Disclaimer: Still don't own any of it
Tohdoh silently meditated.
It was an act that was starting to greatly irritate Ohgi ever since they were herded onto the transport.
The Sith had arrived at their residences early that morning; in the aftermath of the failed rebel attack. It wasn't the thugs from the local puppet government, but the grey armored soldiers of the occupying army who came to arrest the two former Black Knights. Ohgi had been caught by surprise while Tohdoh almost seemed to have expected the arrests; even putting his affairs in order and saying his peace with Nagisa before the Sith had arrived.
Oghi had no such luxury; he had only a brief moment to say goodbye to Villetta and the kids before the Sith hauled him away. He had gone willingly of course since he did not want to endanger his family, but it would have been appreciated if he was allowed make a formal farewell. Instead, he was grabbed by the arms and thrown into the transport by a pair of soldiers.
From Tokyo, the two were taken to Penglai where they were imprisoned in a temporary holding facility. Ohgi had heard that the former headquarters of the Black Knights had changed since the Sith took over; but he was unprepared for how much it changed. The island had once been a bastion of freedom and now it had been replaced by a dreariness of oppression. All there was now was black and grey; no sense of life anywhere.
After a few days of solitary confinement, the two were taken to the spaceport and crammed into the back of a small shuttle. Ohgi was slightly annoyed about the simplicity of it all. After all, they were legends as heroes for justice; one would think that they should have received a grander display. Britannia would have given them that for being leaders of the Black Knights.
The small compartment they were kept in contained only themselves and a single war droid. The droid held a blaster rifle and stared straight ahead at them; Both Tohdoh and Ohgi sat on one side of the compartment while the droid sat on the other side. Both men were shackled and dressed in grey prison garbs.
"Where do you think we are going?" asked Ohgi as Tohdoh opened his eyes. The former General said nothing and continued to stare straight ahead. Ohgi was about to ask again when the transport began to lift off.
"Wonder why we were arrested? It's not like we are a threat to them," stated the former Prime Minister. Tohdoh stayed silent and Ohgi just sighed.
It was a true statement; with his wife and kids, Ohgi realized that any attempt to resist would put them in harms way. The Sith were far more brutal in their occupation than Britannia ever was. Tohdoh also seemed to realize it as well; they never discussed it but the fact that the former General stayed retired was evidence enough.
The former member of the Black Knights also suspected that it went deeper; the old General appeared to have changed ever since the Sith managed to successfully occupy the planet. Ohgi could never forget the shock and horror on Tohdoh's face when the Sith Lord exposed Suzaku Kururugi as Zero in front of the world. Ohgi was also astounded as well and very confused since Suzaku was an advent Britannia supporter as well as a Knight of the Rounds.
It was also perplexing on why Suzaku betrayed Lelouch vi Britannia since he was the former Emperor's personal Knight. Ohgi and Villetta had discussed the issue to some length; neither could come up with a reason why. Lelouch was Zero and for Suzaku to masquerade as Zero was just plain strange to the married couple. They also believed that they should have known something was up early since "Zero" did not have the same military genius as in the last war.
Suzaku, as Zero, had blundered quite a few times as the UFN fought back during the Sith invasion. There had been many engagements that should have gone well for the Black Knights if not for Suzaku; the Battle of Shanghai should have been a victory if artillery had been used instead of a direct assault on the Sith Army. The decision to not to use indirect fire units had been Zeros.
The final engagement, the Battle of Kyoto, was now called the worst military mistake in Earth history. Instead of hunkering down and waiting for the enemy to come at the UFN Defense Zone, the order had been that the UFN fleet would engage the Sith directly. Sixty float ships and three thousand knightframes launched themselves at the enemy just outside the city and away from any sakuradite mines; removing any incentive for the Sith fleet in orbit not to participate in the battle.
As soon as the UFN forces were in the right position, it began raining energy fire from space as five Interdictors and three Centurions let loose their cannons. In five minutes, the entire UFN fleet lay burning on the ground as enemy fighters picked off the small bands of knightframes that remained. The exact number of dead was still unknown but estimates were over 20,000. There were survivors that were taken prisoner by Sith; Zero and the echelons of the command staff were part of them.
"If we hadn't turned on him that day, I believe that we could have beaten them," Tohdoh said suddenly; almost like a whisper.
"What do you mean?" asked Ohgi; though he suspected the answer.
"Nothing; it does not matter now: said the older man gruffly. He then closed his eyes again. Ohgi decided to let it go; he did not want to think about the subject at all.
