Late 2010 (November-ish)
3rd LT Rob Cole was just beginning to finally get over the stress of his near-death in combat at the hands of the Zentraedi Captain Thrajino in his Officer’s Battle Pod; when he was selected to be one of the special few to test pilot the new Armored Battloid on a protective patrol near the SDF-1. Making his way to the Hangar Bay; he took in the sight of the VF-1A in Battloid mode; wrapped in layers of blow-away armor and fitted with 70 short-range missile tubes. Promising to be very careful with the new Mecha; he moved out on his patrol.
A few hours later Rob Cole was beginning to get a bit sleepy at the controls when he noticed over a dozen contacts on his sensor screen; coming fast into his sector. He relayed a message to the SDF-1 that he had about 15 bandits moving in and that he could use a little bit of help and he wasn’t exactly reassured when he got a reply from the excitable, little-girl voice of 3rd LT Sammie Porter saying that ‘Indigo Team’ of Skull Squadron had been scramble and would be at his position in approximately 2 and a half minutes. Hoping that he had that long; Rob moved to intercept the pack of bandits; which were revealed to be a dozen Battlepods; two Light Artillery Pods and a Heavy Artillery Pod.
Cole did his best to dodge the long-range fire from the Pods’ Particle Cannons and he used his Gunpod to destroy 3 out of 4 of the medium missiles the Heavy Artillery Pod fired at him but the last one slammed into him; but his heavily armored Battloid took the damage better than he expected. As soon as the enemy ‘horde’ were in range; he opened up with a massive salvo of missiles and he took great delight in watching half-a-dozen of the pods explode. Then he was in a short-range swarm of a fight with the remaining enemy mecha; and he took hit after hit while using his remaining missiles and Gunpod to continue to take out Pods here and there. A Particle Cannon blast clipped the side of the Battloid’s head and parts of Rob’s controls exploded out and slammed into the side of his head and the last thing he remembered was the sight of a trio of Veritechs in Skull Squadron colors taking out the few remaining Pods.
Cole was brought back to the SDF-1 after racking up 10 victories and having his new Armored Battloid almost destroyed; but courageously fighting off the Zentraedi long enough for Indigo Team to get there and finish off the few remaining Pods. Cole wasn’t really aware of this though as he would spend the next few days in the medical bay with a fractured skull and the next month on light duty, recovering from his serious injury. During that time; his girlfriend Gladys would come by every day and he would be promoted to 2nd LT and receive the Platinum Sunburst Medal. While he was recovering though; his teammates would have quite an experience of their own….
On Thanksgiving Day; 1st LT Kang and 2nd LT De Aza were on patrol when a Zentraedi Scout Cruiser moved in towards the SDF-1 and unleashed an attack with most of its complement of Battlepods and Fighter Pods. The two fighter Sable Team was vectored towards a Cat’s Eye Recon plane which had been damaged and was reporting that a strange; not-seen-before Mecha with ‘hands’ was moving in to capture the craft. Dae-Han and Alex raced in to see the disturbing sight of a Zentraedi Captial Ship nearby and a pack of Battlepods firing at them while a mecha that somewhat resembled an unarmed Officer’s Pod; using its arms to grasp the damaged Cat’s Eye Recon Plane and pull it into the Hangar Bay of the Cruiser.
Kang fought like a demon and used his missiles and Gunpod to rapidly take out no fewer than 6 enemy Pods; but his Veritech took catastrophic damage in return; and he was forced to eject the cockpit and nose of his Fighter with Alex radioing over that she would transform to Guardian mode and carry his ejected canopy section. De Aza’s aim was uncharacteristically off; and she had only managed to take out a pair of enemy Pods when she switched modes and snatched Dae-Han’s canopy section before taking crippling hits and just barely managing to her get flaming wreck of a Guarding on a course to crash land onto the enemy ship’s hangar bay….
2nd LT Alex De Aza manages to just barely crash land onto the hangar bay of the Zentraedi Cruiser; while cradling 1st LT Dae-Han Kang’s detached canopy-nose section of his destroyed Veritech fighter like a mother cradling an infant. As the flaming wreck came to a screeching halt; they noticed the damaged Cat’s Eye Recon plane in one-section of the mostly empty, massive hangar-bay; and about a dozen Battlepods and half-that number of Fighter Pods; all unmanned and parked in a seemingly hap-hazard manner.
