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Raymond Joseph Tsurugi

"What makes you think I'll follow you?"

0 · 589 views · located in Area 11

a character in “Code Geass: The New War”, as played by 10tanksonawall

Description

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Age: 17
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 150 lbs





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Personality: Raymond is fiercely loyal to those who have earned his friendship, and can be funny when he wants to, but is not one to make friends easily. Indeed, it takes time for him to trust someone, to call someone a friend, though once he has decided that a person is worthy of his trust and friendship, there is little that will keep him from helping them. To those who he considers unworthy of being his friend, he can be cold, even heartless, at least from their point of view. He ignores those whom he doesn't like if he can, and only associates with them if he has to. However, he typically won't consider someone unworthy of being trusted unless they have wronged him or a friend. It's not that he doesn't consider many to be worth it, it's just that he takes his time to welcome them into his 'inner circle'.

Likes: Freedom, having a say, justice, actions with a purpose, his friends, machines, good music, his guitar
Dislikes: Oppression, being covered up, injustice, pointless things, most Britannians, being called an Eleven

Skills/Talents: As a member of one of the numerous underground movements across Japan/Area 11, and as a former Black Knight, Raymond is skilled with guns and explosives, and has some experience with leadership. In addition, he has actual piloting experience in a Knightmare frame. He is also a skilled mechanic. In going to Ashford Academy, he excels in mathematics, applied physical sciences, and electro-mechanical engineering courses.

Flaws: Doesn't trust easily, prefers to be alone most of the time, can let emotions cloud judgement, may act on instincts without thinking first





History: Raymond Joseph Tsurugi (Ray to his friends and family) was born to a Britannian mother and a Japanese father, and for a time, his life was good. He grew up living on the island of Okinawa with a tightly-knit family: mother, father, an older sister, and a younger brother. Then, Britannia launched its devastating attack on his home. Despite having been raised by a Britannian mother, Raymond considered himself Japanese through and through. When Zero appeared, Raymond wished for nothing other than to see the Britannians kicked out of Japan. He left his old life behind, and followed Zero as a Black Knight. However, being rather young at the time, he was restricted to non-combat duties, though he still received the training with weapons and explosives as a Black Knight. His knack for machines quickly found him helping maintain the Black Knights' own Knightmares, and his expertise served him well during the Reconstruction, helping rebuild the Ghettos between the Occupations.

The Britannians' second coming found Raymond in Tokyo. When he heard about the Okinawa firebombing, he vowed that he would see Britannia pay for what the had done, for daring to claim Japan a second time. However, first he had to find a way to fight back. He enrolled into Ashford Academy, pulling on his mother's blood to get him in despite being half-Japanese. His first year in Ashford found him balancing between his school-work and leading a newly-founded resistance group. Summer vacation only saw worsening conditions in Tokyo, and hardened Raymond's resolve to destroy Britannia. Coming back to school for a second year, he wasn't sure what to expect. Then, he ran into an old classmate...


Other: Raymond leads "The Black Squires", a fairly small resistance movement based in Tokyo Settlement, that operates on the same general principles of the Black Knights during their days as a resistance movement. Despite being half-Britannian, they trust him fully.

The only things that he has left of his family are his father's dog tag, which he wears around his neck, and his mother's acoustic guitar, which he learned to play at a young age. He considers both to be his last links to his family, and to his past.


Thoughts and relationships to other characters:
  • Alexia: Friend
  • Noel: Enemy

So begins...

Raymond Joseph Tsurugi's Story

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Raymond swore as the radio went to static. Their one chance at striking a real blow against Britannia, lost along with two of his cell's members. When he'd heard about the new explosives being shipped from the production facility in northern Kyushu down here to Tokyo, he knew that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It had all worked so perfectly, too. On their last leg of the trip, two of his Black Squires had managed to slip into the cab of the truck holding the explosives and started bringing them over to the ghetto where they were hiding out.

Then, some of Britannia's Knightpolice had run into them. The two Black Squires had bolted, trying to escape, but the last thing that Raymond had heard was their frantic cries as they crashed into something, then a second crash. Turning on the TV filled in the blanks. They would have to act fast to reclaim the situation.

His finger about to send the mass text to the rest of his members, he looked at the TV, and froze. There, sliding down the hill, was a familiar swath of red hair. Then, the TV cut out, a computerized announcer reporting that any further broadcasting had been prohibited by the Viceroy, and that the entire ghetto was under lock-down. Raymond swore, and sent out the mass text to his group (minus the two in the truck), the twenty or so members responding quickly that they were on their way. Most of them lived in the ghetto, or very close to it. However, all of the members had been inside the ghetto today in case something like this happened. Raymond rose from his chair, and turned.

The Knightmare was one of two that they actually possessed, and the only one that was in working condition. The Burai was old, but all that they had left. Raymond had outfitted it to serve as their Com&Con center on missions, and it was more than capable of defending itself. But Ray had his doubts as he climbed the ladder to the cockpit. How many Britannians would they be fighting? How many civilians would be involved? Was the person running to help out his Black Squires really who he thought it was?

