|2009-10-24, 00:47||Link #21|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Thirteen: Every Demon Has His Day
“Whilst Mephistopheles looked down upon Faust he said to him; Thankst thou that I who saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells, In being deprived of everlasting bliss! Such is the destiny of all champions whose power in Geass has grown to the point of immortality, and such is the fate of those who obtain Code Geass in which there is no hope of the release of death and the return to heaven without passing the curse to some other poor soul. So we who are cursed with the immortality of a Code and the blight of Geass upon our souls roam the Earth in secret forever. Hiding that which we are and mourning for who we once were. Having loves and lovers only to watch them fade away into dust while we continue on for eternity or leave us when another immortal’s passion grows cold. Oh, how I wept for the loss of the one friend I wished I could have shared in all this eternal life. The one person for whom I could hold and be one with through the endless ages as they pass. How I wish for you…my Lelouch””-Excerpt from a letter written by C.C. just before the Zero Requiem [never given to Lelouch] dated 2018 a.t.b.
“What do you mean the Avalon has escaped?” Evita Ernst barked at Cornelia as the young teenage Duchess waltzed onto the flight-deck of the Avenger from the small aerial shuttle-plane that had ferried her there.
Cornelia came up to the left side of the Duchess as they immediately proceeded towards the elevator that led to the bridge of the vessel. “The Avalon fled our airspace almost as soon as we ordered them to rendezvous with us.” General Caesaro said in a calm, uninterested tone.
“We’ve tracked them to Tahiti,” Cornelia added. “But it would seem they’ve met with a UFN fleet there that may have captured them.”
Evita threw a fit, “BUT MY GINO IS ON THAT SHIP!!”
“I’m afraid so,” Cornelia smiled at her sympathetically. “And heading for Japan as we speak,” She told her with concern.
“We have to stop that ship…” Evita whined. “We have to get back my Gino.”
“So do we have an accord then Duchess?” Cornelia inquired as to the verdict of her request made privately via coded transmission prior to the arrival of the Duchess.
“Yes,” the young girl stated flatly. “So long as you bring me back Gino alive.”
“I promise you I will bring all of them back alive,” Cornelia reassured her, “Gino, Nunnally, Anya, and Zero.”
“Then so be it,” Evita turned to her. “Kneel before me Generalissimo Caesaro.”
Evita composed herself and drew her sword. She placed the flat on the blade on each of Cornelia’s shoulders as she said, “I Duchess Evita Ernst of Britannia hereby dub thee Princess Cornelia Li Britannia and as acting Regent of the Empire reinstate thee as the rightful head of state and heir to the throne as per the customs and laws of the Holy Britannian Empire.”
Cornelia stood up and smiled as the elevator door opened, “Thank you Duchess.”
Evita knelt before Cornelia, “What is thy bidding Princess Cornelia li Britannia?”
“My first order is for you too…” Cornelia was interrupted by Gilford rushing out of the elevator with a frantic look on his face.
His expression startled her, “What is it Gilford?”
His eyes were wild with fear as he let out only one word, “FLEIJA!”
“How much longer before we reach Japan?” Kallen asked Cecile as she and the other Yamato no Orochi members stood staring out at the ocean in front of them on the bridge of the Avalon.
“Twenty minutes at most,” Cecile smiled at her.
Kallen watched as the sun began setting in the western horizon and then sighed, “I hate that we left Nina behind.”
“Don’t worry Kallen,” Gino said leaning over her shoulder. “General Xingke’s armada is scouring the south Pacific for her. I’m sure they’ll find her. Besides, we don’t know what kind of forces Schneizel has with him. The UFN fleet is much better equipped to deal with that situation then we are.”
“I hope you’re right Gino,” Kallen looked at him. “Even after all Nina’s done, I don’t want her to end up being Schneizel’s pawn in all of this.”
“Well I wouldn’t worry too much about our Nina,” Lloyd said from where he stood at the navigator’s station on the bridge. “I’m sure she’s fine Captain Kouzuki and I wouldn’t underestimate her, she can be very resourceful.”
“Yah well I hope you’re right there doc,” Tamaki griped. “I’d hate to think what she might be building for Prince Charming right now.”
Kallen gave him a weak smile, “She’s changed Tamaki, there’s no way she’d repeat that same mistake twice.”
“Even under the influence of Schneizel’s gay-assss?” Tamaki inquired with a huff.
Anya, who hadn’t been paying much attention to the conversation, broke into the discussion as she pointed out the window, “What’s that pink light over Japan?”
“What?” The others blurt out as Lloyd checked the instruments of the navigational console.
“My God!” Cecile exclaimed in horror.
“It can’t be,” Kallen looked on in fear of what the light meant.
“That’s not what I think it is…is it?” Tamaki stammered.
“It is,” Gino added somberly.
Lloyd jumped up and cried out, “It’s my Lancelot!!”
“That was a good one Fong!” Heracles laughed out loud as Li Jiang scored a hit on the left shoulder of Helios; the damage was only superficial.
“This is not some kind of contest you Greek buffoon!” Fong used the radiant heat wave of Guren against Helios but the Aegis shield of the Automatos blocked the attack completely.
“You’re cheating again,” Heracles scolded him as he swung the great adamantine club of Helios at the Guren.
“Stop treating my like a child!” Fong twirled his KnightMare out of the way of the swing and used the Katen Yaibatou revolving blade to thrust at the head of Helios.
“Well then stop fighting like one,” Heracles chuckled as deflected the thrust with his club and crashed the Aegis shield into the side of Guren; doing only minor damage.
“Why you!” Li Jiang had the Guren lunge towards the Helios.
Heracles went to move out of the way when the Guren stopped and the tip of a sword came through the front of the red KnightMare.
“Fong!” Heracles shouted desperately as the blade withdrew and Guren fell towards the Earth below; revealing the Harpy Automatos that had stabbed the Guren from behind with its sword.
“YOU WENCH!” Heracles yelled in a fury as he incinerated the Harpy with the Chaos gun of Helios. The Greek warrior flew the Helios like a comet to catch Guren before it crashed into the Earth.
“You’ve improved a great deal since last we met Akira!” Jason said as their swords crossed continuously. With each attack Jason made towards Nobunaga the Zangetsu countered with skill and precision that impressed the Captain of the Argonauts.
“I’ve had a lot of practice lately,” Akira told him as he blocked another of the Captain’s attacks. “You’ve given me a lot to think…” Akira was cut short as a sword nearly cleaved Zangetsu in half from above. Nobunaga looked to see Talos’ great adamantine blade blocking the bronze colored sword that had tried to cut down Zangetsu.
Akira heard Jason yell something in Greek over the radio to the female KnightMare Frame that tried to smite him. The woman piloting the machine spat something back at Jason as another of the Harpies flew in behind the Talos.
“Jason look out!” Akira yelled as he flew Zangetsu up under the Talos’ left wing and blocked the Harpy from stabbing Talos in the back.
The Talos and Zangetsu now were back-to-back facing off against both of the Harpies.
“Care to help me deal with these vile interlopers Akira?” Jason asked him.
“Just give the word Captain!” Nobunaga answered with pride.
“The word is given my friend.” Talos and Zangetsu fought against the Harpies together.
“What the hell?” Gregor said in a distracted tone as Orpheus attempted another swipe at his Akatsuki.
“You’ve been doing well thus far.” Orpheus spoke as a teacher to a student. “Don’t disappoint me now by getting distracted.”
“Orpheus behind you!” Gregor said pushing past the Spartan and blocking a Harpy right before it cut down the Hoplite.
“Harpies!” Orpheus blurt out as he watched Gregor fire a burst of autocannon rounds into the head of the female Automatos. “If she tried to attack me…then that means we are betrayed!”
Gregor followed up his burst of cannon rounds with a thrust to the center of the Harpy. The Katen Yaibatou revolving blade pierced through the center of the machine destroying it.
Gregor flew up next to Orpheus’ Spartan as a flight of four more Harpies dove down towards them from above, “Orpheus, are you familiar with the phrase the enemy of my enemy…”
“…is my friend,” Orpheus finished the saying as he fired the chest mounted Chaos gun of his Spartan at the flight of Harpies; destroying one of them. “Let’s go my friend Gregor. It would seem that the fates have decided we should be comrades.”
“We need to leave as quickly as possible Nunnally,” Enoch told her as he carried her up the stairs that led to the dais. “The Thought-Elevator is just ahead of us.”
“He looks so peaceful,” She said as she caught sight of Lelouch’s body through the crystal lid of his coffin. Lelouch looked as though her were merely sleeping with a content expression on his face and his eyes closed. He was dressed as Zero, with a replica of the helmet of Zero at his feet and the sword of the Emperor lying on his body in his hands. Like an ancient Knight of honor.
“Nunnally, are you listening to what I’m saying?” Enoch sounded hurt as he set her down on her feet.
“Hmm,” She asked as she came out of her sorrowful thoughts. “I’m sorry Enoch, I was just thinking about him.”
“I understand…” Enoch began-
“Oh how touching,” Euryale said snidely as she stepped out in front of the two of them from the stair at the other side of the dais with her sword drawn. She held the weapon up towards them.
“Give the girl to us old man and you won’t be harmed,” Medusa said as she came up behind them; her blade in her hands at the ready.
“Well…well, if it isn’t the daughters of Phorcys and Ceto,” Enoch said with a snicker. “To think that you two were left behind by Zeus and the others…tisk, tisk, such a pity.”
“You dare to mock us?” Medusa queried him with a vicious scowl. “You’ll pay for that old one.” Medusa leapt up with her blade high above her head and slashed down at Enoch. The man moved only a few inches to the side but it was enough for the sword to miss him completely.
Medusa’s blade struck the crystal lid of the coffin; shattering it into millions of tiny shards causing her to cover her eyes. Enoch used the screen of shattered pieces to put some distance between them.
Euryale slid in behind Enoch and thrust with her sword at him but only managed to pierce open air as Enoch once again made a quick but small move to the side allowing the blade to pass by harmlessly.
Nunnally tried to move away from them as fast as she could on her cybernetic legs while Medusa ran towards Enoch again. The Greek Devicer swung at the old man but her blade was stopped by another.
“Don’t you know you should respect your elders?” C.C. said with an impish grin as she brandished a sword taken from the statue of Charles Zi Britannia.
“Oh? Do you aim to school me then?” Medusa answered C.C. as she went into a combat pose.
“I do,” C.C. told her confidently as she stepped sideways and put her two-handed bastard sword above her head in an arch with her other arm forward; palm outward like a claw; in a martial arts stance.
“You think that you can take us both?” Euryale said as she went at C.C.
“She doesn’t need to,” Jeremiah leapt up onto the dais and bowed to Euryale. “I’ll be you dancing partner for this waltz.” His blade extended from its recess in his left forearm.
“How charming,” Euryale smiled. “I’ll enjoy playing the lead in this dance of death.”
“You won’t succeed Euryale.” The Red Dragon said as she walked up the stair with a sword in hand.
Upon seeing the Red Dragon C.C. called out to the old man, “Enoch, take the Red Dragon and Nunnally and get out of here.”
“Still giving me honey-do-lists eh C2,” Enoch snickered.
C.C. blushed slightly as she paced off with Medusa, “Just do it.”
“You think you can hide her in the River Styx?” Medusa scoffed. “We know its secret places as well, and we know how to find your friends there. Once we finish you two off, we’ll go there and obtain the Empress.”
“She’s right Red Dragon,” Enoch told the woman. “If these two pass into the River Styx I’ll need you to help me against them.
“Dammn it,” The modulated voice cursed as she came to stand by Enoch and Nunnally with her sword at the ready.
“Yes Enoch,” Euryale laughed manically. “Do be a good boy and take off that stupid façade and await us in your secret place. Once my sister and I are done with these two I want to be sure to see you as you really are before I slay you.”
Jeremiah looked at Enoch with wonder, “How is it you know him?” He asked Euryale.
“We go way back,” she tittered. “But that needn’t concern you my handsome warrior. All that should concern you is Euryale.” She lunged towards him with her sword.
Suzaku flew the Lancelot of the Lake as fast the graviton Impellors could take him to the Kyoto area. He arrived over Osaka Bay just in time to see the massive bulk of an airship moving in over the Hyogo Prefecture. All around the large cylindrical vessel was a swarm of KnightMare Frames of a type he had never seen before. Their colors matched those of the winged machines he had just fought over Kaminejima Island.
“The Ikaruga,” he said out loud to himself as he scanned over the chaos of the battlespace and caught sight of the aerial warship; surrounded by its flotilla of support vessels.
“Lancelot of the Lake,” Tohdoh’s voice boomed over Suzaku’s radio.
“What is it General,” He replied.
“You are to land on the deck of Ikaruga and surrender at once!” Tohdoh commanded.
“You know I can’t do that Kyoshiro,” Kururugi scanned over the battlefield seeing that despite their valiant efforts the Kyoto defense forces were being overrun by the Harpies. “You need every KnightMare you’ve got right now General.”
“Don’t argue with me Suzaku!” Tohdoh shouted. “You had your chance to redeem yourself and you threw it away! You are dead to me!”
“If I’m dead then you can’t give me orders General,” Suzaku sped towards the battle. Within him the old emotional wounds from his past were reopened. I am dead, he thought to himself, and yet I’m compelled to live. No more Lelouch.
“Suzaku!” Kyoshiro called over the radio. “SUZAKU!”
Suzaku ignored Tohdoh as he cut down four Harpies that tried to intercept him. He had reached the limit of his sorrow; he could no longer bear his burden and his resolve was made as hard and strong as tempered steel. The Lancelot looked like a ballet dancer as it spun, twisted, rolled, and dodged its way through the legion of Harpies; cutting down over a dozen of them in a few moments.
He would defeat this enemy.
“Get me Villetta,” Tohdoh said to Chiba.
“General you aren’t thinking of having her take on Suzaku are you?” Nagisa asked with concern. She had become fond of Villetta during their jaunt from Australia.
“Why? Is there something wrong?” He grimaced.
“No Kyoshiro, but you may be sending her and her students to their deaths,” Nagisa reminded him that Akira and the others were only teenagers.
“They’re Black Knights now are they not?” He growled.
“Yes Tohdoh, they are.” She answered him knowing he was determined to win this battle. Chiba knew he was scared that Suzaku, the first man to ever fire a FLEIJA weapon, would do so again.
His angry-mask broke upon seeing the hurt look on her face and he took her hand in his, “I don’t want to see Tokyo repeated Nagisa.”
She smiled at him in understanding, “I know…”
“I’m sorry Villetta but you’re going to have to take down the Lancelot of the Lake without destroying it.” Tohdoh told Major Nu in a polite tone. “Suzaku Kururugi is the pilot of the machine so I’ll not try and lessen the gravity of this situation. It’s a very dangerous mission.”
Villetta thought of Ougi and her children for a moment before answering, “Of course I’ll do it General. I’ll not let the people of Japan suffer from a FLEIJA again.”
“Good. How many of your people can assist you?” Tohdoh asked.
“I can,” Sayoko but in. “These Greek machines seem to be fighting each other all of a sudden, so I’ve been freed up.”
“Fighting each other?” Villetta asked her in a confused tone.
“Yes Major Nu,” Lena came in over the line. “And it looks like Akira and Gregor are helping them fight the female machines.”
“Typical boys,” Mika added. “As soon as they bond they start ganging up on the girls.”
Tohdoh wasn’t laughing, “Are you telling me you’ve got members of your team assisting the enemy!”
“They’re not the enemy General Tohdoh,” Akira’s voice came in over the channel. He had picked up on the conversation over the general Black Knight radio frequency. “In fact their leader would like to speak to you.”
“Do you actually expect me to believe that Lieutenant?” Kyoshiro was furious.
“He speaks the truth,” this time it was Jason’s voice on the line.
“Who the hell are you?” Tohdoh demanded.
The Greek spoke in a military monotone, “I am Jason, Captain of the Argonauts and the only person capable of saving you.”
“Saving us?” Villetta blurt out. “From what?”
“Charybdis,” was all Jason could say as the waters of Osaka bay boiled in a tumultuous fury. Within moments the form of a great metallic beast broke the surface of the water and moved towards the edge of the coastline.
“It’s a turtle!” Tetsuo gasped as he felled another Harpy.
“More like the Daiei movie-monster Gamera,” Kaguya said in awe of the giant metal beast as she entered onto the mezzanine of the bridge.
Chiba giggled at Kaguya’s observation but Kyoshiro only sighed at the presence of the UFN lady-chairmen.
“You see General Tohdoh,” Jason said. “Scylla and her Charybdis have no doubt come here to destroy your nation and us with it. The attack of the Harpies on my men clearly shows that. Time is short. Therefore I propose a truce until this common foe is vanquished.”
Kyoshiro didn’t like the idea of allying with this man. He quickly considered his options; and upon seeing Kaguya give him a stern look with her hands on her hips; and the beast move into bay area around Kobe and destroy the piers of the city-shipyards; he quickly made up his mind. “Very well,” he said to Jason. “For the time being we will be allies.”
Kaguya gave him an approving nod and smiled.
Kyoshiro wasn’t sure which he feared more, the giant mechanical turtle or Sumeragi’s wrath.
“Excellent,” Jason stated warmly. “Akira was right; you are a man of honor.”
Nagisa smiled at Tohdoh as he raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
Suzaku cut down two more Harpies in a blaze of fury that was cut short by the waters of Osaka bay below him erupting into a tempest that spewed forth a giant metal turtle-like KnightMare that was larger than the Ikaruga.
“What the hell is that thing?” He called out over the radio.
“It’s called Charybdis,” Kaguya informed him over the communicator. “And according to newly acquired information we have from our new friends, it has come here to destroy Kyoto and all of Japan as well. Listen carefully to me my cousin. There are millions of innocent people who will die here unless that thing is stopped. As head of the UFN council and arbitrator with our new allies, Jason and his Argonauts, I Kaguya Sumeragi hereby pardon you of all past crimes and misdeeds…on one condition.”
“Go ahead Lady Kaguya,” Suzaku would not be part and parcel to watching innocent civilians die at the hands of this monster if he could stop it.
“You must use any and all means at your disposal to either delay or destroy that giant KnightMare. I’ve already ordered a complete evacuation of the metropolitan area some time ago; however there are still a few stragglers. Civil defense says they can have the city of Kobe cleared in ten minutes. Do you think you can slow this thing down until our forces can make it too you?”
Suzaku hesitated, he knew what she was asking him to do would involve the FLEIJA warheads his Lancelot carried, “I don’t know Lady Kaguya. I don’t want to be responsible for killing innocent people with these dreadful weapons…not again.”
Kaguya spoke to him softly, “I know how you must feel, but now is your chance Suzaku.” Her voice trembled slightly at what she was about to say, “You can redeem yourself…you can make amends. Suzaku Kururugi, you can help save Japan and in doing so you will be forgiven by her and…and for what it’s worth…I’ve already forgiven you my cousin, you could have fled with Lancelot and yet you came back of your own accord…that shows me that you truly do have honor.”
“I understand Kaguya,” He was pleased at the thought of her forgiveness and smiled. “I thank you.” He flew Lancelot towards the Charybdis.
“Good luck my cousin,” She said with concern. “Remember, you only have to keep it at bay until reinforcements arrive.”
“Don’t worry Lady-Kaguya,” His mind was already made up. “I’ll stop it.”
“Hurry get through the gate!” C.C. told Enoch as she forced Medusa down the stairs of the dais.
Enoch hesitated. He wanted to help C.C. and her companion defeat the sisters but he realized that someone else would need him very soon. “She’s right, we need to leave now. Red Dragon, please clear the gateway.”
“As you wish Enoch,” The Red Dragon cut through the velum screen revealing the ancient stone doors behind it.
“Shouldn’t we help them Enoch?” Nunnally was apprehensive about simply leaving C.C. and Jeremiah to fight these two warrior-women.
“I wish we could Nunnally, but there is someone who needs me.” Enoch put his hand on the doorway and activated it.
“Who?” She asked with a perplexed look.
“Suzaku,” he said bluntly.
“It would seem that coward Enoch has fled,” Medusa said to C.C. as she deflected another swift strike by the green-haired woman.
“He knows what he has to do,” C.C. retorted as she knocked Medusa back onto the red-marble pathway with a kick to her midsection.
“Your skill as a warrior is impressive,” Medusa said with a vile smirk as she recovered and launched another assault.
“Thank you,” C.C. blocked her sword strike. “It’s too bad your character as a person isn’t.”
"Aw, and I thought we might become friends," Medusa tittered with venom as she slashed at C.C. again.
"Stop this madness and withdraw back to wherever you came from and I might consider it," C.C. retorted with a snide grin as their swords clashed again.
"Not before we retrieve the Empress and the Golden Apple from this place," Medusa boasted. "Once we have them, you can have this pathetic island and its entire people. Once Tartarus is repowered we will have the ultimate weapon; the Apollyon and nothing will stop us."
C.C. flipped her sword to one side in a feint, "Not if I have anything to say about it."
"There's nothing that words will do to stand between us and our destiny!" Medusa's eyes glowed with the sigils of Geass as she deflected the feint and swung at superhuman speed towards C.C.'s unprotected side; her reflexes augmented by her power of Geass. "Now you die!"
Medusa's sword plunged into C.C.'s stomach, the blade piercing all the way through her body causing her to double over and crumple to the ground.
"Stupid fool," Medusa gloated as she removed her weapon and rested for a few moments, her mortal body momentarily weakened by the burst of speed from her Geass, while watching Euryale skillfully deflect and parry every attack made by Jeremiah she said to C.C.’s still form, "Now to deal with your friends."
"It's a good thing I don't die so easily!" C.C. said from behind Medusa as she spun around in disbelief.
"You're an immortal!" Medusa exclaimed in shock as she tried to raise her sword.
But it was too late; C.C. thrust her sword through the woman's heart. "Too bad you're not," she said as Medusa fell to the floor. The life left her eyes before she hit the red-marble below her.
The Lancelot of the Lake slashed at the mighty Charybdis with its twin MVS swords; but the blades simply bounced off of the armored shell.
"You will not pass here!" Kururugi yelled over the general radio channel at the Charybdis.
"Do you think you stand a chance against me?" Scylla asked Suzaku over the radio in her bored tone. She maneuvered the Charybdis onto the shore and taunted him, "You are little more than an annoyance who will have the honor of seeing my Charybdis in his true form before you die."
Scylla touched a digital button on her display and the turtle-like machine's body underwent a series of mechanical changes. The plated shell lifted up on both the ventral and dorsal sides of the monster folding together and twisting laterally to form two large wings that protruded from the shoulders of a central body. The front hubs of the turtle swung forward and flipped up to form shoulders from which a pair of small man-like arms emerged. At the rear of the machine the two aft hubs opened up and a pair of large heavy legs extended downward; providing support for the new form of the beast. Instead of the water-bound turtle form that had rested at the edge of the beach of Osaka Bay's shoreline a dragon now stood.
Suzaku fired a full salvo of missiles at the giant mecha only to watch them explode harmlessly on the surface on the beast's body. He followed up the attack with all four of Lancelot's MVS-harkens and both MVS swords; he managed to only damage the armor of the head of Charybdis at its nape where is met the long neck of the beast.
"Is that all you can do?" Scylla cackled with maniacal glee.
"Suzaku get out of the way!" Kaguya called out over the radio.
The Lancelot moved just in time to dodge a hail of heavy Hadron cannon fire from the Ikaruga and her armada of aerial warships.
The beams engulfed the Charybdis in a radiance of red-black energy.
The blast subsided revealing the undamaged Charybdis; its wings glowing a brilliant white.
"Hahahahaha!" Scylla laughed in a frenzy. "Fools! Now you shall learn the folly of your mistake." The maw of Charybdis opened up as balls of energy coalesced within it; building up into a brilliant glow inside the beast's mouth. In the next instant a massive beam of blue-white energy spewed out of the metallic-creature's mouth towards the UFN fleet.
The beam disintegrated numerous airships of the Black Knight fleet as it swept through the flotilla of vessels towards Ikaruga.
The deadly blue-white shower of energy passed over the Ikaruga harmlessly as a golden-radiance protected the ship. From just behind the Black Knight's flagship the Argos flew up above the Ikaruga.
"How dare you interfere Jason!" Scylla yelled over the comm.
"Stand down Scylla," Jason ordered her. "We do not need to destroy this nation. We can gain the Golden Apple peacefully."
"You are weak Jason," Scylla spat back at him. "Like these mortal fools you protect. If you stand aside and let me destroy them I may consider sparing your life."
"Suzaku," Kaguya radioed him on a coded channel. "The Argos can't deflect another blast from Charybdis' Transdimensional-Energy-Cannon."
"I know what you're going to ask me," Kururugi cut her off as he flew the Lancelot high above Charybdis. "But I cannot do it Kaguya."
"You need to use the FLEIJA!" She pleaded with him. "The city is now deserted there's no reason for you to hold back."
The maw of Charybdis began to glow again as the Argo and Ikaruga continued to pummel the giant Automatos with autocannon and energy weapon fire.
Suzaku heard Jason and Scylla continue to argue over the radio. Jason was getting nowhere fast as Scylla was determined to kill all of them. Kururugi closed his eyes and armed one of his FLEIJA warheads. In the next instant he fired it directly onto the top of Charybdis.
The warhead exploded into a pink-white sphere of destructive energy that destroyed half the city of Kobe. The destructive sphere collapsed back in on itself towards ground-zero in a swirl of energy that didn't seem right to Suzaku.
"It can't be!" Kururugi exclaimed in horror as the FLEIJA subsided and he saw Charybdis still standing amidst the ruins of the city; its wings glowed a brilliant pink color from absorbing the FLEIJA energy.
Scylla laughed in a psychotic orgasm of murderous bloodlust, "NOTING CAN STOP ME!" She giggled insanely as Charybdis let loose a fifty-mile long beam of FLEIJA destruction that tore a mile wide path from Kobe to Kyoto. The energy beam exploded in the center of the city of Kyoto where it stopped and collapsed everything within twenty-miles around its epicenter; destroying the city and perhaps millions of its inhabitants.
"NOOOOO!" Suzaku screamed as he fought back the urge to flee. The orange-red glow in his eyes flickered as he drove Lancelot down towards the metal dragon in a blind fury. "YOU WILL NOT STOP ME...DO YOU HEAR ME LELOUCH!" Suzaku screamed out loud as Lancelot landed on the nape of the neck of Charybdis; where its armor had been damaged; and pried the metal plates back with the Maser Vibration Swords of his machine.
"What are you doing?" Scylla cried out to him in fear as she tried to grab the Lancelot with the tiny arms of Charybdis; to no avail.
Every muscle in Suzaku's body tensed up as he fought back against the Geass charm that ordered him to live. "I WILL NOT RUN...NOT AFTER SO MANY HAVE DIED!" He aimed his second FLEIJA at the hole in the neck of the beast and armed it.
"YOU'LL KILL US BOTH!" Scylla screamed at him as she tried to shake off his KnightMare.
Tears of pain ran down Suzaku's cheeks as he forced his body to obey and pull the trigger sending the FLEIJA into the body of Charybdis.
A pink-white light erupted from the body of the giant Automatos as it was consumed by the blast and completely destroyed.
"Suzaku..." Kaguya cried softly on the bridge of the Ikaruga.
Chiba hung her head in silence.
"Recall all KnightMares," Tohdoh said in a controlled voice with his eyes closed. His lids hid the moisture under them as he willed himself not to cry; save for one tear that no one saw.
"MEDUSA!" Euryale cried out as she saw her sister fall. Without thinking she used her power of Geass. The orange-red radiance filled the whole of the temple reaching out to her sister's lifeless body.
Jeremiah was stunned by the intensity of the woman's power, but recovered just soon enough to block a sword thrust by her.
"I will kill you!" Euryale said through gritted teeth as her sister rose up from the ground and attacked C.C.
Jeremiah tried to block her attacks but Euryale deflected his blade and stabbed towards his throat. He grabbed the blade with his cybernetic hand but fell backwards onto the stairs.
She pinned his right arm with her leg and pushed down on her sword with the weight of her body. "You time has come my handsome warrior," She hissed at him as the adamantine blade cut along his metallic fingers towards his neck.
Jeremiah struggled to free his right arm but his position on the stair prevented him from gaining the leverage he needed to throw her off.
Euryale's blade slipped to within a hair's breath of his Adam's Apple.
"It's futile to resist," She cooed to him. "Just embrace your doom..." Shock covered her face as a blade penetrated through her from behind; the tip of the sword glowed an orange-gold color.
"I cannot...die" Euryale gasped as the glow of the blade subsided and she took her last breath.
"I thought you had all gone," Jeremiah said as he pushed Euryale's lifeless body off of him. "But I'm happy you came back when you did Red Dra..." He stopped when he saw who had slain Euryale and now stood before him.
A look of shocked elation crossed Jeremiah's face.
"That looks like all of them accept for Fong's unit," Villetta said as the Jaguars stood on the flight deck of Ikaruga as it hovered over the ruins of Kobe.
"Where could he be?" Akira paced back and forth on the flight deck.
"Maybe the Guren was disabled and he found a safe place to land," Mika tried to comfort Akira, but she knew Fong's absence wasn't a good sign.
The Jaguars were startled by the Helios flying up onto the flight deck; in its arms was the battered form of Guren.
"I tried to save him," was all Heracles could get out over his loudspeaker as Helios lay the red KnightMare down on the deck. "I am sorry." The Greek warrior stated somberly.
Villetta walked up to the machine. She didn't need to open the hatch of Guren to know that Li Jiang Fong was dead. The blood soaked gapping hole from the sword thrust of the Harpy Automatos told her all she needed to know. Still, Major Nu looked inside the Devicer cockpit through the hole.
Sayoko followed behind her in case Villetta needed help removing Fong immediately; though her gut told her that such services would not be needed.
Major Nu put her hand to her mouth and fought back the urge to wretch as she turned away from the hole in the cockpit.
"What is it coach?" Lena said as tears welled up in her eyes.
Villetta looked at Sayoko and shook her head.
"He's dead," Lena said in a whisper as tears flowed down her cheeks.
Mika hugged Lena and cried with her.
Akira closed his eyes and said a silent prayer to his friend as Gregor and Tetsuo followed suit.
Medusa lunged at C.C. and kicked the sword out of her hands, knocking the immortal witch off balance.
C.C. was taken by surprise and tried to regain her balance but Medusa swiped her legs with a swift kick that brought C.C. down hard onto her knees on the Red-Marble.
"Now I'll take your immortality for myself!" Medusa spat at C.C. as she grabbed her by the neck and squeezed with all her might.
C.C. tried to breathe while she groped at the ground for her sword, but the woman's grip was too strong and her weapon had fallen out of reach. She could feel the power of Medusa's Geass drawing her Code from her body. C.C. fought back with all the will she could muster.
"Stop trying to resist," Medusa said as she tightened her grip. "Soon you'll die for the last time."
"RELEASE HER!" A male voice boomed through the hall towards Medusa.
Medusa turned towards the direction of the voice, "Why should I?" She asked sarcastically.
A male figure moved from the shadows of the stairwell into the light of the cauldrons that surrounded the edge of the temple. The twin sigils of Geass glowed in his eyes.
C.C. looked at him in awe as he replied to Medusa.
"Because I Lelouch Vi Britannia COMMAND YOU!"
TURN Fourteen: Aftermath.
Thanks for Reading
|2009-10-31, 19:51||Link #23|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Fourteen: Aftermath
“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home;
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.”
-From William Wordsworth’s Ode. Intimations of Immortality.
“You can see the remains of the once great city of Kyoto behind me,” Milley said into the televisions of millions of homes around the planet. “The giant KnightMare-Fortress that destroyed this once great metropolis only a few days ago is now nothing more than a lump of molten slag some forty miles away in the ruins of Kobe.”
Her cameraman, Mr. Seiji, panned the camera-eye over to the wreckage that was once Kobe and then along the path of destruction that led to the crater of Kyoto.
“We can all thank the quick thinking and bravery of the Black Knights and our very own Olympic KnightMare Team, the Japan-Jaguars, for our victory over the armies of Schneizel here in Japan.”
The camera went back to Milley. “Due to the advanced warning of the impending FLEIJA attack by Schneizel’s forces from General Li Xingke’s fleet in the South Pacific, General Kyoshiro Tohdoh was able to order the complete evacuation of the entire Hyogo Prefecture population to the underground anti-FLEIJA shelters thus averting massive casualties.”
The image of Milley was replaced by a video clip of Kaguya, Reika, Tohdoh, and Villetta Nu seated at a conference table on the Ikaruga as Milley’s voice spoke, “Lady-Chairman Kaguya Sumeragi, Empress Jiang Reika, and General Tohdoh are currently engaged in talks with the Japanese civil defense corps to finalize the permanent addition of the Japan-Jaguars into the Black Knight forces.”
Mrs. Ashford came back with a grave look on her face, “These additions to the strength of the Black Knight forces come none too soon as reports from Europe have flooded in over the wire about the Britannian invasion of that continent. It would seem that the former Brazilian Commander-in-Chief, Generalissimo Caesaro, has been reinstated as Princess Cornelia li Britannia and is now acting in her sister’s stead until their Empress is returned to them.” Milley’s image was again cut to show a clip of Cornelia demanding the UFN return Nunnally and Zero.
Milley’s image came back on the screen, “Tensions are high as people everywhere wonder where the Knight of Justice is? Where is Zero in all of this?”
“We have crushed their forces,” Medusa told Sthenno over the communicator of the Kraken, “and are currently transmitting a false report to the rest of the world in order to maintain an air of secrecy while we extract the Golden Apple from Mount Fuji.”
Sthenno smiled at her sister, “Well done Medusa, and what of Jason and his Argonauts?” She asked with a narrow-eyed look.
“Dead,” Medusa said with a somber expression, “but at great cost to us my sister.”
“Oh? How badly were our casualties?” Sthenno didn’t like Medusa’s depressed demeanor. It told her something was wrong.
“The Charybdis was destroyed by a FLEIJA and…” Medusa hung her head.
“Euryale?” Sthenno asked with more emotion than she had intended.
Medusa shook her head and cried, “Killed!”
Sthenno closed her eyes and clenched her fists, “How? She is an immortal.”
“Enoch,” Medusa spat out his name.
Sthenno opened her eyes, a fury burned within them as she asked, “Where is that meddling world-walker now?”
“Escaped through the River Styx to parts unknown with the Empress Nunnally and Zero,” Medusa said with a look of shame on her face.
Sthenno regarded Medusa with a warm smile, “Don’t be ashamed my sister, you are no match for the likes of that Hebrew devil. I’m just glad you didn’t suffer the same fate.”
“Thank you Sthenno,” Medusa lifted her head. “What of your Prince…what of Schneizel?”
The question seemed out of place to Sthenno, “What makes you ask about him?”
“Our forces were drained considerably,” Medusa told her. “We may need reinforcements to maintain control of Japan.”
Sthenno was unsure if she should accept this weak explanation, “I’ve not heard from Schneizel for some time now. I suspect he has his own plan in all of this.”
“I see,” Medusa said with concern. “So we’ll have to make do on our own for now.”
“How many Harpies do you still have?” Sthenno asked.
“A legion and a half,” Medusa lied. “Plus the Gorgon.”
“That should suffice until you load the Kraken with the Golden Apple and leave Japan.” Sthenno told her with a raised brow.
“Very well then my sister,” Medusa seemed strained. “We will remain in Japan until we finish mining the ore we need.” Medusa’s image vanished from the screen in front of Sthenno.
Sthenno looked out the window of the control tower of Tartarus and wondered; she could feel that the winds of fate had changed and something was wrong.
Medusa walked from the bridge of the Kraken out to the gangway of the Greek-submersible. She briskly made her way down along the shoreline of the coast that the ship was anchored at and strode up towards the Tomb of the Britannian Emperors and the Stygian Gate it concealed.
The Greek warrior-woman slipped in through the entrance of the large cavern and made her way past the statues of Britannian Emperors, long since gone, towards where a pair of figures stood next to one another upon the dais at the far end of the chamber.
One of the pair was a young man, no more than 18 years old, who wore a black cape and fine black clothing highlighted with exquisite purple silks; the burial clothes of an Emperor. By his side stood a beautiful woman of nearly the same age in appearance, with flowing green hair and golden eyes. She wore a black uniform similar in style to the man at her side.
Medusa could hear them speaking as she approached stealthily.
“That’s the situation as it stands now Lelouch,” C.C. told him coming closer to his side.
“So Schneizel somehow awoke these Greek Geass users and freed himself?” Lelouch inquired of her.
“It would seem so,” C.C. titled her head to one side and looked up at him. “You okay?”
Lelouch looked down at his hand. The pink sigil of Geass stared back up at him from the center of his palm where he had held the sword that slew Euryale. “I didn’t mean to kill her…I only wanted to stop her from slaying Jeremiah.”
Medusa listened intently. Could it be that this Lelouch speaks the truth? Did he kill Euryale by accident?
“Don’t fret over it,” C.C. caressed his cheek with her hand. “What’s done is done.”
“I know,” He looked down into her eyes. “But the last thing I expected when I awoke was to have to kill someone. I’ve enough blood on my hands C2. I don’t want anymore if I can help it.”
She smiled at him, “You haven’t slept in three days Lelouch. You must be tired.”
“I suppose,” Lelouch said as he leaned in and kissed her on the lips.
C.C. was shocked by his gesture of affection and pulled away, “What?” She gasped, “That was a first for you!”
“Huh,” he said embarrassed by the emotions that welled up inside him. “I’m…I’m sorry…I just…”
She put her index finger over his lips, “Its okay silly. I’m pleasantly surprised by it. It’s about time you started showing an interest in women.” C.C. giggled and kissed him back; hard.
Lelouch didn’t remember feeling sexually attracted to C.C. at anytime prior to his death, but after he absorbed Euryale’s Code something had changed within him…he felt aroused with a passion towards C.C. that seemed to squelch the pure innocent love he had had for other women in his past and his body reacted in kind.
C.C. noticed as she looked down at the bulge below his belt-line and said with a mischievous grin, “Gee, you’re full of surprises today.” She pressed her lips against his again and wrapped her arms around him.
Lelouch searched his mind for the reasons why he desired this woman so much at this moment. Was it because she was the only woman here that he suddenly realized how beautiful she was? Was it because Euryale had held some deviant lust for her that he now possessed?
He broke their kiss and shook his head slightly. NO…it was because it was she that had made him her Champion so many years ago to help him with his rebellion and fulfill her wish. Her love for him flowed through the power of Geass she had given him and the Code within him picked up upon that love and allowed him to feel it through a sort of shared empathy.
C.C. stared into his eyes, “What is it?” A hurt look crossed her face, “Is something wrong? Do you not want me…?”
He kissed her and then smiled at her, “No C2, it’s just that I’ve never…you know.”
“Oh,” C.C. was giddy. “Don’t worry,” She unzipped his fly, “Just leave the driving to me.”
Medusa took a twisted pleasure in listening to their passionate lovemaking as she sat within the recess of the stairwell waiting for them to finish.
An hour passed before they were done.
When the lustful moans subsided and Lelouch and C.C. began talking normally again about what to do next in their plans against Schneizel, Medusa climbed up the stair and got their attention.
“I’m sorry Master Lelouch,” Medusa said with a smile. “Am I interrupting something?”
C.C. ignored Medusa’s smirk.
“You did well,” Lelouch said to Medusa as she walked over to where they were standing beside a table and chairs that had been taken from the Kraken’s furnishings the day before.
“You monitored my conversation?” Medusa scowled.
“Of course,” He smiled at her and poured her a cup of iced-tea from a pitcher on the table. “Please join us,” he told her in a congenial tone.
“Why would I sup with the man who murdered my beloved sister?” She asked.
“Because you are a warrior and understand that in war all is fair,” Lelouch gave her a sad look, “I once had to kill my own sister to win in battle, do not think I slew Euryale with malice in my heart. I did it to save my Knight of Orange.”
His words did not match the facial expression he wore. What she had heard him say before about not wishing to slay Euryale must have been true which is why this mask he put forward now made sense to Medusa.
The Greek woman smiled at him, “Do not worry my Lord Lelouch, I am well aware that all is fair in love and in war. Therefore I shall choose to forgive you for her death.”
“He doesn’t need your forgiveness,” C.C. said snidely.
Ignoring C.C., Medusa walked over and sat down in one of the wicker chairs next to Lelouch. “May I ask my Lord Lelouch…this woman you seem so fond of…is she your concubine?”
“Concubine?” C.C. blurt out in shock.
“Well…not exactly,” Lelouch blushed.
“But she kissed you passionately and made love to you in this very temple,” Medusa said with an innocent look. “You may have me under your power Lelouch Vi Britannia but I’m not blind nor deaf, I could hear the two of you from the entrance and see your forms intertwined in the rhythmic dance of love for some time.”
C.C. turned multiple shades of red at the thought of the sound of their love reverberating throughout the Geass Temple and out onto the wilds of Kaminejima Island for any and all to hear. The emotions that had over taken them had led to that pleasantly unexpected and somewhat exhibitionist event.
Lelouch’s tongue stumbled for the right words to say to Medusa as the feeling of C.C.’s body and the love they had shared together coursed through his psyche confounding his normally disciplined manner of speech. “We…well…it’s just that we’ve not seen in each in over six years.”
“And you needed her. I completely understand my lord. She is your concubine, and as such you desired her.” Medusa smiled at Lelouch. Something about the dark aura of this immortal-man began to interest her. “And now I too belong to you.”
“Just wait a dammn minute!” C.C. exclaimed at the insinuation of Medusa’s comment and seductive look at Lelouch.
Lelouch’s eyes narrowed at her though he spoke in a kind, soft tone, “I used Geass on you because I needed to save C2 before you killed her and you are necessary for my plans. I did not use my power on you to appease some erotic fantasy.”
“Which is precisely why I am inclined to serve you willingly my Lord,” Medusa wasn’t sure if it was his Geass influence on her mind or if she truly was becoming quickly enamored with this resurrected immortal Prince. “Your brother has betrayed us and you are the only one who can help us against him.”
Lelouch looked deep into her eyes but could find no physical indication that she was lying. “Then we’ve much to plan if we are to stop him.”
C.C. looked at Lelouch and rolled her eyes, “What, you get your first taste of a woman and now you think the world is a buffet?”
Medusa snickered wickedly, “Oh my Lord Lelouch…I have such sights I could show you.”
C.C. was speechless at her comment while Lelouch turned beet-red.
“See anything yet Kallen?” Gino asked as the Yamato no Orochi flew around the vicinity of Mount Fuji.
“No, not yet,” Captain Kouzuki replied as she looked out the cockpit of her Type-21S trying to pinpoint a spot on the mountain.
“I don’t know what those Sakuradite miners are talking about Kallen,” Tamaki griped. “I don’t see any KnightMare Frame around here. There’s nothing but snow and trees on this side of Fuji.”
“The report comes from a reliable source,” Anya said as they flew around the summit of the mountain. “A KnightMare Frame allegedly crash landed somewhere around here right after the FLEIJA destroyed Kobe and Kyoto a few days ago.”
“I think they’re just giving us this duty to keep us from seeing what is really going on near Kobe,” Gino sighed. “It’s like they don’t trust us or something.”
“They don’t,” Kallen said as she flew up along the southern ridge of the peak. “We came here on the Avalon as guests among her crew. Considering we’re at war with Britannia right now I’m surprised Tohdoh is actually using the Avalon in this salvage operation.”
“Do you think having Rakshata and her team being in charge of this operation is going to sit well with Lloyd and Cecile?” Gino asked with a chuckle.
“I’m not sure about Cecile,” Kallen laughed. “But I know Lloyd wasn’t happy about it.”
“Hey I like Rakshata,” Tamaki said with a huff. “She was always kinda cool and collected, even in some of the toughest battles against Britannia.”
“That’s true,” Kallen agreed.
“Professor Lloyd is the same way,” Anya stated matter-of-factly as a glint of something in the snow caught her attention. “Hey you guys, I think there’s a metallic object down there.”
“Yah Anya we know,” Tamaki snickered. “We just can’t find it.”
“No Tamaki,” The girl said in an irritated tone, “I think I may have found it.” Anya made her Type-21J Samurai swoop down towards the point of reflected sunlight and transformed her fighter into KnightMare Mode.
A few moments went by before Tamaki piped up, “Well?” Tamaki asked. “Did you find anything Anya?”
“Yes,” The girl’s voice sounded unusually emotional.
“What did you find?” Kallen asked.
“You guys need to come down here and see this.” Anya replied.
In seconds the other three variable frames flew down to the surface and transformed.
All four Frames stood before the remains of what was once a KnightMare. The head, arms, and lower portion of its legs were totally sheered off; obviously by some tremendous force. The back half of the machine was buried in the snow and the long trench leading up the mountainside told the story of how the machine must have slammed into the side of the great peak and slid up hundreds of feet before finally stopping in a pile of snow and ice created by its impact.
Kallen opened up a radio channel to the Avalon, “Attention Avalon, this is Captain Kallen Kouzuki. I think we’ve found what you’re looking for.”
The aerial frigate glided in over the spot slowly as a salvage team and recovery unit was dispatched from the craft.
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” Sayoko said running up to Jeremiah Gottwald as he walked off of the aerial shuttle that had just arrived on Ikaruga.
Jeremiah took her hand in his and kissed it lightly as they stood together. “Forgive me for taking so long to return.”
“Where is C2?” Villetta inquired. “I imagine she must have made it.”
“She’ll be along as soon as she is able,” He smiled at Major Nu. “C2 is currently tending to…an old friend.”
“Old friend?” Sayoko tilted her head to one side and gave him a puzzled smile.
“Anyone I know?” Villetta asked him with an equally perplexed look.
Jeremiah only gave the women a mischievous grin in reply.
“Hey you three!” A male voice called from the rampart of the shuttle.
“OUGI!” Villetta cried out as she rushed up and kissed him. “Oh how I’ve missed you.”
Ougi blushed, “I was really worried about you too.”
“Is it true?” Villetta asked in anticipation.
“Yes,” He replied with a grim smile.
“So you’re okay with this Sayoko?” Villetta asked her in an apprehensive tone.
“Of course,” She let go of Jeremiah’s hands and tittered. “I’d love to watch over your children while you two are off saving the world. I’ve had enough KnightMare combat to last me a lifetime.”
“Pardon me,” Jeremiah politely interjected. “But what exactly is going on?”
Villetta was gleaming as she replied to Gottwald’s question, “Ougi’s been reinstated as Captain of the Ikaruga since Nagisa has been promoted to Commodore and will be taking command of the UFN surface Navy now that the threat of Charybdis is over.”
Ougi sighed, “Personally I think she just wants to be closer to Tohdoh since he’s leading the Naval Armada that’s going to try and retake Australia in a few days.”
“They wanted someone who had experience in aerial warfare to command the Ikaruga since so many of the UFN commanders were killed at Kerguelen Island.” Villetta stated proudly, “So when I heard they needed people I dropped Ougi’s name to Tohdoh. He agreed almost immediately.”
“Of course he did,” Ougi didn’t sound pleased. “Kyoshiro’s been trying to get me back into politics or the military since I resigned my post as Prime Minister.”
“It’s because he likes you and thinks you’re a capable leader. You proved yourself during the war,” Villetta cooed at him.
Kanime didn’t share her optimism, “Zero was the one who called the shots during the Black Rebellion, not me. I was there as an adviser and support that’s all…I really wish he was here now, we could use his talent.”
Jeremiah smiled but said nothing.
“Well I’m afraid you won’t be able to continue to pilot your Gekka KnightMares or the Zangetsu,” Rakshata told the Japan Jaguars with a polite smile as she strode along the line of battle-damaged machines within the KnightMare hangar of the Ikaruga. “Their superstructures are just too badly fractured and to old for me to certify them for continued use in combat.”
“What are we supposed to use if we can’t use these Frames?” Tetsuo complained.
Doctor Chawla waved her ever present long-pipe around and smiled at them, “I suppose I’ll just have to let you use my new designs.”
“Does that mean you finished the Type-24 Goro?” Akira asked.
“It does,” She snickered.
Mika looked perplexed, “How are we supposed to learn to fly a brand-new type of KnightMare Frame fast enough for our new assignments? The Ikaruga is due to leave Japan for Hawaii in three days.”
Rakshata laughed, “The Goro is simply an updated Akatsuki/Gekka design so you should have no problem learning how to pilot the new machine. This new general purpose 10th Generation KnightMare Frame replaces all Akatsuki, and Akatsuki-Jikisan mecha for the UFN Asiatic forces. I’ve even built an officer model just for the Jaguars called the Type-24O Okouchi and a custom model for you Akira, the Type-24Z Susano-O.”
“When will we get to see them?” Gregor asked with excitement.
“They’ll arrive here in Japan from India in a day or two,” Rakshata chortled at their worried looks, “Don’t worry we’re not leaving until you get them.”
“Who’ll be assigned the Okouchi units?” Mika asked with a snide smile.
“I’m not sure yet, that’s up to Major Nu to decide.” Rakshata stated. “Though I imagine she’ll probably assign both you and Lena to the Okouchi models…that is until I finish with a new project that’s suddenly come to my attention.”
“New project?” Lena asked. “Is it another new KnightMare Frame?”
“I can’t tell any of you the details right now,” Rakshata stated with a grin. “But I’ll need two female Devicers when it’s ready and the two of you are perfect.”
“Is it that Automatos-KnightMare Frame the UFN found on Kaminejima Island?” Lena pressed her anxiously.
“I really can’t…” Rakshata was interrupted by the ship’s intercom.
“Doctor Chawla, please report to the bridge,” A female voice called over the overhead speaker.
Rakshata turned with a wink at the Jaguars, “I’ll have your new machines to you as soon as they arrive.” She waved at them as she made it to the elevator, “Until then…chow!”
