Episode 02: MARK Project
Rossario began tapping her foot impatiently, expecting a response from the Xyan. Last contact was three months ago. She had been stationed aboard the Xyan before being selected to travel a head. Xyan was actually a tiny chunk from the actual asteroid her people have been living on, ever since the sudden, but forced Interstellar Migration.
“Commander, receiving a comm.-link channel,” said the lead operator. To her dismay, the person on screen was the last person she wanted to greet, but she transitioned her subtle disappointment into a salute.
“This is Commander Solen. Allow me to congratulate the great Captain Sigato for our current standing…thus far.” Sigato watched as thus far rolled off her tongue, there was a mean slur in her voice that rubbed him the wrong way.
“I’m surprised you kept up,” he said wittingly. “Nonetheless, the MARK project. I just got word to pull my units back while the prototype model XEN00X is to enter the battlefield for combat testing. Rossario began wrapping her hair around her fingers, accidentally releasing a puzzled expression that ran across her face. “Seeing how excited you are, I think you would be the best pilot for the task of obtaining real combat data for the project.”
“I’m sorry; the MARK project last I heard was still considered in its infancy stage. Considering that now, we have enough force to make that happen, why the MARK project on an important assault? Getting our fleet passed this line of defense is a must victory in order for use to reach the Earth Sphere,” Rossario questioned. Though knowing the answer, she wanted to here the response from him, out of his mouth. Which way would he move his chess pieces? To her displeasure, it almost had seemed as if Sigato caught on to her manipulation tactic too soon, but it was just channel interference upon being severed before a response was given.
Rossario exited from the subbridge, looking over the model’s classified testing reports that she managed to get a hold of.
“Oh Sigato, what a delusional fool you are,” she mocked. It wasn’t until she suddenly halted that it came to her via the cadet quarters. One in particular belonged to a testing pilot Ensign (ENS) Regina Frost.
“Ma’am!” she saluted eagerly in front of the Commander.
Born on the asteroidlopolis Con’stella, Regina worked as a server in order to have the necessary funds to enter the Militia Academy. She wanted to become an aspiring Mobile Unit pilot like her father. Upon joining the Militia, she was ranked not fit to pilot as her skill set was not on the same caliber with the other potential soldiers. A deep space researcher, in favor of the radical “Bion development” that the asteroidlopolis Xen was conducting. Regina and Dr. Lee Almers became close as she saw him as a father figure and because of him, transferred over to his department as a testing pilot under Xen's military division, the Xen-Dominion. What she lacked in skills she made up for in abilities that would be useful for battles to come.
“Cadet Regina Frost…what’s your stance on the battle thus far? Commander Solen asked.
“Me?” Her voice squeaked for her opinion usually wasn’t usually deemed important to matter. For a commanding officer to actually acknowledge her formed a knot in her throat. “Umm, well I don’t think my view would matter,” she answered tentatively. Rossario leaned in and said,
“These are tough times. You want this conflict to end do you not?” Regina bobbed her head back with a,
“Yes! I mean…” Regina found herself too nervous and wanted to compose herself respectably in front of the Commander. Rossario just now noticed the light in the cabin was reflecting Regina’s medium-length purple hair with frosted tips. Her lilac eyes peered down, but soon went back to Rossario, “I think that new battles will come forth through the old ones gained. We should possibly look forward not back.” Rossario became caught off guard by how insightful she was, but formed it into a grin. She placed her arm around Regina’s neck and on contact a cold shiver traveled throughout her body as Rossario dragged her out into the hall so that they could continue their chat.
“Tell me Cadet Frost, do you want to tend this conflict?” Commander Solen asked her. The answer took longer that she wanted. By the time the words formed, they had reached the mobile docking bay. “I believe in you. I have seen your testing data and the results you are able to produce. You just might secretly be the savior the Xen-Dominion is looking for. The one to be the strongest, to go the furthest, and to excel the highest.”
Together they floated down where the XEN00X Miragrah was being prepared on for actual combat. Regina questioned her own ability at first, “Me? A…savior?” Mostly combat units would have an auto-pilot mechanism that would allow her easier piloting access. Dr. Almers lead researcher of the newly developed MARK project handed Rossario the head brace for the Mobile Unit.
“Commander, sending out this machine by itself is one thing, but the MARK project is for too early in development to even be considered for combat,” Dr. Almers addressed.
“Direct orders from her ladyship. Besides, Cadet Frost can handle it. Just looking to record some data is all we need,” Rossario replied as Dr. Almer adjusted his clear glasses after hearing Regina’s name as the actual pilot.
