A/N: Thank to everyone who reviewed and special thanks again to Jameyofthemegacosmos for proofreading and improvements upon the chapter.
Before getting into this chapter I did want to address an issue about Lelouch not having his Geass.
Giving it to him would make things TOO easy given what he has already. I like writing a Code Geass story without Lelouch's Geass because it adds a challenge.
But in this story his usage of Al-Hazard Magic Systems render him immune to Geass, so Charles can't tamper with his memories and Rolo can't stop him. This is also part of a plot point, which will be elaborated upon later.
So a fair trade off.
As for the Hückebein Family, I am sure a lot of you saw them coming when Hades was involved in the story, but don't worry as this chapter will imply things will not be so one sided for the Black Knights or the Mandrain.
Anyway on with the chapter.
A New Player
Within a conference room with a picturesque view of a snowy mountain range, which the surrounding windows of the area allowed a complete view with only the occupied five seats, one was empty, surrounding the triangle-shaped table with Simon sitting at the head of the table at its point.
"What in the Sankt Kaiser's name is the Huckebein Family doing on Earth!?" Fleet Admiral Bill Stannix asked from his seat opposite of Simon.
"They were supposed to be operating along the far reaches of the Dimensional Sea," Hades Vandein added, sitting to Stannix's left.
"Yes, what did bring them over to Earth?"
That question came from the youngest member of Simon's inner circle. However, appearances could be deceiving for the boy was much older than he appeared with long blonde hair that reached down to his feet. He had a pale complexion with wine red eyes wearing a white and black regal suit with a cravat.
While most people, even those close to him to never knew his realm, everyone always referred to him as V.V.
"I was just getting to that," Simon began, who had both elbows upon the table and clasping his hands together before him. Without a word, a holographic screen appeared before each member of Simon's inner council. They were two images of the recent visitors to Earth, one of Kyrie and another of Iris next to her. "The one with the pink hair, her name is Kyrie Florian, a native of the dying world of Eltria."
"Eltria," Stannix mutter as he admitted. "Never heard of it."
"Eltria is a highly advanced civilization, more so than even Midchilda," Simon answered before explaining. "Eltria is older than Earth, and it has been dying because of a combination of pollution and its resources exhausted. Most of its population abandoned the world for other planets or to live upon space colonies; only a few stayed behind. However, Kyrie is the daughter of a researcher who continued living on Eltria in a futile attempt to restore their dying world. When he became ill, his family planned to abandon their world and everything to which he dedicated himself. Unable to accept that, Kyrie decided to take matters into her own hands."
"Hence her coming to Earth to steal the Tome of the Night Sky," Strannix finished. "But I thought you thoroughly examined that book. What could be in it to help save a dying planet?"
"It's something the A.I. program known as Iris has told her regarding a crystal contained within it," Simon replied. "Either it has been well hidden even from me, or it was separated from the book somehow. I am working to track their movements, so perhaps we can find what they are looking for first."
"While it's impressive that they were to find and hire the Huckebein, how were they able to amass such an army so quickly?" Hades inquired as curious as some of his fellow inner circle members.
"It's the work of Kyrie's A.I. companion who uses nanomachines to reshape and modify whatever machinery they interact with in any way they wish," Simon explained. "Such technology was responsible for creating those hybrid machines out of construction vehicles. She was able to create production lines for those combat androids as well."
"And with the Kingdom of Zilkhstan helping them?" V.V. asked as he was among the most interested in that country.
"They were promised advanced technology to strengthen their country as a whole and enrich their desert nation with more resources."
"That doesn't change that their efforts threaten everything we have accomplished. At this rate, the TSAB may no longer consider Earth as an Unadministered World."
"But how do we deal with the Huckebein Family?" Strannix inquired. "They are Eclipse Drivers, made specifically to kill enemy mages."
"Do remember that we still have the Seed of Origin, Admiral," Hades tried to calm the corrupt TSAB official within the meeting. "We have the proper countermeasures in place to deal with rouge Eclipse Drivers if needed, not to mention one of our missing members can obtain it once he has fully recovered. Even then, her minions will be a bit of a problem."
"What about those soldiers you have been producing?" Alex asked. "Wouldn't they be more effective against these new androids?"
"What new soldiers?" V.V. asked.
Simon sighed before pushing a button to bring up a holographic picture of dozens of transparent nutrient-filled cylinders. The camera zoomed in on the humanoid figures growing inside one of the tubes. It was a massively muscular human being with pale skin, but the creature's facial features were vaguely human. The creature's eyes were black while it had sharp teeth with a skull-like face with no visible nose.
"I call them Espada Soldiers," Simon introduced. "These creatures were created by studying the physiology of Miss Florian. Their bodies have been engineered to possess far greater physical strength, endurance, and stamina than your average humans, thereby granting me the ideal template to fashion the ultimate soldier. As a bonus, they have a high degree of resistance to toxins and sedatives, allowing them to adapt perfectly to any hazardous environment."
"They look like something out of a monster movie," Bill noted, clearly impressed by his creation. "But, are you sure these things can handle their underlings?"
"Each one will be wearing a full-body suit of energy-dissipating black armor modeled after the girls' Formula Suits."
"You plan to dispatch them against this new faction?" Alex asked.
Simon closed his eyes for a moment, clearly annoyed.
"I wanted to save them, but it seems the androids they unleashed against the men we had watching the Code-R base have proven their effectiveness. Already, they make Dr. Scaglietti's Drones and Cyborgs look like harmless play toys in comparison. That said, we need to learn what they are after, and once we do, we shall deal with them swiftly."
"Then perhaps I shall go ahead and make this little visit more imperative," Alex proposed as she eyed on the Admiral. "If we're going to release our weapons sooner than planned, then we should speed things up on the other end."
"Have you not heard us?" V.V.'s eyes lowered against Alex. "Their presence already threatens Earth's status as an Unadministered World. Do you really believe we have time to conduct other attacks on the Midchilda for a personal side operation?"
"Side operation, you say?" Alex smirked as she looked over the ruined airport in her vicinity. "I rather find it necessary as I'm already on the planet's surface."
"What!? How could you have-"
"I already gave her my approval a long time ago," Simon responded to cut out any objections from Stannix.
"Even in a situation like this?" Hades turned to his mentor, curious as to why he allowed such one of their top operatives to go deep into enemy territory.
"It's as he says, I am already here," Alex responded. "For obvious reasons, I couldn't wait for your opinion, and this is for more than just sudden visitors from a completely undiscovered world."
"You're talking about the Black Knights?" V.V. inferred. "From what I understand, they're responsible for Gray's current condition. Are you sure that taunting the TSAB will be such a good idea?"
