Darkness clouded Lelouch's vision, only catching spardoric glimpses of red silluetoes hushing around the corner of his eyes.
Mumbleinig noises and disembodied whispers resonated within his confused mind as he gurmpily tried to at leas find the strenght to open his eye lids, to no avail
Every inch of his skin felt like it had been set a flame and every msucles and every bone in his body screamed and yelled out in mind boggleing pain.
Quivering ever so slightly a soft, almost unnoticable pain filled groan escaped his lips and Lelouch numbly became aware of rushing footsteps and an increase of activity around him.
Trying one last time to open his heavy eyelids seemingly fused shut, Lelouch heard an audible hiss a soft prick against the soft skin of his left arm and a fulid entering his system before slipping back into blissful, painless unconsicounsness.
Lelouch's eyes snapped open, awareness returning to him at once with full force as his eyes wildly scanned his surroundings, like a hunted cornered prey.
A bright white celling illuminated by the soft sun light coming through the window to his right.
Sterile white curtains and walls gave this room Lelouch found himself in a rather depressing and quite uneasy feeling.
Confusion rang and filled Lelouch's mind like a thick, unimpenetrable fog, flashes of memories and event appearing infront of his minds eyes causing a wave of nausea overcoming his tired body as he closed his eyes thightly together, solely focusing in an desperate attempt on sorting out his puzzled, awry brain.
Nunnally and himself sitting at a dining table with Suzaku and his mother enjoying their meal. The children, with the exception of himself blissfully oblivious to the tense stature of Suzaku's mother. Her fearful glances out of the kitchens window looking carefully over the horizon as if she was looking for something. Or the ominous absence of Suzaku's father.
The spardoic almost panicky reports from the radio and the television sending the entire mansion, it's staff and the security forces into disarray. The children cuddleing themselves together in fear and uncertainty, unsure as their childish minds tried to cope with what was currently happening.
Suzaku's mother pulling them all out of the mansion, himself keeping a frim grip on his sister Nunnally, cardling her in his arms as they were rushed to a armored convoy with Suzaku's father waiting for them.
Air raid sirens blarring from almost every direction, with people trying to flee or run to the nearest air raid bunkers as their convoy sped past these frightened citzens. Paying no heed to the suffering of their fellow man.
The first explosions rocking the ground beneath his tiny feet. The sharp and deadly, billowing explosions, sending thick black smoke and ashes into the air, spreading the destruction and demise of a country across it's people.
The ear-piercing, skin crawling screeching noise of the Britannian air wings jetting over them dropping their deveastating payload and engage the outnumbered japanse air force forceing them into submission. Sending the wrecked and burning remains of the annihalted planes back to the earth.
Suzaku dissappearing from his view, the last glimpse of his friend as an explosion too close for comfort split them apart and sent him and Nunnally crashing down a shallow and muddy ditch.
Nunnally's weak and sickly from quivering in his arms as he raced through the burning forest, determind to get to the Ashfords, ignoreing the fighting, the explosions and suffering of others.
His single minded determination of bringing Nunnally to safety as a bullet grazed his left shin.
Nunnally's surprised and painfilled yelp ringing in his tired ears, seeing her weakly, crippled form crashing heavily down to the earth, meters before him.
Her quiet, fearful whimpering as he forced his way to her lying form, disobeying his weakened, deadly exhausted body.
The bullet smashing against the back of his shoulder, penetrating his flesh with painful ease, filling body and mind with undescribable agony and shock denying any coherent thought from forming in his mind.
Nunnally lying mere inches infront of him as the soldiers drew ever closer determind to finish the job.
The intense heat of the fire rushing towards their curmbled forms, disintigrating anything at stood in it's way.
"Nunnally." Lelouch eyes shot open as he whispered the name of his beloved sister and almost instinctual fear clouded his senses as one single purpose filled his very soul.
'Where is my sister?' Lelouch thought with great panic as a sickening feeling of dread, forcing his body upright only to feel a jolt of pain racing up his spine, causing him to gasp in shock at the suddeness of the pain assaulting his body.
Lelouch grimaced, closing his eyes instinctually as a set of tears tried to break their bonds, his lungs greedily inhaleing the dull, sterile air in the room, waiting for the pain to go away.
A pair of soft, delicate hands tenderly brushed his shoulders and daintily set him back down to his lying position with a sootheing female voice whispering into his ear.
"Easy, you are safe now. No one can hurt you. Everything is alright."
Lelouch tried – key word tried – to futily squirm out of the comforting, yet restricting hold of the woman. His efforts though only causing him a new set of pain, erupting a subsided hiss through his tightly clenched teeth.
A traitorous part of him just wanted to submit to the woman's embrace feeling a wave of safety and dare he say motherly care, Lelouch had not felt for a painfully long time.
But another much aware part of his mind clawed at him to push the woman away, jump out of this prison of a bed and search upwards and downwards for Nunnally.
"If you are not careful, you'll reopen these wounds and then you can not help Nunnally."
That sentence immidately showed it's effect on Lelouch as he ceased his struggles and casted a burning glare at the woman, while she set him back down to his lying position.
Now that he had a good look on her Lelouch could at snap of his fingers tell that this womn was a scientist.
She was good looking, beautiful even. Long, full black hair falling past her shoulders. A pair of cureallen blue eyes, shinning with unmatchable intelligence searching for an equal. Perfectly shaped nose and a set of full delicate lips.
Her creamy porcelain like skin, strongly reminding Lelouch his own mother – a thought he quickly shook off of him like an illness – clothed in a white, form fitting coat.
Lelouch stared her straight in the eyes suspicion burning in his violet eyes with an intensity that managed to take the woman momentarily off guard but successfully hid it from surfaceing and spoke with an raspy growl.
"Where is Nunnally?" Lelouch knew he was in somesort of an hospital but he had no idea where his sister was.
Absently he checked his toes, moving them ever so slightly asureing himself that everything was still in place.
