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Kadic Academy was hustling and bustling with students getting out of class for the day, and heading for their normal after-school destinations. Six students, however, were going somewhere that they hadn't been to in three years.
"Explain to me why we are going back to the factory again?" Asked Odd, confused.
"Because Aelita found something new in one of her Lyoko programs on her laptop and she wants to check to see if it's anything serious." answered Jeremy, who was walking beside a pensive Aelita.
"Strange as in XANA-ish?" asked Ulrich.
Aelita gave no response and kept walking, pensive expression never leaving her face.
"Hello? Aelita? You there?" asked Odd, waving a hand in front of her face.
Suddenly, she blinked and gasped. "Oh I uh oh, um sorry you guys, I was thinking over what it could be." She responded.
"And so, what do you think it is?" asked William.
"I'm not sure, it kinda reminded me of something I've seen before…..in the towers." she replied.
"Do you see it when you're deactivating the towers?" asked Yumi.
"Actually, yes and no. I see it when I go into the towers, but not on or where the deactivation panel is. It's something in the towers. On their walls maybe. I'm not quite sure." Answered Aelita.
"So it could be XANA-related?" asked Ulrich.
"I don't think so; we destroyed him, made it so he could never return again." Aelita replied as they entered the factory.
The group slid down the poles and took the route to the lab, a route that they hadn't taken in a long time and even though they didn't want to admit it, they missed taking that route almost every day to the lab, to fight their awaiting battles in Lyoko.
Only today, they weren't coming to the lab to fight a battle, at least, they thought they weren't.
Once everyone had assembled in the lab, Aelita began to explain why she needed them all to come here.
"Everyone, as you already know, I found something unusual on my laptop today." started Aelita, an eerie silence filling the lab. "And I want to check it out."
"Okay, so then just go on your laptop and check it out." said Odd.
"No, on Lyoko. I know it has to do with Lyoko because, as I already mentioned, it it's in one of my Lyoko files." She responded.
"Hold on, Aelita, which file?" asked Jeremy, quite curious.
"One of the security files." She replied. "The one containing the sectors' data and blueprints to be exact."
"What would someone or something want with Lyoko's sectors?" asked Yumi.
"That's what I want to find out. Jeremy, please power on the supercomputer, we're going into Lyoko." replied Aelita.
"When we get in to Lyoko, what's the plan?" asked Ulrich.
"We're going to look around each of the sectors for anything suspicious or different and I need to get inside a tower." informed Aelita.
William, who stayed quiet most of the time, spoke up.
"Are we going to look around the digital sea as well?" He asked.
"I wasn't planning on it. Why?" asked Aelita.
"I've never seen it before and I'm interested in seeing what lies underneath those deathly waves." William answered.
"You've seen the digital sea before!" Odd pointed out.
"Yeah, but not under my own free will." William retaliated.
"William, now that I think about, I'd like to look there too. However, we don't have the Skid anymore." said Aelita.
"No, we still have the Skid, Aelita." Jeremy said.
"How?" asked Aelita, confused.
"I made a copy of the Skid, and I keep them and many other Lyoko related programs on a flash drive that I keep around my neck at all times." Jeremy replied, beaming at his helpful accomplishment.
"Wonderful, Jeremy! We'll go to the scanners straight away." Aelita said as she and the four other warriors headed for the scanners.
Jeremy turned on the supercomputer, sat in his chair, put his microphone on his head, and started the scanner procedures. Once he was ready, he instructed his friends to get in the scanners.
"Ready guys?" asked Jeremy.
"Totally!" responded Odd.
"Good, so who's going first?" Jeremy asked.
"Myself, Yumi, and Ulrich. Send us to the Desert Sector." replied Aelita, the other two nodding their heads.
"Alright, climb into the scanners." instructed Jeremy.
The three did so and Jeremy started the virtualization process.
"Scanner Aelita, Transfer Aelita, Virtualization." said Jeremy.
With that, Aelita was on Lyoko.
"Aelita, you there?" asked Jeremy.
"Yep, I'm fine, send the others." replied Aelita from Lyoko.
"Excellent. Okay, ready Ulrich, Yumi?" he asked.
"Yes." replied Yumi.
"Definitely." replied Ulrich.
"Scanner Yumi, Transfer Yumi, Scanner Ulrich, Transfer Ulrich. Virtualization." Jeremy finished, sending two more of his friends to Lyoko. "Odd, William, it's your turn."
Odd and William climbed into the scanners and Jeremy began the process.
"Scanner Odd, Transfer Odd, Scanner William, Transfer William."
William's vision went white for a moment before he found himself once again in the Desert Sector, sword in hand. To his relief, his clothing had reverted to the blue and white he had worn before his possession. He looked around, never having seen this sector of his own free will before.
"Wow," he said aloud. "This place is a lot cooler when I'm the one looking at it." He caught Aelita glancing at him. "Don't worry! We're not gonna have a repeat of last time. I swear."
Aelita relaxed, taking her focus off of William as the group came together.
Jeremy leaned back in his seat, eyes on the screen. No monsters since XANA's gone... The console beeped suddenly as what appeared to be a humanoid appeared on the radar.
"What the heck?" Jeremy thought aloud.
"Something wrong, Jeremy?" asked Aelita.
"The radar is showing another humanoid," he answered.
"That's impossible," she said. "We're the only ones here."
"Aelita, I've been here for years." They jumped and looked around at the sound of the voice. The speaker—a boy—continued. "I just never moved from that cave in the Oasis. Oh, and your father gave me a message for you. It was a last request before he joined you at the Ice Sector."
"Who are you and how do you know my father?" asked Aelita with hints of hostility and curiosity.
