January 8, 2016 a.t.b.

Lelouch smiled. A mirthless grin. The young noble was renowned as a chess player. Lelouch had neatly pinned him. The noble made a desperate play, using his knight to block. Lelouch slid a bishop across the board, stealing his hope. The noble moved his king, but then Lelouch slid his knight across to bring him back under control. Another move would bring his queen into a perfect position. The noble, knowing he was utterly defeated, tipped his king, resigning and conceding the game to Lelouch.

Lelouch had never been a great sportsman, and so he decided not to shake the proffered hand. Instead motioning the noble out, they were of course at the Aries Villa, one of the advantages of royalty was that when playing anyone except royalty, which was fairly exclusively Schniezel nowadays, he got to choose where they played.

Schniezel, the one person he could never beat. Now he was being sent to Area 11 to "Learn how the lower classes lived" or so the Emperor put it. Since it was a direct order, he couldn't disobey. Instead, he had been forced to ask Schniezel to help him put together security and a royal guard. Several men had already been selected, and when school resumed in a few weeks, he would join whatever its name was private academy as Lelouch Lamprouge, since he hadn't made a public debut yet, nobody should recognize him, and a few select men would be on the school's staff, just in case.

Of course, he would have to occasionally talk to Clovis and Cornelia, but that was manageable. He could live with talking to them. The larger problem would be money. Oh yes, here he lived in splendor, and of course, all his school expenses would be taken care of for him, but if he wanted money to spend, he would have to make it himself. He figured his forte was chess, and so, he would most likely end up using chess and gambling together to make money. The problem would be where to get start-up cash and transportation, he couldn't well walk everywhere, and he couldn't well bet money without having any.

In other words, he would need somebody to loan it. He would have to start small, playing local chess players and minor nobility, he couldn't play in a large scale setting. Since that would get him arrested. As a prince he could do anything not specifically forbidden by the Emperor, but as a commoner, he was limited by laws. His option then, was to either acquire the money for startup through someone at the school, or to hard earn it, and then multiply it.

He decided the first choice would be better, unless he happened across enough money to get him started on the way there, or in the intervening weeks, in the mean time, his security was securing their posts at the school, the Ashford Academy, run by some disinherited Ashford who had kept the name because the Ashfords were in favor in the court. There were also rumors of the Ashfords secretly supporting the Academy.

Of course, he placed no faith in rumors, and the disinherited fool had done well for the school, it was one of the most prestigious in Area 11, fairly liberal, and accepted any citizen. A select few Elevens had been admitted, but for some reason they had all almost immediately been put on disciplinary notice, and then expelled from school. So sad, as a PR move, the principal admitted them, and then when they were beaten and bullied, they were punished as a result. That was the kind of twisted logic that Brittania ran on. He hated it. The constant war and fighting, the internal strife, social Darwinism was not how one ran a country, for the strongest was not always best, often times the strong pay for strength with brains, becoming nothing more than shells of muscle and tissue, or the mentally strong were born weak and feeble, and thus unable to put to use their own strengths. Then there were those born with genetic disabilities. It was horrible, dishonorable, and underhanded. The Emperor was only permitted to stay on the throne because none of his children had garnered enough support to challenge him, and Lelouch suspected that his being sent to Area 11 was just another tactic to slow down his own support gathering.

Not that he had been doing much of that. He hadn't really joined the succession games. Schniezel, Odysseus and Clovis were all garnering support, but no him, he was currently willing to sit in the shadows and watch. A striker out of the shadow, perhaps even a dark horse for the throne. That would be interesting. However, he did not want strife to follow the Emperor's death, chaos would only serve to weaken the empire, something unacceptable, even to him.

Someone knocked at the door. "Come." Lelouch said.

It was Schniezel. Lelouch turned to him, "What may I do for you, Brother?"

"Actually more like what can I do for you. May I introduce Sergeant Nathaniel Fields, a young soldier whom is vetted in personal protection as well as, ah, blending in." Schniezel Replied. A young man, perhaps Lelouch's own age entered, he was wearing the uniform of the OSI.

"I see. So, has father set up an OSI post at the school to protect me?" Lelouch asked.

"He has, the OSI and the royal guard we have been assembling for you will jointly handle security. It was a demand from the Emperor that you immediate guard be OSI, I picked the best one available." Schniezel replied.

"Our cover stories will be that we're old friends, attending school together, and that we're both minor nobility. Correct?"

"Correct, Sergeant Fields has been temporarily authorized to behave as nobility for this mission, your cover stories and backgrounds were arranged by the Emperor, so their should be no flaws."

"Very well then, I believe that Nathan and I had better familiarize and get our story straight." Lelouch said.

"Of course." Schniezel said, standing to leave. He did so, and Nathan decided to take a seat, not the one the prince had so recently vacated. He seemed to have a strict code.

"Very well, Nathan, I shall put on no pretenses, since we must know each provider well." Lelouch said.

Nathan settled in for a long conversation.

Vince had just touched down in area 11, the pocket calendar he kept to keep up with his appointment informed him of the meeting he had in just under half an hour, it was with the chief of the joint security team, or so he had been informed.

he stepped of the plane, a military jet reserved for officers, usually colonels and generals, but he had been cleared for its use. He was on a military base, and a low ranking staff officer greeted him, then handed him over to an orderly to show him to the meeting room where the conference of the upper ring of the security force was to be held.

when he arrived the other three attendees were already assembled, he was still a full quarter hour early.

"Well, since we're all here, we might as well get started." Said one, he was wearing an OSI commander's uniform.

"first things first, Captain Regas. This if Lieutenant Colonel Hampton, he is in command of the royal guard." he said, motioning to the other man in a regular military uniform, "and this is Woods, he is a," he paused briefly, considering it, "High ranking officer, although not as high as myself," he then paused while the two shook hands, "and I am Commander Darret." He said finally, concluding his introductions.

