A/N: Ok in this chapter some of the issues I had somehow managed to overlook like why Lelouch didn't use his cell phone and such I will finally address in this chapter. In the previous chapters I made some changes that the cars and motorbikes use electricity for power instead of gas since we haven't seen any gas stations and all things considered all of their vehicles are probably electric too. I have made the appropriate changes of course, but a special thanks to those at deviant art, AlSmash and others for checking out the chapter before posting it so it's my hope that most of the problems and issues have been removed.
If there is anything I need to address or somehow overlooked once again the let me know. Anyway thank you all for the reviews and I hope you will enjoy the chapter.
The First Night
The sun vanished below the horizon giving away to night as Lelouch, Takashi and Kohta finished barricading the door leading into the apartment while double-checking to make sure the windows were closed and locked with the curtains closed. Lelouch reasoned it would be a bad idea if anyone saw the light coming from the apartment which could attract desperate survivors who could draw Them to their location. Takashi did not want to risk losing Rei to another lunatic like the man they encountered at the gas station so they tried to keep a low profile. However inside the spacious bathroom some people couldn't help but make a racket.
Saeko, Rei, Saya, Shizuka, Misuzu and Toshimi were all inside the bathroom washing up in response to what happened today. Given the size of the group it was decided among them to bathe all at once with Rei and Shizuka occupying the bathtub while near the shower on stools were the other four females of the group using buckets to provide water due to the limited reach of the water facets. As Saya was carefully looking through the body washes and shampoos in front of her Saeko was in the middle of cleaning up using a soapy washing mitt on herself. Toshimi was using a bar of soap on herself while Misuzu's face was beat red as she looked at the other females in the room including her best friend. She looked down at her own chest and then at everyone else.
"This feels nice," Rei said stretching her arms.
"It feels like I am melting away." Shizuka said contently stretching out her arms in response to Rei as the two girls were content with relaxing in the tub. But Rei began blushing bright red around her cheeks after she looked down at Shizuka's…assets.
"Good god sensei you are really stacked!"
"Hee hee I get that a lot."
"Don't sound so cocky!" A jealous Rei remarked with a chuckle before advancing on the busty blonde. "Take this!"
"Ah-hya…don't...please not there!" Shizuka struggling but despite her age the younger girl was winning the struggle. "MERCY!"
"It's not fair?" Misuzu thought with one of her eyebrows twitching while at the same time she just wanted to cry.
"This isn't some lewd porno game." Saya said with a sigh as she began working shampoo into her hair, but she was having a hard time focusing with Shizuka and Rei going on behind them in the tub. "Why are we all in the bath at the same time anyway?"
"You know very well why Takagi-san." Saeko replied as she was about finished applying soap onto her arms. Once she was finished she decided that Saya needed to loosen up a little as she turned on the cold water tap and grabbed one of the extendable shower nozzles.
"That's true but…HYAAAAAH!" Saya was saying before she cried out in surprise as Saeko sprayed the pink-haired girl's rear causing her face to go red.
"That's a better voice than I was expecting!" Saeko said before laughing, but Saya was already itching for pay back filling up a small tub full of cold water. Saya dumped it all over Saeko's back whose reaction wasn't what the pink-haired woman was hoping for. Saeko took it well…in fact Saya wondered if the older girl enjoyed it.
"You still got to act like the big sister don't you?"
Outside in the bedroom on the second floor Takashi could hear them as he and Kohta were working on breaking into what the two along with Lelouch suspected to be a weapons locker. During their search of the apartment for supplies they found a large amount of ammo used more commonly for military-grade weapons. Lelouch had suspected Rika had some weapons hidden, but he didn't reveal his knowledge of Rika's line of work without being forced to spill how he knew that.
"It sounds like they are having fun in there?" Takashi commented as he wedged the crowbar into the locked left door of a six-foot tall black metal gun-locker.
"You want to sneak a peek? You know we're supposed to right?" Kohta suggested.
"I am too young to die."
"Same here, it's not worth the risk." Lelouch added not wishing to die at the hands of pissed off Japanese girls.
Lelouch was examining the locker suspecting something else.
"Putting weapons you would likely get executed for possessing into an obvious location like this would be suicide if the police conducted a search on this place? Unless," Lelouch thought as he used a butter knife trying to slip through into the back of the locker. Although it seemed separate from the wall, but Lelouch was finding that the locker was firmly attached to the wall much like if it was built into it.
"Well I am going to be very pissed off if there is nothing in here."
"There has to be." Kohta said making sure the crowbar was in the right place. "We found the ammunition so there has to be something in there."
"Screw it let's do it," Takashi said as he and Kohta both grabbed the crowbar. "Ok we do this on three, One…two…THREE!"
The two teens pulled back as hard as they could until the door gave away revealing a seemingly empty gun locker with a pair of military-style binoculars with night-vision.
"Oh you got to be fucking kidding me." Takashi said as Lelouch looked inside.
"Actually it would be too obvious…could you guys move?" Lelouch asked.
"Sure, but what are you expecting to find?" Kohta asked as Lelouch began feeling around the interior of the gun locker.
"I am looking for a hidden panel of course? This locker looks separate from the wall, but if you inspect it closely the whole thing is built into the wall itself which seems odd considering its appearance. Furthermore," Lelouch said as he found what he was looking for removing the hidden panel. "What better place to hide a stash of weapons than in plain sight?"
Lelouch backed out taking the panel with him revealing a hidden compartment in the wall behind the cabinet where Kohta and Takashi saw three weapons resting inside.
"I guess you called it!"
"You're a genius Lelouch-kun!" Kohta said with a frightening smile on his face before diving in to retrieve the weapons.
