray tunnel taking them to the Replika's Sector 5.
Specter-Ulrich and Specter-Aelita were pulling off a good fight. They had already taken out Nicholas and Herb, with reason. Specter-Ulrich was fighting Jim and Mrs. Hertz at the same time, while Specter-Aelita was fighting Sissi.
Specter-Ulrich promptly threw Mrs. Hertz into a pillar. She groaned, but didn't move as she passed out. Jim looked at Mrs. Hertz and growled, flinging himself at Specter-Ulrich.
XANA knew he was fighting a losing battle at the Factory. Hopper was too powerful.
Then an idea came to his mind. It was a simple and obvious idea that should have occurred to him since Franz Hopper had been successfully materialized.
The Skid floated through the databank tunnel, and circled Carthage upward.
“Aelita,” Franz said, “as always, there’s a tunnel on the top of Carthage leading to the Core Zone.
“Okay,” Aelita said. But she wasn’t focusing that much on piloting, since they were about to bring William back. Aelita reflected that she took part of the blame for letting William fall sock puppet to XANA, since she could have devirtualized him right after he was possessed on his first mission.
Just as they lowered into the Core Zone, a question popped up into her mind. “Dad? Jeremie?”
“Yeah, Aelita?” answered Jeremie.
“I just had a thought. Aren’t we looking for the actual Spiritual Essence of William? What’s an activated tower got to do with him?”
Jeremie had an answer ready. “I scanned the tower once we determined the attack. It seems that William’s Spiritual Essence is stored within the databanks of the tower. Apparently it’ll be released if the tower is deactivated.”
“Okay,” Aelita said. “Thanks.”
“The tower should be right in front of you,” Franz said.
Sure enough, the tower suspended in midair just in front of them glowed a steady red. Aelita carefully piloted the Skid so that it was positioned next to the platform in front of the tower.
“That was fast,” said Ulrich.
“Teleportation,” Aelita said. All four of them teleported to the platform in wisps of blue.
“This is too easy,” Odd said. “There’s not a single monster in-”
A laser shot cut him off.
“-sight,” finished Odd. They all turned around. Five Creepers were crawling toward them.
A bird-like call sounded from behind them. Three Flying Mantas entered the room, circled the tower, and headed toward them.
“Where’s Mr. Pretty Boy?” wondered Yumi. “Shouldn’t he be here?”
“He probably chickened out,” joked Odd. “He just can’t stand us at the moment, seeing as we already beat him once.”
A purple-and-blue energy blast suddenly hit the platform. The whole platform shook violently.
They all turned from where the shot had came from.
“I take that back,” Odd said. “He’s not a coward. He’s an idiot to come here at the moment.”
William growled, and jumped off his Black Manta onto the platform. He started running toward them, sword in hand.
Specter-Ulrich dodged another punch, did a judo-throw and threw Jim into another pillar.
Jim’s face condensed as he made contact with the pillar. He slowly got up, only to be hit by an electrical field from Specter-Ulrich. Mrs. Hertz, Jim, Nicholas and Herb were out, leaving Sissi.
Specter-Aelita threw a yellow-and-orange energy field at Sissi. Sissi dodged the shot, and threw a blue energy field at Specter-Aelita. It hit her.
Specter-Ulrich ran forward. As Sissi charged up for another shot, he kicked her in the stomach. She doubled up, and Specter-Ulrich took the chance to throw her against a pillar.
While Odd and Yumi ran at the Creepers, Ulrich went for William.
“Happy that you’re about to be free?” asked Ulrich, mockingly, slashing a saber at him.
William blocked the attack and growled in response. “You can never free me,” XANA-William said, as he swung his sword like a bat at Ulrich. “I am too powerful, just like my master, XANA.”
“That’s what you think,” called Aelita. XANA-William turned. Aelita ran off the platform and activated her wings. XANA-William shot energy blasts at her in vain as she flew toward the tower, and deactivated her wings at the last moment, allowing her to tumble into the tower.
XANA-William groaned. “No. NO!” The Creepers joined in his cry, and started firing at Odd and Yumi once more.
“Better believe it, XANA,” Ulrich said. “William is no longer yours.”
At the very moment Ulrich finished, the tower turned from red to blue. Aelita promptly flew out of the tower and landed on the platform alongside them.
William suddenly dropped to all fours. His body started to shake, and his black outfit started seeping off of him in black wisps.
Odd and Yumi stopped fighting the Creepers to watch William. Even the Creepers stopped firing, to watch the freeing of their master’s sock puppet.
William was now in a fog of black smoke. He stood up on his knees, bringing his arms into the air, clenching them in fists.
The XANA eye on William’s chest glowed orange, and then disappeared. The black parts of William’s Zanbato receded and disappeared like smoke. The XANA eye on his Zanbato disappeared.
William’s old white-and-blue outfit returned. He dropped to the ground, lying on his side. Everyone watched him, alert. No one noticed as the Creepers and Mantas surrendered, vanishing in white-and-purple particles.
William slowly opened his eyes, blinking, and looked up. “What am I doing here?”