Burst Reality

Chapter XVIII

Escape from the Britannian Island

"So Euphemia, you got a boyfriend?" Chrono had to asked, causing her to light up red. "I'm pretty certain Kallen doesn't, no matter how beautiful, she has anger management issues."

"N-no," she stuttered out, embarrassed. "I-I'm a princess of Britannia so it isn't that simple for me."

"I do not have anger management issues!" Kallen interrupted from behind, not seeing the irony as she glared. "Perhaps I'm just waiting for the right guy to come along, and no that isn't you!"

"Oh, I see, so you're crushing on Zero," he teased wondering whether he was blushing as much as she was. "But on a more serious note guys we're being flanked by fourteen armed men, so how shall we do this?"

"W-what?" Euphemia cried out, holding Chrono's arm tight to her chest, looking around as they had left the beach for more wooded areas towards what could be an outpost of anyone.

They came to a stop and the others realised that Chrono was correct as some men exited the woods, guns aimed. "Hands up, this is a restricted area…" the lead said when he slowed to a stop, wide eyed as he looked to Zero. "It's Zero, stay where you are, Zero, you are under arrest!" he called out, all of the other men pouring out of the woods, guns raised, and aimed at them.

"Enough!" Euphemia suddenly said, nervous while they looked at her in more shock. "I am Euphemia li Britannia, lower your weapons, these people rescued me. I want you to give them a boat and let them go, and I shall take full responsibility!" she said letting Chrono go and moving forward.

However, she cried out as he hit her in the stomach with the butt of his riffle. She fell to the floor holding herself, whimpering. "You bastard!" Chrono hissed, stepping forward only to stop when the gun aimed at him.

"Even if she is the princess, the Emperor will be lenient when we bring in Zero and accomplices!" the man said triumphantly.

"Yeah, well I won't be!" Chrono spat out as he moved forward swiftly, grabbing his riffle, and pulling it from him with a kick to the nuts, he went down with a bullet to the brain all in just a few moments.

The other soldiers went to move but stopped as Chrono spoke. "Fira!" he roared in anger, sweeping his left arm, sweeping with it flames, blazing out, burning into four soldiers. The men screamed and ran around on fire, burning fast because of the magic it took a few moments before they collapsed, burnt, dead.

He then swung the riffle gunning down another two soldiers before the others could react. Then they returned fire while Zero and Kallen took cover, Chrono stood protectively of Euphemia while she whimpered on the dirty ground. He raised his left hand.

"Barrier!" he spat out and the bullets pelted into a transparent bubble, as if they were rippling on water. "Thundaja!" he finished off as the terrified soldiers stopped, lightning erupted around Chrono's body, pulling at gravity before unleashing a tremendous boom as it blast forward capturing the soldiers, and they didn't even scream, they just went down, dead.

"Minions, always so easy to beat!" Chrono said as he flexed his muscles and shouldered the riffle before looking down. Euphemia was now looking up at him terrified, he crouched down half expecting her to try getting away. "Death in battle is the consequence of one's own choices. To live and survive, to be free are all things we fight for, we live for, and we die for, needless death is horrible, but when they oppress and hurt…" he shrugged, smiling reassuringly.

He offered his hands and she shakily took them, allowing him to pull her up to her feet where she fell into his arms, holding on tight, crying, she took in some deep calming breaths of his scent, shaking a little but calming, wiping her eyes.

"How did you do all of that?!" Zero demanded after a few moments of Chrono holding and comforting Euphemia, stroking her long pink hair comfortingly, running his fingers through it.

Chrono looked to him over Euphemia's shoulder. "I'm a hunter, that's what I do, and then kick ass!"

"Not that, with the fire, and lightning!" Kallen said, confused and awed as she stole a riffle from the ground, shouldering it herself.

"Was it geass control over the elements?!" Zero demanded. "Tell me!" he added as his helmet opened over his left eye only with some kind of glowing crimson phoenix over the blue-purple colour of the eye.

"I'm a time and dimension traveling sorcerer!" he admitted, startling as he shook off that weird feeling as the eye was hidden again while Kallen looked at him, confused. "That's a freaky power you have there, but looking at the position you're in you can only control any one person once, and then it's over. If you could do it as much as you want you would be better off than you are now."

"How?"