Alex snatched up her 3-round Rocket Launcher and her sidearm; set her Veritech for self-destruct and hopped out of her ruined fighter while Kang was doing the same; except he was armed with an Assault Rifle and his sidearm. The two of them quickly rushed across the Hangar Bay to hide behind the foot of one of the Battlepods as the remnants of the two veritechs exploded into a millions pieces of metal and glass. Shortly after that, a pair of armed and armored Zentraedi foot-soldiers entered the Hangar and began to patrol the massive room, clearly looking for any signs of the pilots of the destroyed Veritechs. Dae-Han and Alex quickly came to the conclusion that they would have to destroy the Cat’s Eye; to prevent any information still in its computer systems from falling into enemy hands; as well as to determine what had happened to the crew of the plane.
Moving stealthily and greatly aided by the fact that they were on a ship built for beings 40+ feet tall; the two of them were quickly able to move to the Cat’s Eye without being spotted by the enemy foot soldiers. The twin canopies were empty; though one had a significant amount of blood in it. Dae-Han set the self-destruct switch and the two pilots once again raced away to take cover behind enemy mecha. Within moments the recon plane exploded and the two foot soldiers rushed over and one of them quickly went to a wall-mounted intercom and in a rumbling bass voice in an alien tongue; reported the situation. Unwilling to attempt an escape without first trying to figure out the status of the two crewmen; Alex and Kang quickly decided to explore the equivalent of a ‘mouse-hole’ at the base of the wall; and they were soon traversing inside the wall; using small flashlights that were part of their survival gear to see by.
It quickly became apparent that the enemy ships were not swept clean, nor in particularly good working order. There were numerous openings to various rooms and corridors and they poked their heads out here and there; seeing a closet with numerous uniforms hanging on racks; a monstrously huge corridor that was very dusty and grimy; a room with half-a-dozen liquid filled tanks hooked up to some kind of piping and machines which were big enough to hold a Giant Zentraedi in each; and which curiously had a human-sized tank at the base of each. All of this traveling took hours and eventually; finding a nook in the walls; the two took a break and ate a meal of rations and some of the water in their canteens and took a short rest, before resuming their search for the missing Defense Force pilots. Finally, they heard deep booming voices coming from a room near the tunnel and the pair moved quickly to a small, ‘mouse-hole’ opening and there, a very strange sight was in front of them….
The hole they were looking out of was big enough for them to fit through and looking out they saw a pair of Giant Zentraedi; one in the typical armor and weapons of a Foot Soldier; while the other had no armor or visible weapons and was in a purple uniform; instead of the green one that every other Giant they had seen had been wearing; and he was talking to the two missing pilots; in ENGLISH! The missing pilots were on a ledge that may have served as a desk or table for the Giants and was about 20 feet down from Kang and De Aza’s position; but directly across from them. (I.e. the Ledge spanned the width of the room and was directly below Dae-Han and Alex) The light purple-skinned Zentraedi officer began to interrogate the two pilots; who it quickly became apparent were named 2nd LT Sam Walker and 2nd LT Jerry Jameson. Jameson had an obviously broken leg; with part of the bone poking out through the skin and had clearly lost a lot of blood. Sam had torn off a sleeve from his uniform and done his best to tie a tourniquet around the wound; but Jameson had passed out and things weren’t looking good.
The Zentraedi officer barked out questions about ‘Protoculture’; how many transformable mecha were still on the ship; and perhaps most bizarrely, about where did Micronians come from. At first, Walker stuck to the ‘name, rank and serial number’ routine; while asking for medical attention for Jameson. In reply; the Zentraedi officer grew angry and casually picked up Jameson and crushed the life out of him and tossed the remains, messily, down on the ledge. At this, Sam snapped and in a panic, began to answer questions; though consciously or not; he stayed away from the military ones and stuck with the Protoculture and where Micronians come from questions. He honestly told them that he knew next to nothing about Protoculture; only that he had heard rumors it had something to do with the ‘alien clean-energy fuel’ that powered the mecha and that Micronians came from Earth. When the Zentraedi leader asked him more specifically on HOW Micronians became Micronians; Walker replied in a baffled voice that they were born this way, of course.
