In the south Pacific, there is an island called South Ataria. One night, not so long ago, it became the site of the strangest astronomical anomaly since the Tunguska Fireball of 1908. A colossal starship, hurtling through the fabric of time and space, crashed on the island.
The wreck of the alien vessel measured over three quarters of a mile in length; no trace of her crew was found. However, the wreck was evidence enough to prove that not only did life exist beyond Earth, the systems that drove the ship were ahead of our planet’s most advanced thinking. The hull took the bulk of the damages, leaving the sophisticated innards of the wreck intact.
Some of the world’s most brilliant minds gathered to study and restore the alien ship and a city quickly took shape around the preservation site. It has been ten years to the day that the starship, now christened Macross, crashed on the island.
South Ataria Island, Space Century 66
With the completion of the restoration project, the government held a day of celebration to commemorate the launch of the Macross. Anticipation and excitement swept the civilians who turned out for the event. Aboard the ship’s bridge, a crew of raw recruits quietly goes over the pre-launch checklist.
The sliding door to the bridge hissed open. The young lieutenant Misa Hayase entered.
SHAMMY: “Captain Global has just reached the stage.”
Misa approached her station and let out a deep breath.
MISA: “Fifteen minutes till the ceremony. Just might make it after all. I swear, what HAS that man been doing all this time?”
CLAUDIA: “Oh, out partying would be my guess. He did mention an Earth Defense Committee meeting when he left, of course. That old fox!”
Misa eyed her old friend and smirked.
MISA: “Unlike you, of course.”
CLAUDIA: “And just what does that mean?”
MISA: “You didn’t come back till 4:00 this morning. You and Major Focker were out late… and you both came home together.”
Claudia put her fist against her hip and grinned.
CLAUDIA: “Jealous? I’ll be fine, just a little tired.”
Misa faced Claudia directly.
MISA: “You may be fine, but the Major has to fly escort for the Macross later.”
CLAUDIA: “Oh what’s the big fuss, Misa? We’ve heard Roy brag in the past about shooting down five bogeys while having a hangover. That man can drink all night with no effect!”
MISA: “Maybe so but if something were to happen…”
CLAUDIA: “Don’t worry. I guarantee he’ll be fine. But y’know what?”
Claudia leaned closer to Misa and put on a teasing expression.
CLAUDIA: “You want him? He’s all yours! Take him!”
Bridge operators Vanessa Laird and Kim Kabirov laughed.
VANESSA: “Maybe our 1st Lieutenant IS interested in men!”
KIM: “Haha! Could have fooled me!”
SHAMMY: “Don’t be so mean!”
CLAUDIA: “Oh, poor Lt. Hayase! Top in her class and still a—!”
MISA: “Senior officer!”
CLAUDIA: “Hate to interrupt, but shouldn’t you check your monitor, lieutenant?”
Claudia was right: there WAS something on the radar. Some type of aircraft.
MISA: “Attention aircraft approaching on course one-zero-seven. Please identify yourself.”
HIKARU: “This is Hikaru Ichijo, invitation two-zero-one.”
MISA: “Confirmed: an invitation from Major Focker. Follow course five-seven for landing.”
An immense throng of people had gathered at the stage. Major Roy Focker was to narrate an airshow to demonstrate the abilities of the new Valkyrie units. At first, it was a very stimulating program when it first started but it quickly degenerated into a farce when a little white-and-red jet came flying into the middle of the spectacle.
The crowd began to laugh. Major Focker got annoyed: it could only be one guy.
FOCKER: “Is that you, Hikaru!?”
The volume of Hikaru’s transmission was at a level where only Roy and the civilians closest to the stage could hear clearly.
HIKARU: “Hey, old buddy! Hear you’re a major now!”
FOCKER: “What are you doing? Get that junk heap out of here!”
While the majority of the crowd couldn’t hear Hikaru, everyone could understand Focker thanks to his microphone. The major’s yelling provided added laughs. He soon realized this and whispered to the man working the sound system to switch to “Radio-only”.
FOCKER: “Are you trying to make me a complete idiot out of me?”
HIKARU: “Hey, nobody’s perfect, Major!”
FOCKER: “This isn’t your Dad’s circus. My men are real pilots!”
HIKARU: “I may have to make you eat those words.”
Hikaru’s jet dived headlong into the airshow and quickly won the multitude over with a quick showcase of stunt work.
