Code LYOKO: Fragmented Legacies
1: Aftermath and Beginnings
The coolest, most important job in the world was also the worst in terms of salaries and benefits.
Indeed, the small group responsible for foiling a single entity's constant attempts at world domination, first-degree murder, or merely pissing people off were never commended nor paid a single Euro for accomplishing feats equivalent to those of fictional superheroes such as Wonderwoman, Jack Bauer or Pac Man. Furthermore, kicking evil hard in the face was a non-unionized occupation and hence there were no sick days, pensions or welfare bonuses to be allotted.
How evil was that?
In addition, like so many of the fabled caped allies of justice, saving the world without anyone noticing was one of the many strict requirements. It wasn't that they had to use secret codenames or wear masks and spandex, it was just that no one could ever come remotely close to discover what they were up to. And those who had caught a brief glimpse of them were unable to recall what they had witnessed shortly afterwards.
But above all, the members of this evil-bashing quintet known as Team LYOKO – were only high school students.
It was the beginning of another school year at Kadic Academy in Paris, France. The trees surrounding the institution had already begun changing colours, creating a big mess of red, orange and yellow that no groundskeeper would want to clean up. The bells rang one last time to signal the end of classes for the day, and as students and teachers began rushing out of their classrooms, no one seemed to notice that they had gone through a case of déjà vu.
Except for the five individuals who were immune to such a return to the past.
Not far from the school grounds, a manhole cover was uplifted and out came a boy completely dressed in purple, sporting blonde hair that looked like it had been inserted into a giant pencil sharpener. Despite what had happened earlier during the day, Odd Della Robia still had a flashy grin plastered over his face; which has yet to win him a date.
"Cheer up Ulrich! Look at the bright side! Think of the positives! I mean, yeah, we both failed a pop quiz today and William's gone over to the dark side and all…but…at least Yumi's all yours now!"
Odd Della Robia
LYOKO avatar: Ferocious Feline
His hair has the power to defy gravity.
He enjoys reading comic strips, especially Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes.
"Shut up, Odd," muttered Ulrich Stern as he too emerged from the sewer system. Once again his best friend and roommate's remarks have irked him, but he had to admit that with William gone…
LYOKO avatar: Shinobi (male ninja [JAP])
Rating: 9/10 (academics: 7/10)
He once got an F+ on an essay; his English teacher said it was written in an alien language.
His favourite football (soccer) player is German striker Miroslav Klose.
"What did he say this time, Ulrich?" asked a feminine voice below him.
"N-nothing," stammered Ulrich as he lent a hand towards his black-clad friend Yumi Ishiyama.
LYOKO avatar: Kunoichi (female ninja [JAP])
Her highly-organized closet consists of 80% black clothes.
She is a huge fan of Japanese pop music, and U2.
"So what are we gonna do, now that XANA has a new puppet?" asked Odd.
"A new powerful, cocky, self-centred puppet, you mean." Yumi corrected.
"Can't argue with you there. He did just about beat us all by himself."
Ulrich displayed an expression of utmost disgust at Odd's reminder of their most recent encounter with XANA's newest Enforcer and how, had it not been for a lucky break, Team LYOKO would have ceased to exist. Meanwhile, the unofficial leader and strategist of the group, Jeremie Belpois joined them.
LYOKO avatar: Ridiculous and Enigmatic
Rating: [(3+3) x 2 - 3.5]/10
His first word was 'motherboard'.
He has a poster of Albert Einstein. His nickname is also Einstein.
"Well, William was powerful to begin with, and he definitely took us by surprise with his new abilities and massive power creep from XANA. The probability of us standing a chance against him in our current state was next to null. On top of that–"
Jeremie abruptly stopped talking as he felt a soft nudge on his trousers from the pink-haired girl beneath him.
"I don't mind listening to your extensive analysis of today's mission Jeremie, but…my arms are sort of getting tired," said Aelita Stones.
Aelita Stones / Hopper / ?
LYOKO avatar: Elf
Rating: 9/10 (10/10 for natural pink hair!)
She has lupophobia: the fear of wolves (includes Wolverine and Hugh Jackman).
She visits her old home, the Hermitage on weekends. Jeremie is invited. Odd is not.
