A/N: I'm just churning these out now. Literally.
After this story, if I'm still using this site at that time, I really want to continue my other stories to their climaxes, or do a high school drama type story prequel for the manga of Battle Royale ;)
Key attributes (Seen so far): Exquisite, incomprehensible skills as a Knightmare frame pilot, especially at the helm of his customized Knightmare, the Daedalus.
Apparent brazen audacity: Fearlessly challenged NIGHTINGALE to a mortal combat style fight to the finish, suggesting he has raw physical prowess that matches the small titan's own hand to hand combat abilities.
Knight of the Round level tactician: His intellect and cunning in his duel with Suzaku proves he is an avid practitioner of battle, possibly bordering on a pragmatist standpoint in combat.
Asgard Headquarters: JJ's Chamber
"…I see…" JJ mulls over dismally in his throne seat, "And the other matter; has our Zero still been keeping to himself? That boy should be more open, even if he is reinciting global tension…" he said on the fly, as if it was a jovial, light topic.
The one he was talking to, NIGHTINGALE, was kneeling (or slouching, as the case may be,) before the old immortal as if he were praying before a steeple, "Well, it seems that we're almost to the next stage, and yet we're still lacking the vital factors, Father,"
"That is true," JJ added, leaning on his limp wrist, "Of all of my fellows, it seems that KK is being the most difficult to consolidate. He is by no means an outgoing young fellow; he is quite introverted… suits him, he is after all the embodiment of human relations…"
"Father, why do you not simply send me to his Realm? Even if he is an immortal, if I kill him, he can't resist being brought in before he revives."
"That is because KK is quite a formidable opponent; he is as strong as you, but holds a high intelligence that he currently uses to divert my attention." JJ gave a small, chortlesome hum as he ruffled his short, silver beard, "Or perhaps he wants his appearance to be a last moment affair. Regardless, we have already acclaimed RR's fealty, so two of the Five are in our favour now. How goes Ms Einstein's work?"
The cloaked boy rummaged with his linen overalls childishly, "It appears that she is much more applicable than you originally thought. She's making great headway after such a short span of time, mere hours, and will probably perfect the retrovirus we need within a few days."
His master gave another hum from his throne seat, "She will be even faster once we retrieve young Kanon… my Geass can only extend so far, but if we make him subservient somehow, it'll have a knock-on effect. That's the theory, anyway. Last time I used my Geass was a thousand years ago…" he quipped with reverence at his longevity.
"But, Father, how will you make him serve? Your Geass can only cast delusions, it can't make people obey, can it?"
"That, loyal one, is something that has. However, with the appearance of our Zero on global networking, the very thing to make young Kanon obey is approaching us by any means necessary."
"Ah~" NIGHTINGALE hummed ceremoniously; he knew exactly what JJ meant, it was in the intelligence dossier of their enemies, after all.
Nightcore: Offshore Knightmare Storage
The oil rig rouse, although convincing, was rather harsh in it's seclusion on the only two oriented workers, secretly UFN guards assigned to watch over it, and preside over all Black Knight Knightmare frames seventh generation and over, storing over 400 Knightmares in a facility accessible only by the freight elevator in the heart of the 'oil rig'. Underwater, all heat and electrical scanners would be rendered moot as the facility is encrusted by artificial reefs and coral that blocked such signatures.
Down in the facility, it would be even darker and colder, and the air pressure immense against the unprepared due to the depth of 1000 atmospheres of pressure bombarding the heavily compressed metal alloy.
Usually, since it's quiet inception 4 months ago, no one had permission to access the Knightmares, but now, with the Council's sudden decision to completely reverse the laws against activating the frames (albeit briefly, as stated in Project Valhalla).
As a personal craft for the Prime Minister of Japan touched down on the oil rig front, Kallen, Tomaki and a recently returned but bruised Gino, not 3 hours shy of the crash of the Ikaruga, leaving Todoh to manage salvage and rescue operations at the sound of the green light for him to retrieve Tristan V2 from its sea floor slumber.
Nobody dared or cared to ask why Nunnally's plight was suddenly overturned, and why the Council was still in session after all this time. Time is of the essence, so what were the practical generals doing at an important juncture like this?
No matter, as it would take the Asgard long to grasp the information of the temporary re-activation period, and with the Daedelus and Felix at the front, their forces, with untold numbers of frames and soldier pilots, time was a treasure.
