Chapter 8- Overflow (11.20.07-11.22.07)
“Virtualization!”Yumi, Odd, and Aelita landed on the floor of the revolving Arena, facing outward in a triangle. “Franz, Jeremie, we made it,” Aelita said looking around to check their surroundings. “The program that re-linked the scanners doesn’t seem to have any bugs.”
“Thanks, Aelita,” Franz said. “Although we didn’t really re-link the scanners to the Replika. We just added another virtualization location to the supercomputer’s operating code. Virtualization.”
Yumi, Odd, and Aelita looked up as Ulrich and William formed above them, facing in the same direction, and landed on the floor in the middle of the three of them.
William smiled briefly at Yumi. She quickly returned the smile, intending for Ulrich not to see them, but he caught a glimpse. Ulrich quickly turned away before Yumi and William had realized he had seen them.
There was a shake to the room, and the floor stopped rotating. At the same moment, the wall opened. The small blue platform guided the empty space to the floor.
“Go up to the Skid Hangar,” said Jeremie, as Aelita, Odd, Ulrich, William, and Yumi ran out of the Arena onto the bridge, and then into the Corridor. “We’ll set you up for liftoff.”
The Xanafied Jim groaned. He had tried again to open the door to the Hallway, and again he had been electrically shocked yet again only from the door handle. Hopper and Belpois were putting up a good fight.
He glanced back to the middle of ground floor. Xanafied Mr. Delmas, Mrs. Hertz, and Sissi were trying to activate the elevator. But like the door, every time they merely tried to touch the button they were thrown back with a huge electric shock.
Jim turned his attention back to the door. “Shoot a power beam at it,” he instructed Herve, Nicholas, and Rosa standing around him.
Nicholas nodded. Jim let him take his place in front of the door. Facing the door squarely, Nicholas put his hands out in front of him. Closing his eyes, a huge, thick beam of electricity shot toward the door. But the door merely reflected the shot with a nonchalant purple spark of energy as well. Nicholas groaned as he was thrown backward from the powerful electric shot.
The Xanafied Jim closed his eyes, thinking of another way to get to Hopper and Belpois.
The five teenagers on the now-full Transporter Spots platform disappeared as each circle on the platform lit up and cast a flashlight-like light up towards the ceiling. All five of them reappeared in their NavSkids, except for the pink-haired girl who reappeared in the cockpit at the controls.
“Everyone ready?” Aelita asked, putting her hands in her lap.
Aelita pressed the small red button in front of the joystick. “We have ignition powering vertical.” The engines on the wings of the Skid responded, turning to face appropriately downward.
Aelita pulled the joysticks back. “Liftoff!”
The engines lit up like rockets. The Skidbladnir rose up through the entry portal in the ceiling.
As soon as the Skid left the Hangar, it spiraled downward to the bottom of the huge, blue sphere that was Carthage.
“You guys ready?” Aelita asked, pausing and stopping as the hovered over the opening in the interfaces. “This really could be our last mission this time.”
“We’re ready,” Ulrich said.
“Ready.” Yumi smiled.
“All set, Aelita,” William said, shifting in his NavSkid, slightly impatient.
“Let’s go, Princess,” Odd said, grinning.
“Ready to dive.” The Skidbladnir dove out of the Replika. Unknown to any of them, it would be the last time they saw the Replika.
The gate opened. “Surprisingly, there don’t seem to be any monsters in the surrounding area,” Jeremie said. “But be careful all the same.”
“Hub ahead at two o’clock,” Franz said.
“Thanks,” Aelita said. “Rotation.” The lower half of the Skid rose out of its vertical position into a vertical one. At the same time, the wings also spread out.
“Engaging turbo crop and auxiliary engines,” Aelita said, pressing the appropriate white function, hexagonal buttons in the proper order and pushing the joysticks forward. The Skid shot forward toward the Hub.
“Do you guys really think this could be our last mission?” asked Odd.
“Hopefully,” Yumi said. “I’m really getting tired of fighting XANA.”
“Oh yeah,” Odd said. “With XANA defeated, I can sleep in more!”
Ulrich groaned. “Oh no, that means more snoring for me to hear.”
“Nearing Hub.” Everyone shifted and turned their attention back to the Hub at the sound of Aelita’s voice. As the Skid hovered over the orange swirls of the middle of the Hub, it rotated back into its vertical position.
