There are four main factions within this world. There is the United Federation of Nations and their Black Knights, The Geass Order, The Insurrection, and The Tranquillam Pacem; all with varying personal beliefs and goals. The setting takes place right after the events of Zero Requiem in R2 of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, five years afterward. Because of the differing opinions of each side, there is a current power struggle leading to another fight for world dominance. Each faction has their own idea of peace and how the world should be structured, creating chaos as their continual clash has a residual effect on the entire planet.
The UFN and the Black Knights believe their charter is the most liberating and peace inducing form of governance that will allow for everyone in every nation to experience life to its fullest.
The Geass Order believes that the handful of people offered the Geass Code were needed to help shape humanity through their extreme means. They felt that those selected for the Geass already possessed the ability and will far above the average and had ambitions that would reflect upon society and help determine its structure.
The Insurrection feels that the UFN and the Black Knights are inept in maintaining order and peace among these times of The Geass Order’s uprising. Due to past experience of the Geass from a third party’s perspective, The Insurrection determined that a fresh approach is needed in handling the situation, as well as to form a more complex system of government to replace the current charter.
The Tranquillam Pacem desires to have absolute peace, and do not see Geass as a threat to their humanity; but rather simply an aspect of life. They are a religious organization determined to unite the ordinary people with Geass users to prove that both could coexist and that the code did not create an inequality.
Please read through everything.
1. No Mary Sues.
2. No God Modding (overriding other characters’ actions by having ridiculously powerful abilities or making your character extremely lucky; constantly being able to avoid damage or drama).
3. No one liners. Posts must have at least a paragraph and contribute towards the development and world building of the role play.
4. Quality of writing is required for this role play. Try to avoid too many grammatical errors and be sure to include punctuation. It can be difficult to catch every mistake when it comes to grammar, but run-on sentences can be hard to follow… so please focus on punctuation.
5. Plan your interactions with others. To avoid conflicting interests, if you want to have an interaction with someone else’s character that involves fighting, private message them ahead of time and plan the outcome.
6. For any other interaction that two or more parties cannot agree on the outcome, the use of the dice system in the Discord is required.
7. Stay in-character. Any out of character chat will be kept in either #general or #out-of-character-chat within the Discord.
8. Canon characters must first be auditioned and accepted before role playing.
9. Original Characters (OC’s) are also required for auditions and can be created any time. Auditions will consist of testing your writing ability as well as ensuring your character is reasonable and not overpowered. They must also fit in with the plot and not be storybreaking.
10. There is no limit to how many characters you can have at a time, but you must ensure you do not lose track of them all, and kill them off if you no longer want to use them.
11. Have fun!
It is the year 2023. The events of Zero Requiem have resulted in a united and universal government overseeing the nations in attempts to establish world peace. After the astounding yet short-lived tyrannical rule of Lelouch vi Britannia, many sought after the quality of life above all else; abolishing societal norms such as status or favoritism. For the first few years, time simply moved forward as the day by day continued in normalcy. Like all good things however, the transient must eventually reach its conclusion.
Because of Lelouch vi Britannia’s previous actions against them, The Geass Order seeks to bring their reprimanding upon the world. V.V. has been slain, and C.C. has abandoned them. Yet despite losing their well tenured directors, The Order has roots deeper than those within the remnants of Britannia; and are not solely dependent upon their mere late additions. The longstanding history and power of The Order far surpasses the modernization of man, and they will not allow for simple advancements to make light of their authority. With the tradition of the contract desecrated, and mankind imposing their own wills to create a new and accursed world, The Order feels that judgement must be cast. The peace that mankind claims to have created is nothing short of perversion. Much like Charles’ projection, society has functioned under the guise of hope and happiness while at the core continuing down their path toward devastation. It would not be for long until the world reverted back to its fundamental tendencies: to segregate the strong from the weak. The world needed a correcting, a re-alignment. Man was meant to be ruled by those with wisdom, not to be left liberated from structure. This was why The Order agreed to finally reveal their entirety to all the Earth, announcing their reclamation of the planet and all of its inhabitants. It was then, henceforth that The Order began its own righteous conquests… opposing the unified nations and its government in attempts to seize power.
The Order’s military was vast; its recruitment kept secret from those outside of The Order. While it mainly consists of men and women simply with innate ability, the armies are led by Generals that contain the power of the Geass. Due to their reproductive plant being destroyed from Lelouch’s earlier assault, their production of Geass users had stagnated. Though with the expansion of their Order through conquering territories, their operations have resumed and more Geass users are currently being created. With this in mind The United Federation of Nations dedicated research to the Geass Canceller, to counteract the effects of The Geass Order. This team was led by none other than Jeremiah Gottwald, the original prototype for such a device. Being assigned as a special forces unit for the Black Knights, the Anti-Geass Force (AGF) were deployed among the many regions of the UFN to hinder the increasing threat of The Order. The battle between the UFN’s Black Knights and The Geass Order rages on, waiting for the final factor that would change the course of the war.
Outside of the seemingly unavoidable war, are those who disagree with the UFN’s handling of the Geass uprising. The misuse and mistreatment of the Geass were the primary causes of Lelouch the Demon usurping Britannia’s throne, as well as his eventual control of the entire world. In their mind, such an ability should not be addressed in a primitive fashion; and many feel that the UFN does not comprehend the full extent of the Geass. Thus, a handful of individuals have formed a revolutionary organization known as The Insurrection. The Insurrectionists comprise of people from a variety of demographics… including those who were former and current Black Knights, UFN ambassadors, and even angel investors. This third party faction continues to gather an increasing volume of followers, with small missions being carried out periodically to obtain the additional resources needed to legitimize their movement. Many bystanders have begun to compare The Insurrection to the early stages of The Black Knights, where their ideologies reach a commonality. The single goal of The Insurrection is to overthrow the UFN and change their very simplistic system of government; a goal that has critics convinced of The Insurrection’s resemblance to The Black Knights.
In the midst of both the war, as well as the infighting lie those who believe in absolute unity. These individuals have an unequivocal resolve to establish “true peace”, which they feel will only be accomplished if the existence of Geass was accepted rather than despised. The practice of inclusion and harmony with both the Geass and Non-Geass users became more prominent as some people began leaving The Order and Black Knights… even going as far as developing relationships and marriages between the two for the sake of political statement. Such a group formed a religion, with its practices emphasizing the possibility of this true peace and coexistence. This group is known as The Tranquillam Pacem.
With the clashing of these beliefs, values, and factions, the world was in for its biggest alteration known to man. Its future and direction has become unclear; left at the hands of those who lead these now divided powers.
What will become of it all?
◙ Character Info:
Listed here will be the availability of the canon character roles. In addition to canon character roles will be the key factional roles. Majority of these roles will be held by OC’s.
Canon Character Roles:
Lelouch vi Britannia – Taken
C.C. – Taken
Suzaku Kururugi – Taken
Kallen Kozuki – Taken
Jeremiah Gottwald – Open
Villeta Nu – Open
Kaname Ohgi – Open
Nunnally vi Britannia – Taken
Kyoshiro Tohdoh – Open
Kaguya Sumeragi – Open
Empress Tianzi – Open
Li Xingke – Open
(If there is any canon character you wish to role play as who is not listed, please private message the GM)
Key Factional Roles:
The Geass Order Director – Open
The Geass Order General (Currently no limit to how many needed) – Open
The Geass Order Prime Minister – Open
Black Knight General (Limited to 4; due to canon characters already with the title) – Open
Black Knight Anti-Geass Force Unit (Currently no limit to how many needed) - Open
The Insurrection Supreme Commander – Open
The Insurrection General (Currently no limit to how many needed) – Open
The Insurrection Spymaster – Open
The Insurrection Weaponmaster – Open
The Tranquillam Pacem Forerunner – Open
The Tranquillam Pacem Priest/Priestess (Currently no limit to how many needed) – Open
The Tranquillam Pacem Publicist (Propaganda and all) – Open
(Other roles, such as “soldier” or “guard” or anything that is not in a position of high power is always welcome and does not need to be listed here. We can make up more roles as we go along, so if you want to be a Lieutenant in the Black Knights or something more simple like a teacher at a school, be my guest! As long as it is not listed as a key role, you can make your character be anything you want! Yes, even royalty or part of the UFN.)
◙ Character Sheet Form:
Nickname or Codename (If applicable):
Appearance (Picture preferred. Obviously in anime style for the aesthetic):
Faction (If applicable. If you want your character to be independent or non-affiliated, just put N/A):
Geass (If applicable):
Abilities (If applicable):
Weaknesses (Make sure to balance out your character with good weaknesses):
Other Important Details (Such as weapons of choice or current bio):
"Lelouch! No! Please open your eyes! Lelouch! Lelouch!"
It was unavoidable. The chanting from all citizens; both Japanese and Britannian alike, reverberated throughout the city. Its echoes heard within every street, every corner, every alley, every heart, mind and soul. The name... most unmistakable.
"Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero!"
The man turned messiah stood amongst a crowd of undeniable unity as blood dripped down his tainted sword. The mask of the vigilante known as Zero gleamed and glistened under the bright light of the sun as its rays casted themselves over the scene unfolding. However, beneath the mask was a man heavily burdened with a grueling and solemn duty. For the honor of being the world's deliverer was not earned alone, but rather given unto him. In the midst of celebration and liberation permeating the atmosphere, was a punishing realization that the world's entire balance now rested on his shoulders. It held quite the weight, and he was unsure of how the one now collapsed in a pool of their own blood carried it with unwavering resolve.
He looked down on the one who he most hated, and most loved; being both his enemy and best friend... now entering into the world of eternity. As his eyes glanced on the lifeless features of the paling corpse, he noticed a feint smile had managed to spread across its face. Unwelcome tears ran down the cheeks of the masked knight, as he acknowledged the softness of the body's demeanor. He knew that Lelouch had finally achieved his one and only goal. The goal of reforming the world into one where his sister could live on in peace and happiness. A world that was now available, as a result of his sacrifice. However, as though it would be a peaceful world... it would also be an ungrateful one.
The deeds of Lelouch vi Britannia would only be known to be that of the Demon's, rather than the Savior's. No one would truly know what had amounted to this very moment, and even now after giving his very life for the sake of humanity Suzaku was in disagreement with himself. Which was the true Lelouch? The one grinning after death, or the one whose same grinning mouth created a whole universe of lies?
Perhaps... perhaps his answer would be found in the new lives that would now exist thanks to his final act. It was after all, his last lie. To become the enemy of every nation... only to have the very symbol you created be used to destroy your very being. Something so selfless could not be done by a man of ruthless greed. No, Suzaku knew deep down inside who the real Lelouch was. It was the one Euphy and Shirley had believed in. Trusted in. Even when Lelouch's intentions were far from clarity they both put their faith in the man he was. That was something Suzaku had to both recognize and respect.
Now began a new era for mankind. With a new future ahead, the world would be a world without pain. Without hate. Without suffering.
"Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero!"
Britannia, Present Day July 15th, 2023
Darkness. Glimmering light. Darkness. Glimmering light. A face. Darkness. Glimmering light. Life. A room. A person. A mask.
Lelouch played back the aftermath of Zero Requiem in his mind over and over again. At least, the parts where he was actually alive for. He still could not wrap his head around the fact that yes, he was living and breathing again. A near death experience was not even close to what Lelouch had gone through. No, he very literally experienced death in every sense of the word. Him being alive was an anomaly; yet he should not be surprised given what he had already been exposed to before. No one would have believed in the existence of Geass until they witnessed it for themselves, after all. Being brought back to life? Well, he would just have to accept that it was a possibility. Through what means, he was unsure. However, he had his suspicions that Geass was involved in some manner or another.
"Heh. Just when the world was ready to let go of its past, the world decides it cannot be forgotten."
As the chaos from the citizens and newly freed prisoners subsided, a hooded figure made its way toward the stagnated royal transport. Dried blood had run down from the top toward the bottom, where the toppled body of Lelouch vi Britannia now rested. Kneeling down beside the former prince, a hand stretched forward as inaudible words were uttered. An unknown aura emanated from the mysterious individual; forming an intangible casing around the corpse. After minutes passed, the aura had dissipated and the hooded figure rose with Lelouch heaved onto their shoulders.
Lelouch awoke with a sharp gasp and intake of air. His eyes had shot open and he found himself staring at a masked, hooded person he had never seen before. What happened? Where was he? Why was he here? Why was he alive?
"You undoubtedly have questions, I'm sure." The anonymous person spoke. "Well... aren't you the observant one?"Lelouch remarked, sarcasm laced within every word.
The hooded figure scoffed and shook their head. They then pointed downward to Lelouch's chest.
"I see you're all healed up." They mused.
Lelouch looked down in search of what should have been a grievous wound.
"I guess I am. Care to tell me why I find myself back in the land of the living?"Lelouch pressed.
"In fact... I do." They responded.
The ominous and foreboding individual crossed their arms and tilted their head up
"I have a contract for you." "I'm done with contracts."
"Fine. Then take it as a request." "Can't you just be concise?"
The hooded figure sighed."Very well. Lelouch vi Britannia, son of Charles zi Britannia and Marianne vi Britannia... you have surpassed death and its grasps for the fulfilment of what is to come. You are needed by the world once more, as the peace it knows now shall soon be known no longer. As we speak The Geass Order who had granted you your infamous power now plots to mold the world to their will in retribution to the actions of you and all humanity. Discourse shall spread like wildfire as these events unfold, and your immovable determination must set this realm back in its rightful belonging place."
"I'm pretty sure I said concise, not confusing."
"This is all I can tell you for now. Just know that you will need to take action soon. The world takes... it has always taken. Now it needs to take more from you again."
"...I'm not sure I have anything left to give."
The alleged prophet turned and grabbed a pile of what appeared to be clothing and armor before refacing Lelouch.
"Zero was your symbol, but it is your symbol no longer. Now it is time to make a new symbol for a new purpose."
Lelouch drew his attention to the outfit and smirked.
"I don't think red suits me all that well."
"Lelouch. The fate of our very world we share is in grave danger. You of all people know the extent of a man's reach if he is one who is motivated. Please, heed my words."
With that, the hooded figure dropped the outfit in front of him and left.