"Shizuka-sensei said this place belongs to her friend, but just what kind of friend is she?" Takashi said while Lelouch although he knew pretended otherwise shrugging his shoulders.
"She is either rich, has a boyfriend who is right or involved in some kind of funny business?"
"I guess so, but." Takashi began before they were interrupted by Kohta who was looking over the first of the weapons he pulled out.
"This is a L037Z6 semi-automatic assault rifle, the weapon of choice among the Royal Military police of the Britannian Homeland and Special Forces. Well I'll be damned it looks like someone had this thing customized." Kohta said as he was completely lost to Takashi and Lelouch as the Japanese boy couldn't even get through to him.
"I wonder what his parents were like?" Lelouch thought trying to figure out what made him into a gun-otaku.
"Uh…hello Kohta…earth to Kohta?" Takashi tried in vain to reach his friend.
"I knew it; this magazine is larger than the standard 30-round magazines. Yeah this thing has been customized to hold a magazine containing 40-rounds…oh that is just beautiful." Kohta said as he began laughing before putting it down to pull out another rifle. "A L85CG recoil-operated semi-automatic Sniper rifle I can't believe it. You can't even get these things in Japan no matter what kind of connections you got. Who ever owned this has completely remolded this gun…yeah I think they bought all of the parts separately then put it together. That couldn't have been easy since this bad boy is popular among the Britannian Homeland Coast Guard and even the military naturally."
Takashi reached in and drew out the last weapon which had Kohta's eyes go wide with a happy expression upon it.
"That's an L5570Z semi-automatic combat shotgun considered one of the best in the world. Hell that thing is the shotgun of choice among the Britannian Navy and the Royal Marines. That shotgun became infamous during the Second Pacific War."
"Really huh," Takashi said looking over the gun holding it before pointing it at Kohta prompting the young man to panic.
"Even if it's not loaded don't point a gun at someone!" Kohta said getting out of the line of sight of the weapon. "The only one you should point it at…"
"Are Them, but I hope that's all we will only point it at."
"Guys like Shido are out there, but either way we got to ready for anything." Lelouch said exchanging a serious expression with Takashi.
"I hear you on that one, but you know if I get bitten I don't want you guys to think twice about blowing my head off." Kohta said with a grin.
"Likewise I expect the same from you." Takashi replied nervously before Lelouch added.
"Hopefully it won't come to that, but…heh…let's try to avoid it ok?"
"It's a deal!" Kohta replied with a wide smile as the teenage boys had made a promise to off the other if one of them got bitten. Of course they were going to make every effort to avoid that. Meanwhile Saya left the bathroom having dried off and changed into a light blue sleeveless shirt that was a little small for her, but it was the only thing that could fit her and a pair of black short-shorts. She was letting her long pink-hair flow free pass her waist while wearing her glasses.
Saya's eyebrow twitched as she heard Saeko in the bathroom now coming under assault from Rei after giving up trying to determine if Shizuka's breasts were fake or not.
"Damn it Miyamoto what reason do you have to be jealous?"
The pink-haired woman hurried up and finished to avoid coming under attack from Rei.
"I wonder what the boys are up to?"
Saya made her way up the stairs coming across Kohta and Takashi who were busy loading magazines with bullets for the new weapons they found. Saya was a little surprised they had found some more serious weaponry, but she shook off the feeling when she noticed Lelouch was missing. The Britannian teen wasn't down stairs so where did he disappear to? Saya slipped pass Takashi and Kohta by climbing over the bed as the two boys were talking about Shizuka's friend tossing theories back and forth about what she was involved in.
The young woman went outside looking for Lelouch, but he wasn't on the balcony. Saya was suspicious as she looked around before noticing a ladder leading up to the roof of the apartment complex.
On the roof hiding behind roof-mounted air conditioner was Lelouch as he was using a pocket radio to listen in on a news report. As he expected it wasn't good news as the outbreak was getting worse worldwide with the nations being barely able to halt the spread.
"With the rapid spread of this so called murder syndrome, the political infrastructure of our nation along with those of others is collapsing with no remedy in sight," Spoke the voice of a female newscaster before she added. "Just before communications with the Vatican was lost, the view that this crisis was divine punishment was rejected during a mass gathered there."
Lelouch kept listening with a grim expression on his face.
"According to the last report from the Ministry of Health from the Viceroy Palace in the Tokyo Settlement the number of people affected by this plague has already reached 20,000,000 and it is estimated to reach 100,000,000 in a matter of days. Having maintained our broadcast despite heavy sacrifices, this station can no longer ignore the effects of Murder Syndrome and the number of people it has infected so we are moving this station to an offshore facility. This marks the end of our regular broadcast. Good-bye everyone and good luck…"
"The initial outbreak must have dealt out more damage worldwide than I thought."
Lelouch thought as he began using the satellite phone he took from the safe house earlier this afternoon dialing a number. He would have used his cell phone, but realized early on and even confirmed when he asked Takashi about it that telecommunications services around Area 11 especially cell phones seemed to be out of service. Either the systems were overwhelmed by all of the emergency calls to 911 and other services like police for instance. But another possibility Lelouch considered was the possibility of those who maintained the systems responsible for cell phone service reception and telecommunications were comprised becoming zombies which would likely lead to the equipment being damaged. Of course it was more than likely a combination of the two.
"Please have the satellite phone on you."
The former prince was hoping that if anything the person he was attempting to contact would have taken the 72-hour kit he had made which included a satellite phone for emergencies. Lelouch's heart skipped a beat before racing rapidly as he heard the ring tone. Then he released a sigh of relief when someone answered it, but was still a bit concerned when a familiar female voice answered it.
"I assume that is you Lelouch?"
"C.C I take it you survived the zombie apocalypse?"
On the other end holding a satellite phone of her own was a green-haired immortal teenage girl with yellow eyes wearing a white Britannian prison straightjacket.