After a few more minutes, there was a loud klaxon and it felt that the craft that they were on was beginning to slow. There was a loud thud as well as sensation that they had arrived at there destination. The back of the vessel began to open and light poured into the occupied hold. The wardroid stood up and motioned for Ohgi and Tohdoh to do the same; they then disembarked onto what appeared to be a flight deck.
As the Earth was seen above them, it was obvious that they were on one of the twenty Sith warships that orbited the blue planet. All around them was transports, fighters, and other craft parked. Soldiers and droids marched as technicians went about their duties. Unlike occupied Earth, this was a truly alien environment that the two were seeing for the first time.
There was also a sense of inferiority as well. The two were shown how advance their occupiers truly were. There was also the feeling of coldness on the ship; most military stations had some humanity to them as soldiers and technicians often conversed with one another. Here though, as much Tohdoh and Ohgi could see, there was none of that.
A squad of soldiers escorted Tohdoh and Ohgi from the hanger to the interior of the ship. After a few minutes, they arrived in the detention center. Each was placed in a separate cell and as soon as they were confined behind the force field, the guards left. As Ohgi started pacing, Tohdoh sat down on the bunk and leaned back, closing his eyes.
"I still don't understand why we were arrested," said the former prime minister as he kicked the bunk.
"It because of what you two represent," said a voice from the cell opposite side. Both men looked to see who had spoken.
"Suzaku Kururugi?" Ohgi said, very well surprised. Even Tohdoh could not believe his eyes.
The young man looked very different from the last time anyone had last seen him. His face was a lot thinner and his hair was down past his shoulders. He was dressed in plain set of grey clothing which resembled prison garb. What grabbed Tohdoh was the aura of defeat that seemed to resonate off the young man from across the way.
"Suzaku," greeted the former General as nodded his head at his former student.
Tohdoh's opinion of Suzaku was still jumbled even after all these years. The fact that the young man had joined Britannia and cooperated in its subjugation of Japan was despicable; even more so with the idea of creating a so called world of peace. It was admirable that Suzaku had sacrificed his honor for the sake of peace, but it still was not enough to warrant him a man of the people.
When the young man was exposed by the Sith as Zero, Tohdoh was not only shocked but confused as well. Suzaku was not Zero, Lelouch vi Britannia had been. This lie still shook him to the core and he slowly came to understand what was possibly done behind the scenes. It was a waste though since the Sith arrived and ruined any plans that the young men might have conjured.
"I thought you were dead," Tohdoh said, looking at his former student.
"The Sith leave me alive so they can revel in my pain; you are going to discover that soon," stated the former knight of seven.
"What do you mean?" asked Ohgi, confused.
"That there is nothing that you can do help your loved ones; that you are completely powerless to do anything. Its something that the guards here like to remind me of," said the young man as he sat down.
"But why us; there was nothing we could have done anyways," the former prime minister said, taking a seat himself.
"Because we were with the Black Knights; we are still symbols to many on Earth and the Sith know that," Tohdoh said loudly. Suzaku nodded in agreement.
"Do they always keep you here?" asked Ohgi to Suzaku.
"Yes; these cells are designed for long term containment. There is a toilet that can be accessed in each cell and they feed me two times a day. I am not sure how long you guys will be here though; from what I have heard from the guards, there is supposed to be some vast construction project about to be underway over Mars and the Sith will be using slave labor. I would not be surprised if you two are used as well," informed the former knight.
"Not you?" asked Tohdoh with an eyebrow raised.
"From what the Captain of this ship told me when I first got here, this is to be my home for the rest of my life," replied Suzaku bitterly.
"Well you deserve it; not only are you guilty of serving Britannia, but you served the Demon King as well; not too mention deceiving us by pretending to be Zero," stated the former prime minister angrily.
"I am guilty of many things; I know that very well now. However neither one of you can be innocent since you did sell out your leader to Schneizel who had planned to murder millions so that he could take over the world," Suzaku shot back with venom. Ohgi just glared in response.
After the occupation, a great many things had come to light on what happened in the last war. The fact that 2nd Prince Schneizel had been using the Black Knights for world domination had not sat too well with many of the members of the Order. The fact that the Knights had only done this from the persuasion by Ohgi and his wife caused many in the leadership to no longer associate with Tohdoh, Ohgi, and their wives. It was said that only Tamaki spoke much to Ohgi these days.
"Speaking of which, where is Schneizel?" asked the former General, glancing around.
"He did not last long; the Prince tried to manipulate his way out of confinement and that did not sit too well with the Sith Lord so Schneizel was beheaded by Darth Visez. The body was then thrown out the airlock," answered Suzaku bluntly, recalling the memory with a shudder.
