Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass, nor do I own Neon Genesis Evangelion.
"Hey there, Cornelia!" a cheerful voice greeted her, and Cornelia sighed. She knew exactly who it was. There was no way she would ever fail to recognize that voice.
"Hello, Lady Eneagram." she replied in a professional tone.
"Ah, don't be such a stickler right now. Its been ages! Running into you almost makes getting dragged here worth it." Nonette said with a smile. She then turned to her two subordinates. "And how have you been Gil? And you too, Andreas?"
"I've been well, Lady Eneagram." Guilford replied.
"Its good to see you again, Nonette." Darlton returned the greeting.
"Ah, I see you're still the only one in this group who knows how to lighten up." Nonette remarked.
"So I take it you're here as part of the Emperor's guard detail?" Cornelia inquired, boarding a transport, and was followed by the other three.
"Of course. I'm here with Bismarck and Monica." Nonette replied she took a seat. "So, how have you been lately? I've heard you've been busy. You crushed all resistance in Area 14 in no time flat."
"Yes, we had. I had been intending to transfer to the Middle East for the conquest there, but with Clovis's death, I've decided to go instead to Area 11 to put an end to the terrorist activities once and for all." Cornelia stated as she took a seat next to her, with her two subordinates in the one behind her. "That damn place has taken enough siblings from me."
"Well, if anyone can do it, its you." Nonette said as the transport began to move. The vehicle was reminiscent of the cable cars of old, powered by a device that connected it to the grid on the ceiling. "As for me, haven't really had much to do. So when Bismarck said that the Emperor needed two of us to come here as his escort, I jumped at the chance."
"Yes well, I'd say it was a nice coincidence." Darlton said.
"So Andreas, how have your sons been?"
"All of them are fine young men and even finer soldiers." he replied with pride
"Good for them." she replied as she looked out the window of the transport. As she did, she noted a lot of crates seemed to be lying around.
"Congratulations!" Lloyd said as he took a seat in front of Suzaku's cell. "The four you asked me about weren't on the casualty list. No one matching the descriptions you gave me were found."
"Thats good to hear." Suzaku said. At least he could take comfort in the knowledge that Lelouch and his friends hadn't been killed that day.
"Not much luck on your end, though. You may be getting a trial, but no one is pulling for you, certainly."
"But the courts are where truth comes to light!"
"I expect there'll be more smoke and mirrors than anything. The truth is scarce of late." Lloyd told him. "This trial is a show, and the script says that you're guilty."
"If thats how the world works... Then so be it. I'll have no regrets leaving it."
Lelouch heaved sigh of relief as he placed a box down in the clubhouse with Asuka and Shinji, and then opened it to let the occupant inside out. "You're heavy." he said breathing heavily.
"Or maybe you're just too weak to carry a delicate girl on your own." C.C. suggested.
"Or maybe you just need to lay off the pizza." Asuka retorted.
"Are you saying you're too weak to carry me too?" she asked with a smirk.
"Uh, guys... we still have plenty more unloading to do..." Shinji said to the three of them, though he wasn't sure that they heard him.
"Oh, relax. After all, being stuffed in a box for the entire ride here wasn't pleasant for me either." C.C. stated.
"You get her in here?" Misato asked carrying a box.
"And why didn't you help?" Asuka questioned.
"Hey, she is your responsibility." Misato shrugged as she placed a box down. "But for now, quit messing around and get back to unpacking. I sure as hell don't want to carry all this stuff in myself!" As she stood there, Misato couldn't help but be impressed by their new place of residence as she took a look around. "Wow, this clubhouse is really nice! Honestly, I have no idea why I had you guys move in with me when it should have been the other way around from the start!"
"Our place is upstairs." Nunnally said as she walked in with a box. "Its actually bigger than your apartment. We always had so much extra room that we never knew what to do with it all."
"How about rooms?" Asuka asked.
"We had extras, so you all should be able to get your own rooms." Nunnally replied before turning to her brother. "I'm going to go get Sayoko and ask her to help us."
"Sounds good. We have a lot of stuff to move in, even more than when we moved out." Lelouch said, still catching his breath.
"Wow, you are really out of shape." Misato commented as Nunally left the room. "I mean, I don't know how I feel working under a guy that might keel over from exhaustion if he does to much work."
That comment reminded Shinji of the situation. 'Even Misato is getting involved now, and I don't even have the courage to do anything. Of course, its not like I'd be much use.'
At Bethany base, Gendo and Charles looked on through a window into the large chamber where Unit 05 was being constructed, though that wasn't perhaps the most accurate term. After all, much of Evangelions were organic, so they had to be grown. Unit 05, in fact, was currently only a head and torso. It also wasn't armored yet.
"Unit 05's construction is behind schedule." Gendo stated to the scientist who was guiding them.
"Due to Cocytus, much of our base's staff has focused on its construction and maintaining it." the scientist informed him. "Unfortunately, this left the team constructing Unit 05 under-staffed, and its progress has lagged behind."
"I see. Was this decided by the Director?" While Gendo was the leader of the entire NERV organization, due to being in the NERV base of Area 11 the majority of the time, the Britannian Branches were ran by another individual.
"No, sir. It was an internal decision." Which Gendo could easily see the underlying motivation for. With Cocytus, they were in a unique position compared to the other branches. They were containing a live Angel, which would provide invaluable data. Thus, the staff here had become blinded by the chance of glory. Such a typical Britannian way of thinking.
Of course, it was that very reason why most of these people were placed in this base.
In the control rooms for one of Cocytus's generators, a group of technicians were monitoring the system that helped to perpetuate the stasis of the creature that slept in the depths of this base. One technician looked at the gauges in front of him and saw that everything was operating at normal levels. "Everything is working smoothly, as usual." he said, scribbling on a clipboard. He then turned to one of the other. "Looks like its gonna be another easy shift."
"Looks like it." the other agreed.