“Hyperfluid aspiration in three…two…one…now.” The Skid dove into the Hub.
Orange particles flew past them as they flew at light-speed to the other end of the Hub. Finally they shot out of the other Hub on the other side of the Network.
“Retro brakes.” The Skid slowly grounded to a halt. “Standby for restarting the supercomputer,” Aelita called to Jeremie and Franz.
A window appeared on the screen. Franz frowned. “Sorry, Aelita, it doesn’t look like we can reset the supercomputer for you.”
“What?” asked William. “Wasn’t that the whole point to destroy the monsters on Lyoko?”
“I suspected that XANA would think that we would do this,” Franz replied, “and I checked it out to see if he laid any traps for us. He did. Apparently if we attempt to restart the supercomputer, XANA set up an algorithm so that the supercomputer will be left without power, cutting us off from you.”
“But what about his activated towers?” inquired Yumi. “Won’t they power down too?”
“He’s set it up so that only the power available to us will be terminated,” Jeremie responded bitterly, “which is a lot less than normal at the moment, thanks to XANA’s towers.”
Everyone groaned. “But then how will we get rid of all the monsters?” Odd said, worriedly. “I know, we’re all good fighters, especially me,” he puffed up, “but sheer force won’t get rid of the ten-or-more monsters at each passage tower.”
“We’re going to have to think of another way to terminate the monsters, then,” Franz said. “Does anyone have any ideas?”
Everyone shook their heads, momentarily forgetting Franz and Jeremie couldn’t see them. “No.”
“Then for the time being, you’re going to have to deal with the monsters. Be careful.”
The Skid moved in front of the Entrance Gate. “Rotation,” Aelita said again, pulling the red lever.
“The tunnel is open,” Franz said, as the gate in front of them slowly swung open.
“Thanks, Daddy,” Aelita said. The Skid slowly went through the gate.
The light green virtual water seeped off the Skid as they left the sea and hurtled up to ground level: They were in the Forest Sector.
“The passage tower is north by northeast of your current position,” Jeremie said. “It should be visible at ten o’clock.”
“I see it, Jeremie,” Aelita said. Sure enough, the tower glowed red in the distance. The Skid hovered toward it.
“Hmmm…” Ulrich pondered as they got closer. “Not a monster in sight.”
“They must have chickened out!” Odd said gleefully. “This is too easy.”
The Skid halted in front of the tower. The tower was situated on a plateau with four paths jutting out of it in four different directions. The trees surrounded the tower, some suspended in midair around the plateau.
“Teleport.” All five of the Lyoko Warriors teleported to the ground, lush with shades of green.
“There doesn’t seem to be any monsters near the tower,” Franz said, surprised. “All you have to do is take out the shield protecting the tower, and then Aelita can start the program for recovering the Forest Sector.”
Just as everyone took positions around the tower, there were sounds of mechanical movement behind them. Everyone turned. Dozens of roach-like creatures had arrived on the plateau via the path.
“What are those things?” asked William, surprised. He hadn’t seen any of them before on Lyoko. He had barely seen the five sectors.
“They’re Kankrelats,” said Ulrich, drawing his sabers. “This should be interesting.”
“We only need one of you to take out the shield,” Franz said. “The shield doesn’t have much power.”
“Aelita,” Yumi instructed, “get rid of that shield. The rest of us will handle the Kankrelats.”
The huge army of Kankrelats charged up and fired all at once. All three of them blocked the shots and ran at the army, wielding their weapons.
Aelita turned to the tower and charged up for two Energy Fields.
Odd shot at the Kankrelats. Five of them exploded. “Yes!”
There was a shout from behind them. Odd turned. “Aelita!” he shouted. “Look out!”
Aelita barely dodged the two elliptical laser shots. As Odd was about to run to help her, Ulrich ran past him. “Go for the Kankrelats!” he shouted back as he ran. “I’ll help Aelita.”
Odd shrugged, turning back to fire. “Have it your way!” He ran at the Kankrelats firing at the Skid, firing his own arrows the whole time.
Yumi threw her fans yet again. William ran forward, slashing downward with his sword the whole time. The Kankrelats in his path exploded as they met contact with the sword.
“Jeremie, Franz, I don’t think we’ll even make it past the Forest Sector!” Yumi blocked more shots, and was then thrown backward, hit.
“We need to get rid of these monsters!” Ulrich shouted, blocking two Megatank shots at once. In front of him, Aelita fired Energy Fields at the tower’s shield, blocked on both sides by the frozen laser walls. “Does anyone have any ideas?”