Finally, the jet came for a landing and Focker bolted from the stage to meet the little party crasher.
Hikaru jumped out of the cockpit to see his friend darting up to him.
FOCKER: “What the hell were you trying to do? Get yourself killed?”
HIKARU: “Hey, calm down!”
FOCKER: “And while we’re at it, where did you learn to do THAT?”
HIKARU: “A simple booster climb; you taught it to me yourself.”
Focker groaned. Taking Hikaru by the arm, the major dragged the young man across the airstrip.
HIKARU: “I’ve got to admit, though, those guys out there were pretty good! Of course, not as good as me.”
Focker’s face soured at Hikaru’s remark.
FOCKER: “Don’t brag to me, Hikaru. I know all about you winning that amateur flying competition last year.”
HIKARU: “Civilian, not amateur. Plus, I won it seven times in a row. What about you?”
FOCKER: “I was busy fighting a war! All the dogfighting kept me preoccupied. Do you know they said I shot down at least one-hundred-eighty enemy planes?”
HIKARU: “You’re proud of being a killer?”
Focker took offense. If it were anyone else, it would have been fist city; Hikaru and he went back many years.
FOCKER: “‘Killer’? There was a war on and I was a soldier. I had to do my duty!”
The two of them pressed on until they reached a robot vending machine. Hikaru inserted a few coins. Soon, the machine began whirring on the inside and two cans of Petite Cola popped out.
Hikaru handed one to Focker and opened the tab on his.
HIKARU: “You promised Dad you’d come back to the circus as soon as the war ended. Why did you go back on that?”
FOCKER: “Yes, I let your father down and I’m sorry. But kid, once you’ve flown a fighter plane—or rather pilot one yourself—you’d understand.”
HIKARU: “You sure have changed, Big Brother.”
???: “Cola! I wanna cola! You promised to buy me a cola, Minmei, and I want it right now!”
Hikaru almost jumped when the vending robot began to roll away. Not too far away there was a little boy in a green kids’ version of a pilot’s uniform. He was throwing a tantrum, demanding cola. There was older, Chinese girl with him trying to keep the child away from the robot; perhaps she was a sister or a cousin? Regardless, the whole thing was beginning to resemble a wrestling act with the girl trying to get the little boy to calm down.
KID: “Lemme go Minmei!”
MINMEI: “You already drank some juice, you can’t have a cola!”
KID: “Please! Cola, cola, cola!”
MINMEI: “Cancel the order.”
The robot, receiving her command, rolled to the side. The girl, Minmei, faced the little boy with a stern expression.
MINMEI: “You’ll get sick.”
KID: “…I gotta pee! I can’t hold it!”
The little boy started to hop in place.
MINMEI: “See? You drank too much. I told this would happen.”
Minmei and the boy start to leave so he could do his business. Hikaru noticed Focker staring at the whole thing… or rather just that girl. He rolled his eyes.
HIKARU: “Well, at least one thing hasn’t changed.”
Out in space, a number of anomalies developed. Beyond the moon, numerous bright flashes took place out in the vacuum. These flashes of light quickly degraded in radiance, turning into solid objects. Large, green, and lumpy, these objects came from beyond our solar system.
Aboard the command ship Nupetiet-Vergnitzs, Zentraedi Fleet Commander Breetai Kridanik, a blue-skinned humanoid of colossal stature (even for his race) observed as a two-dimensional image of Earth was projected. To the alien officer, it didn’t look like a very important world. Nevertheless, he studied the cerulean orb with intent.
BREETAI: “The finder beam is locked on this planet. Are you sure about this, Exedore?”
To his right, his advisor Exedore nodded.
EXEDORE: “That is correct, sir.”
BREETAI: “And no sign of a defold?”
EXEDORE: “It’s doubtful, sir. We’ve found no evidence of a second jump to hyperspace.”
BREETAI: “It makes no sense. They should have left this ship eight terms ago. Perhaps it’s another disabled vessel?”
EXEDORE: “A logical possibility.”
BREETAI: “Hmm… Send out a recon.”
Back at the festivities, Focker was showing Hikaru a Valkyrie put out on public display. Since the major was with him, Hikaru could be taken behind the roped-off area and get a closer look at the fighter.
Despite Hikaru’s disdain for fighting, he couldn’t help but express his awe at the machine.
HIKARU: “She’s a beauty, alright. But how does she handle?”
