Stage 24 "Remnant Wings"

It had been four months since the end of the Black Rebellion and the group that managed to take refuge in Luoyang had separated for the time being. Without a proper source of income to fund the reconstruction of the Black Knights it fell upon Feite to rise and utilize the Longinus Facility located deep in the heart of India to her advantage.

Inside the elaborate Luoyang Villa, Feite sat at a table overlooking an expansive pool and garden. A large breakfast was spread out on the table while she wore a loose fitting gown. Her face was fuller while her body was slightly larger than it was four months ago. Her stomach had grown causing suspicion in the ranks of the Black Knight as to who the father was. "Kallen, why aren't you eating?" Feite looked over while swallowing the last bits of a hearty helping of stacked pancakes. There was a small amount of whipped cream against the side of her mouth while Kallen let out a small laugh. "I've started to gain a few pounds recently and…." She threw her hands up while Feite returned with a piercing gaze. "It's just that I um…" Feite placed her fork down and sighed, "I don't blame you Kallen, I would love to lose some weight, but this little one needs to be born healthy."

Kallen's smile quickly faded while looking up to the sky. "I've heard that our spies in Area Eleven have come up a lot in the past months." Feite let out a small nod before taking a drink of orange juice. "With the high scale construction occurring in Japan, it's becoming easier to slip our personnel inside. Most of our surviving members that returned have become honorary Britannians…" Kallen wiped her lips with a cloth napkin and gently eyed Feite. "I see…did we find any information about the whereabouts of Lelouch…or I mean Zero yet?" She shook her head, and placed a napkin over her plate. "Nothing has come from any of our informants." Kallen's gaze turned into sorrow while turning away from Feite. "Why aren't you sad Feite? Isn't Lelouch the Father?"

Feite took a sip from the nearby cup of juice and nodded. "Yes, but I know that somewhere I will see Lelouch. I have gone through hell and back in order to return The Order of the Black Knights to what it originally was." Her hand shook at the cup of juice while she lowered her head. "I just have to be strong until…" Kallen stared over while tears ran down Feite's cheeks. "Feite…" She shook her head while wiping the tears off her face. "I'm sorry my emotions are getting the best of me again." Feite pushed the chair back and got up to her feet. "Feite it's okay, I'm your friend. I'm here for you." Kallen stood up with her hand clenched several inches from her heart. Feite smiled while turning up to the sky, "I know that Kallen; anyway I'm growing tired from the meal. I believe a nap is in order."

"Are you able to keep going in such a condition?" C.C. leaned against the wall while Feite passed by her. Feite rubbed her temple while grabbing hold of a nearby chair. "I need to make this world as beautiful for my child before I can let it view the world." She turned towards an antique statue in the center of the room. C.C. shook her head while grinning heavily. "Childbirth is difficult, you shouldn't take it lightly. If something were to happen to you, whatever we regained of the Black Knights would be destroyed." Feite moved her hand to her chest and nodded. "Even if my heart breaks every day we have no information concerning Lelouch. Are we even certain if he is alive?" C.C crossed over to the nearby table and removed an apple. "I'm certain that the Emperor is planning something to lure the two of us out. Until that moment comes, we need to protect what Lelouch created."

Meanwhile in an elaborate garden in mainland Britannia, Milly stood in front of a headstone holding a bouquet of flowers. Her eyes trembled slightly while reading the name.

'Feite A. Avalon'

'March 24, 1999 – October 24, 2017'

A few footsteps could be heard while Azalea walked over holding a single carnation in her hands. "I thought you had exams this week Milly." She let out a faint smile while Milly turned around with a sad look on her face. "Azalea why did Feite give her life for a person who didn't even care if she lived or died?" Azalea placed the flower against the headstone and shook her head. "I don't know Milly, Feite chose her own path, and unfortunately it caused her to meet her untimely end." Milly shook her head while wiping a few tears that had started to fall. "I should have paid more attention, everyone misses her….she was irreplaceable."

