Code Geass: Oz the Reflection - Photo Story Translation

Chapter 1: "His Codename is Oz"

“This is—my fang!”

2017 a.t.b. The large-scale revolt, known as the "Black Rebellion", against the Holy Britannian Empire caused by the masked man “Zero” ends in failure. However, the influence of the Black Rebellion, which showed signs of opposition against the increasingly powerful superpower, was strong, and, including the major powers that oppose Britannia like the Chinese Federation and E.U., anti-Britannia terrorism also occurs frequently in countries under Britannia’s rule. Under these kinds of conditions, the terrorist-deployment organization “Peace Mark”, which possesses a worldwide network, is connected to terrorists in every country and to terrorist-supporting organizations like Kyoto, and causes terrorism everywhere. Orpheus Zevon is also a terrorist who receives requests from Peace Mark. Along with his comrade Ze Dien, he goes on a mission in the Middle East…

It has been over half a year since the North African region that faces the Mediterranean Sea was conquered by Britannia. For the sake of invading the inland areas next, Britannia has piled up a large quantity of goods in the city of Béjaïa that lied on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and was making preparations to attack. The mission of Orpheus’ group was to destroy this storehouse of goods. The method used to do this was ignored.

“However, there is one condition for Oz from the client.”

The contact Miss X called Orpheus by his codename.

“Please thoroughly disguise the destruction of the storehouse so that it looks like an accident.”

“Understood.”

Orpheus gave a short reply. There was no need to hear the client’s identity or the reason for making that kind of condition. That was the style of the mercenary force Peace Mark’s destruction operative, Oz—.

His face changed into that of a pompous-looking middle-aged man, and his clothes also changed into a suitably gaudy military uniform.

“Who do I look like?”

The man that had been Orpheus Zevon several seconds before looked over at Ze with an aristocratic-like voice.

“From head to toe, like a gaudy-looking big shot of the Britannian army.”

“Correct.”

The Britannian officer grinned. Ze shrugged his shoulders.

“No matter how many times I see it, watching that always makes a chill go down my spine. Just how on earth are you able to do that?”

Orpheus could freely become anyone. He perfectly copied not only a person’s appearance, but also their voice and gestures. The power known as Geass tricked the brains of all those who saw Orpheus. However, its effective time was about 5 minutes. Since the time of the deception ended with any warning, he couldn’t accurately predict the timing. If he activated it a second time, he would have to wait for at least 1 hour before he could activate it again. But, compared to the benefits of this ability, such conditions were only small/insignificant restrictions.

“This is an inspection of compliance inventory. Open the Sakuradite storehouse.”

Orpheus’ order was accepted without any questions. Once the sentries opened the storeroom, Orpheus quickly killed them, and then deactivated his Geass and invited in Ze, who had been hiding. They added a trap to the Sakuradite’s stabilization storage system, and then promptly headed towards the town exit. However, Orpheus’ feet stopped.

“What’s wrong?”

“Someone’s watching us.”

A strange sense of danger. It was definitely the strange sensation of being watched—.

“You people over there. Wait a moment.”

A young Britannian noble stopped both of them. His attire showed that he was a knight—one who pilots Knightmare. Approaching with several armed soldiers, his expression eloquently indicated that he didn’t have the attitude of facing natives who happened to be passing by.

They couldn’t be caught here. They both drew their weapons as they threw off their costumes and fired. Two of the armed soldiers were killed. Then, they threw smoke grenades, and the enemy’s sight was taken away. All at once the surroundings were wrapped in yells and screams. Taking advantage of the confusion, the two of them ran towards the town exit. But—. 

“Stop!”

A Sutherland Knightmare remodeled for desert battle came rushing out from within the smoke. The voice streaming out from its speaker was that of a young girl.

“Don’t let them get away, Sokia!”

The knight who first called out to Orpheus and Ze shouted that. The Sutherland piloted by the woman called Sokia fired a Slash Harken. In front of the running Orpheus and Zi, the tough high polymer wire got in their path. Orpheus quickly slid and passed under the wire. However, Ze hooked his chest on the wire and was flung backwards in recoil. He rushed to stand up, but the Britannian soldiers had already caught up with him. Several new Knightmares were also headed towards him.

“Drop your weapon and surrender.”

The voice from the Sutherland ordered this. At that instant, the earthen wall that surrounded the town was broken through and a huge military-use trailer rushed out. The trailer drifted using a strong braking maneuver and threw out its sturdy storage-container towards the Sutherland. The Sutherland barely jumped out of the way, but it plunged into a business building behind it. The building crumbled and rubble rained down on the Sutherland.

“Nice timing, Ganabati!”

“Don’t rejoice so soon. Fresh supplies of troops are joining in.”

Just as Orpheus said, there were four Sutherlands trailing them and closely approaching. Orpheus and Ze rushed over to the trailer.

“Open up. I’m going out in the Byakuen!”

Once Ganabati opened the container, a catapult palette loaded with a white Knightmare came out from inside. It had an unusual headpiece that made one think of a giant beetle, and an abnormally huge right arm. This was Orpheus Zevon’s exclusive personal frame, the Type-01/C “Byakuen”.

