Consular-Class Cruiser: Revelation
Ahsoka didn't have time to stall. Didn't have time to wonder how the Empire had found her and her companions so soon. They had to escape to the planet.
Using the force to move faster, she, the crew and the surviving Jedi sprinted through the narrow metal corridors of the ship towards the Salon pod for evacuation. It was typically meant for diplomats but in emergency situations, made a good escape pod and was the crews only hope of evading capture.
Their ship had already been disabled by ion cannon fire delivered by the trio of Star Destroyers and if they didn't escape soon, a whole boarding party would be swarming the ship.
Struggling to control her hammering heart, Ahsoka led the crew to the Salon pods entry door, opened it and let them spill inside while the captain leaped into the pilots seat and clawed at the controls to prepare the pod to split from the immobilized ship.
Before the passengers could even take their seats, the ship shuddered, shaking the floor plates beneath their feet. Ahsoka realized quickly the ship was caught in the Imperial Star Destroyers tractor beam. Her heart picked up even more with barely controlled panic.
"Hurry captain!" Ahsoka cried.
The captain's sweaty face was pale with fear as he struggled to activate the pod. The controls thrummed to life and with the pull of a small lever, the pod detached from the ship and its rocket engines roared, hurtling it towards the planet. The pod shook for a moment then settled as it fell.
Exhaling deeply and letting her body relax, Ahsoka watched through the escape pods viewport as the planet slowly but steadily grew larger as the pod drew closer. She could only pray they would settle on land than in the water but judging from the amount that covered the planet, their chances were remote.
Beside her stood Kole who wore a look of uncertainty.
"I have a bad feeling about this," The young Jedi muttered.
Ahsoka said nothing in return and turned her attention back to the planet, numbly noticing a curved strip of land beside of a much large continent slowly come into view and the pod still came closer as the planets gravity well seized it and brought it in.
Imperial Palace- Morfran (Arizona)
It was late-morning. The sun shined pale and bright in the east, casting light that splashed over the city of Morfran surrounded by harsh, sparsely vegetated desert and rocky mountains.
The Imperial Palace stood proud and strong on the outskirts of the city. The exterior was extravagant. Smooth stone pillars and siding gave it an almost traditionally medieval appearance. Inside, the hallways were beautifully crafted from polished marble floors and trimmed oak walls decorated with portraits and painted vases containing flowers.
There were many large rooms but the dining room in particular was remarkable. Sitting in a metallic wheelchair at the edge of the long table in the center was a beautiful young girl with light brown hair and watery blue eyes. The plate of food laden on the table before her had hardly been touched.
Sixteen year old Nunnally vi Britannia was deep in thought, paying little attention to her meal.
It was all a blur. She barely had the energy to eat anything. Not after one grueling year of grieving and hard work.
One year had passed since that fateful day. Since her ascending to the throne as 100th Empress of the Holy Britannian Empire.
In that time, she had toiled and strived to correct all of the wrongs and evils committed in the past. Outlawing all F.L.E.I.J.A. weapons and starting reconstruction plans for the city of Pendragon were just the beginning. Through fierce devotion and restless work, Nunnally's efforts to maintain peace around the world were finally beginning to pay off.
Though there was still some distrust between Britannia and the UFN, the two powers kept to themselves and no conflict had erupted. However, though Japan was not without its defenses, it was still vulnerable and hence needed strong allies in the UFN, particularly China and Korea. Further west, the European Universe had been conducting peace talks with both Britannia and the UFN after losing a majority of its territory and was much weaker than in the past.
But it was Lelouch that she dwelt on the most. Life had never been the same without her older brother.
Ever since his tyrannical reign as emperor of the world, Lelouch had been universally branded as a power hungry monster but Nunnally knew the truth. He had planned everything, even his own death, to bring peace to the world and end the senseless destruction that had raged across it for so long but most of all, he wanted to create a world where Nunnally could find happiness. Losing her brother was bad enough but the fact that his true intentions were unknown was even worse.
She had loved her brother with all her heart and she missed him so dearly that it was a mystery how the pain didn't kill her.
"Without him...how can I ever be happy again?"
Her deep thinking was cut off by the dining room doors opening with a soft creak. Nunnally quickly looked up and saw a cloaked figure wearing a strange helmet. She gave a half-smile as the figure approached her.
"Good morning, your highness," The figure said, its voice muffled by the helmet.
"Good morning, Suzaku," Nunnally replied.
Suzaku Kururugi removed his helmet, exposing his face and quickly read the look of sorrow on Nunnally's face.
"Is something wrong, your highness?" He asked.
Nunnally lowered her head and sighed deeply.