"My name is Novan. I was an assistant while he was building the Scanners," the boy explained. "I was the first human to be virtualized. I quickly discovered my abilities to manipulate Lyoko's earth and water. XANA helped me a bit. But just when I was about to return to the real world, XANA pushed me off the edge. My feelings of betrayal activated my most powerful ability, which saved my life. I've been here ever since," he finished with a hint of sadness.
"Novan, were you originally virtualized into Lyoko using the scanners in this factory?" Jeremy asked. "Why haven't I ever found any traces of your data or Lyoko form in the super computer?"
"And why didn't you come to us before?” Aelita asked. “We could have helped you here and then devirtualized you with us. And didn't you say that you had a message from my father?"
"Yes, I was virtualized here. The reason you haven't found any data is because XANA wiped it away," Novan explained, his avatar's skin darkening slightly. "I didn't want to be devirtualized yet. The time was not right," The boy continued as his skin faded back to normal. "Ah yes, the message..." Novan closed his eyes, and when he opened them a moment later, they glowed a soft white as the boy began speaking with Franz Hopper's voice. "Aelita, I just want you to know, I love you more than anything else, and I am glad you have friends like the Lyoko Warriors." The glow and voice faded, and Novan staggered a bit and shook his head as if coming out a trance. "There. Now I must fulfill the other task he assigned to me. I must reach Lyoko's core."
"The core?" asked Aelita. "Well, I'm sure we can help you with that. Right, Jeremy?"
"Sure, I suppose we can," Jeremy replied.
"Just think of our help as a thank you for conveying the message. That message was one of the best things that I've heard in a long time," Aelita said to her new friend.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on," Odd cut in. "I don't think we can trust him. If he really is an ally, then why was he watching on the sidelines all those years while we busted our butts fighting XANA?"
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but Odd's right Aelita," agreed Ulrich. "We can't trust him yet. He may be a slave of XANA's. Slaves can be punished but they can't be freed or do what they want." William nodded, grimacing.
"It's a logical judgment," Jeremy added.
Yumi nodded her head in agreement.
"Well, I refuse to believe that he's a slave or a part of XANA....but the evidence compared to what we already know does seem a bit plausible..." Aelita trailed off.
"If I was fighting against you lot," Novan began, "you would all be taking a not-so-nice dip in the Digital Sea. Yes, that includes you, Jeremy. My powers far exceed mere Creativity. For example..." The boy gazed at a small platform near him and stretched out one arm, pointing at it. "Geokinesis!" His green eyes flashed brown, and the platform suddenly split in half.
"Wow, that's so cool!" said Odd.
"But that still doesn’t explain why you never helped us," Yumi added, still not convinced. Ulirch nodded in agreement.
"Because... of... THIS!" As Novan yelled, he transformed into a vicious looking creature with the head of a Velociraptor, pitch-black skin, claw-like nails, dragon-like wings, and Scyphozoa tentacles. "This is why. This form is too powerful, yet it is required for me to use its power to fulfill my task at the Core." The creature explained calmly as it slowly reverted back to human.
"O.M.G, EVEN COOLER!!!" Odd exclaimed. "Man, I wish I could do that," he added.
"I still don't understand..." grumbled Ulrich.
William nodded in agreement again and Yumi, to be frank, looked rather pissed.
"All the more reason to help you," said Aelita. "Jeremy, find the core and direct us to it. Our new job is to help Novan."
Novan massaged his temples in an effort to remove the rage—and the headache Odd was giving him. He then burned off the excess energy by sprinting full-tilt to the Desert Sector's edge. "Transport Orb, please. And if any Lyoko Warriors would care to join me, feel free."
"I'll go," said Aelita. "Yumi, you and Ulrich come with me. Odd, you and William should start searching the sectors for anything suspicious," she advised. William and Odd nodded.
"What about the tower, Aelita?" Jeremy asked.
"I'll search for one later," she replied.
Novan sat at the Desert Sector's tip, his legs hanging casually over the edge, when he heard the trio arrive behind him. "Jeremy, the Transport Orb, please."
"Right away, Novan," he replied, the transport orb appearing seconds later. It scooped up the four and deposited them moments later in the Arena. They waited patiently for the room to stop spinning—literally—and ran to the Celestial Dome, where their vehicles waited. They boarded the vehicles and took off for the core.
Upon reaching the Core Chamber, Novan closed his eyes and concentrated. Almost instantly, the monster appeared in his place, and it flew up to the Core. Aelita activated her wings and followed him up, Ulrich and Yumi following them on the Overwing.
The creature placed both of its hands directly on the core, ignoring the shields. Before Aelita's eyes, the model of Lyoko inside—and therefore, Lyoko itself—began to change. Clouds formed over the Mountain Sector. A swamp developed under the Forest. A network of caverns appeared beneath the Ice Sector. A tropical ocean dotted with islands appeared over the Desert.
"Incredible!" was all Aelita could say as she watched the Lyoko that she knew all too well change before her eyes.
"Y-you're adding sectors!" said Jeremy, amazed as well.
"Sectors?" Yumi echoed, her eyes widening. "Aelita, the files! It's him, he made the marks on your files of the sectors!"
Aelita said nothing, as she was still amazed by her new friend's abilities, but she knew that Yumi was probably right.
When the Sectors were complete, the creature morphed back into Novan, who promptly began to fall.
"Novan!" Aelita cried. The pink haired warrior quickly flew up and caught her friend. "Are you okay?" she asked, concern clear in her voice.
