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Jeremie
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PostSubject: Research & Recovery   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:37 pm

As Aelita arrives in the tunnel, Jeremie gives her a tender little wave before the portal closes; as with the others in lacking a proper devirtualization, she's still in her Lyoko envelope as promised. The tunnel is quiet but severely degraded; it hasn't been touched in a long time, even by Jeremie surprisingly. The metal rafters holding the tunnel's shape are bowing with age, rusted due to their misuse - water trickles down between the ruined stone, eroding the walkway.

Behind her lies the path to the sewers - in front of her lies the opening to the school's old underbelly; should she go inside she'd find the old gym - apparently this part of Kadic has been abandoned in the effort to rebuild the school and this building hadn't been taken down yet, luckily for her.

[[ Post Objective: Find Yumi/Aelita; get to Jeremie's apartment before the government. ]]
[[ Turn Order: Yumi // Aelita. ]]
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Yumi

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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:07 pm

Jeremie had decent timing - his text arrived moments after she turned her phone back on upon disembarking and having her brief luggage searched. She was on her way out of the terminal when she flipped through her messages, pausing upon seeing his.

"Yumi - please go to my apartment. Meet Aelita. ASAP.
-Jeremie
"

She quietly took a gander at the difference in word style, assuming there was a change in the situation - he must not be in danger anymore, she supposed; she made to text Ulrich but paused, assuming he was on Lyoko - it wouldn't be doing much if he wasn't on Earth. She pocketed her phone and made her way out of the terminal, beginning to work her way out, adjusting her backpack over her shoulder, putting a spring into her step. "God only knows what you've gotten us all into this time, Jeremie..." she mused to herself quietly with a small smile on her face, secretly wondering if everyone else was alright...

It brightened her a little after the long-term flight in panic - she'd at least get to see Aelita soon...
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:52 am

Aelita made sure to return Jeremie's wave just before the portal took her through back to Earth.

After absorbing her surroundings and orienting herself, she decided forward to the school was her best bet. Much as she wanted to help Ulrich and the others, she knew it was too high-risk to go near the factory right now, and she had her own important mission to worry about. At least she would get to see Yumi again, something she sincerely looked forward to.

Knowing that her Lyoko form made her stand out pretty clearly, she constantly kept her guard up for anyone else around as she made her way through the school, eventually reaching the open streets outside....
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:08 am

It was a short cab-ride back to Sceaux; she paid her cabby and was out onto the streets by Kadic in minutes - she only knew Jeremie lived near the campus, and with a startled pause she looked over the message again, frowning.

He hadn't given her the address.

"Jeremie," Yumi sighed, adjusting her notably longer hair, pulling it back over her shoulder - by fate the moment she looked up, she'd see the pink-haired woman she knew full well, writing off her odd outfit to something else that was Jeremie's fault for the time being. "Aelita!" She lifted a hand and stood up on her heels, still dressed in... well, honestly? She looked almost the same aside from her height, hip-length hair and affinity for oversized bracelets; they jingled even louder than her call for Aelita.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:12 pm

Looking around again to make sure no one else was around, Aelita spotted-and, before that, heard-Yumi nearby. She smiled warmly at her friend from across the street, admiring her newfound fashion sense. The bracelets were very nice, and she rather liked the longer hairstyle. "Yumi!" she called back, approaching her old friend swiftly and wrapping her in a swift, friendly hug. "You have no idea how good it is to see you again!"

Stepping back to give the girl her room, Aelita continued to smile appreciatively; it really was nice to have a bit of normalcy in the middle of all this craziness, even if they would need to dive right back into the madness before long.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:22 pm

"It's fantastic to see you too!" Yumi smiled and returned her hug with a tight, brief squeeze - her clothing was still chilled from the cab. She looked her friend up and down, her eyebrows lifting a bit; she took a step back to take her all in. "Jeremie told me to go to his apartment - I'm assuming you're me escort," she teased with a small smile. "He forgot to give me the address, so I'm waiting for him to catch his mista-"

The phone in her hand lit up; she gave it a glance and looked at Aelita, exhaling a small laugh as she showed her the screen.