"Just make sure everything stays that way. We need everything to be perfect! His Majesty the Emperor himself is personally inspecting the facility!" a third said.
"Of course. If we screw up, then-"
Suddenly, the man fell to the floor, his throat slit open.
"W-what the hell!? Why is-" The man never got to finish speaking as he was next to die. And he was slowly followed by each of the other technicians until they were all dead as well.
With them all dead, a young boy stepped out from his hiding spot, and walked over to the controls. He then inserted a flash drive into the console before messing with things so that his act of sabotage would be complete. When everything was set, he left the room, leaving things in there so that they would slowly deteriorate until it was too late. He still had another destination to go to, after all.
In another part of the base, Cornelia was on her way to the bridge to speak with the staff about getting a closer look at the Angel.
Suddenly though, an alarm began to go off, and peopl. "Well, that clearly isn't good." Darlton said, stating the obvious.
"What should we do, Milady?" Guilford asked.
"We get answers." Cornelia declared as she lead the way to the bridge, now going at a much less than leisurely pace. "What the hell is going on here?" she demanded as she stepped on to the bridge, where every staff member was frantic. It was utter chaos.
"We've just confirmed that one of Cocytus's sensors is indicating that the Fifth Angel may be !" a staff member said
"What!? That can't be!" a man let out in disbelief. Cocytus was supposed to be perfect! The Angel should have remained in suspended state indefinitely. "What was the cause!?"
"Increase power! Drop the temperature as low as possible! Don't let it awaken!"
As the bridge operators did as they were told, suddenly warning lights appeared on the monitors, and the base shook. "We've just lost one of the generators! Theres was a malfunction, sir!"
"Impossible!" He refused to believe it. After all, as one of the people responsible for creating and building it. Cocytus was his masterpiece. He refused to believe that this was happening. The situation was bad, but not too threatening at the moment. "Its okay. Cocytus was designed so that not all generators are necessary at all times. Even should one fail, the remaining ones should be able to generate enough power to keep things running long enough to rebuild the generator. Increase output from the remaining generators!"
"But sir, that wouldn't be wise! What if we push them too far?" one technician said
"Do it! Do you want the Angel to wake up!?" And so, they followed the man's orders. And as if to slap him in the face, the base suddenly shook again. "We've just lost another generator!"
"N-no..." This was terrible. Cocytus was the pride of Bethany Base. It was the perfect Angel containment system. And the Emperor was here! It couldn't fail! "I-its okay." the scientist stated as he started to compose himself. "Cocytus was designed in a way that, even should it fail, the Angel would not be able to escape!"
"Do you really believe that?" a voice said, and everyone turned to see Gendo, Charles, and Fuyutsuki enter the room.
"The level Cocytus is on can be completely sealed, we just need to activate the emergency containment procedure. And that level is beneath several layers of seals!"
"However, Cocytus was not finished, am I correct?" Charles interjected. At that, the man's eyes widened in shock. "No, I think you intentionally held back on the last part out of pride."
"Wh-what do you...?"
"Bethany base, like the base in the Geofront, was supposed to be equipped with self-destruct mechanisms in the event that the Angel did wake up. It would destroy Cocytus before the Angel could wake up and generate and AT Field to protect itself. However, you neglected to fully install it."
"How do you-"
"Oh please, its plainly obvious!" Cornelia said. "I was wondering why all these unused explosive have been lying around. Theres a few crates in the Styx Shaft of unused ones, and some up above ground."
"You believed that you could contain it indefinitely, and that has put the whole world at risk." Gendo then took a seat in the command area. "As Supreme Commander of NERV, I, Grand Duke Gendo Ikari, shall be taking command from here." he declared, taking what could be called his signature pose with his hands together in front of his mouth. "Is that alright with you, your Majesty?"
"I approve." Charles agreed as he took a seat at a throne that was nearby. And with that, there was nothing left to argue. All staff was now under their authority.
"How long until the Fifth Angel will wake from stasis?"
"We can't say for certain, but we would estimate several hours, minimum. The remaining generators should be able to maintain the containment for now, but it will wake up." a staff member replied.
"Then as of this moment, we will begin preparations to eliminate the Angel." At that declaration, many of the staff were clearly reluctant to follow through with it, but they knew that they would have to.
"Can the base's Evangelion be used?" Cornelia asked.
"Unit 05 has not been completed." one staff member replied with shame. It was clear to her that if it were farther along, this would be easier.
"What about bringing in one of the other Evangelion Units?" Monica asked.
"Units 02 and 03 have already begun their transport to Area 11, and would not arrive in time to be of any help. Moreover, they are both set with cores whose compatible pilots are in Area 11."
"As for Unit 04, while further along than Unit 05, it is not yet complete." another staff member added. "However, it might suffice for combat, but it would not be able to be transferred here before the Angel awakens."
"Isn't there anything this useless base can do!?" Cornelia demanded, clearly becoming angry at the whole situation. It was currently her opinion that the staff of this base was utterly incompetent.
"Hm... Perhaps we might be able to do something." a scientist said, and all attention was on him.
"What if we use some of the base's machinery as artificial limbs. The Evas already have cybernetics used in them, we would just be using extra. The limbs wouldn't be perfect, but it would be able to fight."
"How would we get it to be able to freely move? I doubt we could make proper artificial legs able to support it in only a few hours."
"We could use these." a scientist said as an image appeared . "It was an experimental piece of equipment to see if landspinners could be implemented on Evas. It hasn't been perfected yet, but its worth a try in this situation."
"And what of the power source? If we do that, an umbilical cable would be completely impractical."
"What if we use the same power system we use for the transports? It'd work perfectly."
"This jury rigged Evangelion doesn't inspire much faith in me, I'm afraid." Cornelia interjected.
"Yes, I agree." Nonette said. "Is there anything else that can be done?"
"While not normally advisable, we will use Knightmares to provide support." Gendo said. "All that matters is that Unit 05 is able to at least generate an AT Field."