"Oh, sorry," said Jeremie as he offered his hand. Aelita accepted it with a smile, making the young tech-savvy boy blush. It was over a year since their first encounter, and Jeremie still felt a certain tingle down his spine every time he interacted with his pink-haired friend.
Re: October, 2005
It was the beginning of another school year at Kadic Academy in Paris, France. Due to an abnormally long summer, October still brought on both hot and humid weather. The trees surrounding the institution had not even begun changing colours and falling from their branches, which was a welcoming sight for any groundskeeper.
Several weeks into the school term, Little Jeremie was already bored. He had no problem understanding the course material, and homework was ready to be submitted in nearly half the time that it would take an average student to finish. While this meant that Jeremie had a lot of free time, he saw little fun in extra-curricular activities. But if there was one thing he was interested in, it was technological science. He spent most of his time outside of class tinkering with robots or exploring new computer software. Jeremie even hacked into the Principal's office computer once and learned of Mr. Delmas's inner passion for Maple Story.
One day, he decided to explore Kadic Academy, which was highly out of the ordinary. If you ever had to seek Jeremie Belpois, all you had to do was try his room, classroom, cafeteria, library or the boys' lavatory (unless you were of the opposite sex). But he was in need of some spare parts for the robot he was constructing for the science fair. Clearly, this excursion yielded a higher probability of finding the necessary trinkets than consulting his science teacher.
Fifteen minutes into his 'field trip', Jeremie stumbled upon what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse south of the campus. At least, he thought it was abandoned; if it was still operational, surely he would've heard the sounds of industrialization from afar. He entered the building, having no idea what he was about to get himself into as he made his way down to the basement. He couldn't believe what it contained.
A giant – no, a supercomputer.
The search for robot accessories long forgotten and with more curiosity than a cat, Jeremie started up the behemoth machine, while taking note of the three tall cylindrical cells connected to the mainframe. When he went up to the control room, he found the computer to be fully operational. On the middle screen was what appeared to be a topographic visual of a digital world, codenamed 'LYOKO', while the side screens displayed running applications and data streams.
How could something like this possibly exist?
Using his experience in programming, Jeremie began to explore LYOKO. He discovered that there were essentially four sections, each with a distinct environment and which were connected by tall cylindrical towers similar to the ones in the basement of the factory. When he clicked on one of the Towers, he was shocked by what he saw.
There was a…girl inside the Tower, resting peacefully while being suspended in the air. Jeremie gasped as the pink-headed girl heard him as she slowly opened her eyes and tilted her head to one side.
"Hello there." The girl said with a smile. Apparently, she could see and hear him.
It seemed as though fantasy was becoming reality before his very eyes. Digital World? Check. Girl stuck in Digital World? Make that a cute girl with pink hair stuck in a Digital World? Check. This whole thing not being a dream? Triple check.
Now, Jeremie was never the happy-go-lucky guy. He hadn't gotten to know his classmates since he was sure that they would just be asking for answers to homework problems and the like. And there were seldom individuals that expressed interest in his hobbies who weren't his academic rivals as well. But with Aelita, it was different.
In the days that followed, Jeremie spent most of his free time conversing with Aelita. Despite being unable to recall how she ended up on LYOKO, she always seemed cheerful and understanding as the two became close confidantes, despite being in different worlds. Aelita was fascinated with the real world, whereas Jeremie was fascinated with LYOKO and vowed to find a way to get her back to Earth. But it wasn't that easy.
When Jeremie turned on the supercomputer, he also awakened XANA, a computer virus that appeared to only have one goal - the same goal of every villain: world domination. With a side helping of eliminating Aelita, who had a special connection with XANA. And that was the problem. If Jeremie was to get her back onto Earth, he would have to sever this bond. But XANA had other plans and it soon targeted Aelita and began to launch attacks in the real world. Not wanting to shut down the supercomputer and lose his only friend – albeit digital – he desperately sought help; which came from unlikely allies.
Fellow classmates Young Odd and Growing-up Ulrich, along with Adolescent Yumi had followed Jeremie to the factory, wondering what he was up to. Having been discovered, Jeremie enlisted their help in stopping XANA. He was surprised that they accepted his request, even though they didn't really know what the bloody hell was going on, nor really knew each other really well. Utilizing the cylindrical cells in the factory, which turned out to be 'scanners' that virtualized beings onto LYOKO – much like in Tron – Jeremie was able to send the trio to help Aelita.