Azalea glanced at her with a sympathetic look, and sighed. "It hurts me the most, as Feite was a symbol of spiritual strength. She was my inspiration of making the world a better place. As much as I want to hate Kururugi Suzaku for ending Feite's life, I am grateful he ended her life before she could tarnish her name further." Milly looked over her shoulder, "Azalea, will you please ask grandfather to regain his senses? He hasn't left the apartment Feite lived in for the past four months." Azalea looked up at the sky while trying to hold back her tears. "He is still taking it harder than anyone else. Feite was his favorite, ever since she was terminally ill and fought for all those years. I'll see if I can do anything."

"Thank you, that will remove some of the burden left on my shoulders. School has become hectic in the past few weeks; I'm not sure how Feite passed all the graduation exams." Milly paused while letting out a mild laugh. Azalea nodded while taking a few steps from the headstone. "She possessed several traits that made her a candidate to be one of the world's premier minds. Not many women are born with beauty, intelligence, and a good sense of morality." Milly ran her hand alongside the headstone and lowered her head. "Feite, I'll bring the kindness you gave the Student Council during your time with me. So please wait and I'll make everyone forget that you were ever involved with the black Knights." Azalea raised an eyebrow while looking down at Milly. 'Milly, you are much too naïve still…Feite would be happy to hear those supportive words.'

The afternoon sun was high into the sky while Feite tossed and turned in her bed. Her eyes shot open while she quickly sat up with sweat running down her face. Her hand grabbed hold of her chest while the image of Suzaku walking away with Lelouch flashed in front of her eyes. An empty look exited her eyes while she blankly stared down at her hands.

"Lady Feite are you okay?" Sayoko bowed her head while entering the room. She looked over at Feite while she stayed perfectly still. "I'm fine…Sayoko." Her voice was full of despair while tears fell down her cheeks. "Is there something you have ever regretted?" Sayoko looked over with a comforting gaze, and nodded. "Everyone has feelings like that Feite, if you fall down; it's up to you to find a way to stand back up. I'm sure you will find your way…." Feite looked up while it was obvious her heart was already shattered. Her emotions were running rampant while her stoic façade had long since shattered. "I miss him Sayoko….I want him to be next to me. I want him to say everything will be alright."

C.C. stared from the doorway and shook her head. 'I need to find Lelouch before Feite completely loses herself to despair…' She kicked off the wall, and started down the hallway. She passed by a few of the lesser member of the knights and stopped besides Urabe. "Urabe, I need the information about our spies in Area Eleven, I need to get in touch with them." Urabe looked over with his eyebrow raised high. "Why do you need to contact Haruka? Are we going to act?" C.C. shook her head while turning over at Feite's room at the top of the stairwell. "No, I'm going to need the support of her in order to gain information about someone in the underground." Urabe crossed his arms over his chest, and sighed. "I don't know why you'd want to get someone from the underworld, but I'll give you Haruka's radio number." C.C. let out a small nod, and continued down the hallway.

In the dead of night, Suzaku woke up drenched in sweat while his hand moved to his forehead. "The same nightmares for a few days now…are you haunting my dreams Feite? Because I left you to die alone?" He pulled the covers of him and crossed over to the open window. 'The world has become more stable, but Lelouch still exists in this world. The Emperor has corrected the flaws that made him start the black rebellion…a cost that makes your existence vanish within his heart.'

Suzaku closed his eyes while the cool breeze brushed across his skin. He turned down to the framed picture resting on the nearby nightstand. "If only we could return to the days where you were free of Lelouch's grasp. I would stop you from performing…." He paused while pulling out a handgun off the nightstand. The picture fell off and shattered against the floor while the laser sight was pinpointed on V.V. "Did I scare you Kururugi?" Suzaku lowered the gun, and exhaled softly. "Why are you here V.V.?" V.V. crossed over to the open balcony doors and laughed. "You still believe she is dead don't you."

He turned over with his eyes wide. "Feite is dead; I left her with mortal wounds! She would have bled out within an hour." V.V. held up his finger, and smiled. "Her body was never recovered, that is suspicious enough Lord Kururugi. She could very well be wearing the mantle of Zero as we speak preparing to destroy the peace we brought to Area Eleven." Suzaku shook his head while placing the gun back onto the nightstand. His hands gripped the sides of his head while letting out a small groan. "You're lying; Feite is dead…there is no chance she could live from those wounds." V.V. snickered while tucking his hands into his jacket pockets. "If I were to get proof would you believe me Lord Kururugi? After-all you gained the title of Knight of Six by defeating Feite Avalon and turning Zero over to the Emperor." Suzaku growled at the top of his lungs and threw his hand at the wall. A loud slam filled the bedroom while V.V. jumped at the unexpected reaction. "Leave me alone!"

