Welp, this is it. I feel like this story is my baby. I've watched it grown, and now it's going off to college. Oh god, I might cry. Thank you everyone for sticking with me through it all. Two years. Gosh. Thank you all so much, and stay tuned for Chasing Fate.
Dark clouds covered the sky, the morning sun cowering behind them. The wind stirred the snow, blowing it up from the ground in a light dance of twists and twirls. The birds were silent, save a soft chirp every so often. The city stood silent as well. Hardly any cars drove through the streets and even less people walked them. There was an uneasy feeling of quiet in the world, as if it had hit the snooze on its alarm clock and crawled back into bed, curling up under the blankets.
Soft, quick steps crunched through the snow that had collected on the bridge. Seven teens moved over the bridge, focused and determined. They were completely silent but their thoughts were racing. They got to the end, the factory towering over them.
Aelita surprised them all by leaping foreword first, grasping the cable and swinging down. The others followed suite, and they landed on the cement bellow, the sound of their landings echoing off the walls.
They moved together towards the old elevator, and Yumi hit the button. The doors hissed open, and they all got in. Odd hit the down button, and the doors hissed closed, before the elevator rolled down, leaving the upper level of the factory empty again.
The doors opened up to the computer room. They all emptied out, following Jeremie over to the computer chair.
The blonde slid into the chair and began to type. "Alright guys, this is it. The antivirus can only be activated in a place strong enough to sustain the amount of energy needed for the antivirus. I've located a highly energized chamber in sector five, so that's where you're going to take Aelita. I won't activate the antivirus until you get there so Xana won't know we have it until it's too late."
"We need to be careful. No messing around or goofing off." Ulrich said, looking at Odd.
Instead of getting insulted or making a snide remark, Odd nodded. "We can't do anything risky. We keep someone with Aelita at all times, at arm's reach, and she shouldn't be alone at any given moment."
A silence filled the room as everyone watched Odd. He looked down at the ground. "We can't mess this up, not when she's so close to freedom."
Aelita smiled softly and squeezed his hand. She could see a smile spread on his face as he squeezed back.
"I'll send you guys to the edge of the desert sector." He spun in the chair to face them all. "Ready?"
They all nodded. "Ready."
"Alright. Good luck." Jeremie said. His gaze landed on Aelita. "And stay safe."
She nodded and led the others into the elevator. They appeared a moment later in the scanner room.
"Send Aelita in the second string; it's safer." Jeremie's voice rang through the speakers.
The six looked at each other, and Vanessa, Ulrich and Yumi stepped forward, going to their separate scanners.
"Transfer Yumi. Transfer Ulrich. Transfer Vanessa." Jeremie typed quickly, knowing Xana was growing suspicious with their sudden activity.
Yumi, Vanessa, and Ulrich soon found themselves hanging in the virtual air of the desert sector. They dropped down, each landing on their feet.
Ulrich studied the two girls feet. "How do you guys land so perfectly in those demon shoes?" He said, referring to the height of their heels.
The girls both shrugged.
"I guess it's a natural female talent." Vanessa said.
"Are you kidding?" Yumi exclaimed. "It took me a month's worth of Lyoko visits to learn how to walk in these things."
Vanessa shrugged again. "Beauty's pain."
"Then by that logic I should be dead." Odd said as he, Aelita, and Candy were virtualized above them.
The three moved quickly out of the way as Aelita, Odd, and Candy dropped down. Odd and Aelita landed well; Candy… not so much.
"Hey, clean up your act ." Odd said, smiling.
Candy frowned at Odd as Yumi helped her up. "Do you know how disoriented I get when I'm virtualized? Give me a break, would you?"
"Guys, guys, save the fighting for Xana's monsters." Jeremie said. "I'm sending you your vehicles."
After a moment of waiting, the over board, bike, wing, and disk virtualized.
Odd bowed to Aelita and offered his hand. "My Lady, your chariot awaits."
Aelita smiled and took his hand as he helped her up. Odd then stepped on.
Vanessa stepped onto the over disk, which she had accustomed to riding, and Ulrich climbed on to the over bike; Candy and Yumi on the over wing.
