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Old 2009-09-17, 01:13   Link #1
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Code Geass: Dirge of Daedalus

This thread is for my now completed fanfiction Dirge of Daedalus.
This fanfiction is NOT over however as there is now a sequel that I've been writing.
This new sequel is called Code Geass: Chronicles of Tartarus and will be posted as a weekly/bi-weekly serial with one Turn being posted per week, or every-other-week depending on how much time I have to write it.
The artwork for some of the Chapters (KMF and mecha artwork), will be posted at the end of the Chapter the machine first appears in and this will continue onwards with Chronicles of Tartarus.
I am behind on most of the artwork due to RL, but will update new artwork entries as time allows.

Now that Chronicles of Tartarus is finished I will begin posting Alpha and Omega, which is the final Story of my Code Geass fanfiction trilogy.

This post is the "Parent" post and is here to lay down the basics about this fanfiction.

1) This fanfiction takes place in an alternate Code Geass timeline but is still the same universe as the anime.

2) This fanfiction conforms to the canon whenever possible but I reserve the right to bend, break, and/or ignore the canon set forth by Okouchi and Taniguichi should my story require it.

3) Pairings will be as the story develops itself, I don't favor any particular pairings. They will develop in this story in accordance with the plot.

4) Geass and Codes: This story was written under the assumption that Okouchi and Taniguichi used both Eastern and Western concepts of immortality and metaphysical powers and thus this story will conform to some or most of those concepts.

5) Last and of the greatest importance is this story is for fun and the enjoyment of the readers.

Therefore, I present to you ladies and Gents.

Last edited by GundamFan0083; 2011-01-04 at 19:55. Reason: Update now that DoD is complete
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Old 2009-09-17, 01:25   Link #2
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Turn One: Sakuradite

"To deny the existence of Yang and Yin is to deny that there is day and night, light and darkness, good and evil. Within Yang there is Yin and within Yin there is Yang, just as in light there are shadows of darkness and in darkness there are pinpricks of light. Such was the plight that Lelouch left the world in with his last evil, a state of perpetual peace that placed the world in Yang and smothered all but a few vestiges of Yin which threw the Chi of the world out of balance. A wise man once said; nature abhors a vacuum. Pity we didn’t realize that before Lelouch made his sacrifice.”-Excerpt from the journal of UFN Japanese Ambassador Kaguya Sumeragi dated November 26th, 2024 a.t.b.

The large oval-snowboard shaped superstructure of the former Aerial-Battleship Thor threw the shadow of its massive bulk over the southern seas of the Atlantic as she sped along her course. Her float-system engines hummed rhythmically as the sun glinted off of her metallic hull. Originally built under the orders of the 98th Emperor of Britannia, Charles Vi Britannia, the Thor was larger than any other air-ship before it. The completion of this airship was done by the order of Empress Nunnally Vi Britannia in 2021 a.t.b. However, the craft’s role as an Aerial-Battleship was over before she ever set aloft into the blue skies of the world. Her three FLEIJA launchers had been removed, leaving only her basic conventional armaments in place for defense against pirates and terrorists; a problem that had slowly grown in the wake of the catastrophic wars of the Britannian Imperial Era. Although still a formidable warship, the Thor's new mission was one of peace and scientific exploration of planet Earth; the airship was now a massive aerial research-vessel.
Upon the aft engineering structure which hung from midway along the ventral hull of the rear of the great vessel was an observation promenade, complete with railing and a staircase leading back up into the ship.
Leaning upon the railing of the promenade was a fiery-red haired woman in the black and gray military uniform of the elite Black Knight unit The Yamato no Orochi. Her long braided hair hung over her left shoulder and swayed slightly in the wind as it whipped up off the surface of the ocean below her. Her blue eyes gazed at the deep blue cold waters below her as she pondered private thoughts known only to her.
“Hey Kallen!” A tall blued-eyed man called to her as he walked down the stairs.
His blonde hair gave him away instantly, “Hi Gino.”
"Hi,” Lt. Commander Weinberg leaned over and smiled. “There’s that look again.”
“What look?” Captain Kouzuki straightened up and sneered.
“You know what look,” he leaned on the railing and looked towards the horizon. “That whole, could I have saved him? Look you have.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She folded her arms and turned away so he wouldn’t see the sadness in her eyes. “Besides that was six years ago, and he’s dead now so it doesn’t matter anymore.”
“I know that,” Gino said softly, “but that doesn’t mean you’ve let go.”
“How can I?” Kallen turned to let the wind of the sea dry her eyes which threatened to tear.
Gino lightly touched her shoulder, “We’ve all made mistakes Kallen. Isn’t it time you forgave him and moved on?”
“I forgave him already, nearly six years ago.” She didn’t look at him. “But with all that’s happened since he left us…” Kallen brushed off Gino’s hand. “It isn’t him I can’t forgive Gino.” Her voice was a whisper. “It’s us…me, Ougi, Tamaki, and the others. We betrayed him.”
At this moment she didn’t sound like Captain Kouzuki of The Yamato no Orochi that he had come to know and trust and that bothered Gino. “He deceived and betrayed the world Kallen and killed countless people, he would have even killed you if Zero hadn't stopped him. You should know better than most what kind of person he became. So you shouldn't be so hard on yourself, what would Ougi think?"
"You really wanna know what Ougi thinks?" Kallen gave him a false smile. "On the one year anniversary of the Death of the Demon Emperor there was a televised broadcast of how Zero, the hero of the people, slew the 99th Emperor of Britannia and saved the world. Ougi left the room when he saw the rebroadcast of Zero stab Lelou-the Emperor." Kallen stared off into the distance as she recanted the scene. "I had gone to visit Valletta, Ougi and their infant child; since I was hardly ever able to make it over there anymore with all my school work, and continued military training at that time; I thought it would be nice to take the opportunity to see them during the international holiday. We were having evening tea when the broadcast came on the television. Ougi just got up without a word and went outside. I followed Ougi out to the front of their house where I saw him weeping softly for a moment before he recomposed himself. He's never felt right about what we did to Zero when we chose to ally with Schneizel. Tamaki is not any better either. He won't talk about it unless he's stone drunk and then all he does is cry about how we wronged Zero. All of us that were close to Zero, the real Zero, carry the shame of what we did to him Gino. I know I feel like if I had talked to Lulu instead of just following him like a lost puppy with a new master then maybe I could have stopped his Requiem; maybe we could've found a different path to peace; and then maybe he'd still be alive today."
Gino felt foolish, "I'm sorry Kallen. I shouldn't have brought it up. I just thought that after all this time your feelings might have changed." The only thing that stood in the way of Kallen going from just being his best friend and comrade too something more was the lingering shadow of Lelouch.
Kallen gave him a warm smile, "Its okay Gino, don't worry about it. It's just this cool, crisp air; it brings back memories of Japan and the Battle of Narita and how Zero led us to victory there and so many other times afterwards."
"Speaking of frigid mountain conditions," Gino said anxious to change the subject, "What do you think about this mission?"
"What? Do you mean going to Antarctica to babysit some geophysicists, archaeologists, and other science personnel just to find that huge Sakuradite deposit that the Global FLEIJA-detection security satellites picked up near the central mountain range of that continent of ice?" Kallen put on a genuine smile and rolled her eyes. "I think its BORR-ING."
"Well at least we'll see some penguins." Gino laughed.
"Why couldn't we get assigned to South America?" Captain Kouzuki said as she lay back on the railing with her arms.
"You want a re-match with Generalissimo Ceasaro's mercenaries don't you?" He snickered.
"Yah, why not?" Kallen squinted her eyes at him. "Isn't our job to put down the build up of internal armed forces?"
"Yes but it's not like we can just waltz in there with our KnightMares and take them prisoner. Those forces are the remnants of the old Imperial Britannian army, and will put up one hell of a fight which could in turn spark a war in the region." Gino leaned against the railing beside her. "They don't recognize UFN authority. Not too mention that Cornelia is leading them."
Kallen sighed, "Poor Nunnally. She's lost her whole family either by death or desertion. I can't believe Cornelia renounced her father's name and took up her mother's maiden family name as her own; Cornelia Ceasaro."
"I can't really say I blame her," Gino turned to face Kallen with a devilish grin. "It's not like Cornelia gets along with Schneizel or trusts Nunnally. Look at it from her viewpoint."
"Are you serious or are you just picking on me?" Kallen asked. "You know as well as I do Gino that Cornelia and Gilford both left Britannia as soon as Gilford and she were able to do so. They grabbed what they could in weapons and equipment and then left with as many people as would follow them down to Brazil."
"I might be picking on you a little," He smirked. "I wouldn't want you to think I've given up on you."
Kallen blushed, "Commander Weinberg!"
Gino laughed and then became serious all of a sudden, "Hey is it true that Nina Einstein left with them."
"That's what the intel says; her, Lloyd Asplundh, and Cecil Croomy too." Kallen turned to look at the sunlight reflecting off of the waves beyond the shadow of the ship. "I can only imagine what their doing for Cornelia down there."
"You think they'd build a FLEIJA after everything that's happened?" Gino inquired anxious to know her opinion.
"No," Kallen was firm, "I don't think they would. But I do think that they'd build conventional weaponry like Knightmare-Frames and such. That's more Cornelia's style."
"Hey you two!" A young female voice called out from the top of the stairwell that led down to the promenade.
"Hi Anya," Gino waved at her to come down and join them.
First Lieutenant Anya Alstreim wore the same uniform as Kallen and Gino. In her arms the girl carried a tray which had three cups of hot tea upon it. "I thought you might like something to keep you warm out here."
"Thank you Anya," Gino said as he took a cup.
Kallen took the second mug, "So what do you think of this crisp Antarctic air Anya? I'll bet it's a big change from the Orange-Orchard farm you and Jeremiah were on."
"Yes it is," Anya replied in her usual monotone voice. "But it's a nice change." She smiled.
"I'm still surprised Jeremiah let you become a Knightmare pilot again." Kallen said.
"Well, I wasn't happy on the farm." Anya stated. "It got too boring for me and I was already a good Devicer so I thought that I'd join the Black Knights after the UFN reformed them in 2020 a.t.b."
"I'm glad you did," Gino said with a smile, "It's nice to have an old friend on the team besides Kallen; at least your better company."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kallen put her free hand on her hip and scowled at Gino.
"Just that Anya is better company than some people on this ship, that's all." Gino teased.
"Would you two like to be alone?" Anya inquired with a blank expression.
Kallen turned beet red, "What?...No...It's alright Lt. Alstreim, you can stay."
"Aw com'on Kallen, don't you value our private time together?" Gino taunted her with a wink.
Kallen furrowed her brow, "Commander Weinberg how many times do I have to tell you..." The ship's intercom interrupted Captain Kouzuki before she could finish.
"Attention!" The voice of Chancellor Schneizel Britannia's Chief Yeoman, Kannon, boomed over the speakers, "All members of the Black Knights are to report to the Flight deck for a preliminary operations briefing immediately. We are currently less than three hours from our destination point. That is all."
"Saved by the bell," Cmdr. Weinberg laughed as he made his way up the stairs; empty tea cup in hand.
Anya turned and started up the stairs.
"Hey wait for me!" Kallen chugged her mug of tea and choked down the hot liquid as she hurried to follow behind Gino and Anya.

"Do you think it was wise to send Schneizel in charge of this mission Empress Nunnally?" Suzaku asked.
"I do," She said as she stared out the window standing on her cybernetic-enhanced legs. World medical technology had advanced quickly during the years after her reign began; it had too in order to deal with all of the misery and suffering of those that were maimed and disfigured during the war her brother had waged.
"I should have went with them," Kururugi said as he came to stand beside her; the mask of Zero resting under his arm.
"No," she cut him off. "I need Zero in Japan with me for the upcoming UFN summit." Her tone was cold towards him. Nunnally had learned Zero, the new Zero, was Suzaku on that horrid day when she held her dying brother in her arms. Empress Nunnally didn't hate Suzaku for what he did, but it didn't change the lingering feeling of antipathy for him that festered in her heart no matter how badly she tried to forgive Suzaku.
Suzaku had been reluctant to expose his identity to Nunnally at first, but later realized that lying to her was equally despicable and pointless. He made up his mind to confide his true identity to her and only her.
"Are you afraid of being assassinated? Is that why you want Zero there by your side?" He knew it was a foolish question as soon as it left his lips.
"Of course I am." Nunnally didn't look at him. Her eyes were on the replica of the garden that mimicked the one her mother Marianne's estate used to have. The lush floral greenery adorned the west side of New-Brunswick Castle in the center of Neo-Pendragon; a city built around the crater-lake that once was the original metropolis built by her father.
"The hatred of the world rests upon me for the actions of my family." She told him flatly. "Why wouldn't assassins be there to take my life?"
"I don't think the world hates you Nunnally," Suzaku ventured to say. "Much of the world is still focused on reconstruction and rebuilding. Only a few remnants of war remain and we may be able to bring those elements to the bargaining table to bring about total peace. Doesn't that make you happy?"
"NO!" She snapped at him, though she continued to look at the blooming flowers of the garden below. "There was only one thing that brought me happiness in this world, and you took that from me."
Suzaku flinched as though she had run him through with a sword. He and his conspirator hadn't considered Nunnally's feelings about their plan; The Zero Requiem. They had been teenagers back then; childish and impulsive in their decisions.
"It's what he wanted." Suzaku had been through this with her before, but not at this level of intensity. Something was wrong and it was deeper than just the emotional ache in her bosom.
"I know Suzaku." Nunnally turned to face him, tears welled in her eyes. "And it was all for nothing. Even now the countries of the world conspire against each other for resources and power. Humans aren't pieces on a chessboard. They have feelings and desires, vices and shortcomings that you two either chose to ignore or failed to take into account in your grand scheme!"
Kururugi tried to ignore the verbal blows as they slashed at his emotions; he knew she was right. "Do you believe this new Sakuradite deposit will start another war?"
"Yes, I do." Nunnally hobbled over to where her float chair hovered silently above the floor of her study-chambers. Even though the cybernetic-enhancements allowed her to walk, she had yet to master their operation and still had some difficulty walking.
"And FLEIJA will rear her ugly head yet again," She said as she sat down.
Suzaku was stunned by her suggestion. "Do you think Cornelia will develop a FLEIJA weapon?"
"No, my sister is an honorable woman. She would never use such a weapon." Nunnally sank into the cushions of her chair and threw her head back, "But I'm not so sure about the Black Knight's Pacific Commander Brigadier General Kyoshiro Tohdoh and his right-hand, the Black Knight's Asiatic Commander Major General Li Xingke. They've both become hungry for power."
Kururugi stood before her and looked directly at Nunnally, "Empress, are you implying that you believe that the UFN has become corrupt so soon?"
"I do." She said to him without flinching.
"What about your friends Kaguya Sumeragi and the Tianzi, Jiang Reika?" Suzaku questioned her with a scowl, "You can't possibly think that they have become corrupt can you your Majesty?"
Nunnally tittered, "Of course not Suzaku. Kaguya and Jiang are both very forgiving and understanding women. Besides the fact that we three are nearly the same age, we all share the heartache and disappointment that the men around us have wrought. It's those shared emotions that actually started to bind us together like sisters when we met during the first UFN global summit one year after I became Empress. After that we three have forged a strong friendship amongst ourselves."
Suzaku shrugged, "I hadn't realized you three were so close. I thought that my cousin Kaguya would actually be rather cold towards you considering your pedigree milady."
Nunnally held back a laugh, "She was at first-my being the sister of the Demon Emperor and all-but I think a part of her felt guilty about betraying Zero." Nunnally giggled, "Kaguya never stops asking me about my brother's past; the girls he liked; the girls that liked him; his hobbies; you know basically everything about him. I think she still likes him deep down inside."
"Wasn't Lady Kaguya supposed to marry Tohdoh a few years back?" Suzaku inquired; he pressed the subject to keep her smiling.
"Yes she was," Nunnally chortled, "it was at the behest of the new Japanese parliament. They claimed it was to ensure the continuance of the Imperial bloodline but Kaguya saw right through it and rightly accused them of trying to use her as a pawn in a power grab for Japanese control of the Black Knight's Pacific Command. Since Tohdoh had been elected head of that position by the UFN, the Japanese parliament sought to gain bedside influence and inner knowledge of confidential information through Kaguya."
"I take it that didn't sit well with her?" Suzaku smiled.
Nunnally let out a laugh, "Oh no! Kaguya faced down the Prime Minister in the middle of the Senate's most important debate of the year; that being the Japanese government budget; and flat out told him in front of the whole country during the televised event that if he wanted to be in bed with Tohdoh then he should marry him himself."
"Feisty as always," Suzaku laughed.
"Yah she is," Nunnally giggled. "She once stared down Li Xingke and scolded him severely for missing Jiang's birthday a few years back. I pity the person she gets angry at because Sumeragi gives no quarter."
"I never understood Jiang Reika and Li Xingke's relationship," Suzaku asked a bit perplexed. "Are they in love?"
"Yes." Nunnally said with smirk. "I believe they've been planning a wedding for years but both of them are so busy they've not gotten around to even deciding where to have it."
"Does Jiang talk a lot about getting married?" Kururugi asked with a smile.
"No, not really," Nunnally said. "Jiang usually tries to get me to talk about all the friends I had at Ashford. Reika didn't have any real friends growing up so she likes to hear my tales about my school days with Millay, Rivaltz, Nina, Shirley and my brother. She especially likes to hear the stories of Shirley trying to chase down my brother and all of Millay's crazy antics to get them together."
The memory of the last words Shirley said to him cut into Suzaku's psyche; I forgave Lulu for the death of my father...maybe you should try to forgive him too Suzaku. He hadn't forgiven him; even now after all this time; his love for Euphie was too great and too deep and Lelouch, no Geass, had taken her from him by the hand of Zero and he could never forgive Lelouch for forcing him to live by using Geass. The Zero Requiem was not enough; he knew that now; he knew he wanted to be with his true love; Kururugi knew he wanted more than anything to be with his Euphie; Suzaku wanted to die. "Yah, Millay sure was crazy wasn't she?"
"Was? She still is." Nunnally laughed. "Millay Ashford is now the chief executive of the Tokyo Broadcasting Channel and airs some of the most outlandish shows in the world; she's a huge success over there."
"Wow, I didn't know that." Suzaku said in surprise. "I wonder what happened to the rest of the gang."
"If you mean Rivaltz, he actually married Millay a little over four years ago." Nunnally told him. "I wanted to go too their wedding but couldn't because I knew I'd bring attention to my relationship too them and there was a real possibility of retaliation against our friends by the Japanese government and other parties."
Suzaku sighed, "Oh, I'm sorry milady I should have realized that would be a problem."
"That's okay," Nunnally told him. "Things are more settled now in Japan and when we go there in a month for the UFN summit I've made arrangements for us to visit Millay and Rivaltz...well, you as Zero anyway." Her elation subsided as she realized her excitement was lost on Suzaku.
"Don't look sad Empress," He gave her a fake grin. "I've made my own bed and am more than willing to lie in it."
"That reminds me," Nunnally cocked her head to one side, "Kaguya and Jiang are flying out here to travel with us to Japan."
"Pardon my saying so Empress, but that seems a bit odd." Suzaku was puzzled.
"Not at all," She smiled at him. "You see you and I are going to Japan by ship and so you'll have a whole month to get reacquainted with Lady Kaguya and the Tianzi while we cruise along to the islands of Japan. Hope you don't get sea-sick."
Suzaku grimaced, "No milady."

"Chancellor Schneizel, we are approaching the Weddell Sea coastline," Kannon stated from his position standing on the foredeck of the enclosed bridge which protruded from the ventral bow section of the ship just below the nose Hadron-Cannon.
"Thank you Kannon," Schneizel smiled at his Yeoman. "Please inform Dr. Viviane that we are now within landing range and have her prepare her teams for immediate departure. Also, have the Black Knights put on standby."
"Yes Chancellor," Kannon stated obediently. "We should make the intended dig site on the Vigrid Plain in about an hour Sir."
"Excellent Kannon," Schneizel smiled. "I imagine we'll be able to secure the area of the Sakuradite deposit by morning and have the UFN International Energy Commission a base of operations built here by then end of the month."
Kannon gave Schneizel a perplexed look. "Antarctica is unclaimed territory shouldn't we claim this area for Britannia?"
Schneizel thought his Yeoman's question over for a few moments before a scowl flashed across his expression and then faded to his practiced smile. "No Kannon. Zero gave explicit orders to me that I was to only secure the area and assist the UFN team. I am not to take possession of the Sakuradite."
"I understand sir," Kannon said dejected.

The Thor flew on over the vast expanse of the Antarctic ice shelf as the rays of the sun illuminated the snow-covered Transantarctic Mountains. The large aerial ship weaved its way above the ice-capped peaks of the great stone sierras as the crew maneuvered her towards a large basin-valley in the middle of the range.
The great metal vessel swerved over into a position over the center of the icy expanse and hovered. As soon as she came to a complete stop the outlined central portion of the craft's lower hull popped open slightly creating a vapor caused by the warm air of the ship mixing with the frigid atmosphere of the region. A long-rectangular shaped elevator-platform descended from the ventral hull of the mighty vessel via four long hydraulic lift cylinders to the snow-covered ice below.
Upon the top of this drop-elevator platform was a G-1 command base, and a contingent of two-hundred KnightMare frames comprised of mostly RPI-13 Southerland and RPI-209 Glousters. These KnightMares were armed with a plethora of mining equipment; from drill-lances, to grappling-harkens, and radiant-heat guns used for melting away ice without damaging things beneath it.
The large force of UFN team members went into action immediately as they broke off into individual units and began boring, melting, and chipping away at the icy surface. Within an hour the UFN force of excavators cleared away an area of ice nearly three-hundred meters wide and fifty deep. They were rapidly nearing the edge of where the Sakuradite deposit was supposed to be.
"Doctor Viviane!" A masculine voice called over the radio to the G-1.
"What is it?" She inquired; her curiosity heightened by the man's excitement.
"We've found something," He radioed back.
"Oh," the Doctor said. "What have you found?"
"I think it's best if you come down here Doctor. I'd rather not talk over an unsecured channel." The man stated with an edge of concern in his voice.
"I see," she replied. "I'll proceed down there immediately."

"Chancellor Schneizel," a female communications officer ventured to interrupt him while he spoke private words to Kannon who currently stood by his side at the commander's station.
Schneizel looked towards the young woman and grinned, "Yes? What is it?"
"Chancellor, I've intercepted a communication between one of the mining teams and Dr. Viviane. It appears they've discovered something under the ice-sheet and she is now currently on site."
"I see," Schneizel hid his irritation at having been disturbed over such a trivial matter. "It's probably just the Sakuradite vein-"
"No sir," the girl cut him off. "They've called in Professor Cornwallis of the UFN archaeological unit and have requested a KnightMare armed with a Maser Vibration Sword."
"An MVS? What would they need that for?" Kannon blurt out in surprise.
"That's a good question," Schneizel stood up from his command chair and addressed his Yeoman, "Kannon, have my personal transport prepared for launch. I'm going down there to see what this is all about."
"Chancellor, shall I have an escort detail go with you?" Kannon was concerned.
"That won't be necessary Kannon. However, you have my permission to launch the Black Knights as a precaution if that will assuage your concerns." Schneizel said as he walked towards the bridge elevator doors. "You're in charge until I get back Kannon."
"Thank you Chancellor." Kannon said. "I'll have the Black Knights launch at once."
"Very well, just be sure to have them sent out to patrol the perimeter of this area." Schneizel smiled. "We wouldn't want to burden them with the boredom of whatever trinkets Dr. Viviane may have uncovered."
"Of course sir," Kannon said with a short bow.

"I hope you had a good reason for dragging me down here," Dr. Viviane said as she disembarked from her Glouster into the large chamber which had been excavated by the mining team with radiant-heat guns.
Professor Cornwallis slid down his machine's egress ladder and joined up with her as quickly as he could.
"Yes ma'am I do," Stated a burly gentleman who greeted her with a quick bow. "I'm Crew Chief Miyazaki, my team and I found's difficult to describe...Perhaps we should just go down and have a look at it."
Dr. Viviane and Professor Cornwallis followed along with the Crew Chief of the UFN team towards the end of the cavern where a spire of bronze-colored metal jutted out of the ice. The metallic cone was large, at least five meters wide and ten meters high, and had an unusual texture; it was smooth like glass. There were no markings or edges of any kind on the thing.
"We tried using the MVS to cut through its surface but whatever it's made off is impervious to our tools and weapons." The Chief explained.
"What do you think Professor Cornwallis?" Dr. Viviane was truly perplexed by the sight of the enigma.
Cornwallis brushed away some of the snow at the base of the spire. "I think this is the top of a much larger structure. It looks like the base is another five meters down."
Dr. Viviane turned to the Chief, "Mr. Miyazaki, how long would it take you to melt away the ice around this spire and reach the base."
The Chief put his gloved hand to the chin of his arctic-weather coat, "About five, maybe seven minutes tops."
Dr. Viviane smiled, "Excellent, get to it as soon as we've cleared the area."

The Yamato no Orochi took off from the Thor's five dorsal KnightMare launch decks to patrol the surrounding mountainside. The five Type-21B transformable Bushido-Frames, two Type-21J transformable Samurai-Frames, and one Type-21S transformable Shogun-Frame flew along in their predetermined flight path via their new graviton-impeller internal-inertia propulsion units (GIPU).
The Type-21 series was a tenth generation transformable KnightMare Frame developed by the UFN Kyoto-House/Zone-India Industries and built under the direction of Chief Frame-designer Rakshata Chawla and her team of experts during the 2020 a.t.b. rearmament program for the reformed Order of the Black Knights. This R&D team based the new design on the Shinkirou and Tristan designs.
The Type-21 was intended to contend with any type of KnightMare, Aerial-warship, or sky-fortress (like the Damocles), that the Order of the Black Knights might encounter. Therefore, the Kyoto-India design and development teams created a new propulsion system for the Type-21, the GIPU, which allows the Type-21 series to travel at supersonic speeds for as long as the frame has power and the KnightMare is capable of trans-atmospheric flight.
Enhanced weaponry like the Blade-Luminous (based off of the Blaze Luminous shield system) and the Omni-directional Enhanced Absolute Protection Territory energy shield system were derived directly from Shinkirou and the Tristan-Divider type KnightMares built during the 2017-18 time period.
"Hey Kallen you have any idea why we're being sent to patrol the outer perimeter?" Gino inquired of over the radio.
"I'm not sure," She told him as they flew over the last of the mountain peaks towards the edge of the Sierras. "But I don't like this."
"Think we should split up just in case?" Gino asked.
"That might not be such a bad idea," Captain Kouzuki agreed as she flipped over to the main radio frequency of the Black Knights. "Okay team, listen up. I want Tamaki and Anya to form up with Gino and me in a diamond formation. Arial, Luke, Shoji, and Isuzu, will form up in the same manner and patrol in a parallel flight path to ours; circling the Thor's outer perimeter. This way if we're engaged by any outside threat they won't surprise all of us at once."
"What? Hey Captain you know there ain't nobody gonna surprise us, we're the original Black Knights," Tamaki boasted over the radio.
Kallen smiled, "I know Tamaki, and we won't get caught with our pants down."

"Dr. Viviane, we've found an entrance!" Chief Miyazaki exclaimed from where they had cleared away more of the thick ice. The spire that rose from the glacial material was much wider at its base and had a slightly larger than man-sized archway that led into the darkened depths of the cone shaped tower.
"There's more underneath this spire." Professor Cornwallis said in awe of the shadow that lay below the ice. "This must be the top of some central building or temple of some kind." He looked out along the walls of ice made by the KnightMares as they had unearthed the bronze cone. "There must be a complex of some sort under here, perhaps even an ancient city."
"How old is it?" Dr. Viviane inquired of him.
"I don't know," the Professor was giddy. "I've never seen architecture like this before anywhere."
"Let's proceed inside," Dr. Viviane said as she took a flashlight from her utility belt. "Chief, you're with the Professor and I, the rest of you stay here." She ordered the team of men that now surrounded the egress.
The trio made their way into the inky blackness of the cylindrical tower only to find it devoid of anything except a bronze circular plate at its center with a podium in the middle.
"What do you think this is?" Chief Miyazaki asked as he examined the top of the pedestal. "Hey there are diamonds on this thing!"
"No Miyazaki, don't touch them!" Professor Cornwallis cried out, but it was too late. The Chief touched one of the crystals and the disc they were standing on immediately dropped downward at an alarming rate.
It fell for minutes.
Finally the circular platform eased to a stop within a chamber lit only by a faint blue light.
"Where are we?" Dr. Viviane queried her companions.
"Hundreds of meters down the tower I would guess judging by the speed with which the plate descended." The Chief said as he looked around the room.
"Good gods, what is that?" Dr. Viviane said as she looked towards a dimly lit corner of the room. There amidst a pile of rubble were the remains of a thing that looked as if it was once both organic and mechanical; a cyborg of some sort but on a massive scale; like a giant KnightMare-Frame.
Professor Cornwallis examined the thing with his flashlight. He let out a gasp, "Hecatonchires, the hundred-handed."
"Come again?" Dr. Viviane asked the Professor.
"The Hundred-handed guardians of Greek legend that supposedly guarded the Gates of Tartarus," the Professor stared at the remains of the beast.
"Who do you think she is?" Chief Miyazaki inquired looking in the opposite direction of the room.
Dr. Viviane and Professor Cornwallis turned to see what the Chief miner was talking about. There upon the far wall incased in a crystalline rectangular shaped capsule, which had numerous tubes and cables running from its top and bottom, was an extraordinarily beautiful woman dressed in what appeared to be a jumpsuit adorned with Greek robes. A wide, flat tiara of gold adorned her head.
"I don't know who she is." The Professor was enthralled, "but there seems to be an inscription on her tiara." He added as he came to within a few feet of the capsule.
"Be careful Professor," Dr. Viviane cautioned him.
"I need to clear this thin layer of ice off to read it," He said as he touched the outer lid.
As soon as he touched the crystalline surface the capsule came to life. The crystal structure of the device liquefied in seconds exposing the woman within.
"Incredible," The Professor said as he leaned in towards the woman. "She is perfectly preserved."
"Professor I think we should get out of..." Dr. Viviane started to say but was startled by the woman sitting upright. Her eyes opened to reveal their dark blue, almost violet color.
"Χαιρετισμούς, είμαι Σθεννώ" The woman said with a smile.
"What did she say?" Chief Miyazaki managed to ask.
"It was Greek. I believe it translates; Greetings, I am Sthenno." The Professor said in amazement.
The woman took hold of his arm.
Professor Cornwallis shrank back from her iron grip but could not free himself from her. In seconds a look of recognition crossed her face.
"I see I am the first to wake," the woman said in English with a thick foreign accent as if the words were clumsy on her tongue. "Thank you Professor for translating your language to me through your mind, it is much appreciated. However, since you and your companions are not gods I'm afraid I'm going to have to enslave you."
"Enslave us!" Miyazaki laughed. "How the heck are you going to enslave us?"
A pair of sigils appeared in Sthenno’s eyes as Dr. Viviane gasped in horror, "GEASS!"

Last edited by GundamFan0083; 2009-09-17 at 02:04.
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Old 2009-09-17, 01:29   Link #3
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Artwork for this TURN ONE: SAKURADITE

The Thor;

The Type-21B Bushido;

The Type-21J Samurai;

The Type-21S Shogun;

Next Chapter;


Thanks for Reading
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Old 2009-09-19, 12:05   Link #4
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Turn Two: Rookies

"Ashford Academy, I hadn't seen the place in nearly half a decade. I was truly amazed at how a former Britannian private school could be transformed into an international Career Academy. The biggest surprise was that Ougi and Valletta Nu were now actually teaching there. Valletta had become the school’s KnightMare-Frame instructor and Ougi taught command classes for the fledgling recruits of the Order of the Black Knights. It was truly amazing for me to see how much had changed, but what moved me more is how much had stayed the same since those glory days with Kallen, Rivaltz, Nina, Shirley, Nunnally, and...Lulu."-Excerpt from Milley Ashford's interview with International World Review dated October 22nd, 2025 a.t.b.

"Akira Nobunaga!" Valletta called out the name from the list on the sheet secured to the clipboard she held in front of her.
"He’s not here yet Mrs. Nu," Lena Morrow told her from where she stood within the group of nearly twenty student-pilots.
“Any idea where he is Lena?” Valletta asked.
The young girl just shrugged her shoulders and then began playing with her long braided blue-hair, “I don’t know Mrs. Nu. He doesn’t tell me where he goes in the morning.”
There were “oohs” mixed in among the tittering within the group.
“I thought you were his girlfriend…“ Valletta started to say when she was interrupted by a person running into the KnightMare hangar.
A short brown-haired teenager with jade-green eyes rushed through the large open garage door of the KnightMare bay. His features became apparent in the overhead lighting of the hangar and betrayed his mixed Britannian-Japanese heritage as he got into his place in the group of rookies, “I’m here!” he wheezed; bending over and holding himself up by resting his hands on his thighs as he tried to breathe.
“Where the heck have you been Akira?” Valletta interrogated him. “There is only a month left until graduation, you could at least TRY to get here on time for once before that.”
“Yes ma’am,” He said as he got his wind back and stood up straight. “I’ve been working with Ms. Rakshata.” Akira smiled.
“Really?” Valletta frowned. “Is fooling around with Dr. Chawla’s new inventions more important too you than defending the honor of your KnightMare team in the upcoming final game of this year. Japan’s Jaguars are playing in the International KnightMare Competition. We’ll be competing against the best rookie KnightMare pilots in the world including the Chinese Federation’s Red-Dragon team. The week long competition is going to be televised to the whole world or did you forget that today was the day of the Tokyo Broadcasting Channel’s visit to Ashford to cover our leaving for Sidney Australia?”
“No ma’am,” He answered her with a weak grin.
“You’re the Captain of the Jaguars, Akira.” Valletta scolded him. “Where’s your Ashford pride?” She put her hands on her hips. “I know you want to be a Black Knight, you all do, but only the best KnightMare Devicers are selected. Your skill in a KnightMare is very impressive Mr. Nobunaga, but your lack of professionalism and lax attitude towards your duties as a Japan Jaguar will hurt you in this upcoming contest. Members of the Black Knights are selected from the winners in this International Competition”
“I know Mrs. Nu, but how are we supposed to prove ourselves when we’re practicing in these old Gloucesters and Sutherlands? They are obsolete and…”
“You think they’re obsolete huh?” Valletta gave him a devilish smirk. “Fine, we’ll begin today’s practice lesson with you and I sparing off in a pair of Gloucesters.”
There were whispers in the crowd of students all around Akira.
Valletta commanded her troupe of student-pilots. “All of you get your suits on and meet me on the practice field in ten minutes.”

“You’ve done it now Akira,” A tall blonde-haired male pilot said. His Germanic facial features seemed strained as he smiled. “Mrs. Nu is gonna whip your butt out there man.”
“We’ll see about that Gregor,” Akira snickered as he secured the boot straps of his Devicer-suit. “She’s good, but out of practice.”
Gregor laughed as they made their way out of the locker room towards where the others were gathered. “Hey Lena, our boy Akira thinks Mrs. Nu can’t beat him.”
"Is that so?" A tall teenage-woman, with auburn hair and ice-blue eyes, sneered. Her athletic figure moved to one side as she swung her pilot's braid of hair over her left shoulder. "Think cause you're a guy that a woman can't beat you Akira?"
Lena jeered at her, "He wasn't asking you Princess Superior Me Pretendia!"
"Don't start Mika." Gregor waved her off with an irritated look trying to defuse the situation before it got out of hand. "He's got enough on his mind already today." Mika ignored Gregor, "Ooh, aren't we testy this morning, Lena. Maybe when you're all grown up I'll take what you say seriously. You know, when you actually fill out like a woman."
"What?" Lena felt her cheeks flush with anger at Mika's jibe at the size of her chest. "You're one to talk, Mika. It's not like guys want a girl with a pair of bowling-balls strapped to her chest. How are they supposed to help you up out of a car on a date...with a crane?"
"That's it you little bitch!" Mika said as she spun around on her heal and let loose with a closed fist aimed at Lena’s face.
Mika's punch was caught in mid-air, "Stop it, both of you." Akira said as he let go of Mika's clenched fist. Nobunaga gave Gregor a frown before turning back to Mika, "I didn't say she couldn't beat me because she's a woman. That has nothing to do with it. I said I think I can beat her because she's out of practice."
"If you're so confident then I guess you'd better get into that Vincent Ward over there instead of a Gloucester." Valletta said from the cockpit hatch of a Gloucester on the far side of the hangar.
"But Mrs. Nu there's no way you can beat me in a Gloucester if I'm piloting a Vincent Ward. Even Gregor could beat you in that thing." Akira protested.
"Gee thanks old buddy, " Gregor grumbled.
"No buts Mr. Nobunaga get your ass in that Vincent Ward and meet me on the field ASAP." Valletta closed the hatch of her Gloucester and moved the machine over to pick up an MVS. "Be sure to arm your KnightMare with one MVS and no projectile weapons." Valletta told him over her KnightMare's loudspeaker. "We'll be engaging in hand-to-hand combat only."
"Oh man Akira," Gregor said. "She sounds serious."
Akira gave him a blank look, "She is."

"What are all of you doing milling around this...thing," Schneizel said as he walked down towards the egress of the bronze spire. His finely woven fur arctic-coat whipped in the wind as he made his way to the mouth of the opening.
A man came up to Schneizel and opened his cold-weather mask, "Chancellor, they haven't come out of that structure for nearly an hour."
"Who hasn't come out of there?" He asked.
"Dr. Viviane, Chief Miyazaki, and that Professor fellow," The man said.
"I see," Schneizel approached the doorway and peered into the inky blackness. "I wonder what could be keeping them." He mused to himself as a light came into view from a large circular hole in the floor. Within moments a bronze disc carrying four people came to a halt at the top of the orifice in the center of the chamber.
"Dr. Viviane, what have you discov..." Schneizel started to ask before he saw the faint orange glow that shown in their eyes through the darkness of the room, "Geass, but how?"
"You're a handsome one," Sthenno cooed as she walked off the platform towards Schneizel. "I think I shall make you my personal play-thing." She smiled as the sigils appeared in her eyes.
Schneizel tried to avert his gaze but it was too late.
Sthenno stretched out her left arm towards him, "I Sthenno, Goddess of Tartarus command you to be my slave and serve me and no other!"
Schneizel dropped down onto his knees and screamed, clutching his head, "NO! I must serve Zero! I must serve Zero!"
"Zero?" Sthenno asked out loud. "Ah, I see. This Zero must be a Sorcerer who's enchanted you, or perhaps even a god. I suppose I could let you go mad and die, but on the other hand I may need more knowledge of this Zero. Therefore..." Sthenno walked over to Schneizel and pulled the Tiara she wore on her head down over her eyes. Instantly the bronze-colored headband came to life; at its center a mechanical eye appeared, the symbol of the All Seeing Eye, and from this eye the blue inverted sigil of Geass formed. A blue glow engulfed both Sthenno and Schneizel. The orange glow in his eyes subsided.
Schneizel stood up and looked around in a momentary daze, "What? What happened?”
Sthenno smirked, “I have freed you from the enchantment of Zero. However…” Sthenno flipped up her Tiara and prepared to Geass him.
He put out his hand, "There is no need for that. I am in your debt. I can serve you more efficiently without the need for such....sorceries."
Sthenno paused, the sigils in her eyes faded, "How can you serve me better than if you were my slave?"
Schneizel seized the moment "I can give you insight into knowledge of things that have transpired since whenever it is you came to be in this place. I imagine you’ve been in this place for some time; would I be wrong to assume that you require information on the peoples, places, and countries of this present day world."
"No you would be correct in your assumption. However, what concerns me most at present is this Zero. Who is he?" She inquired as she reached out and caressed his face. "What do you know of this person?"
"Zero was my younger brother," Schneizel told her.
"Brother?" Sthenno inquired. "So then are you his champion?"
Schneizel thought fast, Champion? She must mean the Geass Lelouch put on me. "I was, but thanks to you I am no longer." He smiled. "I was not his champion by choice."
"As his brother why would you not willingly be his champion?" Sthenno was clearly intrigued.
"He betrayed and killed our father, and then stole our father's power for himself." Schneizel was casual in his demeanor. "My brother became a tyrant and a murderer and the world has suffered for it."
"Oh, how tragic." She smiled. "Then you must want revenge against this brother of yours, this Zero?"
"Very much so," Schneizel pasted an innocent expression on his face, "I was once a prince. Prince Schneizel vi Britannia, and I wish to reclaim the kingdom that is rightfully mine. I am the eldest surviving son and this Zero has put his sibling, my crippled youngest half-sister, who is just barely a woman, in my place to mock our father and our Empire."
"Has he?" Sthenno's demeanor became cold. "This Zero would dare to put a weakling cripple child in place of a Prince such as you."
“Unfortunately,” Schneizel smirked.
“Then I think you may be able to serve my purposes Prince Schneizel and I in turn can help you,” Sthenno eyed him cautiously. “If you pledge your undying loyalty to me on your honor as a Prince of this Britannia of yours, then I will grant you the power to take back your kingdom.”
“I will be eternally grateful,” Schneizel bowed.
“In exchange for this power I shall grant you, I expect you to free my people from their icy tomb within a fortnight.” Sthenno gave him an evil grin and held out her hand, “Do we have an accord?”
Schneizel realized that her offer was final and that she would probably Geass him and release her companions even if he refused. He knelt before her and gently took her hand in his own. Schneizel kissed her hand, “We have a deal milady.”
“Very good,” Sthenno blushed at his gesture. She bent down and lifted his head gently as she kissed him on the lips.
A flood of imagery ran through Schneizel’s head; Sthenno as a young girl being given Geass from an old man; her power to enslave gaining her the stature of a champion of her God; wars fought in his name; her attainment of a full Geass power with sigils forming in both her eyes; her slaying of an Egyptian immortal and the transfer of her immortality, her Code, into Sthenno's body; the last image was of the final Geass-War which shook the very foundations of the Earth and caused the antediluvian civilizations of the world to sink into oblivion in the flood that ensued, sealing with it the ancient secrets of the gods.
Schneizel knelt before her; stunned at what his mind had seen and its implications, but one question burned in his skull. “I was under the impression that a person lost his power of sorcery when he gained immortality, is this not so?”
Sthenno chortled and addressed him as a teacher to a student, “A champion becomes a sorcerer over time, and may achieve immortality in one of two ways. He may either acquire it from an immortal or he may obtain transcendence through the oracle of life. If he is given it or takes it from an immortal then he will retain his power of sorcery provided that immortal is not the one who made him his champion in the first place; only a fool would kill the one that made them, though a master may sacrifice his immortality and force it upon one he has made to end the power of his wicked pupil. I took my immortality from a god known as Bast, but the one who made me was Kronos.”
Sthenno motioned for Schneizel to rise before her, “You now have the power of a champion my Prince.”
Schneizel could feel a sensation of power coursing through his body, its epicenter focused just behind his right eye. “So this is the power of Geass.”
Sthenno leaned up to his ear and whispered, “Let us go now my Prince, and convince your people to follow you in the name of your goddess, in the name of Sthenno.”

“Kannon,” Schneizel’s voice emanated from the back of the bridge as he and his female companion entered the command deck.
“Oh, Chancellor, I hadn’t realized you’d returned,” Kannon said a bit perplexed by the attire (and gender) of Schneizel’s escort.
“Please Kannon, address me as Prince Schneizel,” He smiled.
Kannon was befuddled, “But Chancel…I mean Prince Schneizel, Emperor Lelouch abolished the royal system-“
Sthenno raised an eyebrow at the mention of Lelouch but said nothing.
“And I am here to rebuild it,” Schneizel said in his calm manner. He called out to the bridge crew, “Everyone, may I have your attention.”
The bridge crew turned to face Schneizel.
“Very good,” he said as the sigil of Geass appeared in his right eye. “I Prince Schneizel vi Britannia command you to serve me with undying loyalty.”
The bridge crew stood up, a faint orange glow was just barely visible behind their eyes, as they declared in unison, “Yes my Lord!”
“Well now that the formalities are out of the way we can begin,” Schneizel told a horrified Kannon. Schneizel laughed, “Don’t worry Kannon this is the beginning of a truly new era, besides I would never use this power on you my loyal friend.”
Sthenno looked over the bridge of the Thor as she waltzed in with an air of invulnerability, “This is a primitive vessel, but it will do.”
“And whom is this?” Kannon inquired with a narrow eyed look.
Schneizel turned and gently took Sthenno by the hand. She regarded him with a curious smile as he introduced her, “Kannon, this radiant creature is the goddess Sthenno. It is too she that I owe our second chance to reclaim the empire and it is she whom we owe our allegiance too for this grand opportunity.”
Sthenno snickered, “I assume by the jealous look on your face that you must be Prince Schneizel’s man-servant.” Sthenno clasped Schneizel’s hand tightly, “I imagine that you serve your lord well, but I’m afraid there are certain functions that you are no longer required for; functions that only a woman is capable of providing.”
Kannon scowled, “I will perform whatever duties Prince Schneizel requires of me.”
“As you have for years Kannon,” Schneizel said. “And as I expect you will throughout this great endeavor to restore the glory of Britannia.”
“What about the Black Knights?” Kannon asked the question as if it should be obvious that Schneizel’s plan would require more than just a Geass wielding goddess.
“Ah yes, my brother’s Order of vagabonds,” Schneizel turned to one of the bridge crew. “Order Captain Kouzuki’s team to return at once,” The Prince smiled. “And when they come in range of our weapons, destroy them.”