"And I was correct to assume you would survive as well?" C.C. said with an all-knowing smirk.
"Is that Lelouch…is my brother?" Another voice in the background asked.
"Is that's Nunnally?" Lelouch asked recognizing the voice of his sister.
The girl in question was fourteen years old with sandy blonde hair wearing the pink and white middle school uniform of Ashford Academy sitting on the ground near the immortal woman. C.C. and Nunnally including a few others were inside an underground shelter with shelves stocked with food and barrels filled with fresh water including some roll out beds among other supplies. More specifically it was a panic room of shorts built under the Ashford Academy main administration building. It was more for the members of the Ashford Family in the event of a terrorist attack, but in this case it was serving as the shelter for C.C, Nunnally and the other survivors of the now zombie infested Ashford Academy.
C.C. and Nunnally plus four people in the room were the only survivors.
"Thank god she's ok."
Lelouch thought as he had dared to think what would have happened to Nunnally, but knowing already Sayoko and C.C were there when the outbreak happened his sister had a chance at survival. For the first time all day Lelouch felt true relief knowing the one he cared for most was alive and still human.
"Who else is there with you? What happened exactly?"
"Well…" C.C. began as she told Lelouch what had transpired when the academy much like Fujimi Academy had suddenly suffered an explosive outbreak.
(Hours ago around the same time Lelouch was trying to survive at Fujimi Academy)
C.C. was enjoying a midday snack which consisted of a large pizza while lounging around on Lelouch's bed. She knew the young man she was in a contract with would be back later that afternoon. What Lelouch did ultimately didn't concern C.C, but it was only when his life was in danger it did because she needed him to fulfill their contract. Surprisingly school was cancelled to allow students time to prepare for the upcoming festival as well as to ease tensions among students that were brought up due to the recent invasion of Kyushu.
However Nunnally was with the student council members in the meeting room as Milly Ashford the student council president was with other members of the student council putting the final touches on plans for the upcoming festival. Other students including the clubs a majority was involved with were doing the same while a lesser majority not involved was simply hanging around. The day seemed normal enough, but perhaps almost similar to what happened at Fujimi all it took was for a few people to get bitten by one of Them. Not in the same manner, but once it got into the academy then everything began to crumble before finally collapsing unleashing panic and chaos.
No one knew how it happened, but it did and soon enough an announcement was heard throughout the school.
"Attention all staff and students of Ashford Academy I repeat may I have you attention please? A violent outbreak has just occurred at the school so all students are instructed to fall members of the facility to safety at once. I ask that all students," But like at Fujimi Academy some events have a way of repeating themselves. The sound of the door to the headmaster's office was broken down before Ruben Ashford was heard crying out.
"Please stay back…someone help me….SOMEONE HELP!" The last anyone heard of the headmaster of the academy was the unfortunate old man's screaming a group of Them viciously attacked and killed him.
C.C. was one who was rarely surprised by things, but she was abnormally silent just as uneasy silence fell upon the school for a few seconds until screaming and shouting were heard as panic spread like wildfire through the school. The immortal girl went to a window and observed as she saw large groups of students attempting to flee. Some were going for the main entrance while others were seeking alternate means of escape. But in their panic stampeding students trampled one another and even some teachers got ran down as well too. Then that was when C.C. saw Them their groups began small, but as more and more students fell victim their numbers began to swell rapidly.
"Lelouch-sama, are you in here?" A voice said before the door opened and a worried Japanese woman about twenty four years old wearing a black and white classic maid uniform complete with the hat entered the room. She had short brown hair and light brown eyes. "C.C-sama?"
Sayoko Shinozaki the maid and caretaker of the Lamperouge siblings, but more in particular Nunnally due to her special needs as a result of her disabilities. However unknown except to a few and even Lelouch was that Sayoko was recently recruited as a spy for the Order of the Black Knights by the head of the organization's Head of Information, Espionage, and Public Relations. C.C. on the other hand was fully aware of this fact because she was the one who ultimately approved of her recruitment into the group.
"Sayoko…if you are looking for Lelouch he isn't here right now. We were going to meet up later, but I think we have a situation on our hands."
"Yes, but I…I can't abandon Nunnally-chan."
"I understand, but I don't think staying here will be a good idea?"
"There is the panic room below the administration building we can take cover in? Trying to get through the Tokyo Settlement with Nunnally-chan would be too risky."
"I agree, but before we attempt to get to the panic room we're going to need a few things. Stay with Nunnally until I come. Lelouch has a few things we can use." C.C. said as Sayoko nodded running off to the student council room to keep Nunnally and everyone there. The green-haired immortal brought out a backpack containing emergency supplies to last three days containing water, food, a medical kit and a few other helpful survivor tools including a radio and a satellite phone.
C.C. grabbed the second handgun Lelouch kept, which she used weeks ago to personally remove an old mistake from the past. After making sure the magazine was full the immortal woman brought out a third gun Lelouch had acquired as a reserve weapon in conjunction to the two he already had. If she was among the student council then there was someone else who could make use of the weapon. C.C. had no doubt that she could survive this outbreak on her own, but the idea of a zombie outbreak was to be fair something she never would have expected. Of course she knew none of the others would survive without help and her partner losing his sister could kill his will to live which was unacceptable.
Arriving at the student council room she quickly spotted Nunnally before eyeing everyone else at the room who immediately noticed her.
"Uh who is that?" A young man with spiked up blue hair and gray eyes wearing the black and gold trimmed uniform of Ashford Academy male students.
"I think staying here might be a bad idea."
