Prologue

Thirteen years before Ulrich, Yumi, Odd, and Jeremie discovered Aelita and the gateway to the parallel universe of Lyoko, Xana put has greatest and deadliest plan into action. That story begins in a hospital, maternity ward. A child has just been born, but he has entered the world alone. The mother, exhausted and weak from her ordeal, passed away seconds after giving birth. The father has yet to be located. The baby, despite this, would prove to be far more powerful than anyone could have imagined.


Dr. Neoff knocked softly on the glass of the nursery. He had a job to finish. He was in charge of the newborn infant's delivery. Sadly, the boy's mother had not survived her incredible effort to bring him into the world, but Neoff was determined not to let the same fate befall his charge. At the moment, though, he was not sure he would succeed. The child's heartbeat was irregular and slow, and he had not made a sound since he first saw the light of day. Presently, the boy was in a special nursery designed to bring failing newborns back to health. Dr. Neoff could only hope the nursery, and the sole resident in it, would do their jobs.

He knocked again, and the frantic resident spared a moment to look at him. Neoff shrugged, and mouthed, "How's he doing?" The resident bit her bottom lip and shook her head, then immediately went back to caring for the baby. Neoff watched in awe as the resident dashed from wall to wall, probing the boy with this and injecting him with that. She seemed to work with inhuman speed, but it seemed that the small baby's heart would fail despite all the resident's best efforts. Neoff watched as the numbers on the child's heart monitor slowly trickled away, down and down and down until...

Even though he couldn't hear it, Dr. Neoff still felt a thrill of sheer terror as he imagined the horrible, monotone beep that signified cardiac arrest. The resident, pale as a ghost, looked up at him, and he replied by mouthing "Shock him! Now!" The resident went even paler at the thought of the risky procedure, but then she nodded, face set, and ran to get the proper equipment. Neoff felt his palms going sweaty as she ran back with the tool, and as she placed the two ends of the defibrillator on his small chest, he felt ready to burst with anxiety. "Three..." the resident held up three fingers. "Two...one..." Dr. Neoff crossed his own fingers in his lab coat pockets. "Clear." There was a sharp buzz, and the baby jerked, whimpered, and lay still. Nothing.

Neoff covered his face with his hands, choking back a sob. He had failed! The boy was dead! Neoff didn't know why it bothered him so much. He had seen this before. Being a doctor, he witnessed death all the time, but this time... this time he thought he could change the inevitable. He lifted his head to take one last look at the child he almost saved...and nearly had a heart attack himself. The boy was alive! He could see on the monitor that his heart rate was slowly stabilizing. The resident had collapsed into a chair, grinning broadly, but still shaking. Dr Neoff couldn't help leaping into the air.

"WE SAVED IT! YAHOO!" When he landed, he found himself crying with joy. Finally! He had beaten death! But... Suddenly the baby's eyes snapped open. All... three of them? No... it couldn't be... Accompanying the child's icy blue eyes was a piercingly bright, glowing red image on his forehead! All at once the boy opened his mouth and let loose an earsplitting shriek! Dr. Neoff had to cover his ears. Even through the soundproof glass, the noise was deafening. Then the floor under his feet began to tremble. Neoff had just enough time to wonder what in the world was happening when, without warning, a tremendous, invisible energy wave pulsed out from the infant. The resident was flung like a rag doll through the window into Dr. Neoff as computers exploded and the nursery's tile floor crumbled to dust...

As sirens blared and overhead sprinklers went off all throughout the hospital, Neoff sat, dumbfounded, amidst the wreckage. The unconscious resident lay across his lap, blood from her wounds staining his luminecent lab coat scarlet. He gazed, horrified, at the glowing red image on the crying infant's brow, the only thing visible through the dust, and shook his head. "I saved it," he whispered, and shuddered. "What have I done?"

To be continued...