"No, but that's not why I approved her request," Simon glared at Alex, who sighed with her arms crossed. "But, I'll admit that I was close to rejecting it completely after the disaster back at Yokosuka."
"You're talking that bumbling moron who was under your payroll," Admiral Stannix hinted at Hawkins that wiped the entire TSAB force that tried to seize Gray. "The one who nearly cost Major General Gaiz his reputation if it weren't for our interference?"
"The incident has been marked as Hawkins acting on his accord. At least that's the story for the time being. Still, the importance of the Major General's political standing is more to us than ever."
"Explain," V.V. inquired before Alex filled in for her superior.
"While I've been digging up on the timetables for the Bureau's next meeting, I came across something particular."
An image came up, pointing to another world different from Midchilda. It then zoomed onto a large office building label, "Caledfwch Techniques," on the side. There were also displays of new weapons, including a halberd derived from the TSAB's Generic Device, a long white rifle the size of a cannon, a shorter dark-colored rifle, and a longsword.
"These weapons you see belong to a subcontractor of the TSAB that has been working underground for the past few years," Alex went on. "As you can see, these weapons are not your typical Devices as allowed by interdimensional regulations. The designs indicate that they use electromotive forces and kinetics far powerful than your normal anti-personnel weapons."
"Mass weapons," the Admiral assumed.
"I thought the Bureau outlawed such weapons since their founding," V.V. pointed out.
"They have been working with Gaiz since the Book of Darkness Incident," Simon explained. "It's also the reason why they were recently authorized to construct the massive cannon on Midchilda for planetary defense."
"You're talking about the Einherial," Strannix was aware of its existence as well. Gaiz had proposed the plan as a means to prevent attacks from orbital threats, using the Memento Mori they introduced as further proof. "There's no doubt he wants to appease his superiors over the use of such weapons. But why start going on this now?"
"Is it because of the Huckebein's attack on the three Aces?" Hades guessed as Simon's expression confirmed.
"Yes, which only provided more justification for the project to move forward."
"These new weapons won't be a problem for us?" V.V. inquired.
"I assume we have other weapons you have yet to unleash," Hades asked.
"Like the Titan Project?" Alex also inquired.
"Titan Project?" Stannix was the last to ask their leader.
"A new type of siege weapon I have been developing," Simon answered. "So far, it is only in the prototype stage, based on the Wyvern Drones and their accumulated combat data. I designed it for heavy sieges against groups far larger than a group of Wyvern Drones can handle."
Simon brought up a holographic project of a gigantic machine standing over a thousand feet tall contained within a hanger. At first glance, it was comparable to an enormous knight, but its shoulder appendages were massive, extending outward by hundreds of feet looking similar to thick wings. Its entire body had thick armor around its forearms, feet, chest, and head. It even had an armored shroud wrapped around its waist, protecting the back of the legs from attack.
"We have a prototype that is combat-ready," Simon noted. "However, we haven't found a place to conduct a proper field test."
"What a monster," Strannix remarked. "That thing could level a whole city in minutes, maybe even a small country in a short time."
"Of course, they were built for such purposes after all. It would bring a quick and decisive end to a conflict," Simon explained.
"It's reassuring we have additional weapons to call upon should the need arise," Hades commented.
"We do, but I rather not unleash them until the time is right," Simon added before preparing to wrap up the meeting. "Now, I believe that we should conclude this meeting as of now. Alexis, Strannix, I assume you'll be off as well?"
"Of course," Alex smugly replied. "I look forward to giving the High Command my regards."
"Very well, you're dismissed."
By then, all of the holographic screens flickered and vanished. Once again, Simon was alone in his residence. He searched through the files he had on the table, which contained the data of his new enemies: Kyrie Florian, the A.I. Iris, each member of the Huckebein, and the map for the Kingdom of Zilkhstan. All of them were the major players who have united into a new faction.
But among the new players, the A.I. companion stood out, as he had the least knowledge about her aside from her capabilities.
"Whatever they seek has caused significant interference in my operations," Simon said to himself as he oversaw the Mandarin giving orders to his fellow LOGOS members. "Once I have them, intentional or unintentional, they'll regret the day they tried to cross with me."
Lelouch sat at a round table within a conference room inside their base below Ashford Academy. Joining him was Quattro sitting on his left, Peter was on Lelouch's right. Finally, Graham also sat across from Lelouch at the table where they were in the middle of reviewing the data Quattro recovered and events of the previous mission.
"I never expected such a crisis to emerge," Graham notes grimly, but he knew what happened was well beyond Lelouch's control.
"Still, this data can shed some light on what happened," Peter commented. "Those android corpses you recovered were also an intriguing find."
Lelouch merely sighed as he went on.
"From what Quattro tells me, it was worse for the TSAB and Britannia."
"So I have gathered," Quattro replied while Graham remained upset over what happened to Hayate. "Thanks to some transmissions I intercepted between the Britannians and the TSAB, I had learned some details. Right after Clovis abducted by the TSAB, all three of the Aces getting taken out of action. I am sure the TSAB isn't reacting well to this."
"Do we know what defeated Nanoha and the others?" Lelouch.
"Not yet," Quattro shrugging her shoulders. "For some reason, the TSAB is very hush-hush about it."
"Anyway," Peter said, realizing he should change the subject. "That woman who attacked Lelouch was an Eltrian. She was a test subject who was being both heavily examined and experimented upon."
"By whom?" Lelouch asked.
"By my father," Peter answered, visibly surprised to find his father had been directly involved.
"To think a planet possessing magic and science more advanced than the TSAB exists," Quattro mused. "Father would've been quite jealous that the Mandarin got his hands on such an exceptional specimen."
"What do you mean?" Lelouch inquired.
"According to my father's notes, the girl they kept at the Code R facility possessed bones ten times stronger than a human with more durable and stronger muscles," Peter explained, impressed with the details about Amitie's Formula Suit and her biology. "Then there is her magic, which is very different yet more advance than Midchilda's magic systems, especially the Formula Suit she uses."
"Does the file provide a name?" Graham inquired, resting his head on his hands by his elbows on the table.
"Amitie Florian," Quattro shared. "She arrived on Earth at least six months ago, when the Britannians captured her upon finding her in Area 11. Since then, she has been Clovis's second guinea pig for his Code R program, more so even C.C. here."
Quattro and Lelouch glanced at C.C., who was waiting by the doorway with her back leaning against the wall.
"I wasn't aware of her if that is what all of you were wondering," C.C. replied.
"Well, at least we know who attacked us back in the facility," Lelouch noted. "Do we have any idea as to why she was on Earth in the first place?"
