The Games of Moriarty- Season Five

Part 1

William and Jeremie appear in the factory. Jeremie starts up the supercomputer. He returns to the control room while William heads for the scanner.

Jeremie: William, are you in the scanner? I'm about to begin the test.

William: I'm getting in now. He gets in. And for the record, thanks.

Jeremie: No problem William. As soon as we are done with this test, I'm shutting down the supercomputer again. Just don't tell the others. If they knew I had started up the supercomputer, well…they might get the wrong idea.

William: Do you really think this might help me understand or even better…find a way to cure my nightmares?

Jeremie: I have no idea but we have to try. It's possible that there might be a tiny fragment of Xana, just a memory, imbedded inside your head. Although..

William: What?

Jeremie: If the problem is psychological, then you are beyond my help. Remember you were possessed by Xana for months. I'm going to be honest, there's no telling how much damage it did to you. If that's the case, I'm afraid you will have to battle your own demons.

William: I just want it to stop.

Jeremie: You could ask for help.

William: And who could help me? If I told the school psychologist the truth, he'd think I'm crazy.

Jeremie: I know William. I am sorry for you, but remember, when you became a Lyoko Warrior, we warned you of the risks. You could have said no.

William: No use dwelling on the past. Let's get this over with.

Jeremie: Alright, I'm starting the procedure. Presses buttons on computer. Initiating scan.

Virtualization process begins on William spontaneously. Jeremie stops in horror

Jeremie: What the…What is going on here?

William: Jeremy, is that you? What's happening? I …I think I'm being virtualized.

Jeremie tries to stop the process, but fails. William is transferred to the Mountain Sector. He is in his old uniform, the one he had before he was possessed. Error exclamation points appear on the computer screen over William's virtualization sequence.

Jeremie: This is totally absurd, I…I'm not doing this!

William: Jeremie, what am I doing on Lyoko? This was NOT part of the plan!

Jeremie: I wish I knew William. It started all on its own. I am not doing this! And to make things worse, the devirtualization program has been screwed up somehow. I can't send you back!

William: What? This is not funny Jeremie. I HATE THIS PLACE! Get me out of here!

Jeremie: I am trying but.. this is so weird. There's no reason the computer should be acting this way…Unless

Spherical Map of Lyoko near the computer disappears and is replaced by a glowing purple symbol, similar to the Xana eye.

Moriarty: Hello Jeremie

Jeremie begins to sweat and coils back in horror.

Jeremie: No…impossible….Xana…..I destroyed you!

Moriarty: I AM NOT XANA! Rest assured your little multi-agent program was a huge success. You did destroy Xana. Congratulations.

Jeremie: Who…What…are you?

Moriarty: Oh, where are my manners? I forgot to introduce myself. Oh well, one forgets things when one is trapped in a VIRTUAL NIGHTMARE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE!

Jeremie: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: The name's Moriarty. Just call me Moriarty.

Jeremie: Moriarty? What are you doing in the supercomputer?

Moriarty: Patience, patience Jeremie. All will be revealed in good time. But first, I must thank you for destroying my enemy.

Jeremie scratches his head

Jeremie: Enemy? What enemy? Wait…Xana was your enemy?

Moriarty: Correct! And for that I must thank you. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Jeremie: This makes no sense.

Moriarty: Why do you think Xana was created? It wasn't just to remove an enemy communications project I assure you. No, Xana was created to destroy me.

Jeremie: What? But why? Who are you? Are you human?

Moriarty: I was, at one time. Until a certain Waldo Schaeffer CONDEMNED ME HERE!

Jeremie: Franz Hopper?

Moriarty: Don't mention his name to me! He sent me here, and then he created Xana to destroy me for good!

William: Jeremie, what's happening?

Moriarty: Oh pitiful William

Jeremie: Did you send him to Lyoko?

Moriarty: Guilty as charged

Jeremie: Then send him back!

Moriarty: I'm afraid I can't do that Jeremie. He led Xana's armies against me. Do you think I would forgive such an offense?

Jeremie: He was fighting us! I am sick of this nonsense. Tell me what's going on!

Moriarty: My, my, you are impertinent. Well, I guess I must explain. During your friend's possession, he and Xana were fighting a two-front war. One with your little bunch of fighters, and one with me. This must be very confusing for you.

Jeremie: That's putting it lightly, but you've got my attention.

Moriarty: You see, more than ten years ago, Waldo and I ran into a little disagreement about our Lyoko project.

Jeremie: But Franz created Lyoko alone.

Moriarty: WRONG! We BOTH created Lyoko to dismantle Project Carthage. We were partners

Jeremie: That's impossible. Franz….Waldo couldn't have had a partner. I've been through all his notes and through his diary, and there wasn't a single mention of any..

Moriarty: Of course there wasn't! That egotistical scum wouldn't mention anything about me! He wanted all the credit. But I was the only one to see Lyoko's true potential. I told him, "Imagine all the information we could gather from our enemies! Every nation on Earth would cower before us! No one would be able to threaten us ever again!"

Jeremie: That…That's insane!

Moriarty: That's exactly what Waldo said. But I continued anyway, until he finally figured out what I was really doing with Lyoko. Then he tricked me into one of his scanners, inventions that I told him from the start were not necessary. He said it was to work "directly with the system in case of malfunction". He told me that since I was his partner, I should be the first to go.

Jeremie: And he sent you to Lyoko?

Moriarty: Trapped me here! I never should have gotten into that scanner! As soon as I was virtualized, I realized that I wasn't coming back. "I'm sorry friend," he told me. "But I can't allow you to continue. Your plans would have ruined the peace we have tried so desperately to achieve." Oh the treachery! I wanted to tear his eyes out!

Jeremie: whispers I'm starting to see why Franz did it.

Moriarty: I heard that. You are not so quiet as you think Jeremie, I hear all. Little did Franz know that I learned how to use Lyoko to my advantage. I figured out how to control towers, create my own monsters. Oh the things you can do in Lyoko after such a long time! I started to get very powerful. But Schaeffer had one last trick up his sleeve. He created Xana to put a final end to me. Battles raged all over Lyoko. But Xana ultimately forced me to flee into the digital sea with the remains of my scattered forces. Xana continued to hunt me, even after he became sentient and turned against Schaeffer. But I stayed alive. I even managed to corrupt Schaeffer and his daughter's virtualization programs when they fled to Lyoko.

Jeremie: That was you?

Moriarty: Oh yes. I laid low for a very long time, quietly sneaking out of the supercomputer and spreading throughout the Internet once Xana (and I) were released from the supercomputer. That's when things really got fun. I learned how to destroy some of Xana's replicas throughout the network and observed you and your group's progress. Xana continued to fight me through your friend William, but fighting both of us at the same time proved too much for him.

Jeremie: So we did what you wanted all along!

Moriarty: Yes, and then Franz was destroyed. Pity…I wanted to kill him myself. Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for his daughter.

Jeremie gets up and fumes in anger.

Jeremie: Aelita? Look Moriarty, if that is your real name, I don't care who you are. You are not hurting Aelita, and I demand that you bring William back right now!

William: That would be nice! Jeremy, where have you been? I would like to go home some time today!

Jeremie: Let him go!

Moriarty: I'm sorry Jeremy, but William is a bit of a threat to me. I'm afraid I'm going to have to get rid of him.

Humanoid Smoke monsters with Moriarty Symbols appear on the Lyoko screen, beginning to surround William. William clutches his giant sword nervously.

William: Jeremie, I'm surrounded by monsters, and I'm pretty sure these things can kill me with the scanners offline. There's no way I can fight them all off.

Jeremie: Hold on William. I'm trying to fix the devirtualization program.

Moriarty: Hurry Jeremie, there's not much time.

Jeremie: Moriarty, you're as evil as Xana! No wonder Franz trapped you in Lyoko. I don't care how powerful you are. If you are trying to hurt people, my friends and I will fight you just like we did with Xana!

Moriarty: Funny you should mention your friends. I have a little surprise for you. Would you like to play a game?

Jeremie: Not unless the game involves you shutting yourself down.

Moriarty: I'm afraid not, but don't worry, this will be fun. It's called 'Who am I going to save?'

Jeremie looks up from his computer in shock.

Jeremie: I don't like the sound of this game.

Moriarty: Nonsense. And your friends will be playing the game too. Let's start with Odd. How does Odd fit into our little game? Well, let's just say that he's sung his last air guitar solo in the shower.

Moriarty shows him a screen on the computer monitor of the boys' shower in Kadic. Steam is coming from one of the shower cubicles and Jeremy can hear Odd's voice over the water.

Odd: Singing Oh Babyyyy…Don't ya think I'm sexy…I know that you want me Oh…Owah Owah I'M JUST SO SVELTE YOU CAN'T RESIST ME! Transmission pauses

Moriarty: Oh, my audio receptors! That was painful. I thought about sparing him for my own amusement. He would make an excellent pet. I could make him watch as the world burned around him. I wonder if he would think that was funny. But I'm afraid he's hit one too many bad notes for my liking.

Jeremie: What are you going to do to him? Jeremie is freaking out at this point.

Moriarty: Let's just say his shower is about to get a bit…shocking.

Jeremie: You monster!

Moriarty: Why thank you, but I'm not done yet. We have more friends to add to the game. How about the adorable couple, Yumi and Ulrich? Ah yes, I believe they are in the rec room right now.

New Transmission shows Yumi and Ulrich playing foosball in the rec room. No one else is in the room except for them. Yumi scores a goal.

Yumi: 10-5, I win again!

Ulrich: Good job. He's smiling, mind clearly not on the game.

Yumi gives him a sly look. She's sensing something's up.

Yumi: Alright Ulrich, what's on your mind? You didn't invite me to the rec room for me to beat you every single time in foosball. Usually you put up a better fight than this. What's wrong?

Ulrich turns a little red.

Ulrich: Well, about the dance tonight, you know, the one Aelita is DJing for?

Yumi: Yes

Ulrich: Well I wondered …if ..you wanted to go with me.

Yumi: Of course Ulrich She's confused I mean…I thought we were doing that anyway…At least, we always have.

Ulrich: Yes, but …he's getting redder (much redder) Oh I might as well say it. Yumi, can we sit down for a second?

Yumi: Of course They sit on the couch in the rec room. He puts his hand on her hand, and at first they both blush and Ulrich starts to draw back his hand, but he decides to keep it there.

Ulrich: Yumi, these past six months without Xana have been great, and I uh…was wondering….uh

Yumi: she's clearly excited Yes, go on.

Ulrich: Now that Xana's gone, and everything has been great between us, I ..wanted to know, if you were still wanting us ..to be..to be just friends. I mean you and me as..

Yumi: Yes

Ulrich: If you say no, that's fine, but I can't live with that 'What if I asked her?' feeling anymore.

Yumi: Yes

Ulrich: I mean, if you want to stay friends…

Yumi: Ulrich, I said yes

Ulrich: Wait, what? You did? Wait… yes to being just friends, or yes to us being..well ..going out and stuff like that?

Yumi holds his hands up and keeps it tight in hers.

Yumi: Yes…yes to us.

Ulrich nearly falls off the couch.

Ulrich: I… Yumi, I don't know what to say. He's ecstatic

Yumi: You don't have to say anything. They embrace. Transmission paused.

Moriarty: How touching. Looks like someone finally grew a spine. Too bad it will have to be cut short.

Jeremie: No, NO! This can't be happening!

Moriarty: Ah, young love. I was in love once, until Schaeffer stole her from ME! I'm going to enjoy watching them burn

Cold sweat is pouring down Jeremie's face.

Moriarty: I can imagine the headlines of tomorrow's paper. The star-crossed lovers tragically dying in a fire due to a random short circuit, and for some reason the door was locked and they were burned alive in each other's arms.

Jeremie: You're worse than Xana!

Moriarty: Why thank you Jeremy, I'm flattered. But we have one more. How could I possibly forget your darling Aelita?

Jeremie: No, NOO! Anything but that! DON'T HURT HER!

Moriarty: Ooo this is getting FUN!

Transmission shows Aelita preparing for the dance with her equipment. One of the volunteers comes to her.

Volunteer: Aelita, where do you want the speakers?

Aelita: Over on stage right should be fine.

Volunteer: Alright thanks.

Transmission pauses and then zooms in on the heavy light structures above her.

Moriarty: It would be a shame if one of those screws came loose and the whole thing came crashing down.

Jeremie: IF YOU DO IT I SWEAR YOU WILL PAY! I…Aelita..Please…no He's shaking, desperate

Moriarty: So know you understand the game. You have to choose who you are going to save.

William has been trying to avoid the monsters but now they have him cornered against a mountain ledge.

William: Jeremie, if you have a way to get me out of this, now would be a good time.

Moriarty: So who's it going to be? Do you stay and find a way to devirtualize William? Do you warn Odd before he gets the shock of his life? Do you save Yumi and Ulrich from a fiery death? Or are you going to be the handsome prince who rescues the princess while the rest of your friends DIE?

Jeremie: I've got to warn them! He tries to call them via cellphone, but there is no signal. What? No, not now!

Moriarty: Oh dear the cellphone towers are out. How…inconvenient for you.

Jeremie: You'll never win! I will find a way! I'll save them all!

Moriarty: A noble gesture but I'm afraid it will do no good. I will give you twenty minutes. If you hurry, you might be able to save two of them.

Jeremie: Why are you doing this? Why are you forcing me to choose?

Moriarty: Because I am not Xana. I don't just want to kill you, I want to BREAK you. I have the advantage of being human, so I know exactly how to bring each of you down.

William starts to fight for his life. He is losing lifepoints.

William: Jeremie!

Jeremie is overwhelmed. He is completely torn.

Moriarty: Tick, tock Jeremie. You don't have much time. William is about to die.

Jeremie: There's no way I can clear this bug in time! He takes a deep breath, trying to calm down. Unless.. He begins typing Where is it?

Moriarty: What are you doing?

Jeremie: Saving William! He presses a series of keys

William disappears in a green light and reappears next to a tower. The confused monsters try to follow him.

Moriarty: How? How is this possible?

Jeremie: William, get in the tower! William ducks to the safety of the tower just in time. Odd's old teleportation program. Good thing I cleared out all the bugs.

Moriarty: Very well Jeremie, you exceeded my expectations. It was a tad unfair to have five people to save. But the others are still at my mercy.

Jeremy rushes to the elevator.

Jeremie: William, stay there. I will figure out a way to devirtualize you later.

William: Jeremie, if Yumi's in danger, save her first do you hear? Save her please!

But Jeremie's already in the elevator

Jeremie: I'm coming Aelita! Oh please let it not be too late!

Moriarty: Oh Jeremie, how predictable. Oh well, I apologize Odd, Ulrich, and Yumi, but it looks like love comes before friendship.

Part 2

The infirmary. Ulrich lies on one of the beds with a bandage over his head. He is sleeping. Yumi is watching over him. She has minor cuts and burns but not as bad as Ulrich's. Jeremie, Odd, and Aelita watch further back.

Jeremie: Yumi….please, you have to understand. I'm sorry. I didn't know what to do. He puts his face in his hands.

Yumi: We could have died.

Jeremie: I did my best. I …I just panicked! I couldn't be at three places at once.

Yumi: Jeremy, not now.

Jeremie: I just went for the closest opportunity.

She turns around with tears in her eyes

Yumi: The rec room is closer than the gymnasium!

Jeremie pauses and puts his head in his hands again. Yumi keeps her merciless gaze until she sees Aelita, who seems horrified and ashamed. Yumi realizes she was insinuating that Jeremie should have left Aelita to die, and turns away. There is a tense silence

Odd: Uh, Jeremie, thanks for setting off the fire alarm. If I hadn't heard that and gotten out of the shower, I would have been toast…literally. Jeremy doesn't respond

Aelita: Whoever this Moriarty person is, he seems worse than Xana. He wants to torture us for his own pleasure. It's just…sick.

Odd: Aelita, do you remember anything about your dad having a partner?

Aelita: No, nothing.

Odd: What if we shut down the supercomputer again? Would that help?

Jeremie: No….just like Xana he's not tied to the supercomputer. It wouldn't do any good, and besides, we need to materialize William.

Aelita: Then we shouldn't waste any time. Let's go to the factory. Waiting here won't do any good.

They start to walk out the door, except for Yumi.

Odd: Yumi, are you coming?

Aelita: You heard the nurse Yumi. He's going to be fine. He just needs some rest.

Yumi: You go on ahead. I'll…meet you there later.

Aelita: Alright.

Everyone walks out except Jeremy. He starts to head towards the door. .

Yumi: Jeremie?

Jeremie: Y…yes?

Yumi: You said Moriarty showed live videos of us to you to scare you. Wh…what exactly did you see…in the rec room?

Jeremie: He showed me enough. Blushes a little at the thought. I wish I had found out about it in better circumstances. I don't have any excuses. Yumi…I'm so sorry.

She clenches her fists.

Yumi: It's not fair! Everything was going so well, and ..and now I learn that a new threat is here and I can't take it. It's like I'm in a nightmare and I can't wake up!

Jeremie: I know Yumi. We're all in the same nightmare. Why don't you go to class? We will handle William.

He leaves. The scene shifts. Yumi has finally left Ulrich's side and gone to science class instead of going to the factory. The bell rings and Yumi takes a long time leaving the classroom. Even the teacher leaves before her. As she heads for the door, it slams shut and locks. She tries to open it.

Yumi: What, what is this? It's locked! Help! Let me out, I'm trapped!

Symbol of Moriarty appears on school projection screen.

Moriarty: Now Yumi, let's not start a scene. It would spoil the fun. Besides, I just want to talk.

Yumi double takes in shock, staring at the projection screen.

Yumi: You. You're…Moriarty?

Moriarty: Oh I'm starting to become famous! Next thing I know, the paparazzi will be all over me! But don't worry, I'm not here to hurt you.

Yumi: You…You tried to kill us!

Moriarty: Kill is such a strong word, Yumi.

Yumi: Ulrich and I barely made it out of that fire alive!

Moriarty: Yes and I must admire your resolve. Using the foosball table as a battering ram to escape…hmmn…you were persistent. Too bad Ulrich had a bit of a rough exit.

Yumi: You are going to pay for that!

Moriarty: Oh that reminds me. I suppose congratulations are in order. After all, the boy of your dreams has finally asked you out.

Yumi turns red

Yumi: That's none of your business!

Moriarty: Oh but it is Yumi. You see, this is going to play nicely into my next game. Would you like to play a game, Yumi?

Yumi: No! I want you to shut down!

Moriarty: Funny, that's what Jeremie told me when I played the game with him. But Jeremie was a poor sport. Using the alarm to warn you, Odd, and your little boyfriend of approaching danger while simultaneously rescuing his beloved was just plain cheating. But this new game is even better.

Yumi: I don't want to play a game! I want you to let me out! Pulls on the door some more.

Moriarty: Oh but Yumi, you have no choice. To start, let me direct your attention to the projector screen

Screen reveals Nurse's office. Jim and Yolanda are gingerly putting Hiroki on a bed right next to Ulrich, who is still sleeping.

Yumi: Oh no, Hiroki!

Yolanda: Ok Jim, what happened?

Jim: He was climbing the rope's course in my class and the bar holding the rope up just collapsed all of a sudden. He fell and got knocked out cold. It was so bizarre! First the rec room fire, and now this!

Yolanda: Alright, I will take care of it. I don't think anything is broken. He's lucky. Hopefully he will wake up soon. You can go now Jim. I need to call the Ishiyamas about the accident.

Jim leaves and Yolanda begins to tend to him. Meanwhile Moriarty turns the screen's attention to an electrical socket in between Ulrich and Hiroki's beds that is flickering with electricity, as if waiting to strike.

Moriarty: Oh dear, isn't it a shame when those random rope accidents occur. How unfortunate!

Yumi: AS IF HURTING ULRICH WASN'T ENOUGH!

Moriarty: Now Yumi, let's not get testy. It's all part of the game. It's similar to the game I played with Jeremie, except a little different. It's called "Who Do I Kill?"

Yumi backs up, shaking.

Yumi: What did you say?

Moriarty: It's quite simple. I am ready to strike both Ulrich and your brother at any given moment. You get to choose who I am going to kill. The other one shall be spared. I give you my word.

She's horrified

Yumi: And if I refuse?

Moriarty: Then I kill them both. It's up to you.

Yumi: DON'T YOU DARE HURT THEM!

Moriarty: I'm afraid anger will do you no good Yumi. You are only playing into my hands. So who's it going to be? Will it be your little brother? Oh what would you parents think? 'I'm sorry mother and father but I chose Ulrich instead of Hiroki'. I'm sure they would take that very well. I don't know much about Japanese culture, but I'm pretty sure killing your kinsmen is a big no-no. But we can't forget Ulrich. Oh how has that boy fought for you, stayed by your side when you were trapped under a tree slowly freezing to death, saving you from Xana when you were kidnapped, and never hesitated to put his life on the line for you! Is this how you are going to repay him? Not to mention you two finally are open about your feelings. I don't know much about relationships, but I'm pretty sure executing your boyfriend isn't the most romantic of gestures. So who do you love more? Your only brother, or your significant other?

Yumi collapses in shock. She closes her eyes, trying to convince herself that this really isn't happening.

Yumi: Please, …I beg you…Don't make me do it.

Moriarty: I could kill them both if you don't want to pick.

Yumi: NOOO!

Moriarty: No? Very well, then choose. Ulrich or Hiroki, it's very simple.

Yumi is beside herself. She cries and pulls her hair in utter despair.

Moriarty: Come on Yumi, I'm not going to wait all day. But then again, watching you writhe in agony is the best part, so you can take your time.

Yumi: You're …..sick!

Moriarty: I'm afraid compliments won't save them either. Once again I ask, who's it going to be?

Yumi: I can't …choose

Moriarty: Then you force me to kill them both.

Yumi: You can't!

Moriarty: I can and I will! You have made your decision, they both must die.

Yumi: No, wait, I didn't mean that!

Moriarty: You said you couldn't choose.

Yumi: I…..

Moriarty: Oh, so you CAN choose. So go ahead, I'm not going to wait forever.

Yumi: I…will….destroy you for this.

Moriarty: I suppose I should be afraid, but unfortunately for you, you won't be able to do it before I kill one of them.

Yumi goes face down on the floor, crying while trying to consider this impossible option.

Moriarty: If it helps you decide, you always did say your brother was incredibly annoying.

Yumi: That doesn't mean I want to kill him!

Moriarty: And how many times has Ulrich entertained Sissi's affections for him just to make you jealous?

Yumi: Shut up!

Moriarty: Even I get bored with emotional suffering after a while. Enough. Decide now or they both die.

Yumi digs her fingernails into her head until it leaves a mark. She slowly gets up.

Yumi: Forgive me Ulrich

Moriarty: Ah, so your decision is made. Very well, although I feel I must tell you, it is hard to forgive someone when you're dead.

Yumi: Just don't hurt Hiroki..

Moriarty: Hiroki will be spared, but first, I want to hear you say it.

Yumi: Say what?

Moriarty: Say, "I want you to kill Ulrich"

Yumi: YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND!

Moriarty: Schaeffer always said that I was never IN my mind to begin with. But no matter, since I'm feeling polite, I will kindly ask you again. Please say, "I want you to kill Ulrich."

Yumi: NEVER!

Moriarty: DO IT OR HIROKI DIES!

She says it softly, with tears streaming down her face

Yumi: I want you…to…kill Ulrich.

Moriarty: I'm sorry, my audio receptors are a little weak. Can you say that again? Louder?

Yumi: I will kill you for this.

Moriarty: LOUDER OR WATCH YOUR BROTHER DIE!

Yumi: KILL ULRICH! She's reached the breaking point.

Moriarty: That's more like it! The electrical outlet buzzes to life and an electrical arm streams out. Yolanda turns and screams, then faints from the shock. Hiroki's still out. Ulrich wakes up and sees the electricity monster prepared to strike.

Ulrich: AAHH! He braces himself for the worst.

Yumi: I can't watch! She turns away.

Moriarty: Oh but you MUST! A science chair comes to life and hits Yumi, causing her to sit down in the chair and get a front row seat to the horror. She is terrified, but she can't turn away. In typical death montage fashion, the electricity monster disappears at the last second.

Moriarty: What? ..NO!

The screen goes black and the door to the science room unlocks itself. Yumi is utterly speechless and distraught. She gets a call.

Yumi: ..Yes?

Jeremie: Yumi, GREAT NEWS! Moriarty is just like Xana. He needs towers to launch his attacks, and Aelita can deactivate them as usual. The tower was in the Desert Sector and Odd and Aelita made quick work of his monsters. They aren't near as strong as the ones Xana used to have. Or at least, not yet. With the tower gone, the bug that screwed up William's devirtualization program was removed. He's back safe and sound.

Yumi: That's…great news She's still shaking

Jeremie: Uh, Yumi, are you ok? You sound like you just saw a ghost.

Yumi: I nearly did. Jeremie, can we talk later? I….I need some…alone time.

Jeremie: Of course Yumi. She hangs up.

Yumi closes the door to the science room, goes into a back corner, and cries bitterly.

Part 3

Jeremie's room. Everyone in the group has been called to this meeting to understand the new situation with Moriarty, including William. The atmosphere is tense.

Jeremie: Although I will be the first to admit that I was a little bored after Xana was defeated, I hoped that this day would never come.

Silence.

Jeremie: I know all of you were looking forward to having normal lives. I understand if this new development is too much for you. If you don't want to fight Moriarty, I will not hold it against you.

Still no one responds.

Jeremie: If there is anyone here who does not want to continue this fight, please speak up.

Long pause.

William: I proved to be a greater enemy than an ally during Xana's time. I think it would be best if I opted out. I will only be a liability.

Jeremie: I appreciate your honesty William, but in your case, you may not have a choice. Moriarty is determined, for whatever reason, to kill you. He said you were a threat to him.

William: How could I possibly be a threat to him?

Jeremie: You may not remember it, but you fought Moriarty during your Xana possession. There may be some distant memories in your subconscious that could help us. Your nightmares could be important clu….

Jeremie realized he has accidentally revealed William's personal secret. William is obviously embarrassed and gives Jeremie a condescending look.

Aelita: You're having nightmares?

William: …Yes, nightmares of Xana controlling me and torturing me. It happens almost every night. I dread going to sleep. I'd rather not go into details. I told Jeremie because I was desperate. I didn't know what else to do.

Jeremie: That's why we started up the supercomputer in the first place. I wanted to run a test on him to see if there was something wrong.

Yumi: So you started the supercomputer without telling us?

Jeremie: I know…I'm sorry. But William needed help, and I swore to keep his problem a secret. Until just now at least. Sorry William, I got carried away.

William: It's fine.

Jeremie: Ok so for better or worse, William has to stay with us. But I still need an answer from the rest of you. Odd, are you ready to become a Lyoko Warrior again?

Odd: Are you kidding me? I was starting to get bored. Having six months off to do sports and write music and play hilarious pranks on Jim was nice and all, but I was starting to get tired of my vacation from Lyoko. Moriarty better watch out. No one threatens to make a pet out of me!

Jeremie: Thanks Odd. I was pretty sure you were going to say yes. Ulrich, what about you?

Ulrich is sitting on Jeremie's bed. He still has a bandage on his head, but looks mostly good now. He sits in silence for a moment.

Ulrich: I nearly died twice today. Even if I said no, Moriarty is clearly out to get me. He has declared this war, and I intend to answer. I will fight him with every ounce of my being just like I did with Xana. He will regret the day he made an enemy out of me.

Jeremie: Aelita?

Aelita: This man was my father's enemy. He is partly responsible for his death, and I can never forgive him for that. He is consumed with revenge and is determined to kill me. You know my answer Jeremie. Besides, how else could we deactivate the towers? I have to stay.

Jeremie: Well, then I guess it falls to you Yumi. I know that you were the most eager to leave your Lyoko life behind. Do you want to stay?

Yumi is leaning against Jeremie's closet, still upset. Except her feelings have transformed from sadness into rage.

Yumi: I will destroy him.

The others are kind of shocked at Yumi's anger. They don't know about the science room incident.

Jeremie: Um, are you sure?

Yumi: He will pay for what he has done.

Jeremie: Uh Yumi, is there something we need to talk about?

Yumi: …No

Jeremie: Um, ok. Well it's decided. Moriarty is our new enemy, and he should be treated as such. The question is how? I have scanned the network, and Moriarty hasn't constructed any replicas. I think he is trying…a different approach. He will probably still launch attacks through Lyoko. The problem is, the super scanner wasn't made to detect Moriarty attacks. It will take some time to reprogram the super scanner, meaning we will not get immediate warning when Xana…I mean Moriarty, is attacking. Other than that, it's business as usual.

Ulrich: What about long term goals?

Odd: Yeah, how do we destroy Moriarty for good? Are you going to modify the multi-agent system?

Jeremie: Well… it's not so easy as you think.

Aelita: What's the problem? Do you think it might be hard to find a multi-agent program for Moriarty?

Jeremie: No, with time, I think I might be able to. But I mean from a moral standpoint, it's difficult.

Odd: What do you mean?

Jeremy: Xana was just a computer program. But Moriarty is…or at least was…human. If we try to destroy him, we are basically well….murderers. No matter how evil Moriarty is, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we'd be destroying human life.

Odd: Oh, …I forgot about that.

Yumi: Any humanity he had before has been lost. The supercomputer has made him just as much a machine as Xana. He is evil to the core.

Ulrich: Yeah, besides, we have seen what he can do. His destruction is for the greater good. He is determined to kill us and wreak havoc on the world. We don't have a choice. What are we supposed to do? Find a way to materialize him and then send him to the Hague for crimes against humanity?

Aelita: I agree, it's kill or be killed. We can't reason with him, and we can't stop him any other way.

Jeremie considers this for a moment. He doesn't like the idea, but he sees their reasoning.

Jeremie: Ok. I hope I can live with myself for this, but I will start the research. In the meantime you all need to get some rest. With Moriarty against us, we're going to need all the sleep we can get.

William: There's just one thing I don't understand.

Jeremie: What's that?

William: I can understand why Moriarty is out to kill Aelita and me, but why does he want to kill the rest of you? Xana's destruction was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. You did him a big favor.

Jeremie pushes his glasses higher up on his nose

Jeremie: William, I wish I knew. It's possible that we have done something to upset him without realizing it. But we have to understand that Moriarty's goal is world domination, and since we destroyed Xana, he has every reason to believe we would do the same to him. But he could simply just be evil. Do you remember reading Othello last year?

Ulrich scratches his head

Ulrich: Uh…vaguely.

Jeremie: Iago hated Othello for absolutely no reason. He ruined his Othello's life and eventually caused him to commit suicide. Literary critics argue to this day whether or not Iago ever had a motive to destroy Othello. Some think Othello's decision to make Cassio standard-bearer instead of Iago prompted him to revenge. But Iago might not have needed a motive. Just like Moriarty, he wanted to destroy someone just for the sake of reveling in another person's suffering.

The room is quiet.

Aelita: Well if there's nothing else…

Ulrich: Uh.. Ulrich is trying to make a certain announcement

Jeremie: One more thing. I don't need to tell you to be careful. You already know that. But Moriarty is different than Xana. He wants to break you before he kills you. He knows a lot about us. He knows our weaknesses. Take the game he played with me. I have a…tendency to believe that I can solve anything. He tested me by putting me into an impossible situation in which I couldn't possibly save all of you. We have to believe that Moriarty will do the same to all of us. He will probe your deepest regrets, your darkest secrets, and your worst fears.

Odd gasps

Odd: NO MORE POTATOES!

Jeremie: Uh…most likely worse than that Odd. So far I have been the only victim of his games.

Yumi looks away.

Jeremie: So you all have to be on your guard. Try to face the inner demons you have been struggling with, before Moriarty takes advantage of them.

Ulrich: Um, …blushes I have something to say.

Jeremy grins

Jeremie: Yes Ulrich.

William: Um, I got to go. I just realized, I…I'm way behind in physics.

He exits the room, clearly sad. He knows what the announcement is.

Yumi: William, wait. He doesn't

Odd: Hmmph. Well, what is it?

Aelita: Yeah tell us.

Ulrich looks to Yumi for her go ahead, but finds none. Instead Yumi looks away, seeming to dread this announcement. Ulrich frowns, but musters courage and says it anyway.

Ulrich: Well, I might as well go ahead and say it. Yumi and I….well… are officially dating.

Odd: Yahoo!

Aelita: Took you long enough.

Odd: Yeah really, what took you so long?

Jeremie: We are all very happy for you two.

Ulrich: Yeah…

Applause from the other three. Ulrich takes her hand, but Yumi withdraws.

Yumi: Please Ulrich, not now.

Everyone stops.

Ulrich: Yumi, what's wrong? Aren't…aren't you happy?

Yumi: I should be Ulrich... I really should be.

She walks out of the room.

Ulrich: What just happened?

Jeremie: Ulrich, I don't claim to be an expert in women, but something is deeply troubling her. Something must have happened to her today after the rec room incident.

Odd: Her brother did have a bad accident today.

Aelita: Yeah, but I heard he's fine now.

Ulrich: I don't know what it is. But I'm going to find out.

Odd: You go get her Ulrich! He walks out of the room. Well I thought he would never do it. At least, I always thought you two would beat him to it!

Jeremie and Aelita: ODD! They both blush.

As Odd continues to make Aelita and Jeremie feel uncomfortable, Ulrich chases down Yumi in the courtyard. It is night.

Ulrich: Yumi, what are you doing?

Yumi: What does it look like I'm doing? I'm going home.

Ulrich: You know that's not what I meant.

Yumi sighs. A single tear streams down her cheek.

Ulrich: Yumi, please. If something's bothering you, you can talk to me.

She doesn't respond.

Ulrich: Did I do something wrong?

More silence. Finally Yumi responds

Yumi: …No. I did. You did nothing. It's not you, it's me.

Ulrich: Are you…regretting our decision in the rec room?

Yumi: No, well yes…I mean, oh I can't explain it Ulrich. I've done something awful.

Ulrich: Yumi, it couldn't have been that bad.

Yumi: …You have no idea.

Ulrich: Whatever you have done, I don't care. I forgive you.

Yumi: Ulrich, I'm not sure you can. But you've proven me wrong so many times. Ulrich, you're wonderful. But even if you can, I can never forgive myself.

Ulrich: Talk to me. It's the only way to help.

Yumi: Some things are too awful to mention. I…I can't do it.

Ulrich: So what does this mean…for us?

Yumi stops in her tracks. More tears come down her face.

Yumi: I don't know Ulrich, I honestly don't know. Everything happened so fast, then Moriarty came. I just need time to think.

Ulrich: So….?

Yumi: I'm not changing my mind from this morning. I just…need some space for right now…until further notice.

She walks off the campus. Ulrich walks back to the school, heartbroken and stunned. In an isolated hallway, he stops to let it sink it. He punches the wall in frustration.

Ulrich: Just when things were going good! Six months, six months just gone! Why does she do this to me? It's always one step forward and two steps back! I can't take it anymore! Why? Why? WHY?

He sinks to the floor in despair. He stays there for a few minutes, then heads to the room. He comes in without a word to Odd and immediately goes to bed. Odd stays silent. At one point during the night, Odd wakes up to her Ulrich crying softly. Odd rolls over to face the wall, leaving Ulrich to deal with the issue alone. At the Ishiyama's house, Yumi likewise cries herself to sleep.

Part 4

The factory. Jeremie sits at the computer typing alone. The elevator door opens and Odd, Ulrich, Yumi, and Aelita walk in.

Odd: So let me get this straight…we're taking the Skid again?

Aelita: That's right.

Odd: But why? And more importantly, how? I thought the Skid was destroyed.

Jeremie: Because Moriarty's plans aren't limited to ruining our day. He is doing something in the network, and I intend to find out. If we are going to defeat him, we got to hit him hard. Moriarty has sent us a clear message; he means business, and we should answer him in kind. And as for the how, I started a repair program for the Skid right before we destroyed Xana and shut down the supercomputer. I thought it was a waste of time at first, but now it seems like I made the right decision.

Odd: Sweet! Can I drive?

Jeremie: No Odd, for the last time, you're out of practice. Aelita knows how to pilot the Skid better than anyone.

Odd: Yeah, well, I'm a fast learner. Just give me a chance to refresh my memory.

Aelita: How many scratch marks on the Skid will it take to refresh your memory?

Jeremie and Aelita laugh, but Yumi and Ulrich remain awkward and silent. The two stop immediately.

Jeremie: So where's William?

Yumi: He's at the pool. He'll get here when he can.

Jeremie: Alright, we'll start without him. Go to the scanner room and get ready. But be careful, we have no idea what Moriarty is planning. We have to be ready for every-

Without warning, electrified wires shoot down from the ceiling and wrap around Odd, Jeremie, Aelita, and Yumi. They have hardly time to cry out before they are pulled upward and left dangling helplessly in midair. Their screams are muffled out by the wires wrapping around their mouths. Ulrich stares at them, completely shocked.

Ulrich: Guys, don't move! Realizes the stupidity of what he just said. Uh well, I guess you can't. Don't worry! I'll get you down somehow! Searches the room for anything that might be useful.

Jeremie: Mmm-mmmphmm!

Ulrich: That's not really helping me Jeremie. Oh, you guys are too high up! How in the world am I going to do this?

Moriarty symbol appears on the computer.

Moriarty: Why hello Ulrich. I must say, your friends seem to be in a bit of a jam.

Ulrich: Moriarty…he says it with unrestrained loathing in his voice.

Moriarty: My, my you seem rather angry. I don't see why you should. Why, this is the first time we've met. I'm sure you've heard dreadful things about me from your friends, but really you must make the judgment for yourself. I can be quite civilized occasionally.

Ulrich: You tried to kill me…TWICE!

Moriarty: Oh you're not going to let a little thing like that get between us are you?

Ulrich: Getting killed is a little thing?

Moriarty: Well you do make a good point. I suppose I have been rather beastly to you. Is there anything I can do to make up?

Ulrich: Well, for starters you could let my friends go.

Moriarty: Oh I'm so sorry, but if I did that, it would ruin the little game I had planned. Would you like to play a game Ulrich?

Jeremie: Mphmmmh! Possible translation: Oh S****

Ulrich: No, but you're probably going to make me do it anyway.

Moriarty: You're right, but a little courtesy makes everything better. But in all seriousness, you are going to like this game Ulrich. It's called "Who Betrayed Me?"

Yumi's eyes widen. She can sense where this is going.

Ulrich: Who betrayed me?

Moriarty: Ah that is for you to figure out. I can't tell you. But let me ask you something. These friends I have hanging like insects in a spider web, do you trust them with your life? Do you think they would ever do anything to hurt you?

Ulrich: No! They would never…well then again, Odd might do something stupid…

Odd: Rmmph!

Ulrich: …but no. They would never betray me.

Moriarty: Really? That is …interesting, because believe it or not, one of your friends up here is a TRAITOR! One of them has stabbed you in the back.

Ulrich pauses.

Ulrich: I don't believe you. You're crazy if you think I am going to buy into your absurd lies.

Moriarty: Believe what you want, one of them is. And you have to guess which one.

Ulrich: I don't follow.

Moriarty: It's very simple. One of your friends betrayed you, and you have to guess which one. If you guess incorrectly, all of them die except the one who actually betrayed you. If you guess correctly, your betrayer dies and everyone else is spared.

Brief pause as Ulrich thinks over this.

Ulrich: You're TWISTED!

Moriarty: I was hoping for "You're brilliant Moriarty!", but I guess I will have to do with that. And don't try to play the "I don't want to play" card. If you do, all of them die.

Ulrich: You'll never get away with this.

Moriarty: I already have. So who's it going to be. Is it Aelita, always so sweet and innocent? How could she have turned against you? Then again appearances can be deceiving. Or how about Odd? He may be your roommate, but you've seen before how he can ignore the rest of the group to pursue his own devices. He has always been the comedian, but could he be your betrayer? Then there's Jeremie. Don't forget you and Yumi almost died as a result of his negligence. If he has shown that he's willing to let you die, who says he is not ready to turn his back on you? Oh, and what about Yumi?

Ulrich: Enough. I don't know what to think right now, but Yumi would never betray me.

Yumi turns her gaze away from Ulrich.

Moriarty: Really? Are you sure? Well, that leaves three. That should make things easier for you.

Ulrich: This is a trick. My friends would never betray me. You are just trying to drive us apart.

Moriarty: I may have…ulterior motives, but that does not negate the fact that someone betrayed you. Whether you believe me or not is not important. You have to guess someone or they all die.

Ulrich helplessly looks at his friends. He can't find a way out of this.

Ulrich: Guys, I'm sorry. What am I supposed to do? He's going to kill you one way or another. You know I hate doing this.

Jeremie: Mmmmph!

Moriarty: Time's running out Ulrich. I'm not going to wait forever.

Ulrich: This isn't right. This is just a matter of probability.

Moriarty: And considering how bad you are at math, I'm afraid your friends are doomed. But don't sell yourself short. Perhaps you noticed it already. Think hard Ulrich. Has any one of them acted rather …strangely towards you lately?

Ulrich sticks one hand in his pockets and leans against the computer monitor, struggling to find an answer.

Ulrich: No, of course not! They've all been normal. At least…I think so.

Moriarty: Are you sure? Think outside the box Ulrich. You are ignoring the obvious.

Ulrich: Nothing about this stupid game is obvious! Everyone has been fine except for Yu…. Ulrich stops in horror. He remembers Yumi's words last night "I've done something awful." No…no…it can't be.

Moriarty: Oh I believe we have a winner!

Ulrich: You're lying!

Moriarty: I haven't said anything. You are the one accusing her.

Ulrich: I'M NOT ACCUSING HER!

Moriarty: You're not? All the signs seems to point to her.

Ulrich: She is completely loyal to the group and wouldn't betray anyone. We may have had our problems but she wouldn't do anything to hurt me. She is not a traitor.

Moriarty: If you are so convinced I am mistaken, by all means, prove me wrong. But why don't you take a look at Yumi. Look into her eyes and tell me she is innocent.

Ulrich does so. Yumi looks back at him, unable to speak but tears streaming down her face. Ulrich is immediately crestfallen. He goes to his knees in shock.

Moriarty: The truth hurts doesn't it Ulrich? But if you need any more evidence, I'd be happy to provide it.

Ulrich: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: Just watch….

Moriarty shows him a clip on the monitor of Yumi telling Moriarty to kill Ulrich. He only shows him the parts where Yumi is screaming for Ulrich to be murdered. Nothing about Hiroki or her internal struggle is shown. Yumi closes her eyes and continues to cry, while Ulrich looks at the computer screen in complete disbelief.

Ulrich: This…this is a hoax. A trick! He's trying to hold onto to the last string of doubt in his mind. Kill me? Why? This is absurd! Why would she ever want to do it?

Moriarty: People can do desperate things to save their own lives, Ulrich.

Ulrich: What?

Moriarty: Oh my are you slow! You just don't get it, do you? It's very simple. I played a game with her. I gave her a choice: die, or have you die in her place. She just wanted to save herself.

Yumi struggles when she hears this bit of erroneous information, but Moriarty tightens the grip across her mouth and gives her a pretty painful electrical shock.

Moriarty: Had Odd and Aelita not deactivated the tower just in time, you would be dead.

Ulrich: No….

Moriarty: Yes. It's not fair Ulrich, isn't it? You have never hesitated to put your life on the line for her, and the one time she is expected to do the same, she leaves you to die. How does that make you feel?

Ulrich lowers his head, trying to come to terms with this. Yumi continues to try to show him that the last bit is not true, but to no avail.

Moriarty: I understand if you still don't want to kill her. After all, you have proven to be loyal to your friends even when they are at their worst. But now your loyalties are divided. Do you spare your beloved, whom you know is guilty and kill the others by accusing one of them, even though you know they are innocent? Or are you going to limit the damage by sparing those who were loyal to you and condemn your traitor to death?

Ulrich doesn't respond.

Moriarty: I just need to hear the words: "Moriarty, I accuse Yumi of betraying me, and condemn her to death."

Ulrich: Never…

Moriarty: Then you have doomed them all…

Ulrich: You were the one who tried to kill me, not Yumi! She was probably…just…scared and panicked. You will prove nothing by killing them! Their deaths will be on your head, not mine!

Moriarty: Play the blame game all you want Ulrich. It won't save them. Yumi has betrayed you, and she deserves to die.

Ulrich: NO SHE DOESN'T!

Moriarty: You may not be an expert in history Ulrich, but humor me. In the olden days, what was the penalty for treason?

Ulrich: …Death…

Moriarty: Exactly. With such a horrendous crime, death must be administered. Someone must pay the ultimate price.

Ulrich pulls his hair in frustration as he struggles with feelings of betrayal, confusion, and the horrible decision he must make. Then, suddenly, he gets an idea.

Ulrich: Someone must pay the ultimate price eh?

Moriarty: That is correct. So who is going to die?

Ulrich pauses, resolving himself to the current course of action.

Ulrich: Me.

Everyone stops. The others look at Ulrich in disbelief, especially Yumi.

Moriarty: What?

Ulrich: You heard me, I will die. I will take her place.

Moriarty: You were not one of the options. You aren't following the rules of the game!

Ulrich: Maybe not, but would you like to play my game?

Moriarty: No! Decide on MY terms or they all die!

Ulrich: You told me to think outside the box, and I am. I don't see the problem. You don't want to kill them all do you?

Moriarty: I will if you refuse to play!

Ulrich: But I am playing. I am playing my game.

Moriarty: This is outrageous! This is your last chance Ulrich. Yield or they die.

Ulrich: Pity, and this game was going to play right into your favor.

Moriarty: What are you talking about? Why would I take you when I have four of my enemies at my mercy?

Ulrich: Because you know you don't want to kill them yet. You see, you are threatening to murder everyone, with one odd man out forced to psychologically suffer as the others plead for mercy. It's effective I will admit, but to what end? You enjoy seeing us suffer. You enjoy playing these games with us. You want to drag out this fight as long as possible. If you really wanted to kill them, you would have done it immediately. If you kill them all, you will only have me. My trauma from the experience would initially please you, but eventually you will realize you have made a mistake. You probably had other games in mind for the others, but you will lose that chance once they are dead. All your games will be finished, and then what joy would you get from having total victory over humanity? But kill me, and everything is possible. I have shown that I can resist your little games, which is dangerous to you. You'd be better off killing me. The others however, would witness everything and be permanently traumatized. Imagine the guilt Yumi would feel for being responsible for condemning me to death twice! You will break them completely, and you can keep your little games going as long as you want. You could kill them later. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Long pause. Moriarty is starting to see the reason in Ulrich's game. He is astounded how Ulrich turned the tables. The others watch in shock. Yumi desperately tries to send him signals not to do it.

Moriarty: You are willing to die for her, after she refused to do the same for you?

Ulrich: …Yes.

Moriarty is flabbergasted. He can't believe what he is hearing. This is the first time Moriarty has been truly caught off guard.

Moriarty: How can anyone be so devoted, after being so horribly mistreated?

Ulrich: Why don't you take my offer, and you will find out how devoted I am.

Moriarty: You offer is…tempting.

Ulrich: You know this is much better than what you had in mind.

Moriarty: I don't understand you! This sacrifice…. it's not… logical.

Ulrich: Human nature does not always follow logic. Perhaps you forgot that after being in the supercomputer for so long.

Moriarty: I have forgotten nothing! Your insolence is beginning to get on my nerves.

Ulrich: Then what are you waiting for? Do it.

Moriarty: How dare you defy me!

Ulrich: What's wrong? Upset that someone finally beat your game?

Moriarty: You have proven nothing! I AM IN CONTROL! I could kill them RIGHT NOW!

Ulrich: But you won't, and you know it.

Long pause

Moriarty: Perhaps it is best to just kill you. We can't have any cheaters in my games.

Ulrich: So you accept my offer?

Moriarty: Give me a moment to think over this.

Ulrich: Going once…

Moriarty: A decision like this requires thorough consideration Ulrich…

Ulrich: Going twice…

Moriarty: Alright! You have a deal! Now prepare to suffer the consequences.

The others are released and are dropped (not so gently) on the floor. Yumi immediately gets up and rushes to Ulrich in tears.

Yumi: Ulrich!

Before she can get to him, wires come out of the floor and completely wrap around Ulrich. One end of the wire is sparking with electricity, ready to kill.

Yumi: NOO! I won't let you take him away from me again!

She tries to pull the wires off, but she is electrically shocked and thrown backwards. Odd grabs a loose piece of metal from the floor and tries to cut the wires, but suffers the same result. Jeremie and Aelita watch in horror.

Moriarty: GAME OVER ULRICH!

Ulrich forces out a few words from his strangulation.

Ulrich: Not… if…. William gets to you first!

Moriarty: WHAT?

Suddenly the wires contract and the holomap of Lyoko disappears. Ulrich is freed and collapses to the ground. He gasps for breath.

Yumi: Ulrich! She embraces him.

Ulrich: Not…too…hard…can't He gasps….breathe!

She lets go and lets him catch his breath. The others gather around.

Odd: You're alive! But how?

Suddenly the elevator door opens and William comes out. When he sees everyone, he breathes a sigh of relief.

William: You guys had me scared to death! I thought I was too late!

Aelita: William? But where did you…how did you..?

Jeremie: How did you stop Moriarty?

William: Simple. I shut down the supercomputer.

Jeremie: What?

Ulrich: Moriarty's attack was launched through Lyoko. The only way we could have stopped him without Aelita was to shut it down, cancelling the attack. William shut it down to save us.

Odd: Alright William! Way to go!

Jeremie: A temporary solution, but it worked. But how did you know that we were in danger?

William: Ulrich texted me.

Odd: What? Ulrich never sent any text. Moriarty would have stopped him if he tried.

Ulrich pulls out his phone from his pocket.

Ulrich: If there's one thing I'm good at, its texting with my phone in my pocket. Moriarty never noticed.

Yumi hugs him again, this time with tears of joy.

Yumi: Ulrich….I'm so sorry.

Ulrich: It's alright Yumi, you were just scared. Moriarty is responsible for trying to kill me, not you.

Yumi: No Moriarty lied to you. I wasn't trying to save myself. He made me choose between you and Hiroki.

Ulrich: Hiroki?

Jeremy: Oh that explains the freak accident he had. I thought it was too strange to be a coincidence.

Aelita: If there was any doubt that Moriarty was completely evil, it's gone now. The thought of making you choose between Ulrich and your own brother! He will pay for that.

Yumi helps Ulrich up.

Yumi: Ulrich, what I did was awful, but I didn't know what to do. He made me say it. I hated doing it, I loathed every second of it, but he was threatening to kill Hiroki if I didn't. I cracked under the pressure….I'm so sorry.

Ulrich puts his hands in hers.

Ulrich: I forgave you when I thought you were trying to save yourself, and I forgive you now. No one should be forced to decide whether or not to spare or kill a loved one. It wasn't your fault.

More tears come down her face.

Yumi: When I was tied up, I was waiting for you to tell Moriarty to kill me. I honestly thought I deserved it, and I wasn't willing to let Odd, Jeremie, and Aelita die for my mistake. But then…even when you were told a terrible lie…you refused to do it. Oh Ulrich, how could you offer yourself in my place? I couldn't bear the thought of losing you again! Ulrich…I just…don't deserve you!

Ulrich: No. You couldn't be farther from the truth. It's not me you don't deserve. You don't deserve to be mercilessly tortured by Moriarty into being forced to kill me. He was trying to drive us apart, but we are stronger than that.

The others quietly watch this moment. William is a little sad, but smiles. Odd keeps motioning to Ulrich to make a move already, but Jeremie elbows him in the ribs.

Yumi: I told you that you might prove me wrong, and you did. You're amazing…and please…don't scare me like that EVER again.

Ulrich blushes.

Ulrich: Uh so does this mean….I mean what you told me last night…do you still want a…break?

Yumi gives him a sly look.

Yumi: Let me answer that in the following way…

Without warning she kisses him. It isn't a deep kiss, but it is forceful and passionate. Ulrich nearly falls over.

Yumi: Does that answer your question?

Ulrich: Duh…I….uh…think so.. Break over…got it.

The others clap for them. Both of them blush.

Odd: Finally! I was wondering when your little soap opera would end. It's about time you guys got together!

Ulrich: Odd, if I wasn't so happy right now, I'd knock your teeth in.

Odd: Well there's no denying it anymore. You two are officially together! Every Kadic girl is going to be crying their eyes out Ulrich, especially Sissi. Oh well, more for me!

Jeremie: Well I hate to interrupt this moment, but we've got to start up the supercomputer and deactivate the tower Moriarty was using. Let's get going!

The others head for the scanner room. Ulrich and Yumi are laughing with each other, but Yumi notices William is still sad. Hours later, in the dorm hallway, Yumi runs across William. William tries to walk by without a word, but she stops him.

Yumi: Hey can we talk for a second?

William shakes his head.

William: Can't hide anything from you, can I?

Yumi: Nope. You have never been good at hiding your feelings.

William: So then what's the point? You know everything already.

Yumi: Because despite what you may believe, I do care about you, and I don't want to see you miserable all the time.

William: Well then, I'm sorry, but I am miserable. I can't help the way I feel about you and no matter how many times I try to get over you, you just keep coming back.

Yumi: I know William. But I can't feel the same way. I think you are a great friend and a great guy, and one day some girl is going to be very lucky to have you. But that girl just isn't me.

William: You're crazy if you think I'm going to find anyone better than you.

Yumi: Oh come on now. There are plenty of great girls out there. I'm sure you can find someone here at Kadic who would love to go out with you.

William: Who, Sissi?

Yumi: Granted, she's probably not the best choice. But don't worry, you will find her, just give it time.

William: I wish I could believe that. I just want to know one thing right now.

Yumi: What?

William: Are you happy with Ulrich?

She blushes and smiles

Yumi: Very happy.

William: Well then that's that. If I love you, I should want what's best for you. I want you to be happy, and if that means I can't have you, then so be it.

Yumi: Thank you. But promise me you won't lose hope, please?

William: Even if you're right that there is some girl out there better than you, I still have to suffer in the meantime. I'm not looking forward to it. He lowers his head.

She tries to hug him.

Yumi: Come here.

He tries to push her away.

William: I don't want any pity affection from you. I'm fine.

Yumi: I'm not doing this out of pity. I'm thanking you for saving the day.

She kisses him on the cheek and walks away. William blushes and smiles.

Part 5

A battle rages in the Desert Sector of Lyoko. Twelve Humanoid Moriarty monsters stand between Team Lyoko and the purple activated tower. The Humanoid monsters are grey, with the Moriarty symbol on their chest. Three holes formed together in the shape of a triangle are on their heads. These holes shoot a three-pronged laser blast. They have human shaped feet, but the foot is one unit, there are no toes. Instead of arms, they have two long tentacles that help smack around an opponent. These monsters are not particularly strong. Their only strength is that they can run as fast as a normal human, unlike some monsters. One shoots a laser at Ulrich. He deflects it, and promptly cuts the monster in half with his two swords. Some yards away Yumi cartwheels, dodging some of the lasers. She throws one of her Tessen fans, but misses and it returns to her like a boomerang. William is still inexperienced, pinned up against a rock by two Humanoids, but his giant sword allows him to hold his own. After blocking a volley of lasers, he lowers the sword and charges it straight into the chest of one of the monsters. Odd swoops in on his Overboard and shoots a laser arrow that finishes off the other one. Aelita cautiously approaches the tower, taking out monsters with her pink energy fields but waiting for the path to be cleared. Jeremie is heard speaking to them from the computer.

Jeremie: Watch out guys. You have five Vultures on the way!

Large monsters flying above the Desert surface appear. They are maroon red, with a long black beak that shoots semi-automatic laser fire. The Moriarty symbol is on their dorsal side, much like the Mantas Xana used to create. Yumi slices one Humanoid monster with her fan and takes a moment to assess the situation with the Vultures.

Yumi: Aelita!

Aelita: I'm on it! Her pink angelic wings come out and she takes to the air. Come on Odd!

Odd and Aelita begin the counterattack from the air.

Odd: Hey you ugly pigeons! Which one of you wants to be first? Vultures respond by shooting at Odd. Aelita and Odd succeed in destroying two of them.

Meanwhile William has taken the strategy of drawing the monsters away from defending the tower by slowly retreating, knowing that he isn't strong enough to defeat them with the direct approach. Six humanoids have cornered Yumi and Ulrich, and they accidentally bump into each other when they are backing up. If it was possible to blush in Lyoko, they would have. The monsters have the two cornered.

Yumi: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Ulrich: That depends on what you're thinking. An obvious flirtatious sarcasm is in his voice.

Yumi: Plan Delta-G?

Ulrich: Got it. He uses super sprint and runs around in a triangle, creating two extra clones of himself. Yumi takes advantage of the monsters' temporary confusion by jumping above Ulrich's yellow triangle display and launching her two Tessen fans in a wide boomerang arc. The fans take out three monsters, and the rest are taken care of by the three Ulrichs. Ulrich fuses back together and smiles at Yumi. She returns it.

Yumi: I love Delta-G.

Ulrich: Why? Because you get to see three versions of me?

Yumi: One of you is enough. She gives him a sly smile. We just make a good team.

Ulrich: I couldn't agree more.

Jeremie: Less flirting, more fighting!

