Early 2010 (April-ish)
3rd LT Alex De Aza finishes up her 90 day boot-camp/flight training and upon becoming a full-fledged Veritech pilot in the Defense Force; she gets assigned to Sable Team of the Black-Aces squadron; to replace the recently killed-in-action 3rd LT Joe-Bob Smith (my other players gave him the wonderful first name(s) :) ).
After a few early combat patrols; Dae-Han has racked up 3 victories; Alex has 2 and Rob has made ace with 5! He immediately gains a point of Glory for accomplishing this feat. On the home-front; Dae-Han and his girlfriend Tatyana Konovalova have been together for a good 3 or so months now and it looks like its getting quite serious. Things move in a bit more of an ‘adult’ direction for the couple and with a roll on the Fertility chart (yes; I have such a table….for setting up heirs in the later parts of the saga); she gets pregnant. Because she is a good person; she tells Dae-Han (I also have charts for the personality types of romantic partners for the PCs; and some of them might keep such a fact secret from male PCs); and he starts thinking about getting engaged in the near future.
In the meantime; the SDF-1 has reached the orbit of Saturn and the Alien Fleet moves in with a couple of capital ships and when the Fortress attempts to fire the Main Guns; something goes wrong and weapon doesn’t work. Thinking quickly; CAPT Gloval orders the Robot-mode SDF-1 into the ice-rings while sending out the Veritechs as well in a calculated offensive move to try and bait the alien ships closer and then smash through them to get closer to home.
The Black Aces Squadron is assigned a position in the Rings which will guard the flank of the Fortress while she and Skull squadron and other Veritech groups will attack the main alien detachment; to guard against any crafty alien attacks from the rear. It’s not long before Sable Team spies its first group of enemies from its hidden position in the rings; a half-dozen Green Fighter Pods burning for the Fortress….
Team Sable allows the Fighter Pods to pass and then they explode out of the Ice Rings behind the alien craft and open up with a missile volley. Each Veritech fires on two different fighters in an attempt to eliminate the whole group quickly; and while Cole and Kang are conservative and fire one missile each at two different targets; De Aza fires half of her dozen missiles; three at each foe.
Cole and Kang both manage to hit one of their targets and in both cases they cripple the Enemy craft but don’t destroy them; while De Aza has a moment of amazing marksmanship and obliterates both of her targets in short-lived bright explosions as multiple missiles slam into the alien fighters.
The two cripples start to limp away from the fight while the two intact alien survivors turn to face the Earth mecha and each opens up with a missile swarm of half-a-dozen missiles; one swarm at Alex and one at Rob. Rob pulls off some amazing evasive maneuvers and manages to avoid all the missiles while Alex decides to attempt to shoot them down with a long burst from her gun-pod. Clearly; it is Alex’s day as she drills the missile swarm with a perfectly placed hail of 55mm slugs that detonate the missiles and leaves her Fighter untouched. Meanwhile Dae-Han closes the distance and fires a pair of missiles at one of the intact Fighters and manages to take it out.
The last fighter turns to run and does some jinking-and-juking in an attempt to evade; but Alex will NOT be denied and she closes the range and puts a long burst from her Gun-pod into the craft and when it explodes into a million pieces she screams out in joy as she racks up her 5th victory and makes Ace! (Point of Glory for Alex)
Dae-Han and Rob go after the cripples and with the enemy in no condition to get away or fight; they are easily destroyed by well-placed gunfire from the GU-11 pods after failing a Mercy/Vengeance passion roll.
With everyone smiling and basking in the moment of taking out half-a-dozen foes while not suffering so much as a scratch in return; the Team belatedly realizes that their sensors are being jammed and while searching around with the ol’ Mark I eyeballs; they suddenly see a swarm of Battlepods closing in!
Half-a-dozen Battlepods are closing on them while a Recon Pod stays back; jamming them with its powerful electronic gear; and a Light and Heavy Artillery Pod with another pair of Battlepods moves close to the SDF-1 in the cover of the Rings. The opening salvos from the Pod’s Particle Beam cannons hit all 3 Veritechs; leaving De Aza’s fighter lightly damaged; Cole’s heavily damaged and Kang’s luckily only grazed. Team Sable; suddenly humble; turns about to Fight….
Alex; quick to react; sprays a pair of Pods who are operating close to each other with a long burst from her gun pod and quickly adds to her score with another two victories. Rob; in his battered Fighter; launches a pair of missiles and misses one; but takes out another; and Dae-Han cuts loose with a long burst from his Gunpod as well; destroying one and damaging another. The remaining two Pods; one untouched and one damaged; fire back but they miss De Aza but manage to cripple Cole’s already battered fighter. In retaliation; Alex fires a pair of short bursts from her Gun Pod and destroys both of the remaining Pods; bringing her score up to 7 victories so far this mission while Dae-Han orders Rob to return to the SDF-1 while he races into the Rings to try and get the jump on the Artillery Pods before they get close enough to launch a sneak attack on the aft-end of the Fortress. The Recon Pod; unarmed; had accelerated at top speed away from the fight and into the rings; successfully evading the Defense Force mecha.
Dae-Han’s marksmanship hadn’t been great but his piloting is amazing and he zips and rolls through the ice-chunks as if it was the easiest thing in the world to do and he rapidly closes in on the Pod group (Kang’s player spent a Luck Point here). De Aza; from the edge of the Rings; moves in cautiously; but takes a long range shot at the Pods with her remaining missiles. While the shot is extremely difficult due to the range and the heavy clutter of the ice rings all around the targets; she does manage to hit one of the opponents, the Heavy Artillery Pod, and it is quickly blown into the path of a large ice-chunk where it meets its end is a short-lived spherical explosion. (Alex’s player spent a Luck point on this shot as well)
Dae-Han; now at short-range of the surviving three pods; snaps a long spray of rounds from his Gunpod and takes out the Light Artillery Pod and one of the two surviving Battlepods; while the last survivor in retaliation damages his VF-1J with a pair of well-placed Particle Beam shots. Alex has moved slowly into the rings and closed to Medium range as well; and she takes a well-aimed shot with the GU-11 that destroys the last Battlepod. Rob briefly struggled with his orders to leave the fight while his teammates were at risk and he recklessly decided to try and help but bringing his Fighter into the Rings as well. (He failed his Discipline/Reckless passion trait roll). After barely avoiding an almost certainly fatal-collision with some Ice Chunks (Cole’s player had to spend a Luck Point on a re-roll); he came to his senses and wisely left the Ice Rings and began the journey home.
The reunited team (De Aza and Dae-Han easily overtake Rob’s barely-moving fighter) head back to the SDF-1 and arrive just in time to see the ‘Daedalus Maneuver’ in action.
Alex IS awarded a Pilot’s Medal for her battle prowess; but sadly; neither Alex nor Rob manage to score a romantic partner in the wake of their new-found glory for heroism as the Battle of Saturn’s Rings.
Dae-Han Kang though suffers from a bit of a swelled head; as he falls in with some ‘false friend/entourage types and begins to neglect his pregnant girlfriend Tatyana. This leads to some fights; but Dae-Han manages to snap out of it and ditch the fake friends and makes up with and then proposes to Tatyana and she happily says ’Yes!’
Rob begins to go a bit into ‘lone-wolf’ mode as the realization that he nearly joined his Father in the KIA column on this last mission and he turns 21 soon after but tells no one; while Alex De Aza; with some of her surviving friends in Macross City; begin to seriously think about starting a nightclub/bar as Restaurants and other businesses begin to re-open all through the city; with the crew members of the Fortress realizing that they have a ready-made R&R town onboard their own ship!