Kallen, Gino and Tomaki had entered the freight elevator with one of the guards, taking it down to the seafloor facility (Tomaki sunk down in his place as they went further down in the sea). As it ground to a halt, the couple and Tomaki came face to face with a large, re-enforced steel door that opened with a swipe of the guard's card key on the panal beside it.
Opening with a clunk, hundreds of Akatsuki's faced them, but far at the back in storage tanks of their own were Kallen and Gino's babies; Guren Seiten and Tristan V2, ready for deployment after a cold stay in the facility.
Unknown Location: Bosnia
Suzaku stood in the middle of an undercutting, a waterfall facing him from the outside. Maybe this is why it was C's World that was found and not R's? It was very well camouflaged by the sheer water falling like a wall. Behind him, surprise, surprise, was a doorway reminiscent of C's World's on Kamine Island, albeit with moss encrusting the jagged outcroppings of the slightly eroded gateway.
And then reality struck him. Where in the hell had he been transported?
Recalling a homing beacon implanted on his wrist mounted communicator (a recent gift of Lloyd's to him), he initiated the homing of his location with a few swift and very precise key incriptions on the miniscule wrist mounted computer.
After a few seconds, an audible 'ping' sounded, and Suzaku's face became aghast when Lloyd's preuploaded voice chirpily stated, 'You are in Bosnia, Sir Kururugi. Kudos on the landing is apparently in order…' the sheer smugness emanating from the machine drove Suzaku crazy internally.
Well, he had his bearings at least. Vague bearings, but bearings nonetheless… how was he supposed to do anything from here exactly?
Maybe this X82 stuff she injected me with will let me fly back, He quipped in his thoughts sarcastically, noticing that he felt no different from the serum blood coursing through him, 'As I'm sure you'll notice', these immortals and their attitudes…
"So you're finally out, are you?" another female shrilly said from his far right, her face hidden by the water filtered light, "Like always, RR's so tardy at the pivotal moment."
He averted his eyes after recognizing the voice, "You're one to talk, CC. How long has this narcissistic streak been running; it's unbecoming of a lady."
AT THE SAME TIME…
Jet's burned and gave off billowing shrieks of mechanical function as hundreds of Knightmares landed simultaneously before the former Viceroy's Palace, Kallen, Gino and Tomaki piloting the frontier frames; Tristan V2, Guren Seiten and an Akatsuki before regimental aligned Akatsuki's as far as the eye could see. They were all being remotely relocated, again, a gift from Lloyd and his research into sakuradite and Knightmare Mainframe manipulation technology.
Or perhaps it was Rakshata. Neither were backing down from the claim, but that didn't matter at the moment. In the meantime, Rakshata, Lloyd and their own small taskforce were assigned to the old imperial laboratories at the heart of the Palace. Cecile would be joining them upon her return from the Ikaruga wreckage, which Todoh report moments ago as 'unsalvageable'.
Now, the old Black Knight forces were prepared to engage with a temporary army of units, led by Knights of the Round and other powerful pilots.
Hopefully, this would suffice…
"When did you get here, CC?" Suzaku inquired rather gruffly.
"I was hiding out here… originally, until all this Asgard business cropped up," CC leapt down from a blackened rock face she was sat on, "And then you called with that single use line. I had to move here a few days ago in case of a trace."
His eyes refocused and caught more light on her body; still as youthful and endowed as ever, with a periwinkle dress underscored by a leathery jacket and a puffy hat to hide her face; a good move, in her situation.
"Where is he?" he asked, "Lelouch is the key to all of this; is he isn't the leader of the Asgard and it's this JJ, then I want every speck of detail on this man as possible from you two."
"Then you are in for a long wait. JJ is a mystery to everybody but RR. I thought she told you about him?"
"She was very steadfast in her cryptic language. All she really told me about him was that he needs his Code taking, but other than that is that he's a whole millennium older than me."
CC fell silent, "Well that's a start. Also, I brought you an Akatsuki on Lelouch's request. He told me to do it before he vanished." She gave a small snigger, "He's still very perceptive, isn't he? He thought all this way ahead, beyond all the roadblocks."
"He vanished," he sceptically repeated, "possibly the most hated dictator in history and well known Emperor of the world just months ago; he vanished on his own?"
