A/N: So...this chapter has been sort of done for months now. I'm sorry for keeping you all waiting for so long. My plan had been to update Here We Go Again first before uploading this chapter because...well this chapter spoils a bit of what's happening in that story but...well...I've had writer's block for that story for so long that the only solution is to continue this story until it is done and then I'll go back and catch Here We Go Again up. Seriously, I've kept you all waiting way to long. I won't promise that updates from here will be fast...they probably won't be but...well just know that I'll try not to keep you waiting for as long as I did before.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, Sailor Moon, or Code Geass.
Warnings: This warning section applies to the next couple of chapters as well as this one. (Although this chapter is rather tame compared to the last one.)
1) Blood. Blood everywhere. If you get nauseous easily you better run.
2) Mental decay of the main character is going to be vastly apparent.
3) Violence is going to be heavy as well.
4) These next couple of chapters are essentially rock bottom for Mina. They'll be action packed chapters in order to take away from the emotional toll that it could possibly have on you...but know that these chapters are probably going to be disturbing due to the nature of Mina's instability. Hence the whole reason I bumped this story to the M rating. Teenagers shouldn't be exposed to this mess.
Time Will Remember Part 2
Sometimes I really wish I could hate her.
Mina has always been stubborn, reckless, and to an extent...crazy.
At Duelist Kingdom she betrayed us when she worked under Pegasus then turned around and saved my life when his goons tried to kill me after she gave me Grandpa's soul card. I wouldn't have found myself in that situation if not for her deciding to place something so important in my hands...and then maybe I wouldn't feel so...in debt to her now.
But I'd be kidding myself if I said that. From the day we met, Mina's had this hold on me. I never bothered trying to figure out why or where the intense bond comes from. We've been too busy stumbling through all kinds of issues, trying to survive against a cruel world that's constantly beating us down. There hasn't been time for us to think about what we mean to each other.
Even now I can't understand why she decided to save me instead of her mother. I run through the whole thing over and over in my head. On some level I get it...but then I really don't and...
I'm not makin' any sense!
And she's not makin' sense either!
For the last fifteen minutes all I've been able to do is re-read her letter. Hotaru and the other outer sailor scouts tried to pry information out of me, asking if Mina said where she was going before she disappeared. She did, but my mind is so jumbled that I can't even remember what it was she said.
One second she was here, so close I could touch her and then...
With no plans to come back.
And the worst part about it is that whatever Mina is doing now...it's not something she has to do at all.
If I had just opened my mouth sooner and spat out, "Hey I found your father's paperwork, signed and ready to go", the two of us could have been on the next plane out of here and maybe Mina would have had a chance to move on from this mess...but now...
There's no way that can happen now. Not with the way she was talkin'.
Recently, I've made a whole lot of mistakes, committed a great deal of sins. Tonight, I'm going to commit another number of sins, not only for the sake of retrieving the paperwork E.E. stole but to enact my revenge.
I'm sure if you could, you'd tell me that things don't have to be this way. You'd tell me that things could end happily ever after somehow. Thing is, I don't believe in fairytales or miracles anymore.
I've read those two paragraphs so many times now that I could probably recite the words from memory if someone asked me to.
She nailed my reaction to all this. More than anything, I want to tell her revenge isn't the answer, that it won't bring her the closure she thinks it will, that there's a better way to deal with her grief, but...
Why are we both so stupid?
Sitting on the bottom steps of the staircase, I finally let the letter slip out of my hand. Hotaru and the others were talking loudly nearby, on the phone with Mina's ex-friends.
Once again my gut was screaming for me to run out of the house and just go look for her, but this time I ignored it in favor of trying to remember where it was Mina said she was going. Well, she didn't exactly tell me. She just shouted at an object in her hand and demanded it take her somewhere.
I think the name of the place started with an N...or was it an M? R maybe? It had a "rita" in it. That much I can remember. Something "rita".
More words from the letter flashed in front of my eyes without warning.
