I tossed and turned in my bed. I had lain awake for hours, not being able to fall asleep. Something in the back of my mind said that this was a night that would change my life forever. “That’s silly,” I told myself.
Well, whether or not that feeling was right, it was robbing me of sleep.
I listened to the rain pound against the roof of my dorm. I attended Kadic Junior High, which was both a boarding school and a normal one. My dad was a big businessman, and he travelled a lot. So instead of making me change schools every year, they just sent me here.
My name is Sammy Belpois. My two best friends, Sean Belpois (Who was also my third cousin) and Tennent Della Robbia were asleep in the dorm directly across from mine. If tonight was a normal night for them, they were likely snoring away by this time. The clock read 11:00.
It was early fall, so the rain showers were common at this time in France. Generally, the rain would lull me to sleep, but tonight was different. After a while, I gave up trying to sleep, and got up to watch the rain beat against my window.
As I peered out, I saw something that I didn’t expect. Movement. I looked closer, and saw that it was my robot! I had designed it for a class project a while back, and normally it was on display in my homeroom.
It was mounted on wheels, but was not terribly fast. When I saw it, I pulled on a jacket, and went outside to follow it.
I calculated its course, based on the direction I saw it moving. Soon, the robot came into view. I then slowed down, and stayed about 20 feet behind it.
I shoved the hood of my jacket back; I was soaked anyway. Some of the rain beaded up on my glasses, making it harder to see, but I was determined.
I followed it down the sidewalk of a road. I was well outside of school campus by now, and I hoped that I didn’t get caught.
Soon the robot veered off the road, and down a disused bridge to the old abandoned Factory. Nobody knew the purpose of that old building, but because of the radiation that had been detected there, the city had voted not to demolish it.
I followed it into the Factory, grateful for the chance to dry off. My robot veered off to the left, but I stopped to shake the water out of my hair.
On the wall beside me, there was a piece of shiny metal. I looked into it, and saw myself. I was 14 years old, and stood a staggering 5 feet and 11 ½ inches. The rest of my body didn’t match my height in width. I was your standard geek. I stank at almost anything athletic, but was quite a good student.
I had a mop of light brown hair and green eyes. And at this moment, water was dripping from my hair, into my eyes.
After I had dried off a bit, I set off in the direction that my robot had gone. I travelled a distance, and then came to a chamber with a large computer in it. The metal walls had a bluish color to them. The ceiling of this room was a least a dozen feet high, but the computer was mounted to ceiling, with a heap of wires connecting it to who knows what.
There was a chair to sit in (Presumably for using the computer), but since I did not see my robot, I wasted no more time in that room. I saw only two exits.
There was what looked like an elevator on the far wall, but the activator panel was far too high for my robot to reach, so I knew that it hadn’t gone that way.
I chose the other exit. A set of rungs on the wall went down a floor. In this new room, I looked around. Three tall cabins commanded the center of the room. It was dark in here. I didn’t see my robot here either, so I went down one more floor.
It was here that I found my robot. It seemed to be messing with a type of SuperComputer in the middle of the room. It turned its head to look at me, and froze.
In its eyes, there was a strange symbol. I can’t describe it, but a picture will help.
Seeing those eyes froze me in fear. The robot and I stared at each other for a long while. Nothing happened. Or so it seemed...
“XANA!” ANAX called. “This could be the chance we have been waiting for! If we can trick this boy into turning on all of the power, we can dispose of him easily, and conserve energy at the same time!” A few seconds of silence passed as XANA processed this data.
“Do what you must ANAX. I leave it to your judgment. We are so weak, and this boy could make us so strong. When he was fulfilled his purpose, we shall dispose of him!”
ANAX removed his essence from the robot. He collapsed into the partially powered up SuperComputer, nearly devoid of energy after taking control of something without a Tower.
At this point, I saw a cloud of dark blue smoke-like gas erupt from my robot. I staggered backwards at the sight. The smoke coiled high around the ceiling before diving into the SuperComputer.
Struck by a wondering that I had never felt before, I reached to turn the computer on. There was a simple lever with that same symbol on it, but upside down. I believe the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat” best describes this moment.
As soon as I powered up the computer, a shockwave of blue energy blasted me back. The field receded quickly, so I instinctively reached out to turn the computer off. Naturally, when I pulled the switch, nothing happened. Just my luck.
I went back up to the room with the interface to see if I could get some data on turning the SuperComputer off. I found almost nothing. By now, I was too spooked to notice much. I saw a window about something called Lyoko. A virtual world of sorts.
OK, I told myself. I’m dreaming. I’m going to go back home, and go to bed. When I wake up, I’ll know that this didn’t happen.
I did just that. There was only one snag. The next morning when I woke up, I was still sure that it had indeed happened. Later, I’d tell my friends about it, and see what they think...
“You’re crazy!” Tennent burst out. “You’re getting delusional on us Sammy!” Sean agreed.
“No, seriously! Come with me to the Factory, and you’ll see!” I protested.
After some persuasion, they obliged.
We arrived at the Factory minutes later. My friends stood in silence as we travelled down the elevator. There was no comment on finding a working elevator. Soon, we stepped into the Computer Lab.
“See! See!” I said motioning to the computer. I proceeded to turn the machine on. The interface booted up.
“Ha! I told you!” I said jumping up and down.
“Well... Don’t we want to check it out? We could figure out what happened to my robot. I’ll rest easier if I know what happened.” Little did I know that I wouldn’t rest easy for many months to come.
I did some searching on the computer. I wasn’t as scared as I was last time. I started up a program, to see what it would do.
“I’m going to Lyoko,” I announced. “If you two are too chicken to come as well, that’s fine with me.” I knew that that line would get them to follow me to the cabins called “Scanners”.
Tennent stared at the tube. “What do we do?” He asked. “Step inside,” I told him. “Then we wait, and see what happens.”
Sean was skeptical. “Has this been tested on Humans?” He inquired.
“Well... I’m almost positive.” I had found some previous data on the computer that indicated it had been used at one time. My answer did little to assure Sean.
Nonetheless, I stepped into the Scanner. “See you on the flip side!” I said.
The doors closed and I rose into the air strangely. A bright white light flashed, and I lapsed into unconsciousness.
I suddenly regained self-awareness, and realized that I was falling. Too late of course. I landed smack on my face with a big THUD. I looked up to see that Sean and Tennent had made the same blunder.
I hauled myself to my feet and looked around. Everything was virtual! The ground was a bright green color, and the path was very narrow. Trees went up from all around me, but very few grew from the platform itself.
I looked over at Sean and Tennent, speechless. Suddenly all three of us gaped at each other. Sean was dressed in black armor, with no face mask. He had a belt across him with tiny knives, a short sword on his back and some other weapon in a holster on his hip. I picture is best I think:
Tennent was a giant black cat. No weapons were apparent. Again a picture describes it best:
From my friends’ description, I was a tiger. I didn’t have any visible weapons either.
My glasses had transferred over in the form of something that looked like green safety glasses.
When I found my voice, I asked, “What’s going on here?”
All I got was a shrug.