World of Change
Characters of Ranma 1/2 belong to Rumiko Takahashi and those of Robotech belong to Harmony Gold.
Chapter 1: 2009
Ranma looked out the window of the airplane as it touched down on the runway of a small island in the South Pacific. He had no idea where exactly he was, but that didn't matter, for the sole reason he was there with his mother.
It had been close two months since he started living with his mother full time. Five since she found out about his curse. He would always remember that day. It happened during the winter break. Ranma had been hiding from "Auntie Saotome," who had come over for a surprise visit, as "Ranko." They were seated around the table, drinking tea when "Auntie Saotome" turned to "Ranko," cup in hand, and accidentally spilled her tea on "Ranko" due to the momentum of her turn.
When "Ranko" changed to Ranma, every human and panda in the room feared for Ranma's life. But they were surprised when Nodoka took Ranma in her arms and gave him a much-awaited hug. It hadn't taken her long to realize her son in front of her, and at that moment, the seppuku pledge was the furthest thing in her mind. Ranma gladly returned the hug, and it wasn't long before mother and son were both crying, Ranma not caring about what his father would say.
Ranma didn't immediately start living with his mother. He stayed with the Tendos and his father because of school (well that's what he wanted to people to believe.) Nodoka came by more often to see her son but never her husband, still angry for making her son hide from her over a stupid seppuku pledge and a curse that he caused.
It wasn't until watching the interaction between Ranma and Akane when Nodoka realized from the way they acted, the two families would never join. It was obvious they had some type of feelings for each other but were too afraid to express them. It didn't help that the two so-called adults were pushing too hard get them married. The other girls in Ranma's life weren't helping either.
It was then that Nodoka decided it was her turn to raise her son since Genma had for ten years and never visited her. With hope, the old adage that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" would become true, and that the two teens would admit the feelings they had for each other.
It was February when Nodoka decided to move Ranma out of the Tendo dojo and away from Nerima. The school year was close to ending, so Nodoka didn't feel guilty about pulling Ranma out of school before transferring for the next term. But before that, Nodoka wanted Ranma to see the family he hadn't seen in more than ten years. First they visited her grandfather then spent a week with her parents in Hokkaido. From there they left Japan to end up at their present location.
Exiting the terminal, Ranma was greeted by the sign saying, "Welcome to Macross Island." The name sounded familiar but Ranma couldn't place it. He had yet to question his mother on why they had left Japan, but he figured it was okay to ask now.
"Say, mom, why are we here?"
"See my little brother."
Ranma was surprised to hear this. Mainly because he couldn't remember having an uncle.
"You probably won't remember him, dear" Nodoka continued. "I think you were two the last time you saw him when the air show came to Tokyo. That was before he joined the Global Civil War. That has to be some fifteen years now!"
No sooner had she said that, a green jeep stopped right in front of them. Inside was a blonde man, somewhat foreign looking, around his early 30's, wearing a purple military flight suit. The man stepped out of the jeep, and the first thing Ranma could think about was that this man was tall. But oddly the man seemed familiar to him; Ranma hoped Genma hadn't done anything to this guy.
Ranma was relieved and surprised when the guy picked up his mother and gave her a hug. "M-m-mom!" he stuttered, hoping he hadn't just discovered an indiscretion on the part of his mother.
"Ranma, you really don't remember your Uncle Roy?" Nodoka said.
"This is little Ranma," Roy said. "Boy, you've grown, squirt." And he proceeded to mess up Ranma's hair.
In the deepest recesses of Ranma's mind, the words "Uncle Roy" and the messing of his hair started to bring up latent memories. Memories of a blonde man that took him flying in an old biplane. When he asked if he was the same person, Roy confirmed his notions. Then he noticed that his nametag read Fokker. His mother's family name wasn't Fokker, so he questioned him on that.
"So you're still going by Fokker?" Nodoka asked, as if she already knew about this.
"Ya got me there, sis."
"B-but why would you just change your name?" questioned Ranma.
The two adults explained why he wanted to change his name and how their parents (his grandparents) were understanding. Ranma was still confused, but if his grandparents said it was all right, then it must be okay.
Roy grabbed their bags, and everyone hopped into the jeep. As they headed away from the airport, Roy asked, "What took you so long? I kinda expected you a couple of days ago. And with mom and dad."
