And so here begins my own take on Code Geass. I'm going to try my best to stray from the series itself as much as possible, but naturally there are some cases where it can't be helped. But more importantly, I think I should note the differences between this story and Code Geass itself:
- Lelouch was never disinherited. Rather, he was simply sold off as a political hostage whilst keeping his princehood in tact. Strange I know, but light will be shed on this further down the road
- By some stroke of luck, Clovis found and has been in contact with Lelouch since he became Governor of Area 11 and the two share a relationship comparable to Lelouch and Nunnally's (I may or may not put detail into their reunion; I personally don't think it's important as the event itself is rather irrelevant on it's own, but it may be explained... again, further down the road)
- As a by product of the last point, Lelouch is going to be slightly OOC as he will be considerably more humane than he was in the series. This won't really affect many things early on, aside from some small things here and there, but this small detail will be a primary factor later on
And lastly, I'll point out now that I've already determined that the story will be LelouchxC.C., if anyone. The primary focus of the story will be, well, the story... but if I decide to throw anything into the mix it'll be between those two. No ifs, ands or buts. Well, maybe there can be a few... but again, it'll be a side thing if it even happens. Story will have Romance as a side-genre for the possibility, for now.
July ninteenth, two thousand seventeen a.t.b. The day my life became a lie. The day that made my every action a product of one lie or another. Actions stemmed from pent up emotions I probably could have avoided having had to begin with if I had wanted to. But I didn't. Or did I? With the birth of a second entity within me, could I even be sure what thoughts carried my heart's true feeling?
That day, a fine line was drawn between my two names. Lelouch Lamperouge, seventeen year old Student Council Vice-President at Ashford Academy with a sister named Nunnally Lamperouge, whom my relationship with could admittedly be interpreted as disturbing in nature. That was not the case, of course, but we were far closer and quite possibly more intimate than most siblings were. I could understand where people came from when they made such claims.
And then there was my other name. Lelouch Vi Britannia, the Japanese political hostage son of Charles Di Britannia, Emperor of the Britannian Empire. My only comfort was in the company of Nunnaly and in the occasional conversations I had with Clovis La Britannia, my older half-brother and Governor of Area 11.
I suppose I owe him far more than I'd ever openly admit. Were it not for our secret contact, which was carefully hidden from the rest of the royal family, I'm sure that the swirling emotions that assailed me relentlessly would be far worse. He gave me reason to believe I didn't need to hate all of Britannia, in essence, with just his very presence.
That's not to say I didn't feel intense hatred for Britannia. I certainly did, particularly toward my father. It was one thing to do nothing as my mother Marianne Vi Britannia was assassinated and Nunnally crippled and blinded, but then he also nearly had us disinherited and then shipped us off as political hostages simply because I confronted him about it. To a country he invaded shortly thereafter, no less.
And his atrocities continued even after that. And with each one, my hatred grew and grew. Without the small comfort I had, there was little doubt in my mind that I'd want the whole of Britannia crushed. Hell, I can recall having once made a vow to do just that. A vow to my close friend Suzaku Kururugi whom I finally saw today, seven years later, as a Britannian soldier. Normally, that would have angered me to no end. But knowing him as well as I did and taking a moment to think rationally, it wasn't all that surprising that he'd do such a thing.
And so, those are my two lives. With one exception. Lelouch Lamperouge has one thing Lelouch Vi Britannia does not. He has The Power of the King. A power that would test every limit of my sanity, but also give me the blade I needed to carry out what I'd had a deep desire to do for so very long. To create a world where Charles Di Britannia's ideals, the manifestation of everything I hated, no longer existed. A world where I could give true happiness to Nunnally and myself, as well as the rest who suffer beneath his atrocities.
"But unfortunately, your life is now over."
Lelouch froze as he heard the safety on the man's gun click off and the clip loaded into the gun settle into place, followed by said gun being pointed at him. Lelouch felt no fear. Rather, he felt such shock and disgust that it shook his mind and body into a subconscious freeze. Many things circulated through his head at that moment, stemming around the painfully obvious fact that he was about to die.
"Don't kill him!" she cried. The cause of all of what now could only be considered a heartless massacre on a large scale. The 'poison gas', as she'd been thought as, that a group of terrorists had stolen. Lelouch was glad they hadn't tried a bluff of using said gas, but that was hardly the problem at hand. Regardless of the details, the woman now free of her captors and running toward him was the reason behind many 'Eleven' deaths.
And at the same moment, the captain... man, Lelouch wasn't sure which miscellaneous title to dub him with, fired. Time seemed to slow as Lelouch pondered things as quickly as they would conjure themselves in his mind. A bullet was indeed moving toward him, that was for sure, but there was something more. The woman en route to him was going to cross directly in front of it, he noticed. And then, something clicked. He wasn't about to let her die, not when she had to answer for this massacre.
"Look out!" Lelouch beckoned loudly, leaping toward the woman. She was knocked toward the ground, with the bullet passing harmlessly just inches from her face and just inches above Lelouch's head. And yet had he done nothing, one of said heads would be left with a bullet wound in their head. The nearly unnoticed third choice was by far the most suitable answer, he mused.
But then, as it had been known to do on this particular day, realization struck once again. Two unarmed people on the ground, cornered by a squad of armed soldiers. One dodged bullet seemed like a god-given miracle just moments ago, but now it seemed highly overrated in his mind. And it seemed the captain had realized the same thing, as a loud cackle resounded through the place.
The woman grabbed his hand, out of some measure of worry Lelouch assumed. That was until he felt like his mind was being probed and assailed. But such a thing was simply absurd and equally impossible, right? Right. He must have been losing it. There was no way he felt a probing sensation within his mind exactly when she grabbed his hand. That kind of thing only happened in Manga, and the occasional fairy tale.
"You don't want it to end, do you?" the woman's voice asked. From inside his head, he noticed. Lelouch could only continue to listen as every anti-supernatural wall he'd just taken great care in building, high and wide as the Great Wall itself, was shattered as easily as a supermarket under the force of a Knightmare Frame's slash harken. But even so, one question had to be asked.