The womans gaze softened as she spoke sootheingly.
"You might want to calm yourself down first. Stress is the last thing you need." Despite the soft, almost motherly – Lelouch surpressed a shiver at the thought of it – words, her tone harboured great authority and refused any disagreement from his part.
Sighing softly under his breath Lelouch let himself fall into the incredibly soft coushins beneath him and already felt a strange sense of peace ease his body.
He let his gaze wander across the room and saw a tall, greatly intimidating stern faced man in combat fatigues standing at the foot of his bed. The man's steel like express boring down on him like a prison ward or a guard dog watching over a criminal.
Lelouch tried not to cringe under that ice cold gaze, reminding himself that he had faced far worse.
As if senseing Lelouch unease, the woman quickly gestured the man out with an wave of her hand, while trying to regain Lelouch focus.
A comforting hand gently touched Lelouch unharmed shoulder, effectively diverting his attention to the hand before slowly trailing upwards to the face it belonged to.
"No need to fear, that man is only here for security reason and is gone now. You are safe."
'No need to talk to me like I am some small child.' Lelouch thought grumpily as he looked the woman dead in the eyes and spoke his voice a mere whisper and still raspy.
"You still haven't answered my question."
The woman nodded and responded.
"Indeed. That person Nunnally most be close to you, family?"
Lelouch kept his face a iron mask, concealing anything that might betray him and stared the woman straight in the eye.
"A female name … your sister?"
A minuscle muscle twitched for the tiniest of moments almost invisible to the naked eye or anyone who wasn't paying remarkable attention but the woman with her elegant long black hair caught on and nodded satisfied at getting an answer either way from the enigma before her.
Gulping down a lump in his throat Lelouch grit his teeth as he swallowed an nauseating wave of emotions, threatening to overwhelm him. Tears prinkled at the corner of his eyes as a dawning realsation in back of his mind took hold.
Lelouch closed frimly closed his eyes, evened out his breathing with immense difficulty. He spoke, his voice barely rising above a faint whisper to the woman at his bedside.
"She's go... She is not here."
Disgust and self loathing guilt rose within Lelouch, pictures of his fallen sister lying broken in the blood drenched green fields somewhere in Japan.
The woman sighed, hesitating ever so slightly before she responded softly "No she isn't. You were the only person we have found."
A pause and Lelouch could literally feel the intelligent, analitical gaze of the woman boreing into his mind seemingly trying to pick him apart by his very atoms. It was unnerving and Lelouch gulped nervously, his contorting into a grimace as he closed his eyes and forced himself not to tremble in fear and uneasyness.
The woman, careful not to startle the edgy and nervous child that lay before her, leaned in towards him, her face gentle and asked "Do you know how you came to this place?"
Lelouch breathing fastened ever so slightly, his eyes widened as his nostrils caught the smell of burnt flesh and earth.
Panic flushed through as unbidden pictures and memories shot through Lelouch's minds eye.
The defeaning and chilling screams of the dying. Gunfire and the shrill, piercing screechs of britannian fighters and bombers dropping their deveastating payload onto them. A burnt car, with charred, smoldering remains inside all locked in a tight embrace.
His entire body shook violently and Lelouch gasped a sharp hissing breath, before hacking coughs trembled his entire wounded frame.
"Water." Lelouch pitifully begged with his hoarse near whisper like voice, winching ever so slightly at the shot of pain coming from his torn throat.
Immidately Lelouch catched the glimpse of the delicate doctors hand holding a thin plastic cup filled with crystal clear water.
Greedily Lelouch drank the delicious liquid, careful not to waste a single drop of this precious fluid that soothed his sore and wounded throat. It was the best water he had ever tasted.
A soft sigh escaped his mouth, his head falling numbly back into the cushions as weariness and exhaustion embraced Lelouch's body.
Nodding sympathetically the woman looked behind her, where an assemble of people, ranging from nurses and doctors to tall, intimidating men in uniforms, harsh grim looks set on their stone like faces.
Lelouch followed her gaze with tired eyes scanning the assembled people around his bed, when he noticed a curious shape, hiding between the two soldiers and a nurse going through the medical records.
Eyes widening just a mere friction in sheer shock Lelouch's eyes rolled up into his skull as he fainted on the spot, his last image of the waking land was of a ghoulish thin man in an expensive conservetive suit. His multi coloured eyes shining with amusment and cunningness, staring right into his very soul and that small eriee, bone chilling grin plastered onto his pale, chalk like face.
The young doctor turned back towards her paitent, smiling at his sleeping form completely and blissfully unaware of the shadowy, almost human like creature standing right in their midst observing the spectecale with tremendous cruel glee.
Doctor Catherine Halsey struggled greatly to keep the painfully, beseching mirgarine in check as she along with Chief Mendez, spoke – more like argued to exhaustion – with an Naval Intelligence Agent.
Catherine barely, just barely, surpressed a pained sigh as she caught a glimpse of Chief Mendez seated next to her to her right, his face completely blank and set in stone, betraying no emotion. But Halsey, ever the sharp watcher caught on the even the most slightest of movements of the body that often led for arguments and debates finishing with the opponent yielding to her terms.
But this time may not be the case today. Halsey thought bitterly as she witnessed the minuscle, mere milisecond short of movement of the hands of Chief Mendez, one that could easily be missed or just passed off as a minsucle muscule spasm.
But Halsey knew better.
Chief Mendez while retaining his intimidating, steel like appearance that would stand tall even in the most bleakest of adversities was indeed BOILING in sheer anger. His gruff, callous hands, scarred from the countless of battles and struggles of survival in the face of conflict, tightened unconsicously ever so slightly before relaxing themselves but remained hidden beneath the table.
