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Ashford Academy, 10:00 a.m. Milly's voice rang out from the intercoms, signaling the beginning of another Ashford festival.

Milly: The wait's over, people! It's time to kick off the welcome back party of Alistair Wake, the Tokyo Mavericks and the Black Knights! Go and party your faces off!

Meanwhile, Rolo and Lelouch were in a kitchen shack, peeling potatoes.

Rolo: Milly's certainly...intriguing, when it comes to festivals.
Lelouch: It was like this, a couple months ago. But, there's new stuff, too. I'm certainly ready for round 2, of the giant pizza. Take some stress off.
Rolo: Right... (quietly) Deal with stress. (holds knife in reverse grip) Like I can even-
Lelouch: Hold the phone!
Rolo: (out loud) What? What is it?
Lelouch: Dammit, Rolo. You can't use a reverse grip, in this situation. You're not trying to stab somebody, you're cutting these. Hold it in a normal grip.
Rolo: Sorry. Nervous habit.

Lelouch looked slightly at the exit door, and saw Suzaku, standing outside. Suzaku growled and walked off.

Lelouch: Definitely not him. We need a way to isolate this prick, somehow, and find out where the real Suzaku is.
Rolo: Yeah. Lelouch, I should let you know... My Geass is...a bit flawed.
Lelouch: How so?
Rolo: Normally, overuse of a specific Geass power results in a certain aspect of stress, depending on the usage. Unless you're a cyborg.
Lelouch: Figures.
Rolo: Mine, on the other pretty much connected to my life. Every time I use it, I take a risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Lelouch: So, when you're trying to speed yourself up, or stop somebody, you stop your heart?
Rolo: Exactly. V.V. put a pretty tight leash on me, wouldn't you say?
Lelouch: I'm thinking that he has a bargaining chip, for that. He might have something that can get rid of that drawback. I'll gamble on it.
Rolo: You'd...really do that?
Lelouch: Damn right. I don't intend to lose anyone else. Never again.

Meanwhile, Gino and Anya were at a food stand, watching how the food was cooked.

Gino: Oh, that's cool! Anya! Did you see that?
Anya: Already recorded.
Gino: Man, I wish you didn't have any memory issues. Hey, if there's a way to fix that, let me know and I'll help out.
Anya: Sure.
Gino: Man, it must be cool to be...well, normal. The rich stuff is just...boring.

Gino suddenly bumped into someone wearing a Desert Ranger uniform.

Gino: Oh! Sorry!
Alistair: No, it's my bad, man. (thinking) Son of a hamster.
Gino: Hey, that's pretty cool! That one of those American military uniforms?
Alistair: (out loud) Yeah.
Gino: Nice. Wow, a gas mask helmet. Definitely a first, for me. Can that see in the dark?
Alistair: Pretty much.
Gino: Is that even...incredibly heavy?
Alistair: It's not made of metal, buddy. It hinders nothing. Well, neither does lightweight stuff, but...
Gino: Hey, I get you, I get you. Looks great. Coat to flow with the wind, protective armor... Before I forget, I'm Gino! The girl with the phone is Anya.
Alistair: You new to Japan?
Gino: Yeah, I've been holed up in the richer parts of Britannia. Not fun.
Alistair: I can imagine. The constant aristocratic stock laughter, making fun of the poor, basic loser-type stuff.
Gino: Finally, someone gets me! I never asked to be rich, I wanna be me!
Alistair: That's only natural, Gino. You're pretty cool...for a tall bastard. Seriously, what is it with height, these days?
Gino: Don't know. It's really weird, though.
Alistair: I mean, look at Anya. She's so short, I just wanna give her a big hug.
Gino: Aren't you a brave one?
Anya: Take your helmet off.
Alistair: Uh...
Anya: I want to see your face. Take it off.
Alistair: (takes a deep breath) Alright. (takes helmet off)
Anya: More good-looking than I expected. (takes picture) Done.
Gino: Hey, yeah. You look great!
Alistair: Thanks. Hey, uh... I gotta stuff. Catch you later?
Gino: Sure, man! Be seeing you!
Alistair: Sure thing! (chuckles, walks away, pulls out walkie-talkie) Ranger to Glaston, Ranger to Glaston, get me the vice pres. Now.
Gino: Fun guy. Oh, dammit! I didn't ask his name!
Anya: We'll probably see him, again. Still can't believe he'd want to hug me. (pauses) Why did I remember that remark?

Meanwhile, Lelouch was on the phone with one of the Black Knights, on the roof of the main building.

Lelouch: Good. You guys head for Kyushu, and find Diethard. (pauses) Seems fine, for now. Rakshata can come by, later, and- Is C.C. at the embassy? (pauses) Shit! (hangs up and runs towards door)

Rivalz was handing out fliers for the giant pizza event, when C.C. approached him.

C.C.: You're gonna make another one, huh?
Rivalz: Oh, hey! It's you, again! (hands flier to C.C.) Glad to see you! (runs off) Round 2, for the world's biggest pizza!
Lelouch: (approaches C.C., panting) What the...hell...are you doing?
C.C.: I forgot something, before I left, here.
Lelouch: That...plush mascot thing? Dammit, I'm sorry-
C.C.: Not your fault. I'm the one who forgot.
Lelouch: Come on. Let's go get it. (walks with C.C.) How'd you get here?
C.C.: Took a taxi. So, how's the Knight of Stone?
Lelouch: Rolo and I have concocted a plot. Also, Knight of "Stone"?
C.C.: As it stands, he has the emotions of a rock, unless it involves Alistair.
Lelouch: Fair enough.

Meanwhile, at the Ashford swimming pool, Villetta and several other students were waiting behind a stage background.

Villetta: (sighs) I don't know if I can do this.
Female Student A: You're the lucky one, here. If the swimsuit café idea came to pass, Alistair would go on a fighting spree.
Female Student B: Also, the swimsuit you were going to wear? Skimpy as skimpy can get. It can't even be legal.
Villetta: It's really not.
Female Student C: Can't believe this is what Americans wore, in the desert. In a sense, it's...kinda snazzy.
Female Student A: It's certainly a nice homage to those times. At least Ms. Villetta's wearing something that makes her look awesome.
Female Student B: Brings out her charm, too, doesn't it?
Villetta: Now or never.

Villetta and the students walked onto the stage, the girls wearing Ranger uniforms worn in desert environments and Villetta wearing a Desert Ranger uniform. The customers began cheering as confetti fell from the ceiling.

Male Student A: I knew the girls would look cute, in those! Pay up!
Male Student B: Ah, dammit.
Villetta: Huh. What do you know? They like it.

Meanwhile, Suzaku walked to an area of Ashford that had no students and dialed a number into his phone.

Suzaku: It's me. The target's acting extremely normal. (pauses) You know full well that I intend to kill whatever gets in my way. You're the one that- (pauses) Fine. If your strategy contradicts mine, then it will be abandoned. Farewell, Director. (closes phone)
Turn 5: Knights of the Round
Part 2: Festival of Surprises

Another festival is being held at Ashford Academy, completely unaware of the looming threat, on its doorstep.

Code Geass (c) Goro Taniguchi, Sunrise
Code Geass Character Design (c) CLAMP
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Submitted on
January 13