"As I said, sorcerer… and observant," he answered, smirking. "But the question is, now what?"

"We get out of here!" he said looking around. "We deal with this later!" he said leading the way.

"Wait, Zero, this power; this geass!" Kallen said, running after him while Chrono held Euphemia leading her after them, holding her hand while she clung to him for protection. She had been scared and hurt by her own soldiers so he doesn't blame her for being this clingy to her hero. "Have you ever used it on me?"

"No," he answered without missing a beat. "I have never needed too. Your goals and mine are the same," he said, and though he sounded convincing they all knew that though their goals are the same he had used it. "OK, I wasted it on you when I first got it and didn't know anything about it."

She looked him over, annoyed, but for now letting it drop at least. "What about him?" she asked, looking back as Chrono was talking to Euphemia, somehow making her smile and all the more clingy; it was annoying since she loath to admit she was feeling jealous. "You saw what he can do; if we can get him to work with us we would have a great advantage… magic!"

Chrono gave Euphemia a look and she smiled. "How about after all of this I take you out to have some fun. Maybe I could even convince Kallen to come too."

"Not going to happen!" Kallen called back but he just shrugged.

"So, how about you?" he asked the princess.

"I'm sorry, I would like to but I would not be permitted," she said timidly. "It would be nice to go out and be normal for a while, but…"

"Umm… I could take you anywhere, or any-when, and you could be back moments after leaving!" he replied, shrugging.

"Any-when?" Kallen startled him as she moved from Zero stopping in his path, stopping him and Euphemia with Zero pulling to a stop and moving closer. "As in you can change history? You could destroy Britannia before it even starts."

"Time doesn't work like that," he said while Euphemia and surprisingly Zero shifted uncomfortably. "I mean I could, but all I would do is create a new timeline, this one would still exist."

"You mean with every action, no matter how small, a new timeline exists where it was carried out?" Zero asked, curious.

"In a way, yes," he agreed, nodding. "But it's also different, um… it's complicated to understand, it's just natural for me to just know, if a little weird. Umm… though for every action, no matter how insignificant a new timeline exists, these timelines also entwine, so coming here, you'll always remember me because I'll exist in all of the entwined timelines at once. However, its when the timelines change vastly, where Britannia doesn't exist, or the dinosaurs never went extinct where things go awry.

"Zero seems to be a big part of this world, so doing something vastly out of character could create a whole new alternate reality where he didn't. The timelines will be connected at a point, but then they will vastly differ. Umm… so, in an alternate reality, as long as it happened before my arrival your alternate selves will have never heard of me."

"I see," Zero replied nodding while the girls looked confused.

"Well I don't!" Kallen said sulky.

He chuckled. "Although time travel is possible and you can change the past, you cannot change 'your' past."

"Anyway, if you could, what would happen if you weren't born to go back in the first place?" Chrono asked as he led Euphemia passed them.

"Then you come from a world with a completely different past to not know Britannia?" Kallen asked as she caught up to Chrono with Zero bringing the rear.

"The Britannia of my world as you would call it started falling in the eighteen hundreds with the American Revolution!" he told her, shrugging. "It wasn't until the second world war that it started crumbling to near nothing. The queen at the time hatched an idea to give the Empires colonies back to their people in sorts, creating the Commonwealth because the war had cost Britannia so much money, and so many soldiers they just couldn't afford to hold them. It would have been easy for the colonies to break free through civil war, which would cost more money and lives."

"Wow," Euphemia said, awed. "The… America was the name of the Homeland, and the war was big, but Britain was defeated and conquered, or something like that. History books are always contradicting themselves back home. I'm not sure how we became Britannia, but it sounds like in your world they stopped at kicking the British out and created a whole new nation."

"One empire falls and another begins," Chrono said, amused. "It's just a matter of time before Britannia come crashing down. Even the greatest of civilizations have fallen, and will always fall because of the most flawed part of them-."

"The people who build them," Zero interrupted, completing his words.

"Shh!" Kallen interrupted, gesturing through some bushes and they all moved after, looking through where a powerful looking black mech sat parked outside a huge cave entrance. "Let's just grab the Knightmare Frame and get out of here…"

"Guards!" Zero said gesturing to a parked helicopter near the black robot. "So, Chrono, do you think you can make a distraction?"

