Scoop (Robotech)

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amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-12 03:45pm

Summary: A reporter travels to Macross City to cover the launch of a reconstructed alien spaceship.

Chapter 1

Welcome to Macross City
My life will never be the same again.

Everyone has said that whenever something significant happens. Graduating college, changing careers, getting married, having children. Some of the events in my life where I have said such a thing were typical events that almost all of us go through. But what I am about to describe is shared only by a very tiny fraction of the human population.

I began my journey in a Boeing 767 that served American Airlines Flight 93. I was sitting in the business class section, packed with hundreds of people. I felt the plane taxied down the taxiways at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. I felt the plane rise into the air. There were a whole bunch of people here, and I can hear snippets of conversation about their lives. I wondered how many of them were headed to where I was headed.

Six hours later, Flight 93 landed in San Diego International Airport in San Diego, California. I walked out of the 767 into jetway connecting the plane with the terminal. I looked at one of the viewscreens and saw that the flight to my desintation will leave in two hours. Nothing better to pass the time than having a hamburger and a Coke. The two hours were up and I went to the gate for Flight 77. I boarded the 757 and found my seat in business class. I soon saw all kinds of people sitting in the seats. All of them were excited, and they had every reason to be excited. Some of them reserved their tickets months in advance. My tickets were paid for by my employer, the Associated Press. This was not the first time I was sent overseas to cover a story. But this story would turn out to be the biggest story.

"All passengers, this is the captain speaking," said a male voice. "American Airlines Flight 77 now departing San Diego for Macross City."

I felt the plane rise into the air. Soon the California coastline disappeared from view, replaced by the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

ooooooo

"We are approaching Macross City," said the flight captain. "We will be there in about ten minutes."

I looked out my window and I could see an island. Most of it was covered by a city, Macross City. I could see high-rise buildings, houses, shopping malls, parks, a stadium, and an airport.

And I could see the island's main attraction, the SDF-1 Macross.

The SDF-1 was built from an alien spaceship that crashed ten years ago. The governments of Earth joined together to study the spaceship and rebuild it. I saw pictures of it, read about it in news reports, and saw it on TV. And months ago, I was informed that I would be chosen to be part of the team that would cover the maiden launch of the spaceship.

That was tomorrow.

I had all of my documentation prepared - my passport and press pass. Security is going to be tight, especially because of anti-unification forces. A few years back one of them even attacked the SDF-1. That was around the same time that a base on Mars was reported to be destroyed. My office had a reporter there at the time. It was the first death on the job from the New York office in at least seven years.

I felt a bump, and I knew that the landing gears made contact with the runway. A minute later, the 757 parked next to one of the terminals.

"We have now landed at Macross International Airport," said the captain. "Welcome to Macross City. Please proceed to customs."

The other passengers and I all got off the plane, walking along the jetway. We went to a door marked Customs. We had to place our carry-on luggage on a rubber conveyer belt passing through an X-ray scanning device. Customs officers questioned each of us.

"I'm a reporter from the Associated Press," I said. "I have my passport and press passes."

I was then waved through and I followed the path to baggage claim. The baggage claim was in a huge room. there were moving elliptical conveyers that had luggage riding on it. There were over a hundred people here. I quickly located my luggage; I thanked God that my luggage wasn't sent somewhere else like Bolivia.

I noticed how crowded the terminal was. I figured thousands of people were here, probably swelling the population of Macross City to a hundred thousand or so. I saw signs for car rental agencies, taxi services, and airport shuttles.


“Could you get the hotel shuttle fo us?” asked Ned.


“Sure,” I replied.

Ned Brubaker was a longtime veteran reporter for the Associated Press. He actually covered the crash of the Macross when the nations of the world decided to publicize it. I met him at a job fair just before I got my journalism degree from Columbia.

I lined up behind at least thirty people for a courtesy phone. After waiting for at least an hour, I got to the front, picked up the handset, and dialed the number for the Macross Hyatt, which was the hotel where the AP booked us.

“I got us a hotel shuttle,” I said to Ned.

We went outside and waited among the sea of people. I noticed most of them were getting into cars, buses, and airport shuttles; very few were getting out. I waited for another few minutes. I then saw a red van with the Hyatt logo printed on it. I went to where it stopped at a white curb. The driver asked me who I was, and I answered.

"Hop in," he said. "We'll take care of the luggage. Don't forget to tip."

And so we hopped in. The van pulled from the curb. Traffic was heavy on the terminal access road. I probably would have walked if I did not have so much luggage.

"Traffic's heavy," I said.

"Well, you know the hotel is booked full," said the driver, a man in a suit. "Everybody's coming in. And it's gonna be heavy when everyone leaves. I'll probably make enough in tips to retire."

After about forty minutes, we left the airport. I could see the SDF-1 Macross.

"It's a beautful sight," said the driver. "I'll be watching the launch. I will miss seeing it from my apartment."

And then we reached the Macross Hyatt Hotel and Casino. It was a tall structure; I guessed there were thirty floors. It was dwarfed by the SDF-1, of course. It was late afternoon, the sun was almost gone. I got off and tipped the driver. The luggage handler volunteered to bring my luggage to my room.

The Hyatt was a luxury hotel. The floors of the lobby were made of marble; the desk made of oak. A brochure stand sat next to the main entrance, filled with brochures advertising the island's attractions. I could hear the noises of the casino which was just a few feet away from the registration desk.

"Your room is 1507," the desk clerk said to me.

“I’ll check into my room,” I said to Ned.

“I’ll call you if you need anything,” he replied. The luggage handler and I went to the tower elevator. We shared it with some other hotel guests. As luck turned out, my floor was the top floor this elevator went to, so it took a few minutes to get to the fifteenth floor. After we got off the fifteenth floor, I looked at the signs and I noticed that my room was located near the elevators. I walked to Room 1507, used my room card key to open the door, and we entered. I tipped the baggage handler and he left.

The room was nice, with a soft carpet, a clean bed, a table with a General Electric clock radio. In the corner was a circular table for sitting. A room service menu sat on the circular wooden table.

I opened the curtains and I was impressed by the sight. The SDF-1 dominated the landscape. It was rectangular, almost a mile long, and probably a thousand feet high. I couldn't help but think that tomorrow, when I get my luggage out of the room when I check out one and a half days fromnow, the ship won't be there.

My hunger had priority over my fatigue.

ooooooooo

Ned invited me to dinner with him; it was at a Chinese restaurant maybe two miles from the placel; Ned had been here before on prior trips to Macross City. A girl with black hair greeted me and gave me a seat. I ordered chow fun. I saw a whole bunch of people here, some of them in the uniforms of the United Nations military. I studied their faces, wondering if I would see them again when I enter the SDF-1 Shipyard.

“Any thoughts?” asked Ned.

“Well, I remember when I first heard about the ship crashing,” I said. “It was like on a special report on broadcast TV. They interrupted a Yankees game to cover the statement from the U.N.”

“Me, I’m a Mets fan myself,” replied Ned.

"Yeah, I know."

“They were playing the Yankees when the announcement was made. I was completely green at the time, much like you are now.”

I ate another piece of chow fun. “I must thank you for having me here as your assistant,” I said.

"You have potential, kid. I sensed it ever since that job fair at Columbia.”

“Uh, speaking of kids, how are the kids?”

“They’re fine. Maddie’s now in the fourth grade. I can’t believe she’s getting bigger. And your folks?”

“Great. They wsere so excited when I told them I would be covering this launch. You know, I’ve always followed the story of the ship ever since that day. It was like something that came straight out of a movie or a comic book, you know.”

We continued having dinner, talking about more stuff. After we were done, we want baxck to the hotel.

“Meet me downstairs tomorrow morning,” said Ned. “We can only have a light breakfast; we have to be at the shipyard early.

“Gotcha,” I replied, yawning. This was a long day.

Minutes after entering my room, I was asleep.

oooooooo

I woke up about 7:00 AM on the day of the launch. I dressed in a suit and went downstairs, meeting Ned.

“Better make it a quick breakfast,” said Ned. “We have a lot of work this morning.”

And so we did. We ate at this grill on the first floor; I simply had scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast, along with a cup of coffee and a cup of tomato juice. We walked to the SDF-1 Shipyard where the SDF-1 is located, as it was not far from the hotel. We showed the U.N. Spacy security policeman our press passes and she let us through. I was guided to a parade ground. There was a stage in the front, and behind the stage was the spaceship. There was a huge crowd of people- locals, tourists, and reporters from around the globe. According to the press release by the ship's crew, there was to be an air show scheduled before the launch.

"And now we present an amazing display of aerial acrobatics, demonstrating the amazing advances we have made through Robotechnology. Lieutenant Commander Roy Fokker, leader of the Veritech fighters' Skull Team, will describe and explain the action for us," said the announcer.

A man in a dark flight suit came to the podium. He had blond hair and a fuzzy face. I took notes to carefully record what this Lieutenant Commander Fokker said.

"Today, ladies and gentlemen, you'll see how we've applied human know-how to understanding and harnessing a complex alien technology," said the commander. "Keep your eyes on planes two and four. flying at speeds of eight hundred miles per hour at only fifty feet above the ground, they will pass within a few yards of one another. Robotechnology makes such precision possible."

And so I did. My eyes then caught another plane. it was not a jet fighter like the other planes; it was a small one seat fanjet. The other planes turned to avoid the small plane.

"Rick, is that you, Rick Hunter?" yelled Fokker. I guessed the commander knew the pilot of the fanjet. "Are you crazy? Get that junk heap out of here! Hunter, when I get my hands on you!" The commander then dropped the microphone stand.

Then I saw the fanjet climb high into the sky, catching up with the fighter jets. The crowd cheered, and I was certainly impressed with whomever was flying the plane. The little fanjet then landed.

"Excuse me, folks," said Fokker, running off the stage. I looked and saw him talk to the fanjet's pilot, this Rick Hunter. Apparently Rick Hunter was just a kid, younger even than me.

I looked around. There was this orange colored jet on display.

"This is one of our trainers," said a Spacy sergeant. "We use this to train the veritech fighters. It's a two-seater; the instructor sits in the back."

"What does it do?" I asked.

"Blow shit up. What else is it for?"

Ned and I questioned some other members of the crowd. They told me about how they saw this ship being built over the years, or they told me how much money they spent to book a flight and a room to witness this ship's launch.

And then it happened. There was a scuffle. I saw a crowd of people gathering around, angry for some reason.

"What's going on?" asked a Spacy policeman.

"He has a bomb!" yelled one of the guests of the launch ceremony.

All of us kept our distance. As they propped the man up, I could see dynamite strapped to his waist. He must belong to an Islamic anti-UN faction; they orchestrated homicide bombings over the years. It was lucky this guy was caught, or else this day would have been a tragedy. At least that was what I thought at the time.

"Everyone remain calm," said the announcer. "Our security has neutralized the threat."

“You okay?” Ned asked me.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied. “Just a little scared, I guess.”

Then some important people came in. There was this man in an expensive-looking suit, and with him was another man wearing a hat and a very formal-looking military uniform complete with a cape. The man in the expensive-looking suit came to speak.

"This is the day we've all been waiting for for ten years," he said. "The Robotech project has been a boon to the economy of Macross City, as well as bringing advances in science. Most important of all, it brought peace to Earth, with the exception of a few malcontents."

I saw the military officer enter the ship. I looked at my watch; it was 10:30.

I saw Commander Fokker near that orange fighter. I walked up to him to ask him a few questions.

That was when I saw the light show.

A huge beam of light shined from the front of the Macross. It was brilliant. After that it faded. I immediately noticed a trench cut in the hills next to the city.

Fokker started running in our direction.

"Commander Fokker, may I have a word?" Ned asked, approaching the pilot.

He continued on without saying a word. I saw military personnel running about.

Then the siren blared. It was an air raid siren.

"All civilians must evacuate the premises," said a voice. "This is a full combat alert."

We left the base and walked back to the Hyatt. I could see fighters taking off from the SDF-1 Shipyard. When I got to my hotel, I looked up at the blue sky, and saw these explosions.