Inside a fitting room, Lelouch's Zero uniform sat on a mannequin. A new and recently polished helmet sat on top. Feite stood inside the room while staring at the reflection on her face on the mask. "What am I going to do? I may as well take upon the guise of Zero if you are not found Lelouch." Her hands moved up to the helmet, and pulled it off the mannequin. 'is it possible for me to become the symbol you created?' Feite rotated the helmet around before placing it over her head.

"Feite…" Kallen stepped into the room and paused while Feite turned around. "Kallen..." She let out a faint grin while leaning on the nearby wall. "So this is where you ran off to. The mask doesn't suit you." Feite let out a small nod while removing the mask off her face. "I guess so, but Kallen if needed should we continue our rebellion I may have to wear this mask in Lelouch's place." Kallen chuckled and quickly moved her hand over her mouth. "What's so funny?" Feite glared over at her while Kallen sighed. "We'd have to tailor the outfit to fit your body. The image of a pregnant zero just came to mind." Feite's face turned red while she growled in annoyance. "I wouldn't be pregnant anymore when I decide to wear this! If I could run right now…" She took a few steps over while Kallen ran to the opposite side of the room. "Can you catch me?" Feite leaned over a nearby chair while holding her stomach. "You are a devil Kallen."

"Hey excuse me breaking in on your fun, but Kaguya has arrived with someone that wants to speak with you." Urabe caught his breath while looking over his shoulder. Kallen paused while Feite took a deep breath. "Who is it?" Urabe let out a small grin, "Someone that seems to have acknowledged you are the current leader of the Black Knights." Feite shook her head while walking over to the doorway. "I'm not the current leader, I'm the benefactor…" Urabe bowed while a grin formed over his face. "You saved me from being captured, as I see it you're the leader." Kallen let out a small nod while extending her hand out. "Let's not make Kaguya and her guest wait."

The door leading into the study opened while a tall gallant looking Chinese man stood beside a short thirteen year old girl. "Don't be scared Empress, I am here to watch over you." Tianzi shook her head while looking up at the second floor of the expansive study. "This place is nearly as wide as the palace, are you sure a Britannian owns this estate Xingke?" Xingke let out a small nod while following the Empress's eyes. "Yes, a powerful Britannian owns this facility one that has been allowed to have an audience on the outside walls of the palace."

"I'm not that powerful…" Feite walked down the spiral staircase slowly using the railing as a support. Xingke and Tianzi look up to see Feite descending the stares. Xingke's eyes widen while Tianzi turns over. "She's really beautiful Xingke…" Xingke let out a small nod while Feite reached the bottom floor his eyes narrow at her pregnant silhouette. "It's a pleasure to meet you Empress Tianzi." Feite bowed her head while the small girl waved her hand. "You don't need to be formal, if you're Kaguya's friend you don't need to." Xingke crossed his arms over his chest while Feite got back to a standing posture. "Good, because in my current state it's hard to even tie my shoes. I'm sure Kaguya has told you of why I've occupied this old mansion." Tianzi let out a small nod while turning up to Xingke. "The Empress is well aware of your intentions with the Black Knights. We simply want you to keep your presence here a secret, and not drag China to enter a war with Britannia. We are already on shaken ground with them after the event that took place several months ago." Feite let out a small nod and extended her hand to the large table in the center of the room. "Shall we be seated? I wouldn't want to keep you standing when you are guests in my care."

