Fate/Geass: The Eden Vital War
Disclaimer: In this particular universe, I do not own or in any way shape or form hold a claim to the Code Geass, Fate/Stay Night or any other modern works that I may reference in this story.
Long ago, there was a war between Code-bearers and their Geass gifted armies over the power of Eden Vital, a war that destroyed the legendary continent of Atlantis and sent mankind back to the Stone Age. To prevent this, direct confrontations between Code-bearers are now forbidden, with disagreements to be resolved in a ritualized war of champions. But when V.V does the unthinkable and violates this tradition, he will soon learn that he is not the only one able to bend the rules for victory.
" " denotes speech
'bold' denotes location names
'bold italics' denotes skill use
In the midst of a grassy field that stretched on into the horizon, a vast expanse of rustling blades of green, a dark-haired wanderer laid himself to rest as he gazed up at the silver moon hanging low in an ebon sky, spending a rare moment lost in thought. There was nothing to distract him in this place, no signs of human presence, no sounds from any animals, just the warlock and the whispering wind, his purple eyes almost wistful as his hands traced runes and lines and magic symbols, constellations of focused thought aglow with inner light, weaving a molten gold and silver tapestry of whorls and arcs and rays. A bagatelle, really, for someone with all the time in the world...
How many years had it been since he had taken up the mantle of Counter Guardian and Code-bearer, roles given to him as the last wish of a once immortal witch? Who knew, really, and for that matter, did it really matter? One moment blended into the next in the infinite expanse of time, flowing ever onward to eternity, with all that mattered being that humanity continued to survive the dark times in its history and its present, growing to become more than he as Lelouch Lamperouge could have imagined.
In the present day, there were silver ships streaking across the solar system, flitting from planet to planet, and half the stars in the sky were not stars at all, but cities in space, each twinkling with light. Even the moon was dotted here and there by points of golden light, each a cluster of activity for mining, research, and simply living, with the farside hosting shipyards for interstellar vessels.
'Things have really changed since 2017 ATB…,' the Dawn Wanderer thought, smirking slightly as he recalled how primitive things had been—though his lips quirked into a frown as he remembered the cyclic nature of civilization, and how the Grey Witch had seen so many rise and fall. 'I wonder how much of now will be remembered 12,000 years later, when I have lived for as long as C.C.…how much of truth will turn to legend, fact to mere myth passed down and distorted over time.'
The first centuries had been the hardest, as everyone he knew—save one, had passed away, with the Wanderer and his Q-1 left as the only ones unchanging…until at last their period in history was simply that—dry history to be read from textbooks, of the reformation of the Britannian Empire, the exploits of the Black Knights, the founding of the United Federation of Nations—though much of what was recorded was incorrect, since Code-R, the Eden Vital War, and a number of other minor details had been left out.
'Even the true nature of the War was unknown, though I hadn't really expected anything else…' the Wanderer mused silently, his purple eyes staring out into nothingness as he thought of those early days that he had lived through, remembering the mental voice of C.C. asking if he wished to live—and if so, telling him to accept a contract as her sword. 'Mortal memory is fallible, after all, and nothing lasts forever…not even information, not even truth. Things change, events are rewritten by those that tell and interpret them, and so new stories are told, new histories spun, new things for people to remember.'
So the warlock accepted most of these errors as a matter of fact, though he did get annoyed by some accounts of history that were grossly inaccurate—for example, those featuring the heroism and elite Knightmare Piloting abilities of Shinichirō Tamaki of all people.
'Zero, yes. Kallen, yes. Even the inaccurate perception of myself, I'll accept, but as for Tamaki…err…I acknowledge that the man was always…enthusiastic, but…elite Knightmare Pilot is not the word I would use to describe him. I concede that managing a mutual kill with the Knight of Nine took courage and daring, but-'
Even so, he was not quite willing to remember the Internal Cleaning Supporter as an Ace Pilot.
Still, it was interesting to see what accounts were remembered, how many had been lost during those final battles of the Eden Vital War, and what had become of everyone afterwards.
'Interesting to see how Anya eventually rose to become Prime Minister of Britannia in her own right, on top of regaining most of her Knightmare piloting abilities. As for Archduke Lloyd Asplund—after his brief stint as Interrex, and then as Britannian Minister of Science, he went on to found the International Aerospace Exploration Agency, becoming known as the father of space travel, with Cecile Asplund née Croomy becoming the first person to walk on the surface of the moon—well, devicer, at any rate.'
