Mary stood back against her will when William's first trip to Lyoko turned into a disaster. She could do nothing but moan, "No, not like this! No!"

When Yumi was devirtualized, Mary cried out, "NO! YUMI NO!"

It was no use. No one heard nor saw. Mary started to be frightened of what would ensue from this. She did not want to return to that mess which she had barely survived alive.

Right when Lyoko disappeared, Mary heard the voice of her alarm clock and woke up to it with a headache as her company. What she had seen had been just a dream – a mere bad memory which had returned from her subconscious in the dark of the night to haunt.

Why couldn't it end already? Mary wondered while pondering why the events from Lyoko's worst era recurred in her dreams even though she did not want to remember them. Was it her subconsciousness's way to tell something or just process what had happened on Lyoko or did her subconsciousness just want to plague her? Although, an answer she could not get because she could get nothing out of her subconsciousness.

Mary became aware of the fact that nothing had been audible on the adjacent bed despite of the alarm clock's voice. She looked to its direction and saw that Sophie was not in the room after all. She must have already gone for breakfast. Only at that point Mary realized that she had slumped into her bed in the previous evening in her day clothes after a rough trip to Lyoko and apparently fallen asleep immediately.

Better go for breakfast when there's still something to eat. Mary changed her clothes quickly and left towards the cafeteria. When she arrived there, she immediately noticed that some started to murmur in the tables she passed by. However, Mary did not bother to care about it. When she arrived at the table the rest of the Lyoko Warrior group already was at, Odd asked, "You look like a zombie. Didn't you sleep at night?"

"I slept like a log in the Forest Sector," Mary grunted, "but my mind didn't. It decided to go on a disaster trip on Sector Five when I was sleeping." Only when the words had reached the others, she realized what she had said. Her head ached so much that she did not bother to take her words back and start to explain anything. She would have to go get a painkiller from the nurse after the breakfast.

"Was the dream even about William's first trip to Lyoko?" Ulrich asked. Mary looked at him, irritated, and could not tell if the brown-haired boy's small smile was covertly mocking for real or if it was just an erroneous interpretation produced by her foul mood.

"So what if it was?" she scoffed. She raised her voice a bit. "Try the same situation in my position yourself sometime."

"Calm down, Mary. There's no reason to start shouting," Jeremy said calmly, trying to calm the situation before it would snowball into any worse.

"Oh there isn't?" Mary spat. "I disagree!"

Noting that it was for the best to leave the situation before she would say anything viler, she stood up from the table and left. Her breakfast was left uneaten. Odd did not dare to snatch the banana headed into the garbage bin from his angry comrade's tray when she passed by but let it go.

Mary went to the park in the hope that she would be at peace there. The headache seemed to throb even worse on her temples but she was longer in the mood to talk with anyone, especially a nurse. She wandered quite deep into the park, sat down, leaning against a tree, and pulled the hood of her hoodie on her. The face was left into its shadow.

The park was completely silent, just like Lyoko's Forest Sector. Mary observed the world in front of her from the shadow of her hood and reminisced the good old times when the greatest threat had been a Megatank which one could hear a long distance away.

Those times were lightyears away, or so Mary felt as she reminisced the years gone by.

No one sought her out like no one did back then. William, Sophie and the others had decided to let her be, which Mary was grateful for. Right now, she did not want to talk with anyone about anything.

Now, she needed that moment of peace, that lonely peace in which she had grown up into a warrior against her will. Earth had turned out to be a noisy world after the decade spent on Lyoko and Mary did not know if she would get used it ever again.

During her pondering, Mary fell asleep but jumped awake at some point when someone pushed her.

"Oh, sorry. I thought that there was no one," Sissi's voice said and gave a laugh jeeringly. Two other voices laughed too: Nicholas and Herb. Then three sets of footsteps diverged from her.

"Blasted blond," Mary growled with a low voice when the footsteps were no longer audible. She got up and took the hood off. At least the headache was gone now.

Mary turned to return to the dormitories, less irritated, but after a couple of steps she saw a familiar manhole. She could easily get to the factory and Lyoko to vent some anger on X.A.N.A. and its monsters if she just bothered to go that far.