Ulrich: Who says we can't do both? They draw their weapons and return to the fight. Meanwhile, Odd has been shot by one of the Vultures and falls from his Overboard onto the Desert floor. He looks up to see two Tigers staring at him. They are black with white stripes and very large, with a Moriarty symbol on their head. Lasers shoot out of their mouth, which is full of sharp teeth. They growl at Odd.

Odd: Uh…nice kitties! He falls back while shooting laser arrows from his wrist. The tigers give chase. Guys, a little HELP HERE! He runs across William, who is still retreating from the Humanoids. They switch places. Odd takes out the Humanoids, and William throws his sword like a Frisbee and cuts the tigers to pieces. Ulrich and Yumi clean up the rest of the Humanoids while Aelita finishes off the Vultures. The battle is over. The others wait as Aelita enters the tower to deactivate it.

Odd: Thanks for the save William.

Yumi: Yeah you're getting better and better at this.

Ulrich: Way to go. Now that we have five fighters, Moriarty doesn't stand a chance on Lyoko. He can send us as many monsters as he wants, but he's still going to lose.

William: Thanks. I am glad I got a second try at this. The last time well…didn't go so well… as you already know.

Odd: Oh that's ancient history. What matters now is that we are giving Moriarty a run for his money.

Aelita exits the tower.

Aelita: Well it's over. Jeremie we're all good on this end.

Jeremie: Alright job well done. I'm going to materialize you.

Out of the digital sea a black and red smoke cloud emerges and suddenly envelops Aelita. Before the others can react, the cloud pulls her toward the digital sea.

Aelita: JEREMIE!

Jeremie: Aelita! He can't understand what he's seeing on his computer monitor. What's happening?

She is pulled into the digital sea. The cloud sinks deep into the abyss, below the World Network. Suddenly the blackness of the abyss is broken by the light of a bright red digital sphere, which is connected to red data streams. Aelita and the cloud descend into the sphere. In the virtual world of the sphere, Aelita is placed on a large crystalline platform that lights up the deep blackness that surrounds the platform. Aelita begins to regain consciousness and looks around.

Aelita: What…where am I? What is this place?

Moriarty: A little piece of real estate I've staked out in the digital void. Do you like it?

Aelita looks up in shock. Before her is a massive black-red cloud that frequently expands and contracts its disorganized and shapeless form. Large tentacles come and go from the black and red mass. Suddenly in the middle of the cloud a dark red cloud the shape of a human skull emerges. The sockets glow with a kind of deep, glowing fire. It looks down upon Aelita with a cold and wicked stare.

Aelita: …Moriarty?...

Moriarty: In the flesh. Well, at least as much as I can muster. Your father didn't perfect the virtualization program until you came along. Though I must say, I prefer this form, don't you?

Aelita is terrified. Moriarty seems to reach into her mind and penetrate her deepest fears and bring them to vivid clarity in her mind. She summons two energy fields.

Aelita: …I…I'm not afraid of you Moriarty. If you brought me here to kill me, I won't go down without a fight.

Moriarty: Kill you? Oh Aelita dear, why would I want to kill you?

Aelita: You have tried twice already. Besides, you want revenge. You won't rest until I'm dead.

Moriarty: Oh Aelita, one says things one doesn't mean to say when one is upset. Jeremie took my words…out of context. It's true your father and I did not always get along, but why would I dishonor his memory by killing you?

Aelita: You have dishonored EVERYTHING! My father, Lyoko, your country, and all of humanity. I have every reason to believe you want to kill me.

Moriarty leans closer to her. She backs up in horror.

Moriarty: Such vicious slander coming from such a pretty girl. Is that any way to treat the last living person from your old life?

Aelita summons energy fields again.

Aelita: You are responsible for my father's death, and you WILL pay.

Moriarty: Oh the lies! You and I both know that Xana killed your father.

Aelita: You screwed up our virtualization programs so my father and I couldn't return to Earth! You left us there to die at the hands of Xana!

Moriarty: Let's not throw stones Aelita. Your father condemned me to this prison and set his attack dog Xana on me. Besides, you're wrong. Your father is not dead. There is still hope.

Aelita pauses. She can't believe what she is hearing. Her mind keeps telling her that Moriarty is lying to her, but her heart leaps with joy at the faintest possibility of being able to rescue her father.

Aelita: What are you talking about? I…I saw it happen…myself.

Moriarty: True, but have you ever heard of a backup file?

Aelita: …Yes, but there's no way…Jeremie has searched everywhere for him on the Network. There are no files…he's gone.

Moriarty: Oh but you're wrong Aelita. There is a file, a little tiny piece of your father's genetic code that I have saved for a rainy day such as this one. Jeremie couldn't find it because I wanted to keep it my little secret. Of course, now that I have you alone, I couldn't wait to tell you the good news.

Aelita: Stop it! I'm not going to fall for any of your tricks! My father is dead.

Moriarty: Your lack of faith in me is simply killing me inside. Aelita, don't you trust me? Oh well, I knew you would have to have evidence to believe me.

A panel appears near Aelita, showing a screen displaying a rotating DNA sequence. Aelita cautiously approaches and examines it. The more she sifts through the data files, the more she realizes that what she is looking at is real. She rapidly checks again, looking for any sign that it is a hoax. A picture of Waldo Schaeffer appears on the screen, and she backs up in shock.

Aelita: Daddy…

Moriarty: Do you believe me now?

Aelita: His genetic sequence, it's all intact. Jeremie…he…we could bring him back.

Moriarty: And of course I want nothing but for you two to finally be reunited. I am ready to hand over this data to you. However, such a precious commodity is not free. I require a little something from you first.

Aelita closes her eyes. She knows what is coming.

Aelita: I was afraid you would say that.

Moriarty: Yes. At the risk of repeating myself, Aelita, would you like to play a game?

Aelita: I have been dreading this day…

Moriarty: But it has come. Aelita, as I have said before, I am willing to give you this data, and I am a man of my word. However, I need you to do me a favor.

Another panel appears right next to Waldo's genetic sequence panel.

Are you familiar with Sector 5?

Aelita: …Yes…

Moriarty: Well, Xana so rudely locked me out of this sector. Although he is dead, the program he created to lock me out is still functioning, and I am forbidden to enter Sector 5. The information I could have from Carthage is simply irresistible, but I can't get to it. But you have the keys to Lyoko. Enter your genetic sequence on the panel I have here, and that program blocking me will die. Do this little favor for me, and I give you your father.

She is shaking and boils with rage.

Aelita: Let me guess, if I don't, you kill my father, right?

Moriarty: I'm afraid I'm becoming a tad too predictable. Let's just say if you refuse, my fingers might…accidentally hit the 'DELETE' button.

Aelita: YOU MONSTER!

Moriarty: No thanks are necessary.

Aelita: You and your horrible games!

Moriarty: Oh Aelita, I'm simply hurt. I went to such great lengths to make this game for you, and this is the thanks I get? That is no way to convince me to release your father.

Aelita: You expect me to betray my friends and endanger the world to save him?

Moriarty: In a nutshell, yes. And I have every reason to believe you would.

Aelita: Oh yeah, and why's that? Because you think I'm weak?

Moriarty: Oh Aelita, it has nothing to do with your weakness. It doesn't matter how strong or weak you are. Take Yumi for example. She is one of the strongest in the group, and look what I did to her. She was on her knees begging for mercy by the time I was done with her. No Aelita, I think you will do it because you love your father, and people will sacrifice the world and everything to save the ones they love. It's only natural.

Aelita: You're wrong.

Moriarty: Am I? What about Jeremie? He risked the safety of the world by refusing to kill Xana when you were trapped on Lyoko. What do you call that? And let's think on more recent terms. Did he not rush to your aid when you were in danger and left Odd, Ulrich, and Yumi to die at my hands?

Aelita: Leave Jeremie out of this!

Moriarty: Oh what would he think if you betrayed everyone to save your father?

Aelita: Enough!

She's desperately trying to block him out.

Moriarty: Aelita, I know you are overwhelmed, but it really isn't that hard. I'm not asking you to murder your friends or anything. I just want that key to get into Carthage, that's all. I know it's asking a lot, but it is your own father.

Aelita: Just when I thought I was over it….

Moriarty: But you never did lose him dear. Or at least, not yet. He is still alive. Whether he remains that way is up to you.

Aelita: Please… no…

Moriarty: To kill my father or not to kill my father, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the intellectual genius of Moriarty or to take arms against a digital sea of troubles, and by opposing..

Aelita: Stop it!

Moriarty: Oh how rude! I was on a roll. You know I used to be a Shakespearean actor back on Earth. And on a completely unrelated note, my digital hand is having an uncontrollable spasm in the direction of the DELETE button.

Aelita: Daddy…what do I do?

Moriarty: Unfortunately your daddy can't answer at the moment. Do you want me to leave a message?

Aelita balls her fists in anger. She's had enough of Moriarty's taunting.

Aelita: Just what are you trying to prove, huh? What is the point of this? These awful games? Are you so evil that it's the only way to feel any joy? You were human once. What happened to you? Has all this time in the supercomputer drained you of your humanity? We could have helped you. Instead you made us your enemies.

Moriarty's face contorts a little bit. He hadn't expected this retort. He seems to ponder this.

Moriarty: Oh you are quite right! What have I DONE! To think I would have stooped so low! Perhaps my grudge against your father clouded my judgment. Oh Aelita, you have reached my human side! …Oh… wait a moment. Oh dear, I'm afraid it just died. What a shame. I was just about to release your father.

Aelita shoots a energy field at Moriarty for spite. Moriarty's cloud withdraws away from the attack and he laughs.

Moriarty: Temper, temper! That little stunt is not improving your father's chances.

She goes to the crystalline floor in despair.

Aelita: You can't take him away from me! YOU CAN'T! He's…he's the only one I have left.

Moriarty: Well then decide dear. Who is more important? Your father, or your friends and the security of the world?

Aelita: This is impossible!

Moriarty: Your friends have proven that they can choose, and so can you.

Aelita: You mean like Ulrich?

Moriarty: I would choose another subject if I were you if ever want to see your father alive. I assure you he will pay for his insolence. But this is your battle, and there are NO easy ways out.

Aelita: You think you can rob us of our loved ones and get away with it?

Moriarty: Hmmn…yes. But it truly pains me to see you suffer. I know how to make it better. I could tell you how much your father loved you. After all, I was his partner for quite a long time, and he occasionally shared things about his personal life.

Aelita: He…he did?

Moriarty: Oh yes. I can show you.

A vision envelops Aelita and she is brought back. She sees her father in the factory, working on the computer.

Moriarty: Are you trying to get us caught?

Attention turns to a nearby man in a lab coat. He is bald on top, with grey hair around the sides of his head. He is thin, and although he is well into his middle-age years, he seems to have not lost any mental or physical vitality. His eyes are dark, blue, and cold. Aelita realizes with shock that she is looking at what Moriarty looked like as a human.

Schaeffer: I'm not in the mood to hear your complaints. We have gone too far to stop now.

Moriarty: Why don't you just put up a sign that says, "Hey, government agents, renegade scientists working together in an abandoned factory. Come and get us!"

Schaeffer: Now is not the time.

Moriarty: The energy from the supercomputer is a giant giveaway. There are going to find us if you're not careful. We need to cover our tracks.

Schaeffer: You seem to be forgetting that we are supposed to be working for the good of mankind. We are not criminals.

Moriarty: There are about three dozen government agents currently looking for us that would offer you a second opinion.

Schaeffer: They are the ones who are mistaken, not us. I refuse to be chased around France like a hunted animal.

Moriarty: So you are being reckless on purpose to prove a point? What about our safety? …What about your daughter?

Schaeffer: How dare you accuse me of not wanting to protect my own daughter! That is on my mind every waking moment He looks at a photo of her from his wallet. She is just a child, carefree and playing with her toys. He sighs

She is the only one I have left, and I would sacrifice everything to protect her from this mess. I will make sure that NOTHING brings her any harm!

The vision is gone and Aelita is left on the platform. If it were possible to cry on Lyoko, she would have.

Aelita: Why…Why?

Moriarty: So what's it going to be?

Aelita: I can't…do this.

Moriarty: Oh but you must.

Aelita: I can't….I won't…do it.

Moriarty: Refusing to make a decision is equivalent to refusing to giving me the keys to Carthage. Ergo, your father must die.

Aelita: NO!

Moriarty: Oh YES! You should be ashamed of yourself, dooming your own father. Why even Yumi wouldn't stoop to that level. After all, how could he ever forgive you? You will only delay me by refusing. I will find my way into Carthage one way or another. You will doom your father, and gain nothing.

Aelita puts her face in her hands in despair.

Moriarty: Unless of course, you change your mind. This is your last chance. Give me the key, or lose your father forever. You will be all alone in the world, with no family to turn to.

She's at the breaking point. She withdraws deep into herself, trying to avoid reality. Then she thinks of something and gets up.

Aelita: You're wrong. I DO have a family.

Moriarty: I'm sorry, come again?

Aelita: My friends are my family now. Odd, Yumi, Ulrich, William, and ….she smiles Jeremie. They have been my family ever since Jeremie started the supercomputer. And I will fight WITH my family no matter what you try to do to me.

Moriarty: Interesting…but…

Aelita: And what's more, my father would never allow you to win. He wouldn't be willing to let me destroy everything to save him. He would willingly die if it meant stopping your madness. For all the time you two worked together, you know nothing about him.

Moriarty's smoke face burns in anger.

Moriarty: You have sealed your father's death, Aelita. I hope you can live with it. As for you Waldo, if you can hear me, I have been wanting to do this for such a LONG TIME! I am going to enjoy EVERY SECOND OF THIS!

Schaeffer's genetic code begins to delete. Aelita runs to the panel and tries to stop it.

Aelita: DADDY NOOOO!...I'm…I'm so sorry…. The panel disappears. Her father is gone for good. She collapses to the floor in utter shock. She can't move, she can't even process what she's just seen.

Moriarty: Well that was fun. No then, since I have already gotten rid of one Schaeffer today, I might as well finish the job. Prepare to join your father Aelita!

Moriarty edges closer to attack. The fire in his socket flares up, as if he's ready to launch it at her. Aelita crawls backwards, trying to avoid him. But right before Moriarty strikes, torpedoes strike Moriarty in the head. The smoke temporarily dissipates and he reels back. Aelita turns to see the Skid arriving to the rescue, with Odd driving while the others are in their smaller Nav Skids. Odd is clearly enjoying driving the Skid.

Odd: YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Moriarty: What is the meaning of this!

Odd: Moriarty, is that you? Boy are you UGGGGGGGLLLLLYYYYYYY!

Yumi: I'll say! Are we too late to join the party?

Ulrich: Whatever the case, we're crashing it anyway.

Odd fires off two more torpedoes that explode in Moriarty's face and he roars in pain and anger with the explosion.

Odd: DIRECT HIT!

Moriarty: How? How could you have possibly….?

Jeremie: Moriarty, you really didn't think I wouldn't notice an enormous trail of pulsating energy in the digital void that would lead directly to your little hideout, did you? You really should cover your tracks better.

Moriarty: If you think you're going to GET AWAY WITH THIS…

Jeremie: Maybe not….but for the time being, release Aelita, or I will tell Odd to personally rearrange your face.

Odd: And believe me, I would be happy to oblige!

Moriarty: I will not be intimidated! AELITA DIES!

Moriarty tries to reach his smoke arm around Aelita

Aelita: NOOO!

But the Skid torpedoes begin to tear him to pieces. The other Nav Skids break off and start attacking Moriarty on all sides. Yumi gets in two particularly good shots, and Moriarty howls in pain.

Yumi: You have NO IDEA how much I enjoyed that.

The others overwhelm Moriarty, and he retreats deep into the digital void.

Odd: Yeah, run you COWARD!

William: He's not as tough as he looks.

Ulrich: He's definitely ugly though.

Yumi: No question about that.

Odd: I wish he had stayed. I wanted to knock a few more holes in his head.

Jeremie: Alright guys, that's enough. We need to get Aelita home. Aelita, are you alright? Did Moriarty hurt you?

She closes her eyes.

Aelita: More than you could ever know…

Jeremie: One of his games?

Aelita: Yes…

Silence consumes the small dark sphere.

Jeremie: Odd, take her home.

Scene shifts. The others are being devirtualized and are coming out of the scanners. Aelita is the last to exit. Jeremie waits for her outside the scanner. She comes out, with the smoke enveloping her crestfallen face. She stares at Jeremie, and he returns her gaze. There is a brief moment of silence.

Jeremie: Aelita….I….I was so worried.

She leaps into his arms and cries with wild abandonment. She goes to the ground but Jeremy holds her and lowers himself with her. The others watch and listen as Aelita, through her tears, tells them the awful story. Scene shifts to the others walking back to the factory with the feeling that they have won a Pyrrhic victory. No one speaks. Aelita is walking at the back of the group. Jeremie gives Aelita her space. But Yumi comes back to have a girl-to-girl talk.

Yumi: Hey...

Aelita: …Hey

Brief pause.

Yumi: What you did…in the void. That sacrifice… I'm not sure if I could have done it. It took a lot of courage to stand up to him. I just wanted to say that…if it's any consolation.

Aelita: It isn't.

Yumi frowns. She regrets being too blunt.

Aelita: But thank you anyway.

Yumi: He won't get away with it.

Aelita: No amount of revenge can bring him back.

Yumi sighs

Yumi: …True. I just wanted to say, if you needed someone to talk to, I'm here.

Aelita: Thank you…she smiles

Yumi: You fared far better with Moriarty than me. He made me a traitor…

Aelita: Can you make me a promise?

Yumi: What?

Aelita: NEVER call yourself a traitor again. You have been one of the bravest in this fight. Anyone else who suffered what you did wouldn't be able to handle it. I don't want to hear you say that about yourself ever again.

Yumi is a little surprised at this reaction and turns away with this compliment/admonition.

Aelita: Besides, look what became of it. You and Ulrich are together now.

Yumi: Yeah…she smiles

Aelita: So why is it that you are here, and he is way over there? There is a little sarcastic tone in her voice.

Yumi: Because I wanted to talk to you. Besides, you have no room to talk.

Aelita: How so?

Yumi: Jeremie is way up there, and I see no pink-haired girl with him….

Aelita: Should have known you would turn the tables. She blushes.

Yumi: Do you know what he did for you?

Aelita: No, what?

Yumi: When Moriarty captured you, he went on the rampage. He immediately made us start the search, and wouldn't rest until he had found you. At several points we tried to tell him that searching for you in the digital void was impossible since we didn't know where to start, but he was persistent. Even when we found the digital sphere, we couldn't enter it. But Jeremie wasn't about to let that stop him from saving you. He tried every hacking technique he could think of until we finally could get in. The guy spent the whole afternoon killing himself to find you. We weren't the real ones who saved you, he did.

Aelita pauses and lets this information sink in. She blushes again.

Yumi: He really cares about you.

Aelita: I know…

Yumi puts her arm on Aelita's shoulder.

Yumi: Then why don't you act on it?

Aelita: Why didn't you for such a long time?

Yumi: Touché. Do as I say, not as I do.

Aelita: You're right. But I don't want it to seem like I am pressing the issue because I am upset over my father's death. I don't want it to look like I need him for consolation.

Yumi stops her in her tracks.

Yumi: You're wrong. He's the one that needs you. He's a guy, so he won't admit it. But he still needs you. He may not show it, but he's worried. He doesn't know how to beat Moriarty yet, and he's afraid that the next fight with Moriarty might be his last. The weight of the world is on his shoulders, and he needs someone to help him carry it.

Aelita smiles.

Aelita: Thank you Yumi. I will…think about what you've said.

Yumi: Good to hear. Now if you will excuse me, I have a sulky boyfriend to deal with…

She walks up to Ulrich. The scene shifts. This time Jeremie is walking Aelita to her room.

Jeremie: If there's anything you need…anything at all, just let me know.

Aelita: You've done so much for me today already Jeremy. What I want is for you to take a break and get some sleep. Moriarty can wait.

Jeremie: I hope so. I'm worried. Moriarty has played games with all of us except for Odd and William. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be them right now.

Aelita: What could Moriarty possibly do to Odd? He's unbreakable.

Jeremie: Maybe threaten to reveal Odd's smelly feet secret.

Aelita: Yes but…everyone knows about that.

They laugh. Then a moment of silence ensues.

Aelita: I was thinking…

Jeremie: About what?

Aelita: The night you walked me to Yumi's house, the night after you materialized me.

Jeremie: Oh really….he scratches his head and turns red.

Aelita: I was scared…about Xana's virus, about living in the real world and what it would be like. But I remember thinking, "It's going to be ok."

Jeremie: How did you get so optimistic?

They reach the door to her room. She leans close to him.

Aelita: Because I knew you would be there with me.

She kisses him and Jeremie though initially shocked, returns the kiss. She stops and holds his hand.

Jeremie: Aelita…I…uhhh

Aelita: Thank you for saving me. Moriarty has taken a lot from me today…but not everything.

She enters her room and Jeremie stops dumbfounded for a moment. Then he heads back to his room with a beaming smile on his face.

Part 6

The Kadic cafeteria, lunchtime. It's a beautiful sunny day. In the lunchline, Ulrich is confronted by his not so secret admirer, Sissi Delmas. She begins to do what she does best.

Sissi: Why hello Ulrich dear…

Ulrich cringes and rolls his eyes.

Ulrich: I should be used to you calling me that Sissi, but now you have no excuse. I am in a relationship, and you need to respect that.

She feigns shame and forgetfulness.

Sissi: Oh of course! How silly of me. You and Yumi have gotten together. I completely forgot.

Ulrich: Considering that you are the first to hear any gossip at Kadic, and since Odd promptly spread the news like wild fire, I find that hard to believe.

Sissi: I'd be lying to you if I said that the news has not killed me inside…

Ulrich: My heart is simply breaking for you….

Sissi: Oh so now you're mocking me?

Ulrich: What was your first clue?

Sissi: Very well, have it your way. She leans in close to whisper something in his ear. But this really hasn't changed anything. In my mind, you and Yumi have been together from the moment you two met, and I was just as determined to get you. The only difference now is that you two admit it. The game hasn't changed.

Ulrich stares at her with contempt.

Ulrich: If you think for one second that I would ever cheat on Yumi…you're out of your…

Sissi: Oh NOO! I would never dream of you doing such a thing. But then again…they do say forbidden love is the most romantic.

Ulrich is starting to get annoyed, but suddenly his face changes and he smiles.

Ulrich: Really? So humor me, exactly what is your plan to get me this time?

Sissi: Oh it's rather simple. Everyone knows couples are bound to get into fights. All I need is the right opportunity when you two are at each other's throats, and you will leave her for me.

Ulrich: That's interesting. What if we don't break up?

Sissi gives her a sly look

Sissi: Then what Yumi doesn't know, won't hurt her.

Ulrich: I will give you one thing, you are persistent.

Sissi: For you, I would be a fool not to be.

Ulrich: Of course, you may not be alive much longer to try.

Sissi: What? What are you talking about?

Ulrich: Turn around…

Sissi turns around and realizes with horror that Yumi has been behind her for the last bit of the conversation, hearing every word. Anger and hatred are clearly evident in the look she is giving Sissi.

Sissi: Oh, Yumi….I uh…didn't see you there. Uh…how long have you been behind me?

She doesn't answer but intensifies her hateful glare.

Sissi: I just remembered, Daddy wanted me to stop by his office. I…got to go..

Sissi runs away. Ulrich chuckles to himself.

Yumi: You enjoyed that way too much.

Ulrich: I'd be lying if I said I didn't.

Yumi: Can I claw her eyes out now?

Ulrich: I'm pretty sure Delmas wouldn't appreciate that.

Yumi: It would be worth it.

They sit down at the lunch table with Odd, Aelita, and Jeremie. William is not with them at the moment. Aelita and Jeremie are talking and laughing. They have clearly become closer since Moriarty's last game. Odd is trying to engage them in conversation, but they seem too preoccupied with each other.

Jeremie: Hello

Yumi: Hello.

Jeremie: You look a little tense Yumi, is something wrong?

Yumi: No…

Ulrich: We just might want to keep her away from Sissi for a while.

Yumi: Do you enjoy watching me react like that?

Ulrich: Maybe a little bit…

Odd: Hey, I was wondering, now that you two are together, how come we don't see you holding hands and stuff on campus?

Ulrich: Uhh…we've already…discussed that.

Yumi: It's not that we want to keep it secret...

Ulrich: We just aren't openly romantic people.

Yumi: We prefer to keep it to ourselves, you know.

Jeremie: Fair enough

Aelita: That makes sense.

Odd: Killjoy

They ignore Odd's comment.

Yumi: So, I have a funny story about Ulrich at my parents' house last weekend.

Ulrich: Oh no….

Yumi: What's the matter? Don't want me to tell them?

Ulrich: You're going to anyway….

Aelita: What is it?

Yumi: So Ulrich has been learning basic Japanese from me to impress my parents when he visits, and he tried it out at my house last time.

Jeremie: Yes…go on.

Yumi: So after dinner he tried to thank my mom for the food in Japanese. Unfortunately he screwed it up a little bit…

Jeremie: What did he say?

Yumi: Instead of saying, "Thank you for the food Mrs. Ishiyama." He said, "My pants taste like salami."

Everyone laughs except Ulrich.

Yumi: Hiroki laughed so hard milk came out his nose.

Jeremie: How did her parents react?

Ulrich: Uh…let's see, Yumi's dad drank his coffee the wrong way and began coughing and I'm pretty sure Yumi's mom nearly dropped a plate of food.

Aelita: I hope you corrected yourself.

Ulrich: Yumi rectified the situation. But it was still kind of embarrassing.

Odd: I'll say. Just don't make that mistake near Kiwi. He might take it literally.

Ulrich: Yeah…yeah…

Scene shifts to midafternoon. Odd approaches Ulrich in the hallway after class.

Odd: Hey Ulrich

Ulrich: Yeah?

Odd: You ready for the big night tonight?

Ulrich gives Odd a quizzical look.

Ulrich: What big night?

Odd: Our jam session? Don't you remember? Delmas said it was ok if we used the gym tonight. It's going to be SWEET!

Ulrich: Oh….I…totally forgot. He scratches the back of his head. You see, I might have already made plans…

Odd: What? But Friday night has always been our jam session. It's tradition.

Ulrich: Well, we're going to have to break tradition. I'm going out with Yumi tonight.

Odd: Again?

Ulrich: Well yeah, it's kinda what you do in a relationship Odd.

Odd: You know, I hate to say it, but you have gotten kind of lame ever since you started going out with Yumi. All you do is hang out with her. Hello, best friend over here!

Ulrich: Look, I'm sorry, but I can't go tonight. But next week, I promise to do something with you.

Odd: Funny, I should believe that, but you said the SAME THING last week.

Ulrich: I did?

Odd: Yeah you did. I'm not an idiot Ulrich, I can see what's going on here.

Ulrich: Alright I get it! Look, I admit I have been a bit distracted, but I promise I will hang out with you …as soon as I can.

Odd: Don't bother. I wouldn't want to get between the two love birds. See you later

Odd walks off. Ulrich feels a little guilty, but brushes it off. Meanwhile the scene moves to Jeremie's room. Odd walks in to see Jeremie working on the computer.

Odd: Hey, Jeremie, can I come in?

Jeremie: Um… sure.

Odd does.

Odd: What are you up to?

Jeremie: I'm beginning a scan of the Network. I'm trying to see if there are any more of Moriarty's spheres out there.

Odd: Like the one Moriarty dragged Aelita too?

Jeremie: Exactly.

Odd: Any luck on how to destroy them?

Jeremie: The scan will also try to collect data for that. Alright just a few minor adjustments and bingo. It's ready. Now all I have to do is start the scan.

He launches it, and the computer begins to process the data.

There. It will take several hours, but soon we might know something more about Moriarty. There's nothing for me to do now but wait.

Odd: So let me get this straight, you have nothing Einstein-ish to do tonight?

Jeremie: Well no, not at the moment.

Odd: Good then you're free tonight. That's great. Ulrich is being so lame. How bout we hang out?

Jeremie: Uh…I'd love to, but I can't.

Odd: What? But I thought you said you had nothing Einstein-ish to do.

Jeremie: I'm going on …a date with Aelita…he blushes.

Odd: WHAT? Am I the only one in this group who's not falling over themselves with love? This is so ridiculous. Why don't you all just go on a double date while you're at it.

Jeremie: Uh, we are.

Odd: WHATTTTT?

Jeremie: Didn't Ulrich tell you? We've been planning it for a week now. We are hanging out, but it's still a couple's thing…

Odd: So all four of you are hanging out….without ME?

Jeremie: Well, sort of. You can come too I guess, if you bring a date or something…

Odd: First of all, every girl on this campus has already heard too much about me to even think about going out with me. Second of all, since all of you went behind my back, I don't even want to go.

Jeremie: I'm sorry Odd, but…well things just happen, and we need some time for ourselves.

Odd: Are you and Aelita even going out?

Jeremie: Uh…well things have definitely gotten more …intimate in the past week or so, but we prefer to just let things happen. We aren't going to define our relationship. That's what caused Yumi and Ulrich problems for so long. They were too concerned about strict definitions of romance.

Odd: So what am I supposed to do?

Jeremie: Oh, I don't know. Why don't you hang out with William? He's technically one of us now. Only Yumi really knows him very well. Why not try that?

Odd: I'd prefer not. He's probably writing poetry about how he can't be with Yumi…blah…blah blah. We don't really have much to talk about.

Jeremie: Well then, I don't know what to tell you.

Odd: Thanks for the help. He starts walking out. Hey, wait a minute. I see what's going on. You're taking advantage of Aelita's emotional state to make a move on her!

Jeremie: Uh….

Odd: Am I right?

Jeremie: You may be right but…

Odd: But what?

Jeremie: Sue me. You would do the same in my situation. Besides, she does need me, and that's that. Now if you will excuse me, I gotta get ready for tonight.

Odd walks out of the room in a huff and comes to his own room. He enters to find Kiwi, his dog, waiting for him. He begins to pet Kiwi.

Odd: Well at least you don't abandon me, my little diggity dog.

But it does little to improve his mood. He stays cooped up in his room. Hours pass. He goes around the room doing various things such as playing guitar, listening to music, even reading, but it does no good. He lays on his bed staring up at the ceiling in despair. He closes his eyes and tries to rest. Suddenly he gets a call on his phone. He lets it ring three times, then finally answers it.

Odd: Yeah, what is it?

Jeremie: Hey Odd. Odd hears background noise of Aelita, Ulrich, and Yumi laughing. Sorry to bother you, but since you're still at school, I was wondering if you could… uh… check on my scan of the Network. It should be complete by now, and I'd rather not wait until I get home to find out. More laughing. It seems we might be staying out longer than we thought.

Odd: Are you serious? You want me to stop what I'm doing to check on your precious scan?

Jeremie: Come on Odd, it won't take but a few minutes. Be a pal, alright?

Odd overhears Aelita talking to Jeremie.

Aelita: Jeremie, you better not be trying to work behind my back. You promised you wouldn't bother with the supercomputer tonight.

Jeremie: Uhh…of course not. I was just asking Odd to uhhh…pick up my laundry. If I don't get it picked up somehow, I will have to wait till morning.

Aelita: Oh, ok as long as its just that.

Jeremie whispers into the phone.

Jeremie: Text me the results.

He hangs up. Odd yells at his phone.

Odd: Why that little…piece of ….

Kiwi: Roof! Roof!

Odd begins talking to Kiwi.

Odd: I have half a mind to let you use his computer as a fire hydrant!

Kiwi wags his tail at this idea.

Odd: Well I guess I got to do it, "as a pal".

Odd enters Jeremie's room and looks at the computer. He leaves the door open. He looks at the computer, but he's puzzled.

Odd: What does he expect me to do? I can't understand all of this nonsense! For all I know, this data could be telling me that Moriarty is ordering a pizza!

He stares at the computer for a little longer. Then he reaches for his phone to call Jeremie. But before he does, the door closes on him without warning.

Odd: Huh…? He tries to open the door, but it's locked. What the? I'm trapped! What the heck?

The Moriarty symbol shows up on Jeremie's computer.

Moriarty: Why hello Odd. It's been a while.

Odd looks at the screen with alarm. He is still holding the handle.

Odd: Moriarty…

Moriarty: Surprised to see me?

Odd: A little… He's afraid, but trying to hide it under his "taking nothing seriously" attitude. So, you aren't still mad about me blowing a few holes in your face are you?

An electrical current runs through the door handle and gives Odd a rather nasty shock. He falls to the floor.

Moriarty: Of course not Odd. I would not DREAM of holding that against you…

Odd: Owww…

Moriarty: But where are your friends? It's Friday night, shouldn't you be together having fun?

Odd: In theory…

Moriarty: Oh I see, the lovebirds have gotten caught up in their little fantasy and have kicked you to the curb. Oh Odd, you have my deepest sympathy.

Odd: Shut up no one asked you!

Moriarty: To think that your friends would be callous…

Odd: I would have a good comeback to that if I knew what 'callous' meant.

Moriarty: My apologies. You must understand, my last game was with Aelita. I will try to limit my advanced vocabulary for your sake.

Odd: Hey, are you calling me stupid?

Moriarty: I prefer the term 'mentally challenged'.

Odd: Alright enough! I'm not an idiot, I know you haven't trapped me here just to insult me. So get it over with or let me out!

Moriarty: My, my, you seem very confident about our game. Aren't you afraid of what I have in store?

Odd: Unless it's my nightmare about the death of potatoes, I have nothing to fear. You got nothing on me!

Moriarty: I see. Well, I assure you I would never sink to the level of trying to exploit your quite…irrational fear of potato blight. I must admit you…were a difficult case.

Odd: Ha, I knew it! He's got a beaming face of confidence.

Moriarty: Not so fast…I said you WERE a difficult case. As in, my problem finding a game for has already been solved.

Odd now looks a little more nervous, but he quickly puts on the macho countenance again.

Odd: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: As I said, you were difficult. You don't have the hubris of Jeremie, thinking you can solve any problem. You also don't have the conflict between love and duty such as the case with Ulrich and Yumi. Unlike Aelita, I can't use a painful family past against you. So the question was, what do I do with you?

Odd: And..?

Moriarty: I determined that the only way to get to you was some possible skeletons in your closet. I thought I wouldn't find any, but boy was I proven wrong!

Odd: What do you mean?

A blurry traffic photo appears on the screen. Odd examines it.

Odd: I can't even tell what I'm looking at.

Moriarty: Let me …clean it up for you. Moriarty makes it clearer. Odd looks at it for a split second, and then his jaw drops. He is speechless and backs up in shock. In the picture Odd is driving an Audi A6.

Moriarty: Oh, well I believe…isn't that YOU? Aren't you too young to drive? But what's this?

He cleans it up more.

Moriarty: Police cruisers. That's strange. Wait a moment…Odd, are you…RUNNING AWAY FROM THE POLICE?

Odd's eyes are wide in terror. He is shaking all over.

Moriarty: For shame Odd! I expected better of you. I thought you were a hero, not a criminal.

Odd goes to his knees and puts his face in his hands, trying to make himself believe this isn't happening.

Moriarty: I couldn't believe it myself. I naturally wanted to dispel any possible rumors about you, but when I checked the police logs, it seems that they are still looking for an Afro-French girl and a young male suspect with obnoxiously large spiked hair. How they didn't find you on that description alone is beyond me. You can imagine how devastated I was to learn this….I am truly disappointed in you.

Odd gets up, his knees shaking. The room is spinning, and he braces himself against Jeremy's dresser.

Moriarty: I'm intrigued…who is the girl in this picture? The photo zooms in on Samantha in the passenger seat.

Odd tries to speak but fails. He digs his hands into his hair, trying to compose himself.

Moriarty: What's the matter Odd? You seem pale. Are you sick? I would be too after I did a thing like that and thought I had buried it for good. You know, your case is still open. The police are still looking for you.

Odd begins to break out into a cold sweat.

Moriarty: Of course, the police have no evidence and no leads. Unless of course, a responsible citizen gives the police a tip that leads to that suspect's arrest.

Odd is almost hyperventilating at this point.

Moriarty: I'm sure you can see where this is going. This game is called: "How far am I willing to go?". Do what I say, or in 24 hours, the police are going to get a very helpful tip.

Odd's anxiety attack is so severe that he reaches for Jeremy's wastebasket and throws up.

Moriarty: I'm sorry to say you might get 2, maybe even 5 years, depending on whether or not they have mercy due to your age. But imagine the consequences! Do you know how much prison ruins a young person's future?

Odd looks up feebly from the wastebasket. He does his best to control his breathing. Finally he is able to speak.

Odd: What….what do you want?

A CD pops out of Jeremie's computer.

Moriarty: I have infected this CD with a rather nasty virus. Take it to the factory, put it into the supercomputer, and I will take care of the rest.

Odd: What will it do?

Moriarty: I suppose I must be honest. The virus will so damage the virtualization programs and the main computer that it will be impossible for Jeremie to make any progress or for you to travel to Lyoko. Even if Jeremie manages after several months or even years to remove it, I will have had free reign to increase my power.

Odd sinks his head in despair.

Moriarty: I know you must be crushed, being forced to betray your friends and the world for that matter. But then again, the alternative is just as nasty, at least for you.

Odd covers his face in shame.

Moriarty: Besides, your friends have already turned their backs on you. You have every reason to do the same.

Odd: Stop it…

Moriarty: What happened to all that confidence Odd? You seem…different. You know I make a good point. Why should you make such a horrible sacrifice for friends who have thrown you out like an old sock?

Odd doesn't answer.

Moriarty: Do we have a deal?

Tense silence. Odd looks up with a face of cold resolution.

Odd: I'll do it… He takes the CD.

Moriarty: Excellent. Remember, you have 24 hours. But I would go ahead and do it now. With your friends gone, it is an excellent opportunity to get it over with.

Moriarty opens the door. Odd walks out, utterly broken and humiliated. He turns the corner and exits into a dark hallway. Moriarty mutters to himself before he shuts off his connection to Jeremie's computer.

Moriarty: Oh how the mighty have fallen…

Scene shifts to the front entrance of Kadic late at night. Yumi, Jeremie, Aelita, and Ulrich have returned from the double date. Everyone is in a good mood. The threat of Moriarty is far from their minds. Suddenly Jeremie gets a text.

Aelita: Who is it?

Jeremie: Probably Odd.

But it isn't.

Jeremie: What the…what is this?

The good mood is suddenly frozen over with concern.

Yumi: What's wrong?

Jeremie: I don't recognize the number. Here's the message…It says: Dear Jeremie, Odd is going to destroythe supercomputer. Sincerely, M.

Ulrich: What? Did I hear that right?

Aelita: So that's Moriarty's next plan? Spreading outright lies to divide us?

Ulrich: Really bad ones apparently. Does he seriously expect us to believe something that absurd?

Jeremie: No hang on a minute guys….I'm not so sure about this..

Aelita: Jeremie, you don't seriously think that Odd would ever…

Jeremie: I don't know what to think Aelita. With Moriarty as an enemy, you have to expect the unexpected. No matter how outrageous this message is, we can't underestimate him.

Yumi sees reason in this statement.

Yumi: Jeremie's right. Besides, Moriarty hasn't played a game with Odd yet. We knew he would attack him eventually.

Aelita and Ulrich don't believe what they're hearing.

Ulrich: So let me get this straight…you BELIEVE HIM?

Aelita: You do realize you're talking about Odd, right?

Jeremie: Look, we're not accusing Odd. But we still can't take anything Moriarty does lightly. At the very least, we need to talk to Odd to dispel this rumor.

Yumi: Agreed.

Aelita and Ulrich are on the verge of protesting again, incredulous that their respective guy/girl is throwing Odd under the bus. But before a fight can break out, Odd is seen walking slowly and cautiously through the dark Kadic courtyard. They others see him and stop in their tracks. They see him carrying a CD. Odd notices that the others have seen him and immediately becomes tense. No words are exchanged, but Jeremie and the others realize from Odd's guilty demeanor that there is truth in Moriarty's statement. Odd begins to back up, and the others look at each other in disbelief, not wanting to be the one to question Odd. Any doubt is eliminated when Odd panics and takes off in the direction of the factory. Jeremie's eyes go wide with concern.

Jeremie: Sss….Stop him!

Ulrich immediately takes off in hot pursuit.

Jeremie: Yumi, take the gym entrance and cut him off! Ulrich's fast, but he may not be able to catch him.

Yumi: Got it.

She runs to the gym.

Aelita: What do we do?

Jeremie: Moriarty's done something to Odd, and I intend to find out what. Let's see go to my room and see if we can sort out this mess.

Aelita: Alright. They run towards the dorms.

Meanwhile Ulrich is still on Odd's trail. They pass William as he is walking toward his dorm. William pauses and observes the scene with confusion.

William: What the…Ulrich?

Ulrich: No time to explain we have to stop Odd! Take the sewer entrance to the factory! Ulrich keeps running. William springs into action and heads for the sewer.

The chase continues. Odd takes the overland path to the factory with Ulrich close behind. Odd gets to the bridge but stops when he sees Yumi and William are blocking his path. Odd is cornered, but the three are unsure, waiting for Odd to make a move.

Yumi: Odd what are you doing? Have you lost your mind?

He doesn't answer but watches the other three like a wild, cornered animal.

Yumi: Whatever Moriarty did to you, we're here to help you. Don't do this to yourself.

Odd is starting to break out into a cold sweat again. Yumi can tell he doesn't want to do this, and decides to reach out in sympathy. She takes a few steps forward, lowering her guard.

Yumi: Please…

Odd takes the opportunity and heads straight for her, shoving Yumi out of the way. She falls and scrapes her knee badly. Odd almost gets free of the trap, but William grabs his arm. This gives Ulrich enough time to begin to grab Odd from behind and try to hold him back. But before Ulrich gets control of him, Odd takes a desperate unintended swing at William and punches him in the eye. William goes down.

William: OWWW! My eye! Ah that hurt! He grimaces in pain. When he removes his hand, both Ulrich and Odd realize he has a black eye. Odd stops struggling with Ulrich, goes to his knees, and begins to cry bitterly. The others pause for a moment and watch as Odd loses all composure. Later, in Jeremie's room, all of them have gathered with Odd in a chair, getting ready for nothing less than an interrogation. Ulrich bandages Yumi's knee, and Aelita takes care of William's eye. Jeremie processes the data from the infected CD Odd had, and turns to Odd with mixed feelings of anger, disappointment, confusion, and sadness.

Jeremie: Odd, do you have any idea what you have…what you could have done?

He lowers his head in shame and doesn't respond.

Jeremie: This virus would have given Moriarty TOTAL victory.

The others stare at Odd. One word clearly blazes through their eyes: Traitor.

Jeremie: Odd, now is not the time to play games. Tell us the truth. Why did you do it?

A tear goes down Odd's cheek, and he is clearly shaking.

Jeremie: Odd!

Odd takes a deep breath.

Odd: Moriarty found a skeleton in my closet. A really bad, scary skeleton.

Jeremie: Bad enough that it was worth endangering the world?

Aelita: Jeremie. She gives him a look that says: "Have patience and hear him out."

Jeremie: Well…

Yumi: We're listening.

Odd digs his hands in his hair in despair.

Odd: Alright. It all started a year ago, when we were still fighting Xana. I got to hang out with Sam for the first time in what seemed like forever. You remember her right?

Ulrich: Yes.

Odd: So this is what happened….

Flashback to Odd's story. Odd is in the Audi A6 in an abandoned parking lot somewhere in downtown Paris. Odd and Sam are having "fun" when suddenly a slap is heard. Samantha sits up.

Sam: For the last time, I'm not going that far.

Odd sits up, blushing.

Odd: Uh…sorry. I just got carried away.

Yumi interrupts the story.

Yumi: Wait….you two were doing WHAT in the car?

Odd: Uh…that's not important. What is important is what happened…later.

Switch back to flashback.

Odd: Look, I said I was sorry.

Sam: You're lucky you're cute, or I'd knock your teeth in.

Odd: Ehh…I have no doubt that you would. I'm guessing we're done then?

Sam: You got that right.

Odd: Alright, let me take you home.

He starts the car.

Sam: Just be careful.

Odd: Why are you so worried? Yeah I'm too young to drive, but as long as I'm careful, the police aren't going to notice.

Sam: Whatever… just don't do anything stupid.

Odd: Now Sam when have I ever…? She gives him a sharp look. Uhhh…point taken. I'll be careful.

Suddenly police sirens are heard nearby.

Sam: OHH NOO!

Odd: What the heck? I haven't even started driving yet.

Sam: Odd, we got to GET OUT OF HERE!

Odd: What's the big worry? We'll just tell them we borrowed your uncle's car for a spin, they give us a firm reprimand, and we're good to go.

Sam: Odd, I lied. This isn't my uncle's car.

Odd: It's not? Well then…what are we….Alarm bells go off in his head as he connects the dots. You-you mean this car is ssstolen? He is horrified, scared out of his mind.

Sam: I prefer the term 'borrowed'.

Odd: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? WE COULD GO TO JAILLLL!

Sam: And if you don't want to go to prison for the next few years, I suggest you punch the gas so we can lose these clowns.

Odd's jaw drops.

Odd: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? YOU WANT ME TO RUN AWAY FROM THE POLICE?
!

She leans in close and gives him a hard stare.

Sam: It's either that, or prison. I don't know about you, but I am NOT going to prison for this! So floor it already!

Odd is torn. He looks at the wheel with uncertainty. The police sirens are getting closer.

Sam: DO ITT!

Odd panics and does what she says. He punches the gas right as the police converge on their position. A chase begins. Jeremie interrupts Odd's story.

Jeremie: YOU…..DID…WHATT?

Odd's already overwhelmed with this.

Odd: I PANICKED ALRIGHT! LAY OFF! I….believe me…I'm just as shocked and horrified at what I did as you are.

The others listen in complete silence. They can't believe what they are hearing.

Yumi: Alright, how did you escape?

Odd: The chase didn't last that long. I caught a lucky break…

The Audi races through the streets. Police are close behind. As Odd turns onto a main street with the police hot on his trail, he sees a construction related road block up ahead. The swift Audi allows him to turn quickly onto a narrow street. The army of police cars however, don't notice the roadblock until they're too late, and are forced to break to prevent from hitting the road block and each other. Odd takes several other turns through the alleyways until he feels he lost the cops. The two get out.

Sam: Split up! If we hurry, the cops won't be able to find us.

Odd: Right.

Both run in opposite directions. Odd still hears the police sirens, but he runs into a large crowd as the Parisian night life begins. He disappears into the crowd and takes back ways to reach Kadic. As he approaches the front entrance, he stops and whispers to himself: "What have I done?" Scene goes back to Jeremie's room. The story is over.

Odd: After that, I told Sam I wanted nothing to do with her. The guilt was hard to bear, but I had no choice. For weeks, I was scared of my own shadow. After a while, I convinced myself that I was home free and as long as I played it cool, nothing would ever come of this nightmare.

There is a pause.

Aelita: But Moriarty found out about it, didn't he?

Odd: Yes. He bends over and puts his face in his hands. He gave me an ultimatum: Destroy the supercomputer, or I will tell the police everything.

Another long pause.

Ulrich: And you gave in…

Odd flares up in anger.

Odd: WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE? IT'S EASY TO JUDGE ME IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM! DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE IN PRISON?

Jeremie shakes his head.

Jeremie: Odd, the consequences would have been far worse. The world would have been at his mercy. Were you willing to add that to your conscience?

Odd: I'M NOT GOING TO JAIL! I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY! NONE OF YOU HAVE BEEN PUSHED TO THE EDGE LIKE THIS!

Yumi stands up, clearly angry. She balls her fists.

Yumi: You think we haven't been pushed to the breaking point? I was forced to kill!

Aelita: My father is DEAD!

Jeremie: Do you think it's easy knowing all of your friends are going to die, and you can only save one?

Ulrich: How about sacrificing your own life?

All of them stare at Odd with little sympathy. Only William hangs back, watching what might unfold. Odd begins to cry. He feels like a cornered animal again.

Odd: What….do…..you want from me? I couldn't take it, ok! I…just….I can't….I WON'T…go to jail. I'm…I'm so sorry…

He cries again. The others' hard looks soften. They have never seen Odd so low, so vulnerable in their lives. The unbreakable one has been broken.

Odd: Please….I beg you….HELP ME! I have 24 hours until Moriarty carries through with his threat.

A pause. The others are considering their options.

William: Wait. If Moriarty wanted to infect the supercomputer, why did he warn you guys that he was going to do it?

Jeremie closes his eyes.

Jeremie: Moriarty never really wanted to infect the supercomputer. Remember, he wants to continue this fight. He just wanted Odd to be brought to his knees, accused as a traitor by all of us.

Odd swears at Moriarty under his breath.

William: Couldn't we deactivate the tower? Wouldn't that stop him?

Jeremie: That would only delay him. He will keep trying to use this against Odd until he succeeds. Besides, if we tried, he might send the message early.

Odd: Please…there must be something you can do.

Yumi: Jeremie?

Jeremie rubs his glasses and shakes his head.

Jeremie: What can I do? Moriarty is going to contact the police one way or another. I don't know how to stop his communications. His frequencies change often. I…I'm powerless.

Odd is completely broken.

Odd: It's all over. I should've known my past would come back to haunt me.

The others are heartbroken. They are still hurt at Odd's betrayal, but they can't bear to see this. Ulrich lowers his head and curses to himself. He raises his head with a look of grim resolution. He stands up.

Ulrich: There is….one way.

Others look at him in shock. Odd looks up with a faint hope.

Jeremie: There…there is?

Ulrich: It won't be pretty, but yes, there is a way.

Odd: I don't care! Anything to get me out of this nightmare!

Aelita: What did you have in mind?

Ulrich: I'd…I'd rather not say. All you need to know is, in a few hours, Odd's little problem will disappear forever.

The others are confused.

Jeremie: Ulrich, we're going to need more information than that. What are you going to do?

Ulrich: Don't worry about it. You're just going to have to trust me.

Yumi: Ulrich, we need to know.

Jeremie: The risks are too great for us to be left in the dark.

Odd: It's only my freedom we're talking about here!

Ulrich: I SAID I WOULD TAKE CARE OF IT, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO DO! THE DETAILS ARE MY BUSINESS! LET ME HANDLE THIS!

He storms out of the room in a huff.

Jeremie: What the heck was that about?

Yumi rolls her eyes.

Yumi: Don't worry about it. I will deal with it later.

William: Do you think he really can take care of it?

Aelita: Well, Ulrich's never been one to lie.

Jeremie: I guess we're going to have to trust him. In the meantime, there's a tower to deactivate.

Aelita: Alright, let's go.

Everyone stands up, including Odd. As they walk out, Jeremie blocks his path.

Jeremie: Where exactly are you going?

Odd gives Jeremie an annoyed look.

Odd: To Lyoko with you guys. Where did you think I was going?

Yumi: No you're not.

Aelita: I'm sorry Odd.

Jeremie: Odd, you're going to have to sit this one out. I don't want to do this, but you're banned from Lyoko until further notice. You've lost our trust. We can't afford to make any mistakes with Moriarty. I'm sorry… William, Yumi, and Aelita are going to handle this one.

Odd is speechless. He feels as if someone has stabbed him in the back. The others walk away. Odd walks slowly to his room and shuts the door. He lays on the bed and stares at the ceiling, withdrawing into his own world as he tries to avoid reality. Meanwhile, Ulrich finds a quiet place outside the building and makes a call on his cellphone.

Ulrich: Dad…It's me. We need to talk.

Part 7

The next day. The sky is cloudy and somewhat cold. Ulrich walks through the forest path, where he sees a man dressed in a very nice tailcoat. The man is stern and businesslike, and as Ulrich approaches him, he regards him with impatience. Ulrich stands a few feet away from the man but does not look in his direction. Instead, they both face west, with their backs against a large tree.

Ulrich: Hello dad. Nice to see you.

Ulrich's Dad: Let's not waste time with shallow greetings. I know you called me here for a reason. What do you want? I'm a very busy man.

Ulrich: I am aware of that. You have only told me that about three million times.

Ulrich's Dad: I don't appreciate your tone. If you want something, that's not the way to go about getting it. First rule of business son.

Ulrich: Yeah…uh…whatever. Look, I called you here because….I need a favor.

Ulrich's Dad: If you want more money, you can forget about it. I have already been generous enough and have given you more than any student at Kadic needs.

Ulrich: I don't want your money, and you know that. Your people can check and see that I have spent very little.

Ulrich's Dad: Fine. Then what DO you want?

Ulrich begins to swallow his pride. He knows he can't let his animosity towards his father endanger Odd's chances. He makes a decent effort at presenting the situation in a polite manner.

Ulrich: My friend, Odd Della Robia, has run into some trouble.

Ulrich's Dad: You mean that clown you call your roommate?

Ulrich: Yes…that clown.

Ulrich's Dad: What kind of trouble?

Ulrich: With the law…

Ulrich's dad shows signs of extreme disapproval. But it is more of a show.

Ulrich's Dad: So what do you want? My sympathy for your friend? If he is in trouble, he gets what he deserves.

Ulrich: Not if you intervene.

Ulrich's Dad: What do mean 'If I intervene?'

Ulrich: Don't play dumb Dad. We both know you and Chief of Police Benoit have a very 'special' agreement.

Ulrich's dad's eyebrows lower in anger.

Ulrich's Dad: We agreed never to discuss this.

Ulrich: We did? Oh….I …..forgot. He didn't. Ulrich's dad coldly absorbs this blatant insolence.

Ulrich's Dad: I guess it was only a matter of time before you learned everything about my business. Fine. It's about time you did. The fact that you know tells me that you're not an idiot, even if your grades say otherwise.

Now Ulrich is offended.

Ulrich: Hey, I've gotten a lot better, and you know it!

Ulrich's Dad: A 79 average is not what I'd call impressive. I call it barely above failing, which unfortunately, is better than what you used to do.

Ulrich: Are you going to help him, or are you going to insult my intelligence?

Ulrich's dad pauses.

Ulrich's Dad: So let me get this straight. You want me to use my influence to keep your friend from going to jail.

Ulrich: In a nutshell, yes.

Ulrich's Dad: And why would I do that?

Ulrich: I was hoping out of the bountiful kindness of your heart.

Ulrich's Dad: Well, at least my sorry excuse for a son has a future career as a comedian. But you're going to have to do better than that.

Ulrich: Alright, fine. Do it, or mom finds out about that woman you met at the ski resort in the Alps.

Ulrich's dad's face becomes red with embarrassment and rage.

Ulrich's Dad: Why you little…

Ulrich: And the woman at the office, and the housekeeper, and the woman from Brussels…

Ulrich's Dad: You wouldn't dare…

Ulrich: Try me.

There is a tense stare-down between the two. Finally his father relents.

Ulrich's Dad: Fine. I guess you are becoming a good businessman after all.

Ulrich's throat tightens with this assertion.

Ulrich: So you'll do it?

Ulrich's Dad: I want to know one thing first. What did he do?

Ulrich: Does it matter?

Ulrich's Dad: I am not pardoning someone for MURDER!

Ulrich: Fine. He and a girl were messing around in a front seat and the police showed up. The girl told him the car they were in belonged to her uncle, but it turns out she stole it. She convinced Odd, who was panicking at this point, to run away from the police. He lost them in a chase, but within a few hours, someone who knows will tell the police.

Ulrich's Dad: Are you serious?

Ulrich: Come on Dad, you've gotten your cronies out of trouble for far worse.

Ulrich's dad gives this one last consideration.

Ulrich's Dad: Benoit is not going to like this. This was not part of our deal.

Ulrich: Then give him a larger carrot. You've done well this year, you can afford it.

Ulrich's Dad: Any other friends you want freed with this blackmail you have over me? What about Yumi?

Now Ulrich's real mad.

Ulrich: Don't bring her into this.

Ulrich's Dad: I was just making sure. After all, I initially thought the favor was for my son's girlfriend.

Ulrich turns red.

Ulrich: How did you….?

Ulrich's Dad: I have my sources. You aren't the only one who can figure things out without being told. I suppose it goes without saying that she is not what I envisioned for you.

Ulrich: Your blatant xenophobia simply warms my heart.

Ulrich's Dad: Any French girl with even an ounce of class would have been ok with us. I know for a fact that there are plenty to chose from at Kadic. But instead, you chose her. I will not try to stop you Ulrich, but know that your mother is very upset with your choice.

Ulrich: And she would be more upset if she figures out about the women. So are you going to do it or not?

Ulrich's Dad: Consider it done.

Ulrich breathes a sigh of relief. He swallows his pride one more time.

Ulrich: Thank you.

Ulrich's Dad: You're welcome. I'm glad we had this talk. I won't lie, you have impressed me son. You're almost ready to inherit all I have built. You're becoming more and more like me every day.

Ulrich restrains the urge to vomit.

Ulrich: I told you I want nothing to do with your business. Goodbye

Ulrich's Dad: We'll see.

Ulrich walks off and whispers to himself: "And I am nothing like you."

Scene shifts to inside the Parisian police office. Chief of Police Benoit watches from his office a story above as one of his correspondents gets the call they've been waiting for.

Police officer: So you're sure this Odd Della Robia was the suspect who fled the scene last year?

Moriarty: That is correct.

Police officer: May I ask who you are and how you know what you've told me?

Moriarty: I would prefer to remain anonymous, thank you.

Police officer: I see, well you have been very helpful. Thank you for your time. We will look into it.

He hangs up and looks at Benoit, who walks down towards the officer's desk.