C.C. began before looking towards the person he was hoping to be present. She had bright red hair and blue eyes with a slender figure wearing the female Ashford Academy uniform for high school student consisting of a black skirt, a sand-colored jacket over a white-collar shirt, a green tie and light blue-thigh high socks with black shoes. Kallen Kozuki or known publicly in the Academy as Kallen Stadtfeld, but what many in the academy didn't know that she was the ace pilot of the Order of the Black Knights despite being a half-Britannian and half-Japanese girl. Understandably Kallen was confused at seeing one of the high-ranking members of the Black Knights at Ashford Academy of all places especially since there were rumors, which was false of course, that C.C. was Zero's mistress.
"Kallen take this!" C.C. called out tossing the second handgun to Kallen who caught it with her hands.
"Huh you know C.C. Kallen?" Nunnally inquired having met C.C. months ago believing her to be a new friend her brother made, but was led to misunderstand that Lelouch and the green-haired woman was in a relationship with one another much to Lelouch's chagrin.
"Well yeah kinda, but," Kallen began not certain how to explain herself before giving the immortal woman her full attention demanding. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
"I'll explain later, but if you people want to end up a meal of those zombies out there we should get someplace safe. I believe Ashford Academy has a panic room below the main administration building right?"
"How did you know about that?" A busty blonde haired woman about eighteen years of age with blue eyes wearing the same female school uniform as Kallen except she wore dark blue socks instead.
"Lelouch told me about it." C.C. replied to Milly Ashford the Student council president and she knew because she was the granddaughter of its headmaster. The Ashfords had it built to escape from terrorists and other dangerous that could arise for their own uses so no one with the exception of a small few which included Milly and her grandfather were aware of it. "You should know the pass code to get inside correct?"
"I do, but…"
"I have no intention of leaving Nunnally here; Lelouch would be most upset if anything happened to her. Zero would especially be unhappy if anything happened to her as well. The rest of you are welcomed to come, but seeing how fast this is spreading we'll need to move quickly."
"Huh Zero, but…" Kallen began surprised that her superior would be concerned for Nunnally. Of course it wasn't that she was concerned for the girl just the same, but still.
"I don't have time to explain, but I'll tell you later once we are safe."
"Ok before anyone goes anywhere just who the heck are you?" Milly demanded.
"I am a friend of Lelouch who is going to make sure none of you die or get devoured by those…things out there."
Everyone looked out the window and saw the situation worsening by the minute.
"But there is so many of them out there so how are we going to make it?" Rivalz inquired.
"We'll need to be quick." C.C. said as she looked at everyone seriously.
"I can carry Nunnally-chan, but I won't be able to fight." Sayoko offered.
"It's for her sake that you carry her since that wheelchair of hers can't move very fast." C.C. pointed out while Nunnally seemed uneasy but she understood the situation. As everyone else got ready to head for the shelter C.C. and Sayoko devised a way for the maid to carry Nunnally while leaving her arms open by modifying a large backpack adding a few straps and belts to secure the fourteen year old girl onto the maid's back. It was difficult to fight in her state, but at least it left her arms available. Rivalz managed to get his hand on a baseball bat he found in one of the closets downstairs while Shirley and Milly grabbed a broom and mop respectively with Nina not taking anything. The girl was too nervous and frightened by what was happening outside which merely reinforced the fact that attempting to stay at the clubhouse where there were too many points of entry for those zombies coupled with the fact that there were not enough of them to properly defense this place.
The lack of real weapons was another major issue.
"Alright we don't know if these things are going to react the minute they see us, but nobody attack them unless they come at us. If a few come at us then we might have a swarm of them coming after us." C.C. explained while Milly and the others with the exception of Kallen and Sayoko were uncertain about the woman.
"We need to go, but no panic or none of us will make it." Sayoko said sternly as she would follow behind C.C. with the others taking up the rear allowing some protection for Nunnally.
C.C. opened the door as she walked outside with her handgun ready, but seeing the devastation of how much the outbreak has already converted just about the entire student and staff members into zombies. No one could be certain if anyone had managed to seek refuge or escape the academy, but right now their survival was priority. The zombies didn't seem to notice them causing the green-haired woman to question if they could even see to begin with.
"I don't know if they can even see, but just the same everyone be on your guard and be quiet."
Kallen covered their rear as the group proceeded cautiously across the zombie infested school grounds heading for the main administration building to make for the basement where panic room was located. Fortunately for the group the zombies seemed more concentrated near the dorms, the auditorium and near the main entrance of the school likely having been lured by the fleeing students. Still that didn't mean the path ahead of them wasn't completely clear.
After ten full minutes of heart-racing maneuvering through a literal zombie minefield the group entered the main administration building with Sayoko pointing in the direction of where the elevator to take them to the panic room laid. But the halls ahead of them had a number of undead students, but while a few were wandering aimlessly a few were just standing still uncertain of what to do. As C.C. was contemplating how to get pass them something went wrong.
"EEEEEEKKKK!" Nina screamed as a door to their left opened as a zombified teacher came stumbling out, but was quickly shot in the head by Kallen.
"Well good news is we know these things are obviously blind, but the bad news is they drawn by the sound their prey makes, so everyone...RUN FOR IT!"
C.C. ordered as she began shooting at the zombies that began converging upon them ahead of them before running with the rest of the group following as Sayoko kept up behind her. A few zombies emerged from the classrooms they had just passed as the group advanced through the hallways heading for the elevator. They reached the elevator, but as Milly frantically pushed the button to call it more and more zombies began closing in on them from just about every direction possible. C.C. and Kallen managed to down a few more zombies before being forced to reload forcing Rivalz, Milly and Shirley to help defend them as they changed out magazines.
Nina was shivering and cowering in a corner as terror and panic were overwhelming her.