Britannia, Present Day July 15th, 2023
Lelouch let out a groan as his eyes darted to the floor. Littered about were needles and empty vials; a sign that it was time to start gambling again.
"If the world won't let go of the past, then neither will I." Lelouch declared as he stood up from the crate he was seated on and made his way to a table where a now familiar red suit lay.
"Time to earn my Refrain." He said to himself as he donned the armor and clothing.
The man now known as Dominus would then set back out into the underworld to further his reputation in gambling.
"Do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be."
Sorrow. That was what C.C. had felt the moment she figured out what Lelouch's plan was. What he had asked for Suzaku to do for the sake of humanity... it was honorable, undoubtedly so. She always knew that he had it in him, that the solution to all their problems was always there, right in front of their noses. It was only Lelouch who could see it clearly, who had the option of reaching out and accepting it. And he had. There were times when she wished that he hadn't, but she refused to acknowledge such a thing. This was simply another friend falling into the clutches of death. She had lived with thousands of instances before; what made this one so different?
It irked her to think about these things.
C.C. had watched from afar as Lelouch vi Britannia slumped down in his own blood, Zero standing heroically above him. People chanted the masked knight's name over and over again. Lelouch smiled, slight but present enough for her to catch a glimpse. She could only begin to imagine the relief he felt to die. There had been so much pressure on his shoulders, so many things that he had set out to accomplish, and now? Now, it was all done and taken care of. Nunnally would have a safe and peaceful life. The world, with all its inhabitants, would gain the freedom to live happily. In those moments, C.C. truly believed that. Yet, as she saw the light drain from Lelouch's eyes, she needed to turn away.
"What a shame." The words had come from her lips without her realizing it until it was too late. C.C. froze in her steps, shocked at how weak her voice was. Not only that, but her bones seemed to lack the strength with which she usually carried herself. She... Already she mourned the loss of the greatest individual she had ever met. Although people would never know it, what Lelouch had done was something no one else could've. It wasn't fair.
Balling her hands into fists, C.C. took in a shaky breath, her eyes locked shut. This... This felt as though she had just lost a part of her. Was that due to the contract they shared? No. When she had killed Mao, it hadn't felt like this. Something new, something raw and horrible built up inside of her. She would need time to figure it all out. But Fate was cruel and unforgiving. The time she needed would never come.
Over the course of a single moment, the connection C.C. had shared with Lelouch was suddenly restored. Opening her eyes, she spun around, walking back to the balcony with uncertain steps. Lelouch was not there. His body was gone, moving, going somewhere. Had he faked his own death? Impossible. There was no way to imitate the feeling of a contract being broken and then, remarkably enough, restored. Lelouch had died. She was sure of that. So why...?
By the time C.C. had made it down to the ground level, there was nothing left for her to track. No signs, no trails of blood, no... no Lelouch. But she felt him. She felt him getting further and further away. This wasn't supposed to happen. A revival like this was impossible unless someone had a Code. And, as far as she was concerned, Lelouch didn't.
She would find him. If he was really alive, she would find him. That was her goal, her promise. She would find him.
Britannia, May 29th, 2023 a.t.b.
"Dominus?" C.C. repeated, tilting her head to the side. The man next to her nodded, his grin crooked.
"Yup, Dominus. He's well-known in this casino. Isn't here tonight, though, which is unfortunate. The guy's a total genius when it comes to gambling, no doubt about it. And I mean it." He took another long sip of his beer, the foamy fluid sloshing over the side and spilling out onto his beard. C.C. ignored that completely, having seen plenty of people like this already in the underground: hooked on alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sex. It was disgusting, not to mention upsetting, that this is what some people chose to do with the peace and prosperity that Lelouch had brought them.
Humming to herself, C.C. drank some more of her Negroni. The drink was bitter but had an effect with it that she quite liked. "I see." For the first time in what felt like forever, a spark of hope broached C.C.'s chest. Perhaps this so-called Dominus was Lelouch. If not, there was the chance that Lelouch was backing him somehow. That wasn't what mattered, though. It was just the very thought of her having finally found Lelouch that made her spirits soar. Perhaps he really was doing well. He seemed to have made quite the name for himself, in any case, if she was assuming things correctly.
Regardless, she wasn't going to get anywhere tonight. It was best to get up and try again another time. Standing, C.C. bowed her head slightly. The man's brows furrowed before realization kicked in. "Oh, you're leaving already? Was it something I said?" He rose to his feet and tried to throw an arm around C.C.'s shoulders. She jabbed him in the gut with her fingers.
"No, I'm just not really interested," C.C. said honestly. The man doubled over, gasping for air from the blow. Several heads turned their way. She glared at them hard enough to make them return to their own business. "Thank you for your help, as well as the drink." With that, she made her leave with full plans to return again.
Britannia, Present Day; July 15th, 2023 a.t.b.
C.C. had been frequenting this place for a while now. She had become a regular, so to speak, in several casinos, actually. Everyone knew her by now. They also knew to keep their distance. People who had tried flirting with her in the past were all the wiser this time around. Those who had tried scamming her... Well, they now knew better. Yet, despite her seemingly constant presence, she still hadn't managed to directly come in contact with Dominus. They always managed to miss each other. Just when she left, he came. When she came, he left. And it wasn't often that he was spotted in public, either. There seemed to be a schedule to it, of sorts, one that C.C. had yet to figure out.
Whether she knew it yet or not, however, today had the chance to be her lucky day. After searching for months upon months, she had finally chosen the right time to head out into the underworld. In her new dress with her hair pulled into a long side-braid, she felt confident in a way that she hadn't for a while. Close, C.C. could tell she was close to him, to Lelouch. All that was left was for her to actually track him down. Approach him. Ask him how the hell he's still alive (because she's still pretty sure that should be impossible without a Code).
She wasn't upset or mad that he was living; no, not at all. Rather, she was curious and, honestly, relieved. Sure, she enjoyed his company, but... Her purpose had long since changed. It was no longer her goal to die. She had learned that there was still more for her to do in life, things she wanted to accomplish, to feel, to experience. Through all her suffering, it was possible that she could obtain happiness. The problem? She didn't know how to go about that without Lelouch. The things she had learned from him were greater than all the wisdom her years had brought her. And the fact remained that, at her core, she was still learning.
It was stupid to believe that Lelouch knew everything, though. C.C. was well aware of that. She was no fool. She simply had directionless ambition, the recognition that she knew she wanted something, but not what it was nor how to obtain it. Despite all her stubbornness, all her desire to be independent, even a witch like her needed a spellbook to refer to every once in a while. She used to have Marianne. Now, she had nobody. Nobody until she found Lelouch, that is. He was the only friend she allowed herself to have. What a predicament.
A loose breath left C.C.'s glossed lips as she wandered the casino. Her eyes darted from the machines to the flashy lights to the patrons, constantly alert. If someone came her way, if something in the atmosphere here changed, she would know about it.
mentions: n/a | interactions: open | location: britannia underground casino
"Zero?" The soft curious voice of Nunnally rang braking Zero out of his brief flash of the past. The Zero Requiem done more than five years ago still would never leave his soul. Standing in his full attire and standing tall but silent as he looked down to the Ambassador who as of now remained the only person that he could speak with in any capacity as Suzaku. Not missing a beat from the conversation taking place. "I believe Ambassador Adebayo and Ambassador Salib of the African and Middle Eastern Countries have performed greatly in reconstruction and demilitarization for their people while supporting and following the UFN. I would be honored to continuing seeing their work." he said behind his mask as his voice was a constantly changing array of tones. Shaking both of the mans hands as Nunnally smiled and nodded in agreement. "We will make sure the supplies you requested make it safely to your lands shortly Ambassadors. Looks like we were able to come to an arrangement just in time for your transport to arrive." she said as a small private jet began to pull along the flight line towards them.
"Yes thank you Ambassador Nunnally. You have no idea how much the additional support will mean to our homelands. As for you Zero, Thank you and might we-"
Zero's focus was already on the plane as it approached. Something was tugging at his instincts. By now he should have already received a report about the approaching craft in advance. Beyond that it was quickly and clearly dawning on him how light their security was around them. Old habits perhaps as he assessed these sort of things often with no danger or issue ever arising but nonetheless things began to concern him. Raising his hand to the side of his helmet and angling his head away from the others. "Tower control come in." he said as the plane stopped in front of them with it's side door now facing them. "Tower control." he said as the door opened with an individual certainly dressed as a pilot holding a pistol at the ready. "Get down!" he yelled already moving into action but too late to stop the first shot that struck Ambassador Salib in the head. But Zero did not move to the gunmen but instead placed himself between him and Nunnally, Ambassador Adebayo turning to run before getting struck in the back while giving Zero the time to reach Nunnally's wheelchair where he pressed a hidden button on it's side, quickly deploying a blaze luminous shield in front of them both just in time to intercept the next bullet to follow. But the next bullet after that was instead fired by Zero with his drawn side arm that struck the assailant's firing hand before he was taken to the ground by the Black Knight's leader. Quickly restraining his hands and forcing him down with his weight while the Black Knights began quickly mobilizing around them and storming the airfield to get to Nunnally.
"Why did you assassinate the Ambassadors! Under whose orders did you do this?!" he said in shocked and barely contained anger as he tightened his restraint on the man who merely grinned as a white foam began to exit his lips. "A poison capsule.." he noted before the man would lay dead underneath him. A single man could not have done this....this was organized by at least a small but experienced group...possibly worse. His security team had to have gotten lax to allow any of this to happen or was there more..
Standing again and moving back after checking the rest of the plane Nunnally would look more troubled than frightened as she awaited for his next words. "I will look into this...for now we need to get you home Ambassador."
~~~ Back in Britannia
It was a bit strange now residing within Lelouch's old home. Or at least... a remaking of it. Nunnally wanting something to cling onto to remind her of her brother...there was Ashford Academy but that held it's own mix of memories. But for now this was where Zero stayed. Always within close proximity to Nunnally as long as his duties towards the UFN allowed it. Raising his hand up to his helmet as the back of which automatically unlocked allowing him to remove the metal mask that held far more weight than anyone else would truly know. Suzaku now looked at himself in the reflection of the visor. His mind still both in the past as well as the incident that occured today which had quickly spread out to the news. Ambassadors killed....Attempted Assassinations... the UFN everywhere would be reigning in their security and renewing their protocols. While the Zero Requiem's peace would have hiccups here and there..this had untold consequences. What kind of people would just throw away this first true chance for peace. Far too much blood had been shed, there was no need for more.
Removing the rest of his outfit before adorning his traditional kimono which gave him the smallest comfort of his identity left that he allowed. Preparing to turn off the TV as Milly Ashford was covering the events. Putting a slight smile on his face as he was happy to see everyone from the student council had reached some form of normality. Even Kallen was a teacher last he had heard. Finally left the Black Knights after so long of him trying to get her to do so.
[div class=fyuri11credit]code by @Fyuri[/div] [div=display:none;].[/div][div=display:none;][/div]
[div class=fyuriwrapper][div class=topper][div class=charactername]Kallen
Kozuki[/div][/div][div class=wrappertwo][div=display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap;][div class=left][div class=faceclaim][/div] [/div][div class=textarea] Six Years Earlier:
Kallen found herself in a light lean against the rooftop rail that held in overlook to the school grounds. Her hues would glimmer against the warm glow of the sun as it began to set over the horizon of the city line. The days always seemed to be longer nowadays and perhaps one could say emptier within that of her soul since all the past events. A twinge of luster for something danced within the coloring of her gaze as she sighed lowly and rested her chin to the rail.” Why must I still feel this way..?” She whispered out in audible question to herself as Kallen’s fingers stretched forth as if to grasp at something not there. For the briefest of moments, the vision of Ohgi and the others would come to hold before her. They all held around the meeting space as they held in deep conversation to their current plans for action. She couldn’t recall which moment it was exactly, but the feelings held still the same with pride she felt in each member. The honor in knowing that serving with each one of them had been the greatest moments in her life. Yes, there had been dark moments held amongst them. Yet, as a soldier they had been the finest of comrades that she had been given the right to serve alongside with. So much had been sacrificed to ensure victory had been found and peace restored to the lands. That much could never be put into doubt by those whom had been there through it all.
Kallen’s head would lift from its perch against the railing as she gazed downwards to the familiar sight of the Student Council windows. Her gaze would dim warmly as she briefly saw the image of Lelouch leaned against the window. His thoughtful expression lingered over the grounds as the echo of his name being called would draw his gaze away. The faintest hint of a smile spread to his mouth as the image faded away to reveal the windows held emptied in the darkness of the room. The thin of her crimson lips would tug at the corners into a faded smile as a single tear would roll over them. Her orbs would widen at the realization of the tear falling freely as Kallen grazed her thumb over her cheek as she gazed outward.” I never thought I could love someone the way I did you, Lelouch.. I-I still wish you were here and that I had the chance to prove how I felt for you.. You idiot..” She muttered out angrily as she lightly thudded her first downwards. The pain would radiate in her fist as she inhaled sharply and pressed her fist into her chest as it would slowly open to splay in grasp there.” Even though I know you did the right thing.. I’m still mad at you for abandoning us here.. For abandoning me b-before.. I could make it clear.” She whispered out in a pained tone as she fought back the urge to the hot rush of tears that wished to break free. Before they could, the rooftop door would give a loud crack open as the heads of several girl’s popped through as they happily called out to her.” Hey Kallen! We’ve been looking everywhere for you! Ready to head out?” They chimed out in question to her as she’d breathe in deeply to still the emotions within. She made no hesitation to turn quick on her heel as she feigned a cheerful smile their way.” Sure, Lead the way!” Kallen called out in a pleasant tone as they bobbed their heads in acknowledgement as their chatter began to echo around her. Her wistful expression would glance once more behind her as those final words would fall freely.” I wish you were still able to be here with us..” Kallen said in soft as she pushed herself forward in a quick jog after the others as they ascended the stairwell out of sight.
Those were the beginning days of true freedom..
The New Beginning that had been promised to them.
So we had thought..
