Ashford Academy, France 1999.
In France, 1974 through 1994 the project Carthage was under the production in the Special Forces of France, led by Dr. Waldo 'Franz' Schaeffer. The goal of the project was to monitor enemy communications via supercomputer.
Marianne is an official in the France Government, and married the Head of the Special Forces Unit which developed Project Carthage, who was Charles Zi Britannia. She ended up becoming friends with a woman only known as C.C. Then C.C. eventually learned though Marianne of Project Carthage. She is then chosen to become the Representative of the Special Forces Unit to look over Project Carthage and make sure it is progressing well, mainly because of her learning about Project Carthage, and recommendation by Marianne.
In 1980, Charles zi Britannia was elected President of France though a corrupted election.
On December 5th, 1982 Lelouch vi Britannia was born. He was the son of the President the France, Charles zi Britannia. Thanks to C.C.'s connection with Marianne, she discovers the birth of Lelouch from letters Marianne sent her occasionally, and in the last letter she got, contained a picture of Lelouch, and kept it.
In 1986, Dr. Waldo and his wife Anthea Schaeffer had a daughter named Aelita. C.C. witnessed her birth, and became Aelita's life time friend.
At 10 years old (1992) Lelouch's mother was assassinated in her home. Lelouch accused his father of not doing anything to prevent the assassination and/or to aid in any way afterwards. His father became furious with him to accuse him of such a thing, and banished him to Japan. There he met, Suzaku Kururugi, and became friends with him.
After discovering the true purpose of Project Carthage, Dr. Waldo did not agree with purpose of it, so in 1993, he betrayed the Special Forces by creating Lyoko and XANA, to destroy Carthage. C.C. discovers 's betrayal before the Special Forces did, but cannot bear to betray Aelita, so she leaves her position to be with Aelita. Soon after, Anthea was kidnapped during their vacation to the ski lodge, so Waldo and his daughter along with C.C. go to a place in Boulogne-Billancourt, known as The Hermitage.
The Special Forces, as commanded by the president, sent the Secret Service after them to stop them.
However they fled to Lyoko to be protected from the Secret Service, and C.C. was elected by Waldo to be the Guardian of Aelita, and Aelita to be the Guaridan of Lyoko. However, XANA had become self-aware, and became malevolent and gained a self-directive to take over humanity. To do this, he had to get rid of his creator and Lyoko, as well as Aelita to prevent them from stopping him and his goals. However, C.C. (unlike Aelita) stayed in her tower, and hid from Lyoko, being a bit unaware of its alien environment. Later, using her Creativity power of modifying and reading data, she discovers XANA's presence, and goes into a containment sleep to protect herself from XANA. This happened before Lyoko was coincidentally turned off by The Men in Black.
XANA then managed to wipe Aelita's memory during one of the times she left the tower looking for her father by one of his creatures, The Scyphozoa.
After the sabotage of Project Carthage, the Ashford Family had created attention for itself after they created the Emergency Survival Cockpit in 1995, which after being taken into funding from the French Special Forces, they developed a technology known as Knightmare Frames. However, even with partial help from what they could salvage from Project Carthage with it's potential of computing power, they could not find a power source powerful enough to power the mechas. Therefore the project went underwater and was soon was presumed abandoned until a power source was found, which never was.
However, in the later months, they managed to create a training simulator to prepare future warriors to use these mechas when the power source was discovered; therefore academies in various countries under the control of the Ashford Family were made to train these warriors, disguised as a highly prestigious academy, that trained people how to use the most advanced simulators. (1996)
Lelouch was enlisted in the Ashford Academy of Japan in 1997 during his banishment.
After years of spending time in the Japanese branch of the Ashford Academy (1999), he asked Milly Ashford, who was the student console president, and granddaughter to the Ashford Family, to be transferred to the French branch of the Ashford Academy in Boulogone-Billancourt, France, because he claimed he wished to be home once again. She eventually transferred the entire student console of the japan branch of the Ashford Academy with Lelouch, so that they could be together as a group. Somehow she felt that he would be better off with them than without them, since he didn't have any friends in France anyways.