"Can my knights handle this task?" Charles asked.
"Yes, you Majesty!" Bismarck, Nonette, and Monica all replied in unison. Bismarck then turned to Cornelia. "Princess Cornelia, can I request your assistance for this operation?" he asked.
"Of course. I had every intention of joining even if you hadn't asked me." Cornelia replied before turning to her two subordinates. "Are you two up for the task?"
"As your Knight, I will follow you into battle without hesitation." Guilford replied.
"It'd be an insult to you if I wasn't." Darlton said.
"If you wouldn't mind, I would like to put you in command of the operation, Princess." Bismarck stated to her. "We will be at your command."
"If thats what you want, I won't argue." Cornelia said. "Alright, I want every Knightmare this base has ready in the hangar as soon as possible! All pilots, assemble there at once!" she said, barking out orders. "I want a full list of everything this base has that is capable of combat! And I want the most accurate map of the entire facility, every single level!"
"Have Unit 04 begin preparations. We must be prepared for the possibility of failure."
"Sir, about the matter of a pilot and core." one staff member said to Gendo. "The Fifth and Sixth Children are both in Area 11, so-"
"The Marduk Institute has recently identified a person among the potential candidate with a high likelihood of being able to be an Evangelion pilot. A core can be prepared for them."
"So, which candidate is it?" Fuyutsuki asked.
Gendo then handed him a file. "I have already received the approval from the Emperor to use this one." As Fuyutsuki opened the file, he appeared o be slightly surprised. "Prepare a helicopter to take us to Pendragon. I will personally go and retrieve both of them for the operation."
Some time later, Cornelia boarded a Gloucester. It wasn't her personal one, since they hadn't brought it here with them, but it would suffice. Guilford, Darlton, Nonette, Monica, and Bismarck had all also boarded Gloucesters. "Alright, what is the status of the Angel?"
"It hasn't fully awakened yet. Its still encased in ice, though with how long its been, it won't last much longer." a technician from the bridge replied to her.
"And what about Unit 05?"
"The armor has been placed on, and the makeshift limbs have been finished. They're currently in the process of syncing them to the Evangelion as we speak." the technician explained. "However, Commnader Ikari has not yet returned with the pilot and core."
"Any idea for when he'll arrive?"
"ETA twenty minutes. But it'll take some time to get the core into Unit 05."
"I see. And how long do we have left until everyone is ready?"
"Everyone is nearly into position."
"Good. With any luck-" Cornelia began, but was cut off by the sound of a siren.
"The Angel is beginning to move! It seems like it will break out of the ice any second!"
Not good at all. "All units, move out! Make sure the Angel doesn't escape!" she yelled out over the intercom, and she sped off with her Gloucester as the rest, Sutherlands and Gloucesters, followed behind.
The majority of the base was called the Limbo Area. Cocytus was the deepest level, and above it was Malebolge, which was supposed to serve to slow it down. The Styx Shaft were the tunnels that went throughout the base and connected each level. The current goal was to delay the Angel as long as possible, and keep it from reaching the surface. Due to its means to power it, it was absolutely imperative that the Angel not leave the underground confines of the base. So, their plan was to keep it going along that longest possible route, with squads positioned at each point to try and control its path.
"Cornelia, remember," Bismack addressed her over the radio. "Conventional weaponry will not be able to harm it with it AT Field active."
"You don't have to remind me."
"The Angel is awake! Its breaking out of the ice!"
Cornelia gritted her teeth. "First line! You better be in position!"
Deep in the base, Sutherlands and tanks were waiting. They could feel the rumblings, and knew the cause was coming from the other side of the gate that they began to dread what was to come. Most of them knew that most of them would not make it. As they wondered how long it would take, the notice that the gate seemed to start glowing, then warping forward, and suddenly there was an explosion as the Angel ran out from the gate. It appeared to be a shell with four skinny legs, and a long tail that resembled an exposed spine and an identical neck that ended in its long, skeletal head. Once they recovered from their brief moment of shock, they all opened fire on the beast. Though as expected, it had little effect.
Up higher, Cornelia's team made their way to their designated point. Since she was well aware that there was no way that they would be able to completely control the path of the Third Angel, they would wait higher up and make their way to best point to intercept it as necessary. However, if things would work out, they were to act as support for Unit 05 if it was ready in time.
Down bellow, the first line had been completely wiped out, and the second line was not fairing much better than them, with about half of them were annihilated by the beam of energy that the Angel fired from its eyes. The tanks had been completely obliterated and all that remained were the Sutherlands that had been able to avoid the beam. As the tried to force it down the intended path, it simply forced its way down a different route. After all, their bullets couldn't even touch it currently.
"This is the second line! The target has not gone down the intended route! Be ready to intercept at point C!" the leader of this unit said as he and his remaining men followed it. As several tied to get in close, the spinal tail whipped out and destroyed those that hadn't seen it coming.
It didn't take the Angel long to reach the third line, and only a few remained of the second line. Even with the heavy weaponry, nothing seemed to be able to put a dent into the Angel. Nothing seemed to be able to slow it down. This time, the Angel ignored most of the troops stationed at this point and ran forward, which was not the way they wanted it to go.
"Damn, the plan is going horribly." Darlton commented as the situation was relayed to them.
"Nothing seems to be working. We haven't been able to force it down any of the intended routes." Guilford added.
"Those men gave their lives for nothing..." Monica lamented.
"We'll have time to mourn later!" Nonette declared. "Right now, we have to be ready."
"Agreed. All Second and Third line troops at the points that the Angel has not passed through, group up with the fifth line at point M." Cormelia said. "I've got an idea."
As the Angel blew through the fourth line, it continued its rampaging escape, making its way straight ahead. Some of the soldiers wondered if it knew where it was going or if it was just moving forward. After all, the route it was taking was the shortest route in the Styx Shaft. If it was just coincidence, then bases the architect certainly deserved execution in their minds for making the Angel's escape so simple for it.