As for stories about him, the Wanderer was amused to see that he had been recorded in history as a dark Wraith of Vengeance, with the Ace of the Black Knights at his right hand, as they utterly smashed aside Britannia—though thankfully, his identity remained safe from the history books.
'Still, I wonder what they would think if they knew I was still alive today…and Kallen with me, the two of us passing eternity together,' the warlock mused, chuckling at the likely responses. 'No doubt I would be called a demon, just as back then—just as C.C. endured her share of hangings, burnings, shootings by firing squad and so forth.'
Not that he tended to interfere too much with the course of human society these days, intervening when the world was in peril, otherwise simply blending into society or traveling the ways less used, playing up a variety of identities at need—a gambling chess player, for one (which always worked for a bit of income in one form or another), a cart driver, a pilot, a cook, a programmer, a freelance writer—or a model for artists, who always were in need of some, and to whom his dark nature appealed.
'What can I say? I'm a jack of all trades,' the Wanderer thought smugly. 'Now, Kallen on the other hand…well, she's good at what she does, if a tad impulsive. But I knew that from the beginning, when she was but Servant Rider and I, Avenger…though I didn't know that her cooking skills were so sub-par.'
Given that the first time he had decided to take a day off from his cooking responsibilities, the resulting meal had looked like a mass of charcoal on peat moss, the raven-haired immortal felt himself justified in thinking that—though he would concede that she had improved markedly over the years (enough so that he found her cooking palatable, as opposed to just barely edible), just as his own physical endurance and hand-eye coordination had also improved from the sorry state it had been in once. A few centuries was more than enough to brush up on one's weak points, after all.
'Or to discover new talents as the opportunity comes...it isn't as is I don't have a good deal of time on my hands...'
Looking up at the sky, the Wanderer smiled, noting that it was filled with quite a bright darkness, much like the night when he had first entered C.C.'s mind… the moon hanging low in the sky, the grassy field that was like a black sea illuminated by ghostly moonlight and fireflies, rustling in the wind.
'It was only a few months that I knew her,' the Grey Warlock mused quietly, remembering how they had met—and how they parted, both with one or the other dying on the field of battle. 'And yet, meeting C.C. changed my life, giving me the power to change my reality. I wonder sometimes, how far I've actually come, and how much longer the journey will continue…whether or not I will indeed linger until the end.'
For he wasn't so naïve to think that he would truly live forever, as even immortals would fade away in time—especially those bound to a concept like the human unconscious. If the rest of humanity were to die, he would surely lose the protection of the Code and crumble away to dust. Counter Guardian he might be, Knight of Zero and his master's sword…but no matter how durable a sword is, it will slowly wear away with use, or simply over time, as existence took its toll.
'To an immortal, each day is a variation upon a theme, seeming repetitions of one another, but if one looks closely, no two are quite the same—much like snowflakes,' he thought, beginning to wonder if that was why the green-haired witch had had so much ice and snow in her phantasm world, to remind herself that though she had seen an endless expanse of time pass by, there were variations yet unseen. 'No matter how trivial the differences may seem, all the coincidences build on one another, cascading…so that each and every day is an irreplaceable moment I can never return to.'
He had learned that lesson quickly, when C.C. vanished into the ether, returning to the World of C.
In the years the Wanderer had been alive, he had made many memories, and was able to recall many things that happened, each nostalgic in their own way. Happiness, sadness, joy and grief, hope and despair, love and hate, birth and death. Countless worries, countless frustrations—but countless moments of insight all the same, as well as how important a bit of warmth could be on a cold night, a bit of comfort and familiarity in an alien world.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
And so his heart beat onward, a metronome by which to count the ages, though it had slowed with time, not as excitable as it once was. It seemed that C.C. had been correct—machines, bodies, and spirits were all alike in this way, wearing down.
'I wonder…just how long will I be able to continue living out these endless days, running through time and spurning death?'
At that thought, the warlock laughed, as the future was not something he could know—not the absolute future, anyway, though he could approximate it with his calculations—if fate didn't throw a monkey wrench or an unexpected variable into a scenario. And as for fate—why…even that was uncertain.
The whisper of the midnight wind.
"—hey you. It's dangerous just lying around like that."
But his reverie was interrupted by an all too familiar voice, the one that started him down this lonely road. He looks up, and—
Eh?" he managed weakly, momentarily stunned by who he saw.
'It's been more than a thousand years now…'
"What do you mean, 'eh'?" his former Master replied with a soft velvety laugh. "You certainly have an awful lot of free time on your hands if you can lie around in this world. You were this close to being stepped on, so you'd better watch out."
The Reaper in White said this with a hint of amusement, crossing her arms across her chest.