"Go north until you reach the end of the sector. From there, the transport orb will take you to Carthage."
"Ay ay, captain." Ulrich said, before speeding foreword. The others followed and they headed across the desert.
Jeremie's eyes flicked to the map at the sight of an alert. "Oh boy. You've got twelve monsters heading toward you."
Yumi's eyes widened. "Did I hear you correctly? Twelve?"
"That's right." Jeremie said, folding his hands under his chin. "Xana's on to us. Six hornets, three bloks and three tarantulas, straight ahead."
Ulrich looked up at Odd and Aelita, who were flying above them.
"Odd, let Vanessa take Aelita. She has a good shield and is our strongest defense." Odd looked at Ulrich and nodded. He flew closer to Vanessa, letting Vanessa take Aelita's hand and jump onto the over disk.
"Odd, you're good with aerial attacks, you take the hornets. Yumi, Candy, you two get the tarantulas. I've got the bloks. Vanessa, hang back and keep Aelita safe."
The monsters came into view. Odd flew up into the sky at the hornets.
"Yoo hoo! Over here!" Odd waved at the hornets, catching their attention and leading them away from the rest of the monsters.
The overwing flew towards the tarantulas. They sat back on their hind legs and started firing at the girls. Yumi drove in a wide ark over them, Candy blocking the lasers with her blades.
Yumi quickly took her hands from the wheel to pull out her two fans. She threw them quickly before grabbing the wheel again. One of her fans completely missed, getting wedged into the ground. The other barely skimmed the creeper, flying past and nearly hitting Vanessa, but Aelita managed to catch it.
"Watch it Yumi!" Vanessa shouted, driving the over disk towards some boulders for shelter.
Yumi shook her head. "Sorry!" She glanced at the sky. "Jeremie, can you get me two more fans?"
Jeremie began typing. "I'm on it."
Aelita glanced at Odd who was speeding past them, the swarm of hornets on his tail. She threw Yumi's fan, and it sliced through the swarm to Yumi, who caught it. One of the hornets exploded.
Odd smiled. "Nice one princess."
Yumi glanced back up. "Make that one fan, Jeremie."
Aelita smiled but quickly frowned. Two hornets had split from the other three and were flying towards Vanessa and her.
"V…!" Aelita warned, tightening her hold around Vanessa's waist. Vanessa flew them away, passing over Ulrich.
Ulrich drove the bike straight at one of the bloks. His eyes narrowed as he hit full speed. At the last moment he leapt from the bike into the air, the bike crashing into the blok and exploding.
As he fell down, a flash of purple zoomed below him, and Ulrich landed on the back of Odd's overboard.
Odd glanced over his shoulder at Ulrich. "Hey Ulrich. Nice of you to drop by."
Ulrich glared, standing up and holding Odd's shoulder for support. The two let out startled gasps when lasers were fired at them, both getting hit before Ulrich came to his senses and started blocking lasers with his sword. Odd turned and fired a laser arrow, taking out one of the three hornets.
"Odd! Drop me off somewhere!" Ulrich cried.
"Alright. Thank you for flying air Odd, we appreciate-"
So Odd quickly flew upside down in a loop, Ulrich being unprepared for it and falling off to the ground below.
Ulrich groaned sitting up. Odd came down from the loop and flew past Ulrich.
"You said 'now'!" Odd cried, flying away with the hornets close behind.
Ulrich shook his head and stood, running towards the bloks. Yumi's fans flew past him.
Yumi frowned as she caught her fans. They had missed again. She glanced from the steering wheel back to Candy. "It would make a lot more sense if you were driving."
Candy nodded. "Probably."
The two girls quickly switched, Yumi blocking a few lasers along the way.
Vanessa did her best to hold up a shield and drive the over disk at the same time, but it was hard. It was even harder with two people; the disk was only meant for one person. Vanessa cringed as her shield shattered. Aelita gasped as the hornets started firing.
In a desperate attempt to shield Aelita, Vanessa shifted all of her weight to the front of the disk. The back flew up and blocked the lasers, and the girls tumbled to the ground below. A hornet shot at Aelita, and Vanessa sent a blast of energy at it. The hornet exploded just as the laser hit Aelita.