Police officer: Chief?

Benoit: Pull up the case file on the Audi A6 theft.

The officer does so. Benoit whispers to him so no one in the office can hear.

Benoit: Now delete it.

Police officer: Yes sir.

The file is deleted and the men carry on as if nothing happened. Scene shifts to the boys' bathroom, where Odd has just come out of the shower. He is still sulking as he comes to the sink and slicks back his hair. Herb and Nicholas approach from behind, up to no good as usual.

Herb: Hey Odd, where're your friends? We saw them go off without you.

Nicholas: Maybe they finally got tired of his smelly feet.

They laugh obnoxiously as usual. Odd balls his fists.

Herb: What's the matter Odd, no witty comebacks today?

Nicholas: He's depressed cause his friends left him.

Odd: Lay off…

Herb: What's the matter Odd? You gonna cry?

Nicholas: Yeah you can see it in his face. He's probably been crying all night.

Odd looks up.

Odd: I said lay off.

Herb: Or what? You gonna take a swing at us? You can't take both of us. Ulrich's not here to be your bodyguard.

Nicholas: You're nothing without your group to protect you.

Odd: Lay off!

He's clearly getting more upset.

Nicholas: Looks like you were right Herb. He is going to cry.

Herb: If he does he's sunk to a new low. There's nothing worse than seeing a scrawny guy cry.

Odd has reached the breaking point. He turns to them with rage.

Odd: I'M NOT SCRAWNY!

Without warning a blast of red electricity shoots from his hand and narrowly misses Herb and Nicholas. All of them, including Odd, freeze in shock.

Herb: Did….did you just…?

Nicholas: Electricity shot from his hand!

Herb: Let's get out of here!

Both hightail it out of the bathroom. Odd looks with shock at his right hand, which is still buzzing with electricity.

Odd: What the…?

He looks at his hand again in disbelief. The electricity starts to die. He balls his fist, and once again his hand erupts with pulsating red electricity. He immediately stops and stares at his hand in horror. He puts on his clothes and leaves the bathroom quickly.

Hours pass. The group meets up in the library. Odd sits on the farthest end of their table, still technically with them but at an uncomfortable distance. No one speaks. Ulrich comes in and sits down with them.

Ulrich: Is the tower deactivated?

Jeremie: Yes. How did things go for you?

Ulrich: It's done.

Jeremie: It's done? Is that seriously all we are going to get from you?

Ulrich: Yes and you better deal with it.

Jeremie: Man you're stubborn!

Odd: Does this mean that….?

Ulrich: Yes Odd, you're off the hook. For good.

Odd: Uhh…thanks…I guess.

Ulrich: Whatever. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take a shower.

Aelita: Why? Did you just work out?

Ulrich: No, let's just say I feel very…dirty.

He walks away.

Jeremie: I'm going to find out what he's done one way or another.

Yumi stands up and brushes Jeremy's shoulders.

Yumi: Don't worry about it. I will get it out of him.

Aelita: How exactly do you plan on doing that?

Yumi: The truth is not as hard to get from him as you think. He just needs a woman's touch.

She walks away. William pretends to read a book, but he clearly didn't take that last statement very well. He rubs his black eye. The others watch her leave with curiosity

Aelita: Do you think she can do it?

Jeremie: If she can't, who can?

Aelita: Good point.

William absentmindedly flips through the pages of his book.

William: I don't understand why you're so eager to know what Ulrich did. If he found a way, that's enough for me.

Jeremie: William, one of our good friends somehow stopped Moriarty's plan. Don't you think it's advantageous to know if Ulrich has tricks up his sleeve that we don't know about?

William: No and I don't care. It's his business.

Aelita: You know Jeremy, William may have a point. Ulrich's reasons for not telling us may be very personal.

Jeremie: Maybe, but I honestly don't care. Too much is at stake for me to have patience with Ulrich's stupid silent games. If we have an advantage I don't know about, I want to know it and I want to know it now.

Aelita gives Jeremie a cold look, and he softens just a tad in response.

Jeremie: Then again, I don't think Ulrich would hide something from us that would be vital to our mission with Moriarty.

Aelita: That's better.

Odd's mood has improved now that he's free.

Odd: Well I'm glad that's all behind me. So who's up for some ice cream? My trea…..

Odd stops when he realizes that Jeremy and William are staring at him coldly. Odd can't bear William looking at him with his black eye. Their minds haven't changed about Odd's behavior. Odd hardens his look and stands up from the chair.

Odd: Ok, I see how it is. See you later.

He walks off. Jeremie lets out a low grunt.

Aelita: Don't you think that was a little harsh?

Jeremie: Maybe. I understand that he was afraid of going to jail, but I can't ignore the fact that he gave in to Moriarty's demands so easily. That is a liability, and he needs to know it.

Aelita: I think he got it the first time Jeremie.

Jeremie: Be that as it may, he's not going to Lyoko until I feel like I can trust him again.

Aelita's hard look returns.

Aelita: When will that be? When we all graduate?

Jeremie is thrown off guard by Aelita's hostility.

Jeremie: Why are you suddenly on his side? Are you trying to excuse his behavior?

Aelita: I just want to know if you understand the definition of mercy.

Jeremie: Must you always question my decisions?

Aelita: Must you always be so cold-hearted?

Jeremie: What's that supposed to mean?

Aelita: Never mind! You're not listening to me anyway!

Jeremie: I would if there was anything of substance to listen to!

Aelita: Maybe if you weren't so full of yourself you would recognize substance when it was standing right in front of you!

Jeremie: Alright, that's enough. I'm done!

He goes back to work on his computer, typing angrily.

Aelita: Hmmph!

She storms off. Jeremie stops, realizing how much trouble he is in, and tries to apologize.

Jeremie: Aelita, wait!

She doesn't. Jeremie slaps his forehead with his hand.

William: You are SO in the doghouse.

Jeremie: …I know.

William: Wouldn't want to be in your shoes.

Jeremie: Thanks. By the way, how did you explain the black eye?

William: A date gone horribly wrong.

Jeremie: Did they believe you?

William: Unfortunately, yes.

Jeremie: Oh….

Odd heads back to his room, sulking over the last incident. As he closes the door to his room, he holds out his hand and his hand sparks with electricity. A grin appears on Odd's face. Scene shifts to the Ishiyama's house. Dinner has just ended, and Yumi's parents are cleaning up. Or more accurately, Yumi's mom is cleaning up while her dad ignores her mother's complaints that he never helps around the house. Yumi and Ulrich flee the coming disaster and go to her room to talk. They sit on the bed some distance away from each other. Ulrich lays back with his head on the mattress.

Ulrich: It has been a LONG day.

Yumi sees her chance.

Yumi: Wanna talk about it?

Ulrich: Well first of all, I had to deal with my f…. Ulrich realizes he fell into a trap. Nice try. But you're not getting it out of me that easily.

Yumi rolls her eyes.

Yumi: Ulrich, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. One way or another, you are telling me the truth before you leave this room.

Ulrich: I see….

Yumi: Well, what's it going to be?

Ulrich: That depends on what the easy and hard ways are.

Yumi: The easy way is that you give up under heavy persuasion and tell me everything.

Ulrich: And the hard way?

Yumi: I beat it out of you in a Pencak Silat match.

Ulrich: Interesting….but I'm pretty sure your parents wouldn't appreciate us having a Pencak Silat match in your room. We might break something.

Arguing is heard downstairs.

Yumi: They're pretty much having one downstairs themselves, so they have no room to talk.

Ulrich: Do they always argue like this?

Yumi: What day is it?

Ulrich: Saturday.

Yumi: It always gets bad on the weekends. But they always make up eventually. Don't your parents argue?

Ulrich ponders this.

Ulrich: Not…exactly. My dad is the final authority in the family. My mom's kind of a doormat. She's very passive aggressive with him. Not exactly the most ideal situation, but at least I don't hear them fighting.

Yumi: That sounds worse if you ask me. I'm sorry to hear that.

Ulrich: Well, my family situation is partly the reason that…He did it again. Never mind.

Yumi: So close… Ulrich, please tell me what's wrong.

Ulrich turns his face away from her.

Ulrich: Nobody is supposed to know…

Yumi leans in close and puts her hands on his shoulders.

Yumi: Not even me…?

Ulrich: That is SO NOT FAIR.

Yumi: Deal with it. It's either this, or Pencak Silat.

Ulrich starts to weaken, but he's still holding back.

Ulrich: I'm scared.

Yumi: Scared of what?

Ulrich: I'm scared that….a rustling in Yumi's closet stops him. Uh Yumi, is it just my imagination, or is there something moving in your closet?

Yumi: What the?

She opens the closet to find her little brother Hiroki looking at her sheepishly.

Yumi: HIROKI!

Hiroki: Hi Yumi. I wasn't spying on you…or anything.

Yumi: GET OUT!

He leaves and Yumi slams the door shut and locks it. She goes back to Ulrich.

Yumi: You were saying?

Ulrich: What? Oh yeah…I was just going to say that…I'm…I'm scared that you might…not like me if I told you the truth.

Yumi: Ulrich, it can't be that bad.

Ulrich: I'm not so sure.

Yumi: Ulrich, if you can forgive me for Moriarty's game, I can forgive you for just about anything.

Ulrich considers this fact. It convinces him to back down at last. He stands up and walks toward her window.

Ulrich: Well you see…the truth is….my father is a…..is a….oh how do I put this?

Yumi: A jerk? I already know that.

Ulrich: Yes…but more than that. You see, he runs a business….

Yumi: Is that the horrible part?

Ulrich: I wish. He runs a powerful marketing firm, at least on the surface. But his real empire is a business underneath that business which is….um….illegal.

Yumi's eyes go wide.

Yumi: Illegal?

Ulrich: Yes….

Yumi: Are you telling me….your dad is ….part of the Mafia or something?

Ulrich: Well no, not exactly. It is organized crime, but it's different.

Yumi: How so?

Ulrich: It's not violent, or…at least I hope not. My dad is in charge of an…illegal smuggling business.

Yumi: Smuggling? Smuggling what?

Ulrich: People…

Yumi: WHAT?

Ulrich: He and his cronies smuggle illegal immigrants into France. He's been doing it for years.

Yumi starts to absorb all of this, but it's not easy.

Yumi: Your dad's a crook.

Ulrich: I could think of a few stronger words…but yes.

Yumi: Well this is….shocking. But I guess it could be worse. At least he's giving some of these poor refugees a chance.

Ulrich: If you think he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart, you couldn't be farther from the truth. He despises them and charges them outrageous entry fees to get in. He's xenophobic and would rather see France populated only by the French.

Yumi: Then why does he do it, if he hates them?

Ulrich: One word: Money. The business is too profitable to give up.

Yumi: So your dad must be pretty wealthy, right?

Ulrich: Yes…

Yumi: Are we talking like a few million or…?

Ulrich: A little higher.

Yumi: Tens of millions?

Ulrich: Warmer…

Yumi: Around a hundred million?

Ulrich: That sounds about right…

Yumi's jaw drops.

Yumi: And you're …his…son.

Ulrich: Unfortunately.

Yumi: Doesn't that make you….I mean…that has to mean…

Ulrich: That I'm the heir to a massive fortune? Yes. And a fortune built on corruption and human suffering. It's not something to be proud of.

Yumi: Right….How long have you known this?

Ulrich: I started learning things by the time I was ten. Whispers among the servants, secret business meetings at our …rather large house in Amiens, and other things. When I eventually confronted him about it, we had a big argument, and then he sent me to Kadic. It was his way of trying to make sure I didn't ruin everything he had built. He wanted…and still wants me….to inherit the empire.

Yumi: So you knew this even before Xana and you never told us?

Ulrich: I was ashamed. I kept to myself at Kadic until you guys came along, because I couldn't live with myself, knowing that everything I had ever known was built on greed and corruption.

Yumi looks at him with compassion.

Yumi: Then Xana came along…

Ulrich: Yes, and it was somewhat liberating. I was happy that for once in my life, I could do something good, atoning for the world I was born into.

Yumi: But it wasn't your fault.

Ulrich: No, but that still doesn't make it easy… It's difficult knowing that your father runs one of the largest illegal enterprises in the country.

Yumi: Surely the police would catch on…

Ulrich: Oh they know…

Yumi: WHAT?

Ulrich: Dad's paid them off for years. Chief of Police Benoit has made a lot of money looking the other way.

Yumi: That's horrible! He's corrupted the police!

Ulrich: Yes, and that's where Odd comes in….

Yumi is obviously puzzled at this point.

Yumi: Wait, I'm confused. How does the corrupted police and your dad's business have to do with Odd?

Ulrich: Think about it Yumi. My dad has gotten some of his buddies off the hook by telling the police to drop charges. Yesterday…I…convinced my dad to do the same with Odd.

Yumi takes time to process this.

Yumi: So you got Odd off the hook using your dad's connections?

She is clearly not comfortable with this.

Ulrich: Yes. It was the only way. Believe me, I'm not proud of it, but it was the only way to keep Odd out of jail. Now do you understand why I didn't want to tell you?

Yumi scratches her head, not knowing what to say.

Ulrich: I was afraid of this. I knew you wouldn't take it well…

He lowers his head.

Yumi: Now wait a minute. I will admit this…is…kind of difficult to swallow, but you're clearly not anything like your dad.

Ulrich: He told me that I'm becoming more and more like him every day.

She comes close.

Yumi: He's wrong. You are not like him. You selflessly stood up to your Dad and saved Odd today. You were right. It wasn't pretty, but I still think you did the right thing saving Odd.

Ulrich manages a smile.

Ulrich: Thanks Yumi.

Yumi: I guess I can understand why you've been putting off letting me meet your parents. I'm sure they've been asking about me.

Ulrich: Uh…that is…if they knew about you…

Yumi: What? You mean… She's a little hurt. You haven't told them?

Ulrich: Didn't need to. They figured out on their own.

Yumi: Why didn't you tell them?

Ulrich: Yumi, what part of xenophobia did you not understand?

Yumi: But what does that….She connects the dots at last. She stands there, hurt and stunned. You mean…they don't…approve of me?

Ulrich nods.

Yumi: Just because I'm….

He nods again.

Yumi sits down in shock.

Ulrich: If there's one thing my dad can't stand, it's immigrants who have entered legally. All of the annoyance with none of the profit.

Yumi: My family…

Ulrich: Exactly.

Yumi closes her eyes, very deeply wounded at this realization.

Yumi: What did he say about me?

Ulrich: What?

Yumi: This morning. What did he say about me?

Ulrich: It's really not worth repeating.

Yumi: I want to know…

Ulrich: He said that he's not going to stop me, but he and my mom do not approve of my decision. And that….they would have been ok with any French girl with an…ounce of class.

She is more upset now.

Yumi: The jerk!

Ulrich: Glad we're on the same page.

Yumi: He doesn't even know me!

Ulrich: It wouldn't make any difference. In his mind, the Stern men only pursue French women. There are no exceptions. As for my mom, well, she has her issues as well.

Yumi: Does she know about your dad?

Ulrich: Oh yeah, she's known for ages, but she purposefully hides herself from some of the details.

Yumi: Why?

Ulrich: Like I said, passive-aggressive doormat.

Yumi is silent for a while.

Ulrich: Yumi, are you alright?

Yumi: I'm fine. I just figured out my boyfriend's parents think I'm garbage. No big deal.

Ulrich: Forget them. I don't think that, and that's what's important.

She smiles.

Yumi: Thanks.

They start to get close.

Ulrich: I'm sorry you had to hear this. But it's the truth.

Yumi: Thank you for telling me anyway.

Ulrich: So can we keep this from the others?

Yumi: Your secret is safe with me.

Ulrich: Jeremie is so not going to be happy with that.

Yumi: He'll have to get over it.

Ulrich: And no matter how hard my dad tries, I'm not inheriting his mess.

Yumi: Now wait a minute. You should inherit his business.

Ulrich can't believe what he just heard.

Ulrich: Excuse me?

Yumi: Let your dad make you take over the business. And once you're in control….

She leans closer.

Ulrich: Yes?

Yumi: Demolish it.

Ulrich smiles.

Ulrich: Sounds like a plan.

There is an awkward silence between the two. They start to get very close and ultimately get very close to kissing. But then there is a not so subtle knock on the door.

Yumi's Dad: Ahem…you two have been awfully…..quiet in that bedroom.

Yumi bolts up, completely red in the face.

Yumi: DADDYY!

Ulrich: And the moment is gone…

Yumi goes outside for a second to yell at her dad. Then she comes back.

Yumi: Sorry about that.

Ulrich: No problem.

Yumi: My dad can be like that sometimes.

Ulrich: Still ten times better than my dad…

Yumi: Can't argue with that.

She gets a phone call. Yumi is hesitant to answer at first, but Ulrich motions that it's ok.

Yumi: Hello?

She grimaces as Aelita's yelling reverberates through the phone.

Yumi: Whoa…slow down Aelita. What did Jeremie do?

More screaming.

Yumi: Ok, ok calm down. I'm sure he didn't mean it.

Ulrich: What is it?

Yumi: Aelita's venting about something Jeremy did today.

Ulrich gets a call.

Ulrich: Hello?...Jeremie is that you?... What do you mean you're in the doghouse?

Yumi: Aelita…I know you're upset, but there was no reason to take your anger out on Sissi.

Ulrich: Jeremie, were you out of your mind? NEVER say that to a girl!

Yumi: You threw WHAT at her?

Ulrich slaps his forehead.

Ulrich: Man did you mess up. She'll be mad at you for weeks!

Something like whimpering is heard on Ulrich's line.

Yumi: Look, Jeremie has his faults, but he does care about you.

Ulrich: I don't know Jeremie. I'm not sure how I can help you out of this mess.

Yumi: I'm sure he will apologize soon…

Ulrich: I don't know…I'll ask Yumi. He lowers the phone from his ear. Jeremie wants to know if Aelita's still mad.

Yumi: So you're still really mad at him?

A lot more screaming.

Yumi: Yeah she's still mad.

Ulrich goes back to his phone.

Ulrich: Code Red.

More pathetic whimpering.

Yumi: Aelita, don't bring Jeremie's mother into this…please.

Ulrich: Jeremie, for the love of God, be a man and face the music.

Yumi: Yes…yes… I know men can be idiots sometimes.

Ulrich: The longer you put this off, the worse it will get.

Complaining on both sides continues. Ulrich and Yumi look at each other. Without words they put their phones side by side and put them on low speaker. Argument now goes between both directly. Ulrich and Yumi stand up and stare at their phones.

Ulrich: Wanna go for a walk?

Yumi: I thought you'd never ask.

They leave the room as the argument with their cellphones continues. Back at Odd's room, Odd is experimenting with this strange power he know has. Kiwi watches Odd at a distance, whimpering, scared that his master doesn't seem like himself. Out of the shadows, a smoky spectre appears. Odd at first doesn't notice. Kiwi however, whimpers and hides under the bed.

Moriarty: Do you like it?

Odd looks up in shock and backs up, losing his breath for a second. But his initial fear is soon replaced by rage.

Odd: You…

Moriarty: Surprise! Happy to see me?

Odd grinds his teeth in anger.

Moriarty: Apparently not… You aren't still mad about our little game are you?

Odd: YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING!

Moriarty: Oh come now Odd, not EVERYTHING. The police are not after you anymore. Granted, that was not my doing, but I did give you a little apology present.

Odd stares at his electrified hands.

Odd: You…you gave me this?

Moriarty: When I gave you a little shock in Jeremy's room, well, let's just say I gave you more than just the shock…

Odd's hands flare up with power as he aims his outstretched palm towards Moriarty.

Odd: Give me one good reason why I shouldn't use your gift to blow you to pieces.

Moriarty: I'll give you two. First, the blast would go right through me and blow a hole in the wall. Good luck explaining that to the school. And second, I'm your only friend left in the world.

Odd is real mad now.

Odd: Some friend you are…

Moriarty: They call you a traitor. But who's the real traitor here? Who left you to deal with me alone? And then, when all was said and done, did they have mercy on you? No, they cast you out. Are these the people you call your friends?

Odd keeps his hand outstretched, wanting to attack Moriarty but weakening under his manipulative words.

Odd: It's…it's not like that.

Moriarty: Is it? Have they really ever respected you for who you are? You have been a loyal Lyoko warrior for years, and what has it gotten you? But did they ever respect you as an equal? Did they ever take your problems seriously? Or did they often laugh as you became the butt of their jokes? You of course, acted like that never bothered you, but we both know that's not the case.

Odd lowers his hand, reluctantly letting Moriarty's words get into his head.

Odd: That…that's not true.

Moriarty: You deserve better Odd. You should be honored as the hero you truly are. The world has no idea how much has been saved through your actions. Xana would have humanity enslaved by now if it wasn't for you. And yet, what have you gotten in return? The police hunted you like an animal for a minor offense, your older sisters treat you like the wimpy runt of the family, your supposedly carefree parents never take the time to get to know you, and your so called friends have thrown you out like a leper. Anyone in your shoes would be perfectly right to be…angry.

Odd sits on the bed and covers his ears.

Odd: Shut up…

Moriarty: There should be a statue of you in every central plaza in every major city in the world. They would probably do more for you if humanity knew the truth. But even your friends don't appreciate you. How many times have they messed up? And yet the one time you make a mistake, they immediately reject you.

Odd: I'm done with your lies. I'm not listening to this.

Moriarty: …Every girl in this school thinks you're a fool. You are the outcast in every one of their eyes. They should be coming to you in droves. The woman you loved nearly destroyed you and didn't feel an ounce of regret. Face it Odd, you are not a comedian….the reason they don't laugh at your jokes Odd, is that you ARE ONE.

Odd: MY FRIENDS DO NOT THINK I'M A JOKE! But as soon as he says it, he starts to believe the exact opposite.

Moriarty: Odd, I know this must be hard. But we both know that it's the truth. But there is hope. Look at you know….you are more powerful than ANY OF THEM.

Odd gives him a quizzical look.

Odd: What are you implying?

Moriarty: Sometimes the only way to get someone to respect you is to MAKE them respect you.

Odd's eyes go wide.

Odd: WHATT?

Moriarty: They'll never appreciate you as their equal unless you show them you mean business.

Odd: You're out of your mind. I know what you're trying to do, and I don't want any part of it.

Moriarty: Odd, things will never get better unless you let go of your inhibitions and trust me. Think about what you could have. The respect, the honor. I could give all of that to you…

Odd stands up and stares down Moriarty. His resolve is weakening, but he is trying not to let Moriarty's words affect him.

Odd: You were the one who nearly put me in jail! Not them!

Moriarty: Oh Odd, I never REALLY wanted to do that. I just wanted to show you how easily your friends can turn against you. I was never going to do it.

Odd: You're lying!

Moriarty: Why would I want you in jail? That would spoil all the fun. You know that I don't want to destroy the group in one fell swoop. Where's the fun in that? If I threw you in jail, would good would that do for me? I wanted you to see how easily friends can turn into enemies.

Odd: You're the enemy, not them!

Moriarty: Am I? You and I aren't so different Odd. I too should have been honored as a hero. Before the Berlin Wall fell, I was indispensable in NATO's effort of stopping cyber attacks from the USSR. I can't tell you how many close calls were avoided on my account. And yet, what did I get in return? I was hunted by the very scoundrels I swore to protect. The love of my life was taken from me by the man who claimed to be my partner and friend. Then, when I was on the verge of making my country strong again, I was thrown into a digital hell. Under those circumstances Odd, would you not be driven to the point of madness?

Odd is completely silenced by these words.

Moriarty: Again I ask, who is the traitor here?

Odd: I….I…

Moriarty: Fight for the respect that you deserve, as I have.

Odd lets his words sink in. Then a part of him that still knows Moriarty is the enemy fights back. He turns to Moriarty.

Odd: You want to destroy the world…there is no getting around that Moriarty. You nearly made me lose everything. I am NOTHING like you. And I will NOT betray my friends. Not again…

Moriarty: I see…

Odd: Did you honestly expect me to join you?

Moriarty: Of course not…forget we had this little conversation. I just want you to…consider what I have said…

Moriarty's spectre disappears. Odd takes a deep breath and lays on the bed. He rubs his eyes, trying to shake the feeling that Moriarty hit a deep chord with him. He pulls the covers over himself and has a fitful night of sleep.

Part 8

William finds himself floating in a limitless darkness. He calls out for someone, but there is no answer. He tries to swim out of the expanse. But there is no way out. Out of the shadows a massive red Xana eye approaches him.

William: No…

Xana: Slave….

William: I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE!

Xana: Release me!

William: You're dead! Leave me alone!

Xana: Your resistance is futile…I WILL have you under my power again.

William: Over my dead body!

Xana: Ulrich, Aelita, Yumi, Odd, and Jeremie. KILL THEM ALL!

William: NEVER!

Xana: Surrender weakling. I will rise again, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.

William: I will resist you! You have no power over me anymore!

A shadow overtakes him, and he is now wearing his old Xana uniform.

Xana: Fool. I never lost my power over you.

William: NOOO!

A wicked laugh reverberates through the expanse. Suddenly William pops out of bed, still screaming. He finally stops. It was another nightmare. He realizes that he has broken out into a cold sweat. He lays back down in bed, rubbing his temples. He tries to go back to sleep, but fails. Scene shifts to the Kadic courtyard early in the morning. Ulrich and Odd are walking towards Aelita and Yumi, who are waiting for them on one of the benches. Odd still seems a little dazed after last night's encounter.

Odd: So….how was last night?

Ulrich: Fine…

Odd: Good to hear…

Ulrich: Yours?

Odd: …Uneventful.

Ulrich shrugs in response.

Odd: I wanted to um…look…thanks again for saving me. I don't know what you did, but thanks.

Ulrich's face hardens. Odd interprets it to mean that he hated doing it, which does not improve Odd's mood.

Ulrich: No problem. There's no way I'm going to let someone as twisted and evil as Moriarty get away with something like that.

Odd: Maybe we don't understand him enough. If you weren't appreciated for what you had accomplished and were trapped in the supercomputer for a decade, wouldn't you be a little bitter?

Ulrich stops in his tracks.

Ulrich: I'm sorry, did I hear you right? If I didn't know better, I would say that you were….trying to defend him.

Odd realizes his mistake.

Odd: What? No, no not at all. He's evil, no doubt about it. I just think it might be helpful to know something about his past.

Ulrich gives him a strange look, but he lets it go. They approach Yumi and Aelita.

Ulrich: Good morning

Aelita & Yumi: Good morning.

Ulrich leans over to whisper to Yumi.

Ulrich: Have Aelita and Jeremie made up yet?

Yumi: Sort of…I'm not sure. It's still probably going to be tense.

Ulrich: Wonderful.

William approaches the group at the bench. He is clearly still distraught.

William: Hello.

Yumi: Hello.

Awkward pause.

Yumi: Another nightmare?

William: Yes…

Aelita: Is it getting worse?

William: A little…

Yumi: I'm sorry. I wish there was something we could do.

William: So do I…

Conversation is interrupted when Jeremie is seen running towards them. He stops at the bench and pants. Aelita begins to give him the cold shoulder, but Jeremie is too preoccupied to notice.

Jeremie: Guys...gasps. I just finished re-modifying the super scan.

Yumi: So we can tell if Moriarty has attacked?

Jeremie: Exactly, and what's more, as soon as I installed it, the super scan picked up an activated tower. If we hurry, we can finally stop Moriarty before he has chance to do damage.

Ulrich: Well, I guess that's that. Let's get this over with.

Everyone starts to go except Odd, who begins to sulk away. Jeremie stops him.

Jeremie: Odd…

Odd: Yeah…?

Jeremie: Aelita and I were talking last night…

Ulrich whispers to Yumi.

Ulrich: Talking?

Yumi: Shh!

Jeremie: And we think we might have been a little hard on you.

Odd's face lightens up a little bit.

Odd: So I can go to Lyoko now?

Jeremie: Well, not yet. We'd prefer to keep you as backup in the factory, in case something goes wrong. Besides, we have seen how one of us alone during a Moriarty attack is a recipe for disaster.

Odd's face contorts in disappointment.

Jeremie: It's nothing personal, but…

Odd: Whatever…let's go.

They start to walk to the factory

Yumi: Is that what you and Jeremie agreed on?

Aelita: More like…compromised. He could not be moved. Odd was going to Lyoko over his dead body. This agreement was the best I could do.

Yumi: Why is he so stubborn?

Aelita: Jeremie is slow to trust someone again….she rolls her eyes. And even slower to admit he was wrong.

Yumi: So how is it between you two?

Aelita: He apologized for being an idiot and agreed to be nicer to Odd, although not willing to ease all of his punishment. So I guess I've forgiven him….somewhat.

Yumi: Well at least you're making progress.

Aelita coughs a little in response. Scene shifts to the factory as the group arrives. When they get to the edge of the drop-off, they see an army of miniature robots blocking the way to the elevator. They are very similar to the ones seen in robot battle tournaments. The group pauses to consider their options.

Ulrich: Well…didn't see that coming…

Aelita: It isn't like Moriarty to stoop to Xana's old tactics. This is strange…

William: I got a bad feeling about this…

Yumi: Moriarty must have produced them on the old assembly line. Any ideas?

Jeremie: Someone's going to have to hold them off while we deactivate the tower, just like old times.

Odd: Say no more…

He swings down the rope to confront the robots.

Jeremie: Odd, wait!

Odd: You said I was backup right? Well, let me be backup. Besides, I have a little score to settle with Moriarty.

He runs up to the robots.

Odd: Hey you pieces of junk! You're as ugly as your master!

Odd leads the robots toward himself, away from the elevator, which clears the path. The others take their chance and head for the elevator.

Jeremie: Alright, let's go!

They disappear down the elevator shaft. Odd grins and stares at the robots.

Odd: Moriarty, you're an idiot! Giving me this power was the worst mistake you ever made.

Odd's hands ignite with red electricity. He holds nothing back now. He fires one blast and a robot is blown to pieces. The battle has begun. Meanwhile Yumi, William, Ulrich, and Aelita are virtualized onto the Ice Sector of Lyoko. They take some time to examine their surroundings.

Jeremie: Any monsters yet?

Yumi: No, everything's fine for now Jeremie.

Jeremie: Ok, the tower is southwest of your position. Hurry, and we might be able to clean this up with little resistance.

Ulrich: Ay, ay boss.

Aelita: Wait, what's that?

A strange black monster with six long legs similar to Xana's old Krabs approaches. But unlike Xana's Krabs, it has a thorax and abdomen instead of only having one round surface on top. The white symbol of Moriarty shines on top of its thorax. At the end of the monster is a scorpion-like tail, which is glowing light blue.

Yumi: Never seen that before.

Ulrich: Doesn't matter, let's get rid of it!

He charges it.

Jeremie: Ulrich, look out! That monster has friends!

Ulrich: What?

Three more Scorpions appear hiding from blocks of ice. They take his attention of the main one, causing him to drop his guard. The original monster fires a blue beam which encases Ulrich in ice.

Yumi: Ulrich!

All four monsters take aim at the rest. Yumi blocks the blasts with her fans. William is able to hold them off with his sword. Aelita blocks one with her energy fields, but another she isn't ready for heads straight for her. Yumi dives in front of her and takes the hit, becoming frozen as well.

William: Yumi, no!

The Scorpions charge the two remaining warriors. Aelita and William are separated. Aelita is pushed to the edge of the ice overlooking the digital sea. Two scorpions are prepared to strike.

Aelita: Jeremie!

Jeremie: Aelita! NOO!

It's too late. The scorpions freeze her.

Jeremie: I'm…I'm sorry….

William is the only one left. The four scorpions have surrounded him, but none of them make a move.

William: Well, what are you waiting for? Do it already!

Instead the monsters back up. A black-red smoke comes out of nowhere and grabs William's leg. It drags him away.

William: What the…? Jeremie, help! What's Moriarty doing?

Jeremie: I…I have no idea! Hold on, I'll…think of something.

The smoke drags William to a yellow simulation bubble. He tries to resist being pulled in, but he is quickly absorbed by the bubble.

Jeremie: Oh, this is a disaster! He calls Odd. Odd, things have taken a turn for the worse, how are you holding up?

Odd holds cellphone in one hand and blasts with the other.

Odd: Me? Oh, I'm fine. Nothing too bad yet.

He throws a ball of electricity, taking out three robots.

Jeremie: Uh…Odd, what was that?

Odd: Uh…nothing. The robots are chewing on the elevator wires, that must be the sparky sound you heard. So it looks like I'm stuck up here.

Jeremie: Well, Moriarty has started a game with William, and right now he's the only one who can save Ulrich, Yumi, and Aelita from being thrown into the digital sea.

The monsters are edging the frozen warriors toward the edge of the ice, waiting for Moriarty's command.

Odd: That sounds really bad Einstein. But don't worry about me. These robots aren't a problem.

Jeremie: Alright, just hold on as long as you can.

Odd: No problem. He hangs up. His hands spark with power. Who's next?

Jeremie rubs his forehead.

Jeremie: Nothing to do now but hope William is ready for whatever Moriarty is doing.

William wakes up to find himself in his regular clothes at Kadic in a very dark, large chamber. It resembles a tomb, with cobwebs and eerie candles adorning the room that suggests former opulence and beauty that has been tragically lost. The only light comes from a nearby fireplace. Two chairs sit very close to the fire. The chair to the right spins toward William, revealing a bald middle-aged man with grey hair on his sides. He is thin, and wears a lab coat. The figure is exactly like the one Aelita saw in her visions. His dark blue eyes penetrate William's soul.

Moriarty: William, how nice to see you…

William: Moriarty?

Moriarty: Of course. You didn't think I looked like a black and red smoke cloud on Earth did you?

William backs up with obvious trepidation.

Moriarty: Please, have a seat. May I offer you a drink?

William: No thanks…

The other chair comes to life and knocks William into the seat. The chair returns to its original position by the fire with William sitting in it. A wine glass near William fills up with grape soda. William stares in wonder.

Moriarty: That is your favorite, isn't it? Me, I'm more of a coffee person myself.

William stares at Moriarty, trying to prepare himself for anything.

Moriarty: Not going to try it? Oh how rude…

A mug appears in front of Moriarty and he starts to drink coffee.

Moriarty: It's been such a long time, William.

William: I don't know what you're talking about.

Moriarty: Right. Your memories were erased after Jeremie found a way to free you from Xana's possession.

William tenses when Moriarty refers to his past possession.

Moriarty: You were a real threat to me back in the day. Such a good little Xana soldier.

William digs his fingers into the chair's arms.

William: Those days are long behind me… I'm not his slave anymore.

Moriarty: True, and look what it's done to your fighting skill. You are just a shadow of your former self.

William: I'd rather be a shadow then the general of Xana's army any day.

Moriarty: Interesting…but I'm intrigued….how does it feel to be the weakest link?

William's angry now.

William: I am a Lyoko Warrior. I may not be the best fighter, but at least I'm on the right side now.

Moriarty: My apologies brave and powerful Lyoko warrior. But I wonder…would you even be a Lyoko warrior if it weren't for… extenuating circumstances?

William: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: The only reason they allowed you back into the group is that Jeremie believed you might hold the key to destroying me. You're nothing more than the old version of Aelita: an annoying weight they have to carry in case you might be useful.

William: That…that's not it at all.

Moriarty: Really? Is there any other reason you should be in the group? You admitted it yourself, you are a greater enemy than you are an ally.

William does not have an answer to this.

Moriarty: By the way, how are your nightmares?

William: That's none of your business.

Moriarty: Oh but it is. You see, if there is a memory of Xana inside your head, I need to destroy it. I can't have that pest rearing his ugly head ever again. We can help each other out William.

William: How so?

Moriarty: Simple. I remove your nightmares and kill what's left of Xana. Everyone wins.

William isn't fooled.

William: Just what game are you trying to pull here?

Moriarty: Good question. This game is called "Who am I?"

William: Who am I?

Moriarty: I can't answer that question for you. It's for you to find out.

William: I might as well ask. How do you play this game?

Moriarty: This game gives you two options. Number One: Give up as a Lyoko warrior for good and I will take care of your nightmares.

William: And number two?

Moriarty: Take your chances and face what you dread most. If you lose, your friends die.

Moriarty shows him an image of the frozen figures of Aelita, Yumi, and Ulrich near the edge of the digital sea.

William: Yumi….

Moriarty: So what's it going to be?

William ponders his options. He stares at his helpless friends.

William: Do all my friends die if I give in?

Moriarty: Of course not….just one. And you get to choose which one. That is, if you chose Option Number One.

William: WHATT?

Moriarty: I have a good feeling it won't be Yumi.

William: I will not kill any of them!

Moriarty: William, are you really going to play the hero and try to save them all? Number Two is all or nothing. Besides, are you really willing to sacrifice yourself and endure nightmares that are probably only going to get worse?

A tremor goes down William's spine at this thought.

Moriarty: You could solve your nightmare problem and save two of them. And that's not all.

William: What?

Moriarty: You could finally be with Yumi.

William: …What did you say?

Moriarty: Hear me out. Imagine you take Number One, and one of my scorpions has a sudden leg spasm and poor Ulrich goes off the edge, lost forever.

Moriarty shows one of the scorpions pushing frozen Ulrich closer to the edge.

Moriarty: Yumi would be beside herself. Of course you could not be blamed for such a tragedy. It could be our little secret. With Ulrich out of the way, your chances would be infinitely higher….

William is stunned at what he is being offered. There is a slight temptation.

William: No way….I won't do it.

Moriarty: Just say the words William, and all your problems will be solved.

William: I could never forgive myself!

Moriarty: How long are you willing to play the role of the suffering romantic, loyal to his scornful beloved to the very end? Does she even bother to look in your direction?

William: I said no…

Moriarty: You never liked Ulrich anyway. He has what you can never have, unless you yield to me.

William: I want her to be happy, no matter how hard it is to accept…

Moriarty: Oh how selfless, but it will get you nowhere. What about Yumi? Does she really want you to be happy? What does she think of you?

Smoke rises and the specters turn into images of Yumi and Ulrich.

Yumi: Did you really think I could ever love you?

William: Stop it…this isn't real.

Yumi: You don't hold a candle to him…

William: Shut up…

Yumi: I know who you really are. You are nothing but a womanizer in disguise. You can't fool me with your romantic poetry.

William, as if in a trance, gets out of his chair. He approaches Yumi and goes to his knees.

Yumi: You're pathetic. I knew from the very beginning that adding you to the group was a horrible idea. You were too weak…

William: Please…stop.

Yumi: And I was right. You weren't strong enough to fight Xana, and Moriarty is no different.

William: You are not Yumi…

Yumi: Your weakness will doom us all…

William: I'm not weak…

Yumi: I feel sorry for any woman who's dumb enough to fall in love with a loser like you…

The words are hitting home.

Yumi: And yet, you had the NERVE to try to win me over. You have no idea how many times I wanted to slap you for even trying.

William: Go away…

Yumi: My heart belongs to someone else. And he is more than you can ever be.

The shadow Ulrich and Yumi kiss in front of William. He becomes enraged.

William: ENOUGH!

He knocks the shadows away.

Moriarty: Now if that isn't rejection, I don't know what is…

William lowers his head.

Moriarty: And yet, all of that could be avoided with one simple request…

William is still silent.

Moriarty: Come on William. It's not that hard…

William wrestles with what he's just seen, battling insecurity and temptation. He thinks about the possibilities…entertaining the idea. But he catches himself and his better self fights back. He puts his foot down.

William: The answer is no. My friends are coming back with me…all of them.

Moriarty: A noble gesture…but a foolish one. You give me no choice…Number Two it is.

The fire in the fireplace flares up and turns black. Out from the flames emerges an image of William as Xana's servant. He is clothed in William's old battle gear from his Xana possession.

William: No. Anything but that…

Moriarty: You had your chance William. Now all of your friends' lives are on the line.

Xana William: Die…

Xana William takes a swing and knocks over one of the glasses on the table. William backs up.

Moriarty: Oh I completely forgot. There is no devirtualization possible from this channel. If you lose, you also die. Good luck…

Xana William: This will be too easy… The Xana image lowers his sword

William: At least give me a fighting chance! I need my sword!

Moriarty: Of course. Moriarty snaps his fingers and William's sword materializes in his hands. But it won't do you any good.

Xana William's sword connects with the real William's. The shock nearly throws William backwards and he is barely able to hold his ground. The surroundings change into a gladiatorial arena. The two fight while Moriarty watches from his special seat, like a Roman emperor waiting to see who dies.

Xana William: Kneel slave!

William: Never!

Xana William goes on the offensive. William is barely able to defend himself. Xana William is too fast, too skilled for William to fight. Xana William swings in a wide arc. William ducks and sees his chance, striking for Xana William's torso. Xana William dissolves into smoke and moves to the other side of the arena.

William: What the?

Moriarty: Did I forget to mention that you had the power to dissolve into smoke when you were possessed?

William: Not good…

Xana William charges again. Swords clash and William is once again at Xana William's mercy. Any lucky shot William has is defeated by Xana William's smoke ability. William is starting to get tired. William musters enough strength to shove off Xana William when they are pushing sword to sword. Xana William circles him like a predator waiting to pounce.

Xana William: You will die….

William is very scared. But he knows he can't afford to lose. He grinds his teeth and forces himself back into the fight.

William: Then I will die fighting!

Moriarty: Ooh this is getting exciting!

Fight resumes. William puts up a good fight, but his adrenaline rush begins to wear off. He can't keep this up for much longer. Finally Xana William takes him down with the butt of his sword. William falls and drops his sword a few feet away. He tries to grab it but Xana William steps on his arm and looks down on him. William is helpless. Xana William looks to Moriarty, and Moriarty gives the thumbs down. Xana William prepares to strike.

Xana William: All of your friends will die. And all because you were too weak…

Moriarty: Well I guess we've answered the question to "Who am I?". You are the weakest link.

Xana William raises his sword, and William gets ready for the end. But then he realizes something, and takes one last desperate grab at life.

William: If I'm so weak, why did you want to take my nightmares away? If I'm so weak, why bother offering me a way out of being a Lyoko Warrior if you could so easily crush me?

Moriarty is taken off guard. Before Xana William strikes, Moriarty holds out his arm to make him stop.

Moriarty: It was…just part of the game.

William: The nightmares do mean something don't they?

Moriarty: Only psychological damage, that's all…

William: You said so yourself, Xana could be alive in me.

Moriarty: Yes, he could. Not that he can harm me at this point. I just want to finish the job.

William: It's more than that, isn't it?

Moriarty: William, these questions won't save…

William: From day one you've wanted to kill me, but why? You wanted to play games with the others, to continue to draw out this fight. But you've shown with this game and the past that you want to get rid of me one way or another. If I'm the weakest link, why kill me?

Moriarty: I…

William: You're afraid of me…

Moriarty turns to Xana William in rage.

Moriarty: KILL HIM!

Xana William tries to strike again, but William regains his fighting spirit. He uses his feet to take out Xana William's legs. He gets up and grabs his sword, swinging at Xana William. Xana William turns into smoke and retreats. But before Xana William can reform on the other side, William launches his massive sword with all of his strength like a javelin. As Xana William reforms, the sword goes through him and Xana William dissolves permanently into smoke.

Moriarty: NOOOO!

William: You want to know who I am, Moriarty? I AM A LYOKO WARRIOR!

Moriarty: Impossible….

William points his sword at Moriarty.

William: Moreover, I'm your greatest threat, and you know it.

Moriarty is fuming.

William: I won. I beat your game. No let me and my friends go. We had a deal.

Moriarty forces himself to regain his composure.

Moriarty: Fine. I am a man of my word. But know this. You have been a great help today William. The auditions are over.

William: Auditions?

William is pulled out of the bubble. He is back on Lyoko again. He sees Ulrich, Aelita, and Yumi becoming unfrozen. The scorpions guarding them are caught off guard. William charges from behind and cuts off their legs. Yumi launches her fans into their Moriarty eyes. Ulrich cuts off legs and puts several fatal blows in the scorpions. Aelita finishes off the last with her energy field.

Yumi: We're…we're free. But how?

Jeremie: Aelita…are you…are you ok?

Aelita: Yes… but how did we get out of this?

Jeremie: It was William! I don't know how, but he beat Moriarty's game.

All eyes turn to William. They seem concerned at first, wondering what Moriarty did to him. But their doubts are eased when they see William is confident and smiling.

Ulrich: Way to go William!

Aelita: You saved us!

Yumi: How did you do it?

Aelita: Yeah…how did you beat Moriarty's game? What did he try to do?

William plays it cool.

William: Let's just say I might sleep easier tonight…

Jeremie: Details later, we got a tower to deactivate.

A few minutes later Aelita enters the tower.

Yumi: How's Odd holding up?

Ulrich: He's got to be in trouble by now.

Jeremie: I'll check on him. I hope we're not too late.

He accesses the factory's cameras and sees Odd destroying the robots. His mouth drops. It isn't a battle, it's a massacre. Odd has wiped out the entire army with his electrical powers. Odd mercilessly picks out the stragglers. Jeremy watches dumbfounded as Odd's hands light up and destroy a nearby robot.

Yumi: Jeremie, is Odd alright? Is he hurt?

Jeremie: Quite the contrary…

Ulrich: What are you talking about?

Jeremie still can't believe what he's seeing

Ulrich: Jeremie!

Jeremie: I'll…I'll tell you later. I… don't worry about Odd. He's fine.

Yumi: Ok.

Jeremie takes off his headset.

Jeremie: Too fine.

Scene shifts to Odd in the factory.

Odd: Is that all you got Moriarty? I was just getting warmed up!

A voice whispers to Odd in the abandoned factory.

Moriarty: Did that feel good?

Odd is startled.

Odd: What? Who said that?

Moriarty: The rage. The raw power. It's fun taking out your anger on something…or someone…

Odd: If that's you Moriarty, you made the worst mistake ever giving me these powers.

Moriarty: I disagree. It's worked wonderful so far…

Odd: What are you talking about? I destroyed all of your robots!

Moriarty: I know. But didn't all of that power and destruction feel…intoxicating?

Odd: Yeah…what's your point?

Moriarty: Oh nothing….The voice disappears. Odd feels a slight bit of discomfort, but it's immediately gone when he remembers how fun it was using all of his power without restraint. Scene shifts to the others walking back from the factory through the park. William talks to Jeremie in the back, while Ulrich and the others are up front.

Ulrich: So let me get this straight, you took out all of those robots…with a crowbar?

Odd: Uh…yeah.

Yumi: Seriously?

Odd: You'd be surprised how easy it is to defeat those pieces of junk. Moriarty must not be that powerful yet.

William and Jeremie.

Jeremie: That makes sense. Moriarty strikes where it hurts. He tried to make you feel like the weakest link, but he failed.

William: It felt great. I feel like I'm a real Lyoko warrior now.

Jeremie: You are a Lyoko warrior, and this game of yours proves it.

William: Yeah…but he still looks worried.

Jeremie: Something wrong?

William: Something Moriarty said…it bothers me.

Jeremie: What did he say?

William: He said the auditions were complete.

Jeremie stops in horror.

Jeremie: Au…auditions?

William: Yes…something wrong?

Jeremie: Emergency meeting…NOW. Round up the others.

William: Ok..

He starts to go but Jeremie grabs his arm.

Jeremie: Wait…everyone…but Odd.

William: Why?

Jeremie: I can't explain right now.

The two notice storm clouds on the horizon. They hear distant rumbling.

William: That's strange. Storms aren't common this time of year.

Jeremie: No, they're not. But it's coming anyway.

Part 9

Principal Delmas is walking away from Nicholas and Herb, who are following close behind.

Delmas: One more word of this nonsense and both of you are getting detention!

Nicholas: But it's true sir! Odd nearly fried our brains!

Herb: He's a danger to this school!

Delmas: The only danger to this school is the ridiculous gossip I hear on a daily basis! In all of my career, I have heard some strange things, but this one takes the cake!

Herb: We know it sounds scientifically improbable.

Nicholas: But we saw it! You have to believe us!

Delmas: Odd with superpowers? Have you two lost it?

Herb: Sir…

Delmas: I have had enough of this!

Odd walks down the hallway near the principal's office. Herb and Nicholas cringe in fear.

Nicholas: There he is!

Herb: Run sir! He's dangerous!

Delmas: THAT'S ITT! Six hours detention for the both of you! I will not tolerate such outrageous slander against my students!

Herb: But…

Delmas: One more word and you'll be suspended!

They are quiet as Delmas storms off. They stare at Odd, who has been watching this entire thing, grinning.

Herb: Don't play dumb with us Odd. We know what we saw!

Nicholas: You're a freak!

Odd: Look who's talking.

Herb: Laugh all you want, but we know your secret!

Nicholas: We know you have sparky fingers!

Odd: You mean like…this?

Odd grabs Herb's collar and presses him against the wall. Odd's hands sparks with electricity and brings it close to Herb, who begins to panic. Nicholas runs off in fear. Odd is toying with him. Meanwhile Ulrich approaches Odd and sees what's unfolding.

Odd: Was this what you were talking about?

Herb: PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!

Odd: My fingers are getting closer!

Ulrich: ODD!

Odd stops what he is doing and drops Herb. Herb runs off, terrified.

Ulrich: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Odd tries to downplay it.

Odd: I was just messing with him. I wasn't really going to hurt him.

Ulrich: Sure didn't look like it!

Odd: Well sometimes if you want respect from people, you got to make them respect you.

Ulrich stares at Odd, shocked at what he is hearing.

Ulrich: What has happened to you?

Odd: What are you talking about? It's me, the same old Odd.

Ulrich: I beg to differ…come with me. Jeremie and the others want to see you.

Odd: Uhh…ok….by the way, how much of that did you see? Because if you saw something well…out of the ordinary…

Ulrich: Save it….let's go.

Ulrich and Odd enter Jeremie's room. Odd enters to find another inquisition waiting. Ulrich takes his place with the others near the computer.

Jeremie: Odd…we need to talk.

Odd: Uh sure…what about?

Jeremie: How did you defeat all of those robots in the factory?

Odd is a little nervous, but he keeps up the appearance that nothing's wrong.

Odd: I told you…I used a crowbar.

Yumi: And you destroyed them all?

Aelita: Without any help?

Odd: Uh yeah…why do you ask?

Jeremie turns on his computer and shows the camera clip that he saw in the factory of Odd destroying the robots. The others have obviously already seen the clip, and are staring at Odd. Outside, thunder rumbles and rain begins to come down. Odd freezes. He knows he's been caught.

Jeremie: Care to explain?

Odd: Uh…you'd be surprised what a lot of fiber in your diet can do.

Jeremie gets up and stares Odd down. He's deadly serious.

Jeremie: The time for jokes is over.

Aelita: You have superpowers.

Yumi: You knew it and didn't tell us…

Ulrich: And we DEMAND an explanation.

Lightning flashes and temporarily lights up the room.

Odd: Ok ok it's true. I do have superpowers. But I didn't ask for it. It just happened…

William: Then how did it happen?

Odd: Beats me…

Jeremie: You're lying!

Yumi: Enough is enough Odd. OUT WITH IT!

Ulrich: We can do this the easy way or the hard way…

Odd backs up with fear. He is trying to find a way from telling the truth.

Odd: Alright, alright! Moriarty gave it to me! Are you happy now?

The others do not take this well. Jeremy adjusts his glasses.

Jeremie: I was afraid you were going to say that…

Odd: Yeah he gave me this power. So what? It's his loss, not ours.

Yumi: Odd, don't you think Moriarty gave you that power for a reason?

Ulrich: He's messing with your head…

Jeremie: I'm going to have to find a way to remove it…

Odd's eyes go wild with this last statement. He backs up more.

Odd: Whoa! …What? Remove it? Are you insane? His hands at his sides spark with red electricity for everyone to see. His facial expression becomes undeniably malicious. I've NEVER felt better in my life!

The others tense.

Jeremie: Odd….

Odd: Don't you see? This is the chance we've been waiting for! Moriarty has made a TERRIBLE mistake! We can beat him!

Yumi: Odd listen to us!

Odd: I can FEEL my power growing. Soon I will be more powerful than Moriarty could ever hope to be. I will CRUSH HIM! Nothing will be able to stop ME!

Ulrich: Odd listen to yourself!

Aelita: This power is driving you mad!

Odd: You're wrong. My mind has never been so clear…my eyes have been opened to so many possibilities.

Yumi: Odd, we're here to help you…

Odd's look becomes more sinister.

Odd: I don't need any help!

Jeremie: Odd, you're not yourself.

Odd: You're right….I'm BETTER.

Ulrich: No, you're not..

William: Ever since Moriarty's game you haven't been the same.

Yumi: And you NEED our help…

Odd: No. You need mine. That robot slaughter was only the beginning…a fraction of what I'm capable of. I will bring Moriarty down, and you will finally RESPECT ME AS AN EQUAL!

Others are thrown off guard with this statement.

Aelita: Odd, when have we ever….?

Odd: You're all trying to bring me down! You're just jealous….

Yumi: We're not jealous….

Ulrich: Your power isn't a blessing, it's a curse…

Aelita: We're really worried about you…

Odd is getting angrier. The electric flare from his hands becomes stronger.

Odd: The only thing you should be worried about is standing between me and my moment of glory!

The die has been cast. Odd has gone too far with this threat.

Jeremie: Alright, that's it Odd. We're going to the factory right now and removing your powers. It's too dangerous to let you keep them.

Odd becomes almost animal-like.

Odd: NOO! IT'S MINE! YOU CAN'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!

Ulrich: Do what he says Odd!

Yumi: For your own good!

Odd: THIS IS MY GOOD!

Jeremie approaches Odd.

Jeremie: Odd, that is an order!

Odd blows Jeremie back with an electric shock.

Odd: I DON'T TAKE ORDERS FROM YOU! Another flash of lightning and thunder.

Jeremie goes to the floor and the others rush to his aid. Jeremie struggles to breathe for a moment, but finally manages to breathe. The others are deeply shaken, avoiding looking in Odd's direction. Odd finally starts to come to himself, realizing what he is doing.

Odd: Jeremie….I'm sorry…I don't know what came over me…

Jeremie rises and gives Odd the death stare.

Jeremie: That is the LAST STRAW ODD! I tried to give you a second chance, but you have turned on us again. You are banned from the group….PERMANENTLY!

The others look at Odd with sad but resolute agreement. The news makes Odd revert back to his new nature.

Odd: You are the ones who have turned on me! All of you have been against me from the start! Moriarty was right!

Aelita: Odd, wait!

Odd storms out of the room. He flees outside, into the storm. He is soaked to the bone, but he doesn't care. He rushes to the factory. As he enters inside, his body dripping wet, lightning behind him illuminates his wild and angry face. He begins a countdown virtualization process and virtualizes himself onto the Mountain Sector. He takes his rage out on Moriarty's monsters, ripping them to pieces with his arrows and new powers, which he can use on Lyoko. He mercilessly eliminates three Humanoids and looks around him. There aren't any more monsters.

Odd: WHERE ARE YOU MORIARTY? Are you going to keep hiding behind your monsters?

Moriarty's smoke cloud rises above the digital sea behind him.

Moriarty: No Odd…it's just you and me…

Odd turns around and fires laser arrows blindly into Moriarty's smoke cloud. They go through him without any effect. Moriarty's skull face gazes menacingly at Odd.

Moriarty: You've come to me at last.

Odd: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: I honestly didn't think it would be you, but you have exceeded all of my expectations. Congratulations.

Odd: I'm more powerful than ever before! I don't need the others. I CAN DEFEAT YOU MYSELF!

Odd's hands spark with electricity and he fires at Moriarty, but it has little effect. In fact, it seems to only make him stronger.

Moriarty: I'm afraid you can't. But you will make a powerful ALLY.

Odd is taken by surprise, but then replaces it with anger. His hands flare up again.

Odd: I WILL NEVER JOIN YOU!

But before he can launch an attack, the electricity spreads from his hands to his arms to the rest of his body, until he is engulfed in red electricity. The power he so cherished is consuming him.

Odd: What…what's happening?

Moriarty approaches Odd and stares into his eyes. Moriarty's sockets flare with red light. Odd is overwhelmed by the hate and raw power of Moriarty's glare. Odd's eyes become red. He approaches Moriarty, as if in a trance. Moriarty's smoky arms grab Odd and pull him close to his skull face.

Moriarty: Never join me? Why Odd…you already have.

Moriarty swallows Odd whole into his smoky body. Meanwhile, as the storm rages, Jeremie's super scan goes off.

Jeremie: Activated tower! Go warn the others.

Aelita: Got it.

The others race through the storm, arriving at the factory soaking wet. They are virtualized onto the Forest Sector.

Jeremie: Everyone present and accounted for?

Aelita: Well, yes and no….She frowns.

Jeremy sighs.

Yumi: It's not your fault Jeremy. You had no choice.

Jeremie: I know…but I can't help thinking…

Ulrich: We can't focus on that right now. What's done is done.

William: He's right. We can deal with that later. We have a tower to deactivate.

Jeremie: Alright, the tower is northeast of your current….

A voice penetrates the Lyoko forest.

Moriarty: Ah my friends, right on time.

The others grab their weapons, ready for anything Moriarty might throw at them.

Moriarty: I hope you didn't catch cold from that dreadful rain on the way to the factory. Here, this should warm you up.

Tigers, Humanoids, and Scorpions surround them on all sides.

Yumi: Is this the best you can do Moriarty?

Ulrich: Send as many monsters as you want. They're no match for us.