“Are you ready Akira?” Valletta asked as she prepared her Gloucester.
“Yes Mrs. Nu, I’m ready.” Nobunaga radioed her.
“Good!” Valletta said as the wheels of her KnightMare folded down. Her machine tore up the gravel of the academy proving grounds as she maneuvered it towards the Vincent Ward on the other side of the field.
The other members of the Japan Jaguars sat in the bleachers which were built high above the field, on the sidelines which were protected by a luminous blaze shield all along the rim of the proving grounds.
Valletta unsheathed the MVS of her Gloucester as she charged Akira’s Vincent Ward. “You need to learn to take the initiative!” she said as her KnightMare swung its Maser sword at the left leg of the Vincent.
“I prefer to let my opponent make the first move,” Akira said as his machine pivoted on its right heel while simultaneously unsheathing its MVS.
The Gloucester’s Maser sword just barely missed the leg of the Vincent Ward as Nobunaga’s machine swung down towards the right shoulder of Valletta’s mecha from behind.
“Go Mrs. Nu!” Mika cheered from the stands.
“Get her Akira!” Lena yelled.
The Maser Sword of Akira’s mecha was stopped by Valletta’s own MVS.
The swords of both machines crossed several times before the two combatants separated again; driving across the field at high speed via their wheeled drives.
Akira’s Vincent flew into the air with the momentum of its driving speed and lunged at Valletta’s Gloucester with a cutting blow.
“You’re trying too hard Akira,” She scolded him over the radio as her machine swerved in towards him; the blade of her Maser sword came up towards the left arm joint of the Vincent.
“If you say so ma’am,” Akira countered with the hip mounted Slash-Harken of his machine; deflecting Valletta’s attack.
"Oh man that was close," Gregor said to Lena.
Lena reassured Gregor, "Don't worry, Akira just needs to get a feel of his opponent before he can whip em."
"No way Lena," Mira taunted her. "Mrs. Nu is a war veteran and an expert KnightMare Devicer, your boy is going down!"
“Not bad,” Valletta said as her KnightMare swung around and lashed out with a stun-tonfa from its left arm. The weapon connected with the right arm of the Vincent.
"Oh NO!" Lena blurt out.
Mira laughed, "You see, there's no way he can win."
"Damn!" Akira cursed as the electrical jolt shot through his KnightMare frame.
"You need to think two steps ahead of your opponent if you want to win," Valletta told him as she twisted her Gloucester around and sliced the right arm of the Vincent Ward off completely.
Akira tried to counter her move with a pair of Slash-Harkens but Valletta used her MVS to cut through both of them.
"Wow, Mrs. Nu is really good," Gregor said with a blank look.
Lena shoved him, "Whose side are you on?"
"Your moves are too predictable Nobunaga," Her Gloucester thrust forward with its MVS.
Akira's Vincent Ward spun to one side as he instinctively moved the Maser Sword of his mecha and slashed at her machine's left arm; severing the mechanical limb.
Valletta was surprised, "Impressive." She said as her KnightMare parried his second blow with its MVS.
"Thank you sensei, you'll find I'm full of surprises," Akira retorted as he drove his machine backwards at full speed.
"What the heck is Akira doing?" Gregor asked perplexed by his friend's move.
"Looks like he's running away," Mika chuckled.
"No, he's luring her in." Lena said.
Akira maneuvered his machine in a zigzag pattern along the field with Valletta in hot pursuit.
"I take back what I said," Valletta told him as she followed after him. "Running away isn't very impressive Mr. Nobunaga."
"I agree," He said as he reversed the direction of his Vincent Ward and stuck the tip of its MVS into the ground like a pole-vault stick; spinning his KnightMare to the side and behind Valletta's mecha.
Before she could react Akira's Vincent Ward cut off her Gloucester's last remaining arm.
"Yah Akira!" Lena yelled. "He beat her!"
"I can't believe it," Mika said in amazement.
Akira pointed his Maser Sword at Valletta's Gloucester, "I win Mrs. Nu, there's no way your machine can fight..."
The Slash-Harkens of the Gloucester launched out at the Vincent Ward, "The fight isn't over until your enemy is defeated completely Akira!" The first Slash-Harken tore through the arm of the Vincent Ward, cutting it off, while the second one smashed through the sensor head of the mecha.
"Surrender!" Valletta said over the radio.
Akira was shocked by how quickly his victory had vanished, “I concede.” He said as his Vincent Ward dropped to its knees.
“No Way!” Lena whined.
“Oh Yah!” Mika raised her arms up in the air. “She really kicked his…”
“What the heck is going on here?” A male voice startled Mika as he inquired from behind the Japan Jaguars at the top of the bleachers.
“Hi Mr. Nu,” Gregor greeted Ougi as he walked down towards them.
“Where’s Valletta?” He asked in a befuddled tone as he stopped and looked around at the KnightMare team.
The Jaguars pointed out to the Gloucester that stood triumphantly over the badly damaged Vincent Ward.
“I see,” Ougi sighed. He walked down past the Jaguars to the gate that accessed the proving grounds and strut out onto the field towards the Gloucester at a quick pace.
Valletta opened the cockpit hatch of her KnightMare as Ougi approached her machine, “Hi hun,” She said with a meek smile. “How’s your morning been?”
“Not as exciting as yours I see,” He said with a smirk. “Is this some kind of last minute training before you guys leave for Australia?”
Valletta knew Ougi didn’t approve of her being the Ashford Academy KnightMare instructor because it brought out her Britannian training and conditioning and Ougi disliked that side of her personality. “Uh…heh, it’s something like that.” She stammered.
“Well, just try not to put your students in the hospital before the competition,” He joked. “The Chief Executive Officer of TBC, Mrs. Milley Ashford, is here and would like to personally interview the Jaguar’s coach in a one-on-one exclusive before the Jaguars leave today. I told her I’d come get you, but if you’re busy with your team I’ll tell her to wait…”
“No, no...Not if Milley came to see us off.” Valletta blushed. “I’ll get right over there.”
Ougi laughed, “I hate to be the one to tell you honey, but you’re sweating profusely,” He knew how conscious Valletta was of her appearance in public, her sense of royal décor had not ended with her leaving the ranks of the Royal Britannian military. “Should I tell Mrs. Ashford that you’ll be a while?”
“Twenty minutes tops,” Valletta said as she climbed down from the KnightMare and yelled to the Jaguars. “Mika, you and the others help Akira get out of his KnightMare and then clean up this mess before we have to pack up and leave today. I’ve got to go!”
Mika looked at her teammates, “Clean this up before we leave? How the heck are we supposed to that? Those KnightMares are both wrecks. Can’t we just leave them here until we get back?”
“Come on Mika let’s go get the wrecker and the crane.” Gregor said as he dragged her off towards the hangar.
Valletta Nu came up to Ougi and kissed him on the lips, “Thanks for understanding about all this Ougi,” She said before kissing him again “It means a lot to me that you’re not mad about me going off to Australia for the week and leaving you with the kids. You really are the best Ougi. I Love you.” She told him before she sprinted off towards the KnightMare hangar and the showers.

“Attention Black Knight units,” the female flight control officer of the Thor spoke over Kallen’s radio. “Prince Schneizel has ordered your teams to return to the ship at once."
"Prince Schneizel?" Anya remarked over the radio in a befuddled tone.
"That's not the kind of déjà vu I need Captain," Tamaki added.
"No kidding," Gino guffawed, "What do you think it means Kallen?" Gino asked her with an edge of concern creeping into his voice.
"She probably just misspoke," Kallen tried to calm the rising feeling of dread that welled up from her gut. She flipped her radio over to the general Black Knight frequency and contacted the team leader of the other four members of the Yamato no Orochi, "Shoji listen up. We're going to fly in together in a line formation, flanking the Thor from each side of her. My team port and your team Starboard that way if anything's amiss we can minimize any damage that might ensue."
"Uh...Okay Captain, but is there something wrong?" Shoji asked confused.
Kallen didn't want to alarm her teammates, nor did she want to alert the Thor if something really was wrong, "It's probably nothing...just fly in parallel to us on the starboard side and keep your wits about you."
"Yes ma'am," He replied.

The two flights of Type-21 KnightMares flew towards the Thor in a low steady path along the tops of the Antarctic sierras.
"Prince Schneizel, the Black Knights are in range of our port and Starboard Hadron Cannons." A young male officer said from his tactical station on the bridge of the ship. "I have a solid lock on the Starboard flight and will have the port flight locked on at any moment."
"Very good ensign," Schneizel smiled. "You may fire at will."

The starboard and port side clamshell-type enclosures which housed the Hadron-Cannons opened up and unleashed their deadly streams of energy.
"What the hell!" Gino blurt out as he instinctively veered his fighter away from the attack.
"SHIELDS!!" Kallen yelled over the radio as she transformed her Type-21 Shogun and used its Hadron-shields to try and protect her teammates from the deadly beam.
The streams of destruction cut through the unsuspecting starboard flight of Type-21s, reducing them to molten balls of slag that fell down in between the mountains below them.
Kallen's KnightMare shook violently under the barrage of the Hadron beam. The searing heat of the ray emanated through the superstructure of her mecha into her cockpit and smothered her until she started blacking out.
Her Type-21 fell to the rocky crags below; smoking as it did so.

"Direct hit my lord," the young tactical officer reported.
"Excellent work ensign," Schneizel commended the man.
"Do you think they were totally destroyed?" Kannon asked.
"In all likelihood they were," Schneizel said as he sat down in his command chair. "However, they are equipped with an enhanced Absolute Protection Energy Shield, some of them may have gotten lucky so we should send out a recovery team to be sure all of them were neutralized."
"Yes, my lord," Kannon said with a short bow.
"Oh, and Kannon, be sure to put dispatch a report to the UFN," Schneizel smiled. "Tell them we were attacked by mercenary forces that we believe to be connected with Cornelia's troupe of Brazilian terrorists, and that these terrorists unfortunately managed to destroy our Black Knight escort. However, we are currently safe."
"As you wish Prince Schneizel," Kannon nodded.

"It's been too long Nunnally," Kaguya said with a smile as she kissed Nunnally on each cheek.
"Indeed," Jiang Reika hugged Nunnally as she sat in her float-chair.
"Yes it has been," Nunnally responded with a warm smile at her friends as she greeted them on the landing pad of the Britannian surface warship Emerald Queen.
Suzaku looked on silently; playing his part as Zero while he stood behind Nunnally's chair.
Kaguya regarded him with icy glare, "I see you've brought along your bodyguard." Sumeragi said to Nunnally.
Nunnally tried to be diplomatic, "Yes, Zero is my trusted aid and protector. I thought it prudent to bring him along on this voyage."
"Oh, I see," Kaguya eyed Zero. "So tell me Zero, now that there is perpetual peace in the world, what need do we have of you outside of being a mere bodyguard?"
"Kaguya!" Reika scolded her. "That was rude."
Sumeragi's stare didn't waver.
Suzaku knew she was trying to get him to speak out loud to her, even with the helmet's voice modulation unit, Kaguya Sumeragi, his cousin, might recognize him; he stood maintaining his silence.
"Well?" Sumeragi pressed him. "What happened to the knight of justice? The man who changed the world will tongue and deed must have something to say in his defense."
She's trying to push me into revealing who I am to her with my voice! Suzaku thought as Sumeragi put her hands on her hips and stared at him. Maybe she won't be able to tell. Maybe the voice scrambler will fool her; then again maybe not.
Nunnally was too shocked to speak; she hadn't thought that Kaguya would be so bold.
I have no choice, if I say nothing she'll suspect I'm hiding something which relates to her and me personally. This woman had known the real Zero; she would not be fooled by Suzaku's attempt to imitate Lelouch, so there was no use in trying to do so; Suzaku spoke using his own brand of verbal tact; which was to say as little as possible with the most verbiage he could muster. "I am the Knight of Justice, the one person the world looks to for salvation, and I, Zero, am the symbol of the peace the world now enjoys." His words were like a metal coin on his tongue; course, dry, and metallic.
"Is that so," Kaguya tittered viscously. "The world is fortunate that it does not know you the way I do."
"Lady Kaguya that is quite enough," Nunnally told her with a frown. "Zero is not a criminal and I cannot tolerate you attacking him like he is one."
"I'm sorry Empress Nunnally," Sumeragi gave her a sad smile. "It's just that I once loved Zero...the real one...your brother. And I don't know for certain whom this imposter is, but I hate to think of who he may be."
Nunnally's heart sank. She wanted to cry for the loss of her friend and for her own loss, but she had to be strong for Suzaku's sake. "I...I'm sorry for you Lady Kaguya, but please do not blame this Zero for what happened. My brother was responsible for his own actions, no one else."
Kaguya took hold of Nunnally's hand, "Thank you my friend." She put on a grin as she changed the subject abruptly, "May I ask if it would be possible for us to get anything to eat on this ship, the flight was long and we've yet to have supper."
Nunnally laughed, grateful for the shift in Sumeragi's mood. "Yes Lady Kaguya, there's plenty of food to eat in the ship's galley. We can go there immediately if you'd like."
"How about you Reika, are you hungry?" Nunnally asked the girl who had been silent for much of Kaguya's verbal flaying of Suzaku.
Jiang nodded, "Umm-hmmm, I'm starving." She giggled.
"Good," Nunnally chortled. "Let's go."
"Okay," Jiang said as she took hold of Nunnally's float-chair and pushed her along towards the elevator at the far end of the landing pad.
Kaguya turned to Zero, "I've wondered about you for many years Zero. Who you are now and why you did what you did. I think I've figured it out, so when you see my cousin, tell him that I'll never forgive him for being a traitor to his people, to his family, and to a man who must have been like a brother to him." She turned on her heel without saying another word and sprinted ahead of Zero to join with her two friends.
Suzaku was frozen in place. Her words had cut deep into him. It was true what she had said; he had murdered his father, killed his own people in the service of Britannia, and slew his best friend, and for what? What had he done that changed the world for the better? It was Lelouch that had made the sacrifice, not him. How had anything that he did save anyone he loved?
Back during the Rebellion he had looked at the world through the eyes of a teenager, rash and impulsive, an idealist; now he had the wisdom of six years of experience in living a lie that tore at his sanity and his soul. He wondered how much more of this shame he could stand before he lost what was left of who he was and fell into total despair and perhaps even madness.
Suzaku looked up at the clear blue sky above him and spoke softly to himself, "Lelouch, if you can hear me, please, lift this curse from me and release me. I can bear it no longer."
The sky responded with cold hard silence.
Zero walked towards the elevators that led to the galley below.

Next Chapter;

TURN Three: Mettle

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Old 2009-09-22, 00:04   Link #5
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Turn Three: Mettle

"The Type-21 series was truly one of my proudest achievements. To have it selected over that awful Lancelot of the Lake design put forth by the Earl of Pudding during the 2020 X-Frame competition for the Black Knight's new KnightMare was simply wonderful. I mean the look on Lloyd's face when our team won the contract was something I shall cherish for the rest of my life."-Excerpt from an Interview with Chief-Frame designer Rakshata Chawla in Jayne's Mecha-Monthly dated July 3rd 2022 a.t.b.

"Is she alive?" Gino asked Anya.
"Yes, I've linked with her Type-21's internal cockpit Devicer monitor and it shows her life signs are stable." The girl said as her Type-21 flew dangerously low over the vast expanse of the Antarctic plains of Ice. Her "Samurai" carried Kallen's "Shogun" in its arms as its graviton impeller compensated for the weight of a second KnightMare Frame.
"Good," He said. "How about you Tamaki, how's your KnightMare?"
"It's singed, but it is still fling." Tamaki remarked. "I'm not sure Kallen would want us running away like this, maybe we should have stood our ground and fought Schneizel."
"No way," Gino protested. "Two-hundred fifth generation KnightMares against three 10th Generation is still a slaughter; we'd run out of energy before we'd cut through a quarter of them."
"You're probably right," Tamaki grumbled.
"We should be approaching the coastline any time now," Anya said. "Do you think that Prince Schneizel's forces will pursue us this far?"
"As soon as he realizes we survived he will." Gino answered her.
"Let's hope that's not before we make it to South America," Anya added.
"Why the heck are we going to South America anyway?" Tamaki asked. "Do you guys actually think Cornelia will just let us fly in there and say; 'Hi, can we get a recharge for our KnightMares?'; there's no way Generalissimo Ceasaro will let us go if she captures us. I say this is a bad idea."
"Bad idea or not, we have no other choice Tamaki," Gino told him. "We only have enough power to make it to the tip of South America, and Anya's 'Samurai' won't make it unless Kallen wakes up soon and flies her machine under its own power."
"So you're saying we're screwed," Tamaki moaned.
"What a way to lift all our spirits, can't you do anything accept complain?" Kallen said over the radio.
"Hey! Captain you're awake!" Tamaki was elated.
"You okay Kallen?" Gino asked her.
"I've got a splitting head-ache, and my 'Shogun' is a little worse for wear, but I'm okay otherwise." She sounded irritated. "What the heck happened?"
"Schneizel is a traitor," Anya said in her methodical monotone. "He destroyed the other four members of our team and attempted to incinerate us as well."
"I see," Kallen said softly. "You can let go of me now Anya, I can fly this thing on my own."
Lt. Alstreim's KnightMare released the Type-21S.
Kallen's machine flew under its own power up to the front of the group. "We should transform and go to supersonic flight," She suggested.
"No," Gino contradicted her. "If we fly above 50 feet from the surface then the Thor's electromagnetic sensors will detect the Sakuradite signatures of our machines. We're moving fast enough right now that their overhead satellite video will be hard pressed to find us; especially since the sun is going down. We should be able to hide within the glare of the sunset off of the ice below us long enough to get out to the ocean."
"Good idea Gino," Kallen remarked. "But where to from there?"
The apprehension in his voice was clear, "South America."
"So we're going to throw ourselves on Cornelia's mercy?" Kallen mused.
"I don't think we have any other choice." Gino said.
"You mean because our energy fillers will run out before we make it any farther than that don't you Gino?" Captain Kouzuki lamented.
"Yah, Australia is too far, as is Africa, South America is our only hope." He told her as the coastline of the sea came into view. The waves were a radiant gold as the ice below them burned a brilliant red-orange in the light of the setting sun.
The group of Type-21s flew towards the sea as fast as their graviton-impellers would take them.

"We've just received word from the recovery unit," Kannon informed his Prince. "There are four units missing."
"Captain Kouzuki's unit I suppose," Schneizel said with a bored look as he wrested his head on his arm.
"Shall I send out a search team to try and track them down?" Kannon inquired.
"There's no need Kannon," Schneizel smiled. "The only place they could be headed is South America." Schneizel said, but his eyes were distant as a plan he was formulating came to fruition. "Kannon, would you be so kind as to open a channel to General Tohdoh?"
"Oh course Prince Schneizel," Kannon said before giving the order to contact the UFN Commander-in-Chief.
Within minutes the visage of General Tohdoh appeared on main viewscreen of the Thor.
"What is it Schneizel?" Tohdoh was apparently not happy at being bothered by him in the early morning hours of Japan.
Schneizel stood up, "Please forgive this intrusion General but I have pressing news."
"Continue," Tohdoh nodded slightly giving his approval.
Schneizel put on a sad expression, "It would appear my dear sister Cornelia has finally begun to make her move. We have confirmed that it was indeed her forces which attacked us earlier today and even now she may be planning her next attempt to take control of the massive Sakuradite deposit we have found here in Antarctica." The Prince lifted his chin slightly, "If we don't do something quickly, we may find ourselves at a disadvantage against her should she obtain the Sakuradite deposits here and thus be able to construct a massive army of new KnightMares and Aerial-warships. Britannia could handle this on its own but in the interest of international cooperation I thought it best to contact the UFN C-in-C and request his permission."
Tohdoh had a stone expression, "I can't give you that authority at this moment. However, I can call an emergency meeting of the UFN general assembly via satellite link and call for a vote on military action. It may take a few days for them to iron out their concerns over this, but I can assure you they would act faster if you give me some proof of what you claim."
"I will have all of the available data compiled and transmitted to you as soon as possible General." Schneizel smiled. "I do hope the UFN acts quickly. If we can stop Cornelia before she can rout us from our position here, then we may avert unnecessary conflict."
"I'll contact you as soon as I've gotten word from the general assembly, Tohdoh out." The General's face vanished from the screen.
"How are we going to provide him with that kind of data?" Kannon asked.
"I doubt we'll have too," Schneizel snickered. "Tohdoh is cautious, a man driven to a certain extent by a sense of honor and duty that is only rivaled by his personal ambition. He'll tell the UFN general assembly everything I told him, even without concrete proof, and when he does the avarice of the representatives of the various member countries of the UFN will be enflamed at the mere thought of Cornelia taking control of a massive Sakuradite deposit. They'll most likely debate for no more than a few hours before they reach a decision to secure this site."
"But won't they send the Black Knights?" Kannon didn't follow Schneizel's thinking.
"Yes they will." The Prince smirked as he brought up a digital representation of the lower hemisphere of the Earth. Schneizel highlighted cities on the South African and Australian continents. "However, it will take them no less than four days to gather enough of their forces together from the closest Black Knight bases; the Australian base at Sidney, and the base at Cape Town, South Africa."
"And by that time my people we be ready," Sthenno said as she walked onto the bridge with a man dressed in the same style of clothing she wore.
"A companion of yours milady?" Schneizel asked as he bowed.
"This immortal god's name is Hephaestus," Sthenno said with a haughty look. "He is what I believe you would call a scientist or engineer. I have given him your language through the use of Tongues and thus he can understand and speak with you."
"Now there are two of them," Kannon whispered to Schneizel.
"Far more than that boy," Hephaestus said to him as he hobbled onto the bridge. "I have managed to revive Euryale, Heracles, Jason and a legion of Spartans as well as their Automatos as per Sthenno's request."
"Automatos?" Schneizel inquired with a befuddled look.
"You call them KnightMares," Sthenno tittered. "Ours are no less terrifying or any less powerful."
"But they do consume a great deal of the Golden Apple," Hephaestus told them.
"Golden Apple?" Kannon asked.
"Sakuradite," Sthenno laughed. "Your people apparently cut this precious stone into cubes whereas we have a more efficient process by which we cut the refined and purified element into a roughly apple-like shape. It provides our Automatos with more unique abilities and a higher performance output then your comparatively simplistic KnightMare machines, but more of the element is needed to make a totally virgin Golden Apple."
“Your Frames sound impressive,” Schneizel smiled. “However, we shall need to capture the airship Bangkok before she leaves Sidney if we are to have transport for your…Automatos.”
“That will not be necessary,” Hephaestus told him. “Your people have almost completely thawed out the Argo and her crew. The Argo is a far more capable vessel than any of your aerial warships.”
“Even so, we’ll still need at least another airship to launch our three-pronged assault.” Kannon interjected.
Sthenno studied the map on the overhead viewscreen, “The Prince’s man-servant is correct.” She turned to her fellow god, “Hephaestus, I want you to awaken Medusa and Scylla, and prepare the Gorgon, Charybdis, and the underwater warship Kraken for battle.”
“What?” Hephaestus blurt out. “I’ve already begun unearthing two of the Colossi-class Automatos; the Helios and the Talos; what need do you have for two Titan-class Automatos and the mightiest submersible we have?”
“We need them to crush this United Federation of Nations and secure the deposits of the Golden…” Sthenno put on a crooked smile as she changed her thought mid-sentence, “…the Sakuradite that are within the lower hemisphere of Terra.”
“But if Athena knew you were using them without her…” Hephaestus started to say.
“She won’t,” Sthenno snapped at him. “Not until after we’ve conquered the lower regions of the world and she is then awakened from her long sleep.”
Hephaestus asked her with a stern look, “Are you therefore taking full responsibility for these actions Sthenno?”
“I am” She replied with venom.

The KnightMare Lancelot flew over the top of the Emerald Queen in the light of the setting sun. Suzaku piloted his machine towards the stern of the ship where the helipad jutted from the craft toward the rear.
“Who’s that?” He said out loud to himself as he caught a glimpse of a pink-haired female figure in a flowing white dress standing at the edge of the landing platform.
He radioed the bridge of the ship, “Emerald Queen control we have an unidentified person on the flight-deck, over.”
There was only static in reply.
“Control, come in.” Suzaku said over the channel as he flew the Lancelot down towards the figure on the landing pad. Her silhouette disturbed him.
Suzaku had a feeling of dread as he landed his KnightMare onto the deck. He opened his hatch and slid down the rope-ladder of his machine. The last embers of the light of the sunset bathed his white Devicer suit in a blood-red hue as he ran towards the figure with an urgency that bothered him.
“Who are you?” He asked as he came before the person who stood at the edge of the ship.
The twilight’s rays were now behind her, exposing the bloodstains that drenched her dress and the machinegun that she held in her hand. Her long flowing pink hair waved slightly in the ocean breeze.
Suzaku stood staring in shock and awe at the angelic face of a woman he loved; a woman he thought was dead.
“Oh, its you,” She said as she smiled at him.
He wanted to speak but his throat betrayed him and while his mouth opened no sound escaped. Suddenly his left arm rose up of its own accord, clothed in the garments of Zero with pistol in hand, and fired at her; the bullet penetrated through her heart.
“Suzaku, why?” She said as she fell backwards off of the edge of the warship.
“EUPHIE!!!” Suzaku screamed as he sat up straight in the sweat drenched sheets of his bed.
The door to his room closed.
"Who's there?" Suzaku demanded as he bolted out of bed and rushed to grab the mask of Zero. He donned the helmet as quickly as he could manage as he threw his cape over his naked body and rushed out of the room.
Suzaku saw a shadow turn a corner down the darkened hall of the corridor.
He gave chase; his cape flowing behind him as he absentmindedly streaked through the halls of the ship after the unknown spy who had been inside the threshold of his room.
They saw me and heard my voice, but how could they have gotten access to my room? It was locked. Was it Nunnally?" He rounded the corner and saw the silhouette walk into one of the guest room suites.
It's Kaguya, it has to be. He thought with anger as he bolted into the room and flipped on the light; the automatic door closed swiftly behind him and caught hold of the hem of this cloak, ripping it from his body.
Lying in bed, Jiang Reika sat up and rubbed her eyes as she turned to see whomever it was that had entered her room. Her lids opened wide with horror upon seeing Zero, naked from his mask downwards, standing in the entrance to her room.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The Tianzi screamed.
Suzaku stumbled as he tripped over his cloak and went face first into the door as he tried to vacate her room as quickly as possible.
Suzaku heard muffled voices and footsteps on the deck above as he frantically got the door open, with his cloak hastily thrown over his shoulder, he bolted out of the suite.
He barely made it to the corner of the hallway when the guards reached Reika who had come to the threshold of her cabin.
"You there STOP!" The lead man called out as Suzaku sprinted for his own room.
He could hear one of the other night watchmen asking Reika what the intruder looked like. "I dunno..." She said barely awake from sleep, "he was just...there...and NAKED!" Suzaku heard her say through tears.
Oh man, I hope she was too asleep to recognize this mask! He thought as he made his way to his stateroom and shut the door; he locked it quickly.
"This way men," Suzaku heard one of the guards say as they rushed down the hall. "He may try to jump overboard." Another said as they passed by his chamber; checking the locks of the doors as they did so.
Suzaku took off the mask of Zero and leaned back against the soothing cold of the metal door behind him and shut his eyes, "Great...just great, what else could go wrong?"

"Attention people of the World!" Milley Ashford yelled in her jovial tone into her headphone mic as she smiled at the lens of the TV camera that the cameraman in front of her held upon his shoulder. "I'm Mrs. Milley Ashford, CEO and special Reporter for the Tokyo Broadcasting Channel's coverage of the 4th annual International KnightMare-Frame Competition, coming to you live from the bridge of the newly re-commissioned aerial battleship Ikaruga high over the Coral Sea, and less than twenty-four hours from the start of the Greatest Competition on Earth."
The camera view paned back showing the whole of the bridge of the aerial warship.
"Standing here with me now is the new commander of the Ikaruga, Captain Nagisa Chiba. So Captain, tell me, is it true that you and General Kyoshiro Tohdoh are in love?"
"Um...pardon me?" Nagisa was stunned as Milley leaned in towards her.
"Oh common, people tell me the two of you have been secretly in love since the end of the war. Is that true?" Milley cooed.
"Same old Milley," Nunnally smiled as she turned the volume of the TV down. The monitor that bore Milley's jubilant image happily interrogating a shocked Nagisa Chiba was at the far end of the VIP lounge where Kaguya Sumeragi, Jiang Reika, and Nunnally vi. Britannia sat at a large oval table in the center of the room; eating breakfast and drinking orange juice.
"Are your eggs and sausage to your liking Reika?" Nunnally asked with concern over her friend's comfort.
"They’re okay," Reika replied as she looked down at the long tube of meat on her plate as if it were some kind of monstrous beast.
Kaguya grinned, "I'd say after last night she's had enough of eggs and sausage to last her a lifetime."
Reika pouted, "Kaguya!"
"Ms. Sumeragi!" Nunnally held back a smile as she tried to scold her friend.
"Speaking of eggs and sausage," Kaguya snickered as Zero entered the room.
Reika eyed him viciously.
Nunnally cleared the giggle that rose up in her throat with a mock cough, "Good morning Zero."
"Good morning Empress Nunnally, Lady Kaguya, Empress Jiang Reika." Suzaku said with a bow.
Sumeragi's face was flushed red as she controlled herself, "Did you hear we had a...disturbance on board last night."
"No, I hadn't heard." He told her the truth; no one had spoken to him of the events from the night before.
Nunnally maintained her composure as a smirk formed on Kaguya's face, "It would seem a man entered Jiang's room just after 1:00 am this morning."
Suzaku started to worry whether Reika had recognized him, "Did they catch this intruder?"
Nunnally tried to glare at Zero to no avail, "Only on the surveillance video."
"We couldn't see his face, but everything else was pretty clear!" Kaguya said through her hands as she tried to hide the smile that crossed her face from ear-to-ear. She closed her eyes as she giggled uncontrollably.
Nunnally lost it and burst out laughing, "Zero what on Earth were you doing?"
Suzaku was too embarrassed to speak.
Sumeragi's eyes were closed as she hid her mouth with her hands and her shoulders shook from laughter, she spoke between spasms of giggling, "I feel so much safer now that I know that the halls of this ship are patrolled by Zero, Exhibitionist for Justice." She snorted involuntarily, "No enemy would dare show his face to us on this voyage for fear of what he might be exposed too." She emphasized the word exposed.
Suzaku felt as small as any person could at that moment. Not only had he been caught streaking through the halls of the Emerald Queen in the wee hours of the morning, but he had accidentally flashed Jiang Reika in the process of trying to catch whomever it was that had entered his room and heard whatever it is he may have said in his sleep. Now was not the time to try and explain himself; he knew that, but he also had to face up to his mistake and apologize to the Tianzi.
He turned to Reika, "Empress Jiang Reika, I have no excuse for my actions. I beg your forgiveness."
The Tianzi threw the sausage from her plate at Zero.
The piece of meat hit the center of his mask where the honey based sauce it had been smothered in caused it to stick to the helmet.
Kaguya threw her head back and laughed hysterically.
“Oh my…” Nunnally said as she put her left hand over the smirk on her face and chuckled involuntarily.
"How do you like having one of those shoved in your face?" Jiang asked him as a grin formed on her mouth. "I don't know exactly what you were doing Zero, but I believe you entered my room by mistake, therefore I forgive you. However, the next time you try to sneak into your lover's room at night, be sure it's their room before you enter and bare all." The Tianzi had made up her mind as to why Zero had burst into her chambers; to her it had been to surprise a secret lover of his; such was the fantasy of a nineteen year old girl who'd led a sheltered childhood away from the world, but it was dream that she hoped would someday be fulfilled by a certain person she loved and admired, a certain man named Li Xingke.
Suzaku plucked the sausage from the front of his mask and placed the piece of meat on the table in front of him as he turned to Nunnally, "Will you need me for anything further milady?"
The tremors of laughter subsided in Nunnally as she composed herself and wiped the tears of mirth from her eyes, "No Zero, I do not require anything of you right now. You’ve already made our morning quite enjoyable and for that I thank you. However, I wish to speak to you in private at your earliest convenience later this afternoon to discuss what it is you were doing last night. The Captain of this vessel deserves an explanation over what he called your new Order of the Bare-Nights,” Kaguya doubled over, holding her stomach from laughing so hard, as Nunnally continued, “which I promised earlier this morning that I'd give him as soon as I learned what had happened from you."
"As you wish milady," Zero bowed and with that Suzaku turned on his heel and left the lounge as fast as his feet would take him.

The afternoon rays of the sun shone through the windows of the executive suite at the top of the UFN Japan Headquarters as General Kyoshiro Tohdoh stood staring down at the people on the streets below while he waited for a communiqué from his counterpart Li Xingke.
He didn’t have to wait long before the beeper on the viewscreen, which nearly covered one whole wall of his office, started beeping.
Tohdoh picked up the remote control of the device from his desk and pressed one of its buttons; Xingke’s image appeared on the screen instantly.
“Greetings General Tohdoh,” Li said with indifference.
Kyoshiro got right down to business, “I called you this morning to discuss the Antarctica situation.”
“I’ve received a briefing on the apparent terrorist activity in that region,” Xingke raised an eyebrow, “but I do not believe Schneizel. He can’t be trusted.”
“I agree,” Tohdoh told him.
“Then why are you pressing ahead with a call for our forces to attack Generalissimo Caesaro and her forces in South America?” Li wasn’t sure what the UFN would gain by helping the Britannian Prince.
Tohdoh’s face was a mask of stoicism as he responded, “Because I also intend on removing Schneizel as soon as the Black Knights have taken control of the Sakuradite deposit on the Antarctic continent.”
“You plan on killing two birds with one political stone eh?” Xingke snickered.
“Precisely,” Tohdoh allowed a grin to cross his lips.
“And what of Nunnally Britannia?” Li inquired.
“I would never think to move against her, of all of her Britannian kin she is by far the most trustworthy I’ve met,” Tohdoh frowned, “Nor would I ever think to betray her, not after what we did to her brother. I owe her that much.”
“But her brother Zero used his power against us,” Xingke suggested. “How do we know that his sister doesn’t also possess this power and has just not yet decided to use it?”
"It is highly unlikely that Nunnally Britannia possesses such a power," Tohdoh stated with a firm look. "It was my understanding from our dealings with Schneizel that the woman C.C. gave his brother the power of Geass. Besides, both Lady Kaguya and your Empress are quite fond of Empress Nunnally. I doubt the Tianzi would be very pleased with you if she knew you had designs against her new found friend."
"Your point is well made Tohdoh," Xingke grumbled. "Very well, I will make arrangements to back up your plans to conquer Cornelia's territory and depose Chancellor Schneizel. When the UFN General Assembly requests my assessment of the situation I will present the case that Cornelia is a threat to the peace of the world."
"Very good," Kyoshiro said. "And when Schneizel fails to provide me with sufficient proof of the so called attack on his forces, the deaths of The Yamato no Orochi will be on his head, and I will move to have him arrested as an international war criminal and executed upon his conviction."
“You seem to have thought this through to conclusion,” Li Xingke stated with a smirk.
“Actually I’ve been formulating a plan to remove Schneizel and take down Cornelia since the Britannians finished building the Thor and Cornelia took control of the South American continent.” Tohdoh gave Li a firm look, “If we don’t stop these two here and now, they may be able to rebuild the Britannian spirit of conquest that Lelouch broke. Their sense of a Divine Right of Rulership has already begun to manifest itself in the lower ranks of their government; many of which are calling for a rebuilding of the Knights of the Round and the Feudal class system.”
"Do you really believe that Cornelia wishes to rebuild the Britannian Empire?" Li Xingke was skeptical about Kyoshiro's assessment of the former Princess.
"I do." He stated flatly. "Cornelia has a superiority complex much in the same way that Schneizel had in the past and I believe still has. It is for this reason that I've lobbied so hard to get the Ikaruga put back into service. We need aerial battleships and...we will need F.L.E.I.J.A."
"What!" Xingke was mortified. "Are you serious Tohdoh? You'd bring back that horrible weapon?"
"I don't need to bring it back." He looked hard at Li. "The following information needs to stay between you and me, understood?"
"Of course General Tohdoh," Xingke was intrigued.
"The original model of Dr. Lloyd Asplundh's Lancelot of the Lake 10th Generation KnightMare Frame is housed in the armistice museum in Kyoto as an example of the last of the Lancelot series. Unknown to nearly everyone who passes by that machine daily the large tubular bazooka's on its back each contain a F.LE.I.J.A weapon. You see, the Lancelot of the Lake was contracted to be an Ballistic Assault KnightMare (BAM) for use by the Black Knights as a deterrent to any other country developing a FLEIJA; namely Cornelia's new South American Principality."
"I'm surprised the Britannians allowed Japan to keep such a weapon." Li was surprised.
"It was Nunnally Britannia that demanded that we keep the KnightMare armed with its FLEIJA weapons due to her complete distain for such weapons. She implored us to disarm and destroy both of the warheads, but the UFN council refused; instead we agreed to allow Zero to keep the key to the Lancelot of the Lake which in theory prevents us from using the machine."
"Zero has it? Isn't that dangerous considering we don't know who this new Zero is?" Xingke disliked imposters and that is precisely how he viewed this new Zero; as a cheap imitation.
Tohdoh smirked, "No, I don't think so. This new Zero is weak and suffers from a guilt complex in my assessment. I highly doubt he'll ever have the courage to use the Lancelot of the Lake."
"You have some idea of who he is?" Li was shocked.
"I have my suspicions of who he is and while I see him as very dangerous, I don't think he'll ever use a FLEIJA weapon again." Tohdoh said.
"Again?" Xingke asked.
Kyoshiro changed the direction of the conversation, "The only problem I see for us is that the key for the KnightMare is no where to be found outside of Zero's person. Our spies and operatives in Britannia have looked for it everywhere. Either Lloyd took it with him to Brazil or Zero has it on his person at all times. However, we may soon be able to use the FLEIJA weapons without the KnightMare Frame. Our scientists here in Kyoto believe they've unraveled Nina Einstein's mathematical formula. We may be able to fabricate a firing mechanism soon should we need one against Cornelia and Schneizel. Then we can remove the warheads from the Lancelot of the Lake and use them in a launcher that does not require that machine to arm and fire them."
Xingke was not finished with the subject of Zero, "I assume that you intend on dealing with Zero at some point."
"Yes." Tohdoh said with a frown. "And once he is swept aside, nothing will stop the Asian Pacific Alliance from becoming a reality."

"Whoa, is that the Guerin Mark II?" Lena asked Akira as the four top pilots of the Japan Jaguars walked along the museum side of the hangar of the Ikaruga.
"Actually that's an Akatsuki rebuilt to look and operate like the original Guerin." Gregor informed her.
"So the armaments are the same?" Mika inquired.
"Yep," Akira told her as they all stared at the red KnightMare.
Mika laughed, "So then there's only one Devicer that could ever pilot it."
"I'd give it a shot," Gregor said.
"And kill yourself in the process," Lena jibbed him.
Normally Mika and Akira would be at each others throats about something after spending a few minutes together, but right now they were in the presence of the KnightMares of the original Black Knights and thus they were too enthralled to think about much else at the moment.
"What about this one? Which one is this?" Lena stood before a large black KnightMare frame flanked on both sides by two Type-3fs.
"That one is the reconstructed Zangetsu...that was General Tohdoh's KnightMare Frame." Gregor looked at it longingly. "It nearly defeated the Britannian KnightMare Lancelot during the last major battle of the Rebellion."
"Yah, but it was Captain Kouzuki in the Guerin Seiten that kicked that Britannian bastard's butt in the end." Mika chuckled.
"The other four were the KnightMares of the Four Holy Swords," Akira said.
"This one looks really interesting," Mika tugged at Akira's sleeve towards the large Black and Yellow machine. She had not been her usual snobbish self since Akira had nearly beaten Valletta the day before; she had become nice all of a sudden; Gregor had told Akira it was probably because Mika was nervous about the competition, but Lena had warned that maybe she was coming on to him.
"I've never seen this one in any of the technical manuals or historical documentation of the KnightMares of the Black Knights." Gregor said perplexed as he walked in front of the large mecha.
"And you won't," A stern voiced woman said from behind them.
"Captain Chiba!" Lena blurt out as the four of them came to attention. "It's a pleasure to meet you ma'am."
"At ease, all of you," Nagisa said with a smile.
"What brings you down here Captain?" Lena inquired.
"Please, call me Nagisa." She laughed. "And it's Milley Ashford that's driven me down here. That woman is relentless...she's like a walking enquirer."
"Yah, I saw some of her interview with you." Lena said. "It was kinda...well...odd."
"Nosey is how I'd put it," Mika said with her nose in the air.
"Captain...I mean Ms. Nagisa, what is with this Black KnightMare Frame? There's no placard in front of it and it's not any kind I've ever seen before." Gregor hoped she's share what she knew of the machine.
"That's a very special KnightMare, for a very special pilot." Chiba had a distant look as her eyes moved over the form of the black KnightMare Frame.
"Was that one of Captain Kouzuki's KnightMares?" Lena inquired.
Nagisa chortled, "No, that KnightMare is a replica of a machine that was destroyed during the last battle of the war. General Tohdoh himself ordered Rakshata Chawla to rebuild a new one to honor the Devicer who piloted it as a way to repay our debt to him by keeping his memory in this simple but anonymous way."
"Who was its pilot" Akira's curiosity was peaked. He'd known the names of nearly every Devicer of the Rebellion and their machines, but he knew nothing of this one.
Chiba regarded the four of them with a warm smile, "My young friends the Devicer of this particular KnightMare had too be both and exceptional pilot and tactician. This machine required more than just the raw talent of a gifted driver or even the experience of a seasoned veteran; it required a talent that few people possess. I doubt you'd believe me if I told you who the Devicer of this machine was."
"Was it you Mrs. Chiba?" Lena asked.
Nagisa laughed, "No, it was not me." She turned and looked up at the head of the mecha. "This KnightMare was Zero's."
The four Jaguars stared at her in awe for a moment.
"This was Zero's machine." Akira looked at the KnightMare with reverence.
"Wow," Lena remarked as she looked up at the large KnightMare.
"What was its name?" Gregor asked, anxious to know the title of the KnightMare piloted by the legendary Zero of the Rebellion against Britannia."
"This KnightMare's name is Shinkirou," Nagisa said with a sad smile.