'What's this?' he thought to himself, not entirely sure whether or not his question reached her ears or not. Not that it really mattered one way or another, because he had a hunch that she was the type to ignore his questions and continue as if they'd never been asked. And if not that, perhaps she was just the type that only explained what she felt like explaining. Not that he had any justification with which to make either claim.
"It seems you have a reason to live," she continued, either proving his quick personality judge theory or confirming that she simply couldn't hear him. "If you had the power, you could live..." she continued, almost temptingly. Lelouch pondered over what she meant. Could she give him the power to live through this? Given the current situation, the possibility certainly was there.
"This is our contract," she said, as if making a sales pitch. Unfortunately, this wasn't a sales pitch he could sound out with a firm slam of a door. "In return for my gift of power, you must grant one wish of mine," she explained, her tone soft despite the seeming indifference it held. "If you enter this contract, you will live as a human, but also as one completely different. Different rules, different time, a different life..." as her voice drifted off, his mind's view of vivid blue lines was replaced with various images he could only assume were her's.
"The Power of the King will make you lonely indeed. If you are prepared for that, then..." she stopped once again, giving Lelouch the time of day to both ponder and react to the sudden development that had just been pushed into his face.
Not that he needed all that much time. Awash with complete certainty and understanding of the situation, an understanding which was a fleeting dream just moments ago no less, he took complete control. 'Very well. I hereby enter into this contract!' he declared definitively in his mind.
And then, still consumed by that same complete feeling, he stood up. The captain was taken aback, but he refused to let that show. Lelouch turned slowly toward him, taking a moment to notice that the woman beneath him had lost consciousness, with a determined expression plastered on his face. It wasn't cynical in the least, but the look was definitely unnerving for the captain. "Say..." Lelouch started, calmly. "How should I live, as a Britannian who hates Britannia?" he asked, not really expecting an answer. But the dramatic drawl was amusing, at least for the moment.
"You some kinda philosopher?" the captain asked incredulously, bringing his loaded gun up to point at Lelouch once again. Lelouch remained as calm and collected as he'd been since he stood, and the captain found himself involuntarily releasing a questioning grunt.
"What? Can't shoot?" Lelouch asked, a hint of mirth lacing his words. "You're up against a student. Or have you finally learned..." Lelouch paused for the small dramatic effect it would add, growing more amused with his sudden like for drama by the second. "That only those willing to be shot can themselves shoot others?" he spoke with more of an informative tone than a questioning one, but the captain knew which of the two it was.
Lelouch's left eye lit up with a red, bird shaped sigil, and his entire expression tightened into one that forced fear into the captain's veins in torrents. Lelouch took a moment to ponder over what he should do with the power. He had half a mind to kill them all on the spot, but he shrugged it off. He was more compassionate than that, if only slightly. Besides, they were perfectly useful for the idea he had building in his mind. One that would take a great deal of work, but he had expected no less.
"I order you," he began, taking great care to keep his eyes focused straight ahead. "To destroy Britannia!" he ordered, striking his right arm out to the side for emphasis as a bird shaped sigil appeared in his left eye. He had to admit he felt bad for giving such an order, but they would be of some brief help and would delay the destruction of the Shinjuku ghetto, if only slightly. The only regret Lelouch had was that he knew he'd just sent them all to their inevitable deaths.
The captain seemed to be in a daze for a moment, but Lelouch knew it had worked the moment he saw everyone's eyes outline with a red circle that marked their forced compliance to his order. "Yes, sir!" the captain said, completely out of the character Lelouch had seen before. The rest of them saluted as well, and then they were all marching away with guns raised to do god only knows what. Lelouch followed suit, quickly bringing the green haired woman onto his shoulder before he did so.
As he continued through the rubble filled streets, Lelouch used any energy he could muster to improve his hold on the unconscious green haired woman over his shoulder. His frail body ached tremendously under the weight, but he forced it aside. He knew he couldn't leave her behind. He forced all the energy from his body simply so he wouldn't fall behind. And at the same time, his mind went in a complete U-Turn as it recalled recent events. 'Suzaku... took a bullet for me,' he shuddered at the memory.
Why did it make him feel so bad? He hadn't seen Suzaku in seven years, since the end of the Second Pacific War in which Japan had been reduced to the lowly colony known as Area 11, so why was he awash with such worry? Such regret? As far as Lelouch was concerned, he needed no more than the company of Nunnally and the occasional talks he had with Clovis. Suzaku was a relic of his past that he desperately wanted to shrug aside. So why couldn't he?
Though through all the mixed emotions he felt, there was one thing he was certain of. He was overjoyed to know his friend was alive. To know that his one compannion during that time, who's role in Lelouch's life had been taken by Clovis since Lelouch was eleven, was still breathing made him feel overwhelmingly relieved. Although he had to admit, he was very much disliking the fact that the friend of Japanese descent was now an Honorary Britannian.
But such thoughts were short lived as he heard a loud screeching, and something in his mind said, 'Hey, odds are you're going to die if you don't move.' And hardly willing to die as he was, Lelouch jumped to the side just in time to have a Knightmare Frame pass by directly over where he'd been moments before. At the same time, a missle flew overhead in the near distance, which was where Lelouch assumed the Knightmare Frame was moments before.
And then something else told him it may be a good idea to take advantage of this situation. Here he was, at the feet of a Knightmare Frame. Why not take a perfectly good weapon to aid in his recent decision to attack the Britannian army. Why he was taking this opportunity, when he knew Clovis was most likely his foe, he wasn't quite sure. But between the pulsating hatred for the current Britannia and the knowledge of him having the power to prevent this massacre to some extent, he refused to turn a blind eye.
It was with such a conclusion that he found himself waving toward the cockpit of the Knightmare Frame he quickly recognized as a Sutherland with his free arm in a desperate attempt to innocently beg the knight's assistance.
"What is a student doing here?" the Knight asked demandingly.
"My sister here fell ill! I was returning her home when I was swept up into the conflict. May I request your protection?" Lelouch responded, looking up at the cockpit almost pleadingly.