"It's mom," Nodoka replied. "She still refuses to fly and is fearful of anyone else in the family doing the same. Though they just could not get enough of the grandson, but they send their love."
Roy understood why his parents weren't there. Their mother wasn't too trusting of air travel since their sister was killed with her newly wedded husband in a freak take off accident. She understood her youngest child fascination with flying, but it didn't stop her from wishing he'd quit.
"Well, it's a good thing you've made it."
"How come, Uncle Roy?" asked Ranma. It just seemed so natural to say Uncle Roy.
"Because we launch in a couple of days."
"Launch for what?"
Roy looked at Nodoka as if asked if something was wrong with his nephew. She clearly understood the look and explained Ranma had been on a training trip for ten years. It seemed that he was oblivious to many events during that time.
So while they drove on, Roy explained the "visitor" to Ranma (including some things he shouldn't have, but hey, they're family).
"So it's this 'visitor' that is launching?"
"Yes, but it's called the SDF-1 now," Roy said.
"Will we be able to see it before it's launched?"
Ranma thought it might be the size of the well-known American spaceships he had seen in history books. He was completely surprised when Roy pointed out that it was the massive structure that dominated the landscape. Simply put, the only thing Ranma could think of that the SDF-1 was huge!
He wondered how come he wasn't able to see as the plane landed. It seemed impossible to miss the blue and silver superstructure. Of course Ranma didn't realize the location of the civilian airport put it away from the restricted airspace of the SDF-1 and the military base.
"Oh, and Rick's suppose to be here any time now," Roy said.
"As in Hunter?" Nodoka asked. Roy nodded his head. "I haven't seen him in a couple of years. What is he, sixteen now?"
While the adults talked, Ranma just stared at the SDF-1. The possibility that there were other beings in the universe was too much for him to comprehend. He had seen some strange things in his seventeen years, but to find out that aliens were real and not made up to sale manga was truly unbelievable.
He came to think of the Tendos, especially Akane. He thought it would've been nice to have brought Akane with them. The weather was nice, and with the cliffs ringing the island, surely he could find excellent spots to train. And who wouldn't be impressed with the ship. Okay, maybe Akane wouldn't like to come here for those reasons, but it would be nice to have the one person he loved more than anything in life (well maybe behind martial arts, his mother, and another girl that he didn't let his father know about) with him in this tropical location.
"Say, Ranma, there's gonna be an air show. We're showin' off our new aircraft," Roy said.
Ranma didn't know what to say. "Ranma's probably not interested in airplanes anymore, Roy. He's too much like his father -"
"I'm nothin' like Pop," Ranma protested. "It's just..." They all heard Ranma's stomach grumble. He was saved from answering as the adults concluded he was hungry. He couldn't say he wasn't interested because he didn't know anything about airplanes. The flight to Macross Island had been the first time he could remember being on a plane.
"If it's because you're hungry, I understand. I can just drop you off at this popular restaurant in town."
On second thought, maybe it would be nice to see what my uncle does, Ranma thought, not paying attention to his uncle. "No, I'll wait. Besides, they gave us snacks on the flight."
The air show was interesting for someone who knew little about airplanes. Ever naïve, Ranma would have liked to ask his uncle why these planes looked different than the one they flew on. For instance, why they had two fin-like thingies instead of one and how come the wing could move from straight out to a pulled back position. But the show was interrupted by another plane. Uncle Roy didn't seem please that Rick Hunter showed up at this time.
Is this the Rick that mom and Uncle Roy were talking about? Ranma asked himself. Ranma continued to watch as this small plane flew rings around the other planes. It was amazing. For the first time in his life, Ranma discovered something that could be as exhilarating as martial arts. Little did Ranma realize, he had been bitten by the flying bug.
It was something Genma feared as much as Happosai. From what Genma had learned, flying ran through the blood of the men of Nodoka's family. Ranma's grandfather flew as a member of JSDF, while his great-grandfather flew during World War II. Simply put, it was why they avoided airports at all cost and never flew anywhere. He couldn't risk Ranma becoming like them, jeopardizing his legacy, and the joining of the two schools.
By the time Rick landed on the military runway, Ranma had forgotten about the questions he wanted to ask. Ranma followed his mother as they made their way over to Roy and the guy with unruly black hair.
"You don't have to brag to me, Rick," Roy was saying as they walked up. "I know all about you winning the amateur flying competition last year."