Next Chapter;

TURN Four: Competition

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Turn Four: Competition

“For as long as man has had civilization there have been contests between warriors. Tests of strength, endurance, and skill in battle for the purpose of proving the immeasurable value of veterans while at the same time sharpening the abilities of the next generation in preparation for the constant specter of war. The International KnightMare Competition was no different. It was a true test of a Devicer’s abilities as a KnightMare pilot, but what made the 4th Annual Competition so special was that it was the Olympiad of its day and the gods of Olympus took notice.”-.”-Excerpt from an interview with Major Rivaltz Ashford of the Order of the Black Knights (Japan division) in the International Political Forecaster Magazine dated November 14th, 2024 a.t.b

The roar of the crowd in the massive Sidney stadium thundered into the depths of the KnightMare hangars below it. Valletta Nu and her team of Japan Jaguars walked towards their designated hangar bay where fifteen Akatsuki model KnightMare Frames (of various types) sat in their respective gantries awaiting their Devicers.
Valletta stopped the troupe in the center of the bay.
“Alright listen up, all of you have made me proud these past three days, but these are the last two days of the competition and the final matches. All Japan is counting on all of you and rooting for you, especially Captain Chiba whose watched your progress with admiration as you beat the Russian Cossacks yesterday in the float racing course, and whipped the German Panzer team in the KnightMare wrestling the day before, and trumped the Australian Outlanders in the underwater match on your first day here; but that was just a warm up for these last two crucial days. Today we begin the combat portion of the competition. This is where fully armed KnightMares go head to head against each other until only one team is left standing. Those of you who will compete today will need to pull together everything all of you have learned from the last three days and use it to beat not one, but every single other team here that you’re going up against. On this final stretch of the competition each team is broken up into four assault groups by their respective coach for a game of capture the flag in four different battlegrounds. Each member of an assault group is able to move onto the next match if his KnightMare survives each course. The object is for each assault group to survive with as many KnightMares as possible to gain the advantage in numbers and thus strength in subsequent matches; in other words if say three of our KnightMares from the first match survive, then we’ll have eight KnightMares in the second match. If any one team losses all of the KnightMares of their assault group in any one match then their whole team is out of the competition, so none of you can afford to fail in this. Are you all ready?”
The Jaguars nodded in unison.
“Good,” Valletta Nu smiled, “then let’s get this show started.”
“Toshiro, Kanada, Yumi, Maya, and Bron; I’m calling your assault group the Edo group.” Valletta eyed the members of her varsity team who excelled in built-up area operations. “You’re going to make up our first line of defense against Britannia’s Templar Knights in the urban combat course match. I want you to use standard Akatsuki types against them, so get into the number 14 through 18 machines and arm them with one autocannon and one MVS each.”
“Yes Ma’am,” They said in unison as the five pilots headed for their machines.
“Ichiro, Yoshiro, Reiji, Matsuda, and Hikaru; you’ll make up the Grenadier assault group.” Valletta Nu said to the five Devicers, “You’re in the long range competition course match where we’re supposed to go up against the French Falchon Team; assuming their first team survives the urban course; if not we’ll be matched to another team. I want the five of you to pilot Akatsuki numbers 1 to 5 and arm them with one grenade launcher, one bazooka launcher, and a pair of eight-shot missile packs each.”
“Yes coach,” the five of them said together as they raced off for their machines.
“Collin, Henry, Yuki, Bella, and Cera; you’ll comprise the Dueler assault group for the close-quarters combat match.” Valletta told them as she seemed to ponder the weapon selection. “Each of you will arm your KnightMares with two MVS and one Lance.”
The five members of the Dueler team nodded and took off towards their machines.
Lena looked around the bay, “Mrs. Nu, there aren’t any other KnightMare frames.”
“Yah, what happened to our machines?” Gregor inquired.
Valletta addressed the five remaining pilots, “You five are the best Devicers on this team so I’ve saved you for the Decisive Battle match tomorrow. That match is between two or more assault groups of flight capable KnightMare Frames launched from aerial warships. The object of the match is for at least one of your KnightMares to board your opponent’s aerial warship and remain on it for sixty seconds without being knocked off. After the time has elapsed your opponent’s airship is considered destroyed and thus their team loses.
Over the last three International Competitions there have only been at most two teams that have survived this match in a tie victory. However, it is possible for three or even four of the twenty assault groups competing in this final contest to win this match together and share a victory. In any event, your main objective should be to take down your opponents’ KnightMare Frames first, then proceed to their ship or ships. Watch out for assault groups which try to gang up on other individual groups just to eliminate them first. The European teams are notorious for this which is how two teams won last year; it was France and Germany who shared the victory by mutually conceding to each other after knocking out all of the other teams. And don't worry about the airships themselves, they won't fire on you; all you have to do to score a victory is land on the ship and remain there for the one full minute without getting knocked off by an enemy KnightMare from one of the other teams, then you can take off for your next target.”
“That seems pretty hard Mrs. Nu,” Mika lamented. “If we loose even a few members of our team we’ll be overwhelmed by the other teams.”
“That’s the idea,” Valletta smirked. “It’s supposed to force you to react both as a group and individually to simulate real aerial combat.”
Gregor smirked, “So that’s why it's so important for the teams in the matches before this one to survive, I take it that their ranks can be added to the last assault group’s for this final match.”
“Yes,” Valletta replied with a serious expression, “But keep in mind that most if not all of the KnightMares which make it through to join you in the last stage will be damaged from today’s contests, we are NOT allowed to repair them for tomorrow’s match except to allow for flight; and since the sensitivity of the ejection units has been raised to the maximum, your ejection system will activate with far less damage than you’d incur in real combat. Thus the KnightMares damaged today will likely be knocked out of tomorrows match very quickly.”
“Is that why the bullets and missiles of our projectile weapons have been reduced in power?” Tetsuo, the fifth member of the assault group, asked; referring to the sensitivity of the KnightMares.
"Precisely," Valletta smirked. "The lethality of the projectile weapons is nil, they won't penetrate the armor of any KnightMare here. However they do contain a signal-warhead which will tell the computer of your KnightMare Frame that its energy has been drained by a certain percentage. The energy filler of your machines are thus technically drained with each hit so avoid getting shot or else you could find yourself out of energy really quick."
"So what KnightMares are we flying Mrs. Nu?" Akira inquired.
Valletta gave him a warm smile, "Captain Chiba has requested that since this is the fourth International Competition to take place and the first Decisive Battle match that the newly re-commissioned Ikaruga is taking part in," She blushed, "which all of you know was once the home of the original Black Knights, Nagisa thought that you five should pilot the Zangetsu and the Type-3f Gekkas of the Four Holy Swords."
Gregor hung his broad shoulders low, "Oh yah, no pressure!"
Mika was stunned, "What?"
Lena jumped, "Yah! We're going to be the new Four Holy Swords!"
"Great Lena," Tetsuo lamented. "Can you imagine the shame we'll suffer if we fail?"
Akira raised his chin, "We won't"

"Anybody see anything on their long range sensors?" Kallen inquired as their KnightMares flew over the southern tip of South America in Fighter-mode at moderate speed to conserve energy. They had flown for a full day and night and stopped for another day and a half in Cape Horn to rest and replenish themselves with fresh water and rations that were stored in the emergency kits of their fighters. Now they were in the air again and headed for the nearest place that could refuel their machines.
"Just fishing boats, and small villages Captain," Tamaki replied with a sigh as they flew over the eastern coastline of Argentina at dangerously low altitude.
"What's our energy filler status look like?" Gino asked.
"We should have about four, maybe five, minutes of power left," Anya stated in her monotone as she kept watch on the output of each of the Type-21s via one of her small monitors in the cockpit.
"The closest major city to us is Buenos Ares; that's about 2200 Kilometers." Kallen told them, "At our current heading and speed we should be able to just barely make it there in about three and a half minutes."
"That's cutting it pretty close Captain," Tamaki grumbled.
"Yah, but we don't have any choice." Gino told him. "If we don't acquire new energy fillers soon, we'll be out of power and stuck in Cornelia's neck of the woods."
"Literally by the looks of the forest areas down there," Kallen said as she visually scanned the treetop canopy below them for any signs of anti-KnightMare weapons.
"Enemy units at four O'clock!" Anya called out over the radio.
"Looks like six Vincent Ward types equipped with flight-packs and autocannon gunpods," Gino read off the data from his attack computer.
"We should try to avoid them if we..." Kallen started to say before a salvo of autocannon fire zipped past her Type-21S. Damn it! We don't have enough power for a confrontation.
"There's only one way we can avoid them Captain!" Gino barked. "We have to go supersonic NOW!"
"But that will drain our energy fillers almost completely and we won't be able to fight." Tamaki whined.
"We won't last long anyway and we might be captured or killed if we stay and fight with our energy so low," Anya explained.
"Alright, go to supersonic speed NOW!" Kallen ordered them as she squeezed her graviton-impeller's super-cruise button on the control stick.
The four Type-21s boosted forward with sonic booms trailing them; the sudden acceleration causing the four Devicers to be pushed back into the seats of their cockpits as the G-forces kicked in.
Their graviton-impellers hummed at full throttle for two minutes then went dead.
"We don't have enough power left to maintain supersonic speed," Anya announced as the four Type-21s started to fall from the sky. "In fact, it would seem we have less than a minute of energy left each."
"Transform into KnightMare mode if you can and glide down towards the trees, and try to avoid coming down to close to that town up ahead." Kallen told them as her 'Shogun' transformed into KnightMare mode.
The other three members of the Yamato no Orochi were able to do likewise and guided their machines down with Kallen's towards a thick mesh of strong trees that jutted out above the forest.
The four Type-21 KnightMares crashed through the thick jungle; smashing branches and tearing through vines as they plummeted to the floor of the woods below. Within a few seconds the four machines came to a crashing halt on the soft earth of the forest.

“Where the heck are we?” Tamaki asked as he joined up with his three companions who had disembarked from their KnightMares.
“About 225 Kilometers from Buenos Ares, near the small city of Azul.” Anya told him nonchalantly.
“How far are we from Azul?” Gino asked the pink-haired girl.
“About 20 Kilometers to the South-west of the city,” She replied looking down at the digital compass on her wrist.
"Which means if we start out now we should reach the city by nightfall," Kallen said as she unpacked the emergency gear from her 'Shogun' KnightMare's left leg compartment. The survival equipment consisted of a small backpack with seven (now five and a half) day supply of food, a survival knife with a fourteen inch blade and blade sharpening sheath, a 1 liter plastic water canteen with purification tablets for four bottles worth, an automatic pistol with two extra magazines, a first aid kit, basic camp gear (all weather matches, eating utensils, a small flashlight, and a two-way short range radio), and an all weather sleeping bag.
"Man it's hot and humid here," Tamaki blurt out as he donned his pack. "It must be like thirty-seven degrees out here."
Gino gave Tamaki a puzzled look, "Thirty-seven degrees? I thought you said it was hot?"
Kallen laughed, "He means Celsius, Gino."
Gino put his hand on the back of his neck in embarrassment, "Oh yah...guess he would you two being from Japan."
Tamaki just shook his head as he passed Gino, "And they say I'm not so smart."
"You aren't," Kallen giggled. "But you've got guts and guts are enough old man."
"OLD MAN!" Tamaki gave her a hurt expression. "After all we've been through."
"Well, you are older than I am," Kallen snickered.
Tamaki defended himself. "By what? Like a couple a years?"
"I think it's more than a couple," Kallen taunted him with a wink.
"We may want to get going," Anya said. "There are bound to be patrols looking for us out here. If we remain here we may be discovered."
"She's right, we should get moving," Gino concurred.
"What about our KnightMares?" Tamaki asked.
"We'll just have to hope no one finds them until we make it back here." Kallen said; she didn't like leaving them anymore than he did, but they had no choice at the moment.
With that, the four Black Knights walked off into the depths of the jungles of Argentina towards the city of Azul and whatever awaited them there.

"Where exactly is the Black Knight task force now General Tohdoh," Li Xingke's image inquired on the laptop computer Kyoshiro had in the back seat of his personal Limousine.
His driver stopped the conveyance at a red-light before Tohdoh replied, "The combined aerial and ocean South African and Australian Black Knight Corps are nearing the Coast of Kerguelen Island in the South Indian Ocean. We plan on using Kerguelen Island as our primary base of operations to ensure that if Schneizel does have anything planned for us, he won't be able to inflict damage to all our forces at once."
"You seem like you're already acting upon the assumption that Schneizel is lying," Xingke was cautious. "What if he's not?"
"Then I'll apologize to him later." Tohdoh's tone was sarcastic.
"How did the UFN council react when you first informed them of this situation," Li raised an eyebrow as he asked.
"With total panic," Kyoshiro replied in disgust.
"None of them even questioned me when I told them that I had sent out the South African and Australian Corps to Kerguelen Island. In fact I was complimented on my quick thinking." Tohdoh's expression was stone cold. "The council has become so inundated with schemers and cutthroats that the very thought of someone else getting the proverbial jump on their personal interests frightens them to death."
"And you think this situation will help clear out the corrupt elements of the UFN?" Xingke inquired.
"If we can maneuver the situation to our advantage, we can split up the UFN government into a Tri-Lateral system of three major regions; The Asian-Pacific Alliance, the Britannian-Atlantic Alliance, and the Euro-African Alliance. In this way we'll have three councils or houses of government instead of just one."
"I see," Li said with a thin smile. "So this new system you're proposing will impose a series of checks and balances within a three-tier government a parliamentary system."
"No...not a parliamentary system, a World Constitutional Republic." Tohdoh told him with conviction in his voice. "If we are to have a world peace that is not this simplistic state of a lack of all resistance to the power of government...if we are to have real peace in which all peoples can coexist without being persecuted by others through government... then we must balance the practice of the redistribution of wealth and resources with a redistribution of power back to the people from government not the other way around. We must craft a system by which all peoples have the right to be masters of their own destinies with inalienable human rights that cannot be stripped from them with the stroke of a political pen or the whim of a single council."
"Who would have thought you'd become an idealist?" Xingke chortled.
"I've lived long enough to have seen Emperors, Prime Ministers, and now the UFN council all speak of freedom and of peace, yet all they've ever wrought is self-aggrandizement of their own power and wealth while our peoples have suffered because of it. It's not idealism that drives me to this conclusion Xingke; it is the experience of a life as a warrior. I now understand what Zero, no Lelouch vi Britannia, tried to teach us. That democracy was only the beginning of a road to peace, not the end. I believe that he meant for us to go beyond this and to strip down and crush Tyranny no matter where it existed or in what form; be it Scientific-Socialism, Corporatism, Fascism, Feudalism, Theocracy, or otherwise. Lelouch understood that states with absolute power become absolutely corrupt."
"I agree," Li told him flatly. "But how do you plan to force such a change?"
A harsh grin crossed Tohdoh's face, "I plan on using the symbol that people look to for hope...the Knight of Justice."
"Zero?" Li was shocked. "Do you expect him to agree to your plan?"
"Not at first." Kyoshiro said. "But if he's the kind of man I think he is, then he'll see that the next war has already begun and the Britannians will soon go back to their old ways. The only real way to secure the peace he chose to defend when he took the life of the real Zero is to push for a diminished power of government and an increase in the power of the people."
"What can I do to assist you in this endeavor General?" Xingke asked.
Tohdoh smiled devilishly, "All you have to do is listen my friend."

"They're almost here," Heracles said over the communicator of his Automatos; the Helios.
The large machine stood atop Cape D'Estaing overlooking Christmas Harbour of Kerguelen Island. Its form was that of a giant bronze-colored battlerobot in a facsimile of Greek armor complete with a Greco-Roman style helm that covered a mirrored silver colored faceplate. Large mechanical angelic wings jutted out from the back of the mecha and flanked each side of the machine. In its left hand it held a massive bronze-colored mechanized club and in the other a round bronze-colored shield.
"I know," Jason replied to him in their native Greek tongue, "I can see them." Jason sat within the cockpit of Talos, the twin Automatos of Helios. The primary difference between the two was in their weapons. Talos did not carry a club nor shield, instead it had an adamantine sword in its right hand and a clawed gauntlet over its left arm.
Both machines stood atop the peak as the snow rained down upon them.
"This doesn't seem right Jason," Heracles said. "We should go out and face them man-to-man in honorable combat, not just sit here and wait for Scylla to devour them with Charybdis and pick up the survivors afterwards."
Jason thought for a moment before answering his friend and comrade, "I know Heracles, but for now we must heed Sthenno's wishes. I know not why she confides in that Prince of hers so heavily, but I do know this, I will not tolerate her insolent disregard for our code of honor for long. Hephaestus told me that once we've conquered the lower regions of the world that he is going to wake Athena and the others."
"Let us hope for our sakes that he does," Heracles lamented. "I doubt we can thrust the three sisters for long. After what happened with Medusa back in Tartarus the other day..."
"You mean when Euryale resurrected her because the fools who thawed her ice-cloak scorched her to death." Jason let out a sarcastic laugh, "As much as I hate Medusa I don't think that a sorceress of her stature deserved to be roasted like a frozen pig."
"What of the poor man who was responsible?" Heracles asked sadly. "What was his name again?"
"I believe it was Professor Cornwallis...or it was before Euryale beheaded him on the spot." Jason replied in disgust.
"You'd think that Euryale would have spared the man considering she is a goddess with the power to resurrect Champions and Sorcerers." Heracles mused.
"I think she killed the man first in one of her emotional outbursts, and then she resurrected Medusa." Jason corrected him.
Heracles tittered, "How many times has she raised her sister from the dead?"
"I have no idea," Jason snickered. "But one thing is for sure, Charon must be getting quite irate by now."
"Indeed!" Heracles chuckled. "You'd think Medusa would learn not to get killed."
"Or Euryale would just leave her dead..." Jason stopped speaking and looked out at the sea. A white flash of brilliant light lit up the horizon.
Heracles' mood became serious, "Looks like it's begun."
"Yes, it has." Jason said as his machine turned to face the legion of Spartan-class Automatos below him. He touched a holographic button on the display panel of his pilot's seat. "Attention men, Scylla has begun her assault on the enemy, prepare your Automatos for flight, and remember we want as many captives as possible once she's finished, so try to disable their machines not destroy them...we move out at once."

The fleet of UFN warships drew close to the coastline of the Isle of Kerguelen.
"Admiral Wagner, we're nearing our destination now. There's still no reply from our outpost base there sir." A young male sailor said as the Australian Black Knight ocean warship rode through the turbulent waters of the South Indian Ocean.
The Admiral looked out towards the increasingly visible edge of the Island coast. "Very well then, inform Air-Marshal Mobatu of the African Aerial-Navy that we shall commence landing operations at once to secure our base here, and that he has permission to launch his Vincent Wards and Gareth KnightMare units to secure the airspace around the Island."
"Aye sir," the young man replied.
Within moments flights of KnightMares began pouring out of the airships above the armada of surface warships.
"Captain, I have a large underwater object that just appeared on my scope," The SONAR officer said frantically.
"What is it?" The Admiral asked.
The man spoke quickly, "Judging by its size and speed I'd say it's some kind of submarine sir."
"Launch depth charges..." The Admiral never finished his sentence.
In an instant the waters below his fleet gave way to a maelstrom of massive proportions which drew down the fleet of Black Knight ships within seconds; causing the ships to collide with one another as they were pulled down.

"Air-Marshal Mobatu," an airman called out in a panic. "Admiral Wagner's fleet has been caught in a huge whirlpool."
The man's aged features wrinkled in a frown, "How? There's no current in this area that can produce that kind of vortex."
"I know sir, but they're gone." The man replied in fear.
"Air-Marshal, our ventral RADAR is detecting a large metallic object at the center of the maelstrom." Another airman blurt out.
"Destroy it! Fire all Hadron cannons at its position at once!" The Air-Marshal ordered.
The massive fleet of aerial ships showered the center of the whirlpool with a rain of Hadron beams from the main cannon of their vessels. The force of the converging beams exploded in a brilliant white light which was sucked into the vortex.
"Did we hit it?" The Air-Marshal inquired.
"Aye sir," the RADAR operator confirmed. "Direct hit to the...wait...there's something coming out of the...."
A large, wide-angle, beam of silvery-white energy spewed up out of the maelstrom at the fleet of air-warships; disintegrating the lot of them in one fell swoop.

"The operation is a success Prince Schneizel," Kannon smiled. "The entire Black Knight armada has been destroyed and Kerguelen Island is ours. Nearly two-hundred KnightMares and their pilots have been captured by Jason and his forces."
Schneizel looked out at the Island ahead of them though the bridge viewports of the Thor. "Very good Kannon, have the prisoners rounded up and brought to our landing zone without their KnightMares. I wish to address them all directly."
“Your plan seems to have started quite well my Prince,” Sthenno said as she waltzed onto the bridge and came over to stand next to where Schneizel sat.
Schneizel stood up and bowed to her, “Thank you milady. Would you care to join me as I start the next phase of this operation?”
Sthenno put her hand over her mouth as she let out a wicked laugh, “I would love to my Prince.”
Schneizel took hold of her hand gently as Kannon looked on with an angry expression. “Prince Schneizel, shouldn’t we focus on the consolidation of our control of this Island first?” Kannon pressed.
Schneizel smiled at him, “That is precisely what I plan on doing Kannon.”
“Through Geass?” The Yeoman inquired.
“If necessary,” Schneizel said.
“It will take some time for Jason and his men to herd the prisoners into the landing zone. Perhaps you should remain on the bridge until then?” Kannon stated with concern.
“Oh?” Sthenno tittered, “Did you hear that my Prince? We have some time before your new servants arrive. Let us retire to your chambers until they do so that I may reward you for your victory here.” Sthenno rubbed her lithe voluptuous form onto Schneizel’s body.
Schneizel blushed, “You are to kind milady. I do not deserve such pleasures.”
“Perhaps not, but you are a handsome Prince whom I find exciting in ways that the men of my people cannot cause to well up within me.” Sthenno cooed.
Kannon burned with inner fury, but kept his jealous hatred of this woman in check, “I’ll inform you when Jason has finished rounding them up.”
Sthenno gave Kannon a victorious look, “See that you do not disturb us before that boy, lest you suffer my wrath.”
Schneizel smiled at her as he took her arm, “Come now my Goddess Sthenno, let us all be friends here and not enemies. Perhaps you could invite Kannon to join us?”
“Another time maybe,” Sthenno stared up into his eyes. “But right now I want you all to myself.”

“Empress Nunnally an aerial shuttle has arrived from Japan which demanded to land on the authority of the UFN.” The Captain of the Emerald Queen said in a flustered tone as he spoke from the threshold of the ship's study to the three women that sat within.
“What do they want Captain McGovern?” Nunnally inquired.
“The three of you,” Zhou Xianglin said as she pushed past Captain McGovern. Zhou wore the traditional dress of a warrior of the Chinese Federation with only one exception, the blue armband of an International Marshal of the UFN rested upon her left arm.
“What is the meaning of this Zhou Xianglin?” Empress Jiang Reika demanded.
“There has been…an incident which requires the immediate attention of all of the UFN council members. The three of you must come with me to the council headquarters in Kyoto Japan immediately. We’ve no time to lose.”
“What is going on here?” Zero asked as he walked into the room.
“A dreadful thing,” Zhou said with a strained expression. “I’m happy to see you Zero. Please get whatever things you feel you need and prepare to depart for Japan. You have been summoned by General Kyoshiro Tohdoh for an audience with him.”
“Why Zero?” Nunnally started to protest.
Xianglin held a stern expression as she answered, “Because we need the Knight of Justice to declare to the people of the world exactly why we need to go to war.”
“WAR?” Kaguya spouted out in disbelief. “With who?”
“It’s Cornelia isn’t it?” Zero asked Zhou.
Xianglin looked down at Nunnally with sadness in her eyes, “I’m sorry for you.”
“I understand,” Nunnally reassured her. “We should depart at once.”
Zhou Xianglin bowed, “Thank you Empress Nunnally vi Britannia.”

“Now we’re on guard detail?” Heracles grumbled as their force of Automatos guarded the group of two-hundred Black Knight Devicers that sat in a large circle on the parade grounds of their former outpost base. “What’s next, cleaning the kitchens?”
“I doubt we’ll be here much longer my friend,” Jason chuckled. “Have patience.”
“Patience?” Heracles boomed. “It’s been nearly two hours since we got this motley lot together down here. They may be the enemy but they’ll freeze to death if we don’t get them inside soon. The heat from our Icarus-wing flight units will only keep them warm for as long as the day lasts, in a short while it will be twilight Jason and even the warmth from our engine exhausts will not shield these people from the frigid temperature.”
“I know Heracles…look if Sthenno and her Prince delay any longer then I’ll take responsibility for these men and have them moved to the…” Jason was distracted by the arrival of an aerial shuttle from the Thor. The small craft landed on a raised platform at the far end of the mass of prisoners. “Looks like they’re here.”
The side door of the small Britannian-built conveyance opened up to allow the egress of Prince Schneizel with Sthenno at his side; both of them gleaming. The Prince walked out onto the podium of the raised platform so that he could look into the eyes of the shivering men and women before him.
“Greetings members of the Black Knights,” He outstretched his left hand towards them in a gesture of sympathy. “I regret the conditions that you have been forced to endure here during your wait for my arrival, but other more strenuous matters required my personal attention.”
“You’re a traitor!” One of the prisoners yelled.
“Oh come now my good man,” Schneizel regarded him with a look of pity. “You yourself saw the FLEIJA mine that destroyed your fleet. That unfortunate act of terrorism was done by the hand of my sister, Cornelia. Had my forces not arrived in time to save all of you; all of you would be dead now.”
“Now I know why Sthenno has taken such a shine to this man,” Heracles joked to Jason over their communications.
Jason snickered, “Be still my friend lest we incur his pleasantries on us.”
“Indeed!” Heracles laughed.
A female prisoner shouted out at Schneizel, “How do we know you’re not lying?”
“My dear I would never lie to my people,” Schneizel said to her as he raised his chin. “I have always been a Prince of Peace, a person whose goal is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of my subjects and to punish only those who would disturb this peace.”
Another of the Black Knights spoke up, “Your people? We will never be your people Schneizel. Zero defeated you and for him we will die here and now before we ever serve the likes of you!”
The crowd cheered the man in defiance of Schneizel.
Schneizel put on a sad face, “How unfortunate for you all that you feel this way. You leave me with no choice.” The Prince called forth the power of Geass into his right eye; the orange sigil formed and in an instant its glow filled the circle of prisoners.
Schneizel outstretched his arms, “I Prince Schneizel vi Britannia hereby command you to be my willing subjects and obey my every order.”
The crowd stood up in unison, the faint orange glow of Geass around the iris of their eyes, as they spoke in one voice. “YES MY LORD!”

“How did our Dueler assault group do?” Akira inquired of Valletta from the open cockpit hatch of the Zangetsu as she walked onto the KnightMare launch deck of the Ikaruga.
“Collin’s whole team made it,” Mrs. Nu smiled. “That means you’ll have sixteen KnightMares under your command out there tomorrow Team-Captain Nobunaga. Think you can handle it?”
“Of course,” he winked at her as he made the last of his pre-flight checks for the Decisive Battle contest that would commence at the crack of dawn the next day.
“Don’t get cocky Akira,” Valletta warned. “It’s a lot tougher out there then you may think even though our team has a greater number of KnightMare pilots than the other two teams which have made it up to this point. You can still loose your advantage very quickly if you don’t keep your head.”
“He knows Mrs. Valletta; he’s just psyched about actually making it to the final match when some of the other teams that lost are already leaving to go home.” Gregor laughed as he started up his Gekka to test its power output.
“Where all pretty excited,” Valletta said with a smirk, “but that’s no excuse to blow it just because you’re giddy.”
“Don’t worry coach, Akira is a natural leader. He’ll do fine.” Lena said.
“He’d better.” Tetsuo snickered as he worked on his Type-3f Gekka, “Or else Mika will kick the crap out of him.”
“Speaking of Mika, where is she?” Valletta asked looking around for the girl. “Why isn’t she getting her KnightMare prepped?”
“Mika said she had to do some last minute software upgrades to our KnightMares for some reason.” Gregor told her with a puzzled look, “Something about them needing to be made legal for the match.”
“That’s odd,” Valletta replied a bit confused. “I thought Captain Chiba’s technicians already did that.”
“I wouldn’t worry about Mika,” Akira said. “She’s nitpicky about everything. I’m sure whatever it is she’s doing it’s no big deal.”
“I hope you’re right Akira,” Valletta sounded disturbed. “Tomorrow’s contest is a big deal, and I would hate for you all to lose because of cheating after you’ve come so far.”
“Mika maybe a pain in the butt sometimes but she’s no cheater Mrs. Nu,” Lena protested. “You know that.”
Valletta smiled, “I know that under normal circumstances she would never do that, and I’m not saying she’d do it now…call it an intuition but I think that under the kind of pressure you are all going through some of you may do things you wouldn’t normally do.”
“Mrs. Nu, there is no way Mika would do something like that,” Gregor was genuinely angry.
“I understand how you all feel,” Valletta tried to relate to them. “But I’m still going to have to ask the deck-chief to do an Operating System check on all of your KnightMares tonight so that everything is within regulations for tomorrow. I’m sorry.”
Gregor started to say something before Akira cut him off, “Thank you Mrs. Nu, I’m confident that you’ll discover that Mika is no cheater and that she did nothing to tarnish our image.”
“I hope your right Akira,” Valletta said with a tired look. “It’s getting late. I need to go and request the OS diagnostic for your machines now. You kids finish up here ASAP and get some sleep; I don’t want my whole team getting wiped out from fatigue.”
“Yes ma’am, we will.” Lena said to Valletta as she left the hangar.

“According to our technicians nearly all 200 of the KnightMares of the Black Knights we recovered here at Kerguelen Island are useable Prince Schneizel and their Devicers have recovered from their mild exposure to the arctic air,” Kannon told him on the bridge of the Thor. "Also, Jason reports that the Argo has not encountered any UFN airships during their six hour flight towards Australia. It appears the Black Knights have not yet taken any action after the loss of their fleet."
“Excellent,” Schneizel smiled. “And have the commanders of our new found allies made their report to the UFN?”
“Yes my lord, as per your orders, Major Dundee spoke to General Tohdoh directly and informed Kyoshiro that a FLEIJA weapon destroyed the Australian and South African armada.” The Yeoman was used to his Prince employing elaborate plans but this one seemed to escape him, “Was it wise to inform them of the destruction of the Black Knight combined fleet?”
“Yes Kannon,” Schneizel laughed. “We need to deflect the attention of the UFN away from us and onto Cornelia as quickly and effectively as we can. It’s common knowledge among the UFN bureaucrats that Nina Einstein is working for Cornelia in Brazil. No doubt the whole UFN military is preparing for an all out assault on South America as we speak, but they are allowing themselves to be held back by a frustrated fear of venturing out onto the now perilous oceans.”
“Won’t the UFN send another fleet to Antarctica and discover we’ve gone from there?” Kannon asked, still not following his master’s line of thinking.
“Not with what they have been told is a new weapon of Cornelia’s prowling the seas of the Southern Hemisphere; a FLEIJA Ballistic-Missile Submarine. The threat of such a weapon of terror will force them to cry out for the Britannian military to come to their aide and launch a first strike against Cornelia directly; using the Britannian Central American forces.” Schneizel continued, obviously pleased with his strategy. “And Nunnally will stand in their way and call for talks and negotiations before ever ordering an attack on her dear sister. Her tepid political tactics will irritate the UFN into sending aerial ships from every corner of the globe instead, and while the Black Knights fight Cornelia we will have all the time we need to secure the world’s major Sakuradite deposits.”
“Sounds like a brilliant strategy,” Sthenno told him as she entered the bridge with two other women who looked identical to her in all physical aspects save for the clothing they wore. One of them wore a red jumpsuit with gold colored Greek robes while her younger twin wore the royal-blue uniform of an Automatos pilot.
“So this is the Prince you told us about Sthenno,” the one in the red jumpsuit said in a melodic voice.
“He is attractive,” the other added. “Perhaps I should add him to my collection.”
“He is my champion,” Sthenno glared at the young girl before she turned to Schneizel and caressed his cheek, “This is my twin sister Euryale, and my younger sister Medusa.”
Schneizel stepped to the side of Sthenno and bowed to both of the women; kissing each of their right hands in turn.
“Such manners,” Medusa cooed. “I do like him Sthenno.”
“Do you now,” She replied with a sly smile. “And you Euryale.”
“He is charming,” Euryale smiled. “But do you think he could handle the three of us?”
Sthenno let loose a wicked laugh, “Would you like to find out?”
“I would,” Medusa gave Schneizel a seductive smile.
“Very well then, you shall have him,” Sthenno giggled as she turned to Schneizel, “What say you my Prince? Are you not tired from our earlier endeavors of today?”
“Not remotely my goddess,” Schneizel said in a daze that reminded him of a more pleasant version of the Geass Lelouch had put upon him. Am I willingly doing this or is she controlling me? He wondered to himself as she took hold of his right arm and Medusa slid up upon his left side; taking hold of his other arm in hers.
“Then let us retire to your bed-chambers my Prince,” Euryale said to him as she led the way.
Schneizel turned to his Yeoman, “Kannon, please leave the ship in the care of Major Draconic and get some sleep. You’ve been up for over twenty-four hours and need your rest. I’m afraid you’ll have to find sleeping quarters for this evening.” The two sisters impatiently tugged Schneizel towards the door. “Feel free to use Captain Kouzuki’s old quarters if you like, it was a full size stateroom equal to my own.”
“Yes Prince Schneizel,” Kannon said solemnly as he watched the three sisters drag his master off towards what he was certain would involve all manner of debauchery.

Kannon made his way down towards the cabin that was once Kallen Kouzuki’s room less than a week before the awful events that took his Prince from him. The Yeoman opened up the door to the darkened chamber and turned on the lights.
For a woman’s room it was annoyingly masculine yet it still held the elements of feminine charm that distinguished it from the male Devicers that were once on the ship; such was the manner of a female Devicer pilot and elite-warrior of the Black Knights.
The young man scanned over the sparsely filled bookcases; pictures of Kallen and her classmates adorned most of the shelving.
One picture caught his attention; it was of Lelouch vi Britannia dressed as Zero and two other people standing on what must surely have been the hangar deck of the Ikaruga. One of the two people standing next to Zero was a teenage Kallen in her Black Knights uniform, the other was a woman in a black outfit with long green-colored hair that once surrounded a face that had since been scratched out of the picture by someone.
“Green hair?” Kannon mused to himself. “I wonder if she was C.C.? Could she and Kallen have been rivals for Lelouch?” Suddenly Kannon felt bad for Captain Kouzuki. Kannon knew the pain of losing a person you love to a romantic rival or to circumstances beyond a person’s control. Oddly he found that this ache in his heart was not for Schneizel, it was for someone who had touched his soul in a way no one else had or perhaps even could.
He put the photo back onto the shelf from which he had taken it and looked over the small stack of books that were hastily assembled on one of the shelves. He removed a volume from near the bottom of the stack entitled Ashford Academy Yearbook 2017 a.t.b.
Kannon flipped through the pages of the book lovingly as he glanced over every photo of Kallen, Lelouch, Milley Ashford, Major Rivaltz, even Euphemia li Britannia at Milley Ashford’s failed school fair.
Then he came upon the photo of the person he yearned to see, a young girl whose humble appearance and innocent way had stole his heart the first time he had laid eyes upon her.
“There you are Nina,” Kannon caressed the image lovingly as he lay back on Kallen’s bed. His eyes were heavy from lack of sleep. “I miss you so much,” he said before drifting off into a deep slumber.

Next Chapter;

TURN Five: Champions

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Old 2009-09-23, 21:52   Link #7
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Artwork for TURN Four: Competition

The Helios Kolossos-Automatos;

The Talos Kolossos-Automatos;

The Hoplite-Spartan Automatos;

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Old 2009-09-26, 17:16   Link #8
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Turn Five: Champions

“The power of Geass, a power which turned a simple boy into a Dark-Champion among men whose sole desire was to build a better world for his sister Nunnally, a power which cost him his life in the endeavor to do so. The tragedy of his sacrifice was that the world he built came and went like the rare and delicate snowflake that it was; pure, clean, and gone as soon as it touched the ground of the harsh reality of the dark-desires that burn within the souls of men. The Power of the King was a power sent from heaven to try and bring some semblance of good into the depths of this world of hell.”-excerpt of a letter to Cornelia Caesaro Britannia from C.C. dated November 25th 2025 a.t.b.

“Are you sure they landed someplace around here Cecile?” Lloyd Asplundh remarked in a bored tone as he looked out over the treetop canopy of the forest surrounding the city of Azul. Lloyd stood on the foredeck of the bridge of the rebuilt airship Avalon looking out through the main viewports of the craft with a pair of binoculars.
“The ship’s sensors are better than those things Lloyd,” Cecile Croomy tittered.
“Oh?” Lloyd looked at her with a snobbish expression. “I fancied they gave me that Dr. Livingston sort of look.”
Cecile laughed, “No, actually they make you look more like Baron Münchausen.”
“Oh dear,” Lloyd said as he placed the binoculars on the console next to Cecile. “Well? Any luck yet?”
“I think I may have them,” She said as she brought up a digital representation of the forest floor. “Looks like four KnightMares of some type crashed into the jungle about there.” Cecile pointed to a yellow circle on the screen.
“Good thing we got out here as soon as the Cape Horn Outpost radioed to Buenos Ares. Otherwise we may not have gotten this chance to acquire them.” Nina Einstein remarked as she walked over to Cecile and Lloyd with three mugs of coffee on a tray.
“Thank you Nina,” Cecile smiled as she took one of the cups.
“Yes it is fortunate that Cornelia allowed us to come fetch these four machines,” Lloyd adjusted his glasses. “Pity about the pilots though.”
“What do you mean? It's not like she told us kill them if we find them. We're only supposed to capture and hold them until she arrives,” Cecile scolded him, “and aren’t you forgetting something?”
Lloyd put his hand on his chin, “Hmmm, no I think Cornelia’s orders were pretty clear.”
Cecile held up her mug and scowled at him.
“Oh...heh...yes that.” Lloyd said embarrassed. “Where are my manners? Thank you Nina for the coffee.”
Nina chuckled, “That’s alright Lloyd, I know your mind is never in the same place for more than a few moments.”
He said with a boyish grin, “Well I must admit I’m ecstatic at the chance of getting four of Rakshata’s Type-21s to play with.”
Both women laughed.
“Oh I don’t think I’ve seen you this happy since Cornelia let you start the Paladin KnightMare project.” Nina giggled.
“No kidding.” Cecile agreed. “It’s nice to see you acting like your old self again Lloyd…no matter how odd that may sound.”
A male voice called over the radio of the Avalon, “Attention Avalon, this is Azul Search and Rescue team eight; we’ve found the four KnightMare Frames and they appear to be intact.”
"Oh Excellent commander," Lloyd said in a giddy tone. "Be sure to clear all the brush and whatnot away so we can take them onboard immediately."
"Uh...yes sir...but shouldn't we check them for booby-traps first?" The man inquired.
Lloyd looked at Cecile confused and shrugged his shoulders.
Cecile rolled her eyes, "Yes Commander, please be sure and move them to a safe location so that they can be properly checked for whatever self-destruct mechanisms they have that may be active. We want them in as perfect a condition as possible."
"That could take a few hours," The man replied.
"Hours?" Lloyd whined.
"That's okay Dr. Asplundh," Nina giggled. "We should be able to do our initial external analysis of the Type-21s in the Azul holding areas without getting in their way."
"Or getting ourselves blown up," Cecil added with a huff. "It's not like these machines are going anywhere."
"I suppose you're right Cecile." Lloyd conceded. "I'm just anxious to try out Nina's new Field Organized Radial Graviton Engine."
"I still can't believe you managed to harness the power of FLEIJA," Cecile smiled at Nina. "You really are a genius."
Nina's cheeks burned red, "It was the least I could do after what that dreadful weapon was used for. I needed to change FLEIJA into something that could help mankind, a source of hope for a better future not destruction. And while my FORGE system will be used in KnightMares and Aerial Warships and thus ultimately war, it is still better than a weapon of mass destruction."
"Yes," Lloyd smirked as he spun in place with glee. "And it will completely do away with energy fillers as well. That's the part that is so incredible. Think of it. A KnightMare that can operate for twenty-years instead of only a few short hours! It's incredi..."
Cecile slapped him across the face and thus back to reality as Nina turned away, "She just said it was better then the FLEIJA, not that she liked the idea of it being used for war. Try to show a little more compassion would you Lloyd."
He readjusted his glasses and shrugged his shoulders like a boy, "Sorry, I'm just excited that's all."
"We can see that," Cecile growled.
"It's okay Cecile," Nina said. "If we didn't apply the FORGE to war I'm sure someone else would have."
"See," Lloyd said holding his cheek. "You didn't need to hit me."
Cecile chuckled, "Yes I did, or you would have kept spinning until you were dizzy."
"Uh...I guess that's true," He laughed.

"How many of them are there?" Akira asked Valletta as the five ace cadets of the Japan Jaguars headed for the KnightMares of the Four Holy Swords and Zangetsu.
"Six teams," She replied. "Not including ours."
"And the next team with the highest number of KnightMare Frames?" He inquired.
"The Red Dragons," She answered him with concern.
"I'm not surprised." Gregor said as he joined up with them at the head of the team.
Valletta turned to face him as he came up next to her and Akira, "They've got fourteen KnightMares to your Sixteen. That's too many in an aerial dogfight."
"And against Li Jang Fong's team no less." Gregor let out a short whistle. "This is gonna be a tough fight."
“Stop whining Gregor,” Mika scolded him. “We can whip the Red Dragons blindfolded.”
“It will still be a challenge Mika,” Tetsuo said.
"Yes it should be," Valletta said. "But I have confidence you can beat them."
"So did our KnightMares check out okay?" Akira asked Valletta.
"You mean did Mika tamper with them?" Valletta asked with a frown. "No, she didn't. So I guess you were correct Captain Nobunaga."
"Thank you coach," He gave her a stoic look. "I'm glad that you checked to see if she did so that you have the piece of mind knowing that we'll win this with honor."
Valletta gave him a warm smile.
Lena was silent, she was concerned about Akira. He wasn’t himself right now. Lena knew something was bothering him and he hadn’t told her what.

"What do you mean there's no pizza left?" C.C. asked the vendor in the Sidney stadium food market.
"Sorry little lady, but we sold out yesterday." The rotund Italian baker bellowed in his thick accent as he brushed off flour from his white apron and listed off the menu he still had available. "We've got calzones, spaghetti and meat-balls, egg-plant parmigiana, eight-cheese lasagna, and chicken cacciatore...and that's a bout it."
"Aw," C.C. sighed. "But I heard you got the best pizza in the world."
"No," he laughed. "Not a me. You're looking for Antonio's Pizzeria on the Ikaruga."
C.C. looked up at the fleet of airships that were gathering around the outskirts of the Coliseum, "The Ikaruga?" She loathed the idea of going back to that ship, but...she had no choice. "Thank you sir." C.C. said as she raced back towards her bicycle and sped off towards the boarding terminal for VIP patrons.

"You can't come in here ma'am. All the airship tickets are sold out." The guard told C.C. as he stood his ground in front of her.
"But I used to be apart of her crew." C.C. protested.
"Sure you were." His fellow sentry snickered. "You're like what? Seventeen years old?"
C.C. knew there was no point in even trying to explain her "condition" to them. "I'm a HUGE fan of the Japan Jaguars," she cooed at them. "Can't you just let me through this once?"
The first guard scoffed, "If we did that we'd have to let every ditzy groupie who wanted to get in a free pass. Sorry Miss, but no way."
"Unless of course you want to give us something of real value," the other guard said as he eyed her body.
"Ewww," She recoiled from him. "No thanks." C.C. stormed off away from the boarding booth and zipped around a corner past another pair of guards standing in front of the gateway to the cargo shuttle bay. She passed by a shuttle that was being loaded on the other side of the chain link, barbed-wired fence she was walking along.
C.C. briskly made her way towards a series of Quonset-huts that were obviously the lockers where the pilots and stewardesses of the ships were undoubtedly getting prepared for the continuous flow of transport shuttles to launch.
C.C. slipped past a pair of guards at the main gate of the tent-city. The men were engrossed in placing bets on the final match of the KnightMare Competition via their cellphones and didn’t notice her skulk by them.
“Let’s see…which one do I want?” C.C. asked herself as she scanned each of the hastily crafted signs in front of each of the large military-tents. “That one!” She blurt out with excitement as she entered a stewardess dressing room.
Within a few moments C.C. emerged from the tent dressed in the short skirt, tight blouse, and cap of a shuttle flight-attendant.
“Are we getting any in-flight cuties on this trip?” A pilot said to his fellow airmen as the pair passed by C.C..
“Excuse me,” She said to the two men.
“Yes?” The older of the two inquired.
“I’m kinda lost,” She said with a meek smile. “Could you direct me to the next shuttle flight to the Ikaruga? I’m supposed to be the attendant on that flight.”
“You’re in luck,” The younger man said to her with a wide grin. “We’re the pilots of that flight.”
“Really? That’s wonderful.” She told them in the ditziest voice she could muster.

The morning light shone gold on the flight of bronze colored mecha that flew over the western coastline of Australia at less than twenty feet from the surface. The gust of their winged machines overturned sailboats and beach umbrellas as they zipped towards their intended destination unopposed.
“We’ve just past over a place called Cape Howe according to the information Sthenno’s prince gave us.” Heracles said as his Helios flew next to the Talos along the edge of the beach.
“How far are we from this City of Sydney?” Jason inquired of his lieutenant.
“About sixty leagues.” Heracles responded as their legion of 80 Automatos flew in formation behind them. “At our current speed we should be there in about twenty-five minutes.”
Jason tuned his communicator to their general frequency, “Spartans, we are almost to the city we intend to conquer. I want to make this clear now that in no way are you here to plunder or pillage. We are here to liberate this city from the tyranny of Zero and his followers; the Black Knights. Therefore, you are to engage enemy warmachines only and try and minimize damage to the city and the death of innocent citizens. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes Captain!” The voices of the Spartans said in unison over his radio.
“Very good.” Jason replied to them knowing they would not break their word.
“Jason,” Heracles voice came back over their private signal.
“Yes Heracles?” Jason asked his friend and comrade.
“Do you believe this Prince Schneizel is telling the truth about the one called Zero?” His baritone voice sounded troubled.
“Honestly my friend…No, but we have no proof he is lying to us so for now we will play Sthenno’s game and do as she and her new found pet wish.” Jason’s voice held an edge of venom as he uttered the word pet.
“I’m glad to hear it Captain,” Heracles chuckled. “I was beginning to worry that you might have changed your mind about this man.”
“What made you think that?” Jason asked.
Heracles paused for a moment before going on, “Well you didn’t argue with him or even inquire as to why he wanted us to attack this city. That’s not like you Jason.”
Jason humphed, “I wanted to get as far from their ogling and lechery towards each other as the Argo could take us, especially now that Euryale and Medusa are with them.”
“Come now Jason,” Heracles laughed. “Where’s your sense of hospitality. All the sisters are doing is sharing the customs of their brood with this Prince and his people.”
Jason snickered, “I’m sure orgies aren’t exclusive to our culture Heracles.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Heracles chortled, “I’ve never been to one.”
Jason sniggered, “Sure you haven’t.”
“Jason,” one of the Spartans called over the general channel.
“Yes Orpheus?” He asked.
Orpheus’ tone was grave, “There are one-hundred and twenty enemy units coming towards us from the North.”
“Someone on one of those boats we flipped must have gotten a message out.” Heracles suggested.
“What types are they Orpheus?” Jason inquired.
“Let’s see,” The man said as he flipped through the data files given him by the boy Kannon before their departure. “There are forty Vincent-Ward, and eighty Gloucester machines.”
“Very well,” Jason turned Talos in the direction of the incoming KnightMares. “To all Automatos, ATTACK!”
The Talos sped towards the oncoming Australian Defense Forces with frighteningly high speed. Talos cut through the led Vincent-Wards with impunity as the KnightMare pilots desperately tried to shoot down Jason’s Automatos.
The bullets from the Gloucester autocannon gunpods bounced harmlessly off of the Adamantine skin of the Automatos.
“Their weapons are pathetic,” Heracles said as he spun his Helios into a flight of six Gloucesters; the Adamantine blades of his cut the KnightMares in half in one swift stroke.
The Spartans tore into the mass of KnightMares slowly as the Australian forces switched to their MVS weapons and engaged them more cautiously.
“This is costing us precious time Jason.” Orpheus said over the communicator.
“Oh? What do you suggest we do?” Jason asked him, although he already knew what his friend would answer.
“We should incinerate them with our Chaos Guns.” Orpheus replied.
“That’s against our code of honor Orpheus,” Heracles reminded his comrade. “Jason would not use such a weapon unless they use one first.”
“I know but we’re losing our momentum.” Orpheus said well aware that if they were to take the City without a long protracted conflict they’d have to act quickly.
Jason knew Orpheus was right, but, “No Orpheus we will fight them with melee weapons only unless they use a weapon that merits the use of our Chaos Guns.”
“Besides,” Heracles remarked as he smashed through two Vincent-Wards with the mace of Helios. “We should be clear of these sentries soon enough.”

