|"Do we not even...have the right to fear death!?"
Amelia voices her doubts regarding the use of Mark IV.
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|Chapter 056 ←||Chapter 057||→ Chapter 058|
|Volume 9, Chapter 57|
Those Who Crawl Along The Ground
Upon the announcement of the distribution MARK IV drug, Elizabeth Mably joins the world-ranked Pandora in discussing the ethics of the E-Pandora Project. Meanwhile, Amelia meets with Scarlett to discuss the drug and Scarlett promises to make the project a success.
Scarlett Ohara stands the Pandora, Limiters, and E-Pandora at the Alaska Base, briefing them on the new MARK IV drug that will be administered to the E-Pandora to allow them to better synchronize them with the Stigmata so they can better mimic the Pandora's fighting abilities. Amelia is horrified about the decision.
Roxanne Elipton, Elizabeth Mably, and Chiffon Fairchild walk in in the halls, discussing the new drug. Elizabeth dislikes the idea of putting Stigmata into ordinary people as that causes strain onto their bodies. The new drug might make it worse, and they try to increase the E-Pandora's synchro rates. Elizabeth begins to run down the effects Stigmata have on the bodies of regular Pandora. When they raise the stigmata density, it creates an unbearable strain on their bodies, which is why each Pandora has a set amount of stigmata. Therefore if regular Pandora have such trouble, the E-Pandora will have greater trouble despite drug enhancements. Roxanne agrees and finds the entire project very shady. Two girls appear, a short girl with headphones and another black-haired Pandora with in a button-down shirt. The girls with headphones advises Roxanne not to worry about what the government is doing. The Pandora are to follow orders while the Chevalier decides everything. Roxanne spanks her but as she calls the girl a model solider. Elizabeth privately identifies the short girl as Charles Bonaparte, "The Young Tempest Phoenix" while the other is the "German Maverick" Julia Munberk, both of which are world-class Pandora.
Charles and Roxanne resume throwing insults until Charles directs herself to Chiffon Fairchild, the "Unmatched Monster." Charles tells her that she believes that the duty of the Pandora is to be prepared to sacrifice the few to save the whole. Chiffon merely asks why everyone calls her a "monster" when she has confidence in her looks. The other fall on their heads, and Charles leaves with Julia, not before she and Roxanne share some last minute insults. Roxanne does not agree with all of Charles' logic, but she admits Pandora cannot choose how they help save humanity since they all gave the potential for happiness as girls once they became Pandora.
At Scarlett's office, Amelia comes to visit. When Amelia denies wanting coffee, Scarlett looks at the girl's timid face and explains that MARK IV is happening no matter what. But Amelia has come, not to question its use, but to question its effectiveness since the failure of MARK III as she knows the current level of technology will not be able to stabilize their Stigmata. Scarlett assures her that MARK IV is a completely different medicine, but Amelia has doubts as she fears for her life. Scarlett orders Amelia to be silent. Amelia agreed to the project via contract that she knew the risks of this project. The E-Pandora are to follow her orders no matter the risk. Amelia knows the conditions of the contract, but after the MARK III havoc, she needs to know if she and her friends are allowed to fear for her life. Scarlett says no; the E-Pandora are not allowed to fear for their lives. The project will not stop even if one of them dies, but Scarlett promises that none of them will die. Accepting that as an answer to her worries, Amelia leaves to tell her comrades and hopes that Scarlett will make the E-Pandora Project a success. When Amelia leaves the room, doubt overcomes Scarlett's face, as if she's hiding a secret. She slams her coffee cup on the ground, shattering it.
As Amelia walks in the halls she remembers when she was administered MARK III. Her hair was once completely crimson. MARK III became to fail; Amelia was Nova-lizing with the fractures in her face. Scarlett screamed for the administration of the drug to shut down immediately. Amelia nearly dies from the experience. Her hair turned silver except for the small bang. Continuing to walk, Amelia declares that she'll believe in the professor.
- Introduction of Charles Bonaparte and Julia Munberk, who are both world-ranked Pandora.
- Roxanne Elipton and Chiffon Fairchild are revealed to be world-ranked Pandora.