It seemed as if one of the anti-UN factions launched an air raid against the SDF-1. I wondered if it was related to the homicide bombing attempt minutes earlier. I noticed flaming debris crashing a few blocks away.

Some of the planes flew close enough that I could see some detail. I noticed a Jolly Roger insignia on one of the fighters; it followed an enemy fighter, green in color, and fired a missile at the enemy fighter. The fighter then blew to bits, raining debris.

The battle above continued as the fireballs lit the blue sky. I was under the awning of the Hyatt's main entrance, to protect me from debris. It raged on for a few minutes.

Then I saw an enemy fighter go down. It was green in color and cone shaped. A trail of smoked followed it. It appeared bigger and bigger. I could see the emblem; one which I was not familiar with.

Then it crashed onto the street and skidded, coming to a stop right next to the hotel.

That thing was huge, about as tall as a six-story building, much bigger than our own fighters. That definitely was not a fighter plane. It could fit over a hundred people inside.

Then I saw the fighter open, and something stepped out. It was a man-shaped figure, about as tall as a lamppost. TI wondered if this was some sort of giant robot built by one of the anti-UN factions. The arms went for the head.

The head was pulled off to reveal an inner head. The head looked human, with two eyes, a nose, a mouth.

That wasn't a robot! That was a fifty-foot tall human. It looked like one of the anti-UN factions developed a way to make giant humans. This giant then pulled out what appeared to be a pistol, made for his size.

Then the giant made eye contact with me.

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-13 08:43am

Chapter 2

Knight Time​
I was standing in front of the Macross Hyatt Hotel, with a fifty-foot tall human looking at me, standing next to a fighter plane made for fifty-foot tall pilots.

How could such a thing be possible? I mean, I read somewhere that a human who was fifty feet tall would not be able to even stand up. And yet, this fifty-foot tall human was right here. Whose idea was it to make humans fifty feet tall? Was this island going to be overrun with fifty-foot tall humans?

Then I saw one of our own fighters flying towards the hotel. I figured the pilot must have seen the giant human. The fighter was colored olive green, with a red stripe across the fuselage between the left and right sides.

Then I saw the thrusters detach from the body. I wondered if the fighter was damaged. Then I saw two arms emerge from the underside of the fighter. The nose section and wings folded into the fuselage. When the plane touched down, it was no longer a plane. It looked like a giant suit of armor. The rectangular head had two antennae and there were two green horizontal bars.

And this giant suit of armor was packing a huge gun, made for its size.

It aimed this weapon at the giant, and I heard the familiar sound of gunfire. The cartridges coming from the gun were as big as trash cans. I could see blood bits of brain matter blasting away from the giant's head, proving to me beyond a doubt that the giant was a living thing. The giant fell to the street with a hard thud. I wandered to the street to where the fallen giant lay, and I stared at the armor suit which was once a fighter plane.

"Are you all right?" asked a voice which apparently came from the plane/armor.

"Yes!" I shouted. What I noticed was that the voice from the armor sounded high pitched; the pilot must be a woman.

Then I saw the suit transform. The nose and wings folded out of the fuselage. I thought it was turning back into a fighter, but the transformation stopped halfway. It looked like a plane with two arms and two legs, sort of like a bird or something. I could see the cockpit, and there was someone inside.

The canopy opened. "Hop in!" yelled the pilot.

So that was what I did. The pilot extended the left arm down to the ground, and I stepped onto the palm of the mechanical hand. The arm lifted me up and I was able to scramble into the back seat of the cockpit.

"Okay," said the pilot. "I'm gonna bring you to the shelter. Make sure to fasten your seatbelt."

"Okay," I said, fastening the seatbelt. Soon we were flying a hundred feet above Macross City at a speed of about fifty miles an hour.

"Are you injured?" she asked. "Should I take you to the sick bay?"

"No, I'm fine," I said. "Thanks."

"It looks like the air assault is over."

"Maybe the danger's passed."

"I should still get you to the shelter. There’s an evacuation order.”

"I'm not from here; I traveled here on business. I'm a reporter. I wonder if Ned’s safe."

“Who?”

“My senior reporter on this assignment.”

"He’s probably beinfg evacuated. Well, you two will certainly have a story to tell."

"Knight Ten, do you have the civilian with you?" asked a male voice.

"Yes, Knight Leader," replied the pilot. "I'm only a few minutes to the shelter. Any word of a second attack wave?"

"Keep the comm line open."

"Yes, sir."

"What faction sent that giant creature?" I asked.

"We don't know yet," replied the pilot. "But the reason the battloids were built was to fight giants."

"What?"

"The alien spaceship that we rebuilt as the Macross. Sections of it were designed for fifty foot people."

"I wonder if that giant has anything to do with the spaceship."

"Don't know. Right now, I have to take you to the shelter. There it is, straight ahead. We'll be there in less than a minute. Yaaaaah!"

The pilot made a sharp turn. My glasses fell off my face. "What was that for?" I asked even as I searched for my glasses. When I put them on, I saw that the canopy was covered with some sort of shield, so I could not see through it. A monitor screen popped up, along me to see where we were going.

I could see buildings. And behind the buildings, I could see these globes standing on two legs. They clearly stood tall above the buildings; they look big enough for a UN fighter jet to fit inside.

"This is Knight Ten," said the pilot. "I'm surrounded by these, by these pods. I need cover so I can get my passenger to safety."

Then I felt us move. I saw explosions. I then saw the enemy pods trying to get us. They were firing these beams. I could see the arms of the armor aim the gun and fire it at the pods, punching holes in them and downing them. But then more pods arrive. From what I can see on the monitor screen, we were taking cover in the buildings of Macross City while trying to avoid being shot to pieces by these enemy pods.

"I'm pinned down by enemy fire," said the pilot. "I'm running out of ammo and I need help."

We kept running through through streets, taking shots at the enemy pods. A building we were using for cover collpased. I could see several pods, including one with what appeared to be a missile array.

We turned and we were surrounded by enemy pods.

"it was nice knowing you," I said to the pilot.

Then I saw explosions, but it wasn't us that was exploding. I saw more fighters with their legs extended. They transformed into suits of armor.

"We got you covered, Knight Ten," said a male voice.

"Thanks Knight Leader," replies the pilot.

"Is the civilian okay?"

"I'm okay," I said.

"Knight Ten, you will take the civilian to the shelter and we will provide cover fire."

"copy that."

The canopy shield opened and I could see through it. We flew towards the shelter.

Then this pod jumped right in front of us. It looked different though, for it had arms as well as legs. The arms did not have hands; they had mean looking cannons. And on the head was another cannon. It must belong to one of the enemy leaders, I figured. The pilot truend to avoid the enemy pod.

"Oh shit I lost my gunpod!" she screamed. I looked at the monitor and I can see the gun lying on the ground. I also saw the other enemy pods were keeping her team busy.

I felt the armor jump and from what I can tell, we jumped right on top of the enemy pod. I could hear the armor's fists pounding on the enemy pod. The pod's canopy opened, revealing yet another giant. She pulled the giant out of the pod and started pummeling it with the armor's fists. The giant struck back, and I could hear and feel the impact. The pilot then pointed the leg at the giant's head, and then burned the giant with the hot engine exhaust.

"Change of orders, Knight Ten," said Knight Leader. "We are to go dock with the Macross."

"I still have the civilian on board," said Knight Ten.

"He'll be safe on board the ship. It's taking off now. You go there first; the rest of us will cover you."

Once again, the cnopy shield was withdrawn as the armor turned back into a fighter jet. We flew upwards, and I can see the SDF-1 Macross rising in the air.

"Knight Ten to SDF-1 Control," said the pilot. "I am requesting permission to land and I have a civilian on board."

"You are cleared to land in Landing Bay Five Zero Four," said the control officer. The image of the control officer appeared on the screen, a woman with brown hair.

I saw the SDF-1 get closer and closer. Soon I can see the landing bay where the fighters are parked. We soon entered the landing bay at it was huge. I saw a huge door open ahead, and the pilot taxied the plane into the next room. The next room was huge, and there were several fighters in here already, accompanied by support vehicles and personnel. I saw the numerals "504" stenciled on the wall. I figured this was a hangar bay.

The cockpit canopy was opened. A man wearing a cap and overalls told me to climb down, so I did. Once I was safely on the floor of the hangar bay, the pilot came down. She removed her helmet.

I looked at her and she had long blond hair coming from her head. I gazed into her eyes which were as blue as the ocean surrounding Macross City. She extended her hand to me and I introduced myself as a reporter from the Associated Press.

"I am Second Lieutenant Jenna Murphy of the United Nations Space Marines' Knight Squadron," she said. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

We shook hands. "I want to thank you for the rescue."

"We'd better have a Spacy corpsman look at you."

Soon, another fighter entered the hangar bay. The pilot was a young woman with chestnut-brown hair extending to the shoulders, clad in a olive-green flight suit with a red trim.

"So this is the guy you rescued, eh?" said the pilot.

"That's right," I said. I introduced myself to her.

“Third Lieutenant Lani Hart,” she said. “Glad to be of service.”

“Thanks for covering for us, Lani,” said Jenna Murphy.

“No problem.”

More fighters docked in the bay. I saw Jenna stand at attention to one of the pilots, which I figured was the commander.

"Lieutenant Colonel Angus Beckett," said the pilot, a man with brown hair and a triangular nose, appearing to be in his early thirties. "I am the commander of Knight Squadron and I report to Colonel Victor Maistroff who is the commander of the Marine detachment to the SDF-1 Macross."

"I'm Major Dan Colmes," said a red-haired man, appearing to be a bit younger than the colonel. "Second in command of the squadron."

"When can I return to Macross City?" I asked.

"When we hear the civilians are being let out of the shelters," said Colonel Beckett. "How about we take you to our office?"

The colonel and Jenna Murphy led me through some corridors to the office. One thing I noticed was a lot of cardboard boxes lying about.

"We're still settling in here," said Beckett. "Don't mind the mess. Besides, once we chase the aliens away from Macross City, I'll have Lieutenant Murphy fly you back."

"The ride going home won't be as bumpy," said Jenna.

I heard a telephone ring and Beckett went inside one of the inner offices. He then wen tback to the main office.

"You'll have to fly a little farther when you take him back to Earth," said the colonel.

"What's going on, sir?" asked Jenna, who was confused by the statement.

"Attention all hands. Priority! Fold system standby! Readying energy at maximum-green at all power sources," said a female voice. "All hands to emergency stations. All hands, emergency stations. This is not a drill, I say again: This is not a drill. Prepare for fold operation in T minus five minutes and counting-mark."

"What's a fold operation?" I asked.

"A really fast way to travel," said Jenna Murphy. "Stay put here. I have to go to my emergency station."

She and Colonel Beckett ran off. I sat on chair, looking at all the cardboard boxes lying about.

"We will execute fold in ten seconds. Nine... eight... seven..Six... five... four..." the ship, though massive, was shaken like a child's toy by the sheer power of the fold generators. "Three... two... one..." Time seemed to stop forever. "Zero."

And then I saw all these bright colors, like an acid trip or something. Everything started to blur. I looked at my hands, and they looked like they were splitting. This would be a cool effect at a concert in Madison Square Garden.

And then it stopped. I decided to wait for Knight Squadron. There was nothing in this office to look at, no bulletins, no posters, no nothing.

And then I saw Lieutenant Jenna Murphy come into the office.

"The colonel thought I should be the one to tell you," she said. "I can't take you back to Earth now."

"Why?" I asked.

"I don't have enough fuel in my Veritech. You see, the ship is now in orbit around the sun near the planet Pluto."

I squinted. "Did I hear you right?" I asked. "Pluto?"

"Yes."

"Well, if we can get from Earth to Pluto in a few hours, then it should only take a few hours to get back. I doubt there's traffic."

"You don't understand. The fold system is sort of broken now. We can't fold back to Earth."

"How long will it take to get back?" I asked.

"At conventional speeds, about a year."

"A year in space?" I asked. "I never flew in outer space before. There was a guy in my office who was killed on Mars when one of the anti-UN factions blew up Sara Base. We’ve got to send a message to Earth to let everyone know we’re alive."

