Assignment 5: The Black Knights
"So can you come on the field trip this weekend?" Milly asked.
"That sounds like fun!" I said enthusiastically. "When do we leave?"
"Great! I'll see you there."
The next morning Milly, Shirley, Nina and I met at the train station. We boarded the train, and sat down in our seats.
"Isn't it great to get of the city and into the countryside?" Milly asked.
"Well, I've never been outside the settlement before." Nina confided. I put a hand on her shoulder.
"It'll be alright. We're here with you, and I've heard that the Lake Kawaguchi resort is a beautiful place." The rest of the train ride there was uneventful, and besides, I really had no reason to worry. We got off the train to enjoy the view of the lake. Milly checked us in, and we headed up to our rooms.
On our way, we were seized by some men in Japanese military uniforms. They brought us to a room that already had several dozen hostages. I was able to dial Zero before the main man spoke.
"We are the Japanese Liberation Front. We have taken over this hotel. There will be no outside communications, so you will need to put all cell phones and pagers in this bag here."
Grudgingly, I obliged, hanging up before I was discovered calling the outside. Almost everyone else stood up and put their personal devices in the bag. I sat down beside Nina, trying to stop her from freaking out. Several hours went by, leaving me to wonder if Zero was going to try and rescue us. One of the soldiers dragged a man out, and I don't know what happened to him. About half an hour later, the same soldier came and grabbed me by the arm.
"You'll be coming with me, miss." I let him guide me through the halls until I asked. "What are you going to do with me?"
"Same thing we did with the old man. Throw you off the top of the building." I punched him in the face, wheeled around and kicked one of the other soldier's in the chest, sending him flying into the wall. The last guard got scared and started to run, but I hit him in the back of the neck, knocking him unconscious.
I started back to where I thought the leader would be staying. I reached the corridor without problem, but I decided to change into Miyan. I walked down the hall, and the guards pointed their guns at me.
"Now, Now. There will be no need for you to use those." I said. "I'm here representing Zero. I would like to talk to your leader."
"Well, I guess I can ask the Colonel about this."
"Thank you." I waited as the guard went inside and talked to the Colonel. The guard returned, saying, "You're free to go in."
I entered the room to find the Colonel sitting on the couch, video conferencing with Zero. Zero noticed me and I said. "Good, you received my message then."
"Certainly. It is indeed a good opportunity to make contact with the JLF. Now, Lt. Colonel Kusakabe, what was your objective for taking everyone in the hotel hostage?"
"To show them that we are still alive and kicking."
Zero scoffed. "How weak."
This angered Kusakabe. "What was that?"
"You are merely preying on the weak, trying to do good. But I, Zero, will not tolerate anyone who does this. The strong exist to protect the weak, not to oppress them. Miyan, if you please."
"Of course." I grabbed Kusakabe's head and gave a sharp twist, breaking his neck. I grabbed his katana from his fingers and unsheathed it. The others in the room tried to resist, but guns are not close range weapons. I turned back to Zero, letting their bodies to fall to the ground.
"Shall I clean up in here?"
"Please do. I will be arriving by helicopter any minute now. Return to the hostages. I don't want to have to explain away your absence." I could hear the sound of a helicopter approaching while I heaved the bodies of the dead JLF members out of the window. I changed back into Leann, and a couple of minutes later, Zero entered the room. He told Ohgi to escort me back to the hostages and bring them down to the docking area.
When I got back to the room, Shirley stood up and said. "Oh, Leann, you're ok!"
Then Ohgi announced, "Zero has come to save you. If you follow me, we can return you to your loved ones." We all followed Ohgi down to the docks, when suddenly, there were some explosions that threatened the structure of the building. We hurried onto the boats, which quickly set sail into the lake. Behind us, the building was collapsing. We emerged from the wreckage, gliding over the water.
"My dear Brittanians. Have no fear. All of the hostages from the hotel are safe and sound. I, Zero, return them to you unharmed. People! Fight us, or rally behind us as you see fit. We are the Black Knights! We of the Black Knights stand by those who have no power, no matter who they are. The Japanese Liberation Front took innocent Brittanians hostage, and executed them without mercy. It was a wanton and meaningless act. Therefore, they have been punished. Just as former Viceroy Clovis was punished for ordering the slaughter of countless Elevens. We cannot stand by such while such cruelty is carried out. We made him pay for his actions.
