Code Geass: Oz the Reflection - Photo Story Translation

Chapter 5: "The Streets of St. Peter"

"Get on the boat quickly."

Translator's Note: Although this chapter is supposed to be placed right before the beginning of the first OVA episode of Code Geass: Akito the Exiled, there are a few discrepancies; most importantly, the city that the EU regiment were supposed to be trapped in was Narva, not St. Petersburg, in the OVA. As such, please consider the events of this chapter semi-cannon, and disregard the minor differences in detail.

Out of all of the offers that Oz—Orpheus Zevon and the others in Peace Mark had undertaken until now, this one could be called the strangest.

“Escort bodyguards for artwork?”

The usually reticent Orpheus unintentionally repeated back the words as a question. His partner Ze Dien and the chief mechanic Ganabati were also looked at Miss X, the intermediary for the client’s offer, with bewildered expressions.

“Something like art isn’t exactly up our alley. Right, old man?”

In response to Ze’s words,

“Please speak for yourself. Even if I look like this, I’ll have you know that I have great aesthetic taste.”

Ganabati laughed, and then turned to look at Miss X’s glamorous body with her elegant curves.

“The fee for appreciating looks is high, you know.”

Ganabati pretended to look scared at Miss X’s words with a theatrical gesture. Cutting off that flow of exchanges,

“According to rumour, there are specialized artwork-guarding teams within the mercenary world as well. So tell us why they haven’t requested such specialists.”

Orpheus asked.

“The other party doesn’t have the time to be picky about the team they request. Right now, the only ones that they can rely on are Peace Mark.”

“Very well. We’ll accept the offer.”

“I thought you would say that. The mission reward will be three times the usual. Necessary expenses will be paid separately.”

“Where is it?”

“St. Petersburg.”


Ze and Ganabati held their breath, speechless.

That was the name of the city that had been determined in advance several days ago that it would transform into a hellish battlefield.

Situated in western Russia, St. Petersburg—the largest metropolis in northern Europe. Its history was also surprisingly shallow, as it had first formed as a city in the 18th century. Possessing a harbour facing the Gulf of Finland that lead to the Baltic Sea, its value was immeasurable to the EU not only because of its importance in commerce trade, but also as a strategic military point. Of course, it was also the same for Britannia.

“If I remember right, isn’t there an EU regiment that barricaded themselves in St. Petersburg and are deployed for a besieging battle against Britannia?”

Ze said that.

“Britannia is also preparing to attack with their current fighting strength…It wouldn’t be strange if they were crushed quickly and pushed back.”

It was just as Ganabati said. It was tactically common sense that the attacking side would need more than 3 times the fighting power of the defending side to suppress an enemy that had barricaded themselves. But—

“The Britannian forces surrounding St. Petersburg will begin an all-out attack soon. This is definite information from well-informed sources.”

“If that’s the case, the damage on both sides will be huge. Why does Britannia need to hurry that much to capture St. Petersburg?”

“You’ll have to ask the Britannians that.”

Miss X answered bluntly.

“In any case, when this attack is put into effect, the streets of St. Petersburg will become a battlefield. If that happens, it will cause huge damage.”

“—I see. The Hermitage, huh.”

Orpheus said that. The Hermitage referred to the Hermitage Art Museum in the center of St. Petersburg. Various artworks that were collected after the middle of the 18th century were kept in this art museum. Their value could certainly be called treasures of humanity.

“Da Vinci, Raphael, Velasquez, and Renoir…the names that could be mentioned are endless. Are you knowledgeable about paintings, Oz?’

“I’m not interested in them. But, I do like Rembrandt. Have you seen ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’?”

While Ze and Ganabati thought it surprising to hear the name of a Dutch painter come out from Orpheus’ mouth, Miss X who had originally asked was herself even more surprised.


Orpheus faintly laughed at the confused Miss X.

The client this time was a secret organization of rich art lovers who established themselves beyond the barriers of state, race and principles for the sake of protecting artworks from the war. This organization was using its wealthy assets for the sake of collecting and safekeeping every single piece of artwork under the fear that they would disappear from war damage. For the sake of protecting the Hermitage art collection from the imminently approaching collision between the Britannian and EU armies here, this organization had been vigorously moving artwork here over the course of several weeks. But, it had become clear that Britannia’s all-out attack was approaching sooner than they had expected. Because of that, the team that had been the last one to carry out the art collection had been left behind in St. Petersburg.

“We will rescue that team, and back them up in their escape to outside the city along with the art collection. Understood.”

With that, the discussion was over.

The repairs to Orpheus’ Knightmare Byakuen still had yet to be completed. Therefore, he would use the Glasgow that Wizard had given to him for this mission. The land route from Hungary where Orpheus was currently staying to St. Petersburg was by no means short. But, compared to disembarking at the strictly guarded waterfront district, the danger there seemed much lower. The reason the offer had been sent to Peace Mark was because of that exact point. Moreover, if it was the Glasgow that was a commonplace model within the Britannia army (though this one’s interior had been enhanced by Wizard), their passage would be easy even if they were questioned by an inspection. Thanks to that, Orpheus and the others were able to arrive behind the front lines of the Britannia army surrounding the city of St. Petersburg without significant trouble. The late-night interior of the city had already transformed into a battlefield. Gunshots resounded through the streets they walked through, and the wreckage of destroyed Knightmares and armoured vehicles were turned over and burning everywhere. The sound of cannons that roared sporadically was for the sake of preventing the EU soldiers barricaded within the city from going to sleep.

