Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass or any of its canon characters.
AN (2021 update): I attempted to read through Rise of a New Moon again, and didn't make it through three chapters without finding a LONG list of things I wanted to fix. So that's exactly what I've done. I haven't changed the story or added any substantial new content, but hundreds of little things have been fixed, tweaked, or in a few cases rewritten. If you're reading this, then all chapters have already been updated.
Lelouch watched the scene unfolding before him with an inner smile. This was his final effort, the last move in a game played alone. He had created both of the pieces on the board. The Demon Emperor, the worst tyrant in living memory. His cruelty exceeded even that of Charles zi Britannia. It was so much so that the whole world was united in their hatred for one man. He was the White King.
Less than one hundred meters distant and closing rapidly toward him was the first Black Knight. Zero, knight of justice, champion of the weak, and the masked man of miracles. He moved with blinding speed, thwarting every effort of the Emperor's guards to stop him from reaching their sovereign. Time seemed to slow down as he landed mere centimeters from Lelouch, blade leveled at his heart.
Zero lanced forward, and in one thrust ended Lelouch vi Britannia's reign of unspeakable tyranny. The world looked on as Zero's sword pierced the Demon Emperor; his body leaving a bloody streak down the spotless white vehicle as he slid down to the bottom. Zero had saved them all, or so the unenlightened masses thought. Those that had been close to him would likely figure out the truth, the greatest lie made real, but he doubted that they would reveal it.
What few would ever know is that the entire course of history for the past few months had been staged to create this one moment. Lelouch vi Britannia had chosen to become the worldly incarnation of pure evil, only to be slain by his greatest creation in a final attempt to bring peace to the world. He had no regrets in choosing this course of action. In his mind, it was the best possible outcome still within his reach.
Lelouch very much expected to burn in eternal hellfire for the things he had done. The world had been bathed in blood and chaos through his actions, and while he had stopped the apocalypse his parents had planned, the cost had been extreme. The number of good people that had died were too many to count. His final wish was that his last sacrifice could end the cycle of destruction. Let there be peace, Lelouch vi Britannia commands it.
Death was a strange sensation. He had no idea how long it had been since Suzaku had killed him. It felt as if it were only seconds ago, and infinitely long at the same time. Lelouch vi Britannia opened his eyes to find himself in a very familiar location. It had been only a few months since he had last stood upon this platform in orbit around the unknown Jupiter-esque gas giant. Lelouch was somewhat surprised to be here, as he was certain that he had not taken CC's code, despite having obtained the power to do so. He never could bring himself to kill her, instead pushing her away until his plan had been completed.
Code would have thrown a rather large wrench in his plan for Zero Requiem. The entire plan relied upon Zero killing him. If it was ever discovered that he had somehow survived, it would not have been long before someone figured out that it was all staged. The peace and order brought on by his death would melt away under the fires of renewed war.
That, and for his own selfish reasons, he could not stand to see any more of those he loved die, even if she begged him for it. Perhaps his witch would finally find solace in the world he had died to create. In truth, his only regret was that he had lied to her about fulfilling his promise to her. He wished her happiness, not an ending.
Lelouch looked around, finding the place deserted. Pristine, too. There were no signs of the battle fought here in which he used his perfected Geass to compel god to erase his parents. It was somewhat worrying to him that he was still a conscious, coherent entity. Perhaps CC had something to do with it? There was bound to be far more to both Code and Geass than he knew in his short life. Perhaps she was using some otherwise unknown aspect on him? Maybe this was her own revenge for being left behind in the world of the living?
"I'm afraid the Code Bearer CC has nothing to do with your presence here." Lelouch heard a strange voice. The mysterious voice was ethereal, beautiful even, but certainly not human. He could not locate the source, as it seemed to come from all directions at once.
"Who are you? Where are you?" He asked. Instead of a vocal answer, something began to happen in front of him. A mist appeared in the air, billions of small particles glowing like faint cyan stars. The cloud began to coalesce, forming a clearly female human figure, or at least what passed for one while still glowing and being slightly transparent.
"I am the reason that you are here, Lelouch vi Britannia." The being spoke once again.
"I was supposed to die. Is this not death?"
"You did die, Demon Emperor, as the result of your final flash of brilliance upon the world. Your Zero Requiem worked exactly as you wished it to, and that is why you are here now." The being told him with her ethereal voice.
Lelouch listened to 'her' speak, and tried to determine what the being was. He had never seen anything like it before, nor had anyone else ever mentioned anything similar. Could it be god itself? Or maybe some representation of god? An avatar of sorts?
