Epilogue: A World Without Danger
Epilogue: A World Without Danger
Author's Note: And so it has come to a close. A complete ending. My friends, I cannot thank you enough for staying with me all this time, despite how long it took me to finish this product. I will be spending some effort revising the previous chapters, fixing various grammatical errors and tweaking some minor details, so it might be worth a second read after a few weeks, who knows? In any case, now that this story has been completed, I am ready to move on to my own original project, a series of novels under the title Enchanting Darkness. It will be a combination supernatural horror/noir style. If you're interested, send me a shoutout. Otherwise, enjoy your Digital Doctor, and thank you so much for everything you've given me.
Doctor Quote of the Day: "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." – First Doctor
Lyoko Quote of the Day: "Like a broken record, but it only lasted for a second." – Yumi
Part One: Suzanne Hertz
Ah, that was a relaxing time! Suzanne Hertz strolled through the halls of Kadic with a smile on her face, a rare sight indeed. That short vacation was just what she had needed! The ocean was truly a marvelous, wondrous display of nature, and the creatures that lived there a majestic experience. She silently chided herself for nearly refusing to accept the ticket for the cruise. After all, she didn't remember entering any contest, but that silly man in the bow tie had somehow convinced her, and she was all the better for it.
The science teacher entered her empty classroom and began preparing it for the flood of young minds that was sure to come. There was absolutely no doubt in her mind that principal Delmas would have acquired a splendid substitute that had assuredly stuck to the curriculum, and as such she began preparing the lesson plan for the day to pick back up exactly where they should be. For her first period, they would be discussing opposing magnetic forces.
An hour later the bell rang out signifying that the students should be attending their first class of the day. The students filed into the room and, upon seeing their old teacher back, looked a bit distressed. Ms. Hertz could not quite determine why, but the air felt gloomy, as though the students were disappointed by her return. Why could that ever be?
"Good morning, class. I am glad to see you all once more," she announced in her best business-as-usual tone. "Today we will be covering magnetic poles. Now who can tell me-Erm, yes Miss Matierre? What is it?"
The young girl that had her hand raised lowered her arm before saying, "Can we learn about empathic crystal sensors instead? That's what Doctor Smith said we would cover next."
"Wh-what?" Ms. Hertz blankly asked in utter confusion as the entire room nodded and gave their support to the young girl's suggestion. What in blazes happened to her classes while she was gone? Suzanne had a feeling this was going to be a very long day.
Part Two: Jim Morales
Jim sat in his office, leaning back in his chair to a dangerous degree, his legs propped up on the desk. A framed picture was held firmly grasped in his right hand. As he stared at it, his eyes reflected back across a few decades of his life. Yes, Jim Morales had led an interesting life, with a great many varied careers and jobs. He'd rather not talk about it, to most people, but the truth of the matter was that up until his nice, comfy, pleasant and friendly job as a gym instructor, his life was one of adventure, all thanks to the man he was posing with in that picture.
There were things that he saw that he never thought he could move past. During his time as a Navy seal, he had been abducted by shark people, and the government had sworn him to secrecy on the subject. That knowledge gave him a certain edge, so he was used by the CIA on a spec ops mission in which he encountered robots posing as Colombian drug lords. Boy, that was a crazy one. From there, he was loaned to the Canadian government as part of a special forces unit. That mission was by far the weirdest, since he had to engage with a fifty foot tall lumber jack.
Yeah, those were some weird days alright. When Jim thought back on it, they hardly seemed real. It was only natural not to talk about it. Sure, he was sworn to secrecy by about eight different governments, but beyond that it would just make him sound positively ridiculous! That life had him so paranoid that for a time, he kept following around Belpois and his friends like they were some kind of criminals, scheming terrible things. Jim breathed out a sigh of relief. He was glad he got past those days, and his life at this school was to thank for that.