She couldn't even think coherently by this point, but when the elevator finally came the doors opened the young girl ran in…slamming into a pair of undead students. Nina could only scream in terror as she was helplessly mauled by the two zombie students as one bit into her neck and the other one began munching on her arm.
"NINA!" Milly cried out, but it was too late despite Kallen quickly shot the two students. But the unfortunate girl was badly wounded as she was bleeding profusely before stumbling out of the elevator with Rivalz catching her.
"I don't think she's going to make it," Rivalz said as the group was now introduced to another horrific truth about the way the zombie pandemic spreads. Because she was bitten in the neck Nina died in Rivalz's arms moments later before becoming one of Them. However Rivalz realized the sudden change in Nina as his skin changed to a grayish color, but he couldn't get away fast enough as Rivalz was bitten on his right hand.
C.C. killed the zombified Nina a second later.
C.C. said as she realized just as Rivalz understood it too clearly that he was as good as dead now that a zombie Nina had bitten him. A bite to neck causes the effects to be seemingly instant the closer the infection is to the brain, but a bite further away from it takes time to claim the victim. Milly and Shirley much to his discomfort removed the students from the elevator with Kallen and C.C. fending off the zombies with small arms fire wiping out the initial group. But they knew more were coming so everyone piled into it, but even more zombies were coming as the group saw over two dozen of them heading down the hall. But Rivalz alone remained outside he knew he was going to inevitably die.
"Rivalz what the hell are you doing?"
"Nina bit me…and just like what happened when those two bit her she became one of those zombies. But I guess unless they bite your neck it doesn't happen as quick. I guess I am screwed," Rivalz said trying to make light on his impending demise. Truthfully the young man was terrified that he was going to die, but he had no intention of allowing himself to become one of them.
At that moment an idea came to mind…it was crazy, but at this point what did he have to lose?
"Go on ahead you guys I am going to die a human, but I am going to take a lot of these guys with me." Rivalz said boldly.
C.C. understood and as the elevator doors began to close Milly wanted to stop Rivalz, but Shirley and Kallen much to their own sorrow and regret held the woman back. After the elevator doors closed the blonde haired woman broke down in tears. Rivalz with a cocky smile began making as much racket as he could to attract as many of the zombies as he hurried out of the administration building leading them towards one of the other buildings on the campus. There were not too many zombies in his way, but those he ran into he dashed passed them and evaded until he came to the chemical lab. Remembering an incident Nina herself had caused Rivalz began mixing a number of chemicals haphazardly before superheating it.
As it was beginning to boil Rivalz could feel his body weakening, but at the same time the zombies lured by all of the noises he made broke down the door. But by then Rivalz had recreated conditions of an accident Nina had caused while taking steps to ensure it was more devastating than what had happened. The accident in question was caused by a small amount Nina had accidentally left unattended, but what Rivalz had cooking was at least well over a gallon of the volatile chemical.
"Oh silly me I should have told Milly how I felt, but then again it would have hurt her a lot more." Rivalz said jokingly as he slapped his cheek while a few tears fell from his eyes. As the zombies closed in the chemical mixtures' container began to crack before…
The explosion Rivalz triggered caused ten-times the damage than the one Nina caused which had wrecked a good part of the lab, but this explosion destroyed it completely setting it ablaze as it triggered a chain of secondary explosions from all of the chemicals now aflame. Rivalz had also unknowingly put together a more explosive chemical mixture than what Nina had accidentally created, which was more due to his lack of knowledge in chemistry.
He had a surprisingly good memory; however…he went out in a blaze of glory.
After disembarking the elevator the basement floor was surprisingly cleared of zombies, which was mostly likely because no one were able to get down here. Wasting no time Sayoko lead them to the concealed doors leading into the panic room. Milly sadly entered the codes to open the heavily armored doors before everyone hurried inside locking themselves inside the panic room.
Returning to the present C.C. finished telling her story of events to Lelouch who was saddened by the loss of Rivalz and Nina. Lelouch was silent with obvious concern for the survivors especially Nunnally who was probably in a bad state of shock over what happened.
"Anyway I think you should talk to Nunnally." C.C. suggested before passing the phone to the small girl who sat on a cushion mattress on the ground. Lelouch didn't object and allowed her the nervous and worried fourteen year old girl to speak.
"Big brother is that you…are you ok?"
"I am fine Nunnally I am sorry I wasn't there."
"I am just glad you are alright, where are you?"
"I am in Tokonosu City with Saeko. I had gone to see her when the outbreak happened, but we managed to find a place to take cover for the night."
"Saeko is with you?" Nunnally said with some relief in her voice that he wasn't out there alone.
"She is, but we managed to meet up with some other survivors. I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can, but it's too dangerous to travel at night…I am sorry Nunnally."
"You don't have to apologize brother I know you will come just please be careful. Tell Saeko-chan I said hi."
"I will Nunnally, but before I go tell C.C. that I am going to make arrangements for you and the others to be rescued. If I don't arrive soon I hope they will get you all out of danger, but I'll meet up with you as soon as possible."
"Just be careful brother."
"I will…" Lelouch said as he hung up with a heavy heart.
It was perhaps fortunate that Shirley and Milly did not jump in on the conversation, perhaps they were in shock over what happened and likely grieving what happened to Rivalz and Nina. Collecting himself after a moment Lelouch began to dial another number. Lelouch took a deep breath as he listened to the dial tone before someone picked up.
"Hello," Kaname Ohgi the Deputy Commander of the Black Knights said picking up the satellite phone he swapped out his cell phone for as they became useless following the outbreak. The former teacher turned second in command to the organization.
"Ohgi it's me Zero," Lelouch spoke before hearing relief from the older man on the other side.
"Zero you're alive? Where are you?"
"I was caught off guard by this outbreak like the rest of the world. I am stuck in Tokonosu City with another group of survivors made up of some Japanese high school students and one adult."
