There was something horribly familiar in watching everything fall apart. Lelouch’s lungs ached, his muscles lead, the side of his chest a throbbing wreck, but he had no opportunity to listen to his body’s protests. Hiding was not an option when the seekers had the technology to see through concrete and the tenacity to chase rats out of hidey holes. The only thing he could do was run, a desperate ploy given that his hunters had both superior firepower and technology. It was a probability game – the unspoken agreement between the group was to scatter, to believe in the odds that maybe one would escape.
Probability-wise, Lelouch’s chances were not good. He knew this, knew that he was the slowest target. And yet somehow the chaos had worked in their favor – the Peacekeepers didn’t have time to order prioritized targets based on chance for success. But that meant they’d chosen randomly, that they’d followed after the others. With each step, Lelouch regretted. But he could do nothing now, nothing but run and hope like hell that his continued freedom was the most valuable outcome here, that he could do something if the others were not so lucky.
Even the thought of that bad end was enough to make his heart skip a beat.
Perhaps it wasn’t just that thought. A few hundred meters and Lelouch was forced to stop, panting, collapsed with his back against a hunk of concrete that had fallen free of a building during one of the quakes. Lelouch’s vision spun behind the mask he wore, and for the first time he noticed the spiderwebbing crack in the glass. Still, he grit his teeth, wincing as he prodded at his right side. When the first concussive blast had hit and knocked him prone, Lelouch had felt something crack, but with the ringing in his ears and the fuzziness of his thoughts, he hadn’t much registered what or where. Pain was not unfamiliar; this was not his first injury on the battlefield. But never had he felt so alone, so utterly helpless to the whims of his enemies.
As he lay slumped, panting, heart hammering, he was vaguely aware of a figure approaching. If it was a Peacekeeper, he had no means to fight – even Geass would be useless if he couldn’t form words with his sandpaper tongue.
As unconsciousness threatened to close in around him, Lelouch’s last coherent thoughts were desperate: not yet, not yet, not yet.