"Her sister," Peter answered that question. "From the first few reports, starting from the day of her capture, Amitie demanded where they held her on Earth. Now and then, she would speak her name."
"And that is?"
"Kyrie," Quattro retook hold of the briefing. "Kyrie Florian. And specifically, she's the younger sister, judging by how Amitie addressed her informally."
"I see, but we need more information," Graham pointed out before adding. "We don't know much about this new party was who attacked the TSAB and was likely the one who attacked us at the Code-R facility."
"I agree, but," Lelouch began closing his eyes for a moment. "If this was someone who could defeat the three best Mages the TSAB has to offer, then this enemy could be a serious threat to us. Even more so since we don't know their objectives."
"I'll work on getting more information from the TSAB on what we are facing," Quattro offered.
"Right, and if nothing else," Lelouch began before Peter interrupted the meeting.
"Actually," Peter began. "There is one more thing, Lelouch. After reviewing those reports, I think I can propose some new upgrades for you."
"I am fine with upgrading my device," Lelouch answered.
"I mean, I can use the technology I took from my father to upgrade your body as well."
"What?" Lelouch asked, rising from the table in surprise.
Quattro seemed intrigued by the idea while Graham understood Peter's reasoning, but his expression indicated some reservations.
"Are you sure about that, Peter?" the ex-Admiral inquired. "I know this will likely benefit Lelouch greatly, but didn't you say it wasn't ready, and you lacked a template?"
The ex-Admiral referred to the difficulty, or rather the limitation of the use of nanomachines used for bio-enhancement. They worked easily enough on Quattro and her sisters, due to how they were created. Both Peter and Simon discovered the nanomachines developed to augment humans were limited and couldn't work on everyone. Lelouch was among those, but Peter pointed out if they could find a human possessing a more advanced physiology, it could provide the template for him to prefect the nanomachines to work not only on Lelouch but on everyone else.
"We just got one," Peter replied before using the holographic projector in the table to display Amitie's biology data. "I can use Miss Florian's data as a template to reshape Lelouch's body to be on par if not slightly better than that of an Eltrian."
"Are you talking about using your father's bio-enhancement nanomachines?" Lelouch asked as his eyes narrowed.
"Yes," Peter nodded. "As I explained before, these nanomachines will hack the body's repair center. The part of the brain that holds a complete blueprint of the human body."
"What do you mean, C.C. asked, who was now interested in the meeting.
"The nanomachines effectively rewrite the part the brain our bodies refer to when we're injured. The body uses that blueprint to heal correctly. The Bio-Enhancement Nanomachines that my father was developing rewrites the repair center, making the body believe it's an open wound," Peter explained before using the console at his table to display phase two of the process. "The body is on life support, and intravenously fed nutrients as the body gets cocooned in scabs. At this stage, the nanomachines will use the nutrients and body mass to grow new and better organs to replace the old ones."
"That sounds rather extreme," Quattro commented, but she was still very intrigued.
"Maybe so, but we know the injuries that Nanoha Takamachi endured," Peter answered, using what happened to Nanoha as a prime example of the need for such a process. "It would have given her a stronger body to prevent issues when she pushed herself too far. And at the rate he is going with his more occasional usage of Overdrive, Lelouch could run into the same problem."
"Better organs won't be enough," Quattro pointed while pointing her right index finger at the holographic display.
"I know, but with Miss Florian's data, I think I can tweak the process to strengthen Lelouch's muscles and bones," Peter answered. "Thus minimizing the danger from not only using Overdrive, but Lelouch's body will not be at risk of crippling himself like what almost happened to Nanoha."
"Peter, are you sure you can make this work?" Lelouch finally asked, wanting a final confirmation on the process.
"Yes," Peter replied without hesitation.
"Very well, I'll hold you to it," Lelouch answered, which meant he was willing to undergo the process much to Quattro's surprise. But she offered no argument against the idea.
Later that same day, the TSAB High Command a meeting within the TSAB HQ. Thanks to the recent attacks from LOGOS, this was the only safe place where they could hold such arrangements with fear of attack.
The meeting was regarding the devastation caused by four new Memento Mori attacks, which has left cities on four Administrated Worlds. They were already scrambling humanitarian aid to the worlds in question, but the problem was their forces, as well as additional resources, have been stretched dangerously thin.
Besides the Three Legendary Admirals overseeing the meeting, there was Bill Strannix, and Regius Gaiz were present. Carim Gracia from the Belkan Church and Genya Nakajima also attended the conference remotely.
More concerning, they were no closer to stopping the Mandarin nor finding a reliable means of detecting the Memento Mori satellites, let alone shooting them down.
"Miranda, Juno, Caprica, and Gallifrey," Leone Phils announced as images of the devastated cities on the mentioned planets.
"Has there been any progress towards arresting the Mandarin?" Gaiz demanded while slamming a fist on a table.
"I have seen reports from Admiral Harlaown," Largo Kiel answered regretfully. "Although they made progress, they have yet to track down the Mandarin's center of operations. He has proven very elusive, where even our other Enforcers and Intelligence Agents haven't found any leads."
"So, we still have nothing!" Gaiz snapped.
"Your people haven't done much better," Midget Crowbel pointed out impatiently quieting Gaiz.
"Boy, you waste your time bickering."
That woman's voice made the High Command of the TSAB alert, irritably disrupting the meeting as they turned to one of the entrances. Standing in between the two lines of officers, Alex appeared before them in a secretary suit with long black hair and long white gloves. She had her arms crossed and shook her head in disappointment.
"And if I thought the leaders where I hail from were far noisier."
Alex opened up her eyes that been closed the whole time. With her face revealed, some of the officers nearly jumped. It was evident from Gaiz that she was someone not to play with as the other Admiral could see a glare from him, proof that he recognized the woman.
"How did you get past security?" Midget demanded from the interloper, who baffled from her nose while maintaining her composure.
"Security? Please, with your type of 'security,' there are places I can access with ease."
"That's for you to say," Gaiz spoke abruptly. "Alexis Vespra von Galia."
"Call me "Alex Vesper," she insisted on only being called that name. "Then again, what can I expect from such magic-using oppressors?"
"Our responsibility is about the safety and protection of worlds in the Dimensional Sea," Midget declared sharply at her as she got a quick look at Alex's record profile. "And you're labeled an interdimensional criminal at S-rank, now a fugitive of the TSAB."
"State the charges."
"Several terrorist acts that involve killing several platoons of TSAB officers. Destruction of four city blocks that claimed thousands of civilian lives, including one on an Administered world close to Midchilda and your hometown. Sabotage of an allied Naval Squadron, providing advanced weapons to militant groups in Orussia and attempting to give them a Lost Logia, for when the TSAB finally detained you."
