“What!?” Tennent exclaimed.
“What else could it be?” I explained. This gave way to silence.
After a while, we headed up to the Lab. I decided to do some digging, and see what I could find. Sean stayed with me to watch, but Brittany, Tennent, and Alyssa went back to their dorms.
I started by looking at the input matrix that was left from our visit to Lyoko. With some difficulty, I could make out when the monsters had been destroyed, and when we had been devirtualized.
I could see the energy readings from our Lyoko Avatars, and the monsters, but there was another energy reading. It was very weak.
I studied some more. I gaped in shock as I recognized the digital signature. It was ANAX! I had no idea that he was so weak!
I informed Sean of my discovery. “If that’s what he’s like now,” Sean said, “Then I wonder how powerful he is at full strength!”
“Yeah... I’m scared now.” I told him.
Further digging provided only one more piece of valuable info. It seemed as if ANAX could only take a tangible form if he was about to grab an Info Orb. He didn’t have enough power to sustain himself for long.
Now that we knew this, he would only descend if he could grab an Info Orb, because if he came just to devirtualize us, we would know that we just have to run as fast as we can, and in under a minute, he will dissipate. I was sure that this could work to our advantage.
Two days later, all was quite. I was lounging on my bed studying for an upcoming chemistry test. Even though Tennent and Sean think that I don’t have to study, I do.
My laptop was in sleep mode. That was a mistake that I wouldn’t make again. (Ok, I would make that mistake again, but from this point I would try harder to remember not to do that.)
Unbeknownst to me, ANAX had activated a Tower in the Forest Sector. He possessed a wolf in the park.
Sean was walking in the park at this time. He liked to do that because it helped him relax.
As he walked, he stopped to enjoy the sound of the birds chirping. He let out a contented sigh. The sun was just going down, but several rays still broke through the trees, warming him.
After a few more minutes, he decided to head back to Kadic.
About halfway back, he stopped. Something felt weird... Then he realized what it was. There was no noise. Zero.
Not a bird was chirping, or a squirrel chattering. Not even the wind was blowing through the branches of the trees. The last of the sun’s light was fading, and Sean was getting the distinct feeling that he was being watched.
He took a few more cautious steps forward. Then, he heard a footstep. A heavy footstep.
He turned around.
He was now staring right into the eyes of a wolf the size of a lion!
The eye of ANAX was clearly visible where its pupil should have been.
Sean bolted. He ran off in a random direction, with the ANAX-fied wolf hot in pursuit. He was barely able to keep ahead of the beast.
After a minute, Sean’s adrenaline cooled off. Common sense resumed. He knew that if the wolf wanted to, it could easily outrun him, and take him down.
He began to look around himself, to find a tree that he could climb. None had low hanging branches, so he kept running.
Soon, he came to a cliff of sorts. Without stopping, he began to climb upwards. Halfway up, he stopped to rest.
The wolf growled at him from far below.
Sean got out his cell phone and texted all of us the SOS. When I received the message, I jumped out of bed, and grabbed my laptop. Sure enough, as soon as I turned it on, a notice for an activated Tower popped up. “Yikes!” I exclaimed.
I headed to the Factory, knowing that the rest of my friends had gotten the text.
When I arrived, I saw that I was the last to get there.
“Where’s Sean?” I asked. Tennent answered, “He said he was going for a walk in the park.”
“If he’s not back yet, he must be in trouble!” Alyssa said.
Brittany volunteered, “I’ll see what I can do to help him.”
She left, leaving me, Tennent, and Alyssa to fight XANA on Lyoko.
I looked at the screen, and saw which Sector the Tower was in. I then started up the Scanner process, and we left for Lyoko.
We dropped down in a triangle formation. I scanned the horizon, looking for the activated Tower.
“It looks like you entered the co-ordinates wrong,” Alyssa told me after a moment. “Y’think?!” I responded.
I opened the radar, and located the Tower. “Rats!” I said. “I accidentally entered the X co-ordinates in the Y, and vice versa.”
“So how far do we have to go?” Tennent asked.
“About a mile...” I answered.
“Aw man...” He complained.
We started forward at a brisk pace. We encountered no trouble until the Tower was in sight.
I saw some monsters on my screen, which the LI identified as Krabes.
They were tall monsters, with big flat heads. It seemed that these were my type of monster. I could leap well above their, height, and the heads were large enough to provide some room for error.
