Having succeeded in destroying an alien Capital ship and defeating numerous Fighter Pods and Battle Pods in the Battle of Saturn’s Rings; the SDF-1 uses the ‘slingshot effect’ of Saturn’s orbit to accelerate its trip back towards Earth and it briefly escapes from the alien Fleet hounding it for a few months. This leads to some well-deserved and needed down-time for the various Pilots and military crewmen of the ship.
2nd LT Dae-Han Kang has a small, quiet marriage ceremony to his (now-showing) pregnant fiance Tatyana Konovalova (now Kang); with his beaming Engineer Mom, recently-enlisted-in-the-Defense-Forces younger sister Chin-Sun ‘Sunny’ Kang; Black Aces Squadron leader LCDR Karl Hyde; and of course his fellow Sable Team members, 3rd LTs Alejandra ‘Alex’ De Aza and Robert ‘Rob’ Cole all in attendance.
Rob Cole, meanwhile had become a regular at a ‘hush-hush’ weekly poker game being run by a somewhat shady Defense Forces Marine Destroid pilot by the name of SGT Joe Rico; and when he wasn’t winning and losing money at the games, was drinking heavily; spending time with his brother and family; telling his young nephew William to avoid becoming a pilot at all costs and hanging out with a flight school buddy by the name of 2nd LT Beuregard ‘Bo’ Buchanan; who had been the top pilot in the flight class and had been assigned as an Instructor Pilot ever since. Bo was EXTREMELY frustrated at not being able to get into the thick of it; and he was a frequent drinking companion to Rob.
Alex; on the other hand; had fallen back in with one of her surviving Macross Island pre-war friends; a 22 year old semi-shady charmer by the name of Nestor ‘Nes’ Santiago. She had first met Nes way back when she first moved to Macross Island in 2005 when she was 14 and a freshman in high school and he was a senior at the same school. Nes had lost his younger brother to leukemia and his father had skipped out on the family when Nes was just a young boy. He was also a Spanish-speaking latino; like Alex; and the two of them quickly hit it off as surrogate siblings to each other. Nes was a big contributing factor in Alex’s moves towards a more and more tomboyish and slightly shady lifestyle. While she blossomed into a lovely woman late in her teens; she retained her attitudes and thus was a bit of a ‘bum’ in her first year after high-school; hanging around with Nes and company; instead of trying to go to college or get a real job.
After Macross Island; Nes had been drafted into the Defense Forces; but being the slick, resourceful young man that he is; he quickly pulled an assignment as an Enlisted Cook; and quickly figuring out the channels to get contraband foodstuffs to make hooch and getting the raw materials for setting up an underground bar/club. In the down-time after the Battle at Saturn; Alex joined in whole-heartedly and used her own connections and powers of persuasion to talk to her Video game arcade friend to get access to a whole floor of rooms above some abandoned shops in a building in Macross City; and with some of Nes’s CB (Construction Battalion) friends; they quickly knocked out a few walls, built a bar and had some tables and a dance floor set up to go with a private room in the back for card games. “Loch Nes” as the underground bar/modern-day Speak-easy became known; quickly gained in popularity due to word-of-mouth; and soon pilots and Destroid drivers and hard-working engineers were all coming in to drink hooch and lose money in card games and drunkenly dance and hit on the few women, like Alex, that frequented the place. Rico’s poker game quickly became a fixture at the place and one night; shortly after De Aza’s 20th birthday; all 3 members of Sable Team found themselves at “Loch Nes”; enjoying themselves and about to become participants in a bar-brawl….
Dae-Han Kang was enjoying his one-night ‘out with the fellas’ a week and away from his pregnant wife by coming to ‘Loch Nes’ and throwing back a few beers with some fellow Black Aces pilots while his fellow Sable Team members were off dancing on the floor (Alex) and playing poker in the back (Rob). Dae-Han watched as Alex came to the bar to get a drink from her friend Nes; the bartender; followed by a hulk of a drunk who was loudly trying to get her to come home with him.
At about the same time, Rob came out of the poker room, loudly accusing SGT Rico of cheating at card which led to a shoving match. Kang swore softly and got up to head over to the fracas when two things happened simultaneously. First; the big hulk grabbed De Aza’s backside; which led to a quick side kick to the big drunk; who stumbled over and fell onto a table of mostly drunk pilots from the rival Lion Squadron. At about the same time; Rob Cole shoved the loud-mouthed and possibly card-cheating SGT Rico after being shoved first and Rico fell back into a table of Marine Destroid pilots; and a pair of aces spilled out of the SGT’s sleeves; which quickly led to Rob and a few of the other poker players who had followed him out; to rush over in a haze of vengeance, oblivious to the annoyed Marines who were rising from their table after Rico crashed into it and spilled all of their drinks.
Naturally, chaos broke out….
Alex remembers quickly leaping over the bar and crouching down next to Nes, who just looked over at her and sighed ruefully while saying; “Well, little sister….I think we’re gonna need some new tables and glasses after tonight”…
Rob caught a punch to the ribs from Rico; but he more than made up for it by giving the Marine a right cross that dropped him like a stone. Unfortunately, he was then caught in the center of the melee; and a couple of inadvertent blows came his way as he shoved his way to the back door out of the club….