Xingke walked Tianzi to the table, and allowed her to sit before taking a seat of his own. "If you don't mind my asking, are you truly the Feite Avalon that killed Euphemia Li Britannia?" His eyes stared into Feite's eyes finding his answers almost instantly. Her eyes were filled with experiences of sorrow, and happiness. "Yes, I am Feite Avalon it's a pleasure to meet you…" Xingke bowed his head while holding his arm over his chest. "I am Li Xingke, I was shocked at first, but may I ask who the father of your child is?" Feite let out a humble laugh while Tianzi had her eyes fixed on Feite's eyes. "I would like to know that as well…is the father Zero?" Feite let out a mild chuckle while moving her hand to mask her laugh. "No, the father was killed during the Black Rebellion…" Her laugh faded while making a genuine sorrowful expression. "I didn't mean to bring up bad memories forgive me." Xingke lowered his head while Feite simply shook her head. "Don't worry Li Xingke. I will be able to live on with the last gift he gave me."

"I see, if you don't mind me asking one more question. Why have you not moved a majority of your personnel to Horai Island? I believe we've granted you a sizable allocation on that artificial island." Xingke crossed his arms over his chest while glaring over at Feite. "My personnel consists of a handful of people Xingke, we only have twelve Knightmare capable pilots, and no more than seven others involved in information duties." Feite stared over at Tianzi and let out a smile. She shyly returned a nod while Xingke shook his head. "I will tell you this; the High Eunuchs want you out of China. They are also very annoyed that a woman like you is the current leader of the Black Knights." Feite raised an eyebrow and let out an interested laugh. "Really, they are afraid of women? Or just one like myself?" Xingke shook his head while holding his hand out. "Tianzi, our time we were allotted to leave the palace is about to expire, we should return." He paused allowing Tianzi to get out of the chair and walk to his side. "I want to stay out more, Feite you are exactly what Kaguya said you were. A woman I hope to grow up and become." Feite shook her head and smiled. "I'm honored to be a role model for you. It was a pleasure to meet you Li Xingke, and you Empress Tianzi. "

The doors closed leading out of the study closed while Feite rubbed her forehead. 'They want me to leave China…does that mean I'd have to try my hand at swaying the Europeans?' She shook her head while Kallen descended the staircase. "So, can we trust that Li Xingke?" Feite looked over her shoulder, and nodded. "My sister speaks highly of that man. He is honorable, and dedicated to the Tianzi. The Eunuchs are manipulating her to benefit their own lives. The people are living in a deplorable state at the moment, the country as a whole is reaching a breaking point."

Kallen reached the first floor and walked over to the table. "What do you mean by that?" Feite rested her forehead against her open palm. Her eyes glared down at the tabletop while groaning. "The people are what the government should be watching out for. Without the people, those that govern them are nothing…that is why revolution stirs heavily in corrupt portions of the world. Xingke a man of military background knows that rule very well. The people are what run the country, not a group of corrupt officials." Kallen looked over at the window, and sighed. "Do you think the Eunuchs will try something to make us head to Horai?" Feite crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head. "They fear something, but I wonder why now they are telling me to leave?"

Meanwhile onboard one of the three artificial islands called Horai, Rakshata disembarks a helicopter after a lengthy trip from India. She stretched her arms out while glancing over at the open hanger in the distance. A smile appeared on her face while tucking her pipe into her lips. "The ocean air is so refreshing to feel on my skin." She looked over her shoulder while the Helicopter opened its large storage bay. "Unload the machine; we need to get the test arm installed."

A small Knightmare bed moved down the transport helicopter's ramp into the bright view of the sun. A repaired Guren moved down the bed with most of its damage repaired from the Black Rebellion. Its right arm was removed and covered with a thick tarp while the bed locked onto a transport truck. "Move it to hanger B, and hurry up and get the supplemental parts unloaded!" She pulled a box of matches from her pocket and removed one to light her pipe.

Rakshata blew the smoke out from the side of her mouth while staring off at the crashing waves at the sides of the island. She let out a faint grin while walking towards the hanger in the distance. "It's time to get started on repairing this machine…." The bay door opened showing the Voulge standing with its armor still battered from its run with the mysterious Siegfried Giga Fortress. "My my this is going to be more of a hassle than repairing the Guren." She tapped her pipe against her palm while the hot ash fell to the ground.