I told Alyssa and Tennent of the danger and of my strategy to destroy the Krabes. Just as soon as they acknowledged me, laser fire erupted around us.
There were four Krabes. I picked a target and leaped up, and landed on the very edge of a Krabe. I didn’t have as high as an error margin as I had originally thought.
I steadied myself, and jumped to the center. As I brought my claws out to end the Krabe’s life, I heard a voice. “Get him off me!” It cried.
The Krabe then bucked heavily, and I fell down, but grabbed the end of its head.
So there I was, dangling from a Krabe’s head, staring at Tennent and Alyssa in surprise. A shot from another Krabe knocked me off and ended the awkward moment.
“Was that a Krabe talking?!” Alyssa asked.
“How should I know?” I replied. “I mean, I guess it was. It couldn’t have been anything else.”
The voice was much too grotesque to be a human. I never realized why I thought that monsters couldn’t talk. I just assumed that they couldn’t. Live and learn, I thought.
Alyssa fired an Energy Field at one of the Krabes, and it impacted on its leg, toppling it. Tennent then shot a Laser Arrow and the exposed XANA eye.
As he and Alyssa high-fived, something hit me. ANAX was our main adversary, and yet XANA’s mark was on the monsters. How could this be?
The fight left me little time to wonder. I had to be constantly moving so that I didn’t get hit.
My preoccupation proved to be my undoing. I leaped up into the air again, and stabbed down on a Krabe, but I missed the target, so I had only weakened it.
Through a process that I can’t describe, the three remaining Krabes focused all attention on me, and eliminated me from the battle.
By the time that I had materialized, gotten back to Lab, and oriented myself of the computer, Tennent and Alyssa had taken out a Krabe each.
It wasn’t long before the final Krabe also fell. I was surprised that it had been that easy. It was too easy. I didn’t like it.
Brittany was running through the forest looking for Sean. She had gone in a pattern that would cover the most likely places first, but that hadn’t worked.
Sean was obviously deep into the woods.
After a while, she heard a growling noise. Intrigued, she followed the sound to a clearing in the woods. In the clearing there was a cliff, a wolf growling at the base of it, and to her surprise Sean was sitting at the highest point of the rock.
“Hey! Sean!” She exclaimed. He made a slashing motion across his throat, motioning for her to be silent. It was too late. The wolf had heard the noise, and it turned around to face Brittany.
“Run!” Sean called. “The wolf is ANAX-fied!” Upon hearing that, Brittany took off.
With a sigh, Sean climbed down the cliff to follow them.
The chase lasted for quite a while. Sean could only follow the sound of footsteps, which was often misleading.
Eventually, he caught up, as he was a faster runner than Brittany. As the wolf lunged to bite at Brittany’s leg, Sean lunged for the wolf’s legs, bringing it to the ground.
He wrestled with it, and soon began to realize that this was a fight he couldn’t win. Within seconds, he had scratch marks running all throughout his body.
He broke free of the wolf’s hold, and ran away. Brittany followed him, and soon overtook him. He was wounded, and could not run half as fast as he usually could.
Brittany went back to help him.
“No,” Sean said. “Go ahead. I’ll catch up...” Even though it didn’t look like he would be able to catch up, Brittany obeyed.
Sean’s pace got slower and slower, until the wolf had caught up to him again.
On Lyoko, things couldn’t be worse. Like I said. Too easy!
Two monsters called MegaTanks had come out of nowhere, surrounding Tennent and Alyssa. I didn’t know what they looked like, but I was able to bring up a bio of them.
They had an impenetrable shell that they could close up into anytime the wanted. They only time they were vulnerable to an attack was when they attacked, opening their shell.
Alyssa was devirtualized in one shot. My eyes flew wide in horror.
It was up to Tennent now.
Tennent was left to face the new monsters alone when Alyssa was devirtualized. His mind was racing.
One of the monsters made like a bowling ball, and barreled towards him. They say fear can make people jump 10 foot high fences. Tennent believed it.
He propelled himself to the top of the monster, and then he jumped off in the direction of the Tower.
He looked over his shoulder to see the monster fall off the edge of the platform.
Tennent sprinted as fast as he could to the Tower. He disregarded the other monster completely. It opened its shell to charge up a shot, but by the time it fired, Tennent had just entered the Tower.
We were safe, for now at least.