Turning on their flashlights, Jace, Kevin, and Oliver led the group as they looked around the beaten down facility. Just the sound of the cold winds rushing through the thin walls and the sight of paper and metal blowing across the floor set in a twinge of fear on the kids’ faces.
“Oliver, I’m scared,” said Katie as she held onto him for dear life. “How do we know where we’re going?”
“I don’t know,” he replied slightly afraid himself. “We just gotta stick together, that’s all we can do.”
Looking around, Tristan said fearfully, “Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just about ready to head back now.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” added Yumiko, “but I’m with my brother on this one. Let’s go back guys.”
“Come on you guys,” said Jace. “We’ve only been in here for five minutes, and you guys want to call it quits? What happened to the challenge?”
Remembering the humiliation they would likely have to endure, both Stern siblings sucked it up and continued the haunting walk.
As they turned a corner, Jace began to hear a noise that about made him jump out of his skin. It was the sound of a moan coming from a wall in the middle of the factory near what appeared to be an elevator shaft.
“Did you guys hear that?” he asked.
“Yep,” the others said in unison.
Pointing in the direction of the elevator shaft, Kevin said, “Sounds like it came from over there.”
The gang then took a deep breath and began to make their way towards the elevator shaft, now beginning to hear the same moaning sound growing slightly louder as they got closer.
“What the heck is that?” asked Maya holding on to her boyfriend for comfort.
“Definitely sounds like a moan,” said Jace. “But from what though?”
Finally, reaching the entry into the elevator shaft, the moaning appeared to stop, providing some comfort for the gang, only to then be ended quickly as they began to see what appeared to be a form of mark on the wall of the elevator.
It was at this moment something about this mark seemed familiar to Kevin, Maya, Adele, and Jace, and the four walked into the elevator shaft to examine the mark with the gang following behind them.
“Is... is that it?” asked Adele as she reached into her pocket.
“I think so,” replied Jace, his curiosity now reaching its peak.
“Wait, what exactly is the ‘it’ you’re talking about guys?” asked Carine feeling a strange mix of fear and confusion.
Adele then pulled out of her pocket, the picture of her parents and the other kids’ parents together as a group, and realized that the very symbol on the wall, matched the exact same symbol on her father’s laptop; the same three-pupil eye mark.
“I don’t believe it,” said Maya amazed at the very thought this mark having a relation to both her and her sister’s father and mother. It didn’t take long before the other kids looked at the same picture over Adele’s shoulder and saw that their parents appeared to be affiliated with this mark in some way too.
Caught up in the amazement, the kids became completely unaware that the elevator door was now closing on them and appeared to begin descending down the shaft. The kids screamed with fright as they had no idea where this elevator was going, or what would happen to them.
Not knowing what to do, the girls held onto those they were closest to for comfort, but were soon relieved when the elevator stopped. But before they could feel any relief at all, the kids’ then noticed the door didn’t open and panic set in once more at the thought of being trapped in a scene like that of a horror movie where they would remain locked in the elevator forever.
Turning back on his flashlight, Jace shined the light over near the door, and saw what looked like a keypad of some kind with a message that appeared in a small crevice near the keypad.
Reading it aloud, the message said, “Door code: 3258#.”
Following the code on the message, Jace typed in the key sequence and leapt back along with the gang as the elevator door slowly opened, revealing a sight that took all the kids’ breath away.
On the other side of the door, stood a large room with what appeared to be a giant computer system sitting in the middle, surrounded by massive-sized cables and some kind of center console that had a cone-like opening.
While the gang was initially speechless at the sight before them, the silence finally became broken as Maya uttered, “Okay, now I am definitely freaked out.”
“Me too,” said Kevin. “Why do I get the feeling this factory has something a little more scarier than just an old ghost story?”
“Whatever it is,” said Carine, “Somehow our parents are related to this place... to this thing, whatever it could be.”
Suddenly, Adele remembered something that her parents said on the night that she and Jace had their first date regarding something called, “Lyoko,” and wondered if this mysterious looking computer may in fact have something to do with this odd-sounding word.
But before she could dwell on the thought, Kevin and Maya appeared to head back for the elevator shaft, looking as though they were ready to take off.
“Maya, Kevin, wait!” she said quickly. “Where are you both going?”
Jace then quickly followed after his girlfriend, as Maya said to her sister, “Kevin said he found something in the elevator that made him think this isn’t the only room hidden here.”
“Wait, what?” asked Jace slightly puzzled. “You mean there could be others like this?”
“I don’t know,” said Kevin. “But look over here...”
Kevin then pointed to a switchboard sitting on the right-hand side of the elevator next to the door code panel. By the look of the panel, there appeared to be two other tabs that would connect to two other rooms aside from the main floor they entered in from.
Keeping the thought of staying together in mind, the others joined the curious teens in the elevator shaft. Once all there, Jace hit the second button below the switch that led into the room they were just in.
Suddenly, panic seemed to dissipate from everyone, and was quickly replaced with sheer curiosity as to what this place could be, and what their parents’ roles could be in this mysterious factory.
As the doors reopened once more, the gang then mirrored their actions from before as they became awestruck at the sight of three special cylinders standing in front of them, each appearing to measure from the floor to the ceiling, and large enough to fit a human inside.
Looking at the cables connecting to the cylinders, Jace said, “Okay, now I’m officially clueless. What the heck are these things?”
“Search me,” said Tristan now appearing to have some of his fright gone from the earlier sight. “I wonder if they have something to do with that big computer that was back upstairs?”
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” said Maya. It was at that moment that something appeared to catch the eldest Belpois child’s eye in the cylinder she stood in. With her flashlight, the girl revealed what appeared to be a sole strand of pink hair lying on the bottom of the cylinder.
Holding it up to everyone, Maya said, “Guys, look at this.”
“What’s wrong Maya? You molting or something?” asked Oliver jokingly.
Carine then slapped her brother outside the head as she continued saying, “No dummy, this isn’t mine. It was sitting here when I shined the light on it before I stepped in. Guys... I think this may be a strand of my mother’s hair.”
Shocked at the strong possibility of this being true, the group examined the other cylinders to see if any other evidence was present that could trace their parents using these cylinders at all. No clues however revealed themselves, as Maya carefully slipped the hair into her pocket for safe keeping.
Suddenly, the group could hear an audible rattle coming from below them, causing Maya, Adele, and Katie to jump into the arms of their boyfriends and Tristan and Yumiko to hide behind Carine.
“Wha... what was that?” asked Adele more scared than ever.
“I don’t know,” Jace replied holding his blonde-haired angel close. “I think it came from below us. That must be the last room that elevator leads too.”
Determined to find out what that last room contained, the group made a quick dash back for the elevator, and with a close of the doors once more, the group hit the last switch on the board to bring the elevator down to the last remaining room in this mysterious chain of rooms never seen by others in the factory.
“What do you think could be on this last floor guys?” asked Jace with his curiosity peaked to it’s highest level.
Still slightly puzzled himself, Kevin said, “You’re guess is as good as mine dude. But I’ve got a feeling whatever is on this last floor, is probably the key to all those other rooms, and whatever is on the other side of this door, is gonna explain everything.”
And with that, the elevator came to a halt as everyone took the hand of the person next to them, and prepared themselves as the doors began to slide open to reveal the last mysterious room.