Vanessa threw herself in front of Aelita, taking the blasts from the remaining hornet.
"Vanessa! You have a shield for a reason!" Jeremie shouted.
Realization hit Vanessa and she quickly put up a shield. The hornet fired a few more times before Vanessa reached around and blasted it.
The explosion of the hornet went off just as the tarantula nearby blew up. Yumi's fans spun from the blast and into her waiting hands.
Yumi smiled. "Yes!"
Candy looked down at the remaining tarantula. "Get ready to take the wheel. I've got this last one."
Yumi nodded and Candy turned. She swooped low and jumped from the over wing onto the creepers head.
"Hola." She said, peering down at it. The tarantula tried to shake her off and threw its head back. Candy was thrown high, back flipping and landing on her hands on the tarantulas head. She spun using her legs for momentum and buckled her elbows, the blades slicing through the eye of Xana on the tarantulas head. She jumped away as it exploded, tucking and rolling past a blok.
The two bloks stood on either side of Ulrich. Ulrich made eye contact with Yumi who was flying overhead, a silent understanding passing between them. Ulrich looked to his left and right as the bloks charged up a blast. He smiled.
Yumi grabbed him just as they released their blasts. The lasers hit the opposite blok, and the monsters exploded.
Yumi glanced over her shoulder at Ulrich and the two exchanged knowing smiles before Yumi turned around to focus on driving. Odd passed them.
Odd flew over the land. He quickly spun the board, driving towards the hornets. He drove straight between them. They fired at him in a storm of lasers. The two hornets managed to shoot each other on accident, but Odd still got hit.
He drove the overboard over to Vanessa and Aelita, where everyone seemed to be meeting up.
"Is that all of them?" Aelita asked.
"For now." Jeremie answered. The edge of the sector isn't too far from you. Straight ahead, you can't miss it."
They looked, seeing the long strip of land leading out.
Candy climbed back onto the over wing with Yumi and Odd helped Aelita onto the over board.
"What about us?" Vanessa asked.
Ulrich nodded. "Our vehicles were destroyed by the monsters."
Yumi smirked. "If I remember correctly, you're the one that drove the over bike into a blok."
Ulrich glared at her and she stuck out her tongue.
"I can program another vehicle. It'll just take a couple minutes."
"We don't have a couple minutes." Vanessa said, something in the distance catching her eye.
"Xana's sending more monsters. We have to leave now."
Ulrich looked at Vanessa and sighed. "Let's hope you're as light weight as you look."
And before she could say anything, he quickly grabbed her, hoisted her up onto his back, and super sprinted down the thin strip of land. The others followed, the new monsters close behind.
"I'm sending the transport orb." Jeremie said, typing in the code.
Ulrich stopped at the end, letting Vanessa down as the transport orb came into sight. Odd and Aelita jumped off the board and landed next to them. Yumi and Candy barely made it, both diving from the over wing into the orb just as it picked them up.
The six teens found themselves in the arena, backs facing each other and looking out. The room spun around them.
"Alright you guys. It won't be the usual 'get the key, stop the timer' mission. You'll have to get to the room where the antivirus can be activated through a certain route. Just because you aren't on a time limit doesn't mean you can move slow; Xana could send monsters at any moment."
The room stopped spinning and a passage opened up.
The gang exchanged glances before they ran foreword. Jeremie directed them through twists and turns, deeper in sector 5, Ulrich at the head of the pack.
"Left." Jeremie said.
Ulrich went around the corner and was knocked back as a laser pelted his chest, sent by one of two bloks blocking the path.
Odd skidded in front of him, firing at one of the bloks as he slid. Candy ran foreword around the corner, and jumped onto the other blok. She sliced the eye before jumping onto the high part of the wall, out of blast range as the two bloks exploded.
"You alright?" Vanessa asked Ulrich, watching Aelita help him up.
Ulrich nodded. "They caught me by surprise. A little warning next time Jeremie."
"Sorry, my bad. There's a lot of stuff I'm keeping track of up here. Go straight down that hallway then make a right."