"Not amateur, civilian!" Rick stated.
He was about to say more, when Roy interjected, "Oh, hey, sis," having noticed Nodoka and Ranma making their way over to them. And Nodoka waved at him.
"Rick, I'm pretty sure you remember my sister, Nodoka," Roy said when they gathered together.
Of course Rick remembered Nodoka. As much as he considered Roy his big brother, Nodoka was his big sister. They were the only "family" he had, even if only Nodoka had showed up for his father's funeral and air competitions, though he didn't know how come she wasn't here this year.
Ranma looked at the guy that flew circles around the other planes. He couldn't be any older than himself, and he was able to do all that.
"I'm sorry I missed your last few competitions," Nodoka said.
"Awe, that's all right," Rick replied, scratching the back of his head. "Unlike some people who don't even make an attempt to show up."
"Hey! I've been busy here," Roy stated.
"Yeah, right!" Rick said with a smirk.
Nodoka then introduced Ranma to Rick. Though one could tell it, there was an instant connection between the two teens. Besides, the two had something in common. They have been doing the thing they loved most since both could walk. Rick, at the age of sixteen, was considered the best stunt pilot in the world.
Introductions were short as Roy and Rick continued to give each other some ribbing. Ranma quickly became disinterested in what was happening and thought that maybe now would be a good time to grab something to eat. Then something caught his eye, or more like someone. He saw a girl in a burgundy dress, about fifteen, with long black hair of in the distance. She kind of reminded of a girl he knew in Yokohama. But it couldn't her. She was there the last time he ended up in Yokohama in the fall. This girl was with a little boy, possibly her brother as they tried to get something out of the vending machine. The girl he was thinking of was an only child.
Ranma watched as the two headed off away from the area. But it was still nagging him that this girl looked so familiar. With his track record of remembering people, Ranma just had to make sure it was or wasn't who he thought it was.
"I'll be right back, mom," Ranma said as he started after the girl. It caught everyone's attention, and soon the two adults brought their eyes to the retreating figure of a girl that Ranma seemed to be following.
"Quite a ladies' man, that nephew of mine," Roy stated. "Definitely takes after our family."
"Mostly definitely. Ranma's such a manly man. He has four girls after him back at home," replied Nodoka.
Poor guy, thought Rick. He would not wish that on his worst enemy. One was enough for him, granted right now he had none.
They stood there watching Ranma go after the girl when Nodoka felt it would be good for her to follow after her son so that he didn't do anything stupid. Roy jokingly asked if Ranma suffered from the Hasegawa foot in mouth disease. When Nodoka couldn't come up with a readied reply, Roy brought his head back in laughter.
"You sure you don't add him the clan registry. That boy is definitely a Hasegawa," Roy stated.
Nodoka replied that she was thinking about that since she was planning on divorcing Genma when they returned to Japan. Roy was shock to hear this from his sister. She was so traditional that he never thought she would do something like that. Nodoka saw the look in his eyes that made it clear that an explanation was in order. But that would have to wait. Roy was still on duty until 5:00 local time.
Unknown to anyone on the island, their schedules were about to change.
Not wanting to run, Ranma followed the girl and boy for a few of minutes, when the smell of food took over his motor skills. It was scent almost as familiar as the taste of Ukyo's okonomiyaki. The girl no longer garnering his attention, Ranma soon ended at the entrance of the White Dragon.
Stepping inside, everything looked so familiar, but Ranma was pretty sure he'd never been on Macross Island during his journey with the old man. Nonetheless, he grabbed table and waited for someone to take his order.
It wasn't long before he was joined by his mom. "Now how did I know that you would find something to eat rather than continue after the girl," Nodoka stated as she sat at the table. "So much like your father."
Ranma hated any comparisons with his father. So much that he vowed to try to change whatever she stated was like his father. Nodoka had been playing on this fact after Ranma told her all that he went through those ten long years. And she started to see the results. Ranma performed better in school in the last trimester (much to Akane's surprise), his speech was losing its roughness, and was losing the notion that women were weak. (That was due from training with his mom. He had no idea she was so fast and that a bokken could really hurt.) He also gained some acceptances of his cursed form. He still didn't like it, but he could deal with it better than those first few months. It helped that he wasn't as big as a water magnet as before.
"But why did you decide to come here?"