"Who are you?" the Knight asked, avoiding Lelouch's request entirely. Lelouch stopped for a moment, pondering over various reasonable names for half a second before coming to a reasonable conclusion.
"I am Alan Spacer. My father is a duke," Lelouch explained. A momentary silence fell over them before a hiss was heard and the cockpit opened. The knight lowered himself by means of the zip wire, and Lelouch suppressed a startled choke as he saw the knight and began cursing the very gods for choosing to scorn him before he even had reason to be scorned.
"Alright, I'm going to have to see identification --" the knight's breath caught itself in his throat as he got a good look at the student. Short black hair that hung slightly over his forehead. A complexion that, even to another male, could only be described as beautiful. A frail body that complimented the complexion all too well. Only one person looked exactly like that. "...Prince Lelouch?" the knight asked disbelievingly.
Jeremiah Gottwald. Member of the Britannian Purist faction, a faction consisting of those devoted to the ideal that only born Britannians had any right in their military and society. They directly oppose the Honorary Britannian system, which is a system allowing those carrying the nationality of one of the Empire's many conquests to take on Britannia's nationality. But even that had it's limits; Honorary Britannians, like Suzaku, are not aloud to be Knights. Essentially making Knightmare Frame piloting a distant dream for any but those of Britannian descent.
Aside from that, Jeremiah held a far more crucial role in my past. He was a frequent guard at the Aries Palace, where Nunnally and I stayed with our mother. As such, I was constantly in his company and even found myself considering him as a friend more than a subordinate. And admittedly, seeing him here was as much a joy as it was seeing Suzaku again. My desire to plunge into a battle and change the world was put on the back burner as my past came back yet again.
But I wasn't the only one with a past haunting him on this day. Jeremiah Gottwald wasn't just any guard at the Aries palace. He was one of the guards at the palace when my mother was assassinated. Clovis told me he'd come to Area 11 with the intent of repenting for this, an event which he considered his first failure that he had to correct. And yet here I was, defying his belief that he'd failed entirely. And while he had failed in the strictest sense, my living meant he was likely to be fighting an internal battle with himself at this moment.
"Jeremiah Gottwald," Lelouch returned the gesture with a curt nod, as calmly as he could. Jeremiah released a startled gasp, stepping back in an attempt to grasp the reality of the situation. The prince he'd believed to be dead, who also happened to be much of the reason for his hatred toward Elevens, had been alive all along? That meant Nunnally was too, didn't it? Jeremiah's mind was running a mile a minute, and so he brought himself to ask the one thing he could.
"How is Nunnally?"
Lelouch gave a small smile. "She's good. As innocent as you must remember her, too" he replied, laughing slightly. And somewhere amidst the momentary silence that followed, Jeremiah was assailed with yet another question. One he felt he had to ask.
"Why did you lie about your name?" he asked. Lelouch eyed him with half-lidded eyes, as if asking him if he were a complete idiot. But the Lelouch he remembered, harsh and realistic though he could be at times, would not openly ask such a question.
"I'm a political hostage believed dead. I can't very well say, 'This is your prince Lelouch Vi Britannia, I need your protection,' can I?" Lelouch raised an eyebrow as he asked that incredulous question, and even Jeremiah had to laugh.
"I suppose not. But then... why are you here?" Jeremiah felt all his built up relief of repentance flying out the window by the second. All the time he'd spent in Area 11 to repent over his initial failure, when he was a guard at the Aries Palace, was seemingly for nothing?
Lelouch promptly remembered what he had to do. And he couldn't delay any longer, even at the expense of abandoning his old friend and former guard. The bird shaped sigil appeared in his left eye again. "Give me your Knightmare," he ordered. Jeremiah's eyes got that red outlining to them as he was bound to the order Lelouch had given, and he promptly nodded.
"Yes, Your Highness. The code is YE7-AC6T3," Jeremiah replied, submitting into complete compliance as he tossed the key to his Sutherland to Lelouch. Lelouch grabbed it swiftly out of the midair, making past Jeremiah and toward the cable that would take him to the cockpit of the Sutherland. Only one other thing escaped his lips before he rose into the cockpit.
"I'm sorry, Jeremiah."
Suzaku awoke with a start, only to find himself staring at a bright white ceiling accompanied by bright lights that likely contributed considerably to the ceiling's brightness. Grunted as he tried to bring his arm to shield his eyes, he quickly found the pain too great and placed his arm on the bed he found himself laying on, instead opting to squint his eyes in order to protect them.
"Too bad!" an enthusiastic and slightly bone chilling voice called. From far closer than Suzaku was comfortable with, he had to admit. Suzaku opened his eyes again, forcing himself to adjust to the brightness before turning toward the speaker, finding a man with aged grey hair, an almost unnerving smile and clear glasses over his eyes.
Suzaku made a questioning grunt, watching as the man backed off, giving the young Honorary Britannian breathing space. "You were so close to the pearly white gates, Private First Class Kururugi!" he exclaimed, still smiling that bone chilling smile.
Suzaku looked toward the woman beside the man for help, and she simply sighed and shook her head. "You almost died, Suzaku. This thing saved you," the woman explained, leaning forward and showing him something on a folded cloth which he quickly identified as his broken pocket watch. Suzaku nodded knowingly, and reached out and took it despite the aching pain it gave him.
"Where am I?" Suzaku asked, finally having his short term memory come into focus and vividly recalling that he hadn't been in any place resembling the one he was now in at any point in the recent past.
"You're still in the Shinjuku ghetto," the man replied with his slightly dramatized tone of voice.
"We're near Prince Clovis, so you're safe here with Lloyd," the woman added.
"Now then," Lloyd started, changing the topic completely as he spun a Knightmare Frame key on his index finger. "Private First Class Kururugi, do you have any experience piloting a Knightmare Frame?" he asked, smirking in a sly way.
Suzaku was immediately taken aback. "Or course not. A former Eleven cannot become a Knight," he retorted.