“Alright every body, be careful…be careful!” Lloyd said in a frantic tone as the salvage team lowered the remains of the battered KnightMare onto the Hangar-deck of the Avalon.
“What do you think Lloyd?” Cecile asked him as she watched the engineers move the badly charred machine into the metal clamps of the work-gantry.
“I think we’ve just found my Lancelot!” He said with a boyish grin as she activated the gantry clamps and secured the KnightMare into an upright position.
“I’m surprised you’re so happy considering how badly damaged Lancelot is,” Cecile smiled. “Assuming it is the Lancelot of the Lake, I highly doubt the Devicer survived.” Cecile Croomy said sadly. She had no idea that her former comrade and friend, Suzaku Kururugi, had been the pilot of the machine but she still felt for the man or woman she thought had perished.
“The limb modules may have been destroyed but the core of the unit is still intact,” Professor Asplundh adjusted his glasses as he looked down at Cecile. “That means that my FLEIJA Wave-Rider units work.”
Cecile gave him a befuddled smirk, “Are you implying that this unit is a success?”
Lloyd chuckled, “Absolutely. Just look at what was lost, the lower legs, the arms, head, and portions of the wings.” He opened his arms up wide and shrugged, “All parts that are gone are easily replaceable. Thus, the concentrated Ultimate-Protection shields in the knees fulfilled their purpose and protected the main body of the machine.”
Cecile looked at him with disbelief, “That still doesn’t explain how the Lancelot ended up over two-hundred miles from Kobe to Mount Fuji.”
Lloyd threw up his arms, “Oh my dear Cecile, the explanation is in the name.” He made a wave movement with his left arm. “It’s a wave rider. In other words, at the moment the internal FLEIJA monitors detect a FLEIJA reaction within a specific radius of Lancelot, the knee-mounted Ultimate-Protection shields are activated.”
Professor Asplundh made an outward cup with his hands towards Cecile, “These shields generate a bowl shaped sort of upside-down parachute that acts like a catch. This catch captures the force of the FLEIJA explosion’s shock-wave. The tremendous energy of such a wave provides incredible amounts of inertia force which allows Lancelot to ride the wave away from the danger of the FLEIJA as fast as the blast-wave of the FLEIJA is traveling. Therefore Lancelot is moving ahead of the explosion and beyond due to the speed at which the KnightMare Frame is traveling.”
“And you came up with this all by yourself?” She snickered knowing how much Lloyd loved his creation.
Lloyd paused, “Well…no…Nina helped with the mathematical calculations for the FLEIJA detonation detection system software, but the design of the KnightMare was my own. Though I have to admit she didn’t think it would work so she forced me to add a system of her making.”
Cecile was surprised, “Nina added a system?”
Lloyd put his hands on his hips, “Yes, she did. She does have some nerve sometimes…”
Cecile cut him short, “What system Lloyd?”
“Huh?” Lloyd lost the train of his rant. “Oh…an emergency system for the pilot.”
“WHAT?” Cecile shot up from her control station. “What kind of system was it Lloyd.”
He scratched his head, “Oh some kind of FLEIJA-Wave-Rider system for the cockpit module.”
Cecile grabbed him and brought his face down to hers as she yelled at him, “AND YOU ONLY THOUGHT OT MENTION THIS NOW!”
“What?” He whined. “I didn’t think it was important.”
“Not important!” She pushed him away and rushed down to the KnightMare gantry.
“What is it Cecile?” Professor Asplundh raced after her to see what had caught the woman’s attention.
Cecile got onto the gantry-lift and waited a moment for Lloyd to jump on before activating the open-elevator and riding it up next to the shoulders of the Lancelot.
“Did it ever occur to you that someone might still be alive in this thing you twit?” Cecile scolded him.
He looked up at the ceiling and put his hand to his chin, “Well…actually…no.”
She let out a sarcastic laugh, “No.” Cecile closed her eyes in frustration as she held back the urge to punch him out, “Because you were only thinking of your precious Lancelot.”
“But Cecile…” He started to protest.
Cecile opened her eyes and glared at him, “No buts Lloyd! You need to be more concerned about people and stop being so dammned mechanical.”
“Yes, but Cecile…” Lloyd tried to say.
Anger welled up within her and she slapped him across the face, “Stop trying to make excuses Lloyd.” She put her hands on her hips, “Really…sometimes you’re unbelievable.”
“Yes I know Cecile,” Lloyd said holding his stinging cheek, “but you’re not listening to me.”
“What?” She asked thinking that maybe she should give him a good fist to the face to make her sentiment sink in.
Seeing her hand clench into a ball Lloyd simply pointed to the back of the Lancelot.
Cecile Croomy turned to see that where the Devicer’s cockpit should have been between the graviton-impellors of Lancelot there was only open air.
“Oh…” She blushed in embarrassment. “Heh…So the pilot ejected.”
He gave her a smug grin, “That’s what I was trying to tell you. Nina’s system was an ejection system that used a FLEIJA-Wave Rider to ensure the survival of the pilot should the Lancelot suffer to much damage to be of any use.”
“Well then that means the pilot might have survived,” Cecile stated bluntly.
“I’ll admit it is a strong possibility,” He smiled. “But we don’t know where the ejection module landed, so we have no idea what happened to the Devicer.”
“We need to find that module,” Cecile told him.
“Why? We have Lancelot…” Lloyd recoiled in horror at Cecile’s dark-glare.
He sighed in defeat, “Right…so we’ll go find the module now.”
Cecile smiled and gave him a nod.
Nunnally stood upon her cybernetic legs looking out the large picture frame windows of the lavishly decorated room she was in at the vast futuristic cityscape which surrounded Mount Fuji. In the distance she could see the large fleets of what the Red Dragon had told her were starships. She watched as the vessels of various sizes and shapes seemed to float effortlessly towards the deep blue sky above and then vanished out of sight.
The bright cobalt-blue sky and puffy white clouds of this Japan seemed much happier then the ones she had left behind in her own world. The Red Dragon had told her, that according to Enoch, this world had gone through hundreds-of-thousands of years of war and turmoil and even now war raged throughout this version of the Milky Way. The Red Dragon had stated that this place was an alternate universe to her own and that they were now in a different dimension and time then the world they had left behind.
Parallel Universes, Universal-scale Membranes, the Multiverse, and Interdimensional Travel; they were concepts Nunnally was having trouble coping with.
She may have been an Empress back in the world she knew but here she was just another common person on this one tiny little planet that existed as a part of a much greater whole. Nunnally gazed down at the coffee table to her right and looked again in disbelief at the paper which lay there; The Galactic Tribune; Issue #3357, dated 5.0301 of the Galactic Standard calendar. She had read through the journal from cover to cover while she waited for the Red Dragon to return. The headline of the newspaper read of the latest incursion by the Kan’Jour alien superpower as it attempted yet another invasion of the Alpha-Quadrant and the territory of the Galactic Free Republic. Nunnally shook her head in awe of the implications of where she was and the indisputable reality of her situation; it made her head spin.
She, Empress of Britannia, a country which had never even existed in this world, was now nothing more than a guest within the vast and strange castle of Enoch Apsu and the secrets it held. Here she waited like some fairy-tale princess awaiting her Prince Charming to come and rescue her from a long lost tower.
After their trek across C’s World the three of them had emerged into this place, or at least Nunnally thought it was this new world; Enoch’s palace defied logic as she understood it so she wasn’t exactly sure.
She had wanted to ask the man many questions but Enoch had disappeared almost as soon as she and the Red Dragon had arrived in the large circular Room of Many Worlds, as Enoch had called it. This chamber was at the center of his bizarre palace. As he was heading across the room, Enoch had simply stated that he was needed back in the world of Geass and disappeared through another of the many doors that lined the large circular room.
After that the Red Dragon ushered her to a staircase at the side of the chamber which led up to a balcony on the second level. The upper level was little more than a walkway that ran the full circumference of the chamber to various archways leading to parts unknown.
Nunnally had followed the Red Dragon through one of the archways to the “Nexus” wing of what she had called Enoch’s Quantum-Castle. Here the two of them toured the treasure chamber, weapons rooms, armories, and exquisite kitchen of this palace which defied reason as it was simply far too large on the inside to match its appearance on the outside; or at least its outside from the balconies of the “Nexus” wing.
During her stay here, which had seemed like weeks, Nunnally had found that not only was Enoch not the Red Dragon’s actual Great-Grandfather, but the “old” man had been wearing a disguise to hide his appearance. The Red Dragon had said he wore such costumes and facades to ensure no one would see him as being out of place while he conducted his “work;” whatever that was.
The Red Dragon recanted how the “elderly” man had giggled incessantly upon her first arrival in this place. She said he had taken pleasure in seeing her expression when he removed the mask from his face that revealed his true appearance. The mirthful man seemed giddy at showing her his pair of amber colored eyes, raven black-hair, and skin that had a golden-hue to it. Clearly he was not human, or at least not any kind of human the Red Dragon had seen before. According to the Red Dragon the man beneath the mask appeared to be no more than 25 years of age, but his eyes betrayed an intelligence that showed he was vastly older.
Nunnally contemplated the reasons why such an individual as Enoch would involve himself in the affairs of her world; The World of Geass. She looked around the Observation Study at the walls of bookshelves that held numerous volumes from various worlds and formulated an idea as to what his purpose might be. She had been surprised to find that some of the tombs in Enoch’s study were history books from Ashford. If this strange man was indeed some kind of custodian of the multiverse, as she surmised, then it would make sense for him to have detailed histories of all the worlds he traveled.
Nunnally wondered what was keeping Enoch and the Red Dragon as she contemplated the whole of her situation. The Red Dragon had left her less than an hour after she and Nunnally had entered the Observation Study that the Empress now patiently stood within watching the starships come and go from Kobe-spaceport. Nunnally had heard Enoch call for the woman while she read through the Galactic Tribune and sipped tea with the Red Dragon.
No sooner had Nunnally begun to think that perhaps she was now more of a prisoner than a guest within this palace than the Red Dragon came into the room.
“Empress Nunnally, come with me please,” Her modulated voice sounded strained.
Nunnally wasted no time and followed after the woman as quickly as her cybernetic legs would take her through the marble halls of the finely furnished castle.
The two women wove their way past room after room until they finally came to a door that opened up into a chamber that looked suspiciously like one of the private AV Library rooms at Ashford.
Enoch was standing over a couch within the room trying to rouse someone. The “old” man turned to face her and smiled, “He’s coming round now.”
“Who?” Nunnally said as she walked over to see who lay upon the couch in front of Enoch. Her eyes grew wide with relief as soon as she recognized him.
TURN Fifteen: The Goddess of Battle
Thanks for Reading
Last edited by GundamFan0083; 2009-11-08 at 22:19.
|2009-11-05, 01:34||Link #24|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Fifteen: The Goddess of Battle
"No one, in good conscience, should ever accuse Cornelia li Britannia of being cold or corrupt; in fact, she was probably one of the least understood members of the Royal Britannian Family. Princess Cornelia really never intended to usurp or overthrow Nunnally, but the Royal Britannian houses were loath to allow Cornelia to step down once she had taken the throne. It was only her pure and unconquerable will that gave her the strength to resist the vile whisperings of the Britannian nobles that beckoned her to seize the crown for herself forever. In many ways the world owes Cornelia a debt of gratitude, because without her efforts to rout the corrupt movers and shakers out of this world it would still be under their power today."-Excerpt from an interview of Colonel Gilford by Milley Ashford for the Japan Broadcasting Station dated March 12th 2026 a.t.b.
"Keep firing!" Cornelia boomed as she stood up from her command chair on the bridge of the Avenger. The EU airships in the distance were moving away from the Eifel Tower in order to avoid damaging the French Relic.
"Princess, our forward KnightMare units have overrun the Parisian defenses." Gilford said triumphantly as another of the EU airships exploded in midair. "President Gerard LeBlanc wishes to discuss terms of surrender."
"Which ship is his?" Cornelia asked Gilford with a scowl.
"The Longres class just to the north of the Eifel Tower." He told her.
"Target that ship and give him our answer Gilford," She commanded in an icy tone.
"Yes milady," Gilford turned to the gunner and nodded.
A full barrage of cannon fire from the Avenger cut through LeBlanc's ship with pinpoint accuracy and blew the French President's aerial warship to smithereens.
"Direct hit!" Gilford blurt out.
"Excellent work," Cornelia smiled as the last of the French aerial defense fleet succumbed to her armada of warships. "First England, then Spain, and now France; soon all of Europe will be purged of these impudent weaklings and we will bring peace to this continent."
"Princess Cornelia, Lord Byron of our 115th Mechanized Unit would like your permission to liquidate the remaining forces," Gilford said.
"No..." Cornelia said softly. "Disarm them and give them three hot meals and a cot while in our care. Inform Byron to spread the word that any European commoners who wish to surrender to us may do so and they will be unharmed. We have no ill-will towards the population here only their actual leadership. Tell Lord Byron that this is my command and that there will be severe consequences to any within our forces who disobeys my orders." She turned to her Knight, "Is that understood Gilford?"
Gilford was shocked at her generosity to the enemy prisoners but did not question her, "Yes milady it is."
Cornelia saw the uncertainty in his eyes, "I'm not going to repeat the mistakes of my father and brothers Gilford. I don't want to be seen as anything other than a liberator. I'm here to win the hearts and minds of these people, not terrorize them into submission like some totalitarian tyrant...I've been down that road before. Peace isn't going to be won at the end of a gun or the lash of a political-whip. It's time we learned that war is a result of tyrannical governments not people and that those of us in charge of government must learn to give power back to those who do not have it. Our exile in South America taught me that there is nothing more precious in this life then being master of your own destiny. That is what I want to bring to the world Gilford. I want to conquer it to give it back to the common people...I want to free it."
Gilford only smiled in response.
"What happened to C2?" Suzaku barked at Enoch.
"Well...I...uh...I don't know just yet," Enoch stuttered.
"Are we really at Ashford?" Nunnally was still in awe of how they got from Enoch's castle to the Library of her former school by simply walking through a doorway.
"Yes," Enoch told her for the umpteenth time as he checked the back of Suzaku’s head. "We're really at Ashford."
"We NEED to go find out if C2 is okay Enoch...or whoever you are!" Suzaku snapped at him and sat up. "I owe her a debt...and I can't just abandon her."
"Okay...okay!" Enoch put up his hands. "We'll go hunt down the Green Goddess of Gorgeous just as soon as I make sure YOU'RE alright!"
The Red Dragon snickered, "You better not let Isadora hear you say that."
"Ah...heh," Enoch sniggered as he put his hand on the back of Suzaku’s head, "Yah...she'd kill me."
"I'm fine!" Suzaku bellowed recoiling from Enoch’s hand.
"Shhhh," Nunnally scolded him. "We don't want anyone to hear us and if you yell like that Suzaku we'll be discovered."
"The Empress is right," Enoch told Suzaku. "We need to get to the old Britannian-Special Intelligence’s secret underground facilities through the library passage as quickly as we can."
"How do you know about those?" Suzaku inquired.
"Best not to ask," Enoch tittered as he helped Suzaku to his feet.
"Ouch!" Suzaku put his hand on a sore spot at the back of his neck.
Enoch put his arm around Kururugi to help him walk. "Let me help you. You suffered a minor concussion. Considering you were at ground zero of a FLEIJA detonation I'd say you're lucky to still be in one piece."
"I'm alright," Suzaku tried to remove Enoch's arm but couldn't budge it.
Enoch removed his arm slowly to see if Kururugi could support himself and walk. "You sure you're okay?"
"I told you I'm fine," He grumbled.
"Very well then, we should get to the underground facilities immediately," Enoch led the way with the others right behind him.
They wove through the tall bookshelves towards the staircase that led to the bank of bookshelves that contained the concealed elevator door.
"Can you believe Kyoto was completely destroyed?" A young girl's voice echoed a few isles away from Enoch and his troupe.
"I'm so glad everybody got out okay," Her female companion replied with a sigh of relief. "The casualties would have been massive if the Black Knights hadn't stopped Schneizel."
"WHAT!" Suzaku blurt out in surprise that the first FLIEJA he had fired at Charybdis, which the metal beast had then redirected, did not kill the millions he thought it had.
The Red Dragon grabbed him and put her hand over his mouth. "Please Suzaku," she whispered to him at too low a frequency for her voice modulator to compensate.
His eyes grew wide as her soft voice penetrated his ears and sank into psyche, but he didn't dare say anything.
"Did you hear something?" The first female student asked her friend.
"Yah," The other girl said in a nervous tone.
"Is anybody in here?" The first girl asked in a loud voice.
Enoch peeked around the bookshelf at the opposite end of the row and motioned for the others to move towards the stair.
The Red Dragon led the way as Nunnally and Suzaku followed. Enoch watched them make their way towards the lower level. As soon as their attention was turned away from him he outstretched his right hand towards a bookshelf he could see on the far end of the Library and made a grasping motion; a row of books fell from the shelf.
"WHO'S OVER THERE?" The first girl yelled.
"You'd better have a hall pass!" The other girl said as they ran over to the fallen books in the opposite direction of Enoch and his companions.
The pair of students came upon the pile of books Enoch had "pulled" off of the shelf as he and his companions entered the elevator.
"That was close," Nunnally said as soon as the doors closed.
"Yes it was," The Red Dragon agreed. "Are you alright Suzaku?" She asked noticing his distraught expression.
Suzaku was shaking slightly as his mind contemplated the revelation of what the Red Dragon's real voice meant.
“Hey,” Enoch put his hand on Kururugi’s shoulder. “You’re not having a seizure on me are you?”
Suzaku looked up at him and shook his head slowly. “No…I…it’s nothing, just a mild relapse of my concussion; it’ll pass quickly," he lied.
Enoch gave him a knowing smile, “I know, relapses can have heart wrenching results.” Enoch slapped his hands together and rubbed them. “Speaking of passing quickly…we need to get you two to Britannia as fast as we can.”
“Why don’t we go back to Kaminejima and use the Thought Elevator to transport ourselves to Neo-Pendragon like we had planned?” Nunnally asked Enoch.
“That’s an excellent idea Nunnally.” Enoch smiled.
“If it’s such an excellent idea then why are we going to the sublevels of Ashford?” The Red Dragon asked in a dull tone.
Enoch gave her a boyish grin, “We need to pick up a few things first.”
“What things?” Nunnally asked as the elevator doors opened up into the underground chambers.
Memories of Rolo and Villetta keeping a watchful eye on Zero flooded through Suzaku’s head as he looked over at the door that led to the surveillance room he once used to monitor Lelouch Lamperouge. His attention turned to the Red Dragon. If she’s who I think she is…then all of that was for nothing. The hatred that drove me to betray my best friend and force him to live a lie under the spell of his father just to try and satisfy my anger over him having murdered her would have been all wrong. If she had been alive that whole time…that would make me a monster.
He remembered what he had asked Lelouch while he had his head under his heel at the Kururugi Shrine; Can you bring Euphie back?
Anger burned in Suzaku, he hated himself at that moment; What an idiot I’ve been. How could I have held onto such hatred when I knew that Lelouch had lied to me about her death? I knew he must have killed her by accident. Euphemia would have forgiven Lelouch if he had accidentally killed me. Why didn’t I do the same?
“Earth calling Suzaku,” Enoch was staring at him from the far end of the hall they had walked out into.
“Huh? Oh sorry…what were you saying?” Suzaku snapped out of his private thoughts and sprinted up to where they were patiently waiting for him. Kururugi stopped at the large double-doors that his companions stood before.
Enoch put his hand over a touchpad on the wall, “I was saying that what we’ve come here for is behind these doors.”
“When was this added?” Suzaku asked upon seeing the unfamiliar egress open into a vast chamber underneath Ashford.
“I put it here when I attended Ashford,” Enoch snickered.
“How could an old man like you attend Ashford?” Suzaku asked the gray haired bearded man in disbelief.
Enoch pulled at his beard and flipped off the skin-tight mask he wore with a single fluid motion. Beneath the façade was the face of a twenty-five year old man with Amber eyes and dark black hair. His complexion shone a faint gold in the overhead fluorescent lights of the large chamber they entered.
“Who the hell are you?” Suzaku inquired in an awestruck tone.
Enoch gave him a devilish grin, “No one of consequence.”
“Are you sure this is a good idea Lelouch?” C.C. asked him as he picked up the mask of Zero from within his former coffin.
“If Medusa is correct then Suzaku is dead and from what you’ve told me Tohdoh and the others knew that Suzaku was Zero. That circumstance is of great advantage to me.” He put the mask on. “No one will suspect who I really am.”
“Sure…” She frowned sarcastically and folded her arms. “They’re all so stupid that as soon as you start using that strategic mind of yours they’re just going to assume that Suzaku was a closet genius or maybe he took some crash-correspondence courses in military warfare? Not to mention your voice.”
“Ha, ha,” He said in a dry sarcastic tone. Lelouch used his Zero voice, “How do I sound?”
C.C. gave him a narrow eyed look, “Like Zero…Lelouch’s Zero.”
“You’re not helping,” He mumbled.
“I told you I think this is a bad idea Lelouch,” C.C. pouted. “Why do you need to do this?”
“Because I’m responsible for letting Schneizel live and thus causing this whole mess,” he said firmly. “Now it’s my burden to correct that mistake.”
C.C. was not so easily swayed, “Someone else could have just as easily stumbled upon the Olympians and released them. How is it your fault that they were awakened?”
“It’s not,” He told her firmly. “But the fact that Schneizel, who knew the inner workings of both Britannia and the Black Knights, was still alive to find them IS my fault. These Greeks have the advantage over the UFN because of me! The world I created came to an end because of my arrogant assumption that nothing would derail what I set in place. I gambled with fate and fate won.”
He had successfully countered her objection, “So you think that it was Schneizel’s destiny to find them and for you to spare him is that it?”
“The events of the World aren’t predestined to happen, nor are they the random result of man’s choices in life.” Lelouch started down the stairs of the dais. “It is a combination of both forces intermixed. Like two poles of an electrical motor. The chaotic pole is eternally at odds with the ordered pole thus causing motion in the world. There are ebbs and flows to the currents of chaos and order, what we perceive as good and evil. It’s just a matter of seizing upon the right moment in order to make a change, but that change cannot be at odds with the order of the world or else it is rejected and crumbles into chaos. That’s what was wrong with my world. It was a world created by hate in order to bring about peace instead of a world created by love in order to wage war with honor. Peace isn’t something that men were meant to live in for long periods of time. We’re creatures of action not stagnant rocks upon the ground. We are like the whole of the living universe around us are thus violent by nature. I failed to see the value of diversity and hardship before, but now I see that lasting peace, even for a short time, brings with it evils of its own.”
“Does that mean you’re not going to sue for peace this time?” C.C. was concerned about where he was going with this new revelation.
“Not after what Medusa told me,” He stopped and turned. The mask of Zero looked at her, “This time the Demon is going to act like an angel and become the sword of God.”
“I had a feeling you would saying something like that,” C.C. came up next to him and took hold of his arm. “Very well,” She sighed. “Once more unto the breech my love.”
He caressed her chin, “I don’t deserve you.”
“I know,” She snickered as they made their way towards the entrance of the tomb.
Medusa met them at the egress with a distraught look.
“What is it Medusa?” Zero asked.
“We have visitors,” she replied as the Red Dragon walked up behind her.
“How soon will you be ready to return?” Sthenno asked the image of Medea on the viewscreen in front of her.
“We shall have completed loading the Ithaca with Golden Apple within the hour,” Medea told her with a grin.
“Good,” Sthenno’s expression remained stone. “We need to consolidate our forces quickly. The UFN has already begun its counteroffensive and our forces are too depleted to maintain control of Asia or Australia for much longer.” She wondered where Schneizel could be. “We must assume that our enemy now knows of our plans and is moving to thwart us even as we speak.”
“What of our Cyclops forces? They could help us maintain control of our current territories.” Medea suggested, knowing that the Cyclops Automatos were among the most powerful weapons within the Tartarian arsenal.
“They will remain here for now,” Sthenno smiled wickedly. “I suspect that when the UFN makes its move on us we’ll need them.”
Medea laughed, “You’re leading them into a trap.”
“I never actually trusted my champion, Prince Schneizel. I knew that there was the strong possibility that he’d betray me the first chance that he got.” She raised a brow. “I gave him that opportunity by sending him to South America on his own. I used the planetary surveyor system of Tartarus to find his location.”
“Oh?” Medea snickered. “So where is your champion now?”
“His ship is hovering over a small Island in the South Pacific Ocean. I can only assume it is some secret base of his.” Sthenno seemed irritated. “Fortunately I’ve placed spies among his crew who’ve kept me informed of his plot.”
Medea saw that Sthenno was hiding something, “I understand your annoyance at this champion betraying you milady, but you seem far more troubled then the situation merits.”
“I am,” Sthenno told her somberly. “My sister Medusa has succumbed to the power of another sorcerer.”
“WHAT?” Medea was shocked. “How can you be certain?”
“I spoke to her yesterday about her so called success in Japan, but something about her demeanor bothered me. She was strained in her speech and unlike her normal self. Therefore, I used the planetary surveyor to scan the Japan region.”
“And?” Medea was anxious to hear what troubled her superior so.
“The Argos is there above the remains of the Japanese city of Kyoto. Jason’s men are bound to him by honor, friendship, and a loyalty that is not easily matched even by the bonds of love.” Sthenno sighed in frustration, “They would have sacrificed themselves rather than see their Captain killed. Since the Argos lives, Jason in turn must be alive and my sister Medusa must have succumbed to the power of another for she would never lie to me of her own accord.”
“I see,” Medea said with a sinister smile. “Shall I take care of Jason and retrieve your dear sister?”
“No,” Sthenno answered with a distraught look in her eyes. “With the Golden Apple you have acquired it is now possible for us to power up Tartarus and use it.”
“But I thought we still needed the Golden Apple from Japan?” Medea was confused.
“No,” Sthenno stated with a glint in her eyes. “That was a lie I told to ensure that we’d acquire the element from Africa as that store was much less than the mines of Mount Fuji, but more than sufficient for our needs. In reality we’ve enough with the shipment you’re bringing to have Tartarus brought up to full power and restore all of its systems.” Her eyes narrowed as her grin widened, “Including the Apollyon.”
“Wow!” Lloyd exclaimed in awe of the large Greek Kolossos-Automatos Gorgon as his team lifted it up towards the Avalon. He and Cecile stood at the spot where the machine had run out of power on Kaminejima Island.
“It’s quite a machine isn’t it?” Cecile remarked to Professor Asplundh as they watched the large mecha get loaded into the lower hangar bay.
“Yes it is,” Lloyd put his hands on his hips. “It’s a pity we have to share this technological marvel with Rakshata.”
“Don’t you mean the UFN?” Cecile tittered.
Lloyd adjusted his glasses, “No I mean Rakshata.”
Major Croomy giggled, “Oh I suppose to you that’s much worse.”
“OF COURSE IT IS!” Lloyd bellowed, “The woman’s acting like I’M HER ASSISTANT in all of this. As if she knows more about KnightMare Frame mechanisms than I do! Ohhhhhh, the audacity of that woman!”
Cecile thought back to the ejected pilot’s compartment they had found here on Kaminejima Island. “What do you think happened to the pilot of the Lancelot of the Lake Lloyd?”
Lloyd threw his arms up in the air, “OH Ms. Croomy! Is that all you can think about at a time like this. My whole life is being ruined by that awful woman and all you can rattle on about is the fate of a pilot who was obviously well enough to open the hatch and walk out of the cockpit. He’s probably at a sushi-bar with Geishas on each side of him in Neo-Tokyo living it up right now, while I’m here positively dying of humiliation at the hands of that Indian Tigress!”
“You think he’s okay?” Cecile inquired again.
“YES!” Lloyd said. “Why do you want to know if this pilot is okay so badly?”
Cecile held up the key to the Lancelot of the Lake, on its ring was the white-winged pin that Euphemia had given Suzaku as a symbol of his being her personal Knight.
Lloyd took the pin from Cecile and examined it closely. He sighed, “It’s his alright.”
“I thought he was dead Lloyd,” Cecile sounded hurt. She had been very fond of Suzaku…maybe even in love with him, though even she wasn’t sure of her feelings for the former Britannian Devicer.
“Perhaps he gave it someone else…” Lloyd started.
Cecile’s eyes narrowed, “Lloyd.” She grouched.
Lloyd stuttered defensively, “Yes…well I suppose he’d never part with it…it being Euphemia’s gift to him and all.”
“Exactly,” Cecile took the pin back from Professor Asplundh and twirled it slowly. “Which means he’s alive out there someplace.”
“That’s odd,” Lloyd stated absentmindedly as a line of metallic dots came into view in the distance over the ocean.
“What’s odd Lloyd?” Cecile asked him before she also noticed the specks of reflected light on the horizon.
“Professor Asplundh,” a male voice called frantically over the radio Lloyd had on his utility belt.
“Mmm…yes?” Lloyd asked nonchalantly.
“We’re under attack!” The man shouted. “It’s the Britannian Air force!”
“Oh…well, is the enemy KnightMare secure?” Lloyd inquired.
“WHAT?” the man asked.
Cecile grabbed the radio from Lloyd, “Don’t mind him Lieutenant, just have Kallen and her Black Knights launch immediately and get someone down here to pick us up.”
“Yes Major,” the replied obediently and cut off the channel.
“What should we do?” Lloyd asked Cecile with a worried look as the dots became a discernable fleet of warships. “I haven’t the foggiest idea how fast those vessels are, but I doubt we have much time.”
“You don’t,” a male voice said from behind them.
Lloyd and Cecile were stunned upon seeing C.C., Nunnally, and Zero standing before them.
“Kallen we’ve got six bogeys incoming at three O’clock!” Gino said as the Yamato no Orochi moved in to intercept any KnightMare Frames that attempted to assault the Avalon.
“They look like Vincent-Wards,” Tamaki blurt out as he fired a salvo of energy discs at the leader of the Britannian machines.
The baby-blue Vincent with pink highlights spun out of the way of Tamaki’s volley easily and unloaded a hail of autocannon rounds at him from the four-barrel gunpod of the machine.
“That’s not a typical Vincent!” Anya said as she dodged a salvo of missiles from another of the Modified Vincent-Wards.
“It must be a new model because they’re flying without any wings or visible propulsion units!” Kallen said as the six enemy machines closed into melee range. Kouzuki transformed her Type-21S into KnightMare Mode and had her machine unsheathe its pair of Blade-Luminous Katanas. The blades glowed with an eerie green energy as she swerved in to engage the lead Vincent.
The baby-blue KnightMare drew an elegant Rapier blade from the scabbard at its side. The thin blade glowed with a red-black light.
“If you surrender Gino to me now I’ll spare your life,” Evita Ernst said over the com.
“Evita?” Gino blurt out in surprise as he parried the red-black glowing blade of another of the Vincent-Wards.
“GINO!” The Duchess exclaimed. “I’ve come to rescue you my love.”
“He doesn’t need rescuing you idiot,” Kallen locked swords with Evita’s baby-blue KnightMare.
“You dare to challenge my KMF-Victoria?” Evita scoffed as her machine easily blocked the swings from each of Kallen’s Katanas. “Fool! You shall taste the bite of my Hadron-Saber!”
“Kallen be careful,” Gino warned. “Even as a young child Evita Ernst was a gifted-Devicer; she’s as good if not better than Suzaku was.”
“Oh that’s just great,” Kallen grumbled as Evita’s KnightMare twisted to one side and brought its rapier up under the left arm of her Type-21S. Kallen lifted her machine’s arm just in time to save it from the Hadron-Saber of the KMF-Victoria.
“Perfect!” Evita laughed as her Victoria did a high kick that knocked one of the Blade-Luminous Katanas from the left hand of Kallen’s Shogun. The Duchess whipped her machine around and thrust its Rapier at the belly of the Type-21S.
“OH NO YOU DON’T!” Kallen fired a burst from the pair of shoulder-Hadrons of her Shogun.
“Pathetic,” Evita scoffed using the large Blaze-Luminous shield on her machine’s right arm to deflect the volley of Hadron blasts. The KMF-Victoria reached over to its left hip with its right arm and grabbed a discus which opened up revealing a MVS-Blade along its rim. The Victoria let the disc fly at Kallen’s mecha.
Kallen activated the Ultimate-Invulnerability Field of her KnightMare. “Isn’t that cheating?”
“Not when you’re firing Hadrons at me,” Evita sniggered. “You can’t keep that shield up for long. It draws an enormous amount of power from your energy fillers, and when it goes down…you go down!”
Kallen looked around to assess how her teammates were doing while she tried to formulate a plan to save her own behind. Tamaki’s Bushido had lost an arm but he managed to take down one of the Victorias. Now he was fighting a second machine and doing his best to parry and block the discus that KMF had shot at him. Anya was holding her own against two machines simultaneously by shooting the discuses of the two KMFs with the energy discs from her gunpod. However, her Samurai had bullet holes and slash marks all over it and she hadn’t done much damage to the two KnightMares she was fighting. Gino wasn’t fairing much better than Anya.
Kouzuki watched as the MVS-discus continued to strike her shield and the energy filler meter on her console continued to drop. Dammn it! I can’t lower my shield or transform. If I do that her disc will cut me to ribbons or Evita will shoot me down with her machine’s gunpod. What do I do?
“Q-1.” A male voice called over the radio.
Kallen looked at the grilled radio speaker like a Cobra had just leapt from it, “Oh my GOD!”
“Not quite, but thanks for the vote of confidence,” Zero replied. “Q-1, I need you to listen to me carefully and pull back from that KnightMare Frame. Understood?”
Am I hearing things? It sounds like…no it can’t be. It must be Suzaku. “I hear you Zero, go ahead.” Kallen responded thinking how amazing it was that the voice modulator of the Zero helmet made Suzaku sound like the real Zero.
“Professor Asplundh has informed me that you’re fighting a new version of the Lancelot Club. It was an experimental model of the Z-01 built during Viceroy Cornelia’s reign over Japan. This machine is known as the Z-02 Victoria and is an 11th Generation KnightMare Frame unit that was only in its prototype phases when Professor Asplundh left.”
“Get to the dammn point Zero!” Kallen snapped at him in irritation as her energy filler meter dropped another notch. “I don’t have time for a technical readout!”
“Just like at Narita you are as impatient as ever Kallen,” Zero retorted with a snicker.
Narita? How would Suzaku know I was even at Narita? Kallen’s thoughts distracted her momentarily before Zero’s words broke through.
“The point is you can’t win against this KMF at close range. It was designed for urban assault and pacification not aerial dog-fighting. It uses four Null-Gravity Impellers. Knocking those out is your best bet in defeating this opponent. They are the dome shaped structures on the KMF. There is one Impeller behind each calf of the machine and one on each side of the Devicer-cockpit. Knock out any two of them and the machine will loose its maneuverability and thereby allow you to take it out easily.”
“That’s great Zero, but what the hell am I supposed to do about this discus that’s assaulting me?” Kallen grouched at him.
He sighed slightly as if the answer should have been obvious to her, “Move out beyond fifty meters from the Victoria and you’ll be outside the electromagnetic-tether wire that holds the MVS-disc to the KMF. Think of it as an invisible Slash-Harken cable, you should be able to see the electromagnetic-line on your EMS sensors.”
Kallen turned to see the blue-line whipping along her Active-EMS scope. “Yah, I see the dammn EM-line.” Geez, I wonder if Lelouch schooled Suzaku in being a jerk? He’s just as smug and annoying as Lelouch was...unless? She drove out the thoughts that were trying to invade her mind. “Alright Zero, I’m past the fifty meter mark.” She told him as she flew her KnightMare out of range of the Discus.
Evita tried to keep pace with Kallen, “Running away so soon?” The Duchess taunted Kallen as her Victoria fell behind the Shogun.
“What you can’t keep up?” Kallen shot back. “Too bad!” Kouzuki unloaded a barrage of Energy-discs from the gunpod of her Type-21; aiming at the pair of domes that flanked the pilot’s compartment on either side.
Evita deflected the discs with the Blaze-Luminous shield of her KMF and simultaneously fired a hail of autocannon rounds at the left graviton-impeller of Kallen’s Shogun; the graviton-impeller pod was riddled with Sakuradite-tipped shells causing the nacelle to erupt in a burst of electrical bolts that blew off its armored cover.
“DAMMN IT!” Kallen cursed as her speed was halved by the loss of one of her engines.
“That’s better,” The Duchess chortled as her Victoria caught up to the Type-21S. “Now you’re mine,” Evita snickered as she let the discus of her KnightMare fly at the Shogun.
Kallen barely had time to react and used the forearm MVS-Harken of her KMF to deflect the MVS-Disc. “I’m not defeated so easily you little bitch!”
“Such insolence,” Evita scolded her as the discus of the Victoria flipped under the MVS-Harken and cut through its cable; sending the large triangular Harken tumbling to the Island below. Evita followed up with a burst of autocannon rounds that tore through the sensor head of Kallen’s Shogun. Her Victoria unsheathed its Hadron-Saber and closed into melee range with the Type-21S easily.
“Kallen use the radiant heat wave of your gunpod!” Zero called out to her over the radio. Kouzuki didn’t spare a moment; she twisted her machine so that her KMF’s left shoulder Hadron-Deflector met the blade of Evita’s Hadron-Saber while she shoved the tip of her radiant-heat-wave gunpod into the Null-Gravity Dome on the right side of the pilot compartment of the Victoria. The Dome melted under the intense heat of the wave and exploded.
Evita’s Hadron-Saber cut through the deflector of the Shogun and chopped off the left arm of Kallen’s machine. “Not bad Captain Kouzuki, but not good enough!” The Duchess laughed as she used the momentum of the exploding Null-Gravity Dome to spin her Victoria around and bring her Hadron-Saber up to cut the other arm of Kallen’s Shogun completely off in one fluid motion.
“KALLEN GET OUT OF THERE!” Zero yelled at her over the radio as Evita used the MVS-Discus of her machine to chop off the legs of the Shogun.
The Duchess giggled like a fiend drunk on power, “All too easy!” Evita brought down her Hadron-Saber to cleave the Type-21S in two.
A brilliant red blade of pure energy blocked her weapon.
“WHAT! WHO DARES!” Evita pulled the Victoria back to see a machine that was larger than a KnightMare-Frame, and certainly of no KMF design she had ever seen before, hovering via its green energy wings above her.
“I am the Knight of Zero!” Suzaku answered Evita.
“Knight of Zero…” the Duchess said astounded. “That’s impossible!”
The battlerobot Suzaku flew was a deep violet in color with gold highlights. It had a human-shaped faceplate with no nose or mouth, only a pair of radiant-blue eyes, and a crown like helmet structure that comprised its head. Broad shoulders held a peculiar housing at each front, one of which held a handle within it like some sort of knife-sheath. The arms where plain, save for unusual symbols on the forearms near the wrists of the machine. The legs were long and slender with an armored skirt around the waist. The back of the mecha had only a small backpack-like structure with a pair of appendages from which the green energy wings emanated.
“Su...za…ku?” Kallen asked in awe of both the machine he flew and the implications of him using the old title of Knight of Zero. She snapped out of her initial shock, “Wait a dammn minute! If you’re in that KMF then who the hell is giving me orders as Zero?”
“That’s not important right now,” the Red Dragon said as she flew up in a similar battlerobot to the one Suzaku now piloted; its form was more feminine and its color scheme was mauve with pink highlights.
“Oh how cute,” Evita said in a sarcastic tone. “You have matching KnightMares.” The Duchess moved her Victoria in to attack Suzaku.
Nunnally’s image came up on Evita’s screen in front of her, “Duchess Evita Ernst, as Empress of Britannia I order you to stop this attack at once!”
Nunnally glared at the young girl with an intensity that shook Evita’s resolve. “As you wish Empress,” The Duchess stopped her advance. “Please accept my sincere apology, I had no idea you were on the Avalon.”
“I’ll accept your apology in person when you land on the Avalon,” Nunnally knew that having Evita in their company would deter any further violence.
“As you wish Empress,” The Duchess stated again obediently.
Suzaku and the Red Dragon joined the remnant of the Yamato no Orochi as they escorted the Victoria and its escort of four remaining KMFs to the Avalon.
Kallen jumped out of the cockpit of her badly damaged Type-21S and briskly made her way towards the elevator lift. I’m going to get to the bottom of this right now! She thought to herself as she rode the elevator down to the bridge of the Avalon.
The doors opened to reveal Lloyd Asplundh and Cecile Croomy speaking with Zero and Nunnally.
Kouzuki stormed onto the command deck and interrupted them, “Hey, would someone kindly tell me what is going on here?”
“Oh hi Kallen,” C.C. said as she came out of an adjacent elevator with an open box of pizza; a half eaten slice already in her left hand.
“PIZZA GIRL!” Kallen’s brow furrowed in anger as she put her hands on her hips and barked at Zero, “What the HELL is going on here!”
“Is this how you normally address your superiors?” Zero asked her.
Superior? Kallen’s fury boiled over. She looked directly into Zero’s visor, “Could I please talk to you in PRIVATE for a minute?” Kouzuki grabbed Zero’s arm and dragged him to one of the small strategy rooms at the rear of the bridge and shut the door behind them.
“That was rather rude of you Captain Kouzuki,” Zero said as Kallen spun around to face him.
“TAKE IT OFF!” She commanded him.
Zero put up his hands defensively, “Pardon me?”
Her eyes welled up in frustration, “Stop with the asinine voice and TAKE THAT DAMMN MASK OFF LELOUCH!”
“I think you’ve made a mis…” Zero started to say.
Kallen pulled out her sidearm and pointed it at him, “Lelouch, take that stupid mask off right now or else I’ll blow it off your thick skull!”
“Well there’s no need to get violent about this,” Zero told her nonchalantly. “If you must see my face then so be it.” Zero reached up behind his head and unfastened his helmet.
“I can’t believe that you thought you could live it up with that Green-haired skank while I believed you were dead all these years.”
Kallen looked at the floor and ceiling as she started pacing the room in anger. “I heard all the rumors about people sighting a Cart Driver that looked like you with that immortal tramp someplace in Australia, but OH NO I chose not to believe them. I heard the theories about you taking Charles immortality, or Pizza girl’s, and I just brushed it all off as conspiracy theories. BOY was I WRONG!”
Tears started too trickle down her cheeks, “How could you do this to me? After everything we went through together…after I…I kissed you and told you how I felt about you.”
“Ahem,” Zero interrupted her rant.
Kallen stopped and turned to chew Lelouch out. A pair of Amber eyes stared at her innocently from under a mop of raven-black hair.
“Huh?...Who the heck are you?” Kallen asked meekly.
He gave her a fragile smile, “Enoch.”
TURN Sixteen: Reflections
Thanks for Reading
Last edited by GundamFan0083; 2009-11-08 at 22:20.
|2009-11-08, 22:15||Link #26|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Sixteen: Reflections
"The Sea; how I love to watch the light of morning shimmer off of its waves and form a myriad of different shapes and shadows. Each playing in a dance of light and darkness filtered through the water like the lives of so many of us who shine and darken with the movement of the sea of time. I was sure it was him that day over Kaminejima, so sure that I couldn’t let it go and yet in my haste I never thought to reflect upon the light that shimmered right beside me through the whole of that affair. I loved Lelouch, there is no doubt of that, but had I simply left that love behind me, buried with him, and accepted the love of another willingly instead of being so stubborn, then perhaps I could have found the solace in the arms of another and saved myself the pain that was to come. As I reflect on this I don’t regret the love I once had for Lelouch nor the love I lost after he was gone.”-Excerpt from the diary of Captain Kallen Kouzuki dated March 12th 2025 a.t.b.
“I demand his hand in marriage!” Evita stated defiantly to Nunnally as they sat with Kaguya Sumeragi and Jiang Reika at a conference table on the Ikaruga. The rays of the mid-morning sun shone brightly through the large viewport to the left of them. A pot of hot tea was in the center of the table flanked on each side by scones and cookies.
“His hand is not mine to give,” the Empress countered. “Besides, he’s now a member of the Black Knights and one of its elite fighting units; the Yamato no Orochi. I don’t have any authority over him Duchess Ernst.”
“Then you will have to take authority over him Empress!” Evita had been squabbling with Nunnally for three days since Evita and her aerial fleet had come to Japan. Nunnally had requested the aid of her two friends, UFN Lady-Chairman Kaguya Sumeragi, and Empress Jiang Reika, to assist her in the negotiations with Duchess Evita Ernst as it concerned a member of the UFN Black Knights.
"We cannot afford to relinquish one of our most trusted and valued pilots into your hands for the purpose of a political marriage Duchess," Kaguya eyed Evita with a scowl.
Evita stared Kaguya down, "What you cannot afford Lady-Chairman is to prolong this conflict for much longer." The Duchess smirked. "While I certainly will not go against the will of Empress Nunnally...she is not currently in command of our forces. Her older sister, acting Regent Princess Cornelia li Britannia, is now in control of our military might by the will of the Royal houses of the Empire."
"How is that possible?" Jiang Reika inquired of the Duchess. "Didn't the 99th Emperor do away with the Feudal System in Britannia?"
"Indeed he did," Zero stated as he walked into the room uninvited. "But it would seem that he didn't do enough," he walked over to the table the four women sat at.
Nunnally's eyes grew wide as she realized this man was NOT Enoch, nor Suzaku. "And what do you propose we do about it Zero?" She didn't like the familiar feeling she got when he spoke. Nunnally had felt the same way when C.C. and Enoch had left with him into the ruins on Kaminejima Island three days before. C.C. had explained that this man's identity needed to remain a secret if Suzaku were to be free of being Zero and if the Empress of Britannia wanted to have any hope of stopping Schneizel. Nunnally had her suspicious about this Zero, but she kept them to herself.
"What is the meaning of this?" Kaguya stood up, clearly shocked at the presence of Zero. "How could you still be alive? I saw the Lancelot of the Lake get consumed by the FLEIJA that destroyed Kobe."
"How is not important," Zero cut her off. "What is important is that Cornelia is purging the corrupt leaders of Europe and abroad, and that will aide us in our endeavor provided she can control her subordinates."
"What?" Reika exclaimed in disgust, unsure of exactly who was behind the mask. "How can you say that?"
"Easily, it's the truth." He waved his hand in a grandiose gesture unlike the melancholy Kururugi. His mannerism did not go unnoticed by Kaguya.
"The truth?" Sumeragi regarded him with a skeptical eye and chose to test a theory that reverberated through her mind; no matter how unlikely or insane she thought it to be. "Somehow I find it hard to believe that you've ever put value in the truth."
"Oh?" Zero tittered mischievously. "I put value into truths that have value."
Sumeragi grinned, "That's the kind of circular answer I’d expect from you." Unlike Nunnally, Kaguya couldn't be sure if this Zero was Suzaku or not. If it was him, then Kururugi was pretending to be dead and thus trying to regain his anonymity. If it wasn't him, then the repercussions of who this Zero could in fact be were dizzying to the Lady-Chairman.
"What about my Gino?" The Duchess was growing impatient.
"You can't have him," Zero stated bluntly. "I need him where he is."
"You?" Evita was mortified by how Zero addressed her like she was a mere child. "Why would you need Gino?"
"He provides a level of stability within the Yamato no Orochi that I require for the plan I'm formulating against Schneizel." Zero's mask looked down directly at Evita. "Schneizel will not be defeated by a grand army or large military force. It will require a crack team of elite fighters to deal with him this time."
“Why should I help you defeat a hero like Schneizel?” Evita grumbled.
Zero cackled, “Your hero would turn on you upon the first chance he got Duchess. You gravely underestimate Schneizel’s intentions Evita. If you value your life then you’ll help me.”
“How would you know what his intentions are?” The Duchess scoffed.
Zero bent down close to her face; she recoiled from him as he did so. “Because it’s my business to know,” he told her arrogantly
"Enough of this!” Nunnally barked at them both. “Evita you are to leave for the Avalon at once and await my return there.”
The Duchess flipped her head and humphed as she stood up and left the conference room.
Nunnally turned towards Zero, “Do you know where Schneizel is?"
The mask of Zero turned to face her, "Not exactly, but I've got a pretty good idea of the possible places he could be and they're few in number."
"And do you expect to just take one of our elite units under your wing to go after Schneizel without so much as consulting with the UFN?" Kaguya scoffed.
Zero extended his hand out to her, "I'm consulting you now even though you must realize that to refuse me is futile. Surely Lady Kaguya you know there is no chance for you to counter an assault by Schneizel with your fleet spread out over the South Pacific. While I admit that it is imperative that we find whichever Island Schneizel is using as a base of operations, it is foolish for the UFN to use nearly a third of its forces to do so."
He's treating this like a game of chess. Sumeragi thought to herself while she watched with keen interest the movements and gestures of Zero as he continued illustrating his grandiose plan for dealing with Schneizel.
"The fundamental problems with this situation rest within the slow and clumsy response of the UFN council and its member nations," Zero went on. "The lack of Schneizel's presence over the last week indicates that the destruction of the machine known as Charybdis must have been a far greater blow then we first surmised. This machine must have been responsible for the destruction of the UFN fleet at Kerguelen Island and the beast that plagued the ocean and aerial vessels throughout the Asian Pacific region during this conflict. Its destruction means more than just freedom of movement for the UFN it means that a major piece in Schneizel's plan has been taken by us. Thus the attack on Australia by Tohdoh is foolish and plays directly into Schneizel’s strategy. He doesn’t expect us to try and consolidate our forces for an assault on their base of operations in Antarctica, he expects us to try and regain the territories the UFN has lost to him."
Sumeragi choose this moment to implement another test upon Zero, "Zero, would you care for some eggs and sausage?" Kaguya's question would have meaning to only Suzaku, who would fumble over himself due to the embarrassment of having Reika in the room right in front of him.
Although irritated by her interruption of his spiel, Zero was not fazed by her remark, "Thank you Lady Kaguya, but I'm not hungry at the moment.”