"I'd say those are more of heroic acts. My hometown would still be standing should you have told your people not to scapegoat descendants of some warmongering ghosts of the past."
"You are one of the most wanted women in the TSAB," Strannix called out to her. "We've spent resources trying to find you ever since you escaped the ship en-route to the Orbital Prison."
"Rest assured, I was already sane enough, to begin with, and you call me a threat? You brought it upon yourselves."
"How dare you-"
"Think I'm wrong? Look."
Alex raised her gloved arm and crossed through the other one. Red-violet pixels of magic programming were bent and stretched as they returned to their original position and back into the illusion's left arm. She walked up to the table end and put her hands down like it was an average person.
"As you can see, what I'm showing you is a semi-solid projection of myself. I am somewhere else far away from this place. Empty-handed, too, so you don't need to worry at all about either self."
Carim turned to Gaiz, who was still glaring at the woman. She signaled him to relax before returning to the hologram.
"Explain why you're here, Alex."
"For recent events. I figured I'd give my honest opinion of your handiwork as well as my advice."
"To begin with, let's just say that I'm baffled, let alone disappointed over your work in pursuing the Mandarin. Especially when you got what appears to be his home base yet do nothing about it."
"We have no evidence that the world is his primary headquarters," Midget proclaimed. "Only evidence that has operatives and majorly operates on the planet."
"Majorly? It sounds more like he mainly operates on the planet. It's right there; you just got to go grab it."
"If you were an officer of the TSAB," Leone objected. "You'd have an idea of how easy that is."
"Very well then, but that's not the matter I want to discuss. The important thing is that you have to start thinking the methods and culture from their perspective instead of their own," Alex paused to sigh. "You know, ever since I took up my new residence, I spent some time visiting the planet Earth myself. I've been learning a lot about warfare from the Earth populace, through all its glory and horror."
"The purpose of the TSAB and Saint Church is to stop wars, Alex," Carim warned her. "Talking about glory just gives the same impression as any document from Ancient Belkan politics."
"The real purpose, in short, is defending the people of the Dimensional Sea, or rather aligned and administered worlds, from those who once caused the war. Earth is not like Belka, people. They do not just fight for personal glory; they are influenced by warfare so much that they have put it into their daily life, in both pragmatic and honorable ways. That's just the way they are, and right now, your great opponents are taking advantage of that fact."
"Are you insisting that we should start attacking the undeveloped planet?" Crowbel was internal, containing outrage from such blasphemy.
"You didn't hear me. The Mandarin may be the enemy in your eyes, but you forget that you have two forces of opposition coming from that world. The second one is growing smarter, stronger, and more dangerous by the moment."
The room was silent as if they were oblivious to the "second enemy" that lead to her frustration.
"I'm talking about the other masked man who's down on Earth."
"Zero?" Crowbel assumed.
"While you've been going out on your blind pursuit against the Mandarin, Zero and his Black Knights have been causing a ruckus, and you've been putting no effort to detain him."
"Zero doesn't influence TSAB politics," Strannix integrated into the conversation. "The Mandarin, on the other hand, threatens worlds and interrupts our alliances."
"And that's your excuse for not prioritizing third parties?" Alex countered. "In every war, there will always be a significant portion of third-party members who play in it as well and profit from the major war. Something, they grow bigger from the situation to become a major power themselves, so much that they end up snatching victory from the original players. And now, you're repeating that mistake in your war against LOGOS."
"In other words, we should be focusing on Zero."
"Not just Zero," Alex still nodded the legendary Admiral got her point. "But all other groups that may not be associated with either faction, which have been operating under your noses."
"Zero is a foreigner who operates on a planetary scale," Strannix continued to object. "As powerful as he may be, as big of a violator he is, he and his followers are no threat to the TSAB. Their weapons have no comparison to the Mandarin."
"And that's what you fail to understand," Alex's projection made a screen showing statistics. "I've been studying Zero's stats, on many scales, as he is far easier to track thanks to his theatrical displays. Think about it. Zero is a masked figure who violates interdimensional law from publicly using magic on an Unadministered World to possessing illegal weapons wielded by his Black Knights. Worse yet, he is already long since portrayed himself as a "Knight for Justice" against a nation just as corrupt and aggressive as the old Belkan Empires, having far fewer civilian fatalities than LOGOS ever did. And let us not forget the humiliation he gave Nanoha in a one-on-one match or the fact he killed an entire TSAB battalion sent by that idiot Hawkins, not to mention the wounds he gave that excommunicated Knight from the Church."
After ending the list, Alex turned back to the TSAB and affiliated leaders.
"Small as he is now, his learning curve and threat level are increasing upon every encounter in manpower, magic power levels, funding, technology, resource management, and overall capability. And he will not be the only one."
Before Alex could continue, an alarm went on the screen that displayed Carim and Genya. It was labeled an emergency message, which prompted Midget to respond.
"Madam, we have a message coming from the Arthra," the woman's voice called for Midget Crowbel.
"Is something the matter?" the Admiral continued to eye on Alex as she replied. "We are currently in a meeting right now, already with an unwanted guest."
"It's about the three Aces," she called out. "They've captured someone deeply affiliated with the Mandarin, but…"
"But what?" the first part got everyone's attention.
"They had something terrible happen, but…it's not the Mandarin," she alerted. "A new hostile faction has somehow gotten involved, and they need you to respond right away!"
As the commanding officers remained shocked about the situation, the unwanted guest in the room smirked.
"Looks like I made my point," Alex stood from her seat. "You better listen to that call before something terrible becomes of your so-called Aces."
"And what will you do?" Carim inquired her. "Considering you are not part of LOGOS?"
"I'll be out doing my own thing. I have other important matters to work on, and I do not want anyone stopping it, not LOGOS, the TSAB, or the Black Knights. In terms of you, I only hope to see what you'll do with this information."
"You believe you can just walk away from this?" Gaiz snapped at her, standing up.
"No, but I've prepared for that. So please, don't bother in trying to pursue me."
Gaiz held a fist but realized where he was, observing the other officers looking at him. He retained whatever patience he had left, as Alex concluded.
"Now, if you want to continue things as they are and lose from it, go ahead. But if you want to win, then I suggest you stop screwing around and start taking things just a little. More. Seriously." Alex's illusion emphasized the last few words as it dissipated. "I'll enjoy the show."
Alex's illusion vanished entirely, and not a single trace of mana remained. The whole conference continued to be silent for the time being, but Gaiz was already skimming through the notes he gave him. For the Major General, he sighed with relief over the messages he received from Vaizen, seeing this as a perfect time to make a move.
