Prologue: "God Has Other Plans"
Lelouch felt the cold steel of his own blade vacate his body.
He staggered forward to the edge of the platform that his throne sat and slid down the dais, his blood leaving a streak on the picture of the Britannian flag.
Lelouch was unable to hear his younger sister's cries and tears as he allowed Nunnally to "see" everything that he'd done for her.
He had succeeded. He'd destroyed the world and created it anew, thus breaking the never-ending cycle of hatred.
The world's savior and destroyer felt his chest still as he courageously embraced his long-awaited death.
"Is this how you truly want it to end, Lelouch?"
Lelouch opened his eyes and recognized where he was immediately. "I'm in the Word of C again?" He wasn't surprised that he had become absorbed by the collective unconsciousness, but why was he able to retain his own? Why do I know who I am, he thought as he gazed around.
Lelouch realized that he was standing on the platform where he'd first confronted his father. The structure his father had constructed to destroy the being known as God. The structure reminded him of the buildings that he'd seen in Greece. It looked like a structure that had been designed based off of the design of the Parthenon.
"The Sword of Akasha," Lelouch breathed.
He then looked around and saw a dark figure walking towards him. Because of the figure's position with the bright, sun-like light source behind it, Lelouch was unable to make out any distinguishing characteristics. The only thing he could tell was that this figure was large.
"I asked if you truly desired everything to come to an end the way that you and your friend had orchestrated." The figure spoke with a very deep, powerful, commanding, and all-too-familiar voice the Lelouch.
His eyes both opened wide in shock at the revelation of whom it was that was slowly approaching him. "Impossible!" Lelouch shrieked. "I saw you disappear before my very eyes! You don't exist!"
"You aren't wrong, Lelouch Vi Britannia." The figure strode forward onto the platform of the Sword of Akasha and its features were revealed before the now dead Demon Emperor. "I no longer exist," Charles Zi Britannia said to his prodigal son.
"Then how are you speaking to me?" Lelouch demanded of his father's phantom, himself panicking at the sight.
The phantom of the Ninety-Eighth Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire smiled. "I am merely the form chosen to speak with you."
Lelouch couldn't help but feel puzzled at the phantom's words. "What do you mean by 'form chosen?' Are you not Charles Zi Britannia?"
"I am not Charles Zi Britannia," the figure denied while using Charles' booming voice. "I am the being referred to by your father, uncle, and mother as God! I am what your father attempted to murder with this weapon that he and his brother designed." The image of Charles' arms spread out wide.
Lelouch was able to piece together what that statement meant. "So God has seen fit to grace me with his presence, huh?"
Not at all," God smirked. "I am here before you to offer you a choice. One that I think that you will like.
Lelouch's hand rested on his chin as he sat in the chair that appeared behind him suddenly. "And what would this choice be, God?" Lelouch asked. "But before you tell me that, would you mind informing me as to why you came before me in the visage of Charles Zi Britannia?"
"I came to you while assuming this guise because it is one that you are familiar with," God answered. "I am able to assume the form of any being which has been absorbed by the collective unconscious. I could become the young woman that your fake-brother killed for remembering that you were Zero, if you would like."
"Don't you dare!" Lelouch screamed at the being before him. "Seeing her would only remind me of those final moments again," Lelouch said as he forced himself from recalling how helpless he felt as Shirley died in his arms.
"Which is why I chose to appear before you in the form of your father, Charles Zi Britannia," God replied.
"Then I will thank you for your courtesy and tact that you've shown in carefully choosing your guise," Lelouch said to the form before him. "It would appear that you aren't completely apathetic after all."
The visage of Lelouch's father chuckled before he spoke. "That is the first time that any creature has ever thanked me for anything. Most of those that I watch over merely curse me.
Lelouch smiled as he said, "Apparently I always deal with people who have never received any thanks."
"That you do." Another familiar voice spoke from behind the raven-haired youth. A voice that he was certain that he'd never hear again.
Lelouch quickly stood from his seat and turned around. He saw before him the eternally young, green-haired woman, C.C. had appeared.
"C.C." Lelouch whispered as he witnessed the beautiful woman appear before him. "Why are you here as well?" he asked her after he'd regained himself from seeing someone he thought he'd never see again.
C.C. kept her apathetic tone as she calmly answered his question. "Apparently you've gone and forgotten, so I'll tell you once more. I am a perpetual existence in this realm. So I am able to take form here any time that I wish to."
Lelouch nodded as he remembered her words from his first appearance in the World of C.
God then spoke, Charles' voice intimidating to anyone but Lelouch, "C.C. is the reason for me allowing you this choice."
Lelouch turned back and faced God. "What do you mean by that?" he asked the deity. "What did C.C. do which allows me a visit from the entire being of the World of C?"
God then explained his meaning. "At the moment when your life was taken by your friend Suzaku, C.C. was praying. It intrigued me, so I heard her prayer. She was requesting an audience with me."
C.C. nodded. "God answered my prayer and spoke directly with me. I informed God that it owed you a life."