He reached the cockpit block, the hatch open. He climbed in, and slid the activation key into the slot. The Burai's systems powered up, and, after a quick systems check, he closed the hatch, revved up the Landspinners, activated the Factspheres, and shot off along the railway line. He checked his map, plotting the course and figuring the time he would take to get to the station closest to the truck, then the time he'd take to make his way there once he was above ground.

Three minutes, forty three seconds. He figured with a sigh. Don't die on me, Alexia.

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As soon as he was at the station, Raymond gave the signal to begin the operation. A dozen and a half windows in the buildings near the truck lit up as Black Squires fired rockets at the Britannian Knightmare frames, careful to avoid shooting the explosives for fear of just how destructive they were, and how many civilians would get caught in the blast. Liquid Sakuradite warheads detonated, destroying one Knightmare Frame outright and damaging several others. Then, just as soon as the barrage had begun, it was over, the Black Squires disappeared further into the buildings and then down to the subways below, escaping capture and relocating closer to their headquarters. A minute later, Raymond's Burai rolled into the area, its machine gun cutting through two older Sutherlands, and damaging the...

He froze, then swore. The Knightpolice are using Gareths? Raymond thought, mind reeling. No, that can't be right. He pulled his Burai back, the damage already done. Knightpolice isn't going to use something like that. It would have to be Army standard, maybe even a special unit. He fired a Slash Harken at an approaching Sutherland's machine gun as it prepared to fire, knocking the weapon away before firing his own, taking down his foe. Wait, where's Alexia? He realized. I didn't see her when I got here.

Raymond swore. He couldn't leave without making sure that she was alright. There's school tomorrow. He reminded himself. We have a couple of classes together. I can find out then. Sighing, he pulled into an alley, and got onto the radio with his group. "All Squires, return to base. I'm heading back after I check something out."

"Don't stay out too long, sir." His second-in-command, another former Black Knight by the name of Mishe Kiyuki, said over the radio.
"I hear you, Kiyuki." Raymond said. "Don't worry. I just need to-" His phone buzzed in his pocket. "One sec." He said, pulling it out, and checking the message he'd received. Then he smiled, and sighed in relief. Out OK, it read.
"Sir?" Kiyuki asked.
"It was a message from Honda and Oda. They made it out alright." He sighed. "Okay, I'm heading back."
"But the explosives!" She responded.
"We almost lost them, Kiyuki." Raymond reminded her. "They're more important than a weapon."
"Yes sir." She responded, a little disappointed. I understand.
"I'll be back to debrief the group in five to ten." He said. "Out." He shut off the radio, and revved up the Landspinners. He shot out of the alley...

And into the line of sight of the Gareth.

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Character Portrait: Noel Cecil Character Portrait: Raymond Joseph Tsurugi Character Portrait: Alexia de Britannia Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Noel saw red at the quickly descending numbers of the knightmare police. Sure he didn't like most of these people, I mean who would? All of them are racist morons, but to just start killing them with out warning, was the cowards way out in a fight. Thoughts of Alexia sliped his mind, after all the girl was smart and she'd follow him in. Getting into the cockpit the sounds of orders, along with his name being shouted, were quickly closed off. Briefly he realized that Alexia didn't follow him in. Scanning the area, Noel found he lost track of her and with a roll of his eyes, he sighed, wondering just how that girl attracted so much trouble.

Thoughts of Alexia were cut short when the Burai came into view. This guy had to have been apart of the terrorist fraction, clutching the control Noel went out for blood. his thoughts running along the lines f-ing hypocrites, it's ok to kill us because we suppress you, but we shouldn't fight back because you have family and crap and we treat you bad. Well,have families too, and you lost the damn war, deal with it and work with us to fix it. Firing a hadron cannon to both the left and right of the buri, Noel launched 2 slash harkens between the burai in an attempt to peg it down. One dead center and the other a bit higher incase he decided to jump. None of the attacks made were ment to kill, as it stands Noel had no intentions on killing the other pilot, he might information on the black... squirrels. With a shake of his head Noel muttered "They could be as bad as the black knights, and I will never take them seriously"

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Raymond paled as his nightmare situation came true. Twin Hadron blasts to either side of him, barely missing the buildings on either side of the street, distracted him from the two Slash Harkens that shot forwards. One went high, but the other caught his Knightmare's right leg as he tried to maneuver. His controls began to slow as control lines broke. His right Landspinner stopped working.

This guy's insane! He thought. He just used Hadron Cannons in a populated area like this! He paused. If I try to keep fighting, will he keep using those Hadrons? Or will he switch over to his missiles? Ray's mind was racing, trying to think up possibilities. I can't run, not in my current state. If I try, I might make him fire. I won't risk civilian lives like that. Ejecting means that I might end up collapsing one of these buildings when I hit it. I'll hurt myself and others.

He swore. "There's nothing I can do!" He yelled, slamming his fist onto the control console. "I can't run, I can't fight!"