Kaguya looked at Reika and shook her head slightly. The Tianzi nodded at her in understanding.
Zero continued to relay his plan, “In order for us to counter Schneizel’s current strategy we must withdraw our forces and regroup. In addition to this we must allow Cornelia to continue her progress throughout Europe to get her as far away from the Britannian homeland as possible while at the same time forcing her to minimize civilian casualties."
“So you intend on destroying both the UFN and Britannia in one fell swoop is that it?” Sumeragi asked.
Zero was stunned by her remark, “No, I simply intend on maintained the façade of the conflict between the UFN and Britannia in order to keep Schneizel from guessing our intentions.”
“While innocent people die in the process?” Nunnally eyed him, “I don’t think so. Those kinds of tactics are outmoded and seem more like the kind of strategy that my Father would use not the Knight of Justice.”
Her words clearly stung Zero as he stepped backward, “You’ve a better plan?”
“I do,” Nunnally told him as she stood up on her cybernetic legs to face him. Her action caused Zero to look her up and down as if surprised by her standing. Zero’s reaction told Nunnally all she needed to know about who this man was. The cold look in her eyes matched the icy tone she spoke to him in, “Things have changed in the last six years Zero. The tactics and strategies of the Black Rebellion won’t work now…my brother saw to that when he remade the world. My plan is simple and direct. Lady Kaguya, Reika and I have been discussing the whole of this situation at length. Thanks to Kaguya not trusting Tohdoh after the Black Knights were reformed, and thus placing surveillance devices in Tohdoh’s office, we know that the good General plans on using this conflict to overthrow the UFN and take down Britannia.”
“That’s because he understands this situation!” Zero interjected.
“No,” Nunnally scolded him. “It’s because he got the idea from MY BROTHER!”
“We’ve had plenty of time to reflect on this Zero,” Reika added to try and break the tension that was building between Nunnally and Zero. “And we agree with both of them in so far as the creation of a world-wide constitutional republic. Such unification, with guaranteed inalienable human rights set within the framework of an actual document, would help sweep away the last vestiges of the obsolete Feudal and Socialist systems that still plague our world.”
“And Schneizel has provided the perfect vehicle for achieving this goal without the continuation of a conflict between the UFN and Britannia.” Kaguya enjoyed being able to best Zero; especially if this Zero was who she was quickly beginning to suspect he was. Sumeragi gave him a smile, “Don’t worry Zero, we have every intention of using your brilliant mind to our mutual advantage in reaching the world you and Kyoshiro envision.”
Zero was taken aback by how skillful the three of these women had become in his absence. He chuckled out loud, “I see I’m no match for your triumvirate.” He bowed graciously before them, “How may I be of service ladies.”
Nunnally had to hold back a laugh as she smirked; she liked the idea of being one step ahead of him for once. “You shall do as you are told when we send for you Zero. For now you are to assemble suitable replacements for the missing members of the Yamato no Orochi. There should be at least eight members within that Special Forces unit. Currently there are only four.”
“But Empress Nunnally-“Zero began.
“No buts!” She raised her chin towards him. “You are my vassal and as such you shall do as I command. Now leave us and assemble the forces you require to locate and deal with Schneizel.”
“As you wish milady,” Zero bowed and walked out of the conference chamber.
“How’d it go?” C.C. asked Zero as he entered their private room on the Ikaruga.
“Better than I expected,” he said as he removed his mask. Lelouch ran his hand through his hair and sighed. “I got them to hand control of the Yamato no Orochi over to me in order for us to pursue Schneizel.”
“Is that wise?” Enoch asked as he walked in from an adjacent part of the large room wearing only a bath robe.
“You disapprove,” Lelouch asked snidely.
Enoch snickered, “No, but should that fiery red-headed Captain of theirs find out you’re still alive I’d say there’ll be hell to pay for it.”
Lelouch frowned, “I can handle her don’t you worry about it.”
“If you say so champ,” Enoch laughed. “She was mighty pissed-off while she thought I was you.”
“Well, she thinks you’re me now so that solves the problem.” Lelouch told him with an irritated look.
Enoch teased Lelouch with a wink at C.C., “Gee how gentlemanly of you, does that mean you don’t mind if I choose to woo Kallen to ease some of her heartache?”
“Enoch!” C.C. blurt out in wide-eyed surprise as she took a slice of pizza from the box in front of her.
“What?” Enoch shrugged. “The poor girl is madly in love with this guy and he acts like he doesn’t even care. She could use some real man lov’n for her troubles.”
“Have you no sense of decency?” C.C. tittered as she took a bite of the slice, though Lelouch was not amused.
Enoch put his hands on his hips, “Lookey here Gorgeous, I may be immortal but I’m not dead yah know…that Kallen is hawwwwt!”
C.C. nearly choked on the pizza as she held back a laugh and smiled at him.
“Enough of this!” Lelouch barked at Enoch. “I didn’t order you to join me so you could entertain your wanton appetites.”
Enoch raised an eyebrow, “You don’t give me orders boy.”
“Is that so?” The twin sigils of Geass formed in Lelouch’s eyes.
“No Lelouch wait!” C.C. warned but it was too late.
Lelouch spoke with a wave of his hand, “I Lelouch vi Britannia Command you to obey my orders without question.”
“Oh boy,” C.C. put her face in her palm.
Enoch walked up to Lelouch and put his middle finger under his left ocular orb, flipping off Lelouch as he spoke in a sarcastic tone, “Lelouch, looook into my eye” Enoch slapped Lelouch on the forehead gently with his palm and chuckled, “As if your feeble power could affect me? Who do you think I am?”
Lelouch was stunned at the man’s brazen act.
Enoch smiled at him, “I mean really? If I was susceptible to the charms, spells, or powers of every Tom, Dick, and Harry sorcerer that came my way I’d have given this up eons ago.”
Lelouch pulled his gun out from within his Zero garment and pointed it at Enoch, “I can’t afford to have anyone knowing who I am that’s not willing to follow my orders.” He pulled the trigger and fired eight rounds into Enoch’s robe.
The Amber eyed man didn’t even flinch. He simply opened up his robe and allowed the mushroomed rounds to fall from under the garment onto the floor.
“What the?” Lelouch gasped.
Enoch outstretched his hand causing the pistol to fly from Lelouch’s grip into his own. As soon as he had the weapon he crushed it effortlessly and sighed as he let loose of the mangled weapon, “Are you finished?”
“Stop it the both of you!” C.C. stood up.
Enoch stared at Lelouch intensely, “I’m helping you because I want too Lelouch vi Britannia. Upon reflection I see much of whom I once was in you and thus a great potential to do what very few are able to. But you have no concept of the hell that is Eternal Life. Few have the stamina for it. In short my young friend, I’m here to help, but if my help is not appreciated…lots of luck Lulu.”
The buzzer of the door prevented Lelouch from responding as Suzaku’s voice called from behind the locked entrance. “Is everything alright in there? I thought I heard shots fired.”
“Just a minute Suzaku!” C.C. called out to him. “I’m not dressed yet!” C.C. grabbed Lelouch and started taking his clothes off.
“Enoch put his Zero costume on and give him your robe.” C.C. whispered to the two of them.
“Woah, you had me worried there for a minute.” Enoch grinned at C.C.
“Will you shut-up and do as I tell you!” C.C. snapped at him.
“Yes ma’am,” Enoch replied timidly and started dressing into Lelouch’s Zero outfit. He took a whiff of the suit as he put it on, “Dammn boy what kind of perfume is this…Ode de Tapette?”
“At least I don’t smell like an oily leather saddle,” Lelouch retorted as he put on the robe.
C.C. fumed at both of them. “Would it be possible for you two to grow up some time in the near future?”
“Now you get into the closet,” C.C. motioned for Lelouch to hide behind one of the long bank of closet doors at the far end of the room. “And you” she pointed at Enoch as he donned the Zero helmet, and flinched, “get into character.”
Both men were so surprised at her taking charge that they found themselves compelled to obey.
“Hi Suzaku,” C.C. smiled at him as she unlocked the door allowing him to walk into the room with the Red Dragon in tow behind him.
Suzaku looked around the room as he walked in, “What the heck is going on in here?” He queried her.
"Oh nothing," C.C. giggled. "We were just having a bit of a tiff that's all."
The Red Dragon stepped on something hard and round on the floor. She looked down to see eight mushroomed bullets at her feet, "That's was one heck of a tiff," her electronic voice said with a snicker.
Suzaku caught sight of the crushed pistol on the floor. Immediately he walked over to it and picked it up. He examined the filigree grip which had attracted his attention. "This is Lelouch's gun." Kururugi eyed C.C. and Zero.
"It was in his tomb," C.C. said quickly as Lelouch cracked open the louvers of the closet door that he hid behind. He peered through the slits at Suzaku.
"I took it with me when I borrowed his outfit and mask," Enoch told a half-truth.
"Did you?" Suzaku said in disbelief.
"Great," Lelouch mumbled softly to himself as Suzaku looked around the room. "This is definitely not my day."
Suzaku walked over to the far end of the room where the bank of closet doors started at the left and opened the first door.
"Wha...what are you doing Suzaku?" C.C. asked in a panic.
"Checking for demons," he said bluntly.
I don't need this right now! Lelouch thought to himself as he backed up into the closet.
"Suzaku, we really don't have time for this." Enoch told him. "Zero has to assemble his strike team to hunt down Schneizel as soon as possible. I'd like your help with that if you don't mind."
Kururugi stopped and turned towards Zero, "I know, Nunnally just told me about it which is why I was on my way down here. She said that she wants me and the Red Dragon to accompany her on the Avalon for her return to Britannia. Kaguya has given you the use of the Ikaruga. Sumeragi and Reika wish to accompany you in your journey to find Schneizel’s lair. The Empress Nunnally also wanted me to ask you if we could use the Hakodeshim Frames you lent us for the trip to Britannia as she doesn’t trust Evita."
"The Archangels are my gifts to you two so of course you can use them," Enoch told him politely.
"Thank you Enoch, you are very generous in such a gift." Suzaku smiled.
Lelouch backed into the coat-hangar bar and hit his head, "OUCH!"
"What was that?" Suzaku spun on his heel towards the door where the sound had come from.
"What was what?" Enoch asked innocently.
Suzaku frowned at him, "you know what I'm talking about." He looked at C.C. who only shrugged with a weak smile.
Kururugi marched over to the door and opened it, "AH HAH!" He grabbed Lelouch and threw him out of the closet onto the floor.
Enoch turned to C.C. and grinned, “Looks like Suzaku got him to finally come out of the closet.”
C.C. rolled her eyes while the Red Dragon snickered.
"Suzaku wait!" Lelouch put up his hands instinctively to try and calm his friend.
Kururugi stared at the pink sigil of Geass on Lelouch's palm, "I knew it you BASTARD! YOU LIED TO ME! YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T TAKE CHARLES' CODE!"
"No wait Suzaku I didn't! I swear! It's not what you think!" Lelouch scurried away from Suzaku on the floor as Kururugi drew his sidearm.
"Suzaku he didn't deceive you," C.C. told him as she came between the two of them with her arms outstretched.
The Red Dragon came up behind Kururugi and gently put her hand on Suzaku's shoulder, "Let's hear what she has to say."
Kururugi dropped his sidearm to his side but glared with menace at Lelouch.
"He didn't lie to you Suzaku," C.C. went on. "The Greek Geass user named Euryale had the power to resurrect the dead."
"Not exactly," Enoch interrupted. "Her power was actually to extend her Code over an area, thus allowing any person with full-Geass to be revived from death as though that person had a Code."
"Thanks Enoch," C.C. sniggered. "Anyway, Euryale used her power in Lelouch's tomb to revive her sister Medusa and accidentally revived Lelouch as well."
"And his Code?" Suzaku grumbled.
"I got it from Euryale when I killed her," Lelouch composed himself and stood up.
“How convenient,” Kururugi spat.
“I told you I’d find a way back here and I did,” Lelouch reminded Suzaku.
“That wasn’t a dream?” Kururugi was shocked.
“No,” Lelouch told him. “Although I don’t really understand how we were able to communicate…I do know that we did.”
“Geass gives the user and the recipient an unintentional telepathic bond due to the nature of its metaphysical properties.” Enoch informed them.
C.C. looked at him bewildered, “How do you know that?”
Enoch put his hand on the back of his head and chuckled, “Oh I read it in the Geass Order’s files when I broke into their lair and copied their records a little over a decade ago.”
“You copied their records?” Lelouch inquired with an elated expression.
“Well yah…it’s part of what I do.” Enoch told him matter-of-factly. “Why? Are they important to you Lelouch?”
“Quite possibly now more then ever,” Lelouch answered him with a grin.
Enoch took off the Zero helmet and smiled at him devilishly, “You mean because it contains descriptions of all of the known Geass users, both past and present, and their powers?”
Suzaku glanced from Enoch to Lelouch, “Did I miss something?”
“Don’t worry. We’ll fill you in on the details,” C.C. said as she sat down at the table. “We’ve much to discuss…pizza anyone?” She held up a slice as they all sat down.
“We’ve covered only a fraction of the Islands out here Tohdoh,” Xingke said over the viewscreen. “And still nothing.”
“I see,” Kyoshiro said with a frown from the bridge of his ocean-surface-warship, the Musashi, as the vessel sat in Humboldt Bay off the shores of the city of Jayapura; the capitol city of Papua New Guinea. Tohdoh looked out towards the rising pillars of smoke in the distance, “We’ve only just started our conquest of New Guinea and in only a week we have nearly crushed Schneizel’s forces here. They’re not putting up any kind of real fight…I wonder.”
“Do you think it’s a ploy?” Xingke inquired.
“Perhaps,” Tohdoh pondered the situation for a moment before continuing. “It’s possible Schneizel intends for us to lay siege to the territory he’s claimed while he plans something else.”
“What else could he be planning?” Xingke asked in a befuddled tone. “If conquest of the world is indeed his goal, then he has to acquire and maintain territory. It’s not like he has another Damocles to threaten us all with.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that General Xingke. His Greek allies are spread pretty thin…” Kyoshiro rubbed his chin absentmindedly. He spoke more to himself than to Li Xingke, “And while we pursue them and his brainwashed troops we are also spreading ourselves thinner. The UFN is bogged down in Europe and Africa with the Britannian forces.”
“Meaning?” Li asked impatient with Tohdoh’s murmuring thoughts.
“He’s fighting a holding action,” Kyoshiro stated bluntly.
Xingke frowned, he had an idea of where Tohdoh was going with this line of thinking, “And you’re concerned as to why Schneizel is only trying to hold us rather then continue to engage?”
“Yes, it doesn’t make any sense for Schneizel to sabotage his own momentum unless he has good reason. Even with the destruction of the Charybdis his forces could have continued to overwhelm our sparse units in Africa and the Middle East. There’s something more to all of this I can feel it.” Kyoshiro put his hand down and looked directly at Xingke, “Lady Kaguya has informed me that the Ikaruga, under the command of Zero, is going to replace your forces shortly in the search for Schneizel.”
“Zero?” Xingke almost laughed. “I thought Kururugi was dead.”
“I thought he was also,” Tohdoh frowned. “Apparently the Lancelot of the Lake was equipped with an emergency escape system that allowed him to survive the explosion. However, that isn’t the problem.”
“Oh?” Li remarked with curiosity. “We know who Zero is, so what’s the problem?”
“The problem is that Suzaku is no longer Zero. He has been reinstated as the Knight of Zero by Empress Nunnally and is now one of her personal Knights. The other Knight is called the Knight of Draconis. This person is another masked figure, a woman this time, who calls herself the Red Dragon. The joint UFN/Britannian Media Blitz cover story is that Suzaku was in a coma for six years under the care of the UFN and has now pledged his loyalty to Zero. The other Knight is supposedly a former rebel against Britannia whom Nunnally trusts implicitly. I must admit that Milley Ashford made the presentation very believable and both Knights appeared very personable in her interviews with them.”
“Then who is Zero?” Xingke hated this game of charades the Britannians were playing with this collage of masked heroes.
“I honestly don’t know,” Tohdoh was troubled by the appearance of this new Zero. “What I do know is that if Kaguya is backing him then nothing good will come of it. The Lady-Chairman has her own designs on how best to use this crisis, of that I am sure, and I hate to have to say this to you my friend but your Jiang Reika may be assisting them as well.”
Xingke scowled at Kyoshiro, “If the Tianzi is helping Kaguya and Empress Nunnally then it is for the good of the Chinese people General Tohdoh of that you can rest assure.”
“Be that as it may it still could be problematic,” Tohdoh told him in a firm tone. “I need you and her on board for this operation to be a success, which leads me to what I want you to do General Xingke. Now that your fleet is freed up from searching for Schneizel I need you to proceed to Hawaii as soon as possible.”
“Hawaii? Why there?” Li was confused; he had expected Tohdoh to send him to Antarctica.
“I strongly suspect that Schneizel will attempt to capture his sister Nunnally during her flight from Japan to Britannia. Zero and the Ikaruga will be flying as escort for her during the jaunt from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands so I don’t think Schneizel will attempt to take her at that time. However, the Ikaruga will be heading for the South Pacific and leaving the Avalon behind once it reaches Hawaii. Therefore, to ensure that her ship makes it to Britannia safely, I want you to rendezvous with the Avalon.”
“I will leave for Hawaii at once. Xingke out,” Li’s image vanished off of the screen.
Kyoshiro Tohdoh looked out at the sun as it set over the Cyclops Mountains with one thought burning in his mind…Who is this Zero? I wonder…could he still be alive?
“Oh My God!” Lena came rushing into the Devicer lounge of the Ikaruga-out of breath.
“What is it Lena?” Mika asked her as she sipped her tea.
“You guys aren’t gonna believe this!” The girl leaned on the threshold of the doorway and took another draw of air. “We’ve just been reassigned.”
“Really? What unit?” Tetsuo asked in an exited tone.
Lena was ecstatic, “The Yamato no Orochi!”
Gregor spat out a swallow of his tea as he exclaimed, “NO WAY!”
Mika jumped up from the table and spun around. “Whoopee! We’re in Captain Kouzuki’s unit!”
Akira sat at the bar of the lounge alone holding a dark expression on his face. He hadn’t been the same since Li Jiang Fong had died.
Lena looked at him with concern, “Did you hear that Akira? We’re going to be with Kallen Kouzuki.”
He turned to her and gave her a thin smile, “Yah I heard Lena.”
“Hey c’mon Akira that’s gotta cheer you up a little bit man,” Gregor pat him on the back.
Akira sighed, “Yah sure Gregor. All it means is that our missions are going to get more dangerous and more of us might end up…” he couldn’t finish his sentence.
“Don’t you think we all know that you jerk?” Mika snapped at him. “Reflect on it all you want on your own time Akira but it won’t change the fact that what happened is in the past. We can’t change it so deal with it and stop moping around here like a zombie!”
Akira said nothing.
“Mika stop,” Lena told her softly. “You’re ruining the mood.”
“No Lena,” Mika glared at Akira, “we need you Nobunaga. We’re not a team without you…”
“Is there something wrong in here?” Lt. Commander Anya Alstreim said as she walked into the lounge.
“Uh…no…no ma’am,” Mika stuttered.
“That’s Lt. Alstreim,” Tetsuo whispered to Gregor.
“I know,” he tittered. “dammn she’s cute.”
“Can we help you Commander Alstreim?” Akira asked her in his monotone.
Anya looked at them all with indifference. “I came here to fetch the five of you. Captain Kouzuki would like to meet you all informally before she permits you into her unit.”
“Didn’t she ask for us personally?” Mika inquired of Anya. “I mean, that is the usually military protocol isn’t it?”
Anya considered her question for a moment, “I suppose it is under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances. It was Zero who requested that you be assigned to the Yamato no Orochi.”
“Zero!” The former Jaguars said together in awe.
“Will we be meeting him too?” Gregor pressed Anya with an excited look.
“Probably, now if you’ll all follow me please,” Commander Alstreim turned on her heel and waited for them to fall in behind her.
“What's this? Dining on darkness this evening are you Jason?” Heracles inquired as he walked into the observation promenade of the Argos. The last vestiges of sunlight were flowing onto the hardwood floor of the rapidly darkening room. Jason stood at the edge of the large curved glass windows that ran the full length of three walls and the ceiling of the chamber.
The Greek Captain of the Argonauts wore a troubled look.
“I’m waiting to hear from Hephaestus,” Jason said in a somber tone.
“Oh,” Heracles pulled at his beard. “So it’s done then is it?”
“Yes,” Jason told him.
“You worried about what she’ll say?” Heracles asked.
Jason only nodded.
“How soon will we know if we will be ordered to continue to wage war against these people?” Heracles didn’t like the thought of what She might order them to do.
“I should receive word any time now.” Jason stared out at the remains of Kyoto far below his aerial warship. "Don't be surprised if we’re ordered to continue with our original mission."
“I hope not,” Heracles looked out at the city lights in the distance as twilight fell over Japan. "Once you fill her in on the details she should understand don't you think?"
Jason sighed, "It's not whether or not she understands the situation my old friend. It's whether or not she deems it more important to follow the original plan and subjugate these mortals or if she chooses a different path."
"I wager she'll choose a different path," Heracles boasted. "She's no fool."
"That's what concerns me so much," Jason stated with a dark look. "If she does change course then I can only surmise one path she'll choose."
"And once again you’re worried about Akira and his comrades?" Heracles knew the answer before he even asked the question.
Jason looked at him and smiled, “Does it show that much?”
“Like the full moon on a clear summer night my friend,” Heracles patted Jason on the shoulder.
“Heracles, do you think I’ve become too fond of the boy?” Jason asked.
Heracles chuckled, “I suppose that depends on what you mean by fond. If you mean that you look at Akira as a father to a son, then I see nothing wrong with it.”
Jason laughed, “Do I look Etruscan to you?”
Heracles was pleased with himself for putting a smile on his friend’s face, “Well you do fancy olive-wine quite a bit…”
Jason laughed, “Only with fine women my friend!”
“Captain,” Orpheus said as he entered the promenade.
“Yes Orpheus?” Jason asked.
“Hephaestus is on the comm. with news and patiently awaits you on the bridge,” the Lieutenant said with a grave look.
Jason’s mood was sobered immediately, “Tell him I’ll be there in a moment.”
Heracles sighed, “Looks like I’ll be dining on darkness tonight also,” he said begrudgingly of whatever message Hephaestus would relay knowing that it would almost certainly pit Jason against Akira once more.
TURN Seventeen: Ambush
Thanks for Reading
|2009-11-14, 01:11||Link #28|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Seventeen: Ambush
"Sometimes I wonder why the hell anybody ever followed Zero in the first place. Sure he had his power of Geass, but he never would have had that if not for CC. There's no doubt that his wit and strategic knowledge helped during the Black Rebellion and his second Revolution which gained him his revenge against his father and control of Britannia. However, during that time he robbed something from all those around him. Those who knew and loved him, those that put their lives on the line for him and asked for nothing in return, those who put their hopes and dreams in him. You'd think that the least Zero could have done was repay them with the friendship he owed them. It was as though Zero was just that...a plain Zero...nothing. It took the ambush of emotion and experience of an Amber-eyed man's teachings to show Zero that, and I'm eternally grateful to him for it."-Excerpt from a letter to Mrs. Milley Ashford from Lelouch Vi Britannia dated April 23rd 2025 a.t.b.
"Dammn it!" Lelouch cursed as Enoch took his king from off the chessboard. "How the hell...that’s the third game I’ve lost to you in as many days."
Enoch gave Lelouch a gentle smile as he spoke softly, "Stop trying to win so badly and feel rather than think what your opponent is about to do."
"What the heck is that supposed to mean?" he asked as they sat within their private quarters on the Ikaruga. "Are you some kind of mind-reader in addition to all your other oddities?"
C.C. giggled as she sipped at a cup of tea watching them from the couch at the opposite end of the carpeted center of the room. "No silly, what he's trying to tell you is that you're too impulsive. You need to give your adversary enough rope to hang himself instead of trying to win the conflict quickly. You're too used to going against Britannian Royals who viewed you as a mere teenager and thought you easy game. Your experience with your brother Schneizel whom you were already familiar with, didn’t really teach you anything new either. That’s partially why Li Xingke was able to out maneuver you during the incident in China back during that time. I think that Enoch sees you as capable of being far more than Zero or just Lelouch Vi Britannia. Am I right Enoch?"
“Spot on as always Gorgeous,” Enoch chortled at her.
C.C. gave him a warm smile in return. “You know you’re making him jealous by calling me that.”
Lelouch scowled at her, “no he is not!”
“Oh contraire monsieur,” Enoch made a grandiose gesture with his right hand, “you should be jealous of the affections I lavish on her. That is what I’m trying to engrain into you. A measure of caring for someone on an idealistic-romantic level rather than a carnal or obligatory one, in other words I’m trying to get you to truly love her Lelouch. Not in a sexual sense, though those feelings ought to be there, but rather I’d like to see you focus your personal love upon her as you would the level of love you gave your highest ideal. Put another way, I’m trying to get you to make C2 the emotional equivalent to your failed Zero-Requiem in so far as the drive to achieve and obtain that goal was concerned.”
Lelouch was puzzled, “Why? That kind of emotion will only be a burden and give me a weakness others can exploit. I already went through this with my sister Nunnally and it nearly destroyed me. If C2 were to be captured or killed…”
“Then you will have failed,” Enoch cut him off. “You’re only looking at one edge of that double-edged sword my friend,” Enoch said. “The other side is a blade sharper than anything else which you can call upon when you need it most. The emotional and spiritual power you can garner from truly being in love with C2 will grant you the ability to push yourself far beyond the limits of what you think you can do now.”
C.C. blushed, “You make it sound so academic. Love isn’t A+B=C, it’s a great deal more than that Enoch and you know it.”
Enoch grinned at her and shrugged, “Which alas is why it didn’t work out between us.”
Lelouch gave him surprised look, “You two had a thing together?”
“It was over two-hundred years before you were born Lelouch,” C.C. reassured him. “You see Enoch absolutely loves women, and not necessarily in a sexual way mind you. He lacks the drive to reproduce because he is not, and never was, human. He has a tendency to fall for them emotionally and at the time I was head of the Geass Order. I thought he wanted me because he was trying to infiltrate the Order. I had no idea he was sincerely interested.”
Enoch gave her a look of mock surprise, “Aw, don’t give away all my secrets Beautiful. That information could be dangerous in the wrong hands.”
“Well it’s true. You spent years trying to woo me,” She snickered. “I’ll admit you were charming at the time.”
Enoch leaned in close to Lelouch, “The secret to her heart is to pretend you’re not interested, then give her a passionate kiss when she least expects it.”
“Shoosh you!” C.C. threw a pillow at Enoch which hit him dead in the face.
“Yahhhh!” Enoch fell back in his chair onto the floor.
Lelouch let out a laugh.
C.C. rolled her eyes, “I didn’t throw it that hard you dweeb.” She grinned at Lelouch, “I should warn you Lelouch, he can be a real clown when he wants to be.”
Enoch picked himself up off the floor, “Clowning around is good for the soul.” He righted his chair as he addressed C.C., “The boy here is too serious all the time. Such melancholy will only hinder him in the long run. He needs a good strong sense of humor to help get him through the years…otherwise he’ll become cold, uncaring, and dangerous.”
Lelouch smirked, “So all of this is my training is it?”
“Yes Lelouch,” Enoch told him. “I want you to laugh and be merry so you gain a mental arsenal of so called good-times to draw upon in times of need. You’ve gone through too much pain and suffering in your life, now it’s time to undo some of that damage.”
“But those experiences are what give me strength,” Lelouch told him.
“Only a villain draws from pain and suffering for strength.” Enoch said in a cold tone. “Either his own or what he inflicts on others. A hero draws upon what is good in life in order to gain the fortitude to defend it with every ounce of his being.”
“And you intend on molding me into a hero is that it?” Lelouch was skeptical.
Enoch gave him a wicked grin, “Even if it kills you.”
“What have you done to my Lancelot?” Lloyd demanded from Rakshata as the two of them stood in front of the skeletal remains of the stripped down KnightMare Frame that lay upon the floor of the KMF hangar bay of the Ikaruga.
Rakshata laughed hysterically, “Oh you mean that old scrap heap that was sitting here?” She waved her long-pipe around. “I used what was left of it to build something much better.”
To Cecile’s surprise Lloyd actually clenched his fists, “You vile woman!”
“Calm down Lloyd,” Cecile said to him softly.
Lloyd turned to Cecile and pouted, “She’s killed my masterpiece! She’s molested my only child!”
“Oh stop being such a big baby,” Rakshata tittered. “It’s not like you could have repaired that junk-pile.”
“Where is it?” Professor Asplundh demanded.
“Where’s what?” Doctor Chawla asked with a smirk.
Lloyd pulled at his hair in frustration, “This Frankenstein-Monster that you built using the perfect parts of my Lancelot.”
“Oh, you mean the Type-25?” Rakshata snickered. “It’s in the next hangar.”
“Type-25?” Cecile inquired.
Rakshata regarded Cecile with a smile as Lloyd continued to wail, “Yes, Captain Ougi demanded that I have a new KnightMare Frame ready for Captain Kallen Kouzuki by the time we reach Hawaii. That gave me only a week to have something prepared for her. Since her Type-21 was wrecked beyond repair in her fight with the KMF-Victoria I couldn’t use that, and I didn’t have time to construct an entirely new KnightMare given the short amount of time. Therefore I chose to use the KnightMare Frames we had on hand to rebuild another, somewhat older design, into an 11th Generation KnightMare using the components of Lloyd’s Lancelot of the Lake.”
“Oh, how could you?” Lloyd bellowed.
The two women ignored him as they walked over to the next hangar bay.
Rakshata led the way as Cecile followed with Lloyd trailing behind her.
The three of them entered the hangar.
Cecile’s eyes grew wide, “Oh my!”
“It’s a masterpiece,” Rakshata snickered.
“I can’t believe it,” Cecile remarked in amazement. “What do you think Lloyd?” Cecile asked as he stared at the machine with wide eyes and a gapping mouth.
“Ahhhhhhhhhh!” Lloyd screamed in horror before fainting to the floor.
“Are you sure you’re okay with the title Knight of Orange Jeremiah?” Nunnally asked a bit unsure of Gottwald’s affection for the name.
Kaguya Sumeragi and Jiang Reika stood silently as he replied to her question.
“Absolutely milady.” He bowed before her in the main observation room of the Avalon. The Ikaruga and Duchess Evita Ernst’s flotilla of warships shown just outside the grand windows of the room flying around the aerial-frigate as escort in the diminishing light of the late afternoon sun.
“Well then.” Nunnally said with a brief look at Kaguya and Reika, “Kneel before me,” Nunnally placed her hand upon his head as he did so and smiled at him, “I dub thee Sir Jeremiah Gottwald, Knight of Orange and personal Knight of Empress Nunnally Vi Britannia.”
Reika and Kaguya clapped respectfully.
Jeremiah took her hand in his and kissed it, “Thank you your highness.”
Nunnally blushed, "You deserve it for all of your years of loyal service to my family Jeremiah."
Jeremiah stood up and bowed before her, “Thank you Empress Nunnally, and to you Lady-Chairman Sumeragi and Empress Jiang Reika for acting as witnesses. I promise on my life that I will serve you with every ounce of my being.”
“I know my brave Knight of Orange,” Nunnally giggled.
Alarm Klaxons sounded throughout the ship as one of Evita’s warships fired on the Ikaruga.
“What the?” Kaguya blurt out as KnightMare Frames began pouring out of the Duchess’ aerial vessels.
Nunnally touched a button on a control panel next to her, “Where is Evita?” She demanded of the bridge officer.
“The Duchess left a few moments ago Empress,” A young man’s voice replied.
“Dammn it!” Nunnally blurt out in frustration.
“We are betrayed!” Reika exclaimed in horror.
“Get to your KnightMares now!” Villetta roared over the intercom of the Ikaruga into the Devicer lounge of the Yamato no Orochi.
“She doesn’t have to tell us twice!” Kallen jumped up from where she and Gino had been sitting together with Akira talking at the bar of the lounge.
Akira and the five former Jaguars jumped up with the four Veteran Black Knights and started racing down towards the hangar deck of the ship.
The nine of them moved as fast as their feet would take them towards the KMFs that awaited them on the flight deck; the Ikaruga shook as its shields were hit by enemy fire.
The doors of the hangar opened up to reveal Rakshata, Lloyd, and Cecile standing in front of eight KnightMares; Four Type-24G Goro, three Type-24O Okouchi, and one Type-24Z Susano-O mecha.
“All of you get to your respective Type-24s,” Rakshata said calmly as Cecile directed all but Kallen to the eight KnightMare Frames that were on the deck.
Anya, Tamaki, and Gino were directed to the three Okouchi Type-24Os that sat in front of four Goro Type-24Gs which Tetsuo, Mika, Lena, and Gregor were directed to enter.
Akira ran for the black KMF that he knew was the Type-24Z Susano-O; it was the last KMF present.
Kouzuki looked around frantically, “Rakshata, where the heck is my machine?”
“I’ve got something special in mind for you Captain Kouzuki,” Zero said as he walked up from behind her.
Kallen turned around to see him glaring at her with the mirrored mask as the other Devicers climbed into their respective machines. She looked at him with a queer expression; his voice was the same as the one on the radio that had startled her at Kaminejima Island and he seemed shorter than the man she had met under the mask a little over two weeks ago-Enoch-but this Zero was the right height to be him.
“Something special huh?” She said putting her hands on her hips. “Like what?”
“I want you to meet someone,” He replied motioning her to follow him.
Meet someone? She thought in confusion as the Ikaruga shuddered under another impact. At a time like this? Unless…Lelouch? Kallen followed behind Zero as he led her into an adjacent hangar; the room was pitch black save for the small overhead light above the door to the chamber.
“Who am I meeting in here?” Kallen asked with a meek grin at him.
“An old friend,” he said as the door to the hangar closed behind them.
Her heart leapt at the possibility of his innuendo. Kallen hoped with all her heart that this Zero would remove his mask and show her that he was in fact Lelouch.
To her shock Zero called out to the darkness, “Okay Professor Asplundh!” The internal lights of the hangar flooded the room with bright light exposing its contents.
Zero waved his hand in the direction of the KnightMare Frame that stood at the far end of the hangar, “I believe you two have met?”
Kallen’s disappoint was immediately replaced with elation at the sight of the machine, “GUREN!”
“But not just any Guren,” Rakshata stated as she and Cecile entered the room.
“It’s got the Lancelot of the Lake’s Graviton Impeller Wings, Anti-FLEIJA systems, and high-maneuverability Null-Gravity gyroscopic system!” Cecile exclaimed with excitement.
“I had to make a few adjustments due to the incompetence of the rush job done on it,” Lloyd bellowed from the top of the gantry that held the Guren in place.
Rakshata frowned, “Yes, Lloyd did help fine tune this new Type-25 Guren-Phoenix, since Zero wanted it done as quickly as possible.”
Kallen looked at him and smiled brightly.
“I knew you’d like it,” He chuckled. “I had no doubt in my mind that Duchess Ernst would betray us and I was certain you’d want a rematch with her when she made her move.”
Kallen closed her eyes for a moment then gave him a wicked smile, “You bet your sweet-ass I do.”
“Don’t let them get through to the Ikaruga.” Akira commanded as they formed a defensive perimeter around the ship; Kallen and Gino had agreed that Akira would make a fine second in command of the Yamato no Orochi and thus he now was in control of the KMF team in her absence.
“Remind me again as to how a snot-nose brat got put in charge instead of me?” Tamaki grumbled as a flight of twelve black and gray KMF-Victorias closed in on them.
“He’s in charge because Kallen said so!” Anya scolded Tamaki as she tore through one of the twelve Victorias with the pair of MVS-Harkens mounted on the front of the shoulders of the Type-24O. The duo of oval shaped Harkens were similar to the MVS-Harken-Disc of the Victoria in that they didn’t use a cable but rather were tethered to the Okouchi via an electromagnetic line. The twin MVS-Harken weapons flew back into the their respective recesses within the shoulder armor of the Okouchi as Anya unleashed a trio of energy discs from the “Fukusha Hadou Kikou” enhanced radiant-energy wave rifle mounted on the left forearm of her mecha.
“Wow, Anya is pretty fierce.” Tetsuo joked with Gregor as one of the Victorias fired its four-barrel gunpod at his Type-24G Goro nearly taking off his machine’s head.
“Stay focused Tetsuo,” Akira ordered Tetsuo as he flew Susano-O up to the offending Britannian KMF and drew his machine’s Zangetsu-Masmune Hadron-Sword. The Susano-O drew the weapon so fast that the Victoria clone was unable to parry the attack; the Zangetsu-Masmune cut the Britannian KMF in half at the waist.
“Not bad kid,” Tamaki snickered as he joined the fray, “but just watch this veteran pilot in action.” Tamaki used the 28 mm cannon mounted on the left forearm of his Okouchi to deflect the MVS-Harken-Disc of another Victoria while his machine drew its Hadron-Katana from its left hip. He moved in and cut off the legs of the Victoria with a single swipe.
“Yeah!” Tamaki boasted. “Now that’s what I’m talking about-“
The arms, head, and Null-Gravity generators of Tamaki’s Okouchi were blasted off by an assailant from above.
“My god you’re annoying!” Evita said snobbishly as her KMF-Victoria swooped down at Tamaki’s ruined KnightMare to finish it off.
The Duchess drew her mecha’s Hadron-Saber to run Tamaki’s Okouchi through but was parried by the Hadron-Katana of Gino’s Type-24O.
Lena drove her Type-24G Goro down and caught Tamaki’s crippled Okouchi. “Don’t worry Commander Weinberg I’ve got him”
“Thank you Lena.” Gino’s Okouchi crossed swords with Evita as they dueled, “I’ll agree Tamaki’s a real pain in the butt sometimes Duchess, but he’s still my friend Evita, and I’ll be dammned if I let you kill him.” Gino scolded her as he nearly cut off her machine’s left Null-Gravity dome.
“You have very poor taste in friends my love,” Evita snickered as her Victoria slashed at the right shoulder shield of his Okouchi.
“Look Duchess, I appreciate your affections for me, but like I told you nine years ago…I’m too old for you. Now please stop this pointless attack.”
Evita laughed out loud, “Oh my darling Gino, do you really think this attack is all about you? I’m doing this for the savior of Britannia and the world, but I’ll happily take you as a prize of war.” The Duchess broke through his parry with a volley of rapid fire Hadron bolts from the forearm guns of her mecha; blasting off the shoulder armor of Gino’s Okouchi as he used it to block the barrage and was forced back.
Gino fired a triple-shot of energy discs from the “Fukusha Hadou Kikou” gunpod of his Okouchi. “I’m no one’s prize Evita!”
Their swords locked briefly before Evita spun her Victoria around and stabbed the left Null-Gravity Generator of Gino’s machine; slowing it down. “Don’t resist my love.” Evita cooed at Gino, “Soon you’ll be mine forever.” Her Victoria easily dodged another swing by Gino’s Okouchi and cut off the left arm and gunpod of his Type-24O.
“Commander Weinberg!” Akira tried to get to Gino but eight more KMF-Victoria type mecha had entered the battle and he could not break through.
“Gino!” Anya cried out as she cut through another of the gray and black Victoria type mecha. Lt. Alstreim nearly made it to assist Gino but was cut off by another KMF-Victoria.
“This is not a game Evita!” Gino barked at the Duchess as he slashed at her KMF. His Hadron-Katana bounced off of her Blaze-Luminous shield.
“Oh but it is my darling,” Evita said softly as she fired her MVS-Harken at his machine. The disc cut off the other arm of his Okouchi. “And I’ve won my prize.” She swooned as her Victoria thrust at his last Null-Gravity Engine.
“LIKE HELL YOU HAVE!” Kallen yelled at Evita as Guren grabbed onto the Hadron-Saber. “Let’s see how you like this you spoiled rotten brat!” Kouzuki pushed the button that activated the Guren-Phoenix’s oversized claw-arm, “this is Guren’s SUPERNOVA!”
The large copper colored circular palm of the claw-arm glowed a gold color as it discharged a yellow-white wave of super-intense heat that melted the Hadron-Saber instantly and washed over the KMF-Victoria like liquid-mercury; the anti-Hadron and Blaze-Luminous shields of the mecha gave it some measure of protection from the attack allowing Evita to eject from the doomed machine just before it exploded.
“Thanks Kallen,” Gino told her with a sigh of relief. “I thought she had me for a minute there.”
“Well I did consider letting her run off with you,” Kallen teased him.
“What?” Commander Weinberg scoffed.
“But, then I realized that the Yamato no Orochi wouldn’t be the same without you.” Kallen giggled. "Besides, I didn't want to give that little rich-bitch the pleasure of having you in her clutches when you're under my power now."
“Really?” Gino was surprised. “Does this mean I owe you dinner after this is over?”
Kallen smiled as she said softly, “Yes Gino, I’d like that.”
“Um Captain Kouzuki,” Anya interjected; breaking the mood, “I hate to interrupt you two but we’ve got new contacts inbound.”
"How many of them are there?" Zero asked Ougi on the bridge of the Ikaruga.
The familiar tone of Zero's voice stunned Ougi Nu as the man's words sunk in, "Um...about one-hundred unknowns diving in from 4000 meters above."
"I see," Zero looked out at the fleet.
"They're flying in a tight line formation that makes it hard for our main dorsal batteries to lock onto them." Ougi informed Zero as the masked man walked up next to him.
"Their target must be the Avalon." Zero stated flatly. "That's why they're not spreading out and their coming in like dive-bombers." Zero turned to face Ougi. "Move us into position directly above the Avalon. We can't have Schneizel capturing Empress Nunnally or else he could gain complete control over Britannia and this war will go on for decades to come."
Ougi nodded, "Understood Zero."
The Ikaruga moved from below the Avalon up and over it just as the legion of Bronze colored Automatos dove down into the battlespace.
"Hey Akira, aren't those your Greek buddies?" Mika called out to him as she cut down another Victoria type KMF.
"What the hell is Jason doing?" Akira spat in anger as he watched the Talos lead the line of Spartans down towards the Ikaruga. The aerial warship launched numerous Type-21 and Type-24 KMFs to intercept the attackers but the Greeks began tearing through them quickly.
"We'd better finish with Evita's forces soon if we're going to get over there to help the Ikaruga." Gregor said as he blasted another Victoria out of the sky using the chest mounted Hadron-cannon of his Goro.
"Where's Captain Kouzuki?" Tetsuo asked as he riddled a pair of Vincent-Wards that had flown into their airspace with the forearm cannon of his Goro; both Britannian machines were blown into metallic confetti.
"She's flying Lt. Commander Weinberg's damaged Okouchi back to the Ikaruga." Anya said mechanically as she deflected a KMF-Victoria's MVS-Harken-Disc with her own pair of MVS-Harkens. Lt. Alstreim followed up her parry with a hail of Hadron blasts that blew off the left leg and arm of the Victoria.
"I hope she doesn't take too long," Gregor said as he dodged a hail of cannon shells from another Victoria. "We're going to run out of power soon if this keeps up."
"Well if it's any consolation I'm back to help!" Lena's Goro blasted the Victoria that was attacking Gregor with her machine's chest mounted Hadron cannon. Lena unleashed her machine's pair of MVS-Harkens as soon as the Victoria was within range and cut the enemy mecha into four pieces; destroying it.
"Where's Tamaki?" Anya inquired as she homed in on another Victoria.
Lena dodged a barrage of cannon rounds from another enemy KMF before answering, "He's waiting for the deck crew to finish prepping his Type-21 Bushido for launch; Gino's Type-21 Samurai is also being prepared if you're wondering."
"Thanks Lena," Anya cut through the Victoria with a simple combination MVS-Harken/Hadron-Katana attack as she replied.
"They're not going to last long if we just hang here over the Avalon," the Red Dragon told Suzaku from within the cockpit of the Uriel.
"I know," Kururugi stated impatiently in his Hakodeshim; the Gabriel. "However, we have no choice but to act as guard detail for the Avalon. All of the other KnightMare Frames of the Avalon are out fighting Evita's forces. We're Knights of the Empress and thus we must remain here to defend her should these Greeks manage to break through our perimeter."
"Yeah...but that doesn't change the fact that good men and women are dying up there Suzaku." The Red Dragon lamented.
Suzaku spoke in almost a whisper, "I know you want to save them all..."
"Of course I do," She said. "Don't you?"
"That's not what I meant," he replied. "There's something I've been meaning to ask you Red Dragon."
"It'll have to wait-" She interrupted him, "Looks like they've broken through our guard forces."
"Those are Archangels Jason!" Heracles said as the Helios and Talos broke through towards the Avalon.
"I do have eyes old friend," Jason snickered.
"I'll take the purple one," Heracles said.
"No Heracles," Jason said sternly. "I need you to lead the boarding party to capture the Empress. I trust your level headed judgment my friend thus I need you to command the assault team."
"Let Orpheus handle the boarding team, my place as Lieutenant is by your side Captain!" Heracles was not comfortable with Jason taking on two Hakodeshim by himself.
"I understand your concern Heracles, but I've twenty Spartans with me. That should be enough to handle these two," Jason said with confidence. He knew that even a highly experienced Hakodeshim pilot would be hard pressed against his Kolossos and twenty Hoplite-Spartans. Still, there were two of the Hebrew machines and that could present a problem. Jason had no other mecha at his disposal at that moment as the rest of his legion was embroiled in battle with the other KMF defense forces of both the Ikaruga and the Avalon.
"I hope you're right Jason," Heracles was not comfortable with this plan. "I'll get my ten Spartans and Helios back to assist you as soon as we have the Empress."
"Very good Heracles," Jason said. "And may the gods smile upon you in this endeavor."
"And you also Captain.-Heracles out." With that the Helios and ten Spartans broke off towards the Avalon while Jason and his twenty Hoplite-Spartan Automatos moved in to attack the Uriel and Gabriel.
"Here they come!" The Red Dragon exclaimed as the Talos led the twenty Spartans in a charge at the Hakodeshim.
"Then let's say hello." Suzaku stated in a sarcastic tone as he pushed the trigger of his left control stick. Instantly the swirling black energy within the blue-crystal sphere on Gabriel’s left forearm became excited and a flare of white light burst for a second like a flash-bulb; a moment later one of the Hoplite-Spartans erupted from the inside out into a ball of flame.
The Red Dragon followed suit and launched her own assault against the Spartans using Uriel’s forearm mounted Solar-Flare Cannons. She was stunned to see a radiant golden sphere shimmer around the two machines; blocking her attack.
“They adapt quickly,” the Red Dragon told Suzaku.
“Then we’ll have to adapt with them,” He said as he closed the gap with two of the closest Greek Automatos. Suzaku flew his Hakodeshim into a twirling spin and kicked the first Spartan; running the machine through with the shin mounted Moon-Blade of Gabriel’s left leg. Kururugi pulled Gabriel away from the doomed mecha just as the second machine fired its Chaos beam at his Archangel.
The Chaos beam struck a faint blue radiance that surrounded the Gabriel in a globe and deflected the Spartan energy weapon.
Suzaku had his Gabriel make a cross-armed gesture, in the manner of an Egyptian Pharaoh, as it grabbed the handles of its Sun-Swords. The red-beam-blades of the pair of Sun-Swords came to life almost as soon as the handles were removed from their shoulder-mounted sheathes.
The Red Dragon did the same and unleashed her pair of blue-beam-blades. She flew Uriel towards another pair of Spartans. She dodged their Chaos beams easily and sliced the Zeus-Spear of one in two before chopping off the wings of the Automatos sending it spiraling into the Hawaiian Island below them. The Red Dragon noticed the Helios and ten Spartans landing on the Avalon below them.
“Suzaku, they’ve breeched the Avalon’s defenses!” The Red Dragon exclaimed in a panic.
“Nunnally,” Kururugi said out loud as he cut another Hoplite in two. “We need to get down there!” Suzaku remarked as he started towards the Avalon with Gabriel. His flight path was blocked by the Talos.
“Going somewhere so soon?” Jason asked him over the comm. as he parried a Sun-Sword attack by Suzaku with the Adamantine-Blade of Talos.
“Why are you helping Schneizel?” Suzaku demanded as they crossed swords numerous times.
“Helping Schneizel?” Jason laughed. “Who told you I was helping that fool. I serve a nobler leader, and She demands that we seize this Empress of Britannia to put a stop to this needless conflict.”
“By using Nunnally as a hostage?” The Red Dragon barked over the channel as she dodged three Chaos beams from a triad of Spartans that were tag-teaming her and forcing her away from Jason and Suzaku.
“If necessary,” Jason lamented as Talos dodged a spin-kick by Gabriel. Jason spun the wings of Talos at an angle and chopped off one of Gabriel’s Moon-Blades. Jason followed up the attack with a blast from his Chaos-Gun which seared into the frontal armor of Suzaku’s Hakodeshim but did not penetrate it.
“You don’t sound convinced of you mistress’ plan of action,” Suzaku tried to reason with the Greek.
“My personal feelings about it are none of your business,” Jason replied as he maneuvered around the Gabriel; dodging three Solar-Flare attacks by Suzaku.
“Well if you intend on being that way about it then I see no choice but to defeat you here and now.” Suzaku sliced off the Hermes-Wing unit on the left leg of Talos as Jason tried to dodge Kururugi’s twin-blade combination attack.
Jason used the momentum of Suzaku’s assault to his advantage and flipped Talos up over behind Gabriel. The Talos thrust its Adamantine-Blade towards the back of the Hakodeshim.
“You fight well, but it would seem you don’t have much experience in that machine,” Jason said to Suzaku as Kururugi tried to dodge the blade thrust. The Adamantine weapon pierced the top of the right-side Energy-Wing tube of the Gabriel causing it to shoot a jet of green energy up and backwards sending the Gabriel out of control.