It was a while before anyone said anything else.
"It was all planned, wasn't it?" asked Tohdoh suddenly, causing Suzaku to look up at the two. While Ohgi was unsure of what he was talking about, the younger man knew immediately.
"Yes; his atonement as well as mine," was all that Suzaku said, looking into the old man's eyes with sadness.
Suzaku had always wanted to avenge Euphemia's death; no matter what the cost. When he went along with Lelouch's plan and in the end had slain him, he thought that he would be at last relieved. Unfortunately for the young soldiers, all that came in the aftermath of the death of his best friend was endless guilt and regret. Even Nunnally looked at him differently; an ever slight coldness of her touch.
Suzaku knew that she had understood and accepted; but never fully forgiven.
It was on that guilt that Suzaku vowed to create the world that Lelouch had wanted. It was going well too; Nunnally was leading the Empire into a new age and her counterparts in the UFN had created a new world order based on peace. As Zero, all he had to do was maintain the façade and everything would fall into place.
Then the Sith came and destroyed everything in a flash.
Suzaku was a soldier, he was not a planner. When the invasion started, he had done his best to lead but with his lack of tactical ability there was very little he could do. Zero had been known for his strategy and the former knight had failed at that miserably. After a great many losses, very few within the UFN actually believed he was the real Zero.
When he was captured and exposed by the Sith, all hope was lost.
It was Nunnally who saved them all; it was her appeal to the invaders that the terms of surrender were negotiated. The Enemy could not be bogged down in a war and so agreed to make a deal even though they did not have to. As part of the deal, Suzaku was allowed to live; though he was unsure why Nunnally had insisted on that part of the terms. It was unfortunate that he could never ask her since it was pretty obvious that he would never see her again.
"If he were here, then it all might have been different," said the former General with belief evident in his voice.
"Yes, it would have," agreed the young man.
Ohgi just sat there in confusion the entire time.
Darth Visez knelt on one knee and bowed in front of the life-sized hologram of Darth Bastila.
In the years he swore service to the woman, Visez had never seen the woman's face due to the hood she always wore. There were many rumors surrounding why she was always covered; everything from the face being horribly deformed from battle to prolonged use of the Dark side. Visez was never sure which to believe; he was not sure he cared to.
It was also rumored that the Dark Lady had sired a child; something that no one had ever confirmed. That child had supposedly been taken by the Jedi and trained by them. It was because of this that the woman now had an unspeakable hatred for the Order and was using every resource in the Empire to destroy the Jedi. It was an obsession that many Sith followed her in doing ever since she had reformed the Empire in the aftermath of the Sith Triumvirate's destruction.
Visez had been a student in the academy and was fortunate to be away from Malachor V when the Exile destroyed it. He had come to serve the Dark Lady a year later after joining in the campaign to take Gala from the Republic. It was there he had learned of Earth and under the command of Bastila, launched an invasion of the blue planet. If everything went right, he would soon use Earth to create his own powerbase within the Empire.
"Everything is going according to plan my Lady; the new shipyard will be operational in a year and the increase of knightframes will follow as well," informed the Sith Lord as the hologram motioned for him to rise.
"Excellent; I plan to have our forces push into the Inner Rim soon. I need to have the fleet that is being built there to act as reinforcements. What about "HER"; has there been any sign?" asked the Dark Lady in a raspy voice.
"None my Lady; if she is here, then she is keeping a very low profile," answered Visez in a hiss.
"Keep searching; I feel a disturbance in the Force emanating from Earth and I feel that old crone is the reason for it. If I have to go to that backwater, then I will be most displeased," stated the hologram before it cut out. Visez just glared at the projector before turning his back to it and facing his apprentice.
"If I may say Master, I have not felt anything," stated Darth Ghosha with his head bowed low. The young man was cloaked like his master in a dark robe that covered his body. Unlike his master though, his head had hair and was not covered with tattoos.
"I haven't as well; Bastila however is more adept in the Force than myself. If she truly feels something and Carrion is the culprit, then it jeopardizes everything I am building here," Visez growled. As he left the communications room, his apprentice followed after but kept his distance from behind
"Do you think that she is behind the recent rebellion on Earth?" asked the young man.
Ghosha had come into the service of his master several years ago when he had distinguished himself as an adept in the Earth Invasion. He had originated from the new colony on Ziost and proved to be strong in the Force. It was a three months ago that he had earned the title of Darth though he was still an apprentice. He was trusted though to train the new adepts being assembled at the Artic Academy.
He was also the de-facto head of Intelligence for the Sol System.