As Aelita carried him down, Novan began to mutter, "The Berserk ... embodiment ... Lyoko's wrath..." Yumi and Ulrich heard this, guessing that the monster's name was the Berserk, and realized that it was Lyoko's wrath, or Lyoko's own avatar.
"Novan, please...explain," asked Aelita, quite curious about what the boy in her arms was mumbling.
Novan suddenly woke up. "The creature I turn into is the manifestation of Lyoko's wrath. That's why I didn't help. Because of my powers. I might've accidently slaughtered you all in my rage," the boy explained. "Now that my tasks are done, I can return."
"Return where?" asked Yumi.
"Earth, duh," Novan replied casually.
"Oh," was all Yumi could say in reply.
"I'll have Jeremy work on devirtualizing you right away!" Aelita said to her new friend. "Jeremy, please try to devirtualize Novan."
"I’m on it," he replied.
"Yumi, Ulrich, lets find Odd and William and do what we came here to do." Aelita instructed.
"We could take you to a tower first," Ulrich suggested.
"Okay, good idea," Aelita agreed.
The trio started to run away but Aelita turned around to ask Novan one last question.
"Novan, did you happen to breach and mark any of the Lyoko files on my laptop earlier today?" she asked, curious.
"I don't recall doing that," he replied as they went back toward the Celestial Dome. "But maybe something unfamiliar entered Lyoko's gravity."
“Hmm, unfamiliar...I wonder what that could be...” she thought aloud.
"Come on, Aelita, we don't have all day," called Ulrich.
"All right, let's go," Aelita replied, as she joined the two warriors who were waiting for her.
"Okay Novan, I'm almost done with the virtualization codes," Jeremy informed the new boy. "But since XANA wiped all of your data from the Super Computer, I'm having a few difficulties getting the computer to accept the codes that I created for you. I'm trying to use the some of the same methods to devirtualize you that I originally used on Aelita years ago, but with you, it's not as easy. I'll keep working," he added.
"Hmm..." Novan looked toward the Carthage Tower. "We could use that Tower and do a quick scan." he commented. "That oughta refresh the computer's memory."
"Possibly," Jeremy replied. "But it could also do damage to you or worse, the Super Computer itself. XANA's been tricky in the past, and he could have left a virus in you to be triggered the next time you get scanned."
"Or we could just devirtualize me the easy way; run me through with something," Novan pointed out. "Still, Franz's coding was running through me until I finished those Sectors. It would've cleared out any viruses. Besides, I was stuck to a wall until you rebuilt the Desert. I doubt XANA cared what happened to me as long as I was out of his way."
"If you're sure that nothing will go wrong, then step into the tower and I'll do the scan," Jeremy replied.
Novan nodded and walked into the tower, standing in the exact center of the platform.
"Okay...scan Novan." commanded Jeremy as he entered a few codes.
The scan revealed that Novan was completely clean, and his ID card appeared on the Computer Screen, showing Novan's three abilities--Hydrokinesis, Geokinesis, and Berserk--as well as Novan's weapons, twin wooden stakes that resembled daggers.
"Okay, you're clean," Jeremy confirmed. "Let's start the devirtualization." He started typing in the devirtualization codes.
A few moments later, Novan popped out of the Scanner and promptly fell asleep. This was due to him technically being awake for decades.
"Aelita, the devirtualization was successful," Jeremy announced.
"Wonderful!" Aelita replied.
"Yeah, but he fell asleep since he's technically been awake for who knows how long, and I don't know what to do with him. I'd like to move him a bed, but there are obviously no beds in the factory and the only bed that I can move him to is the one in my dorm back at Kadic. The bigger problem is that I can't leave you guys alone in Lyoko...or move him on my own. Does anyone have any suggestions?" Jeremy asked his friends, hoping for an answer.
Novan suddenly awoke, his brain recharged. "I'm good!" he exclaimed, sitting up straight. He saw that Aelita was scanning around Lyoko's shell for anything, then spotted a humanoid shape near the gate.
"Aelita, there's a humanoid hovering just outside the gate. I think you should check it out. But get in the Skid, it looks like it's in the digital sea," Jeremy informed his friend.
"I'll stay here," Novan spoke up.
"That's fine," replied Aelita.
"Aelita, get into the Skid and check out the humaniod," Jeremy instructed.
"Sure," she replied. "Right away." Aelita headed toward the Skid.
"Why not get the others to come as well?" Novan suggested.
"I'm having them do other tasks for me,” Aelita explained. “You see, I found these strange symbols and markings in some of the Lyoko files on my laptop this morning. The reason that we came to Lyoko today was to check each of the sectors and one of the towers for anything suspicious."
Meanwhile, in the Way Tower temple on the Sky Sector, William was starting to get a headache.
"Ah," the boy groaned. "My head..." He shook it off after a moment and used the Way Tower to enter the Swamp, where Odd was exploring.
"Find anything?" William asked.
"Nope, nothing weird," replied Odd.
"Hey Odd, why not check out the Sky Sector?" William suggested. "It's beautiful."
"Okay, sounds cool!" said Odd, as the two headed towards the Sky Sector.
Unfortunately, upon arriving back in the Kankrelat temple, William was suddenly hit by a splitting headache as, many miles away, XANA awakened in the cave he was hiding in, the Scyphozoa's eye glowing blood red.
"William, are you okay?" asked Odd, concerned for his friend.
William could only yell in pain.
"Uh Jeremy, I think we have a problem!" called Odd.
"What's wrong?" Jeremy asked.
"William’s head's giving him a lot of pain," Odd replied.
"Aelita, William's got an unbearably painful headache," Jeremy told his friend.
"Uh oh, get him out of Lyoko. I don't want him getting hurt," Aelita said.