“Are you guys ready for this?” Valletta asked her team from the bridge of the Ikaruga.
“Ready as we’ll ever be Mrs. Nu.” Akira said.
“Good, cause this is it! Jaguars launch!” Valletta commanded over the radio.
The hangar doors of the Ikaruga opened up in front of the Zangetsu and the Four Holy Swords. Before them was the clear blue sky and the international fleet of airships that represented each nation whose team had made it to this final decisive battle for the championship.
“Let’s do this,” Akira said over the radio as he launched Zangetsu off the Ikaruga towards the rapidly forming swarms of KnightMare Frames in front of each of the six aerial battleships.
The remnants of the other three Japan Jaguar assault teams joined up with them after launching from other bays on the Ikaruga.
Akira turned his radio to the Jaguar’s main frequency, “Edo and Grenadier groups, intersperse your six KnightMares in a Chain-Lightening defense formation along the inner perimeter of the Ikaruga. Dueler group, your five KnightMares are to act as our Interceptor assault group and patrol the outer perimeter of the battlespace of our airship and stop any incoming KnightMares. Four Holy Swords, we are going on the offensive. We’ll start with the Spanish Conquistadors first as they have only eight KnightMares left. Understood?”
“Yes sir,” the three other assault group leaders responded.
The Japan Jaguars flew into their respective positions as the first general announcement came over their cockpit radios. “All teams are in position. Captains, you may commence your attacks.”
The Four Holy Swords flew towards the Spanish warship and her flight of eight KnightMares who stayed within the general area of their aerial warship.
‘They’re using a Strong defense pattern Akira,” Lena said as they approached the other team’s ship.
“We’ll stay loose until we get to within thirty meters, then we’ll form up into a line pattern and slice through their Vincent-Wards with a Stiletto attack thrust through their middle. Afterwards we will then cut them down with our swords while in flight.” Akira said as a hail of cannon fire streamed towards them from the eight KnightMares on the deck of the Spanish ship.
"And try not to get shot down in the process," Mika lamented as a hail of rounds zipped past her Gekka.
The Zangetsu led the four Type-3fs down through the hail of bullets, missiles and cannon fire towards the Conquistadors; the Spanish team was in a dual diamond formation of two groups of four KnightMares each, standing next to one another at about a KnightMare-Frame's arms length.
"Hit them hard and fast!" Akira commanded his assault group as he swooped in with the Seidotou brake blade of Zangetsu and slashed through two of the Vincent-Wards of the Conquistadors. The pair of Spanish KnightMares was to slow as they tried to unsheathe their MVS weapons so as not to hit one another with their gunpods in a crossfire.
“That’s half of them!” Gregor exclaimed as he chopped his second Vincent-Ward in half at the waste; the ejection module boosted the pilot of the machine to safety.
Lena landed her Gekka and cut the arms and legs off of another of the Conquistador machines. “Three left.”
The three remaining Spanish machines fired on her Type-3f as she used the wheeled drive of her KnightMare to zigzag backwards away from the cannon-fire.
Mika and Tetsuo landed behind them and cut all three of them down (chopping off the leg and float units of the Vincent-Wards rendering them useless.
“That’s one team down!” Mika exclaimed as they waited the full minute on the Spanish ship.
The competition announcer’s voice came over their radios as they waited on the Spanish airship, “The Japan Jaguars have taken the Spanish Conquistadors out of the match while at the same time the Red Dragon team has defeated the Italian Centurion team in only two short minutes. Making that the third team they’ve taken down from the start of the contest. Only China, Japan, and the German Panzer teams are left. Who will claim the title of Champions this year?”
“You’re clear to launch Akira!” Valletta’s voice boomed over the radio. “Don’t worry about the Germans, the Red Dragons have already decimated their KnightMare team and in a few minutes they’ll beat them, however Li Jang Fong only has five KnightMares left in his team, you’ll still got your sixteen. You have the advantage.”
“Understood Ma’am.” Nobunaga said coolly.
“Hey Akira, how do you think the Chinese have been able to beat so many other teams so fast?” Gregor asked as they flew back to the Ikaruga.
“I dunno,” He said with concern in his voice. “But they seem to be doing almost too well.”
“What do you mean?” Tetsuo asked. “They’ve lost over half of their KnightMare team. I doubt they’re cheating.”
“Don’t be so sure Tetsuo,” Lena replied. “Li Jang Fong’s cheated before.”
“And gotten away with it.” Mika added as the Four Holy Swords landed on the Ikaruga.
“How?” Tetsuo asked. “We’ve met with them in matches all year and I’ve never seen them cheat.”
“It was before you joined the team dude,” Gregor said. “When we were all juniors there was a meet in Singapore where Li Jang Fong’s Red Dragon’s used augmented Burai type KnightMares during the match. Their machines had faster reflexes than the standard KnightMares thus they were able to beat us.”
“How do you know they were augmented?” Tetsuo inquired in a nervous tone as the Red Dragons engaged the Dueler assault group of the Japan Jaguars.
“I ran a computer model after the meet which compared the fastest reflex speed allowed by the KnightMare Competition Commission with the video footage of the meet and saw that the Chinese teams machines were a full 1.5 seconds faster.”
“We showed this information to the Commission but the match was to minor for them and the investigation was miniscule.” Lena added as she prepared to meet the Chinese group that had now cut through the Duelers.
“So they cheated?” Tetsuo was shocked. “Do you think they’re cheating now?”
“Yep! The Red Dragon Vincent-Wards and the Shen-Hu MKII are operating at full ability.” Mika said. “And Li Jang Fong isn’t hiding it which means this is meant to happen.”
“What do you mean?” Tetsuo asked in confusion.
“She means that the match has been bought and paid for by the Chinese Federation. No doubt an inside deal within the UFN.” Valletta’s irritated voice interjected. “Mika, use the strategy we discussed earlier.”
“Yes Mrs. Nu.” Mika answered with a sly smile.
“Care to let me in on this strategy?” Akira inquired.
“Type ZERO into your attack computer input window.” Mika told him with a giggle.
The five members of the Four Holy Swords assault group typed the word into the computers of their machines and instantly a whole plethora of applications came to life on the computer screens then went blank as the Operating Systems of the KnightMares rebooted rapidly.
“Holy crap we’re at full power!” Lena remarked.
“Isn’t this dangerous?” Gregor protested.
“It’s not any more of a risk then what Li Jang Fong is doing.” Mika scolded Gregor. “Besides, don’t you want to face them in a fair and equal fight?”
“She has a point old buddy,” Akira conceded. “I’d hate to loose this fight because we played fair and the Chinese cheated. At least if we loose to them in a fair fight we can do so with honor.”
“I hear yah,” Gregor said with new found vigor. “Oh man, this is going to BE real combat.”
“Here they come!” Lena said.
“Edo and Grenadier groups try and keep their KnightMares off of the Ikaruga. Holy Swords, let’s go out and say hi to Li Jang!”

“No…no really I have to go…honestly.” C.C. said to the young pilot whose name had already slipped her mind. She headed for the elevator at the far end of the hangar bay of the Ikaruga. “I’d love to have dinner with you sometime, but I doubt my father would let me.” She lied.
“Who’s your father?” The man said walking after her. “I’ll ask him if I can take you out.”
“I doubt you could,” She told him as she slipped into the elevator cabin. “Because my father is Zero.”
The pilot stopped in his tracks with a befuddled look on his face.
“Whew!” C.C. said to herself out loud as the door to the elevator closed. “That shook him off. Poor guy, he was kinda cute.” C.C. checked her wristwatch, “but I don’t have much time before the match is over and the restaurants close, it’s already noon.”
C.C. tapped her foot impatiently as the elevator descended to the auxiliary hangar deck. It was shorter than taking the ride down to the bottom of the ship and then having to go through the turnstiles of the security detail there. This way she could slip through the hangar bay and down the cargo elevator and straight into the middle of the food bar and next to ANTONIO’S PIZZARIA!!!
She nearly jumped for joy at her own cleverness. It paid to know the internal layout of the Ikaruga in desperate situations like these.
The elevator doors opened and C.C. dashed out straight into a wall. “What the..?” She exclaimed.
“C2?” A familiar voice emanated from the wall.
“Jeremiah Gottwald?” C.C. remarked in surprise.
He smiled at her, “What brings you to this place?”
“Probably Pizza if my memory serves correctly,” A woman’s voice snickered from behind Jeremiah.
“Sayoko!” C.C. was jovial at seeing them both. “What are you two doing here?”
Sayoko took hold of Jeremiah’s arm, “Well not that it’s anybody’s business but we’re here on vacation together.”
“Really?” C.C. smiled. “So are you two here as friends or…”
Jeremiah blushed, “I have the honor of escorting this fair lady to this momentous event.”
Sayoko giggled, “What he’s saying is that we’re a thing.”
“And perhaps more if she’d let me.” Jeremiah said.
C.C. slapped her hands together, “That’s wonderful. I’m so happy for you two.”
There was an uneasy silence as the couple looked at C.C. knowing how lonely she must feel without…him.
“Hey, do you want to see something interesting?” Sayoko asked her.
“Sure,” C.C. replied eager to break the silence as she followed Jeremiah and Sayoko down the hangar towards a whole set of Akatsuki KnightMare Frames.
“It’s a complete reproduction of the Black Knights.” Jeremiah told her.
“Minus Zangetsu and the Four Holy Swords right now,” Sayoko added. “Captain Chiba insisted that the Japan Jaguars use them in this year’s competition because it’s the Olympiad. It’s also why all these other Black Knight KnightMares are being powered up, armed and prepared for a KnightMare air-show during the final ceremony today.”
“Amazing,” C.C. said as she scanned down the row of machines that were being tended by the ship’s KnightMare technicians. “Even the Guerin is here, and the…” She stopped in front of Shinkirou.
“His KnightMare is here too,” C.C. said with watery eyes. “That was very nice of them.”
“Yes,” Jeremiah laid his hand on her shoulder. “They built it to honor the memory of master Lelouch.”
“Speaking of him,” Sayoko ventured to ask a very touchy question. “Have you gone to see him lately?”
“Do you mean his tomb in Kyoto?” C.C. asked as she looked over the whole form of Shinkirou.
“Yes.” Sayoko said in a somber tone. “Jeremiah and I are thinking of going to see him there to pay our respects. We’ve not been there before, and I understand his tomb is a small one and difficult to find within the mausoleum there, so I thought maybe you could help us find it.”
“I went to see him…a few years back,” C.C. gave her a sad smile. “I’ll gladly go with you two and show you where it is; as it really is a bit difficult to find in there. Besides, it’s been long enough, I should go back and say hi.”
“Thank you C2,” Jeremiah told her with a warm smile, “So how about that pizza?”
“PIZZA! Oh crap! I totally forgot!” C.C. started to head for the door that led to the cargo elevator when Captain Chiba’s voice came over the ship’s comm.
“Attention all civilian passengers, please report to the main auditorium at once! This is not a request, IT IS AN ORDER!”
Jeremiah looked at C.C., “I wonder why they want us to go there?”
“Nagisa sounds nervous about something,” Sayoko said.
C.C. stared back at the two of them bewildered, “The only reason I can think of for her to ask us all to go there is if we’re under attack.”

“It’s been a long time Akira!” Li Jang Fong said over the radio as his Shen-Hu MKII lashed out with its pair of Maser Vibration Swords.
Nobunaga dodged the dual sword attack with Zangetsu and slashed at the side of Li Fong’s KnightMare with the Seidotou brake blade.
Fong dodged and whipped his long tail of black hair out of his face. “Oh, still a bit testy I see.”
“You got a handle on him Akira?” Tetsuo asked.
“Never mind him Tetsuo,” Gregor said as he parried a Vincent-Ward before it would have slashed off the left arm of Tetsuo’s Gekka with an MVS. “We need to deal with our own dance partners.”
Tetsuo whipped his Type-3f around to block another Vincent-Ward which tried to stab at Gregor’s machine. “I see what you mean.” He said as he saw Lena and Mika engaged in dogfights of their own with two other Vincent-Wards.
“Looks like Mr. Honor is actually cheating eh?” Li Jang smiled as he launched both of the slash-harkens of the Shen-Hu at Zangetsu.
“Only because I had too in order to make this a fair fight you bastard,” Akira spat at him as he deflected the two spindles with his machine’s sword. “How could you cheat here of all places!”
“Still the immature naïve little child I see,” Li Jang Fong performed a flip with Shen-Hu and slashed at Akira with a spinning double MVS attack. “I thought you would have learned your lesson after Singapore.”
Akira deflected the first blade and ducked under the second MVS allowing Zangetsu to turn and kick the backside of the Shen-Hu; knocking it off balance.
Fong spun his own machine around and recovered just in time to parry the thrust that Nobunaga had already launched at him. “Wow, who would have thought you’d ever get better at fighting as a Devicer.” Li Jang taunted him. “I bet you and your little band spent years training for it. Too bad this match was decided before you even landed in Australia.” Li Jang laughed
“Not if we defeat you here and now!” Akira said as he swung his Seidotou Brake Blade towards the Shen-Hu.
Li Jang dodged the blow easily, “What was that supposed to be?” He laughed.
“A feint!” Nobunaga growled as he fired the slash harken from the hilt of his machine’s sword.
The bladed pummel cut off the left shoulder shield-armor of Shen-Hu as Li Jang barely saved his mecha’s left arm.
“That fight looks pretty viscous over there,” Tetsuo said as he cut off the arm of the Vincent-Ward he was fighting. “What’s with those two anyway?” He asked as he finished it off with a second blow; the cockpit ejection system flew away from the doomed machine, saving the pilot.
“They used to be friends,” Gregor told Tetsuo as he dodged the slash-harken from the Vincent-Ward that was attacking him. “But something happened.”
“What happened?” Tetsuo pressed Gregor as he flew in to help him; Tetsuo’s Gekka cut through the right arm of the Vincent-Ward as Gregor finished it off with a combination sword thrust and slash-harken attack; causing the ejection module to shoot out the rear of the machine before it exploded in mid-air.
“I happened,” Lena grumbled as her machine locked swords with her attacker.
“Huh?” Tetsuo said confused as he and Gregor sped over to help Lena and Mika.
“Two guys, one girl, you can figure that one out right Tetsuo? Mika asked sarcastically as she slipped in along side the forward thrust of her attacker and launched an upper slash with the Katen Yaibatou revolving blade sword of her Gekka; cutting off the sword arm of her opponent. Mika followed up with a gut-shot that cut the KnightMare in half at the waist.
“Yah I got it,” Tetsuo said as he and Gregor came up on the last of the Red Dragon Vincent-Wards.
The pilot ejected from the KnightMare after Lena cut off its left leg and arm and followed up by cutting off its sensor head.
“That only leaves Fong’s unit.” Tetsuo said.
“Better let Akira deal with him.” Gregor told him.
The Zangetsu dodged the pair of slash-harkens that grazed the torso armor of the machine.
“How much longer are you going to keep this up?” Li Jang asked him. “Even if you defeat me the International KnightMare Commission will disqualify your team for cheating. Face it Akira you’re wasting you’re time here.”
“Maybe this whole thing is rigged as you say, but even so I’m going to take you down fair and square.” Nobunaga maneuvered Zangetsu around the side of the Shen-Hu and fired the chest slash-harken of his mecha; forcing Li Jang to block the attack with his unit’s left arm.
“I won’t fall for that twice!” Fong sneered as he fired his pair of slash-harkens at Akira.
“I didn’t think you would,” Nobunaga retorted as he cut the cables of the slash-harkens of the Shen-Hu; sending the pair of gold colored spindles to the ground of the coliseum below.
“Damn You!” Li Jang spat as his machine lunged at the Zangetsu. “You will not beat me.”
Akira waited until Fong was practically on top of him before flipping over the top of the Shen-Hu with Zangetsu. Nobunaga fired the pummel slash-harken of his machine’s sword and cut off the left arm of Fong’s mecha. Li Jang swung his machine around and opened up the Tian-e Ba Wang baryon cannon to fire, point blank, directly at Zangetsu.
“STOP IT BOTH OF YOU!” Lena screamed over the radio. “It’s over Li Jang. You’re whole team is defeated, you’ve lost. What will you gain now by killing Akira?”
“My honor,” He said as he prepared to squeeze the trigger of the baryon cannon-a salvo of heavy cannon and beam weapon fire from the seven airships around them caused him to hesitate.
“What the hell?” Gregor blurt out over the radio.
The voice of the announcer came over their radio frequencies. “Attention Red Dragon and Japan Jaguar units, you are to retreat to the Ikaruga at once. There are enemy units inbound. I repeat you are to retreat to the Ikaruga at once!”
“What should we do?” Mika asked.
“Stand and fight of course,” Li Jang told her. “I’m no coward.”
“Nor am I.” Akira said.
“It’s settled then,” Fong told Akira. “I propose a truce between us until we’ve dealt with these interlopers. After that we’ll finish things between us. Agreed?”
“Agreed.” Nobunaga replied in a cold tone as he watched the swarm of golden dots come ever closer towards Sidney.

Next Chapter;

TURN Six: Code of Honor

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Old 2009-09-29, 20:29   Link #9
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Turn Six: Code of Honor

“War is a perpetual condition of mankind. The lack of war creates a decadence which in and of itself becomes the catalyst for revolution and thus war. One of the most basic products of war is the warrior. Such was this class of men and women whose talent lay not in the mundane domestic affairs of civil society but in the hard and harsh bloody battlegrounds of the conflicts of the world where skill in fighting was the difference between life and death. With these warriors came a culture all their own. A culture where was born a code of honor that all such warriors lived and died by.”-General Kyoshiro Tohdoh in his speech to the first graduating class of the New-Order of the Black Knights dated June 15th 2020 a.t.b.

“How many of them are there?” Captain Chiba asked her navigator.
“Looks like about eighty unidentified KnightMare Frames of an unknown type closing in on the city fast.” The girl replied.
"Have the Jaguars and Red Dragons returned yet?" Valletta asked from where she stood at the back of the bridge.
"No Mrs. Nu they haven't," Chiba said with a stern look. "It appears your team and the Chinese Captain are preparing to engage the enemy."
"What!" Valletta blurt out. "Captain I need a KnightMare now!"
"I can't let you do that Valletta," Nagisa protested. "We need to try and get our passengers to safety. You're not a military pilot anymore Valletta and I can't let you go out there and become another liability."
"Liability!" Valletta spat at Chiba. "How dare you!"
"Captain!" the tactical officer of the Ikaruga interrupted. "Enemy units have shot down the German airship Hindenburg and are proceeding towards the Shanghai."
"Give them some cover fire with the Hadron cannons!" Chiba said as Valletta stormed off of the bridge.

"Looks like there are six of their aerial ships left Jason," Orpheus said over the comm.
"Any sign of their Automatos yet?" Jason asked him.
"There are six units inbound and closing fast," Orpheus told him.
"Just six?" Heracles inquired.
"Orpheus, you take the Spartans and attack the city." Jason paused for a moment. "Heracles and I can deal with these airships and their Automatos."
"As you wish Captain, but be careful." Orpheus told him as he led the legion of Spartans towards the central section of Sidney.
"It would appear these craft are stationed over a Coliseum." Heracles remarked a bit surprised. "Perhaps these are not combatants after all Jason."
"That's why I sent Orpheus to deal with the city's defenders. I'm not sure these are soldiers we are dealing with here." Jason sounded angry. "I wonder if Sthenno's prince knew anything of this before sending us here."
"Perhaps it slipped his mind," Heracles joked.
Jason was not amused, "If it did I'll slip his head from his shoulders."
Heracles let out a chuckle, “That might improve his demeanor; though I think Sthenno might protest.”
“Do you think I care if she disapproves,” Jason pointed out. “Should these six prove to be no more than mere athletes trying to defend the honor of their sport I shall be quite put out with Schneizel for not telling us such an event was present.”
“Simple Olympians or not, it would seem they intend to challenge us nonetheless.” Heracles told Jason as the six KnightMares approached them.

Valletta rushed down to the auxiliary hangar deck of the Ikaruga where she knew the four Glide-Unit equipped Akatsuki KnightMares were fully armed and charged; ready for the air-show that was supposed to end this day. She ran into the hangar deck as soon as the elevator doors opened and was startled to find three figures standing around at the base of the KnightMare Frames.
“Jeremiah?” Valletta asked.
“Oh Valletta!” He said in a jovial tone happy to see his former lover and comrade in arms. “What’s going on?”
“We’re under attack,” Valletta told him bluntly.
“By who?” Sayoko asked as she came to stand by Jeremiah.
“We don’t know,” Mrs. Nu replied. “All we do know is that the members of the Japan Jaguars and the Captain of the Red Dragons have gone out to intercept these enemies and I need to get out there and bring them back. If I don’t they could be killed.”
“What can we do to help Valletta?” Jeremiah inquired in a soft voice.
Valletta smiled at both them, “I need you to fly out there with me to save these kids. I was going to go out there by myself, and I will if I must, but your help could make all the difference in this battle Jeremiah.”
“Of course we will help Mrs. Nu,” Sayoko said as she looked around. “Hey what happened to C2?”
Valletta gave them a blank look, “C2 is here?”
C.C. had slinked away from the trio while Valletta explained the situation. Seven years ago she wouldn’t have cared what happened to these children, but after her experience with Lelouch her whole view of life and its value had changed. Now C.C. felt compelled to do something to help; she made her way to the machine she knew would have the best chance against an unknown enemy; she boarded Shinkirou.

“Yeeeeeeeaahhhhhhhh!” Gregor yelled over the comm. as he and Tetsuo attacked the large bronze KnightMare equipped with the club and large shield. Gregor’s blade bounced when it hit the Adamantine Shield but left a deep gash in the metal’s surface.
Tetsuo followed up with a swing at the machine’s left wing, but the oversized KnightMare swiftly moved out of the way. “I missed!” Tetsuo blurt out in disbelief.
“But you set him up for me,” Li Jiang said as his KnightMare swung the MVS in its right hand down upon the chest of the bronze giant; the blade only scratched the amethyst colored crystal dome in the center of the beast’s torso.
The Bronze giant swung its great Adamantine Club at the Shen-Hu, catching it in the left-leg which was smashed off completely by the blow.
“This guy’s tough,” Fong told his two wingmen.
“No kidding,” Gregor said as he dodged a blow from the club.
The Bronze KnightMare flew towards them and spun in the air; flaring the tips of its wings out as it did so. The Adamantine blades of the wings sliced the right arm and leg off of Tetsuo’s Gekka as he tried to dodge them while Gregor’s KnightMare was cut in half at the waist.

“I’ve got this bozo Akira!” Mika said as her Gekka came up under the Talos and swung its sword at the Bronze machine.
The Automatos grabbed the blade of the Type-3f with its clawed gauntlet and crushed the blade. The Talos followed up with a swing of its Adamantine Sword.
The blade of Talos was stopped by the Seidotou Brake Blade of Zangetsu. “Back off!” Akira yelled over the general international radio frequency.
“That wasn’t half bad,” A voice with a heavy Greek accent spoke in English. “Though three on one isn’t very honorable.” The man said as he dodged Lena’s attack and blasted the arms and legs of her machine off with the Hades-Cannon in Talos’ left forearm.
“Lena!” Akira called out in a panic as her machine fell towards the earth.
“I’ve got her Akira,” Mika reassured him as her Gekka caught what was left of Lena’s KnightMare Frame.
Nobunaga dodged a hail of Hades-Cannon fire that Jason’s Automatos shot at him.
“You fly that machine well.” Jason said over the comm. “What say you to a duel of swords rather than all this shooting?” He asked Akira.
“Why should I agree to anything you ask?” Nobunaga spat over the radio as he fired the chest slash-harken of Zangetsu at the Talos; the weapon only scratched the surface of the machine’s chest armor before bouncing off.
“Because if you don’t wish to fight me in honorable combat I can always just blow you out of the sky,” Jason pointed the Hades-Cannon at the Zangetsu.
“I see your point. But what if I win this duel? What’s to stop you from just blowing me away anyway?” Akira told him.
“If you win I give you my word as a warrior that I will let you and your fleet of airships go, but what will you do in return should you be defeated?” Jason inquired.
“If I loose to you then we’ll surrender to you.” Akira said.
“Are you insane Akira,” Lena yelled at him over the radio. “You don’t have the authority to do that.”
“No,” Nobunaga conceded. “But I don’t think this man cares.”
“You are correct,” Jason said. “And I agree to your terms. If you win, I’ll let you and your ships go free. If you loose, I expect you all to surrender to me unconditionally. You have my word as a warrior that you and your people will be unharmed if you surrender.”
“Very well then,” Akira said. “But first I want to know the name of the man I am fighting.”
“I am Jason…Jason son of Aeson and Champion of Hera.” He told Akira proudly.
“I am Akira Nobunaga of Japan,” Akira said in a stoic voice.
Jason had the Talos lift its sword in front of the mirrored facemask in a salute, “Let the best warrior win.”
Akira mimicked the salute with Zangetsu, “Whenever you’re ready Jason.”
“Respect? I didn’t expect that, thank you Akira.” Talos lunged forward with a thrust of its sword.
Zangetsu deflected the attack with the brake blade, reversed, and spun around with a backward thrust of the pummel of the sword.
“Excellent move!” Jason laughed. “But you need to aim more carefully.” The Champion of Hera said as he parried the blow with his machine’s gauntlet. The Talos moved back from Zangetsu and swooped in for another attack.
Akira deflected three swipes of the Adamantine Sword of his opponent and counter thrust at the right arm of the Automatos; the tip of the Seidotou Brake Blade dug deep into the armored plating.
“Very good,” Jason told Akira as a teacher does to his pupil. “I knew you had the gift.” He said pleased with himself. “Few men can match my skill Akira Nobunaga of Japan, but I believe you are a worthy opponent.”
“Glad you think so Jason,” Nobunaga sent Zangetsu into a double spin then shot his KnightMare above Talos in a feint; bringing down the Seidotou Brake Blade at the head of Talos.
Jason dove downwards to gain distance between them and flipped his Automatos out of the way just in time as Zangetsu’s blade shaved a bit of the helmet plume of Talos off.
“You are magnificent,” Jason tittered as he flew back towards the Zangetsu in a thrust which Akira tried to dodge but at the last moment Jason cut inwards at the head of Nobunaga’s KnightMare; chopping the red plume of the mecha off completely.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Akira retorted as he blocked four more sword attacks by Jason.

“This is incredible!” Milley said from the top deck of the Ikaruga. “Are you getting all this Seiji?” She asked her camera man.
The man held the large TV camera on his right shoulder with a tight grip in the turbulent wind outside the airship. “Yes Ma’am I’m getting it. Boy those Bronze KnightMares are big.” He remarked.
“Yah, and I bet they’re some new type my old friend Lloyd Asplundh came up with.” Milley said with a smirk.
“I dunno Mrs. Ashford,” Seiji said in a sheepish tone. “They look kinda Roman or Greek, maybe they’re from the EU?”
“What? No you ninny, they’re obviously too advanced to be some terrorist group’s and way to stylish for anybody but Cornelia.” She giggled. “I mean look at those colors on those things…they’ve got bling!”
“I think that’s because they’re made of a bronze colored metal.” Seiji said.
“Whatever,” She replied nonchalantly as she stood in front of the camera. “You ready?”
“Yah, but I don’t think we can send a signal. These guys are jamming all communications.” Seiji informed her.
“Don’t worry about it, just record it.” She told him.
Seiji gave her a-thumbs-up as he pointed the camera at her with the battle raging behind her in the distance.
“This is Milley Ashford reporting to you from high above the Sidney Coliseum where the International KnightMare Competition had been disrupted by a force of as of yet unknown KnightMares. What was to be the first Olympiad had been rudely interrupted by these invaders who even now are engaging the Japan Jaguars and the Captain of the Red Dragons.”

Milley’s transmission came over the cockpit communication system of the Helios. “Olympiad?” Heracles remarked (in English) with his deep Greek-accent over the comm. as he blocked another attack by Li Jiang. “And you didn’t invite us?”
“No!” Li Jiang said as he unleashed a combination MVS and slash-harken attack that did only minor damage to the Helios as Heracles deflected the attacks with its shield.
“Oh now there’s no need to be that way about all this,” Heracles scolded him. “Under different circumstances we may have been comrades.”
“NEVER!” Li Jiang had had enough; he fired the Tian-e Ba Wang baryon cannon at Helios.
“Oh no you don’t,” Heracles said as he activated the Golden Fleece Veil of his Aegis shield. Immediately a globe of sparkling gold energy engulfed the Helios deflecting the baryon beam in numerous directions.
“Damn,” Li Jiang said in awe of the shield.
“My turn,” Heracles said as he fired his Chaos-Gun at the Shen-Hu. The violet-white beam shot forth from the crystal in the center of the Helios directly at the Shen-Hu.
“MOVE YOU IDIOT!” Gregor yelled at Li Jiang over the radio as he smashed what was left of his Type-3f into Li Jiang’s machine while ejecting from the doomed KnightMare. The Chaos-Gun disintegrated the Gekka but only caught the right half of Li Jiang Fong’s Shen-Hu; melting the torso and glide unit of the machine.
The Shen-Hu fell towards the earth like a rock.
“Li Jiang eject!” Tetsuo barked at him. “EJECT!”
“I can’t,” He said in frustration. “The ejection unit is fused.”
“I can help with that,” Heracles said as he flew the Helios down parallel with the Shen-Hu.
“Why the hell would you help us after trying to kill him?” Tetsuo asked.
“Because I’m a warrior not a butcher, and a warrior should die in combat with honor, not crash into the earth like a stone. To be honest I’ve no real interest in killing a bunch of Olympian athletes anyway. I only wanted to beat you in a fair fight.” Heracles laughed. “I admit I may have overreacted in firing my Chaos-Gun; it was an instinctual response to the attack your comrade made upon me. Allow me to make up for it now and let me see if I can help get him out of that wreck.” Helios flipped its club around with the handle facing the center torso of the Shen-Hu. “Try your ejection system again.”
“How do I know this isn’t a trick?” Fong scowled.
“Because if you don’t allow me to help you now then you’re as good as dead,” Heracles told him. “The ground is coming up on us quickly.”
“Whoever you are in the Bronze KnightMare, don’t listen to Fong, just get him out of that thing.” Gregor yelled over the radio.
“As you wish,” Heracles said as Helios pushed the handle of its club through the center of the Shen-Hu slowly; knocking the pilot’s compartment out the back of the machine where an Akatsuki caught it.

Akira dodged another swing from the Talos and cut into one of the wings of the Automatos splitting it down the middle but not cutting it off.
“You’re still not placing your attacks with precision,” Jason said as he cut off the pair of spike-shoulder armor on the left side of Zangetsu.
“You’re just playing with me aren’t you?” Akira scowled.
“Nonsense,” Jason told him, “You’ve been holding your own quite well against me Akira Nobunaga, but I fear you lack the conviction to actually attack me in earnest.”
“I see no point in taking the life of someone I know nothing about simply to win a battle. I’ll defeat you, but I’ve no intent on killing you.” Akira said.
“Nor I you Akira,” Jason said in a stern tone.
“Unfortunately for you I don’t have the same convictions!” Valletta let out as she slashed at the left arm of the Talos from above; cutting deep into hand of the clawed gauntlet with the Katen Yaibatou revolving blade sword of her Jikisan-type Akatsuki.
“No Mrs. Nu! Don’t get in the way!” Zangetsu body checked the Jikisan away from Talos.
“What the hell are you doing Akira?” Valletta yelled at him. “Have you gone crazy?”
“No,” Jason said as he fired a barrage of Hades-Cannon bolts at her Akatsuki. “He’s fighting with honor.” The blasts blew off the right arm and leg of Valletta’s KnightMare sending it into a spin.
“COACH!” Akira called out as he started to fly Zangetsu towards her falling machine.
“Stick to the task at hand and don’t get distracted Akira!” Jason berated him as he slashed at Zangetsu with his Adamantine Sword.
Akira barely dodged the swing; the edge of the blade sheered off the knee spike of the left leg of Zangetsu.
Nobunaga countered with a spinning blade maneuver that caught Jason by surprise. The Seidotou Brake Blade sliced the clawed-gauntleted hand of Talos off completely.
“Now you’re putting your heart into it!” Jason told him.

“You alright?” Sayoko asked Li Jiang as her Akatsuki held the pilot’s compartment of the Shen-Hu in its arms.
“I’m alive,” He grumbled.
“Who are these intruders?” Jeremiah asked as his fully armed Jikisan Akatsuki flew up carrying the escape capsule of Gregor’s Gekka.
“No idea,” Tetsuo said as he came up between the Helios and the others.
“I,” Heracles declared, “am Heracles of Thebes, Champion of Zeus.”
“Champion of Zeus?” Jeremiah asked in a befuddled tone.
“Are the gods of Olympus forgotten in this land?” Heracles inquired in response.
“Not forgotten Heracles,” Jeremiah explained, “They are honored in our histories and legends, but I find it hard to believe that you’re actually the Heracles of Greek legend.”
“I see,” Heracles remarked unmoved by Jeremiah’s disbelief. “Much time must indeed have passed for the feats of the Olympians to have passed into legend.”
“If you somehow really are the Olympian heroes of Greek myth then why are you attacking us?” Sayoko asked the question of immediate concern.
“Because Lady, we are conquering this land.” Heracles stated in a less than enthusiastic manner.
“I can see that,” Sayoko stated. “But why?”
“Because we have come to unseat the cripple Empress Nunnally and find the one who usurped her brother, Prince Schneizel, the rightful heir to the throne of the kingdom called Britannia…we have come to flush out and kill Zero.” Heracles said.
“Not if I have anything to say about it!” Jeremiah exclaimed as his Jikisan handed Gregor’s escape module to Tetsuo’s Gekka and unsheathed its Katen Yaibatou revolving blade sword.
“Say all you want about it, but words will not avail you against me,” Heracles told him over the radio.
“Such arrogance!” Jeremiah scoffed as his Jikisan flew in a zigzag pattern towards the Helios.
Heracles watched the Commander-type Akatsuki weave its way towards him.
The Jikisan came straight at the Helios then dove down below it.
“What the…” Heracles was taken aback by the move.
Jeremiah fired the chest slash-harken at the club in the hand of Helios and knocked it free.
“Nice move!” Heracles said as he fired the Adamantine-discus from his Aegis shield. The disc homed in on the Jikisan and nearly cut off its legs, but Jeremiah rolled his KnightMare into a crouched-ball position and flipped the Akatsuki in a mid-air summersault; thus avoiding the attack.
The Jikisan spun out of the flip and its blade landed hard onto the Chaos-Gun of the Automatos; shattering the amethyst crystal dome.
“You are a warrior worthy of me,” Heracles remarked. “Too bad you underestimated my discus.”
Jeremiah caught the returning discus out of the corner of his eye just in time to save himself but not the bottom of his KnightMare. The disc cut through the backside of the legs of the Jikisan, severing them completely before returning to the top of the Aegis shield.
Heracles flew quickly downwards and retrieved the club of Helios from the Coliseum field.
Jeremiah’s Jikisan fired its arm mounted Bazooka and double-barrel cannon at the Bronze Kolossos; the gold shimmer of the mecha’s veil simply deflected the projectiles.
“Do you actually think you can defeat a Champion of the Gods of Olympus?” Heracles scoffed as he flew up at the Jikisan with his club.
The Helios was too fast, Jeremiah could not evade the Bronze giant as it swung its club down at his Jikisan.
“Gods of Olympus huh,” C.C.’s sarcastic voice cut in over the channel. “Let’s see how invincible you are without that shield.” She said as she fired the Zero-Beam of Shinkirou at the elbow joint of Helios’ left arm; severing the limb completely.
“Ahhhhhhh!” Heracles yelled as bolts of electrical energy arced all over the cockpit of his Automatos.

“Heracles!” Jason exclaimed in fear for his best friend and comrade.
“What was that about being distracted?” Akira said as he brought the Seidotou Brake Blade up into the gray metal belly of Talos, directly under the Chaos-Gun. The sword sunk deep into the gray metal of the machine.
Red warning windows began popping up all over Jason’s console.
“Not bad boy,” Jason laughed. “You’re right I let my guard down. And to think I meant to school you in the way of the warrior.” He sighed, “This has gone on long enough Akira Nobunaga. I concede that you have defeated me, your fleet is free to leave.”
The Talos began falling out of the sky as the machine lost power.
“Jason!” Akira said in concern for the honorable man. “What’s wrong?”
“You pierced Talos’ main power cell with your sword.” Jason told him. “Now I can no longer control him and will undoubtedly crash and perish.”
“No!” Akira said as he flew Zangetsu up under Talos. The glider system of the KnightMare Frame slowed the decent significantly but didn’t stop it.
“I’ll guide you down to the surface,” Nobunaga told Jason.
“Thank you Akira.” He said.
“What about your friend?” Akira asked looking over to where the Helios dodged another of Shinkirou’s Zero Beams.
Jason opened a channel to the Helios, “Heracles, this battle is over, let the fleet leave without harm and retreat to the Coliseum below immediately.”
“Are you alright Jason?” Heracles inquired. “I’ve contacted Orpheus and asked for help over here.”
“You needing help?” Jason taunted him. “That’s new.”
“Yes well, they have more powerful Automatos here then we expected.” He dodged another Zero Beam. “That black and gold one is a real daemon.”
“How soon will Orpheus arrive?” Jason inquired.
“Any moment now,” Heracles said.
“Be sure and tell him to let the enemy fleet leave here without incident,” Jason was firm. “I gave the warrior who defeated me my word of honor that I would allow them to go if he won in single combat.”
“Understood Captain,” Heracles said. “Are you sure you’re alright Jason, I see that Black Automatos you were fighting clinging to the side of Talos.”
“Yes my old friend.” Jason smiled. “Don’t worry about me, I’m in good hands.”

“I can’t believe their letting us leave,” Captain Chiba said to Jeremiah Gottwald on the bridge of the Ikaruga.
“We still lost Australia,” He said in a grave tone. “I doubt allowing us to go free will hinder their objectives.”
“At least we’re alive,” Sayoko told him with a smile.
“How soon until we reach Japan?” Valletta asked Nagisa.
“Since your student Akira claims that his new found friend, the one called Jason, told him we should fly as high as we can to avoid this new enemy’s underwater weapons….at least five days at our current altitude.”
“Can’t we contact UFN headquarters yet?” Valletta inquired.
“No,” Chiba told her. “All communications satellites have gone dead. I can only surmise that what the other pilot told Jeremiah is true, and Schneizel is using the Thor to block all of our transmissions via its advanced ECM suite.”
"But how could Schneizel defy Zero?" CC said out loud; more to herself than the others on the bridge.
"Why couldn't he defy Zero?" Akira asked as he and the other Japan Jaguars gathered around her with curious expressions on their faces.
C.C. blushed, "Well...uh...Zero spared his life, he owes him." She stammered.
"You think Schneizel has somehow broken a Geass that Zero put upon him don't you C2?" Valletta asked in an accusatory tone.
C.C. turned away from Valletta's penetrating gaze.
"What makes you ask that Mrs. Nu?" Mika asked seeing C.C.'s reaction to her question. "Zero doesn't have the power of Geass does he?"
Chiba pursed her lips and looked at the lot of them, "I think we'd better come clean with them C2. They deserve to know the truth, and only you know the whole story."
"I can't tell you," C.C. looked at her ashamed. "It's what he wanted. I promised him."
Captain Nagisa Chiba eyed her sternly, "If by HE you mean Lelouch, then you had better consider the fact that his sacrifice was in vain. We've a new enemy out here that isn't going to be swayed by grandiose speeches of Justice and Liberty. We don't have a prince among their ranks with the power to bend the will of others to help us. They, on the other hand, are at the very least being aided by Lelouch's brother Schneizel who knows the strengths and weaknesses of our forces and no doubt has his own scheme in all of this. For all we know Cornelia might be involved with them as well. I think it's high time you told us who the new Zero is because all of us who served the real Zero know that he's dead. We need to know if the new Zero has the power of Geass and if he can help us against this new threat."
The Japan Jaguars stood in shock at the words that were coming out of Nagisa's mouth.
C.C. met Chiba's glare, "The new Zero does not have the power of Geass, of that I am sure. As to who he is...I think you already know Captain Chiba."
Chiba humpfed, "Suzaku Kururugi isn't dead is he?"
C.C. said nothing.
"Tohdoh thought as much," Nagisa spat the words at C.C., "so now we have to face this enemy without knowing if they possess Geass."
"They do," C.C. told her turning her head away. "The Geass Order knew of the Great Society of the Gods that existed before the flood that ended their civilization and killed them, or so we thought. Apparently we were wrong."
"Yah I'd say you were wrong!" Mika blurt out.
"Who cares if they have Geass? These people are honorable," Akira protested. "We can reason with them and negotiate a peaceful resolution to all of this."
"That might be true of their warriors Mr. Nobunaga, but not necessarily of their leaders," Jeremiah told him with a frown. "Their leaders are the ones that sent them here to conquer Australia and if they've conspired with Schneizel to kill Zero and perhaps even Empress Nunnally, then we must consider them a great threat."
"Which means we have to have Geass users on our side," Sayoko pointed out. "That way we can at least try and even up the odds."
"Well C2?" Valletta said with a narrow eyed look. "You're the one who gave Lelouch his Geass power, so I assume you could give it to us as well."
"It's not that easy!" C.C. shouted. "When I give someone the power of Geass part of their consciousness merges with my own and thus we each gain a part of each other's mind. It's not like I can hand out the power to just anyone."
"Well who can you give the power of Geass too?" Gregor inquired.
"Only someone I make a contract with." C.C.'s voice trembled as the others gathered around her; she felt trapped, cornered.
"So make a contract with one of us." Tetsuo growled.
"I can't..." C.C. said with tension rising in her voice. "It isn't that easy. You don't understand. For me to grant Geass to someone they have to be special." She held back her frustration at the feelings that threatened to break her countenance. "They have to be someone I...." She hung her head.
"Someone you what?" Jeremiah inquired.
"SOMEONE SHE LOVES YOU BLOCKHEADS!" Milley Ashford's voice rang out through the bridge from the Captain's mezzanine.
"Mrs. Ashford the bridge is off limits to unauthorized personnel!" Captain Chiba barked at her.
"I have authorization," Milley giggled. "From your boyfriend no less," She held up the special badge that Tohdoh had issued to the Tokyo Broadcasting Station as a public-relations gesture for the International KnightMare Competition.
Smiles cracked across the faces of everyone present; everyone except for Nagisa that is; whose face had gone beet red.
"My relationship to General Tohdoh is no one's business but my own," Chiba tried to sound firm but a grin threatened to break her resolve.
Milley threw up her arms haphazardly, "Whatever. That still doesn't change the fact that the only way C2 is going to give someone a Geass is if she's in love with them. And I highly doubt any of us can compare to Lulu. He certainly had my heart for a time and several other women too."
C.C. blushed at Milley's comments.
"I've always wondered why Lelouch never pursued any of us." Milley’s demeanor became sad. "Especially Shirley...guess I know why now." Milley clasped her hands together, "You we're his secret love." She sighed.
"Are you finished Milley?" Valletta said with her hands on her hips as her left eyebrow twitched in irritation at Milley Ashford's interruption.
"For now," Milley snickered as she smiled at Valletta.

"What do you mean a fleet of airships has escaped Australia?" Sthenno inquired of Schneizel on the bridge of the Thor. The Goddess stood looking out at the partially uncovered city of Tartarus as Doctor Viviane's crew continued to unearth the ancient metropolis from the ice of Antarctica.
"The global surveillance satellite over the Pacific has detected a flotilla of six airships, at maximum altitude for their types, heading towards Japan." Schneizel told her smoothly. “Apparently your man Jason has made a critical error.”
“Perhaps I should go to find out why he allowed this fleet to escape.” Euryale said from the place she stood in the center of the bridge.
“Yes,” Sthenno grimaced. “go with Medusa in the Gorgon and take a legion of Harpy-Automatos with you. I want that fleet of airships destroyed before it reaches Japan.”
“As you wish my sister,” Euryale bowed and went to fetch Medusa.

Kannon sat on Captain Kouzuki’s bed looking through her personal diary and learning much about the fiery red head.
“Kallen you poor thing,” He said to himself as he read the pages of her mixed feelings for Lelouch. “You’re still in love with him even now.”
The door to the cabin opened up and a raven haired young woman in the jumpsuit of an Automatos pilot entered.
“So this is where you’ve gone,” Medusa cooed at Kannon.
“Excuse me?” He said confused. “Am I needed on the bridge?”
“No,” the girl giggled as she unzipped her jumpsuit to expose the tops of her breasts; down just to the edge of the pink of her nipples. “You’re needed here. I’ve had my eye on you Kannon since I first saw you.”
“I’m sorry Medusa,” Kannon said, unnerved by her unexpected advance. “But my heart belongs to someone else, and I don’t know you.”
Medusa walked over to him and took the book from his hands. She let it drop to the floor as she pushed Kannon down on the bed, “I don’t want your heart my beauty,” She laughed wickedly, “and you’ll know me soon enough.”
“No, I don’t want…” Kannon started to protest but Medusa pinned him to the bed and kissed him passionately on the lips; her chest rubbed up against his body as she did so.
The woman tore his shirt open.
“MEDUSA!” Euryale’s voice called out from behind her.
Medusa’s face contorted into a vicious scowl. “What do you want?” she sneered.
“I want you to leave that boy alone, and prepare to depart for Japan immediately.” Euryale told her with a firm voice.
Medusa leaned in next to Kannon’s left ear and put the lobe of it in her mouth, she suckled it briefly and said, “Don’t worry my sweet boy, I shall have you when I return.”
Kannon didn’t say anything as Medusa slid off of his body and zipped up her jumpsuit. She smiled and blew him a kiss before departing with Euryale.
“This madness must end,” His voice shook uncontrollably. “I’ve got to warn the world.” He cried to himself. “I’ve got to tell someone….but who?” He contemplated the myriad of possible people that would listen to him and only one name came to mind.
“Nina,” he said her name to comfort himself. “I’ve got to escape from here and find Nina.” Kannon got up from the bed and closed his shirt as he headed out the door for the main hangar of the Thor. A plan of action began brewing in his head as he made his way down to the flight deck.