“Dammn you!” Suzaku cursed as he tried to regain control of the Hakodeshim.
“Suzaku!” The Red Dragon called out over the radio as she fought back the two remaining Spartans that doggedly pursued her while the Gabriel plummeted towards the shoreline of Hawaii.
"C'mon!" Tamaki yelled at the flight-crew as he waited for them to finish loading the gunpod onto the nose of the KMF in its jet-fighter mode. "What's taking you guys so long?"
"We're almost finished Lieutenant," The deck officer told him as the Ikaruga shook violently from another hit.
"Hurry up! They need me out there!" Tamaki demanded as Gino's Type-21J was brought up into the launch position.
"Sorry Lt. Shinichiro, but we had to prepare Commander Weinberg's unit immediately." The deck officer informed him.
The Type-21J flew out of the hangar with a tremendous burst of speed that caused the flight crew to rush out of the way of the back-blast and Tamaki to hold onto the railing in front of him.
“What the hell is Gino doing?” Tamaki blurt out as the Guren-Phoenix passed by the Type-21J holding Gino’s Okouchi in its arms. Tamaki looked at the Type-24O in Guren’s arms then at the rapidly shrinking rear of the Type-21J that had rushed out of the hangar.
Kallen landed the Guren and popped her hatch, “Gino needs another KMF immediately!” She demanded of the deck chief.
The man stared out the hangar with a blank expression.
“Gino just left Kallen,” Tamaki yelled at her.
Kallen gave him a puzzled look as the Type-24O’s hatch opened up and Gino stood up. “I’m right here Tamaki.”
Tamaki was dumbfounded, “If you’re here…then who the hell was that?”
“Somebody just stole a Type-21 out of the hangar deck!” Villetta called out from the lower level of the bridge of Ikaruga.
Ougi and Zero looked down at her from the mezzanine of the bridge.
“What?” Ougi asked flabbergasted. “Who the heck would do that in the middle of a battle?”
“I wonder.” Zero stated flatly as C.C. came running into the bridge.
She was out of breath as she spoke, “I’m sorry…I couldn’t stop him.”
“Dammn him,” Zero muttered.
“Who?” Ougi demanded from both of them in frustration.
“It’s a pity it has to end this way,” Jason said as he knocked one of the Sun-Swords out of Uriel’s left hand. “I don’t like fighting women.”
“But you don’t mind kidnapping them?” The Red Dragon asked spitefully as she tried to stab at the faceplate of Talos with her remaining Sun-Sword.
“I do what I must,” Jason told her as he maneuvered in and grabbed hold of Uriel’s left arm with his machine’s Adamantine claw and started crushing it.
A hail of energy discs cut through the elbow joint of Talos; severing the left limb and freeing the Uriel.
“What the-“ Jason exclaimed as a lone Type-21J flew through the ten remaining Spartans with incredible speed and precision; easily dodging their attacks and destroying two of them with a combination of Gejhun missiles and energy disc volleys as it closed in on Talos.
“Is this a private party or can anybody join in?” Enoch called over the radio as the Type-21J transformed into KnightMare mode and drew its pair of Blade-Luminous Katanas.
“YOU!” Jason remarked in a fury as he parried six lightening fast attacks by the Blade-Luminous Katanas of the Samurai.
“Red Dragon, get to Suzaku.” Enoch said calmly as his Type-21J went into a combat stance with one Katana over its head and the other at its hip both pointing towards the Talos.
Talos moved into its own combat stance, “I know better then to fight you alone Godakeen.” Jason sneered over the radio as his eight remaining Spartans formed up behind him; four flanking Talos on each side.
“Nine to one huh?” Enoch snickered. “Looks like the odds are against you…Jason.”
TURN Eighteen: Revelations
Thanks for Reading
|2009-11-20, 12:16||Link #29|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Eighteen: Revelations
I couldn’t help but look up at the cobalt-blue sky over the Britannian settlement of Japan that day as Euphemia li Britannia prepared to address the masses of elevens that now sat within the stadium of the Japan-Special-Administrative-Zone.
It was 2017 a.t.b. and Lelouch had his Rebellion in full swing up to this point.
My gut told me that he’d do something stupid...his type so often does.
I’d met him at Ashford, though we’d never actually talked outside of a few passing words in class, I was fully aware that he used his Geass like a kid with a shinny new BB gun, but there was nothing I could do about it at that time.
I was keeping a low profile back then and was simply shadowing him; watching his every move; both as Lelouch Lamperouge and Zero.
That cloak-suit that the Major had lent me sure came in handy. I’ll have to thank her the next time we meet; if we do.
“Are you almost ready Princess?” Darlton had asked Euphemia as he double checked with his security forces around the arena via a comm. link he held in his hand.
She simply nodded as she drank down her cup of tea.
Neither one of them knew I was there so Euphemia didn’t see the packet of medical-nanomachines I dropped into her cup of Earl-Grey before she drank it down; just in case her brother got any funny ideas in that fool skull of his.
Euphemia was too valuable to risk loosing.
Besides I’d hate for that voluptuous-Viceroy sister of hers to go on a mad rampage if worst came to worst and Euphemia took a dirt-nap.
Anyway, I slipped Euphie a Mickey to ensure that nothing happened...although in retrospect it didn’t work out exactly as I had planned.”-Excerpt from Enoch’s World-of-Geass report to Metatron dated October 25th 5.00312 GS (Galactic Standard)
“Wow, I’m impressed by how orderly your Spartans charge to their doom,” Enoch taunted Jason as he cut down the first pair of Automatos with the twin Blade-Luminous Katana of his Type-21J Samurai as they flew towards him.
“You won’t stop us Enoch!” Jason spat at him as he flew the Talos around and thrust the great Adamantine-Sword at the Samurai.
“If you only knew how many times I’ve heard that.” Enoch said sarcastically as he moved the Type-21J slightly to the side allowing the blade of the Talos to slip past the chest of the Samurai. Enoch fired the left forearm MVS-Harken of his Type-21J at the faceplate of the Talos; the blade impacted the mirrored surface and shattered it revealing the large circular sensor-lens beneath.
“And this shall be the last time you hear it!” Jason spun the Talos to cut the Samurai in half at the waist but the Type-21S flipped upwards at the last moment in a summersault over the top of Talos.
“Yah, yah, and then the world will be yours,” Enoch laughed. “Tin plated dictators and their misguided legions of warriors are a dime-a-dozen…I should know, I used to be one.” The Type-21S came out of the ball it was in and slashed the wings off of a Spartan that tried to come to Jason’s aid; sending the machine spiraling out of control to the Island below them as two more Spartans lunged at Enoch.
“You dare to mock me?” Jason fired the Chaos beam of the Talos at the Samurai.
Enoch’s Type-21S kicked one of the Spartans it was dueling with into the path of the beam and used it as a shield while the Type-21S dodged out of the way. “Nice shot old man!” Enoch guffawed.
“BASTARD!” The Talos flew at the Samurai at high speed to cut the Type-21S with its wing-blades but the KnightMare Frame transformed into jet-mode and boosted out of the way at the last moment.
“Oh don’t get mad Jason,” Enoch riddled two more Spartans with a combination of Gehjun missiles and Hadron cannon blasts as he dove down at the Talos and its two remaining Hoplites; blasting through their Aegis shields with the missiles and then cutting the Hoplite-Automatos to ribbons with the Hadron beams.
“We all make mistakes,” Enoch weaved through the hail of Hades-cannon fire that the last two Spartans sent at him and transformed his KnightMare right next to the two machines; unsheathing the Samurai’s pair of Blade-Luminous Katana almost simultaneously and cutting both Spartans in half in one fluid motion.
“Like biting off more than we can chew,” Enoch said as only his Samurai and the Talos remained hovering over the Avalon.
“You’re a Daemon from Hades.” Jason cursed.
“Not quite…” Enoch laughed. “I was too evil for heaven,” He moved the Type-21S into a combat stance with one blade held in reverse by the left hand, pointing to the rear, and the other blade up in a salute in the right hand, “and hell was worried I’d take over.”
“Jeremiah, you need to get the Empress out of there now,” Zero told the Knight of Orange over the viewscreen of the main observation deck of the Avalon; the battle between Enoch and Jason could be seen raging outside the windows.
“I realize that Zero, but she’s…” Jeremiah was cut short by Nunnally.
“SHE is not going to abandon the battle like a scared little girl just because Zero says so!” Nunnally glared at him.
“Have you gone mad?” Zero barked at her. “The Avalon has been boarded by the enemy. It’s only a matter of time before they make it to your position.”
“Well if you’re so worried about me Zero, then get over here and help repel them yourself.” Nunnally was intentionally trying to stall Zero. She had her own plan in this and the Empress would not be deterred. Nunnally could feel the intensions of the Greeks as they got closer to her upon the Avalon. They were not malevolent, of that she was certain.
“DAMMN IT NUNNALLY!” Zero lost his patience as Villetta frantically told Ougi that Evita’s forces had wiped out their perimeter KnightMare units. “There isn’t any more time for argument!”
“Well then you’d better get a move on…huh?” Nunnally sneered as she thought to herself. You are wrong Zero, Schneizel is not the force behind this attack. I know it…there is someone else and I intend to find out who.
“This isn’t a stupid game!!” Zero lost control of his voice, causing Ougi and Villetta to glance over at him with a puzzled look. His sister had a way of disrupting his ability to maintain self-control and right now she was doing a fine job of bending it all out of shape.
“Really?” Nunnally raised an eyebrow, “I believe you once said all struggles were comparable to Chess did you not?”
“What?” Zero was taken off guard. He thought to himself, Dammn it Nunnally what are you doing? “Fine, I’m coming over there to get you.”
“You’d better hurry up,” Nunnally gave him a wicked smile as she cut the transmission.
Zero spun and faced Captain Nu, “Ougi, get me a Type-21 immediately.”
“Zero you can’t,” Ougi said defiantly to him. “I won’t allow it.”
Zero balked at Ougi’s exercise of authority, “Ougi, surely you understand that if Schneizel captures Nunnally then he will have the upper hand.”
Ougi frowned at him, “I do Zero, but you should realize that if you leave this ship then Duchess Evita Ernst will no longer need to stay her hand against the Ikaruga. I cannot jeopardize this vessel on account of your feelings for the Empress or your overall strategy.”
“You don’t understand the overall strategy,” Zero barked at him.
“Perhaps not, but I don’t have too.” Ougi retorted. “My responsibility is to this ship and its crew, not to obey your every whim.”
“This is not the time for a discussion, give me a KMF now!” Zero demanded.
Ougi walked over and grabbed Zero by the lapel; pulling his mask up to his face. “I followed you once with the hope that you’d liberate the world and you fled the battlefield like a coward chasing after that sister of yours…” Ougi glared at him as he spoke so only Zero could hear him over the din of the bridge, “…Lelouch. I don’t know how it is that you’re still alive, but there is no mistaking your voice, I know it’s you, and I’m telling you now that I will not allow you to abandon us again. Geass or not, I will not follow a coward.”
Lelouch cursed himself for being so stupid. He had let Nunnally get to him and in doing so revealed his identity to a man who knew him far too well. Lelouch thought about using his Geass on Ougi but remembered what Enoch had told him only a few hours ago; Remember Lelouch, your true-friends are your greatest assets. A hero never betrays them. Lelouch knew he had betrayed Ougi that day over Tokyo when he had fled the battlefield to rescue Nunnally, and Ougi had in turn betrayed him to Schneizel because of it; it was time to correct that injustice.
“You’re right Ougi,” Lelouch gambled on the man’s integrity. “I was wrong to abandon you and the Black Knights during the Black Rebellion. Please forgive me. I will not abandon my responsibility to my friends now”
Ougi was shocked by his admission. Captain Nu let go of Zero’s lapel and put his hand on Zero’s shoulder, “We’re both guilty of betrayal my friend. Let us put the past behind us and do what we must…together.”
“Agreed.” Zero nodded.
Ougi smiled at him, “What are your orders Zero?”
The Uriel flew as fast as its energy wings would take it towards the point where the Gabriel had impacted the shoreline of Hawaii.
“Suzaku…Suzaku!” The Red Dragon's electronic voice called over the radio. She looked frantically at the coastline until she saw the place where the Gabriel had crashed. The Hakodeshim was half in and half out of the water.
The Red Dragon piloted Uriel down onto the sand just next to the Gabriel and opened her Archangel’s front cockpit hatch as quickly as she could. The woman jumped down from her machine and ran over to the Gabriel.
Suzaku’s mecha was lying on its side with the cockpit hatch open revealing the pilot. Kururugi was lying limp in the seat of the Hakodeshim with his head hanging forward.
The Red Dragon rushed over and pulled him from the machine onto the sand.
She checked his wrist for a pulse and then put her hand above his mouth to check his vitals.
“He’s not breathing!” She said frantically. "I don't have any choice." She lamented out loud to herself.
The Red Dragon unfastened the back of her mask and pulled the helmet off her head; a mass of pink hair, dyed red half way down where it came out of the helmet, spilled out over her shoulders.
She opened Suzaku's mouth, pinched his nose shut, and filled her cheeks with air. The Red Dragon put her lips to his and blew into his lungs. She waited for his chest to swell then pushed down on it to facilitate resuscitation.
The Red Dragon put her lips to Kururugi's to refill Suzaku's lungs again when she felt his chest move on its own.
She blew air into his mouth.
He coughed and then began to breathe on his own.
Suzaku put his hands on her shoulders and moved her back off of him slowly. His eye lids lifted slightly then shot wide upon seeing the angelic face of the woman who smiled down at him.
"Hi," She said softly as her eyes softened.
"Am I dead?" Suzaku asked in disbelief.
She shook her head as tears welled in her eyes. "No," she said softly.
"But how?" Suzaku said as her tears fell on his face.
"It's a long story." The Red Dragon answered him with a meek smile as emotion overwhelmed her and she threw her arms around him, "Oh how I've missed you Suzaku!"
Kururugi hugged her tight, "My life lost its meaning when I lost you...Euphie."
"Anytime you feel like actually fighting you let me know Jason," Enoch bellowed as he blocked the Adamantine Blade of Talos with one of his Katana and then cut the left leg of the Kolossos off with the other of his Blade-Luminous Katana.
"You may kill me Enoch, but we'll still achieve our objective!" Jason sneered as he blocked another thrust by the Type-21J.
"Kill you?" Enoch snickered. "When did I day anything about killing you? You're too much fun for me to do something rude like that." He laughed as he easily dodged another blast from the Chaos beam of Talos.
"Stop patronizing me!" Jason attempted another spin-blade attack with the wings of Talos.
"I've done no such thing," Enoch said calmly as he used the twin Katana of his Samurai to chop through one of the wing-tip-blades of Talos. "I've simply bought my young apprentice the time he needs to ensure his success."
"Apprentice? As if I'd know what you mean. How obscure of you," Jason said as he saw an opening in Enoch's defense and thrust for one of the graviton-impellers of the Type-21J.
"Just like my fighting style," Enoch retorted as he shifted the Samurai down ever so slightly so that the Adamantine-Blade slipped past the Graviton-Impeller, scratching the paint off the top of the nacelle, and allowed the Type-21J to bring both Blade-Luminous Katana up in a scissor formation under the last arm of Talos. "I keep my moves short and sweet in order to throw my opponents off-balance."
The pair of Katana cut through the elbow joint of Talos' sword-arm; leaving the Kolossos without arms entirely.
"Now to finish this and deal with your comrades," Enoch spun his Samurai out of the way of another Chaos beam attack by the Talos and cut the left wing off of the Kolossos with its Katana.
"Dammn YOU!" Jason cursed as he lost control of the Talos.
Enoch's Type-21J did a spin kick into the back of the Kolossos that sent the Talos flying so that it crashed into the top deck of the Avalon.
Enoch Apsu saw smoke coming from the joints of the Greek machine. "Jason, get out of there. This fight is over..." Enoch waited a moment. "Jason....Jason!"
"Oh, Son of a...." Enoch drove his KnightMare onto the deck of the Avalon and popped open its cockpit hatch. He leapt to the ground and ran over to the fallen Automatos.
The amber-eyed man scaled the large burning machine and made his way over to the Devicer-hatch; he turned the emergency lever but nothing happened.
"Confounded Greek junk," Enoch complained as he punched his fist through the metal of the cockpit-hatch at its seam and ripped back the door with brute strength revealing the interior of the cockpit.
"Come to finish me off with your bare hands have you?" Jason spat blood at him from the wound on the inside of his cheek. The Greek's uniform was torn at his right shoulder and his arm looked broken.
"No you twit, I'm here to save you from this scrapheap before it explodes." Enoch grabbed Jason and carried him in his arms away from the burning mecha.
The machine exploded on the top-deck of the Avalon sending metal shards flying in every direction.
Enoch used his body to shield Jason as large pieces of Adamantine tore through Apsu's uniform; bouncing off of his skin with a distinct metallic ping, leaving the surface of his body unharmed by the shrapnel.
"You alive?" Enoch asked Jason.
Jason looked up at him, "I hate you."
Enoch smiled, "I'll take that as a yes."
"Hold them back!" Jeremiah yelled as the party of Greek invaders shot at the last of the group of airman that comprised the Avalon's security force. The Greek warriors carried with them a short, spear-like weapon that had a hole at the end where a spear-tip should be. From that hole spewed forth Hades-cannon energy that burned through flesh with ease and made for an effective assault weapon.
The Avalon crew fired salvo after salvo of auto-rifle rounds at the boarders but their bullets were deflected by a personal Aegis shield that each of the Greek Phalanx carried with them.
Within moments the Greeks had finished off the Avalon defenders and left Nunnally, Jeremiah, Reika, and Kaguya cornered within the observation room of the ship.
"I won't let you harm the Empress!" The Knight of Orange yelled as he unsheathed his swords and prepared to attack.
Nunnally put her hand on his arm, "No Jeremiah, they don't mean me any harm."
"How do you know that Empress?" Jeremiah asked her as he watched the Greek line part to allow a tall, brawny, olive-skinned, bearded man dressed in a Greek-Devicer jumpsuit walk forward.
"That's a good question," the bearded man said. "How do you know our intent? Perhaps we're here to kill you."
Jeremiah scowled at him but said nothing.
Nunnally gave him a reserved smile, "You're lying. You're not here to harm me. I know because I can feel it."
"Feel it?" The man gasped as a second, somewhat shorter, Greek Devicer came up behind him.
The two exchanged wide-eyed looks.
"Tell me Empress, do you know my name?" The tall bearded man asked.
Nunnally closed her eyes and thought hard for a moment before answering, "You are Heracles and the one beside you is Orpheus."
To Jeremiah's surprise the Greeks knelt down before her, "Forgive us for this crude manner in which we first meet Empress Nunnally. We had no idea you were an Oracle."
Nunnally was relieved inside. Zero had told her the names of the Greek commanders during a mission-briefing they had together prior to their departure from Japan, but she had not known what any of them looked like; her feelings had been right about these two.
"You have come here to take me to your leader," Nunnally said to Heracles.
"Yes Empress," Heracles told her truthfully. "And you will be unharmed."
"Very well," Nunnally told him. "I will go with you if you promise to halt this attack and withdraw."
Heracles bowed to her, "I can only promise that our forces will withdraw, but I cannot speak for those of Schneizel."
“The UFN can deal with Evita,” Reika told Nunnally with a smirk. “Xingke’s fleet should be here any moment.”
“How do you know that?” Kaguya asked the Tianzi in surprise.
Jiang shrugged with a sheepish grin, “We’ve been planning on seeing each other when he gets here. I spoke to him only a few hours ago.”
An explosion rocked the ship; shattering the large windows of the observation deck that were above them and showering the room with small bits of glass.
“Empress!” Jeremiah shielded Nunnally, Reika and Kaguya from the rain of tiny glass-particles with his body.
“It appears Evita is attacking the Avalon directly,” Sumeragi said to Nunnally.
Nunnally shook her head and spoke in a distant voice, “No…that was the KnightMare of the one called Jason.”
“Jason?” Heracles asked as he heard his Captain’s name leave her lips. “What has become of him?”
“He is injured,” Nunnally told him with a far-off look in her eyes.
“Where?” Orpheus asked.
“The top deck, near the dorsal KnightMare launch bay,” Nunnally told them.
“Orpheus, you take the Empress and her party to our Automatos and get them safely to the Argos. I’ll go and find Jason.” Heracles didn’t wait for a reply before sprinting out of the room.
Orpheus turned to Nunnally and her companions, “Shall we go?’
“Kallen, I want you, Tamaki, and Gino to bypass the battle surrounding the Ikaruga and use the superior speed of your KMFs to infiltrate Duchess Ernst’s fleet.” Zero said over the radio as the Guren-Phoenix and its two Type-21B Bushido Variable KMF wingmen were loaded into position on the Ventral KMF launch ramps.
“Roger that Zero, does this mean we’re taking her out?” Kallen inquired as she scanned over her sensors for the best flight path to the Longres class Flagship of Evita.
“No, we need her alive.” Zero replied. “I want you to disable her ship’s graviton-Impellers and force it to land in the ocean off the shore of Hawaii. That way we can board her with impunity and capture the Duchess.”
“That should be pretty easy,” Tamaki boasted.
“I hope your right,” Gino tittered.
“Don’t worry Zero,” Kallen reassured him, “this is no different then when we Black Knights tried to capture Viceroy Nunnally while she was on her way back to Japan from Britannia.”
“Oh geez,” Gino laughed. “I remember that, you guys attacked the ship using KMFs without float-units. You were nuts!”
“Just think how crazy I’ll be with a flight capable KMF.” Kallen teased Gino.
"Ahem," Zero interjected. "Are you ready?"
"We were born ready!" Tamaki exclaimed as his Type-21B tore off the launch ramp.
"You gotta hand it to him," Kallen laughed. "He's got guts." Guren-Phoenix boosted off after Tamaki with Gino right behind her.
"Oh stop whining!" Enoch scolded Jason who winced slightly while Enoch bandaged up his arm. The two men were at the mouth of an airlock that led into the Avalon; Enoch knelt next to Jason who sat on the metal deck.
"Why did you save me?" Jason asked him coldly.
Enoch gave him a grave look, "Because these hands have more blood on them then I care to think about, so I save all the ones I can. Machines are replaceable, people are not."
"But you killed my comrades," Jason retorted.
Enoch scowled at him, "I wouldn't have if your people had fitted those damnable Automatos with ejection devices."
Jason turned away from him, "You have no honor."
Enoch shook his head as he finished the tourniquet, "Perhaps not by your standards Greek, but I've virtue a plenty by my code and that's all I care about."
Jason looked behind Enoch as he spoke to him, "Clearly we are from different worlds."
Enoch stood up above him, "Indeed we are...wouldn't you agree Heracles?" Enoch Apsu turned to face the large-bearded Greek warrior as he approached with his sword drawn.
"Move away from the Captain, Daemon!" Heracles spat at Enoch.
Enoch stepped away cautiously, "Oh come now, you should realize I wouldn't bandage him up if I intended him any harm Heracles."
The twin Sigils of Geass formed in Heracles eyes, "Now you will face me!" Heracles leapt high into the air towards Enoch with his sword over his head.
Enoch did a backwards flip out of the way of Heracles' Adamantine blade. The Amber-eyed man landed squarely on his feet and paced off with the Greek warrior; moving himself towards the Type-21B.
"Why don't you face me with honor instead of running like a hyena!" Heracles lunged towards Enoch with his blade.
Enoch dodged the attack easily and got in front of the KMF. "Because I'd rather use my brains for more than senseless fighting," Enoch jumped up into the open cockpit and shut it; powering up the machine as soon as he entered it.
Heracles used his power of Geass and rammed the machine's leg in a rage of superhuman strength; causing the mecha to fall down on its haunches.
Enoch snickered over the comm. as his KMF got up and lifted off of the deck, "Wish I could stay and play with you Heracles, but I've got an Empress to save."
Enoch took off from the dorsal deck of the Avalon and headed for where the squad of Greek Automatos was parked.
Zero watched the mass of digital KMFs on the overhead screen of the Ikaruga as Kallen and her two wingmen made their way past the defense lines of Evita's forces.
"Ougi, fire our Hadrons twenty degrees below Kallen’s strike team and take out that frigate and their KMF escorts."
Captain Nu nodded to the gunnery officer and a moment later the main cannons of the Ikaruga blazed forth a dual stream of Hadron energy that destroyed the frigate and her group of forty KnightMares.
"Looks like Anya and Akira have shot down another aerial frigate of Evita's fleet," Villetta said with a proud look towards Ougi and Zero. "That should give Captain Kouzuki a clear path to the Flagship now."
"Excellent work Villetta," Zero complimented her as he watched Evita's forces send in another group of KnightMares to contend with the Yamato no Orochi.
"Zero," Major Nu looked at him intently. "Akira and his team are nearly out of ammunition and their energy fillers are less then half full. They can't keep this up much longer."
Zero turned to face her, "They don't have too." Dozens of squadrons of Type-21Os screamed past the viewports of the Ikaruga.
Ougi smiled at Villetta as he declared, "Zero, General Xingke's forces have arrived."
Zero raised his head towards the viewscreen as the digital silhouettes of the newcomers were added, "Excellent, the first task at hand has been cleared."
"Lena watch out!" Akira yelled as Susano-O used its Hadron-Masmune to slice through the KMF-Victoria that tried to cut her Goro down with its Saber.
“Thanks Akira,” She said as she parried a hail of autocannon rounds with the shoulder shield of her Goro. “But I don’t think my machine can take any more of this, my power meter is in the red.”
“Mine too there boss!” Gregor announced as he dueled with another Victoria.
“Same here,” Mika informed them.
Anya split another Victoria in half at the waist with her Okouchi’s Hadron-Katana, “Don’t worry we won’t have much longer to wait until”-She was cut short by a hail of autocannon rounds ripping through her machine.
“ANYA!” Tetsuo screamed as he raced his Goro to catch her falling mecha.
The offending Victoria swooped in to finish her Okouchi off.
Tetsuo pushed his machine to maximum speed and rammed the KMF-Victoria; sending the Britannian machine flying.
The Britannian recovered quickly and fired its autocannon at Tetsuo.
Tetsuo rolled out of the way of the barrage and dove at the enemy mecha with his Hadron-Katana. In moments the two machines crossed swords.
Tetsuo blocked and parried the Victoria’s blows but the enemy pilot used his MVS-Harken to force Tetsuo’s Goro backward. The Victoria knocked the Hadron-Katana from the hands of Tetsuo’s Goro with its MVS-Harken-Disc and prepared to slice him in two when a blade chopped through the enemy unit at the waist.
The pilot of the Victoria ejected right before his machine exploded.
Lt. Alstreim’s Okouchi was floating behind the detonation.
“Thanks for helping me Tetsuo,” Anya’s cool voice came over the radio.
“Uh…you’re welcome,” Tetsuo stuttered, “hey Lieutenant Alstreim…uh…could I buy you a drink when we get back?”
Anya was taken off guard by his sudden offer and nearly got hit by a volley of autocannon rounds from another enemy unit, “Are you asking me out?”
“Well…kinda,” Tetsuo said sheepishly.
“Oh just ask her you IDIOT!” Mika yelled at him over the comm. as she slashed through another KMF-Victoria.
“Yes Lieutenant Alstreim!” Tetsuo yelled over the radio. “I’d like very much to take you out…err…to diner…or something.”
“I’d love to go out with you Tetsuo,” Anya replied as two squadrons of Type-21Os dove into the battlespace and hammered Evita’s forces with their weapons.
“Hey you guys look like you could use a hand,” Rivaltz said with a chuckle. “Let us handle the rest of this from here…besides, sounds to me like somebody’s got a hot date after this.”
“You heard that Major Ashford?” Anya asked embarrassed.
Rivaltz laughed, “Just be thankful my wife isn’t here…she’d hound you for eternity to get the inside scoop on the love-lives of the Yamato no Orochi.”
“You heard the man,” Akira said with relief over the radio. “Let’s get back to the Ikaruga at once.”
“Well hello there Orpheus!” Enoch called out over the external speaker of his Type-21J as it cut an empty Spartan-Automatos down before its pilot could reach it.
The Greeks were running towards their machines with Nunnally, Reika, Kaguya, and Jeremiah in tow.
“YOU!” Orpheus yelled at Enoch as the Greek made it too his mecha and activated the machine. Orpheus shut the hatch and used the loudspeaker of his Spartan to speak to his men, “Get the Empress and her companions to your machines. I’ll deal with this Daemon.”
“You Greeks keep labeling me that, what gives?” Enoch asked as he moved in to disable Orpheus’ Spartan with his Blade-Luminous Katana.
“You deserve that title fiend,” Orpheus said with venom. “A thing which lives yet cannot be killed is certainly an evil thing…even gods can die!” Orpheus’ Spartan dodged the pair of Katana.
“Only false gods die Orpheus.” Enoch snickered. “And only men are fool enough to think they can ever be gods.” Apsu’s Samurai slashed at the Automatos but Orpheus backed his machine away dodging the attack.
“So you think you’re a god now is that it?” Orpheus fired a volley of Hades bolts form the lance of his Spartan.
“If you’d seen what my eyes have seen Orpheus you’d know I’m not even close,” Enoch fired a hail of Hadron blasts from the shoulder cannons of his Type-21J at the Spartan but Orpheus continued to roll out of the way.
“So you’re not a god, nor a Daemon, what pray tell are you then?” Orpheus demanded as he fired his Chaos beam at the Type-21J.
“A man,” Enoch dodged the beam easily as he replied in a somber tone, “who wanted to be a god…then changed his mind.”
“Sounds pathetic,” Orpheus moved out of the way of another burst of Hadron blasts from the Type-21J. “So now you’re just a vagabond?”
Enoch knew Orpheus was trying to lead him away from the Avalon to buy time for Heracles and Jason to get to the Helios. What the Greeks didn’t know was that was part of Lelouch’s plan to take all the Greeks and Evita at once.
Enoch saw Heracles use his Geass power of strength to leap with Jason in his arms from the port-side KMF launch ramp to the starboard one. Enoch had given in to the Greek’s ruse long enough, “No Orpheus,” Enoch answered the man’s question, “I’m an enforcer now…think of me as a sort of Interdimensional-Cop.” Apsu transformed his machine into jet-mode and flipped it over away from Orpheus.
“Where are you going coward?” Orpheus demanded as the Type-21J zoomed back towards the Avalon.
“You didn’t actually think I’d fall for that did you?” Enoch laughed as his Type-21J came up over the Avalon and transformed back into a KnightMare; it landed on the deck between the Greeks and their Automatos. “I was just buying time with this little escapade.”
A flight of forty Type-21Os in jet-mode, led by a Blue-and-Red Type-21S Shogun, flew down from above the Ikaruga and surrounded the Avalon’s top deck.
Orpheus rushed his Spartan back towards where his men were trying to load Kaguya and Reika into a pair of Spartans.
“I don’t’ want to go!” Reika yelled at the Greeks as she struggled to pull away from them.
The Blue Shogun transformed into KnightMare Mode and landed next to them with a pair of Type-21Os flanking it.
“Release your captives and I’ll spare you lives!” A male voice sounded over the Blue-Shogun’s loudspeaker.
“Xingke!!” Reika exclaimed with relief.
“Leave them,” the current leader of the Greeks said. “We have what we came here for. We don’t need these two.”
“As you wish Pollux,” one of the Greek Hoplites holding onto Reika and Kaguya obeyed. The two women were let go; Reika fell backwards and was caught by Sumeragi.
The Greeks raced towards their machines.
“Fools!” Xingke said as he fired the forearm mounted rapid-fire Hadron cannon of his machine’s left forearm; he aimed to stop the Greeks from reaching their machines, not gun them down.
A large Adamantine-disc flew at the Blue-Shogun, nearly cutting Xingke’s KMF in half, before he dodged at the last moment.
“Get out of here Argonauts!” Heracles bellowed over the external-speaker of the Helios as he fired his Chaos beam at Xingke and his escort; one of the Type-21Os was hit by the energy blast and destroyed.
The Helios swung its mighty Adamantine-club at the Blue-Shogun but a pair of Blade-Luminous Katana stopped it from hitting its mark.
“You guys still here?” Enoch snickered. “I’d thought you’d have left by now.”
Orpheus landed his machine next to the Helios, “Not without the Empress Nunnally.”
Type-21Os landed on all sides of the small party of Greek machines with their gunpods aimed at them.
“You’re not going anywhere,” Xingke said over the radio.
“Don’t be so sure about that General Xingke,” Heracles tittered over the radio as a green wave of energy washed over the top of the Avalon.
“This can’t be good,” Enoch said out loud as all the systems of his KnightMare shut down. He could see the other Type-21s all around him falling to their knees and shutting down.
“Until we meet again Enoch Apsu,” Jason said over the comm. of the Helios. “Argonauts, back to the ship at once!”
“You win this round Jason, but I’ll be sure to catch up to you soon,” Enoch said in a snide tone as he watched the small troupe of Greek Automatos fly off of the Avalon unopposed with Nunnally and Jeremiah in their clutches.
“Zero, we’re almost to Evita’s Flagship,” Kallen said as her Guren-Phoenix blasted through three KMF-Victorias with its disc-rifle-gunpod. The Longres class aerial-dreadnaught was moving away from the battlefield.
“Looks like she’s gotten scared of us and is running away!” Tamaki laughed.
“Don’t be so sure about that,” Gino cautioned as the wave of green energy washed over their KMFs; the Flagship of the Duchess was outside the wave.
As soon as the green light touched the Type-21 KnightMares their systems began to shutdown.
“Kallen I’ve lost power!” Tamaki yelled as his KMF plummeted for the ocean below him.
“My powers gone too!” Gino called over the radio.
The Guren-Phoenix was unaffected by the wave of energy, “You two eject and I’ll pick you up!” Kallen told them as she flew her 12th Generation KMF down towards them; her machine was not responding correctly, making flying a bit difficult, but she still had power.
Tamaki and Gino each pulled on the ejection levers below their seats. Instantly the cockpit canopies of both fighters blew off and the Devicer-chairs were shot out of the doomed KnightMares. A few moments later a parachute deployed on the top of each chair allowed the ejection device to float down slowly towards the ocean.
Kallen swooped down towards Tamaki’s ejected Devicer-seat and scooped him up. “You okay Tamaki?” She asked over the exterior-speaker of Guren.
Tamaki responded with a raised arm and a thumbs-up.
Kallen panned around just in time to see a pair of KMF-Victorias pick up Gino in his ejection seat. “GINO!” She yelled out loud but knew she couldn’t go into battle with Guren holding onto Tamaki, it was too dangerous.
The pair of KnightMare frames flew up to Evita’s Flagship unopposed.
“What the hell is happening?” Zero demanded.
Ougi and Villetta were dumbfounded as they looked over their control stations frantically.
“It’s some kind of Gehjun field,” Rakshata said as she rushed onto the bridge. “It’s coming from space. We saw it while monitoring the performance of our new KMF units. You’ve got to get them back here immediately.”
“Captain Nu,” the female communications officer of the Ikaruga called out. “We’re receiving a transmission from the enemy.”
“Put it on the big screen,” Ougi ordered the girl.
The visage of the caller came on the viewscreen.
“Schneizel!” Zero growled through clenched teeth.
“Greetings Zero,” Schneizel smiled.
TURN Nineteen: Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Thanks for Reading
|2009-11-29, 19:16||Link #30|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Ninteen: Every Body Wants to Rule the World
“Conquest is easy, control is not. Those were the words of a wise commander who saw the difficulties in maintaining power over territory taken in conflict. Conquest of the whole of the world presented an even greater challenge then simply putting down the resistance or insurrection in one area once conquered. Control requires more finesse and tolerance if the conqueror is to ensure obedience or at the very least cooperation with the indigenous populous of his newly acquired fiefdom. When Schneizel made his bid for global domination, he did so with the cunning and skill of the Devil himself in the manner that all evil men seduce the masses…with a promise of peace.”-Excerpt from the diary of Euphemia Li Britannia dated November 16th 2024 a.t.b.
“Greetings Zero,” Schneizel smiled on the big-screen of the Avenger, “and the people of the world.”
“Dammn him,” Cornelia cursed under her breath as she and Gilford watched Prince Schneizel continue on with his speech.
Outside Princess Cornelia’s warship, the Avenger, a battle raged between her KnightMare forces and those of the Russian Confederation.
“I hold in my hand the power to bring peace to the whole world.” Schneizel lifted up a metallic ball-shaped device the size of an orange. Upon the top of this device was a red colored switch. Schneizel ran his finger over the top of the switch.
“Now what deviltry has my elder-brother concocted?” Cornelia scoffed as she watched the worldwide transmission with distain.
Gilford said nothing.
“Behold the power of peace,” Schneizel smiled on the screen.
In an instant a green light washed over the Britannian and Russian KMF units in front of Cornelia’s aerial armada; the machines dropped to the ground like lead as their power was drained from them.
“A Gehjun Disturber!” Gilford exclaimed in awe.
“So Schneizel, I see the acorn does not fall that far from the tree,” Cornelia sneered.
“Milady?” Gilford inquired with a befuddled look.
“Schneizel is no different than my father was,” She looked out at the mass of fallen KnightMares, “He’s not interested in how he wins the world, so long as he wins. Just like Charles, he fails to see the bigger picture. That was how the Black Rebellion gained its impetus and why so many countries flocked to the UFN. The people hated us for crushing them and then persecuting them afterwards. Schneizel clearly thinks he can con people into believing him a man of peace by shutting down the military forces of warring states as if weapons are the reason people kill one another; his thinking is simplistic and childish. KnightMares don’t kill people of their own accord it takes the will of the person inside it to pull the trigger, and that desire to kill will remain if we don’t prove ourselves worthy of ruling this planet. The trappings of the old world order, where an elite few rule over the masses, is over! Lelouch ended it, but he failed to fully implement what must come afterwards due to his foolish arrogance.”
Gilford looked outside to see the flashing light of smallarms fire amongst the fallen KMFs. “I see what you mean Princess. Even without their Frames our men are still fighting the Russians.”
“Not just our men Gilford. Both groups of warriors understand why people go to war,” Cornelia stared out at the melee as Schneizel rattled on over the viewscreen about his New World Order of peace. “They war for freedom, wealth, status, power, and for a chance at something more in life, they war to be masters of their own destinies. Peace may be a beneficial side-effect of war and conquest for the elite few who govern and gain power because of war, but it is hardly the natural state of things when peace is nothing more than the lack of all resistance to tyranny.”
“If his goal is world-domination then what is Prince Schneizel playing at by pushing a message of peace?” Gilford enjoyed it when Cornelia expressed herself and her newly acquired ideals.
“He obviously has an inferior number of forces at his disposal, otherwise he wouldn’t need to expend the enormous power required to create such a massive Gehjun field. I suspect he’s systematically knocking out the power systems of all of the KMFs on the planet in order to give him the upper hand when he launches his attack against the homelands of the leading world powers.”
“You think he intends to attack them all at once?” Gilford was awestruck.
“Yes, and we’ve paved the way for him by crushing all of Europe and the Mediterranean powers.” Cornelia lamented.
“What shall we do my Princess?” Gilford asked distraught by the implications of Schneizel’s plan.
Cornelia assessed the battle below them, “Send out recovery teams to collect our men and their KMFs. This battle is pointless now.”
“Are we withdrawing?” Gilford queried her.
“Yes,” She answered. “And order the fleet to set course for Japan.
“Japan?” Gilford was confused by her order. “May I ask why Princess Cornelia?”
Cornelia smiled at him, “Because Japan still holds 55% of the world’s supply of Sakuradite and we need it to repair our KMFs.”
Gilford gave her a perplexed look, “But why would the UFN help us?”
Cornelia tittered at his expression, “Because the only person Tohdoh hates more than me is Schneizel.”
“Is this war really necessary?” Nunnally asked Jason as they sat together in the large observation room of the Argos sipping tea together.
Jason gave her a weak smile, “I’m afraid there have been political problems within our own governmental structure that have caused this unpleasant situation.”
Nunnally eyed him cautiously, “You’re not happy with this whole thing are you Captain?”
“Please Empress, call me Jason.” He gave her a warm grin, “and no, I do not like any of this. It seems to me that we could have negotiated with the world for the resources we needed rather than ally with Schneizel and indulge his desires for world domination.”
“Something has been troubling me about Schneizel that perhaps you can answer Jason,” Nunnally looked directly into his deep-blue eyes.
Jason softened his expression as she did so, “You may ask me anything you like Empress and I will answer to the best of my knowledge.”
Nunnally asked her question more impatiently than she had wanted too, “Do you know how Schneizel was able to break the Geass my brother put upon him?”
“A device we possess called a Dispeller,” Jason told her as he pointed to his headband. “All Champions and gods wear one.”
“Gods?” Nunnally asked.
Jason chuckled, “Yes…well…not actual gods I suppose, but it’s what we call Champions, which I believe you call Geass-users, who’ve achieved immortality by obtaining a Code.”
“I wasn’t aware that a person could have both a Code and Geass,” Nunnally was sure that someone had once told her a person lost their Geass power when they obtained a Code.
“A person looses their power of Geass only if they take their Code from the one who gave them their power in the first place,” said Jason. “People who take their Code from an enemy or are given it by an immortal who is not the one that gave them their power are able to obtain a Code. The other way one gains both is to be of a particular bloodline and thus once Geass is given to them they automatically acquire a Code by natural means.”
“I see,” Nunnally said. “Where did the Code and Geass originate?”
“A noble question milady, certainly worthy of an oracle of this age,” Jason answered. “Originally the Codes were made first in order to give mankind the means to travel the vast distances of space without being limited by the mortal restraint of a lifespan, food, water, and the like. Sadly the experiment was not a complete success.”
Nunnally was perplexed, “How did it fail?”
Jason took a sip of tea to wet his throat before replying, “Food, water, and the basic necessities of life are still needed for the body to endure without dying repeatedly. Thus even with a Code the immortal must have the normal sustenance that mortals require.”
“And Geass?” She ventured.
“Geass is a side effect of the genetic alteration of man. It, like the Code, changes the vibrational frequency that our atomic structure vibrates at and allows the person to connect with the very fabric of reality. The ancients called it the Eden Vital. Each person manifests their Geass differently as each individual connects to the fabric of reality in a variety of ways; usually based on some strong emotion or need that helps mold the creation of their power.”
Nunnally was intrigued, “You mentioned that the Code was made for space-travel, does that mean there are Geass users in space?”
Jason’s expression became grave, “Yes milady.”
“You have done very well Medea,” Sthenno said as she embraced the dark haired woman that walked off of the gangway of the Ithaca.
Medea hugged her back, “Thank you Sthenno.”
“We now have the means to fully power Tartarus,” Sthenno smiled.
“And crush all those who oppose us,” Medea snickered. “We shall be invincible.”
Sthenno raised an eyebrow, “Indeed, why should we leave this world when we can keep it for ourselves?”
“Does this mean you plan on using the Apollyon?” Medea inquired. The woman was visibly apprehensive about the device.
“I do,” Sthenno told her with a cold expression. “We lack the troops to properly conquer this world by any other means. Once we’ve leveled a few of their cities these mortals will bow before us willingly.”
“What of Schneizel?” Medea was curious as to what would become of this man Sthenno had put her faith in.
“I shall have my revenge upon him,” Sthenno hissed.
“So your Hakodeshim were totally unaffected by the Gehjun field?” Rakshata asked the Red Dragon and Suzaku as they stood within the hangar of the Ikaruga at the feet of the large battlerobots.
“Apparently,” The modulated voice of the Red Dragon answered through her mask.
“Do you think you can figure out why they’re immune Professor Chawla,” Suzaku asked.
“Well in all honesty I already know why,” she waved her pipe towards the Gabriel. “The simple answer is that they’re not powered by Sakuradite; exactly what powers them is a mystery in and of itself. Whatever the power source of these machines may be, it gives them the ability to self-repair which is nothing short of incredible. Where did you say you got them again?”
“From a friend of ours who’s…how should we say…a bit eccentric?” The Red Dragon shrugged and turned her mirrored mask towards Suzaku.
Suzaku smiled at her, “Yeah, he’s a weird guy, but his heart is in the right place.”
“Huh?” Rakshata was confused. “Did I miss something?”
Suzaku was staring at the Red Dragon with a dreamy eyed expression when the Red Dragon responded to Rakshata, “No Professor,” she giggled, “Suzaku’s still a bit light headed from his experience on Hawaii.”
Kururugi snapped out of his daze, “So Professor Chawla do you think you can find a way to insulate the other KnightMare Frames from Schneizel’s Gehjun disturber by examining the Uriel and Gabriel?”
“I’m afraid not,” Rakshata lamented. “Their design is too advanced for me to even begin to tinker with them. However, I may be able to garner something from the Greek machine we recovered on Kaminejima Island. I noticed that the casing for their Energy Filler is lined with a Lead alloy. Lead is a dense material that might be able to repel Gehjun particles.”
“How soon do you think you can duplicate the Lead-alloy?” The Red Dragon asked. She was anxious to get the UFN forces back up and running again so they could rescue Nunnally.
“I’m afraid I’m not much of an alloy expert.” Rakshata sighed. “I’ll need Lloyd’s help on this one which is why I asked you here Suzaku.” She smiled, “You know Lloyd as well as anyone does, he won’t listen to me on this, could you ask him to analyze this material for me?”
“Sure,” Suzaku replied with a smile. “I’ll ask him when we return to the Avalon.”
“That reminds me,” The Red Dragon said. “How soon do you think we’ll get the okay to go back?”
“As soon as Zero clears you I think,” Rakshata said with a tip of her pipe. “In fact I believe he’d like to see you two as soon as I’m finished with you....which I am.”
“Then we should probably be on our way down to see him,” Suzaku said with a wave to Rakshata.
He and the Red Dragon made their way our of the hangar deck leaving Professor Chawla to stare in wonder at the two machines before her.
“We need to get out after Gino NOW!” Kallen barked at Zero and Ougi. “Who knows what that little wench is doing to him?”
“We don’t have the ability to do so Kallen,” Ougi tried to calm her.
“Our current priority is to recover all our KnightMare Frames.” Zero told her with a wave of his hand, “Then we can get underway after the Duchess.”
“You’re letting her get out a ways from us aren’t you Zero?” Kouzuki asked with a scowl. “Gino was what she wanted all along and you knew it.”
“Of course, and now that Evita has her prize she’ll let her guard down and no doubt lead us right to Schneizel. Her fleet didn’t set course for Britannia; they’re headed for the South Pacific.”
“Major Nu,” one of the bridge bunnies called to Villetta who was silently observing the argument between Captain Kouzuki, Zero and Ougi.
“Yes?” Villetta asked.
“We’ve recovered Cmdr. Weinberg’s Type-21J and the person who stole it. Shall I have him thrown in the brig Ma’am?”
“One moment,” Villetta walked up the stairs to the mezzanine where the argument continued to ensue.
“HE’S NOT EXPENDABLE!” Kallen pointed an accusing finger at Zero, “When are you going to learn that?”
"To save the world from the totalitarian rule of Schneizel, we are all expendable." Zero told her calmly.
“You’re as bad as Lelouch was!” Kallen didn’t wait for him to retort, she turned and stormed off the bridge.
Ougi’s eyes went wide as he choked down the urge to blurt out a laugh; he coughed heartily to clear his throat.
Zero simply watched her leave.
“I hate to interrupt,” Villetta said as she walked onto the command platform. “But I need to know what you’d like me to do with the pilot that stole Gino’s Samurai.”
“Have him report to my personal quarters,” Zero said to Villetta’s surprise.
“As you wish Zero but…” Major Nu started to say.
“Don’t worry,” Zero put his hand up in a dismissive gesture. “I’ll deal with him myself.”
“That Son of a Bitch…” Kallen cursed out loud to herself as she walked towards the Devicer’s lounge; she needed a nice strong drink to calm her emotions.
Kallen walked past the open door of the hangar deck when she caught site of Gino’s Type-21J and the man who had stolen it standing next to the KMF talking with the deck chief.
“Enoch?” She recognized the man almost immediately. It was hard not to. His skin had a distinct gold-tinge to it in the fluorescent overhead lighting of the hangar deck.
“HEY ENOCH!” Kallen called out to him.
“Oh hi Kallen, how are you?” He called back as he walked towards the elevators at the left hand side of the hangar bay.
Kallen ran into the bay towards him, “Wait up!”
He held the elevator door open for her. “Can I assist you in some way Captain Kouzuki?” He asked her with a smile.
Her desperate blue eyes met his amber orbs, “I need your help with something.”
“Oh…what can I do for you?” He asked in a meek tone.
Captain Kouzuki gave him a narrow eyed look as she pushed past him into the elevator, “You can give me the truth.”
“About?” Enoch inquired as the elevator doors shut.
“Zero,” She replied. “How is it that you are down here with that KnightMare Frame and yet Zero was on the bridge with me only moments ago giving orders?”
“Someone is standing in for me,” He refused to lie to her, but he knew better than to expose Lelouch…just yet anyway.
Kallen brushed her hair back and put her hands on her hips, “Who?”
“Usually C2,” He smirked.
She raised an eyebrow, “C2? I highly doubt that C2 was the one calling the shots in this last battle and she certainly is not the person I was just arguing with a few minutes ago. Tell me who was on the bridge.”
Enoch gave her a devilish grin, “Ougi, Villetta, the bridge crew, and Zero. Who else would be there?”
“Stop toying with me,” She barked at him. “I want to know who the man behind that mask is!”
Enoch’s expression became sad, “If you learn that Zero is the person you hope he is would that make the pain go away? Is that why you hope beyond hope for it to be Lelouch?”
Kallen blushed, she was acting like an obsessed teenager and she knew it. "No it's not that...it's just...I can't let go."