Hayate awoke from her sleep, lying on a bed in the infirmary. Her first sighting was the little fairy that was Reinforce Zwei. Considering how wet her white skirt was, she must have been here for hours crying her tears out. The flooded eyes were met with joy when Hayate's groans caught her attention.
Reinforce Zwei flew over to her master's bed, her arms stretch as much as she could. Hayate could not help but feel sorry for causing so much grief for the poor child.
"Easy now, Rein," Hayate placed her hand over the artificial program. "I'm not going anywhere."
"No," a familiar face with blonde twin-tails stepped into the infirmary. "It's unlikely you won't be going anywhere for a long time."
"Fate," the Mistress of the now lost Tome of the Night Sky brought herself up to see Fate enter the room. Compared to the Captain, the Enforcer did not receive any significant injuries other than the bandage exposed on her right arm and neck. "Y-You're still alive and kicking?"
"Is it that concerning?" Fate shrugged off her injuries by flexing her arms. "My wounds were not as bad, and neither was Chrono-nii-san, so Shamal was able to heal us easier."
"And where's Chrono now?"
"Enforcer Harlaown is back at the bridge, Mistress Hayate," a rose-haired Knight entered with Admiral Lindy as they recalled the last place where they found him. "He and Miss Nakajima are debriefing what happened in the past mission. Now that Clovis is safely in our custody, we can report some results to High Command about a lead in finding the Mandarin."
"For now, we held the former Viceroy in the detainment cell within the Arthra," Fate added.
"That's not the issue," Hayate began. "What about..."
"I know," Signum silenced her Mistress, precisely knowing what she was going to say. Capturing Clovis was the primary objective, which was a success and without any incident. The real problem was what came after, which has disturbed Hayate the most. "They're reporting everything that happened, including those mysterious characters and those..."
"What about Nanoha? Is she...?"
Hayate saw Fate muttering before falling to silence, a strong hint that it was never good news. She faced the ground with tears in her eyes, not bothering to look at the other beds or even Hayate in that manner. It wasn't long before they heard some weeping to Hayate's side. The injured Ace had to look by her shoulder to find Vita watering eyes that same way Zwei did a minute ago. This time it was a lot more severe.
The Ace of the Aces was in the worst condition out of all the victims. Her bandages wrapped around her waist were all soaked with blood, as was the bed she laid on. She had a respirator mask to get air into her lungs with a vital sign monitor. Her eyes remained closed, and the signs, while stable, indicated that she was in an entirely unconscious state.
Hayate attempted to jump off the bed, but she felt a spike of pain in her leg and torso. Even though she regained consciousness, she was in no condition to walk by any means. As she covered her cramped leg and chest, she could see the wounds inflicted on her body.
"Easy, Mistress Hayate, you mustn't rush like that," Signum intervened to stop her. "Even so..."
"You need to stay in bed, Hayate," Lindy said, entering the infirmary. "I just finished on the bridge, so I came to see if you were awake yet."
"Lindy, is Nanoha going to be alright?" Hayate said on the verge of tears seeing Nanoha in such a state.
"Nanoha suffered...the worst of the attack," Lindy became the bearer of bad news. "Although she's stable for now, her vitals are nonetheless in critical condition. One more injury like what she suffered back there, and she would not be as lucky. As for her Device, I'm afraid it will need serious repairs before it can be operational again."
The Admiral did not want to make the Aces upset. Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate have been friends for so long. None of them knew what that would do if one of them suddenly perished. Yet, that was the cruel reality that they almost faced.
An uneasy silence fell upon the infirmary until Fate spoke.
"Hayate-san," Fate called informally to one of her closest friends. "I think it's now time you told us everything."
"About what?" Hayate asked. After what happened in the previous mission, and with Lindy in the room, Hayate was anxious what Fate wanted.
"You know what this is about," Fate took a seat by Hayate, insisting that she wasn't going to move. "You have a history involving the man who fought us alongside those girls who took the Tome. Mother and Chrono-nii-san know about them, too. About the Huckebein Family."
Hayate looked over to the curled up Reinforce. She has gotten better within the past few months despite need longer checkup times than usual. It was not an easy topic to discuss, especially when she nearly another precious one of hers.
"Can't you talk to them about this?" Hayate, as asked as she picked up the now resting Reinforce in the palm of her hands. "They are more capable of telling you the story more than I am."
"I would like to hear the story from you."
Lindy shook her head in front of the wounded Mistress, indicating that it was pointless trying scoot away from the subject. Vita remained by Nanoha, and Signum remained passive on the subject. Hayate was backed into a corner and gave in to the pressure. She didn't want to tell the whole story, but with her friends and comrades-in-arms not taking "no" for an answer, she had no other choice.
Therefore, she sighed in surrender before giving the whole story.
"It all started a little more than a year ago when we had our assignment at Administered World #3."
"Administered World #3, Vaizen," Fate recalled the label. "The home planet of Cadelfwch Techniques."
Pretty much everyone knew about the planet as one of the first few planets to join the TSAB. It was also home to a subcontractor that danced around the rules of the Bureau. The controversial part was their development of mass weapons, which has been considered a taboo and eventually illegal by the Bureau's regulations. Initially, they remained in business thanks to the support from the Ace's political rival, Regius Gaiz of the Capital Defense Corps. The Aces and their supporting Admirals all insisted on maintaining the use of Mages, even when the development of new technologies that combatted them, such as drones with Anti-Magilink Fields, challenged that notion. The Bureau relied on conducting new tactics to fight off the effects of such weapons, but with the rise of LOGOS and now the power of Eclipse Drivers unleashed upon the Aces, that no-mass weapon policy would undoubtedly render that moot. It would not be long before they had to use unconventional that would benefit the company's industry.
"During our assignment, we received an emergency distress signal from one of the nearby mining towns," Hayate went on. "We didn't know who could have sent that message, nor who would make such an assault deep into the TSAB core worlds. However..."
Hayate trailed on as she remembered everything that happened.
"Upon arrival, we found all of the miners dead," Hayate explained. "We searched for survivors while looking for signs of who could've done this. We thought they were pirates raiding the mines, but that is where I ran into them."
"Ran into the Huckebein Family?" Fate asked, which led to Hayate nodding her head.
"We tried fighting them, but none of my magic harmed them. One of the members was the one we saw tonight, but the other one," Hayate said before trailing off.
"What's wrong?" Lindy inquired, noticing Hayate's expression, which was a mix of sadness and confusion.
"It's odd, but I recall another one of their members we encountered killing what appeared to be a twin."
"A twin?" Fate raises an eyebrow, never hearing about such an instance with the Huckebein. "Why would they do that?"