Eventually the beast reached an intersection, the one referred to as point. The soldiers seemed to have completely cleared out. And since the Angel lacked the thought process to realize that something was up, it continued on as it had been without stopping. However, as soon as the Angel tried to advance through the intersection, it was rammed at full speed by one of the base's transport's, forcing it down a different path as explosives sealed of the intersection. While it wasn't harmed, it had been knocked off its feet. As it started to go off, the explosives that had been placed on the transport went off and brought the roof down above it.
"Lets hope that buys us even just a little extra time." Cornelia commented, really hoping that would be the case.
"How goes the operation, Cornelia?" Gendo asked as he appeared on her screen.
"If you're contacting me, I should hope you've got good news."
"The Seventh Child is in the process of suiting up and Unit 05 is finishing its final preparations."
Meanwhile, the pilot of Unit 05 and recently designated pilot of Unit 05 stepped out of the changing room, wearing a suit that was unlike the standard ones, and wore a helmet with red lenses. The person appeared to be a girl. "Are you ready?" the staff member assigned to help her asked.
"I think..." she said hesitantly. She was as ready as she'd ever be, she supposed. She was definitely afraid, but she had agreed, knowing full well the risks. After all, she had her reasons. So, despite her hesitations, she followed as the man lead her down the hallway to wear Unit 05 was being prepped for her use.
"By the way, how is the suit? Its not the standard model, but wee had to make do with what we have."
"Its fine." she replied. It fit her, so she figured that was all that mattered. It wasn't as if she knew what the actual one looked like, after all.
"Anyway, in here." he said as he lead her in to the hangar, where Unit 05 currently awaited her. The Eva was currently unlike any other for now. Instead of legs, it had metal four limbs that ended in wheels. And its arms ended in clamps. It was currently equipped with a lance to give her some kind of weapon.
As she looked on at the Evangelion that stood before her, she couldn't help but still be shocked of the situation that she was now in. Earlier today, she had been mostly ignorant of all this. While she had been aware of the Angels and Evas, she had no involvement with them before today. However, when Gendo Ikari had approached her, she had been drawn in. But it wasn't against her will. She had agreed to do it as her own choice.
"We do apologize for its state." one of the staff said to her. "But things had to be scrapped together on such short notice."
"I understand. It was an emergency." she reassured him.
"Yes." The man then helped her into the entry plug as he explained everything. "Just make sure you're careful out there."
The reprieve from the Angel didn't last, sadly. A beam of energy shot out and the Angel burst out from the debris, resuming its mad dash for freedom. Some other Sutherlands that had been there were hit and destroyed by the beam, while some got trampled. However, plenty still survived.
"Everyone, keep distance and pursue for now!" Cornelia ordered, and the men were all too happy to oblige. While the Angel did attempt to get rid of them on occasion, it mostly ignored them now that they weren't trying to actively interfere.
With Cornelia's team, a large gate nearby opened up, and Evangelion Unit 05 rolled out. "Alright, listen up; We're going to engage the Angel. We're counting on you, so don't let us down! Understood?" she said other the communications.
"Yes." the pilot replied, though the transmission appeared to full of static, so she could only make out what they were saying and not what the person sounded like. She thought nothing of this fact at the time, and simply brushed it off as part of the damage caused by the Angel causing interference.
At first the Eva moved slowly, likely due to the lack of experience. But eventually she seemed to get her bearings and sped up. The pilot was clearly still getting her bearings, but she was managing to get by. After all, she knew she had to protect this team. She didn't want to let anything to them. She had to protect her.
The group followed the course that the crew in the bridge provided for them, and eventually after traveling deep into the base, they heard the sounds of its approach. "Activating AT Field!" the pilot declared. She had been given the manual for standard Eva operation, so she at least knew that would work.
With that, everyone opened fire on the beast, and for the first time, it showed signs for feeling them as the bullets connected to it for the first time. The Eva then charged in and tried to attack with its lance, but the Angel dodged it and fired a beam erratically. While it didn't hit the Eva, it did wipe out some Sutherlands that had been following.
"Cornelia, the only way to kill an Angel is to destroy the core." Bsimarck said to her. "We need to find the core."
"Right. Well, the obvious guess is inside the body. But that'd be too easy."
"I saw something that might be it." Monca said. "However, its probably in the most dangerous spot."
"Where?" Nonette asked.
"Its in the skull. I saw it when it opened its mouth while firing its beams."
"It'll certainly be no easy task." Darlton commented. "With those beams of that it fires, we'll be in constant danger just being in its line of sight."
"Evangelion pilot!" Cornelia addressed her. "We're going to need you to restrain the Angel! Can you do that?" Cornelia said.
"I-I can try." She then made the Eva rush in again, dodging a beam aimed at her machine, and rammed into the beast. She was about to skewer the spear through it when a beam hit her leg and seared through on of them. She then screamed out, feeling the pain that the Eva did. And this gave the Angel the chance to push it off of from its body and resume running.
However, Bismarck, Nonette and Monica stood in its path. All three fired at it with their guns, but it didn't stop. Not wanting to risk being destroyed, Nonette and Monica dodged to the side. Bismarck however stood in its path. As his Glasgow dodged a beam, he got beneath its neck and fired his slash harkens Hooking into the bones, Bismarck puled his machine up. Then he fired the second slash harken into the shell, and pulled each individually to adjust his trajectory to get on to its back. Without a moments hesitation, he rode along the creature's spine and when he got behind his skull, he thrust his Knightmare's steel sword from behind.
The Angel let out a shriek of pain, making it clear that Bismarck had pierced its core. However, the damage wasn't lethal. And from the way it was flailing, Bismarck had to get off.
"Great job!" Monica congratulated.
"Of course. There is a good reason I am the Knight of One." he replied.