Although Odd, Ulrich and Yumi landed most comfortably on their buttocks, they had the same feeling of when Jeremie first set his eyes on the supercomputer. The three were given new attire, including weapons and combat abilities. They soon joined up with Aelita and realized why they had been armed.
XANA had sent a legion of its monsters to eliminate its new threat of high school students, orchestrating the offensive from the cylindrical structure that served as its temporary command posts.
The three quickly grew familiar with their fighting abilities. Having spent much time in first-person shooting via weekend arcade extravaganzas, Odd showed that he specialized in long-range combat. On the other hand, Yumi and Ulrich demonstrated their proficiency in close-range monster slashing. Soon, XANA's forces were digitized and Aelita rushed off towards the activated Tower. As it turned out, she could neutralize them and thus, stall XANA's offensive temporarily. In addition, Jeremie came across an interesting program – 'return to the past', which reset time to before XANA launched its attack.
Supercomputer, digital world and now time travel. Violating numerous scientific theories and principles, this was turning out to be every science-fiction and Digimon fan's dream come true.
Ever since their first mission, the five Kadic students, dubbing themselves the LYOKO warriors continued to thwart XANA's relentless attacks. Through these numerous near-death experiences and cases where others almost discovered the existence of the supercomputer, Team LYOKO grew more closely-knit. And Jeremie realizing that having friends…wasn't all that bad.
Of course, the main objective was still to get Aelita out of LYOKO and within months, Jeremie compiled Code EARTH to do just that. At first, it appeared to have worked. The entire LYOKO team was there to witness Aelita step out of the scanners and enjoy her first breath of oxygen in over a decade. But she also harboured traces of XANA's digital code within her. And so, the supercomputer remained active as Jeremie tried to find a way to allow Aelita to remain on Earth permanently, free from the virus.
During his search, Jeremie came across the core of LYOKO – Sector 5. The epicentre contained vast amounts of data, including information of the creator, Franz Hopper. The resulting bombshell was similar to that of Star Wars Episode V - Franz Hopper was Aelita's biological father. This prompted further questions regarding her foggy past. At the same time, XANA was stepping up its attacks on LYOKO and Earth, trying to stop Team LYOKO from uncovering more details pertaining to Franz Hopper and the origins of LYOKO and Project CARTHAGE. It unleashed stronger monsters, including the Scyphozoa which threatened to further impair Aelita's memories.
Faced with mounting XANA attacks and an increasing academic workload, Team LYOKO elected to recruit a sixth member. Despite Yumi's objections, her classmate William the Cocky Fledgling joined the group, eager to help and show off at the same time. Things started off smoothly. William quickly proved himself as a valuable member, easily adjusting to the LYOKO environment and demonstrating his exceptional fighting prowess. Even Yumi seemed appreciative, while Ulrich maintained a sense of distrust and jealousy, which was soon well-justified.
In their most recent mission, William chose to single-handedly confront the Scyphozoa, completely forgetting an important code in LYOKO: you never single-handedly challenge the Scyphozoa. The creature of many tentacles gained the upper hand, trapping William and proceeding to convert him onto Team XANA. The LYOKO warriors tried to rescue him, but it was too late – and they were forced to face off against their former teammate. Five against one, how hard could it be?
Very. Enhanced by XANA's dark essence, William swiftly took down Yumi and Odd before incapacitating Ulrich in a one-sided swordfight. Had William been fully under XANA's control, and not retain a bit of his cocky self, he might not have made a slight misstep that resulted in him plunging into the Digital Sea. Although Aelita was then able to deactivate the Tower, the whole group was shocked at how easily WilliXANA had nearly won the day for the bad guys.
"So, as I was saying–"
"Jeremie, you can let go of my hand now." Aelita had already made her way up.
"Oh, sorry," the boy apologized and turned a deeper shade of red than Ron Weasley could manage. Ulrich and Odd started to snicker, but stopped when Jeremie glared at them.