Not too far from the Ashford Academy, in 1998, a Valedictorian of the Kadic Academy, named Jeremie Belpois, went to a nearby abandoned factory to find parts for his robot project. However, by chance, he stumbled upon the supercomputer containing Lyoko, and he activated it, and along with it, a pink-haired female AI, who Jeremy dubbed "Maya". Also unaware to Jeremie, C.C. was also activated; however she decided not to make herself known to Jeremie, instead she decided to see how things turn out, because after reviewing the conversation between Jeremie and Maya, she discovers "Maya" is actually Aelita, and she had lost her memory, so she wanted to figure out why she had lost her memory, and what Jeremie was planning to do. Jeremie soon discovers that inside the supercomputer, existed an entire world known as Lyoko, that "Maya" was in. When she and Jeremie decided to see what was outside the tower she was in, she was attacked by strange creatures bearing a strange symbol. Eventually, it became evident that something else activated too. First, Jeremie was electrocuted by the vending machine when it showed a strange symbol, the same one that "Maya" saw on the creatures that attacked her on Lyoko. Then, while Jeremie is working on his robots, Jeremie's robots were possessed and attacked Jeremie, and Ulrich Stern came to save Jeremie. Ulrich, who had also witnessed the electrocution of Jeremie, was determined to learn what was going on. Therefore, Jeremie let Ulrich in on the secret of Lyoko and "Maya". Ulrich tells Jeremie the best solution would be to shut down the supercomputer, and call the police. However, Jeremie refuses to do so until he materializes "Maya" into the real world, stating he had found something that could possibly do so. His passion to materialize her was driven though his love interest in her, which Aelita also shared the same feelings.
It appeared that there are also Scanners too that are hooked up to the Supercomputer containing Lyoko. Jeremie hypothesized that it can scan and send people INTO Lyoko. Ulrich not believing in Jeremie of the scanners containing such capabilities, Jeremie suggests that they use a guinea pig, which turns out to be Ulrich's Roommate's dog, Kiwi. Ulrich's roommate, "Odd" Della Robbia, discovers this and follows him. Odd finds Kiwi, but Kiwi jumps out and gets virtualized on accident. Odd in trouble, confronting the same creatures as before, he sent Ulrich to fight along with him. Ulrich then spots a tower that had a red glow, which they had not seen before. (All the other towers had a while glow instead) Jeremie is then attacked by the wires in the room. After the two get devirtualized by losing all their life points in Lyoko, they go to save Jeremie just in time.
Another attack takes place, which prompts the team to return to Lyoko to get to the tower that had given off a red glow with "Maya". However, Ulrich being in the middle of a fighting session with her sprawling partner, Yumi, she refuses to let him leave unless he explains what's going on. He agrees and she promptly is introduced to the team. With the addition of Yumi, "Maya" makes it to the tower, and deactivates the tower though sheer luck, by her entering the tower, and touching a screen at the top, which recognizes her by a name she likes and seems to recognize, Aelita.
C.C. reviewed the battle data, and how the members interacted between each other and Aelita, she was glad that Aelita had friends of the same age group, to support her emotionally and to protect her, however she questioned if the maturity level of the group would be a problem in defending Aelita in the long run. Therefore she came to the conclusion that she had to materialize herself and get more 'mature' people to join in defending Aelita. She discovers the protocol to re-materialize herself (and also to erase all trace of her being materialized so that Jeremie doesn't discover her), and it works. She discovered that from her being able to be easily materialized, meant that something happened that permanently virtualized Aelita. It turns out, when the supercomputer was turned off, Waldo and Aelita were permanently virtualized, but it was because they were both awake when it was turned off, C.C. wasn't awake. (Imagine that Waldo and Aelita both were hard booted, and C.C. wasn't, and that the two lost their data to be materialized again from the hard boot.)
The team of Jeremie, Ulrich, and Yumi, swear an oath to keep Lyoko a secret and to materialize Aelita into the real world, and to counter the attacks, which Jeremie figures out is caused by a Rogue AI named "XANA", and C.C. ran off to live in secrecy as a member Ashford Academy, looking to find someone, hopefully, to help protect Aelita.