The idea came to Aelita, Yumi, and Odd at the same moment, since they had all been there when XANA had used the strategy in the Mountain Sector, but it was Aelita who spoke first. “What if we raise the level of the Digital Sea?”
Jeremie and Franz looked at each other, pondering the thought. Franz began typing. “That sounds like a good idea. Get back into the Skid.”
Aelita, Odd, Ulrich, William and Yumi disappeared into the Skid. The monsters, thinking they had victory, started firing at the Skid.
“Won’t raising the Digital Sea have some effect on us?” Yumi asked, as Aelita rose the Skid higher, out of range of the laser shots.
“Technically,” Jeremie answered, “it will. When the Digital Sea is at its normal level, the entrance to the Network is right below it. But the water still has virtual properties that devirtualizes and destroys any monster or human alike. The Skid isn’t affected by it, but neither is the sector itself or the towers in it.”
“But how is Aelita supposed to get into the tower if it’s blocked off?” William inquired.
“Once the tower’s shield is down,” Franz said, “we can use the Skid’s teleport program to get you into the tower, Aelita. Unfortunately, as of now, we only have enough power left for us in the supercomputer to do one sector at a time. I’m ready. Raising the Digital Sea.” Franz pressed the enter key.
The water level rose. In a matter of seconds it was flooding onto the plateau and the paths of the Forest Sector. The monsters tried to avoid it, running away from the rising water, but didn’t succeed. All of the Kankrelats and the two Megatanks exploded upon meeting contact with the water.
The Skid dropped back down to face the tower as the water quickly rose around them.
“Firing torpedoes.” Aelita pressed the red button on top of the joystick. The small cylinder-like cannons on both sides of the cockpit lit up and fired. The shield flashed a bright blue upon being hit. It developed cracks, and finally exploded in light blue squares.
“Good job, Aelita,” Jeremie said.
Aelita smiled. “Teleport,” she said, pressing the keypad on her left. Aelita vanished.
“Are you inside the tower, Aelita?” Franz asked.
“Yes, I am,” Aelita said, running to the circle in the middle of the platform. Upon arriving at the middle, she rose up to the circular platform above her. She finally landed on the platform as the Lyoko eye on the platform lit up in a bright, light blue.
The interface appeared, but instead of pressing her hand to it, Aelita lightly touched the interface with two fingers. An outline of a square expanded quickly to disappear off the sides of the interface. “Programming tower access.”
“I’m uploading the program to the tower,” Franz said. “Once it’s activated and running, deactivate the tower. That will deactivate the Forest Sector’s other nine towers permanently. It’ll also free up more of the supercomputer’s power for our own use.”
“Program received.” Aelita moved a window across the interface with her finger. “Activating tower restoration program.” She pressed the window that appeared on the screen of the interface.
Throughout the sector, the sand-colored cables sparked with blue. All of the towers’ shields exploded and disappeared. The towers momentarily went offline, their auras disappearing, but then reactivated in blue. “Forest Sector restarted. And Forest passage tower deactivated.”
“Great job, Aelita!” Jeremie congratulated.
Aelita reappeared in the cockpit. “How should we get to the Desert Sector?”
“Go through Sector 5,” Jeremie replied. “That’s the whole reason we programmed the access tunnel in the sky of each sector: for the Skid’s use.”
“Okay,” Aelita replied. The Skid shot up into the sky. The water level was about ten meters below the gray Sector 5 transfer sphere. The Skid gently went through the gray tunnel.
“I’m raising the level of the Digital Sea in the Desert Sector,” Franz said, replying to Aelita’s unasked question, as the Skid turned out of the data-interface-lined tunnel and into the Celestial Dome. “Opening tunnel.”
The line of bright blue data bits flowing into the tunnel quickly stopped flowing, opening the tunnel to the Desert Sector.
Aelita smiled. The Skid exited Sector 5 through the tunnel.
“The tower is on the other side of the sector,” Jeremie instructed as the Skid came out of the gray tunnel. The top of the yellowish water was already a few meters below the gray Sector 5 sphere.
The Skid flew across the water.
“The tower’s below you,” Franz said, after five minutes. The Skid stopped. Aelita peered through the shimmering water. Sure enough, the tower glowed red below them, on a plain desert plateau.
“Thanks, Dad,” Aelita said. The Skid dropped below into the water.
