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Babel Tower, 12:24 p.m. The Black Knights continued repelling the Britannian forces while Lelouch picked up the dead O.S.I. commander's journal.

C.C.: Do you remember what happened at Kamine?
Lelouch: A big blank, there. All I know is that Suzaku took me...to my asshole of a former dad.

2017 a.t.b., Britannian royal palace. Suzaku forced Lelouch to the floor, putting his foot on the back of his head.

Charles zi Britannia: Well, now... The former 17th heir to the Britannian imperial throne, Lelouch vi Britannia. It's been a long time, hasn't it?
Lelouch: Very long. Not that I missed you. How about we make up, with me tearing you limb from limb?
Charles: Charming. But, there is nothing you can do. (looks at Suzaku) Who are you, exactly? I clearly see that you are not Britannian.
Suzaku Kururugi: We meet, at last, Charles zi Britannia. You should know me, all to well.
Charles: What is that supposed to-? (pauses) You...? I see. (stands up) Yes, I know about you. We'll talk, later, my new Knight of the Round.
Suzaku: The mission requires completion. (drags Lelouch to his knees, cover's Lelouch's left eye)
Lelouch: Hey!
Charles: Lelouch... (approaches Lelouch) At a young age, you grew defiant of me, of Britannia and its design. Years later, you raise the banner of rebellion, with the foolish notion of fighting the world. Your audacity knows no bounds. Now, for your punishment...
Lelouch: I get to shove your hideous hairdo down your throat? Huh?!
Charles: (Geass activates, symbols enveloping both eyes) Your memories will be forfeit. You will no longer be Zero, you will no longer care about your mother or Nunnally. Because you will forget.
Lelouch: Geass?! How?!
Charles: You shall be insignificant, once more.
Lelouch: I'll kill you! I'll kill you for taking his family from him! You'll pay for all those deaths!
Charles: I cannot care for your ramblings. You false life awaits you.
Lelouch: I'll get my memories back, you bastard! And, when I do, I'll kill you with my own two hands-!

Lelouch fell limp as his memories were sealed away.

2018 a.t.b., Babel Tower. Lelouch threw the journal into what remained of the fire that died down.

Lelouch: There's another source, isn't there?
C.C.: Too true. We'll talk about it, later.
Lelouch: Good. 'Cause, this takes priority. Nunnally's still missing, and we don't know who kidnapped her. What happened to the Black Knights?
C.C.: Same as Nunnally. Kidnapped, and taken to some unknown prison. The Mavericks disappeared soon after, without a trace.
Lelouch: Wait, what about Sayoko?
C.C.: She's fine, too. She left with Diethard and Rakshata. Don't know where, though.
Lelouch: Mystery after mystery.
C.C.: Speaking of mysteries, Kallen said some boy was trying to help us out.
Lelouch: That's Rolo. He's...essentially part of my family, now. I welcomed him in, as a brother.
C.C.: Are you serious?
Lelouch: Yeah. I don't exactly know his intentions, but they seem good.

Meanwhile, Rolo walked down a corridor and came across Britannian soldiers.

Rolo: So, we meet face-to-face. Can't say I won't enjoy driving your egos to Hell. (pulls out knife) You'll get out of my way, if you know what's good for you. Oh, wait... You don't have a sense of morality.

Back at the ruined parking lot, C.C. helped Lelouch hack into the O.S.I. commander's Sutherland.

C.C.: There. Good to go.
Lelouch: Thanks. By the way, you fit being my Burai's pilot well.
C.C.: (smiles) You just can't stop complimenting me, can you?
Lelouch: Does it make you feel better?
C.C.: You're a good friend, Lelouch.

Meanwhile, at the Chinese embassy, Calares received news about the battle going on at Babel Tower.

Calares: A counterattack... Dammit. I'm going in.
Britannian Commander: Sir, you shouldn't! We can-!
Calares: We need the full might of our forces. Besides... I can't stand the spices in Chinese food. It's been a while...since I was on a manhunt.