Getting through it all at the time, though, that was a completely different matter. He owed his life to a friend of his, a friend that helped him out in all those zany adventures. The other man in that picture, who showed up out of the blue then disappeared again without a trace. That friend of his showed up again a few nights ago, just as he was locking the gates up. Jim was surprised that he had not recognized his old friend at first. After all, you don't forget someone so memorable, especially when you're being chased by a giant lumberjack. The entire meeting was fairly unusual, now that he thought back on it. Almost as though that actually were the first time he met his old friend, and new memories just filtered in later.
Of course, that didn't make any sense at all, but hey, neither did his life. All Jim knew was that he was lucky to have such a great friend in the Doctor, because when the school needed to find a qualified science substitute at the last minute, in came a man that Jim could instantly recommend. It was good seeing that old face again. The gym teacher brought himself back to the present and set the photo back onto his desk, cracking a warm smile. That's when something hit him: an important detail he had never noticed before. Why hasn't the Doctor gotten any older?
Part Three: Odd Della Robia
Odd kept his brow uncharacteristically furrowed at his computer as he clicked away at the program. He was writing away, but it wasn't coding. Oh no, he was no Jeremie and couldn't understand that at all. What he was writing was something far more artistically inclined, something that Odd excelled in.
"Hoo yeah!" he cheered, spinning around in a three-sixty with his chair. With great gusto, the boy navigated his mouse cursor to its final destination, giving it one last click. A few moments later, and his new masterpiece had compiled onto a CD he had in the disk drive.
Odd ejected the disk, then haphazardly threw it into a case, all the while humming to himself. His dog, Kiwi, buried its head into the bedsheets of its master, letting out a high pitched whimper.
"Oh what do you know?" Odd shot back at his dog, sarcastically. "I'm going to give this to my new friends as a goodbye present. They'll be the first ones to hear it before it becomes the number one hit in the world!"
Without another word, but with a cheesy grin, Odd practically flew out the door from his and Ulrich's room. Down the hallway he ran, heading for the school grounds. The day was sunny, partly cloudy, just like his mood. There was darkness, but the light had it outclassed and the future was looking bright! At least it was to the ever optimistic Odd.
Energetically, he uncovered the manhole that hid his group's secret tunnel to the factory. Just as he had hardly touched the ground until this point, he barely touched the service ladder, preferring to slide down the entire way. Even his skateboard seemed to glide through the sewer tunnel with unnatural speed.
Odd made it to the factory in what seemed to be record time. Though his body had gotten where he was going, his heart was still racing, and the young boy welcomed the bit of rest that accompanied the slow freight elevator ride. Drained though he was, he still had the adrenaline, and the energy, pumping through his body. As such, he could barely even lean against the wall. He was just too darn excited.
Those doors could not open fast enough, and could not contain the young, svelte teenager as he forced his way through into the main computer room. Sitting in the corner, looking as conspicuous as it possibly could with its doors wide open, was his target: the Doctor's TARDIS.
"-need to make sure the details are right. We don't want the world to know she was ever missing." Odd heard the Doctor's voice as he entered.
"Gotcha," replied Jack Harkness. "I'm sure Jeremie can help. Between the two of us, we can cover all governmental databases and create financial records and the like."
"Well look who just showed up!" Amy announced, leaning over the railing that surrounded the TARDIS console. She pointed out their unannounced guest, and Odd came running right up.
In fact, he ran himself straight into the ground. All that expended stamina came back to bite him as he fell, face planting right there on the floor in front of everyone.
"No need to bow before us," Amy snarked. "We're mortals, just like you."
"Well…" Jack began before trailing off.
"Oh, right. Well one of us is immortal."
"To be specific," the Doctor interjected, "We're an immortal human, a near-immortal alien directly linked to the Vortex, a girl with a universe inside her head, and a former plastic robot Roman."
"Couldn't be more normal," Rory snarked.
Odd slowly lifted up his left hand, which held tight the CD he had compiled only minutes ago. No sooner had it caught his eye had the Doctor snatched it from the boy and began examining it.