FOCKER: “Why don’t you climb aboard and see for yourself?”
HIKARU: “You really mean that?”
FOCKER: “Uh huh. I’ll fly piggyback for safety.”
Hikaru started up the boarding ladder when Focker spoke again in a teasing tone.
FOCKER: “Oh, wait! I forgot! This is the kind of plane you hate!”
HIKARU: “Only depends on the pilot!”
FOCKER: “Ooh-hoo! Don’t be so modest!”
Captain Global stood shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of dignitaries on the stage in the shadow of the Macross. Inwardly, he was so bored he couldn’t stand it; the senator was at the podium giving a pompous, lengthy speech and he was trying everything to avoid a yawn or outburst. All the senator was doing was putting on airs like your typical bigwig.
From behind the senator, a liaison officer approached Global and whispered into the captain’s ear.
LIAISON: (“Excuse me, sir: urgent message from the space monitoring station. A strange flash of light and an explosion, tremendous radiation readings, accompanied by irregularities in solar gravitational fields.”)
GLOBAL: (“This same sort of event occurred ten years ago. You know what happened then, don’t you?”)
LIAISON: (“That’s when the alien ship arrived.”)
GLOBAL: (“Better check it out. Come with me.”)
Global and the liaison departed just as the senator was preparing to give the platform to the captain. His calls to come back fell on deaf ears, for Global didn’t even look back.
On the bridge, there came an immediate uproar as the women on the bridge tried to make sense of just what was going on. A racket of beeps, buzzes, and other alarms sounded all around them.
MISA: “Claudia, give me a readout!”
CLAUDIA: “The ship’s original systems are starting up by themselves!”
CLAUDIA: “The main gun is activating!”
The whole bow of the Macross opened right down the middle by way of huge servos.
Misa was terrified.
MISA: “Emergency shut down, immediately!”
CLAUDIA: “I can’t, the main switch isn’t working!”
Then, Captain Global rushed through the sliding hatch, banging his head on the frame by accident.
GLOBAL: “What the hell’s going on?”
MISA: “Captain, the main gun is going to fire!”
No sooner had Misa said that, a pinkish-orange bolt of energy was fired from the opened bow. The great beam went clean over the city, straight into cliffs, and out toward the open sea.
Two Zentraedi picket ships had been deployed on Breetai’s orders to investigate the planet. The crews aboard the two vessels were caught completely off guard when an immense streak of energy pierced the two vessels. Both ships were sunk.
From the command room on the Nupetiet-Vergnitzs, Breetai watched the pickets’ ruin with grim satisfaction.
BREETAI: “Now we know: the ship is on that planet! All ships advance, but exercise extreme caution!”
Fog created by superheated seawater enveloped the whole island. Global stood at the front of the bridge, mouth agape in awe and terror. The bow had since reverted to its original form, but there was a huge path cut by the powerful laser; the ocean on the other side was now visible from Global’s position. The city itself, thankfully, was missed almost entirely.
CLAUDIA: “All systems are back under control.”
SHAMMY: “Captain, space monitor report is coming in. It shows what our guns were firing at.”
MISA: “I’ve got it right here, Shammy: two large objects, possibly spaceships in lunar orbit 200,000 miles out. Both ships were disintegrated on impact… now there’s a whole fleet of unidentified ships coming in rapidly!”
Global suddenly burst into laughter. Shammy, Vanessa, and Kim looked at each other in confusion, as if he’d gone mad. Claudia and Misa eyed one another before Misa finally spoke out.
MISA: “Captain, what are you laughing about?”
GLOBAL: “It was so obvious! I should have known: a boobytrap, of course… and we fell for it!”
MISA and CLAUDIA: “A boobytrap?”
GLOBAL: “One of the oldest tricks in military history. The Germans often used them in World War II. They’d hide explosives in things that could be picked up like pens and guns. Then they’d retreat, leaving those things behind. When somebody picked up the object — BOOM — it was sprung.”
Taking his pipe out of his uniform, Global stuck it in his mouth.
GLOBAL: “I’ll bet those aliens installed some kind of defense system. The activation of the main gun could only be responsive if their enemy was present.”
The captain was about to go for his tobacco before Shammy got up from her chair and spoke out.
SHAMMY: “Captain Global! No smoking on the bridge!”
GLOBAL: “Oh, uh, I was just putting it in my mouth. ALL HANDS, LEVEL ONE ALERT!”