"What about poor Gino?" Enoch asked. "Are your feelings for a dead man greater than those for the love that's staring you right in the face?"
Kallen's expression softened, "I'm not sure if I feel anything other than friendship for Gino. He's my wingman... and a good friend…maybe my best friend right now…I do care about him a lot I admit, but I'm not sure it's love."
Enoch put his hand on her shoulder, "True love often starts with real friendship...and it's hardly ever a sure thing at first."
"Wha?" Kallen stepped back. "Are you trying to imply that I'm in love with Gino?"
Enoch smiled at her as he spoke softly, "No, I would never presume such a thing. Only you know the truth that lies deep down in your heart, but it is clear that he loves you very much."
She looked away from Enoch, “I know he does, but we’re too different. His family was Britannian nobility and mine was only half that. I was a Black Knight under Zero, he was a Knight of the Round…I mean…at the end he did change sides and…he did save me in the last battle…but still, it wouldn’t work out.”
Enoch moved over to look her in the face with a grin. “Opposites attract you know and never doubt who you are Kallen. I come from very humble beginnings. Before my transformation I was a farmer.” He pointed a thumb at his chest in a nonchalant gesture, “and look at me now!”
Kallen giggled, “Yeah? You’re a pretty interesting guy.” She smiled at him and leaned towards him, “You remind me of Lelouch in many ways.”
Enoch backed away from her into the rear of the elevator and put up his hands defensively, “Hold on a minute there beautiful…let’s stick to Gino and you.”
Kallen frowned, “why? Has Pizza-girl got her hooks into you already?”
“No…C2 and I already gave that whirl a while back and it didn’t work.” Enoch said as Kallen moved in closer to him. “But, that doesn’t mean I’m available…besides, I’m far too old for you.”
Kallen laughed, “You’re too old? You don’t look more than twenty-four to me.”
Enoch let out a nervous laugh, “I’m a wee bit older than that love.”
Kallen gave him a distraught look, “Well how old are you?”
“Oh how I’ve missed you!” Evita kissed Gino on the lips.
Commander Weinberg struggled in the straight-jacket prison suit he was bound in as the Duchess proceeded to examine him.
“You call this love Evita?” He moved his head to try and avoid her advances.
“I admit it’s a little one-sided right now…” She cooed in his ear, “but men are so easily wooed. The key to their heart is through their genitals.” Evita caressed his prison suit over his groin.
“It’s not that easy Duchess,” Gino snarled at her as he closed his legs. “I do have feelings for someone, but it’s not you.”
Evita looked down her nose at him, “Really? Is it that lowly half-breed Captain of yours?”
“Don’t you DARE call her that!” Gino lunged at her in a fury.
Evita leapt back as a pair of guards entered the prison-cell to protect her. “So you’re in love with a nip-mutt are you? How sad, a noble Knight of the Round such as you enamored with a Japanese whore, it’s pathetic. I could understand if you just wanted to use her for sex…I suppose her being half-Britannian she is somewhat pretty, but to actually have feelings for her…that just won’t do my love.”
The Duchess snapped her fingers and a female officer entered the room with a tray containing a variety of whips. “Tie him to the harness in the center of his cell.” She instructed the two guards.
“Evita, what the hell are doing?” Gino demanded as she selected a Cat-O’nines from the tray.
“I’m going to scourge those lustful demons for that vile woman Kallen from your body. When I’m done with you, you’ll be begging for me to love you my dear Gino.”
Gino gritted his teeth, “Never!”
The Duchess giggled manically as she struck him with the Cat-O’nine-tails.
“Where the hell is he now?” Lelouch paced the personal quarters he shared with C.C. and Enoch.
“Knowing Enoch, he’s probably off chasing after some cute lady-crewman.” C.C. snickered.
“I wasn’t talking about Enoch…” Lelouch frowned. “I mean Suzaku.”
“Well maybe he got detained by something,” C.C. came over and kissed Lelouch on the cheek. “Stop being so uptight…we’ll get Nunnally back, you know that. Schneizel needs her alive, so she’s safe.”
“It wasn’t Schneizel that took her, of that I’m sure” Lelouch traced her cheek with his gloved hand. He leaned in and kissed C.C. on the lips. “Thanks for trying to comfort me C2, but I think that man Jason is taking my sister to someone else and I am concerned for her safety. Considering the instincts and feelings that Euryale transferred to me with her Code, I can imagine what erotic-horrors may await Nunnally and I fear for her.”
“That won’t be a problem,” Enoch said as he entered the room; interrupting them. “Jason may be a fanatically-loyal dweeb, but he is no fiend. He’ll respect the chastity of the Empress from anyone who would try to take it from her, of that you can be rest assured.”
“Where’ve you been?” C.C. asked with a snicker. “You look like you just sat through a psychology session with a troubled teen.”
Enoch winked at C.C., “Yeah…Kallen and I had a long heart-to-heart about her feelings for Gino. I convinced her that she ought to stop moping about this other idiot she was once in love with. I suggested to her that she needs a man in her life not a boy.”
Lelouch gave him a narrow eyed look, “ha…ha.”
C.C. laughed, “Oh come on Lelouch; you know that I like boys.” She threw her arms around Lelouch’s neck, “Enoch’s just teasing you. He knows that even if you do still have feelings for Kallen that it would be cruel for you to be with her considering you’re immortal now and she is not. Besides, would you want to be with her as she gets old and wrinkled while you remained young and handsome.”
“My feelings for her are none of your concern,” Lelouch scowled at C.C. and Enoch. “Even if I still do love…”
Lelouch was startled by the door to their room opening; he shrugged off C.C. and moved to grab his mask.
“There’s no need for that Lelouch,” the Red Dragon said as she closed the door behind her and Suzaku. “It’s just us.”
“Where the hell have you two been?” Lelouch demanded from Suzaku.
“I’d say the ear-to-ear smile on his face answers that question.” Enoch chuckled upon seeing Kururugi’s gleaming expression.
“Huh?” C.C. gave Enoch a perplexed look.
Lelouch was mortified, “Don’t think that everyone is a lecherous as you are old man.”
“Well actually,” Suzaku took hold of the Red Dragon’s hand. “We’ve been doing some catching up, but that’s not why we’re here. You wanted to see me?”
“Yes!” Lelouch snapped in irritation. “I need to know how soon your Hakodeshim will be ready for redeployment and if Professor Chawla has made any progress with finding a way to shield our KMFs from Schneizel’s Gehjun weapon.”
“Our Archangels are fully restored and ready,” Suzaku said jovially. “And Rakshata says she may have found a way to insulate our KMFs from the Gehjun disturber, but she’ll need Professor Asplundh’s expertise in metallic alloys to design new energy-filler containers.”
“I see,” Lelouch said. “Then you’ll have to remain here to protect this fleet while the Yamato no Orochi and I proceed to try and find Schneizel’s headquarters.”
“What about Nunnally?” Suzaku asked impatiently.
“What about her?” Lelouch barked.
“Shouldn’t we go after the Argonauts to rescue her?” Suzaku growled at Lelouch.
“We don’t have time for that now,” Lelouch retorted.
“How can you say that about your sister? You know what she means to us!” Suzaku yelled at him.
“Us?” Lelouch asked snidely. “If she means so much to you Suzaku why didn’t you stop Jason from capturing her in the first place? At least the old man has an excuse…his Type-21J was effected by the Gehjun field. The Hakodeshim are immune to the effects of such a weapon which is why I had you guarding Nunnally in the first place. Maybe if you were a better Devicer you’d have…”
“STOP IT LELOUCH!” The Red Dragon ordered him. “Suzaku cares about Nunnally as much as you or I do.”
“You?” Lelouch scoffed. “How could you care about my sister as much as I do? What is she to you woman?”
The Red Dragon unfastened her mask and removed it.
Lelouch’s eyes were wide as dinner-plates as he saw her face and flowing pink hair. “Uh…Eu…” he tried to speak as his knees buckled and he sank down onto them.
“Euphemia!” C.C. exclaimed in shock.
Euphie glared at her brother, “How dare you ask ME if I care about Nunnally! I care for her far more than you do Lelouch; I didn’t use Geass upon her; I didn’t try to use her for my schemes or as a tool. You did!”
Lelouch recovered quickly, “Euphemia is dead…I should know because I killed her. You’re an imposter!”
"Imposter?!" Euphie turned to C.C. with a fierce look, “He’s immortal right?”
C.C. was still stunned, “Yeah…um…sure he is, but why do you…”
Euphemia turned back to Lelouch with a sneer, “You childish stupidity made me do despicable things, then you tried to kill me to cover it up and now you have the gall to call me a liar...you little bastard!” She pulled her sidearm from its holster and shot Lelouch in the chest.
Lelouch dropped to the floor, the life gone from his eyes.
Euphemia gave Lelouch’s corpse a sinister smile, “Guess nobody told you that payback’s a bitch.”
“Euphie!” Suzaku yelled in horror.
“What?” She smiled at him and snickered. “He can’t die Suzaku, and after what he’s done...he deserves a thousand deaths like this.”
“Oh for the love of….Euphemia, why the hell did you do that!” Enoch cried.
“What’s the big deal?” Euphie asked Enoch with a shrug. “It’s not like this gun can kill him.”
“That’s not the point!” Enoch picked up Lelouch’s body and pointed at the large pool of blood on the chest of the Zero suit, “Do you have any idea how hard it’s going to be to get this stain out? Not too mention the bullet hole.”
Euphie blushed, “Whoops, guess I let my anger get the best of me.”
Enoch gave her a surprised look, “Noooooh…Yah think?”
“The FORGE is at 100% operational status Prince Schneizel,” Nina adjusted her glasses as she brought up a digital readout of the FLEIJA-Reactor on the viewscreen of the control station she sat at.
Schneizel looked over her shoulder, “Excellent work Nina. Now we’ll be able to generate a field powerful enough to short out any Sakuradite powered machine. Even the Automatos machines of the Greeks should any of them resist the plan that has been set in motion. With this Gehjun Transmitter no one will be able to challenge us.”
"How will you enforce your rule without the mechanized forces of the Greeks if they turn against you?" Nina asked him with a perplexed expression.
"Come with me," Schneizel said with a sinister grin.
Nina got up and followed Schneizel from the master-control room of the FORGE into an adjacent chamber that led out onto a balcony.
To Professor Einstein's amazement a legion of hundreds of Vincent-Ward, Gareth, and Gloucester KMFs stood within a courtyard that flanked one side of the building that housed the FORGE.
The light of the setting sun glinted off of their metal forms as a breeze whipped up off the ocean beyond that blew back Nina's hair as she surveyed the masses of KnightMare Frames.
Nina looked over at Schneizel, "With all do respect Prince Schneizel, what good are these fifth and seventh generation frames against the more modern weapons of the Greek legions, not too mention both Britannia and the UFN? Even if we knock out most of the tenth generation and newer frames, there are bound to be pockets of KMFs we miss and these machines are no match for them. The Greek Automatos have already proven their superiority over any KMF that is less than 10th generation."
Schneizel smirked at her, "My lovely Nina, this army is not what it appears to be. It is only the tip of the spear of my Order of the Silver-Cross. This legion will deal with any who resist my plan and simply enforce my rule upon the world after the Greeks use their Apollyon device."
"Apollyon?" Nina was intrigued.
"Yes," Schneizel smiled mischievously. "You see, while I was in Tartarus I had the pleasure of meeting a woman there who saw my vision of a New World as useful to her people's desire to leave this Earth for the stars. We struck a deal and she has agreed to give me the Apollyon device in exchange for my help via this Gehjun Disturber and the plans for your FORGE."
Nina was mortified, "You gave them the plans to my creation?"
Schneizel laughed, "Not yet Nina. She will have to deliver on her end before I'm ready to do that. You see, your FORGE would greatly improve the duration time of their spacecraft. Rather than having to hop through the cosmos from one Sakuradite deposit to another every few months, they could travel for decades without refueling."
"Why would you give them the plans for the FORGE? What does this Apollyon do that makes it so valuable?" Professor Einstein asked.
"It's a Titan-Automatos that projects a sphere to anywhere within five-thousand miles of it that folds space," He said with a sinister look.
Nina gasped in horror, "That would be like having a flying FLEIJA-gun that could teleport the Collapse-Effect-Sphere it generates to anywhere in the world! It's the Damocles all over again."
"Precisely," Schneizel smiled. "But a bit more compact and advanced; with a weapon like that in my power I shall create a permanent peace in this world."
"The Tartarus is now at full power milady," Hephaestus said as Sthenno watched the lights throughout the city come on in the darkness of the Antarctic night.
"Excellent Hephaestus," She said with a triumphant look. "And the Apollyon?"
"It is at full power," Hephaestus told her.
"Soon we shall dominate this world," Medea snickered as she walked into the control room of the central tower of the city.
"Indeed," Sthenno agreed as they both stared out at their rejuvenated city. "First we shall crush Schneizel, then the UFN, and finally the wrest of this pathetic civilization."
"Have you called out to the others at Jupiter?" Medea asked.
"Not yet," Sthenno told her with a smile. "Better we take command of Earth first. Once our power base is secure here, then we can contact Zeus and the others. Besides, we don't know how many of the other gods escaped the cataclysm and may by now have spread out over the local group of stars around Sol. Zeus and the others might have been defeated and there may be nothing but hostiles out there. I think it best that we proceed with caution before we expose ourselves to star-systems around us at large."
"Have our Cyclops and Minotaur legions been reactivated," Medea asked Sthenno.
"Yes," Sthenno said flatly. "Though I hope we don't need to use them. I'd like to have them intact when we spread out into this solar system. I've a feeling that we'll need them to fight off any adversaries we encounter. We've lost too much of our armed forces as it is. I'd hate to weaken our position any further."
A woman's voice spoke sharply from behind Sthenno and Medea, "You should have thought of that before you decided to take command Sthenno!"
Medea gasped as she turned around to see the woman and her entourage that stood at the back of the room.
"Surprised to see me Medea?"
Sthenno looked at the armor clad woman in horror, "I...I wanted to hand this world over to you before I woke you."
"Save your pathetic excuses for later Sthenno," the woman scowled as she walked gracefully over with her party of men in tow.
Medea got down on her knees and hung her head, "Forgive me milady."
The woman put her hand on Medea's head, "There is nothing to forgive Medea. You did as I would have commanded you to do and I commend your efforts which have brought Tartarus back to life."
Sthenno looked at Hephaestus with venom then turned to the armored woman, "So what is to become of me?"
The woman looked down her nose at Sthenno, "You will submit to my authority Sthenno and confine yourself to your quarters until I decide what to do with you."
"Yes milady," Sthenno said as she left the command center.
"Ares, have two of your Champions guard her," The woman told the tall armor-clad man at her right.
"Yes milady," Ares bowed and nodded to two men next to him. They left after Sthenno immediately.
"Hephaestus, contact Jason immediately. I wish to know his progress." the woman ordered the man.
"Yes milady," the man nodded respectfully and worked the controls of a nearby console. In a moment Jason's image was on the overhead viewscreen.
"Jason," the woman smiled, "I trust all went well?"
"The Empress is in our possession and we should return home in less than a day as per your plan milady." Jason said with a warm grin.
"Excellent work my Champion," she replied. "I look forward to seeing you in person soon."
Jason gave her a respectful bow. "As do I my goddess...Athena."
TURN Twenty: Siblings
Thanks for Reading
|2009-12-06, 19:02||Link #31|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty: Siblings
"How many were the hours that we played one against the other? So many matches; so many contests; I still remember how you gnashed your teeth and glared at me that time I beat you seven games in a row. Back then I had experience over you that came with age. Then some years later we met in an actual struggle, with real Knights, Bishops, Pawns and Queens on the chessboard of Area 11. There I overcame you again, but only because you underestimated me. When we held a second match in that conflict I moved my King, Damocles, in to solidify my victory and you used your King (Geass) to win a draw between us. That draw forced you to spare my life so Suzaku, your great Knight of Zero, could take your place as defender of justice in the world. How foolish of you my brother. You would have been wiser to uplift Kururugi to the status of Emperor, bewitch me with your power to be your Bishop, and take the Kingship of Zero for yourself. Then you could have protected our sisters from the pain of being a ruler of a nation hated by the world. Had you done that the world might have a chance against me should I lift this curse you've put upon me. But little did you or your Suzaku know that I knew there was a Geass temple somewhere in the Antarctic. I bided my time waiting for a chance to seek it out. Fate smiled upon me the day when Nunnally gave me my chance to go there. I knew as soon as I saw the coastline of that frozen continent that Fate had chosen me to find a way to free myself from your grasp and undo what you had done my brother- Lelouch."-Excerpt from the personal diary of Prince Schneizel el Britannia dated July 25th 2024 a.t.b.
"You're moving to far, tighten up your sword strokes," Enoch told Lelouch from where he sat Martial Arts style on the matted floor of the now private Dojo room of the Ikaruga.
In the center of the chamber Suzaku and Lelouch stood facing each other in full Kendo armor with Bokuto swords.
"Wow Lelouch, I had no idea you knew Kendo," Suzaku remarked as they crossed swords again.
"He doesn't," Enoch said in his firm sensei monotone. "He is drawing upon Euryale's sword fighting abilities through his subconscious from her Code."
"And you're trying to awaken those skills in Lelouch?" C.C. asked as she and Euphie nibbled on a cheese-pizza on the floor next to and just behind Enoch; C.C. had finished nearly three-fourths of the pizza while Euphie had barely eaten one slice.
"Yes," Enoch stated flatly as Lelouch parried Suzaku with impressive speed. "And after only one week of this he's getting much better at it."
"Can't he just try to access it through his Geass?" Euphie asked Enoch.
"Not according to the findings of the Geass Order," Enoch told her as he intently watched the series of strikes, blocks, and exchanges between Suzaku and Lelouch. "The Code that he has still retains the experiences of every person who had it before him. According to the findings of the Geass Order, a person with a Code should be able to access those memories and experiences and use them provided their body is capable of doing so."
Lelouch stepped to one side and dodged a sword thrust by Suzaku. He spun on his heel and flipped the wooden Bokuto sword out of Kururugi's hands. Lelouch raised the weapon in a final blow.
"Lelouch!" Enoch shouted.
Lelouch stopped himself and saluted Suzaku with the Bokuto as Kururugi reached down and picked up his own sword.
"You two have been at this for two hours now, are you tired Suzaku?" Enoch asked.
"A little," Kururugi admitted.
"Very well," Enoch looked at C.C. "Your turn."
C.C. stood up from the floor and accepted the Bokuto from Suzaku. "Shouldn't you give Lelouch a break?" She asked Enoch with a concerned look.
"No," Enoch said. "He needs to learn to control the influence of Euryale's personality on his own during times of weakness and stress. Her bloodlust just came out in him a moment ago, and I want Lelouch to learn to control that in a calm environment like this in case it manifests itself during a moment when it really matters. He must be master of her Code, not the other way around."
"I understand," C.C. smiled at Enoch then turned to Lelouch. "Sorry Lulu, I hope you don't get mad at me about this?"
"I would never," Lelouch said in a soft tone. "I too understand why Enoch is doing this, and I'm ready for it because I want to master this power!"
"Good," Enoch grinned. "Then let the match begin."
C.C. lunged at Lelouch, "Here I come!"
"How much longer until we reach Japan?" Akira asked Kallen as he walked up to where she was leaning on the railing of the ventral-aft observation-promenade of the Ikaruga.
"We'll be there within a few hours," Kallen replied with a weak grin as she stared out at the rising sun on the horizon over the ocean. "Why do you ask? Aren't you happy to be home?"
"I'm not so sure," Akira smiled at her. "I don't think Lady-Chairman Kaguya Sumeragi should have sent General Xingke out after Evita with his fleet at half strength."
"Why? A resupply fleet is on its way to rendezvous with his armada." Kallen looked at him with a raised brow. "Their energy fillers will be replenished soon and Xingke can track that sourly little wench to whatever Island-brothel Schneizel is hiding her in."
Akira was hesitant before speaking his mind, "Be that as it may Captain Kouzuki, I still don't like running back here, why aren't we getting replenished with Xingke's fleet. It seems like every time we take a step forward in this war we're forced to take two steps back because Zero has some new plan up his sleeve. It's aggravating...
"But necessary Akira," Kallen said. "Professor Lloyd and Rakshata haven't finished with the new energy fillers yet, but Cecile Croomy has discovered that Schneizel's Gehjun wave can't penetrate water with any measurable effect on KnightMare Frames beyond a few meters below the surface due to interference from all the minerals in the sea. Thus we're going back to Japan to acquire a submarine and hopefully new energy fillers that are Gehjun resistant as well."
"Even so we can't just leave Commander Wein..." Akira stopped.
"Don't stop yourself on my account Lieutenant Nobunaga. I'm glad you care so much about Gino," Kallen said. "Considering you only knew him for a few weeks."
Akira cursed himself inwardly, "Thank you Captain, but I still shouldn't have brought it up considering your relationship with Commander Weinberg."
Kallen was shocked, "Relationship!?"
Her reaction befuddled Akira, "Well...yeah...aren't you guys a thing?"
"NO!" Kallen put her arms on her hips. "Where did you get that idea?"
"Well Lt. Commander Shinichiro told us that we should be careful not to mention Commander Weinberg around you since he was your lover and that since he was now in the hands of Duchess Evita Ernst we were to talk about Commander Weinberg as little as possible."
Kallen became furious, but she wasn't exactly sure why. Was it because Gino was in the clutches of Evita, or because Tamaki was spreading rumors about her that weren't true, or was it something else...a hurt in her heart that hadn't been there before.
Akira took a step back upon seeing the anger in Kallen's face, "Uh...I'm sorry I brought it up Captain..."
Kallen's fury subsided as the pain in her chest erupted into emotion. She threw herself at Akira and wrapped her arms around him. She wanted to hold someone at that moment, anyone.
"Captain?" Akira blushed as Kallen cried into his shoulder and sobbed violently. Akira forced back his embarrassment and hugged her back. Nobunaga whispered into her ear, "Don't you worry Captain Kouzuki; I give you my word of Honor; we WILL get Gino back."
"I am so pleased to meet you Empress Nunnally vi Britannia," Athena said with a thin smile as Nunnally was escorted off the gangway of the Argos; her Knight of Orange, Jeremiah Gottwald, at her side with Jason and Heracles flanking them both.
The great aerial warship Argos sat next to its sister vessel, the Ithaca, within an immense domed hangar bay within the city of Tartarus Northern district.
"I wish I could be as cordial as you Ms. Athena," Nunnally walked up to her slowly. "But I'm afraid that under the current circumstances I can only say that I'm impressed with your skill as a tactician. I assume it is you who've been working this scenario of global conquest from the beginning and not my brother Schneizel."
Athena, at six feet three inches, towered over Nunnally as she looked down upon her. "Indeed, from nearly the very start of this operation I have been in charge of it. Sthenno, the goddess who gave your brother his power, had no idea that I was awake and had struck a deal with your dear brother Schneizel from the time he first left this frozen waste for Kerguelen Island."
Jason and Heracles exchanged confused looks.
Nunnally looked towards them momentarily then turned back to Athena, "Why did you choose a path of war rather then peace? We of Britannia would have helped you leave Earth and supplied you with the necessary Sakuradite if you had explained your plight to us."
Athena frowned and raised her chin at Nunnally, "I am not interested in your charity Empress." Athena lowered her gaze to meet Nunnally's eyes, "I have seen with my own eyes the type of kindness your Britannia has handed down to the people of this world. The thousands that have died and lived under the oppression your Empire provided." Athena's expression softened, "Your brother Schneizel was gracious enough to allow me to enter his mind and see for myself what kind of world Britannia has wrought."
Nunnally looked at her in horror.
Athena gently put her hand on Nunnally's shoulder, "Do not worry Empress. I also know that you are a benevolent leader, even your brother Schneizel was forced to admit that to me. You see, my power, my Geass if you prefer, forces all whom I use it upon to tell me the truth. While that may not seem very powerful to some, when combined with my skill in tactics, strategy, and warfare, it is the most powerful Geass I could hope for."
"Are you going to use your Geass upon me?" Nunnally asked defiantly.
"No," Athena said softly. "Even your enemies marvel at your integrity Empress Nunnally, I've no need to charm you to know you're telling me the truth. You are an Oracle after all. It is not you, nor the kingdom that you had created that concerns me. It is the future and whoever shall come after you now that your nation is in upheaval. The world as it is now consists of two major powers. A weak, corrupt, and dysfunctional United Federation of Nations, and an Empire filled with royals who even now usurp the rightful Sovereign of their nation in order to quell their own ambitions and solidify a new Imperial reign. Neither one will do."
"But Britannia would not be in upheaval had you not intervened," Nunnally said.
Athena waved her hand and scoffed, "Schneizel awoke Sthenno first and she would have used him to usurp you and then put herself in your place. It has always been Sthenno's desire to rule this world however, that cannot be allowed lest we violate the treaty we Olympians agreed to with the other former powers of γή (pronounced; Gé. Greek word for Earth)."
"Other powers?" Nunnally was intrigued.
Athena was surprised, "Surely you know the legends of Atlantis, Mu, and the other great kingdoms of the Gods?"
"Uh...I know some of the old legends about them, but not much of the details." Nunnally studied Athena. "How can you be sure the other powers are still out there?"
Athena gave her a mischievous smile, "Come with me Empress," Athena motioned to the stairwell at the far end of the aerial ship hangar that led to a series of tubular structures that could only be elevator shafts. "And I'll show you."
"How goes the battle in Australia?" Xingke asked Tohdoh's image on the main monitor of the bridge of the Yamato.
"We've recaptured the capital," Tohdoh said with a sigh, "but it's still going to take a few weeks to finish routing the remaining insurgents. What news of your progress in locating Schneizel?"
"We're currently replenishing our entire stores of energy fillers for our KnightMare Frames, but we should be under way in a few hours." Xingke brought up a window on the monitor for Kyoshiro to see, "However, I've sent a scout team to keep track of the Duchess' fleet. They're currently two-hundred miles from our position hovering just off the Coast of Gambier Island."
"Gambier Island is a nature preserve now but it did have an abandoned military installation of the old Britannian Empire there." Tohdoh said as he put his hand on his chin in thought. "That could make for a useful base of operations...but why would Schneizel allow Duchess Ernst to lead us right to his front door? It doesn't make any sense."
"I agree," Xingke frowned. "Schneizel is not that clumsy. Chances are this is some kind of trap."
"Agreed," Tohdoh told Xingke with a raised brow. "But we still have to check it out. It is possible that Schneizel views himself as invulnerable due to his new toy and doesn't care if we know where he is."
"Then approaching the Island presents its own problem," Xingke said with a scowl. "We can't just rush in to our doom."
"No, I wouldn't even suggest it." said Tohdoh as he formulated a plan. "Where is Zero at this time?"
"The Avalon and the Ikaruga have returned to Japan for resupply and to rearm." Xingke said with clear disapproval.
"Hmmm...That's odd." Tohdoh growled. "What excuse did he use for doing that?"
Xingke cleared his throat intentionally to warn off the nosey sideways looks his bridge bunnies were giving his way, "According to Lady Kaguya, Zero demanded that they return to Japan in order to replace their losses and pick up a few new KMFs that Rakshata had for them."
"He's going at this on his own," Tohdoh sneered. "We're being left out of the loop on this by Zero's design General Xingke."
"Are you certain Kyoshiro, we know that Kururugi is no longer Zero, thus this new Zero is a complete mystery." Xingke said with apprehension mindful of the presence of his bridge crew. "Given the current circumstances and the actions of this Zero, we must assume that this new Zero is either that green-haired witch C2 using an incredible voice modulation device, or someone else who possesses the strategic knowledge and similar voice pattern to that of the late Lelouch vi Britannia."
"What do you mean?" Kyoshiro inquired with interest.
"During the battle over Hawaii, we monitored some of the transmissions between the Avalon and the Ikaruga. One such communiqué was between Empress Nunnally and Zero. The conversation was very personal and loaded with undertones that would seem to imply this new Zero knows the Empress personally. Also, Zero lost control of his voice during the verbal sparing and our sound analysis technicians have confirmed that the sound-wave generated by this new Zero matches that of Lelouch vi Britannia based on some of the old video footage we have of Zero's speeches during the Black Rebellion."
"I see," Tohdoh fumed.
Xingke was not surprised at Kyoshiro's angst, "Since Lelouch is dead I can only assume that the Britannians must have cloned him and this clone is now old enough to take his place as Zero, or they've found someone, perhaps a relative of his, which matches his voice almost perfectly and has intimate knowledge of the Britannian family."
Tohdoh looked at Li with a dark expression, "Or Lelouch isn't dead."
Xingke furrowed his brow, "No offense General Tohdoh, but we were both there when Kururugi slew Lelouch. There is no doubt that he was killed."
"Where Geass is concerned there is always doubt," Tohdoh grumbled.
"I suppose you could be right General." said Li with a huff; not wanting to argue the point. "However that doesn't change the fact that, at least for the time being, this Zero is assisting us against Schneizel and his Greek allies."
"That's true enough," Tohdoh said. "Although that means we must also acknowledge that Zero is working in concert with Kaguya."
"How do you know that?" Xingke asked.
"Lady Kaguya is the one who sent you to follow Duchess Ernst while she and Zero returned to Japan is she not?" Kyoshiro pointed out.
"She was the one that gave the order to me in person," Xingke stated firmly.
"I doubt she would have given such an order of her own accord. It's unlike her to be so strategic." Tohdoh snickered, "If Sumeragi were calling the shots on her own then I'd imagine you'd be chasing after the Argos not the Duchess since Nunnally is of greater concern to Kaguya then finding Schneizel's lair."
Xingke nodded, "I have to agree with you there. Nunnally is a dear friend of both Kaguya and Reika. I imagine that only Zero could convince them to return to Japan while the Greeks stole off with Nunnally."
"Which further leads me to believe that this Zero may in fact be Lelouch," Kyoshiro stated.
"I don't follow you," said Li with a befuddled look.
“Assuming that this new Zero knows Schneizel on a personal level,” Kyoshiro raised his left eyebrow. “We can surmise that Zero knows that Empress Nunnally would be safe with Schneizel for the time being and thus he could return to Japan to acquire whatever equipment he would need to counter Schneizel’s current strategy.”
Xingke sighed, “So you’re saying that this new Zero is aware of Schneizel’s plan of action because he is behaving in a manner that suggests he knows how Schneizel thinks.”
“Exactly,” Tohdoh said with a smirk.
“That would suggest this new Zero has intimate knowledge of Schneizel’s thought patterns.” Xingke met Tohdoh’s gaze. “If this is the case what would you have me do now General?”
“For now just hold your position there,” Tohdoh brought up a digital window on the viewscreen. “Keep your fleet just to the North of the main Gambier Island, over one of the smaller atolls. The Indian Military Industrial complex has informed me that the Gehjun disturber Schneizel is using cannot penetrate ocean water beyond a few meters. Therefore, I want you to prepare a strike team of underwater KMFs as your defense perimeter in case Schneizel does use his Gehjun weapon and the Duchess takes advantage of this.”
Xingke gave Kyoshiro a short bow, “It will be done General Tohdoh.”
“Don’t keep holding back on my account Lulu,” C.C. said as she parried another swing of Lelouch’s Bokuto.
“You know I don’t want to hurt you,” Lelouch taunted her. “How’d I get by without my favorite witch?”
“Oh? Is that how it is?” C.C. snickered as she thrust her wooden sword at him. “You’d be lost without me huh?”
“They’ve been at this for six hours Enoch,” Suzaku said with concern. “Lelouch hasn’t had a break or eaten in almost nine hours. You need to let him rest.”
Enoch gave Suzaku a cold look, “No. He has learned and mastered in six days what it takes most Martial Arts students to learn in six times that amount in years. He can’t afford to let up now.”
Lelouch turned his Bokuto in towards C.C.’s thrust and flipped the sword from her hands. He brought the sword up to her throat, “Please forgive me but I believe I’ve won this match.”
C.C. pushed the wooden sword away and winked at him, “Yeah? Does that mean you’ve conquered me?”
Lelouch took off his helmet and smiled at her, “Yes, and all your treasures are now mine fair lady.”
C.C. leaned in and kissed him on the lips, “I accept your terms of unconditional surrender my Lord.”
“Ah-HEM!” Enoch glared at them. “There’ll be time enough to reward him later on this evening when you two are alone. For now he has one more opponent to face before we’ve finished for today.”
“One more?” Lelouch asked in surprise. “Who?” He looked at his sister and grinned. “Surely you don’t mean Euphie? Sure she’s learned how to pilot a KMF quite well, we were all trained to pilot them as children, but she's no martial arts expert.”
Suzaku made a cutting gesture with his hand over his throat as he silently mouthed “Lelouch don't” to his friend.
Euphemia stood up and tied her hair back with an elastic-hair-tie. “Lelouch, I’m going to have to make you eat those words.”
C.C. passed the Bokuto to Euphie as the pink-haired woman walked onto the Kendo-mat.
“Ready?” Euphie asked with a wink.
“Don’t you need a suit of armor?” Lelouch scoffed “I wouldn’t want to hurt one of my favorite sisters.”
Euphemia put the Bokuto over her head with the tip pointed towards Lelouch in a combat stance. “I guess I forgot to tell you that I’m a 7th Don in Gevurah-Krav Maga.”
“What’s Gevurah-Krav Maga?” Lelouch asked with a disturbed expression.
Enoch looked at Lelouch and grinned widely, “It’s a highly refined version of Israeli Special Forces hand-to-hand combat techniques and is based heavily on Ninjitsu with emphasis on ending the fight as quickly as possible with the greatest amount of force.”
Euphie gave him a warm smile, "Don't worry little brother I'll go easy on you."
"You're not still mad at me are you?" Lelouch asked in a nervous tone.
Euphie giggled, "We'll talk about it later. Right now...your butt is mine."
Nina Einstein walked along the white marble floor in one of the ornately decorated hallways of Schneizel’s palace as the light of the setting sun washed the whole path in brilliant copper and gold as it shone through the huge picture windows that ran along length of the hall.
Professor Einstein was clothed in her lab-coat, white breeches, and pink blouse all of which ruffled slightly as a sea-breeze came through on of the open windows. She adjusted her hair as the wind blew it out of place and Nina turned to look out at the ocean beyond.
“This place is so beautiful,” She said out loud to herself. “To think that it’s little more than a prison for me.”
“You shouldn’t say such things,” Kannon said as he rounded a corner at the far end of the hall. He was dressed in typical Britannian noble’s garments; tight riding breeches, black knee-high leather boots, and a finely crafted surcoat which had a pair of tails in the back and was high-cut in front. Kannon’s hair was pulled back in a ponytail held in place by a circular metal braid.
“Forgive me if I don’t appreciate being kidnapped to come here,” Nina scowled at him. “I realize that you had no choice in the matter Kannon, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m here being forced to help a man who’s clearly lost his grip on reality.”
Kannon hung his head, “I’m sorry I couldn’t resist him Nina.” Kannon Maldini walked up to her and took her hands gently in his, “I never meant to hurt you Nina.”
“I know Kannon,” Nina said with a slight smile. “We are all victims of Geass. Even Princess Euphemia was unable to fight against that power and she lost her life because of it.”
“It’s a terrible thing…Geass.” Kannon said to her as his eyes moistened.
Nina caressed his face, “I know it is…are you still under Schneizel’s power?”
“I don’t know…I don’t really remember when he told me to do what I did…and I can’t remember even doing it.” Kannon said embarrassed.
“Geass must cause a certain amount of brain-damage upon the recipient,” Nina said more to herself than to Kannon.
“Pardon?” Kannon asked confused.
Nina looked up at him and gave him a warm smile, “I’ve been working on something for a long time Kannon. Since the end of the Demon Emperor’s reign I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t Lelouch vi Britannia which destroyed the whole of the Britannian Empire, it was Geass. It was Geass which caused Suzaku Kururugi to fire the FLEIJA that killed millions in Tokyo. It was Geass that caused Britannia to invade Japan. It was Geass which caused the death of Shirley Finette, and it was Geass that has allowed Schneizel to wage this war against the world. Now, once again it’s causing mayhem and destruction. It is because of the evil and chaos that Geass brings that I’ve been working on finding out the source of this fiendish power. How it is that it’s come into our world and how it is we can defend ourselves against it.”
Kannon was stunned by her admission, “Do you really think you can put an end to the power of Geass?”
“I don’t know yet,” Nina admitted. “I don’t have enough information about it, but I do know that it manifests itself as both a mental and physical power and that it has properties which allows the body to regenerate itself with what I’ve learned is called a Code.”
“A Code?” Kannon was intrigued.
Nina adjusted her glasses, “Yes, a re-codification of a person’s DNA pattern and thus genetic structure through the power that Geass comes from. Oddly enough this re-codification is temporary and a person can revert back to a normal human if this energy is passed onto another individual.”
Her tone startled Kannon, “You sound as though you’re going to war.”
Nina’s expression became cold and hard, “I am Kannon…I’m going to war with the power of Geass.”
“You fight well for a newbie,” Euphemia giggled as she walked out of the ladies locker room in her Red Dragon jumpsuit, wiping her wet hair with a large towel. She made her way up to where Lelouch was kneeling on the Kendo-mat; his body shook from exhaustion as it finally rested.
“Thank you Euphie but you still beat me.” Lelouch looked around the room.
"Not really. You were pretty worn out by the time I got to test your mettle and you held your own up until the end." She wrinkled her nose at him, "Which reminds me...You should get out of that stinky armor and catch a nice hot shower Lelouch."
Lelouch put his hand on the back of his head, "Yeah...you're right." He stood up from the floor and removed his set of bogu (Kendo Armor) as his stomach grumbled.
“Hungry huh?” Euphemia said with a smile. “I see Enoch and the others haven’t gotten back yet with the food.”
Lelouch tittered, “Yah, C2 is probably trying to convince him to buy every kind of pizza on the menu."
She laughed, "She sure does like pizza."
"Yes she does," He smiled back at her as his stomach protested again. He looked down at it, "I guess my body wants food, but I don't really have an appetite right now.” Lelouch gave her a sad look.
She cocked her head as she asked him. “What is it?”
“I’m really sorry Euphemia,” He said with a sad-smile. “I never meant to hurt you.”
Euphemia walked up to him and hugged him, "I know." Tears welled up in her eyes.
Lelouch's voice trembled, "I couldn't..." He paused to control his voice. "I couldn't stop my Geass. When I gave that order...I didn't mean it."
Euphemia squeezed him tight, "I know...you did what all foolish boys do. You boasted about how great you are and like all boys it backfired on you." She laughed through her tears. "I don't remember what happened, but I know what I did and I don't blame you for it anymore. If I hadn't been so selfish and stupid...so eager to be with Suzaku...I wouldn't have created the Special Administrative Zone and fallen into Schneizel's trap to thwart Zero."
He returned her embrace, "But it doesn't change what I did...I can't forgive myself."
Euphemia touched noses with him and looked into his teary eyes, "Well I forgive my little brother..." She gave him a devilish smirk while she tried to hold back the tears that ran down her face, "For everything but shooting me...you jerk."
Tears flowed down Lelouch's own cheeks, "You got me back."
She kissed him on the forehead, "Yah I did...so now we're even huh."
"I promise I'll never hurt you again," Lelouch said as they hugged again.
"Thank you Lelouch," She cried. "I don't know why we can't just be a family...you, Nunnally, Cornelia, me...and even Schneizel. I don't understand him Lelouch. Why is he such a monster? Why? He tried to kill us all...why?"
"Because it's all he knows Euphie..." Lelouch spoke softly in her ear yet his voice sounded distant. "The ghost of Charles Zi Britannia lives on in him...a twisted, sick fiend who wants nothing less than total domination of the world and annihilation of all those who oppose him. I should have killed him when I had the chance."
Euphie held his shoulders and looked directly at him, "NO Lelouch! Don't you dare blame yourself for what Schneizel has done! You gave him a second chance and HE chose this path, not YOU!"
The fierceness of her voice, its pain and anguish caused him to sob, "I....I tried Euphie...I tried to make the world a better place for Nunnally...for everyone."
"I know," She caressed his face and wiped away his tears, "Which is why I forgive you little brother, and why we're all trying to help you. Enoch sees the good in you. If he didn't he wouldn't be helping you. He wants you to do what's right. To defend the weak, protect the innocent, and hold individual freedom in the highest regard. It's why he and I want to help you stop Schneizel and save our sisters and our world."
Lelouch forced a smile, "I love you Euphemia."
Euphie kissed him on the cheek, "I love you too Lelouch."
C.C. burst into the room and stopped dead in her tracks. "LELOUCH!"
Lelouch and Euphemia were startled and broke their embrace.
Euphie blushed red.
"What is it C2?" Lelouch asked as he recomposed himself.
"You need to get into your Zero suit immediately and meet Ougi on the bridge!" C.C. exclaimed.
"Why? What's going on?" He asked unnerved by her urgency.
C.C. gave him a grave look, "It's Cornelia."
TURN Twenty One: Sisters
Thanks for Reading
|2009-12-11, 01:05||Link #32|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty One: Sisters
"I remember when we used to run through the farm fields of Cyprus. Frolicking like wood-nymphs over vineyards of olives and grapes while our mother called for us in the distance. I recall how we entered the military together. How we fought to preserve the independence of our city and ultimately our rise to power. I blush at the thought of all the men we conquered together and the nights the three of us spent sharing a bed to drive away the loneliness. The Great War was agony for me when we were forced to fight on opposite sides of the world away from each other. Then the war ended and we were reunited for our long sleep and the journey we all hoped would lead us to a new promised land. But things did not go as planned. We overslept and might not have awoken were it not for fate smiling on us. Now one of you is gone, and a piece of me has died with you. The other is now a slave of the man-god called Zero and my heart wails in hurt and anger. My sisters I hold these memories close to my heart for they are dear to me. Without the two of you the world isn’t worth living in and so it is with this vendetta in my heart that I throw off my bonds of loyalty and seek with pleasure revenge upon this world"-Excerpt from the diary of Sthenno goddess of Tartarus dated November 1st 2024 a.t.b.
Porsche walked briskly towards the cavernous hangar bay at the Southern end of the city of Tartarus. The Greek woman stopped and brushed back her long black-hair as she scanned the top of the gantry which held the Apollyon.
As Athena’s designated gunner of the massive Titan-Automatos, Porsche made her way past numerous security checkpoints which only a few weeks prior had been dormant. Now the city which had been asleep for thousands of years was bustling with activity as its newly awakened denizens prepared for war with the world at large.
The Greek Devicer came to the top edge of the eight-hundred meter wide (2640 foot) circular hangar silo which held the giant metal beast in its bowels. Porsche stopped at a tubular, four-man elevator container which protruded from the metal floor and entered the lift. The cylinder had a bronze metallic floor and ceiling and crystal-clear walls that were uninterrupted save for the bronze doorframe and sliding door on the entry side.
The crystal tube started down the hangar shaft as soon as Porsche closed the door behind her. Her emerald green eyes took in the awesome view of the metallic abyss as the elevator took her deep into the stomach of the city of Tartarus.
The little elevator tube zipped down the side of the pit past scaffolding, power conduits, relay stations, control booths, until the twin spires of the top of Apollyon came into view.
The pair of two-hundred meter tall transmission towers extended up over the maintenance docks which covered the view of the lower bulk of the Titan. This level was where Porsche needed to board the mammoth Angel of the Abyss. The full height of the beast was 1120 meters (3696 feet) and its girth was 760 meters (2508 feet) from the tip of one of its four petal-like appendages to the tip of the opposite one. The four dome-shaped Aegis-Shield generators of the monster were clearly visible where they popped up over the maintenance scaffolding.
A small hover-truck was waiting for her as she stepped out of the elevator tube and onto the maintenance platform. Inside the truck was a female driver wearing the helmet and armor of a Hoplite; it was not unusual, but something about this chauffer made Porsche uneasy.
“We need to hurry,” Porsche told the driver as she got into the vehicle. “I need to prepare for take-off immediately. Athena demands that the Apollyon be delivered to Prince Schneizel as soon as possible.”
The female hoplite nodded and drove the vehicle as swiftly as the little machine could travel towards the huge mirrored-topped bronze blister that rose above the surface of the forward facing petal structure. In moments the machine came to a halt next to a boarding ramp that led up to an open access hatch on the side of the blister.
Porsche looked around the area, “Where is everybody?”
The female driver stood up and took off her helmet.
“Sthenno? What are you doing here?” Porsche asked in shock.
The twin sigils of Geass appeared in her eyes as she smiled savagely, “Putting my plan into motion…I Sthenno, Goddess of Tartarus command you…”
“She demanded we permit her to land Zero,” Ougi told him as the Ikaruga faced off with the Avenger and Cornelia’s fleet of aerial warships just off the Coast of Kaminejima Island.
“You did the right thing Captain Nu,” Zero said as C.C., the Red Dragon, and Suzaku walked up from behind him onto the bridge of the Ikaruga. Zero turned towards the Red Dragon whose mirrored mask reflected his own. She nodded at him slightly before Zero turned back to Ougi. “Inform Princess Cornelia that we will meet her in the main hangar to discuss the refitting of her forces with the new energy fillers.”
“But Zero we can’t just hand over that technology to the Britannians!” Ougi exclaimed.
Zero put his hand on Captain Nu’s shoulder, “trust me Ougi, if we are to truly unify the world against the Greeks then we must be the first to extend an olive-branch towards that goal.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Lady Kaguya said as she and Reika entered the command deck.
“Uh…Lady-Chairman Sumeragi…what an unexpected surprise,” Zero stammered.
Kaguya winked at him, “You’re fortunate that I’m here Zero. I wouldn’t want you to have to face down big bad Cornelia alone without Nunnally here to protect you.”
“Wait...You know?” Ougi blurt out while looked at her then Zero.
Kaguya glared at him, “Yes Ougi I do have ears you know thus I am able to deduce the current status of Zero.”
Zero cleared his throat, “I see…well then Lady Kaguya, I trust that you’ll lend me your expertise in this matter.”
She put her arm through his, “Oh course Master Zero,” Kaguya eyed him authoritatively, “so long as you behave yourself THIS time. If you do I might reconsider our previous engagement."
"Previous engagement?" Suzaku asked with a befuddled look.
Kaguya, who now stood shoulder to shoulder with Zero, lifted up her chin, "Yes my cousin, Master Zero and I were once quite close...I was too young then, but now..." She snuggled up to him, "I've certainly matured enough." Kaguya stuck her chest out to show how in six years her supple body had grown into womanhood.
Zero coughed, "I can see that."
C.C. grabbed Zero's other arm, "Haven't we had this little discussion before Lady Kaguya?"
"Oh C2?" Kaguya feigned surprise. "Are you still here? I'd thought you'd be off by now sniffing for a slice of pizza."
"What!?" C.C. sneered at Kaguya. “Why you little…”
“Ladies please!” Zero barked. “Cornelia is not a patient woman.”
The Red Dragon put her hands on her hips and cocked her head as she addressed Zero, “What is it with you anyway?”
Zero only shrugged.
C.C. and Kaguya glared at the Red Dragon who put up her hands defensively, “Well…women fawn all over him…I was just curious as to why.”
“Maybe because he like one of the gals,” Enoch snickered as he walked onto the mezzanine of the bridge; he was dressed in a Black Knights uniform with the silver maple-leaf of a Lieutenant Colonel on his lapel.
Zero looked down at his rank insignia, “Think highly of yourself do you?”
“Always,” The amber eyed man chuckled.
Kaguya looked at him with distrust, “And who might you be?”
Enoch took her free hand in his and kissed it as he bowed to her, “Lt. Colonel Enoch Apsu milady, Black Knight Special Operations Group.”
Suzaku covered the smirk that crossed his mouth with his hand while C.C. rolled her eyes.
Sumeragi blushed, “Oh…it’s a pleasure to meet you Lt. Colonel.”
Reika walked towards Enoch and smiled at him, “I’m Empress Jiang Reika,” she held out her hand, “I’m pleased to meet you also Lt. Colonel.”
“The pleasure is all mine ladies,” Enoch kissed Reika’s hand; the girl turned beet red.
Kaguya and Reika giggled.
C.C. pulled Zero along, “Come on, we’d better get moving before the pleasantries get out of hand.”
Zero’s troupe quickly made their way down to where Princess Cornelia li Britannia stood awaiting them.
Cornelia was standing at the foot of the transport shuttle which had brought her to the Ikaruga with only Gilford as her escort.
“I trust that you were delayed for some good reason Zero?” Cornelia said as she came forward towards him as he and his group stopped a few yards away from where she stood.
“Yes, I had another matter to attend too,” Zero told her as he walked forward to meet her.
Cornelia eyed Suzaku, “I see that you managed to escape punishment for your crimes. I find it hard to believe I can trust this Zero if he chooses to spare the life of a traitor.” She looked back towards Zero, “Show me I can trust you before I even entertain the idea of an alliance.”
Zero put his hand forward in an open palm gesture, “I understand your concerns Princess Cornelia li Britannia, and I am prepared to give you energy fillers which are resistant to Schneizel’s Gehjun disturber.”
Cornelia put her hands on her hips, “Energy fillers?” She sneered at him, “I’m not interested in trinkets and baubles from you Zero.” She looked down her nose at him, “I want the truth from you.”
“About?” Zero asked as he opened his arms wide in bodily suggestion of surrender.
“Who you are,” Cornelia smirked, “I’m sick and tired of the childish superhero act…If I am to entertain the idea of an alliance between the UFN and Britannia I need to know the man that I’m putting my trust in…Take off that mask.”
Enoch walked up next to Zero and stood by his side, “Forgive my impertinence Princess, but are you sure you want that information? It could have dire consequences. It isn’t enough for you that the world puts its faith in Zero?”
Zero said nothing.
Cornelia eyed Enoch with contempt, “Who are you?”