[div class=subheader]Current Time: Britannia, Present Day; July 15th, 2023[/div] The sunlight began to pour into the space of the crisp white bedroom. The light itself began to sparkle in reflection to the various colored glass shards as their coloring danced over the space of the room. Each one strung in intricate designs from the mantels in which they hung. A slim figure could be easily seen entwined under the various sheets and pillows that held to the bed as her face would nuzzle in closer to the pillows. Her fingers would roam under the sheets as they lightly danced over her sides whilst her body gave a small stretch to the awakening of her body. It was then, that Kallen's hues would begin to shift open as she could feel the cold wet press of something against her nose. As she fully awakened, she would gauge the sight of Arthur seated in a perch to her chest as his paw gently nudged against her nose. A small smile would illicit from the soft rose tinted coloring of her lips as she edged her hand forth to scratch lightly behind his ears."Mmm... Morning to you too, Arthur.. Did you have to wake me up like that, Silly Cat?" Kallen jested with a simple chuckle following her words as he gave a loud meow as his tail flicked to her nose as he leaped down. She made no hesitation to swing her legs over the bed edge as she twisted her fingers together above her head in a nimble stretch. She would soon come to exit the bed as her feet lightly padded against the warmth of the floor as her crimson ringlets now held loosely along her backside. Her hair in a sense had become the symbol of one of her steps she took in change. To wash away the memories of the old Kallen and the fights of old that she had faced as a Knightmare Pilot. The days of old in which loss was frequented in the lives of those involved in the righteous power struggle to gain independence as a Japanese from being viewed as mere Eleven's. It could also be said that Britannian's alike felt the pain of loss that they had put her people through as well. She wouldn't go so far as calling them emotionless beings with no thoughts to others. Misguided.. Yes? To her they had been like flocks of sheep led to slaughter on behalf of the Shepard's whom refused to bloody their hands personally.
Those had been the painful years of struggle and endowed hatred passed from generations between that of Japanese and Britannian's alike. Kallen was drawn from her thoughts to the small circling made around her legs by Arthur as he insisted to be ready for his own breakfast. Kallen smiled with warmth down to him as she bobbed her head to him with a cheerful expression held in place. She made a bee line to the kitchen as she eased a nearby cabinet open as Arthur lurched off the ground to settle atop the counter. Kallen didn't hesitate to pour the food into the bowl as she settled it before him as he meowed happily and proceeded to dig into his meal. It didn't take herself long to busy herself in readying for the day ahead as she exited into the hall where various pictures held framed on display. There one would find scattered images of her brother and her mother to pictures of her days at Ashford Academy as a student. In key photos one could see her being engulfed in hugs by that of Milly and Shirley as their smiles beamed happily to life. From those photos it would move onto one that she held close to her heart and the only one she knew of its kind. There in the image held the bright eyed gaze of Suzaku as his arm held slung around Lelouch's neck as he himself carried a smile that seemed genuine.. Genuine upon the both of them for the few occasions that mattered and one of the rare few that would hold between them in what she knew. It was one of the few pictures that would stop her in that of her tracks to gaze over such a unique moment that could be captured between that of the pair. It would dawn on her each time what polar opposites they could be and yet, when unified they were unstoppable when with one another. Her gaze would briefly darken as the single memory of the pair of them holding one another at gunpoint flashed within her mind as she stilled her shaken fingers at her side. That changed everything.. That alone had been the stepping stone to an entirely different fate between the three of them.
A sharp breath would stifle her breathing in brief as she pulled herself out of the memory as the good overcame the bad in that moment. If there was one truth that rang clearly above all else, is that between both the men she couldn't find hatred in either for their sacrifices made. Kallen soon redirected her attention back to her routine as she vanished into her bedroom to ready for her day of work as Arthur happily watched her bounce about as she readied for the day that laid ahead.
[div class=subheader]Ashford Academy:[/div] Kallen drove with ease up to the gates of Ashford as she leaned out the open window to press her identification badge to the screen. It would dimly glow as it glowed in acceptance to her badge as the gates slowly cracked open as she drove within. Her vehicle would round around the bend as she entered the lot mainly dedicated for staff usage only as she parked in her usual spot under a nearby cherry blossom. Kallen would pull the mirror down as she gazed over herself in the mirror as she wore simple beauty products to accent her features. Small crimson ringlets would hold in a soft frame around her face as she would twirl one around her index finger as it bounced free as she adjusted her bun. At that, she would give one more simple coating of lipstick at her lips as she proceeded to exit the vehicle as several passing teachers gave a wave her way. A ginger smile would grace her lips as she returned the wave as she braced her briefcase against her hip as she made her way up the path. The path itself exited out onto the main entryway as students began to flood in as they bowed their head in greeting to her. Kallen offered warm smiles to each in passing as her heels would give soft clicks against the paved path as she neared the open doors that led into the Academy. She would make a sharp right down into the next hall that led to the history room as she caught sight of a familiar face ahead.
The scruffy brown hair held more tamed than it had at once as the man spoke to several students around him as he greeted each one. Her hues would warm at the sight of him as she approached and called out to him in a soft tone." Good Morning, Ohgi. You seem as chipper as ever to be back. Did you and the family have a good break away from the city?" Kallen asked as she halted near him only to be enveloped in a warm hug as she cradled close to him in the familiar comfort his hugs always brought her." It's good to see you too, Kallen. It was good on me and the family, though I will say only being able to teach part time is hard on me but.. Duties still call so I'll take what I can." He stated simply to her as him warm look ventured over her as she stepped back with her own features holding lax." You know that always makes me happy to hear. Regardless though.. After all these years, you don't have to tiptoe around me on the topic of the Black Knights and their activities. I don't hold shame in what in what I once was and you don't have to think it will hurt me. Alright..?" She said clearly to him as her final words paused in as if to gauge whether he had taken that into comprehension. Ohgi's look softened as a sigh parted from his mouth as he gingerly squeezed the back of his neck." I know.. It's just after everything you know that you went off by yourself for sometime so it was left to be a grey area between yourself and the others. But, I'll work on that, Alright?" Ohgi said in compliance to her as he fought back the question that nagged within all those who had remained when it came to the topic of Kallen. She would quickly smile in warmth to him as she gave his shoulder a quickened squeeze in assurance as she nudged her head off to the side." I better be off, I have classes to get to and young minds to attend to." She quipped to him as she winked quick as she dashed off down the hall with a final wave as she entered the space of the her classroom.
" Morning Student's, If you all would be so kind and turn to chapter eighteen in your tomes. We will pick up where we left off on the first decline of Japan." She said softly as the students bobbed their heads in agreement as she settled behind her desk and readied to attend to the day that laid ahead.
A sharp and cold gust of air blew past Lelouch as his crimson cloak fluttered about gently in response. Britannia’s illustrious underground world was dark, damp, and extremely secluded. Devoid of any external factors such as the time of day or weather, the distinctive culture culminating within these breeding grounds for delinquents was so thick in the atmosphere that it was almost physically tangible. It was if you could grasp at it; the stench of diablerie layered throughout its streets. Yet in spite of its bleak surroundings, the extravagant lifestyle contained within Britannia’s underground was unreservedly stellar. Many high profile individuals from the crème de la crème of society escaped their wives, husbands, families, and responsibilities often to indulge in the more dangerous and daring thrills the underground had to offer. There were a variety of “attractions” made available for every kind of patron; though the most popular among the nobles and politicians alike was the gambling. The illegal casinos offered very little to no regulation in their dealings, generally leading to high potential profits… as well as losses. A large amount of the wealthy have betted their entire fortunes away for the chance to solidify their status as well as to caress their overblown egos.
As far as Lelouch was concerned, the entire accumulation of rich people in one place meant for one sizable money bag being made ready for his arrival. There was seldom ever an individual who would give Lelouch a challenge when it came to the slow, methodical process of strategy. Gambling was not exactly an activity you could categorize as strategic; but the arrangement for an automatic victory was. Sure, he could just abuse his Geass to its fullest extent in order to obtain what he desired… but Lelouch no longer found any amusement in it. Perhaps he merely missed performing his former role of a commander; letting high stakes and potentially catastrophic outcomes fuel his adrenaline rush. No longer being needed for anything important, Lelouch decided to waste his intellect and foresight on something that could bring upon him one guilty pleasure or another. He no longer had any use outside of personal ambition. Though, he did not think he ever had anything that was not personal ambition to begin with.
Now, all he had was his past. Memories buried beneath the depths of a roaring, chaotic mind contained within that of Lelouch. Fragments of what his life was… or rather what life was to him. Could he truly call what he was doing now living? After all, his addiction to Refrain facilitated nothing more than a temporary, empty reflection of what had been. Was wanting for things to be different simply too much to ask? To be able to experience life as others did? What was normality? What was it like to be humanistic? Lelouch had played the part of the demon for so long that he could not characterize nor differentiate a good life from a bad one. His own upbringing was not even close to being remotely normal. All he ever relied upon was his searing hatred towards Britannia… towards his father. Even that was found to be misplaced; at least partially. After living a life built upon a foundation of lies it became difficult to see nor understand how to be true to others, and to oneself. Lies became so commonplace that it was effortless and often subconsciously manifested, even when the truth desperately wanted to come out.
Refrain offered him an outlet. It offered him the peace Lelouch was kept from in the final moments of his sacrifice. It catered toward his neglected personal desires and dreams that he had almost forgot he even had. Maybe deep down in the core of his brittle, tarnished heart he remembered how human he still was. Possibly being broken down to the most basic of human necessities and wishes, but human nonetheless. Refrain allowed him to go back to those moments where the inner parts of him wanted to react differently. How he wished while being pressed against the rough, hot rocks scattered around Kururugi Shrine that he could tell Suzaku how much he loved Euphy. That what had transpired that day was nothing more than the result of his prideful mouth. That he was already willing to discard the mantle of Zero for the future Euphy wanted to build together. How he wished he could have been the comfort and sanctuary Shirley wanted from him so bad; and how he wanted with all of his heart to bring back her father from the consequences of his own miscalculations. How he wished to let Kallen know that she meant more to him than just a pawn on a chessboard; that she was worth more than just a blank stare to an intimate confession. How he longed for a shared destiny with C.C. that was written in the stars of the universe; a universe that felt so, so far away. How he lamented the loss of his one and only best friend… oh how he wanted to earn every fragment of his forgiveness; even if it would never be deserved.
A coming evil? The interruption of peace? A threat to the future of the world? None of that mattered to him. The world no longer needed him and he no longer need the world. It was in this that Lelouch could allow himself to continue on in this manner. So gamble away it was in the name of Refrain and all of its splendor. Garnering a reputation for himself as his newly founded persona “Dominus” just made for added amusement. It seemed like theatrics would never leave him no matter the circumstance.
Lelouch let out a chuckle. “Let’s toy with our little noble friends again, shall we?” He asked himself; eyes squinting in amusement as he threw his head to the side, a smirk plastered on his hidden face.
The amount of people bustling throughout the casino mixing with the boisterous, erratic noises of slot machines and sore losers caused for a rush of excitement to course through the veins of Lelouch. The environment found within these kinds of casinos continually drew him in, never failing to entertain. It nostalgically reminded him of his time as a student, avoiding his mundane classes in order to bring nobles to their knees in shame and regret; after royally embarrassing them to no end with endless cold-hearted victories.
Head held high and eyes laser focused, Lelouch began making his way deeper into the building as he sifted through the droves of people. His left hand grasped the edge of his cloak dramatically as he pulled it in front of himself; a habit he still retained from his days as Zero. As he turned a corner abruptly, he accidentally collided into someone heading in the opposite direction.
“Hey! Watch where yer goin’ tough guy! I got a game startin’ in fifteen minutes, and you’re killing my mood with that empty head of yours!” The irate man shouted.
“Oh? Did I keep you from anything?” Lelouch responded, eyebrows raised as a smirk made its way onto his concealed face.
“Are you deaf? I just told ya that I’ve got a game startin’ soon!” The man reiterated.
“Ah, and what pray tell… might that game be?” Lelouch inquired, smile widening.
The rugged man huffed as he brushed off his clothes. “Poker. Any more questions for me, buddy?”
Lelouch snickered as his eyes gleamed at the man’s unintentional invitation. He looked down for a moment raising a hand to his face, swiping across it fluidly before extending it outwards to the side. He then rolled his fingers before letting his arm fall back slowly to his hip, returning his gaze forward with eyes locking on the now confused yet annoyed man.
“If you were to find yourself in a game with me, would you be so kind as to fold every round?” Lelouch requested as his Geass casted its effect on the man.
The man blinked for a few moments before answering. “Yeah, if I play with ya I’ll be sure to do just that!” He responded with sudden enthusiasm.
“Very good. Well… shouldn’t you get going? You don’t want to miss your next game after all.” Lelouch reminded.
The man’s eyes turned back to normal as he resumed his earlier demeanor. “Yeah yeah. Move it pal.” He answered before shoving Lelouch out of the way, walking off.
Lelouch turned and watched as the man eventually made his way to his table. He made note of who comprised the group the man would be playing with, memorizing the details of their faces.
Ah. Preparations for today’s winnings are already in order. He thought to himself smugly.
Lelouch replaced the contacts concealing his Geass back onto his eyes. He then moved toward the bar area situated not too far from where he had stood, proceeding to the next phase of his plan
The former prince and fallen emperor seated himself in between two other men who had already been occupying the bar for some time. The older bartender who was cleaning off one of the glass mugs with a rag turned and looked at him, before smiling and greeting him.
“Oh, back again are we?” The gray haired gentleman asked rhetorically.
“Rhys. I have a presence to maintain here you know.” Lelouch briefly greeted before adding in his snide remark.
“Can’t argue with you there. Word’s spread all across every casino you could find here in the underground.” Rhys conceded.
“Have I really made that big of a splash?” Lelouch inquired with a smidge of curiosity.
“A splash? No. I’d call it something more along the lines of a tidal wave. You’re getting people itching to catch you on an unlucky day.” Rhys answered.
“As if my luck would run out any time soon.” Lelouch scoffed.
The bartender referred to as Rhys gave Lelouch an amused glare. “Luck can be manipulated. Anything can be fixed here, especially in this kind of casino.”
Lelouch’s smile widened. “I wouldn’t happen to know.”
Rhys’ eyes bore into Lelouch’s as his mouth also curved upward slightly. “No, you wouldn’t… would you.”
Finished with wiping off the last few spots on the mug, Rhys turned and placed it next to the other mugs lined up behind him. Turning back around and slamming his fist on the bar table, the aged bartender’s tone lightened up with subtle warmth.