Yumi took the lead and ran ahead down the hallway. She made a right turn and frowned. At the end of the hallway there was just a wall with two creepers hanging on it, ready to fire.
"Jeremie, it looks like this hallway has a dead end." Yumi said, pulling out her fans and blocking a laser. The others pulled out their weapons as well.
"There's a hole on the floor right before the wall. You'll drop down into the next hallway."
Yumi could see the hole now. She blocked as many lasers as she could and dodged the rest, letting the others handle them.
Once she was close enough, she threw both her fans, and they sliced through the air, hitting the creepers right on target. They exploded, and Yumi jumped just as she got to the hole in the ground. She caught her fans before disappearing below. The others jumped in as well, Odd pounced onto the wall the creepers had been on before jumping in though, back flipping off it before disappearing below, and Vanessa made sure to do a 360 flip.
Odd glared at his sister as he stood up from his crouched landing position. "You just did that to one up me."
Vanessa smiled, standing. "What? Mau? I would never."
"Stop your bickering and let's go." Candy said, beginning to run down the tunnel. The tunnel went down in a gentle slope, a few turns here and there. It was black, save the light blue coding that flickered on the curved walls, providing them with enough light.
"This is so cool." Candy said, looking around.
The others nodded in agreement. They ran in silence for a while.
"Wait, wait. Guys, stop." Aelita said, coming to a halt. The others did as well.
"Do you hear that?" She asked.
In the distance, everyone could make out a light rumbling noise, that seemed to be growing louder and louder. The tunnel began to shake.
Jeremie looked at the map and saw what it was. "Run!"
Aelita, who had enough experience on Lyoko to know that when someone says 'run,' you get the hell out of there, took off down the tunnel.
Candy's eyes widened; she had been looking up the tunnel, the way they had came, and saw it first.
"Run!" She repeated. The others looked and saw a megatank rolling down the tunnel towards them, and they took off after Candy and Aelita running.
They sprinted down the tunnel as fast as they could, but the magatank was closing the distance between them.
"Just a little further! The tunnel opens up into a ravine up ahead!" Jeremie yelled, nearly pulling his hair out of his head.
They could see the bright light at the end of the tunnel; they were almost out. Candy sprinted ahead, the light nearly blinding her.
"Wait, watch out!"
That's when she saw the krab only four feet in front of her. She yelped and ducked, sliding under it.
That wasn't the only thing Jeremie was warning her about though.
The tunnel opened up onto a small ledge that hung over a ravine. Candy slid right over the side, grasping the edge just before she fell to her doom.
Aelita slid under the krab, and made the same mistake of going straight, and she flew over the side just as Ulrich, Vanessa, Yumi and Odd jumped to the right and left sides of the ledge.
Candy caught Aelita's hand with her free one and she slammed back into the ledge they were hanging from. The megatank crashed into the krab like it was nothing, and flew over the edge, falling to the depths below.
Candy cringed, feeling her grasp on the edge begin to slip.
"Ayuda me!" Candy spat. The others bolted into action as Candy swung Aelita as hard as she could, flinging her up onto the ledge. Ulrich grabbed the pink haired girl as Yumi reached for Candy, but she had already let go.
Odd fired a laser arrow at Candy as she fell, and the Ginger was devirtualized.
Candy stumbled out of the scanner, holding her head. She moved to the elevator and ascended up to the computer lab.
She dragged herself into the room, towards Jeremie.
He tossed her a quick smile before returning his attention back to the supercomputer. "Welcome to earth Candy."
Candy shook her head leaning on the computer chair. "It's a good thing we're ending all this today, or Lyoko would be the death of me." She paused for a moment, thinking. "Or Aelita."
"Wait, by 'or Aelita' do you mean Lyoko will be the death of Aelita, or Aelita will be the death of you?" Ulrich asked from inside Lyoko, smiling.
Candy shook her head, smiling. "Both."
Aelita shrugged and smiled. "I'm a lot to manage, sorry."
The five gathered at the edge of the platform, looking out over the huge ravine. Small platforms were floating in the air.
"You need to get across the ravine to that passage. It will take you to the room where I can activate the antivirus." Jeremie said.
The warriors looked across the huge room, and could see the opening Jeremie was talking about.
