The camera gives us an awesome view of Side 7’s Green Noah space colony. As previously established in MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM and MOBILE SUIT ZETA GUNDAM, Green Noah is the site of the Earth Federation Forces’ most important space-based military complexes. This is evident as we see a number of RGM-95 GM IV and RGM-99 Jegan II mobile suits sortie in and out of the space colony on patrol duty.
A legend appears on screen informing us that the year is now U.C. 0097. Eight years have passed since the final sighting of Princess Minerva Zabi of the Archduchy of Zeon.
Today is graduation day at the Earth Federation Forces military academy. Of the thousands of young men and women who enlisted in the academy for three years of intense, grueling physical and mental training, three hundred are gathered in front of Reville Hall today to receive their commissions as officers in the Earth Federation Forces.
General Bright Noah, the Federation’s most decorated war hero of the past two decades, who was captain of the White Base during the One Year War, the Ahrgama during the Gryps Conflict and the First Neo Zeon War, and the leader of the Lond Bell Task Force during the Second Neo Zeon War , is issuing the graduates their commission diplomas and extending his congratulations.
After General Noah shakes hands with a 2Lt. Rory Hutchinson and a 2Lt. Lana Mugali, the highest ranking officer in the Earth Federation Forces summons another graduate, 2Lt. Athena Ibaz.
2Lt. Athena Ibaz (formerly Princess Minerva Zabi), aged 18 (U.C. 0097)
2Lt. Athena Ibaz, aged eighteen, is an exceptionally attractive young woman. With reddish blonde hair, long legs, and a regal, dignified bearing that belies her youth, 2Lt. Ibaz’s appearance to accept her commission from General Noah draws a chorus of cheers from her fellow graduates and seniors officers. Athena is graduating at the top of her class – of every class in the history of the Federation’s military academy! She has excelled in all phases of the academy’s officer training program, and promises to be an exceptional officer for the Earth Federation Forces. Moreover, Athena is at the top of the list of twenty-six exceptional graduates who have earned positions into the Federal Forces’ newly organized elite Special Operations Force. Athena has been assigned to the Centurion Team, under the command of One Year War veteran Captain Rick Tinne.
Later that evening, a lavish grand ball is held within Reville Hall to celebrate the achievements of the graduates and the launching of the Special Operations Forces. Athena, resplendent in her Federation officer’s dress uniform, is approached by Colonel Peter Cairlay, a tall, thin, and somewhat sinister-looking man who is the Director of the Special Operations Force.
Col. Cairlay and Athena exchange a few pleasantries about how they look forward to working together. Suddenly, an aide approaches Col. Cairlay and whispers something into the colonel’s ear. Cairlay’s face pales in horror, and he quickly excuses himself from Athena’s company and rushes towards General Noah’s office. Athena looks at the departing Cairlay in a disturbed manner; something serious had obviously come up.
There is a knock on the door of General Noah’s office. Col. Cairlay salutes and enters. The colonel finds General Noah sitting at his desk, rubbing his beard nervously. Cairlay can tell from the look on the general’s face that the situation is extraordinarily grim.
General Bright Noah as he appeared during the Gryps Conflict of U.C. 0087, ten years prior to the events in PRELUDE 0099.
“Sir?” ventures Cairlay after a moment of tense silence.
General Noah’s gaze is withering in its intensity as he finally addresses the colonel, “Colonel Cairlay, approximately one hour ago, a task force of five unfriendly mobile suits raided the Anaheim Weapons Development Plant near Anman City and captured the Project G-100.”
Cairlay responds with a deep sigh, “Any leads, sir?”
General Noah nods grimly, “One of our GM pilots managed to shoot down one of the enemy mobile suits: it was an AMS-119 Geara Doga. Intelligence personnel have confirmed that the pilot of the mecha was an agent of the Independent Spacenoid Republic Liberation Army.”
An AMS-119 Geara Doga mobile suit, first used by the Neo Zeon forces in U.C. 0093. A limited number of these mobile suits are now deployed by the I.S.R.L.A.
Colonel Cairlay considers the information the general has revealed to him. The Independent Spacenoid Republic is an underground society of self-proclaimed freedom fighters whose objective is the restoration of the long obsolete Zeon Republic of Side 3. the I.S.R. was founded in U.C. 0094, the year after Char Aznable’s failed attempt to create nuclear winter on Earth by dropping Axis Fortress on the planet, by Artasia Som Daikun.
Artasia Som Daikun, also known as Sayla Mass, the leader of the Independent Spacenoid Republic movement.
Zeon Zum Daikun, founder of the Zeon Republic and father of Char Aznable and Sayla Mass
Artasia Som Daikun, aged thirty-five, is the daughter of the late spacenoid pioneer and visionary Zeon Zum Daikun, founder and first Prime Minister of the Zeon Republic. Artasia’s brother Casval Rem Daikun was the man who later became known as Char Aznable. During the One Year War, Artasia, under the name of Sayla Mass, actually served under then 1Lt. Bright Noah aboard the White Base. Sayla distinguished herself as a skilled and brave fighter and mobile suit pilot for the Federation, at times serving as substitute pilot in lieu of the famous Federation war hero Amuro Ray as the pilot of the original RX-78 Gundam. Sayla retired from the Federation military after the conclusion of the war, and after a rocky and ultimately failed relationship with Amuro Ray, she had completed her medical studies and spent the intervening years as one of the world’s finest physicians. Sayla reclaimed her birth name of Artasia Daikun after the apparent deaths of both her brother Char and her onetime lover Amuro at the end of the Second Neo Zeon War in U.C. 0093. Sickened by decades of war seemingly without end, Artasia organized the I.S.R. in a bid to free the space colonies once and for all.
The I.S.R. rejects the violent imperialism of the Zabi Family’s Archduchy of Zeon, but is committed to the liberation of Side 3 and all space colonies whose people desire to be free of the Earth Federation Government’s hegemony. The Federation regards the I.S.R.L.A. as terrorists.
General Noah tells Colonel Cairlay, “Colonel, I believe we should summon the services of the Special Operations Forces.”
Episode 1 to be continued…