"You're the lucky one," she said. "You see, when we folded to Pluto, we also took Macross City with it. You are the only confirmed civilian survivor."

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-14 11:33am

Chapter 3

A Long Way From Home
Okay, here I was in a Marine fighter squadron office on a spaceship which apparently went to Pluto but for some reason can not go back the way it came and now it must take the long way home, a trip that might take a year.

“So where will I sleep?” I asked. “I mean, I can't sleep in the office.”

“I have an idea,” said Lieutenant Jenna Murphy. “Follow me.

The fighter pilot led me out of the office and through some corridors. I notice the doors all had numbers stenciled on them. Jenna Murphy opened one of the doors.

“You can stay in my quarters,” she said.

I looked around. There was a bed and a dresser and suitcases full of clothes. Jenna Murphy opened one of the suitcases.

“It’s almost as big as my apartment in Greenwich Village,” I said.

“Here's a T-shirt and shorts in case you want to take a nap,” she said. “Unless you prefer to take a nap in your suit.”

“Thanks, Lieutenant,” I said. “I really appreciate this.”

“Call me Jenna. I only expect military people to address me as lieutenant.”

“Thanks, Jenna.”

“I just want to make sure you're comfortable. We don't know if anyone else survived. Anyway, I have to go to the office now.”

And so the lieutenant left. I looked at the T-shirt, which had the word FLYGIRL stenciled on it. I removed my coat, necktie, shirt, and pants. I slipped the T-shirt and shorts on. I looked around. At least there was gravity here; I read about other people's space travel experiences. I wondered how space travel was like forty years ago, when simulated gravity systems had not been invented. I lay down on the lower bed. Soon I drifted off to sleep.

oooooooo

I woke up and immediately knew I was not in my apartment nor a hotel room in Macross City. I looked around and I was in the quarters of a fighter pilot, on a ship that is near Pluto. And I was hungry. I hoped this vessel was provisioned for a year's supply of food. the idea of returning to Earth as a corpse was not very appealing.

I wondered if there was a library on this ship. Television was out of the question since we were too far to receive television broadcasts from Earth.

I heard a phone ring. “Hello?” I asked.

“Hi, this is Jenna,” said a female voice. “How are you doing?”

“I'm hungry.”

“the ship's crew is providing all of us with rations.”

“I hope they don't mind a civilian eating in the officer's mess.”

“Oh no. You see, we found more survivors. They were in the bomb shelters.”

“But if the island was taken into space...”

“The shelters were designed to protect from NBC warfare. There was still enough air left inside to last for a day, long enough for us to get everyone out.”

“That's great,” I said. “I'm glad I wasn't the only survivor. How many survivors were there?”

“Seventy thousand.”

“I guess I'll see you later. Maybe I'll join them.”

I hung up the phone. This was great news. Maybe Ned was in the bomb shelter. He must have been worried about me.

And then it occurred to me.

The ship was only built for a total capacity of seven thousand, including its crew of three thousand. There wasn't enough living space for seventy thousand people. This was a hell of a lot worse than when I was the only confirmed survivor. At this rate, almost all of us would die of starvation before reaching Saturn’s orbit. Unless this ship can go back the way it came, the SDF-1 Macross might as well be a coffin.

I looked at my hands, and I looked at myself in the mirror. So this is how it will end. I will starve to death on this ship.

I heard the door knock and I opened it. I saw a man in a uniform.

“Corporal Dow,” said the man. “I'm here to take you to where the other refugees are located.”

“Sure,” I said. I put on a pair of flip-flops and Corporal Dow led me through the steel corridors of the ship. We went into an elevator and he presses a button. When the elevator doors opened, it opened into a huge cavernous space in the ship. I could see a sea of people inside. They were all dressed in various outfits. One day, they were living their lives, most of them anticipating the launch of the SDF-1 Macross. Now they are inside the ship, which was located farther than they have ever been from home. Hundreds of them were lined up.

“Please line up for food and water rations,” said a voice over the speaker. “There will be no disorderly conduct.”

I joined the line. I noticed marines armed with rifles to keep order, and I saw a huge suit of armor keeping watch; it did not look like the suits of armor that can transform into fighter jets. I waited for hours as my stomach growled. I finally reached the line, and a Spacy crewman gave me something.

“Ration bar,” he said. “Developed for long space voyages. It'll keep you alive.”

“Thanks,” I said. I ate the ration bar, which tasted sort of like a granola bar. it had this richer taste though, due to extra nutrients. And it would keep me alive. But then we will run out of ration bars, and then we will starve. The crew might as well decompress the whole ship; death by asphyxiation can't be as bad as death by starvation.

I looked around for Ned. There were so many people here, like a Yankees versus Mets game. I spent hours looking for him, calling out his name, but did not get a response. I looked and saw and heard other people calling out for friends and family.

“Oh, it’s you,” I heard a female voice say. “That reporter Jenna rescued.”

I looked and recognized Lieutenant Lani Hart from yesterday. Instead of a flight suit, she wore a khaki blouse and skirt, with rank insiginia on the collar and ribbons pinned to her chest. “Uh, hi, Lieutenant,” I said. “I guess you are on babysitting duty for all of us survivors here.”

“Only my family here,” she replied. I looked and saw a middle-aged couple with a teenage boy.

“George Hart,” said the man, clad in a polo shirt and khaki pants. “We were visiting our daughter to say goodbye to her before she left Earth.”

I introduced myself. “Nice to meet you, sir.”

“Looks like duty calls,” said Lieutenant Hart.

“Do you have time for questions?” I asked Mr. Hart. “I’d like to get stories from survivors.”

“Not much to say,” replied Mr. Hart. “We’re from Toronto in Ontario. We had an invitation to the launch because Lani was assigned to this ship. We attended the launch, there was a siren, we were evacuated to the bomb shelter, and then there was this light, and we started floating like the gravity disappeared. We were there for hours before the Marines came to rescue us.”

After a few hours, a truck pulled into the cavernous space. Space Marines handed out blankets. I lined up for hours to get a blanket. Just seconds after getting a blanket, I saw a little boy who did not have a blanket.

“Want my blanket?” I asked.

“Sure, mister,” said the boy.

I have him the blanket. I decided to sleep resting against the bulkhead. It wasn't exactly a comfortable sleep. But tired people manage to find sleep in even the most uncomfortable surfaces.

ooooooooo

The next morning , I woke up and I received the breakfast ration from the crew, wondering how many days of rations we will have left. I also wondered if the crew were planning to send some of us refugees to the vacuum of space to make the food last longer. After all, the fewer mouths to feed, the longer the food supply will last. Will they get rid of the elderly? The sick? The disabled? Will law and order break down and the Macross turn into a ship of cannibals?

There wasn't much else to do but look for Ned and talk to the other refugees. I got statements from some of them, like I did with the Hart family. I promised them that I would send a message to my office in New York so that the people of Earth would know what we went through.

My hopes for Ned grew dim. I had heard from the other refuges how they could not find their loved ones. I wanted to hold on to hope that Ned was somewhere on this ship alive.

Then after hours in this cavernous space, I heard an announcement from the PA. But it was not an announcement for ration distribution.

“Hello, this is Mayor Tommy Luan of Macross City,” said the voice. “I am pleased to inform you that the crew recovered food from the warehouse district. I would like to thank God, Captain Gloval, and the crew of this fine ship for making the effort. I have a proposal. The crew's engineers, the Macross City Public Works Department, and I have been discussing plans. We plan to build Macross City inside the SDF-1.”

That guy has to be kidding! I looked around and the crowd seemed to agree.

“All the building materials are already located on the island,” said the mayor. “We're going to salvage them and any vehicles, equipment, and supplies that we can. We still have each other and we have hope. We can make it back to Earth. We will make it back to Earth.”

oooooooo

The next day, all sorts of construction equipment and vehicles moved into the huge cavernous space. The armored suits, which I learned were called mecha, stood guard. Many of the refugees volunteered to work in constructing the new Macross City. Even I pitched in. I made sure to keep notes, as I would write this story and submit it to the Associated Press whatever way I can.

Mayor Tommy Luan was watching as his city was being rebuilt inside the SDF-1. He was a short pudgy balding man with some black hair left on his head.

“Excuse me, your Honor,” I said. I introduced myself. “I'm a reporter from the Associated Press.”

“From what office?” asked the mayor.

“The New York office.”

“So you're just a visitor.”

“I only intended to stay for two nights. I guess I'll be staying in Macross City for a year. I'm going to write news articles.”

“And you want an interview?”

“I'd like some things. A laptop computer and a printer. Someday, a hundred years from now, people are going to read what we wrote about this.”

“Well, feel free to ask me a few questions.”

“When did you come up with the idea of rebuilding the city?” I asked.

“It started when I heard the crew got back the food from the warehouses,” said Mayor Luan. “You see, we needed to make more living space to house everyone, and this place is large enough to fit a small city.”

“What do you plan to build, sir?”

“Apartment buildings, businesses, libraries, schools, a hospital, and a park. There's plenty of stuff to be salvaged from the island. The Public Works Department is working with SDF-1 Engineering to build the city.”

“So who's going to be in charge?”

“The elected officials of Macross City will make laws per our charter, and the police and fire departments will continue the duties they had before our relocation. Once the city is operational, the municipal government will be open for business. I think trying to recreate some of the life we had on Earth will make the transition easier. We have a long journey back home.”

“I'll look forward to that, sir.”

“Where did you get that T-shirt? Flygirl?”

“A fighter pilot loaned me these clothes,” I said. “She was the one who picked me up from Macross City and brought me here before we all went to Pluto. Your Honor, I hope you can loan me what I need.”

“I'll see what I can do,” said the mayor. “Captain Gloval told me that the city government will have sole discretion on what to do with the salvage from the island.”

And so the construction continued for the next few days. The apartment buildings were the first to be built. All of us here registered with Lieutenant Commander Ward, who was assigned as the officer in charge of the refugees. He would also become liaison to the city government once Macross City is rebuilt. We got the usual rations, just enough to keep us alive. At least obesity would not be an issue here.

Once the apartments were finished, the crew assigned us rooms. We had all registered with the crew. Because I was not here with a wife or kids, I was assigned a studio apartment. The apartment was bare, except for a bed and a telephone. I guessed the furniture retrieved from the island was still in storage.

I lay on my bed. The only stuff I had were the clothes I borrowed from Jenna Murphy. Does she even remember me? She still has my suit.

I heard the phone ring. At least the city has a telephone service. “Hello?” I asked.

“It's me, Jenna,” said a female voice. “you know, the pilot that saved your life.”

“What's up?” I asked.

“You left something in my quarters.”

“My suit?”

“Yes. It's still intact. I'd like to bring it to you. Could you tell me where your apartment is?”

oooooooooo

“This place is bigger than mine,” said Jenna, after she handed me my suit.

“Not much, just a bed and a phone,” I replied. “But it’s much bigger than my apartment in Greenwich Village.”

“Where?”

“A neighborhood in New York.”

“At least you have your own bathroom.”

The bathroom was built into one corner of the apartment.

“So how are you doing?” she asked.

“I just moved in here today,” I said. “How did you know my number?”

“I looked up your number on the database after the city's telephone system went online. I knew each refugee family will get one living unit.”

“Well, I think I'm going to continue my work. I'll have a lot of articles to write. I hope the city gives me a working computer. In the meantime, I'm going to get some clothes from the Spacy. They're going to be handing out spare clothes to us.”

“So tell me about yourself. You're from New York, right?”

“Right. I moved to Manhattan to work as a reporter at the Associated Press. I traveled around the country.”

“Any family?”

“Yes, my parents live in Queens. I have two brothers and two sisters.”

“So do I,” said Jenna.

“What part of Earth are they from?” I asked.

“They're not from Earth. they live on Apollo colony on the moon. My dad's an aerospace engineer and Boeing has a lunar construction facility for spaceships.”

I remembered Apollo colony. The foundations were laid around the time I was born. I read it had something to do with the fact that a huge underground ocean was discovered during one of the lunar exploration missions. A colony was constructed over the next twenty years or so.