I never thought things would come to an end like this, with me pouring my heart out in a letter rather than talking with you face to face. I guess that's just who I am now, a coward who can't even say goodbye properly. You could say that the Mina you grew to care for came down with a terminal illness the second she pulled the trigger and killed Cecelia Ashford. Soon, there won't be any trace of the person she used to be.
As much as it pains me to say this, it is for this very reason that I can never see you again.
Stop it, Joey. Come on man, think about what Mina said when she was in front of you. Think man! THINK!
Even so, I can't run off on my mission to create a path of corpses without giving you a type of goodbye.
No! I can't let it be goodbye. If I can just think of that one word...
Hotaru flinched, her violet eyes wide as she took a step back from me. Taking a deep breath I gave her the most apologetic look I could muster.
"Sorry Hotaru, I'm just...trying to remember the name of the place Mina said she was going," I explained, feeling ten times more guilty when Haruka and Michiru came into the room, both of them looking more than a little ticked off when they saw how distressed Hotaru was.
Bowing my head, I looked away from all three of them.
After a few seconds, Haruka let out a long sigh. "Joey, I've got Rei on the phone. She wants to speak to you about Mina."
Groaning in frustration, I got to my feet, pacing the foyer as I pointedly told her Rei was the last person I wanted to speak to. She was responsible for a good chunk of this and quite frankly there are choice words I have for her-words I chose to remove from my vocabulary a while ago.
Still, right now I'm in the mood to reintroduce them to my vocabulary.
Haruka seemed to understand my reluctance, but didn't let me off the hook. Once I was pacing back toward her and the other two outer soldiers in the room, she gently and wordlessly put the phone in my hand.
"Talk to her."
With that said, she motioned for Michiru and Hotaru to follow her back to the other room. Meanwhile I kept pacing, even as Rei started shouting for someone to answer from wherever she was. I was half tempted to hang it up or throw it across the room.
But eventually I brought the phone to my ear. She sounded desperate to talk, and since it was about Mina, I couldn't afford not to hear whatever it was she had to say.
"Joey? Oh, thank goodness you finally answered. I need you to listen carefully to what I'm about to say, alright?"
"I'm all ears, though I'm not sure if I should be honestly."
Rei sighed. "I know you're still upset with me about everything that's happened..."
"Upset is an understatement," I cut in, clenching my free hand into a fist. "Mina's in a bad place, Rei. I can feel it. She was here earlier and..."
"I know. Haruka filled me in, but when exactly did she show up?"
I closed my eyes and fought against the irritation Rei's voice caused me. "About fifteen minutes ago. She was here and then as quickly as she appeared she practically disappeared into thin air."
"Did she say where she was going, Joey?"
"Yeah, but...she was hysterical when she said it," I told her, knowing that if someone had a shot of helping Mina now it was the Sailor Scouts. Despite how much they've hurt her...I know they care. I know they want her safe and happy just as much as I do.
"All I can remember is...rita."
"Rita?" Rei paused for a moment, clearly thinking over it. "As in...Narita?"
Instantly my mind latched onto the word. "That's it! Narita! She shouted at some object to take her there."
Rei seemed to go quiet for a moment. "I see. So then, she really did take the magic mirror from my place when she stayed over."
"She left me a letter too...saying goodbye..."
"Read it to me."
Though a bit hesitant at first, I picked up the letter and read the entire thing over the phone. The scout of fire stayed silent throughout most of the reading, but by the end I could clearly hear her trying to hold back tears.
Immediately after I finished reading the letter, I tried to speak only to hear Rei outright sob.
"Joey...listen...the reason I wanted to speak with you was because of a vision I saw a few minutes ago," she interrupted, "I wasn't one hundred percent sure about the vision's meaning, but...now I'm certain of what it was telling me."
I blinked in confusion, unable to respond with words.
"In the vision I saw, Mina was covered head to toe in blood," Rei continued, still sniffling a bit. "And she was standing in Azabu Park."
My eyes widened upon hearing that name. "Azabu Park? Why would she...there's no way Mina would go back there after..." I couldn't bring myself to say it. Even though I'm certain Rei already knows about it, saying it aloud just isn't something I can do.