"N-no," William interrupted. "I...I can continue."
"Are you sure William?" asked Aelita.
"Yes, I'm sure," he confirmed.
"If the pain gets worse, let me know. Right now I'm in the Skid, but I'll come to you as soon as I can," Aelita said.
"Okay," William replied.
"They're in the Sky Sector, Aelita. Have you found the humanoid yet?" asked Jeremy.
"Yes, I found him and I'm getting close," she replied, heading toward the figure.
Suddenly, William froze, his eyes flickering into the Eye of XANA just as they had when he was first possessed as they stared at the Kankrelat temple doors. At the exact same moment, Novan sat bolt upright. In unison, both boys said a single, two-word sentence that sent a chill down everyone's spines.
"Aelita..." Jeremy began, "Can you...believe...he's..."
"Back? No, not at all," she replied. "I've reached the humanoid. Should I pull it into the Skid?" she asked.
"Yes, you should."
William and Novan shook their heads. Novan, now awake, went to sit by Jeremy and watch. "Why not get everyone to the Desert?" he suggested.
"Good thinking," Jeremy agreed.
In Lyoko, William was showing Odd around the Sky Sector. Odd's mouth dropped open. "Oh, my gosh... this Sector is ... is ... There aren't words!"
"Everyone get to the Desert Sector as soon as possible," ordered Jeremy.
"I'll be there as soon as I get the humanoid in the Skid," Said Aelita, getting ready to pull the figure in.
"Oh come on! I don't want to leave the Sky Sector yet!!! It's beyond cool!!!" said Odd, really disappointed.
Novan put on a headset. "Odd, if you don't go the Desert ASAP, I'm going to go in there and bring every monster statue in the Sky, and there are at least a hundred of them, to life and aim them at you," he warned calmly.
"Okay, okay I'm going! Yeesh, you're no fun," Odd pouted as he and William took off for the Desert Sector.
Novan chuckled a bit. "Little does Odd know that I can't do that," he told Jeremy.
"I'll admit that was very good. You're quite convincing," Jeremy replied.
"Why thank you." Novan replied with a slight bow.
Meanwhile, the Skid emerged from the Sea and docked with a nearby Tower. "I'm gonna go back in, okay Jeremy?" Novan said, dropping down to the scanner he had emerged from and walked in.
"Novan, I wouldn't go back in if I were you," Jeremy warned. "It won't be good for your health, and worse, if he's actually back, he could attack you."
Novan closed his eyes and focused. In his vision, the red and black Scyphozoa had been heading upward, not toward Lyoko.
"He wasn't heading to Lyoko," Novan said, "but toward the surface of the Digital Sea."
"The digital sea? Hmm…I wonder what XANA wants with the digital sea," pondered Jeremy.
"It is strange," Aelita agreed, now docking the Skid.
"I'd also like to meet this stranger in person," Novan said.
"Again, I'm sorry, but I really don't think you should back in, Novan. It's not a smart thing to do," Jeremy insisted.
Novan finally accepted that he wasn't going back in yet, and decided to go back up to the computer room."
Aelita, have you looked at the humanoid yet?" asked Jeremy.
"I only saw him for a minute when I pulled him in. He appeared to be an adult male," replied Aelita.
The others crowded around the seemingly unconscious, helmeted figure. "Why not try to take off his -" William began.
The figure suddenly sat bolt upright. "Who are you programs?" he said.
Novan put on a headset. "We could ask you the same question," he replied.
Aelita spread her hands to show that she had no weapon. "My name is Aelita. My friends and I mean you no harm."
"Well, unless you're going to harm us," Odd added.
Aelita gave Odd a look and continued. "You are in Lyoko. We found you floating in the digital sea. I pulled you out using a vehicle that we call a Skid," the pink-haired girl explained.
"My name is Tron," the stranger said. "I am from the Grid, which apparently lies above this world."
"A world above Lyoko?" Aelita asked. "Amazing!"
"Wait a minute," Jeremy put in. "How could the Grid be above Lyoko when we found you floating in the digital sea? Unless you fell from the sky, Lyoko is above the Grid. No wait," he added, an idea suddenly coming to him. "It's an illusion. When you're in Lyoko, Lyoko is above the Grid. But when you're in the Grid, the Grid is above Lyoko."
"Another digital world!? Cool!" Odd said excitedly.
“Please, can you tell us more about the Grid?" asked Aelita.
"The only way I can do that is to show you," Tron replied. "It seems your Digital Sea is the bottom of what my world calls the Sea of Simulation."
"Please, show us," responded Aelita.
"Well, I suggest you all get in the vehicle you call the Skid," Tron said. He dived into the Digital Sea, then popped his head out, as though he were simply swimming in a normal sea.
"Amazing," was all Jeremy could say.
"You got that right," Novan agreed.
The five warriors boarded the Skid and started to follow Tron. A few minutes later, the ship was following Tron to the surface of the Sea, toward the light above.
William was observing his surroundings in the blue "water" around them. "Wow," he whispered. "It looks so beautiful when XANA isn't messing with it."
He suddenly caught a glimpse of something black and red. "What was that?"
"What was what?" Odd asked.
"Never mind," William responded, sure he was seeing things. He stared at the spot where he had thought he saw XANA's Scyphozoa following them.
The Skid broke through the Digital Sea's surface and emerged in a blacker Sea, surrounded, not by blue blocks, but by pillars of light that the blocks were apparently connected to.
"Amazing!" Aelita gasped.
"I know, right!?" Added Odd.
"Wow!" Was all Yumi could say.
"Incredible," added Ulrich.
“Very cool," William agreed.