"I don't know. The smell just seemed ta bring me here, but this place seems familiar."
It was at this time that someone came to help them. "Welcome to the White Dragon. How can I help you today," came a cheery female voice.
"Just the usual today, Minmei," came Ranma's automated response, recognizing the voice. Then it hit him, what he just said. Looking up, he saw the girl in the burgundy dress, his friend from Yokohama. Lynn Minmei.
Lynn Minmei was use to customers asking for their usual meal, but this time is was different. She recognized the voice as being one she hadn't heard since moving in with her aunt and uncle on Macross. Looking at the guy, she recognized the Chinese shirt, the blue eyes, and definitely the pigtail.
Jumping into his arm to give him a hug, Minmei said, "Big brother!"
"B-big brother," Nodoka sputtered out.
"I-I can explain," Ranma said, not showing his usual discomfort towards girls.
The scene on the bridge of the SDF-1 could be considered controlled commotion. Manned by a five person, all female crew, they busily went about their business, working on checklists in preparation for the ship's maiden voyage. And in control of the all this was Lieutenant Commander Lisa Hayes, First Officer and Operations Officer of the SDF-1. At only 18 years of age, Lisa could be considered one of the few to know every aspect of the ship. This helped her rise rapidly up the ranks of the United Earth Defense Forces since being assigned to the SDF-1, her first assignment after graduated from the academy. Her personal life suffered because of this, but she didn't care. Her career was her life much like her father, Admiral Donald Hayes.
Lisa's station was forward of the captain's seat, facing the "window." The station next to Lisa belonged to Lieutenant Claudia Grant, Chief Weaponry Officer and Navigator. Claudia was five years older than Lisa and considered herself a friend/mentor to the young lady, having worked with Lisa for the past two years.
The rest of the crew were young lieutenants not long out of the academy: Vanessa Leeds (Radar), Kim Young (Ship Administration), and Sammie Porter (Communications, Substitute Operations Officer). These three had also been dubbed as the Bridge Bunnies by the various fighter pilots assigned to Macross Island.
The day had gone smoothly until Lisa accidentally routed a civilian aircraft in the direction of the air show. Things quickly resettled not long afterwards, and the crew went about their business. At that very moment, various systems started to activate, and the ship rumbled and moved as if it had a life of its own.
The bow separated in preparations for the main gun to fire. At least that's what Lisa and Claudia speculated since the main gun had yet to be tested. Under that speculation, they did all they could in an attempt to stop the firing. It proved to be all for not. A few moments after the ship started to "live," the main gun fired, sending a bolt of energy up and out of Earth's atmosphere.
All though he bumped his head on the bulkhead, the commander of the SDF-1 entered the bridge unnoticed. Captain Henry Gloval was on the reconnaissance team that first entered the SDF-1 back in 1999 (then known as the ASS-1) and stayed with the project ever since. "What's going on?" he asked in his accented Russian voice.
"We're still trying to figure that out, Captain," replied Claudia. "But we are just now regaining control of all systems."
Gloval stood there, silent for a second, but soon had a realization. Slumping down in his chair, he felt older than he had just a few seconds ago.
At that same moment, Roy was showing Rick what had kept him away for the last few years. They were sitting in a VF-1D Veritech Fighter with Roy explaining to Rick about the thing made the plane special. Rick didn't really care. He didn't care that much for the military (highly influenced by his father). But he sat in the lead seat and wore a flight helmet, or what Roy called a "thinking cap," so as to humor him.
When the main gun went off, the two were startled. But Roy soon snapped out it and hopped out of the cockpit. Something was up, and Lieutenant Commander Roy Fokker was soon going to be needed.
"What's going on, Roy?"
"I don't know," Roy replied. "But stay right there. If anything happens, you should be safe there." Roy only said that because that plane, VT-120, had been taken off flight duty so that it could be used as a display.
Roy took off, heading for the ready room. Then he suddenly remembered Nodoka and Ranma. He had no clue where they were, and there was going to be no way to find out. He just hoped if anything started to happen on the island, they'd be able to get to one of the shelters.
At that same moment in the White Dragon, Minmei was finishing up the story that Ranma started from her perspective. Nodoka found it nice that Ranma had been so kind and nice to help what she thought was a sweet girl. But there was one question that she needed to know.
"You wouldn't know if your parents engaged you to my son?"
