The bridge of the Macross…
VANESSA: “Twenty-four UFO’s are descending from space, projected landing point twenty to thirty miles west of the island, sir. They’re definitely not ours.”
GLOBAL: “Why didn’t we detect them before?”
VANESSA: “When the main guns fired, they used so power that the radar malfunctioned.”
GLOBAL: “That first wave was a decoy. Clever strategy. Misa, recall Skull Squadron immediately!”
MISA: “Negative, they’re still dealing the first wave, sir. I doubt they can break away without casualties.”
GLOBAL: “Understood. Thank you.”
VANESSA: “The aliens have touched down in the ocean twenty-five miles away. They seem to have submerged.”
GLOBAL: “Misa, radio the Prometheus and give the order to scramble recon choppers.”
MISA: “They’re already on standby, sir. They’ll be ready in five.”
The captain smirked.
GLOBAL: “Heh. Mind reader.”
From a distance, people stared at what seemed to be a metal giant. It fell out of the sky not too long ago and did a number on the surrounding building when it crashed.
It took a couple of faltering steps, looking much like a drunk in danger of falling over. Bits and pieces of sheetrock rained from its shoulders as sit stumbled around.
Nearby stood a Chinese restaurant, Nyan-Nyan. Lynn Minmei and her Aunt Feichun and Uncle Shaochin took cover at the doorway, watching the knight-like machine, unsure about what to do. Yoshio went outside to play before the fighting started and had no clue about where the little boy went.
MINMEI: “It’s stopped moving; it’s just standing there.”
Not too far away, a little boy came running toward the restaurant. It was Yoshio… and he was dangerously close to the mech.
YOSHIO: “Minmei! Minmei! Come look at what’s out here: an honest-to-goodness giant robot!”
Minmei scooped him up in a hug, as relieved as her aunt and uncle were.
FEICHUN: “Oh, Yoshio! What if that thing stepped on you?”
YOSHIO: “Aw, I can take care of myself! ‘Sides, I want a good look at that thing! C’mon, let’s go upstairs and look out the window!”
Yoshio ran inside the building. Minmei chased after.0
MINMEI: “Yoshio, wait for me!”
FEICHUN: “Don’t let him fall out the window!”
The two Sea Sergeant choppers from the Prometheus advanced cautiously. The sky above was as calm as the sea below.
PILOT: “This is PHP 202. We’re approaching the target area. Negative sightings on alien craft so far.”
MISA: “Roger. Maintain maximum surveillance; bogies are suspected to be submerged. Prepare to deploy sonobuoys.”
As soon as her transmission ended, something burst through the surface: six round machines with long tubes.
Almost immediately, the bobbing bulbs began spewing a bright volley of light at the helicopters.
Only one survived long enough to fire one missile before being reduced to scrap.
Back on the Macross…
MISA: “They’re gone, sir.”
With a sigh, Global stared out into the distance.
GLOBAL: “And here I am with an untested ship, an inexperienced crew, and—”
The brooding captain was interrupted when the hatch slid open. Senator Floyd Russo stepped into the bridge, cigar stuck in his mouth, decked in polyester. In spite of his composure, Misa could see that he was pale and sweaty. Even though he wasn’t showing it, he looked as if he could faint any minute.
RUSSO: “Well, well, well. I must say it's always a pleasure to come and see this fine bridge. So anyway Global, just when do you plan on launching the Macross?”
GLOBAL: “When will we launch, sir? She's not even fully supplied!”
RUSSO: “That’s your answer to everything, isn’t it, Global? We’ve sunk a lot of capital into repairing this ship. We’d hate to see it destroyed on the ground.”
GLOBAL: “I understand that, sir, but without a full—”
RUSSO: “ARMD-10 is still combat ready, launch and dock with it immediately! Personally, I can’t understand why you’ve just been standing here this whole time. Are you waiting for them to pass over?
GLOBAL: “Sir, you must understand we have reports that the enemy forces have warships even bigger than the Macross!”
RUSSO: “This has nothing to do with size, Global, it's about having the ambition to get the job done!”
RUSSO: “Or are you telling me that the Macross will be defeated here without even putting up a fight?”