As the Eva finally got back to its feet, it's pilot watched as a stray beam hit the ceiling, and caused it to collapse, and saw it would crush Cornelia, Guilford and Darlton. Without any hesitation, she moved the Eva forward and covered the three, saving their lives. Shaking off the debris, the four saw that most of the remaining soldiers had been crushed.
"You okay, Cornelia?" Nonette asked.
"Yes, we're fine. But the team has been wiped out. All thats left is Unit 05, myself, and Guilford and Darlton." she answered.
"Well thats not good. The Angel is running again, and Bismarck, Monica and me are following, but its just us three. We'll need your back-up. Especially Unit 05."
"Damn, things are looking pretty bad." Cornelia cursed. "You heard her! All of you, move it!" The three Gloucesters raced down the passageway with Unit 05 following. It was slowed down now that it was missing a leg, but it could still keep up. Eventually, they caught up to the group, who had come to the hangar. The Angel had clearly tried to sear through the other exit, but it was holding for now.
However, this wasn't going to stop it as a halo-like disk of energy appeared above it and began to sear into the ceiling creating a hole for it.
"No! Its going to get away!" Monica yelled out in panic as the Angel began to rise up with the hale through the opening it was creating.
"No it won't!" the Seventh Child declared as she used a pair of thrusters on its underside to propel it up and dig her spear into the Angel enough so that it pulled her up as well. Cornelia also managed to grab on with her slash harkens, and both were pulled up. However, everyone else was left behind.
As the reached the surface, the Angel was nearly home free. Unit 05 was running out of power now without the base's energy grid powering it. As it flailed, it knocked the Eva loose, and Cornelia slid back further.
As she did, she saw she had been knocked into some explosives. Seeing that Unit 05 was keeping the Angel busy, she opened up the cockpit and rushed out. First she picked up the detonator, then she picked up the explosives and attached it to hear lance, and a second one and a third. Getting back in her Gloucester, she then sped up. "Grab it! Even if just for a moment!" Eva Unit 05 did as she said, and camped down on its tail. While it didn't stop, it was slowed down. With the open, Cornelia got underneath the Angel and thrust her lance up into its underside and raced off. "Let it go now!" she ordered and Unit 05 did just that just as it lost power. As it ran forward, Cornelia hit the detonator, and the explosion caused it to skid as it tripped up. When they got a look at the underside, they saw that most of the lower body was badly damaged.
As it got back to it feet, the Angel charged at them and shot a beam with cut off the remaining legs of Unit 05 as well as disable Cornelia Gloucester.
"No... Cornelia!" the pilot shouted in fear as she watched the creature run towards them. "I have to do something! I have to protect my sister!"
Just as it was about to run into them, Unit 05 sprung to life. It let out a roar as its jaw opened up. Grabbing the Angel by the neck, it wrestled with it, causing it to change course as it now rushed blindly, unable to see. As it did, it crashed right in to the explosives. Using its lance, it pinned the beast as it began to try and crush the skull of the Angel.
Seeing this, Cornelia saw that this was the chance. It would be regrettable, but she would have to risk Unit 05 pilot. So, she set the detonator for all of them and pressed the button, and as each bomb went off, the Eva and the Angel were engulfed in the explosion. As it raged, she saw the damaged Eva had been knocked away by the explosion. As for the Angel, the lance had kept it in place. When the smoke cleared, all that was left was charred remain of the bones.
"Target has been terminated." a technician radioed her.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Cornelia opened the hatch of her machine. As the recovery crews rushed in, Cornelia got out of her Gloucester. As she walked over, she heard the crew. "The pilot is alive! But she is unconscious!" one declared as the entry plug was opened and a girl was pulled out. As she did, she saw that the suit she was wearing was damaged. And when they pulled off the helmet, long pink hair fell freely and Cornelia was met with horror as she saw the identity of the the Seventh Child.
"IKARI, YOU BASTARD!" Cornelia roared as she stormed on to the bridge.
"Congratulations on destroying the Angel." Gendo said as he turned to face her. As she moved to strike him, she had to be restrained by Bismarck.
"Control yourself, princess." he stated.
"How dare you! How dare you involve Euphy in this!" she said as she struggled. "And why the hell didn't you even tell me that she was the pilot!?"
"Because the Seventh Child's identity held no bearing on the success of this mission." Gendo stated plainly. "After all, you did not seem to be interested in asking the pilot's name."
"On the matter of the Seventh Child, Euphemia li Britannia shall be returning with me to Area 11." Gendo then stated before starting to walk off. "In fact, I need to be going. The Angel's escape and subsequent destruction has eliminated my need to be here. Fuyutsuki." Fuyutsuki nodded. He then turned to one of the staff. "See to it that the Seventh Child is loaded on to the plane."
"What!? Like hell!"
"Cornelia." the Emperor spoke up and she hesitated. "I have already approved the selection of Euphemia as the Seventh Child, as well as her transfer to Area 11. This matter is not up for debate."
Cornelia wanted to argue. She desperately wanted to. But with the Emperor's words, there was nothing she could do. "...fine." she reluctantly said. "But know this, Ikari; You better not let anything happen to her!"
"I will keep that in mind." he said before leaving.
"All arrangements have been made." Fuyutsuki said as the plane made its way to Japan. "Bethany Base is to complete the construction of Unit 05, and after that the base is to be decommissioned."
"Good." Gendo said.
"All in all, everything went as per your plan. As per your plan." Indeed, the escape of the Fifth Angel had been orchestrated by them. Courtesy of an assassin with a Geass, they had the generators sabotaged. "However, Seele won't be happy about the loss of the Angel before its S2 organ could be studied. Aren't you worried that Seele might suspect our involvement?"
"Even if they do, they can not take action. Since the Emperor was there, they will not risk anything unless they are certain of whether or not he is aligned with us and we are working together."
"Yes, thats true. Britannia and and the Geass Order are too instrumental to their goals to alienate them on a hunch without proof." Fuyutsuki said. "Although, I was surprised when you and the Emperor modified the plan to make Princess Euphemia the Seventh Child."
