Book 2: The Nameless City
|When Jeremy, Ulrich, Odd and Yumi discover the video of Aelita's father, they're devastated. Anthea, their friend's mother, was kidnapped and nobody knows if she's still alive. The countdown has begun. They set off on a search for her convinced that they'll be able to find a trace. Because they're the only ones who hold the keys to the secret history of Lyoko...almost. X.A.N.A., who we thought was destroyed, will knock when nobody expects it. With force, cruelty, and without mercy...|
|Prologue: The Mysterious City|
Chapter 1: The Man with Two Dogs
Chapter 2: Waldo Schaeffer's Dossier
Chapter 3: Kiwi Injured
Chapter 4: A Spy in the Shadows
Chapter 5: Screwdrivers, Cameras and a New Secret
Chapter 6: A Trap, or Two
Chapter 7: The Interrogation
Chapter 8: The Man at the Door
|Chapter 9: A Coded Message|
Chapter 10: An Address and a Nightmare
Chapter 11: A Monster at Yumi's House
Chapter 12: Nothing But Mysteries...
Chapter 13: The Replica
Chapter 14: The Men in Black
Chapter 15: Eva Skinner's Kiss
Chapter 16: The Hermitage's Last Secret
|Grigory Nictapolus, a worrying man, accompanied by two bloodthirsty hounds, overequipped with weapons, car and long-distance surveillance equipment, arrives in town. He installs microphones and cameras at Kadic and at the Hermitage.|
This dangerous man has been charged with a mission by Hannibal Mago, nicknamed "The Magician" as he's a tricky one. He bears a golden tooth and is a key player in the organisation of the Green Phoenix. Grigory's mission is final: keep Aelita, Jeremy, Ulrich, Odd and Yumi under surveillance in order to confirm the existence of Franz Hopper's Supercomputer and track it down.
During his mission, Grigory successively attacks Odd's father, then Yumi's parents. His operating procedure is simple. After stunning them, he copies their memories to disks with a futuristic glove, then he leaves the adults haggard and disoriented, partially amnesic.
However, the Green Phoenix doesn't seem to be the only organisation interested in the Supercomputer. In Washington, Dido, a woman very high-up in an organisation with governmental influence, catches wind of the Green Phoenix's movements. She contacts The Magician, her enemy, and the exchange is heated because the two organisations have visible differences that they will have to set aside one day. Dido is curt...Hopper's file has been reopened after 10 years of being closed.
The arrival of Grigory, his investigations at the Hermitage and his aggressive actions end up alerting the heroes. Looking into Aelita's past, they interrogate Ms Hertz, who was Franz Hopper's lab assistant when he worked at Kadic. She is very flustered by the questions. Dismissing the heroes, she entrusts a "Schaeffer" dossier to the principal. The heroes steal it. Inside, as well as a multitude of codes, they discover an address in Brussels. When Ulrich and Yumi go there, they come across one of Hopper's prototypes. Before furthering their research, the two teens are forced to flee, threatened by agents in Dido's organisation. They escape just in time and go back to Kadic.
Dido, informed of the incident, decides to contact her retired officer, within range of Kadic Academy.
On her end, Aelita finds one of her old classmates: Richard Dupuis. Twenty years have now passed for him but he co-operates with the heroes to figure out a mysterious coded message received on his personal computer. Aelita takes advantage of the situation to learn more about her past life on Earth.
Unfortunately things get worse: Aelita's nightmares and cases of sleepwalking take her to the secret room in the Hermitage, inside which she discovers a second hidden room. In this room, yet another replica of the Supercomputer generating a virtual world. Inside it, Aelita is confronted by memories left by her father. She there learns that years ago, her father deserted Project Carthage when he learned that it was going to be used for military means. Helped by a certain Major Steinback (in reality Ms Hertz), he found refuge in the Hermitage with Aelita while his wife Anthea was kidnapped by The Magician.
Aelita and Jeremy decide to wait before completing their exploration of the replica and to maybe learn more about Anthea's fate first.
Unfortunately, as all this is happening, XANA, in Eva Skinner's body, is approaching the group of heroes, winning their trust. After stealing the Schaeffer file from Jeremy and putting it back in the principal's office, she seduces Odd then leads him into a trap and takes control of the teen as well as Eva.