He looked through his viewfinder, the Factsphere displaying the image of his enemy on his screen. Nothing else I can do. He decided. He pulled out his cell phone, and dialed the number. The phone on the other end rang once, then the answer.
"Sir, what's going on?" Kiyuki asked.
"Kiyuki, I don't think I'm coming back." He said. "You're in charge if I don't make it."
"Ray... Please don't do this." There was an obvious amount of sorrow in her voice, and Ray noticed that she'd called him by his first name. "Please."
"I'm sorry, Kiyuki." He said, hanging up the phone. He sighed, and looked up at the enemy Frame before him. He grabbed the loudspeaker microphone, and switched it on.
"Gareth Pilot! I'm coming out!" He said. "There's no point in continuing. Please hold your fire."
Raymond opened the hatch, and slid the key out. Sighing, he climbed out of the Burai's Cockpit Block, and into the fresh, afternoon autumn air, his short hair and brown t-shirt ruffled by the light breeze, his glasses' lenses darkening in the sun, covering he blue eyes. He touched the dog-tag that was hanging at his neck, then sighed and raised his hands in surrender.

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Noel gave a triumphic smirk, when the right leg was caught by his Slash Harkens. Only that wasn't the fun part, the moron in the buri honestly thought people were in the buildings, it was easy to see the confliction simply because he didn't move. In a fight constant movement is key, unless you have something to protect. Really elevens of all people would know to flee as soon as something happens, most of them have things to hide and such.

Only Noel's fun ended a bit to soon. As he heard "Gareth Pilot! I'm coming out!... There's no point in continuing. Please hold your fire."

Two things hit him at once as the guy stepped out. 1 that playing dirty works, even when it isn't preferable and 2 that he has absolutely no idea on how to take a prisoner via knightmare. Running a hand through his hair, Noel wondered how this was going to work. Do you take him on the knightmare, get out and walk him to police, or hell, kill him anyways? Groaning he realized that this is the one thing they don't teach you back at basic training. Doing a quick scan of the area he realized the viceroy's station was nearby. muttering to himself he said "Now why are you here?"

Deciding to kill two birds with one stone he moved his knightmare fame out of clear view incase someone learned how to hack it without a key sure it was unlikely, but, impossible, not really. Geting out of his own cockpit and dropping down, Noel waited for the guy to do so as well. Sure he could quickly attempt to turn it back on and attack him or the gareth but Noel doubted it. After all he had the 'citizens to save. Feeling very much like a girl, or at least a very flamboyant guy, compared to the other pilot, Noel attempted to seem more imtimading by standing up to his full 5'3" and brushed off nonexistent wrinkles out of his uniform. Needless to say, it didn't work. Instead he mentally scolded himself for caring and said "We're going to walk over to the viceroy's station. Their I'm going to, well to put it bluntly I'm going to interrogate you as to why you have a buri and such. I'm fairly sure you know you're underarrest."

Moving putting a hand on his gun Noel wondered if he'd really need it. Most terrorist start shouting about how we're the real savage beast and what not but if this guy show's even an ounce of reason. Well maybe Noel's orignal plans to submit him to curl and unusual punishment won't be necessary.

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Raymond took the jump in stride, his legs easily absorbing the impact, landing a few feet in front of the Britannian pilot. Raymond looked curiously at the pilot, who only came up to his chest, and had to noticeably look up at Raymond. He resisted the urge to begin the short jokes. Raymond also noticed that this particular soldier was a sergeant, and, despite the pilot's best efforts, he seemed... feminine?

"We're going to walk over to the Viceroy's station." The sergeant said, pointing to the base. "There I'm going to... well to put it bluntly, I'm going to interrogate you as to why you have a Burai and such. I'm fairly sure you know you're under arrest."

Raymond nodded. "Yeah, I know." He said, no longer bothering to hold up a Japanese accent. He was going to be investigated anyways. "Although, not sure why you'd need to interrogate me about something as obvious as why I'd have a fourth-gen Knightmare Frame." He sighed, and looked at the buildings along either side of the road as they walked.

With the sounds of battle faded from the ghetto, flickers of movement could be seen in the windows as people tried to return to their lives. At least they made it out alright. Raymond thought. Since he started the Black Squires, he'd seen this place go from a hotbed of Refrain and violent crime to something that actually resembled a real neighborhood. He knew a lot of these people by name.

Ray stopped walking, and turned to look at his captor, who had his hand on his gun. "Tell me, how many people do you think I've killed? Ten? Thirty? A hundred?"

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Noel knew, he just knew, that they guy next to him was thinking about his hight. How could he not? Every single guy Noel has ever come to contact with, made a short joke sure some were a bit witty like 'what do you call a short Chinese, Tai Nee' to generic ones like 'hows the weather down there.'. Of course girls that are the same hight or smaller don't hear this crap, noooo it's ok if your a girl. What a load of crap. With a slight sigh he thought One of these days I'm going to get a napoleon complex from this.

It wasn't until the guy spoke did Noel snap out of his annoyed thoughts. "Yeah, I know... Although, not sure why you'd need to interrogate me about something as obvious as why I'd have a fourth-gen Knightmare Frame.