“I'd better go get new clothes,” I said. “The lines are long and they might run out of clothes my size.”

“I have to go to my duty shift in ten minutes,” said Jenna. “See you later.”

oooooooooooo

The ceremony dedicating city hall was today. It was very important, as this marks the reopening of the Macross City government. I was there, dressed in my suit. Many other people there, including United Earth Forces personnel in full dress uniform.

“I am proud to introduce Mayor Tommy Luan,” said Commander Ward, clad in Spacy dress whites, which was basically a long sleeve tunic with brass buttons down the center, as well as white pants and black dress shoes, with a white garrison cap on his head.

“Thank you, Commander,” said the mayor, dressed in a suit. “For the past two weeks we have been building new homes and new shops here in this ship. We now have electricity, running water, and telephones. We will soon have libraries and schools and parks and community centers. Today marks the opening of the city hall. From now on, we will be responsible for the city. We will build a life for us, right here on this ship.”

Everyone clapped.

“Now let us give a moment of silence for those who could not be here, and for those who gave their lives so that we could be here.”

I bowed my head. I still had not found Ned.

“And now, I hereby dedicate the Macross City hall.” Mayor Luan cuts a ribbon. Behind the ribbon is a four-story building. Above the entrance were the carved words MACROSS CITY HALL. I took a closer look at a bronze plaque. It mentions that the building was constructed from the remains of the old city hall.

“Excuse me, sir,” I asked. “I'm with the Associated Press. Are the police and fire departments in business?”

“Yes,” said the mayor. “As of now, the Macross City Police Department is in charge of law enforcement, while the Fire Department deals with fires.”

“And what extent does the military have authority here?”

“They have full authority. Captain Gloval has delegated city matters to us.”

After that, the mayor and his people entered city hall.

“Oh, it’s you,” I heard a familiar voice say.

I looked and saw Jenna again. Instead of the olive green black flight suit with the black trim, she wore the Space Marine dress blues- a dark blue coat buttoned with brass buttons, a white skirt with a red stripe down the side, medals pinned to the chest, and a white cap on her head. I noticed Lieutenant Hart with her, as well as another third lieutenant with red hair under her cap.

“The colonel told us to attend the ceremony,” said Jenna. “Apparently it was a shipwide order from Captain Gloval himself.”

“So this is the guy you rescued,” said the lady with the red hair. “Though you would have both been blown to bits if we weren’t watching your six.”

I introduced myself.

“Lieutenant Kathleen Taney,” said the red-haired lady. “You can call me Katie.”

“Well, I don;’t know if I should be on a first name basis with you,” said Lieutenant Hart.

“I understand. We only met twice before, after all.”

“Just kidding. You can call me Lani.”

“I was just thinking about the memorial, about how many of the civilians did not make it to the shelters. What About your family, Katie?”

“Oh, they are back on Earth, far away from Macross City when it was zapped to the orbit of Pluto.”

“I see.” I kept thinking about Ned.

“Is there something wrong?” Jenna asked me.

“Come on, Jenna,” said Lani. “We’d better not be late or the colonel will put us on standby for double shifts!”

The three ladies left. I decided to walk back to my apartment. There was still much construction going on. The threat of starvation did not seem looming.

Then I heard a crash. I looked and saw there was a hole in the street. I ran to the site.

I looked down and there were two people down there. Soon the construction crew was lifting them up. Some of them were taking pictures. I saw the two people, a boy and a girl. They were put into an ambulance and they were taken to a hospital.

ooooooooooo

I sat in front of a computer in the city hall. The mayor allowed me to use the computer to write the articles. One was the article about the dedication of Macross City. The other article was the recovery of the two people who were believed to be killed. The hospital, which was still under construction, revealed their names as Rick Hunter and Lynn Minmei.

I finished the article and saved it to a floppy disk. I was lucky I had access to a working personal computer. I then printed out thirty copies of the article. I signed each article with my name and the name of my employer.

“Excuse me,” I asked a clerk, a young lady in her late teens wearing a white blouse. “Can I look up any residents. I traveled here with a friend and I can’t find him?”

“I’ll bring up the web site.” She clicked the mouse and typed on the keyboard and up popped a screen.

“You can look him up if he registered for rations.”

I typed Ned’s name.

Nothing was found.

I could only conclude he did not make it.

I am going to continue reporting. It is the only way to honor his legacy.

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-15 12:54pm

Chapter 4

First Date in Space



The next day, I was passing out the Associated Press newsletter that I had published. There were only two articles- the dedication of the Macross City Hall, and the rescue of Rick Hunter and Lynn Minmei. It only took me a few minutes for me to pass out all the copies I had. I wondered if I should go back to City Hall and ask Mayor Luan if I could use the office to print more newsletters. But then I decided to follow-up on the rescue. I could still see the hole in the street being cordoned off, and the Public Works Department was still trying to fix the hole.

The city had published a telephone directory. I looked for any reference to Lynn Minmei or Rick Hunter, but they were unlisted. There was a listing for the Lynn family. I dialed the number.

“Hello?” asked a male voice.

I introduced myself. “I'm a reporter for the Associated Press,” I said. “I'm looking for a Lynn Minmei.”

“I'm her uncle,” said the man on the line. “What do you want?”

“I want to ask her a few questions about what she's been through.”

“I'll let you talk to her.”

oooooooo

Minutes later, I was at this building with this strange-looking door. It looked familiar, and then I remembered that I ate here the eve of the launch. Apparently the restaurant survived intact. I guess they would not be open for business though; it is awfully difficult to make Chinese cuisine with the ration bars the SDF-1 Macross crew was providing to us.

I went inside the restaurant and saw the empty tables and the scrolls with Chinese writing on it. This middle aged man came to greet me.

“Lynn Max,” he said, extending his hand. I shook it. “Minmei's uncle. She's in her room. I'll take you upstairs.”

Max led me up a stairway and into a hallway. It looked like the hallway of a typical two-story house. I noticed the seams which indicated the building was torn apart and then reassembled inside the belly of SDF-1.

“Minmei,” said Max, knocking on the door. “There's someone here to see you.”

Minmei- a girl with black hair- came out. “What do you want?” she asked.

I introduced myself. “I'm a reporter with the Associated Press,” I said. “I'd like to ask you a few questions about your recent recovery.”

“Like what?”

“How did you get trapped under the ship?”

“It's a long story.” Max and I followed Minmei into the bedroom. “Well, it all started when I saw this huge orange robot outside my window. Then the pilot came out and that was when I first met Rick.”

“You mean the boy you were with?”

“Yeah. Anyway, he didn't know how to use it. He even damaged my room when he fell over. You can see the damage.”

I looked at the ceiling and I noticed a seam. “Go on,” I said, taking notes.

“Then this plane flew in and it turned into a robot. It was painted white and it had this skull painted on it. Anyway, the guy in that robot taught Rick how to fly those things. Then these other robots came. One of them almost stepped on me. Then Rick came in his airplane, and he took me for a ride. I even fell out once. The plane was damaged, so that other plane picked us up and flew us into this ship.”

“How did you get stuck below the main deck?”

“Rick flew me in his own plane back to the island. Then there was this light and then we were in outer space. Rick flew us into a hole in the ship. We kept looking around, but no one was there. We spent two weeks down there, and if it weren’t for that accident, we would have starved to death.”

I could understand how this young lady felt. After all, just a few days ago I was wondering how everyone on board the ship will be fed.

“Who's that?' asked a male voice that did not belong to Minmei's uncle. I looked and saw a boy with black hair.

I introduced myself and we shook hands.

“I'm Rick Hunter,” said the boy. “I guess you're here to talk about me being trapped below the deck with her.”

“Yes,” I said.

“I flew in to the island to pay a visit to my friend Roy Fokker. He's a commander in the Army.”

“The Spacy,” I corrected him.

“Whatever. Anyway, I paid him a visit, one thing led to another and I found myself in this ship.”

“You said you flew in. You were not from Macross City.”

“That's right.”

“Neither am I. I'm from New York; I flew in to cover the launch. There's a lot of us here who weren't living in Macross City when it was taken to outer space. your friend Minmei told me you flew one of those fighters.”

“I did. They're called veritechs. How was it like in the shelter?”

“I never went into the shelter. Like Minmei here, a pilot in one of those veritechs picked me up and brought me to the ship. Of course, she was military, and we didn't end up trapped below decks.”

“I see.”

“Anything else you want to say?”

“Not really. I'm just here to catch the ride back to Earth.”

“Rick's not the talkative sort,” said Minmei.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Hunter.”

“Uh, okay,” replied Rick Hunter. I walked a few steps to the stairs leading outside. “you know, maybe you should write your own experiences into a story.”

“Why not?” I asked. I then left the restaurant.

oooooooooooo

The next day, I was passing out a newsletter. The cover article was my own personal experience as to how I got on board the Macross. After I finished writing my article, I was inundated by requests from people around the street. Some of them even offered their rations for my newsletter. I went to City Hall and printed out more and more copies.

I went to the Chinese restaurant. It was the same Chinese restaurant where that girl Lynn Minmei lived. I decided to have a meal. After all, while the ration bars kept me alive, I was craving something else.

“Welcome to the first Chinese restaurant in space,” said Lynn Minmei as I approached the door.

I went inside and it was busy, unlike yesterday. The room was packed with people, both civilians and military. It looked like I would have to wait a while for a seat.

“Hey there,” said Jenna Murphy, beckoning me to her.

“How are you doing, Jenna?” I asked.

“I decided to have lunch here instead of at the officer's mess. Sit with us.”

So I sat with her and the other pilots around a circular table. They had already ordered Chinese food. I decided to have some chow fun. She introduced me to her wingmates. I recognized Katie and Lani among them.

“You’ve met Katie and Lani already,” she said. “These are Lieutenants Nomura, Reese, and Landry,” she said. They were all men, appearing to be in their twenties, all wearing the olive-green Class “A” Space Marine service uniform.

“I take it you're all Marines,” I said.

“Our squadron was assigned to be the Marine air detachment to the Macross,” said Lieutenant Landry. “This was supposed to be a six-month tour of duty.”

“I guess they misunderestimated the tour by half,” said Lieutenant Nomura. “Where are you from?”

“New York,” I said.

“I'm from Hiroshima,” said Lieutenant Nomura. “ These veritechs are amazing.”

“So Jenna,” I said, “What is it like?”

“Well, we get shifts from Colonel Beckett,” she said. “We do stuff from directing maintenance to drilling in simulators to drilling in live exercises. Sometimes we go out in patrol of the space around the vessel.”

“How many in your squadron?” I asked.

“There's thirty of us,” said Lieutenant Taney.

“So how long have you been a reporter?” asked Jenna.

“A little over a year,” I said. “I was sent as an assistant to Ned Brubaker, who was the lead reporter for this assignment He…didn’t make it.”

“I’m sorry,” said Jenna.

“We’ve had our losses,” said Nomura.

“When we get to communications range with Earth, you can talk to your family back home,” said Lieutenant Landry.

“You know,” said Lieutenant Reese. “We attached an aircraft carrier to the ship.”

“An aircraft carrier?' I asked.

“Yeah, the Prometheus and Daedalus was taken to space along with the island. Too bad everyone on board died when they lost atmosphere. We now launch our fighters from its flight deck.”

After a few minutes of eating, all of the Marine pilots got up.

“We have to go back to our post,” said Jenna. “It was nice talking to you.”

“I'll see you again,” I said.

I left the restaurant and walked back to my apartment. I then heard an announcement over the public address system.

“There will be an important announcement for the citizens of Macross City,” said the voice. “Lieutenant Commander Ward will brief you in the city plaza.”

So that was where I went.

ooooooooo

The city plaza was a concrete plaza right across the street from City Hall. There was a raised platform in the middle for speakers.

Lieutenant Commander Ward walked onto the stage, accompanied by Mayor Tommy Luan and some city officials and military people.

“Lieutenant Commander Ward has a very important message for us from Captain Gloval,” said the mayor.