"Well, yeah, but what kind of distraction?" he asked thoughtfully as he tore off his left sleeve, showing off his gauntlets and materia. "I didn't bring my sword with me so I'm a few materia short, but I have comet. If we can get closer, maybe I can hit a chopper?"

"What does it do?" Kallen asked eying the potential new weapons hungrily.

"Exactly what you think it does," he replied, rolling his eyes. "And no, you can't have one, do you know how rare most of the one's I'm wearing are?" he asked while she pouted, half-glaring.

"OK, we get closer, Chrono blows the chopper, we get to the Frame, and leave," Zero nodded, liking the simplicity for a change.

"Umm… will four fit in it, and shouldn't we just ditch the Princess?" Kallen asked, annoyed. "I know I'm all for having such a high ranked hostage, but we can't afford to potentially get caught."

"I'll-I'll be fine if you leave me here," Euphemia said unsure. "W-without trying to protect you they'll take me home… well after we find Suzaku."

"I'm not leaving you alone, Euphy!" Chrono said, making her smile at the cute use of her nickname. "Not after the last time, but I should be able to leave with you if we bend some truths."

"He's right, nobody would know who he is and if Euphemia says he's her guardian, they'll have no choice but to believe," Zero said with a nod. "This way he'll be with Euphemia to keep the soldiers at bay."

"But what about Suzaku?" Kallen asked, concerned.

"Leave him to me," Euphemia spoke with a nod. "He trusts in me, and I'm sure he'll trust him with my assurances."

Zero nodded. "Euphemia, I have to ask, where is your stance?"

"I… I don't know," she answered, looking down to her feet. "I've seen and heard a lot. Chrono… will you help me… help me choose what I should do. I don't want anyone to be hurt but I know, no matter what people will."

He took her hand, smiling. "I can only give you advice," he answered, kissing her hand. "This is your world, and you get to choose its destiny. As you've heard, all great Empires will fall eventually. They fall to the oppressed and concurred, from Ancient Egypt to Ancient Rome, and even the previous Britannia, and then the Chinese and Japanese Empires.

"Just look at the people, don't try to create a middle ground because middle grounds are almost always another type of oppression hidden in good intentions. I'm sure whatever you choose will be a good choice, and I'll stand with you and hopefully I can help you, give you another point of view from the outside in."

"Thank you Chrono," she replied with a beautiful smile.

"OK," he said turning to Zero. "I'll keep the Princess safe, we'll be in contact. I'll blow the chopper up, get closer, we'll just walk in. You both get the mech and get out of here."

"Don't forget you still owe me dinner!" Kallen said while Zero nodded to him and they both quickly slunk away into the trees.

Euphemia squeezed Chrono's hand, worried, but he smiled and pulled her into his arms, holding her for a few moments, she melted, holding on tight. She took some deep breaths before pulling back with a nod.

"Thank you very much, Chrono, you're a great help," she said with a nod as he smiled and stood, helping her up he pulled his riffle down from his shoulder and went all soldier.

"Now the acting begins," he muttered, amused as he led her round the bushes. "This way Princes Euphemia!" he called out loudly, aiming his riffle this way and that.

She moved close with him, as they got further, out in the open. It took a while to get the guards attention, (idiots), but they did, several men rushing out to meet them. They first had weapons drawn, or riffles pointed, but relaxed when they recognised the princess.

"Princess Euphemia!" one of the higher ranks called out in surprise.

She nodded, relived they lowered their weapons. "Yes, and this is my bodyguard Chrono. Unfortunately, Chrono was in a situation with my knight and Suzaku hasn't found me yet. Please, if you could send out a squad-!"

"No need Princess Euphemia!"

They looked up to see the young man in question. "I was trying to get a rescue for you. This guy helped one of the Black Knights escape," he said eying him in suspicion.

"Rather the company of the girl than you!" he retorted, annoyed. "I work for Euphemia as her espionage expert and sometimes bodyguard. I needed information, but it's unfortunate that Kallen doesn't know the identity of Zero! She got suspicious and managed to get away, not that I tried very hard to find her when we found the Princess I prioritised her safety."

"I'm sorry, Suzaku if Chrono caused you any trouble," Euphemia said apologetically.

"Its fine, he was only doing his job," he said with a nod turning and leading them up towards the 'secret' base when something shot down from the sky and smashed into one of the helicopters in an explosion, causing men to go flying.