“I…dunno,” Regina paused, placingher fingers onto the head brace, tracing. Rossario went around behind her and placed her free hand on Regina’s left shoulder that sent a chill down her spine. She leaned in to whisper,
“If you hold the power to make a difference, you should then put that power into good use. Why torment yourself with looking forward when you have the power to make that happen yourself?” Regina hesitated for a moment, but her words, it was Rossario’s words that Regina found new confidence in, becoming more and more tangled. She came to her and now voicing such a promise that she would reprimand herself for it later. Later she would guiltily remind herself what came from her actions. Later she would probably fear this power Rossario spoke of for her normal life of being a guinea pig would prove complicated.
“Commander! The Miragrah has been tested before yes and by Regina being a Newtype has contributed in helping us at the Human Requiem League collect the necessary data needed to develop the MARK Neutralizer. However, I didn’t expect her to actually test it out in real combat,” Dr. Almers voiced.
“I—I want to help.” Everything that Rossario represented, Regina couldn’t find it within herself to resist it. As her fingers clenched onto the head brace, she released a sigh.
According to Dr. Almers’ research, the MARK Project was geared toward the Miragrah being designed specifically to hand the Manipulation Automatic Reformed Kills Neutralizer. Based on Cadet Frost’s testing, it was built to be an interface between the pilot and Mobile Unit. The Miragrah was armed with an experimental weapon for the Xen-Dominion called the beam rifle. It also consisted of four weapon pods on the backpack, controlled by the MARK Neutralizer. The unit was painted black, purple, and green with a centered antenna and a bent upside-down v-fin via the forehead.
~The Battlefield: Space~
The assault cruiser, Baronche dropped its invisible umbrella and pulled up against the Amadeus.
“Deploy Gundams to catapult Chute 1 and 2. Gundam AGE-1 will launch first followed by Gundam AGE-2 and then Gundam AGE-FX,” ordered Roddock Horn via the subbridge.
“Flit Asuno. Gundam AGE-1 Glansa. Here I go!” Roddock watched on the deck observation monitor the Gundam blasting across his screen at incredible speeds.
“Attention! AGE-2 will now prepare for launch!” said the operator over the PA. “AGE-2 is inside patrol area. Maintain relative distance. Chute 2, launch preparation completed!”
“Asemu Asuno, Dark Hound, launching!”
“AGE-FX will now prepare for launch!” spoke the operator.
“Kio Asuno, Gundam AGE-FX, here I go!” The pilots experienced an incredible increased in g-force, upon soaring out of the Baronche portside hatch.
~The Battlefield: Space~
“Kio, stay close to me. Asemu, go on ahead,” said Flit when they entered the battlefield.
“Roger,” they said, instantly Asemu’s Dark Hound transformed into Flight mode, a fighter-like form which flew at three times the speed of its MS mode.
“Why? Why is this happening again? We don’t need to fight one another!” shouted Kio, releasing the AGE-FX’s remote controlled weaponry, the C-Funnels. The lime green blade bits detached from the Gundam and began circling around when Gigak Mobile Suits picked them up. Flit began pressing the side buttons to his controllers, the AGE-1 Glansa fired shots from its DODS rifle which were mounted on the Gundam’s shields. Multiple shots shot down two Gigaks while the C-Funnels swooped in and sliced off the arms and legs of a Gigak.
“Kio! What are you doing?” said Flit via communication channel.
“They’re human too,” Kio responded as he rotated the C-Funnels back around.
“They started with us! And if need be then I’ll be the one to finish it,” lashed Flit in anger toward his younger brother’s pacifistic ways.
“You don’t know that,” Kio rebutted when AGE-1 Glansa destroyed another Mobile Suit. Impulsively, their face lit up with green X-Rounder rays.
Lady Xenith started to feel dizzy at first. In the immediate instant she felt a piercing burning pain in her chest, as if her skin was on fire. She gasped, clenching her chest and upon getting up to move, she stumbled. PC Mason urgently assisted and when she regained her balance, her head lifted up, casting her spatial senses out through space. She began receiving glimpse of space, stars, battlefield images and machines. And then a clear picture of the pilots radiating strong X-Rounder powers from one another.
“M’Lady?” said Mason, concerned.
“I—I’m sensing the resonance of an X-Rounder. No, two of them,” she told Mason.
“Ma’am! We’re receiving word that the Miragrah has launched,” reported the lead operator.
“This won’t go in my favor at all. The resonance between X-Rounders together in sync enhances their abilities. They must be crushed as soon as possible. I was hoping to save this for later, but it will surely turn the game back into my favor. Mason, get in contact with Sigato for Operation Purge of AGE is a go immediately. I will prepare for launch,” Lady Xenith ordered.