“So, what can I get you for today?” He asked.
“I’ll take a wet martini.” Lelouch ordered.
“Again?” Rhys questioned with mild confusion.
“It’s a classic drink.” Lelouch replied.
“Shaken, or stirred?” Rhys asked as he turned to begin grabbing what he needed.
“Shaken.” Lelouch responded accordingly.
The bartender grunted in approval as he began to make Lelouch’s drink. As Lelouch waited for his alcoholic beverage, he pulled down his face cover but kept his hood in place. His attention turned towards the man seated beside him, who appeared to be mumbling to himself. Upon further inspection, he seemed to have already begun entering the early stages of drunkenness. He gripped a shot glass very loosely in his right hand while continuing in his own monologue as his eyes ventured off to nowhere in particular. Lelouch grinned to himself as he addressed the drunkard.
“Enjoying yourself?” He asked the man with a glint of amusement evident in his purple hued eyes.
The man gave Lelouch a disgruntled look. “Enjoying myself? Ha. Hardly. The wife wants to leave me because of my gambling addiction, the kids hate me and I can’t even win in one game of Poker.”
Lelouch reset his facial expression before putting on a genuine, mellow smile. He then took his hand and placed it on the man’s shoulder sympathetically.
“I’m sorry to hear that, friend. Look… why don’t we change things for you?” Lelouch coaxed as his voice grew soft.
“Change it?” The man asked perplexed.
“Sure. How about me and you go for a game, and work together? We can let each other know if we have a good hand with some signals and raise to increase the pot for ourselves. All goes well, and we split the winnings! What do you say…partner ?” Lelouch explained before holding out his other free hand.
“I don’t know…” The man responded hesitantly.
Lelouch looked up at aged bartender who had almost finished preparing his drink. “Rhys! Get this man here another shot, on me.”
“Of course.” Rhys answered, turning back around and resuming his work.
“Let’s have you calm your nerves. You’ll feel good about this after.” Lelouch suggested.
“Y-yeah… you’re right.” The man agreed.
Rhys finished Lelouch’s martini as well as refilling the other man’s shot glass before placing them in front of both men. Lelouch nodded his head in thanks and proceeded to pay the tab. He gripped the stem of the martini glass in between his middle and ring finger, allowing for the remaining fingers and palm to rest on the side. He then raised the cup upward high spiritedly.
“To winning!” Lelouch exclaimed.
The man gave in with a smile and raised his own glass. “To winning!”
Lelouch brought the martini to his lips and tipped it to allow the liquid to make contact, but kept his mouth closed. He eyed the man from the side and watched as he downed the shot immediately. Lelouch then placed his glass back onto the bar before pulling his face cover back up. Standing up, he now fully faced his newfound accomplice.
“Shall we be off?” Lelouch asked.
“Let’s do this!” The man answered standing up abruptly, almost losing his balance.
The alcohol was having its effect on him, that much was clear. Now… all that remained was the final phase of Lelouch’s plan. If everything went accordingly, he would have set up another easy win for himself.
All the conditions have been cleared. Lelouch thought to himself as a mischievous grin spread across his face.
As the pair walked off, Rhys looked down at the counter where Lelouch’s untouched martini remained. Letting out what felt like a routinely exasperated sigh, the bartender took the glass and dumped its contents in the nearby sink.
“He never appreciates my work.” He said to himself, shaking his head.
"Do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be."
It didn’t take very long before C.C. found herself engaged in watching a game of blackjack. Her eyes scanned over the cards and the ways the men glanced to each other as onlookers waited eagerly. It was… utterly uninteresting. Boring. Lackluster. Even though she had nothing better to do, this was just depressing her. She didn’t at all see the point behind these games. What, was it all just for pride? Fame? Money? How dull. These people could be spending their time on better things, world-changing things. The thought that anything was possible if you set your mind to it was a misconception, sure. But just a little bit of effort in the right direction could have drastic effects. They must be completely blind if they didn't see that.
She tried to understand what Lelouch was doing right now. Why gambling? What purpose did it serve? Was it like what chess used to be for him, a way to pass the time and give some semblance of meaning to his life? Now that the rebellion was over and peace blanketed the world, she could see that being the case. How and why he was still alive, though, served to baffle her further. It was hard to deny the curiosity she felt at the bottom of her gut. Lelouch might be just as confused, but, at the very least, by finding each other, they could sort out this mess as a team as opposed to being alone. That would be nice. But...
Speak of the devil.
C.C.'s eyes fluttered to the casino entrance, which was a ways away. Her posture straightened and her gaze sharpened. She backed away from the game and slowly stalked to the front, her heart picking up pace. Lelouch. She could feel him. Could it be that, after all these months of searching, she had finally found him? He was here, he was close, he was-
A body slammed against C.C. in her trek to the entrance. Champagne began to bleed into the cloth of her dress. A flute hit the ground, shattering instantaneously. "Hey, lady, watch yourself!" a gruff man hissed, grabbing her wrist only to shove her to the side. Regaining her bearings, C.C. spun around with a dull expression on her face. It took one moment of analyzing him and the two women that clung desperately to his sides for her to reach a conclusion. Wealthy, married--if that ring was anything to go by--and drunk. Blatantly drunk.
"I should say the same to you," C.C. replied, no real bite to her voice, but a distinct sharpness in her words that screamed courage. She was satisfied with that, but the man looked far more insulted than she intended. Now wasn't the time to get into a petty argument...
The alcohol in the guy's breath was palpable as he turned to her, seething. "Listen here, bitch. Just watch where you're going from now on, ya hear?" he snapped, the two girls next to him snickering at the crude language. A retort was firm on C.C.'s tongue, but she held it back. Her attention was drifting elsewhere at the moment, anyway. So, instead of firing a comeback, she shook her head sadly and left, making her way to the entrance. That pissed the man off even more, but he too decided against making a big deal out of it. After all, his reputation was on the line here, especially considering the people he was keeping himself company with. A frivolous fight was worth no one's time or effort anymore.
C.C. increased her speed the closer she got to the front of the casino. Her mind drifted back to when she had last seen Lelouch, crumpled in a mess of his own blood. His face was still clear in her memory, each feature distinct. It was as if she hadn't forgotten a moment of the time they'd spent together, and, to tell the truth, she really hadn't. When she finally came upon the entrance, however, she spotted no one even remotely resembling Lelouch. Had she just imagined everything? No, it was impossible. He was here, in this building. She could still feel him. And if he was here, he was going to leave at some point. C.C. wasn't going to make the same mistakes she had before. Leaning against one of the pillars near the front of the casino, she took in a deep breath. Patience was one thing she had. She could wait, her champagne-soaked dress be damned.
mentions: n/a | interactions: open | location: britannia underground casino
[div class=fyuri11wrapper][div class=fyuri11imagebox][div class=fyuri11overlayparent][div class=fyuri11overlay][div class=fyuri11header]Suzaku Kururugi & Kallen Kozuki
[div=font-size:10px;]- The Lost Ones-[/div][/div]
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Mere hours after the return to Japan from the horrendous incident that was already streamlined to new stations around the world, Suzaku decided he had business of his own. Not Zero but that of the once Knight of the Round. Approaching the later hours of the afternoon with the sun beginning to find itself fading from Japan, Suzaku took a more simple attire. A dark hoodie and jeans that would give most people the social cue to leave him alone but not leave him looking suspicious or necessarily up to something malicious. All the while of course being able to hold his concealed firearm and a remote transmitter to his current Knightmare for the worst case scenario. Another precaution Professor Lloyd had found amusing but obliged anyway. His new weapon was no Lancelot but it could handle his movements and piloting enough to get the job done.
Stepping out into the hall and then out of the backdoor Nunnally would catch a glimpse of him leaving with a sorrowful look on her face. Knowing full well the times Suzaku usually took to personal matters were never anything less than mournful.
Taking his time traveling by taking the longer and less populated paths and walkways, passing citizens that seemed far happier and content than he could ever recall all blissfully enjoying their well earned peace while also unknowingly passing an enemy of the world.
Suzaku would casually pace the streets of Japan. Decades ago, a proud nation. Years ago a territory struggling for independence and briefly an enemy before Lelouch was able to conceive and pull off the impossible. The time together as just students in Ashford would always be some of the best in his life, he thought as he could see the building coming up in the distance. Things were so simple and maybe a bit funny looking back on the fact both had led double lives. Both against one another all without knowing.
So much could have been different….
Should have been different…. He thought as his grip tightened over the blue and gold pendant given to him by someone Zero and even the Requiem could never replace. To this day he still wanted an answer of just why Lelouch had to use his Geass in that way…. It had changed Suzaku into a demon of his own. A being of hatred that took down his best friend, dragged him before his father without a second thought, even attempting to kill him a few occasions while he was under Charles’s Geass. Ready to take his vengeance all to that moment where they met face to face without any more masks at the Kururugi Shrine before they would meet once more to lead them to where they stood today. Even so...they both for all of their sacrifice failed to get what they desired.
Lelouch wanted to stay alive by his sister’s side in the world they had created while Suzaku wanted to atone and avoid being a weapon of destruction by leaving the world for the better. Neither got what they wished. But maybe what they deserved.
Stepping further into the nearby park that was closer to the Academy but still held miles in the distance covered by extensive shrubbery and green. Flowers blossoming heavily over the area to masks and honor this place as it should be. Moving deeper over the stone path that led to the center where one of many memorial tablets would stand with that names of those who perished in the F.L.E.I.J.A. Explosion he himself had been the cause of. Millions of lives…
“I will never let the blood I spilt of yours fall in vain.” he whispered clutching a hand to his heart while his dark green eyes hid their emotion behind the shades he wore.
The soft chimes of the bells would resound through the Academy as the lively energy of the students would fill the halls as they spilled out. Kallen herself still held within the space of her classroom as she spared quick waves to her students. Each one would beam a passing smile as they left the room as she clasped her fingers to her books. A soft thump would be delivered to the books as she arranged them in a neat stack as each one would be secured into her bag. She’d all but nimbly interlace her fingers above her head as her lean form would give a small stretch, The material of her pencil skirt would give slight hugs against the defined nature of her hips. All the while, her fingers would loose as they came to hold at her side. Kallen made no hesitation to gather up her bag and various items as she found her way out of the classroom. The soft click of heels resounded throughout the halls as she paused in her tracks outside the Teacher’s breakroom. The television had been turned up louder as the images of the F.L.E.I.J.A memorial flashed over the screen as the reporter held in stance. Her hand would gesture off to the side of the screen where various images of those lost filtered over. Kallen’s own look held unphased over the report as each year it felt the same in her mind. It felt numb in her mind.. Like losing all those people had become a defining memory within her soul as one of the few things she truly felt ashamed of. She herself felt like she was partially to blame for it all and it was something that would always carry in her soul as a soldier. Kallen would inhale deeply as the segment held as a reminder that tomorrow would mark the official anniversary of that dark time.
She herself would push forward as Kallen found the nearest exit as she evaded the crowds to escape to her vehicle. In a matter of moments, she slid into the seat as she tossed her bag and items onto the passenger seat. She’d soon ease the key into the ignition as the car reved to life as she sent forth the vehicle onto the main road. Kallen would exit out onto that of a private road as the cherry blossom petals fell in soft array to the paved road. She would slightly steer the car off to the side as she loosed her fitted jacket from her form. Her fingers edged the top few buttons of her blouse open as she exited the vehicle. At that, she would push forward onto the path as she avoided the families held to the sidewalks as her clouded expression steered away. As she would move further off the path and down the hidden away area behind the vastly grown shrubs. The sight of the of the tall standing tablets stood among the gardens as the light glistened off the chiseled marble pieces. Her sapphire hues dulled with emotion at the sight as she moved off to side only to gauge the sight of a man held in watch to them. Her head would tilt in slight examination to the movements of his body as his fist would tighten and press in hold to his chest. Her steps guided her with near like silence behind him as if to not disturb him as her lips would draw into a thin line upon hearing his voice. That voice alone that had been one she hadn’t heard in years but undoubtedly held as a clear place of reminder in her mind. That of a faint memory from a time she cherished. A calmed sadness met with longing for the days before everything swam within her look as she moved off to the side. Her own hands guided infront of her as they interlaced.” Even in the way you speak.. You haven’t changed after all of these years of silence between us.” Kallen said gently to herself as her look held ahead as if to truly meet his look would unwind the moment had here. Her crimson tresses would spiral behind her as the sun would glisten like a burning flame to her locks. Much of her appearance had changed throughout the years and the rebellious nature she once had carried had been buried away in the times of peace. Maturity can change much but when the environment improves it leaves the rest of life to calm around it. As her gaze remained fixated ahead, her words fell freely as a small smile tinted at the corners of her lips.” Have you come here today to pay your respects early before the crowds? After this many years I’m shocked to see the masses all but increase with each passing year. At this point, I may have to start coming days in advance.” She said with a faint chuckle dispersing from her parted crimson lips.
At that voice Suzaku’s body tensed but remained unmoved. His hood held in place but even so he suddenly felt out in the open and vulnerable. The sound of his voice a small chink in his armor perhaps to someone like her. It took quite a bit of him to not turn around then and there. The last time he heard that voice….he was fighting Kallen to the death. A battle in which she had beaten him...even while he held the curse of Lelouch’s Geass.
He gave a small cough but nodded. “Something like that…” He said slightly altering his voice as discreetly as he could. Keeping his eyes forward to the stone, the monument of one of his greatest failures. “What happened was awful…” he said before stopping himself from speaking much further. “Excuse me…” He said beginning to take his leave. Suzaku coming as close to his own life as he should ever allow.
Her clouded expression held directed ahead as she avoided the chance of meeting his gaze at all costs. By the simple way he held dressed and the dedicated want to hide his appearance it was obvious that he sought to remain in the shadows at all costs. As her sapphire hues dulled, the vision of their Knightmares clashing in instant battle to the death held in clear reminder before her. The sounds of their weapons going off and registering in meeting to him as this had become a sworn battle to the death. It had been and she had defeated him and gained fair victory over him. Even though every fiber in her being willed for her to not seek death against one of the few people she deemed to call her friend. Kallen could easily see the way his body tensed as she spoke as she remained relaxed.