"How are we supposed to get across?" Yumi asked. "There's no way we can make the jumps between those platforms." Yumi put a warning hand on Odd's shoulder, not even having to look to know he would try. "Don't try it Odd."
Vanessa frowned, thinking. "I can conjure small energy tiles with my energy beams. We can use those to get from platform to platform."
"Right now that looks like your only option." Jeremie said.
Vanessa nodded and stepped up to the end of the ledge. She took a deep breath. She rose her hands, her fingers loose, relaxed, her eyes closed. She spread her fingers, locking them and extending her arms fully, eyes sparkling with focus.
Ten small, purple, tiles of energy lead up to the first platform. Vanessa stood waiting.
"I can't hold these forever." Vanessa said, looking at them for only a second before bringing her attention back to the tiles.
Odd slowly stepped to the edge of the platform. He looked at the tiles cautiously.
He had seen Vanessa run through the air using these as steps many times on Lyoko, but she had never conjured steps for other people, and to be honest, he was a bit scarred.
But he trusted his big sister.
He stepped on the tile and glanced at Vanessa. She kept the same focused expression. He turned back around and slowly walked up the tiles, before safely stepping onto the platform.
Aelita went next, and then Yumi.
Then it was just Ulrich and Vanessa.
Ulrich cautiously looked over the edge again. They were so high up. This was not a good situation for someone with vertigo to be in.
Ulrich looked up at Yumi.
"Ulrich, don't look down, just look at me. It's only ten steps. Ten steps and you'll be fine."
Ulrich gulped. He looked over the edge again.
He looked at Yumi, who was standing right at the top, waiting for him, hand extended.
Slowly, he stepped to the edge. He forced himself not to look down, to look at Yumi. He took a deep breath.
"Anytime now." Vanessa muttered.
Ulrich didn't let her rudeness get to him. He stepped up onto the first tile, looking at Yumi. Then he stepped onto the next. Then the next. And the next. And in no time he had stepped onto the platform, and hugged Yumi.
"Thank you." He whispered into her hair. She just smiled as she held him.
Vanessa quickly scaled the steps, letting them disappear behind her. When she got to the platform, she looked out over the ravine, frowning.
"This is going to take a while."
They repeated the same technique a few more times until they had made it to a platform near the middle of the room. There were no more platforms between them and the exit, and the gap between them was huge.
Everyone looked at Vanessa, unsure if she'd be able to do it.
Vanessa took a deep breath, raising her arms. Thirty tiles lined up between them and the exit. But they started shaking and quickly shattered as Vanessa dropped onto one knee.
"V!" Odd shouted.
"Vanessa, you just lost twenty life points!"
Vanessa held her head, frowning. "Ok… bad idea."
Aelita looked across, examining the distance. "Vanessa, why don't you try doing two tiles at a time with one person, like the way you do when you're using them."
Vanessa stood up and made two tiles. "Yeah I can handle that."
Everyone glanced around to see who was going to go first.
"You know what?" Ulrich said. "You'll probably end up dropping me anyways, so I might as well get it over with sooner than later."
Odd slapped him on the back. "That's the spirit Ulrich!"
Ulrich glared at him and strolled to the side of the platform. He stepped onto the first tile, and then onto the second. The first tile disappeared and a third tile appeared in front of him. Once he was on the third, a fourth appeared and the second disappeared. This continued on as Ulrich cautiously crossed the ravine.
When he finally got to the ledge that the exit was on, he muttered a silent thank you before waving across to show he had made it unharmed.
Vanessa sighed, dropping her arms to rest.
"Vanessa, you lost a few life points from fatigue. Be careful." Jeremie warned.
Vanessa nodded even though he couldn't see her. Vanessa then sent Yumi across. Her hands had started to shake a bit but she got Yumi across.
"Vanessa, you lost another ten life points. Are you sure you want to keep doing this?"
"We don't have a choice." Vanessa said, raising her hands and creating another two tiles.
Aelita stepped onto the tile. "I'll go quick Vanessa." And she quickly stepped from one tile to the next.
Vanessa was breathing hard. She had to keep blinking to make keep her vision from getting blurry.