"And if you could?" Lloyd asked, his smirk growing wider still.
Suzaku was helped to his feet and led out of the medical truck, and then around to the back where the form of a Knightmare Frame covered completely in a black cover greeted his eyes. His body ached intensely from the sudden movement, but his curiosity of the pressing situation overcame his pain.
"Congratulations!" Lloyd cried happily, stepping away from Suzaku and spreading his arms outward as if greeting an old friend. Suzaku collapsed into the hold of just the woman, who supported him as he watched Lloyd curiously. "We have a completely unique Knightmare Frame that awaits you! If you get inside it, you and your life will be changed forever!" he explained, as if imitating a real estate agent attempting to make a sale.
"Change my life... forever?" Suzaku asked, disbelievingly.
"Whether you want it to or not," the woman added. Suzaku did nothing but nod knowingly.
Elevens fled every which way, dodging whatever came their way. Be it shots from a battle tank or falling debris, there was seldom a thing in sight that wasn't life threatening to the Elevens in their peril. Corpses littered the street in horrifying amounts, blood coloring the better part of the ground as far as the eye could see.
A battle tank prepared to fire at hastily fleeing Elevens, only to be silenced by a Slash Harken going through the top of it. As the Slash Harken retracted toward a red Glasgow as it jumped out from the now broken ground below, it exploded. "Damn Britannians! How dare you!" the Glasgow's Knight cried in rage.
"Karen! Is the Glasgow still moving?!" a voice shouted through the Knight's transmitter.
"It's fine, Ogi!" Karen replied. "I'll run interference while you get these people out of here!" she shouted, urging the Glasgow to move again. She began heading down one of the many debris infested streets, keeping a close eye out for Britannian troops. "If I get caught, I'll only get a slap on the wrist! Don't worry about me!"
"I know! But they're coming at us full force here!" Ogi replied worriedly. Nearby, another resistance member sporting slightly spiked red hair and a seemingly annoyed expression finished loading a missile into his launcher, and promptly fired it into the sky.
Meanwhile, Lelouch opted not to involve himself in the conflict directly, carefully proceeded down streets that kept him away from the fighting. He placed a headset over his head, quickly calling his fellow council member, Shirley. Talking to her during times like this was a labouring task in and of itself, but Lelouch chose to ignore that fact in favor of the necessity of talking to her.
"Lulu? What are you calling me for?" Shirley asked through the headset. "Where are you? If you keep cutting class, you are going to get expelled!" Shirley exclaimed. Lelouch cringed slightly at the tone she was using, and knew all too well that he was in for another lecture about the idiocy in his gambling when he saw her next. But that was the least of his worries.
"Do you have a television there, Shirley?" Lelouch asked, ignoring her plethora of questions.
"A television?" Shirley asked, taken aback.
"I'm sorry, but it's important. Very important," Lelouch responded, looking down at the green haired woman strewn across his lap as he proceeded down the rubble and corpse filled streets of the Shinjuku ghetto. People continued to die all around him whether he could see it or not, and the sickened feeling in his stomach steadily grew worse and worse.
"Agh... yeah, hold on a sec," she said with a sigh. "Sorry, can I borrow this?" her distant voice asked to whomever else was in the same room as her at the time. "Okay. What is it, Lulu?"
"The news. What's happening in Shinjuku?" he asked.
"The news? They're saying there's a traffic jam."
"And why is that?"
"Umm... No real reason. They aren't saying," Shirley explained.
Lelouch heaved a sigh, turning at a corner and hiding as several military vehicles drove by. He kept an eye on the road as they continued by, waiting for them to all pass. 'As I expected. They're doing it in a way that benefits them,' he thought to himself.
"This is another one of your bets, isn't it Lulu? You and Rivalz need to stop doing that!" Shirley exclaimed angrily.
"Yes, I know. Also, will you tell Nunnally that I'll be late coming home tonight? Thank you," as soon as he finished, he promptly hung up on the now probably fuming fellow Student Council member. He brought up a radar of the area, indicating his location as well as the many Britannian forces that surrounded him. "Since this operation is classified, it'll be hardly possible to bring in reinforcements. Meaning, this is all the troops they have," he said to himself as soon as the radar had finished bringing up everything. "Even so, I can't exactly work alone."
He brought himself out of the cockpit, looking up to the sky as a Slash Harken stabbed into a helicopter, turning it into a burning entity in the sky that descended slightly toward the ground before exploding. "Shall I enlist their aid, then?" he asked himself. He returned inside the Sutherland, taking a moment to seek out a good vantage point before heading toward it, adjusting the green haired woman so she was laying across him again. He watched his radar as the signal of Karen's Glasgow as it was chased by three other signals that belonged to Britannia.
He pulled a transmitter from a compartment of the cockpit, quickly switching it on and holding it to his mouth. "Head west!" he ordered, despite the fact that he knew that the Glasgow's knight had no idea who he was and would more than likely contest that. "Use the last of your energy to get to the western exit!"
"Who are you?!" Karen shouted angrily, proving Lelouch's previous assumptions to be true. "How do you know this frequency?!"
"That isn't important right now!" Lelouch retorted. "If you want to protect the Elev-- Japanese, then trust me!"
"Win?" Karen asked, as if the very concept was something unbelievable. All the same, she proceeded to obey Lelouch's orders, diverting swiftly off of her current path and passing over toward a bridged area before leaping up onto it and onto the railway above, proceeding west along it with assistance from her land spinners. "Okay, what should I do now?" she cried, watching the train in front of her that was approaching all too quickly.
"Continue to believe in me, and I'll help you win," Lelouch responded. "Jump on top of it!" he ordered. Karen complied, leaping onto it and continuing to leap along it as the knight awaited new orders. One of the pursuing Sutherlands was forced to stop the train, while another proceeded to leap over it before Lelouch launched a well aimed Slash Harken removed it's head, sending it spinning toward the ground again.
"An ambush?!" the Knight of the Sutherland holding the train cried. "What unit are you from?" the Knight demanded upon noticing it's new foe was a fellow Sutherland.