"address 1825 kadic court - sry, Ael has me all messed up..."

"I'll have to ask what that is about later - shall we?" She gestured behind her towards the line of apartment buildings across the way; ironically Yumi had walked right past the complex to the school, as if expecting him to still live there. She adjusted her hair again out of habit. "I'll also ask about everything else later, urgent or not I'm more interested in how you've been," she commented, pocketing her phone.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:36 pm

Aelita could only shake her head and smile with amusement as she looked at Jeremie's text; ten years, and still such a Boy. It was charming in its own way, though. "Let's shall," she replied to Yumi, already setting a healthy pace as she began to make her way toward the apartment.

"Before all this craziness started?" she told Yumi as they made their way, "Pretty well. Kept myself busy with something of a world tour, but I've been happy all things told. And you?"
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:08 am

"Just studying psychology back home," she offered Aelita a small shrug, smiling broadly - it was good to know her friend was seeing more of the world and culture beyond France. "I room with a few people in a small house outside of Tokyo; it's quaint," her eyes strayed about, however, taking in the small suburb; it had changed a lot but still remained the same at its barest of forms. It was comforting, to a degree. "So, around the world, huh? I thought you would have been with Jeremie all this time," she said playfully - though it was true Aelita had gotten less attached the more human she realized she was, they were still hard to separate, even during their high school years.

"I do have to ask, though - his first text, this one asking us to go to his apartment... What exactly is going on? Is it XANA?" She paused outside the gate to the complex; luckily for them someone with a card key slipped in only moments before, leaving the door still swinging. She put her boot between the gate and the surrounding fence, pushing it fully open. "You're the only one of us I've seen so far." She combed a stray hair out of her face. "How serious is all of this...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:12 pm

"Psychology?" Aelita replied, ultimately nodding. "I must say, it sounds like a good fit. I hope you've been doing well with it."

She giggled again as Yumi brought up Jeremie. "He was always in my heart and my thoughts," she said, an earnest, introspective smile spreading across her face. "And I was always hoping my trip around the world would prove me right. That what I felt about Jeremie was about more than his just being the first person I met...that something else was there, making it real." With a wink, she whispered playfully, "Which is exactly what it did."

Just as Aelita was ready to poke Yumi about her and Ulrich, however, she realized how much Yumi still did not know. And what she now needed to tell her. "Very," she answered, stopping dead in her tracks as she spoke. "Yumi...we're going to Jeremie's apartment because we need to get a sample of DNA from his..."

She choked on the word without even meaning to. It seemed she still had a lot of internal work to do on this whole mess...but that had to wait. "Jeremie...Jeremie's body is dead. He managed to transfer his mind to Lyoko, so he himself is safe, but his body..."

She stopped again, almost stomping her foot in self-frustration; dammitall, they had work to do, she couldn't afford this cowardice. "We need to get to his apartment because we need a sample of his DNA, before the people who...did all this...burn it to ash."
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:46 am

There would be a rather long silence between them; Yumi's eyes narrowed, her head tilting to the side ever so slightly, mouth pursed into a line as she thought that over. "His body." She repeated out loud, staring blankly at Aelita, only jerking upright when her foot collided with the ground; questions arose, but his mind was alive - she shook her head to shake her stun. "... So he's alive on Lyoko, but not on Earth. Sounds familiar - it also sounds fixable." She put a hand on Aelita's shoulder, giving her a small tug. "Come on; we're racing against another party. We don't have time for this," she gently pulled the sleeve of her sweater over her hand, dabbing at Aelita's cheeks with her wrapped knuckles. "We're going to figure it out - for now he needs us."