GLOBAL: “Well, I—”
RUSSO: “Then begin the launch!”
GLOBAL: “…At once, sir. As a ranking official, you may take a seat over there. We’ll be under way in a few minutes.”
Russo almost swallowed his cigar when Global said this. Claudia snickered at his reaction.
RUSSO: “What!? No! That is, I have too many other things to do on the ground. You are not to take off until I’ve left this ship. Is that understood?”
Global showed a thin smile.
GLOBAL: “Whatever you say, Senator.”
Pulling himself together, Russo began to leave.
RUSSO: “You just leave the negotiations with these aliens to us politicians. (To Shammy and Kim) We’re all depending on you, girls. Don’t let us down.”
Global watched as the hatch closed.
GLOBAL: (We're just not ready for combat. We're just not ready.)
From Minmei’s bedroom on the top floor of the restaurant, she and Yoshio stared out at the stationary mech outside.
YOSHIO: “Wow! Look how big it is! Where did it come from?”
The war machine moved its cyclopean head far forward.
Down below, people were raving, “It moved its head!” “It fell out of the sky and smashed half the block!” “It’s as big as a house!”
From behind the head, an empty seat rose on a support pillar.
YOSHIO: “Its back opened up! Nobody’s running it!”
The boy was wrong. That seat kept rising, behind it was one that was occupied.
Looking down and around, Hikaru ignored the jeering crowds. He wanted to know what happened to the vehicle!
YOSHIO: “He looks confused.”
MINMEI: “Maybe he was injured in the crash.”
HIKARU: “I must be seeing things. This used to be a plane!” (To Minmei and Yoshio) “Excuse me, but, er, what is this? I mean, what does it look like to you?”
MINMEI: “Some kind of robot, I think.”
Hikaru took a sigh of relief and slumped in his chair.
HIKARU: “Thank God! When I got into this thing, it was an aircraft. I thought I’d gone nuts.”
MINMEI: “A convertible airplane? You must be joking!”
HIKARU: “I’m as puzzled as anybody about it.”
MINMEI: “You’re kidding! You’re the pilot and you don’t even know what it is?”
HIKARU: “N-No! I’m not a military pilot. I’m just-just an amateur! It was all a mistake. I’m not supposed to have it!”
YOSHIO: “An enemy spy!”
Minmei gave the pointing child a little shake to pipe him down.
HIKARU: “What? No! This was the army’s idea, not mine!” (Looking down at the battered mech) “So banged up.’
MINMEI: “Will you have to pay for it?”
HIKARU: “Hope not.”
A blaring horn sounded at the foot of the mecha. It was a large truck.
DRIVER: “Get that thing off the road! I’ve got a truckload of military supplies and I’m in a hurry!”
DRIVER: “Move it, Mac! Now!”
HIKARU: “Don’t know how this thing works, but I’ll try.”
MINMEI: “Good luck and be careful!”
Hikaru was lowered back into the cockpit.
HIKARU: “All I can do is move a few switches and keep my fingers crossed. At least I can see where I’m going, but how do I get there?”
The trucker was still blowing his horn outside.
Taking the control grips, Hikaru swallowed some saliva.
The war machine stirred. It lifted its foot to step, but lost balance when it went too high.
The crowd that gathered around the mech began to bolt in panic.
The machine fell face-first onto the Chinese restaurant. Fortunately, Minmei and Yoshio got away unscathed.
Clouds of sheetrock caused the girl to cough.
MINMEI: “Yoshio! Please tell me you’re not hurt!”
YOSHIO: “I’m okay!”
Hikaru’s voice boomed over the PA system.
HIKARU: “You two okay in there?”
Hikaru wiped the sweat from his brow. She was a cute girl and it would have been a shame to crush her.
SHAMMY: “Gravity control systems through bulkhead 48 are green light. Please confirm, over.”
From all across the vessel, the messages came in. No checklists. The ship was leaving, ASAP.
VANESSA: “Priority one transmission from Jaburo, Captain Global. ARMD-01 has completed recovery procedures and is departing to meet ARMD-10 at Rendezvous Point Charlie.”