Another sigh echoed over the phone. "Earlier today, when Mina was kidnapped...some terrible things happened to her. I won't go into detail for your sake, but...let's just say A.A. did a number on her mentally. She escaped him before we arrived to help and called to tell us not to come looking for her. It's because of her request that we primarily focused on finding A.A. as a means of figuring out where E.E.'s base is. We wanted to make her pay for everything she's done...and it appears Mina had the same idea. The only difference is that she came in contact with the necessary tool to do it and so...Joey I don't think the Sailor Scouts can do anything for Mina."
"Are you serious!" I shouted, ready to slam my fist into the doorframe again. "You're abandoning her again!?"
"No, that's not what I mean when I say we can't do anything," Rei replied, sounding more emotional than I had ever heard her. "What I'm saying is that we're too far away to reach her before she enacts her plan. She had an object with her that could take her anywhere within seconds and from here it takes at least forty-five minutes to get to Narita by train-two hours if we have to go on foot, which is what we may have to do because of the oncoming snowstorm."
"The trains aren't running tonight, Joey. Ami just checked the station's website. All routes to Narita have been closed for tonight."
I stopped pacing, stunned by the new info.
"So what does all this mean?"
"It means Mina is already in Narita...probably fighting against E.E. and it could be more than two hours before we can reach her."
My heart nearly stopped beating. "That vision you saw..."
"We're leaving right now," Rei cut in, the sound of shuffling in the background. "But I don't know if we'll make it before Mina ends up at Azabu Park. I only know that she'll be near the park at midnight...and according to the vision...she'll commit suicide.
For a split second the entire world froze as the word floated through my brain, repeating itself over and over until the meaning of it finally registered. Mina was...she can't!
Rei's voice pulled me out of the haze of my mind. "Joey, I doubt any of us could talk her out of it. Not after everything that's happened. It has to be you. You're the only person in the world who can save her."
"Me...but I..." I couldn't complete the thought.
"She needs you, Joey. She needs you more than anyone else right now, so please..."
"You've got to go back to Azabu Park," Rei shouted, her voice verging on being hysterical. "If you don't...if you don't..."
My gut had been screaming for me to find Mina for days on end now...ever since that night.
But after what happened the last time I went with my instincts and just acted, I didn't trust myself to do the right thing. Even when I tried to find Mina when she was kidnapped...I let Kallen talk me out of it.
Deep down, I didn't think there was anything I could do. Regardless of what my heart said, I was totally convinced that I would only cause my friend more harm.
Please don't blame yourself for what happened to me. It isn't your fault. I made the choice to kill my mother in order to save your life, and while I may regret killing her, I don't regret saving you. I'll never regret that, nor will I ever regret bringing you to Japan with me. The days we spent together here are some of the happiest memories I have. I cherish those memories, and regardless of whatever comes next, I'll always treasure our bond of friendship. Whatever else we could have been...I guess we'll never know.
"Joey, snap out of it and answer me! Will you go?"
For everything you've ever done for me, thank you. I wish I had more time to explain everything you did, how you helped me to keep going when I thought I couldn't, how you inspired me to be stronger, to have courage in the face of the greatest trials of my life, but again, I don't believe in fairytales anymore, which means I don't believe in having any wishes granted.
At some point I drop the phone, my mind suddenly full of different memories of me and Mina together. Events from the second we met until now. Every glance, every smile, every touch...
I see and feel it all over again in the span of a few seconds.
So, to summarize, I'll just say this. You're the best friend anyone could ask for, Joey. Take care of yourself, and please, forget any concerns you have regarding me and the path I've chosen. That isn't for you to worry about any longer. Be free of that burden and live your life to the fullest. Good luck.
Before my mind has time to catch up, my hand is reaching down for the phone I dropped.
"Don't worry. I'll save her. No matter what."
Hanging up on Rei, I call Bruce, demanding him to pull the car around. He tries to ask questions at first, but it doesn't take him long to catch the hint that I'm not listening.