Dae-Han, knowing his new bride would be EXTREMELY upset if he got in trouble for being in a bar-brawl at an unauthorized club; moved quickly through the swirling mess to the front of the club; only having to cold-cock one pilot who tried to pick a fight with him and narrowly avoiding a thrown beer mug that almost connected with his head. Then he was free to the front door; and he quickly told Sven ‘Thor’ Larson; the bouncer; to get in there and get things under control. With a nod; the 6 foot infinity; close to 300 pound mountain of a man moved in and the chaos was rather quickly brought to order. As this was happening; Kang overheard a marine Senior Lieutenant (SRLT) by the name of Thomassen talking to a couple of others in the shadows; something about how they had to leave and make sure the MPs didn’t learn about the secret meeting of ‘their Organization’. Kang heard nothing more as Thomassen fled and everyone else either fled back to their quarters or helped with the clean up.
The day after the glorious bar-brawl; the SDF-1 was re-discovered by the aliens; who sent a “surrender now!” message; showing that they had clearly learned the English language; and also identified themselves as “The Zentraedi”. Captain Gloval simply ignored the message; but the crew soon learned that the ship was now on course for the planet Mars; to re-stock from materials at the abandoned SARA base. Combat patrols soon started again over the next few days; and Sable Team was once again flying sorties. About a week or so later; the SDF-1 had once again managed to seemingly shake off the pursuing enemy fleet and set down on Mars itself; quickly sending out patrols of Cats Eye recon planes; Vertiech fighters flying Combat Air Patrol; Destroids setting up a ground perimeter and dozens of cargo trucks and hundreds of CBs and engineers poring through every abandoned building on the base for every scrap of food stuffs; raw materials; and anything of any possible use for the battle-weary crew.
Just before touching down; an excitable Chin-Sun Kang came to see her brother and tell him the good news; she was flying on her first patrol in the Cat’s Eye Recon plane she had been assigned to. Dae-Han did his best to tell her to stay alert and focused and be careful; but he may as well have been talking to a wall; Chin-Sun wasn’t called “Sunny” for nothing. Off she went with a smile and a hop and skip in her gait. Dae-Han just shook his head and asked the Gods of War to be kind to his little sister. Then, Sable Team was off on patrol….
They were off in their assigned section a couple of hours later; marveling at flying under a sky again; albeit a red one; when a badly scrambled message came over the comms; “-going down…..traedi activity…may-day”; Kang knew INSTANTLY the badly static-filled message was from his sister’s plane. Pulling up his computer read-out; he quickly scanned and found out her assigned sector at a far-flung section of the Base; near a couple of hangars that were near a ridge line that fell off steeply into a narrow canyon on the other side. He sent a quick message to his squadron leader, LCDR Hyde about what had happened and was relieved to have his C.O. order his team to check it out; as he was going to do that no matter what the orders may have been. With that; Team Sable raced off to the sector and soon approached the area; seeing a trio of Destroids that I.F.F. read off as “Silver Squad”’; under the command of one SGT Rico.
At the edge of the ridge line; half on the ridge and half hanging over it; a Cat’s Eye Recon bird was crashed on the ground with most of its right wing shot off and one of the two crew members was struggling to pull the other crew member; either dead or unconscious out of the second cockpit. Kang was about to call for a report from Rico’s squad; which consisted of Rico’s Tomahawk; a Defender and a Spartan; when everyone’s Comms and Sensors were suddenly filled with white noise and electronic interference; a sure sign of being jammed by an enemy Recon Pod!
Sure enough; a moment later a wave of enemy Battlepods burst forth; led by one of the rarely encountered and feared Officer’s Pods! The rest of the group consisted of half-a-dozen Regular Pods; a Light Artillery Pod; a Heavy Artillery Pod and was in the back; a Recon Pod. The Enemy took the Destroid squad by surprise and a wave of Particle Beams and missiles quickly turned the Defender and the Spartan into balls of orange flame and scrap metal; and badly damaged Rico’s Tomahawk. The Pods all then landed at the Ridge edge and noticed the Veritech team headed their way and the battle began in earnest….
While the Recon Pod focused on jamming their long-range communications, sensors and fire-control systems; the Officer’s Pod jumped and twisted in the air; apparently studying this new threat before opening up with its ample armaments. The Light Artillery Pod turned towards Dae-Han’s Fighter while the Heavy Artillery Pod; with its two remaining medium missiles; turned towards Rob’s Pod. One of the half-dozen Battlepods turned to examine the crashed Cat’s Eye plane while two took aim at Alex, one took aim at Kang and the last at Cole.