"A TARDIS location disk? Good going, my boy, good going indeed! Mister Belpois must have shared some of my secret Time Lord knowledge with you in order for you to have designed this, but it's completely unnecessary and redundant. I've already had the old girl hard code these coordinates into her system in case I ever need to come back for any reason, so you can keep it." The Doctor handed the disk back to Odd, who was now rising up from the floor. He did not take the CD back.
"Uh, Doctor… I think that's a CD for music?" Rory pointed out. The Doctor spun on his heels to look at the man quizzically for a moment, before realizing his mistake.
"OH! Oh oh oh yes, yeeeeeessss. Music, ok." He turned back to Odd, who was wiping away an annoyed frown and replacing it with a trademark goofy grin. "Then I assume it's Geniviere's Anthem of Andromeda in B Minor, yes? How did you know that it was my favorite orchestral piece? In fact, how did you get an orchestral piece from Andromeda? Even more perplexing, how did you get it five hundred million years before its composition? Obviously because that's not what this is, scratch that theory. Ok, I give, what is it?"
"It's a piece that I composed on my computer," Odd answered. "I was inspired by our adventures together, and I wanted you guys to be the first ones to hear it. Go ahead, put it in!"
The Doctor smiled as he slid the disk into the TARDIS console. A moment later, and music began to emanate all around the room. It began with a brief but intense build up, before catapulting right into a series of sounds that wouldn't have been out of place in a sci-fi show.
"Do you like it?" Odd inquired, holding his arms out.
"I rather enjoy it," Jack answered.
"It's very appropriate," Rory responded.
"I'm not too sure how I feel about it, honestly," Amy added in.
"Something sounds very familiar about this song," the Doctor noted. He was using his index finger to count the beat. "Four beats at a time. Very interesting."
"Yeah, that part I came up with from listening to your heart beat." Odd happily exclaimed.
"Very cool. What do you call it?"
Odd beamed. "A World Without Danger. In honor of our finally defeating X.A.N.A."
Part Four: Ulrich Stern and Yumi Ishiyama
Yumi let out a heavy sigh. She sat alone just outside of the factory in the dead of night having snuck out of her parents' house. Her legs dangled limply over the edge, a few feet above the water. Her mind drifted in contemplation, her warped reflection a good representation of her current thoughts.
The sound of light footsteps caught Yumi's attention. Her head darted around quickly to see the silhouette of someone steadily approaching, barely visible in the dim lighting. Once the figure was closer, the girl recognized it and sighed once again, this time in relief. It was Ulrich.
"Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you," Ulrich said nervously, mistaking Yumi's sigh as irritation. "I'll go someplace else."
"Don't go, Ulrich," she urged, patting the ground next to her. "It's no bother. We probably shouldn't be alone right now anyway."
Ulrich nodded, silently taking his seat next to her. Still, he gave her a few inches of space, and took to staring into the water with her, sharing in the silence.
"You're right," he said a few moments later. "We shouldn't be alone."
Yumi shifted to look at Ulrich, while he continued to gaze into the water. "Are you going where I think you're going with this?"
"Probably," he answered, turning to address her properly. "It's not like we haven't beaten this horse to death."
"Ulrich," Yumi sighed, a hint of frustration in her voice. "We've been down this road before, and-"
"And we agreed that we were just good friends. Until all the craziness stopped. I'm sure you remember that part."
"But the craziness hasn't stopped, Ulrich." Yumi pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them for comfort. "XANA is gone, sure, and we finally won, but... After what's going on with Aelita, I just don't think that I can focus on that."
Ulrich's hand shot down to the ground, supporting him as he leaned a bit closer to Yumi. Determination and confidence grew in his tone, and he looked the older girl straight in the eye.