"Oh my god!" Novan burst out. Jeremy nodded in agreement.
The Skid broke the surface of the ocean. A black sky was above them, black sand in front of them, and a bright light behind them. The Skid hovered upright and flew toward the city illuminated miles ahead.
William saw a red flash behind him. It appeared to take a human shape, but Tron didn't see it. He was sitting on top of the Skid, giving directions. William felt very certain that it was his former master.
"An entire city that we didn't know about before," Aelita said. "Amazing!"
William kept quiet about what he saw, so Novan opened a private channel to him.
"If it makes you feel any better William, I saw him too."
"Yeah, it does..." William replied softly.
"Hey, Aelita, why don't you detach William's Navskid so he can see?" Jeremy suggested.
"Good idea," She replied, detaching the Navskid. William's Navskid did a quick loop around the main Skid, then backed up to keep pace with the larger vehicle. A few minutes later, the city came into view, surrounded by a chasm.
"Whoa. That is some city!" Ulrich commented.
"I know, right!?" Replied Odd. The two ships passed over the city, to a small safe house in a cliff wall. The skid was landed outside, and its occupants discovered that they could now exit the Navskids and cockpit manually.
"Cool! Let's look around!" said an excited Odd. Two figures walked out of the house, one male and one female. They wore clothing that resembled Tron's.
"Who are you five?" The male asked.
"My name is Aelita Shaeffer," the pink-haired girl began. "My friends and I come from a world underneath your digital sea. We don't mean you any harm. Tron brought us here."
"My name is Sam Flynn," the male said. "Tron, it is good to finally meet you in person as yourself and not Rinzler."
"And my name is Quorra," the female said. "Welcome to the Grid."
"Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you," replied Aelita. "These are my friends Ulrich, Yumi, Odd, and William." She introduced, gesturing to each of them as she their names.
"Where are our manners!" said Sam. "Please, come in." "Thank you." Replied Aelita, as she and the warriors walked in. Novan and Jeremy continued watching through William's eyes.
The group passed a four-wheeled vehicle that Quorra called a Light Runner, which looked like a slick racecar or hot rod. The stepped onto a platform at the end of the garage, which began to take the seven upward as it lit up. Upon reaching the top, the room lit up a soft white.
"Man this place just gets cooler!!!" exclaimed Odd.
"Oh you haven't seen anything yet," Sam told the purple-blond. "Wait 'til you see the Light Cycles!"
"Light cycles!? That sounds awesome!!!" Odd replied, even more hyper than usual.
Novan opened another private channel to William. "Why don't you ask if you can try one of these Light Cycles out? You strike me as the kind of guy who likes to ride."
"You got that right," he replied to Novan. "Hey can I try riding one of those Light Cycles?" William asked his hosts.
"Sure," Quorra replied. "We can take you guys to the game grid if you'd like. You'll have to get new clothes first, though."
In the real world, Novan took off his headset and headed for the scanners. "I'm going in for real this time," he told Jeremy.
"All right, I suppose it'll be okay since you're heading for the Grid. Be careful, though."
Once on Lyoko, Novan boarded into his Navskid. Connected to it was a watery towline linking Novan's to one with a light pink border, built for Aelita. As Novan entered the Grid, he spotted the creature assumed to be XANA heading for a large tower. "Hmm.... I'll deal with you later, old friend," the boy muttered as he glared at the figure, then continued on his journey. He jokingly requested permission to land from Aelita.
"Novan's coming," Aelita informed the group.
Novan landed perfectly. "This place is much more amazing when you're seeing it in person," Novan commented, disconnecting the watery towline from between the two Navskids. "Pity Jeremy's claustrophobic."
"It does sound amazing," added Jeremy in a disappointed tone.
"Dude, if you got on this Grid," Novan joked, "you'd never want to leave!"
"I bet, but going there isn't on my list of things to do at the moment," Jeremy replied.
"Who knows?" Novan continued. "One night you might fall asleep, and wake up the next morning on the Grid!"
"It could happen, I've sleepwalked before," replied Jeremy.
"More like sleep-programmed," Odd muttered.
"I heard that!" Jeremy yelled.
Sam smiled. "Ready to get suited up?" he asked the newcomers.
Everyone nodded. Novan chuckled and used his Berserk mode's strength to gently put Skid in the garage, then hopped in his Navskid. The others did the same as Quorra and Sam hopped in the Light runner and took off. To everyone's surprise, the vehicle adjusted itself for the terrain.
"This place just gets cooler and cooler!" exclaimed Odd.
"I gotta admit, that car is pretty cool!" said Ulrich.
"Agreed!" Yumi added.
They went off to a place that looked like a baseball stadium, and onto a platform. The gang traveled down, and four women in white full body suits dressed them in attire similar to Sam's.
"Nice," commented William, looking at his new suit. The main color may have been black, but the glowing blue-white lines canceled out any resemblance this suit had to his outfit when he had been possessed by XANA.
"These outfits are so cool looking!!" Odd exclaimed.
"You got that right," Novan muttered, admiring the blue lines on his suit.
"Now you're ready for the Cycles," said Quorra, handing him a baton. Tron led the group up to the Cycle grid, demonstrated how to summon the Light Cycle, and began a race with the red-lined soldiers.
"Wow! So awesome!" Was Odd's reaction to the Light Cycles.
William and Ulrich quickly summoned their Cycles and sped off, William whooping at the top of his lungs. Novan summoned his as well, and left Odd in the dust.
"Hurry up, cat!" Novan yelled.
Yumi summoned her Light Cycle with ease. "Okay boys, here I come!" she called, racing off after William and Ulrich.
