The story is taking its sweet time to unfold, but here it is thus far: After a largely unknown and nigh unstoppable cataclysm leaves France and some areas of the surrounding countries completely uninhabitable, the few survivors are evacuated to overcrowded and chaotic refugee shelters on the surrounding islands. The story centers on Sissi and Jean-Pierre Delmas, who have settled at Avenshire Academy, an Irish private school turned privately-run refugee shelter. Jean-Pierre is trying his hardest to find stability in this new world, but Sissi can't find settled ground, or figure out whether to reject her memories and attachments to the world she has just left. But soon, as she begins to discover the truth behind the attacks on her school, as well as the fates of four of her classmates, her quest takes her in a new direction...
19 chapters have been written in total. The fic is split into three acts - Act I has 14 chapters, Act II has 5, and Act III will have 11 chapters plus an epilogue, for a total of 32 chapters.
Working titles for the fic included "Teddygozilla", "The Day Everything Went Wrong", and "2/14/11." It is rated T.
Has nothing to do with Ghost in the Machine.
Note: There are spoilers ahead, especially for Chapter 13.
Ghosts In The Machine provides examples of:
- Action Survivor: The entire group that travels through France to get to Kadic.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Sissi figures out the weak spots on the monsters, effectively turning a loosing battle completely around.
- A Day in the Limelight: Sissi is the main character of this story. The Lyoko Warriors have barely been mentioned, bar the prologue.
- More recent chapters, especially chapter nine, provide far more insight on the other characters, insofar as Sissi knows about them and their whereabouts.
- Apocalypse How: Class 0, threatening to become a Class 1. France is a dead, unpopulated land; two-thirds of its population is dead, and the remaining third live in refugee camps in other countries. XANA is encroaching on the rest of continental Europe as well, though the extent is not known.
- Breather Episode: Near the end of part II, the group finds a river and, after spending days walking through a desolate France and fighting off monsters, takes a break to play in the water.
- Broken Bird: Milly. At least according to what little she tells Herb of her goals.
- Character Development: Sissi begins the fic as her usual selfish, short-sighted, strident self. She matures throughout, and has even begun to humorously self-deprecate and crack the odd joke.
- Darker and Edgier
- Empty Shell: Yumi.
- But then again, maybe not.
- Facial Horror: The "Sweetheart Man" from Chapter 4.
- Fake-Out Opening: The prologue, which is a rather light-hearted conversation between Odd and Jeremie about supercomputer mechanics.
- In Medias Res: The story begins after the fall of France, with only the vaguest hints as to what happened to bring it about.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: In Act I there are dozens of regulars, and only eight of them are canon.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Milly.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The early release of the prologue, combined with this signature image◊, led some readers to believe the story would be about Ulrich and Yumi's relationship. It was hilarious.
- No Time to Explain: When Yumi returns to consciousness, she invokes this several times, ultimately lapsing back into her Empty Shell state without explaining much.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Union Jack/William Dunbar, but only by Gilligan and his gang.
- Original Character: So far, the other non-Ishiyama or Delmas denizens of Room 404: the Mermond family, Luisa, and caretaker Martha Flynn.
- Later there's a whole host: Gilligan and his gang, the "Sweetheart Man", various staff members, and the new members of Room 404 in Chapter 11.
- Retroactive Precognition: The prologue hints that William might have a variant of this.
- She Who Must Not Be Heard: Milly, who has lost the ability to speak due to trauma. She can communicate in short sentences via a pencil and pad of paper.
- Translation Convention: Since 95% of the characters speak and/or are French, everything in quotation marks is technically French, 'translated' into English. But because Act I of the story takes place in Ireland, brackets are needed to denote English being spoken. In short, This is French, [This is English], and everything else is translated in the endnotes.
- Walking Spoiler: Everything about Yumi and William that is plot-relevant is a huge spoiler. The fact that these two are included in the story at all is a spoiler.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Act II. At least for most of it.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 11. Yumi speaks.
- Chapter 12-13. Yumi saves everyone from Xana and gives Sissi a mission.
- Wham Line: "It was a beautiful day at Avenshire Academy."
- Then, "The one lonely road that lead out of Avenshire's valley was not usually very well-traveled, especially not in the middle of a Saturday, but the military caravans didn't have any reason to keep this pretext."
- Then, "So, yes. I'm Martha's replacement for Room 404. William Dunbar."
- Whole Episode Flashback: Chapter nine.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Magali, Lucille, Céline, and Sandrine Mermond all have lavender hair.