The expierenced battle-hardnened war veteran was uncharicaristically very angry, which was on it's on a remarkable feat. Chief Franklin Mendez, Catherine knew, was a by-the book officer with strong and irreplaceable set of morals and ethics, a solid sense of honor which was commendable and one of the reason why Halsey had chosen him to be the main trainer and inductor of her life working project. He was known to rarely show any emotions maintaining his unmoveable stony expression but today was different.
Chief Mendez was seetheing and the reason for this was the man sitting calmy and completely unfazed by the fact of sitting in the same room with an enraged and boiling Marine veteran.
Halsey had worked with Chief Mendez for more then half a decade, engineering the Office of Naval Intelligence pet project and Halsey's lifework.
The SPARTAN II Program. The most carefully guarded secret in all of the UNSC and undoubtedly the most controversial Black Operation in human history.
It's origins dating back to the ORION Project, another effort by the Brass and R&D to deploy humanities first biochemically enhanced supersoldiers to counter the rising Insurectionist threat boiling in the depths of the Outer Colonies back 2503.
Halsey remembered the fateful day that would determine her personal future and the ambition for her scientific works, when she was called infront of the of the Council of ONI Section Three, responsible for the blackest of black operations and presented her revisioned work of Carver's already grim prediction of the future of the UNSC and it's Outer Colonies.
Her realistic and brutally blunt prediction of an even darker fate and possible collapse of human society in less then thirty years of relentless war with billions upon billions dead. That's if the UNSC wasn't going to act at all. Just thinking of the other option sent chills down Halsey's spine to this very day.
From that day on her single minded drive was to protect the UNSC and human society at any cost and searched for days for a solution.
And eventually found it in the SPARTAN II Program. Originally hunderd-fifty suitable canidates, all children by the age of six from both sexes, though the number was later cut to seventy-five future canidates due to recucment of the funds for this project, were chosen to become a part of the SPARTAN II Program.
They would become humanities guardians. The keepers of peace and prosperity for all of the UNSC. At the cost of their very own lives.
They robbed them from their families in the cloak of night, replacing them with flash clones to safeguard the secret project and swiftly and stealthally transported them to the military fortress world Reach and begun reshaping them and molding them to become hunamities perfect warriors, the next step in the evolution of mankind.
That was four years ago. Now these seventy-five children had grown to a combat effective unit capable of besting UNSC Marines, through determination, imagination and an skill of adapting to any giving circumstances at a moments notice and the usage of unconventional means to achive victory. The bond between each member was so thick you could almost think that they were each other ones siblings, as her children grew stronger, faster and smarter with every passing day, surpassing the UNSC best effortlessly.
Halsey felt a swell of pride warming her heart at the thought of her children and their glorious future. Sadly that feeling did not last for long as she forced herself back into reality and face the main cause of her and Chief Mendez – the ever loyal trainer and mentor of the Spartan canidates – ire, and propably the greatest risk to her life work.
On the otherside of the desk sat a man – though this definition was used in the slightest of terms – sickly thin and chalk pale white skin plastered onto his bones. Sharp, all seeing multi coloured eyes dissecting their very souls with that eerie calm gaze of his.
A conservetive blue business suit neat and tidy would always be sparodacically straighted or dusted off imaginary dust or dirt on his perfectly clean suit.
An awkward, gurgled cough escaped the man's throat, struggleing to speak and force body to obey his will, creeping any lesser man inside out.
Mendez turned slightly to Halsey with an raised eyebrow not abandoning his attention to this eerie man that sat before them.
Gulping disgustingly the man in the suit smiled a tight lipped smirk, the corners of his mouth moving just a bit upwards as he looked at Halsey with an indescriable expression on his skeleton like face, having her to fight back the sudden inexplainable urge to strangle the man where sat.
Halsey sighed and bit back the instinct to blink in confusion and horror about her trail of thought and those sudden shifts of emotions. It was very out of character for her to get to the brink of losing self control and she was shocked at having such vicious thoughts of murdering another man sitting directly infront of her staring unwaveringly at her with that awful, soul piercing stare, disecting –
"Ok, you want US to take in ANOTHER Canidate for the Spartan Project – who has no prior training or readiness to speak off – into a group of cadets who have formed an unbreakable bond of camerdire and unity with one another through four years of training from the best the UNSC has to offer." Halsey spoke calm and collected like her usual self, hiding the inner turmoil that inexpicably raged within her.
Her thoughts were in disarray and she had no idea why or how this creepy, eerie government agent was capable of throwing her out of her cool with such ease. The harder she tried to focus the more chaotic became her thought process edging dangerously close to a painful migraine. But she would be damned thrice to hell and back if she would show that man any sign of weakness.
The minuscle smirk at the corner of his mouth turned to a full blown satisfied grin as the man adjusted his tie for the fifteenth time in just ten minutes and spoke with that low raspy stuttering voice, that somehow demanded their undeterred attention and offered no room for interruption.
"EX – act – ly, Doctor Halsssey. My … eeehhh … eeemployerss have caught the glimpse of an … lllife – TIME oppurtunity of an incredibly valuble assssET, that jusssst could not be … squandered. Mhh." the tilted his head to the side with that disgusting, bone chilling grin and continued, like salesman slithering his way to snatch and tie up a deal.
"Of course I am aware of the potential … problems and ob – sta – calessss this may cause you and your … group. However I can garantuee you with out the flinch of an doubt that the gains of thissss … arangement would be extrodinary benefical for all of us."
Chief Mendez chose this time to speak up, his mustache bristleing wildly under his understorm like breath, set his arms upon the desk and bluntly growled.
"With all due respect sir, this is unacceptable. The boy did not receive any sort of training for what is to come and is in no shape or form, prepared for the excerices and drills that are scheduled for the next six years! Heavens knows how badly this complicates our training schedule and throw all of our work back a couple year's for goddamn nothin'. I don't even want to imagine the reactions from the canidates when they hear of this. He has to adapt and integrate himself into an already existing, utterly capable unit how had four years of expierence with a sense of brotherhood to one another that would put shame on any other military unit I have served with thus far. You are throwing a unprepared baby sheep into a pack wolfs and tell to become one of his very own predators!"
