Brittanian Palace, A few hours after Zero's appearance
"I'll ask you again, who are you guys and why are you doing this?"
"And I'll say it again, Classified Information. You didn't talk at all before... And you don't even sound like Zero... He had a deeper voice.
"Tsk, I am Zero!"
"Then, wouldn't Zero have foresaw this happening? If you are Zero, why the lack of security for the Empress? Why the abolishment of weaponry? This is clearly something the real Zero wouldn't have approve on."
The echoes throughout the Palace's dungeon came to a stop, for Suzaku had no idea what to say. His mind was fuzzy, being knocked unconscious by some unknown mean, only to be brought back by a loud slam of the iron gate. After a moment of silence and realization of the situation, he finally remembered what happened.
Yes, two members of the Black Knight approached him after leaving Nunnally's room, apparently the both of them disapproved of the treaty being signed as it will leave most of the countries unprotected, including the Brittanian Empire and the Empress herself.
As much as he wanted to express his opinion on the matter, he couldn't. He has never spoken a word to anybody with the exception of those who knew about Lelouch's plan beforehand, speaking his mind to anyone other than them will only break his façade. As long as everyone believes he is the real Zero, the world's hate will remain focused on Lelouch.
The Black Knights gave an aggravated expression at Suzaku as he resumes his brisk walk to his destination, not bothering to be silent at all with their discussion about how much Zero had change when compared to the first rebellion. Ignoring their remarks, Suzaku continues walking along the hallway of the palace. He has no choice, this is his punishment, to absolve for his sins.
With an air of melancholy, Suzaku turns a corner, entering a large hall, not really remembering what he was supposed to do. Something about dispatching more troops for Nunnally? Yes, that's right. Despite her protest over not needing any protection, Suzaku still feels that Nunnally's decision are that of a naïve person. Halting and abolishing all military weapons save for the Black Knights supply, disbanding the world's armies claiming that the Black Knights are all we need to defend the world. Every single Knightmare Unit including Lancelot is now hidden away in the Palace's interior, waiting to be disposed off. Nunnally might be the Empress of the most powerful empire, but her mindset is that of a child, fixated on making the world a better place, without considering the consequences of her actions.
In order to clear his mind of these bothersome thoughts, He decided to think of happy memories, ones that will raise his mood a bit...
Did I... Make the people of Japan... Happy?
Suzaku froze in his tracks, if he had not been wearing the mask, one will be able to see the shock written all over his face. That voice... Is it his imagination? It can't be real...
Did I... I make it work?
"Euphy..." Realizing that it is not his imagination, Suzaku spun around quickly, his gloomy mood overridden by disbelief. Only to discover that the entire hall had been devoid completely of people, as they were waiting for Nunnally and her speech. He stood there for awhile, genuinely believing that he must be going insane from wearing the mask for so long. Hearing voices, he really must be mad.
"Hmph, 'Let's both go to Ashford Academy together'... Now why would a person such as yourself, say such a thing to the Massacre Princess?"
What? Where is this coming from?! Suzaku let out a loud grunt as he spins himself back to his original position, the voice didn't sound that far, in fact it sounded as if it's right next to him. But where?
As if answering Suzaku's question, the voice continues to echo on with no sign of its source. "Don't bother searching for me, you'll never find me. If you must know , I'm speaking to you inside your head."
Inside my head... Could it be? Yes, this could be another version of it. The thing Lelouch had. Behind the mask, his mouth formed into a shape, and slowly, he uttered the one word "Geass."
"I see... You're not Zero at all, are you? I thought you were one of the casualties of the second rebellion, Suzaku."
He figured who I am?! How?!
"Shame, our Zero was looking forward to discussing much with you, but unfortunately, it seems this could change quite a bit..."
'Our Zero?' Someone's trying to sabotage the speech! Not good. His instincts are telling him to run and warn Nunnally along with the other ministers, but before he could do so, a sudden stinging pain appeared on his back, and suddenly, he felt drowsy. Tranquilizer... Crap...
Suzaku got down on his knees, fighting to stay awake. The tranquilizer dart must have been really powerful for its effect to surface so quickly. As his eyes were beginning to close, he caught sight of a figure walking towards him, but before he could get a clearer look, he collapsed face first onto the floor, his consciousness finally fading away. Reluctantly, Suzaku closes his eyes.