Aelita summoned hers, but Odd was still having a slight difficulty.
"Come on, Odd!" Aelita called, waiting for her friend.
After another minute, Odd summoned his and the duo took off after the others.
"This is so awesome!" yelled Odd in enjoyment.
William was in the lead, easily outracing everyone else. "Well, it's about time, Odd!" he called, activating his ribbon of light.
"I know, right!? I had trouble getting the bike to come, but now I'm in it to win it!!! WOOHOO!!!"
Novan parked his bike at the track's edge and contacted Jeremy about designing a Light Cycle-like vehicle for William to use on Lyoko.
"A Light Cycle for Lyoko, huh?" Jeremy replied. "I'll see what I can do. It may be tricky because I know nothing about them, how they're made or what they are made of. Any info at all would help, but blueprints or a scan of a Light Cycle would be best, if possible."
"Not an actual Light Cycle," Novan clarified. "Just a uh, two wheeled Overbike."
"Oh, okay! I can do that!" replied Jeremy, as he got to work trying to create Novan's request.
Novan thanked Jeremy and caught up with William.
"What was that about?" the black-haired teen asked.
"Just a little somethin' special!" replied Novan as the two proceeded to crush the other reds into dust. Within a few minutes, the Blue team had won.
"That had to be the coolest game I ever played!!!" Said Odd.
"And the...wildest," Novan panted. William was still showing off on the Grid.
Meanwhile, back in the lab, Jeremy was starting to create the Cycles for Novan. When he went to type in the codes that would compose the body of the Cycles, he noticed the digital sea flashed red and black in one spot for a second, indicating that XANA had started to make his move.
Novan, who was slouching in one of the stadium chairs lazily watching William spar with Ulrich using his Identity Disc, suddenly sat up straight, instinctively sensing XANA activity. Just then, the light of the stadium shifted to blood red. Everyone froze.
"XANA," whispered Aelita, looking at her now blood red surroundings with wide eyes.
"Sam, what happened?" Asked Quorra.
"I...I don’t know, but I have a feeling it's not good." He replied.
"It's a XANA attack!" Novan shouted as he jumped from his seat.
Suddenly, a figure leapt into the arena. He had white hair, blood red lines on his suit, and when he stood straight up and smiled, the group could see he had blood red eyes and an Eye of XANA on his chest. His eyes locked onto William's and the black-haired boy clutched his head and passed out. Odd caught him and pulled him to a seat.
The newcomer chuckled. "Miss me?" he asked the frightened warriors. Then he noticed Novan. "YOU?" he demanded in shock.
"XANA! How did you return!? What do you want!?" Aelita shouted, showing no fear.
"Pity that program only affected the Digital Sea," XANA said calmly, pretending to examine his nails. "As to what I want, it's simple: I like messing with your heads!" He smiled.
Novan growled and ran a Light Cycle right over him.
"THAT was for fusing me to a wall!" Novan called as he put the baton away.
"Nice one!" Cheered Odd as he high fived Novan along with Ulrich.
XANA grimaced as he got up, rubbed his head and summoned a Krab, though the Warriors noticed that it was blue instead of red.
"I didn't want to unleash my monsters on you so soon," he said calmly, "but because of Novan's action, I have no choice." He motioned to the Krab to start firing at the warriors. Tron, Sam, and Quorra blocked the lasers, distracting it long enough for Novan to stab its Eye. The creature exploded quickly. "My first monster killing," Novan commented.
"Great job!" called Odd.
"Not bad, for the first kill," Ulrich added.
Novan bowed slightly, but kept his eyes on XANA. Both growled at each other. XANA knew that on Lyoko, Novan was a serious threat.
"Well, I have to get back to my plan," XANA said. "But before I go..." He summoned about a hundred Dragon Warriors. As soon as he summoned them, he disappeared and the new Dragon Warriors started to attack.
Novan twirled his stakes and clutched them tightly. As XANA had left, William woke up and raised his giant sword. Together, the eight faced the army. The Lyoko Warriors started to attack, only to find that the Dragon Warriors weren't taking any damage or losing a single life point.
Novan's temper began to boil over as he parried their attacks. "Where's the Eye on these things!" he yelled before quickly shifting to Berserk and tearing 50 apart. The creature roared loudly. Suddenly, four Identity Disks ripped several more in half, thrown from the three Grid fighters.
"Jeremy, XANA upgraded the Dragon Warriors," said Aelita.
"Yes, I know, Novan filled me in and I think I know why you and the others were having trouble defeating them before. I think XANA made the Dragon Warriors immune to you guys. Novan can crush right through them because XANA didn't know to prepare them for the power of his Berserk mode and the Identity Disks are obviously not from Lyoko, so my guess is that when he upgraded the Dragon Warriors, he hadn't yet discovered the Grid," explained Jeremy.
"Thanks Jeremy," Aelita said.
"No problem," he replied.
"Guys, according to Jeremy, the only things that can defeat these Dragon Warriors are Novan's Berserk and any weapon that was made here in the Grid, like these Identity Disks and the Light Cycles," Aelita informed her friends.
"Nothing made by XANA can be immune to the Berserk unless it's immune to nature itself," Novan said, "and that's impossible."
"I think we all need to train with our disks, so we can be prepared for attacks like this," William suggested.
"Good idea," Aelita replied. "Sam, Quorra, you have a lot more experience with these disks than we do. Perhaps you can train us?" she asked.
"Sure, but Tron here is the real expert," Sam said. He began practicing against Ulrich anyway, while Quorra fought against Yumi. Odd and William sparred against each other. Novan opted to fight using batons extended into twin light daggers against a light sword wielded by Tron, who was quickly disarmed. Aelita joined Yumi and Quorra and starting battling them. Done with the light daggers, Novan decided to practice using a Light Jet, and William joined him.