"Even in death you never quite lose your touch do you?" The way she said that...could she read his mind?
"Even more than that. I can hear your thoughts, feel your emotions, see your memories, and more. All who enter this place are an open book to me." The ethereal woman told him.
"What do you want with me?" The dead emperor asked.
"I'm disappointed in you, Lelouch. Zero Requiem was a brilliant plan, and incorporating your own assassination was a true master stroke. The problem is that you, who made the world such an interesting place, are no longer alive. The universe is so vast that the human mind can barely comprehend its scale, and it is as boring as it is vast." Lelouch couldn't hold in his laugh at hearing her words.
"Is that what I am to you, just a form of entertainment?"
"Simply, yes. Your plans, your schemes, your deceptions and manipulations...it's all so thrilling to watch." She replied truthfully. "I want more. I demand more."
"I don't want to go back. If I am found alive, it will have been for nothing." He stated firmly.
"Oh I know. If I sent you back to life, you would probably lock yourself in a coffin for all eternity just to spite me for threatening your grand designs. I have a different fate in mind. Have you ever considered what lies beyond?" She asked as a grin formed on her glowing face.
"Beyond what?" Lelouch asked, the question too vague.
"Who's to say that this is the only world, and that you are the only you? The possibilities that exist within infinity are truly beyond what the human mind can imagine."
A large floating Geass symbol appeared, hovering before her. She flicked her wrist forward, launching it forward, where it impacted Lelouch in the chest. It disappeared into his body.
"What are you doing?" Lelouch questioned, alarmed at what was happening.
"In case you haven't already figured this out from our conversation, you don't have a choice in the matter. I'm not done with you yet, so you're not allowed to stay dead. Your new Code, formerly your father's, will help see to that.
Don't worry, Lelouch, the world you worked so hard to create will live on without you, just as you intended it to. You're going to a different universe; a different existence. It's time for you to go impose your will on a whole new world. Just don't pull a stunt like that again."
Lelouch had no time to react, instead being forced into what he could only describe as some kind of portal that opened before him. The feeling was eerily similar to what happened when CC offered him his Geass. What happened next was the most alien feeling he had ever encountered. It could be best described as meeting the soul of his alternate self, and then having both stuffed into a blender. They ceased to be separate entities. Two versions of Empress Marianne's eldest child from two distinct worlds were merged together to form a completely new person, even greater than the sum of its parts.
The alien feeling subsided as quickly as it has come on. Standing in the sunlight of a Japanese summer day was a Britannian child unlike any other. Two completely separate lives seamlessly unified as one in an immeasurably small span of time. The first, and oldest at eighteen, being Lelouch vi Britannia, the only son of Marianne vi Britannia. The second soul, only ten years old, was Luna vi Britannia, the eldest daughter of Marianne vi Britannia. The newly combined soul took its place, installed within the body of young Luna.
The new Luna awakened, fully aware of what had just happened. She felt an impact on her right shoulder as the Japanese military issue assault rifle she had already been firing released another round toward the torso shaped paper target some thirty meters distant on the range. The hit distribution on the target was fairly sloppy, but reasonably good for an inexperienced ten year old firing from a standing position. That changed quickly.
Luna's stance and grip immediately improved with experience from her past life. Lelouch vi Britannia may not have been a professional soldier, but he had learned more than he ever expected about weapons and combat. The experience of her former self corrected many small mistakes and misconceptions in an instant. She exhaled and squeezed the trigger, conscious that the selector was on automatic.
She fired off two three round bursts, punching out the solid black center of the target's chest with excellent groups. She raised the iron sights up to its head, repeating the display with accurate bursts through where the nose would be on a real person. She quickly cleared the empty weapon and placed it down, handling it with an expert level of skill.
Standing beside her, Lieutenant Colonel Kyoshiro Tohdoh raised an eyebrow. The young princess had gone through ten magazines, all with reasonable accuracy by his standards. Exceptional for a child. She could hit the target, but not with the professional level of precision he had just witnessed. Something had just happened to her, and he had no clue what. Her movements began to look like those of an experienced soldier seemingly out of thin air. It was as if somehow, somewhere, a switch had been flipped. Even so, he could not help but be impressed with her performance.
Tohdoh had been surprised by her request to accompany him to the JSDF's Iwakuni base. Almost as soon as she had finished asking, Princess Nunnally insisted that she be allowed to come as well. There was nothing particularly dangerous or important to do on the trip, and he saw no reason to refuse. Prime Minister Kururugi agreed, likely just to get some distance between himself and the sisters, and off the two royals went.