"I miss him so much, Suzaku," Nunnally said, almost on the verge of crying.
Suzaku knew only too well who she was talking about. He gently laid a hand on the girls shoulder.
"I know, Nunnally," He said softly. "I miss him too."
"Its just...was it worth it?" Nunnally said, her voice shaky. "Was this peace worth the price the world had to pay?"
Suzaku couldn't find an immediate answer. Nunnally was right however. The world did have to pay a hefty price for the peace it was experiencing today. But how long that peace would last nobody could tell.
He was about to say something else when he heard hurrying footsteps outside the dining room door. He immediately put on the Zero helmet before a maid entered the room.
"Your highness," The maid said. "You have a guest from the Space Survellience Center. He says its urgent."
Nunnally cocked a perplexed brow. Behind his helmet, Suzaku wore a confused look.
"The Space Survellience Center?" She asked. "What are they doing here?"
The maid was at a loss for words. She stepped aside and three men dressed in black suits and neck ties stepped in.
"We are sorry to disturb you so early your highness," One of the men said. "But we think you may want to see this. We recieved these photographs from the SSC center in Tokyo."
The man handed Nunnally a beige folder labeled "Top Secret". Curious, Nunnally opened it, revealing several photographs taken from space.
What she saw in the photos rendered her speechless. Suzaku was also stunned.
The clear, colored photographs showed three enormous space ships hovering in the Earths orbit. Each one shaped like a wedge or arrowhead.
"What the hell are they?" Suzaku said finally.
"We're not sure but you might want to take a look at the next photo," One of the SSC operatives said.
Nunnaly flipped to the next photograph that showed a smaller, cylindar shaped object floating through space.
"By our estimates, that smaller object will be entering the Earths atmosphere within a few minutes and it will be landing in Japan," The SSC operative explained.
Nunnally's eyes showed puzzlement but a moment later she regained her composure and immediately decided to take action.
"Get Prime Minister Oghi on the phone," Nunnally instructed Suzaku. "Inform him of the situation and I want this kept under wraps. I don't want those...ships to cause a panic."
"Yes your highness," Suzaku said with a bow and left the room in a hurry.
50 miles southwest of Tokyo Settlement
Lelouch vi Britannia had just awoken. He was cuddled next to CC in an old fashioned bed that didn't look particularly comfortable but she dozed on anyway. Lelouch scooted away from her, sat up and stretched out with a low yawn before swinging his legs off the bed and stood up.
The wooden walls of the cabin were adjorned with simple furniture and appliances, such as a table with chairs and a cooking stove. Despite the somewhat simple conditions, Lelouch found his new home acceptable and it would be much better to stay in hiding than to head back to the outside world and end up dead.
CC murmured, clutching Cheese-kun in her arms. Lelouch rolled his eyes.
"So childish," He muttered.
"I heard that," CC said dryly, her eyes snapping open.
Lelouch sighed and shook his head at the beautiful, green haired girl.
"Besides," CC added. "You didn't take it all that well when I told you that you were immortal."
"Don't remind me," Lelouch grumbled, a look of annoyance on his face.
CC grinned and turned onto her side, still clutching Cheese-kun.
True, the two of them had developed their relationship over time and their feelings for each other were mutual but they still had their squabbles from time to time.
It had been one year of living in a cabin away from civilization. Lelouch still wished that things hadn't turned out so strangely. He could still remember that day.
One moment, he was dying before his little sister Nunnally, the next he was staring into the eyes of CC as if he were reborn.
Together, the two of the fled Tokyo and settled in the old abandoned cabin in a clearing in the forest surrounding Mt. Fuji. Life was tolerable and they had plenty to eat from crops outside the cabin that they tended together.
But in spite of this, Lelouch still felt great sorrow. He missed Nunnally very much and could only pray that Kallen had forgiven him for what he had nearly done prior to his "death". He knew only a handful of people understood what his true intentions were but the majority of the planet regarded him as a monstrous devil with a lust for power. Lelouch would like nothing more than to reveal the truth to the world but he highly doubted they'd even listen to him, let alone let him live if they ever saw him again.
His train of thought was derailed immediately by a low, whooshing sound.
"What was that?" CC asked as she sat up.
Without answering, Lelouch ran towards the cabin door, opened it and gazed long and hard.
"What the hell...?"
Racing through the sky was a large object trailing bright flames. It plunged below the treeline out of Lelouch's sight and there was a deep, Earth shattering crash.
Lelouch ran back to the cabin and saw that CC had gotten out of bed.
"What was it?" CC asked.
Lelouch wished he had an answer.
"I'm not sure, but I think we should check it out," He replied simply.