“Trust me.. I know it was.. I was there in the thick of it myself.” She answered honestly in that moment as a sharp breath could be heard caught in her throat. Kallen would watch as he’d begin to take his leave as her orbs widened to the realization of his departure. She’d spin upon her heel to face him entirely as her crimson locks spilled in a gentle frame around the sides of her face.” I’m sorry if I offended or brought hurt to you in the reflection of the past.” Her words all but lightly hinting at an apology she long felt overdue but done in a way that wouldn’t appear obvious.” I know those days were dark for most and I understand it better than you think. I carry my scars and regrets from that time. That’s why I come here to offer my apologies to those I felt I failed.” She spoke with the lingering ghost of the past to her words as she gazed truly upon him.” But, I feel that you will always carry far heavier feelings of blame and self hatred for yourself. Even after all these years.. Is that what you chose to feel, Suzaku?” She called out to him as his name fell freely for the first time in years from her. The one singular moment she had been able to confront her suspicions after so long to identify him. Emotion all but swelled in her hues as her fingers would brush over her chest as her look held unmoved over his backside.
“Lelouch gave this world a second chance for all hatred to die with him.. It didn’t mean you had to die with the memory of him as well. Don’t you miss the idea of living your life for yourself.. To genuinely smile like you used to?” She asked softly as her hand eased up to press against her locks to keep them from curtaining over her face.
Even if he wished to give words to ease her, Suzaku kept silent at first. Almost away from her before she spoke his name that froze him in place. “I always thought if anyone would have figured out the truth it would be you….” He whispered having his gaze downcast a bit before he continued. His gaze slightly moved over his shoulder and looked over towards her “To not carry shame for what I did would just be…..wrong.” He said still facing away from her. “I had guessed you put together some of what truly happened years ago….The Zero Requiem required both the Tyrant Emperor and his Knight to fall.” He said refusing to answer her last question. Slightly turning to face her after giving the area a quick glance to see no one else was passing by. “You look well..” He said pulling back his hood to reveal more of his face and his short brown hair. “Kallen….” He said with the gentle breeze taking the silence between them.
Kallen’s expression held wearily over Suzaku’s form as he began to steer away. It wasn’t until she had uttered his name that he would freeze in place. Her fingers would twist tightly together infront of her as her look would cast downwards briefly in confliction. Had she been wise to call out his name to reveal what she knew in her heart to be the truth? Kallen felt uncertain in her own actions as she wavered in the ideal thought of simply escaping whilst she could. At that, she would begin to guide herself slowly backwards only for her orbs to widen at his words. Kallen’s head would slowly shift to the side as she met his side once more.” You should have known that after that time that I suspected it. At the end of it all.. It was you two I had found myself wishing to understand the most. The only two people who confused me the greatest in an internal battle to figure your motives out.. You both had placed me in separate times where I couldn’t understand either of you.” She whispered out faintly as her fists clenched at her sides as they paled in contrast to the true coloring of her skin. The blood all but being drained to the tightness of her grip as her head lowered as the next words fell in an angered yell.” You both used me in your own ways and I never once heard an apology befall from your mouths. Did neither of you believe that you left me unscathed in all of this.. The others as well?!” Her breaths fell in small pants as her downcasted look rose to meet his gaze with the anger mingled with hurt still filled there. His next words would carry weight to them as she sighed softly.” I understand that but.. You let it reign over your life entirely after you as the Knight took the fall. To seek atonement or forgiveness you have to live your life to prove you wish redemption. I know in your mind it is a version of doing so as a symbol. But, hiding behind the mask is how I see it now a days.” Kallen stated simply to him as he neglected to answer her other question as her fingers loosened from their closed position. It was in that precise moment that he turned their gazes truly connected for the first time in six years. Her sapphire hues brimmed with a tint of sadness mingled with relief at the sight of him truly being alive. A faint coloring dashed with quick color over her cheeks as the crimson ringlets framed her face.” You haven’t changed in the slightest, Suzaku.” She said as her eyes moved over every small inch of him as if to mesmerize the current him in contrast to his past self. Her words fell freely as Kallen’s look held in warm captivation to him as they held alone.” Thank you... I’m glad to finally encounter you after this long. To finally see the true you..” Kallen breathed out softly.” I thought I had lost both of you..” She continued as she brushed the tip of her finger under her eye to prevent the wish to tear up in happiness to finally seeing truth in her beliefs.
But, above all.. To see one of the few people she had left in this world had unknowingly found himself back to her after all the hardships and pain shared between them.
It had touched a piece of her heart that she had long forgotten with her old self.. With the old Kallen.
[div class=fyuri11credit]code by @Fyuri[/div] [div=display:none;].[/div][div=display:none;][/div]
That cursed name repeatedly echoed in Nunnally's head as she sat in the kitchen of her home, painfully recalling her brother's gruesome death once more. How could she possibly be able to forget that moment; seeing Lelouch dying in her arms, screaming his name as others cheered for the savior that he created?
It wasn't fair. Lelouch had done so much for everyone, and all they would ever know was an abhorrent lie. All they would remember him as, was a demon. The demon that had murdered Prince Clovis, the demon who defeated Schneizel, the demon who had went as far as to kill his own father.
But he was also the angel who had brought them peace because of those things.
A faint memory started to rush back to her, as she gently closed her eyes. She was reminded of when she still had her "blindness", sitting in her wheelchair with Sayoko by her side. She remembered that on that one particular day, she had learned what the Japanese called "Origami" and managed to make several paper cranes of her own.
A soft, warm smile creased her face as her memory renewed this moment. Making paper cranes... especially for Lelouch, had brought simple happiness to the both of them.
Then she remembered what she had said, and what would then lead to the start of a drastic change to everything she had ever known.
“They say if you fold a thousand cranes, your wish comes true. So, if you have anything to wish for..." She began as her lovely smile that always made Lelouch happy to see was shown.
“Oh, no. Not me.” He sheepishly interjected. "And you, Nunnally? Do you wish for anything?" He asked curiously.
Nunnally sat in thought for a few moments, head tilting down as she delved into the deepest parts of her tender heart.
"I wish the world was a gentle place." She answered as she continued to smile at the thought of a world that ceased from political strife and constant turmoil.
The memory then struck her heart as if she had been gravely wounded. How selfish she felt. Here, her brother had given up his world to give her the one she wanted most, and yet... she remained unhappy.
She realized she not only wanted peace, but to be able to live in it with Lelouch.
Tears burned her eyes as her lip quivered. She tried her hardest to hold them back; telling herself how foolish she was being, until they spilled all over her face. Oh how she wished she could see his face again, even if it was just for a few seconds! She desperately wanted to tell him just how much she loved him. As she wept quietly, she heard someone kneel beside her. She tried her best to quickly wipe her tears in failed attempts to hide her grieving, before looking up.
"I’ve heard there is a legend to these..."
Zero held out his hand to show a folded paper crane resting on his palm. His voice grew softer, sympathetic for the Ambassador and young Empress.
"...Something about, wishes?" He added.
Nunnally gave a subtle nod. Her fingers gingerly swept away a few strings of hair from her face.
"Yes. If you fold a thousand, your wish will come true."
Zero, or rather, her childhood friend and diligent knight Suzaku Kururugi, looked at the folded piece of paper.
"I see... perhaps you would like to fold more with me sometime?"
Nunnally sniffed as another smile spread across her face.
"Yes, I would like that very much."
She looked at the crane for a moment, the slightest ray of hope shone in her eyes.
"Suzaku...do you think the legend is true?" She asked.
Zero thought for a few seconds before answering. "Why... I don't see why not? After all, wishes can come true."
"Yes...yes that’s right!" She gently plucked the crane from his hand and held it in her own. Staring at it, she repeated what her friend had said with a light tone of happiness.
"Wishes can come true..."
Suzaku Kururugi slowly stood up. He placed a hand on her shoulder lovingly, attempting to replace the large role Lelouch once filled.
“I have to go now. There’s… something I must do.” He informed her.
Nunnally averted her gaze, knowing that soon the house she resided in would once again fall into loneliness.
“Okay…” She managed to respond softly.
With a last tight squeeze of her shoulder, Zero made his way to the guest room that served as his quarters. As he walked off, Nunnally took note of the dried blood that was wiped across the side of his mask. The blood of her brother, Suzaku’s best friend; as well as his mantle, had been passed down to him. A heavy burden had been cast upon him, and she often wondered how much of an effect it had on him day by day. Either way, he tried not to let it show. Though Nunnally was the only one who knew better. She just wished he would be a bit more open about it.
Moments later... Suzaku emerged from his room; fully removed from the persona of Zero. Instead, he donned a dark hoodie with jeans, as if he were attempting to keep his identity concealed. Though he had always been a man of virtue and morals, he still continued to carry shame for everything leading up to Zero Requiem. It was pitifully ironic. The world was given peace, yet he could find none of it within himself.
He kept his eyes away from her, and quietly made his way toward the back door. She said nothing, and acknowledged that there was not a present need for any consolation from her. His mind was plagued with enough, and she was grateful that he continued to try to care for her the best he could.
As the lights in the home were kept dim, Nunnally watched in silence as Suzaku closed the door behind him; the sound of it slamming shut reverberating throughout the otherwise empty home.
Minutes later, as she kept her hands folded on her lap, Nunnally shut her eyes once more.
Lelouch let out an audible sigh as he walked alongside his freshly acquired poker partner. Perhaps that last shot was a bit too much; as he severely underestimated just how drunk the man actually was. Still, this would not be a hindrance to his plan. Everything else was set in order… exactly where they all needed to be as if they were mere pieces on a chessboard.
Hopefully he will remain conscious through majority of the game.
“Are you still feeling up to this, mister…” Lelouch began to ask his “friend”.
“Leopold; but you can call me Leo! Don’t worry man, I’m as chipper as ever!” The man responded, barely comprehensible.
“Good man. Trust me Leo, this will be a cinch.” Lelouch reaffirmed while trying to ignore the fact that Leo looked as if he could pass out any minute.
It took no time at all to reach the table where the first man Lelouch encountered sat. The group itself seemed to be well diversified; an odd mixture between nobility and the average street rat. When it came to greed, its embodiment came in all shapes, sizes, statuses and pedigrees. All men desired the same thing here, and they would do whatever it took to achieve that. Of course, the same went for Lelouch…
As Lelouch approached the table more closely, a man with a foreign accent stretched out both of his arms towards him and his companion in a welcoming manner.
“Ah, yes! We have more that are willing to join us! Come, shall we have ourselves another game?” The man invited.
Lelouch smiled to himself. There were two more seats available for him and his colleague, and immediately he sat down in the chair on the right; leaving the chair next to him on his left open to his “friend”. The dazed man took a few moments to stabilize his vision before being able to pull the chair out from underneath the table in order to seat himself.
The man from earlier gasped as his eyes grew wide. “Hey, yer that dimwit from earlier!” The man exclaimed; annoyance evident in his tone.
“Yes, it is I: your buddy.” Lelouch responded smugly.
The man’s anger became more fearsome at the sarcasm seeping from Lelouch. He turned to the man with the foreign accent beside him in total malice.
“Are we really gonna allow this dickhead in? We got nuff’ of us already!” He bitterly proclaimed.
“Let’s not get too hasty Robert. I am sure having these new additions will add for a little more flair in our next game. In fact, why don’t we raise the stakes?” The foreign man responded.
The man now known as Robert huffed as he crossed both of his arms unamused. “Fine then. Buy in is one hundred-fifty thousand dollars.” Robert spat.
Lelouch grimaced. That was a very high amount for a game in a less, reliable establishment. He scanned everyone at the table, taking a headcount. He attempted to maintain his composure, but his face continued to waiver ever so slightly.
There are six of us… meaning… that the potential pot here is close to a million dollars!
Folding his hands and placing them on the table slowly, Lelouch grinned from ear to ear as he tilted his head upward in an arrogant fashion.
“One hundred fifty? And here I thought you all to be men of higher caliber. Let’s make it two hundred.” Lelouch proposed deviously.
“Two hundred thousand? My, aren’t we the confident one! Fair enough, buy in is two hundred!” The foreign man declared.
Robert narrowed his eyes into thin slants as he stared down Lelouch; who at the present seemed unnaturally beguiling. Lelouch returned his gaze with another charming sideways smile.
One by one in an erratic order, everyone began placing their required chips onto the table. Lelouch moved his cloak out of the way to access the pouch he had strapped to his side where he currently housed his own. Pulling out what was necessary and no more, Lelouch plopped the clay tokens onto the space in front of him.
The foreign man then collected the previously played cards from their earlier game and stacked them onto the deck beside him. He then began shuffling vigorously, moving at a rather impressive and incomprehensible rate.
This is a very high stakes game. Any wrong moves and I could be all out of my past earnings. I’ll need to be careful, or otherwise I could still lose despite it being fixed from the start!
The foreign man cut the deck, before resuming his shuffling for several more minutes. Finally, he dealt each person two cards face down, before placing five cards in the middle of the table.
“I’m sure all of you are aware of the game, but for clarification; this is Texas Holdem’ poker. You all should know the rules. Small blind will be fixed to one thousand.” He commented.
“And as a courtesy towards our new pal here, why don’t we start off with him!” Robert declared, pointing to Lelouch.
“You’re too kind.” Lelouch responded gracefully.
Everyone picked up their cards and looked at their current hands. Lelouch’s companion placed the small blind, while the man on his left placed the big blind. Next to him was Robert, then the foreign man, then another man before it circled back to Lelouch. Not betraying a single thought or feeling, everyone alternated their stares among themselves; looking for any possible tells that could be evident on their faces.
Lelouch looked back down on the cards held in his hands. Being the first to go immediately put pressure on him, as he was given less time to analyze everyone else since the focus was shifted solely on him opening round.
I have a Five of Clubs and a Jack of Diamonds… that’s fairly even. The safest move for now would be to just call.
“Call.” Lelouch chose as he placed two thousand dollars’ worth of chips to the pot.
Leo here will most likely make careless decisions throughout the course of this game, so it would be best to take advantage of his overly drunken state and pressure him into continually raising. Lelouch thought to himself before peeking over at Robert.
If my Geass activates as it should, Robert should be folding for every round. This will give me a higher chance at winning; as he could possibly be folding the best hand… as well as helping my bluffs look more intimidating. My only three unknown variables are these other men I have never seen before. This foreigner seems especially conspicuous, so I should be keeping a close eye on him during each play.
