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The Shining Moon, the Twinkling Stars

As the students slept, some strange activity was coming from the abandoned factory. The supercomputer had engaged itself on its own and a heartbeat started to emanate deep within the abyss of the Wired.

XANA hadn't shown himself recently, though he had the power to send out monster attacks. He didn't have the ability to take upon a human form as he had in the past. Yet, now at this point, he had gathered enough power to assume a human form. He wouldn't have the will to transport himself to Earth as of yet, but at least he could move around more freely and gain more control over the areas of Lyoko that were yet untouched. The Wired would soon be his playground in all due time, but for the time being, he would remain where he was until the time was right and he had more power to wield.

Sissi heard the eerie lub-dub of a heartbeat that sounded unearthly coming from someplace close. She tossed about fitfully in her sleep until she awakened. She ran down the hallway until she butted into Jim.

"Woah, missy ! Where's the fire ?", he said, wondering what she was doing up so late and what she was running away from in such a hurry.

"I'm afraid XANA has awakened.", she said, then covered her mouth. She had realized she had possibly said too much. Being in her sleep deprived state made her think irrationally without considering the consequences.

"What do you mean ? I am sure there's no one out to get you dear. Go back to sleep. I'm sure it was just a nightmare.", Jim said, calmly patting her on the head.

"I can prove it to you. Come on, Jim !", she said, tugging him along by the arm. For a little girl, she was stronger than she looked.

Sissi took Jim to the abandoned factory, but they didn't know they were being followed by Jeramie and the rest of the gang, minus Odd. The gang wasn't able to stop Sissi at the entrance but they met her at the halfway point so to speak. She was already in the room where the supercomputer was, and they had come in using the elevator instead of the sewer to get there.

"I can't believe you ! Why would you blab our secret to Jim of all people, Sissi ?", Yumi asked, becoming irate.

"You have no right in telling him about the factory, you traitor !", Ulrich said.

All of their words stung Sissi to the core, but just then Odd burst through the doors.

"Stop ! Sissi is our friend. She meant no harm in telling Jim about 'our place'. She was probably just worried about XANA reawakening. You never know…it could've happened !", Odd said, siding with Sissi. The others thought about what Odd had said, and it was true. XANA more than likely had been becoming more powerful since they had fought him last. The last monster attack was his message to them that he hadn't been destroyed as they had initially thought.

"I'm not sure what's going on, but all of you should be back in bed…You really need your rest.", Jim reproved, as he led all the students out of the factory with some guidance. Indeed, he wasn't certain about what was happening, but his curiosity was sparked. He couldn't stop thinking of Lyoko, even when he went back to sleep.

The next morning, the children awoke rather well-rested and refreshed from the mess that was the previous evening. Sissi was feeding Kumquat in her room, Jeremie was chatting with his Internet friends from around the world, and Odd was playing fetch with Kiwi while Ulrich read a comic book. Yumi was in her dorm room doing the same. Suddenly, unbeknownst to the children, several fuses and sockets began to blow out. XANA's digital impulses, or "spectres", began to pour out of each fuse and socket.

Some of the younger children had been scared when the lights had gone out but matters only became scarier when the specters began possessing different objects and began going berserk. The printers were sparking, sputtering and spewing out papers, faxes were coughing up random faxes, computers turned on and off eerily and Jean-Pierre had had enough of it. Once he had thrown the master switch all the activity came to a stop, but that wasn't the end of it. The auxiliary lights had been left on, though they were dim. The younger children were less frightened now that the electronic items were no longer attacking and the chaos had stopped.

That was, until the specters became aware that they could possess people. One by one, the teachers became zombies, under XANA's control. The Warriors knew they were in trouble, but weren't certain what to do considering this new set of circumstances.

Aelita's forehead began to glimmer, but luckily no one else had seen this since they were running away in the opposite direction from the XANA possessed zombies. Suddenly, the Warriors were bestowed with powers that they normally had on Lyoko. They didn't question as to why or how, but turned around to fight the zombies. It was up to them now to stop them before anyone was hurt. They didn't want to fight their own superiors, but they could do so without using weapons.

"We just need to get them out in the sun…It's that easy.", Odd said, running outside as the zombies kept up with them.

"Like all creatures of darkness, they can't stand the light.", Taelia added. Odd had gotten his information from B movies, while Taelia's knowledge was from folklore and myth, but who would've known that both sources were correct !

One by one the zombies were lead into the sun. Jim had not been affected by the attack since he was outside but had sensed that Susanne was in danger. He didn't know she had been possessed by one of XANA's specters, but he wished to help the Warriors fight against XANA this time. He had found the sewer entrance to the old abandoned factory long before the other Warriors had done so, but they were surprised to see him there. Ulrich and Yumi especially wanted him to explain himself. The only reason they didn't trust him was because they thought it was their duty as Warriors to protect Lyoko and Earth and not allow anyone else to do so. It wasn't a job for someone Jim's age to become involved in. But what they didn't realize was; they needed guidance. They were just reluctant to admit it.

"Guys, Susanne is in trouble. I didn't know where else to go to. I had seen my friends become possessed, and I can only assume she was among them. I'm thinking this XANA character has something to do with it. I want to help you fight him !", Jim said, extremely worried about his fiancée.

"I trust you, Jim. I'll be here watching you from the outside. Come on, everyone ! We don't have time to lose.", Jeramie said, with a voice of authority. Everyone knew he was right. Jim followed the others and waited to be virtualized for the first time. It was an unusual but exhilarating sensation being transformed. It made his skin tingle a little, and he chuckled on the way before finding himself in his metamorphosed state.

"Unbelievable !", he thought, looking at the gauntlets on his arms. He nearly resembled a ronin of feudal times, but with a few modifications in his outfit. He had a weapon that he knew would come in handy. He would learn as he went along, and fortunately, he was a quick learner.

All the while on Earth the zombies were unable to move for the time being in the sun and the children had found a safe place to hide. But one zombie had avoided the sunlight and broken free. On its own accord it had been lead to the elevator entrance of the factory and came slinking in at a moderate pace. While Jeramie was directing the group through the Tundra Sector, all the while, the rouge zombie came closer and closer to the main control room.

They had been fighting monsters consistently and Jim had been holding his own when considering slaying the mechanical creatures XANA had sent out. The kids should've never underestimated him, since he was quite strong. While he held off the creatures, the rest of the Warriors ran into the cleared tower.

Jeramie, who was wrestling with the rouge zombie back on Earth, found himself awfully close to being bitten. He hit the enter key with his free elbow, still tussling with the zombie, finding two sharp canines dangerously close to his jugular vein. The others didn't know what was going on but could hear the sound of a struggle.

"Jeramie, are you alright ?", Ulrich questioned.

"Yeah, sounds like you're having a rough time !", Samantha added, just as concerned.

"No time to explain ! Return to the past NOW !", Jeramie yelled only minutes before the zombie had a chance to bite him. A blinding light overshadowed the factory and the grounds of Kadic and all seemed to be well. At least momentarily.

The heartbeat from the supercomputer was louder and stronger than it had been before, but no one really heard it. All the students were sleeping peacefully, lost in their dreams while XANA, having been able to recover himself fully, had been able to create a crystal ball and watch happenings on Earth. Looking about he watched the students sleep and was intrigued, especially when he saw Elisabeth Delmas resting in her bed so peacefully. Upon seeing her for the first time through new eyes, his heart was ignited. He knew he wanted to make this young girl his queen. He was strong enough to do so, but he would wait until the time was right to deliver her to her rightful place. For now, he too believed he would sleep and dream about her; his one and only Princess.

Written by Angie Y. and FlowerofAdversity

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