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Recruiting part 2

Grumbling all the way, Jeremie allowed Odd, Ulrich, and Aelita to lead him into the gymnasium.

From then on, it went pretty much as follows:

What Jim said: “Today we’ll be doing some warm-up laps to start off our routine.”

What Jeremie heard: “I am a sadistic killer who hates every one of you, especially Jeremie Belpois.”

What Jeremie said: “Uh sir, I feel kind of sick. Do you think I could sit this one out?”

What Jim heard: “I’m an out-of-shape wimp. Could I please be excused from all forms of physical effort?”

What Jim said: “If everyone else can do the laps so can you. Why don’t you go first?”

What Jeremie heard: “I’m not as dumb as you think- only mildly dumb. For your misconception, I will humiliate you in front of the entire class!”

What Jim said: “What do you have, pencils for legs? I’ve seen snails run faster!”

What Jeremie heard: “I still don’t like you- but I love escargot.”

What Jeremie said: “I think I sprained my ankle, Jim!”

What Jim heard: “Please work me harder- you have so much to teach, and I have so much to learn!”

“Jim and I will never get along!” Jeremie complained later that afternoon, in the factory.

“Why not?” asked Yumi.

“We just don’t understand each other!” Jeremie complained.

“I’ll try and trick him into the factory this evening.” Ulrich volunteered.

“Alright, Ulrich. We’re counting on you.” Jeremie grinned wryly, “But um… no pressure.”

“Right, well I gotta go. It’s Tuesday, and that means penchak silat.” Penchak silat is a form of martial arts done by both Ulrich and Yumi. The classes are taught by none other than Jim, “You coming Yumi?”

“Yeah, in a second!” Yumi said, “I just need to… hah! Gotcha!” Yumi exclaimed, throwing a kick behind Ulrich’s knees, forcing Ulrich to fall down. Then she offered him her hand, helping him up. “Jim says to always be on your toes!” Yumi grinned smugly.

“Bah! Whatever!” Ulrich grumbled, shuffling off to penchak silat. Yumi followed behind, shrugging lightly.

“Think he’ll do it?” asked Odd dubiously.

“Hard to say. He’ll be preoccupied sulking, now.” Jeremie replied with a hint of a smile.

“Give him some credit. He’s not that grouchy!” William winked.

“You just don’t know him as well as we do!” Aelita replied grinning brightly.

“I guess we should be going,” said Jeremie, “I think it’s about dinner time.” Jeremie glanced down at his watch.

“No. Not for another two hours- Odd hasn’t started complaining yet!” Aelita grinned.

“But I could always go for a snack!” Odd winked.

“One of these days they’re going to put you in a carnival- the incredible eating Odd! He never gets full… Or gains a pound!” William chortled.

“Hey! I am not scrawny! I’m svelte!” Odd remembered all of the times he had said this line before.

“Sure.” William nodded, suddenly absentminded.

“Whatcha thinking, William?” Jeremie asked.

“Oh, it’s nothing. Do you think Yumi really likes Ulrich?” William asked pensively.

“We’re back to that again? I thought we talked about that just the other day!” Odd complained.

“Don’t listen to him, William. I think she likes Ulrich very much. But I don’t know if she’ll ever admit it. Regardless, I’m afraid she has no interest in you. So why not find a different object for your affections?” Aelita advised.

“Maybe. This stuff isn’t so easy.” William muttered under his breath.

“I’m hungry!” Odd complained.

“-And that’s our cue! Let’s go, shall we?” Aelita grinned warmly, leading everyone out.

The four friends climbed up the sewer, and ran back to the school, careful not to be seen.

Jeremie got a text on his cell phone: Code: Gorilla, it said.

“Code: gorilla?” Odd frowned, wrinkling his nose as he peered over Jeremie’s shoulder.

“It means Jims heading towards the factory- and we need to make tracks!” Jeremie exclaimed, speeding up.

The friends all shared a quick laugh, before glaring at each other to stop laughing. This of course made them laugh even harder, and they had to run even faster to get out of the way, for there stood Jim.

“But I swear, Jim! I was studying in that old abandoned factory last night- thought it would make a nice change of scene, and I accidentally forgot my text book.” Ulrich explained.

Yumi had already gone home, because she was the only one of the friends who was only a day student. The rest were boarders.

Jim was tall and obese. He had brown hair, a red and white sweatband marking the end of his hair. He wore a red track suit, was hairy, and had a perpetual bandage on his forehead. He put his hands on his hips, eyeing Ulrich skeptically.