"So, What did you find out from his mind?"
"Heh, I think it'd be better for you and him to see for yourself, from what I found out, this isn't the real Zero."
"Not the real Zero? What do you mean?"
"Its exactly as I said, he's a fake. Tell Zero about this new information and afterwards, help me bring him to the roof. The plan still hasn't changed right?"
"No... In fact, if what you say it's true, we can learn a lot from this impostor..."
Those were the last words he heard before waking up in this cell, the ominous way they were talking had led him to believe that this more than just a mere act of terrorism. Snapping himself out of recalling the past, Suzaku focuses on the situation at hand. Although the poor lighting and the mask he's wearing resulted in low visibility, he could still hear his captor talking to him and it appeared that he was waiting for an answer.
"It... It's what the Empress desired!"
Scoffing, his captor shakes his head, clearly not impress with his answer. "What the Empress desired... I don't believe that's what Zero would have desired. I believe Zero would have known that we humans excel in only two things, war and chaos."
There's no doubt about it, his voice is the same one he heard talking to him in his mind. "The ways of Zero has change, Zero is but a symbol, and a man chooses how he wants to portray that symbol. Whether it be for war or for peace." Suzaku retaliated through gritted teeth, gripping the rusty iron bars of his cell.
"Except your forgetting one thing..."
A different voice echoed throughout the dungeon, and suddenly, the lights turned on, hurting Suzaku's eyes. Once his eyes adjusted to the light, he was able to see his captor. A man around his height, with blonde hair and blue eyes along with a small scar on the corner of his lips wearing a modified version of the black knight outfit. If anything, he looked as if he's of royal descent. He wasn't looking at Suzaku instead, he was looking off to the side, waiting for someone to arrive. Footsteps were heard drawing nearer and nearer to their location, and finally the mysterious person appeared by his side. Upon taking a look at his appearance, Suzaku stared wide eyed and in shock, slowly backing away towards the back of his cell. It was Zero.
"You didn't choose to become Zero."
Suzaku didn't respond, he was shocked beyond disbelief. To think that another Zero has appeared, along with a geass user. It was a lot to take in. Zero was wearing the exact thing same thing as Suzaku. It looked as if they were partners. It made Suzaku sick to think that he's wearing the same clothes as this terrorist.
"If what my comrade here say is true, you aren't the real Zero at all. Of course you aren't, because I am Zero. You are but an impostor."
Suzaku took a second to regain his composure, and after a series of deep breathing, he stared at his evil counterpart in the eye. "What do you plan to do?"
A moment of silence, then, Zero tilted his head. "First off, I dislike people who desecrate the name of Zero, so how about we remove your mask, and see who you really are. My comrade here told me that I'd want to see who is behind that mask myself."
The blonde one looked at Zero and after getting his permission, he opened the cell door, making a loud metallic noise as the door swing open. He then pulled out a gun from his side and aimed it at Suzaku, so as to not to let him escape. Suzaku already knew it was pointless to try and leave, who knows what kind of tricks he has up his sleeve. He has no choice but to endure.
Zero slowly walks into the cell until they were both face to face and slowly, he lifts up one hand and touches Suzaku's mask. "Now, let's see who you really are." He then proceeded to rip the mask off with a quick swipe of his hand, causing Suzaku's head to turn to the side. Slowly, Suzaku turns back to stare at Zero.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the supposed Knight of Zero. I thought you died."
Keeping silent, Suzaku continues to glare at Zero.
"Oh? Why the scary face? You are my knight aren't you? Oh no, I forgot that was Lelouch vi Britannia... The original Zero."
"How did you-?!"
"Figure out Lelouch was Zero all along? Simple, I asked the Empress nicely."
Enraged, Suzaku reached out to grab Zero's throat but before he could reach for it, a gunshot zoomed past Suzaku's cheek, causing it to bleed.
"Why the hostility? I just asked the Empress why would she demolish all the weapons in the world, and she replied saying that she was doing it all for her brother's sake and then she proceeded to tell me that he fooled the world into thinking he was a mad dictator so that all the hate would be focused on him." After chuckling for a bit, he continued. "I gotta say, it worked, even on me."
Wiping the blood off his cheek, Suzaku managed to exercise great self restraint and not beat this Zero to a pulp, and after making sure he's calm enough, he asked another question. "How did you infiltrate the palace?"