Lelouch was puzzled at the immortal's words. "So, did you ask God to spare my life?"
C.C. shook her head at his question. "No. That wasn't my request. I knew that you wouldn't live on as a human because of your Zero Requiem. You would merely kill yourself in order to preserve the peace that you worked tirelessly to create."
"Did you request for God to grant me a Code implanted in my soul?" Lelouch asked his accomplice in life.
God answered the question directed at C.C. "You already possessed a Code within you."
Lelouch's eyes widened in surprise at what God had revealed to him. "You mean that I'm immortal?"
C.C. nodded once more. "God gave you Charles' Code after you defeated your father. When he told me, I… I…" C.C.'s voice trailed off, unable to finish her sentence.
Lelouch fell back into the chair behind him when he heard that. What will I do? he thought to himself. The peace I created only holds so long as I stay dead. If anyone recognizes me then Suzaku would be found out in the next moment. Then Nunnally would be called a co-conspirator. The people would believe that I faked my death just to give my sister the throne. Then they would enter a state of hysterical paranoia and revolt. Nunnally would end up being… Lelouch vehemently shook his head to prevent that image from forming in his mind.
"C.C. was relieved when she heard that you would be able to come back to her." God broke Lelouch's train of thought and brought him back to the scene playing out before him.
Lelouch saw the woman who wasn't fazed by anything blush after God's statement about her. She lowered her face and her long green hair blocked Lelouch from seeing her face. He smiled when he saw her acting like an embarrassed schoolgirl who'd just had her secret crush find out that she liked him. So C.C. is still a girl underneath it all, he thought to himself.
Lelouch then looked back at the deity who appeared in his father's likeness. "So how did C.C. convince you to offer me this 'choice' you mentioned earlier?"
God then answered in Charles Zi Britannia's booming voice, "She merely reminded me that you are the reason that I still exist. That you are the sole existence that has ever lived which I owe a debt of gratitude towards. I believe that the Chinese Triad has a code: 'A Life for a Life.' Because you saved mine, I will offer you one."
"Since I already possess a Code, why are you offering me something else? Isn't that, in a way, a life?"
God's booming laughter echoed in the vast emptiness of the World of C. "It is, but I've come up with an even better idea. One that will repay my debt with plenty of interest."
Lelouch cocked an eyebrow at that. "Just what is this 'choice' then?" He looked a C.C., but she merely shrugged her shoulders to indicate that she didn't know about it either.
"I offer you this choice," God began. "Continue on when your Code activates and live with C.C. alone, unable to ever contact the outside world again." God paused before he finished and offered Lelouch his second choice. "Or start over from the beginning."
Lelouch's face was filled with disbelief at what God had just said to him, and from the look on her face, C.C. couldn't believe it either.
"Please explain what you mean God," Lelouch quickly requested of the deity, eager to hear more.
God then explained what his offer meant. "I possess the ability to turn back the hands of time. I am able to send you back to the moment you first received your Geass. You will retain all memories of the life you just lived, as will your friend C.C. The two of you will have your lives reset to when you met." God then had a wry smile appear on his face. "I will also give you something in exchange for your Code."
Lelouch pondered for a moment in order to search for the meaning behind what God had just said to him. "What do you mean by you will 'give me something?'"
"No more Codes may exist in the time you will return to than already will," God explained. "If you return while a Code is present in your soul, then two souls will occupy the same Code simultaneously. It is impossible for two souls to share the same Code. The time you will return to will have the Code you possess existing in the soul of your uncle, V.V. In exchange for your Code, however, I will grant you a gift. In addition to my gift, all those whom you lost will still exist in this time."
Lelouch's eyes widened at God's last revelation. "You mean, Euphy and Shirly will be…"
"Correct," God assured him. "You will begin again in a time where both of them will still be alive and well." God smirked again before he said, "You also, knowing what you know, will have the opportunity to save them from the fate that they originally had."
Lelouch couldn't believe what God had just offered to him. I can save them, he thought. I can actually save them. I wouldn't have to lose anyone that I ever cared about. A picture of his younger sister while they both lived together at Ashford Academy appeared in his mind. Nunnally.
"What about this 'gift' you say that he'll receive?" C.C. skeptically asked God.
God's smirk widened on the face of Charles Zi Britannia. "You will possess the knowledge of the gift and be able to explain it to him, C.C."
"So I'm guessing that this 'gift' will have something to do with my Geass power then," Lelouch calculated.
Charles' laughter boomed as God laughed. "You are quite intelligent!" God then looked him in the eyes and continued. "Yes. You will possess a Geass power unlike any other. C.C. will be the only being permanently immune to your new power since she is the one that opened you soul to the Power of the King."
Lelouch wondered at God's last words. "I believed that all Geass was ineffective against her because she possessed an activated Code and that all Code possessors were also immune because they possessed a higher form of Geass in the Code."