Next Chapter;

TURN Seven: Decisions

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Old 2009-10-04, 11:26   Link #10
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Turn Seven: Decisions

“How many years had Lelouch thought over his grand scheme of a new world? Had it been upon our first arrival in Japan? Or perhaps it was when we met Suzaku? I guess I may never know what went through his mind when Charles berated him that day before the court of Britannian nobles. It changed something inside him and solidified his decision to bring down Britannia and change the world. I wish he would have spoke to me about it. Maybe I could have changed his mind and lessened his burden…maybe I could’ve helped him come to a different decision.”-Excerpt from the personal diary of Empress Nunnally vi Britannia dated August 8th, 2025 a.t.b.

Zero walked down the hall of the top floor of the UFN Headquarters. A bank of large windows flanked his left side as he trod down the corridor in the dim light of the ceiling fixtures that illuminated the path in front of him. Outside the windows he could see the lights of the city of Kyoto as they lit up the twilight of sky of Japan.
Suzaku thought of the urgency of the whole situation that was now the buzz of the entire UFN delegation and the reason Zhou Xianglin had brought Nunnally, Kaguya, and the Tianzi here so quickly. It had already been a few hours since his arriving at the UFN headquarters building and he was beginning to worry about Nunnally. Zhou had ushered Nunnally off to the UFN council chambers almost as soon as their aerial shuttle had landed on the grounds of the UFN building and practically ordered Zero to report here; the personal office of General Kyoshiro Tohdoh.
Suzaku came to the door at the end of the long hallway and knocked.
“Come in,” the hardened voice of Tohdoh said from the other side of the egress.
Zero entered the room, “You wished to see me general?” Standing in front of his former sensei Suzaku’s modulated voice sounded tacky to his ears; he contemplated turning off the device but changed his mind.
“Do you know why I’ve asked you here Zero?” Tohdoh stared directly at him.
“I assume it is due to the terrorist attacks on our expedition to Antarctica.” Zero said flatly.
“Terrorist attack?” Kyoshiro laughed. “The ghost of Imperial Britannia is hardly a terrorist attack.”
Ghost of Imperial Britannia? What does he mean? “I don’t follow you General.” Zero said.
Tohdoh raised his chin, “Schneizel is a traitor, and is conspiring with his sister Cornelia.” It was a lie, but Kyoshiro intended to flush out whatever information that Zero might already know of the situation.
“That is impossible,” Zero said bluntly. “Schneizel would never betray Britannia and we would never betray the UFN.”
“Don’t you mean Schneizel would never betray you?” Tohdoh gambled that Lelouch had ensured his older brother would be subservient to Zero via his power of Geass.
What? Suzaku was taken off guard. Could he have learned what really happened? Does Tohdoh know what the Zero Requiem really was? “No, I meant that Schneizel pledged his allegiance to Empress Nunnally and to me Zero…”
Tohdoh cut him short, “Do you take me for a fool? Schneizel would never give up on his dream of world domination over a simple oath or pledge.” Kyoshiro frowned, “The Britannian rulers have no sense of honor. Charles Britannia didn’t, Clovis did not, Lelouch had no honor, Cornelia held her own twisted sense of it, and Schneizel used it as a tool to manipulate others for his own ambitions…even poor Euphemia lacked any sense of it, which is why she fell victim to her own naiveté.”
How dare he? Suzaku clenched his fists as he fumed under the mask. “Euphemia was only a pawn in Lelouch’s plans, she was innocent.”
Tohdoh smiled, he had gotten the answer he wanted. Only one person would be so quick to single out and protect Euphemia’s honor from the list of names he had given. “Is that so?” He waited a moment for any reaction from Zero before continuing, “None of them can be described as innocent. Especially Euphemia, she corrupted my greatest student and a person I once thought of as a friend, into her personal Knight of Britannia causing him to abandon his own people; undoubtedly for her own childish whims. His name was Suzaku Kururugi, have you ever heard of him Zero?”
Tohdoh you bastard! Rage burned in Suzaku’s head clouding his judgment. “Is this why you’ve called me here, to discuss the problems of the dead?”
“Schneizel and Cornelia are quite alive and a very grave threat, I was simply pointing out that your supposition about Schneizel remaining loyal to you due to some sense of honorable fealty was ludicrous.” Kyoshiro was pleased with himself. He had unnerved Zero and thrown him off balance which was all the proof Tohdoh needed to be convinced that he was right about this man; this Zero was Suzaku.
Emotion seized Suzaku, “There is NO possible way Schneizel would betray me!”
“Don’t you mean Britannia?” Tohdoh eyed him. “Or are you certain that your friend and conspirator Lelouch li Britannia used his Geass on him.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Suzaku stated defensively. “Empress Nunnally would never betray the peace her brother gave his life to create and you know it!”
“Then if you didn’t order Schneizel to commit this act of aggression against the UFN, who did?” Tohdoh activated the wall-screen at the far end of his office, “This was the last transmission we received before our communications satellites went dead fourteen hours ago; a video started showing the last recording of the African Black Knight forces near Port Elizabeth being attacked by an army of Gloucester and Vincent-Ward KnightMare Frames.
“Cape Town was completely destroyed by a tidal wave ten minutes before Port Elizabeth was attacked,” Kyoshiro told him.
Zero stared at the images in total silence.
“We think the tidal wave was caused by an underwater FLEIJA explosion,” Tohdoh said calmly. “We both know who the only person is that could develop a FLEIJA weapon of this type, don’t we?”
“Nina,” Zero whispered.
“Precisely,” Kyoshiro said. “That is why I need your help.”
“My help? What is it you wish me to do?” Suzaku was stunned by the information that Tohdoh had shown him.
“You are the man the people trust…the Knight of Justice,” Tohdoh gave him a narrow eyed look, “You must convince the people of Britannia, and the world, that we must go to war with Schneizel and Cornelia so that we can restore peace. You must also convince them that this whole mess is due to the weakness and obfuscation of polices and ambitions of the UFN.”
“You’re asking me to betray the UFN and Empress Nunnally,” Zero said in disbelief at Tohdoh's words. “I cannot do that General and you know it.”
“Not even for Japan?” Kyoshiro asked. “Do you care so much for Britannia and the UFN that its 99th Emperor created that you would turn your back on us again?”
Suzaku’s rage got the better of him and the emotional wounds of six years ago reopened, “AGAIN! It wasn’t me that betrayed Japan. I tried to save it! I tried to stop the bloodshed, the death of innocent people. It was you and the fools in Kyoto House! If you hadn’t continued the war with Britannia there would never have been a rebellion, never been an Order of the Black Knights, never been a UFN, Lelouch would never have gotten involved with you; and Euphie would still be….” He caught himself before he went too far, but it was too late.
“Alive?” Tohdoh’s expression was stone. “Don’t you think it’s time to put these demons to rest…Suzaku?” Kyoshiro walked up to Zero and placed his hand on his shoulder. “You’ve done enough Kururugi; you needn't continue to pretend to be something you’re not? Lelouch was Zero, not you. You are a soldier, a warrior, the way I trained you to be, not some dog of Britannia, the UFN, or the Black Knights. You are Japanese and you are Samurai, the way I made you!”
Tohdoh’s words cut deep into Suzaku’s psyche. Images of he and Kyoshiro training together, Tohdoh instructing him, and his father and mother smiling at his progress under Kyoshiro’s tutorship all flashed through his mind.
"I can't just turn my back on her Kyoshiro," Zero said. "Empress Nunnally is all alone out there, and I swore an oath to protect her. What good is the honor you speak of if I can't even keep the promise I made to do that?"
Tohdoh frowned, "Are you ignoring what's going on here?" Kyoshiro leaned in close to the mask, "We're talking about Britannia rebuilding itself! You may have been able to keep the former lords from overthrowing you and your precious Nunnally before but not now Suzaku! As soon as word leaks out that Schneizel and Cornelia have joined forces to unseat her and reform Imperial Britannia there is NOTHING you will be able to do to stop them; and then what will you do? They have FLEIJA! We do not! We have to act now while we still have the advantage."
Suzaku knew that if Tohdoh was right, and Schneizel had somehow broken Lelouch's Geass command on him, then he had to act...and fast. "Very well," he said. "I will recommend we apprehend and bring Schneizel to justice, but I demand that Nunnally have a chance to speak to both Cornelia and Schneizel before I am willing to entertain a call to arms against them."
Kyoshiro removed his hand from Zero's shoulder and walked back behind his desk. He turned his back to Suzaku and looked out the large picture-window of his office to streets of the city below, "You may have your communiqué with Cornelia and Schneizel if we can arrange it. However, if your precious Nunnally cannot convince them to lay down their arms and surrender, I will recommend a full scale invasion of South America."
"I hope it doesn't come to that General," Zero said.
"Are you really going to continue to deny who you are?" Tohdoh asked in a cool tone.
"Suzaku Kururugi is dead," Zero told him harshly. "Only Zero remains."
"I see," Kyoshiro said looking out the window. "You may go now...Zero."

"You see anything Tamaki?" Gino asked as they slunk around the side of a building under the cover of darkness of the cold AM hours of the South American night.
Tamaki held a pair of micro-binoculars in front of him. "Yep," he replied as he watched the Azul Defense Force trucks unload all four of their KnightMare Frames into a large well-lit warehouse. "Those are our Type-21s alright."
"Great," Lt. Weinberg snarled. "Now what the hell are we gonna do?"
"Get them back," Kallen said as she came up behind them. "Anya and I spent most of the day scouting out the perimeter of this place. It doesn't look very heavily guarded and there's practically no video or audio surveillance equipment around here. We should be able to get in and fly out without too much trouble."
"There has been an increase in activity though," Anya added taking out her small PDA sized pocket-computer. "According to the Principality's military communications network, there seems to be a general order for all of the provincial territories to go on high alert. That doesn't sound like something you'd need to do for just the four of us."
"So once we're actually in the air we'll be in for a fight the whole way out of Cornelia's territory." Gino frowned. "Not good Captain."
"We don't have any choice," Kallen said in a serious tone. "If we stay here much longer someone is bound to find us. We can't afford to get captured."
"I hear that," Tamaki said. "I say we just storm in there right now and take our fighters back."
"And die in the process," Anya rolled her eyes. "I think we should try and sneak in through the rear loading dock. It looked like one of the rusted main doors back there is stuck partially open. We should be able to slip underneath and into the building from there. Chances are good that our KnightMares will be held towards the front of the warehouse and thus we should have a better chance at concealing ourselves until we get the opportunity to reclaim our machines."
"Yeah whatever," Tamaki grumbled. "I prefer the direct approach, but if you ladies want to take the back-door in then I'm cool with that too."
"Okay tough-guy," Kallen laughed. "I guess we'll let you go in first then."
"We'd better get going," Gino told them as he looked up into the dim light of the early morning sky. "Those lights in the distance look like an airship. I'll bet it's coming to take possession of our Type-21s."
"They're not wasting any time are they?" Kallen sneered.
"Neither should we," Anya said as she started around the corner of the backside of the building they crouched next too.
"Wait up for us Anya," Gino told the girl as he and the others followed closely behind.
Within a few minutes the group of Black Knights weaved their way along the backsides of the buildings which abutted the large warehouse. They found their way to the loading dock area which was littered with broken concrete and scrubs of weeds pushing their way upward through the tarmac.
The four members of the Yamato no Orochi crept to the open loading door as silently as the terrain would allow.
Using hand gestures, Kallen signaled Tamaki to go in first, followed by Gino, then Anya, then herself.
"It's pretty dark in here," Tamaki whispered to Gino.
"Quiet," Lt. Weinberg told him softly as they felt their way through the darkness of the loading dock in the back of the building.
"I found a doorknob," Tamaki said as he stopped at the entrance. "Should I open it?" He asked holding onto it.
"Might as well," Kallen whispered from her crouched position at the back of the line. "But do it slowly."
Tamaki turned the door handle as cautiously as he could and eased the entrance open quietly. The doorway led to a dimly lit corridor that ran the length of the rear of the warehouse; doors lined the opposite side of the door Tamaki held open as did two other corridors.
Tamaki motioned the all clear signal with his hand and the others filed out into the hallway; single file with their pistols at the ready.
"Which way?" Gino asked Kallen at the front of the line.
She motioned for him to go down the first hall at their left.
They rounded the corner and followed the dimly lit hall to another door at its far end.
Tamaki (at the front of the line again) looked towards Kallen, who nodded in reply to his silent question. He opened the door inwards to reveal an iron frame stairway leading upwards toward the catwalks above a large, brightly lit, central storage area. In the center of this area were crews of military personnel working busily around the four Type-21 KnightMare Frames as they loaded them into service gantries.
"We'd better move fast or else they'll have our KnightMares locked down." Gino told Kallen.
Captain Kouzuki looked over the mass of technicians, engineers, and soldiers that surrounded the four KnightMares. “This isn’t going to be easy. We’ll have to move in two teams and take the guards down first. There are six of them; two at the main doors, two on the scaffolding above us, and two at the back of the warehouse near the door to the control booth. We need to take down the two on the scaffolding and the two at the control booth entrance. Avoid the two at the entrance; even if they shoot at us they’ll have to fire their guns on semiautomatic or else they might hit their own men.”
Kallen looked at Lt. Alstreim, “Anya, you and I will head for the energy filler trucks on the far wall of the warehouse. We’ll have to move them quickly and replace our energy fillers.” She turned to Gino, “You and Tamaki will have to provide cover fire while Anya and I refill our KnightMare Frames.”
“This plan sounds pretty weak Kallen,” Tamaki complained.
“You got a better one?” Kallen asked him with a sarcastic grin.
He shrugged his shoulders.
Kallen chuckled, “Didn’t think so.” She gave Gino a smile. “You ready to do this?”
“As I’ll ever be,” He replied with a wink.
“Let’s go,” Kallen said as she darted out of their concealed area near the door; firing on the two guards on the scaffolding above them as she ran out towards the KnightMare loading trucks with Anya right behind her.
Anya took both of the guards on the catwalk down with carefully placed shots to their legs; the two men writhed in pain holding their wounded legs on the metal floor of the walkway.
Gino and Tamaki shot down the two guards at the entrance to the booth. Gino hit one in the right shoulder and leg while Tamaki hit the left arm and thigh of the other.
The two guards at the entrance to the warehouse fired on Gino and Tamaki causing them to take cover behind an upturned metal shop-bench whilst the technicians and engineers ran for cover to escape the crossfire of the gun-battle.
“Hurry up Kallen!” Tamaki yelled over to her as he caught a glimpse of the people in the control booth frantically calling for help on their radio.
Kallen and Anya split up from one another as each of them jumped into the open-cab of an energy-filler truck and started the low-riding machines. The electric motors of the vehicles started up immediately and both women pulled them out towards the four KnightMare Frames that had been moved into positions just in front of the service gantries.
The two women moved the trucks into position next to their Type-21s as bullets ricocheted off of the metal skin of the trucks.
Kallen started the metal arm of the energy filler truck up to the plug-in of her “Shogun” when the truck’s arm exploded into a mass of twisted metal from a projective hitting it.
Kouzuki shielded her face as small pieces of burning metal fell everywhere. “What the hell?” She yelled out.
“Gloucesters!” Tamaki cried out.
Six of the fifth generation KnightMare Frames rode into the warehouse and leveled their autocannons at the four Black Knights. A blinding spotlight flooded the interior of the cargo bay as a mass of some twenty soldiers ran in and formed a line at the feet of the large metal warmachines.
“All men prepare to fire!” A female officer standing at the head of the troupe demanded.
The Azul Defense Force troopers raised their weapons at Kallen and her team while the KnightMares lowered their autocannons to the level required for personnel neutralization.
“READY!” The female officer barked.
“Gino, Anya, Tamaki, RUN!!” Kallen called out to them as she moved the truck around to ram it into the mass of soldiers.
“TAKE AIM!” The Azul officer continued.
“STOP!” A female voice commanded as she walked out of the blinding light towards the interior of the warehouse. Her glasses reflected the light from the headlights of the energy-filler truck that Kallen had managed to move around to face the Azul forces.
The short woman’s appearance became clear as she entered the building. Her long green hair wrapped around the shoulders of her white lab coat that covered the pink-red skirt and blouse she wore underneath it.
She adjusted her glasses before addressing the Yamato no Orochi. “It’s been a long time Kallen.” Nina snickered.

“I don’t understand why I can’t raise Schneizel on the communications system,” Nunnally complained to Kaguya and Reika as they stood within an antechamber of the UFN council building.
“I’ve heard that all international communications are out,” Jiang told her as she poured them all some tea.
“When do you think this darn meeting will start anyway?” Kaguya Sumeragi complained as she took one of the steaming cups the Tianzi handed her.
“Now,” Zhou said as she entered the antechamber to fetch the three women.
Nunnally (on her cybernetic legs), Kaguya, and Reika walked slowly but gracefully to the main chambers of the UFN. It was Kaguya’s idea to move at a leisurely pace, not only for Empress Nunnally’s sake, but for the effect of not being at the beck and call of the United Federation of Nation’s council.
The council chamber was a large bowl shaped room with a circular bottom surrounded by tiers of seats that ran up to a walkway at the back of the large meeting-hall. The council was filled to capacity when the three women entered the chamber and took their pre-arranged seats at the head of the assembly.
The emergency meeting of the UFN council had already begun.
“This is intolerable!” A corpulent French representative of the EU shouted out to his fellow members. “The Sakuradite in Antarctica was to be for the whole world’s use, not the petty ambitions of the former Britannian Monarchy.”
“We should have arrested all of them from the start,” A black-woman of the African delegation bellowed from the top tier of the assembly.
“Let’s not forget that it was Britannia that developed the FLEIJA in the first place,” A bearded elderly Italian representative declared with a raised fist.
Zhou came to the head of the governing body and slammed the gavel down hard upon the podium; the reverberation of the microphone enhanced impact vibrated the bickering delegation into their seats.
“ORDER! This meeting is now in session!” Zhou yelled at them. “Empress Nunnally of Britannia, Empress Jiang Reika of the Chinese Federation, and Lady Kaguya Sumeragi of the United States of Japan are now present and presiding over this emergency meeting by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the UFN armed forces, General Kyoshiro Tohdoh.”
“What?” The Frenchman exclaimed. “Why would he put the Empress of Britannia at the head of this conclave when it is her brother and sister whom are responsible for this FLEIJA attack?”
“FLEIJA attack?” Nunnally was shocked and angered by the accusation. “Cornelia would never use such a weapon!”
“How dare you feign ignorance!” He shouted at her. “We know you’ve conspired with them against us. You are a traitor!”
Kaguya shot him a venomous glare, “Do you have actual evidence of this Monsieur Le Fiat or did you just scry that information out of the last doughnut you plopped in that fat orifice you call a mouth!”
The man was mortified by Sumeragi’s verbal assault, “It is no secret that you are a friend of Madame Nunnally, Lady Kaguya. I’ve no doubt that Japan has a stake in acquiring a share of the Sakuradite that now rests in the hands of Chancellor Schneizel.” Le Fiat’s beady little eyes moved over to the Tianzi. “And what of the Chinese Federation, are they apart of this as well?”
Jiang Reika raised her chin towards him defiantly. “Are you insinuating that a conspiracy exists between us?”
“Yes! Why wouldn’t there be?” The Italian man joined in. “We know that the three of you were traveling here together from Britannia for the original UFN meeting. Perhaps it was to iron out the details of whom shall get what share of the spoils of this scheme.”
“That is preposterous!” The Tianzi yelled at the man. “We were traveling together to…”
“Discuss the situation with me in private!” Zero said as he walked down towards the center of the chamber. Whispers amongst the representatives surrounded him and spread throughout the congress as he made his way to the bottom.
“Is it really him?” Le Fiat inquired out loud to the assembly. “Is he really Zero?’
Kaguya snickered, “Yah, he’s a zero alright.”
Muffled laughter bounced around the room.
“Kaguya!” Jiang Reika glared at her. “They all can hear you with your microphone on.”
Sumeragi’s face turned red, “woops” she said as she slumped down into her seat.
Suzaku ignored his cousin’s comment as he addressed the council, “General Tohdoh has briefed me on the situation and I recommend we contact both Cornelia Ceasaro and Chancellor Schneizel in order to get their side of this situation.”
“As if they would tell us the truth?” The African delegate yelled at him. “Are you aware of the attack on Port Elizabeth and the destruction of Cape Town?”
Gasps filled the room as the shock of the news filtered through the representatives.
The ebony woman continued, “Not that we can ask them anyway as all of our satellite communications have gone completely dead, making intercontinental transmissions impossible.”
“Yes I am aware of the attacks and the communication problem that succeeded them,” Zero told her. “But we still must pursue this in an orderly and diplomatic way so as not to precipitate an unnecessary conflict. We have no solid proof that Cornelia and Schneizel are working together. Cornelia may have no knowledge of any of this. If we attack her without just cause we will only be giving Schneizel an ally should this be all part of some elaborate scheme of his.”
“Perhaps Zero is correct,” The burly gentleman from the Russian delegation told his fellow congressmen. “Maybe we should have all the facts before we pass judgment on Cornelia and Schneizel.” The wizened old man smiled in Zero’s direction.
Suzaku nodded at him in thanks before turning towards Nunnally, “Empress Nunnally, in light of the situation surrounding our international communications grid being shut down I can only come to the conclusion that this problem is due to the advanced ECM suite of the Thor. I have sought out the advice of someone familiar with this form of technology and asked her here to give her suggestions on how we might overcome this problem.” Zero outstretched his arm towards the blond haired Indian beauty at the top of the stair he had come down. “Gentlemen and Lady-congressmen, may I present to you Professor Rakshata Chawla.”
Rakshata gracefully waltzed down the staircase with her trusty long-pipe in hand and an entourage of technicians in tow who were carrying a holographic overhead projection device.
Kaguya gave Rakshata a smile and a concealed wave of Hi with her left hand. Rakshata smiled back at her while she waited for the technicians to finish setting up the projection device; they were done in a few moments.
Professor Chawla addressed the conclave, “Ladies and gentlemen of the UFN council, I believe I have come up with a plan to restore most of our communications array quickly.” The projector came to life and created a 3D holographic representation of the globe above Rakshata.
“If we position transmission and receiver pods along these positions with high-altitude balloons and glide-device anchors,” red dots appeared on the 3D globe above Rakshata, “we should be able to restore communications between the continents via short-wave radio. After that we can use the ground based systems on land to relay information.”
“Balloons?” The woman from the African delegation asked with a skeptical eye at the digital model. “And how long will this take to implement?”
“With our current fleet of airships and Type-21s,” Professor Chawla smiled. “Eight hours, maximum.”
Zero looked over the assembly of delegates, "If we are too maintain peace and justice as an international body, then we must try to establish communications with the accused parties before we simply make an offensive move against them. I ask you all to vote now and make a decision as to whether or not we should put Rakshata's plan into action at once."
The conclave of representatives muttered amongst themselves for fifteen minutes before Kaguya stood up and asked, "Shall we take a vote on whether or not to put this plan to work immediately?" Sumeragi waited for a show of hands.
"Very well then, we shall vote on Rakshata's plan now. Let those for the plan raise their hands," The bulk of the representatives raised their right arms.
"And those against?"
A few arms went up.
"That’s that then," Kaguya smirked. "The Yeas have it! We shall put Professor Chawla's plan to work immediately."

"Papua New-Guinea is our best chance of making up some time," Chiba told the group that stood on the bridge of the Ikaruga as she took another sip of her morning coffee. The mid-morning sun clashed with the digital map that showed northern Australia and the Papua New-Guinea islands.
Valletta swallowed a slug of orange juice from a carton she held then asked, “Isn’t there a UFN airbase near the Owen Stanley Mountains just to the north of Port Moresby?”
“Yes, it’s a small base but it should have enough supplies and equipment to allow us to repair our damaged KnightMares and rearm our fleet. I think the elite Black Knight Brilliant-Lance squadron is stationed there also, which means that base has at least twelve Type-21 Variable-KnightMare Frames.” Chiba stated.
“So we’ll have adequate protection while we rearm and replenish our ship stores,” Jeremiah said as he monitored the overhead viewscreen data that Nagisa had brought up on the viewer. “Would it be possible to unload the civilians there?” He continued.
“Anxious to get off my ship so soon are you?” Chiba teased him.
“No,” He smirked. “I was just thinking that we should get those not experienced in combat to safety should we find ourselves in battle again.”
Chiba gave him a troubled look, “I don’t think Papua New-Guinea would be the place to drop them off.”
“You think this new enemy will attack there soon don’t you Nagisa?” Valletta inquired.
“That would be the most logical course of action for them,” C.C. crunched down a mouthful of shredded wheat cereal and milk from the Captain’s mezzanine. “They have the military advantage, I can’t see them stopping at Australia for longer then they need to secure their position.”
“Then we had better hurry and get there before they do,” Jeremiah told his three compatriots. “Otherwise we’ll have no chance of making it to Japan.”

“I don’t like leaving Hephaestus alone in Tartarus my Prince,” Sthenno said in a snarky tone from the Command chair she sat in on the bridge of the Thor. The morning sunlight glinted off of her raven black hair giving it the sheen of finely polished black-opal which enhanced her already radiant beauty.
“We shall only be gone for a day at most my Goddess,” Schneizel told her with a warm smile. “Your warrior Jason has yet to achieve dominance over the Australian continent and we cannot afford to loose much more time. Therefore I thought it best if I convince the people of Australia to ally with us. We’re already behind schedule which could allow the UFN to gain some time and mount a counter offensive should your sisters fail…”
“They will not!” She cut him short. “The harpies and the Gorgon may not be fast enough to catch the renegade fleet of airships, were the enemy flotilla to continue to fly on to Japan, but since they’ve chosen to change their course and head for the islands above Australia it is wise to assume they will stop there to rejuvenate their ships and rearm.”
“I agree, that is a logical course of action for them to take,” Schneizel gave her a worried look. “However, if that is the case then your sisters may be in danger.”
“Oh?” Sthenno asked with a raised brow. “And why is that my Prince.”
“I believe the base in Papua New-Guinea is equipped with Type-21O Outback KnightMare Frames. Those KnightMares are heavily armed versions of the standard type of tenth generation variable KnightMare and since it seems that Jason’s Automatos were evenly matched with the few seventh and eighth generation KnightMares they encountered in Australia I’d hate to think what could happen if they engaged tenth generation types.”
“And you thought to tell me this only now!” Sthenno snarled at him.
“Please do not be angry my Goddess, I had no idea the fugitives would flee to Papua New-Guinea. However…” Schneizel paused. “If you would permit me to convert what remains of the Australian defense forces to our cause then we could overwhelm the Black Knight force near the Owen Stanley Mountain range. It will take at least twelve hours for the renegades to resupply their craft, we’ve plenty of time to reach Australia and deploy a force of converts to crush the Papua New-Guinea defenses and thus take the chain of Islands. At the same time we can send Euryale and her force of Harpies to the Philippine Islands to ambush this fleet once it crosses over them.”
“What makes you think they’ll fly to the Philippines?” Sthenno’s expression softened as her curiosity got hold of her.
“They could have bypassed Papua New Guinea and flew straight to Japan at low altitude much faster then they are traveling now.” Schneizel pressed a button on a nearby control console and brought up a map of the Philippine Sea area with six red dots representing the Black Knight fleet. “They’re traveling at high altitude and moving towards large land masses. It doesn’t make sense for them do this when they could’ve just jaunted across the open ocean much faster. Unless of course they know of the fate of the armada Charybdis destroyed at Kerguelen Island, then it would make sense for them to take the course of action they’re currently employing.” Schneizel gave Sthenno a grave look, “However, there is no way the Australian forces would have known the fate of the force we destroyed at Kerguelen due to the fact we created a world-wide communications blackout almost as soon as Tohdoh was informed of what happened to the combined African-Australian fleet. The timing of the blackout was perfect.”
“Meaning?” Sthenno eyed him cautiously.
He walked over to her and knelt down in front of her, “Meaning we have a traitor in our midst my Goddess; someone who told the Black Knight fleet of Charybdis and how to avoid it.”
Sthenno regarded him for several moments before she caressed his cheek gently, “You are correct my Prince and I’ve no doubt it is Jason and his Argonauts who’ve done this thing. Vengeance and honor are one and the same to them. He probably feels that I’ve betrayed him because we had him attack Australia during the Olympiad that you spoke of to me before I sent Jason there. The men of my culture are fickle like that. To them sport is akin to hero worship or obedience to one’s deity. To interrupt sport for the sake of conquest is viewed as an injustice by Jason and his men who are regrettably among the most honor-bound men of Tartarus. Therefore to appease his honor he will seek vengeance upon us.”
“Honor is an annoyance at times,” Schneizel smiled at her. “However, it can be put to good use provided Scylla has the same sense of honor.”
“Oh?” She tittered seductively, “What are you driving at Prince Schneizel?”.
He took her hand in his, “Jason and his men have deprived her of a chance at striking down this fleet of renegades by informing them of the power of her Charybdis. That treasonous act of disgrace must be punished.”
Sthenno cackled wickedly, then bent down and kissed him on the lips, “You are a cunning one aren’t you my Prince. Indeed, I shall have Scylla shadow Jason and his Argonauts as they make their way towards Japan. Once they have crushed the UFN in Kyoto I shall have her destroy him along with the whole miserable country.”
“Prince Schneizel,” A female navigational officer interrupted.
“What is it?” He asked as he stood up.
“A supersonic-high-altitude-shuttle (SHAS) has just launched from the top KnightMare bay.
“WHAT!” Sthenno barked as she looked around the bridge. “Where’s Kannon?” She hissed.

Kannon held onto the flight-stick of the SHAS for dear life. Even in the special-supersonic flightsuit he wore he could feel his body being pushed down deep into the G-couch chair as the little triangular shaped ship flew at MACH 25 (19,000 mpg/30,400 kph).
Palmer Island was a blur underneath him that was here and gone in a blinding flash as he zipped over the Antarctic coastline in seconds while his craft flew at low altitude supersonic speed. His cheeks threatened to push up into his eye sockets as the G’s kicked in even more as his aircraft’s flight computer adjusted for the curvature of the Earth.
Kannon’s little ship traveled 1580 miles in just five minutes. The ocean below him looked like mirrored glass due to the visual effect caused by the speed of his ship and the glare of the sun. Three minutes later he saw the South American land mass come up in front of his shuttle at lightening speed. His craft blazed over Cape Horn so fast that he didn’t even notice the anti-aircraft Hadron-cannon batteries that fired at him in vain nor the squadrons of Vincent-Ward, Gloucester, and Gareth KnightMare Frames as they made futile attempts to intercept and attack the SHAS as it screamed across the skies of South America towards the Rio Negro and over into the Sierra De La Ventanna.
In just over ten minutes Kannon had traveled 3167 miles and was now nearly at his destination; Buenos Ares; when he felt the speed of his shuttle drop and the craft begin to slow down to a stop; the rhythmic hum of the engine cut off completely.
“Damn! My energy filler is expended!” He shouted in a panic within his helmet as he struggled to guide the small delta-winged ship down towards the hogbacks below. Kannon flipped on the switch of his radio. “Mayday…Mayday! This is Chancellor Schneizel’s Yeoman, Kannon Maldini, I hereby request political asylum in the Principality of Brazil. My ship is out of power and I am descending towards the foothills of the Sierra De La Ventanna. Mayday…Mayday!”
His SHAS dropped rapidly towards the rocky plain below him as he tried to keep its nose up and put the landing gear down. The ground came up on him fast as he closed his eyes and prepared for the end.
Suddenly his little ship stopped in mid-air.
What the hell? Kannon thought to himself as he opened his eyes; to his amazement he saw a Pink Lancelot model KnightMare Frame holding his little craft.
“You still alive in there?” A familiar woman’s voice asked over the radio.
“Mrs. Cecile Croomy, is that you?” He queried trying to keep the emotion in his voice down.
“Yes Kannon,” She laughed in relief knowing that he was okay as the shadow of the Avalon came into view above them.

Next Chapter;

TURN Eight: Dogs of War!

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Turn Eight: Dogs of War!

“It pained me to see Zero slay my brother that day. If only Lelouch had listened to reason and understood that in no way could peace exist without the force of Totalitarian rule over it and even that would someday be overthrown and war would rear its ugly head yet again. The Sword of Damocles [FLEIJA] would have kept the peace for a time as Schneizel had supposed. It would have allowed Britannia to rule without the need for corrupt petty councils of fat bureaucrats or incompetent scientific-socialist conclaves of Managers, Czars, and Overseers, but in the end it too would have crumbled under the weight of a corrupt or despotic ruler like my father Charles zi Britannia or The Eunuchs of the Chinese Federation. No, the only way man can appreciate peace is through the adversity and horror of conflict…therefore I say to you all now. Let not peace woo you into apathy and decadence, I beseech you; CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!!!”-Excerpt from a speech given by Cornelia li Britannia during her departure from the Britannian Empire dated August 2nd 2019 a.t.b.

Cornelia li Britannia Caesaro walked up to the front of the command deck of her aerial warship Avenger. The Longres class flying fortress was flanked on each side by six Cearleon class dreadnaughts and eight Avalon class aerial frigates. Her long flowing white Imperial cape was draped over the black dress-uniform she wore. A gold colored emblem of a Phoenix was emblazoned on the left breast of her surcoat. Her flowing waist-long mauve hair bounced gently as she strode to the head of the bridge. A rapier-sword dangled from its baldric at her hip on her right side while a long-barreled ornate pistol hung from her pistol-belt on her left.
She stopped and stood facing the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Peru with the defiance and grace as any Goddess or Queen the world had ever known. Her penetrating glare watched the line of dots on the horizon that soon were discernable as a flotilla of ships coming from the sea. Within moments the Black Knight fleet came into full view with the final communications balloon in tow.
Gilford walked up next to her and used his ice-blue cybernetic eyes to scan the fleet of airships in the distance. “Looks like they haven’t launched any KnightMare Frames nor are their weapons powered up.”
Cornelia smiled at him, “You can see all that huh?”
He blushed, “Yes Prin...I mean General Caesaro.” Gilford regarded her with a serious tone as he asked. “What do you think they want General?”
“I don’t know, but we’ll find out soon enough.” Cornelia said as she put her hands on her hips and raised her chin as though she were going over a rebuttal in her head for whatever the UFN force leader might have to say to her.
“Generalissimo, we’re receiving a communiqué from the Black Knight fleet,” A young man said from his communications station.
“Send it through,” Cornelia ordered.
In an instant the face of Li Xingke came on the main viewscreen of the Avenger. Li wasted no time on pleasantries and cut right to the meat of the matter, “Generalissimo Caesaro, as you may know our satellite communications system has been rendered useless by an unknown source. We assume it to be the Britannian ship Thor under the command of Chancellor Schneizel vi Britannia, your brother.”
“And?” She scowled at him; irritated at the subtle insinuation in the man’s voice.
“And we are setting up a temporary relay system to allow for this video transmission over a short wave frequency band.” Xingke stated with indifference.
Cornelia balked, “upon whose authority do you have the right to enter Peruvian airspace?’
Xingke’s image was replaced by Zero’s, “Upon my authority Generalissimo Caesaro.” Zero told her boldly.
“You have no authority…” She hissed. “You’re an imposter, a fake. I don’t know who you are, but I do know you are not Lelouch and therefore you are not the real Zero. So I suggest you tell the UFN to remove their fleet now or suffer the consequences.”
“Cornelia!” Nunnally’s image slid onto the screen moving Zero’s to the left side and dividing the monitor’s projection into two halves. “You do recognize my position of authority don’t you?”
Cornelia couldn’t hold back the smile that crossed her face upon seeing her younger sister, “Yes Nunnally, I respect your position as Empress…and for what it’s worth, I’ve missed you.”

Nunnally stood at the head of the UFN council chambers looking at the large viewscreen at the far wall that now held Cornelia’s image upon it. She was flanked by Kaguya and the Tianzi on her left and Zero and Kyoshiro Tohdoh on her right.
“I’ve missed you also my sister and I trust you,” Nunnally held her emotions in check, “it’s for this reason and others that I must ask you what you know of the attack on the Black Knights in the South Indian Ocean near Kerguelen Island.”
“I know nothing of it,” Cornelia stated bluntly. “Why?”
Nunnally was both shocked and relieved at the same moment. She’s telling the truth. Nunnally’s power of perception had increased over the last six years, she could sense when a person lied just by looking into their eyes, and right now she was certain that Cornelia was being honest. “Then is there any way that a FLEIJA could have been built in your Principality without you knowing it?”
Cornelia raised an eyebrow in disbelief, “Are you serious Nunnally? Do you think I would ever allow that weapon to be built in my domain? Any who would try would be executed as soon as I learned of it.”
“LIES!” Kyoshiro blurt out. “We know that Professor Nina Einstein is working for you Cornelia. She is the fiendish mother that birthed the FLEIJA out of her twisted mind and only she could build such a weapon.”
“NO!” Nunnally exclaimed towards Tohdoh, “She’s telling the truth!”
Kaguya glared at Kyoshiro but said nothing.
Tohdoh ignored her and challenged Nunnally, “How could you know whether she’s lying or not?” He stood up with his ceremonial Katana in hand, prompting Zero to rise from his seat also. “Have you some form of Geass we don’t know about? That witch granted your brother power; perhaps she gave you something as well?”
“How dare you!” Zero squared off with Tohdoh. “You have no basis for making such a charge General Tohdoh! Stop these shameful accusations at once.”
“As if a man who hides his face behind a mask in disgrace has the right to lecture me,” Tohdoh barked at Zero; his words silenced Suzaku.
"Leave him alone!" Nunnally told Kyoshiro. "He's suffered enough."
"Has he now?" Tohdoh snickered viciously. "And what of the people he's made suffer? What of the millions that died because of him?”
Nunnally was stunned. My God, he knows that Zero is Suzaku.
Cornelia eyed the exchanged between Tohdoh and her sister with interest. “Is accusing my sister of witchcraft right in front of me your idea of a negotiation General Tohdoh?" Cornelia raised an eyebrow, "Since you feel the right to throw around accusations without evidence allow me to do the same. It is my understanding that you have access to a pair of FLEIJA weapons do you not?
“It’s no secret that the UFN possesses a pair of such weapons on the Lancelot of the Lake, what of it?” He said with a scowl. Kyoshiro knew where she was going with her question.
“How do I know you didn’t order your elite Black Knights to commit these two FLEIJA attacks in order to get your revenge on Britannia?” Cornelia gambled on the assumption that a man like Tohdoh would never let go of his hate for his enemy and he would therefore strike the first blow if he got the chance.
“Preposterous!” Kyoshiro turned to the UFN assembly, “Do you see the lengths these tyrants will engage in to gain the advantage. The House of Britannia has manipulated and lied to the world long enough. Its new military force festers and grows in the South American continent while its tendrils have crept into this very body with a demon seed planted by the Devil Emperor himself!”
“You dare call my sister a Demon!” Cornelia hissed.
“Your whole brood is a seed of evil that needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth!” Kyoshiro barked back at her amidst approving looks from the majority of the UFN congressmen before him.
“No! Stop this General!” Zero protested.
He ignored Zero as he continued to berate Cornelia, “I know you are in league with Schneizel and the two of you plan on rebuilding the Britannian Empire. You both should have been arrested and brought to justice when Britannia fell. We should never have turned our back on the real Zero and trusted the likes of you. Now lay down your arms and surrender to us or suffer the consequences Cornelia!”
“It is obvious to me that it is pointless continuing to try and discuss this in a diplomatic manner. I can see the UFN has already made up its mind.” She looked at Nunnally who was nearly in tears, “I’m sorry Nunnally, but it would seem there is no reasoning with these people.”
“No Cornelia, you don’t have to do this.” Nunnally pleaded with her.
Kyoshiro smiled, “Then I take it that you’ll not surrender to us?”
“Never!” Cornelia spat. "Your ambition was clear to me the moment you accused my sister of being in league with that green-haired witch."
“It’s war then?” Tohdoh asked.
“It is.” She said before her image vanished from the screen.
Zero turned on Kyoshiro, “This is not what we agreed to Tohdoh! You promised you’d allow Nunnally to discuss this peacefully.”
Tohdoh turned towards the conclave and pointed an accusing finger at Zero. “This man is NOT Zero, he is an imposter put here to prevent us from seeing the truth and finishing what the real Zero started; the destruction of Britannia!”
Gasps and looks of shock spread throughout the council as the delegates stared at Zero.
“Tohdoh what are you doing?” Zero asked in horror at where Kyoshiro was steering the situation.
Kyoshiro turned to Nunnally and glared at her, “How long have you known about whom this man is Empress?”
Nunnally was too stunned to speak.
“Don’t do this Kyoshiro!” Zero yelled at him.
“I’ve had enough of this childish comic-book chicanery!” Tohdoh drew his Katana so fast that Suzaku barely had time to react.
Zero flipped out of the way of the sword and went into a spin kick. His foot contacted with the flat of the blade; knocking it out of Kyoshiro’s hand.
Which is precisely what Tohdoh had anticipated Suzaku would do thus allowing Kyoshiro to use the scabbard of the Katana to hit the release button on the back of Zero’s mask; causing it to fall forward to the floor as Zero came out of his spin-kick.
“It’s the former Knight of Zero, SUZAKU KURURUGI!” The Tianzi exclaimed in surprise.
Suzaku’s face was flushed with anger as his identity was exposed to the whole of the UFN council. Suzaku gnashed his teeth as he started towards Tohdoh.
“ENOUGH OF THIS!” Kaguya yelled in a commanding voice that stopped both men in their tracks and caused a hush to fall over the conclave.
“You’ve done what you set out to do General, now sit down before I have you removed.” Sumeragi glared at him. “If I had I known you were going to pull a stunt like this I would not have allowed you into this meeting.”
She turned to Suzaku, “Suzaku Kururugi, I am truly sorry but as Lady-Chairman of the UFN council it is my duty to place you under arrest for war-crimes against humanity. It was you who fired the FLEIJA that destroyed Tokyo; that crime must be dealt with. A UFN tribunal will have to decide whether you were the guilty party or simply another victim of Geass.”
Kaguya picked up the mask of Zero and handed it to Suzaku, “However, since it was you who slew the Demon-Emperor, thus freeing us from his tyranny, I shall have you confined to your quarters until further notice instead of being sent to a military stockade.”
Kaguya gave him a hurt look, "Believe me when I tell that I didn't know the General would do this to you."
Suzaku gently took the mask from her and put it back on, "I believe you Lady Kaguya. It's not your fault."

"It's not my fault!" Akira protested while standing at attention on the flight-deck of the Ikaruga.
"You agreed to take on the enemy with Li Jiang without permission and in violation of a direct order to return to the Ikaruga!" Valletta scolded him. She folded her arms and wrinkled her fresh new Black Knight uniform which bore the gold Maple-Leaf rank insignia of a Major. "What kind of Captain are you Mr. Nobunaga?" She turned to Li Jiang who was standing next to Akira. "And you...If we didn't need experienced Devicers right now I'd have you brought up on attempted-murder charges and thrown in the brig! What the hell were you thinking when you went to fire the Shen-Hu's Baryon Cannon at the Zangetsu?"
Li Jiang said nothing.
Valletta Nu turned to the other four pilots that stood in line next to Li Jiang and Akira. "You are all lucky to still be alive."
"Are you finished with them yet Valletta?" Captain Chiba inquired as she came to stand next to her.
"I think so," Valletta told her with a scowl at her students.
Nagisa walked up to the middle of the line of six Devicers, "As of right now we are short on experienced combat pilots in what can certainly now be considered a war-zone. As all of you have been in actual combat with these new enemy machines you are now considered an asset to the security of this vessel. However, that does not mean your actions at Sidney will go unpunished. Therefore, I have chosen all six of you to be drafted into military service involuntarily. Your enlistments are effective immediately."
"Does that mean we're Black Knights?" Gregor asked with an innocent look.
"Yes," Chiba eyed him, "And that means you're under my command now Mister! Understand this. Your Coach has been reinstated into the military as Commander of your squadron and she can now hold you criminally liable for your actions." She eyed Li Jiang and Akira as she walked up and down the line of Devicers slowly. "If anyone here has any personal vendettas or grudges I suggest they learn to forgive and forget. Because if you pull the kind of crap you did at Sidney while under my command you will be executed. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes ma'am," The six pilots replied in unison.
"Very good then," Nagisa stopped in the middle of the group again. "Are there any questions before you get to your new duties?"
"Captain Chiba, will we be getting new KMFs?" Lena asked her.
"Hopefully; once we reach the Black-Knight base at Port Moresby I’ll try to get you all assigned to new machines. But we’re still nearly eight hours away from there so for the time being you'll be assigned to your former KnightMares once we’ve finished repairing them using the parts we still have on hand." She turned to Li Jiang Fong, "you'll be assigned to a basic Akatsuki for now since your Shen-Hu was destroyed."
"What about the Shinkirou?" Mika inquired with a smirk.
"CC has volunteered to pilot that machine until we reach Japan. She knows it better than any of us and it makes for a good artillery piece, so she'll be apart of your squadron. In addition, you should know that Jeremiah Gottwald and Sayoko Shinozaki have also chosen to help defend this ship and thus will be joining you for additional support. I've assigned them to a pair of Jikisan Akatsuki KnightMares since they are of senior rank over all of you."
“Captain Chiba, does that KnightMare still work?” Li Jiang Fong asked, pointing to the Guren MKII.
“Yes it does Fong,” She gave him a dark look. “Why?”
He stared back at her stoically, “Considering the power of these new enemy units wouldn’t it be a waste of my talents to put me in a KnightMare that isn’t able to keep up with what I can do.”
“Do you actually think you can pilot Guren?” Nagisa knew Li was a fine Devicer but could he match Kouzuki’s skill.
“I’d like to try,” He replied with a stone cold expression.
Chiba thought for a moment. “Fine, you want to take a shot at the Guren then so be it. I’ll have a Glide-unit fitted to it just as soon as you and the rest of the Jaguars sweep and mop the hangar deck.” Nagisa turned to Major Nu; “There all yours Valletta.”
“Huh?” Tetsuo said looking up and down the large hangar. “That could take hours.”
“Well then,” Valletta put her hands on her hips and smirked. “I guess all of you had better get started.”

