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Recruiting part 1: Code: Lyoko “episode” 2 of season 5
“Nice try, Jeremie… but you’ll have to do better than that, if you want to stand any chance against Xana!” Ulrich smirked. It was Jeremie and William’s first session of training, and so far, neither was doing terrifically. Jeremie had ended up programming himself a dagger. So far, Ulrich was beginning to see in a new light why Jeremie always ditched P.E. However, he was doing terrifically in strategy. William was the exact opposite, he had no strategy, but was much more physically capable.
Ulrich sighed, “Try it again, Jeremie. It’s simple. Step, then lunge! William, why don’t you demonstrate?” he requested exasperatedly.
“Okay!” William agreed eagerly, taking his own, enormous sword in hand.
“Actually, William, use Jeremie’s. I need him to understand how to use his weapon.” Ulrich pressed.
“Alright.” William replied, holding his hand out for the dagger. Jeremie handed it over to him willingly enough, glad for a break from the training.
William approached Ulrich, ramming the dagger into him. Ulrich quickly devirtualized, and Jeremie brought himself and William back to Earth, with his ability to operate the super computer from Lyoko.
As soon as all three stepped out of the scanners, Ulrich growled, “I said step and lunge, William, not sloppily hurl yourself into me! Argh!” He massaged his temple.
“I sure hope that Odd takes the next training session, like we agreed.” He muttered.
“Yeah,” William grinned, “He promised me that I could pick the training spot next time.”
“Hmmm…” Jeremie replied calculatingly, “That doesn’t sound like something Odd would do..” he continued, remembering when they had voted on whether or not to let William fight with them, and Odd was one of the only two who voted against, it was just him, and Aelita.
“Yeah, I promised to watch his dog while he goes to the Subdigitals concert, this Friday.” William explained. The Subdigitals were a rock group from the original TV. series that all of the characters were fans of.
That explained it, Jeremie thought. Odd loved his dog more than just about anything else… with the possible exception of gorging himself, another of Odd’s hobbies.
“Wait! Friday? That was when he was supposed to train you two. The imbecile!” Ulrich muttered.
“That wasn’t very nice seeing as he bought you a ticket. But don’t tell him I told you.” William said slyly.
“You worry too much, Ulrich. He said he’d do it Thursday, instead.” Jeremie smiled, laughing inwardly at Ulrich’s display.
“Fine. But like I said, he’d better go through with it.” Ulrich grumbled.
“I have something to show to everyone, meet me back in the factory at 8 pm sharp.” Jeremie called as he began to dash off, “For now, though, I’m famished. I’m going to lunch.”
That night, when the moon struck the sky like a stick strikes a gong; the six friends met. They sat in the computer lab.
“Aelita and I have some big news!” Jeremie declared.
“You do know you’re too young to get married, right?” Odd joked.
Although it was only in jest, both Aelita and Jeremie’s cheeks turned scarlet. “Actually,” Jeremie accentuated the word, “Well, you know how Aelita is the only one who can deactivate towers?” Jeremie posed a rather obvious question, even William knew that.
“Yes.” They all agreed.
“Well, not any more. An army protecting one soldier is bound to lose sometime, but an army protecting every soldier will surely win.” Jeremie stated cryptically.
“What?” Yumi asked bewilderedly.
“What he’s saying, is that with Xana getting stronger, we can’t have Aelita as the only one who can stop him.” Ulrich clarified.
“That is exactly what I mean.” Jeremie nodded approvingly at Ulrich, “I figured out how to make it so that you will all be able to deactivate towers, but it is only as a last resort, because it will only work some of the time, it’s not a guaranteed.” Jeremie qualified.
“So tell us what it is already!” Odd whined.
“Patience, Odd. Aelita has generously agreed to give us five of her hairs, one for each of us. I have already taken them, and extracted her DNA from them. Then, I will take the DNA, and inject it into each of you in the form of a shot. You will be immediately sent to Lyoko afterwards, then, to test it, I will repeatedly activate the same tower so that each of you can try to deactivate it. Then we’ll know if it works. I got the idea from when I was still trying to bring Aelita to Earth, and a single hair of hers came through the scanners.” Jeremie explained.