Charles' eyes continued to stare into Lelouch's own violet eyes as he revealed something to him that Lelouch thought was impossible. "Those who possess the Code believe that the Code is the final, strongest form of Geass. In that assumption, they are dreadfully wrong. The Code is not the ultimate form of the Power of the King!"
Both C.C.'s and Lelouch's eyes widened in amazement at what God had just revealed to them.
"You mean to tell me," C.C. began, "that there is a form of Geass that goes beyond granting immortality?"
God then continued to explain to them about the new power's history. "This power has only existed once before in the world. I forcefully removed it because the young man who was its possessor was corrupted by the power and became far too powerful for anything short of my direct action to stop him from completely obliterating the world. He was unable to control the ability that he'd been granted because he had no ambition other than greed and power." God then spoke directly to Lelouch. "You, however, possess a true, real reason for living and fighting. Because of this, you were already able to conquer the Geass power that C.C. opened your soul to once before."
C.C. seemed to realize something at the mention of the power's last owner. "Who was this power's previous wielder?" C.C. attempted to demand of God.
"His true name no longer exists in the minds of men," God assured her. "I removed his memory from all minds aside from the Code possessor that contracted him his power. And even that Code possessor no longer exists in the current world you will reside in."
"So there's no point in asking you to tell us his name because you won't reveal it to us. Is that right?" Lelouch had realized God's point.
Charles' head nodded from atop his mountainous frame. "You have no cause for concern. That man exists in the world no longer. Nor has he for millennia."
Lelouch nodded at God and then stood and looked towards C.C. "What do you think C.C.?" he asked her.
C.C. didn't seem to like that God had avoided answering her question, but she quickly returned to her usual self.
She then smiled at Lelouch. "I don't mind either way, Lelouch. Whichever you decide to choose, I will forever remain at your side." She then turned and faced God. "Will Lelouch retain his immortality?"
Charles' head shook at her question. "No. This power may surpass the Code in terms of power of Geass, but nothing other than the Code is able to grant someone immortal life."
C.C. appeared to be saddened when God told her that. Lelouch then quickly asked God, "Is it possible for me to steal a Code with my new power while I will be in that time?"
Charles' face nodded. "You will be able to steal a Code once your power has developed enough." God then had a wry smile on his face. "It is even possible to steal and possess multiple Codes before your first activates while you will possess this new power."
Lelouch was skeptical, but he continued to probe the deity for information. "Will I have the ability to grant a stolen Code unto another person?"
God grinned once more at Lelouch's inquiry. "You will." God's grin remained plastered on Charles' face as he continued. "If the power doesn't corrupt you like it did the last owner, you will be able to even create Codes."
Lelouch was in disbelief at what God had just told him. What on earth is he talking about? Lelouch wondered.
God then continued his explanation. "Only four Codes will exist in the time which you will return to. However, when the world was created, it was possible to allow up to ten Codes to exist simultaneously."
C.C. then finished the thought. "So if Lelouch is able to conquer his power and not be corrupted, then he will be able to create and bestow up to six Codes. Is that right?" she directed her question to the visage of Charles Zi Britannia.
God nodded once more. "That is correct, C.C."
Lelouch couldn't get rid of his skepticism at the offer he was being given. "This offer seems too good to be true," he said to God. "Why should I believe that it's as genuine as you state?"
Charles' laughter rang out and echoed once more. "You made the world which I watch over interesting, Lelouch," he told the raven-haired youth. "You also saved me from the one weapon which has the ability to destroy me. You may choose whether to believe my words or not. But even if the power you will possess isn't what I say it is, will you not already possess a weapon even greater than any other when you return?"
Lelouch couldn't help but feel a grin appear on his face. He's right, Lelouch silently thought to himself. If I am sent back to the instant that I received my Geass, I'll have my original Geass power at least. But I'll possess all of my experience from what has happened in the first time around. I can even prepare for Charles' power. I may even be able to prevent Suzaku from initially betraying me to the Emperor.
Lelouch's grin turned devilish as he continued to realize all of the possibilities that this offer gave him.
A low, maniacal laugh game from Lelouch's mouth as he thought about the deal he was being offered. He threw his head back and the laugh continued to grow in volume as the seconds passed until it turned into a maniacal shriek.
He turned and looked at C.C., who appeared to be impassive at the scene. "You will remain by my side no matter what C.C.?"
She nodded at his suggestion. "I promise that I will never leave your side. No matter what happens."
"Very well," Lelouch said before he turned to God. "God!" he yelled. "I hereby accept your offer! Return C.C. and I back to when it all began! Send the two of us back to the story's beginning!"
Charles' laughed thundered throughout the World of C once more. "Very well!" God exclaimed. "The next time your eyes open, you will be back in the Shinjuku ghetto!"
Lelouch and C.C. were then surrounded and swallowed by complete nothingness and disappeared from the World of C.
God retained his Charles Zi Britannia image after the two of them had disappeared. "I believe that this one will be much more interesting to watch," God said to himself as he turned and walked off of the platform, toward the orange sky.