Orpheus observed the movements of the Britannian army. The movements of the squadrons had become active. The amount of encrypted communications had also increased by leaps and bounds several hours after they arrived.

“I say, it feels like the Britannian attack will start soon. If it goes according to theory, the all-out attack will begin before dawn.”

Ze muttered that.

The two of them approached the rear of the Britannian army’s encirclement. The plot was that Ze was escorting a Glasgow piloted by a superior officer. Both of them were dressed in the uniforms of Britannian soldiers. By going in the darkness right before dawn while gunpowder was still hanging in the air, the fact that they had stripped these uniforms off of solders they had killed who had been groping along within the dark wouldn’t be easily noticed.

The Britannian army had deployed so as to surround the EU forces that had confined themselves within the city. When they finally arrived at the rear of their deployment, Orpheus got down from his Glasgow.

“What are you going to do?”

“Having only this Glasgow is insufficient fighting power. We need a Knightmare for you as well.”

After saying that, Orpheus minutely observed the movements of the Britannian army. In front of him, there was a Sutherland that was equipped with only a fully-charged Energy Filler and a rifle. The knight that piloted it had just completed a roll call by his superior officer. Orpheus decided to obtain that frame. First, he burned into his eyes the appearance of the superior officer that was giving his subordinate directions. He chose the moment when the superior officer left and the pilot became alone, and he activated his Geass ability. Instantly, his appearance became the same as the Britannian Captain that had left just a moment ago.

“Follow me.”

Orpheus was accompanied by Ze and stepped up to the pilot of the Sutherland. The pilot saw Orpheus approaching and easily believed that the superior officer had returned for some business.

“What is it, Captain?”

“Sorry, there’s a equipment change. You will be piloting a new model frame that has newly deployed.”

“A new model!?”

The pilot smiled broadly. Piloting a new model frame meant a promotion as well. Orpheus ordered the pilot to hand over his Sutherland to Ze and to remain on standby here until the new model frame arrived, and then he and Ze left from there.

“Hey, Oz. Shouldn’t we have disposed of that guy?”

“It’s not a problem. It would be more troublesome if his corpse was discovered and they sought us out before killing us.”

“—Guess so. Did you see how his face lit up when he heard about a new model? That knight-kun is definitely heading to the disciplinary squad because of this.”

Ze laughed in amusement.

Orpheus and Ze succeeded in penetrating into the interior of the Britannian army’s encirclement by pretending to be powerful scouts that were the first wave of the all-out attack.

“We got into the city unexpectedly easily.”

“Yeah. But getting out will be the hard part.”

The two of them got down from their Knightmares and slowly approached the Hermitage Art Museum. Then, the stifled voice of a man came out from within the darkness.


The stinging air gave off a murderous intent. There were without a doubt several guns being aimed at them. Orpheus responded back calmly.

“This is the art museum, right? I heard they have Giorgione here.”

Instantly, he heard the man’s breath catch from the other side of the darkness.

“…Yeah. The Judith is magnificent no matter how many times one sees it.”

“I prefer the Tempest. I discover something new no matter how many times I see it.”

“…You guys are the people from Peace Mark?”

“That’s right.”

Suddenly, he felt the murderous intent disappear from the surrounding presences. From out of the darkness, exhausted men carrying guns appeared.

“We intended to escape from St. Petersburg along with the last of the art pieces, but—”

The man who was introduced as the carry-out team’s leader pointed towards a shock-proof container for the exclusive use of transporting artwork. Ze spoke in an amazed voice.

“Can’t you leave it behind and just go?”

“Don’t be stupid. As if we can endure losing artworks like these in times of war! They’re humanity’s treasure which can never be regained.”

“Life can’t be regained either, you know?”

“It’s a cheap price if we can protect these works with our lives.”

There was no hesitation in the man’s words.

“I understand. Both you guys and the artwork, we’ll help you all escape from this city. That is our mission.”

Orpheus said that.

“Please change into these.”

Orpheus gave Britannian military uniforms that he had been prepared to all the members of the carry-out team. He had gathered them while coming here. Like this, the improvised Britannian Special Forces unit was completed. Once they finished that, the group went out from the north side of the Hermitage Art Museum, which was adjacent to the Neva River. They advanced cautiously while keeping the trailer carrying the container in the middle, Orpheus’ Glasgow in front, and Ze’s Sutherland in the back.

“Whatever happens, don’t panic. Right now, we are a special forces unit of the Britannian army. All right?”

