“Ulrich, I’ve told you this five times this week alone, X.A.N.A.’s gone. My barrier is foolproof...our barrier is, I mean” replied Jeremie, placing an arm over Aelita, small smiles framed on both their faces. “I know...still...”
“Ulrich” Jeremie stated, placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder to get his complete attention, “Listen to me...X.A.N.A. is no more or just as good, the wall can’t be broken from his side and we hold the only access to let him through, not to mention the only way to even get there via the Virtualization Systems. He’s stuck behind a firewall, floating ten feet of the edge of the Ice Zone in the one activated tower. Forget about him and think, you have Physics next period”
“And what were you doing?” asked Ulrich warily,
“Studying…for Physics, we got a test you know” he replied, ending with one of his big smiles. “Very funny Odd, you need that more than I do, but seriously, who is that?” “It’s the new student, he’s in your Physics class Ulrich, didn’t you know that?” answered Umi, walking up to the group from outside the cafeteria door.
“Of course I did, it’s just...that guy creeps me out” replied Ulrich, switching the subject, “Why? Just because he pushed past you in a hurry and forgot to say sorry?” said Odd, throwing an arm around Ulrich,
“He came from America Milly told me, but Tamiya heard him speaking with a Russian accent. You can tell he’s totally into the Emo-Goth thing, I think his name is Zura-something? Something foreign”. “Wow, with a mix like that, it’s no wonder he’s depressed, one heck of an identity crisis” Jeremie said, pushing up his glasses.
It was 9 A.M. On a cold, windy night that Ulrich should be spending at home studying for the Physics test, she had mercifully pushed back because of the high number of kids absent from class. Yet, as logically and determinedly he though this, Ulrich continued to stare at the monitors of Lyoko waiting for anything. Sighing, he turned his head then turned it sharply back when he swore he saw some lettering on one screen, but no, there was nothing. Turning back to the elevator door, he wondered if he still had time to get some studying in before he fell asleep.
“So, you were at Lyoko again, last night, huh?” whispered Odd to Ulrich next to him as the teacher droned on about the importance of grades. “What do you mean?”
“No one gets out of bed at 9 at night without a reason...and I doubt your the ladies man like me.” Odd said with a grin. Ulrich leaned back, trying to forget how poorly he’d done on that Physics test, “I know every time I ask Jeremie what he’s going to say I’ve asked him enough, but...it’s like just this one side of me keeps creating these ‘what if’ situations till I’m back to worrying. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop thinking about it night and day”.
Odd moved closer so his words could be quieter, “Man, X.A.N.A. is nothing but a pet now, you gotta let go of Lyoko and focus on your regular life, the war’s over, soldie-“ BBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!! Odd was interrupted by a muted buzzing from Ulrich’s pants pocket, which he presses on from the outside, taking the phone out to see what it said.
“Maybe it’s Sissi sharing her unrequited love for you” joked Odd, pointing towards the girl, who across the room was busy texting on her own phone. Ulrich made no reply however, his face had turned pale, “Ulrich, what’s the matter, you look like your parents just told you they know all about Lyoko...Ulrich?”.
Without looking at Odd, Ulrich replied slowly, “Jeremie wants to meet us ASAP in the dorm...it’s about Lyoko”. Raising his hand to get the teacher’s attention, Ulrich said out loud,
“Ms. Kim I, uh,...I feel really sick!”.
“The computer’s picked up an anomaly outside the Floating Tower. It doesn’t identify it as X.A.N.A. or one of it’s monsters....or anything, just something not a part of Lyoko” stated Jeremie to the whole group collected in Odd and Ulrich’s dorm. Lying on his bed, Odd asked, “So what do we do now?”
The Floating Tower, mused Ulrich in his head, Where we’d stopped X.A.N.A...nothing lasts, and at the Floating Tower you’d think...He remembered little obscure facts from that day still, that a wall of ice had been created by Aelita and besides a few cuts off the top still stood in front of the tower...that it was disconnected in every way literally and beyond, perfect. Yeah, right.
“Obviously Odd, you guys have to go inside and find out what’s causing this” replied Jeremie without a pause. Odd pushed off the bed to land on his feet, “Shouldn’t Aelita stay behind, no offense Aelita, but this looks alot like a trap to me”. Jeremie swerved his chair around, shutting off the computer as he jumped from the seat,
“That’s what I figure too, but even if that’s case, as it moist likely is, deactivating the tower is really the only way to stop X.A.N.A. still, Aleita's critical if it comes to this”. “We can’t deactivate the tower, that’ll free X.A.N.A.!” interjected Umi, “That’s why we have the barrier up, right?"