Nunnally had gone to the base command center, a colonel having agreed to teach her more advanced origami than the simple cranes that she had been mass producing. Luna had a different idea. She wanted to learn how to shoot. Unsurprisingly, Tohdoh was hesitant to agree. If the princess were wounded, even by accident, the results could be disastrous. When he explained this, the girl had easily parried every argument he could make. Eventually he gave in to her insisting, and they ended up on the base firing range, which was nearly empty.
The initial hesitation quickly melted away as Luna showed far more enthusiasm for firearms training than martial arts. After starting with a pistol, Tohdoh ended up teaching the girl how to safely operate all sorts of Japanese military issue small arms. He supposed it would end up being beneficial for her. Her mother had been before her death one of Britannia's most accomplished soldiers. Marianne vi Britannia had been a lowborn commoner that rose from nothing to join the Rounds and catch the favor of the emperor through skill and bravery in battle. It wasn't a stretch to imagine Luna would follow a similar path, given her razor sharp mind and natural talent for strategy. Hopefully she would remember him when that time came.
'So this is what she meant.' Luna thought to herself as she reloaded the weapon and began firing at another target. 'An entirely different world. No, an entirely different universe.'
The memories from her native self revealed that the series of events had been similar, but not quite the same. The biggest differences she could immediately discern were that unlike Lelouch, she had obviously been born female, and Nunnally had only been crippled, not blinded. Their mother was dead, likely killed by VV as Lelouch had discovered, and they had been exiled to Japan under almost identical circumstances. There was no way of knowing at the moment if Marianne had taken up residence inside Anya Alstreim. It was the 4th of August, 2010, and she was standing on what was still a Japanese military base. That meant the invasion must be coming soon. Very soon.
Luna's eyes widened at a very unpleasant prospect. God, if that's what the ethereal woman truly was, had given her the Code left behind as Charles zi Britannia evaporated. Code prevented the bearer from aging, as the immortality locked them in place as they were when they received it. There was no way she wanted to remain in the body of a child forever. It was aggravating not knowing how Code worked down to a science.
How did Code register the time as being received? It had been given to Lelouch before the merger. Did that mean that she would age normally until 18? But he was dead at the time. There was also the possibility that she would remain 10 forever due to her body coming under the effects of Code at her current physical age. Or would the ages stack? There were too many unknowns.
Luna vi Britannia had her thoughts derailed by a streak of rapid movement in her peripheral vision. She looked up, just in time to see a jackhammer cruise missile slam into Iwakuni's central command building. The weapon penetrated through an exterior wall and detonated a second later inside. Half of the structure disappeared in a massive explosion that shook the whole area.
It took less than half a second for her to register that Nunnally had been in the building, which now looked like an angry god had taken a swing at it. Surprisingly, she felt...less than she expected. The girl in there may have been her sister, but the Nunnally she knew and loved was alive and well as the 100th Empress Regent of Britannia. Far away where nothing in this world could ever hurt her. Suzaku would make sure of it, and that was comfort enough for the time being.
Her memories of Luna's Nunnally were shallow, while those of Lelouch's Nunnally were crisp and plentiful. Due to the difference in their ages, her mind was made of far more Lelouch than of the original Luna. That made her emotional connection to the Nunnally that had just died much weaker than the other way around. She certainly wanted to explore the effects of the merge in greater detail later, just as Lelouch had with his Geass on the students of Ashford Academy.
That cruise missile would have killed her sister instantly. She would have felt no pain, no fear, and she probably never even got the chance to know something was wrong. The Nunnally of this world had died innocent, having never had to be exposed to the horrors of war. On the other side, she would never get to know her sister, and that certainly hurt, but not enough that it could not be easily suppressed. There would be plenty of time to cry later.
Another missile streaked in, and then another, and another. RBN warships must have already been quite close to the Japanese coast to execute such an attack with no warning. The Britannians were kicking off their invasion of the Japanese home islands with a bang.
Luna put the rifle back on the table next to her, instead reaching for the pistol she had been firing earlier and all of the extra ammo still there. Even though she knew how to use it, the rifle and its larger magazines were too heavy for her to lug around and stay fast. The handgun was much lighter and deadly enough in expert hands. one magazine in the weapon, and five spares stuffed in her left pocket, a total of 90 rounds. On second thought, she picked up the assault rifle and tapped Tohdoh with it, who was clearly in shock at the destruction the missile strikes had caused.
"We have to go. It's only going to get worse." Luna told him as he took the rifle, his motions looking mechanical.
"Who's attacking us? Do you know?" Tohdoh asked her with alarm.