It took a moment for everything to piece it's self together. This guy was a Britannien and he became a terrorist, he shot at men and women who fought to 'improve' his country, he's turning his back from the country that clothed, sheltered, and protected him. All for the elevens, why because what we're doing isn't just.... what a moron, hell what a traitor. It's just wrong, elevens were the defeated ones. Sure Britannia doesn't treat them right, and yeah these good people did nothing to deserve it, but at the same time this resistance is whats killing them. What better way to pacify a bully, than to avoid playing his game? Suddenly the guy stopped, turned to Noel and asked "Tell me, how many people do you think I've killed? Ten? Thirty? A hundred?".

Feeling a bit cautious, as the calm ones were the dangerous ones Noel took half a step back. At the same time though, he wasn't too worried about it. This guy seemed to have a decent head on his shoulders... even if he is a traitor. The last idea caused Noel to narrow his eyes a bit. Clearing his throat before he spoke he said, "I can only tell you, you took down, roughly 15 Knightpolice. It doesn't mean they died, but it means they were injured enough to be incapable of piloting or at the very least the frame was destroyed. Rather impressive for a Burai." Following a line of thought he didn't want to touch, didn't want to believe, Noel asked offhandish-ly "you have dog tags and decent knightmare experience, so I take it you were in knightmare core? The words themselves sounded like a observation, a statement even, but it was asked as a question. A question Noel wasn't sure he wanted the answer to.

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"I can only tell you that you took down roughly 15 Knightpolice. It doesn't mean they died, but it means they were injured enough to be incapable of piloting or at the very least the frame was destroyed. Rather impressive for a Burai." Raymond was about to explain that he had meant something different by the question, when the soldier spoke again.
"You have dog tags and decent Knightmare experience, so I take it you were in Knightmare core?"

"Black Knights." Raymond said, shaking his head. "Never served in the Britannian military." He said. "But my dad fought for Japan during the Second Pacific War. These were his, not mine." He closed his eyes, fighting back tears, once again taking hold of the metal tags hanging at his neck. "They're... they're all I have left of him."

Raymond looked at his captor. "You told me that I destroyed fifteen Knightmare frames. I suppose I should've been more specific with my question." Looking into the sergeant's eyes, and finally taking note of the name stitched into his uniform, he spoke.
"Sergeant Cecil, I personally have killed six people, three of them today. I won't say anything to justify any of it. The three men that I killed today were soldiers no doubt acting on orders to subdue a rouge Knightmare being considered dangerous to them. I killed two of those soldiers in an act of aggression, and a third when he attempted to attack me. I won't call that one self-defense. I started it." He watched the sergeant closely for any sign of aggression.

"My first kill was the only other cold-blooded kill. My first year in this ghetto, while the Black Squires were still cleaning it up." He gestured to the buildings around him. "A Refrain dealer, and a pathetic one at that. I can still remember his eyes, pleading with me not to pull the trigger." He shuddered. "Maybe it was the fact that he was begging for me to spare him instead of accepting what he'd done, or maybe it was the handful of people reliving their happier days behind him while slowly killing themselves, but something in me snapped, and I pulled the trigger, and I killed him when I could have turned him in."

Raymond sighed. "Then I look in your eyes, and I see something different." His eyes hardened. "You're a Britannian, probably of noble birth if your build is any indication, but you're only a sergeant, which means that you want to be accepted for your merits, not your birth, and you may even frown on your birth. Your eyes convey a sense of hardened innocence and disgust, so you've seen what we have to go through, and might have even gone through it yourself, but you refuse to believe that bloodshed is the way to fix it."

Raymond again gestured to the ghetto around him. "When I first came here two years ago, this was a hotbed for drugs and violent crimes. Now, after destroying at least 100,000 metric tons of Refrain, removing countless drug dealers and human traffickers, and building three of the buildings that stand in this ghetto, not to mention repairing countless others, I feel like the Black Squires have done more good than harm."

Raymond sighed. "I know the hypocrisy in my words and actions. I know you're probably disgusted with who I am and what I do. But remember this: We try. Not all of the Japanese try to oust Britannia, but when you persecute us for being thieves and bandits, remember that we only steal because Britannia withholds everything we need to survive, and does nothing to try to help improve our situation."

Raymond looked up to a window, where a small girl and her brother were looking down on them. He smiled, and nodded at the pair. "We called this place Kibō Ghetto. Hope Ghetto. Where maybe, just maybe, people can learn to love instead of hate, and work towards a better future." He shook his head. "Not that it would survive for long without someone who actually cares about it." He turned back to Sergeant Cecil. "If I die being 'interrogated', promise me that you'll do what you can to keep Kibō Ghetto alive, that you'll help the Black Squires keep these people alive, not as a Black Squire, but as a person who knows what these people are going through."