"Tokonosu City…is anyone else from the organization with you?"
"No, but I intend to rendezvous with the rest of you as soon as possible. I would have contacted you sooner, but cell phones are not working due to communication circuits either being damaged or jammed."
Lelouch admitted as he did attempt to use his phone earlier after the outbreak started but the lines were jammed and reception was becoming a problem. He wondered if cell phone towers in the area had been damaged or just too many people were calling 911. Of course there was the possibility too that those responsible for maintaining them could have been rendered zombies as a result of the outbreak which might have resulted in equipment getting damaged during any attempts to fend them off.
Or it more likely could have been a combination of all of the above.
"However could you please bring me up to speed Ohgi?"
"Sure thing besides what you have probably heard some kind of outbreak is turning people into undead zombies which seems to spread if you get bitten by them. I am actually with Tohdoh and Diethard in the conference room aboard the submarine discussing the situation before you called."
"I see could you put me on speaker phone then?"
"Of course," Ohgi replied putting down the phone and linking a wire to it. "Go ahead…"
"It's a relief to hear from you Zero," Spoke Diethard Reid the Black Knight's Head of Information, Espionage, and Public Relations for the Black Knights. He was thirty-one years of age with long sandy-blonde hair tried into a ponytail wearing the usual black and gray trimmed uniform of the Black Knights except he wore a red turtleneck under the uniform coat.
"I am glad to hear that our leadership has survived intact, but Tohdoh could you give me an update." Lelouch asked addressing Suzaku Kururugi old sensei a former leader of the defunct Japan Liberation Front was currently Head of the Military Operations for the Black Knights. He still wore his old olive-green uniform from his time in the Japanese military and his short brown hair was appropriately cut and styled as always.
"Despite the sudden outbreak we were very fortunately that a number of our operation cells have managed to weather the initial surge of…infected victims rampaging throughout Japan. We don't know how it happened, but according to status reports we have collected it seems to have happened roughly around the same time as similar sudden outbreaks around Japan took place if only thirty minutes to an hour apart from one another."
"That is disturbing to hear…I noticed some areas were quickly infected within a matter of minutes. Most of it was caused by people not realizing they were no longer…normal anymore." Lelouch said lightly touching upon the undead zombie subject as like Tohdoh he was still having some difficulty accepting the idea of zombies.
"Yes and we know the infection is spread by means of an infected biting a victim."
"I noticed that as well. However have they noticed that an infected victim is rendered blind and tracks its next victims by means of sound?"
"Yes have a few reports making mentions to a similar observation. However in light of this I have taken the liberty to order all of our cells and divisions to enforce strict inspection protocols to check members and any survivors they take in for signs of infection. Some of the cells managed to save some survivors. We almost had an incident with one of our cells in Kyushu, but they contained it however they lost a few."
"I see…excellent work Tohdoh. But I advise that our cells should be careful on the number of survivors they take in. I have no objections if they wish to take in more survivors. Just as long as they check them for infection and are fully aware of their food, water and medical supplies not to exhaust them too quickly. With the lock-downs Britannia is enforcing in Area 11 based on what I am seeing here at the Onbetsu Bridge moving supplies might become a little more difficult."
"I agree, but maybe the other cells could acquire supplies from ideal locations in their areas." Tohdoh suggested as he agreed with Zero on the potential and even dangerous issue of supplies. Especially if they don't know how much worse this outbreak could get.
"That could work since right now we don't know if the situation will get better or worse? As a precaution we should make preparations for the long-haul if the outbreak gets worse than better."
"I agree…although it's too soon to say how the current situation could go. But I will issue new orders to our division cells."
"They have my permission to seek out additional supplies if they are either running low or are inclined to retrieve some. However they are to conduct their supply hunts carefully without drawing the attention of the Britannians. Since the infected track their victims by sound anyone who heads out to hunt for supplies should bring with them weapons equipped with suppressors."
"Given all that is going on I think the last thing we need to do is stir up a hornets' nest." Tohdoh said in agreement as with the situation provoking a fight against Britannia would be too costly.
"At least until we have a better understand of the situation in Area 11 regarding the outbreak, but we should prepare for the worse-case scenario just in case now while we can." Lelouch added.
"I have no objections."
"In the meantime I want Diethard to maintain his information contacts if possible? But tell me Diethard how are communications throughout Area 11?"
"Well as you likely have guessed cell phones along with telecommunication services are down throughout Area 11. Web browsing of course is out as well, but I suspect telecommunications went down due to a combination of the systems being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people trying to call emergency numbers like 911 and others. Of course during the course of the outbreak faculties and cell phone towers could have been damaged."
"I suspected as much, but I assume satellite communications are still working?"
"Yes, but I was discussing with Ohgi and Tohdoh on other possible means of communications should satellite communications no longer become possible. We are considering using radio communications as a possible backup."
"Considering the situation I believe we should seek and obtain alternative means of communication so please pursue whatever course is best to secure a reliable secondary form of communication if satellite communication becomes no longer possible." Lelouch said as he was doubtful communication satellites were in danger of being rendered useless, but no one was expecting zombies to overrun the world so it was better to be prepared for the worse and most unlikely of situations all things considered especially now. "On that note Diethard I want you to maintain contact with as much of your sources as possible. I want us to remain update on the situation with the Britannian Military and what they plan to do. The news channels will no longer be reliable soon I assume."
"Yes…even now the television stations around Area 11 have been abandoned with most of the crew and other reporters moving to off-shore locations or have managed to find a safe place of their own. Others have gone to certain locations including near your location to report on the outbreak."