"Those looked like Britannian jackhammers, naval cruise missiles." Luna replied, knowing exactly what was happening. There was no way to tell him the truth though. Say too much and he would know that she knew it was coming, which would make it look like she had the information prior to today, which would be very bad.. The truth was also out of the question. The story was just far too crazy for any rational person to believe, much less under the stress of a combat situation.
"Britannia? But-" The implications of an attack by the Holy Britannian Empire were clear to the Japanese officer. They wouldn't stand a chance against the overwhelming might arrayed against them. He was cut off by the sight of a Britannian fighter patrol flying overhead. Just behind them came a formation of ten large transport aircraft. Dozens of small figures started falling from the transports, deploying individual parachutes.
"We need to rally everyone we can and fall back to a more defensible location." Luna said as she watched them, figuring they would land near the main runway. Tohdoh looked at her with an almost suspicious expression.
"If that's your army invading, why do you want to help us?" She looked him in the eyes and laughed, her voice then becoming more venomous.
"Take a look around you. They are attacking Japan without having made any consideration for our safety. Nunnally was in that command center! In no way is that 'my army!'" She yelled at him, pointing the barrel of her pistol toward the incinerated wreckage of the building her sister had died in. She managed to force some tears out, trying to win some sympathy.
Right now, what Luna really needed was Tohdoh's help to form a Japanese defense. Although it was eight years prior to when Lelouch had died, she didn't necessarily consider it time travel. In an entirely different universe, there was no guarantee that the events surrounding the invasion would be anything like last time. Any direct knowledge of 'past' events was effectively worthless unless time showed a consistent pattern of accuracy. Even so, she wanted to try and keep to the script for now, at least as much as was possible.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know she-" Tohdoh began. This time Luna cut him off.
"We need to get moving. It's obvious that I'm worth more to the Emperor dead than alive. He probably wants to say Japan killed us as retribution, and use that to quell any opposition to the decision to invade. And besides, even if you don't trust me, I'm an intelligence gold mine. That should be enough for you to want to keep me close and alive for now. Although I do hope to change that before I end up in a torture room somewhere." Luna explained.
Tohdoh listened to what she was saying and wondered. Was that really how the mind of royalty functioned? Her sister had just died, and her first thoughts were pure strategy. What strategic gains the Emperor would have with their deaths, and how she could be strategically useful to the Japanese in order to stay alive. She was calm, calculating, precise. It was at that moment Tohdoh realized something else for the first time. Deep down inside, when he looked at her he felt a cold pang of fear.
The Britannian assault on Iwakuni was lighter than expected. Aside from the missile attack that had crippled the base, Britannian paratroopers were the only forces on the ground at the moment. That was a curious development from Luna's perspective. Did the attacking forces know she was on the base and withhold the armor and knightmare frames on purpose? If so, that would mean that they were not trying to abandon her to die in a war zone. She didn't particularly care either way. There was simply no way that she was going to side with Britannia over Japan.
In the twenty minutes since the attack had begun, they had managed to get together a group of twelve more Japanese military personnel. Only half of them were properly armed. That was actually better than expected considering there had been no warning at all.
Tohdoh's current plan was to move north, gathering survivors along the way, until they reached the vehicle hangar. Assuming it did not take a hit from a jackhammer missile launched by the Royal Britannian Navy, the Type 10 main battle tanks and assortment of LAVs stored there would be immensely helpful.
More missiles and even a few air strikes continued reducing the area to rubble. So far, there were only air superiority fighters flying around, no dedicated ground attack aircraft yet. It would get much worse once strike planes started showing up in their patch of sky.
The group only had about 400 meters left until they reached the target building. A few seconds later their luck ran out. A missile connected with an adjacent building, the massive explosion obliterated it, and separated them.
Luna regained consciousness in a pile of twisted steel and shattered concrete. The first thing she felt was a sharp pain, and her left arm refused to move. She looked to the left and a large piece of shrapnel protruding from her shoulder. It had gone all the way through, and become embedded in the concrete slab behind her. Instead of being worried, she felt curious. The wound hurt, but not nearly as much as it should have. Another effect of Code?
She pulled on the metal with her good hand, but it refused to move. Feeling the pain to be tolerable, she pushed her body forward instead until she felt the end of the spike exit her back. A flash of red from below caught her attention. Her code had lit up, the glowing birdlike sigil centered at the top of her chest, exactly where it had hit Lelouch's form in the World of C.
The hole in her shoulder began regenerating immediately, taking less than a minute to feel as good as new. She touched the blood covered spot. The skin felt completely normal, her arm too. It was as if nothing had even happened. No wonder CC hadn't hesitated to take that bullet in Shinjuku. This was genuine magic at work.