Chrono was holding the Princess to shield her even though he knows nothing will hit them it's just for show. "Are you OK, Princess?" he asked, more for show.

"I'm fine, Chrono but what about?!"

"I'm OK too… oh crap!" Suzaku shouted as they watched as the black mech startup blasting into the air, out of sight.

Chrono let Euphemia go and started firing at the Knightmare Frame, but knew the bullets wouldn't reach it from his position anyway. "It's no use," he muttered while Suzaku nodded in agreement as they stood together protectively of the Princess as their 'jobs' demand, watching the Frame as it became a mere dot, then gone.

"Chrono, Suzaku, are you both OK?" Euphemia asked as she moved over with two female guards now flanking her having been ordered to guard her like glue by higher ranks.

Suzaku looked to Chrono and he nodded. "Yes, Princess, other than being filthy we're fine," he said looking down at his dirty flight suit. "I can't believe Kallen's luck. Princess, Chrono, I think we should get in, clean up, and Chrono and I need uniforms, this isn't proper."

"Of course Suzaku," she agreed already being led away by her two new guards while they followed and guard detail returned to positions, higher ups already dealing with the report of the stolen flying Knightmare Frame.

Chrono fidgeted a few hours later as he's wearing the neat white and black dress uniform, having ditched the hat, but then so had Suzaku, apparently not liking the feel either after cleaning up. They had to share a room to change and bath with some other male soldiers, but at least they got it to themselves.

The uniform is just as regal as Chrono would expect, with some blues, and gold, and it's neat, like from the air force of his original Earth with shiny black shoes.

He stood one side of the Princess while Suzaku stood the other side while she talked to her hot and older sister Cornelia, Chrono wondering whether all hot girls on this Earth have giant cans. He also thought pink hair was odd, but her sisters is dark purple, but he supposes many worlds will be different in many other ways.

Apparently, Euphemia is trying to gain 'sovereignty' or 'regency' or something of Japan, (Area 11). Her sister is trying to talk her out of it because of Zero and the Black Knights, and Euphemia in turn is trying to get her sister to join her in 'Area Eleven' and help 'run' the country.

It was quite the conversation in-which Cornelia reprimanded Chrono for getting bored and tired and leaning against the back wall, which amused Suzaku though he hid it well. It was boring and Euphemia let Chrono take the seat next to her, smiling, amused after they had finished, which he was grateful for, though Suzaku refused the seat she offered him, preferring to stand.

"So, can we head back to Japan now Euphy?" Chrono asked, yawning while Suzaku looking to him in shock. "What, oh, Area this, Area, that, too impersonal. If anything, that's what pisses off the Japanese people more, the taking of who they are, and not what they had!"

"Yeah, well, stop calling the Princess Euphy-!"

"Please, Suzaku, I like it," Euphemia said, smiling. "Chrono is a dear friend, and looks out for me any chance he can. I wish you could be so much less formal. It is nice to have my closest guardians treat me like a friend rather than the way you do."

"I'll try Princess Euphemia," he agreed with a nod. "We have a helicopter prepared and ready to take the three of us back to Area Eleven as soon as possible, if you will follow me."

"Right-tee-oh!" Chrono said offering his hand to the princess as he stood. She smiled and kept hold of his hand even after he helped her stand. "Somebody should overhaul these uniforms with cashmere or something; these are really heavy, which isn't a problem but they're so tight."

Suzaku just rolled his eyes. "I'm guessing you don't wear a uniform much, but its tight because it wasn't made to your size."

"OK, OK, I get it man," he replied, smiling as he led the princess behind the 'knight'. "So, you have a plan?" he said quietly to Euphemia, as they haven't had a moment to talk.

"I'm going to try my best, Chrono," she replied, whispering as she tugged his arm into a hug to comfort herself and remember his words, the words of a man who knows worlds of war.

"Good," he said, smiling at her as they exited the cave where a helicopter waited, propellers spinning. He looked back into the caves, sensing something messed up within but this isn't the time to interfere like that.

He helped Euphy into the helicopter before climbing in and sitting next to her; she held his hand for support, linking her fingers with his, leaning into him cuddling his arm to her large bust, holding his hand tight while Suzaku tried to hide his glare and looked disapproving and disappointed its not him, opposite.

to be continued…