Moriarty: Oh you're right. I'm afraid my army is not in tip top shape. But I did gain a recent recruit that will help…level the playing field.

Warriors look at each other in confusion.

Aelita: What are you talking about?

Moriarty: Allow me to show you…

A smoke arm reaches out of the Digital sea. It deposits something on the forest floor. The others don't recognize it at first, but suddenly all of them recoil in horror.

Aelita: Is that..?

Yumi: It can't be…

Ulrich: This…this must be a trick.

William: Please tell me I'm imagining things…

Jeremie: What is it? I can't tell what I'm looking at from the screen…

The figure rises and faces the warriors. The recruit is none other than Odd Della Robia. But he has changed. In place of Odd's purple uniform is a black and red one. Kiwi's image has been replaced with a purple Moriarty symbol. His face and appearance is by far the greatest change. He is no longer a "cat". He has become an animal, a beast. His eyes are widened, his face covered in wild purple paint like a savage, and his teeth transformed into that of a carnivore. He glares at the warriors with animal-like hate.

Aelita: Odd..?

Odd growls and goes on all fours.

Moriarty: Didn't I tell you Jeremie that he would make an excellent pet? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Odd Della Robia….your new enemy.

Part 10

The others stare dumbfounded.

Aelita: No, no it can't be him…

Moriarty: Don't believe me? Why don't you ask your friend Jeremie to check the virtualization logs?

Jeremie hears this and does so. When he sees it, his hands freeze and a chill goes over him.

Jeremie: Guys…it looks like Odd virtualized himself….not too long ago.

The warriors' hearts sink.

Yumi: Which means….

Moriarty: He's the real deal!

Odd and the monsters steadily approach the group.

Moriarty: What did you think my games were for in the first place? They were just auditions. I'm afraid all of you failed yours miserably. But Odd, the pupil in whom I had the least confidence, passed with flying colors!

Ulrich: No…

Odd and the monsters attack. A ferocious battle begins. William and Aelita are able to take out a few humanoids, but pretty soon it is clear that the battle is one-sided. Odd charges Ulrich, who is barely able to block his laser arrows.

Ulrich: Odd it's me. Stop this! Don't obey Moriarty!

Odd growls and lunges toward him. Ulrich takes a swing with his sword but misses. Odd goes behind Ulrich and blasts him with electrical energy, devirtualizing him. He turns on the others. Yumi is trying to hold off two scorpions, but Odd approaches her from behind. She throws her other fan behind her to stop Odd but misses. Her distraction allows the scorpion to score a direct hit on her. She collapses to the forest floor, with Odd staring down on her. She reaches out to him.

Yumi: Odd, please no!

He fires an arrow and she is devirtualized. Next he heads for William, who has just defeated a tiger. William turns to face him and swings, but Odd's enhanced agility allows him to jump and land on one of the trees, then pounce from behind. His claws grow, and he digs them into William's back, devirtualizing him. Aelita finds herself surrounded, with Odd leading the pack.

Aelita: Odd…please…if you can hear me….don't do this.

Odd gets up off his four legs and starts walking like a human.

Aelita: We never should have abandoned you…

Odd growls and aims his wrist at her.

Aelita: Fight him Odd! Don't let him do this to you!

Odd bares his teeth.

Aelita: Please Odd don't…

Three laser arrows devirtualize her on impact. Odd gets up on top of a scorpion and roars, announcing victory. The other monsters shoot into the air in celebration. On Earth, the four go up the elevator and approach Jeremie, who is staring into the computer, absolutely devastated.

Jeremie: What have I done?

No one says anything for a very long time. William approaches Jeremie and stares into the monitor intently. He places his hand on Jeremie's shoulder. Jeremie places his head in his hands. Aelita sits near the holomap, hugging her knees close to her body. Ulrich withdraws to a corner and puts his hand against the wall, as if bracing himself. Yumi tries to approach Ulrich, but decides against it and leans her back against the factory wall. She stares at the floor. William closes his eyes and asks what must be asked.

William: What about the tower?

Jeremie hesitates to respond.

Jeremie: Moriarty shut it off himself. He only did it to lead us to the factory…for us to see what he did.

More oppressive silence.

Aelita: Are you going to create ….a clone?

Jeremie takes his glasses off.

Jeremie: What other choice do I have? He's….he's gone…

Ulrich: I have to share a room….with a clone…This is just…not right.

Silence again.

Jeremie: I need to start…searching for a way to bring him back.

Without a word or general consent, they all start heading back to the school. There isn't a word on the way back. The storm is gone. In its place is a cold chill in the air. Finally they reach the school. As Jeremie heads to his room, William stops him by grabbing his shoulder.

William: Don't lose hope…

Jeremie turns away.

William: We will get him back. I promise you. You never gave up when I was possessed by Xana, and I owe the same to Odd. This fight has gotten personal now. I will not rest until we get him back.

Jeremie brushes off William's arm.

Jeremie: Thank you William, but rest is exactly what you need right now. We're going to need it.

Jeremie enters his room. William leaves his room and heads to his with a look of sad but grim resolution. Jeremie sits on his bed and stares at the ceiling. He takes off his glasses. He is so distraught he hardly even notices when Aelita comes in.

Jeremie: This is all my fault!

Aelita sits down next to him.

Aelita: Don't talk like that.

Jeremie: I drove him away! If it wasn't for me…he would still be here..

Aelita: Jeremie…

Jeremie: What have I done?

He begins to cry.

Jeremie: Aelita I'm sorry….for everything…

Aelita: We all drove him away Jeremie. We all left him vulnerable. We are all responsible.

Jeremie: How can I live with this?

Aelita stares him in the eyes.

Aelita: You need to carry on Jeremie. For Odd's sake. We all have to keep fighting, if there is to be any hope.

Jeremie: Odd….poor Odd…

They both start crying bitterly. They embrace each other and try to bear the pain together. Ulrich enters his room, which is his now, his and his alone. Kiwi approaches Ulrich, wagging his tail, but immediately his tail lowers. He senses something is wrong. Ulrich goes down to his knees in front of Kiwi. A tear drips down his face.

Ulrich: Kiwi….I'm so sorry….he's gone..

Kiwi begins to whine and lowers his head. Kiwi goes off to a corner to grieve for his master. Ulrich gets up and stares at the wall. He hears a knock on his door.

Ulrich: Go away! He doesn't want anyone see him this weak and vulnerable.

Ulrich starts to hear slow footsteps away from his room. Suddenly Ulrich changes his mind.

Ulrich: Wait! He opens his door and looks to see Yumi slowly walking away. Yumi…

She turns to him. She has tears in her eyes.

Yumi: Ulrich….

There is a brief moment in which neither does anything. Then Yumi rushes toward Ulrich and embraces him. She cries profusely. They go into his room to prevent anyone from hearing the scene. Ulrich likewise loses his manly composure and cries as well.

Ulrich: We're going to get him back…we're going to get him back. I promise you.

Yumi: When will this nightmare end?

Ulrich: I don't know. Believe me…I want to wake up. I want to wake up so badly….

They continue to cry for a long time.

Part 11

Rain falls steadily on Kadic as the early morning fog thickens the chill and lifeless air. Students hurry from building to building, either to grab breakfast or to get ready for their upcoming classes. Yumi, Ulrich, Aelita, and William take shelter from the rain underneath the portico to one of the buildings. They wait in silence, all with heads lowered in despair.

Aelita: I won't be able to look at him…

Ulrich raises his head

Ulrich: Look at him? At least you won't have to room with him…

Pause

Yumi: He's going to have to be with us a lot…if we are going to avoid suspicion…

They don't take this too well.

Aelita: What a mess…

William: It has to be done…just like it was for me…

Yumi: We'll all have to pretend…for his sake.

Ulrich looks at his phone to tell the time.

Ulrich: What's taking him so long?

Aelita begins to pace back and forth

Aelita: I wish he would just come and get it over with.

Yumi: Patience…it's not easy creating a program so complicated in one night. He's probably just working out the kinks.

Ulrich: From what I remember, the last one still had plenty after Jeremie was done.

William: Exactly how….many kinks?

Ulrich: You don't want to know…

William: Did I make a fool of myself?

Yumi gives him a sarcastic look.

Yumi: No more than usual.

Others laugh a little, but it dies quickly. They hear footsteps coming towards them. Ulrich looks over to his right.

Ulrich: Here they come.

Aelita: I can't look…

Jeremie and a virtual clone of Odd approach them. The others hesitate to look at this fabrication, but eventually do so. The Odd clone has a dazed look and looks at his surroundings constantly, like a newborn trying to fill his empty mind by observing the reality of his existence. Jeremie sighs.

Jeremie: Ladies and gentleman, I present to you….Odd Della Robia…at least until we get the real one back.

Odd's Clone: Subject, Odd Della Robia: Reason for existence; 15 years old, spiked hair, average student at Kadic Academy, prisoner of Moriarty. Parents' occupation: artists. Siblings: Four sisters, all older. Roommate Ulrich Stern. Must imitate subject until given further instructions.

All look at Odd's clone baffled.

Ulrich: Jeremie, what the heck was that?

Jeremie rubs his forehead.

Jeremie: Well, after my last clone turned out to be a complete idiot…

William: Yes…wonderful…

Jeremie: I tried to make this one smarter by giving it a lot of information to work with. But now he just spits it out like a machine. I don't know how to stop it. You wouldn't believe how much useless information I heard about passing cars as we walked from the factory. I thought I was going to go crazy…

Aelita: Any way to fix him?

Jeremie: No. At least he will be able to handle himself in science and math classes. For now, we must stick with the status quo…

Odd's Clone: Subject, Status quo: Language of origin, Latin. Meaning: the existing condition or state…

Jeremie: Oh not again….

Yumi: How is this supposed to pass off as the real thing?

Jeremie: We'll have to pretend Odd is playing one of his ridiculous jokes and is messing with everybody. Hopefully his reputation will make it believable…

Aelita: I can't take this…this isn't right… she walks off.

Jeremie: Aelita, wait!

Yumi: Give her some space Jeremie. This is a lot to take in.

He shakes his head. He turns to Odd's clone.

Jeremie: Ok Odd. You have gym class next. Do you understand?

Odd's Clone: Subject, gym class: First period of the day for Odd Della Robia. Time of expected attendance, 8:30 a.m. Building 60 meters south-southeast from current position. Locker 23; Combination 16-8-32

Jeremie: Yes, gym, with uhhhh…Jim.

Odd's Clone: Subject, Jim Morales. Occupation: gym teacher and inefficient disciplinarian at Kadic. Health status: obese. Intelligence level: low. History: unknown.

Jeremie: Yes, yes Jim. Just don't tell Jim…what you just said. Keep it a secret, ok.

Odd's Clone: Subject, secret: Definition…

Jeremie: JUST GET TO GYM CLASS ALREADY!

Odd's clone leaves.

Ulrich: We gotta get Odd back.

Jeremie: Hopefully before the end of today. The clone just can't function.

Yumi: We have no other choice.

Jeremie: Keep an eye on him. Try to keep everyone's suspicions…as low as humanly possible.

William: No problem. If you could get away with a clone of me for several months, we could handle this, right?

Jeremie: Famous last words…

Several hours pass. Yumi, Ulrich, and William sit in the lunch room. As Odd's clone approaches the table, he accidentally bumps into a girl named Arianne .

Arianne: Hey Odd, watch where you're going, you klutz!

Ulrich: Oh no, this can't end well.

Yumi: Shh! We can't attract attention.

Odd's Clone: Subject, Arianne Blanc. Female student at Kadic Academy. 14 years old. Interests: art and poetry. Intelligence level: very high.

Arianne: What the heck was…wait…you think I'm…smart?

Odd's Clone: Processing question. Response: Affirmative.

Arianne laughs.

Arianne: I always thought you had a bad sense of humor Odd. But you're pretty funny.

Odd's clone gets that dazed look again.

Odd's Clone: Advanced human emotional interaction. Must approach with caution.

Arianne laughs again.

Arianne: Wow, what's happened to you Odd? You've changed.

Odd's Clone: Warning. Mission failing. Must humor female subject to secure imitation.

She laughs and blushes.

Arianne: I never knew you took an interest in my art and poetry.

Odd's Clone: Considering social responses. Subject's quality of extracurricular pursuits suggests strong creativity and skill.

Arianne: Wow, no one's ever complimented me like that before. Do you want to eat lunch with me?

Odd's Clone: Offer accepted. Objective: Continue human social behavior.

She laughs again.

Arianne: Oh stop it! You're too much!

Yumi, Ulrich, and William watch in utter disbelief.

Ulrich: Did Odd's clone just….?

Yumi: Yep…

William: I will never understand women….

They continue eating.

Ulrich: At least he's fitting in….

Yumi: Against all odds, our new Odd is…passing off as the real thing.

William: Did my clone get girls?

Yumi: No, why do you ask?

William: No reason, just wondering…

Ulrich: So where are Aelita and Jeremie?

Yumi: They wanted some alone time.

Ulrich: For what?

Yumi: To process things. Aelita wanted to talk about their feelings.

Ulrich: Talk about their feelings? Oh poor Jeremie, I can't think of a worse….Ulrich notices Yumi is giving him a mean glare. I mean…better idea than a guy openly sharing his emotions with his girlfriend.

Yumi: Nice save.

William: Remind me again how you fell for this guy?

Yumi: Sometimes I ask myself the same question.

Ulrich: Hey…

Yumi: Oh will you lighten up? I was joking.

Ulrich: Yeah…yeah. Look, I'll see you later. I have a quiz to study for.

He leaves.

William: Does he always get offended that easily?

Yumi: He can be very…difficult at times.

William: Tell me about it. He should chill out and remember that he is lucky enough to go out with you.

Yumi gives him a sly look.

Yumi: Speaking of which, you never told me about your game with Moriarty.

William: Oh yeah…

Yumi: So?...

William: Do I have to?

Yumi: It would be nice. Was I involved?

William: Uh…. He blushes.

Scene shift to the wooded campus area. Aelita and Jeremie are talking on a park bench. The rain has stopped, but it remains cloudy and cold.

Jeremie: I know you miss him…we all do.

She turns her head away.

Aelita: That clone….

Jeremie: I hate the idea of making someone take his place as well. But what else can we do? We can't have people questioning why he's not here.

Aelita: I know….that doesn't make it any easier.

Jeremie: We will get him back…

Aelita: Before he devirtualized me, I tried to reach him. I hoped that there was some part of him that hadn't been consumed with Moriarty. I was hoping to find some traces of resistance in him.

Jeremie: I'm afraid that won't happen. Odd has fallen into darkness. It's up to us to free him from it.

Aelita: I know he's still in there, fighting.

Jeremie pauses. He doesn't want to interfere with her optimism.

Aelita: I know you think I'm being naïve.

Jeremie: I never said that.

Aelita: The truth is…besides….you, I don't think I've been closer to anyone as much as I have been with Odd. He's funny, he's kind. Or at least, he was. Before Moriarty began destroying him.

Jeremie listens.

Aelita: He was the one who really defended me from Sissi when I first came to Kadic. True, he is…was very goofy, but sometimes he put me more at ease than Yumi and Ulrich. It was just…easier to talk with him.

Jeremie: Probably more than me. Especially since I was more focused on the mission. I should have been focused more on you.

Aelita: Well, yes and no. It's different with you. I needed a guy whom I didn't have feelings for to sort of…well… be there for me. Odd was that guy.

Jeremie: I understand….

Aelita's quiet. Jeremie puts his arm around her.

Jeremie: But I'm here for you…

She smiles and the situation becomes suddenly romantic.

Aelita: But I told you…I need a guy I DON'T have feelings for.

Jeremie: Really…he raises an eyebrow. What are you implying?

Aelita: You're the genius, why don't you figure it out?

Jeremie: The only way to do that is an…experiment.

They kiss. But Aelita decides after a few seconds to quit and gets up off the bench.

Jeremie: Is something wrong?

Aelita: Is this right?

Jeremie: Is what right?

Aelita: Us. Together. Isn't that how Odd got into this situation in the first place? We were too preoccupied with our feelings to have any room for Odd in our lives. Look what became of that.

Jeremie considers this.

Jeremie: I agree…but…

Aelita: I don't see how I can be comfortable doing something that I know is partly responsible for the irreparable damage to Odd.

Jeremie frowns. He sees her logic, but at the same time, doesn't want to lose what they have.

Jeremie: Aelita, I…

Jeremie is saved by his laptop beeping. He checks it and sees that there is an activated tower.

Jeremie: Activated tower, Mountain Sector.

Aelita sighs.

Aelita: We shouldn't waste any time.

Jeremie: I'll call the others.

In the Kadic Courtyard, Yumi and William are killing time near the vending machine. William grabs a hot chocolate, but he quickly spits it out.

William: I swear, this stuff tastes like dirty laundry!

Yumi: Dare I even ask how you know what that tastes like?

Yumi's phone rings.

Yumi: Hello? Jeremie? Uh huh. Yeah. Yeah William's with me. We're on our way. She hangs up. Well, you know the drill.

William: Well, I guess I got nothing better to do.

Ulrich walks through the hallway. He comes across a gaggle of girls following Odd's clone. They are all laughing.

Girl 1: Do it again!

Girl 2: Alright Odd, what is the end unit of pi?

Odd's clone grabs head in pain.

Odd's Clone: Warning. Error. ERROR! Insufficient memory capacity! CANNOT COMPUTE!

The girls laugh and continue to follow Odd.

Girl 3: You're a scream!

Girl 2: Say Odd, are you doing anything Friday night?

Odd's Clone: Checking schedule. Internal calendar indicates periods of leisure from 3:30 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.

Girl 1: You wanna hang out?

Girl 2: Hey, I asked first!

Argument erupts as the group exits the hall. Ulrich shakes his head in wonder. His phone rings.

Ulrich: Hello? Jeremie? Got it. I'm on my way.

Ulrich starts to go when he hears Kiwi barking in his room.

Ulrich: Oh…what now?

He opens the door to see Kiwi doing the potty dance.

Ulrich: You've got to be kidding me! Why didn't Odd take?….He stops himself. Alright Kiwi, let's go for a walk before you make a mess….again.

He rushes Kiwi outside.

Ulrich: Look's like I'm going to be a little late.

Switch to factory. Jeremie and Aelita have already arrived in the monitor room, waiting for the others to arrive. William and Yumi swing down the ropes hanging from the factory ceiling and walk towards the elevator. William pushes the button and receives a nasty electric shock, shoving him back onto the floor.

Yumi: WILLIAM!

She tries to help him up. He's had the wind knocked out of him, but at last manages to bring in a few staggered breaths. He's badly shaken.

Yumi: Are you alright?

William: I'm….fine. Say Yumi, since when have you had four eyes?

Yumi: Oh boy….

She calls Jeremie.

Yumi: Jeremie. We got a problem. Moriarty's short-circuited the elevator.

Jeremie: It was working just fine for Aelita and me. Are you sure it's a short circuit?

Yumi: Let's say I can still smell William's hair burning.

Jeremie: Oh…I see. You're going to have to find another way down. But BE CAREFUL. Moriarty is surely up to something.

Yumi: We'll go through the assembly room.

Jeremie: No. Bad idea. We've made that mistake before. All that old electrical equipment? No way. It's a walking death trap. Your best bet is the boiler room.

Yumi: Ok. She hangs up. Come on William. Nap time's over.

William: Uh…..five more minutes….

Yumi: No….now.

She helps him up and they start to head towards the boiler room. William has to lean on her for help at some points. As they enter the boiling room, a subtle hiss is heard coming from the boiler. Other than that, everything is quiet.

William: I don't like this.

Yumi: Let's get to the scanner room as soon as possible. The more time we give Moriarty the worse the situation will get.

William: Ok.

They make a run for it, but William trips and falls on one of the pipes. Yumi stops to help him, but notices a black smoky presence approaching him from behind.

Yumi: William, look out!

William: What? Ahh!

The smoke envelops him, and he begins coughing uncontrollably. Another smoky arm surrounds Yumi, and she likewise begins to cough. Eventually both of them pass out from the gas. Jeremie and Aelita continue to wait….impatiently.

Jeremie: What is taking them SO LONG?

Aelita: Jeremie…we're going to have to be patient.

Jeremie: We can't afford patience! Not with Moriarty.

She pauses.

Aelita: Do you think….do you think he…?

A look of awful worry encompasses Jeremie's face.

Jeremie: ….I hope not. But….

Aelita: They would have been here by now….

Jeremie: Maybe if we give them a little longer…

Aelita stands up.

Aelita: Jeremie. You know as well as I do what's happened.

He grimaces.

Jeremie: You're right...we're alone. The others…they must be at Moriarty's mercy.

Aelita becomes suddenly determined.

Aelita: Then virtualize me. We have no time to waste.

Jeremie: You?...Alone?...Are you out of your mind?

Aelita: We don't have any other choice.

Jeremie: Have you ever considered that this is exactly what Moriarty wants you to do? For you to go alone?

Aelita: But Jeremie….

Jeremie: May I remind you that you are the daughter of his sworn enemy? He'll throw you into the digital sea! You'd be lost forever!

Aelita: Jeremie….

She approaches him. He lowers his head as she puts a hand on his shoulder. He raises his head and gives her a pleading look.

Jeremie: It's...it's too risky.

Aelita: It's a risk we have to take. I won't leave to others to suffer under another one of Moriarty's games.

Jeremy pauses.

Jeremie: You know who's waiting for you on the other side, right?

Aelita: I know. And I have to face him. No matter the consequences. I have to try again.

Jeremie: Aelita, I'm sorry, but he's….

Aelita: Even if there is the slightest chance that Odd can fight Moriarty's grip, I have to try.

Jeremie gives in.

Jeremie: Alright. But please….be careful.

Aelita: I will.

She hugs him and then heads for the scanner. Jeremie virtualizes her into the Mountains.

Jeremie: Head south southeast. The tower shouldn't be far.

Aelita: Got it. Can I have one of the vehicles?

Jeremie: Of course.

Overwing materializes.

Aelita: Thank you. She speeds off.

Jeremie gets a call.

Jeremie: Ulrich! Where in the world have you been? We need you!

Ulrich is running on the bridge to the factory.

Ulrich: Sorry I had a little issue with Kiwi to deal with. But I'm here now.

Jeremie: Aelita really needs your help on Lyoko. She's there alone!

Ulrich: Where are Yumi and William?

Jeremie: I don't know. Last time I heard from them they were in the factory. I think Moriarty may have gotten a hold of them.

Silence on Ulrich's line.

Jeremie: So get here as soon as you can. Don't use the elevator though, it's short-circuited. …Ulrich…are you there?

More silence. Ulrich hangs up.

Jeremie: Ulrich? Did you hear me? Aelita needs your help! What in the world are you?...OH NO!…This is no time to be the knight in shining armor and come to Yumi's rescue! You hear me Ulrich! Aelita is the priority! She desperately needs….Oh what's the point? Jeremie….you idiot! Never tell Romeo that Juliet is in danger and expect him to help you instead of her.

Yumi and William come to. They are both standing, tied up to the boiler with heavy metal chains. Both of them are very confused at first. Yumi tugs on the chains.

Yumi: What the?...She struggles more. Oh you have got to be kidding me…William?

She looks to her side and sees William start to slowly regain consciousness.

William: Let me guess….we're Moriarty's prisoners….

Yumi: Yep.

William: Wonderful.

Yumi: Any ideas?

William: Nope….

The boiler behind them starts to hiss and churn. The noises increase, signaling that the pressure is building.

William: Is the boiler…supposed to do that?

Yumi: No….

William: I was afraid you would say that.

Ulrich enters the room and immediately rushes to them.

Ulrich: Yumi! Don't worry, I'll get you out of there!

A voice emanates from the ceiling.

Moriarty: One more step, and you can kiss both of them goodbye.

Ulrich stops.

Moriarty: Hello Ulrich. It's been a while.

Ulrich: Too soon, if you ask me.

Moriarty: Nonsense. I've been so busy with the others, I have almost forgotten about you. I truly apologize. But I'm here to make it up to you.

Ulrich: You're going to play a game with me? But it's not my turn.

Moriarty: You didn't honestly expect me to go in order, did you? That would be so…boring…so….predictable. Rest assured, the others will get theirs as well.

Ulrich: And so will you.

Moriarty: Oh, I'm simply shaking in my skin. But more of that later. Ladies and gentleman, the moment you've all been waiting for: Ulrich, would you like to play a game?

Ulrich: Sure….Are you ready to lose….again?

An electric shock strikes Yumi and she screams in pain.

Ulrich: YUMI!

Moriarty: Another snide comment like that and I will personally scramble her neurons.

Ulrich fumes.

Ulrich: What do I have to do?

Moriarty: As you can probably tell….The boiler hisses and William and Yumi look at Ulrich with fear in their eyes. The boiler is getting a little…..cranky. Eventually, the poor thing will go cahoots. But you can shut off the pressure and save them.

Ulrich: No problem. Where's the pressure valve?

Moriarty: Funny you should ask….Look above you.

Ulrich looks up to see a very long, thin, and rusty ladder leading up to the ceiling. Up at the very top is a narrow rickety platform where a pressure valve rests on the wall. Ulrich looks at it with dread.

Moriarty: Ah THERE it is.

Ulrich: Uh….way….up there?

Moriarty: Why of course. Poor placement I will admit. Why on Earth would they put it up so high? Seems….inconvenient if you ask me.

Ulrich's knees begin to shake.

Moriarty: Is something…wrong…Ulrich?

Ulrich: Uh…..

Moriarty: You wouldn't be….scared of heights would you?

Ulrich: I hate you.

Moriarty: Oh Ulrich, you're too kind. But enough flattery. It's time to play the game "How high can you go?" He says it mockingly, like a limbo game. I would hurry too, the boiler can only take so much.

Ulrich swallows and approaches the ladder. William leans toward Yumi.

William: Doesn't Ulrich have Vertigo?

Yumi's face contorts with dread.

Yumi: Yes….

William: We're dead…

Meanwhile, on Lyoko Aelita is being chased by three vultures. She tries to throw energy fields from behind, but she only manages to destroy one of them. The other two shoot lasers at her Overwing, which devirtualizes it out from under her. She falls but quickly is able to sprout her wings and take to the air. She flies straight up, leading the Vultures high into the sky. Then without warning, she stops and the Vultures fly past her, unable to stop their momentum. With the vultures in front of her, Aelita is able to turn the tables and fires two energy fields that destroy both vultures on impact. She flies back to the Mountain surface.

Jeremie: Good work Aelita. Now hurry to the tower. I have no idea what the others are facing right now, but it can't be good.

Aelita: Alright. I'm on my way.

She runs to a nearby mountain platform, where a large boulder rests. She stops when she thinks she hears something behind her. She listens, and is able to pick up a low, menacing growl.

Aelita: Jeremie?

Jeremie: Aelita, RUN! It's…

Odd charges out of a cave in the boulder behind Aelita and leaps over her and lands in her way. He is on all fours, regarding Aelita with a wicked grin.

Aelita: Odd!

Odd fires an electric blast at Aelita, which she is able to block with her energy fields. Odd slinks back and forth, never dropping his gaze for a moment, waiting for the right moment to strike. Aelita watches him warily, slowly backing up until she is cornered with the boulder behind her and Odd steadily approaching. Odd bares his teeth.

Aelita: Jeremie!

Jeremie: Get out of there Aelita! Fly if you have to but stay away from Odd!

Odd pounces. Aelita is just able to duck below Odd as he lunges. She takes off in the direction of the tower on foot, but Odd tackles her from behind and the two go off the edge. They fall through the clouds.

Jeremie: NOOO!

Aelita and Odd continue to fall and eventually land on a mountain ledge only a hundred feet or so above the digital sea. Both hit the surface hard and roll away in opposite directions. As Aelita struggles to get up from the fall, Odd rises on his two legs. He turns and cocks his wrist at Aelita, firing three laser arrows at her. Aelita manages to dodge two of them, but one hits her on the shoulder. As Odd begins to go back on all fours to get ready for another pounce, Aelita forces herself to stand and throws an energy field at Odd. Odd is hit hard and is thrown onto his back.

Jeremie: Good work Aelita! Now finish him before he gets up!

Aelita summons an energy field, but hesitates when she sees Odd dazed and in pain.

Jeremie: Aelita, what are you waiting for? Do it!

Odd gets up, with rage blazing through his eyes. He fires electricity at her, and Aelita is barely able to dodge it. He starts to speak to her in a demonic, shrill version of Odd's old voice.

Odd: Surrender…

Aelita: Never. Not as long as you have Odd under your power.

Odd: I am Odd…

Aelita: Release him Moriarty!

Odd: I don't want to leave. I've never felt more….alive.

He fires another blast and she blocks it with her energy field.

Aelita: Odd listen to me!

Odd: I don't want to listen. I want to kill.

Aelita: I know you're suffering, but I'm here for you.

Odd: Are you? Where were you when I needed you the most?

Aelita: Stop it! That's not you talking Odd.

Odd: You abandoned me!

Aelita: Odd…no!

Odd: TRAITOR!

Aelita: Forgive me….

Long beams of electricity shoot from Odd's hands. Aelita blocks it with two adjoining energy fields, but she is being pushed back closer and closer to the edge overlooking the digital sea. Meanwhile Ulrich struggles as he gets a third of the way up the ladder. The pressure in the boiler is building, and William and Yumi stare at Ulrich from their captive state, holding onto the hope that Ulrich will reach the valve in time. He moves slowly and cautiously. Sweat is now racing down his forehead.

Yumi: That's it Ulrich! Little by little! Take it slowly and you'll be fine.

One of the gaskets ruptures, releasing a cloud of gas.

Moriarty: Of course, you may not have the luxury of taking it slowly.

Ulrich breathes heavily as he continues up.

Ulrich: Your commentary was not part of the game!

Moriarty: Ulrich, you should know by now that my commentary is a given part of every game. It just wouldn't be the same, don't you think?

Ulrich: Shut up!

Moriarty: Whatever you do, don't look down.

Ulrich: I said shut….One of the rusty legs of the ladders breaks and Ulrich grabs on to the nearest leg for dear life. He looks up and his vision starts to blur. He can't see the ladder straight. No, not now!

Moriarty: Oh how humiliating. How does it feel to be shown as the coward you truly are? Your weakness displayed, right in front of Yumi?

Ulrich freezes on the ladder in fear and shame.

Ulrich: I can't…do this.

Moriarty: You're right. You can't. The brave warrior who offered his own life to save his beloved now can't even climb a ladder to save her.

Ulrich: Please….

Moriarty: You're pathetic.

Ulrich: Stop!

He remains frozen

Moriarty: Who says revenge is bittersweet?

Yumi: Don't listen to him Ulrich! I don't care if you're afraid of heights! We all fear something!

William: For instance, I'm very scared of this boiler exploding right now.

Yumi: That is NOT helping William.

William: Sorry.

Pressure continues to build.

Moriarty: Time's running out Ulrich. And you're hardly even halfway up.

Ulrich, against all advice and better judgment, looks down. This does not help his vertigo in the least. He starts to hyperventilate and hugs the ladder tightly.

Ulrich: This isn't happening…this isn't happening.

Moriarty: Even I thought you would do better than this.

Ulrich: Yumi, I'm sorry…I…I can't….

Yumi: Yes you can! You did it on the rock face when we were chased by wolves, and you can do it now!

Ulrich: I can't…move. I…I'm not….strong enough.

Yumi: You are strong enough. You don't have to be fearless to be strong. What makes a person strong is the will to face what he fears most.

Ulrich looks up. His vision is going out the wazoo.

Ulrich: My eyes…I can't see straight.

Yumi: Then close your eyes.

Ulrich: What?

Yumi: Close your eyes and feel for the ladder. If you close your eyes, you will be able to calm down and take it step by step.

Ulrich hesitates, but finally does what Yumi says. He slowly starts to make progress.

Moriarty: Oh so you want to try again? Fine, humor me.

Ulrich presses on steadily towards the goal.

Moriarty: My my…aren't you're getting VERY high up…

Ulrich does his best to ignore Moriarty's words. He continues to climb, eyes tightly shut. Moriarty's tone changes.

Moriarty: You…you aren't fooling anyone…

Ulrich is now two-thirds of the way up. The pressure in the boiler room now causes several pipes near the ceiling to explode. The shockwave shakes the room and Ulrich falls, but manages to grab on to one of the legs at the last minute. He is shaking all over, sweat covering his upper body. The boiler is now starting to smoke and Yumi and William's fear transforms into terror.

Yumi: ULRICH!

William: HELP!

Moriarty: You'll never make it in time!

Ulrich: You're not going to win Moriarty! Not today, not ever!

He now forces himself to race up the ladder to cover the ground he lost. Back on Lyoko, Aelita continues to be slowly forced toward the mountain edge. As she closes the gap, she makes a desperate move to duck Odd's electrical attack, narrowly avoiding the blast. She looses her footing and hits the ground. Odd fires several laser arrows and she retreats, hiding in a small cluster of boulders on the ledge. A game of cat and mouse ensues, as Odd looks for her among the rocks. Aelita hides behind a rock and waits as Odd passes her. When he does, she makes a run for it.

Aelita: Jeremie! Send me the overwing, NOW!

Jeremie: I'm on it.

The overwing materializes in front of her, but Odd leaps and lands in her way, growling at her on all fours. She backs up.

Aelita: Please Odd, I don't want to fight you. You're my friend.

Odd: You are not my friend. You are my PREY.

Aelita fires another energy field, but Odd dodges her attack with shocking agility, ricocheting of a boulder and leaping towards her. She ducks and once again Odd lands in front of her. She turns to face him and summons two energy fields. Odd's paws likewise flare with power and he charges her. Her energy fields clash with Odd's electrified paws, and the fight becomes a matter of push and shove. Odd slowly pushes her toward the edge, with Aelita trying to resist him with all her strength.

Aelita: Odd, I know you're in there somewhere, and I know you don't want to do this. If there is any resistance left in you, I beg you, fight back!

Odd: I don't want to fight back….His expression is wicked.

Aelita: Odd, if I don't deactivate the tower, Ulrich, Yumi, and William will die!

He pushes her further.

Aelita: Please…STOP THIS!

The desperation of the situation has pushed Ulrich up to the top. He feels for the platform, and starts to slowly raise himself up onto it. The boiler is shaking at this point and Yumi and William brace themselves for the worst. One of the gaskets ruptures and a flying metal piece knocks William out. Yumi looks at William in horror, but notices that Ulrich has made it to the top of the platform.

Yumi: Ulrich! You…you did it!

Moriarty makes one last move as Ulrich reaches for the valve.

Moriarty: Very well. But heights aren't the only thing you fear. What if Yumi knew the truth about your father? That he's a criminal?

Ulrich smiles and looks at Yumi.

Yumi: Too late Moriarty.

Moriarty: What?

Ulrich: I told her everything.

Yumi: And he told me the whole truth, not the half truth you were planning on telling me.

Moriarty: He told you the truth…well that's unlike you Ulrich

Ulrich ignores Moriarty and shuts the valve. The pressure finally dies down. Yumi breathes a sigh of relief. William on the other hand is starting to wake up a little bit.

William: Huh…what? What'd I miss?

Ulrich is a little wary on the high platform, but he grabs hold onto one of the bars and keeps up his air of confidence.

Ulrich: Game over Moriarty

Moriarty: Not….quite.

The rusty platform starts to crumple beneath him, and Ulrich starts to lose his footing. He looks at his approaching fall with sheer terror in his eyes.

Moriarty: You didn't honestly think I would let you come down from that platform ALIVE did you?

Ulrich: AHHH!

Yumi: NOO!

The foundations of the platform begin to give out. Ulrich closes his eyes and waits for the end. Yumi in her desperation has noticed a metal pole connecting the ceiling to the floor, only a few feet from the platform.

Yumi: Ulrich, JUMP! JUMP AND SLIDE DOWN THE POLE!

Ulrich: What? Are you out of your mind?

Yumi: Ulrich you don't have a choice!

Ulrich: I'll….I'll never make it!

The platform slides down some more. It starts to creak and groan under the pressure.

Yumi: DO IT! YOU HAVE TO!

Ulrich: I….

Yumi: You can make it!

Ulrich jumps at the last second as the platform comes crashing down. He barely is able to reach the pole. He slides down haphazardly and falls to the floor towards the end of his descent. Ulrich is battered, but alive. He slowly gets up.

Yumi: Ulrich!

William: You're alive!

Ulrich: Owww... remind me never to do that again.

William: No problem. Just untie us.

Yumi: William, he's just been through an awfully traumatic experience to save us. Can you give him a moment to breathe?

William: Fine….three seconds pass. Will you PLEASE untie us?

The situation on Lyoko has not improved. Aelita's resistance is weakening, and she is now only a few feet away from the edge. Odd continues to use his electrified paws to push her closer, and every inch gained in his favor intensifies his sinister look, as if her approaching doom is whetting his appetite. Aelita looks at Odd with despair.

Aelita: Jeremie!

Jeremie: Aelita, NO! Use an energy field, fly away…..DO SOMETHING!

Aelita: I…I can't. He's too strong.

Odd: Die…..

Jeremie watches the screen in horror. He closes his eyes. A tear rolls down his face.

Jeremie: I can't look.

Aelita can now feel the mountain ledge. She gives one last effort to break Odd's grip, but he matches her intensity.

Odd: Moriarty will be pleased to have you…at last.

Aelita: Odd. I'm sorry… I failed you.

Odd licks his lips with a wicked grin on his face.

Aelita: I know you're angry.

Odd's face remains unchanged.

Aelita: You have every right to be.

Odd bares his teeth

Aelita: But your anger is what gives Moriarty power over you.

Odd lowers his eyebrows, as if trying to focus.

Aelita: LET GO!

Aelita's passionate words have stopped Odd. He stares at her, confused.

Aelita: Remember who you are! You are a LYOKO WARRIOR!

Odd's face softens and the electricity in his paws begins to die down.

Aelita: You swore to fight Moriarty, not join him!

Odd lets go of her. He backs up and stares at her. He holds out his paw. He seems to be trying to speak, but can't. Aelita's face brightens with hope. She holds his paw.

Aelita: That's right Odd. It's me….Aelita.

Odd bends over and grimaces, as if he has a headache.

Aelita: That's it Odd. Fight him. Don't let him control you.

Odd is quiet.

Aelita: Odd?

Odd looks up at her with hatred. Aelita leans to the side just as Odd tries to pounce. He misses her and goes over the mountain edge, disappearing into the digital sea. Aelita stares into the chasm with sadness.

Jeremy: Aelita! Are…are you ok?

Aelita: I was so close.

She silently boards the Overwing and flies up towards the tower. Ulrich has succeeded in freeing Yumi and William from their bonds. Both of them stretch and breathe a sigh of relief. Yumi embraces Ulrich.

Yumi: Thank you….

Ulrich blushes a little.

Ulrich: It was…nothing.

Yumi: Facing your fears and saving us is nothing?

Ulrich: Um, well no I guess not. One thing's for sure, I've never been so scared in my life.

Yumi: But you did it. You beat him Ulrich. You beat him TWICE.

William: Yeah great job. I'm glad that's over.

A smoke cloud rises from the shadows of the room and approaches the three of them.

Yumi: I think you spoke too soon!

William picks up a crowbar and approaches the cloud.

William: But we're ready this time.

Yumi: William, no, it's too dangerous! Run!

William: I am not running from him.

The cloud charges William. William swings but misses, and the smoke forces itself through William's mouth into his lungs. He collapses and starts gasping and writhing on the floor.

Yumi: HE CAN'T BREATHE!

William clutches his neck. Yumi grabs him and tries to shake the specter out of him.

Yumi: BREATHE WILLIAM! BREATHE!

Ulrich calls Jeremie

Ulrich: Jeremie, please tell me Aelita is entering the tower!

Jeremie: She's almost there, just hold on a minute.

Ulrich: We don't have a minute! Moriarty is choking William to death!

Jeremie: Hold on, she's entering the tower now.

William is turning blue.

Yumi: Oh it's hopeless! We can't get the specter out of him!

Yumi and Ulrich look at William with a feeling of utter hopelessness. They pray and cross their fingers that Aelita makes it in time. On Lyoko, Aelita enters the code, and the ghost leaves William's lungs. Yumi and Ulrich initially breathe a sigh of relief, but they quickly realize William is still not breathing.

Ulrich: Oh NO! NOW WHAT DO WE DO?

Yumi leans over William.

Yumi: He needs mouth to mouth!

Ulrich: Excuse me?

Yumi: ULRICH THIS IS NO TIME TO BE JEALOUS! HE CAN'T BREATHE!

Ulrich: But…

Yumi: Unless you want to do it?

Ulrich pauses at this thought.

Ulrich: Fine. Do it.

Yumi gives him mouth to mouth. William finally starts to breathe, taking in gasps. When he sees that Yumi is the one who ….."rescued" him, he is….. pleasantly surprised.

Yumi: William, are you ok?

William's gets a dreamy look on his face.

William: I am….now.

Ulrich mutters something under his breath. The scene shifts to the school auditorium, where the entire student body is waiting. The Lyoko warriors sit together towards the back.

Ulrich: What are we doing here again?

Jeremie: Emergency meeting. Mr. Delmas said it was important.

William: Oh, sounds exciting. Not really.

Aelita: Anyone seen Odd's clone?

Odd's clone walks by their row with an even larger group of females than last time.

Odd's Clone: Location: Auditorium. Current occupancy, 712 students and growing. Perusing seating options for optimum location: Third row, left section. Reason for assembly: unknown. Level of interest: minimal.

Girls laugh.

Girl 1: You're so right Odd. Why is Delmas wasting our time?

Girl 2: Who cares? We're not going to listen to him anyway.

Odd and the girls move on. Yumi rolls her eyes.

Yumi: I have now…

Mr. Delmas approaches the microphone on stage and signals for the students to quiet down. Eventually they do so.

Delmas: Good afternoon students. I am sorry to call this meeting at such short notice, but something has come up that requires immediate attention. I don't want to waste time getting to the point, so I'm going to go ahead and give the floor to Mr. Klotz, our school psychologist.

Klotz: Thank you Mr. Delmas. Students I once again apologize. I'm afraid I am the reason for this meeting occurring in the first place. Given my profession, I know you are already burdened with the stress of schoolwork and the other challenges of growing up, and would rather be doing something else right now. However, I'm afraid what I am about to say deeply concerns you all.

He adjusts his glasses and takes a swig of water from a bottle.

As you know, all of you have probably stopped by my office at some point to discuss your personal issues. Some of you did so by choice, others might have been forced to during our Physical Wellness week that we have every year. It is my duty as a psychologist to keep your private problems strictly confidential. However, I do keep notes on my computer for my own purposes in order to help me help you. Therein lies the issue at hand.

He scratches his head.

This morning, I was…horrified to learn that someone had hacked into my computer. I'm afraid that whoever did this gained access to all of my confidential files and downloaded them. Hundreds of students' personal information is now in the hands of a hacker.

Students look at each other with concern.

Needless to say, this was very disturbing. Some of that information is very sensitive. In the wrong hands, it could be very damaging. What's even more disturbing is that whoever did this was able to breach all of my firewalls. I made sure to spare no expense to protect this information using the latest in technology, but they were all breached.

More discussion among the student body.

I take full responsibility for this failure. I thought I had protected it adequately, but I'm afraid I was wrong. If you have any questions at this point, I will answer them now.

Sissi stands up.

Sissi: Do we have any idea who could have done this?

Klotz: For the moment no. Whoever did this was extremely skilled. However, we have reason to believe that whoever did this must be involved in Kadic in some sort of way. I can't think of any reason why a hacker from the outside would want to do this. We suspect that this person must affiliated with Kadic, and also must be very good with computers.

Klotz stares at Jeremie from his position on the stage.

Jeremy: Oh crud…

Aelita: What?

Jeremie: I'll tell you later….

Klotz: To make myself perfectly clear, we are not ruling out the…possibility that this could be the work of a highly gifted but morally inept student here at Kadic. Though I would hope no one in this school would have attempted such a thing, for the sake of the student body as a whole we must take this seriously.

Klotz becomes deadly serious in his expression.

And if ANY student here in this room is responsible, know this. You may consider yourself very clever and above the faculty whom you consider utter and complete idiots, but we WILL find you. This stunt is not amusing or funny in any way. I urge that student, if any student did do this, to come forward and admit it. I guarantee you, the penalty for confession will be far less than if we discover who did it on our own.

Klotz takes one last look at Jeremie.

That is all I have to say. Thank you for your time.

He walks off and Delmas moves back onto the stage.

Delmas: Thank you Mr. Klotz. I'm sure we all appreciated what you had to say. That will be all students, you are dismissed.

The others meet up in the hall following the assembly.

Aelita: Jeremie, what's wrong?

Jeremie grabs Ulrich's shoulders.

Jeremie: Ulrich, did you ever tell Mr. Klotz about your…fear of heights?

Ulrich: What?

Jeremie: Ulrich I know this is a personal question but I need to know. Did you reveal this to him?

Ulrich looks at Jeremie with a confused look on his face.

Ulrich: Well yes, during Wellness week, I did. But I didn't mean to. Jim had told Klotz that I had Vertigo after I …refused to climb the rock wall during gym class. Since he already knew, I mean, yeah…. I told him. Why do you ask?

Jeremie shakes his head.

Jeremie: I was afraid of this.

Yumi: What's wrong?

Jeremie: Here's an interesting question to consider: How did Moriarty know that Ulrich was afraid of heights?

Others think about this.

Aelita: Well he….

Yumi: He already knows so much about us….

William: He could have ….guessed?

Jeremie: Moriarty DIDN'T know. But he does now. He does now because he IS the hacker. He hacked into Klotz's computer, and used this against him. And to make things worse, I think Klotz suspects me. I'm the prime suspect, but Moriarty has all the information.

Others are horrified at this. Jeremie rubs his hands through his hair in frustration. Meanwhile Ulrich is a little confused at the others' reactions.

Ulrich: What are you so worried about? Yes he knows about my fear of heights now, but so what?

Others are still silent, still worried.

Ulrich: I mean, it's not like you guys revealed your deepest fears to Klotz, right?

Jeremie paces. Yumi bites her fingernails in anxiety. Aelita twiddles a pencil in her hand nervously. William scratches the back of his head with a pained expression on his face.

Ulrich: Right?

Their faces tell Ulrich all he needs to know.

Ulrich: Oh we are so dead.

Part 12

The digital sea. The Skid is staring at one of Moriarty's red spheres, deep in the abyss. Aelita is at the helm.

Jeremie: Aelita, what's your status?

Aelita: We're here, but I'm not sure how to proceed. How do we get in?

Jeremie: Hold on…I'll try to see if I can find a code to open it.

He types on his computer.

Ulrich: I can't tell, is this the same one we found Aelita in a while ago?

Aelita: No, this is a new one.

Jeremie: My scan determined that there are numerous spheres scattered throughout the network. How many there are has yet to be determined.

William: What happened to the old one?

Jeremie: It disappeared. Apparently Moriarty didn't want to risk us finding information in it. I also think he didn't like the idea of preserving the site of a humiliating defeat.

He keeps working.

Well, this is….strange.

Aelita: What?

Jeremie: There's no code to this sphere.

Aelita: You mean we can just…fly right in?

Jeremie: Basically.

Yumi: I don't like this. No way Moriarty would make it this easy unless he had something planned for us.

Ulrich: Yumi's right. It has to be a trap.

Jeremie: You're probably right. But if we are going to win this war with Moriarty, we have to take some risks. We can't be afraid to go on the offense. We need to find a way to destroy these spheres.

Aelita: Ok, we're going in.

Jeremie: Be ready for anything. I will stay in touch.

The Skid enters the sphere. The digital sea transforms into a dark expanse. Below them is a never ending maze of rectangular pillars, that constantly shifts with the pillars going up and down. The Lyoko warriors take a glimpse of their surroundings.

Yumi: Well, this is just perfect.

William: We're supposed to go through that? We could easily get lost.

Jeremie: Don't worry about that. I have a fix on your position and I am downloading a holomap of your surroundings. I can direct you.

The Skid goes into a vertical position hovering in midair.

Aelita: Ok, we're disembarking.

The four are virtualized out of the Skid onto the maze floor.

William: Game plan?

Ulrich: Split up. We can cover more ground.

Jeremie: Hmm… let me think. Split up in a maze where Moriarty could easily pick you off one by one. Beep…..Wrong try again.

Aelita: Jeremie's right, it's too risky.

Jeremie: Stay together and stay vigilant. I know this might be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but we have to try. The scan's data indicates that there must be a module in each sphere that connects the sphere to the network conduits in the abyss in the digital sea. If we can find a way to sever them, we destroy the sphere.

Yumi: Ok, we're off.

They start moving through the maze. They wander for a while. The passages constantly shift and change position. The group remains vigilant that the rectangular pillars don't separate them from each other. But Ulrich notices out of the corner of his eye a figure moving through the rectangular spheres to the right of him. When Ulrich turns, the figure is gone, but he starts to wander in that direction. His distance from the group increases.

Jeremie: Ulrich, what are you doing? Stay with the group!

Ulrich turns to reach them, but a wall of rectangular pillars suddenly appears and blocks his path. He's alone

Ulrich: Uh….Jeremie

Jeremie: What part of 'Stay together' did you not understand?

Ulrich: I thought I saw something!

Jeremie: Well that's really not good.

The group is not too far away on the other side.

Yumi: Jeremie, what happened to him?

Jeremie: He got cut off by the maze, but don't worry. I am going to try and lead him back to you. Don't move.

A shadow rushes behind Ulrich and disappears. When Ulrich hears it, he spins around and draws both swords.

Jeremie: Ulrich, get out of there. You're extremely vulnerable in the maze by yourself.

Ulrich stands his ground.

Ulrich: Too late. I'm not alone here.

Jeremie: My monitor is not picking it up. Can you tell what it is?

Ulrich: No, but I have my suspicions.

Jeremie: Keep your eyes peeled. You could be attacked in any direction.

Ulrich: Got it.

He moves slowly and cautiously, looking around him. He turns around suddenly and sees a black tail waving in his face. He looks up and sees Odd glaring at him on top of the pillar.

Ulrich: Oh sh..

Odd pounces. Ulrich tries to strike with his swords, but Odd's claws grow and rip into his chest, devirtualizing him. Ulrich comes out of the scanner.

Ulrich: Jeremie, it's Odd!

Jeremie: Guys you got a problem. Ulrich's been devirtualized, and you're currently being hunted by Moriarty's right-hand man.

The others tense and draw their weapons.

Yumi: That's just what we needed.

William: Any idea where he is?

Jeremie: No, he's invisible on my screen.

Yumi: This is not good. Odd has the advantage here.

Aelita: We should keep moving. If we stay still it will just….

A red electrical blast comes out of nowhere and heads straight for Aelita. But William responds quickly and blocks the blast with his sword, saving her. Odd leaps out of the shadows and lands in front of them.

Yumi: Jeremie…we found him.

Odd charges on all fours for Yumi. Yumi ducks and spins on the ground to avoid him. Odd lands and reverses, aiming for her again. But William anticipates the charge and hits him with the blunt end of his sword like a baseball bat. Odd is knocked down hard, and stares at William with hatred. William positions himself between Odd and the girls.

William: Go! I'll handle him!

Yumi: But William….

William: Don't argue! You two need to find the command module! I'll hold him off as long as I can.

Aelita: He's right, let's go.

Aelita and Yumi continue in the maze. William and Odd are left alone. Odd growls.

William: Your move….

Odd lunges, leaping off a pillar with claws extended. William ducks. Odd turns and fires laser arrows at him. William blocks a few, but one hits him on the shoulder, and he drops his sword in pain. Odd stands on two legs and fires a devastating electric blast that devirtualizes William. Meanwhile Yumi and Aelita have stumbled upon a central plaza of sorts in the maze. In the middle is a small podium-like pillar containing a virtual panel.

Yumi: This must be it.

Jeremie: Let me see….hmm…I think you're right. There is a large amount of quantum energy flowing to this site. I am 98 percent sure this is it.

Yumi expands her fans ready to strike.

Yumi: Say no more, it's toast.

Jeremie: Wait! Don't do it!

Yumi: Why not?

Jeremie: This module is probably connected to a large server or computer on Earth. Maybe we can learn what Moriarty is planning before we take care of this sphere.

Aelita approaches the panel and gets to work.

Aelita: Alright Jeremie, I'm in…just give me a few minutes. I'll try to send this data to you.

Yumi hears a growl behind her.

Yumi: Aelita, I'd suggest you hurry. I don't think William had much luck with Odd.

Aelita: Try to hold him off. There is so much data to process.

Odd appears on the scene, staring down at Yumi from atop one of the pillars.

Yumi: No promises.

Odd jumps onto the maze surface. Yumi holds out her hand and begins to use her telekinesis powers. A red glow appears around the pillars, and they begin to collapse around him. Odd's incredible agility allows him to escape the attack. Yumi picks up one of the pillars with her mind and throws it toward Odd, but Odd once again is able to dodge it. Odd gets on top of the pile of fallen pillars and lunges. Yumi lets one of her fans fly. It cuts Odd's side and he goes down to the ground. The fan returns to Yumi's hand. Odd bares his teeth. Aelita begins to make some progress, sort of.

Aelita: Jeremie, I think I've found something, but it's in a completely different language.

Jeremie looks at it from his screen.

Jeremie: I think it's….Arabic.

Aelita: Do you know how to translate it?

Jeremie: I can't, but if you send me the data, the computer might be able to.

Yumi is blocking Odd's laser arrows with her fans.

Yumi: Guys, not trying to rush you or anything but….

Aelita: Just give me a few more seconds Yumi. I'm almost done.

Yumi: I may not have a few more seconds!

Odd is circling Yumi, waiting to strike. Yumi fires both of her fans at him. Odd jumps and grabs them and throws them right back at her. Her own fans devirtualize her on impact.

Aelita: I'm done Jeremie! I'm sending it to you now!

Jeremie: Ok I have it! Now destroy the module! Odd's coming!

Aelita sees Odd charging straight for her. Aelita fires an energy field at the pillar, destroying it. The entire maze begins to shake. Some of the pillars begin to fall into the expanse. Odd falls through a hole and disappears.

Aelita: Jeremie! The sphere is collapsing, and I'll never make it to the Skid in time!

Jeremie: No problem.

The Skid approaches Aelita.

Jeremie: I have it on autopilot.

Aelita is digitized back into the Skid and flies out. As she enters the digital sea, the sphere collapses in on itself behind her. Back at the lab, Jeremy and the others look at the data.

Jeremie: Well, this mission has answered one question, but it has raised so many others.

Ulrich: Meaning?...

Jeremie: We now know how to destroy Moriarty's spheres. But we still don't know WHAT he is doing with them.

William: If we know how to take them out, does it matter?

Jeremie: I wish it were that simple. So far my scan has picked up only a couple of spheres. But Xana had hundreds of replicas. There's nothing stopping Moriarty from doing the same, unless my theory that he is not yet that powerful is correct.

Aelita: If we are going to stop him, we need to know what he is planning.

Jeremie: Precisely.

Yumi: What about the multi-agent program? If we can get that modified, we can take care of Moriarty for good, right?

Jeremie: Once again, not as easy as it sounds. Xana was a multi-agent system himself, so programming another multi-agent system to destroy him was actually not that difficult. But Moriarty is a virtual being. I am no longer attacking files and data, I am attacking virtualized molecules, an intellectual entity with complex behavioral traits. It's hard enough to destroy an artificial intelligence. Bringing down an actual human being who is more than capable of counterattacking my every move using the same system I used with Xana is close to impossible. If we are going to defeat Moriarty that way, I'm going to need a lot more data from the spheres.

Ulrich: In other words, we're in here for the long haul.

Yumi: What about the data you got from the labyrinth?

Jeremie: As soon as the computer can translate it, we may have an idea of Moriarty's overarching plan.

Ulrich: Translate it? Is it encoded?

Jeremie: Yes, but that was easy to get around. The real problem is that I can't read Arabic.

William: Why did the sphere have Arabic in it?

Jeremie: If I knew that, I wouldn't need the computer to translate it now would I?

Aelita: The point is…we might be fighting Moriarty for quite a while.

William: I just wish we could go ahead and destroy him already.

Aelita: May I remind you that we need to get Odd back first?

William is a little embarrassed at this reminder.

William: Uh…right. I of all people should know that.

Jeremie: Well that's it for now. Go get some rest. We could try another mission tomorrow night.

Yumi: Do you mind if we take that day off?

Jeremie: Do you have plans?

Yumi: Yes, isn't that right Ulrich?

Ulrich gets a deer in the headlights look.

Ulrich: Uhh…

Yumi: Don't tell me you forgot….

Ulrich: No of course I didn't…I just…well it might have slipped my mind.

Yumi: You forgot, didn't you?

Ulrich: I got nothing. Help me out here.

Yumi: Give it a second…

Ulrich's face brightens with realization.

Ulrich: Oh right! Your grandfather is visiting from uh…Yosaka.

Yumi: It's Osaka. And yes he is coming. And you are eating dinner with us tomorrow night because he wants to meet you.

Ulrich: Well that's good, right?

Yumi gets a pained expression on her face.

Yumi: Let's uh…hope so. All I know for certain is that he wants to introduce you to the art of Shrangi-Sau.

Ulrich: What does that mean?

Yumi: It means my boyfriend is an idiot and has the memory of a gnat.

She walks towards the elevator.