Several Months later

At the newly constructed airport deep within the Tokyo Concession a familiar face stepped through the terminal with a handful of other students from mainland Britannia. "My it's nice to be back in Area eleven isn't it brother?" Lelouch stood dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a hooded zip-up jacket while turning over to Rolo. "Yes, but we'll be able to return to our studies…" Lelouch shook his head and lightly tapped his temple. "Come Rolo, we just returned from a brief vacation, I don't want to think of Ms. Villetta's remedial classes." He took a few steps forward while Rolo glared up. "Why is that Lelouch? I guess that's why I'm the more successful twin." Rolo let out a brief smile while looking over his shoulder at the terminal.

"Everyone, get into proper lines we're going to retrieve our luggage before returning to the campus." Villetta Nu stood at the head of the large crowd of students while placing her hands into her track jacket. "Has everyone disembarked yet?" She glanced through the crowd noticing Lelouch standing beside Rolo and nodded. "Very well, let's go."

"Wait a minute we're missing a person." Rolo moved his hand through his hair and threw his hand at the doorway. "Ara!" Shirley toppled out of the terminal with her purse in hand. Her eyes were wide while she tripped and hit the ground.

"What a clumbsy girl." Villetta placed her against her face while shaking it in disappointment. "We're going on ahead, Rolo will you and Lelouch be kind to meet us at the Luggage pickup?" Rolo let out a cool sigh while shrugging. "I guess so Villetta, but you know how Lelouch and I like to listen to directions." Villetta scowled over at Rolo while nodding slightly. 'Luckily, I can tell the differences between the two, but why did they send a person who looks exactly like Lelouch to assist me?'

"My, my Shirley a little time lag messing with you?" Rolo leaned over Shirley while holding his hand to her. Shirley rubbed her bottom while looking up at him. Her cheeks blushed slightly while she grabbed hold of his hand. "Thank you Lelouch." Rolo's eyes widen while he sighed to himself. "I'm Rolo, my eyes are a different color okay?" He pointed to his eyes while Lelouch leaned against a nearby telephone booth. "Rolo if you're finished we should go meet up with Villetta." Shirley let out a pout and dusted off her jacket while Rolo's smile made her feel uneasy. "I'm sorry…thanks Rolo."

Inside the partially closed off mansion, Feite walked through the walls holding a small child in her hand. Her heels click against the polished floor while wearing a pair of slacks, and a form fitting jacket. An ascot was tied around her neck while the blanket wrapped bundle slept easily against her chest. "My, it's already been three months since you were born Arcadia." Feite adjusted her arm slightly while smiling at her baby. "You are such a gentle child…" She turned over to the hallway where Sayoko stood.

"Sayoko, have the preparations been made?" Feite stared over with a dominating look while Sayokoo nodded. "Yes, ma'am most of the personnel have moved over to Horai. Will we be leaving any time soon?" She shook her head while turning over to the window. "I need a few more minutes to say goodbye." Sayoko let out a soft nod while holding her hands over her lap. "Very Well Feite, I will make preparations for your departure." Feite nodded while Sayoko disappeared down the stairwell. Her eyes turned back to the window and stared at the expansive driveway of the estate. "Arcadia, this building is your first home. We'll have to say goodbye to it for the time being, we'll return when we destroy the world."

"Destroy the world? Those were Lelouch's words if I'm not mistaken." C.C. walked down the hallway wearing a white woman's suit. Her jacket was unbuttoned while her petite frame came into view.

"C.C. when did you decide to come out of the shadows?" Feite turned around while leaning against the nearby wall.

C.C. stared over at the child, and smiled briefly. "There have been some improvements in our search for Lelouch. It's become difficult to some extent." Feite let out a sigh while closing her eyes. "What kind of difficulty? Did you find him?" C.C. crossed her arms over her chest, and nodded. "Yes, and from what I hear a twin is attending Ashford Academy with him. A Rolo Lamperouge…" Feite's eyes shot open while her body seemed to jerk causing Arcadia to cry. "That is impossible, Lelouch doesn't…." She adjusted her arm while bobbing Arcadia. "It's okay….mommy just got angry." C.C. chuckled while Arcadia seemed to fall asleep almost quickly within a few minutes. "I know; it's difficult to explain. Also, Lelouch is being watched by a group in order to prevent him reverting to Zero." Feite scoffed while kicking off the wall and staring off down the hallway. "Revert to Zero? I'm starting to see a little, but can you elaborate more?" C.C. tucked her hands away into her pockets. "The Emperor appears to have altered Lelouch's memories; he probably doesn't know he was Zero, or even a prince of Britannia. That is why Nunally has been replaced by the so called twin."