“What is the meaning of this Schneizel?” A man dressed in full military regalia demanded from the Prince as Schneizel strode into the main hall of the Australian parliament building.
“Upon whose authority have you garrisoned Sidney?” The chairman of the conclave shouted towards Schneizel as the Prince walked into the center of the room.
“The meaning of this is clear General Whales,” Schneizel said to the military man as the sigil of Geass appeared in his eye. “I’ve come to liberate you from the tyranny of the UFN and claim Australia upon my own authority.” He cast his Geass on the whole of the assembly; the orange glow filled the room, “All of you are now subjects in the New Order of Britannia of which I am its Champion. You will do as I instruct for the glory of this new order.”
The eyes of the delegation were ringed with the orange-red halo of Geass as they replied with a cheer. “All hail Schneizel! All hail Britannia!”

“I trust all has gone well?” Sthenno smiled over the viewscreen on the bridge of the Thor.
“Yes,” Schneizel said in a strained tone. “I’ve herded them together like a flock of sheep and reorganized their scattered military forces.”
“Did Jason leave enough left to carry out your plan my Prince?” Sthenno inquired.
Schneizel sighed in relief, “Fortunately Jason and his Spartans disregarded the flotilla of airships moored at Brisbane when they took the Australian military by surprise there and captured the base with little resistance. That fleet contains the bulk of the Australian Defense Forces and their KnightMares.”
“Will they follow you?” The goddess asked.
“Yes, I’ve made sure of that by meeting with all of their commanding officers personally.” Schneizel told her as he closed his eyes in pain.
Sthenno cocked her head slightly, “Are you feeling alright my Prince?”
“It’s nothing, just a headache.” He said as he opened his eyes; the sigil of Geass blazed in his right iris.
“Your power has grown my Prince.” She tittered. “It would appear you have a natural affinity for the power of the gods.”
“Perhaps,” He said as he felt the flow of energy emanating in his eye uncontrollably. “But this presents its own problem.”
“Do not worry,” She said to him soothingly. “You will soon learn to control it. For now I suggest you cover it with something until you return here to Tartarus.”
Schneizel removed a pair of round wire-rimmed mirrored sunglasses from his breast pocket that his Yeoman had given him before they had departed from Britannia for Antarctica. He looked at them lovingly and whispered, “Kannon.”
“Did you say something Schneizel?” Sthenno asked.
“No…nothing,” He said as he put the shades on over his eyes. “How do I look?” He asked her.
“Ridiculous,” She laughed.

“You have to believe me Professor Asplundh!” Kannon pleaded. He sat in a plush chair sipping a cup of tea around a large oval metal table in one of the many conference rooms of the Avalon.
“The gods of Olympus?” Lloyd said in disbelief. “Are you sure you didn’t hit your head during your supersonic flight?” He asked Kannon as he leaned over and adjusted his glasses to get a better look at the man.
“Lloyd!” Cecile reprimanded him. “That’s not an appropriate question. You know Kannon better than that.”
“Well Cecile, you have to admit it is a pretty outlandish story.” He said putting his hands up defensively. “It’s not like there haven’t been numerous expeditions to the Antarctic regions. Why hasn’t anyone found this city of Tartarus before now?”
Kannon took a sip of tea before responding, “Doctor Viviane told Schneizel that because the city is nearly a mile below the surface glacier and rests atop a large Sakuradite deposit it would appear as only a rock structure under the ice to RADAR and other instruments. It would still be unknown had we not gone down there and dug it out in search of the Sakuradite.”
“Kannon, you said they have advanced technology and the power of Geass right?” Cecile inquired. “Does that mean they can brainwash people like Lelouch did?”
“Yes, it would seem so.” Kannon answered Cecile with a disturbed look. “Prince Schneizel now possesses this power as well and he has used it to take control of the Thor and members of the UFN armed forces. I can only assume he acquired his Geass from the woman called Sthenno.”
Cecile looked at Lloyd, “Well that would explain the story the others told us.”
Kannon gave her a perplexed look, “Others?”

"We not lying Nina!" Gino told the green-haired woman from within one of the cells in the brig. "The Thor fired its Hadron cannons on us and tried to destroy us."
"I believe you Gino," She said adjusting her glasses. "The carbon-scoring on Kallen's Type-21S certainly corroborates your story, but I need to know why Chancellor Schneizel would fire on you."
Tamaki rolled his eyes from within the cell he shared with Gino, "Look lady we told you already. We don't friggin know why ol Prince Wiener-Schnitzel tried to take us out! All we know is that he killed four of our comrades and then took a shot at us."
Nina ignored him, "Captain Kouzuki, you must understand the delicate position we are in here. Generalissimo Caesaro has already gone off to meet with what appears to be a fleet of UFN warships off the coast of Peru. Should a confrontation incur..." Nina gave her a grave look, "Kallen I don't know what will happen to you."
"Then you've got to help us Nina," Kallen begged her. "We have to warn the UFN. They've got to know that Schneizel is a traitor."
“I imagine they already do if they’ve sent an armada here to our shores,” Professor Einstein said. “I’ll admit that I really do want to help you Kallen, but I just don’t know what I can do for you.”
“Try opening the door Nina,” Lloyd Asplundh said as he and Cecile entered the brig.
“But Lloyd we can’t do that we’re under orders to detain them. If Cornelia learned that we released them she’d be furious.” Nina told him a bit unnerved by his brazen request.
Lloyd gave her a puzzled look, “Who said anything about releasing them. We were told to capture them, and we’ve done that.” He gave her a mischievous smile, “I don’t recall Cornelia saying exactly how we had to hold them. Only that they were to be detained.”
“I don’t think she’d approve of us treating them like honored guests,” Nina rebuffed him. “Especially since they violated our airspace and shot members of the Azul security detail.”
“Honestly Nina, I don’t think Cornelia will care after she hears what Kannon has to say about all of this,” Cecile said. “It would seem there is a much larger threat here then just the misconception of the situation by the UFN.”
“Kannon is here?” Nina asked.
Yeoman Maldini walked into the room from behind Lloyd. “NINA!” He called out to her as he rushed in and hugged her tightly. “I missed you.”
Nina was taken by surprise, “Uh…hi Kannon…I missed you too.” She said as she returned his hug.
“Yeah…yeah,” Tamaki gripped, “We’re happy you’re happy, now will someone open this damn door.”

“Return FIRE!” Cornelia barked to her subordinates as another volley of cannon shells impacted the defense shields of the Avenger.
The batteries of the aerial fortress thundered as they returned a barrage of missiles, Hadron cannon, and artillery rounds from the main batteries of the large airship.
“We’ve lost three of our Avalon frigates, and two Cearleon dreadnaughts.” Gilford reported as he monitored the pool-table shaped tactical-display in the center of the bridge. “Their Type-21s have broken through our Vincent-Ward and Gareth KnightMare defenses and are heading for our airships.”
“Use the Gloucester and Sutherland reserves to bring them down,” Cornelia ordered as another of her Cearleon warships fell out of the sky in a blazing ball of fire.
The Avenger shook violently as an Ikaruga class warship fired its Hadron-cannons on the aerial fortress.
“The Yamato has scored a direct hit on us. Our Blaze-Luminous shields are collapsing.” Gilford yelled over the din of another impact.
“Have our frigates use a V formation and prepare to assault the…” Cornelia’s order was cut short as a cannon round impacted the bridge, cracking the plastic-steel viewports of the warship and sending Cornelia to the floor.
Gilford rushed over to her and helped her to her feet as another explosion rocked the ship. “We have to retreat Princess.”
She frowned at him, “You know we can’t do that Gilford.”
“Yes milady,” He said as they stood up together, “If we are to meet our end here and now then so be it.”
Cornelia turned to her communications officer, “Have all ships prepare to ram the enemy fleet.”
“Generalissimo, we’re being hailed.” The male comm. officer said.
“Tell them I’ll never surrender.” Cornelia spat.
“It’s not the UFN on the line,” the man said excitedly.
“Who is it?” Gilford asked in surprise.
“Duchess Evita Ernst, the acting Commanding Officer of Britannia’s Northern Command,” The officer said.
“Put her through,” Cornelia told him as another Avalon exploded in the distance.
The beautiful face of the younger sister of Dorothea Ernst came on the viewscreen, “Greetings Princess Cornelia, it would seem you’re in a bit of a bind.”
“I don’t have time for pleasantries or nonsense Evita,” She scowled at her. “What is it you want?”
“The glory of Britannia,” She said as a swarm of Vincent-Ward Knightmare frames rained down upon the UFN fleet from above, “and the return of my beloved, Gino Weinberg.” The Black Knight Type-21s were taken by surprise and dispatched quickly by the Britannian mob of KnightMare Frames.
From within the clouds above the UFN fleet emerged a force of Britannian aerial-warships; three Longres type sky-fortresses, twelve Caerleon dreadnaughts, and eighteen Avalon class frigates.
The UFN fleet broke their formation in an attempt at avoiding the shower of Hadron and heavy cannon fire that fell down upon them from the Britannian fleet.
“The UFN force is in full retreat Princess,” Gilford told Cornelia triumphantly.
“Excellent,” Cornelia turned to see Evita smiling at her over the viewscreen.
“Well?” The girl giggled. “Am I good or what?”
Cornelia gave her a weak grin, “You do realize that by doing this you’ve just committed treason against both the UFN and Britannia, don’t you?”
“You’re only half right Princess,” The teenage woman tittered. “I transmitted the exchange between you and the UFN council to all of Britannia by tapping into the balloon relays. I got the idea from your bother Schneizel who contacted me just prior to your exchange with Li Xingke.” She blushed, “What can I say, you’re brother still has many fans among the youth of Britannia and using Tohdoh’s flamboyant accusations towards Empress Nunnally against the UFN was a snap.”
Cornelia folded her arms and looked the girl in the eyes, “I wouldn’t trust Schneizel if I were you Duchess. My brother has a tendency to use people for his own purposes then throw them away when it suits him.”
Evita shrugged, “Be that as it may, it doesn’t change the fact that his plan worked. The whole of Britannia is in a rage over the treatment of our Empress and Nunnally’s defense of Zero has wooed the masses over to our cause like a moth to the proverbial flame.”
“I see,” Cornelia was impressed with Schneizel’s strategy, “so now we’re evenly matched with the Black Knights provided you intend on joining forces with us.” Using an immature Royal-bred brat like Evita was a stroke of genius that even she wouldn’t have thought to use in this manner.
“I do intend on joining you on two conditions.” The dark skinned beauty smiled.
“Which are?” Cornelia inquired.
“First I want my Gino back, unharmed.” Her expression became sinister, “Secondly, you are to kill the other three Black Knights and Kannon Maldini.”

“Don’t worry Suzaku,” Kaguya told him within his suite. “I’ve sworn them all to secrecy and classified your identity as Top Secret with the death penalty attached to anyone who dares reveal it. That should buy us some time until we figure out how to undo what Tohdoh has done.”
Suzaku sat on the edge of his bed while Sumeragi and Nunnally sat upon chairs within the room.
Nunnally put her hand on his shoulder, “Reika is trying to get the Chinese Federation to condemn Kyoshiro’s actions in order to garner the votes to try and unseat him as Commander-in-Chief, but with the UFN council knowing who you are it’s going to be very difficult to convince them to do so.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t,” Suzaku said looking down at the floor. “Perhaps you should do what should have been done six years ago and call for my execution.”
“Suzaku don’t say such things,” Nunnally looked hard at him.
Kaguya regarded him coolly as she spoke to him, “Cousin, if you’re going to say such stupid things perhaps you should just shut up and listen to what we have to say. You don’t know what has transpired since you left the council chambers.”
Suzaku looked up at them with a haggard expression, “What has happened?”
Nunnally gave him a desperate look, “The Britannian nobles have reinstated the Feudal Hierarchy and declared war on the UFN.”
“But how could the people let them do that?” Suzaku was mortified. “They know what that will lead too.”
“It doesn’t matter Suzaku.” Kaguya said bluntly, “The nobles have charged the UFN with taking both Empress Nunnally and Zero hostage and are calling for the end of the UFN. They have the support of the Britannian population and will continue to have it until the two of you are returned to Britannia.”
“Then we should return to Britannia at once,” Suzaku said to Nunnally.
“We can’t,” She told him. “Tohdoh has convinced the UFN council that this is all a plot by Schneizel and Cornelia to kill both you and me so that they can have the moral high ground to what ever it is their planning. Our travel Visas have been suspended until further notice for our protection.”

"Well, here I am again at the edge of a hellish storm which is brewing on the horizon of the not too distant future," C.C. lamented as she finished off the last piece of pizza from the medium-sized box in front of her. She stood alone watching the sunset from one of the promenade observation decks of the Ikaruga as the ship descended towards the rapidly approaching land-mass below.
Flocks of seagulls landed on the wings of the ship just below her.
She leaned out on the railing and threw them the crusts that were left from her feast. "Here you go." C.C. said to them as she tossed the pizza-crust to the group of birds.
She watched as the light of the setting sun drenched the white gulls in the color of blood while they fought amongst themselves for the morsels of bread.
"Guess people aren't much different then all of you are." She rested her chin on her arms and looked out over the ocean, "This isn't what we planned is it Lelouch?"
She looked up towards the darkening sky above, "I should have told you everything...I should have told you how I really felt."
Tears welled in her eyes, "I thought this sickening feeling of emptiness would go away. That the friendship you gave me would have filled it, but...that's not what has happened."
Drops fell down her face, "Sometimes I wish I had never met you because if I hadn't then I would not feel this anguish. I thought I could be happy for you knowing that you died with purpose and with no regrets, but that was a lie I told myself."
"I deceived you when you needed me most and that is something I can never forgive myself for."
She closed her eyes trying to hold back the flood of pain that was pushing its way to the surface of her emotions as her mind replayed her time with him. "It's ridiculous..." Her voice trembled. "I don't know why I can't let you go."
"Maybe it's because I wake up so often at night expecting to see you there lying next to me like you did at Ashford? Perhaps I just miss the conversations with you? Being apart of your life and meeting the challenges we shared together."
She laid her head down on her arms as the tears streamed down her face, "Maybe I miss you so much because of all the people I've ever known, you treated me like a person...a friend."
"The world needs you again...I know you thought what you did was right, but maybe you were wrong? You left Schneizel and Cornelia here with only Suzaku to protect Nunnally and the world." She let out a half-hearted laugh, "What were you thinking? What would you think if you knew how short your new world lasted...or how many you'd leave behind that suffer now...I told you that you should've taken Charles' code...but you were so damn stubborn."
She buried her face in her arms, "You knew my knew that all I ever wanted was for someone to love me, and when I finally found someone who did, and who I could love left me."
"Oh god...Lelouch it hurts." C.C. wept.
At the bottom of the stair leading to the promenade stood a lone figure that had come to ask C.C. to come inside for a meeting with Captain Chiba and the others.
"The meeting can wait," Jeremiah said in a whisper to C2 that he knew she would not hear, "Goodnight sweet Princess." He turned and walked back into the ship.

Next Chapter;

TURN Nine: Schemes Within Schemes

Thanks for Reading
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Old 2009-10-14, 00:53   Link #12
Reaper's Disciple
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Universe
Oh, I remember you. From fanfiction, right? My name's Selrahc over there. Looks like you wasted no time posting your fanfic anywhere when given the chance. I found this on 4 different forums so far (besides this one, on Adult Swim forums, and So how come you haven't posted any new chapters yet?

Last edited by ConfinesOfTheDark; 2009-10-14 at 00:56. Reason: Spelling/adding
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Old 2009-10-14, 08:38   Link #13
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Woww. I haven't read it yet, and in fact, I have never really read any fanfic before (lol), but I can see that you have put a lot of efforts into this.
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Old 2009-10-14, 22:55   Link #14
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Join Date: May 2009
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I'm really sorry you guys.
I totally forgot to update this last week.

I'll post a new update here tonight.

And yes, I've been spreading this Fanfiction all over the net to try and get it on BigGlobe (the Japanese network).

Links for this fanfiction are currently there but not the whole text.

The purpose of doing that is to keep interest in both Code Geass and the CLAMP anime/manga artstyle alive a fresh so that maybe we can get more of both.

Okay, I'm off to put together the next Turn for this thread.
I'll have it posted within the hour.
GundamFan0083 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-10-14, 23:01   Link #15
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Originally Posted by ConfinesOfTheDark View Post
Oh, I remember you. From fanfiction, right? My name's Selrahc over there. Looks like you wasted no time posting your fanfic anywhere when given the chance. I found this on 4 different forums so far (besides this one, on Adult Swim forums, and So how come you haven't posted any new chapters yet?
Hi Selrahc!
Sorry for the delay.

I did the artwork for the four new KMF frames (plus an image of Kallen at 26 years of age, it's the center image that I did not the collage of original artwork I placed around it for reference);

That consumed all my time last week, so I was not able to finish Turn 18 yet for the site and AdultSwim.

I have 8 pages in Word currently done and should be done by tomorrow or Friday.
I'll have it up on and/or AdultSwim ASAP for readers over there as they are at Chapter 17 right now.

I'll post Chapter 9 here ASAP.
GundamFan0083 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-10-14, 23:10   Link #16
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Turn Nine: Schemes within Schemes

“How far Schneizel thought out his plan of world domination is anyone’s guess, but what was clear was that he had thoroughly considered every avenue and possibility of what his opponents could and could not do well in advance of his meeting Sthenno. He played the UFN off of Britannia like a master puppeteer uses his marionettes to reveal the inner meaning of his work as he pulls upon their strings. Such was Schneizel’s ability to manipulate and capitalize on the various hatreds, prejudices, and ambitions of the member states of the UFN against Britannia and vice versa. Schneizel’s scheming knew no bounds and more often than not he would employ schemes within a scheme to achieve his final goal.”-Excerpt from Kannon Maldini’s interview with the International Political Forecaster dated December 18th 2025 a.t.b.

“I hear that you put on quite a show for the council,” Xingke said as he looked at Tohdoh through the viewscreen of his personal quarters on the Yamato.
“I had too after we received our spy-plane reconnaissance reports that the North Britannian Command’s aerial fleet was heading for you in Peruvian space.” Tohdoh sighed. “I can’t say I’m much of an actor, but Cornelia helped by playing right into the mood of my verbal assault. If Nunnally had been allowed to parley with her sister you would have had to wait for an authorization vote from the UFN council to strike back and by that time the combined Britannian and Principality fleets would have already been upon you and in all likelihood crushed you.”
“I see, thank you for that General. We escaped with only moderate losses due to the fact that we were able to beat down Cornelia’s fleet considerably before the North-Com flotilla arrived.” Xingke gave Tohdoh a perplexed look, “Still…I can’t understand why the Britannian North-Com fleet got involved in the first place.”
“I suspect Schneizel is watching our every move via satellite and thus saw our aerial fleet moving towards South America.” Tohdoh said. His brow furled, “It would seem Schneizel still has considerable influence within the now reinstated royalty of Britannia.”
“That would certainly make sense. However, if Prince Schneizel can see our movements then why didn’t he attack my fleet with their new weapon?” Xingke asked.
Tohdoh put his hand on his chin, “The only logical answer is that they have only one or two of these new submarines thus they can only cover a few areas of the ocean at a time.”
“So we should be able to outmaneuver their forces by launching several small squadrons at once, say three to six vessels, which could regroup over dry land.” Xingke suggested.
“Precisely,” Kyoshiro smiled, “which is why I’ve already informed the various UFN commands around the globe to divide their fleets up into smaller squadrons which will regroup over Northern Britannia.”
"I take it that since the Britannians have chosen to ally with Cornelia and Schneizel we will be going to war with Britannia as well?" Li Xingke gave Tohdoh a look of concern. "With the loss of the Australian and South African sectors will we be able to mount an effect counter offensive?"
"If we can move fast enough...yes." Kyoshiro said with conviction. "Even though they control nearly all of the Southern Hemisphere, we should still be able to drive them back using our Chinese and Indian forces." Tohdoh brought up a map of the world then enlarged the South China Sea region. "Our forces in Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines have already been mobilized into action. They're moving towards Papua New Guinea as we speak in order to stop Schneizel's forces which our spy-planes have informed us are moving up from Australia...the reports are disturbing however."
Li Xingke gave raised an eyebrow, "Disturbing? How?"
Tohdoh leaned back in his chair, "Our advanced scouts claim that the enemy has either found a way to man all of the ships and KMFs of the Australian forces with Schneizel's followers or the Australian government is now allied with Schneizel."
Xingke folded his arms, "Geass?"
"It's a distinct possibility," Tohdoh said with a frown. "But with so many of the Australian built Type-21O Outbackers in the Indonesian region it is highly unlikely that Schneizel will be able to continue the momentum of his invasions even with Geass and thus be forced to consolidate what he has already in order to acquire more followers."
"Thus buying us the time we need to build up our forces and solidify a strong defense is that it?" Li asked.
Tohdoh smiled, "Precisely. We'll use our older seventh and eighth generation KMFs to deal with both the Principality and the Britannian forces since we are unlikely to meet with any newer models produced by either of those powers for at least the time being. Should Britannia or the Brazilian Principality manage to introduce 10th or even 11th Generation KMFs before we do, we could find ourselves in real trouble. Therefore we need to keep the pressure on them with emphasis on Cornelia's forces considering she has both Lloyd Asplundh and Nina Einstein under her command."
“So FLEIJA is still a possibility in all of this,” Xingke mused.
“It is,” Tohdoh was clearly concerned by the prospect, “Which is precisely why I had to move quickly.”
“Was unmasking Zero necessary?” Li Xingke ventured to ask the rather touchy question.
“You were told of that huh,” Kyoshiro chuckled. “I needed to end the foolish charade of such a symbol…at least with the UFN council. It will serve us in two capacities. First it ends any actual manipulation Suzaku could impart on the UFN congress that his charge Nunnally Britannia might pass along to him. Secondly, it removes any form of hero-worship or god-Emperor figure from the political arena. That’s not to say Zero doesn’t have his place with the people, he does, but it must be in a capacity that will help shape the new Republic we intend on creating. The new role of Zero will be that of an iconic figure that people seek to aspire to rather than an actual guardian of so called Justice.”
“And Suzaku was okay with this?” Li Xingke had read a bit about the strong-willed Devicer pilot and former Knight of the Round in the intelligence reports that had been hastily generated after Zero was unmasked.
“No,” Kyoshiro snickered. “He’s probably livid with me right now, but he’ll come around after I’ve given him a day or two. I’ll go to meet with him after he’s cooled off and then start working on him. I’m using a boot-camp training technique on him. First I break him then I rebuild him. It’s a simple but effective method.”
Xingke let out a laugh, “You think that’ll work General?”
“Suzaku is strong willed no doubt, but he’s also impulsive and easily swayed if you cater to his interests. His interest is in honoring the promise he made to Lelouch li Britannia. That promise being the protection of Nunnally and his continuing to play the part of Zero for the peace of the world.”
“If he’s as strong willed as you say, won’t he see through this?” Li wasn’t convinced of Tohdoh’s plan.
Kyoshiro frowned, “I doubt it. Suzaku knows that nothing will change the fact we are at war with Britannia now except his playing the part of Zero and honestly defending Nunnally’s Imperial title in the name of peace. It’s too much for him to deny me. I’ll give him the opportunity to be the Zero that Lelouch wanted him to be.”
Xingke was stunned, “You’re going to use him to bring down the UFN?”
Tohdoh only smiled.

“It’s so good to see you again Medea,” Sthenno grinned at the gorgeous raven haired beauty that looked at her over the large viewscreen in the central tower of the City of Tartarus.
“And you also goddess Sthenno, but what of the Tartarus? Is it ready for departure?” The jade-green eyed woman asked in a soft melodic voice.
“Not yet,” Sthenno said. “Hephaestus tells me we still need more of the Golden Apple in order to complete our plans.”
“Is that why you haven’t awakened Athena or the others yet?” Medea frowned.
“More or less,” Sthenno avoided the question. “I’ve yet to secure the remaining quantities of the Golden Apple that we need due to unexpected circumstances.”
“Those being?” Medea inquired.
“We’ve overslept and the world has changed considerably.” Sthenno put on a disturbed expression, “The planet is now populated by adversaries worthy of us and they outnumber us en masse.”
Medea raised her chin. “Is this why you’ve assigned Odysseus and Achilles to me with their legions of Spartans?”
Sthenno smirked, “It is. We still hold the element of surprise in our favor thus I need the three of you to take control of the large Golden Apple deposits that are within Mt. Emi Koussi in the Tibesti Mountains of the Sahara Desert Region.”
“The Sahara Desert Mountains eh?” Medea brushed back her long locks of curly black hair with her arm and smiled. “Well at least I can work on my tan.”
Sthenno frowned, “I’m not giving you three Colossi class Automatos to go frolicking about in the African desert Medea. The Gigas, Ajax, and Circe are very valuable warmachines. I do not want them falling into enemy hands or destroyed.”
“I know Sthenno,” Medea rolled her eyes. “I was just making a joke. By the way, where are my colossi's brothers, the Talos and Helios? I noticed that only the Selene is left here by herself in the Colossi barracks. Where are the other two?”
“They’re on the far side of the world.” Sthenno said cautiously.
“With Jason and his Argonauts?” Medea inquired with a scowl.
“Now is not the time for petty squabbles sorceress Medea,” Sthenno glared at her. “Jason has already sealed his own fate of that you can be rest assured.”
Placated by Sthenno’s words Medea grinned, “Very well then. If I don’t have use of the Argos what skyship will I have?”
“The twin ship of the Argos, the Ithaca, is fully powered and supplied.” Sthenno told her. “Its cargo hold is large enough to carry all of the Golden Apple you’ll be able to mine from Emi Koussi within our timetable. Prince Schneizel expects it to take a week or more before our adversaries figure out what is really happening.”
"Prince who?" Medea inquired.
Sthenno tittered, "Prince Schneizel, my new champion."
"Oh? Why didn't you mention him earlier?" Medea was intrigued.
"Because I didn't think it was necessary." Sthenno snickered. "He's quite handsome and very interesting."
"I see," Medea chortled. "You'll have to introduce me when I return."
"I would but he's off to South America as we speak." Sthenno told her.

Suzaku walked along the finely manicured grass edge of a large lake. The bright overhead sun caused the calm waves of the water to shimmer like gold as they reflected the sunlight. The warmth of the rays felt pleasant on Suzaku’s face as he looked down into the liquid.
He could see sailboats and catamarans in the distance on the lake. A large patch of trees flanked the large body of water on either side and enormous villas ringed the private-lake in the distance of the hazy morning.
“What are you doing here Suzaku?” Lelouch asked him from behind. “Did something happen? Has your time come so soon?”
Kururugi turned to see Lelouch Lamperouge sitting at a fine picnic table of marble under the shadow of a large Oak tree that stood within a purposefully landscaped oasis of trees within the vast expanse of grass that led up to a large estate some distance away. Lelouch was dressed in kaki shorts and a white golf-shirt and wearing only sandals upon his feet. Before him was a tall glass of pink-lemonade and a chessboard with a game in play.
“He looks a bit confused Lelouch,” Clovis said from the other side of the table. “Perhaps his departure was a violent one?” Prince Clovis wore similar attire to that of his brother.
“That would make sense, since I ordered him to live,” Lelouch smirked. “So I guess you must of have been doing something crazy like skydiving or spelunking.” Lelouch laughed.
“No,” Suzaku said somberly. “I was in a meeting with the UFN council and I was exposed as Zero by Tohdoh. Then Kaguya put me under house arrest.”
“Sounds like she sent you to your room for pretending to be Zero,” Clovis laughed.
Lelouch wasn’t laughing. “You were exposed? Why would Tohdoh do such a thing? Did you tell him who you were?”
“No Lelouch,” Suzaku defended himself. “There’s a war on with Britannia and Cornelia.”
“WHAT!” Lelouch yelled at his friend. “You were supposed to keep that from happening Suzaku.”
“I did, but you didn’t count on Schneizel breaking the Geass command you put on him!” Suzaku shot back.
Lelouch looked at him in disbelief, “Impossible, only Jeremiah could break Schneizel’s Geass and I ordered Jeremiah Gottwald to never free Schneizel.”
“Maybe he overcame your Geass brother,” Clovis snickered. “Nunnally overcame Charles' power of Geass so why not Schneizel. Our brother is certainly strong willed.”
“NO!” Lelouch said. “Someone else must have removed his Geass.”
“But who Lelouch?” Clovis asked with a grin.
“The elder gods,” a voice said from under one of the trees.
Clovis turned to the figure of a young boy under the shade of the Oaks. “Oh hello uncle, have you been sitting here the whole time.”
“Marianne was wondering where the two of you were off to, so I volunteered to come and baby-sit while she and Charles enjoy the day together.” The boy said as he stood up and walked over into the sunlight.
“V2!” Suzaku exclaimed in surprise. “What did you mean by the elder gods?”
“The first Geass users of mankind,” V2 said with a smile. “They existed before the great flood that destroyed much of the Earth. This flood was caused by the Great Geass War and was due to one side drawing down a large comet with their machines in a final effort of desperation to destroy their enemies. However their adversaries managed to shatter the comet before it impacted our planet. The resulting shower of small particles melted in the upper atmosphere harmlessly or so they thought. The volume of water which came from the comet caused a deluge upon the whole face of the world.”
“That really doesn’t answer his question uncle,” Lelouch said. “How could these gods help Schneizel if they all drowned in a flood?”
“Some of them must have survived the deluge,” V2 smirked. “I told your father Charles that the possibility was high that some of them survived, but he always dismissed it as a clear impossibility. Apparently he was wrong.”
“And you thought to only tell us this now?” Lelouch asked in horror of the implications of ancient Geass users returning to the world.
“It wasn’t an issue nephew…at least not until now.” V2 answered him with indifference.
“These gods may have freed Schneizel and could in fact be helping him to rekindle his dreams of world domination and you act like it means nothing?” Lelouch was mortified.
“Calm down Lelouch, there is nothing you can do about it now.” Clovis tittered. “It’s not like you can undo what has been done.”
“There must be a way,” Lelouch looked at V2. “Nunnally...the world needs me.”
“There are ways Lelouch, but no one in the world of the living possesses the means as far as I know, so you are in fact stuck here in the afterlife.” V2 gave him a stern look. “We must accept the destiny of the world; we must have faith nephew that the future will unfold as it should.”
“Faith?” Lelouch shot back at him. “What kind of philosophy is that? I destroyed the old world order by my own hand. I created a new order to help mankind which is now threatened and all you can say to me is that it was all pre-destined?”
“Yes,” V2 said flatly. “Destiny is the ultimate law of metaphysics. It is the reason that things that should not be able to happen in fact do.”
“Then is it Schneizel’s destiny to become dictator of the world?” Suzaku interjected. “Was it destiny or fate that took Euphemia?”
“Took Euphemia?” V2 laughed. “Suzaku, are you so naïve to think that Euphemia would be here in this world and yet not come to your presence as soon as she sensed it?”
“What do you mean?” Suzaku asked taken aback by V2’s insinuation.
“He means she’s not here,” Clovis grinned.
“That is irrelevant!” Lelouch shouted. “We don’t know what became of Euphie and it doesn’t matter right now anyway. I need to know how to get back to the world I left behind to stop Schneizel!”
“What about your girlfriend Shirley?” Clovis asked him with a snobbish grin. “Are you just going to leave her here while you rush off to save people who will end up here eventually anyway?”
“That’s not the point!” Lelouch yelled at him.
Suzaku felt faint, “Euphie is not here?” He said to himself as the scene before him faded into a blur.
Lelouch turned to him, “Suzaku! Where the hell are you going? I have more ques…”
Suzaku sat up in his bed. It was still dark outside in the city of Kyoto as he slowly got out of the sheets and walked to the window and cracked it open for some air. He looked down towards the lights of the city streets below which cast a gentle illumination into his room and caused his reflection to be cast in the window.
“Don’t worry Suzaku,” Lelouch’s voice said from behind him. “I will find a way back.”
Suzaku looked up and saw the image of Lelouch standing behind him in the window. He spun around to face him but the visage was gone.

“We should have your ship refueled and re-supplied within the hour Captain Chiba,” The bearded base commander said to her with a smile over the bridge viewscreen of the Ikaruga.
“Thank you Colonel Masters, it is much appreciated.” Nagisa told him. “Any chance we could get a few Type-21s from you for our Devicers?”
“I’m very sorry Captain Chiba, but our forces are on high alert right now. General Kyoshiro Tohdoh’s orders were for us to mobilize the New Guinea militia so we need every KMF we have.”
“I understand Colonel,” Nagisa didn’t show her disappointment. “We’ll manage with what we have sir.” She smiled. “Thank you again for repairing our machines.”
“No problem Captain Chiba, sorry we couldn’t be more help.” He said as his image disappeared off of the screen.
“Well looks like we’re now officially at war if Tohdoh has put this out of the way base on full alert.” Nagisa said to Jeremiah Gottwald who stood next to her.
“It can’t be helped,” He told her with a blank expression. “Now that we have limited communications back up and running the news of the fall of Australia has reached the ears of the UFN council. No doubt we will be ordered back to Japan ASAP to provide defense of Kyoto.”
“You think this new enemy is going for the UFN council?” Chiba inquired.
“No,” He said in a dull tone. “But machines of the caliber of this new enemy must use a large amount of Sakuradite so it stands to reason they would require the largest deposits in the world to conduct their military operations.”
“So Sakuradite will turn Japan into a battlefield yet again.” Nagisa lamented.
“Indeed,” He told her with a frown. “And if First Lieutenant Akira Nobunaga is correct, this time we’ll be facing an enemy determined to achieve their goal as a matter of honor as well as need.”
“Akira’s friendliness towards this new enemy bothers me Jeremiah,” Chiba said. “I don’t think he understands that even if those enemy Devicers see him as a friend, they won’t hold back in battle.”
Jeremiah gave her a reassuring look, “I think he understands more than you give him credit for Captain. It would seem he’s already dealt with someone who is both a friend and a rival.”

Lena walked up to one of the juice vending machines in the commissary of the Ikaruga and leaned down to insert a coin when a hand beat her to the slot and popped in three thirty yen rounds. She looked up to see Li Jiang Fong smiling down at her.
"Hi," He said as he leaned in close to her. "It's been a long time since we've been alone together Lena."
"Not long enough," She said as she recoiled from him.
"Oh, don't be like that Lena. You know I still have feelings for you don't you?" He said with a sly smile.
"I don't care Li Jiang," Lena moved away from him. "You had your chance with me and you blew it when you tried to have your way with me. The only feelings you've ever had for me are between your legs."
"You wanted it and you know it," Li Jiang moved in closer to her.
Lena suddenly realized they were alone in the cafeteria. "Get away from me Li Jiang Fong."
"Why?" He grabbed her by the wrists. "Are you afraid you might like it?"
"Let me go!" Lena screamed at him as she tried to kick him.
Fong blocked her kick with his leg and flipped her onto a nearby table.
"If you do this I'll tell Akira and everyone else." Lena threatened.
Jiang pulled her arms behind her back and forced her down. "If you do I'll kill Akira for sure the fist chance I get." He pulled down her pants, "Now I'll show you what I've got that Akira doesn't."
"I assume you're talking about class," Sayoko said as she walked up to them. "I was wondering what all this commotion was in here. It would appear I arrived just in time."
"I think you'd better leave woman," Fong gave her a dark look. "And forget what you've seen here."
"Really? And what if I don't?" She said glaring back at Li Jiang Fong.
Fong shoved Lena to the floor, "Don't move." He told the girl as he took a step towards Sayoko. "Then you'll be sorry."
Sayoko eyed him like a cobra watching its prey, "I promise you Li Jiang Fong, when I'm through with you, you'll never forget this."

Lena entered the Devicer lounge with a smile on her face and a bottle of juice in her hand. Within the small room sat Akira, Gregor, Mika, Tetsuo, and Villetta discussing battle tactics and strategy with regard to combating the Greeks.
"What took you so long Lena?" Mika asked with a befuddled look.
"Nothing," she said maintaining her grin as Sayoko entered the room behind her holding a cup of tea.
"Where's Li Jiang Fong?" Villetta asked Sayoko with concern.
"The Infirmary," she answered as she sipped the hot liquid.
"The INFIRMARY!" Tetsuo gasped.
"What happened?" Villetta inquired a bit surprised.
"We had a slight misunderstanding about proper etiquette with women," Sayoko said with a smirk. "So I had to correct his problem."
"Will he live?" Villetta inquired a bit concerned for the Devicer.
Sayoko smirked, "He will...but his voice might be a few octaves higher."
"You've fought Li Jiang in hand to hand combat before right Akira?" Gregor inquired.
"Yep," was all Akira said in reply.
"Fong was the Kung-Fu champion of his class right?" Gregor pressed Akira.
"Yep," Akira replied with a shocked look on his face.
"And Sayoko put Li Jiang in the hospital." Gregor said in disbelief.
"Apparently," Akira snickered.
"Remind me never to piss her off," Gregor said to Akira who only nodded in response.

"Ordering the execution of Kannon Maldini seems rather unlike Schneizel," Cornelia said to Gilford as the Avenger flew towards Buenos Ares. "Kannon has been his trusted companion longer than anyone else, why would he suddenly want him killed?"
"Lovers quarrel," Gilford joked.
Cornelia sniggered, "I highly doubt it Gilford. My instincts tell me that Kannon possesses information that Schneizel doesn't want us to know about."
"Wouldn't Schneizel have already guessed that you'd think this?" Gilford asked.
Cornelia sighed, "Yes, I believe he would which means he wants us to know the information Kannon has but doesn't want us to trust it."
"So we find ourselves in a dilemma," Gilford said.
Cornelia shifted in her command chair, "Correct, which is what Schneizel would want; we can't kill Kannon because he may have information that really is vital. On the other hand we can't trust his information because it may be part of a deeper scheme by Schneizel. Thus Schneizel demands we kill Kannon for his help with the idea that it will confuse us and set us in a direction that my brother wants us to take."
"Perhaps that is why he wants three of the Black Knights we captured eliminated as well?" Gilford suggested. "They might have information that corroborates whatever intelligence Kannon is carrying."
"I'm not so sure a group of UFN dogs can be trusted Gilford, at least not any of them except for Gino." Cornelia said.
"Evita Ernst's desire to have Gino Weinberg handed over to her led me to do some digging through our special-intelligence service's files on members of the Black Knights." Gilford said with a sly smile.
"Oh, and I take it you found something interesting?" Cornelia inquired.
"I did," His smile widened, "I found that Gino was a member of the Yamato no Orochi. This Special Forces unit of the Black Knights was led by none other than Kallen Kouzuki."
"The Black Knight ace?" Cornelia laughed. "No wonder Schneizel wants her and her teammates dead he's afraid they'd give us some leverage with the UFN. She would make a valuable hostage and bargaining chip with them if they knew she was still alive."
"For Nunnally?" Gilford asked.
"And Zero," Cornelia said. "He's no friend of Tohdoh and I imagine he'd be very useful to us in solidifying our own positions within a New Britannia under Empress Nunnally."
"You intend on continuing with Nunnally as Empress?" Gilford was taken aback.
Cornelia raised an eyebrow, "That a problem?"
He fumbled for the right words, "No Princess, it's just unexpected."
"Don't misunderstand Gilford. As much as I love my sister, I know she's not capable of dealing with the harsh decisions that could cost people their lives. She's too good natured." Cornelia grinned, "I intend on being the steel fist under her velvet glove that will help her with the tough choices when she must do what is against her nature to do."
"And Zero?" Gilford asked.
"Zero will be my vanguard against insurrection. I don't know who he is, but I do know that Lelouch would not have chosen just any fool to replace him. It would have to be someone who would continue the whole Knight of Justice nonsense that Lelouch started." Cornelia stood up and walked to the front of the bridge and looked out over the expanse of the Peruvian mountains below, "The people buy into what he stands for so we'll let them have their hero and use him to placate the masses in order to keep the peace."
"And Gino Weinberg? Do you intend on handing him over to the Duchess?" Gilford was intrigued with where Cornelia's plans were going.
"I do," She turned to face him. "But only after I've told Gino what I expect of him in return for the safety of his comrades."
Gilford smirked, "You're gong to defy Schneizel?"
Cornelia tittered, "Of course, you know me better than that Gilford, as does Schneizel. He knows I won't obey him and I suspect he intends on using that to his advantage at some point."
"So we'll have to be ready then." Gilford said.
"Yes, and I intend on using Kallen Kouzuki to be sure we are." She said with a devilish smile.

"We can't just hand them over Lloyd," Cecile said.
"Well what do you expect me to do?" He asked. "I've already let them have free reign of most of the Avalon. It's not like I can let them go."
"But Cecile is right Lloyd we can't let Duchess Evita Ernst have Gino and give the others to Cornelia to execute." Nina told him.
Lloyd became flustered, "What would you have me do? We're going to rendezvous with the Avenger in less than an hour."
"The UFN has to know what is going on here Professor Asplundh," Nina said sternly. "If what Kannon says is true then the whole world is in danger."
“Cornelia might have them imprisoned or worse,” Cecile tried to reason with him. “I couldn’t live with myself if poor Anya or Kallen were executed, could you?”
“Well I’m not sure,” Lloyd put his hand on his chin. “I really don’t know Captain Kouzuki that well and…” Lloyd stopped himself short as he took notice of Cecile’s clenched fists and Nina’s scowl as she adjusted her glasses.
He cleared his throat, “Let me start over. What I meant to say was that while I may not be very close to Captain Kouzuki and that other fellow…oh what was his name…never mind…I suppose I am friends of Gino Weinberg and Anya Alstreim so I guess I should consider their well being in all of this.”
“AND?” Cecile demanded.
“We should take action on their behalf?” Lloyd inquired with a meek grin.
“Exactly,” Nina said tilting her head to regard him. “And that means we need to make a run for it to Japan.”
“Um what?” Professor Asplundh asked in horror.
“Nina’s right Lloyd, we don’t have any other choice,” Cecile said with a smirk. “We didn’t exactly sign on with Cornelia as regulars in her military forces and in fact we’re really nothing more than Techno-Mercenaries. This ship is ours not the Principality’s so we don’t have any obligation to do what Cornelia says.”
Lloyd gave her a distraught look as his shoulders sagged, “I highly doubt she’d see it that way.”
“C’mon Professor Asplundh where’s your sense of adventure?” Nina asked.
“I think I left it on the Damocles,” Lloyd looked ill.
Cecile smiled at him, “Look at it this way Lloyd, you can test out the new FORGE system on the Type-21s we have on board against actual KnightMare frames in real combat conditions. It’ll be just like the Lancelot project all over again.”
“Yes I recall we nearly got killed during that project and Lancelot was destroyed.” He whined. “I’m sorry Cecile I can’t authorize this.”
Cecile looked over at Nina who nodded in reply.
“Sorry Lloyd, but we have no choice,” Cecile said as she pulled out one of the cords from a nearly control station’s monitor.
“What you are doing?” He asked in confusion.
Nina followed her lead, “Taking over this ship.” She said with a devilish grin.

“Hey Kallen, why d’ya think old four eyes wants to see us on the bridge?” Tamaki asked as they rode the turbolift to the command deck.
“I don’t know,” Kallen sighed.
“Mr. Shinichiro, you might not want to call Nina four eyes.” Kannon told him. “She doesn’t like it.”
“So?” He said defiantly.
“So, she atomized Tokyo to get revenge on Zero, what do you think she’d do to you?” Gino said with a wink.
Tamaki thought about it for a moment, “Yah well…I can handle that crazy bi-“the door of the elevator opened up to the bridge. “What the hell?”
Lloyd Asplundh was tied to the command chair of the ship with tape over his mouth while Nina and Cecile manned the control consoles of the vessel.
“Did we miss something?” Kallen asked as they entered.
“Looks like a mutiny,” Anya told her companions as she walked onto the bridge nonchalantly.
“Wow,” Gino laughed. “You okay Lloyd?” He asked as they came up on Professor Asplundh.
He nodded in reply.
“Hey you guys,” Cecile called out to them, “Don’t just stand there, we could use some help over here.”
“Where’s the bridge crew?” Kallen asked as they came over to where Nina and Cecile tried to navigate the airship.
“We dismissed them until further notice,” Nina said.
“Why?” Tamaki asked.
“Because we’re making a break for Japan,” Cecile giggled.
“JAPAN!” Kallen exclaimed, “But that’s treason against the principality.”
“We know,” Nina said.
“I told you these people were all nuts,” Tamaki griped.
“Tamaki shut it!” Kallen ordered him before turning to Nina. “Won’t Cornelia send a force to try and stop you?”
“I highly doubt it Kallen,” Nina said. “With the UFN breathing down their necks they are not likely to waste more than a vessel or two to come and chase after us.”
Cecile smiled at Kallen, “And there’s not an airship in the world that can catch up to the new Avalon. We refit her with improved graviton impeller engines that are faster than anything else on Earth.”
“What about your crew? They’re not just going to let you make them all into pirates are they?” Anya asked.
Nina snickered, “Our crew is made up of mostly the old Britannian scientific core that were working under Lloyd before Nunnally became Empress. The rest of the crew are paid mercenaries not apart of Cornelia’s forces so we have nothing to worry about from them.”
“Cool,” Tamaki blurt out, “So we’re sky-pirates now!”
“Sure looks like it,” Kallen grumbled.