"It was necessary. With Cornelia becoming the new Viceroy of Area 11, we needed a way to keep her in check. Clovis was indifferent and so never involved himself in NERV's affairs. However, Cornelia is different."
"Yes, that is very true." Fuyutsuki said as he took out a book and opened it, reveal it was a photo album. "I forgot to thank Bismarck for the pictures." he the commented. One was a photo of three women, with one of the women being Marianne, as well as a brown haired woman, the third a woman with long blonde hair. Each of the three was holding a baby. Another was a photo of a younger Gendo, a younger Charles, and the three women. "This really is quite a pleasant photo album."
And the night of Suzaku's trial had finally arrived, though calling it a trial was far less than accurate. The verdict had already been decided from the moment the decision to arrest Suzaku had been made. This was merely a show, all part of the Pureblood's plan to further their agenda. And now, Suzaku Kururugi was going to be sentenced in kangaroo court as part of this plot, and then face a public execution.
Amongst those watching, Nunnally sat in the living room of their home with Shinji and Misato with C.C. coming in with a box of pizza and taking a seat. Lelouch and Asuka had left, saying that they had errands to run. However, all knew the truth. Sayoko then came in with a tray of tea for everyone.
"I hope Suzaku is going to be okay." Nunnally said. Though what she meant was that she hoped that her brother was going to be able to save him.
"So, do you know him?" Shinji asked. He had been wondering ever since their encounter with him the other day. Lelouch and him definitely seemed to have been familiar with each other.
"Yes. He is an old friend of my brother and me. We knew him from before the occupation, though we haven't seen him for a few years."
"An old friend, huh? Well, hopefully he gets off the hook." Misato said as she took a sip from her can of beer. 'So Lelouch, what is your big plan for this?'
In another room of the clubhouse, Milly, Shirley, and Rivalz were also watching, with Nina sitting in the corner working on the computer.
"Any moment. Any moment now!" the commentator said to the audience at home. "Its a sight to see, the throngs lining the route. All of them waiting on baited breath! Waiting for the accused murderer of Prince Clovis to pass by! Honorary Britannian and former Eleven, Suzaku Kururugi!"
"Camera 5 is a littler slow. Talk to me, Charles. Your team been deployed yet?" Diethard said to one of his subordinates. He was coordinating the show, and had even written the script that the commentator was reading. "What? The studio? Let 'em wait. Nothing's been pushed back! Everything is going according to plan. Here we go..."
Andat the moment, the Sutherland escort came into to view, followed by the car. "I... I can see them! They have the suspect! Suzaku Kururugi is headed this way!"
"Like clockwork." Diethard commented as he turned off his headset. "What a circus this is. And I'm as corrupt as any of them."
As the car passed by the people on the road, they all yelled insults at the Japanese boy, such as "Murderer!" and "Scum." They were exactly the kind of people that Jeremiah wanted there. And on the transport, a pair of armed guards stood with Suzaku, who simply sat in silence.
"This is insane. We know Suzaku is innocent." Cecile lamented. She and Lloyd were sitting in a lab as she was watching the broadcast.
"The court deemed our testimony inadmissible. There is nothing we can do." Lloyd replied.
"Is that altruism or humanitarianism?"
"This isn't a time for a game of semantics!"
"Not much else to do." he said with a shrug. "We both know where this case is headed, don't we? And we couldn't get in touch with neither Prince Schneizel at the summit nor Commander Ikari due to that who Angel business. At this point, all we can do is cut our losses, really."
"Voices of scorn, growing ever louder! Voices bearing testament to a people's love of their prince! Raining their judgment down on a terrorist! Margrave Jeremiah, integral in settling this case will be presiding over the case as acting consul."
In the ghetto, Tamaki was watching with Inoue, Yoshida, Sugiyama, and Minami. "No way those guys can pull this off!" Tamaki said.
'But he told us.' Ohgi thought as he sat in an MR-1 cockpit. 'He said he'd make the impossible possible. He gave us his word that he'd save Suzaku Kururugi.'
Naoto meanwhile sat in the the driver's seat of a small train that would be used for the escape. He wanted to see what was going to happen. He wanted to see this Zero guy was capable of. Though he was worried about Kallen's involvement.
'Right. No need to turn back. The die is cast!' Lelouch thought.
'Lets see if this crazy plan of his works.' Asuka thought.
Meanwhile, as the escort kept on its way, Jeremiah received a transmission. "Acting consul Jeremiah. Vehicle approaching the main highway from Third. We just let it through as you instructed, but..."
"Do you believe the target could be a terrorist vehicle?" Jeremiah questioned.
"Well, sir... Its Prince Clovis's car."
"The prince's car?" Jeremiah was surprised at that for a moment, but he quickly regained his composure. "Well, looks like like we've got a comedian. Don't worry about it. Just let him though to us. All forces, halt here!" he said as he gave the signal. Whatever these people in Prince Clovis car thought they were doing, he would take care of them. In fact, it'd add to the show of this event if they were terrorists!
In Shinjuku, this didn't go unnoticed by the group watching there. "Hey, they stopped! They really did!" Sugiyama said.
"Heh, its just a coincidence." Tamaki brushed it off.
"Yeah, but he said Jeremiah would try to hog all the limelight and make some sort of stand about it." Yoshida said.
"This was not a scheduled stop. Could there have been some sort of accident?" the commentator voiced.
"This is site 5! There is a vehicle approaching them!" a reporter on the scene announced. "Its... Its Prince Clovis's personal transport! And its heading straight for the cavalcade!" Naoto and Ohgi wondered why he was going straight at them, but at this point, they couldn't do anything. They couldn't just abandon them, after all. Kallen was the one driving the car. They could only guess at his plan for now. As for Kallen, she just hoped that they wouldn't notice that this car was fake. They had built it out of the scraps like they had been asked.