Actually, a small fight would do good.

Led by that thought, she went to the factory and virtualized on the Forest Sector in the middle of a group of Crabs that had been found on the map.

The Crabs stopped, bewildered, when the lonely Lyoko Warrior was virtualized right in the middle of them. Mary rose to her full height, took up her dragon paws, roared an obscure battle cry and jumped on the first Crab, winged by the dragon's wings. Only when the girl struck her claws into the Crab she had chosen, its comrades started to shoot.

Not a single laser hit, because at the point when they were at the spot, Mary was already gone, attacking the next Crab.

Confused by the sudden attack, X.A.N.A. sent more Crabs at Mary.

Oh yes, just bring it on, X.A.N.A. Right now, I want to fight and hard, Mary thought upon seeing the reinforcements arriving. The smirk on her face became bigger when she jumped down from the branch to attack the new monsters.

At some point, Sophie's voice called her in the middle of the battle. Mary ignored it for a while, destroyed the last monsters and came down. Then she gathered her social skills back together and asked, "What now, Sophie?"

"Why are you on Lyoko?" Sophie asked. "We were all worried when we couldn't reach you on a phone."

"Blowing off some steam," Mary answered. "I came here on a moment's impulse. That's why I didn't tell you about this."

"Can you come back to Earth?" Sophie asked.

"More monsters are coming," William's voice said.

Mary looked on the right. More Crabs. On the other hand, she felt like continuing fighting, but on the other hand it was perhaps for the best to stop now that she was being called back where she now belonged.

"Fine, I'll come," she sighed and settled in front of the Crabs. "Well then, crustaceans, devirtualize me so that I won't have to do it myself."

Pleased with itself, although still not comprehending the purpose of this battle, X.A.N.A. gave the Crabs the order to shoot. Six lasers hit Mary and devirtualized the girl.

When the scanner opened, some of the Lyoko Warriors were in front of her.

"What?" Mary asked, not knowing whether her tone should be aggressive or innocent. The result was something in between.

"Where have you been?" Odd asked.

"On Lyoko. So what?" Mary asked, crossing her arms. She knew that she had done nothing wrong even though wandering on her own on Lyoko and fighting with the monsters without a reason did not belong to the basic habits of a Lyoko Warrior.

"Well that you left without letting any of us know anything," Odd answered avidly.

"We were worried," Eleonora noted, trying to calm the situation before everyone else would become agitated as well. "Anything could've happened."

"I've been on Lyoko alone before," Mary noted, striving to keep her voice level. She noticed what Eleonora tried and decided to act by it. "I fare there very well on my own if I feel like it. And it's probably better that I take my irritation out on monsters and not you."

No one had anything to say against that. Each of them knew what Mary had survived while living on Lyoko.

"What if we just bury this case and let it be?" Aelita suggested.

"Fine by me," Mary answered.

"Yeah, fine," Ulrich said.

The others expressed their support for the suggestion as well. The group left the factory and went back to the school. There Mary went to her room, declined when William offered to come with her as company, and stated that she wanted to be alone.

In the silence of her nowadays shared room, Mary sighed, frustrated. Sometimes she did not get along with the original Lyoko Warrior group well and she did not know what it was caused by. No matter how much she tried, she could not say for sure if the problem was in her or in how the original Lyoko Warriors – especially Yumi and Ulrich, somewhat Odd too – treated her. The case was also messed up by those days when everything was fine and they got along with one another, but then there were these days when this happened.

Perhaps the problem was in both of them, Mary theorized. But how could it be fixed?

Perhaps it was not even meant to be fixed, as there were good days far more than bad ones anyhow. Perhaps it was just natural that they had these days. What did she know when she had lived a remarkable part of her life alone and X.A.N.A. had not taught her any more social skills than had been necessary?

Bad days or not, Mary had sworn to fight by these Lyoko Warriors' side against X.A.N.A.

She had to fight, even though it was hard in that group sometimes.

Without the fight, X.A.N.A. would never disappear, and they all knew it.

/Code Lyoko (c) Moonscoop, Lyokostar story series and its original characters (c) Me/