“Prince Schneizel, our sensors have detected a small Avalon class frigate departing the South American continent along the Chilean coastline on an eastward course.
“Really?” The Prince said as he stood on the bridge of the Thor. I hadn’t anticipated they would act so soon, but no matter. “Thank you lieutenant.”
His female communications officer turned and asked, “Should we inform Tartarus of this sir?”
“No, it is not necessary to bother them with such a trivial matter.” He said with a thin smile. “Navigator, what heading are they following?”
The woman worked the controls of her console briefly before answering. “Their current heading will take them over the Society Islands and Bora-Bora.”
“That’s Tahiti,” Schneizel said as he put his hands together in the manner of prayer. They’re heading for Japan. He thought as he gave his next order, “Helm, set course for Tahiti.”
“But sir what about our mission to South America?” The First Lieutenant inquired with a look of concern.
“It can wait,” He told her softly.
“But what of our plans Prince Schneizel?” She protested.
“They’re moving along better than I expected,” He said with a smile.

Next Chapter;

TURN Ten: A World at War

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Old 2009-10-14, 23:21   Link #17
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Turn Ten: World at War

"Who can say why it all happened the way it did? One minute the world was in a festive mood while preparing for the Olympiad of the International KnightMare Competition, the next minute we were in the midst of a full fledged world at war. It was all a hurricane of events swirling towards an unknown destination where everything we thought we knew for sure about the world...about life and death...reality and fantasy...was turned upside down in a matter of weeks because of the power of Geass. I must say I wish I had never heard that accursed word or been apart of what at the time seemed liked the end of the rational and scientific world I once knew."-Excerpt from an interview with Empress Jiang Reika [The Tianzi] from the Kyoto Telegraph online newspaper dated March 2nd 2025 a.t.b.

"You do realize they're going to shoot us down at the first sight of us don't you Cecile?" Lloyd said standing at the front of the bridge with a cup of tea in his hand.
"It's been six hours since we left the Principality and no one has even come after us yet," Cecile smirked. "I'd say we've made a clean get away."
“That is a bit troubling,” Nina remarked.
“What makes you say that Nina?” Kannon asked while he helped himself to a second cup of tea.
“The Principality has to know we’re gone by now,” Nina Einstein said. “It seems odd that Cornelia didn’t even bother to contact us to ask us why we left. She’s got to know the only place we can be headed is Japan.”
“I’d assume this is part of some scheme Cornelia and Gilford have cooked up against Schneizel.” Lloyd said as he finished his tea. “Cornelia has let us go so we’ll warn the UFN of the impending threat of these gods of Olympus. No doubt to either throw General Tohdoh off balance or to ensure that if Schneizel tries to betray her Cornelia can be certain the UFN will shift it’s focus from Britannia and the Principality to Schneizel and his new found allies.”
“So we’re now Cornelia’s insurance policy in all of this?” Cecile asked with a befuddled expression.
“It would certainly seem so,” Professor Asplundh smiled.

“How far have they gotten?” Cornelia inquired of Gilford from her command chair on the bridge of the Avenger.
“The tracking beacon our Azul agents planted on the UFN Type-21s indicates they are nearly at the Island of Haiti.” He replied obediently.
“Good,” She smiled as she stood up. “Did you send out the false patrol report through the UFN balloon relays the way I asked?”
Gilford gave her a hurt look, “Of course General. I transmitted it via an older encryption so the UFN should have no trouble deciphering it at all, while the Avalon isn’t even likely to pick up the signal.”
“Excellent, Li Xingke’s fleet should be able to intercept them at Haiti shortly and the cargo on the Avalon will safely be in Tohdoh’s hands.” Cornelia let out a laugh.
“Is it wise for us to hand Nina Einstein and Lloyd Asplundh and three potentially useful hostages over to the UFN? Doesn’t it effectively nullify your plan of using them to have Nunnally and Zero returned to us?” Gilford inquired.
“It’s risky I’ll admit, but I’ve thought this through and I believe it is necessary if my hunch about Schneizel’s intentions are correct.” Cornelia said. “Besides, we don’t have a ship fast enough to catch the Avalon so I’ve had to revise my strategy to compensate for this unforeseen development. On top of that we don’t know how far Schneizel’s influence goes into the royal families of Britannia nor the UFN. If we’re not careful we could find ourselves under attack by them as soon as the UFN is defeated.”
“You think Britannia can defeat the UFN alone?” Gilford asked.
“No, not alone, but Schneizel must have some kind of backing from someone,” Cornelia said with a troubled look. “He can’t possibly have destroyed the UFN fleet on his own. Some country is supporting his cause, and with FLEIJA weaponry no less. The only countries that have the technical capability to build a FLEIJA are India, China, Australia, and Japan. One or more of them must be supporting Schneizel, no doubt to gain control of the Sakuradite deposit in Antarctica. If the goal of his supporters is world domination, or at the very least a reshuffling of the geopolitical map, then we are a target in their crosshairs.”
“All of those countries are founding members of the UFN. Do you believe the UFN would come to our aid if one or more of these countries are backing Schneizel?” Gilford was skeptical.
“After handing the UFN Nina Einstein and Lloyd Asplundh…yes I think Nunnally could convince the UFN council that we’re no longer a threat and that Schneizel, and his backers, are the real danger in all of this, not us.” Cornelia told him with a grin. “And when the UFN chooses to strike at Schneizel, we’ll solidify our power within Britannia by calling for a cease fire in the name of peace, and demanding the return of Nunnally and Zero in exchange for military support of the UFN cause.”
Gilford nodded with a smile, but inside he frowned with disapproval. He didn’t like when Cornelia got locked into a real world game of chess with her brother. She had done it for years, always trying to prove her equality to Schneizel’s military mind and it often got her into trouble. Now was no different in Gilford’s mind, he knew Cornelia was no fool, but he saw this plan as reckless.

The Gorgon and its flight of Harpy Automatos zipped along the peaks of the Owen Stanley Mountains unopposed as they sped towards the Black Knight base at Port Moresby.
“You know we’re disobeying orders Euryale?” Medusa asked her sister from the navigator/pilot’s seat of the Gorgon that was directly below Euryale who sat in the co-pilot/gunner’s position.
Euryale currently flew the Gorgon over the peaks with the ease of an expert pilot, “I love our sister dearly, but she’s too slow when it comes to military tactics. The enemy has already compensated for the loss of the Australian continent and has mobilized their forces. We can’t sit around and wait for Prince Schneizel’s brainwashed fools to fail at taking these Papua New Guinea Islands. They make good shields, but little else.”
“So you intend on attacking when Schneizel’s forces try to destroy the ones that Jason allowed to escape?” Medusa asked with a vicious grin as she plotted the best course of attack for them as they came through to the edge of the sierra of the Owen Stanley Mountains.
“Yes,” Euryale hissed.
“Good, I was getting bored just sitting around the Philippine Islands.” Medusa smiled. “Their defenders were too easy to wipe out. I hope the warriors of this fleet are more of a challenge.”
“We’ll find out shortly,” Euryale said as the flight of Automatos made their way through the mountain hogbacks. In the distant plain beyond the mountain range the silhouettes of the Ikaruga and its fleet of airships hung over the UFN base.

“All hands to battlestations!” Chiba shouted the order as the squadrons of KMFs flew out from the Australian airships that had penetrated New Guinea airspace.
“Captain, enemy air-fortress now in range of our weapons,” The female tactical officer spout off the information as new data flowed in.
“Fire Hadrons!” Nagisa bellowed.
The Hadron cannons of the Ikaruga opened up and spewed forth a shower of the deadly black and red energy towards the large Longres class air-fortress. Its shields collapsed allowing the streams of death to disintegrate the airship under the onslaught of the beam weapons.
Schneizel’s fleet of brainwashed troops rained down volley after volley of cannon fire at the Ikaruga and its fleet.
“Captain Chiba, get your fleet out of here!” Colonel Masters’ bearded visage appeared on the viewscreen of the bridge of the Ikaruga.
“But Colonel your base needs our support,” She protested.
“You need to think of the safety of the civilians you’re carrying Captain. Get them to Japan, and don’t worry about us, we can handle these upstarts.” He smiled.
“I understand sir,” Nagisa said with a salute. “Good luck Colonel.”
“We’ve got more than luck,” He chuckled as twenty Type-21Os screamed past the viewports of the Ikaruga towards the Invaders.
The Papua New Guinea fighters transformed into KnightMare mode as soon as they came within range of the enemy KnightMare Frames; the Type-21Os tore through the Gareth, Vincent-Ward, and Gloucesters with impunity using their rapid fire Sakuradite-tipped Gatling gun-pods and Blade-Luminous swords.

The sounds of explosions thundered through the KnightMare hangar of the Ikaruga as the Japan Jaguars sat waiting for the order to launch.
“I can’t believe that Major Nu is allowing Li Jiang Fong to pilot the Guren after what he has done.” Mika said to Akira over a private channel.
“I don’t think she had a choice Mika,” Nobunaga said. “We need every Devicer we have and no matter how bad Fong may be as a person he’s a damn good pilot.”
“Yeah, but he’s dangerous Akira,” She warned. “Fong has proven that he is revenge minded to the extreme. You especially should know this.”
“Right now his ire is focused on Sayoko, not me.” Akira told her. “Fong is a jerk, but he’s also selfish. He’ll fight like a professional out there without any nonsense so long as it suits his needs.”
“I really wish I knew what the two of you find so special about Lena,” Mika grumbled. “You two have practically killed each other over her…why?”
Akira huffed, “I guess it won’t hurt to tell you Mika. Lena, Fong, and I were all in a Taiwanese orphanage together after Charles Zi Britannia’s armies invaded Japan and refugees of that war flooded the coast of the Chinese Federation. Lena and I were the only Japanese kids there as both of our parents were officers in the military advising the Chinese Federation forces in the Ryukyu Islands. Fong was from the Ryukyu Islands as his family had been Chinese who had immigrated to Japan. His father was a physician who had gone to the Ryukyu to help with the wounded from the war. Both of his folks were killed when Britannia invaded the Ryukyu Islands but he made it to Taiwan on a refugee boat where he ended up in the orphanage with us.”
“I had no idea,” Mika said a bit embarrassed.
Akira thought back to that time, “The Orphanage was a hard place to live. There were too many kids there of various ages and backgrounds all living in tight quarters. Li Jiang and I fought to keep the older boys away from Lena…a lot of horrible things went on in that place, but we kept her safe from it all.”
“So when Lelouch vi Britannia freed Taiwan from China you guys came back to Japan?” Mika asked cautiously.
“Lena and I did, since our parents had been military officials we were entitled to go to Ashford on a military scholarship. Li Jiang Fong had stayed behind in China because an uncle of his had finally found him. Fong’s uncle owned an energy filler company and was filthy rich. The next time I saw Li Jiang after that was in my sophomore year when he came to Ashford to try and take Lena back with him to a life of luxury. She was taken with the idea at first, but…Li had changed. He had quickly become used to getting what he wanted, and he wanted Lena.”
“I take it she didn’t want him?” Mika surmised.
Akira spoke to her in a distant tone. “If he had been kind and gentle, like he had been in the Orphanage, I think he could have had her heart, but like I said, he had become selfish and greedy, drunk on his uncle’s wealth. Lena told me that Jiang had tried to force himself on her and that she didn’t want to go back with him to China.”
“And he didn’t take no for an answer?” Mika asked.
Nobunaga sighed, “No, he didn’t.”
“Who won?” Mika inquired even though the answer was obvious.
“Kallen Kouzuki.” He said softly.
“You met Captain Kouzuki?” Mika was astonished.
“Yep, she was visiting the school to give a Commencement Speech to the graduating class when she came upon Fong and me fighting. Li Jiang was winning. Kallen Kouzuki tried to stop the fight but Fong took a swing at her and well…” Akira sounded embarrassed, “she finished the fight.”
“Geez, Fong really knows how to pick his enemies huh?” Mika laughed.
“Yah, he’s a bit over the top.” Akira snickered. “Which is probably why he wants to pilot Guren, if he can use it like Kallen did in battle he probably thinks he’s beating her in some way. The guy has revenge on the brain.”
“Attention Jaguars, this is Captain Chiba, we have a squadron of forty unidentified KnightMare Frames heading towards our position from the Owen Stanley Mountains. We need air-support in case they are hostiles. Therefore I’m clearing you to launch immediately.”
Villetta’s voice came over the radio, “You heard her people. We launch now!”

“Euryale, I’m picking up twenty enemy Automatos breaking through Schneizel’s fleet of puppets.” Medusa told her sister as she monitored her control screens.
“What kind of Automatos are they?” Euryale asked.
“According to the information Hephaestus inputted into our attack computer they’re Type-21 variable KnightMare Frames.” Medusa said.
“Which means?” Euryale inquired in a bored tone.
“They are tenth generation KnightMare Frames as opposed to the seventh and eighth generation frames that Jason and his men have encountered thus far.” Medusa said.
“Well, well, a real challenge,” a half-smile crossed Euryale’s face as she touched the holographic controls in front of her and opened up a channel to their legion of Harpies. “Attention all units, let our slaves deal with the lesser machines. We will deal with the transformable ones.”
The flight of Greek warmachines flew high up into the air above the UFN base towards the squadron of Type-21Os that were engaged with the Australian Defense Force fleet that was under Schneizel’s Geass.

“Hey, where the heck are they going?” Gregor asked out loud over the radio as he watched the Gorgon and its legion of Harpies fly up away from them with considerable speed.
“It would seem we’re viewed as not being a worthy opponent,” Jeremiah said as they flew escort for the airship fleet around the Ikaruga.
“Jaguars, you are clear to pursue the enemy and help the Port Moresby defense forces.” Nagisa said over their radios. “Looks like those enemy units aren’t interested in us for the moment, but the New Guinea forces need every KnightMare they can get and we might just stop this enemy here and now if we defeat them.”
“That's our cue Jaguars,” Villetta said. “We will proceed to the enemy fleet at maximum speed.”
With that the Japan Jaguars broke off from their guard formation around the fleet of six UFN airships and headed towards the battle that was now behind the fleet.
“You think you can free this many at once Major Gottwald?” C2 asked Jeremiah as the Japan Jaguars sped towards the battle.
“You mean with my Geass-canceller?” Jeremiah inquired with intrigue in his voice. “I hadn’t even thought of that.”
“You can cancel out Geass and you only thought of using it now?” Mika was shocked.
“I don’t like using it,” Jeremiah balked. “It takes a lot out of me mentally.”
“Assuming the Australian forces are under Schneizel's Geass-power, nullifying it could give us the advantage we need here Jeremiah,” C2 said as their KnightMare Frames closed in on the battlespace around the enemy fleet.
“It’s not a bad idea if you’re up to it Jeremiah,” Villetta said.
“We’ll have to get to the center of their fleet for maximum effect,” Jeremiah replied enthusiastically. “I may only get one chance at this during the battle.”
“Understood,” Villetta said. “Okay people, you heard the man, we need to break through their defenses and get to the center of this fleet. Don’t let me down.”
“Are you ready for this Li Jiang?” Akira asked him over the general frequency as the first enemy KnightMare units headed in their direction. Fong had been silent the whole time.
“I’m always ready Akira,” He said sternly as he flew up to the head of the formation next to the Zangetsu.
“That’s good enough for me,” Nobunaga said concerned about what Fong would do during such a cluttered melee of KnightMare Frames. He worried that Li Jiang might take advantage of the situation and try to take down Sayoko.
“Cut the chatter,” Major Nu said over the comm. “Here they come.”
The Gareth and Vincent-Ward KMFs launched a massive barrage of Hadron and autocannon fire towards the Jaguars as they maneuvered their way through the swarms of KnightMares towards the second Longres class sky-fortress.

The Harpies did battle with the Type-21Os, their swords clashed and projectile weapons exchanged fire as the battle raged all around them.
“Very heavy resistance,” Euryale said as she watched an Outbacker cut down another of her Harpy Legion.
“Ten new enemy Automatos have entered the fray Euryale,” Medusa said as she now flew the Gorgon through Schneizel’s air-fleet of brainwashed minions. “However, they don’t appear to be putting much effort into attacking our forces.”
“Oh?” Euryale smirked. “I wonder what they’re up too?”
“Shall we go and find out?” Medusa tittered.
“Lets,” Euryale told her younger sister as she powered up the Gorgon’s weapons; the twenty tentacle-like head mounted Hades-cannons came to life like a mass of snakes. The female looking machine spread its large metallic wings and pulled a mecha sized bow from off its back which unfolded into the representation of a typical Greek-bow with a thread of energy where the string would be on a man-sized version of the archaic weapon.
“Keep us steady Medusa,” Euryale said as she aimed the great bow-weapon. “I’ll take down the black machine with the Red tassels first.” Euryale let a golden-bolt of energy loose from the bow of the Gorgon.

“AIKRA LOOK OUT!” Lena shouted over the radio as she tried to block the energy arrow with the Katen Yaibatou revolving blade sword of her Gekka to no avail.
Nobunaga dodged the golden energy bolt which grazed the shoulder of Zangetsu. “That was close,” he said as he whipped his KMF around to face where the attack had come from.
“There’s the real enemy,” Li Jiang said over the comm. as he flew the Guren towards the Gorgon with all the speed he could muster out of the flight unit of the KnightMare.
“Li Jiang wait,” Akira said as he sped off after Fong.
“Should we go after them Major Nu?” Mika asked with concern.
“No, let them go Mika,” Villetta said. “We need them to keep that enemy custom unit busy while we get Jeremiah into position.”
“Well I hope we don’t have much farther to go,” Gregor said as his Gekka cut down another Vincent-Ward. “Our KnightMares won’t last long if this combat is prolonged.”
“Stop whining you big baby,” Mika scolded him as she riddled a Gareth with autocannon rounds from the forearm gun of her Gekka causing the enemy machine to explode in mid-air. “I could take on these morons blindfolded.”
A Gloucester fired a salvo of missiles from its shoulder mounted pods at Mika’s Gekka.
She flew her machine backwards trying to dodge the warheads when Gregor shot down the volley with the machine gun of his Gekka.
“You were saying?” Gregor teased.
“Okay, maybe not blindfolded, but these jokers are still no match for us.” Mika retorted as she cut the Gloucester in two with her Katen Yaibatou revolving blade.
“They’re still dangerous,” C.C. interjected as she blasted an Avalon class frigate out of the air with the Zero-beam of Shinkirou.

“This group must be some kind of Elite unit,” Medusa told Euryale as she dodged the Katen Yaibatou blade the Guren unsheathed from its flight unit pack.
“What makes you say that,” Euryale replied as she used the snake-like Hades guns mounted on the head of the Gorgon to unleash a hail of energy bolts at both the Guren and Zangetsu; forcing both machines back.
“They fight better than the transformable pilots do, yet their machines seem of inferior quality.” Medusa dodged a slash-harken attack by Zangetsu which grazed the left knee of the Gorgon.
“Perhaps it is more of a challenge for their heroes to fight in lesser Automata in order to prove their quality,” Euryale fired the Bow weapon at the Guren.
“Whoa,” Medusa said as she watched Shinkirou destroy the Avalon class frigate in the distance. “That one is impressive.”
“Don’t let it distract you Medusa,” Euryale told her as she fired another hail of Hades beams from the snake-like cannons.
“I wonder why they’re moving towards the center of the fleet.” Medusa asked her sister with concern as she rolled the Gorgon out of the way of another of the sword swipes from Guren.
“That’s a good question my sister,” Euryale said. “I don’t like it either, we had better shake off these two pests and proceed to intercept this new force and stop what ever it is they are up to.”

“Oh no you don’t,” Akira said out loud as he moved Zangetsu to block the Gorgon’s path. “You’re not getting away so easily.”
Li Jiang flew the Guren up an over the large Greek machine and reached out with the claw hand of the Guren. The Gorgon spun around and pointed its bow directly at the red KnightMare Frame.
“I’ve got you now,” Li Jiang said over the comm. as the golden-arrow bolt singed the front armor of the Guren while it flew past the arrow sideways. Li Jiang slipped the Guren in close to the large Greek-machine and grabbed the bow of the Gorgon with the oversized hand of his KnightMare.
"Let's see what you're really made of," Fong spat over the radio as he set the Fukusha Hadou Kikou radiation wave unit to maximum power. In seconds the bow of the Gorgon bubbled and melted under the massive heat of the Guren's claw.
"Not bad Li," Akira said as he came up under the bottom of the Gorgon. Nobunaga dodged the Greek-machine's adamantine sword as the mecha unsheathed it and slashed at him in one fluid motion. Akira spun Zangetsu into a summersault and drove the Seidotou Brake Blade down hard into the left shoulder armor of the Gorgon causing the limb to go limp.
“We make a good team don’t we Nobunaga?” Li Jiang Fong asked in a soft tone as he made Guren flip underneath and behind the Gorgon. He slashed at the head of metallic snakes and cut three of the twelve tendrils off of the head of the Greek-metal-monster.

"Destroy them Euryale!" Medusa yelled at her sister.
"I would be able too if you'd fly this thing with a little more finesse." Euryale shot back as she fired a salvo of Hades bolts from the snake-guns of the machine. She managed to drive Zangetsu and Guren away as a flight of six Gareth KnightMares dove down from above them.
"Let those six idiots deal with these two," Euryale told Medusa. "We need to find out why it is so important for this elite unit to make it to the center of the fleet."
“Are you sure you want to do that my sister?” Medusa looked down at the damage control windows in her station’s monitor. “We were damaged pretty badly.”
“Don’t worry Medusa, the Gorgon can still fight.” Euryale smiled.
“Perhaps we should call for a pair of Harpies to act as our guard?” Medusa inquired.
“We can’t,” Euryale checked her controls. “They’re still engaged in intense combat with those variable Automatos.”
Medusa sighed, “I guess we’ll have to make due.” Medusa said as she accelerated the Gorgon towards the Jaguars.
“It’s not a problem Medusa, those variable machines have been reduced in number by half and Prince Schneizel’s fleet is still vast compared to the defenders of this place. It won’t be long before we crush it.”

“Will this spot do Jeremiah?” C.C. asked as she felled a flight of four Vincent-Wards with the Shinkirou’s slash-harkens as they tried to outflank her.
“It should do fine,” He said while his Jikisan-Akatsuki cut through a Gareth that fired in vain at him with its Hadron cannons.
“Then might I suggest we hurry,” Tetsuo said blasting another Gloucester with the bazooka mounted on his Gekka’s left forearm. “I’m almost out of ammunition.”
“Me too,” Sayoko added. She cut down another Vincent-Ward. “Our energy fillers aren’t going to last forever and these guys just keep coming.”
“I can take care of that,” Jeremiah snickered. In an instant the inverted blue sigil of Geass appeared in his left eye and a blue halo of energy spread out from his KnightMare throughout the fleet.

“A DISPELLER!!” Medusa yelled. “Euryale they’re freeing Prince Schneizel’s legions!”
Euryale activated her communicator, “All Harpy units withdraw at once!”
“What are you doing?” Medusa asked.
Euryale looked down at her sister, “Using the Gorgon’s Gaze.”
Medusa looked at her in shock, “But that will drain the rest of her energy my sister. We won’t be able to fight after we use it.”
“I know, but we have no choice.” Euryale said with a stern look at her sister as she activated the weapon and fired.

“They’re retreating!” Mika said triumphantly over the radio.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that Mika,” Villetta said as she watched the enemy units flee the battlespace.
“Hey what’s that custom KnightMare doing?” Gregor asked.
“We need to get out of here now!” Jeremiah blurt out. He didn’t know what kind of weapon the Gorgon was preparing to fire, all he knew was that it was clear whatever kind of weapon it was, it was an area effect type capable of destroying the other Greek-mecha that were nearly a quarter of a mile away. “They’re pulling back their forces to use some kind of mass destruction weapon.”
“How can you be sure Jeremiah?” Sayoko asked.
“The Britannian forces did the same thing when the Lancelot fired the FLEIJA at Tokyo, they pulled back as fast as they could. I suggest we do the same.” He said as he flew his Jikisan as far from the Gorgon as possible.
All the other Jaguars followed his lead, all that is except for C.C. who flew the Shinkirou towards where the Zangetsu and Guren were. Akira and Li Jiang Fong were clearly aware of the danger the Gorgon posed and had begun flying away from the Greek machine as fast as their float units would take them.
“C2 where are you going?” Villetta was frantic.
“Those two aren’t going to make it.” C.C. said as the eyes of the Gorgon glowed green. “I’ve got to try and save them.”
“Good luck,” was all Villetta could get out before a blue-green radiance flooded the area around the Gorgon.

“What the hell is that thing doing?” Fong asked Akira.
“I don’t know, but the flight of KnightMares which came here with it have stared clearing out of this area quickly. I think we should do the same.” Li Jiang said as he pushed the accelerator to maximum speed.
A green-blue glow began to engulf them.
“We’re not moving fast enough!” Akira called out as Zangetsu kept pace with Guren.
“You two grab hold of Shinkirou at his waist, NOW!” C.C.’s voice boomed over the radio as she brought her KnightMare Frame up next to them and had Shinkirou make a crucified pose with its arms outstretched and legs together with toes pointed down.
The Guren and Zangetsu grabbed hold of the black KnightMare as C.C. put up the ultimate-defense shield system of Shinkirou just in time for the green-blue light to pass over them.
All around the three of them the KnightMares of the Australian invasion fleet turned white like stone and fell to the ground like rocks as soon as the green-blue light touched them. An airship above Shinkirou nearly crashed into them as its stone form fell out of the sky and shattered into thousands of pieces on the Earth below.
“Hang on,” C.C. told her companions as the shield around Shinkirou crystallized into a hard red shell around them. The three KnightMare Frames fell together within the ruby-red crystal sphere that surrounded them.
“What do we do now?” Akira asked as he tried to use his Seidotou Brake Blade to cut through the shell. The mighty sword of Zangetsu bounced off of the surface harmlessly.
“I don’t know, but Guren’s radiant-heat wave is no use.” Li Jiang said as he tried to burn through the red wall.
“Watch out!” C.C. said as she fired the Zero-beam while simultaneously flipping Shinkirou in a full 360% summersault. The two halves of the shell fell away from each other freeing the three KnightMares only a few yards from the ground below them.
“They’re getting away!” Li Jiang exclaimed as he began to give chase to the remnants of the Harpy Legion that were speeding away with two of them carrying the Gorgon in their arms.
“Let them go Li Jiang Fong, this battle is over.” Villetta said as the Jaguars and eight of the Type-21O Outbackers eased down to their position over the Port Moresby UFN base.

“What do you mean you have to return to the Kraken for repairs?” Sthenno asked Euryale over the communicator of the Gorgon.
Euryale hung her head, “I’m sorry Sthenno…I took it upon myself to act on my own and attack the rogue fleet at Port Moresby with Schneizel’s forces.”
“You dared to disobey my orders!” Sthenno hissed.
“Wait,” Euryale pleaded. “Hear me out before you let your anger cloud your mind. I acquired valuable information during the battle.”
“Did you conquer Papua New Guinea?” Sthenno glared at her.
“We were not able too…” Euryale stared to say.
“YOU FAILED!” Sthenno’s expression twisted as a fury rose within her.
“They would have failed anyway Sthenno. Your Prince’s charm was DISPELLED!” Medusa yelled in defense of Euryale.
“Dispelled?” Sthenno asked rhetorically as her ire waned. “How?”
“We don’t know exactly,” Medusa treaded carefully. “But we do know that it was one of the warriors that Jason allowed to escape that possesses this power.”
“Jason,” Sthenno spit out his name with hatred. “Once again his foolish sense of honor has robbed us of victory.” Her expression changed back to its calm form, “You did well my sisters, even if you did disobey me. This new information makes up for your insubordination.”
“What are your orders now Sthenno,” Euryale asked.
“Proceed to Japan,” Sthenno eyes showed that she was taking in the implications of the events of Port Moresby very seriously, “conduct a raid on the city of Kyoto when Jason’s forces attack and capture the Empress Nunnally unharmed.”
“The Empress Nunnally?” Medusa was perplexed. “May I ask why?”
Euryale spoke before Sthenno could respond to Medusa. “You do not trust Schneizel anymore that’s it isn’t it?”
Sthenno gave her a cold look in reply.

The light of the setting sun over Kyoto drenched Suzaku in hues of gold as he sat at the desk in his room reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. A knock on his door interrupted him.
“Who is it?” He asked.
“It’s me,” Nunnally said from the other side.
“Oh, please come in,” He said closing the book.
The door opened up to reveal Nunnally Vi Britannia standing on her cybernetic-enhanced legs. She walked in slowly in measured steps. “I need to talk to you Suzaku.”
“What about?” He asked her with a curious look.
She walked over to where he sat and bent down close to him, “We need to leave Japan.” Nunnally looked into his eyes. “And I’ve found a way, but it involves stealing the Lancelot of the Lake.”
Suzaku shook his head, “No Nunnally, we can’t do that. You know as well as I do what Kyoshiro Tohdoh would do if we stole a KnightMare armed with a pair of FLEIJA warheads.”
"Do you trust the General with those weapons," She looked at Suzaku sternly.
"No," he averted his eyes from hers. "Given the right set of circumstances he would use them against Britannia."
"Then we have to go Suzaku," She pleaded with him.
"How?" He told her with a somber look. "Why do you think there are no guards outside my door? It's because I can go anywhere in Japan and still not be able to leave. There's no way the Lancelot of the Lake can fly all the way back to North America, so we have to face the fact that we're stuck here."
"There's another way," Nunnally said.
"What other way?" Suzaku inquired with a befuddled look.
"The thought elevator," Nunnally gave him a mischievous grin. "Lelouch wrote in his diary that our father Charles used it to travel around the world like a sort of interdimensional public transit system. It's how Charles escaped C's World when Lelouch tried to trap him there in the lair of the Geass Cult."
Suzaku frowned at the idea of going back to where he had first unmasked Zero, "But that's on Kanimejima Island Nunnally...that place has a lot of" He looked out at the setting sun, "...bad memories."
"But it's our best chance of escaping back to Britannia," Nunnally was adamant.
"It's also where Lelouch's mausoleum is located." His eyes grew sad. "The whole inside of that cave was remodeled to cover the ancient ruins there and conceal where Lelouch is really buried."
"I've not been there in a long time Suzaku," Nunnally said with a teary expression. "But the thought elevator is still there, behind Lelouch's sealed, glass, coffin. We can still access the gate."
Suzaku turned to face her, "But we don't even know how to activate it Nunnally. C2 could be anywhere in the world right now and everyone else who knows anything about the thought elevator is dead."
"That's where I come in," An old man walked into the room.
Suzaku was surprised by the intrusion, "You're the gentlemen from the UFN council were apart of the Russian delegation right?"
The man held out his hand in a handshake gesture, "allow me to introduce myself...I am Enoch."

Next Chapter;

TURN Eleven: Schneizel's Plan

Thanks for Reading
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Old 2009-10-14, 23:39   Link #18
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Join Date: May 2009
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Almost forgot the new KMFs for this Chapter;

The Gorgon Automatos;

The Harpy Automatos;

and the UFN Type-21O Outbacker KMF;

GundamFan0083 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2009-10-16, 12:14   Link #19
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Turn Eleven: Schneizel's Plan

“The scale and magnitude of Charles Zi Britannia’s plans were rivaled only by those of his son Schneizel. Before the reign of Emperor Lelouch, Schneizel had his father’s utmost confidence and trust and thus had at his disposal the resources of all of Britannia and much of the world. Schneizel had always plotted to unseat his father, of that I am sure. Many were the nights that I overheard Lady Marianne bickering with Charles over how lax he was with Schneizel and how Schneizel’s lust for power would someday be the 98th Emperor’s undoing. Little did Lady Marianne realize how right she was or how far and wide Schneizel’s ultimate plan extended. Schneizel was a master strategist, and like his brother Lelouch, knew that the world could not be won in a single battle, conflict, or war, but rather a series of such events were required to claim a total global victory.”-Excerpt from an interview with Jeremiah Gottwald by JBS [Japan Broadcasting Station] senior special-news correspondent Milley Ashford during their flight to Japan on the Ikaruga dated July 30th 2024 a.t.b.

"Tahiti is quite a place," Kallen said to Gino as she lay upon a foldable beach-chair on the sands of the Island dressed in a white two-piece bikini. It had been two days since the Avalon arrived at the small island and their ship was now replenished with food and supplies.
"Don't get too comfortable," Gino smiled as he handed her a piña colada dripping with condensation in the tropical heat of the island.
Kallen took the glass from him and drew a long draught from the straw of her cocktail, "Mmm...That is good." She smacked her lips and smiled at him. "What nothing for you?" Kallen eyed Gino's glass of coconut juice.
"Nah, I'm not big on alcoholic drinks," Gino laughed as he pulled up a chair next to hers. "Besides, how can I woo you if I'm drunk off my tush?"
"Oh is that how it is?" Kallen snickered as she eyed his tanned muscular body that was covered only at his waist and groin by his skimpy swim-shorts. "Trying to get me to drink so you can have your way with me huh?" Kouzuki rolled her eyes. "Typical male...what do you think Anya?" Kallen called out to where Lt. Alstreim was standing at the edge of the beach with her hands shading her eyes as she looked out towards the horizon.
Anya turned to Kallen, "I think we're about to be attacked."
No sooner had the girl said the words did the alarm claxons from the aerial frigate above them sound off.
"Oh just great!" Kallen said jumping up out of her chair and discarding her drink.
Gino grabbed her hand and pulled her along with him as he raced towards where Tamaki sat fishing off of the wing of the aerial shuttle they had come there in.
"Tamaki start the engines!" Gino yelled as Anya caught up to him and Kallen.
"What?" Tamaki asked as his fishing line started to pull.
"START THE FRIGGIN PLANE YOU JACKASS!!" Kallen yelled at him. "Can't you hear the sirens?"
Tamaki gave them a befuddled look and pulled the headphones off of his head. "Oh crap!" He exclaimed. Tamaki dropped his fishing rod and ran into the craft as he heard the wail of the alarm from the Avalon.
Kallen and the others piled into the little ship right behind Tamaki.
The four of them were inside the aircraft in moments just as the sun's light began to glare off of a silhouette of a large aerial warship coming over the horizon.

"The Avalon is in sight Prince Schneizel." A female lieutenant said on the bridge of the Thor. "Shall we fire on her sir?"
"No," he said standing up. "Fire near her like you're trying to hit her, but don't damage the ship."
Schneizel smiled as he watched the Avalon on the overhead monitor. His Lieutenant gave the order to fire and the cannons of the aerial-battleship spewed forth a hail of artillery shells towards the vicinity of the Avalon. The volley showered the coastal town below the air-frigate it with barrage after barrage of deadly exploding rounds; leveling much of the ocean-village in the process and killing many of the inhabitants.

"How could they?" Cecile was mortified. "These people have done nothing wrong."
"Yes, but that's really never stopped Schneizel before," Lloyd adjusted his glasses. "I suppose if we want to stop him from killing these poor islanders we had better get out to sea."
"But we'll be sitting ducks out there," Kannon warned.
"No," Nina contradicted him as she analyzed the placement of the bombardment from the Thor. "They haven't used their Hadron cannons and their artillery rounds are falling short of hitting us."
"Which means?" Kannon asked her.
Cecile glared out at the large battleship, "They don't want to hit us."
"Correct," Nina nodded. "We're being driven out away from the Island."
"Have Kallen and the others returned yet?" Lloyd asked changing the subject.
"Yes, but what makes you ask Lloyd?" Cecile wondered what good four Devicers could do against the Thor.
"We've completed repairs on their Type-21s and those machines are fully charged." Lloyd shrugged his shoulders, "Perhaps we should have them act as cover for us while we escape."
"LLOYD!" Cecile gritted her teeth. "Are you suggesting we sacrifice them?"
"No, no," he said putting up his arms defensively. "Those fighters are supersonic; they can outrun the Thor quite easily. I was only suggesting that we have Kallen and her team attack the Thor while we build up speed to escape and then they can rendezvous with us later."
Cecile smiled at him, "That's not a bad idea Professor Asplundh."
"Really?" Lloyd said putting his arms down.
Cecile turned to Nina and Kannon, "The deck crew of Avalon has never dealt with the Type-21 before. Nina, do you think the two of you can help prep those fighters for immediate launch?"
"No problem," Kannon said with a smile. "I've read the manual for the Type-21S a few times over."
"You have?" Nina looked at him with surprise. "Where?"
Kannon gave her a devilish grin, "While lying in Kallen Kouzuki's bed on the Thor."
Nina gave him a jealous scowl, "What were you doing in Captain Kouzuki's bed?"
Kannon only smiled.
“Oh Nina,” Lloyd said pulling out a small box from his lab-coat.
“Yes Professor Asplundh?” She asked, curious as to what else he wanted.
He smiled at her, “Don’t forget your contact-lenses.”
She took the small box from him, “Thank you Lloyd.”

Kallen jumped into the cockpit of her Type-21S Shogun, still wearing her bikini, and pressed the touchscreen console in front of her. Instantly the machine came to life and the cockpit-canopy lowered down. The smell of ionized air filled the hangar deck as the whine of the graviton impellors came up to a roar.
"Alright Yamato no Orochi, you all know what to do." Kallen said as her KnightMare Frame was raised onto the launch catapult. "It's payback time!" Kouzuki pushed the throttle forward and her fighter screamed away from the Avalon.
In seconds all four Type-21s were flying in formation together.
"How do you want to do this Kallen?" Gino asked.
"Diamond formation from above," Kouzuki said as she monitored the Thor. "They've already raised their shields so we'll have to dive-bomb them with a hail of Gejhun missiles."
"You actually think we've got enough firepower to knock their shields down for long?" Tamaki scoffed.
"No," Kallen conceded. "But they'll be down long enough for us to do some damage to their weapons."
"We should concentrate on the long-range heavy dorsal cannons," Anya suggested as the flight of four Type-21s flew high above the Thor.
"Agreed," Kallen said.

"The Avalon is moving out over the ocean Prince Schneizel," one of the female Lieutenants informed him.
Schneizel smiled, "Very good."
"My Lord," a blonde haired tactical officer blurt out. "Four KnightMares have launched from the enemy vessel. I think they're Type-21s."
Schneizel sniggered, "Excellent. Launch a squadron of our Vincent-Wards and then move us into a parallel course with the Avalon."
The female tactical officer hesitated, "But sir, we won't be able to use our Hadron cannons if we fly parallel to them."
Schneizel raised his brow, "What makes you think I plan on using the Hadron cannons on them?"
"If we aren't going to destroy them Prince Schneizel, then why are we bothering with them?" The blonde haired Lieutenant asked.
"Because we're here to pick up a package," he tittered.

"Looks like we're finally leaving the Polynesian Islands," Nina said as she looked out one of the viewports in the dorsal hangar.
"Indeed we are," Kannon said to her as he came up behind her. "We're leaving this ship as well."
"What?" Nina turned to face him.
Kannon stood pointing a pistol at her, "Please Nina, I don't want to hurt you, but you must come with me now."
Nina looked at him and gasped at the red-orange ring in his eyes, "Oh no...Kannon, you don't know what you're doing."
"I'm sorry Nina," He waved the gun in the direction of the shuttle Kallen and the others had used earlier. "Get inside that aerial courier NOW!"
Nina knew that under the power of Geass Kannon would do what ever it is he was ordered to by the person that had control over him. "Try to fight it must!"
Kannon forced her over to the shuttle and opened the door. "Get inside."
"Hey you there, what do you think you're doing?" A flight technician asked coming over to where Nina and Kannon stood.
"Run!" Nina yelled at the man but it was too late. Kannon turned and shot the man in the chest four times; killing him.
Nina grabbed for the gun in Kannon's hand but Maldini was too fast for her. He allowed her to lunge forward in front of him then he hit her on the back of the head with the pistol; knocking her out instantly and breaking her glasses as they hit the metal floor.
Kannon loaded Nina onto the shuttle and started the machine's engines. The next moment the aircraft burst out of the hangar bay of the Avalon towards the Thor.

"Hey Kallen a shuttle just launched from the Avalon," Tamaki said as they dove in for their attack run.
"Nothing we can do about it now," She replied as a flight of twenty Vincent-Wards flew out from the bottom of the ship.
"We've got company!" Gino blurt out.
"Ignore them," Kouzuki told her team. "We need to disarm the Thor if we're to have any chance of making a clean get away."
"There are too many to just ignore them Kallen," Anya said as she fired a salvo of energy discs from the nose mounted gunpod of her fighter. The radiant-heat projectiles tore through two of the Vincent-Wards; destroying them.
"Fine," Kouzuki said in irritation. "But just take down the ones you have to for a clear shot with your missiles and make darn sure you use your Gejhun warheads on only the Thor."
"Understood," Her teammates replied in unison.

"Who is on that shuttle?" Cecile asked the hangar deck-officer via the monitor in front of her.
"We believe Kannon Maldini has taken Professor Einstein by force," The man replied over the viewscreen. "Yeoman Maldini killed a member of my team during his escape."
"Well now we know what Schneizel was after," Lloyd said matter-of-factly.
"We can't just let him have her Lloyd!" Cecile barked at him.
"What do you expect us to do?" He mused. "It's not like this ship can take on the Thor. It's simply a matter of firepower."
"No it isn't," Cecile said with a gleam in her eye. "He doesn't have that shuttle just yet." Cecile opened up a radio channel to Kallen.

"You want us to what?" Kallen said as she felled another Vincent-Ward with the forward firing Hadron Cannons of her fighter.
"We need you to capture that shuttlecraft as quickly as you can," Cecile's voice emphasized the urgency of the situation. "Nina's on that thing with Kannon."
"Well why the hell did they leave the ship?" Kallen asked as she dodged a hail of cannon fire from another Vincent-Ward.
"We don't know," Cecile told her over the communicator. "But I have a hunch that Geass is behind this somehow."
"I wouldn't doubt it," Kouzuki responded with a scowl. Kallen changed frequencies, "alright guys listen up, we've got to intercept that courier plane and bring it back in one piece."
Tamaki balked, "How the hell are we supposed to do that with all these KnightMares firing on us, not too mention the Thor?"
"I've got an idea," Gino said.
"Let's hear it," Kallen invited any suggestions at this point.
"We should knock out the shields of the Thor and finish our run as planned, then break off as quickly as possible towards the shuttle." Gino knocked out another Vincent-Ward with his gunpod then continued. "After that we can disable the courier and fly it back to the Avalon."
"Sounds like it could work," Anya said in her dry monotone while she finished off another of the Vincent-Wards.
"I'm in," Tamaki chimed.
"Okay, let's do it," Kallen said as she let loose with a full salvo of Gejhun missiles at the top of the Thor. The hail of torpedoes impacted the multifaceted green shielding of the warship and dissolved a large portion of it.
The other Black Knights rained down a volley of the anti-shield projectiles upon the battleship; knocking down the rest of the ship's energy protection.
Kallen transformed her fighter into KnightMare mode and flew down next to the port-side dorsal main cannon. She pressed the top button of the left control stick with her thumb which caused the front half of the gunpod of her fighter to close shut and extend out like a police-baton. Kallen drove the tip of her gunpod onto the side of the turret and pulled the gunpod trigger on her control stick. The tip of the gunpod unit radiated a heat wave into the large cannon just like the clawed hand of the Guren MKII would have done causing the turret to rupture and explode under the pulse of intense energy.
Gino did likewise to the starboard turret while Anya and Tamaki felled the aft mounted long range dual barrel artillery piece.
“Let’s get that shuttle!” Kallen commanded as her Shogun flew off the top of the Thor and transformed back into fighter mode; her three companions were right behind her.

Schneizel gripped the side of his command chair to steady himself and keep from falling down.
“They’ve destroyed our long range cannons!” The blonde haired tactical officer shouted. The woman looked perplexed as she studied the screen in front of her. “Prince Schneizel the Type-21s have broken off their attack and are speeding away from us.”
Schneizel held a blank expression, “Launch all of our Gareth KnightMares after them and tell our Devicers not to attack anything in the area but the Type-21s.” He knew where the four fighters were headed.
“All of our Gareths sir?” The girl inquired unnerved by the intensity of his order.
“That is what I said my dear.” He told the Lieutenant in an icy tone.
“Aye sir,” She replied obediently.