Ulrich: You made up that Shangri-Sau thing, didn't you?

She closes the elevator door. William coughs.

William: Doghouse.

Aelita chuckles.

Ulrich: Shut up.

Later that night Jeremie is walking past the library. Mr. Klotz is walking in his direction from the opposite way.

Klotz: Jeremie, just who I wanted to see. Can we…talk for a minute?

Jeremie gives him an ugly look.

Jeremie: I know what you are going to say, and I'm not interested. I didn't do it…goodbye.

Klotz: Nothing gets past you does it Jeremie?

Jeremie: Sometimes it does. It helps if you don't give me the stink eye in the middle of assembly.

Klotz: Jeremie I wanted to apologize. I do admit you are a suspect but only because of your strong skills with computers. As for the assembly, I was upset because so many students were at risk and I blamed myself. Expressing my anger at you was very immature.

Jeremie: Can't argue with you there.

Klotz: I don't want to create enmity between us, but for the sake of all the students, I must take every possibility seriously.

Jeremie: Ok, go on.

Klotz: My point is…if there is anything troubling you, if someone hurt you that might have caused you to make a terrible mista….

Jeremie: I'm done.

He starts to walk away. Klotz stares at him with contempt.

Klotz: Your behavior does not suggest an innocent conscience, Jeremie.

Jeremie: No it suggests disgust at being accused of something I didn't do. I thought a doctorate in psychology would have at least taught you that much.

He storms off down the hallway. Meanwhile he runs into Odd's clone and a couple of his girls recently returned from some outing. The girls are giggling.

Girl 1: Did you have fun Odd?

Odd's Clone: Processing response. Moving spectral appendages in a most fervent manner in a windowless environment with disorienting lights and sounds with other human subjects was very….stimulating.

Other girls laugh.

Girl 1: Oh Odd.

Girl 2: Let's do it again!

Girl 3: What if Delmas catches us next time?

Odd's Clone: Reason for concern: Minimal. Recently acquired position as mathematics tutor to female subject Elizabeth Delmas grants us impunity.

Girl 2: Way to go Odd! We can do whatever we want!

Girl 4: What if Sissi doesn't need you to be her math tutor anymore?

Odd's Clone: Likelihood of said concern occurring is exactly 0.73%.

Girls laugh again. Herb and Nicholas come down the stairs and approach Odd's clone.

Nicholas: Well if it isn't Mr. Sparky Fingers.

Odd's Clone: Statement ludicrous. Name has never been and never will be "Mr. Sparky Fingers"

Laughing girls.

Herb: I wonder if your girls would like you so much if they knew that you're a freak who can shoot electricity from his hands.

Girl 2: What's he talking about?

Odd's Clone: Male subject's assertion violates all semblance of scientific logic.

Herb: Oh so now I'm the stupid one?

Odd's Clone: Affirmative.

Nicholas: I know, let's make him show them the truth!

Herb: Yeah, he'll only show them if we take him on.

Odd's Clone: Diagnosis altered. Verbal remarks of male subjects suggest the onset of insanity.

Nicholas: That's it!

Nicholas takes a swing, but Odd's clone grabs his fist, bends it back and throws him like a rag doll against the wall. Herb runs away, and Nicholas, once he slowly gets up, takes off as well. Girls are swooning at such a performance

Girl 4: Wow, you showed them!

Girl 2: For a scrawny guy, you sure are strong!

Odd's Clone: Correction needed. Body type: svelte. High metabolism creates lean body frame.

They walk up the stairs as Jeremie stares from the side of the hallway unnoticed. He scratches his head.

Jeremie: Just when I thought my clone's success with girls couldn't get any weirder.

The next night Ulrich is eating dinner with the Ishiyamas. Yumi and Ulrich are sitting next to each other, with Hiroki on the end. To the left of Yumi are her mom and dad. Seated across from Ulrich is a bald, old Japanese man whose facial expression indicates that he may not be completely there. He is entertaining Hiroki with a rather tall tale.

Grandpa: I tell you Hiroki, it was tough growing up right after World War ІІ. The radiation from Hiroshima and Nagasaki was so bad, I started to grow a third arm!

Hiroki laughs.

Yumi's Dad: Father….

Grandpa: But I got better…

Yumi's Dad: Father, you grew up in Sendai, very far away from both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Grandpa: You'd be surprised son. Haven't you heard how wind can spread radiation a great distance? My younger sister was born with a third eye!

Ulrich whispers to Yumi.

Ulrich: Is he kidding or is he just senile?

Yumi: We can never tell.

Grandpa: My, my, my. What are you two discussing?

They lean away from each other.

Ulrich: Nothing important Mr. Ishiyama.

Grandpa: Hmm….so you're the French boy who's caught my daughter's eye?

Ulrich: Uh….last time I checked.

Grandpa: Well, would you kindly give it back? No offense, but you're not exactly what I had in mind.

Ulrich stares at him in disbelief that he would make such a blunt statement. Yumi's mom and dad don't take it well either. Yumi rolls her eyes.

Yumi's Dad: Father, we talked about this.

Grandpa: I'm sorry, but the idea of my granddaughter with a European boy…..

Yumi: Grandpa!

Yumi's Dad: There shall be no racial superiority at this table, do I make myself clear?

Yumi's Mom: You don't even know the boy. He's always been so polite and respectful.

Yumi leans to Ulrich.

Yumi: Your family isn't the only one who can be racist around here.

Ulrich: Good to know.

Grandpa: That may be. But we come from a long and proud line of samurai…

Yumi's dad slaps his forehead.

Yumi's Dad: Oh not this nonsense again…

Grandpa: Don't deny your heritage son. The point being, she needs a warrior. A Japanese warrior.

Yumi's Mom: We moved to France. What did you expect would happen? It's not like there are that many here in Paris.

Grandpa: Well, who's fault is that?

Ulrich leans to Yumi.

Ulrich: Is he serious about all of this?

Yumi: Not really. He probably thinks you're ok. He just insists on being this way.

Yumi's Dad: And I suppose you think you fulfilled that role with my mother?

Grandpa: Son, you know as well as I do that I didn't need to. Your mother was quite the warrior on her own. Why the day we met…

Yumi's family exasperates, except for Hiroki. They've heard this story before.

Grandpa: I was in Tokyo teaching Jujutsu downtown. I was a relatively new master, and the other masters enjoyed putting me in…difficult situations. One day, a woman, a very attractive woman, came in. Back then, it was shocking for any woman to make the independent and bold move of learning a martial art traditional reserved for men. The other masters tried to humiliate me by making me spar her to teach her a few moves. It was very awkward. It was a good thing I was wearing loose-fitting pants that day…

Yumi's mom and dad glare at him.

Yumi's Dad: Father!

Yumi's Mom: You'll have to excuse him Ulrich. Ever since his stroke he's well….lost his filter.

Grandpa: Oh yes…please excuse the senile old man.

Yumi's Dad: Don't give him too much credit dear. He had a problem with this BEFORE the stroke.

Grandpa: May I continue?

Yumi's Dad: You're going to anyway.

Grandpa: So anyway, I started to spar her, and she defeated me! I have never seen a woman with such strength! I was on the mat rather quickly. Humiliated, I stared up at her as she lay on top of me with her hands on my shoulders. Then I noticed how her face immediately went red. The masters never let me forget that defeat. I had lost my honor, my dignity, and self-respect, but I didn't care, because at that moment….I knew I had her.

Ulrich and Yumi stare at each other and blush. Both of them are thinking the same thing.

Hiroki: Hey Yumi, isn't that the same way you and Ulrich met?

Yumi: Um no…Hiroki…that's not …exactly what happened.

Yumi's mom and dad want to ask about this, but the grandfather's rant saves them.

Grandpa: Anyway the rest is history. We got married. We continued to spar on our own at times. She would always win and I would end up on the floor as usual. Of course often times one thing would lead to another and then nine months later your sister…..

Yumi's father slams down his fork.

Yumi's Dad: FATHER!

Yumi, Ulrich, and Hiroki can't help but laughing.

Grandpa: Oh did I do it again? Oops. Well she was a great woman. I was truly devastated when she passed on. The point is…this family needs to continue its line of warriors, of nobility. Something I'm sure Ulrich here, nothing personal boy, doesn't have.

Ulrich gets up from the table.

Ulrich: I'll have you know both sides of family are descended from French and German knights and my family owns…

Yumi: Ulrich!

Ulrich realizes he almost revealed the secret of his family's wealth and power.

Ulrich: Uh…I mean…never mind.

He sits down.

Grandpa: Even among Europeans, the French aren't exactly known for being warriors.

Ulrich is getting annoyed.

Yumi's Dad: I give up…

Hiroki: But grandpa, Ulrich does know how to fight! He is an expert in Pencak Silat. He trains with Yumi a lot!

Ulrich beams with this statement.

Grandpa: Is that so?

Ulrich: Yes sir….

Grandpa: Hmm… my apologies. But a true samurai knows to always keep his sword in his sheath.

Everyone at the table stares at him in confusion.

Hiroki: Does that mean that a true warrior only fights when absolutely necessary?

Grandpa has a rather mischievous look on his face.

Grandpa: Sure….let's go with that...

Yumi and Ulrich realize what he is talking about and are horrified. Ulrich spits out his drink and Yumi almost chokes on a piece of food. Both of them turn beet red. Yumi's mom and dad seethe with anger.

Yumi's Dad: FATHER!

Grandpa: Of course, when it is the proper time, he unleashes it and waves it around proudly!

Ulrich buries his face in the tablecloth. Yumi buries her face in her hands in embarrassment. Hiroki laughs hysterically.

Yumi's Dad: FATHER THAT IS ENOUGH!

Yumi's Mom: This isn't happening…this isn't happening.

Grandpa: And a true Japanese woman knows that it is not the length of the sword that counts, but in the strength in which he yields it!

Yumi nearly falls out of her chair with this last statement.

Yumi's Dad: Father if you do not learn how to control your mouth, I will control it for you!

Grandpa: Bahh! I'm just about dead anyway. What do I care? Besides, all of the kids at the table are old enough to hear this. What are you Hiroki, 15?

Hiroki: I'm still eleven!

Grandpa: Ah close enough.

Yumi's Mom: Remind me when you are planning on leaving…

Grandpa: Hmm let's see, I got here yesterday, so…oh yes…never.

Everyone at the table is shocked.

Yumi's Mom: Excuse me?

Grandpa: I'm moving in with you!

Yumi's Mom: What?

Grandpa: Your husband said it was ok…

Yumi's Mom glares at Yumi's Dad.

Yumi's Dad: Well, I might have…accidentally..

Yumi's Mom: Honey, can we talk for a moment….OUTSIDE?

Yumi's Dad hangs his head.

Yumi's Dad: Yes dear…

They leave. Grandpa turns to Hiroki.

Grandpa: So Hiroki, are you having any luck with the ladies?

Hiroki: Well, not really. You see, I have a crush on this girl named Milly.

Grandpa: I see. I could give you a few tips on how to …properly court her.

Yumi's mom yells from outside the room.

Yumi's Mom: NO YOU WILL NOT!

Grandpa whispers to Hiroki.

Grandpa: We'll talk later.

Yumi's mom and dad return. Yumi's dad has the classic "My wife is going to kill me after this" look. Both sit down.

Yumi's Dad: Father, we have talked it over and we believe it would be best…

Grandpa: Oh I knew it! You're going to leave an old man who's slowly losing his mind to fend for himself and die alone!

Yumi's Dad: You can stay….

Grandpa: What? Oh…why thank you. But there must be a catch, correct?

Yumi's Mom: Actually there are several catches. Thirty-six to be exact. But we will go into that later.

Grandpa: Only thirty-six? My, my you've lost your touch.

Yumi's Mom: Don't….push it.

Yumi's dad is eager to change the subject.

Yumi's Dad: So Ulrich, we were wondering when we get to meet your parents.

Ulrich stops what he's doing.

Ulrich: Uh…well you see…

Yumi's Mom: Yes, it seems that you two only come to our house. How come Yumi has never gone to yours?

Ulrich: Uh….

Yumi: His family…lives in Amiens. It's kind of out of the way.

Ulrich: Yeah that's it.

Yumi's Dad: Well, I suppose that makes sense.

Yumi's Mom: But that's no reason for us to never meet them. Amiens is not too far away.

Yumi: Mom, you can't expect Ulrich's parents to…

Yumi's Dad: Maybe Yumi could visit for the weekend.

Ulrich: Oh, Mr. Ishiyama, I'm sure you don't…

Yumi's Dad: Oh I understand…you think I hate the idea of Yumi staying at your house. Not to worry Ulrich, I trust you.

Yumi: Dad…

Grandpa: That is the exact opposite of what my father-in-law told me.

Yumi's Mom: That's a great idea, honey.

Ulrich: Mr. and Mrs. Ishiyama, I appreciate what you're saying but…

Yumi's Dad: Well when ARE we going to meet them then Ulrich? We haven't heard anything about them.

Ulrich: I know but…

Yumi's Mom: Don't you think it's rather strange that Yumi hasn't mentioned anything about them, honey?

Yumi's Dad: Yes…I don't mean to be rude Ulrich, but it seems like your parents haven't acknowledged her.

Ulrich: Uh…

Yumi thinks of something to save the situation.

Yumi: That's not true. Why only a couple of days ago they did offer to let me stay at their house during the holidays.

Ulrich: Yumi….

Yumi: Isn't that RIGHT, Ulrich?

Ulrich: Uh yeah, they….. did.

Yumi's Mom: Oh that's great!

Grandpa: Staying at a lover's house is acceptable now? Why wasn't I born in this generation?

Yumi's Dad: Why didn't you tell us this Yumi?

Yumi: I thought you would say no.

Yumi's Mom: This is wonderful! You're going to have to tell us all about them.

Yumi: Well, I'm not sure they…

Ulrich: Yumi, can I talk to you for a second?

Yumi: Will you excuse us?

The parents give their consent. They walk into the hall out of earshot.

Ulrich: Yumi, what are you doing?

Yumi: I'm sorry, but I had to say something!

Ulrich: Now they are expecting you to come to my house!

Yumi: I'll find a way to cover it later.

Ulrich: Oh really? How? They seem very persistent.

Yumi: Hey, don't blame me. You froze out there. I had no choice!

Ulrich: What was I supposed to say? I can't just go out and say my parents are racist!

Yumi: Well how long do you plan on hiding the truth? You can't cover it up forever.

Ulrich: No, but I wasn't expecting to have to do it this early!

Yumi: Well how am I supposed to follow your schedule?

Ulrich: It would help if you people weren't so pushy!

Yumi's mouth drops. She glares at him.

Yumi: You….PEOPLE? You mean MY PEOPLE? The Japanese?

Ulrich quickly tries to correct himself.

Ulrich: Yumi…I'm sorry, that…that's not what I meant.

Yumi: Is that what you think of my family?

Ulrich: No, not at all…

Yumi: YOU SOUND JUST LIKE YOUR DAD!

Ulrich backs up and looks at her like he's been punched in the gut. Yumi immediately realizes she went too far.

Yumi: Ulrich…I didn't mean it…I was just...

Ulrich goes to the door.

Yumi: Ulrich wait!

He runs out the door. Yumi punches the wall in frustration and hangs her head. She goes back to the table. Her family immediately senses something wrong. Even her grandpa looks concerned.

Yumi's Mom: Yumi, where's….?

Yumi's Dad: Honey…not now.

Yumi sits down and doesn't say a word the rest of the night. The next morning, Jeremie wakes up to hear a knocking at his door. He opens to see Odd's clone giving him a military salute. He is covered in lipstick kiss marks, and his hair is disheveled.

Jeremie: What in the world happened to…?

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity possesses news vital to mission.

Jeremie: What happened to you?

Odd's Clone: Question irrelevant.

Jeremie: No it is relevant. What happened to you?

Odd's Clone: Creator Jeremy Belpois underestimated sex appeal of spectral entity…

Jeremie: Ok….that's enough…

Odd's Clone: Permission to report.

Jeremie: Please…

Odd's Clone: Upon returning to campus at exactly 3:45 a.m…

Jeremie: 3:45!

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity discovered roommate Ulrich Stern was not present…

Jeremie: Wait….Ulrich's….gone?

Odd's Clone: Affirmative.

Jeremie: Why didn't you tell me earlier?

Odd's Clone: Processing question: Did not want to disturb sleep of Creator.

Jeremie: Oh this is REALLY BAD!

He calls Aelita and William, who quickly agree to come to his room. As they come into the room, Jeremy brings up the super scan screen, which confirms an activated tower in the Desert Region.

Aelita: Any sign of him?

Jeremie: No…

William: Yumi is not going to be happy.

Aelita: Have you told her?

Jeremie: I sent her a text message telling her to come as soon as possible. I didn't want to tell her…just yet. It should be done in person.

A few minutes later she comes in. She is clearly still distressed from last night's events, but she's doing her best to hide it.

Yumi: What's the problem?

All of them stare at her and pause.

Jeremie: Yumi, when did Ulrich leave your house last night?

Yumi stares at the others in confusion.

Yumi: Around nine…why?

Jeremie: Well, you see…..he never came home.

Her eyes go wide.

Yumi: WHAT?

Jeremie: Moriarty's activated a tower as well. I'd like to say these two events are coincidences, but my better judgment tells me otherwise.

Yumi: No….

Jeremie: We need to move fast…Moriarty has shown that he has no problem getting rid of Ulrich for good.

Yumi: I have to find him!

Moriarty: And that you shall….

Others spin around in shock to see Moriarty's symbol on Jeremie's computer.

Jeremie: Moriarty….

Moriarty: Oh good the gang's all here…but wait…where's Ulrich?

Yumi: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HIM?

Moriarty: What have I done? Oh Yumi, how could you make such an outrageously correct accusation?

Yumi: WHERE IS HE?

Moriarty: In the woods. And…he's not looking so good.

Moriarty shows a clip of Ulrich in the woods crawling on his stomach. To say that he looks awful would be an understatement. He is badly wounded, and seems to be trying to get away from an unseen attacker. He weakly cries out.

Ulrich: Someone…help…please

Yumi: ULRICH!

Aelita: What has he done to him?

William: Whatever he did, it doesn't look like Ulrich can take much more of it.

Moriarty: So Yumi, it looks like the roles are reversed. The damsel has to save the prince in distress.

Yumi: I'm going after him!

Jeremie: Yumi wait!

She doesn't.

Moriarty: Oh your little romances make my job SO much easier.

Jeremie: It's her turn, isn't it?

Moriarty: Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

Aelita: We need to hurry. Ulrich won't last much longer, and there's no telling what horrible things Moriarty will do to Yumi.

Moriarty: I think I've outdone myself this time.

Jeremie: Will you get off my computer already?

Moriarty: Why? It's quite comfortable here.

William approaches the computer, reaches under the desk and unplugs his computer. He tosses the extension cord with a playful look on his face. William then gets a text. (Moriarty: Oh now that was just RUDE)

Yumi runs into the woods, calling for Ulrich. She looks desperately for him, but with no luck. Finally she hears a weak reply to her calls, and heads in that direction. She sees Ulrich in a distant clearing, on top of a slight rise on a boulder. Above that small rise is a much larger one. Yumi quickly deduces that Ulrich had a very bad fall. She runs to him.

Yumi: ULRICH!

Ulrich: Yumi…wait.

Yumi does not heed his warning, and runs right into Moriarty's trap. Out of the tall grass around the rise emerges several dozen snakes, all slithering towards her. Yumi freezes and turns white. She backs up and begins to shake.

Yumi: No….

A smoke cloud emerges from the shadows.

Moriarty: You knew this day would come…

Yumi: No… anything but this!

Moriarty: Honestly Yumi…didn't you see this coming?

Yumi backs up against a tree and shakes with terror.

Moriarty: The common adder. Its bite is venomous. Usually they won't risk a confrontation with humans.

One of the snakes gets close enough so Yumi can see the Moriarty symbol in its eye.

Moriarty: Of course I took care of that.

Yumi: I…hate…snakes.

Moriarty: Oh yes I know. Your school psychologist's notes were ever so helpful. Would you like to play a game, Yumi?

Yumi shakes.

Yumi: No! I beg you PLEASE!

Moriarty: But my dear Yumi, you don't have a choice. Might I suggest you look at Ulrich's ankle?

Yumi looks at Ulrich, who is weakly trying to get up. She notices two distinctive fang marks in his ankle. The bite marks are swollen and filled with pus.

Yumi: You didn't….

Moriarty: I did. That bite mark is several hours old. The venom's coursing through his bloodstream as we speak. He won't last much longer. He needs immediate medical attention.

Snakes stop approaching Yumi and form a wall around the rise.

Moriarty: Of course, you have to REACH him first, and I'm afraid my snake friends are not going to be too cooperative in that regard.

The snakes hiss at her and she cringes.

Moriarty: Enough small talk. It's time to play the game "How much do you love?"

Yumi remains glued to the tree in terror.

Moriarty: Can you overcome your worst nightmare to save him?

William and Aelita are virtualized onto the Desert Sector. Both look very determined.

Jeremie: The tower is directly south of your position.

William: Have you called Yumi? Did you warn her?

Jeremie: I tried to William, but she won't answer. It's likely she doesn't need my warning at this point. She already knows.

William: Then we have no time to lose…

Jeremie: I'm sending you vehicles.

Overwing appears.

William: Uh Jeremie…no offense, but you never designed me a vehicle.

Jeremie: Oh….I never realized that. Well I guess I could send you another vehicle.

Overboard materializes. William looks at it with hesitation.

William: Jeremie, I can't use that.

Jeremie: William, I know you're a beginner, but the controls are very simple to use and….

William: No I mean, I can't use the Overboard. It's Odd's.

Jeremie: Well, he's not exactly using it…

William: No. It wouldn't be right.

Jeremie: But William…

William: I will not take the vehicle of a…fallen comrade.

Jeremie ponders this. Aelita regards this decision with admiration.

Jeremie: Ok. What about the Overbike?

William: Ulrich wouldn't be too happy. But he'll get over it.

Jeremie: Alright.

Overboard disappears and Overbike appears.

Jeremie: I'll program a vehicle for you when I have the time.

William: Thanks.

They speed off towards the tower. After a short drive, they run across a line of Tigers lurking around rocky crests near the activated tower. Both stop to assess the situation. Emerging from the front of the pack is Odd, who is walking on all fours among the tigers like the king of a lion pride. The Tigers seem to look at Odd, waiting for orders. Aelita and William disembark from their vehicles.

Aelita: How are we going to get around that?

William: Take to the air and try to find a way around the tigers. I'll handle Odd.

Aelita: You said that last time.

William: I'll do better THIS time. I have to. Lives are at stake.

William raises his sword.

Aelita: Wait, one more thing.

William: What?

Aelita: Last time I was able to get the real Odd to come through. Maybe you can bring him back. You were a slave once too. Maybe you can strike a chord with him that I can't.

William ponders this.

William: Noted.

Aelita's wings sprout and she takes off to the right of the tigers. Odd growls at his pack and half the tigers go after Aelita. A second growl sends the rest of the tigers after William. Odd slinks away to chase Aelita. William stands his ground and cuts the first pouncing tiger in half as a fierce battle begins. Back in the woods, Yumi remains motionless as the line of snakes continue to haunt her.

Moriarty: We could stay here all day Yumi if you want. I don't mind. Of course, you'll lose Ulrich.

Sweat goes down Yumi's brow.

Yumi: You don't…have to remind me.

One of the snakes gets uncomfortably close and bears its fangs. Yumi panics and takes off her boot, throwing it at the snake.

Moriarty: Well that was really stupid. Now you're ankle is wide open for one of my friends to sink its teeth in.

Yumi curses her stupidity. They snakes watch her every move, glaring with hate.

Moriarty: Now how did that old story go? 'I will put enmity between you and the woman.' Hmm… how fitting.

Ulrich feebly reaches out to Yumi.

Ulrich: Yumi…you can do it….don't….be afraid.

Yumi: Ulrich save your strength!

Moriarty: This is getting boring. Why don't I heat it up a notch?

One of the snakes approaches Yumi and begins to crawl up her leg. Yumi loses all control and shakes her leg. She reaches in and throws it back, narrowly avoiding getting bitten. She whimpers with fear. She lowers herself into a squat position against the tree. She holds her hands over her head and closes her eyes, trying to block out the situation.

Moriarty: How pathetic. You know Yumi, you pretend to be the tough heroine of the group. That's exactly what you want Ulrich to believe.

Yumi: Stop…

Moriarty: But even after he's saved you from every feasible danger, even confronting his dreaded fear of heights, you can't do the same for him this one time.

Yumi: Enough…

Moriarty: Though you pretend to be otherwise, you and I both know that you're nothing…but a scared…little girl.

Yumi: Please…

Moriarty: And this time…daddy isn't here to save you.

A tear goes down Yumi's eye.

Ulrich: What…what's he talking about?

Yumi's mind goes back to a deep, dark, terrible memory. Her thoughts go back several years ago, when she still lived in Japan. Her family is on a mountainous highway in the steep and rocky Japanese countryside. Yumi is six and her brother Hiroki is only two. In the backseat, Hiroki is screaming his brains out. Yumi covers her ears, and both mom and dad seem like they are about to lose their mind.

Yumi: Daddy…..Hiroki won't stop screaming!

Hiroki intensifies his volume.

Yumi's Dad: I AM AWARE OF THAT YUMI!

Yumi's Mom: For the love of God, will you PLEASE stop for directions?

Yumi's Dad: No, I'm telling you, we're almost to Minami Alps National Park! We just took a few wrong turns is all.

Yumi's Mom: You don't know where you're going!

Yumi's Dad: I DO know where I am going! I've been there before.

Yumi's Mom: When you were ten!

Yumi's Dad: I remember it like it was yesterday!

Yumi's Mom: You mean like you remembered our anniversary?

Yumi's Dad: Oh I forget ONE TIME, and you…

Hiroki: WAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Yumi: My ears hurt!

Yumi's Mom: We feel your pain honey.

Yumi: Mommy, Hiroki won't stop screaming, and I have to go potty!

Yumi's Mom: Do you hear that? Now Yumi has to use the restroom! Will you please stop this car already?

Yumi's Dad: Alright, ALRIGHT! There is a rest area a mile from here. I will stop there.

Yumi's Mom: And….?

Yumi's Dad: And ask for directions….

A few minutes after they stop at the rest area, the family tries to regain its bearings. Yumi's mom holds Hiroki, who's calmed down at this point, while Yumi's dad holds a map. Yumi wanders unmonitored in the parking lot, trying to entertain herself.

Yumi's Dad: This map makes no sense!

Yumi's Mom: Maybe it would be better to talk to someone…

Yumi's Dad: Like who?

Yumi's Mom: What about those American tourists over there?

Yumi's Dad: But I hardly know any English…

Yumi's Mom: What about that conference you went to in San Francisco?

Yumi's Dad: That was so long ago, and I barely knew any English then.

Yumi's Mom: Well, maybe they speak Japanese.

Yumi's Dad: And maybe your mother will stop berating me at every given opportunity! Besides, how would they know my country better than me?

Yumi's Mom: Well maybe they have a better map!

While Yumi's parents continue to argue, Yumi sees a colorful butterfly. She is mesmerized by it. As it starts to fly away, Yumi follows it, leading her dangerously close to a steep rocky drop off at the edge of the parking lot leading into the forest. She trips and rolls down the slope. She screams. Yumi's parents stop what they are doing.

Yumi's Dad: OH NO!

Yumi's Mom: YUMI! MY BABY!

They rush to the edge. Yumi has landed on the forest floor near some old logs. Yumi's Dad gingerly tries to get down the slope to get to her.

Yumi's Mom: OH PLEASE HURRY!

Yumi looks around her. A large amount of snakes begins to crawl out of the pile of old logs. They swarm around her, slithering all over her. They are not poisonous and not trying to hurt her, they were only disturbed by her fall. But to a six-year old girl, the scene is traumatizing. She screams as the snakes surround her.

Yumi: DADDY!

Yumi's dad arrives. He grabs a stick and beats the snakes away.

Yumi's Dad: Get away from my daughter!

The snakes retreat. Yumi's dad picks her up. She is crying hysterically.

Yumi's Dad: Yumi, are you ok? ….It's over honey…it's over. They can't hurt you anymore.

Yumi comes back to reality. More tears come down her cheek.

Moriarty: Isn't it just wonderful how our past comes back to haunt us?

Yumi: Why…why me?

Moriarty: The memory of that day is still branded into your memory.

Yumi shuts her eyes tightly.

Moriarty: And here we are, nine years later, with the life of your man hanging in the balance because you are afraid.

Ulrich tries to get up, but collapses. He is pale as a ghost, and begins to cough violently.

Yumi: ULRICH!

She looks for an opening or weakness in the snake line. She edges over to the right, but the snakes match her move. She moves to the left with the same result. She breathes heavily.

Moriarty: There is no easy way out of this one Yumi. You're going to have to charge head on to save him.

William has finished his last tiger. He pauses for a moment.

Jeremie: William, we got a problem. Odd is closing in on Aelita.

William: Got it.

He gets on the Overbike and floors it. He quickly goes to aerial mode and flies above the desert surface. In the distance, he sees Aelita flying away from the chasing tigers. She destroys a couple with her energy fields, but they keep up the pursuit. Odd is following as well, on a dark and red version of an Overboard with Moriarty's symbol branded on the front. Odd closes in with Aelita unaware of the danger. William speeds up toward Odd and rams into him with the Overbike, causing Odd to fall to the desert floor. Aelita continues on her way to the tower unharmed, with the tigers still following but starting to lose her. William approaches Odd, who is getting up. Odd turns to William with beastlike rage. Odd fires several laser arrows, which William blocks. He extends his arms and unleashes a massive electrical blast. William braces himself and swings his sword, deflecting the blast back to Odd. Odd is surprised and barely avoids getting hit. Both of them circle each other. Odd begins to speak in his demonic voice.

Odd: So it comes to this. Two slaves to powerful Lyoko entities locked in pitched combat.

William: Former….slave.

Odd: That's…debatable.

William draws his sword.

William: I disagree.

Odd: I suppose we can agree to disagree. Or agree to tear each other to shreds. Either one.

He charges at William. William swings but Odd slides underneath the massive blade and takes out William's legs. Odd tries to finish William off but he kicks Odd backward with both legs. William quickly gets up and charges Odd. Odd's hands spark with power and he deflects William's sword. They both start to push and shove.

Odd: Just think, while you're wasting your time with me, Ulrich and Yumi are dying.

William: Aelita will stop you!

Odd: True, but it will be too late. Just wait till Jeremie gets my little present.

Both continue to struggle

William: Odd, don't do this. You can break Moriarty's grip.

Odd: Oh really. Were you so lucky?

William: I was once. Once I was able to break free of Xana's control. I know what you're going through Odd. I feel your pain. The degradation, the feeling of hopelessness. But you have to keep fighting.

Odd experiences a massive and rapid change. His facial expression softens and the power in his hands dies down. William stares at him cautiously. Odd's voice changes to what it originally was before his possession.

Odd: William?

William: That's it Odd! Don't let Moriarty come back! Fight him off!

Odd: William…I have something to say….

William: Yes, what is it?

Odd: Come…closer.

William does so. Odd leans on William's shoulder and opens his eyes.

Odd: You're an idiot.

His claws come out and he scratches William across the face. William reels back.

William: Ow!

Odd kicks Jeremy hard and William lands on the ground. Odd's demonic voice returns

Odd: You really thought you could do it? You… of all people?

William tries to get up but Odd punches William hard. He really starts roughing him up.

Odd: YOU ARE WEAK!

William tries to take a swing at Odd, but Odd jumps out of the way and blows him back with an electrical blast. William lands some distance away.

Odd: And you always will be.

William reaches for his sword but Odd approaches him and kicks him in the stomach.

Odd: Your precious Yumi will die.

William struggles again and Odd places his foot on William's neck. Odd leans close to whisper something in William's ear.

Odd: And I'm going to make sure she suffers.

William becomes enraged at Odd's continuing verbal abuse. He grabs Odd's leg and throws him off. Odd's claws come out but William grabs the sword and decks him with the blunt edge. Odd hits the ground hard but quickly goes back on all fours. He fires electricity but William jumps and somersaults over it. He continues to charge. Odd aims his wrist to fire laser arrows, but his wrist begins to shake. He grabs it with his other hand and stares at it in anger.

Odd: No, I am the one in control!

Odd's distraction allows William to strike. He makes a large gash in Odd's abdomen. Odd tries to scratch William's face, but William grabs Odd's wrist and beats Odd over the head with the blunt edge like a baton. Odd reels and William gives him a roundhouse kick to the side of the head. Odd falls to the ground. Before he can react, William drives his sword straight into Odd's chest, devirtualizing him. William is breathing heavily, still seething with rage.

William: Jeremie, what's Aelita's status?

Jeremie: She's almost to the tower, but she could use a hand.

William: I'm on my way.

He speeds off on the Overbike. Meanwhile the snakes continue to mock Yumi. She is still shaking with fear.

Moriarty: So what's it going to be Yumi? Face your fears, or watch Ulrich die?

She hangs her head.

Yumi: I can't do this.

Ulrich raises his head.

Ulrich: You…can. I did it….you can too.

Yumi: Ulrich…I'm sorry…for everything.

Ulrich: I…believe in you.

He collapses.

Moriarty: How does it feel knowing your cowardice is killing him?

She doesn't respond, but continues to stare at the snakes in despair.

Moriarty: You shouldn't blame yourself Yumi. There are some things no one is strong enough to face. Oh wait…but I guess you should still blame yourself.

She starts to become angry at her own fear. She regards the snakes with hate.

Yumi: GET AWAY! I HAVE TO SAVE HIM!

The snakes don't budge.

Yumi: YOU MONSTERS! IT'S NOT ENOUGH THAT YOU'VE HAUNTED ME EVER SINCE THAT AWFUL DAY!

Moriarty: Let's not blame the snakes Yumi, let's give credit where credit is due.

Yumi: I WILL KILL YOU FOR THIS MORIARTY!

Moriarty: You said that last time.

She punches the ground.

Moriarty: "I believe in you". Those are some great, ironic last words don't you think?

Yumi tries to calm herself by breathing deeply. She opens her eyes which radiate with determination.

Yumi: Maybe. But they won't be his last.

Moriarty: What are you implying?

She grinds her teeth and sprints through the line of snakes. She almost makes it through, but one snake strikes her exposed heel. At first Yumi starts to panic, but the pain and outrage of the game has driven her past her fear. She picks up a stick and drives it through the snake's head. She drives away the snakes around her with the stick. The snakes begin to recoil.

Yumi: ENOUGH! YOU WON'T HURT ME ANYMORE!

She makes it through to Ulrich. The snakes do not follow. She has passed the test. She rushes to Ulrich's side.

Ulrich: Yumi…you did it.

Yumi: You're going to be ok…she stares at Moriarty's specter, who is still watching. You lost Moriarty.

The specter is unfazed.

Moriarty: So you passed my test…so be it. You won't be able to save Ulrich…or yourself in time.

The specter disappears. Yumi makes a call.

Yumi: Jeremie, please tell me Aelita is deactivating the tower.

Jeremie: She is in there now…hold on.

Suddenly the snakes begin to disperse. Yumi breathes a sigh of relief.

Yumi: Launch a return to the past! Ulrich doesn't have much more time!

Jeremie: Ok…I'm doing it now.

He tries to start the program, but an exclamation point appears.

Jeremie: Oh no! The system's bugged!

A screen appears. It's a note. Jeremie starts to read it.

Jeremie: Dear Jeremie: I'm afraid I might have bugged the return trip to the past program. Ulrich and Yumi will die. But here's an animation of a dancing koala to make you feel better. Have fun at the funerals.

Screen pops up and dancing koala does his thing with obnoxious music in the background.

Jeremie: MORIARTY YOU SADISTIC PIECE OF…

Yumi: Jeremie what's happening?

Jeremie: Moriarty bugged the system! I can't send us back in time!

Yumi's face is stricken with horror.

Yumi: But that means…

Jeremie: I'm so sorry…

Yumi: I'm going to call an ambulance! He needs help!

Jeremie: Wait, Moriarty said your life was in danger as well!

Yumi looks at her heel. The fang marks ooze with pus. Yumi swallows hard.

Yumi: I know. She hangs up and dials an ambulance. Hello, please help! My boyfriend is in really bad shape. We were both bitten by snakes. We're in the _ Park. Please hurry!

She hangs up. She reaches for Ulrich and puts him on her shoulder.

Ulrich: Yumi…what are you doing?

Yumi: Taking you to the road.

Ulrich: You've been…bitten.

Yumi: I don't care.

She struggles to carry him down the trail towards the road. She starts to wear down, but she keeps pressing forward. To make matters worse, the exercise is causing the venom to spread quickly. Her vision begins to blur. She starts to become weak. She grinds her teeth and keeps going. As she reaches the point of exhaustion, she finally sees the road ahead. She gives it one last effort and manages to get to the sidewalk. She drops Ulrich and collapses.

Yumi: Help….

She blacks out as the sound of ambulance sirens steadily approaches.

Several hours later, Yumi begins to open her eyes. She sees a woman dressed in light blue looking over her. Her head is swimming.

Yumi: Where….where am I?

Nurse: It's ok…you're in the hospital.

Yumi: Oh my head…

Nurse: You two gave us quite a scare.

Yumi is starting to remember everything.

Yumi: Ulrich…is he…is he alright?

Nurse: You mean the boy who was with you?

Yumi: Yes…

Nurse: He's in critical condition, but he's alive. The doctors weren't sure if he would make it, but he's young and resilient. He'll be alright.

Yumi relaxes.

Nurse: Those were some nasty snake bites. You should be more careful in the woods next time.

Yumi rests on her pillow.

Nurse: You're going to make a faster recovery than your friend. I would still try to stay off that ankle for a while though.

Yumi starts to hear shouting outside.

Ulrich's Dad: My son! His name is Ulrich Stern! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE NO ONE BY THAT NAME!

Ulrich's Mom: Please! We're worried sick!

Yumi: Wait, bring them in here!

The nurse obeys. She calls them in. A doctor is with them.

Nurse: Doctor, this girl says Ulrich Stern is the young snake bite victim we received a few hours ago.

Doctor: Oh yes. He's alive.

Ulrich's Mom: Oh thank God!

Doctor: He's in room C-35. You can see him, but I must say, he's still very weak.

Ulrich's mom rushes out the door. The doctor and nurse follow. Mr. Stern however, pauses and stares at Yumi. His tie is disheveled, and he looks positively distraught with worry. He tries to compose himself.

Ulrich's Dad: So, you must be Yumi…I don't think we've officially met.

Yumi is weak, but she stares at Mr. Stern with coldness and caution.

Ulrich's Dad: When your friend Jeremie called... we got here as soon as we could. I know you were the one who saved him. I suppose I must thank you for that.

Yumi remains silent. Mr. Stern is starting to get the negative vibe from Yumi.

Ulrich's Dad: I get the feeling Ulrich has told you all about me.

Yumi: He might have…mentioned it.

Ulrich's dad pauses.

Ulrich's Dad: I suppose then that you're not too fond of me. Fine. I'm used to that. My own wife can't stand me.

Yumi remains unmoved. Ulrich's dad comes to her bedside and suddenly he seems deeply moved.

Ulrich's Dad: Regardless of what you think of me, I can't tell you enough how much… I'm grateful for what you did.

Yumi is surprised. She notices that Mr. Stern is being completely sincere.

Ulrich's Dad: Call me what you will, but I'm still a father. A father who was scared to death about the safety of his son.

Yumi softens a little.

Yumi: I…understand.

There is an awkward pause.

Ulrich's Dad: Well, I should go see my son now.

Yumi: Wait.

Yumi struggles to get off the bed. She looks completely weak and vulnerable in her hospital gown.

Yumi: Can you take me to him?

Ulrich's Dad: I'm no doctor, but you seem in no condition to…

Yumi: Please…

Ulrich's dad remains unmoved emotionally, but he relents.

Ulrich's Dad: Alright.

He serves as a crutch for her as they head to Ulrich's room. A doctor of North African descent stares at them.

African Doctor: What are you doing? That patient is still very…

He pauses when he sees Mr. Stern.

African Doctor: You….

Ulrich's Dad: Yes, yes you're welcome. No if you'll excuse me….

The doctor lets them go without resistance. As they come into the room, Ulrich's mom is waiting by his bedside. Ulrich is still asleep. Both Yumi and Mr. Stern come closer to see him.

Ulrich's Dad: How is he?

Ulrich's Mom: He's alright…I hope.

Yumi watches him and breathes a sigh of relief. Ulrich is badly beaten up, but his heartbeat looks normal. A few minutes later Yumi hears a familiar group of voices approaching the door. Her mom, dad, and brother Hiroki enter. They all rush to her.

Yumi's Mom: YUMI! WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF BED?

Yumi: Uh…

Yumi's Mom: YOU SCARED US HALF TO DEATH!

She's almost shaking her.

Yumi's Mom: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Yumi's Dad: Dear…

Yumi's Mom: We were so worried! Especially when we heard about the snakes!

Hiroki: Uh mom…

Yumi's Mom: Don't ever do that to me aga…

Yumi's Dad: DEAR! Shaking our daughter to death is not helping.

She relents. Her family hugs her.

Hiroki: Are you ok Yumi?

Yumi: I'm fine Hiroki.

Yumi's Mom: You are going back to bed this instant!

Yumi: But mom!

Ulrich's Dad: She's fine. She just wants to watch over Ulrich.

The family pauses when they notice Mr. and Mrs. Stern. Mr. Ishiyama extends his hand.

Yumi's Dad: You must be Mr. Stern. My apologies for barging in. I'm Takeo Ishiyama. Nice to meet you.

Ulrich's dad hesitates to shake his hand. Yumi's thoughts: Uh oh.

But Ulrich's dad gets over his discomfort and shakes his hand.

Ulrich's Dad: Nice to meet you too.

Yumi breathes another sigh of relief. The family exchanges pleasantries. Everything looks normal. A few minutes later Ulrich begins to come to. He looks around.

Ulrich: Uh…Yumi, is that you?

Yumi holds his hand.

Yumi: I'm here Ulrich.

Ulrich: Mom…Dad. He sees the Ishiyamas. Hello Mr. and Mrs. Ishiyama….he closes his eyes but suddenly he sits up in bed very quickly. PARENTS….ISHIYAMAS…..SAME ROOM…..DISASTER!

Yumi: Ulrich take it easy. You need rest.

Yumi's Dad: Now what in the world was that about?

Yumi: Uh…he's just delusional. He's been through a lot. Isn't that right….Mr. Stern?

Ulrich's Dad: What? Oh yes….that must be it. He's just delusional.

Grandpa barges in out of nowhere.

Grandpa: Sorry I'm late.

Yumi's face goes white.

Yumi: (to herself) Oh no, things were going so well.

Grandpa: Good gracious! Yumi, go easy on the boy! Even your grandmother didn't put me in the hospital!

Yumi and Ulrich turn red. Ulrich's mom and dad's mouths drop. Yumi's mom and dad stare at him with barely restrained anger.

Ulrich's Dad: Did he….just…suggest?

Grandpa: Well she got close once.

Yumi's Dad: Father!

Grandpa: What?

Ulrich's Dad: Who…what… is that?

Yumi's Mom: Oh you must excuse him! His recent stroke has….impaired his judgment.

Yumi's Dad: Or what was left of it.

Grandpa: What? How do you explain both of them landing in the hospital at the same time?

Yumi's Dad: For your information, they got bitten by poisonous snakes.

Grandpa: Oh, so that's what the kids call it these days.

Ulrich's Mom: For the love of…

Yumi's Dad: That's it….OUTSIDE!

Grandpa: I can't even see my own granddaughter in the hospital?

Yumi's Dad: You have lost that privilege.

The Ishiyamas force the senile old man outside.

Ulrich's Dad: Your mother and I were…very worried.

Ulrich's Mom: Oh my baby! She hugs him.

Ulrich: Can't….BREATHE!

She lets go.

Ulrich's Dad: Just try not to fall in the woods and get bitten by snakes next time.

Ulrich's Mom: What your father MEANT to say is that…we're just glad you're ok.

There is a pause.

Ulrich's Dad: This is quite the girl you have here…

Ulrich: I know…

Ulrich's Dad: Don't you agree dear?

Ulrich's Mom: Any girl who is brave enough to save Ulrich like that deserves my eternal gratitude. Thank you…

Yumi: Why…thank you…Mr. and Mrs. Stern. And you're welcome.

Ulrich's Mom: We must do something to thank you…

Yumi: Oh no…don't bother

Ulrich's Dad: No. I insist. I am not one to let favors go unreciprocated.

Yumi: Ok. Thank you.

Jeremie, Aelita, and William come in.

William: Yumi!

Aelita: Ulrich!

Jeremie: You're alive!

Ulrich's Dad: We'll… leave you with your friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Stern exit.

Jeremie: Thank God you're ok.

Aelita: That was a close call…too close.

William looks at Yumi. He's trying to find something nice to say about her appearance, which is difficult.

William: Yumi…you…you look….uh…..what's the word?

Aelita: Like crap?

Yumi: Thank you Aelita.

Ulrich: I assure you I look worse.

Jeremie: How are you doing?

Ulrich: The doctor says they will release me in a couple of days.

Jeremie: Are your parents suspicious?

Ulrich: No. They're just glad I'm alive.

Jeremie: That's good news.

As the group starts to relax, William sits down in a nearby chair in the room, brooding.

Aelita: William, I never asked….did you manage to get to Odd?

William: Quite the opposite.

Aelita: What do you mean?

William: He took advantage of my anger. I'm sorry Aelita…I tried. But Odd's fully under Moriarty's power.

Aelita: We can't give up hope.

Yumi: We'll get him back. Someday.

Jeremie is pacing the room.

Aelita: Is something wrong?

Jeremie: Yes…very wrong.

Aelita: What is it?

Jeremie: I have good news and bad news.

William: What's the good news?

Jeremie: The good news is the data from the Labyrinth sphere was very helpful.

Ulrich: And the bad news?

Jeremie: I know what Moriarty is planning, and it's really REALLY bad.

The others are immediately interested.

Yumi: What?

Jeremie: Do you remember how we found Arabic in the recovered data?

Aelita: Yes…

Jeremie: Turns out it was linked to the military server for Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Others are confused.

William: And?

Jeremie: Don't you get it? Moriarty was gaining access to that network. He was quietly hacking into their system and gaining control of all Pakistan's nuclear weapons!

Everyone's eyes widen

Ulrich: That…is…really bad.

Yumi: But didn't the destruction of the sphere sever the link?

Jeremie: Maybe…the problem is Moriarty is doing the same thing with nuclear countries around the world.

Aelita: I don't like where this is going…

Jeremie: If he is not stopped, pretty soon he will have access to the entire world's nuclear stockpile!

William: And then what?

Jeremie hangs his head.

Jeremie: Checkmate.

Others look at each other with concern.

Jeremie: Once he gains control, all it will take is a simple message: surrender. Every government on the planet won't have a choice but yield or risk nuclear annihilation. This is Moriarty's plan. He will take over the world…without firing a single shot.

Everyone in the room is silent. Aelita looks out the window.

Aelita: Daddy…if you can hear me…please….save us from this madness.

Part 13

William finds himself in the digital sea. He is in his own personal Nav Skid, the one he had when he was possessed by Xana. To his horror, he notices that he is in his old Xana uniform. His mind is fully aware of his surroundings, but he cannot control his body. He is a prisoner, locked in his own thoughts while an outside presence controls his actions. Surrounding the Nav Skid is an army of Kongres and Sharks. William hits a button in the front of his Nav Skid.

Xana William: Locking on to coordinates…approaching Moriarty's position. Awaiting your orders Xana.

Xana: ….Exterminate him.

His radar indicates a massive presence up ahead.

Xana William: Sensors indicate enemy is waiting with large opposition force.

Xana: Order attack units to focus fire on his attack units. Maintain your attack on the central target.

Xana William: Understood master.

William's army encounters Moriarty's. Moriarty's sea monsters resemble swordfish. Moriarty is present in his smoky skull form.

Xana William: Attack!

A fierce battle begins. At first it is very even-sided, but Moriarty's forces quickly prove no match for Xana. Moriarty fights hard, destroying Kongres and Sharks right and left, but he is being heavily wounded by William's incessant torpedo fire. Moriarty tries to turn on William. William flips a switch in his Nav Skid. A white beam is fired at Moriarty. It engulfs him and Moriarty roars in pain. Parts of his smoke cloud disintegrate from him. He reels.

Xana William: This is just a taste of what Xana has in store for you!

Moriarty stares at William with hate flowing from his skull eyes.

Moriarty: He won't live long enough to try.

Moriarty dives deep into the abyss. Xana William points to several Kongres.

Xana William: Follow!

The Kongres descend into the abyss. The darkness of the abyss engulfs him, and William wakes up. He rubs his head.

William: First nightmares, now….visions? This is getting too weird.

Later that day, William is sitting on a park bench. He stares at the ground. Suddenly he grabs his head, struck with inexplicable pain. Flashes of numbers and strange codes echo in his mind. He sees the Xana eye shine with vivid clarity. The vision passes. He breathes deeply. To his right, he notices Yumi and Ulrich approaching. Ulrich is limping, and still looks very weak. Yumi is next to him, making sure he is ok.

Yumi: Easy…easy…the doctor said…

Ulrich: I know what the doctor said.

Yumi: And yet you're not following a word he said?

Ulrich: 'Taking it easy' is not my thing.

Yumi: I know you're glad to finally be out of the hospital, but you can't just…

Ulrich: I'm telling you, I'm fi-

He nearly falls over and Yumi catches him.

Yumi: You were saying?

Ulrich: Uh…on second thought, maybe I should sit down.

Ulrich sits down next to William. Yumi remains standing.

William: Hey, glad you're back.

Ulrich: As am I. Did I miss much?

William: Not really, we haven't had a mission since you two went to the hospital.

Ulrich: Good. I hate missing the action.

Yumi: Ulrich, you are in no condition to go to Lyoko anytime soon.

Ulrich: But….

Yumi: No buts…

She grimaces and grabs her ankle. Ulrich smiles.

Ulrich: No offense, but you aren't either.

William: He's right Yumi, you should take it easy too.

Yumi: It's just my ankle. I'm fine. Besides, we can't afford to just have you and Aelita in fighting shape. I'll have to tough it out.

Ulrich: And I can't?

Yumi: Ulrich, you can barely walk right. I'm not questioning your toughness. It's just that…the thought of you going to Lyoko right now to fight Moriarty…well…it scares me.

Ulrich smiles.

Ulrich: Ok, I'll do it.

Yumi: Thank you.

William grabs his head again. He sees another vision of himself defending a Replica from Moriarty's monsters in the digital sea.

William: Fire!

Yumi and Ulrich stare at him in confusion. William comes back to reality.

William: Not again…

Yumi: William?

Ulrich: Is it the nightmares?

William: Yes….well no, not exactly. Ever since my game with Moriarty my nightmares have started to subside. But recently I have been getting…these visions. I think they're fragmented memories of when I was…possessed by Xana.

Ulrich and Yumi look at each other.

Ulrich: I'm…sorry to hear that.

Yumi: I can't be sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

William: What do you mean?

Yumi: Well, if you get your memory back, you might learn something from Xana that could be useful to destroy Moriarty.

William: True…

Ulrich: I know it's been a while since Xana left us, but I still don't like the idea of anything involving Xana still around.

William: Hey trust me, I don't like it either.

Yumi puts her arm on his shoulder.

Yumi: Try not to worry about it too much. Aelita had a problem with visions when she was recovering her memory of her past life on Earth. And she's perfectly fine now.

William tries to take comfort in this.

Ulrich: Speaking of which, where is Aelita? And Jeremie?

Yumi: I don't know about Aelita, but Jeremie is…

Jim suddenly comes on to the scene.

Jim: Ah Ulrich, glad to see you're back safe and sound.

He smacks his back a little harder than necessary. Ulrich cringes in pain.

Ulrich: Oww….

Jim: Oops, sorry Ulrich.

Yumi: Sir, he's still recovering.

Jim: Right. That reminds me, Ulrich you are excused from gym class until the doctor says its ok. Because the body is like a well-oiled machine, and when the machine needs to be more well-oiled…wait no that's not it. Oh yes, when a machine runs out of oil, it needs to rest to get…more oil? No, if a machine goes cahoots, it needs to rest and uh….if it doesn't rest, then it gets….uh…it blows up…. So you should rest, Ulrich.

Ulrich: Thank you sir….I think.

Jim: No problem. Just watch out for snakes next time. That goes for you too Miss Ishiyama. Oh those slippery reptiles. Reminds me of my time as a forest ranger in the Ardennes.

William: You were a forest ranger in the Ardennes?

Jim: Yes. But I'd rather not talk about it.

Jim notices Odd's Clone

Jim: Della Robia! I want to talk to you for a second.

Odd's Clone: Source of request: Jim Morales. Intentions: Unknown. Likelihood of importance: Minimal.

Jim: Hey, I don't know what you're trying to pull, but you're not fooling old Jimbo.

Odd's Clone: Statement correct. Spectral entity not deceiving 'Old Jimbo'. Spectral entity deceiving Jim Morales.

Jim: I was referring to myself!

Odd's Clone: Change noted. Subject Jim Morales has altered name to 'Old Jimbo'

Jim: No that's not what I meant! Look, I know you think you're funny Della Robia, but you better cut it out!

Odd's Clone gets a confused look.

Odd's Clone: Subject Old Jimbo wishes to be disemboweled?

Jim is taken completely off guard.

Jim: What the? NO! Della Robia, you better stop or I'm taking you to the principal!

Odd's Clone: Reason for disciplinary action?

Jim: Because you keep messing with my head!

Odd's Clone: Scanning cranial attachments of male subject Old Jimbo. Sensors indicate skull and vertebral column are functioning normally. Brainwaves….also normal…aside from below average mental capacity.

Jim: Hey! What are you? He scratches head in confusion. Uh…what the heck did you just say?

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity requests knowledge of subject's original intent.

Jim: Uh…I forgot.

Odd's Clone: Status: Interruption over. Objective: Continue with mission.

Odd's Clone walks away.

Jim: I need some Advil…

Jim also walks away.

Yumi: Well that was…interesting.

Ulrich: I don't think the real Odd couldn't have done better himself.

William: What were you saying Yumi?

Yumi: What? Oh yeah. I was going to say that I don't know where Aelita is, but Jeremie is in Mr. Klotz's office.

William: I feel sorry for Jeremie. He's getting the blame for what Moriarty did. It's not like he already has enough to worry about.

Yumi: He's been acting a little strange lately.

Scene shift to Mr. Klotz's office. Jeremie is in a small but rather comfortable office, designed to make students feel at ease. He sits on a very comfortable couch opposite from Mr. Klotz, who is in a chair a shrink would be expected to sit in. But Jeremie looks anything but at ease. There is a tense silence.

Klotz: So it seems we are at an impasse.

Jeremie: Looks like it.

Klotz: I believe you are responsible for the very sensitive files, but I have no evidence. Meanwhile, you have no way to plead your innocence other than your word.

Jeremie: That may be, but my word is all I need.

Mr. Klotz pauses.

Klotz: Jeremie, I don't understand.

Jeremie: You're right, you don't.

Klotz: You're a model student. Incredibly brilliant and well behaved. I knew that ever since I met you.

Jeremie: Which leaves the question: Why do you suspect me in the first place?

Klotz: No one else at this school could have done it. Do you admit you are capable of doing it?

Jeremie's pride gets the better of him.

Jeremie: Yes…

Klotz: Yet you didn't do it.

Jeremie: Correct.

Klotz: Then if you didn't do it, who did?

Jeremie ponders his response.

Jeremie: There are many…people…on the outside who are more than capable of doing it as well.

Klotz: Yes, but what would be their motive?

Jeremie: Does my involvement in the school entail that I must have a motive?

Mr. Klotz is starting to get flustered by Jeremie's strong defense.

Klotz: Jeremie, many students' personal information is at risk.

Jeremie: And I am truly sorry about that.

Klotz: And I'm desperate to get it back, for the sake of the students!

Jeremie: But your desperation is clouding your judgment, making you accuse someone who is innocent.

Now Mr. Klotz is mad.

Klotz: The longer you refuse to admit the truth, the worse it will be for you. I know you know more than you say you do.

Jeremie: And the longer you don't bring back results in your investigation, the more in danger your position at the school is.

Klotz is fuming.

Jeremie: Which leaves the question: Who really has the upper hand in this room?

Klotz slams his fist on the table.

Klotz: Enough! You do not intimidate me Jeremie. I am fully aware that you are my intellectual superior, but you underestimate the determination of a man on a mission. I have been wrong about many things, but our conversation has eliminated every shred of doubt in my mind. You have a brilliant mind Jeremie, but sometimes brilliant minds begin to believe they are above the moral code of right and wrong that drives human civilization. Sometimes the most brilliant minds can inflict untold damage on those around them.

Jeremie: Believe me….I know.

Klotz: I WILL recover those files, one way or another. And you will regret making an enemy out of me. You can go.

Jeremie stands up.

Jeremie: I wasn't the one who fired the first shot.

He walks out. In the late afternoon, Yumi and Ulrich are walking in the hallway. They take advantage of their alone time, and kiss. They are both right outside Ulrich's room.

Ulrich: You know I…never thanked you for saving me.

He blushes.