“U-uh…” Leo stuttered.
Lelouch underhandedly turned to his left. “Oh come now Leo, could your lack of spine be the reason your wife is leaving you?” He prodded.
Eyes growing wide and face contorting, Leo easily took the bait.
“Raise!” He proclaimed as he shoved four thousand dollars’ worth of chips to the pot.
“Call.” Said the man to the left of Leo as he placed another four thousand dollars’ worth of chips.
Robert stared at his cards absolutely dumbfounded. His hands slightly shook, and his eye began to twitch. Hesitatingly, he placed his cards back on the table face down.
“Fold.” Robert stated.
Ah, and there it is. Lelouch laughed internally.
The foreign man looked moderately surprised but remained silent. He took a few seconds to catch a glance at Lelouch before giving his answer.
“Raise.” He said as he placed eight thousand dollars’ worth of chips to the pot, leering at Lelouch.
“Call.” The man after decided, matching the previous bet.
Now for the flop… Lelouch noted.
Being the “dealer”, Lelouch flipped the first three cards over. There was a Nine of Diamonds, Eight of Hearts, and Queen of Diamonds.
Not bad... So far at least. I called, Leo raised, the man after called, the foreign man also raised, and the last man called. This means that the current pot is at twenty-nine thousand. Last bet was eight thousand. Should I raise? I have a Jack of Diamonds, and there are a Queen of Diamonds and Nine of Diamonds sitting in the community. There’s also an Eight of Hearts, so I could potentially have a straight. Though that would mean I would be relying on either the turn or the river being a Ten. What if this foreigner had a better hand? Could he possibly be setting up a flush..? Or is he merely bluffing? What about the man beside him? He seemed to be satisfied with his hand enough to match. Robert also looked heartbroken when folding… so he did he have a King and Ace of Diamonds? If so, that could possibly lower the chances of another straight beating me out-
Interrupting his thoughts, the foreign man taunted.
“Tick tock, it is your turn you know.” He informed Lelouch mockingly.
Lelouch quietly let go of a breath he did not realize he was holding before giving a small chuckle.
“You said you wanted to add some flair… but this just isn’t doing it for me. Raise.” Lelouch proclaimed.
The foreign man burst out into a fit of laughter.
“My, you are an interesting one! I like you.” He told Lelouch, smiling.
“Heh. You may not like me so much after I clear you out completely.” Lelouch taunted.
“Is that a threat?” The man responded with intrigue.
“Nonsense. I’m merely stating the inevitable.” Lelouch answered.
“Whatever makes you feel more comfortable.” The foreigner chuckled.
“Your turn Leo.” Lelouch stated, getting back on subject.
“I’m not sure-“ Leo began.
“My, your kids must really hate having such a weakfather.” Lelouch commented.
“RAISE!” Leo yelled as he slammed more chips onto the pot.
The man beside Leo grunted in aggravation as he folded his hand. That left only the foreigner, the other man, Lelouch and Leo in the round. The pot was now at seventy-seven thousand; already reaching a very considerable and desirable amount, and the intensity of the game began to gradually increase.
Now that things have escalated, I highly doubt this guy would even match unless he had a very strong hand…
“Raise.” The foreign man casually declared.
Lelouch was completely taken aback. The foreigner had raised so nonchalantly that Lelouch’s mind was in turmoil.
Is this a marked deck? Does he already know what the next two cards will be? No, maybe he’s simply bluffing. But to go that extreme? No wait… perhaps he really does have a great hand. Am I in too deep? Should I decide to fold and not allow for my liability to grow any further? No. This is too good of an opportunity, and my pride will not allow for me to concede that easily.
To make matters worse, the man after the foreigner also folded. Now it was a trio that remained still in the game; one of which was very much under the influence of some serious alcohol. By now, the turn card would be revealed, and things would become even more interesting.
“Alrighty here.” Leo mumbled to himself as he turned the next community card over, revealing a Two of Spades.
Lelouch let out an exasperated sigh.
This means that if I want to win this game, I would be riding on that final card. Do I really want to risk it? I have already put so much forward, so it would be ludicrous to fold now. But do I check? Should I match? What should I-
The words came out of Lelouch’s mouth instinctively before he was able to process what he had just said. He was unsure of how or why he reacted so abruptly, but it would not make a difference either way. He had spoken, and now he would have to ride or die by those words.
It was subtle. Extremely so. For most people, it was virtually unnoticeable. However, Lelouch was not most people. He had a very sensitive awareness of people and their behavior, and so he caught the slightest sign of shock that had briefly revealed itself on the foreign man’s face. The side of Lelouch’s mouth curved upward as he finally was able to get a read on the man. Perhaps his hand was not as good as he projected it to be.
Leo himself even in his drunken state of mind was appalled at Lelouch’s actions. He stared at Lelouch as if he had lost his mind. Maybe… maybe he did.
“Wow. Okay. Um…” Leo stuttered.
“My dear Mister Gamble, do you think you could really win your wife and kids over with that kind of fortitude?” Lelouch unrelentingly spat.
Leo tilted his head down, closing his eyes for a moment before looking back up to give Lelouch a cold stare.
“Sir. It would be my utmost desire to take you down in this game. All in.” Leo told Lelouch in disdain.
Lelouch leaned back on his chair, crossing his legs and placing his feet on the table. He folded his hands and set them on his lap, giving the foreign man a vexing glance.
“What’s wrong? Can’t take the plunge?” Lelouch goaded.
The foreigner remained expressionless as his eyes remained fixed on the pot in front of him. He mulled over the situation for several minutes, not betraying a single thought that came across his mind.
“…All in.” He finally spoke.
Everyone at once placed the remainder of all their chips into the pot, none of them making any eye contact with the other. After an unusual and unwonted silence, the foreign man reached out to flip over the final community card.
Silence continued to surround the table and its occupants as each individual’s reaction was not yet verbalized nor immediately discernible.
Then, in a single definitive moment, Lelouch and the foreign man locked eyes. They both simultaneously placed their cards on the table face up, along with Leo hesitatingly doing the same.
Mixed gasps ranging from the dramatic to the disgruntled filled the once silent atmosphere as everyone saw the played hands.
Leo had a Four of Clubs and an Ace of Hearts; which as expected, produced nothing for him. His face drained of color as realization of what had happened began to sink in. His lips quivered, but they could not bring themselves to form the words that rung through his head in continual mental torment.
The foreign man’s mouth however, had been left agape. He too found himself with the inability to vocalize any of his feelings, as his eyes could not be drawn away from the table.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA!” Lelouch cackled as he processed the end result of all their plays.
Before the group were three revealed hands. Leo with a junk hand, the foreigner having a Five and King of Diamonds; indicating his failed attempt at having a flush, and Lelouch with his Jack of Diamonds and Five of Clubs. With the community cards consisting of an Eight, Nine, Ten and Queen, Lelouch had a straight due to having a Jack.
The foreign man regretfully pushed the accumulation of chips forward to Lelouch, in which Lelouch graciously accepted. After the last three went all in with their bets, the grand total had amounted to an astonishing six hundred twelve-thousand dollars.
“Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure playing with you all.” Lelouch rubbed in as he began placing the winnings into his pouch.
“Running out on us so soon?” The foreign man finally managed to speak.
“They say to quit while you’re ahead, and it appears to me that I am way ahead.” Lelouch replied smugly.
“Heh, normally the house takes twenty percent of winnings… but since you cleared me out in my own casino I will withhold that cost. After all, it would be an insult to my pride to still take a cut from such an impressive loss.” The foreign man commented.
Lelouch’s eyebrows furrowed. Did he hear the man right? He had referenced the place as his casino.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t quite catch your name before our match.” Lelouch stated.
“I am Kojak, the owner of this establishment.” The man now known as Kojak informed.
Lelouch’s mouth parted slightly. The man he had just beaten was none other than Kojak; the famous underground gambler who had amassed such a large fortune that he opened his own casino. In a single game, Lelouch had bested that same man and won with high stakes in the casino he ran.
“I was not aware that you took part in games here.” Lelouch admitted.
“What’s the fun in having a casino if you don’t seize the opportunity of house advantage?” Kojak questioned.
Lelouch smiled. “Fair enough.”
As Lelouch stood up, Kojak followed suit. As Lelouch turned to leave, Kojak asked the question that plagued the mind of every man from the game.
“Who exactly are you?” Kojak asked curiously.
Lelouch turned back around, hesitating before answering.
“…Dominus.” He answered.
Kojak shook his head in disbelief, while Robert, Leo and the rest of the men stared in shock.
“So… you’re that rumored character who continues to run around every casino with lady luck in tail.” Kojak sighed.
“That would be me, yes.” Lelouch admitted.
Kojak leaned forward. “Then you aren’t going to join us for another game?”
Lelouch turned back away and took a few steps before answering.
“I’ve gotten what I came for.” He told Kojak.
As Lelouch walked off to exchange his coins before exiting through the casino doors, Kojak sat down before talking to the residual presence Lelouch had left in his wake.
“It seems you have…”
As Lelouch made his way outside, Lelouch laughed at such a turning of events.
"Ah, I had planned to take full advantage of Robert folding every time... but I am overly satisfied with my results. No need to push things."
Lelouch then pulled out his phone and sent a short text message:
“I need more Refrain. Meet at the usual spot.”
Moments later, he received a reply.
“Very well. Look forward to business.”
With that, Lelouch walked off as his red cloak flailed behind him.
"Do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be."
C.C. considered herself a rather patient person. However, there were instances where her patience became overwhelmed with agitation. She could feel the nearby, steady hum of Lelouch's presence urging her to track him down. That, coupled with the alcohol soaking into her dress, had her very bothered. At first, it began with a tapping of her foot. She folded her arms in an attempt to soothe herself, but it only served to make her tenser. It wasn't much longer before she gave up and wandered to the bathroom, using numerous paper towels to dry herself off. She smelled like a drunkard and the thought made her nose scrunch up in disgust.
In other news, her connection with Lelouch was stronger than it had ever been these past few years. It was almost back to normal, albeit a little foggy. C.C. took that as progress in the right direction. However, already it was growing dimmer than the initial burst. Either he was moving further away or something was keeping him distracted. That brought back memories. It was interesting how often Lelouch's presence would sway when he was in deep thought, almost like he was losing touch with reality when he was stuck in his head. She too used to have the same issue, forgetting to stay in the present, but there had always been Marianne to talk to. Now, though, that was no longer an option.
To say the C.C. was coping with loneliness well was incorrect. She longed for connection, hence her former geass, and the thought of being stuck in this limbo forever without someone to keep her company was... disappointing. Why she strived to find Lelouch in particular, she still didn't know. Curiosity, maybe, but there was also this feeling like he had more to do with himself, like his purpose was not yet fulfilled. Perhaps that's why he was alive right now when he should be dead. If she had accepted his death, then, without a doubt, she would be content to move on. But knowing that he was still out there for some reason, a reason she believed to be critical, had an effect on C.C. that she couldn't put a name to.
With her dress dried, C.C. left the bathroom, taking in a note of her surroundings. The casino was bustling with life and people everywhere, full of connections that could be made, yet she wanted none of it. Perhaps she was better off ceasing her wait, opting instead to make a move. Normally passive, this wasn't an idea she was particularly fond of (there was always the off chance that she would completely miss Lelouch again, as well) and C.C. hesitated, her dull eyes running over the faces of all the gamblers around her. This was how she took in the lack of people to the left of the casino. It was as if the patrons' attentions had all been dragged over to something that had happened on the other side. They were just now dispersing, filling the building back up to its level state. She wondered what had caught their attention--a game, perhaps?--but there wasn't a lot of time left to dwell on it.
From her peripheral vision, C.C. caught a glimpse of a red cloak trailing off to the casino entrance. In that one moment, everything froze. In all her years of searching, she had never felt so close to Lelouch, the connection they shared emanating a warm purr of energy. Among the steadily growing crowd, C.C. made her way to the entrance, dodging people's bodies left and right to try and keep up her pace. Slow, these heels had her walking too slowly. Pulling the shoes off and going barefoot, which would help her remain silent anyway, she carried her heels with her and pressed on. The moment she blinked, however, the cloak was gone, its bearer having made it outside the casino. Her disappointed expression from earlier returned, her lips pulled in a small, impartial frown.
She would just have to trail after his presence, she supposed.
mentions: n/a | interactions: lelouch | location: britannia underground casino
[/div][/div][/div][div class=fyuri11parent][div class=fyuri11content] “Sadly involving or informing you about the plan was not a luxury we could afford. No matter how much either of us would have liked to. Besides I don’t think we would have ever had any other excuse to go all out like we did that day.” He said with the smallest sense of humor and emotion resembling her former classmate. Smirking slightly if only for a moment. “Even if you did admit the Guren held better specs.” Suzaku spoke before his gaze downcast and away from her. “Part of changing the world was removing ourselves from it. That is all there is Kallen..” he said while in his heart the desire for forgiveness was itself locked deep within a cage. “You don’t understand. Nor should you.” he said simply while he knew the truth of what the Symbol of Zero was.
A burden. One no one else needed or deserved to bare. But a burden that ensured the wish for a better world.
But when she said how he had not changed. A part of him was both surprised and slightly joyful. Maybe he alone saw himself as such a hollow shell. “It is good to have seen you again…..if I did not believe your debt to the world was overdue. I would ask you to return to the Black Knights. The Guren still is not accepting any other pilots at least with any sort of scores close to yours.” he said while realizing the Irony. So long he had tried to remove her from the Terrorist Group and now he spoke of her returning to them instead as guardians of peace.
As he looked at her getting a bit more emotional, he knew it would only harm her to try to give any further hope that either of them had really returned. But the most he could give her was this. “Maybe….one day. You can visit Nunnally sometime.” he said before getting cut off from his earpiece. Quickly raising his hand to his ear.
“Yes?.....” he said taking a pause and looking back at Kallen briefly. “I will head there now. Take three teams and get eyes on those involved. I will be there before we move in.” he said clicking his earpiece again.