A minute later I'm in my room, shoving my arms through the sleeves of a black trench coat. At the same time I grab the first page of the paperwork and stuff it in my pocket, then rush back down the stairs and out the door where the car sits waiting in the driveway.
Bruce exits the car when I walk down the path, urging me to think about what I was doing or asking me a question. I don't know. I didn't care.
All that mattered to me were the keys in his hand.
Though clearly reluctant to help me out, the expression on my face must have convinced him to just let me do whatever it was I wanted. He placed the keys to the car in my hand and I got in.
"I'll be waiting for you there, Mina. I'll be waiting because I can't forget you. No matter what happens...I'm going to fight for you the same way you fought for me. Whatever it takes...I'm bringing you back to Domino with me."
Gripping the steering wheel in a death grip, I change the gear to reverse and back out a bit before quickly shifting it back to drive. Through the windshield I could see snow falling steadily from the sky. Just like Rei said, there's supposed to be a big storm tonight, which definitely isn't good for driving, but it's not like I have the option to wait out the weather.
Mina needs me and I promised to always be there when she needed me.
Joey Wheeler never breaks a promise to a friend. Never.
Underground Base in Narita Mountains
"Commnader Wong, Sir Williams and Sir Welch have both been killed. The intruder is...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
The connection cut out, alerting all parties present in the room of another comrade's death.
With narrowed amber orbs, the commander of E.E.'s personal bodyguard force stalked to the front of the room, a forlorn expression on her face as she stared at the other members of the Order around her. Most of the people with her now were scientists or research assistants. They were called here to aide in the ritual to restore E.E.'s power by A.A. and A1.
However, since the deaths of A1 and Ophelia, A.A.'s behavior has been erratic and so...many operatives had already departed for the Chinese Federation.
Excluding the six that have been killed so far, only ten members of the Order remained in Narita. Among those ten, only four were trained for combat of the caliber the intruder was showcasing.
"Commander, what should we do?"
Veronica Wong kept her expression neutral despite the pounding of her heart. The next orders she would give would put her at a great disadvantage, but better that than for there to be more unnecessary casualties.
When she spoke, her voice carried through the expansive room, resounding through the core of every person present.
"My orders to you are as follows," she stated evenly, showing no trace of weakness. "All non-combatant members are to escape through route S to Shibuya."
Veronica's advisor, Sir George Matthews, stared at her with an expression of disbelief. "Are you out of your mind? That leaves only four..."
"I am aware," Veronica interrupted, her gaze sharp as she reprimanded him. "But the rest of our numbers are valued researches and scientists of the Order. We have a duty to ensure their safe return to our home base. We were all trained for that purpose and to safeguard the triplets and E.E. if needed. A1 and Ophelia are dead., and A.A. has yet to be located; therefore, we only have one objective left to fight for."
Matthews sighed, a somber expression on his face. "Yes. Understood. I am to escort them, correct?"
"Very well, Commander."
Veronica nodded, directing her attention to an operative on the far side of the room. She was a deathly pale woman who often kept her stunning violet eyes hidden behind black visor-like sunglasses regardless of what the light conditions were. She did this primarily to hide the fact that she was blind to new recruits of the order and to appear cool. She had lost her sight at a young age and was the youngest of the team at twenty-seven years old.
And, regardless of the constant chiding she received from other combatant officers of the order, the young woman refused to cut her long, platinum blonde hair. So, to keep it out of the way, she continuously wore her hair in elaborate, pinned up hairstyles with a couple loose locks framing her face. Many of their colleagues were often amazed at her ability to craft these hairstyles, especially those who knew of her blindness.
Many underestimated her, but Veronica knew the full scale of this subordinate's abilities. Aside from herself, this woman was the most skilled fighter in the room.
After all, it's for this reason that Captain Elizabeth Tenebrae is her second in command.
Feeling the commander's gaze on her, the captain turned her head toward Veronica's general direction. She stood with her arms crossed and her gaze eternally lost in the darkness.
