Chapter 7- Briefing (11.15.07-11.16.07)
“Materialization Ulrich! Materialization William!”In a room a floor below the room where the voice had just come from, two of the scanners opened to reveal a brown-haired boy in green in one scanner and a black-haired boy wearing a black shirt over a long-sleeved red shirt and jeans in the other.
William sighed and leaned to a position leaning against the inside of the scanner. “It feels great to be back on Earth. I feel like it’s been years since I’ve been back, even though I still can’t remember anything after being captured by the Scyphozoa.”
Everyone smiled. “Jeremie, we all got back okay, including William.”
“Great,” Jeremie said. “Get back up here. Franz and I need to brief you on what we do next.”
Out of the corner of his eye Ulrich noticed Yumi smile briefly at William. William returned the smile. Ulrich turned away, frowning, hesitant to the looming problem still sitting in the air.
“I wonder what Jeremie and Franz need to brief us on,” Odd wondered randomly as all five of them walked over to the ladder built into the wall.
The elevator door opened. The two people at the computer, one standing and one sitting in the chair, turned and smiled. Jeremie was very thankful that William was back with them. It meant one more person to help them get through the hard task ahead of them.
Odd, Aelita, Ulrich, Yumi, and William sat down in front of Franz in the chair, like it was story-time and Franz was the storyteller. “William,” Aelita said, motioning to Franz, “I’d like you to meet my father, the creator of Lyoko.”
William partially got up and leaned over to shake Franz’s hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Mr. Hopper.”
“Please, call me Franz,” Franz said. Neither Ulrich nor Aelita, or any other person, mentioned Ulrich’s connection to Franz. No one wished to give more information to William than he needed to know. Not because he wasn’t trustable, but because it could distract him dangerously.
William sat back down. “So, what do you need to brief us on?”
“Well,” Jeremie said, with half a glance at Franz, “first off, good job in your NavSkid. And great job with destroying the supercomputer.”
Instead of blushing, William basked in the pride this gave him. Translated to the scene, he had destroyed the supercomputer for XANA’s First Replika with Aelita, an unintentional pair-up. And, with some instruction from Ulrich, Yumi, Odd, and Jeremie, he had destroyed the monsters blocking the Skid’s path back to Franz’s Replika: two Kongers and a Rekin. Surprisingly, on the way back, there had been no more sign of XANA activity, although the Network was still permanently locked in red. The Skid now sat back in its hangar in Franz’s Replika, charging for the oncoming mission ahead of them.
“Before we start,” William said, “can I ask a question?”
“Of course,” Franz said. “Go on.”
“Why didn’t I fall against the top of my NavSkid when the Skid rotated, and I was facing down? I know you explained it to me, but I forgot.”
“The reason you didn’t fall,” answered Franz, “is because we were able to modify the gravity, for all of you, inside your NavSkids. And in the Cockpit. Water generally has less gravity than air on Earth, so the water in the Digital Sea has less gravity, and is also modifiable.”
There was a pause. Finally Jeremie sighed. “Franz, I still can’t remember everything we planned. Can you explain it to them?”
“Sure.” Franz shifted to a proper sitting position as Jeremie took a seat, noticeably, beside Aelita. She smiled slightly as he sat down.
Franz took a deep breath. “To start off, I’m going to have to materialize you into my Replika. It’s a process that took a while to work, and is still experimental. But that isn’t the problem.”
“Then what is?” asked Ulrich, nervous at the possibility of this being their “Last Mission”. Finally. This was the fourth time he had thought of this, and he hoped to not be proven wrong this time.
“You’re going to have to try to deactivate all the towers on Lyoko.”
There was a dead silence, and the news dropped like a bomb.
“Wha…what?” stuttered Aelita. “Dad, that’s nearly impossible! There are 41 towers to deactivate, and the amount of time that will take is incredible! Not to mention all the monsters…”
“Calm down, Aelita,” Franz said. “First of all, to get rid of the monsters, we can simply restart the supercomputer. That will cause them all to fall into the Digital Sea and be destroyed.”
“Oh,” Aelita said in a small voice. “But what about the towers? Isn’t there some sort of shield around each one?”
“And Franz,” Odd said, “can’t you deactivate towers manually from the controls here?”
“About the towers,” Franz said, frowning at Odd. “I was able to deactivate the towers from here at one point, but it seems that now XANA is denying full access from the controls of the supercomputer.”
“I think you meant that polymorphic specter that XANA used on us once,” Ulrich said, turning to Odd. “And that was XANA.”
“Oh.” Odd shifted, embarrassed.
“Going back to the large amount of towers,” Franz said, “I can deactivate them from here. But I need you, Aelita,” he said, turning back to Aelita, “to enter a program into each sector’s passage tower. Last of all, the tower in Carthage. It is the ‘heart’ of XANA’s power. And once you start the program, it will give me access to deactivate the rest of the towers in the sector. As for the shields, a few blows with your weapons should take them out. XANA didn’t have a lot of power left in the supercomputer for the shields protecting the tower. And the reason you need to deactivate the towers is because XANA only exists in the towers of Lyoko, now that his Replika ‘core’ appears to have been destroyed.”
Everyone sighed, relieved. Deactivating 41 towers would have taken hours. Not to mention the monsters guarding all of them. With both problems solved, it would be a lot easier.
Yumi frowned, thinking of something and suddenly alert. “What happened to XANA’s Army here? Has there been any activity?”
Just as she finished, there was a bang that shook the whole Factory. Everyone stood up, looking up in shock and surprise. In response, Franz turned back to the supercomputer and pressed the enter key. Everyone crowded on either side of the chair. A window opened on the screen, showing a group of twenty people, mostly from Kadic, Xanafied and attempting to activate the elevator and heading toward the corridor.
“I’ve completely cut the power to the supercomputer with the activated tower on my Replika,” Franz said. “I’ve also blocked off the corridor completely with a few…surprises for XANA.”
“What happened to the specters?” asked Jeremie.
“I decided not to use them this time,” Franz replied, “on account of them being powerless against twenty Xanafied people at once.”
Jeremie nodded, agreeing with Franz’s thinking.
There was silence. Franz finally clapped his hands together. “So, are you ready to start? We can start now. Unless you five want to rest. It must have been tiring being virtualized for four hours straight. And William, you may want to stay here on Earth to rest.”
“No thanks,” William said, standing up. The rest of them stood up with him and headed for the trapdoor. Jeremie walked back over to lean against the chair.