“That sounds kind of risky- how do we know it will work?” Odd asked, questioningly.
“Yeah,” Ulrich agreed, “What if we turn into like, Aelita juniors of something?!”
“That’s why I took a sixth hair sample, this one is for a test subject, but who will we test it on?” Jeremie speculated.
“How about Kiwi, isn’t that what you tried to do when you needed a test subject to find out if Lyoko was safe?” Yumi suggested. In the prequel, when the gang first discovered Lyoko, Odd’s dog, Kiwi went in the scanner as a test subject, but at the last moment, Odd stepped in instead.
“No way! Not my Kiwi!” Odd whimpered.
“Okay, then who can we use?” Jeremie asked.
“I think I’ve got an idea.” Aelita replied, thoughtfully, “Jeremie, possess a monster, and then you can inject it, and see what happens.”
“No, now that I think about it, it should really be a human.” Jeremie muttered, deep in thought.
“Hey!” Odd said, so loudly he was almost shouting, “What about Jim? He was one of us once, why not again?” It was true. For a very short time, Jim, the school’s none-too-bright gym teacher had been a part of their group. A return to the past had changed that, though.
“That’s actually not a bad idea!” Aelita declared.
“All agreed?” There was a pause as the group sounded its unanimous consent, “Okay, then. We’ll need to get on Jim’s good side, and then we can trick him into going to the factory. That means,” Jeremie sighed dramatically, “We’ll all have to go to P.E., especially me.” Jeremie looked dejected.
“It’s gonna be tough, Einstein! You’ll just have to rough it with us barbarians!” Odd grinned, wrapping his arm around Jeremie’s shoulder, and leading a conflicted looking Jeremie into the school gym.
“I do not want to be here.” Jeremie grumbled, crossing his arms, and sitting himself down in the bleachers.
“Come on, Jeremie!” If you really want to get on Jim’s good side, then you need a little pre-work out work out!” Odd said.
“Oh, I think I sprained my ankle!” Jeremie whimpered, nervously, “Uh… Ow! Ow!” He clutched his left ankle.
“Oh, you poor thing! I’d better take you to the infirmary, or better yet- you can run there and back four times… you little faker!”
“Uh, also…” Jeremie faked a yawn, “I’m really tired. Yeah, I guess I’d just better hit the hay!”
“Jeremie, between making excuses, and sitting in front of your computer, I don’t know when you find the time to sit on your eggs!” Odd declared, in a poor imitation of Jim’s voice.
“Yeah, ‘cause you’re a chicken! And I bet the only lap you’ve even touched is your laptop!” Odd grinned wickedly, “Well, I’ve got all night! Come on, I’ll even do the run with you!”
“What if I upgraded your overboard, instead… It’ll be our little secret.” Jeremie plead.
“Oh come on, Einstein, a little exercise isn’t going to kill you!”
“I’m not so sure you’re right about that!” Jeremie gulped, tugging on the neck of his turtle neck sweater.
The night passed, and by some miracle, Jeremie survived, though the laps took him nearly two hours.
“Well, I guess that’s enough for now, Jeremie. But make sure to be up bright and early for gym.” Odd winked, walking off towards the dormitories in a chipper fashion. Jeremie trudged along behind, head down.
Jeremie collapsed into bed and was moments from sleep, when a voice flashed on his monitor.
“Hello, Jeremie!” an enthusiastic Aelita smiled. What on Earth was Aelita doing on Lyoko?
“Aelita! What are you doing in Lyoko?! Get out of there right now, it’s midnight!” he grunted.
“What do you mean, get out? I’ve always been here.” She said. Weirder and weirder. Aelita had been trapped for months on Lyoko with no memory of anything else. This Aelita was even wearing what Aelita had worn at the time.