"I don't know," Hayate shook her head. "After that, another member appeared and killed the second one that was present, the one that looked like Veyron."
"The three of us had no idea what was going on," Signum added. "They discussed something about killing 'fake' members of their family. We wanted to interrogate the actual members for questioning. However..."
"Once we sought to arrest them, the real member of the Huckebein turned around and injured Reinforce," Hayate said before finishing her story with a sigh. "We just had no choice but to escape, which she outright told us to in front of our faces. So we barely did."
"Didn't Ginga accompany you?" Lindy asked, "I read the report you submitted on them."
"Yes, and they forced her to escape, too," Hayate nodded. "But unlike me, she found a survivor."
"Did the survivor reveal anything useful?" Fate inquired.
No," Hayate shook her head in response, "He was caught off guard and knocked out when one of the buildings got blown apart. They left him for dead under the rubble, but it wasn't long before Ginga found him."
"I see," Fate understood the situation. "And where is he now?"
"He's been taken in by the Nakajima Family. Subaru kept an eye on him ever since."
Hayate recalled seeing Ginga and Subaru playing with the young boy they found. The failure to apprehend the culprits or obtain information about "fake" members of the Huckebein pained her. Having a survivor in the care of people she could trust healed the wound, but it was not enough considering Reinforce's state at the time.
"Well, as heartwarming as it sounds, this complicates matters severely," Lindy said, still recognizing the Huckebein Family as a new problem. "And now that they're working for a new enemy force outside of the Mandarin, we have no choice to take action."
"W-What do you mean?"
"I just sent an emergency message to the High Command. Once we tell them everything that happened, we should have enough reason to call for reinforcements. I just wish they're enough that can help."
Those words put a massive burden on the Admiral. The Mandarin was one thing, but with a new faction who teamed up with an already notorious band of criminals and injured all three Aces in some fashion, the crisis has become even more severe. She only hoped that they could stop it from getting worse.
The sun was set in the afternoon back in the main facility of the Camelot Research Center. For the entire morning, Cecile took care of the wounded woman that Suzaku brought with him from last night's mission. The Lancelot pilot himself entered the medical bay after conducting a mechanical checkup with Lloyd, who was busy with the data he retrieved from the destroyed research facility. Although Suzaku didn't get a look at the data, Suzaku saw the Earl's face over his research and recalled the unusual abilities of the woman. Saying that the head scientist was baffled over the information he obtained was putting it mildly.
Meanwhile, Suzaku was faced with another crazy event happening. Amitie recovered on a bed with bandages on her legs, arms, and forehead. When Suzaku peeked behind the curtain, he nearly choked in amusement over the sight. Beside, Amitie was a rolling tray with five rows of empty dishes that stacked six plates or bowls high. Cecilie was wiping the sweat off her head with a napkin from the handing the last tray. Her legs were nearly cramped over having to roll in so many dishes and towering stacks of pizza boxes from the entrance.
"So... how is she doing?" Suzaku looked away to face Cecilie and Jeremiah.
Jeremiah stood guard within the room the entire time, looking upon their new guest with suspicion. Granted, like Cecile and Suzaku, he was also unnerved by how much this woman ate in a few hours. It brought out many questions, such as how she could eat so much and why she was in a covert research facility in the first place. The discovery of Zilkhstani soldiers intruding Britannian soil still occupied his mind, but this was a higher priority for him. If he could personally get more information, this would be the best opportunity.
"This woman has quite the appetite," the Margrave commented on the side. "I don't understand how someone like her could ever exist."
"It's amazing how much she has eaten by now," Cecile put her handkerchief down. "This large meal will cut deeply into our budget."
"Maybe she's not exactly from this world," Suzaku proposed as he went over to Amitie. "Is it common for you to eat this much, Miss Florian?"
The woman nodded as she had her mouth full of another chunk of meat. She already finished half of her plate, though there was an indication that she was slowing down. She had difficulty swallowing her food and gripped tightly at her stomach. She reached out for a glass of water, which was next of a dozen two-liter bottles and a tower of ten tall glasses. Suzaku handed the glass over as she gulped down completely. Once the pain went away, Amitie took a few deep breaths before talking.
"More than enough, Mr. Kururugi. I haven't had this amount in such a long time."
"In such a long time, huh?" Suzaku had a feeling there was more to this girl than met the eye.
"When those researchers kept me locked up, they didn't give me enough nutrition," Amitie answered as she swallowed another vegetable, slowing on her food considerably. "They had to keep me locked up in cryostasis to let me live."
"Excuse me, Suzaku," Cecile interrupted. "But do you know this girl?"
"Her name is Amitie Florian, madam, sir," Suzaku introduced her to Cecile, then to Jeremiah. "She was the woman I discovered when investigating the research facility. I wouldn't be alive if not for her."
Suzaku didn't want to give too much information all at once. But with Lloyd reviewing the data, it wouldn't be long before they ended up learning everything, which could be much more than he initially saw. Then again, there were also those strange people who attacked him, coupled with those androids and Zilkhstani soldiers that accompanied them.
"I see," Cecile acknowledged as she faced the woman. "So, you must be the one who Clovis came to retrieve."
That sparked a sudden reaction from Amitie. Jeremiah immediately picked up his gun as she raised fist, almost ready to get out of bed. Suzaku had to stand in the way to stop her from doing anything rash. As soon as the guest calmed down in the Honorary Britannian's face, Cecile covered her mouth, realizing the mistake she made.
"Don't worry, none of us are here to hurt you," Suzaku comforted her. "Still, you did a lot back there. There's no wonder why you'd eat so much. I wouldn't be surprised if anyone had an interest in you."
"Interest? More like fascinated!" a particular bespectacled scientist barged in with his hand on his chin.
Lloyd finished looking over the data from the thumb drive, still bewildered and excited over the information he learned, which mainly focused on Amitie. He couldn't resist overhearing the conversation as he stepped in to share his findings.
"And the woman's DNA structure is unlike anything compared to a normal human. If the results say are correct, she could have the performance of ten or more military personnel combined into one."
Lloyd then pulled up a screen on his laptop, showing Amitie's equipment. On the left side was an armor system that Suzaku recognized what Amitie wore when he found her. The right displayed several different weapons that she used, including a sword and several small arms.
"This Formula Suit and Variant Unit is just as amazing! The ability to transform into any weapon and call out the uniform whenever it's needed, not to mention this so-called magic. Whoever invented these must be from entirely different astronomically far away from this world, not to mention the technology of that female combat machine we acquired."
"Female combat machines," the words made Amitie jump, only to limp from her bandaged arm.