"None!" Lelouch cried, grabbing his rifle and opening blind fire on the Sutherland. It's left arm fell victim to the poorly aimed shooting, and soon after the land spinner attached to it's left foot went as well, forcing the Sutherland to one knee. At that moment the Glasgow returned as well, and the Knight was forced to eject from the Sutherland. Lelouch smiled slightly. as he watched the ejected cockpit float safely down and away from the railway.
Lelouch disappeared from his vantage point as soon as he saw a group of men running toward the Glasgow, heading back down and toward the streets again. "Thank you," Karen said happily in thanks. "But how did you get a Sutherland?" she continued in bewilderment, but Lelouch opted to ignore her entirely for the moment.
Karen looked toward where Lelouch had been moments before, only to see the Sutherland had disappeared. 'Huh? Where'd he...' her thoughts were cut short as she turned toward the railway again, seeing Ogi and his group approaching quickly on foot. "Oi! Karen!" Ogi called. "We've got 'em out!" he informed her.
"Really?!" Karen cried exasperatedly. "Toshida's group as well?"
"Yeah," Ogi replied. "They should all be here soon too --"
"Are you the leader?" came Lelouch's voice suddenly over Ogi's transmitter
"Y-yeah..." Ogi replied confusedly, adjusting the rifle slung over his left shoulder.
"I'll give you everything in that train as a present. A tool, to help you win this fight," Lelouch said, nodding to himself in triumph. "If you wish to use it and stand victorious, listen to my commands!" Lelouch added.
Karen turned toward the train, opening the nearest car. She, as well as almost everyone else, promptly gasped as they saw it's contents. "There's more here!" someone cried from further down, having opened another car. She proceeded to open the other cars with help from those on foot, finally revealing a train full of Sutherlands. Lelouch grinned to himself as he watched it all unfolding through his Sutherland's factsphere's zoomed in view.
"You in the Glasgow!" Lelouch called abruptly, shaking Karen from whatever thoughts she had running through her mind at that point in time.
"Y-yes?" Karen asked, momentarily shocked by his sudden calling.
"You stay in there," he ordered. "Those machines don't suit your style of fighting. You're better off where you are," he explained calmly. "By the way, how much energy do you have left?" he asked.
"Not much," Karen replied, looking at the gauges quickly. "About fifteen minute's worth, I'd say," she responded.
"Well then, put in a new battery," Lelouch ordered. "I'll have new orders within fifteen minutes."
"You're certainly keeping yourself busy," Lelouch gave a startled choke and looked down quickly, only to be met with cat-like orange eyes staring at him curiously, a small smile that certainly carried mocking intent plastered on the woman's face.
"I see you're awake," Lelouch remarked, avoiding her remark. The woman gave a small nod, not bothering to move from her position. "Who are you, anyway?" he asked, arching an eyebrow.
"C.C.," she replied.
"Your Highness, it would seem some of the Elevens have begun to put up some form of a crude resistance."
Six men stood around a long table displaying an extremely large radar of the entire ghetto, watching as the massacre continued throughout the entire ghetto. The man who had just spoke, sporting an evident lack of hair and a slight scowl that showed his annoyance gave out a heavy sigh. "Even so, we clearly have an advantage. What shall we do, Your Highness?"
The bald man turned toward a man sitting on a throne-like seat some distance away from the table, elbow resting on an arm rest and hand holding the side of his head with slightly messy blond locks falling over both his hand and his sapphire blue eyes. He wore a purple uniform-like jacket that screamed royalty, and a tight white undershirt that acted as gloves as well. He had a deep frown on his face, clearly telling everyone present of his more than obvious displeasure with the scenario.
"Regardless..." the blond man started.
"Yes, I know Prince Clovis. The gas capsule..."
"...That is what we're calling it, General Bartley. And I know as well as any of you that we cannot afford to let it slide, but do we need to destroy the entire ghetto just for it?" Clovis asked hesitantly. 'Lelouch... please be far from here.'
"With all due respect, Your Highness, the Elevens are far too undisciplined if they have the will to mount such a resistance. Such an action is the perfect way to inspire some fear into their hearts, so much that never again may they dare oppose the Britannian Empire!" Bartley retorted, smacking his open palm down on the table.
"...Yes, I suppose so. Carry on, then," Clovis admitted in defeat.
"Thank you, Your Highness," Bartley replied, bowing. He gestured toward the table, pointing in particular to an area where many blue blips representing their own units were gathered. "Now, we suspect the enemy is in hiding at this point. With such small force, it is the natural assumption. That said, we should begin a thorough search of the undergrounds as well as the outlaying streets for the rebels," he explained, gesturing toward certain streets that spread out from where their units were gathered.
"Yes, well --" Clovis was cut off by rather abrupt vibrating on his left thigh. With a sigh, he dug into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, flipping it open and pressing it to his ear. "Hello?" he asked, despite the fact that he knew who was calling. Only one person knew how to reach his cell phone, and said person was the only reason he had a cell phone in the first place.
"Hello, brother," Lelouch responded, playfully adding his pet name for Clovis followed by a short chuckle. Clovis laughed briefly as well, much to the confusion of Bartley and the rest present whom seldom heard such a thing from their seemingly stoic prince.
"Greetings, Stuart," Clovis responded, smiling weakly.
"Stuart?" Lelouch asked with a short laugh. "Wasn't it Stephen last time?" again, a laugh followed suit.
"Yes, well, Stephen has grown old, hasn't he? And what do I owe the pleasure of your call, Stuart?"
Lelouch paused for a moment, as if pondering how best to go about the reason for his calling. As he sat in his Sutherland, keeping a close eye on all the happenings of the Britannian forces, he quickly deduced their every current action and his every possible response. And he smiled as he studied further. "How about a game?" he asked.
"A game?" Clovis asked, taken aback.
Lelouch smiled wider yet. "A chess match, for old time's sake. Me and the resistance against you and your Britannian forces."
"...What?!" Clovis cried, nearly falling over as he jumped to his feet with a start. "You can't be serious!"