Ranma's head hit the table, shocked that his mother would ask something like that. That was when the Earth started to shake. Feeling much like an earthquake, restaurant patrons started ducking for cover. Ranma, very protectively, grabbed his mother and Minmei and brought them underneath the table. Then he proceeded to place his body between them and the table. Nodoka noted how protective Ranma was of this girl. It wasn't protective as he was with Akane, but as if Minmei really was his sister.
And just as sudden that the shaking started, it stopped. Hesitantly coming from under the tables, everyone saw that there was no damage inside or out.
"Um...Was that supposed to be an earthquake?" asked Ranma. Nodoka looked at Ranma as if saying she wasn't sure. She had been in more of them than Ranma, but that didn't feel like any quake she'd been through.
A short, rotund man and a tall woman came out from the kitchen, followed closely by the boy that was with Minmei at the air show. They quickly spot Minmei standing close to Ranma.
"Minmei, are you okay?" the woman asked.
"I'm fine, Aunt Lena, especially with Ranma here to protect me," replied Minmei.
It was then the couple really noticed the boy with the innocent look on his face. The guy tried to get a closer look at him, almost as if he was inspecting Ranma. Of course this only made Ranma feel nervous.
"Sir, I would have to ask that you not look at my son in that manner," Nodoka spoke in a gentle tone, but it had the desired effect. The man quickly backed away from Ranma.
"I-I'm sorry ma'am," the man said. "It's just that we've heard so much of this Ranma from our Minmei that I wanted see if this was the same person she'd described. Frankly I was expecting more."
He was given a nudge from the woman, obviously his wife. She couldn't believe he would say that about another woman's child in their presence.
"I'm sorry for my husband," the woman said. She then bowed to Ranma. "Thank you for being around when my niece was younger. I'm Lena. This is my husband, Max and our youngest son, Jason."
Ranma returned the bow. "Ahhhh, it ain't nothin'. I was only doing my job as a martial artist. I just don't like it when people bully others." Then he received a nudge from Nodoka for being rude and not introducing her. It took Ranma awhile and a clearing of Nodoka's throat to realize his mistake. "Oh, um, this is my mother, Nodoka Saotome."
Nodoka bowed to the Lynns, who bowed in return.
"You have a very honorable son, Mrs. Saotome," Lena said.
"Thank you." Though no thanks to his father, Nodoka added to herself.
High above Lunar orbit sat a fleet of alien spaceships, numbering in the thousands. The fleet belonged to a race called the Zentraedi, and they were there to reclaim the SDF-1 (referred by them as Zor's Battlefortress). At the head of this fleet was its flagship. The ship was many times the size of the craft they were sent to retrieve and bristled with weapons. Colored green, it looked very organic and very menacing.
Inside the vessel, as well as all the others, were Goliaths bred for war. And in charge of this fleet was one of the tallest Zentraedi, Commander Breetai, stood in the transparent command bubble with his aide, the diminutive Exedore. They had just watched their target unleash a destructive beam of Reflex energy upon a scout team.
Breetai crossed his arms in satisfaction, knowing that their target was on this blue and white planet. He deployed the fleet in preparation to capture the battle fortress. He remembered the last time he saw it when it disappeared from the quadrant of the known universe where the Zentraedi reigned supreme. Of course he had a constant reminder of that day with metallic cowl that covered that right side of his head from the wound received protecting the creator of the battle fortress, Zor.
"Well, we'd figured something like this might happen," Captain Gloval said, having regained his composure.
"Something like what, Captain?" Claudia asked. All of their attention was now on him, looking for leadership.
"Some believed that the ship might've been booby trapped."
"Booby trapped?" questioned Lisa.
Gloval explained, "There is a theory that the ship was intentional sent here by its prior owner, and that owner might not want it retrieved. It's only natural to setup some type of trap."
Though Sammie was trying to pay attention to what the captain was saying, her attention was drawn back to the job at hand. "Sir, report's coming in, showing what the main gun fired at."
Lisa turned to her station to look at the report. "It appears it struck two large objects, presumably spacecrafts, origin unknown, on an approach vector about two hundred miles out."
Gloval sat there, taking in the information. It was obvious what was next for him to do. Aliens had finally arrived to reclaim the battle fortress. The main gun had most likely only destroyed a recon team, meaning there were probably more ships come soon. He couldn't simply let them come down to Earth and take the SDF-1 back, not after all the money devoted in its reconstruction.