"What happened to Aelita, we're taking care of it. Taking care of her. And it's because of what happened that I think we need to stop dancing around this whole thing. Aelita and Jeremie, they... Can't really be together anymore. But we can, and whatever is coming around the corner, I want that to be a reason for us to enjoy the time we have, not be afraid of losing it."
Yumi turned away from Ulrich,staring back into the water. The ripples from before had faded, the water had calmed. She could clearly see their reflections, sitting side by side, all of Ulrich's attention completely focused on her.
"You know something, Ulrich?" she asked, cracking a smile. "You've matured a lot from the angry jerk I first met."
Yumi held out her hand.
"I had good influence." Ulrich took her offering, and the two gazed longingly into the pool below.
Part Five: Jack Harkness
"Well, another case down. Looks like I'll be able to tell that bureaucrat with the stick up his butt that the Flash Fatalities are a thing of the past." Captain Jack sat in a busted old chair in the factory, the Lyoko Warriors gathered around him, while the Doctor and his companions were handling important business inside the TARDIS, along with Aelita.
"You won't be using that 'return to the past' function anymore, right?" he asked the kids in a playfully accusatory tone.
"Of course not!" Odd reacted. "We don't want to accidentally tear apart the universe. How irresponsible do you think we are?"
"Besides, we don't have any need for it anymore," Ulrich added. "With XANA being gone and all."
"Just making sure," Jack assured with a wink. "Besides, if I really thought you were that irresponsible, I wouldn't be offering you this."
The youths all paid attention as Jack pulled some small business cards from the inside of his coat. They each took one, noting that it had a series of numbers on it.
"What are these for?" Yumi inquired, looking over the blank backside of her card.
"A direct line to get ahold of me in case of an emergency." Jack held out the gadget mounted to his wrist, showing it off. "Dial that number from any phone, and you'll be routed to the communicator on my vortex manipulator right here. And don't worry about anybody else getting to me through those either. The paper is psychic, so that number will only show up for someone I want to find me."
"Mine must be broken then, because it's blank," Odd commented, shaking the paper.
"Oh, well uh, I only made enough for each of you, so uh..."
"Just kidding," the boy smiled. Jack shook his head with a chuckle.
"Anyway, I would invite you all to my team, but we work in Cardiff. And you're too young anyway. And you haven't met me in that part of my timeline yet. So yeah, wouldn't really work out too well. But I'll tell you what, I happen to know some people pretty high up in UNIT and I'll put a good word in for you lot. I'm sure they could use your skills, once you're of legal age."
"UNIT?" Ulrich asked.
"The Unified Intelligence Task Force," Jeremie chimed in, his voice dead. "An elite military organization put together by the United Nations to deal with unexplainable and extraterrestrial threats. I got a few random strands of the Doctor's memories. Turns out he's a member, but I don't think he's reported for a few hundred years."
"Huh. Could be exciting," Ulrich reasoned.
"It would be an opportunity to put our experience to good use," Yumi added.
"And we could be celebrities among people that could hear our story and believe it!" Odd threw in. Once he saw the disapproving looks of the others, he added, "You know, to uh, inspire others or something?"
"Well, it's just something to consider," Jack interrupted, getting up from his chair. "As for me, it's time to depart. It was good meeting you all, kiddos."
The immortal played around with his vortex manipulator, quickly and expertly stroking the keys until the settings were just right. His index finger hovered just above the final button. Glancing up, he gave one final smile to the group, then vanished in a flash of light.
Part Six: Jeremie Belpois
"It's time," Jeremie announced into his mobile phone. Ulrich, Yumi, and Odd each acknowledged over the conference call in their own ways, and the young genius hung up.
With a heavy sigh, the youth stared downward, eyes closed. It was how he spent most of his time lately, and he had to admire the patience his friends were showing him. By this point Jeremie had begun to annoy himself with this attitude.
Forcing his body to move involved some of the greatest effort he ever had to muster, but Jeremie finally stood up and opened his eyes. He was standing in the main computer room of the factory, looking exactly as it had the last several times he had come down here. Of course, the big blue box was missing. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory had taken their leave by now, but not before helping out with Aelita's situation.