The drug had first plummeted in distribution and demand after the Requiem but soon after it had become a major commodity for the once empowered nobility and elite. A brief glimpse at Kallen flashed the memory of him nearly forcing the drug onto her when she was imprisoned to get to Lelouch. If he had gone through with that…
He shook his head instead turning away needing to join with the Knights already onto the deal. “I have to go. I am glad you have found yourself in this world Kallen.” He said only pausing briefly before quickly heading away. Not looking back.
It would not take him long to return and dawn the attire of Zero. In truth he did not need it for every occasion with the Black Knights but people needed to be reminded of the symbol. The man took down the most powerful ruler of the world on his own after all. Hopefully showing up like this would encourage a less violent approach.
[div class=fyuri11credit]code by @Fyuri[/div] [div=display:none;].[/div][div=display:none;][/div]
[div class=fyuri11wrapper][div class=fyuri11imagebox][div class=fyuri11overlayparent][div class=fyuri11overlay][div class=fyuri11header]Kallen Kozuki
[div=font-size:10px;]-The Once Warrior-[/div][/div]
[/div][/div][/div][div class=fyuri11parent][div class=fyuri11content]
Kallen’s gaze would distance as she pulled her look away from that of Suzaku’s. Her memories all but drawn back to those days of old in which so many sacrifices had been made by countless individuals. Those two had been among the few to surrender their own lives in different forms in both life and death. These had become facts that she had come to learn on her own and pieced together through the puzzled paths they had left behind. Kallen found herself unable to find humor behind his words as it simply stung in reminder. She had lost Lelouch.. She had lost Suzaku, Shirley and so many more through this cause. Her hand would clasp to her upper right arm as she gazed out over the memorial.” I just wished that someone.. Just one single individual would have been honest and spoken with me. To let me know what I would be unknowingly staking in that time. The relationships I would unknowingly lose..” She breathed out painfully as the next words fell in a faint whisper.” I understand to a point why you staked everything. I just don’t understand how you all could be willing to lose everyone you were close to. Those who loved you above all else.” Kallen said plainly as one could hear the emotion dripping from her tone. For the briefest second, a glimmer of the former classmate she knew had come and gone from view. Kallen would all but blink back tears that wished to fall as she feigned the lightest of looks.” Remove yourselves, Hmm..? To let history undo itself and be given a fresh start without Lelouch and the corrupt Empire to rule.” Her look quickly turned on him as her lips came to draw into a thin line.” You’re right, I’ll truly never be able to fully comprehend the choices you both made without our knowing. But, it doesn’t mean the realization hurts any less.” She stated simply to him as she made no notion to hide the pain that dwelled behind her words.
Her fingers lightly slid through her crimson locks as they spilled in frame to her face. A familiar essence of the old Kallen blazed against her ocean hues.” You know I’m happy to see you as well especially after this extended period.. The Black Knights is a past life to me and one I needed to represent and stand with. When nobody else would stand to find change in our once corrupted world. I fought for what I believed in and what I swore I would until I no longer needed to.” She answered as she paused in her current words to merely smile. Kallen’s head would shake back and forth whlist a small chuckle befell her lips.” Did you really believe any pilot scores would even come close to mine? Let’s be honest, that Guren was designed around me and for me alone to control.” She noted as a smirk would fit against her lips.” Which is why I gladly placed the Guren under the Black Knight’s hold to ensure when the time came.. The right pilot would be seated in it.” Kallen genuinely meant as her orbs finally met his with simplified warmth. Countless occasions he would boldly attempt to sway her views to leave what he once viewed as a terrorist association. It felt nearly odd to hear him uttering the want for her to return to the now protectors of peace.
Her emotions would shift from their current state as his words would draw calm over her. A ginger nature would overtake her expression.” One day.. I’d truly like that. Her kindness is unlike any other person I’ve ever come to encounter.” She honestly answered to him as she meant that with all of her heart. Yet, she found her brow arch as Suzaku was quickly distracted as his hand raised in a press to his earpiece.
She would watch the shift in his expression as she could make out a singular word from his earpiece. One thing from her past that she herself held a profound hatred for in the general knowing of what it had done to her mother. To what kind of addiction it had once birthed in her and made her a nearly lifeless vessel.
Refrain… That dreaded God awful substance that had reduced her mother to the lowest level of human that she could be. To the point she refused to recognize her as her mother for the simple fact it had made her so weak in will and spirit.
Yet, it did draw her back to a moment with Suzaku that she had never truly forgotten. He had once dared to attempt using Refrain upon her to gain what he needed in information. A coldness dimmed upon her look as she curled her arms around herself while her fingers clenched to the end pieces of her shirt. He could have continued to try forcing it upon her and decidedly chose the right path in not taking her will from her. If he had proceeded in doing it.. She herself wouldn’t have been able to stand before him as she did this day. A trust would have been entirely shattered and stripped down to its barest form between the pair of them.
Her head would quickly snap upwards as she was broken from her thought process. For a moment, she couldn’t find the words that she wished to use as Suzaku spoke to her. Her hand all but reaching forth in an attempt to stop him as he made no hesitation to leave. Not a single glance stolen back as he proceeded to leave whilst her head fell to hang lowly.” I wish you’d be able to find your place in this world truly… Without the mask.” She muttered softly to herself as her head rolled back to watch the fading back line of his figure. Her fists would begin to tighten as they grew paler in her grip as something began to burn within her. A dulled sensation to take action in a way she had long forgotten.
Just this once, she could make an exception… Right?
She questioned to herself as she barely gave thought to the feel of her fingers retrieving her phone from the confines of her pocket. At that, her fingers dialed quick as she pressed the phone to her ear. It wouldn’t take long for the phone to connect as Ohgi’s voice would come to echo in her ear.
“ Hey Ohgi.. Mind if I call in a favor? I heard that a situation has arisen with the substance Refrain. I-I… I want in for aiding you all with the situation. Just this once is all I want. No long term, Alright?” Kallen firmly stated to him as Ohgi sighed light in compliance. A nervous chuckle mellowed out to normal as his voice answered.” If that is what you want than so be it. You know where to find us so make your way here as soon as possible. I’ll make sure you’re covered for whatever it is you need.” He said as Kallen’s look held calm as she answered and clicked the phone off as she proceeded to the end of the street. Her hand all but shot quickly up in the air as she hailed a taxi for herself as she slid into her seat.
Minutes upon Minutes would come to pass as the taxi came to a halt a distance away from the Black Knight’s designated base. Her crimson waves spiraled behind her as she let her gaze linger over the base as she breathed in deeply. At that, she’d proceeded to move forward to the gate as the guards would go wide eyed at the sight of her. They’d quickly straighten as they saluted her instantaneously as they moved aside. One would lower his mouth close to a walkie as the gates would open as he motioned for her to enter. Kallen ushered herself inside as her defined hips gave light sways with each of her steps. From ahead, she could spot Ohgi leaned against one of the pillars as he smiled slow over her approaching figure.” That call was the last thing I’d ever expect to get from you. Where did you get that information from..?” He questioned as her look nonchalantly met his with a bold look.” Why don’t you help me get the uniform I need and essentials and then take me to Zero. You can offer your thanks to him as to why I even showed up here today.” She nudged at to him as his brows rose as she proceeded inside ahead of him as he scratched the back of his neck.” What the hell kind of day is this going to be..?” He questioned to himself as he followed in tow behind her.
[div class=fyuri11credit]code by @Fyuri[/div] [div=display:none;].[/div][div=display:none;][/div]
Clouds scattered across the deep blue sky mellowed the sun’s radiance as they came to form a netting, preventing undesirable heat from reaching any of the bystanders who occupied Britannia’s central city. Being out in the open in this time of day was inconspicuous, unobtrusive, and perfect for a Refrain deal to be conducted. Given that such illegal activities typically were reserved for the night life, Lelouch found it to be most effective and efficient to engage his “business practices” in broad daylight. No average individual with a semi-rational mind would expect for anything like it to occur after all. It would be too risky in theory; assuming any suspicious activity could easily be distinguished in plain sight. Though, the comfort in knowing this “fact” resulted in people being more relaxed and less attentive in their environment. Their senses were not as heightened as they would be at night, and their fear or conjecture of anything was at a minimum. Thus, the present scenario was most ideal in Lelouch’s eyes.
A bead of sweat dripped down the side of his concealed face in consequence of wearing such excessive attire. The black light-armor alongside the crimson cloak he donned retained a lot of the heat; and considering that Lelouch’s physical prowess was severely underwhelming, the toll it was taking on him was far greater than it should have been.
If I wasn’t so publicly recognizable, I wouldn’t have to resort to wearing this dreadful thing. Lelouch complained to himself.
Eyes drifting from one street to the next, the black-hearted Britannian advanced toward his target destination. While the law enforcement personnel designated there had the tendency to be scarce during present time, one could not be too careful. Though these transactions always seemed to be routine… the over-analytical nature of Lelouch simply could not be ignored. He took note of the few passersby who gave him a brief glance before going about their way. It was not like a cloaked ominous figure failed in drawing some level of attention after all.
“That’s it. Run along now.” Lelouch mumble to himself quietly as the group casually strolled on.
His trip finally reached a conclusion as Lelouch ducked into a nearby alleyway; with a small group of individuals gathered around a single man. The man of apparent notoriety wore a stereotypical trench coat despite the reasonably high temperature. The actual functionality of the coat itself however, was the trade-off for the ridiculous apparel. Many, many things could be easily concealed within the exceedingly large coat; things like vials upon vials of Refrain.
The man was quite popular within the underground, with Refrain dealers being sparse as of late. With the Black Knights out in full force, the supply of refrain was dwindling. Raids were being carried out almost semi-weekly… ever aggressive toward the ill repute narcotic. The fact that Lelouch possessed the ability to personally contact such an elusive man meant that he garnered special treatment. It was far more convenient for him; as a frequent client that was abundantly dependent on the drug. This in turn was an immediate benefit for the man giving said information, since he gained a reliable and consistent customer. Stings happened on the occasion, so having someone willing to pay even a little bit extra above the “market” price kept the business going while the heat was on.
Lelouch traversed the handful of people and put himself in the front of the person of interest. The man brought his eyes to Lelouch’s and gave an almost warm looking smile.
“Ah, there’s my favorite customer. I was wondering when you were gonna show up.” He grinned.
“It’s not like I can just fly around whenever I want.” Lelouch remarked.
“Heh. Well that would make it pretty easy to avoid getting caught.” The man chuckled.
The man then leaned closer to Lelouch as he took on a hushed tone.
“You are prepared in case we do get caught, right?” He asked hesitantly.
“Of course.” Lelouch reassured as he clutched his chest with his hand.
“Good. Now to business. How many vials are we getting today?” The man inquired.
Lelouch folded his arms and casually looked to the side. “I’m thinking about getting a couple dozen or so.” He answered.
“A couple dozen? My my, did you win the lottery or something?” The man joked.
“You could say something like that.” Lelouch smirked.
“Hey now, if you really did win something you best not air that out. We got some desperate people around here and I don’t want my best customer to go bankrupt on me.” The man teased.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Lelouch reaffirmed.
“Alrighty. So you want say… two dozen? That’ll practically clean me out for the rest of the day.” The man mused.
“Is that a motto you actually keep true to?” Lelouch questioned half-heartedly.
“Nah, but it came to me and I thought it sounded pretty good so I rolled with it.” The man laughed.
With no more words to say, the man counted out the vials for Lelouch and let him examine them to ensure they each had equal amounts within them. Once he was satisfied with the merchandise, Lelouch opened the satchel he brought with himself as he let the dealer place the Refrain vials within. He then proceeded to give the amount due to the man before resealing the satchel.
“A pleasure as always.” The man said as he extended out his hand.
“I’m sure it’s always a pleasure when you get paid that much.” Lelouch mocked as he met the hand with his own, giving the obligatory handshake.
Suzaku would hold in silence towards the last bits of exchange between him and the once pilot of the Guren. Since all of this began, Suzaku had learned both the heavy cost and rarity of truth as well as the burden it often brought alongside it. There was nothing more he could explain to her. What had to be done. Why. The thoughts behind both himself and Lelouch. But at the same time he knew that what Kallen had lost was a small price to pay in the grand scheme of it all.
He had turned and left her there. The only other person outside of the original fold now brought to the light of what the Zero Requiem really was. A penance for a greater tomorrow. Putting the meeting behind him at least for now. He knew he would hold some sense of sorrow for Kallens side in this when he had nothing but time to reflect. For now he had work to do. Quickly mobilizing a small squad of Black Knights. Suzaku was determined to continuing promoting what the Black Knights stood for ever since the beginning especially in Japan and especially when it came to refrain. The past held more pain than the people needed after being given the blessing of the future. Beyond that, the drug only reminded him of another shameful wound as he nearly forced it on Kallen to extract information on his greatest enemy and closest friend. Nearly crossing a line that would damn him further than his soul was already meant for.
Staging a safe distance from the targeted structure where the deal was tipped to be made, Zero held inside an advanced Burai knightmare frame. A advanced unit compared tothe older generation knightmares but still little to any comparison with any custom units or by miles when compared to the Lancelot. A few others held in their own units as well while others held in their own positions ready to move in on his command. Waiting in wait Suzaku crossed his arms and closed his eyes for a brief moment before getting a direct message from Ohgi.
"What is it? Are we ready to move?" Zero responded with his voice still being distorted.
"Kallen is back. She is already being brought up to speed and given a knightmare to use for the time being. Thought you would like to know." he said clearly with a bit of pride and contentment to his tone. Earning a pause from Zero in his response.
"I should have known." Zero said privately to himself. Smiling slightly under the mask. "You haven't change Kallen." he finished before returning to Ohgi. "Glad to know we have our ace again. Send her the plans and her position. It's time to move."
"Kallen." A familiar voice rang over the communicator within her own knightmare. "I would tell you to turn back If I thought there would be any point. Now that you are caught up to speed ill tell you my orders." Zero said with a bit of irony in his mind. Giving her the orders this time. "Our force can break up the deal and cause a dent in their operation if not sweep it up entirely, I want you to make sure we get a hold of the buyer and dealer as our priority targets. Find an opening and I will get the other and then secure our extraction."