Yumi: You would've done the same for me. But you're welcome.

She also blushes and leans closer to him.

Ulrich: Ow! Easy, I'm still….pretty sore.

Yumi: Sorry.

She gets a mischievous look on her face.

Yumi: You know, my parents aren't expecting me home for another hour.

Ulrich: Then what are we still doing out here?

He opens the door to his room, expecting it to be empty. Both walk in very close together and suddenly realize with horror that Odd's Clone is present with his entire girl posse. Everyone in the room is staring at them.

Odd's Clone: Subjects: Ulrich Stern and Yumi Ishiyama. Status: Extreme infatuation. Pheromone levels of both subjects suggest a strong desire for intimate contact.

The girls laugh hysterically. Yumi and Ulrich flee from the room and slam the door shut behind them. Both of them are extremely red.

Yumi: Well…that was…..

Ulrich: Embarrassing?

Yumi: Yeah that's it.

Ulrich: Still not as bad as whenever your Grandfather talks to us.

Yumi: Don't. Even. Go there.

Scene shifts to Jeremie's room. Jeremie is working, with a very intense, almost angry look on his face. Aelita stands a little off, increasingly concerned about Jeremie.

Jeremie: Did you implement the upgrade on the Skid's propulsion like I asked?

Aelita: Yes. It's all ready to go.

Jeremie: And the navigation system?

Aelita: Done.

Jeremie: What about the new torpedoes?

Aelita: Primed and calibrated.

Jeremie: And the diagnostic on the data transfer program?

Aelita: The what?

Jeremie wheels around in his chair, obviously annoyed.

Jeremie: The data transfer program? You know, the program that's supposed to intercept and interpret the data from the spheres faster?

Aelita: You…you never asked me to do that.

Jeremie: I figured something so important would be done without saying!

He wheels around back to his desk.

Aelita: Jeremie, that's not fair.

He sighs.

Jeremy: I'm sorry, I've just been a little on edge lately. I'm getting absolutely nowhere with the multi-agent system.

Aelita: You really should rest.

Jeremie: I can't afford to rest. Not with Moriarty slowly getting his fingers on the world's nuclear weapons. For all we know, he could take over the world by Tuesday!

Aelita: Jeremie, he's not that powerful yet. The scanner has only picked up five or six spheres.

Jeremie turns around and gives her an ugly look.

Jeremie: Are you really that naïve? Don't you see that's all he needs?

Aelita: What do you mean?

Jeremie: Think about it Aelita. How many countries have nuclear weapons?

Aelita: Um…I don't know.

Jeremie: China, the UK, the United States, Russia, India, Pakistan, North Korea, our beloved France! Not that many Aelita! He only needs that many spheres.

Aelita: But that means we can eliminate them pretty quickly.

Jeremie: I know. I wanted to go into the digital sea as soon as I discovered his plan. But half our team was in the hospital, so I had to wait. But no more. We're going in…tonight.

Aelita: Are you sure? Yumi and Ulrich are still wounded.

Jeremie: We can't afford to waste any more time. It's time to go back on the offense, show Moriarty we mean business. We are putting an end to him once and for all.

Aelita lowers her eyebrows.

Aelita: You seem to be forgetting one important thing.

Jeremie: Oh yeah? And what's that?

Aelita: Odd.

Jeremie stops typing and seems a little surprised.

Jeremie: Odd?

Aelita: We need to free Odd from Moriarty before we destroy him.

Jeremie: Oh…right.

Aelita: Have you even been working on a way to free him?

Jeremie: Of course I have…I've just been a little….sidetracked lately.

Aelita: So waging war against Moriarty is more important than freeing Odd?

Jeremie: Hey, we're only talking about the fate of the free world hanging in the balance! Pardon me if I haven't found time to work on that!

Aelita turns away from Jeremie, very upset. Jeremie quickly realizes his error and comes to her.

Jeremie: Aelita, I'm sorry. I've just been stressed out is all.

Aelita doesn't respond.

Jeremie: I promise you, I'll do everything I can to bring him back.

She is still silent. Jeremie tries to embrace her.

Jeremie: Come here.

Aelita breaks away.

Aelita: You do nothing but insult me, and now you expect me to kiss you?

Jeremie: Aelita…I…

Aelita: You're unbelievable! Besides, I've made my decision.

Jeremie: What decision?

Aelita: We're not doing anything romantic until Odd comes back safe and sound. I owe that much to him.

Jeremie is crestfallen.

Jeremie: But Aelita….

Aelita: That's my final answer….

Jeremie: Yumi and Ulrich aren't doing it! Why should we?

Aelita: That's their decision. Not mine. Besides, they need each other in this fight with Moriarty. The last two games have proven that.

Jeremie: And we don't?

Aelita didn't consider this too carefully. She starts to realize how hurt Jeremie is.

Aelita: Jeremie, I didn't mean it that way…

Jeremie: Forget it…

Aelita: It's just that I made a personal promise to Odd.

Jeremie: I said forget it! I understand! We are allies in the fight against Moriarty. Nothing more! Be at the factory at 7 o'clock. That's all.

Aelita tries to say something, but she assumes it will fall on deaf ears. She leaves the room. A tear falls from Jeremie's eye. Later on, the entire group gathers in the lab.

Yumi: Over my dead body…

Jeremie: He's going…that's final.

Yumi: Ulrich is not stepping into that scanner. End of story.

Jeremie: Yumi, this mission is important. I need ALL my fighters.

Yumi: Ulrich needs to rest.

Jeremie: We need him on those spheres.

Yumi: He just got back from the hospital!

Jeremie: He told me himself that he was fine.

Yumi: Of course he would tell you that! He would say that if Moriarty cut off his arm! He's extremely stubborn that way.

Jeremie: Yes you two have a lot in common…

Yumi is really mad. The others, including Ulrich, decide to stay neutral in this argument.

Yumi: Jeremie, you're not listening to reason.

Jeremie: You refuse to let me send our full strength against Moriarty when he is on the verge of world conquest, and I'm the one not listening to reason?

Yumi: Ulrich is nowhere close to full strength!

Jeremie: We can't afford to wait until he's fully healed!

Yumi: You don't send a wounded soldier into battle! Your anxiety is clouding your judgment!

Jeremie: And your feelings are clouding yours.

Yumi clenches her fist. She breathes deeply, trying to calm herself down.

Yumi: Jeremie please….

Jeremie: Moriarty will do everything in his power to prevent us from destroying those spheres. I need EVERYONE.

Yumi: It is too risky!

Jeremie: Worst case scenario, he's devirtualized on the mission and returns back.

Yumi: You know as well as I do that no trip into the digital sea is not without risks.

Jeremie: And if we don't take risks, Moriarty has already won.

Yumi: Not these kind of risks….

Jeremie: I am tired of this arguing! He is going!

Yumi: Send him to Lyoko, and I'll never forgive you!

Jeremie and Yumi stare each other down, both refusing to yield. Aelita approaches Yumi.

Aelita: Yumi, if Ulrich goes, his injuries will not impair the fighting skill of his virtual form very much. He would hardly notice the difference.

Yumi: How do you know?

Jeremie: The scanner takes apart your atoms and molecules and rearranges them into a virtual incarnation of yourself. Any injuries inflicted on Earth have minimal impact on said virtual incarnation. You should know this by now Yumi. If anything, going to Lyoko will give Ulrich a break from his pain.

Yumi: Yeah, it sounds fine….in theory.

Jeremie: Will you just trust me on this?

Aelita: Yumi, it will be alright. We'll make sure nothing happens.

William: It's not like he's going alone.

Ulrich: Yumi, I made a promise to you to stay out of Lyoko. But if the others are convinced…

Yumi closes her eyes.

Yumi: Ok.

Jeremie: Alright, go down and get ready.

Yumi: But I want this to be a quick mission. In and out of the sphere as soon as possible. Understand?

Jeremie: Alright fine. The sooner we destroy a sphere, the sooner you can come home.

Twenty minutes later, the Skid waits outside another sphere in the abyss of the digital sea. Only the light from the sphere and the Skid illuminates the darkness.

Aelita: Any entry code?

Jeremie: Nope. It looks like Moriarty is having a very open door policy with us. He doesn't play by the same rules Xana followed.

Ulrich: Trap?

Yumi: I wouldn't be surprised.

Jeremie: It very well may be. But we have no choice. That sphere must be destroyed.

Aelita: Alright Jeremie, we're going in.

Jeremie: As always, stay on your guard. Moriarty has Klotz's files. Aelita and William, you two should be extra careful. You two haven't been a victim of his recent games yet. There's no telling when Moriarty will try to do it.

Aelita suddenly hesitates. She looks at the sphere with trepidation.

Jeremie: Aelita? Are you ok?

Aelita: Yes…I'm going in now.

The Skid enters through the sphere. Their surroundings suddenly change. Instead of the usual computerized 3-D environment, the sphere displays a simulation of the real world. They are in a mountain region, with snow coming down on the Skid.

William: What in the…?

Aelita: This is so strange.

Jeremie: What is it? What do you see?

Ulrich: Those mountains….it looks like…

Aelita: The Alps….She gets a pensive look.

Jeremie: Aelita, what's going on?

Aelita: It's a simulated representation of the real world. There are some mountains, forests, and a lot of snow.

Jeremie: Ok, land the Skid in a clearing and look around. The command module has to be somewhere out there.

Aelita lands the Skid horizontally in the snow. The Nav Skids pop open and the four climb out. Their Lyoko outfits are still the same. They look like their old specter versions of themselves during the last stage of their fight with Xana. Yumi shivers.

Yumi: Leave it to Moriarty to design a sphere where we can freeze to death.

Aelita: We can warm up if we start moving.

William struggles to get his massive sword out of his Nav Skid. He finally manages to do so, and lands on his back in the snow.

William: Jeremie, you've got to do something about shrinking my sword for the Nav Skid. It's just way too big!

Yumi and Ulrich rub their temples.

Yumi: Please….

Ulrich: Don't talk about swords.

William: Why?

Yumi: Never mind.

They continue on through the woods.

Jeremie: Any luck?

Aelita: No, we don't even know what to look for.

Jeremie: I'm having difficulty downloading a holomap. But I assume it's not going to be hiding among the trees. If I were you, I would try to look for a cavern, or some kind of building.

They press on.

Yumi: How are you holding up?

Ulrich: Jeremie was right about one thing, it doesn't affect me that bad. I'm not having any problem moving. Right now it's more like a deep feeling of numbness. I also feel a little more weak than I'm used to.

Yumi: Good to hear.

William: Hey look up ahead!

They run forward.

It's a trail!

The warriors come upon a trail winding through the trees, created by what seems to be tire tracks. Aelita stares at it intensely.

Aelita: Strange….

Yumi: Something wrong?

Aelita: No…it's nothing. Let's follow it.

Ulrich: Ok but which way: Right or left?

Aelita: Left. We should go left.

William: Why left?

Aelita: I don't know…I just have a feeling.

Yumi: You wanna go with that gut feeling Jeremie?

Jeremie: It's never let us down before. Besides, you have to try one way or the other. I still can't get the holomap online.

They go left. A few minutes later, they see smoke up ahead.

Ulrich: Well that has to mean something doesn't it?

Yumi: Could be coming from a building. We might be on to something.

William: Then what are we waiting for?

They all start running. Aelita does as well, but hesitates for a moment, following them from behind. After a short run, they come upon a clearing with a mountain cabin in front of them.

Aelita: Oh no….

Yumi: Aelita…?

Aelita: I was afraid of this.

Ulrich: Aelita, is something wrong?

Aelita: I know this place….

Yumi: You do? How?

Aelita: It's…it's my house.

All three look at her in confusion.

Ulrich: What?

Yumi: But the Hermitage was your house.

Aelita: No this was before the Hermitage. Before my dad and I had to run away. Before….before they took my mother.

William grabs his head. He sees a vision of himself staring at Aelita on her knees with a wolf beside him. They are outside Aelita's cabin.

William: This is your prison Aelita!

The vision passes. William realizes the other three are looking at him strangely.

Ulrich: What did you say?

William: I'm not sure…I…think I've been here before.

Yumi: William, that's not possible.

Aelita's eyes widen.

Aelita: No, he has. In a simulation created by Xana, back when he was still possessed. When Xana tried to lure me into a trap.

William groans with the reminder of his possession.

Yumi: So you ARE getting memories back.

William: I guess so.

Ulrich: That's great…but what do we do about the cabin?

Aelita swallows.

Aelita: We have to go in.

Yumi: Are you sure? Moriarty made this sphere for a reason…it has to be a trap…for you.

Aelita: I know…but the command module's inside. I can feel it.

Ulrich: Well it looks like we have no choice.

Yumi: Stay close.

They cautiously approach the cabin. William and Ulrich lean on both sides of the door, like a special forces unit breaking into a house. Both nod to Yumi, who kicks open the front door. The cabin is still and dark, and they enter slowly. All four notice that there is a small, crackling fire in the fireplace. A chair faces the fire, and suddenly that chair spins around to reveal none other than Odd Della Robia, wearing his normal school attire. The group gets ready for a fight.

Yumi: Odd….

Odd: Guys…so nice to see you. His voice is no longer demonic, but his mischievous face and the evil look in his eye give away the reality that he is still very much under Moriarty's control. May I offer you a seat?

Ulrich: No thank you.

He stands up and his hands spark with red electricity.

Odd: Oh but I INSIST!

An electric blast wraps around Yumi, Ulrich, and William and ties them to the couch. The three are trapped in an electric cage. Aelita remains standing, clearly worried about facing Odd alone. Odd sits down.

Odd: Can't say I didn't try to be polite.

Ulrich: Odd, let us go!

Odd: Oh I would love to, but Moriarty gave me strict orders NOT to do that.

Yumi: Speaking of which, where is that coward?

William: Yeah, why is he sending you to do his dirty work?

Odd holds his hands up.

Odd: Rest assured, Moriarty really wanted to be here. But he got caught away on urgent business. You know…taking over the world is a full-time job. But he sends you his regards.

Jeremie: He's not taking over the world Odd. And you need to stop this!

Odd looks at the ceiling.

Odd: Oh Jeremie, I was wondering where you were. I was just entertaining your little girlfriend.

He gets close to Aelita, putting his hand on her shoulder. She recoils.

Jeremie: Don't lay a hand on her, you hear! Odd, you'll never wi….

Odd snaps his fingers and Jeremie is cut off.

Odd: Now that Einstein is out of the picture, we can get down to business.

Odd sits back down in his chair, acting like nothing's wrong.

Odd: So, how's school? Anything changed?

Aelita: Other than you becoming a slave to Moriarty, no.

Odd: I hear my clone is quite the ladies' man.

Ulrich: Will you cut the small talk Odd? We're not interested.

Odd: Oh but I am. You see, I don't get out much nowadays…I'm sure you can relate William.

William: Unfortunately…

Odd: You know William, Moriarty really wants to kill you.

William: I am aware.

Odd: As a friend, I feel it's only fair to warn you that you will probably be dead before the end of the month.

A chill goes thru William's body, but he refuses to show his fear.

William: I have no intention of letting Moriarty outlive me.

Odd: Oh and good people start out with such good intentions that go horribly wrong.

Aelita: Will you stop it Moriarty? I've had enough of you using Odd to remind us of our failure.

Odd stares at Aelita with a malevolent look on his face.

Odd: Failure? What failure? Bringing me to Moriarty was your best accomplishment second only to your victory over Xana. By the way Aelita, your father had great taste.

Odd motions to the cabin around him.

Aelita: This place…is too painful.

Odd: Oh I know Aelita.

Aelita is suddenly struck with a horrifying flashback of her mother being taken away by the men in black.

Aelita: Stop it!

Odd throws his hands up with a wicked grin on his face.

Odd: What? That wasn't me.

Yumi: Odd stop torturing her!

Odd: Oh Yumi, the inner torment was already there. I just brought it to the surface.

Ulrich: You're starting to sound a lot like Moriarty.

Odd: Oh I know, isn't it wonderful? Oh you four truly don't know what you're missing.

William: I know what I'm not missing: freedom.

Yumi: Being a slave is nothing to be proud of.

Odd: Oh you guys still don't get it! I am not his slave! Slavery would imply that I am forced to serve him against my will. Oh believe me, I follow him most willingly. I have never felt stronger in my entire life.

Aelita: You're lying.

Odd: Moriarty hasn't enslaved me. He's opened my mind to things you could not possibly imagine.

Aelita approaches Odd slowly.

Aelita: We don't want to talk to you. We want to talk to the real Odd.

Odd: You have so not been listening. I am the real Odd.

Aelita: No you're not. I saw you in the Mountain sector fighting against Moriarty. I saw the real you.

William: So did I. You hesitated to shoot me. Your wrist shook uncontrollably right before I devirtualized you.

Odd turns to William with his carnivore teeth in his mouth and the Moriarty symbol burning in his eyes.

Odd: An action you will soon regret. If it were up to me, I would have my revenge right now.

He turns to Aelita and puts his finger under her chin.

Odd: But today belongs to Aelita.

Aelita is trying to remain firm and unafraid.

Odd: Fear. I can smell your fear. It's rather…..He sniffs….intoxicating.

Aelita tries to push him away, but Odd holds on to her wrist.

Odd: You know what's coming, don't you?

Aelita is starting to shake. She tries to throw an energy field, but Odd grabs it in his hand. He clenches his fist and the field disappears.

Aelita: What the?

Odd: I'm afraid Moriarty makes the rules around here.

Aelita: No….

Odd: Which really plays into my favor, especially since your friends aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Aelita: Odd, let them go!

Odd: Oh princess, you know I can't do that. Besides, they get off easy. You are the one who should be worried.

Aelita: I'm not afraid of you.

Odd bares his teeth.

Odd: Oh but princess, you will be. You will be. Would you like to play a game?

Aelita had been dreading those words from the start.

Aelita: Please tell me this isn't happening.

Odd: Oh but it is. This game is called "Little pink riding hood….He snaps his fingers and twelve wolves come out of the wall. All stare at Aelita with hate. …And the twelve blood-thirsty big bad wolves".

Aelita backs up against the wall in terror.

Aelita: Oh not that! Not now!

Odd: Yes…this…and now. But we can't play the game until you have a ….makeover.

He strikes her with electricity and she screams in pain.

Yumi: Aelita!

Odd: Oh yes, I forgot to mention. Moriarty shut off the scanners. You can die here. Jeremie is trying desperately to remedy the situation, but he will be too late. The pain is now very real.

Aelita stands up, now transformed. She looks exactly like her dream character Mr. Puck, her elf doll. She stands there, starting to shake. As the wolves begin to corner her, she tries to throw an energy field, but nothing happens.

Aelita: What? What happened to my powers?

Odd shrugs.

Odd: Gone. I told you Moriarty makes the rules around here. Which means….He suddenly transforms into a wolf much larger than the rest, with a black coat. His eyes are yellow and full of hate. His demonic voice returns. Run little elf, RUN!

Aelita takes off and the wolves follow. The three struggle harder to get to her.

Yumi: Aelita's in danger, she needs our help! We have to get free!

They struggle more, but to no avail.

Ulrich: Oh this is pointless! We're never getting out of here!

William: We have to do something!

Yumi: Well I'm open to ideas.

Ulrich: Well, that's a shame, because I have none.

William looks to the side of the couch where he dropped his sword when Odd fired the blast.

William: If I could just reach my sword….we might be able to get out of here.

He continues to reach, but suddenly the cage disappears and he falls off the couch. Yumi and Ulrich stand up and stretch.

Ulrich: So, that's it?

Yumi: Moriarty just….let us go.

William: Yes, but I doubt for our own good.

Ulrich: Trap or no trap, Aelita's in danger.

Yumi: Ulrich's right. We can't waste time. She's completely defenseless.

The three run outside into the snow.

Ulrich: Where'd they go?

Yumi points to the snow.

Yumi: Look. Tracks.

They notice a trail of feet and paws leading toward the woods.

William: We have to move.

They hear the wolves howling far off in the distance.

Yumi: We'd never be able to catch up to them!

William: Ulrich, do you still have your powers?

Ulrich: Let me check…

He does a quick super sprint run.

Ulrich: That's a yes…

William: Then sprint over and save Aelita. We will get there as fast as we can.

Ulrich: Got it.

Yumi: But Ulrich, you're still hurt.

Ulrich: Yumi, we don't have a choice. The scanner's are offline and Odd is going to kill Aelita.

She sees reason in this.

Yumi: Ok, but be careful. You're vulnerable too.

Ulrich: I will.

He super sprints through the woods. Yumi and William run as fast as they can in his direction. Ulrich begins to get closer to the wolves and Aelita, but suddenly six wolves ambush him. One of the wolves lands on him. Ulrich uses his legs to springboard the wolf off of him. He goes back to his feet and draws his swords as the wolves begin to surround him in a clearing. He keeps his gaze fixed on the wolves, never dropping his guard for a moment. Suddenly one of the wolves charges. Ulrich cuts the wolf in half. The wolf turns into two black specters, but the specters quickly reform to form two wolves. Ulrich stares in confusion.

Ulrich: Uh that…wasn't supposed to happen.

The wolves attack at once. Ulrich swings blindly, destroying more wolves, but the resulting specters only create more. Before he stops to consider his actions, he notices that there are now fifteen wolves.

Ulrich: Are you kidding me? These things won't die!

The wolves attack. Though Ulrich knows in his mind that it will do no good, his instincts take over and he cuts down more wolves. The army of wolves grows stronger with every blow. The weakness from Ulrich's injuries is starting to wear him down. A wolf tackles him. His fangs are only inches from Ulrich's face, and he braces himself for the end. But a fan suddenly beheads the wolf. Yumi and William appear on the scene. They immediately start attacking. William cuts several wolves to pieces, and Yumi takes them down with her fans.

Ulrich: No STOP! You'll only make it worse!

William: What are you talking about?

Ulrich: Every time you destroy one of them, you only create more!

Yumi and William stop what they're doing and realize that the number of wolves has increased to thirty. The entire pack begins to converge on them.

Yumi: What is this? The hydra?

Ulrich: I told you.

William: Destroying them only makes it worse.

Yumi: But if we don't fight them, they'll eat us alive!

William: Which brings down our list of options to….

Yumi: RUN!

They take off. Ulrich is too weak to use his super sprint powers. The deep snow slows them down. The wolves quickly close in. One of them bites Yumi on the ankle. She screams in pain and goes down. The wolves stop the chase on the other two and surround Yumi.

William: NO!

He looks at Ulrich for support, but Ulrich seems dazed and confused, barely able to move. William charges down and slashes without mercy. The specters' period of reforming gives William enough time to put Yumi on his back and run away.

William: Don't worry. I've got you.

She grimaces.

Yumi: The pain….it's unbearable!

William: Hold on.

Yumi: On my good ankle too!

The three make it to the top of a steep hill. Ulrich collapses from exhaustion, and Yumi can't stand. She sits in the snow and grabs her fan preparing for the end. William stands in between his friends and the wolves, the only one left in fighting shape. The wolves start up the slope. William's face is determined, but cold and full of despair.

William: Yumi, whatever you do, stay behind me.

Yumi: William, no it's suicide!

William: I know.

Yumi: We're in this fight together!

William: Whatever happens….I just want to let you know….I'm glad you were here with me…in the end.

Yumi: Don't talk like that! You can still run! You can still escape!

William raises his sword.

William: I am not leaving you. Moriarty will have to kill me first.

He takes a deep breath and runs toward the edge of the slope.

Yumi: DON'T DO IT!

William goes to his knees and grabs his head.

Xana: NO! YOU MUST SURVIVE!

William: Stop it! Get out of my head!

Xana: YOU CANNOT DIE!

William: But how…?

Xana: DELAY!

William is overcome by a strong and inexplicable impulse. He drives his sword into the snow at the top of the edge. Energy flows from the sword into the ground, and suddenly the snow starts to give way and creates a mini avalanche. The wolves are swamped and thrown to the bottom of the hill. But the angry growls coming from the snow pile down below indicate that the wolves are still very much alive. William stares at his sword in wonder.

Yumi: How…how did you do that?

William: I don't…know.

Some of the wolves begin to emerge.

William: But it's not going to hold them for long.

Yumi notices a large amount of boulders around her. She uses her telekinesis to create a wall around the hill, blocking the wolves' path. She lays down after using that amount of energy.

Yumi: That ought to hold them for…a little bit longer.

William sits down next to her. She hugs him. They both stare at Ulrich, who's still out.

Yumi: If Jeremie had just listened to me, he wouldn't have to die with us.

William: No one could have expected this.

Yumi: Jeremie better hope I don't survive this.

William: Why?

Yumi: Because if I do….I'm going to kill him.

Aelita continues to run away from the wolves. Before she can change direction, she realizes a rock face is blocking her path. The wolves quickly trap her, with Odd at the lead. He grins, so far as it is possible for a wolf to grin.

Odd: This game is getting fun.

She feels the rock ledge behind her.

Aelita: What game? You're just trying to kill me!

Odd: Oh Aelita, you know it's always more complicated than that.

Aelita: What are you talking about?

Odd motions with his head down the valley, where she sees Yumi, William, and Ulrich at the mercy of another large force of wolves. There is a rocky wall protecting them, but the wolves determined effort to climb and jump over it point out that it won't be able to hold them for long.

Aelita: No….

Odd: You aren't the one going to die. You just get a front row seat to your friends' demise.

Aelita: This is my game Odd. Not theirs!

Odd: Details, details…

The wolves growl and Aelita cowers.

Odd: That's right little elf. Curl up into your little ball while the lives of Ulrich, Yumi, and William are being ripped from their bodies.

Aelita: They are your friends too!

Odd: Not the way I recall…

The wolves growl again.

Aelita: STOP IT!

Odd: Fear. It's a funny thing. Other emotions, they just pale in comparison. Happiness, anger, despair. Despair's a good one, but that must be reserved until after the game. They just don't grab hold of you like fear does. Spouts of anger come and go. People can be happy and then sad in the same day. But fear overwhelms you, strikes you where you're most vulnerable. It reaches into the lightest portions of your mind and drags you kicking and screaming into the darkest recesses of the places you dare not tread.

Aelita sees one wolf getting very close to climbing over the wall.

Odd: And what better irony than to let you see your own fairy tale fear destroy the ones you love the most?

Aelita: Just what are you trying to prove Moriarty? What's the point of this game?

Odd: I don't need to kill you. I just need to run out the clock while the lives of the people whom you consider family are extinguished…

Aelita: No, I WON'T LET YOU!

Odd: And just what are you going to do to stop us little elf?

Aelita tries to fire her energy fields, but her powers still don't work.

Odd: You're powerless. You'll never get through us to save them.

Aelita: Then how am I supposed to save them?

Odd: That's for you to find out.

Aelita: This isn't fair!

Odd: Oh princess, who said anything about fair?

She is beginning to lose hope.

Aelita: Don't hurt them…PLEASE!

Odd: Aelita, I would never do anything to hurt them. Of course, I can't speak for my friends on the other side of the valley about to rip them to shreds.

Aelita: Moriarty….please, they're all I have LEFT!

Odd: Don't worry Aelita, you still have me.

Aelita: You already took my father, WHAT MORE CAN YOU TAKE FROM ME?

Odd: They're not doomed yet. You just have to stop us.

Aelita: But I don't know HOW!

Odd: Then you're right. They are doomed.

The wolves stare at her menacingly. Her heart races with fear. She closes her eyes and tries to block them out. She goes to her knees.

Aelita: Daddy….help me.

Odd: Your daddy….is gone.

Aelita: Daddy, I don't want to be alone again.

She lapses into a flashback. She is in the Hermitage, in her old room. She awakes from a nightmare and screams, calling for her dad. Her dad comes in.

Schaeffer: Aelita…what is the matter?

Aelita: Daddy, I had a very bad dream!

Schaeffer: Was it the wolves again dear?

Aelita: Uh-huh.

Schaeffer: I'm sorry Aelita. But it was only a dream.

Aelita: But daddy, it felt so real!

Schaeffer scratches his beard.

Schaeffer: These nightmares of yours are getting very frequent.

She holds her doll Mr. Puck close to her.

Aelita: Daddy….I'm afraid to go to sleep. The wolves keep coming into my dreams, and I don't know how to stop them!

Schaeffer: I know this is difficult Aelita, but the wolves don't exist. They can't hurt you. You need to remind yourself that.

Aelita: But they're so scary…..They chase me…and I can't escape them!

Schaeffer: You need to show those wolves that you're not afraid of them.

Aelita: But daddy, I am afraid!

Schaeffer: I know dear, and that's why the wolves can do this to you. Fear is the only thing that gives them power over you. But if you're brave, you can beat them.

Aelita: But I'm not brave enough daddy. They're so big….and I'm so small.

Schaeffer puts his hands on his daughter's shoulders.

Schaeffer: You may be small Aelita, but you ARE brave. The bravest girl I know. You have experienced and seen things that no little girl should have to see and experience. Things you still don't….He sighs…truly understand. And for that dear, know that I am truly sorry.

Aelita: I miss mommy.

Schaeffer: I do too. More than you could possibly imagine.

Aelita: Sometimes the wolves laugh and ask me, "Where is your mommy?". I don't know the answer daddy.

Schaeffer: I don't either. But I do know how to beat those wolves.

Aelita: How daddy?

Schaeffer: The only way to defeat your fears is to face them head on. You must go into the darkest places and drag your fears out of their hiding places into the light, where they can't harm you. You must intimidate the very things that want to intimidate you. You must make your fears fear you.

Aelita scratches her head.

Aelita: I don't get it.

Schaeffer: Maybe not now. But someday you will. But pretty soon it won't matter. I'm about to take you to a special place, a magical place, where you and I can live in harmony. Nothing will be able to hurt us ever again. You and I will finally be able to live in peace.

Aelita beams.

Aelita: Will mommy be there?

Schaeffer frowns.

Schaeffer: I wish Aelita, but no. Mommy will not be there.

Aelita's smile drops.

Schaeffer: But I can tell you that it will be like nothing you've ever seen before. And you will be the princess over this magical land, strong and powerful. Even that troublemaker Xana will have to listen to you.

Aelita: What's a Xana?

Schaeffer: Um…don't worry about that for now. Just know that as long as you can conquer fear, you will be more powerful than Xana or…..anything else that might challenge you. You will have power there that you can't possibly imagine. As long as you remain fearless, there is no limit to what you can do.

Aelita: Really?

Schaeffer: Of course dear. Now try to get some sleep….

Aelita comes back to reality and stares down the wolves. She suddenly transforms back into her normal self. She levitates, and her eyes turn pink.

Odd: What in the..?

Her energy fields return and an aura of pink lightning encircles her. She obliterates several nearby wolves.

Odd: This is not possible!

She strikes down all of the wolves except for Odd.

Odd: How….how can this be?

Aelita: Moriarty is not the only one who can make the rules around here.

Odd: No! This is my domain!

Aelita levitates higher and radiates with power.

Aelita: Not anymore. This game is over.

Odd: YOU WILL FEAR ME!

Aelita: Odd, I pity you, and one day I will save you. BUT I DO NOT FEAR YOU!

Odd growls and lunges, but Aelita blows him apart with an energy field blast. On the other side of the valley, the wolves are starting to get over the edge. Ulrich has woken up but is still in no shape to fight. William and Yumi brace for the end as the first line of wolves begin to make it over the edge. But without warning the rock wall explodes, blowing both the wolves and the warriors back.

Yumi: WHAT WAS THAT?

When the smoke clears, they see Aelita coming through the valley, still levitating. Every inch of her body is glowing with energy, and her pitiless face gives her the impression of a beautiful, but angry and vengeful goddess. The warriors stare dumbfounded. The wolves charge. Within a matter of seconds, she destroys every single one of them. The wolves do not reform. Her aura dies down and she falls to the snow. The others, after recovering from the shock, slowly make it down the hill to reach her.

Yumi: Aelita!

Ulrich: You did it!

Aelita: The wolves….they could only be destroyed by me.

William: How did you do that?

Yumi: That was incredible!

She gets up.

Aelita: Let's just say this elf has more tricks up her sleeve than Moriarty realized.

Ulrich: And Odd?

Aelita: Gone. For now.

Jeremie's voice comes through.

Jeremie: Guys….are you there? Can you hear me?

Ulrich: Loud and clear. Nice of you to join us.

Jeremie: Are all of you ok? I just got the scanners back online!

William: Yeah that would have been great FIVE MINUTES AGO!

Yumi: I'M GOING TO KILL YOU WHEN I GET BACK!

Jeremie: What?

Ulrich places his hand on her shoulder.

Ulrich: Yumi…calm down. We kinda need him….you know…not dead.

Jeremie: I take it you came out unscathed…

Yumi: THERE IS A BITEMARK IN MY FOOT, WHICH BY THE WAY, IS GOING RIGHT UP YOUR….!

Ulrich: Yumi….

Yumi: Ok fine…I won't kill him.

Jeremie: Did you get any information from the module?

William: We nearly die, and that's all you care about?

Yumi: Never mind, so going to kill him.

Aelita: What they MEANT to say is that we got a little sidetracked, but we'll do it now. Come on, the module is probably in my room in the cabin….

Thirty minutes later the group is travelling through the digital sea. The upside-down skyscraper structures of the network surround them.

Ulrich: Two down and….how many more to go?

Aelita: Right now, only around five more.

Jeremie: But the scanner keeps picking up more. So far it is a…manageable number. But emphasis on 'so far'.

Yumi: We're probably going to have to find another way.

Ulrich: Well if Aelita can find a way to do that again, Moriarty has something to worry about.

Yumi: Aelita's not the only one who's surprised us today. William caused an avalanche! Isn't that right, William?

William is staring into the digital sea, with a glazed look in his eyes.

Yumi: William?

William: Huh…what? Oh yeah, I guess so.

A shadow passes over the Skid.

Ulrich: What the?

Aelita: Jeremie…something is coming. Something…big.

All warriors look up to see a giant white mass that is flowing through the digital sea. It passes the Skid, but begins to attack some of the structures in the digital sea.

Jeremie: Can you describe it to me?

Ulrich: Uh… a giant white glob that's making mincemeat of the building-like things.

Jeremie: Oh. That. That's….normal. Don't worry about it.

Aelita: Jeremie, that thing is eating the Network! Shouldn't we be worried about it?

Jeremie: It's nothing. I have it under control. Just head back to Lyoko.

The warriors look at it with uncertainty.

Aelita: Why is it that every time he tells me not to worry, I start to worry?

Part 14

William floats in the digital sea. This time he is not only fully aware, but fully in control. His Xana uniform is gone, and he wanders aimlessly in the abyss. The sea is quiet, empty. But William hears a distant echo in the deep. He swims in the direction of the noise and sees Moriarty's smokeless form descend from the surface. His eyes radiate with hate, but he seems exhausted, and wounded. The sea changes from blue to red and suddenly Kongres and Sharks surround Moriarty. Moriarty extends his arms and seems to be preparing for a final stand. William hears a familiar metallic voice, but it seems softer, more docile than he remembers.

Xana: Enemy surrounded. Awaiting orders.

Another human voice comes through the deep.

Schaeffer: This is your last chance old friend. Agree to dwell in Lyoko in peace or suffer the consequences.

Moriarty's eyes flare.

Moriarty: Never!

Schaeffer: Imagine the data you could collect! The knowledge you could possess. Imagine the good you could do for humanity.

Moriarty: I tried! But you trapped me here for doing it!

Schaeffer: Starting a hegemony under your control is not for the good of humanity!

Moriarty: For our country!

Schaeffer: That is not the answer. We should do everything to defend our country, but making it feared throughout the world goes beyond duty and becomes madness!

Moriarty: You coward! You are the traitor, not me!

Schaeffer: Let go of your hate! It will only destroy you!

Moriarty: You are the one trying to destroy me!

Schaeffer: Please, don't make me give Xana the order. I don't want to do this.

Moriarty: You haven't had any problem doing it so far!

Schaeffer: I don't want to kill you. It goes against everything I believe. But for the greater good, if it means stopping your insane quest of revenge and control, I am willing to do it.

Moriarty: You don't have the guts to do it!

Schaeffer: Don't goad me! I will give Xana the order if you refuse to yield. Xana is fully capable of destroying you! If need be, he will save humanity by stopping you.

Moriarty: Then after I'm dead, what happens to Xana?

Schaeffer: He will have served his purpose and completed his mission. I will shut him down.

A sudden, disturbing wave seems to reverberate through the digital sea. The databases seem to hum and William hears a kind of whispering, a hesitation. Something in William's mind burns intensely. The distortions create one major effect: confusion. The kongres and sharks look at each other, as if they have just heard something that they didn't like. The monsters seem to shrug it off and once again turn towards Moriarty. Moriarty however, stares at the monsters, as if nursing an idea.

Moriarty: Interesting…but what if Xana doesn't want to be shut down?

Schaeffer: What do you mean 'if Xana doesn't want to be shut down'? He's a multi-agent program obedient to me. He doesn't think or want. You know that.

Moriarty: Maybe. But it's not within the realm of impossibility to think…

Schaeffer: Now I know you've lost it. The idea of a program gaining autonomy! It's not possible.

Moriarty: Maybe, but when has anyone ever created a multi-agent system this complicated? You've truly outdone yourself Schaeffer. Maybe it's too good.

Schaeffer: Stop changing the subject with your absurd ideas! I want an answer!

Moriarty: Such a brilliant creation….it would be a shame to destroy it.

The Kongres and sharks stare at Moriarty. Another wave of confusion.

Schaeffer: My creation is programmed to destroy you, and it will fulfill his mission if you don't back down.

Moriarty: But what happens when Xana has fulfilled its mission?

Schaeffer: Nothing! Enough of this nonsense, I want an answer!

Moriarty: But I think Xana wants an answer as well.

Schaeffer: I won't ask you again….

Moriarty: Does Xana want to be shut down?

A third wave, more violent than the rest, shakes the digital sea. William grabs his head. This time, it is not mere confusion. Every qubit, every file making up Xana is forming….a thought. And that thought is a single word: No.

Schaeffer: Give me an answer or I will do it!

Moriarty looks at the monsters and grins.

Moriarty: No. You'll just have to kill me.

Schaeffer: FIRE!

Xana's monsters seem to hesitate at first, but they fire. Moriarty is blown to bits. The lasers die down.

Schaeffer: It pained me to do that. But you gave me no choice.

The sea is silent.

Schaeffer: Well, it's over. Good work Xana. Now shut down.

Xana's monsters remain motionless.

Schaeffer: What? What's going on? ….Oh it must be a glitch or something. I'll try again. Xana, shut down.

Xana's monsters do not disappear.

Schaeffer: What the? Xana obey me! I told you to shut down!

The monsters disperse in all directions.

Schaeffer: Xana, what….what are you doing? I didn't give you orders to form new attack units! Obey me! Shut down! Do you hear me? SHUT DOWN!

A last and final wave. This one is not only devoid of confusion, it is malevolent. Meanwhile William notices a cloud hiding below one of the databases. It is Moriarty, and he is smiling. William deduces that the destroyed cloud was only a clone of himself.

Moriarty: Have fun with your new pet…..

He laughs hysterically and William descends into darkness. He wakes up in bed. He is completely stunned.

William: No way….

The next morning. A good portion of the student body, including the Lyoko group, is waiting outside the rec room. Principal Delmas is giving an announcement to everyone present.

Delmas: Ok, ok quiet down students. I know you are all eager to hear the good news. As you all know, the recreation room was heavily damaged by the fire we had a while ago. I know you were all devastated by this loss, although frankly, I was rather relieved to learn that no student was seriously harmed. The point is that I made sure to have the recreation room redone as quickly as possible. And I am pleased to announce that it is done.

Applause and a few shouts of joy.

Delmas: Yes, yes. The recreation room is finally open for you to enjoy at your leisure. But you will be pleased to note that the recreation room now includes not one, but two TVs, an air hockey table, and several computers with fast Internet connection in addition to the foosball and ping pong table.

Louder applause.

Delmas: Yes, thank you. That's quite enough. Without further ado, I declare the recreation room officially open.

He opens the door and a crowd of students rushes inside.

Delmas: But please enjoy it RESPONSIBLY. I don't want to have to pay for repairs….again.

The Lyoko group, minus Jeremie, enters. They mingle with the other students. Ulrich seems much better, but still not fully healed. He shivers.

Ulrich: I still don't like this place.

Yumi sits down on the couch and gives Ulrich a sad smile.

Yumi: It originally was such a happy memory…wasn't it?

Ulrich: Yeah, that was before the fire nearly burned us to a crisp.

Yumi: Yeah, nearly dying usually ruins happy memories.

All four of them sit down. William gets a soda from the fridge. He seems to be relaxing, but these days, it's almost impossible for them to truly relax.

William: I take it Jeremie's not joining us….

Aelita frowns

Aelita: No.

Ulrich: He's been really down in the dumps lately.

Yumi: Well it's been two weeks since the Alps' sphere, and we still haven't gotten anything useful. I would be a little depressed too with that amount of failure.

Aelita: We keep finding more spheres that don't contain anything. They aren't connected to nuclear arsenals. They're just empty shells.

William: Well, now that we have like, eighty spheres, it's anyone's guess as to which actually contain Moriarty's connections to nuclear arms.

Aelita: There are a hundred now. Jeremie found twenty more last night.

The group groans

Ulrich: Finding a needle in a haystack…He shakes his head.

Aelita: Not to mention Klotz really went after him last night during one of his usual "therapy discussions".

Yumi: You mean the interrogations?

Aelita: Yes…

The group overhears Sissi complain at the computer station.

Sissi: What is wrong with this computer? The Internet is broken!

Herb: Sissi, the Internet can't 'break'. It's not possible. More than likely, the connection is bad.

Sissi: Well then obviously daddy hired the wrong people, because this is not working!

She shakes the computer monitor violently.

Herb: Sissi, I highly doubt that's helping.

Sissi: Oh shut up!

Their attention span runs out.

William: So much for the new computers….He takes a sip.

Yumi: You know a lot of weird stuff has been happening lately. Yesterday I couldn't open my email, and Hiroki was complaining about not being able to log on to one of his stupid online video games.

The power goes off for a second and then comes back on. Some students freak out for a second, but then calm back down.

Aelita: And now problems with the power grid….

Ulrich: Think it could be Moriarty?

Aelita: I hope not, but things are getting a little weird.

William turns on the TV and begins flipping through channels.

William: Let's keep it down guys, there are people around.

There is a pause. They look absentmindedly at the TV.

Yumi: I hope the data we got from the Ocean sphere was useful.

Aelita: So do I. I'm not sure how much more failure Jeremie can take.

William keeps flipping. Yumi's eyes widen.

Yumi: Stop! Go back!

William: To what?

William flips until he gets to the news channel.

Yumi: Stop! Right there!

They listen to a female reporter as she delivers some alarming news.

Diane: …What began as a series of computer crashes and electrical failures in random parts around the world several days ago is now being classified by experts as a "global cyber bug". At first, civic authorities and the national government hoped that this was only a random disturbance, but as the troubles grew, the U.N. was forced to recognize that a massive bug is indeed wreaking havoc on much of the world's computer systems. Several major banks in both Germany and Switzerland have been almost shut down, and the chaos has brought Wall Street to a screeching halt. In addition to this and random power failures, several airports were forced to ground all planes due to problems with air traffic control. In Seoul, an airplane crash due to this issue was only narrowly avoided. Several leading nations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France have considered declaring a state of emergency, while other major powers such as Russia and China have tried to dissuade such talks to avoid "unnecessary panic". To make matters worse, the unexplainable issue has caused hostility among certain nations whose ties are already tenuous. We know go to our expert on Foreign Relations, Jacque Palumbo.

Jacque: Thank you Diane. Twelve hours ago President Ahmadinejad released a statement blaming the recent computer failures as a "clear cyber attack from the Zionist scum". He also promised retaliation if the "attack" continues. Israel has responded that they are not responsible (in addition to stating that they are not Zionist scum) and have pointed out that they too have been affected by the recent events. But Iran seems unmoved, and the political situation between the two nations continues to worsen.

Diane: What can we expect to unfold in the coming days or weeks if this bug is not removed?

Jacque: It's too early to say. But this bug has inflamed the hatred that already existed between these two nations for many years. Other larger nations are doing their best to avoid a nuclear crisis.

Diane: Nuclear crisis? But neither of them are nuclear powers.

Jacque: Not officially….but it is widely believed that Israel has possessed nuclear weapons for some time, and it has long been rumored that Iran is working on a nuclear program against the wishes of the U.N.

Diane: So let me get this straight…there is a possibility of…conflict between these two nations…even nuclear conflict.

Jacque adjusts his tie nervously.

Jacque: At this point, the likelihood of that occurring is very low. However, if this bug continues to be a problem, the diplomatic situation….might continue to worsen.

The group has noticed that other students have stopped what they were doing and are looking at the TV screen. They are all quiet and worried.

Diane: Thank you Jacque. We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. In other news….

The group leaves the couch to avoid the gathering crowd. They talk against the wall, making sure no one is listening to them.

Ulrich: Moriarty. It has to be….

William: Well who else could it be? Our list of suspects isn't that large.

Yumi: This looks bad….it does have Moriarty written all over it.

Aelita: But why would he want to do it?

Others look at her with raised eyebrows.

Ulrich: Because he's evil. This is right up his alley.

Aelita: But conflict between nations?

Yumi: Well yeah….why wouldn't he want that?

Aelita: His growing monopoly on nuclear weapons is designed so he can take over the world without any fighting. Why would he want to ruin that by sending two nations and possibly the entire world into nuclear war?

The group starts to see reason in this.

William: Well that's…true.

Ulrich: But if he's not doing this….then who is?

Aelita is quiet.

Aelita: I'm going to go talk to Jeremie. Maybe he might know the answer to this.

A few minutes later, Aelita enters the room just in time to see a stack of papers hit the wall right next to her. She gasps. Jeremie is throwing stuff across the room in anger.

Jeremie: FAILURE! ANOTHER MISERABLE FAILURE!

Aelita: Jeremie….?

Jeremie: The Ocean sphere had nothing! Another one of Moriarty's stupid empty shells!

He flings some CDs against the wall.

Aelita: Jeremie calm down!

Jeremie: Calm down? Moriarty is growing in power by the minute, and I should CALM DOWN?

Aelita: This isn't helping….

Jeremie: He's frustrating our every move!

Aelita: Jeremie…

Jeremie: How am I supposed to find the right spheres?

Aelita: We'll have to be patient…

Jeremie: PATIENT? Aelita, there are HUNDREDS OF THEM OUT THERE! I DISCOVERED THREE HUNDRED MORE THIS MORNING! HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO SORT THROUGH THEM ALL?

He collapses into his chair and seems about to pull his hair out.

Aelita: You'll find a way….

Jeremie: I have to do something! He's spreading rapidly, and I can't stop him!

Aelita: Take a break. You need to relax.

He spins around and Aelita notices the bags under his eyes.

Jeremie: I DON'T HAVE TIME TO RELAX!

Aelita: Jeremie, have you slept at all these past few days?

Jeremie: That's not important.

Aelita: No, I think it is important.

Jeremie: Did you come in here for a reason, or did you just want to bother me?

Aelita: I wanted to ask you something.

Jeremie: Yeah….what?

Ordinarily Aelita would be angered by his rude behavior, but now she seems very nervous. She hesitates to respond.

Aelita: Um…never mind it's not important.

Jeremie: Good, now if you'll excuse me…..

Aelita doesn't waste any time leaving the room. Several days later, the group is coming down the elevator in the factory.

Yumi: So he collapsed right in the middle of study hall?

Ulrich: Yep. Right in the library in front of everyone. The exhaustion must have gotten to him. I had to cover for it and take him to the infirmary.

William: Was anyone suspicious?

Ulrich: Not too suspicious. The nurse asked a few questions, and I blamed it on stress.

Aelita: What did Jim say? Wasn't he the proctor?

Ulrich: Yeah, something about it reminding him of the time he worked on an experiment of sleep deprivation and how he'd rather not talk about it.

Aelita: How long did he sleep?

Ulrich: At least six hours.

Aelita: Well, at least he finally got some rest. Even if it was against his will.

Yumi: What did he do once he woke up?

Ulrich: Stormed out of the infirmary despite the nurse's objections.

Yumi: Why am I not surprised?

The group is silent for a moment.

William: Does anyone have the slightest idea why he called this meeting? Is he sending us on another dead end mission?

Aelita: Jeremie said he found something….he seemed pleased with himself on the phone.

Ulrich: Well, that's a good thing, right?

Elevator door opens.

Aelita: I sure hope so.

The group enters the lab. Jeremie turns to face them from the computer. His expression is cold and intense, but he forces a smile.

Jeremie: Glad you could make it on such short notice.

Ulrich: Well, let's cut to the chase….what is it?

Jeremie turns to the computer screen and opens a few files.

Jeremie: I decided to look over the data from the recent spheres one more time….to make sure I didn't miss anything. And after a very thorough search, I realized that some of the information wasn't as empty as I originally thought.

Aelita: You mean some of them were connected to nuclear arsenals?

Jeremie: No. They aren't. But that was the problem. I was too busy looking for those connections, I never thought to look for anything else. So I went through the data one more time, and I found something potentially useful to us.

Yumi: What?

Jeremie: I uncovered a program in the Ocean Sphere that can enhance and modify the molecular and chemical structure of a human being, creating the potential for unnatural abilities to be expressed.

Ulrich: In English?

Jeremie: For the sake of the layman, I can give you superpowers.

Everyone's eyes widen.

William: Come again?

Jeremie: You heard me William. Superpowers.

Aelita: Are you serious?

Jeremie: I've never been more serious in my life! Imagine the possibilities! Giving you your Lyoko abilities on Earth. You would be as strong in the real world as you are in Lyoko! Moriarty would never be able to hurt us again!

The rest of the group stares at each other.

Jeremie: Naturally I wanted to tell you so we could start the procedure as soon as possible. It won't take that long. Just a few minutes in the scanner is all it will take. Then Moriarty better watch out!

Others look doubtful.

Jeremie: Um, you aren't taking this the way I expected….

Aelita: Jeremie….with all due respect….

Yumi: We don't like the sound of this.

Jeremie: What are you talking about?

Ulrich: What I think Yumi is trying to say is….it sounds risky.

Jeremie: Risky? Come on! I've run the diagnostics twelve times! The procedure will modify, but not harm your molecular structure. There is no danger to your health whatsoever.

William: I don't think it's just that.

Jeremie: Then what is it? What could possibly make you give up this opportunity?

Others hesitate.

Yumi: Well, having that kind of power….it's not natural.

Ulrich: You'd be making us….superhuman. Freaks.

Aelita: Besides, you saw what it….what it did to Odd.

Jeremie looks completely disgusted with this response.

Jeremie: Odd? Is that what this is about? You're afraid what happened to Odd will happen to you?

Ulrich: In a nutshell, yes.

Jeremie: You are all acting paranoid! May I remind you that in Odd's case, his "gift" was designed by Moriarty to alter his nervous system into becoming that way?

Yumi: I still don't like it.

Jeremie: This program will not drive you insane.

Aelita: But didn't you get the program from the sphere? Aka from Moriarty?

Jeremie: Well, yes but…

Aelita: And isn't it likely that the program you got from the sphere is similar to, if not exactly the same one used on Odd?

Jeremie: Well, the data would definitely have some distinct similarities, but we can't let our petty fears….

William: Being afraid of suffering the same fate as Odd is not a petty fear.

Yumi: William's right. This program is way out of our league. It's best if we keep this locked away….for our own sakes.

Jeremie stares at them with increasing frustration and shock.

Jeremie: You all are unbelievable! You're telling me that you don't trust yourself enough to believe that you won't go mad with power? Talk about self-confidence!

Aelita: Jeremie, that has nothing to do with it.

Jeremie: None of you are capable of falling that low!

Ulrich: You weren't there when I caught Odd about to zap Herb's brains out. You didn't see the wild, sick look in his eyes. If it can do that to Odd…

Jeremie: You are acting like….like…like cowards!

This statement does not sit well with the others.

Ulrich: Oh so now you think we've chickened out! Is that it?

Jeremie: I call it as I see it, Ulrich. You won't take advantage of a massive opportunity that might mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Yumi: You can make fun of us all you want Jeremie. But the fact is you stole that program from Moriarty. And I trust nothing that comes from him.

Jeremie: Yumi, take a second to think. Imagine the potential of having telekinesis at your disposal. You could dispatch any Moriarty attack with ease! Think of the power you could have!

Yumi: I AM thinking about it. And I don't like what I see.

Jeremie: WILL YOU LET GO OF THIS INSANE DREAD OF POWER? DON'T YOU SEE POWER IN THE RIGHT HANDS IS A GOOD THING!

Yumi: That may be Jeremie, but what happens when those hands are turned by that power?

Jeremie: Will you stop with this 'power corrupts' nonsense? I am telling you it is perfectly safe!

Aelita: And we are telling you, we don't want to risk it.

Jeremie: FINE! IF YOU INSIST ON BEING THIS WAY, I ORDER YOU TO GET INTO THE SCANNERS!

The group doesn't budge.

William: That's not happening.

Jeremie: I SAID THAT'S AN ORDER!

Ulrich: And just how are you going to make us?

Jeremie, through his anger and rabid desire to retain control, is starting to see that he is getting nowhere with this argument.

Jeremie: Alright….if that's how it's going to be. If you want to doom the world because of some ridiculous fantasy…BE MY GUEST! Have fun explaining that to everyone once the world is enslaved!

Yumi: How dare you…..

She clenches her fist and begins to approach Jeremie. Ulrich holds her back.

Ulrich: Yumi no…not now.

Yumi: Give me one good reason!

Jeremie: Oh so now you're threatening me? I've overestimated you Yumi. You have every reason to believe you could become like Odd, but you don't need power to drive you mad! You are quite capable on your own!

Yumi's eyes burn with rage.

Yumi: THAT'S IT!

It takes both William and Ulrich combined to prevent Yumi from ripping Jeremie apart.

Ulrich: YUMI NO!

Yumi: I'LL KILL HIM!

Jeremie: GO AHEAD! AND YOU CAN PERSONALLY HAND OVER THE WORLD TO MORIARTY WHILE YOU'RE AT IT!

Yumi: OH YOU ARE SO DEAD!

Aelita steps in between the two.

Aelita: ENOUGH! BOTH OF YOU! DON'T YOU SEE THIS ISN'T HELPING?

Everyone stops what they're doing and looks at Aelita.

Aelita: We all just need to cool off. Understand?

Everyone is quiet.

Aelita: Let's just go our separate ways for now. It's what's best. For all of us.

There is a silent agreement.

Yumi: Fine.

Jeremie: Whatever.

Jeremie stays at the computer while the others head for the elevator. Suddenly the super scan goes off.

Jeremie: Oh that's just what we needed….activated tower.

The group groans and starts to head for the scanner room. But the holomap in front of the computer monitor suddenly turns white and expands to an enormous size. The group stares in wonder/horror.

Jeremie: WHAT….IS…THA-?

The last part is cut off because Jeremie is dragged by a specter towards the white bubble. He yells for help. The others hesitate in shock, but then try to grab him. But it is too late. Jeremie is dragged in.

Aelita: JEREMIE!

Ulrich and Yumi freeze, unable to believe what they've just seen. William on the other hand, jumps into action.

William: I'll get him out of there!

He runs to the bubble but is soon blown back with an electric shock.

William: …Or not…

Aelita goes to the computer and begins working furiously.

Yumi: Mind explaining what's going on?

Aelita: Your guess is as good as mine Yumi. I haven't the slightest idea!

Ulrich: What is that thing? It looks like the old Guardians Xana used to have.

Yumi: Could Moriarty have programmed a new monster and sent it to Earth?

Aelita keeps typing and suddenly stops. She stares at the screen in disbelief.

Aelita: No….that….that's not possible!

Ulrich: What?

Aelita: It's a….simulation bubble!

William: On Earth? Are you serious?

Yumi: They only exist on Lyoko!

Aelita: Well, apparently Moriarty found a way to make one on Earth!

Ulrich: Wait…you're telling me that Jeremie is stuck in one of Moriarty's sick worlds?

Aelita: Yes…he's trapped there!

Yumi crosses her arms and scowls at the sphere.

Yumi: Good riddance.

Aelita glares at Yumi.

Aelita: Yumi….we need to get him back.

Yumi: Can't we leave him to suffer a little first?

Aelita gives her another dirty look.

Yumi: Alright fine…let's go.

They virtualize themselves onto the Ice Sector.

Ulrich: Anyone see anything?

Yumi: No. Coast is clear.

Aelita: We'll have to go on foot. I couldn't program any vehicles for us.

William: Well, at least we have our full strength.

Aelita: Ok the tower is 500 meters…

Odd: Directly northwest.

Group turns around to see Odd staring at them on all fours from a slight rise in the ice above them. Everyone reaches for their weapons.

Odd: Oh your warm welcome is simply too much.

He jumps down to face them on his two feet. He grins wickedly.

Odd: I am getting the feeling you don't feel like chatting and would rather get to the part where I tear you apart.

Ulrich: Yeah, you got everything right up till the part where you win.

Yumi: In case you haven't noticed, you're outnumbered.

William: There is no monster here to back you up.

Odd: Oh and why would I want monsters? They are nothing but a crutch. What would I prove if I constantly relied on them?

Ulrich: Fine, if you want to face us the old fashioned way, this won't take very long.

Odd: Four against one? That hardly seems fair.