Jeremie got out of his room, and ran into Aelita’s, where she lay fast asleep.
“Aelita, get up!” he shook her frantically.
“Hmmm?” she groaned, smiling in her sleep.
“Something really weird is going on.” He urged.
Being a pretty light sleeper, she got up at that point, “Show me.” She said.
“Aelita, you’re in two places at once. It’s really strange. Get to my room, and I’ll show you.”
She followed behind Jeremie, her steps as quiet as a ghost. He quietly opened the wooden door to his bedroom, turning the brass knob slowly.
Aelita walked up to the computer, leaning casually against Jeremie’s desk chair., “I don’t see who you’re talking about.” She said.
“Check the monitor.” Jeremie replied frantically.
Aelita turned around, facing the other Aelita, “Who are you?” they both asked in unison.
“Do you think she’s a polymorphic specter?” Aelita asked in awe.
“No, XANA would’ve known to put you in your new Lyoko outfit. I- I don’t know what it could be… question her. See what she knows.”
“Where do you come from, other Aelita?” Aelita asked.
“The mountain sector’s way tower.” She replied plainly.
“What about before that?” Aelita pressed.
“Who are you?” the Aelita on the screen repeated, “You look just like me, and yet nothing like me. As though you live on…”
“Yes, I live on Earth.” Aelita cut in.
“Then I suppose I might as well tell you what I know… All I really remember is collapsing, then, being absorbed into a blue ball of light. After that, nothing. Before that, nothing. I don’t know what the blue ball was, and if it’s good or evil, but it seemed familiar, almost…” she paused, “Human…”
“Franz Hopper.” Aelita and Jeremie sighed in unison.
“But that means… he’s still alive somewhere…”
“I think I know what happened.” Jeremie declared, “Remember when you died on Lyoko, but Franz Hopper saved your life?” Jeremie posed.
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, I think, when he saved you, part of your Lyoko entity got merged with his own. That part of you has stayed with him… until now. It may have been her- your leftover energy within him, that has allowed him to survive. Even after he sacrificed himself to kill XANA.”
“So, my father is still alive?” Aelita asked fearfully. Afraid to be wrong, yet wanting desperately to be right.
“Yes,” Jeremie allowed, “Perhaps. Let me run some calculations. If he is alive, he doesn’t want anyone to know that he is. So he won’t make himself easy to find. But in the meantime, the other part of yourself seems to have been completely set back to the beginning. She doesn’t remember anything. She’s you from a long time ago, basically. I’ll have to pull up the original materialization programs to get her back to Earth. That’s where it gets complex, though. Bringing her to Earth is easy, but merging her with you again may prove to be impossible.”
“You can do it, Jeremie. If anyone can do it- it’s you!” Aelita enthused.
“I’m not so sure. I’ll try, but in order to do it, I will in all likelihood either have to retrieve her portion of your human memories in order to allow her to be devirtualized normally, or set you back to where she is: a digital entity with no memories of a prior existence, trapped on Lyoko. Able to devirtualize only with the Code: Earth programming…” He paused, adjusting his glasses.
“Whatever it takes, Jeremie.” Aelita smiled shyly, pecking him on the cheek.
Jeremie, having grown more used to this kind of affection, did not fall over in his chair as he had done in the past.
“Well, toodeloo! I’m off to the cafeteria. I’m going to eat lunch. Are you going to join me, or will you just stay holed up in your room with the computer like a bat?” Aelita grinned slyly.
“Either or.” He grumbled, getting up slowly, pushing his chair in, “Let’s go, Wise guy.”
“I believe you mean Wise girl!” Aelita corrected teasingly.
The day passed slowly, and a knot in Jeremie’s stomach grew more and more pronounced at one thought: gym class. Sure enough, the one time Jeremie would’ve killed for a XANA attack to force him to leave class, no such incident occurred. No earthquakes, sinking schools, sudden epidemics, or high voltage power. Wishful thinking.