"I am pleased to meet you all, as the Commander said, i am Captain Regas, former member of the Imperial Royal guard, shortly an officer in the service of General Roderick, i am now pleased to join Prince Lelouch's royal guard." Vince said, formally introducing himself.

"Well then, introductions out of the way, down to business." Darret said, "The school the prince will be attending consists of over twenty buildings, each with multiple floors, including basements."

a map of the school grounds showing detailed blueprints of each building was brought onto the screen.

"We shall establish two command posts, one on sight in the Lower levels, out of student access, and the other in a nearby house. Once our field operations begin, nobody will wear a uniform, we will all be undercover, Captain Regas, I believe you have your assignment already." Darret continued.

"Yes sir, I'll be onsite Commander and undercover as a math teacher, there is an opening after the previous teacher was killed in a terrorist attack these past few weeks." Vince said, "An unfortunate and fortunate turn if events."

"Continuing on, Lieutenant Colonel, you'll be offsite and in charge of emergency response. Woods will be in command of the onsite OSI unit, and I will be offsite." Darrect finished, "Are there any questions?"

there was a brief pause, and seeing as no one had any questions, he continued, "OSI will monitor all activity and provide an internal undercover force, the royal guard is providing a handful of direct contacts onsite as well. These contacts will primarily be in the guise of teachers. The OSI will vary in guise. Offsite forces will be in possession of a Knightmare, a Glasgow, remarked as non-military. OSI external will be responsible for keeping up with the terrorists. We must remember, we are here for one reason, the protection of prince Lelouch. Failure is not an option, dismissed." Darret said.

Vince stood up and turned to leave, his next appointment being with the principal of Ashford, the school the prince would be attending, and this would have to be in plainclothes, so he changed into a suit and selected a modest car for the off-base meeting.

As he drove through the light mid-afternoon traffic, he relected on what he had just heard. So he was being put in a position of command again, commanding the only force that could easily stand in the way of a determined attacker and the prince. He was determined to succeed.

he pulled up to the school, a private school with a closed campus, a pair of guards stood at the gate, one in the guardhouse, the other outside it, waiting for a car. Vnce pulled up, and the guard walked over, Vince rolled down his window.

"Can I help you sir?" The guard asked.

"Yes, my name is Vince Regas, I'm here for an interview for a position." Vince replied.

"Identification and invitation please sir." The guard requested. Vince handed the man his ID and letter of comfirmation, inviting him to campus for the interview.

after a brief check to confirm the credntials were legitimate, the guard signalled his compatriot to open the gate. As the guard handed back the credentials he said, "have a nice day sir."

Vince parked his car at the large lot at the front of the school, the walked to where the administration building was. He opened the door, and entered into a waiting room, with a receptionist and a few couchs, chairs, and tables arranged. He went up to the receptionist.

"may i help you?" She asked.

"Yes, I'm here for an interview for employment, as a teacher." Vince replied.

"I see, let me look. Ah yes, a Three O'Clock appointment. The principal is busy roght now, but I'll let him know you're here." The receptionist replied.

"Thank you very much." Vince said.

He found a chair, sat down, and started reading a magazine as he waited. When, a few minutes later, the receptionist called him, he stood up.

"Principal Ashford will see you now." She said.

Vince nodded to her and stood up to enter the wing where the office was marked to be. He walked along to the end of the hall, where the sign above the door read "Principal Ashford" He entered the door.

"Mr. Regas." Ashford said, nodding his head towards a chair.

Vince took the seat he designated. "Thank you for agreeing to see me." Vince said.

"Yes, well, I'm short a math teacher, and you're both qualified, and highly recommended. I have a recommendation from Prince Schniezle el Brittania himself." Ashford replied.

"I see." Vnce replied.

"Yes, and I was appraised in that letter that your purpose would be the protection of a prince. I was also informed that it would be Prince vi Brittania, Lelouch, i believe hus first name was."

"I can neither confirm nor deny that sir, although if a prince chose to appraise you to this particular situation, of a knight going into the school system, well, i can't change that." Vince replied.

"you took that rather smoothly." Ashford commented.

"Part of my training was PR, we are trained in the military to handel, ah, delicate situations, in which a person provides a situaion and plausible evidence to indicate why a person is in such and such a position, or somesuch." Vince replied.

"Alright, you've won me over. I'll hire you. Classes restart on the 18th, your classroom and office information will be forwarded to you in a few days." Ashford said.

"understood, and thank you sir." Vnce said.

"It's Daniel, unless it's a formal school occasion. Got it?" Ashford said.

"Understood." Vince replied.

Washington drummed his fingers. Another command change. This time it was a bright girl fresh out of officer's school. Apparently she had some connections and had been promoted quickly and transferred in. Nobody told her about the curse. It was bad manners to tell someone that their coveted position would be ripped out of their hands shortly. It would either be by death or by transfer, but nobody in the unit ever saw one of their previous commanders again.

Until now. Washington's orders were clear. He was being given the Emperor's elite airborne SpecOps team. He was a number, he ranked higher than most numbers, being a one and appearing much like a Brittanian, but his hertiage would profe the Brittanians were superior to him. Until now, he had been a fairly young number officer over number troops. Now he was being handed a Special Operations team hardened by war, simpply to protect a prince. He was going to Area 11, where, from his last contact with Regas, his former captain was as well.

It would be interesting to seme him again

AN: my longest chapter so far, this one is the first with Lelouch's pov and also Washington's POV, also, if somebody wants to come up with a first name for washington, that would be awesome, otherwise I have to think of one, and thinkingof so many names makes my head hurt.

Please tell me what you think, any concerns you have, etc.

thanks for reading!