Feite bit her lip while trying to hide the agitation forming in her brow. "So, how will we approach Lelouch?" C.C. grinned while pulling a coin from her pocket. "Lelouch is still the same person, and loves the challenge of games." She flipped the coin in her hand and quickly caught it. "Babel Tower Casino? Are you sure that he'll go there?" C.C. shrugged her shoulders, and turned to the nearby statue. "There is a rumor circulating at the Casino of a boy who hustles his opponents in games of chess. I believe we should send Kallen to become employed at this establishment to confirm this rumor." Feite let out a sigh while C.C. opened the door leading out to the balcony. "Then I guess we should make preparations of returning to Area Eleven."

The bright sunlight shined through the balcony while Feite stepped out staring at the rear of the estate. "What's this?" C.C. crossed her arms while Feite spotted the Black Knightmare frame. The backpack of the large frame resembled the Sarissa while the armor itself was molded after a Samurai's armor. The Kabuto shimmered in the light while the Voulge's face came into view. "Rakshata did a few modifications to your Voulge. She thought instead of looking like a Britannian model, it should resemble something like the other machines. This is the Kusanagi...your new Knightmare frame."

Feite's eyes were wide while looking at the sleeker limbs and the pair of katana like swords on the hip armor of the machine. "It's not even Christmas yet, and you've brought me a worthwhile gift C.C." C.C. smiled while Sayoko walked up behind them. "Shall we head out now Milady?" Feite's moth was wide while nodding over at the two. "Yes, Sayoko can you please take care of Arcadia until we arrive at Horai?" C.C. let out a mocking laugh while Feite handed her child over. "Anxious to test out the machine? Your skills may have degraded since your pregnancy." Feite tugged on her gloves while nodding. "My skills only get better C.C. I'll see you at Horai."

Feite leaped up the back of the Knightmare, and entered the dark cockpit. The cockpit sealed while the familiar activation system started up. The breastplate locked her to the seat while her arms grip the controls. A large group of monitors flashed around her forming into a half sphere around her body. Her eyes widen while bringing up a view from the camera at her rear. Feite zoomed in on Arcadia while taking in a deep breath. 'I'm coming for you Lelouch!"

The legs of the Kusanagi bent downward while the flight pack moved open while deploying its float system. The semi-translucent color of the wings caused particles to form near the back of the machine while it kicked off into the sky. A small amount of wind blew through C.C.'s hair while Sayoko shielded Arcadia from the gust. "It would seem that Lelouch's Knight has returned to duty." Sayoko smiled while Arcadia moved her small hand to Sayoko's finger. She turned to the small child and nodded. "It would seem so…shall we head over C.C.-san?"

Cue ~Flow – Colors~

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Author's Final Corner, hey everyone it's been a long time since I started the fic, and was shocked at how popular it has become. I hope you like the direction I'm going, and I have high hopes of turning Season Two into something worthwhile….

Also, I've changed Rolo's character a great deal to match the version of him in "Knightmare of Nunally." I found Rolo's weak characteristic was rather boring and decided to make him more of a decent character that can be likable. Basically new-Rolo is a replacement for Rai as I killed him off a little prematurely.

I also was very shocked at one of you guessed right in the reviews. It brought a smile to my face knowing that someone had suspicions of what was about to happen. It took me awhile to find a decent name for the baby, and I eventually went to Arcadia. It sounds like it could be used as a noble's name, and it seemed to fit with Avalon, Lamperouge, and Vi Britannia. I'm going to find it funny to write Lelouch's reaction to Feite when she shows him little Arcadia.

In the end I decided that the Voulge should get totaled, and revamped into something a little more familiar with the Guren, and Gekka series. So instead of looking at the Voulge's original inspiration point, Full Metal Panic, I decided to take a few things from Gundam 00. The Kusanagi, basically borrows a look from the Masurao of 00 combined with the sturdy skeletal design of the Arbalest from FMP. I hope to show you the power of the Kusanagi in the future.

Until we meet again in R2, See ya!