“Catapult opened. Byakuen, launching!”

Through a compressed magnetic field, the Byakuen was shot out from the container. While still in the air, Orpheus transformed the Byakuen’s right arm and unfolded an electromagnetic cannon. 

“This is—my fang!”

The high-pitched roar characteristic of ultra-high output electromagnetic acceleration resounded twice. Whirling up a cloud of dust whirling from the supersonic shock wave, the 4 sabot-type 30mm high-initial-velocity Tungsten armor-piercing ammunitions that fired at 0.78 seconds intervals were guided by the aim of the Byakuen’s enhanced Factspheres* on its head and accurately pierced through the cockpits of four Britannian Sutherlands. Without knowing what had happened to their bodies, the pilots of the four Sutherlands had their flesh completely destroyed and they were instantly killed. 

Following the Byakuen, Ze launched in his personal Knightmare as well. It was an old-type Glasgow that he had gotten through the black market, but it was a custom model that had been given a radical tune up according to Ze’s preferences. Its weapon was a 25mm electromagnetic accelerator-type double antiaircraft gun. Its power was inferior to the power of Byakuen’s 30mm, but with a rapid fire rate of over 2000 rounds per minute that disregards the lifespan of the gun barrel, it blew away the approaching enemies literal side blows.

“Ganabati, get the truck out of here!”

The trailer rushed out of the town. Orpheus changed his gun’s shell to a 49mm grenade and destroyed a building on the roadside in order to block the pursuers’ path. 

“Make it look like an accident, huh. That was some diversionary tactic.”

Ganabati raised his voice to speak with a pleasant-sounding laugh.

*(Note: The term "Factsphere" in this story do not only refer to the special sensors used by Britannian Knightmares, but to all sensor cameras, including the regular eyes cameras on the faces of Knightmares.)

Just when the three of them started to think that they succeeded in losing their pursuers, a swallow-like shadow appeared in their path.

It was a light crimson Knightmare that possessed a silhouette clearly different from the other Britannian frames. It even had an ominous elegance/dignity that hung in the air from the cape fitted onto both its shoulders. Orpheus had only laid eyes on a frame similar to this in a data file he had seen once. The Knightmare that it was rumoured that the Britannian army was using in Area 11 in far east Asia, the Lancelot. This Knightmare was likely a derivative frame of the same type as that one.

(This guy!)

Orpheus had an instinctive hunch. The uneasy feeling that he had felt in Béjaïa was being emitted from this frame. It was possible to read writing on an emblem stenciled onto the crimson frame that seemed to be its squad emblem, which read as “Glinda Knights”. Orpheus had noticed that the Sutherland that first appeared in Béjaïa had also worn the same squad emblem.

The Glinda Knights Knightmare opened its cape.

“What the heck are those!?”

It wasn’t unreasonable for Ze to cry out unconsciously like that. Twelve swords had appeared from within its cape. Then, it took a fighting stance with two unsheathed swords in both hands and advanced forward. 

Orpheus held back Ze and went out with the Byakuen. His instincts told him that only he could be this person’s opponent.

He unfolded his right arm’s electromagnetic cannon. He fired a 30mm armor piercing bullet.

However, the enemy skillfully manipulated its legs’ Landspinners and continued advancing while avoiding the bullet’s path. This wasn’t average Knightmare piloting skill.

The Byakuen folded up its gun.

At that instant, the enemy’s slash came. The Byakuen caught it with its right arm. Sparks flew brilliantly.

“Orpheus!”

Ze cried out. As good as the Byakuen was, he couldn’t safely feel at ease if he directly received a slash like that. But—.

Having stored away and replaced electromagnetic cannon, the Byakuen had drawn out an atypical blade and had stopped the enemy’s sword with it.

“Ze! Return the Glasgow to the trailer.”

The enemy was equal to Orpheus in both skill and the performance of its Knightmare. Moreover, it was clear that the enemy’s goal was to keep Orpheus and the others here. If the fight was dragged on, reinforcements would arrive and escape would become difficult.

“Ganabati! I’m using that. Switch over to the back-up power.”

Orpheus reversed towards the trailer and faced towards the enemy. Perhaps sensing something from that stance, the crimson Knightmare got a suitable distance away.

“Gefjun charge complete, safety released. Reaching diffusion radiation wave critical point—Gefjun Breaker, activate!”

An impulse of elementary particles gushed out from the Byakuen. It interfered with Sakuradite on the quantum level, and stopped the movement of Energy Fillers. The Glinda Knight Knightmare lost the power to move and stalled in place on its knees. Of course, the Byakuen was the same as well.

Orpheus opened the cockpit and stood on top of the Byakuen. The enemy Knightmare’s pilot also came out at the same time. Orpheus strained his eyes to stare.

“…A woman, huh.”

She seemed to be about the same age as him? Of course, a female knight wasn’t strange. However—.

“—Impossible!”

He unintentionally let his voice leak out.

The girl standing on top of the crimson Knightmare had the exact same face as Orpheus. It was like looking into a mirror. The girl was also openly shocked and glared at Orpheus. 

“Who…are you?”

The words, spoken at the same time by the boy and girl that had the same face, flowed into the wind.

(To be continued)