Shuffling his feet, Jeremie made his way to the elevator. He could not even feel his own body as he took his steps, or pressed the button to his destination. His mind was too preoccupied. Too absorbed into something else. The boy almost didn't even notice when the door opened, allowing him access to the mainframe and power center of the super computer.
A few minutes later and Jeremie's brooding was interrupted by the arrival of his friends. Odd, Yumi, and Ulrich stepped forth from the elevator with smiles, but they were painted on, half sincere.
"Jeez, when did we all become Ulrich?" Odd asked, throwing some levity into the situation. Nobody answered, and he did not particularly blame them.
"I always imagined that when this day came, it would be so much happier," Jeremie began addressing his comrades. "The honor would go to Aelita, and we would all be free of this curse to live our lives and have fun."
"Yeah," Ulrich cut in. "Life is pretty ridiculous."
"But we're here all the same," Yumi added, attempting to redirect everyone's thoughts. "Circumstances aside, this is a happy occasion. The world is safe and we won. Now there's only one thing left to do."
"Yeah," Odd agreed. "Come on Einstein, none of us could have done a single thing without you. You can have our final victory."
Odd pointed to the master switch on the side of the mainframe. Pulling that switch would shut down the entire computer system for good. Jeremie glanced at the switch, then back to his friends. He attempted something that vaguely resembled a smile before he spoke.
"I couldn't have accomplished anything without you guys either."
"Yeah, but you're the MVP. Don't sell yourself short." Odd stepped forward and gave Jeremie a slight push toward the switch.
"You found this place first," Ulrich added.
"Right. You're more wrapped up in this than the rest of us." Yumi winked at her friend. "Go for it. Let's end this once and for all."
With a little more shoving from Odd, Jeremie found himself before the mainframe switch. With a heavy sigh, he slowly lifted his hand up to grasp it. The action took every bit of his strength and motivation; it felt more like he were lifting an enormous rock than just his hand.
Jeremie stared at the master switch, hesitating. Could he do it now? It took every bit of effort he had just to grab the thing. Doubt crept into his mind as he wondered how much more difficult it would be to pull his hand back down, carrying resistance with it. As these doubts raced through his mind, moistening his brow with stress, Jeremie noticed his friends reflected in his glasses. They stood there, just feet behind him. Inspiration hit the young genius.
"We do it together," Jeremie announced. "I started this mission, but we all came together because of it. We end it the same way we fought through it all: Together."
Nobody said a word. Without any delay, three more hands grabbed the switch, and Jeremie felt their warmth. There they stood, the four together. Jeremie's hesitation melted away. With a single, unified motion, the switch was pulled.
Lights began to dim until they burned out completely. The light humming of electronics, wiring, and cooling fans faded until only silence remained. The four stood together, as always, immersed in darkness. Jeremie was glad for their company, for he knew that without Aelita, he could not have faced this darkness by himself.
Part Seven: The Doctor, Amy, and Rory
"Did we really do the right thing?" Amy asked her two boys. She was sitting on the railing around the TARDIS control console. Rory was standing nearby, a blank look upon his face, whilst the Doctor manned the console, helping to navigate them through the Vortex.
"We did the best that we could," Rory assured his wife. His tone made it difficult to tell if he truly believed that himself.
"At least she will be able to live a normal life now," the Doctor replied, pulling a cord attached to a coat hanger.
"What about her friends?" Amy asked. "When I thought I had lost Rory... I never want to feel that pain again."
"They'll still be able to see her every day," the Doctor shrugged, twisting a dial.
"That's exactly what I think will hurt the most." Amy stared at the Doctor, who stood up and turned to face her. He was completely blank. For the first time in her life, Amy couldn't tell what the Doctor was thinking.
"I did all that I could. At this point, it's up to them to decide what happens. All of them."