XANA's plan: destroy humanity by using Odd, Eva...and The Magician...
|It's night time at Kadic. Grigory Nictapolus arrives in the city. He's a worrying man. He drives a modified car that pulverises all speed limits, and has no fixed place to live, going wherever his missions take him. He's armed and accompanied by two ferocious Rottweilers: Hannibal and Scipio.|
Visibly only recently given the mission by his commander Hannibal Mago, alias "The Magician", he drives around the city. He checks out the Hermitage, the heroes' factory and Kadic Academy before setting up in an abandoned building.
At Kadic Academy, Aelita wakes up from one of her new nightmares. Still similar, she dreamed of the day when her mother Anthea Hopper disappeared from her life. The scene remains unclear. She only remembers a ravaged room, belongings strewn about everywhere and broken window panes... And a presence... A presence observing and approaching her.
While Jeremy, then the other members of the group comfort her, the principal enters the classroom to present a new student: Eva Skinner, newly arrived from the USA, not a boarder and visibly having difficulty with her French. For Odd, it's love at first sight.
During this time, Grigory equips his new apartment. Dishes and antennas allow him to directly pick up the transmission from microphones which are placed in the rooms of the boarding heroes, at Kadic.
Hannibal Mago, his boss, visibly a member of the Green Phoenix organisation, calls him and they discuss the mission objective: keep an eye on the heroes and confirm the existence of Franz Hopper's Supercomputer, probably the same Hopper that Mago says to be their "most trusted agent" who betrayed them ten years earlier (chapter 1).
Eva Skinner, still under XANA's control, is victim of Sissi, Herb and Nicolas' attacks in the cafeteria. She has no trouble retorting to Sissi's jabs, as Odd watches on stunned. Later in the afternoon, Eva approaches Aelita.
Meanwhile, Jeremy and the rest of the group reflect on the nightmares gripping Aelita. Deciding to look into the girl's mysterious past, they go on an investigation.
The heroes don't have much information but they do know two things. Firstly, Franz Hopper, real name Waldo Schaeffer, was a teacher at Kadic Academy. Secondly, he suddenly disappeared on the day of June 6, 1994. Jeremy then realises that, in the past, someone must have rubbed shoulders with Waldo often: Suzanne Hertz, current science teacher at Kadic and ex-lab assistant of Franz Hopper.
Jeremy, using his status as brilliant and appreciated student, goes to question his teacher about this subject. Suzanne Hertz is visibly attentive about Jeremy's questions...but unable to listen to them. Though she knew professor Hopper for a brief time, she denies any links between them and sends Jeremy out of her office. The brainiac doesn't let it go: his professor is hiding things from him...and the telephone call she makes to the principal to warn him about Jeremy's visit and the sensitive questions he asked her confirms this. Jeremy flees.
As this is happening, Odd dreams of Eva. Inadvertently, he then lets his dog Kiwi escape. He chases him... But not quickly enough. Jim, the supervisor and sports teacher, has already caught the animal Odd surreptitiously hides in his room. Making the connection between master and dog, he takes Odd to the principal's office.
Making too quick an entry for Delmas' liking, Odd overhears a conversation between the man and Ms Hertz. And that's when this incident shows its good side: Odd notices the principal quickly put away an old dossier labelled "Waldo Schaeffer"...
After receiving a lecture, Odd hurries to meet his friends to tell them the news and Aelita is brought up-to-date with Jeremy's plan. The boy then delves into the secretary's files to steal information on Hopper. He finds nothing, not even a copy of the resignation letter the teacher supposedly wrote on June 6, 1994...
Jeremy highly doubts that this letter never existed. So that means that someone helped Franz Hopper to disappear from administration...but who?
These questions are interrupted by a lamp exploding and Jeremy's computers crackling. These phenomena immediately remind him of XANA... (chapter 2)
Ulrich, despite his better judgement, has stolen Kiwi from under Jim's nose to minimise Odd's punishment. He drops the dog off at Yumi's house, and though the girl doesn't give Kiwi a warm welcome, her brother Hiroki does. Night falls and Yumi's MP3 player explodes in the same manner as Jeremy's lamp... But Yumi doesn't have time to dwell on it: after a small mistake, Kiwi escapes the Ishiyama house. Hiroki chases him to the Hermitage where he discovers him injured...while Grigory Nictapolus discreetly flees the scene with his two hounds, avoiding have his face seen by the Japanese boy (chapter 3).
Jeremy, Odd and Ulrich, warned over the phone, escape into the night to reach Kiwi. While Hiroki nurses the dog, the heroes go to the Hermitage to investigate the place where Kiwi was downed, shown by paw prints in the snow, of two hounds. Worse still, the prints, hastily masked, reveal the presence of a man with the two dogs. The conclusion: someone had been lurking about the Hermitage.
