Author's Note: Geez, I find it appalling that there aren't more Xenoblade Chronicles fanfics on this site, let alone Xenoblade Chronicles X fanfics, but…nevermind. It doesn't mean the end of the world, let alone the end of the world via collateral damage to the planet we live on. I do hope more XC and XCX fanfics are added sooner or later, but in the meantime, I'll put up my own for XCX.

For this fic, Cross will appear in his default form and clothing (the latter since it's more practical for the situation below). However, he has brown hair with dark-blue highlights, no weird hair sticking out of his head, and he is voiced by none other than Adam Howden of Xenoblade Chronicles fame.

Hope you enjoy! Reviews are appreciated!

Kshhhhhhhhh…! went the spray can in my hand.

BEEP! "…Rook, what are you—"

Elma's voice, popping up suddenly from my FNav device, caught me off-guard.

Which, considering the fact that I was just wrapping up with spray-painting my Skell, one story up on a ladder in the hangar, wasn't entirely a good thing.

"GAH!" I was so startled, I dropped my spray can as the tent ladder I was standing on—and lost balance on—tipped away from the machine.

I flopped to the floor as the ladder landed on my right leg with a CRASH!

Thank Mira for the lighter gravity. Also, "Owwww…"

Sitting up, I pushed off the orange ladder and pulled in my right knee. Good, nothing's flattened, I thought.

I looked up. In its humanoid state, my blue-and-steel Formula Skell towered over me in the corner, a giant almost as imposing as Vandham himself. On its right chest plate, the parchment paper taped to the Skell slowly swayed in the wind of the air conditioning. Behind it, stenciled in red spray paint, were a few words on the plate itself.

"Rook!" It was Elma. The platinum-haired BLADE raced across the hanger room towards me, worry in her eyes.

"Ah-kay…" I said as I got up and dusted myself off. "That could've gone better."

That was about when Elma reached me. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm all right. I can still handle the fall."

"No. I meant—" She pointed to my knee.

"Huh? Ah." I flexed my leg up. "Don't worry. It's nothing that I need to go to the MMC to fix."

Elma exhaled. "All right." She looked up at the Skell. "What were you doing up there, anyway?"

"Giving 'Wolf' a reminder for the rest of us," I replied. "I borrowed the quote from a book I read yesterday. Most of it reads like gibberish—it's not as bad as reading Finnegans Wake—but one bit of it actually strick out to me."

"Really? What's the book called?"

"Er, I think it was—"

Beep! Beep!

"Hm?" Elma pulled out her comms device, clicked the display on.

"Elma?" Lin's voice chirped from the screen (figuratively). "We've got a new mission straight from Vandham. See you and Rook at the briefing room?"

"Sure thing. We'll be right there." Elma clicked it off. "Sorry, Rook. Guess it'll have to wait for later."

I shrugged. "Can't argue with that. After you, Leader."

As we bantered our way out of the hanger—something about the difference between actual leadership and squad leadership—unbeknownst to us, the tape on Wolf's right chestplate gave way. As the red-covered paper floated to the floor, the freshly-painted text dried onto the metal, my new favorite quote reflecting the light and my newfound resolve:

When all else fails, we Stand for Answer.

P.S.: Obviously, the book Cross read from (the one that's not Finnegans Wake) is entirely fictional.