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Noel struggled to keep his shoulders from dropping in relief, and he bit his cheek from letting out a sigh; this guy wasn't a Britannien he was Japanese or at the very least a half blood. So Noel listened to what this guy had to say with forced indifference. It was a shame really he couldn't have been much older than Noel himself. Yet, here he was with fine morals and regret for what he's done. Clearly he wants the burden of being the 'bad guy' off his shoulders, if anything he probably wants understanding. Nobody wants the wrongs they've done, especially this guy or else he wouldn't be telling a random stranger. Of course he could be wrong, because on the other hand, this guy was on his last leg to save others that he's trying to get a Britannien soldier to save 'his people' and pity can play a really good part at that. Noel sighed he couldn't bare his soul to the guy as well and tell him that whatever he saw in Noel wasn't true; that Noel was simply a shmuck.

The truth of this situation was, he is a she, who was kicked out of his family and did what he could to survive. Hell, he didn't even earn his way to a sergeant, the new emperor gave it to him by chance. His ideas of the japanese were still derogatory. This guy was making a mistake asking him to do anything good. How could he help the black squires, he knows none of what they go through, none of what people suffer through. Hell with it, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth never having to work a day. It wasn't until Noel saw a squirrel run a tree did he realize what the real name of the terrorist group is, so thinking, well at least they aren't squirrels god forbid a band of wanna be terrorist name themselves after a cute fluffy animal. a specter of a smile appeared. Taking in a deep breath he did the exact opposite of what he would do if this was any other prisoner; or if this was a prisoner who didn't have a story to his face. It was so easy to send people to their death when you have no idea of who they are as a person, but once you see a bit of background it becomes personal. That person is no longer another name among the masses and to be honest it sucks, and only the truly cruel hearted people can manage to such a thing.

Doing an about face Noel sighed and said "You don't need to worry about that, what's going to happen, at least on record is, I 'killed' you when you tried to overpower me. To your team, you were purely a stronger opponent who 'killed' a weaker boy when he attempted to kill you. So do me a favor and lay low for while. Or at the least try to avoid using the burai for a day or two, likewise I'll do the same." As Noel began to walk away a pair of dark olive green eyes locked on to the other guys he looked over his shoulder and said, "Don't make me regret this, and even if I did take you to interrogation, you were asking the wrong person. I'm not who I appear to be, you're not a dumb guy, you had to notice something was off. Though if I do ever see you in war, you will die. I am not a hero. I am not a good person. You have no reason to trust me." Closing his eyes he wondered how much crap he would get for 'killing' a terrorist leader instead of keeping him alive for interrogation. If he was lucky he might simply be demoted to an E-6 which really wasn't that bad. Now to do something about the consistant feeling that he forgot something, probably something important buy the way his conscience was nagging at him.

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"You don't need to worry about that, what's going to happen, at least on record, is I 'killed' you when you tried to overpower me. To your team, you were purely a stronger opponent who 'killed' a weaker boy when he attempted to kill you. So do me a favor and lay low for while. Or at the least try to avoid using the Burai for a day or two, likewise I'll do the same."

Then, Sergeant Cecil began to walk away, leaving a shocked Raymond behind, but before making it too far, he turned back around, and stared green eyes into Raymond's blue eyes. "Don't make me regret this, and even if I did take you to interrogation, you were asking the wrong person. I'm not who I appear to be, you're not a dumb guy, you had to notice something was off. Though if I do ever see you in war, you will die. I am not a hero. I am not a good person. You have no reason to trust me."

Sergeant Cecil walked away, towards the Viceroy's Station to report the death of the leader of the Black Squires. A thought struck Raymond, and he walked quickly in the other direction, towards his Burai.
When will Britannia return to Kibō Ghetto to finish us off? Raymond wondered. Will it just be a few hours to reload, refuel, and regroup? Or will they wait a day or two for reinforcements? Maybe they'll delay a week and wait for us to drop our guard.

He reached the Burai, and looked up at it. The right 'thigh' was badly damaged, and some of the control lines were visible even from where he stood. There was no way that it was going anywhere, not in its current condition. He continued walking, towards the Gareth that his adversary had apparently forgotten about. Raymond looked at his key, and wondered. It probably wouldn't work, he decided, but I'm going to try anyways.

As he climbed up the Gareth, he marveled at what he was doing. His activation key wasn't a normal key. The two Burais that they had were missing their keys when they acquired them. Even though they were only 4th-gen Knightmare Frames, it still took Raymond three months of hard work to figure out how to get a universal activation key programmed for the Burais. He doubted that it could to much for him with anything 5th-generation, much less the 7th gen Gareth, but he could always try.

Reaching the cockpit block of the Gareth, he slipped in and sat down in the Devicer seat. Biting his lip, he slid the key into the slot, and hoped.

The HUD switched on, with an error message displayed prominently in the middle. Activation code not recognized. Raymond sighed. "Worth a shot." He muttered, removing the key and climbing from the block. He jumped back down, and got onto his cell phone, dialing the first number on his contacts list.