GLOBAL: (To Vanessa) “Thank you, Vanessa.” (To Claudia) “Claudia, have we recovered full power yet?”
CLAUDIA: “Ready condition on furnace power, sir.”
GLOBAL: “Good. Antigravity: full thrust.”
KIM: “Aye aye, sir. Full thrust.”
The voice of Claudia echoed over the island as she counted down to lift-off.
CLAUDIA: “10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”
GLOBAL: “Full power. Activate antigravity control system.”
The Macross slowly lifted off the surface of the island, casting her mammoth shadow across it.
MISA: “The gyroscope is level, sir.”
GLOBAL: “Well done.”
Suddenly, the ship began to tremble and list to port, knocking people off balance.
GLOBAL: “What in blazes is going on? Trim the pitch altitude, immediately!”
CLAUDIA: “It has to be the gyroscope.”
MISA: “No it’s not! Look!”
The hull began to bulge toward the bow. Cylinders the size of railcars burst through the plating and into the sky.
CLAUDIA: “The gravity pods!”
Global rushed forward to see the terrifying sight of the tube-like machines inexorably floating away, leaving the ship grounded once more.
GLOBAL: “Please, tell me I’m dreaming this.”
MISA: “Pardon, sir?”
GLOBAL: “This is a nightmare!”
The Macross hit the ground violently. Thankfully, her dock’s powerful impact-absorption systems cushioned the fall, saving who knows how many lives.
The descent was accompanied by wailing klaxons and yelling crew, but within a few minutes, discipline reasserted itself.
The ship was grounded with a fifteen-degree list to port.
GLOBAL: “Is everyone alright?”
WOMEN: “Yes, sir.”
GLOBAL: “Kim, Shammy. Give me a full damage report. I want a readout of every system aboard.”
KIM & SHAMMY: “Sir!”
Global looked like he’d run halfway around the world on foot.
GLOBAL: “This ship is a piece of junk. They’ll never let me forget this!”
MISA: “Don’t blame yourself, sir.”
The crestfallen skipper slumped in his chair.
GLOBAL: “I am the captain…”
A transmission was received shortly thereafter.
FOCKER: “Skull Leader to Gunsight One, Skull Leader to Gunsight One. The enemy air units have closed up shop.”
MISA: “Commendable work, Commander Focker. I’ll—”
Claudia nudged Misa.
CLAUDIA: (To Misa) “Let me talk to him.” (To Focker) “So, Roy, how many did you get?”
FOCKER: “Just ten, baby.”
CLAUDIA: (Laughs) “You’re slipping.”
FOCKER: “Don’t worry, I can make up for it. By the way, you got any word on 102?”
MISA: “That walking Section 8? He landed in the city in Battroid mode and he’s doing more damage than the aliens!”
MISA: “Who is he? He’s not registered as a pilot.”
FOCKER: “Relax. I know him.”
MISA: (Grumbling) “He sure needs help.”
FOCKER: “I’ll go check on him. Over and out.”
Above the island, Focker radioed his squadron.
FOCKER: “Skull boys, this is Skull leader. Return to the Prometheus, I’ve got business to take care of in town. Take ‘em home, Kramer.”
KRAMER: “Will do, boss.”
Skull 01 broke formation and swooped down into the city. It didn’t take long for him to reach a particularly battered area with a stationary Battroid stuck with is face in a restaurant.
FOCKER: (Knew I shouldn’t have left him alone.) “Hikaru? That you, old son?”
HIKARU: “Roy! Thank God you’re here.”
FOCKER: “Busy day down here, huh?”
HIKARU: “You can say that again.”
Skull 01 converted to GERWALK mode, a mechanoid/eagle formation for more control in tight areas, and began to descend. It touched down not far away from Hikaru and converted to Battroid.
Hikaru couldn’t believe his eyes.
FOCKER: “Some minor repairs and she’ll be battle-ready again.”
HIKARU: “What are you talking about? I don’t even know what this thing is, and if you think I’m qualified to operate it, take a look around the neighborhood!”
Skull 01 shouldered its gunpod, as casually as an infantry man would his rifle.