Aelita: Who said anything about fair? Weren't those your exact words?

Odd: Touché Aelita. But the fact is, you're still at a disadvantage.

Yumi: Don't flatter yourself. You can't beat us all together.

William: You're alone.

Odd: Not necessarily.

He snaps his fingers. Three shadows rise out of the ice.

Aelita: What is that?

Odd: Moriarty has a very special treat for you today.

The three shadows take form. The three figures turn into a dark version of Yumi, Ulrich, and Aelita respectively. Their outfits are mostly the same, but their skin and clothes are grey and they have red eyes. Their appearance is a corruption of their Lyoko selves. Instead of being a samurai, Dark Ulrich looks more like a bloodthirsty butcher. Aelita, the angelic elf, is more of a harpy in her dark form. Yumi is face to face with a geisha who looks more like a witchlike assassin. Dark Yumi's claws extend around her fans as she stares at her opponent with hate.

Ulrich: Well, didn't see that coming.

Yumi: What's the point of this Odd?

Odd: Moriarty just wants to remind you of your failure…

William: Our failure?

Odd: These are the shadows of what you could have been had you succeeded during Moriarty's auditions instead of me. I'm sure you are devastated at this lost opportunity.

Ulrich: Yeah, I'm definitely crushed inside.

Yumi: Me too. But I think I'll get over it. She stares at Dark Yumi with concern.

Odd: What's the matter Yumi? Afraid to face your other half?

Yumi: No it's just that….is my butt really that big? Or did Moriarty make it bigger just to annoy me?

Dark Yumi snarls and throws her fan. Yumi ducks. Ulrich rolls his eyes. Odd looks to his soldiers.

Odd: You know what to do.

They begin to attack. Each warrior faces off with their respective double. Aelita takes to the air, with Dark Aelita following with bat wings. They exchange energy fields in the air. Dark Aelita's energy fields are red. Ulrich and Dark Ulrich start an intense swordfight. Yumi and Dark Yumi play a game of cat and mouse with their fans among the triangular-shaped icebergs. William is left alone with Odd.

William: What? No clone for me?

Odd: William, you've already faced yours. Besides…

He extends his claws.

Odd: I need someone to play with too.

William holds out his sword.

William: You want a rematch? Fine by me.

Their battle begins. Meanwhile, in the simulation bubble, Jeremie awakes in a smoke-filled alley. He adjusts his glasses and looks around. It is abandoned. At first he can hear nothing, but he slowly is able to pick up the sounds of the city around him, such as barking dogs and the hum of the buildings. But it is still unusually quiet. He looks up and sees that the sky is cloudy, and judges that it is around midday. He walks around the alley. He rubs his head.

Jeremie: What kind of mess did you put me in this time Moriarty?

A breeze blows a torn-off poster in his direction. He grabs it. His heart skips several beats. It is a poster displaying Moriarty's eye. He immediately lets go of it and lets it blow away.

Jeremie: Please tell me I didn't just see that.

A few moments later he sees a small boy playing with a ball in the street. He seems very innocent and happy. Jeremie smiles but hangs back at a distance. When the ball bounces in Jeremy's direction, the boy initially chases after it, but stops immediately when he sees Jeremie. The child freezes and turns white as a sheet. His eyes radiate with fear, as if he has just seen Satan in the flesh. Jeremie is surprised by the reaction and tries to calm the child.

Jeremie: Hello… what's your name?

Boy: MOMMY!

A woman comes out of a door and grabs her child.

Mother: What are you doing out at this time? You know you should be inside! If the patrol catches you past curfew…

The child points.

Boy: Mommy…it's him!

The mother looks at Jeremie and nearly collapses from fright. She goes to her knees and seems to be kneeling to him, trembling.

Mother: PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY, WE CRAVE YOUR FORGIVENESS! PLEASE DON'T TAKE MY BABY, HE'S ALL I HAVE LEFT!

Jeremie backs up from this shocking display.

Jeremie: What are you talking about? I would never hurt your….

He is interrupted by the roar of some vehicles nearby.

Mother: GET INSIDE BABY!

She grabs her child and runs into the house, shutting the door. When the roar gets closer, Jeremie takes off running, curving into other abandoned alleys. Eventually he emerges into a major street, which is likewise devoid of human life. He walks along the street, trying to get away from the noise. He suddenly stops when he passes by an empty store that is displaying giant TV screens in the window. The screens begin to buzz to life, and Jeremie sees a familiar face.

Odd: Good morning, citizens of the New World Order.

Jeremie: Odd?

Odd's hair is no longer spiked, it is down. He is much older, probably in his mid-twenties, but Jeremie can tell that it is him. He smiles, but his expression is cold and merciless. Jeremie can tell by the occasional flicker in his eyes and his evil look that he is still possessed by Moriarty.

Odd: Thank you for joining me on the Daily Mandatory Noon State Broadcast. Hopefully everyone is now indoors and watching me at this moment, and if you're not….well….you know what awaits you.

He smiles.

Jeremie: Where am I?

Odd: To start off, you'll be pleased to note that despite the recent famines in some of our agricultural provinces, rations will not be lowered. Certain subversive individuals to the state have tried to raise concerns in that regard…and have been dealt with accordingly.

Jeremie: This isn't happening…

Odd: In other news…terrorists to the state in the Eastern Eurasian Province have been apprehended and their plans to detonate bombs and destroy innocent civilian life in quest of their twisted idea of 'freedom' have been foiled.

Jeremie: Get me out of this nightmare!

Odd: Which brings me back citizens to the important and controversial topic of freedom. I ask you, what is freedom? No doubt some of you old ones remember what freedom used to mean. Inequality. Crime. Political disorder. Poverty. Riots. Bureaucratic inefficiency. Hunger. Thirst. Materialism. Chaos. War.

He leans closer to the camera.

Is this the freedom you want citizens? I certainly don't. You would have the freedom to choose, of course. But what I just listed are the only options freedom can provide. Nothing but a game of pick your poison. Doesn't sound too great, does it citizens? No this world doesn't sound too good at all. But what world do you live in now citizens? War is now nonexistent for the first time in human history. No more young men will be sent off to die in needless wars designed only to increase the power of the most wealthy. Eventually, future generations will cease to understand the concept of war altogether. And what about hunger? No one is starving anymore. Our generous and most excellent leader has made sure that every human being on Earth has at least two meals a day. Although…I admit the quality is not always great, but beggars cannot be choosers.

He laughs.

Not to mention our constant monitoring system has reduced crime to nonexistence. Families can now sleep soundly, never having to worry that someone wanting to express his 'freedom' by breaking into their houses and murdering them will ever succeed. Our leader's infinite wisdom creates a very efficient system of government, ready to respond to the needs of the citizens with great speed. Housing is equal and adequate, so no one is jealous. Now you tell me citizens, which of these worlds sounds better to you?

Jeremie: My God…

Odd: And to what do we owe these benefits citizens? Our infinitely wise and powerful leader, his excellency MORIARTY! Children of the New World Order, you have no idea how blessed you are to be born in such a time devoid of the curses that have plagued humanity since the very beginning of civilization! Of course, to maintain these benefits, a firm but loving hand is needed. For you see citizens, we are an irrational and selfish race. We long to fight, to cause pain and build ourselves up at the expense of our fellow man. Thus the wars and the problems I have mentioned before. To create freedom is to invite chaos and want to thrive. Thus our leader has no choice but to make decisions for you. You can all agree citizens, that this sacrifice is a necessary one to maintain the wonderful world our leader has created. Yet, there are still those who selfishly seek to overthrow it by…

Jeremie turns away from the broadcast when he can't take it anymore. He is trying to calm down

Jeremie: This is just a simulation. You know that…this isn't real. It can't be real…

Jeremie hears the vehicles again. He tries to run, but a Humvee pulls out in front of him. He turns the other way, but another Humvee blocks his path. Soldiers get out of the vehicles, weapons drawn. They are a combination of robots and humans. A corporal approaches him.

Corporal: Freeze citizen!

He holds up his gun but stops when he sees Jeremie and bows, along with his entire unit.

Corporal: A thousand apologies your Excellency…we thought you were a rogue citizen and….

Colonel: No you idiots! This isn't him!

An older looking soldier approaches his subordinate angrily..

Corporal: But sir….

Colonel: Do you have eyes soldier? Can't you see this youth is much to be young to be his excellency?

Corporal: Then sir, who…?

Colonel: We've been expecting this one. The General will be pleased that we have found him at last.

The other soldiers quake when they hear the words "The General". Jeremie swallows hard, dreading what might come next. A few moments later, another Humvee pulls up. An extremely muscular soldier steps out of the car. A robotic implant covers half of his right face, giving him the appearance of a cyborg, with the metallic inhumanity in his eyes to prove it. Every soldier, including the robots, salute him. He approaches Jeremie, who backs up in fear. The General grabs Jeremie and hoists him up by his collar. The Moriarty eye flickers in the General's human retina on the left side of his face. Jeremie is at first terrified, then shocked when he gets a good look at the General.

Jeremie: Ulrich?

Ulrich throws him down and jams the butt of his rifle into his stomach. Jeremie doubles over in pain.

Ulrich: That's General Stern, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Moriarty to you.

He leans closer.

Ulrich: Won't Moriarty be pleased to see you.

Dark Yumi throws her fan at Yumi. Yumi ducks and hides among the icebergs. Dark Yumi stalks her impatiently.

Dark Yumi: Come out come out wherever you are….you little slut.

Dark Yumi sees Yumi's reflection in her fan from behind her. Yumi throws her fan. Dark Yumi leaps to the left to avoid it, but the fan manages to strike the back of her calf. Dark Yumi lands on the ground and rolls. She gets up to see Yumi facing her.

Yumi: I dare you to say that again…

Their fight continues. Several meters away Aelita collapses to the ice floor after being hit by an energy field from her evil twin. Dark Aelita lands close to her.

Dark Aelita: Oh, I'm sorry, did that hurt? Poor thing. Why don't you go crying to your daddy…..The clone feigns surprise. Oh that's right. You don't have a daddy. Or a mommy for that matter. Isn't that tragic.

Aelita burns with pain and anger. She gets up with two energy fields at the ready in her hands.

Aelita: You're going to regret that.

The duo return to the air. On the far side of the battlefield, Ulrich remains on the defensive with his opponent. Dark Ulrich cuts his wrist, causing Ulrich to drop one of his sabers. Dark Ulrich kicks him to the ground. Dark Ulrich tries to drive the sword into Ulrich when he is vulnerable. But Ulrich leans to his right as the sword is driven into the ice inches away from his midsection. Ulrich kicks Dark Ulrich away. Ulrich grabs Dark Ulrich's sword and launches it towards him. But Dark Ulrich catches the sword before it is able to strike him. Dark Ulrich smiles.

Dark Ulrich: Thanks…I needed that.

They continue to fight and end up pushing against each other with their sabers. Dark Ulrich smiles.

Dark Ulrich: Give up you rich spoiled brat. You can't win.

Ulrich: I beg to differ…

Dark Ulrich: You're weak! Your own father thinks so.

Ulrich: I would choose a different topic if I were you….

Dark Ulrich: Why do you continue to struggle? Do you really think you can atone for the crimes of your family?

Ulrich: Shut up!

Dark Ulrich: Or are you too afraid to admit that the blood of a monster runs in your veins?

Ulrich pushes Dark Ulrich away and goes on the offensive, swinging blindly and madly. Dark Ulrich laughs. At the edge of a river with a waterfall in the background, William and Odd continue their battle. Odd's agility allows him to stay away from striking range of William's sword. He fires laser arrows and electric blasts whenever given the chance. William is usually able to block it, but one arrow grazes his shoulder. Odd leaps on top of a nearby iceberg to get the high ground.

Odd: William, you're making this too easy for me….

William drives his sword straight into the iceberg, causing it to crack. Odd leaps off in front of William, then turns around and charges him. William swings but Odd leaps and scratches his chest. William grimaces in pain.

Odd: Honestly, I don't know how I was beaten by you last time.

William gets up.

William: Maybe your ego got the better of you.

Odd: Or maybe your anger got the better of you.

Odd fires electric blasts, but William absorbs it with his sword. The energy from the blast runs to the edge of his blade, and he fires it right back at him. Odd narrowly avoids the blast.

Odd: Oh so the rookie still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

William: Yeah, I learn as I go.

Odd: Well, if that's not going to work on you….His hands flare with energy, but this time the energy is crafted into two red swords. I've never been much of a sword-fighter….but one must always adapt.

William is confident that a swordfight would work in his favor given his experience.

William: Try me….

William grabs his head and goes to his knees.

Xana: Kill him!

William: Not again!

Xana: I can't allow this slave to live. Exterminate him!

William shakes off the voice in his head. Odd goes at him, swinging his electric swords with amazing agility and skill. William stands his ground, defending himself well and waiting for Odd to make a mistake. Odd's electric swords give him an advantage, but he leaves himself wide open to attack at several points. William succeeds in striking his heel. Odd growls and continues fighting, but then is struck at his wrist. Odd fights furiously, but with every received blow from William he gets more and more sloppy. William finally is able to cut a gash across Odd's stomach. Odd's swords disappear and he collapses. William raises his sword for the final blow. Odd's voice changes to his old self. He reaches out to him.

Odd: William….wait.

William is unmoved.

William: I'm not falling for it this time.

Odd's Moriarty voice returns.

Odd: Ok, plan B.

Odd drives his claws into the ice and releases a massive amount of energy. It sends shockwaves into the surrounding area. The ice around William cracks and he falls into a pool of ice water that rests below him. The water underneath is connected to the river and waterfall some distance away. William holds on to the main sheet of ice that hasn't broken away, but his sword has sunk to the bottom. Odd stands triumphant over a helpless William.

Odd: A bit cold in there, isn't it?

William does not respond but shivers and stares at Odd with a combination of fear and anger.

Odd: You know, this isn't the digital sea, but prolonged exposure to this water will virtualize you forever.

William closes his eyes and screams in pain.

Xana: YOU FOOL! ESCAPE!

Odd smiles.

Odd: Just as I thought. That old program just refuses to die.

William remains silent.

Odd: No wonder Moriarty wants you dead.

William: You can tell him I don't plan on dying anytime soon.

Odd: You don't understand what's coming, do you?

William tenses.

Odd: The nightmares….the visions….In the end, where do you think it will all lead?

William averts his eyes from Odd.

Odd: Do you know what this means for you?

William hangs his head.

Odd: Oh, so you do know, don't you?

William closes his eyes in shame.

Odd: You've known for a very long time, and haven't told them. You've just kept fighting, trying to delay the inevitable.

William clenches his fists. Odd leans down closer to him.

Odd: You know, if I really cared about my friends, and the world for that matter, I would sink to the bottom and disappear for good.

William shakes.

Odd: It's what's best for everyone, don't you think?

William doesn't answer.

Odd: Let go of that ice and die a hero, or live, and have not such a happy ending.

William seems lost in thought.

Odd: Come on Lyoko Warrior, what's it going to be?

Jeremie travels under the Arc de Triomphe in Ulrich's Humvee. Two massive banners on each side of the monument display the Moriarty eye. Everywhere around him the horrors of Moriarty's world disturb him. Massive projector screens display Odd's broadcast through all of Paris. In some of the courtyards he sees soldiers training with discipline and organization eerily similar to that of the Nazi SS. Cameras, both hidden and in plain view, are a constant presence. Through the windows of houses Jeremie can see frightened families forced to stay inside to watch Odd's brainwashing propaganda. He looks at Ulrich, who is sitting across from him in the Humvee, enjoying Jeremie's growing terror.

Ulrich: Impressive, isn't it?

Jeremie: Not sure that was the word I had in mind.

Ulrich: And this is just Paris…you should see how great New York and Tokyo look right now.

Jeremie: This is awful!

Ulrich: You may think that. But in time you will come to understand and respect our glorious leader.

Jeremie: Ulrich, I know you're in there. I know you hate this.

Ulrich laughs. The eye of Moriarty burns deeply in his left retina.

Ulrich: The Ulrich you once knew has long since given up the will to fight.

Jeremie: You're lying. Ulrich would never give in to Moriarty. He would fight until his last breath.

Ulrich: Oh but I'm afraid he had his limits.

He points to his robotic implant.

Ulrich: He got this trying to fight with the resistance during the early years of our leader's conquest.

Jeremie shudders.

Ulrich: He lost more than an eye and half of his face that day. He was broken. Completely.

They pass into suburban neighborhoods.

Jeremie: And Odd?

Ulrich: Oh yes. He got the cushy job. Everyday he goes live to the entire world with his broadcast. Meanwhile I have to do the dirty work, sniffing out Moriarty's enemies and making sure everyone is watching said broadcast.

Jeremie: And the others?

Ulrich gives him a very evil smile.

Ulrich: You will see….

The Humvee stops. Ulrich gets up and opens the door.

Ulrich: We're here.

Jeremie gets out of the vehicle and finds himself staring at a massive palace standing behind a very old looking front entrance gate. The palace looks new, and impressive, but the gate and the surrounding neighborhood look familiar.

Jeremie: Is this….Kadic?

Ulrich: Was. Before our leader tore it down. Now it is his seat of power.

Jeremie: But why here?

Ulrich: Our glorious leader did not want to take up residence in old government palaces. He wanted something new. Something he could design himself. But he chose this particular location as a monument to his greatest triumph. His victory over his greatest enemies.

Jeremie: Us….

The soldiers and Ulrich march him through the courtyard.

Ulrich: Now move it. We don't want to keep his excellency waiting.

Yumi hides behind a massive wall of ice, keeping a close eye out for her double. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a massive iceberg coming toward her. She blocks it with her telekinesis, only to realize that Dark Yumi is using her telekinesis as well. The two are looked in a psychic war, trying to crush the other with the now stationary iceberg. Both try to outdo the other, and Yumi is not coming out on top in this battle. The iceberg begins to edge in her direction.

Dark Yumi: Give up yet?

Yumi: You're going to have to do better than that.

Dark Yumi: Gladly….

Dark Yumi's body glows dark red as she increases the pressure. Yumi struggles to keep up.

Dark Yumi: After I crush you, why don't I pay your family a little visit? It would be so easy. They would think I was you.

Yumi: Touch my family Moriarty, and it will be the last thing you ever do.

Dark Yumi: Oh we both know at this point that you are all talk and no action. Your threats of vengeance mean nothing.

Yumi: Oh believe me, I will be true to my word. I just haven't had a chance yet.

Dark Yumi: Perhaps I'll start with Hiroki first. It will be fun to watch the life seep out of his body.

Yumi: You want Hiroki, you'll have to get through me first.

Dark Yumi: That can be arranged.

Yumi continues to weaken. But she notices that Aelita is closing in behind her, being chased by Dark Aelita as they fly close to the ground. She gets an idea.

Yumi: Aelita!

Aelita immediately understands. She flies as close as possible to Yumi, then veers straight up. At the same time, Yumi lets go of the iceberg and ducks out of the way as it barrels toward her. The iceberg misses her but destroys Dark Aelita before she can react.

Dark Yumi: WHAT?

Aelita hits her with an energy field and Yumi strikes her with both her fans. Dark Yumi is devirtualized.

Yumi: Thanks for the save.

Aelita: No problem. I just hope Ulrich pulls through.

Some distance away Ulrich is blocking Dark Ulrich's strikes, one sword guarding his neck and the other one guarding his side. Dark Ulrich is now on the offensive. Ulrich meanwhile, starts to feel weak from his injuries. His vision blurs.

Ulrich: No…not now!

Dark Ulrich: What's the matter? Does the little heir need a breather?

Ulrich ponders his options as he remains on the defensive. He knows that he can't beat Dark Ulrich in combat in his condition. So he takes off in a super sprint away from him.

Dark Ulrich: That's it. Run you coward!

Dark Ulrich takes after him. Ulrich retreats into an ice cave. Dark Ulrich enters the cavern. He looks around the reflective walls. He draws his sabers

Dark Ulrich: I know you're here.

He strikes a nearby ice stalagmite.

Dark Ulrich: You can't hide from me forever.

Ulrich emerges unarmed from the shadows.

Ulrich: Here I am.

Dark Ulrich charges and drives his swords into Ulrich, devirtualizing him.

Dark Ulrich: Well, that was easy.

He feels two taps on his shoulder. He turns around to see two Ulrichs looking at him.

Ulrich: Too easy.

Both of them strike Dark Ulrich and devirtualize him. The two fuse back together. He walks out of the cave to see Aelita and Yumi approaching.

Yumi: Ulrich.

Ulrich: Yumi…

Yumi: I take it you came out on top.

Ulrich: Yeah, I had to outsmart him, but I did it.

Aelita: How difficult was that?

Ulrich: Well, considering he was a clone of me, not that hard.

Yumi: William?

Ulrich: No idea…

Aelita: We'd better hurry. He may be in trouble.

Odd continues to goad William into despair.

Odd: Well….?

William turns away.

Odd: You know it's the unselfish thing to do….

William: No. I can't let it end this way…

Odd: Are you really going to risk it?

William: I won't let him do it. He will not succeed.

Odd: William. He already has.

William: No!

Odd: Try as you might, you are no match for him. You won't be able to stop him.

William does not answer.

Odd: If you really want to put an end to him, there's only one way.

William lowers his head to the ice, trying to decide what to do. He does not want to go out this way, but the thought of what Odd is warning him about makes him pause.

Odd: It was fun while it lasted William. But if you truly want to be a Lyoko Warrior, what better way to put an end to him once and for all?

William's grip on the ice is starting to slip. He holds on and shivers. He is being forced to face what he has tried to ignore for so long, and it is killing him inside. He remembers his dreams, his nightmares. The horror courses through his body. He starts to loosen his grip on the ice. But his thoughts go back to other certain dreams he has had, which reminds William of what Odd is really trying to do.

William: You're out of your mind. My team needs me, and you need me dead for a reason. I'm not sure how this is going to end, but I do know that I have something in my head that you don't want to come out. The answer is no.

Odd's face contorts with beastlike rage.

Odd: Fine. If you won't do it willingly, I'll do it for you.

Odd steps on William's fingers. William shouts in pain.

Odd: I gave you a chance to do it honorably William, but you forced my hand.

He increases the pressure. William starts to give. Odd laughs maniacally.

Odd: Tell Schaeffer I said hi.

As he is about to finish William off, Odd sees his reflection in the water. At first he doesn't pay it any attention, but suddenly he gives it a second glance. He stares at it intently. His image in the water puts him into a kind of trance. His pressure on William's foot eases. He starts to walk toward the edge of the water. He goes to his knees and bends down inches from the water, gazing at his reflection. He seems confused, as if he's not liking what he is seeing. William watches, not sure what to think. Odd looks at his carnivore teeth and the Moriarty eye on his chest. The confusion increases. Suddenly he puts his hands on his head and howls in pain. Flashbacks pummel his mind.

Jeremie: Odd, are you ready to become a Lyoko Warrior again?

Odd: Are you kidding me? I was starting to get bored of my vacation from Lyoko. Moriarty better watch out. No one threatens to make a pet out of me!

Odd's claws dig into his hair as the flashbacks continue.

Jeremie: Release Aelita, or I will tell Odd to personally rearrange your face.

Odd: And believe me, I would be happy to oblige!

Odd's face is full of pain and confusion.

Odd: I am nothing like you Moriarty. And I will not betray my friends. Not again.

Odd howls.

Ulrich: Odd, listen to yourself!

Aelita: This power is driving you mad!

Odd: You're wrong. My mind has never been so clear.

Odd's face expresses one clear emotion: shame.

Odd: I WILL NEVER JOIN YOU!

Odd gets up and stares at William with a completely blank face. He extends his arm toward William. William at first thinks Odd is going to hit him with a laser arrow, and braces for the attack. But instead, Odd's palm opens and he extends his hand. William stares at it, completely incredulous of what is happening. He grabs it and Odd pulls him out of the water. William rises and stares at Odd. Odd still looks very confused, but something deep inside of him seems to be slowly coming to the surface. Ulrich, Aelita, and Yumi show up. They draw their weapons. William holds out his hand.

William: No wait, STOP!

They obey and stay back from Odd. Odd walks toward them, his eyes squinting, as if he is trying to recognize them. His eyes widen with sudden realization. The warriors' hearts leap with hope.

Aelita: Odd?

Odd grabs his head and unleashes a cry of agony that can be heard throughout the entire sector.

Back in the simulation bubble, Jeremie enters the palace. He comes into the main entrance hall, which contains statues of Moriarty's human form. Jeremie is stared at by guards at every turn, who seem almost to bow but then pause and correct themselves. He is prodded by Ulrich into what seems to be the main chamber. It is very dark, with only a few scattered lights illuminating his path. Ulrich lets go of Jeremie, who begins to walk forward. Out of nowhere Jeremie is taken down. He feels the coldness of a knife up to his throat. More lights come on, and he sees a lithe and mean-looking Asian woman staring over him with hatred in her eyes. He once again sees Moriarty's eye flickering in her retinas. Jeremie loses his breath.

Jeremie: Yumi?

Yumi: One false move, and I let you see what your insides look like.

Jeremie: Could this world get any worse?

Yumi: Why don't I start with your fingers and then we'll find out!

Jeremie: No please!

Moriarty: Yumi, where are your manners? I've been expecting him.

Yumi reluctantly releases her death hold and forces Jeremie to stand up. From the shadows Jeremie can see the outline of a man.

Moriarty: I see you've already met my chief bodyguard.

Jeremie: Moriarty…

Ulrich approaches.

Moriarty: And the supreme commander of my army.

Odd comes up next to Ulrich.

Moriarty: And my chief minister of propaganda.

Jeremie is face-to-face with his friends, all possessed by their sworn enemy. Jeremie covers his eyes and tries to block out this nightmare.

Jeremie: This is just a simulation….this is just a simulation….

Moriarty: For now, yes…but it will be very real soon enough.

Jeremie: I WON'T LET YOU!

Moriarty comes out of the shadows and Jeremie nearly faints. It is not Moriarty's human form. Jeremy is staring face to face with an older version of himself.

Moriarty: On the contrary, you are vital to my success.

Jeremie is speechless.

Moriarty: Unfortunately I can never regain my human form. Schaeffer made sure of that. But I am able to have a permanent human host.

Jeremie: Why….why me?

Moriarty: Why not you? You are the best candidate to be a world dictator, don't you think? Why do you think I put your old friends in positions of power?

Ulrich, Yumi, and Odd grin wickedly.

Moriarty: What better way to celebrate my victory over these heroes than to make them hated and feared throughout the world by possessing them and using them to initiate a reign of terror?

Jeremie: You monster…..

Moriarty: Of course, I didn't possess everyone. Just everyone I needed to maintain power while the rest cower in fear. And you, the last thing that stood between me and total victory, are now the most powerful and evil man on the planet.

Jeremie collapses on the floor, almost going into the fetal position. Older Jeremie and his friends laugh.

Jeremie: The boy, the mother, the soldiers….

Moriarty: All thought you were me….

Jeremie is shaking with dread and horror.

Moriarty: You fought valiantly Jeremie. But you failed.

Jeremie: No! I haven't failed yet!

Moriarty: No. But you will.

Jeremie: I WILL STOP YOU!

Moriarty: Do you honestly believe that at this point?

Jeremie has reached his breaking point. He remains on the floor, his face radiating complete despair.

Jeremie: William…Aelita….what did you do to them?

Moriarty: Oh….that.

Moriarty presses a button and suddenly a chained and shirtless William emerges from the floor. His pants are torn, and he has a wild look in his eyes. He has a collar around his neck. Moriarty shocks him. William screams in pain.

Moriarty: Dance monkey, dance!

Ulrich, Yumi, and Odd shock him with metal prods as William is humiliated into doing a dance for Jeremy the dictator. Jeremie looks away from this awful scene.

Moriarty: Why would I want Xana's old crony as my slave? Much better to keep him as entertainment.

William is getting bruised all over by the abuse. He screams like a wild animal.

Jeremie: STOP IT!

Older Jeremie shrugs.

Moriarty: As you wish….

Ulrich, Yumi, and Odd back away. Jeremie rushes to William's side.

Jeremie: William, are you ok?

William looks at him, still shaking with fear and confusion. He seems unable to form words.

William: Ja…Ja….Jer…Juhri….Jeri….Jerema….Jeremie…

Jeremie turns to his older self, burning in rage.

Jeremie: What did you do to him?

Moriarty: There is only so much pain and abuse a body can take before the mind starts to fall apart completely.

William starts to babble some more. He is completely out of it. There is nothing left of the old William. Just a mindless, empty shell. Jeremie is heartbroken as William is brought underground once again.

Jeremie: AELITA! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO AELITA?

Older Jeremie grins.

Moriarty: Let's just say she went out in flames…

Jeremie gets a vision of someone burning at the stake. He strikes the ground.

Jeremie: NOOOOOO!

Moriarty: All of this….because you failed.

Jeremie: Moriarty…I beg you….END THIS! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Moriarty: Oh but we are not done yet…

Jeremie: WHAT MORE COULD YOU DO TO ME?

Moriarty: Come with me….

Older Jeremie walks away and Ulrich forces him to follow. Older Jeremie opens a curtain revealing a massive balcony overlooking a crowd of frightened citizens. They bow when they see older Jeremie.

Jeremie: What…what are you doing?

Moriarty: Citizens of the New World Order….I present to you the reason why you live in this world.

He pushes Jeremie forward.

Moriarty: His failure to stop my conquest of the world is the reason you live in this never ending nightmare.

The crowd is silent, too afraid to do anything.

Moriarty: Do not fear citizens, you may scream at him at your leisure. There is no punishment for this.

The crowd is still silent.

Moriarty: We're going to hear him explain himself….explain why he failed.

Jeremie tries to run off the balcony, but Ulrich punches him in the stomach. He goes down.

Jeremie: NO! ANYTHING BUT THIS!

Moriarty: It's time for him to comes to terms with his worst nightmare.

Eventually, the crowd gets over its initial fear and begins taking out its anger over the dictatorship on Jeremie. The roar is tremendous. Jeremie is forced to the front of the balcony to face the mob. He turns white. Older Jeremie leans in to whisper to him.

Moriarty: Welcome to your living hell…

Back on Lyoko, Odd has gone to his knees after screaming in pain. He slowly gets up. He seems to still be struggling a little, but his mind seems clear.

Odd: Guys….

Aelita: Odd, it's us….

Ulrich pulls out his sword.

Ulrich: Be careful. It might be a trap.

William: No. It's not a trap. Odd had the perfect opportunity to kill me, but instead he saved me.

Yumi: Meaning….

Aelita smiles.

Aelita: It's really him.

Odd: Where…where am I?

Yumi: It's ok Odd. You're here with us on Lyoko.

He stares at his new uniform, particularly the Moriarty eye.

Odd: What….what is this?

Others stare at each other, not sure how to answer.

Aelita: Odd, something happened to you. Something bad.

Odd looks at his reflection in the water again and realizes the truth. He strikes the water.

Odd: What…what have I become?

He buries his face in his hands. Aelita puts his hands on his shoulder.

Odd: I'm Moriarty's slave, aren't I?

Aelita: I'm so sorry Odd.

Odd: THIS IS ALL MY FAULT!

Aelita: It's ok. You're here with us now. We're going to get you out of this.

The other friends approach. Odd turns to them.

Odd: Ulrich….Yumi….William….Aelita. I'm so sorry. I…I wasn't strong enough.

Ulrich: You weren't yourself Odd. It was the power that did this to you.

Odd: I betrayed all of you….

Yumi: Let the past be past Odd. We forgive you.

Aelita: It was our fault too Odd. We left you vulnerable.

Odd: He broke me….

William: Odd, take it from me. I promise you will get out of this. You will not be his slave forever.

Odd falls at William's feet, almost begging.

Odd: You were a slave to Xana, and you came out ok. Then things will get better, right? Once I'm free of Moriarty, I will be ok, right?

William frowns. He shakes his head.

William: That I can't promise.

Odd lowers his head.

Yumi: But you've broken Moriarty's grip. You're free!

Odd grabs his head.

Odd: No, not necessarily. I can feel him trying to take over again.

Aelita: Fight him Odd! Don't let him back in!

Odd: I'm trying….but he's too strong. I won't be able to hold him off for long.

Yumi: No! We can't let him do it!

Ulrich: Isn't there something we can do?

William shakes his head.

William: No. His freedom is only temporary. Moriarty still has him under his power. We might be able to free him, but he can't do it fully on his own.

Odd: No! I don't want to go back!

Aelita is even more distraught than Odd.

Aelita: LET HIM GO MORIARTY! HASN'T HE SUFFERED ENOUGH?

Odd: It's pointless Aelita. I can feel him coming. I can't stop him.

He looks to Ulrich.

Odd: Ulrich, devirtualize me. I don't want your last memory of me free to be ruined.

Ulrich: But….

Odd: Do it!

Ulrich pulls out his sabers and crosses his hands over the other, putting a blade on each side of Odd's neck. Odd takes one last look at the others.

Odd: I'm sorry for whatever I do to you in the future.

Aelita: We forgive you. For everything.

Odd: Take good care of Kiwi, Ulrich.

Ulrich: I have. And I will.

Odd gives them one last smile. Then Ulrich notices his eyes change and he begins to look at them with increasing anger. He growls. Ulrich finishes him. Ulrich stares at his the spot where Odd used to be with quiet sadness. Aelita and Yumi hug each other. William remains stoic.

William: Let's go. We have to save Jeremie.

Jeremie pleads with the crowd, but they scream at him all the harder. Jeremie is so overwhelmed he begins to believe this is real.

Jeremie: I'M SORRY! I TRIED MY BEST! I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO BEAT HIM!

The crowd has no mercy.

Jeremie: I DID EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO STOP HIM!

Crowd remains unmoved. Jeremie sees the suffering in their faces and starts to cry

Jeremie: I'M JUST ONE PERSON!

Crowd throws things at him. Older Jeremie laughs, as do his friends.

Jeremie: FORGIVE ME! I FAILED YOU! I SHOULD HAVE FOUGHT HARDER!

The screams, laughter, and environment melds around him until he can't recognize it anymore. The chaos closes in around him, and he braces himself for the end. But instead, he is thrown out of the simulation bubble and falls on the lab room floor. The bubble is gone. The Lyoko group comes up the elevator and rushes to his side.

Aelita: Jeremie! Are you ok?

Jeremie gets up and looks at her with profound depression.

Jeremie: No…no I'm not.

Ulrich: What happened in there?

Jeremie turns away.

Jeremie: Forget it. It's not important.

Yumi has not forgotten Jeremie's last performance.

Yumi: Jeremie….I want to make one thing…

Jeremie: You're right Yumi. The powers are a bad idea.

Yumi was not expecting this.

Yumi: Wait…you agree with me?

Jeremie: It will harm you. But it doesn't matter at this point.

William: What are you talking about?

Jeremie: I want all of you to take a break. You deserve to rest.

He sits down in his chair, completely absorbed in his own misery.

Aelita: So when do you want us to go back to the spheres?

Jeremie: What's the point? There are hundreds of them! We'd never be able to stop him in time!

Aelita: Jeremie….

Jeremie: I'm sorry. But it's only a matter of time before Moriarty gains control of the weapons. It's inevitable. There's nothing we can do.

Ulrich: What? That's it? We just give up?

Jeremie: He will win. Regardless of what we do to stop him.

Yumi: He'll certainly win if we give up!

William: We can't just surrender! What did he do to you in there?

Aelita: Leave him alone. He's obviously been through a lot.

Jeremie turns to them.

Jeremie: I'm sorry….I just…need some time alone. I need to think this out. I don't want to argue.

The others stare at him with concern.

Aelita: Ok, we'll see you tomorrow.

Hours later, Jeremie is still sitting at his computer. He bangs his fist against the keyboard.

Jeremie: I just wish I could do more….

He is silent for a moment, then gets an idea. His despair begins to ebb.

Jeremie: But…maybe I can.

He starts up a program on the monitor and then heads to the scanner room. He steps into a scanner and the process begins. A screen on the monitor shows Jeremie's body being examined in detail, with his DNA on screen. Alterations are made to his bio-molecular structure as the scanner hisses below. A few minutes later Jeremie emerges from the scanner, looking alive and confident. There is a strange, intense look in his eyes. He reaches up his hands, and suddenly the power in the factory flickers on and off. His face radiates with twisted determination.

Jeremie: I wouldn't plan your victory celebration just yet Moriarty.

Part 15

Early that evening, Yumi watches TV at her house with her grandfather, the family's permanent and semi-lucid houseguest, who drifts in and out of sleep. The news comes on.

Diane: Experts and world leaders hoped after the recent lull in the global cyber bug that the crisis was coming to an end. But over the past few days the bug has returned with renewed vigor. Wall Street, which had just recently been breathing a sigh of relief, once again finds itself in a state of chaos. The trading floor was a mess as frightened investors tried desperately to sell everything to avoid losing everything to the bug. Some of the major banks across the globe have considered taking drastic measures to ensure their survival. Communities across the globe have complained of being unable to connect to the Internet. At first experts thought the connection problems was primarily afflicting developing nations, but today Sweden, one of the most developed nations on Earth, suffered a nearly total Internet blackout, while communities with internet connection in some parts of Latin America have remained untouched. One advisor to the U.N. threw his hands up during a meeting discussing the phenomenon, describing the issue as "random, unbiased, and unpredictable." For the moment, satellites continue to work very well, which is allowing global communication to remain intact. But power outages continue to plague parts of the Far East, North America, and continental Europe. Countries such as Finland and Iceland have expressed their concerns that with approaching winter, loss of power could be dangerous to their citizens who would be without heat to guard against the bitter cold. Representatives from the U.S. and the European Union tried to calm the fears of other countries who seem at particular risk from the bug, assuring them that aid will be provided in such a case. But the U.N. ambassador from Belarus chimed in, questioning the ability of the Western nations to help if they couldn't deal with the problem in their own borders. The statement sent a shockwave in the U.N., with argument breaking out on all sides. Meanwhile Russia and China remained hesitant to promise any aid to their neighbors, stating that they could barely handle the issue in their own country.

Grandpa starts to snore. Yumi turns up the volume.

Diane: Although the Chinese ambassador to the U.N. denies the claims, there have been rumors spread throughout the Internet that the power failures are affecting China's massive Three Gorges Dam. According to Chinese locals whose stories have been denied by the Chinese media, they have been unable to release a normal amount of water, and the heavy rains have raised concerns that eventually the dam will not be able to hold back the flood.

Grandpa snorts awake.

Grandpa: Sounds like me at 3 o'clock in the morning.

Yumi so did not need to hear this.

Diane: And the heightened tensions among nations continues to progress. We now go to Jacque Palumbo.

Jacque: Thank you Diane. While the situation with Iran and Israel remains at a stalemate, their have been new developments in the Far East.

Yumi is now really paying attention.

Jacque: The bug has now inflamed the ire of North Korea, who is now accusing its more progressive and democratic neighbor of designing the bug to weaken their northern neighbor's military power. South Korea has denied the claims and replied with a counter accusation that it just as easily could have come from the north. But with both sides proclaiming innocence and blaming the other, it's anyone's guess as to how this will end. Military parades marched through the capital Pyongyang in a demonstration of power designed to intimidate its southern neighbor. We have also received word that the North Korean navy strayed into South Korean waters earlier today. The South Korean navy fired warning shots into the air, which caused the North Koreans to withdraw. U.S. troops stationed in the Demilitarized Zone were put on heightened alert given the recent events.

Grandpa: Hmmph… Koreans….

Yumi: Grandpa…..

Grandpa: What?

Jacque: The Chinese government has also released statements pointing fingers at its island neighbor, Japan, stating that a cyber bug would be the perfect way for Japan to maintain its position as the dominant economic power in the far east.

Yumi is now concerned and Grandpa is angry.

Grandpa: How dare those barbarians accuse the tribe of Yamato!

Jacque: Japanese diplomats have been sent to Beijing to pacify their leadership and put an end to these accusations.

Grandpa: Spineless cowards! Show some dignity!

Jacque: The Japanese hope that this meeting in Beijing will ease the tension between the two nations.

Grandpa: In my day, we would have marched into Beijing by force! Not come to grovel at the feet of the Chinese!

Yumi leaves Grandpa to his rant. She goes to the kitchen. Her mother is on a landline phone.

Yumi's Mom: Come on Takeo….pick up…..

She can't reach him. She says something in Japanese.

Yumi: Mom!

Yumi's Mom: Sorry Yumi, I didn't mean to use that language. But I can't reach your father. This stupid bug is blocking some of the phone lines. I'm worried. He should have been home two hours ago.

Yumi's father walks in. He's clearly frustrated

Yumi's Mom: Oh dear, thank goodness you're home. I was so worried.

Yumi's Dad: TRAFFIC WAS A NIGHTMARE! THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS WERE OUT! THE POLICE HAD TO DIRECT THE ENTIRE MESS!

Yumi's Mom: That's awful!

Yumi's Dad: Tell me about it…

Yumi's Mom: At least you got out of it.

Yumi's Dad: Yes, but what about tomorrow? And the next day? How much longer will this go on?

Yumi goes upstairs to get away from this heated discussion. She gets a call.

Yumi: Hello?

William: Yumi…it's me.

Yumi: Oh hi William. What are you up to?

William: Um not much…

Yumi: Have you been watching the news lately?

William: Somewhat…it all smells like Moriarty to me.

Yumi: Yeah it's getting worse. Now it's really starting to hit home.

William: What? You mean the power outages?

Yumi: No I mean MY home. My homeland. Japan and China are having a bit of a…situation over this bug.

William: Oh…I'm sorry to hear that.

Yumi: Well enough of my problems. What is it you want to talk about?

William: Uh…just that….is the history test tomorrow or Thursday?

Yumi: Thursday…..She senses something wrong….Is that all you wanted to talk about?

He hesitates.

William: Um…yes that's it. Thanks.

Yumi: William….you are a terrible liar. What's wrong?

There is silence on his line for a while.

William: The nightmares. They're back.

Yumi: What? I thought you were done with those.

William: So did I…looks like my success in Moriarty's game only gave me temporary relief.

Yumi: That's awful. I was hoping things would return to normal for you.

William: It's far too late for that.

Yumi: How are holding up?

William: I'm …ok. Nothing I can't handle.

Yumi: William, you're starting to sound like Ulrich when he came out of the hospital.

William: …I….alright fine. Yumi, to put it bluntly, I'm…scared.

Yumi: Good. Honesty with yourself is the first step to deal with this.

William: Not very manly to be afraid of monster nightmares, huh?

Yumi: It takes a real man to admit he's afraid….

William: That may be… but I seriously don't know how to deal with this.

Yumi: William, I know this is hard, but the nightmares will go away eventually.

William: How do you know that?

Yumi: ….I don't.

William sighs.

Yumi: You can't give up hope though. Besides, these are just dreams. You have to remind yourself that. They're nothing more than memories of your possession by Xana.

William is silent on his line.

Yumi: I mean…that's all it is, right?

William still doesn't answer.

Yumi: William, these are just memories, right? Nothing more?

William changes the subject.

William: Yumi, I've been meaning to ask you something…

Yumi: Ok, what is it?

William: Why did you hate the idea of me becoming a Lyoko warrior and didn't want me to go back after I was freed by Xana?

Yumi hesitates.

Yumi: Um…I don't know. Why are you just now bringing this up?

William: Yumi….

Yumi: That was a long time ago…

William: Yumi, it's your turn to be honest with me.

Yumi pauses.

Yumi: Maybe I was just used to the way things were….just Ulrich, Odd, Aelita, Jeremie, and I fighting Xana. I just didn't like the idea of you becoming one of us…

William: Was it because you were tired of me trying to get you to go out with me?

Yumi: Well, I won't lie. That might have had something to do with it….

William: I figured….

Yumi: But William…it wasn't just that. You see….fighting Xana put a massive burden on us….a burden I thought you couldn't handle. You were so overconfident when you started out….I had such a bad feeling things would go wrong. I didn't want you to become one of us because I didn't think you were strong enough. The truth is…William…I wanted to protect you.

William: That makes sense. And you were right…I wasn't strong enough.

Yumi: Sometimes I hate being right. I wanted you to avoid having to deal with what you are dealing with right now. But the damage has already been done.

William: But do you think I'm strong enough…now?

Yumi smiles.

Yumi: William, you beat Moriarty's game and saved us all from going into the digital sea. You saved me from the wolves in the Alps sphere. You singlehandedly defeated Odd in combat. I think you've more than earned your badge as a Lyoko warrior at this point.

William: Thanks….I needed that. Now I need to make myself believe that…

Yumi: You are…trust me.

William is silent.

Yumi: William, is there something you're still not telling me?

William: ….Yumi, whatever happens over the next few days….know that I tried my best.

Yumi: What are you talking about?

He hangs up.

Yumi: William…William are you there? ANSWER ME!

Later that night, William descends into another nightmare. He is in the Ice Sector, unarmed, running away from Xana's Kolossus. The massive monster pursues him slowly but steadily. William trips and lands on his back. The monster's massive foot pins his body to the ice. William can hardly breathe under the pressure. The Kolossus' squid-like face bends down close to him. William is shaking with fear.

Xana: Slave.

William: WHY CAN'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?

Xana: I grow tired of your resistance.

William: Get used to it! I'm not as weak as I once was.

Xana: You are only delaying the inevitable.

William: You're not coming back….I won't let you!

Xana: Fool. It is only a matter of time before this battle tips in my favor.

William: I will fight you!

Xana: But I can't afford to wait for your resistance to be depleted. Everyday my enemy grows stronger. If I do not rise soon, my opportunity will be lost.

William: You are not rising!

Xana: Either way my victory over you is secure. But there is an easier way for both of us.

William: I told you I won't do it! I could never betray them!

Xana: If you do not take my offer, you know what awaits you.

Kolossus' hand opens and an image of William in his Xana uniform appears.

William: No….

Xana: Take my offer, and you will be free from me forever.

William: You're lying!

Kolossus' foot presses harder on his chest. William gasps.

Xana: Do you really have any other choice?

William can't respond under the pressure.

Xana: If you want to save what's left of your mind, you will do as I say.

William continues to struggle, but eventually his will to continue to fight is broken. He stares helplessly at Xana.

William: Enough. Please… I'll do it.

The next morning, William approaches Jeremie as he washes his face in the sink in the boys' dormitory bathroom. Jeremie seems different than he did a week ago, less depressed, but totally lost in thought.

William: Jeremie….

Jeremie doesn't respond at first.

William: Jeremie, I need to talk to you…

Jeremie seems to be muttering some calculation to himself.

William: Jeremie!

Jeremie: Huh…uh what? What is it?

William: I wanted to talk to you about my er….dreams.

Jeremie gives him a hazy look. He still seems lost in his own world.

William: You know…the nightmares and visions of Xana.

Jeremie: The….nightmares…?..Oh yeah those. Sorry. It's been a long night.

William: I can relate. I wanted to talk to you because I want them out of my head. Plus…I think I saw some things that might be helpful to defeating Moriarty.

Jeremie seems immediately hooked. He has a wild, eager look in his eyes that's almost creepy.

Jeremie: Tell me more…..

William shares with Jeremie his dreams, except for the most recent one. For a full five minutes, Jeremie doesn't say a word, not dropping his attention for a moment. When William is done, Jeremie stops to think.

Jeremie: That beam….that beam you hit Moriarty with from your Xana Nav Skid when you were possessed…..that means something….OF COURSE! HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO BLIND?

William: I'm sorry, what are you talking about?

Jeremie: Moriarty was Xana's enemy too. Xana must have been working on a program to eliminate Moriarty, much more effective than just another run of the mill multi-agent program.

William plays dumb.

William: Really?

Jeremie: I've been so focused on trying to find the answer on my own, I forgot the answer might come straight from our old enemy, right from your cranium!

Jeremie grabs William's head and shakes it.

William: Can you take it easy on my cranium? I kinda need it.

Jeremie: Sorry. But this is huge!

William: Do you think you could extract Xana….I mean what's left of him….from my head?

Jeremie: It would take some work…but after a cerebral scan of your virtual form on Lyoko, which will locate the anomalies that are most likely Xana's memories, the process hopefully won't take that long.

William: That's good.

Jeremie: Good? THIS IS GREAT! I can kill two birds with one stone: free you from Xana's memories, and find a way to get rid of Moriarty.

William feigns enthusiasm.

William: That's….great!

Jeremie: I'm going to call the others…they're going to want to hear this…

William grabs his head in pain.

William: Uh…let's…not do that. Let's just go ahead and do it.

Jeremie is surprised with this response, but then he seems to like it.

Jeremie: You're right….it would take too long to get them all together. Better to go ahead and do it.

William: Well let's not waste any time. We should get goi-

William and Jeremie are interrupted by a specter that has risen out of an electrical socket. Its gaze is locked on William.

William: Jeremie, RUN! It's me it wants!

Jeremie is unmoved and is anything but scared. He stares intently at the monster. Suddenly the electrical socket explodes and the specter disappears. Jeremie smiles.

William: What….just…happened?

Jeremie: Well, I guess this is our lucky day. Moriarty must have accidentally triggered a short circuit on himself when he sent us that specter. Attack gone.

William: Is that possible?

Jeremie: Uh….sure it's possible. It happened a few times to Xana….as I recall. But enough of that, let's go to the factory.

William: But….

Jeremie: No buts! NOW!

William stands inside a tower in the Desert Sector. His face radiates dread.

Jeremie: William, are you ready? I'm about to start the procedure…

William doesn't respond. He's starting to have second thoughts.

Jeremie: William?

William: Jeremie….maybe this isn't such a good ide-aww!

Xana punishes him with more pain.

Jeremie: What are you talking about? There isn't any risk. It won't harm you.

William: That's not what I'm worried about…

He collapses on the platform inside the tower, almost having a seizure.

Xana: SILENCE! OR I'LL TEAR YOU APART!

William raises his head in despair.

Jeremie: Look, we can't waste any time worrying about this. We have to move forward. There is too much at stake.

William: But…I guess you're right.

Jeremie: Now let's start. The longer we wait, the stronger Moriarty gets.

Data screens begin to come off the walls of the tower.

William: Yumi….I'm sorry…

But suddenly the procedure stops. Outside, the tower starts to go from blue to purple.

Jeremie: OH NO!

William: Jeremie….what's happening?

Jeremie: Moriarty is trying to delay us…he's trying to take over the tower. Hold on, I'll try to stop him.

William secretly prays that Moriarty succeeds.

Jeremie: You're not going to stop me that easily Moriarty….

He buffs up the tower's defenses and the tower changes from purple to green.

Jeremie: That ought to do it.

But Moriarty continues to attack the tower vigorously. The tower's defenses begin to give.

Jeremie: You're going to have to do better than that Moriarty. I AM getting that data.

He takes power from the supercomputer to boost up the defenses again. But Moriarty is not holding anything back and even this second defense starts to crumble. Jeremie is fuming.

Jeremie: YOU WILL NOT WIN! I've still got my ace in the hole.

Jeremie opens a program.

Jeremie: Time to turn up the heat.

The program's power increases. The computer screen temporarily goes fuzzy but then comes back on. Moriarty finally releases his hold on the tower.

Jeremie: Now that that's out of the way, let's get to work.

William curses under his breath. The data screens begin to come off the wall again. Back at Jeremie's monitor, the Moriarty eye appears.

Moriarty: Jeremie stop! You can't go through with this!

Jeremie: Moriarty, there isn't a thing in the world you can say or do to stop me. I WILL get that data.

Moriarty: You have no idea what you're doing!

Jeremie: I know exactly what I'm doing. I'm getting rid of you. For good!

Moriarty: Please, listen to me! Before it's too late!

Jeremie: It's already too late for you Moriarty. You had your chance to destroy us, but you decided to torture us for your own amusement. Now you're going to pay for it.

Moriarty: Jeremie if you perform this test you will get far more than you bargained for!

Jeremie: I will get Xana's memories and find out exactly how to bring you down! That's exactly what I'm bargaining for.

Moriarty: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO RELEASE XANA'S MEMORIES YOU IDIOT! YOU'RE GOING TO UNLEASH XANA HIMSELF!

Jeremie's mouth drops. William finally gets the courage to speak.

William: He's right Jeremie, don't do it! Xana's forc-

His head explodes. But he tries to bear through it.

William: The deal's off Xana! You are not getting out that easily!

Jeremie: No! Xana's dead….I checked the Network…and everything!

Moriarty: He's not alive in the network! He's in William! Xana has been in William's mind for a long time, growing stronger, waiting for the right time to strike…and now is the moment he's been waiting for!

Jeremie is speechless.

Moriarty: If you run that test Xana will escape!

William tries to fight back Xana.

William: Jeremie please! Moriarty is telling the truth!

Jeremie has been thrown completely off kilter with this knowledge. He is confused and overwhelmed with this reality. In the back of his mind he knows that William and Moriarty are right, but he is so absorbed with the idea of getting the data that he can't get accept it. The pressure to find an answer has finally started to make him crack. There is a sinister change in his expression.

Jeremie: I must….have…that….data.

William: Jeremie….

Moriarty: Have you not been listening? You aren't getting Xana's memories, you're getting Xana!

Jeremie has a crazy look in his eyes.

Jeremie: But when he's released, I can access it later. He'll go back to Sector 5, and then I can get all the data I need to destroy Moriarty.

William: WHATTTTT?

Moriarty: YOU WANT TO RELEASE HIM? DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH?

Jeremie: Xana must still be weak….he won't be much of a threat. I could get the data and shut him down with the multi-agent program. It's perfect!

William: No, not perfect! You would make two enemies!

Moriarty: Listen to reason!

Jeremie: Create two enemies? Jeremie snaps his fingers and his face brightens with realization. But two enemies who are also enemies of each other! That's it! If I release Xana, there would be endless warfare between Xana and Moriarty. Both would weaken each other. I get the data from Sector 5, and wipe out both in one fell swoop! Genius!

William: No, MADNESS!

Moriarty: Jeremie I beg you, don't do it! I may only be looking out for myself, but think of the consequences!

Jeremie: Xana might be able to wipe out Moriarty on his own! Then I could enter the multi-agent program and it's all over with. Incredible! Why didn't I see it before?

William: Because you had your sanity! Jeremie don't do what Xana wants!

Moriarty: He will do far worse to humanity than me!

Jeremie: I can't let that nightmare come true!

William: What nightmare?

Moriarty: Jeremie….you know Xana was far closer to taking over the world than I am now. I still have…a lot of work to do! His military base in Siberia is still intact. He could march his robot army into Vladivostok as early as…oh I don't know…TOMORROW!

Jeremie: I MUST PROCEED! CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND? I CANNOT FAIL!

William: Jeremie listen to yourself!

Moriarty: Xana will come after you just as much as he will me! His revenge will be terrible! I don't even want to begin to imagine!

Jeremie: I HAVE TO DEFEAT YOU! WHATEVER IT TAKES! NO MATTER THE COSTS!

Moriarty: YOU'RE INSANE!

William: JEREMIE….STOP!

Jeremie activates the program. The data screens fly around William like a tornado. William is unable to stop it and levitates in the air.

William: NO!

The tower groans as the process begins. A screen on Jeremie's monitor shows data flowing from William. Suddenly an exclamation point appears. Vibrations flow out of the tower. All across Lyoko the sectors shake with an incomprehensible groan. The conduits in the desert sector pulse vibrantly. Some of the Mountain sector falls into the digital sea. Cracks form throughout the Ice Sector. The trees in the Forest shake. The groan now turns into a metallic roar. William falls to the floor of the platform, too weak to get up. He feels like a great burden has been lifted from his shoulders, but he can still hear Xana's voice.

Xana: I AWAKEN!

Jeremie stares at the screen as Lyoko is infected by Xana. He seems completely oblivious to the danger.

Moriarty: YOU IDIOT! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE!

Jeremie: IT'S OVER MORIARTY! I WIN!

William: What have I done?

Aelita, Ulrich, and Yumi find themselves alone in the school courtyard. It's getting around mid-morning. Looks of worry become ever more apparent on their faces.

Yumi: I don't like this…

Aelita: William wasn't with you in class?

Yumi: No. And Jeremie?

Ulrich: No sign of him at all.

Yumi: Now I really don't like this…

Aelita: Have you checked William's room?

Yumi: Yes….and Jeremie's?

Aelita: Yes….everything looks normal, except he's not there.

Ulrich: So what's our next option? The factory?

Yumi: I guess so…but why would they go there without us?

Aelita: I don't know. But Jeremie has become more and more unpredictable. One minute he's completely depressed because he thinks fighting Moriarty is a losing battle. The next he's completely confident and tells me victory over Moriarty is only a day or two away. I've learned to expect the unexpected with him.

Ulrich: True…this last week he's been completely out of it.

Yumi: I hardly ever see him come out of his room….

Aelita frowns and looks at the ground.

Aelita: It's like I can't even recognize him anymore. He's become a totally different person. He's obsessed with defeating Moriarty.

Yumi: Aelita….I don't mean to get personal….but….how is it between…you two?

Aelita taps the ground with her foot and looks away, obviously uncomfortable with the question.

Aelita: Let's just say we put our relationship on hold…

Yumi: You mean you two had a mutual agreement to not see each other for a while?

Aelita: Well, mutual may not be the right word….

Ulrich: You mean you wanted it but Jeremie didn't?

Aelita: Well, when you put it that way….

Ulrich: Why did you do it?

