Episode 3 conclusion
Millions of kilometers away at Garrison Noah at Side 7, General Bright Noah receives a perplexing report from Colonel Richard Maiter, commanding officer of the Federal Forces’ Frontier 8 Civil Defense Guard.
Months ago, General Noah had conducted a surveillance mission in the Outer Solar System to study and assess all aspect of the Neo Zeon civil war that had been raging sporadically outside of Federation space for the past five years. The general’s surveillance had identified the principal players in the conflict, their relative strengths and weaknesses, and their attitudes towards one another (and towards the Federation).
If he had to pick an unlikely ally for the Federation among the Neo Zeon of the Outer Solar System, General Noah would not have picked the Phobos Zeon Army of General Alexander Miguel.
And yet, here was Colonel Maiter’s report, telling him that it was Miguel’s Phobos forces that had effectively saved the day for Frontier 8 today, and spared the space colony from even more terrible carnage.
It is a confounding mystery to add upon the already befuddling morass that is the Neo Zeon Civil War.
And in just a week’s time, the Federal Forces’ best and brightest, the Special Forces, will be diving directly into that morass to see if they can make sense of it, and find a way to neutralize its threat to the Federation’s assets in the Outer Solar System.
General Noah knows that the forces he is bringing to bear in this difficult assignment are the best the Earth Federation Forces has to offer: the brilliant strategic mind and cunning of Major Athena Ibaz, the peerless mobile suit piloting skill of 1Lt. Jolie Minh, the promise of the young mobile suit pilot Chief Warrant Officer Jonah Michaels, and providing them leadership: the veteran experience of Captain Beecher Olech.
But would even they be equal to the task set before them?
The future of humanity rests upon their young shoulders.
The following morning, Major Athena Ibaz has the Centurion Team lined up for morning inspections. The night of dancing and fun has passed, and it is back to the grim business of preparing for war.
Athena carefully surveys each of her troops. She notices new patches on the right upper arm sleeves of 1Lt. Jolie Minh and Chief Warrant Officer Jonah Michaels, bearing the image of the Centurion Team’s stylized “C” logo enveloping a pair of hearts lanced together by twin arrows. Below the image is the indecipherable phrase, “JoMi, JoMi.”
Athena looks severely at Jolie and Jonah, “Lieutenant Minh, Chief Michaels. Would you care to explain these unauthorized new patches on your uniform jackets?”
“Um,” Jonah says, not sure what to say.
Jolie, with no such reservations, says, “Major, ma’am. It’s a little token of unity on our team.”
“The Centurion Team,” Athena asks, “or just you and Chief Michaels?”
“Well, uh…,” Jolie says.
“It’s…,” Jonah attempts.
The rest of the Centurion Team fights to suppress giggles, knowing that the slightest titter could put them into the stockade for the rest of the day.
Jolie and Jonah, they figure, however, are definitely busted.
Athena smiles enigmatically, “’JoMi, JoMi’…I figure these must be abbreviations of your names, correct?”
Jolie and Jonah turn to each other, speechless, but not really surprised that Athena has figured it out.
What comes next does surprise them, however, “They’re very nice, and you have my permission to continue wearing them. Remember, though, you’re part of a team of twelve and an army of millions: don’t ever forget it.”
“No, ma’am,” the JoMi, JoMi Duo replies in unison.
"And 1Lt. Minh...?" Athena thinks to add.
"Yes, ma'am?" Jolie responds, waiting to feel the keen edge of Athena's sometimes sarcastic wit.
"Please consider wearing a longer uniform skirt; you're distracting your fellow soldiers," Athena says, smiling.
Jolie tugs down the hem of her very short uniform skirt, "Yes, ma'am."
The Centurion Team can no longer hold their giggles. Athena tolerates it for a few seconds, and then turns serious.
“The mission that we are being deployed on seven days from now could well decide the future of all humanity,” Athena says to the entire team, “As such, I expect each of you to perform your duties to the best of your considerable abilities. Am I understood?”
“Yes, ma’am!” comes the collective reply.
Athena nods in approval. Her youthful, pretty face beams confidence, but deep down, she has misgivings. She has no doubts about the ability and commitment of her team, but will they be able to accomplish the monumental tasks set before them?
The answer to that question would be forthcoming in the weeks and months to come.
END OF EPISODE 3
Next, in Episode 4: the war begins for the Centurion Team!