"Lloyd, be more considerate!" Cecile's sharp tongue made the head scientist go into a panic. She didn't have to look at Amitie to know that she'd snap over someone commenting on the research done on her. The other leading scientist of Camelot when back to their disturbed guest. "I know it's not easy, but everything has been hectic the moment we got returned to the Settlement with General Darlton."
"With who?" Amitie had no idea what Cecile said.
"His Majesty Clovis has gone missing," Jeremiah clarified. "We were supposed to retrieve you and any other data we could find at the research facility near Satsuma. But a massive unknown force of unknown machines attacked both the convoy and the facility, weapons we've never seen in world history."
"Furthermore, we received images showing that the Kingdom of Zilkhstan backed them. For the past few months, we have grown wary of their achievements, unleashing technologies rivaling ours and wiping out Britannian armies before we could react."
"Margrave," Suzaku stepped in. He wasn't the type to go against superior officers, and even if Lloyd had his back, that wouldn't be enough to overrule Jeremiah's authority as Margrave. Nonetheless, an interrogation from Britannians didn't sound like the right way to investigate the matter. "Mr. Lloyd, Miss Cecile, let me talk to her in person."
"I would also like to speak to you, Kururugi," the young woman turned to Honorary Britannian. "After all, you don't sound like you're one of them."
"Because I'm not a Britannian?" Suzaku guessed considering her treatment as a test subject, which also drew the eyes of his superiors.
"I..." Amitie remained silent. She wanted to say something similar with everything she had been through, but Suzaku beat her to it. Although they didn't hurt her, she felt very disturbed about the Britannian forces. Even Cecile's presence was making him uncomfortable despite not being as cold-hearted as Jeremiah or careless of others' feelings like Lloyd. Perhaps it had to do with how Suzaku saved her from the collapsing research facility and how she protected him from becoming a hostage.
"If you let me..."
Suzaku asked his superiors again.
"Be my guest," Lloyd was indifferent in the matter. "After all, I'd love to hear where her power and technology originates."
Cecile gave him the cold glare at Lloyd to shut him up, sending him into another panic. Likewise, Amitie tended to agree. Jeremiah sighed in defeat before warning.
"We'll be overhearing you behind the curtain," the Margrave warned as he exited to the next bed within the infirmary. He additionally took the Earl in his way with that they found a seat. Cecile then followed as they were out both Suzaku and Amitie's sight.
Virtually, the two non-Britannian personnel were alone by Amitie's bed. Although the three would overhear them, it would be enough to get the woman to talk.
"Sorry about the trouble," Suzaku apologized. "I hope that compensates for what you've been through."
"I don't know about that," Amitie doubted. "You just looked a lot nicer than the other people on this planet."
"You must have been through a lot. I assume the Britannians did not treat you well, even as a test subject."
"How did you-"
"I know those eyes when I see them," Suzaku affirmed the surprised Amitie. "I'm an Honorary Britannian, after all. Even though we agreed to join the system, there will always be abuse and discrimination among us."
"I-I don't know that," Amitie felt a strong sense of sympathy. "It must be tough for you to go through all of this."
"Don't worry; I've gotten more than used to it," Suzaku laughed it off. "But what were you doing in that facility...No, how did you end up a test subject back there?"
"I..." Amitie remained oblivious in what to say. Despite the Britannians only behind the curtain and only Suzaku being with him, it was hard for the words to come out of her mouth. Suzaku guessed that it was due to the traumatic experiences she suffered under the researchers.
"There's no need for you to rush, but if you'd like, you could start at the very beginning of what happened."
"I can," Amitie agreed, more comfortable starting at that point. "But would you believe me if I told you?"
"That fine, in fact," Suzaku paused as he recalled the bizarre things that happened and his meeting with Jeremiah. "I don't know what to believe in myself anymore. There has been a lot of weird things going on in the past month, and I'm hesitant to think that my friends may be involved."
"Could any of those friends be Nanoha Takamachi, Fate Testarossa, and Hayate Yagami?"
The three names made Suzaku's eyes widen. Amitie could also sense Lloyd stopping in curiosity, Cecilie gasping, and Jeremiah shifting his eyes on the other side of the curtain. Although Hayate Yagami was mentioned by those Zilkhstani soldiers and their allies back at the facility, she spoke like she was more than familiar with all three of them. When Suzaku reacted to those names, she was more than sure that he knew something about them, a fair exchange for the information she would provide.
"So, you do know those people?"
"I do," Suzaku didn't bother to hide it. "I'm childhood friends with all three of them."
"That should make things easier to explain then," Amitie assured. "It would be helpful for me to explain someone who knows them well."
"Are you looking for those them? If you do, I don't think it may be a good idea to see them directly."
"No, I'm looking for my sister."
"Your sister?" That was something that Suzaku didn't expect. But there were those strange occurrences, not to mention that attack where Clovis disappeared. Could it have something to do with it?
"My younger sister, Kyrie, is trying to find those three. They have something that she wants, and she has become very desperate. I want to stop her before she ends up killing people who get what she wants. Or before some other terrible thing happens."
"Why would she want to do that? What does she want?"
The older Florian sibling took a step back. As a friend of her sister's targets, she should have expected him to have some idea about what they were up to, but it appears he was in the dark about everything.
"Then perhaps, I must explain from the start," Amitie admitted. "First, do you know the planet, Eltria?"
"Eltria?" Suzaku shook his head. "Sorry, I've never heard of such a world. But you say that it exists, then I'd believe it."
"Very well, allow me to give you the whole history from the start."
After she took a deep breath, Amitie prepared to explain the whole situation over to the Honorary Britannian, with his superiors overhearing everything. No one bothered to say it, but it was going to be a lot more complicated than they expected.
"This feels unusual for me," Lelouch commented as he stood behind Peter and Quattro.
The pair were inside a control room while in a smaller, but a sterilized room was a capsule-shaped pod with several cylinders filled with nutrients, and more being fed into the pod. Currently, Lelouch's body was presently inside the capsule, undergoing his body rebuilding itself using bio-enhancement nanomachines.
The Lelouch standing behind them was a temporary projection of Lelouch's mind akin to a Familiar allowing him to be active while his body slumbered.
"It will make it easier for you to create your alibi," Quattro pointed out. "People might ask questions if you are absent for more than a few days."
"True," Lelouch acknowledged with a nod while folding his arms.
"When you finish, your body will be stronger and more durable," Peter said as he inputted the final adjustments to the computer in front of him. "You now have a reinforced bone structure, your muscles will be able to work harder without tearing, and you'll gain more benefits. Such as greatly accelerated healing, immensely-boosted immune system, and new and improved organs like your cardiovascular and respiratory systems will be greatly upgraded."