"I will not repudiate battle on a fair and level field, but neither will I tolerate a one sided massacre of the weak by the strong. The only ones who should kill, are those who are prepared to be killed! If anyone with power performs such unjust actions in the future, we shall appear, no matter how strong or formidable they may be. Those of you with power, fear us! Those without it, rally behind us! We, the Black Knights, shall be the ones who stand in judgment of this world!"
The next morning, everything was abuzz with the Lake Kawaguchi incident. The Black Knights appeared several more times over the next week, but I was unprepared for the mission that Zero was giving me.
"You are going to India to meet Rakshata, A brilliant engineer and designer of Knightmares. I need you to convince her to join our side. After all, we won't be able to defeat Brittania without some custom Knightmares."
"I'm not sure I can do that." I replied uncertainly.
"Of course you can do it. You are the only person that can do this." He handed me a thumbdrive. "If worse comes to worse, use this to get as many of her work files as you can. I hope it doesn't come to that." Zero drove me to the airport, while I was trying to find information on Rakshata on the Internet.
I wasn't finding much, but I wasn't surprised. Rakshata was helping many different groups, so she needed to keep as anonymous as possible. I went through security without incident, and the flight there wasn't all that exciting, so by the time I got to India, I was bored out of my mind.
I went through customs, claimed my bags, and headed for the hotel that I was staying at. I unpacked my bags, and waited for the knock on my door. It came at about 5:30, meaning that I was in the middle of eating dinner.
"You can come in. It's unlocked." The door opened, revealing an Indian woman with light blonde hair. She strode in, hand outstretched
"You must be Miyan. I'm Rakshata, the head researcher."
I shook her hand. "Nice to meet you. Is there anything you want to drink?"
"I'm fine, thank you." She sat down at the table.
"Let me get straight to the point." I said. "Zero wants you to be his R&D head."
"I thought as much. But I don't work for just anyone. They need to be worthy of my skills."
I leaned forward, conspiratorially. "They say that the Earl of Pudding and the ASEEC is in Area Eleven right now."
"You think a chance to prove myself better than that man is enough to get me on board?"
"Of course not. However, what will sway you is this." I handed her a sealed envelope. Rakshata tore it open and started reading. She gasped, almost dropping her pipe.
"Is this true?"
"I see no reason why I shouldn't be in Japan right now."
"I was hoping you would say something to that effect. We will get to Japan on a freighter. It leaves at 6 p.m. on Sunday, it would be best to have all your research and prototypes on the ship before 4."
"Well, I must say that it certainly had been a pleasure, Miyan."
"The pleasure was all mine. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some business to attend to." After Rakshata left, I called Zero.
"How did it go?" He inquired.
"Relatively well. I had to use the letter, but she agreed to come of her own free will."
"That's what I expected. I will talk to you on Sunday." I spent the rest of my time in India touring the city. The style of architecture was interesting, but not my thing. On Sunday afternoon, I found my way to the docks, where the Aohana was stationed. There were a whole bunch of large crates that must contain Knightmare Frames and prototypes. Rakshata was standing nearby, overseeing the delicate operation of loading the ship with all her life's work. She noticed me, and came over to talk.
"Impressive, isn't it?"
"I'll say. I've never seen this many experimental frames in one place before."
"Oh, I imagine that I'll be building a lot more models for Zero in the near future. Can I show you my two masterpieces?"
"I would love to." She pointed to two Knightmares standing right next to each other. One was mostly red, but had a silvery right hand. I figured that it did something special. The other was primarily blue. It wore a Chinese mask and had two yellow slash harkens around it's wrists.
"On the left is the Guren Mk. II. On the right is the Shen Hu. Unfortunately, both are high spec and we can't find anyone who can pilot these. The Guren's right arm is a Radiant Wave Surger. The crystal on the Shen Hu's chest is a Baryon Cannon. Both are very destructive."
"Be very careful with these!" She told the loaders. "These are my babies. If they get damaged, it can cost several hundred thousand pounds to fix it!"
I believed her. These Knightmares were the most advanced Knightmares I had ever seen. Except for maybe the Lancelot. By 5:30, we were ready for the two day trip home.