Title: ‘Code Geass: Penultimate Contract’
Prompt: ‘Inhale the future. Exhale the past.’ – Unknown
Word Count: 1349
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).
Summary: Ai, an ‘Eleven’ in occupied Japan, struggles to please her ungrateful master. She reunites with Rolo and sparks something anew in him before his final contract with ‘big brother’ Lelouch…
Code Geass: Penultimate Contract
“Geass. The power of the King. It manifests the very desires of the individual, costing them their freedoms. It is difficult to imagine a history without its deleterious power. People were enslaved, Wars were won, Civilisations fell - because of Geass. One who holds its power is confined to living a life of solitude, unable to let go of the past. Only a special few can overcome this impediment. Are you one of them?”
- Director V.V.
“My Lord – I apologise, are you unsatisfied?” Ai bowed to her knees, her meek body weighted down her small head. She could clearly see the minute pieces of broken china, scattered over the lush Persian rugs.
“Eleven scum! It is too hot!” snarled the Earl. He violently rose from his chair and swerved his hand
Ai’s face stung incredulously. “Your Grace…”. Ai quietly murmured apologies beneath her breath. This was the reality for conquered Japanese, now Elevens. Young teenagers like Ai, were subjected into difficult domestic services amongst Britannians.
Ai glanced to her left. A small hooded figure emerged from behind the velvet curtains. Rolo’s here. Her silk hair hid a sorrowful smile. The shadow began to lengthen in the light of the glazed windows. Rustle.
“What was that?”, the Earl violently jerked his face behind him, seeing the dark figure standing in the centre of the room.
His Grace began to yell, but he was cut. Cut by a red glow in shape of a bird. FIVE. ‘The Ward of Suspension’ cut the very power of time. No one could move. FOUR. A gun clicked. THREE. BANG. TWO. A knife swivels out. ONE. Stab. Stab. STAB. Rolo forcefully teared out his victim’s heart. Callous. Emotionless. Heartless.
“What are you doing?!” Ai shrieked to the top of her lungs. She attempted to grasp for air, nauseously stepping back.
“But – but – this is too far! Why are you dismembering him?” she cried. Rolo swivelled his knife back into his pocket, noticing that the time limit was finished. His face was splattered with blood, his hands drenched in its metallic smell. Ai placed her hand on her mouth; she thought to herself ‘Dear Rolo – you’ve become more violent’.
“When you contacted me, for the first time in 12 years, to fulfil a contract – I did not expect this’, Ai sobered up, wiping her tears away. Rolo perched his head on his shoulder, lowering his eyelids.
“My contract was – to kill the Earl of York as much as possible”
‘Never refuse a contract’ – that was the maxim of Directorate Assassins, Ai recalled.
Rolo placed his hood back over his head, ready to disappear. Ai began sweating, her clothes became tight again. ‘He’s just going to leave? Just like that?’.
“Rolo, I…contract you to -”. Ai paused for a second. ‘Yes, it’s the only way’ she mulled. “…take me to…Tokyo”.
He had always sat in this chamber for official contracts. Rolo’s eyes were fixated onto the monitor before him. The cold cables of the heart monitor beat in the silence of the room. Director V.V. finished his commentary, Rolo exhaled.
“Very well. You’re next contract will be-“, Director V.V. relayed a picture of a Britannian teenager onto the monitor.
“An undercover operation? I’ll be playing someone’s little brother? Are you sure this is the right assignment for me? I’ve never known any parents or family so…” Rolo lowered his eyelids - just for a second, to remember...
“What are you looking for?” Ai asked, noticing Rolo’s curiosity. The pair was walking through Omotesandō Mall. Rolo eyed the shops they passed, observing each turn and corner.
“I don’t know where we are. I have not been to this part of Japan”.
“Area 11 now”, Ai sadly corrected him. Rolo gestured Ai to sit down on an oak bench.
The Tokyo Settlement Park, with its blooming cherry blossoms, painted a peaceful scene for Ai. She smiled, a feeling long elapsed. Rolo opened his phone. No messages.