"To sum it up, your body will not be in danger of straining under your magic, and," Quattro paused, grinning. "I think we can expect better performance from your workouts."
Lelouch could only sigh, but he reasoned that whatever negatives they had, the benefits would outweigh them with these upgrades.
As the moon was looming in the sky above, Amitie had finished telling her story to Suzaku.
The Honorary Britannian handed a bottle of water over to her. Speaking of which, he felt like he needed a bottle of water himself. It was a lot to take in, but given all that he had seen recently, Suzaku had no reason to doubt her.
"So, your sister is after something called the Eternal Crystal?"
"Yes," Amitie answered. "Although she left behind information on Hayate and the Book of Darkness."
"Who is part of this group called the Time-Space Administration Bureau," Suzaku felt like that was a mouthful to say. "Along with Nanoha and Fate."
Amitie's nods confirmed Suzaku's words. Never before did he think about
"I read about this world having a history with Book of Darkness when Captain Yagami become its new master. It caused a significant incident that forced the Bureau to respond, which resulted in its inevitable destruction. Even so, part of it remained, and the following war started in the region."
"Area 11, Japan," Suzaku lamented. He wanted to know if this incident had more of a role in the resulting war but put that aside. "But I don't understand how you know this much."
"After I regained consciousness, I studied the data on the runes board she used. Call it an advanced computer if you wish. Kyrie and her companion, Iris, studied Hayate and her friends for months, forming a plan to obtain the Book of Darkness."
"And she figured that they'd come here at some point to obtain it."
"I don't know about that," Amitie shook her head. "Nonetheless, according to my sister, the book was the key to finding the Eternal Crystal. Unfortunately, Kyrie left nothing about the crystal itself."
"I see, odd she would erase that information and not the rest of it."
"I know, but I think part of it was that my sister feared she would miss her chance to escape before I could recover," Amitie said. She had told Suzaku how Kyrie, during a confrontation between the sisters, stunned her sister and tied her up before fleeing. "She was probably rushing to leave after she knocked me out and restrained me."
"And now, she is searching for the crystal, which is here in Area 11, it seems."
"That seems to be the case, I think."
As their conversation continued and turned into something casual, the other members continued to overhear them. Lloyd found it a little too much about the fact that magic and alien technology exists.
"Who would have thought that our world was in so much danger," the scientist recalled.
"I never thought such a thing was real," Cecil admitted that the story sounded like something from a fantasy or science fiction novel. "But it sounds like she's speaking the truth."
"Indeed, it sounds like something from a fiction story," Jeremiah was already less than pleased to learn a book that nearly destroyed their planet once was on Earth. But it was not from the threat it posed to Earth, but what the incident that would later lead to Britannia declaring war on Japan.
Nonetheless, it could explain why General Darlton does not remember the executive order we signed, the Margrave thought to himself. He overheard the transmissions about the General and the Glaston Knight engaging the same kind of enemies they faced at the facility, which resulted in Clovis's abduction. But with the existence of the aliens, especially the Time-Space Administration Bureau, it made perfect sense.
Moreover, there was the Eternal Crystal the girl mentioned, which is why they came to Earth in the first place.
"I wonder if we should report this to His Majesty," Cecil inquired Lloyd, preferring to their key backer, Prince Schneizel.
"What other option do we have?" Lloyd threw his hand in the air. "It's not like we haven't been reporting any other strange phenomenon in the past month."
"I guess you're right," Cecil lamented as she followed the leading scientist. Jeremiah took one last look at the Honorary Britannian, having more suspicions about him. There was no helping it now that Suzaku's three friends were involved in the past month's strange events for sure.
Amitie decided to get more personal with Suzaku after making sure the trio nearby was not listening.
"Kururugi, why did you join the military?" Amitie got the Lancelot pilot's attention, feeling it was fair she got to ask him something more casual. "You're not someone who likes to kill. But you're in a position where you're supposed to kill people, even those from your own country. Why would you take part in doing something you don't like?"
Suzaku fell silent. It wasn't that he had no answer; instead, it's something that he answered a long time ago.
"You know, Lloyd once asked me the same thing," he recalled when he has the same question asked during the Narita operation. "He told me how I hated seeing people die, even though I'm in the military, and wondered why was that."
"And what was your answer?"
"I'm in the military to stop people from dying," Suzaku repeated. "I know it's contradictory, but what I hate most of all is seeing people kill one another. Nothing good comes out from that sort of thing."
"Even if you see them killing people every day?"
"I have faith in the system," the Honorary Britannian assured, looking at a screen featuring Princess Euphemia making a speech. "I prefer that over individualist emotions. That's why I don't get why people still keep fighting when they know that it's pointless."
"Individualist emotions," Amitie pandered. She recalled the moment Kyrie took off from their homeworld, going as far as tying to her up to prevent her from pursuing. "That sounds a lot like my young sister."
"Was like that, too?"
"No, but for the past few years, she was desperate to save our homeworld. It was so much that she easily listened to that A.I. program no matter what it taught her. I tried to calm her down, but she wouldn't let me. I am worried that she might try to do something rash, that might get people hurt to obtain she wants. Or worse."
"I have faith in you, Amitie," Suzaku placed his hand over her shoulder, which made her twitch. "Whatever success gained with the wrong means isn't worth anything. If she did not, she would have paid the price a long time ago."
Amitie didn't know what to say. She had no idea where Kyrie was now, and she hoped that she has not already gone far in her illusionary means to save her planet. But if she did, somewhere, she would know whether it be injury, capture, or death.
"I assure you," the pilot comforted her. "We'll see your younger sister soon. Hopefully, by then, we can stop her before she passes the point of no return."
"Yes, I guess you're right," Amitie prayed. However, she gravely worried if she was already too late.
A/N: Well that concludes another chapter and I would've posted this chapter much sooner if not for the unexpected success of my new Code Geass and Monster Girl Encyclopedia crossover The Knight of Death and Rebirth, which led to me pumping out a lot of chapters.
Anyway to clarify these enhancements Lelouch isn't getting won't make him superhuman, but more in a sense his body will be stronger and healthier in the sense his body will not break down under the strain of his own power as what happened to Nanoha to the point she was almost crippled for life. But his body will functionally be better and stronger that it would be also efficient in how his internal organs work as well.
Next chapter will explore more how Suzuka and her side is reacting with some time with the Hückebein Family, Kyrie and Iris coming up.
The TSAB and the Black Knights are licking their wounds, but the BK came out of it better than the TSAB did.
Now let's see what shall happen in the next chapter.
Thank you to everyone in advance for your reviews and feedback.