Yumi gestured to the apartment building behind the main gate; the numbers indicated one of the homes inside was his, luckily enough. Not so lucky? It was on the third floor. Yumi started the stairs, looking at her phone; Jeremie's message was still on it. A ghostly chill ran through her - he was dead? Jeremie? Who would want to hurt him...?
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 am

[[ Posts here may now resume! -Jeremie ]]
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Aelita

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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:04 pm

Yumi...she always did know just how to comfort Aelita in times of need. Aelita could not help but smile, placing her own hand atop Yumi's as it gently brushed her cheek dry. "You're right, of course," she said graciously. "Thank you, Yumi, for being such a good friend."

She followed her to the gate. "Keep your eyes peeled," she warned. "XANA is awake again, and I think the people behind all this have some connection to her, so we need to be very alert."

Despite everything else, Aelita almost giggled as she realized Yumi had not found out about XANA's gender yet. Still, the situation remained serious, and Aelita quickly summoned her orbs to the gate. One by one they entered, and the gate glowed briefly before its lock cracked and it opened wide. "After you," she said politely, gesturing for Yumi to enter.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:29 pm

"Oh," Yumi was caught a little off-guard by the gender identification but was overall underwhelmed - she looked at her phone again, making a face, gritting her teeth a tad; she didn't like any of this. Lyoko was wonderful, Aelita was wonderful, but now...? One of them was... gone. It suddenly made this all come back - the insecurity, the urge to shut it all down to protect everyone... the need to tell someone, but now even the government had turned sour and dangerous. They were on their own, weren't they? "... You'll have to explain that one later."

The two would go up the flights rather diligently; Yumi was quiet, her head spinning - luckily one of her greater virtues was keeping her emotions in check for the sake of others. They arrived at his door rather quickly and thank the luck the door was unlocked from when Jeremie had left.

She Japanese girl pushed the door open - no one was visibly inside, but the apartment was straightforward; across from the door was his computer desk, strewn with papers and stacks of half-read books, the monitor on with a screensaver with binary lettering racing across. Mug of half-finished coffee with half-finished toast. Calendar... cell phone. To the left seemed to be the kitchen and the laundry room, to the right was his bedroom and a small bathroom. A further examination would reveal the kitchen to be rather bland and unused with grocery bags on the counter, but his bedroom was a little more... lively, to put it mildly; a calico cat sat on his bed, perking his ears to the two intruders; atop one of the many dressers was a small aquarium full of multicolored fish, and on the nightstand next to that was a smaller plastic tank housing several multitudes of mice.

"He never was much for decorating, was he," Yumi looked at the plain walls with a nostalgic little smile - however the poster of Einstein was still in his bedroom, complete with the little crumple around its mouth from when she had punched it when they were kids. "When we get him out of the computer we should help him spruce the place up."

The cat padded out of Jeremie's room, sitting in the doorway, looking at Aelita with a little 'mew', green eyes wide as he ran at her, rubbing against her legs.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:09 am

Yumi's disorientation did not go unnoticed, and though Aelita did not feel she shared her friend's aptitude for comforting others, she nonetheless knew when it was necessary to at least try. As they ascended the stairs, she looked softly at her. "It...took some adjusting for me," she said, already nervous she was starting too bluntly but unable to turn back now, "To wrap my head around what had happened to him. It's...it'll be hard. But once you actually meet him inside Lyoko, you'll see, just like I did. We haven't lost him. Our Jeremie is too smart to let bullies take him away from us so easily. We haven't lost him at all, you'll see."

As they entered his room, she kept her guard up; nice though it was to see the inside of Jeremie's apartment (it suited him so nicely, she felt), she was nonetheless wary of enemy attack, and had to remember they were here to find a corpse. Even so, she nodded in agreement with Yumi. "Yes, Jeremie always was more one for efficiency over aesthetics," she said warmly, finding the cat and smiling warmly. "Still, he does find a way to add his own touch to the place...."