"Completely so. I have already taken command of the resistance. What do you say?"
Clovis was absolutely dumbstruck. He'd prayed and prayed that the supposedly dead brother of his was far from the area, only to learn that they were now enemies. But people were waiting, and others dying, and Clovis knew he couldn't dwell on things for long. "...I'll accept," he replied hesitantly. With situations being as they were, did he really have an alternative? He began to stew on that as his mind began to conflict with his now conflicting duties: that to Britannia and his father, and that to his younger brother.
"Excellent. I'll talk to you again when time allows. Farewell, dear brother," and with that, the line went dead. With a heavy sigh, Clovis ran a hand through his hair as he made his way down the short three steps and approached the head of the table. The man standing there saluted before making his way around to another place at the table, waiting.
"I'll be taking command of strategy. Thank you, men," Clovis started. He proceeded to point to the group of gathered units and then at another smaller group further east. "Have both groups head toward the center. The enemy will likely be there, probably intend to make their stand there as well. We'll overwhelm them as soon as they emerge," he didn't like it, he knew, but he couldn't afford to show hesitation regardless of the foe. Even if it was Lelouch. He just hoped he wasn't acting too liberally, given who his foe was.
I admit I felt a pang of guilt at this point, for a number of reasons. I know Clovis would be hesitant to attack the ghetto, and more than likely is under the influence of his generals and advisers that claim that it is the only way, when really all want is a means of increasing their fame. And now, knowing that I was his enemy would drive a wedge between his duty to Britannia and his familial duty. But at the same time, I suppose it was a test of sorts. To see who's side he would take were I to take on Britannia.
But there was more to it than that. I was treating the resistance like nothing more than disposable trash. And while I could try to admit that I was okay with that; that I need not care how I treat others so long as the ones that do matter are treated properly, I knew otherwise. I knew fully well that my heart ached at the thought of using those that had lost so much to Britannia. Those who had lost the one thing one should never have to lose: their name.
Ogi sat in the cockpit of one of the Sutherlands, getting used to all the various things as quickly as he could whilst keeping an ear out for their mysterious strategic genius. Why he was giving this person the time of day, someone who wouldn't give them the slightest bit of information regarding himself, he wasn't sure. But in their current peril, he knew his hand was rather forced in the matter.
"Hey, do you think we're gonna be alright?" the seemingly annoyed red head asked from the ground below, looking up at Ogi's Sutherland. "The IFF is offline! How are we supposed to tell where the enemy is?!" he cried out, throwing his arms out wide in some wild annoyed arm gesture.
"They assume the odds are in their favour, Tamaki," Ogi replied assuredly. "We don't need any traps or anything like that. You guys just do as you're ordered!" he added, pressing some other buttons to fully put his screen's view into focus. Tamaki's overly dramatized arm gestures were the first thing he was greeted with, and suffice to say he was less than delighted at that.
"P1, can you move?" Lelouch's voice asked suddenly over Ogi's transmitter. Ogi flinched a little, taken aback by how suddenly he'd contacted him again despite how prepared he'd been for the eventuality. "It should be fairly similar to any others you've piloted," he continued, praying that his resistance group wasn't completely inept with Knightmare Frames. He'd have a slight problem if they did, to be sure.
"Who are you?" Ogi cried, bringing his own transmitter closer to his mouth to ensure he was heard. "At the very least, tell us your name!" he demanded, slightly agitated.
"I cannot," Lelouch replied simply, straight and to the point. "I can't know whether or not this frequency is being monitored," he continued, hoping that Ogi would get the idea and stand down on the issue. He couldn't afford to let the world know that Lelouch Lamperouge, seventeen year old student at Ashford Academy was associating himself with a band of resistance terrorists.
"You seem more troubled than you're letting on," C.C. commented from behind Lelouch. Lelouch didn't so much as glance back at her; in the short time he knew her, he already knew exactly what he'd be greeted with. That damned amused smirk that had yet to fail to irk him. And he wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of irking him again, no matter how much she wanted him to.
"This is more tiring than I thought it'd be," Lelouch lied, rubbing his temple between his thumb and index finger. C.C. chuckled lightly, having seen through his lie entirely. But she knew better than to pry, just as he knew nothing would come from trying to pry with her. It was an unspoken promise that prying would get neither anywhere, and so they shrugged away such thoughts the moment they would come to mind.
"Anyway, Q1 is on her way," Lelouch said, addressing Ogi once again and abruptly shutting C.C. out. "The enemy's Sutherlands will be there in twenty five seconds. Two of them, most likely. Shoot them down on sight; they'll be caught off guard," Lelouch ordered, splitting his attention between issuing the orders and watching as things played out to quickly develop his next courses of action. Within seconds he'd read all possible moves Clovis could respond with, and his own counteractions to respond to those.
"Hey, is this guy serious?! What is he talking about?" Tamaki cried angrily. Ogi quickly silenced him with a firm 'Shh,' and began to ponder over whether or not to trust Lelouch. Without a name or even having seen him, he really had no reason to. But that aside, he knew what his answer would have to be.
"...Everyone, ready your weapons," Ogi ordered.
"You're not serious, are you?!" Tamaki protested angrily, taking a step forward and swinging an arm out in front of him in yet another dramatic arm gesture to display his already blatantly obvious displeasure.
"Three, two, one...!" Ogi counted aloud. As his count of one passed, he and two others opened fire with their Sutherlands. On the other side of the brick wall they faced, screeches of metal and death wails were heard as they hit the target Lelouch had assured them they would. Ogi did mental backflips of joy, all too glad he hadn't seemed to have made the wrong decision by putting them in Lelouch's hands.
Lelouch watched the happenings with great glee, chuckling lightly to himself. "ID transponders are a double-edged sword. If the resistance obeys my orders, the outcome is clear, Clovis," he muttered to himself, flipping a black knight chess piece up and down in his right hand. He grabbed his transmitter with his free hand, flicking it to life once again. "P1, P4, P7, move three hundred meters to the right, and fire your Slash Harkens at three o'clock!" he ordered.