“Thank you, your Honor,” said Commander Ward. “Citizens of Macross City; Captain Gloval has developed a new tactic. Because of the space fold that took us to Pluto, the main gun will not fire in the ship's current configuration. Because of this, we developed a way for the ship to transform.”

I took notes. “And this affects us how?” I said.

“The transformation will cause changes in the interior structure of the ship. We can not predict exactly how this will affect Macross City. There may be some damage. The SDF-1 Engineering Department worked with the Public Works Department to find sheltered areas where you can go in case we have to resort to modular transformation. We will distribute a brochure containing emergency routine details. We request your cooperation. We are in a warship, and the enemy that attacked us may try for round two.”

“Who is the enemy?”

“We don't know yet.”

“How long until we get back to Earth?”

“About twelve months.”

A Spacy crewman handed out hundreds of copies of bulletins, and I picked one up. I wondered what was going on on Earth. Did the Global Civil War resume? And where were those giants from? Were they aliens or did some anti-UN faction create them? I would not get answers from anyone in the military, not even Jenna.

I looked at the bulletin. I saw that the nearest shelter to my apartment was the building it was in. I hoped that the Spacy was right about this.

I went home. By now my New York apartment would be rented out. I hope my family got all of my stuff and put it in storage. I sat in my apartment, which now had some old furniture recovered from the island. I wondered if years from now, someone will make an expedition to the island which is floating in space near Pluto.

Then the air raid siren blared. This must be a drill, I thought.

“I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” yelled a female voice.

So the enemy has spaceships. As far as I knew, none of the anti-UN factions had spaceships.

These were aliens.

After a few minutes, I heard another announcement.

“WE ARE BEGINNING A MODULAR TRANSFORMATION. ALL CIVILIANS TO DESIGNATED SHELTERS!”

My apartment building was a designated shelter. I just hope it would be an effective shelter for whatever happened. I looked out the window and I saw police cars driving down the streets. Police officers were giving orders to the citizens, giuiding them to the designated shelters.

And then I saw the bulkheads move about. The ship is transforming. Parts of the city shifted up and down, and some of the building were demolished.

And then it was over. “MODULAR TRANSFORMATION COMPLETE!” the voice said. I saw mabulances and fire trucks driving along the streets of the shattered city. I guess we have to ambulances again.

oooooooooo

I went to a press conference on the steps of City Hall. Much of the city was damaged due to the modular transformation. The mayor and his people were there on the steps, along with some military officers.

“Thanks to the crew of the Macross, we are safe,” said Mayor Luan. “But our city was damaged in the process. The Public Works Department is working with SDF-1 Engineering to rebuild the city. And it will be rebuilt so it can survive the modular transformation with minimal damage.”

oooooooo

I decided to volunteer for the clean up of Macross City. I got to meet some new people; I took notes of their various stories of how they came to be on board SDF-1. After a few hours of cleaning the rubble off the streets, the city looked cleaner already.

I went back to my apartment and I saw Jenna standing in front of the door.

“I just came to visit,” she said. “I'm glad you're all right.”

“I'm glad you're all right too,” I said. “Did you have to fly out there?”

“Yes. It was a cruiser and some enemy fighters, but Knight Squadron was able to keep them at bay until Captain Gloval fired the big gun and blasted the enemy cruiser.”

“So what does the ship look like from the outside?”

“It looks like a battloid,” said Jenna. “At least your apartment's in one piece.”

“It was the designated shelter for the transformation,” I said.

“At least you'll have something to write about.”

“What did the enemy cruiser look like?”

“It was green and shaped like a cigar. Listen, if the enemy attacks again, try watching from the observation deck. You'll have a better view.”

“I'll keep that in mind. Do you have to go back to duty?”

“Not now,” she said. “After I debriefed, we were relieved until tomorrow.”

I opened the door and then dialed the number for the Chinese restaurant.

“Hello?” asked a female voice.

“Is your restaurant still open?”

“Why yes, it is.”

I hung up the phone and then looked at Jenna. “How would you like dinner tonight at the restaurant. Just you and me.”

“We just had a battle and now you want a date?”

“Why not? For someone like you, I think it'll be worth it. It's not like I have a girlfriend waiting for me in New York.” I then wondered if Jenna has a boyfriend. He could be someone right here in Macross City.

“Okay then,” said Jenna. “It's a date.”

I took Jenna's hand and we left for the Chinese restaurant. “It just occurred to me,” said Jenna. “This is the first time I went out on a date in outer space.”

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-16 11:23am

Chapter 5

The Knight Life


I published my story on the modular transformation, and it was a hit. Almost everyone in Macross City wanted a copy of my article. Some offered me rations, clothing, food, and even sexual favors.

The city was reconstructed in a matter of weeks. some places where buildings once stood were now empty. Streets were rerouted. The mayor and the Spacy liaison officer both expressed confidence that future transformations won't cause as much damage.

The military began recruiting efforts among the citizens of Macross City. It was a crash course, as the new recruits had to become crewmen, marines, or pilots quickly due to the threat of alien attack.

In the meantime, Jenna Murphy and I started seeing each other. Fortunately, the enemy had not attacked since the transformation, so we started talking. One by one, we learned more about each other. By now, Macross City had a library, a school, coffee shops. There was even a casino. I of course wrote articles about this.

One thing that disturbed me was the fact that the Lynns’ Chinese restaurant seemed to have a fresh supply of food. I was wondering where it came from. And I learned the answer.

“We grow food in these hydroponic bays,” says Dr. Ewing, a botanist who taught at Macross City College. “We recovered seeds from some of the warehouses on the island. Using bioengerring, we increased the growth rate.”

And I saw the hydroponic complex, with the huge tanks filled with water, and the various crops growing inside them. “You can grow meat, right?” I asked.

“Not yet,” said Dr. Ewing. “We are working on that. But at least we won't starve to death on the way to Earth.”

“I'm glad for that.” It seemed so long ago that I was worried about starvation.

The next day, I published my report on where we get our food.

ooooooooo

I covered the graduation ceremonies of the new recruits, which was held on April 8th. Captain Gloval himself addressed the newest members of the U.N. Spacy.

“Welcome,” he said. “I am Captain Henry J. Gloval, the captain of this ship. . You have all taken on a huge responsibility. Whether fixing things, operating the weapon batteries, keeping order, reviewing communications, or even flying our veritech fighters, you will be doing an important job to protect your neighbors on this ship. I have complete confidence in you. You will make valauible contributions to this ship and the United Nations Spacy.”

The recruits tossed their hats up.

oooooooooo

Later on that same evening, I went to the Lucky Shamrock Brewery and Grill to meet Jenna and her squadmates for dinner. The place had recently opened, and it was situated next to the Bright Star Casino. I went in through the street entrance. This kid, looking young enough to be a student at Macross High School, and wearing a long-sleeve white shirt with a green necktie, greeted me at the host stand.

“Welcome to Lucky Shamrock,” said the boy.

“Listen, kid, I’d like…”

“He’s with us!” I heard Lani call out. I saw her, Jenna, Katie, and some men sitting at a round wooden table, which already had glasses partially filled with beer in them.

I looked around. There were other round, varnished wooden table as like the one Jenna and company were sitting at. There were booths consisting of rectangular wooden tables and leather seats. A long bar was in the back, with two bartenders clad like the host serving various drinks to customers at the bar, who occupied at the bar stools except one.

I joined them. I noticed they were all wearing casual clothes. Jenna was clad in a red dress and was wearing a tiara.

“Today’s my birthday!” exclaimed Jenna.

“Happy birthday,” I said, kissing her.

“How does it feel to be twenty-two?” asked Katie, who was clad in a black dress.

“I feel I can take on the enemy!”

“You know what we need to do?” asked Lani.

“What?” asked Lieutenant Landry.

“Shots! Shots are the answer to everything. And you’d better make sure your new lady friend does her share of shots, Nomura.”

“I’ll make sure of that,” said Lieutenant Nomura.

I looked at his friend, who was wearing a blouse and skirt. “Are you one of the pilots?” I asked.

“Actually, I’m a teacher at the high school,” she replied. “Akira invited me to celebrate his friend’s birthday.”

And so we did shots, in celebration of Jenna’s birthday. We also ordered from the grill. I myself had some shepherd’s pie, which was basically ground beef and vegetables, soaked in a borth and covered with mashed potatoes.

I heard some cheers from some uniformed people sitting at another table.

“What was that about?” I asked.

“They just went through training and now they want to celebrate,” said Katie. “You know, we're now having enlisted fly the veritechs.”

“I hope there isn't another enemy attack,” said Jenna. “I've enjoyed the past few weeks.”

“Maybe the enemy leaders called off the attack,” said Lani. “We have ships orbiting Earth; maybe they whooped E.T.'s ass.”

“Let's play some games at the casino,” said Jenna, pulling my arm and leading me to the casino next door.

“We got to pay first, you know,” said Katie.

And we did. After that, we played some roulette and craps and blackjack at the Bright Star Casino. Then, around 10 P.M., we went to the nightclub called Space. Unlike the Lucky shamrock or the Bright Star, the place was dimly lit. We were ushered to the table. Bottles of liquor were already available. I could hear a disc jockey playing dance music.

“Good thing we were able to use the VIP line,” said Lieutenant Reese.

“Anything for the birthday girl,” said Lieutenant Nomura.

“This is pleasant,” replied his date, who was clearly much more conservatively dressed than most of the other ladies already in the club.

I gently grabbed Jenna’s arm.

“Shall we?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied.

And so we danced to this upbeat, hip-hop song, holding her right hand with my left hand and my right arm around her waist

“You must have reasearched dancing,” said Jenna just as the song was over.

“Can we have our turn now with the birthday girl?” asked Lani, who was one the dance floor with Katie.

So we all danced and drank away the rest of the night.

ooooooooooo

And so I wrote more articles. My articles had my name and identified me as a reporter from the Associated Press. I covered events such as festivals and city announcements and other stuff. I wrote about babies being born- human babies being born in space. I would send my articles to whoever published them, such as the Macross Gazette and the Macross Weekly.

One morning I received a call in my office in the morning. It was Jenna.

“Hi there,” she said.

“You must be on duty,” I said. “I hope you don't get into trouble with your commander.”

“He ordered me to call you. Meet me outside the squadron office.”

So that was what I did.

oooooooooo

Minutes later, I was in this room with all sorts of equipment. Jenna was there with Lieutenant Colonel Angus Beckett and Major Dan Colmes, and some technicians clad in MARPAT camouflage. .

“We want you to fly the veritech simulators and write a report on it,” said Colonel Beckett.

“It's an honor, sir,” I said. I was excited. Jenna flew these things every day, now I would get my chance.

“Major Colmes will be here with you,” said Beckett. “Lieutenant Murphy, you will go back to your post.”

“Yes, sir,” she said to him. “Good luck,” she said to me.

“Okay,” said Major Colmes. “you step into one of these things.” The things were cockpit-shaped capsules with cables running into them.

One of the capsules opened and I sat in the seat. There were lots of controls, not only for fighter but for the other two modes.

“Those levers change your mode,” said Colmes. “F is for fighter, G is for guardian, and B is for battloid. Fighter is the fastest mode, guardian i sued to hover and provide air support, and battloid is for the ground. I will give you an open space training mission first.”

And the canopy was closed over me. I placed the helmet on. Images appeared.

“The images of the enemy match the enemy we are fighting,” said the major. “you are fully armed, fully fueled, and cleared for takeoff. The lever to your left is the throttle.”

So I pushed the throttle forward, and I looked at the instruments. I did not appear to be flying.

“Am I moving?” I asked.

“Check your instruments,” said Colmes. “you can see your speed. you're in space and there are no local landmarks. It's all by instruments.”

I saw the instruments, reading the speed and the attitude and all that shit. I saw three signals on the radar.

“Enemy fighters,” said Colmes. “Take them.”

And so I did. I turned the stick and pressed the pedals.

“One of them has got a lock on you! Evasive maneruvers!”

I turned the stick and pressed the pedals and even pushed the throttle. But then the mesage MISSION FAILURE appeared.

“The enemy blew your veritech up with a missile,” said Colmes.

“i'm not exactly an ace pilot.”