"Hello? Who is this?" The voice on the other end asked.
"Kiyuki, it's me!" Raymond said. "I-"
"Ray-chan!" She sceamed, forcing him to move the phone away from his ear. "You're alive! Yare!"
"Yes, I'm alive. Listen, the Burai's out of commission. I need you to get the transport over here."
"R-right. I'm on it." She said. "And... Ray, err... sir?"
Raymond laughed. "It's alright. You can call me Ray."
"Ray... Please don't ever scare me like that again." She said softly. "I won't lose you."
Then she hung up the phone, leaving Ray stunned utterly for the second time withing the space of a few minutes. Shaking his head, he withdrew into a nearby building, and waited.

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Once Alexia entered the Knightmare frame she was already thinking of a few plans when the mystery boy asked her a question. "Whats you're plan now?" "Simple. Help the terrorists and finally command my brother Odysseus to seize fire." her voice had no emotion and really it could've seemed like she could be talking about the weather. Once she had finished speaking she managed to hack her way into the black squires system. Now if she wanted they could hear her and help them. Now all that was left was to acess the situation between the Black squires and the Britannian army and so she did. She gave commands on how to intervene the Britannian attacks and it had worked but it amused her in some way how they ended up blindly following her but it was when she spotted a Gareth stilled and then she became confused.

It looked like it could've been military issued but then again hers was as well and there could've simply been a terrorist in it. Right now she wasn't willing to take the chance of either commanding them to help or to shoot at them without knowing who exactly they were. For right now she also had other things to worry about like the fact that the Black squires kept badgering her about her name and why a girl was commanding them like that. Alexia stated simply that she was X and that she was there to help. That was all she disclosed and it seemed at least for now that was all they needed. Of course as Britannia would have it there were reinforcements coming towards them. Once again they followed her command and it awarded them temporary victory. The real victory would come when she made her brother seize fire and surrender to her.

She saw and took the oppurtunity once the Britannian forces slowed to get out of the stolen sutherland and get over to wear Odysseus was residing for the duration of the fight between the Black Squires and Britannia. Alexia had used her geass on some random guard to steal his uniform and gun. She wasn't even sure if mystery boy had followed her but at this point she couldn't bother to focus on that right now. Soon enough Odysseus was ordering all Britannian soldiers to seize fire. Alexia stayed hidden in the shadows for now with a gun pointing at her half-brother. All that was to happen now was to prove to Britannia that Japan would no longer lay dormant while Britannia tramples over then. Alexia was going to destroy Britannia once and for all.

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Raymond sighed. Within the space of a few hours, the tide had turned from a simple rescue of two Black Squires from Britannian hands to a full-fledged combat operation that had actually managed to hand Britannia a tactical defeat. The fact that events had played out much the same way a few years prior with Zero and the Black Knights did not escape Raymond's attention. The fact that their savior refused to give her name, instead going only be 'X', didn't help.

However, no one could deny that she had gotten them results: Out of twenty Black Squires, the only injuries were Honda and Oda, who'd each received a few broken bones in the truck's crash. None of the others had been injured. Civilian casualties, too, were at a minimum, though the sounds of gunfire still echoed through Kibō Ghetto. Most of the civilians had evacuated to the shelter: a warehouse near the center of the ghetto that served as an emergency gathering point during disasters, be they natural or otherwise.

The Burai hadn't taken too much damage, either. Though a little banged up, the damage could be repaired if they cannibalized the other Burai for parts, and they could almost certainly salvage some parts from the destroyed Britannian Knightmares that would be left behind in Kibō Ghetto, if not cannibalize a Frame or two altogether. Raymond sighed. That meant coming up with a way around the security systems.

The chatter of the civilians grew louder as time went on. Kiyuki walked up to Raymond, an assault rifle hanging by a sling from her shoulder.
"Ray." She said. "The civilians are getting anxious. They want to leave, but I think that the sounds of gunfire are getting closer."
Raymond nodded. "That isn't good. If this keeps up, we'll have to let them go. How close-"

The explosions sounded from all directions. Britannian soldiers flooded into the shelter, surrounding the Black Squires and the Japanese from the ghetto on all sides. The civilians immediately went to the floor, the Black Squires slowly crouching to remove their weapons.

"No prisoners!" A Britannian officer called out. "All troops, prepare to fire!"
Raymond paled. We all die? All of us? He looked around. Many of the people here were women or children. Wives held on to their husbands, sisters and brothers clung to each other for what could be the last time. Kiyuki grabbed his hand, and squeezed it. He squeezed back.

Rifles were brought to bear. Raymond closed his eyes. May God have mercy on our souls.

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The shelter went silent for a few moments after the broadcast cut out. Then, slowly, the civilians began to filter out, leaving the injured to be cared for by the Black Squires and Britannian medics alike. As soon as the last civilians were sent on their way, the Black Squires disappeared into the ghetto, reconvening at their underground headquarters a few minutes later.

Raymond looked at the twenty other members of the Black Squires. "The mission that we set out to accomplish was a failure." He said. "Not only did we fail to acquire the new explosives, but we nearly lost Honda and Oda in the process." He looked to the two injured members, Oda wearing a sling, and Honda with his leg in a cast. "Also, though civilian casualties were kept to a minimum, we will need to make sure that proper burials are given. Then there's the matter of structural damage that'll need to be repaired."