"Anyways, what I was trying to say was–"
He was abruptly interrupted by Ulrich, who had just looked at his watch and realized something. He was late. "Sorry Jeremie, but I told Melanie that I would meet her in the library to finish our geography project. I'll catch you guys later?"
"Sure, keep in touch," Jeremie replied.
As Ulrich started sprinting towards Kadic's library, Odd yelled after him: "ULRICH, REMEMBER THAT CANADA IS ABOVE THE U.S.A.!" With typical good grace, Ulrich didn't glance back to retort, but showed Odd the finger instead.
Yumi chuckled. "Ulrich thought Canada was below America; where Mexico is?"
Odd nodded, smirking.
"Yeah…I think I saw him reading the textbook upside down while cramming for the unit test," Aelita said while everyone cracked up and headed for the cafeteria.
"That's Captain Sense of Direction for you. Anyways Einstein, what were you saying?"
Jeremie let out a sigh. When he was certain no one would further interrupt him, he cleared his throat, took a deep breath and…heard Aelita's ringtone – Dearly Beloved. Ever since Odd showed her Kingdom Hearts II, Aelita had developed a strong liking for the game that combined Final Fantasy with Donald Duck and the rest of Team Disney.
"Sorry," said Aelita briskly as she picked up her pink mobile phone that Jeremie gave her. "Hello? Oh…sure. Is…say 6:30 alright? Okay. Yep, see you then. Bye."
"Who was that?" asked Jeremie.
"Oh, it's nothing. Heidi added some final touches to our project, and wanted me to take a look."
"This project seems to be a big deal."
"Yeah, it's essentially just researching the country we were assigned in class. You know, like geographical features, population, culture and tourism. And then make a slideshow out of it," Aelita explained.
"Easy," replied Odd.
"I take it you're all ready for tomorrow's presentation Odd?" asked Jeremie.
Odd flashed his flashy grin. "You bet. Sissi and I have it in the bag. Searched up 'Britain' on Wikipedia, jotted down a couple of notes, PowerPointed it and was done in no time."
"What about you Jeremie?" asked Aelita.
"All I'm going to say is that it's much better working alone."
"You know, this would've been much better if we got to choose our own partners. I mean, all Sissi ever talks about is shopping, clothes, shopping and Ulrich (Yumi's face darkened at this). Did I mention that all Sissi talked about shopping? And I'm pretty sure that Einstein over here would much rather work with Aelita," said Odd as he winked at Jeremie.
"Shut up, Odd" said both Jeremie and Aelita, while Odd sighed at the sight of both of them turning brick red.
Once again, obliviousness was clearly the obstacle to a perfect relationship. And it was quite obvious to him, Ulrich and Yumi that 'Jerlita' (as dubbed by the three) was quite the perfect pair. In fact they were quite surprised that it had been nearly a year, and those two still hadn't gone asked each other out.
Jeremie was definitely more sociable and even smiled more whenever Aelita was around. Likewise, Aelita was equally content with spending time Jeremie both in and out of the classroom. The fact that those two spent hours in the factory together and shared common interests in the wonderful world of science/technology should've been enough of a giant neon yellow sign in front of Jeremie saying 'duh, you like her'.
Of course, every time he and Ulrich mentioned that to Jeremie, he would just be in denial; which was promptly contradicted by his glowing cheeks.
Then of course, there was Ulrich and Yumi…
"All that aside now. Jeremie, you had something to say, right?"
"Well, with all these distractions, I kind of forgot…just kidding," Jeremie added as he saw the shocked faces on everyone's face.
"Alright, let's recap. William is now under XANA's control–"
"After foolishly challenging the Scyphozoa on his own like the cocky cock he is."
"Sorry, I just knew that bringing William to LYOKO would cause problems. He's just so full of himself sometimes."
Jeremie nodded. "You were right. But what has happened has happened. Like I said earlier, it appears that William is more than a match for us. I mean, even when he was on our side, he had more life points and attack strength than any of us, which allowed him to go all-out commando-style and defeat XANA's monsters without breaking as much as a drop of sweat."
"I told you, William has a hack avatar…just like Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, or Bowser…no matter how many times you beat that guy…"
Jeremie ignored Odd. "The point is, XANA has reclaimed the upper hand. So…I was planning on modifying your LYOKO forms and vehicles in order to even the playing ground a little. I mean, I could've done it before but–"
"Cool! Can I get homing Laser Arrows? Or get my Future Flash ability back?"