The government agent who was most definitely NOT ONI, did not even turn his head to adress the seething Veteran Marine Instructor, only moving his piercing multi coloured eyes fixing onto the prey.
"Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendezzzz. Your ... reputation … preceeeeedssss YOU. Chief Inssssstruc – tor of the Spar – tansssss, their Mentor and the closssessssst … thing they have to a fffather. Just like the First Platoon, Charlie Company of the 14th Ranger Regiment out of Barkley."
The reaction was immidate and so surprisingly violent that Halsey blinked in surprise as she momentarily lost her composure, staring in wonder and question at her collegue and partner in crime for more then five years.
Mendez's face became ashen white, his jaw set almost pulverising his teeth to dust by the sheer force of pressure and his hands grasped onto the table like a lifeline leaving fine fingernail trails upon the elegant oak wood table that had undoubtedly cost fortune.
Halsey stared in paralysing shock at the stock still, pale form of Chief Mendez as her brain started to acknowledge the undeniable fact that this mere man had managed to enrage the most disciplened Marine Officer she had met in such a short time was astoundishing.
Mendez growled under his breath, his eyes narrowed dangerously, but before anything could escalte to a point of no return for both parties, Halsey, rose from her, placatingly motioning at Mendez in an last ditch attempt to cool his anger.
Through narrowed eyes Halsey frostily responded in a voice at would send any man into a frantic state of panic in the face of future doom.
"It appears that you have thinned our patience and hospitality as it is. And since there is no point in continuing this futile discussion, I am politely offering to lead you out."
Halsey eyes blazed in rightoues fury as her entire shook in minuscle quivers of unfathomable rage, glaring at the ghastly pale man, sitting calmly before her completely ignorant or uncaring to the fearsome wrath of the most intelligent woman in the 26th century, with that annoying, horrid smile of his.
It only added more fire into her already rampaging emotions as the tickeling feeling at the back of her head started again. It was something Catherine, never had experienced before in her whole life. For the first time as far she could remember her emotions took control and it was frightening her. Her usually sound, resonable, calculating mind was very carefully at handleing delicate matters such as these allowing her to get what she wanted no matter the opposition. Now however she felt like a naïve, inexpierenced child questioning her every decision. She was doubting herself infront of that man and these terrible thoughts became worse and worse. The harder she thought the greater became the struggle to form coherent trails of thoughts.
This undescribable wrongness chilled Halsey to her very bones and her body, her very own screaming, yelling at her to do anything the man asks just to make him leave.
Halsey silently fought against these thoughts and thinned her lips to an thin nearly invisible line.
She would not allow her lifework to be comprimised by this bastard.
Unexpectedly the man's eyes twitched, before settleing on her sending an involuntary shiver down her spine, which Halsey barely managed to contain and spoke with that awfully eerie voice of his.
"Well," the man gasped out and a small smile appeared on pale face. "let … me, make myssself absolutely and abundently … clear what I … thi-nk of your … opinion." The demanour of the man had changed completely and the tempture of the room had seemingly dropped below zero in an instant. His words mere hisses and the stretching of the wrong pronounce became much more noticable as the man sitting infront of her almost growled his words with an unnatural pitch in his voice.
His gaze had hardened and his eyes narrowed just an inch, enough to make even the most couragous people Catherine stop dead in their tracks at the bioling, souldevouring glare of the man.
Unnaturally straightening his back, the man unnessicarily straightened his already straight tie, never wavering in his glare and continued, his voice taking an almost disturbingly animalistic turn "I can … and will, report your … UN-healthy attach-meeeeent to the … candidates. I will provide … further evidence of … MAN-ip-Ulating and adulteration of results and wasting PRECIOUS funding. I can and WILL bring forth … evidence to nu-meroussss contactssss … which on themselves are … capable of exposing the … charade these …" at this the man put on a theratical solemn expression on his bony face imitating sadness and grief, one hand placed compassionately on his heart.
"poor parents on the outer … colonies had to suffer." As soon as the last syllable left his filthy mouth, his mien became blank like someone had pulled a lever, returning to his skincrawling glare, his hands interwined infront of each other gazeing expectantly, calculatingly at the heads of the Spartan II Program.
Mendez shook in rage, his face ashen white, only his eyes revealing the uncertainty of the veteran as they danced between the mysterious man and his superior.
Halsey meanwhile had turned ashenwhite, her eyes wide in terror and her mouth hanging wide open as her mind struggled to cope with the revealed threats – no, promises – of the all powerfull man infront of her.
For the first time in her life, Doctor Catherine Halsey, was struck dumb as boundless terror paralysed her body and mind.
"You wouldn't." Catherine breathed out stutteringly, her body shaking, arms desperately clinging onto the desk for support. Mendez shook of the what ever paralysis he had and gentely steadied Halsey while glaring at annonymous man.
"I," the man rasp out lifting his disgustingly, sickly thin right hand, his thumb and forefinger delicately clapsed together as he puntucated every word with an sharp, yet incredibly precise pinching movement.
"can. And. I. Will."
Halsey and Mendez did not doubt that statement for even a second, fully and utterly aware that this man was not one merely talking hot air. The arrogant confidence of his posture was just another bane of proof of this fact.
He would fabricate evidence and present them to ONI Section Three AND Section One AND the UNSC Council, in order defamate Halseys reputation on every possible level. But the worst was the consequences of the knowledge of the Spartan II Program and the useage of Flash Clones coming to public attention. There would be chaos that would know no bounds and no restrictions and even the UNSC might not be able to stop it.
"Fine." Halsey spat out with enough venom to melt the entirety of the CASTLE Base one of the largest and most secretive research bases on the military fortress world Reach.
If possible the smirk grew even wider almost spliting the unhealthly pale face of the man infront of her in two.
