PROLOGUE: SMALL FAVORS Date: March 5th 2179 Location: Space Station Montressor Orbit: Jupiter's Moon, Aitne Marcus Shiola finished his quick shave he stared into the sink with the hot water steam fogging the mirror above his head. Rubbing what was left of the shaving gel from his face he tossed the razor, which was well past its prime but as usual for him he liked to get the last bit of value he could out of something so cheap, off towards the right side of his sink as he took some of the near scalding liquid into his hands and slowly dipped his face into the little pool that his palms were able to create. The feeling of the heat made his mind race and finally put aside whatever feelings of slumber he still wished to take on just a few moments prior. It always worked better than any bitter cup of coffee. Perhaps that's why he wasn't as high strung as some of his fellow military officers. Shiola looked into the mirror how and say that the glass was fogged up everywhere except for the level his eyes were on and a single section on the right that caught a glimpse of the scar that had arrived there just a few months prior. It still looked fresh and he saw that the hair around it wasn't as finely cut as the rest of his face, though he supposed that was to be expected. Having a searing piece of metal scrape your face makes you a little cautious of doing the same exact motion even if it is with just a little less speed and slightly less dense. He scoffed at the sight of it now, as it almost came off as a bit of an annoyance as it was always a topic of conversation for those around the station of Montressor. And with him being here for the last two months there was plenty of time for people to ask him exactly what happened and what it was like piloting a legitimate Orbital Frame. It had been a long time since the first Orbital Frame Idolo was built back in 2167 yet the machines still possessed a certain wondrous aura about them. The sleek designs. The speed that they moved. The kind of power they possessed against the raging enemy they may face. Yet once you pilot one just long enough like Marcus had he literally felt no real awe towards the machine anymore. It was just another tool that he needed to control to the best of his ability otherwise he was going to float around in space a frozen and charred up corpse. Hardly the way he wanted to go out in his earlier days. Yet he did his job with entertaining the naive minds about what the powers of Metatron were. The last of his buttons buckled and his boots laced up, Shiola finally found himself leaving his small bunk of a room to head towards a gathering point he could almost hear from his part of the station. To lifts and an elevator away and the excited or worried murmurs were already hitting his ears. Perfect. Just what he wanted when he was designated the head of the F.A.T.E. Project. As the lines of light sailed past him during the last half of his trek to the gathering point he ran through the conversation he had with the Elena Weinberg woman, the lady who helped train the prodigy of a Runner in Leo Stenbuck and pushed back the forces of BAHRAM after their Mars occupation, and realized just how much extra work they stacked on his plate. They simply collected the talent yet they didn't do any screening of any sort so there were going to be people cast off from Montressor based on how many Frames the UNSF had at the time. As of now all he knew was that two Frames were ready for combat while others were still in the testing process. And he had to figure out which of the candidates fit in which Frame to boot. Talk about a serious grading scale he had to work on. It used to be so much easier when he could just throw random men and women into LEVs and just go after whatever enemies may be attacking the designated target. Yet with the rumors of BAHRAM making a comeback it was hardly a time to be wishing for the “good old days”. Finally arriving at his location he walked through the final doors that swung open upon his vicinity while soldiers to his sides saluted him as he entered the landing bay that served as a meeting room. There weren't many people below him on his elevated platform but there was enough that made him sigh inwardly at the potential work he would have to go through to see which of them he would take under his wing. Hopefully they wouldn't make it too much of a headache, but he doubted it as the conversations below him seemed to continue even after his arrival on the platform roughly three feet above the masses.