“let's try a different mission.”

And so I did I tried various missions in space, the air, and the ground. Each time, I failed.

Finally it was over. Colonel Beckett came to greet me.

“Did you enjoy it?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “I'll write an article. It will reflect well on your service.”

“Thank you for your time.”

I left the training room and headed for the city. I saw Jenna on the way out.

“How'd you like it?” she asked.

“You do the flying,” I said.

oooooooo

That night, I was closing up my small office.

“Hello,” I said.

“It's me, Jenna,” said my girlfriend. “Tomorrow we go on a mission.”

“A mission?” I asked.

“It's an offensive against the enemy. They're still out there. We're gonna strike first. I'd like to see you before I go.”

And so that was what she did.

oooooooooo

We didn't go out to the Bright Star Casino or the Lucky Shamrock, even though the rest of her squadron went there. Instead, we went to the Chinese restaurant for some takeout.

“Two Chow Fun to go please” I said.

“Sure,” said Lynn Lena. We waited for the food and then Mrs. Lynn gave us the takeput boxes. “Enjoy your meal.”

We left the building as someone else entered. I turned and looked at the man who entered. He looked familiar

“I know that guy,” I said.

“Never mind him,” said Jenna. “I'm hungry.”

We both walked back to my studio apartment.

“It's been two months since we started seeing each other,” said Jenna. “I wish I could talk to my parents so I can tell them what a wonderful man you are.”

“Me too,” I said, washing the chow fun down with some wine.

“You know, there's going to be a beauty contest. It's called Miss Macross. I'm gonna sign up after I return from my mission.”

“You're beautiful,” I said, looking at her soft skin and her silky blond hair and the crystal blue eyes. “You're sure to win Miss Macross. You're beautiful and you're a fighter pilot.”

We finished our food.

“How about we play some videos?” asked Jenna. “I have a DVD.”

“What is it?”

“A video of me, Katie, and Lani on vacation in Australia a month before this ship launched.”

“Sure.”

Jenna put a DVD into the Sony DVD player I had in my room. I could see an image of her and Katie, and Lani, all clad in bikinis, sitting around a table that appeared to be wrapped in straw. There were other men and women nearby, all dressed in swimwear. I could see an ocean in the distance.

“I love this part,” said Jenna.

“Jenna, Katie, come here!” yelled Lani. They gathered on a dance floor and started dancing, similar to how they were dancing at the Space nightclub on Jenna’s birthday.

“Looks like the dance floor just got a lot hotter!” yelled a male voice in the video.

“You ladies sure get along.”

“We were inseparable ever since we were training,” said Jenna, sipping some red wine. “Lani doesn’t have any sisters, you know. Katie and I are the closest thing.”

We watched the rest of the video. Jenna smiled at the memories, memories of what was a carefree time for her and the other two ladies.

Feelings within me started to intensify. I gazed into Jenna's blue eyes. The feelings soon became more powerful than the ship's main gun. I took her and kissed her. I touched her bare soft skin. We kept going and going and there was no stopping us. Not even a million enemy spaceships could get in our way.

ooooooooo

“OH SHIT!” yelled Jenna, waking me up. “I'M GONNA BE LATE!” She ran for the door.

“You should put your clothes on first,” I said.

“Oh.” She picked up her clothes and put them on.

“Amazing how you can dress that fast,” I said.

“They teach us that in the Marines,” she said. “Remember, you have the best view of the battle in the observation deck.”

“Okay,” I said. Then I walked to the observation deck. I had been here before, gazing into space, looking at the Prometheus aircraft carrier attached to the shift. I once wrote an article on the ship's crew that died after the fold operation, even meeting with some of their family members. I looked out and saw the planet Saturn, with its famous ring composed of chunks of ice. I never been to Saturn before.

“ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS!” announced a female voice. “SKULL, KNIGHT, AND MAKO SQUADRONS REPORT TO PROMETHEUS.”

I had a Sony digital video camera with me. I watched as the veritech fighters took off from the aircraft carrier. I saw the olive-green Knight squadron VF-1 Valkyries take off and fly into Saturn's rings. I wonder which one Jenna was flying. I wanted to tape this battle to write an article on it.

I prayed to God that Jenna will make it back safely.

I soon saw the fireballs as our fighters engaged the enemy fighters. I could see the destruction of the craft on both sides.

I then saw the enemy cruiser. It was green and shaped like a cigar, just as Jenna said. I looked through the camera's viewer. I can see the fighters. I noticed one fighter- a white fighter with the Jolly Roger insignia on the tailfin- shred the enemy fighters to bits.

I then saw an olive green veritech fighter blow up. I dropped the camera.

“Jenna,” I whispered. I hoped to God that wasn't her.

The enemy cruiser approached closer to the Macross. It was firing on us. I saw these green shie;ds moving about, blocking the laser fire.

I then felt shaking. The enemy scored a hit on the ship.

The enemy ship approached, apparently seeking to fire point blank. Then I saw something else appropach the enemy ship.

It was Daedalus, the amphibious landing ship that was brought to outer space and attached to this ship. It rammed into the enemy cruiser. Bulges appeared and I figured what was going on. The Marine destroid battalion must be blowing the ship uo from the inside. I noticed a white veritech fighter coming out of the ship. Daedalus was withdrawn, and the enemy ship blew up.

“All right!” yelled a teenage boy who had been watching the battle. “SDF-1 Macross kicks alien ass!”

I shared his sentiment. But then I remembered the Knight Squadron fighter that blew, I hoped Jenna was alive.

ooooooooooo

Jenna came to my apartment after she got off duty. I had already finished the article on the Battle of Saturn, and I came home. Her wingmate Lieutenant Hart told me that Jenna came back alive and well.

When I opened the door, I gave her a kiss. “I'm glad you came back, I said. “I then noticed her eyes were tearing.”

“We lost Major Colmes,” she said.

I remembered Major Colmes; he watched over me when I trained in the veritech simulator just yesterday. “I'm sorry.”

ooooooooo

The Macross Gazette blared the headline “SDF-1 MACROSS STRIKES BACK! ENEMY CRUISER DESTROYED IN SATURN'S RINGS” I wrote the front story, and the newspaper paid the Associated Press top dollar for it. The newspaper had published some of my articles before, but never paid this much, nor did it put my articles on the front page. I mentioned how the Daedalus was used to destroy the enemy ship, and several Marine and Spacy pilots confirmed it. The top brass did not return my calls; they preferred to keep quiet on the manuever.

That morning, I went to the Knight Squadron Office to speak with Lieutenant Colonel Angus Beckett. I was not talking to him about the Daedalus Manuever, but about Major Dan Colmes.

“He was a fine XO,” said the colonel. “He kept the pilots and the air crew in top shape. I visited his widow and four children to tell them the bad news.”

“They lived in Macross City?” I asked.

“No, they flew in to say goodbye to daddy. The enemy attacked, and they found themselves on this ship. Listen, you shouldn't ask anyone else in my squadron about Major Colmes. We are tight-lipped about personnel matters.”

“Sure,” I said.

“I have work to do,” said Beckett.

I left the office. Along the way I encountered Lieutenant Nomura.

“Can I talk to Lieutenant Murphy?” I asked.

“She's training in the sims now,” replied the lieutenant. “She gets off at 1700.”

That evening, Jenna and I went to the Lucky Shamrock. The ship transformed back into its regular mode at around noon, and the city remained intact after the transformation. We played slot machines and blackjack, and we ordered drinks from a bartender, whose name I learned was Greg. We enjoyed each other and we spoke to Katie and Lani. We all made sure to make a toast to Major Colmes. But then, the war got in the way.

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-17 02:34pm

Chapter 6

Mars Mayhem


The enemy soon started attacking the SDF-1 Macross constantly. I would often stand watch at the observation deck while Jenna went out to fight the enemy. Of course, this meant that Jenna did not have much time to spend with me.

Five months. It had been five months since the launch.

There was one important event to uncover- a rather historic event, actually.

It was the graduation of the senior class of Macross High School. And its historical significance was obvious, in that it was the first high school graduation held on board a spaceship outside of a planet’s gravity well. Due to the interruption in the school year, the end of the school year, and the graduation of the senior class, was postponed until July. Mayor Tommy Luan was in attendance. I could see over one hundred boys and girls in the graduating class, all clad in caps and gowns, inside the high school auditorium. One by one, they lined up to receive their high school diplomas.

The principal, a dark-haired lady clad in a suit, spoke at the commencement. “To say that this was a trying year is an understatement,” she said. “But even though we were cast off into outer space and the threat of alien attack, we did not stop being teachers. You did not stop being students. A moment of silence for those who could not be here, and for those who gave their lives so the rest of us could be here.”

I briefly thought about Ned. He would have loved to see this.

“But we must live for the future. Circumstances beyond our control have cast us away from Earth. But we can decide who we are, who we went to be.”

The students threw their caps into their air, cheering.


oooooooo

Jenna then got some leave. I could see she was worn out from the constant battle with the enemy.

“Don't ask me about the battles,” she said. “the last thing I want to talk about is that veritech.”

“I'm doing fine,” I said. “I'm busy. I'm writing about more than the war. I cover sports and social events as well. You might have read that article about the high school graduation.”

“Lani’s brother is a student there now,” said Jenna. “He doesn’t graduate for another year, though.”

“And there's this Miss Macross thing coming up in two months. I heard this famous actress who was visiting the island is running for the competition. Her name is Jan something; I look up my notes when I go to work tomorrow.”

“I might not live to compete.”

“Don't say that.” I looked into her battle-worn eyes. “We should enjoy the moment we have.”

“You're right.” She kissed me full on the lips. I looked around the street at the passers-by. They all look familar, since there were no tourists coming in since the launch.

Then I saw him.

I looked into his eyes and he looked into mine. I searched my memory for where I saw him before.

“Oh shit,” I said.

“What?' asked Jenna.

“I saw someone,” I said. “When I attended the laucnh ceremony, I saw a scuffle. The Spacy police dragged him away. I saw a dynamite belt on him. He's a terrorist!”

I looked at the crowd, looking for the man who tried to bomb the festivities. I searched for a few minutes, but could not find him.

“Jenna, there's a terrorist on board this shop,” I said. “We have to tell the authorities.”

“Do you think he's gonna try to blow up the ship?” she asked. “I mean, we're in deep space and being attacked by aliens.”

“I'm from New York. I know how these terrorists think. I lost an uncle to people like that eight years ago. I'm gonna file a police report.”

And so I did.

oooooooooo

I went to the Macross City Police Headquarters, located in the City Hall's first floor.

“I have to tell you something,” I said to the desk sergeant.

“What?” he asked.

“There's a terrorist on board. I'm a reporter from the Associated Press. When I was watching the launch ceremony, I saw the police drag away a guy wearing dynamite on his waist. He's tall and thin and has short black hair.”

“Could you explain?” asked. the desk sergeant.

“ On the day the ship was launched, I was watching the festivities when I saw a scuffle. I looked and saw the Spacy police drag this man away. He had dynamite strapped on his chest. Just a few minutes ago, I was walking with my girlfriend when I saw him.”

“Who is your girlfriend?” asked the sergeant.

“Lieutenant Jenna Murphy. She is in the veritech Knight squadron, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Angus Beckett.”

“Do you know the name of this alleged terrorist?”

“No, I don't. I remember what he looks like. He's tall and thin and has short black hair . If I see him, I'll know him..”

“Are you sure he will blow up the ship?”

“Yes. I think he's an Islamic terrorist. They operate by doing suicide attacks. I saw what they can do eight years ago. I'm from New York. We need to find him.”

“We can talk to the Spacy police,” said the police sergeant. “In the meantime, we'd like you to give a description to the sketch artist so she can draw a composite sketch of your terrorist.”

“I will do that. Find him. he was willing to bomb the launch ceremony; he might bomb something else.”

oooooooooo

One day in early October, Lieutenant Colonel Angus Beckett visited my apartment.

“Hello, Colonel,” I said. “What can I do for you?”

“I'm inviting you to come along with us on a mission. We are currently approaching Mars, and we will begin landing procedures in ten hours. Have you ever been to Mars before?”