"Wise … choice."
Lelouch was floating around. Fog clouded his vision and hushed whispers reached his ears from almost every direction. Dizzyness began to consume his mind as his limp body spiraled through the air out of control and the unintelligible whispers grew louder and harsher with every passing moment. Clashes of metal and bone rung Lelouch's ear. Guttural barks, malicious roars and grunts spoken in an harsh, alien language assaulted his young mind. The dying cries of millions upon millions and the brutal noise of senseless genocide, mixed with defeanening sounds of destruction assaulted his hearing. The chaotic chacaphony drove Lelouch further and further towards the brink when suddenly, through all of this maddening chaos, a voice carried by the wind caught Lelouch's attention.
"Rise … and shine, Lamperouche. Rise … and … shine."
With a sharp and violent gasp, Lelouch bolted awake. His back ramrod straight, eyes wide and frantically searching every single corner of the sterilized hospital room in an mind boggleing pace.
His breathing was haggered like he had run a marathon and his heart pounded soundly within his chest in an sickly, unhealthy rhythm.
Something foul and vile fought it's way through his throat and Lelouch let loose a stream of sickly green vomit.
He continued to heave, not noticing the arrival of numerous nurses and doctors, their actions and moves perfectly practisied and utterly professional, their motions become nothing but blurs to a bystanders eye as they took care of their young patient.
Lelouch's breathing slowly turned to normal and his heart soon slowed backed to down to it's healthy, steady pace yet his body screamed at him to move to do anything.
With a gentle yet strong grip a young nurse kept Lelouch's limps in check while a Doctor exmaine him very carefully.
The bright light of an electric torch momentarily blinded Lelouch as the Doctor carefully controlled his pupils.
"His pupils are dilated, elevated blood lipid and sugar levels. Cold perspiration." The man paused searched shortly within his jackets pockets before pulling out a small barely hand sized device and holding it against Lelouch left forearm.
The contact of the cold surface of the device on his soft skin sent shivers down his spine and his eyes immidately darted about the room catching everything of significance with only a single sweep.
There were about seven people in the room. One the Doctor hovering over his weakened form, the nurse holding his body in check. Three other people in white standing at the end of his bed, leaning against the wall while furiously taking notes. A female scanning somekind of hovering picture shinning in bright blue and finally the last person. He was tall, dressed in drak green military fatigues Lelouch couldn't place, holding a large black baton in his gruff and brutal hands.
Lelouch felt his heart sped up and his arms and legs feebly tried to whiggle their way out, but the nurses hold remained frim.
"Tightened blood vessels and strong considoration of oxygen in his blood. Panic attack. No unknown forgein substances. Good." The Doctor nodded to himself glad that it was just an panic attack and not something more … deadlier. He knew that the young boy infront of him, while looking having marched through hell and back TWICE, the fact that he was found in one of the most secretive facilities in all of the UNSC was reason enough for the more … questionable, Naval Intelligence Agents to simply make the boy disappear.
Which was particullarliy much easier seeing as the boy is an orphan having no relatives in the registered databanks of the UNSC. He was simply a ghost having no one to care or worry for him. Nobody would miss him.
The doctor blinked casting these depressing thoughts away when he noticed the boys renewed efforts of escapeing his hold placed upon him by the nurse, which only grew in strenght. The Doctor knew exactly without hesitation who was responsible for this relapse of his patient.
Turning sharply towards the guard, the doctor merely pointed at the door and barked "Out! This lad has had an panic attack and your presence may cause a relapse. Go."
Shaking his head slightly to himself the doctor, glancing at the young, battered boy and couldn'T help but feel pity for him.
'Lad, you have no idea in just what kinda of a mess you have gotten yourself into.'
Lelouch blankly stared at the holopad that had been given to him, numbly processing the onslaught of information. Releasing a breath he had not realisied he was holding, Lelouch set the holopad down onto the table with an quivering hand. Given that the text and countless of information was indeed credible, which most likely was, since the hundereds upon hundereds of sources he had been presented with would've have costed an fortune to fabricate and wasn't really worth the effort.
Appearently it was year October 25th, 2521 and humanity had conquered the stars. His current location was in the Epsilon Eridani System on a Planet called Reach, military fortress world of the ruling government that has united humanity under a single banner, United Earth government with it's strong military arm The United Nation Space Command.
The very idea, that he himself, a mere ten year old boy, how had not moments before lying half dead on some forsaken burning field in Japan during the invasion of Britannia with his crippled sister beside him, was now on a different planet in a star system he has never heard of, was enough to paralyse Lelouch for a good minute utterly dumbstruck by the facts presented to him.
Another bit of information that nearly caused him to faint on the spot and have a mild heart attack was the simple fact that there was no Britannia. No matter how deep dig for information upon his dreaded enemy there was note even a footnote or reference on the Holy Britannian Empire. He even went back to it's roots when he discovered a divergence at the Battle of Traflagar October 21st 1805.
Where Nelson was brutally defeated leaving Great Britain open for Napoleons invasion, followed with the exodus to the colonies and the creation of the Holy Britannian Empire, Napoleons fleet was not only gutted but almost wiped out and even though Lord Admiral Nelson died in this battle this victory changed history forever.
Another dramatically different point of change was the successful American Independence war against the Crown, 1775 till 1783, leading to the creation of the United States of America which through the decades and centuries rose to a global superpower and with one of the most deadliest and strongest armed forces in history.
Almost on autopilot Lelouch devoured every single historical piece of information of this unique and blissfully wonderful world. There was no Britannia. No Emperor or treacherous family and court members where intrigue and assassanations are part of the everyday life. No oppressive Area system. No aggressive expansion. Nothing. He was … free.
Nunnally would be free. With the technological advancements in this day and age they would give here the ability to see and move legs and finally be able to laugh and live the life she deserves!