"And you'll continue to be the last of the Time Lords," Rory chimed in.
"Yes," the man responded somberly. "I will continue to carry that cross."
"You know Doctor, you could have brought her with us," Amy suggested. "You could teach her your culture. You wouldn't have to be the last one."
"No, that wouldn't do at all. She wanted the normal life she could never have. A normal human life." The Doctor suddenly became more energetic, and even cracked a smile. "Besides, I'd be the worst mentor for Time Lord culture. All my teachers would be frowning on me from the grave, if they weren't doing so already!"
"Haha, you've got a point there!" Amy laughed for the first time since their final confrontation with XANA.
"So!" The Doctor emphatically clapped his hands together. "Where too now? Probably somewhere quiet and boring, I would imagine?"
The Doctor relocated himself to the console again, ready to alter their course at the suggestion of his companions.
"You know, we haven't been back to America in a while," Amy suggested with a shrug.
"Now that I think about it, I have always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty," Rory added, raising his eyebrow with interest. The Doctor grinned wide and fiddled with his controls. The TARDIS took off, that brilliant wheezing noise bringing a smile back to everyone's face.
Part Eight: Aelita Schaeffer
A tall, red headed woman strolled casually down the halls of Kadic Academy, giving warm smiles to the students she passed by, the students she was there to teach and influence. At five feet ten inches, she was definitely taller than most women, and her milky skin was considered stunningly gorgeous. Dark green eyes added a fair bit of contrast to the rest of her appearance.
Taking a turn into her classroom, the young woman set down her books, all teacher's editions, and rolled her eyes at their very usage in this classroom. Books in a computer lab for a computers and technology instructor, the entire idea just seemed so silly.
Of course, there were stranger things in her life. For instance, there was that Jeremie Belpois. Her class was an elective, yet he decided to take it despite showing aptitude with computers beyond even herself. Why, the kid could probably teach the class and she could change places as his student!
The young teacher shook her head as she thought of such ridiculous things, taking her seat for a bit of rest. The last decade of her life seemed to just fly right on by. It felt like only yesterday that her father was the head science teacher at this very school. Unfortunately, he and her mother died in that terrible car accident, and she had to be raised in an orphanage. Those years were not the best, but they inspired her to rise above tragedy and humble beginnings. Looking around now, the young lady felt very accomplished.
Not too much later, the bell rang and students began to take seats inside her classroom. As expected, Mister Belpois had taken a front row chair, and his two friends, Stern and Della Robbia, sat nearby. That trio was inseparable, and such camaraderie put a smile on her face. Something about them, and their older friend, Miss Ishiyama, was very endearing to her.
But now was not the time to let her mind drift. Now was the time for class. All the students were accounted for, ready and eager to learn. She had become such a favorite in the few weeks that she had taken this position.
"I'm glad we could all make it, class," the teacher began, turning on a projector connected to her computer. "Now power on your computers. Today we'll be taking a look at networking and, ah, yes Elizabeth?"
"It's Sissi!" complained the young girl. The instructor could not help but tease the principal's daughter, in a completely friendly manner of course. It felt like reflex, really.
"Anyway, Miss Schaeffer, I just wanted to ask about that strange accessory you always wear with you."
"Strange accessory?" Miss Schaeffer looked quite befuddled, until Sissi pointed it out.
"Yeah, that little watch that you always have pinned to your dresses. It totally clashes and ruins all your colors."
"Watch?" Miss Schaeffer looked down and did indeed see a watch pinned to her dress. Curious, how did she never notice it before? After all, she wore it every day.
Running a finger along the little device, she caught a glimpse of Belpois, Stern, and Della Robbia from the corner of her eye. Their eyes were wide, barely being contained by their seats. Now what were they so interested in?
Friends. They're your friends. Remember.
"It's... A little curiosity I picked up some time ago," she lied, feeling very uncomfortable. This watch would definitely be worth checking out. After class, of course.
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