Raymond smiled. "However, this was not a total loss. We dealt a small blow against Britannia today, but a blow nonetheless. We should be able to scavenge parts from the Knightmares that were destroyed or disabled. And, with the appearance of 'X', we may have a way to begin the process of reclaiming Japan."

That sent a murmur of approval through the ranks. They scattered, moving to perform various tasks around the ghetto. Raymond stopped Kiyuki.
"Kiyuki, I'm headed back to Ashford." He said.
Kiyuki sighed, and nodded. "See you later, then."

Raymond walked over to his bike, put on his helmet, started the engine, and rode off.

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The final bell rang, and Raymond begrudgingly got up from his seat, though the rest of the class probably couldn't get up fast enough. Advanced Electro-Mechanical Engineering was an elective, and the one class he truly regretted missing whenever he had to leave school early for Black Squire business. He gathered up his books, put them in his backpack, slung the bag over his shoulders, and moved towards the door.
"Raymond." The teacher said. "A word, please."
Raymond stopped, and turned to the teacher. "Sure thing, Mr. Michaels." He said with a questioning glance. "What's up?"
Mr. Michaels, a man of forty-five with silver-black hair and a face dotted with stubble, held up a very familiar set of papers. "The essay and prints that you turned in for our free write/draw project two days ago."
"I thought you graded in alphabetical order."Raymond said. "Tanner is a bit far from 'A', isn't it?"
Mr. Michaels nodded. "Usually, I do, but as I was ordering projects, I spotted your title, and couldn't help but read it." Mr. Michaels looked up at Raymond. "I have to say, I really liked the idea."

Raymond smiled. "Miniaturization of the Knightmare Frame is kind of a project of mine. I don't have anything near the materials or the facilities to try it, so all I can do for now is theories and calculations. My hope is to manage to figure it out some day, but I don't know how long it'll take."
Mr. Michaels nodded. "Well, if this project is anything to go off of, then I'm sure you'll figure it out."
Raymond smiled. "Thanks, Mr. Michaels." Then, he turned, and walked out.

The walk to the StuCo room gave him time to think. Earlier, during lunch, he'd gotten a text from Kiyuki. Twenty two civilian dead, another fifty one wounded. Salvaging was still underway, but they had already come up with plenty of guns and ammo, as well as a few abandoned frames.
Among the living, though, was Alexia. In the year that Raymond spent in class with her, and occasionally meeting her outside of school, he knew bits and pieces about her. They never got together much, but he cared a surprising amount for the girl. When he saw her in class earlier, it was all he could do to not burst out sighing in relief. Still, there was something he needed to ask her...

The Council room was silent when he arrived, save for the TV. Ellie, the student body, president looked over to him as he entered the room. "Someone murdered Prince Odysseus." She said sadly.
Raymond's expression was one of honest shock, though not for the reasons that Ellie would think. Who offed the bastard? He wondered.
Shaking his head, he looked to Alexia. "Hey, I need to talk to you." He said, motioning for her to follow as he went to the hallway.

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Alexia was completely focused on the new report as they were focusing more on the mediocre prince's personal history rather than his murder. Alexia didn't expect anything less from the media as they had yet to even release the cause of death and seeing as how the terrorist attack that happened yesterday was still a popular topic both stories were being shown several times. Only the terrorist attacks had more information especially about the sudden seize fire and the surprsing skill of the the group known as the Black Squires. Alexia could've smirked if she was alone but she refrained from doing so and simply seemed intently listening on both stories as was the other students.

She was doing very well with acting like a concerned student when suddenly one of her classmates and fellow council member approached her. "Hey, I need to talk to you." she looked up at him before casting one more slight glance back at the television and stood. Alexia walked into the hallway thinking of what it was Raymond could've wanted to discuss. Maybe about yesterday and sudden absence or maybe he was there or it could be about something personal either way she couldn't tell what it was. "What was it you wanted to talk about Raymond?" she asked him, breaking into the silence of the hallway. Students were either in clubs probably watching the new report or in their dorms watching it either way no one else was in the hallway.

She knew Raymond from classes and the Student council and she was concerned with him at times whenever he had to suddenly leave but she wasn't all that close with him to know a lot about him. They had of course spoken before but for some reason right now something seemed different about this conversation from the others they've had but she didn't think much of it and awaited for him to speak.

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"What was it you wanted to talk about Raymond?"
"I was watching the news yesterday." Raymond started. "It was showing the scene of the truck crash on the highway. Just before the transmission was forced off, I noticed a certain red-haired girl sliding down the slope towards the truck crash." Raymond looked at Alexia. "A friend told me that you weren't in school during the afternoon classes. Alexia, what happened in Kibō Ghetto yesterday?"