"You dare desecrate his Highness's transport? Get out of there!" Jeremiah loudly declared. At that, the Britannian flag on the front burned away, and revealed Asuka, who stepped to the side, bowed, and held out her hand as if to introduce Lelouch. All part of their script, after all. Lelouch meanwhile stood with his cape wrapped around him. Everyone present let out gasps of confusion.
"I am... Zero!" Lelouch declared.
"Zero?" Villetta repeated.
"Who is this person? This man calling himself Zero, standing before a full military convoy!"
"So he, this guy, is calling himself Zero?" Misato said out loud as she took a sip of beer. Come to think of it, she still wondered on why the two had insisted on leaving her out of this thing. She had said she would help, but the two of them had left while she was out. She just hoped that they knew what they were doing.
"And what about you, in the red? Who are you?" Jeremiah asked.
"Me? I'm his number two. But two is so boring. So, you can just call me Zwei instead." Asuka said as she stood up straight. "But really, Zero here is the real star!" she said as she stepped backwards without turning so that she was behind him. She then surveyed the area from behind him, wondering how the next part of the performance would go.
"Who are these people? This Zero and Zwei? What are they planning?"
"Zero? What do you mean, like nothing?" Diethard commented out loud.
"Are we gazing upon terrorists? Certainly not the wisest if that is the case."
'Is he an Eleven?' Suzaku wondered.
'Now to return the favor, Suzaku.'
"I've seen enough, Zero. This little show of yours is over!" Jeremiah said as he fired his gun up. As he did, four Sutherlands dropped down from their VTOL transports, surrounding them. Kallen was panicking, but since their was no where she could go, she sat where she was. However, Lelouch, or rather, Zero stood unflinching, and so did Zwei. Her mask, definitely good for hiding the worried expression on her face. "First thing is first, why don't you lose that masks?"
Zero then put his had to his face as if he was about to take it off as asked, but then his hand shot up as he snapped his fingers. Instantly, the back of the vehicle fell apart and revealed a recognizable gas capsule.
"What in the...!?" Jeremiah let out in shock.
Villetta then opened up her Sutherland and yelled over to him. "Jeremiah be careful, thats the capsule!"
'Yes, Jeremiah. You never saw inside this thing, so you assumed it holds poison gas.' Lelouch thought to himself.
"Wait, thats just-" Suzaku said, trying to warn them, but the shock collar around his neck gave him a jolt.
"Can all of you watching at home see this? Its some sort of device, although its purpose remains unclear. Stay with us, and we'll see if this so called terrorist has anything to say."
"You bastard..." Jeremiah growled. He was completely fooled by Lelouch's ploy. Since Clovis had old the military that it had been poison gas inside the capsule, he thought that is what it held. He had no way of knowing that all that had been inside was a girl, albeit a very special one. But with what he knew, he assumed that this man called Zero had taken the whole crowd hostage without their knowledge. He raised his gun and aimed at him.
"You intend to shoot? I think you know full well what will happen if you try." Zero declared, unflinching despite everything.
"Unit 6, bring up the sound! And get that camera right in his face!" Diethard ordered.
"But sir, this is dangerous!"
"Amateurs!" Diethard said as he turned and grabbed a spare camera and left the van. If you wanted something done right, you better do it yourself, after all.
"Fine, what are your demands?" Jeremiah said as he lowered the gun.
"An exchange. This, for Kururugi." Zero told him.
"Like hell! He is charged with high treason for murdering a prince! I can't hand him over!"
"No! You're mistaken, Jeremiah. He is no murdered." Zero said, and noticed Diethard as he got in close next to the Sutherlands. Looking right at the camera, he delivered his next words. "The man who killed Clovis... was myself!"
The crowd reacted with shock, and Diethard found his mouth slowly forming a smile. All around Area 11, everyone was glued to their seats. The student council members in the meeting room. Misato and the rest in their room. Todoh and the rest of the JLF. A young girl named Kaguya was mesmerized by this man. Kensuke's face was inches from the screen as the report went on. And
"Unbelievable!" Cecile reacted, wondering what the chances of these events happening was.
"The real culprit, eh?" Lloyd said. He certainly liked this turn of events. He just might get his new pilot back after all!
On the scene, Ohgi, Kallen, and Naoto were freaking out. As far as they could tell, this guy was crazy! He had just dug himself into a hole that there was no way out of! "We are so screwed!" Kallen hissed. Asuka would have joined them, but since she knew the whole plan, she knew that there was nothing to worry about. As long as Jeremiah was still outside of his Sutherland, Lelouch's Geass would ensure the success of the operation. Really, she was just loving her front row seat to this whole show. She didn't really have much to do in Lelouch's plan. But it was important that they be seen, so she had to be here.
"For a single Eleven, you'll save scores of precious Britannians. I find that to be a bargain." Zero said.
Diethard was now grinning madly at this whole situation. 'This is all one big performance to him!' And he was loving every single second of it.
"Hes mad, I tell you!" Jeremiah declared. "Disguising this truck as his Highness's, he'll pay the price for mocking the crown!"
As the Sutherlands aimed their guns at them, Zero spoke up once again. "Careful. You don't wish the public to learn of Orange, do you?" he asked. This got reactions from everyone they wondered what he meant. He then tapped his heel on the car, and Kallen reluctantly moved the car forward. "If I die, it'll all go public. If you don't want that to happen..."
"What are you talking about?" Jeremiah asked. He had no idea what this man was implying by this Orange nonsense.
A slot on Zero's mask opened up as he finished his sentence. "You'll do everything in your power to let us go. Your prisoner as well."
As the Geass took effect, Jeremiah's demeanor changed. "Right. Understood." he said. "You there, release the prisoner!"
Kallen was surprised in the driver's seat. Moments ago, she was sure she would either be arrested or killed. But now, everything seemed to be working out perfectly. Hell, the fact that it was working at all was enough of a shock.