"I'll see, Odd. It's not that easy, you know. In the meantime, not only do we have to find a way to break XANA's control on William, but we also have to deal with William's absence in the real world."
Yumi gasped. "I completely forgot about that. I doubt we can continue faking his illness or any other excuse for long, especially since we don't know when we'll get him back."
"Too bad he couldn't be in the same place at once," added Odd.
That's when a 60 watt fluorescent light bulb lit up over Aelita's head. "Can't we use the supercomputer to create…you know, some sort of William look-a-like to take his place in the real world, like how XANA does it with its polymorphic clones."
"Clones…that's a great idea Aelita." She smiled at Jeremie's praise.
"Sure Jeremie, but don't forget about buffing up my outfit. A cat only has so many lives…"
"And could you make William's clone less cocky while you're at it perhaps?" suggested Yumi.
"Well, I'll see what I can do. I suppose we can go with the 'William is sick' excuse for several days while I compile William's clone. But with homework starting to pile up and an increased frequency in XANA attacks, I don't know how long these ramifications will take."
Worried by Jeremie's hint of pulling more all-nighters, in addition to skipping meals and classes, Aelita promptly piped up her offer of assistance. "Well Jeremie, maybe I can help out. After all, two heads are better than one."
Jeremie looked over at Aelita and smiled. "Sure. I'd like that."
Yumi nodded. "No rush Jeremie. I doubt William can take on all four of us again that easily. We were just caught off guard this time."
As they approached the front of the school, Yumi bade the others goodbye and headed home. Unlike most students, Yumi lived with her family off-campus, since her father worked at the nearby nuclear power plant.
The three then headed to the school's cafeteria for an early dinner. After all, they had their geography presentations the following day, and all three of them wanted to get off to a good start in their second-last year of Kadic. As usual, Odd was already on his third helping before Jeremie and Aelita were even halfway through theirs.
"Odd, you either have a black hole or some sort of inter-dimensional teleportation device in your stomach. Seriously, where does it all go?" Jeremie inquired while Aelita snorted into her water.
"Elementary, dear Jeremie. Failing a math quiz, shot in the chest by William and running 1.5 kilometres during gym class, in which you conveniently sat out of has led me to possess a ferocious appetite."
His two friends laughed, knowing that they could always count on Odd to brighten up any disappointing day.
"Seems like this day turned out alright in the end," said Aelita with a sigh.
"I suppose. At least we have a plan now. If only we knew more about what XANA's after, besides your memories. I mean, I thought that XANA only desired our eradication; in addition to world domination. But now, it seems that the deeper we dig to uncover the secrets of Franz Hopper and LYOKO, the more likely that XANA's after something else as well."
The girl nodded. "XANA's obviously trying to cover something up."
"Oh quit being worrywarts you two. I'm sure that your brilliant minds combined will think of something to handle whatever XANA throws at us. And this includes extra homework, which Ulrich may not be up to the task for."
"Why, Mr. Della Robia, I didn't know you did motivational speeches," Aelita said jokingly.
"Yep it's all in my repertoire, along with battle cries and persuasive advertising. Versatility is the key, that's what I always say."
"Odd, you never say that."
"Versatility is the key."
After finishing the last of his fruit salad, and not really looking forward to a sample of Odd's battle cries (he already had enough experience of his friend's other verbal talents such as rapping), Jeremie picked up his tray.
"Alright. I'm going to add some final touches to my project and start working on William's spectre."
"Fine. But don't stay up too late," the pink-haired girl said sternly while wagging her finger.
Jeremie smiled. "Promise." And with that, the shortest member of Team LYOKO hurried off back to the factory. Having finally finished his super, Odd started to get up as well.
"So, any super-special plans this weekend?"
"Not really. There's not much after the geo assignment, so I was planning on helping Jeremie out with creating the William spectre and visit the Hermitage."
"Oh, cool. Can I come?"
"Aww," Odd whined.
Aelita chuckled. "Sorry Odd, I just want some time to myself. Maybe next time"
"No problem, I understand. Anyways, I gotta go. Kiwi's probably bored out of his mind by now."