While Raymond waited for the response, his mind raced. When he'd first heard X's voice, he thought it sounded familiar. Hearing Alexia's voice just now only seemed to confirm it. But that couldn't be, could it? Alexia was full-blooded Britannian. Sure, there were rumors about her family not being the greatest of people, but that surely wasn't enough to make someone want to fight against Britannia. At least, Raymond didn't think so.

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Alexia had so many questions racing through her mind al at once. Then there were also options hitting her as well. One option was well geass. She could have easily used geass on him to make him forget but then again there wasn't any guarantee that he saw her there as well so she decided to wing it. "Oh during the afternoon classes I was helping out Mr. Saunders count inventory. You know the owner of that small grocery store down in Kibō Ghetto. When I left though the whole terrorist attack was happening so it made me late back to school." half of what she said was true but her having to survive in Europe alone gave her time to learn how to perfect her acting skills so whenever she did lie it was difficult, if not impossible, to tell if she was lying.

Alexia was awaiting his repsonse when her phone buzzed in her pocket. It was a text from Noel. She simply replied with, 'No need to be sorry and yeah I'm fine. I'm at school right now.' Noel was the only one to have known he was there once as he's actually seen her but knowing Noel he was working so he can't disclose such information to the public so so far as many would say Alexia had an alibi established. "What about you Raymond? I also hear you weren't at school either during afternoon classes. What happened?" now that she turned the tables on him she hoped it would bring less attention to her true whereabouts during the events yesterday in the Kibō Ghetto.

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"Oh, during the afternoon classes, I was helping out Mr. Saunders count inventory. You know, the owner of that small grocery store down in Kibō Ghetto. When I left, though, the whole terrorist attack was happening, so it made me late back to school."
Raymond nodded at this. He did indeed know Mr. Saunders. The man was a good person caught in bad circumstances, and Raymond bought groceries from the man whenever he could. He was't surprised to hear that Alexia had been helping the man. She struck him as the sort of person to help others.

There was a buzz, and Alexia took her cell phone from her pocket, checked the message that she'd received, and sent a quick reply, asking where he'd been as she typed.
He smiled lightly. "I help out around Kibō Ghetto, too. Yesterday, I got a text during lunch about one of the buses breaking down, but that they didn't have the parts they needed to fix it. I went out, got the parts, and headed down to Kibō Ghetto to fix it. I was working on it when the attack started. I actually don't think I ever finished. I was watching the news as I was working. That's how I found out about the truck crash. After that, everything kinda went to hell."

He shook his head. "How many people do you think that Britannia killed yesterday? Just in Kibō Ghetto, not counting any of the other atrocities they no doubt committed?"

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Alexia listened to what he was saying. She was content that he had believed her as she him. Why wouldn't she? When he asked her about the casualties she didn't know how to respond at first. "Well I don't know about an exact number but from what it seemed many innocent people were killed. On my way back to school I had the unfortunate sight of the bodies lying in different places. I just hope they were given a proper burial." Alexia didn't think of them as simple numbers. Unlike many Britannians she thought of them as Japanese and actual people. She really did hope for them to be respected and treated as humans. They had done nothing to deserve the treatment they faced.

That was the exact reason why she held such a deep hatred for her father, Odysseus, and now for Schneizel. Alexia hadn't said anything for a few moments when suddenly Ellie came out. "C'mon you two the news report is over. You guys can come back inside now." Ellie had simply assumed that the death of the viceroy bothered them and thats why they came out. Only Ellie didn't know how wrong she was. Alexia had accepted what she'd done and now could face it on the news but they still had yet to publicly announce who the culprit or at least a suspect was. Alexia went in first and joined the rest of the members of the student council. Ellie was a cheerful girl like usual. Everything for the most part seemed normal except for Alexia's thoughts.

Yesterday she had heard someone else come in after she left. Though she didn't see their face she didn't know if they had heard her. As of right now the media considers Odysseus' killer a male seeing as how big he was it seemed logical for others to believe the killer was a man but if 'X' was to make an actual public appearance Alexia would have to choose whether or not she'd make it obvious it was a woman but also seeing as how the Black Squires heard her voice it'd be difficult to just suddenly make 'X' appear as a man. As of now she wasn't too worried about that but in the back of her mind she knew it was inevitable that 'X' would have to make a public appearance

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Raymond's question seemed to stun her for a moment, as though she hadn't expected him to ask her that kind of question. To her merit, she recovered quickly. "Well, I don't know about an exact number, but from what it seemed, many innocent people were killed. On my way back to school, I had the unfortunate sight of the bodies lying in different places. I just hope they were given a proper burial."

Raymond resisted the urge to tell her that they had been given a proper burial. He couldn't know that if he hadn't been back in Kibō Ghetto like he'd implied. Instead, he simply nodded. They stood there in silence for a few moments, until the door to the room opened, and Ellie popped her head out of the council room. "C'mon you two, the news report is over. You guys can come back inside now."

Raymond nodded. "Thanks." He wanted to add "I was wondering when they would stop glorifying that murderer," but thought better of it. Saying something like that would earn him more than a detention. Instead, he followed Alexia into the room, and sat down to the paperwork that awaited him while he waited for the meeting to start.