The group crossed over Dvortsoviy Bridge (Note: Palace Bridge in English) which spanned the Neva River and went across to Vasilyevsky Island on the opposite bank. Then they crossed through the Biljvaya* plaza, and as they approached near Biljvoi* Bridge, the leader of the carry-out team questioned Orpheus. (*Uncertain translation)

“Do you intend for us to cross the bridge?”

“No. We’re not using a land route.”

Their line of vehicles went west across Makarova Street while staying alongside to the northern coast, and headed towards the Tuchkov Bridge. Near the bridge, there was a pier where tourist ships were anchored. Orpheus’ plan was to descend from there into the Neva River, escape to the Gulf of Finland, and then finally escape to the Baltic Sea.


From in front of them, five Britannian Sutherlands approached. Orpheus gave instructions to the group.

“Don’t reduce speed. It’s a Britannian patrol.”

“Meeting a patrol at a place like this wasn’t in the plan, right?”

“The schedule can change. Send your complaints to Britannia.”

While gazing at the enemy with a calm expression, Orpheus undid the safety of his special drill which carried a chain-drive 4-barrel Gatling gun inside it. Jokingly called the “Mince Maker” by Ze, he said it was the most brutal close-range battle weapon.

“The trailer there, stop. We’ll be inspecting the cargo.”

The voice of a Britannian soldier resounded out from a speaker.

“What should we do, Oz?”

The leader of the carry-out team asked.

“No problem.”

Orpheus contacted Ganabati on the radio.

“Ganabati? Can you see us?”

“Yeah. You’ve gotten yourself into a troublesome situation, haven’t you?”

Ganabati was approaching the pier of Tuchkov Bridge by barge. Orpheus changed the plan and issued directions to pass through to the pier as it was. Looking at the sky, the ground to the east was faintly but definitely being dyed dark red. Dawn was going to arrive soon. Orpheus ordered the line of vehicles behind him to slowly reduce speed.

“Are you serious? It’ll be the end if we’re inspected, you know!?”

“Don’t shout. Soon, we’ll commence Plan B.”

“…Plan B?”

At that moment, a wind-cutting noise like a shrill scream was heard from above. Everyone there reflexively looked up at the sky—however, just one person, Orpheus, didn’t.

“Ze! Drop the container into the river!”

At the same time as he shouted that order, he thrusted the Mince Maker through the Sutherland in front of him. At the same time as the bits of special steel, which spun at a high velocity, penetrated the enemy’s armor, he discharged the Gatling gun. Having its interval mechanism pierced and shredded, the Sutherland died in an instant. The men of the carry-out team behind him screamed. Ze’s Sutherland had thrown the container carrying precious works of art into the river.

“What are you doing!?”

Tumbling out from the trailer, the leader ran up to the riverside with a face that had lost all color. Then—

“Perfect timing, right, boss?”

Ganabati stuck out his head from the pilothouse of the barge, whose deck was covered with a shock-absorbing material of expanding foam. The thrown container was wrapped around by the shock-absorbing material and was already being fixed in place.

Orpheus swung the Mince Maker horizontally and mowed down the enemy with machine gunfire. The Britannian patrol party, recovering from the shock of the surprise attack, at once prepared themselves to counterattack. It was at that moment that pillars of fire rose up behind them. The patrol party became confused at the unexpected events that kept happening one after another. Pillars of fire were rising up not only here, but also everywhere within the city. Someone had come flying from the sky above and was laying attacks on the Britannian army.

“Get on the boat quickly.”

Orpheus directed the members of the carry-out team. While Ze protected the members with his Sutherland, he shouted out to Ganabati.


A particularly big pillar of illuminated the early morning Neva River in red. The bombs that Ganabati had prepared beforehand on Dvortsoviy Bridge and Tuchkov Bridge exploded, and the bridges were knocked down into the river. As for the Britannian army who were moving on top of there—

Orpheus confirmed that Ze had gotten out of his Sutherland and climbed onto the boat, and then thrusted the Mince Maker into the last of the enemy Knightmares that was still resisting. As he closed the blades at the top while spinning the bits, pieces of metal that had torn apart with an uncanny breaking sound and pieces of crimson meat scattered across the surface of the ground.

Orpheus jumped onto the barge which was starting to go down the river with his Glasgow. It was necessary for him to remain on standby inside his frame until they escaped to the Baltic Sea.

“What’s the situation?”

Orpheus activated his communications system and asked that to Ze who was investigating the situation of their surroundings.

“It seems that Miss X’s information that an EU special forces unit would be conducting a surprise attack was true. We were saved thanks to that.”

“That’s practically an act of suicide. According to a rumor I heard, they seem to be marching into there in order to save the stupid sons of some higher-ups, after all…”

Orpheus went back into his Glasgow’s cockpit. They couldn’t be negligent until they escaped to the Baltic Sea. The streets of St. Peter that were spread out on both banks of the Neva River were wrapped in the continuous sounds of gunfire and explosions. The story of the group that swooped down on St. Petersburg on the morning of this day, the wZERO—the special forces unit called by the nickname of “Wyvern” and comprised of Eleven boys and girls, was a story that Orpheus would only learn about much later.

(To be continued)