"Speaking of which I think one of them is reporting from the Onbetsu Bridge. Near your location…actually it's the only news program still broadcasting so here." Diethard said as he used a remote to turn on the wall-monitor tuning in to the only active news report the former producer found. The first thing Ohgi, Tohdoh and Diethard saw was a Japanese man wearing a white hard-hat standing before a crowd of people, protesters by the looks of them and the signs the trio saw that they were holding. Lelouch unable to watch the report for obvious reasons listened in.
"Don't tolerate the tyranny of the Britannians," The man in the hard had declared as others chanted together.
"Don't tolerate it!"
"We strongly condemn this biological weapon, this circulation of killing pandemic developed by the Britannians."
Suddenly the scene shifted to a woman with brown hair wearing a yellow jacket holding a microphone as she began elaborating on the scene behind her.
"This group which has begun its demonstration on the Onbetsu Bridge leading into the Tokyo Concession with tensions running extremely high."
"Killing pandemic," Ohgi commented while Lelouch added.
"They are probably talking about…the…infected victims."
"We don't know what kind of group it is or if it's related to a terrorist group, but according to the flyer distributed by the group the main focus of their protest is to condemn those who allowed killing pandemic also known as Murder Syndrome to spread and they believe it's a biological weapon developed by our government."
"Are serious...are they even sane? What biological weapon," Lelouch said in obviously annoyance with the amount of stupidity the protestors was demonstrating. Granted he knew former Viceroy Clovis was conducting experiments on C.C, but sadly the young man did not know the details. Even though he doubted the possibility of such a horrific biological weapon capable of such massive collateral damage was even possible.
"I agree…those people are just crazy. How do you explain walking corpses that eat people?" Ohgi said even denying the possible of this whole outbreak being the result of a biological weapon.
"I can't imagine any government that might have even had the means to develop a biological weapon capable of this and even if they did who in their right mind would set it loose like this." Tohdoh added.
"That can only mean that group is made up of lunatics…maybe even radical anti-Britannians…or both," Ohgi noted.
"People like that will only become part of the problem and I doubt the Britannians are going to," Lelouch began but before he could finish a Britannian Police Officer shot the lead protestor in the head after a brief discussion with him. The news program was terminated with a sign displaying technical difficulties, but Ohgi, Tohdoh and Diethard were stunned while Lelouch having heard the sound of the gun quickly realized what had happened. However considering the situation he was just expecting that short of action. Suddenly Lelouch heard a much louder noise on his end…the sound of explosions.
Standing up from where he had been sitting he looked over towards the source of the explosion and spotted multiple explosions that looked to be from rocket launchers.
"Zero what's going on?" Ohgi asked.
"Ohgi I think those protestors either were carrying heavy weapons or another group has just begun attacking the Britannian Police Officers managing the blockade on the bridge."
"I can't see it too clearly from this side, but I see one of the Knightpolice frames have been destroyed so either the protestors are fighting back or someone is taking out the Knightmare Frames helping to manage the blockade."
"That's insane," Ohgi said as he almost couldn't believe it. The trio could even hear the faint sound of the explosions in the background.
"Given all that has happened isn't it easier to blame people for the world going wrong so quickly." Diethard said.
A fact everyone had to accept because they all had to face the obvious truth that something supernatural or otherwise was turning people into corpse-like being that had them going after people to feast on their flesh. Even if you didn't want to call them zombies that is what they still were and there was simply no beating around the bush on that.
"With this new development I don't think I need to note that we should handle what happens next with extreme caution and any survivors we take in…we need to be careful."
"By the way Ohgi before I forget earlier I spoke to C.C. She and Kallen are stranded at Ashford Academy which has become overrun with these…zombies. They have taken refuge inside a well supplied and armored panic room below the academy administration building." Lelouch reported as Ohgi sighed in thankful relief at the news of Kallen's survival.
"Thank you…" Ohgi said with a smile on his face.
"With that said as soon as it's possible I want a group to seize Ashford Academy and convert it to an outpost listening base for monitoring the Britannian Forces at the Viceroy Palace. We could even use the grounds to help any survivors we take in. But check them for any weapons, infection or anything that might suggest they would try to help the infect more...you understand right?"
"I understand completely Zero I'll make sure our Division Cells receive orders to take similar precautions." Tohdoh said as the Black Knights likely had crazy lunatics to worry about now. "Anyway we'll see about organizing a team to seize Ashford Academy, but considering the situation that will take some time for the proper preparations to be made. Not to mention the state the surrounding area must be in."
As much as he wanted them to move on Ashford Academy the former prince knew it was best if the group sent to seize Ashford Academy was properly prepared.
"I understand seize the academy once all proper preparations have been made, but I recommend you prepare for the unexpected. Also any survivors found in the panic room are to be cared for."
"Understood..." Tohdoh said in acknowledgement before asking. "What is your destination Zero?"
"At present we are taking refuge for the night at one of the apartment complexes, but tomorrow we're going to head for possibly the Takagi Estate depending on the situation there. I'll contact you again when I reach a secure location with details, but once C.C. has been recovered have her take the Gawain to recover me. I have taken an IFF transponder from one of our safe houses we had in the area. I'll activate it once recovery is on the way to make finding me easier."
"I assume you are without your mask then?"
"Yes," Lelouch replied.
"I see, but we don't have anyone in your area so we can't dispatch anyone to recover you and the survivors in any event."
"I know and given the situation trying to move about at night is suicide. With the blockades in place ground recovery would be difficult especially with what just happened on the bridge."
"I agree, but I assume you'll contact us once you reach the Takagi Estate?"
"I intend to or sooner if I can. By the way before I forgot…Ohgi are you familiar with a Koichi Shido?" Lelouch asked knowing that Ohgi was a former teacher, so he was hoping by some chance he knew Shido.