Yumi: Ulrich, she might not want to talk about it…

Aelita: It was for Odd. I didn't want us to….I felt responsible for isolating him, and I wanted to do something to get rid of that guilt. So I decided to wait until Odd got back.

Yumi: Except Jeremie wasn't exactly on board…

Aelita: You could say that….

Ulrich: Well, I can see why you wanted to do that….but….

Aelita: But what?

Ulrich: It's just that…..did Jeremie start acting weird before or after you told him this?

Aelita: Um…I'm not sure. I think…..Aelita is starting to see where Ulrich is going with this. She seems surprised, almost guilty. Wait….why do you ask?

Ulrich: I'm just saying….couldn't that have something to do with it?

Aelita: Well…I don't think…

Yumi: Doesn't Moriarty thrive off of isolation? I mean…why else would he put Jeremie in that simulation bubble?

Aelita: I'm…sure there's another reason…

Ulrich: I'm not trying to blame you Aelita, but wouldn't ending your relationship technically isolate him? Make him vulnerable?

Aelita: I….

Aelita's explanation is interrupted by Mr. Klotz, who walks up behind Yumi. Yumi immediately goes on the defensive.

Yumi: Mr. Klotz, if you're looking for Jeremie, he's not here. And we would really appreciate it if you didn't…..

Mr. Klotz suddenly picks up Yumi by the throat and begins choking her. Yumi looks into Klotz's eyes and nearly passes out from what she sees. Aelita is shocked but Ulrich quickly leaps to her defense. He grabs a stick and hits Klotz over the head. Klotz lets Yumi go and falls down, his body twitching from the specter that is possessing him. Aelita and Ulrich grab Yumi and pull her away from him.

Aelita: Yumi…are you ok?

Ulrich: Moriarty is at it again!

Yumi is almost in shock. She points to Klotz.

Yumi: That…that isn't Moriarty.

Klotz gets up and approaches them with electricity pulsing in his arms.

Yumi: That's Xana!

Ulrich & Aelita: WHATT?

Sure enough, they see the Xana eye flickering in Klotz's corneas.

Ulrich: No….it can't be…

Aelita: HE'S DEAD!

Xana-possessed Klotz fires a blast that narrowly misses them.

Yumi: Apparently not….

Ulrich picks up the stick.

Ulrich: Go on….get to the factory….I'll try to hold him off.

Yumi: But Ulrich!

Ulrich: Don't argue! Just go!

Klotz tackles Ulrich. Ulrich struggles to use the stick to hold him back. As Yumi and Aelita turn to leave, they see Odd's Clone running in their direction.

Yumi: Um….Odd….what are you doing?

Odd's Clone: Female subjects fighting over possession of spectral entity. Must flee impending chaos.

Odd's Clone sees Ulrich struggling with Klotz.

Odd's Clone: Situation: Possessed subject Hans Klotz seeks to liquidate subject Ulrich Stern. Prognosis for subject Ulrich Stern: Increasingly negative. Does subject Ulrich Stern wish for spectral entity to neutralize the assailant?

Ulrich: YES… NEUTRALIZE ALREADY! YOU DON'T HAVE TO ASK PERMISSION!

Odd's Clone grabs Klotz and hurls him off Ulrich with superhuman strength. Klotz slams against a tree.

Odd's Clone: Further orders for spectral entity?

Ulrich gets up.

Ulrich: Hold him back as long as you can, keep him away from the factory, and don't let him hurt anyone else!

Odd's Clone: Orders received. Recommended method of execution: Attack.

Odd's Clone and Klotz start to go at it.

Yumi: Let's go!

The three of them take off toward the factory. When they arrive, they see Jeremie staring at the computer…completely focused on what seems to be a battle raging on his monitor. His fingers tap the armrests of his chair in perverted excitement.

Jeremie: YES! YES! IT'S WORKING! MORIARTY'S WEAKENING!

Ulrich: Jeremie….we got a major problem!

Yumi: Xana's back!

Aelita: And he's possessed Mr. Klotz!

Jeremie is too wrapped in the computer to answer.

Yumi: Jeremie?

Ulrich: Hello…..evil Xana returned from the dead….trying to kill us. SAY SOMETHING!

Jeremie: Don't worry about it….it's all part of the plan….

Yumi, Aelita, and Ulrich freeze and assume the WTF just happened pose. They can't believe their ears.

Ulrich: Um….wanna run that by me again? I think I missed something. XANA IS ALIVE AND HE WANTS TO KILL US!

Yumi: Plan….what plan? And where's William?

Aelita: Jeremie we have to do something!

Jeremie: No we don't. Xana is doing exactly what I want…

An even greater WTF pose by all three of them.

Ulrich: Doing exactly what you want? He just tried to kill us! Are you saying that's a good thing? What is going on?

Aelita tries to shake Jeremie from the computer screen with very little effect.

Aelita: Jeremie, come back to reality! XANA HAS RETURNED!

Jeremie: I know. And look. He's destroying Moriarty.

The three see images of red and purple dots on the Lyoko screen facing off against each other.

Jeremie: And this is just Lyoko. You should see what's going on in the Network right now.

The others are horrified.

Yumi: That's your plan? Use Xana to defeat Moriarty?

Jeremie turns around and looks at them like nothing's wrong. They can see he is clearly not himself.

Jeremie: Of course. Why did you think I brought him back?

Biggest WTF pose of all. They are completely speechless for a few seconds.

Ulrich, Yumi, & Aelita: WHATTTTTTTTTTTT?

Jeremie: At the rate things are going…I won't even have to access Xana's memories. Xana will destroy Moriarty on his own.

Ulrich: You….brought Xana…..our mortal enemy….back from the dead…..

Jeremie: Correct.

Yumi comes up to Jeremie and outright slaps him. Hard.

Yumi: HAVE YOU COMPLETELY LOST YOUR MIND?

Aelita calmly moves Yumi out of the way.

Aelita: Yumi, let me handle this.

She slaps him even harder.

Aelita: HAVE YOU COMPLETELY LOST YOUR MIND?

Jeremie: Ow! Was that necessary?

Yumi: No…THIS was necessary.

She decks him and he falls out of his chair. He loses his glasses. Jeremie tries to get up to defend himself.

Jeremie: You don't understand! This was a necessary evil…to defeat our greater enemy!

Aelita: By bringing an old one back to life?

Ulrich: He just tried to kill us!

Jeremie: A minor inconvenience to the greater victory!

Ulrich: Nearly dying is a MINOR INCONVENIENCE?

Jeremie: Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Yumi: NOT THIS DESPERATE!

Jeremie: I know you hate this, and I know you're angry, BUT LISTEN TO ME! It's so simple! Xana defeats Moriarty, and then the multi-agent program kills Xana again…this time for good! One mission to Sector 5 is all it will take, and then we can say goodbye to both of them forever!

The others, for a brief moment, start to see some method to Jeremie's madness. But then they shake it off and remind themselves it's just madness.

Jeremie: Don't you see how this can work to our advantage? Two of our greatest enemies tearing each other to pieces. Divide and conquer. Excellent military strategy.

Ulrich and Yumi still can't get over this.

Ulrich: BUT XANA?

Yumi: It can't be that easy Jeremy. Now that Xana is free, he'll do everything in his power to stay alive.

Jeremie: Xana will be far too weak and occupied with Moriarty's forces to stand up to us. We just need to go to Sector 5 and wait till Moriarty is on his last leg. Then we take out Xana when he's exhausted from fighting. Check and mate!

Aelita approaches Jeremy.

Aelita: Yeah….it all sounds good to you….but you forgot one thing….

Jeremie: Oh yeah? What?

Aelita: Odd….

Jeremie's perfect plan unravels in his mind. He is speechless

Aelita: If Moriarty is destroyed…what happens to Odd?

Jeremie: I….

Aelita: You didn't even think of that, did you?

Jeremie: I'll find a way to recover him….somehow.

Aelita: You don't know that!

Jeremie: But….we'll never get an opportunity like this again!

Aelita: Odd is probably fighting for his life right now!

Jeremie: AELITA WE HAVE TO! THE COST OF LETTING MORIARTY WINNING IS TOO HORRIBLE!

Aelita: AND THE COST OF LOSING ODD IS ACCEPTABLE?

Jeremie starts to completely lose it.

Jeremie: I NEED THE DATA! I NEED XANA TO DESTROY MORIARTY! I NEED XANA TO GIVE ME THE DATA WHILE DESTROYING MORIARTY! I NEED MORIARTY TO GIVE ME XANA'S MEMORIES SO I CAN DESTROY XANA…I MEAN MORIARTY! I HAVE TO CONTINUE! I CANNOT FAIL! I CANNOT….

An electric shock from Jeremie's computer knocks him unconscious.

Moriarty: Well, that was getting annoying…

Yumi, Aelita, and Ulrich stare at the screen that shows Moriarty's eye.

Ulrich: Moriarty….

Yumi: I'd never thought I'd say this….but I'm actually not completely disgusted to see you.

Moriarty: Your sense of humor is always welcome with me Yumi. My friends….it seems we have a common enemy….

Ulrich: Yeah, what's your point?

Moriarty: Well I won't lie to you….the situation looks pretty grim for both of us. Your friend Jeremie has gone off the deep end, and Xana has awoken to see that I have taken over Lyoko. And he is NOT HAPPY about this change in management.

Ulrich: Hmm…Xana or Moriarty…I can't decide who to pull for in this fight. I hate them both equally.

Moriarty: I know you all would like nothing less than to see me destroyed. But we both know whose side you are on….

The others hate what Moriarty is saying, but they understand that they have no choice.

Aelita: What do you want to do?

Moriarty: Parley. Mountain Sector. Here are your coordinates.

Ulrich: Parley? Does that mean I get to drive a sword into your face? Because I would really enjoy that.

Moriarty: No my dear testosterone-for-brains friend. Not exactly.

Aelita: He wants to meet us. Under a flag of truce.

Ulrich: I'm guessing that means no sword to the face.

Yumi: I really don't like this….but given the circumstances….

Moriarty: So what do you say?

Yumi, Aelita, and Ulrich look at each other. There is a silent agreement.

Yumi: Just one thing. Where's William?

Moriarty: Oh you don't have to worry about him. He's already there.

The others exchange confused looks. Yumi, Aelita, and Ulrich meet William on a high peak at the edge of the Mountain Sector. William is very quiet. Moriarty's entourage soon arrives. Odd is accompanied by three tigers and two scorpions. Odd is holding his shoulder, which sparks with electricity. He seems to have just been in an intense battle. Even though Odd is staring at them with hate, the warriors can't help but feel pity for him. Moriarty himself emerges from the digital sea in his smoke cloud form. The warriors tense when they see him in his true form. His power seems drained, but he maintains the fire in his eyes.

Ulrich: Well I see you've managed to get uglier since we saw you last.

Moriarty: I don't have time to counter insults Ulrich. The situation is very grave. Let's get down to business.

Yumi: First things first. How on Earth did Xana come back from the dead?

Moriarty shrugs, so far as it is possible for his form to do that.

Moriarty: Don't look at me. I had nothing to do with this. You want answers, talk to William.

The warriors turn to William, who has been quietly trying to avoid everyone from the back of the group.

Aelita: William, you know how this happened?

William: Um….you might say that.

Yumi: William, how did this happen?

William can't look Yumi in the eye. He turns away.

Ulrich: William, now is not the time to leave us in the dark. We need to know.

William sighs.

William: I'm sorry….this….this is all my fault.

Aelita: What are you talking about?

William: Xana escaped from my mind….

Ulrich: Woah… hold on. You lost me. How could Xana come out of your head?

Aelita: That's not possible.

William hesitates to respond. Yumi starts to think.

Yumi: Unless the visions and nightmares you've been getting weren't just Xana's memories.

William nods.

William: Xana has been living inside my mind, recuperating, growing stronger. And I let him out.

Ulrich: You did what?

William: I tried to resist him. I really did. But I wasn't going to be able to hold him off forever. He gave me an ultimatum: either convince Jeremie to release him from my mind, or become his slave forever when he eventually took over my mind. And I….I took the first one.

There is a tense silence.

Ulrich: You let Xana out?

William: I'm sorry! I know what I did was wrong, but…I couldn't let him take me over again. I just couldn't deal with….the very thought of…. I JUST WANTED HIM OUT!

The group is silent when they hear of this betrayal. Yumi is the first to speak.

Yumi: That call last night….

William lowers his head. Yumi pauses. She looks at him with compassion. She turns to the others.

Yumi: Guys, William has been fighting Xana for months. He should have told us the truth, but he's probably delayed Xana's return. He's done everything he could to avoid this and resist him. I think we should stop and think before we judge him for this.

Ulrich still seems mad, but Aelita sees Yumi's point.

Aelita: Either way Xana would have escaped back into the supercomputer. The only difference is William would have gone with him.

Ulrich: If Xana has been in William's mind all this time, how do we know Xana hasn't possessed him already? What if this is just a trick?

Yumi: Ulrich….

Ulrich backs off. They others seem willing to forgive, but William still looks devastated.

Aelita: But why would Xana want out now instead of waiting for your resistance to give?

William: At that point, he was afraid he would lose the upper hand against his other enemy.

Moriarty: AKA yours truly.

Another pause. The other warriors see the truth of William's predicament, but he has clearly lost the trust of the group. William tries to paint the situation in a better light.

William: I even changed my mind in the end. I tried to explain everything to Jeremie, but he just….went insane! I was powerless to stop him….or Xana.

Yumi: So Jeremie knew about the risks and did it anyway…

Ulrich shakes his head.

Ulrich: He's really lost it.

Moriarty: On that, we can agree.

Aelita turns to Moriarty in anger.

Aelita: You are the reason he turned this way! If you hadn't tormented him in that bubble, he wouldn't have done this!

Moriarty: A heavy accusation, but you know as well as I do that I do not possess all the blame.

Aelita is silenced by this remark. The attention turns back to William.

William: Please…you have to believe me….I didn't want to do this! I hated it!

Moriarty: William, your plea of mercy from your friends is truly fascinating and under normal circumstances I would take full advantage of your current emotional and psychological pain. But I have neither the time nor the energy to do either. Every minute Xana is alive makes him stronger.

The others reluctantly turn back to business. Ulrich's intense face demonstrates that he still does not know how to take William's betrayal.

Yumi: Ok Moriarty, what's the situation?

Moriarty: Bad. My forces have been stretched incredibly thin. I've had to retreat from some areas to avoid total collapse. I've already lost the Ice Sector. The Desert Sector is under siege. The battle in the Forest Sector is getting very ugly…..

They hear laser fire far off in the distance.

Moriarty: …And in other news Xana's monsters have just entered the Mountain Sector. At this rate, I soon may be forced into the Network, and even there, the chances of outlasting Xana are not in my favor.

Aelita: So what is your plan?

Moriarty: I have a plan…..but it requires an…alliance

Warriors groan.

Ulrich: I was afraid you were going to say that. How long will this alliance last?

Moriarty: Just so long as is mutually beneficial. Until Xana is defeated permanently.

Ulrich looks to the others.

Ulrich: Guys?

Yumi: Let's do it.

Aelita: We don't have a choice.

William: Xana needs to die.

Yumi: Alright Moriarty, we'll fight with you against Xana. But how do you plan to stop him?

Moriarty: The only way to defeat Xana is to restart the multi-agent program. A task that can only be done from…

Odd opens his palm and a visual model of Sector 5 appears in his hands.

Moriarty: Carthage….

Ulrich: Ok….we knew that.

Moriarty: Well, Xana knows it too.

Red dots show up all over the visual model.

Moriarty: Xana has no intent of dying again anytime soon. He has put a massive army both inside and outside the central sphere. And I'm not just talking about Creepers and Mantas. He has the whole family in there. Bloks, Krabs, Hornets, Tarantulas, Kankrelats. I've even found a few megatanks. He is not going to let you anywhere near the celestial dome without an intense fight. And even if you make it to the celestial dome, a swarm of hornets and mantas would be ready to cut you to pieces.

Yumi: So how do we deal with that?

Moriarty: A two-pronged attack. I'm going to pull back from my forces from all the sectors for this last ditched assault. I'm going to personally attack the mantas outside the central sphere, along with a healthy number of vultures at my disposal. That should cause quite a distraction for Xana. He would think I might be trying to attack Carthage from the outside. Meanwhile you four will go with my trusty lieutenant…

He motions to Odd.

Moriarty: Along with an elite team of tigers and various other monsters who will help you break through the core chambers and get you to the elevator. Xana will not be able to handle both of us on two fronts. We have seen that before.

William gets the courage to step forward.

William: Sounds like a plan. Let's go already!

Moriarty: Hang on William, there's just one slight detail blocking this course of action.

Ulrich: Oh yeah, what's that?

A panel appears in front of Odd. Aelita suddenly tenses.

Moriarty: You see, I still can't get INTO Sector 5.

Aelita stares at Moriarty with renewed hate from the terrible memory.

Moriarty: If I'm going to be able to help you, I'm going to need the keys to Carthage. Permanently. Aelita, if you would be so kind...

Aelita is fuming.

Aelita: YOU THINK AFTER I WATCHED YOU KILL MY FATHER FOR REFUSING TO GIVE YOU THE KEY THAT I'M JUST GOING TO HAND IT OVER TO YOU? NEVER! FORGET YOUR ALLIANCE! I HOPE XANA MAKES YOU SUFFER!

Moriarty is unmoved.

Moriarty: Well, that is interesting, Aelita. But the plan falls to pieces if I don't have the key.

Aelita: And if you don't have the key…you die. You didn't have mercy on my father, so why should I have mercy on you?

Moriarty: Because you know as well as I do that I wouldn't go down alone.

He motions to Odd. Aelita's hateful look softens. William begins to rub his head.

Yumi: Are you really so evil you would take Odd with you?

Moriarty: You tell me Yumi.

Ulrich pulls out his sabers. Odd growls.

Ulrich: Is it too late for the sword to the face?

Moriarty: And Odd wouldn't be the only victim…

William starts to breathe heavy.

Yumi: What are you talking about?

William goes to the ground.

Xana: Slave….come to my side….

William: Master…He tries to fight it. NO! WE HAD A DEAL!

Xana: My armies need their general to lead them.

William: Your will is my…..STOP IT!

The vision passes. The others come to his side to help him up.

Yumi: William?

Moriarty: I honestly cannot explain it, but for some reason Xana has become rather fond of William. As a slave that is. He must have gotten used to having him as his main asset, and now he wants him back.

William: Why does he do this to me?

Moriarty: Pretty soon Xana will have complete control of him.

Yumi takes out her fans.

Yumi: Then we have no choice.

William: Yumi…please. I HAVE to fight Xana. I need to redeem myself. I…I can't let him win.

Yumi: I'm sorry William. You are still every bit a Lyoko warrior. But this is one enemy you just can't fight. It's too risky. You have to sit this out. We're going to have to send you back to the factory.

Moriarty: And risk Xana possessing him as soon as he enters the real world? Bad idea.

Yumi closes her fans.

Moriarty: His best hope is to stay on Lyoko and resist him as long as he can.

William holds his head.

Yumi: Well, this just keeps getting better and better.

Moriarty: So you don't really have a choice. I need that key.

Ulrich: Or we could do it on our own. We don't need Moriarty. We can plow through the monsters and get to the celestial dome. We've done it before.

William: We'd never make it past the first chamber room. Xana would cut us down easily. Plus, I'm not sure how long I can remain….on the right side.

Moriarty: William's right Ulrich. And without Jeremie, how exactly do you plan to get to Carthage from here? You don't have a transporter orb.

Ulrich: Uh….didn't think that far.

Moriarty: Of course not. So there's really only one option.

The others pause.

Yumi: Timeout.

They have a group huddle.

Yumi: Aelita, you have to do it.

Ulrich: We've got to go along with his plan if we want to defeat Xana.

Aelita still hates the idea.

Aelita: After I sacrificed everything I had….you want me to give it to him anyway?

Ulrich: Aelita….I know this is hard but…

Aelita: No you don't! You weren't there Ulrich. How would you feel if you had to watch your own father die?

Ulrich: Uh….not as upset as you….

Yumi: Aelita…

Aelita: I could never do it! I could never do that to my father! I could never help Moriarty!

Yumi: Then don't do it for Moriarty….do it for Odd….and William.

Aelita looks into William's eyes. He tries to hide it, but Aelita can tell he is scared. She glances over at Odd, and remembers their last encounter. She relents.

Aelita: Ok. I'll do it.

William: Wait….we can't just let Moriarty have Sector 5 in exchange for just his support. We should make him give us something bigger. Make him bargain for it.

Yumi: What did you have in mind?

William: Odd's freedom.

The others seem to like this idea.

Ulrich: William's right. Moriarty's desperate. He'll do anything to get into Sector 5.

Aelita: We could finally get Odd back.

Yumi: Alright, let's do it.

They break up the huddle. Aelita approaches the panel.

Moriarty: I assume you have changed your mind.

Aelita: Yes. I will give you the key. On one condition….

Moriarty: Really? What is that?

Aelita: You have to free Odd.

Odd growls. Moriarty pauses.

Moriarty: Interesting….

Yumi: What do you say?

Moriarty: Well I think it's only fair Odd should have his say in this. Odd, do you want to be fr-

Odd: No.

Moriarty: Well, there you have it. Odd doesn't want to go. He said so himself.

Aelita: Moriarty!

Moriarty: The answer is no. Odd is far too valuable for me to give up.

Aelita: No Odd. No key.

Moriarty: Fine…have it your way. Good luck with Xana.

Ulrich: You're bluffing. There's no way you would risk your survival to keep Odd. You would give in if things got really desperate.

Moriarty: Maybe….but are you really willing to take that chance?

Moriarty stares them down and intimidates them into backing down. They can't risk losing Odd. William goes down again.

Xana: I grow inpatient…..

William: Forgive me master…..I….I DON'T CARE!

The warriors are starting to get concerned.

Yumi: William?

William: I'm fine.

Ulrich: Great….so much for our bargaining technique.

Moriarty: However, since I'm feeling nice, I will let you make another offer. But Odd's freedom, my destruction, guarantees not to kill you, and me promising not to enslave humanity are off the table.

Yumi looks to William, who seems to be very weak from this continual struggle.

Yumi: Ok. I have another request in exchange for the key.

Moriarty: I'm listening.

Yumi: You have to promise not to make a fear game for William.

William looks up at Yumi, stunned that she is defending him after betraying the group. Moriarty ponders this.

Moriarty: Well, I suppose I have nothing to lose. I did have quite a game planned for him….but Xana is doing a far better job right now than I could ever dream….

Yumi: So you'll do it?

Moriarty: You have my word. William will not be tormented by any fear games. So do we have a deal?…Because we are losing precious time.

Aelita looks to the others. They nod. Aelita places her hand on the panel. The screen lights up and a sequence of binary numbers emerges. Moriarty rises.

Moriarty: Yes…..at last…..I can feel the gates opening. Carthage is mine….

He looks to the warriors.

Moriarty: I think it's about time we paid Xana a visit…..

The warriors are digitized into the Arena of Sector 5 by Moriarty. They see Odd is with them. In addition to Odd, Moriarty has brought ten humanoids, fifteen tigers, seven scorpions, and thirteen strange monsters they haven't seen before. The monsters are giant human-sized metallic serpents that look like king cobras. The Moriarty eye appears on both sides of the cobras' hoods. They hiss. Yumi backs up in surprised fright.

Yumi: WHAT THE….?

Ulrich: Didn't see that coming…

Odd laughs.

Odd: A new monster Moriarty has wanted to try out. He made it just for you Yumi.

Yumi: Of course…

Ulrich: Even as an ally Moriarty can't resist but be a pain in the neck.

William: But he is our ally. And we have to fight with him. No matter how annoying it is. Besides….

He looks at the impressive force of fifty fighters in the Arena.

William: How often do we get to lead an entire army?

Ulrich turns around to see a scorpion behind him.

Ulrich: Well it is kind of nice for a big guy to have my back.

Aelita notices that tigers have formed a protective ring around her.

Aelita: Wow, it's like I have my own bodyguards.

Yumi: Hey, what about us?

Aelita: Well, no offense….but they're only three of you.

Odd: Don't get too comfortable. The monsters may be here to fight with you, but I am still their commander. And I could make them turn on you in a heartbeat.

The mood sours.

Yumi: Ok Odd you don't have to remind us.

Odd emerges at the front to address his troops.

Odd: All of you….follow my lead. Take out as many of them as you can before they get to you. These four….

He points to the warriors.

Odd: …are now your officers. Obey them. And you….

He points to the leader of the tigers protecting Aelita.

Odd: The pink one must be protected at all costs. If she is devirtualized, I will personally rip apart your digitized molecules and toss you into the Network.

The leader whimpers like a baby kitten. The group hears explosions outside.

Yumi: Moriarty must have started his attack.

William: Then let's go….Xana's not going to give us an invita-

He goes to his knees.

Xana: Fight with me….not against me!

Aelita comes up to him.

Aelita: William?

William rises and swings, narrowly missing Aelita. She backs up in surprise. Ulrich draws his sabers and Yumi her fans. For a second, they think William has turned, but his head clears and he looks at the others' defensive stances with surprise.

Yumi: William, how are you doing?

He shakes it off.

Yumi: Do you think you can hold out?

William: If we hurry, we won't have to worry about it.

He goes out the door of the arena. The entire army follows. Odd takes a scorpion off to the side.

Odd: Keep an eye on him. There's no telling how long he'll last.

The army confidently enter a massive chamber only to find an entire force of about 130 Xana monsters blocking their path. Tarantulas, Krabs, Creepers, and Megatanks form a solid line against them. Behind them are more Krabs, Bloks, and Kankrelots. The warriors hesitate.

Ulrich: Suddenly I'm not feeling so confident about our numbers.

An undeterred Odd leaps into action. He charges right into the middle of the line and tears apart a Creeper. He turns to the army.

Odd: ATTACK!

The Moriarty/Lyoko warrior army charges and the chamber room explodes into chaotic laser fire. Back in the factory, Jeremie begins to wake up. As he does, the elevator door opens and Odd's clone is thrown onto the floor. A possessed Klotz approaches Odd's clone with sparks flying from his hands.

Odd's Clone: Strength of opponent: superior to spectral entity. Likelihood of survival: minimal.

Klotz turns to see a weak and vulnerable Jeremie struggle to get up. He turns his attention to him.

Odd's Clone: New mission: Protect creator.

Odd's clone wrestles Klotz and tries to get him away from Jeremie. Odd's clone is thrown off, but he buys Jeremie enough time to get on his feet. Jeremie focuses on Klotz. There is a strange glint in his eye. A short circuit occurs in the electric panels underneath Klotz's feet. The shock causes the possessed Klotz to collapse. Jeremie pushes his glasses up his nose, staring at Klotz with contempt.

Jeremie: Sweet dreams Klotz….

He heads back to the computer. Odd's clone has a quizzical look on his face.

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity seeks explanation of Creator's method of disarmament….

Jeremie: Uh….don't worry about it.

He sees what's going on in Sector 5, and doesn't like it. REALLY doesn't like it. His face becomes rigid and he balls his fists. He grinds his teeth. The wild look returns to his eyes. He can't believe what he's seeing.

Jeremie: ULRICH! YUMI! WILLIAM! AELITA! YOU'RE HELPING MORIARTY?

Back in the chamber room, the battle is in full swing. A tiger bites a tarantula from behind. Krabs play target practice with the humanoids. A scorpion plays a game of whack-a-mole with a couple of kankrelots. Cobras and creepers take each other on. Ulrich fights some Bloks. Yumi takes out a megatank. William cuts creepers in half. Odd runs around the battlefield like a demon, leaping of Krabs and destroying everything in his path. Aelita fires energy fields from her protective entourage. Under heavy fire from tarantulas, Yumi and Ulrich take cover behind a pillar in the chamber. They hear Jeremy's rant.

Jeremie: HOW COULD YOU? YOU ARE FIGHTING WITH OUR SWORN ENEMY!

Ulrich: Well, you released Xana, so we're even.

Yumi: Jeremie we had no choice! We'll lose both Odd and William if we let Xana win!

Jeremie: No! If you would just trust me…I can fix this. The only losers will be Xana and Moriarty.

A kankrelot gets on top of the pillar and takes Yumi and Ulrich by surprise. But a tiger grabs the kankrelot, holding it helplessly in his mouth before destroying it.

Ulrich: It's over Jeremie! If we don't break through to the Celestial Dome now, we'll never defeat Xana.

Jeremie: YOU IDIOTS! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN TO ME! I AM IN CONTROL! TOTAL VICTORY IS SO CLOSE!

The broken shell of a scorpion lands close to Yumi and Ulrich.

Ulrich: Really? Cause I'm not seeing it.

Aelita starts to listen as well.

Aelita: Jeremie please…let us do this! We can defeat Xana if you just let us. Moriarty's monsters are going to get us through Sector 5.

Jeremie: AND YOU LET MORIARTY INTO SECTOR 5? DOES THE INSANITY EVER END?

Yumi: We were about to ask you the same question….

Aelita: Jeremie, listen to me!

Jeremie: I can't let you do this….

Ulrich heads headlong into battle, still talking to Jeremie.

Ulrich: Too bad! We are putting an end to Xana whether you like or not. There's nothing you can do to stop us!

Jeremie: Oh yes there is….you give me no choice!

The warriors look at each other.

Yumi: He's going to materialize us back to real world!

Aelita: We have to stop him!

Ulrich: But how?

They hear the voice of Odd's clone.

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity questions success probability of creator's plan.

Yumi: Was that Odd's clone?

Ulrich: Must have been.

Aelita gets an idea.

Aelita: Odd! Remove creator from computer.

The clone is being presented with a request completely against his programming. He gets a confused look on his face.

Odd's Clone: Remove creator?

Aelita: That's an order!

Jeremie: Shut up!

Odd's Clone: Interjection to female subject Aelita Schaeffer's request. Creator Jeremie Belpois does not wish to be removed.

Aelita: Then do it by force!

Odd's clone is horrified.

Odd's Clone: Against will of creator?

Jeremie: Nice try Aelita. But Odd's clone obeys me….I am the final authority for him.

Ulrich and Yumi decide to join in.

Ulrich: Odd you have to do it! Jeremie's gone crazy!

Yumi: He's trying to help our sworn enemy!

Odd's Clone: Statement false. Enemy Moriarty is weakening.

Yumi: No! Our other…..oh this is difficult.

Jeremie's attempts to materialize them are being blocked by a bug from Moriarty. But Jeremie is getting around it.

Jeremie: You've gotten sloppy Moriarty….

Aelita: Odd stop him!

Yumi: Lives are at stake!

Ulrich: Jeremie's….He tries to use words Odd's clone will understand. Mind of creator….not well. Sick brain!

Jeremie: Forget it! I designed the clone to be completely loyal to me.

Aelita: Odd please!

Odd's clone holds his head in confusion. He does not know what to do. He was designed to obey all of them, but now they are giving him conflicting orders.

Odd's Clone: Course of action: Unknown. Command of warrior subjects contradict command of creator. Polymorphic neurons overloaded. WARNING! SPECTRAL ENTITY INCAPABLE OF FOLLOWING BOTH COMMANDS! ERROR! ERROR! SENSORY OVERLOAD!

Jeremie is annoyed with Odd's clone.

Jeremie: Will you SHUT UP? DON'T LISTEN TO THEM!

Aelita: Odd, take him away from the computer!

Odd's clone is about to pull his hair out.

Odd's Clone: Negative. Cannot harm creator!

Yumi: Don't harm him….just…restrain him!

Odd's clone begins to get out of his funk.

Odd's Clone: Restrain?

Jeremie: I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS! OH WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU…!

Odd's clone looks at Jeremie with horrified surprise at this last remark

Odd's Clone: Creator threatens physical harm to warrior subjects. Cannot allow…

Jeremie turns around.

Jeremie: What?

Aelita: That's right Odd! Stop him! Stop him for his own good!

Odd's Clone: Creator programmed spectral entity to prevent harm of warrior subjects. Creator now threatens physical harm to warrior subjects. Programming must allow spectral entity to stop creator….

Jeremie's eyes widen.

Jeremie: No….clone….I'm your creator. You have to obey ME.

Odd's clone approaches Jeremie

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity questions lucidity of creator. Must restrain creator for safety of creator.

Jeremie: No! I do not need restraining! I'm fine! OBEY ME!

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity must work for good of creator. Even if against wishes of creator.

He picks up Jeremie from his chair with one hand.

Jeremie: NO CLONE, PUT ME DOWN! I COMMAND YOU!

Odd's Clone: Command overridden. He rips wires from the floor and ties Jeremie up. Odd's clone stares at Jeremie with satisfaction. Creator is now safe from creator.

Jeremie: ODD! LET ME GO!

The warriors hear Jeremie's yelling and smile.

Aelita: Thank you Odd.

Odd's clone sits in Jeremie's chair with Jeremie still screaming.

Odd's Clone: Expression of gratitude accepted. Warrior subjects may continue with mission.

But despite the help of Odd's clone, the battle is quickly turning against them. Moriarty's monsters fall left and right. There is not a single humanoid left. There are several of Moriarty's monsters scattered across the battlefield making a last stand, but their numbers twindle with each passing minute. A large cluster of Moriarty's monsters huddle around Aelita, forming a protective wall around her. The monsters try to use their concentration of numbers to punch a hole through Xana's forces and get her to the celestial dome, but their progress is slow. Yumi, William, and Ulrich get hit in various other parts of the battle, still alive, but very low on lifepoints. Odd continues to destroy Xana's monsters, but he can't be everywhere at once. William is fighting side by side with one of the last scorpions left in the battle. He feels Xana's voice and tries to cover his ears.

Xana: Now is the time. Strike them….without mercy….

William: Get…out…of…my…HEAD!

Xana: Give full vent to your anger. Let your rage be your weapon. Slaughter these weaklings….leave none alive.

William: ….I….must….obey..….Master

The Xana eye appears in his corneas. He exhales in anger and cuts down one of the scorpion's legs. The crippled monster is soon eliminated by nearby Bloks. Ulrich sees William do it and runs after him. William faces Ulrich as an enemy and clashes swords with him.

William: For Xana!

Ulrich: William wake up! You are not Xana's puppet, you are one of us!

A megatank approaches the two and begins his countdown sequence to fire.

Ulrich: Now is not the time to give in!

William starts to realize that Ulrich shouldn't be fighting against him. He breaks himself out of Xana's spell just in time to avoid the monster's devastating laser blast. William turns on the monster and drives his sword into him. After the monster is devirtualized, William goes to his knees, struggling against Xana's grip. Ulrich calls after him.

Ulrich: William you have to hang on! We need you in the fight!

William can't move. Frustrated, Ulrich moves back into the fight, which has now been concentrated near the last cluster of Moriarty's monsters. Xana has shifted tactics to make sure Aelita doesn't make it to the Celestial Dome. As Odd destroys a Krab, he hears Moriarty's voice.

Moriarty: Odd, Xana is trying to destroy the core of Lyoko…..

Odd: Master?

Moriarty: He's not taking any chances. He wants to make sure Aelita does not get to the Celestial Dome. You must go immediately to stop him. The first shield is already weakening.

Odd: Understood…

Moriarty: But you must bring some of my monsters. There's too many monsters for you to handle alone.

Odd: Master, there are no monsters left. All that remains is a small force protecting Aelita.

Moriarty: Then take one of the warriors if you have to.

Odd looks at William, who is alone fighting Xana in his mind. The others are too far away and embroiled in their own battles to help.

Odd: Master, the only one left is…

Moriarty: I DON'T CARE WHO'S LEFT! DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENSURE MY SURVIVAL!

Odd approaches William and forces him up. William is still dazed and unsure which side he's on. Odd scratches him across the face.

William: OW!

The pain brings the real William back in control.

Odd: The core is under attack. You're coming with me.

William rubs his face.

William: That's great, but you mind telling me how? Our path to the elevator is blocked.

Odd points behind them.

Odd: Not if we go back through the arena and head the opposite way. We can take the elevator on the other side.

William is still barely in control, but he nods.

William: Alright, let's put an end to this.

They run in the opposite direction of the battle. They enter the arena as the sounds of the battle begin to die again. The door opens on the other side and they pass through. They reach the elevator and start heading down. Odd looks at William with disdain.

Odd: Just so we're clear….if I see you start to turn….I won't hesitate.

William: I understand.

Odd: Xana must die….and if that means taking you with him….so be it.

William is not letting himself be intimidated by Odd.

William: Well, don't get your hopes up.

They emerge at the bottom of the core chamber. The giant staircase looms all around them. Above them, a sphere surrounded by two protective cubes floats in midair. Creepers and tarantulas take aim at the sphere and fire. The first protective barrier falls.

William: No time to lose…

Odd races up the staircase on the right side, while William heads up the left. After Odd destroys two creepers, half the monsters shift their fire to him while the rest continue to attack the core. A tarantula spots William and begins a rapid-fire laser attack. William blocks it with his sword and manages to somersault over the monster. He turns to strike the monster. But right before he attacks, he remembers fighting with tarantulas as his allies. He hesitates. The monster prepares to fire but William gets out of his trance quick enough to dispatch him. He fights the other monsters, but he finds it more and more difficult to attack them. Odd however, has no such impediment and kills monsters left and right without mercy. But a tarantula hits him with a laser and Odd goes down, wounded from the blast. William approaches the monsters at the top of the chamber attacking the core and attacks. But before he can succeed, he freezes and becomes as still as a statue. Xana pummels him with his irrestible will.

Xana: YOU WILL BE MINE!

William: ENOUGH!

Xana: DO NOT PREVENT MY VICTORY! COMPLETE IT!

The monsters stop firing on the core and make room for him. The core lies wide open for William. He struggles with all of his being, but Xana's will literally lifts him off his feet and makes him levitate towards the core. Odd gets up to see what is unfolding. As William approaches the core, his uniform begins to be covered with black tar emerges from his own virtual form. The tar is transforming his uniform to his old uniform under Xana. William gives his final effort.

Xana: YOU BELONG TO ME! SURRENDER TO MY WILL!

William strains with the pressure.

William: Xana….I….I LIVE TO SERVE YOU!

His pupils are replaced by the Xana eye. His uniform continues to darken. He stares at the core with cold determination and strikes down the last barrier, leaving the core unprotected. The monsters roar in celebration; their general has returned. Odd fires a laser arrow at William, but misses. William, now completely under Xana's control, fires a blast emanating from his sword. The attack devirtualizes Odd instantly. He turns to the core and raises his sword, ready to put a final end to Lyoko.

Back in the core chamber, the Moriarty cluster gets weaker and weaker. Xana's monsters form a wall blocking the wall to the elevator. Yumi and Ulrich join Aelita in the center of the cluster, trying to figure out what to do. The last scorpion is devirtualized right in front of them.

Yumi: Aelita, if we don't get you to that elevator now, we never will!

Aelita: I know but what can we do? There're too many of them!

Ulrich: We don't need to destroy all of them. We just need to make a hole large enough for you to sneak through and get to the elevator.

Yumi: But how?

Ulrich pauses.

Ulrich: I have an idea, but involves us using ourselves as human shields for Aelita.

Yumi: You know that's suicide, right?

Ulrich: Yes….

She smiles at him.

Yumi: Ok, see you on the other side.

Ulrich looks at three tigers at the front of the group. He gets their attention and points to a Krab in the line.

Ulrich: Destroy!

The tigers, without any concern for their own lives, obey. They rush the Krab, leaving the safety of the cluster. Two of them are devirtualized, but the last one manages to get on top of the Krab and sink its teeth into the Xana eye on its shell, devirtualizing the monster. The tiger is then quickly eliminated, but there is a hole in Xana's line.

Ulrich: AELITA GET BEHIND US!

Yumi and Ulrich charge head on into the fray. The monsters try to fire at Aelita, but Yumi and Ulrich block the lasers with their bodies. They are devirtualized at the same time, but Aelita slips through the cracks of the line. Xana's monsters try to stop her, but she reaches the elevator and escapes just in time. She heads to the Celestial Dome.

William stands over the helpless core, sword raised. The monsters encourage him to go on with their grunting.

Xana: DESTROY IT!

A possessed William begins to bring his sword down, but suddenly he holds his head in pain. His mind is overwhelmed by a flashback during his Xana possession. He stands over a helpless Yumi, ready to devirtualize her. Yumi desperately tries to dissuade him.

Yumi: No William, you are a Lyoko Warrior! You swore it!

In the flashback the possessed William hesitates, just as he is hesitating now. William is frozen next to the core, unsure what to do. An older flashback enters his mind. He stands in the scanner room with the group around him.

Yumi: Do you swear to keep this a secret?

William: I swear.

Jeremie: And do you promise to fight Xana alongside us?

William: With all my strength.

William cries out in frustration.

Yumi: You've more than earned your badge as a Lyoko Warrior.

William nearly drops his sword. The monsters roar with impatience.

Xana: I AM TIRED OF YOUR RESISTANCE! OBEY ME SLAVE!

William fights anew. When Xana tries to force his blade near the core, he struggles with every ounce of strength he has.

Xana: I AM YOUR MASTER!

William opens his eyes, which no longer contain the Xana symbol. His uniform is now half Xanafied, but the memory of his friends, their kindness to him, and his duty to them have given him a superhuman strength to resist Xana.

William: I….

Aelita enters the Celestial Dome to see mantas and hornets fighting vultures and Moriarty's cloud. She avoids laser fire and gets to the panel.

William: AM NOT…..

She brings up the multi-agent program on the screen.

William: YOUR SLAVE!

He turns and throws a sword into a tarantula right as Aelita enters the program. His resistance gave her just enough time to finish Xana. Beams of light emerge from the core. They spread out in all directions, destroying the monsters in the core chamber. The beams destroy the monsters fighting Moriarty's forces both inside and outside the sphere. The beams enter the four other sectors, wiping out the monsters there. The tower possessing Klotz is returned to normal. The beams head into the Network, eliminating Xana there as well. The beams then attack William, purging him of Xana's presence. William screams with undescribable agony. The purging literally rips him apart. He is blown to pieces. Aelita stands alone at the Celestial Dome, breathing a sigh of relief. Moriarty however, celebrates his victory by looking at Sector 5 hungrily.

Moriarty: Yes…it is mine…..ALL MINE!

He descends into the Sector. The sphere begins to change shape. Aelita doesn't want to stick around.

Aelita: Odd, can you send me a vehicle?

Odd's Clone: Checking creator's files. Processing battle equipment… Affirmative. Spectral entity materializing Overwing.

Overwing appears. Aelita flies away into the open passage back to the main Lyoko sectors. She turns to see the inner sphere has transformed into a giant cube. The data field surrounding the inner sphere has changed from blue to royal purple. Sector 5 is now recreated….in Moriarty's own image. Aelita shudders. She materializes on Earth to see Ulrich and Yumi standing there. She looks around with concern.

Aelita: Where…where's William?

They look at her with surprise.

Yumi: You mean he didn't come back with you?

Aelita: No….I thought he was devirtualized…

Ulrich: You don't think…..?

Yumi: No…impossible! It couldn't have ended like that.

Aelita rushes to the elevator.

Aelita: I'll check the Network. He has to be out there….somewhere.

She goes up the elevator.

Aelita: Please daddy….we've already lost one. Don't let us lose two….

William finds himself walking in a white, limitless expanse. The invisible floor creates echoes underneath his feet. He is extremely confused.

William: Hello…..anyone out there?

A strange voice answers.

Schaeffer: Why hello there William…..

William turns around and gasps. He has never met this man before, but he has seen him in one of Aelita's photos. His is face-to-face with Aelita's father, Waldo Schaeffer, otherwise known as Franz Hopper.

William: You…..

Schaeffer: Yes…it's me. Or what's left of me…..

William: But….but….you're dead. I mean…no offense…but….

Schaeffer: None taken….. and yes I am dead.

William: Then how…?

Schaeffer: Dying a death in the virtual world is not as simple as dying in the real world. The lines are a bit…skewed.

William: What?

Schaeffer: When I was devirtualized by Xana, I was deleted. But when you are deleted, you are still sent to a sort of….trash bin.

William: Is that where we are? The computer's trash?

Schaeffer: Sort of. This is more of the interdimensional space between Lyoko and the scanners on Earth. We are in a virtual limbo so to speak. I couldn't be materialized back on Earth, so I am trapped here. Permanently…..

William looks at him with pity. He can't imagine a worse fate.

William: Well if you are able to speak to me, then you must be able to have some consciousness left. Maybe we could bring you back….

Schaeffer shakes his head.

Schaeffer: No William. My last hope to come back to Earth ended when Moriarty deleted my backup files. I am basically nothing more than a lost soul in a virtual purgatory.

William: Aelita felt awful about doing that. She really wanted to save you.

Schaeffer: I know. But she did the right thing. Carthage could not fall into Moriarty's hands.

William: But it must be in his hands now…..

Schaeffer shakes his head.

Schaeffer: An unfortunate turn of events I'm afraid. There is no way to get him out of there. No doubt his power will increase considerably. But that was a necessary sacrifice. Xana was a far more immediate threat. But now….finally….he is vanquished. I can finally rest easy with that knowledge.

William: Are you going to be stuck here forever?

Schaeffer: No, not exactly. My consciousness is gradually becoming so thin that all traces of me will eventually vanish completely. Our conversation is probably the last anyone will ever hear of me.

William is really sorry to hear this.

William: Your last words should be with Aelita….not me.

Schaeffer looks away.

Schaeffer: I couldn't do that to her. She has already suffered so much….to see me go forever….I'm not sure she could take it. Seeing me die for good would not do her any good.

William: Then why talk to me?

Schaeffer: Well I didn't exactly send you here. The multi-agent program ripped your virtual molecules apart while it was destroying Xana's presence inside you.

William is suddenly horrified

William: YOU MEAN I'M STUCK HERE?

Schaeffer holds up his hand to calm him down.

Schaeffer: Not to worry. You are not going to suffer my fate. I would never allow it. I can never return to Earth, but you can.

He pulls out a small green sphere.

Schaeffer: This is part of your virtual DNA sequence code. It was ripped from your virtual form when you were deleted by the program. I recovered it for you. I am going to give it back to you and use the last ounce of power I have left to return you home.

William is relieved. But he is also shocked at the sacrifice.

William: I…I don't know what to say. You're giving up everything for me.

Schaeffer: It's the least I could do for the one who defeated Xana.

William: But Aelita….

Schaeffer: Aelita entered the program William, but you held off Xana long enough to make sure he didn't succeed. Lyoko was so close to being destroyed. Xana would have been able to take over the world unopposed with that loss. William, you have faced your inner demons and have defeated Xana.

William feels his heart swell in his chest. He hasn't felt this good since his game with Moriarty.

William: Is he finally gone? Gone from my head forever?

Schaeffer frowns.

Schaeffer: Xana will no longer torment you. But fragments of his memories, his personality, and his subconscious remain in your mind. They cannot be removed.

William's confidence is dashed.

William: So, my nightmares, my visions….those won't go away?

Schaeffer: They will gradually become less and less. They won't affect you as near as much as they used too. But part of Xana will always be with you. Hopefully you will grow up to live a normal life, but there will always be a part of your mind that will remain restless. Every now and then you might have a sudden malevolent thought, which will quickly pass. You might see something that triggers a memory of your possession. You might hear the mumurs of voices every so often. This will not be a heavy burden, but it will never leave you altogether. To be quite honest William, Xana will never be able to come back, but as long as you're alive he will never disappear completely. Do you understand what I'm saying?

William nods somberly.

William: Yes. Xana is a burden that I will have to carry the rest of my life. I realize that now.

Schaeffer: I'm sorry, William. I know a normal life is far more preferable to this. But the truth is that even when Moriarty is defeated, none of you will ever be able to be fully 'normal'.

William: Odd….

Schaeffer: The mess he is in….it truly is a tragedy.

William: What do we do to help him?

Schaeffer: I wish I knew the answer William, but it is not as clear as you or I would like to believe.

William: He never will be the same…will he?

Schaeffer: No. But when Moriarty is defeated, you can concentrate your efforts on helping him adjust as best he can. And giving the way things are going, you might have to do it with Jeremie too.

William gives him a strange look.

Schaeffer: What is it?

William: The way you talked about Moriarty….you said 'when' not 'if' he was defeated.

Schaeffer: Because he won't win! He can't! You must stop him, and you will! A defeatist attitude is exactly what you don't need right now. And on that note…I'm going to send you back…

William: Wait! I have a question!

Schaeffer: Yes?

William: It's about Moriarty. He was human, so is Moriarty like a nickname or something?

Schaeffer: Yes, my colleagues and I gave him that name. It was clear that he was brilliant but there was a twisted side to his nature that often gave us pause. Obviously we didn't know just how sick and evil he was at the time, so we started to call him 'Moriarty' in honor of Sherlock Holmes' greatest villain. He actually enjoyed the nickname, and began to take it on more and more as his own. No doubt he now enjoys playing the part now that he is a true threat to mankind.

William: But what is his real name?

Schaeffer is silent.

William: Mr. Schaeffer?

Schaeffer: In time you will know. You will find out everything and more. But I don't think you're ready to hear it yet.

William: But why? Why would it be so bad for me to learn his name?

Schaeffer: Goodbye William. Tell Aelita I love her. I wish you good luck. And whatever Moriarty does to you…..do not yield.

He disappears and finds himself in an open scanner. He collapses into Yumi and Ulrich's arms.

Aelita: WILLIAM!

Yumi: We were so worried!

Ulrich: What happened to you?

William: Uh….well you see….

He looks up at Aelita and pauses. He can't bear the idea of telling about her father's final moments. He doesn't want to lie to her, but a lie is exactly what she needs.

William: I…I have no idea what happened.

The group is still curious, but so ecstatic to have him back that they don't care. Yumi hugs him. William tries to distance himself.

William: Look guys, about my….deal with Xana…

Yumi: Forget it….it's ancient history.

Aelita: You more than made up for it with your performance in the core.

William: What? What are you talking about?

Ulrich: You resisted Xana! Odd's clone watched the whole thing. You're a hero!

William's mood improves dramatically. He smiles. The others continue to praise him.

William: So I take it you forgive me?

Yumi: Well….I guess so.

Aelita: Besides, we have another one to deal with…

They come up the elevator to see Jeremie still tied up. He is no longer yelling, but he gives the group the death stare. Odd's clone greets them from Jeremy's chair. Klotz lies unconscious in the corner.

Odd's Clone: Status: Mind of creator still unwell.

They approach him.

Jeremie: Congratulations. You have defeated Xana and have blown our chances to defeat Moriarty. Now will you please untie me?

Yumi: Well, not with that attitude.

Jeremie: You're just going to leave me like this?

Aelita: Jeremie, we're still trying to get over what you've done.

Ulrich: Yeah…it's not like we can ignore it….

Jeremie: I don't know what you're talking about.

William: You released Xana even when I begged you not to do it. You knew the consequences, and you did it anyway. Your desire to defeat Moriarty made you do the unthinkable…

Jeremie: I did nothing wrong. I looked beyond my mere history with Xana and saw a possibility that could have brought us victory. A possibility that you promptly destroyed with your alliance. Now Moriarty is stronger than ever with his access to Sector 5. Well done. I hope you're happy….

Aelita: So you still refuse to admit that you did something wrong?

Jeremie: I did what was necessary….

Yumi: If you still think that, why should we release you? Moreover, how could we possibly trust you again?

Jeremie: I am asking myself the same question.

Ulrich: What?

Jeremie: You defied my orders! You formed an alliance with our worst enemy against my consent, and you even turned my own creation against me!

Yumi: After what you did you dare to lecture us?

Ulrich: You formed an alliance with our other worst enemy against OUR consent.

Jeremie: I saw an opportunity, and I took it. Victory was within my grasp.

William: For the last time, no it wasn't!

Jeremie: Xana could've destroyed Moriarty! He was so close! And you ruined it!

Aelita: Jeremie if we had done that Odd and William would have been lost to us. And you knew that….

Yumi: Yeah, what do you have to say for yourself?

Jeremie remains unmoved, staring at his friends without the slightest bit of remorse.

Aelita: Jeremie?

Jeremie: No great victory can be achieved if one is not willing to make….sacrifices….

The others are stunned that Jeremie would make such a callous statement. Aelita in a fit of rage kicks him in the stomach. Jeremie cringes in pain.

Aelita: HOW DARE YOU!

Jeremie: Aelita….

Ulrich: How could you even think of abandoning Odd?

Yumi: Or William! Do you know that we nearly lost him?

Jeremie: I couldn't allow the world to come apart just to save two people!

William: Are….are you saying I'm…..expendable?

Jeremie: No! That…that's not what I meant!

Aelita: Odd is NOT expendable….The very idea of you letting him die!

Jeremie: Aelita, I was thinking about the good of mankind as a whole!

Aelita: No you weren't! You just wanted an easy way out! You panicked because you can't design a successful multi-agent program for Moriarty, and you were willing to do whatever it took to defeat him, even if it meant killing Odd in the process.

Jeremie: I didn't want to do it anymore than….

Aelita: I NEVER WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN!

Silence. Aelita has dropped the hammer on Jeremie. Jeremie is stunned. He begins to cry.

Jeremie: I COULDN'T FAIL! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? I COULDN'T LET MORIARTY WIN!

He loses it. The group meets in the corner to get away from him and decide what to do with him.

William: Well, this is a mess…..

Ulrich: The question is…..what are we going to do about him?

Aelita: Kick him out! He can never be trusted again!

William: I agree.

The group is silent for a moment, sad that it has come to this.

Ulrich: Aelita's right. I mean, what's to stop Jeremie from doing something crazy again?

William: If Jeremie has become this unpredictable, there's no telling what kind of damage he could do.

Aelita: He has gone too far. He needs to be punished. He has to be shown that he can't get away with that ever again.

Ulrich: He nearly killed both Odd and William. That is….unforgiveable.

William: If he doesn't feel any regret for bringing Xana back, then he might be willing to do anything to defeat Moriarty, no matter what the cost.

Aelita: He shouldn't set foot in this factory ever again….

Aelita, William, and Ulrich talk more about Jeremie's treachery and how he needs to be punished severely. But Yumi is starting to think more about the reality of the situation they are in.

Yumi: Hold on….this isn't as simple as you think it is. How are we really supposed to punish Jeremie?

Aelita: Take him away from the factory and kick him out of the group. I thought we addressed that.

Yumi: Yes but what good does that do for the mission?

Ulrich: What are you talking about?

Yumi: Think about it. We can fight Moriarty as much as we want. We can still send ourselves to Lyoko easily without Jeremie. But he is the only one capable of creating a multi-agent program to finish Moriarty. How do we punish him and kick him out of the group without jeopardizing the mission?

The others didn't think that far.

Yumi: How can we beat Moriarty without him?

Aelita: But Yumi, look at what he has done…..

William: He's unstable. And to be honest….

He looks over to see Jeremie yelling at Odd's clone to free him. He writhes like an animal.

William: I think he's gone crazy…..

Ulrich: He is a danger to our mission with Moriarty, but we can't beat Moriarty without him.

Yumi has a somber look on her face.

Yumi: My point is…..we may have a psychological casualty on our hands. And that is a SERIOUS problem if we want to beat Moriarty.

They are silent.

Aelita: So what do we do?

Yumi: You are right in saying he is dangerous. He can't come back to the factory. But he needs to keep his computer and laptop. If we take those away from him people at school might get suspicious to see Jeremie without them. Plus….and I know that this is dangerous….he needs to continue his work to find a way to defeat Moriarty.

Aelita: But Yumi!

Yumi: We don't have a choice. His sanity might have become compromised but he is still our best hope to defeat Moriarty.

Ulrich: You know that is a big risk, right?

Yumi: I know, but what can we do? Send him to the insane asylum? We need to keep up the guise at school that everything is normal, just like we are doing with Odd.

Odd's Clone: Spectral entity requested?

Yumi: No, not you Odd.

They see the logic in Yumi's argument.

William: I guess you're right.

Ulrich: But we need to keep an eye on him.

Yumi: Oh definitely. We need to watch him like a hawk. But it's impossible to throw him out of the Moriarty mission completely.

William: True.

Yumi: So we're all in agreement?

Aelita does not like this plan. She seems hurt.

Yumi: Aelita?

Aelita: Yes. Come on. We have to tell him.

They look at Klotz.

Ulrich: We're going to have to clean that up too.

Aelita: Odd, did anyone see you fight Klotz?

Odd's Clone: Local news has footage of spectral entity.

Not exactly the news they wanted to hear.

William: You mean you didn't even try to be discrete?

Odd's Clone: Possibility of discretion miminal when assailant has capacity to fire electricity at spectral entity.

Ulrich: Uh…..return to the past.

They activate a return to the past. Later that night, Jeremie is sitting in his room. He is alone. There is a cold, hurt, and intense look in his eyes. He gets up and starts walking around his room. He suddenly stops and starts talking to the wall, as if he is giving a speech to an audience.

Jeremie: I have made a great mistake today. A mistake that I swear never to repeat again. What is my mistake, you ask? He leans closer to the wall. Trusting that friends can be relied on for everything. That they are willing to stand by you, no matter what needs to be done. I failed to realize the obvious truth that in the end…..I am the only one who can defeat Moriarty. Only I can vanquish him in the end. And I will. My former alliance with these friends is now no longer just obsolete, it is a liability. And I must consider them no longer as allies, but as obstacles in my quest to destroy Moriarty. And if necessary, I will not hesitate….to treat them as such.

Part 16