"You guys, monsters closing in quick!"
Suddenly, a laser hit Vanessa in the back. She yelped and the tiles shook, nearly shattering, and Aelita nearly fell.
They looked back and saw three hornets flying towards Vanessa and Odd.
Odd turned to look at Aelita. "Aelita, go!" He yelled, as he stood in front of Vanessa, using his purple shield.
Aelita stood up on the shaking tile and jumped to the next one. She jumped two more before she had to stop. Vanessa hadn't created another one for her to step on yet.
"Vanessa, you're losing life points steadily now; just rest for a moment!" Jeremie shouted.
Vanessa shook her head and glanced at Aelita. Instead of conjuring the next step, she conjured the entire rest of the bridge.
"Twenty life points Vanessa!" Jeremie shouted.
"Run Aelita!"Vanessa yelled. Aelita scaled the rest of the bridge.
The hornets continued to fire, and Odd continued to shield. He managed to take out two but the last one would not stay still.
Odd dropped the shield and sprinted across the tiles as Vanessa began getting hit by lasers. The tiles began to shatter. Vanessa blindly sent a blast of energy behind her, hitting the hornet. Just as Odd leapt onto the ledge, Vanessa was devirtualized.
The scanner doors hissed open and the small blond girl lay curled up inside.
"Jeremie." She said aloud.
"Are you ok Vanessa?" Jeremie asked over the speakers.
"Did Odd make that jump? I was devirtualized before I could see."
"Yes Vanessa, Odd made it. He's ok."
Vanessa sighed with relief before passing out.
The four Lyoko warriors turned to face their exit. They moved down the hallway and found a touch panel waiting for them.
"Jeremie?" Aelita asked.
"Your guess is as good as mine." Jeremie said. He and Candy glanced towards the elevator at the sound of the elevator doors opening. Vanessa dragged herself into the room over to Jeremie and Candy, leaning on the arm rest.
Aelita shrugged and put her hand up to the touch screen. It scanned her hand and beeped.
The panel disappeared and the wall it had been on split into two sliding doors. A small room was revealed to them.
"Is this the room?" Yumi asked.
"No, it looks like an elevator to the room." Jeremie responded.
They walked inside and the doors slid shut. Like the tunnel they had ran through earlier, the elevator was dark save for the glowing blue programming on the sides. It began its ascent, and they all remained quiet.
The elevator stopped. The walls and ceiling began to pixalize until they completely disappeared, and the Lyoko warriors found themselves standing in an enormous circular arena like room. A huge column towered in front of them, a spiral-like staircase curling up to the top. The entire room sparkled with blue coding.
The warriors gazed around in awe for a moment before Jeremie's soft words caught their attention.
"This is it." Jeremie said. "I'm going to activate the antivirus now."
There was a moment of silent anticipation as the warriors heard the typing of keys through Jeremie's head set. A charge went through the room and the sparkling blue coding turned bright white. A blazing white light emitted from the top of the large column, a welcoming, warming feeling lofting through the air.
Aelita began to journey up the staircase. The three Lyoko warriors watched, smiling. Jeremie, Vanessa and Candy smiled from the supercomputer chair as well.
Aelita reached the top and saw the source of the bright light. A globe of pure, white light floated in the air, sparkling with love, warmth, and life. She slowly moved towards it, and came to a hault, the antivirus arms reach away.
Aelita lifted her hand to the antivirus, and as her fingers made contact with the glowing orb, her eyes closed shut dreamily. Her pink locks began to flutter and the bright light expanded, growing brighter until it completely enveloped her in light.
The bubble of light seemed to solidify, and the glowing stopped. Aelita looked around in alarm.
"Jeremy?" Her voice was slightly muffled. "What-"
Horrible screeching ripped through the air. Odd, Ulrich, and Yumi looked around in a panic.
A panel at the top of the column Aelita stood on opened up, and the Scyphozoa floated out.
Gasps rang on Lyoko and earth as the Lyoko warriors watched Aelita being lifted into the air.
"It was a trap! The antivirus was a fake! He's taking her memory!" Jeremie shouted.