"Yeah I know him," Ohgi replied as his voice was edged with hints of anger and bitterness. "Koichi Shido, a manipulative bastard who promotes bullying and is more likely to sell out his own students in a second, so if that's him then I know him."
"So you know him?"
"Yeah I substituted at Fujimi a few times."
"Then would you object if I gave you orders to shoot him on sight then?"
"Actually I would gladly see to it those orders are carried out. There have been a number of questionable rumors surrounding that guy so there are a few others who would like to see him shot."
"I see…" Lelouch replied smiling as it seemed that Rei and Saeko were not the only ones who despised Shido which didn't seem surprising. "Anyway I better go I'll contact you again as soon as I can."
"Understood!" Ohgi replied as Lelouch hung up taking a deep breath before sitting down on top of a piece of rooftop machinery watching the scene out at the bridge as the explosions were dying down, but regardless of which side one the Britannia's ability to hold the bridge had been severely comprised.
"The zombies are likely to be able to overrun the bridge now…especially all of that noise will attract them by the hundreds for sure."
"I knew there was something fishy about you…Zero." An unexpected voice spoke surprising Lelouch as he saw someone emerge from a hiding spot. It was Saya who had been hiding behind one of the rooftop air-conditioning units near the ladder Lelouch had used earlier. It was obvious she had eavesdropped on the whole conversation. "Don't think I didn't see you pocket that satellite phone back at that safe house."
Lelouch was slightly irritated his identity had been found out again, which now made Saya the third person to find out.
"She was suspicious of me from the start, but…"
"Don't worry I have no intention of telling anyone else right now since any kind of mistrust the revelation of your identity as Zero might cause would just jeopardize our survival chances." Saya was quick to say as she approached Lelouch. "I assume Saeko is aware of your identity isn't she?"
Lelouch sighed since he was exposed as Zero. Although he could use his Geass to conceal his identity, but after some consideration he decided against it reasoning that perhaps it would be more beneficial for the time being at least that Saya was fully aware of his identity as Zero.
"She is, but truth be told she only found out earlier today that I was Zero. She suspected I was him because of our past relationship. We have known each other for the last seven years."
"I see, so were you seeing Saeko this afternoon to recruit her or," Saya said as her eyes narrowed behind her glasses. "Were you going to ask her to protect your sister given your likely need to spend more time as Zero?"
"So she overheard anything then."
Lelouch thought realizing just how much Saya had figured out about his identity, but she didn't know that he was former Britannian Prince at least.
"There is no need to tell her anything else right now."
"Yes it was about my sister…I don't want to involve her or Saeko in Zero's world. I have no intention of loosing, but I would be a fool if I didn't consider the worse-case scenario. If I was killed or worse captured anyone involved with Zero would be killed."
"I see…" Saya said as she understood Lelouch's intentions of seeking out Saeko and his likely reasons for wanting her to watch over Nunnally for him.
"I chose Saeko because she is fully aware of the situation Nunnally and I are also she is someone Nunnally trusts completely as I trust Saeko." Lelouch said before deciding to add. "I won't go into detail but suffice to say to the Ashford Foundation, whose academy we attend and live at, we're nothing more than insurance for them to be traded if the situation in Area 11 goes against them. Part of my reason to becoming Zero is to no longer live as some kind of liability insurance to be used. I won't let my life and my sister's life to be used in such a fashion."
"I see…I won't ask about it anymore, but I won't tell anyone as long as you don't do anything to jeopardize our chances of surviving."
"That's fair enough I see no reason to disagree."
"Good and," Saya said before she sneezed feeling a cold wind blow pass her.
"I think we should get out of here."
"Right and with all of that chaos that just happened at the bridge we should turn off the lights and lock up the place for the night. It's probably best that nobody knows where here."
"You have a point…everyone else should be done. Maybe you and the other boys should consider bathing." Saya said as she and Lelouch went back down to the balcony, but as the two opened the door to go back inside. The most unexpected of scenes was there to greet them, which consisted of Kohta lying on the ground looking up at the ceiling with a brain-dead expression on his face and a small amount of blood drizzling from his nose having experienced an epic nose bleed moments ago.
On the bed nearby was Takashi trying to load Shizuka onto his back who was wearing a white towel. His face was flushed with a bit of blood coming out of his nose while struggling to keep the larger woman on his back which was no easy task since he was trying to keep the towel from slipping off of her. Lelouch and Saya looked at the scene with dumbfounded expressions trying to figure just what the hell was going on here while they were on the roof.
"What the hell happened?" Saya began trying to piece together what happened.
"Somehow I get the feeling Miss Marikawa got her hands on some alcoholic beverage or something otherwise I don't know how else to explain the situation." Lelouch replied. "I think we should stay outside for a few minutes more."
"I love turtles!" A dazed Kohta said as he was trying to recover from Shizuka kissing him and calling him Kohta-chan not too long ago.
"Hopefully nobody else got into whatever Marikawa-sensei had." Saya remarked hoping that the other members of their group had the sense to not get intoxicated since considering there are zombies roaming about outside being drunk at this time was obviously a bad idea. Yet just for their own safety the duo decided to stay outside to wait for things to settle down a little.
A/N: well a quiet chapter, but it's always calm before the storm and Alice will make her appearance next chapter. How will things go different, but once they cross the river it's a matter of how much things will change now that it seems some radicals are out there attempting to help the zombies. Are the men who attacked the police on the bridge really aware of the true condition of them or do they have other motives for attacking the blockade with heavy weapons comprising their ability to hold the bridge against the zombie horde. Things might get hairy for the others in the next chapter, but as for Suzaku, Euphy and the others their appearance will be in the upcoming chapters.
Despite my efforts I did try avoid killing characters, but I saw no way around it for Nina and Rivalz, but at least Shirley lived this time.