Asgard Headquarters; Throne Room
A small handheld stood on the throne chair's right arm, JJ dazedly gazing at it in his empty chamber as a received frequency played a message.
This is a Code Red!
Repeat, a Code Red!
There has been a break in of the Viceroy's Palace laboratory; a possible biohazard threat from strained genetic equipment may ensue!
All units, proceed with caution until Rakshata's team pass the green light!
JJ's mouth broadened into a full blown smirk, "So they've finally noticed NIGHTINGALE's work… to think he had time to complete a much more sophisticated mission before they noticed!" he chortled, "that boy covered his tracks well… it won't be much longer before they discover Bismarck's missing genetic specimen." He concluded, feeling fulfilled.
The uproar reported on JJ's radio was much calmer than the old one had anticipated. There were no aghast reactions or meaningless flailing of soldiers; the lab was simply locked down while Lloyd and Rakshata investigated the specimens room on the far eastern wing of the palace.
The breaking and entering was an anonymous tip off through a voice manipulator like the one in Zero's mask. Although the tempo, with intensive listening, sounded a lot like a child's pitch…
Regardless of the tip off-er, there was still the cold, hard fact that something specific had been stolen, as the door was found hacked with an encrypted programme that would put Bill Gates to shame, and when it was decided that the door was to be blown, they found inside a single activated console, online for an estimated 2 days, and a single file pulled up. Rakshata called the alert and now she and the former Earl Asplund ventured deep into the dark recess of a maze that was the genetic project storage facility in the Palace.
Finally finding the specified row after a full 20 minutes of toil and careful manoeuvring, they found row #137b and scanned down. A vial was missing from a rack over in the wall enclosed section of the row. It'd be hard to find unless it was the singular aim of the thief.
Upon closer inspection of the chart, Rakshata noticed something.
Row #137b, this is where deep, classified research was conducted under the old emperor's supervision… this must be the row with genetic samples for the Knights of the Round! I had heard Britannia was envisioning a genome baby programme, but this is just…
"What's wrong?" the chirpy voice spouted, causing her to snap back into reality.
"N-nothing, Earl of Pudding." She happily said back with a conspicuous face.
"Change that name of mine," he sourly demanded, "anyway, what is the specimen?"
Walking over to the decadent and empty rack, she read the name beneath it, "Specimen Proto- Zeta 13… where will they ever get new names that aren't as ancient in context as your ideas for Knightmares?"
Lloyd was not listening, and his face was not slack as usual; he had a serious look, "I reviewed that specimen upon Suzaku getting made a Knight for his applicability to some kind of abandoned programme… genome or test tube soldiers, if you believe such a thing-"
Rakshata was aghast, "You mean this specimen is that important?"
"It was Lord Waldstien's genetic legacy," he adjusted his glasses, "In addition to his own estranged son, he was subject to a programme in 2007 in the homeland which gave him another mimetic legacy in this dangerous cloning project."
"Eh? You mean this rumour was true?"
"Yes, a perfect clone of him as a baby was born by an unknown surrogate mother, but the child vanished almost immediately, and little Charlie dropped the programme without another mention…" Lloyd's bows twitched as he looked to be in a rare display of deep thought, "I believe the project's name and the child were called-"
The eternally youthful witch stared out upon the thro of the world's core of Unity that hovered above in the dark, sullen etched on her face, It won't be long now… a few more days and I can see him again… my child…
Asgard Headquarters; Throne Room
"NIGHTINGALE," JJ proclaimed from his high throne as the boy knelt before him, "How goes Nina's work?"
"Faster than we expected, Father." He replied in his usual dulled way.
"Magnificent… we all win in the end, regardless of the ends, the means for us all are great in their own way!" he happily chortled, "I get to rid myself of this accursed shrieking sound that binds me to that despondent, desolate Realm of hatred, Felix gets his 'bonus', and you, young one, will be allowed to go about your life as you wish."
A/N: Well this one took some time, not to mention it's abrupt shortness, but I am heading toward the end of my exams, meaning 3 weeks of freedom!
By the way, other than the Battle Royale story, I'd like to do a Digimon story based on the style and plot of Naruto Shippuden… which do you think sounds better?
Drop a review and a suggestion if you'd be so kind!