Back at Babel Tower, a Sutherland was chasing down civilians, trying to kill them, when the Guren burst through a wall, and grabbed the Sutherland's head, with its new arm, with prongs instead of fingers.

Kallen: Gonna pop you like a zit!

The Guren's radiant wave surger activated and destroyed the Sutherland.

Lelouch put his earpiece on, and set the frequency to the Black Knight channels, and began giving orders.

Lelouch: Excellent work, Kallen. Your next stop's floor 21. P4, block the stairway next to you. R5, take out those guys chasing you. Urabe, there are guys above you. Bring 'em down.
Urabe: (over radio) Zero... You're still okay with us calling you that, right?
Lelouch: Of course.
Urabe: So...you're a high school student?
Lelouch: Makes it more embarrassing for Britannia, doesn't it?
Urabe: Yeah. It does. Is Calares here, yet?
Lelouch: Doesn't look like it.
Urabe: Update me when he does. If something comes up, I'll contact you.
Lelouch: Got it.
Kallen: Glad to have you back. I never got the chance to say that.

Lelouch looked towards the door and saw Kallen, holding a pistol.

Lelouch: Uh... This isn't floor 21, Kallen.
Kallen: I just finished there. I've been meaning to ask you something.

Meanwhile, at an unknown area, Charles and Suzaku walked through the light mist that surrounded the area.

Charles: To think that someone would take the bait, at Area 11... How fortuitous.
Suzaku: C.C., you believe?
Charles: Perhaps, perhaps not. You've done well...Suzaku. Your feats with the Knights of the Round are impressive. I am pleased. Because of your accomplishments and your knowledge, you are the first among the Knights of the Round to enter here.

Charles and Suzaku stopped in front of a set of columns, leading to what seemed to be a dead end.

Suzaku: This...
Charles: The Sword of Akasha. This will be my weapon to destroy God.
Suzaku: How enlightening. Even God will have to bow.
Charles: Take all the time you want, here. I have other business to attend to. (walks away)
Suzaku: ...I know you can hear me. You've been watching, this whole time. My revenge is complete. Your dreams will become reality. (smirks evilly) And all will crumble. (chuckles)

Back at Babel Tower, Kallen holstered her pistol, looking at Lelouch.

Lelouch: Let me guess, you're pissed, because I'm Zero.
Kallen: Not really. Surprised, but not pissed.
Lelouch: So, what is it that you want to know?
Kallen: C.C. told me about that Celtic magic you mentioned, at Kamine. Geass. Did you use it on me?
Lelouch: ...Yes.
Kallen: What did you do?
Lelouch: I asked if you were the ace at Shinjuku, why you wanted to defy Britannia and what your motivations were. You told me that Britannia took your home from you, took your brother's life. And, well...let's just say that cemented my respect for you.
Kallen: (pauses) That's it?
Lelouch: What more do you want? It's the truth.
Kallen: I... I don't know what I was expecting, okay? I didn't expect you to use them for...such innocent reasons.
Lelouch: Be glad I did. Otherwise, I would've wound up an amoral dick.
Kallen: Yeah. Alright, fair point.
Lelouch: I'm sorry you got dragged into my mess.
Kallen: I'm glad to help you, Lelouch. That's what friends are for.
Stranger: The truest of words have been spoken.

Lelouch looked behind him and saw the gas masked stranger, twirling his revolver while leaning on the wall.

Stranger: Goes to show you how people truly are, in this world. Idealism rules.
Lelouch: Who are you? Why are you helping us?
Stranger: (chuckles, holsters revolver) Isn't it obvious? You should know, by now.

The stranger took off his gas mask helmet, revealing his face to Lelouch. Lelouch's eyes began to tear up at the sight of the stranger's face.

Lelouch: You...
Alistair Wake: (smiles) Did you miss me?
Turn 2: Return of Hope
Part 1: Hope Bringer's Resolve

Lelouch's memory has returned and Calares intends to send the full might of his forces. The Black Knight's comeback is underway.

Code Geass (c) Goro Taniguchi, Sunrise
Code Geass Character Design (c) CLAMP
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November 19, 2016
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