“This is my first space flight,” I said. “Of course I'll go.”

“Our mission is the retrieval of supplies from Sara Base.”

“I thought Sara Base was destroyed.” I recalled reading the news about the terrorist attack on the base two years ago.

“So did we. We want a reporter to cover the mission, and we can’t think of a better person than you.”

“Why thank you. What will I do.”

“You’ll ride shotgun in one of the VF-1 Valkyries. Our plan- and this could change once we get more intel- and to send the veritechs to secure the base, before sending in the Destroids and supply trucks. And for all we know, there may be survivors. We’ll have a briefing in the Space Marine Detachment Headquarters at 1600.”

“I’ll meet you there.”

Ooooo

I arrived at the building, with a sign reading “SDF-1 MACROSS SPACE MARINE DETACHMENT HEADQUARTERS” I walked in through the front door and entered a lobby.

The lobby looked like a typical lobby, with chairs and tables with magazines on top of them. There were Space Marine recruitment posters on the wall. One of the postwers was impressive, showing a man in dress blues, surrounding by images of Space Marines in various jobs, including the job of a veritech fighter pilot.

I approached the reception, a Space Marine corporal clad in a Class “A” uniform, and told her who I was.

“The sergeant major will be escorting you to the conference room,” she said.

As if on cue, a man in class “A’s” entered. He was tall, large, and bald, with a short-cropped beard.

“Sergeant Major Whitaker of the SDF-1 Macross Space Marine detachment,” he said, extending his hand.

I introduced myself.

“I will escort you to the conference room.”

And so he did. We walked along the hallways, passing by uniformed Marines.

“When the city was built, we began construction of a headquarters building,” said the sergeant major. “We opened last month.”

We entered this conference room with a wooden table. I noticed that Jenna was already in there, wearing her Class “A’s”. Colonel Beckett was also there, along with some other uniformed Marines.

“Thank you, Sergeant Major,” said Beckett.

“May I get you some ice water, sir?” a corporal asked me.

“Sure,” I replied to the corporal, a man in appearing to be in his early twenties.

I started to take a sip when I heard someone yell, “Atten-shun!”

A man walked, in, clad in blue Class A’s. He had brown hair, a clean-shaven face, and appeared to be in his early forties. He stands at the end of the table.

“Colonel Victor Maistroff, commanding officer of the Space Marine detachment, shall preside over this meeting,” said Sergeant Major Whitaker.

“Everyone have a seat,” said the colonel. And just like that, the Marines all sat down.

“As you know, the Macross will be making planetfall on Mars at around 0430 tomorrow,” said Colonel Maistroff. “We will go on an expedition to Sara Base to procure any supplies and equipment we can find there. Colonel Beckett will land his veritech squadron on the base, while Colonel Taylor’s Destroid battalion joining afterward. Captain Gloval has loaned us Lieutenant Commander Roy Fokker and his Skull veritech squadron as backup. Once the mecha have secured the base, Colonel Weller and his infantry will bring the supply trucks to procure the supplies.

“Our guest here is a reporter. He will be riding shotgun with Lieutenant Murphy here, under Colonel Beckett’s command. Colonel Beckett, if you will.”

“Lieutenant, he will be riding with you on this mission. If we come under enemy attack, you will bring him back to the ship. The rest of the squadron will cover for you. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir,” replied Jenna.

“Do you have any questions?” Maistroff asked me.

“No.”

“Well, this will be your opportunity for a scoop, is that what it’s called?”

“Yeah. The scoop of the century.”

“Corporal, hand our guest some reading materials,” said Colonel Maistroff.

“Yes, sir,” replied the corporal.

I received a printed packet. I started to browse it.

“Dismissed,” said Maistroff.

I walked out and looked at Jenna.

“I have some things to take care of at the squadron offices,” she said. “See you tomorrow.”

Ooooooooo

I spent the evening reading the briefing materials. It was about the war machuins being used for the mission ahead. I read about the Stonewell Bellcom VF-1 Valkyrie veritech fighter, the Viggers/Chrauler MBR-04-MKVI Tomahawk Destroid, the Viggers/Centinental HWR-00 Monster MK II Destroid, and the Centinental/Kransmann MBR-07-Mk II Spartan Destroid. I noticed almost all of the technical specifications were blacked out. All I saw was the name, the image, and the basic role in combat.

I had to wake up early, so I set the alarm at 4 A.M.


Ooooooooo

The next morning, I had a very light breakfast and headed over to the Knight Squadron offices. I met with Colonel Beckett, who was already in his flight suit.

“Good morning,” he said.

“Good morning, Colonel,” I replied.

“WE ARE NOW INITIATING LANDING PROCEDURES,” said a female voice. “ALL CIVILIANS INDOORS; ALL HANDS TO STATIONS.”

All we could do is sit tight and wait. After maybe an hour, I felt a thump.

“WE HAVE NOW LANDED ON THE PLANET MARS,” announced the same female voice.

“Time to get suited up,” he said.

Colonel Beckett led me to the men's locker room. He opened a locker and gave me a flight suit.

“Put this on,” he said. “it goes over what you're wearing.”

And he was right, I put the suit on and it went over shirt and jeans. “good thing you have a suit to spare,” I said.

“Lieutenant Barnes was killed three days ago in battle,” said the colonel. “You look his size.”

Since the Prometheus hangar deck was unpressurized, we went into an airlock. I made sure I had enough air.

“I guess we'll fly together again,” said Jenna, in her olive-green flight suit.

I looked and saw Colonel Maisteoff, alos in a flight suit.

“Colonel,” I said.

“I’m a veteran pilot, so I will be leading this mission from my own VF-1S Valkyrie,” he replied.

The airlock opened into the hangar deck. I could see all sorts of veritech fighters- the tan-colored Spacy fighters, and the olive-green Marine fighters of Knight Squadron. I noticed several veritechs of unusual color. Two of them were parked side-by-side. One was olive drab in color; the other was white with distinctive skull and crossbones on its tailfin.

An air crewman in a spacesuit pulled down the ladder for one of the veritechs.

“That's us,” said Jenna, tugging my hand. We both climbed into the cockpit. I sat in the back, and Jenna sat in front.

“This is a VF-1D Valkyrie,” said Jenna. “It's a two-seater used for training. I'm going through the pre-flight checklist. Is everything okay?”

“Yeah,” I said. I looked at the instruments and the engines are already running. I looked and saw the olive-drab veritech and the skull-and-crossbones veritech being lifted to the flight deck. Other veritechs were being lifted up after those two.

“Air Boss to Knight Ten,” said a female voice. “Prepare for takeoff.”

“Copy,” said Jenna. she taxied the veritech to the lift and then we went up. “Don't touch the controls,” she said to me.

Whern we reached the flight deck, I gazed upon the Martian landscape. I saw pictures like these in books and newspapers. I never imagined I'd be here. I wondered if Ned would have felt the same way.

“All systems are go,” said Jenna. “Knight Ten ready for takeoff.”

“Takeoff,” said the control officer.

I found myself pushed back against my seat. The Martian landscape disappeared and I knew we were flying in the Martian air. After a few seconds of ascent, we achieved level flight.

“Knight Ten is in the air,” said Jenna. “Setting course for Sara Base.”

I could see other VF-1 Valkyries ahead of us in the distance. To my left and right I can see the Martian landscape. I can see the canyons and mountains. I remember once reading that the tallest mountain on mars is taller than the tallest mountain on Earth.

“We're at Sara Base,” said Jenna. “We are reducing airspeed. Switching to guardian mode.”

I looked to my right and I can see the arm holding the gunpod. I knew the legs were bent down. I could see Sara Base ahead. It was a cluster of buildings. It used to be a UN outpost, until some anti-UN faction attacked it. I thought the base was destroyed. Still, I wondered what happened to the personnel on the base.

“Switching to battloid mode,” said Jenna. The cockpit shield was raised and then the monitor went up. I could see the builkdings of Sara Base and the other veritechs in battloid mode. I noticed the skull-and-bones veritech and the olive-drab veritech. Both had identical-looking heads- four antennae, a trinagular face, and a crescent-shaped sensor.

“How are you doing, Knight Ten?” asked Colonel Maistroff.

“Fine, sir,” replied Jenna.

“And the reporter?”

“Nice ride,” I said.

“Here are the Destroids,” said Maistroff. I looked and saw the Destroids. They came in all sorts of shapes, looking more or less like what I read from that briefing packet. The Spartan had hands like the veritech battloids, the Tomahawks had cannon-arms, and the Monster was huge, with two cannon-arms and a wicked-looking cannon assembly on the head. They walked to various positions in Sara Base.

“Sara Base secure,” said Colonel Maistroff. “Salvage teams go in. All Destroids and Valkyries, stay alert.”

And then I saw land vehicles going into Sara Base, passing beneath us. I saw the Marine infantrymen get out of the vehicles and go inside the warehouses of the base. Soon they were loading supply crates.

“I like this,” said Jenna. “After all that combat.”

“This is SDF-1 Control,” said a woman with curly-black hair whose image appeared on the comm screen. “Lieutenant Lisa Hayes is going into the base. She will be looking for survivors.”

“My infantry reports they are just ten minutes away from finishing loading the supplies,” said Colonel Maistroff.

“Maybe I should have brought a book,” I said to Jenna.

A few minutes later, Colonel Maistroff said, “The Marines finished loading. The last of the supply trucks will reach the Daedalus in three minutes.

“Lieutenant Hayes is still inside the base,” said SDF-1 Control. “Once we get her back, you will all return.”

“Copy that,” said Maistroff.

“Enemy forces detected!” yelled the control officer. “Get ready for battle.”

“Here we go,” said Jenna. “Brace yourself.”

“We need to protect the supply trucks!” yelled Colonel Beckett. “Knight Squadron move out. Skull Squadron, stay here to protect Hayes.”

“Copy that,” said a male voice. “Skull Squadron protect Sara Base.”

“Knight Ten, I need you to drop…guest back…on SDF-1,” said Beckett.

“I think the signal’s being jammed.”

“Yeah, Jenna,” said Lani. “You seem to have trouble hearing Knight Leader.”

“You need me to get a better signal?” Jenna asked me.

“Knight Ten, get our guest back home!” I heard Beckett yell.

“I’m good,” I said.

“Sorry, Knight Leader,” replied Jenna. “The enemy’s..jamming… us.”

Jenna switched the veritech to guardian mode and we flew to the SDF-1. We could see the enemy pods racing towards it. We can also see the supply trucks trying to make it to Daedalus. Jenna and the others fired missiles at the enemy pods, obliterating them. We then landed on the ground and switched to battloid mode and shot the enemy pods with our guns.

“Knight Squadron, let's reinforce Skull Squadron,” I heard Beckett say.

We then transformed into guardian and flew back to Sara Base. I could see the Skull Squadron veritechs and the destroids fighting the enemy pods and fighters. We fired a missile salvo at an enemy fighter formation. Then we changed into battloid and started brawling with the enemy pods. Missiles, laser beams, and bullets flew every which way. I saw more and more enemy pods and fighters fall before Jenna. It was like my being in the veritech with her made her a better fighter. We transformed every couple of seconds to deal with new threats from our relentless foes. Jenna was adept at using the buildings of Sara Base as cover to hide from the enemy pods until she can get a clear shot.

Then we suddenly found ourselves in front of an enemy pod, ready to fire. Then it blew up, but Jenna did not fire the gunpod. I then saw the skull-and-crossbones veritech flying in in guardian mode. It switched to battloid mode.

“Stay alert, Marine,” the veritech's pilot said.

We took cover behind a building and fired on the enemy pods from a distance. I could see an olive-drab battloid shredding the enemy pods. Then it transformed to a fighter and it blew up three enemy fighters.

As Jenna was fighting with the enemy pods, I could see a white veritech guardian flying in and blowing up a bunch of pods with its missiles. It then stopped right at a building. I saw it punch through a window.

I also saw an enemy pod with a missile battery on top.

“Jenna!” I yelled. “Shoot that battlepod to the right.”