"Too sloppy; though it did create some stir. It is fortunate that the Dark Lady did not mention it. I trust that the issue with the rebels has been resolved?" asked the Dark Lord, glancing back.
"Yes my Master; we have executed all those involved and gathered possible collaborators as slaves for the new shipyard," answered the apprentice with a head bow.
"Good; what about this rumored resistance leader we keep hearing about," asked the Sith Lord as he stopped and turned around.
"From what I have uncovered, he is real but keeping a very low profile. I do not believe that this "Lord Null" was behind the rebellion in Japan but he may have his own schemes to thwart the Empire in the future. I am monitoring the situation in case he surfaces," answered Ghosha in a submissive tone.
"Very well; make sure that he does not interfere and continue to search for that old crone," ordered Visez as he walked away.
"Yes Master," the young man said as he stayed where he was and watched the Sith Lord enter his private meditation chamber.
The young Sith Lord turned and made his way through the corridors of the flagship. As he walked, many of the personnel made an effort to move out of his way. While he never took out his wrath on an unsuspecting crew member who just happened to be in the way like his master had done on occasion, Ghosha was still feared none the less.
Entering a small control room near the aft of the ship, the young Sith lord looked around to see his intelligence team at work. There were only two of them, a male and female who were dressed in the standard grey attire; also human as well. Seeing their master, the two stood and saluted. Darth Ghosha acknowledged their salutes with a simple nod.
"Report," commanded the Sith Lord.
"We've scoured every confiscated rebel document and it does appear that they were acting alone. If they did act in collusion with other rebels outside Japan, then there is nothing on paper or only known to the rebel leadership," informed Major Cynthia Jofo. The woman had brown hair and was horribly scarred due to a Republic grenade.
"We also could not find any reference to Null; if he was secretly guiding the Japanese rebels, then he is more masterful than we suspected," remarked her companion, Captain Fre Kijiu. The youngest of the three, he was short and was bald.
"If he exists," stated the Sith Lord with some doubt evident in his voice and folding his arms together.
"We feel that he exists my lord; there is too much rumor and gossip to discount his existence," affirmed the Major with sincerity.
"So why can't we find him?" asked Ghosha impatiently; this mysterious rebel leader was beginning to make him look bad.
As with any Sith Order, an apprentice must make sure that continues being favorable and useful to his or her master. While Visez did not have any other apprentice in the system and none being at the same level as Ghosha, it was only a matter of time before the acolytes being trained in Sol would jockey for the position.
It was the way of the Sith.
"He is well hidden; our scans of the planet are not detecting any hidden base, our agents cannot find a viable lead, and there are no secret transmissions to be intercepted. He is a ghost," stated the Captain with a frown.
"Then I suppose we will have to wait until he makes his or her move; I want our forces on continued alert to possible rebel attack. This way we are ready just in case," ordered the Sith Lord. Both officers nodded in compliance.
Ghosha then turned and left to go meditate. The two watched him leave.
"You didn't tell him," Captain Fre stated, looking at the Major.
"If we had more, I would have. As it stands we still don't know how those fighters were destroyed and who was responsible. I don't want to provide a Sith Lord with sketchy raw data," Major Jofo said.
"Understandable; though this continued alert status is bound to ruffle a few feathers with the military," the Captain said with an eyebrow raised.
"Can't be helped; I rather see a annoyed military than an angry Sith," remarked Jofo. On that they were in full agreement.
Null hurled a piece of debris at Carrion.
She dodged it easily and then unleashed a blast of purple lightning at him.
In a surprise move, the apprentice Sith Lord released his own force lightning and the two blasts met in the middle of the room. Unlike the regular lightning used by Sith, Darth Nulls was a rare type; an almost blood red emerged from his hand. From what his master said, she had heard of no other Sith Lord to possess it.
The room glowed brightly as the two blast fought for supremacy; each user doing their best to outdo the other. The room itself was deep underground and designed as their training room for combat. It was circular and barely lit, making those who trained it to use more of the Force. It was constructed on Carrion's orders that Null dutifully carried out.
Darth Null had enormous potential, Carrion had no doubt of that; if she had, she would not have wasted the power in resurrecting him. The former nightsister was not known for her sympathy or compassion, it was not in her nature as a Sith. It was the Force that led to Null and to do what she did.
It was skill that the young man needed to learn; especially in wielding a lightsaber. In his past life, Null used his brain more than his physical body, something he still did; even Carrion believed that the young man was brilliant. However, intelligence alone did not allow those who used the Force to triumph over his or her enemies. It took physical strength as well.
This was why for the lessons; which at times tested the old woman's patience.