The Zentraedi became noticeably agitated by this and in an incredulous manner; asked from WHAT were Micronians born from and when poor Sam told him in confused tone that they came from a male and female parent; the Zentraedi lost it; looking to be a combination of angry and sick. He quickly whirled away and left the room; leaving the guard in the room as Walker collapsed in a heap in the corner; visibly at the break-point of exhaustion, horror, fear and confusion. Dae-Han and Alex knew that NOW was the time to act.
Kang; using a combination of his assault rifle and survival knife; began to hack away at the sheath covering a wire in the wall; and the sound drew the attention of both Walker and the Zentraedi soldier. Walker stayed as far back and away as he could; but the guard advanced, holding an Assault Rifle that looked to be about the same size as a Veritech’s Gunpod. Alex waited with her rocket launcher and took a deep breath….
The Guard poke his face down at the hole’s level and De Aza cut loose with a rocket (Luck Point spent here) that caught the poor soldier right between the eyes and blew chunks of gore on the ledge; further terrifying Walker and causing the Giant’s body to fall to the floor. Kang had finally managed to get the wire out of its sheath and used enough of it as an impromptu rope to lower to the ledge and climb down to get a shaky Walker and help him back to the ‘mouse hole’; and back on the hours long trip to the Hangar Bay.
Along the way, Sam finally got a hold of himself and spilled out that the interrogation had started right before Alex and Dae-Han had got there; and the officer’s name was apparently ‘Captain Thrajino’. De Aza and Kang shared a look; but said nothing to the poor Cat’s Eye Recon pilot and eventually, the trio reached the Hangar Bay. This time; the Hangar Bay had about half-a-dozen armored soldiers milling around and it was a VERY near thing that the three of them managed to make it to a Fighter Pod with an open cockpit. Climbing up and into the cockpit; the three of them were able to make sense of the controls fairly quickly; and they quickly powered the Fighter up and lowered the cockpit with Dae-Han flying the craft; Alex working the weapons and Sam working the sensors and comms gear.
Kang managed to swing the Fighter from side to side; mostly dodging the incoming fire from the soldiers while some of the rounds pinged off the hull of the craft. Alex cut loose with the triple energy cannon on the nose of the Fighter Pod; and quickly managed to thin out their opposition. Walker managed to figure out how to send the signal to open the airlock as De Aza fired off some missiles to destroy some of the Battlepods and Fighter Pods at rest in the Hangar Bay. She was a little crest-fallen when Kang told her that they wouldn’t count for her tally of victories.
Rocketing out of the Hangar bay and into space; Dae-Han; using his entire body to move the tree-sized Stick; managed to dodge the fire from the Zentraedi Cruiser (more expenditure of luck points here!); and soon; the triple-engined ship was well on its way towards the SDF-1; which Walker had managed to locate on the sensors. Switching over to a frequency used by the Defense Force; they sent out the message that they were friendlies and to PLEASE DON’T SHOOT THEM! A Veritech team soon came out and collected them and brought them back onboard; where they were more than a little surprised to learn that a similar incident had happened just the other day; only involving LCDR Hays and Vermilion Team of Skull Squadron!
Nevertheless; the acquisition of the Fighter Pod and the bravery shown in recovering LT Walker; as well as in escaping the enemy ship; led to Dae-Han Kang’s receiving of a second Platinum Sunburst medal; Alex De Aza receiving a Gold Sunburst Medal; and best of all; a ‘shore leave’ pass thru the end of the year.
Alex’s whirlwind relationship with Tiffany Snow ended as quickly as it had started; but she DID meet a much more serious-minded partner in Collin MacGregor; and it looked like THIS relationship might have a chance to turn into something special.
Dae-Han celebrated Christmas with his extremely pregnant wife Tatyana; and four days later was overjoyed to become the father of a son; Lu-Han Kang.
Rob Cole was finally released from the med bay and after a nice quiet holiday with Gladys; he was finally re-instated to active flight status and the three members of Sable Team all received newly constructed Veritech fighters and were once again out on patrol come January 1st, 2011….