Mark Max

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We will collate our wills, we will seize the truth of everything. Columbia will become the sword and shield of Terra––just as he wished! This is the best condolence that I–President of Columbia, Mark Max, can offer to a dying era.
—Declaration of President Max[1]

Mark Max (stylized as Mk. Max) is an NPC in Arknights. He is first mentioned in Phantom & Crimson Solitaire[2] before appearing in Lone Trail.

Background

While appearing as a Liberi puppet to the public, Mark Max is not only the one and only "President" of Columbia since its independence, but also, he is actually a machine—being an artificial intelligence sharing a common root with PRTS created by Trevor Friston his "father" during the age of the "First Civilization." It is in fact an independent "Mindframe & Think Tank" program that has the ability to analyze human strategies and accurately predict future events.[3] However, unlike PRTS's mild temper, Max, being a machine that lacks the understanding of emotions, has a more aggressive approach that yearns to rebuild the glory of the space-farers despite swearing himself to serve humans loyally. To execute his will, Max can willingly cast away human morals and proceeds regardless of consequences.

For more than ten thousand years, Max's core terminal was buried beneath the wilderness. In the year 1017 during the second year of the Columbian Revolutionary War, the colonial pioneers led by Maylander Selene excavated the site and discovered him. Venerating him as a "prophet" who could aid the colonies resisting forces of the Duke of Tybalt, Maylander decided to cooperate with him to harness his full capacities in the Revolutionary War.[3] At first, Max disguised himself as a mere speaker behind a microphone who proclaimed that he was just an accountant in a mine of a border duke, and he described his reason to have an incognito identity was to protect his family living in Victoria from political purge. His calculation was not accurate enough in the beginning which resulted in several retreats. This caused the colonial army to greatly distrust this ambiguous man; even Gaulish envoys aiding the war suspected that Max was a spy. However, the constant defeats predicted by Max caused many to slowly trust his predictions, causing the colonies to fully side with him. Not only Max helped modernize the colonial army by reforming its military strategies and political structure, but also he intercepted intel networks of Victorian spies who sought to eliminate him but in vain. All of a sudden, Max became the most beloved general in the Revolutionary Army, and under his leadership, the colonies joyfully declared Columbia's independence after the victory in the Battle of Babbage.[4]

Due to his popularity, Mark Max's presidential speeches have become some of the most watched television broadcasts in Columbia

Following Columbia's independence, Maylander and Max negotiated to share their power. Max was appointed to be the President of Columbia while Maylander himself retreated from politics to establish a deep-state under the guise of a charitable foundation—the Maylander Foundation. The first general election was held to the public, and Max surprisingly won a landslide victory. Proving himself as a good leader, Max's office helped developed Columbia to a modern superpower. And thanks to his trait as a hyper-rational terminal, President Max's execution was always perfect for Columbia's survival. Due to his ever-rising popularity, President Max earns a permeant seat in the government, and the general election was instead set to elect Columbia's Vice Presidents, a human being who could assist in Max's calculation.[5] But to some, especially Kal'tsit, there is a fear that President Max would ultimately become a de facto dictator in a young democracy whose almost-"perfect" rational could lead Columbia to the wrong directions such as Columbia's expanding geopolitical interferences in Bolívar, Sargon, and Sami, and threatening potentials that could bring world-wide chaos across Terra.

Because of his identity as a machine, Max needs an avatar to meet the public. He has a bird puppet standing alongside the Vice President, and many believe his intention is to have children in Columbia to familiarize his presence through such a cartoonish character.[4]

Story

Lone Trail

References