She had far too many questions and no time to search for answers. Priority one was to escape and hopefully find Tohdoh, assuming he had survived the blast. Luna knew there was no way to turn this battle around. Without Geass or access to knightmare frames there were virtually no options available.
She stopped thinking when the first voices reached her ears. They were speaking English, not Japanese. That meant Britannian soldiers. She picked up her pistol and checked it for damage. The weapon was dirty, and several scratches scarred the metal, but she was satisfied that it was still in good working order. Luna moved around and found a vantage point where she could see them. Maybe those men could give her some answers.
From her view within the rubble, she could see three paratroopers. Their uniforms and gear appeared to be regular military. The Britannians all held standard issue assault rifles. Unlike most imperial infantry, they were wearing less armor, which only covered the chest. Less armor meant less bulk and weight, which was a necessary tradeoff when deploying from a fixed wing aircraft. The princess hid until just after they passed her. They were moving slowly as they scanned for forward threat, but were still close enough for her to land accurate shots. She steadied herself and took aim.
Luna shot the first paratrooper in the back of the head. He dropped without even knowing they were under attack. Two more shots hit the man to his right, the first grazing his neck, the second severing his spine. The third man was destined for a different fate. She emptied the magazine, hitting him in the legs and right arm. He fell down from the excruciating pain, unable to return fire. From the amount he was bleeding, she guessed that the rounds had not hit the femoral artery. He would stay conscious long enough to get some information.
She quickly changed mags before stepping out of cover. There was no reason to strictly conserve ammo when the corpses in front of her were effectively a free resupply. She looked left and right, and saw nobody on either side. Luna kept her pistol on him as she approached.
"Look at me. Do you know who I am?" The girl asked the bleeding man. He looked, and his eyes all but said yes for him.
"Princess Luna! Where is...Princess Nunnally?" he asked through the pain.
"Tell me what your orders were." She saw him try to reach for his radio. She shot him in the chest, knowing that the ceramic plate armor meant to defeat rifle rounds would stop the pistol's bullet. That didn't mean it wouldn't hurt like hell though. He grunted in agony and looked back at her. "Now!"
"We were...dropped in to find you." He groaned.
"Under whose orders?" She demanded.
"Princess...Cornelia. She has teams looking for you...all over the islands." He revealed.
"What were you supposed to do if you found me?"
"C-Call for high priority extraction. Please...let me call it in. Her highness needs to know that you're alive." He begged. Just like Cornelia's men, Luna thought, he was loyal until the end.
As much as she would have liked to sit there for the better part of an afternoon and squeeze every last drop of knowledge out of this man, she could not. The position was exposed, and she did not know how long it would be before other teams knew that this patrol was not responding.
"I can't let you do that." Luna said as she raised the pistol and put two rounds through his forehead.
She immediately started going through the bodies, trading up to a Britannian issued sidearm with its higher capacity magazines and better sights, as well as liberating the radio from the man she had questioned. She took the earpiece from his body and hooked it up. Listening in on enemy communications would certainly make life easier. Now better armed and better prepared, she started moving toward the hangar, expecting Tohdoh to have continued on toward his objective.
Unfortunately for Luna, the leaders of every fireteam dropped onto the Iwakuni base, as well as others around Japan, were wearing experimental helmets equipped with automatic target and objective acquisition systems. This was something she had neither noticed nor expected to be there. While it was standard issue gear by the previous 2017, it had not been invented until 2013, after the invasion. This time was a different story. The team leader had been the second man that she had killed. Although he was dead, the systems in his helmet continued functioning. Since it was pointed at her for the better part of two minutes, it had more than enough time to transmit a positive identification signal.
Tohdoh groaned as he slowly picked himself up. The pressure wave from the blast felt as if someone had dropped him in an enclosed room with a few concussion grenades. His uniform was covered in fine concrete dust from the building. It was only as he was picking up his assault rifle that he noticed that three of the men with him were dead. He couldn't see Luna either.
Internally, he was still conflicted about her. Luna vi Britannia was a princess, a member of the royal family whose empire was now in the process of dismembering his country. More so, she didn't seem particularly surprised when the attack began. Her reaction was that of a person already hardened to the realities of war. Definitely not the expected response from a ten year old girl that had just lost her sister. Still, he also believed that to some degree she was telling the truth. If she really was going to help them, it might be the only shot they would get. Considering that her mother had been the Knight of Six, and one of the greatest imperial soldiers in recent history, Luna probably knew enough about the enemy to make a difference.