Jeremy looked up again from his screen and noticed that the tower that was once red a few minutes ago was now it's normal blue color again.
"Hmm...." William began thinking. "What could XANA have wanted? Other than to mess with us."
"I dunno, but I doubt it's a good thing," Novan said. The two were currently racing Light Jets near Portal Island.
Suddenly, a familiar red-suited figure entered the Portal and vanished. "Was that...?" Novan began.
"I think it was...."
Miles away, in the basement of an old, abandoned arcade, a teenager appeared form nowhere in a flash of light. He wore a thin red jacket over a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes. He appeared to be albino, but his shadow was strange. While very faint, and perhaps invisible to the casual observer, a faint blood-red Eye of XANA was imprinted on it.
The boy curled his hands into fists, feeling the blood pumping through his veins.
"Heheh," He chuckled under his breath. "Free. Free at last!"
Back on the Grid, the group had returned to the Skid, Novan once again towing Aelita's Navskid.
William spoke up. "Guys, I need to tell you something," he announced.
Everyone turned their attention to him.
"When I was racing on the Light Jets, I thought I saw XANA go into something that looked like a portal."
"I saw it too," Novan added as the approached the barrier between the two seas. "Remember what Sam said about the portal? I think he's out."
Aelita gasped. "No. He can't be," she replied, worried. "Jeremy, try to track XANA. See if you can find out if he's still in the digital world."
"Hang on," Jeremy said, beginning to type in his tracking program. "Come on, come on..." Suddenly, his phone rang. "Dang it, who's calling me now?" He opened it impatiently. "Hello?"
"No, Jeremy, I am not in the computer," the voice said.
There was a click the caller hung up.
"Come on," Novan muttered. "What harm can he do as a human?"
"A lot," Aelita replied. "Think about it; he's a humanoid computer program with knowledge so powerful that if he gets his hands on the right people and objects, he could eventually control everything and everyone. This is XANA we're talking about, not Tron or Sam or Quorra. This is serious. We need to leave now, everyone. Jeremy, devirtualize us and track where that call came from. We have to find him, this goes far beyond Lyoko now."
"Ah," replied Novan as he deposited the pink-lined skid in it's 'holster' to the right of the entrance and his own to the left.
Little did they know, XANA was now leaning against a column in the factory, taking a light snooze. His shadow, being basically a powerless Spectre, was watching Jeremy, as it had nothing better to do.
Why do I feel like something’s watching me? Thought Jeremy as he devirtualized his friends. XANA stifled a laugh and recalled his shadow.
The seven rode up the elevator to the top floor and found the sixteen-year-old boy leaning against a pillar, smiling slightly. Almost by instinct, the Warriors reached for where their weapons would be, then remembered that they weren't on Lyoko.
"XANA, if I were you, I'd crawl back to where you came from and stay there," William threatened. "Now that you're in our world, we're the ones with the edge. Stay here, and you're going down."
"And what would be the fun in that?" XANA asked, smirking. "And by the way, I took the time to enroll in Kadic under the name Xavier."
"Get out, XANA!" threatened Ulrich. "We mean it!" He growled as threw a surprise punch at XANA.
As Ulrich made his move toward XANA, Odd whispered into Jeremy's ear, "Is it too late to do a return to the past?" Jeremy nodded slightly.
Xavier sidestepped Ulrich's blow. "Did I mention our next class starts in few minutes?" he smirked. "If I were you, I'd hurry." Xavier climbed one of the ropes and took off for Kadic.
"I guess we have no choice but to follow him," admitted Yumi.
When they got to the top, they were greeted by the sight of Xavier staring at them impatiently, tapping his foot near the manhole cover. "If only you this slow responding to my attacks," he said sarcastically. "Oh well." The albino dropped down into the hole.
Before they dropped into the hole after XANA, Odd stopped the warriors. He had a plan...sort of.
"Guys," he started. "We need to stop XANA before he gets to Kadic. I say that we get some ropes and nets and we sneak attack him and pin him down and tie him up with the ropes and nets and send him back to Lyoko. What do you think guys? Good plan, right?" Odd asked, really confident in his plan.
Suddenly Jeremy's phone rang. "Jeremy, put me on speakerphone." Jeremy growled and held out the phone so everyone would be able to hear. "You guys do know I'm already there, right? Besides, can't we call a truce just this once? I've had my fill of messing with your heads for today. Now hurry up, you're gonna be late!" Xavier said calmly.
"For once, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but XANA's right, we're going to be late," said Yumi.
As they started to run to Kadic, Odd asked, "So are we doing my plan tomorrow?"
He received no response.
At the park manhole entrance, they found Xavier impatiently waiting in the courtyard. "I seriously wish you were this slow back in the old days," Xavier commented. "Really, I do. Oh, and I took the liberty of enrolling Novan here as well. We'll be in the same class!"
Novan growled. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
The others nodded in response to that comment and then they all ran off to class. Novan and Xavier followed William to math. Aelita took notice of this.
"You three have math together?" She asked.
"Guess so," William muttered.
"Seems kinda weird, the two people who hate XA...vier the most have a class with him."
"Now that I think about it, it is kind of weird." Xavier smiled.
"Too weird," Muttered Aelita as she walked off toward her class.
After the class, Xavier felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around just in time to see William's fist before the Lyoko Warrior gave him a black eye.