Lelouch chuckled to himself pulling himself out of the mental babbleing which soon came to a stop when he realisied just exactly what happened to him.
Nunnally was not with him. He was here, on an unknown planet in a different solar system in an unkown timeline.
While his sister was back on Japan in a time of chaos and despair.
His saviour and appearent contractor had just now garantueed the safety of his sister, that she was safe and sound with the Ashfords, allies who had been blackened and shunned after the murder of his mother.
In a conversation Lelouch wished he could forget his contractor as Lelouch liked to call the eerie and incredibly creepy man, had kindly reminded Lelouch of his upcoming duties and the expectations he has on Lelouch. And much to Lelouchs dread and hate had the gall to make the consequences in the case of his failure quite clear and pretty gritty.
Exhaling heavily through his gritted teeth, Lelouch reminded himself of his 'duties' he had to fulfill.
He was supposed to become a member of a military unit call 'The Spartans' and become humanities best of the best. His purpose was to protect humanity, earth and all of her colonies. In exchange the safety, would be garantueed. And that was all the motivation he needed.
Though he didn't know if the man was truthful or not he would be damned if he was willingly putting Nunnally's life at stake just to test this mysterious man. And the man had also showed him with qutie frightening clarity exactly what he was capable off.
Lelouch shuddered at the thought of it, picture of that frozen wall of angry red flames bursted int o his waking mind.
The hissing of the door sliding open caught Lelouch's attention, his head whipped around and his vibrant violet eyes focused on the sight of the woman who had comforted him earlier upon his first awakening and quite disturbingly bared a strong resemblence to his mother.
Unconsicously flinching at the thought of it, Lelouch turned his attention to the man marching behind her his hardened, piercing eyes boreing holes into Lelouch, as if he could make Lelouch sontanuaslly combust himself. Lelouch gulped and turned quite a few shades paler.
He was tall, made out of muscles upon muscles, with a ram rod straight back reminding Lelouch of a Britannian Super-Dreadnought. Equally imposing, intimidating and unmoveable. A force to be wisely afraid of. The mustache was bristleing dangerously as the military man glared hole into Lelouch.
Definitely intimidated Lelouch turned his attention towards the woman, who had seated herself by his right bedside. She looked incredibly tired and utterly spent.
"Do you know where you are?" The woman asked after an uncomftorable moment of silence, turning her head ever so slightly towards him, gazing at him with an indescribeable look, uncountable emotions flickering through her prestine, porcellian like face.
Hesitantly, remembering the words of the contractor 'kindly advising' him caution answered his voice filled with uncertainty "In hospital of some … military complex?"
The gaze of th woman hardened ever so slightly, before she responded "In a way you are currently in a complex belonging to the UNSC. A very well protected and monitered facility. Now, imagine our shock when seemingly out of nowhere a child, close to death, appears right in the hallway. Your 'savior' had you transported from the terror attacks back on Hera all the way here … and saw it fit to enlist you to the Spartan Program."
Without even waiting for a response the woman moved closer to Lelouch her nose almost touching his as she delicately yet frimly grasped his shoulders with her flawless hands and spoke her voice frim and serious with an twinge of anger and regret "Do you realise what this means? To your future, your life?"
Sighing heavily the woman released poor Lelouch from her grip and sunk back into her chair.
"Of course you don't." she mumbled barely a whisper in the wind but Lelouch still managed to pick it up.
"And it looks like neither of us are given much of choice in this matter."
Another uncomftorable silence filled the room, with the rthyhmical beeping of the heart monitor filling the void. The imposing military man glared heatedly at Lelouch causing him to gulp unconsicously.
Suddenly the woma clapped her hand, folding them together and turned to Lelouch "As per Naval Code 45812, you are herby conscripted into the UNSC Special Project, codenamed SPARTAN II." The woman spoke, her voice frim, unshakable, her mien unreadable as she caught Lelouch eyes and held him captive with her piercing gaze. Her words echoing in his mind as she spoke with an captivating, elegant yet as cold as steel.
"You have been called upon, to serve and protect the UNSC, Earth and all of her colonies. You will be trained and educated to become one of the best the UNSC has to offer. Spartans."
The way she emphasised her words like a beautiful orchestra, majestical and aweinspiring, with an incredible sense of foreboding.
"Tomorrow at 0500 o'clock you will be escorted to the Spartan Barracks by Chief Petty Officer Mendez and join your future borthers and sisters. They will be your comardes. Your friends. Your Family. They will be your new life and you will give yourself fully and utterly to your duties and those around you for they are counting on you with their lives. To fail in the challenges ahead is to fail your family."
With that final balant warning the woman stood up and briskly strode out of the room the military man – Lelouch guessed would be Chief Petty Officer Mendez – followed her closely like a shadow leaving Lelouch in his solitude.
The warthog raced through the valley, kicking off dirt and mud as it sped towards the barracks of the Spartans.
The man behind the wheel was indeed Chief Petty Officer Mendez, or as Lelouch had dubbed him silently 'the glaring man'. Mendez distaste for Lelouch radiated from the man in spades mentally causing Lelouch to roll his eyes and look with fascinated eyes at the scenery.
Lelouch sat dressed in a green military uniform in the passenger seat, his eyes wide in wonder as he stared at the countryside of the planet Reach. The fact that he was indeed on a completely planet far, FAR away from Earth in an utterly different solar system was mind boggleing. Immense bulky looking machines tending the sheer endless grain fields with small spherical machines hovering all around the fields their actions remaining elusive to Lelouch as his attention shifted to a loud rumbleing noise just above his head.
Looking up Lelouch was greeted by a swarm of futuristic looking aircrafts with massive wings gliding through the skies, their engines glowing bright blueish tone shot over the skies towards wherever the wind would carry them. The sky was crystal blue with a few pockets of fluffy, white coulds hanging the sky above him.
Faint alien shapes littered the heavens. Blocky and dark grey in colour they hang high above the sky like watchful guardians.