Darth Carrion was about to say something when she felt a disturbance in the force and focused her senses around her. When she detected the sudden movement behind her, the old woman smiled and turned her head to see a metal dagger flying towards her backside. Instead of stopping it however, she moved her body slightly and the blade raced past her towards her apprentice.
The coming weapon caught Null by surprise and he barely dodged it, causing him to lose his concentration. Taking advantage, Carrion surged her blast forward with sudden power, not only smashing the other force but pushing it back at its originator. Then the purple lightning enveloped the young Sith Lord and caused him to cry out in pain.
The barrage continued for another minute before the old woman let up and discontinued her attack.
The form of Darth Null was on his hands and knees, breathing heavily while his robe was once again sizzling; steam rising from all around him. All of a sudden he let out a howl of rage and Carrion felt a sudden burst of the darkside as he launched himself at her with his red lightsaber activated. His sudden speed caught the old woman by surprise and she activated her own lightsaber.
The two blades met with a loud hiss as Hull came at her with everything he had. There was nothing but pure fury in his swings, placing Carrion solely on the defense. Null was slashing at her with strength that very few could hold; even Carrion's muscles were starting to strain under the constant assault.
Fortunately for the elder Sith, her apprentice's attacks were devoid of skill and nothing but anger. It was like being attacked by a wild animal that held no higher thought other than to kill. It was a great strength for a Sith; but an even greater weakness since it allowed for a brutal defeat.
As Null moved to slash down with another strong hit, Carrion used a sudden burst of the Force to increase her speed and sidestepped her apprentice. As his blade met nothing but air, the old woman made her own move. Normally such a move would easily allow her to decapitate her opponent, but Carrion did not want her apprentice's death.
Instead, she deactivated her lightsaber and used her fist, knocking Null in the back of the head; channeling the force into it for extra power. The young man crumpled unconsciously onto the ground, sure to be out for hours. The damage was not permanent but would give him a brutal headache for a while after he awakened.
Standing over her apprentice, Darth Carrion looked down and smiled.
The young Sith continued to surprise her, though he still had much to learn. While his use of abilities was growing, he still needed to hone them as well as control his anger. It was not the first time he had unleashed such fury and every time allowed Carrion to get the better of him. Until he learned, Null was not ready to take on any other Sith Lords; that the old woman was certain.
Ever since she had resurrected him in the cold dead tomb, Carrion had continued to see the young man as a powerful resonance in the Force. Sooner or later, that resonance would catch the attention of Bastila whom she had no doubt was searching for the old woman. No doubt the Dark Lady was still furious with Carrion on what she did; though the elder woman had no regrets about it.
Darth Carrion was not afraid of Bastila though and fully believed that Null would be ready by the time the Dark Lady came to Earth. The war with the Republic was turning into a stalemate and thus keeping the leader of the so-called Sith Empire occupied. Once her apprentice's plans bared fruit, the old woman had no doubt that the Dark Lady would come calling.
It was the Emperor that Darth carrion feared might come. She sensed his presence every day as well as his growing strength in the unknown regions. Like Revan, Bastila was nothing more than a distraction while his Empire grew in power. It would still be generations before he made his move against the republic but there was the possibility that he would notice what was going on in Sol.
There was nothing she or her apprentice could do if that happened; The Sith Emperor was a power that neither had any hope to fight.
Tucking her lightsaber in her robe, she walked away from Darth Null as he still lay unconscious on the ground. When he awoke, he would go into a tirade that usually just irritated the old woman. Instead of dealing with it, she opted to retire to her quarters for the duration of the day.
Hopefully he would meditate on his failure for once.
Author's Note: It's been too long, I know
Originally, this chapter should have been out months ago; but growing family problems got in the way. I also had problems with too many story ideas and an over active imagination. I also released it without a Beta since now I lack one completely; always looking for volunteers and hope you will forgive me for any grammar errors.
Instead of going into a full explanation of Carrions and Nulls meeting in this chapter, I opted for more of a subtle hint. There will be one later, just not this soon. Those who follow the Expanded Universe as well as the Clone Wars CGI Series might understand though.
Those who follow my other Code Geass fics might have noticed that I deleted them; I am sorry for that but am rewriting both due to over extending. Code Geass Continuum will be redone as Code Geass: Nemesis Rising which will be more down to Earth but still with crossover elements. It will also still be a LelouchxCC fic.
I am ¼ the way thru the next chapter and will not give an estimate on its release. It will feature Rivalz, Anya, Sayoko, and more Nunnally. I will also have the long overdue reunion between Kallen and you know who. I am also thinking of including a scene dealing with the Jedi as they encounter the Sith-built knightframes.