"That was for possessing me for months!" the black-haired teen yelled angrily. Novan hugged himself laughing. Xavier got to his feet with a growl and followed the other two boys towards the cafeteria. The three passed Aelita, Yumi, Ulrich, and Jeremy in the hall and the four of them chuckled at the sight of Xavier's eye.
Xavier growled and pulled out his phone, typing a memo. "Note to self: recreate Kolossus. Then have it squash ex-general," he muttered to himself as he sat down near the window at the Team Lyoko table. Novan sat across from him and glared at the albino as he ate. Aelita motioned to Jeremy to meet her outside the lunchroom and the two walked out to talk.
"What is it, Aelita?" asked Jeremy. Xavier tried to eavesdrop, out of habit, until Novan 'accidently' stamped on his foot.
"Oops," Novan said, smirking. Xavier glared at Novan and the two got into a glare-down.
Meanwhile, Aelita started to speak.
"Jeremy, I have a bad feeling about having XANA in our school. I know that he's planning something, and it can't be good. We have to lure him back into the super computer tonight and block every way out," Aelita said.
Xavier tried to listen again, and Novan quickly intimidated him by imitating the Berserk's growl and curling his fingers like claws.
"That seems like a good plan," replied Jeremy, "But the only thing he's done here is threaten to summon the Kolossus later."
After Xavier finished cowering, he used his phone to activate the Kolossus Temple's Tower on Lyoko.
"True, but I've noticed that he hasn't put his phone down yet," responded Aelita.
"So?" asked Jeremy.
"So, I have a feeling that his phone is his connection to Lyoko. I say that we check it out, just to be sure, and if it is, we destroy it," Aelita explained.
"What makes you say it's his connection to Lyoko? That would be pretty high tech if it is," Jeremy pointed out.
"He's been acting overly protective of it," Aelita replied, gesturing to Xavier. The white-haired boy was holding his phone against his body after William and Novan had tried to take it.
"I see your point," Jeremy agreed. "All right, I'll come up with a plan to snatch it from him." The two walked back to the lunch table.
Novan tried to grab the phone again, and Xavier zipped out of the cafeteria, William close behind. He paused by Aelita and Jeremy long enough to say, "Well duh, it's high-tech!" then continued running. William paused as well.
"From what I saw on the screen, he activated one of the Sky Sector's Towers," he told them. "The Kolossus temple." He then continued running.
"The Kolossus has been activated...uh oh," murmured Aelita. "That's never a good thing."
Jeremy nodded his head in response.
"It's a statue. It won't hurt you," Novan pointed out as he stood nearby. "I'll let you five deal with the Tower. William and I will get that phone!" He ran off, climbing a tree and leaping from branch to branch.
Aelita, Jeremy, and Yumi went to the lab while Ulrich and Odd joined Novan and William on their chase. The trio made it to the lab in no time and Jeremy virtualized Aelita and Yumi into the Sky Sector, very close to the activated tower's location. The girls gazed up at the massive Kolossus Temple towering above them.
Xavier kept typing in commands on his phone as he ran. Instantly, a small army of assorted Kankrelats and Krabs appeared on the "sword" of the statue.
Novan watched from a tree and waited for Xavier to slip his phone back in his pocket and then ambushed the teen.
Yumi boarded the Overwing and she and Aelita headed towards the tower. Halfway up the statue's sword arm, the monsters began firing at the pair.
Back on Earth, Ulrich and William had finally immobilized Xavier long enough for Odd to snag his phone. "I got it!" he yelled triumphantly.
Odd and Novan ran the phone over to the factory and handed it to Jeremy, who quickly cancelled all the programs being run on it, deactivating the Tower and devirtualizing the monsters.
"Aelita, Yumi, they got the phone and I've deactivated the tower. I'm devirtualizing you two now," announced Jeremy.
"Great job guys!" praised Aelita.
"My pleasure," Novan panted, slightly surprised at his speed. "Apparently, decades on Lyoko can work wonders on your body."
"Yeah!" Odd added. "He nearly outran a car on the way here!"
"Nice!" replied Yumi, who had just stepped out of the scanners with Aelita.
"I guess this phone is sort of like one of Lyoko's Towers," Jeremy commented as he examined it. As he was talking, William and Ulrich brought Xavier down the elevator, his hands bond by a vine.
"Give me my phone back," Xavier growled.
"Not a chance, buddy," Novan replied in the same tone.
"So, are we sending him back?" asked Odd.
Novan mulled the thought over. "No... not just yet," he decided. "Aelita, you lock this porta-Tower in your room, okay?"
"Of course. We don't want it in the wrong hands again," she agreed.
"Well, at least that Tower didn't do anything requiring a Return to the Past," Jeremy said as William untied Xavier. "Now, let's get him back to the dorms."
"Oh, I almost forgot to mention," Xavier said. "Novan and I are roommates."
The pissed look on Novan’s face was scary, even for the Lyoko Warriors.
"I can switch with you, if you'd like," Jeremy offered, noticing the look on Novan's face.
"No, thanks," Novan replied, calming down slightly. "I can keep a better eye on him this way."
"But our room is next to yours," Xavier added with a smirk. "Just through the wall next to your bed."
"Oh, that's...comforting,” Jeremy said sarcastically “Novan, my door will always be open. If he tries to attack you, just come in and lock the door. We’ll try to handle it, and if we can't, we’ll call the others. Sound good?"
"Now, why would I attack you?" Xavier asked. "That would defeat the purpose of my overall plan. Which needs you all alive. And before you ask, no, I will not tell you what it is."
"We still don't trust you." William growled, his eyes dark. Xavier smirked back at the boy he had once possessed. With that, the warriors and Xavier returned to Kadic and went to bed.