She scooped the animal into her arms, petting it lightly. "Hmm...I think I'll call you...Figaro," she whispered, nuzzling noses with the little kitten.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:14 am

Yumi stared at the computer somewhat silently, almost picturing him sitting there, looking over his shoulder to wonder what it was Ulrich had done to anger her this time - it made her bite her lip and think momentarily; she was Jeremie's friend, and only his friend - it made her heartbeat slow to think of how Aelita must feel, even seeing him on Lyoko...

"So how do we know that's actually Jeremie," Yumi commented in passing, looking at Aelita and the cat; Jeremie hadn't been home for days, she guessed, judging by the date on the open document of his computer; it was nothing she could understand no matter how hard she squinted at it. "I'm not trying to poke holes, I'm just... How did he do it, if it really is him? How did he ...?" He was a genius, but cheating death? As a kid, Jeremie was defenseless and if cornered it would be left to luck if anyone helped him at all; no doubt he hadn't changed much as he grew older.

"It bothers me." She mutters, lifting an arm to rub her palm against her forehead. "He's smart but... I can't believe that until I see it myself. I just can't."

After uttering that she bit her tongue, leaving Aelita as she let herself into his bedroom, making a beeline for the small bath attached. She glances around his meticulously cleaned bathroom, grabbing a hair brush - ... with no hair in it. Toothbrush missing... no personal effects at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:29 am

Aelita, still holding on to Figaro (no, wait a minute, Jeremie had told her about the cat earlier...he named it Maya, after the name he used to call her), explored the rest of the room, careful to keep her eyes peeled and senses sharp for signs of danger. "I didn't believe it even after I DID see it," she told Yumi somberly, overturning the pillow on Jeremie's bed; no hairs, on either side. "It took talking to him...really talking to him...to make me realize he'd done for himself what my father had done for me."

She did her best not to get frustrated as she continued her fruitless search. Jeremie keeping the apartment meticulously clean made sense enough, but surely there had to be something here! "I don't entirely understand the 'how' even now," she admitted to Yumi, "but I don't care anymore either. He's alive inside Lyoko. That's all that matters."

It was almost a defiant sentiment as much as a sincere, affectionate one.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:43 pm

And then the room seemed to cool down. Every shadow in it seemed to stretch out. And as if it had appeared from nowhere, a third figure seemed to be standing in the middle of the room now, coated in the darkness and emanating an aura of menace. "Is that where I wandered off to?" it spoke, a voice that seemed to be two voices, one hauntingly familiar. "How silly of me."

As the shadows pulled back, there stood Jeremie.

His clothes were still stained with blood, his eyes were darkened and baggy, and dried blood still rested along his face, dribbling from a bullet wound in his forehead. "I hope I didn't keep you two waiting too long?" he asked, sounding like Jeremie, but with a second, younger voice speaking underneath him at the same time, with the same words; it was almost as if someone else were using Jeremie's voice like a microphone.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:37 pm

"I suppose as long as he's alright..." Yumi bit her sentence in a sharp, sudden half, hearing the voice before she actually turned to see the... intruder as the distortion of the shadows began to fade. Her eyes shrank a little, her arms dropping to her sides, relaxing with shock; her shoulders slumped a bit, brows twitching - Jeremie? Alive? ... She shook her head a bit, rubbing one of her eyes as if needing to make the illusion go away. No; with the second once-over she took in the detail and suddenly felt extremely ill.

"A... Aelita," she whispered, unable to look away. "... A... Aelita, what..." Yumi took a defensive step back, deeper into the bathroom, eyes unblinking; Jeremie was dead, and oddly enough this walking corpse was the proof she needed - her fingers trembled. This was too much - she balled her hands into fists; the expression on his face, his posture... his voice... it was wrong.