"Alright! Everyone, obey that voice!" Ogi cried, jerking his Sutherland toward the right as he proceeded down Lelouch's aforementioned path. Tamaki made some non-sensible babble in protest, but quickly dropped into his Sutherland as well. Ogi quickly reached the targetted area, firing his Slash Harken at his three as Leloiuch had ordered, once again hearing the satisfying sound of metal connecting with metal as Lelouch's orders once again led to a successful strike.
"Q1, proceed along the rooftop and attack!" Lelouch ordered. Karen quickly gave an okay, firing her Slash Harken as a grapple to propel herself onto the roof, charging forward and throwing out her Glasgow's fist into the head of a Sutherland. "Good work. Now then..."
"We've lost Glaube's unit!" Bartley cried. "Ch-change frequencies! They're being monitored! They have to be!" he ordered in a fit of exasperated rage.
"We have! This is the fourth time!" another man cried out.
'I should have known better than to take you of all people lightly, Lelouch...' Clovis thought with a defeated sigh. "Bartley, get a grip!" he cried. "You pressured this, now we have to get out of this! Now, let's think. We..."
"Hello!" Lloyd's head popped up on the large screen in front of them, where an enlarged form of their radar had previously been displayed.
"What do you want, Lloyd?" Clovis asked in a clipped tone, narrowing his eyes slightly.
"Well..." Lloyd took a dramatic pause, as one could come to expect from his slightly unpredictable nature. "Our new weapon here is nearly ready! Cecil is running through the last details as we speak!" he declared gleefully.
"Now really isn't the time!" Clovis cried in annoyed protest.
"Laszlo's unit has been lost!" Bartley cried disbelievingly. "Just what kind of rebels are these damned Elevens?!"
"Ones with a brilliant leader..." Clovis muttered to himself sadly. 'Why would you challenge me to a game using people's lives, Lelouch? Are you that heartless, or are you setting the stage for something else... something much more...' he pondered to himself. But such thoughts would never leave his mouth, and his inner turmoil was masked behind a veil of complete composure. "Send all units to the center of their formation!" Clovis ordered in a last ditch effort to overcome his younger brother.
"But Your Highness, that would cause our formation to crumble!" Bartley protested.
"We know they're there! Send all units there, at once!" Clovis ordered determinedly. He watched with equally determined focus as his forces all moved into his ordered position, only to watch as the signal for the resistance forces he had planned to surround disappeared. "W-what?!" he cried, dumbfounded. 'Am I really no match for you, Lelouch?!'
"The underground!" Bartley cried. But it was far too late. One by one, their signals began showing the signal lost message as their units were lost with unbelievable ease. Unbelievable to everyone except Clovis, who was simply at a loss for words. "They're inhuman!" Bartley cried, grasping his head tightly with both hands as he screamed out something akin to an insane man's cry for relief.
Clovis, meanwhile, simply began taking shocked steps away from the table in an attempt to get a grasp on his swirling thoughts. 'Lelouch! You read my every move! Was this really no more than a game to you! With so many lives at stake! I will have my answer!' his mind screamed out. "Lloyd!" he cried out loud, trying in vain to keep his mask of composure in place. But even he knew that it was a lost cause to try and achieve such a thing at that point. "Can your toy turn this disaster around?" he asked. 'I refuse to hand you the victory yet, Lelouch!'
"My lord," Lloyd started, smiling slyly. "Please call it the Lancelot."
"Just a bit more..." Lelouch muttered to himself. "All units, hold current position," he ordered, waiting. 'Clovis has made no attempt to pull back yet... does he have something up his sleeve?' he asked himself in wonder. "P1, P4, P7. Stay alert. They aren't done yet," Lelouch ordered.
"Is this what you plan to do with the power I gave you? Crush Britannia?" C.C. asked with a slight tinge of mirth.
"It's my father I'm after. His Empire is the barrier between us," Lelouch replied without so much as looking back. "I'm not so petty as to sentence an entire Empire to death for my desires. But that man must answer, and I won't get there without getting through them," Lelouch explained.
"And you are confidant you can do that?" C.C. asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It is a long road," Lelouch admitted. "But it is to be one I have to travel. There's no turning back from here," he went on, this time looking back. Soul-reading violet eyes met with nerve-piercing orange ones in a stiff deadlock of gazes. There were no distasteful emotions spoken through their gazes. No petty displeasure that was spoken through their ability to hold a glare. Just a casual meeting of eyes intent on reading into the other. Both having no success.
"I only wonder, can you keep yourself in one piece to see this through," C.C. commented.
"It's all over if I die anyway. What kind of comment is that?"
"That's not what I meant."
As he began to stew over the true meaning of her words, static began to sound through his transmitter. "This is Group B! We're under attack!" someone cried. "It's fast! It's more amazing than... agh!" static followed as the person trying to speak met a rather gruesome end. Lelouch ran a hand down his face in slight annoyance.
"What is it?" Lelouch demanded to nobody in particular.
"It's white! One Knightmare Frame! It's far superior to any Sutherland... gah!" Lelouch groaned as he saw the signal lost appear at various other points as well.
"In over your head yet?" C.C. asked with mirth, and Lelouch could feel that god awful smirk once again.
"Hardly," he responded half-heartily, despite the sweat running down his brow. "P1, P4, pull back. P2, fire your Slash Harken to the left in five seconds," Lelouch ordered. The units in question acquiesced without question, but their only reward was slightly delaying the Knightmare Frame before it was once again on the move. "This isn't a chess game anymore, brother," Lelouch commented with a tinge of deep rooted annoyance.
"This is P6! The white Knightmare Frame is coming this way... orders!" another man cried. Lelouch sighed, quickly running over anything he could do to solve the current issue that was certainly not something that could be addressed with his chess genius.
"P6, moves one hundred meters up, then do an about face and open fire. Q1, move two hundred fifty meters in your current direction and fire your Slash Harken. P4 and P7, follow the Knightmare Frame carefully and open fire when P6 does. If all else fails, Group A move toward sector 2-1. Group B's remnants move toward sector 3-3, and Group C toward sector 1-4," Lelouch ordered, carefully calculating his own move in response. 'Chess is not a good comparison to war,' Lelouch admitted sadly, urging his own Sutherland into movement.