Over the loud roaring noise of the cars engines Chief Mendez spoke for the first time, his voice easily louder than any of those pitiful annoying noises that disrupted the idle peace of this land.
"We'll soon reach the FLEETCOM and the Spartan Barracks. Just because you slide into our Program during our fourth year doesn't mean you get any special treatment. You are now Cadet-000. A cadet just like your other comardes. We expect you to adapt and overcome. We expect you to become a Spartan."
Mendez paused not taking his eyes of the road and continued in his loud basso voice. "We work on tight schedule here, cadet and expect nothing but complience and perfection from you in your tasks just like from anyone else. At precisely 0500 is the call to roll with a morning run and fitness drills. After that showers and breakfast. Followed by fitness drills, gun drills and high-level education by Dèjà which include mathematics, physics, history, reading and writing in twenty different languages and military strategy and tactics. You WILL be pushed to your very limits and far beyond in the coming years, trained and assisted by the best of the UNSC to shape you into a Spartan. HOWEVER, it falls back on you and you alone. If you want to prove yourself to me, Halsey and your comardes grit your teeth and pull through. Overcome any difficulty ahead of you and excel at defeating your foes at any given circumstance. THAT is a Spartan. That is what you could be."
'So this is whats going to happen to me. A child soldier.' Lelouch thought dejectedly accepting his inevitable fate of becoming a tool of war for humanity. 'I don't even care for humanity. Even though we are united and have conquered the stars non of it matters. All that matters is my sister Nunnally. The man granatued her safety and well being if I do this. That's a price I am willing to pay. And if what they said is right … I might have a chance at taking out the Emperor! For Nunnally, I'll do it! I'll become the greatest Spartan they can imagine! I will succeed! I. Will. Not. Fail!'
Lelouch was snapped out of his thoughts when the warthog came to a halt at a parade ground. It was clean wide and open, solid concrete buildings each looking identical the same as the other. Soldiers in company size marching through the compound in perfect formation while a drill sergeant is yelling obcieties at them every moment of the march.
A unit of fifteen soldiers doing various drills, push ups, lifting concrete blocks and throwing punching fighting imaginative fights. Always staying on their toes, always moving never fully stopping. Fainting, left punch, step to the right, faint left, right hook the limbs of the soldiers moving so fast that Lelouch's eyes could hardly keep up becoming blur to his sight. These soldiers were moing unnaturally fast and were most likely the agiliest people Lelouch has ever seen.
Curiously though these soldiers, ranging from men and women all with a military buzzcut were small in comparison to the other soldiers on the compound reminding him somehow of teenagers, though if they were they were incredible tall for teenagers. All fifteen were tall ranging from 1,50 to 1,55 meters in height. Their muscles bulging out of their military clothes.
'Most be recurits from a military acedamy.' Lelouch guessed when his eyes widened as a thought crossed his mind. 'Could they be the spartans? My future comrades?'
"Spartans ten-hut!" Bellowed Chief Petty Officer Mendez and immidately all fifteen cadets ceased their drills positioned themselves in a straight line and stood ram rod straight at attention their eyes stoically aimed forward. Mendez climbed out of the warthog with Lelouch closely following behind.
As soon as Mendez set foot on the ground, the cadets like they were one body raised the right arm to their forehead initiating the salute, so utterly silent and emotionless that Lelouch couldn't help but feel intimidated by these cadets.
"At ease Spartans." Rumbled Chief Petty Officer Mendez and the cadets let their arms fall to their side yet remained perfectly straight like unmoveable stone pillars, not even moving a single muscle as Chief Mendez walked the line up until coming to a halt infront of a cadet with a clean shaven head almost as tall as the Chief. Lelouch guessed that the teen was about fifteen to sixteen years old.
"Squad Leader 117, where is the rest of the company?"
The cadet and appearent Squad Leader 117 answered his mighty baritone voice ringing throughout the parade grounds with ease, even though he wasn't even raising his voice in the slightest.
"Sir, in barracks, checking the equipment and gear for tomorrows excersie Sir."
"And why weren't you and your team members checking your gear as well." Mendez asked his voice unchanged though the look in his eyes shifted slightly to a look that strongly reminded Lelouch of the Emperor. Calculating, analysing the cadet before him as he answered crisply.
"Running drills and checking the perimeter. Caught four Marines sneaking about at our northern perimeter of our barracks armed with shockbatons, tranquilliser guns and microwave-emitters at 0534. Another two marines coming from the south-west by treeline of our barracks armed with tear gas and proxymity mines 0617. Thirty mikes prior to now, sir."
Lelouch's eyes widened at the accusations. 'Trained soldiers going up against mere teen cadets with deadly weaponary in an attempt to ambush them in their coots. What the hell is going on here!'
However much to Lelouch's surprise the Chief merely nodded accepting it without any sign of anger or outrage. In a way he seemed pleased with his cadets.
Before Lelouch could into further thoughts on this topic the Chief spoke with the usual authority in his voice.
"Back to the company Squad Leader and tell the cadets to prepare for a roll call. I have a few annoncuments to make."
In the blink of an eye all fifteen cadets snapped back to a salute before hurrying back into the barracks behind them.
With a sharp jerk of the head Mendez gestured for Lelouch to enter the barracks behind him and Lelouch couldn't help but feel he was about entering a lions den.
'In for a penny in for a pound lets go.' Mentally steeling himself for one final time before heading into the unknown.
He had a vague feeling of what awaited him. He had seen cadets from the West Point Academy how thick their bond with one another really is. They had expierenced moments and events that tide them together and subsucontely formed a strong bond of loyalty and trust.
Anyone who goes to the Royal Officer Academy in West Point is worth their weight in gold. They count to themselves, quite rightfully so, to the best the Empire has to offer. May they become CEO of large enterpireses, politicans like Schnizel or military generals conquering new terretories under the Britannian banner.