“Well, what now?” Ai asked comfortingly. Rolo remained silent, twiddling his thumbs.
“Rolo –”, Ai placed her hand on Rolo’s uneasy hands.
“Why do you kill people?”. Rolo’s thumbs stopped twiddling. His confused expression melted into a stoic one. ‘Why did you leave?’ Rolo thought. He remained ever silent.
“I really do miss those days – before …”, Ai mused. An eerie silence was drawn between them.
“Dear Rolo, I –“
A flurry of dust temporarily clouded the park, blinding Rolo and Ai. People were panicking, screaming in all directions. When the dust cleared, three giant red robots stood firm in the park. Ai’s face darkened, ‘Knightmares’. Underneath the Knightmares, fellow Elevens were squashed flat, their bones shattered, blood colouring the yellow paths in red.
“We must save those people there!” Ai impassionedly declared. She furrowed her brows, her teenage face now appearing a decade older.
“We have no business here,” Rolo interjected.
“No”. Ai barked. “I have business here.” She pointed toward Elevens nearby the Knightmares, unable to move.
“Do you see that? Do you see that? While you were coldly killing others, God knows how many, I could only stand by and watch this shackled up. Now, it’s about time to do something”.
Rolo brooded quietly to himself. ‘I guess it’s true. I can’t even recall the number of people I’ve slain…’. Ai relaxed a little, seeing Rolo’s deep soul searching.
“Dear Rolo, you need to find someone else – to find your humanity” Ai sombrely spoke. She hastily ran off in the direction of a Knightmare, bearing down on a nearby Eleven girl.
Rolo ran after her, violently pushing past the stampede of bystanders. He began breathing heavily, his sweat rushing down his forehead. His violet eyes became tightened. ‘No – not again’.
Ai jumped in front of the Knightmare, grabbing the shivering Eleven close to her.
“Filthy Elevens! This is area is cordoned off by the Britannian Military!”. The Knightmare pilot yelled out through the speakers. Ai glared on the Knightmare’s pike, a young Eleven impaled on it as a trophy. Ai’s knees shook violently, she became nauseas again, her heart raced faster than a horse.
The Knightmare’s arms, drenched in blood, fired a white puff of gases. Ai struggled to keep her eyes open before they furiously bled.
“*cough* run…*cough” Ai struggled to finish before letting out a blood-curdling scream -
Rolo finally passed through the last of the crowd, hearing the deafening scream. Once the gas cleared, the Knightmare fired its spear. Rolo ran, activating his Geass, but,
FIVE. Ai’s legs were ripped apart. FOUR. Her left arm - shattered. THREE. Rolo grabbed Ai. TWO. ONE…
“Rolo?” Ai whispered quietly.
Ai’s white skin radiantly glowed in the night light. Bandages tightly wound her eyes, her vision gone. What was left of her legs was neatly separated in different metal pulleys. Rolo looked on, standing to attention near her bed. There was silence. Again. ‘She’s my age but…she looks unrecognisable now’ Rolo mused.
“Come closer” Ai softly whispered. Rolo moved close to Ai in her bed, sitting down next to her. He could clearly see her ravaged body, but remained ever silent.
“How did you know I’m here?” he quietly pondered. Ai lulled her head slightly.
“Your breathing silly…You breathe oddly when…” she too struggled to breathe.
The bandages on Ai’s face became wet. Rolo sighed, fighting back tears, clenching his fists. ‘This was not my fault’ he assured himself. He placed his hand into his pocket, making sure his gun was ever loaded.
Letting a tear pass, he opened his right eye.
“Huh?” Rolo gasped, feeling a warm sensation. It was a hand on his knee.
“No – not like this, dear Rolo Haliburton”
“Hesitating?” V.V interjected.
“No, if that’s the order I’m given – my big brother will be Lelouch Lamperouge”.
Director V.V. cut the signal, leaving behind a loading of electronic files. It was only last week when Rolo left Ai, he was almost wrought with regret. Almost. Rolo finished reminiscing, exhaling deeply. ‘Yes, I bury the past’. Inhaling, he thought to himself
‘I am now Rolo Lamperouge’.
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