The Yamato no Orochi flew towards the courier shuttle at great speed and transformed in unison as they came to within a hundred yards of the plane.
“Kannon stop!” Gino ordered him over the radio as they matched the speed of the shuttle and came up along side it.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Maldini replied as he swerved the shuttle towards the waves of the ocean below in an effort to avoid capture.
“Why are you doing this Kannon?” Anya asked him.
“Because it is the will of my Prince,” Kannon responded in a mechanical tone.
“Is that why you came here Kannon; to kidnap your friend for Schneizel?” Kallen tried to reason with him hoping he would hesitate long enough for her to grab hold of the shuttlecraft with her Shogun.
“No…I…” The orange glow in Kannon’s eyes flickered causing him to let go of the ship’s controls as he struggled with his deep feelings for Nina and the command Schneizel had given him. “I…I must obey Schneizel.”
“I’ve got them Kallen,” Tamaki said as he flew towards the shuttle with a burst of speed. His KnightMare came up and grabbed the top of the ship just as a Hadron bolt slammed into the side of his Type-21.
“Yahhhhhhhh!” Tamaki yelled as his fighter fell from the sky.
“Tamaki!” Kallen’s Shogun raced to grab hold of her old friend’s machine.
“Don’t you guys have something better to do?” Gino shouted at the mass of Gareth KMFs that were rapidly closing in on them. Gino blasted two of the swarm of sixty mecha out of the sky with a salvo from his gunpod.
“We need to give Captain Kouzuki some cover,” Anya said as she cut down three Gareths and dodged a hail of Hadron bolts.
Captain Kouzuki’s Shogun caught Tamaki’s Bushido right before it hit the ocean surface.
“You alive in there?” she asked as her KnightMare skimmed over the ocean waves causing a spray to kick up behind them.
“It’ll take more than that to take me out,” he joked.
“Good thing your shields were up. I don’t think your Bushido suffered any damage,” Kallen said as they dodged out of the way of a swarm of missiles. She fired a barrage of Hadron bolts from the shoulder mounted cannons of her Shogun at the offending Gareths. “We’d better get back after Kannon.”
“Thanks Kallen,” He replied sheepishly.
“Don’t mention it,” She said as they boosted up towards the battle above them.
Gino blasted another Gareth out of the air, “There’s too many of them!” He just barely rolled out of the way of a barrage of Hadron cannon fire only to have a swarm of missiles impact the omni-directional absolute defense shields of his Samurai.
Anya swerved her KnightMare out of the way of a salvo of missiles and shot them down with her Samurai’s forearm Hadron cannons. “Our shields can’t take this punishment forever and the shuttle is getting away from us.”
“I can see that,” Kallen said as she tried to penetrate the screen of KnightMare units, but the Gareth pilots were getting better at avoiding their attacks while still keeping them at bay.

“Prince Schneizel, a small aerial shuttlecraft is approaching and hailing us,” His brunette communications officer said without emotion.
Schneizel smiled, “Very good Ensign, put him through.”
Kannon’s face appeared on the main viewscreen, “I have what you ordered me to acquire Prince Schneizel.”
“Excellent work my friend,” Schneizel stated warmly. “Kannon, you are to proceed to the main hangar immediately. I’ll inform the deck-officer to open the primary ventral hatch and allow your courier to land.”
“Thank you Prince Schneizel,” Kannon spoke mechanically. “I look forward to seeing you in person again soon.”
“And I you,” He said with a grin.
"Kannon out," the Yeoman's visage disappeared off of the screen.
Schneizel turned his attention to his tactical officer, "You may now bring the ship about and fire the Hadron cannons at the Avalon."

"Kallen the Thor is changing course and pointing in our direction," Tamaki bellowed as he riddled a Gareth with energy discs from the gunpod of his Type-21B.
"It looks like they're preparing to fire their Hadrons!" Gino said.
"There's no way the Avalon can survive a hit from a full barrage of the Thor's main batteries," Anya added.
"I know, but what the hell can we do about it," Kouzuki gritted her teeth in frustration. She knew they'd never get through the swarm of Gareths fast enough to stop Schneizel from obliterating the Avalon. Kallen thought as fast as she could but nothing came to mind. "Dammn it!" She cursed out loud while she maneuvered her fighter through the battlespace in order to dodge another barrage of Hadron bolts from a flight of Gareths. "We can't lose here...we just can't-"
A flash of green caught her eye diving through the clouds from above them. "What the?" Kallen blurt out in surprise as two of the Gareth KnightMare Frames that pursued her were reduced to molten slag by a pair of recoilless cannon rounds.
"Is that you down there Captain Kouzuki?" a man's voice asked over the radio.
"Rivaltz?" Kallen asked forcing down a lump of relief in her throat.
"Hey, that's Major Ashford to you Ma'am," he laughed as his squadron of twenty Type-21Os ripped through the Gareth KnightMares.
"Major Ashford you need to stop the Thor!" Anya yelled over the radio.
"Don't sweat it Anya," Rivaltz said nonchalantly. "General Xingke has that situation in hand."
A stream of artillery scale Hadron energy rushed past them towards the Thor.

"We've been hit!" The blonde tactical officer screamed as the Thor shook under the onslaught of Hadron energy.
Li Xingke’s image appeared on the overhead viewer, “Surrender Schneizel or we’ll blow you out of the sky.”
"Cornelia," Schneizel tittered softly to himself, "Not bad my sister." He looked up at Xingke, “I’m afraid you’re not in a position to demand my surrender.” Schneizel made a cutting motion with his hand to his communications officer and Xingke disappeared from the screen as the transmission was shut off.
"Sir there is a fleet of thirty airships coming over the Island of Tahiti, they appear to be in attack formation and are targeting our location with their weapons." The tactical officer stated in a worried tone.
Schneizel smirked, "Don't worry about them. Please tell me how badly are we damaged?"
"We've sustained moderate damage to our portside hull armor, but that is all right now sir." The girl said.
Schneizel humpfed at the thought of Cornelia outwitting him by luring Xingke’s UFN fleet to this area, "Order our Gareths to withdraw at once."
"What about the Avalon sir?" The woman inquired.
Schneizel spoke smoothly, "Aim just to the starboard of her and fire all Hadrons at Mont Orohena."
"But the volcano will explode!" The woman gasped.
"Precisely," Schneizel smiled.

The UFN armada cruised at five-thousand feet above the Island of Tahiti. The main batteries of the various types of airships began moving into position as their gunnery crews fine-tuned their barrels to fire the long-range bombardment against the Thor.
“Kallen,” Rivaltz radioed her. “We need to withdraw at once. The UFN fleet is about to fire on the Thor with everything they’ve got and we’re in the crossfire position.”
“Roger that Major Ashford,” Captain Kouzuki said as she and her three teammates transformed into jet mode. The Yamato no Orochi flew up into formation with Rivaltz’s squadron of Outbackers.
“The Thor just fired her main Hadron Cannons!” Gino yelled over the radio.
Kallen turned around and looked out the canopy of her fighter just in time to see the triple-blast of Hadron energy slam into the base of Mont Orohena. In the next moment the active volcano erupted into a massive plume of smoke and ash; sending chunks of molten lava hundreds of feet into the air and causing a dense screen of debris that made it nearly impossible to see.
“That son of a bitch!” Tamaki swore out loud.
“Kallen, Schneizel is getting away, we should pursue him immediately.” Anya said in a frantic tone.
“There’s no way the fleet can find them in this volcanic plume,” Rivaltz said. “We’ll just have to wait until we can clear this cloud.”
“No, we’ve got to capture the Thor now!” Kallen said frantically as the realization of Schneizel’s victory sank into her psyche.
“What’s the rush?” Rivaltz was taken a back by Kallen’s outburst. “We’ll get him eventually.”
Kallen’s frustration caused her voice to crack, “We can’t wait Rivaltz…Schneizel has got Nina!”
Major Ashford looked down at the large mass of volcanic smoke unable to see the Thor but knowing that the ship was speeding away to parts unknown with a person he considered to be one of his closest friends. “Nina,” Rivaltz whispered to himself.

“We need to move quickly and quietly,” Enoch said to Nunnally and Suzaku.
Painful as it was to crouch on her cybernetic legs, Nunnally did her best to keep up with the two men as they slowly made their way through the dimly lit KnightMare museum. The sun had set hours ago and the museum had closed but the security systems of the place were horribly lax for a facility which held two FLEIJA warheads. The idea had been to conceal the weapons in plain sight with obscurity being the best security against theft.
“There are two guards at the base of the Lancelot of the Lake,” Suzaku said as he looked over at the large machine. It was basically the Lancelot Albion with the wing system removed and replaced by a pair of Cecile Croomy’s version of Rakshata’s Graviton Impellor wings with a Hyper-Velocity Bazooka mounted on each Impellor pod in the same manner as the Type-21O Outbacker.
“It’s impressive,” Suzaku said in exhilaration at the thought of piloting Lancelot again.
“Yes it is,” Enoch said as he looked over to where a reconstructed specimen of the pink Lancelot-Frontier stood. A dim blue LED light flashed twice from behind the left leg of the pink-KnightMare. Enoch pulled out a small LED penlight from his coat pocket and flashed three pulses back at the light source.
“A friend?” Nunnally whispered to Enoch.
“Yes,” He smiled at her.
Nunnally sensed that there was something more to his smile than he told her causing her to cock her head in curiosity. “Who is this person?”
“The Red Dragon,” he told her. “The Lancelot of the Lake only has room for two. Thus you and Suzaku will be going on it while she and I travel in that Lancelot-Frontier.”
Nunnally looked hard at Enoch, “Who is…she?”
“Don’t worry about her,” Enoch said with a smile. “She’s my great-granddaughter whom I nursed back to life and healed during the dark days of the Black Rebellion. You don’t have to be concerned about her loyalty, she would never betray us.”
“Looks like those two guards are practically asleep,” Suzaku said at the front of the line. “We should move now.”
“No Suzaku wait!” Enoch called out to him but it was too late.
Suzaku leapt up at the first guard and did his signature dual spin-kick at the man. The lithe male guard bent over backwards in a martial arts flip and kicked at Suzaku; the guard’s foot landing squarely into Suzaku’s groin.
Suzaku landed hard and held onto his manhood.
The second guard went to hit Suzaku with his police-baton but was surprised by a figure wearing a mirror-visor red colored helmet (very similar to the one worn by Zero) with a plume of fiery-red hair streaming from the top-back of it nearly down to the floor. The figure wore a blood-red colored armored jumpsuit with pink highlights that held tightly to a figure that was clearly that of a woman’s by the shape of her voluptuous body. The woman launched a snap-kick at the guard with the baton which landed on the man’s chin sending him reeling backwards to the floor; knocked out cold.
The first guard came at her with a spin-kick but the woman blocked it with her gauntleted forearm and knocked the man unconscious with a round-house-kick to the head.
“Are you alright?” The modulated electronic voice of the woman asked Suzaku as she extended her hand down to him.
“I’m okay,” he winced taking her delicate hand in his.
“Red Dragon, we need to get out of here,” Enoch told her.
She nodded in reply as she helped Suzaku to his feet.
Suzaku gave her a bewildered look as they made their way to the energy filler storage containers behind the two mecha. “You fight well.”
“Thank you,” the electronic voice replied. “Grandfather taught me for years.”
“May I ask why you wear a mask?” Suzaku couldn’t help but be curious of this female Zero who stood before him.
“She was injured deeply during the Black Rebellion…and…scared horribly.” Enoch said as he manned the automatic loaders and powered up both KnightMares.
Nunnally grinned at Enoch over some private thought not known to Suzaku who could only look on at her with a confused expression.
“They’re ready,” Enoch said as he and the Red Dragon climbed onto the lift that led to the Lancelot-Frontier cockpit hatch.
Suzaku helped Nunnally onto the other lift and steadied her as it rose to the open cockpit of the Lancelot of the Lake.
Both couples entered their respective KnightMare Frames and inserted the keys to the machines.
“You two ready over there?” Suzaku asked as Nunnally found a comfortable spot to sit down behind his Devicer seat.
“As we’ll ever be,” Enoch replied.
“Then let’s do this,” Suzaku said with renewed confidence despite the pain between his legs.

“I can’t believe we are almost too Japan,” Lena said excitedly as she held onto Akira’s arm. The two of them were standing on the observation promenade of the Ikaruga looking out over the Island of Okinawa.
“We should be in Tokyo in a few hours,” Tetsuo said as he leaned on the railing near them.
“Can you believe it’s only been a little over a month since we left?” Mika mused.
“Seems like years,” Gregor added as he rested next to Mika on the rail.
“Do you guys think there’ll be a battle here?” Tetsuo asked to his companions.
“I’d say it’s a guarantee Tetsuo,” Villetta said as she walked out onto the deck with them. “The UFN long range scouts we’ve been in contact with say that there’s been a major battle near the Society Islands. There have also been reports of a large air-fleet heading towards Japan from New Zealand.”
“Schneizel,” Akira said bluntly.
“Probably,” Villetta said to him with indifference. “According to Captain Chiba, the UFN is now at war with Britannia and the Principality of Brazil. No doubt this is all a part of some elaborate plan by Schneizel now that he’s allied with this new force of Geass users.”
“Japan is going to be the decisive battle again isn’t it?” Lena lamented.
“It sure looks that way,” Villetta answered her with a sad expression.
“What happened to your pride?” Li Jiang Fong said walking onto the deck. “You all act like we’ve been defeated already. So long as we’re alive we have a chance to beat this enemy, Geass or not, we have to fight them with everything we have and never give up.”
The others looked at him in awe of his change in demeanor.
Fong nodded at Akira who smiled in return. “Together, we’re unstoppable.”

“Where are you taking me?” Nina yelled at Schneizel in defiance as a contingent of four soldiers brought her to the bridge of the Thor.
“Funny you should ask that question,” He smiled upon seeing her enter the room. “I’ve brought you to my personal palace on Pitcairn Island.” He gestured for the guards to release her so she could look out the viewports.
Nina gave him a smug look, “I can’t see anything without my contacts on.”
Schneizel waved his hand dismissively, “By all means Nina, put them on. You’re a guest here now.”
Nina took out the box that Lloyd had given her from her lab-coat and put the contact-lenses on. Nina looked out the viewport. To Nina’s amazement the center of the forty-seven square mile Island was a massive military-citadel comprised of what looked like refineries, power-stations, manufacturing centers, and heavy battlements armed with various types of weaponry.
“Where did all this come from?” Nina knew that there was no way Schneizel could construct such a facility without a large number of workers and over a considerable period of time.
“I had it built when you were only seven years old.” He gave her a wide grin, “Back during my haughty days of dreaming about usurping my father through a grand, and quite covert, plan. I even created my own personal knighthood; The Order of the Silver-Cross; with which I planned on conquering the world. Like all Imperial teenagers, it was a foolish, wasteful, and childish pursuit at the time. However, when I first met Zero face to face in China I began contemplating the possibility of him being my brother Lelouch and thus a powerful rival for the throne of Britannia. Therefore, I immediately set to rebuilding my Order of the Silver-Cross and reactivating this facility.”
“But how could you keep this place a secret?” Nina wasn’t buying his explanation. “Surely the UFN knows of this place.”
Schneizel laughed, “Forgive me Nina but you must understand that this Island is in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. The UFN doesn’t know of or care about this place, nor is it likely they would think it to be anything but a remote, insignificant, isle inhabited by Polynesians or Pirates even if they did know of it.”
“I see,” Nina looked down at the ocean below. “What is it you want of me Prince Schneizel?”
“I need you to build me something,” He said softly while walking up behind her.
She clenched her fists, “I will never build you another FLEIJA!”
Schneizel gently put his hand on her shoulder and whispered in her ear, “I would never ask you to Nina.”
Nina turned towards him; their faces only an inch apart, “Then what am I to build for you?”
He looked into her eyes through his wire-rimmed sunglasses, “The FORGE I’ve heard so much about.”
She eyed him cautiously. “Why do you need me to build a FORGE here? There are obviously power-plants on this Island, why is a FORGE so important?”
He touched noses with her, “Because my dear Nina, your new reactor can generate all the power I require too implement my plan.”
“What is your plan?” Nina was shaking slightly as he leaned in towards her.
He kissed her gently on the lips, “an end to War.”

Next Chapter;

TURN Twelve: Battle for Kyoto

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Old 2009-10-17, 23:45   Link #20
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Turn Twelve: Battle for Kyoto

“Japan had to become a battleground again before I realized the only true path to peace. It didn’t lay in government halls or the Zero-Requiem. It didn’t require the people to be conned into hating some dictator or weapon symbolizing war. It required only one very simple concept, a concept that the world had left behind with philosophy, morality, and religion. All that the world’s people really needed to obtain a lasting peace was the power to forgive.”--Excerpt from the diary of Suzaku Kururugi dated August 22nd 2024 a.t.b.

"Euryale, I'm picking up a pair of Automatos leaving the coastline of Japan and heading for a string of Islands near Ō-Shima Island in Sagami Bay." A beautiful woman with pale-blue eyes, like those of a gray-wolf, said staring at the goddess from within her machine's cockpit.
"Oh? What kind are they Scylla?" Euryale asked the gaunt-white skinned woman from within the cockpit of the Gorgon.
"The information from Hephaestus shows them to be of the Lancelot class of Britannian Automatos." Scylla's cold, elf-like features changed slightly as she attempted a smile, causing locks of her silver hair to fall down over the front of her eyes. "Shall I destroy them?"
Medusa looked up at Euryale from her pilot's seat below and frowned.
"No Scylla," Euryale answered upon seeing her sister's grimace. "Leave these two machines to us for the moment. They may have someone we are looking for within them."
"As you wish Euryale," Scylla raised an eyebrow as she brushed her hair back. "However, I should warn you that Charybdis' sensors have detected a gateway to the river Styx on the farthest isle of that chain. The one the Japanese call Kaminejima Island. This pair of Automatos may be heading there to use the gateway."
"How soon will they arrive at the island?" Euryale asked.
"Three quarters of an hour," Scylla answered.
"We can be there in nearly that time," Medusa told Euryale knowing that her sister would ask.
Euryale regarded Scylla sternly, "You are to proceed to Osaka Bay and prepare for Jason's arrival. He should be in that area within the hour for his assault on the UFN capital in Kyoto. Once he has launched his attack you are to destroy the city, and Jason with it, is that understood Scylla?"
The woman gave her a venomous grin, "Perfectly Euryale."

"Attention Ikaruga, this is Kyoto air defense control," A male voice said over the radio, "hold your position at twenty kilometers from Kyoto and await further orders."
“Twenty Kilometers?” Chiba asked out loud as Villetta, Jeremiah, and CC entered the bridge.
“Something must be wrong,” Jeremiah said.
“What makes you say that Jeremiah?” C.C. asked him.
Jeremiah gave her a concerned look, “They’re holding us at a position that is just outside of the blast diameter of a FLEIJA.”
“You think so?” Villetta blurt out.
“Are we in danger?” Nagisa asked the operator over the radio. “I need to know because we have civilians on this ship and they’ve waited long enough to disembark. If I don’t unload them soon they may cause trouble. Is there a port available that I can release them at?”
“One moment Ikaruga,” the air control officer told her. “I’m patching General Tohdoh to you now.”
“Tohdoh?” Nagisa was surprised as his image came up on the bridge big screen.
“Captain,” He said with a nod.
“Hi…Kyo…I mean greetings General Tohdoh,” She was so happy to see his face she nearly forgot proper military protocol.
“It’s nice to see you again too Chiba,” He was being unusually informal.
“What’s going on?” She ventured to ask.
He cleared his throat, “It would seem the Lancelot of the Lake has been stolen.”
“Stolen!” Jeremiah blurt out, mortified at the possibility of Schneizel gaining two FLEIJA weapons, “By whom?”
Kyoshiro turned to look at Jeremiah Gottwald and furled his brow, “Yes the FLEIJA armed KnightMare was taken in the early morning hours last night. We know who the perpetrators are but I’d rather not say in Britannian company.”
C.C.’s eyes widened as she knew there was probably only one person on Earth who had the means to steal the Lancelot of the Lake. “It’s Zero isn’t it General?”
“If by Zero you mean Suzaku Kururugi then yes,’ Kyoshiro didn’t hide his distain for what Suzaku had done and he showed it by exposing his identity.
He knows? C.C. wasn’t sure how Tohdoh knew Zero’s identity but she didn’t need to be told the implications of the situation to realize the total failure of Zero Requiem. “Is he by himself Tohdoh?”
He regarded C.C. with a scowl, “Not that this is any of your concern witch, but no he’s not alone.”
“Who is with him Kyoshiro?” Chiba asked forgetting proper decorum due to the gravity of the situation.
Tohdoh sighed, “Empress Nunnally of Britannia, a man from the UFN Russian delegation identified as Enoch Apsu and an unidentified woman.”
“Enoch,” C.C. whispered to herself as she looked down at the floor to hide her involuntary expression of surprise from those around her.
Villetta saw C.C. mutter something to herself before the immortal woman looked up at Tohdoh, “We have to go after them Kyoshiro!”
“You?” He scoffed, “Why would I let you go after four fugitives armed with a pair of FLEIJA weapons? You’re not exactly trust worthy witch.”
“You’ll let me go because I’m expendable,” She eyed him carefully. “And Suzaku will listen to me.”
“She’s right,” Jeremiah stepped forward. “I’ll volunteer to go as well. My Geass canceller may be useful if we encounter any of Schneizel’s allies.”
“Why would your Geass canceller be useful against Schneizel’s allies?” Tohdoh asked in a befuddled tone.
“I’ll fill you in later General,” Chiba winked at him with a coy smile.
Kyoshiro suddenly had the feeling he was no longer in control of the situation, “I see. Very well, the two of you can go and try to stop Kururugi, but I must warn you that the UFN will not tolerate anything less then the return of the Lancelot of the Lake. The rest of you must proceed to Kobe and unload the civilians off of Ikaruga then return here immediately. There is an enemy fleet headed for Japan from Australia and we need every aerial battleship we have.”
“Understood General,” Chiba saluted him. “We’ll proceed to Kobe and return here as soon as we can.”
He nodded as his image vanished from the screen.
Chiba turned to C.C. and Jeremiah, “I can’t say I’m comfortable about you two going either, but we don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. You had better take your KnightMares in case you encounter any enemy units. Good luck.” She added as C.C. and Jeremiah Gottwald each gave her a nod and then left for the KnightMare hangar.

“Here is my greatest ambition Nina,” Schneizel waved his hand before the massive machinery that was spread over a room the size of a football stadium.
“It looks like a Gejhun generator,” Professor Einstein said as she examined the mechanisms.
“That’s exactly what it is,” He smiled.
“But what good is a Gejhun generator of this size Prince Schneizel?” Nina knew the large device would only be effective within the area of the island and perhaps some of the surrounding ocean; a diameter of no more than sixty or seventy miles.
“It is not just a Gejhun generator Nina.” He snickered. “It is in fact a Gejhun pulse energy transmitter.”
She gasped at the implications of such a device, “A transmitter? But that means you could broadcast a Gejhun beam.”
“Exactly,” he walked over to a screen nearby and activated it. A digital representation of the Pitcairn Island base was shown as a red dot on a 3D global atlas. “With this device and the Global Transmission Array of the Thor we can transmit a Gejhun pulse of intense magnitude to any place on Earth via the satellite network that surrounds the planet.” A green line shot out from the red dot to multiple blue dots representing satellites which in turn shot forth rays of yellow onto the 3D globe in various places.
She gave him a dark look, “You could disable every KnightMare on the planet.”
“And end war forever,” He told her softly.
“So this is why you need my FORGE? To compensate for the immense power requirements of such a large Gejhun device,” Professor Einstein glared at him.
“It’s the reason I hadn’t used this device before and the reason my father thought of it as a foolish hobby of mine rather then a real threat. And he was right, that’s all it really was until you came into my life. Your FORGE has the power to produce all the energy I need to make my dream come true.”
Nina shook her head slightly, “It’s a pleasant dream Prince Schneizel but you know that even without KnightMare Frames or Sakuradite powered airships the nations of the world would still go back to warring with each other in other ways. Your brother Lelouch proved that when he tried to focus all of the world’s hate upon him and for a time they did, but it lasted less time then it took to create such a sentiment. How would your world be different?”
“My dear brother assumed that men’s hearts had a propensity for good and that if they were shown the horror of war they would never wage it again. It was a nice sentiment but idealistically foolish. I’m a far more practical man then that. I understand that the have-nots always want what the haves possess, and in turn the haves seek to protect themselves from the have-nots. It is this lack of mediation of resources…a lack of a planned society that causes such wars.”
Schneizel’s scheme intrigued her, “And you plan on creating such a planned society with this machine, yet you have no way of enforcing such a plan should countries not go along with your vision.”
“I have a contingency for that as well,” He smirked.

“I fail to see the point of us attacking this Island nation,” Heracles complained from within the cockpit of Helios. “We’re already spread out pretty thinly and this invasion will thin our forces out even further. What is so dammn important about this place?”
“We need the Golden Apple deposits at Mount Fuji to finish powering Tartarus. Once we have that we won’t have to continue this bloody campaign.” Jason told him as Talos and four legions of Hoplite-Spartans flew in formation towards the coastline of Japan.
“Why don’t we just ask Akira to get it for us?” Heracles joked.
“You think we’ll meet him here in this battle?” Jason asked his friend.
“Of course,” Heracles bellowed. “Don’t you want a rematch with the whelp?”
“I’m not so sure I do,” Jason hesitated. “This isn’t going to be like last time. This time we’ll have to fight for real and he may get hurt.”
“I understand your fondness for the young warrior Jason, but this is war and there are certainly worse ways to die than in battle.” Heracles reassured him as their mecha crossed over the shoreline towards Kyoto.
“I know my old friend, but I think we should try and minimize the casualties in this assault if we can. We’re not here to conquer this land.” Jason said.
“Ha!” Heracles burst out jovially. “I thought you just said this wasn’t going to be like last time and here you are already ordering restraint.”
Jason sighed, “I suppose I did say that didn’t I?”
“That’s okay Jason,” Heracles laughed heartily. “It’ll be more of a challenge if we just try and disable them rather them slay them, especially when they’ll certainly be trying to kill all of us.”
“I’m not sure I share you enthusiasm over such a contest my friend,” Jason sniggered. “They’re machines nearly destroyed the Gorgon and its flight of Harpies. We may find ourselves in a similar situation.”
“Nonsense!” Heracles scoffed, “As if Euryale and her monkey-brained sister could match the likes of us in battle. Those two are better at spreading vile rumors and wooing men to their bed chambers than engaging in a real fight.”
Jason tittered, “They’re accomplished soldiers Heracles…” He laughed. “They are skilled in combat.”
“Jason,” Orpheus’ voice cut into the channel.
“Yes Orpheus? What is it?” Jason’s tone became serious.
“Sixty-five enemy Automatos and twelve airships are inbound and closing fast,” Orpheus said.
“What kind of Automatos are they?” Heracles asked.
“Mixed…however there are twenty of the transformable types,” Orpheus replied.
“Order our Spartans to engage them but to exercise restraint.” Jason heard Orpheus sigh over the radio before he continued. “I don’t care how many of their machines you cripple or destroy Orpheus just try not to injure their pilots.”
“But Jason…” Orpheus started to say before Heracles cut him off.
“You heard the Captain!” Heracles boomed. “We’re here to acquire the Golden Apple from Mount Fuji not slaughter a bunch of mortals.”
“Aye sirs,” Orpheus said obediently.

"I've got a bad feeling about this Mika," Lena told her over a private channel as the Japan Jaguars flew their KnightMares towards the coordinates given them by Captain Chiba just on the outskirts of Kobe.
"Why, is it because we're the last line of defense?" Mika asked her.
"Maybe," Lena looked out at the Zangetsu and the Guren MK II as they flew side by side. "I just worry about those two." She said.
"You mean Akira and Fong?" Mika inquired as they came to their guard position and stopped.
"Yes," Lena answered her in a meek tone. "I don't trust Li Jiang. I know he understands the situation and he'd never do anything to forfeit a victory, but I remember what he said to me in the mess hall..."
Lena had confided in Mika what had really happened between her and Fong, "You mean about killing Akira?" Mika ventured to raise the question knowing it bothered Lena.
"Yah, that's what I mean," She bemoaned. "I think that if we win this battle Fong will try to hurt Akira."
"No way Lena," Mika stated with confidence. "Fong would be shot out of the sky by me personally if he even tries it."
The discs of explosions lit up the sky over Osaka in the distance in front of them, “Looks like it has started Mika,” Lena said.
“Get ready everyone,” Villetta’s said over the general radio frequency. “The enemy has broken through the first line of defense and has split into three groups. The center group is currently engaged with our second line and may be here soon.”
“Don’t worry Lena,” Mika said. “If you want, we can stick by Akira during the battle.”
“No, we’d only get in his way,” Lena huffed, “Mika…can I ask you something?”
Mika giggled, “Sure Lena, you can ask me anything.”
Lena hesitated for a moment before posing the question that had been bugging her since the KnightMare Competition at Sidney, “Are you in love with Akira?”
Mika thought about it for a moment, “Honestly-“

“Here they come Akira!” Fong exclaimed as the first few Hoplite-Spartans broke through Kyoto’s second line of defense.
The Greek machines tore through a pair of Vincent-Wards at the rear of the second line of JDF KnightMares.
“Permission to engage the enemy Major Nu,” Akira radioed the Jaguars’ commander.
“Permission granted Lieutenant Nobunaga…good hunting,” She replied quickly as several more of the Greek KMFs got past the Osaka defenders.
“Thank you Major,” Akira dodged a blast from the Hades cannon of a Hoplite Lance and cut off one of the wings of the mecha’s Icarus units; sending it spiraling to the ground below.
“You’re not taking this city!” Fong yelled at one of the Spartans as Guren dodged a Hades bolt and grabbed the arm of the Greek KMF; in the next instant the Automatos’ arm was molten slag. The Hoplite followed up with a Chaos-beam attack but Fong rolled Guren out of the way and used the Katen Yaibatou blade to cut the Spartan in half at the waist.
“Don’t get too far ahead of us Fong!” Villetta yelled at him as she used the lance of her Jikisan-Akatsuki to penetrate its Aegis Shield and run a Hoplite threw at the waist; the Automatos exploded after she withdrew her weapon.
Li Jiang flew the Guren as fast as the machine’s glide-unit would take it; zipping through the mass of Hoplites looking for a target of opportunity. He found one and dove for it.
“You’re mine!” Fong said as he reached out with the Fukusha Hadou Kikou radiation wave claw of Guren. The oversized KMF hand bounced off of a golden radiance in front of the Hoplite.
“We meet again,” Heracles said over the general radio channel to Fong as Helios swung its club at Guren.
“YOU!” Fong spat over the comm. as Guren barely moved out of the way of the great adamantine weapon.
“Li Jiang, you can’t take him alone,” Akira flew towards Fong but the Talos flew up in front of him.
“Have you forgotten what I taught you already Akira?” Jason scolded him over the radio. “I could have cut you in half just now. Don’t let yourself get distracted in battle, it’s how you managed to defeat me last time remember?”
“Jason,” Nobunaga said unsure of the Greek’s intensions.
“You ready for a rematch?” Jason asked in a mild tone.
“Always,” Akira replied.
“Good,” Jason had Talos raise its sword in salute.
Zangetsu did the same.

“We need to get out of here Kaguya!” Jiang Reika said as she pulled Sumeragi towards an aerial shuttle in the hangar of the UFN building.
“No Reika, we have to stay here and provide leadership during this crisis.” Kaguya protested. “It is our duty.”
“General Tohdoh has already given the evacuation order and most of the UFN council has fled the building Kaguya. Even General Tohdoh is moving his command to the Ikaruga. We need to get there too if we’re to have any hope of getting out of this alive.” The Tianzi dragged her friend up the ramp into the shuttle with the help of two of the ship’s crew.
“NO DAMMN IT! I will not run from this enemy!” Kaguya struggled to break free.
“They have two FLEIJA warheads Kaguya. We have to get to safety.” The Tianzi pulled with all her might on Sumeragi.
“Nunnally and Suzaku would never use those weapons against us Reika and you know it,” Kaguya shot back as she lost her footing.
The four of them fell into the shuttle. A lady-crewman inside the egress pressed the hatch door button and closed the ramp; in an instant the shuttle was in flight.

Gregor spun out of the way of a Hades blast and fired a burst of autocannon rounds at the offending Hoplite; his rounds bounced off of the Aegis Shield of the mecha as it closed in towards his Gekka.
"You okay Gregor?" Tetsuo asked as he was engaged by another of the Greek machines.
"Don't worry Tetsuo I've got this one," Gregor said to his wingmen as he fired a burst of autocannon rounds at the Hoplite.
“You pretty good,” Orpheus called to Gregor over the radio as he had his Hoplite flip the Thunder-Lance over and thrust the adamantine spear towards the Gekka.
Gregor parried the spear with the Katen Yaibatou revolving-blade. “You’re not bad yourself. It’s a good thing for me that your shield lowers when you attack.”
Orpheus laughed, “You noticed that did you?”
“I did,” Gregor said as he waited for Orpheus’ next attack.
Orpheus had his Hoplite stow its spear and shield onto its back. The Spartan then drew its sword and saluted Gregor, “Your friend Akira is an honorable man, are you?”
Gregor had his Gekka salute Orpheus’ Spartan, “I am.”
Orpheus laughed, “Jason was right about all of you. It’s a pity we have to fight.”
“I agree,” Gregor said as he waited for Orpheus to make the first move. “What’s your name?”
“Orpheus,” the Greek said proudly.
“I’m Gregor,” He said with confidence. “Since you’re a guest in my country allow me to offer you the first move in this duel of swords Orpheus.”
“Thank you Gregor,” Orpheus said as his Spartan lunged at the Gekka.
Gregor barely dodged the sword thrust, “No problem” He spun the Gekka around and slashed at the Hoplite.
The swords of their machines crossed.

“Wow, I haven’t been here since they finished this place.” Suzaku said as they walked through the large archway with their Lancelots. The ancient hall was lit by a series of six large brass cauldrons on each side of the tomb that burned an odorless, smokeless, substance that Suzaku figured must have been a natural gas fed system of some kind. The entire chamber had been redecorated from its former state of disrepair, though the ancient pillars and walls were unchanged. All along the center of the chamber were representative marble statues in full military regalia and actual weaponry of every Emperor of Britannia before Lelouch. Forty-nine statues lined each side of the eight-foot wide red-marble runway that led to the dais at the far end of the chamber. There upon the dais lay the crystal, vacuum sealed coffin of Lelouch Vi Britannia.
Nunnally was leaning over Suzaku’s shoulder looking at the viewscreens as the two mecha came to a stop at the foot of the runway. A flood of emotions coursed through her as the shape of the crystal coffin came into view. Tears filled her eyes.
“Are you okay with this?” Suzaku asked her.
She turned and smiled at him, “Of course I was my idea remember.”
He let out a soft laugh, happy to see her smiling despite how painful it must be for her to see Lelouch again. His own feelings were getting to him, “Yah I guess it was. I’m sorry.”
“There’s no need to be sorry Suzaku…” She paused to wipe the moisture from her eyes. “Those of us who really knew Lelouch all loved him.”

“The island is in sight Euryale,” Medusa said as they approached Kaminejima Island.
“I don’t see the enemy Automatos on my scope Medusa,” Euryale was annoyed as she scanned over the whole of the Island with the Gorgon’s instruments.
“They must be at the gate inside whatever temple it is hidden in,” Medusa told her.
“The Kingdom of Mu hid their gates well,” Euryale lamented. “I’m not picking up anything on our sensors. We’ll have to spread out our forces and scour the Island visually for the gate.”
“That could take too much time Euryale. Jason has already begun his attack on Kyoto and…” Medusa started to say.
“Wait my sister, I’m picking up two more enemy Automatos closing in on the Island.” Euryale activated her comm. “Attention all Harpies, proceed underwater immediately and await further orders.”
The whole legion obeyed without question and plunged into the waters outside of Kaminejima Island; just as a pair of KnightMares came into view over the far side of the isle.

“I tell you C2, my scope was reading a large number of KnightMares just to the east of Kaminejima.” Jeremiah protested.
“If they were actually there they must have dove into the sea and there's nothing we can do about them right now,” C.C. said as they flew towards their destination. "We have to get Suzaku and Nunnally out of here as quickly as we can."
The Shinkirou and the Jikisan-Akatsuki flew in a staggered line formation towards the North-East side of the Island. Within moments they were in sight of the concealed gateway to Lelouch’s tomb.
“I don’t see either of the Lancelot units on my scope Jeremiah. They’ve probably gone into the chamber with them.”
“That was smart thinking on their part,” he said. “That way they’re totally concealed.”
“It’s a good thing we know where the Thought-Elevator is or else we’d never find them.” C.C. said as she flew her KnightMare down to the mouth of the Geass-Ruin’s entrance.
Jeremiah followed suit and landed his KMF next to hers. “Should we go inside with the possibility of an enemy force so close?” He asked.
“We have too,” C.C. said. “Let’s go in with our KnightMares just in case there really is a force of enemy KnightMares out here and we need ours fast.”
“Do you intend on forcing Suzaku to return the Lancelot of the Lake?” Gottwald wondered if she’d actually follow Tohdoh’s orders.
“Yes, but I’m not doing it because of what the UFN wants.” She answered with defiance in her voice. “I’m going to force him to return the FLEIJA warheads to Kyoto because we may need them to defeat this enemy we’re fighting.”
“I see,” He said impressed by her strategic line of thinking.

“There!” Medusa remarked with excitement. “They’ve shown us the location of the temple.”
“Excellent,” Euryale stated with pleasure as she opened up a channel to her legion of Harpies. “Units three through twelve will join up with us to take the Empress and kill Zero and his allies. All other units will proceed to Kyoto and attack the city from the rear now that Jason has begun his assault.”
The Harpy units broke into two groups, with nine of them forming up around the Gorgon and the other thirty-one speeding off towards the city of Kyoto.

“The gate to the Thought-Elevator is just behind the velum-screen at the far end of the chamber.” Nunnally said as she and Enoch walked towards the dais while Suzaku and the Red Dragon secured their mecha.
Nunnally started down the long Red-Marble pathway.
“Wait!” C.C.’s voice called out to them over the loudspeaker of Shinkirou. “You must stop!”
“C2?” Suzaku said as the Shinkirou and the Jikisan-Akatsuki entered the chamber.
“Yes Suzaku,” She replied as she opened up the hatch of her KnightMare and stood up. “You can’t take the Lancelot of the Lake from here. You have to return to Kyoto at once. The city is under attack and those FLEIJA may be our only hope of winning against this enemy.”
“C2 we need to get Nunnally back to Britannia to stop this conflict,” Suzaku said to her.
“Britannia is not the real enemy here,” Jeremiah said as he opened his own hatch and got up from his seat. "Bringing her to Britannia is not going to stop this conflict; in fact it could make things even worse."
“What?” Nunnally said in confusion. She knew they what they spoke was the truth but she was confused as to how it could be possible since Britannia had declared war against the UFN.
"If Britannia is not responsible then who is?" Suzaku asked with a skeptical tone.
"A force of Geass users who claim to be the ancient Olympian Gods of the Antediluvian world and their conspirator who awoke them...Schneizel," C.C. said to them. "We don't know how Schneizel revived them, but we do know they are helping him and their weapons are superior to most of what the UFN and Britannia possess. A fleet of their warships may be laying siege to Kyoto even as we speak."
"The Gods of Olympus?" Enoch frowned. "I'd thought they'd all departed Earth millennia ago."
C.C. looked down at the gray-bearded old man and snickered, "You look ridiculous Enoch."
He smiled up at her, "It suits me for the moment. It's nice to see you again Eli..."
"C2!" She told him with a cautious smirk.
"Oh? It's C2 now is it?" He laughed.
"I hate to interrupt but we may all be in danger here," Jeremiah stated firmly. "We should be leaving here immediately."
"Agreed," The Red Dragon said in her modulated voice from atop the Lancelot Frontier. "If what you say is true then we may be in danger here."
C.C. looked at her in surprise, "Who might you be?"
"She's the Red Dragon," Enoch smiled at C.C. "My Great-granddaughter."
"WHAT?" She said in shock. "Then that means she's..." an explosion rocked the interior of the chamber as small rocks and debris fell from the ceiling.
"Looks like they're here!" Jeremiah exclaimed.

The Gorgon sped over the tops of the trees of the Island with its entourage of Automatos in tow. In moments the spot where the two KnightMares had been came into view.
“They’ve gone inside,” Medusa said.
“The fates have smiled on us,” Euryale made a wicked grin as the Gorgon settled down on the surface of the Island over what was certainly the roof of the temple. The great wings of the Kolossos-Automatos folded up onto its back as the machine removed its newly-acquired Golden-Toxin bow from where the weapon rested on its hip armor.
"Let's flush them out," Euryale added as the Gorgon pulled back on the energy-string and formed a large gold-energy arrow. In the next moment the great Kolossos let loose the missile into the roof of the underground structure.
"Be careful Euryale," Medusa warned. "We don't want to bring down the whole cavern upon them."
"I know Medusa..." She started to scold her sister when an energy beam raced towards them. "MOVE!" was all Euryale could get out.
Medusa tried to roll the Gorgon out of the path of the deadly beam of light but its left wing was grazed at the shoulder.
"Our Icarus unit has been hit!" Medusa yelled.
Euryale didn't respond to her sister, she had the black and gold colored enemy Automatos in her sights. "Take this!" She spat at the machine as she let loose with a barrage of Hades cannon fire from the tubular head-guns and corralled the Shinkirou into a bolt she let fly from the Gorgon's bow.

C.C. ejected from the doomed KnightMare as the golden-missile of the Kolossos tore through the mid-section of her machine. Shinkirou fell from the sky and impacted into the head of the Gorgon; exploding in a ball of fire as it did so.
"C2!" Suzaku called out as he unsheathed the pair of enhanced MVS blades from the sides of the Lancelot of the Lake. Two Harpies attempted to intercept his KnightMare but Suzaku's skill was too great. He easily slipped through the first Harpy's sword thrust and cut the head of the machine off with his first maser-vibration-sword. With a sweep of the second blade he ran the enemy KnightMare unit through; killing the pilot and destroying the machine.
Suzaku went at the next Harpy with a fury and did a double bladed twist and spin towards the Greek-Hoplite mecha; his first blade cut the arms of the Harpy off whilst the second cut it in half at the waist.
Kururugi searched around for another Harpy unit when he caught sight of the pink Lancelot Frontier cutting down its third Greek Automatos with short, crisp, sword parries and blocks that ended with the MVS of the pink machine going up through the center of the doomed Harpy's main body.
"Suzaku, leave this battle to us," Jeremiah ordered over the radio. "You have a duty to the UFN and to Britannia. Get that KnightMare of yours to Kyoto and stop this invasion, they're depending on you over there." Gottwald said as his Jikisan cut through its second Harpy. "And don't worry about us we can handle this motley crew."
"But I can't just leave Nunnally," He started to protest.
"We'll protect her Suzaku," The Red Dragon told him as she skillfully knocked the sword from her fourth Harpy and stabbed the metal beast in its mid-section; the Lancelot withdrew its weapon and the Automatos exploded.
Seeing Jeremiah's Jikisan-Akatsuki slice through the last Harpy finalized Kururugi's decision, "Alright, I'll take my leave of you and go and help Kyoto, but promise me Jeremiah that you'll get Nunnally to safety."
"I will," Gottwald said as he joined up with the Lancelot Frontier to take on the damaged Gorgon on the Island below them.
The Lancelot of the Lake sped off towards Kyoto as the Red Dragon asked, "Let's take this one together."
"Agreed," Jeremiah said as their two machines came down in front of the Gorgon.

"The Gorgon's Gaze unit has been disabled," Euryale told Medusa, "And our guard detail is gone."
"My controls are sluggish Euryale," Medusa moved the control sticks as quickly as she could to dodge an MVS attack by the Lancelot Frontier; one of the blades clipped the shoulder armor of the Kolossos.
"I'll deactivate the battle-computer," Euryale said as she touched a button on one of the screens in front of her. "You'll have to fly her completely on your own and we won't be synchronized can you do that?"
Medusa let out a laugh, "Against these two fools...are you kidding?" With full control in her hands Medusa easily swerved out of the way of an attack by Jeremiah's Jikisan.
"Good, then we can still take these two," Euryale said regaining her composure as she used the adamantine claw of the Gorgon to grab one of the Akatsuki's MVS blades and snap it in half.

"It's still too powerful for us!" The Red Dragon blurt out as she watched a hail of energy bolts tear through Jeremiah's Jikisan from the tubular head guns of the machine. She dodged a shower of blasts that came at her machine as it swerved in behind the large mecha.
The bolts blew off the left arm, leg, and head of Gottwald's KnightMare Frame but its float unit still allowed it to move, "Dammn it!" Jeremiah cursed as he fired a barrage of autocannon rounds at the Gorgon from his machine's arm mounted gun and used the assault to give the Red Dragon an opening.
The Lancelot Frontier leapt up over the Gorgon as Jeremiah plunged his Jikisan into the Kolossos and ejected, "NOW! Cut down through the damaged armor of its head!"
The Lancelot Frontier dropped from the sky in a dive with both of its MVS swords and drove the blades into the top of the Gorgon all the way down to the hilts through its neck.
The Red Dragon ejected from her machine as the snake-like head cannons of the Gorgon blazed long enough to blast off the legs, arms, and chest armor of the Lancelot Frontier before going dead.

"We've lost all power!" Medusa exclaimed.
Euryale grabbed her sword from the side of her pilot's seat. "That pink machine pierced our energy cells. The Gorgon is shutting down."
Medusa wasn't sure what Euryale was up to until her sister opened the rear hatch. The young pilot grabbed her own sword belt, "So now what?"
Euryale smiled, "Contact Scylla with the emergency communicator and tell her to begin her attack." Euryale gave her sister an evil grin, "This battle is not over."

Next Chapter;

TURN Thirteen: Every Demon has his Day.

Thanks for Reading
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