“Let’s just say I’m Zero’s moral compass of sorts,” Enoch winked at her with a smile.
Cornelia did not find the gesture amusing. She whipped her sword-gun from its holster and pointed it at Zero, “I’ll not be trifled with by some moronic subordinate of Zero! TAKE THAT MASK OFF NOW!”
Kaguya and Jiang Reika both gasped while C.C. grabbed her own sidearm and unlocked her holster. Suzaku held onto the Red Dragon’s hand as she gripped him back tightly with the tension of the moment.
Enoch rushed in front of Zero and smiled at Cornelia, “Put the gun away gorgeous, there’s no need for hostilities. We want to help you not fight you.”
Gilford sprinted up next to his Princess and drew his weapon but left it at his side.
“You wish to help me?” inquired Cornelia with scorn. “Then help me know that I can trust you.”
“Zero is willing to give you what you need to defeat…” Enoch started but was cut short by Zero.
“It’s okay Enoch; she deserves to know the truth.” Zero said as he removed his helmet.
“YOU!” Cornelia snapped as her face contorted in anger. “You have no idea how long I’ve dreamed about this moment.” She fired directly at Lelouch’s head.
Lelouch pulled back as a hand moved with inhuman speed in front of his face.
Cornelia was stunned as Enoch opened his hand and held up the bullet between his index finger and his thumb, “Didn’t I warn you about the consequences of seeing his face?”
Cornelia was too shocked to respond; the others were agape at the swiftness of the cybernetic man.
Enoch looked at Lelouch with a smirk, “I’m impressed you were going to let her have her revenge.” Apsu winked at him, “Pity we don’t have time for that right now, besides I think you’ve been through enough emotional boot-camp.”
Lelouch sniggered, “I hope your right Enoch, because my sister is not so easily dissuaded”
He turned back towards Cornelia who gazed at him in bewilderment.
“Princess Cornelia, I understand your angst against your brother, but please listen to me when I tell you that he is being honest and sincere with you and wants nothing more than to make amends for his sins of the past.” Enoch walked towards her slowly.
Cornelia’s brow furrowed, “Sins of the past! You want me to forgive this monster after what he did!” She lunged forward with her gunsword and slashed at Lelouch.
Enoch moved to intercept her but Gilford fired on him forcing him to parry the rounds with his forearms to keep them from hitting Lelouch.
“Suzaku do something!” Kaguya yelled at him as she and the others watched in horror.
Suzaku made a move towards Cornelia but the Red Dragon was one step ahead of him. She outpaced him easily and ran up to intercept Cornelia but there was no time.
The Red Dragon grabbed Lelouch and tumbled with him to the floor to prevent Cornelia from slicing him in half.
“I’ll not be denied my vengeance!” Cornelia bellowed. “I don’t care that you killed our father…destroyed our nation…and set the numbers free. You were right to do so, but I can NEVER forgive you for Euphie! NEVER!”
Enoch deflected numerous rounds from Gilford's pistol before grabbing the weapon out his hand and ejecting the magazine, "No offense sir but that's about enough of that nonsense."
Cornelia swung her sword down at the Red Dragon and Lelouch, "Your interference has cost you your life!"
Princess Cornelia's sword swing was halted as Suzaku grappled with her from behind, "Stop...Princess Cornelia you don't understand!"
"Let me go you little eleven bastard!" Cornelia stomped on Suzaku's shin and broke his hold. She shoved him to the ground and pointed her weapon at Kururugi, "NOW YOU DIE!"
Cornelia froze at the sound of the female voice that had issued the command. She turned mechanically to look at the person who had barked the order only to see Euphemia's angelic face staring at her with a pleading look as she removed her helmet.
Euphie smiled at her, "hi" she said softly.
Cornelia's gunsword dropped to the floor as her strength left her. Suzaku got to her just in time to catch her as she slumped towards the ground; her gaze never leaving Euphie. Her mouth moved but no words came out.
"How?" asked Gilford in disbelief as he came out of his own shock.
Enoch grinned, "Me."
Gilford nodded slowly, "I understand now." He bowed his head an apologized, "Thank you Enoch Apsu for guarding this secret," his voice cracked slightly, "and protecting Princess Euphemia all this time."
Cornelia's lips trembled as tears welled in her eyes. She stood up as Suzaku let her go. In an instant Cornelia embraced Euphemia, "Oh God, Euphie...I thought you were dead!"
Euphemia hugged her back, "No...Enoch saved me."
Cornelia looked at her, "Who?"
"The moron," Lelouch said bluntly.
"Touché, it's about time you started to lighten up." Enoch giggled from where he stood next to Gilford.
Cornelia looked at Enoch and cooed, "My thanks to you."
Euphie gave Enoch a surprised look as Cornelia let go of her gently and walked towards Lelouch.
Princess Cornelia looked down her nose at Lelouch, "No thanks to you."
"Cornelia please...Leave what happened in the past." Euphie pleaded with her. "I've forgiven him...you must understand it was an accident."
"What say you Zero?" Cornelia spat the name.
Lelouch looked down at the floor, "I have no excuse for my actions. I made a stupid mistake and it nearly cost Euphie her life."
Cornelia’s arm flew in one swift, fluid motion as she back-handed him across the face; nearly knocking him over, "imbecile! How could you be so reckless?"
"Cornelia! He's paid enough for his crimes!" Suzaku told her. "It was because he thought he killed Euphie that he had me slay him. He couldn't live with himself...you saw me do it!"
"Then how is it that he still lives now?" Cornelia demanded.
"I can explain that," C.C. said. "Your brother is now like me. A Geass user resurrected him and he killed her thus taking her Code."
"Meaning?" Cornelia was mortified.
"Meaning I am now cursed with immortality," Lelouch told her. "What more do you want of me sister? I'm now damned to live forever and thus I will serve this world in the capacity of Zero for eternity, is that not enough penance for me to pay?"
Cornelia's expression softened, "You poor stupid fool. If only I had known you and Nunnally were alive when I was Viceroy...I would have..."
"Don't," Lelouch pleaded. "We all made mistakes Cornelia...mine was taking on the world alone and thinking I could change it for the better without actually working to do so. Now I'm going to correct that mistake, and I need your help to do it."
Cornelia took hold of Lelouch's hands, "I’ll forgive you Lelouch, on one condition."
He looked up at her, "What is it you ask of me?"
"That you never lie to us again or raise a weapon against your sisters."
He looked her in the eye, "I promise, on my honor and my life."
She smiled at him, "That'll due Lelouch." Cornelia hugged him. "It's good to finally have my little brother back." Tears streamed down her face.
"And you also, Cornelia," Lelouch returned her embrace.
"Holy shit!" Jiang Reika blurt out.
"Reika!" Kaguya laughed.
The Tianzi put her hand over her mouth, "Did I just say that out loud?"
“Milady Athena,” one of the technicians within the command tower of Tartarus turned around to face her; panic in the man’s eyes.
“What is it Cicero?” She asked as if bored.
“The Apollyon has just taken off without permission.” The man exclaimed.
“What?” Jason stated with concern. “Who would dare?”
“It’s Sthenno,” Nunnally said mechanically.
“Are you sure Empress?” Jason inquired.
Nunnally turned to him and nodded, “Absolutely.”
“Impressive,” Athena tittered. “You are of course correct.”
“You know?” Jason asked his Goddess in surprise.
Athena grinned arrogantly, “Of course I know. It was obvious to me that Sthenno would take this course of action.”
“Then why didn’t you stop her?” Jason demanded.
“You’re going to use her as a scapegoat aren’t you…and allow her to destroy whatever she wants then pin the blame on her for this conflict.” Nunnally said in a horrified tone.
“Precisely,” Athena smiled at her. “And I shall spare your brother Schneizel and your people Nunnally. In return I expect that you’ll purge your country of the progressive-radicals which threaten to institute an Oligarchy in the name of social justice and in its stead form a truly democratic republic.”
Nunnally understood the lengths at which Athena would go to force a Greco-Roman form of government onto the whole of the Earth before the Greeks were ready to depart for the stars. She could feel Athena’s determination and resolve to either save the world or destroy it.
“But that’s insane!” Jason barked. “With all due respect milady, we cannot trust Sthenno not to use the core-gun of Apollyon.”
“On the contrary my Champion,” Athena sniggered. “I fully expect Sthenno to attempt to use the core-gun to fold the Iron-core of the Earth into deep space.”
Nunnally was no cosmologist, but she knew that the Earth would break up into an asteroid belt if its core was jettisoned into space and all graviton force was lost. “That’s monstrous!”
“Oh don’t you worry Empress I’ve no intension of letting her get away with it.” Athena smiled. “Your dear brother Schneizel will see to that.” Athena pushed a button on a control station next to where she stood, “Won’t you Prince Schneizel?”
His image came up onto the main monitor of the command center. He smiled down at them, “Of course my Goddess Athena…everything is going according to our plan.”
Tohdoh and Captain Nagisa Chiba walked along the outskirts of what remained of an Australian military complex a little over two miles away from Sydney. Kyoshiro shook his head in disgust at the sight of the lines of mangled KnightMare Frames that were once all part of the UFN armed forces.
“Geass did all of this,” He said under his breath.
Chiba looked up at him sympathetically, “We had no way of knowing it would come to this General.”
“We should have been ready,” said Tohdoh. “We were aware of the power of Geass, we knew we couldn’t trust Britannia, but those fools in the UFN allowed themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security and we fell right in line with them.”
Chiba put her arm through his, “General, you just going to have to accept that you’re human.”
Kyoshiro smiled at her, “Unfortunately.” He leaned down to kiss her when the air-raid sirens screamed in the distance.
“An attack?” asked Chiba in a surprised tone.
“It must be,” Tohdoh exclaimed. “But who?”
The contrails of flights of Type-21s passed over their heads towards the Coastline of the Australian city. In the next moment brilliant balls of light lit up the sky.
Chiba was on her cell-phone sized communicator in moments, “What’s going on?” She demanded.
“Have them send a shuttle for us, our jeep is too slow, we need to get back ASAP!” Tohdoh told her as he watched a force of aerial warships lift off from the Sydney airbase some five miles away from them.
“Kyoshiro! The Musashi has identified the enemy as a single unit.” Chiba said with frantic eyes.
“Single unit?” Tohdoh blurt out.
Chiba nodded at him as she listened to the person on the other end of the line, “It’s some kind of mobile fortress.”
“Tell them to wait for us to return before they begin an offensive-“ Kyoshiro cut himself short as he saw threads of blue light rising from Sydney like rainfall in reverse.
His eyes grew wide in horror as he realized what was happening, “Chiba, tell them to get out of there!”
But it was too late, the filaments curved towards a point in the middle of the city that was level with the middle of the tallest skyscrapers within the metropolis. A ball of blue energy formed there and then in a flash the light expanded over the whole of the city, and engulfed it; the next instant Sydney was gone leaving only a huge pit where it once was. The pit was rapidly filled by the ocean whose current in turn sucked in the Musashi and its fleet of UFN warships; destroying the entire fleet.
Chiba and Tohdoh could only look on in horror as the spectacle played itself out before them.
“How many of them are left?’ said Tohdoh desperate to know if any of the airships had survived.
Chiba was too stunned to speak.
“Captain!” Kyoshiro yelled at her.
Nagisa snapped out of her initial shock and pressed her communicator frantically. “I’ve got someone,” she said more calmly now. “It’s the Amagi.”
“How far are they?” Tohdoh asked.
“Eight miles and closing,” She answered him as a shadow passed over them.
Kyoshiro said nothing; he only looked on in awe of the massive thing.
Chiba’s jaw dropped, “Good god, what is that thing?”
“I can’t believe they’re actually getting along so well,” C.C. smiled at Euphie and Suzaku while Lelouch and Cornelia discussed their strategy to deal with Schneizel in the pair of comfy chairs in the center of Lelouch's personal quarters while the others sat at the coffee table on the far left of the room.
“Before he was exiled, Lelouch was Cornelia’s favorite brother,” Euphie stated sadly. “It is a shame that he was taken from her. All three of us used to vacation together at the beaches on the coast of the Florida region of the Empire. Cornelia and Lelouch would always go swimming together and it usually ended up in a splashing contest. She loved his attention and he hers. It hurt her deeply when Charles sent him and Nunnally here as political bargaining pieces.”
“No wonder she was so angry with him when she learned he was Zero,” Suzaku stated matter-of-factly.
“Um…he shooting me had a little bit to do with that too yah know,” She pinched Suzaku’s side.
“Ouch! Euphie!” He feigned being hurt.
“Don’t whine,” She teased him. “I thought you were the big bad Knight of Zero?”
“I am,” he leaned in and kissed her on the lips. “But I’m defenseless against you Red Dragon.”
“Okay, get a room or something,” Enoch said as he set down a bowl of fruit and a pitcher of iced-tea on the Oak coffee table they were seated at.
C.C. looked at him longingly; scrutinizing his cargo. “Aw.”
“No…no pizza,” He said with a snicker. “Shouldn’t you at least try to eat healthy once in awhile.”
"I LIKE Pizza!" C.C. scowled at him.
Cornelia and Lelouch looked over at them. Lelouch raised an eyebrow, "You should just let her have what she wants don't you think?"
"Well if you think she deserves it Lelouch then maybe I can oblige her," Enoch cast C.C. a leer as he put the bowl of fruit down in front of Euphie and Suzaku and then walked out of the room. He returned a moment later with a cart that held a lidded tray atop it and numerous smaller dishes which had stacks of small sandwiches and various cheese snacks.
C.C. gave him a wide eyed look, "And what is under the lid of that tray?"
"Wallach!" Enoch picked up the cover to reveal a deep-dish twenty-inch diameter pizza. "I made this myself." He said with a wink. "It's a triple layer cheese-pizza pie with eight different cheeses, steak and chicken filling, and an extra-thick crust."
"For me!?" C.C.'s eyes were glistening.
"Yes gorgeous, all for you," Enoch smiled at her.
"Enoch, you're the best!" C.C. clasped her hands together and looked over the pizza-pie as if it were a masterpiece of art.
Enoch handed her a plate and cut a piece of the oozing triple-layer Italian dish for her. He barely placed it on her plate before she snatched a fork and knife from the food-cart and dug in.
"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! This is divine!" C.C. said in ecstasy.
"You cook too huh?" Cornelia smiled at Enoch.
"Uh...yeah," he said with unease at the look in her eyes.
Gilford sighed and adjusted his collar uneasily.
Euphie whispered to Suzaku, "Oh crap, I think she likes him."
"Seriously?" Kururugi blurt out as he poured each of them a glass of Iced-Tea.
Euphemia grimaced as Cornelia twirled a lock of her hair and watched Enoch intently while he placed the dishes on the coffee table. Euphie turned to Suzaku, "Seriously."
"Lelouch you should try this pizza it's awesome!" C.C. swooned.
Lelouch rolled his eyes and slumped back in his chair, "Can we please get back to planning on our next phase of dealing with Schneizel?"
Ougi's voice came over the intercom, "Zero you're needed on the bridge at once."
Lelouch got up and rushed over to the nearest control panel, "What is it Ougi?"
"We have a serious problem," said Captain Nu in a frantic tone.
"Bring us down towards the general location of the Kraken," Sthenno demanded as Porsche flew the Apollyon high over edge of the Coastline of Kaminejima Island.
"As you wish milady," Porsche replied obediently. She piloted the massive machine steadily downwards. Its bulk was concealed by the moonless sky above it as it sank into the sea in complete darkness up to its four petals; leaving only the very top of the machine exposed above the water.
“Remain here with the Apollyon, I shall return shortly,” Sthenno stated as she moved from the inline two-seat cockpit towards a door in its rear.
“I shall await your return milady,” Porsche stated with a nod.
Sthenno entered the small craft-hangar at the front of the Apollyon and got into the hovercraft she and Porsche had come to the giant mecha in. Once inside the small conveyance she activated it and opened the outer door. Watch lapped at the edge of the small craft-hangar as Sthenno drove her hover-craft out it towards the shoreline that was over a mile away.
Within a minute she was at the shore next to the shadowy mass of the Kraken where it was anchored and surfaced next to Kaminejima Island.
Sthenno wasted no time in scaling the side of the Kraken and making her way to the upper hatch. She opened the egress and entered the ship; climbing down the ladder to the interior airlock of the vessel.
Medusa met her at the bottom on the other side of the airlock hatch with a guard detail. “So happy you could join us my sister, but you should not have come,” Medusa told her sadly as she watched Sthenno from behind.
Sthenno turned around revealing that her Dispeller visor was down over her eyes. “I’ve come here prepared,” said Sthenno as she used the device. Instantly the inverted blue sigil of the Geass-Dispeller filled the room.
Medusa held her head as Lelouch’s Geass was lifted from her, “Uh…thank you Sthenno.”
Sthenno lifted her tiara, “You’re welcome Medusa.” She embraced her sister and kissed her on the forehead. “I came here to rescue you, and to let you share in our vengeance against Schneizel and his wretched kin.”
“But…what of Lelouch?” She asked confused.
“Who?” Sthenno inquired with irritation.
Medusa was fidgety, “Lelouch…I…never mind.”
Sthenno regarded her with distrust, “You mean Schneizel’s brother Lelouch don’t you?”
Medusa blushed, “Yes.”
Sthenno looked down at her and brushed the stray locks of hair out from in front of Medusa’s face, “Do you desire this Lelouch so much that even without his spell upon you he still evokes feelings within you?”
Medusa met Sthenno’s glare, “Yes.” She answered rhapsodically.
“Where is he now?” Sthenno asked with venom.
“I don’t know, he left with Enoch and a green haired Goddess.” Medusa answered in a sheepish tone.
“ENOCH!” Sthenno spat. “You fancy a man who is in league with that Hebrew dog knowing that devil killed our sister.”
“I can’t help it,” Medusa whined. “Lelouch is so beautiful. He’s like a man in a woman’s form, only not.”
“He must be something to make you swoon so,” Sthenno cracked a smile. “If I can acquire him I will, but for now we must depart. Athena will no doubt send forces to come and apprehend me now that I’ve stolen the Apollyon.”
Medusa’s eyes grew wide in fear upon hearing the name of the commander of Tartarus, “Athena is awake?”
“Yes, and we must make our revenge swift if we are to be successful.” Sthenno told her with a grin. “I need you to pilot the Apollyon.”
Medusa nodded, “but what of the Kraken?”
Sthenno gave her a confident look, “Porsche will take it back to Tartarus and explain to Athena why I took the mobile fortress. Even Athena should understand that my stealing the Apollyon was no insult meant to her. Of all people Athena should know that this is a matter of honor.”
“We just detected it a few minutes ago,” Ougi was clearly disturbed.
“What kind of enemy unit is it?” Cornelia asked as she, Zero, C.C., Gilford, and Enoch entered the bridge.
Villetta was nervous around Cornelia and didn’t hide it, “It’s some kind of mobile fortress…and it’s big, really big.”
“If they had wanted to attack they could have already,” Zero said.
“We’ve received some preliminary reports coming out of Australia of Sydney being totally wiped out by an unknown enemy unit.”
“It’s the Apollyon,” Enoch said in a dull tone.
“So soon?” Zero asked in surprise. “but I thought they still required more Sakuradite to power it.”
“Apparently not,” Cornelia said matter-of-factly.
“But why haven’t they attacked Tokyo?” Ougi asked.
“Good question,” Zero said.
“Guess Medusa lied to you huh?” C.C. snickered with a narrowed eyed look at Zero.
“Medusa?” Enoch gasped. “Of course! That’s it!” Enoch kissed C.C. on the cheek. “You’re a genius.”
“Really, what for?” C.C. blushed.
“You think Sthenno is piloting that thing?” Zero inquired.
“Where is the Apollyon now?” Enoch asked Villetta.
“It’s submerged just off the coast of Kaminejima Island.” She answered him.
“Then we need to move quickly if we’re going to have any chance of dealing with that monster easily.” Zero stated in a hurried tone.
“Agreed,” Enoch nodded.
TURN Twenty Two: Apollyon The Angel of the Abyss
Thanks for Reading
|2009-12-18, 00:23||Link #34|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty Two: Apollyon Angel of the Abyss
“It was built to destroy the world; an ultimate machine of total destruction whose sole purpose was a weapon of last resort. It was constructed by the ancient Mu Empire to annihilate Atlantis but was stolen during the Great Geass War and hidden in the city of Tartarus. In essence it was little more than a Star-Cruiser stripped down and converted into a fold-cannon with offensive and defensive secondary armaments. It was a weapon that the Olympians had taken to prevent it from ever being used, yet as fate would have it, one of their own would be the individual who would unleash its deadly power.”-Excerpt of a news report given by Milley Ashford during the 1st Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Earth in Buenos Ares dated January 12th 2025 a.t.b.
“This thing is huge!” Milley Ashford told the camera as she hung onto the side of an aerial shuttle that flew around the massive four-petal machine which lay a few miles from the edge of the shoreline of Kaminejima Island.
The wind whipped at her long, curly blonde hair as Seiji tried to steady his compact TV-camera/recorder.
Milley pointed out into the distance as the camera panned to follow where she aimed her index finger. "As you can see in the distance the UFN warship Ikaruga and a flotilla of Britannia warships have congregated on the far side of Kaminejima. We don't as of yet know whether or not they plan on attacking this new warmachine, but we do know that an aerial shuttle landed on the Island some time ago though we do not know who was on the courier or why they're on the Island."
"Something is wrong," Seiji told her.
"What?" Milley asked in irritation.
"I think our signal is being jammed," He said.
"You can still record right?" Milley rolled her eyes.
"Yes, ma'am...I got it all on DVD." he gave her a thumbs-up.
The pilot of the aerial shuttle called to them from the front of the craft, "Mrs. Ashford, we're being ordered to evacuate this area immediately by authority of Lady-Chairman Kaguya Sumeragi and Princess Cornelia li Britannia acting Regent of the Britannian Empire."
"Oh Really?" Milley asked with a devilish grin. "Pilot, set course for the Ikaruga and tell them we need to make an emergency landing!"
The pilot turned and grimaced, "Mrs. Ashford you know I can't do that unless I have a real emergency."
Milley scowled at him, "If you don't land this shuttle on the Ikaruga RIGHT NOW you're going to have a real emergency!" She took the fire-extinguisher from of the wall on the inside of the plane and unhooked its nozzle.
"Whatever you say ma'am," the pilot grumbled while he clicked on his headset comm. "Attention Ikaruga this is Civilian Flight 80021, we have a medical emergency and request immediate landing."
"What is the nature of your emergency Flight 80021?" Villetta asked over the radio.
"One of our passengers has gone insane," the pilot snickered.
"Where did Lelouch and that friend of his run off too?" Cornelia asked Euphie as they waited for C.C. to don the Zero uniform within Lelouch's personal quarters.
"Miss him already sis?" Euphie giggled.
Cornelia blushed, "What? No."
"Enoch dragged Lelouch off to go and get something from Kaminejima Island," Suzaku answered Cornelia's question with a smirk. "I'm not sure what though, there's nothing down there except the Thought-Elevator."
"Well I hope they return soon," C.C. lamented. "I don't know how long we have until that thing out there makes a move. I can only play Zero for so long while those two are off fooling around."
"He sure is a strange one," Cornelia said to Euphie.
"Who? Enoch?" Euphie stuck the tip of her tongue out, "Yah he's really....different, but interesting. Would you like to get to know him better?"
Cornelia blushed red and gave Euphemia a gentle shove, "Will you stop! I'm just curious that's all. Besides, I'm cautious about this stranger who seems so willing to hang out with Lelouch."
"Sure you are," Euphie teased. "That's okay sis, it's probably for the better since I think he's taken."
Cornelia pouted, "You're kidding,"
Euphie laughed, "Yeah I am...but you should have seen the look on your face."
"Oh really!" Cornelia grabbed Euphie at the ribs and tickled her. "Now you're gonna get it."
"NO...STOP!" Euphie giggled uncontrollably, "Suzaku! Help!"
Suzaku was speechless.
Euphie doubled over onto the carpeted floor, "Cornelia stop I can't breathe...I'm laughing to hard!"
Cornelia chuckled light heartedly as she continued, "Well you shouldn't pick on me Euphie. It's not everyday I find a man that catches my eye and you of all people should know it."
Gilford entered the room to find Cornelia on top of Euphie tickling her mercilessly. "Uh...Did I miss something?"
Cornelia brushed the loose hairs out from in front of her face, "What is it Gilford?"
Gilford's demeanor became deadly serious, "Captain Ougi has requested all of you on the bridge. The Greek machine is lifting out of the water."
"I'm not particularly interested in their puny fleet," Sthenno scoffed at Medusa from within the cockpit of the Apollyon as it rose from the depths of the ocean into the sky. "Although I do suppose there'll be time enough to deal with Schneizel even if we do dispatch this nuisance."
Medusa sat in front of Sthenno, “Perhaps we should just pick off the bulk of their fleet to instill terror within their leaders and illustrate the futility of their situation. Besides, don't we need to give Porsche time to escape?”
“A novel idea my sister and yes Porsche could use a distraction to get the Kraken out of here.” Sthenno tittered, "Not too mention I'd like to see if this Zero of theirs is as powerful as we have been lead to believe." Sthenno laughed wickedly, "Surely the brother of Schneizel ought to be able to defeat the might of Apollyon."
"You shouldn't underestimate him Sthenno," Medusa cautioned. "Lelouch is brilliant...perhaps more so than Schneizel."
Sthenno sighed, "Don't worry my sister, I won't destroy his flagship. I'll simply bring him to his knees...then you can do with him as you please."
Medusa was elated, "Oh thank you Sthenno! I promise you that you won't be disappointed in him. He's truly is beautiful."
Sthenno couldn't help but smile, "I only hope I don't regret this."
"Damn that thing is big!" Suzaku exclaimed as he, the Red Dragon, and the others walked onto the bridge to join Ougi.
"You two should get to your mecha," Villetta said with urgency in her voice. "The Yamato no Orochi has already been scrambled and will be launching any minute. We need every KnightMare we've got left right now."
"I take it the Avalon hasn't returned with the new energy fillers?" Cornelia asked Ougi.
"No Princess Cornelia," He said in a disappointed tone. "Rakshata said the Fuji supply group is still loading the enhanced energy fillers onto the Avalon."
"What good are KMFs against something that big?" Gilford asked.
"We don't know," Villetta replied. "But we've got to put up some kind of defensive perimeter if we're going to have nay kind of chance against this thing."
"Or we might be sending our soldiers to their doom," Cornelia lamented as she looked over towards the Red Dragon. "You two be careful out there, we don't know what we're up against."
The Red Dragon nodded as Suzaku replied, "Don't worry Princess Cornelia, we'll be careful."
The pair of Hakodeshim pilots left the bridge for their machines.
"I don't like this Kallen," Tamaki grumbled as he piloted his Type-21B alongside her Guren-Phoenix. The Yamato no Orochi flew in a diamond formation towards the massive structure before them.
"We've been up against similar things," She said less than enthusiastically.
"You have?" Gregor was surprised.
"We once took on the Damocles," Anya added as she flew to the right of the Guren in her Type-24O Okouchi.
"Really?" Tetsuo was shocked by the admission of his new girlfriend. "That must have been something."
"It was," Anya snickered. "At least this new enemy machine doesn't have swarms of KnightMares protecting it or a FLEIJA launcher. We should be able to get up close to it and attack from below."
"Captain Kouzuki, what do you make of that large ring-shaped superstructure in the center of this thing?" Akira asked as he studied the oddly shaped monster.
"I dunno," Kallen responded as she looked over the huge mecha. "The horned center on the top looks like some kind of cannon that shoots upwards; the four petal like appendages are probably the business ends of this Mega-Fortress."
"I'll bet the sphere on end each of the side and rear petals are weapons or defense shields," Mika said. "The mirrored blister on top front of the forward petal is probably the control center."
"That would be my guess too Mika," said Kallen as they got closer to the mammoth machine.
"The two large lozenge shaped structures with holes on their ends at the bottom front of the forward petal have got to be cannons of some kind," Gregor said as the Apollyon dominated his viewscreen.
"What about those beehive look'n things," Tamaki remarked as they started around the left side of the giant machine at a distance of less than a kilometer.
"Graviton generators?" Gregor ventured.
"Not likely since there is one wing-shaped structures protruding from each quadrant of the lower portion of the craft." Kallen said as she searched over the whole machine for a possible week point.
"I'm detecting a power surge pouring into those beehives!" Lena said as she watched the sensor monitors of her Type-24G.
A myriad of Hades cannon blasts spewed out of the over 100 spherical emplacements situated in strips of five to six barbettes that ran along the surface of each of the two beehive-like structures in batteries.
The shower of beams passed by the Yamato no Orochi and slammed into the fleet of aerial warships behind them.
"They're bombarding the fleet!" Tamaki yelled.
"I can see that!" Kallen gave the Apollyon a desperate once over then made her decision. "All units proceed to attack the mirrored dome. We'll destroy their command deck first."
"Sthenno has begun her attack my lord," a male sensor operator told Schneizel within the control room of his palace.
"Excellent," he said calmly as he scanned over the three large monitors of his Pitcairn Island fortress command center. Each of the three screens showed a satellite-eye's view of a different objective; one was of Sthenno's assault on the fleet near Kaminejima, the second was Evita and Xingke's fleets near the Gambier Islands, the third monitored the city of Tartarus as it bustled with life.
"Have their worldwide communications been jammed?" Schneizel inquired of the man.
"Yes my lord," he nodded.
"Then all is ready," Schneizel smiled.
"Shall we begin transmission now sire?" the man asked.
"Yes, please do." Schneizel said smoothly as he stood up from his throne and walked towards the center of the room.
He adjusted his dark glasses as he waited for his communications officer to give the signal. A moment later the man nodded towards Schneizel.
Schneizel looked into a camera at the far end of the room in front of him and began. "People of Earth, the scourge of war and destruction that continues to plague our world will never cease until we come to understand why it is we continue this senseless fighting. Is it because of hunger, want of goods and services, or the simple desire to be free? In some cases yes, but not now. This war which the world faces is a war of aggression brought about by the willful acts of the Black Knights and their leader who seeks revenge against Britannia. Even now a new and terrible weapon has been borne from the depths of the Black Knight's secret military bases."
An image of the Apollyon attacking the Britannian aerial fleet briefly replaced Schneizel's image over the transmission.
"Even as Princess Cornelia's flotilla had gone to Japan to sue for peace, the Black Knights instead have chosen war." Schneizel put his hand to his chest, "I, your humble servant, am now looking down the barrel of the Black Knight's gun."
The image of Xingke's fleet just off the Coast of Gambier Island came on the screen.
"Nothing will satiate Tohdoh and his Black Knights accept the total destruction of the house of Britannia and all who oppose him. The Australian forces saw through his deception and chose to join me in my quest for world peace. They threw off the bonds of the Black Knight reign of oppression and tyranny, but General Tohdoh would have none of that.”
The image of the flooded crater of Sydney filled the TV screens of the citizens of the world.
“This man and his band of goose-stepping death-dealers have murdered millions in the name of his brand of Justice. Empress Nunnally has gone missing while under the care of Tohdoh’s Trojan horse, Suzaku Kururugi. Who under the guise of Zero led the world into a false sense of peace and security while his master, Tohdoh and his Black Knights, plotted to take control of the whole world. My sister Cornelia saw through this sham and denied the rule of the blind United Federation of Nations who willing and foolishly fell into the trap that had been laid by Tohdoh and his Black Knights. Even as I speak to you my fellow people, my dear sister Cornelia's fleet is being scourged by the Black Knight’s new weapon, and I am powerless to help her. I myself am now preparing to defend this last hope for the world against this league of hatred and its army of misguided warriors.”
Schneizel’s pleading face faded on the screen as the view of Xingke’s large Black Knight fleet off the Coast of Gambier Island returned for a moment.
“They seek to destroy the machine which will end war forever.” An image of the military base on Gambier Island appeared on the monitors of millions all over the Earth. “This Gehjun disturber has the power to stop aggression, to destroy all weapons of war, and help this world create a lasting peace. It is for this reason General Tohdoh and the Black Knights seek to destroy me and all of Britannia.”
Schneizel outstretched his hand towards his worldwide audience, “I beseech you, peoples of the world, rise up against this evil and stand with Britannia to overthrow the Black Knights and their vile leader. Rise up for Peace! Rise up for Freedom! Rise up for a world without War!”
The transmission ended.
“What the heck is this place?” Lelouch asked Enoch as they walked through a dank and darkened hall with a massive vaulted ceiling above their heads that ran an unknown length into the distance along the curvature of the bowels of Enoch’s Quantum Castle.
“Oh this is the armory,” Enoch gave him a boyish smile as he touched a keypad on the wall to the right side of them. In an instant a large metallic set of double doors slid open slowly revealing a pitch black chamber beyond. Enoch walked into the inky darkness.
“Now where the heck is that light switch?” Apsu said from the void.
An uncomfortable silence passed by for a few minutes before Lelouch became irritated, “Hey old man, are you still in there?”
“Huh?” Enoch’s voice echoed from some distance within the chamber.
“I said are you alright in there?” Lelouch yelled.
“Found it!” said Enoch as the interior of the room was illuminated by countless overhead lights. The chamber was vast beyond reason and had four levels; two of which were above the wide walkway that Enoch stood upon and two below him.
The floor of each level was made of some kind of clear plastic or metal, Lelouch was not sure which is was, but it was not the floor or vastness of the chamber that left Lelouch’s jaw agape; it was the myriad assembly of battle robots of clearly different make, model, type, and kind arranged in a sort of Dewey-Decimal system of machines arranged in lines on each level.
“What the hell is all this?” Lelouch finally asked as he walked up to meet Enoch who stood looking through digital files on the control station in front of him.
“What? Oh…this is my collection of mecha,” said Enoch matter-of-factly.
“Collection?” Lelouch looked over the machines, “More like an Army. How many do you have here?”
“Only a few hundred-thousand,” Enoch lamented. “Wish I had more, but I can only afford so many.”
“Only?” Lelouch looked out at the vast rows of machines, most of which towered over any KnightMare Frame. “Only.”
“Yeah I know, I really wish I could afford to buy a few Mortar-Heads, but I don’t have the funds for that,” Enoch snickered. “I’ve got to buy starships and such so I can’t afford to waste gold on high-end machines unless I’m authorized too.”
“Starships?” asked Lelouch in disbelief.
“Yeah, they’re in the next room.” Enoch smiled devilishly. “But we don’t have time for that right now. We need to get what we came here for and then get back.”
“What did we come here for?” Lelouch inquired impatiently.
“To get a few machines we’ll need to deal with the Apollyon.” Enoch grinned as a pair of symbols Lelouch couldn’t read came up on the screen in front of Apsu. “Found them! Let’s go.”
Enoch led Lelouch up a stair that went to the third level. The two of them proceeded down a long line of machines. A blood-Red machine caught Lelouch’s eye; the symbol on its enormous combat-shield reminded him of that of the Black Knight's crest. “What about this one?” He asked.
Enoch laughed, “You would pick out the MSN-04 Sazabi...that was Char Aznable's machine."
"Who?" Lelouch asked with a befuddled look.
"Never mind …I have a different machine in mind for you. It was my personal unit.” said Enoch as he walked over to stand in front of a large Black-and-Gold Hakodeshim.
"This one?" Lelouch asked in awe of the large unit. It was bigger than the Hakodeshim used by Suzaku and Euphie.
"Yep...this one," Enoch smiled. "I believe you are ready Lelouch. This machine is extremely powerful. I've used it to defeat many a foe and now I entrust it to you." Enoch put his hand on Lelouch's shoulder. "Remember Lelouch, absolute power requires absolute responsibility. This machine is not to be disrespected or abused. It contains tremendous destructive power."
Lelouch looked over at Enoch and realized how much faith this man was putting in him, "I understand Enoch...and I thank you."
Enoch raised an eyebrow, "Don't go thanking me just yet there Big-Z. This machine is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it is capable of defeating most enemies on the other hand it will test your level of self-control. In short, just because you can destroy a thing with this machine doesn't mean you should."
Lelouch put his hands on his hips, "Yeah I know that old man."
"If you didn't I wouldn't be handing you this machine," said Enoch with a wink.
"What's its name?" Lelouch asked as he looked up at the Hakodeshim.
Enoch grinned mischievously, "Samael."
"What an emotional speech," Athena mused to Ares as they watched the end of Schneizel's grandiose presentation on the main monitor of the command center of Tartarus.
"Do you think we can trust this Prince to follow through on his part of the bargain?" Ares inquired with a stoic expression.
"Honestly I don't care," She replied with a grin. "We'll get what we want from Schneizel as soon as Sthenno plays out her part in this game of ours or we'll take it from him by force."
"Are you sure that sacrificing Apollyon is such a good idea?" Ares asked in a cold tone. "That machine has considerable military value. We may yet need it..."
"For what?" Athena cut him short. "To destroy this world? I may be harsh Ares but I'm not merciless."
Ares bowed, "I meant no offense my lady."
Athena eyed him cautiously, "None taken Ares. However, you must understand my position in this. That cursed machine should never have been built in the first place. It is an abomination."
"What of Sthenno and Medusa?" Ares inquired with a stone faced expression.
"They've made their own choice in this," Athena scowled. "Sthenno knew better than to proceed with her plan without waking us. She wanted this planet for herself and would have disposed of us as soon as she no longer needed Hephaestus."
"And this Prince Schneizel? Don't you think he'll be put out by the loss of his prize?" Ares asked.
"Not really, we've discussed this and it was he who came up with the idea of using the Apollyon as a propaganda piece." Athena tittered, "He has your skill for tactics and strategy Ares...changing his own desires and plans to meet the ever changing conditions of the overall campaign."
"You mean he agreed with you that Sthenno would steal Apollyon," said Ares in a bored tone.
"That's part of it," She snickered. "The other part came from his scientist, Professor Nina Einstein. She informed Prince Schneizel that there was a distinct possibility that her mentor, Professor Lloyd Asplundh, might be able to form a defense against the Gehjun device that Schneizel has due to their acquisition of the Gorgon."
"How could Schneizel know if they have such a defense?" Ares was intrigued.
"He didn't," Athena said with a smirk, "until his sister Cornelia arrived in Japan and traveled to Zero's flagship. The only bargaining chip Zero could possibly have that would prevent Cornelia's forces from blowing that ship out of the sky would be an energy-core that can resist Schneizel's new weapon, or at least that's what he assumes."
"That's a logical assumption on his part," Ares agreed.
"I agree...but just in case Schneizel is wrong, I had Hephaestus modify the Apollyon." Athena said with a grin.
Ares raised an eyebrow, "Did you now my lady."
"Its shields are too strong!" Kallen yelled as she fired numerous energy-discs at the beehives only to have them harmlessly dissipated on the gold shimmer of an Aegis Shield.
"No luck here either!" Tamaki yelled as he unloaded a salvo of Gehjun missiles at the mirrored dome. The missiles impacted the golden glow but did nothing.
"Kallen clear out of the way!" Ougi commanded as the Ikaruga and its escort of Britannian ships opened fire with everything their ships had.
Kallen and the UFN defenders moved aside quickly as the various weapon shells, blasts, and bolts from the full gamut of aerial ship armaments screamed towards the Apollyon. The bombardment caused the golden shield to shimmer much brighter than did the KnightMare Weapons but little else.
"No good!" Akira exclaimed over the radio. "We need more firepower!"
The Apollyon unleashed a pair of massive Chaos beams from the two lozenge shaped cannons under the chin of the forward petal directly underneath the mirrored blister. The dual beams cut a swath through the Britannian fleet and destroyed the Avenger and several other warships.
"Mind if we give it a try," Suzaku said over the comm. as he and the Red Dragon flew up at the Apollyon from below.
"We're not having any luck Suzaku," Kallen felt weird addressing him as a comrade Devicer but pushed the feelings out of her mind. "So be our guests."
The Uriel flew up and aimed the globe on its right forearm out towards the Apollyon. An instant later a brilliant ball of blue flashed just in front of the sphere. A bright blue explosion detonated on the surface of the Apollyon damaging the large dome on the left petal of the mammoth machine.
The Red Dragon followed suit and fired a double blast from both of the globes on the forearms of her mecha.
The already damaged dome on the Apollyon took two more hits but remained in tact.
The massive machine flew higher upwards towards the sky bringing its pair of beehives into a firing arc capable of hitting the Archangels.
"Move!" The Red Dragon yelled as the Apollyon unleashed a hail of Hades cannon blasts at the pair of Hakodeshim.
The nimble machines dodged the shower of deadly energy with ease as Suzaku fired a second ball of blue energy at the already badly damaged dome. His energy bolt detonated on the dome causing it to erupt in a burst of golden energy that caused the left petal to shudder under the force of the explosion.
"That's one down, two to go!" Suzaku yelled triumphantly.
"Dammn it!" Sthenno cried out as she and Medusa held on to their seats while the shockwave of the explosion passed through the Apollyon.
"Our port side Aegis Shield is gone!" Medusa said frantically.
"Curse Enoch to Hades!" Sthenno gnashed her teeth as the pair of Hakodeshim started on the starboard Aegis Shield generator. "Move us to core-gun range above the Island."
"What?" Medusa asked in fear of what she knew Sthenno was planning.
"DO IT!" Sthenno snapped at her.
"But the core-gun will drain all our energy while it powers up...our shields..." Medusa started to protest.
Sthenno cut her off, "I know what will happen, but our shields won't last much longer anyway!"
"But the planet will be destroyed!" Medusa turned to look at her sister.
Sthenno glared at her, "I'm aware of that Medusa, but I will not go done until I have my revenge and no one will stop me! Now move us into position!" The twin sigils of Geass formed in her eyes, but she did not cast her power on Medusa.
Medusa turned away from her in horror, "I understand Sthenno."
"What the hell was that all about?" Ougi commented as Schneizel's speech came to a close over their airwaves.
"Move the Ikaruga away from the enemy machine," said C.C. from under the mask of Zero as the hail of enemy weapon fire stopped.
"What? You want us to retreat?" Cornelia snarled.
The mask of Zero looked at her as C.C.'s modulated voice spoke, "It is obvious this thing is preparing to use some kind of new weapon system and Schneizel knows it. There is no doubt in my mind that he timed that speech with this attack. My guess is that the ring in the center of that monster is some kind of weapon and they're moving above us in order to get out of the way of whatever that thing can do."
Cornelia turned her head in embarrassment, "You're probably right. Villetta please contact the remainder of my fleet and tell them to withdraw with us."
Villetta nodded as a blue-white sphere began forming within the center of the ring-shaped superstructure of the Apollyon.
"You want us to retreat?" Kallen was stunned. "But its shields are down, we can take it out!" exclaimed Captain Kouzuki as she fired a salvo of energy discs into the port side Beehive structure; her volley did minor damage to the Titan class Automatos, but destroyed two of the many Hades cannons nonetheless.
"There's no time for that," Ougi told her as a blue-glow emanated from the open space at the center of the massive machine. "Zero says that thing is preparing to fire some kind of super weapon and I'm inclined to agree with him."
"Then we need to take it out before it can fire," Kallen flipped her radio over to its general frequency as the blue-white globe of Apollyon filled the space of the ring and intensified. "Attention all units, we've been ordered to return to Ikaruga at once. That includes you two Suzaku, but I think we can take that thing."
Tamaki cheered. "Hell yah! We can defeat it before it fires that weapon!"
"None of you have to follow me on this because we're disobeying a direct order," Kallen said calmly. "I want only volunteers for this."
"I'm in!" said Tamaki with a hurrah.
"Me too," Akira told her.
"We're all with you Captain, we can't let you face this thing alone when we've got a chance to beat it," the Red Dragon said with confidence.
The others concurred.
"Very well then, let's do this!" Kallen led the flight of mecha up towards the rapidly climbing enemy machine.
"They're moving their Capital ships away from us while their mecha have given pursuit. They must know we're preparing to fire," Medusa told Sthenno as she settled the Apollyon into position some fifty miles above the surface of the ocean.
"It doesn't matter," Sthenno hissed. "Nothing can save them now." She watched as her control station monitor showed the power build up of her machine reach 100%. Sthenno pulled the trigger of the core-gun.
Instantly the blue-white globe in the central ring disappeared with a flash.
Medusa looked down at the planet waiting for it to start breaking up.
Several long seconds passed.
"What happened?" Sthenno asked knowing that more than enough time had elapsed. "It should have started breaking up instantly..." A blue glow high above them silenced her.
Medusa worked her navigational controls frantically looking for the defolded iron core of the Earth. "I've found the point of the defold, but there's nothing there."
"That BITCH!!!" Sthenno's face contorted in a rage of fury as she pounded down on the control panel. She furiously tapped the controls of her monitor until she found what she was looking for, "That bastard Hephaestus has disabled the mass-detector of the core-gun. It can't lock onto to anything to transport."
Medusa held back a smile of relief, "Then we'll just have to destroy the UFN fleet with out it."
Sthenno thought to lash out and strike Medusa but knew it was not her sister's fault and let her anger wash over her, "You are right my sister. We'll destroy this planet city by city...we still have the fold-cannon."
"I've restored all power to our remaining shields and weapons. Shall I move us into attack position?" Medusa asked cautiously.
"Immediately." said Sthenno in a tone laced with blood-lust.
"They're coming back down," Anya said as she and the other Devicers made their way towards the Apollyon.
"Guess what ever they did was a dud," Gregor snickered.
"That may be but it doesn't make that thing any less dangerous," Akira said as he slowed his KnightMare Frame down in anticipation of the attack he knew was soon to come.
"Kallen," Akira's voice came over her radio. "It looks like they miss fired their weapon. Now may be our last chance to take that thing out."
"I understand Akira," Kouzuki replied as their units came up through the clouds and into sight of the Apollyon. "All KnightMare Frame units listen up. We may have only one chance at this monster and we need to make the best of it. Suzaku, you and the Red Dragon will focus on knocking out their shield generators to prevent them from restoring them. Akira, you Mika and Lena will focus on the left beehive unit. Anya, you Gregor and Tetsuo will take on the right side beehive unit. I'm going in for the mirrored command center."
"Roger!" said her teammates in unison.
The Yamato no Orochi and its Hakodeshim companions flew up towards the Apollyon with weapons blazing.
Their salvos were met by the shimmer of the Aegis Shields while the blue globes of the Hakodeshim impacted onto the starboard generator dome.
Sthenno opened up her radio to the UFN frequency as she unleashed a full salvo of Hades cannon blasts against them, "Fools, do you really think you stand a chance against the Apollyon?" Sthenno activated another weapon as she targeted the Hakodeshim. "This machine was built to fight Archangels as well as Automatos."
A sphere of blue-green formed between the horns at the top center of the giant mecha. In an instant the sphere released a flash of green similar to that of the Hakodeshim blue-sphere weapon.
The flash reappeared on the left side of the Red Dragon's Archangel. Euphie rolled her mecha out of the way of a direct hit but the green globe managed to graze her machine's shield; knocking it out while a second flash emanated from the sphere in the center of the horns.
"Noooo!" Suzaku screamed as he used the Gabriel to protect the Uriel. The green flash impacted the shield of his mecha and caused Gabriel to crash into the Uriel. Both mecha fell away from the Apollyon before they recovered.
"You are like flies which only need be swatted into oblivion!" Sthenno pushed a digital button on her display causing the Hades cannons to shift into a low power rapid fire mode with shot forth thousands of beams in succession at the Yamato no Orochi.
"I can't dodge them!" Tamaki yelled as he used the Omni-Directional Enhanced Absolute Protection Energy Shield of his Type-21B to try to deflect the beams; his shield protected him but he could not attack.
"The beams are too strong!" Anya yelled over the comm. while her Okouchi tried in vain to deflect the beams with its Combination Blaze-Luminous/Anti-Hadron Shoulder shield, but two of the beams got through; destroying the right shoulder shield and arm of her machine before she retreated.
Sthenno cackled over the radio as the fold-cannon reached full power, "Now you shall see the power of Apollyon!"
"Not if I have anything to say about it," Lelouch said over the radio in his Zero voice as a pair of golden energy beams streaked from the clouds below the Apollyon and cut off two of the massive machine's wings-units.
"What the..." Sthenno gasped over the radio.
A single Hakodeshim burst up through the clouds it's gold highlights glinting in the raw sunlight.
"My god! That's the Samael!" Medusa exclaimed in fear.
"Who the hell are you?" Sthenno hissed.
Lelouch gave her a cold laugh as he aimed the forearm cannon of his Hakodeshim at the Apollyon, "I am ZERO!"
TURN Twenty Three: Abaddon, Angel of Destruction
Thanks for Reading
|2009-12-28, 23:08||Link #37|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty Three: Abaddon Angel of Destruction
“Love and hate are intimately related emotions which we seldom are able to separate within our minds. These passions are what drive many of us to do both great and horrible things; to conquer and to destroy. Such is the power of these emotions that men and women are sometimes driven by them to the point of insanity when our love is rejected and our hatred swells to insurmountable levels within us. Such was the case in the final battles of the war with Tartarus as we would all soon learn.”-Excerpt from Enoch Apsu’s World of Geass report dated 5.03121 GS (Galactic Standard)
“I am ZERO!” Lelouch yelled over the radio as he fired a deadly golden beam from the large yellow orb of energy that swirled at the end of the flashlight shaped structure that was housed in a circular-frame on the left forearm of his Hakodeshim. The ray of doom sped towards the twin horned structure on the top of Apollyon at the speed of light.
“That’s him!” Medusa yelled at Sthenno as the beam from Samael sliced the twin horns off of Apollyon in one smooth swath.
“Do you think I care at this moment Medusa?” Sthenno yelled in frustration while the green-globe generating beam weapon detonated in a massive burst of energy which caused secondary explosions all over the Apollyon.
Suzaku and the Red Dragon flew up at the massive mobile fortress with their Hakodeshim; each with their twin beam-sabers drawn.