“Alright.” He said, “I’ll go with you to get your books- but only because you were responsible, and didn’t just go running off into the night to get them.” Jim grumbled, allowing Ulrich to lead him.

For this purpose, Ulrich was not leading Jim through the sewer like how he would normally get to the computer. Jim had been there before, but didn’t remember, of course. A return to the past had taken his memory with it. So Ulrich took Jim across the bridge, the entrance most people were used to. He didn’t want to raise Jim’s easily provoked suspicions.

“This way, Jim.” Ulrich coached, leading Jim to the bridge.

They were soon in the factory.

“Well, where are they? Where are your books?!” Jim scratched his head impatiently.

“Down here, Jim. Down the old elevator. It was too noisy up here to study. The elevator still works- trust me.” Ulrich smiled, apprehending Jim’s questions before they came. This was just too easy.

“Okay…” Jim agreed nervously, stepping into the elevator. Ulrich had spoken the truth: the elevator ran. Of course.

The elevator was headed straight for the super calculator room. The first step was to get Jim to see it all, then trick him into the scanner.

“This is our stop.” Ulrich announced for Jim’s benefit.

Jim got out relieved. That changed as soon as he saw the super computer.

“What- what is all this stuff?” Jim’s eyes widened.

“Sit down, Jim. I’ll explain everything.” Ulrich smiled kindly.

Jeremie, Aelita, Odd, and William paced anxiously in Jeremie’s room.

“I hope this wasn’t a mistake- letting Jim in on our secret…” Jeremie sighed.

“Give the guy a chance!” William replied with a snort, “You said he helped you before, right?”

“Yeah, but that was under different circumstances.” Aelita replied.

“Well, fingers crossed.” Jeremie muttered absentmindedly, staring at his cell phone on the desk.

“Yeah,” Odd sighed, fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Ulrich was with Jim, having little luck trying to jog his memories. He had even tried using food as a positive reinforcement.

“This is the super computer. The super computer balances the fate of the world.” He handed Jim a cookie.

“These are the scanners. The scanners are good.. Like this cookie.” Ulrich resisted the urge to snicker, “Listen, Jim. Get in the scanner.”

“What? Why? What do they do?” Jim asked suspiciously.

“They don’t do much at all. They’re just part of the old factory equipment, but it’s the only place where you can finish this bag of cookies without ruining the floor.” Meat head.

“Okay.” Jim agreed, holding out his hand for the cookies. Ulrich handed them over, going into the other room. He hoped he could remember how to start up a delayed virtualization. He had always been somewhat inept when it came to the super computer’s workings.

He didn’t want to think about the trouble Jim could get into there, alone. So there was no question that Ulrich had to go to escort him, but if something went wrong in the transfer, there was a good chance no one would know until it was too late.

Though a little scared, Ulrich punched in the coordinates per Jeremie’s instructions. They were headed for the mountain sector.

Ulrich dashed for his scanner, and before Jim could finish his surprised exclamation, they had disappeared, and were on their way to Lyoko.

“Aaaahhh!” Jim screamed, “What happened.”

“Allow me to explain.” Ulrich said kindly, but then his eyes widened, Jim was still carrying the cookies. That didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t even possible to eat on Lyoko. Or if it was, it would be tasteless, “You have been recruited.”

“Recruited?” Jim gulped, “This reminds me of the time I was in the Navy Seals.”

“The Navy Seals?”

“Uh… I’d rather not talk about it.” Jim smiled sheepishly, this was his catch phrase.

“Anyway. This is a virtual world, called Lyoko.” Ulrich began.

“A what?”

“A virtual world. It exists on a plane of reality accessible through a computer in the factory called a super computer. You came here through a device called a scanner, that thing you were standing in. This world has an influence on our world. That is because of a computer program called XANA. XANA is evil, and wants to destroy the human race.” Ulrich explained.

“I see.”

“You see? This is the fate of the entire world here, and that’s all you can say?!” Ulrich threw his arms up in frustration.

“Sorry, I’m just in awe.” Jim, looked around, “This is just… strange… So this is what you kids have been hiding all this time?”

“Yes.”

“Gee. I was messing with the fate of the world by chasing you and your gang around all the time, huh?”

“That’s all in the past now. So, are you in, or out?” Ulrich raised an eyebrow at Jim’s virtual form. He hated to be the one to tell Jim that it was a little less than flattering.

“How can I help?” Jim asked incredulously.

“Oh, don’t worry. We’ll call you.” Ulrich smiled mysteriously.

End of episode 2




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