Odd, Ulrich, and Yumi raced up the spiral staircase. They climbed to the top and started banging on the dome like shield around Aelita and the Scyphozoa.
"Aelita no!" Odd fired laser arrows at the shield, but it wouldn't break. Ulrich continuously slashed at it with his katana and Yumi threw her fans, but it just wouldn't break.
"It's no use!" Yumi cried.
Everyone could only watch as the Scyphozoa drained Aelita. Jeremie, Vanessa and Candy starred at the screen in absolute horror.
"No." Jeremie whispered. The last of Aelita's life force slipped away. "Aelita's… dead."
The Scyphozoa dropped Aelita, and she collapsed to the ground. The Scyphozoa retreated and the shield started to disappear.
No!" Odd cried. He, Yumi, and Ulrich devirtualized.
When they got out of the scanners, they quickly climbed the ladder and ran to Jeremie.
"What?" Odd couldn't even form a coherent sentence. Tears were welled in his eyes.
Numerous towers started to activate.
"With, Aelita's key's to Lyoko. Xana can escape Lyoko." Jeremie whispered.
The storm which had been brewing outside had hit full force. Sleet and rain fell over the factory full force. A strike of lightning struck above the factory, and the eye of Xana flashed in the sky.
Lyoko was dark.
Aelita was dead.
Xana had escaped.
The six Lyoko warriors were silent. Soft sniffles and whimpers were the only sounds of life coming from them.
Vanessa sank to the floor and buried her head in her hands. Candy turned away and covered her mouth with a hand and squeezed her eyes shut. Jeremie's head fell with his hands fisted on the keyboard. Ulrich turned away and slammed a fist into the wall. Odd had turned to bury his face in Yumi's shoulder, and she held him as he cried.
Jeremie shook his head as the beginnings of tears formed.
An alert lit up the screen.
Jeremie looked up, and took a sharp intake of breath. "What,"
He started to type. "What is,"
Vanessa lifted her head and Ulrich returned to Jeremie's side. "What's happening?"
"It, it's Franz Hopper."
On Lyoko, a sphere of warm, loving light lifted Aelita from the column.
"He's bringing Lyoko back to life."
"And he's… he's saving his daughter."
Memories filled Aelita's mind as everything came back to her. Eveything. Not just flash backs, or clips, but everything. Her old home, her mother, the men in black, her father, entering Lyoko for the first time, everything. Her entire life filled her memory.
The sphere of light burst and Aelita devirtualized.
Jeremie's eyes widened. "The scanners! Quick!"
They took the ladder down and gathered around a scanner which hummed with life.
The doors hissed open and smoke poured from the pod.
Aelita tumbled out of the pod into Yumi and Odd who lowered her to the ground.
Tears swelled in Aelita's eyes and she buried her head in Odd's chest.
"Jeremie." Yumi said softly. "What do we do now?"
Jeremie shook his head. "I don't know."
"Do we, do we even stand a chance against Xana now?" Vanessa stuttered.
"I don't know."
Jeremie sat down on the floor next to Aelita and Odd. "I just don't know."
Everyone slowly sat down. Aelita had revealed her face to look at the rest of the group, but everyone remained silent.
"My father may have just sacrificed himself to save me and Lyoko, and now he might be gone. If we had any chance at winning, it's gone now." She turned her head downwards and started to cry again. "What are we going to do?"
Jeremie finally looked up to gaze at his friends. "I'll tell you what we're going to do. We're going to keep fighting. That's what we've been doing all along isn't it? Sure it seems impossible, but that's what we said when we found the supercomputer. That's what we said about bringing Aelita to earth. We'll keep fighting Xana, and we'll win."
Everyone was quiet for a moment before Aelita slowly nodded. "You're right. Protecting the world from Xana is my destiny."
Jeremie smiled and took Odd and Ulrich's hand. Ulrich smiled and took Candy's, and she took Vanessa's and Vanessa took Yumi's and Yumi Aelita's. Odd grabbed Aelita's other hand, making her look up and smile.
"No Aelita." Odd said. "It's our Destiny."
Will the Lyoko Warriors stop Xana? Or will he conquer the world with his new freedom? Find out in Chasing Fate, coming soon.