"Oh, but didn't you hear, I have all the time in the world, thanks to a certain witch," the Wanderer shot back sardonically, propping himself up with his elbows to get a better look at her. "Besides, who would step on a tired old man like me?"
"Isn't it obvious, boy?" C.C. declared confidently with a hint of amusement, a hint of a smirk on her face. "You and I are the only ones here, so who else could it be but me? Besides, you're one to talk…who was the one who accepted the contract with me in the first place? "
Stifling the urge to laugh, the raven-haired immortal glanced over towards the voice to see a beautiful woman clad all in white looking back at him, long green hair spilling to the small of her back, warm amber eyes piercing him where he lay upon the ground, as if taking his measure as a man after all these years apart.
The wind blew, unsettling loose strands of the Grey Witch's long green hair, each shimmering in the light of the moon.
"You know, I had the feeling that I'd meet you again one of these days," he sighed, thinking of all that they had shared, the gifts she had left him with. "Still, I didn't think it would be today, so I have to wonder if this is..."
"...a dream? Who can say...you always did think too much, Avenger. Compared to how long we each have lived, each moment might as well be a fleeting dream," C.C. replied, shaking her head slightly. "Whether it is or not, I leave to you…you're the Code-bearer this time around, aren't you?"
"I see you haven't changed, my dear witch," the Grey Warlock chuckled, a genuinely satisfied smile on his face for the first time in a while. "Just as I expected…though I never expected you to give up your immortality for my sake."
"What can I say…even I am sometimes vulnerable to a young girl's foolishness once in a while," answered a more vulnerable C.C., looking at him with the eyes he knew so well. "Besides, the only ones who should kill are those willing to be killed, right?"
"—either way, I'm glad to see you," the young man whispered, patting the ground beside him. "Come and sit, if you will."
"Don't mind if I do," the Witch replied saucily, slinking over and curling up against her former Servant's side, enjoying their shared warmth in the chill night air, resting their bodies in the wind as they gazed into the distance, enjoying the company one another for the first time in many, many years. "Not exactly a creature of blood and fire anymore, are you?"
"No…just an unyielding shadow," the Warlock murmurs contentedly as his free hands trace errant circles on C.C.'s soft cheers. "Just as you were once. Just as you are now, lingering in this place..."
"Touché," the Reaper in White rejoins, waggling her eyebrows in acknowledgement of the hit. "I see that you understand more of what it means to be an immortal."
A shadow passing through major events. Sad ones, miserable ones, disasters—wars. The peace following the Eden Vital War had not been forever—nothing was, though not nearly as serious. But there had been precious moments too, memories of human accomplishments, successes, "miracles"—all of which were tiny fragments making up the mosaic of his years.
Moments such as these, so very fleeting.
"You know, of all the things you told me once, what I hold most dear is your true name and the last words you spoke," he said at last to his companion. "Even with the knowledge you've given me, even with all else, those two moments stand out."
"What's in a name, really?" the Witch asked her warlock throatily. "The meanings for those will fade away in time, like everything else. Memories fading, feelings changing, as fickle as the winds."
"Sometimes I think you're just bitter because no one remembers who you were in the ages of the world, all the lives you've touched, all the fates you've changed," the Wanderer teased, a tiny wry smile quirking the edges of his lips. "Just as no one remembers me."
"The world will forget, you know," C.C. spoke ruefully, giving her former Servant a considering look. "Everyone does, in time."
"I'll remember," the warlock murmured gently, his face moving ever so slightly, as their lips met in a soft and tender kiss. It lasted only seconds, an insignificant span of time by any measure, especially to an immortal, but in the end, the feelings were real enough. "I'll remember, my dear Caren Cybele Ortensia."
"You are a very selfish boy," the Reaper whispered as the two broke apart.
"Of course," the immortal replied cheekily. "I learned from the best after all."
"Flatterer," she chided, though there was no anger in her words, as the two simply rested in each other's warmth, enjoying each other's simple presence in a stolen interlude in this land of memories under an eternal glass moon, content to know that they would remember one another, even if no one else did in the world they had given their lives to create.
Was it a dream? Maybe, but then, weren't dreams the stuff that gave life meaning? At the very least, they had their memories of one another, as time spun on unto the end, the siren song of eternity weaving and wefting ever onwards...
And for those two, the witch and her warlock, that was more than enough.
A/N: And so we arrive at the very end. Its been quite a journey, but I'd like to thank you all for your patronage, for reading, and for your patience in putting up with any delays I may have had with updating. May we journey together as more stories unfold in future days. ~ AlfheimWanderer