There was no time to search for her. In a way, he wasn't particularly worried. The girl seemed to have her head on straight, and she was armed. She would probably be fine, assuming she had made it through the blast in good condition. If she had not, there was realistically nothing he could do for her at the moment regardless. Right now the Japanese officer had a more pressing concern. The surviving troops with him needed leadership, right now.
The first two besides himself back up and ready were also the only two that he personally knew before the start of this mess. Captain Senba and Lieutenant Chiba had everyone else beat by about ten seconds, their rifles already up and scanning for enemy infantry. Tohdoh was confident in their skills, and he would certainly need them.
Second Princess Cornelia li Britannia was furious. Her repeated requests to delay the attack on Japan had all been denied. She had exhausted every option available trying to hold the invasion until she could find the vi Britannia sisters. When the missiles began to launch, she ordered the airborne infantry under her command in, well ahead of the main body of invading troops that would be making an amphibious assault. It was a very high risk mission, but it was the only chance she had left. There was not a chance that she would simply leave them on their own in an active battlefield.
It was only minutes after the transport aircraft deploying her troops reached the home islands that casualty reports began flooding in. Without armor or knightmare support, the infantry that were dropping into enemy territory were exposed to the full fury of the Japanese defenders. A half hour went by with her command center on the bridge of a RBN aircraft carrier receiving nothing but news that hundreds of her men were dying.
"Your highness! We have positive contact from a helmet system!" One of the communications operators yelled out, catching her immediate attention.
"Where are they?"
"Iwakuni. It's a Japanese military base near Hiroshima. I'm pulling up video from our surveillance drones now." A second after the man finished speaking a video feed appeared on the screen in front of him. It showed a faithful recreation of hell on earth.
Much of the base had been destroyed by both naval and air launched missiles. Half of the visible structures were destroyed, and fires raged out of control from direct hits on parked aircraft and fuel tanks. Two more missiles connected with targets near the north end of the runway, generating huge fireballs that momentarily blinded the drone's cameras. Cornelia started to feel sick as her unblinking eyes stared at the scene. Her little sisters were down there?
"Can you contact the team that called it in?" She asked.
"Negative, your highness. They are KIA, but the helmet's auto recognition system broadcast a sighting. It's still transmitting. I'll access it remotely and pull the video." As he worked across the keyboard, she glanced over at the tactical map on the bridge. The first individual knightmare transports were already deploying Glasgows in and around the base.
"Done!" He called out, her head turning back to the screen.
The feed was video only, no sound. It was clear that the man wearing the helmet was down on the ground, as was another in the line of sight. Rewind was enabled and after a few seconds it restarted. This time he was still alive. Five seconds into the video, he fell down dead. The helmet had a good angle, and got a clear shot of what was undoubtedly Luna vi Britannia interrogating and executing one of her soldiers. It got an even better shot of her face as she stripped the dead man of his pistol mags.
She was getting close. Luna was barely a hundred meters from the hangar, which was one of the few structures still standing on the base. There was still some hope. That it was intact meant that the attacking Britannians obviously didn't know what it contained. There was no way they would spare a building full of armored vehicles intentionally. Luna had moved carefully, avoiding a few groups of Britannian infantry. Even though she now categorically knew they were incapable of killing her, if she were captured or her body recovered this would end very badly. It was not worth the risk to engage them with just a pistol. Especially now that she knew they were looking for her specifically.
She kept moving until there was only one more gap between her cover and the side of the hangar. She looked around, seeing no enemy infantry in the area, and prepared to move. Then a Glasgow rounded a corner directly into her path. A single Glasgow? She couldn't see any others around. They were probably spread out due to the decentralized nature of Japanese resistance in the area caused by the complete surprise of the attack.
At that moment, she remembered the warehouse in Shinjuku, and Viletta Nu. She had gone all in and bet her life on single moments of action more than once as Lelouch vi Britannia. Why not try again? This was risk versus reward taken to the extreme. There was a high chance of being killed and captured by the Britannian knightmare pilot. But if it worked, these fools wouldn't stand a chance. All or nothing. She broke cover and started walking toward the Glasgow.
"Hey! Over here!" She yelled at it. The knightmare's sensors heard her, and the machine turned on a time, aiming its assault rifle at her. "I am Sixth Princess Luna vi Britannia! I command you to let me in your knightmare!" Her heart rate spiked as the words left her throat. This was either going to work, or get her a 25mm AP round. Five seconds of silence passed before the Glasgow's cockpit opened and dropped the boarding line.