The Gabriel slashed at the port beehive of the mammoth mecha with Suzaku’s signature spin attack; turning the twin blades into a buzz-saw of beam energy. He cut through the point which held the beehive in place under the left petal of the monstrous Automatos which caused the Hades cannon battery to fall away and blow up into thousands of fragments.
The Red Dragon was not to be out done as she cut through the outer shell of the starboard beehive and fired a burst of blue-globes into the structure; in the next instant the beehive erupted in a detonation of Hades cannon energy causing the Aegis Shield generator above it to explode upwards.
“Show off,” Lelouch teased Euphie.
“No kidding,” Suzaku laughed.
“Pffft, I’m not gonna get out done by you two,” She giggled.
“Ahem! Hey kids giant enemy Titan-Automatos…remember?” Enoch scolded them as he flew up through the cloud layer in an emerald Green mecha similar to the Hakodeshim that Euphie and Suzaku piloted.
“I know that voice!” Sthenno hissed over the radio.
“Well, well,” Enoch snickered. “If it isn’t my old girlfriend Sthenno. You know doll you really should surrender, even Apollyon is no match for four Archangels.”
“You bastard,” Sthenno cursed. “You think you’ve won? Hah!” She activated the fold cannon of the massive machine.
“Sthenno what are you doing?” Medusa asked frantically.
“Ending this,” She replied as she set the weapon to overload and looked down at her sister and sighed, “I don’t intend on dying with this thing, you know what to do.”
Medusa’s eyes showed she registered Sthenno’s silent command. Medusa began typing away on her control console as quickly as her fingers would allow.
“I’m detecting a large energy build-up from that thing!” exclaimed Suzaku.
“Get back!” Lelouch commanded, “It’s going to overload.”
“Big-Z is right, there’s too much energy there for a simple fold-cannon attack; Apollyon is building up to critical mass,” declared Enoch as he switched his comm. to the UFN general frequency. “Kallen get your people as far from this thing as you can, it’s going to explode!”
“You don’t have to tell us twice,” Kouzuki replied as she and the Black Knights flew at maximum speed from the now glowing blue structure of Apollyon.
The four Hakodeshim zoomed away from the massive mobile fortress as it emanated a brilliant-cobalt before detonating into a ball of destructive energy that sent an intense shockwave towards the fleeing UFN forces and their allies.
The KnightMare Frames and Hakodeshim tumbled through the air with the wave for several minutes before they regained control of their machines.
“I’m glad that’s over,” Lelouch sighed in relief.
“Over? Don’t be so sure about that Big-Z…” said Enoch in a cautious tone.
Gino barely clung onto consciousness as he hung from the ceiling of his cell. He couldn’t tell how many days or weeks he had been there, beaten repeatedly by Evita’s insane hands. He vaguely remembered her sick and twisted voice whispering in his ears as she caressed and kissed him then tortured him for her own pleasure.
She stood before him now scantily clad in her leather and lace looking over him as a spoiled child looks over a doll they abuse for fun.
“My lovely Gino, I do hope you come to your senses soon,” She kissed him gently on the cheek. “You know it pains me to have to punish you like this, but you keep lying to me when I ask you whom you love.”
Evita took a warm wet towel from a washbasin in the cell and washed away the dried blood from his disheveled face. His form was gaunt and pathetic from days of lack of food.
“Your too stubborn for your own good my love,” Evita kissed him on the lips. “I want you to realize you’re a pure blood. You could never love a half-breed.”
“I…” Gino’s eyes fluttered deliriously as he tried to focus on Evita and form words for the anger that still swelled within his battered frame.
“You what?” Evita bent down to listen to his voice.
“I…” Gino tried to speak.
“You love me?” She squealed like a school girl.
Gino lifted his head towards her, “….hate you.”
Evita’s face contorted into a hellish mask of anger, “You idiot!” She belted him across the face with the back of her hand.
Gino’s shoulders shook as a sound came from his bruised and swollen mouth.
“Oh don’t cry now…I’ll not feel sorry for your stupidity,” said Evita with an angry pout. “You could end this pain and suffering by simply loving me!”
Commander Weinberg found the strength to look up at her again; his expression was not one of pain. His mangled face smiled at her contemptuously; he was laughing.
“Ahhhhhhh!” Evita raged at him and pulled a dagger from a nearby table. She had a mind to stab Gino through in the chest and cut his heart out but one of her subordinates rushed into the room.
“Duchess!” the man bowed.
“WHAT!” She roared at him.
“We’re under attack!” the man said meekly.
Evita threw the blade on the table and stormed out of the cell.
Gino’s head fell, “Hurry Kallen.” He whispered to himself. “I can’t hold on much longer.”
General Xingke’s fleet of Black Knight aerial warships moved towards Gambier Island and the fleet of Duchess Evita Ernst.
“Schneizel’s little speech has caused a firestorm of rioting and protests the world over. People are confused and angry Major. Thus the UFN council has ordered us to take steps to put an end to Schneizel’s insurrection immediately. Your first objective is to locate and destroy that Gejhun weapon as soon as possible Major Ashford,” Xingke told Rivaltz over the Type-21O’s cockpit monitor.
“Understood General,” Rivaltz replied apprehensively as he switched off the comm., “Okay people, you heard the man, lets do this.”
Major Ashford’s squadron of twenty Type-21Os lead the fleet of variable-fighters in a dive down towards Duchess Evita Ernst’s fleet of aerial warships, the mass of UFN variable KnightMare Frames fired on the airships with a hail of bazooka rounds.
The missiles impacted three of the Avalon class frigates at the top of the Britannian fleet formation; causing the warships to list and explode.
In the next instant swarms of KnightMare Frames ushered out of their respective airships and zoomed up at the UFN squadrons.
“They’ve begun their assault on Gambier!” Zero (C.C.) told Enoch as he and the other Devicers made their way out of the locker rooms of the main hangar.
Zero stood in front of Enoch, Suzaku, the Red Dragon, and a person in a Black Knight’s uniform wearing a tinted Devicer Helmet and holding a large duffle bag against his chest.
The troupe began walking away from the base of their now stowed mecha in the main hangar of the Ikaruga towards the elevators at the far end.
“Great,” Enoch said flatly.
“It’s too soon,” said Suzaku in irritation. “Who gave the order?”
“General Tohdoh, from his new command on the Amagi,” said Kaguya Sumeragi as she walked up from behind Zero with Reika in tow. “He’s heading to Gambier as we speak with the remains of his air fleet. He has ordered our forces here to rendezvous with him. It would seem that the Apollyon mobile fortress destroyed Sydney Australia and nearly all of Kyoshiro’s forces with it.”
“He’s a little aggravated to say the least and has convinced the UFN council to reinstate him as Supreme Commander of the Black Knights.” Jiang Reika added.
“Speaking of irritation...shouldn’t you be more careful?” Kaguya eyed the person wearing the tinted helmet as she pointed towards Kallen and the Yamato no Orochi who were walking up to join them.
“You know you’re going to have to face Kallen at some point,” Zero tittered at the person in the tinted helmet. “She might understand.”
“Yeah right,” Suzaku gulped.
“Shall I break the ice with Kallen for you?” Kaguya gave the Devicer a wicked smile.
Fortunately Gregor and Mika were complaining to Kallen about the need for better KnightMare Frames. Their loud rant was enough to drown out Lelouch’s voice.
“Better make yourself scarce Big-Z!” Enoch said as he gave Suzaku a pleading look.
“I’ll see what I can do to slow her down,” Suzaku said as he and the Red Dragon moved to intercept Kallen and her team.
Enoch briskly walked over to the elevator and pushed the button, the light came on but the door didn’t open. “Dammn it!”
“Aw, is the elevator busy?” Kaguya snickered.
“Hi Kallen,” Suzaku said from behind them as the group got closer.
“Hello Suzaku,” Kallen said. “Who’s that?” She asked with an accusatory look at the person wearing the tinted helmet.
“Oh this is the Red Dragon,” Suzaku said innocently.
“Not her Suzaku,” said Kallen with an irritated tone. “That guy over there in the helmet.”
Kaguya put her arm through the Devicer’s arm and waved at Kallen, “Hi Kallen!”
“Hi Lady Kaguya,” Kallen called back. “Who’s that guy with you?”
“Oh this is an old flame of mine,” Kaguya giggled incessantly.
“You’re not helping,” whispered Enoch as he put his hand over the elevator console; the panel glowed for a moment.
“Sure I am, he needs to man up and face her…” Kaguya was interrupted.
“Move cutey,” Enoch gently pushed Kaguya aside.
“Excuse me?” Sumeragi was shocked at how he addressed her.
“What, you’re cute,” Enoch told her with a wink as the elevator doors open.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Kallen demanded as she pushed her way past Suzaku towards Enoch and his companion.
“Going for a drink with my friend,” said Enoch as he blew her a kiss over his shoulder.
“Hey Enoch wait!” Kallen yelled at them as she started to sprint towards him.
“Sorry gorgeous, we gotta go! I’ll catch up to you later.” He said as the elevator doors began to close.
Kallen slammed her foot in the elevator door causing it to open back up allowing her to slip past and enter before they closed again.
“What the hell was that all about?” Akira asked as he walked up to the where the others stood at the now closed elevator doors.
Suzaku sighed, "Kallen's obsession..." He looked over at the Red Dragon who only shrugged.
"We better get to the bridge," said Reika tugging on Kaguya.
Kaguya snickered, "Yah, if I know Captain Kouzuki there may be someone in need of medical assistance in a very short time."
“Who the hell is that!” Kallen fumed as she glared at Enoch and pointed at the person in the helmet.
“It’s none of your business Kallen,” Enoch told her softly. "I told you that before, it's better if you don't know who Zero really is."
“Don’t give me that crap! I know it’s Lelouch!” Kallen stormed over and grabbed the duffle bag from the Devicer and threw it at Enoch.
"I'm sick of your dammned lies! Protecting him, lying for him, just so that he can be with that green haired wench all you men think is so darling!"
"No Kallen that's not it at all," Enoch retorted. "The problem is that if you were to find out who this person really is then you'd have to keep it totally secret because the world can never know about his true identity."
"Why because they'd know Lelouch is a monumental fraud and a liar who needs to hide behind other people because he's too much of a coward to come out and face the world!" Kallen screamed at Enoch.
Kallen snapped her head around and gave the Devicer an accusing look, “Just look at him...What the?” Kallen's anger broke as she got a look at the person’s chest which was now exposed with the duffle bag gone.
“He’s got boobs,” Kallen said mechanically.
“Just GREAT Captain Kouzuki,” Enoch put his hands on his hips. “You’ve gone and done it now,”
“But…I…thought,” Kallen’s eyes grew wide as the Devicer removed her helmet.
“Yes I know...You thought it was Lelouch, now you’ve exposed a Britannian military secret and a scandal that could ruin any chance of world peace.”
“What do you mean Enoch?” Kallen’s jaw dropped as the mass of pink hair fell from under the helmet and the Devicer's face was revealed, “Oh my God! You’re…you’re Euphemia! But how could you be alive?" She turned to Enoch, "And how could you protect her? She was responsible for the Massacre in Japan.”
"No Kallen..." Enoch scolded her, "Lelouch was."
"What?" Kallen recoiled from him in disbelief.
"Let me explain." said Euphemia sadly.
Cornelia, Ougi, Zero, Kallen, Akira, Enoch, and C.C. sat at a large lozenge shaped conference table within the bowels of the Ikaruga. Across from them were Rakshata, Lloyd, and Cecile who had just arrived from the Avalon.
“We’ve been ordered by the UFN council to assist in the assault on Gambier Island that’s why we joined up with you as quickly as we could,” said Rakshata with a wave of her pipe.
Lloyd sat next to her with his left hand on his chin, “Mm…Yes and it looks like its going to be quite a show.”
“We’ve brought a few new KnightMare designs with us,” Cecile told them with a grin.
“Oh? What types are they?” Zero inquired.
Cecile spoke in an excited tone, “A new model Type-21 called the Type-21Z Zebulun. It’s a space-capable KMF armed to the teeth with all kinds of new weapons and systems. It has anti-Gehjun shielding, a pair of Kaon-Particle Beam Sabers, dual Kaon-Particle Deflector-Shield generators, and the new Meson-Beam-Cannon (MBC) we’ve developed for its gunpod unit that doubles as a Hadron-Saber. It also uses more conventional weapons such as a pair of MVS-Harkens on electromagnetic tethers and a pair of Hadron cannons; one in each forearm. Unfortunately we only have enough of them for the Yamato no Orochi.”
Zero nodded, "That's fine since they'll be going in to rescue Commander Weinberg and will need the heaviest KMFs."
Kallen gave him a surprised look.
Rakshata lifted her pipe, “The second KMF is the rebuild of the Gorgon. We took the thing apart completely and redesigned it from the frame up. We used many of the design aspects of the Guren-Phoenix combined with the energy projectors of the Gorgon’s Gaze weapon on the Greek mecha.”
“Yes,” Lloyd waved his hand at Rakshata dismissively, “But without my retooling of the energy filler system of the machine the power consumption would have been too high for the machine to even be used. Thus we applied an improved version of the Lamekian-Drive-Superconductor power system.”
Rakshata glared at him as she raised her voice, “We also removed the cumbersome wing-units of the machine and replaced them with a pair of Chawla Mark-III graviton-impellers.”
“Which wouldn’t work without my Asplundh gyroscopic alignment system…” Lloyd snickered.
“There wouldn’t even be a TYPE-25X without my skill as an engineer!” Rakshata shot back.
“Then I suppose you could’ve figured out the enhanced pilot-to-machine interface all on your own eh?” scoffed Lloyd.
“We get the idea,” Cornelia said harshly, silencing both of them.
“What’s it called?” Kallen asked Cecile.
“Kali, Goddess of Destruction,” Cecile laughed, “And it took Rakshata pulling rank on Lloyd to get him to agree to that name.”
“It did not!” Lloyd protested.
“Yes it did you dolt,” Rakshata shot back.
“Enough!” Zero said as he stood up. “Have the new machines prepared for battle immediately. We’ll be at Gambier in less than three hours.”
Kallen eyed Zero then looked over at Enoch. I can’t believe Zero is Euphemia, and that Lelouch was responsible for the Massacre in the Special Administrative Zone...oh Lulu, accident or not, how could have done that to your own sister? She thought to herself as everyone stood up to leave the room.
"Looks like Sthenno failed in her mission," Kannon said to Schneizel on the bridge of the Thor.
"Not really," Schneizel gave his aide a thin smile. "She's bought us the time we need to make the necessary preparations."
"Does that mean we're leaving soon?" Kannon inquired.
"We?" Schneizel laughed, "No my dear Kannon, you're staying her to watch over our dear Nina while I head off for Gambier to ensure Evita Ernst is successful in luring the Black Knights and Zero into our trap."
"I see," Kannon was apprehensive, "then you don't trust Nina is that it?"
"I don't trust anyone at this point Kannon," Schneizel smiled at him. "There's too much at stake for me to."
"It seems that Xingke is convinced our base is on Gambier Island, but do you think Zero will be as easily fooled?" Kannon inquired.
"Depends on whom this new Zero is," Schneizel answered with a smirk. "If he is shrewd, tactful, and focused to the extreme then he'll see through this veil, though I highly doubt it. Fortunately for us we don't have to contend with my brother...he'd see this for what it is."
"And Tohdoh?" Kannon inquired.
"Tohdoh will see through some of it, the parts I want him too anyway," Schneizel smiled. "But when it's over, he and his Black Knights won't know what hit them."
"It's good to see you again General Tohdoh," Ougi bowed slightly as Tohdoh's image stared back at him on the bridge monitor of the Ikaruga.
"I'm happy that you're the one in command there Ougi." Kyoshiro grinned slightly. "I need someone I can count on for this operation. My fleet has reached the battlezone and will soon be engaged in combat. We don't know how long we'll have before Schneizel uses his Gejhun weapon so it is imperative your forces get here as quickly as them can."
"We're only a few minutes away from the battlezone ourselves General," Ougi told him with a concerned look. "We've only got about a dozen warships; so long as Schneizel doesn't use his Gejhun disturber we should be able to easily overwhelm Evita and her fleet."
"Which is why I fully expect him to use that weapon and knock out both our forces and those of the Duchess," said Tohdoh with a furrowed brow. "In all likelihood Schneizel has a reserve of KnightMare frames somewhere nearby which he'll be able to use in the event we defeat the Duchess."
"Then why launch this attack at all?" Ougi asked.
"To flush out where Schneizel's real base of operations is," Kyoshiro stated flatly. "And that my friend is where you come in. I need your Gejhun resistant KMFs to assault Schneizel's base the moment he reveals it."
"Only some of the Gejhun resistant KMFs are under my command," Ougi admitted. "The rest are under Cornelia li Britannia's jurisdiction."
"WHAT!" Kyoshiro yelled. "You're allowing Schneizel's sister, who cannot be trusted in the least, to join in this operation?"
"We don't have a choice General," Ougi grumbled, "She is the acting regent of Britannia and Lady Kaguya has authorized her to take part in this operation."
"Sumeragi," said Tohdoh through gritted teeth.
"There's too many of them Major Ashford," a Type-21O pilot said over the radio before being blow to bits by a Z-02g Mass Production KMF-Victoria.
"Dammn it!” Rivaltz radioed the UFN flagship, “Yamato, this is Major Ashford, we can't hold them back much longer," Rivaltz spiraled out of the way of a burst of cannon shells and returned fire with a volley of his own at the offending KMF. "We're running low on ammo and power, any chance of our relief arriving soon?"
"Is that you Rivaltz?" Kallen asked as she tore through the three KMF-Victoria mecha that were attacking Major Ashford with her Guren-Phoenix.
“Hey Kallen!” Rivaltz exclaimed in relief. “It’s sure nice to see you guys.”
"Will take over from her Major," Suzaku said over the comm.
"Is that you Suzaku?" asked Rivaltz in a surprised tone.
"Yes Rivaltz, I’m one of Nunnally’s Knights now," Suzaku answered jovially back at his friend as the four Hakodeshim from the Avalon dove through the inferior machines of the Duchess' fleet; blasting several of them into metallic confetti as they did so.
"We need to hook up after this is over," Rivaltz said as the remnant of his squadron left the battlespace.
"It's a deal," Suzaku said as he blasted two more Victorias.
"Our objective is dead ahead," Zero's voice came over the radio as the swarm of KMF-Victoria Frames came up in front of them. "All units we need to break through these defenders and get aboard their flagship as quickly as possible."
“Roger that Zero,” Kallen said as her thoughts went to Commander Weinberg. Hang on Gino, we’re almost there.
“I don’t care if you think it’s too dangerous to launch. I’m going out there to deal with them myself!” Evita grabbed her deck officer by the collar. “Is my KMF-Queen-Victorious ready yet?’
The man nodded, “Yes your highness, it is.”
“Good,” Evita tittered as she let the man go and climbed onto the gantry lift up to the cockpit of the new machine. The KMF-Queen-Victorious looked similar to the old KMF-Victoria only it had a large mecha-sized bastard sword instead of a rapier and held a large spade-shaped combination Hadron-cannon/combat shield in its left arm.
“Open the outer hatch!” Evita demanded over the loudspeaker of her KnightMare Frame.
Her men obliged her and the hangar bay door opened up to reveal the battle which ensued all around her flagship. Evita boosted out of the hangar with her graviton impellers.
“What the hell is that thing?” Tamaki asked as the Queen-Victorious flew up through the embattled mass of KMF-Victoria Frames towards his Type-21Z.
“It’s your doom Black Knight!” Evita boasted as her machine unloaded a hail of Hadron-cannon bolts at Tamaki.
Tamaki used his Kaon shields to deflect the barrage. “Heh, that’s nothing more than a snazzy Victoria, it doesn’t scare me.” Tamaki fired his Meson-Beam-Cannon at the Queen-Victorious only to see the machine zip past the beam at impossible speed and unsheathe its bastard sword revealing its Hadron coated blade; in the next instant Tamaki transformed into KnightMare mode to dodge a swing by Evita’s machine.
“Dammn! That thing is fast!” said Tamaki as Evita used her MVS-Disc-Harken to put him in the defensive.
“Fool!” Evita scoffed as her machine swung its Hadron-Blade again; this time it connected with the left arm of Tamaki’s machine; cutting it off. The Duchess smashed the front of the Type-21Z just above the cockpit with the shield of her mecha stunning Tamaki.
“Yahhhh!” Tamaki screamed over the radio as Evita’s Queen-Victorious thrust at the cockpit with its Hadron-blade.
The blade was caught in mid-thrust by the oversized hand of Guren-Phoenix, “Tamaki, you okay?” Kallen asked as Evita withdrew her Bastard sword from Guren’s deadly grip.
“I’m alive,” said Tamaki with a sigh.
“Oh how touching,” Evita snickered with malevolence over the radio. “Nips in love.”
“Why that little…” Tamaki grumbled.
“Forget it,” Kallen cut him off. “You get to the flagship with the others. This little bitch and I have unfinished business.”
“Indeed we do,” said Evita in a vicious tone. “This time we’ll finish it.” The Duchess said as her Queen-Victorious lunged at the Guren-Phoenix.
The Guren spun out of the way of her attack and fired a salvo of energy discs at the chest of the Queen-Victorious.
“Pathetic,” Evita said as the discs bounced off of the Blaze-Luminous shield of the Queen-Victorious. The Duchess fired her MVS-Harken-Disc at the wings of Guren only to have it deflected by the pair of MVS-Harkens of the Guren.
“I could say the same for you Duchess,” Kallen sneered as she dodged another volley of Hadron beams from the shield-gun of the Queen-Victorious.
“Hah, too bad in your case it’s true,” Evita mocked her again as her Hadron-Blade came up towards Guren’s torso.
“Gah!” Kallen blurt out as she barely caught the blade with the oversized claw of Guren. “I’ve had enough of this thing,” Kallen yelled as she activated the supernova of Guren; the massive heat wave melted the Hadron-Bastard-Sword but the Queen-Victorious used its shield to protect itself.
“Ha! Idiot!” Evita snickered as she smashed the Guren-Phoenix with her shield and pushed a button on her control stick. Instantly the two lower thirds of the spade-shaped shield split open like a pincer claw and grabbed onto Guren.
“That won’t do you any good,” Kallen retorted as she used the Supernova wave of Guren on the claw; the heat wave dissipated harmlessly off of the armored pincer.
“Hahahaha!” Evita cackled, “My Jaws-of-Death shield is impervious to heat you moron.” The Duchess licked her lips like a hunter preparing to eat its prey as she squeezed the trigger of the shield’s Hadron-Cannon, “Now you die!”
“I don’t think so!” Kallen shouted back at her as she fired her Baryon Cannon. The cover of the chest mounted weapon flipped open instantly and fired its intense beam of white light directly through the center of the Queen-Victorious.
“No, I cannot be defeated by a half-breeeeeeed!” Evita screamed as she was consumed by the blinding white beam. The mortally wounded Queen-Victorious fell away from Guren and exploded in midair.
“I’m coming Gino,” Kallen whispered softly as she landed the Guren-Phoenix onto the flagship of Evita’s fleet.
“We have arrived just outside of the battlespace my lord,” a male officer said to Schneizel as he brought up the scene of the battle waging over Gambier Island.
“Any word from the Duchess?” Schneizel asked the man as he came to stand at the large windows of the bridge of the Thor.
“Her second in command says the Duchess has fallen,” the man said in a sad tone.
“Excellent,” Schneizel smiled. “Then the Black Knights will move in to lay siege to the Island. Have the Knights of the Silver Cross prepare to attack as soon as we use the Gejhun Transmitter.”
“As you wish my lord,” the officer bowed.
“Akira, you and the others secure the hangar. I’m going in to rescue Commander Weinberg,” Enoch said as he disembarked from his Type-21Z.
“Where are the others?” Kallen asked as she noticed that the four Hakodeshim were not in the hangar of Evita’s ship.
“They’ve gone with C2 to say hello to an old friend,” Enoch told her with a wink. “And maybe put a stop to this conflict once and for all.”
“You can’t take on this whole ship by yourself Enoch, Let us go with you,” Kallen pleaded with him.
“Yeah, Gino is OUR comrade,” said Tamaki with a frown.
“Alright, but I warn you…we may be too late,” said Enoch reluctantly.
“We know Enoch,” Anya told him. “But we have to try and save him.”
Kallen turned to Akira, Gregor, and Tetsuo. “You three stay here and protect our KnightMares. We’ll be back as soon as we can.”
The three men nodded silently.
“Well now that that’s settled let’s stop talking and get moving,” Enoch rushed over to the elevator shafts and opened the door by putting his palm over the control panel.
“How the heck do you do that?” Anya inquired.
He gave her a boyish grin, “You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.”
“Tell your forces to begin the assault on the Island now Xingke,” Tohdoh said to Li over the main monitor of the Yamato. “My fleet has already launched our KMFs into position.”
“As you wish General, but I should warn you that four unidentified KMFs have broken away from Ougi’s forces and are heading towards a new arrival.” Xingke said apprehensively.
“New arrival?” Kyoshiro grouched.
“Yes, it would appear that Schneizel has arrived and Zero has gone off to meet him.”
“Dammn him,” Tohdoh sneered.
Enoch and his three companions rushed out of the elevator into the ship’s brig only to find it devoid of anyone.
“Looks like this place is empty,” Tamaki said waving his submachinegun down the two-way corridor that ran the length of the brig.
Enoch moved over to the control station where a guard would normally be. “Keep your wits about you people this could very well be a trap.” Windows flashed open at lighting speed on the computer screen in front of Enoch as he scanned through them looking for Gino’s holding cell.
“Found him!” Enoch said, “Cell block six, unit number 73. I’ll unlock it from here.” Apsu walked down the corridor to their right towards a cell near the end of the long line of holding rooms.
Kallen fidgeted in front of the door as it opened up, "C'mon Enoch, open the dammn door."
"It's open," said Enoch as he turned up the lights in the dim chamber.
There, hanging by chains from the ceiling, was the battered and beaten body of Commander Gino Weinberg.
Tears filled Kallen's shocked face, "Oh my God! How could they?" She rushed over and gently lifted his head. "Gino?"
He didn't respond.
Kallen's lip trembled, "Gino...please don't die." She checked his pulse at his neck; nothing.
Tamaki and Anya stood silent as Enoch entered the room; he could guess the situation without even checking Gino's vitals. He grabbed hold of her shoulders gently, "Let's go Captain. I'll take him with us...you best get back to the Guren."
"NO!" She wailed at him as she wrenched his hands away. "It's not fair! First Naoto, then Lelouch, now Gino!" Tears streamed down her cheeks, "Every time I get close to someone they die! What's wrong with me...I can't ever save the people I love. Just this once I wish it was different!"
Kallen rushed out of the room into the hall.
"You two take care of Captain Kouzuki and get her back to the KnightMares. I'll get Commander Weinberg and join up with you as soon as I can."
Tamaki and Anya nodded and went to comfort Kallen.
Enoch turned and looked at Gino's lifeless body. He thought of Kallen's pain and anguish then sighed as he said softly too himself, "Metatron is going have my ass for doing this." He closed his eyes in concentration and put his hand on Gino's forehead.
"Tohdoh's forces are now within the area of effect line Prince Schneizel," his male tactical officer informed him.
"Very well, fire the Gejhun beam," Schneizel ordered the man with a smug expression.
The officer nodded and tapped away on his control station. "Gejhun burst away sire."
A conceited smile crossed Schneizel's face as he watched the green radiance move down over Gambier Island and everything within twenty miles of it.
"Order the Knights of the Silver Cross to attack," the Prince said as he watched the fighting over Gambier subside knowing that most of the KnightMare Frames there had shut down completely.
"The order has been given my lord, but..." the tactical officer hesitated.
"But what?" Schneizel asked with a snobbish lift of his chin.
"We're picking up four KMFs of an unknown type approaching fast," the man said in a panic.
"What's wrong with you man...we have five- hundred units out there," Schneizel scoffed. "Surely five machines are no match for five-hundred."
"I know sire but...we're being hailed." the man said with fear inching into his voice.
"By whom?" Schneizel inquired with a furled brow.
"Zero," the man said in a panic.
"Hahahaha...Excellent," Schneizel laughed arrogantly. "Put this fool through."
Zero's masked image came up on the main monitor of the Thor, "Greetings Schneizel."
"Greetings Zero," Schneizel stated with contempt. "Have you come to surrender to me?"
"I was thinking you had come out here to do that yourself," Zero shot back.
Schneizel tittered, "Oh you are an audacious one. Why exactly would I surrender to you when I have the numerical and military advantage?"
"You're a fool to underestimate me Schneizel." Zero put his hand forward in a grandiose gesture, "This strategy of yours is similar to the one you used in China when you conned the Chinese eunuchs in to luring me into sending the bulk of my KnightMares onto the dry irrigation lands thus causing them to sink into the mud rendering them useless. This time however, I was ready for this strategy."
From below the swarms of Vincent-Wards, Gareths, and Sutherlands the surface of the ocean waters broke as a large red and gold machine flew up towards them.
The female shaped KnightMare Frame was Indian in the styling of its armor, its face a blank silvery mask with two pale-blue eyes surrounded by a red and golden crown-shaped helmet. The machine had a large Khanda sword in its left hand and a round shield in its right. On its back were two half-moon shaped structures that protruded like sickles from the extended backpack that was the crew compartment. Each sickle had a large crystalline sphere within it that radiated an emerald green energy.
The mecha stopped within the center of the mass of KnightMares and folded its arms across its chest. In the next instant a brilliant globe of green energy expanded from the machine outwards towards Schneizel's force of KMFs at incredible speed; disintegrating everything the green light touched.
In less than a minute the whole armada of KnightMares was gone leaving only the Red and Gold machine at the center of where the green sphere had originated.
Schneizel looked on in horror at the fading green light as Zero spoke one word, "Checkmate," while the four Hakodeshim flew up in front of the Thor.
The Prince turned his attention to Zero, "Indeed...I've no choice but to concede defeat. I know that there's only one person who could've seen through this strategy...How is it you are still alive?"
"How isn't important right now," Zero said to him softly. "What is important is that we end this needless conflict Schneizel."
"You've come to kill this time? Is that it?" Schneizel asked in a humble tone.
"The thought had crossed my mind," Zero snickered. "But no, this time I'll stay here to watch over and guide you. You've started the demise of the UFN and Britannia and I don't think anything can stop it now."
"So I'm to be your pawn in yet another plan for a new world?" Schneizel asked with a weak smile.
"No, Nunnally and I have already discussed this. I am to be her willing pawn in her vision of a new world and you and Cornelia will be left to choose if you wish to join us in that endeavor or if you wish to be put out to pasture somewhere remote, but comfortable."
"I suppose that will be for the best," Schneizel lamented. "It's good to hear your voice, but...would it be too much to ask to see your face?"
"We're on a coded channel, only you and I can see or hear this so if you clear your bridge I'll oblige you." Zero stated in a warm tone.
"You heard him, clear the bridge." Schneizel ordered. His officers dutifully obeyed his wishes and left the command deck.
With the bridge crew gone Zero removed his mask.
"It's pleasant to see you again Lelouch," Schneizel smiled. "I don't think I would have surrendered to anyone else to be honest."
"I wish we were meeting under different circumstances," Lelouch said with a frown. "I've no right to judge you Schneizel, that's for Nunnally to decide, but I do have to take you into custody. I'm sorry."
"Don't be my little brother...I hated you for leaving me here under the control of that dolt Suzaku, and for defeating me with your Geass rather than in a fair fight." Schneizel lifted his glasses revealing his twin Geass, "Looks like I'm no better than you were."
"Geass is a curse that few can resist," Lelouch said with an empty smile. "Therefore I forgive you Schneizel, so long as you promise to never lift a finger against your kin again. Because if you do, I swear by God's name, that'll I'll kill you myself."
"I swear to you Lelouch, on my life, that'll I'll never hurt you or my family again..." Schneizel's transmission was cut off by an emergency message which cut through.
"Zero look out!" Mika's voice rang through the radio from where she and Lena piloted the Kali some distance away. A beam of intensely bright white energy tore through the hull of the Thor from the clouds high above.
"VENGENCE IS MINE!" Sthenno cried over the radio frequency as the Thor erupted into a fireball and plunged into the sea.
"SCHNEIZEL!" Lelouch screamed in fury as the Bronze and Gold form of the Abaddon flew off high overhead.
TURN Twenty Four: Tartarus, Battle at the Bottom of the World
Thanks for Reading
|2010-01-09, 23:05||Link #38|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty Four: Tartarus Battle at the Bottom of the World
“The Great City of Tartarus was built by the hands of the Olympian’s greatest engineer-Daedalus. It was the last and most horrible of city-ships constructed by the Geass-god whose power was to understand machinery and technology simply by contemplating a problem then using Geass to solve it. An odd power no doubt, but one that proved most useful to the warlike states of the Olympians. Even though Enoch had warned us of the potential dangers of this city, we still went forward against it. We had too. Nunnally’s life depended on it, as did the fate of the world.”-Excerpt from an interview with C.C. by Milley Ashford during the 1st Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Earth in Buenos Ares dated January 13th 2025 a.t.b.
“Lelouch don’t!” C.C. yelled over the comm. of the Ariel while she tried to catch up to him as the Samael tore after the Abaddon.
“Suzaku we need to stop him,” Euphie said as the wreckage of the Thor sunk into the sea below them; debris surrounded the mangled airship including hundreds of people both survivors and the dead.
“I’m on it,” Suzaku replied as he flew Gabriel at top speed to catch up to Samael. “Better radio the Avalon and tell them to send a rescue team. We’ve got survivors out here.”
“I already did,” Euphie informed him as her Uriel came up along side the Gabriel and the Ariel.
“There he is!” C.C. exclaimed as the three of them broke through the clouds. In the distance they could see the black form of the Samael firing wildly at the distant glint of bronze that must be the Abaddon.
Suzaku pushed the throttle of the Gabriel up four notches on the side-panel and realized he was gaining on Samael. Either Lelouch is not at full throttle or Samael isn’t build for speed.
The Gabriel came up behind Samael quickly. Suzaku knew what he had to do even though it might mean a fight with Lelouch. The Gabriel grabbed the Samael from behind in a bear-hug.
“Lelouch you’ve got to let them go for now! We can’t abandon the mission.” Suzaku tried to reason with him.
“GET out of my way you fool!” Lelouch commanded over the radio. “We can’t let them get away. We need to find Schneizel’s base before they do!”
Suzaku was shocked by his own miscalculation. Lelouch wasn’t acting out of rage or emotion he was chasing the Abaddon out of determination to find the Gejhun weapon before the Greeks got their hands on it.
The Samael broke free of Gabriel’s grip, but it was too late-the Abaddon was gone.
“Master Kannon, the Thor has fallen,” a scared Lieutenant told him as they stood looking out over the sea from within the command center of Schneizel’s fortress on Pitcairn Island.
“I see,” Kannon said sadly. “Then we had better prepare to defend the Island from”-a thunderous explosion silenced him as the vibration cascaded through the base.
“We’re under attack!” A female officer cried out.
“How many enemy units are there?” Kannon demanded.
The woman looked at her control station monitor, “Only one, but it appears to be a Greek unit.”
“Greek unit?” Kannon was perplexed.
“Master Maldini we’re receiving a transmission.” Another male officer told him.
“Let’s see it on the main monitor,” Kannon told the man.
Kannon was agape as the familiar face of the woman he despised came onto the screen.
“Well, well if it isn’t little Kannon,” Sthenno snickered wickedly.
“What do you want Sthenno?” Kannon asked.
She gave him a serpentine smile, “I want the FORGE.”
“It would appear that Schneizel has failed in his mission Empress,” said Athena softly to Nunnally. “The Black Knights have defeated him.”
The two of them stood in the large study of the central tower of Tartarus. The bright blue Antarctic sky shone through the large picture windows which ran from the floor to the ceiling providing the only light into the grand chamber.
“I see,” Nunnally told her with a sad smile.
“I’m truly sorry Empress, but I’ve no choice now.” Athena removed her helmet and placed it on a nearby table. Her long curly blonde hair flowed out over her shoulders. “I must decimate the Black Knights and garrison this planet to ensure the destruction of the tyrannies which currently plague this world.”
Nunnally raised her chin towards Athena, “Then I have no choice but to make a request of you.”
“Oh?” Athena was intrigued by the young woman’s courageous demeanor. “And what would you have me do?”
“Help me implement a plan that could save this world,” said Nunnally with a sly smile.
Athena raised an eyebrow, “Please, enlighten me.”
“My sensors indicate the Abaddon flew in this direction,” C.C. said over the com. of the Ariel as she led her three companions towards the North West.
“We wouldn’t need to use the long range sensors if you all had allowed me to follow the Abaddon in the first place.” Lelouch scolded them.
“I already told you I’m sorry Lelouch,” Suzaku said apologetically.
“That’s not the point,” Lelouch shot back.
“It wouldn’t have happened if you had told us what was going on little brother, you only have yourself to blame,” Euphie scolded him.
“Hey I see smoke up ahead just to the North of us,” C.C. said as the four Hakodeshim skimmed the bottom of the clouds.
“Looks like an Island,” Suzaku said.
“That’s Pitcairn Island,” Euphie told them as they got closer.
“You sure?” Lelouch asked her in a skeptical tone.
“I’m better at geography then you ever were little brother,” Euphie retorted snidely.
“I suppose you are,” Lelouch tittered as they flew down towards the smoldering ruins of what must have been a base.
“Looks like we missed whatever happened here,” C.C. said as she panned her sensors around the midst of the ruined complex.
The four Hakodeshim glided over the burnt out shell of the large base. The shattered remains of KnightMare Frames littered the area.
"Hey there are people trapped under this rubble," Euphie exclaimed as she landed the Uriel and used the mecha to lift large chunks of concrete off of a stairwell that probably led to a basement.
"Looks like two survivors," C.C. said as she brought her Ariel down to assist Euphemia.
"I'll check it out," Suzaku told them as he landed Gabriel and disembarked from his Hakodeshim.
The Samael landed behind him, and Lelouch got out of the machine. He barely remembered to don his Zero helmet as he did so.
"That looks like Nina!" Lelouch exclaimed as they got the girl out from under a set of large concrete slabs which probably saved her life.
"She...she took the FORGE..." Nina gasped for air. "Kannon tried to stop her...but he couldn't."
"Where is Kannon now?" Lelouch asked as Suzaku took a flask of water from his belt and gave her a sip.
Nina coughed and pointed further down the stair, "We were all rushing for the underground bunkers when the Greek mecha attacked the base. Even after we gave her everything she wanted she still attacked us."
Suzaku looked down under the leaning slabs of broken concrete, "I'll go down and take a look."
"Be careful Suzaku," Lelouch said to him in his Zero voice.
Nina looked up at the Zero mask, "You're...you're Zero." Her eyes were glassy.
Lelouch looked down at her and called over his radio, "C2, we need to get Nina to a medical facility ASAP I think she may have internal injuries."
C.C. replied quickly, "I've already contacted the Avalon and informed them of the situation. Cornelia says she's sending an emergency unit out here right now. They should be here any minute."
"I've found him!" Suzaku declared as he carefully slid Kannon Maldini out from under the debris.
"How is he?" Lelouch asked.
"I'm alive," Kannon stated with a thin smile as the emergency shuttle from the Avalon settled down nearby. A team of paramedics came rushing out.
"So you managed to obtain the FORGE?" Athena smiled at Sthenno's image on the main screen of the command center of Tartarus.
"Indeed we have Athena," Sthenno stated with a narrow eyed look.
"Now that you've gotten your revenge you think you can come crawling back here is that it?" Athena scowled.
"Not without tribute I can't and I know that," Sthenno stated coldly.
“Assuming I’ll accept the FORGE as payment for your crimes,” Athena sniggered. “You make it sound as though I’ve no choice in the matter.”
“Athena, I’ve no interest in fighting with you. If you don’t want the FORGE I’ll give it to UFN and their allies in exchange for a full pardon.” Sthenno grinned.
Athena glared at her with distrust, but she didn’t want to risk the UFN acquiring the FORGE, “Very well Sthenno. I absolve you and your sister of your past misdeeds so long as you return here at once with the FORGE.”
Sthenno nodded, “Your wish is my command Goddess Athena. I shall proceed to Tartarus immediately-Abaddon out.” The transmission ended.
Athena looked at the person standing at the front of the Tartarus command deck directly under the monitor. A position that put the person out of Sthenno’s line of sight, “What do you think Empress?”
“Sthenno is telling the truth she doesn’t intend any deception.” Nunnally frowned, “However I noted a change in your emotion when she mentioned the FORGE. Is there something you’re not telling me Athena? I thought we had a deal?”
“We do,” Athena smiled warmly, “but Empress you must understand that for me to complete my end of our accord I must make my part in this look as real as possible. Which reminds me,” Athena turned to Ares. “Inform Hephaestus that the time has come to launch the Sword of Damocles, and please escort the Empress and her companion to a comfortable holding cell for the time being.”
“Athena what is the meaning of this?” Nunnally looked at her in horror.
“I told you,” Athena grinned, “I’m keeping up my end of the bargain.”
"This is your humble correspondent Milley Ashford reporting," Milley said from the bridge of the Ikaruga where Captain Ougi Nu and Villetta were working diligently behind her.
"At 09:00 hours Greenwich Mean Time, the UFN high command received this transmission from the enemy forces;"
"People of the Earth, I am Athena, Supreme Commander of Tartarus. I order your governments to stand down and surrender their forces to me unconditionally or else suffer the consequences."
The image of Athena was replaced with a blue-white beam blasting through clouds towards a UFN airbase in Russian Siberia, and destroying it completely before the goddess’ visage returned.
"If you do not meet our demands within seventy-two hours, we shall destroy all of your military forces and conquer this world through force of arms."
"There you have it," Milley said as her image came back on the screens of millions of people worldwide. "The destruction of the Tunguska Variable KMF airbase in Northern Russia is confirmed by the UFN. It would seem that if the demands of this Supreme Commander, Athena, are not met then we will become the slaves of the denizens of Tartarus. This is not a threat which the UFN can handle alone, and Lady Kaguya Sumeragi has pleaded for aid form Britannia."
An image of Kaguya meeting with Cornelia replaced Milley's stoic face, "Cornelia li Britannia, acting Regent of that nation, has agreed to a joint offensive against Tartarus in order to rescue Empress Nunnally vi Britannia from this new threat. The Empress was kidnapped by the Olympian forces after they killed Schneizel la Britannia earlier this week."
The screen returned to Milley's image, "In order to ensure that this operation is conducted in good faith by both groups, Zero has been asked to lead the mission to Antarctica."
“Are you alright Captain?” Tamaki asked as he watched Kallen staring out at the Ocean from the ledge of the KnightMare hangar deck on the Ikaruga. They had returned nearly two hours ago and Kallen hadn’t moved from this spot. She had come over here like a zombie after they had landed.
“I can’t go on like this Tamaki,” Kallen said mechanically. “I thought that once Lelouch had died and the war with Britannia had ended that my pain and loss would end with it. Then my mother died from health complications caused by her Refrain addiction and I was powerless to stop it. I ran from that loss into the Black Knights to escape the pain, and that’s when I got to know Gino again. We got close as friends this time…not like the last time…this time things were different. We were fighting together and for the peace that we both believed in. I became used to his presence, his smile and his crazy way of always chasing after me. I got comfortable with him, and even came to enjoy his flirtatious manner with me. But there was always the shadow of my past haunting me and I didn’t let him into my life the way I should have…and now he’s gone...and I’m all alone.”
“That’s nonsense Kallen and you know it!” Tamaki grabbed her by the shoulders. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”
She brushed him off, “What would you know about it? You just drink your problems away…”
Tamaki slapped her across the face, “How dare you! I’ve lost too…we all have,” Shinizaki stared into her eyes. “Don’t think you’re the only one out here fighting who hasn’t lost someone they loved or a good friend, or even their whole family. We’ve all been through this and we’re still here and still trying to make a difference. We don’t give up because those we’ve left behind would want us to keep going forward to keep pushing for what we believe in.”
Kallen turned away from him, “I used to be like you…I used to believe in that rubbish, but I’ve lost too many people I’ve loved to be able to think like that anymore.”
“You mean you lost Lelouch!” Tamaki snapped at her. “And you can’t deal with the fact he’s gone. Well I’ve news for you Kallen you HAVE to deal with it because there is nothing you can do about it now and there’s no time for this childish nonsense. We’re heading for Antarctica to take down the Olympians and it’s your duty to lead this unit and to fight. That’s what Commander Weinberg would have done, but I need to know right now if you’ll honor his memory and stand and fight, or if you’re going to quit and run away from the reality of the world simply because it hurts.”
His words cut deep into her psyche. Kallen contemplated what he said for a moment as he looked down at her. “I…you’re right Tamaki.” She smiled at him, “Thanks.”
Tamaki patted her on the head and smiled, “Don’t mention it…there’s more to me than just my good looks yah know.”
“Oh yeah right,” She shoved him. “Get your butt to the briefing room. We need to get ready for the assault on Tartarus.”
“Now that’s the Captain Kouzuki I know,” he teased as they walked towards the elevators.
“Are you sure about this Lelouch?” Cornelia asked him over a coded frequency on the main monitor within his private room of the Ikaruga.
“We’ve no choice. We have to assault Tartarus now.” Lelouch sighed, “Enoch has informed me that if the Greeks are able to make use of the FORGE then they’ll have an unlimited supply of power with which they'll totally enslave our world. The Apollyon maybe gone but Tartarus still has a full arsenal of weaponry. The most powerful of which is a series of orbital beam weapon satellites known as the Sword of Damocles.”
“Damocles again eh?” Cornelia said in disgust. “The remaining Britannian forces will rendezvous with us just off the tip of Alexander Island on the South American side of Antarctica.”
“Excellent," he smiled, "The remainder of the UFN forces will meet up with us there as well.” Lelouch brought up a small window on the left bottom corner of the viewscreen which showed a map of the ice-covered continent. “Lady Kaguya has convinced Tohdoh that this is the only course of action that will ensure our success against the Olympians at this point. Therefore the UFN ocean fleet will also accompany us in this operation and deploy marine forces here.” A series of red dots surrounded the South American side of the Antarctic coastline. "With the destruction of the Thor we've regained our satellite network and can now locate the positions of the Greek warships and monitor their activities to a certain extent. We know the Kraken is here." A large red triangle appeared on the screen. "It will be the first objective of the UFN forces while our Aerial fleet moves in after the Kraken is dealt with."
Cornelia studied the battleplan, "You want to mount a frontal attack against a city-fortress like Tartarus?"
Lelouch frowned, "We've no choice. Athena isn’t going to waste any time in using her satellite beam weapons to attack our forces from orbit and our time will be short. Therefore I plan on launching an assault on those beam weapons with our space-capable KnightMare Frames of the Yamato no Orochi. With the Sword of Damocles disabled or destroyed we’ll be able to lay siege to Tartarus and put an end to this conflict.”
“And if the city’s defenses are too strong?” Cornelia inquired.
Lelouch held up a small black pouch, “Enoch has already discussed that possibility with me and provided me with a package to ensure the Greeks are no longer a threat. I’ll be leading the Hakodeshim into the city to reach the central tower where Nunnally is being held prisoner. Once I’ve got her and Jeremiah I plan on using this package to send the Greeks a parting gift before I leave.”
“I see,” She smiled at the mention of Enoch Apsu. “And I’m to keep the Greek forces busy until you’ve completed this mission I take it?”
“Precisely,” Lelouch grinned. “Your forces will draw out the KnightMare Frames and aerial warships of the enemy which will allow my team to enter the city with little resistance.”
“Sounds like a simple but effective plan little brother,” She snickered. “I just hope it works considering none of us have ever faced an Olympian city-ship before.”
He put his hand on the back on his head and sighed, “So do I.”
The brilliant white coastline of Antarctic dominated the horizon as the combined UFN/Britannian ocean surface fleet launched its underwater KMFs. A hail of aerial launched depth-charges streaked from the warships towards a point some distance away from them.
Hades cannon blasts burst up from the sea towards the bombardment; destroying a large portion of the depth charges, but not all of them.
A series of underwater explosions surrounded the area where the Hades beams had come from. In the next moment a sonic wave of energy flew towards the combined fleet causing many of the ships to list and some to capsize. The ships at the head of the formation had their bows cracked open under the tremendous force of the sonic wave which caused them to take on water.
Underwater, squadrons of marine-KMFs sped towards the dark outline of the Kraken as the Greek submarine unloaded its own mecha; a full legion of Mermaid aquatic-Automatos.
"Our ocean forces have taken heavy damage!" Chiba told Tohdoh on the bridge of the Amagi as his air-fleet came in sight of the surface fleet battle.
"Launch our Outbackers!" Kyoshiro barked, "And have them dive bomb the Greek submarine."
Wings of Type-21Os poured out off of the hangar launch ramps of the forty odd airships within General Tohdoh's flotilla of ships. The mass of Variable KnightMare Frames showered the sea with their "Slugger" Hypervelocity Bazookas. Underwater explosions followed the hail of deadly projectiles forcing the Kraken to surface.
The deep-blue hull of the beast resembled a large UFN submarine though the bridge section was akin to a large shark-fin with a series of windows running from top to bottom indicating various decks of the massive submersible.
Hades and Chaos cannon gunports popped up from along the sides of the ship and began firing an energy beam bombardment at the dive-bombing Type-21Os; destroying numerous KMFs quickly.
"FIRE HADRONS!" Kyoshiro commanded.
Every Hadron cannon in his aerial fleet opened up and fired on the Kraken. The force of the onslaught beat its way through the shimmering Aegis shield of the submarine which was clearly overwhelmed by the sheer firepower of the attack.