Dicipline, honor, loyalty and the courage to go beyond your limits are the most valued principles taught and expected from each and every single cadet that attends West Point.
Lelouch has seen cadets and graduates quite often at the palce for honorific ceremonies and the military band from West Point was one of the most decorated and prominent military band in the homelands reguarlly playing for important events and meetings.
Had the assassanation of his mother and his and his sister exile not happened it would have been expected from him to attend at West Point and not like Clovis who had his mother bribe the officals so that he could instead join an artist school to 'enable the world to catch a glimpse at his beauty' Lelouch shivered inwardedly every time he remembered Clovis explanation.
He was mere footsteps behind Chief Mendez, who bursted through the last door at an incredibly brisk pace, after manuvering him through an labyrinth of corridor – in Lelouch's opinion anyway – and bellowed loud enough to give canons from main battle tanks a run for their money "Spartans ten-HUT!"
As much as Lelouch wanted to be prepared nothing could've readied him for the sight that greeted him upon entering the resting room of the Spartan cadets.
Seventy-five teenagers Lelouch would estimate were between fifteen to sixteen years old stood at attention, eyes forward right arm lifted for in a salute while their left arm was crossed behind their backs. Their feet are spread at a thirty degree angle with the heels clamped together.
All were tall at least two heads taller then Lelouch, well toned muscles that could easily break his pitiful body into a ragdoll without so much of an effort were well defined even with the female members of the company sized unit. Hourglass figure, graceful limbs their bdoy language literally screaming agile and very deadly. They all had a military buzz cut, their hair hair not longer then mere centimeters.
All in all a very frightening and intimidating sight as these cadets remained stoically still not even moving a single muscle like they had served with former Honor Guards who stood guard at the first emperors mausoleum.
However what was terrifing andd out right disturbing enough to scare Lelouch out of his skin and almost wet himself, was the sight of six fully grown men in futuristic military gear lying limp against the wall, tied and gagged at the far end of the room. With a meneacing looking cadet on guard duty – not that he would need to watch over the unmoving group of incapitated and limp soldiers – who also stood at attention.
They looked battered and bloodied some limps clearly broken and blood running out of their mouth nose and various other wounds.
Lelouch face immidately was drained of any blood and became pale white sheet.
'Holy ... Are they dead! What is this?'
Chief Mendez however looked utterly indifferent to the bloodied form lying tied and gagged at the end of the room and calmly called out "At ease Spartans. I have an annoucnment to make."
Mendez eyes glanced over every single cadet before speaking.
"Cadets. As you may well know there have been … whispers, about a new recurit sidelinging into our unit. To get straight to the point these rumors are indeed true. As of today, you will have a new family member. Cadet-000 Lelouch."
Seventy-five pair of cold and hardened pair of eyes in the blink of an second switched to Lelouch, all Cadets moving as they were one body and one mind. Their calculating eyes scanning and evaluating him with surgical efficency.
Lelouch shivered as these eerie, unnatural stares, feeling like something was crawling under his skin.
"He had been found by Naval Intelligence after they have witnessed his resourcefulness and determind that he is an invaulable asset to our program and promptly recruited for the Spartan-Program. You will show him the ropes and prep him for the drill towmorrow. Dismissed."
As one the Cadets, snapped their heels to gather with such force that Lelouch thought they would shatter their bones and causing him to flinch involuntarily yet again and saluted stoically.
The distinct and skin crawling feeling that these Cadets seemed to be nothing more than simple, well oiled machines was enough for Lelouch to let his insides freeze into ice.
Fierce, burning, pierceing eyes aimed straight at Lelouch. Jaws set, expression grim. Muscles upon muscles enough to leave Lelouch with no doubt that every single one of them would be able to literally crush his skull and single bone in his body.
They all looked empty – was that right word – to Lelouch as if they were missing a very important part of their being, as no matter how hard Lelouch tried he could not catch a glimpse of humanity in these Cadets that stood before him.
Suddenly, one Cadet who had the inscription John-117 on his military green shirt, marched up to Lelouch making not a single noise what so ever.
Lelouch could've almost sworn the Cadet didn't even breath, who came to a halt well within Lelouch personal space, making Lelouch incredibly uncomftorable as he had to crane his neck to look the obvious leader of the cadets in his eyes.
The Cadet easily one and a half head taller then Lelouch gazed down at Lelouch with an unreadable look. The entire barrack was silent, so silent that you could hear a pin drop as clear as the firing of an attilery gun or Lelouch's case his own heart, which ran a marathon under the bone chilling silence and the unmoving gazes of the Spartan cadets utterly devioded of any emotion.
Then finally, after what seemed like an eternity for Lelouch the cadet leader infront him spoke with a powerful baritone voice.
"Hello Lelouch. I'm John, Squad Leader of this unit. You have picked a hell of a time joining up. Considering our excerise and which will be your baptism of fire, introduction have to be kept short and brief. Our main concern is prepareing you for the task ahead and assessing that you are not a liability and a potential danger for our unit am I clear?"
"Crystal." was Lelouch reply almost shot out of a gun unable to say otherwise, his throat contracted when the realsation finally struck him that there would be no turning his old life was gone and buried.
His first day in his new life as a Spartan was beginning and unawares to this universe or the others in the great, endless sea of multiverse, unfathomable changes were set in motion. A reckoning was approching and nothing would be able to stop it.
AN: I KNOW I have promised "The Line" however I am currently suffering from a case of writers block. I KNOW what I WANT but I just can't FIND the words and BRING them on paper. Ahhh "The Line" will be delayed though I am trying very hard to make it up for you and hope I get this done before christmas.
As always hope you enjoyed the chapter, please review tell me what you think, what liked and didn't liked, they make my day.
*The Britannian Super-Dreadnought is a nod to the real world Orion-Class Super-Dreadnought of the Royal Navy a Battleship with an incredible 22,000 to 25,870 tons displacement. It was a beast.