Reaching in his coat pocket, Gloval brought out his pipe, ready to smoke like he always did whenever he was about to make an important decision. Unfortunately he only got as far putting it in his mouth, when he heard the clearing of someone's throat. "Captain Gloval, there is no smoking on the bridge," piped up Sammie. "It's against regulations."
Both Lisa and Claudia couldn't believe Sammie did that.
"T-That's right," replied a startled Gloval. "I was just holding it, that's all." Hoping that would be all on that subject, Gloval ordered to scramble all the fighters, including those stationed on the two supercarriers, the Daedalus and Prometheus, anchored in the harbor and sound general quarters. The latter meant the island of Macross was on red alert, which also meant it was time to get the civilians to the specially built shelters.
For all intent and purpose, Earth was at war due to the firing of the main gun.
Roy, in his role of Commander of Air Group, was waiting for that order and scrambled the SDF-1's fighter squadron in record time. They ascended into the atmosphere and prepared to combat whatever came into the atmosphere.
Battle raged out in space between the Earth Forces and the Zentraedi. The crafts the Earth Forces were much different than those flown by the squadrons of the SDF-1. This crafts came from the Armor-class carriers being used as an orbital defense network. So they also opened fire with various missiles, Stilettos, Piledrivers, and Mongooses, along with lasers, and kinetic energy weapons, such as rail gun autocannons.
These types of weaponry confused Breetai because they were quite primitive in comparison to that use in their first attack.
"They've put up a very heavy resistance," stated Exedore.
"That's quite true," replied Breetai, in his booming voice. "But with the weapons they're using, our ships will pass right through. This must be some type of trick."
Exedore contemplated this. Since they knew nothing of the race in possession of Zor's ship, this maybe a ploy to give the Zentraedi a false sense of security. "That maybe so, Lord Breetai. But it's also puzzling."
Breetai was set to comment when a voice entered the command bubble. "Lord Breetai, two enemy ships are making their way towards us. It's possible that they were involved in the missile bombardment moments ago."
Breetai was not about to let them come any closer. With a cold smile that seemed to provide a glint in his eye, Breetai ordered, "Destroy them!"
It didn't take long for the laser barrage to tear into ARMD-02 and 10. ARMD-02 took the full force of the first volley. It tried to evade the streaks of blue energy, but it was difficult with house-size hole being created throughout ARMD-02.
Breetai watched the damage being created and waited for the enemy to retaliate using the reflex weapons it's already displayed. When none came, he started laughing. "This must be a joke or these idiots don't know how to use their own weapons. All cannons, full barrage!"
That pretty much sealed the fate of ARMD-02. Within seconds, it was complete destroyed, while ARMD-10 suffered some serious damage before it decided to withdraw from the scene.
"Sir, ARMD-10 reports that ARMD-02 has been destroyed, and it has been serious damage also," reported Lisa.
Gloval knew that wasn't good. Next to the SDF-1 and the Veritech fighters, the Armor carriers were Earth's most advanced weapons. And the enemy didn't take long reduce their Orbital Defense Force to shambles. It was now up to the Robotech Defense Force to protect the Earth destruction.
"Lisa, inform Commander Fokker that the enemy will be entering Earth's atmosphere soon. And provide him with coordinates."
"All right, fellas," Roy said over the tactical network after receiving Lisa's message. "Command just declared hunting season open." He went on to relay the coordinates to the pilots. Then in VT-001 with the familiar Jolly Roger on the tailfins, he led them into battle. For the first time since 2007, the skies of Earth became a killing field.
Breetai and Exedore watched the new battle that raged and noticed things were turning out differently. They were still fought with the same ferocity, but there seemed to be better fighting tactics. Maybe it had something to do with transformations that the fighters seemed to undergoing. Some were the fighters, others transformed into a metallic winged looking creature, while still others transformed to look like beings the size of them. They still didn't use reflex weapons, but they were destroying their advance attack team nonetheless. Luckily the ground attack teams had slipped through.
Rick was bored with just sitting in the plane. So bored that he had propped up his feet outside the cockpit, slid the helmet over his eyes, and proceeded to take a nap. In the midst of dreaming about flying in his fanjet to another title, he faintly heard a female's voice saying, "This SDF-1 control calling VT-120, please come in." This was repeated about five times before Rick finally realized that it wasn't part of his dream.