“I know Umi, but it seems X.A.N.A.’s found a way around it...somehow”. Picking up his computer case, Jeremie and they headed for the door, “There’s one way to find out” replied Ulrich clenching a fist before leaving.
“Virtualization Umi...Virtualization Odd...”
right behind him, Umi and Odd V-ed in with a small landfall. He’d already drawn his sword, but he lowered the blade when he realized they were alone but for the tower off in the unreachable distance. He had almost been hoping for one of X.A.N.A.’s monsters to be here. For something...familiar, for something like before that he understood and anticipated.
Ulrich pointed with his sword while at the same time looking back at them, “Let’s go”. Aelita stepped softly forward, kneeling and placing her hands on the icy edge, closing her eyes. The ground grew in thick spidery lanes from where she touched the lip of faux-land.
“Guys! I don-...S-someone’s broken the barrier! It’s gone!” “X.A.N. A.?” asked Umi quickly. “I don’t know! The information...it’ all in foreign language! You guys need to get to the tower!” “Right” quipped Ulrich sprinting forward, linear yellow tracing his path behind, Odd and Umi keeping pace with Aelita.
“Odd!...Umi! Protect Aelita, you have three monsters coming in from below! Ulrich, you have until then to stop whatever it is that’s broken the barrier without us having to free X.A.N.A.!” “I’ll only need half” replied Ulrich, jumping over the glacial wall blocking the reason behind all this.
“COME ON! JUST...GIVE UP!”
Whoever it was, he was serious. The twisted, tangible remains of the barrier lay about his feet as he frantically eared at something inside the tower itself, arcs of energy speaking shrilly from the jagged hole around his hand. Jabbing his sword in front, Ulrich shouted, mad, “Away from the tower! Now!” he shouted with the emphasis of a cop.
The stranger clad in a dark oilskin coat and boots released the tower’s circuitry,
“What!? Oh, you Fffing figure, you know that!”. Turning about, the dangerously unknown pulled free a rusted carbine from underneath his coat, buckling snaps swinging wildly. Aiming quickly, he pulled the trigger several times, a piercing tone crash resonating loudly from the rifle and nothing else,
“Hack-eyed Kruschev programming!” Throwing the useless weapon past Ulrich, he shouted pointing, “Why do you fight without a reason!? Why do visit a world of lies to replace reality!?!? Why! Why!!!”
Not even gonna answer that, Ulrich thought as he rushed forward with a reverse-upward slice right into the stranger’s outstretched hand, “Ahhh, so the kitten has claws, do we?”
“And laser arrows!” cried Odd performing a spinning flip backflip over the ice wall that ended in the air, his aim impeccable as he shot thrice in a row, all on target. The mystery assailant reacted immediately, slamming Ulrich’s sword into the ground, dodging the first two arrows and jumped straight up, holding his legs as the last arrow zipped just below microteaching off Ulrich’s sword into the path of Yumi’s fan, sending it flying away as well. Landing on his feet, inches from the edge, the strange smiled, surprised to himself at how well he’d managed that,
“You get an A for effort bu-Ahhhhh!”, cut short by a leg shot from a wasp, one of the three that had followed Yumi, Odd and Aelita, his scream cut the air while fading quickly at the same time. There was no familiar blue up-burst, but then again...there were more important things to worry about.
“Hello!? Aelita! Listen to me! X.A.N.A’s reconnected himself to Lyoko, his tower’s gone active again!” (The day we’d picked to try this plan out had also been the reason for it as X.A.N.A. Had somehow acquired launch codes for a Russian warhead, which we were all “lucky” enough to discover via a Special News Report of a missile self-arming itself somewhere in the Siberia Exiled Zone. Jeremie hadn’t even found a name to the lab anywhere on the web, so it really made us wonder how X.A.N.A. Had gotta as far as launch codes. It did however show us that one day...we won’t make it in time...I think we might have had a minute left on the countdown last time).
“Hurry Aelita, the timer’s started up again, we’ve only got five seconds left!” Maybe less, mused Ulrich in shock. “4...3...2-
Any pointers on display would ne helpful, I usually just leave it all together and bold the text, but I'm trying to get it like everyone else usually has it for the eyes, thanks.