"Captain Tenebrae, I am sending you to deal with the intruder once and for all," Veronica stated before locking gazes with the third strongest of their group, twenty-nine year-old Damian Ivashkov of the Russian Territory. He was also a pale man, but his eyes were liquid gold and his smoothed caramel locks made him a favorite among the female members of the Order. Unfortunately for them, he only had eyes for Captain Tenebrae.
"Lieutenant Ivashkov will provide back-up if you run into any trouble." Her gaze returned to Tenebrae. "Between the two of you, I expect this intruder to meet a quick demise. However..." Pausing she looked to her final subordinate, Lieutenant Marshall Law. The forty year-old veteran was a master martial artist who had studied in Japan before it became Area 11. He was a fairly good cook and around the base he often forced his subordinates and members of the research teams to try out his new recipes. Veronica could hardly count the number of times she had scolded him over the issue.
Thinking about it now, she's tempted to laugh but manages to keep her stern expression in tact. Despite his age and constant antics, Lieutenant Law was the second strongest and one of the wisest of their ranks.
"Lieutenant Law, you are to remain a shadow while Captain Tinebrae and Lieutenant Ivashkov are in combat with the enemy. Should they fail, you are to report back to me immediately. Do not engage in combat unless absolutely necessary."
"Yes, Commander Wong," he answered.
Unconsciously the commander bites her lower lip. Even though no one else notices it, the woman is deeply fearful of what's to come. Martin, Evans, Kelmendi, Williams, Welch, and Bronson were not weak by any means. Each of them had been skilled in their desired craft, and so...for the intruder to take them out so easily...
Veronica silenced the thought and held her hand out in front of her in a fist. She silently noted the slight wrinkling of her skin. At forty-one years of age, she wasn't quite as limber as she had been in her twenties. Her daughter was always complaining about how much she complained about back problems.
"Vivian...I will return home."
With renewed determination, the commander raised her voice over the whispered hum in the small crowd before her once more.
"Everyone present in this room has a reason to live, a reason to fight on. We joined the Geass Order as a means to create a better world. Lady E.E. may no longer be director of the Order as she once was, but we swore allegiance to her and her ideals for this world. Darkness must rule this land in order for the true light of the world to return. For that end we have all sacrificed something precious in one way or another. There have been trials for each of us and times of doubt and fear. However, there have been more instances of triumph, more moments of joy than sorrow in our time together."
Captain Tenebrae smirked at the commander's words, her spirit uplifted as memories swirled in her mind.
Lieutenant Ivashkov had a similar expression, his golden orbs briefly drifting to the woman he had met because of the Order. In his mind, he owed a debt to it, even if he didn't believe in E.E. or her purpose for the world.
Lieutenant Marshall stared back at Veronica with approval and respect in his gaze. The same could be said for the researchers and scientists also present.
The commander stilled her shaking fist, a burst of passion fueling each word uttered from her lips.
"And so, to everyone gathered here, I ask that you keep the mantra of E.E.'s glory in your hearts."
The ten people in the room stood at attention then, holding their left hand out in a fist, mirroring their commander as she spoke the mantra.
"From light to darkness and darkness to light," she began, now moving her arm so that it was fully extended to the left before unfolding her fist. Then, with a slower movement she held two of her fingers up in front of her face as if she were holding something between them in the space between her eyes.
"Rebuild the world according to our sight!"
Repeating the motions, the members of the Order chorused, "From light to darkness and darkness to light. Rebuild the world according to our sight!"
Veronica dropped her hand, her expression neutral once more. "You all have your orders. Go forth and may E.E.'s blessings be with you."
A/N: Initially I was going to make this chapter longer but...decided against it primarily because what's coming next is better suited for the beginning of a chapter rather than a chapter's end...but also because shorter chapters means I can update faster. Anyway, if you enjoyed this chapter and the introduction to some new OC characters, let me know. I'm always eager to hear what you guys think. After all, good criticism and comments ultimately help me frame this story into something awesome. Thanks for reading! Have a great day!
Note: Also, I didn't edit this as extensively as I normally do, so if you guys happen to catch grammar errors or random spelling mishaps or typos...let me know and I'll fix them as soon as possible.