"…combat alert. Why haven't you taken off?" asked a brunette that was on a screen in front of him.
"Huh," Rick said while yawning and stretching himself awake. "Whaddaya talkin' about?"
It was obvious that the lady didn't like the fact that Rick had ignored her. But it wasn't his fault. Roy told him to wait in the plane, and he had fell asleep.
"What are you still doing out the ground, mister," the lady said. "We are on combat alert and you need to take off and join your wingmate."
Hearing that he needed to get the plane off the ground finally woke him up. "Hey, I can't fly this plane. I'm only a civilian pilot." As much as he hated admitting that, he was looking way not to join the fight. He wasn't a soldier and wanted nothing to do with the military.
"Are you looking for a court martial?" the lady asked, not even hearing him. "I want you off the ground two minutes ago. You're fully armed, so move before you overheat the engines. Use Runway Two."
Rick could clearly tell there was no way for him to get out of this. Following the lady's instructions, he taxied to Runway Two, and after applying power to the engine, he was off the ground and on his way. That was the easy part; even though there more controls in the cockpit than Mockingbird, it had all the necessary controls to take off and fly.
Rick made his way through the atmosphere. He had no clue where he was headed. He just flew to the coordinates that the lady gave him. It wasn't long before he burst through the clouds and entered the action. There was fighting everywhere he saw through the canopy. There were many planes much like the one he was flying (similar to the old Grumman F-14 Tomcat of the United States Navy), but there were also green colored aircrafts of which he'd never seen before. It was no doubt that they were the enemy. It also help him realized that by the fact they were the ones shooting at him.
He ducked and dodged their fire the best he could until a Veritech labeled VT-001 with the Jolly Roger painted on its tailfins flew up to him.
"Rick, what the hell are you doing up here," said Roy, appearing on one of the monitors in the cockpit.
"Roy, is that you," Rick said thankful his "big brother" had shown up. Then he realized how stupid that sounded. "Well, some lady told me that either I get in the air or I'll get court martialed."
Roy knew exactly who it was and cursed, saying that kid was going to get them killed. "Look, stay on my wing, try not to get shot, and I'll get you back on the ground. Okay."
Rick nodded his head and fell into the wingman position. He executed every maneuver as Roy, but unfortunately he was unable to prevent himself from being shot. The minute he was hit, he panicked, thus lost control of the Veritech and plummeted and spun towards Macross Island.
Roy watched his friend descend rapidly to Earth. "Rick, climb and bank," he said of the net. He desperately wanted to help his friend, but the enemy was making it impossible for him to break away.
Rick heard Roy's voice and was brought out his panicked state. He got a firm grip on the controls and pulled the stick back in order to climb. But the Veritech had lost power, so they were not responding. He starting trying everything his father taught him in order to regain control, but it was all for not as Macross Island grew bigger through the canopy.
"I've had it, Roy. I can't regain control of the plane."
Right then the brunette reappeared on the cockpit monitor. "This is SDF-1 control calling VT-120. Pull out! You're headed right for us."
"Lady, I'm trying, but nothing seems to respond!" replied Rick.
"Have you tried going to configuration B?"
"Huh! B. What B?"
"You don't know!" The lady was surprise to hear that. She thought that it might have something to do with shock. "Listen, pull the B level on the instrument panel on your left."
Once again Rick did as the lady instructed and pulled the level marked B. Immediately he felt something happening to the Veritech, starting with leveling out.
Outside the tail section folded up behind the canopy and the engine potion dropped down to form what appeared to be legs.
Just as his speed started to decrease, he crashed into a building. While plowing through a row of buildings, he felt the nose start to move. He was quite confused as to what was going on, especially when the canopy was suddenly covered up and the seat changed position.
When finally he stopped, he was alive yet disoriented. One thing he knew, this definitely wasn't the plane he was napping in.
You may notice the ages for some of the Robotech characters are younger than written. The ages used are those of their Macross counterparts, thanks to the Macross Compendium.
Addendum: To make the ages in accordance to the Macross Compendium, Lisa's age now is reflecting the fact her birth date is March 3 1990, and the SDF-1 mistaken jump to Pluto happens on February 27, 2009.
Revision finally being done to bring it in line with the rest of the story before writing the final chapter.