“Desert Sector restarted.”
The towers in the Desert Sector deactivated and turned back to blue.
“Again, great job, Aelita,” Jeremie said. “Only three more sectors to go.”
“ONLY?” Odd asked incredulously.
Suddenly, before Jeremie or Franz could respond, the screen started to fizz. Franz frowned. “What’s going on?”
A window opened. Red vertical lines moved across the window.
“Oh no!” Jeremie shouted. “XANA!”
Franz’s eyes widened. He quickly started typing. “I’m activating a recovery program to protect our data.” The red window closed.
In the Desert Sector, the Digital Sea level receded. Aelita, now in the Skid’s cockpit, frowned. “Dad? Jeremie? Is something wrong? The Digital Sea is going back down!”
There was a slight pause. “XANA tried to cut us off permanently from you,” Franz finally replied. “I managed to activate a recovery program in time, but some of the data was hacked. Once you get to the Ice Sector, I can try to raise the Digital Sea there.”
“Okay,” Aelita said. But as the Skid rose back up into the sky, laser shots started hitting the Skid.
“Uh oh,” Yumi said. A squadron of five Hornets were orbiting the Skid, firing every second they got the chance.
The window showing the Skid’s energy levels appeared on the screen. “Aelita, the Skid’s power is going down!” Jeremie exclaimed. “We’re going to have to recharge the power. It’s at ten percent!”
“Can’t you just re-route a chunk of energy from the supercomputer?” Odd asked. “Like you did the first time we explored the Forest Replika?”
“We don’t have enough energy to re-route,” Franz said. “We would have to re-route energy from the Carthage supercomputer, but I can’t patch a connection from here. I need the Skidbladnir to be anchored in its Hangar.”
“Okay,” Aelita said, taking hold of the joysticks. “We’ll drop off the Skid at the Hangar and then head on to the Ice Sector.”
“No,” Jeremie said. “It’ll take too long to either wait for the Skid to recharge or for you to go, Aelita. We just need one of you to drop off the Skid in the Garage and the other four of you to head on to the Ice Sector.”
“What about that remote-control program for the Skid?” asked Yumi. “The one that you used back in the Desert Replika?”
“We don’t have enough energy at the moment to run it,” replied Franz.
When no one said anything, Ulrich shifted. “I’ll go. Good luck, you four.”
“Okay,” Aelita said, taking hold of the joysticks again. The Skid dropped down to hover above the plateau below. The Hornets continued to fire at the Skid.
“Teleport.” Aelita, Odd, William and Yumi appeared on the plateau. Ulrich appeared at the controls in the cockpit.
“Laser arrow!” Odd fired at the Hornets. Two of them exploded. Yumi took out two more with her fans, and Aelita hit the remaining one with an Energy Field.
“Good luck, Ulrich,” Aelita said. Ulrich gave a salute from the cockpit, and the Skid rose up into the sky, entering the tunnel to Sector 5.
“The way tower is south of your location,” Franz said. Aelita, Odd, Yumi and William ran towards the tower to the Ice Sector.
The Skid lowered into the Hangar through the entry portal in the ceiling. “Following docking procedure,” Ulrich said.
The Skid lowered into position in the middle of the five Support Arms. As the five supports lowered and leaned into place, each one activated, and a solid white circle surrounded by two half-circles appeared where each support arm was activated.
Ulrich appeared in the middle circle of the Transporter Spots in the flashlight-like bright light. “Okay, Franz and Jeremie, the Skid is docked.”
“Good job, Ulrich,” Jeremie said. “The others are almost at the Ice Sector.”
“Head down to the Arena,” Franz said, “and I’ll program the Transporter.”
“Okay.” Ulrich stepped onto the Elevator, turning to look back at the Skid as the Elevator dropped down.
As soon as Ulrich left, there was a strange sound. It was the call of one of XANA’s monsters.
Outside of the Core Zone, in the huge Celestial Dome, the Scyphozoa made its call again as it floated up to the sky entry portal of the Skidbladnir Hangar.
The Scyphozoa dropped into the Garage. It immediately took hold of the Skid with its tentacles. Red circles appeared around the place the tentacles touched the Skid’s shield.
Red particles of data flowed through the tentacles and into the Scyphozoa’s brain. The Scyphozoa slowly began sucking energy from the Skid. But unknowingly, it was doing more than that. And all according to XANA’s plan.