"Is it wise for you to move?" C.C. asked, raising an eyebrow.
"How can the men follow if the King doesn't move?" Lelouch asked with a smirk, turning onto a rubble free road and continuing down it. "And it's about time I sought out my brother, anyway," he added. C.C. nodded condition-less acceptance as she continued to watch with interest as Lelouch continued along, and before long a large purple mobile base flying the flags of Britannia and carrying the same emblem at various points of it's body came into view.
"Stay here," Lelouch ordered, opening the cockpit and jumping out. He lowered himself to the ground, immediately hiding behind one of the Sutherland's legs. He peeked around the corner carefully, only to be welcomed with the sight he had hoped to see. "Good. Group CA attacked the guards here, just as I hoped," Lelouch said to himself with a smile, running out and grabbing one of the corpses that lay in the area. He pulled it back to his hiding place and quickly changed out of his school uniform and into the military uniform, as well as the cumbersome helmet that came with it, hiding the former in his suit.
"What's the situation?" Lelouch asked into his transmitter, having heard nothing from his units in some time. Much to his chagrin, of course.
"It's too strong! We delayed it momentarily, and have followed your orders to fall back," Ogi replied, his breath coming out in raspy gasps. Lelouch sighed; that one Knightmare Frame had driven him to only one possible course of action. Not one he hadn't intended to make at some point anyway, but that wasn't the point. When he could, Lelouch would make that Knightmare Frame pilot pay dearly for ruining his plan.
"Hold out for a while longer. If any group falls under attack, flee toward sector 2-7," Lelouch ordered, not in any mood to soothe them with words of victory. He couldn't exactly say he would force them to retreat, because that was simply absurd by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that he intended to do just that was completely irrelevant, in his eyes. Not to mention that he absolutely refused to admit defeat to one Knightmare Frame, or anyone for that matter, until he had no moves left. He was far too prideful for that.
"Now then, I'm coming Clovis," Lelouch said to himself with a slight chuckle. He made sure the helmet was secure over his head before proceeding forward. Thanks to the efforts of the not so loyal Group CA, the brief journey went without incident until he reached the mobile base itself. Standing outside was one guard, and Lelouch cursed his lack of physical strength but also blessed his different power. "What business have you with His Highness Prince Clovis?!" the guard soldier demanded, raising his gun.
Lelouch wasn't startled in the least. He pulled his helmet off and the bird sigil flickered in his left eye again. "Let me pass, and forget having seen me," Lelouch ordered, straight and to the point. And to his disdain, he saw the red outline meaning the soldier was bound to his order appear. It wasn't that he disliked the power itself; but rather the sign that showed their mindless obedience. It was a necessary power he knew, but it was one he hoped to be able to use only when necessary.
"Understood. Carry on," the soldier replied, raising his gun and stepping back. Lelouch nodded before placing the helmet over his head again, heading up the stairs the soldier had been guarding and into the mobile base. He proceeded through a series of halls, going seemingly unnoticed by anyone he happened to pass by. It wasn't long until he came to a large room with a large table in the center, a throne like seat at the far end and a large screen along the wall to his right.
"What are you doing?" Clovis asked bitterly. "Get back out there!" he ordered, waving an arm to the side angrily.
"May I have a word alone, Your Highness?" Lelouch asked. Clovis abruptly took a step back in shock; he didn't need any time to know who the soldier was. But he couldn't let others know that he and the seemingly ordinary soldier were more than what he was with any of his men, and so he instantly composed himself once again and nodded.
"Yes, of course. Men," he paused, gesturing toward a door opposite the one Lelouch stood at. Although hesitant, everyone present nodded and made for the door, disappearing behind it. At that moment Clovis' expression soured considerably, and he narrowed his eyes. "Lelouch, what was the meaning of this challenge?" he demanded.
Lelouch pulled his helmet off, smiling at Clovis. "I meant nothing sinister, dear brother. Just a poor choice of words on my own part."
"And why did you lead them?" Clovis demanded, not at all relieved by Lelouch's explanation. But Lelouch had expected such a bitter greeting.
"Britannia grows more and more corrupt with every conquest father sends it on, Clovis. Something needs to change," Lelouch explained. Clovis was abruptly taken aback. The Lelouch he knew over the past six years had always simply run off and used his mind to answer his various whims, and he had expected this to be just another whim. Lelouch did have an ulterior motive?
"And what do you plan to do?" Clovis asked, now calmer.
"Rebel," Lelouch replied bluntly. "Restore rightful order to the world, and strike down father. I have no qualms with Britannia itself, Clovis, but I do have qualms with father. Both with his nature and on a personal basis."
"And you do understand what you're risking?!" Clovis cried.
"Clovis," Lelouch started, sternly. "Can you tell me you've never had thoughts of change? Thoughts of taking father's place, and shaping Britannia as you see fit? Shaping the world as you see fit?" Lelouch asked, staring deep into Clovis' eyes who suddenly felt very unnerved in his younger brother's presence.
"Oh, dear brother," Lelouch broke Clovis from his shocked daze almost immediately. Lelouch walked forward, stretching one arm out and smiling, "Help me. Help those that father has made to suffer. Reshape Britannia into something that protects the weak, not push them away. We can do that, Clovis. We can change Britannia together."
"Lelouch..." Clovis took a step back, slightly frightened by the swirling emotions in his mind at that point.
"Let's change Britannia, my dear brother."
That was chapter one. Generally the same, minus a few tactics and a slightly more composed Lelouch when dealing with Suzaku (which I personally felt was a little out of place, but I tried changing it and it seemed even worse so I left it alone). And of course the noticeably more humane Lelouch, and the other changes I noted at the beginning. I also plan to use Clovis and Lelouch's relationship frequently later on, but I'm as of yet undecided where his relationship with Jeremiah will go. If you have personal opinions on that one, feel free to voice them.