The hull of the Kraken was blasted open on numerous sections causing numerous secondary explosions all along the superstructure of the submarine, but the beast with stood the bombardment.
"We have new contacts!" Chiba exclaimed as the bronze silhouette of a large Greek airship come into view over the Antarctic coast.
"What's your status Porsche?" Medea inquired on the bridge of her airship as the Ithaca approached the battle.
The Kraken's Captain came on the main screen, "We're badly damaged. Half our Automatos have been wiped out, and the Poseidon Cannon is destroyed."
"You'd better withdraw now Porsche." Medea smiled at her, "there's no need for you to get killed over this. We'll cover your escape."
"Thank you Medea, we'll recall all our remaining units at once." Porsche's image vanished off the screen.
Medea turned to her second in command, "Have my Circe and two legions of Spartans made ready for battle at once!"
"Yes my lady!" The man bowed.
"Tohdoh's forces have engaged the enemy," a female bridge bunny told General Li Xingke as his fleet of aerial warships crossed over the lip of the Antarctic shoreline.
"Are there any enemy contacts?" Xingke asked in his dry monotone.
"Not yet sir, it would seem the enemy is baiting us." The young woman replied.
Xingke turned to his navigator, "Have we reached Zero's predetermined position for our fleet yet?"
"We are arriving at the coordinates now General," the man replied.
"Excellent," Xingke stood up from his command chair, "scramble all KnightMare Frames. Send the Type-24s to the forward lines and have our Type-21s maintain aerial cover as we await Zero's orders."
"Yes General," his bridge staff replied in unison.
Thousands of Type-24 KMFs disembarked from Xingke's fleet of fifty-five airships and dropped down towards the surface as the Type-21s flew up above the fleet. The Type-24s hovered over the ground via their Null-Gravity Cones and zipped out in front of the fleet to form a series of four lines of nearly a thousand KnightMare Frames abreast each.
The Type-21s flew up high into the cloudless skies over the ice-covered continent. Their metallic bodies reflected the sunlight making them look like thousands of stars in the mid-morning sky.
"You ready for this?" Enoch asked Kallen as he met her on the flight deck of the Ikaruga.
She gave him a thin smile, "Yeah I'm ready." Kallen looked him over, "How about you? You think we can pull this off?"
"What, we're only going up against ten satellites each the size of the Ikaruga?" He winked at her, "What's so hard about that?"
"You act like it's no big deal," Kallen chortled as the other members of the Yamato no Orochi joined them in the hangar.
"If anyone can do it Kallen it's us," Enoch said with a smile.
"He's right you know Captain," said Akira as he made his way towards the Susano-O. "We can do this."
"Especially since we've got these new Type-21Zs," Gregor sniggered. "They kick butt!"
"Ahem!" Mika jabbed him in the ribs gently. "And the Kali?"
"No kidding," Lena laughed. "This op wouldn't even be possible without our Type-25X."
"They have a point," Anya added as she got into her Type-21Z. "We're going to rely on the Kali's weaponry to knock down the Aegis shields of those satellites."
"Yep," Tetsuo said as his cockpit canopy came down and he switched on his radio. "This is gonna be one heck of a ride."
Tamaki was unusually silent as the eight KnightMare Frames taxied to the launch ramp. He was worried about Kallen, but was hesitant to talk about it openly.
Villetta's voice came over the main radio frequency, "Yamato no Orochi, you are cleared to take off!"
In the next instant the eight mecha blasted off of the top deck of the Ikaruga.
"It would seem the Black Knights don't wish to engage us my Lord," a young male Greek officer said on the bridge of the Olympian aerial warship Thebes.
Ares stood in the middle of the warship which was of the same class as that of the Argos and Ithaca. "No...They know what they're doing Deucalion. They're waiting for us to come to them."
"Shall we sire?" Deucalion inquired.
"No," Ares looked out over the icy plain, "We are to remain here until after the Sword of Damocles dispatches them. Then we'll mop up what's left of their forces."
"As you wish my Lord," the man replied with a nod. "Sire may I mobilize our Automatos in case the enemy manages to evade the satellite attack?"
Ares grinned at the man's prudence, "Yes Deucalion, you may mobilize our machines."
"We're breaking through the stratosphere into the Ionosphere and should be coming up on the first pair of Swords any minute now," Anya reported to the team as their squadron of eight KnightMare Frames zoomed towards a pair of long sword shaped metallic structures whose "tips" were pointed towards Earth.
The "blade" of one of Swords began to split into two halves forming a pair of triangular booms. Electrical bolts of energy arced back and forth over the surface of the booms as a large blue-white ball began forming between them at the "hilt-guard" of the Sword.
"It's getting ready to fire!" Enoch announced over the radio. "Its shields should be down we can take it out if we move quickly!"
"Roger that," Kallen said as she flew Guren-Phoenix towards the device, "But where should we hit it at this point?" She asked as the massive weapon filled her viewscreens.
"Aim for the portside cooling lines with your gunpods and concentrate your fire on the main junction conduit. The Greeks use a liquid oxygen mixture as a coolant which is extremely explosive." Enoch told them as he unleashed a hail of Meson-Beam bolts at the large circular pumping station which kept the metallic structure from melting due to the intense heat of the Chaos beam it was generating.
"How convenient for us," Kallen sniggered as she riddled the circular pump with energy-discs in unison with her teammates until the large structure exploded. The detonation caused a chain reaction which ran the length of the blade all along the cooling system's veins which ran all over the portside "blade."
The blue-white sphere of energy wobbled and expanded uncontrollably over the middle of the booms. Instantly the centers of the twin booms disintegrated causing the whole of the Sword to erupt in a titanic explosion.
"Whew!!" Gregor cheered. "Yeah!"
"That's one down," said Akira as they came up on the second Sword, "Nine to go."
"Goddess Athena, we've lost one of our Swords of Damocles." A female officer said to the Supreme Commander of the Greeks as she sat in her command throne atop a raised circular dais in the main control tower of Tartarus.
"I wonder where they got the idea to attack the satellites directly," Athena muttered under her breath as a crooked smile crossed her face, "Enoch you sly bastard."
"My Lady?" The female officer inquired a bit confused by Athena's comments.
Athena looked at her and stood up, "Move the remaining Swords into geosynchronous orbit over our position and begin targeting the UFN and Britannian fleets. Also, Launch three legions of the Hoplite-Orion Automatos and have them act as guard units for the remaining Swords. Also have Sthenno launch in her Abaddon with a legion of Cyclops and a legion of Minotaurs; have them comb the sierras to our backside for enemy mecha."
"Yes milady," The female officer bowed.
Athena pushed a button on her the left arm of her throne, "Hephaestus."
"Yes my Goddess Athena," the old man replied.
"Activate the Daedalus generators and prepare the Tartarus for battle."
"As you wish milady," the man's tired voice answered obediently.
"Our KMFs are getting wiped out!" Chiba shouted frantically as their forces engaged Medea's legions of Automatos.
Kyoshiro examined the battle on the main viewscreen above him, "Protect the surface fleet by moving our fleet closer to the enemy and launch our Type-24s. We need to ensure that the Mecha-Transports can deploy their machines."
"Yes sir," Nagisa replied with a nod.
The hangar bays of Tohdoh's fleet was emptied as the Type-24s flew out into the fray to assist the thinning numbers of Type-21s that were embroiled in the conflict with Medea's forces.
"General Tohdoh's forces are taking a beating Ougi," Villetta told him on the bridge of the Ikaruga. "Shouldn't we help them?"
"No," Ougi said flatly, "Zero said for us to maintain this position until the Sword of Damocles has been destroyed."
"But General Tohdoh's forces could be wiped out by that time!" Villetta pleaded with him.
"I realize that," he closed his eyes in frustration, "but we've no choice. Zero has a plan and if it's to succeed then we need to follow it."
"Captain enemy airship spotted," one of the bridge bunnies called out.
"Where?" Villetta asked before Captain Nu.
"Dead ahead at about forty kilometers," the woman replied. "I think it's the Argos." The woman added quickly.
"Scramble all our KnightMare Frames and have them launch," Ougi told the woman, "but order them to only form a defensive perimeter. We are not to engage the enemy until Zero gives the order."
"Aye sir," the bridge bunny responded.
"Focus your Veil of Destruction onto the center of the Sword!" Enoch yelled over the com. at Mika and Lena as the Kali came up on the second satellite.
"Will do!" Mika replied as Lena flew their heavy mecha up along side the massive beam cannon. The brilliant green radiance of the Veil of Destruction emanated from the globes of the dual sickles on the back of the Kali and enveloped the Sword. The green energy clashed with the shimmering gold radiance of the Aegis shield and erupted into a shower of copper colored sparks that flew out in every direction.
"The shield it down! All units Attack!" Enoch bellowed.
Kallen the other Black Knights hammered the point at which the "blade" met the "hilt-guard" of the Sword; the area of the machine which held its power unit. The hail of energy discs and Meson beams tore through the bronze metal and in seconds the whole of the satellite erupted in a massive explosion.
"New contacts!" Anya declared as a mass of Hoplite-Orions (mecha which are nearly identical to the standard Spartan only the wings are replaced by spheres which allow for trans-atmospheric spaceflight) rushed through the Stratosphere towards them.
"Dammn it!" Akira cursed. "There's too many of them."
"Enoch, the Swords!" Tamaki exclaimed over the radio as all of the Swords of Damocles began to open.
"There's no time to stop them all!" Lena yelled.
"Kallen," Enoch said as he transformed his Type-21Z into KnightMare mode, "I need you to keep those Hoplite-Orions busy while I take the Kali with me to the next Sword."
"What good will that do? There's not time left Enoch, we can't possibly stop eight of these satellites at once." Kallen barked at him as she melted a pair of Hoplite-Orions into molten slag with a wave blast from Guren's Supernova that passed right through the Aegis shields of the mecha.
"Just do it!" Enoch snapped at her as he cut through three Orions with the Kaon-Particle Beam Sabers of his Type-21Z as it flew towards the third Sword. Besides, he snickered mischievously, "I've got an idea."
"What kind of idea?" Kallen asked with skepticism clearly in her voice.
"A stupid one of course," Enoch laughed.
"I had a feeling you'd say something like that," Kallen griped as she flew to intercept another duo of Hoplite-Orions. "Okay, you heard him, let's buy Enoch some time to execute his plan...since we don't have any other choice at the moment."
"My lady all Swords have been activated and are targeting the four enemy fleets as per your instructions," a female officer stated methodically in the command center of Tartarus.
"Thank you Io," Athena smiled at the woman, "how soon will the Swords be ready to fire?"
"Five minutes my lady," Io responded.
"Excellent," Athena stated with a grin. "Then this futile attempt by the UFN and Britannia will save us the trouble of having to track down and destroy their fleets since they were kind enough to bring them here for us."
"Their shields are down," Enoch told Mika and Lena. "I need you gals to hold off the Orions until I finish what I need to do."
"What ARE you going to do?" Lena asked him as he cut another pair of Hoplites in half with his beam sabers and landed his Type-21Z on top of the "hilt-guard" of the Sword. "You'll know soon enough."
Enoch jumped out of his KMF dressed in his Devicer EVA-spacesuit and used the momentum to shot himself towards an access hatch on the hull of the machine.
He removed the glove off of his right hand, Dammn it's cold. He thought to himself as the freezing cold of space touched his cybernetic skin. Enoch put his naked hand over the LED lit control panel and accessed the security system just as blue-bolts of electrical energy began arcing over the surface of the blade.
"Enoch, whatever you're going to do, you'd better do it NOW!" Kallen yelled over the comm. in his helmet
"Don't worry your head off love," Enoch said to her as he entered the control room of the Sword and made his way to the master computer station. "I've got all the time I need to pull this off."
"No you don't you fool, the blue-globes have already formed," Kallen shouted at him, "It's too late. You need to get your asss out of there!"
He put his hand over the computer console and accessed the unified fire control commands of all the Swords. Only one minute seventeen seconds left. Guess there's only enough time to do one thing, He thought to himself with a wicked grin as he accessed the satellites self destruct command console.
"Hey Kallen, don't be too hard on Big-Z." Enoch said softly over the radio. "He needs his friends."
"Guess I'll learn was a meteor feels like," Enoch snickered to himself as the satellite he was in detonated.
"What? What the hell is that supposed to mean...Enoch? Don't you dare die on me you Son of a Bitch!" Kallen screamed over the radio as the eight Swords of Damocles exploded.
TURN Twenty Five: Dirge of Daedalus
Thanks for Reading
|2010-01-19, 19:35||Link #39|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty Five: Dirge of Daedalus
“It was a battle for the history books. A struggle between man’s past and his future, but like so many of the wars in mankind’s long journey this one would only lead the world into yet another uneasy peace.”-Excerpt from the diary of Lelouch vi Britannia (Zero) dated March 2025 a.t.b.
“ENOCH!” Kallen screamed over the radio as she ripped through four Orions while the remains of the Swords fell to Earth.
They looked like a shower of stars falling as the pieces burned up in the atmosphere.
“Captain Kouzuki, we have to return to Antarctica at once!” Akira demanded over the comm. “Our comrades need us.”
The Guren-Phoenix chased down and riddled another pair of Hoplite-Orions with energy discs from its gunpod. “Not before I kill these bastards” Kallen shot back in a malevolent tone as the Guren grabbed onto another of the Orions; the mecha tried in vain to slash at her with its sword but the Supernova of the Type-25 melted the Greek machine instantly. Enoch said HE when he told me Zero needs HIS friends. That means Zero can not possibly be Euphemia...but why? Why wouldn't Enoch tell me?
Akira wasn't sure if there was time for her to chase down each of the enemy mecha. He contacted the Kali, “Lena, I need you and Mika to stay up here and guard Captain Kouzuki while we return to the battle on Earth.”
“But Akira, we can’t protect her alone,” Lena said as the Kali cut a pair of Orions in half with its sword.
“I’m not leaving Kallen behind,” Tamaki added over the general frequency as he dodged a Chaos beam and sliced an Orion in half with the Hadron blade of his Type-21Z.
“We’re almost through with these guys Akira,” said Mika snidely. “Why don’t you have some patience; Captain Nu and the others can take care of themselves.”
“She’s got a point Akira,” Gregor chided his friend as he cut down an Orion with his twin Kaon-Particle Beam Sabers in a single fluid swipe at the midsection of the machine.
“Fine,” Akira conceded as he watched Kallen dodge a hail of Hades cannon blasts from three doomed Orions before they were incinerated by the Supernova of Guren. “I guess we should let her get it out of her system anyway.”
“There’s no doubt that you’re a great KnightMare-pilot Akira, but you still have a lot to learn about being a warrior,” Anya said softly. "Warriors never abandon their friends."
Nobunaga let out a frustrated laugh, “Yah I guess I do.” He had Susano-O draw its Hadron blade as he charged towards the last group of Orions.
“My lady, the Sword of Damocles has been destroyed,” Athena’s female officer reported woefully.
Athena raised her left eyebrow, “Impressive…most impressive. I guess we’ve no choice then.” Athena looked at the digital representation of the battle field on the main monitor of the command center. “Order our forces to attack their forward aerial fleets, but have Sthenno remain in reserve. The fourth enemy fleet seems to be smaller then the other three and no doubt is Zero’s.”
“Are you sure this is such a good idea Zero?” C.C. inquired sarcastically as she flew the Ariel with the other three Hakodeshim through the mountain range that surrounded the rear of Tartarus.
“Yes,” he stated flatly, “it is the best course of action I can think of.”
“Which means we’re in trouble,” Suzaku teased him over the radio.
“Only if Enoch fails in his part of the plan,” Lelouch stated with a snicker. “If the Sword of Damocles has been destroyed we shouldn’t have a problem reaching the main tower and rescuing Nunnally. According to the information I acquired from Medusa there are only three aerial warships in Tartarus. While those craft are certainly formidable, they aren’t powerful enough to contend with the fleet we’ve assembled here.”
“Don’t be too sure Zero,” C.C. warned. “This city is also a fortress, there’s no telling what kinds of weapons it may possess.”
“C2 is right you know,” Euphie interjected. “The Greeks have surprised us on numerous occasions. There’s no reason not to assume they’ll pull another ace out of their sleeve.”
“Your concern is noted, but I highly doubt we’ll have to deal with anymore—“ A beam of brilliant blue-white energy cut him off as it nearly incinerated the Samael.
“SURPRISE!” Sthenno’s voice cackled over the communicator. “You vile little wretches thought you could assault the city from behind without resistance? Ha! What fools!”
From over the peak of one of the low mountains the Abaddon and its host of Cyclops and Minotaur Automatos skimmed over the snow covered surface towards them as speed.
“It’s an ambush!” Suzaku exclaimed as the Cyclops machines fired Chaos beams from the chest mounted spherical weapon. Suzaku dodged a myriad of beam cannon blasts as the Minotaur unleashed their salvos of Hades cannon fire from the horn-like heavy weapons on the head of the mecha.
Euphie deflected numerous blasts with the Uriel’s defensive shields while C.C. rolled out of the way of another barrage.
“I’ll take of all of them,” Lelouch said as he brought the arm mounted weapons of the Samael to bear on the legions of Greek machines.
“Oh no you don’t,” Sthenno said as she brought the Abaddon down towards the Samael. At over fifty-meters tall (165 feet) the Abaddon was much larger than any of the mecha on the field around it. The large machine had a head unit that was sunken down in between its large, armored, round shoulders. There was no faceplate in the head, only a sensor eye cover which ran from one side to the other like a visor. A stubby oval antigravity generator was on each side of the head protruding from a rectangular “backpack” which had three thruster nozzles in a triangular pattern on its center. Each arm of the Abaddon was comprised of a heavily armored, cylindrical, forearm which ended in a large three-fingered claw with a circular cannon muzzle in the palm. The Legs were short, stubby, wedge shaped design, with armored knees and a pair of thruster nozzles on the outside of each calf. The whole configuration of the Abaddon was that of an Ogre.
The Abaddon generated a force-field which deflected the yellow-gold beams that the Samael shot out of its forearm cannons. “You’ll have to do better than that Zero!”
The giant mecha unleashed a salvo of missiles from “pop-up” launchers on its chest which unloaded a dozen missiles each.
Lelouch used the omni-directional barrier of Samael to absorb the warhead detonations as he flew back out of the reach of the massive claws of Abaddon. “Dammn you Sthenno!” Lelouch barked at her.
“Sthenno’s force has engaged Zero my lady,” Athena’s female Lieutenant reported mechanically.
“Very good,” Athena was pleased with herself. Her strategy was going as she had anticipated it would. “Io, have our forces lure the UFN fleet towards the city, and tell Hephaestus to power up the Cerebus-gun. I want to end this quickly.”
“Yes milady,” the woman nodded as she turned back to her control panel.
“Ougi they’ve lost half their KnightMare Frames!” Villetta exclaimed as streams of Hadron and autocannon fire streaked towards the distant bronze speck near the horizon. “It would seem their forces are withdrawing back towards the city. Should we pursue them?”
Captain Nu looked at his wife as he contemplated the consequences should this move by the enemy be an elaborate trap. “Yes…follow them, but have our fleet do so slowly. I don’t trust these Greeks. They’ve tricked us before with these kinds of tactics.”
Villetta nodded, “Agreed, I’ll order our KMFs to advance in a slow and steady advance.”
“Lady Medea, the enemy ocean fleet has begun to deploy large numbers of mecha along the coastline,” a young woman’s voice informed Medea as she flew her Circe towards her next intended target.
Medea blasted an Avalon class frigate with the belly-mounted Chaos gun of her Circe before responding, “Don’t worry about them Lia,” Medea cut through a Type-21B as she continued, “have our fleet withdraw towards the city as per Athena’s instructions. I’m sure she has something special in mind for these infidels.”
“As you wish milady,” Lia replied.
“The enemy fleet has begun to retreat General Tohdoh,” Chiba informed him as he watched a digital representation of the conflict on the overhead screen of the Amagi.
“They’re moving back towards the safety of their city,” Kyoshiro said as he quickly formulated a counter move. “Close in on them and order our KMFs to cut off their escape path. If they get too far ahead of our forces they’ll no doubt get cover fire from Tartarus itself. We need to prevent that.”
“Yes General,” Nagisa replied then began relaying Tohdoh’s instructions to the fleet.
“We’ve broken through their perimeter defense forces General Xingke,” Rivaltz told him over the video screen.
Xingke gave him a dry grin, “It appears you’ve routed their mobile units and put them into a state of disarray. Even now their airship has begun to withdraw back towards the city.”
“That seems a little too easy General,” Rivaltz cautioned.
Xingke nodded, “I agree. They probably have heavier weapons within the city of Tartarus…therefore I need you and your squadron to harass their aerial battleship into slowing down long enough for us to catch up to it and bring it within range of our main weapons.”
“Understood General,” Rivaltz gave him a thumbs-up, “don’t worry, we’ll keep them from running away.”
“Watch out!” Suzaku said to Euphie as he cut through a pair of Cyclops units that tried to strafe the Uriel from behind.
The sides and tops of the sierras all around them were littered with the burning wreckage of Cyclops and Minotaur Automatos, but they were still outnumbered three to one.
“At least we’ve thinned them out a bit,” C.C. sniggered as she blew threw four of the Greek mecha with a dual blast of energy from the blue spheres on the forearms of Ariel.
“How’s Zero doing?” Euphie asked as she dodged a salvo of Hades cannon bolts then cut the Minotaur that fired them in two with Uriel’s beam sabers.
“He’s not doing so hot,” Suzaku said in a worried tone as Gabriel did a spin kick that impaled another Cyclops in the chest; the enemy unit fell to earth and exploded on impact.
At the top of the low mountain the Greeks had launched their ambush over the Samael and Abaddon dueled.
“There’s no point in continuing to oppose us Zero,” Sthenno stated confidently as the Abaddon fired a blast of energy from one of its palm-guns. The beam cut past the Samael and shattered the rocky tip of an adjacent peak.
“She’s right Zero,” Medusa added, “I promise we will not harm you if you surrender. You showed me mercy and in return I’ll do the same for you.”
“Forgive me if I’m cynical of your sense of mercy Medusa,” Lelouch scoffed. “I’ve no interest in being your pet.” He said as Samael unsheathed its pair of green-colored beam sabers from off its shoulder-sheathes.
“Don’t be an idiot Zero,” Sthenno laughed, “that machine is no match for Abaddon. This Automatos was designed to destroy Archangels.” A green radiance shimmered around the Abaddon as Lelouch attempted to cut off one of its cylindrical arms. The green energy blades bounced off the force-field harmlessly.
The Abaddon fired a blast from one of its palm-guns at the Samael.
“I’ll admit your machine is powerful, but it’s slow,” Lelouch smiled as he tested the shield again with his beam sabers.
“Fool, you’re wasting your time,” Sthenno fired a salvo of missiles again.
This time Lelouch fired at the same time with one of his forearm beams. The beam was undaunted by the shield and impacted the Abaddon in its left torso just below one of the missile launchers.
Medusa and Sthenno lurched forward as something exploded within the chest of their machine.
“Damage report!” Sthenno demanded as she watched her salvo of missiles impacted the energy shield of Samael.
“He hit our shield generator when we fired,” Medusa stated frantically. “We no longer have our omni-directional force-field.
“It would seem the tables have turned,” Lelouch tittered over the comm.
“Don’t be so cocky boy!” Sthenno yelled as she fired both palm-guns up at the mountain peak behind the Samael. A shower of ice and rock fell down around Lelouch’s machine.
Lelouch flew the Samael with all the skill he could muster in order to dodge the avalanche of debris. He spun his machine around just as the Abaddon reached out with its great claw and grabbed his mecha like a doll.
“Now I have you!” Sthenno cackled manically as the giant clawed hand began to squeeze the Hakodeshim.
“They’ve got ZERO!” Euphie shouted over the radio in a panic as she tried to break away form the twenty Minotaur machines that were engaging her.
“I’ll try to get to him!” said C.C. as she sliced through four Cyclops units with the gold-colored beam sabers of her mecha. She nearly reached Lelouch when her machine was blocked by four Minotaur. “Get out of my way!” She yelled as she blasted one of them with a burst of blue energy from the globe on the Ariel’s left forearm.
“Zero get out of there!” Suzaku yelled as he tried to break through the dwindling mass of Greek battle robots with the full gamut of Gabriel’s weaponry, but the horde of Automatos was too thick.
“Sthenno, we should take him back as a prisoner,” Medusa told her sister as she watched the Samael struggle to break free.
“I’m sorry Medusa,” Sthenno said coldly, “but this man is far too dangerous for me to allow him to live.”
“But you promised,” Medusa whined.
“I said if I could save him I would,” Sthenno corrected her, “however, it is clear to me that to spare him would be as foolish as sparing Schneizel was. I will not make that mistake again. Do you hear me Zero?”
“I hear you,” Lelouch scowled as the Abaddon began to crush the Samael.
“I’m going to kill you like I did that pig Schneizel,” Sthenno declared with malice as she set the palm-gun to maximum power and prepared to fire.
“NOT IF I HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT!” Kallen yelled over the radio as the Guren-Phoenix crashed down on top of the Abaddon. “This ends here and now!" Kouzuki flipped the Supernova to full power and pulled the trigger.
"What the...?" Sthenno exclaimed in confusion.
The sisters didn't know what hit them as the wave of super-heated energy passed over the body of the Abaddon in one fluid sweep causing the machine to melt down onto itself and explode at the same time that Guren flew off of it.
The Samael was shoved deeper into the snow by the force of the explosion.
"Sthenno's force has been wiped out my lady Athena," Io told relayed the report with icy indifference.
“It was to be expected,” Athena said with a wave of her hand. “Zero will soon be right where I want him and then we’ll hold all the pieces of this little game.”
“My lady,” Io interrupted her thoughts. “Our airships have withdrawn into position. However, only two of the three enemy fleets has taken the bait. The central fleet is proceeding very slowly.”
“And the fourth fleet?” Athena inquired.
“The small aerial fleet to our rear has not moved from its position.” Io said.
“No matter,” Athena lifted her chin. “Once we’ve dealt with the bulk of their forces the rest will fall easily.”
“The Ikaruga and her fleet aren’t following the enemy force,” Tetsuo informed his companions as they dove down upon the Argos.
“That’s probably for the better,” Anya said as she fired a barrage of Meson beams into a pair of Hoplite-Spartans; destroying them.
“Hey Akira, isn’t this Jason’s ship?” Tamaki asked snidely.
“Don’t’ worry Tamaki, this time I intend on defeating him and taking him prisoner.” Akira answered him in a cold tone.
“And if you can’t?” Mika asked from the Kali.
“He’s a warrior Mika…” Akira sighed. “…and warriors are prepared to die.”
“Jason, a force of Automatos has appeared above us.” Orpheus informed him from within the cockpit of his Hoplite-Spartan at the head of their legion of Spartans.
Jason sat within the cockpit of his own machine, the Atlas which was a machine identical to the Talos and the Helios as he looked around the battlespace. “I see them.”
“The lead machine looks like Akira’s,” said Heracles.
“It is,” Jason replied in a steely tone.
“Shall we engage them?” Heracles asked.
“We’ve no choice but too,” Jason told him as he flew the Atlas towards the five members of the Yamato no Orochi.
The Susano-O slashed through two Spartans as it came up towards the Atlas. It stopped just short of Jason’s machine and saluted.
Jason didn’t need to speak to Akira to know that this duel would not be like their previous encounters. This contest would not be teacher to student; this would be warrior to warrior.
The Gabriel, Uriel and Ariel finished digging out the Samael from under the mass of ice and rock that it had been buried under.
“Are you alright Zero?” Euphie had been worried about Lelouch from the moment his machine had engaged the Abaddon.
“I’m fine thank you,” Lelouch replied in his Zero voice. He was mindful of the fact that Kallen was there as was evident by the fact that Guren-Phoenix stood guard while the Hakodeshim had dug out Samael.
“Thank you for your help Captain Kouzuki,” Suzaku told her.
“Don’t mention it Suzaku,” said Kallen coldly. “But understand this. I didn’t save Zero for any of you. I did it because it’s my duty, and it’s what Enoch wanted.”
“Where is Enoch?” Euphie asked.
Kallen winced at the question, “He didn’t make it.”
“NO!” Euphemia cried out.
“We can mourn him later,” C.C. said in an urgent tone. “We still need to rescue the Empress and her Knight of Orange. Time is of the essence right now and thus we need to get moving.”
“Agreed,” Zero stated flatly. “Captain Kouzuki, the UFN fleet needs every KnightMare they can get right now. I greatly appreciate your help here, but you need to leave. The Olympians are clearly drawing our forces into a trap.” Lelouch brought up a digital window of the battle and transmitted it to Guren. “If you attack their lead ship from the rear, you should be able to disrupt their battle plan and ruin their strategy.”
Pushing me away again are you? Kallen thought to herself. “Looks like a good plan.” She lied, Kallen didn’t care whether it was a good plan or not. She was determined to know if this Zero was Lelouch and she knew of only one sure way to find out. “But I’ve got to know something before I go.”
The Guren-Phoenix lunged forward and grabbed the Samael with its Supernova-claw. “Tell me…tell me now who you are or I’ll destroy this machine!”
“Kallen what the hell are you doing!” C.C. had the Ariel body-check the Guren off of the Samael.
“Get out of my way Pizza-girl!” Kallen yelled at her as the Guren kicked the Ariel into the snow.
“Have you lost your mind?” Suzaku’s Gabriel flew up behind Guren and put the machine in a bear-hug.
The Guren flew backwards into the side of the mountain; smashing the Gabriel off of it. Kallen turned her machine around to fire on the Gabriel when a pair of green blades came up in front of her mecha.
“Stop this insanity Captain Kouzuki or I’ll kill you,” Lelouch knew such harsh words would throw suspicion off of him.
“You’d…kill me?” Kallen’s lips trembled in a mix of hurt and anger. “How could you?”
“To save the people of this world...yes I would. I can't sacrifice the lives of all those fighting here for the freedom of the world simply because I’m not who you want me to be,” He said in a cold tone. “Lelouch vi Britannia is dead. I’m sorry.”
“I guess so,” Kallen answered softly as a tear of frustration trickled down her cheek. "Forgive me Zero. I guess the loss of Enoch got to me. I'll return to the Ikaruga fleet as ordered." She didn't wait for him to respond. Kallen simply tore off to help Ougi.
"My lady Athena, the two main fleets are now within firing range," Io reported to her with a smile.
"Excellent, raise the city!" Athena commanded.
As soon as her order was given the great Daedalus generators within the bowels of Tartarus began to hum rhythmically. In a matter of seconds the ice that surrounded Tartarus cracked, and shattered freeing the mighty sky-citadel from its frozen moorings. The whole of the circular metropolis lifted from its ancient resting place off of the ice-plains of Antarctica exposing its bowl shaped underbelly.
Huge sheets of ice fell from the bottom of the massive ship as it came up into the sky. A belt comprised of block shaped battlements ringed the circumference of the city-ship.
Large circular ports slid open in the center of each of the block shaped battlements revealing a large round Chaos Gun Sphere.
"Open Fire!" Athena barked at her subordinates within the commander tower of Tartarus.
Instantly the massive Chaos Guns came to life firing beams of deadly energy the width of an aerial battleship towards both Tohdoh's and Xingke's fleets.
The Hadron-Masmune of Susano-O clashed with the adamantine blade of the Atlas as the city of Tartarus broke free of the ice and ascended into the Antarctic sky.
Explosion discs filled the sky in the vicinity of the two UFN air-fleets.
"Dammn you Jason!" Akira yelled over the com. as he dodged a thrust by the Atlas. Susano-O spun round and sliced at the left wing of the Greek machine and chopped off the wing-tip. "How can you continue to fight us like this?"
"This is war Akira!" Jason told him in a dry monotone. "It's not personal." He said as his machine parried another sword attack.
Both machines flew at each other, then parted, then clashed again. "When the lives of my friends are on the line it's always personal." Susano-O pushed against the adamantine sword as the Hadron energy began to melt through the Greek blade.
"Everyone dies Akira," Jason said to him as his machine disengaged, "It's simply a matter of when." The Atlas slashed at the left wing of the Susano-O.
Akira dodged and swiped at the left arm of Atlas; slicing off some of the armor, "I don't ascribe to that philosophy...not with people I care for!"
"Perhaps I misjudged you," said Jason sadly as the Atlas slipped to one side and thrust with its sword.
The Susano-O did a snap-kick; knocking the adamantine sword from the hands of Atlas. "You did if you thought that I'd allow you to hurt my friends Jason!" Akira yelled as he stabbed at the center of the Atlas.
"No you don't boy!" Heracles yelled as he fired his adamantine-disc at Akira.
"Maybe you should concentrate on your own battle Greek!" Mika yelled as Lena piloted them into range of the Helios. Mika fired a hail of Meson-Beams from the arm mounted gunpods of the Kali.
The Meson bolts struck the adamantine-disc and knocked it off its course; causing it to miss the Susano-O, but allowing Jason to dodge the Masmune.
"Heracles, don't interfere--" Jason was cut off by a large explosion at the aft of the Argos.
"Captain! The Argos is under attack!" Orpheus' voice reverberated through the cockpit of the Atlas.
Showers of energy blasts rained towards an unknown object as it streaked up above the Argos and landed on the top forward section of the ship. A ring of liquid heat-energy passed over the hull of the Greek ship causing the top to rupture and explode.
"What is that?" Lena asked in a stunned tone.
"Guren," Anya said in awe of the machine as it blasted through more of the top deck of the huge aerial battleship with its Fukusha Hadou Kikou Disc-rifle gunpod.
"Whew hoo," Tamaki cheered with a snicker, "something's got Kallen really pissed."
The Guren-Phoenix flew along the port side of the Argos at speed and unleashed a wave from its Supernova. The intense heat of the weapon stripped the armor of the Greek machine off completely in the wake of the Guren.
"NOW OUGI!" Kallen yelled over the radio to the Ikaruga.
Ougi's response came in as a shower of heavy-Hadron cannon fire that tore through the hull of the Argos into the interior of the vessel.
"Jason we must retreat!" Heracles boomed over the com. as the Argos listed to its port then exploded in a thunderous detonation whose shockwave threw the whole of the combatants into disarray with a blizzard of ice and debris.
"We've lost the Argos!" Io yelled in shock within the command center of Tartarus.
Athena scowled, "is the Cerberus Gun ready yet?"
"Not yet my lady," Io composed herself. "The triple-cannon is at 75% and charging."
"And Jason?" Athena asked with concern.
"He and his remaining forces have retreated to the Thebes." Io reported.
"A brilliant move Zero," Athena said to herself. "Routing our middle to allow your central fleet to remain where it is out of harms reach." She humpfed, "Io, tell Ares and Medea to fall back to the Tartarus. We'll finish their three forward fleets with the combined strength of both our airships and the weapons of the city."
"As you wish milady," Io replied then turned to obediently relay the orders.
"Keep pushing them back!" Tohdoh boomed on the command deck of the Amagi as the Greek Automatos formations crumbled under the weight of his KMF forces. "We're nearly to the city itself."
Through the viewports of the Amagi the floating city of Tartarus came into view.
"Our fleet can't take much more of this," Chiba said in awe of the massive fortress as the huge ship bombarded their fleet with Chaos beams.
"Keep our formation dispersed to force them to split up their cannon fire!" Kyoshiro yelled as five Avalon class frigates were blown out of the sky next to the Amagi.
"Their city is now in range of both our heavy-Hadrons and those of General Xingke's fleet," Nagisa said as another of the Avalon frigates exploded.
"Order our forces and his to fire at will!" Kyoshiro commanded.
Both UFN fleets unleashed the full fury of their capital ship weapons at the city.
The onslaught was stopped short by a shimmering radiance of golden energy which surrounded the whole of the city-ship.
"Oh my god!" Chiba stated in horror, "It's shielded!"
"My Lord Ares, our fleet is now in position over Tartarus." Deucalion informed his commander.
"Very good," Ares replied with a nod. "Bring the Thebes to full stop and position us out of the way of the Cerberus cannon."
"We won't last long in this position sire," Deucalion informed him. "Most of our Automatos have been destroyed by their machines and our Aegis Shields are already at 110% output trying to repel their fleets weaponry."
"We won't have too Deucalion," Ares smiled. "The flies have entered the spider's web."
The Samael and its three Hakodeshim companions flew up out of the mountain range as the massive Aegis shield shimmered around the whole of Tartarus.
"The city has a shield," Suzaku exclaimed in frustration. "How the hell are we going to get through that?"
"No kidding," Euphie added. "Even these machines don't have enough power to knock down a shield of that magnitude."
"So what now Zero? You're the strategic genius." C.C. chided Lelouch, "Where's the miracle this time?"
"I thought you'd never ask," Lelouch chortled as he opened a new radio channel, "Cornelia is everything ready?"
"The Gejhun cannon is fully charged and ready to fire," Cornelia said from within the cockpit of her KMF-Queen Victorias as it held a massive cylindrical bazooka-like cannon over its shoulder. A host of KMF-Victoria general issue Frames stood on the deck of the Avalon around Cornelia's mauve colored unit where a large power cable ran from the back of the bazooka into an open plate on the top deck of the airship.
"Fire," Lelouch said in a confident tone.
Cornelia fired the weapon. A ball of green-white energy blasted out of the maw of the cannon towards the energy shield of the Tartarus.
The green ball slammed into the shimmering golden field and dissipated a large portion of it.
"NOW!" Lelouch yelled at his companions as he flew the Samael towards the hole as fast as was safe to do so.
In seconds the four Hakodeshim were through the shield and over the city of Tartarus.
"My lady, four Hakodeshim have penetrated our Aegis shield and entered the city!" Io exclaimed.
"WHAT!" Athena blurt out in surprise. "How?" She demanded.
Io's face showed fear as she replied, "It would seem their rear fleet fired some kind of weapon that disrupted our shield."
"Dammn him!" Athena cursed. "Of course! How could I have been so stupid! The main force was a decoy. His real objective is Nunnally. Have a platoon sent down to the prison level where the Empress is being held and tell them to shoot intruders on sight."
"It will be done my lady," Io nodded.
"They're on to us!" C.C. informed Lelouch as twenty Hoplite-Spartans flew down the streets below towards them.
"Well of course they are," Lelouch sniggered. "We did knock down a portion of their defense shield. We need to pull this off with split-second timing. Suzaku, you and the Red Dragon will form a defensive line on the south side of the central tower of the city while C.C. and I enter the building and rescue Nunnally and Jeremiah."
"How will you even find them?" Suzaku asked as the Greek mecha began to close in on them while they descended towards the base of the large bronze-tipped tower.
"Jeremiah's cybernetics are Sakuradite powered and act as a homing beacon that allows us to detect him. Since I highly doubt there are mini-KnightMares in this tower. Besides, I'm only picking up one such signal and it's in a sublevel near the main elevators."
"Well, somebody had a lot of time to think this through," Euphie giggled, "smarty pants."
Suzaku breathed deeply, "Okay Zero, let's do this."
The four machines landed at the base of the command tower. The Uriel and the Gabriel took up tactical positions on each side of the building as C.C. and Lelouch (dressed as a Devicer with only a Balaclava on) jumped out of their Hakodeshim and ran into the building.
"There they go," Euphie said with concern. "I hope they'll be okay."
"Don't worry," Suzaku reassured her as the first Spartans came into view down the street. "They'll do fine."
C.C. and Lelouch dove past a troop of guards that came running down the hall as soon as the pair had passed through the vestibule into the lobby of the large tower.
C.C pulled out her pistol prompting Lelouch to do the same.
"Your Geass will be more powerful than these pistols Lelouch," C.C. informed him as the elevator descended to the fifth sublevel of the building.
"I understand," he said. "That's why I left the Zero helmet behind. If I need my Geass I can use it instantly."
The door opened up revealing a host of twenty Greek troopers in armor.
"Now would be a good time!" C.C. squealed as she fired a few rounds from her pistol.
Lelouch cast his Geass, "I Lelouch vi Britannia command you to obey my orders without question!"
The twenty troopers came to attention and declared in unison, "YES MY LORD!"
Lelouch and C.C. led the platoon of Greek soldiers to the suite which held Nunnally and Jeremiah. "Open it," Lelouch ordered the Greek officer.
The man obeyed and the door opened.
"Nunnally," Lelouch said as he pulled down the front of his Balaclava.
"Lelouch!" Nunnally stood up from the sofa she sat upon.
"Master Zero, we are honored to be saved by you personally," Jeremiah gleamed.
"You sure took long enough," Nunnally glared at him. "By the sounds of things, Ougi and the others are in real trouble."
"They are," C.C. stated with urgency. "We need to go now."
"Jeremiah, I need you to go with Nunnally to the surface and get my sister out of here. Take the green KnightMare at the entrance to this place and leave."
"And where are you going?" Nunnally asked with a frown.
"I need to deliver this package for Enoch," Lelouch gave her a sad smile.
"Where?" Nunnally inquired.
"The main engine room of Tartarus some fifty levels below us," he said with a sinister smirk. "Don't worry I've got C2 to protect me."
"Oh yeah right," C.C. rolled her eyes. "Some gentleman you are."
"We don't have time for this," Jeremiah reminded them.
Lelouch turned to the Greek commander, "Protect the Empress Nunnally and her Knight Jeremiah with your lives."
"Yes sire! It will be done!" The Geassed officer stated obediently.
Lelouch bent down and kissed Nunnally on the forehead, "I'll see you back on the Ikaruga."
Nunnally only nodded. She wanted to believe him but something worried her.
"Let's go Empress," Jeremiah picked her up in his arms and followed the troopers to the elevators.
"Ready?" Lelouch asked C.C.
"As I'll ever be," she smiled at him. C.C. was glad she could be apart of this with him. She knew the danger they were in but being with Lelouch chased her fears away.
"Captain Nu," Cornelia's image came up on the main screen of the Ikaruga. "Move your forces into full retreat."
"What? Why?" Ougi asked in a confused tone.
"Tell Tohdoh and Xingke that Zero has infiltrated the Tartarus and that his plan requires you to withdraw at once. If you don't I cannot guarantee your safety."
"Oh, it's one of those kinds of plans is it?" Ougi knew Zero was reckless and this scheme reeked of that bravado.
"It is," Cornelia snickered.
"But Princess Cornelia, General Tohdoh will not listen--" Ougi began to protest.
"We will do as Zero commands Princess," Kaguya said from the mezzanine of the bridge. "I'll relay the message to the fleet personally and we will begin a full retreat."
Cornelia nodded to Kaguya and then ended the transmission.
"Their fleet is retreating!" Io said in confusion. "I don't understand."
"How soon until the Cerberus gun is ready to fire?" Athena demanded.
"Three minutes my lady," Io informed her.
Athena watched the fleeing UFN fleet with scorn, "Move the Tartarus into a pursuit course and bring their fleet into firing range."
"As you wish my lady," Io bowed.
"They will not evade me," Athena declared with conviction.
"What exactly are we doing down here?" C.C. asked Lelouch as they left the elevators into the massive vaulted-roof engine room of the Tartarus. The chamber was filled with large cylindrical metallic generators that hummed loudly. Each of the generators were surrounded by catwalks and scaffolding which ran throughout the level. Control stations were at the base of each generator.
"We're looking for the master control panel," Lelouch told her as they ran along the steel grate floors into the interior of the room.
"There!" Lelouch pointed towards a large round, table-like, control station in a circular central space between the huge generators.
They ran up to the master control station and Lelouch removed the black, cell-phone, sized pouch that Enoch had given him.
"I hope you know how to use whatever is in that thing," C.C. said as she panned her pistol around hoping they didn't get ambushed in the wide open chamber.
Lelouch pulled out a gray and bronze cassette-tape sized device and plugged it into a suitable slot on the control panel. "That's it." Lelouch told her.
"Really?" C.C. said in surprise. "I was thinking there would be more to it than that."
"Nope, let's go." Lelouch told her as they made their way back towards the elevators.
"What's that thing supposed to do?" C.C. asked as they entered the elevator.
"You'll see," He said to her with a wink.
"Cerberus cannon at full power my lady," Io said with a snide smile.
"Very good," Athena looked out at the UFN fleet with distain, "FIRE!"
The three massive forward firing maw-guns at the base of the city, just below the battlement ring, glowed with an eerie red light then stopped.
"What's happened?" Athena barked at Io.
Io typed away frantically on her control station, "I don't know! The Cerberus gun failed to fire."
"I can see that," Athena yelled in frustration.
"Our Aegis Shields are lowering!" a male member of the bridge crew declared in alarm.
"Keep firing Euphie!" Suzaku said as he blasted through four Spartans with a hail of blue-globe generated flares. The four Hoplites were destroyed by the attack.
"There's too many of them," Euphie said. "We can't keep this up much longer."
Jeremiah and Nunnally came rushing out of the doorway of the tower with their troop of twenty Greek guards in tow. The Empress and her Knight climbed into the Ariel.
"Where the hell is he?" Suzaku demanded as he radioed the Ariel.
"Master Zero told us to leave immediately," Jeremiah informed Suzaku.
"We're not leaving without them!" Euphie declared. "With the Ariel's firepower we should be able to hold here a bit longer."
"I suppose you're right," Suzaku agreed. "If you can handle that Hakodeshim Jeremiah then we can wait for them to get out of there."
"I'm insulted that you think I'm incapable of handling this machine Master Kururugi," Jeremiah stated factiously as he unloaded a dual blast of energy bolts at a mass of approaching Spartans; incinerating them.
"My apologies Knight Of Orange, I should have known better." Suzaku chuckled.
"Status report!" Athena stated in a fury into the com. on her throne.
"My lady our fold engines have just come online!" Hephaestus' voice rang out in a panic from the engine room.
"It's some kind of computer virus!" Io interjected. "It's rewritten our command codes and is redirecting the power form the main guns to the fold engines!"
"Bastard!" Athena pounded the armrest of her throne. "He outwitted me again."
"My lady, there's a message on my screen." Io said befuddled.
"What?" Athena asked perplexed by her words. "Well, read it."
"It reads; My dear Athena, if there is one thing you need to learn about the future it's that payback is a b!tch." Io gave her a wide eyed look. "It's signed....Enoch."
Athena closed her eyes, "We are defeated...for the moment. Order Ares and Medea to return at once and plot an emergency fold course into the hyperspace navigational system."
"But my lady..." Io started to protest.
"Do not argue!" She yelled at her subordinate as a blue glow surrounded Tartarus. "Do IT NOW!"
"Yes milady!" Io recalled them immediately as other techs inputted the navigational data.
"You really like to cut things close don't you Lelouch!" C.C. snickered as they rushed out of the elevator towards the exit of the tower. They could see the blue glow of the fold-sphere outside as it surrounded the city.
"What?" He laughed sarcastically as they crossed through the vestibule into the streets of Tartarus. "Don't you want to jaunt through the galaxy...travel to new worlds, meet new civilizations...boldly go where no witch has gone before."
C.C. nearly tripped as they made it to the base of Samael, "Oh god, you have become Enoch!"
"Is that a bad thing?" Lelouch asked as they climbed into the cockpit of the Hakodeshim. The sky around them was electrified with energy as the fold engines of Tartarus distorted the space-time continuum.
"It sure took you two long enough!" Suzaku called out over the radio.
"Why are you still here?" Lelouch demanded.
"Save the argument for later!" C.C. said as she stomped on Lelouch's foot causing Samael to boot up off the ground at full speed.
"Ouch!" Lelouch yelled as the four Hakodeshim passed through the blue-white globe of energy that now engulfed the city of Tartarus and its two airships.
In the next instant the blue globe erupted in a brilliant flash of blinding white light. The light dissipated quickly with only a few embers of energy remaining for a moment then vanishing. The city of Tartarus was gone.
TURN Twenty Six: Table for Two
Thanks for Reading
|2010-01-19, 19:53||Link #40|
Join Date: May 2009
Turn Twenty Six: Table for Two, Part One: The Invitation.
“In acknowledgement of your accomplishments and part in the rout of the Olympian menace, you are cordially invited to a party befitting a person of your stature and grace. It would please your host greatly if you chose to attend this gala which suits this festive time of year in remembrance of the Spirit of Giving and the birth of the Hope of the World.
Your lodging will be within the luxurious Victorian Castle-Mansion of Red Manor which resides atop the peak of the sheer-wall of Folly Cove, on Cape Ann in Northern Massachusetts. This Colonial estate overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with a fabulous view and has Seventy-Two oversized guest rooms of exquisite design and furnishings of which you are invited to stay in one.
The kitchen is manned by a master chef who will provide you with the finest foods of the season. A feast of cranberry-stuffed Chicken and all appropriate trimmings will be provided for the Christmas Eve dinner followed by a desert bar of cakes, ice-creams, and pies. Morning eats shall consist of an assortment of home cooked traditional European dishes including eggs, steak, fruit-filled crepes, pancakes, and waffles. A lunch of Lamb-Shank, Basmati rice, Hummus, Couscous, and Pita shall be served at 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time. The Christmas Goose will be provided for your culinary delight at 2:00 pm EST and shall be followed by a Pizza-Party at 6:00 pm sharp.
Red Manor is equipped with a fully stocked bar and wine cellar. Drinks shall be provided from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Non-Alcoholic beverages are also available and can be had at anytime during your stay from the refrigerator within your guest suite.
Gifts will be handed out on Christmas Day during the Pizza-Party and are provided by your humble host at no charge.
You may bring along one guest with you of your choice, or your immediate family if such is the case.
Travel expenses and all necessary arrangements have been made for you and your tickets are provided in this package; including your room key and a key to the front door. My home is your home during this event so please feel free to let yourself in as soon as you can attend.
I expect ALL of you to attend this Table for Two no later than the evening of the 24th of December. If you don’t I shall be very put out.
Your Humble Host”-”- Copy of the invitation sent from an anonymous host dated December 7th 2024 a.t.b.