Rob’s Veritech exploded into action before anyone else could react and his move took his fellow teammates as well as the Zentraedi completely by surprise. He detached and dumped all 12 of his missiles; transformed to Battloid mode and in mid-air; he slammed shoulder first into the wildly maneuvering Officer’s Pod. (His player spent a Luck point here) The move slammed the Officer’s Pod to the hard Martian surface with enough force to cause one of its twin-weapon equipped Arms to snap off and Cole landed on top of the Hangar, looking down upon the slowly rising Zentraedi Mecha as SGT Rico’s Tomahawk slid behind the Hangar and into cover…
Alex transformed to Guardian mode and cut loose with half-a-dozen missiles aimed at the Recon Pod and one of the two aiming at her fighter and she destroyed both with the salvo; raising her victory score to 13 and more importantly, getting rid of the jamming….
The Enemy Pods now reacted and the Light Artillery Pod sent half a dozen missiles at Kang’s Veritech while the Heavy Arty Pod sent its last two missiles at Rob’s Battloid. Kang managed to snap-roll and dodge the missile swarm while the twin medium missiles caught the edge of the Hangar where the sides joined the ceiling and exploding at the feet and legs of Cole’s machine; sending it tumbling to the ground next to the rising Officer’s Pod and leaving many of its systems damaged.
The Pods firing at Dae-Han and Rob missed; but De Aza’s Pod hit her with hits particle beam cannons; but failed to do much more than burn some paint and carbon-scoring into the armor of her fighter. The Pod nearest the crashed Cat’s Eye stepped and crushed/kicked the ruined plane over the side of the ridge and down into the Canyon; with the conscious crew-member just barely managing to dive and roll out of the way; while the other crew member unfortunately met their demise with the wreck of the plane. It was at that point that Dae-Han made a spectacular shot with a short-burst from his Gunpod that holed the offending Battlepod through the very top of its ‘main body compartment’; and causing the machine to freeze and then topple backwards onto the ridge-line edge and not move. (Kang’s player spent a Luck Point here as well).
The Officer’s Pod, took aim at the damaged, but slowly-getting-to-its-feet Battloid of Rob; and opened up with its Heavy Particle Cannon and its medium beam cannon and medium ballistic cannon. All three shots slammed into Cole’s veritech; and it was only by a minor miracle that Rob managed to yank the ejection handle before his machine erupted into a million pieces. His chair’s parachute deployed and he had to watch with great dismay as the Tomahawk of SGT Rico stepped out from behind the hangar and sent a blast from his own Heavy Particle Cannon that further damaged the Enemy Officer’s Pod and forced it to engage its thrusters and fly away, though not before opening up the external comms and in good English calling out; “You were worthy opponents today micronians; but you haven’t seen the last of Captain Kaujino!” Rico and Cole were both wondering the same thing; what the hell was a micronian?
Elsewhere on the battlefield Dae-Han and Alex were still in the thick of the fighting; with Kang cutting loose with a pair of bursts from his Gunpod that took out the two Artillery Pods while De Aza fired a long spray which dropped the two remaining Battlepods and ended the fight. As SGT Rico picked up a very annoyed-to-have-to-be-riding-with-HIM Rob; Kang was more than a little relieved to learn that the surviving crew-member of the fallen Cat’s Eye plane was his sister Sunny. De Aza opened her cockpit and let Sunny climb into her lap and the two Veritechs and Destroid set off back to the SDF-1; which apparently had been caught in some kind of gravity mine trap and under assault by a massive force of Pods while they had been engaged in their own little drama. Everyone returned to the ship and the SDF-1 managed to escape the trap at Mars and resume its trip towards Earth.
After a thorough review of the battle; while everyone agreed that Rob’s transformation to Battloid and mid-air tackle on the Officer’s Pod had been a remarkable maneuver; it had also been VERY ill-advised and poor Cole got quite the tongue-lashing from LCDR Hyde. However, for their fine combat record and ability to save Chin-Sun Kang and SGT Rico; everyone got a medal; the Platinum Sunburst for both Dae-Han and Alex; and the Gold Sunburst for Rob. In addition; both Dae-Han and De Aza were promoted; Kang to 1st LT and Alex to 2nd LT. Rob remained at 3rd LT; largely due to poor discipline.
In the weeks that followed the battle; Rob Cole had a bit of a life-crisis. Realizing how close to death he had come; he began the process of quitting drinking and started to attend church services. While there, he met Gladys Polinowski, a nice, shy civilian woman who worked as an X-ray technician; and the two began dating. He still couldn’t quite shake the need for a good card game though….
Alex threw herself back into making the ‘Loch Nes’ a wild and successful underground bar/club in her off-hours; working closely with Nes to do so. She began to consider expanding the establishment to possibly house a fighting ring of some-kind; as a way for those with pent-up aggression to let it out in a somewhat-safe environment. She also picked up a romantic partner; albeit it was only a brief fling; the swings-both-ways De Aza had a steamy, short-lived romance with an attractive Waitress/Dancer of ‘Loch Nes’ by the name of Tiffani Snow…
Dae-Han Kang celebrated his 23rd birthday by moving out of his barracks and into a 3 bedroom apartment overlooking the Macross Stadium in “downtown” Macross; along with his wife Tatyana and took every chance he could to relax and enjoy the peace and comfort of living with her before the war caught up to all of them again….