The battlepod fired missiles at the veritech guardian, whose pilot was unaware of the threat. But Jenna fired her gunpod at the enemy pod's direction, blowing up the missiles and the enemy pod. The veritech guardian flew up into the sky. I could see it was holding something.

“Lieutenant Hayes is secure!” yelled Colonel Beckett. “Move out!”

Jenna transformed the veritech to fighter mode and we flew high into the sky. I looked below, and I saw Sara Base consumed by a fireball. Soon the red sky was replaced by a starry spacescape.

We waited in orbit until the SDF-1 Macross reached Martian orbit. Then we were cleared for landing.

I braced myself as the veritech fighter made contact with Promotheus.

“Knight Ten has landed,” said Jenna.

We got out of the fighter, went through the airlock, and took off our helmets.

“Well, I have to debrief,” said Jenna, going into the women's locker room.

“See you tonight,” I said. I then went back to my apartment to write my article.


Oooooooooooo

Later that evening, Jenna paid a visit to my apartment.

“How are things going?” she asked.

“Putting the finishing touches on my article,” I replied. “I’m sure the Gazette will print this. I hope you didn’t get in trouble with the colonel over that stunt you pulled.”

“Well, it is complicated. You see, we shot down this enemy pod that was about to shoot down the Valkyrie that was rescuing Lieutenant Hayes.”

“Who?”

“Lisa Hayes, the senior flight control officer of the ship.”

“So what happened?”

“The colonel told me if I pulled a stunt like that again, I’d be sleeping in the brig instead of with you.”

amigocabal
Jedi Knight
Posts: 795
Joined: 2012-05-15 04:05pm

Re: Scoop (Robotech)

Post by amigocabal » 2019-01-18 09:29am

Chapter 7

Critical Condition​

After our departure from Mars, the enemy continued its attacks on our ship. Jenna was called away into action a lot. Whenever I spoke to her on the phone, she would sound tired and worn out. In the intervening days, Knight Squadron lost three more people. They are good, but the enemy is just too persistent. Every time I watch the battles from the observation deck, I wonder if Jenna's number would come up.

On one night, Jenna and I decided to go out to the Lucky Shamrock. We haven't had a date since leaving Mars. She wanted to relax, and I knew why fighter pilot needs to relax.

We both ordered beer from one of the bartenders, Steve. He asked Jenna how it was going, and Jenna said she was tired and stressed out from all the combat. The television was showing images, and it was not from DVD's. The Macross Broadcasting System went online today. Now Macross City had a television station where people can watch news and sports and TV shows.

"I read that this Skull Squadron pilot, Rick Hunter, is getting a Titanium Medal of Valor,” said Jenna.

I recalled reading a list of recent medal awardees. The medal was supposed to be for heroism. “I guess I should congratulate him if I ever run into him,” I said.

“He was the one who rescued Lieutenant Hayes. Shouldn’t I get a medal for rescuing him?”

“Well, you sort of disobeyed orders.”

Jenna sipped the dark beer. “Well, I suppose I should be lucky I wasn’t thrown in the brig- or reassigned to fly a Cat’s Eye. How about we go to the casino?”

“You have money?”

“I have all this basic pay, flight pay, hazardous duty pay. I’d be a millionaire by forty at this rate- assuming I don’t get killed first.”

ooooooooooooo

The next afternoon, Jenna showed up at my apartment.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I'm gonna be a contestant on the Miss Macross competition in December," she said.

"Congratulations!"

"I'll be one of twenty-eight contestants," she said.

"Will you even be able to attend?" I asked. "I mean, the enemy might attack."

"Colonel Maistroff himself told me that I would not be on duty that day. I'm the only Marine who's a contestant and he figured it would get some good publicity. I could even pose for recruitment posters or something."

"Jenna Murphy, Miss Macross. I like the sound of that. Let's go celebrate at the Chinese restaurant."

And so we went there.

ooooooooo

When we got there, we were greeted by a sign that read, "PRIVATE PARTY- SORRY WE'RE CLOSED."

"This is closed?" asked Jenna.

"Yup," said the doorman. "Minmei's having her sixteenth birthday. She's the owner's niece."

"That figures," I said. "Jenna, let's go get some Italian food."

So that was what we did.

oooooooo

We ordered spaghetti with meat sauce. Meat was available now, thanks to meat being grown from stem cells. The place was quiet, and it was just the two of us. I hoped we can spend the night together.

But then the siren blared, and the announcer called for all veritech pilots. That included Jenna.

"Got to go," said Jenna. "I'll go to your apartment after this is over."

I saw her run off. I headed for the observation deck to watch the battle.

Looking at the stars, I saw explosions as the veritech fighters took on the enemy's fighters and pods. Missiles and laser beams flew every which way. Occasionally, I would feel jolts as enemy fire hit the ship.

I saw one particular veritech, painted blue and in battloid mode, ripping apart the enemy pods. That guy was good. I made sure to videotape it.

The enemy pods got closer and closer to the ship. I could tell that some of them were right on top. The battle waged on and on. And then it stopped. The enemy pods and fighters flew back to where they came from. We beat them again. I just wish I knew how many more of them are out there.

The all-clear signal was sounded, and I went back to my apartment. I wrote an article on the battle, about how the brave defenders successfully repelled another alien attack. I heard a knock on my door.

When I opened it, Jenna was not there. Lani was there instead, wearing her flight suit, her chestnut-brown hair disheveled.

"Hi," I said. "What's up? Is Jenna asleep?"

"Jenna's veritech was hit in combat. She was taken to the hospital."

"Is she still alive?" I asked.

"Katie's at the hospital. No visitors are allowed to her room. Last I heard she was alive."

I bolted out of my apartment, my feet running the rest of me to the hospital as fast as they can go.

oooooooo

I woke up the next morning, and I was not in my apartment. I was in a hospital lobby. I saw Lani and Katie, Jenna's wingmates, also sleeping. A nurse entered the lobby.

"Is Jenna Murphy all right?" I asked.

"She's in critical condition at the ICU," said the nurse. "Right now there's nothing you can do."

It's not fair! She was lying in the hospital injured and there was nothing I can do! I stormed out of the hospital, frustrated. I dreaded the moment that Katie or Lani would tell me, with tears flowing down their eyes, that Jenna was dead.

Even while working, I could not stop thinking of Jenna being in the hospital. She wanted to participate in the Miss Macross competition. But she might not even survive to that day.

Ooooooo

One morning, about a week later, I had an invitation for breakfast. I got out of a cab and stood on a sidewalk along street with single-family residences on both sides. It sort of reminded me of Forest Hills in Queens, even if the houses were a bit smaller. They all looked pretty much the same, with little front yards.

I looked at the house numbers. It took maybe a minute before I found the right house number. I walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. I was greeted by this woman, appearing in her early thirties, with brown hair tied in a bun, wearing a dress and blouse.

“You must be Angus’s guest,” she said.

I introduced myself.

“I’m his wife, Maribel.”

“There you are,” said Angus Beckett, wearing blue jeans and a light-blue, short-sleeve shirt instead of a Space Marine uniform. “Come on in.”

The first thing I noticed were the sounds of squealing children and their footsteps echoing through the floor. I looked and saw a living room with small children’s toys scattered. A playpen was in the corner, with an infant playing with baby toys.

“Dining room is right back here,” said Mrs. Beckett. I followed her through the kitchen, which was actually in a hallway that connected to the dining room. I noticed a refrigerator, a stove, and a microwave oven. Art the other end of the kitchen was a dining room with a wooden table covered with a tablecloth. Plates and forks and spoons were set over placemats.

“Nice place,” I said.

“On board a battle fortress, this is a luxury,” said Colonel Beckett. “This is one of the privileges of being a lieutenant colonel.”

I sat down on the chairs.

“We got hash browns, steak, scrambled eggs, and bacon,” said Mrs. Beckett. “Good thing the people on the ship can grow meat now.”

Mrs. Beckett gave me some scrambled eggs, a slice of steak, and two strips of bacon. Just the smell made me hungrier, as if worrying about Jenna did not make me hungry enough.

I started with the hash browns, followed by the scrambled eggs.

“This is great,” I said.

“Why thank you,” replied Mrs. Beckett. “Angus tells me you’re a reporter. How did you get to be here?”

I told her a condensed version of my story so far.

“You must be grateful that Angus’s pilots were able to save you.”

“Not all of us could have been saved. Ned Brubaker, the senior reporter on my assignment, didn’t make it.”

“Would God we would have been able to save everyone,” said Colonel Beckett.

I felt something wet. It was a piece of scrambled egg. Mrs. Beckett immediately got up and scolded the boy.

“Now you say you’re sorry to our guest,” she said.

“Sowwy,” said the boy, who looked to be about three.

“Now you go to your room. No toys until lunch!”

“Kids,” said the colonel, even as his wife led their son away. “They require even more attention than my pilots.”

“Any news on Jenna?”

“Dr. Ajami told me she’s still in critical condition.”

“Oh.”

“Ever think about your co-workers back in New York?”

“It seems like such a long time ago. Almost like a lifetime ago.” I thought of Quinn Sullivan, another junior reporter who was my roommate. Simon Levinstein, another veteran reporter who traveled the world. Al Chegwidden, the New York office editor. “I’ll have lots of interesting stories to tell.” Mrs. Beckett sat down to rejoin us for breakfast. “Do you guys invite anyone else?”

“Well, we had Roy and Claudia over once or twice,” said Mrs. Beckett. “Claudia once brought this pineapple salad.”

“I did like that pineapple salad,” said Colonel Beckett.

“That reminds me. Patti is inviting us over to her place for dinner tomorrow.”

“I’m sure I’ll be available.”

“I can only hope Victor will be there as well.”

“How did you know each other?” I asked.

“It wasn’t something as exciting as Angus rescuing me during an alien attack,” said Mrs. Beckett. “It was almost ten years was a cocktail server just trying to find my way around the world; Angus was a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, having fought in those wars before this ship crashed to Earth. We saw each other quite a bit when he was stationed at Beaufort in South Carolina. We got married just a week before Angus started his service with the United Earth Forces. Since then I’ve been moving around with him.”

“How did you deal with deployments?”

“I only did that once, when Angus did a three-month tour of duty on one of those ARMDs. It helped to talk to the other wives. I was preparing to say goodbye to him for six months when I learned his squadron would do a tour on this ship.”

“To be perfectly honest, I wish you and the kids were safe back on Earth,” said the colonel. “I wish we were all safe back on Earth.”

“That reminds me, maybe we should pay Libby a visit,” said Mrs. Beckett.

“Who?” I asked.

“Dan’s widow.”

“Major Colmes’s widow,” said Colonel Beckett. “She has to raise two children, with another almost due.”

We all looked and realized we just finished our breakfast.

“I have to get dressed and go to the office,” said the colonel. “See you later.”

“Thank you,” I said to the colonel and his wife.

“I’d better look after baby Kelly,” said Mrs. Beckett.


ooooooooo

Not long afterward, I went in to the intensive care unit. I saw Jenna in bed, with all sorts of tubes and wires sticking into her. I was careful not to touch her. I just wish I could reach out to her.

I fell asleep. Images, sounds, smells, and tastes went through my dreams.

I was riding shotgun in Jenna's veritech, with her flying it. We were in space, in combat with the enemy.

"Oh no!" she yelled. "Three thousand enemy missiles are heading for us."

"The enemy launched three thousand missiles at one veritech fighter?" I asked. "That's insane."

Then the missiles hit and we were blown apart. Strangely, I continued to live. I saw body parts- our body parts.

Then I was back in Macross City. It was still on its island in the Pacific Ocean, with the SDF-1 Macross proudly in the center, Then colored lights filled the place, and the island and I were in deep space. There was only light and cold. In the place where the ship once stood, I saw a huge monument with letters carved into it.

JENNA MURPHY - DEAD AND NEVER COMING BACK

I heard Jenna call out my name.

I was back in the hospital intensive care ward. I saw Jenna lying down. her eyes were open.

And she was saying my name.

"Jenna, you're awake," I said. "How are you feeling?"

"Like a hundred enemy pods stomped on my head," she said. She smiled.

And I smiled too.

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