FOCKER: “If you can fly a jet, you can run a Battroid. I’ll tell you what to do. Gross movements are initiated by manuals—the legs are guided by your foot pedals, for example.”
HIKARU: “Which foot pedals? There must be fifty different controls in here!”
FOCKER: “Fifty-seven, if you want to get technical. But that’s not important. Just listen up and I’ll explain while I make repairs.”
Various servos and other repair apparatus extended from Skull 01.
FEICHUN: “Minmei! Yoshio! Come on!”
Minmei waved at Hikaru as she left.
MINMEI: “See you later! We’re being evacuated!”
Meanwhile, on Breetai’s flagship…
TECH: “The recon and Regults have landed, Commander. We’re ready to attack.”
BREETAI: “Attention all gunnery crews! Prepare to give covering fire to the recon assault group.”
All guns in the Zentraedi fleet were aimed at the island the Supervision Army ship had crashed on. The crew were on standby for firing.
In the ruins of South Ataria, the repairs to Hikaru’s Battroid were finished.
FOCKER: “We’d better get moving, Hikaru. We still have a war to fight.”
HIKARU: “I’m still pretty unsure of myself with all these controls! I’m not ready for combat!”
FOCKER: “Listen, pull the switch marked G, and we’ll switch to GERWALK configuration.”
HIKARU: “What the heck is a GERWALK?”
He pulled lever G and transformed the Battroid into the hybrid form.
FOCKER: “The GERWALK controls work almost exactly like those of a plane. You shouldn’t have too much trouble.”
HIKARU: “Heard that before…”
On a hill overlooking the city, thousands gathered around the underground shelter, built into it. The Earth Federation government, foreseeing the Macross as a potential target for any aggressor, built it during the ship’s renovation.
Among them were the Lynn family.
MINMEI: “My diary! I have to go back for it!”
FEICHUN: “Don’t be foolish, child!”
YOSHIO: “You can’t go back!”
The girl ducked away, breaking loose of her aunt’s grip and her uncle’s attempt to catch her. She sprinted the deserted town.
MINMEI: “It won’t take but a minute to get it!”
TECH: “All guns on standby for bombardment, Commander,”
BREETAI: “Good. Level everything in front of the recon forces’ path, but do not damage the battle fortress. I want it intact!”
The forward Zentraedi pickets rained down powerful beams, melting buildings like plastic in a fire.
Hikaru and Focker were just outside one of the lasers’ kill zones.
HIKARU: “The aliens are attacking again!”
FOCKER: “Yeah; good thing the city was evacuated in time. Say, if you’re worried about your girlfriend, we could go check on her.”
HIKARU: “Good th—HEY!”
Both GERWALKs skated away over the cracked asphalt.
The bridge of the Macross was in an uproar.
GLOBAL: “Vanessa, do we have a fix on where that bombardment’s coming from?”
VANESSA: “A fleet of spaceships, numbers uncertain, but very high. They’re at L1.”
Global rubbed his jaw.
GLOBAL: “Damn. Our missiles won’t reach.”
MISA: “Captain, alien forces are approaching from eight miles east. We need air support.”
Misa turned on the intercom.
MISA: “Attention all strike elements, we are under attack and need assistance, ASAP. Incoming Valkyries, switch to Battroid mode.”
The ostrich-like Regults strutted through the wreckage of South Ataria, ravaging indiscriminately.
KRAMER: “Okay, Skull Squad, area 41. Vermillion Squad, area 44. Let’s get down there and wrassle them arounds some.
With the arrival of the Valkyries, the tables turned on the invaders. The Battroids’ massive machine guns easily mowed down the chicken-legged battlepods.
Alien reinforcements grasshoppered into the ruins, plastron cannons firing away.
At one point, rumor began circulating that a Vermilion Squadron member ran out of ammo, but still took down a Regult with a roundhouse kick.
Minmei ran for her life. She found her diary, but once ground combat started, she was boxed in.
A Regult landed behind her.
She cringed, expecting death.
???: “Oh no, you don’t!”