Jeremy then makes the decision to take out his computing gear and prepare to place the Hermitage under video surveillance.
Unfortunately, Odd, back at Kadic, told on by Sissi, is caught by Jim and his punishment is worsened.
Far away, in Washington, a woman very high up the corporate ladder is warned by her agent "Lone Wolf" that an Internet search was done on Franz Hopper, in the very dormitory of Kadic Academy.
The woman, Dido, is very interested by this. She remembers the Hopper file, 10 years old and the only failure in what she would consider her brilliant career. Dido gives the order to investigate this thorny element, secretly hoping that she can maybe reopen the Hopper file...and put it away for good this time!
The next day, suspicious occurrences continue. For one, Ms Hertz acts in an absolutely strange manner contrary to all her regular habits and knocks Jeremy off his high horse. Also, at the Della Robbia house, as she comes home Marguerite, Odd's mother, discovers that someone is in the house... Terrified, she finds this person escaping through the window, without seeing anything distinctive (chapter 4).
On their end, the heroes equip the Hermitage with surveillance cameras. Back in Aelita's room the girl is stupefied and worried as she witnesses her television explode after a fleeting appearance of the eye of XANA. At that same moment, Jeremy and Ulrich are in a big discussion about the ambiguous and chilled relationship between Yumi and the latter when they are interrupted: the cameras detect a weak-looking boy with red hair and freckles. Not seeming very dangerous, nor familiar, Jeremy reassures himself. Nonetheless he sends the image over to Aelita. She is convinced she knows him but doesn't manage to remember where from.
Not far away, Grigory Nictapolus is also following the scene. His micro-cameras installed at the Hermitage unbeknownst to the heroes and far superior to Jeremy's don't miss a second of the scene. Using his overly-powerful programs worthy of belonging to the secret service, he manages to identify the stranger: Richard Dupuis. An old student at Kadic...and Aelita's classmate for two years... (chapter 5)
The next day, the evening goes on as normal.
While Odd is punished by Jim and confined to his room, he receives a surprise nocturnal visit from Eva Skinner, who charms him and steals a kiss before leaving, giving him her address. Propelled onto cloud nine, Odd is nevertheless brought crashing back down to Earth by a detail on the surveillance recordings of the Hermitage... A detail that his friends hadn't noticed...
A part of the recording had been modified. Editing it with a program, Odd discovers the presence of Grigory and his hounds on the recording.
His friends had gotten material from their old factory during the afternoon, then laid a trap at the Hermitage before hunkering down for some nocturnal surveillance, lying in wait for another visit from the mysterious individual. When Richard Dupuis does arrive at the Hermitage, he is captured by the heroes and interrogated. He declares he wants to see professor Hopper because he received an encrypted message on his palm-computer...a message that exudes the letters "AELITA".
At Kadic, Odd realises that his friends are preparing to trap the man who isn't responsible for Kiwi's injuries. Not being able to contact them and being held at Kadic by Jim, he calls Eva Skinner and sends her to give the message at the Hermitage.
She does so and bursts into the Hermitage during the interrogation. Richard is at first astounded to see Aelita almost exactly as he'd known her when he was 12, while she should now be in her twenties. The heroes invent a story about her having an illness that prevented Aelita from growing, then let Richard go after being assured of his silence and learning of his whereabouts. Everyone leaves for their homes, including Eva Skinner.
Deeper in the city, Grigory turns up at the Della Robbias' door, lures Robert, Odd's father, outside, knocks him out and uses ultra-sophisticated gloves to copy his memories onto a disk (chapters 6/7/8).
The next day, Odd leaves Kadic to pay a visit to his father in the hospital. He is amnesic: his memory is a disaster zone with no logic. He learns from his mother that his father was attacked by a man in a pick-up truck with two dogs and makes the connection with the video recording. He is also given a memory card that was found near his father and goes back to Kadic.
At the school, Ulrich manipulates Sissi with his charms and false interests so that she'll help him with his perilous plan: get into the principal's office to take the famous Waldo Schaeffer dossier.
The papers contained in the file are filled with code. The same as the one that Hopper used on Lyoko in the Supercomputer. The same as the one in the coded message received by Richard Dupuis. Jeremy is incapable of translating it and controversy arises between the heroes as to whether or not turning on the Supercomputer to translate the code quickly was a viable option.