"What on earth are you doing, my lord?" Villetta protested.
"Get that man over here! Hand him over!" Jeremiah ordered. The guards were confused, wondering if they should follow the orders he was giving. "Hand him over! Nobody gets in his way!"
"Jeremiah, what are you thinking!? You can't do this!" Kewell protested.
"Lord Kewell! This is an order!"
"Its hard to tell what seems to be happening from here, but it seems that Kururugi's release has been brokered!"
Suzaku walked forward, meeting Zero, Zwei, and Kallen. "So, who are-" he tried to ask, but the shock collar stopped him once again.
"As I thought, they didn't allow you to speak." Ohgi, seeing that everything was proceeding, activated the MR-1, and Naoto started up the rail car that they had commandeered.
Meanwhile, Villetta was getting back in her Sutherland. "If they get away, we'll lose everything!"
"Its time to go." Kallen said.
"Well then, til next time." Zero said as he pushed a switch, and the capsule began to quickly release the gas from inside. And with that, the chaos began. Under the belief that the gas was harmful, the crowed panicked and fled. Of course, the gas was just a smokescreen to cover their escape, but no one was aware.
"You cowardly Eleven!" Villetta declared as she tried to fire on them. However, she was stopped by interference from a Sutherland. Jeremiah's, to be exact. "Lord Jeremiah, what are you-"
"You heard me! Stand down now!" he declared. Thanks to Lelouch's Geass, he was indeed doing everything in his power to let Zero and the rest escape.
As the gas cleared, Zero, Zwei, Kallen and Suzaku were falling down from off the bridge. "They're not alone! They probably have someone at the bottom to catch them!" Kewell declared
Indeed they did, as Ohgi used the MR-1 to fire a tarp for them to land safely into the rail car. "It worked! Now we can-" he said, but Kewell fired on him and he had to eject.
"You imbecile! There is nowhere for you to run!" he said as he Sutherland used its slash harken to hang down.
"Lord Kewell!" Jeremiah yelled, his Sutherland also hanging down and aiming his gun at Kewell's. "Are you going to follow orders or not? And believe me, there will be repercussions! All units, do I make myself clear? Do everything in your power to let them get away!"
And with that, no one bother to stop the rail car as it sped off.
Some time later in Shinjiuku, Naoto's group had gathered together in an abandoned theater. They all stood in the entryway "Man, I didn't really think you could do it." Sugiyma admitted.
"Yeah. Who is this guy?" Minami wondered.
"The woman too. She didn't do much, but they seem to be partners." Inoue said.
"Thats crap! How many times can a bluff like that work anyway?"
"You gotta give the guy some credit, though." Ohgi said. "Admit it, nobody else could have pulled that off."
"Yeah, I agree." Naoto said. He definitely wanted to see more of what this Zero could do. "We always figured a a full-on war with Britannia was completely impossible. But maybe with him, there actually might be a chance."
Meanwhile, further inside, Zero stood with Suzaku on the stage, with Zwei standing away and leaning in the doorway. "It looks like they treated you rather roughly." Zero said. "Now you know what they're really like, Private Kururugi. Britannia is rotten. If you wish to bring change to this world, then join me!"
"So is it true? Are you really the one who killed prince Clovis?" Suzaku questioned.
"This is war. Why wouldn't I kill an enemy commander?"
"And the gas? Those were civilians out there!"
"A bluff, to help things along. The result, not a single death!"
"The result? Thats all that matters to you, I suppose."
"Come join me. The Britannia you serve is a worthless dominion."
"Maybe thats true. But this nation, it can be changed for the better! And from within."
"What are you, stupid!" Zwei spoke up as she walked down the steps. "Change it from within? What the hell can someone like you possibly achieve!? Britannians don't give a damn about anyone who isn't one! You haven't got a chance of ever getting in the position to accomplish anything!"
"Even so, any end gained through contemptible means aren't worth anything." Suzaku said as he began to walk away.
"Wait, where are you going?" Zero asked.
"My court martial begins in an hour."
"Are you mad!? The only reason they're giving you a trial is to find you guilty! The judge, the prosecution, and defense!"
"Even so, rules are rules." Suzaku repied as he stopped. "And if I don't go, then they'll start cracking down on Elevens and Honorary Britannians."
"But you'll die!"
"I don't mind."
"You are a god damned idiot!" Zwei protested. In all honesty, she was beginning to hate this guy and how much of a fool he was.
"An old friend of mine always used to tell me that. He'd say I was a fool. Its my weakness, I guess." Suzaku said then turned around. "I'd try to bring you in, but you'd probably end up killing me if I tried."
'Damn right, you idiot.' Asuka thought, but said nothing. She was way too frustrated by this guy.
"And if I'm going to die, it'll be in the service of the people. Even so, I thank you for saving me" And with that, he resumed walking. And eventually, he left.
"You fool!" Zero yelled out after he was gone.
"Your friend... I really don't like him." Zwei said.
And now, we close this story's eighth chapter.
I will admit, in the early drafts of this story, I was flip flopping around on a few things that I finalized this chapter. First up, Euphy the pilot. When I started planning out this story, one of the first things I asked myself was which Geass characters should be Eva pilots? Lelouch was set in stone the moment I decided to write this, but others I had to weigh my options on. Anya was also quickly decided on, and I had a few other ones I was thinking of. Shirley was also considered, but then quickly decided against. She gets it bad enough in canon. As for why, I wanted to create more tension between Cornelia and Gendo. After all, gotta make sure everyone hates him to the maximum degree. So, like the idea of her being an Eva pilot or no?
Another note, I was thinking of make a forum on here to use as a means to talk with people about this story more regularly. If enough are interested, I'll go ahead and do it
As usual, I'm asking for reviews. Praise, criticism, all good. I just love to hear the thoughts from you guys who are enjoying the story, and even those who might not be as constructive criticism can only help me improve.