Then the loud RAT-TA-TAT of a large machine gun reduced her would be killer to scrap. It looked like a metal eagle.
Nearby, a skull-and-bones Battroid loomed. Its pilot spoke over an external speaker.
FOCKER: “Take it easy, honey; you’re okay. We’ll protect you. Hikaru, take care of her. I’ll handle the pods.”
HIKARU: “You can’t handle them alone!”
Focker lifted up his gunpod.
FOCKER: “Don’t argue with me! I’ll distract them while you two get out of here!”
Hikaru opened his cockpit and called out to Minmei.
HIKARU: “Hold still. I’m going to pick you up.”
MINMEI: “But I thought you said you were an amateur!”
She was right, but he had no choice.
HIKARU: “Trust me. I can do it!”
The hand of the GERWALK closed around her firmly, but didn’t mangle her or even hurt her.
Focker radioed Hikaru immediately.
FOCKER: “Get outta here, Hikaru! Fire your jets!”
Hikaru’s GERWALK get out of there, but not too swiftly for fear of harming Minmei.
They were airborne, leaving the danger zone.
Skull-01 rushed toward a landing Regult, blasting it to ribbons with his gunpod.
As soon as it was history, his instruments picked up another: it positioned itself on the ridge in the upscale district. Switching to GERWALK, he lobbed a missile at the mech, destroying it in one blast.
With his fields of fire clear for the moment, he radioed Hikaru.
FOCKER: “How’s it going?”
HIKARU: “I’m okay, Roy.”
FOCKER: “Not you, the girl!”
HIKARU: “Oh, um, okay so far.”
FOCKER: “She’s a taxpayer. If she dies, you answer to me.”
HIKARU: “Don’t forget, Big Brother: I saw her first.”
FOCKER: “So that’s how it is, huh? We’ll talk about it later.”
HIKARU: “Oh CRAP!”
FOCKER: “What’s wrong?”
From behind a ruined shopping zone, a Regult fitted with heavy missile launchers emerged.
Hikaru accelerated and moved his stick up for a pushover, trying to evade the missiles. It worked, almost.
One lucky missile hit the elbow joint of the GERWALK’s arm that held Minmei.
Defying all odds, he took a dive and opened the canopy.
Minmei was able to escape the grip of the giant hand and glided toward him.
Unbuckling his harness, Hikaru stood up and caught her. He dragged her into the copilot’s seat.
The GERWALK descended through the smoke and debris, hovering right above the littered pavement.
Minmei broke down and cried.
HIKARU: “Please don’t cry. You’re safe, n—”
Too soon. A Regult stood in the center of an intersection at twelve o’clock, damaged and covering its retreat. The GERWALK’s wings slammed into the back of the pod, upending it.
The GERWALK slid upside down for some three hundred feet, pavement totaling the canopy until the machine stopped.
She was unconscious the whole ordeal had taken its toll on her. Did it kill her?
Outside, the bulbous pod that they’d crashed into was slowly zeroing in on them.
Panicking, Hikaru squeezed the trigger on his control stick. Most of his shots missed, but he was able to weaken the alien craft enough that it lost balance. It soon became evident that he’d run out of ammo.
Then, the back of the pod opened. Something was coming out.
It had a humanlike shape, was heavily armored, and was the size of a Battroid. The ground shook beneath its feet.
It removed its helmet revealing, to Hikaru’s horror, a human face. The pilot moaned with an echoing bass.
Hikaru froze. He had no more ammo, he couldn’t fly anymore, and he couldn’t abandon Minmei. He was dead.
The giant collapsed face-first, killed by a handful of shells from a familiar skull-and-bones-flying Battroid. The slain alien’s massive hand gripped the GERWALK’s left foot as its final act.
HIKARU: “W-What is that?”
Focker’s response was flat.
FOCKER: “That is the enemy. This is why we built the Valkyries, Hikaru: to fight these giant aliens.”
HIKARU: “But… that guy looks just like a human being.”
FOCKER: “Yeah, if you ever saw a human who’s fifty feet tall.”
HIKARU: “I don’t believe it.”
FOCKER: “Now you know why we’ve been keeping this stuff a secret.”