Once more, she pulled out her phone, looking at the messages Jeremie had sent, glancing up at the 'real' thing to compare, of a sort, her brain flooding with confusion. She'd never... seen anything like this, before - the wounds, the blood... Why...? What was going on...?
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:46 am

Like guard dogs alerted to an intruder, Aelita's orbs immediately rose up around here, flashing violently as "Jeremie" was revealed. Likewise, Maya Figaro hissed in Aelita's hands at the unwelcome visitor. Aelita herself, meanwhile, went cold and still at the sight of him. She could not answer Yumi. She could not move. She could only stare, wide-eyed and terrified, at the walking ghost right in front of her. "You...you're not...." she finally managed to stutter, taking a step back. "You can't...!"

The orbs hovered protectively around her, two remaining there while the other two hovered over to Yumi, likewise in a shielding circle.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:15 am

"Jeremie" looked from Yumi to Aelita both, a vicious little grin spreading along his face. "Oh you're both just priceless," he chuckled, tucking a stray lock of messed hair out of his eyes. "I thought you'd be happy to see this body up and about again...but I suppose I did let myself forget how frail you flesh-bags can be about these things."

He threw back his head and laughed, a blood-curdling sound. "If it's any comfort," he said with detached bemusement, "this body really IS dead, so it's not like I'm hurting your friend."

He turned to Yumi with a menacing little grin. "Of course, that doesn't mean I can't hurt you...."
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:22 pm

Yumi was confused at the conflict of seeing the body and hearing the voice and dialogue - so it wasn't Jeremie at all, was it; the way he was speaking wasn't of his character at all, and then he had the gall to threaten her? ... Yumi wasn't risking allowing him a window. Even with Aelita's orbs providing what defense they could, she wasn't trusting - her hands balled into fists, lowering herself ever so slightly.

"What are you doing," she questioned, holding out her fists. "Who do you think you are?!" She barked, her eyes feeling hot. If Jeremie was dead, whatever was using him as a puppet needed to vacate; it wasn't XANA, she knew that much - this thing was toying with them by using Jeremie and it knew it. ... It was far smarter people-wise...
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:28 am

Aelita shook her head violently, struggling to keep in control. She was still struggling to keep her tenuous confidence over the Jeremie in Lyoko, but this...this thing...pretending to be Jeremie, leeching off his body...it broke her heart and burned her blood at the same time. "You stay back," she warned angrily, "You stay back!"

Her orbs were pulsing faster and faster, still keeping their protective orbits around both girls.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 am

"Jeremie" could only laugh harder. "Re-LAX," he said with biting humor, "You two are way too high-strung."

He poked at the bullet wound in his head. "After all," he said sadistically, "it's only dead flesh."

Looking between the two with that same thin, hateful grin on his face, he waved dismissively at Yumi. "I'm not interested in fighting right now; I just thought I'd leave you two with a little message while I had the chance, if you wouldn't mind delivering it to the wannabe-'genius' who used to inhabit this sack of bones and meat."

He stared Yumi straight in the eyes. "Who am I? I'm the true heir of XANA. That's all you need to know right now."
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:24 am

"... Heir?" Yumi repeated, unaware - she looked at Aelita but her horrified expression and Pyrrus' words quickly pierced through any fear she had and morphed it into white-hot anger. She bit her lip and approached him as he pointed to his wound, gritting her teeth; dead flesh made sense. He had a... 'scent' about him from the minor decay over the few days that had passed. Subtle but noticeable - she visibly retched, eyes narrowing. "What do you want with Jeremie; why do... why do have that...?" She gestured to the body. "Tell us!" She snarled, feeling her blood boil.

"Any message you have for Jeremie you can deliver in person - on Lyoko, where you belong," she grit her teeth, knuckles white. "Leave his body for its rightful owner," the sentence felt so strange coming out of her mouth.
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PostSubject: Re: Research & Recovery   Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:06 pm

Yumi's firm, controlled fury helped keep Aelita on balance as well. It helped her keep a similar grip on her own boiling emotions, even as they cried for wild release. Still, she knew she could not let that happen, and so followed her friend's example, doing her best to stare the false Jeremie down. Stroking Maya Figaro helped too.
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