"Quickly your highness! Grab on and I'll raise you up. It'll be much safer in here!" The unknown male pilot yelled down to her. She ran over and put her foot in the hold, the line started rising. The pilot's smile instantly faded when she reached the top, gun lined up for a headshot. She squeezed the trigger.
Luna climbed in, and pushed the corpse out of the pilot seat down to the ground below. She closed the cockpit and immediately killed the IFF transmitter and all active radio channels. She would override the security codes later. Luna moved the seat forward and grabbed the familiar controls. Although this Glasgow was practically an antique compared to the knightmare frames Lelouch had access to, it would be more than enough. This was 2010, and no other power had any kind of knightmare frame. That meant that they wouldn't have counter knightmare training. Britannian troops would be just as clueless about how to fight against them as the Japanese. She was by no means an ace on the level of Suzaku or Kallen, but the enemy wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Energy filler readings showed 95% charge, and a full 400 rounds in the unit's assault rifle. Slash harkens and tonfas were also green. Luna's laughter reverberated around the cockpit. Even without Geass, she had managed to acquire the one thing needed to make a miracle happen. One frame wouldn't be enough to pull a decisive victory out of thin air like in Shinjuku, but it might just be enough to win.
Tohdoh raised his rifle and fired a few bursts toward the Britannian infantry advancing at them. They had reached the hangar, but so had the Britannian paratroops, which now outnumbered them. He and a few others covered Senba as he rigged a grenade to blow open the locked door on the side of the building. They didn't care about the main door, the tanks would have no trouble with that. The Japanese rifle fire kept the attackers at bay until Senba yelled out to them.
"I'm blowing it! Get down!" Without a specialized breaching charge, he had resorted to taping a fragmentation grenade to the lock. Not exactly the safest way to get in, but it would work. It also meant that they had to stop the suppressing fire and take cover as to not get their backs riddled with hot shrapnel. The grenade exploded, and the heavy door buckled, but didn't give way.
"It didn't work!" Senba informed them, as they got back up and continued firing. They continued trying to open the door, until a Glasgow sped out from behind a nearby building to back up the infantry assault. They were armed with assault rifles and pistols, no anti armor weapons. The armor of a knightmare frame could shrug off anything smaller than a heavy machinegun with no damage deeper than to the paint job. They were out of options.
The Britannian machine raised its large assault weapon at them. Before it could fire, the left side of the knightmare was engulfed in explosions as HE rounds from an unknown source hit their target. A second knightmare appeared from another direction, finishing off the first with slash harkens that severed its right wrist and head. The pilot ejected off into the distance. The second Glasgow raised its primary weapon and transformed the infantry squads into ground meat with a stream of explosive rounds.
The Japanese troops took aim at it, unsure of what to do. They knew their rifles would have no effect, but there was nowhere to run. Trying to fight it was just as suicidal as charging an entrenched machinegun nest with a knightmare's external speakers activated, but the pilot was speaking Japanese, not English.
"Tohdoh! What are you still doing out here?" Luna's familiar voice emanated from the friendly knightmare. The lieutenant colonel let out the biggest sigh of relief in his life.
"We can't get the door open." he told the Glasgow, which proceeded to approach the terrified troops who didn't know who the pilot was. A large metal fist slammed the door, breaking it off the hinges and throwing it into the building.
"Get those tanks running. I'll cover you."
"Luna, how did you get-?"
"I told the pilot who I am, and he stuck his head out long enough to get shot." She replied, already knowing what he was about to ask. Tohdoh and the survivors entered the building to find the five tanks still there. With the ten of them, they would be able to use all of the vehicles, although not at peak efficiency as the gunner would have to also be the commander.
Outside, Luna removed the second assault rifle and energy filler from the wreck of the defeated Glasgow. With no ability to resupply normally, taking munitions and energy fillers from enemy units was the only option. She picked up the second assault rifle with the knightmare's left hand, dual wielding them. Three more Glasgows rounded the corner, landspinners announcing their arrival with their telltale screech.
Cornelia had spent the last hour trying to make sense of what she had seen. Luna had clearly killed one of the men she had sent to find her. If she killed him, she probably killed the other two as well. Why? That was the question that she simply could not answer. There was no logical reason for it. There was also no reason for why she was alone. If the Japanese had her, did she kill them and escape? The only thing Cornelia knew for certain was that there were no answers to be found on this ship.
"Negative, negative! Its IFF tags are disabled, and it's not responding to any communications!" Cornelia heard someone yell. The princess was curious.
"What's happening?" She asked as she came up behind the comms officer.