"Alright, later Odd," said Aelita as Odd bounded out of the cafeteria. She had always liked Odd's happy-go-lucky approach to life, and how he rarely seemed down about anything, even with XANA and linear equations to solve.
The boys' departure left Aelita to reminisce about a great many things.
She couldn't help but always wonder about the normal life she could have had, without the supercomputer; being a regular student, just going through regular academic and social routines – studying, participating in extra-curricular activities, and hanging out with her friends. All without having to worry about some virus trying to take over the world and ruining everything that mattered to her…including her parents.
Her parents. Aelita had only recently learned that her father was the creator of LYOKO itself and chief developer of Project CARTHAGE, and that he was currently trapped somewhere within LYOKO's Digital Sea. On the other hand, she had no idea who her mother was, or her whereabouts. She had searched the Hermitage several times, without any luck of finding any traces of her existence. Even more troubling was that she was unable to remember pretty much anything prior to meeting Jeremie.
While she dreamt of her past from time to time, they were incredibly vague and usually once she woke up, she couldn't remember the finer details. She did manage to remember one of the more recent ones, however. The location was all too familiar – it was the living room of her old home. It was Christmas morning…and she was opening her last present from her parents, which turned out to be...an elf doll. Mister Puck. She recalled being overjoyed by the gift – it was something she had always wanted.
However, when she looked up to thank her parents, their faces were clouded. The edges of their faces were faintly outlined, and Aelita concluded that the woman with long pink hair which reached down to her chest had to be her mother. And that was the only shard of memory Aelita had of her family.
All of this was because of stupid Project CARTHAGE and stupid XANA. If it wasn't for that secretive government operation, she would still have her parents.
Family. When you are with your family – the people you love – you are home. Family: to have someone to confide to, to teach her what's right and wrong, to commend her achievements and most importantly – to guide her through life. She could have even invited her friends over during the weekends just to relax and enjoy themselves, not always gearing up for battle.
But then again, it was because of all this that Aelita had gotten to know Jeremie, Odd, Ulrich and Yumi; and she doubted that she could have ever found a better group of friends. They always supported her, helped her overcome whatever obstacles lay in her path.
True, the struggle against XANA was dangerous and at times terrifying, but it also provided a sense of pride for Aelita, knowing that she helped make the world a better and safer place. How many students could put that on their resume? (And how many employers would believe it?)
"Hey Aelita, you feeling alright?"
Aelita's mind snapped back to reality, as she looked up to find Ulrich with two bags, likely filled with food. She wondered if he remembered that there was no eating in the library.
"Oh…yeah, I'm fine. I was about to leave to meet Heidi to finish our geography project."
"I see. The others have headed out then?"
Aelita nodded. "Odd's with Kiwi and Jeremie's either in his room or back at the factory."
Ulrich sighed. Typical Jeremie, always spending more time in front of computer screens than human beings. And with that, he left for the library.
By now, the cafeteria was buzzing with students and one very irritated Jim Morales – a supervisor of many things – who was currently yelling at some senior students for not properly using the recycling bins.
Aelita silently vowed to uncover the details surrounding her mysterious past and find a way to reunite her family once again. And so, she put a smile on her face and finally left the cafeteria to meet Heidi in order to complete their project.
Even though she was in her second year at Kadic, it felt like it was only just the beginning of a great adventure. And with the inevitable, ever-increasing academic workload and more intense XANA attacks looming around the corner, there was only one certain outcome.
It was going to be another long school year.
Fragmented Legacy Fun Fact 001:
This story essentially picks up from Season 2/3 of Code Lyoko, with some changes – the most apparent being the characters' ages. I think in the original TV show, Jeremie was like, 13 and everyone else was 14 – 15 years old. I upped their ages a bit in order to make romances (if any) more realistic and mature.
First chapter. First story. And the first time I ever wrote over 5000 words for anything. To all the William Dunbar fans out there, I apologize beforehand. I don't like him, and I will always be referencing him as a cocky cock, Captain Cockshaw or a variation of such.
I do not own Code Lyoko or French citizenship. This applies to every chapter.
One more thing, thanks for reading Code LYOKO: Fragmented Legacies =) Sit back and relax, because it's going to be an AWESOME adventure!