The conversation is interrupted by Eva Skinner and Odd convinces his friends to tell her about the secret of the Supercomputer. Listening in with his microphones, Grigory rejoices and listens with his ears wide open (chapter 9). The heroes bring Eva to the factory and explain everything while she feigns surprise. Back at Kadic, they discover in the Schaeffer dossier an address in Brussels on a small scrap of paper. After consultation, Ulrich and Yumi decide to go there the next day; Friday, and the beginning of the weekend.
Aelita's nightmares are multiplied by a sleepwalking crisis. In the middle of the night, she wakes up in the sewers, then in front of the Hermitage (chapter 10). Troubled, she decides to contact Richard and ask him to talk to her about their past in order to shake off some of her persistent amnesia. After Richard explains how good friends they were, how she she left him for a while to visit "Mister X", her secret friend that she had to help "discover his purpose in the world"...up until the day of her sudden disappearance, Aelita decides to talk to him about Lyoko.
In Brussels, Ulrich and Yumi find the address they're looking for; an abandoned apartment building. According to an old man from the area, it belongs to the secret service. The two teens take photos of the lock and send the to Jeremy, then go to seek hospitality from a friend of the Ishiyamas who lives in Brussels.
At the same moment, Grigory infiltrates Yumi's parents' house. He enters their room, knocks them out and subjects them to the same device as he did Odd's father. Hiroki, witnessing the scene, escapes to find Odd at Kadic. But when they arrive back at the scene, the deed has already been done. The Ishiyama parents are groggy and Grigory has fled the house (chapter 11).
Night time is an opportunity to ask questions. Jeremy ponders.
Her attitude, the Schaeffer dossier, the address... What does Ms Hertz really know...?
The attacks, the visits, the victims... Who is the man with two dogs?
The codes on the palm-computer... Who is Richard? Did the message come from Hopper?
Hopper... His hidden video, his insisting Aelita finds Anthea...
Odd rethinks the memory card found with his father. After some reflection, he sees it as a reason to go see Eva Skinner and ask her for help, as she is good with computers. Purposefully leaving Jeremy out of the loop, he leaves Kadic the next day, Sunday, early and hurries to the address Eva left him.
Arriving at her house, he undresses to dry himself off and gives her the card. Eva plays the contents: a video. Odd then discovers, paralysed, Aelita's mother, captive on film, forced to deliver an audio message obviously destined for Franz. Anthea explains to him that "these men" want Waldo to continue work on Project Carthage in exchange for Anthea's freedom and for "them" to allow the family to live in peace, she, Franz and Aelita.
Odd then wants to contact Jeremy...but it's at that moment XANA reveals itself in Eva's body and imprisons the teen (chapter 12).
The next day at Kadic, Jeremy remarks Odd's absence but doesn't immediately worry about it.
Aelita tells him that she has another meeting with Richard to talk about her past. Jeremy is grumpy but can't stop her from leaving. Back in his room, he realises that someone has stolen the Schaeffer file! At that same moment, Ms Hertz, obsessed by recent events and the idea of the teens discovering the secret apartment in Belgium, decides to go and look in the principal's office to see if the file is still hidden there. She crosses Eva Skinner on the way...and finds out that the file is still in the office.
In Brussels, Ulrich and Yumi, growing closer and closer to the happiness of the former, force the lock thanks to the documentation Jeremy gave to them. They explore the floors and force another door that brings them into a secret room.
There, they discover a supercomputer prototype. Flabbergasted, they also notice helmets and futuristic gloves: prototypes of the scanners that allow them to virtualise their bodies directly into Lyoko. Feeling adventurous, they try the devices. They then realise that their minds are projected into a virtual world that is different from Lyoko... A replica... A nameless city!
They are there in their virtual clothing...but without weapons... XANA's monsters are there...but lacking the eye of XANA on their bodies... They are in their virtual enveloped...but feel that only their minds are connected and their bodies are still on Earth wearing the neuronal headsets!
Finally, and most importantly...while fleeing from the aggressive Mantas, they discover a ghost of professor Hopper inviting them to follow him. But the Mantas bombard them and their minds are disconnected from the replica. Their consciences are returned to Earth.
Ulrich and Yumi then receive a massive surprise to hear footsteps coming up the stairs. The two teens find themselves confronted by agent Lone Wolf and his two acolytes, as well as a helicopter. Escaping via the staircase, windows and gutters, stealing a pizza scooter and mangling the road rules before hurling themselves into a metro station, the two lovers escape without injury.