"There's an enemy knightmare frame engaging our forces at a JSDF base called Iwakuni." Iwakuni...Luna's last known location. What the hell was happening down there?
"Explain, now!" Cornelia ordered. The intimidated man dropped his headset down around his neck as he turned to face her.
"Your highness, one of our Glasgows went dark. It stopped transmitting an IFF signal and is not responding to any attempts at communication. It appears that the pilot has either gone rogue or switched sides." he informed the second princess.
"We need reinforcements!" A voice yelled through the headset, its owner recognizing it as the pilot of a Glasgow sent to attack the unknown unit. Cornelia grabbed it off his neck.
"Tell me what's happening!" she yelled through the channel, desperate for information. Formality be damned, she needed answers.
"I don't know! I've never seen a Glasgow move like that! We can't hit it!" The frantic pilot yelled. A second later a blast of white noise came through. "I ejected. It killed Jackson and Anders."
Cornelia listened to the pilot for a minute longer as he recounted the battle. Even three against one they had stood no chance. The enemy pilot was on a whole new level, countering every move they made with advanced tactics never seen before.
How? There was simply no way the enemy had taken one of their knightmare frames. Even if they did, how would they know how to operate it at all, much less at a superior level? If it was the pilot that turned on them, why? If the man had been a traitor, how did he keep it hidden so well? More importantly, how did they know how to fight against other knightmares so well? Anti knightmare tactics were not yet taught in training, as no other power yet fielded similar machines. Cornelia froze up as pieces began to form together in her head.
Luna was out there somewhere. The daughter of Marianne the flash, who had pretty much written the book on knightmare tactics, was in the same location as a rogue frame. No. Cornelia discarded the thought. The girl was ten years old and probably scared for her life, to say nothing of where her younger sister might be. There was no way she could somehow acquire a knightmare frame and fight like that. How could she?
The Japanese military was actually quite strong for such a relatively small nation. Their forces were well trained in both urban and rural combat. Whether or not their training was as good as their Britannian opposition was a matter for debate, but they were certainly good by any standard. Japanese weapons, equipment, and vehicles were also up to date and on par with whatever the Britannian war machine was expected to throw at them. Or at least, it would have been, if not for the Glasgow.
The RPI-11 Glasgow was a machine that would change the nature of warfare forever. Far from the outrageously proportioned mecha imagined by science fiction, the Glasgow was small and practical at just over 4 meters standing up, and weighing in at barely over seven tons. It was light, fast, agile, and easily deployable. The design incorporated strengths of infantry, armored vehicles, and attack helicopters into a single unit. The first knightmare frame to see a combat deployment crushed any doubt about the concept. It was simply the most effective weapon ever devised for combat in urban and rough terrain. Japan, with its plentiful mountains and dense cities, proved to be the perfect environment for this new predator.
Japanese troops, expecting a conventional assault with tanks and infantry backed up by air power, were quickly overwhelmed and outmaneuvered. Conventional tactics and formations proved completely useless against squads of Glasgows that were finding it effortlessly easy to flank them. Practically impervious to small arms fire, and hard to hit with anti tank weapons, the Glasgow turned what should have taken the imperial invaders weeks into only days to accomplish.
Some of the brighter Japanese commanders, realizing the hopelessness of trying to engage in direct combat, pulled their forces back away from the cities. Population centers were abandoned with the intention of preserving their forces until they could formulate countermeasures against the terrifying new weapons. They had also hoped that the lack of military resistance would spare their cities from total destruction. Britannian commanders disagreed, continuing their indiscriminate bombardment until Japan's major cities were reduced to ruins. Over a million people were dead in the first 24 hours.
AN: Rise of a New Moon is a sequel to the anime canon. Everything in canon happened exactly as you remember it. Strictly speaking, it's a parallel universe story, not the sort of rewind time travel normally found in Code Geass, although it has some of the same feel to it. There are differences between the new world and Lelouch's world, but they aren't always obvious. As Lelouch doesn't exist in the second world, his soul is merged with the daughter Marianne had instead.
It's more accurate to say that Luna vi Britannia is a semi-OC, where canon Lelouch was her past life; she's not just "Lelouch stuck in a female body". She's got different motivations, strengths, and weaknesses than Lelouch did, largely influenced by her memories of his life. Given the same hypothetical situation, Luna and Lelouch probably wouldn't make the exact same decisions.
The main pairing is CluClu, F/F edition, but that isn't the main focus of the story. There are plenty of fluffy scenes with various characters, but no explicit lemons.
Rise of a New Moon is part one of what I anticipate to be a three part series. At the time of writing this, part two, Into Darkest Night, is up and in progress.