Kallen climbed up with ease up the side of the knightmare she currently had been assigned. Her loose styled french braid would swing behind her body whilst she maneuvered into her seat. She would make quick work of her fingers gliding over the controls to set the Knightmare the way she intended for it to be. She’d all but be paused from her current actions to the voice echoing within the Knightmare as Kallen eased the earpiece into place.” I should have assumed you would contact me as soon as you heard that I came.” She chimed to him as a soft chuckle would elicit from her lips.” I think you know well enough if I commit to something I stay put.” Kallen quickly quieted herself in that moment as she listened to Zero’s orders flood her hearing.” So what you’re asking for me to do is swipe inside and locate an opening to apprehend both buyer and dealer? What if there are others possessing Knightmare’s in the area? Do I engage them to secure the chance at the targets apprehension?” She questioned him as she began to activate the Knightmare as all the systems came to light within as several straps snaked forward to secure her into place.
"Knightmares and any hostile capability is of course first to be taken down, remember that we have others to take some of the spotlight for you to focus on your task. They have already cleared out most of the civilians nearby so risk for casualties will be minimal." Zero said hitting a few more switches on his own knightmare which then stood up from its standby position and held a weapon loaded and at the ready.
Kallen nodded to herself at his words as she clicked on the last switch as the Knightmare itself roared to life. "So don’t engage unless they have to or your people go too slow. Right?” She retorted with a hint of playfulness mingled within her serious tone.
Suzaku would slightly smirk. "Just don't be rusty at a time like this. Black Knights. Move out." The voice of Zero echoed out to the instant courageous response from his subordinates. Lelouch had done well in crafting his symbol and the power of his command still lived even without him.
At his single command, she listened to the roar of courage resound through her mic from the other Black Knights. It still amazed her what courage could still be stirred within their souls after this long. It would all but leave a faint smile to splay at her crimson lips as memories of the past dawned upon her. She found herself quickly having to part from her thoughts. She’d all but lean forward into the controls as her body arched whilst the Knightmare breezed free onto the street. Kallen would circulate around through the back alleyway as she surfaced towards an entrance leading underground. A service entry... She thought to herself as she simply smirked to the notion as her last words left her lips. “ Let’s see if I can still do this..” Kallen said with a small sense of doubt still dwindling in her soul.
In the moments of her own actions, the other Black Knights would suddenly breech the building with next to no warning. Multiple side entry ways and garage doors would be blown from their hinges or new holes would be nicely introduced to the structure immediately after canisters of smoke were shot inside now flooding the area.
Zero himself would advance in the front line of his men immediately moving forward with the operation.
That is precisely how long it took for Lelouch’s ears to be tormented by a sudden and relentless ringing. The repulsive, unsavory scent of decrepit buildings tainted the air as pieces of their walls were flung about in an aimless manner. Large clusters of dust began to fall around his tall but weak figure, obscuring his vision for what seemed like an eternity in slow motion before they settled on the ground. If he was any other person, he would have lost all orientation. However, surprise entrances were something he was more than accustomed to. Remaining ever vigilant, Lelouch maintained his poise as he lightly touched his chest. A corresponding *beep* was heard, indicating that one of his precautions was ready.
Lelouch’s gaze met that of an all too familiar view. In one of their standard formations stood the knightmares of The Black Knights; spearheaded by none other than Zero himself.
Or at least, the silhouette of Zero. The shadow of the man Lelouch used to be. A symbol of justice… which was now his symbol of irony. Everything he had built with his own hands had defied him once more; just like they all had some time ago.
Suzaku. How many times will you choose to be the obstacle between me and my happiness… I wonder?
His successor was not clearly visible, though there was no need as the knightmare was uniquely identifiable. Part of what made The Black Knights so effective was the reputation Zero carried; so it came to no one’s surprise that Zero continued to be the star of every show. Even in the minuscule, trivial things such as a drug deal.
Lelouch turned as he flipped his now mangled cloak to the side while a gust of wind fluttered the red material about. He let out a brief chuckle before engaging the knights.
“Zero? Have the Black Knights truly been reduced to nothing more than a petty police force? You must have fallen on hard times to care about insignificant people like us.” Lelouch goaded.
Without any fear of retribution, Lelouch took several steps forward; confidently striding towards the lead knightmare. He then gripped the side of his cloak and held it outward to reveal his chest. Attached was an eerily recognizable device, its bright pink light gleaming from its surface.
“Go ahead… make your move. I’m curious to see how quickly you would be able to escape the radius of my improved liquid sakuradite!”
And this time… I brought other precautions.Lelouch thought to himself.
With his other free hand, Lelouch subtly reached for smoke pellets contained in one of his belt pouches. Push came to shove, if the sakuradite did not deter them… he should be able to rely on a smoke screen to cover his escape.
"Do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be."
Bare feet plodded against the ground, dirtied and rather cold. C.C. didn't think about that, though, her attention entirely focused on trailing Lelouch's presence. She kept back, maintaining her distance from the source. She didn't want to be spotted by anyone yet--or, rather, by anyone who might recognize her. It was impossible at this point not to draw some amount of attention from the general public due to her stained dress and shoeless feet, but, wishfully-speaking, she could keep up her anonymity. Besides, who was to say Lelouch, wherever he might be, was in the position to freely converse with her out in the open like this? There wasn't a doubt in her mind that he was hiding. Trying to, anyway. It wasn't like he could keep up the act much longer for her. C.C. was pretty sure that the man who wore the cloak, who was also most likely Dominus, was really just Lelouch. If she wasn't able to track him down now, which she doubted, then she'd be able to later now that she knew who he was pretending to be, as well as where he frequented.
C.C. smiled. "There's no avoiding me now, is there, Lelouch?" she muttered under her breath, keeping up her pace. A part of her wondered if Lelouch knew she was looking for him all this time. Her smile faded. He probably did. At the least, he'd considered it. She had enough faith in him to assume that much. For a moment, her rhythm faltered. Did he really feel the need to torment himself in such a way? To force himself into solitude? For what? Secrecy? It wasn't worth it. She knew from experience that being alone was hellish.
The train of thought that ran through her brain came to a stop. Several people stood around a large area, whispering and talking quietly amongst one another. They looked as though they'd been cleared out from the location ahead of her, probably due to some military operation. The screech of Knightmare wheels wailed in C.C.'s ears. She grit her teeth, the sound all too familiar. "Someone's got himself into quite the predicament," she said, just as dust billowed through the air, clouding up into the sky. It was oddly beautiful, for something so destructive.
Ignoring the looks a few citizens gave her, C.C. slipped through the people-made barricade from off to the side. No-one stopped her. Although it looked as though the Black Knights had evacuated the immediate nearby area, they weren't focused on holding back civilians at this moment. Besides, it would be foolish for any normal person to get involved in this, so they probably weren't expecting anyone to try. She was lucky she wasn't normal.
Tracking down the source of the structure collapse that caused the dust cloud was easy; Knightmare frames had surrounded an alleyway, bursting through the walls of the neighboring buildings to do so. Messy but effective, she had to admit. Although she couldn't yet see what was going on inside the alley--she wasn't anywhere close enough yet, Knightmares were blocking her line of sight, and the dust still drifted around the air--she decided it would be best to go around the back. At this point, she was well aware of how careless she was being by getting this close to the action. If anyone who knew her saw her here... Well, she'd be in trouble. But she couldn't just turn around now. She could tell, from the hum of energy that pulled her towards Lelouch, that he was in the midst of the chaos. It was her job, her duty, to pull him out of there if he couldn't do that by himself.
C.C. entered an alleyway a few buildings away, her hand trailing along the wall as she turned a corner and continued. All the alleys here connected at some point through the backstreet; she was certain she'd come out around the collapsed buildings at some point. Her suspicions were confirmed. She came upon several large chunks of rubble, signifying that this next turn led into the demolished alleyway. Setting her shoes down, she hid behind the debris, slinking around to find a good spot to see around the corner without being spotted. She found no good vantage points. Besides, if she moved any further out from where she placed her shoes, anyone who came from behind would spot her immediately. She probably wasn't even safe here as it was.
Resulting to use her other senses, C.C. listened as carefully as she could, picking up on a few words here and there. "...ahead... curious... escape.... my... sakuradite!" She let out a small puff. How reckless. But... It could work. There were still civilians not too far away. The chance of the Black Knights ignoring the sakuradite threat when there were innocent people nearby was slim. Which also meant that Lelouch was in no immediate danger so long as they take the bait. So, for the time being, her best bet was to stick to the sidelines and hope she stays unnoticed.
Simple enough, right?
mentions: n/a | interactions: open | location: backstreet
The breech was simple and effective. Another consequence of a newly tamed society is that the few conflicts and crimes that did still occur were usually done without the tools to defend against potent organized military tactics. Simple maneuvers like this would still make child's play of most lowlife criminals. Quickly his knightmare alongside two others had surrounded the central area of the building as those on foot quickly spread out around to secure the area and fill out their objectives. The near synchronized sounds of guns being aimed and held at the ready on the members of this drug deal clicking quickly as Zero stepped forward lowering his weapon to aim at the strange concealed man at the front.
Behind both his mask and the frame of his Knightmare, Suzaku prepared to try and accomplish his goal as it always was. Get through this without any more bloodshed the world had already drowned in for far too long. His gaze narrowed already in irritation. Even after all that has changed people still cared so little of ruining lives for a profit. Maybe some things would never change but the disappointment remained.
His thoughts however were pushed aside as the cloaked man dramatically turned and faced him with flourish and a chuckle that send a wave of remembrance through Suzaku that he was not so sure he enjoyed. "Lay on the ground and keep your hands visible. Keeping the peace and stopping acts that can only endanger the public will remain the goal of the Black Knights. Even if it means dealing with lowly criminals." he said as his altered voice echoed through the Knightmare's speakers to a near perfect T of the real Zero's voice. Thanks to the minds behind the Black Knights and Lelouch's preparation the symbol could live on like this and the illusion maintained.
Before Suzaku could continue to coordinate with Kallen or the others, the man began to step forward and Zero would fasten his aim to him. "Stay where you are" He would call out, but just as quickly realization would begin to hold to the leader of the Black Knights. Members of which began to refocus their own aim as well to which he called out. "Stop! Watch your fire!" A flashback to Kamine Island already blinding his vision to the standoff he held against his once best friend. Why was this so familiar? Was this an imposter....at a drug deal it made no sense. Some nutjob that liked Zero's dramatic approach? Nothing made sense, but Zero would groan and scowl behind the hatch of the weapon system. His eyes lightly highlighted by the geass that would remain with him for the rest of his life.
But he also had the gift...the curse of holding this symbol together. He would live....as would Zero together with him.
The rest of the Black Knights froze in hesitation as concern quickly spread as they quickly began to understand the change in situation. Something so simple now turned highly problematic and deadly.
"I am interested in where you learned that cowardly tactic from. But regardless...Surrender. Your life is not worth throwing away so freely." he said calmly. "Lower your weapons." he commanded those assisting him while on more secure communication he would begin to coordinate with the others. They needed to be made aware of the threat as well as make sure they secured any targets on their end that they could while Zero tried to disarm the situation. Unfortunately....he could not disarm it as he once did before in this situation. But...they did have options.
"Kallen...continue with your objective. I and my team are currently being held down with a sakuradite explosive just like..." he stopped himself knowing he needed to say no more. "I will see if Rakshata or anyone from our ordnance team can aim a electrical pulse to disarm it...but...we need time."
He then returned to his speakers to speak directly with that criminal. "If you disarm your weapon and give us information and testimony against the dealers of this operation you will find yourself in a much more accommodating situation. What do you want with this?" he asked while his mind also went further on the situation. Was this man so prepared for this exact outcome? Bringing such an explosive in that manner to a drug deal was definitely....dramatic. "Identify yourself."
Lelouch smirked underneath the concealment of his crimson cloak. The tenacity and impudence of Suzaku had remained unwavering. It was that relentless and irritating stubbornness that had plagued him ever since he begun his rebellion against the former empire, which kept him from achieving his objectives without making detrimental sacrifices along the way. Now here he was… unknowingly imploring Lelouch to refrain from giving away his life so freely; a life he had already freely given to the him and the world.
“My life is not worth throwing away so freely? On the contrary: my life isn’t worth anything at all!” Lelouch beckoned as he threw his arms up in the air in exclamation.
“You have no bargaining power here, Zero.” Lelouch begrudgingly mocked.
Lelouch undauntedly approached Suzaku’s Knightmare and closed the distance between him and the Knightmare’s weapon. It was an extremely bold and arguably irrational ploy, but Lelouch knew Suzaku all too well. Regardless of the many times his best friend had taken extreme measures, deep down in his heart the Japanese man always put others before himself. He had lived an eternal life of guilt and shame as result of his father’s murder, and it was that very disgrace that guided his every action. Even with the Geass creating conflict within him and his values, Suzaku was self-sacrificial; even it meant relinquishing control.
Finally, Lelouch’s face was only within a few inches of the Knightmare’s weapon as he continued on with his provocation.
“What do I want from this?” Lelouch asked rhetorically. He grasped the weapon with his free hand and pulled his head onto it, eliminating the space between them while maintaining his grip on the smoke pellets in the other hand.
Lelouch chuckled slightly before giving his stoically cold answer.
That very word had smitten him with sheer and merciless irony the moment it left his mouth, as a series of thoughts ran through his head. What was closure to him? What was it that he wanted? Who was it that he wanted? Why did he want it? He could not close what he did not know was still open. Times had changed, and everyone around him had changed. Lelouch was no longer familiar with the pieces on the board; it was an entirely new and fresh game. Now? He had no purpose, no goals, no objectives, no personal desires. His heart so desperately yearned for closure, yet he had no notion or indication on how that would ever be achieved. He was simply a husk, a mere looming shadow over the world he no longer understood in all his intellectual prowess. It was as if his fragmented life was a puzzle, reconstructed almost in its entirety… with a single piece still missing; its whereabouts, completely unknown.
“This can only go three ways… Zero. Either I escape and nobody is harmed, you attempt to apprehend me and risk the lives of you and everyone else around, or I end it now and no one within a five-mile radius walks out of here alive. In all of those scenarios, I am more than willing to bargain with each and every one of those lives. Are you?” Lelouch goaded further.
A moment of silence washed over them as the tension grew more rapidly. Finally, Lelouch looked up and stared directly at part of the Knightmare where he knew its pilot would be.
“Who am I? Who knows, and who cares. The question you should be asking is what am I capable of.”