Lone Wolf then calls Dido to tell her about this failure. Exasperated, she orders the for replica to be put under permanent surveillance. She then decides to contact their Kadic agent to bring him out of retirement (chapters 13/14).
Richard, Ulrich, Jeremy, Aelita and Yumi meet up to recap everything. Their inventory has increased. They are going up against two antagonists: on one side the man with two dogs, above the law and violent in his actions. On the other, a more governmental organisation that is powerful enough to deploy a helicopter above a city in just a few minutes with the proper authorisations.
Jeremy sends his friends to look for Odd. Telling them he'll be working alone on Richard's computer's codes in his room, he actually goes to the factory, ready to turn the Supercomputer on... But at the fateful moment, he notices a presence in the room not far from him, like a rattling...
At Eva Skinner's house, Odd is tied up. XANA reveals to him its plan to destroy humanity by using Eva, Odd himself and a third man with golden teeth. Odd doesn't know him but he's The Magician, Grigory's boss. Eva kisses Odd, putting him under XANA's control as well. The two leave, an evil plan already in mind.
Dido locks herself in her office and contacts The Magician, her enemy, for the first time in years. What follows is heated exchange in which questions are raised about old scores to settle. Hannibal reminds her that the factory and Lyoko were constructed with the Phoenix's money, and that they therefore belong to him. He also reminds her that Dido's organisation convinced a certain Walter to pack everything in...
Hannibal then expresses the Green Phoenix's wish to make a profit from the operation taking place in France, as compensation.
He asks for the plans of the Supercomputer in the old factory in exchange for closing the Hopper file. Dido doesn't have time to refuse before he hands up, having been evasive about Anthea and her possible custody (chapter 15).
Victim of yet another bout of sleepwalking, Aelita wakes up in the middle of the night at the Hermitage...obviously where her dreams have been trying to lead her for some time. In her slumber, she was even given an answer: she finds herself inside the secret room in the Hermitage in which, while asleep, she had scratched at a wall. Aelita quickly realises that this wall sounds hollow: the Hermitage hadn't yet revealed all its secrets. Calling Jeremy to join her, she breaks through the thin wall with a pickaxe and discovers a second part of the secret room. This room contains a replica, incredibly similar to the one Ulrich and Yumi discovered in Brussels.
Without hesitation, Jeremy positions himself at the controls while Aelita enters a scanner similar to the ones at the factory but much older and dives into the third virtual world.
This world is nothing but an extensive piece of land with a vast sky, and flat, green ground on which stand three oak trees. These trees are actually a sort of memory container. Each time Aelita touches one, the trunk opens and Aelita enters to relive a scene from the past.
The first tree is labelled "1985 - End of Project Carthage". Inside, Aelita relives several scenes between her father and her mother: the first when they discovered that Carthage, initially planned to allow for electric communications control at low cost enabling the spread of electricity all over the world, even in poorer countries, had been turned into a weapon of mass destruction.
The second, in their lounge room, the day when Franz and Anthea decided to desert the project, destroy Carthage and recreate it alone elsewhere.
The second tree reads: "1985-1988: A Life Incognito".
In the first scene, Aelita witnesses the escape of her father and herself, an infant, from a military base with the help of a woman: Major Steinback. During the exchange between them, Aelita learns that her mother had been kidnapped.
The second scene takes place in a house. The very same Major Steinback visits Franz Hopper, who is living under a false identity. She tells him two things: that he will be moving again immediately, and the identity of the man who kidnapped his wife: Mark Hollenback...a young soldier who was so crafty he was nicknamed "The Magician".
The final scene takes place as Franz is moving into the Hermitage. Major Steinback, dressed in civilian clothing this time, comes to tell him his new identity: Franz Hopper, science teacher at Kadic Academy. She herself will be his lab assistant. She tells him two other things: firstly, she has located an abandoned factory which she has the owner's permission to work in and create an underground laboratory.
Secondly, Anthea's kidnapper has muddied the waters by joining a criminal organisation.
The third tree says "Enter only when your heart is ready". It seems to lead to a new part of the replica. But Aelita and Jeremy decide to explore it with their friends...and after a good night's sleep! (Chapter 16)
The next day, the heroes go to Ms Hertz's class in a happier mood. However, they haven't realised two important things. The first, that Odd, underneath his usual flirting with Eva, is still under XANA's control... The second, that Major Steinback, the one who helped Franz ten years ago, is none other than the teacher preparing to teach them the class...Ms Hertz... (epilogue).