Tossing the mask up into the air and catching it, Zero begins walking out of the cell and locking it, he then turns to address Suzaku one final time. "That's an answer for another day, and as for your previous question. I plan to shape the world to my own designs with the help of the people."
"Come Edward, we have to update the world on our demands." Said Zero, turning towards his blonde partner. Edward nodded his head and begins walking out of the dungeon along with Zero.
"Are you crazy?! Who would agree to such a thing?!" Suzaku shouted, running up to the bars and watching their figures slowly fade out of his vision.
As the lights of the dungeon shut off, leaving Suzaku alone in the dark, a voice is heard one final time before the doors of the dungeon closes.
"The Empress for one agreed with me."
United States of Japan, Apartment Complex, 4:24 p.m.
It was no use, she couldn't relax at home knowing that a new threat is out there. She needed to do something, anything as long as it'll take her mind off it. So Kallen decided to leave her home and go out for a jog, what else could she do? She's no longer a Knightmare pilot nor a soldier of war. She's now just a regular Japanese citizen.
Putting on her tracksuit, Kallen decided that she might as well check the news for any updates on what is now being called the beginning of the third Black Rebellion. Jumping onto her couch, Kallen took the remote on the table and turned on her television.
Flipping through channel after channel, Kallen realizes that they're all pretty much saying the same thing and that there hasn't been any new updates. Giving a sigh, Kallen was just about to turn off the tv and walk out, but she soon found a channel talking about something new.
"Hold on, hold on... We have just been informed that a broadcast is being played at the location of the Brittanian Palace. It appears that a reporter by the name of Milly Ashford is being held hostage by Zero. We will now be showing you the message being broadcasted live on air. Viewer discretion is advised."
The scene then changes to Zero sitting in the throne room of the palace, speaking directly to the camera, Schneizel by his side.
"People of the world, I implore you to listen to me, for I would like to address a couple of things. To start, I heard rumors stating that this is beginning of a new rebellion. It is not a rebellion, it is a revolution! I vow to change how this world works, for that is the reason for Zero's existence. Starting today, I will bring the world into the next stage of existence. And to lead beside me, is none other than your leader, Empress Nunnally."
"What?!" Shouting out loud, Kallen stared wide-eyed at the scene before her, the camera pans to the side showing Nunnally on her wheelchair, being pushed by a masked individual heading towards Zero and after reaching him, she turns to address the camera.
"Everyone, ministers, kings, queens. I assume you all have managed to escape by now and are watching this. Zero has decided to give you a choice, instead of forcefully putting it down on you, to either join us or to oppose us on his creation of a new world. Opposing him would mean unleashing the wrath of the New Order of the Black Knights."
New Order of the Black Knights? What is this? Questions after questions filling her head, Kallen turns up the volume a little bit more.
"The former Black Knight organization won't be there to help you, for they are under the command of Zero."
"So you basically abolished all the countries weapons so they can't fight back?!" Kallen shouted at the television in dumbfounded rage. There's no doubt about it, Nunnally was working with this Zero for a long time.
"If you choose to join us however, your countries will avoid complete annihilation. It's your choice, either way, We will conquer the world and all of it's resources to achieve our goal. We expect to hear from you 2 days from now. I believe that is enou- ti- make-..."
What's going on? The broadcast was unexpectedly cut off. Was that it?
"We seem to be having some technical difficulties, please stay on standby, we'll get back- what was that? Uhh, this just in! We have just received word that a broadcast is being played live from an individual claiming to be an opposer of Zero."
The news station was then replaced with a figure of a man wearing a bright red suit, with a black coat along with a spiky red and black mask, bearing a striking resemblance to the Zero costume. And behind him, is a background filled with flames, broken buildings and debris all over the place. No way...
"People of the world! Hear me! Brittannia! Fear me! For I am Lucifer! The prince of darkness! The fallen one! And also... Zero's demise."
Author's note: First off, I would like to apologize for the really long delay between this chapter and the previous one, I just entered my final year of high school. So I was quite busy, sorry about that. I'll try to be more consistent between releases. Secondly... That's pretty much it. Anyway, make sure to tell me what you think of the chapter, as feedback is really helpful.
Updated: Oh my god, I'm an idiot.. For the people who have read this chapter before, I made Nunnally walk towards zero despite the fact she's handicapped... This has been changed to instead someone pushing her wheelchair.